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Iditarod: The Great Race to Nome
Bill Sherwont, author
Jeff Schultz, photographer
1904 Third Ave, Suite 710, Seattle, WA 98101
9781632172235, $22.95, PB, 160pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Iditarod: The Great Race to Nome" is the definitive story of the Iditarod, the Alaskan dogsled race that has been run for over a century -- told in a series of brisk inviting stories by Bill Sherwont and fully illustrated with color photographs by Jeff Schultz that includes updated information through the 2018 race.
The famed 1000-mile dogsled race from Anchorage in Southeast Alaska to Nome on the Bering Sea is a test of endurance, both human and canine. The great history of the race has unfolded in the accounts of mushers and dog teams, fierce weather, accidents and good luck -- with personalities like Joe Redington Sr., Rick Swenson, and Libby Riddles being joined by Lance Mackey, DeeDee Jonrowe, and Mitch & Dallas Seavey in recent years.
Critique: An absolute 'must' for the legions of Iditarod dogsled racing fans, Iditarod: The Great Race to Nome" is an extraordinary and informative read that is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and academic library collections.
Taming the Anxious Mind
Heidi Schreiber-Pan, Ph.D.
9781732998803 $14.99 pbk / $7.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: Taming the Anxious Mind deconstructs the complex treatment of anxiety and stress disorders into a user-friendly and action-oriented guidebook. It emphasizes that anxiety represents an opportunity to re-train the mind away from destructive thinking towards a healthy mindset.
Taming the Anxious Mind provides: Expert guidance on how to live a fuller life, manage anxiety and stress effectively and experience vitality and peace; An understanding of how the mind works and practical ways to better manage it; Success stories from real people who have integrated these approaches successfully in their own lives; Practices of mindfulness and meditation to lower nervous system arousal; Rituals of letting go to experience a sense of liberation; Guidance on limiting unhelpful thinking styles to free up space for positivity and confidence; Habits of gratefulness to counteract a negative mindset; A life-compass to progress towards a value-informed lifestyle.
Critique: Taming the Anxious Mind: A Guide book to Relieve Stress and Anxiety lives up to its title as a thoroughly accessible resource that people with mental anxiety can use to improve the quality of their lives. Psychotherapist and clinical director Heidi Schreiber-Pan, Ph.D. offers practices of mindfulness and meditation, rituals that can be used to let go, habits to counter a negative mindset, and much more. Taming the Anxious Mind cannot substitute for the in-person care of a psychologist; instead, Taming the Anxious Mind serves an excellent supplementary resource for anyone struggling with stress and anxiety in day-to-day life. Highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Taming the Anxious Mind is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).
The Social Issues Shelf
Racist Hate: The Human Condition and the Consequences
T. R. Affatato
c/o Author House
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781532063565, $13.99, PB, 184pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: T. R. Affatato grew up in New York City in the 1960s and 1970s surrounded by assassinations, the civil rights movement, Vietnam War demonstrations, race riots, and the constant threat of nuclear annihilation during the Cold War era. But he's more troubled about what's happening in the United States of America today than ever before.
Hate and racism is just as strong-if not stronger-today than it ever was before, and in "Racist Hate: The Human Condition and the Consequences" Affatato deftly examines how it's ripping apart our nation in this thoughtful analysis. He highlights how a civil war that began between blacks and law enforcement is now threatening to spread to society at large, how President Obama further fanned the flames of hate, and how we learn to hate.
"Racist Hate" also explores how President Donald J. Trump has set off the worst firestorm of vitriolic hate that our nation has ever seen since the American Civil War, not just splitting the country into political factions but into outright enemies.
Those who are interested can join the author at racisthatesconsequences.com as he sparks a serious and realistic conversation about the issues we must solve if we're to move forward as a nation.
Critique: Very highly recommended reading for political activists and the general reading public, as well as a critically important and unreservedly recommended acquisition for both community and academic library Contemporary Social Issues collections, "Racist Hate: The Human Condition and the Consequences" is an incredible timely, articulate, and thought-provoking contribution to our current on-going national dialogue concerning the dramatic rise of white supremacist terrorist acts, an increasing anti-semitism, and a seemingly collaborative Trump administration efforts to divide the country on racial and anti-immigrant issues.
The Health/Medicine Shelf
American Diet Revolution!
Dr. Josef Arnould
Morgan James Publishing
9781642791082, $16.95, PB, 218pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Obesity, diabetes, dementia, and related epidemics plaguing Americans today are primarily the result of deceptive dietary advice that began in the 1950s. By following that advice faithfully throughout the last half of the 20th Century, a majority of Americans became helpless victims of these diseases.
Now, in "American Diet Revolution!: The Strength for Life Guide to the Foods We Must and Must Not Eat To Be Leaner and Stronger in the 21st Century", Dr. Josef Arnould reveals how Americans can throw off the chains of deceiving dietary advice, overcome these epidemics, and regain the personal freedom of good health. He conveys why Americans must eliminate the fattening, inflaming, toxic, industrial foodstuffs that have dominated their diets for decades and how they can easily do so.
Additionally, "American Diet Revolution!" shares simple and economical strategies to purchase and prepare nutritious foods to replace the toxic ones of the past. Then, in an empowering finale, Dr. Arnould takes the genre of dietary advice to a new place and demonstrates that, by rejecting the deceitful dietary advice of yesteryear, Americans are inciting a second American Revolution.
In the process of creating new diets and new food economics based upon honest nutritional research, Americans are revolting peacefully, but powerfully, against all individuals and organizations that previously maximized their power and profits by colonizing Americans with toxic information, toxic foods, and toxic drugs.
Critique: Impressively well written, organized and presented, "American Diet Revolution!: The Strength for Life Guide to the Foods We Must and Must Not Eat To Be Leaner and Stronger in the 21st Century" is an extraordinarily 'user friendly' and exceptionally informative instruction manual and guide that is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Health & Medicine collections in general, and Contemporary Dieting & Nutrition supplemental studies lists in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that the "American Diet Revolution!" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf
Shooting the Breeze With Baby Boomer Stars!
9781480867857, $39.95, HC, 338pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Popular TV and film of the American 50's and 60's evolved over time, but themes of family and fun never wavered. Many Baby Boomers look back and miss those old days, but surprising, hilarious, and even shocking stories hid in Dark Shadows despite so many Happy Days. Now, secrets are revealed as celebrities share their memories and mishaps.
"Shooting the Breeze With Baby Boomer Stars!: Surprising Celebrity Conversations for the Retro Generation" is a collection of first person stories and histories shared with Baby Boomer radio host, Torchy Smith. Torchy's celebrity connection began before his own kids entered the entertainment business. He always had an interest in seeking a way to combine his nostalgia obsession with communications, which resulted in his own radio show where he interviewed actors from the past.
"Shooting the Breeze With Baby Boomer Stars!" reveals trade secrets never before exposed to the general public as stars chat about being on set for Animal House, Star Trek, Leave it to Beaver, and more. Readers will go back in time with Baby Boomer icons as they relive behind-the-scenes snafus and fights all while honoring the glory days of television. Where are they now, and what are they doing? "Shooting the Breeze With Baby Boomer Stars!" has the answers!
Critique: A unique and entertainingly riveting read from cover to cover, "Shooting the Breeze With Baby Boomer Stars!: Surprising Celebrity Conversations for the Retro Generation" is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Shooting the Breeze With Baby Boomer Stars!" is also available in a paperback edition (9781480867840, $20.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.61).
The Biography Shelf
I Got Shoes: A Memoir
James L. Lipscomb
Fourth House on the Hill, LLC
9781732001916, $33.70, HC, 194pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In his relating his life story, "I Got Shoes: A Memoir", James L. Lipscomb pays homage to the Negro community, now extinct, that once existed in Coeymans, New York in the first half of the twentieth century. The residents were largely migrants from Virginia and Carolinas in search of a better life.
Lipscomb introduces his readers to the people of the Negro community with engaging profiles that brings the community to life again as he traces his childhood history. He began working outside the home at age nine, became an accomplished house painter at twelve, and eventually moved beyond Coeymans to pursue an education at Howard University and later at Columbia University School of Law.
While disclosing experiences that included adjusting to cultural change and academic challenges while attending law school and serving as a poll watcher in Mississippi where he was afraid to use the bathroom at night, Lipscomb also details the struggles of the times as America endured major societal changes.
Critique: Exceptionally well written and an inherently engaging read from first page to last, "I Got Shoes: A Memoir" is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "I Got Shoes: A Memoir" is also available in a paperback edition (9781732001909, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.29).
Afghanistan: A Memoir From Brooklyn to Kabul
9780996431088, $19.95, PB, 317pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: After having visions of a strange land since childhood, Cat Parenti left New York and headed for the rugged landscape of Afghanistan, which felt like time traveling to the 12th century. There she fell in love with the people, the culture, and a tall, dark stranger.
"Afghanistan: A Memoir From Brooklyn to Kabul" is the first of a two volume memoir in which Cat takes her readers on an unforgettable armchair journey offering a full immersion into the sights, sounds, smells, food, rituals and beliefs of the people she came to know and love in this far off land.
Her adventures are told with such exquisite detail, her readers will feel as if they are experiencing them first-hand.
"Afghanistan: A Memoir From Brooklyn to Kabul" offers a rare opportunity to understand Afghan life, culture, and beliefs before the Taliban, and what it was like to be a gutsy, independent women living in a male-dominated world and thriving.
From ordinary experiences like starting a business and getting a home to the extraordinary moments of falling in love with a nobleman and nearly losing her life on three separate occasions (as will be featured in book 2 of her memoirs), readers may have to keep reminding themselves that what you are reading isn't a work of fiction but a true and accurate account of what happened to her.
Editorial Note: Cat Parenti grew up in Brooklyn and lived in Afghanistan on and off for twenty years. She survived the political twists and turns of Afghan history from King Zahir Shah through the rise of the Taliban and started a successful business selling antique clothing and jewelry to U.S. museums and museum shops. She has given presentations on Afghanistan, including at the U.N., and taught Afghan cooking. She currently lives with her daughter in Arizona. She has her own personal web site at www.catparenti.com.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, "Afghanistan: A Memoir From Brooklyn to Kabul" is an inherently fascinating account. An impressive, candidly presented, and thoroughly impressive personal story that is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Afghanistan: A Memoir From Brooklyn to Kabul" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).
Come On, America
Morgan James Publishing
9781683507192, $27.95, Library Binding, 202pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Come On, America: The Inspirational Journey of Ambassador Dave Phillips" deftly traces the incredible life of former United States Ambassador to Estonia, S. Davis (Dave) Phillips, who early in life faced challenges including a leg amputation, bullies, rheumatic fever, and being held back a year in school.
Dave leads his life with hope and optimism through both his personal and business life, facing new challenges and grasping each opportunity with that unwavering view. This attitude led him to many places throughout the world and allowed him to meet national and international leaders.
