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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 7, Number 3 March 2008 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Money/Finance Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Fiction Shelf Music Shelf Education Shelf
Art Shelf Cookbook Shelf Holiday Shelf
Aviation Shelf Poetry Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Self-Help Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Antiques/Collectibles Shelf Civil War Shelf Mythology Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

A Grande Guide to Starbuckian Zen
Tiffany Ivy
Innovations Press
PO Box 4800, Mission Viejo, CA 92690
9781929830190, $10.00

A Grande Guide to Starbuckian Zen is a guide to all things connected to the relaxed-atmosphere coffee and espresso-based beverage chain that is Starbucks. Written by a dedicated Starbucks consumer who freely admits that she is hooked on caffeine, chapters discuss everything from the etiquette of ordering one's beverage amid the medley of options, to working Starbuckian beverages into a calorie conscious diet (though many beverages are high-calorie, there are helpful options such as requesting nonfat milk or sugar-free syrup), to the fascinating true story of how coffee is created, definitions of the special lingo used in Starbucks and much more. A definite treat for coffee lovers and Starbucks patrons.

The Money/Finance Shelf

The Brainwashing of the American Investor
Steven R. Selengut, MBA, RIA
W&A Publishing
PO Box 849, Cedar Falls, IA 50613
9781934354032, $29.95

Now in a newly revised edition, The Brainwashing of the American Investor: The Book That Wall Street Does Not Want You To Read! lives up to its title as a savvy wake-up call to investors. Written by forty-year veteran of the financial services industry Steven R. Selengut, MBA, RIA, The Brainwashing of the American Investor covers how to identify quality investments and weed out the bad ideas, why income is the only real hedge against inflation, how to properly diversify one's investments, why commissions and taxes should be secondary investment considerations, and much more. The cautionary tales alone make The Brainwashing of the American Investor an invaluable resource sure to recoup its worth many times over. "Most of you have probably been told, at some time in your investment life to: sell your losers and let your profits run. That type of thinking will eventually sink your portfolio, particularly when issue breadth runs negative for an extended period of time. It just doesn't make sense with good companies, and absolutely defies the cyclical nature of the financial markets." Highly recommended, and an absolute "must-read" for anyone preparing to engaging in serious investing.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Essential Sermons
Saint Augustine, author; Father Edmund Hill, translator
New City Press
202 Cardinal Rd., Hyde Park, New York 12538
9781565482760, $29.95

Skillfully and accessibly translated into modern English by Father Edmund Hill, Essential Sermons is an astutely chosen selection of the sermons of Augustine of Hippo (354-430), who served as bishop of Hippo in North Africa after his conversion to Christianity. Featuring a new introduction and notes by Father Daniel Doyle, Essential Sermons reveals a level of genius and insight that transcend his era. "Man's first ruin was caused by love of self. I mean, if he hadn't loved himself, and had put God before himself, he would have wanted always to be subject to God, and he wouldn't have turned away to disregarding God's will and doing his own. That, after all, is what loving oneself means, wanting to do one's own will. Put God's will before all that; learn to love yourself by not loving yourself." Especially recommended for church and seminary library collections

The Last Book of the Bible Revealed at Last
R. Berning & D. McMurdo
Leathers Publishing
4500 College Boulevard, Overland Park, Kansas 66211
9781585974467, $17.95 1-888-888-7696

Authors R. Berning & D. McMurdo take their inspiration directly from the Bible and the Holy Spirit in The Last Book of the Bible Revealed at Last, their straightforward interpretation of the Book of Revelation. Chapters quote all the verses scriptures side-by-side with their interpretations so the reader may judge and compare for himself or herself. Avoiding excessively complex metaphysical imaginings, The Last Book of the Bible Revealed at Last answers such questions as "How long is the Great Tribulation really going to last?" "Who are the four horsemen of the apocalypse?" and "Who is the seven headed, ten horned dragon?" Refreshingly direct in its approach, The Last Book of the Bible Revealed at Last is thoroughly accessible to lay readers and biblical students of all backgrounds.

The Fiction Shelf

Chasing the Wind
Helena P. Schrader
iUniverse, Inc.
2021 Pine Lake Road, #100, Lincoln, NE 68512
9780595444717, $30.95

Written by military historian Helena P. Schrader, Chasing the Wind: A Story of British and German Pilots in the Battle of Britain is a historical fiction novel set during World War II, amid the pivotal Battle of Britain. RAF aerobatics pilot Robert "Robin" Priestman is enormously talented but suffers from excessive recklessness under fire. Fallen in the Air Ministry's bad graces, he is sent to Training Command, where he unexpectedly falls in love with a girl from the Salvation Army. Meanwhile, Luftwaffe Women's Auxiliary recruit Klaudia von Richthofen is in the middle of a love triangle - she has fallen for Baron von Feldburg, while his wingman, Lieutenant Ernst Geuke, had fallen even harder for her. Intricate personal relationships and the heady press of air battle action intertwine in this singularly captivating saga.

