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Volume 32, Number 9 September 2022 Home | IBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Education Shelf
World History Shelf Civil War Shelf Military Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf Literary Studies Shelf
Political Science Shelf Autism Shelf Native American Studies Shelf
General Fiction Shelf Historical Fiction Shelf Literary Fiction Shelf
Romantic Fiction Shelf Western Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Art Shelf Business Shelf
Journalism Shelf Architecture Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Biography Shelf Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Library CD Shelf Library DVD Shelf
Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf Photography Shelf Economic Studies Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf Sports Shelf
Woodworking Shelf Music Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Agriculture Shelf Beer/Wine/Spirits Shelf Travel Shelf
Gardening Shelf Automotive Shelf Gaming Shelf
Martial Arts Shelf Philosophy Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf


Reviewer's Choice

Resurgence of Global Populism
Karyne E. Messina, EdD
Routledge
https://www.routledge.com
9781032064512, $39.95 (softcover)

https://www.amazon.com/Resurgence-Global-Populism-Psychoanalytic-Identification/dp/103206451X

Resurgence of Global Populism: A Psychoanalytic Study of Projective Identification, Blame-Shifting and the Corruption of Democracy will engage college students and adults interested in the connections between political and psychological processes, and is recommended both for individual study and classroom assignment for standout discussion.

Karyne E. Messina considers the driving forces for the emergence and propagation of populism, closely examining the logic from which corrupt systems evolve and are promoted and fostered. Her examination moves from country to country as it considers the circumstances, appearance, and propagation of populism in Asia, Europe, and the U.S., drawing important connections and comparisons between the politics and people of different nations of the world.

This approach allows for an analysis that juxtaposes cultural and social influences on political processes, following how the psyches of nations and individuals are influenced by populist thinking. Important connections are drawn between the emergence of repressive laws and the underlying intentions and perceptions of the politicians and lawmakers involved.

One such case cited is Austria's banning of headscarves in the name of protection and altruistic perceptions. These types of laws, whether well-meaning or stemming from ignorance, hold wide-ranging ramifications. Messina's attention to defining and identifying circumstances of populist behavior in various world communities and populations moves between legal and political choices and their impacts, drawing connections that help readers understand how the hearts and minds of the public are affected.

While Trump's actions and representations are a primary focus, she places his politics and brand of beliefs within larger perspective, exploring his psychological manipulations and approaches and their impact on the world. From national histories of democratic efforts and struggles to individual responses and choices, Messina goes beyond identifying problems by providing possible solutions concerned readers can undertake to address the effects populist trends have on their own mental health.

One such opportunity lies in fine-tuning the pervasive influence of social media. Messina's ability to move from bigger-picture and global thinking to individual choice in reactions and actions offers hope. It ultimately empowers readers to not just better understand the methodology and circumstances of populist influences and efforts, but to identify and mitigate these effects.

In essence, Messina advocates for readers to cultivate a sense of resilience, whether when dealing with an authoritarian ruler or negotiating social media minefields. The result is a powerful blend of history, social and political inspection, and psychological investigation that operate on both a global and individual level to provide readers with food for thought and tools for response. Much more than a Trump-centric analysis, it places this man's influence and the wellsprings of his approaches into a larger picture of threat readers would do well to better understand.

While college-level library collections strong in social, psychological and political issues will be the target audience of this book, ideally it will not reside idly on a library's shelf, but will be chosen for classroom assignment and by discussion groups interested in considering and debating the forces of global populism's rise and effects on society and individuals alike.

Herbert Corey's Great War
Herbert Corey, author
Peter Finn, editor
John Maxell Hamilton, editor
Louisiana State University Press
338 Johnston Hall, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
https://lsupress.org
9780807177945, $40.00, HC, 246pp

https://www.amazon.com/Herbert-Coreys-Great-War-American/dp/0807177946

Synopsis: In 1914, the Associated Newspapers sent correspondent Herbert Corey to Europe on the day Great Britain declared war on Germany. During the Great War that followed, Corey reported from France, Britain, and Germany, visiting the German lines on both the western and eastern fronts. He also reported from Greece, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, and Serbia. When the Armistice was signed in November 1918, Corey defied the rules of the American Expeditionary Forces and crossed into Germany. He covered the Paris Peace Conference the following year. No other foreign correspondent matched the longevity of his reporting during World War I. Until recently, however, his unpublished memoir lay largely unnoticed among his papers in the Library of Congress.

With publication of "Herbert Corey's Great War: A Memoir of World War I by the American Reporter Who Saw It All", co- editors Peter Finn and John Maxwell Hamilton reestablish Corey's name in the annals of American war reporting.

As a correspondent, he defies easy comparison. He approximates Ernie Pyle in his sympathetic interest in the American foot soldier, but he also told stories about troops on the other side and about noncombatants. He is especially illuminating on the obstacles reporters faced in conveying the story of the Great War to Americans.

As his memoir makes clear, Corey didn't believe he was in Europe to serve the Allies. He viewed himself as an outsider, one who was deeply ambivalent about the entry of the United States into the war. His idiosyncratic, opinionated, and very American voice makes for compelling reading.

Critique: Rescued from the obscurity of the Library of Congress back-shelf storage and enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a section of black/white historical photographs, "Herbert Corey's Great War: A Memoir of World War I by the American Reporter Who Saw It All" is an inherently fascinating and impressively informative memoir of a World War I front line journalist that will be a welcome contribution to both World War I and 20th Century American Journalism histories & memoirs collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for student, academic, and military historians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Herbert Corey's Great War: A Memoir of World War I by the American Reporter Who Saw It All" is also available in a paperback edition (9780807177952, $25.00) and in a digital book format ($18.99).

Editorial Note #1: Peter Finn has worked at the Washington Post since 1995, serving as Warsaw bureau chief, Berlin bureau chief, Moscow bureau chief, and currently as national security editor. Twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting, Finn was honored with the Robert F. Kennedy Grand Prize and International Print award for his coverage of the war in Kosovo. He is the coauthor of The Zhivago Affair, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award for general nonfiction, and the author of A Guest of the Reich.

Editorial Note #2: John Maxwell Hamilton, a former journalist and government official, is the Hopkins P. Breazeale LSU Foundation Professor of Journalism in the Manship School of Mass Communication at LSU and a global fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. He has authored or edited many books, including Journalism's Roving Eye and Manipulating the Masses, both of which won the Goldsmith Book Prize.

The Great Age Reboot
Michael F. Roizen, M.D. with Peter Linneman, Ph.D. & Albert Ratner
National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
www.nationalgeographic.com
9781426221514, $28.00, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Great-Age-Reboot-Cracking-Longevity/dp/1426221517

Synopsis: Over the next decade, people living to 100, 120, or even 130 years old will become increasingly common -- and life past 100 may not look like what you expect. "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow" by Dr. Michael Roizen, with the assistance of economists Peter Linneman and Albert Ratner, reveals how current science and technology will revolutionize our ability to live longer, younger, and better.

Today's breakthroughs in longevity research are unprecedented, and "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow" will help you navigate the coming changes to make the best decisions for your brain, your body, and your bank account. "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow" explores how living a longer life span will change our lives and our culture, providing the most comprehensive and forward-looking book on aging to date, and showing readers how to prepare for the next major societal disruptor.

Critique: "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow" is an ideal road map to prevention, treatment, and technology and how they will reshape the way we think about old age -- and help us plan for a previously unanticipated future. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, senior citizen center, college, and university library Longevity Health/Medicine collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists of personal and professional reading lists that "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note #1: Michael F. Roizen MD is the Chief Wellness Officer at the Cleveland Clinic, Chief Medical Consultant on The Dr. Oz Show, author of four #1 New York Times bestselling books, and originator of the popular RealAge.com website. He is board certified in anesthesiology and internal medicine. He's been recognized with an Ellie, an Emmy, and the Paul G. Rogers Award from the National Library of Medicine for Best Medical Communicator. He also chaired an FDA advisory committee and has published more than 175 peer-reviewed articles. He has a page on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Roizen


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Good Naked, revised and expanded edition
Joni B. Cole
https://www.jonibcole.com
University of New Mexico Press
1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM 87131-0001
www.unmpress.com
9780826364364, $19.95, PB, 248pp

https://www.amazon.com/Good-Naked-Happier-Revised-Expanded/dp/0826364365

Synopsis: From veteran creative writing teacher and acclaimed author Joni B. Cole comes the revised and expanded edition of her popular writing guide "Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier. Revised and Expanded Edition".

Once again, Cole's humor and wisdom shine through as she debunks long-held misconceptions of how we're supposed to write, replacing them with advice that works. Feeling overwhelmed? Having trouble getting started or staying motivated? In this edition, Cole offers more stories, strategies, tips on craft, and exercises to serve new and seasoned writers from the first draft to the final edit. Writers will even find help making peace with rejection.

Admirers as well as newcomers to Cole's work will appreciate her uniquely cheerful approach, time tested to foster creativity and productivity. This generous and essential guide will provide a jump start to inspiration and a daily reminder of the meaning, humor, and happiness that can be discovered in a life devoted to writing life.

Critique: With a great deal of practical value for aspiring writers and seasoned authors alike, "Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier. Revised and Expanded Edition" is a complete course of instruction under one cover and is the next best thing to sitting front row in one of Joni Cole's creative writing workshops. Thoroughly 'writer friendly' in organization and presentation, "Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier. Revised and Expanded Edition" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing collections. An excellent textbook for Creative Writing classes, it should be note that "Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier. Revised and Expanded Edition" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Joni B. Cole teaches creative writing at her own Writer's Center in Vermont and as an independent workshop facilitator at Dartmouth College. She is a frequent teacher and speaker at academic programs, conferences, and social-service organizations across the country. Cole is the author of six books and a contributor to The Writer as well as the host of the podcast Author, Can I Ask You? She has a dedicated website at https://www.jonibcole.com


The Education Shelf

The Ultimate Guide to HBCUs
Dr. Braque Talley
The Princeton Review
c/o Random House Inc.
www.PrincetonReview.com
9780593451236, $14.99, PB, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Guide-HBCUs-Historically-Universities/dp/0593451236

Synopsis: Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community.

For anyone considering attending an HBCU, "The Ultimate Guide to HBCUs: Profiles, Stats, and Insights for All 101 Historically Black Colleges and Universities" is the essential college guide. The Princeton Review has partnered up with Dr. Braque Talley (three-time HBCU graduate and current Vice President for Student Affairs at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University) to create a guide with everything needed to be known about HBCUs.

With "The Ultimate Guide to HBCUs" the reader can find their perfect school with: Complete profiles of all 101 HBCUs in the country (96 undergraduate and 5 graduate HBCUs) including where they are, what they cost, who they enroll, and more; Details of every aspect of academic, campus, and student life, including professors, dorms, cafeteria food, and social life; Highlights of the programs, degrees, and offerings available; Notable accomplishments of these storied institutions; Up to date descriptions of each campus's cultural offerings; Information on career opportunities and renowned alumni.

Critique: With each school presented in alphabetical order, "The Ultimate Guide to HBCUs: Profiles, Stats, and Insights for All 101 Historically Black Colleges and Universities" is unreservedly recommended as an essential and core college planning resource for highschool and community library collections. It should be noted for highschool counselors, parents, and graduating students that "The Ultimate Guide to HBCUs: Profiles, Stats, and Insights for All 101 Historically Black Colleges and Universities" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Dr. Braque Talley currently serves as Vice President for Student Affairs at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University. While serving as Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Success at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, he has received national attention for his student engagement campaigns, which resulted in a significant enrollment turnaround during the 2020 pandemic. He had previously served his alma mater, Rust College, as VP of enrollment management; as well as serving as Director of marketing and recruitment at Alabama A&M.

Teaching Mindfulness
Amoneeta Beckstein, author
Jana York, contributor
Book Publishing Company
PO Box 99, Summertown TN, 38483
www.bookpubco.com
9781939053411, $19.95, PB, 120pp

https://www.amazon.com/Teaching-Mindfulness-Guidebook-Counselors-Caregivers/dp/1939053412

Synopsis: Due to our rapidly evolving society, the impact of social media, and the threat of climate change, today's children are facing challenges unique to their generation. Incorporating mindfulness as part of their curriculum (whether in a classroom or a home school setting) teaches them invaluable and necessary life skills that they can apply to all aspects of learning, and later, through all the stages of their lives.

With the publication of "Teaching Mindfulness: A Guidebook for Teachers, Parents, Counselors, and Caregivers", psychologist Amoneeta Beckstein and mindfulness educator and practitioner Jana York have pooled their knowledge and experience and teamed up to compile an eight-week curriculum with empirically-based exercises for integrating mindfulness in classrooms, as well as discussion questions for enhancing critical thinking skills.

The authors use vowels (including Y for "You") as a mnemonic device, with each vowel representing a lesson that helps students develop present-moment awareness: Attention, Experience, Investigate, Observe, and Understand. Forty engaging activities and games help children put into practice the concepts they learned. "Teaching Mindfulness" provides the essential core principles of mindfulness education and enriches both the teaching and learning experience.

Critique: Timely, well illustrated, and offering a complete course of instruction that will be especially appreciated by home- schooling parents as well as classroom instructors, "Teaching Mindfulness: A Guidebook for Teachers, Parents, Counselors, and Caregivers" is exceptionally well organized and presented. While highly recommended for elementary school, school district, community library, and academic library Contemporary Education instructional reference collections, as well as and teacher education supplemental studies curriculums, it should be noted for personal reading lists that ""Teaching Mindfulness" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note #1: Amoneeta Beckstein, Ph.D., is a positive psychologist who specializes in multicultural counseling. He often integrates mindfulness into his teaching, therapy, and service. He is particularly interested in how mindfulness can contribute to people's happiness and inner peace. He also uses mindfulness in his personal life and has a dedicated website at https://c19psychcare.com/dr-amoneeta-beckstein-profile/.

Editorial Note #2: Jana York, MS, has been a children's mindfulness educator and mindfulness practitioner for more than a decade. She has conducted research and written on mindfulness. York is the author of U Is for Understanding: Claire's Journey toward Mindfulness, a chapter book designed to introduce mindfulness and social-emotional learning to children. The activities are based on her training and teaching to adults and students in various cultures around the globe. Her passion is teaching children how to reduce anxiety and self-regulate while being in the present moment. She is an avid practitioner of mindfulness in her personal life and a website at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/janayorkmindful

Research Handbook on Academic Careers and Managing Academics
Claudia S. Sarrico, editor
Maria J. Rosa, editor
Teresa Carvaltho, editor
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
www.e-elgar.com
9781839102622, $290.00, HC, 480pp

https://www.amazon.com/Research-Handbook-Academics-Handbooks-Education/dp/1839102624

Synopsis: Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Claudia S. Sarrico (Professor of Management, School of Economics and Management, University of Minho, and Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies), Maria J. Rosa (Assistant Professor, Department of Economics, Management, Industrial Engineering and Tourism, University of Aveiro, and Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies) and Teresa Carvalho (Associate Professor, Department of Social, Political and Territorial Sciences, University of Aveiro, and Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies, Portugal), the contributors to "Research Handbook on Academic Careers and Managing Academics" address that as academia is increasingly questioned as an elite profession, a narrative of casualisation, precarity, inequality, long hours, surveillance, austerity, erosion of pay, exacerbated competition, and harmful power relations has come to dominate.

The expert contributors provide multiple perspectives on how academics are managed and how the management of academics influences their roles and careers. Individually and collectively the chapters comprising "Research Handbook on Academic Careers and Managing Academics" informatively consider how academics' characteristics, such as gender, age, and position in their academic career, influence or are influenced by the way in which academics are managed.

Drawing together a range of theoretical approaches as well as a broad geographical coverage, "Research Handbook on Academic Careers and Managing Academics" offers an important contribution to the debates surrounding the shifting frontiers of managing academics and the questions raised for individuals, higher education institutions, and higher education systems.

Critique: A compendium of 29 erudite, insightful, informative, and thought-provoking essays by experts in the field of academia, "Research Handbook on Academic Careers and Managing Academics" is organized into seven major sections: Changing Context for Managing Academics; The Role of Academics and Other Higher Education Professionals; Gendered Academic Careers; The Performance of Academic Staff; Mobility and Internationalization of Academics; Age and Generational Gaps in Academic Careers. A seminal work of original and meticulous scholarship, "Research Handbook on Academic Careers and Managing Academics" is an unreservedly recommended as a core addition to personal, professional, college and university Contemporary Education & Academia collections and supplemental curriculum Education/Academia studies lists.


The World History Shelf

The Battles of King Arthur
Tony Sullivan
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781399015301, $42.95, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Battles-King-Arthur-Tony-Sullivan/dp/1399015303

Synopsis: The ninth century Historia Brittonum is the first source that mentions Arthur and lists twelve battles, including the famous Badon Hill. Much ink has been spilt debating the identity and location of Arthur. With the publication of "The Battles of King Arthur", historian Tony Sullivan demonstrates that some of the battles can indeed be located with some confidence.

Rather than fit a specific theory as to his identity the battles are placed in the fragmenting provincial, political and military context of the late fifth and early sixth century Britain. At a time of rapid changes in cultural identity and a significant increase in Germanic material culture and migration.

These battles might be expected to be found along borders and in zones of potential conflict. Yet this is not what is discovered. In addition the simplistic idea of Romano-Britons holding back invading Anglo-Saxons is found wanting. Instead we discover a far more nuanced political and cultural situation. One with increasing evidence of continuation of land use and the indigenous population.

The most Romanised and urbanized regions of the south and east are the very areas that experienced the arrival of Germanic settlement. The conclusion gives the reader a new insight into what sort of man Arthur was and the nature of the battles he fought.

Critique: As an historian and writer, Tony Sullivan has a genuine flair for the kind of narrative storytelling style that is accessibly informative for both academia and the non-specialist general reader. Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of Maps, Illustration, Tables, nine pages of Notes, a five page Reference and Bibliography, and a three page Index, "The Battles of King Arthur" is a unique and seminal study that is unreservedly recommended for community and academic library British Medieval History & Biography collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, historians, and anyone else with an interest in the life, legend, lore and history of King Arthur that "The Battles of King Arthur" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: His first book by Tony Sullivan, "King Arthur Man or Myth", was published in 2020. He then went on to write "The Real Gladiator: The True Story of Maximus Decimus Meridius"; "The Battles of King Arthur"; and "The Roman King Arthur?: Lucius Artorius Castus". Two further books titled "The Early Anglo-Saxon Kings" and "The History of the Sixth Legion" are forthcoming publications from Pen & Sword Books.

The Roman King Arthur?: Lucius Artorius Castus
Tony Sullivan
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781399084024, $34.95, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Roman-King-Arthur-Lucius-Artorius/dp/139908402X

Synopsis: The 2004 film, "King Arthur", starring Clive Owen and Keira Knightley, introduced the audience to Lucius Artorius Castus as the basis to the much later legend of King Arthur. With the publication of "The Roman King Arthur?: Lucius Artorius Castus Hardcover", historian Tony Sullivan analyses the theories behind the film which link this second to third century Roman officer with the medieval Arthurian legends and a possible historical figure in post-Roman Britain.

This first full academic study of Artorius Castus offers a number of potential time frames and details his career through a turbulent and bloody period of Roman history, serving as primus pilus of V Macedonia and praefectus of the Sixth Legion in northern Britain.

Turning to the historical narrative of the film this historical study covers the archaeological and literary evidence for the break down of Roman Britain, arrival of Germanic peoples and emergence of petty kingdoms and new cultural identities. The penultimate chapter lays out the evidence for and against a historical Arthur, offering suggestions as to his identity, location of his battles and the possible political, military, social and cultural situation he lived and fought in.

"The Roman King Arthur?: Lucius Artorius Castus" is an entertaining and informative picture of two fascinating figures, one firmly historical, the other shrouded in myth and legend. Sullivan leaves the reader with a clear picture of the lives of a Roman career officer and later dark-age warrior and the different worlds in which they lived.

Critique: A fun, fascinating, informative and thought-provoking read from cover to cover, "The Roman King Arthur?: Lucius Artorius Castus" by Tony Sullivan will have a particular appeal to readers with an interest in the Roman period, post-Roman Britain and the possibilities for an identified historical Arthur whose deeds would lay the groundwork for later legends and embellishments. While certain to be an immediate and welcome addition to community, college, and university library Roman Britain history collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for students, academia, historians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in King Arthur lore, legends and history that "The Roman King Arthur?: Lucius Artorius Castus" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: His first book by Tony Sullivan, "King Arthur Man or Myth", was published in 2020. He then went on to write "The Real Gladiator: The True Story of Maximus Decimus Meridius"; "The Battles of King Arthur"; and "The Roman King Arthur?: Lucius Artorius Castus". Two further books titled "The Early Anglo-Saxon Kings" and "The History of the Sixth Legion" are forthcoming publications from Pen & Sword Books.

The Templars at War
Zvonimir Grbasic
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781473898400, $42.95, HC, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Templars-at-War-Zvonimir-Grbasic/dp/1473898404

Synopsis: The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and the Temple of Solomon, better known as the Knights Templar or simply the Templars, are the most famous of the Crusading knightly orders.

Formed in 1119 to protect Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land, this curious hybrid of military unit and monastic brotherhood were the staunchest defenders of the Crusader States of Outremer for nearly two centuries. Knights joining the Templars renounced their worldly possessions and vowed to follow a strict code, which included the command to fight the infidel enemy bravely regardless of the odds. They provided Christian armies with a lethal cutting edge in open battle, launching fanatical charges to break the enemy formations, as well as garrisoning a network of forts as a stubborn bulwark against reconquest.

With the publication of "The Templars at War", artist and historian Zvonimir Grbasic outlines Templar history, narrating many of their greatest victories and defeats in detail (such as Montgisard and the Horns of Hattin), describes their organization and hierarchy, training and daily life.

Critique: "The Templars at War" features both the knights and the lowlier ranks, and are illustrated with Zvonimir Grbasic's beautiful, original, museum quality paintings and drawings. An informative and simply fascinating read from cover to cover, "The Templars at War" is a very special and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library Crusade History collections in general, and Templar History supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular. It should be noted that "The Templars at War" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: As an illustrator, Zvonimir Grbasic worked for the magazine 'Hrvatski vojnik' (Croatian soldier) of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Croatia, and then for military history magazines in Germany, France, Spain and The Netherlands. He has co-authored three books: 'The History of Cavalry' and 'Cavalry', both with V. Vuksic; and 'Hrvati, slike iz ratnicke proslosti' (Croats, the pictures from the warriors' history) with Mazuran, Radilovic, Trnski, Vuksic. He has a dedicated Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/zvonimir.grbasic

Roman Britain's Pirate King
Simon Elliott
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781399094368, $36.95, HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Roman-Britains-Pirate-King-Constantius/dp/139909436X

Synopsis: In the mid-3rd century AD Roman Britain's regional fleet, the Classis Britannica, disappeared. It was never to return. Soon the North Sea and English Channel were over-run by Germanic pirates preying upon the east and south coast of Britain, and the continental coast up to the Rhine Delta.

The western augustus (senior emperor) Maximian turned to a seasoned naval leader called Marcus Aurelius Mausaeus Valerius Carausius to restore order. He was so successful that Maximian accused him of pocketing the plunder he'd recaptured, ordering his execution. The canny Carausius moved first and in 286 usurped imperial authority, creating a North Sea empire in northern Gaul and Britain which lasted until 296.

Dubbed the pirate king, he initially thrived, seeing off early attempts by Maximian to defeat him. However, in the early 290s Maximian appointed his new caesar (junior emperor), Constantius Chlorus (the father of Constantine the Great), to defeat Carausius. A seasoned commander, Constantius Chlorus soon brought northern Gaul back into the imperial fold, leaving Carausius controlling only Britain.

Carausius was then assassinated and replaced by Allectus, his treasurer. Allectus was in turn defeated by Constantius Chlorus in AD 296 in the fourth Roman invasion of Britain, the caesar arriving just in time to prevent London being sacked by Allectus' Frankish mercenaries. Once more Britain was part of the Roman Empire.

Critique: With the publication of "Roman Britain's Pirate King: Carausius, Constantius Chlorus and the Fourth Roman Invasion of Britain", historian Simon Elliot draws out of obscurity one of the truly colorful characters in Roman dominated British history. In addition to an informative Introduction and Conclusion, "Roman Britain's Pirate King" is informatively enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a five page listing of References & Bibilography, as well as a three page Index. A truly seminal and extraordinary contribution to Roman & British history, "Roman Britain's Pirate King" is an inherently fascinating and engaging study. While a valued and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library Roman & British History collections and Roman Britain supplemental curriculum lists, it should be noted for students, academia, historians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Roman Britain's Pirate King" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Simon Elliott is an historian, archaeologist and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Kent where he studied for his PhD in Archaeology on the subject of the Roman military in Britain. He also has an MA in War Studies from KCL and an MA in Archaeology from UCL. He frequently gives talks on Roman themes and is co-Director at a Roman villa excavation. There is an informative interview with him on the University of Kent website at: https://www.kent.ac.uk/classics-archaeology/news/13758/graduate-profile-dr-simon-elliott-school-of-classical-and-archaeol ogical-studies

Persia Triumphant in Greece: Xerxes' Invasion
Manousos E. Kambouris
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781399097758, $42.95, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Persia-Triumphant-Greece-Thermopylae-Destruction/dp/139909775X

Synopsis: With the publication of "Persia Triumphant in Greece: Xerxes' Invasion: Thermopylae, Artemisium and the Destruction of Athens", historian Manousos E. Kambouris presents the epic story of the Great Persian War of 481-479 BC, the major land and sea Persian invasion of Greece under Xerxes.

Starting from the Persian decision to avenge the outrage caused to imperial prestige by the battle of Marathon, "Persia Triumphant in Greece" details the policy, diplomacy and religion as they intermingle with matters of strategy and tactics. It also includes detailed coverage of the legendary Battle of Thermopylae, immortalized in literature and film as the ultimate defiant last stand.

There is similarly in-depth coverage, in terms of events, tactics, methods and intentions, afforded to the relatively unknown sea battles off Cape Artemisium, only recently dramatized for the Big Screen; a naval engagement that primed the Battle of Salamis.

Special attention has been paid to the events following these two battles, leading to the bloody conquest of Athens and the implementation of vengeance by the Persian Empire, which for a brief time stood triumphant, victorious and awesome as never before, but also sowed the seeds of eventual defeat.

Critique: Deftly organized into three major sections (Preparation and Invasion; Thermopylae: The Most Famous Battle; The Naval Standoff at Artemisium), "Persia Triumphant in Greece: Xerxes' Invasion: Thermopylae, Artemisium and the Destruction of Athens" is further informative enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of an informative Introduction, Epilogue or Act Two?, a seven page Bibliography, and a three page Index. An exceptionally well written, organized and presented study that is highly recommended for community, college, and university library Greek History & Warfare collections, "Persia Triumphant in Greece: Xerxes' Invasion: Thermopylae, Artemisium and the Destruction of Athens" is also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $25.00).

Editorial Note: Manousos E. Kambouris has a background in scientific writing, contributing chapters on a wide range of disciplines to various edited volumes and journals. He has been researching Ancient Greek warfare for many years and has published numerous articles in Archeologija Prirodne Na (Archaeology and Science), Ancient Warfare, Military History, War & History, Nuova Antologia Militare, Third Eye and Hellenic Nexus. He has written three previous books on Marathon, Salamis and Xenophon's Ten Thousand. For the past 8 years he has been a historical consultant to the experimental archaeology group Koryvantes, the Association of Historical Studies. He is currently writing The Trojan War as Military History (forthcoming from Pen & Sword).

The Macedonian Army of Philip II and Alexander the Great, 359-323 BC
Gabriele Esposito
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781526787354, $34.95, HC, 152pp

https://www.amazon.com/Macedonian-Philip-Alexander-Great-359-323/dp/1526787350

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Macedonian Army of Philip II and Alexander the Great, 359-323 BC", historian Gabriele Esposito provides a complete and detailed analysis of the organization and equipment of the Macedonian army built by Philip II and later employed to world-changing effect by his son, Alexander III (the Great).

This profusely illustrated historical study explains how Philip took the traditional forces of Macedon and reformed them into the most modern and sophisticated combined-arms force in the Mediterranean world. Not only the formidable pike phalanx and the hard-charging Companion cavalry, but also the less famous components, such as light and cavalry types, are described in detail. The tactics employed in the great battles that won the largest empire the world had seen are analyzed.

With its numerous color photos showing replica weapons and equipment in use, "The Macedonian Army of Philip II and Alexander the Great, 359-323 BC" is a vivid, detailed and accessible study of the army that made Alexander one of the world's greatest conquerors.

Critique: An inherently fascinating and impressively informative read from cover to cover, "The Macedonian Army of Philip II and Alexander the Great, 359-323 BC" is a valued and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Greek History & Warfare collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Macedonian Army of Philip II and Alexander the Great, 359-323 BC" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Gabriele Esposito is an Italian researcher and a long-time student of military history, whose interests and expertise range widely over various periods. He is the author of numerous books on armies and uniforms and is a regular contributor to many specialized magazines in Italy, France, Netherlands and UK. His many previous works include Armies of Early Colonial North America 1607-1713, published by Pen & Sword in 2018.