He is the recipient of many awards, but his most treasured is the Choate Seal, which was first given to John F. Kennedy.
"Come On, America" also includes elements of historical relevance focusing on areas such as: the city of High Point, North Carolina; state politics as Secretary of Commerce under Governor Jim Hunt; United States ambassador involving world leaders; and a personal experience of the first international cyber-war including Estonia and Russia.
A major influence in the shaping of the International Furniture Market that brings 80,000 visitors to High Point twice a year, Dave's business acumen resulted in three of his companies being sold on the NYSE. Each new venture widened his scope of business and led him to make a beneficial difference in the city, state, national, and international sphere.
Editorial Note: Mary Bogest grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and graduated from the University of Iowa. Mary and her late husband Stanley started out working in the motion picture industry in New York. Mary now has a popular newspaper column, "About Town," that is featured every Sunday in The High Point Enterprise. She has received innumerable awards, honors, and honorary civic memberships for her writing highlighting community needs, events, and eminent and extraordinary individuals.
Critique: An engaging and entertaining biography of a remarkable man who achieved both personal and public service successes, "Come On, America: The Inspirational Journey of Ambassador Dave Phillips" is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Come On, America" is also available in a paperback edition (9781683507178, $17.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
Through My Eyes
Carolyne Taylor Wynne
9780975581087, $29.95, HC, 182pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Through My Eyes: A Lifetime of Memories -- Southern Style", from a proud-to-be-Southern storyteller, Carolyne Taylor Wynne, this is a collection of true tales of her life that will charm readers with their innocence and entertain them with their humor.
Carolyne's "laugh at myself" punch lines are page-by-page reminders that the best humor often comes from being oh-so-much less than perfect. Historical, educational, and wholesome, "Through My Eyes" a treasured memoir of personal stories that families, adults, and children of all ages can read and enjoy together.
Editorial Note: Carolyne Taylor Wynne, a vibrant woman of many talents, was a corporate accountant for more than 30 years. After retiring, she continued being a dedicated community volunteer, an avid bridge player, an active gardener, an experienced world traveler, and an entertaining storyteller, just as she had before retiring. She also took classes in painting, drawing, cryptograms, cooking, ceramics, and creative writing. Her creative writing classes inspired her to write her charming memoirs, "Through My Eyes." Those who are interest can learn more at her web site at www.CarolyneTaylorWynne.com.
Critique: As wonderfully entertaining as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Through My Eyes" is a skillfully written and impressively candid volume of inherently interesting anecdotes that is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Contemporary American Biography collections.
I Slept in Hitler's Bed
9781950186006, $14.95, PB, 119pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Jay Balter did not have an easy life growing up in mid-20th century Brooklyn. His father, known to his mother only as "that son of a bitch" was many things -- a music publisher who gambled away the entire family fortune he made on Broadway, a philander, a gangster, and a deadbeat dad. But mostly, he was absent.
Jay comes of age in the Orthodox Jewish community of Crown Heights with his mentally ill twin sister, his angry older brother, and his beloved mother, an early feminist who will do anything to support her family.
In 1958, at 18 years old, he enters the US Army. During his basic training in Georgia, Jay's anger over both American racism and the European Holocaust comes to the surface, and he vows, "I was prepared to teach those rebels a lesson. I was not prepared to roll over and play dead like the Jews of Europe." But after his medical training, he suddenly receives his deployment orders: to Nuremburg, Germany of all places.
Not only that, but Jay finds himself living in the SS Kaserne, the former military barracks of Hitler's elite Storm Troopers, sleeping in the very bed where Hitler was rumored to have slept. While there, he begins having dreams of revenging the Jews and assassinating all Nazis not convicted in the Nuremberg War Trials, and experiences an intense split between the healer and the hater within.
Will Jay start WW 3, or will he keep the peace in Germany? With equal parts humor and horror, this riveting memoir by a master storyteller explores the question, how can a young man alchemically transform war into peace, hatred into healing, and anger into acceptance, even love?
Critique: An autobiography that reads with the narrative skill of a finely crafted novel, "I Slept In Hitler's Bed" is an inherently riveting read from beginning to end and very highly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "I Slept In Hitler's Bed" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Our Muslim Neighbors
Read the Spirit Books
9781641800402, $28.99, HC, 280pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The American Dream is alive and well as evidenced in "Our Muslim Neighbors: Achieving the American Dream, An Immigrant's Memoir", a memoir of Victor Begg, a Muslim immigrant from India who arrived planning to start a business, working so hard toward his personal goals that he even pumped gas and sold vacuum cleaners door to door.
Victor Begg successfully built a thriving, regional chain of furniture stores. Along the way, he discovered that America's greatest promise lies in building healthy communities with our neighbors.
As Victor reached out to others, he used his entrepreneurial skills to co-found a new kind of ethnically diverse mosque as well as influential nonprofits designed to help others. Agreeing to serve as a regional spokesperson for Muslims, he got more than he bargained for -- responding to tragedies that included 9/11 and a massacre in a Florida nightclub.
In this era when media outlets echo with extremist claims demonizing immigrants and Muslims, in particular, readers will discover how much American families share in our diversity of faiths and ethnicities.
Ultimately, Victor invites readers to pray with him: "God bless America." As you follow him along this remarkable journey, as you catch his vision of a vibrant America.
Critique: An exceptionally well written and absorbingly personal story of an immigrant life in America today, "Our Muslim Neighbors: Achieving the American Dream, An Immigrant's Memoir" is an extraordinary, timely, and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Our Muslim Neighbors" is also available in a paperback edition ($19.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
Growing Up Yanomamo Today
Grace Acres Press
9781602650626, $21.95, PB, 354pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Following in his parents' footsteps, "Growing Up Yanomamo Today: By Faith, Not by Sight" is the continuing story of Mike Dawson who continues his missionary work with the Yanomamo people in the jungles of Venezuela despite the hardships presented under a socialistic dictator.
Dawson's love for the Yanomamo people is clearly seen through the many stories in this sequel to Growing Up Yanomamo. Whether hunting and fishing together or sending out evangelistic teams of indigenous believers to remote parts of the rainforest, Dawson descriptions will provide a front-row seat to this work without the mosquitos or fear of malaria. The medical aspect of the work has been crippled by the lack of air support which was taken away by the government. Indeed, Dawson's first wife and daughter died from malaria as has too many of the Yanomamo people when being able to get to medical support might have saved them.
Ex-witchdoctors and other tribal members also share stories in their own words. Readers will be surprised to find a dark connection between shamen's demons and Pokemon, and should take heed. Haunted houses, also addressed by an ex-witchdoctor, will be a cause for concern after reading his insight. Readers will gain knowledge of what it must be liked to be indwelt with demons controlling one's life. But the good news is that there have been more conversions to the gospel of Jesus Christ in the last ten years than in the previous fifty years. This is a message of hope, with a future. The demons offer me neither hope nor a future. - witchdoctor
Insects and wild animals are part of the daily life of a missionary in the jungle, as is travelling by river in all sorts of weather. Dawson shares how God provides safety, food, and even fuel which is scarce in this oil rich county. God has a plan for this country, this ministry, and our precious Yanomamo and the many other tribes in Amazonas State that have been abandoned, says Dawson.
Critique: An inherently fascinating and ultimately inspiring autobiography, "Growing Up Yanomamo Today: By Faith, Not by Sight" is the personal story of an extraordinary man with an extraordinary mission. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Growing Up Yanomamo Today: By Faith, Not by Sight" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
The Judicial Studies Shelf
9781980962656, $12.00, PB, 301pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Blue Mafia: Police Brutality and Consent Decrees in Ohio" is the true story of Attorney Richard Olivito, the son of a judge who was born and raised in a town with a pattern where police beat residents for the least infraction, accepted payoffs from bookies, planted drugs on dealers, exploited sex workers and retaliated against anyone who complained.
After Olivito successfully defends a black man accused of drug-trafficking, death threats and assassination attempts drive him on secret trips to speak with D.C. attorneys at the Justice Department who come to investigate.
The local and state authorities would do anything to put his career on ice and end the embarrassment of federal civil rights enforcement in their backyard. In the height of his career, the Ohio Supreme Court comes after him, attacking his sanity, his ethics, and his law license.
In a state where the cause of civil rights carries a death sentence, the epic saga of the only attorney in America to bring down two police departments, paving the way for the removal of the chiefs and the imposition of a federal consent decree. Olivito's victories would cost him everything. Blue Mafia shows that small towns have even more severe police misconduct than many major metro areas by recounting the causes and consequences of two federal investigations of local police misconduct.
Steubenville was the second city in the U.S. to sign a consent decree with the Justice Department, but nobody really knows why. Little do local residents know, the county narcotics squad was committing crimes similar to the LAPD's Rampart Scandal and the county prosecutor was setting up, robbing, and framing innocent locals and drug dealers alike.
Warren had the fourth oldest Justice Department investigation in the country until the Trump administration lifted the consent decree in April 2017. However, similar to Baltimore, the Warren police had a pattern or practice of illegal strip searches and cavity searches, excessive force, and a failure to investigate and discipline misconduct by officers.
Blue Mafia recounts the struggle of two small communities with troubled police departments, focusing on the consequences of systemic police misconduct for women and people of color. Blue Mafia gives the most detailed account to date of police reform by consent decree, which can serve as a blueprint for citizens interested in investigating police misconduct and promoting police reform.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, impressively organized, effectively presented, "Blue Mafia: Police Brutality and Consent Decrees in Ohio" is basically a local non-fiction story with national implications that reads with all the drama of a suspense thriller novel. Author Tim Tolka has done the entire country a valued service in bringing to print the struggle and achievement of Attorney Richard Olivito. While "Blue Mafia" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library Contemporary Judicial collections and supplemental studies lists, it should be noted for students, academia, social justice activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Blue Mafia" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.00).
The Business Shelf
Starting a Business QuickStart Guide
Ken Colwell, PhD., MBA
ClydeBank Media LLC
9781945051630, $34.95, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In his comprehensive "Starting a Business QuickStart Guide: The Simplified Beginner's Guide to Launching a Successful Small Business, Turning Your Vision Into Reality, and Achieving Your Entrepreneurial Dream", business consultant Ken Colwell concisely presents the core fundamentals that all new entrepreneurs need to know to get started, find success, and live the life of their dreams.
Sourced from over twenty years of firsthand experience working with entrepreneurs, new ventures, and high-growth startups, "Starting a Business QuickStart Guide" covers: The Difference Between an Idea and an Opportunity!; What Makes an Entrepreneurial Opportunity Great; The Very First Steps You Need To Take To Get Your Venture Off The Ground; Pricing, Competition, Customer Identification, Marketing, and Distribution Demystified; The REAL Components of an Entrepreneurial Mindset; Exactly How To Craft Your Value Proposition; How to Write a Comprehensive Business Plan.