Spirit Of The Law
Patrick Higby
Morgan Bradley Publishing
PO Box 638, Marcus, WA 99151
9780979937705, $6.99

Patrick Higby's riveting western, "Spirit Of the Law" is the story of Jim McClair, an ex-confederate soldier who is mandated his old friend John Wilson who is nowadays Montana Territorial Governor to put an end to a sniper that is terrorizing a formerly peaceful Montana community. It's a dangerous mission made even more complicated by a lovely undercover Pinkerton operative assigned to discovering how gold bars can disappear from a locked security vault. A deftly crated story of intrigue, deception, violence, and discovery, "Spirit Of The Law" is populated by memorable characters, and characterized by an action-packed story that engages the readers total and rapt attention from first page to last. Especially recommended to western novel buffs, "Spirit Of The Law" will leave enthusiastic readers looking eagerly toward Patrick Higby's next adventure in the Jim McClair saga.

Kathryn Mackel
Veritas Communications
PO Box 2075, Canon City, CO 81215
9781599792118, $12.99

Vanished is an exciting and suspenseful novel about a terrorism outbreak that devastates a working-class neighborhood in Massachusetts. Police sergeant Jason Logan struggles to keep order in the wake of a bomb explosion and a mysterious mist that appears to block outside help. Meanwhile, nurse-practitioner Kaya de los Santos must treat the wounded with limited medical resources, and her teenaged son flees for his life from both the cops and the terrorist! A thrilling saga of finding the resources within to survive when help is emphatically not on the way.

The Music Shelf

101 Uptown Jazz Chord Progressions With Guitar Chord Frames
Larry McCabe
Red Dog Music Books
PO Box 13341, Roanoke, VA 24033
1934777080, $16.95

Jazz is the authentically American music form that had its beginnings in the brothels of New Orleans and evolved to become an established musical genre appreciated and supported around the world. Larry McCabe draws upon his many years of experience and expertise as the author of more than eighty published instructional music books for children and adults to present "101 Uptown Jazz Chord Progressions With Guitar Chord Frames", a spiral bound collection of jazz progressions for the guitar. specific fingers called chord frames are presented, along with blank music staves for each progression so that aspiring jazz guitarists wanting to write, perform, record, or teach melodies, licks, solos, and bass lines can do so with a professional competence. Of special note are the 'Suggested projects for Students" and the accompanying CD which includes all 101 progressions covering two-five-one, four-bar, eight-bar opening; sections, as well as eight-bar bridges, twelve-bar blues, sixteen-bar, and turnarounds. "101 Uptown Jazz Chord Progressions With Guitar Chord Frames" is an ideal instructional that is confidently recommended for dedicated and aspiring jazz guitarists alike!

The Education Shelf

S&S Press
7829 Center Blvd SE, Snoqualmie, WA 98065 1-425-396-1012

S&S Press publishes a trilogy of educational children's books by G.T. Bond designed to help parents raise the intelligence of their toddlers by expanding their word knowledge and vocabulary comprehension. "24 Words Toddlers Can Read In Color (List Price $24.95; Website Price $16.45) and "60 Words Toddlers Can Read In Black And White" (List Price $16.95; Website Price $9.95) feature a full page illustration with the word being illustrated on the opposing page in a large font. "G.T. Bond's Absolutely Stupendous Books Of Colors" (List Price $24.95; Website Price $16.45) focuses upon teaching preschoolers their colors. Also ideal for use by preschool providers, kindergarten teachers, librarians, all three of these outstanding and highly recommended titles are as 'kid friendly' as they are 'parent friendly' and will give youngsters an effective and practical preparation for succeeding in school.

The Art Shelf

The She Project
Lauren Ohlgren
Growing Art Press
419 NW 16th Street, Corvallis, OR 97330
1934367494, $49.00

Art serves many purposes both individual and collective. Compiled and with commentary by Lauren Ohlgren, "The She Project: How She Inspired A Community" is just such an example of art produced by a community of women that, taken as a whole, celebrates the lives and experiences of women who come into contact with each other in settings as diverse as bathrooms and hallways, waiting rooms and restaurants. Lauren Ohlgren founded 'The She Project' to reflect a community of women simultaneously and artistically responding to a provocative phrases (the 'She phrases') about women and their daily lives within the scope of two hours and within a size limitation of 8"x10". The artistic expressions utilized a variety and diversity of materials ranging from pens and paper, to old magazine images, to found objects, to paint and paper. The results as compiled and organized by Lauren Ohlgren within the pages of "The She Project" are unique, engaging, and as thoughtful as they are thought-provoking. "The She Project" is a very special approach to using art to express experience, and as such is strongly recommended for personal, academic, and community library American Art, Popular Culture, Sociology, and Women's Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

Mose T From A to Z
Anton Haardt
Saturno Press
2858 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70115
9780975344206, $46.00

African-American art is as diverse, innovative, and reflective of mind, imagination, and cultural experience as any other form of folk-oriented artistic expression. "Mose T From A to Z" The Folk Art Of Mose Tolliver" by Anton Haardt is the perfect showcase with which to introduce one of the truly talented representatives of this authentic American art genre. When Mose Tolliver was injured on the job, he was able to overcome his disabilities by teaching himself how to paint as a way to pass the time as constructively as possible. After several years of honing his skills as a self-instructed folk artist, his work was discovered by art collectors and critiques, including the best of his creations being displayed in such venues as the Corcoran Art Gallery in Washington DC. Artist, photographer, and writer Anton Haardt provides interested readers with an informative biography and an informed commentary to accompany selected preproductions of Tolliver's work, including a 'pictorial essay'. Enhanced with a Timeline, as well as art captions, "Mose T A to Z" is a seminal work that will well serve to introduce a unique African-American artist to an appreciative new audience and should be considered a seminal addition to personal, academic, and community library 20th Century American Art History collections in general, and African-American Artist reference shelves in particular.

