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Library Bookwatch

Volume 14, Number 10 October 2019 Home | LBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Genealogy Shelf Science Shelf General Fiction Shelf
Romantic Fiction Shelf Western Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Art Shelf Biography Shelf
American History Shelf World History Shelf Civil War Shelf
Political Science Shelf Native American Studies Shelf Psychology Shelf
International Studies Shelf Audiobook Shelf Library CD Shelf
Library DVD Shelf Military Shelf Business Shelf
Education Shelf Cookbook Shelf Technology Shelf
Architecture Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Music Shelf Jewelry Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf
Parenting Shelf    


Reviewer's Choice


How Can I Help?
Ginger Welch
Gryphon House, Inc.
PO Box 10, 6848 Leon's Way, Lewisville, NC 27023
www.gryphonhouse.com
9780876598337, $19.95, PB, 130pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Sometimes misbehavior isn't what it seems. Many children come to care with early signs of mental- or behavioral-health issues. Early childhood professionals are often the first to notice that something is different.

"How Can I Help?: A Teacher's Guide to Early Childhood Behavioral Health" by Ginger Welch is a practical guide that helps educators first identify issues and then create nurturing, safe, and successful learning environments to set up all children for success.

Classroom teachers will learn how to: Promote mental health for all children in their care; Identify signs of behavioral-health issues in children and family members; Support children who have specific behavioral-health difficulties; Work with the families of children with behavioral-health challenges.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "How Can I Help?: A Teacher's Guide to Early Childhood Behavioral Health" would well serve as a teacher in-service training curriculum text, and should be considered essential reading for any student teacher preparing to embark upon a career in education. While unreservedly recommended for school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of academia, classroom teachers, school district administrators, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "How Can I Help?: A Teacher's Guide to Early Childhood Behavioral Health" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.95).

Spotted Tail: Warrior and Statesman
Richmond L. Clow
South Dakota Historical Society Press
900 Governors Drive, Pierre, SC 57501-2217
https://www.sdhspress.com
9780984504183, $29.95, HC, 390pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: As a prominent leader of the Sicangu Lakotas during a time of conflict and change, Spotted Tail (1823 - 1881) left his mark on the Northern Great Plains. He was not a hereditary chief but developed his standing over time, first proving himself a capable warrior and later a persuasive negotiator.

As white settlers encroached on Indian lands in ever-greater numbers, Spotted Tail decided to forgo engaging in prolonged conflicts with the United States, including those led by Red Cloud and Crazy Horse. Instead, he determined to negotiate with the United States to secure a homeland, education, employment, and other necessities essential to the future of his people.

Had Spotted Tail chosen to fight, wrote Captain John G. Bourke in 1891, neither North nor South Dakota, Wyoming nor Montana might now be on the map.

Not all Lakotas agreed with his philosophy, and his tactics, heavy-handed at times, earned him enemies. On 5 August 1881, Crow Dog, a fellow Sicangu leader on the Rosebud Indian Reservation, shot and killed Spotted Tail, ending years of rivalry. But even in death, Spotted Tail continued to have an impact, as Crow Dog's conviction for his murder made its way to the United States Supreme Court, ultimately impacting tribal sovereignty.

"Spotted Tail: Warrior and Statesman " by Richmond L. Clow is the first full biography of Spotted Tail since the 1960s and draws upon firsthand accounts from tribal and non-tribal sources, government records, and published works to establish Spotted Tail as both a warrior and a statesman. Professor Clow's voluminous research into contemporary news accounts, including interviews with Spotted Tail, provides a wealth of information about his views and actions that, until now, have been remarkably underutilized.

Critique: An impressively documented work of meticulous and original scholarship, "Spotted Tail: Warrior and Statesman" is an extraordinary and exceptionally well written biography that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly valued addition to personal reading lists, as well as both community and academic library Native American History collections and supplemental curriculum studies.

Meditation
Patrick J. Harbula, DD
St. Martin's Essentials
c/o St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
www.stmartins.com
9781250210043, $14.99, PB, 160pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Meditation is an ancient practice that has brought peace and clarity to people from every time, culture, and place. Its benefits (a sense of calm, greater knowledge of self, better health) are as appealing to the modern world as they were to the ancient. "Meditation " by Patrick Harbula is beginner's guide to meditation that provides readers with everything they need to know in order to experience deep meditation.

"Meditation" covers: The history of meditation, both Eastern and Western; The benefits of meditation for the mind, body, and spirit; Different forms of meditation practice; Supportive practices to enhance the benefits of meditation in daily living: Simple ways to begin meditation immediately, and more!

In addition, readers will also find simple techniques to deepen the meditation path for more experienced meditators. "Meditation" demystifies the often times intimidating world of meditation, providing the perfect starting point for anyone looking to cultivate a sense of peace in their life.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Meditation" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended introduction to the basics of meditating, especially for personal health and peace of mind in these troubled and troubling times. While unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Meditation" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete an unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250233240, $28.99, CD).


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

The Frugal Book Promoter, third edition
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
https://www.howtodoitfrugally.com/index.htm
Modern History Press
https://www.modernhistorypress.com
9781615994694, $36.95, HC, 292pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Simply stated, this newly updated third edition of "The Frugal Book Promoter" by Carolyn Howard-Johnson assures even the most novice of authors to get their book gets the best possible start in life, whether their publisher assigns zero dollars or thousands to their book's marketing campaign. Carolyn is a former publicist and draws upon her years of experience to enable authors provides no-nonsense basics to build the essentials needed to build a time-saving social media campaign and knock'em dead lists of influencers that will be more effective than anything paid advertisement you could buy. Authors can pick and choose from dozens of ideas for promotions that Carolyn developed or refined through extensive (and award-winning) book campaigns of her own. There are campaign ideas, techniques and strategies to match any pocketbook and personality considerations.

Critique: It should be noted that the Midwest Book Review is positively cited three specific times as a valuable and valued resource for an author's book marketing campaign, along with a positive endorsement citation for Carolyn's work on her previous 'how to' books for authors and publishers. That said, this new third edition of "The Frugal Book Promoter: How to get nearly free publicity on your own or by partnering with your publisher" continues to be an unreservedly endorsed and recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Writing/Publishing instructional collections. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, it should be noted for personal reference and reading lists that this new edition of "The Frugal Book Promoter" is also available in a paperback edition (9781615994687, $24.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.95).

Editorial Note: Carolyn Howard-Johnson brings her experience as a publicist, journalist, marketer, and retailer to the advice she gives in her HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers and the many classes she taught for nearly a decade as instructor for UCLA Extension's world-renown Writers' Program.

The books in her How To Do It Frugally series of books for writers have won multiple awards. including from USA Book News, Readers' Views Literary Award, the marketing award from Next Generation Indie Books, and the coveted Irwin award among others

Howard-Johnson is also the recipient of the California Legislature's Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment Award, and her community's prestigious Character and Ethics award for her work promoting tolerance with her writing and Diamond Award for Achievement in the Arts. She was also named to Pasadena Weekly's list of "Fourteen San Gabriel Valley women who make life happen."

Of particular interest for the publishing community is a complete listing of her published works which can be found at: http://www.howtodoitfrugally.com/published_works_almanac.htm

Admitting to carrying a pen and journal wherever she goes, Carolyn's website is www.howtodoitfrugally.com. Those interested can subscribe to her free #SharingwithWriters newsletter by sending an e-mail with "subscribe" in the subject line to HoJoNews [at] aol [dot] com.

MLA Handbook: 8th Edition
The Modern Language Association of America
85 Broad Street, Suite 500, New York, NY 10004-2434
https://www.mla.org
9781603292627, $15.00, PB, 160pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The Modern Language Association is the premier authority on research and writing. The MLA takes a fresh look at documenting sources in this newly updated and revised eighth edition of the "MLA Handbook".

Works are published today in a dizzying range of formats. A book, for example, may be read in print, online, or as an e-book or perhaps listened to in an audio version. On the Web, modes of publication are regularly invented, combined, and modified. Previous editions of the MLA Handbook provided separate instructions for each format, and additional instructions were required for new formats. In this groundbreaking new edition of its best-selling handbook, the MLA recommends instead one universal set of guidelines, which writers can apply to any type of source.

Shorter and redesigned for easy use, this new eighth edition of the MLA Handbook guides writers through the principles behind evaluating sources for their research. It then shows them how to cite sources in their writing and create useful entries for the works-cited list.

More than just a new edition, this is a whole new MLA style.

Critique: Simply stated, this new 8th edition of the "MLA Handbook" is unreservedly recommended as a core addition to both community and academic library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections, and should be considered mandatory reading by every author and every publisher and a permanent part of their professional reference collection. Students, academia, authors and publishers should also note for their personal reading lists that this 8th edition of the "MLA Handbook" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Founded in 1883, the Modern Language Association of America provides opportunities for its members to share their scholarly findings and teaching experiences with colleagues and to discuss trends in the academy. MLA members host an annual convention and other meetings, work with related organizations, and sustain one of the finest publishing programs in the humanities. For more than a century, members have worked to strengthen the study and teaching of language and literature.

Calligraphy and Lettering: A Maker's Guide
Victoria & Albert Museum
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500294307, $29.95, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The Victoria and Albert Museum is the world's leading museum of art, design, and performance, housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects that span over 5,000 years of human creativity. The V&A is located in London, England.

Calligraphy (along with brush lettering, sign writing, and the chalkboard) is undergoing a surge in popularity. Examples of beautiful lettering and penmanship are all around us, and all over Instagram, depicted on book covers, posters, and invitations.

Perfect for anyone wanting to learn more about calligraphy and lettering, "Calligraphy and Lettering: A Maker's Guide" from the Victoria & Albert Museums provides a practical introduction showcasing a great many extraordinary examples from the museum's collection, and will offer a new understanding and appreciation of letterforms.

Detailed instructions, complete with sample alphabets, lead you through the essentials of classic styles such as Gothic and Italic lettering, on to vintage- inspired sign writing and chalkboard design and even into the elegant, image-led worlds of illuminated capitals and zoomorphic calligraphy. Projects include a handmade booklet, banner, menu, gift tags, a monogram rubber stamp, greetings cards, and more.

Lettering often has a decorative as well as informative function, and with "Calligraphy and Lettering: A Maker's Guide" and a bit of practice, it is possible for anyone to elevate their message, whatever it may be, into a personalized piece of art.

Critique: Profusely illustrated with some 230 full color illustrations, the expert organization and presentation of "Calligraphy and Lettering: A Maker's Guide" make it an ideal DIY text for aspiring calligraphers and an unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing collections in general, and Calligraphy Arts supplemental studies lists in particular.


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

For the Love of Rescue Cats
Carol Griglione & Mick McAuliffe
CompanionHouse Books
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
www.FoxChapelPublishing.com
9781620083604, $19.99, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: For those seeking a feline companion, "For the Love of Rescue Cats: The Complete Guide to Selecting, Training, and Caring for Your Cat" is the perfect read before bringing a rescue pet home.

"For the Love of Rescue Cats" is a witty and informative book on all things feline-related and features over 250 stunning pictures of cute cats. This comprehensive resource fully illustrates the many facets of their personality, provides tips on training, and explains the best ways to care for a rescue cat.

Critique: Truly and exceptionally 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "For the Love of Rescue Cats: The Complete Guide to Selecting, Training, and Caring for Your Cat" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Pets/Wildlife collections in general, and cat care studies lists in particular. It should be noted that "For the Love of Rescue Cats" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Carol Griglione has worked on a wide range of animal issues in Iowa over the past 20 years, including those affecting animal shelters. She has been involved in such areas as making animal torture and dog fighting a felony in Iowa. For the past 15 years she has specifically focused on cats She is president of the board of directors of the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc., is on the board of the Iowa Federation of Humane Societies and regularly speaks on cat behavior on local radio stations.

Mick McAulife joined the ARL staff in 1990. He has worked extensively in canine training and served as Director of Animal Behavior and Training for the R.S.P.C.A. Queensland, Australia. He believes training should be fun for you and your pet and he stresses positive reinforcement techniques, eliminating the need for physical or verbal correction or training equipment that can cause injury. Mick educates owners on how to train their pets with patience and understanding, resulting in a well-mannered pet and life-long bond.


The Genealogy Shelf

Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, second edition
Chris Paton
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781526757814, $24.95, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Chris Paton is a genealogist and writer based in Ayrshire. He runs the Scotland's Greatest Story research service at www.scotlandsgreateststory.co.uk. He is a regular writer for several British and Irish genealogy magazines, runs the British GENES news and events blog at www.BritishGENES.blogspot.com, and gives regular talks to local family history societies and internationally.

"Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians" is Paton's fully updated second edition of his best-selling guide to researching Irish history using the internet. Paton shows the extraordinary variety of sources that can now be accessed online.

Although Ireland has lost many records that would have been of great interest to family historians, Paton demonstrates that a great deal of information survived and is now easily available to the researcher thanks to the pioneering efforts of the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, the National Archives of Ireland, organizations such as FindmyPast Ireland, Ancestry.co.uk and RootsIreland and the volunteer genealogical community, an ever-increasing range of Ireland's historical resources are accessible from afar.

As well as exploring the various categories of records that the family historian can turn to, Paton illustrates their use with fascinating case studies. He fully explores the online records available from both the north and the south from the earliest times to the present day. Many overseas collections are also included, and he looks at social networking in an Irish context where many exciting projects are currently underway.

Critique: This newly updated and expanded second edition of "Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet: A Guide for Family Historians" is an essential introduction and source of reference for anyone who is keen to trace their Irish roots and unreservedly recommended for community and academic library Genealogy Research collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of aspiring and practicing genealogists and family historians that "Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).


The Science Shelf

The Poetics of Natural History
Christoph Irmscher
Rutgers University Press
106 Somerset St., 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
http://rutgerspress.rutgers.edu
9781978805873, $75.00, HC, 403pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Early American naturalists assembled dazzling collections of native flora and fauna, from Joihn Bartram's botanical garden in Philadelphia and the artful display of animals in Charles Willson Peale's museum to P. T. Barnum's American Museum, infamously characterized by Henry James as "halls of humbug." Yet physical collections were only one of the myriad ways that these naturalists captured, catalogued, and commemorated America's rich biodiversity. They also turned to writing and art, from John Edward Holbrook's forays into the fascinating world of herpetology to John James Audubon's masterful portraits of American birds.