From the very first steps conceptualizing your venture to winning your first customers, delivering value, and turning a profit, this book acts as an invaluable blueprint for your path to entrepreneurial success.
Critique: Comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Starting a Business QuickStart Guide" is an essential 'must-have' resource in the personal instructional reference library of every aspiring entrepreneur. While very highly recommended for community and academic library Business Management collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that " Starting a Business QuickStart Guide " is also available in a paperback edition (9781945051821, $24.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
The New Rules of Consumer Privacy
9781728827360 $16.99 pbk / $13.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: To survive in today's fast-changing landscape, companies need to balance consumers' often-competing desire for privacy, security and convenience. In The New Rules of Consumer Privacy, FaceFirst CEO Peter Trepp establishes the new paradigm for the privacy contract between consumers and organizations that balances these three vital concerns.
Included: The Five Privacy Principles every company must adhere to; The new rules of responsible data handling, according to leading academics and visionaries; How technology adoption has forever changed our expectations of privacy; How to deliver security, privacy and convenience at the same time -Why transparency matters to brand loyalty; The global legislative landscape; The future of AI The New Rules of Consumer Privacy is essential for executives, entrepreneurs, product managers and anyone interested in privacy and the consumer experience.
Critique: The New Rules of Consumer Privacy: Building Loyalty with Connected Consumers in the Age of Face Recognition and AI breaks new ground for businesses in the modern digital era. As online presence and commerce becomes inextricable to success, businesses must adapt and learn how to protect the privacy of their customers. Security breaches or failures to respect customer privacy can deal severe blows to a brand - for example, consider the #DeleteFacebook debacle. Chapters discuss how businesses can better serve their customers and earn their loyalty, especially in the context of face recognition software and advances in artificial intelligence. Highly recommended! It should be noted for personal reading lists that The New Rules of Consumer Privacy is also available in a Kindle edition ($13.99).
Humor That Works
Page Two Books
9781989025833 $16.95 pbk / $9.99 amazon.com
Synopsis: If you want to increase team productivity, relieve stress, and be happier at work, you could hire a bunch of workplace consultants, invest in scream therapy, and put Pharrell Williams on repeat - or you could just read Humor That Works.
Written by Andrew Tarvin, the world's first Humor Engineer, this a business book on humor. No, that's not an oxymoron. It really is a business book and it really is about getting better results by having more fun. Because people who use humor in the workplace are more productive, less stressed, and happier. No joke; sources included.
The goal is not to make you funnier - though that may be a side effect - but to make you effective-er. You'll learn to develop a personal humor habit that's not about spitting wisecracks or telling the funniest stories, but a way of seeing work in an energizing new way. You'll build on some of the most important business skills for today's work environment, develop techniques for leveraging humor, and take action to improve your work immediately. And you'll have fun doing it.
There will be stories about grandmas who text, multiple mentions of milkshakes, and exactly seven references to zombies. Oh, and there will be puns. (You've been warned.) Looking for success and happiness at work? Discover the missing skill of Humor That Works.
Critique: Humor That Works: The Missing Skill for Success and Happiness at Work is a business guide to a secret that few workplace consultants will mention - humor is a powerful tool for improving quality of work life, relieving stress, and increasing productivity. Chapters discuss the skill of humor, and how humor can be used to enhance communication, connection, and leadership. Highly recommended! "Studies have shown that facts are 20 times more likely to be remembered if told in story form. And don't feel like your story has to be strictly work-related... Your story should be interesting, concise, and actually answer the person's question." It should be noted for personal reading lists that Humor That Works is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
9781733580717 $18.00 pbk / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: What does it take to stand out from the crowd? How do you build a brand people notice, connect with, and trust? What does it really take to get (and keep) a constant flow of incoming and loyal customers and opportunities?
In CRAVED, Keli Hammond walks you through the ins and outs of building a brand that is not only noticed, but sought after and profitable. She uncovers the key elements needed to craft cohesive and clever marketing campaigns and demystifies they components needed to gain influence and be memorable. Hammond combines decades of award-winning industry knowledge with helpful stories and advice to that illustrate what not to do in brand building. She walks you through how to build a loyal tribe that advocates for you and endorses you. Because marketing rules change quickly, the things that worked five years ago are now outdated and old-fashioned.
The guidance you get from CRAVED will help you elevate your profile, attract more people to you, monetize your influence, and set the stage for long-term profit for your brand or business. Whether you're just starting out or you've been in for a while, this is the resource you need to help you you're your entrepreneurial dreams a reality. Transform your life by strategically creating a brand people CRAVE.
Critique: Award-winning marketer and brand strategist Keli Hammond presents Craved: The Secret Sauce to Building a Highly-Successful, Standout Brand, a thoroughly accessible guide to the most important tenets of marketing especially for entrepreneurs and small business owners. Chapters cover how to make one's brand captivate consumer attention through storytelling, social media, video marketing, and much more. "Regardless of what type of brand you're developing, keep the idea of convenience top-of-mind. Convenience can be anything from location to proximity to your people, to being able to purchase your products and services online. Being seen as an inconvenience will limit your brands growth." Craved is a "must-read" for anyone who is (or wants to be) their own boss, highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Craved is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
Charles D. Morgan
9781943290871 $24.99 hc / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: In the spirit of The Soul of a New Machine, Tracy Kidder's 1981 Pulitzer-Prize-winning story of the creation of a revolutionary new computer in the days when personal computers were just becoming popular, now comes Charles D. Morgan with his riveting first-hand account of his tech startup First Orion and his small team's chaotic, exhilarating, nine-year quest to successfully navigate the uncharted world of mobile phone technology.
Morgan's Now What? The Biography of a (Finally) Successful Startup is a book tailor-made for the era we live in now, when tech startups are the new garage bands and Steve Jobs is the new American Hero. If you're a general reader, this book reveals the surprisingly messy life inside your smartphone. And if you're an entrepreneur setting out to secure your place in the Steve Jobs pantheon, this book is nothing less than due diligence.
In his telling of his team's trial-and-error journey to build a call-blocking, scam-protection system within the network of a major telecom, Charles Morgan offers that rare hat trick of a book: a steamroller of a story, a cautionary tale, and a stirring celebration of America's innate love affair with the indomitable entrepreneurial spirit.
Critique: Now What? The Biography of a (Finally) Successful Startup is the fascinating true story of the trials, tribulations, and exhilaration of getting a tech startup off the ground and turning it profitable. There are lessons to be learned for anyone considering the hard work of founding a startup themselves, but readers of all backgrounds will enjoy its eclectic anecdotes, as well as the fascinating glimpse into the secret inner lives of smartphones. Now What? is thoroughly accessible, reader-friendly, and highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Now What? is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
The Future of Omni-Channel Retail
Emerald Lake Books
9781945847035, $13.99, PB, 114pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Shopping online is ubiquitous these days, but there are certain experiences and products that resist the move to e-commerce. When we can order almost anything online, what compels us to make a purchase in person?
By understanding how retail has evolved through the years and what the current state of omni-channel retail is now, "The Future of Omni-Channel Retail: Predictions in the Age of Amazon" by Lionel Binnie offers a formula for predicting retail trends that are likely to happen in the near future.
Readers will learn: How the two essential aspects of shopping, discovery and fulfillment, contribute to when consumers are more likely to purchase online or offline; Why shopping provides either "time well spent" or "time well saved," and how to leverage that; What retailers and retail real estate developers are doing to stay relevant; How a two-axis model can help you accurately predict online and offline shopping behavior for many products and shopping occasions.
Editorial Note: Lionel hails from the U.K. but has spent the last few decades in the U.S., first in California and later in New York, where he's now based. After working with several medium-sized retail and fashion businesses, he founded MSource Ideas, a business development consultancy in 2008. This is Lionel's first book although he's published articles and given talks about different aspects of retail and marketing, including to The Fordham University Foundry Business Incubator, The International Conference of Shopping Centers (ICSC), and American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE).
Critique: Written specifically for anyone wanting to know whether their product or service will fare best online or off, "The Future of Omni-Channel Retail" informative exploration of the developing omni-channel retail landscape is an exceptionally well written, organized and presented informational resource and guide. While especially recommended for corporate, community, college, and university library Business Management collections and supplemental curriculum studies, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of business students, entrepreneurs, business managers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Future of Omni-Channel Retail" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
The Self-Help Shelf
Always and Never
9781632963215, $16.99, HC, 64pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Today, more than 45 million men and women are in their twenties and trying to figure out this very important phase of their young adult lives. Striking out on their own with many firsts and unknowns, they face a decade filled with self-discovery and self-doubt.
In "Always and Never: 20 Truths for a Happy Heart", Lisa Shumate (Associate Vice President of the University of House System and General Manager of Houston Public Media) shares an incredible resource for twenty-somethings, walking them through 20 truths that they should always and never incorporate into their lives.
Whether you are twenty-something or older, these concepts are simple yet timeless, and they have the power to transform the way you think and act, setting a high standard for you and the quality of your relationships.
Shumate asserts that putting 'Always and Never' mantras into practice every day will build a strong foundation for the rest of your life, one that helps you realize your most cherished goals and dreams. "Always and Never: 20 Truths for a Happy Heart" will guide, inform, and inspire the reader for the bright future to come!
Critique: A unique little book of observations that are as thoughtful and thought-provoking as they are inspired and inspiring, "Always and Never: 20 Truths for a Happy Heart" is a truly life-enhancing, life-improving read -- especially for those who are just starting out in their life paths and careers. While highly recommended and also available in a paperback edition (9781632962881, $13.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99), it should be noted that there is also an unreservedly recommended 'fill in the blanks' workbook available: "Always and Never: 20 Truths for a Happy Heart: The Companion Journal" (9781632962904, $12.99, PB, 104pp).
Moving Through Walls
9781999010515, $19.99, HC, 248pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Each of us has the capacity for greatness. The sum total of all our experiences in life has brought use to a place to realize our greatest self. So what's stopping us? The answer lies within. The only thing standing between use and our greatness is understanding our unique path.
"Moving Through Walls: The Four Foundations to Living Your Best Life" by Israel Ellis contains practices, philosophies, attitudes, and anecdotes that will challenge our assumptions and inspire us to commit to new, transformational practices.
Drawing on his own life story of overcoming a dysfunctional childhood to realize his personal and entrepreneurial life dreams, Ellis takes us on a journey to explore how we limit ourselves when instead we can optimize our potential. Building on four foundational principles, Ellis provides the tools needed to help ys move through walls to live our best life.