The Cookbook Shelf

The ABC's Of Fish Cooking
Virginia Clark
Golden West Publishers
4113 North Longview, Phoenix, AZ 85014-4949
9780931532306, $12.95 1-800-658-5830

Whether on the deep blue sea or beside a babbling stream, from a rowboat on the lake to a deeply flowing river, fishing continues to be a popular sport and a great source for fine eating. In "The ABC's Of Fish Cooking", dedicated fishing enthusiast Virginia Clark draws upon her many years of experience and experience to provide a spiral bound compilation of superb and thoroughly 'user friendly' recipes that are perfect for either campsite or kitchen. Organized alphabetically and beginning with an informative introduction, the step-by-step recipes showcase quality dishes featuring an impressive variety of fish ranging from Bass and Mackerel, to Perch and Salmon, to Trout and Tuna, and more! Of special note for the novice are three chapters in particular, 'All About Fish Cooking'; 'Dressings and Sauces'; and 'Uncommon Fish'. From a Catfish-Vegetable Stir-Fry; to Mahi Mahi with Fresh Herbs; to Tilapia Fillets on Spinach; to Grilled Trout with Bacon, "The ABC's Of Fish Cooking" will make a welcome and enthusiastically appreciated addition to any family or community library cookbook collection! Also very highly recommended is Virginia Clark's companion cookbook from Golden West Publishers, "The ABC's Of Camp Cooking" (9780931532290, $9.95).

A Dash Of Aloha
Kapiolani Community Collge
Watermark Publishing
1088 Bishop Street, Suite 310, honoluly, HI 96813
9780979676949, $15.95

A showcase compendium of recipes from the islands of Hawaii, "A Dash Of Aloha: Healthy Hawai'i Cuisine And Lifestyle" is a collaborative project of the University of Hawai'i's Kapi'olani Community College and based on the DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) program. Beautifully illustrated with full-color photography, "A Dash Of Aloha" has a spiral binding enabling it to be laid open on a kitchen counter, and features healthy eating tips from the American Heart Association, food nutrition and seasonality charts, as well as exercise and lifestyle advice. The seventy 'kitchen cook' recipes are 'kitchen cook friendly' as they are delicious and nutritious. Ranging from Ginger-Bran Cake; Spanish Rice with Napa Cabbage Rolls; and Loco Moco Fried Rice; to Tofu Burgers with Mango Chutney; Curried Sweet Potato Chowder; and Forbidden Black Rice Salad, every recipe comprising this outstanding collection comes with serving size information, a brief commentary and a Nutrition Facts chart about the dish. Especially recommended for personal and community ethnic cookbook collections, "A Dash Of Aloha" is particularly appropriate as a culinary reference for anyone having to deal with weight loss, cardiopulmonary, or general health and fitness improvement issues.

The Best Of Bloodroot: Volumes 1 & 2
Selma Miriam, Noel Furie, Lagusta Yearwood
Anomaly Press
85 Ferris Street, Bridgeport, CT 06605 1-203-576-9168
Vol. 1: 0977854906, $27.50; Vol. 2: 0977854914, $27.50

Bloodroot is a unique combination of restaurant and bookstore that was founded in a Bridgeport Connecticut residential neighborhood in 1977. Illustrated with both black-and-white as well as color illustrations, "The Best Of Bloodroot" is a two volume collection of meatless recipes that are as 'kitchen cook friendly' as they are healthy, nutritious, and absolutely delicious, reflecting the entire spectrum of dishes that have made Bloodroot one of the most innovative restaurants in the country offering gourmet quality ethnic and seasonal cuisines with dishes drawn from the culinary traditions of many different nations. Volume 1 focuses on 'Vegetarian Recipes' and begins with an informative introduction that includes notes from a cooking class demonstrating the basic of how to cook and eat vegetarian dishes, along with guidelines for achieving authentic and authoritative vegetarian menus. Volume 2 has as its orientation 'Vegan Recipes' and provides a veritable wealth of dairy-free recipes guaranteed to please any palate and satisfy any appetite. Enhanced with personal essays on various health, social, political, and ethical aspects of a vegetarian diet, a glossary of useful and thematically relevant terms, "The Best Of Bloodroot" is a simply outstanding and continually impressive compilation that ranges from a Persimmon, Walnut, and Buttermilk Pudding; New Potato, Carrot, and Broccoli Salad with Garlic Mayonnaise; Cardamon Bread; and Roasted Bosc pears with Walnuts, Blue Cheese, and Raspberry Vinaigrette; to Dried Cherry Apple Strudel; Three-Mushroom Stroganoff; Chilled Lemon Zucchini Soup with Leeks and Herbs; and Broccoli Raab Calzone. No personal, professional, or community library vegetarian cookbook collection can be considered complete without the inclusion of "The Best Of Bloodroot: Volumes 1 & 2"!