"The Poetics of Natural History" is a groundbreaking study in which Christoph Irmscher argues that early American natural historians developed a distinctly poetic sensibility that allowed them to imagine themselves as part of, and not apart from, their environment. He also demonstrates what happens to such inclusiveness in the hands of Harvard scientist-turned Amazonian explorer Louis Agassiz, whose racist pseudoscience appalled his student William James.

This expanded, full-color edition of "The Poetics of Natural History" features a preface and art from award-winning artist Rosamond Purcell and invites the reader to be fully immersed in an era when the boundaries between literature, art, and science became fluid.

Critique: Arguably a classic in its field, this new edition of "The Poetics of Natural History" is unreservedly recommended as a core addition to community, college, and university library collections and supplemental studies lists. 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 Poetics of Natural History" is also available in a paperback edition (9781978805866, $39.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $39.95).

Editorial Note: Christoph Irmscher is the George F. Getz Jr. Professor and the Class of 1942 Professor in the Wells Scholars Program at Indiana University, which he also directs. The author of many books, including Louis Agassiz: Creator of American Science, he regularly writes for national publications, including The Wall Street Journal.

Rosamond Wolff Purcell is a leading American photographer who has earned international acclaim. Her work has appeared in numerous collections, including Finders, Keepers (her collaboration with Stephen Jay Gould) and Bookworm. She is the subject of the documentary An Art that Nature Makes.

The Origins of Bioethics
John A. Lynch
Michigan State University Press
1405 South Harrison Road, Suite 25, East Lansing, MI 48823-5245
http://msupress.org
9781611863413, $39.95, PB, 246pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Bioethics is the study of the ethical issues emerging from advances in biology and medicine. It is also moral discernment as it relates to medical policy and practice. Bioethics are concerned with the ethical questions that arise in the relationships among life sciences, biotechnology, medicine and medical ethics, politics, law, theology and philosophy. It includes the study of values relating to primary care and other branches of medicine. Bioethics also relates to many other sciences outside the realm of biological sciences. (Wikipedia).

John A. Lynch is Professor and Graduate Director in the Department of Communication at the University of Cincinnati. He was previously the clinical research ethicist at the Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training at UC's College of Medicine. He is the author of What Are Stem Cells? Definitions at the Intersection of Science and Politics, which received the 2016 Distinguished Book Award from the National Communication Association's Health Communication Division, and "'Prepare to Believe': The Creation Museum as Embodied Conversion Narrative," which received the Association for the Rhetoric of Science, Technology, and Medicine's 2014 Article of the Year Award.

In "The Origins of Bioethics: Remembering When Medicine Went Wrong" Professor Lynch argues that what we remember from the history of medicine and how we remember it are consequential for the identities of doctors, researchers, and patients in the present day.

Remembering when medicine went wrong calls people to account for the injustices inflicted on vulnerable communities across the twentieth century in the name of medicine, but the very groups empowered to create memorials to these events often have a vested interest in minimizing their culpability for them. Sometimes these groups bury this past and forget events when medical research harmed those it was supposed to help.

The call to bioethical memory then conflicts with a desire for "minimal remembrance" on the part of institutions and governments.

"The Origins of Bioethics" charts this tension between bioethical memory and minimal remembrance across three cases (e.g. the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, the Willowbrook Hepatitis Study, and the Cincinnati Whole Body Radiation Study) that highlight the shift from robust bioethical memory to minimal remembrance to forgetting.

Critique: A meticulously researched work of simply outstanding scholarship, "The Origins of Bioethics: Remembering When Medicine Went Wrong" is extraordinarily informative and deftly organized for the benefit of students, academia, bioethics advocates, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject. Enhanced with a fifty-six page listing of References, forty- two pages of Notes, and a seven page Index, "The Origins of Bioethics" should be considered a critically important and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Medicine, Ethics, and 20th Century History collections.


The General Fiction Shelf

All Too Human
Karen Wills
Five Star Publishing
10 Water Street, Suite 310, Waterville, ME 04901
http://gale.cengage.com/fivestar
9781432855086, $25.95, HC, 322pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In 1905 Rebecca Bryan was the first woman to practice law in Kalispell, Montana. She is sent by her uncle and senior partner to a remote hunting lodge near the Canadian border. She's to find the missing will of his deceased longtime love, the wealthy artist Lucinda Cale.

After a broken coach wheel forces her to set out in the winter forest at night, she meets Lucinda's compelling son, Bretton. Next morning, he takes her to Eagle Mountain where she meets the rest of the dysfunctional Cale family. There Rebecca also discovers Lucinda's hidden diaries, which tell of a naive bride's victimization that hardened her into a manipulative, murderous matriarch.

Lucinda's estate is large. Each heir is desperate. Those involved reveal themselves to be "All Too Human"!

Critique: A simply riveting page-turner of a read from cover to cover, "All Too Human" showcases author Karen Will's genuine flair for originality and a distinctively reader engaging narrative storytelling style that will make her deftly crafted and thoroughly entertaining novel an immediate and popular addition to both personal reading lists and community library collections.

May in America
Annie Wang
China Books
360 Swift Avenue, Suite #48, South San Francisco, CA 94080
www.chinabooks.com
9780835103091, $18.95, PB, 306pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: May, one of the new generations of Chinese super-rich kids, has outgrown Beijing and has come to California for an exciting life. There she meets two American men: a Jewish-American Harvard-educated professor named Leaf; and Mentor, a Silicon Valley self-made billionaire.

As her relationships with Leaf and Mentor progress, May's past traumas in patriarchal China are revealed, while her cultural naivete leads to divergent interpretations of trust, personal boundaries, respect, fetishism, and sexual deviancy.

May's life descends into a mad triangle of deception. Desperate, hurting, disconnected and suffering from the feeling of being emotionally dead and alone, May must find the strength to survive.

Critique: A deftly written novel by an author with a genuine flair for originality as well as a distinctively reader engaging and narrative storytelling style, "May in America" by Annie Wang adroitly explores the themes of 'love and lust, darkness and light, innocence and cynicism, individuality and co-dependence, and, ultimately, loss and redemption'. One of those all too rare novels that will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf, "May in America" is unreservedly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "May in America" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.95).

Country
Michael Hughes
Custom House
c/o William Morrow & Company
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
www.harpercollins.com
9780062940322, $26.99, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: After twenty-five years of vicious conflict, the IRA and the British have agreed to an uneasy ceasefire as a first step towards lasting peace. But, faced with the prospect that decades of savage violence and loss have led only to smiles and handshakes, those on the ground in the border country question whether it really is time to pull back -- or quite the opposite.

When an IRA man's wife turns informer, he and his brother gather their comrades for an assault on the local army base. But old grudges boil over, and the squad's feared sniper, Achill, refuses to risk his life to defend another man's pride. As the gang plots without him, the British SAS are sent to crush the rogue terror cell before it can wreck the fragile truce and drag the region back to the darkest days of the Troubles. Meanwhile, Achill's young protege grabs his chance to join the fray in his place.

Critique: A novel of Ireland's civil war known as The Troubles, "Country" is a compelling page turner of a read and showcases author Michael Hughes genuine flair for narrative driven storytelling of the first order. Certain to be an enduringly appreciated addition to community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Country" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781982687717, $29.99, CD).


The Romantic Fiction Shelf

Coming Home for Christmas
RaeAnne Thayne
www.raeannethayne.com
HQN
c/o Harlequin Books
https://www.harlequin.com
9781335016621, $27.99, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Elizabeth Hamilton has been lost. Trapped in a tangle of postpartum depression and grief after the death of her beloved parents, she couldn't quite see the way back to her husband and their two beautiful kids -- until a car accident stole away her memories and changed her life.

And when she finally remembered the sound of little Cassie's laugh, the baby powder smell of Bridger and the feel of her husband's hand in hers, Elizabeth worried that they'd moved on without her. That she'd missed too much. That perhaps she wasn't the right mother for her kids or wife for Luke, no matter how much she loved them.

But now, seven years later, Luke finds her in a nearby town and brings Elizabeth back home to the family she loves, just in time for Christmas. And being reunited with Luke and her children is better than anything Elizabeth could have imagined. As they all trim the tree and bake cookies, making new holiday memories, Elizabeth and Luke are drawn ever closer.

Can the hurt of the past seven years be healed over the course of one Christmas season and bring the Hamiltons the gift of a new beginning?

Critique: With "Coming Home for Christmas", author RaeAnne Thayne (www.raeannethayne.com) has once again penned a deftly crafted and truly heartwarming story that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Romance Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of her legions of fans that "Coming Home for Christmas" is also available in a paperback edition (9781335504999, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Western Fiction Shelf

A Man Called Crow
Chris Adam Smith
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444839814, $20.99, PB, Large Print, 260pp

Synopsis: Old-time lawman Charlie Crow finds peace in Wyoming after having involved himself in another county cattle war. But before he can settle down permanently, he must face a distant and dangerous past. Old ghosts, graves and range wars, greed and double-cross mark the long trail back to his youth in the Texas borderlands. His quick gun is wanted one last time if the town of Carol Creek is to survive the threatened chaos. From behind a county badge, Crow tries desperately to ride out the storm and return to Cheyenne, and the woman he left behind.

Critique: Another inherently riveting western novel by Chris Adam Smith, this large print edition of "A Man Called Crow" will easily prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Western Fiction collections -- and is unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of all dedicated western action/adventure fans.

Lawman
Ethan J. Wolfe
Five Star Publishing
10 Water Street, Suite 310, Waterville, ME 04901
http://gale.cengage.com/fivestar
9781432857394, $25.95, HC, 321pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Living in semi-retirement with Kai, his soon to be wife, Murphy is called back to action by his former boss, ex-President Grant. Writing his memoirs, Grant is about to embark on a cross-country speaking tour and wants Murphy to act as his private bodyguard. Murphy agrees and the tour starts without a hitch until they reach Washington DC.

At a prominent university in the Washington area, a man suddenly stands in the middle of Grant's lecture, pulls a gun, screams "The South shall rise again," and attempts to assassinate Grant. Ever close at hand, Murphy kills the assassin before he can carry out his assassination plot.

At first, President Chester Arthur and his special advisor William Burke treat the incident as the act of a bitter crazy man. Undaunted by the attempt on his life, Grant continues the tour westward with Murphy by his side. Shortly thereafter, the real motive for the assassination attempt is revealed when it is learned that the niece of the British Ambassador, a student at the University of Virginia, where the shooting took place, has been kidnapped and the ransom is a quarter of a million in gold.

Critique: The fifth and newest volume in western author Ethan J. Wolfe's 'The Regulator' series, "Lawman" is another simply riveting read with Wolfe's patented and unexpected plot twists and turns. A riveting and entertaining action/adventure, "Lawman" is unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of all dedicated western novel fans, as well as community library Western Fiction collections.

Desolation Wells
Colin Bainbridge
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444840094, $20.99, PR, Large Print, 216pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: After coming to the aid of an old timer besieged by a gang of gunmen, Chet Westoe finds himself being tracked by three unknown riders. A confrontation in the town of Desolation Wells leads to a self-defense shootout, but faced with the prospect of jail, Westoe breaks free. He heads for a ranch called the Barbed S, his only clue to the mystery; but there he is entangled in a heap of trouble. The tension builds to a shattering climax as the trail leads straight to an all-out clash with the outlaw gang known as the Bronco Boys.

Critique: With more plot twists and turns than a badlands trail, "Desolation Wells" is a simply riveting read by Colin Bainbridge and in this large print edition is especially recommended for personal reading lists and community library Western Fiction collections.

Taggart's Crossing
Paul Bedford
Linford Westeron Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444841732, $20.99, PB, Large Print, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: John Taggart and Jacob Stuckey are Civil War veterans who operate a ferry on the mighty Arkansas River -- but trouble still finds them in the tranquil setting. After robbing a bank in Wichita, Russ Decker and his gang's escape route takes them by way of the ferry crossing. Once there, Decker decides to stop pursuit by putting John and Jacob out of business permanently. But fate decrees that a keelboat full of stolen silver ore will arrive at Taggart's Crossing just at the right moment to create maximum havoc. Then there is the escaped prisoner of a Marshal and a hell-bent posse of Pinkerton men descending on a scene of pure outlaw chaos!

Critique: A riveting novel of one lethal situation after another, this large print edition of Paul Bedford's "Taggart's Crossing" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to the personal reading lists of any and all dedicated western action/adventure fans and a 'must' for any and all community library collections!


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Candy Cane Caper
Josi S. Kilpack
Shadow Mountain Publishing
P.O. Box 30178, Salt Lake City, Utah 84130-0178
www.shadowmountain.com
9781629726014, $15.99, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The theft of a friend's priceless, family-legacy Christmas ornaments brings amateur detective and culinary expert, Sadie Hoffmiller, back on the case in Josi Kilpack's "The Candy Cane Caper" -- a new standalone cozy mystery.

In the latest chapter to Kilpack's 'Culinary Mystery' series, amateur detective Sadie Hoffmiller continues combining her sleuthing with her cooking and baking to connect with people and gain information she might otherwise not have access to. Moreover, now that Sadie is married to Detective Pete Cunningham, she has a street-savvy husband to test out her crime-solving theories.

With Christmas approaching, Sadie is preparing for a large blended-family gathering including many new grandchildren -- in their home in Fort Collins, Colorado. Even with the festive chaos, Sadie drops everything when word gets out that her friend, Mary, is the victim of a holiday robbery.

At ninety-four years old, and nearly blind, Mary knows this is may be her last Christmas and the last year to enjoy her family heirloom Christmas tree ornaments. She wants just one more holiday to display her ornaments and following Christmas Eve Mass, she'll pass them on to her great-granddaughter, Joy. Though priceless to the family, the collection has been valued at $40,000, and the Christmas tree in the care facility has never looked so good. But before the ornaments can be retrieved by Mary, eleven of the most expensive ornaments are stolen.