Critique: Exceptionally well written and accessibly organized in presentation, "Moving Through Walls: The Four Foundations to Living Your Best Life" is an extraordinary and 'real world practical' instructional guide and reference that is unreservedly recommended for personal and community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections and reading lists. It should be noted that "Moving Through Walls" is also available in a paperback edition (9781999010508, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Mary S. Corning
Circle Around Publishing
9781732993808, $15.95, PB, 248pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Mary S. Corning changes lives by defining the transformative power of pain. As a mentor, speaker, counselor, and writer, she clearly and compassionately models this process through her messages and stories. Mary extends her philosophy into the world of horses, where both people and horses benefit from realizing a different way to interpret challenge.
In "Perfect Practice: A Philosophy for Living an Authentic and Transparent Life", Mary maintains that can shift our perspective and change our world. That life can be exceptionally gratifying when we realize that our thoughts create our interactions and our interactions create our relationships. That to truly relate is what living is all about.
"Perfect Practice" is meant as a seed or a catalyst to creating a better and more personally fulfilling life. The message offered is one of inspiration for living an authentic and transparent life. As a resource for life, it unites what is seen as separate and heals what is wounded.
"Perfect Practice" shows how to transform: Pain into purpose; Conflict into confidence; Fear into curiosity. These are the shifts we can make to build a better life and a better world in which to live.
Critique: An extraordinary and life enhancing read that is as thoughtful and insightful as it is 'real world practical' and inspiring, "Perfect Practice: A Philosophy for Living an Authentic and Transparent Life" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Perfect Practice" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Love Me, Love Me Not
Georgia Batsidis, author
Margaret E. Ruddy, author
Divine White Light Publishing
c/o Dog Ear Publishing
4011 Vincennes Road, Indianapolis, IN 46268
9781457532337, $14.95, PB, 63pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The collaborative work of Georgia Batsidis (a retired entrepreneur, certified hypnotist, spiritual counselor, channeler, and lecture) and Marget E. Ruddy (a successful and retired lawyer, artist, published poet, sculptress and motivational speaker), "Love Me, Love Me Not: Your Free Will Choice of Unconditional Love" takes readers on a powerful journey to self-awareness examining the truths that are revealed along the way.
"Love Me, Love Me Not" enlightens, empowers, and opens the reader's heart, providing freedom from distorted belief systems that are created by the human ego and reinforced by environments, society, and culture.
"Love Me, Love Me Not" is a unique spiritual book channeled and inspired by the Ascended Masters of the Universe. Although, spiritual wisdom has been documented by many loving messengers, too often the message is esoteric and complicated.
"Love Me, Love Me Not" is simply written and easily understood. The reader does not need a foundation in the teachings of spirituality to comprehend the message.
"Love Me, Love Me Not" deviates, without discriminating, from the dogma of organized religion and offers the reader the ability to truly understand God through themselves.
Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "Love Me, Love Me Not: Your Free Will Choice of Unconditional Love" is a truly exceptional and spiritually enhancing read that is impressively organized and presented. As thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is informatively insightful and astutely observant, "Love Me, Love Me Not" will prove to be of particular and special interest to students of metaphysical knowledge, as well as non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject of spiritual wisdom.
Change Within, Change the World
Jane Rigney Battenberg, DCH, MA
c/o Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781982210694, $17.95, PB, 228pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Humanity and life on planet Earth are quickly approaching the make-or-break point, and the generations who have long worked for change-as well as today's courageous young people-are frustrated by what passes for leadership. Yet they are all too aware that the time for action is now!
"Change Within, Change the World" by Jane Rigney Battenberg offers the skills for manifesting a life-saving, world-saving agenda-by changing within and changing the world simultaneously. Battenberg shares inspirations and fresh ideas to support these skills and endeavors, providing a brilliant, comprehensive road map for bringing hope and stability to our chaotic world.
After first learning about how we have arrived at this tipping point in our world, the readers are invited not just to work but to play as they begin to look within themselves for the power, the passion, and the wisdom to transform ourselves and the world-both inside and out.
Editorial Note: Jane Rigney Battenberg, DCH, MA has more than twenty-five years of experience as a therapist, trainer, and author, and she has a doctorate in clinical hypnotherapy, a master of arts degree in teaching, and certification as a master trainer of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP); she has also trained in such ancient arts as Huna, Reiki, and Lomilomi. Her earlier book, Eye Yoga: How You See Is How You Think, provides techniques for awakening deep brain capacities and improving eyesight, and she gives workshops and counsels clients in the United States and Europe. Those interested can learn more about her on her website: www.changewithin.com.
Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "Change Within, Change the World" is one of those life-changing, life-inspiring reads that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.59), "Change Withing, Change the World" is an especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement instructional reference collections.
This Moment Is Your Miracle
c/o New Harbinger Publications
5674 Shattuck Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609
9781684031870 $16.95 pbk / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: We all feel isolated and afraid sometimes, but the truth is, we're never really alone.
Indeed, as author and spiritual teacher David Hoffmeister points out in "This Moment Is Your Miracle", it is the deeply ingrained belief that you are separate from everything, that you're on your own, that there is reason to be afraid, and that you might not be worthy. These are the kind of concerns that prevents you from living the joyful life you long for. So, how can you begin to untangle the thoughts and feelings that keep you trapped in your own egoic fears?
"This Moment Is Your Miracle" deftly addresses this painful yet widespread belief in separation, peeling back the layers of misperception to uncover the divine oneness at the heart of reality, through which we are all connected. You'll find spiritual practices and tools to help you awaken from the nightmare of fear and isolation, and practical ways to cultivate acceptance, forgiveness, healing, and trust--for healing yourself, your relationships, and the world.
With "This Moment Is Your Miracle" as a guide, you will learn how to trust your inner guidance and accept life's miracles, and find true freedom and peace of mind.
As Hoffmeister asserts -- There has never been a better time than now!
Editorial Note: Internationally renowned spiritual teacher David Hoffmeister is a modern-day mystic and living demonstration of the non-dual path of A Course in Miracles. Highly inspired by Christian mysticism, Advaita Vedanta, and the desire of many to live a life of devotion, communities have sprung up around the world that follow Hoffmeister's very practical Awakening Mind teachings. His teachings are for everyone, and he spans all traditions by utilizing common ground like movies as modern-day parables and the shift in scientific theory from the Newtonian to quantum world view.
Critique: An impressively well written, expertly organized, and with a thoroughly 'user friendly' presentation style, "This Moment Is Your Miracle" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "This Moment Is Your Miracle" is also available in a digital book format ($9.99).
9781543935691, $15.99, PB, 150pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Collision Course: 4Fs to Transform Life's Challenges into Powerful Breakthroughs" by Phil Terrill deftly chronicles the journey from totaling his car in 2014 to traveling the world to pursuing his dreams in technology.
"Collision Course" is rooted in a 4F Model that Terill created to compartmentalize, process, and push through challenges he has encountered along the way to achieve his goals. "Collision Course" is really a kind of personal testimony that even after making a terrible choice you can change and evolve into someone better able to serve the world. Terrill's vision is to raise awareness by helping others prevent drunk driving and/or see that there is a way to overcome through any challenge.
Millennials, whether entrepreneurs or young professionals, are constantly looking for fresh strategies and ways to stay "locked in" in a challenging world. Often times, they are highly focused on avoiding making mistakes that when we do perseverance becomes a challenge. "Collision Course" provides a transparent perspective into how Phil Terrill overcame a life challenge and transformed it into a powerful breakthrough.
Editorial Note: From building consumer brands to world-class, sales organizations, Phil Terrill is right at the heart of sharing experiences that are worth their weight. As an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and global leader, Phil is constantly striving to encourage his community to pour into their purpose. Today, Phil is a Global Program Manager at Microsoft. Prior to Microsoft, Phil worked for The Burks Companies in Atlanta (GA) helping a family enterprise deliver facilities management solutions across the Southeast. He also spent time working with MillerCoors, formerly Miller Brewing Company, in downtown Chicago (IL). Phil received his B.S. in Marketing from Tuskegee University. Those interested can learn more about Phil's journey at: www.readcollisioncourse.com.
Critique: Deftly written, inherently engaging, impressively candid, "Collision Course: 4Fs to Transform Life's Challenges into Powerful Breakthroughs" is a combination of memoir and self-help book. A potentially life-changing, life-enhancing read, "Collision Course" is unreservedly recommended for community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Collision Course" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69).
The Letter Code
Krystal J. White
9781733503204, $12.95, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Dr. Krystal J. White received both her doctorate in clinical psychology and a master's degree in Christian leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary. She specialized in the integration of spirituality and psychology. Before that, she earned a master's degree in mind, brain, and education from Harvard University. She is a board-certified clinical psychologist and completed a medical fellowship at Madigan Army Medical Center in pediatric developmental psychology.
"The Letter Code: Deciphering Why You Love the Way You Love" by Dr. White was specifically written for the person who has ever suspected that not everyone wants the same things from a relationships.
She points out that what people need is to feel loved, supported, and fulfilled -- but that it differs according to four personality types.
Reading "The Letter Code" will enable the reader to decipher their secret desires by answering the following questions.
1. Are you fiercely independent and driven to achieve a significant life purpose? Do you feel proudest when you're with an accomplished partner? You may be encoded with the motivations of a letter H.
2. Do you love taking care of the people you love and contributing to their happiness? Do you feel secure when your partner is also giving back? You may be encoded with the motivations of a letter A.
3. Are you a natural team player? Do you feel confident because you know your partner is your best friend and has your back? You may be encoded with the motivations of a letter Y.
4. Does your soul soar with ecstasy when you're challenged to grow? Are you always reaching for the next level in your life and want your partner to ground you and help you evolve? You may be encoded with the motivations of a letter W.
This remarkable breakthrough system reveals that intimacy can be as easy to read as the alphabet. "The Letter Code" also offers an individualized roadmap to reduce conflict, improve communication, and enhance connectivity and pleasure in the most fundamental relationship. It is also equally effective for dating singles and long-term married couples.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Letter Code: Deciphering Why You Love the Way You Love" is an especially accessible instructional guide for the non-specialist general reader seeking to understand and improve their social relationships with family and friends. While very highly recommended for community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Letter Code" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).
The HERO Effect, second edition
CornerStone Leadership Institute
9780960015504, $16.95, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The underlying message throughout this newly revised second edition of "The HERO Effect" by Kevin Brown is that heroes are simply extraordinary people who choose not to be ordinary.
The world needs people who lead, love, and serve at a higher level. People who help us dream big dreams, achieve great things, and leave us better than they found us. People who exceed expectations and defy comparison. Those who make even the harshest critics stop in their tracks and admire the work.
"The Hero Effect" is a personal revelation that also holds profound implications for business. This is an instructive guide written with an insightful narrative that challenges conventional thinking and reveals a brand-new paradigm in the world of everyday heroes.
