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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 4, Number 5 May 2005 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Poetry Shelf Military Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Economics Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
American History Shelf Biography Shelf Fiction Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Self-Help Shelf Business Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Computer Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Parenting Shelf Children's Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Neon Nuptials
Ken Van Vechten
Huntington Press Publishing
3687 South Procyon Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89103
0929712803 $14.95 1-800-900-5166

Every year more than 120,000 couples come to Las Vegas to "tie the knot" in one of the 60 or so wedding chapels. Neon Nuptials: The Complete Guide To Las Vegas Weddings is a unique guidebook to every one of those chapels (and a few other less typical venues for the maritally intended) telling anticipatory brides and grooms just what they can expect. These assessments include not only the physical facilities and their themes, but the service qualities offered by their staffs, whether the attention is individual or couples are treated to a kind of assembly line treatment. Here is the perfect guide to "the beautiful, the bad, the kitschy", with attention also paid to some of the best places to stay, eat, and play while enjoying the complete spectrum of what Las Vegas has to offer those who come to wed there.

Ladies' Shoes To Color
Creative Genius Publications
7000 Newport #204, Woodridge, IL 60517
0971353913 $5.99

Ladies' Shoes To Color is a simple coloring book featuring bold line drawings of 30 pairs of women's shoes. No text whatsoever gets in the way of the coloring book pages, which leave plenty of room for embellishment or design beyond merely adding color. An enjoyable activity book for all ages from 3 to 83, and most especially recommended for creative-minded women's shoe enthusiasts.

Firefighter's Handbook On Wildland Firefighting
Chief William C. Teie, CDF (ret)
Deer Valley Press
5125 Deer Valley Road, Rescue, CA 95672
1931301158 $57.95 1-800-455-1950

Now in an undated and expanded third addition that has added new material, more than 200 pages of additional information, and over 260 pictures or graphics printed in full color, Chief William Teie's Firefighter's Handbook On Wildland Firefighting: Strategy, Tactics And Safety deserves to be called "the bible" of modern wildland and forestry firefighting. Chief Teie covers fireline safety, fire weather, topography and fuels, wildland fire behavior, fire extinguishment methods, initial attack strategy and tactics, the use of firefighting resources, wildland/urban firefighting strategy and tactics, incident command system, firefighting realities, and firefighting situations. Enhanced with appendices on map reading, fire prevention, hazardous materials recognition, the use and care of hand tools, fire ground communications, incident organizer, Firefighter's Handbook On Wildland Firefighting also features an extensive Glossary and a "user friendly" index. Highly recommended, essential reading for aspiring wildland and forestry firefighters, Firefighter's Handbook On Wildland Firefighting is also invaluable reading for anyone with property at risk of a forest fire or drought conditions in an otherwise wetlands area.

Marshal South And The Ghost Mountain Chronicles
Diana Lindsay, editor
Sunbelt Publications
1256 Fayette Street, El Cajon, CA 92020-1511
0932653669 $21.95

For seventeen years (1930 to 1947), poet, artist, and author Marshal South and his family lived on the remote, waterless mountaintop in California's Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and is referred to as "Ghost Mountain". For nine of those years, Marshal South chronicled his family's controversial primitive lifestyle through popular monthly articles written for "Desert Magazine". The articles reflected his passion for the desert while praising its early inhabitants and their lifestyle. An acrimonious divorce ended the "experiment in primitive living" and with Marshal's death in 1948, fifty years of silence and speculation followed. Family secrecy, altered names and dates, lost and burned records and letters, left Marshal's grand experiment in obscurity, hidden from even his surviving family members. This was the state of affairs when historian Diana Lindsay brought Marshal's recorded experiences back into public purview with the publication of his writings, gleaned from the pages of Desert Magazine and anthologized in Marshal South And The Ghost Mountain Chronicles: An Experiment In Primitive Living. Illustrated with black-and-white photography, this unique account is enhanced with introduction commentaries by Rider and Lucile South and is highly recommended reading for anyone with an interest in "back to nature" movements and experiments with alternative lifestyles.

The Poetry Shelf

Devin Johnston
Omnidawn Publishing
1632 Elm Avenue, Richmond, CA 94805-1614
1890650161 $14.95 1-800-792-4957

The poetry by Devin Johnston addresses the personal challenges of turning toward (or away from) human experience. By turns enigmatic, insightful, and lyrical, Aversions offers a body of poetry that is subtle and almost visual in its passionate employment of language. Dark Wood: Dashing through the station/in the final collapse/of time, I'm already dead.//It is all one where I begin:/at Niagara, where we never were,/or the Casentino, Dante's wood, in which/the tangled limber of Guelphus/lay thick as leaves/that strow the brooks.//Beneath a canopy of lime/which darkens the Dawoo's/windshield, we glide/through dictionaries/in search of moufloun.//One week married: if, then. Wherever I start, I'm lost to the language/and still putting paper to pen.

Like A Woman Falling
Stephanie Pope
Muthic Artist Press
15029 N. Thompson Peak, Suite B11, PMB 418, Scottsdale, AZ 85260
0975382403 $19.99

Highly recommended reading for those who appreciate an original and lyrical voice, Like A Woman Falling is a selective anthology of Stephanie Pope's intrinsically engaging poetry. Cloud People: Reasoned resonances ride/Sky Father's chariot of old/Where blow by blow in weathered skeins/His hoary-haired reside//These Longhairs/Pulse outside themselves there/White one perfume exudes/And one contain things/Like weather charts and satellites/Predicting snows/Protecting shelves what violet never shows/That all the neat little rules are/Garden rows we didn't plant/That all the times we knew the could/We fared the can't//That the seed of things/Was something my eyes could have feigned/'Cept when that finally showed/It fell like rain

The Sun's Palette
Paula Bramsen Cullen
Red Hummingbird Press
PO Box 462, Princeton, NJ 08542
0972731024 $15.00

The Sun's Palette is comprised of 64-pages showcasing the poetry and needlepoint tapestry artwork of Paula Bramsen Cullen. This is Cullen's second anthology of her work (her first was the highly recommended "Journey of Storms") and offers lyrical verse dealing with the ironies of human interactions, family life, and the humor (both dark and light) of the human condition. Broom Song: A housewife beats/on the boredom of her days.//A Newborn shrieks/at his rude crossing.//An old man,/relinquishing longing,/bows to endings.//And the great hinge-winged bat glides,/black as grief,/a flowing shadow/over this plain of souls//dipping its wing points,/obscuring the sun/for first one/then another of us.

Daughter Of
Kathleen Aguero
Cedar Hill Books
3730 Arnold Avenue, San Diego, CA 92104-3444
1891812351 $18.00

Daughter Of is a stunning collection of original free-verse poems influenced by feminism and the struggles of generations of women. Often drawing upon mythological allegory, the verses weigh heavily with emotional struggle against both external and internal demons, and the sadness and transformation that comes from personal loss. A profound and reflective collection especially recommended for women's studies reading lists. "How Many Mothers?" Father, // It seems they know / my mother, but speak of her / in whispers. What I hear / confuses me. // How many mothers / did I have?