Europe on the Path to Self-Destruction
Jack L. Schwartzwald
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476683409, $95.00, PB, 515pp

https://www.amazon.com/Europe-Path-Self-Destruction-Nationalism-1815-1945/dp/1476683409

Synopsis: Between the years 1815 and 1945, Europe achieved unrivaled global dominance, only to see it shattered by two world wars. This frenetic rise and fall was attended by immense societal change.

In 1815, Europe remained largely agricultural and dependent upon horsepower. By 1945, the power of the atom had been unleashed. Two industrial revolutions occurred in the interim -- the first founded upon coal, iron and steam, the second upon oil, steel, electricity and internal combustion. The implications for humanity were profound.

"Europe on the Path to Self-Destruction: Nationalism and the Struggle for Hegemony, 1815-1945" by academician and historian Jack L. Schwartzwald is a concise yet comprehensive study that is divided into three sections.

In section one, the map of Europe emerges in its modern visage as unrestrained nationalist fervor gives rise to an assemblage of new nation-states. In section two, the continent attains global hegemony as massive industrialization fuels a mad scramble for colonial markets and raw materials. In section three, a cauldron of national, ethnic and class hatreds spawn the rise of totalitarianism and the overthrow of European hegemony in two calamitous world wars.

By tracing the events and undercurrents of this vital period in European history, "Europe on the Path to Self-Destruction: Nationalism and the Struggle for Hegemony, 1815-1945" offers trenchant insights for the non-specialist general reader, history students, and academia alike.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of an eight page Bibliography, thirty-eight pages of Notes, and an eighteen page Index, "Europe on the Path to Self-Destruction: Nationalism and the Struggle for Hegemony, 1815-1945" is occasionally illustrated with black-and-white images. Exceptionally well researched, written, organized and presented, "Europe on the Path to Self-Destruction: Nationalism and the Struggle for Hegemony, 1815-1945" is an impressive work of exhaustive scholarship and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library European History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, historians, academia, and general readers with an interest in the subject that "Europe on the Path to Self-Destruction: Nationalism and the Struggle for Hegemony, 1815-1945" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $59.99).

Editorial Note: Jack L. Schwartzwald is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Brown University's Warren Alpert School of Medicine with thirty years' experience in clinical teaching. He currently practices Hospitalist Medicine in Rhode Island. Before obtaining his medical degree from UMDNJ/New Jersey Medical School (now Rutgers) in 1989, he earned a BA in History from North Texas State University. His lifelong passion has been the study of history. The original draft of his first book, "Nine Lives of Israel," won third prize at the 2009 Mayborn Literary Non-Fiction Competition in Dallas, Texas. The book itself was published in 2012 by McFarland. Since that time, he has written four volumes covering European History from ancient times through 1945. All four are published by McFarland.

History of the Adriatic
Egidio Ivetic
Polity
www.politybooks.com
c/o John Wiley and Sons (dist.)
www.wiley.com
9781509552528, $35.00, HC, 380pp

https://www.amazon.com/History-Adriatic-Sea-Its-Civilization/dp/1509552529

Synopsis: The Adriatic is 'the small Mediterranean' -- a sea within a sea, part of the Mediterranean and at the same time detached from it, a largely enclosed sea with stunning coastlines and a long history of commercial, political and cultural exchange.

Silent witness to the flow of civilizations, the Adriatic is the meeting point of East and West where many empires had their frontiers and some overlapped. With Italy on one side and the Balkans on the other, the Adriatic is the area where the Latin West became intertwined with the Greek and Ottoman East.

"History of the Adriatic: A Sea and Its Civilization" by Egidio Ivetic (Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Padua) is a definitive history of this ancient body of water and the people who lived around it and sailed upon it.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of an Introduction (The Historical Sense of a Sea), an Appendix (Place Names According to Language), twenty-five pages of Notes, a four page listing of Maps & Place Names, and a twenty-six page Index, "History of the Adriatic: A Sea and Its Civilization" is an exceptionally well researched, written, organized and presented work of meticulous scholarship and an unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library Antiquarian Marine History collections in general, and Adriatic history supplemental studies lists in particular. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "History of the Adriatic: A Sea and Its Civilization" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $28.00).

India: A History in Objects
T. Richard Blurton
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500480649, $45.00, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/India-History-Objects-Richard-Blurton/dp/0500480648

Synopsis: India: With the publication of "India: A History in Objects", author and historian T. Richard Blurton presents a beautiful collection of material culture from South Asia and traces its history through a huge variety of art and artifacts, both religious and secular.

Arranged chronologically, and abundantly illustrated with expertly selected objects, "India: A History in Objects" offers an impressively new overview that connects today's South Asia with its past. Early chapters describe prehistoric objects from 1.5 million years ago, examine artifacts from the Indus Civilization, and follow the emergence of Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, and Christianity.

The collection goes on to outline the rise of the Mughals, the greatest Muslim dynasty of India, who made India a leading economic power. The distinct Mughal style is traced through paintings, architecture, hardstone carving, metalwork, and jewelry. This volume also explores the early trade industry to Europe via examples of spice pots, textiles, and other luxury goods.

Finally, modernism and political independence in the 20th century are examined through Indian culture such as popular prints, contemporary photography, and the performing arts.

"India: A History in Objects" presents a vast panoply, from the urban splendor of dynastic empires to the rural life of the subcontinent. A compelling visual history of rich and diverse cultures, "India: A History in Objects" will inspire and inform anyone interested in India and material culture.

Critique: Featuring some 500 beautifully reproduced illustrations and an extraordinarily informative accompanying commentary, "India: A History in Objects" is especially impressive in its organization and presentation. Simply stated, "India: A History in Objects" is unreservedly recommended as a core addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library India History, Art & Culture collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: T. Richard Blurton was the Head of the South and Southeast Asia section at the British Museum. Trained as an archaeologist, he has worked all over South Asia. His publications include Krishnain the Garden of Assam, Bengali Myths, and Hindu Art. He has a page on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Blurton

The Shortest History of the Soviet Union
Sheila Fitzpatrick
Columbia University Press
61 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023-7015
http://cup.columbia.edu
9780231207164, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Shortest-History-Soviet-Union/dp/0231207166

Synopsis: In 1917, Bolshevik revolutionaries came to power in the war-torn Russian Empire in a way that defied all predictions, including their own. Scarcely a lifespan later, in 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed as accidentally as it arose. The decades between witnessed drama on an epic scale -- the chaos and hope of revolution, famines and purges, hard-won victory in history's most destructive war, and worldwide geopolitical conflict, all entwined around the dream of building a better society.

"The Shortest History of the Soviet Union" is a lively and authoritative distillation of this complex history, told with vivid details, a grand sweep, and wry wit. With its publication the acclaimed historian Sheila Fitzpatrick chronicles the Soviet Age -- its rise, reign, and unexpected fall, as well as its afterlife in today's Russia.

Professor Fitapatric also underscores the many ironies of the Soviet experience: An ideology that claimed to offer humanity the reins of history wrangled with contingency. An avowedly internationalist and anti-imperialist state birthed an array of nationalisms. And a vision of transcending economic and social inequality and injustice gave rise to a country that was, in its way, surprisingly normal.

Moving seamlessly from Lenin to Stalin to Gorbachev to Putin, "The Shortest History of the Soviet Union" provides an indispensable guide to one of the twentieth century's great powers and the enduring fascination it still exerts.

Critique: Impressively informative, eloquent, detailed, exceptionally 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Shortest History of the Soviet Union" will have a very special appeal to readers with an interest in the rise and fall of the Soviet Union -- especially with respect to how it has devolved into a Russian state ruled over by Vladimer Putin and the Russian oligarches. Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a four page bibliography of Further Reading, a one page List of Images, and a ten page Index, "The Shortest History of the Soviet Union" is unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Soviet Union History & Russian History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Shortest History of the Soviet Union" is also available in a trade paperback edition (9780231207171, $25.00), a mass market paperback edition (9781760643072, $20.35), and in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Sheila Fitzpatrick is a Distinguished Service Professor Emerita of Russian History at the University of Chicago, honorary professor at the University of Sydney, and a professor in the Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences at the Australian Catholic University. Her many books include Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s (1999), The Russian Revolution (third edition, 2007), and On Stalin's Team: The Years of Living Dangerously in Soviet Politics (2015). She is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books and is on a Wikipedia page at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheila_Fitzpatrick

The Chinese in the Caribbean
Andrew Wilson, editor
Markus Wiener Publishers
231 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542
www.markuswiener.com
9781558763142, $68.95 ($26.00 Amazon), HC, 230pp

https://www.amazon.com/Chinese-Caribbean-Andrew-R-Wilson/dp/1558763147

Synopsis: The history of the Caribbean is a history of migrations. From all parts of the globe the peoples of the Caribbean came as conquerors and planters, slaves and indentured laborers. Each group contributed to the social fabric, culture, and commerce of the region.

The Chinese diaspora has spread Chinese people and culture around the world, including to the Caribbean, where Chinese exist both as distinct ethnic groups within Caribbean societies and as shapers of unique Caribbean cultures.

Compiled and edited by Andrew Wilson, "Chinese in the Caribbean" describes not merely the arrival and experience of Chinese in the Caribbean but also the ways in which Chinese have adapted to and altered the region.

Included are the histories of Chinese people in Cuba, Jamaica, Panama, and the British West Indies, and overcame, their slow rise to economic independence and success, their contribution to art, theater, cuisine, and literature, their roles in the region's national revolutions, their place in post-colonial politics, and the subsequent remigrations of individuals, families, and entire communities to North America.

Critique: Deftly organized into three major sections (The British West Indies; Cuba; Re-Migration and Re-Imagining Identity), the eight erudite and informative essays by experts in the subject are further enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of Chapter Notes, Bibliographies, and a listing of the contributors and their credentials. While also available in a paperback edition (9781558763159, $24.95) for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject, "Chinese in the Caribbean" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Caribbean History and Chinese Diaspora collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Andrew Wilson, United States Naval War College, is also the author of Ambition and Identity: Chinese Merchant Elites in Colonial Manila, 1880-1916.


The Civil War Shelf

Lost Causes
Bradley R. Clampitt
Louisiana State University Press
338 Johnston Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
http://lsupress.org
9780807177167, $50.00, HC, 324pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Causes-Confederate-Demobilization-Identity/dp/0807177164

Synopsis: "Lost Causes: Confederate Demobilization and the Making of Veteran Identity" by Professor Bradley Clampitt offers a groundbreaking analysis of Confederate demobilization and examines the state of mind of Confederate soldiers in the immediate aftermath of war. Having survived severe psychological as well as physical trauma, those Confederate veterans and survivors now faced the unknown as they headed back home in defeat.

"Lost Causes" analyzes the interlude between soldier and veteran, suggesting that defeat and demobilization actually reinforced Confederate identity as well as public memory of the war and southern resistance to African American civil rights.

Intense material shortages and images of the war's devastation confronted the defeated soldiers-turned-veterans as they returned home to a revolutionized society. Their thoughts upon homecoming turned to immediate economic survival, a radically altered relationship with freedpeople, and life under Yankee rule -- all against the backdrop of fearful uncertainty.

Professor Bradley Clampitt argues that the experiences of returning soldiers helped establish the ideological underpinnings of the Lost Cause and create an identity based upon shared suffering and sacrifice, a pervasive commitment to white supremacy, and an aversion to Federal rule and all things northern.

As "Lost Causes" reveals, most Confederate veterans remained diehard Rebels despite demobilization and the demise of the Confederate States of America.

Critique: A seminal and original work of definitive scholarship, "Lost Causes: Confederate Demobilization and the Making of Veteran Identity" is a unique and impressively informative contribution to the growing library of American Civil War History collections with its focus on how the conclusion of conflict and the return to civilian life would set up the legend and mythologisation of a devastating defeat experienced by the Confederate military. While a critically important addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Lost Causes: Confederate Demobilization and the Making of Veteran Identity" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $45.29).

Editorial Note: Bradley R. Clampitt is professor of history at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, and the author of Occupied Vicksburg and The Confederate Heartland: Military and Civilian Morale in the Western Confederacy.

James Montgomery: Abolitionist Warrior
Robert C. Conner
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781636241425, $34.95, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/James-Montgomery-Abolitionist-Robert-Conner/dp/1636241425

Synopsis: James Montgomery (December 22, 1814 - December 6, 1871) was a leader of the free-state movement in pre-Civil War Kansas and Missouri, associated with its direct-action military wing, the Jayhawkers. He then joined the Union Army with the rank of Colonel and fought through most of the war.

A close associate and ally of other abolitionists including John Brown, Harriet Tubman, Colonels Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Robert G. Shaw, Montgomery led his African-American regiment along with Tubman and other civilians in the 1863 Combahee River raid, which freed almost 800 slaves from South Carolina plantations. He then commanded a brigade in the siege of Fort Wagner, near Charleston.

In 1864, still in brigade command, he fought at the Battle of Olustee in Florida, helping prevent the collapse and disintegration of Union General Truman Seymour's army. Later that year he returned home and played a significant role in defeating Confederate General Sterling Price's great raid, especially at the Battle of Westport.

"James Montgomery: Abolitionist Warrior" by Robert C. Conner is the first published biography of Montgomery, who was and remains a controversial figure. It uncovers and deals honestly with his serious flaws, while debunking some wilder charges, and also bringing to light his considerable attributes and achievements. Montgomery's life, from birth to death, is seen in the necessary perspective and clear delineation of the complex racial, political and military history of the Civil War era.

Critique: With a special appeal and relevance to readers with an interest in the abolitionist movement to end slavery in Kansas and Missouri, the American Civil War in general, and the role of Union Colonel James Montgomery and his African-American troops in particular, "James Montgomery: Abolitionist Warrior" is as informatively detailed and it is inherently fascinating. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $20.95), "James Montgomery: Abolitionist Warrior" is an extraordinary and welcome contribution to the growing library of American Civil War histories and biographies.

Editorial Note: Robert C. Conner is also the author of General Gordon Granger: The Savior of Chickamauga and the Man Behind "Juneteenth" (Casemate 2013). He also wrote the 2018 historical novel, "The Last Circle of Ulysses Grant", published by Square Circle Press. A former journalist and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of New York University, Conner won two first-place writing awards from the New York Associated Press Association for newspapers with circulation between 50,000 and 200,000.

The Mobile & Ohio Railroad in the Civil War
Dan Lee
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476689722, $39.95, PB, 244pp

https://www.amazon.com/Mobile-Ohio-Railroad-Civil-War/dp/1476689725

Synopsis: The Mobile & Ohio Railroad was the longest line in the nation when it was completed in spring of 1861 -- the final spike driven a few weeks after Confederate artillery shelled Fort Sumter. Within days, the M&O was swept up in the Civil War as a prime conveyor of troops and supplies, a strategic and tactical asset to both Confederate and Union armies, who fought to control it.

Its northern terminus at Columbus, Kentucky saw some of the earliest fighting in the war. The southern terminus in Mobile, Alabama was the scene of some of the last. U. S. Grant, William T. Sherman, Nathan Bedford Forrest, Newton Knight of the "Free State of Jones" and others battled over the M&O, the Federals taking it mile-by-mile.

With the publication of "The Mobile & Ohio Railroad in the Civil War: The Struggle for Control of the Nation's Longest Railway", American civil war historian Dan Lee chronicles the campaigns and battles for the railroad and the calamity endured by the civilians who lived along it.

Critique: Also featuring an informative Epilogue, fourteen pages of Notes, an eight page Bibliography, and a seven page Index, "The Mobile & Ohio Railroad in the Civil War: The Struggle for Control of the Nation's Longest Railway" is an exceptionally well written account that will be a welcome addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library American Civil War collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, historians, and American civil war buffs that "The Mobile & Ohio Railroad in the Civil War: The Struggle for Control of the Nation's Longest Railway" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).

Editorial Note: Dan Lee has degrees in history from Murray State University and Western Kentucky University. There is a complete listing of his Civil War titles at https://www.amazon.com/Dan-Lee/e/B0039Z433I


The Military Shelf

A Machine Gunner's War
Ernest Albert 'Andy' Andrews Jr.
Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
9781636241043, $34.95, HC, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Machine-Gunners-War-Normandy-Infantry/dp/1636241042

Synopsis: Ernest "Andy" Andrews began his training as a machine gunner at Fort McClellan in Alabama in July 1943. In early 1944, he arrived in the UK for further training before D-Day. Andy's company, part of the 1st Infantry Division, departed England on the evening of June 5 on the USS Henrico.

Due to a problem with his landing craft, Andy only reached Omaha Beach on the early evening of June 6, but still had a harrowing experience. Fighting in Normandy, Andy was nicked by a bullet and evacuated to England in late July when the wound became infected, before returning to participate in the Normandy breakout.

Following the race across France in late August, Andy participated in the rout of several retreating German units near Mons, Belgium, and his outfit approached Aachen in mid-September. For a month, Andy's squad defended a bunker position in the Siegfried Line against repeated German attacks, then after Aachen surrendered, the unit fought its way through the Hurtgen Forest to take Hill 232. Early on the morning of November 19, Andy engaged in his toughest battle of the war as the Germans attempted to retake Hill 232. Andy was wounded in the shoulder.

After surgery and a month convalescence he rejoined H Company in time to fight in the Battle of the Bulge. His unit then participated in the fast-moving Roer to the Rhine campaign, then the battle to expand the Remagen bridgehead. Breaking out from the Remagen bridgehead, Andy's squad stumbled on a German tank unit and Andy narrowly escaped getting killed. Following a rapid advance up to the Paderborn area, Andy's unit races to Germany's Harz Mountains, where the Wehrmacht was trying to organize a last stand.

Andy's outfit ends the war fighting in Czechoslovakia, where Andy witnesses the German surrender in early May. Following occupation duty, Andy returned to the States in October 1945. The war shaped Andy's postwar life in countless ways, and in 1994, Andy made the first of three return visits to the European battlefields where he had fought.

"A Machine Gunner's War: From Normandy to Victory with the 1st Infantry Division in World War II" is a vivid firsthand account that takes the reader along from Normandy to victory with Andy and his machine-gun crew.

Critique: Written with the assistance of David B. Hurt, "A Machine Gunner's War: From Normandy to Victory with the 1st Infantry Division in World War II" by Ernest 'Andy' Andrews is one more highly valued and informative 'eye-witness' memoir set in the European theatre of World War II. Now that the generation of American military soldiers that fought to defeat Hitler and his Nazi empire are beginning to fade away, it's personal stories like this that are such precious and unreservedly recommended additions to personal, community, college, and university library World War II History & Biography collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated WWII scholars, students, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject tht "A Machine Gunner's War: From Normandy to Victory with the 1st Infantry Division in World War II" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).

Editorial Note: David B. Hurt received a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Florida and a M.A. in International Affairs from Florida State University. He worked with William Lubbeck as the co-author of At Leningrad's Gates: The Story of a Soldier with Army Group North (Casemate, 2006). He currently serves as an academic advisor at a college in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Maritime Strike
Rear Admiral John Kingwell
Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
9781636241135, $37.95, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Maritime-Strike-Untold-Story-Royal/dp/1636241131

Synopsis: In April 2011, the newly created Royal Navy Response Force Task Group deployed to the Mediterranean to provide a range of military options in response to the Arab Spring. For the next six months the group planned and prepared for a range of potential operations including noncombatant evacuations from Libya, Yemen and Syria, maritime interdiction operations off the Libyan coast, and amphibious landings.

On 3 June the group began launching attack helicopter strikes into Libya and in the nights that followed planned 47 and executed 22 strikes destroying a range of targets including: 54 vehicles, 2 rigid hull boats, 2 BM 21 rocket launchers, 4 main battle tanks, 1 zsu antiaircraft vehicle and 3 command and control nodes. The operation saw the first operational use of Apaches from the sea and the first embarkation of US Army combat search and rescue teams and Blackhawk helicopters in an RN warship.

With the publication of "Maritime Strike: The Untold Story of the Royal Navy Task Group off Libya in 2011", Rear Admiral John Kingwell (the Group's Commander) provides a personal eye-witness account, which brings to life the challenges of command (including authorizing strikes and mitigating risk to UK aircrew) in a complex and challenging environment. Rear Admiral Kingwell also reveals how closely the RN Group worked with its French counterpart, the support provided by the United States, together with the complexity of working alongside NATO and of simultaneously dealing with a range of UK authorities.

"Maritime Strike: The Untold Story of the Royal Navy Task Group off Libya in 2011" is a story of leadership under pressure and the remarkable professionalism of all involved and the bravery of Army aircrew. It was modern defense and joinery at its best, with British Army and USAF helicopters operating from RN ships, supported by Fleet Air Arm aircraft and fixed wing jets as part of a largely air campaign.

Critique: A definitive and detailed account, "Maritime Strike: The Untold Story of the Royal Navy Task Group off Libya in 2011" is informatively enhanced for the reader with a Foreword by Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope GCB, OBE; a two page Epilogue; a four page Glossary; an Appendix (Royal Navy Units Involved in Cougar 11/Operation Ellamy); two pages of Notes, a two page Select Bibliography; and a seven page Index. Impressively well written, organized and presented, "Maritime Strike: The Untold Story of the Royal Navy Task Group off Libya in 2011" is a welcome and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic 21st Century Naval Military History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted that "Maritime Strike: The Untold Story of the Royal Navy Task Group off Libya in 2011" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).

Editorial Note: John Kingwell joined the Royal Navy in 1984. He had four sea commands: the patrol vessel Pursuer, the frigate Argyll, the Assault Ship Albion and the RN Task Group off Libya in 2011. He also served in the Ministry of Defence on four occasions. Promoted to Rear Admiral in 2013 he became the Director of the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC) - the MOD's independent strategic think tank. In 2016 he became the Deputy Commandant of the Royal College of Defence Studies and his final role before leaving the service in 2020 was as Commandant. He has a Wikipedia page at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Kingwell

Panzer Leader
Otto Henning
Frontline Books
c/o Pen & Sword Books
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
9781848326910, $34.95, HC, 224pp.

https://www.amazon.com/Panzer-Leader-Armoured-Commander-1944-1945/dp/1848326912

Synopsis: The armored reconnaissance units were the spearheads of the German Panzer divisions of World War II -- moving stealthily ahead of the tanks to locate the enemy. Otto Henning's armored car unit of the elite Panzer-Lehr-Division fought throughout the campaigns in the West in 1944 and 1945, arriving in Normandy a few weeks before D-Day and finally surrendering in the Ruhr pocket in mid-April 1945.

With the publication of "Panzer Leader: Memoirs of an Armoured Car Commander, 1944 - 1945", Henning describes the difficulties reconnaissance forces faced in the close terrain of the Normandy bocage and the threat posed by the Allies' complete control of the air. He saw the devastation wrought by Michael Wittmann's lone Tiger tank against the British 7th Armored Division at Villers Bocage, and experienced the chaos and demoralization of the Germans' retreat across France. After the Battle of the Bulge and the final fighting in western Germany, Henning surrendered and endured terrible conditions in a prisoner-of-war camp until he escaped in 1947.

"Panzer Leader: Memoirs of an Armoured Car Commander, 1944 - 1945" is a fascinating and often harrowing account of the final campaigns in Western Europe from a German perspective, and exposes the little-known scandal of the treatment of German prisoners-of-war even after the war had ended by the victorious Allies.

Critique: Enhanced for the reader with an insert of black-and-white historical photographs, and a seminal and unreservedly recommended addition to the growing library of World War II histories and memoirs, it should be noted for community and academic library collections, as well as personal reading lists that "Panzer Leader: Memoirs of an Armoured Car Commander, 1944 - 1945" is also readily available in a digital book format ($22.13).

Pan Am Ferry Tales: A World War II Aviation Memoir
W. Gordon Schmitt, author
Peter Schmitt, editor
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476686820, $29.95, PB, 199pp

https://www.amazon.com/Pan-Am-Ferry-Tales-Aviation/dp/1476686823

Synopsis: The late W. Gordon Schmitt served as a navigator for the Pan American Air Ferries and later the U.S. Air Force from 1942 to 1945. During World War II, he was one of an eccentric band of barnstormers, stunt flyers and commercial pilots who joined military recruits to form the Pan American Air Ferries. These civilian pilots helped develop a strategically crucial and highly efficient system for shuttling aircraft to Allied forces around the world that contributed significantly to key campaigns throughout the war. W. Gordon Schmitt's engaging, often amusing memoir recounts the close calls and indelible characters he encountered as navigator in the PAAF, from Brazil to Africa to the Middle East and beyond.

Critique: Featuring an extensive and contextually informative Introduction by Peter Schmitt, "Pan Am Ferry Tales: A World War II Aviation Memoir" is enhanced with the inclusion of some black/white historical photos and a three page Index. An impressively informative and inherently interesting personal account, "Pan Am Ferry Tales: A World War II Aviation Memoir" is an extraordinary and recommended addition to the growing library of World War II Histories & Memoirs. It should be noted for personal reading lists of non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Pan Am Ferry Tales: A World War II Aviation Memoir" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.49).


The Cookbook Shelf

The Great American Recipe Cookbook
The Great Amerian Recipe, author
BenBella Books
www.benbellabooks.com
9781637740156, $39.95, HC, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Great-American-Recipe-Cookbook-Regional-Cuisine/dp/1637740158

Synopsis: The Great American Recipe, is a PBS 8-part televison series that is a fun, feel-good program that celebrates amazing home cooks while capturing the rich culinary history of America. "The Great American Recipe Cookbook: Regional Cuisine and Family Favorites from the Hit TV Show" is a compendium of the best of the best recipes to be showcased on this outstanding and popular cooking show with dishes that range from Steak Salad; Chicken Adobo Bowls; Old School Mac 'n' Cheese for a Crowd; to Grandma's Turkey Breast Stuffing; Red Chilaquiles; Potato Crust Herb Quiche; and Button Cup Tarts with Homemade Almond Milk.

Critique: Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout with full color photography, "The Great American Recipe Cookbook: Regional Cuisine and Family Favorites from the Hit TV Show" is unabashedly recommended as an addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections. A pure delight to plan menus with, it should be noted that "The Great American Recipe Cookbook: Regional Cuisine and Family Favorites from the Hit TV Show" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Modern Pressure Cooking
Catherine Phipps
Quadrille Publishing
c/o Hardie Grant Publishing
https://www.hardiegrant.com/uk/quadrille
9781787135321, $40.00, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Pressure-Cooker-Bible-Complete-Cooking/dp/1787135322

Synopsis: Comprised of more than 200 recipes, "Modern Pressure Cooking: The Comprehensive Guide to Stovetop and Electric Cookers" is the essential pressure cooker cookbook. Author and pressure cooking culinary expert Catherine Phipps gently guides readers through everything they need to know about cooking in a stovetop or electric pressure cooker, with foolproof, step-by-step instructions.

From Shakshouka with Feta, All in One Macaroni Cheese, Crispy Aromatic Duck, Squid and Chorizo with Black Rice, and more, all the recipes included are delicious and will go down well with hungry friends and family.

Pressure cooking is a wonder cooking method: you can make meals in minutes (on average, a third or less of the time of other cooking methods - for example, risotto takes only 7 minutes!), it is energy-efficient, and food cooked in a pressure cooker retains more nutrients and more flavor.

Pressure cooking makes life in the kitchen easier!

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated in full color throughout, "Modern Pressure Cooking: The Comprehensive Guide to Stovetop and Electric Cookers" is a dedicated and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted for kitchen cooks and professional chefs that "Modern Pressure Cooking: The Comprehensive Guide to Stovetop and Electric Cookers" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Catherine Phipps is a food writer, cookbook author and recipe developer who has frequently featured on TV and radio, including BBC Radio 4's The Food Programme. Her previous books include The Pressure Cooker Cookbook (2012), Citrus (2017) and Leaf (2019). There is a dedicated web page for Catherine on the Otter Farm website at https://www.otterfarm.co.uk/about/catherine-phipps/ and another one on the Nigella website at https://www.nigella.com/cookbook-corner/modern-pressure-cooking-by-catherine-phipps

Small Batch Bakes
Edd Kimber
Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
http://www.kylebooks.com
9781914239281, $22.99, HC, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Small-Batch-Bakes-Sweet-savoury/dp/1914239288

Synopsis: Baking recipes typically serve large groups of people, perfect for a party, a celebration, a crowd. But what about when you just want one cookie and you don't want to spend the money on making a big batch, or don't have the people to share them with? Sometimes you just don't want to be faced with leftovers you need to eat for the rest of the week.

With the publication of "Small Batch Bakes: Baking Cakes, Cookies, Bars and Buns for One to Six People", food writer and baking enthusiast Edd Kimber presents a collection of recipes for singles, small households, students or anyone else who likes to bake a lot. The recipes serve one, two, four or six and are predominately sweet but also include savory varieties that would be perfect for a lunch or impromptu picnic.

