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Wheels of Wisdom
Tim Bishop & Debbie Bishop
Open Road Press
9780985624866, $14.99, PB, 264pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: After three tours totaling over 10,000 miles, Tim and Debbie Bishop have discovered wisdom and truth from the seat of a bicycle. In "Wheels of Wisdom: Life Lessons for the Restless Spirit" they share the life lessons they learned on the open road. The messages threaded through the pages of "Wheels of Wisdom" include: Adopting the right mind-set; Conquering fear, worry, and inaction; Overcome obstacles; Relishing life's journey. These and other basic principles are universal whether bicycling across America or chasing a lifelong dream. "Wheels of Wisdom" provides a fresh perspective and new motivation for having an adventure. Not only will meaningful truths be encountered when traveling vicariously to new places and meet new people.
Critique: Impressively well written, organized and presented, "Wheels of Wisdom" is a consistently compelling, informative, and thoughtful read, highlighted with inspirations for pursuing one's goals to the finish. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Wheels of Wisdom" is also available in a Kindle format ($7.99).
The Cookbook Shelf
Sandra Goldberg Wendel
Write On Ink Publishing
9780991654451, $12.95 pbk / $3.99 Kindle, 102pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Comprised of family stories and the recipes for 36 dishes straight from the kitchen of Diana 'Nama' Goldberg, "Chewish" is a culinary collection of family recipes that are as palate pleasing as they are appetite satisfying. Nicely illustrated with colored drawings, the recipes range from an appetizer called Crab Meat Dip; to Noodle Pudding; Black Bottom Pie; Mama Frankie's Brisket; Apple Dumplings; and Nama's Farfel. Of special note is the recipe for the World's Best Cheesecake.
Critique: A delight to browse through and ideal for planning menus with, "Chewish" will prove to be a very welcome and much appreciated addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections. "Chewish" also makes an excellent gift for connoisseurs of fine home cooking! It should be noted that "Chewish" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).
The Sports Shelf
9780997524215, $15.99, PB, 200pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Is American football safe enough for our kids to play? That is the question at the center of the many recent attacks on the sport. Yet over two million kids play youth football every year, often starting as young as four and five years old, referred to as Super Pee Wees. Big hits have replaced sound tackling and our kids are sustaining concussions before they even reach high school. High school coaches and players are spending more time than ever practicing and playing football which has practically become a year round sport. And worst of all, many young football players are sacrificing everything to reach the NFL...an almost impossible goal that isn't all it's cracked up to be. No wonder they're not having any fun anymore. So how do we fix it and save amateur football?
Written by Bobby Vernon, a successful businessman, father, and high school coach with nearly twenty years of experience playing and coaching football, "Tackling Dummies: Playing Amateur Football Smarter" provides both an objective and insiders look at the game and identifies key problems with the sport and culture of amateur football. Both technical and common sense solutions are provided in a simple and easy-to-understand way, which will help both players and coaches perform better, play safer, and have more fun.
Critique: With real and often hilarious football stories told from the author's perspective, enhanced with descriptions and photos of safer and more effective tackling techniques, offering recommended alternatives to early youth football, making suggested changes to the rules of the game, presenting honest insights into college and NFL "careers", and with comprehensive college football program listings, "Tackling Dummies: Playing Amateur Football Smarter" is a must-read for any and all football fans, players, coaches, or parents. While recommended for all community and academic library Sports/Athletics collections it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Tackling Dummies" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).
The Biography Shelf
How I Got Here: A Memoir
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781519640338, $15.95, PB, 174pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Ceil Lucas is Professor Emerita, retired from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, the world's only liberal arts university for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, where she taught linguistics from 1982 to 2013 through American Sign Language (ASL), with a focus on the structure and use of sign languages. She started teaching Italian in 1973, at all levels, and continues to do so. She has maintained the French and Spanish that she learned in Guatemala and has picked up Irish along the way; her native language is English.