Moonbeam Moths
Rebecca Johnson, M. Ed., Inc.
2021 Pine Lake Road, #100, Lincoln, NE 68512
0595344054 $9.95

Top 10 reviewer Rebecca Johnson presents Moonbeam Moths: Silky Thoughts, Dreams of Love & Mysterious Pleasures, an anthology of free-verse poetry that reflects on the beauty of nature, sensual delights, love, and wishes of the soul. A dreamy, lightheaded wonder, that reads like a relaxing steambath printed on paper, Moonbeam Moths is pure joy to experience. "Kisses": I want to feel beautiful again / Like the last time when you touched me // My skin has started to tingle / At the thought of you // I have felt breathless / more than once // Wet hot tears keep falling / before I sleep // Already I miss the kisses / You have yet to give me // XOXO

White Feather
Suzanne Stutman
Manor House Publications, Inc.
3501 Newberry Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154
0964826143 $21.95 1-800-343-8464

White Feather: A Journey To Peace is an anthology of Suzanne Stutman's poetry arising from her understanding of the pain, passion, and compassion with respect to the effects of child abuse and the power of the human spirit to heal and move on. A Prayer for the Children: Dear God who makes all things grow,/Who gives us life./Who allows us to meet with wonder/The birds in the sky,/The fish in the sea,/The great trees in the meadows.//Oh wondrous God,/I pray to you on behalf of the children./May they grow strong and tall,/Like trees in the forest./May their laughter fill the world/Like bells in the morning./May they learn through words,/And books, to cultivate themselves/And their dreams, like farmer with/The most precious crops, sacred,/Each sacred, each a prayer in the morning.//May they learn:/The depths of their souls./The reach of their minds./May they dream dreams, and Make them/Come true.

Grandmother Says
J. D. Whitney
Arctos Press
PO Box 401, Sausalito, CA 94966
0972538437 $12.00

A faculty member of the University of Wisconsin and the College of the Menominee Nation, as well as the author of seven previous and well received collections of poetry, Grandmother Says is J. D. Whitney's latest anthology of original and memorable verse. The poems comprising Grandmother Says are each hallmarked by a buoyant, joyous, energetic, Native American style life-lesson qualities showcased in an especially quick-minded fashion. Grandmother says sometimes nothing./But/what/others say/she/says back to them/again/if/she likes it./Why Owl/ hears Echo Woman's/song/more/than people do./Why Wolf/does too.

Water Like The Soul Of An Angel
Jack B. Jelinski & Sheryl Getman
Howling Loon Press
4665 Sycamore Terrace, Los Angeles, CA 90065
0976328003 $29.95

The visually impressive artwork of Sheryl Getman offers a welcome counterpoint to the original poetry comprising Jack B. Jelinski's Water Like The Soul Of An Angel: Memoirs Of A Fisherman. Jelinski's verse celebrates an enjoyment and appreciation of the outdoors, and for the solitude and peace of mind to be found there. While Casting For Trout: The delicate, white-feather legs of a thistle seed/run upstream with the wind./The fragile physics of a miniature tumbleweed ballet/make it magically spin/against the weight of mountains/while standing still/until/this exquisite balance fails/and must wait to find its moment again/downstream from where you brace our feet/against the current's will.

The Habit of Fire
Judith McCombs
The Word Works
PO Box 42164, Washington, DC 20015
0915380579 $10.00

The Habit of Fire: Poems Selected & New is a collection of original poetry that recognizes the changing aspects of life itself, from the shifting soil of the earth that distorts survey measurements long after the surveyor's demise to the transition of cat ready to pounce into an indolent feline chewing grass. Many poems are drawn from daily life; some reflect on the grander design, others are drawn into fascinating minutiae, still others offer a twist of wry humor. The free verse draws in the reader with its readily flowing narrative, in this captivating and wide-ranging anthology. "The Observers": The glacier disappoints you: / it resembles (you observe, / through binoculars) not snow / but rather, soiled underwear. // How right you are, / I agree. / Strange, / how your underwear, discarded / (I later observe) / does not resemble / a glacier at all.

The Military Shelf

U.S. Navy Seabees
Jay Kimmel
CoryStevens Publishing
15350 NE Sandy Boulevard, Portland, OR 97230
0942893034 $25.00 1-800-440-3329

Now in a newly updated third edition, U.S. Navy Seabees: Since Pearl Harbor by historian and author Jay Kimmel is a seminal and detailed history of the U.S. Navy's "Seabees", the military construction units that played key roles from their inception just after the attack on Pearl Harbor, through their often hazardous duty throughout the battlefields of World War II. By the end of the war the Seabees numbered some 325,000 personnel. The Seabees went on to serve with distinction in the Korean Conflict, Vietnam War, Desert Storm, Afghanistan and Iraq as those emergency, war-time, battlefield crises required both their construction and fighting skills. Enhanced with 200 illustrations in a large, 232-page, paperback format, U.S. Navy Seabees is a unique and welcome addition for personal, academic, and community library American Military Studies reference collection and supplemental reading list.

Under Wraps
Jay Coffman
Day to Day Enterprises
1721 Canoe Creek Road, Oviedo, FL 32766-8533
1890905526 $17.00 1-407-359-9356

Under Wraps: One Soldier's Hidden Diary of WW II is collected diary of Jay Coffman, recorded during his service in the US Army Infantry in the South Pacific throughout World War II. Since keeping a diary in combat zones was a court-martial offense, Coffmen hid his diary among his personal effects until the war ended. Though he survived the war, his untimely death at age 48 was partly due to the malaria he had contracted on Guadalcanal. Editor Tom Fulks has added notes to Coffman's diary, clarifying passages or mentioning appropriate historic references. Fulks also contributes a seventy-page overview of World War II, to refresh the reader's familiarity of the war and the politics surrounding it. Under Wraps is not only a hands-on first-person account of the war, but also a love story, and a fond remembrance of home and family. A welcome addition to firsthand testimonies of the Pacific conflict, and an absorbing true story that will appeal to readers of all persuasions.

The Money/Finance Shelf

Emanuel A. Frenkel
Delta Vista Press
2621 Bellows Street, Davis, CA 95616-7656
097556210X $14.95

In Thrive!: Catching The Spirit Of Personal Economics, author Emanuel A. Frenkel draws upon his expertise as a teacher of economic theory and international finance at the University of California to provide non-specialist general readers with a descriptive path to personal economic well-being that will prove greater than they could otherwise imagine or expect. Offering a complete "self-help" course in the personal management of money and finance, Thrive is presented with an informed and informative text that is easily accessible. Individual chapters are devoted to "The Economy at Work"; "Catching the Spirit of Personal Economics"; "Enjoying the Spirit of Personal Economics"; "Invest in Yourself"; "Sell Your Talents in the Market of Opportunity"; and "Thriving with the Spirit of Personal Economics". Strongly recommended reading for anyone seeking to make the most of their own economic potential, possibilities, behavior, and planning, Thrive takes the cold and complicated concepts of capitalism and deftly presents them with an enthusiastically personal application for ordinary men and women.

Money Basics For Young Adults
Don Chambers, CPA, MBA, PFP
Healthy Wealth
3945 S. Wasatch Blvd., Box #247, Salt Lake City, UT 841240
0972207120 $12.99 1-801-274-1999

Written by one of the premier financial advisors of modern America, Money Basics For Young Adults is a no-nonsense guide for young people to managing their own budgets, and their own futures. Chapters address banking, credit cards, cars, insurance, spending, identity protection (a must in the 21st century, which is riddled with identity theft), credit ratings, passwords, financial aid, renting, savings, investing, gambling, and staying self-sufficient in a complicated world. Written in plain terms but packed with everything a young adult or college student must know to make it on their own, Money Basics For Young Adults earns the highest recommendation through its straightforward advice for self-empowerment.

The Economics Shelf

The Great Telecom Meltdown
Fred R. Goldstein
Artech House
c/o Gulotta Communications Inc.
341 Lexington Street Newton, MA 02466
1580539394 $79.00

In The Great Telecom Meltdown, author and telecommunications expert Fred R. Goldstein offers an informed and informative analysis on just what went wrong with the telecom industry when the telecom stock market bubble burst. Moreover, Goldstein offers invaluable and practical advice for keeping this economic disaster from reoccurring, and even how to profit from such an event in the future. Of special note is Goldstein's analysis revealing that the dysfunctional elements that would lead to the boom-bust cycle crash of the telecommunications industry began long before the Telecom Act of 1996 (itself a belated, overly compromised reaction to an obsolete regulatory model). Highly recommended and essential reading for anyone working, regulating, or investing in the telecommunications industry, The Great Telecom Meltdown is completely accessible for non-specialist general readers with an interest in how the telecom bubble came to burst.