The skill level is naturally on the easier side, and equipment needed kept to a minimum, something that will be welcomed by many people baking just for themselves.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with full color photographs of finished baked goods, "Small Batch Bakes: Baking Cakes, Cookies, Bars and Buns for One to Six People" is a very special and appreciated addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections. A mouth-watering delight to simple browse through one page at a time, It should be noted that "Small Batch Bakes" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Edd Kimber won the first series of The Great British Bake Off in 2010. He is the author of The Boy who Bakes (2011), Say it with Cake (2012), Patisserie Made Simple (2014) as well as the best-selling One Tin Bakes (2020) and One Tin Bakes Easy (2021). He has appeared on Sunday Brunch, Market Kitchen and Perfect, as well as the BBC Good Food Show and other shows around the country. He is a contributing editor to Bake from Scratch magazine, a go-to baking writer for Olive magazine, a baking teacher at Leith's School of Food and Wine, as well as a QVC presenter and a brand ambassador for KitchenAid and Nordicware. Edd has a popular blog at www.theboywhobakes.com, where he shares his innovative baking recipes, which are always loved by his loyal following. @theboywhobakes

Showstopping Cakes
Rahul Mandal
Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
http://www.kylebooks.com
9781914239236, $34.99, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Showstopping-Cakes-secrets-Insta-perfect-bakes/dp/1914239237

Synopsis: "Showstopping Cakes: Mastering the Art and Science of Baking" is a step-by-step culinary guide to creating beautiful cakes. Baking expert Rahul Mandal shares his unique approach to baking, focusing on techniques and scientific explanations, to ensure a perfect bake every time.

Whether it is how to avoid a curdled cake batter or buttercream, stacking a 2, 3 or 8 tier cake or perfectly piping decorations, Rahul brings forensic insight into why things don't work and how to fix them. He also discusses how to achieve the perfect flavor pairing, the different elements of cake fillings and decorating techniques, as well as how to make some of the most popular cakes from his Instagram feed, including drip cakes, fault-line cakes and a geode cake.

Since his victory on the UK's most famous baking show in 2018, Rahul has been honing his skills further, combining his scientific knowhow with his artistic talents to create bakes that are not only delicious but also things of beauty. "Showstopping Cakes: Mastering the Art and Science of Baking" is the instructional guide and 'how to' manual that Rahul wishes he'd had when he started baking.

Critique: Simply stated, "Showstopping Cakes: Mastering the Art and Science of Baking" by Rahul Mandal is what will enable even the most novice of family bakers to create a cake for any and all special occasions. Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "Showstopping Cakes: Mastering the Art and Science of Baking" is particularly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation. A pleasure to simply browse through, and also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99), "Showstopping Cakes: Mastering the Art and Science of Baking" is an unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Winner of The Great British Bake Off 2018 and GBBO New Year Special 2020, Rahul Mandal is also research scientist at the University of Sheffield, Rahul spends his spare time practicing his baking, painting and gardening. He has a dedicated following of 374k on Instagram and writes regularly for The Times. He has recently worked on social media campaigns with a number of brands including Castello, Panasonic and Cadbury.

The Weekend Cook: Good Food for Real Life
Angela Hartnett
Bloomsbury Press
www.bloomsbury.com
9781472975010, $35.00, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Weekend-Cook-Good-Food-Real/dp/1472975014

Synopsis: An invitation to dine at Angela Hartnett's house is a real treat. Nestled in London's vibrant East End, her home is a place to experience delicious food, great company and a relaxed atmosphere that is as far removed from the high-octane stress of a professional kitchen as it is from the social anxiety that many of us face when hosting a dinner. Angela knows the secrets to throwing the most relaxed and enjoyable dinners for friends and family-magical evenings that people talk about for months afterward -- and with the publication of "The Weekend Cook: Good Food for Real Life" she now shares them with aspiring and professional meal makers and planners.

A culinary compendium of recipes featuring entres ranging from satisfying one-pot dishes and comforting risottos, to perfect party food and baked goods to feed a hungry crowd -- with each one of them a joy to cook and a pleasure eat.

With 100 recipes as well as time-saving tips and cheats, "The Weekend Cook" takes the stress out of hosting, allowing kitchen cooks to enjoy their dinner parties along with family and friends.

Critique: Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout with full color photography, "The Weekend Cook: Good Food for Real Life" is a mouth-watering, hunger-inducing browse from first page to last. Each recipe is introduced with a succinct commentary followed by serving numbers, ingredients, and preparation instructions. A perfect resource for planning memorable meals for all dining occasions, as well as also being available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.46), "The Weekend Cook: Good Food for Real Life" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Currently residing in London, England, Angela Hartnett is one of the UK's well known chefs and restaurateurs, with a culinary reputation for sophisticated yet simple, Italian-inspired cooking. Working with Gordon Ramsay for many years, she launched Amaryllis in Scotland, Verre in Dubai, and Menu and The Grill Room at the Connaught. In 2008, she opened her own restaurant, Murano, in Mayfair. In 2013 Angela launched the critically acclaimed Merchants Tavern and Cafe Murano. In 2021, she was awarded an OBE for her services to the hospitality industry and to the NHS throughout the pandemic. Angela is a regular on television, often appearing on Great British Menu, MasterChef and Saturday Kitchen, as well as being one of the judges for BBC's Best Home Cook. She can be followed @AngelaHartnett and has an entry on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angela_Hartnett

Whole Food For Your Family
Autumn Michaelis
Mariner Books
www.marinerbooks.com
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780358615309, $30.00, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Whole-Food-Your-Family-Budget-Friendly/dp/0358615305

Synopsis: Changing the way your family eats can feel intimidating, but once Autumn Michaelis experienced the incredible benefits of the Whole30 and cut gluten, dairy, and refined sugar out of her life, she knew she had to bring her family on board. As a busy mother of 5 growing boys, she needed recipes that were tasty and easy. So she started the website Whole Food for 7, where she shares no-fuss, gluten- and dairy-free family meals that are delicious and nutritious.

Comprised of more than 100 simple, budget-friendly meals for all occasions,"Whole Food For Your Family" is her first cookbook in which she serves up recipes for winning breakfasts like Crispy Waffles, lunch box essentials like Paleo Vanilla Wafers and Granola Bars, healthy remakes of kid favorites like Plantain Pizza Pockets and Our Favorite Chicken Strips, along with plenty of desserts like Churro Bites and Oreo Brownie Cheesecake.

Kid-friendly, but not just for kids,"Whole Food For Your Family" is packed from cover to cover with comfort food favorites as well as time-saving hacks, and budget-friendly tips. "Whole Food for Your Family" is destined to become a go-to cookbook every day of the week.

Critique: With palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, kitchen cook friendly recipes that range from Loaded Breakfast Potatoes, Breakfast Taquitos, Taco Chicken Strips, and Chicken Cordon Bleu, to Protein Cookie Dough Bites, Roasted Snack Mix, Carrot Fries with Date Chipotle Sauce, and Cassava Flour Tortillas, "Whole Food For Your Family" is a delightful and beautifully illustrated culinary compendium that is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, family, and community library Contemporary Cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Whole Food For Your Family" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: Autumn Michaelis is the Whole30 Coaching Manager and Certified Coach, an ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist, and holds a B.S. in Exercise Science from Brigham Young University. Exercise was her first love, but nutrition has become her passion. She has a dedicated website at https://whole30.com/authors/autumn-michaelis

Mediterranean
Susie Theodorou
Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
http://www.kylebooks.com
9781914239717, $27.99, HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Mediterranean-Naturally-nutritious-recipes-healthiest/dp/1914239717

Synopsis: Eating healthily and inexpensively has never been easier than with menus planned with the help of Susie Theodorou's culinary compendium of naturally nutritious recipes comprising "Mediterranean".

With the publication of "Mediterranean", Susie explores how the Mediterranean diet is a lifestyle choice and a pattern of eating based on rural life where people used to eat what they grew and enjoy it communally. Her approach embraces seasonal and nutritious foods, without the strict regime of a diet book. She does not focus on weight loss or weight gain but instead promotes a healthier and happier way of life.

Raised by Greek-Cypriot parents on a diet of freshly picked, plucked and cooked food, Susie knows first-hand the benefits of eating traditional Mediterranean dishes. And because you are focusing on simple combinations of exceptional ingredients, this is cooking on a budget.

A self-confessed 'lazy cook', Susie has multiple ideas for using olives, tomatoes, tinned fish, white cheese, home-made hummus, and simple dressings for meat and fish. There are also tips on how to feed more friends with less food, how to stock a Mediterranean larder to be proud of and how to eat seasonally.

And with recipes like Pan-seared Figs with Pecorino and Rocket, Charred Mixed Greens with Fennel and Lemons, Courgette and Dill Fritters, and Fish En Papillotte with Capers & Tomatoes, even the most novice of kitchen cooks will be able to serve up a Mediterranean feast any day of the week.

Critique: Profusely and beautifully illustrated with full color photography throughout, "Mediterranean" will prove to be an enduringly welcome and appreciated addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Mediterranean" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780857834799, $19.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Editorial Note: Susie Theodorou is a world-renowned food stylist and trained home economist. Born and raised in London to Greek Cypriot parents, Susie is keen to share the Mediterranean diet she grew up with. She has a dedicated website at http://susietheodorou.com


The Health/Medicine Shelf

The Alzheimer's Revolution
Joseph Keon, MD
https://josephkeon.com
Hatherleigh Press
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
62545 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY 13788
www.hatherleighpress.com
9781578269433, $21.95, PB, 400pp

https://www.amazon.com/Alzheimers-Revolution-Evidence-Based-Lifestyle-Resilience/dp/1578269431

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Alzheimer's Revolution: An Evidence-Based Lifestyle Program to Build Cognitive Resilience And Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer's Disease", Joseph Keon challenges the misguided and disempowering belief that Alzheimer's disease cannot be prevented or slowed. "The Alzheimer's Revolution" reveals that over half the Alzheimer's cases today could be prevented by addressing just seven lifestyle factors that are within everyone's ability to control.

"The Alzheimer's Revolution" offers readers a research-based program that can dramatically reduce the risk of this devastating condition. Alzheimer's disease is the number-one public health crisis of our time. Approximately 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer's. In 2021, an estimated 6.2 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's dementia. It's time to turn our attention and resources toward prevention.

Critique: A personal and national medical issue that has become increasingly relevant with the aging of the Baby Boomer generation, "The Alzheimer's Revolution: An Evidence-Based Lifestyle Program to Build Cognitive Resilience And Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer's Disease" is a timely and important contribution to our on-going national dialogue about how to best handle Alzheimer's as a personal, social, cultural, and medical community issue with respect to dianosis and treatment. While unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, senior citizen center, and academic library Alzheimer's & Dementia health and medicine collections, it should be noted that "The Alzheimer's Revolution: An Evidence-Based Lifestyle Program to Build Cognitive Resilience And Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer's Disease" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Joseph Keon is an investigative writer in the field of preventive medicine. He holds fitness expert certifications from both the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research and the American Council on Exercise. In his work as a wellness consultant in the public and private sphere for over 20 years, Keon focused on chronic degenerative diseases and their relationship to modifiable lifestyle choices. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Wild Oats Wellness Foundation and Dr. Helen Caldicott's Nuclear Policy Research Institute as well as the Marin Health Council, an advisory to the Marin County Board of Supervisors. Keon is currently a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. Keon is the author of three other books including Whitewash: The Disturbing Truth about Cow's Milk and Your Health. He has a dedicated website at https://josephkeon.com


The Literary Studies Shelf

Ideal Minds
Michael Trask
Cornell University Press
512 East State Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
www.cornellpress.cornell.edu
9781501752438, $35.95, HC, 258pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ideal-Minds-Consciousness-Antisocial-Seventies/dp/150175243X

Synopsis: Following the 1960s, that decade's focus on consciousness-raising transformed into an array of intellectual projects far afield from that of movement politics. The mind's powers came to preoccupy a range of thinkers and writers: ethicists pursuing contractual theories of justice, radical ecologists interested in the paleolithic brain, seventies cultists, and the devout of both evangelical and New Age persuasions.

With the publication of "Ideal Minds: Raising Consciousness in the Antisocial Seventies", Professor Michael Trask presents a boldly revisionist argument about the revival of subjectivity in postmodern American culture, connecting familiar figures within the seventies intellectual landscape who share a commitment to what he calls "neo-idealism" as a weapon in the struggle against discredited materialist and behaviorist worldviews.

In a heterodox intellectual and literary history of the 1970s, "Ideal Minds" mixes ideas from cognitive science, philosophy of mind, moral philosophy, deep ecology, political theory, science fiction, neoclassical economics, and the sociology of religion. Professor Trask also delves into the decade's more esoteric branches of learning, including Scientology, anarchist theory, rapture prophesies, psychic channeling, and neo-Malthusianism.

Through this investigation, Professor Trask argues that a dramatic inflation in the value of consciousness and autonomy beginning in the 1970s accompanied a growing argument about the state's inability to safeguard such values. Ultimately, the thinkers Professor Trask analyzes (John Rawls, Arne Naess, L. Ron Hubbard, Hal Lindsey, Philip Dick, Ursula Le Guin, Edward Abbey, William Burroughs, John Irving, and James Merrill) found alternatives to statism in conditions that would lend intellectual support to the consolidation of these concepts in the radical free market ideologies of the 1980s.

Critique: With a special and singular appeal to readers with an interest in American Postmodernism Literary Criticism and American Fiction Anthologies, "Ideal Minds: Raising Consciousness in the Antisocial Seventies" is informatively enhanced with the inclusion of a thirty page Introduction (From Consciousness Raising to Neo-Idealism), forty-four pages of Notes, and a seven page Index. While especially and unreservedly recommended for professional, college, and community library Contemporary Literary Studies collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Ideal Minds: Raising Consciousness in the Antisocial Seventies" is also available in a paperback edition (9781501764639, $24.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: Michael Trask is the Guy M. Davenport Professor in English at the University of Kentucky. He is also the author of "Cruising Modernism: Class and Sexuality in American Literature and Social Thought" and "Camp Sites: Sex, Politics, and Academic Style in Postwar America". He has a page on the University of Kentucky College & Sciences website at https://english.as.uky.edu/users/matras2


The Political Science Shelf

Breaking The Impasse
Kim Moody
Haymarket Books
PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618
www.haymarketbooks.org
9781642597479, $45.00, HC, 250pp

https://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Impasse-Electoral-Politics-Socialist/dp/1642597473

Synopsis: With the publication of "Breaking the Impasse: Electoral Politics, Mass Action, and the New Socialist Movement in the United States", veteran socialist writer Kim Moody provides a masterful analysis of the political impasse which has shaped the rise of a new socialist movement in the United States: recurring economic and political crises, sharp inequality, state violence, and climate catastrophe proceed apace as the right ascends across the world, while the US political scene remains defined and dominated by two capitalist political parties.

Moody situates the historic electoral campaigns of Democratic Socialists such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as the growth of organizations like the Democratic Socialists of America, in this bi-polar political context, and incisively assesses the revived movement's focus on electoral strategies.

Offering an important account of left attempts to intervene in the American two-party electoral system, Moody provides both a sobering historical corrective and an alternative orientation for the future, arguing that the socialist movement should turn its attention toward a politics of mass action, anti-racism, and independent, working-class organizing.

Critique: An significant and timely contribution to the growing library of contemporary socialist political literature addressing the economic and cultural conflicts that presently define the incredibly polarization of American politics today, "Breaking the Impasse: Electoral Politics, Mass Action, and the New Socialist Movement in the United States" with its emphasis on labor relations and elections is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Contemporary Political Science collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, political science students, academia, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Breaking the Impasse: Electoral Politics, Mass Action, and the New Socialist Movement in the United States" is also available in a paperback edition (9781642597011, $19.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Kim Moody is a founder of Labor Notes in the US and is the author of several books on labor and politics, including Tramps and Trade Union Travelers: Internal Migration and Organized Labor in Gilded Age America, 1870-1900 and On New Terrain: How Capital Is Reshaping The Battleground Of Class War. He is currently a Visiting Scholar at the University of Westminster in London, and a member of the University and College Union and the National Union of Journalists. He has a page on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Moody


The Autism Shelf

Autism: Parent to Parent
Shannon Penrod
Future Horizons, Inc.
107 W. Randol Mill Road, Suite 100, Arlington, TX 76011
www.fhautism.com
9781949177855, $19.95, PB, 200pp

https://www.amazon.com/Autism-Parent-Sanity-Saving-Spectrum/dp/1949177858

Synopsis: Your child has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and you are feeling overwhelmed and alone. Suddenly you need to become an expert in treatment, diet, language development, social skills, special education law, insurance and a million other things! What you would really like to know is how to deal with Aunt Martha's questions at the family reunion!

With the publication of "Autism: Parent to Parent: Sanity Saving Advice for Every Parent with a Child on the Autism Spectrum" by Shannon Penrod (who is herself the parent of an autistic son), is your guide to all of this and more.

Shannon Penrod hosts Autism Live, the #1 rated Autism Podcast worldwide, and with "Autism: Parent to Parent: Sanity Saving Advice for Every Parent with a Child on the Autism Spectrum" she is sharing all of her best resources, strategies, tips and information to help parents and their autistic child survive and thrive.

"Autism: Parent to Parent" covers such issues as: What do you say to pushy relatives?; How do you get the best treatment options?; How do you deal with school?; Most importantly, how do you deal with all the emotions that come with day-to-day life?

In the pages of "Autism: Parent to Parent", Shannon Penrod aptly covers all a parent of an individual with ASD needs to know, and does so with honesty, humor and humility while empowering parents of autistic children to rise to meet all the challenges and triumphs on their journey.

Critique: Exceptionally well organized and thoroughly 'parent friendly' in presentation, it is no exaggeration to state that "Autism: Parent to Parent: Sanity Saving Advice for Every Parent with a Child on the Autism Spectrum" must be considered mandatory reading by all parents, grandparents, and caregivers having responsibility for raising an autistic child. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Autism & Asperger's Syndrome collections and supplemental Special Education Communication Disorder studies lists. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Autism: Parent to Parent: Sanity Saving Advice for Every Parent with a Child on the Autism Spectrum" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.49).

Editorial Note: Shannon Penrod was a teacher, actress, and award-winning stand-up comedienne when her life took a sharp left. Her world changed forever when her son was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2 1/2. Like many parents Shannon and her husband began a mission of helping their son reach his highest potential. Their son is now a successful college student, studying screenwriting! Committed to helping other families find their paths, Shannon is the President of The Autism Network, where she hosts the #1 rated Autism Podcast, "Autism Live." She also hosts "Ask Dr. Doreen" and serves as Executive Producer for "Stories from the Spectrum." Shannon frequently performs her award-winning comedy show, "The Autism Mamalogues," and enjoys speaking to parents and professionals around the world. Her greatest privilege and joy in life is being her son's mother.


The Native American Studies Shelf

Understanding and Teaching Native American History
Kristofer Ray, editor
Brady Desanti, editor
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
www.uwpress.wisc.edu
9780299338503, $39.95, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Teaching-American-History-Goldberg/dp/0299338509

Synopsis: Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Kristofer Ray and Brady Desanti, "Understanding and Teaching Native American History" is a timely and urgently needed response to a long-standing gap in Native American history instruction. While the past three decades have seen burgeoning scholarship in Indigenous studies, comparatively little of that has trickled into classrooms. This volume is specifically designed to help teachers effectively integrate Indigenous history and culture into their lessons, providing richly researched content and resources across the chronological and geographical landscape of what is now known as North America.

Despite the availability of new scholarship, many teachers struggle with contextualizing Indigenous history and experience. Native peoples frequently find themselves relegated to historical descriptions, merely a foil to the European settlers who are the protagonists in the dominant North American narrative. "Understanding and Teaching Native American History" offers a way forward, an alternative framing of the story that highlights the ongoing integral role of Native peoples via broad coverage in a variety of topics including the historical, political, and cultural.

With its scope and clarity of vision, suggestions for navigating sensitive topics, and a multitude of innovative approaches authored by contributors from multidisciplinary backgrounds, "Understanding and Teaching Native American History" will also find use in methods and other graduate courses. Nearly a decade in the conception and making, this is a groundbreaking source for both beginning and veteran instructors.

Critique: Comprised of 21 erudite and informative contributions by experts in the Native American History that are deftly organized into three major sections (Existential Topics in Native American History; Reflections on Identity and Cultural Appropriation; Reflections on Teaching Native American History), "Understanding and Teaching Native American History" is a seminal, unique, and unreservedly recommended core addition to personal, professional, college and university library Native American Studies collections and supplemental and developemental studies curriculum studies lists. Of special note is a listing of the contributors and their credentials and a 20 page Index.

Editorial Note #1: Kristofer Ray is an Honorary Fellow at the Wilberforce Institute for the Study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull. His areas of expertise include early modern American Indian experience broadly, Native-European interaction in trans-Appalachia specifically, and the European construction of Indigenous slave law. In addition to several book chapters, edited volumes, and journal articles, he is the author of Middle Tennessee, 1775 - 1825 and the forthcoming Cherokees, Europeans, and Empire in the Trans-Appalachian West, 1670 - 1774.

Editorial Note #2: Brady DeSanti (Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe) is the director of Native American studies and an associate professor of religious studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. His research focuses on Native American history and religious traditions.


The General Fiction Shelf

The Marsh Queen
Virginia Hartman
www.VirginiaHartman.com
Gallery Books
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com
9781982171605, $27.99, HC, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Marsh-Queen-Virginia-Hartman/dp/198217160X

Synopsis: Loni Murrow is an accomplished bird artist at the Smithsonian who loves her job. But when she receives a call from her younger brother summoning her back home to help their obstinate mother recover after an accident, Loni's neat, contained life in Washington, DC, is thrown into chaos, and she finds herself exactly where she does not want to be.

Going through her mother's things, Loni uncovers scraps and snippets of a time in her life she would prefer to forget -- a childhood marked by her father Boyd's death by drowning and her mother Ruth's persistent bad mood.

When Loni comes across a single, cryptic note from a stranger ("There are some things I have to tell you about Boyd's death") she begins a dangerous quest to discover the truth, all the while struggling to reconnect with her mother and reconcile with her brother and his wife, who seem to thwart her at every turn.

To make matters worse, she meets a man in Florida whose attractive simple charm threatens everything she's worked toward.

Pulled between worlds (her professional accomplishments in Washington, and the small town of her childhood) Loni must decide whether to delve beneath the surface into murky half-truths and either avenge the past or bury it, once and for all.

Critique: All the more impressive when considering that "The Marsh Queen" is author Virginia Hartman's debut as a novelist, this original and deftly crafted story of crime and family that is an inherently fascinating read -- the kind of book that will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after it is finished and set back upon the shelf. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Marsh Queen" is also available in a paperback edition (9781982171612, $17.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781797141046, $39.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Virginia Hartman has an MFA in creative writing from American University and is on the faculty at George Washington University. Her stories have been short listed for the New Letters Awards and the Dana Awards. She has a website at www.VirginiaHartman.com

The Wrong Kind of Woman
Sarah McCraw Crow
Mira Books
www.mirabooks.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9780778312314, $16.99, PB, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Wrong-Kind-Woman-Novel/dp/0778312313

Synopsis: In late 1970, Oliver Desmarais drops dead in his front yard while hanging Christmas lights. In the year that follows, his widow, Virginia, struggles to find her place on the campus of the elite New Hampshire men's college where Oliver was a professor. While Virginia had always shared her husband's prejudices against the four outspoken, never-married women on the faculty (dubbed the Gang of Four by their male counterparts) she now finds herself depending on them, even joining their work to bring the women's movement to Clarendon College.

Soon, though, reports of violent protests across the country reach this sleepy New England town, stirring tensions between the fraternal establishment of Clarendon and those calling for change. As authorities attempt to tamp down "radical elements", Virginia must decide whether she's willing to put herself and her family at risk for a cause that had never felt like her own.

Critique: Told through alternating perspectives, "The Wrong Kind of Woman" is a novel about finding the strength to forge new paths, and beautifully woven against the rapid social and cultural changes of the early '70s. Vibrant, eloquent, fun, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "The Wrong Kind of Woman" showcases novelist Sarah Crow's impressive literary and storytelling skills. Now in a new paperback edition, it should be noted for personal reading lists and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections that "The Wrong Kind of Woman" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781799920014, $34.99, CD).

The Healing Circle
Coco Picard
Red Hen Press
P.O. Box 40820 Pasadena, CA 91114
https://redhen.org
9781636280516, $17.95, PB, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Healing-Circle-Coco-Picard/dp/163628051X

Synopsis: "The Healing Circle" by Coco Picard is the story of a mother who abandons her family in California in order to pursue a miracle cure in Munich, Germany. Once she gets there however, she wonders if she might have already died. Bedridden with a terminal diagnosis, memories, nurses, immoral doctors, foreign television broadcasts, and phone calls from children intrude upon her consciousness. All this while an aloe plant called Madame Blavatsky is her primary companion.

Critique: A unique and inherently engaging novel about life, death, and dying, "The Healing Circle" showcases author Coco Picard's natural flair for crafting a novel of serious substance with a flair for humor in service to the human condition. With a very special and particular appeal to readers with an interest in medical fiction, "The Healing Circle" is an especially recommended addition to personal reading lists and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Coco Picard is a writer, cartoonist, and curator based in New Mexico. She is the author of two graphic novels, Meowsers (2022) and The Chronicles of Fortune (2017), which was nominated for a DiNKy Award. Art criticism and comics have otherwise appeared under the name Caroline Picard in Artforum, Hyperallergic, The Paris Review, and Seven Stories Press, among others. She started the Green Lantern Press in 2005, received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute and was a Bookends Fellow at Stony Brook University. She has a dedicated website at https://cocopicard.com

The Second Husband
Kate White
https://www.katewhite.com
Harper
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
Blackstone Audiobooks
https://www.blackstonewholesale.com
9780063246195, $26.99, HC, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Second-Husband-Novel-Kate-White/dp/0063246198

Synopsis: After losing her husband, Derrick, in what appears to have been a random street crime, thirty something Emma has built a new life with widower Tom, who is kind, handsome, driven, and successful. Emma is finally able to feel safe again, both in her relationship with Tom and in the home they've made together on the Connecticut shore.

Then one day a homicide detective shows up at Emma and Tom's door asking questions. Though Emma had been cleared of her husband's murder, it appears that law enforcement is taking another look at her and the case.

What do they know? Are they on the right track this time? And most importantly, will the renewed investigation ruin Emma's chances of a happy life? With twists and turns all the way to the last page, this fast-paced, expertly plotted novel will have you asking that age-old question: how well do you really know the ones you love?

Critique: Some authors seem to have a natural affinity for the kind of narrative drive storytelling that is as distinctively original and is it inherently gripping. With the publication of "The Second Husband", seasoned novelist Kat White once again demonstrates herself to have just that knack, While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Suspense/Thriller collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Second Husband" is also available in a paperback edition (9780062945457, $16.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798200973101, $41.99).

Editorial Note: Kate White is the author of eight standalone psychological thrillers, including Have You Seen Me? (2020) and the upcoming The Fiancee (June 2021), as well as eight Bailey Weggins mysteries, including Such a Perfect Wife, which was nominated for an International Thriller Writers Award. Kate, the former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, is also the author of several popular career books for women, including I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: How to Ask for the Money, Snag the Promotion, and Create the Career You Deserve and Why Good Girls Don't Get Ahead, as well the editor of the Anthony and Agatha Award-nominated The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. She has a dedicated website at https://www.katewhite.com

Buck's Pantry
Khristin Wierman
https://khristinwierman.com
SparkPress
c/o Spark Point Studio
https://gosparkpress.com
9781684631650, $17.95 pbk / $9.49 Kindle 280pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bucks-Pantry-Novel-Khristin-Wierman/dp/1684631653

Synopsis: In a small Texas town, three women (Gillian, a former prom queen and furious juggler of her three children's manic schedules; Lianna, a foul-mouthed East Coast banking super star; and Aimee, a woman capable of far more than her current life will allow) find their lives converging.

Gillian, reeling from the revelations her husband shared at a fundraiser she hosted just days ago, is suddenly grappling with what she has always believed about politics, family, and her own comfortable life -- and aghast at some of the choices she's made.

Lianna is en route to close a deal and languishing in the August heat. Desperate to return to her beloved New York and a first-time visitor to rural Texas, she's certain she has landed in one of the outer rings of hell.

Aimee, though withering under the covert dysfunction and mental illness lurking in her family, still manages to shine in her low-level job and allows herself to dream of a life far away.

When Gillian and Lianna stop at the same convenience store, they find themselves in an unthinkable situation. Aimee may be their only hope -- if she can put the pieces together!

Critique: Certain to appeal to readers with an interest in the themes of friendship, psychological humor, and self-help fiction, "Buck's Pantry" by novelist Khristin Wierman is an engaging read from first page to last. Clever dialogue, interesting characters, and a narrative driven storytelling style combine to make "Buck's Pantry" highly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Buck's Pantry" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).


The Historical Fiction Shelf

'Til All These Things Be Done
Suzanne Moyers
https://suzannemoyers.com
She Writes Press
www.shewritespress.com
9781647422356, $17.95, PB, 392pp

https://www.amazon.com/Til-All-These-Things-Done/dp/1647422353

Synopsis: Even as dementia clouds other memories, eighty-three-year-old Leola can't forget her father's disappearance when she was sixteen. Now, as Papa appears in haunting visions, Leola relives the circumstances of that loss: the terrible accident that steals Papa's livelihood, sending the family deeper into poverty; a scandal from Mama's past that still wounds; and Leola's growing unease with her brutally bigoted society.

When Papa vanishes while seeking work in Houston and Mama dies in the "boomerang" Influenza outbreak of 1919, Leola and her young sisters are sent to an orphanage, where her exposure of a dark injustice means sacrificing a vital clue to Papa's whereabouts. That decision echoes into the future, as new details about his disappearance suggest betrayal too painful to contemplate. Only in old age, as her visions of Papa grow more realistic, does Leola confront her long-buried grief, leading to a remarkable family discovery that could offer peace, at last.