Critique: As inspired and inspiring as it is 'real world practical' in concept and application, "The HERO Effect" is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The HERO Effect" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Fiction Shelf
9781682618325, $27.00, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: On a marshy Brooklyn battlefield on August 27, 1776, four hundred men from Baltimore, Maryland assembled to do battle against a vastly superior British army. Seemingly overnight, these young soldiers had matured from naive teenagers to perhaps the most important, yet most forgotten, citizen soldiers in all of American history: "America's 400 Spartans."
Saving Washington follows young Joshua Bolton and his childhood friend Ben Wright, a freed black man, as they witness British tyranny firsthand, become enraptured by the cause, and ultimately enlist to defend their new nation in a battle that galvanized the American nation on the eve of its birth.
Chris Formant's gripping tale deftly blends real-life historical figures and events with richly developed fictional characters in a multi-dimensional world of intrigue, romance, comradeship, and sacrifice, transporting us two-and-a-half centuries back in time to the bustling streets of Baltimore and the bloody, smoke-filled carnage of battle in Brooklyn.
Critique: An extraordinary and riveting read from cover to cover, "Saving Washington" is a skillfully crafted and original novel by an author with a distinctive and thoroughly engaging narrative storytelling style. While "Saving Washington" by Chris Formant is unreservedly recommended for community library Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that it is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781978648074, $24.99, CD).
The Ghost Manuscript
Post Hill Press
9781642930245, $28.00, HC, 432pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Rare book authenticator Carys Jones wanted nothing more than to be left alone to pursue her obsession with ancient manuscripts. But when her biggest client is committed to an asylum, he gives Carys an offer she cannot refuse. In exchange for his entire library of priceless, Dark Age manuscripts, Carys must track the clues hidden in a previously unknown journal, clues that lead to a tomb that could rewrite the history of Western civilization.
But there are people who would do anything to stop Carys from finding what she seeks -- and for reasons both noble and evil.
The hunt takes Carys to places she never thought she'd go, physically and emotionally; first to Wales, her estranged father's homeland, then to bed with Dafydd, a mysterious Welshman who agrees to help her with the search, and finally, deep inside her own psyche, when the monk who wrote the journal 1,500 years ago appears and assists her in her search.
Critique: A skillfully crafted and inherently riveting read from beginning to end, "The Ghost Manuscript" showcases author Kris Frieswick's genuinely distinctive narrative storytelling style. Impressively original and unreservedly entertaining, "The Ghost Manuscript" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Ghost Manuscript" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781974952991, $29.99, CD).
The Boys Who Woke Up Early
A. D. Hopkins
9781945501272, $23.00, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The gravy train hasn't stopped in the hollers of western Virginia for more than thirty years when Stony Shelor starts his junior year at Jubal Early High. Class divides and racism are still the hardened norms as the Eisenhower years draw to a close. Violence lies coiled under the calm surface, ready to strike at any time.
On the high school front, the cool boys are taking their wardrobe and music cues from hip TV private dick Peter Gunn, and Dobie Gillis is teaching them how to hit on pretty girls. There's no help for Stony on the horizon, though. Mary Lou Martin is the girl of his dreams, and she hardly knows Stony exists. In addition, Stony can't seem to stay out of juvenile court and just may end up in reform school. A long, difficult year stretches out in front of him when a new boy arrives in town. Likeable bullshit artist Jack Newcomb dresses like Peter Gunn, uses moves like Dobie Gillis, and plays pretty good jazz clarinet.
Jack draws Stony into his fantasy of being a private detective, and the two boys start hanging around the county sheriff's office. Accepted as sources of amusement and free labor, the aspiring gumshoes land their first case after the district attorney's house is burglarized. Later, the boys hatch an ingenious scheme to help the deputies raid an illegal speakeasy and brothel. All the intrigue feels like fun and games to Jack and Stony until a gunfight with a hillbilly boy almost gets them killed. The stakes rise even higher when the boys find themselves facing off against the Ku Klux Klan.
Critique: A deftly crafted and unfailingly engaging read of a novel from first page to last, "The Boys Who Woke Up Early" showcases author A. D. Hopkins's impressive and distinctive narrative storytelling style. While very highly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Boys Who Woke Up Early" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
The Murmur of Bees
9781542040495, $24.95, HC, 476pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: From the day that old Nana Reja found a baby abandoned under a bridge, the life of a small Mexican town forever changed. Disfigured and covered in a blanket of bees, little Simonopio is for some locals the stuff of superstition, a child kissed by the devil. But he is welcomed by landowners Francisco and Beatriz Morales, who adopt him and care for him as if he were their own.
As he grows up, Simonopio becomes a cause for wonder to the Morales family, because when the uncannily gifted child closes his eyes, he can see what no one else can -- visions of all that's yet to come, both beautiful and dangerous. Followed by his protective swarm of bees and living to deliver his adoptive family from threats (both human and those of nature) Simonopio's purpose in Linares will, in time, be divined.
Set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution and the devastating influenza of 1918, "The Murmur of Bees" captures both the fate of a country in flux and the destiny of one family that has put their love, faith, and future in the unbelievable.
Critique: A unique and deftly penned novel by an author with a genuine flair for the kind of narrative storytelling that holds the readers rapt attention from beginning to end, "The Murmur of Bees" is unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Murmur of Bees" is also available in a paperback edition (9781542040501, $14.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
No Ordinary Love
Partridge Publishing Singapore
9781543745634, $28.35, HC, 202pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Katarina and Josh fell in love with each other the moment she accidentally crashed into him. Having been brought up within the folds of a doting family, she found it difficult to come to terms with Joshs mercurial temper. When Josh realized the damage he was doing to their relationship and the hurt he was inflicting upon his beloved, he broke it off with her and started on a journey of self-discovery.
Will the lovers ever meet again? When and if they do, under what circumstances? Love demands sacrifices. It is in the giving that one proves ones love for the other.
This is the theme that runs through "No Ordinary Love" as novelist Sonia Mael shares her glimpses into other relationships, which are set amid the backdrop of Malaysian society in the twentieth century.
Although a deftly crafted work of fiction, Mael (a Malaysian author known for her rich and precise vocabulary and captivating writing style) tries to remain as close as possible to the facts of history in so far as they blend with the plot of the novel.
Editorial Note: Sonia Mael won the 2016 Popular Star Readers Choice Award for fiction for her novel "Don't Forget to Remember". With her choice, concise vocabulary, and smooth, easy style of writing, she accurately captures the history, beliefs, and traditions of her people, as well as the conflicting values of the different cultures of the period.
Critique: A thoroughly entertaining read from first page to last, "No Ordinary Love" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "No Ordinary Love" is also available in a paperback edition (978-1543745641, $16.08) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.03).
Book Baby Publishers
9781543932768, $12.00, PB, 242pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In the ancient hills of Appalachia, "The Relic" is the story of a young woman's obsession with a family relic entangles her in the mysterious history of a tainted bloodline.
When her investigation forces her to acknowledge the horrors of the past, she must do whatever it takes to protect those she loves from an enduring malevolence that imperils the future.
Critique: All the more impressive when considering that "The Relic" is author Holly Harbin's debut as a novelist, this deftly crafted and inherently riveting Victorian era story will have very special appeal to all dedicated fans of Gothic literature. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Relic" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
Where the Forest Meets the Stars
Lake Union Publishing
9781542040068, $24.95, HC, 321pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: After the loss of her mother and her own battle with breast cancer, Joanna Teale returns to her graduate research on nesting birds in rural Illinois, determined to prove that her recent hardships have not broken her. She throws herself into her work from dusk to dawn, until her solitary routine is disrupted by the appearance of a mysterious child who shows up at her cabin barefoot and covered in bruises.
The girl calls herself Ursa, and she claims to have been sent from the stars to witness five miracles. With concerns about the child's home situation, Jo reluctantly agrees to let her stay -- just until she learns more about Ursa's past.
Jo enlists the help of her reclusive neighbor, Gabriel Nash, to solve the mystery of the charming child. But the more time they spend together, the more questions they have. How does a young girl not only read but understand Shakespeare? Why do good things keep happening in her presence? And why aren't Jo and Gabe checking the missing children's website anymore?
Though the three have formed an incredible bond, they know difficult choices must be made. As the summer nears an end and Ursa gets closer to her fifth miracle, her dangerous past closes in. When it finally catches up to them, all of their painful secrets will be forced into the open, and their fates will be left to the stars.
Critique: A skillfully written and thoroughly entertaining novel by an author with a genuine gift for originality and a distinctive narrative driven storytelling style, "Where The Forest Meets The Stars" by Glendy Vanderah is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Where The Forest Meets The Stars" is also available in a paperback edition (9781503904910, $14.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
Between the Fields
Ideopage Press Solutions
9781949735420, $11.99, PB, 300pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Between the Fields" by Boby Beaver is a book is about surfing and the people who lived the surfing experience in Australia in the 1970s and, through flashbacks, to as early as the 1950s.
The title of "Between the Fields" refers to the dilemma of the lead character, Alexander Scott. He is trapped by family circumstances in a place that can never satisfy his needs. He loses his father at a young age and is brought unwillingly out of a very sheltered upbringing. Though his stepfather cares for him, he is unable to provide the father figure Alex needs.
Surfing provides the escape, but it also puts him in conflict with his family. When his mother passes away, his stepfather remarries, and Alex is left with two stepparents and a family to whom he cannot relate emotionally.
His stepsister provides a partial bridge, but in reality, they are worlds apart. She is a product of the wealthy Sydney society while Alex prefers his surfing companions. When Alex meets Julianne Cameron, there is an instant rapport. She becomes the love of his life, and he sees a way to find the emotional peace he seeks.
But Julianne is cruelly taken from him in an accident that leaves Alex with injuries from which he can never recover.
Critique: A deftly scripted novel by an author with a genuine flair for dealing with the subject of tragic romance, "Between the Fields" is an extraordinary and memorable read from beginning to end. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99), "Between the Fields" is an unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections.
The Kitchen Brigade
9780578448299, $14.99, PB, 280pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It's 2049. In a Russian-occupied America torn apart by civil war, Valerie Kipplander (daughter of the assassinated secretary of state) is thrown in jail. When the regime discovers this daughter of privilege is also a talented culinary student, she's forced into service in the kitchen of a Russian general whose troops occupy New York.
The general's mansion proves a prison of a different sort. The head chef has a mysterious past, the Russians have a more insidious agenda than what they've promised, the resistance wants her on their side, and one of the guards wants her dead.
Valerie knows she must take a stand. The risks are monumental, the choices few. But how long can she serve the men bent on destroying her beloved country?
Critique: A near future dystopian suspense thriller by a master of the genre, "The Kitchen Brigade" showcases author Laurie Boris' genuine flair for originality combined with a distinctive and reader engaging narrative storytelling style. While "The Kitchen Brigade" is unreservedly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Kitchen Brigade" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).