The Holiday Shelf

Gifts from the Heart
Virginia Brucker
Insomniac Press
192 Spadina Avenue, Suite 403, Toronto, ON Canada M5T 2C2
1897178301, $14.95

Written by teacher Virginia Brucker, Gifts from the Heart: Simple Ways To Make Your Family's Christmas More Meaningful lives up to its title by offering ways to celebrate the Christmas holiday centered upon sharing, giving, and community rather than simple consumerism. Chapters cover volunteering as a family, tips for getting organized and freeing up time, ways to reach out to friends and loved ones suffering from loss during the holidays, kid-tested craft projects, ways to celebrate with books and share the gift of literacy, and much more. A number of delicious holiday-themed recipes pepper this welcome antidote to the rampant commercialization of Christmas.

The Aviation Shelf

Spinning Through Clouds
Max E. Knight
Indiana Historical Society Press
450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202-3269
9780871952561, $19.95

Suitable for readers of all ages and backgrounds, Spinning Through Clouds: Tales from an Early Hoosier Aviator is an anthology of aviation vignettes by author Max E. Knight, who began flying in 1936 at the age of ten. Tales from Knight's own experience, the adventures of his fellow aviators, and amazing stories of early state and national aviation history fill the pages of this head-in-the-clouds reflection of how far flying has come. "That white thing up there is called a cloud. It is harmless unless another aircraft is at your level going the opposite direction." Dry yet good-natured wit characterizes this enjoyable glimpse of days yore, enthusiastically recommended for aviation buffs.

The Poetry Shelf

The Meaning of Life
Ronnie Ka Ching Lee
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 South Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781432706753, $19.95 1-888-672-6657

Written by Chinese poet and philosopher Ronnie Ka Ching Lee, The Meaning of Life: Existentialism, the Universe and Social Problems: Understanding Social Problems with Morality and Logic is the sequel to "The Book of Life". Packed cover to cover with philosophical, free-verse poetry exploring why we live, how we can improve our lives, and the essence of one's will and psyche. An extraordinarily deep and soul-searching compilation. "Existentialism and Worth": Nothingness never needs to be worthy, / But existence always needs to be worthy. // This law states that the will, / Tends to what makes it worthy, / To live, / And existence evolves to what makes it worthy, / To exist. // To be worthy means to like life, / To value life, / To want life, / And to want to live, / And have a will. // Morality is therefore value, / And the best value for life, / Is to be worthy.

Philip Brady
Word Press
PO Box 541106, Cincinnati, OH 45254-1106
9781933456720, $17.00

Fathom is an anthology of free-verse poetry by Youngstown State University professor and prizewinning poet Philip Brady, addressing events ranging from the September 11th attacks to saying the final farewell to a deceased friend to the wondrous beauty lying dormant in the natural world. The thoughtful stanzas evoke the breadth and depth of the human experience in their resonant and at times sensual flow. "Berkeley": I am thinking of the city of Cata Huyuk, / elder sister of Jericho, nexus / of stone-age trade, shrine of the chthonic / goddess and her fecund, polyandrous / queens. I am pondering the citizens, / innocent of wheels and war, lovers / of cats, skilled in obsidian, / who excarnated their dead for sacred vultures. / As I walk through People's Park watching a suit / angle his head to cradle a cell phone, / I dwell on the ancient metropolis and its fate: / One day without disaster or invasion / the entire population disappeared / as if their souls were carried off by birds.

I Don't Believe in Ghosts
Moikom Zeqo, author; Wayne Miller, translator
Boa Editions, Ltd.
250 N. Goodman St., Suite 306, Rochester, NY 14607
9781934414019, $21.95

Albian-born poet Moikom Zeqo originally wrote the poems of I Don't Believe in Ghosts in his collection "Meduza", created circa 1970-74. His work challenged the core principles of Albanian socialist realism, and was therefore denounced as "hermetic, with modern influence, dangerous, [and] foreign" by the Fourth Plenary Session of the Albanian Communist Party. Harshly suppressed until 1995, when the Albanian communist system had collapsed, Zeqo's work has since earned him one of Albania's highest honors, the award of "Important Master of His Field." Each poem in I Don't Believe in Ghosts is presented in a two-page spread, in its original Albanian on the left and a superb English translation by Wayne Miller on the right. A creative, utterly mesmerizing poetry collection. "Time": Time is an enormous bird; / her one wing is day; the other, night. / Caw, she cries, and I must feed her my flesh / for the flight to continue. / Caw, caw! - my skeleton flies through the cosmos.