"'Til All These Things Be Done" by Suzanne Moyers is a novel that is set against the rich but often troubled history of Blacklands, Texas, during an era of pandemic, scientific discovery, and social upheaval, offering a unique (yet eerily familiar) backdrop to a universal tale of triumphing over loss.

Critique: A deftly crafted an inherently fascinating read from cover to cover, "'Til All These Things Be Done" is a compelling and memorable read -- and one of those stories that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book is finished and set back upon the shelf -- which is all the more impressive when considering that it is author Suzanne Moyer's debut as a novelist. While highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "'Til All These Things Be Done" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).

Editorial Note: Suzanne Moyers, a former teacher, spent more than 20 years as an editor and writer for the education press. Suzanne is an avid history buff who, when she isn't writing, enjoys metal detecting, mudlarking, and volunteering for archeological digs. She has a dedicated website at https://suzannemoyers.com

The Orphans of Mersea House
Marty Wingate
http://martywingate.com
Alcove Press
c/o Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639100880, $26.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Orphans-Mersea-House-Novel/dp/1639100881

Synopsis: England, 1957. Olive Kersey's only love never returned from World War II, and now, she's alone and penniless. Then, the last person she ever expected to see again returns to Southwold. Olive's childhood friend, Margery Paxton, arrives to claim her inheritance: Mersea House, a stately old home she plans to turn into the town's only lodging. Olive's life takes a sunny turn when Margery hires her to run the establishment. But Mersea House holds its own mysteries -- and its own dangers!

First, rumors begin to fly when two enigmatic lodgers move in: Hugh Hodson, manager of the town cinema, and Mrs. Abigail Claypool, a recluse and war widow. And then, the completely unexpected: Margery is informed she has a new ward, eleven-year-old Juniper Wyckes, the orphaned daughter of Margery's first love. Mrs. Lucie Pagett, Children's Officer at the local authority, informs Margery that Juniper was severely stricken with polio as a child, and makes clear that she could be taken away if her welfare is in jeopardy.

But the past is never far behind for the inhabitants of Mersea House, and looming secrets may destroy these friendships they've created.

Critique: An original, deftly crafted and thoroughly absorbing read from cover to cover, "The Orphans of Mersea House" is a truly memorable and engaging novel by author Marty Wingate. With a special appeal for readers with an interest in the theme of women's friendship, "The Orphans of Mersea House" is highly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Orphans of Mersea House" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666614596, $22.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Marty Wingate writes mystery series and historical fiction set in England with the occasional foray into Scotland. The First Edition Library mysteries (Berkley), set in Bath and featuring Hayley Burke, the curator of a collection of books from the Golden Age of Mystery. Marty is also the author of the Potting Shed books (Alibi). She has a dedicated website at http://martywingate.com


The Literary Fiction Shelf

Remember This
Steve Adams
https://www.steveadamswriting.com
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
www.uwpress.wisc.edu
9780299339241, $17.95, PB, 248pp

https://www.amazon.com/Remember-This-Steve-Adams/dp/0299339246

John Martin, a talented graphic designer employed as a word processor for a prestigious New York investment bank, has happily left behind Texas and his alcoholic, emotionally absent mother. It is the height of the personal computer revolution and the AIDS epidemic, and gentrification is sweeping the city.

Alena Marino, John's supervisor, is an Italian immigrant who shares his hustle and grit, aggressively building a new life for herself. As their affair begins, John imagines himself the perfect lover for Alena, fulfilling her desires without expectation that she leave her husband. But when his oldest sister arrives in town unannounced, he is forced to confront his damaged past and serial history of relationships with stunningly gorgeous, emotionally complex women.

John's journey to understand the roots of his compulsion to "save" those around him is both aided and thwarted by his relationship with his colleague Jeremy Crawford. Alena's closest confidant, Jeremy shares an intimacy with her that fuels John's jealousy. Meanwhile, Jeremy finds himself drawn to John and, as his confidant too, participates in the drama of John and Alena's relationship.

As John slowly begins to understand the flawed and wounded experience of love that has followed him through life, he learns how to open himself to true friendship -- and to true loss.

Critique: Some novelists seem to have an inborn knack for originality and the kind of narrative driven storytelling style that engages the readers total attention from beginning to end. Set in the midst of cultural upheaval, "Remember This" is just such a novel by just such an author as Steve Adams. An inherently fascinating, thought-provoking, and memorable read, "Remember This" is a prized addition to personal, community, and academic library Literary Fiction collections. With a special appeal to readers with an interest in LGBTQ themes, it should be noted that "Remember This" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.05).

Editorial Note: Steve Adams is a writer, a writing coach, and developmental editor based in Memphis, Tennessee. His short stories have appeared in Glimmer Train, the Missouri Review, Chicago Review, and elsewhere. His nonfiction has won a Pushcart Prize and his plays have been produced in New York City. He has a dedicated website at https://www.steveadamswriting.com


The Romantic Fiction Shelf

The Heart of the Mountains
Pepper Basham
http: //www.pepperdbasham.com
Barbour Publishing
P.O. Box 719, 1810 Barbour Drive, Uhrichsville, OH 44683
www.barbourbooks.com
9781636093253, $15.99, PB, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Mountains-Pepper-Basham/dp/1636093256

Synopsis: To escape marriage, Cora Taylor runs away from her home in England to join her brother in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, but not even her time as a nurse in the Great War prepares her for the hard landscape and even harder lives of the mountain people. With the help of Jeb McAdams, a quiet woodcarver, who carries his own battle scars, she fashions a place for herself among these unique people. But the past refuses to let go, and with dangers from within and without, can hearts bruised by war find healing within the wilds of the mountains? Can true love weather a world of differences?

Critique: As a novelist, Pepper Basham is proven to have a complete mastery of the Christian romance genre. With memorable characters and engaging plot with several unexpected twists and turns, "The Heart Of The Mountains" is a fun and engaging read from cover to cover. Highly recommended for community library Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Heart Of The Mountain" is also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99). Librarians should note further that there is a large print Library Binding edition of "The Heart Of The Mountain" (Thorndike Press, 9798885781879, $30.99, 510pp).

Editorial Note: Pepper Basham writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell's Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. Pepper has a website at http: //www.pepperdbasham.com and can be followed on FB, IG, or Twitter.


The Western Fiction Shelf

The Call of McCall
Gregory J. Lalire
Five Star Books
c/o Gale Cengage Learning, Inc.
20 Channel Center Street, Boston, MA 02210
https://www.gale.com/five-star
www.cengageptr.com
9781432892722, $25.95, HC, 445pp

https://www.amazon.com/Call-McCall-Gregory-J-Lalire/dp/143289272X

Synopsis: Born and raised in the Daniel's Den, a bordello in Boonesborough, Kentucky, "bastard" Zach McCall never knew his mother and only sees his whiskey-drummer father, Fat Jack McCall, occasionally.

Reluctantly, Zach serves the South during the Civil War and meets younger half brother Little Jack in Louisville. After the war the illegitimate McCall befriends Jasper Washington, an educated, former bear-wrestling black man intent on reuniting with his pal Wild Bill Hickok in Springfield, Missouri.

Zach heads west with Jasper, joined by hero-worshipping, deceitful Little Jack, who is looking for adventure and to get away from his father after a dispute ending in a punch that broke the younger McCall's nose. The McCall boys and Jasper, Wild Bill's self-proclaimed protector, witness Hickok's shootout with cardsharp Dave Tutt and are on hand for the lawman-gambler's further adventures in the Kansas cow towns of Hays City and Abilene.

In the end, they all arrive in Deadwood, Dakota Territory, where one of the Wild West's most famous murders takes place-during a poker game at the No. 10 Saloon".

Critique: A well crafted and absorbing read from cover to cover, "The Call of McCall" by Gregory J. Lalire is a thoroughly interesting and unreservedly recommended addition to both the personal reading lists of western action/adventure fans and the Western Fiction collections of community libraries. It should be noted for western fans that Gregory J. Lalire is also the author of "Wild West. February 1996. Vol 8, No 5.", a western magazine that chronicles the American frontier.

Justice Warrior
Rusty Davis
Five Star Books
c/o Gale Cengage Learning, Inc.
20 Channel Center Street, Boston, MA 02210
https://www.gale.com/five-star
www.cengageptr.com
9781432892746, $25.95, HC, 311pp

https://www.amazon.com/Justice-Warrior-Adventures-Running-Dooley/dp/1432892746

Synopsis: Montana's Tongue River Valley is a cauldron of animosity between the Northern Cheyenne who are trying to endure, and land-hungry settlers and others who want them wiped out once and for all. Two men become the focal point for keeping peace -- John Dooley and his Cheyenne co-worker Fox Running.

The friends must solve two murders that could ignite the powder keg of emotions. They face the gravest test of their friendship yet as Dooley, new to the West, seeks moderation while Fox Running (who lost his family and home in an 1876 army raid) can see only fighting.

Fox Running turns to Cut Sky, the sharpshooting daughter of an Indian known as the Bandit King, as he tries to become the Justice Warrior of the Cheyenne. The enemy have money and guns; the Cheyenne have their spirit friends and a will to resist. From a showdown on the streets of a cowboy town to a daring last-ditch fight, Fox Running fights for justice as his friends fight to keep him alive.

Critique: Another carefully crafted and great read from cover to cover, "Justice Warrior" (the second title in author Rusty Davis' western series 'The Adventures of Fox Running and John Dooley') combines mystery with western gun-play action, suspenseful intrigue with western cow town politics. Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Western Fiction collections, "Justice Warrior" is very highly recommended for all western fiction fans.

Cimarron
Andrew McBride
Five Star Books
c/o Gale Cengage Learning, Inc.
20 Channel Center Street, Boston, MA 02210
https://www.gale.com/five-star
9781432894016, $25.52, HC, 307pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cimarr%C3%B3n-Andrew-McBride/dp/1432894013

Synopsis: Cimarron meant wild and untamed. That's just how Calvin Taylor, the young man they called 'Choctaw' saw himself as well. As free of restraint as the raw new land he wandered, where the only law was lynch law. Someone who couldn't be broken to the plow.

Choctaw's stamping ground was the Arizona Territory of 1873. He worked as a mustanger, catching and breaking wild horses; for the army scouting against Apaches; as a cowboy trailing horse thieves. Each adventure added to his growing reputation as a man skilled and deadly in the use of guns.

But when he came up against a desperate band of kidnappers, Choctaw faced some hard choices. Which side of the law was he really on? And where did his true loyalties lie? Because the man leading the kidnappers had been (and maybe still was) his best friend!

Critique: A fun read from cover to cover for all dedicated western novel fans, and especially recommended for community library Western Fiction collections, "Cimarron" showcases author Andre McBride's enviable master of the genre.

Editorial Note: Andrew McBride is the author of 8 critically-acclaimed western novels. They are all set in Arizona and New Mexico in the 1870s and 1880s with the same central character - Calvin Taylor who is sometimes Indian scout, sheriff, stage agent and wagon train guide. Historical figures such as the Apache chief Chochise, Billy the Kid and Wyatt Earp in are feature characters. Andrew McBride has a blog at http://andrewmcbrideauthor.blogspot and an Authors Page at Author page on the Sundown Press website at: http://prairierosepublications.com/authors_2/andrew-mcbride


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Marple: Twelve New Mysteries
Agatha Christie et al.
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780063136052, $28.99, HC, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Untitled-Marple-Collection-Agatha-Christie/dp/0063136058

Synopsis: One doesn't stop at solving just one murder. Not when there is Jane Marple, an elderly lady from St Mary Mead who possesses an uncanny knack for solving even the most perplexing puzzles. Now for the first time in 45 years with the publication of "Marple: Twelve New Mysteries", Agatha Christie's beloved character returns to the page for a globe-trotting tour of crime and detection.

Readers will fully enjoy going along with Miss Marple as she travels through her sleepy English village and around the world. In St Mary Mead, a Christmas dinner is interrupted by unexpected guests; the Broadway stage in New York City is set for a dangerous improvisation; bad omens surround an untimely death aboard a cruise ship to Hong Kong; and a bestselling writer on holiday in Italy is caught in a nefarious plot. These and other crimes committed in the name of love, jealousy, blackmail, and revenge are ones that only the indomitable Jane Marple can solve.

Bringing a fresh twist to the hallmarks of a classic Agatha Christie mystery, twelve esteemed and impressively talented writers have been able to fully capture the sharp wit, unique voice, and droll ingenuity of the deceptively demure detective. A triumphant celebration of Christie's legacy and essential reading for crime lovers, Marple is a timely reminder why Jane Marple remains one of the most famous detectives of all time.

Critique: Agatha Christie's Miss Jane Marple stories were 'Cozy Mysteries" long before that name was invented to describe a genre of mysteries that she as an author was so successfully writing. An absolute 'must read' for the legions of Agatha Christie fans, "Marple: Twelve New Mysteries" is an impressively entertaining compendium of twelve new Marple stories that pay homage to one of Agatha Christies' most beloved amateur detectives. While unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated 'whodunnit' crime story buffs that "Marple: Twelve New Mysteries" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99). Librarians should also note that there is a large print paperback edition available (HarperLux, 9780063266056, $29.99, 480pp).

A Dreadful Splendor
B. R. Myers
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9780063209831, $16.99, PB, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dreadful-Splendor-Novel-B-R-Myers/dp/0063209837

Synopsis: In Victorian London, Genevieve Timmons poses as a spiritualist to swindle wealthy mourners -- until one misstep lands her in a jail cell awaiting the noose. Then a stranger arrives to make her a peculiar offer. The lord he serves, Mr. Pemberton, has been inconsolable since the tragic death of his beautiful bride-to-be. If Genevieve can perform a seance persuasive enough to bring the young lord peace, she will win her freedom.

Soothing a grieving nobleman should be easy for someone of Genevieve's skill, but when she arrives at the grand Somerset Park estate, Mr. Pemberton is not the heartbroken lover she expected. The surly (yet exceedingly handsome) gentleman is certain that his fiancee was murdered, even though there is no evidence. Only a confession can bring justice now, and Mr. Pemberton decides Genevieve will help him get it.

With his knowledge of the household and her talent for illusion, they can stage a haunting so convincing it will coax the killer into the light. However, when frightful incidents befall the manor, Genevieve realizes her tricks aren't required after all. She may be a fake, but Somerset's ghost could be all too real!

Critique: A fun read from cover to cover, in her novel "A Dreadful Splendor" author B. R. Myers serves up an impressively delightful novel of mystery, spooky thrills, and intoxicating romance. Reader be warned, "A Dreadful Splendor" is an addictive read from first page to last! While especially recommended for community library Gothic Romance & Mystery collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Dreadful Splendor" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798212006309, $41.99, CD).

The Hunt
Fay Kellerman
https://fayekellerman.net
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780062910493, $28.99, HC, 496pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hunt-Novel-Decker-Lazarus-Novels/dp/0062910493

Synopsis: Peter Decker and his partner, Detective Tyler McAdams, are thrown into an unsolved case and propelled into action when a body is found in the very woods where a man previously went missing in upstate New York. But that's not the only crisis that Peter has to deal with.

Teresa McLaughlin, the biological mother of Peter and his wife Rina's foster son, Gabe, has fled to Los Angeles with her two children in tow, hoping to avoid a court injunction amid a messy divorce. But LA is no escape from her problems -- she is found by ruthless men and beaten mercilessly. When she wakes, barely conscious, Teresa discovers that both of her children are gone and frantically calls Gabe for help.

With his mother on the verge of death, Gabe contacts Peter and Rina, as well as his biological father, the notorious Christopher Donatti, a former hit man from a known criminal family who's now a millionaire in Nevada. By bringing Donatti into the fray, Gabe, Peter, and Rina know they have made a deal with the devil -- but they may not be able to recover the kids without him.

As these unlikely allies rally to find the kidnappers before things end tragically, they race headlong toward an explosive confrontation from which no one will emerge unscathed.

Critique: A rapid fire thriller of a read from first page to last, "The Hunt" by novelist Fay Kellerman is one roller coaster of a read and a deftly crafted story that will have a very special and particular appeal to fans of domestic thrillers and police procedurals. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Hunt" will also readily available in a paperback edition (9780062910509, $10.99, March 2023), and currently in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99). Librarians note for their collections that there is also a large print paperback edition of "The Hunt" (HarperLux, 9780063210943, $30.99, 720pp).

Editorial Note: Faye Kellerman is the author of twenty-six novels, including nineteen New York Times bestselling mysteries that feature the husband-and-wife team of Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus. She has also penned two best selling short novels with her husband, New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman, and recently has teamed up with her daughter, Aliza, to co-write a teen novel, entitled PRISM. She also has a dedicated and informative website at https://fayekellerman.net

A Killing in Costumes
Zac Bissonnette
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639100866, $26.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Killing-Costumes-Hollywood-Treasures-Mystery/dp/1639100865

Synopsis: Jay Allan and Cindy Cooper were soap opera stars in the late '90s, a wholesome young husband-and-wife duo who combined musical talent with humor and charisma. When the truth about their sexual orientations came to light, their marriage and TV careers ended, but decades later they have remained friends. Together, they open Palm Springs' chicest movie memorabilia store, Hooray for Hollywood -- but no customers and dwindling finances spell trouble.

A Hail Mary arrives in the form of Yana Tosh, a ninety-year-old diva of the silver screen who has amassed a valuable collection of costumes and props and is looking to sell. But first, Jay and Cindy have to beat their competition, a vice president from a mega-auction house with ten times their resources. And when he winds up dead, they become prime suspects in the murder.

With their freedom and livelihoods on the line, Jay and Cindy desperately need to clear their names. There are plenty of other potential suspects, but they'll have to solve it soon before they're forced to trade in their vintage costume collection for two orange jumpsuits.

Critique: Another award worthy cozy mystery from novelist Zac Bissonnette, "A Killing in Costumes" is a fun read from cover to cover and will have a special appeal to all dedicated LGBTQ and amateur sleuths 'whodunnit' mystery fans. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that this original and entertaining mystery is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666614565, $22.99, MP3-CD).

Welcome to Jimmy's Place
Michael Mayo
https://www.mike-mayo.com
Coffeetown Press
c/o Camel Press
www.camelpress.com
9781684920266, $16.95, PB, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Welcome-Jimmys-Place-Jimmy-Suspense/dp/1684920264

Synopsis: Prohibition has ended and his speakeasy is almost legal, but Jimmy Quinn has to unload a fabulous golden egg, possibly Faberge. At the same time somebody's trying to kill him, and the there is that millionaires plot to overthrow Franklin Roosevelt.

Critique: The stuff of which pulp fiction movies are made, "Welcome to Jimmy's Place" by author Michael Mayo is an impressively crafted, narrative driven novel that is one of those riveting suspense thrillers that will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book has been finished and set back upon the shelf. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Crime Fiction & Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Welcome to Jimmy's Place" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

Editorial Note: Michael Mayo has written about film for numerous publications, including The Washington Post. He has worked extensively in radio and was co-host of the nationally syndicated Movie Show on Radio and Max and Mike on the Movies. Among his books are American Murder, Videohound's Horror Show, War Movies and the Jimmy Quinn suspense novels. He has a dedicated website at www.mike-mayo.com

We Lie Here
Rachell Howzell Hall
Thomas & Mercer
Brilliance Audio
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781662500329, $24.95, HC, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lie-Here-Rachel-Howzell-Hall/dp/1662500327

Synopsis: TV writer Yara Gibson's hometown of Palmdale, California, isn't her first choice for a vacation. But she's back to host her parents' twentieth-anniversary party and find the perfect family mementos for the celebration. Everything is going to plan until Yara receives a disturbing text: I have information that will change your life.

The message is from Felicia Campbell, who claims to be a childhood friend of Yara's mother. But they've been estranged for years -- drama best ignored and forgotten. But Yara can't forget Felicia, who keeps texting, insisting that Yara talk to her "before it's too late."

But the next day is already too late for Felicia, whose body is found floating in Lake Palmdale. Before she died, Felicia left Yara a key to a remote lakeside cabin. In the basement are files related to a mysterious tragedy, unsolved since 1998. What secrets was Felicia hiding? How much of what Yara knows about her family has been true?

The deeper Yara digs for answers, the more she fears that Felicia was right. Uncovering the truth about what happened at the cabin all those years ago will change Yara's life -- or end it!

Critique: A clever, eloquent, and inherently fascinating novel that will have a very special appeal to mystery buffs and 'whodunnit' fans, "We Lie Here: A Thriller" by the imaginatively gifted author Rachel Howzell Hall is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the growing legions of Rachel Hall fans that "We Lie Here" is also available in a paperback edition (9781542033695, $15.95), in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (9781713641865, $24.99, MP3-CD).

Editorial Note: Rachel Howzell Hall is the author of These Toxic Things; And Now She's Gone; They All Fall Down; and, with James Patterson, The Good Sister, which was included in Patterson's collection The Family Lawyer. An Anthony, International Thriller Writers, and Lefty Award nominee, Rachel is also the author of Land of Shadows, Skies of Ash, Trail of Echoes, and City of Saviors in the Detective Elouise Norton series. A past member of the board of directors for Mystery Writers of America, Rachel has been a featured writer on NPR's Crime in the City series and the National Endowment for the Arts weekly podcast; she has also served as a mentor in Pitch Wars and the Association of Writers Programs. Rachel has a dedicated website at www.rachelhowzell.com

Wayward Son
Steve Goble
Oceanview Publishing
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
www.oceanviewpub.com
9781608094455, $27.95, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Wayward-Son-Ed-Runyon-Mystery/dp/1608094456

Synopsis: Ed Runyon, a former sheriff's deputy haunted by past missing child cases that went horribly wrong, is struggling to launch a PI agency and still live in the Ohio farm country he loves. His love life is in shambles, too, as his partner turns to someone else. Then his best friend got roughed up by a rogue cop, so Ed is in a fighting mood.

Ed finds a new focus when he is hired to find a runaway chess aficionado who is keeping secrets from his homophobic, religious parents. Finding kids is the reason he became a PI, so Ed is determined to succeed and put the demons and other problems behind him. But Jimmy Zachman made a bad move and ran into far more trouble than he was already in, and the hunt for him leads Ed to a deadly and desperate confrontation. Everything comes down to determination -- and one very risky move. Ed must find Jimmy at all costs!

Critique: A compelling combination of mystery, suspense and psychological thriller, "Wayward Son" is another deftly crafted and compulsive page turner of a read that is an unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the growing legions of Steve Goble fans that "Wayward Son" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.95). It should be noted for those unfamiliar with the novels of Steve Goble that the titles in the Ed Runyon Mystery Series stand on their own and can be read in any order. The publication sequence for this outstanding series is: City Problems; Wayward Son; Go Find Daddy (coming 2023).

Editorial Note: Steve Goble is a former journalist who now works for a digital investigations firm as he reinvents himself as a mystery novel writer. "Wayward Son" is the second novel in the Ed Runyon crime fiction series, following "City Problems". He is also the author of the Spider John historical mysteries. He has a page at https://www.facebook.com/Steve.Goble.author

Tears for Jessie Hewitt
Edna Sherry
Black Cat Books
c/o Stark House Press
1315 H Street, Eureka, CA 95501
www.starkhousepress.com
9781951473365, $9.99, PB, 198pp

https://www.amazon.com/Tears-Jessie-Hewitt-Edna-Sherry/dp/1951473361

Synopsis: Victor Clyde has got the perfect scam: he checks out the big winners at the racetrack, figures out where they live, then breaks into their homes and robs them of their winnings. Victor knows he's too clever to be caught, but then he accidentally hits one of his victims too hard, and now it's time to leave L.A. and head East.

On his way out of town, he meets young Jessie Hewitt, and offers her a ride. Jessie is done rebelling against her father, and has decided to return to the family farm. Victor pours on the charm, and by the time they reach New York, she's fallen in love with him. He figures she makes the perfect cover. What he doesn't figure is that when Jessie finds out that he's a thief, she decides to join him!

Critique: A memorable crafted and original novel of mystery and suspense, "Tears for Jessie Hewitt" by the late Edna Sherry is a time lost treasure that has been brought back from obscurity for the benefit and pleasure of a new general of dedicated mystery buffs. With a narrative driven storytelling style that olds up quite well for the modern reader, "Tears for Jessie Hewitt" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Tears for Jessie Hewitt" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

Editorial Note: Edna Solomon Sherry (November 28, 1885 - February 4, 1967) graduated from Hunter College in 1906 and taught English there before becoming a professional writer. She began writing short stories for the pulp magazines, collaborating with Milton Gropper on two early novels. Sherry's first crime novel (and best known work) is Sudden Fear, published in 1948. It was filmed in1952 with Joan Crawford, Jack Palance and Gloria Grahame, and is considered a film noir classic.

A Ticket to Hell / Hell Can Wait Paperback
Harry Whittington
Stark House Press
1315 H Street, Eureka, CA 95501
www.starkhousepress.com
9781951473662, $19.95, PB, 246pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ticket-Hell-Can-Wait/dp/1951473663

Synopsis: A TICKET TO HELL: When Ric pulls into the New Mexico motel, he isn't looking for company. He's supposed to meet someone. He doesn't know who, or when, but he knows that he can't afford to get involved with anyone else's problems. But while he waits, he watches the couple across the court. The husband is too handsome for his own good, and the woman's pretty easy on the eyes as well. When Ric sees the man step outside his room, turn off the gas, turn it on again, then leave, he knows that something is not right. He discovers the wife unconscious, her body staged to look like a suicide. Ric doesn't want to get involved, but now he's got a desperate woman on his hands, and more trouble than he needs.

HELL CAN WAIT: Greg Morris is twisted up with hate. He and his new wife and been driving to Rainbow Lake when they are hit by another car. And not just any car, but one driven by rich and powerful Saul Koons. His wife dead, Morris lies in his hospital bed, expecting justice to prevail. Clearly Koons was in the wrong. A local lawyer wants to prove it. But by the end of the trial, Koons has turned it around so that the accident appears to be entirely Morris' fault, and Koons the injured party. Now Morris is back in town, sick with hate and plotting his revenge. But how to you hurt a man who owns the whole town and everyone in it? You find his one weak spot... his wife.

Critique: Two of the late Harry Whittington's best action/adventure mysteries from the pulp magazine era, "A Ticket To Hell" and "Hell Can Wait" has well withstood the test of time and are now introduced to a whole new general of dedicated mystery buffs. This edition from Stark House also features an informative introduction (Investigating Harry) by Tom Simon and a comprehensive three page Harry Whittington bibliography. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99), this two story paperback edition is unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: Harry Whittington (February 4, 1915 - June 11, 1989) survived his family's rural poverty by reading books and sneaking into the local movie theater. Another escape was his writing. Ultimately the versatile Whittington would become known as "King of the Paperbacks", publishing over 170 original paperback novels, using nearly 20 different pen names. Before his death in 1989, Whittington also carved out a second career writing Southern historical novels as Ashley Carter. Today he is best known for the lurid and brisk noir novels he wrote between 1950 and 1960. He has a page on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Whittington_(author)

Bound By Murder
Laura Gail Black
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639100965, $28.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bound-Murder-Antique-Bookshop-Mystery/dp/1639100962

Synopsis: The birds are singing, books are selling, and the Hokes Bluff Inn has begun to host weddings on its property. Antiquarian bookseller Jenna Quinn loves the romance in the air -- until her ex-fiance, Blake Emerson, walks in with his bride-to-be, Missy Plott.

Blake continues to profess his love for Jenna if she'll have him back, no matter the consequences. And the consequences are grave, indeed, when Missy turns up dead.

All evidence points to Blake, who was the last one to see her alive. He begs Jenna to help him clear his name. Blake's mother, Gwendolyn, is also bent on exonerating her son. Jenna doesn't believe Blake could have killed Missy, and she starts digging for suspects. It could have been Missy's ex-boyfriend, who proclaims a love for her he says only death could sever. Or might it have been Missy's bitter little sister, who was secretly besotted with Missy's ex.

Evidence turns up that links Missy's death to embezzlement and another murder -- crimes that had falsely implicated Jenna herself less than a year ago. As Gwendolyn continues to beg Jenna to help prove her son's innocence, Jenna wonders if Blake could truly be innocent.

Jenna has to choose whether to risk it all -- her reputation, her growing relationship with her boyfriend, and maybe her life -- or let a possibly innocent man go to prison.

Critique: Another inherently fascinating and deftly crafted addition to author Laura Gail Black's 'An Antique Bookshop Mystery' series, "Bound By Murder" is a classic Cosy Mystery and will have a very special appeal to readers with an interest in 'whodunnit' stories featuring amateur female sleuths. Original, extraordinary and fun, "Bound By Murder" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. For the personal reading lists of dedicated cosy mystery fans it should be noted that "Bound By Murder" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666614534, $22.99, CD).

Editorial Note: As a novelist, Laura Gail Black writes cozy mysteries on the beautiful shores of Lake Marion in South Carolina. She began collecting antique books when she worked in a used antique bookstore in college. Today, Laura's bookshelves contain many antique books, some of which are close to 200 years old. She has an author's page on the Book Series In Order website at https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/laura-gail-black

Dewey Decimated
Allison Brook
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639100903, $28.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dewey-Decimated-Haunted-Library-Mystery/dp/1639100903

Synopsis: Carrie Singleton is just off a hot string of murder cases centered around the spooky local library in Clover Ridge, Connecticut. She could really use a break -- but no such luck, as she; Smoky Joe, the resident cat; and Evelyn, the library's ghost, are drawn into another tantalizing whodunit.