Ceil was born in the United States but raised from ages five through twenty-one in Guatemala City and Rome, Italy. The Guatemala of the mid-1950s saw intense American intervention in Guatemalan affairs, intervention shaped by the deep fear of communism. Italy, on the other hand, was experiencing a post-war economic boom and the beginning of the "years of lead".
"How I Got Here: A Memoir" tells of her upbringing first in Guatemala City, then in Rome, and finally in America. As a result of this upbringing, upon meeting someone new, she invariably says, "I wasn't raised here", "here" meaning the U.S.
Ceil has also studied the history of her family and has discovered that her first ancestors on her mother's side were among the Scottish Prisoners transported to Maryland's Eastern Shore in 1654 by Oliver Cromwell, following the Battle of Dunbar in 1650; Daniel De Lucas appears in Kent, England in 1500, with Spanish connections, and the first Lucas to America was a Quaker who sailed to Philadelphia in 1679. She is therefore very American, ten generations' worth.
The stories of her ancestors, right up through her parents, have become her stories and are central to her memoir. Those stories help explain, in the broadest sense, how she got here.
The central thread of Ceil's memoir is the search for the balance between "I wasn't raised here" and "I'm deeply American."
Critique: With eloquence and insight, author Ceil Lucas ponders what it truly means to be an American. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "How I Got Here: A Memoir" is an inherently and consistently compelling read from first page to last. "How I Got Here: A Memoir" is highly recommended for both personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library American Biography collections.
The Fiction Shelf
9780980145618, $19.95, PB, 340pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Trim and resourceful, Brett Falco and Susan Connelly may just be the most eligible couple to try to immigrate into the Commons, which is a shelter in the febrile 2200's. Now if only such a move weren't against the Constitution of the newly founded, preservationist country. Seeking a challenge, brilliant lawyer Clarens Mann takes on their impossible case, with life-turning repercussions and hope for a cure for his secret ailment.
Critique: A deftly crafted novel populated with memorable characters and a consistently engaging storyline, "The Migrant" showcases author Lucian Leonte's rather impressive literary skills and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community and academic library Literary Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Migrant" is also available in a Kindle format ($5.99).
Even Willows Weep: Pheonix
My Three Sons Publishing
9780986447617, $14.99, PB, 308pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Callista Lamply is a young professional art therapist working with children dealing with cancer. Enter Pheonix, an imp of a child, dealing with her terminal cancer the best she can. Strangely, Callie has had visions of Pheonix in her dreams and shock registers now, having Pheonix, in the flesh, here at her art table. Callie becomes emotionally attached to this young girl as she prepares herself for the inevitable.
This task of pushing facts aside so that she can continue to honor her professional duties becomes monumental with each tick of the clock. Maddie, Callie's best friend and roommate, is a quirky little thing leaving nothing to the imagination. She has no filter which, oddly enough, Callie finds endearing. Maddie made the leap, leaving Connecticut to start fresh in Missouri and try as they might to run from their past, history seems to be repeating itself. Will this cause Maddie to resort to her coping mechanisms that nearly cost her her life years ago?
Meanwhile, Callie's brother Jimmy believes that he is happily living with his wife in their quaint cabin on Lake Carmi. However, the veil of deception is lifted leaving Jimmy with pain and uncertainty. He forges ahead in his role of a lifetime, becoming a father, unaware that the Sandy Hook tragedy looms ahead.
When dreams of lost love, causes images, voices and emotions to bubble up from the recesses of her mind, Callie wonders if she has finally found what she truly wants in life. Each will decide their fate by allowing that little voice within to be heard. Just listen and believe.
Critique: Original, compelling, deftly crafted, "Even Willows Weep" is an inherently engaging and entertaining read from beginning to end and continues to document author Cindy Lynch as an impressively accomplished storyteller. While highly recommended for community library general fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Even Willows Weep: Phoenix" is also available in a Kindle format ($7.99). Also very highly recommended Cindy Lynch's novel "Bye For Now: Gramp's Camp" (9780986447600, $14.99 PB, $7.99 Kindle, 296pp).