Learning from New Jersey
Joel Lewis
Talisman House, Publishers
PO Box 3157, Jersey City, NJ 07303-3157
9781584980568, $14.95

Learning from New Jersey is an anthology of free-verse "linked poems" by author, war journalist, and seasoned poet Joel Lewis. A handful of black-and-white photographs illustrate the down-to-earth, at times jarring verse echoing the voiced frustrations of flawed speakers. At times wistful, at times as harsh as human beings can be to one another in real life, Learning from New Jersey encapsulates the dynamics of complex human relationships small and large, as well as a recurring theme of Mafia dialogue. "A Major Life Lesson: // On an East New York stoop / watching wise guys / in pearl-gray gingerella hats / leaving from home at noon in / Twizzler black Caddys // - while his working stiff neighbors / carried baloney sandwiches / onto the BMT trains."

Auto Mechanic's Daughter
Karen Harryman
Black Goat
c/o Akashic Books
PO Box 1456, New York, NY 10009
9781933354361, $14.95

Auto Mechanic's Daughter is an anthology of free-verse poetry by published poet Karen Harryman, whose work has appeared in "Alaska Quarterly Review", "Los Angeles Review", "Poetry New Zealand", and "Cortland Review", among other places. Reflecting the author's own trials and challenges, the poems speak of growing up in Kentucky, moving to California, and the culture shock that accompanies setting out to make a bold change in one's life. An open, heartfelt, and unforgettable glimpse into the hardships and rewards of surviving transition. "At Least": In May and June / there are the jacarandas' / purple blossoms fallen / on green lawns of every block // reminding me of home / how bluegrass isn't blue / until it gives up that flower / until it goes to seed.

Definite Space
Ann Iverson
Holy Cow Press
PO Box 3170, Mount Royal Station, Duluth, MN 55803
9780977945849, $15.95

Definite Space is the second anthology of poetry by Ann Iverson. A particularly relevant collection for modern times, Definite Space reflects upon the first and second deployment of the author's stepson to Baghdad, Iraq, as well as the daily adjustments that need to be made when transitioning from the inner city to the suburbs. The poignant and powerful free-verse literally speaks for itself, taking timeless snapshots of emotion and transformation. "Before You Leave Again": We gather for dinner, / good friends and all. // We push the big bowl aside / to make room for plates and napkins. // The cat, you know the one, / jumps up and curls into the bowl. // We talk and laugh and joke / though no one says a word.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Time Masters
Geralyn Beauchamp
Cold Tree Press
214 Overlook Court, Suite 253, Brentwood TN 37027
9781583851982, $18.95

Book One of "The Call" series, Time Masters is a fantastic, sweeping epic. In the year 3698, a terrible civil war is on the brink of erupting. To prevent unthinkable ruin, Dallan MacDonald must inherit the responsibility of being a Time Master - yet to earn the title he must earn the love of the nigh-otherworldly Muiraran Maiden. Stolen away as an infant and hidden in another time, she rejects the truth of her nature, and earning her love will be no small task! A race against time to prevent the destruction of civilization ensues, in this dramatic and absorbing saga of heroes, villains, love, and hatred.

The Arterian Redemption
David Berner II
Ursa Minor Press
15914 44th Avenue West, Suite M305, Lynnwood, WA 98087
9781604023374, $37.99

In "The Arterian Redemption", author, artist, and classical mythology scholar David Berner has created a 575-page saga of heroic proportions set is an ancient world of fantasy, gods, prophecy, wizardry, and conflict. Once long, long ago a powerful god called Malitrox ushered in the beginning of a realm called Arteris as the Grand Deity created light from darkness. Those first conceived formed a council of Wizards, each absorbing an essence of existence. Down through the centuries these wizards quarreled and conflicted, eventually resulting in the assassination of Malitrox who, with his final breath, declared his eventual return to resurrect his creation from the corruption that afflicted it. Five-hundred years later the prophecy is nearing its time as an evil wizard called Rannus seeks to dominate Arteris. But a challenge to his corruption in the form of a band of friends seeks to defeat Rannus and all he stands for. This magnificently bound volume comprises under one cover a saga of epic proportions. So well defined and written as to capture the interest of the reader from beginning to end. A welcome addition to any personal or community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collection, "The Arterian Redemption" is especially recommended to fans of adventure fantasy, sword-and-sorcery, and mythological sagas.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Last of the Red Hot Poppas
Jason Berry
Chin Music Press Inc.
2621 24th Ave. W., Seattle, WA 98199
9780974199528, $24.50

Investigative reporter and award-winning playwright Jason Berry presents Last of the Red Hot Poppas, a mystery novel following the consequences when the Governor of Louisiana is suddenly found dead. In search of the murder motive, a young attorney must navigate the tangled skein of local politics, following a trail that leads to diverse and dangerous locales ranging from a brothel in the swamps to Angola Prison to an isolated mortuary and amidst a dramatic capitol funeral. At the center of the intrigue are a cabal of ruthless oil brokers who heedlessly poison the land with their toxins, in this modern-day parable of greed and ruthlessness. Utterly absorbing from cover to cover.

