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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 4, Number 11 November 2005 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Poetry Shelf Biography Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Art Shelf Fiction Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Cookbook Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Parenting Shelf Business Shelf Language Studies Shelf
Photography Shelf Fantasy/Sci-Fi Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf
Travel Shelf Native American Shelf Criminology Shelf
Education Shelf Literary Shelf Music Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Amanda Lumry, Loren Wengerd, Laura Hurwitz
Eaglemont Press
1309 - 14th Avenue SE, Suite 200, Bellevue, WA 98004
0974841102 $45.00

Enhanced with an informative and engaging text by Laura Hurwitz and showcasing the incredibly beautiful photography of Amanda Lumry and Loren Wengerd, Cayman: A Photographic Journey Through The Islands is now in an expanded second edition. The wildlife both on land and in the sea, the peoples and places that give these Caribbean islands their unique and special appeal, are all presented in full color and a thoroughly "reader friendly text from first page to last. Cayman is ideal for the armchair traveler and as a preparatory introduction for anyone considering a tourist vacation or business visit whether for a week, a weekend, or an endless summer!

GPS Mapping
Rich Owings
Ten Mile Press
633 North Harrison Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437
0976092638 $24.95

Every month more than 200,000 GPS units are sold to the general public and while learning to use a GPS is quite easy, choosing which software to use can be quite complicated and confusing. Very highly recommended, GPS Mapping: Make Your Own Maps by conservationist and outdoorsman Rich Owings informatively guides readers through all the diverse choices they face and explains just how to combine the fun of high-tech with the security of paper maps for their outdoors, wilderness, and travel activities. GPS Mapping covers all of the major brands of mapping software (including sources of free software and maps), and explains how to use aerial photos, satellite imagery, and viewing backcountry locations in 3-D. Thoroughly "user friendly", GPS Mapping significantly expedites the learning curve and will speed the outdoor recreation enthusiasts into a rapid expertise in the use of their GPS units.

The GIS Guide For Local Government Officials
Cory Fleming
ESRI Press
380 New York Street, Redlands, Ca 92373-8100
1589481410 $24.95

A senior project manager with the International City/County Management Association based in Washington, D.C., Cory Fleming draws upon his considerable experience and impressive expertise to compile the professional observations of six contributing experts to develop The GIS Guide For Local Government Officials into a thoroughly "user friendly" introduction and instructional on the use of geographic information systems for local governmental authorities. This is a specialized mapping technology that enables local units of government to coordinate their resources, exercise judicious caution in the expenditure of funds, and facilitate future city and county planning. From monitoring storm drains to fixing potholes, the breadth and variety of municipal and county governance issues that GIS technologies can assist with is enduringly valuable. Utilizing case examples and government officials (in their own words) describing the utility of GIS, this informed and informative reference should be on the resource shelves of every village, town, city, and county organization in the country today.

Raincoast Chronicles Fourth Five, Collector's Edition IV
Howard White, editor
Harbour Publishing
PO Box 219, Madeira Park, BC, Canada, V0N 2H0
1550173723 $42.95 1-604-883-2730

Raincoast Chronicles Fourth Five, Collector's Edition IV is a hardcover compilation of issues sixteen to twenty of "Raincoast Chronicles", a magazine begun in 1972 with the publishers' express intent "to put BC character on the record". Stories, poems, articles, drawings and black-and-white photographs of British Columbia daily life, livelihoods and culture, as well as recounting moments from history. Raincoast Chronicles Fourth Five allows the reader to feel the hardships and triumphs of BC men and women from the pioneer era to the modern day, and resonates with a tenacity of character and human spirit. Also highly recommended are the compilations of previous issues: Raincoast Chronicles First Five, Raincost Chronicles Six/Ten, and Raincoast Chronicles Eleven Up.

In Beauty May She Walk
Leslie Mass
Rock Spring Press
6015 Morrow Street East, Suite 106, Jacksonville, FL 32217
0976568608 $21.95 1-888-513-2937 (fax)

In Beauty May She Walk: Hiking The Appalachian Trail At 60 is the personal story of sixty-year- -old Leslie Mass and her grueling 2,000-mile journey along the Appalachian Trail. As the terrain toughened, Leslie struggles to physically keep up with the trail community she socially depended upon to keep her going on her trek. In addition to the necessity of putting one foot in front of the other, all day, every day, Leslie also had to overcome the difficulties of maintaining her obligations to family and friends during this amazing excursion. Indeed, it was after September 11, 2001, that Leslie found she had to cope with being what appeared to be the only hiker on the trails for miles -- giving new meaning to "hiking her own hike". Superbly written, In Beauty May She Walk is enthusiastically recommended reading and a unique memoir of what it was like to hike the Appalachian Trail at a time when most folk her age are getting ready to retire.

Electronic Devices And Amplifier Circuits
Steven T. Karris, editor
Orchard Publications
39510 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite 315, Fremont, CA 94538
0970951175 $64.95

Compiled and edited by electrical engineer and academician Steven T. Karris, Electronic Devices And Amplifier Circuits With MATLAB Applications provides a concise and comprehensive explanations of state-of-the-art electronic devices and integrated circuits in a text enhanced with a profusion of real-world examples. Karris covers basic electronic concepts and signals, semiconductor electronics, diodes, bipolar junction transistors, field effect transistors and PNPN devices, operational amplifiers, integrated circuits, pulse circuits and waveforms generators, frequency characteristics of single-stage and cascaded amplifiers, tuned amplifiers, sinusoidal oscillators, compensated attenuators, and more. Each individual chapter showcases numerous practical applications supplemented with detailed instructions. Electronic Devices And Amplifier Circuits is an invaluable and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, and technical college electronic reference and resource collections.

The Poetry Shelf

Cactus Flowers: A Solider's Poetry
Nick Rodger Linville
Vantage Press Inc.
419 Park Avenue South, 18th floor, New York, NY 10016
0533150647 $17.95 phone: 1-212-736-1767 fax: 1-212-736-2273

Nick Linville served as a nurse in the United States Army for more than twenty years. He draws upon his personal experiences and observations in Cactus Flowers: A Soldier's Poetry, a compendium of verse taking as its diverse themes romance, friends, fantasies, childhood, personal growth, word play, fruits and wines, as well as his service to his country. Cactus Flowers: Growing in the poorest of soils/And in the hottest of suns,/The cactus protects its bloom in late spring/And apologizes to no one for its beauty and strength.//It stands a wonderful nightmare/And protects itself without remorse.//Withstanding the cruelest of times,/The cactus solely occupies the land upon which it stands.//Appreciate its flower/But only from a distance.