Critique: Another deftly crafted mystery by an author whose distinctively original narrative storytelling style showcases her complete mastery of the genre, "The Candy Cane Caper" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the growing legion of Josi Kilpack fans (and all dedicated mystery buffs) that "The Candy Cane Caper" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

The Professor of Immortality
Eileen Pollack
Delphinium Books
http://www.delphiniumbooks.com
9781883285821, $27.00, HC, 275pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Professor Maxine Sayers once found her personal and professional life so fulfilling that she founded the Institute of Future Studies, a program dedicated to studying the effects of technology on our culture and finding ways to prolong human life.

But when her beloved husband dies, she is so devastated she can barely get out of bed. To make matters worse, her son, Zach, has abruptly quit his job in Silicon Valley and been out of contact for seven months.

Maxine is jolted from her grief by her sudden suspicion that a favorite former student (and a former close friend of her son) might be a terrorist called the Technobomber and that Zach might either be involved in or become a victim of this extremist's bombing. Deserting her teaching responsibilities, her ailing mother, and an appealing suitor, Maxine feels compelled to set out and search for her son in order to warn and protect him, even as she knows she should report her suspicions to the FBI to prevent greater carnage.

Critique: A deftly scripted suspense thriller of a read from cover to cover, "The Professor of Immortality" showcases author Eileen Pollack's impressive flair for the kind of narrative storytelling that grips and holds the readers total attention from first page to last. With more unexpected plot twists and turns than a Disney Land roller coaster, "The Professor of Immortality" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Suspense/Thriller fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Professor of Immortality" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).

A Killer Carol
Laura Bradford
Berkley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
www.penguin.com
9781984805904, $7.99, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: As the owner of Heavenly Treasures, the local gift shop, Claire is busier than ever helping her English customers (and even a few of her Amish friends, like Esther and Ben) find the perfect gift for the special people on their shopping list.

Claire makes sure she has time for her boyfriend, Detective Jakob Fisher. But the man, who was raised and then shunned by the Amish over his choice of career, has been unusually secretive lately. She tries not to worry, to trust their relationship, but trying and doing aren't exactly matching up.

Before she can figure out what's going on with Jakob, word comes that Ruth and Samuel Yoder are being questioned in the death of an elderly Amish couple, found murdered not long after the newlyweds were seen leaving the victims' farm. Ruth, in turn, seeks Claire's help in convincing the police that she and Samuel had nothing to do with what happened. But when Claire comes across a cryptic note tucked inside the wedding gift the victims had given the newlyweds no more than an hour before their murder, she finds herself in dire need of a little convincing as well!

Critique: A deftly crafted and riveting mystery of the first order, "A Killer Carol" by Laura Bradford is a compelling, page-turner of a read that is unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of all dedicated 'whodunnit' fans and certain to be an immediately popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections!

The Bodies in the Library
Marty Wingate
Berkley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
www.penguin.com
9781984804105, $26.00, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Hayley Burke has landed a dream job. She is the new curator of Lady Georgiana Fowling's First Edition library. The library is kept at Middlebank House, a lovely Georgian home in Bath, England. Hayley lives on the premises and works with the finicky Glynis Woolgar, Lady Fowling's former secretary.

Mrs. Woolgar does not like Hayley's ideas to modernize The First Edition Society and bring in fresh blood. And she is not even aware of the fact that Hayley does not know the first thing about the Golden Age of Mysteries. Hayley is faking it till she makes it, and one of her plans to breathe new life into the Society is actually taking flight -- an Agatha Christie fan fiction writers group is paying dues to meet up at Middlebank House.

But when one of the group is found dead in the venerable stacks of the library, Hayley has to catch the killer to save the Society and her new job!

Critique: Another beautifully crafted mystery by a true master of the genre, "The Bodies in the Library" is an unfailingly entertaining read from cover to cover. While unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "The Bodies in the Library" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

A Merry Murder
Kate Kingsbury
Berkley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
www.penguin.com
9781984805928, $16.00, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The Pennyfoot halls are decked with boughs of holly, a magnificently decorated tree graces the lobby, and the hotel's bookings are finally looking up. Owner of the Pennyfoot, Cecily Sinclair Baxter is in high holiday spirits until disaster strikes, threatening to ruin yet another Yuletide. Her chief housemaid Gertie McBride has found a man's body in the hotel laundry room -- with a woman's scarf wrapped around his neck and a note in his pocket from the hotel's new maid.

Cecily is determined to track down the culprit, but with multiple suspects icing her out of crucial clues, she realizes this killer may be more slippery than most. With Christmas right around the corner, it is up to Cecily to prevent this holiday season at the Pennyfoot from turning out to be more fatal than festive!

Critique: Another beautifully crafted and thoroughly entertaining 'whodunnit' with a seasonal holiday flair that is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99), "A Merry Murder" by Kate Kingsbury is an especially recommended addition to the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections!


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Wardens of Eternity
Courtney Moulton
Blink
c/o HarperCollins
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
www.harpercollinschildrens.com
9780310767183, $18.99, HC, 368pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Ziva has one memory of her parents, made the day they abandoned her on the streets of New York City when she was three years old. They left her with only a memory and a promise that she had a great and terrible destiny.

Fifteen years later, Ziva discovers that destiny includes powers that she doesn't understand and can barely control. Her magic attracts vicious, otherworldly monsters, and eventually compatriots to help her fight them. Sayer and Nasira know the secrets Ziva doesn't; that Ziva is descended from Egyptian royalty and in possession of ancient magic passed down from the time of the gods. They promise to teach Ziva to control her magic and to give her the family she's always yearned for.

But trouble is brewing in the world around them; darkness is descending on Hitler's Germany, threatening World War II. As the last heir of a revered Egyptian queen, Ziva is the only one with the power to prevent another costly global conflict. As Ziva navigates her newfound abilities and makes a connection with Anubis and other Egyptian gods, the Nazis are hunting for the ultimate weapon, and Ziva has caught their interest.

Critique: A terrifically entertaining and compulsive page-turner of a fantasy action/adventure read from cover to cover, "Wardens of Eternity" deftly showcases novelist Courtney Moulton's impressive flair for originality and her total mastery of the genre, Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Fantasy Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated fantasy fans that "Wardens of Eternity" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Empire of Lies
Raymond Khoury
Forge
c/o Tor/Forge Books
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
www.tor-forge.com
9781250210968, $27.99, HC, 448pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Istanbul, 1683: Mehmed IV, sultan of the Ottoman Empire, is preparing to lay siege to Vienna, capital of the Holy Roman Empire, when a mysterious visitor arrives in his bedroom. The visitor is naked, covered in strange tattoos, and delivers a dangerous, world-changing message.

Paris, 2017: Ottoman flags have been flying over the great city for three hundred years, ever since its fall (along with all of Europe) to the empire's all-conquering army. Notre Dame has been renamed the Fatih Mosque. Public spaces are segregated by gender. And Kamal Arslan Agha, a feted officer in the sultan's secret police, is starting to question his orders.

Rumors of an impending war with the Christian Republic of America, attacks by violent extremists, and economic collapse have heightened surveillance and arrests across the empire. Tasked with surveying potential threats, Kamal has a heavy caseload -- and conscience.

When a mysterious stranger (naked, covered in strange tattoos) suddenly appears on the banks of the Seine, Kamal is called in to investigate. But what he discovers is a secret buried in the empire's past, a secret the Sultan will do anything to silence.

With the mysterious Z Protectorate one step behind, Kamal, together with Nisreen (a fierce human rights lawyer) is caught up in a race across the empire and time itself -- a race that could change their world, or destroy it.

Critique: A deftly crafted alternate history in the best science fiction tradition, "Empire of Lies" showcases author Raymond Khoury's genuine flair for originality and a simply riveting narrative storytelling style. While unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated science fiction fans that "Empire of Lies" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250243508, $66.99, CD).


The Art Shelf

Colour-Pencil Drawing
Kendra Ferreira
GMC Publications
c/o The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784945305, $14.95, PB, 96pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Learn how to draw with colored pencils by following "Colour-Pencil Drawing", an easy and accessible guide in which award-winning artist Kendra Ferreira demonstrates the creative potential of an exciting and highly versatile artistic medium.

Colored pencils combine the expressiveness of painting with the control of drawing. They allow for really rich and luminous color, with finished drawings being so detailed and pigmented that they resemble paintings.

With 10 step-by-step tutorials, Kendra helps beginners learn: The fundamentals of drawing and colored-pencil techniques; Tutorials covering a range of subject matter, including still lifes, portraits, clouds and landscapes; Advice on tools, materials and techniques, plenty of tips throughout and ideas on how to take each tutorial a step further; Special features on drawing skies, adding figures to a scene and how to create colorful greys and shadows.

Skills developed in "Colour-Pencil Drawing" also include: making marks, sketching and composition, creating tone, light and shade, mixing colors, layering, optical mixing, burnishing, underpainting, creating texture and using solvents for painterly effects.

Critique: Expertly organized and presented, "Colour-Pencil Drawing" is the ideal DIY instructional guide and manual for aspiring artists wanting to work in this particular medium. Thoroughly 'user friendly' and profusely illustrated throughout, "Colour-Pencil Drawing" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and art school library collections.

Editorial Note: Kendra Ferreira is a pencil and mixed media artist specializing in pet portraits, still lifes and coastal scenes. She has a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, and lives and works in Rhode Island. Kendra is a founding partner of Beach Studios, Rhode Island, and teaches classes in colored-pencil drawing. Kendra has won many awards for her colored-pencil work, and is a signature member of the Colored Pencil Society of America.

Mastering Kilns and Firing
Lindsay Oesterritter
Quarry Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartous.com
9780760364888, $35.00, HC, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Mastering Kilns and Firing" by Lindsay Oesterritter is specifically intended for aspiring pottery makers seeking to learn the key techniques, tips, and tricks for pit, barrel, raku, and wood firing.

"Mastering Kilns and Firing" goes beyond the electric kiln to explore the dramatic surfaces of raku, the flashes of salt firing, and the rustic look of ash rivulets. In this profusely illustrated instructional guide and manual, Oesterritter provides a crash course in the most accessible methods of alternative firing.

Raku firing requires minimal equipment and can easily be fueled with a standard propane tank. Likewise, pit and barrel firing do not require much in the way of initial investment. Yet all these techniques provide an immediate glimpse into the magic of firing. Bright reds and blues, dramatic black and white crackle, even metallic luster are instantly possible. For more experienced potters and studios looking to offer more, Oesterritter also explores wood-fired kilns. Drawing on years of experience and extensive interviews with fellow wood-fire potters, there is no comparable resource on the market.

"Mastering Kilns and Firing" also features on top potters working today get to the heart of specialty techniques and asides show firing variations and traditional kilns in different cultures around the world. Showcasing a gallery of showstopping work from a diverse group of artists round out the package and inspire the aspiring pottery maker to get started.

Critique: Expertly organized and presented, "Mastering Kilns and Firing" is an ideal curriculum textbook for formal pottery classes and ideal for individual DIY self-instruction. "Mastering Kilns and Firing" is unreservedly recommended as a core addition to personal, professional, community, and technical college pottery making instructional reference collections.

Editorial Note: Lindsay Oesterritter is currently a full time studio potter, creating functional wood fired vessels. She is also a Co-Founder and Organizer of National Clay Week and member and Co-Founder of Objective Clay, two organizations aimed at supporting and growing the clay community. She earned her MFA from Utah State University in Logan Utah. She held the position of Assistant Professor of Ceramics at Western Kentucky University (2009-2015) and earned Associate Professor in 2015. Lindsay had the fortune to be a resident artist at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg and in Australia at Strathnairn Arts Association. She has had the opportunity to lecture and exhibit nationally and internationally and is continually inspired by the craft community.

Raphael and the Pope's Librarian
Nathaniel Silver & Ingrid Rowland
Paul Holberton Publishing
c/o Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
9781911300762, $20.00, PB, 64pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Published in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Raphael's death, "Raphael and the Pope's Librarian" is an engrossing publication specifically written to accompany an exhibition the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

"Raphael and the Pope's Librarian" brings together for the first time one of the most fascinating works in the museum's collection - the Gardner Museum's portrait of papal librarian Tommaso Inghirami - and a painting from the Vatican Museums depicting an episode in this life. This book tells the story of the first Raphael in America and explores Inghirami's fascinating career.

"Raphael and the Pope's Librarian" is the latest in the Close Up series of books accompanying a Gardner exhibition series, each installment of which sheds new light on an outstanding work of art in the permanent collection.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "Raphael and the Pope's Librarian" is an inherently fascinating and impressively informative read that is an especially recommended addition to personal, professional, college, and university library Art History collections in general, and Raphael supplemental studies lists in particular.


The Biography Shelf

Elizabeth Widville, Lady Grey
John Ashdown-Hill
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781526745019, $42.95, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Wife to Edward IV and mother to the Princes in the Tower and later Queen Elizabeth of York, Elizabeth Widville was a central figure during the War of the Roses. Much of her life is shrouded in speculation and myth -- even her name, commonly spelled as 'Woodville', is a hotly contested issue.

Born in the turbulent fifteenth century, she was famed for her beauty and controversial second marriage to Edward IV, who she married just three years after he had displaced the Lancastrian Henry VI and claimed the English throne. As Queen Consort, Elizabeth's rise from commoner to royalty continues to capture modern imagination. Undoubtedly, it enriched the position of her family. Her elevated position and influence invoked hostility from Richard Neville, the 'Kingmaker', which later led to open discord and rebellion.

Throughout her life and even after the death of her husband, Elizabeth remained politically influential: briefly proclaiming her son King Edward V of England before he was deposed by her brother-in-law, the infamous Richard III, she would later play an important role in securing the succession of Henry Tudor in 1485 and his marriage to her daughter Elizabeth of York, thus ending the War of the Roses.