The Adventures of Fletcher MacDonald
Vaud E. Massarsky
FelVaud Books
PO Box 1925, Hoboken, NJ 07030
Diamond & Company Public Relations (publicity)
PO Box 302, Radio City Station, New York, NY 10101-0302
0615164927, $14.95

The Adventures of Fletcher MacDonald is an anthology of fourteen short stories and mysteries starring traveling Canadian Scotsman sleuth Fletcher MacDonald, as told from the viewpoint of his friend and colleague Max Bateman. Confronted with problems and puzzles galore, Fletcher applies his own unique mix of intuition and harsh logic, seasoned with a dash of theatrical presentation, to ferret out the truth. His genius is sought around the globe; as a result, the tales shift through exotic locations ranging from the Galapagos to Lithuania, Nova Scotia, Las Vegas and much more. A lively literary tour especially sure to delight mystery lovers with an additional zest for exciting armchair travels!

Three Deuces Down
Keith Donnelly
Court Street Press
PO Box 1588, Montgomery, AL 36102
9781588382276, $24.95

Keith Donelly's debut novel Three Deuces Down: A Donald Youngblood Mystery is a suspenseful adventure following Donald Youngblood, a Wall Street genius turned private investigator on a whim, and Billy Two Feathers, a full-blooded Cherokee Indian, who opens Cherokee Investigations with him to work small cases together. When the wealthy and powerful Joseph Fleet demands that Donald and Billy find his missing daughter and son-in-law, they become submerged in a nefarious plot involving a killer on the loose, a restless girlfriend, and a beautiful but determined blond police officer. A high-stakes conflict ensues, where cunning is just as a crucial to staying alive as dexterity and sweat! The forthcoming second Donald Youngblood mystery, "Three Days Dead", can't arrive soon enough.

Dangerous Past
A. F. Ebbers
Silverhawk Books
PO Box 2284, Manchaca, TX 78652-2284
9780978948238, $24.95

The debut novel of reporter, military pilot and Vietnam veteran A. F. Ebbers, Dangerous Past is an aviation thriller about an airline captain and Vietnam veteran haunted by the choices he made in his past, and hunted by mysterious assailants. Suspended from his job after the airliner he was flying suffers a horrifying decompression explosion, Captain Frank Braden is under suspicion of the FBI for causing the accident in a suicide attempt; yet the truth of the intrigue closing in upon him and his wife is much more sinister. As the death threats mount, and his efforts to alert the authorities are dismissed as schizophrenic rantings, he must search for answers amid corruption in the highest levels of Washington. A gripping page-turner to the very end.

Code Black
Philip Donlay
1230 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10128
9781596873681, $22.95

Professional aviator Philip Donlay presents Code Black, an aviation thriller that opens with a brutal blizzard and a horrific mid-air collision. The Wayfarer Flight 880 struggles on with half its roof ripped off, still carrying wounded passengers among its dead and dying. Pilot Donovan Nash must resist decompression and oxygen deprivation to reach the cockpit, and land a plane he's never flown with no power and no instruments. On the ground, his fiancee Dr. Lauren McKenna and her unlikely ally Henry Parrish must work together to help save the survivors aboard Wayfarer Flight 880; they struggle against the machinations of a ruthless airline seeking to manipulate the impending disaster for their own benefit, in the hope of executing a daring midair rescue. An exciting novel of grace under pressure and the desperate measures demanded by desperate times.

The Self-Help Shelf

Talk Like A Winner!
Steve Nakamoto
Java Books
17202-204 Corbina Lane, Hunting Beach, CA 92649
9780967089355, $14.95

When relationships either fail in being established or once established, begin to break down, they tend to do so as a result of impaired communications. Being able to listen and to speak effectively is one of life's fundamental requirements for success. Now personal development trainer Steve Nakamoto (who also serves as the dating/relationship expert on's 'Ask Mr. Anser Man' message board) draws upon his many years of experience and expertise in counseling men and women to communicate more effectively and successfully, has distilled his advice into writing "Talk Like A Winner: 21 Simple Rules For Achieving Everyday Communications Success". Readers will learn how to develop an unshakable self-confidence in their ability to express themselves in any social circumstance; how to connect quickly and effectively with others; how to keep romantic connections active; how to gain the respect and friendship of others; how to bring out the best not only in themselves but in others as well; how to avoid costly, counter-productive, and avoidable arguments; how to build lifelong relationships; and how to enjoy the kind of unlimited freedom of thought (as well as action) that self-expression can provide anywhere and at any time. Thoroughly 'user friendly', "Talk Like A Winner!" is a confidently recommended addition to personal self-help reference collections and self-improvement reading lists.

The Genie Within Your Subconscious Mind
Harry W. Carpenter
Anaphase II Publishing
2739 Wightman Street, San Diego, CA 92104-3526
9780945962281, $16.95

Written by retired aerospace research engineer Harry W. Carpenter at the behest of students asking him to put his insights into harnessing the subconscious down on paper, The Genie Within Your Subconscious Mind: How It Works and How to Use It is a no-nonsense guide to overcoming negative thoughts in order to promote better health and improved quality of life. Offering amazing insights into the mind-body connection, The Genie Within Your Subconscious Mind draws upon published studies and testimonials to reveal the "laws" of the subconscious and useful communication techniques. "The Law of Expression states that every thought causes a physical reaction in the body... Ever read a book, or seen a movie, about a poignant love story and got choked up?... The mind and body are one: therefore, what affects one affects the other." Enthusiastically recommended as a useful tool for taking greater control of one's life and happiness, for readers of all backgrounds.

