Return to home
page Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
Home / Small Press Bookwatch

Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 8, Number 2 February 2009 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Fiction Shelf Photography Shelf
Parenting Shelf Military Shelf Education Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Sports Shelf Science Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Biography Shelf Environmental Studies Shelf
Aviation Shelf Christian Studies Shelf Business Shelf
Homeowner's Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf Money/Finance Shelf
World History Shelf Poetry Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf
Humor Shelf Travel Shelf Computer Shelf
Literary Shelf American History Shelf Needlecraft Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Milk Soapmaking
Anne L. Watson
Shepard Publications
1102 Olympia Avenue NE, #18, Olympia, WA 98506
9780938497455, $12.50,

Making unique, specialized, and personalized soaps is both a craft and an art. Written and compiled by Anne L. Watson, "Milk Soapmaking: The Smart and Simple Guide to Making Lovely Milk Soap From Cow Milk, Goat Milk, Buttermilk, Cream, Coconut Milk, or Any Other Animal or Plant Milk" is a collection of thoroughly 'user friendly' recipes and instructions for making 'milk soaps' and begins with an introduction to the subject, what it is, the equipment required to make it, and choosing between the two principle methods for making milk soaps, along with step-by-step instructions that cover everything from preparation to cleanup. The recipes for specialized milk soaps range from Yogurt Parfait Soap, to Cinnamon Oatmeal Soap, to Marge's Chocolate Silk Soap, to Ruth's Butter Soap, and more! "Milk Soapmaking" also covers such relevant issues as making soap with plant milks, shaping milk soaps, controlling color, and a roster of frequently asked questions about milk soaps. Enhanced with a list of internet resources and an index, "Milk Soapmaking" is enthusiastically recommended for anyone wanting to try their hand as making milk soaps for themselves either as a hobby or as a profession.

Nature Fold-Along Stories
Christine Petrell Kallevig
Storytime Ink International
PO Box 470505, Cleveland, OH 44147-0505
9780962876929, $11.99,

Anyone can tell a story with words, but it takes something special to do it with other forms of art. "Nature Fold-Along Stories: Quick and Easy Origami Tales About Plants and Animals" educates those interested in origami in how to turn a simple craft and pastime into a story telling medium. A creative endeavor, origami story telling can be an entertaining and fulfilling way to spend one's time. "Nature Fold-Along Stories" is a strong choice for origami lovers.

The Last Stop
Alan Bower
Oak Tree Press
140 E. Palmer, Taylorville, IL 62568
9781892343536, $14.95,

Many know of Abraham Lincoln the president, few know of Abraham Lincoln the lawyer. "The Last Stop: Lincoln & the Mud Circuit" is a story of the sixteenth president's legal career, covering his local law firm and his early political career in the state of Illinois. With records on each of the cases used to tell their stories, it's a different look at the history of old Honest Abe. "The Last Stop" is solid reading for any historian with a focus on Lincoln or law.

The Fiction Shelf

The Chemist
Janson Mancheski
Bridgeway Books
PO Box 80107, Austin, TX 78758
Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists
2100 Kramer Lane, Suite 300, Austin, TX 78758
9781934454282, $15.95

There are far too many sick, perverted people in the world. "The Chemist" is a mystery following Detective Cale Van Waring as he's hot on the trail of a serial abductor and murderer who has been targeting girls throughout the Lake Michigan area. The chemicals his fugitive uses are all Waring has to go on, and he must figure out the puzzle in before more girls die by this psychopath's hands. The first of many Detective Waring mysteries, "The Chemist" is a sample of good things to come from Mancheski.

Little Wolf Ranch
Magnolia Belle
Black Wolf Books
6659 Dick Price Rd, Mansfield, TX 76063-5243
9780979962431, $18.95,

The personal toll of war is much harder to recover. "Little Wolf Ranch" tells the story of two families recovering from the two savage wars of the nineteenth century. The Civil War and the Indian wars have both taken their toll, and only through companionship and help in each other will full recovery be possible. "Little Wolf Ranch" is a part of the T'on MA series, and is another excellent entry into it.

Bard King
Rowena Wright
PO Box 346, Mercer Island, WA 98040
9781933791128, $15.95,

The power of money is very strong, especially when it's corrupt. "Bard King" follows Ericca and her companions as they face off against the powerful petroleum economies and the governments behind them. With an intriguing cast of characters, it's an adventurous thriller with roots in modern environmentalism and global politics. "Bard King" is well worth the read as an exciting fantasy.

The Last Renegade
Mike Kearby
Trail's End Books
PO Box 201385, Austin, TX 78720-1385
9780978842291, $14.95,

A traveling sideshow is no way to live. "The Last Renegade" is the story of Young-Man-Listens, a young boy captured from his tribe and sold to a circus troupe, promoted as the Last Renegade, a vicious native chieftain. Miserable in captivity of cruel master McDuff, he finds that to find his freedom, he must make his character a bit more real to turn it against McDuff. "The Last Renegade" is a riveting story of a child rising up against injustice and becoming a man.

Malicious Truth
April Gutierrez
JimSam Inc.
PO Box 3363, Riverview FL 33568
9780981691480, $13.95,

Ignorance is bliss, as so often those who find an unpleasant truth say. "Malicious Truth" is follows Ava as she deals with a world filled with lies and deception. When there is so much deceit surrounding her, she soon finds that a happy ending is almost impossible, and just admitting one's flaws is not enough. Imperfection and flaw is another major element making "Malicious Truth" a charming, realistic story about how things really are.

Red Audrey and the Roping
Jill Malone
Bywater Books
PO Box 3671, Ann Arbor, MI 48106
9781932859546, $14.95,

If you keep running away, eventually you will succeed. "Red Audrey and the Roping" follows one Jane Elliot, one who has evaded her problems all of her life. Now forced into dealing what has pursued her, she's forced to face her past, her family, her friends, even her lover. A story of a woman finally coming to grip with a balanced existence and dealing with people, "Red Audrey and the Roping" is a moving read of human relationships.

The Other Side
Cheney Duesler
Fireweed Press
638 Gately Terrace, Madison, WI 53711
9781878660213, $15.00

There are two sides to every issue, and sometimes even more than that. "The Other Side" is a collection of short stories from accomplished and prolific fiction writer Cheney Duesler. Her stories touch on the many sides to people and their different reactions to similar events. Filled with intriguing characters and events, "The Other Side" is a fine short story collection, recommended.

Caged Innocence
A.P. Ri'Chard
Strebor Books International
PO Box 6505, Largo, MD 20792
Atria Books News (publicity)
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781593092092, $14.00,

It's a shame when family relations fall so far. "Caged Innocence" is the story of Larry Henderson and his legal battles trying to defend himself against a crime he didn't commit. Making his uphill battle even tougher, Larry's own father seems to desire that Larry spend the rest of his life in prison. A tale of wrongful accusations and sour family relations, "Caged Innocence" is a riveting story from first page to last.

Handle Time
Lincoln Park
4465 Press
610-A East Battlefield Rd, Suite 279, Springfield, MO 65807
9780615215181, $14.95,

While some people would say talking on a phone all day would be their dream job, they don't imagine the reality of it. "Handle Time" is a novel delving into the weird world of call centers. Told in a unique manner designed for nonstop humor and to keep readers reading in a fast paced tale of the everyday grind, Park brings another tale into the genre she calls 'office-lit'. "Handle Time" is a humorous exploration of the people Americans grow to hate but still exist.