Elizabeth Widville was an endlessly enigmatic historical figure, who has been obscured by dramatizations and misconceptions. "Elizabeth Widville, Lady Grey: Edward IV's Chief Mistress and the 'Pink Queen'" is a fascinating and insightful biography by Dr John Ashdown-Hill who brings shines a light on the truth of her life.

Critique: An impressively detailed, exhaustively researched, and meticulous presented work of scholarship, "Elizabeth Widville, Lady Grey: Edward IV's Chief Mistress and the 'Pink Queen'" is the extraordinary biography of an extraordinary life lived out in extraordinary times. While unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library 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 "Elizabeth Widville, Lady Grey" is also available in a paperback edition (9781526765833, $29.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Dr John Ashdown-Hill is a well-known medieval historian, having published extensively on a variety of topics within that period but focusing mainly on the Yorkist era. He is best-known for his pivotal role in uncovering the burial place of King Richard III for and for tracing collateral female-line descendants of Richard's elder sister to establish his mtDNA haplogroup, which matched the mtDNA of the bones found in the Leicester car park. He continues to write about this period of history, and in 2015 he was awarded an MBE 'for services to historical research and the exhumation and identification of Richard III'.

Francis of Assisi: The Hidden Story
Chiara Mercuri
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568, Orleans, MA 02653
www.paracletepress.com
9781640602755, $23.00, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The familiar Francis of Assisi of popular anecdote does not begin to take into account the complexity of the real person. Why? Because St. Bonaventure, a successor of Francis who never knew him personally, put forward his own view of Francis and spread that image far and wide.

In the pages of "Francis of Assisi: The Hidden Story" Italian historian Chiara Mercuri takes the reader back in time to the real Francis. From years of research and reconstruction, Mercuri reveals the complex dynamics of the Church of the Middle Ages, the origins of the Franciscan order, and the concentric circles of those friends who knew and wrote about St. Francis from firsthand knowledge.

Critique: Exhaustively researched, impressively informatively, exceptionally well organized, and accessibly presented for both academia and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject, "Francis of Assisi: The Hidden Story" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, church, seminary, community, and academic library collections in general, and St. Francis of Assisi supplemental studies lists in particular. It should be noted that "Francis of Assisi: The Hidden Story" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).


The American History Shelf

The Quaker and the Gamecock
Andrew Waters
Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
9781612007816, $34.95, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: As the newly appointed commander of the Southern Continental Army in December 1780, Nathanael Greene quickly realized victory would not only require defeating the British Army, but also subduing the region's brutal civil war. "The division among the people is much greater than I imagined, and the Whigs and the Tories persecute each other, with little less than savage fury," wrote Greene.

Part of Greene's challenge involved managing South Carolina's determined but unreliable Patriot militia, led by Thomas Sumter, the famed "Gamecock." Though Sumter would go on to a long political career, it was as a defiant partisan that he first earned the respect of his fellow backcountry settlers, a command that would compete with Greene for status and stature in the Revolutionary War's "Southern Campaign."

Despite these challenges, Greene was undaunted. Born to a devout Quaker family, and influenced by the faith's tenets, Greene instinctively understood the war's Southern theater involved complex political, personal, and socioeconomic challenges, not just military ones. Though never a master of the battlefield, Greene's mindful leadership style established his historic legacy.

"The Quaker and the Gamecock: Nathanael Greene, Thomas Sumter, and the Revolutionary War for the Soul of the South" by Andrew Waters tells the story of these two wildly divergent leaders against the backdrop of the American Revolution's last gasp, the effort to extricate a British occupation force from the wild and lawless South Carolina frontier. For Greene, the campaign meant a last chance to prove his capabilities as a general, not just a talented administrator. For Sumter, it was a quest of personal revenge that showcased his innate understanding of the backcountry character. Both men needed the other to defeat the British, yet their forceful personalities, divergent leadership styles, and opposing objectives would clash again and again, a fascinating story of our nation's bloody birth that still influences our political culture.

Critique: Meticulously researched and exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Quaker and the Gamecock: Nathanael Greene, Thomas Sumter, and the Revolutionary War for the Soul of the South" is an impressively informative and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library 18th Century American History collections in general and American Revolutionary War supplemental studies curriculum lists in particular. 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 Quaker and the Gamecock" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Andrew Waters is a writer, editor, and conservationist residing in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He is the editor of three slave narrative collections. As a land conservationist, he has facilitated the preservation of over 20,000 acres in the Carolinas.

Signing Their Rights Away
Denise Kiernan & Joseph D'Agnese
Quirk Books
215 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
www.quirkbooks.com
9781683691273, $15.99, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Long out of print and now brought back for a new generation of appreciative readersin paperback (and with a brand-new cover), "Signing Their Rights Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the United States Constitution" tells the untold stories of the signers of the U.S. Constitution and comes at a time when our constitutional rights are at the forefront of everyone's minds in today's volatile and often hostile political climate.

Remember when our elected officials knew how to compromise? Here are short, irreverent, fun, and fact-filled biographies of the 39 men who set aside their differences and signed their names to the U.S. Constitution -- the oldest written constitution of any nation in the world.

Readers will learn about: The Signer Who Believed in Aliens; The Signer Who Was Shot in the Stomach; The Signer Who Went Bankrupt; The Peg-Legged Signer; and many more colorful colonists! Complete with portraits of every signatory, Signing Their Rights Away provides an entertaining and enlightening narrative for students, history buffs, politicos, and Hamilton fans alike.

Critique: An inherently fascinating read and one that underscores the wisdom of that old saying about "No good deed goes unpunished", "Signing Their Rights Away: The Fame and Misfortune of the Men Who Signed the United States Constitution" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college and university library American History collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Signing Their Rights Away" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The World History Shelf

Spain in Arms
E. R. Hooton
Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
9781612006376, $32.95, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Spain in Arms: A Military History of the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939" by E. R. Hootn is a military history of the Spanish Civil War. It examines how the Spanish Civil War developed on the battlefield through the prism of eight campaigns between 1937-1939 and shows how many accounts of military operations during this conflict are based upon half-truths and propaganda.

"Spain in Arms" is based upon nearly 60 years of extensive research into the Spanish Civil War, augmented by information from specialized German, Italian and Russian works. The Italian campaign against the Basques on the Northern Front in 1937 was one of the most spectacular Nationalist successes of the Civil War, with 60,000 prisoners taken. This is also the first military study of the Spanish Civil War to quote secret data about Italian air operations intercepted by the British. The figures intercepted by the British show the Italians flew 1,215 sorties and dropped 231 tons of bombs during the campaign, whilst also suffering the heaviest losses.

"Spain in Arms" also demonstrates how the Nationalists won not simply by benefitting from a cornucopia of modern arms from the Fascist powers but by using its limited resources to maximum effect. "Spain in Arms" reveals the Nationalist battlefield superiority in terms of training and overall command, and the Republic's corresponding weaknesses in the same fields. The Republican Brunete and Belchite offensives of 1937 are described in detail, from the weapons they carried and the tactics they employed to the dynamic Nationalist response and reaction of the generals.

"Spain in Arms" also explores how the extent of foreign intervention on both sides has been greatly exaggerated throughout history and provides the first accurate information on this military intervention, using British and French archives to produce a radically different but more accurate account of the battles and the factors and men who shaped them.

"Spain in Arms" gives the historical context and operational implications of the battlefield events to provide a link between the First and Second World Wars.

Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of maps, and eight page bibliography, and an eighteen page index, "Spain in Arms: A Military History of the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939" is a definitively comprehensive history that is unreservedly recommended and fully endorsed for community, college, and university library 20th Century Military History collections in general, and Spanish Civil War supplemental studies reading lists in particular. It should be noted for students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Spain in Arms" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: E. R. Hooton is a retired defence journalist and a member of the British Commission for Military History as well as being a member of the Royal United Services Institute. He has written numerous articles on military history and three highly regarded books on the history of the Luftwaffe - 'The Luftwaffe - A Study in Air Power 1933-1945' (2010) 'Phoenix Triumphant: The Rise and Rise of the Luftwaffe' (1992) and 'Eagle in Flames: The Fall of the Luftwaffe' (1997). He has also written a detailed history of air operations over the Western Front.

War and Diplomacy in the Napoleonic Era
Reider Payne
Bloomsbury Academic
c/o Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
www.bloomsbury.com
9781788315128, $120.00, HC, 280pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The lives and careers of Sir Charles Stewart and his brother Lord Castlereagh take in a grand stage, from Britain and Ireland to the kingdoms and empires of western and central Europe. Throughout his life Stewart played a key role in shaping Europe: his is a Regency drama beyond anything imagined by Jane Austen: warfare, diplomacy, affairs, royal scandal, a romantic and brilliant marriage, and a brother's suicide.

Stewart was at the heart of some of history's greatest events which took him from the bloodiest actions of the Napoleonic Wars to the palaces of Europe's ruling dynasties. For an all too brief period, Stewart blazed across the battlefields and chancelleries of Europe, enjoying a meteoric rise to the highest positions and influence, in a career indelibly linked to his brother's and one which is virtually unique.

Stewart even found time to enjoy his share of scandal, from affairs and parties in Vienna to running a spy network which aimed to charge a Princess of Wales with adultery.

"War and Diplomacy in the Napoleonic Era: Sir Charles Stewart, Castlereagh and the Balance of Power in Europe" by Reider Payne (a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society) is international in its scope and ambitions: with Stewart's military and diplomatic theatre of operations including Portugal, Spain, Prussia, Saxony, France, Austria and the Austrian territories in Italy. Stewart sat at the heart of the intrigues and social circles of Regency England, and his life story offers an unrivalled viewpoint into the competing claims and demands of Europe's courts.

Critique: An impressive work of meticulous and exhaustive research, "War and Diplomacy in the Napoleonic Era" is a seminal work of extraordinary scholarship that is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of twenty-two plate illustrations, thirty-six pages of notes, a six page select bibliography, and a seven page index. While unreservedly recommended as a core addition to community, college, and university library 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 "War and Diplomacy in the Napoleonic Era" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $108.00).

The Ottoman and Mughal Empires
Suraiya Faroqhi
I. B. Tauris Publishers
c/o Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
www.ibtauris.com
9781788313667, $115.00, HC, 394pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: For many years, historians have been accustomed to study the Ottoman Empire and/or its constituent regions as entities insulated from the outside world, except when it came to 'campaigns and conquests' on the one hand, and 'incorporation into the European-dominated world economy' on the other. However, now many scholars have come to accept that the Ottoman Empire was one of the not very numerous long-lived 'world empires' that have emerged in history.

"The Ottoman and Mughal Empires: Social History in the Early Modern World" by Suraiya Faroqhi (Professor of History, Ibn Haldun University, Turkey) is comparative social history that compares the Ottoman to another of the great world empires, that of the Mughals in the Indian subcontinent, exploring source criticism, diversities in the linguistic and religious fields as political problems, and the fates of ordinary subjects including merchants, artisans, women and slaves.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a not eon spelling and transliteration, figures, a four page Timeline, a six page Glossary, thirty-two pages of Notes, a forty-page Bibliography, and a twelve page Index, "The Ottoman and Mughal Empires: Social History in the Early Modern World" is an extraordinary work of meticulous scholarship and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library 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 Ottoman and Mughal Empires" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $82.80).

Vikings at War
Kim Hjardar & Vegard Vike
Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
9781612007991, $29.95, PB, 400pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The collaborative project of authors Kim Hjardar and Vegard Vike, "Vikings at War" presents a sumptuous depiction of how the Vikings waged war: their weapons technology, offensive and defensive warfare, military traditions and tactics, their fortifications, ships and command structure.

"Vikings at War" also portrays the Viking raids and conquest campaigns that brought the Vikings to virtually every corner of Europe and even to America. Viking ships landed on almost every shore in the Western world during the 350 years that followed the introduction of the sail into the region, from the 9th to the 11th century. Viking ravages united the Spanish kingdoms and stopped Charlemagne and the Franks' advance in Europe. Wherever Viking ships roamed, enormous suffering followed in their wake, but the encounter between cultures changed both European and Nordic societies.

Employing unorthodox and unpredictable strategies, which were hard for more organized forces to respond to, the most crucial element of the Vikings' success was their basic strategy of evading the enemy by arriving by sea, then attacking quickly and with great force before withdrawing quickly. The warrior class dominated in a militarized society. Honor was everything, and breaking promises and ruining one's posthumous reputation was considered worse than death itself. If a man offended another man's honor, the only way out was blood revenge.

Critique: Profusely illustrated through out, "Vikings at War" provides a comprehensively informative, and vividly presented of Europe's Viking Age. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Vikings at War" is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, college, and university library collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Vikings at War" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

The Frontiers of Imperial Rome
David J. Breeze
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781848844278, $65.00, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: At its height, the Roman Empire was the greatest empire yet seen, its borders stretching from the rain-swept highlands of Scotland in the north to the sun-scorched Nubian desert in the south. But how were the vast and varied stretches of frontier defined and defended?

Many of Rome's frontier defenses have been the subject of detailed and ongoing study and scholarship. Three frontier zones are now UNESCO World Heritage sites (the Antonine Wall having recently been granted this status with author and historian David J. Breeze leading the bid), and there is growing interest in their study.

"The Frontiers of Imperial Rome" is wide-ranging survey describing the varying frontier systems, describing the extant remains, methods and materials of construction and highlighting the differences between various frontiers. Professor Breeze considers how the frontiers worked, discussing this in relation to the organization and structure of the Roman army, and also their impact on civilian life along the empire's borders. He then reconsiders the question of whether the frontiers were the product of an overarching Empire-wide grand strategy, questioning Luttwak's seminal hypothesis.

Critique: A seminal work of impressively meticulous and documented scholarship written for the benefit of academia -- but one with all the flair of a deftly crafted and engaging history for the benefit of interested non-specialist general readers, "The Frontiers of Imperial Rome" is a detailed and wide-ranging study of the frontier systems of the Roman Empire. While especially recommended for community, college, and university library history collections in general, and Roman Empire supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular, it should be noted for students, academic, and anyone simply interested in the subject that "The Frontiers of Imperial Rome" is also available in a paperback edition (9781526760807, $24.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.59).