Daughters Of The Alphabet
Robert Richman
Copper Beech Press
PO Box 2578, Providence, RI 02906
0914278819 $14.00 1-401-351-1253

Robert Richman's first volume of poetry, "Voice on the Wind", established his credentials as a gifted poet whose verse was as linguistically skilled as it was imaginatively engaging. Now with the publication of "Daughters of the Alphabet", Richman continues to demonstrate his total and elegant mastery over the construction of verse that takes as its principle focus intellectual concepts translated into words that provoking both intense feeling and reflective thoughtfulness. Rain: Rain follows sun, as day/comes after night. After storms,/the sun appears renewed, as day/comes from night; as spring emerges/out of winter's depths, replenished/and young. Words for seasons,/rain, and sunshine meet, by design,/inside an after-the-fact mind. While painters painting a rainy night/react at once to the available light,/poets respond to visions both/mundane and, well, visionary,/but always working beneath/the mind's late, enabling light.

Keeping Still
Lois Beebe Hayna
Higganum Hill Books
PO Box 666, Higganum, CT 06441
097411586X $12.95 1-800-888-4741

In her poetry as showcased in Keeping Still, Lois Beebe Hayna uses words the way a classical composer uses the notes of the scale in order to create multilayered imageries that linger in the mind with the impact of a highly evocative linguistic art. Slow Dissolve: She feels abandoned, though to be honest,/he never mentioned a shared future./Nevertheless,/she pictures herself as Ophelia/until she remembers Ophelia's two/non-choices -- the nunnery/or the willowed brook.//A bad patch. She gets through it/to better days and a firmer love/but there are still those mornings/when she wakes to the scent of violets/wither'd all.

The Obedient Door
Sean Finney
Meritage Press
256 North Fork Crystal Springs Road, St. Helena, CA 94574
0970917945 $14.95

The Obedient Door is the debut publication of journalist and copywriter Sean Finney's seemingly spontaneous and always original poetry. Shout Words at Your Feet: Our deep green descent/of the lake road/in arms again and after/nothing to turn away//from the syllables on a different/autumn road, where I watched the leaves/shout words at your feet//Shelve the past, its mullions,/its cardinals, rent from the homes/on cold streets//and to design you, out of glass,/no one sat

Skinny Eighth Avenue
Stephen Paul Miller
Marsh Hawk Press
PO Box 206, East Rockaway, NY 11518-0206
0975919717 $15.00

Enhanced with occasional illustrations by Noah Mavael Miller, Skinny Eight Avenue is a showcase compendium for the distinctive, thought-provoking, superbly crafted, almost visual, sometimes revelatory poetry of Stephen Paul Miller. George W. Burning Bush (with Thomas Fink): The new chief executive/takes his oath with ease./The White/House chef powders up a lethal beverage/and the chief sips with patrician grace./A sunrise effect takes over./The tavern keeper changes channels./Nixon knows people were happier before he was president,/but he lives.

Goldfinch And Memory
Mary Coolidge Cost
Steamboat Press
PO Box 159, Brookline, Maine, 04616
0964122251 $12.00

Earning an MFA in poetry from Vermont College and named 1990 Poet Laureate of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, as well as winner of the First Prize in Water-Stone's 1999 Jane Kenyon Poetry Contest, Goldfinch And Memory, is the debut publication of Mary Coolidge Costs poetry and will aptly serve to bring her impressive work to the attention of a national readership. Obeah in Winter: This is the weather of waiting/and fogged light--weather/for the long haul, hunkered down,//that drags at the burr-tangled legs/of the dogs leaping against/bitter, wise winter.//Deer stand in knots among the pines.//Beaked nose and hollow temples,/beneath my mother's/taut, translucent skin//the stranger's bones appear, defining/what is: what never will be./How terrible, the patience//of these black hills.

Lois Roma-Deeley
Singularity Press
6137 East Mescal Street, Scottsdale, AZ 85254-5418
0976571129 $24.95

NorthSight showcases the ultimately hopeful poetry of Lois Roma-Deeley who draws upon the imagery of war heroes and tattoo girls, day laborers and monks, rapists and prostitutes, Italian immigrants and waitresses, bikers and firemen, the uncommitted, the confused, and the slightly insane, to craft memory haunting verse of a dangerous and sometimes mystical world. War Widow: She's crying. All night she prays God give me a sign./Is he alive? Somewhere on a desert island?/Eating coconuts? Drinking palm wine?/ She touches her stomach. Eight months ago/they were dancing in Kansas,/the USO banner sagging underneath the heat/of their kisses. The trumpets playing: Begin the Beguine.

Who Walks Among the Tree With Charity
Christine Swanberg
Wind Publications
600 Overbrook Drive, Nicholasville, KY 40356
1893239357 $14.00,

Who Walks Among the Tree With Charity is an anthology of free-verse poetry by award-winning author, merit scholarship-winning poet, and writing teacher Christine Swanberg. Some poems contemplate personalities past, mourned, or still living of the late twentieth century; others are spooky in their reflection upon death and tragedy, or simple quests for meaning amid mundanity of life. Highly recommended for its thought-provoking and philosophical nature. "A Friend Asks" Why I write poetry, / and though I've dreamed of this moment / for years, it still stops me / like a siren. / Because Mayan women do not weave chevrons / in desert sunset threads / because it is no longer useful. / Because the snowy egret leaves the marsh forever. / Because the people closest to me suffer. / Because words are bread. / Because writing it is mapless as driving back roads. / Because without it, my life is measured in paychecks. / Because I love you and can't tell you. / Because I couldn't stop even if I wanted to. / Because there are so many questions nobody asks. / Because someone wants to know.