Rescuing Capitalism from Corporatism
John David Rose
1663 Liberty Drive Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403
1418495549 $19.45 1-800-839-8640

Written by a weekly columnist with over 50 years of experience in businesses large and small, not to mention some forays into politics and government, Rescuing Capitalism from Corporatism: Greed and the American Corporate Culture is a hard-hitting, no-nonsense look at how todays corporate culture has come to dominate free market competition. From the Enron scandal to the "dishonest casino" of the stock market to the modern-day oxymoron of "business ethics", symptoms of out-of-control corporations are becoming more and more frequent, and it's the ordinary taxpayer who suffers. Rescuing Capitalism from Corporatism examines what went wrong, what can be done about it, and how to limit corporate power while resuscitating capitalist principles that form the underpinning of a healthy economy. A valuable, insightful book, highly recommended for its words of warning about changes that must be made before corporations form a stranglehold on democracy as surely as capitalism.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Lindy S. Hudis
Whiskey Creek Press
PO Box 51052, Casper, WY 82605-1052
1593740972 $TBA

Weekends by Lindy S. Hudis is a novel of what happens when a sprawling, dysfunctional family gathers together for a reunion in an opulent hotel resort in Linda Bella, a sleepy California coastal town. Instead a traditional family reunion, what follows are three days of unbridled sex, suspense and murder with family secrets exposed, young couples finding love, a brutal serial killer intent on destroying as many as he can. With Weekends, Lindy Hudis emerges as a gifted storyteller of vivid imagination whose skills with character development and plot twists will leave her readers looking eagerly toward her next effort. Highly recommended reading for fans of the mystery/suspense genre!

The Sentinel
James P. Moss
Starshine Publications
447 Mountain Road, Somers, CT 06071
1412013534 $21.95

The Sentinel by voracious reader and avid technology buff James P. Moss is a dark and chilling novel monsters who use distance and cyberspace technology to cover the tracks of their crimes. After losing his lover and companion to a sadistic on-screen murder, Jack Pond investigates a string of killings that lead him to the Internet Crime Bureau - which is supposedly also investigating the murder spree. One never knows who or what is truly on the other side of an online chat screen, in this suspense-laden mystery.

The American History Shelf

Crown Of The Continent
Ralph Waldt
Riverbend Publishing
PO Box 5833, Helena, MT 59604
1931832447 $29.95 1-866-787-2363

Crown Of The Continent: The Last Great Wilderness Of The Rocky Mountains visually showcases the last large and wild ecosystem in the northern Rocky Mountains which ranges from parts of Montana and Alberta, to British Columbia. This is a land of national parks, wilderness areas, ecologically vital private lands, and an impressive array of soaring peaks, primal forests, spectacular waterways, and diverse wildlife. Crown Of The Continent is a portrait of landscapes and seasons, flora and fauna, captured in stunningly beautiful photography enhanced with an informed and informative text. Also available in a paperback format (1931832498, $19.95), Crown Of The Continent is essential reading for anyone with an interest in preserving and enjoying wild lands and pristine landscapes.

Canon City, Colorado
Larry Thomas Ward
Nicholas Lawrence Books
932 Clover Avenue, Canon City, CO 81212
0972946640 $22.00 1-719-276-0152

Knowledgeably written by Larry Thomas Ward, Canon City, Colorado: Every Picture Tells A Story offers the reader an engaging and colorful history of a genuine "Wild West" town complete with stagecoaches, saloons, bar fights, hangings, gunfights, and vigilante justice. By the 1890s, Canon City had grown from its original days of lawlessness to become one of the most agriculturally advanced areas in the country -- only to see it end by the late 1940s. The informed and informative text is superbly enhanced with the inclusion of more than 200 vintage photographs -- most of which were drawn from the files of the Local History Center. A unique contribution to the growing canon of Western American History, Canon City, Colorado is especially welcome reading, and could well serve as a template for developing and presenting the histories of other frontier communities of the American West.

In Search Of Gold
John Fisk; Bruce Adam, editor
Ara Pacis Publishers
PO Box 1202, Des Plaines, IL 60017-1202
0966131835 $19.95

John Fisk was one of the men who flooded into California in 1849 as part of an immense gold rush. Fisk kept a journal of his experiences and that journal has now been edited by his great-great grandson Bruce Adam and published by Ara Pacis Publishers. In Search Of Gold: Journal Of Incidents On Land And Sea reads with all the drama and excitement of a novel, but is an authentic historical narrative that is a welcome and invaluable contribution to the history of what the '49ers experienced in reaching and working the California gold fields. Enhanced with a poem "The Cranberry Webb Worm" and an appendix laying out John Fisk's lineage, In Search Of Gold is a minor masterpiece of the journalist's art and a memorable, informative, and entertaining narrative record of life in the yesteryear of California frontier history!

White-Washing America
Troy Morris
Aventine Press
1023 - 4th Avenue, #204, San Diego, CA 92101
1593302495 $13.95

Troy Morris is a social and political history. He is a member of the Organization of American Historians, the National Association for Ethnic Studies, and the Society of American Archivists, as well as a tribal member of the Appalachian American Indians of West Virginia. In White-Washington America: Examining The Racism, Sexism, And Government Propaganda Being Taught In America's Classrooms, Morris draws upon his considerable expertise to debunk the common myths associated with mainstream representations of American history commonly promoting in our public school systems that promote racism, sexism, and the kind of blind-faith patriotism that has its roots and is sustained by pro-government propaganda in our children's history texts. White-Washing American explains why non-American historians from around the world find Christopher Columbus as a kind of "proto-Nazi", Why Andrew Jackson is considered a pioneer of "ethnic cleansing, how some of our most revered Presidents deliberately misled people, and how ignorance of America's true and unvarnished history is allowing the worst elements of our history to repeat itself in the current generation. White-Washing America is a seminal, controversial, iconoclastic, informed and informative, thoughtful and thought provoking reading deserving of the widest possible readership.

The Biography Shelf

Those Oldies But Goodies
Art Rodriguez
Dream House Press
PO Box 13211, Coyote, CA 95013
0967155541 $13.95

Award-winning Latino author Art Rodriguez presents the true story of his adolescence and adulthood in Those Oldies But Goodies. From his obstacles growing up, to the ups and downs of his love life and the difficulties of maintaining a marriage, raising children and facing down the pressures (and temptations!) of organized crime and more. Told with complete honesty, and no attempts to whitewash the author's choices and justifications, good or bad, Those Oldies But Goodies resonates with the tantalizing allure that only real life's rocky road can bring.

My Wars: Nazis, Mobsters, Gambling & Corruption
Colonel Francis C. Grevemberg
Beau Bayou Publishing
PO Box 53089, Lafayette, Louisiana 70505
0935619011 $15.00 1- 337-233-3268

My Wars: Nazis, Mobsters, Gambling & Corruption is the true-life story of World War II veteran turned incorruptible reformer of Superintendent of State Police in Louisiana, Colonel Francis C. Grevemberg. A hero in the war abroad, he found himself embroiled in just as deadly a war at home, for at the time of his enstatement the Mafia had corrupted Louisiana's government. Marked for death, with his family subject to the threat of kidnapping, he fought to take back his state from the criminal world. My Wars recounts the harrowing struggles, setbacks, and triumphs; from the frustration of watching politicians free convicted criminals in exchange for large bribes to standing fast against threat of personal harm to even contesting other people's attempts to take credit for the reforms he struggled to enact. A number of black-and-white photographs and transcripts of primary sources enhance this incredible story of one man's striking contribution to make Louisiana a better state. Nor is the war over; My Wars warns the reader of the ills that still haunt Louisiana, with gambling and its legalized thievery of the working poor's wages at the top of the list. Highly recommended.