Editorial Note: Professor David J. Breeze has been a trustee of the Senhouse Museum Trust since its inception in 1985 and chair of the trust since 2013. He has served as President of the Cumberland and Westmorland Antiquarian and Archaeological Society and as Chairman of the International Congress of Roman Frontier. He was Chief Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Scotland from 1989 to 2005, and subsequently led the team which successfully nominated the Antonine Wall as a World Heritage Site in 2008. David has excavated on both Hadrian's Wall and the Antonine Wall and written several books on these frontiers, on frontiers elsewhere in the Roman Empire and on the Roman army.


The Civil War Shelf

The 16th Michigan Infantry in the Civil War, revised and updated edition
Kim Crawford
Michigan State University Press
1405 South Harrison Road, Suite 25, East Lansing, MI 48823-5245
http://msupress.org
9781611863338, $49.95, HC, 404pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: On the hot summer evening of July 2, 1863, at the climax of the struggle for a Pennsylvania hill called Little Round Top, four Confederate regiments charge up the western slope, attacking the smallest and most exposed of their Union foe: the 16th Michigan Infantry. Terrible fighting has raged, but what happens next will ultimately (and unfairly) stain the reputation of one of the Army of the Potomac's veteran combat outfits, made up of men from Detroit, Saginaw, Ontonagon, Hillsdale, Lansing, Adrian, Plymouth, and Albion.

In the dramatic interpretation of the struggle for Little Round Top that followed the Battle of Gettysburg, the 16th Michigan Infantry would be remembered as the one that broke during perhaps the most important turning point of the war. Their colonel, a young lawyer from Ann Arbor, would pay with his life, redeeming his own reputation, while a kind of code of silence about what happened at Little Round Top was adopted by the regiment's survivors.

From soldiers' letters, journals, and memoirs, "The 16th Michigan Infantry in the Civil War" by Kim Crawford relates their experiences in camp, on the march, and in battle, including their controversial role at Gettysburg, up to the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House.

Critique: Now in a newly revised and updated edition, "The 16th Michigan Infantry in the Civil War" is an impressive and detailed study that is a 'must' for the personal reading lists of all dedicated Civil War buffs, as well as being unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library American Civil War History collections and supplemental curriculum lists.

Editorial Note: Kim Crawford is a retired newspaper reporter and author of The Daring Trader: Jacob Smith in the Michigan Territory and coauthor of The 4th Michigan Infantry in the Civil War. He has written about Michigan Civil War soldiers for Michigan History magazine, served as guest curator for the Flint Sloan Museum's 2012 Civil War exhibit, The Brave and the Faithful, and has given talks on both the 4th and 16th Michigan Infantry regiments to historical societies and Civil War roundtables.

Too Useful to Sacrifice
Steven R. Stotelmyer
Savas Beatie
PO Box 4527, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
www.savasbeatie.com
9781611213041, $32.95, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The importance of Robert E. Lee's first movement north of the Potomac River in September 1862 cannot be overstated in its importance. After his string of successes in Virginia, a decisive Confederate victory in Maryland or Pennsylvania may well have spun the war in an entirely different direction. Why he and his Virginia army did not find success across the Potomac was due in large measure to the generalship of George B. McClellan, as Steven Stotelmyer ably demonstrates in "Too Useful to Sacrifice: Reconsidering George B. McClellan's Generalship in the Maryland Campaign from South Mountain to Antietam".

Stotelmyer argues that although typecast as the slow and overly cautious general who allowed Lee's battered army to escape, in fact General McClellan deserves significant credit for defeating and turning back the South's most able general. He does so through five comprehensive chapters, each dedicated to a specific major issue of the campaign: Fallacies Regarding the Lost Orders; All the Injury Possible: The Day between South Mountain and Antietam; Antietam: The Sequel to South Mountain; General John Pope at Antietam and the Politics behind the Myth of the Unused Reserves; Supplies and Demands: The Demise of General George B. McClellan.

Was McClellan's response to the discovery of Lee's Lost Orders really as slow and inept as we have been led to believe? Although routinely dismissed as a small prelude to the main event at Antietam, was the fighting on South Mountain the real Confederate high tide in Maryland? Is the criticism leveled against McClellan for not rapidly pursuing Lee's army after the victory on South Mountain warranted? Did McClellan fail to make good use of his reserves in the bloody fighting on September 17? Finally, what is the real story behind McClellan's apparent "failure" to pursue the defeated Confederate army after Antietam, which triggered President Lincoln's frustration with him and resulted in his removal?

Utilizing extensive primary documents and with a keen appreciation for the infrastructure of the nineteenth century Maryland terrain, Stotelmyer deeply explores these long-held beliefs, revealing that often the influence of political considerations dictated military decision-making, and the deliberate actions of the Lincoln Administration behind McClellan's back resulted in bringing about many of the general's supposed shortcomings. As readers will soon discover, Lincoln did not need to continue searching for a capable commander; he already had one.

Critique: An inherently fascinating and impressively informative read, "Too Useful to Sacrifice: Reconsidering George B. McClellan's Generalship in the Maryland Campaign from South Mountain to Antietam" is an extraordinary work of original scholarship and will prove to be an enduringly valued contribution to the growing library of American Civil War literature. While unreservedly recommended as a core addition to community and academic library Civil War collections and supplemental studies lists, it should be noted for students, academia, and Civil War buffs that "Too Useful to Sacrifice" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Steven R. Stotelmyer was always interested in local history, especially South Mountain and Antietam, and was a founding member of the Central Maryland Heritage League in 1989. The league gained a modest amount of success in preserving some of the lands of the South Mountain Battlefield. From 1989 through 1994 Mr. Stotelmyer volunteered at the Antietam National Battlefield. In 1992 he published The Bivouacs of the Dead: The Story of Those Who Died at Antietam and South Mountain. From 2000 through 2005 Mr. Stotelmyer served as a part-time volunteer and historical consultant for the South Mountain State Battlefield. Steven currently enjoys being a National Park Service Certified Antietam and South Mountain Tour Guide.


The Political Science Shelf

Abraham Lincoln's Statesmanship and the Limits of Liberal Democracy
Jon D. Schaff
Southern Illinois University Press
1915 University Press Drive, SIUC Mail Code 6806, Carbondale, IL 62901
www.siupress.com
9780809337378, $34.50, HC, 280pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Jon D. Schaff is a Professor of Political Science at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Professor Schaff's essays have been published in several books and journals including Perspectives on Political Science and South Dakota History.

In "Abraham Lincoln's Statesmanship and the Limits of Liberal Democracy", Professor Schaff provides a bold and groundbreaking study of American political development that assesses the presidency of Abraham Lincoln through the lenses of governmental power, economic policy, expansion of executive power, and natural rights to show how Lincoln not only believed in the limitations of presidential power but also dedicated his presidency to restraining the scope and range of it.

Though Lincoln's presidency is inextricably linked to the Civil War, and he is best known for his defense of the Union and executive wartime leadership, Lincoln believed that Congress should be at the helm of public policy making. Likewise, Lincoln may have embraced limited government in vague terms, but he strongly supported effective rule of law and distribution of income and wealth. Placing the Lincoln presidency within a deeper and more meaningful historical context, Abraham Lincoln's Statesmanship and the Limits of Liberal Democracy highlights Lincoln's significance in the development of American power institutions and social movement politics.

Using Lincoln's pre-presidential and presidential words and actions, this book argues that decent government demands a balance of competing goods and the strong statesmanship that Lincoln exemplified. Instead of relying too heavily on the will of the people and institutional solutions to help prevent tyranny, Professor Schaff proposes that American democracy would be better served by a moderate and prudential statesmanship such as Lincoln's, which would help limit democratic excesses.

Professor Schaff also explains how Lincoln's views on prudence, moderation, natural rights, and economics contain the notion of limits, then views Lincoln's political and presidential leadership through the same lens. He compares Lincoln's views on governmental powers with the defense of unlimited government by twentieth-century progressives and shows how Lincoln's theory of labor anticipated twentieth-century distributist economic thought. Professor Schaff's unique exploration falls squarely between historians who consider Lincoln a protoprogressive and those who say his presidency was a harbinger of industrialized, corporatized America.

In analyzing Lincoln's approach, "Abraham Lincoln's Statesmanship and the Limits of Liberal Democracy" rejects the idea he was a revolutionary statesman and instead lifts up Lincoln's own affinity for limited presidential power, making the case for a modest approach to presidential power today based on this understanding of Lincoln's statesmanship. As a counterpoint to the contemporary landscape of bitter, uncivil politics, Professor Schaff points to Lincoln's statesmanship as a model for better ways of engaging in politics in a democracy.

Critique: Impressively researched, exceptionally well written, deftly organized and presented, "Abraham Lincoln's Statesmanship and the Limits of Liberal Democracy" is an extraordinary work of original and seminal scholarship that is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of twenty-six pages of Notes, a ten page Bibliography, and a twelve-page Index. While unreservedly endorsed and recommended for community, college, and university library American Political Science collections in general, and Lincoln supplemental studies reading lists in particular, it should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Abraham Lincoln's Statesmanship and the Limits of Liberal Democracy" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $32.77).

One Person, No Vote
Carol Anderson
https://www.professorcarolanderson.org
Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
www.bloomsbury.com
9781635571370, $27.00, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In her previous book, "White Rage", Carol Anderson laid bare an insidious history of policies that have systematically impeded black progress in America, from 1865 to our combustible present. With the publication of "One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy", she chronicles a related history: the rollbacks to African American participation in the vote since the 2013 Supreme Court decision that eviscerated the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Known as the Shelby ruling, this decision effectively allowed districts with a demonstrated history of racial discrimination to change voting requirements without approval from the Department of Justice.

Focusing on the aftermath of Shelby, Anderson follows the astonishing story of government dictated racial discrimination unfolding before our very eyes as more and more states adopt voter suppression laws. In gripping, enlightening detail she explains how voter suppression works, from photo ID requirements to gerrymandering to poll closures. And with vivid characters, she explores the resistance: the organizing, activism, and court battles to restore the basic right to vote to all Americans.

Critique: Voter suppression is rampant (and proving effective) throughout the southern states that are currently dominated by the Republican party in their struggle to remain in power on both State and Federal levels as evidenced by the 2018 election cycle and in the Republican controlled Federal Senate under the leadership of Mitch McConnell. "One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy" is a clarion call of alarm and should be a part of every community, college, and university library Contemporary Political Science collection. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, political activists, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "One Person, No Vote" is also available in a paperback edition (9781635571394, $18.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.49).

Editorial Note: Currently living in Atlanta, Georgia, Carol Anderson is the Charles Howard Candler Professor and Chair of African American Studies at Emory University. She is the author of White Rage, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, Bourgeois Radicals, and Eyes off the Prize. She was named a Guggenheim Fellow for Constitutional Studies. Her website is https://www.professorcarolanderson.org

How the Left and Right Think
Bill Meulemans
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476678788, $35.00, PB, 290pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Emerson said of the left and right, "Each is a good half, but an impossible whole." In public affairs, the left traditionally pushes for political, economic and social progress, while the right steers towards individual opportunity, stability, tradition and the maintenance of gains already made. Their disagreement is the basis of most of our political discourse.

Drawing on four decades of field research on partisan conflicts in the U.S., Northern Ireland and Israel, "How the Left and Right Think: The Roots of Division in American Politics" by Bill Meulemans (who is a professor of political science specializing in the analysis of the political values and behavior of the political left and right. His written work is based on 40 years of field research in the United States, Northern Ireland, and Israel) provides a clear, concise explanation of how the left and right think and why their respective philosophies reflect competing views of human nature.

Critique: An invaluable and time contribution to our on-going national discussions that have so politically polarized American politics today (even to the point of gripping our national governing body that is the Senate) and are decidedly relevant to the current political campaigns for the presidency in 2020, "How the Left and Right Think: The Roots of Division in American Politics" is unreservedly endorsed and recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary American Political Science collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, political activists, politicians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "How the Left and Right Think" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.99).


The Native American Studies Shelf

The Great Tradition of Hopi Katsina Carvers
Barry Walsh, author
Anna Kim Walsh, photographer
Rio Nuevo Publishers
PO Box 5250, Tucson, AZ 85703
www.rionuevo.com
9781940322353, $16.95, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Hopi Katsina carvings have long fascinated people with their spiritual meaning, colorful artistry, and connection to Hopi Indian culture. This book presents the evolution of katsinam from 1880 to now by examining the life stories and works of the carvers.

Barry Walsh owns Buffalo Barry's Indian Art with his wife, Valerie Wedge. They specialize in Hopi material, especially antique and traditional-style katsina carvings. Barry has written extensively on Hopi katsina carvers from the past and present.

In "The Great Tradition of Hopi Katsina Carvers" Walsh begins with anonymous work from the 1880s. By the 1920s and 30s, certain artists, such as Wilson Tawaquaptewa and Otto Pentewa, had developed such distinctive styles that their work became easily identifiable. In the 1940s, Jimmie Kewanwytewa began signing his work, which set a precedent most others have since followed.

The katsina carving tradition is very much alive, and "The Great Tradition of Hopi Katsina Carvers" showcases some of the finest artists creating today. Some work in a very time-honored traditional style; others are innovators, moving in strikingly new directions. All of these katsina artists shared their autobiographies with Walsh and had full control over what was published in these pages.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with the full color photography of Anna Kim Walsh, "The Great Tradition of Hopi Katsina Carvers: 1880 To Present" is an inherently fascinating and impressively informative compendium of images and information that should be considered an essential addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Native American culture and history collections in general, and Hopi Katsina supplemental studies lists in particular.


The Psychology Shelf

The School-Savvy Therapist
Mary M. Eno
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
www.wwnorton.com
9780393711905, $29.95, PB, 272pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Mary M. Eno was on the teaching faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and Bryn Mawr College for several decades. She is a therapist in private practice in Philadelphia and has served as consulting psychologist in multiple schools.