Eavesdrop Soup
Matt Cook
Manic D Press
PO Box 410804, San Francisco, CA 94141
1933149000 $13.95 1-415-648-8288

Eavesdrop Soup is spoken word Slam champ Matt Cook's second volume of poetry and clearly documents him as a continuing and established original voice in American poetry. Offering a subtext of serious social commentary, Cook's quirky and humorous style redefines the boundaries of poetic tradition while providing the reader with verse that is as entertaining as it is thoughtful and thought provoking. Constructive Criticism: I played trombone in this band in Milwaukee--/But my arms were really short,/So I couldn't hit any of the low notes on the trombone.//I was taking lessons from this guy downtown--/He was always trying to give me constructive criticism./That's what he did--he gave constructive criticism/To trombone players with really short arms.//He was so dedicated, so patient, this guy downtown./He was completely frank with me,/Absolutely candid about every possible matter--/Except for the length of my arms./He would offer completely made-up, roundabout, very sweet,/Explanations as to why this or that horn part wasn't working.//He made it sound as though it were only a suggestion of gumption./He would never, ever, suggest that my arms were too short.

Folding Ruler Star
Aaron Kunin
Fence Books
303 East Eighth Street, #B1, New York, NY 10009
0974090980 $12.00,

Poet, critic, and novelist Aaron Kunin presents Folding Ruler Star, a collection of succinctly worded poetry featuring a minimalist style: five-syllable lines arranged in three-line units. Each poem is mirrored by another poem with the same title; together they tell a "value-neutral 'Paradise Lost'", in which two characters agree that one should worship and obey the other - yet the one who obeys does not believe in the moral or spiritual authority of the one who is supposed to be obeyed. Yet disobedience requires punishment, and tragedy. Folding Ruler Star takes little time to read yet close study to fully integrate the profound theme of balance between faith, commitment, ideals, and consequences. "Lost Ambulances": to a pain affix / a voice (books stop / lying) remembered // by the phrase splashing / through the unseen mud / and (never the same // color) as the road / beyond unfolds like / a truth (in human // syllables) what was / splashing in that child- / like receptive soul // (little forgotten / bookmark) alive in / painful memory

Down Spooky
Shanna Compton
Winnow Press
3505 El Dorado Trail, Suite A, Austin, TX 78739
0976472643 $14.00

Down Spooky is an anthology of free-verse poetry by LIT editor Shanna Compton. Blending attitudes from Texas and New York, Down Spooky applies word play, suave insight, fractured fairy tales and twists on classic allusions, and more to provide a haunting view of inner personality traits that dog us all. "Voluntary Cinderella": To her of the pots and pans / he says Hello hot mamma / standing there in a shirt with a crest / sewn in. Whose word is it / against our? Not hers. / She likes it here. She's / Cinderella, but voluntary. // Dimming the gleam of that whack slipper / is one less thing she'd worry about, / frankly, if she had her way. She'd rather / think of say, ashes, or laundry, / or getting stains out, something / she could really get her mind around. / So screw it. She's staying here / where she's the pretty one.

The Biography Shelf

Naked Self
Kate O'Sullivan
Walking Grass River Press
PO Box 17212, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
0976841509 $22.00

Part personal memoir, part thoughtful reflections on relationships between the genders, Naked Self: Lessons Learned From The Men In My Life, provides the reader with twenty anecdotally illustrated "lessons learned" about men by a woman who experienced them "up close and personal". Naked Self is a record of Kate O'Sullivan's sexual encounters beginning at the age of 14, growing up during the "Sexual Revolution", dating during the years of the AIDS epidemic, two marriages, having a child, and now approaching menopause. Naked Self is almost brutally candid, repeatedly surprising, descriptive and insightful, thought-provoking and entertaining. Autobiographer Kate O'Sullivan uses her very demonstrable talent as a writer to bring the reader into not only the story of her life, but the story of her times. If you only have time for one really absorbing biography -- you would be well advised to make it Kate O'Sullivan's Naked Self!

Body Odyssey
Pat Samples, MA, MFA
Syren Book Company
5120 Cedar Lake Road, Minneapolis, MN 55416
0929636511 $15.95

Body Odyssey: Lessons from the Bones and Belly is an inspirational memoir by international speaker on conscious aging and body wisdom Pat Samples. Chapters reflect upon the milestone of turning 50, how misperceptions handed down by the author's mother were revealed as untrue, and the inner wonder and wisdom of growing old gracefully. A motivational story grounded in firsthand experience, especially recommended for readers striving to accept and see the positive sides to growing grey.

Diary of a Young Musician
Felix Mayerhofer
Xlibris Corporation
436 Walnut Street, 11th floor, Philadelphia, PA 19106
1413477291 $34.99

Diary of a Young Musician is the memoir of an innocent teenage musician who learned the hard way about the dog eat dog world of big bands: drugs, drinking, women, and road life. In his 20's he played with name bands and even served in an air force band during the Korean War., as well as earning a B.S. from the State University NY Potsdam. While working in Reno's showrooms, he married a professional dancer, an event that would change his life forever. His story is a pull-no-punches look at the ups and downs of band life in the mid-twentieth century, a life of excitement, wonder, trepidation, and challenges both internal and external. Highly recommended.

Esther Mary Lyons
Biographical Publishing Company
35 Clark Hill Road, Prospect, CT 06712-1011
0975463993 $21.95 1-203-758-3661

Unwanted! is the memoir of an Anglo-Indian daughter of a Roman Catholic priest. The transgressions of her birth and the birth of her sister during the mid-twentieth century, of having a father who was supposed to be celibate, was severe in the eyes of society at the time; and so she suffered discrimination from the Hindus of India, who did not share her Christian religion and accused her of having loose morality because of her father, and the Church itself, which refused to allow her to become a nun or help her struggle to survive in poverty. She and her sister were declared orphans at a young age even though their parents were alive; a childhood robbed of innocence and burdened with undeserved guilt prompted her into an ill-fated marriage to a chronic liar with a verbally abusive personality. Yet despite her hardships, she found the resilience to pursue a teaching career, raise children (one born intellectually and physically handicapped due to her husband's genetic background), and eventually forge a new life for herself in the unfamiliar land of Australia. At last she experienced the miracle of contact with relatives from her father's side - though he was a distant figure and a poor father to her, who kept her existence secret for many years, the truth came out after his death and she experienced what she had always dreamed of: being part of a large, respectable and loving family. Unwanted! is a compelling true story, from the perspective of a woman who struggled against poverty, discrimination, and being an outcast in two worlds, yet whose achievements and hard-learned lessons speak for themselves. Highly recommended.