Beating The Odds
Rufus W. McKinney
Vantage Press Inc.
419 Park Avenue South, 18th floor, New York, NY 10016
0533149053 $21.95 1-212-736-1767

Beating The Odds: The Story Of One Black Man's Life In Twentieth Century America is the personal memoir of Rufus W. McKinney. Elected as Vice President for National Public Affairs for Southern California Gas Company, appointed to the Maryland Commission on Human Relations by the governor of Maryland in 1996, and inducted into the Academy of Law Alumni Fellows by the Indiana University Law Schools in 2002 as one of that institution's most distinguished graduates, McKinney has gained a great many honors in his life while having to overcome daunting obstacles beginning with being born in the small Arkansas town of Jonesboro in the heart of the Great Depression as one of a family of thirteen children. His childhood was one of poverty, even to the point of being bereft of indoor plumbing. McKinney began schooling in 1937 as the first steps up an academic ladder that culminating in earning a law degree from Indiana University and passing the bar in both Indiana and California. This in turn was to lead to a successful career in the energy industry and his become the first African American to head the Washington office of a Fortune 500 company. Highly recommended reading, Beating The Odds is a very apt title for McKinney's life and an autobiography that documents the value of education and hard work as the road out of poverty and into a life of success and accomplishment.

The Life and Religion of Mohammed
Rev. J. L. Menezes
Roman Catholic Books
PO Box 2286, Fort Collins, CO 80522
192929168X $24.95 1-970-490-2735

First published in 1912, The Life and Religion of Mohammed, The Prophet of Arabia is a straightforwardly narrated biography of Mohammed, the prophet and founder of Islam, as written by Father J. L. Menezes, a Catholic who devoted his life to serving in India and converting Muslims to Catholicism. Given the author's background, The Life and Religion of Mohammed is surprisingly factual and detail-oriented. The bulk of the text focuses on the specifics of history, practice, and tenets of Islam as well as the personal life of Mohammed himself. The conclusion of course exhorts the value of following Catholicism rather than Islam (to the extent of claiming that some of Mohammed's religious teachings are "immoral and wicked"), which is to be expected given the author's evangelical profession. The Life and Religion of Mohammed also describes Mohammed's physical appearance, as well as Menezes was able to research, yet contains no illustrations (Islam prohibits creating pictures of the likeness of Mohammed). A fascinating period piece; the conclusion, while definitely biased toward Catholicism, is particularly valuable for its insight into the devout of one religious faith may perceive another faith.

Memories of World War II And Its Aftermath: 1940-1954
Inge E. Stanneck Gross
Island In The Sky Publishing Company
PO Box 139, Eastsound, WA 98245-0139
0976302864 $23.95

Memories of World War II And Its Aftermath: 1940-1954 is the autobiography of Inge Stanneck Gross who grew up as a little girl in Berlin, Germany and experienced the ravages of Hitler's Third Reich and the struggle to rebuild a divided post-war Germany. Now 70 years old, the memories of Inge Gross go back to when she was five years old on the night of Sunday, August 25, 1940 and learned about air raids. The British had bombed Berlin for the first time. This was a child hood spent in bombshelters and going to school the next day to discover that some of her friends and playmates wouldn't be there -- ever. Eventually going with her mother and younger brother to a small village fifty miles from Berlin to escape the bombings, towards the end of the war the family was to experience even that village being bombed and overrun by the Russians. The family barely managed to make it back to Berlin in late 1946 before the Russians totally closed the border and the Cold War began. Memories of World War II And Its Aftermath: 1940-1954 brings the perspective of a small child and her mother's fight to keep the family alive during wartime vividly to life. It is also the story of how the Allies kept Inge and 2.2 million other West Berliners alive during Stalin's blockade of Berlin in 1948 and 1949. The memoir ends in 1954 when at the age of 19, Inge immigrated to the United States. Also very highly recommended is the second volume of Inge's memoirs, Memories Of Opportunities, Family And Adventures which detailed the account of her life in America down to the present time.

The Fiction Shelf

Men Of Bronze
Scott Oden
Medallion Press
212 Franklin Street, #2, Barrington, IL 60010
193281518X $26.95 1-847-756-4316

In 526 BC, the empire of the Pharaohs is passing away. Hasdrabal Barca, a fighter and killer possessed of savage rage, leads the fight to defend his home; but when one of Egypt's most respected generals, a Greek mercenary called Phanes, defects to the Persians, it triggers a disastrous conflict that will wrest its toll upon Barca's humanity as well as in his nation's blood. Only Barca's healer, an Arabian woman enslaved in the House of Life, has the power to change his spirit and resurrect his humanity. A gripping, adventurous saga coming to a climax at a terrible choice that all immortal heroes must make.

Outlet Or A Heaven Full Of Televisions
Scott Sundvall
WordWarriors Press
920 Blackaks Lane, Anoka, MN 55303
0974694010 $14.95

Sometimes it takes a work of fiction to provide insight into the real world. Outlet Or A Heaven Full Of Televisions by Scott Sundvall is just such a minor masterpiece of literate fiction. Characterized by the 20-year-old author as a "memoir with elaborations", Outlet follows the questings of a lowly shoe salesman in an outlet mall, from his road trip to Mexico where the meaning of life has a price tag of one dollar; to a vodka and psychedelic binge that brings him to death's door, to confronting suicide and disappearance among his friends, and much more. Charged with emotion in an emotionally bereft world, the protagonist struggles and searches for purpose in this roller coaster ride of a novel.

What Does Mrs. Freeman Want?
Petros Abatzoglou
Dalkey ARchive Press
ISU Campus Box 8905, Normal, IL 61790-8905
1564783901 $12.50

The late writer and novelist Petros Abatzoglou (1931-2004) grew up during the Nazi occupation of Greece, traveled extensively in Europe and America during his 30s, the settled in Greece where he lived the rest of his life. In addition to writing for newspapers and the radio, Abatzoglou authored numerous short stories and several novels. For What Does Mrs. Freeman Want?, he received the National Book Award in 1988. This is also his first novel translated into English. While lying on a beach in Greece with a female companion, the novel's narrator tells the story of a fiercely independent woman called "Mrs. Freeman". In his narration, the storyteller reveals an obsession with food, alcohol, and the need to be the center of a woman's attention as he paints a mental portrait of his own vision of the "ideal" woman. At times digressive, tender, humorous, pedantic, patronizing, and misogynist, What Does Mrs. Freeman Want? is also brilliant, engaging, and just the kind of novel that lingers on in the mind of the reader long after it has been finished and set back upon the bookshelf leaving us looking forward to more of Petros Abatzoglou's work to be translated into English by Kay Cicellis for an appreciative American readership.

War Island
Robert E. Sandlin, Inc.
2021 Pine Lake Road, #100, Lincoln, NE 68512
7233 Alliance Court, San Diego, CA 92119
0595310990 $19.95

Harriet Bentley is President of the United States. The threat of a nuclear holocaust is seemingly inevitable with a proliferation of nations having access to nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Rather than presenting the world with a unified American nation, President Bentley must deal with political foes demanding her impeachment, as well as some who simply want her dead. In an effort to forestall global annihilation, a voluntary war is waged as a surrogate to global conflict on "War Island", an battleground selected for settling scores arising from political, religious, ethnic, and international disputes. Then there is Rachel Solomon Al Amed, and Israeli news correspondent, aided by two young scientists, who is driven by her father's death to disrupt the voluntary war. Complicating things further are two televangelists, each personifying religious bigotry and each seeking opposing goals of their own. In War Island, author Robert Sandlin has created a complex, multi-layered, 321-page thriller that compels the reader's total attention from first page to last.