Shine Annie
Better Oglesby Payne
New South Books Classics
PO Box 1588, Montgomery, AL 36102
9781603060042, $19.95,

While adultery is condemned by many, few people with a rational mind think death is a correct punishment. "Shine Annie" is a story of a young, teenage black girl facing adulthood before the rapid social changes of the 1960s. Annie Watson was a successful high school student with a beloved boyfriend, or so she thought. When he faces the harsh penalties from society for cheating on Annie with a white girl, Annie's world radically changes. "Shine Annie" is a solidly recommended read about America before the pushes of Dr. King.

Callie of the White Sand
Kimberly Ann Freel
27657 Highway 97, Okanogan, WA 98840
9780980155426, $12.50,

Abuse of a child is viewed as so abhorrent due to the long lasting implications. "Callie of the White Sand" is the story of a child of abuse and overcoming that abuse for a happy and prosperous life as an adult. Callie is a product of this abuse as a child by both her biological and adoptive families. She must deal with her baggage for her love and her life, lest she let her life long torment control her. "Callie of the White Sand" is a story of change and improving one's life, entrancing reading.

Land Beyond Maps
Maida Tilchen
Savvy Press
PO Box 63, Salem, NY 12865
9780966987799, $14.95,

There are some periods of history rarely spoke of, but that doesn't mean they aren't interesting. "Land Beyond Maps" takes a trip back in time to 1929, a time when the Stock Market crash was saturating the headlines of the time. Instead, Tilchen focuses on a white woman who dedicated themselves to preserving the Navajo culture and their struggles during the time, as well as their arts. A light on a forgotten group, "Land Beyond Maps" is worth reading for educational value alone.

The Second Elizabeth
Karen Lillis
Six Gallery Press
PO Box 90145, Pittsburgh, PA 15224
9780978296216, $10.00

There is very little bond stronger than friendship. "The Second Elizabeth" is a novel discussing the relationship between two women friends as their platonic bond greatly benefits both of their lives. With a strong influence of poetry, Lillis crafts a complex and moving story that many women will relate to when discussing their true best friends in life. Moving and inspiring, "The Second Elizabeth" is a novel for anyone who believes in the power of friendship.

Stories from the Asphalt
John Sparger
Unabashed Media
12430 Tesson Ferry Rd., Ste. 202, St. Louis, MO 63128
9780979865008, $12.95,

The wide-open road - just an intermission in life for some, the life itself for others. "Stories from the Asphalt" is a wide collection of fiction in various formats from one John Sparger. Using short stories, poetry, and flash fiction, he offers insight into the mind of the biker and the road lover in general. Utterly fascinating and hard to put down, "Stories from the Asphalt" is well worth the price of admission.

A. J. Scudiere
Griffyn Ink
3004 Laurel Creek Dr., Grapevine, TX 76051
0979951011, $9.99,

Right and wrong are not always obvious. "Vengeance" follows Owen Dunham, who is investigating the trail of a figure who is called the 'Grudge Ninja'. With little lead on the Ninja's motives, he is shocked when he does start to learn of the truths, and begins to doubt the integrity of his lead. The Grudge Ninja's methods may be wrong, but could its mission be right? "Vengeance" is a thriller that dwells in shades of gray with many different characters with different motives and codes, highly recommended.

Rocket Man
William Elliott Hazelgrove
Pantonne Press
27 North Wacker Drive #828, Chicago, IL 60606
9780615213071, $19.95,

Highly combustible fuel, fire, and bumbling fathers are never a recipe for success. "Rocket Man" follows Dale Hammer as he tries to cut his own niche into Americana by being a good father to his son. Life gets harder as his own father lounging around him and becoming the rocket man to his son's scout troop. Being the rocket man leads Dale down a strange path of self-discovery in a way he never thought he would. "Rocket Man" is a charming tale of fatherhood, family, and the American dream.

Gone Crazy Out There
Francesca Rochberg
Kennedy & Boyd
c/o Kelley & Hall Book Publicity & Promotion
5 Briar Lane, Marblehead, MA 01945
1904999816, $19.95,

From Mexico to Canada and beyond, life rages on. "Gone Crazy Out There" is Francesca Rochberg's debut collection of short stories. Focusing on life and how it ranges from mundane to surreal, she tells stories with many different setting set all over the west coast. Moving, "Gone Crazy Out There" has countless situations that many a reader will relate to.

Blossoms Of Sin
Marshal Taylor
Mystic Publishers
850 S. Boulder Hwy., Suite 436, Henderson, NV 89015
9781934051306, $14.95,

Abused children rarely grow up to be emotionally scar free adults. Gerald Casey grew up an abused child. Now he's a solider on guard duty and thinking about killing someone who needs killing. But what standards, what criteria, what value system goes into the decision making process for a man like Gerald? "Blossoms Of Sin" by Marshal Taylor is a complex and riveting novel that will fully involve the reader's rapt attention from beginning to end. A master storyteller, Taylor makes his characters fully fleshed and emotionally complex with no easy answers to tough questions. Thoughtful, thought-provoking, and inherently fascinating, "Blossoms Of Sin" is a sophisticated novel that is highly recommended for readers who appreciate an original and entertaining read, the kind that lingers on the mind long after the final page has been turned and the book set back upon the shelf.

A. Scott Pearson
Oceanview Publishing
2817 West End Avenue, Suite 126-274, Nashville, TN 37203
Maryglenn McCombs Book Publicity
2817 West End Ave., Suite 126-274 Nashville, TN 37203
9781933515236, $24.95,

Medicine has a decidedly dark side. That's what Eli Branch, who in line to become an outstanding surgeon-scientist, learns when he investigates the suspicious death of one of his patients. Eli unexpectedly finds that his late father (a long-time professor of anatomy at Mid-South Medical College) has spun a web of lies and that untangling them is resulting in more people meeting sudden violent deaths. That's why Eli enlists the aid of forensic pathologist Meg Daily and the two of them find themselves in a life-or-death race against time, a race in which a single false step would prove fatal to them both. The debut novel of author A. Scott Pearson, "Rupture" is a superbly crafted non-stop thriller from beginning to end and highly recommended for community library fiction collections and personal reading lists.

The Annunciations Of Hank Meyerson
Scott Muskin
Hooded Friar Press
214 Overlook Court, Suite 253, Brentwood, TN 37027
Maryglenn McCombs Book Publicity
2817 West End Ave., Suite 126-274 Nashville, TN 37203
9780981760926, $23.95,

The key to successful contemporary fiction is the creation of interesting characters involved in extraordinary situations. For example, take Hank Myerson. He's wry, shaggy, chubby, an over-thinker, a ranter, a kibitzer, adores Emily Dickinson, and is in love with his sister-in-law. Deftly penned by author and fiction award winner Scott Muskin, "The Annunciations Of Hank Meyerson, Mama's Boy and Scholar" plunges the reader mind-deep into a story of love, lost, and after having to deal with tragedy, duck jokes and the toy industry, a protagonist who ultimately achieves redemption. Hooded Friar Press is a traditional, non-subsidy, non-vanity publishing house dedicated to publishing high-quality books by new authors -- and with Scott Muskin's "The Annunciations Of Hank Meyerson, Mama's Boy and Scholar" that have truly succeeded in their literary mission with an original work of memorable fiction that can be confidently recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections.

Kenneth Shelby Armstrong
Rough Roads Press
PO Box 7, Fort Towson, OK 74735
9780979832789, $14.95,

On the shores of Lake Biwa near Kyoto, Japan, an American Bishop laid his head in the lap of a lovely Japanese woman and died. His death led to a secret that he had held since he was a young soldier exploring the horrific aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It seems that the secret he held onto for so many years may prove as destructive as those two atom bombs dropped from the sky upon unsuspecting Japanese cities. Every novel, regardless of its genre, needs to open with a hook, and then irresistibly propel the reader to dive in and become immersed in the story from beginning to end. "Robin" by Kenneth Shelby Armstrong is just such a novel and highly recommended as an original and carefully crafted story from first page to last.