The Self-Help Shelf

Shut Up and Listen to Yourself!
Joshua Estrin
Angel Mind, Inc.
PO Box 56301, Sherman Oaks, CA 91413
0972986618 $9.95

Shut Up and Listen to Yourself! is a consumable self-help book about achieving one's goals through adopting a positive outlook, giving oneself credit, and learning to balance awareness, action, and ability. The brief, can-do guidelines are very broad-based but offer valuable basic truths about staying afloat and reaching one's dream. The last 25 or so pages allow the reader to make notes of achievements, plans, and dreams. A short, simple, peppy, and upbeat primer of practical insights and the importance of self-respect.

Talk the Talk
Alim Merali
Gravitas Publishing
17008-90 Avenue, Suite 454, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T5T 1L6
0973868201 $25.95 1-780-619-5340

Talk the Talk: Speech And Debate Made Easy by Alim Merali (a past Canadian Student Debating Federation National Champion and professional debate training expert) methodically explains the tools and strategies necessary for students to excel at debate. Merali illustrates key concepts with examples and includes full debates with commentary and analysis. Covering all of the key areas that student debaters need to know in order to succeed, Talk the Talk discusses how to craft and deliver speeches effectively, explains what it takes to win rounds, provides special focus on two essential debate skills (developing top-notch arguments and clashing with the other team's points), and surveys techniques for the specific styles of parliamentary, cross-examination, and forum debating. Talk the Talk is essential, strongly recommended reading for all aspiring practitioners of the art of debating.

The Wellness Tree
Justin O'Brien
YES International Publishers
1317 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105-2602
0936663251 $19.95

Couched in a "New Age" approach to good health, The Wellness Tree: The Dynamic Six-Step Program For Creating Optimal Wellness by Justine O'Brien begins with the imagery of the "Tree of Life", and then moves on to devote whole chapters to the role of mental attitude, breath, nutrition, physical movement, rest, and solitude in achieving and maintaining optimal health. O'Brien then moves on to the utilization of visualization techniques and offers his readers a sixty-one point exercise designed to help them "recreate" themselves. The last two chapters deal with "The Future of Wellness" and "Relationship with Life". Enhanced with an informative afterword by Frederick Franck, extensive Notes, a Bibliography for further study, and a comprehensive index, The Wellness Tree is an impressive, thoroughly "user friendly" instructional which is ideal for the non-specialist general reader wanting to improve their physical, emotional, and even spiritual well-being.

The Art Shelf

Aphrodisia: Art of the Female Form
Craig Elliott, editor
Aristata Publishing
16429 Lost Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91387
0975491229 $28.95

Aphrodisia: Art of the Female Form is a stunning, full-color artbook featuring photographs of sculpture, painting, digital art, and drawing by a wide variety of modern artists. All images were selected from among almost 1200 pieces, by a jury of six people: Joe Chiodo, Spencer Davis, Craig Elliott, Frank Frazetta Jr., Greg Hildebrandt, and Bud Plant. And all artworks have the common theme of celebrating the female form, whether as a fantasy warrior, a "bad girl", a far-future femme, or something else entirely. Though Aphrodisia's artworks are emphatically not pornographic, some have an erotic tone, and there are quite a few nude or extremely scantily clad female images. This is an artbook intended for adults, about reveling in the moment of female beauty. A truly captivating collection.

The Fiction Shelf

When Rainbows Walk
Bob Adamov
Greenleaf Book Group
4425 Mopac South, Suite 600, Longhorn Building, 3rd floor, Austin, TX 78735
1929774354 $24.95

Once again the Washington Post investigative reporter Emerson Moore finds himself enmeshed in a web of intrigue. This time its when he travels down to Key West, Florida, to cover hurricane Charley's devastating impact. Moore's reporting assignment takes an unexpected and potentially lethal change as he discovers and uncovers cold-blooded murder plots, double crosses, and a plot to steal $400 million in treasure under the protective cover of the hurricane. Bob Adamov is a superb craftsman of hanging-on-the-edge-of-your-seat mystery adventures as "When Rainbows Walk" proves that his first novel feature the intrepid report, "Rainbow's End", was no fluke -- and will leave the reader looking eagerly forward to "Promised Land", the third Emerson Moore, investigative report title in this outstanding series.

Garbage Angel: Sarah's Story
Clyde White
Oma Publishing Company
325 River Springs Drive, Suite 100, Seguin, TX 78155
0974717509 $24.00, 320 pages,

Sarah McPhee is a trouble-prone teenager who is approached by an angel with instructions to clean up the environment in Clyde White's debut novel, Garbage Angel: Sarah's Story. To gain the support of her friends, the angel provides a minor miracle to show he is in fact a genuine angel. Sarah, her friends and family, find themselves engaged in a cause that divides their small Texas community. Sarah earns attention and support for her divine mission, even though the local church community persecutes her for her outspoken spiritual beliefs and even boycotts her family's business. Someone even makes an attempt on her father's life. With CNN picking up her story, Sarah and her group gain even more support. But as a result of this world-wide publicity, Sarah and a local minister are gunned down during a demonstration at a local supermarket which she survives to be invited to speak at the World Environmental Symposium in New York -- and have lunch with the President of the United Sates. Garbage Angel: Sarah's Story is a thoroughly entertaining work of deftly written contemporary fiction that has threaded through the engaging story an advocacy for environmental restoration and conservation that will have particular appeal for young readers.

Permission Slips
Jerry Sander
The Way It Works Press
c/o Gulotta Communications, Inc.
341 Lexington Street, Newton, Massachusetts 02466
0976612704 $14.95

Permission Slips is a dark novel about the chaos of teen life, written by high school student assistance counselor and parent Jerry Sander. Permission Slips is not sanitized for one's emotional protection, like most novels about a ninth- grader lost in the chaos of high school are, and not intended expressly for young adults - which may be a moot point since far too many young people live in the world of meanness, uncontrolled sexuality, mindless conformity, and brutal demands to be cruel enough and dumb enough to fit in with the group. A dark, sometimes violent story of struggling to maintain a stable life, identity, and maybe even find love amidst the worst youth has to offer.