Unseen Forces
Ed Kovacs
Ardelyan Press
302 N. La Brea Ave., Suite 162, Los Angeles, CA 90036
0976209705 $13.95

Unseen Forces is a thrilling novel about independent archaeologist Dr. Sky Wilder, who discovers an Egyptian stone tablet holding key secrets to a formula for physical immortality. A power grab and clandestine war between secret brotherhoods and covert agencies results. Diana Hunt, the U.S. military's most accurate remote viewer - a psychic spy - devotes her talent to keeping Dr. Wilder alive. Yet the forces behind the lethal multi-tiered battle are far greater than mere mortals could suspect, and will culminate in a devastating conflict to decide the fate of humanity. A taut, suspenseful story that keeps the reader riveted to the pages until the very end.

Thomas W. Konkol
PO Box 151, Frederick, MD 21705-0151
1413737161 $24.95

Tuk-Tuk is a novel about one man's adventure springing from mundane necessities. Living in Bangkok, Spike must cope with the loss of his job and the need to take care of his mother. Just as despair begins to sink in, he discovers an old tuk-tuk, or three-wheeled miniature taxi, and gambles his savings on his last hope for self-sufficiently. Learning the trade of the taximan the hard way, forced to confront street thugs and worse, Spike survives hardship after hardship. Then as a terrible catastrophe devastates the city and his mother is hospitalized, Spike learns of bizarre events concerning a mysterious tuk-tuk speeding through downtown. No one can catch the mystery vehicle - can they? At times witty, romantic, gritty, and all too real as it centers about one man's struggle to earn an honest living, Tuk-Tuk is a vibrant novel from cover to cover and highly recommended.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

God Without Religion
Sankara Saranam
The Pranayama Institute
c/o Hurley Media LLC
1477 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501
0972445013 $25.00

Written especially for those growing disillusioned with organized religion, God Without Religion: Questioning Centuries Of Accepted Truths by Sankara Saranam (lecturer, poet, composer, former monk and the son of self-exiled Iraqi Jews) is a religious self-help guide to discovering God on one's own. Written as a bridge between traditional organized religion and mystical spirituality, God Without Religion welcomes the reader's willingness to question, and offers seventeen universal techniques for developing a personal relationship with God. An honestly written accounting stemming from the author's deep faith in a higher power, if not necessarily in any one instution that claims to serve a higher power.

The Roads To Truth
Sherry Evans
Northern Lights Publications
PO Box 682435, Park City, UT 84068
0976363003 $TBA

Author Sherry Evans applys her years of study in Astronomy, Physics, and Philosophy to The Roads To Truth: In Search of New Thought's Roots, a serious treatise concerning the nature of New Thought. Discussing concepts ranging from the self-fulfilling prophecy and psychosomatic illness to the concept of God being within each one of us and all of nature, to the bases for successful and happy living that underlie so many variants of "pop" psychology, The Roads To Truth examines the common thread between all these occurances - the acknowledgement of the paramount importance our thoughts play within our lives. Thought is of supreme importance, to the extent that it defines life and the self; thought is the foundation of churches, a power with the ability to heal physical and psychological ailments, and the driving force behind successful lives and careers. The Roads To Truth combines the science of mental healing and the wisdom of numerous philosophies to lay out the wisdom of New Thought. Among the varied paths to enlightenment are the path of rebellion, the path of the intellectuals, and the esoteric path, yet all lead to a merged understanding governed by rules such as "the law of cause and effect" (positive thoughts bring positive effects, negative thoughts bring negative effects) and "the law of attraction" (we attract what we expect into our lives, whether positive or negative) and much more. A welcome contribution to self-help shelves as surely as metaphysical and new age shelves, as the philosophy discussed allows one to better know oneself on the purest level - that of one's own thoughts.

The Essential Swami Ramdas: Commemorative Edition
Susunaga Weeraperuma, compiler
World Wisdom
1501 East Hillside Drive, Bloomington, IN 47401
0941532739 $17.95

Now in a commemorative edition including an 8-page section of rare sepia photographs, a new foreward by Professor Rebecca Manring, samples of Swami Ramdas' handwritings, an introduction to the life of Swami Ramdas by Susunaga Weeraperuma, and more, The Essential Swami Ramdas is an anthology of wisdom from revered Hindu saint Swami Ramdas (1884-1963). His message of deliverance through faithful rememberance of God permeates his writing, from his assessment that "work is worship when it is done selflessly" to "immortality is the birth-right of mankind". Each brief passage, skillfully selected and compiled into this digest by Susunaga Weeraperuma, contributes its own insight into a collective understanding of the power of the Divine and the inner wealth of pure love. A deeply spiritual treatise filled with spiritual life lessons that will prove valuable to readers of all faiths.

The Self-Help Shelf

Being And Life
Scott K. Smith
Ontology Press
PO Box 1837, Colfax, CA 95713
0971837953 $19.95 1-530-389-2451

Being And Life: On Becoming One's Being is a philosophical reflection upon ontology and its correlation to individual and collective human well-being. Contemplative author Scott K. Smith postulates that it is not the deepest human nature that causes society's problems, but rather our failure to be our being that is to blame. Chapters discuss theories of alienation, the essence of good and evil, the ego boundary and protecting one's "realself", and much more. Striving to delineate ontological theory in terms accessible to the lay reader, Being And Life is a welcome introduction to this school of self-help philosophy that centers upon the existence of the self.

The Spiritual Art Of Being Organized
Claire Josefine
Winters Daughter Press
c/o Cate Cumming Publicity
7601 East 93rd Street, Kansas City, MO 64138
0974737240 $16.95

In The Spiritual Art Of Being Organized, Claire Josefine reveals that having and living a successfully organized life necessitates a foundation of spiritual underpinnings. Josefine emphasizes the necessity for a conscious approach to organizing our daily lives with an emphasis on living simply. Of special note are the "12 Basic Principles of Organizing". Offering a text laced with humor, poetry, quotes, and non-judgemental advice to understanding our clutter, The Spiritual Art Of Being Organized is welcome and highly recommended reading for anyone who feels overwhelmed with life's chaos and persistent disorder despite all of their previous attempts at trying to set up organizing systems without first modifying their own beliefs and behaviors in order to use those applied systems to clean up and clean out the debrie of their lives. Easy, accessible, inspired and inspiring reading!

Searching For The Waters Of Antiquity
Shirley Ryan
Soul Moments Publishing
PO Box 4763, Petaluma, CA 94952
0975419609 $24.95

Shirley Ryan has been practicing contemplative meditation for more than 20 years, exploring the internal and external benefits of Yoga exercises, Tai Chi, subjective fantasy, breathwork, and cleansing processes on a daily basis. In Searching For The Waters Of Antiquity: A Follow-Along Meditation Process, Ryan draws upon her decades of experience and expertise to provide the non-specialist general reader with a do-it-yourself manual of meditation techniques and applied principles to engage in the mediative experience and process. Thoroughly "user friendly", Searching For The Waters Of Antiquity is ideal for the novice, invaluable for those seeking relieve from stress and physical ailments, and effective for acquiring the life-changing benefits and intense healing effects of daily meditation.