The Photography Shelf

At Maxwell Street
Tom Palazzolo
Wicker Park Press
PO Box 5318, River Forest, IL 60305-5318
9780978967611, $45.00,

Chicago's Maxwell Street had its beginnings as an old-world style European market place in the 19th century and evolved into Chicago's official open-air market in the 20th century as a tri-part combination of sidewalk storefront shops, curbside vending sheds, and vending plywood table-tops on wooden horses lining each side of the street. A pedestrian only area because of the density of vendors, Maxwell Street was a true Chicago and enduring cultural landmark. Now in "At Maxwell Street: Chicago's Historic Marketplace Recalled In Words And Photographs" by tom Palazzolo, we are provided with a wealth of black-and-white captioned images along with informative commentaries by Lori Grove, Jack Helbig, Lionel Bottari, Linda Platt, and others. Enhanced with an accompanying DVD, "At Maxwell Street" is an especially recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library Photogaphy and American History reference collections in general, and Chicago History supplemental reading lists in particular.

The Parenting Shelf

Our Great Kids
Tara Amaral & Chris Frie
TML Publishing
149 South Keyser Avenue, Taylor, PA 18517
9780982109106, $23.95,

Divorce is sometimes necessary -- but always traumatic for kids and parents. Specifically designed to assist divorced parents with children, "Our Great Kids: A Journaling Tool For Separated Parents" is the collaborative work of Tara Amaral and Chris Frie who provide 'fill in' visitation calendars, emergency contact lists, vital medication charts, day-to-day journals for the kids to write in; and even a colorful folder for art work. Spiral bound and thoroughly 'user friendly', "Our Great Kids" is an invaluable resource for keeping the lines of communication open between separated parents wanting to do good by their shared children; stay involved in their children's lives; helping to bring the children up with commonly held values and expectations; and temper the effects of parental separation upon the emotional health and well being of their children. "Our Great Kids" is especially recommended for parents who are divorced and seeking ways to jointly raise their children to become healthy, happy, and well adjusted adults.

The Military Shelf

Come in, Swanee Leader
Jim Staley
Good Buy Sweet Prints
PO Box 684, Woodacre, CA 94973-0684
9780981631103, $34.95,

There are millions of stories and events comprising American military history. "Come in, Swanee Leader: The Thirty-Three-Month Odyssey of an LST in the 1950s" is the fascinating account of the voyages of USS LST 561 that took place from October 1951 through July 1954. From transporting thousands of prisoners of war in Korea, to sailing through Arctic pack ice, to a pre-dawn beaching on the black sands of Iwo Jima, and so much more, "Come in, Swanee Leader" describes what life and living conditions aboard this American military war craft was like. In a way, "Come in, Swanee Leader" is a fitting and superbly illustrated memoriam for the LST (Landing Ship Tank) which, while prominent in the theaters of World War II, is no longer a part of the US Navy today. Jim Staley writes with the flair and expertise of a born story-teller and "Come in, Swanee Leader" is a welcome addition to the growing library of American Military History in general, and American Naval History in particular.

The Education Shelf

Verbal Behavior Targets
Diana Luckevich
DRL Books
37 East 18th Street, 10th fl., NY, NY 10003
9780975585948, $24.95,

Special education programs are now an integral part of every public school system in the country. Among the student populations for which these programs are purposed are those students who suffer from language delays, most especially the growing number of children diagnosed with various forms of autism. Now classroom instructors and special education support staff working with these children can have access to a vital resource with "Verbal Behavior Targets: A Too To Teach Mands, Tacts And Intraverbals", written by Diana Luckevich, a parent of a child on the autism spectrum and an experienced data analyst with expertise in computerization applications in education. With a particular focus on autistic learners, "Verbal Behavior Targets" includes word lists and word combinations categorized by word families; accessible tools for children who are ESL learners; who have Down syndrom; who are autistic; or who are experiencing language delays; and/or are dealing with developmental disabilities. "Verbal Behavior Targets" also features common, functional and relevant language goals suitable for any child who is learning word skills. Enhanced with additional spaces and worksheets for teachers and involved parents to customize and track language for an individual child, "Verbal Behavior Targets" is an especially recommended addition for special education curriculum reference libraries and classroom lesson planning supplements.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

The Great Pageant
Eldon Remy
Publishing Works Inc.
60 Winter Street, Exeter, NH 03833
9781933002675, $19.95,

Freely soaring through the skies majestically with grace - it's no wonder birds have captured the wonder of so many. "The Great Pageant: How I Learned About the Lives and Journeys of Birds" is Eldon Remy's chronicle of the yearly migration of birds towards the equator and their yearly return. Part memoir, he recalls his experience covering the ground and following the birds, referring often to other bird watchers and general enthusiasts. Of recommended interest to anyone who loves birdkind, "The Great Pageant" is a fine addition to avian studies shelves.

Paw Prints In The Stars
Warren Hanson
Tristan Publishing
2355 Louisiana Avenue North, Golden Valley, MN 55427
9780931674891, $19.95, 1-866-545-1383

The death of a beloved pet can be just as traumatic as the loss of a family member. That's because for a great many of us, our animal companions are family. The grieving process can be just as keenly felt and in acknowledgment of this reality, Warron Hanson has authored "Paw Prints In The Stars: A Farewell And Journal For A Beloved Pet". Color photos of star images in the heavens are a perfect complement to works of memorial consolation in the printed text. Of special note are the pages set aside for the personalized addition of photos of the pet being memorialized. "Paw Prints In The Stars" is an ideal gift for anyone who has suffered the loss of a animal companion and wishes to honor their furry friend with a memorial keepsake.

The Sports Shelf

Bruce Valley
Peter E. Randall Publisher, LLC
PO Box 4726, Portsmouth, NH 03802-4726
9781931807722, $17.00

Seahawk: Confessions of an Old Hockey Goalie is the personal memoir of a young man who was part of a championship New England town hockey team composed of World War II veterans during the late 1950s. Seahawk continues to relate the author's trials, travails, joys and foibles as he continued his passion for amateur hockey goaltending into the later years of life. "Why, when you can hop in your car and drive a civilized half hour to an indoor rink, dress out in cozy warmth, and play hockey in predictable weather conditions on perfect ice, would we shovel and build a rink, risking frost bite and possible immersion to play outdoors? Fair question. Answer: Because it's there. Because it's free. Because it's ours." A passionate testimony to the enduring joy of sports, highly recommended especially for anyone who loves to play hockey.

Instant Replay
Tony Verna
Creative Book Publishers International
269 S. Beverly Drive, Suite 1442, Beverly Hills, CA 90212
The Saybles Organization (publicity)
22647 Venturas Blvd., #219, Woodland Hills, CA 91364
9780977913145, $16.95,

Blink, and you'll miss it. That was the world of sports until Tony Verna revolutionized it. "Instant Replay: The Day That Changed Sports Forever" is the story of the Instant replay, something so common place in modern day sports that to be without it would be unthinkable. Verna tells his story of his long and elaborate career in the world of television, working with countless stars and celebrities from Mick Jagger & Tom Selleck to Mother Theresa to even President Ronald Reagan. "Instant Replay" is a riveting read about a television innovator.