Thaddeus Rutkowski
Behler Publications
22365 El Toro Road, #135, Lake Forest, CA 92630
1933016167 $13.95 1-800-830-2913

Written by a finalist for an Asian American Literary Award, Tetched is a coming-of-age novel from the first-person perspective of a biracial narrator, who grows up in rural America yet escapes the repetition of country life for new experiences in the city, pursuing a college career. Far from his father's floundering struggles with alcoholism and unfulfilled art career, and his mother's confusing brand of Eastern wisdom, the protagonist struggles to live life on his own terms, a difficult task indeed - until he learns how to put the past in perspective. A vibrant story of self- discovery and learning what it means to become a well-adjusted adult.

The Stonecutter's Aria
Carol Faenzi
Aperto Books
730 Fifth Ave., 9th Floor, New York, NY 10019
0976794918 $16.95

The Stonecutter's Aria is a novel in the unique format of an opera program narrated in first-person perspective, based on the true stories of an Italian marble carver and opera tenor during the beginning of the twentieth century. Aristide, the protagonist, immigrated to America where his skills in gothic architecture led him to carve some of this nation's most distinguished landmarks, including the National Archives, Duke University, and the University of Chicago. Over a century later, his spirit reaches out to help his troubled great granddaughter. A vigorous and attention- catching narrative about an artist's passion, adventures, regrets, and remembrance.

The Nero Prediction
Humphry Knipe
PO Box 39910, Los Angeles, CA 90039
0976082225 $25.00

Set during 48 A.D., The Nero Prediction is a novel about the religious political intrigue surrounding Nero, in an era when Rome ruled the world and astrology allegedly ruled Rome. Agrippina, the niece of emperor Claudius and mother of the infant Nero, enlists the aid of Epaphroditus, a young slave, in a plot to protect herself from a prophecy that her own son would murder her. Yet when the fated time comes and the slave does not assassinate Nero as expected, Agrippina's own plots prove her destruction. As Nero becomes Caesar, he dreams of a Rome in which music, not military force, is power; yet such beliefs are heresy to apocalyptic Christians soon after "the Antichrist" Nero performs in public. Weaving threads of history into an ominous story of destiny and questioning whether Nero was truly a monster who fiddled while Rome burned or an artistic genius trapped in the role of Caesar, The Nero Prediction is an exciting and compelling read.

Mark Pizzimenti
Acedia Press
9643 Ashfield Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80920
0966663527 $21.95 1-719-661-3398

Dissidence is a fictional, semi-biographical novel about Le Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy. Author Mark Pizzimenti deftly explores the "why" and "how" of the assassination by following Oswald throughout November 22, 1963 and incorporates a meticulously researched biography of the "lone gunman" and his tragic life. Dissidence will appeal to anyone with an interest in the Kennedy assassination, and is recommended reading for anyone who is a fan of the "docudrama" approach to the genres of creative non-fiction and fictionalized history.

The Money/Finance Shelf

Moolah or Bummer!
Moget Africa
iUniverse, Inc.
2021 Pine Lake Road, #100, Lincoln, NE 68512
0595344313 $15.95

Stanford University graduate and experienced businessman Moget Africa presents Moolah or Bummer! A Humorous Look at Finance and Investing, an amusing fusion of basic finance information and humor, in the forms of brief free- verse poems, each of which teaches the reader about a specific aspect of stock market and related interests. Each poem is only a page or two long, succinctly defining a given term for lay readers as well as its implications for someone looking to make Moolah and avoid a Bummer. Arranged in alphabetical order by subject, the poems combine to give a refreshing and easy-to-remember introduction to the perils and pitfalls of investing before risking hard-earned dollars. "P/E Ratio: Price/Earnings Ratio": It's a corporation's current stock price / divided by its EPS (earnings per share) / for the past twelve months. / A higher P/E ratio / means investors have higher expectations / for future growth.

The Cookbook Shelf

Brigitte Mars
Basic Health Publications, Inc.
8200 Boulevard East, North Bergen, NJ 07047
1591200601 $18.95

Rawsome! is much more than a cookbook - it is an in-depth, integrative guide to the health benefits of eating raw foods, and how to safely and properly select, store, and prepare raw foods. Herbalist and nutrition consultant Brigitte Mars explains sprouting, juicing, and many more techniques for enriching the creations of an all raw-foods diet - no cooking, grilling, steaming, or applications of high temperatures. 200 kitchen-tested recipes round out this useful and highly accessible resource for anyone interested in eating closer to nature.

Over the Open Fire
Pamela Alford with Johnny Nix
EMG Productions, Inc.
RR 4, Box 1775, Marble Hill, MO 63764
0977055612 $39.95

Over the Open Fire is a cookbook dedicated to recipes meant to be cooked over an outdoor fire, whether a campfire or a backyard barbecue. Although Over the Open Fire features a wealth of recipes, it is also packed cover to cover with camping, cooking and grilling tips. Dishes meant to be tasted fresh from the flames range from Sourdough Biscuits to Baked Stuffed Apples, Layered Veggie Cheesecake, Pecan Crusted Chicken, Smoked Pork Ribs and much more. Extensive instructions and full-color photographs on every page make Over the Open Fire easy-to-use and a "must-have" for anyone who enjoys preparing restaurant-quality food in the great outdoors. A bonus DVD offers two hours of instructional and entertaining footage.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Living with Kids and Dogs... Without Losing Your Mind
Colleen Pelar, CPDT
C&R Publishing
PO Box 4227, Woodbridge, VA 22194
1933562668 $16.95

Living with Kids and Dogs... Without Losing Your Mind is a no-nonsense advice guide for parents that emphasizes realistic and practical solutions to common parent/pet-owner problems. Dog training facility manager Colleen Pelar covers when not to get a dog (children under 5 are not old enough to interact with a pet responsibly and require supervision around animals; children in general cannot be burdened with the requirement to care for the pet or see it taken away - if the parent doesn't have the resources to follow up on a child's dog care then the family should not get a dog!), how to select an animal with suitable family temperament, how to prevent dog bites, and issues specific to children of various age groups from infant to teenager, and how to help one's children say goodbye to a beloved family pet when it passes on. Black-and-white photographs illustrate this no-nonsense, plain terms guide to dog care and managing a family with kids and dogs. A "must-have" for any parent considering a canine addition to the family.