Kids encounter problems at school that run the gamut from school violence, to complex systemic problems rooted in poverty or racism, to daily struggles with homework or making friends. Therapists who work with kids typically do not receive training about when and how to contact schools, or about how to work with them collaboratively. "The School-Savvy Therapist: Working with Kids, Families and their Schools" by Dr. Mary Eno provides a framework, tools, and guidelines for doing just that.

Drawing on research, illustrative case examples, and interviews, "The School-Savvy Therapist" is a practical resource that describes what therapists need to know about schools and how they can effectively foster a supportive child-family-school dynamic.

From reviewing test results, conducting school observations and attending family-school meetings, to helping parents advocate for their kids and more, "The School-Savvy Therapist" will help therapists understand the critical role they play in supporting kids who struggle at school. Checklists, questions, and specific guidelines are provided so that both novice and experienced therapists can engage in this work with skill and confidence.

Critique: Especially in this new era of Active Shooter drills in our nation's schools, the need for effective school councilors, school psychologists, and school therapists has never been more urgent. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The School-Savvy Therapist" is an ideal curriculum textbook for college and university library curriculums, as well as a critically important addition to school district and other academic library Psychology & Education collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of school councillors, school psychologist, school therapists, psychology students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The School-Savvy Therapist" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.17).

Addiction, Attachment, Trauma and Recovery
Oliver J. Morgan
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
www.wwnorton.com
9780393713176, $39.95, HC, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Understanding addiction is no longer just about understanding neurons or genes, broken brain functioning, learning, or faulty choices. In "Addiction, Attachment, Trauma and Recovery: The Power of Connection", Oliver J. Morgan (Professor of Counseling and Human Services at the University of Scranton) provides a fresh take on addiction and recovery by presenting a more inclusive framework than traditional understanding. Cutting- edge work in attachment, interpersonal neurobiology, and trauma is integrated with ecological- systems thinking to provide a comprehensive picture of addiction.

Humans are born into connection and require nourishing relationships for healthy living. Adversities, however, bring fragmentation and create the conditions for ill health. They create vulnerabilities. In order to cope, individuals can turn to alternatives, "substitute relationships" that ease the pain of disconnection. These can become addictions.

"Addiction, Attachment, Trauma, and Recovery" presents a model, a method, and a mandate. This new focus calls for change in the established ways we think and behave about addiction and recovery. It reorients understanding and clinical practice for mental health and addiction counselors, psychologists, and social workers, as well as for addicts and those who love them.

Critique: A solid work of scholarship based upon years of experience, expertise and research, "Addiction, Attachment, Trauma and Recovery: The Power of Connection" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to professional and academic library Health/Medicine collections in general, and addiction treatment supplemental studies lists in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, mental health workers, doctors, counselors, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Addiction, Attachment, Trauma and Recovery: The Power of Connection" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.49).


The International Studies Shelf

China Smart
Larry Herzberg
Stone Bridge Press
www.stonebridge.com
9781611720501, $16.95, PB, 248pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: How is China organized politically? What are the issues that young people face in today's China? What is China doing about its problem with pollution? Is the Chinese internet like our internet? What's China's role in the world today? And how much do you know about China's great woman emperor or the Chinese explorer whose voyages may have inspired the legend of Sinbad the Sailor? What are the major Chinese holidays, their superstitions regarding numbers, and the true nature of the Chinese written language?

Comprised of nearly 60 brief essays, in "China Smart: What You Don't Know, What You Need to Know A Past & Present Guide to History, Culture, Society, Language" long-time China expert Larry Herzberg tackles important facts and myths about China, its history, people, and culture, as well as its contemporary society. Anyone dipping into "China Smart" will emerge that much more informed about China, whether visiting, conducting business, studying the language, or simply being fascinated by one of the world's greatest and most influential civilizations.

Critique: An impressive compendium of expertly organized information, "China Smart: What You Don't Know, What You Need to Know A Past & Present Guide to History, Culture, Society, Language" is an unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, corporate, college, and university library China collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, corporate executives, tourists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "China Smart" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.39).

Editorial Note: Larry Herzberg studied Chinese for five years at Vanderbilt University before doing his Master's and Ph.D. work in Chinese Language and Literature at Indiana University. In 1980 he founded the Chinese Language Program at Albion College and then did the same at Calvin College in 1984. For the past three decades he has taught the Chinese language at the college level. He is author of Speak and Read Chinese and along with his wife, Qin Xue Herzberg, of China Survival Guide, Basic Patterns of Chinese Grammar, Chinese Proverbs and Popular Sayings (all from Stone Bridge Press), and A Writing Guide for Learners of Chinese (Yale University Press).

The Israeli Peace Movement
Leonie Fleischmann
I. B. Tauris Publishers
c/o Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781838600976, $115.00, HC, 236pp, www.ibtauris.com

Synopsis: The Israeli peace movement has been in decline over the last two decades. In particular, the liberal Zionist groups, who call for peace for the sake of the security and continuity of Israel, have become paralysed and almost voiceless since the second Intifada.

However, despite the stagnation around the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process, "The Israeli Peace Movement: Anti-Occupation Activism and Human Rights since the Al-Aqsa Intifada" by Leonie Fleishcmann (a Lecturer in International Politics and the MA Programme Director for Human Rights at the Department of International Politics, City University of London) argues that other important groups have emerged that present new ways to challenge the status quo. These are radical groups that act in solidarity with the Palestinians and human rights organisations and whose aim is to reveal the realities of the occupation and hold the government to account.

Professor Fleishmann argues that these groups have been, and remain, the agenda setters, pushing the more moderate groups to mobilise more quickly and encouraging them to take up more confrontational ideas. Using social movements theory, and based on 50 interviews and participant observation, "The Israeli Peace Movement" sheds light on contemporary Israeli peace activism.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of an Appendix (Tables of Israeli peach and anti-occupation groups), thirty-eight pages of Notes, a twenty-two page Bibliography, and a four page Index, "The Israeli Peace Movement: Anti-Occupation Activism and Human Rights since the Al-Aqsa Intifada" is a meticulously presented work of impeccable scholarship and an unreservedly recommended contribution to college and university library Israeli/Palestinian collections and supplemental curriculum studies. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, government policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Israeli Peace Movement" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $103.50, Amazon.com).


The Audiobook Shelf

The Expertise Economy
Kelly Palmer & David Blake, authors
Narrated by Patricia Rodriguez
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
9781980043997 $TBA www.recordedbooks.com

Synopsis: Keeping people's skills in sync with fast-changing markets is the biggest challenge of our time.

The workplace is going through a large-scale transition with digitization, automation, and acceleration. Critical skills and expertise are imperative for companies and their employees to succeed in the future, and the most forward-thinking companies are being proactive in adapting to the shift in the workforce. Kelly Palmer, Silicon Valley thought-leader from LinkedIn, Degreed, and Yahoo, and David Blake, co-founder of Ed-tech pioneer Degreed, share their experiences and describe how some of the smartest companies in the world are making learning and expertise a major competitive advantage.

The authors provide the latest scientific research on how people really learn and concrete examples from companies in both Silicon Valley and worldwide who are driving the conversation about how to create experts and align learning innovation with business strategy. It includes interviews with people from top companies like Google, LinkedIn, Airbnb, Unilever, NASA, and MasterCard; thought leaders in learning and education like Sal Khan and Todd Rose; as well as Thinkers50 list-makers Clayton Christensen, Daniel Pink, and Whitney Johnson.

The Expertise Economy dares you to let go of outdated and traditional ways of closing the skills gap, and challenges CEOs and business leaders to embrace the urgency of re-skilling and upskilling the workforce.

Critique: Now available as an unabridged audiobook from Recorded Books, The Expertise Economy: How the Smartest Companies Use Learning to Engage, Compete, and Succeed lives up to its title as a guide for entrepreneurs and business leaders to improving the skillset of one's workforce, the better to adapt to a rapidly changing knowledge economy. Featuring contributions from notable modern-day business leaders from LinkedIn, Yahoo, education-tech pioneer Degreed, and many more top companies, The Expertise Economy is a "must" for any business in today's skill-driven era. Highly recommended! 7 CDs, 7.75 hours.

Life and Other Inconveniences
Kristan Higgins, author
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
www.recordedbooks.com
9781501968549, $27.55, CD, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn't protect her from life's cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve's young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.

When Emma's own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother's doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her -- until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back. But Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley.

So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?

Critique: A deftly crafted and original novel by Kristan Higgins, "Life and Other Inconveniences" is brought vividly to life as a theatre of the mind experience through a team of talented narrators that include Barbara Caruso, Dion Graham, Xe Sands and Suzy Jackson. A flawless produced audio book that is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library collections, "Life and Other Inconveniences" is unreservedly recommended. (11 CDs, 14 Hours).

What She Never Said
Catharine Riggs, author
Performed by Joyce Bean, Amy Rubinate & Timothy Andres Pabon
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781721356645 $25.99

Synopsis: People are dying at a luxury retirement community . . . and not from natural causes.

Ruth Mosby is the VP of operations at Serenity Acres, where the privileged elite go to die. For a hefty fee, wealthy retirees can live the good life in this posh Santa Barbara community - even after they outlive their money. Ruth thinks this is a fine arrangement, but the savvy new boss has a new rule: if you can't pay, you can't stay.

Ruth is deeply disturbed when destitute residents start dying at an alarming rate, as if on cue. Even more troubling, a macabre note accompanies each departed guest. Surviving guests whisper about an "Angel" who assists with suicides. Ruth has another word for it: murder.

Ruth enlists her neighbor, an ex-detective named Zach, to discover the Angel's secret identity. However, the two have a painful history, and Ruth has dark secrets all her own. To solve the mystery, Ruth must descend from her golden tower - but can she bear the consequences of revealing her own sinister truths?

Critique: Masterfully performed by a three-person cast, What She Never Said is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a psychological suspense novel about an upscale end-of-life community... where residents who run out of money are mysteriously dying. Who is the "Angel" rumored to euthanize the destitute? VP of operations Ruth Mosby asks for help from an ex-detective neighbor to track down the culprit, and the risk of exposing her own painful past to the harsh light of day! A thoughtful, carefully plotted thriller grounded in social problems that are too real, What She Never Said is highly recommended. 8 CDs, 9 hours 43 min.

Dachshund Through the Snow
David Rosenfelt
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250240835, $29.99, CD, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Lawyer Andy Carpenter and his wife, Laurie, have started a new Christmas tradition. Their local pet store has a Christmas tree, where instead of ornaments there are wishes from those in need. One poignant wish leads Andy to a child named Danny, whose selfless plea strikes a chord. Danny asked Santa for a coat for his mother, a sweater for his dachshund, Murphy, and for the safe return of his missing father.

It turns out Danny's father doesn't want to be found, he's on the run after just being arrested for a murder that took place fourteen years ago -- a murder that Danny's mother swears he didn't commit.

With his trademark humor and larger-than-life characters (including a police officer and his K-9 partner, Simon) mystery novelist David Rosenfelt once again delivers for his readers as Andy and his eccentric crew dash to reunite a family in time for Christmas!

Critique: Very ably narrated by Grover Gardner, "Dachshund Through the Snow" is a superbly crafted and highly recommended addition to personal and community library Mystery/Suspense audio book collections.


The Library CD Shelf

Generous Night, Redeem
Ryan Marvel
Ryan Marvel Music
www.ryanmarvel.com
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

Generous Night, Redeem is a rapturous, new age solo piano album by award-winning pianist, composer, and arranger Ryan Marvel. The mellifluous soundscape invites the listener on a journey of memories, love, evolution, and learning to let go. A quietly relaxing experience, Generous Night, Redeem is highly recommended especially for fostering a peaceful, meditative mindset. The tracks are "Lunar Melody", "Whispered Words", "Crying Heart at Sleepless Dawn", "Fleeting Passage", "Overwhelm", "The Face of Truth", "Generous Night, Redeem", "Evening's Benediction", "Grounding", "Veiled in Tender Warmth", "Breath of the Vagabond", "Shifting Winds of Providence", "Sweet Memory, Deliver", and "Glance the Stars". 49 min., 30 sec.

Fontis
Voxfire
www.voxfire.band
Orenda Records
www.orendarecords.com
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

Fontis is an extraordinary, genre-crossing experiment of a music album. The group Voxfire, consisting of three female vocalists plus two instrumentalists/arrangers, perform songs in medieval dialects that were once spoken in 12th to 14th century Spain and France. Individual songs include church chants, secular troubadour tunes, music that could have been sung during religious pilgrimmages, romantic compositions, and more. Many have anonymous writers. All are brought to life with a modern-day passionate performance, in this album that is equal parts history and modern-day re-imagining with elements of jazz, folk, pop-rock and more. Fontis is highly recommended for connoisseurs in search of a unique, inspirational listening experience, as well as public library collections. The tracks are "Fontis", "Vella E Mina", "Ondas", "Sen Calar", "A Chantar", "Laudemus", "Esta Montana", "Loudemus II", "Polorum", "Rosa Das Rosas", "Ya Viene", "Tu Secreto" and "Por Deus".

Every Single Star
Dori Freeman
www.dorifreeman.com
Blue Hens Music
$12.79 CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

Every Single Star is an original album of Appalachian music written and performed by Dori Freeman. Heartfelt and down-to-earth, Every Single Star is about the joys of marriage and motherhood. Vibrant and heartwarming, Every Single Star resonates with Freeman's love for her husband, daughter, and family, and is a beautiful treasure that stands out amidst its own genre. Every Single Star is highly recommended for both personal and public library Appalachian music collections, and also makes an excellent gift! The tracks are "That's How I Feel", "All I Ever Wanted", "Like I Do", "You Lie There", "Another Time", "Go On", "Darlin' Boy", "Walls Of Me And You", "2 Step", and "I'll Be Coming Home".