First, a dead body is found in the basement of the building attached to the library, and it turns out to be Carrie's fiance's Uncle Alec, who Dylan hasn't seen in years. But Alec has no intention of truly checking out, and his ghost makes itself at home in the library, greatly upsetting the patrons. Carrie and Evelyn work hard to keep Alec out of sight, but what was he doing in Clover Ridge to begin with? And why was he killed?

Meanwhile, the town council, of which Carrie is also a member, is embroiled in a hot-headed debate over the fate of the Seabrook Preserve, a lovely and valuable piece of property that runs along Long Island Sound. Turn it into an upscale park? Sell it to a condo developer? Or keep it as protected land?

As the dispute rages, there's another murder, this time involving a council member. Could the two murders be connected? And could Carrie be next on the hit list?

Critique: The latest and welcome addition to author Allison Brooks superbly crafted 'A Haunted Library Mystery' series, "Dewey Decimated" is another pure entertainment of a read for those with an interest in the elements of magical realism being combined with Cosy Animal Mystery fiction. Original, fun, and highly recommended for personal and community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted that "Dewey Decimated" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audiobook (Dreamscape Media, 9781666614510, $22.99, CD).

Steeped to Death
Gretchen Rue
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639101641, $28.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Steeped-Death-Witches-Brew-Mystery/dp/1639101640

Synopsis: Phoebe Winchester's beloved aunt Eudora has a taste for adventure -- and a knack for making magical tea. It's even rumored that she just might be a witch. So when Eudora passes away and leaves everything to her niece in the form of her Victorian mansion, her bookshop/tea store, The Earl's Study, and one very chubby orange cat named Bob. Phoebe gets more than she bargained for and she knows she's in deep when a dead man is found on the shop's back step, apparently killed while trying to break in.

Two suspects immediately emerge among the townspeople of Raven Creek, Washington. There's village busybody Dierdre Miller, who seems desperate to buy Eudora's house, and handsome PI Rich, one of Phoebe's childhood friends -- but how well does she really know him after all these years apart?

Phoebe knows she should leave it to the professionals, but as she starts to dig into the underbelly of Raven Creek, she begins to uncover the truth about Eudora. What's more, her aunt might not have been the only witch in the family, as Phoebe soon discovers she has unique and unexpected gifts of her own.

Now, it's just a matter of putting her newfound power to the test and cast a spell that could catch a killer!

Critique: With a very special appeal to anyone with an interest in Cosy Mysteries and Amateur Sleuth 'whodunnit' novels, "Steeped To Death" by Gretchen Rue is a fun read from cover to cover. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to any and all community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of truly dedicated mystery buffs that "Steeped To Death" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666614527, $22.99, CD).

Balloon Dog
Daniel Paisner
https://www.danielpaisner.com
Koehler Books
3705 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23455
www.koehlerbooks.com
9781646636990, $28.95, HC, 290pp

https://www.amazon.com/Balloon-Dog-Daniel-Paisner/dp/1646636996

Synopsis: A brazen art heist pushes our protagonists to reflect on the choices they've made -- and the ones that have been made for them. Set in the near- present, "Balloon Dog" by professional ghostwriter Daniel Paisner turns on the ill-conceived theft of a high-end Jeff Koons sculpture, lifted in plain sight from its perch beside a luxurious mountain home in Park City, Utah, and follows the musings, misadventures, and meeting of minds of a Long Island writer in midlife crisis and the art thief behind the ill conception.

What happens when the life you are living is no longer the life you imagined? When you are well and truly stuck? A darkly comic tale of longing and legacy, "Balloon Dog", prompts the reader to consider what it means to leave a mark and what it takes to be swept up in the same currents that move almost everyone else.

Critique: Essentially, "Balloon Dog" poses two central questions: Is the transformative power of art enough to lift us from our days? And what is art, anyway? An original and deftly crafted novel that will have a very special appeal to readers with an interest in Cozy Mysteries laced with humor, "Balloon Dog" is unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Balloon Dog' is also available in a paperback edition (9781646636976, $18.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $0.99).

Editorial Note: Daniel Paisner is the author or co-author of more than seventy books. As a ghostwriter, he has written more than fifty books in collaboration with athletes, actors, politicians, business leaders, and ordinary individuals with extraordinary stories to tell. Seventeen of his collaborations have reached The New York Times best-seller list. The author of three previous novels (A Single Happened Thing, Mourning Wood, and Obit) he is also the host of the popular podcast As Told To: The Ghostwriting Podcast. He has a dedicated website at https://www.danielpaisner.com


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Icarus Plot
Timothy Zahn
Baen Books
P.O. Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471
www.baen.com
9781982191955, $25.00

https://www.amazon.com/Icarus-Plot-Timothy-Zahn/dp/1982191953

The Icarus Plot provides the ongoing story of Gregory Rourke and his Kadolian partner Selene, who make profitable discoveries they can sell mostly legally. Their predictable partnership is challenged by an assignment to track down a mysterious woman and a secret project called Icarus. There are many reasons for reaching for the bigger payoff this effort involves. As it turns out, there are equal reasons for running from it like the wind. Timothy Zahn's fast-paced story of profit, escapades, and surprising revelations is highly recommended reading for sci-fi fans who enjoy mystery and swift action. Its unpredictable twists and turns will thoroughly engross.

The Jigsaw Assassin
Catherine Asaro
Baen Books
P.O. Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471
www.baen.com
9781982191962, $16.00

https://www.amazon.com/Jigsaw-Assassin-Major-Bhaajan/dp/1982191961

The Jigsaw Assassin follows a futuristic serial killer whose work implicates those in political power, causing a ripple of response that threatens the political party and calls upon Major Bhaajan to solve the crime. As Bhaajan and her crew delve into political and criminal worlds beyond their usual ken, readers receive an action-packed story of interstellar politics, intrigue, and science fiction that proves satisfying fast-paced, creatively world-building, and hard to put down.

Yonder & Far: The Lost Lock
Matthew C. Lucas
https://www.matthewclucas.com
Ellysian Press
http://www.ellysianpress.com
9781941637784, $14.99, PB, 370pp

https://www.amazon.com/Yonder-Far-Matthew-C-Lucas/dp/1941637787

Synopsis: In a shocking move, the Queen of the Fae has banished John Yonder and Captain John Far to the human world. Rumor has it that they have opened a law practice catering to the Fae. To what purpose, no one really knows.

Especially since John Yonder has accepted a seemingly simple case. He need only recover a lock of hair for a Fae courtier. She had given it to her lover, Wylde, who is also in Boston.

Yonder tricks a fortuneteller, Mary Faulkner, into assisting with the case. With a whisper in her ear, he tethers Mary's mind to Wylde's, creating a terrible, but potent human compass.

Following Mary's guidance, the trio sets out to follow Wylde. They set course into an uncertain and rocky future on land and sea, as pirates, slave owners, and a host of others hinder their path to Wylde, the lock of hair, and a possible return home to the Fae.

Critique: A deftly crafted, original, and fun read from cover to cover, "Yonder & Far: The Lost Lock" showcases the impressive storytelling tales of author Matt Lucas, as well as his complete master of the action/adventure fantasy genre. While also available for the personal reading lists of dedicated fantasy fans in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99), "Yonder & Far: The Lost Lock" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. Also very highly recommended is Matt Lucas' previously published epic fantasy novel "The Mountain" (Montag Press, 9784294298992, $$15.39 PB, $2.99 Kindle, 718pp).

Editorial Note: Matthew C. ("Matt") Lucas is the author of the Yonder & Far series, as well as the dystopian epic fantasy novel, The Mountain. His shorter works have appeared in Bards & Sages Quarterly, The Society of Misfit Stories, and Swords & Sorcery Magazine. He has a dedicated website at https://www.matthewclucas.com


The Art Shelf

American Made
Elizabeth B. Heuer, author
Jonathan Stuhlman, editor
GILES
https://gilesltd.com
9781913875237, $74.95, HC, 400pp

https://www.amazon.com/American-Made-Paintings-Sculpture-Collection/dp/1913875237

Synopsis: A fascinating survey of exceptional American painting and sculpture from the late 18th century to the present day by the team of author Elizabeth B. Heuer Ph.D (Associate Professor of Art History at the University of North Florida) and editor Jonathan Stuhlman (Senior Curator of American Art, The Mint Museum), "American Made: Paintings & Sculpture from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection" is an impressive compendium of art that is rich in American cultural heritage -- and parallels the development of art in the United States.

"American Made" features some of the country's most recognized artists including: Thomas Cole, John Kensett, Asher B. Durand, and William Trost Richards, while works by Theodore Robinson, Childe Hassam, Willard Leroy Metcalf, and William Merritt Chase represent the Grand Tour and concepts gained abroad.

Wonderful still lifes appear throughout the collection, including paintings by Severin Roesen, William Harnett, and a late work by William Bailey. Portraiture is represented in stellar examples by members of the Peale family, Thomas Sully, Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, and Edmund Charles Tarbell.

Classically-inspired marble works from Hiram Powers and Randolph Rogers, bronze pieces from Paul Manship and Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and a modern copper and bronze example from Harry Bertoia are highlights of the sculpture collection.

Early modernist and interwar works by Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Emil Bisttram, Paul Cadmus, and Joseph Stella explore colour, form, and abstraction. Highlights of contemporary art include Frank Stella's 1988 The Try-Works (Moby Dick Series), Louise Nevelson's 1977-79 Maquette for Sky Landscape, and a recently acquired painting by Alexis Rockman that delves into the theme of climate change.

Fully illustrated (with several paintings including profiles of their appropriate period frames) each individual work of art features an extended entry with full specifications, information on style and stylistic influences, significance and social context, as well as notes.

Critique: With each beautifully reproduce image being supported by an informative commentary, "American Made: Paintings & Sculpture from the DeMell Jacobsen Collection" is a hefty coffee-table style volume (9.7 x 1.4 x 11.2 inches, 5.2 pounds) that is a pure pleasure to browse through one page at a time. An outstanding Memorial Fund choice for any public or private library acquisition, "American Made" is highly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library American Art History, Photography & Sculpture collections.

If These Apples Should Fall: Cezanne and the Present
T. J. Clark
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500025284, $39.95, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/If-These-Apples-Should-Fall/dp/0500025282

Synopsis: For many artists and writers, the art of Paul Cezanne (19 January 1839 - 22 October 1906) represents the key to modernity. His paintings were a touchstone for writers such as Samuel Beckett as much as for artists such as Henri Matisse. Rainer Maria Rilke revered him deeply, as did Pablo Picasso. They thought if they lost touch with his sense of life, they lost an essential element of their own self-understanding.

With the publication of "If These Apples Should Fall: Cezanne and the Present", art historian and academician T. J. Clark looks back on Cezanne from our current moment when such judgments need justifying. What was it, he asks, that held Cezanne's viewers spellbound?

At the heart of Cezanne's work lies a sense of disquiet: a hopelessness haunting the vividness, an anxiety beneath the splendid colors. Professor Clark addresses this strangeness head-on, examining the art of Camille Pissarro, Matisse, and others in relation to Cezanne's. Above all, Professor Clark speaks to the uncanniness and beauty of Cezanne's achievement.

Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of 104 beautifully reproduced color illustrations, "If These Apples Should Fall: Cezanne and the Present" also includes eight pages of Notes and a three page Index. Exceptionally well researched, organized and presented, "If These Apples Should Fall: Cezanne and the Present" will prove to be essential reading for students of the life and work of Paul Cezanne. Simply stated, "If These Apples Should Fall: Cezanne and the Present" is an unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library Art History collections in general, and Paul Cezanne supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

Editorial Note: T. J. Clark is Professor Emeritus of the History of Art at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of many books including the seminal The Painting of Modern Life: Paris in the Art of Manet and His Followers and Farewell to an Idea: Episodes from a History of Modernism. He has an informatively detailed page on the Wikipedia website at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._J._Clark_(art_historian)

Watercolour the Natural World
Tim Pond
The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784946395, $24.99, PB, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Watercolour-Natural-World-Tim-Pond/dp/1784946397

Synopsis: With the publication of "Watercolour the Natural World", critically acclaimed British wildlife painter Tim Pond takes his readers on a journey from pole to pole to discover pristine frozen wilderness areas, coniferous forests and dense tropical rainforests. They are introduced to species that have made these habitats their home and discover how they have evolved to survive fierce winters or sweltering rainforest temperatures.

Each section comprising "Watercolour the Natural World" is simply packed with tips, techniques and concepts that can speed up the reader's progress in learning to paint mountains, forests, waterscapes, plants and animals. It applies the lessons of the life class to every subject and includes suggested activities such as painting in aquariums, zoos, Natural History museums and outdoors in the landscape. Working from a photograph is explored, too, so that readers that can't see their subjects in real life can also fully participate.

"Watercolour the Natural World" is guide that is suitable for all abilities, whether entirely new to watercolour painting or an experienced professional. Drawing methods are taught to help the reader conceive the fundamentals of form. It then explores colour theory and the best watercolour combinations to capture the brilliance of nature, from green leaves and the patterns of animal coats to the bright plumes of exotic birds. Key foundation techniques are fully explained, as well as specific techniques, such as using a dry brush to create the impression of fur.

Critique: Beautifully and informatively illustrated throughout, "Watercolour the Natural World" is a coffee-table style (8.75 x 0.5 x 11 inches) paperback volume that can be considered as a complete course of instruction under a single cover. While highly recommended as an addition to community, art school, and academic library Watercolor Painting instructional reference collections, it will be of special and particular interest to novice (and even experienced) artists working in a watercolor medium with respect to landscapes and seascapes.

Editorial Note: Currently residing in South West London, England, Tim Pond's artwork and illustration is widely recognized. His career spans two decades working in a great variety of media and for a range of different clients including books, magazines, newspapers and film. Tim makes his living as an illustrator and graphic designer as well as lecturing at the Richmond upon Thames College, where he is the Curriculum Co-ordinator of AS/A level Graphic Communications and teaches a variety of courses at HE level. Tim is currently the artist at the Royal Veterinary College and regularly runs drawing classes at the Zoological Society of London. He offers independent art classes with live animals as life models, often on farms or with owls as well as in museums. Tim enjoys communicating his passion for the natural world, blurring the lines between art and science, as was common in Renaissance. He has a dedicated website at http://www.timpond.co.uk

The Beginner's Guide to Hand Building
Sunshine Cobb
https://www.sunshinecobb.com
Quarry Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartous.com
9780760374764, $24.99, PB, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Beginners-Guide-Hand-Building-Functional/dp/0760374767

Synopsis: Whether you have access to a communal studio or not, hand building projects can travel just about anywhere. Take your clay outside or work at the kitchen table, and with "The Beginner's Guide to Hand Building: Functional and Sculptural Projects for the Home Potter" by ceramics author Sunshine Cobb you will find all the necessary fundamentals laid out, including a thorough discussion of clay as well as helpful tips for keeping your body and mind in top shape.

Then pick the path that's right for you in the chapters that follow by developing new skills and unlocking your own creativity as you explore: Sculptural projects like miniature animals and plants; Functional items like scoops, a citrus reamer, and a coffee pour-over vessel; Mixed media projects including a candlestick holder, mobile, and a soap dish.

All along the way, skill-building is front and center, with conversational instructions and tips to help you make pieces you're proud to show off. Gallery work from some of today's top artists are sure to inspire potters of all levels.

Critique: Profusely and informatively illustrated throughout with full color photography, "The Beginner's Guide to Hand Building: Functional and Sculptural Projects for the Home Potter" provides a complete course of instruction that will enable even the most novice of ceramic sculpture artists to produce functional and decorative works to be proud of for their own use or for gift giving. Exceptionally well written, impressively organized, and throughly 'user friendly' in presentation, "The Beginner's Guide to Hand Building: Functional and Sculptural Projects for the Home Potter" is particularly and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Ceramic Art instructional reference collections.

Editorial Note: Sunshine Cobb is a ceramic artist and instructor based in California, where she is currently a visiting professor at Sacramento State University. She has previously held adjunct or visiting professor roles at Sonoma State University, University of Pacific, and Utah State. She has experience with everything from eight-day anagama wood firings to slip casting ornaments, but she focuses her talent on functional ware, embracing the richness of earthenware and exploring the challenge of electric firing. Sunshine has been the recipient of the Windgate Fellowship Emerging Artist award, a featured emerging artist in Ceramics Monthly (cover artist), and a long-term resident at Archie Bray. The author of Mastering Hand Building, she has taught workshops across the country including Penland School of Crafts, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Arrowmont, Santa Fe Clay, and The Clay Studio. She holds a BA in studio art from CSU Sacramento and an MFA in ceramic art from Utah State University. She has a dedicated website at https://www.sunshinecobb.com


The Business Shelf

Handbook of Research on Customer Equity in Marketing
V. Kumar, editor
Denish Shah, editor
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
www.e-elgar.com
9781781004975, $250.00, HC, 520pp

https://www.amazon.com/Handbook-Marketing-Reference-Handbooks-Management/dp/1781004978

Synopsis: Customer equity has emerged as the most important metric to manage firm performance and value. The newest addition to Edward Elgar Publishing's simply outstanding Research Handbooks in Business and Management series is "The Handbook of Research on Customer Equity in Marketing". Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by the team of V. Kumar (who is the Lenny Distinguished Chair and Regents Professor of Marketing) and Denish Shah (Assistant Professor of Marketing and Assistant Director, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University, this volume of experienced and expert contributors explores the tactical and strategic issues related to understanding, measuring, managing and implementing consumer based marketing equity.

Customer equity is the total combined customer lifetime values of all of a company's customers and includes Value Equity, Brand Equity and Relationship Equity. It determines the true value of a company in that it considers the future revenue of the customer base relative to other companies. Through a combination of perspectives, this Handbook analyzes the topic and considers risk alongside strategy and offers state-of-the-art research on the field. Covering all bases, it begins with exploring the evolution of customer equity and concludes with implications of customer equity implication for the future.

Drawing upon the wisdom of a global pool of leading scholars, "Handbook of Research on Customer Equity in Marketing" serves as a comprehensive and authoritative guide on customer equity for marketing scholars, practitioners, and students.

Critique: Comprised of an informative introduction (The Evolution of Customer Equity) by the editors, and a total of 21erudite and informative essay deftly organized into five major sections (Understanding and Measuring Customer Equity; Identifying Key Drivers to Auigment Customer Equity; Applying the Customer Equity Concept to Enhance Firm Performance; Strategic Management of Customer Equity; Implementing Customer Equity in Firms), and a twelve page Index, "Handbook of Research on Customer Equity in Marketing" is an ideal textbook on the subject and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, corporate, college, and university library Business Management collections and MBA supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: The contributors include: L. Aksoy, E.T.Anderson, R.N. Bolton, A. Christodoulopoulou, Y. Dong, M. Eisenbeiss, P.S. Fader, M. Haenlein, D.M. Hanssens, B.G.S. Hardie, T.L. Keiningham, J. Kim, T.J. Kim, G. Knox, Y.A.Komarova, M. Krafft, N. Krishnamoorthy, V. Kumar, S. Lee, D.R. Lehmann, R.P. Leone, M. Lewis, A. Luo, M. Nejad, S.A. Neslin, A. Pansari, K. Peters, J.A. Petersen, G. Ramani, W. Reinartz, R.T. Rust, D.E. Sexton, D.E. Shah, G. Shukla, B. Skiera, R. Srinivasan, S. Srinivasan, C.O. Tarasi, R. Venkatesan, P.C. Verhoef, J. Villanueva, T. Wiesel, S. Yoo

Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game
Touraj Parang
McGraw Hill Professional
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor, New York, NY 10020
www.mhprofessional.com
9781264703326, $28.00, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Exit-Path-How-Startup-Game/dp/1264703325

Synopsis: In 2008, entrepreneur Touraj Parang's award-winning startup, Jaxtr, had 10 million users, raised nearly $20 million from top-tier Silicon Valley investors, and seemed poised to sail straight through the Great Recession. But, by January of 2009, Jaxtr's only hope for survival was to find a buyer -- sadly, it was too late for that.

With the publication of "Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game", Touraj shares the lessons he learned first hand from that chaotic experience and the extraordinary successes that followed once he (and the entrepreneurs he advises) made creating and executing an exit strategy a top priority.

For too long entrepreneurs have been failing to establish the requisite relationships and properly prepare for the most important milestone in their life cycle: a sale to an acquirer. But in today's hyper competitive and interconnected business world, that is no longer an option.

"Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game" is first-of-its-kind, comprehensive guide, helping the reader to discover the surprising reasons a few startups succeed while many fail -- and they will learn that implementing an exit strategy early will empower an entrepreneur to take charge of their startup's ultimate fate, maximizing its potential for success while mitigating the risks of failure.

Arranged in four sequential parts, "Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game" walks the reader through actionable steps to devise and execute an effective exit strategy, starting with a fresh new perspective on the critical importance of creating a viable sale option for a startup. Also revealed is why creating an exit strategy is necessary well before contemplating an exit, regardless of the stage of the startup.

"Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game" also covers how to create an own exit plan, how to make that plan a reality through personal and business relationships, and how to approach and negotiate with acquirers for an outcome best aligned with personal values and ambitions should the need arise.

Whether an entrepreneur, an investor, or an advisor, the expert advice and insights comprising Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game" will inspire the reader to take charge of their own startup's destiny and unlock its strategic potential and options over time.

Critique: Comprehensively covering one of the often overlooked aspects of being an entrepreneur, "Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game" is exceptionally well written, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation. While a core and recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Business Management & Entrepreneurship collections and supplemental MBA curriculum lists, it should be noted that "Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).

Editorial Note: Touraj Parang is a veteran Silicon Valley insider. He is a seasoned entrepreneur, investor, adviser, and M&A expert who has sat in almost every seat around the table in Silicon Valley since late 1990's, including as a corporate attorney at legal powerhouses Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and O'Melveny & Myers. Touraj has been a founder, executive, and trusted adviser to several fast-growing technology startups with exits to LinkedIn, Instacart, Vistaprint, Postmates, and Amplify among others. He has also spent nearly a decade on the acquirer side of M&A deals as a corporate development executive at Webs and GoDaddy.


The Journalism Shelf

Scoops
Sam McAlister
Oneworld Publications
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
www.randomhouse.com
9780861544400, $26.95, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Scoops-Behind-Scenes-Shocking-Interviews/dp/0861544404

Synopsis: As a professional journalist, Sam McAlister is the woman who clinched the 2019 interview with Prince Andrew, described as 'a plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion'.

She is many other things beside: the first in her family to go to university; a trained barrister; a single mum; a master of persuasion. In her former BBC colleagues' words, she was the 'booker extraordinaire', responsible for many of Newsnight's exclusives over the past decade, including Stormy Daniels, Sean Spicer, Brigitte H"ss, Steven Seagal, Mel Greig and Julian Assange.

After 12 years producing content for Newsnight, with the publication of "Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC's Most Shocking Interviews" McAlister reflects with impressive candor on her experience, sharing not just the secrets of how the best news gets made, but also the changes to the BBC, the future of 'mainstream media' in the age of clickbait and the role of power and privilege in shaping our media landscape.

"Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC's Most Shocking Interviews" is a kind of backstage pass to some of the most unforgettable journalism of our times.

Critique: Holding a special and particular relevance to readers with an interest in Journalism, Media, and Communication Skills, "Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC's Most Shocking Interviews" is as informative and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. Fun, fascinating, and an inherently interesting read from cover to cover, "Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC's Most Shocking Interviews" is unreservedly recommended as an addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Journalism collections in general, and supplemental curriculum Journalism, Media & Communications studies lists in particular.

Editorial Note: Sam McAlister has a page on the United Agents Literary & Talent Agency website at https://www.unitedagents.co.uk/sam-mcalister


The Architecture Shelf

Climax Change!
Pedro Gadanho
Actar D
c/o Actar Publishers
440 Park Avenue S, 17th FL, New York, NY 10016
http://actar.com
9781948765671, $44.95, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Climax-Change-Architectures-Paradigm-Ecological/dp/1948765675

Synopsis: With the publication of "Climax Change!: How Architecture Must Transform in the Age of Ecological Emergency", academician and professional architect Pedro Gadanho offers an informative overview of how the current environmental emergency will impact the practice of architecture. At a crossroads in which the construction sector and built environment produce nearly 40% of greenhouse gases accountable for global warming, architects are just starting to acknowledge their complicity in an impending disaster.

In need of a paradigm shift similar to that of the Modern Movement, architecture desperately requires clear guidelines and targets so as to operate its inevitable transformation towards an ecologically-friendly design logic. From historical analyses of ecocide or the environmental avant-gardes, to topics such as decarbonization, degrowth, the Great Transition and the aspirations of Green New Deals, "Climax Change!: How Architecture Must Transform in the Age of Ecological Emergency" is comprised of ten erudite essays around today's climate change debates, bringing them home to architectural thinking.

Critique: How climate change and the current environmental emergency will affect the practice of architecture, both in terms of its design philosophy and rising opportunities to innovate and radically transform, "Climax Change!: How Architecture Must Transform in the Age of Ecological Emergency" is a clarion call for rethinking the role of architecture in an era of increasing climate change. While a highly recommended and unique contribution to professional and academic library Contemporary Architecture collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted for architectural students, academia, practicing architects, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject of climate change and architecture that "Climax Change!: How Architecture Must Transform in the Age of Ecological Emergency" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $27.00).

Editorial Note: Pedro Gadanho is an architect, curator, and writer. He is also a Loeb Fellow from Harvard University and led a recognized architecture renovation practice until 2012, when he became the curator of contemporary architecture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. There, he curated the Young Architects Program and exhibitions such as 9+1 Ways of Being Political, Uneven Growth, and A Japanese Constellation. He was the founding Director of MAAT, Lisbon's Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology, where he initiated more than 50 projects, including publications such as Utopia / Dystopia, Tension & Conflict, and Eco-Visionaries. He has a bilingual website at http://casademateus.com/pedro-gadanho

Out of the Ordinary
John Ronan, author
Sean Keller, contributor
Carlos Jiminez, contributor
Actar D
c/o Actar Publishers
440 Park Avenue S, 17th FL, New York, NY 10016
http://actar.com
9781638409786, $52.95, HC, 360pp

https://www.amazon.com/Out-Ordinary-Work-Ronan-Architects/dp/1638409781

Synopsis: "Out of the Ordinary: The Work of John Ronan Architects" by John Ronan introduces a different approach to architecture which is based on spatial narrative rather than form and influenced by literature rather than appropriations from the world of art world. It advocates for architecture which privileges space over form, experience over image, and narrative over authorship. In previous decades, architectural production was constrained by the limits of technology; architects pushed on the boundaries imposed by technology and it gave them common purpose. Those limits are gone.

Over the preceding two decades it has been demonstrated that with enough technology (and money) anything is possible. What does an architect do when anything is possible? This is the question which confronts architects today, who now operate within a professional landscape where all is possible, but little has meaning. The "anything goes" mentality which currently prevails has resulted in innumerable self-referential "object" buildings which engage only with their architect's ego, often resulting in an urban fabric of autonomous formal objects comprised of arbitrarily-applied design tropes which celebrate formal invention for its own sake. But what do architects leave society once the novelty of form has worn off?

In this architectural age of arbitrary shape-making, devoid of context or meaning, "Out of the Ordinary" proposes an architecture of innovation rising from ordinary concerns, about relationships not form, which exposes new spatial relationships with diagrammatic clarity in a process of distillation what seeks to lay bare meaningful relationships between essential building elements.

Critique: With the publication of "Out of the Ordinary: The Work of John Ronan Architects", the work of John Ronan Architects explores the firm's spatial-material approach to architecture and the underlying themes of its typologically diverse output. Informative enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a four page Chronology, two pages of Biography, two pages of Project Credits, and a one page listing of Book Credits, "Out of the Ordinary: The Work of John Ronan Architects" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, academic library Contemporary Architecture collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists. It should be noted that "Out of the Ordinary: The Work of John Ronan Architects" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $32.95).

Editorial Note #1: John Ronan FAIA is founding principal of John Ronan Architects in Chicago, founded in 1999. John holds a Master of Architecture degree with distinction from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan. His firm has been the recipient of three AIA Institute National Honor Awards for the IIT Innovation Center, the Poetry Foundation and The Gary Comer Youth Center, all in Chicago, and in 2016 was one of seven international finalist firms for the Obama Presidential Center. In 2017, John was named an Architecture Award winner by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. John is currently the John and Jeanne Rowe Endowed Chair Professor of Architecture at the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture. He has a dedicated website at http://www.jrarch.com

Editorial Note #2: Sean Keller is a historian and critic of modern and contemporary architecture. He is the author of Automatic Architecture: Motivating Form After Modernism (University of Chicago Press, 2018) and has written for numerous anthologies and journals. He is also an Associate Professor and Associate Dean at the IIT College of Architecture. He has taught at Harvard University, Yale University, and at the University of Chicago, where he has been a fellow of both the Neubauer Collegium and the Franke Institute for the Humanities. He has a webpage on the Illinois Tech website at https://www.iit.edu/directory/people/sean-keller

Editorial Note #3: Carlos Jiminez established his own office in Houston in 1983 after graduating from the University of Houston School of Architecture in 1981 receiving awards for best thesis project and best portfolio. He is currently a tenured Professor at the Rice University School of Architecture and has served as visiting professor at numerous institutions, including the Harvard Graduate School of Design, the University of Texas, and UCLA. He has a dedicated website at https://carlosjimenezstudio.com


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Loons: Treasured Symbols of the North
Wayne Lynch
https://waynelynch.ca
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
www.fitzhenry.ca
9781554555734, $45.00, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Loons-Treasured-Symbols-Wayne-Lynch/dp/1554555736

Synopsis: With the publication of "Loons: Treasured Symbols of the North", professional wildlife photographer, Wayne Lynch focuses on the five species of loons: The red-throated loon, the look-alike Pacific and Arctic loons, the familiar neck-laced common loon and the yellow-billed loon -- the largest and rarest member of the family. While the common loon has been studied more than the other four species combined, "Loons: Treasured Symbols of the North" will give a wider scope and reach for all five species.