Eastern Wisdom for Your Soul
Richard A. Singer Jr.
Dreamriver Press, LLC
12 Franklin Avenue, Flourtown, PA 19031-2006
Page-Turner Publicity
32091 Virginia Way, Laguna Beach, CA 92651
9780979790805, $16.95

Eastern Wisdom for Your Soul: 111 Meditations for Everyday Enlightenment is an anthology of helpful meditations crafted by award-winning author, trained psychotherapist, and devoted student of Eastern psychology Richard A. Singer, Jr. Designed to help the reader transcend the restrictions of ego, improving his or her ability to live in the moment and enjoy life to the fullest, Eastern Wisdom for Your Soul promotes the cultivation of happiness and joy. Each page consists of an inspirational quote, the brief meditation itself, and a "real life application" often presenting insight into the meditation's wisdom for day-to-day living. A sample meditation reads, "The fleeting sensory pleasures created by material and corporeal possessions will not fulfill your inner yearning for happiness and tranquility. The blissful state you seek is already within you as a natural part of your being and must be tapped into consciously. Absolutely nothing outside of your being will provide you with genuine contentment. You may continue in this useless search externally, but know that it has no end." A suggested twelve-step plan grounded in Eastern wisdom rounds out this thoughtful and positive collection.

Dynamic Components Of Personal Power
Jim Bouchard
San Chi Publishing
10 Jordan Avenue, Brunswick, ME, USA
Gulotta Communications (publicity)
341 Lexington Street, Newton, MA 02466
9780615159164 $19.95 1-800-786-8502

Personal authority, charisma, leadership, and influence are not qualities that are innate at birth, rather they are learned skills and abilities based on principles and concepts going back thousands of years in recorded human history. In "Dynamic Components Of Personal Power: Success -- The Black Belt Way", martial artist Jim Bouchard has produced an instructional manual based upon ancient martial arts teachings that he has adapted and adopted for modern personal and professional success through creating, enhancing, and maintaining personal power within any social, business, or professional relationship. As a founder of northern Chi Martial Arts and a member of the U.S. Martial Arts Hall of Fame, Brouchard writes with a special expertise as he applies a Kung Fu-oriented philosophy and practice to harnessing its techniques to the development of personal talent and ability by applying the motivational and transformational power of the dojo to the demands of ordinary life. Of special note are the 'Power Drills', exercises specifically designed to strengthen goal commitments. Superbly organized and presented, "Dynamic Components Of Personal Power" is very highly recommended reading and would make a popular addition to any community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement reference collection.

Expanding The Boundaries of Self
Oliver H. Jobson
Global Publishing Associates
2860 Somerset Drive, Suite 215, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33311
Gulotta Communications (publicity)
341 Lexington Street, Newton, MA 02466
9780976498803, $23.95

Exploring our possibilities and maximizing our potential to take useful advantage of all that life has to offer us as we seek to live out whatever definition of 'the good life' we have takes the kind of experience-based wisdom and practical insights that comprise Oliver H. Jobson's "Expanding The Boundaries of Self" Beyond The Limit Of Traditional thought, Discovering the Magic Within". A practitioner of Monistic meditation and a dedicated student of Eastern philosophy for the past four decades, Jobson deft draws upon his years of experience and expertise to write a combination instruction manual and inspirational guide that will enable his readers to tap into their 'inner intelligence', and to take charge of their own thoughts, actions, and emotions. A kind of spiritual biography, "Expanding The Boundaries of Self" teaches by example and many of the principles and SDA techniques Jobson presents are applicable with respect to any form of relationship -- by they business, family, social, or cultural. Articulate, enhanced with a glossary, and thoroughly 'reader friendly', "Expanding The Boundaries of Self" is very strongly recommended for community library self-help collections and personal improvement self-improvement reading lists and reference collections.

Dark Water
Opal Rose
Author House
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781434309587, $12.50 1-800-280-7715

Author Opal Rose draws directly from her own life experience in Dark Water: Stress After Trauma, a self-help guide to learning how to effectively cope with the fallout of severe trauma. Written in a conversational tone accessible to readers of all backgrounds, Dark Water adopts the view that a person suffering from post-traumatic stress has been injured as a whole being, and the entire neurophysiology needs to heal. Chapters discuss "Living with Recurring Symptoms and Startling Insights", "How does it Feel, to Feel?", "What Do You Do After Trauma?" and much more. Though Opal Rose is neither a psychologist nor a clinician, her honest appraisals speak directly from the heart of one who has been there, suffered that. "The bottom line is that it's necessary for you to figure out how you feel about being injured, how you deal with your anger and hurt about that, how you approach others who might be uncomfortable around you, and how you approach yourself and your future. Please remember that help for all of this is a good thing and that you don't have to undertake the healing process by yourself, even though you probably feel very alone now and then."