The Lightness of Dark
Fiona Joy Hawkins & Rebecca Daniel
Featuring the Kanimbla Quartet
Little Hartley Music
LittleHartleyMusic.com.au
$15.99 CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

Fiona Joy Hawkins, Rebecca Daniel, and the Kanimbla Quartet combine their talents in The Lightness of Dark, a poignant music album about the loss, mourning, and recovery. The thoughtful, emotionally moving songs are about finding a way to move forward through the darkness. Crafted with masterful performances of piano, violin, quartet, and voice, The Lightness of Dark is highly recommended for both personal and public library music collections. The tracks are "Heavenly Voices", "Ghosts Insanity Angels", "Elegy", "Lake of Contemplation", "Interwoven Threads of Chance", "Sugar Plum Ghost", "Lightness of Dark", "The Bit in the Middle", "Empty Moments", "Necessity for the Mundane", and "Finding the Way Out".

Wings
Peter Kater
Privately Published
$12.57 CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

Grammy-winning pianist-composer Peter Kater presents Wings, an instrumental new-age album created to intrigue and inspire. The dreamlike soundscape induces flights of fancy, granting metaphorical wings of imagination. Wings is highly recommended to connoisseurs, and also makes an excellent gift! The tracks are "Raven's Wings", "Wings of Love", "Hold Me Close", "Angel's Nest", "Wings", "Flight", "Swallow River", "Remembrance", "When We Meet Again", and "Flight Reprise".

Compassion
Sangeeta Kaur
Sangeeta Kaur Music
www.sangeetakaurmusic.com
$15.99 CD amazon.com

Compassion is the fourth new age/classical crossover album by Sangeeta Kaur. Her beautiful soprano vocals, supported by collaboration with the Hungarian Studio Orchestra, Hungarian Student Choir, and others, makes Compassion a rapturous listening experience. Compassion is highly recommended, especially for new age/classical connoisseurs and public library collections. The tracks are "Om Tare Tuttare", "Rise Up", "Transcendence", "May the Long Time Sun", "Song of Compassion", "Om Vajra Sattava Hum", "We are One", "Sa Re Sa Sa", "Voices and Crystals", and "Voices of Compassion". 54 min., 42 sec.


The Library DVD Shelf

Tai Chi Fit Over 50: Seated Workout
David-Dorian Ross
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480, Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
9781594396731 $29.95 www.ymaa.com

Medal-winning Tai Chi expert David-Dorian Ross presents Tai Chi Fit Over 50: Seated Workout a basic, follow-along Tai Chi routine ideal for senior citizens or people with limited mobility. The entire exercise regimen of Tai Chi moves is a whole-body workout that can be performed while sitting. A beginner-friendly DVD that presumes no experience, Tai Chi Fit Over 50: Seated Workout is a choice pick for both personal and public library fitness DVD collections, and also highly recommended for community senior centers. 35 min.


The Military Shelf

Retribution: The Soviet Reconquest of Central Ukraine, 1943
Prit Buttar
Osprey Publishing
4301 21st St, Suite 220B, Long Island City, NY 11101
www.ospreypublishing.com
9781472835321, $35.00, HC, 480pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Making use of the extensive memoirs of German and Russian soldiers to bring their story to life, the narrative comprising "Retribution: The Soviet Reconquest of Central Ukraine, 1943" by Prit Buttar follows on from On A Knife's Edge, which described the encirclement and destruction of the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad and the offensives and counter-offensives that followed throughout the winter of 1942--43.

Beginning towards the end of the Battle of Kursk, "Retribution" explores the massive Soviet offensive that followed the end of Operation Zitadelle, which saw depleted and desperate German troops forced out of Western Ukraine. In "Retribution", Buttar also describes in detail the little-known series of near-constant battles that saw a weakened German army confronted by a tactically sophisticated force of over six million Soviet troops. As a result, the Wehrmacht was driven back to the Dnepr and German forces remaining in the Kuban Peninsula south of Rostov were forced back into the Crimea, a retreat which would become one of many in the months that followed.

Critique: An exhaustive and comprehensive military history, "Retribution: The Soviet Reconquest of Central Ukraine, 1943" is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of maps, a seven page Bibliography, eighteen pages of Notes, and an eight-page Index. While unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library World War II military history 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 "Retribution: The Soviet Reconquest of Central Ukraine, 1943" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

MiG Alley: The US Air Force in Korea, 1950 - 53
Thomas McKelvey Cleaver
Osprey Publishing
4301 21st St, Suite 220B, Long Island City, NY 11101
www.ospreypublishing.com
9781472836083, $30.00, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Of the many myths that emerged following the end of the Korean War, the prevailing one in the West was that of the absolute supremacy of US Air Force pilots and aircraft over their Soviet-supplied opponents. The claims of the 10:1 victory-loss ratio achieved by the US Air Force fighter pilots flying the North American F-86 Sabre against their communist adversaries, amongst other such fabrications, went unchallenged until the end of the Cold War, when Soviet records of the conflict were finally opened.

From that point onwards, a very different story began to emerge. Far from decisive American victories over an unsophisticated opponent, the aerial battles of the Korean War were, at least in the early years, evenly matched affairs, fought to an approximate 1:1 victory-loss ratio. Though the Soviet victories declined over the following years, this had more to do with home politics than American tactics.

Regardless of the accuracy of claims and wartime propaganda, one fact stands clear: in the battle for air supremacy over Korea, the US Air Force denied to its opponents the opportunity to intervene over the battlefield. In the face of overwhelming enemy manpower superiority, this allowed the United Nations forces to hold the line in Korea until an armistice that protected South Korea could be put into effect.

In addition to the aerial combat over MiG Alley, this seminal study covers the full range of US Air Force activities over Korea, including the failed strategic bombing campaign and the escalating nuclear threat. Incorporating first-hand accounts from those involved, both US and Soviet, this new history of the US Air Force in Korea reveals the full story of this bitter struggle in the skies of Korea.

Critique: Meticulously researched and documented, exceptionally well written, and a seminal work of original scholarship, "MiG Alley: The US Air Force in Korea, 1950 - 53" is an essential and core addition to personal, community, college, and university library 20th Century American Military History collections in general, and Korean War supplemental studies lists in particular.

PT Boat Odyssey
Robert P. Gelzheiser
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476662640, $45.00, PB, 303pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: During the Pacific War between the United States and Imperial Japanese navies, the author's father, Francis Gelzheiser, deployed with Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 16A, from New Orleans to Panama to Seattle and to Attu Island in the Aleutians. After their return voyage, the PT boats journeyed to New Guinea, then battled Japanese kamikazes for the Philippine Island of Mindoro.

Like many World War II veterans, Gelzheiser only shared his recollections of combat later in life. In "PT Boat Odyssey: In the Pacific War With Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 16, 1943-1945", Robert P. Gelzheiser chronicles his father's experience, details the roles PT boats played in the war and examines why, despite America's overwhelming wartime manufacturing capacity, the Japanese believed they could still win the war.

Critique: Nicely illustrated with black-and-white historical photos, "PT Boat Odyssey: In the Pacific War With Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron 16, 1943-1945" is an extraordinary and impressively informative contribution to the growing library of World War II Pacific Theatre histories and memoirs. Expertly organized and presented, "PT Boat Odyssey" is unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of dedicated military history buffs, as well as a core addition to both community and academic library WWII Military History collections.


The Business Shelf

Research Handbook on Entrepreneurship and Leadership
Richard T. Harrison & Claire M. Leitch, editors
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
www.e-elgar.com
9781783473755, $240.00 HC, 528pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Most leadership research has been undertaken in corporate contexts and little attention has been given to leadership development in entrepreneurial and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Richard T. Harrison (Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, University of Edinburgh Business School) and Claire M. Leitch (Professor of Entrepreneurial Leadership, Lancaster University Management School, UK), the contributors to "Research Handbook on Entrepreneurship and Leadership" collectively argue that the study of entrepreneurs as leaders is a gap in both the leadership and the entrepreneurship literatures. The impact of leaders is a crucial factor in the success or failure of smaller entrepreneurial firms and has implications for our understanding of new venture viability and growth.

Featuring conceptual and empirical chapters from a wide range of cultures and entrepreneurship and leadership ecosystems, "Research Handbook on Entrepreneurship and Leadership" is the first of its kind to present a systematic overview of the entrepreneurial leadership field, providing a state-of-the-art perspective and highlighting unanswered questions and opportunities for further research. It consolidates existing theory development, stimulates new conceptual thinking and includes path-breaking empirical explorations.

With its international perspective illustrating the practice of entrepreneurial leadership in a wide range of organizational contexts, "Research Handbook on Entrepreneurship and Leadership" offers an essential reference to students and researchers in entrepreneurship and leadership alike.

Critique: The nineteen erudite articles comprising "Research Handbook on Entrepreneurship and Leadership" are deftly organized into six major sections: Introduction; Theoretical Perspectives on Entrepreneurship and Leadership; Leadership in Entrepreneurial Contexts; Applications of Entrepreneurial Leadership; Entrepreneurial Leadership and Learning; Future Directions. Of special note is the six page listing of the contributors and their credentials. While "Research Handbook on Entrepreneurship and Leadership" is unreservedly recommended for corporate, college, and university library Business Management & Entrepreneurship collections and supplemental studies curriculums, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of MBA students, academia, corporate executives, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Research Handbook on Entrepreneurship and Leadership" is also available in a paperback edition (9781789906493, $69.95).


The Education Shelf

College Students and Their Environments
Cath Akens, et al.
Charles C. Thomas, Publisher
2600 South First Street, Springfield, IL 62704
http://www.ccthomas.com
9780398092887, $37.95, PB, 326pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "College Students and Their Environments: Understanding the Role Student Affairs Educators Play in Shaping Campus Environments" covers a wide range of topics specific and relevant to campus environments and serving increasingly diverse college student populations. The purpose of "College Students and Their Environments" is to provide an in-depth analysis of the needs of today's diverse populations; ways educators shape the campus environment, both in and out of the classroom; and strategies educators working in graduate preparation programs can use to effectively prepare future professionals to achieve these goals.

By identifying some major shifts in student affairs work in history, the text demonstrates how student affairs professionals evolved from being primarily service providers to educators who actively shape the environment. Now more than ever, marginalized and minoritized communities are more represented on our campuses and we know more about how to effectively serve these populations, as a result of the work done by higher education scholars.

"College Students and Their Environments" also provides that insight for professionals about how to construct environments for today's student populations that are inclusive, engaging and contribute to student success. Additionally, "College Students and Their Environments" addresses the professional competency areas needed as educators seek to develop campus environments for diverse student populations.

"College Students and Their Environments" was especially intended for those who are studying to become student affairs educators and those who are newer in the profession. It not only provides the reader with a theoretical framework, but also some direction on how to create college environments that allow diverse populations to thrive in higher education and reach their full potential.

Critique: A compendium of simply outstanding scholarship on the subject, "College Students and Their Environments: Understanding the Role Student Affairs Educators Play in Shaping Campus Environments" should be considered an indispensable addition to both college and university library Contemporary Education Issues collections and supplemental studies lists.

World History Teaching in Asia
Shingo Minamizuka, editor
Berkshire Publishing Group
122 Castle Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230
www.berkshirepublishing.com
9781614728290, $125.00, HC, 226pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Compiled and edited by Shingo Minamizuka, "World History Teaching in Asia" is the first broad survey of the content and approaches used to teach world history in secondary schools and colleges in Asia. The collection has been crafted by scholars and educators whose goal was to shed light on the importance of history education and to foster understanding of and between Asian countries.

The essays comprising "World History Teaching in Asia" show how the teaching of world history in Asian countries has developed since World War II, with many interesting parallels, including the issue of Eurocentrism, but also distinctive national trends, and considerable changes over time. At a time when many Asian countries are making great strides in education, this study of history education in Asia will be of real interest to educators, history scholars, and policy-makers worldwide.

Critique: Impressively informative, exceptionally well written, expertly organized and presented, "World History Teaching in Asia" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, history teachers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "World History Teaching in Asia" is also available in a paperback edition (9781614728221, $49.95).


The Cookbook Shelf

The 30-minute Low-Cholesterol Cookbook
Karen L. Swanson & Linda Larsen
Rockridge Press
https://www.getrockridgebooks.com
9781641528009, $14.99, PB, 214pp, www.amazon.com

For anyone wanting or needing a low-cholesterol diet, "The 30-Minute Low Cholesterol Cookbook" replaces bland and ordinary meals with more than a hundred easy-to-make recipes for savory and sumptuous dishes that complement a low-cholesterol lifestyle.

"The 30-minute Low-Cholesterol Cookbook" is cookbook has all the health support needed and necessary in order to make informed decisions about what to eat, plus plenty of helpful tips for making the transition as smooth as possible.

"The 30-Minute Low Cholesterol Cookbook: includes: Quick, great tasting meals (Discover how simple healthy eating can be with a collection of yummy dishes that all take 30 minutes or less to prepare); 125 tasty recipes (From smoothies and bowls to pasta and dressings, eat well at every meal thanks to a heaping helping of dishes that are high flavor, low cholesterol); Common ingredients (Create mouthwatering and heart-healthy meals without having to visit specialty grocery stores or deal with hard-to-find ingredients.

Critique: "The 30-minute Low-Cholesterol Cookbook" is an extraordinary and thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' compendium of palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, nutritious and delicious dishes for any and all dining occasions. While unreservedly endorsed and recommended for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections, it should be noted that "The 30-minute Low-Cholesterol Cookbook" is also available in an inexpensive digital book format (Kindle, $0.99).

The Pasta Friday Cookbook: Let's Eat Together
Allison Arevalo
Andrews McMeel Publishing
1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
www.andrewsmcmeel.com
9781449497897, $21.99, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Pasta Friday is a weekly pasta tradition that turns neighbors into friends, and friends into family. In "The Pasta Friday Cookbook: Let's Eat Together", restaurateur and food writer Allison Arevalo shows you how to start your own tradition by cooking comforting, delicious pasta dishes to feed your family on a busy weeknight, or for a crowd on the weekend.

It's not about entertaining, but about sitting down with family and friends to eat together, and bonding over big bowls of cannolicchi with red pepper sauce, pappardelle with slow-cooked pork ragu, trofie with pesto, and more.