Before the Broken Star
Emily R. King
9781542043786, $16.99, HC, 300pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Everley Donovan is living on borrowed time. The lone survivor of her family's unexplained assassination, she was saved by an ingeniously crafted clockwork heart. But the time she was given won't last forever. Now, every tick-tock reminds her how fragile her existence is and hastens her quest to expose Killian Markham, the navy admiral who shattered her world and left her for dead. But Everley's hunt for justice will be a long and hard-won voyage.
Her journey takes her to a penal colony on a cursed isle, where she will be married off and charged to build the new world. It is here, and beyond, that hidden realms hide, treasures are unearthed, her family secrets are buried, and young love will test the strength of her makeshift heart. When Everley discovers Markham may not be who he seems, her pursuit for truth is bound to his redemption, her tragic history, and her astonishing destiny.
Critique: An inherently engaging read from cover to cover, Emily R. King's "Before the Broken Star" is a riveting and original novel by an author with a natural flair for an entertaining narrative storytelling style. While unreservedly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Before the Broken Star" is also available in a paperback edition (9781542043762, $9.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
Jennifer L. Cahill
Clink Street Publishing
9781912562152, $13.99, PB, 356pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It's London before the age of Facebook, iPhones and ubiquitous wifi, as One? follows the highs and lows of a group of twenty-somethings living in leafy SW4.
Zara has just moved to London for her first real job and struggles to find her feet in a big city with no instruction manual.
Penelope works night and day in an investment bank with little or no time for love. At 28 she is positively ancient as far as her mother is concerned and the pressure is on for her to settle down as the big 3-0 is looming.
Charlie spends night and day with his band who are constantly teetering on the verge of greatness.
Richard has relocated to London from his castle in Scotland in search of the one, and Alyx is barely in one place long enough to hold down a relationship let alone think about the future.
Critique: A deftly crafted novel (and the first volume of a planned trilogy) about the struggles young people go through to find their one true love in an urban jungle is an absolutely riveting read and one in which the reader may well recognize and empathize with the various characters and their social relationship dilemmas. While especially recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that Jennifer Cahill's "One?" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).
The Shaman of Turtle Valley
Braddock Avenue Books
9781732895669, $18.95, PB, 396pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Alexanders have farmed the land in Turtle Valley for generations, and their family and its history is tied to this mountainous region of Virginia in ways few others can claim. When Gulf War veteran Aiken Alexander brings home a young and pregnant South Korean bride, he hopes at long last to claim his own place in that complicated history coming out from behind the shadow of his tragically killed older brother and taking up a new place in his father's affections.
However, things do not go according to plan. While he loves his young son, his wife, Soon-hee, can't or won't adjust to life in America. Her behavior growing stranger and stranger to Aiken's eyes every day until the marriage reaches a breaking point.
When Soon-hee disappears with their son, Aiken's life and dreams truly fall apart. He loses his job, is compelled to return to the family home, and falls prey to all his worst impulses. It is at this low point that Aiken's story becomes interwoven with a dubious Alexander family history, one that pitted brother against brother and now cousin against cousin, in a perfect storm of violence and dysfunction.
How Aiken confronts these problems both corporeal and spiritual is at the center of "The Shaman of Turtle Valley". Drawing on Korean beliefs in spirits and shamanism, "The Shaman of Turtle Valley" is a dynamic and beautifully written debut novel.
Critique: All the more impressive when considering that "The Shaman of Turtle Valley" is short story author Clifford Garstang debut as a full-length novelist, this exceptionally original, deftly crafted and heart-rending story is embedded with truly memorable characters which are Garstang's literary hallmark. A thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover, "The Shaman of Turtle Valley" is unreservedly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections.
9781944109486, $19.95, PB, 383pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When her homeland is conquered by the mighty Alexander the Great, Roxana (the daughter of a mere chieftain) is torn from her simple life and thrown into a world of war and intrigue.
Terrified, the sixteen-year-old girl of renowned beauty is brought before the greatest ruler the world has ever known. Her life is in his hands; her future his to decide.
Without formal education or noble blood, Roxana is chosen by the Greek conqueror to be his bride. Soon she comes to know profound happiness and unyielding desire in her warrior's arms.
However, being the king's consort comes at a heavy price. To survive her husband's treacherous kingdom, she must endure continuous warfare, deadly plots, jealous rivals, victory-hungry generals, and the stigma of being a barbarian.
Persian blood will keep her from claiming the grandest title of all -- Queen, but her reign will seal the fate of an empire.
Critique: A riveting saga of a novel, author Alexandrea Weis' "Realm" is deftly written and thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover. This is the stuff of which block-buster movies are made! While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to any community library's Historical Fiction collection, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Realm" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Promise of Us
9781503905245, $12.95, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Claire McKenna knows about loss. The bullet wound that ended her promising professional tennis career drove her to make a quiet life for herself working with fabric samples, chatting with her book group, and spending time with her parents in her sleepy coastal Connecticut hometown.
Then there was the boyfriend who dumped her to pursue her adventurous childhood friend. Now, Claire's business has hit a financial snag, but she's up to the challenge. After all, she can survive anything. At least she thinks so -- until her teen crush, Logan, returns to town with his sister, Claire's traitorous friend.
Photographer Logan Prescott is more playboy than homebody. But his sister's illness teaches him that there's more to life than chasing the next thrill. Bent on helping her win Claire's forgiveness, he turns his charm on Claire and offers her big bucks to renovate his multimillion-dollar New York City condo.
After years of playing it safe, Claire must now take some risks. The payoff could be huge, but if it all falls apart, can her heart recover from another loss?
Critique: A deftly written romance with more plot twists and turns than a Coney Island roller coaster, "The Promise of Us" showcases author Jamie Beck's genuine flair as a narrative storyteller able to hold her reader's rapt and entertained attention from cover to cover. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary Romance collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Promise of US" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781721358182, $14.99, CD).
Confessions of a Flash Artist
Stone Tower Press
9780985218126, $6.42, PB, 143pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Confessions of a Flash Artist" is the personal memoir of performance artist Dr. Humphrey Humdinger and makes the case for "Dramatic Exposure" as an avant-garde art form capable of achieving new heights of dramatic expression.
Iacovelli details the history of how he invented this art, his first crude attempts in it, his final mastery of it, and all the aesthetic and philosophical notions that occurred to him along the way, make this personal autobiography a groundbreaking and seminal document and of immense interest to students of 'Dramatic Exposure".
"Confessions of a Flash Artist" also serves as an inspiration for people who, as Iacovelli says in his closing pages -- "persevere in maintaining their ideals in the face of hostility, closed-mindedness, and outmoded notions of the public weal."
Critique: An inherently fascinating, exceptionally well written, and provocative account, "Confessions of a Flash Artist" is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to both community and academic library Contemporary American General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Confessions of a Flash Artist" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Sophie Last Seen
Red Adept Publishing
9781948051187, $14.99, PB, 306pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Six years ago, ten-year-old Sophie Albright disappeared from a shopping mall. Her mother, Jesse, was left in a self-destructive limbo, haunted by memories of her intense and difficult child, who was obsessed with birds.
Trapped in her grief and guilt, Jesse stumbles through her workdays at a bookstore and spends her off hours poring over Sophie's bird journals or haunting the mall to search for the face of her missing child. When Star Silverman, Sophie's best friend, starts working at the bookstore, Jesse is uncomfortable around the sarcastic teen, who is a constant reminder of her daughter.
But Star has secrets of her own, and her childhood memories could be the key to solving Sophie's disappearance. With help from Star and Kentucky "Tuck" Barnes, a private detective on the trail of another missing girl, Jesse may finally get some closure, one way or the other.
Critique: Deftly written by a writer with a genuine flair for originality and a distinctive narrative storytelling style that holds the readers rapt attention from beginning to end, Marlene Adelstein's "Sophie Last Seen" is unreservedly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Sophie Last Seen" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Power in the Age of Lies
9780692186145, $15.99, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Madison Padgett is fighting to save her dying coal town. Nothing will stop her -- not even allying herself with a president she loathes. But she's blocked by Conrad Vega, the young, idealistic Democratic senator determined to save humanity from a global warming catastrophe.
Violence explodes, and Madison must challenge her own beliefs while racing to save a country plunging toward civil war -- unless the treasonous plot in the White House is exposed.
Now, she must unravel a twisted conspiracy while her ideals of respect, truth, and hope drive her toward the ultimate confrontation. If she fails, America (and all it stands for in the world) will be destroyed.
Critique: A simply riveting political thriller of a read, "Power in the Age of Lies" is all the more plausible given today's national nightmare that has so shattered the country into hostile factions in a political war where truth has been the first and most enduring casualty. While "Power in the Age of Lies" is very highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary Suspense/Thriller collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that it is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
Davis MacDonald Publishing
9780578412900, $14.95, PB, 405pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When the Judge dropped off his young son at The Strand Pre-School that morning, he didn't expect to find a body swinging from the rafters of the pre-school's maintenance room. Nor to be dragged into the middle of allegations of sexual abuse of the young charges attending the pre-school.
He certainly had no premonition of the immense wave of public opinion about to rise into a towering swell and come crashing down over him, over his bride Katy, and even over little Ralphie, his five-year-old son, churning them in a cauldron of confusion, social stigma, hate and violence. Upending friends and circumstances taken for granted, nearly bankrupting his law practice, and challenging the very bedrock of his marriage.
When his former lover is caught up in a national frenzy as the press and the networks rush to judgment, condemning her for child molestation and Devil worship, the Judge feels compelled to step forward to help his old flame, leading her defense in a cut-throat jury trial, and exposing the real story behind the suicide in the maintenance room of The Strand.
Critique: A deftly crafted and original suspense thriller of a novel by an author with a genuine flair for originality combined with a reader engaging narrative storytelling style, "The Strand" by Davis MacDonald is unreservedly recommended, especially for community library collections where it is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to their Mystery/Suspense collections.
Die Again, Mr. Holmes
Anna Elliott & Charles Veley
9780999119167 $18.99 pbk / $4.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: In January of 1898, a young woman begs Sherlock Holmes to find the man she loves, while a chilly noblewoman wants Lucy James to find a missing girl.
Are the two cases linked? The answer soon emerges, along with clues to a priceless treasure, as the murders begin. Lucy must leave London. Holmes and Watson are attacked. Who else will have to die?
"Die Again, Mr. Holmes" is the newest gripping adventure in this popular mystery series by the team of Anna Elliott and Charles Veley as it takes us from the Old Bailey courthouse and the seacoast lairs of smugglers to a grand British country estate and the iconic financial headquarters of Lloyd's of London.
Readers will travel back to the late Victorian era, where life may be simpler, but just as dangerous!