Grandma Goes to Law School
Jeremy Goldstein
DreamHouse Books, Inc.
1405 West 24th Street, Miami Beach, FL 33140
0975535307 $11.95

Grandma Goes to Law School: Why It's Never Too Late to Live Your Dreams is an energetic self-help book written especially for the aging and those looking for the motivation to get out and pursue their life's ambition during their later years. A dozen true stories of individuals in their golden years achieving their dreams, from an 83-year-old grandmother graduate of Syracuse Law School to a 70-year-old American Airlines pilot determined to celebrate his 70th birthday by swimming the English Channel, fill this inspirational collection. An go-getter, can-do, why-not, self-help, self-improvement book for seniors.

The Business Shelf

In The Black
Allen B. Bostrom
Universal Accounting
5250 South Commerce Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84107-7926
0976470209 $19.95 1-800-343-4827

Specifically developed and written for members of the small business community, In The Black: Nine Principles To Make Your Business Profitable presents the three major functions of a business (marketing, production, accounting) that must work together in order for any entrepreneurial enterprise to flourish. With the primary focus being the need for a good accounting system, In The Black offers easy-to-follow guidelines on applying accounting knowledge to keep any business solvent and enhance profitability. In The Black is enthusiastically recommended reading, especially for anyone venturing into a commercial endeavor in today's highly volatile, fiercely competitive, and constantly evolving marketplace.

Out Of The Red
Pam Newman
709 SW 29th Street, Blue Springs, MO 64015
0976440806 $12.95

A quick and easy 89-page read, Out Of The Red: Management Accounting Concepts To Keep Small Businesses Out Of The Red by Pam Newman (Certified Management Accountant and a Certified Financial Manger) is an ideal introduction for anyone wanting to begin their own business. Key concepts such as "Break-Even Point", "Cash Flow", "Profit Margin", and other aspects of accountancy are presented in a clear, informed and informative text that is accessible to the non-specialist general reader. Whether aspiring to begin a business, newly engaged in a commercial enterprise, or in need of a "refresher" of business management accounting principles and practices, Out Of The Red is strongly recommended reading that will prove of immense and immediate practical value.

Passion v. Arrogance: A Dana & Goliath Story of Wine, Women and Wrong!
Margaret E. J Broderick
Passion Power Press, Inc
Post Office 127, Indianapolis, IN 46204
0976259761 $29.95

In a groundbreaking partnership Angee Walberry and Margaret Broderick collaborated to launch a business venture called Gaia Wines, Inc. This was the first solely women owned American winery. Gaia Wines won them the "Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist" award. Gaia Wines also achieved six years of consistent double digit annual growth -- no small accomplishment in the volitale and highly competitive field of wines. In "Passion v. Arrogance: A Dana & Goliath Story of Wine, Women and Wrong!", Margaret Broderick vividly recounts the compelling story of this small Midwestern winery under female ownership, competing in what was traditional considered a "man's world". With their impressive start and remarkable international growth, the women were eventual to face the difficult business decision to close down their enterprise. "Passion v. Arrogance" details the results these women faced from the business world, as well as revealing the excitement, the commitment, the dedication, the hard work, and the dream that they (like all aspiring entrepreneurs) must possess when they start a commercial venture. "Passion v. Arrogance" also chronicles the inevitable changes in relationships, fluctuating economic times, and just how government involvement with a financial institution's operation in a private venture caused a cascading of ultimately disastrous actions leading to the demise of a once promising and successful entreprenurial venture. Of special note is Margaret Broderick's candid discussion of the mistakes, the struggles, and an ultimate belief in the leadership and management that allowed her and her partner to continue a final two year struggle against the rising odds against them. Highly recommended for Women's Studies and Business Studies supplemental reading lists, "Passion v. Arrogance" is informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, and from first page to last, a truly great read.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

For The Love Of Greys
Bobbi Brinker
Lucky press
126 South Maple Street, Lancaster, OH 43130
0976057611 $23.95 1-740-689-2950

For The Love Of Greys: The Complete Guide To A Healthy And Happy African Grey is the ideal instruction manual covering every aspect of the parrot known as an "African Grey". Author Bobbi Brinker is an expert in every aspect of their breeding and care. Profusely illustrated throughout, this pet owner's manual offers sound, sensible, accessible information in a series of informed and informative articles drawn from years of personal observation and experience hand raising grey babies. For The Love Of Greys clears up common misunderstandings about African Greys. Although dedicated specifically the African Greys, readers should note that there is considerable and invaluable information that would be applicable to all other species of parrots as well. No owner or breeder of an African Grey can afford to be without For The Love Of Greys in the personal pet care reference collection!

The Computer Shelf

Taming Your Computer
Barb Walker
Taming Your Computer Inc.
12768 East Harvard Circle, Aurora, CO 80014
0974350419 $21.00

An ideal and highly recommended introductory primer on using a computer, Taming Your Computer by Barb Walker is a quick-reference guide to operating a computer laid out in a large type question/answer formate specifically step-by-step accessible to the complete beginner with no prior computer experience. From basic questions like how to make the mouse pointer larger on a computer screen, to placing an icon on the computer's desktop, to uninstalling a software program, to defraging a hard drive, the methodical approach employed is perfect for non-specialist general readers of all ages. Enhanced with a glossary of computer terms, Taming Your Computer provides simple answers to simple questions and culminates in even the most novice the reader being able to use their computer quickly and with confidence.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Coconut Cures
Bruce Fife, N.D.
Picadilly Bookks, Ltd.
PO Box 25203, Colorado Springs, CO 80936
0941599604 $15.95 1-719-550-9887

It was Bruce Fife who popularized the health and medical uses of coconut oil. Now in Coconut Cures: How To Prevent And Treat Common Health Problems With Coconut, Fife goes beyond coconut oil to reveal and explore the health benefits of the entire coconut including the coconut's meat, milk, and water. Coconut Cures describes why coconut water can be used and useful as an IV solution for sick patients because it has a chemical composition similar to human plasma and therefore injected directly into the blood stream while be a rich source of vitamins and minerals. Coconut meat can help balance blood sugar and control diabetes, protect against cancer, ease painful colitis and the discomforts of irritable bowel syndrome, help with weight loss, expel intestinal parasites, improve digestive function, aid in the elimination of hemorrhoids and varicose veins. More than a simple theoretical discussion of coconut benefits, Coconut Cures provides the reader with step-by-step instructions on how to use coconut to treat an A to Z list of many common health problems. Coconut Cures is a welcome and enthusiastically recommended addition to alternative health and medicine reference collections and reading lists.

Surviving Prostate Cancer Without Surgery
Michael J. Dattoli, MD., Jennifer Cash, OCN, and Don Kaltenbach
Seneca House Press
2803 Fruitville Road, Suite 1, Sarasota, FL 34237
c/o WordWise (publicity)
65 Second Avenue, Suite 5C, New York, NY 10003
0964008882 $18.95 1-800-915-1001

Radiation oncologist Michael J. Dattoli, M.D., Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Jennifer Cash, and prostate cancer survivor and executive director of the Dattoli Cancer Center and Brachytherapy Institute Donald Kaltenbach present Surviving Prostate Cancer Without Surgery, a potentially lifesaving book brimming with information on the treatment options for those diagnosed with prostate cancer. In addition to possible choices of radiation, radical surgery, or some form of hormonal therapy, Surviving Prostate Cancer Without Surgery offers the latest medical data on state-of-the-art radiation therapy such as seed implants and IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy). From its title, Surviving Prostate Cancer Without Surgery may appear to strongly advocate non-surgical approaches, but in fact the title is simply a reaction against the long-standing favoritism of surgery to the extent of perpetuating myths concerning how effective it truly is. Surviving Prostate Cancer Without Surgery gives an evenhanded assessment of various options, including statistical data with an eye toward possible contradictions or innacuracies hidden within the numbers. The goal is to provide the reader with as much information as possible, in clear, easy-to-understand terms, concerning prostate cancer, how it can be treated, why some men are more or less likely candidates for surgery than others, the risks involved in different types of treatment including risks of temporary or permanent incontience or impotence and how to get help - not only medical help, but also emotional and financial help. A "must-read" for anyone researching or personally grappling with difficult questions and problems concerning prostate cancer, the better to confront one's doctor and discuss options with as much knowledge about the situation as possible. Highly recommended.