A perfect visual resource for those who live in loon country and want a better understanding of the birds with which they live, as well as for those who visit loon country and are eager to interpret their wilderness experience, "Loons: Treasured Symbols of the North" is also an ideal choice for those who may never see a loon but who nonetheless want these birds to survive because they unfailingly fuel the human imagination and spirit.

Critique: This coffee-table style (318 x 229 mm) trade paperback volume deftly combines an informative commentary with impressive full color photography. The result is an inherently fascinating compendium for browsing through one page at a time. Currently scheduled for release in October 2022, "Loons: Treasured Symbols of the North" is a magnificent and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Avian Wildlife Photography collections.

Editorial Note: Wayne Lynch has spent the last forty-two years capturing images of wildlife in wild places the world over. His impressive photo credits include hundreds of magazine covers, thousands of calendar shots, and tens of thousands of images published in over sixty countries. With an exceptional ability to write for both adults and children, Lynch has authored more than fifty highly acclaimed natural history books, including The Great Northern Kingdom: Life in the Boreal Forest, Wild Birds Across the Prairies, Penguins of the World, Mountain Bears, Bear: Monarchs of the Northern Wilderness, A is for Arctic: Natural Wonders of a Polar World, The Nature Babies Series and the wildly popular children's book The Scoop on Poop: The Fascinating Science of How Animals Use Poop. Lynch is a Fellow of the internationally recognized Explorers Club and Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America. He has a dedicated website at https://waynelynch.ca

The Ecological Buffalo
Wes Olson, author
Johane Janelle, photographer
University of Regina Press
www.uofrpress.ca
9780889778719, $34.95, PB, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ecological-Buffalo-Trail-Keystone-Species/dp/088977871X

Synopsis: The mere mention of the buffalo instantly brings to mind the vast herds that once roamed the North American continent, and few wild animals have captivated our imaginations as much as the buffalo did and do. Once numbering in the tens of millions, these magnificent creatures played a significant role in structuring the varied ecosystems they occupied. For at least 24,000 years, North American Indigenous Peoples depended upon them, and it was the abundance of buffalo that initially facilitated the dispersal of humankind across the continent.

With the arrival of Europeans and their rapacious capacity for wildlife destruction, the buffalo was all but exterminated. In a span of just thirty years during the mid-1800s, buffalo populations plummeted from more than 30 million to just twenty-three. And with them went all of the intricate food webs, the trophic cascades, and the inter-species relationships that had evolved over thousands of years.

Despite this brush with extinction, the buffalo survived, and isolated populations are slowly recovering. As this recovery proceeds, the relationships the animals once had with thousands of species are being re-established in a remarkable process of ecological healing. The intricacy of those restored relationships is the subject of "The Ecological Buffalo: On the Trail of a Keystone Species".

Based on author Wes Olson's thirty-five years of working intimately with bison and featuring Johane Janelle's stunning photography, "The Ecological Buffalo" is a story that takes the reader on a journey to understand the myriad connections this keystone species has with the Great Plains.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with full color photography, "The Ecological Buffalo: On the Trail of a Keystone Species" is an inherently fascinating and impressively informative history of ecological role of the buffalo and the slow recovery of the species from being on the precipice of extinction. Superbly organized and a treasure to simply browse through, "The Ecological Buffalo: On the Trail of a Keystone Species" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Wildlife collections. It should be noted that "The Ecological Buffalo: On the Trail of a Keystone Species" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $33.20).

Editorial Note #1: Wes Olson was raised in the foothills of western Alberta, and it was there that he developed a passion for wild places and wild species. Following a thirty-two-year career as a Canadian National Park warden, Wes now lives an 80 acre patch of forest and beaver ponds beside Elk Island National Park in central Alberta. He is the author of also the author of "A Field Guide to Plains Bison" and "Portraits of the Bison". He has a dedicated website at https://www.wesolson.ca

Editorial Note #2: Johane Janelle's photography has been featured on many magazine covers, such as Horse-Sport, Horse-Canada, Horse & Country, and Western Horse Review, as well as A Field Guide to Plains Bison and Portraits of the Bison. Johane has a dedicated website at https://www.johanejanelle.com


The Money/Finance Shelf

Money Matters for Nonprofits
Melisa F. Galasso, CPA
River Grove Books
c/o Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
www.greenleafbookgroup.com
9781632995919, $22.95, PB, 300pp

https://www.amazon.com/Money-Matters-Nonprofits-Statements-Understanding/dp/1632995913

Synopsis: You serve on a nonprofit board to make a big impact. You know that a nonprofit must be financially well to do the most good. If you're not a numbers person, or it's been a while since you've worked with numbers, you may find financial statements hard to decipher. With the publication of "Money Matters for Nonprofits: How Board Members Can Harness the Power of Financial Statements by Understanding Basic Accounting", certified public accountant Melisa F. Galasso draws upon her years of professional experience and expertise to demystify financial statements and basic accounting to empower you in your role as nonprofit board member.

Critique: Informatively enhanced with the inclusion of an Appendix (Questions for the Independent Accountant) and eight pages of Notes, "Money Matters for Nonprofits: How Board Members Can Harness the Power of Financial Statements by Understanding Basic Accounting" is a comprehensive and thoroughly 'reader friendly' instructional that must be considered essential reading for anyone having the responsibility of being a board member of a non-profit organization. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Nonprofit Financial Management & Fundraising Management and Accounting collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of board members and executives of non-profits that "Money Matters for Nonprofits: How Board Members Can Harness the Power of Financial Statements by Understanding Basic Accounting" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: A CPA with nearly twenty years of experience in the accounting profession, Melisa Galasso is the founder and CEO of Galasso Learning Solutions LLC. A natural teacher, Melisa designs and facilitates accounting and auditing courses, including not-for-profit accounting. She has a website at https://www.becker.com/staff/melisa-galasso-cpa


The Biography Shelf

Trajan: Rome's Last Conqueror
Nicholas Jackson
Greenhill Books
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781784387075, $37.95, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Trajan-Romes-Conqueror-Nicholas-Jackson/dp/178438707X

Synopsis: Trajan rose from fairly obscure beginnings to become the emperor of Rome. He was born in Italica, an Italic settlement close to modern Seville in present-day Spain, and is the first Roman Emperor to be born outside of Rome. His remarkable rise from officer to general and then to emperor in just over 20 years reveals a shrewd politician who adeptly maintained his absolute power. Trajan's success in taking the Roman Empire to its greatest expanse is highlighted in this Nicholas Jackson's gripping biography, "Trajan: Rome's Last Conqueror".

Trajan's military campaigns allowed the Roman Empire to attain its greatest military, political and cultural achievements. The fascinating study draws on novel theories, recent evidence and meticulous research, including field visits to Italy, Spain, Germany and Romania to ensure accurate, vivid writing that transports the reader to Trajan's territory.

Critique: Until the publication of this informative and captivating biography, no such volume on the life of the Roman Emperor Trajan (18 September 53 - 9/11 August 117) has been shaped to be of value to both academia and the non- specialist general reader alike. This is a unique and impressively informative study by Nicholas Jackson as he illuminates an often neglected period of ancient Roman history, and features a comprehensive array of maps, illustrations, and photographs to help orientate and bring the text to life. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99), "Trajan: Rome's Last Conqueror" will prove to be a welcome addition to community, college, and university library Roman Empire History & Biography collections.

Editorial Note: Nicholas Jackson is a life-long student of Roman history, he has now uniquely combined his passion for Imperial Rome with his research acumen and writing expertise for the pharma industry to bring to life the gripping stories of ancient Rome.

Constantius III: Rome's Lost Hope
Ian Hughes
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781526700247, $34.95, HC, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Constantius-III-Romes-Lost-Hope/dp/1526700247

Synopsis: Constantius III is an important but now an almost forgotten figure in Roman history. He came to the fore in or around 410 when he was appointed Magister Militum (Master of Troops) to Honorius, the young Emperor of the Western Roman Empire. His predecessor, Stilicho, had been murdered by his own troops and much of Gaul and Hispania had been overrun by barbarians or usurpers.

One by one Constantius eliminated the usurpers and defeated or came to terms with the various invading groups. Most notoriously, he allowed the Visigoths to settle in Gaul in return for their help in defeating the Vandals and Alans who had seized parts of Hispania, a decision with far-reaching consequences.

Constantius married Honorius' sister and was eventually proclaimed his co-emperor. However, the Eastern Roman Emperor, Honorius' nephew, refused to accept his appointment and Constantius was preparing a military expedition to enforce this recognition when he died suddenly on 2 September, 421 A.D., having been emperor for just seven months.

Critique: With the publication of "Constantius III: Rome's Lost Hope", historian Ian Hughes considers this short lived Roman Emperor's career, assessing his actions in the context of the difficult situation he inherited. Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of Maps, Plates, and informative Introduction, seventeen pages of Notes, an eight page Bibliography, and a four page Index, "Constantius III: Rome's Lost Hope" rescues from an undeserved obscurity one of Rome's emperors who, while he briefly ruled, had a manor and seemingly inevitable impact upon the ultimate survival of the largest empire the world had ever seen up to that point in human history. A simply fascinating and extraordinary historical study, no personal, professional, community, or academic library's Roman History & Biography collection can be considered comprehensive without the inclusion of Ian Hughes' brilliant study, "Constantius III: Rome's Lost Hope". It should be noted that "Constantius III: Rome's Lost Hope" is currently available in a digital book format ($0.99) on Amazon.

Editorial Note: Ian Hughes specializes in Late Roman history and is the author of Belisarius, the Last Roman General (2009); Stilicho, the Vandal who Saved Rome (2010); Aetius: Attila's Nemesis (2012); Imperial Brothers: Valentinian, Valens and the Disaster at Adrianople (2013); Patricians and Emperors (2015); and Gaiseric, the Vandal Who Destroyed Rome (2017). There is a web page devoted to the work of historian Ian Hughes at the WorldCat Identities website: https://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-nb2010000656

The Viking Saint: Olaf II of Norway
John Carr
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781399087810, $32.95, HC, 208pp

https://www.amazon.com/Viking-Saint-Olaf-II-Norway/dp/1399087819

Synopsis: The Vikings and sainthood are not concepts normally found side by side. But medieval Norway's King Olaf II Haraldsson (c. 995-1030) embodied both to an extraordinary degree.

As a battle-eager teenager he almost single-handedly pulled down London Bridge (as in the nursery rhyme) and took part in many other Viking raids. Olaf lacked none of the traditional Viking qualities of toughness and audacity, yet his routine baptism grew into a burning missionary faith that was all the more remarkable for being combined with his typically Viking determination and energy -- and sometimes ruthlessness as well.

As a convert, his overriding mission was to Christianize Norway and extirpate heathenism. His unstinting efforts, often at great peril to his life, earned him the Norwegian throne in 1015, when he had barely reached his twenties. For the next fifteen years he labored against immense odds to subdue the rebellious heathen nobles of Norway while fending off Swedish hostility.

Both finally combined against Olaf in 1030, when he fell bravely in battle not far from Trondheim, still only in his mid-thirties. After his body was found to possess healing powers, and reports of them spread from Scandinavia to Spain and Byzantium, Olaf II was canonized a saint 134 years later.

He remains Norway's patron saint as well as a legendary warrior. Yet more remarkably, he remains a saint not only of the Protestant church but also of the Roman Catholic and Greek Orthodox Churches -- perhaps the only European fighting saint to achieve such acceptance.

Critique: Enhanced with an insert of photographs, an Epilogue (Where is he now?), a two page Bibliographical Note, and a four page Index, "The Viking Saint: Olaf II of Norway" is a seminal and scholarly study that reads with all the inherent narrative storytelling flair of an historical novel. While also available for the personal reading lists of students, academia, historians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject, "The Viking Saint: Olaf II of Norway" is a welcome and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Medieval History & Biography collections.

Editorial Note: John Carr has enjoyed a career as a journalist, correspondent and broadcaster (The Times, Wall Street Journal Europe, Vatican Radio), mainly in the Mediterranean and particularly Greece, where he now resides. He is also the author of 'On Spartan Wings: The Royal Hellenic Air Force in World War II'; 'Spartas Kings'; 'The Defence and Fall of Greece 1940-41'; 'RHNS Averof' and 'Fighting Emperors of Byzantium' -- all of which are published by Pen & Sword.

Fixer and Fighter
Brian Harwood
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (US distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781399074803, $29.95, PB, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Fixer-Fighter-Life-Hubert-Burgh/dp/1399074806

Synopsis: Hubert de Burgh (c.1170 - 5 May 1243) rose from obscure beginnings to become one of the most powerful men in England. He loyally served first King John and then the young Henry III and played a crucial role in saving the Plantagenet dynasty when it was at its most vulnerable.

During King John's disastrous wars in France, Hubert held Chinon castle against the besieging French for a whole year. He remained loyal when the Barons rebelled against John and, when they invited French invaders to intervene, Hubert successfully held Dover Castle for the king against a siege led by the French Prince Louis. After John's death, he held it for the new king, 9-year old Henry, against a renewed siege.

In August 1217, he struck the final blow against the French invasion, which still held London, when he defeated a powerful fleet carrying French reinforcements at the naval Battle of Sandwich. Hubert continued to serve Henry III, making important reforms as Justiciar of England and leading military campaigns against the Welsh Prince Lewellyn.

He eventually lost favor due to the machinations of his rivals and narrowly avoided execution but was eventually reconciled with his king and able to die a peaceful death.

Critique: With the publication of "Fixer and Fighter: The Life of Hubert de Burgh, Earl of Kent, 1170 - 1243" by Brian Harwood is the first full-length biography of this remarkable English nobleman who served as Chief Justiciar of England and Ireland during the reigns of King John and of his infant son and successor King Henry III and, as a consequence, was one of the most influential and powerful men in English politics of his time. Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a four page Select Bibliography, four pages of Notes, and a three page Index, "Fixer and Fighter" is a seminal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library Medieval British History & Biography collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, historians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Fixer and Fighter" is also now available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

Editorial Note: Brian Harwood spent his 15 years as a soldier in a Guards regiment researching and writing the first history of the Horse Guards building in Whitehall. Now in his eighties he lives in East Sussex where he continues to write and research. He is featured on the Osprey Publishing website at https://ospreypublishing.com/brian-harwood

Life is a Game
Dr. G. K. 'Joe' Guennel, author
Flint Whitlock, author
https://www.flintwhitlock.com
Cable Publishing
https://cablepublishing.com
9781934980798, $18.95, PB, 178pp

https://www.amazon.com/Life-Game-Adventures-interrogator-Pioneer/dp/B0B1771PDJ

Synopsis: "Life is a Game: Adventures of a World War II interrogator and U.S. Soccer Pioneer" is the personal story of soldier, scientist, artist, author, and the Johnny Appleseed of American soccer and German-born Joe Guennel who moved to the U.S. as a young teen.

During World War II, he was a famed Ritchie Boy -- a highly trained interrogator of German prisoners of war and war criminals. He was also the author and illustrator of two books and throughout his life, his passion for soccer led him from the German playgrounds to the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame.

Critique: Illustrated with maps and historic photos, "Life is a Game: Adventures of a World War II interrogator and U.S. Soccer Pioneer" is the collaborative work of Joe Guennel and Flint Whitlock. An inherently fascinating life story that will interest military history buffs and soccer fans alike, "Life is a Game" is highly recommended for middle school, highschool, community, and academic library American Biography & World War II history collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Life is a Game" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).

Editorial Note: There is a web page devoted to G. K. 'Joe' Guennel on the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame website at https://www.coloradosports.org/hall-of-fame/athletes/1992-inductees/g-k-joe-guennel

The Shell and the Octopus: A Memoir
Rebecca Stirling
She Writes Press
www.shewritespress.com
9781647423230, $16.95, PB, 296pp

https://www.amazon.com/Shell-Octopus-Memoir-Rebecca-Stirling/dp/1647423236

Synopsis: "The Shell and the Octopus: A Memoir" is the personal life story of Rebecca Stirling's childhood: a young girl raised by the sea, by men, and by literature.

Circumnavigating the world on a thirty-foot sailboat, the Stirlings spend weeks at a time on the open ocean, surviving storms and visiting uncharted islands and villages. Ushered through her young life by a father who loves adventure, women, and extremes, Rebecca befriends "working girls" in the ports they visit (as they are often the only other females present in the bars that they end up in) and, on the boat, falls in love with her crewmate and learns to live like the men around her.

But her driven nature and the role models in the books she reads make her determined to be a lady, continue her education, begin a career, live in a real home, and begin a family of her own. Once she finally gets away from the boat and her dad and sets to work upon making her own dream a reality, however, Rebecca begins to realize life is not what she thought it would be -- and when her father dies in a tragic accident, she must return to her old life to sift through the mess and magic he has left behind.

Critique: A unique and extraordinary life story that engages the readers immediate and complete attention from first page to last, "The Shell and the Octopus: A Memoir" is a deftly crafted personal history that will have a special attraction for readers with an interest in unusual family dynamics, family love and loss, and a nautical lifestyle. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary American Biography & Memoir collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Shell and the Octopus: A Memoir" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Editorial Note: Rebecca Stirling lives between Aspen, Colorado, and Kauai, Hawaii, with her two children. She teaches creative art and writing classes to help spread the knowledge and ingenuity of world cultures. She continues to sail and travel, read and write, and has a love for the stories individuals, cultures, and our earth have to tell. She has started a personal website with a photo of herself and her father at https://www.rebeccastirlingwriter.com/about


The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Oblivion Rouge
Pap Souleye Fall
Rockport Publishers
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartoknows.com
9780760376867, $13.90 pbk / $13.29 Kindle 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Oblivion-Rouge-HAKKINEN-Saturday-Tanks/dp/0760376867

Synopsis: In the near future, a virus called the LEUP has infected half the population. The resulting war between the people of Liam, known as the infected, and the people of Galoum, known as the immune, becomes a bloody and brutal affair.

When a mysterious army called the Hakkinen emerges to quell the war between the two countries, they adopt children of war to aid them. Oumi and her friends are enlisted to help find a cure and end the bloodshed.

Oumi has made a promise to never suffer the losses and humiliation she has already seen in her young life. But with strange forces gathering against her continent, can she overcome her own insecurities to lead her people to paradise?

Critique: With an all-African cast, "Oblivion Rouge" is an inherently thought-provoking story by Pap Souleye Fall that stems from the roots of West African philosophy. It is both a brutal dystopian depiction of the future and a beautiful adventure that explores the depth of the human spirit. Highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library graphic novel collections, "Oblivious Rouge" will leave its fully entertained readers with high expectations for the next graphic novel story by author and artist Pap Souleye Fall. It should be noted that "Oblivious Rouge" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.29).

Editorial Note: Pap Souleye Fall is a Senegalese-American artist who lives and works in Dakar, Senegal. He graduated with honors from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia with a degree in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts and a concentration in sculpture. In 2017, after a residency at WAAW, he participated in the Dak'art biennale twice. He is currently in the Yale University sculpture program finishing his Master's degree. His work deals with themes such as identity, suspended disbelief, and utopian/dystopian ideas of community. Growing up loving anime and manga titles such as Dragonball, Hunter x Hunter, Berserk, and Akira, Pap Souleye's love for storytelling and visual art led him to create his own story. "Oblivion Rouge" was born out of his thoughts on neocolonialism and has developed into a whole universe over two years. He has a dedicated website at https://www.papsouleyefall.com

The Life & Art of Dave Cockrum
Glen Cadigan
http://glencadigan.com
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614
www.twomorrows.com
9781605491134, $27.95, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Life-Art-Dave-Cockrum/dp/1605491136

Synopsis: From the letters pages of Silver Age comics to his 2021 induction into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame, the career of Dave Cockrum started at the bottom and then rose to the top of the comic book industry.

Beginning with his childhood obsession with comics and continuing through his years in the Navy, "The Life and Art of Dave Cockrum" by Glen Cadigan follows Dave Cockrum's rising star from fandom (where he was one of the "Big Three" fanzine artists) to pro-dom, where he helped revive two struggling comic book franchises: the Legion of Super-Heroes and the X-Men. A prolific costume designer and character creator, his redesigns of the Legion and his introduction of X-Men characters Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Thunderbird (plus his design of Wolverine's alter ego, Logan) laid the foundation for both titles to become best-sellers.

His later work on his own property, The Futurians, as well as childhood favorite Blackhawk and T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents, plus his five years on Soulsearchers and Company, cemented his position as an industry giant. Featuring artwork from fanzines, unused character designs, and other rare material, this is THE comprehensive biography of the legendary comic book artist, whose influence is still felt on the industry today!

Critique: Profusely illustrated in full color throughout, "The Life & Art of Dave Cockrum" is a 'must' for the legions of Dave Cockrum fans and will hold a special interest for all dedicated comic book buffs. Informed and informative, "The Life & Art of Dave Cockrum" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library American Graphic Art & Comics History collections.

Editorial Note: Glen Cadigan is the author of The Legion Companion, The Best of The Legion Outpost, and The Titans Companion Vols. 1 & 2. His stories have also appeared in Cthulhu Tales Omnibus: Madness, Cthulhu Tales Omnibus: Delirium, and 49th Parallels: Alternative Canadian Histories and Futures. His very first professional comic book sale, "One Of Those Days," was adapted into the live action film, Eldritch Code. In addition to the above, he also writes the ongoing series, Bedlam & Belfry, Intergalactic Attorneys at Law. He has a dedicated website at http://glencadigan.com


The Audiobook Shelf

War and Me: A Memoir
Faleeha Hassan, author
Christine Tawfik, narrator
Brilliance Audio
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781713673613, $24.99, MP3-CD

https://www.amazon.com/War-Me-Memoir-Faleeha-Hassan/dp/1713673614

Synopsis: Faleeha Hassan became intimately acquainted with loss and fear while growing up in Najaf, Iraq. "War and Me" is a deeply personal account of her life, and one in which she remembers those she has loved and lost.

As a young woman, Faleeha hated seeing her father and brother go off to fight, and when she needed to reach them, she broke all the rules by traveling alone to the war's front lines -- just one of many shocking and moving examples of her resilient spirit.

Later, after building a life in the US, she realizes that she will coexist with war for most of the years of her life and chooses to focus on education for herself and her children. In a world on fire, she finds courage, compassion, and a voice.

A testament to endurance and a window into unique aspects of life in the Middle East, Faleeha's memoir offers an intimate perspective on something wars can't touch -- the loving bonds of family.

Critique: Highly recommended for personal and community library Biography & Memoir audio book collections, and impressively enhanced in presentation by the narrative skills of Christine Tawfik, "War and Me: A Memoir" by Faleeha Hassan is an extraordinary listening event and one which will have special appeal and interest to listeners with an interest in women's biographies and memoirs. (1 Disc, 12 Hours, 47 Minutes)

Spellbound
Daniel Z. Lieberman MD, author
Tom Parks, narrator
Brilliance Audio
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781978694491, $29.99, MP3-CD

https://www.amazon.com/Spellbound-Science-Ancient-Potential-Unconscious/dp/1978694490

Synopsis: The conscious mind, the part of your mental life you experience directly, is responsible for only a tiny sliver of what science says is going on inside your brain. Most of what you experience, your moods, and the things you like or dislike (most of who you are) comes from a much more mysterious part of your mind: the unconscious.

And to really understand the influences of the unconscious, says psychiatrist Daniel Z. Liberman, coauthor of "The Molecule of More", we need to look to something often considered science's alter ego: magic. Drawing on the work of Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, and with deep dives into what we can learn from ancient mystical traditions from alchemy to numerology to meditation, "Spellbound: Modern Science, Ancient Magic, and the Hidden Potential of the Unconscious Mind" weaves together ancient magical traditions, psychological research, and the latest neuroscientific discoveries, in order to bridge the gap between the conscious and unconscious mind.

Like it or not, your unconscious is currently the source of most of your choices. It's the source of your passions, your energy, and your "gut instinct". It can help you solve seemingly impossible problems with the gift of inspiration. But it's not always working in your favor: The unconscious is wild and untamed, often leading us down self-destructive paths that leave us baffled by our own decisions. "Spellbound" helps you take a new path: one where you learn how to recognize the influences of the unconscious, and make it an ally in helping you become the person you were meant to be.

The human mind is perhaps the most mysterious thing in the universe. Science is only beginning to uncover its secrets, and some believe that we may never fully plumb its depths. But the ancient traditions of magic, traditions of understanding that have been built up over centuries, give us another window into the hidden facets of our humanity. After all, as the visionary Arthur C. Clarke once said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Critique: "Spellbound: Modern Science, Ancient Magic, and the Hidden Potential of the Unconscious Mind" by Dr. Daniel Z. Lieberman is an inherently fascinating, informative, and thought-provoking study that is expertly performed by the narrative talents of Tom Parks. This complete and unabridged audio book edition of "Spellbound: Modern Science, Ancient Magic, and the Hidden Potential of the Unconscious Mind" is absolutely recommended for personal, community, and academic library audio book collections. (1 Disc, 11 Hours, 6 Minutes)

Operation: Jade Helmet
Ashley Fontainne, author
Andrea Emmes, narrator
Blackstone Audiobooks
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
www.BlackstoneAudio.com
9798212230957, $46.95, MP3-CD, 10 Hours 16 Minutes

https://www.amazon.com/Operation-Jade-Helmet-Ashley-Fontainne/dp/B0B3M8JL9Q

Synopsis: Eager fans around the world played Operation Red Helmet for years, making it the highest-grossing virtual reality game ever sold, and the designers, The Talladav Group, is the richest company on earth.

After an oppressive, unrelenting worldwide heat wave hits, daily life grinds to a halt around the globe. People retreat to their homes, afraid to go out as violence and chaos erupt in the streets. The game temporarily shuts down as the world grapples with the fallout of civil unrest and critical infrastructure breakdowns, forever altering society.

When governments take over control and infrastructures are replaced and back online, the top players of the previous version receive a mysterious box marked "Operation Jade Helmet." The new version is the first-ever total immersion VR experience and inside each box is a free headset and personal code to play a week before release to the general public. The lucky winners don their newest obsession and impatiently wait for the game to begin.

Unfortunately, they are about to discover Operation Jade Helmet is unlike any other game, and when the game begins, everything changes.

Critique: A master of suspense, novelist Ashley Fontainne's "Operation: Jade Helmet" is superbly narrated by the storytelling skills of Andrea Emmes in this complete and unabridged audio book recording. Providing the science fiction fan with a true 'theatre of the mind' experience, "Operation: Jade Helmet" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal and community library audio book collections.

Centers Of Gravity
Marko Kloos, author
Eric G. Dove, narrator
Brilliance Audio
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781713646808, $14.99, MP3-CD

https://www.amazon.com/Centers-Gravity-Frontlines-Marko-Kloos/dp/1713646803

Synopsis: Stranded some nine hundred light-years from home, Major Andrew Grayson and the crew of NACS Washington are marooned in a sunless system with limited water, reactor fuel, and food. The last hope for survival is to go where nothing human has gone before.

After embarking on a scouting mission to the only moon with surface signs of life, Andrew and his special tactics team make two startling discoveries. One is a dream: a form of protein and plant life that could save the starving humans in the rogue system. The second is a nightmare: this harvested rock is infested with Lankies. Far from the seemingly mindless aggressors Andrew has battled for years, these show a terrifying awareness, and they have surprising secrets of their own hidden away in the darkness.

When the Lankies sense an uninvited presence in their world, Andrew's operation becomes an expedition to hell. The odds against his small crew are stacked high. Of all the mysteries of space, how to escape with their lives is the greatest unknown of all.

Critique: Some authors seem to have a genuine flair for riveting action/adventure featuring memorable characters and unexpected plot line twists. "Centers of Gravity" by Marko Kloos clearly demonstrates that is just such a novelist. This complete and unabridged audio book is flawlessly performed by the narrative talents of Eric G. Dove who brings this science fiction adventure come to life in a true 'theatre of the mind' experience. Simply stated, this production of "Centers of Gravity" from Brilliance Audio is strongly recommended for personal and community library Science Fiction audio book collections. (1 Disc, 9 Hours, 48 Minutes)

Editorial Note #1: Marko Kloos is the author of two military science fiction series: The Palladium Wars, which includes Aftershocks and Ballistic, and the Frontlines series, which includes Orders of Battle. A member of George R. R. Martin's Wild Cards consortium, Marko writes primarily science fiction and fantasy -- his first genre loves ever since his youth, when he spent his allowance on German SF pulp serials. He has a dedicated website at www.markokloos.com

Editorial Note #2: Eric G. Dove is an award-winning narrator whose career spans over 12 years and 450 titles encompassing numerous genres including thrillers, military fiction, romance, sci-fi, classics, westerns, fantasy, non-fiction, and more. He consistently works with the best publishers in the business, including Brilliance Publishing, Recorded Books, Dreamscape Media, Bee Audio, Penguin Books, Blackstone Audio, and Audible Inc., voicing the works of a vast array of authors; Stephen Hunter to Herman Melville, J.R. Ward to Mark Twain. Eric has a dedicated website at https://www.ericgdove.com

What She Found
Robert Dugoni, author
Emily Sutton-Smith, narrator
Brilliance Audio
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781713620976, $14.99, MP3-CD

https://www.amazon.com/What-She-Found-Tracy-Crosswhite/dp/1713620979

Synopsis: Detective Tracy Crosswhite has agreed to look into the disappearance of investigative reporter Lisa Childress. Solving the cold case is an obsession for Lisa's daughter, Anita. So is clearing the name of her father, a prime suspect who became a pariah. After twenty-five years, all Anita wants is the truth -- no matter where it leads.