Now even the most novice of kitchen cooks can find just the right dish for any week of the year from this compendium of 52 comforting pasta dishes and 16 creative salads, all of which are deftly organized by season. And, be sure to sprinkle in some extras like crispy, spicy prosciutto, lemon breadcrumbs!

Each individual recipe uses a different pasta shape, so you can have fun experimenting with calamarata, gnocchetti, paccheri, and mafalda, or simply using traditional spaghetti. There are plenty of tips for scaling the recipes up for a crowd, shopping on a budget, and finding time to cook, along with wine pairings, and gorgeous photography.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "The Pasta Friday Cookbook: Let's Eat Together" is a pasta lover's delight and a culinary treasure that can provide the basis and foundation for memorable gatherings of family and friends. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family and community library cookbook collections, it should be noted for personal and professional reading lists that "The Pasta Friday Cookbook: Let's Eat Together" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Technology Shelf

Practical Antenna Design for Wireless Products
Henry Lau
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
www.artechhouse.com
9781630813253, $139.00, HC, 450pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Henry Lau has more than 27 years of experience in designing wireless systems, products and radio frequency integrated circuits in both Hong Kong and the united States. He is currently running Lexiwave Technology, a wirelss and IoT solutions company that designs and sells (RFICs, RF modules, RF solutions, radar solutions, and antennas.

Now with the publication of "Practical Antenna Design for Wireless Products", Henry Lau is providing a comprehensive resource that covers both antenna fundamentals and practical implementation strategies, presenting antenna design with optimum performance in actual products and systems.

"Practical Antenna Design for Wireless Products" will enable the reader to bridge the gap between electromagnetic theory and its application in the design of practical antennas in real products. Practical implementation strategies in products and systems will be addressed in order to design antennas in the context of actual product environments, including PCB layout, component placement and casing design. Practical design examples on wearable electronic products are presented with a systematic approach to designing antennas for actual products.

"Practical Antenna Design for Wireless Products" also introduces antenna fundamentals to provide the basic concepts and necessary mathematics on electromagnetic analysis, followed by advanced antenna elements. The concept of electromagnetic simulation is presented. The advantages and disadvantages of different numerical methods in antenna modeling are also discussed. Several commercial antenna design and simulation tools are introduced, allowing hands-on practice of antenna modeling and simulation.

Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "Practical Antenna Design for Wireless Products" is an ideal curriculum textbook that is unreservedly recommended for professional, corporate, college, and university library Contemporary Technology collections in general, and RF Antenna supplemental studies lists in particular.


The Architecture Shelf

Comprehensive Tectonics
Alexis Gregory, editor
Routledge
711 - 3rd Avenue, Floor 8, New York, NY 10017-9209
www.routledge.com
9781138925182, $140.00, HC, 280pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Compiled and edited by Alexis Gregory (Associate Professor at Mississippi State University in Mississippi State, Mississippi), "Comprehensive Tectonics: Technical Building Assemblies from the Ground to the Sky" considers building construction assemblies holistically to help you make architectural detailing decisions from the earth to the sky.

Seven case studies drawn from architecture firms such as Perkins + Will, Lake | Flato, and Olson Kundig Architects include more than 250 color images showing component details, building sections, wall sections, and floor plans. For each project, the architects explain their design intent and the reasons for their material and tectonic choices, to help you form your own strategies.

"Comprehensive Tectonics" will provide the reader with assistance by its ease of use with legible keys, scales, and reference images. Its key insights about why the firm chose certain materials will allow you to create your own process for utilizing building construction assemblies. "Comprehensive Tectonics" provides a more comprehensive overview of building construction assembles to aid in the creation of well-designed and well-developed architecture.

Including a glossary and guide for how to determine assembly, "Comprehensive Tectonics" makes a welcome desk reference and is an ideal addition for students in architecture integrated studios dealing with structures and materials and is also a useful addition for professional architects.

Critique: Expertly organized and presented, "Comprehensive Tectonics: Technical Building Assemblies from the Ground to the Sky" is unreservedly recommended for community, architectural firm, and academic library Architectural Materials and Methods collections and supplementary studies curriculum lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of architectural students, academia, practicing architects, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Comprehensive Tectonics" is also available in a paperback edition (9781138925199, $49.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $39.46).


The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Film Directing: Shot by Shot, 25th anniversary edition
Steven D. Katz
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
www.mwp.com
9781615932979, $34.95, PB, 400pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Film Directing: Shot by Shot" is the essential instruction manual on film directing that is now published in a newly updated edition for a special 25th Anniversary of its original publication. Aspiring directors, cinematographers, editors, and producers, many of whom are now working professionals, learned the craft of visual storytelling from "Shot by Shot" because it was then, and continues now, to be the most complete source for preplanning the look of a movie.

"Film Directing: Shot by Shot" features over 800 photos and illustrations, and is by far the most comprehensive look at shot design in print, containing storyboards from movies such as Citizen Kane, Blade Runner, Dead-pool, and Moonrise Kingdom. Also introduced is the concept of A, I, and L patterns as a way to sim-plify the hundreds of staging choices facing a director in every scene.

"Film Directing: Shot by Shot" uniquely blends story analysis with compositional strategies, citing examples then illustrated with the storyboards used for the actual films. Throughout the book, various visual approaches to short scenes are shown, exposing the directing processes of our most celebrated auteurs -- including a meticulous, lavishly illustrated analysis of Steven Spielberg's scene design for Empire of the Sun.

Critique: The ideal curriculum textbook for moving making from the director's perspective and responsibility, "Film Directing: Shot by Shot" continues to be the 'go-to' instructional reference and is unreservedly endorsed and recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, university, and film school library film making collections. It should be noted that this 20th Anniversary edition is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $26.91).

The Art of Film Projection: A Beginner's Guide
Paolo Usai, et al.
George Eastman Museum
c/o Distributed Art Publishers
155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10013-1507
www.artbook.com
9780935398311, $29.95, HC, 344pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "The Art of Film Projection: A Beginner's Guide" is a beautifully produced, comprehensive outline of the materials, equipment and knowledge needed to present the magic of cinema to an enthralled audience.

Part instruction manual and part manifesto, "The Art of Film Projection" compiles more than 50 years of expertise from the staff of the world-renowned George Eastman Museum and the students of the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation into the most complete and accessible guide to film projection ever produced. The product of more than ten years of painstaking work by renowned film preservation specialists, and featuring a foreword by Tacita Dean and Christopher Nolan, "The Art of Film Projection" specifically addresses a changing film landscape.

No film comes to life until it is shown on the big screen, but with the proliferation of digital movie theaters, the expertise of film projection has become increasingly rare. Written for both the casual enthusiast and the professional projectionist in training, "The Art of Film Projection" demystifies the process of film projection and offers an in-depth understanding of the aesthetic, technical and historical features of motion pictures. Fully accessible to the layperson, student, technician or scholar, "The Art of Film Projection" is designed to be used: richly illustrated with photographs and easy-to-read diagrams, it is printed at a size that is easy to carry, with a ribbon bookmark and pages for notes.

Critique: Unique and comprehensively informative, "The Art of Film Projection: A Beginner's Guide" is ideal as a curriculum textbook on the subject and is an especially recommended addition to professional, college, and university library Theatre/Cinema instructional reference collections.


The Health/Medicine Shelf

American Overdose
Kent I. Phillips
Resource Publications
c/o Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401-2960
http://wipfandstock.com
9781532684890, $26.00, PB, 216pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "American Overdose: America's Addiction Crises, The Whole Story" is a three-part treatise written to provide the who, what, when, where, and why about our national crisis: addiction.

Part 1: American Overdose, discusses the ways in which opioids are dangerous and are the source of the expansion of addiction in the USA; how the "pushers" target suburbia and the rural communities; and the frightening growth rate.

Part 2: Treatment Talk, is a must-read for those considering treatment. It explores what is available, what works, what to expect, and do's and don'ts.

Part 3: Killing Family, covers the ways in which everything changes when addiction comes to visit the family.

"American Overdose" is specifically written and intended to help everyone in the family where there is a problem of addiction live a healthier life and to know how to successfully adapt to and overcome this growing epidemic of a problem in America today.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "American Overdose: America's Addiction Crises, The Whole Story" is (especially with the present opioid epidemic) an extraordinary, timely, and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as every community, college, and university library Contemporary Health & Medicine collections in the country.


The Music Shelf

The Conductor's Toolbox
Richard Sparks
GIA Publications, Inc.
7404 South Mason Avenue, Chicago, IL 60638
www.giamusic.com
9781622773589, $17.95, PB, 210pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: What do coaches, master teachers, and studies of the psychology of learning have to teach us about conducting? It turns out, quite a bit!

"The Conductor's Toolbox" by Richard Sparks is concise yet insightful volume that draws from his years of experience in the professional choral world and from his time teaching at two leading universities to help choral conductors transform their craft and create truly artful experiences.

Professor Sparks gains inspiration from legendary college basketball coach John Wooden and shares striking and refreshing parallels between coaching sports teams and conducting music ensembles. Professor Sparks draws equally from research in the fields of teaching and the psychology of learning and what a conductor can take from those areas as well.

Just as an artisan builds a set of skills and learns the tools of the trade, conductors too must build a box of tools to help them learn, understand, and interpret music; lead rehearsals; and conduct.

"The Conductor's Toolbox" conveniently and succinctly compiles these tools which include: Assessing yourself and your choir; Using modeling; Developing good habits in yourself and your choir; Learning and teaching new skills; Rehearsing more efficiently; Teaching fundamental elements of music; Selecting repertoire that improves your and your choir's skills; Improving your planning and pacing of rehearsals.

Critique: A unique and deftly effective instructional reference guide and manual that is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library collection, "The Conductor's Toolbox" should be considered essential reading for anyone seeking a career in orchestral conducting in any form or format.

Editorial Note: Richard Sparks was Professor of Music and Chair of Conducting & Ensembles at the University of North Texas from 2009 - 2019, and he served as Director of Choral Activities at Pacific Lutheran University from 1983 - 2001. He has founded and led a number of professional choral organizations and guest conducted ensembles including the Santa Fe Desert Chorale and the Swedish Radio Choir.


The Jewelry Shelf

Brooches and Badges
Rachel Church
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
www.thamesandhudsonusa.com
9780500480359, $24.95, HC, 160pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Throughout the ages brooches and badges have been worn in a variety of fashions and for diverse reasons. "Brooches and Badges" is a beautifully illustrated book in which Rachel Church (who is the Curator in the Sculpture, Metalwork, Ceramics, and Glass department at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, with a special responsibility for the rings collection) charts the history and evolution of these symbolic and expressive pieces of jewelry.

Church traces the development of the badge as a sign of religious faith to one of familial fidelity and its more recent emergence as a feature in protest movements and identity politics. "Brooches and Badges" showcases an array of spectacular designs worn by men and women throughout the ages.

Brooches and Badges provides a concise history of these versatile and evocative ornaments, and features a wide range of some 170 full color illustrations ranging from period paintings and sketches to photographs, making it an invaluable resource for students, designers, and lovers of jewelry.

Critique: A stunningly beautiful and impressively informative combination of history and examples, "Brooches and Badges" is an especially endorsed and unreservedly recommended as an addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library collections.


The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

The Church and the Roman Empire (301 - 490)
Mike Aquilina
Ave Maria Press
PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556
www.avemariapress.com
9781594717895, $17.95, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: It may prove surprising to most present day members of the Catholic Church to lerarn that suspense, politics, sin, death, sex, and redemption are all part of their history as larger-than-life saints such as Athanasius of Alexandria, Jerome, Augustine, and political figures such as Emperor Constantine played an important part in the history of the Christianity.

In "The Church and the Roman Empire (301 - 490): Constantine, Councils, and the Fall of Rome", Catholic author Mike Aquilina gives his readers a vivid and engaging account of how Christianity and the Catholic Church developed and expanded as the Roman Empire declined.

In "The Church and the Roman Empire (301 - 490)", historian Mike Aquilina explores the dramatic backstory of the Council of Nicaea and why Christian unity and belief are still expressed by the Nicene Creed. He also sets the record straight about commonly held misconceptions about the Catholic Church.

"The Church and the Roman Empire (301 - 490)" reveals that: The Edict of Milan didn't just legalize Christianity; it also established religious tolerance for all faiths for the first time in history; The growth of Christianity inspired a more merciful society: Crucifixion was abolished; the practice of throwing prisoners to wild beasts for entertainment was outlawed; and slave owners were punished for killing their slaves; Controversy between Arians and Catholics may have resulted in building more hospitals and other networks of charitable assistance to the poor; When Rome fell, not many people at the time noticed.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Church and the Roman Empire (301 - 490)" brings Catholic Church history and evolution into a proper historical focus and thereby enables the modern day reader to more deeply appreciate the creed that unites all Catholics, the Bible that creed is based upon, and the liturgy celebrated throughout the Roman Catholic community. While especially and unreservedly recommended for church, seminary, community, and academic library Christian History collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of seminary students, academia, clergy, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Church and the Roman Empire (301 - 490)" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).


The Parenting Shelf

Something Bad Happened
Dawn Huebner, author
Kara McHale, illustrator
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
www.jkp.com
9781787750746, $15.95, PB, 80pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When children learn about something bad that has happened (even when they hear only bits and pieces of it) their brains get busy trying to make sense of it.

"Something Bad Happened" guides children ages 6 to 12 and the adults who care about them through tough conversations about news of large-scale disasters, addressing questions such as: "Where did it happen?" "Why did it happen?" And, "Will it happen again?" Feelings such as sadness, fear and confusion are normalized, and coping tools provided.

For children and parents to read together, "Something Bad Happened" is helpful resource by child psychologist and best-selling author Dawn Huebner that provides comfort, support and action plans for children learning about troubling world events.

Critique: Now that we are in an age of 24-hour news cycles where 'if it bleeds, it leads' is the norm, and now that we are in an age of Active Shooter Drills in our public schools, and now that we are in a determinedly politically, economically, and culturally polarized society to an extent that hasn't been seen since the American Civil War, "Something Bad Happened" must be considered as an absolutely essential addition to family, elementary school, and community library collections.


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


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