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Predictions of the End Times
Rex Lombardo
Xlibris Corporation
International Plaza II, Suite 340, Philadelphia, PA 19113
9781425773700, $19.99

Predictions of the End Times: An Accurate Portrayal of the Antichrist and His Actions is grounded in the visions that author Rex Lombardo has experienced - since his very first vision in which he saw a horrific dragon being speared by the Antichrist, as a symbol of the Antichrist's mission to conquer evil. Predictions of the End Times reveals the Antichrist's role as a harbinger of the Second Coming, describing how his enlightened views will ultimately bring surcease to many of the terribly problems afflicting the world today. "The Antichrist will criticize nations for not doing enough to control the worldwide overpopulation issue. He will mention that the population growth rate will increase at even a greater level now with his economic and political policies in effect. The effects of war, famine disease, and other factors that normally inhibit the global growth rate will no longer be the natural limiting factors for the world's overpopulation problem. With an attempt to control the situation, he will forbid all nations from accepting any new immigrants as well as the issuing of additional visas and citizenships until the administrators accurately estimate the maximum growth rate that is acceptable for their respective regions." An intriguing counter-revelation to the traditional view of the Antichrist as a force for unmoderated evil, that deliberately connects to the predictions of the prophet Daniel.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Ty Beanies Tracker
Karen Holmes, editor
Bangzoom Publishers
14 Storrs Avenue, Braintree, MA 02184
9780977909957, $21.95

Few 20th century collectibles have had as huge a success in the popular culture as those small plush toys known as Beanie Babies -- as well as Punkies, Pinkys, Girtz, and more!. Now in an expanded and fully updated third edition, "Ty Beanies Tracker" under the deft editorship of Beanie Baby expert Karen Holmes provides collectors, dealers, and the general public with a unique, comprehensive, illustrated reference and price guide for these popular toy collectibles. Featuring more than 4,000 color pictures comprising the complete Ty product lines (including variations and rare items), "Ty Beanies Tracker", with its Note Pages, Daffynitions, Attic Treasures, and NASCAR Beanies, is a simply indispensable addition to personal, professional, and community library Antiques & Collectibles reference shelves.

The Civil War Shelf

A Concise Guide To The Artillery At Gettysburg
Gregory A. Coco
Colecraft Industries
970 Mt. Carmel Road, Orrtanna, PA 17353
0977712559, $9.95

Now in a newly published second edition, "A Concise Guide To The Artillery At Gettysburg" by American Civil War historian Gregory A. Coco is an information packed, 104-page account of all of the guns employed by both the Union and the Confederate armies who engaged in one of the bloodiest and most critically important battles in which the Army of the Potomac engaged the Army of Northern Virginia. The informed and informative narrative of the artillery battles is nicely enhanced with the inclusion of historic photos. Offering complete and comprehensive descriptions of the Union and Confederate artillery units throughout the battle, Coco goes on to provide total coverage of the type, quantity, and ammunition of the guns employed on both sides. Enhanced further with the inclusion of a three-page glossary, as well as additional notes, "A Concise Guide To The Artillery At Gettysburg" is a seminal and highly recommended contribution to academic library Civil War reference studies in general, and Civil War buff supplemental reading lists in particular.

The Mythology Shelf

Ancient Greek Beliefs
Perry L. Westmoreland
Lee and Vance Publishing Company
511 East San Ysidro Bouevard, #432, San Ysidro, CA 92173
Columbine Communications & Publications (publicity)
16707 Saddle Court, Sonora, CA 95370
9780979324819, $44.99

A massive 827-page descriptive and analytical history of Hellenic myths, folklore, religious beliefs and practices, "Ancient Greek Beliefs" by Perry L. Westmoreland is a comprehensive, impressively researched, superbly organized and written body of work which is divided into three major sections: Greek Mythology, The Ancient Greeks; and Conclusions. Individual chapters are devoted to early Hellenic creation myths, a descriptive roster of the Greek gods and goddesses associated with Mount Olympus, and an informative roster of other Greek immortals ranging from Aristeas to Xanthus. Also covered are other immortal groups of beings such as Daemons and demons, the Fates, the Graces, Nymphs, River Gods, and others. Then there are the mortals such as Heracles and Adonis who were raised to the status of gods. Also covered are tributes to the gods, Greek heroes, and special mortals and mortal groups identified in ancient Greek histories and myths such as King Midas and the Amazons. Of special note are the chapters on Ghosts and 'Abridged Stores of Greek Mythologies', Seers and Philosophers, and the 'Ancient Greek Mysteries'. This first major section concludes with informative 'Timelines in Mythology'. The second section of "Ancient Greek Beliefs" offers an informed and informative survey and overview of early Greek history including the city states of Athens and Sparta, the Greco-Persian war, athletic games, coinage, islands, language, people, environments, social strata, and more. The third and final section covers ancient Hellenic religious beliefs. Enhanced with the inclusion of an extensive glossary, "Ancient Greek Beliefs" is a monumental work of considerable scholarship and expertise which is especially recommended for school and community Hellenic Studies library collections, as well as supplemental reading lists for students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in ancient Greek history, culture, philosophy, and religion.

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

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