For Tracy, that means reopening the potentially explosive investigations Lisa was following on the dark night she vanished: an expose of likely mayoral graft; the shocking rumors of a reserved city councilman's criminal sex life; a drug task force scandal compromising the Seattle PD; and an elusive serial killer who disappeared just as mysteriously as Lisa.

As all the pieces come together, it becomes clear that Tracy is in the midst of a case that will push her loyalties and her resilience to the limit. What she uncovers will come with a greater price than anyone feared.

Critique: Author Robert Dugoni's new mystery novel, "What She Found" is brought vividly to ife with professional performer Emily Sutton-Smith superbly presented narration. Of special inter to Robert Dugon's growing legions of fans, this complete and unabridged audio book edition of "What She Found" is unreservedly recommended for personal and community library Mystery/Suspense audio book collections. (1 Disc, 10 Hours, 1 Minute)

The Last Lie Told
Debra Webb, author
Megan Tusing, narrator
Brilliance Audio
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781713659761, $14.99, MP3-CD

https://www.amazon.com/Last-Lie-Told-Finley-OSullivan/dp/171365976X

Synopsis: Legal investigator Finley O'Sullivan searches for evidence the police overlooked, wading through secrets, lies, and betrayal to find answers. With the unsolved murder of her husband still very much on her mind, Finley must confront her own personal trauma on a daily basis. Lies are part of her livelihood, but they're also the reason she can't get justice for the man she loved.

When a man imprisoned for murder recants his confession, claiming he cleaned up the mess for his girlfriend (the victim's own daughter) Finley takes on the case. She discovers the victim had identical twin daughters -- and that the sisters have very different accounts of the crime.

As she dives headlong into the twins' traumatic past, Finley will have to contend with her own demons to get to the truth before it's too late!

Critique: Deftly narrated by the vocal storytelling talents of Megan Tusing, this full and complete audio book edition of Debra Webb's riveting mystery novel "The Last Lie Told" offers a true theater of the mind experience and is highly recommended for personal and community library Mystery/Suspense audio book collections. (1 Disc, 9 Hours, 26 Minutes)


The Library CD Shelf

Cha-Ran
Robert Lee
robertleebass.com
Three Pines Records
https://tprrecords.ca
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/music/player/albums/B0B6D9Q961

Composed by bassist Robert Lee, Cha-Ran is an album of jazz and improvised music, with contributions from a multitude of other musicians including vocals, violin, guitar, piano, drums and more. A fluid, vibrant expression of creativity and emotional transformation, Cha-Ran invites the listener to embark on a conceptual and spiritual journey. Cha-Ran is a multifaceted treasure for personal and public library collections, and also makes a unique gift for music connoisseurs. Highly recommended! The tracks are Cha-Ran, The King and the Mountain, Peaks and Spires of the Summer Clouds, Jade, Seun-Sul, Sun Petals, and Kaelo.

Small Bridges
Robert Diack
www.robertdiack.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/music/player/albums/B0B6219B5M

Drummer, producer, and composer Robert Diack presents Small Bridges, an original music album drawing upon modern and traditional jazz, post-rock, fusion, and country music. Robert Diack plays drums and synthesizers; Patrick O'Reilly plays guitar; Jacob Thompson plays piano; and Brandon Davis plays bass in this eclectic, instrumental showcase of brilliant creativity. Small Bridges is a unique and welcome addition to both personal and public library music collections. The tracks are Hollow, Plex, Depth, Quicken, Houndstooth, Indigent, Sassafras, Aler, Vodemi, Secede, Loam, Dissolver, Laund, and Loesother.

StringSongs
Laura Crema and Bill Coon
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $8.91 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/music/player/albums/B0BBP9SFST

StringSongs is a genre-spanning original album by vocalist Laura Crema, Bill Coon on archtop and nylon string guitars, Peggy Lee on cello, and John Bentley on tenor saxophone. Together they have created an fusion of intertwining instruments that evokes emotions ranging from exuberant joy to wistful longing, in celebration of kindness, love, and treasured friends who have passed on. StringSongs is a treasure to experience, share, or give as a gift, highly recommended. The tracks are Arrow and the Song, Blue Mist, StringSong, Heart Flame, Frolic, August Blue, Sweet Embrace/Empty Space, Happy Place, and Whisper Me.

The Real Revolution
Playing for Change Band
Privately Published
www.playingforchange.com
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/music/player/albums/B0B3P9VPFS

Playing for Change Band (which currently consists of 10 musicians from 10 countries) presents The Real Revolution, a music album with a core theme of love, unity, and social justice. World music and reggae combine in these original, profound songs about striving to make the world a better place. The Real Revolution is a motivational and unforgettable work, highly recommended. The tracks are The Real Revolution, Young People, Lamuka, Me Pierdo, Right Foot Forward, 54-46 That's My Number, and Bibamba.

Don't Give Up
Jason Tamba
Privately Published
www.playingforchange.com
$TBA CD / $7.12 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/music/player/albums/B0B45B3N97

Don't Give Up is the debut solo album of Congolese-born singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jason Tamba. Featuring vocals that Tamba sings in his native language of Kikongo. Blending music traditions of Congo with those of the West, Don't Give Up is an inspirational, cross-boundaries work and a welcome contribution to international music collections. Highly recommended! The tracks are Masele, Maasai, Loti, Gethsemane, Nkomba Mi, Sevana, Faria, and Nda.

Wonderland
Martha Spencer
marthaspencermusic.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $14.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/music/player/albums/B0B3MNRDDV

Appalachian singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Martha Spencer presents Wonderland, her second solo album. Half original compositions and half beloved classics, Wonderland is a country music treasure, expressing the heart of her small, close mountain community. The songs also celebrate the contributions of strong-willed women, and touch upon darker things such as ghosts and hauntings. Wonderland is a welcome addition to country and roots music collections, highly recommended. The tracks are Wonderland, Rags Over Riches, Banks of New River, Come Home Virginia Rose, Summer Wine, Walking in Jerusalem, Virginia Creeper Line, Enchantress, Hesitation Blues, Wind and Rain, You've Rambled Too Long, Yodelady, Creekfield Woman, Young Rover, Bringing Mary Home, and Midsummer Serenade.


The Library DVD Shelf

Volcanos & Waterfalls
Bennett-Watt Entertainment, Inc.
www.Bennett-Watt.com
9781604903041 $24.95

Part of the "Discoveries Costa Rica" series of video essays on DVD, "Volcanos & Waterfalls" showcases the imposing volcanos and resplendent waterfalls of Costa Rica. Over a dozen waterfalls and all five of Costa Rica's active volcanos are covered, with stunning footage and enlightening commentary. "Volcanos & Waterfalls" is the next best thing to experiencing Costa Rica's natural beauty in person, and is highly recommended for both personal and public library DVD collections. 54 min.


The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

As Deep As It Gets: Movies and Metaphysics
Randall E. Auxier
Open Universe
c/o Carus Books
315 - 5th Avenue, Peru, IL 61354
www.carusbooks.com
9781637700082, $19.95

https://www.amazon.com/As-Deep-Gets-Movies-Metaphysics/dp/1637700083

As Deep As It Gets: Movies and Metaphysics belongs not just in media studies libraries and classrooms, but in collections strong in modern philosophy, using popular current movies and TV shows to explore philosophical insights. Auxier's discussion of movies goes beyond plot and character outlines to consider the deeper meanings and inspections in essays which go beyond education to invite discussion and debate. From political metaphors in movies to enlightening surveys of ethics, religion, and connections between modern media and ancient philosophers, Auxier draws seemingly disparate subjects together in a moving survey that is surprisingly lively for its title and subject. This will make As Deep As It Gets attractive to much more than a singular audience of modern-day philosophy students.

Regeneration: Black Cinema, 1898-1971
Doris Berger, editor
Rhea L. Combs, editor
DelMonico Books
https://delmonicobooks.com
c/o Distributed Art Publishers (distributor)
155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10013-1507
www.artbook.com
9781636810515, $49.95, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Regeneration-Cinema-1898-1971-Doris-Berger/dp/1636810519

Synopsis: From the dawn of movie making onward, Black filmmakers have helped define American cinema. Black performers, producers and directors, including Bert Williams, Oscar Micheaux, Herb Jeffries, Lena Horne, Dorothy Dandridge, Ruby Dee and William Greaves, to name just a few, had a vast and resounding impact. Black film artists not only developed an enduring independent tradition but also transformed mainstream Hollywood, fueled and reflected sociopolitical movements, captured Black experience in all its robust complexity, and influenced generations to come. As harrowing as it is beautiful, the history of Black cinema and its legacy is often overlooked and underappreciated.

Collectively compiled and co-edited by Rhea L. Combs and Doris Berger, "Regeneration: Black Cinema, 1898-1971" accompanies a first-of-its-kind exhibition at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures exploring seven decades of Black participation in American cinema. Amplifying this under-represented history in colorful and striking detail, "Doris Berger, editor
Rhea L. Combs, editor" features an in-depth curatorial essay and scholarly case-study texts on topics such as early Black independent filmmaking, Black spectatorship during the Jim Crow era and home movies as an essential form of Black self-representation.

The impressively informative volume also makes meaningful connections to the present through interviews with award-winning contemporary Black filmmakers Charles Burnett, Julie Dash, Ava DuVernay, Barry Jenkins and Dawn Porter. The inclusion of an extensive filmography and chronology offer an essential resource for anyone interested in Black cinema, while images of contemporary visual artworks further illustrate the volume throughout.

Critique: Profusely and informatively illustrated throughout, "Doris Berger, editor
Rhea L. Combs, editor" is exception in its organization and presentation. Comprised of erudite essays, illustrative case studies, and providing two page listing of the contributors and their credentials, This simply outstanding coffee-table style edition of "Regeneration: Black Cinema, 1898-1971" is a seminal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Cinematic History & Criticism collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Flirting with Fame
Dan Harary
BearManor Media
PO Box 71426, Albany, GA 31708
www.bearmanormedia.com
9781629339603, $38.00, HC, 286pp

https://www.amazon.com/Flirting-Fame-hardback-Hollywood-Encounters/dp/1629339601

Synopsis: Born and raised in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Dan Harary has been working as an entertainment industry publicist in Hollywood for over 40 years. As the founder of The Asbury PR Agency in Beverly Hills, CA, Dan often found himself standing side-by-side with dozens of the 20th Century's most famous movie, TV, pop and rock music stars. As a teenager between 1972-74, Dan was the stage manager and lighting director for The Sunshine Inn, where Bruce Springsteen began his career.

After graduating from Boston University's School of Communications, Dan's career path included in-house positions with Columbia Pictures, the American Film Institute, the Playboy Channel, Columbia Pictures Television, and two of Hollywood's most prominent entertainment PR agencies. Dan launched his own Asbury PR Agency in 1996.

Critique: With the publication of "Flirting with Fame: A Hollywood Publicist Recalls 50 Years of Celebrity Close Encounter", Hollywood insider Dan Harary gives his readers absolutely fascinating anecdotes drawn from the five decades of his professional and personal experiences as a publicist in the film industry. In the pages of this extraordinary memoir are is encounters with well known celebrities of film, television, music, culture, politics, porn stars -- and two Apollo astronauts who walked on the Moon. Fun, fascinating and informative, "Flirting with Fame: A Hollywood Publicist Recalls 50 Years of Celebrity Close Encounter" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library American Biography & Memoir collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that it is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781629339597, $28.00).

Japanese Cinema: A Personal Journey
Peter Cowie
Stone Bridge Press
1393 Solano Avenue, Suite C, Albany CA 94706
www.stonebridge.com
9781611720754, $18.95, PB, 216pp

https://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Cinema-Personal-Peter-Cowie/dp/1611720753

Synopsis: "Japanese Cinema: A Personal Journey" by Peter Cowie is a passionate and personal journey through one of the world's greatest national cinemas, beginning with the classic directors who came to the fore in the postwar period and became legendary names on the art house circuit: Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, Ozu, Kobayashi, Naruse, and Oshima, among others.

"Japanese Cinema" traces the common themes explored by these directors as well as the impact of important historical and cultural issues, including World War 2, the representation of women, and the revolutionary spirit of the 1960s.

Finally, "Japanese Cinema" surveys the state of contemporary Japanese film and its greatest living practitioners, Hirokazu Kore-eda among them, as well as the international face of Japanese animation, Hayao Miyazaki. Cowie brings a lifetime's commitment to film to bear on the human relationships so well explored by these Japanese auteurs.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a one page Select Bibliography, three pages of Endnotes, and a three page Index, "Japanese Cinema: A Personal Journey" is an impressively well written and seminal study of Japanese film making ranging from the iconic to the obscure. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Cinematic History and Japanese Popular Culture collections, it should be noted for students, academia, film historians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Japanese Cinema: A Personal Journey" is also available in digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Editorial Note: Peter Cowie has spent his life in writing about cinema, and in particular about the prodigious talents that emerged during the 1950s and 1960s such as Ingmar Bergman and Akira Kurosawa. His more than thirty books include studies of the work of John Ford, Francis Ford Coppola, and the iconic actress Louise Brooks. He was international publisher of the trade paper, Variety, for more than twelve years, and he is also known for his numerous commentaries and video essays for the Criterion Collection in New York. Cowie has traveled throughout Japan on several occasions, and is an avid fan of its history, its literature, and its cinema. He has an informative webpage on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Cowie


The Photography Shelf

Flora Photographica
William A Ewing, author
Danae Panchard, author
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500024584, $65.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Flora-Photographica-Masterworks-Contemporary-Photography/dp/0500024588

Synopsis: Flowers have been a source of inspiration for photographers since the medium's inception; immortalized by luminaries such as Man Ray, Robert Mapplethorpe, Irving Penn, and Julia Margaret Cameron. Today, flower photography has come into full bloom once again, with photographers capturing flowers in inspiring new ways.

Featuring two hundred works, "Flora Photographica" links the very best of flower photography from the past twenty years with its predecessors -- canonical floral images from the realms of photography, illustration, and painting that have marked the collective imagination.

Works by contemporary photographers such as David LaChapelle, Valerie Belin, Viviane Sassen, and Martin Schoeller appear across ten thematic chapters, among them "Origins," "Arrangements," "Essence," "Persona," and "Reverie," which also include a brief introduction to the particular topic. These are complemented by two in-depth essays by authors William Ewing and Danae Panchaud, which explore the relationship between contemporary works and the rich traditions of floral art and photography.

Vibrant and abundant with various species of flora, "Flora Photographica: The Flower in Contemporary Photography" is stunning volume that is both a celebration of beauty and a study of form.

Critique: Comprised of gallery and museum quality photographic images, "Flora Photographica: The Flower in Contemporary Photography" is a seminal publication the will have a special and particular appeal for flower and photography fans alike. This coffee-table style volume (10 x 1.1 x 12 inches, 4.15 pounds) is an ideal Memorial Acquisition Fund choice, and is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Photography & Flower/Botany collections.

Editorial Note #1: William A. Ewing is an author, lecturer, and curator of photography and former director of the Musee de l'Elysee in Lausanne. His many publications on photography include Edward Burtynsky: Essential Elements and Civilization.

Editorial Note #2: Danae Panchaud is a curator and lecturer specializing in photography and the director of the Photoforum Pasquart in Biel, Switzerland. Danae a dedicated website at https://danaepanchaud.net


The Economic Studies Shelf

Launchpad Republic
Howard Wolk, author
John Landry, author
Wiley
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
www.wiley.com
9781119900054, $29.99, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Launchpad-Republic-Americas-Entrepreneurial-Matters/dp/1119900050

Synopsis: With the publication of "Launchpad Republic: America's Entrepreneurial Edge and Why it Matters to All of Us", authors Howard Wolk and John Landry provide an insightful and thought-provoking history of entrepreneurship in the United States, with a focus on the political, legal, and cultural forces that have sustained "creative destruction" and propelled the country forward for more than 200 years.

In telling this story, "Launchpad Republic" highlights the critical features that have set America apart from other countries and identifies the key attributes necessary for it to maintain leadership for years to come.

Entrepreneurship is at its heart a rebellious act, and America's democratic system is unique in enabling new companies to challenge established ones. As a result, the country enjoys not just more robust start-up activity, but also a dynamism that forces big companies to improve -- or face the consequences. It also protects both property rights and the right to compete in ways not enjoyed elsewhere, encouraging investment and innovation.

Aside from assessing how American entrepreneurial capitalism unfolded, "Launchpad America" address current challenges such as the rise of the "Big Tech", concerns about inequality, inclusivity and sustainability, and the evolution toward stakeholder capitalism. It also compares the American approach to both Continental Europe's consensus-oriented framework and China's authoritarian model.

Critique: Covering important and timely topics "Launchpad Republic: America's Entrepreneurial Edge and Why It Matters" is impressively informative, exceptionally well organized, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in presentation. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format, "Launchpad Republic: America's Entrepreneurial Edge and Why It Matters" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, corporate, college, and university library Entrepreneurship, Economics, and Venture Capitalism collection and supplemental Business/Economics curriculum studies list.

Editorial Note #1: Howard Wolk is an experienced entrepreneur, company builder and investor. He is also co-president of the Cross Country Group, a privately-held firm consisting of start-ups and mature companies. A former senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, he developed and led a study group on entrepreneurship and society.

Editorial Note #2: John Landry is a business historian and writer, and a former editor at Harvard Business Review. He earned a PhD in economic history from Brown University.


The Christian Studies Shelf

Do You Want to Be Healed?
Bob Schuchts, author
Ave Maria Press
PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556
www.avemariapress.com
9781646801589, $15.95, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Do-You-Want-Healed-Scriptural/dp/164680158X

Synopsis: Jesus asks the question "Do you want to be healed?" several times in the Bible -- to the woman at the well, Bartimaeus the blind man, the woman caught in adultery, the rich young man -- and, as a Christian, as a follower of the Christ, He asks the same of you as well.

With the publication of "Do You Want to Be Healed?: A 10-Day Scriptural Retreat with Jesus" Bob Schuchts uses a healing process similar to the one found in his bestselling book "Be Healed".

Each day of the do-it-yourself retreat you will be engaged with a question Jesus asked his followers and uses the traditional practice of lectiodivina (divine reading) to dive into a scriptural scene where Jesus heals the spiritually and physically sick.

Through the five movements of reading, meditation, prayer, contemplation, and action, you will encounter the biblical figures who received the healing words of Jesus, you will undergo your own spiritual healing and discover your personal response to Jesus's most probing questions, including: Do you want to be made well?; What are you thinking in your heart?; Has no one condemned you?; Can you drink the cup?; Have you come to believe?; Do you love me more than these?

Through these questions and the healing answering them brings about, you will come to understand the principles of spiritual healing such as facing your brokenness, acknowledging your sin and shame, and discovering the healing power of the sacraments.

Those who have already read "Be Healed" will be drawn deeper into their healing with a refresher on the core principles of Schuchts's work. "Do You Want to Be Healed?: A 10-Day Scriptural Retreat with Jesus" is also perfect for those who want to begin the process of spiritual healing.

Critique: "Do You Want to Be Healed?: A 10-Day Scriptural Retreat with Jesus" is an useful and highly recommended resource for pastors, spiritual directors, therapists, and those who help lead others in an integration of their human and spiritual formation. It should be noted for personal reading lists for all members of the Christian community who have an interest in Catholic Prayer Books and Christian Personal Growth, that "Do You Want to Be Healed?: A 10-Day Scriptural Retreat with Jesus" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Bob Schuchts is the founder of the John Paul II Healing Center in Tallahassee, Florida, and co-host of the Restore the Glory podcast with Jake Khym. After receiving his doctorate in family relations from Florida State University in 1981, Schuchts became a teacher and counselor. While in private practice, he also taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Florida State and Tallahassee Community College. Schuchts later served on faculty at the Theology of the Body Institute and at the Center for Biblical Studies (where he taught courses on healing, sexuality, and marriage) and was a guest instructor for the Augustine Institute. He volunteered in parish ministry for more than thirty years.


The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Timeless Questions
James R. Davis
Sunstone Press
PO Box 2321, Santa Fe, NM 87504-2321
www.sunstonepress.com
9781632933621, $22.95, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Questions-Religions-Explore-Mysteries/dp/1632933624

Synopsis: Timeless questions are the questions asked as we confront the mysteries of life: What is our origin, essential nature, best way to live a good life, and final destiny? The questions are timeless because each generation keeps asking them, and their mysteries are never fully resolved.

The world religions, in their ancient forms, explore these mysteries and provide not so much answers as useful insight for thinking about human existence. Each chapter comprising "Timeless Questions: How World Religions Explore the Mysteries of Life" explores a particular mystery and its related questions, drawing in the ideas of the religions as needed. These include chapters on God, creation, human nature, social order, the good life, suffering and death, and the fate of the world.

Through the persistent inquiry of the "questioner", in dialogue with knowledgeable professor James R. Davis, the mysteries are explored in a practical way, relevant to life today, but leaving room for further discussion. Because there is often little opportunity to study religion in school, many people, through no fault of their own, don't know much about religion, especially world religions.

"Timeless Questions: How World Religions Explore the Mysteries of Life" is not intended to foster belief or doubt. It is designed to provide basic information, enhance cross-cultural understanding, and aid in the development of a philosophy of life. Here you can feel the joy of learning something new while examining the mysteries of your own life through the timeless questions that nag us all.

Critique: Thoughtful and thought-provoking, impressively informative, organized and presented --- as well as having a special and particular appeal to readers with an interest in Christian Education, Comparative Religion, and Christian Saints, "Timeless Questions: How World Religions Explore the Mysteries of Life" is unreservedly recommended for community, seminary, college, and university library World Religion and Interfaith collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminary students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Timeless Questions: How World Religions Explore the Mysteries of Life" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

Editorial Note: James R. Davis is a professor and dean emeritus of the University of Denver. He holds degrees from Oberlin College, Yale University Divinity School, and Michigan State University and is the author of eight academic books on college teaching, training, and leadership. A sequence of graduate courses taken at Miami University (Ohio) inspired a life-long interest in world religions. His novels, "Ranch Without Cowboys" and "The Last Resort" are also published by Sunstone Press.


The Sports Shelf

The Lineup: Ten Books That Changed Baseball
Paul Aron
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476688305, $29.95, PB, 237pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lineup-Books-That-Changed-Baseball/dp/1476688303

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Lineup: Ten Books That Changed Baseball", Paul Aron (editor and writer for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation) presents ten of the most influential baseball books of all time and explores how these landmark works changed the game itself and made waves in American society at large.

Ranging from Satchel Paige's Pitchin' Man informed the dialog surrounding the integration of professional baseball, to Ring Lardner's You Know Me Al which changed the way Americans viewed their baseball heroes and influenced the work of Hemingway and Fitzgerald, to Bill James's Baseball Abstract that transformed the way managers (including those in fields other than baseball) analyzed numbers, to Pete Rose's My Story and My Prison Without Bars that exposed and deepened a cultural divide that was to pave the way for Donald Trump.

Critique: Unique, thought-provoking, historically insightful, and occasionally iconoclastic, "The Lineup: Ten Books That Changed Baseball" must be considered as essential reading for the legions of professional baseball fans. While especially recommended for personal, community, college, and univesity library American Baseball History collections, "The Lineup: Ten Books That Changed Baseball" is also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.49).


The Woodworking Shelf

Super Simple Outdoor Woodworking
Randall A. Maxey
The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784946203, $24.99, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Super-Simple-Outdoor-Woodworking-Projects/dp/1784946206

Synopsis: There are projects designed for both those just starting out and those that would be fun for even the most experienced woodworker to create. All fifteen of the projects comprising "Super Simple Outdoor Woodworking" by expert carpenter Randall A. Maxey include clear guidance on how best to approach the construction of each piece and they can be made with standard-sized wood from the DIY store.

A number of these projects include helpful hints and tips to achieving perfect results. The projects also include helpful step-by-step instructions with clear photography and detailed diagrams.

Critique: Informative and instructively illustrated throughout, "Super Simple Outdoor Woodworking" is especially recommended to DIY recreational woodworkers and seasoned professionals alike. With the emphasis on outdoor projects ranging from chairs, tables, swings and more, "Super Simple Outdoor Woodworking" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community library, and school woodworking shop curriculums.

Editorial Note: Randall A. Maxey has been woodworking almost since he was old enough to lift a hammer. He owns a custom woodworking business, Cherry Ridge Woodworks. He is also the founder and owner of MiniMaxWorkshop.com which supports the idea that you can build great projects in small spaces. Randall served ten years as senior editor for a woodworking magazine and continues to write and edit articles for other woodworking publications and companies.


The Music Shelf

Insider Secrets to Hit Songwriting in the Digital Age
Molly Leikin
Permuted Press
https://permutedpress.com
c/o Simon & Schuster (dist.)
https://www.simonandschuster.com
9781637582183, $17.99, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Insider-Secrets-Hit-Songwriting-Digital/dp/1637582188

Synopsis: Whether you are an aspiring (or already practicing) lyricist, songwriter, or band, "Insider Secrets to Hit Songwriting in the Digital Age" by Molly Leikin is a powerful and inspiring combination of instructional guide and 'how to' manual covering the essentials of contemporary the craft of song writing -- guiding you from good to great, then taking you through marketing, promotion, finding the right publisher, placing your song with an artist, getting signed, and providing the foundation for a successful writing career.

This is an indispensable guide featureing exclusive and highly informative interviews with insiders across multiple genres, including Tim Wipperman, "the publisher's publisher" in Nashville, Grammy-nominee J.P. Saxe ("If the World Was Ending") and Grammy-winner Debbie Hupp ("You Decorated My Life"), R&B mega-producers/writers for Rihanna, Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers, Grammy-winner and composer of instrumental music Art Munson, jingle writer Jim Andron, and Grammy- and Emmy-winning children's songwriters Michael Silversher and Patty Silversher.

Critique: A complete and 'real world practical' course of instruction under one cover, "Insider Secrets to Hit Songwriting in the Digital Age" should be considered essential reading for anyone one who wants to create the kind of songs that will succeed in an increasingly volatile and fiercely competitive music entertainment business. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Insider Secrets to Hit Songwriting in the Digital Age" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Music Business collections in general, and Song Writing/Lyrics reading lists in particular. It should be noted that "Insider Secrets to Hit Songwriting in the Digital Age" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Molly Leikin started as a staff writer at Almo Music (A&M Records), and over the next ten years, Molly had her songs recorded by almost every pop and country artist on the Billboard charts. Now she has a house full of gold and platinum records and an Emmy nomination. She also wrote themes and songs for over six dozen TV shows and movies, including Violet, which won an Oscar. The author of five books on songwriting, Molly also created Songwriting Consultants, Ltd., the international song consulting firm, where she's mentored two generations of Grammy winners and nominees. Her custom speechwriting company for CEOs, CFOs, and UFOs, is Anything with Words. She has a dedicated website at https://songmd.com

Bob Dylan, third edition
John Nogowski
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476685540, $39.95, PB, 332pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bob-Dylan-Descriptive-Discography-Filmography/dp/1476685541

Synopsis: When Columbia Records finally decided to open up the voluminous Bob Dylan vaults, unleashing thousands of hours of long-sought-after, oft-rumored, unreleased material, it was hard to keep up. Included in the release were six CDs of Blood On The Tracks outtakes, six CDs of the complete Basement Tapes, 10 CDs of Rolling Thunder Revue live material, the six extraordinary CDs of The Cutting Edge from Dylan's game-changing 1965-66 sessions, and a stunning 36 CD release of Dylan's stormy 1966 world tour that some say changed the face of popular music. It is all explored here.

Now in a fully updated third edition examining Dylan's five-decade career, "Bob Dylan: A Descriptive, Critical Discography and Filmography, 1961-2022" by John Nogowski provides a comprehensively analyzes his writing and recording history and the historical impact of Dylan's prolific creative output.

It also features critical commentary on every song and album, including many rare bootleg recordings and the recent new discoveries from Columbia Records.

Later chapters also list and discuss Dylan's numerous appearances in film, in literature, on radio, and on television. Including his Nobel Prize speech and lecture, an extensive bibliography of books on Dylan old and new, as well as a brand-new introduction with updated Billboard charts.

Critique: Of very special interest to the legions of Bob Dylan fans, this newly expanded third edition of "Bob Dylan: A Descriptive, Critical Discography and Filmography, 1961-2022" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library American Music collections in general, and Bob Dylan supplemental studies lists in particular. It should be noted that "Bob Dylan: A Descriptive, Critical Discography and Filmography, 1961-2022" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).