The Spitball/Knuckleball Book
Tom E. Mahl
Trick Pitch Press
PO Box 1211, Elyria, OH 44036
0978628403, $32.95,

Outlawed for being un-sportsman like and dangerous, the spitball was professional baseball most famous (or infamous) pitching form and baseball enthusiast Tom E. Mahl has dedicated an entire 256-page illustrated book to their history. "The Spitball/Knuckleball Book: How They Are Throw, Those Who Threw Them" is an original and unique baseball history begins by addressing the origin of the spitball and the early 1901-130 decades of professional baseball. Then Mahl identifies and provides biographical sketches of the players who used it when the spitball was legal during those early years. Next to be identified and addressed are the pitchers who continued to use the spitball pitch after it was banned from play. Of special note are the chapters on the 'Dry Spitter' as the knuckleball was originally known, as well as on how the outlawing of the spitball brought about the use of the knuckleball. Concluding this fascinating sports history is a chapter on the physics of how the spitball and the knuckle ball work. Enhanced with the inclusion of an extensive bibliography and an index, "The Spitball/Knuckleball Book" is an enthusiastic recommendation for community library Sports History collections and the supplemental reading list for all professional baseball fans.

The Science Shelf

Bubbles in Food 2
Grant M. Camp
Eagan Press
c/o AACC International, Inc.
3340 Pilot Knob Road, St. Paul, MN 55121
9781891127595, $189.00,

They're in almost everything we eat, but no one seems to notice. "Bubbles in Food 2: Novelty, Health, and Luxury" is a look at everything about air within food. The science is a major topic, discussing the history of humanity engineering air into chocolate for flavor and longevity, as well as a complete and comprehensive history of aerated foods. Chocolate, bread, ice cream, and countless others rely on bubbles, as a laundry list of experts on culinary, science, and agricultural fields all discuss. With 400 pages divided into 39 chapters, "Bubbles in Food 2" offers one of the most complete and comprehensive volumes on the subject that one can find. Enhanced with an index, "Bubbles in Food 2" is enthusiastically recommended to community library collections on the science and history of food.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Judith Briles
Mile High Press
PO Box 460880, Aurora, CO 80046
9781885331304, $29.00

For an industry about caring for others well being, it sure is cutthroat. "Stabotage!: How to Deal with the Pit Bulls, Skunks, Snakes, Scorpions, & Slugs in the Health Care Workplace" is a book aimed at dealing with the deception and skullduggery involved in, of all things, the health care profession. A guide to dealing with the bullies of the field and standing up for oneself, the lessons presented in the field are not strictly exclusive to health care, as they can be applied to any workplace with a bully. "Stabotage!" is an intriguing and empowering read, a top pick.

A Patient's Guide to Chinese Medicine
Joel Harvey Schreck
BayTree Publishing
PO Box 70236, Richmond, CA 94807-0236
9780980175806, $18.95,

There must be some truth in folk medicine; it's worked for thousands of years. "A Patient's Guide to Chinese Medicine: Dr. Shen's Handbook of Herbs and Acupuncture" is a patient's guide to the world of traditional Chinese folk medicine and how it can enhance one's more modern medical treatment. Herbal properties, acupuncture, and other treatments are discussed, and "A Patient's Guide to Chinese Medicine" is a must for those expanding their options.

Healing Honey
Lynne Chepulis
BrownWalker Press
23331 Water Circle, Boca Raton, FL 33486-8540
1599424851, $17.95,

The American population is experiencing an epidemic of obesity with its attendant health problems ranging from diabetes and atherosclerosis to vascular diseases and more. The basis of this increasing health problem is the diet many Americans exist upon which is saturated with sugars by the manufactures of processed foods and fast food restaurant menus. But there is something concerned citizens can do -- replace sucrose and sugars with honey. While the medicinal properties of honey have been known and employed for centuries, it has only been within the past few decades that nutrition scientists and others have been able to understand that the health benefits of natural honey stem from a high antioxidant content and contain a unique blend of sugars, vitamins and other ingredients that help the human body to resist illness, recover from illness, and enhance the prospect of a healthier life -- while elevating the culinary qualities of meals that are as delicious as they are nutritious. All this and more is laid out in Lynne Chepulis' new book "Healing Honey: A Natural Remedy For Better Health And Wellness", a 143-page paperback that is completely accessible to, and recommended for, the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the medicinal properties of natural honey. An ideal addition to community library Health & Medicine reference collections, "Healing Honey" also covers the use of honey for burns and wounds, and is enhanced with the inclusion of a recipe section and a glossary.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Snow Signs
Jennifer Seet
CCB Publishing
9780980999594, $14.95,

When someone disappears without a trace, the uncertainty makes it the toughest case possible. "Snow Signs" follows retired detective Claire Dungarven, who's dragged back into her career by the disappearance of one Libby Newman. Dead or alive, the trail is uncertain as Claire is dragged back onto the force to gather all the clues and hints to finding what became of Libby. "Snow Signs" is a riveting mystery of missing persons and will appeal well to mystery fans.

Murder In The Tetons
J. Royal Horton
Sunlight Publishing
725 South Weber St., #309, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
9780615201481, $22.96,

Mystery novels have been a core feature of American popular culture since their invention by Edgar Allan Poe. When the body of an anthropologist (who seems to have also ben an artifact smuggler on the side) is found buried in a remote cave in the Teton mountains, Detective Tom Thomson of the Teton County Sheriff's office is assigned to a particularly baffling case of double homicide. What clues there are come from the ceremonial garb clothing the corpse which takes the detective and a Mexican Federale to the country of the Oaxacan Sierra, home to the Mixtec Indians known as the 'Cloud People'. A riveting and suspenseful story from first page to last, author Royal Horton is clearly a master of the storytelling arts with a deftly crafted mystery that plays fair with the reader with a plot that never telegraphs from one page to another what's going to happen next! The second volume of Horton's planned five-volume 'Jackson Hole Mysteries' series, "Murder In The Tetons" is a fully rewarding read and especially recommended to mystery fans who enjoy a particularly well-penned novel. Also highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library mystery/suspense collections is Horton's first book of this outstanding series titled "Murder In Jackson Hole" (Sunlight Publishing, 9780615201498, $21.95).

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Spell Keeper
Dana M. Baird
Sam's Dot Publishing
PO Box 782, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-0782
9780979790386, $17.95,

Homework, boys, clothes, toppling a sorcerer, all in the day of a fifteen year old. "The Spell Keeper" is the story of Cassie, a fifteen-year-old girl who called Illinois home, but now finds herself in a place where she should not be. Tevious is under constant turmoil from many sides, and in order for Cassie to survive in this world to even have a chance of ever finding her way home, she has to help solve some of these problems. "The Spell Keeper" is a fantasy that many teen readers will relate to and adore, recommended.

Sophia and the Seven Goddesses
Ilene Satala & Beverley Danusis
Sophia Dolls
825 South Barr Street, Suite 300, Fort Wayne, IN 46802
9780615184814, $18.95,

Empowerment is something intangible, yet invaluable. "Sophia and the Seven Goddesses: A Journey of Self-Acceptance" is about a nearly-teenage girl's adventures during his visit to her archeologist grandparents in the historied nation of Greece. Sophia during her trip meets several Greek Goddesses who each inspire her with a gift to help her through life and become empowered. A book about finding power in oneself, "Sophia and the Seven Goddesses" is a solid gift for any young girl.

Terrance McKnight
Wolf Pirate Publishing
4801 SW 164 Terrace, Southwest Ranches, FL 33331
9780979837258, $15.00,

Suicide is something considered when something gets so bad there is little other option. For Max Harris, it's not even an option. "Undying" tells his story of being unable to die. A quality that most would kill to have, Max simply finds it bizarre and strangely yearns for the ability to die. He begins to investigate his unwilling immortality, and the unusual unknown force behind it. "Undying" is a fantasy with many twists, highly recommended.