Duck Enough To Fly
Jim Wright, Jerry Barrack, Doug Goodell
In The Presence Of Nature Books
National Book Network, dist.
498 Franklin Turnpike, Allendale, NJ 07401
0976409208 $12.95 1-800-462-6420

The collaborative effort of Jim Wright, Jerry Barrack, Doug Goodell, Duck Enough To Fly combines an informative text with superb color photography of baby wood ducks leaving their nesting box and taking their first great leap of faith. Duck Enough To Fly offers a simple and inspirational message about facing life's challenges and uncertainties, while emphasizing the importance of protecting wood ducks and their habitats. Indeed, these beautiful ducks almost became extinct a century ago and were only saved by strong conservation efforts. Duck Enough To Fly is informative, entertaining, inspiring, and enthusiastically recommended reading for children, nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts, and anyone else who has ever felt a sense of wonder watching wild ducks in flight.

The Parenting Shelf

How The Lilies Grow
Barbara Munster
Abiding Books
PO Box 243, Condon, OR 97823
0974428485 $13.95

The daughter of social psychologist and mental retardation services advocate Barbara Munster suffered brain damage in a brief childhood illness. How The Lilies Grow: Considering The Needs Of A Developmentally Disabled Child is the compelling story of Barbara's experiences in dealing with all of the guilt, anger, exhaustion, and despair when dealing with the behavioral health-care system of the 1960s. This is also the inspiring story of her emerging vision of equipping communities by changing perspectives and practices nation wide in order to both give to, and receive from, disabled community members like her daughter. How The Lilies Grow is especially recommended reading for care-givers having to deal with developmental disabled within their own families and communities.

Unfolding the Tent
Anne Addison
Autism Asperger Publishing Company
PO Box 23173, Shawnee Mission, KS 66283-0173
1931282803 $18.95

Unfolding the Tent: Advocating for Your One-of-a-Kind Child is a guide written especially for parents of a child with disabilities. Written by a mother of two and member of education and health-related boards, Unfolding the Tent covers such topics as understanding diagnosis, learning to see the world as one's child sees it, the value of a team approach, what to do in cases of conflict, how to draw up a life mapping primer and put the plan into practice, and more. Basic advice focusing on practical responses, building responsibility, self-reliance, and self-esteem, and long- term goals form the solid core of this informational and inspirational guide.

The Business Shelf

Marketing Playbook
John M. Fox
Venture Marketing
5509 Belmont Road, Floor 2, Downers Grove, IL 60515
0975527800 $37.97

Marketing Playbook: The Manual for Growing Organizations is a compendium of 102 marketing strategies to meet sales goals. A football-style theme and trappings capture the reader's eye, but at its heart Marketing Playbook is all business. Tips, tricks and techniques include the basics for creating a good business card, how to create a series of "thank you" postcards with impact, using web conferencing to give a sales presentation without leaving one's chair, how to break through voicemail, and much more. A surprisingly intense amount of detail on each topic and full-color photographs on every page distinguish Marketing Playbook as a top-quality reference and resource for marketing professionals.

The Language Studies Shelf

Last Minute German
Manuela Blankinship & Sarah Hoefflin
Logical Learning Publications
21415 Civic Center Drive, Suite 117, Southfield, MI 48076
097538161X $19.95 1-800-816-6148

The expertly collaborative work of Manuela Blankinship (a German citizen who has lived in the United States since 1997 and speaks five languages) and Sarah Hoefflin (an American citizen who lived in Freiburg, Germany from 1989 to 1994 and is a certified speech-language pathologist and owner of Global Transitions which offers language classes, accent training, and other courses for non-native speakers of English), Last Minute German: A Language And Culture Guide For People On The Fly is specifically and enthusiastically recommended for students, tourists, and business travelers who want to get the most out of their travels in Germany, but who do not have the time to avail themselves of a complete language class or cross-cultural training seminar. Last Minute German offers the reader a series of short, practical phrases that they can hear on an accompanying CD, with the goal of having the language "in their ear" before setting foot in Germany. Practical and cultural tips are also included to ensure smoother relationships and more successful contacts -- especially with German business contacts and partners.

A Greek Hupogrammon
Harvey Bluedorn
Trivium Pursuit
PMB 168, 429 Lake Park Boulevard, Muscatine, Iowa 52761
1933228016 $15.00

Designed to correspond with "A Greek Alphabetarion", A Greek Hupogrammon: A Beginner's Copybook for the Greek Alphabet with Pronunciations is a self-instructional, consumable workbook for anyone age 8 to adult who is beginning studies in reading, writing, and speaking the Greek language. Pages include sections for copying letters of the Greek alphabet, vowel combinations, and simple phrases, as well as a variety of exercises in different formats with answers. The large type size makes all the exercises, pronunciation tips, and examples easy to read, follow, and copy. An excellent resource for novice students of Greek, whether used by itself or in conjunction with its sister volume.

The Photography Shelf

Holly L. Bollinger, author
Nick Cedar, William G. Simmonds and Jim Umhoefer, photographers
MBI Publishing Company
Galtier Plaza, Suite 200, 380 Jackson Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-3885
0760321345 $19.95 1-800-458-0454

Outhouses is a photographic and historical reflection upon the role that the once-necessary outhouse has played in the human past. Once thought of as a place of unpleasant odors and lack of comfort, they are now esteemed as hallmarks of the simple life, and a bygone age when America's ancestors lived closer to the land. In addition to more than 100 full color photographs of a wide variety of outdoor privies nestled amid breathtaking scenery, Outhouses includes a written overview of what life was like before indoor plumbing, with poems, songs, and humorous tidbits about the outhouse's place in American folklore. A one-of-a-kind presentation of an oft-overlooked aspect of pioneer and pre-industrial daily life.