Regalia Publishing, LLC
9780990543435, $15.99, PB, 288pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Jack Adams is as disciplined as they come. And at age 35, he has earned the trust of his mentor and boss and been handed a delicate case for the daughter a major client. If he handles this right, his partnership is all but guaranteed. After he wins a big hearing, Jack sees the finish line in sight. But his case takes an unexpected turn when his client has other plans. Seduced and manipulated, Jack struggles to unravel the truth while he is forced to fight for his job, his law license, and even his freedom.
Critique: A deftly crafted and original story populated with memorable characters and a consistently engaging storyline, "Broken Promises" clearly showcases author Nick Nichols as an especially gifted and a steadily entertaining novelist. While very highly recommended addition to community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Broken Promises" is also available in a Kindle format ($2.99).
A Strange Boy
John L. Jewell
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781504993364, $41.19, HC, 398pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "A Strange Boy" is the story of Leslie's journey from a small boy to his midteens; revealing the tragedies, the cruelties, and the losses he suffers. But as he grows, Leslie acquires special skills and uses them to fight his many demons. The skills lead him to important discoveries, some dreadful and others joyful. His sister, Mary, aids his journey whilst concealing her own skills from him, until a serious brain operation forces them to trust in each other and open up. He constantly searches for answers, in particular, the truth regarding his father's disappearance in the 1950s, and thanks to their combined skills, he enlists the help of a local newspaper editor and one of his reporters who eventually discover the truth for him.
Critique: A consistently compelling and impressively crafted novel, "A Strange Boy" clearly showcases author John L. Jewell as an original and gifted storyteller. While very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Strange Boy" is also available in a paperback edition (9781504993388, $24.34) and in a Kindle format ($4.99).
The Dash of Dr. Todd
Howard E. Adkins
1663 South Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781441533524, $19.99, PB, 392pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: 1825 - 1868 is how a man's life summed up on a gravestone, as though his birth and death are the only cardinal facts of his existence. Certainly, a Mozart concerto is much more than the first and the last notes or even the total number of notes contained in the work. It is the manner in which Mozart arranged those notes, the themes they demonstrate, and the sentiments they elicit that give the composition its beauty and importance. In the same sense, the dash on the gravestone really represents the whole fabric of the life of the deceased and consists of a complex weft and warp of events, emotions, and actions - all the threads that produced, day by day, the cloth of that man's life. At least some of those threads are undoubtedly worthy of note in the existence of any man. This is novelist Howard E. Adkin's account that reveals a doctor's life lived out in the American Western frontier of the mid-1800s in the dash on the tombstone of Daniel Locke Todd, M.D.
Critique: Original, compelling, memorable, and an inherently fascinating read from cover to cover, "The Dash of Dr. Todd" is a riveting novel by a master storyteller and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Dash of Dr. Todd" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).
Betwixt Twists and Turns
9781482874181, $13.99, HC, 122pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Betwixt Twists and Turns: A Potpourri of Short Stories" showcases the impressive short story skills of author Mona Mohanty. In "Betwixt Twists and Turns" (what a great title for an anthology!), Dragonflies are said to be harbingers of rain, but they may be much more for one unsuspecting woman. A household dog finds a reprieve when Grandma comes to stay. A young man stops by an ATM at night and finds himself encountering robbers-and a young woman who may not be what she seems. The creative impulse for this little literary masterpieces arise from a series of short stories born from random thoughts that popped up out of nowhere, overheard bits of conversation, parables of family lore, and anecdotes from friends. These tales include a variety of viewpoints ranging from an older woman who receives an unexpected telegram, to a businessman who encounters what might be a ghost, as well as various animals sharing their impressions of human life. These original and carefully crafted stories vividly capture the routine of existence - but with a surprising twist.
Critique: Betwixt Twists and Turns is an extraordinarily creative anthology that keeps the reader guessing with every page. While very highly recommended for community and academic library Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Betwixt Twists and Turns" is also available in a paperback edition (9781482874174, $7.50) and in a Kindle format ($4.99).