The First Vampire
Alicia Benson
Virtual Tales
PO Box 822674, Vancouver, WA 98682
9780980150681, $15.95,

An ancient tale finds new life with a twist. "The First Vampire: A Novel of Samson and Delilah" tells the story of the two with a twist. For thousands of years, Samson has pursued Delilah for cursing him with the ability to pursue her for thousands of years - vampirism. Set in modern New York City, the story is an unusual conflict for Samson. Upon finding his mark after all these years, does lust or revenge win out? "The First Vampire" is a good, solid fantasy tale using the biblical characters, highly recommended.

Jeremiah Bloom and the Amulet of Osiron
Stephen Wren
Blackbeard Books
PO Box 2015, Mount Juliet, TN 37121-2015
9780981902104, $14.95,

When against a wall, any job is taken, even aboard a ship which is believed to be doomed. "Jeremiah Bloom and the Amulet of Osiron" tells of the titular character and his time as a cabin boy aboard the ship known as the Nante. The Nante is on a crash course toward a vicious battle with an evil force. His only ally and hope for survival, a secret society, Jeremiah must overcome the odds to save the ship and honor a dead man's wishes. "Jeremiah Bloom and the Amulet of Osiron" is a riveting tale of adventure on the high seas, enthusiastically recommended.

The Self-Help Shelf

You Grow Girl!
Gina Scarano-Osika & Kim Dever-Johnson
Larson Publications
4936 NYS Route 414, Burdett NY 14818
9780943914732, $15.95,

Puberty and the time around it can be some of the most challenging times of a young life. "You Grow Girl!: A Self-Empowering Workbook for Tweens & Teens" is an inspirational self-help manual aimed children between the ages of 9 and 16. Aiming to support girls as they deal with the pressures of life be it from peers, self-esteem issues about one's life, and the general health, all the things that comes with becoming a young woman. "You Grow Girl!" is a solid gift choice for any tween girl.

Opening the Kimono
Theresa Rose
Serious Mojo Publications
PO Box 18996, Sarasota, FL 34276
PR/PR Public Relations (publicity)
775 S. Kirkman Road, Suite 104, Orlando, FL 32811
9780981886909, $13.95,

She hates how she looks, has had more misses than hits romantically, and can't seem to get that promotion - so Theresa Rose is just like every other woman on the planet. "Opening the Kimono: A Woman's Intimate Journey Through Life's Biggest Challenges" are the thoughts and opinions of Miss Rose on the most challenging thing a woman will ever face - life itself. Frank and honest, Rose encourages readers to better deal with life with the advice and information presented in "Opening the Kimono".

Unspoken Thoughts of a Man
Kennedy F. Jones
Identifacts Publications
PO Box 16172, Kansas City, MO 64112
9780979371004, $24.95

There are many books on the thoughts of a woman by a man. "Unspoken Thoughts of a Man" seeks to be some different- the thoughts of a man by a man. Aimed at women who want to get inside the mind of what the other side thinks, Kennedy Jones creates much verse and poetry, painting a vivid and epic journey for one to lose themselves in. Speaking on how a man loves a woman, "Unspoken Thoughts of Man" is full of grand advice that will improve relationships.

Your Unfinished Life
Lawrence J. Danks
Helpful Media
302 Reading Avenue, PO Box 201, Barrington, NJ 08007-1050
9780615242071, $14.95,

Unless one is already a corpse, there is still time to change. "Your Unfinished Life: The Classic and Timeless Guide to Finding Happiness and Success Through Kindness" is a book encouraging readers to embrace change for the better and don't let something like age or obligations stand in one's way to finding true happiness in one's life. Saying that not doing so ends with one having countless regrets, "Your Unfinished Life" is well worth reading for those who want to be the person they think they can be.

The Biography Shelf

Surviving High Society
Elizabeth Marvin Mulholland
Bascom Hill Publishing Group
212 3rd Avenue North, Suite 570, Minneapolis, MN 55401
9781935098072, $16.95

Surviving High Society: Lots of Love Trumps Lots of Money is the true-life memoir of author Elizabeth Marvin Mulholland, who was adopted into a wealthy New England family at a young age and appeared to have it all. Yet beneath the outward appearance of her life, her family situation was severely troubled - her beloved father passed away when she was twenty-two, her adopted brother once attempted to murder her mother and became estranged from the family, and her mother exerted near-absolute control over Elizabeth's life. Elizabeth's mother used her vast wealth to convince doctors to keep Elizabeth locked up and medicated; it was only after being disinherited that Elizabeth was able to experience freedom and establish a life she could truly call her own. Surviving High Society is ultimately a tell-all from the heart, a story of one woman's long journey to independence.

The Journal of Helene Berr
Helene Berr
Weinstein Books
345 Hudson Street, 13th Floor, New York, NY 10014
9781602860643, $24.95,

In the spirit of Anne Frank, "The Journal of Helene Berr" records the thoughts of and times of Helene Berr, a Jew who lived her life in Vichy-controlled Paris during the dark days of World War II. Drawing into her thoughts of her struggle to not lose her mind in an oppressive time, Berr finds comfort in literature and music in a time that has no place for art. Tragically chronicling her life to her death days before a chance at freedom, "The Journal of Helene Berr" is intriguing and depressing reading about a black mark on humanity.

Lunch at the Igloo and Other Stories
Paul Huling, author
Selected by Don Huling
Boxing Day Books
535 South First Street, Princeton, IL 61356
9780979833229, $17.95

Posthumously published, Lunch at the Igloo and Other Stories is a treasury of true-life tales that author Paul Huling put to paper in remembrance of the adventures he and his brothers had growing up in La Salle, Illinois during the Great Depression and World War II. A handful of vintage black-and-white photographs illustrate this memorable collection of anecdotes ranging from amusing to severely serious in tone. "Teachers enlisted in the armed forces, farmers enlisted, factory workers enlisted, clergy enlisted. Older boys did not exist; they were men in uniform, doing men's work for long hours in the war effort. Boys like me, who could have quit to earn what was then a lot of money, were encouraged by our parents to stay in school. As we grew older, sixteen and seventeen, we were treated more like college-age men than teenage boys. Some of the boys grew up too fast, taking on responsibilities or lifestyles they were not mature enough to handle." Highly recommended as a vivid, up-close and personal look into everyday American life during a turbulent era.

A Long Stone's Throw
Alphie McCourt
Sterling & Ross Publishers
115 W. 29th St. 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10001
9780981453552, $25.95,

The talent of writing seems to be genetic. "A Long Stone's Throw" visits another memoir of the McCourt family, the baby of the family, Alphie. Growing up in a rough family during a rough time, Alphie had an eventful life like his other brothers. A whirlwind of a life brought him across the Atlantic and seemed to not have him have much rest, as he found himself in Canada, California, before finally finding stability in New York City. Another perspective of the McCourt family, "A Long Stone's Throw" is well worth the read.

Bonny's America
Bonny Belgum
KenArnoldBooks LLC
1330 SW 3rd Ave., #810, Portland, OR 97201
9780979963476, $18.00,

Freedom of speech is one of America's most sacred rights, and Bonny Belgum uses it to the fullest. "Bonny's America: Cut the Woman Some Slacks!" is an anthology of essays and thoughts from an outspoken individual. Offering much wit and sage wisdom throughout, Belgum's words will keep the reader laughing as they learn of new perspective on several subjects. "Bonny's America" is well worth the read for any politically-minded person looking for a sample of the feminine side of things.