The Professional Photographer's Digital Wedding Album Design Guide
Kathy Woodford
Carillon Creek Press
PO Box 40418, Bellevue, WA 98015
0976664607 $24.95

The Professional Photographer's Digital Wedding Album Design Guide is a no-nonsense guidebook to Adobe Photoshop techniques for creating beautiful digital albums. Chapters cover why template and design programs are unnecessary, how to set up a secure digital workflow with back-up solutions, how to use proof selection software with clients in one's studio, solid design principles, factors that influence a fair price for albums, and more. Avoiding excessively long tutorials, The Professional Photographer's Digital Wedding Album Design Guide is very much a "quick start" reference for producing quality work with proven methods. Highly recommended for professional and amateur digital album designers alike.

The Fantasy/Sci-Fi Shelf

Circles Of Seven
Bryan Davis
Living Ink Books
c/o AMG Publishers
6815 Shallowford Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421
0899571727 $12.99 1-800-266-4977

Book 3 of Bryan Davis' "Dragons in our Midst" series, Circles Of Seven is a contemporary heroic fantasy novel written for pre-teens and young adults and follows the two earlier (and highly recommended) novels, "Raising Dragons" and "The Candlestone" in continuing the saga of Billy Bannister and Bonnie Silver in a world of swords, sorceries, and dragons. This time Billy and Bonnie must fall back on t5heir dragon traits and the wisdom they acquired through their previous adventures in order to explore a multi-dimensional domain of evil. Here they must navigate seven perilous worlds, each one manifested in a circular plan of existence that leads them deeper into the domain of a power enemy where they must free prisoners who are captive to an evil mistress of the circles -- even if it means abandoning Bonnie in order to accomplish it. Bryan Davis has mastered his genre, and Circles Of Seven will leave the reader looking eagerly toward the fourth and concluding title in this highly recommended saga, "Dragons in Our Midst".

Resurrection Of Liberty
Michael L. Wentz
Novalibre Publishing, LLC
428 East Thunderbird Road, #250, Phoenix, AZ 85022
0976797321 $27.95

Freedom has been leached from the galaxy and replaced with slavery, oppression, and destruction. All the known worlds have been overrun by the Gaarich. This is the setting for the riveting science fiction adventure novel Resurrection Of Liberty by Michael L. Wentz. Daniel Foster is a young man who awakens his grandfather's old ship as the Gaarich turn their sights toward Earth. Daniel has no intention of being a hero. But fate has other plans for him as the destiny of Earth and the liberation of a galaxy hangs in the balance of his decisions. Resurrection Of Liberty is an original, deftly written, and thoroughly entertaining novel of action and adventure which can be enthusiastically recommended for science fiction fans.

The Changing Tides
Clifford B. Bowyer
Silver Leaf Books, LLC
PO Box 6460, Holliston, MA 01746
0974435457 $27.95 1-888-823-6450

The second volume in Clifford Bowyer's "Fall of the Imperium" trilogy, The Changing Tides continues the story of an ancient tyrant returning to the Seven Kingdoms and those that would have confronted him have been deftly eliminated. Continuing a complex saga begun with "The Impending Storm" (the first volume of the trilogy), Empress Karleena has been abducted, and with her gone the hopes for the unification of the races is dashed. Warlord Brakis has been slain by his past. Admiral Morex, hero of the Imperium is lost at sea. The Madrew elf Kai is sent into a fold in time and space, leaving the one child that could possibly defeat the tyrant. The true intentions of Zoldex have yet to be revealed, but it seems that the Imperium is doomed. The Changing Tides finds that only the little band of heroes that include Solar (a mystral warrior sword to serve and protect Braksis), Thamar (a dwarven hero), and Adonis (the leader of ISIA) who have survived in the aftermath of all these disasters are all that the Seven Kingdoms have to stave off total disaster -- and they each of incredible obstacles they must overcome. Clifford Bowyer writes with originality and imagination, creating a complex world of memorable characters, scenarios, and action that engage and keep the reader's attention from first page to last -- and looking eagerly toward the third and concluding volume of this impressive and enthusiastically recommended heroic fantasy story arc.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

The Art Of Education
Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh
Dwelling Place Publishing
527 East New York Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11225
9657146100 $24.95 1-866-393-5575

Rabbi Yitzcahk Ginsburgh is one of the foremost contemporary expositors of Kabbalah and Hassidut., having writtne more than forty books in Hebrew and English. In this ninth volume of an impressive "The Teachings of Kabbalah" series, The Art Of Education: Internalizing Ever-New Horizons, Rabbi Ginsburgh presents the seven skills necessary to teaching the basic Kabbalistic model of the "sefirot" (Divine emanations of energy). It is these several skills in their structured form that become a neural key that can metaphorically be inserted into the mind, and the utilized to unlock the "inner educator" within each of us. The Art Of Education is an complex, sophisticated, scholarly, thoughtful and thought-provoking introduction to an aspect of Kabbalstic Studies not often addressed in either popularized Judaic Studies or Metaphysical Rabbinical literature.

The Travel Shelf

San Diego: California's Cornerstone
Iris Engstrand
Sunbelt Publications, Inc.
1256 Fayette Street, El Cajon, CA 92020-1511
0932653723 $19.95 1-619-258-4911

A comprehensive and deftly written history of San Diego form the time of the indigenous Native Americans, through the coming of the Spanish, to the inclusion of California as an American state, to the record rainfalls of 2005, San Diego: California's Cornerstone by Iris Engstrand (a member of the San Diego Historical Society and the Historical Society of Southern California) is a an outstanding specialized regional history of the city and its people. Enhanced with a 25 page chronology of events, San Diego: California's Cornerstone would well serve as a template or example for others engaged in writing histories of their own cities. Also very highly recommended are Ms. Engstrand's earlier San Diego related historical works: "Reflections: A History of the San Diego Gas & Electric Company" (1991); San Diego: Gateway to the Pacific" (1992); and "Inspired by Nature: The San Diego Natural History Museum after 125 Years" (1999)

The Native American Shelf

George D. Flemming
Plexus Publishing, Inc.
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055-8750
093754857X $24.95