Editorial Note: An award-winning sportswriter, John Nogowski teaches AP Language, English and Journalism at Gadsden County High School in Havana, Florida.


The Needlecraft Shelf

Kaffe Fassett's Quilts In Wales
Kaffe Fassett, author
Debbie Patterson, photographer
https://www.kaffefassett.com
The Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
www.taunton.com
9781641551731, $34.99, PB, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Kaffe-Fassett-Quilts-Wales/dp/1641551739

Synopsis: With the publication of "Kaffe Fassett's Quilts In Wales", quilting expert Kaffe Fassett has once again succeeded in finding the perfect location for his exquisite new collection of quilts, featuring both his scintillating new fabric designs and his classics, all in his unique color palette.

This time he has chosen the iconic 13th-century Powis Castle in north Wales, where the 20 quilts comprising "Kaffe Fassett's Quilts In Wales" are set off against the storybook castle and stunning grounds. Photographed brilliantly by Debbie Patterson, they are displayed in all their glory in a sumptuous eye-catching quilt gallery.

Included in this set of new designs are many very special ones by Kaffe, and others by his long-time friend and co-designer, Liza Prior Lucy. Kaffe's Saturated Red quilt finds its perfect partner in the rich deep hues of the bed hangings on a magnificent four-poster, while his Cold Frames quilt, with its dramatic black-and-white sashing framing fussy-cut flower prints, echoes the studding on the medieval wooden doors into the courtyard. The cool geometry of his Marble Tiles quilt takes its inspiration from the painted paneling in the Long Gallery, and his Vintage Library quilt echoes the warm tones of the hundreds of leather-bound books in the Castle's collection.

As usual, "Kaffe Fassett's Quilts In Wales" (the 24th in the Kaffe Fasset quilting series) includes a range of quilts for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced, and features an eclectic mix of patterns and colors ranging from Philip Jacobs' eye-catching bold floral prints to Brandon Mably's smaller-scale quirky patterns.

Flat shots and a practical know-how section and glossary back up the fully illustrated, step-by-step instructions for each quilt.

Critique: With a very special and particular appeal to the legions of Kaffe Fassett quilting fans, "Kaffe Fassett's Quilts In Wales" is beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout and will be considered an enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, and community library Needlecrafting & Quilting collections.

Editorial Note: Kaffe Fassett is a name every dedicated quilter knows. His work has been commissioned by the British monarchy, American fashion designers, and the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has written numerous best-sellers including "Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in Italy", "Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in Morocco", "Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in an English Village", and "Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in the Cotswolds". He has a dedicated website at https://www.kaffefassett.com

Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies
Vanessa Mooncie
The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784946357, $24.99, PB, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Crocheted-Bees-Butterflies-Vanessa-Mooncie/dp/1784946354

Synopsis: Each project comprising "Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies" by needlecraft expert Vanessa Mooncie includes clear step-by-step instructions and stunning photography. "Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies" features an extensive and beautifully illustrated techniques section explaining everything you need to know to embark on these wonderful projects. Once completed the projects can either be worn as an accessory, such as a brooch or hair decoration, or they can be mounted in a frame or bell jar for display.

Made using various yarns, metallic and nylon threads, these projects incorporate beads and sequins to give astounding results. The legs are wired and the designs use a variety of crochet stitches and embroidered details.

Critique: A unique and fun addition to personal, professional, and community library Needlecraft collections of instructional guides and 'how to' manuals, and an ideal and comprehensive course of instruction that will be of particular interest and value for the novice and expert needlecrafters alike, "Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies" is impressively organized and thoroughly 'user friendly' in presentation.

Editorial Note: Vanessa Mooncie spent many happy hours as a child sitting with her mother and grandmother learning to knit and crochet. She went on to study fashion and textile design and became a children's wear designer, illustrator and interior designer. Vanessa now specializes in silkscreen work (www.vanessamooncie.com) and designing crochet jewelry through her company Kissy Suzuki (www.kissysuzuki.com). Vanessa has written many successful books for GMC Publications, including Animal Hats, Crocheted Wild Animals, Sew Adorable, And Sew to Bed and Crocheted Sea Creatures.


The Agriculture Shelf

Malabar Farm
Anneliese Abbott
The Kent State University Press
1118 Library, P.O. Box 5190, Kent OH 44242
http://www.kentstateuniversitypress.com
9781606354315, $29.95, PB, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Malabar-Farm-Bromfield-Sustainable-Agriculture/dp/1606354310

Synopsis: Established in 1939 by Pulitzer Prize winning author and farmer Louis Bromfield, Malabar Farm was once considered "the most famous farm in the world." Farmers, conservationists, politicians, businessmen, and even a few Hollywood celebrities (including Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, who married there) flocked to rural Ohio to see how Bromfield restored worn-out land to lush productivity using conservation practices. Permanent, sustainable agriculture, Bromfield preached, was the "New Agriculture" that would transform the postwar world.

With the publication of "Malabar Farm: Louis Bromfield, Friends of the Land, and the Rise of Sustainable Agriculture", author Anneliese Abbott tells the story of Malabar Farm within the context of the wider histories of soil conservation and other environmental movements, especially the Ohio-based organization Friends of the Land. As one of the few surviving landmarks of this movement, which became an Ohio state park in 1976, Malabar Farm provides an intriguing case study of how soil conservation began, how it was marginalized during the 1950s, and how it now continues to influence the modern idea of sustainable agriculture.

To see Malabar strictly as a modern production farm (or a nature preserve, or the home of a famous novelist) oversimplifies the complexity of what Bromfield actually did. Malabar wasn't a conventional farm or an organic farm; it was both. It represents a middle ground that is often lacking in modern discussions about sustainability or environmental issues, yet it remains critically important.

Today, as Malabar Farm State Park remains a working farm with a new interpretive center that opened in 2006, its importance and impact continue for current and future generations.

Critique: Illustrated with black-and-white photos, "Malabar Farm: Louis Bromfield, Friends of the Land, and the Rise of Sustainable Agriculture" is an impressively informative, well written, organized and presented study that will be of immense interest to sustainable agriculture advocates and practitioners. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Agriculture, Farming, and Conservation collections, it should be noted for students, academia, agriculture policy makers, farmers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in sustainable farming that "Malabar Farm: Louis Bromfield, Friends of the Land, and the Rise of Sustainable Agriculture" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.99).

Editorial Note: Anneliese Abbott grew up on a small Michigan farm. Her research on the history of Malabar Farm began while studying plant and soil science at the Ohio State University. She recently received a University Fellowship to begin graduate research on the history of organic/sustainable farming in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


The Beer/Wine/Spirits Shelf

A Sense of Place: A Journey Around Scotland's Whisky
Dave Broom, author
Christina Kernohan, illustrator
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9781784726713, $50.00, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sense-Place-journey-Scotlands-whiskies/dp/1784726710

Synopsis; Featuring a beautifully crafted and informative narrative, by Dave Broom, "A Sense of Place: A Journey Around Scotland's Whisky" approaches the history of Scotch whisky from the point of view of its terroir (a French term used to describe the environmental factors that affect a crop's phenotype, including unique environment contexts, farming practices and a crop's specific growth habitat).

"A Sense of Place" includes the land, weather, history, craft and culture that feed and enhance the Scotland's whisky itself. Traveling around his native Scotland and visiting distilleries from Islay and Harris to Orkney and Speyside, Dave Brrom explores the whiskies made there and the elements in their distilling, and locality, which make them what they are. Along the way he tells the story of whisky's history and considers what whisky is now, and where it is going.

With stunning specially commissioned photography by Christina Kernohan, "A Sense of Place" will enhance and deepen every whisky drinker's understanding of just what is in their glass, as well as open their eyes to where whisky can go.

Critique: Of special interest and appeal to anyone who has ever raised up a glass of Scotland's whiskey, "A Sense of Place: A Journey Around Scotland's Whisky" will prove a fun, informative, and inherently interesting read from cover to cover. Very highly recommended for person, community, college, and university library collections, "A Sense of Place: A Journey Around Scotland's Whisky" is informatively enhanced with the inclusion of a Glossary, Notes, a bibliography of Further Reading, and an Index. It should be noted that "A Sense of Place: A Journey Around Scotland's Whisky" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

Editorial Note: Dave Broom has written 13 books, including The World Atlas of Whisky, now in its second edition. He has won many awards, including two Glenfiddich prizes and, in 2013, he won the prestigious IWSC Communicator of the Year Award. In 2015, he won The Spirited Award for Best Cocktail & Spirits writer, and, in 2018, The Way of Whisky won an Andre Simon prize. In 2020 he was awarded Best Drinks Writer at the Fortnum & Mason awards. He has been a contributing editor to Whisky Magazine, www.scotchwhisky.com and Malt Advocate. In 2020 he started his own website thewhiskymanual.uk. He has made two films, Cuba In A Bottle and The Amber Light. The latter, an examination on whisky and Scottish culture, won Best Programme at the 2020 Fortnum & Mason awards.


The Travel Shelf

Colorado Family Outdoor Adventure
Heather Mundt
University of New Mexico Press
1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM 87131-0001
www.unmpress.com
9780826363770, $21.95, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Colorado-Family-Outdoor-Adventure-Southwest/dp/0826363776

Synopsis: "Colorado Family Outdoor Adventure: An All-Ages Guide to Hiking, Camping, and Getting Outside" by Heather Mundt is the definitive guide for families of all ages seeking to experience the natural splendors of Colorado.

Whether you are planning your first family adventure or you are an experienced outdoors family, Heather provides everything parents, grandparents, children, and teenagers need to know to enjoy activities throughout the state. As an experienced outdoors writer, adventurer, and family traveler, she shares more than sixty destinations across Colorado, outlining family adventures in hiking, biking, paddling, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, camping, skiing, sledding, rockhounding, wildlife watching, fishing, climbing, enjoying cultural activities, and more in this go-to guide.

Every one of these outdoor activities is graded in terms of difficulty and age-appropriateness, so every reader will know exactly which activities are right for their young kids, teens, and older relatives. Organized geographically with easy-to-use maps alongside detailed descriptions and beautiful photography, "Colorado Family Outdoor Adventure" explores every corner of the state with memory-making activities for every family.

Critique: Nicely illustrated, informatively comprehensive, thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Colorado Family Outdoor Adventure: An All-Ages Guide to Hiking, Camping, and Getting Outside" is an essential resource for planning a family friendly travel or recreational adventure in Colorado's great outdoors. Highly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Colorado Travel Guide collections, it should be noted that "Colorado Family Outdoor Adventure: An All-Ages Guide to Hiking, Camping, and Getting Outside" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Heather Mundt is a freelance writer and editor. Her work has appeared in the Denver Post, Ladies' Home Journal, 5280.com, TripSavvy, Smarter Travel, Outdoor Families Magazine, Colorado Parent magazine, and Colorado Ski Country USA. She has a dedicated website at https://muckrack.com/momfari

Japan By Rail
Ramsey Zarifeh and Anna Udagawa, authors
Trailblazer Publications
www.trailblazer-guides.com
9781912716142, $24.95, PB, 540pp

https://www.amazon.com/Japan-Rail-Route-Guide-Guides/dp/1912716143

Synopsis: Japan is steeped in legend and myth, perhaps the greatest of which is the popular misconception that the country is simply too expensive to visit. The truth is that flights to Japan are cheaper than they've ever been, accommodation can be great value, while the warm hospitality which awaits every visitor costs nothing at all. The real secret to traveling around the country on a budget, however, is the Japan Rail Pass.

And that's where "Japan by Rail: Includes Rail Route Guide and 30 City Guides" comes into play. This comprehensive guide can be used in conjunction with a rail pass to get the most out of a trip to Japan for the American business traveler and vacationer.

"Japan by Rail" is comprised of practical information for planning your trip; when to go; suggested itineraries; what to take; festivals and events. It also includes city guides and maps, where to stay, where to eat, what to see in 30 towns and cities; historical and cultural background.

There are kilometre-by-kilometre route guides covering train journeys from the coast into the mountains, from temple retreat to sprawling metropolis and from sulphurous volcano to windswept desert. 33 route maps includes new routes -- including the extension of the shinkansen route from Nagano to Kanazawa (the Hokuriku shinkansen).

Railway timetables and frequency charts for bullet trains and all described routes, customs, etiquette, Japanese words and phrases with kanji/hiragana/katakana for all place name text readers can point to the text when asking Japanese speakers for directions.

Of special note are the Extended Highlights -- extra color sections make "Japan by Rail" even more user-friendly and attractive.

Critique: Comprehensive, informative, up-to-date, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Japan by Rail: Includes Rail Route Guide and 30 City Guides" is the ideal guide for planning itineraries and moving about the country. Highly recommended for community library International Travel Guide collections, no visitor to Japan should be without their own copy of "Japan by Rail" in order to insure a successful visit be it for business or pleasure.

Editorial Note: Ramsey Zarifeh, spent two years teaching in Japan. Now a journalist, he works for Reuters, Swiss Radio International and the BBC. Anna Udagawa lives in the UK and was an English teacher in Japan before getting married there. She revisits Japan regularly and now works as a travel guide-book editor.


The Gardening Shelf

Cold-Hardy Fruits and Nuts
Allyson Levy, author
Scott Serrano, author
Chelsea Green Publishing Company
85 North Main Street, Suite 120, White River Junction, VT 05001
www.chelseagreen.com
9781645020455, $34.95, PB, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cold-Hardy-Fruits-Nuts-Easy-Grow/dp/1645020452

Synopsis: "Cold-Hardy Fruits and Nuts: 50 Easy-to-Grow Plants for the Organic Home Garden or Landscape" is a one-stop compendium featuring the most productive, edible fruit-and nut-bearing crops that push the boundaries of what can survive winters in cold-temperate growing regions. While most nurseries and guidebooks feature plants that are riddled with pest problems (such as apples and peaches), veteran growers and founders of the Hortus Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Allyson Levy and Scott Serrano, focus on both common and unfamiliar fruits that have few, if any, pest or disease problems and an overall higher level of resilience.

"Cold-Hardy Fruits and Nuts" includes: Taste profiles for all fifty hardy fruits and nuts, with notes on harvesting and uses; Plant descriptions and natural histories; Recommended cultivars, both new and classic; Propagation methods for increasing plants; Nut profiles including almonds, chestnuts, walnuts, and pecans; Fertilization needs and soil/site requirements, and so much more!

With beautiful and instructive color photographs throughout, "Cold-Hardy Fruits and Nuts features concise, clearly written botanical and cultural information based on the authors' years of growing experience. The fifty fruits and nuts featured provide a nice balance of the familiar and the exotic: from almonds and pecans to more unexpected fruits like maypop and Himalayan chocolate berry. "Cold-Hardy Fruits and Nuts" gives adventurous gardeners all they need to get growing.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated, "Cold-Hardy Fruits and Nuts: 50 Easy-to-Grow Plants for the Organic Home Garden or Landscape" is impressively and comprehensively informative, exceptionally well written, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture collections, in should be noted that "Cold-Hardy Fruits and Nuts: 50 Easy-to-Grow Plants for the Organic Home Garden or Landscape" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $26.49). There is a dedicated website at https://www.hortusgardens.org

Editorial Note: Allyson Levy and Scott Serrano are both exhibiting visual artists and co-directors of Hortus Arboretum and Botanical Gardens in New York's Hudson Valley. Their garden began as a source of inspiration and raw materials for their art. Over time their interest in growing a wider selection of plants expanded until the garden encompassed eleven acres and became their primary passion. Along the way they began planting a vast diversity of plants, both edible and ornamental. This grew into an extensive collection of cold-hardy cactus, magnolia trees, viburnums, and grafted fruit trees, with a focus on rare, underutilized plants. The arboretum is now a nonprofit organization and level II arboretum.

The Home-Scale Forest Garden
Dani Baker
Chelsea Green Publishing Company
85 North Main Street, Suite 120, White River Junction, VT 05001
www.chelseagreen.com
9781645020981, $34.95, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Home-Scale-Forest-Garden-Resilient-Landscape/dp/1645020983

Synopsis: When market gardener Dani Baker attended a permaculture workshop at her local Cooperative Extension office in upstate New York, she was inspired by its message of working with nature to create a thriving edible garden ecosystem. She immediately launched a new experiment she dubbed the "Enchanted Edible Forest."

With the publication of "The Home-Scale Forest Garden: How to Plan, Plant, and Tend a Resilient Edible Landscape", Baker shares what she learned as she became a forest gardener, providing a practical, in-depth guide to creating a beautiful, bountiful edible landscape at any scale ranging from a few dozen square feet to an acre or more.

"The Home-Scale Forest Garden" covers: Using permaculture principles; Observing and mapping your space; Building planting beds, including hugelkultur mounds; Coping with saturated soil; Matching perennial edible plants to the right growing conditions; Grouping plants in diverse layers that attract and shelter beneficial insects and birds; Creating microclimates to increase the range of plants you can grow; Pruning, propagating, managing pests, and more; Expending less energy for greater reward.

"The Home-Scale Forest Garden" is complete with descriptions of over 100 food-bearing and multifunctional plants for every layer of a forest garden: overstory and understory trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants, groundcovers, vines, and mushrooms, too.

Critique: With an informative text supported throughout with full color photography, "The Home-Scale Forest Garden: How to Plan, Plant, and Tend a Resilient Edible Landscape" is basically a complete course of DIY activists that will enable even the most novice of gardeners and landscapers to create beautiful and personalized gardens with a forested image and look. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Home-Scale Forest Garden: How to Plan, Plant, and Tend a Resilient Edible Landscape" is a unique and strongly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Gardening, Landscaping, and Horticultural collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Dani Baker and her partner, David Belding, farm at Cross Island Farms on Wellesley Island in the St. Lawrence River between New York and Canada, where they raise certified organic produce and grass-fed beef and goats. Dani is a retired clinical psychologist and a self-taught gardener who learned her craft by immersing herself in reading, poring over nursery catalogs, attending workshops on permaculture and gardening, and enthusiastic trial-and-error experimentation. Dani now conducts workshops and tours at her edible forest garden as well as giving presentations at organic farming conferences and other venues. She takes particular pleasure in inspiring others to try their hand at incorporating permaculture principles in their gardens.


The Automotive Shelf

How to Install Air Ride Suspension Systems
Kevin Whipps
https://www.kevinwhipps.com
CarTech Inc.
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
www.cartechbooks.com
9781613255803, $34.95, PB, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/How-Install-Ride-Suspension-Systems/dp/1613255802

Synopsis: Air suspension used to be expensive, difficult to install, and complex to figure out. But that was years ago. Today, thanks to kits made for virtually every make and model of car and truck, plus the popularization of automatic leveling kits, it's easier than ever to take a vehicle and put it on the ground. With a properly installed air ride suspension, you can set your height wherever you like, lay your ride on the asphalt when you want, and even tear through the corners like you're driving a slot car. But here's the most important part: it's just cool.

Having an air-bagged vehicle isn't restricted to one vehicle class or another. While it originally became popular with mini trucks, it soon caught on with street rods, cars, and motorcycles, and even traditional lowriders have embraced the scene. That's because where previous adjustable suspensions had their problems, air ride setups are quite often cleaner and easier to maintain. It all depends on how it's installed and managed.

With the publication of "How to Install Air Ride Suspension Systems", air ride veteran Kevin Whipps walks you through everything you need to know about installing an air suspension onto pretty much anything. After going through the basics of each component, he explains how it all works together in easy-to-understand terms that make it simple for even the mechanically challenged. By the end of it all, you'll know more about air suspension than you thought was possible and have a clear understanding of what you need to do to bag your ride.

Critique: Profusely and informatively illustrated in full color throughout, "How to Install Air Ride Suspension Systems" is the ideal instructional guide and 'how to' DIY manual. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $34.95) and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "How to Install Air Ride Suspension Systems" is an especially and unreserved recommended for personal, professional, and community library automotive collections.

Editorial Note: As a freelance writer based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Kevin Whipps has written for a wide range of motorsports magazines and websites including Classic Trucks, Diesel World, Euro Tuner, Game, Lowrider, Muscle Car Power, Sport Truck, Street Trucks, Super Street, Ten Trucks, and Truckin'. He has a dedicated website at https://www.kevinwhipps.com


The Gaming Shelf

25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know
Barbara Seagram, author
Marc Smith, author
David Bird, contributor
Master Point Press
www.masterpointpress.com
9781771400718, $21.95, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bridge-Conventions-You-Should-Know/dp/1771400714

Synopsis: First published in 1999, this new edition of "25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know" is now completely revised and updated to reflect changes in bidding over the last 20 years, including three new chapters.

Critique: The collective project of bridge specialists and experts Barbara Seagram (one of North America's top bridge teachers, with well over twenty books to her credit), Marc Smith (a Grand Master for more than 40 years and as a player has won most events on the English bridge calendar), and David Lyster Bird (a British bridge writer from Eastleigh, with more than 130 bridge books to his name), "25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know" has long been considered a classic in the bridge playing world -- and with this new and expanded edition will continue to be a 'must read choice' for all aspiring and experienced bridge players seeking to master and/or improve their game! Exceptionally well organized and presented, "25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library bridge gaming instructional collections and reading lists.


The Martial Arts Shelf

The Art and Science of Self Defense
Joe Varady
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480, Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
www.ymaa.com
9781594398995, $51.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Science-Self-Defense-Comprehensive-Instructional/dp/1594398992

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Art and Science of Self Defense: A Comprehensive Instructional Guide", martial arts expert Joe Varady provides a condensed system of distilled self-defense skills and techniques, each carefully selected for its reliability in a high stress environment. The topics addressed include situational awareness, avoidance, and how to take action should you need to physically defend yourself.

Martial arts, combat sports, and self-defense are different realms; although interconnected they are not entirely the same. "The Art and Science of Self Defense: A Comprehensive Instructional Guide" can help bridge that gap with a DIY curriculum that is streamlined and divided into nine logical stages of training that allows both martial artists and those with no formal fighting experience to quickly and methodically learn and develop reliable skills for self-defense.

"The Art and Science of Self Defense: A Comprehensive Instructional Guide" includes training in: Awareness skills including situational, spatial, and environmental; Avoidance skills to deal with fear, escape, and de-escalation; Anticipation skills for being approached, posturing, and reading body language; Action arsenal including targeting, striking, yelling, evading, and countering; Advanced arsenals for dealing with ground fighting, weapons, and multiple attackers.

Whether you are just starting out, or have been practicing martial arts for years, there are important self-defense skills for everyone in this martial arts training manual.

Critique: Profusely and informatively illustrated throughout, "The Art and Science of Self Defense: A Comprehensive Instructional Guide" is a complete and ideal course of instruction for the martial arts student in self-defense. Exceptionally 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Art and Science of Self Defense: A Comprehensive Instructional Guide" is an ideal instructional guide and a comprehensive how-to manual. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, dojo, college, and university library Martial Arts collections, it should be noted that "The Art and Science of Self Defense: A Comprehensive Instructional Guide" is also available in a paperback edition (9781594398728, $22.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.49).

Editorial Note: Joe Varady is the author of "The Art and Science of Staff Fighting", and "The Art and Science of Stick Fighting". He is a sixth-degree black belt with over thirty years of experience in martial arts. Joe has trained in numerous Eastern and Western disciplines, including karate, judo, eskrima, boxing, fencing, and long sword. He has won numerous awards competing in full-contact weapons tournaments around the world. He is the head instructor at Satori Dojo and Modern Gladiatorial Arts. He has a dedicated website at https://satori-dojo.com/grandmaster-joe-varady


The Philosophy Shelf

Better Call Saul and Philosophy
Joshua Heter and Brett Coppenger, editors
Open Universe
c/o Carus Books
www.carusbooks.com
9781637700266, $24.95

https://www.amazon.com/Better-Call-Saul-Philosophy-Culture/dp/1637700261

Better Call Saul and Philosophy: I Think Therefore I Scam belongs in any media studies collection strong in analyzing television and films. Its subject goes beyond plot and character study, however, to delve into the moral and ethical dilemmas presented in Better Call Saul, requiring that readers have a basic familiarity with the subject in order to apply the philosophical reflections here. Joshua Heter and Brett Coppenger gather essays that are candid, contemporary, and often push the common scholarly tone boundaries of philosophical inspection. One such example is Joshua Luczak's "Saul's Bullshit's Not All Good, Man." Its inspection of truth, lies, and what occurs between them provides not just food for thought, but ideally discussion material highly recommended for any viewer of Better Call Saul, or for modern young philosophers who would more closely examine the connections and approaches of modern philosophy to movies and media.


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Spell Bound
Chaweon Koo
Smith Street Books
c/o Rizzoli
300 Park Avenue South, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010
www.rizzoliusa.com
9781922417640, $24.95, HC, 248pp

https://www.amazon.com/Spell-Bound-witchs-crafting-future/dp/1922417645

Synopsis: With the publication of "Spell Bound: A New Witch's Guide to Crafting the Future", Chaweon Koo (a Korean-American witch who creates videos and articles on the intersection of occultism, futurism, and Korean culture) explores magic's past and how to navigate its future in a world where ancient groves meet silicon valley.

An ideal and informative guide for any beginning witch, "Spell Bound" dips into the occult from the unique perspective of Eastern and Western magics colliding. Chaweon Koo takes the student of magic through its history, magical foundations, deities, astrological influences, as well as magic's future in a digital world, teaching us to harness the powers of our ancestors while embracing the changes around us, to practice our witchcraft at its fullest.

Critique: Memorable illustrated, is a seminal work that will have a special appeal and value to both aspiring and practicing Wiccans. Offering fascinating and thought-provoking insights into the practice of magic in a digital age, "Spell Bound: A New Witch's Guide to Crafting the Future" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Metaphysical Studies collections.

Editorial Note: Chaweon Koo is a writer, YouTuber, and podcaster of occult topics. She has been interviewed on Korean radio on her magic practice and also has a Korean language occult YouTube, and a dedicated web site at https://linktr.ee/hichaweon

The Untamed Witch
Lidia Pradas
Fair Winds Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9780760376638, $24.99, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Untamed-Witch-Reclaim-Instincts-Powerful/dp/0760376638

Synopsis: Witchcraft is not one defined and arbitrary path. Rather, it is comprised of a number of diverse practices that you can curate and align with based on your lifestyle and unique gifts. Moreover, those practices are not meant to be done the same way by every witch. Someone else's love spell is how they conjure love. For example -- Why use lavender in a ritual if it isn't native to your surroundings or you simply don't like it?

"The Untamed Witch: Reclaim Your Instincts. Rewild Your Craft. Create Your Most Powerful Magick" by Lidia Paradas is an instructional guide and 'how to' manual that gives you the insight and tools to undomesticate your craft from formulaic to inspired practices.

"The Untamed Witch" also covers: Tools and practices to access the subconscious; How to work with the life, death, rebirth cycle; How to use elemental and land witchcraft; Ancestry work and communicating with spirit guides and entities

With "The Untamed Witch" as your guide, you will learn to use your instincts to rewild your magick.

Critique: Nicely illustrated throughout, "The Untamed Witch: Reclaim Your Instincts. Rewild Your Craft. Create Your Most Powerful Magick" is an ideal resource for both novice and experienced Wiccans and magick users alike. Fascinating, thought-provoking, inspiring, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Untamed Witch: Reclaim Your Instincts. Rewild Your Craft. Create Your Most Powerful Magick" is highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections.

Editorial Note: Lidia Pradas is the Wiccan witch behind the Instagram sensation Wiccan Tips. She was born in Spain and comes from a family of witches who taught her pagan traditions and other aspects of the craft. In 2020 she obtained her bachelor's degree in Environmental Science. Now, Lidia writes and teaches about witchcraft and paganism, and she is dedicated to helping beginner witches find their own path. She has a dedicate website at https://wiccantips.com

The Pulp Girls Tarot Deck
The Pulp Girls
Rock Point
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9781631068867, $24.99, Card Deck

https://www.amazon.com/Pulp-Girls-Tarot-Deck-Affirmations/dp/1631068865

Synopsis: The Pulp Girls are a dynamic duo who are dedicated to creating pulp art memes centering diversity and female empowerment. With this approach, "The Pulp Girls Tarot Deck: A 78-Card Deck of Magic and Affirmations" is a tarot deck whose purpose is to guide men and women to discover their strengths and take charge of their life with insight from the powerful archetypes of the major arcana, including Justice, Strength, The High Priestess, The Magician, The Lovers, and The Fool, and the subtle day-to-day details conveyed by the minor arcana, the suit cards of Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles.

Critique: A 78-card tarot deck that is accompanied by a 76 page information booklet, "The Pulp Girls Tarot Deck: A 78-Card Deck of Magic and Affirmations" is especially and unreservedly recommended for novice and experienced tarot card readers alike. Especially useful for personal and professional tarot readers as a tool for personal transformation and self-improvement, "The Pulp Girls Tarot Deck: A 78-Card Deck of Magic and Affirmations" is an extraordinary addition to personal and professional metaphysical and mystic tarot deck collections.

Editorial Note: The Pulp Girls is a collective run by sisters Cailie and Brianna. Cailie is the resident illustrator, with a strong focus on subversive depictions of all kinds of folks. In addition to beautiful artwork and prints, they produce wearable art in the form of apparel, socks, buttons, enamel pins, patches, stickers, and jewelry. The have a dedicated website at https://www.thepulpgirls.com/products


James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937
e-mail: mbr@execpc.com
e-mail: mwbookrevw@aol.com
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