New Menopausal Years The Wise Woman Way
Susun S. Weed
Ash Tree Publishing
PO Box 64, Woodstock, NY 12498
1888123036 $12.95

An award finalist for ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year, New Menopausal Years The Wise Woman Way: Alternative Approaches for Women 30-90 is an introduction to dealing with myriad problems resulting from menopause, preferrable without relying on medicines but rather natural nutritional remedies and supplements. Newly revised and expanded with 100 additional pages on thyroid health, problems with hair, fertility after forty, memory problems, fibromyalgia and more, New Menopausal Years is an excellent preparation and problem-solving guide that taps directly into the experience of women, for women. New Menopausal Years does not replace the diagnosis, prescriptions, or treatment of a professional doctor for serious health problems, but rather shines as a resource for preventative nutritional and herbal advice, and tips for alleviating common discomforts.

America's Cosmetic Doctors & Dentists: Second Edition
Wendy Lewis and John J. Connolly, Ed.D.
Castle Connolly Medical Ltd.
42 West 24th Street, New York, NY 10010
1883769884 $29.95

Now in an updated second edition, America's Cosmetic Doctors & Dentists is a straightforward reference and resource intended especially for any individual considering cosmetic surgery. America's Cosmetic Doctors & Dentists is packed with step-by-step guidance for choosing a doctor, descriptions of all major cosmetic procedures ranging from botox to breast enhancement to liposuction and dental implants, facts about costs, results, side-effects, and necessary preparation, and much more. A selection of before and after color photographs demonstrating successful results from various cosmetic treatments is especially enlightening. Yet the heart of America's Cosmetic Doctors & Dentists is a database of over 6,000 qualified physicians and dentists currently engaged in cosmetic practice. The book itself only lists their names; to gain access to Castle Connolly proprietary database of biographies of the doctors and dentists, one must use the accompanying CD-ROM and have internet access. Purchasing America's Cosmetic Doctors & Dentists grants owner the license to use the CD-ROM and access the database for up to one year. An extremely useful resource to consult for information before putting one's body or one's wallet on the surgical table.

The Parenting Shelf

Mothers Know Best
Connie Correia Fisher and Joanne Correia
Small Potatoes Press
401 Collings Avenue, Collingswood, NJ 08108
096612006X $14.95

Mothers Know Best is an anthology of 1,001 tips, trips, techniques, and advice tidbits concerning pregnancy, childbirth and the first year of raising a baby, all from mothers, to mothers around the world. Written in the spirit of sisterhood, Mothers Know Best offers wisdom on everything from raging emotions during pregnancy (depression is a serious concern and should not be taken lightly; meanwhile, volatile expectant mothers can help themselves feel better protect family and friends from devastating outbursts by recording rants and tirades in a journal) to the value of prenatal classes (all the reading in the world does not prepare the first-time mother or her loved one for actual childbirth) to dining out with a baby (feed the child beforehand so he/she does not become unduly hungry smelling the restaurant food) and much, much more. An extremely valuable supplementary resource for new and experienced parents alike.

The Children's Shelf

Let's Get Ready For Kindergarten!
Stacey Kannenberg & Linda Desimowich
Cedar Valley Publishing
N6854 Cedar Valley Road, Fredonia, WI 53021
No ISBN $15.00

The collaborative effort of Stacey Kannenberg & Linda Desimowich, Let's Get Ready For Kindergarten! is a 32-page, "dry erase", brightly colorful workbook founded on a core Kindergarten curriculum for children ages 2 to 6 and designed to assist children and their parents to take charge of the education process. The focus is on teaching basic skills through fun and interactive learning activities specially designed to engagingly entertain and interest preschool children. From learning the alphabet, to pronouncing letter combinations, to colors and shapes, to learning numbers, basic money concepts, opposites, seasons, positional words, body parts, senses, and so much more, Let's Get Ready For Kindergarten! is ideal for preschool center, kindergarten, and homeschooling curriculum supplementation.

The Light in Bradford Manor
Johnnie Tuitel and Sharon Lamson
Cedar Tree Publishing
1916 Breton Road, SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
096580755X $5.99 1-888-302-7463

Book 6 in The Gun Lake Adventure Series, The Light in Bradford Manor is a spooky mystery following young Johnnie and his newfound friends during a two-week stay at Camp Riley in Indiana. Together they pool their talent to solve a mystery about the legendary ghost of Bradford Manor. Intended for young readers 8-12, The Light in Bradford Manor is an exciting, fast-paced story; familiarity with previous novels in the series is unnecessary to follow this captivating tale.

The Adventures of Mouse Deer
Aaron Shepard, author; Kim Gamble, illustrator
Skyhook Press
1102 Olympia Ave NE, #18, Olympia, WA 98506
0938497324 $6.00 1-360-352-0092

The Adventures of Mouse Deer: Tales of Indonesia and Malaysia is a retelling of some of South Asia's most popular folklore, about Mouse Deer, a creature who is small but brave and cunning - in many ways similar to the trickster fox of other mythologies, or Brer Rabbit of more contemporary children's literature. Simply narrated so that young people who are just graduating from picturebooks can easily follow the text, The Adventures of Mouse Deer is witty and steeped with the power of myth, as well as high-spirited determination. Black-and-white illustrations intersperse the text in this delightful introduction to an enduring legend.

The Wild Women of Lake Anna
Linda Salisbury
Tabby House
PO Box 544, Mineral, VA 23117
1881539377 $7.95

A young adult novel intended for ages 8-12 by award winning author Linda Salisbury, The Wild Women of Lake Anna is the story of an eleven-year-old girl, Bailey Fish, sent from Florida to live with her grandmother Sugar in Virginia. While she adjusts to her new life and deals with a bully on the school bus, her grandmother investigates the source of pollution in Contrary Creek, which used to be mined for gold. The bully's father is out to get Sugar, but she is not intimidated because she is proud of her lineage of strong women, and tells Bailey stories about them, including one who was a spy during World War I. Inspired by Sugar's stories, Bailey makes a discovery in Sugar's attic and decides to become a "wild woman" herself, and search for the former gold mine for her school project. An unexpected discovery awaits her in this upbeat, cheerful tale of individual empowerment.

Little Bitty Baby Learns Hebrew
Johannah Bluedorn
Trivium Pursuit
PMB 168, 429 Lake Park Blvd., Muscatine, Iowa 52761
1933228008 $11.00

Little Bitty Baby Learns Hebrew is a Hebrew alphabet board book for very young children. The stiff pages are laminated to protect them against spills and the like; each page portrays a Hebrew letter with instructions in how to pronounce it and how to write it, as well as a smattering of watercolor illustrations. The final two-page spread shows all the letters together. An excellent educational and language tool.

Help! I'm in Middle School... How Will I Survive?
Merry L. Gumm
NSR Publications
1482 51st Road, Douglass, KS 67039
0976172453 $9.95

Help! I'm in Middle School... How Will I Survive? is a practical-minded self-help book for young people. Written by an English middle school teacher of 15 years of experience, Help! I'm in Middle School offers straightforward advice for improving grades, making friends, getting things done, how to get along with teachers, how to stay out of trouble, what to do in response to bullying (the stone face is important, but the bottom line is that one will most likely have to tell an adult about it to make it stop), the difference between tattling and reporting (tattling is telling on someone just to get them into trouble, but reporting serious bullying or attempts to hurt people is necessary for self-protection and protecting others), and much more. Presented in a simple format that outlines what works and what doesn't work in response to a wide variety of common problems, Help! I'm in Middle School carries the highest recommendation for middle school-age children and middle school library collections.