Brotherton by George D. Flemming (a dedicated student of New Jersey history and archaeology) is the history of the Brotherton Indian reservation which existed from 1758 to 1802 and was the only Indian reservation every established within the state of New Jersey. Drawing from archeological evidence and artifacts, Flemming begins with a description of the people that first appeared in post-glacial souther New Jersey 10,000 to 12,00 years ago. Then follows an account of the Lenape, the Native Americans of the region who were impacted by the European colonization of the Delaware Valley beginning in the early 17th century and which led to the founding of the reservation in 1758. After describing the creation and history of the reservation itself, Flemming then goes on to chronicle the New Jersey communities that would eventual succeed the reservation, including Shamong and Tabernacle. A work of impressive detail and documented scholarship, Brotherton is enhanced with numerous historical photographs and illustrations. Also available in a hardcover edition (0937548618, $34.95), Brotherton is a welcome and highly recommended addition to both Native American Studies and American History library reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Criminology Shelf

Prison Conversations
Craig Gabriel
PO Box 492, Arroyo Grande, CA 93421
0975535404 $29.95 1-805-473-5732

Prison Conversations: Prisoners At The Washington State Reformatory Discuss Life, Freedom, Crime And Punishment is the result of conversations Craig Gabriel (who spent years volunteering at the Washington State Reformatory) had with nine inmates. Written in an oral history style, the life stories of these men make for gripping narratives, such as Buck, who as a boy of 14 shot and killed a lady store owner in a hold-up and (now in his thirties and still in prison for that crime) maintains that "I still live with her, because I think about her all the time. You know, when you take a human life, it's like no other crime. For me personally, it's like I'm bonded to her for the rest of my life. And sometimes that motivates me to be a better human being, actually." Many of these nine inmates have done stints in long term solitary confinement cells, have committed additional infractions while already incarcerated, have experienced the physical discomforts, psychological pressures, and sleep deprivation that simply breaks some prisoners. This is also the story of the Reformatory and how it has changed over the years as the men discuss how they've changed, formed deep friendships, the prison "pecking order", and so much more that is a part of prison life. Prison Conversations is a unique and seminal contribution to Criminology Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Education Shelf

Designing Better Maps
Cynthia A. Brewer
380 New York St., Redlands, CA 92373-8100
1589480899 $24.95

Designing Better Maps: A Guide for GIS Users is a guide to cartography, written in response to advances in digital mapping and geographic information system (GIS) software and illustrated throughout with map samples in color. With such increasingly widespread tools, more analysts, researchers, planners, graphic designers, and lay people lacking basic cartography training have been creating maps that appear slick on the surface but contain internal flaws due to common beginner mistakes. Designing Better Maps seeks to rectify such errors by offering a basic cartographic education for non-cartographers. Chapters cover the basics in type, color and color decisions, customizing symbols, properly designed marginal elements, and more. An easy-to-follow resource and a "must-have" for anyone working with GIS software who has little prior training or experience in mapmaking.

Classrooms That Spark
Emma S. McDonald & Dyan M. Hershman
Inspiring Teachers
12655 North Central Expressway, Suite 810, Dallas TX 75243
0966714571 $26.95 1-877-496-7633

The collaborative work of Emma S. McDonald and Dyan M. Hershman, Classrooms That Spark!: Recharge And Revive Your Teaching is specifically designed to help classroom teachers overcome the problem of "burn out" by rekindling the fire of learning within themselves and within their students. Classrooms That Spark will enable any K-12 teacher to crate a positive classroom environment where the love of learning is fostered, develop a "learner-centered" classroom structure, teach motivating lessons that will engage student attention throughout the entire class period, and manage their classroom efficiently and effectively. Written in a thoroughly "reader friendly" conversational style, Classrooms That Spark! offers practical advice bolstered by real-life scenarios and the utilization of research-based strategies. Enhanced with more than one hundred reproducible forms, Classrooms That Spark! is enthusiastically recommended reading for any teacher suffering from (or wanting to avoid!) boredom in their instructional activities and responsibilities.

The Literary Shelf

The Pen And The Key
Nigel Loring, editor
74th Street Productions
350 North 74th Street, Seattle, WA 98103
0965570258 $21.95

The Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA) is one of the largest and oldest writers organizes in the United States. Compiled and edited by Nigel Loring, The Pen And The Key: 50th Anniversary Anthology Of Pacific Northwest Writers is a compendium of short stories, nonfiction, and poetry drawn from twenty-four contributors who participated in this acclaimed organization's conferences and contests in celebration of PNWA's fiftieth anniversary. From J. A. Jance's "Signore Bianco", to Kay Kenyon's "The Loyal Order of Beasts", to Kathleen Alcala's "Cities of Gold", to Stephen John Walker's "The Yoke", this is an impressive collection of genuine literary gems. Of special note is the section dedicated to "Writing About Writing" which consists of Marvin Bell's "The Case for the Arts and Humanities", Terry Brooks' "Facing Down the Monster", Elizabeth George's "Born to Write?", Mark Lindquist's "Bridget's Kitchen", and Bharti Kirchner's "The Kettle Boils--Out Pours A Novel". The Pen And The Key is a welcome showcase of first class literary talent and a highly recommended read for those who appreciate the craft of well honed writing.

The Music Shelf

The Savvy Guide to Digital Music
Richard Mansfield
Indy-Tech Publishing
an imprint of Sams Technical Publishing
9850 E. 30th St., Indianapolis, IN 46229
0790613174 $18.95

Written by dedicated computer music hobbyist Richard Mansfield with the technical assistance of recording studio head engineer Andy McEwen, The Savvy Guide to Digital Music is a straightforward guide to the digital music revolution for readers of all backgrounds, from the technophobe to the savvy computer literate. Chapters walk the reader through the basics of digital audio and different formats such as MP3 and MIDI, the advantages of portable digital music players such as the ubiquitous iPod versus "solid state storage", how to rip and burn tunes into a customized CD of one's favorite songs, choosing the best sound card and online service for one's needs, sequencing, remixing, sampling, and working with software for creating digital music, and much more. Black-and-white screenshots and no-nonsense instructions make The Savvy Guide to Digital Music a hands-on how-to guide, as well as an up-to-date primer. Highly recommended for anyone considering or just getting into the wonderful world of digital music.

There's a wealth that derives from money and possessions. But it pales in comparison to the wealth that derives from a ready access to the knowledge of the world held in trust for us all in our local community libraries!

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

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