Critique: Doing full justice to the Sherlockian Cannon, Anna Elliott and Charles Veley have created an enduringly entertaining homage to literature's greatest detective while showcasing a memorable female counterpart in Lucy James. "Die Again, Mr. Holmes" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Die Again, Mr. Holmes" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Band of Shadows: The Scarlet Onyx Saga
H. P. Waitt
Spilled Ink, LLC
9781732998308, $24.99, HC, 402pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Scarlet has no idea who she is. And after spending nearly a decade in the foster system, she has never quite felt like she belonged. In fact, for the first seventeen years of her life she didn't even know her last name.
Night after night, she is plagued by a dream of a strange-looking door. Until finally, she stumbles upon that very door and is thrust into another realm, a place unlike anything she has ever seen. Now alone in the unknown world of Avalon, a land where the plants have healing powers, the birds play games, and the trees hide the most valuable secrets, Scarlet meets Morgana, the island's enigmatic leader who unveils the truth: Scarlet is a Faye, a powerful race of people whose population was nearly decimated during the Shadow Wars.
But Morgana didn't bring Scarlet to Avalon solely to keep her safe. Unsure who to trust or what to believe, Scarlet learns that the truth isn't always what it seems. There is a new war brewing, and when it arrives, Scarlet will make a shocking discovery about her past from the most unlikely of sources, and everything Scarlet has ever known will be thrown into question.
Critique: A compelling new fantasy epic by H.P. Waitt, "Band of Shadows: The Scarlet Onyx Saga" is all the more impressive when considering that it is Waitt's debut as a novelist. Showcasing the author's genuine flair for originality and an especially reader engaging narrative storytelling style, "Band of Shadows" is especially recommended for community library Fantasy Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated fantasy fans that "Band of Shadows" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Brown Books Publishing Group
16250 Knoll Trail Drive, Suite 205, Dallas, TX 75248
9781612542850, $7.99, PB, 328pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: On a quest to find her missing sister Amber, Emily finds herself in the middle of an age-old conflict between vampires and werewolves. When she runs into trouble, Emily is rescued by an anomaly of the supernatural realm: the handsome vampire-werewolf hybrid, William. Now caught between two worlds, they must navigate the vampire and werewolf courts to try and save Amber, themselves, and whatever peace that remains between the feuding species.
With countless dangers at every turn a twisted vampire queen, a bloodthirsty Coven, and a power-hungry werewolf king who will stop at nothing to dominate the magical world Emily's courage will be tested. She must become a part of a world she never knew existed to thwart plans of uprooting the reality she holds dear.
Critique: An impressively well crafted and thoroughly entertaining read from first page to last, "Shadow Pact" should be considered a 'must' for all dedicated action/adventure fantasy fans. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists that "Shadow Pact" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).
War and Money: Book One
Sofia Diana Gabel
9781794071339, $12.99, PB, 419pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The alien wars are seemingly unending.
In 2187, Earth has the Katarga trapped on the moon, refusing to allow them to escape. The Piltrak and Jurale are pending threats, which forces Global Command to recruit 15-year-olds as soldiers.
Dax, low-status and a non-conformist, never imagined she'd be a soldier, yet she was hand-picked by gruff Commander Viteri, taken from her parents, never to see them again. She doesn't want to kill aliens, and suspects there's more to the wars than keeping the aliens at bay.
The problem is, can she survive long enough to find the truth?
Critique: The first volume in what promises to be an impressively original and exceptionally well crafted science fiction saga, "War and Money" by Sofia Diana Gable is a thoroughly entertaining and engaging read from beginning to end and will leave its readers looking eagerly toward the next highly anticipated volume. While very highly recommended for community library Science Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated science fiction fans that "War and Money" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).
Fire Fury Frontier
9781793446435, $17.99, PB, 433pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Humanity's home world has been destroyed from extensive global warming. For over two hundred years the last remaining humans have lived in space aboard a single massive ship, the Saisei. After generations in space, living aboard a ship is all anyone has ever known.
The ship is old and damaged, rations are low, and a planet fit for colonization has never been found. In the vast expanse of space, as the Saisei makes way to resupply their ship, they stumble upon a discovery that will change the course of human history forever.
One ship, one last chance to survive. But space is an inhospitable home.
Critique: A deftly crafted and original science fiction novel by an author with a distinctive flair for reader engaging narrative storytelling, "Fire Fury Frontier" is especially recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. One of those very special science fiction novels that are as thoughtful and thought-provoking as they are entertaining, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated science fiction fans that "Fire Fury Frontier" is the first volume of a series and is also available in an inexpensive digital book format (Kindle, $0.99).
The Psychology Shelf
Catafalque: Carl Jung and the End of Humanity
9781999638405, $75.00, HC, 848pp, Volumes 1 & 2, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A two volume set, "Catafalque: Carl Jung and the End of Humanity" by Peter Kingsley is the first major re-imagining of both Jung and his work since the publication of the Red Book in 2009 -- and is the only serious assessment of them written by a classical scholar who understands the ancient Gnostic, Hermetic and alchemical foundations of his thought as well as Jung himself did. At the same time it skillfully tells the forgotten story of Jung's relationship with the great Sufi scholar, Henry Corbin, and with Persian Sufi tradition.
The strange reality of the Red Book, or "New Book" as Carl Jung called it, lies close to the heart of Catafalque. In meticulous detail Kingsley uncovers its great secret, hidden in plain sight and still (as if by magic) unrecognized by all those who have been unable to understand this mysterious, incantatory text.
But the hard truth of who Jung was and what he did is only a small part of what "Catafalque: Carl Jung and the End of Humanity" uncovers. It also exposes the full extent of that great river of esoteric tradition that stretches all the way back to the beginnings of our civilization. It unveils the surprising realities behind western philosophy, literature, poetry, prophecy -- both ancient and modern.
In short, Kingsley shows us not only who Carl Jung was but who we in the West are as well. Much more than a brilliant spiritual biography, Catafalque holds the key to understanding why our western culture is dying. And, an incantatory text in its own right, it shows the way to discovering what we in these times of great crisis must do.
Editorial Note: Peter Kingsley, PhD, is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking work on the origins of western spirituality, philosophy and culture. Through his writings, as well as lectures, he speaks straight to the heart and has helped to transform many people's understanding not only of the past-but of who they are.
The recipient of numerous academic awards, he holds honorary professorships or fellowships at universities in Canada, the United Kingdom and United States. Throughout his career he has worked together not only with Native American elders and western spiritual teachers but also with many of the most prominent figures in the fields of classics and anthropology, philosophy and religious studies, ancient civilizations and the history of both healing and science.
The author of five books which together have exerted the profoundest and most far-reaching influence outside as well as inside academia, for years Peter Kingsley has lectured very widely-speaking to professional scholars, psychologists and followers of different spiritual traditions, healers and medical practitioners as well as people who very simply are aware of the need to wake up to a reality greater than the one we are used to.
His latest book on Carl Jung brings his work full circle, connecting his researches into the distant past with the crisis of the modern world. For more information on his work visit www.peterkingsley.org
Critique: A meticulous and insightful work of original scholarship, "Catafalque: Carl Jung and the End of Humanity" is a unique, critically important and valued addition to the study of Jungian Psychology that is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Psychology collections and supplemental studies lists.
The Psychoanalyst's Aversion to Proof
International Psychoanalytic Books
9781949093025, $29.95, PB, 302pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Psychoanalyst's Aversion to Proof" by Mark Solms (Science Director of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Research Chair of the International Psychoanalytical Association) is an important, serious and timely treatment of the major problem confronting psychoanalysis today. By extension, this study could help determine the future direction of American psychiatry and mental science.
Compellingly readable and direct but simultaneously scholarly and edifying, "The Psychoanalyst's Aversion to Proof" is impeccably well researched in relation to the historical facts it reviews and the philosophical arguments it marshals -- and it culminates in impressively realistic conclusions and practical recommendations.
Critique: Thoughtful and thought-provoking, and unreservedly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary Psychology collections and supplemental studies reading lists, "The Psychoanalyst's Aversion to Proof" will prove to be of very special interest to psychology students, practicing psychologists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in psychotherapy.
The Christian Studies Shelf
Bolivar Heights: When Failure Is Not Final
Christian Faith Publishing
9781642581881, $14.95, PB, 180pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In Bolivar Heights, Leighton Kramer deftly weaves a tale of intrigue through a series of stories and anecdotes. Leighton deals with some of the grim realities and challenges of the ecclesiastical world as seen and chronicled through the lens of a spiritual journey through them that is both unique and universal.
Characterized by simplicity in style, clearness of expression, beauty of diction, and strength of thought, "Bolivar Heights" is marked by an evangelical spirit and Scriptural soundness. By skillfully telling this story, Kramer brings the character, Clay Keane, and others to life in a most profound and intimate way, all the while weaving a tale in which love overcomes fear, hope overcomes despair, and the incredible human spirit rises up to embrace spiritual renewal, revival, and reconciliation in the face of devastating loss and personal destruction.
Critique: Presenting a distinctive, entertaining, and fully engaging narrative storytelling style, "Bolivar Heights: When Failure Is Not Final" is unreservedly recommended to the attention of all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Leighton Kramer's "Bolivar Heights" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.69).
Made to Move
Upper Room Books
PO Box 340004, Nashville, TN 37203-0003
9780835818582, $12.99, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Made to Move: Knowing and Loving God Through Our Bodies" by Wendy LeBolt is a 6-week study for the whole family, and specifically designed to help people of all ages know God and see the movement of God in, around, and through us.
Each day contains a scripture passage, a reflection, space and questions for response, and an easy-to-follow activity.
On weekdays, LeBolt coaches readers and participants to consider what it means to "love the Lord our God with heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves." The focus for Saturdays is God's loving obedience and how it shapes and orders our lives. Sundays are set aside for claiming rest and renewal.
Through daily prayer, meditations, and physical activities, "Made to Move" helps individuals and group participants see the masterpiece God made each of us to be.
Editorial Note: Wendy LeBolt is the founder of Fit2Finish and provides education on fitness for injury prevention, specializing in youth athletes. An exercise physiologist in private practice, LeBolt holds a PhD in cardiovascular physiology from the Medical College of Virginia, a Master of Education in exercise science from George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Science in biology from The College of William and Mary.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Made to Move: Knowing and Loving God Through Our Bodies" is an inspiring instructional manual that is unreservedly recommended to all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations.
The Automotive Shelf
The Humorous Side of Trucking
Page Publishing Inc.
101 Tyrellan Avenue Suite 100 New York, NY 10309
9781644246917, $22.95, HC, 114pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Humorous Side of Trucking" by adventurous writer and an accomplished storyteller Buck Boylan contains sixteen short humorous stories about a laid off steelworker and his career as a truck driver.
"The Humorous Side of Trucking" begins with a look back at truck driving school of which he attended. He recalls his real life learning experiences on how to be a professional tractor trailer driver with very little guidance beginning as a local driver, then hitting the open road as a long haul driver.