School Days Daze
Richard K. Riker
Safe Harbor Publications
PO Box 396, Titusville, FL 32781
097604160X $15.95

School Days Daze is a novel for young adults, narrated from the perspective of a twenty-two year old young man as he remembers his days at Rootstown. Packed with joy, challenges, and wacky adventures such as the great French Fry Feud, School Days Daze is a delightful read for middle-grade kids, and also lends itself well to being read aloud for story time. Catchy poems intersperse the upbeat vignette stories in this warmly recommended novel. "Dodge Ball War": Curls in her hair / A pretty dress / Bows, blue and red / Grab the ball / Fling it through the air / And knock her on the head // It's picture day / Shirts and shoes and ties / Running in circles / Getting all sweaty / Avoiding where the ball flies // We should stay neat / All prim and proper / But that would be a bore. / Hey this is recess / It's important business / And it's all part of dodge ball war!

Little Light Shine Bright
Monroe S. Tarver
Little Life Values Paperbacks
c/o IWMT Publishing
1321 Morningside Drive, Charlotte, NC 28205
0974356840 $6.99

Written and illustrated by Monroe S. Tarver for young readers ages 4 to 9, Little Light Shine Bright is the story of a young firefly named Jamille who struggles with the problem of having just a little light and very little patience. Jamille tries to make her light flash brighter but can't quite do it. Her parents tell her to be patient but Jamille doesn't listen and ends up being caught in a jar while trying to prove she can do anything her older brother can do. When her light does end up shining bright to save herself and her brother, Jamille learns a valuable lesson. Young readers will learn the value of patience, of not talking to strangers, and of listening to their parents. With its boldly colored illustrations, Little Light Shine Bright is a simply wonderful, "family values" picturebook for young children.

So What, Saw-Whet?
Rochelle Frank & Linda Gast
Hummingbird Mountain Press
PO Box 971, Mariposa, CA 95338
0974679208 $9.95

Written with originality by Rochell Frank and superbly illustrated with photography by Linda Gast, So What, Saw-Whet? offers young readers a conversation with a bold hearted Saw Whet Owl who tells them "things they should know" about owls in their native habitat. The repetitive, rhyming dialogue is ideal for read-aloud parent/child bonding and a way to enhance a child's appreciation for nature and develop an interest in birds. So What, Saw-Whet? is a unique and thoroughly "kid friendly" picturebook for family, school, and community library "Pets & Wildlife" collections and reading lists.

Another Tree In The Yard
Lucia Sera & John Iorio
Vocalis Ltd.
100 Avalon Circle, Waterbury, CT 06710
1932653368 $16.95

Enhanced with 34 memorable watercolor illustrations by John Iorio, Another Tree In The Yard by Lucia Sera is about the Soto family's decision to add a fig tree to their yard to accompany the beautiful Magnolia tree that is already there. But there arises sibling jealous between the two trees. Eventually they both come to be the best of friends, overcoming the differences and growing to truly appreciate each other. Another Tree In The Yard is a perfect allegory for overcoming sibling rivalry when a new baby comes into the family household and is especially recommended as a picturebook for young children having to deal with changes in their family's makeup.

All The Pretty Flowers
Christopher Rogers
CSR Productions
9105-A Sanger Drive, Austin, TX 78748
1413454267 $16.99

Also available in a hardcover format (1413454275, $22.99), All The Pretty Flowers by author and artist Christopher Rogers blends simple words with a framework of impressionistic illustrations that together blend and showcase sentiments dispelling the harshness of modern times through the eyes of a child. Enthusiastically recommended for parents in search of a good bedtime book to read to or with their children, All The Pretty Flowers is no political polemic, but a reassurance for young readers (and adults too!) that not everything in the world results in hatred, violence, or harm. The world has a great deal to be cherished and appreciated with a peaceful heart and a grateful soul.

Henry's Awful Mistake
Robert Quackenbush
Robert Quackenbush Studies
460 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10021
097127570X $12.95

Henry's Awful Mistake by author and illustrator Robert Quckenbush has been brought out for a special 25th Anniversary edition as a large format hardcover picturebook. Written for children ages 4 to 7, and splendidly illustrated in full color on a high-gloss art paper, Henry's Awful Mistake (first published in 1980) is once again available to help boys and girls learn to enjoy the art and skills of reading. With its delightful tale of Henry the Duck and his efforts to upon finding and dealing with an ant in his house, school and community libraries would be well advised to take this opportunity to once again have Henry's Awful Mistake on their shelves and available to a new generation of beginning readers.

Ray Friesen
Don't Eat Any Bugs Productions
PO Box 291, Tehachapi, CA 93581
0972817735 $2.95

Ray Friesen began publishing a series of humor comics at the age of 13. Now he's 17 and through his own comic book company, Don't Eat Any Bugs Productions, has issued the second volume of Lookit!, populated with characters like Mellville the Penguin, Raymond Q. Wonderful, and Raymond's girl cousin, Fidget. Clearly documenting Ray Friesen as a comic book writer/artist of considerable talent and originality, Lookit! is great and recommended fun from the first page to the last.

The Ant That Can't
Regal Watson
Rapha Publishing
4312 Beechwood Avenue, Carnegie, PA 15106
0976368609 $10.95

In Regal Watson's charming little story The Ant That Can't, Tincy is a little ant (a character created by Stephanie Watson) who simply refuses to listen to others who tell Tincy that he cannot do or what he cannot be. Nicely illustrated in black and white by Mary Jane Hartman Holzer, The Ant That Can't is a brief, 24-page story, augmented by several additional pages of "Journal" exercises that range from drawing a picture of Tincy, to writing down the young reader's personal story.

From Dad, With Love
David R. Woodruff
Hats Off Books
610 East Delano Street, Suite 104, Tucson, AZ 85705
1587364468 $11.95

In From Dad, With Love: Everyday Wisdom For Young Adults, David R. Woodruff (small-business owner, copywriter, and columnist for a local San Diego family magazine) draws upon his "A Dad's Life" column to write about his experiences as a first-time father, describing the joys, personal challenges, and insights inspired by his daughter that began with writing a letter to his then unborn child. Written for young adults as a kind of philosophical treatise with self-help, self-improvement threads weaving through observation and advice, From Dad, With Love is recommended reading for all ages offering words of insight, comfort, and aspirations that are as timeless as they are sincere.

A Gift For Sadia
Marie Fritz Perry
Buttonweed Press
7625 - 110th Street East, Northfield, MN 55057
0975567519 $15.95

Written and illustrated by Marie Fritz Perry, A Gift For Sadia is the story of Sadia, a young Somalia girl who left her African homeland and came to live in Rochester, Minnesota. Sadia wonders if she can ever learn to speak English. Perhaps the friendship of a wounded Canada goose can help. This beautiful drawn and deftly told picture book story is especially recommended for young readers ages 5 to 9 and would make a welcome and popular addition to school and community library collections.

The Adventures of Rachel and the Goblin
Norman R. Rudnick
1663 Liberty Drive Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403
1418439835 $14.95 1-800-839-8640

The Adventures of Rachel and the Goblin is a fantasy novel for young adults. Seven-year-old Rachel Llewald and her goblin friend are summoned to Fairy Land to answer for abusing a magical invisibility spell; during their journey, a wicked sorcerer and his dragon take them captive. After their escape, they learn that the sorcerer is at war with Fairyland and Rachel is his chief target. Together they must oppose his magical machinations and come to Fairyland's defense, in this delightful chapter book of high adventure and daunting challenge.

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

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