The Grandfather of Possibilities
Arlene Klein
Arlene Klein, Publisher
9780965091510, $11.95,

Some people think excelling in one area is simply not enough. "The Grandfather of Possibilities" is the story of Ron Klein. Ron Klein, voted 2003's athlete of the year, well past what most people would consider the prime of their lives, is also an entrepreneur and inventor. Multi-talented and undeterred even still, "The Grandfather of Possibilities" is an inspirational memoir that encourages people to not believe in the word 'can't'.

If You Play with Fire...
Eugene L. Welischar
Advocate House
c/o A Cappela Publishing
913 Tennesee Lane, Sarasota, FL 34234
9780977913695, $19.95,

Running into a burning building is often regarded as suicidal. For these men, it's their job. "If You Play With Fire..." is a memoir of one of these crazy, brave individuals who has made their living being a hero. Eugene Welischar has served more than three decades in the New York City Fire Department. A Korean War Veteran, his life story amounts to more than running into burning buildings. "If You Play With Fire..." is a moving and highly addictive read, recommended.

Remains of a Cloud
Ruth Cohen
Millenial Mind Publishing
5442 So. 900 East, #146, Salt Lake City, UT 84117-7204
9781589824331, $19.95,

Bipolar disorder is a strange disorder, both to psychological professionals and its sufferers. "Remains of a Cloud" is Ruth Cohen's battle with her own bipolar disorder, drawing on her life experience. Ranging from her constant misdiagnosis from several psychiatric professionals, to her fight for her life against herself, Ruth embarks on a spiritual journey to find happiness and realize her own true worth in spite of her bipolar disorder. "Remains of a Cloud" is truly inspirational, especially to those who suffer from bipolar disorder as well.

On We March
Bette Dowdell
Confident Faith Institute
PO Box 11744, Glendale, AZ 85318
9780971772854, $19.95,

The Salvation Army - few have put thought into it beyond witnessing the man dressed as Santa ringing a bell. "On We March: A Memoir of Growing Up in the Salvation Army" is Bette Dowdell's story of growing up under parents strongly involved in the organization. Painting a bright picture of the company, it draws upon the strong faith Bette gained growing up in life. Not afraid to laugh a little, "On We March" is a charming story of growing up in something that's always been there, but rarely thought about.

Crazy Town
Sterling R. Braswell
Kallisti Publishing, Inc.
332 Center Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
9780967851464, $17.95,

Meth - there is little good to say about it. "Crazy Town: Money. Marriage. Meth." tells the story of Sterling R. Braswell and his wife. Mrs. Braswell became a user of meth, and he tells the story of her downward spiral. He also speaks on the long and dark history of the substance, including use by notorious figures and how its dangers have been known for decades. Designed as a wake up call against the substance for Americans, "Crazy Town" is a tragedy and history in one, highly recommended.

The Environmental Studies Shelf

Take Back the Earth
Robert S. Swiatek
Swiatek Press
71 Georgian Lane #3, Buffalo, NY 14221
0981784313, $12.95,

No host would have someone who exploited, littered, and destroyed their homes, yet humanity continues to trash the earth. "Take Back the Earth: The Dumb, Greedy Incompetents Have Trashed It" is the winner of the 2007 Indie Excellence Book award, and Swiatek demonstrates why. Explaining with humor and enlightenment the environmental issues we face today, "Take Back the Earth" is an ideal choice for readers concerned about the environment.

The End of Eden
Thomas Rain Crowe
Wind Publications
600 Overbrook Drive, Nicholasville, KY 40356
9781893239807, $16.00,

It has its problems, but Earth is the only planet we got. "The End of Eden: Writings of an Environmental Activist" is a collection of environmental essays from Thomas Rain Crowe. Designed as an activist's handbook, he hopes to inspire his readers to go out and make a difference, to improve their world and protect it from those who would exploit it. "The End of Eden" is a solid and inspired read.

The Aviation Shelf

Prop Wash
Betty Kaseman
Black Forest Press
PO Box 6342, Chula Vista, CA 91909-6342
Epic Book Promotions (publicity)
594 Serrano Lane, Chula Vista, CA 91910
1582751358, $14.95

The gender barriers of society were not broken by single women, but by many over time. "Prop Wash: For the Love of Flying" is the story of Polly Patter, a woman who took to the skies in a time where commercial flight wasn't as common place as the automobile. In 1931, she began to take to the skies, served in World War II, and lived on the edges performing stunt flights. Told by friend and occasional copilot Betty Kaseman, "Prop Wash" is a solid recommendation for aviation fans as well as fans of early women pilots.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching
Eric J. Alexander & Collaborators
Reformation Trust Publishing
400 Technology Park, Lake Mary, FL 32746
9781567691078, $15.00,

To be called a sheep in today's world is an insult. But if there are no sheep, what need is there for the shepherd? "Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching" is a discussion of the recent surge of individuality, to the point that many preachers no longer feel they are having any positive effect on society. Eleven pastors urge church leaders to continue to preach the word, and offer much advice in inspiring them to do so in spite of it all. "Feed My Sheep: A Passionate Plea for Preaching" is well recommended for any preacher who needs motivating.

Five Ws of God
Jerry Melisaratos
Hidden Manna Publishing
7848 Sepulveda Blvd. Unit B Van Nuys, CA 91405
9780615202860, $24.95,

When discussing the Bible in a literal sense, so many questions seem unanswerable. "Five Ws of God: The Who, What When, Where, and Why of God and His plan for Creation" hopes to answer these many skeptical questions aimed at the Holy Bible. Adam and Eve, Noah's flood, and countless other subjects are discussed, as Melisaratos hopes to give skeptic Christians a renewal of faith through his reasoning. "Five Ws of God" is well worth the read for the Christian who has trouble believing on blind faith alone.

Gospeled Lives
John Indermark
Upper Room Books
1908 Grand Avenue, Nashville, TN 37212
9780835899710, $13.00,

When one hears the voice of Christ, reactions vary widely. "Gospeled Lives: Encounters with Jesus" is a collection of stories about those who have encountered Jesus. Telling their stories and then offering advice for worship for either one person or a small group, "Gospeled Lives" is a study guide for scripture and the words of Christ. Poignant and full of Christian advice, "Gospeled Lives" is strongly recommended for Christian readers.

Pure Gold
Pam Davis
1820 Jet Stream Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
The B&B Media Group
109 South Main Street, Corsicana, TX 75110
9781934068649, $14.99,

The joy of life doesn't cost millions to attain. "Pure Gold" is an inspirational nondenominational Christian handbook for readers who want to better embrace their faith. Relating the love of god to having all the gold one could ever need, Pam Davis seeks to relate the concept of God's grace in a way that anyone can understand and learn to love God, and therefore love themselves. Spiritual and devout, "Pure Gold" will inspire faith in its readers, making it a must for any Christian who's down and out in life.

Confessions of a Passionate Priest
Father Ameen
East Mountain Books
19 Spear Road, Suite 301, Ramsey, NJ 07446
9780981689203, $14.95,

Celibacy is denying one of humanity's basest instincts, something harder to do than it sounds. "Confessions of a Passionate Priest" is a memoir of a priest who was unable to maintain the traditional practice of celibacy in the Catholic priesthood. Father Ameen found himself in lust with a woman, a married one, and found himself too weak to resist. Scandal ensued, and after all of it has died down, Ameen now recounts his story, offering a story of human weakness and what ensues when one fails their duties. "Confessions of a Passionate Priest" is a titillating read, highly recommended.

