Return to home
page Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
Home / Small Press Bookwatch

Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 12, Number 9 September 2013 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Jobs/Careers Shelf Political Science Shelf
Environmental Studies Shelf Military Shelf Travel Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Christian Studies Shelf Gaming Shelf
Marriage Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf Poetry Shelf
Humor Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Dare to Look!
Ripley Publishing
7576 Kingspointe Parkway, Suite 188
Orlando, FL 32819
9781609910778 $28.95

Featuring a bonus free 3D interactive book app, Ripley's Believe It or Not! Dare to Look! is yet another amazing display of weird, wild, crazy, occasionally gross, always fascinating true-life curiosities from Ripley Publishing. From an opossum who loves to snowboard, to bug pizza and other insect gourmet delicacies, to daredevil kayakers who paddle to the lip of the world's largest waterfall knowing that if they go over the side they won't survive, Dare to Look! is packed with incredible feats, pop culture wonders, and eccentric endeavors. Lavish, full-color photography on every page brings this showcase to life. Highly recommended for all ages, Ripley's Believe It or Not! Dare to Look! is a choice pick especially for high school and teen libraries, as a way to encourage young adults to read and learn more about the incredible world around them.

The Jobs/Careers Shelf

Your Future Is Calling
Mike Echols
Human Capital LLC
c/o Concierge Marketing
13518 "L" Street, Omaha, NE 68137
9780989388719, $14.95,

Today's highschool and college graduates face a more complex, competitive, and rapidly evolving employment world than did their parents or grandparents. That's why "Your Future is Calling: A Practical Guide to the Education You Need to Have the Future You Desire" by Mike Echols is such a welcome and useful instructional guide for planning and preparing for a vocational career. This thoroughly "user friendly" 200 page compendium is packed with resource lists, practical exercises, and real-world tips on matching passions and strengths with career selections and choices. Of special note is an entire chapter devoted to 'Find the Money You Need'. Informed and informative, "Your Future is Calling: A Practical Guide to the Education You Need to Have the Future You Desire" is very highly recommended for personal, community library, high school and college library Jobs/Careers instructional reference collections and supplemental reading lists. It should also be noted that "Your Future is Calling: A Practical Guide to the Education You Need to Have the Future You Desire" is available in a Kindle edition ($9.95).

The Political Science Shelf

The Art Of Waging Peace
Paul K. Chappell
Prospecta Press
c/o Jane Wesman Public Relations
322 Eighth Avenue, Suite 1702
NY, NY 10001
9781935212782, $21.00,

Peace and war have one thing in common: they don't just 'happen', they are created through great effort, at great cost, and are hallmarked by specific persons of significant leadership ability able to muster a substantial and effective number of followers. "The Art of Waging Peace: A Strategic Approach to Improving Our Lives and the World" by Paul K. Chappell (Peace Leadership Director for the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation) is a 344 page compendium that provides a personalized and military perspective on the strategies, tactics, principles, and methods for resolving conflicts without recourse to violence. Practical, pragmatic, informed, informative, and with substantially examples drawn from such figures as Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., "The Art of Waging Peace: A Strategic Approach to Improving Our Lives and the World" is thoughtfully instructive and offers sound, 'real world' commentary on how war can be avoided and injustice successfully dealt with. Very strongly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library collections, "The Art of Waging Peace: A Strategic Approach to Improving Our Lives and the World" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.09).

The Environmental Studies Shelf

Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond Volume 1, second edition
Brad Lancaster
RainSource Press
813 N 9th Ave
Tucson, Arizona 85705
9780977246434 $29.95

Now in a revised and expanded second edition with more integrated sun, wind & shade harvesting, Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond lives up to its title with a massive array of tips, tricks, techniques, and procedures for collecting rainwater. Whether to save money on water bills, help preserve the environment's local water supply, or enrich one's garden, the methodologies of Volume 1 (the first in an award-winning, three-volume series) will prove invaluable. Chapters discuss how to assess the water resources available to one's site; using earthworks or tanks to collect and store rainwater; applying integrated design principles to rural or urban homes; and more. A wealth of black-and-white illustrations and diagrams help make Volume 1 easy for readers of all backgrounds to comprehend and utilize. Highly recommended, especially as increasing population pressures and climate change make water scarcity an ever-more critical environmental issue!

The Military Shelf

Waterways of War: The War of 1812
Steve Benson and Ron Toelke
Great Lakes Seaway Trail
401 W. Main St.
PO Box 660
Sackets Harbor, NY 13685
9780943689104 $9.95

Beautifully illustrated with full-color artwork and photography throughout, Waterways of War: The War of 1812 is a brief but enlightening traveler's guide to forts, battlefields, and historic sites in New York and Pennsylvania that are related to the War of 1812 (in which America battled Britain over grievances such as Britain's practice of forcibly drafting American sailors to serve in Britain's navy). Accessible to readers of all backgrounds, Waterways of War provides a basic overview of the war's history, and is peppered throughout with amazing true-life vignettes about assorted locations, memorials, and crucial battles. A timeline and a list of resources round out this informative and fascinating resource, ideal for armchair travelers, or as a sightseeing guidebook and souvenir for military history enthusiasts! Also highly recommended is "Waterways of War: The French & Indian War" (9780943689111, $14.95).