His unflappable quest of living on a houseboat and scuba diving for extra money fuel his interesting life style. There are many practical lessons of determination and sheer will power to overcome life's obstacles with a sense of humor.
Critique: A fully entertaining and ultimately thought-provoking read, "The Humorous Side of Trucking" is one of those books that will linger in the mind and memory long after it has been finished and set back upon the shelf. While very highly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Humorous Side of Trucking" is also available in a paperback edition (9781682890547, $11.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Giza's Industrial Complex
James Ernest Brown, J. J. Hurtak, Desiree Hurtak
c/o Ancient Energy Research Center
9781543962994, $35.99, PB, 150pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Although pyramids are similar in design, many may have had different or dual functions. The authors of "Giza's Industrial Complex: Ancient Egypt's Electrical Power and Gas Generating System" propose that ancient Egypt developed and controlled an elaborate power system that was centered around Giza and as far south as Abydos.
They believe that the underground structures, channels, and cavities that surround ancient Pyramid structures were part of an immense industrial complex, including gigantic earth batteries. The authors believe evidence indicates that the Great Pyramid on the Giza Plateau had the ability to electrically charge, or change the molecular structure of water, giving it unique properties.
They believe the ancient Egyptians created a fourth form of electrically-charged water, giving it unique properties. James Ernest Brown calls this "Earthmilk Ancient Energy." All pyramids were connected to the Nile River, and there is physical evidence that water from the Nile River circulated through their passageways and chambers by way of man-made channels both above and under the ground.
Critique: Profusely illustrated and iconoclastic, Giza's Industrial Complex: Ancient Egypt's Electrical Power and Gas Generating System" is ground-breaking work of original scholarship and will prove to be an inherently fascinating, thoughtful and thought-provoking read. While very highly recommended for community and academic library Metaphysical Studies in general, and Egyptology supplemental curriculum lists in particular, it should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Giza's Industrial Complex" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Hunting/Fishing Shelf
Tracking Wounded Deer, third edition
Richard P. Smith
9780971035577, $19.95, PB, 172pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Richard P. Smith, has been deer hunting for more than 50 years and writing about the subject for more than 40 years. Now in this newly revised and updated third edition of "Tracking Wounded Deer: How to Find and Tag Deer Shot with Bow or Gun" he draws upon his decades of experience and expertise to provide both novice and expert deer hunters with an even more valuable instructional reference that features the addition of 4 new chapters and new material added to existing chapters.
Critique: Illustrated thoroughly with color photography, exceptionally well organized and presented, this new edition of "Tracking Wounded Deer: How to Find and Tag Deer Shot with Bow or Gun" is an absolute 'must' for those new to deer hunting and a valuable instructional reference for even experienced deer hunters. While unreservedly recommended for community library Hunting/Fishing instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Tracking Wounded Deer" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
The Relationship Shelf
Letting Go of Leo
c/o Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781504392716, $30.95, HC, 190pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A lot of people think that they have it all together. What these people don't understand is how exhausting it feels to make it look that way.
If you are one of them then you know that the pressure to keep it all going is intense. You feel unfulfilled and don't believe you measure up to others. You are constantly searching for the secret to experience confidence in your own skin. Despite your have-it-all-together life, you can't figure out how to accept or perfect yourself.
You have tried diets, intense exercise, shopping, and stuffing brownies in your face. Yet nothing fills the hole deep inside, and you worry, Will I ever be enough?
In "Letting Go of Leo: How I Broke Up With Perfection", Simi Botic (who left her career as an attorney and set out to help create a world where more women know they're already enough) gets personal about what she's experienced and learned.
Simi shares stories about eating a jar of peanut butter without choking to death. Stories about her thighs rubbing together. Stories of living a fantasy where she would marry Leo DiCaprio and win an Oscar. Stories of realizing that real life can be better than any fantasy, that she could show up for the good stuff and the hard stuff and, most importantly, for herself.
Simi used to freak out about food, her body, and not being perfect enough. She freaks out a lot less now. In "Letting Go of Leo", she shares with her readers just how she broke up with perfection -- and how they can too!
Critique: A deftly blending of personal memoir with 'real world practical' advice and insights into crafting an emotionally healthier life, "Letting Go of Leo: How I Broke Up With Perfection" is an extraordinary and potentially life enhancing read. While very highly recommended for community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Letting Go of Leo" is also available in a paperback edition (9781504392709, $14.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.15).
The Education Shelf
Learning by Design
Prakash Nair, Roni Zimmer Doctori, and Richard F. Elmore
Education Design Architects
9780976267065, $40.00, PB, 205pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A major premise of "Learning by Design: Live Play Engage Create" is that the physical environments in which we learn should reflect our most powerful aspirations and our most promising ideas about learning.
The designs that are showcased in "Learning by Design" are about expanding rather than containing learning, opening access rather than controlling access, adapting to differences in learning modalities and preferences, rather than restricting modalities and controlling preferences.
"Learning by Design" uses the school building as a metaphor for everything we know and think about learning and education. The authors argue that a shift to deliberate design requires a shift in mindset, from predictability and stability to informed choice and adaptation, from established patterns and procedures to flexibility and responsiveness, from established truths to inquiry and questions.
Describing how the thoughtful design of learning environments can become the catalyst to redesign education itself in a way that allows it to fulfill its ultimate promise as the vehicle to build a more fair and just society for all, "Learning by Design" is for everyone who cares about education.
Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout, "Learning by Design: Live Play Engage Create" by the team of Prakash Nair (a futurist, a visionary architect and the Founding President & CEO of Fielding Nair International, one of the world's leading change agents in school design with consultations in 47 countries on six continents), Roni Zimmer Doctori (who has over 17 years of professional architectural and project management experience), and Richard Elmore (who joined the faculty of the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1990, and is currently director of the Doctor in Educational Leadership (Ed.L.D.) program at HGSE) is exceptionally well written, organized and presented, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to professional, community, college, and university library Architecture & Education collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
The Art Shelf
The FLAG Art Foundation: 2008 - 2018
James Frey, et al.
Gregory R. Miller & Co.
c/o Distributed Art Publishers
155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10013-1507
9781941366219, $55.00, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The FLAG Art Foundation was founded in 2008 by financier, philanthropist and collector Glenn Fuhrman who began with the mission of promoting the appreciation of contemporary art among a diverse audience. Since then, FLAG has presented 50 exhibitions featuring more than 500 artists.
Guest curators have ranged from artists to athletes, from writers to historians, and from fashion designers to museum directors. Ambitious and entertaining solo and group exhibitions have included established figures such as Louise Bourgeois, Mark Bradford, Maurizio Cattelan, Robert Gober, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jim Hodges, Ellsworth Kelly, Charles Ray, Gerhard Richter and Cindy Sherman, as well as the work of a large number of emerging artists.
"The FLAG Art Foundation: 2008 - 2018" visually documents the first decade of programming at this innovative and important nonprofit organization. FLAG has rapidly made a major contribution to contemporary art and to the careers of many artists.
Fully illustrated with installation views of each exhibition, along with a diverse range of texts contributed by the people who have played key roles in FLAG's history (including Jim Hodges, Chuck Close, James Frey, Shaquille O'Neal and Fuhrman himself), "The FLAG Art Foundation: 2008 - 2018" is a beautifully designed tenth-anniversary testament to a singular institution.
Critique: An absorbing browse that will hold a very special interest for multi-media modern art enthusiasts, "The FLAG Art Foundation: 2008 - 2018" is a singularly fascinating study that is impressively informative, exceptionally well organized, notably presented, and the next best thing to an on-site visit to the various and showcased exhibits. "The FLAG Art Foundation: 2008 - 2018" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library Contemporary American Art History collections.
The Money/Finance Shelf
Personal Finance for Tech Professionals
Bruce Barton, CFP CFA
An imprint of Mascot Books
9781684018154 $24.95 hc / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: You've developed a specialized skillset as a technology professional. Your personal finance reference should match. Whether you want to build your wealth, manage your finances, or learn best practices for handling the unique financial issues you face as a technology professional, wealth manager Bruce Barton lays out the information you need on:
* Stock-based compensation, such as stock options, restricted stock units, restricted stock, and employee stock-purchase plans
* Balancing spending between your working years and retirement, and tips for keeping spending under control
* How much you should be saving for regular or early retirement and the types of accounts you should be using
* Investing using an institutional approach, including techniques such as asset location and exploring private investments for accredited investors
* A host of housing and real estate issues in high-cost tech cities
* Taking care of yourself and family matters while dealing with overwork and stress
* Concepts and techniques for reducing taxes, including considerations for the 2018 tax law
* Making your retirement real by considering where you will live, what you will do, sustainable withdrawal rates, and order of withdrawal from your accounts
* Practical considerations for initial public offerings (IPOs) and acquisitions and their impact on your financial life
* Considering your legacy and charitable giving plans
Whether you're on the hit-or-miss path through a succession of tech startups or you re steadily moving up in the corporate tech world, following these accessible practices will help you feel secure in your financial future while enjoying your life to the fullest today.
Critique: Certified Financial Planner Bruce Barton presents Personal Finance for Tech Professionals in Silicon Valley and Beyond, a thoroughly accessible guide to financial security and preparing for the future. Although intended especially for professionals in technological fields of expertise, Personal Finance for Tech Professionals is packed cover to cover with information and practical advice about housing and real estate (especially for those living in high-cost cities), different types of stock options, wise investing, recommended guidelines for retirement saving and much more that will prove invaluable to workers in any career. Highly recommended! It should be noted for personal reading lists that Personal Finance for Tech Professionals is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
The Criminology Shelf
Deer Track Publishing
9780982352014 $19.95 pbk amazon.com
Synopsis: On June 4, 2004, Marvin Heeymeyer unleashed his gigantic, armored, tank-like bulldozer upon the small town of Granby, Colorado. It was an act of defiant, but misguided, revenge upon those who he perceived had done him wrong in a long series of local property disputes.
Over a period of several hours, Heemeyer proceeded to cause mayhem and destruction while overwhelming the efforts of local police to stop the Killdozer in its tracks. This book recounts the events and actions of the perpetrator leading up to the dramatic rampage as well as the aftermath of the horrendous incident in the community.
Critique: Killdozer: The True Story of the Colorado Bulldozer Rampage is the true story of a rampage that inflicted an estimated $7 million of property damage. In 2004, Marvin Heeymeyer unleashed his grudges against local officials and others who he believed had wronged him by operating a concrete-fortified, rifle-equipped Komatsu bulldozer on the City Hall and multiple buildings. The only fatality was Heeymeyer himself, who ultimately committed suicide - but was this due to Heeymeyer's restraint, or random luck? Killdozer is an absorbing read from cover to cover, highly recommended.
James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
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