The Business Shelf

Hey! I'm the Manager...
Steve Farner
Farner Group
PO Box 642313, Omaha, NE 68164
Concierge Marketing, Inc.
9780979832000, $29.95,

What good is a manager if he can't manage? "Hey! I'm the Manager... Why Aren't You Listening to Me?" is a guide to improving one's management skills in a world filled with rampant disrespect for authority - or perhaps just incompetent authority. Designed to help those managers who don't want to be the boss that's ignored, it's a primer on firm but fair management that's humane while not letting oneself be walked over. "Hey! I'm the Manager..." is an ideal management startup guide.

Content Rich
Jon Wuebben
Encore Publishing Group
124 S. Mercedes Road, Fallbrook, CA 92028
9780979762901, $19.95,

The internet is a vital, core component of any business' marketing plan if it is to remain viable and profitable in today's volatile marketplace. But to properly utilize the internet the small to medium sized business musing know how to write the kind of advertising or marketing copy that will work best in this dynamic and evolving electronic forum. That's where "Content Rich: Writing Your Way To Wealth On The Web" by Jon Wuebben comes in. He draws upon his experience and expertise as the Founder and President of Telegent Media and to create a comprehensive, definitive, and 'reader friendly' copy writing guide for search engine rankings and sales conversions. "Content Rich" covers such essential issues as growing an online corporate presence, acquiring new customers and selling more products and services through the power of search engine optimized copy writing; leveraging the combined power of site, landing page, blog, article, email, newsletter, PPC ad and press release; as well as writing script copy for videos, pod casts, and content for social media. Enhanced further with the inclusion of a resource-oriented appendices and endnotes, "Content Rich" is an invaluable introduction and instructional resource recommended to entrepreneurial reading lists, as well as academic and community library Business Studies reference collections.

The Boxcar Millionaire
Tom Black
Tom Black Center for Selling
214 Overlook Circle, Suite 130, Brentwood, TN 37027
9780979242304, $19.95,

Making millions is tough. Making millions from living in a boxcar is impressive. "The Boxcar Millionaire: Tom Black's Proven System of Sales Success" is a business manual from Tom Black, a man who rose up from nothing to become an extremely successful businessman. With dozens of tips, and advice for making one's way up the corporate ladder, Black discusses everything from making appointments, sounding genuine, and doing an excellent sales pitch. "The Boxcar Millionaire" is advice from someone who has had to use what they said to get ahead in the world, proving its integrity, highly recommended.

The Homeowner's Shelf

Home Remodeler's 2009 Costbook
BNi Building News
BNi Building News, Publisher
1800 Mineral Spring Ave #101, North Providence, RI 02901-3927
9781557016263, $77.95,

Remodeling one's home isn't cheap. Especially when one is being nickeled and dimed when they don't understand the costs. Now in a completely updated and revised fifteenth edition, "Home Remodeler's 2009 Costbook" is a complete, comprehensive, and thoroughly 'user friendly' reference and instructional guide that will prove to be of invaluable assistance to a home builder or home remodeler, and for any category of building construction be it for a personal or business architectural building project. Countless tables cover just about any service one would need during the construction and the cost of materials, drawing the common hourly rates and material costs. It also touches upon the many factors that will alter the costs, such as geographic placement factors and others. "Home Remodeler's 2009 Costbook" is enhanced with many resources, and is an absolute must.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Romantic Comedies Hollywood Didn't Make But Should
Jill Pomerantz, editor
c/o Concierge Marketing
13518 L Street, Omaha, NE 68137
9780977432837, $18.95,

Not all good movie ideas ever make it to production. "Romantic Comedies Hollywood Didn't Make But Should" is a collection of five screenplays adapted to fiction format. Radical measures to break into show business, new surroundings, rising from obscurity, small town oddities, and dealing with the eccentric people are all subjects of fine stories. "Romantic Comedies Hollywood Didn't Make But Should" is a solid choice for those who are seeking the light stories that romantic comedies so often offer.

The Money/Finance Shelf

Managing the Price of Life
L. H. Hancock
White Dog Systems
PO Box 89845, Tucson, AZ 85752
9780615242255, $17.95,

The most expensive thing one can do is live. "Managing the Price of Life: Surviving in the Real World for Young Adults" is a primer for those just stepping out into the real world, who are faced with the tough economic crunch that just about everyone faces at one point in their lives. Food, shelter, getting around, it all adds up, and "Managing the Price of Life" may be just what some people need to make ends meet.

The World History Shelf

Protecting Moscow from the Soviets
Peter Baird
National Wilers Press Inc.
17011 Lincoln Avenue, #421, Parker, CO 80134
9780881001433, $24.99,

Not a writer by trade, you wouldn't know any different from Peter Baird's work. "Protecting Moscow from the Soviets" is a compendium of work from Peter Baird, collected from news papers, magazines, and books from over the years of his work. Son of a World War II veteran, he's been a lawyer, a magician, Baird's life has been unique and marred with constant family issues that he's had to face over the years. "Protecting Moscow from the Soviets" is charming, humorous, and a highly recommended read.

The Poetry Shelf

Robin Chapman
Cider Press Review
777 Braddock Lane, Halifax, PA 17032
9781930781030, $16.95

Prizewinning veteran poet Robin Chapman presents Abundance, her eleventh poetry collection. The free verse is sparse, fluid, and evokes sparks of imagination worthy of a moment's held breath. A brief yet captivating experience, much like life itself, highly recommended. "If Cricket's Didn't Sing": If crickets didn't sing / So loud, telling how warm / It is, you'd hear quieter things- / Flies landing, flick / Of the frog's tongue, / The heron stepping.

Dear Anais
Diana M. Raab
Plain View Press
PO Box 42255, Austin, TX 78704
Maggie Lang (publicity)
PO Box 5831, Santa Barbara, CA 93150
9781891386411, $14.95

Through her poetry, she became closer to a woman she had never even met. "Dear Anais: My Life in Poems for You" is a correspondence to Anais Nin, whose writing is scattered throughout several publicly released diaries and journals. Raab now offers her correspondence to Nin through remarkable verse. "Dear Anais" is well worth the read, recommended. "Toast": Pour the champagne;/clap for the exuberances;/bow to the accomplishments;/ and flush all the sorrows.

A Well-Mannered Storm
Kate Braid
Caitland Press
8100 Alderwood Road, Halfmoon Bay, V0N 1Y1, Canada
9781894759281, $16.59,

Art inspires art, and "A Well-Mannered Storm" is proof of it. Kate Braid is an accomplished author and poet, and this time turns her inspiration to the music of famed Canadian pianist Glenn Gould. Telling a story through verse of a conversation with Gould and a fan, "A Well-Mannered Storm" is unique and fine poetry from a master. "Song": One note/rises like grass/a melody of green/oratorio, majestic/cricket.

Between Fire and Water, Ice and Sky
Gretchen Diemer
Northshore Press
717 Brown's Landing, Port Alsworth, AK 99653
9780979436512, $18.00,

The views of a woman from the north can be as poignant as any. "Between Fire and Water, Ice and Sky" is a collection of poetry from Gretchen Diemer, a resident of Alaska and lover of the arts. Her poetry is her imprint of society onto her and back, drawing on events ranging from the Kennedy assassination to the harsh yet beautiful environment around her. Enhanced with an interview disc and a selected readings of poems, "Between Fire and Water, Ice and Sky" is a fine investment for poetry lovers. "Family Bones": She drinks because her husband/left her for another/woman. Because the star that was/her heart shattered/into a thousand particles and scattered/beyond the Milky Way. Light/turns to ice in her glass./Far from the grave/her father turns in she drinks,/because a woman holds/the family bones next to the heat/and she is so cold she will never dissolve.