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Speaking of Murder
Les Roberts with Dan S. Kennedy
Gray & Company Publishers
9781938441844 $24.95 hc / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: When a celebrity-packed motivational event turns deadly, Cleveland private eye Milan Jacovich (MY-lan YOCK-ovitch) finds himself caught up in the mess.
Milan and his associate Kevin "K.O." O'Bannion are hired as extra security for several high-profile inspirational speakers at a convention in downtown Cleveland, where they get off to a rocky start. Each special guest seems more unpleasant than the last?particularly Tommy Triller, the main draw for the weekend, with an ego to match his bank account. Tensions run high, but Milan thinks they have things covered... until Triller's dead body is found in his hotel room, a bullet hole between his eyes and a motivational CD jammed in his mouth.
Among the suspects are fellow speakers, including southern psychologist Dr. Ben, who resented earning less than Triller; hip hop artist and convicted killer Hy Jinx; and former big-league baseball manager Tony Nardoianni, who might be willing to do almost anything for the right price.
Milan figures he and K.O. are out of work when his significant other, Cleveland homicide detective Tobe Blaine, takes charge of the murder case. But to Milan's surprise, his old nemesis and local mob boss Victor Gaimari asks Milan to work for him. Nardoianni owes Victor, who wants to make sure the debt is paid?and that the aging athlete's gambling past stays under wraps as the murder investigation continues.
Tobe's not happy to have Milan and K.O. operating on her turf. But a job is a job, and Milan is determined to clear his new client of murder... by finding the real killer.
Critique: Nineteenth in Les Roberts' "Milan Jacovich" mystery series, Speaking of Murder: A Milan Jacovich Mystery is an intense page-turner of a mystery-thriller that will keep readers second-guessing themselves until the end. Milan is a hard-boiled private eye for the modern day, navigating a treacherous web of shady characters in search of justice for an unlikable client. Highly recommended, especially for connoisseurs of the genre! It should be noted for personal reading lists that Speaking of Murder is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
K. A. Keith
c/o iUniverse, Inc.
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781926851457, $15.95, PB, 400pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The year is 1972. Widowed Christina Parr, her daughter Morgan, and her brother-in-law Jeremy have returned to the remote northern Ontario mining town of Parr's Landing, the place from which Christina fled before Morgan was born, seeking refuge. Dr. Billy Lightning has also returned in search of answers to the mystery of his father's brutal murder.
Critique: A deftly crafted novel from beginning to end, of special note are the expertly described combat scenes deftly woven into an outstanding, unique and intricate action adventure story by a master storyteller. "Enter, Night" by K. A. Keith is unreservedly recommended for community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Enter, Night" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99). Librarians should note that "Enter, Knight" is also available for community library audio book collections in an MP3 CD format (Brilliance Audio, 9781522606017, $9.99).
Schizo: Hidden in Plain Sight
Ilene B. Benator
2140 Hall Johnson Road, #102-345, Grapevine, TX 76051
9781944781415, $16.95, PB, 370pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Dan Greenberg was a promising medical student who was derailed by Catherine -- a bizarre schizophrenic patient whose delusions about patients in danger at hospitals all around Chicago were startlingly specific. Drawn by both curiosity and compassion, Dan investigates, discovering that they were exactly where Catherine said they would be. Who are these people? Why are they in danger? Are they connected with each other?
While incarcerated, he joins forces with an unlikely ally Jake -- a man who murdered his own family during a drug-induced psychotic break, but is also a charming hacker with street smarts who creates a plan to get Dan's life back. In his attempts to do so, he threatens to uncover a conspiracy to track and manipulate the population by a cabal of influential people who will do anything to keep their plot secret. He will learn just how far powerful people will go to stay in control, and the high price of the truth.
Critique: "Schizo: Hidden in Plain Sight" by Ilene Benator is the story of an ambitious future surgeon on his psychiatry rotation is assigned a patient who reveals to him information about an organized plot to control the population. His pursuit of the truth leads him to become a psychiatric patient in the same facility. Original, exceptional, deftly constructed, and consistently compelling, this is a novel that clearly presents it's author as an exceptionally gifted and skilled storyteller. While highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Schizo: Hidden in Plain Sight" is also available in a Kindle format ($8.99).