Richard Carr
The Word Works
PO Box 42164, Washington, DC 20015
9780915380701, $15.00,

Poetry can be a medium for storytelling just like anything else. "Ace" is a collection of fourteen-line poems telling of the junkyard love story of Ace and Carol. Crafting unique characters and solid verse, "Ace" is a fine experiment into narrative poetry. "Full-Blown": The peonies shouldering the front steps/first attract ants/shrewd ants climbing the stems/to syrupy big buds ready to bloom/explode/and then they do and that's it/they bloom in great heaps of heavy color/one mound a dark engorged pink/the other billowing white/all dotted with wet yellow/but then tomorrow the petals decay and detach/and scatter on the ground like kitchen garbage/and now you have to love them/with full-blown-love.

Shaking the Grass for Dew
Richard Lewis
New Native Press
PO Box 661, Cullowhee, NC 28123
1883197147, $14.95,

What happens when you expose an American poet to the vast array of Eastern literature and poetry? "Shaking the Grass for Dew" is that result as New Yorker Richard Lewis offers profound and inspiring verse he has drawn from great eastern poets. A book of positive culture clash, "Shaking the Grass for Dew" is a top choice for poetry fans.

Oana Avasilichioaei
Wolsak and Wynn
69 Hughson Street, Suite 102, Hamilton, ON Canada L8R 1G5
9781894987295, $17.00,

Life is built upon life. "Feria: A Poempark" is poet and poetry translator Oana Avasilichioaei's second book of poetry focusing on the history and life that today's buildings, structures, history, and life are built on top of. Layers are the topic, and Oana weaves it well. "Feria" is a grand book of verse, recommended. "Momiji Garden": animal a leaf/in silence; know-/ledge sustains/a privilege briefly./in a barn sweating/straw of our straw.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Courageous Souls
Robert Schwartz
12989 Westchester Trail, Chesterland, OH 44026
Whispering Winds Press
c/o North Atlantic Books (publicity)
2526 Martin Luther King Jr., Way, Berkeley, CA 94704
9780977679454, $16.95,

There is a time before one is born, what happens to the soul then? "Courageous Souls: Do We Plan Our Life Challenges Before Birth?" is a spirituality-themed discussion of a person's greatest challenges in life. Claiming that one's soul may choose an outline of one's life before their birth, it discusses the blueprint of life and how it plays out. Asking some highly intriguing questions about existence and how life is to play out, "Courageous Souls" is exquisitely interesting new-age reading.

Thou Shalt Not Love
Patrick M. Chapman
Haiduk Press
PO Box 1783, New Rochelle, NY 10802-1783
Michele Karlsberg Marketing and Management (publicity)
101 Lexington Ave, Staten Island, NY 10302
9780971468627, $19.00,

Love thy neighbor, the words of Jesus Christ himself. Yet fundamentalist Christians in America have become one of the most stereotypically hateful groups in the country. "Thou Shalt Not Love: What Evangelicals Really Say to Gays" is a look at the anti-homosexual sentiment that many fundamentalist Christians preach to the public and why it's flawed when looking through the Bible and the flaws in the arguments of these individuals. Another perspective on the gay marriage debate raging through the country, "Thou Shalt Not Love" is an ideal choice when trying to understand why there is a debate in the first place.

The Humor Shelf

Hip Like Me
Geoffrey D. Falk
Million Monkeys Press
PO Box 68586, 360A, St. W, Toronto, ON Canada, M5S 3C9
9780981068206, $15.95,

Get a haircut is almost his N-word. "Hip Like Me: Years in the Life of a "Person of Hair"" tells Geoffrey Falk's story of being a long haired gentlemen, and the discrimination he faces for his choice of hairstyle. Ludicrous in concept, Falk realizes this well and good, and discusses a wide range fo subjects discussing discrimination in America today, be it for race, gender, or creed. "Hip Like Me" is a humorous look at discrimination in its many forms.

Totally Skewed Guide to Life
Diana Estill
Totally Skewed Productions
120 E. FM 544, Suite 72, PMB 135, Murphy, TX 75094
9780979970818, $14.95,

Life is not a simple logical matter, why do so many treat it like it is? With gut busting humor, Diana Estill brings readers "Totally Skewed Guide to Life", a collection of humorous essays about the inherent humor that's abound in daily life, and offers poignant wisdom on many subjects, hidden behind the facade and farce of life. A must read for those who want to truly understand the irrationality of the world, "Totally Skewed Guide to Life" is utterly entertaining reading.

The Travel Shelf

Drive I-95, 4th edition
Stan Posner & Sandra Phillips-Posner
PO Box 43527, CSP Roxboro, Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec, Canada, H8Y 3P4
9781894979887, $23.95,

There are few roads with more history in America than I-95. "Drive I-95" is a travel guide listing the adventures one can have on the road rolling from Boston to Miami. Filled with maps, the guide outlines where one can get one of a kind cuisine they can't get elsewhere, good places for lodging, gas stations, even outlining where speed radar traps are commonly laid out throughout the eastern coast of the United States. "Drive I-95" is the best friend of anyone who goes on a road trip through the region.

The Computer Shelf

Introduction to AmiBroker
Howard B. Bandy
Blue Owl Press
3700 S. Westport Avenue, #1876, Sioux Falls, SD 57106
9780979183812, $39.95,

A good tool makes anything easier. "Introduction to AmiBroker: Advanced Technical Analysis Software for Charting and Trading System Development" is a complete and comprehensive guide to AmiBroker, a program that will help many deal with the confusing mess that is one's finances when dealing with stocks, mutual funds, commodities and more. Covering everything about the program from installation to expert usage, "Introduction to AmiBroker" is the manual that should have come with the program.

The Literary Shelf

The Saga of Beowulf
R. Scot Johns
Fantasy Castle Books
3711 Meadow Drive, Boise, ID 83706
9780982153802, $14.95

The oldest fantasy action hero is now presented in a modernized novel format. "The Saga of Beowulf" is a novelization of the epic old English poem and its most celebrated and possibly oldest example of literature with Beowulf. The very thing most fantasy and adventure novels are founded on, it is a entertaining work, that educates readers where the roots of the genre found its niche in society. "The Saga of Beowulf" is a classic, full of guaranteed enjoyment.

The American History Shelf

Staking Her Claim
Marcia Meredith Hensley
High Plains Press
PO Box 123, Glendo, WY 82213
9780931271908, $19.95 1-800-552-7819

Staking Her Claim: Women Homesteading the West tells the true stories of women who seized the opportunity to become landowners by homesteading in the (then still wild!) west during the early 1900s. The text smoothly summarizes the unique challenges and hardships these women faced, but the main draw to Staking Her Claim is its primary sources - letters and articles of the era in which these women tell their stories in their own words. Vintage black-and-white photographs pepper this enthralling hands-on account, highly recommended for high school, college, and public lending library collections. "Another reason homesteading by single women increased by the time of the Enlarged Homestead Acts of 1909 and 1912 is that by then the daughters of families who homesteaded in the late 1800s were coming of age. These young women had acquired skills needed to homestead while growing up on their parents' homesteads farther east and were no strangers to the hard work they were undertaking."

The Needlecraft Shelf

Color Mastery
Maria Peagler
Willow Ridge Press
10690 Big Canoe, Big Canoe, GA 30143
9780981627700, $26.95

Beautifully illustrated with full color photographs and diagrams, Color Mastery: 10 Principles for Creating Stunning Quilts is a no-nonsense guide to developing one's own quilting patterns using the principles of aesthetically pleasing color combinations to maximum effect. From developing one's color vision in a journal to making any two colors work together to creating a more versatile stash and more, Color Mastery spells out the basics as well as advanced tips, tricks, and techniques. Written by award-winning quilter Maria Pegler, Color Mastery is a top-notch addition to any quilter's reference library.

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design