The Political Science Shelf
c/o Author House
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781491747483, $29.95, HC, 280pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: According to Dan Meyer in "Upside Down", the American people have had it pretty good since WWII. Our prosperity has resulted in our collective apathy toward the corrupt progression of what once were considered to be servants of the people into life-long "career politicians" in Washington, D.C. who have effectively become our elite political ruling class. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely and it's corollary that Big Money Corrupts Big Time. The result is that today in our United States we have an all-powerful central government enabled by a subservient media propelling our nation toward the living hell described in George Orwell's 1984 where truth cannot be found - where freedom does not exist.
Critique: Thoughtful and thought-provoking, informed and informative, insightful and compelling, "Upside Down" is a consistently compelling read that is very highly recommended as a critically important addition to both community and academic library Political Science collections and supplemental studies reading lists. For students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject it should be noted that "Upside Down" is also available in a paperback edition (9781491747476, $19.95) and in a Kindle format ($3.99).
How To Press America's Reset Button
1425 Broadway, #550, Seattle, WA 98122
9780996977609, $16.95, PB, 250pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Judging by today's national political conversations, a great many Americans are simply fed up with their government, concerned about the future of the country, and what it will be like for the next generation of young Americans who will inherit a politically polarized and non-functioning Federal government. In "How to Press America's Reset Button" Sean Burke clearly lays out exactly how citizens can take back control of the federal government by severing the ever-increasing power that lobbyists, billionaires and other special interest groups have over elected officials. A down-to-earth, easy-to-read, practical handbook "How To Press America's Reset Button" is based on months of exhaustive research and offer an effective key to fixing our government that every American can put into action. "How to Press America's Reset Button" doesn't favor any party, nor does it bash any individual, group or ideology. Instead, it offers a specific, effective solution Americans can use to actively (and very easily) put the country on a new path of repair, stability and growth. Surprisingly simple and incredibly powerful, pressing the reset button will completely upend how business is currently conducted in Washington.
Critique: Especially appropriate for this current political scene the reveals the depth and breath of public unrest and resentment of the political status quo, "How To Press America's Reset Button" is a critically important addition to community and academic library Political Science collections. An absolute 'must read' for anyone outraged at the role big money in corrupting today's national and state governments, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "How To Press America's Reset Button" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).
The Self-Help Shelf
Declutter Your Mind
S.J. Scott and Barrie Davenport
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781535575089 $14.99 pbk / $2.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: Feel overwhelmed by your thoughts? Struggling with anxiety about your daily tasks? Or do you want to stop worrying about life? The truth is...We all experience the occasional negative thought. But if you always feel overwhelmed, then you need to closely examine how these thoughts are negatively impacting your lifestyle.
The solution is to practice specific mindfulness techniques that create more "space" in your mind to enjoy inner peace and happiness. With these habits, you'll have the clarity to prioritize what's most important in your life, what no longer serves your goals, and how you want to live on a daily basis. And that's what you'll learn in Declutter Your Mind.
Critique: Declutter Your Mind features user-friendly, practical mental exercises that anyone can regularly perform to relieve anxiety and improve their daily mindest. Chapters discuss the causes of mental clutter, how to remold nagging or recurring negative thoughts, how to practice meditation and focused deep breathing for personal benefit, and much more. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Declutter Your Mind is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9780997516807, $12.95, PB, 184pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Time spends us and the beast controls us. "Now O' Clock" by William Garcia ( a certified Life coach, author, speaker, mindfulness practitioner, entrepreneur, president and CEO of Arttextry.com, Inc.) is the inspiring journey toward the enlightened mindfulness of "being" in the moment and staying there long enough to be awakened to the mindless and stressful pace the Beast has set, and how, in insidious ways, it controls our daily lives. We already know the Beast as a "what," not a "who." Who, is what it has conditioned us to be.
In "Now O'Clock", Garcia shows his readers how they can retake control and become better able to set their own pace and choose the life they want to live -- not one manufactured for them by the Beast. Treating Time as the constant element it is, may be the key to opening the door to that life.
Then there is the special concern Garcia has for those whose duty it is to serve and protect. For them, returning home at the end of their shift or tour of duty involves dangerous levels of stress endured by them and their families. "Now O' Clock" is especially written with them in mind.
In the pages of "Now O'Clock" Garcia also shares beautiful life stories that are intimately personal, miraculous, spiritual, and wonderfully inspiring. Then there is the ultimate reality we all must face. This reality is the most powerful and intriguing paradox of life and living.
Critique: Impressively well written, organized and presented, "Now O'Clock" is an inherently fascinating, consistently compelling, persuasively informative, thoughtful and thought provoking read from beginning to end, Inspired and inspiring, "Now O'Clock" is enthusiastically recommended for community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Now O'Clock" is also available in a Kindle format ($3.99).
The Call of the Day
Joy Journey of You
9780997313802, $19.95, PB, 134pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Deftly written by Jodi Hershey and nicely illustrated by Laila Savolainen, "The Call of the Day" is a compelling invitation to see beyond the turbulence of our ego-driven lives and connect with who we really are; not our material outward looking self but the spiritual entity that dwells eternal in each of us. Hershey plots this journey with tremendous insight and experience, guiding us to a realm of true contentment and happiness. She explains succinctly what is happening in this unique time and why change is imperative. Through personal growth and a change in perspective, Hershey lets us discover how we can stand sincerely in our authentic truth, allowing us to create a peaceful world brimming with unconditional love. "The Call of the Day" will resonate with anyone thirsting for meaning and spirituality in their lives. "The Call of the Day" will help to uncover unique talents and realize the reader's potential.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, impressively organized and presented, thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, content and commentary, "The Call of the Day" is a potentially life-changing guide that is very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections.
The Christian Studies Shelf
God and Money
John Cortines & Gregory Baumer
17909 Adria Maru Lane, Carson, CA 90746
9781628624076, $24.99, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In the pages of "God and Money: How We Discovered True Riches at Harvard Business School" by Gregory Baumer and John Cortines - Paperback", two young Harvard MBAs on the fast track to wealth and success, John Corintes and Gregory Baumer collaborate to tell their story of God's transforming power and how Scripture brought them to the startling conclusion that they should give the majority of their money away to those in need. Packed with compelling case studies, research, and practical strategies, "God and Money" offers an honest look at what the Bible says about generous giving. No matter what your salary or income source may be, "God and Money" shows you how you can reap the rewards of radical generosity in your own life.
Critique: Exceptional, original, practical, inspiring, "God and Money: How We Discovered True Riches at Harvard Business School" is an extraordinary read that is very highly recommended for church, community, and academic library Christian Studies collections. Critically important reading for all members of the Christian community, regardless of their denominational affiliation, "God and Money" is also available in a paperback edition (9781628624731, $14.99) and in a Kindle format ($5.99). It should be noted that 100% of the author royalties will go toward Christian ministries that are focused on spreading the Gospel and providing for those in need.
Prospect Park Books
2359 Lincoln Avenue, Altadena, CA 91001
9781938849428, $24.95, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Alex Sherman-Zicklin is a mid-level marketing executive whose wife's fourteenth attempt at a TV pilot is produced, ordered to series, and awarded an Emmy. Overnight, she's sucked into a mad show-business vortex and he's tasked with managing their new high-profile Hollywood lifestyle. He falls in with a posse of Plus Ones, men who are married to women whose success, income, and public recognition far surpasses their own. What will it take for him to regain the foreground in his own life?
Critique: "Plus One" is Christopher Noxon's debut novel and offers a comedic take on bread-winning women and caretaking men in contemporary Los Angeles. Deftly crafted, witty, original, thoroughly and consistently compelling, "Plus One" is enormously entertaining and will leave fully satisfied readers looking eagerly toward Noxon's next literary effort. While very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Plus One" is also available in a paperback edition (9781938849725, $16.00) and in a Kindle format ($7.99).
The Military Shelf
Answering the Call
Stephen L. Wilson
3101 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC 27607-5436
9781430326915, $30.00, HC, 296pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Answering the Call: With the 91st Infantry Division in the Italian Campaign During World War II" is the personal story of South Dakotan Allen Wilson's training in the U.S. and military duty served in Algeria, Italy, and Austria. Wilson served as an officer and forward observer with the 362nd Regiment's Cannon Company. "Answering the Call" is also the story of Wilson's wife Barbara's and her experiences as a young mother during his deployment.
Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of some 60 period photographs and illustrations, 6 maps, notes, and a bibliography, "Answering the Call: With the 91st Infantry Division in the Italian Campaign During World War II" is impressively informative, exceptionally well written, and an invaluable addition to the growing library of World War II memoirs and biographies. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library World War II and American Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Answering the Call" is now available in a paperback edition (9781635050639, $14.95).
The Religion/Spirituality Shelf
The Circle of Initiates: Past and Present
Klaire D. Roy
Orange Palm And Magnificent Magus Publications
9780980969474, $39.95, PB, 598pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Circle of Initiates: Past and Present" by Klaire Roy deftly examines the lives of 109 influential personalities from a spiritual standpoint. She candidly unveils what drives and motivates them, through the spiritual tools of the rays of energy and spiritual initiation levels.
What forces backed and sustained Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and Barack Obama? What is the nature of the energy that compels Madonna, George Lucas, Walt Disney and Beethoven? What is the source that fueled the genius of Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci and Nikola Tesla, or the magnetism of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra? Which one of these personalities accomplished their soul's plan? Which one of them made mistakes that impacted their destiny?
A ray is a type of energy that qualifies the six bodies that compose each human being (Monad (Spirit), Soul, personality, mental, astral and physical), and all that exists on the planet. The study of the seven rays of energy and how they influence us can help us greatly understand ourselves and those with whom we live.
Spiritual initiation levels measure the degree of evolution or the maturity level attained by our soul. From one life to another, our soul strives to attain a higher spiritual maturity through experiences, some positive, others seemingly negative. An awareness of our initiation level can be of great benefit in the understanding of our various life experiences.
"The Circle of Initiates: Past and Present" will enable the reader to see life in a whole new way.
Critique: A unique and inherently fascinating study, "The Circle of Initiates: Past and Present" is a consistently compelling read from beginning to end. Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, persistently engaging and occasionally inspiring, "The Circle of Initiates: Past and Present" is very highly recommended for personal reading lists, and would prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community and academic library collections.
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
9781911486008, $12.99 pbk / $2.99 Kindle, 258pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Molly Marbles runs a successful bistro on terraformed Mars. But a virtual restaurant opens near her place, offering the experience of delicacies from across the Solar System with none of the calories. What will this do to her business? Then its owner is murdered in her kitchen. Molly, an amateur detective, springs into action to help the police solve the mystery, while also planning her pop-star daughter's wedding, keeping her kitchen staff from feuding, and protecting her cyborg friend from the humans-only mob. Meanwhile, the infamous Cereal Serial Killer has escaped prison on Pluto and has everyone worried. Things are getting hectic, but Molly is a resilient and resourceful woman. And her knack for mysteries sees her nick-named 'Sherlock Mars'.
Critique: A consistently compelling and entertaining read from beginning to end, "Sherlock Mars" is a blending of humor, action adventure, and mystery/suspense that will have a very special appeal to science fiction enthusiasts. Clearly demonstrating author Jackie Kingson as an especially gifted and original novelist, "Sherlock Mars" is unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Sherlock Mars" is also available in a Kindle format ($2.99).
The Education Shelf
Handbook Two: Advanced Teaching Strategies for Adjunct and Part-Time Faculty, fourth edition
Donald E. Greive & P. D. Lesko, editors
The Part-Time Press
PO Box 130117, Ann Arbor, MI 48113
9780940017399, $25.00, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Collaborative compiled and co-edited by higher education expert Donald Greive and academician Patricia D. Lesko, "Handbook Two: Advanced Teaching Strategies for Adjunct and Part-Time Faculty" is now in a newly updated and expanded fourth edition. This expanded collection is comprised of over two dozen instructional essays, gathering together the professional know-how of award-winning teaching faculty, as well as research faculty, staff and administrators whose work focuses on faculty development, student retention and success, as well as faculty mentoring. This anthology includes essays on topics such as: student engagement and motivation; integrating technology into the classroom; collaborative/cooperative learning; flipped/hybrid courses; rubrics; teaching large classes; distance education; testing and test strategies. It is interesting to note that previous editions of "Handbook II: Advanced Teaching Strategies for Adjunct and Part-Time Faculty" have been used in over 1,000 colleges and universities in the U.S.
Critique: Thoughtful and thought-provoking, wide-ranging in scope, this new edition of "Handbook Two: Advanced Teaching Strategies for Adjunct and Part-Time Faculty" will prove to be of fundamental and practical assistance to faculty members seeking to sharpen their teaching skills and become more effective classroom instructors. A truly impressive compendium of informational studies from beginning to end, "Handbook Two: Advanced Teaching Strategies for Adjunct and Part-Time Faculty" is unreservedly recommended, especially for academic library Teacher Education instructional reference collections.
Getting Down to Business
Bruce A. Johnson
The Part-Time Press
PO Box 130117, Ann Arbor, MI 48113
9780940017139, $25.00, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Getting Down to Business: A Handbook for Adjunct/Part-Time Faculty Who Teach Business" by Bruce A. Johnson (who has been involved in many forms of adult education; including teaching, training, human resource development, coaching and mentoring in a decades long career) is more than just another teacher's manual! "Getting Down to Business" is an absolutely indispensable resource helps business professionals, as well as academics choosing to teach part-time, with the necessary tools to tackle the day-to-day challenges associated with teaching part-time in the Business School environment. Specifically designed for use by faculty who teach in either the undergraduate and/or graduate-level classroom, "Getting Down to Business" covers subjects ranging from student-centered learning strategies, to student engagement, to teaching large classes effectively, to ethics, to classroom technology, to course planning, to the development of meaningful writing assignments. "Getting Down to Business" is a compendium of practical suggestions, strategies and advice. "Getting Down to Business" provides part-time faculty with the contents of a first-rate teaching workshop for a fraction of the price.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Getting Down to Business" is an impressively informed and informative study that will aptly serve as a curriculum textbook. Of special note is a section devoted to 'Helpful Tips' contributed by eleven other experts. Enhanced with the inclusion of a series of Figures, a Glossary, and an Index, "Getting Down to Business" is a unique and highly recommended addition to college and university library Business Education collections in general, and corporate business education supplemental studies reading lists in particular.
The Travel Shelf
Dining Out in Paris, second edition
9780981529219 $14.95 amazon.com
Synopsis: Dining Out in Paris - What You Need to Know Before You Get to the City of Light provides the uninitiated or infrequent visitor to Paris with information on all the different forms of sit-down, stand-up, and takeout dining available in the French capital. It contains the advice and instruction you need to give you the confidence to venture forth and enjoy your dining or gastronomic shopping experience in the City of Light. The book also contains ten full-length reviews of top restaurants in the Latin Quarter, ten top fine-food shops, ten top tips on how to dine like a local, and what the new restaurant phenomenon called "fait maison" means for you.
Critique: Author Tom Reeves has observed Paris restaurants since 2006; his distilled expertise makes Dining Out in Paris a "must-read" for any traveler to the City of Lights, whether for vacation, visiting, or business purposes. Now updated in a second edition, Dining Out in Paris showcases a wealth of favorite eateries, with their address, hours of operation, history, specialty dishes, and much more. Highly recommended!
James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
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