The Travel Shelf

Morocco Overland, second edition
Chris Scott
The Old Manse, Tower Road
Surrey, GU26 6SU, UK
9781905864539, $28.95,

Morocco is the most westerly of the North African countries. It has both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, as well as featuring a rugged mountain interior. Morocco has a population of over 35 million and an area of 710,850 km2 (274,460 sq mi). The political capital is Rabat, although the largest city is Casablanca; other major cities include Marrakech, Tangier, Tetouan, Sale, Fes, Agadir, Meknes, Oujda, Kenitra, and Nador. Morocco has a history of independence not shared by its neighbors. Its rich culture is a blend of Arab, Berber (indigenous African) and also other African and European influences. Now in a newly updated and expanded second edition, "Morocco Overland" showcases routes accessible by four wheel drive vehicles, motorcycles or mountain bikes through scenic Morocco from the Atlas to the Sahara. Nicely illustrated with ten color and 55 b/w photos, "Morocco Overland" has practical advice for getting to Morocco across Europe and the Mediterranean via ferries; 56 routes covering 10,000km (including the Atlantic route to Mauritania; over 400 pages of detailed mapping for each route, along with each route being graded for difficulty, scenery and best time of year. Of special note are the hundreds of GPS way points. It should also be noted that there is a dedicated web site at "Morocco Overland" will prove to be an invaluable planning guide for anyone seeking travel, adventure, and life-time memories when visiting Morocco!

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Naturvore Power
Charles C. Harpe, MD
Warren Publishing
3440 Toringdon Way, Suite 205
Charlotte NC 28277
9780988417021 $15.95

Good health improves both the quality and quantity of one's life. To that end, Charles C. Harpe, MD (certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine) presents Naturvore Power: Transcending Industrial Food and Medicine, a siren call to resist processed food, excessive overuse of pharmaceuticals, and the sedentary, unhealthy American lifestyle promoted by corporate advertising. Harpe traces how all these factors contribute to obesity, malnourishment, and sickness, offering recommendations for making substantial improvements in one's diet and daily habits. Thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds, Naturvore Power is highly recommended, especially for readers struggling with chronic health and diet problems.

The Christian Studies Shelf

A Patristic Treasury
James R. Payton Jr., editor
Ancient Faith Publishing
PO Box 748, Chesterton, In 46304-0748
9781936270446, $29.95,

The Apostolic Fathers are five Early Christian authors who lived and wrote in the second half of the 1st century and the first half of the 2nd century. These were followed by the church leaders grouped according to whether they preceded, were contemporary with, or followed the Council of Nicene. They are acknowledged as leaders in the early church, although their writings were not included in the New Testament. They include Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, Polycarp of Smyrna, the author of the Didache, and the author of the Shepherd of Hermas. The label "Apostolic Fathers" has been applied to them since the 17th century to indicate that they were thought of as being of the generation that had personal contact with the Twelve Apostles. Thus they provide a link between the Apostles—who had personal contact with Jesus—and the later generations of Church Fathers, which includes the Christian apologists, defenders of orthodoxy, and developers of doctrine. Knowledgeably compiled and deftly edited by patristic scholar James R. Payton Jr., "A Patristic Treasury: Early Church Wisdom for Today" is a 480 page compendium providing non-specialist general readers with an accessible introduction and sampling of writings by the Ante-Nicene, Nicene, and Post-Nicene Fathers ranging from Clement of Rome, to Theophilus of Antioch, to Cyril of Alexandria, to John of Damascus. Altogether there are 46 ancient Christian writings providing contemporary Christian readers a welcome and accessible body of early Christian literature that has relevance for their lives today.

The Gaming Shelf

Poker Tells Bible
Dutch Saunders
Saunders Publishing LLC
1286 Discover Street, Unit 6
San Marcos, CA 92078-4038
9780985710606, $22.00, 160 pp.

Simply stated, Dutch Saunders' "Poker Tells Bible" should be considered mandatory reading by anyone who will ever sit down at a poker table and play to win. Unique among the growing body of poker instruction books, "Poker Tells Bible is a photo album that present accurate visual imagery of the individual 'tells' or reveals that poker players gives off denoting whether they are holding hands of strength or weakness. Most tells are involuntary and most people have them in one form or another. The genius behind Dutch Saunders' "Poker Tells Bible" is that the reader can clearly see what a given tell actually would look like at the table. Comprehensive, practical, informed and informative, the "Poker Tells Bible" is thoroughly 'user friendly' and can not only be utilized to interpret other players, but to enable the reader to identify and control their own inevitable tells!

The Marriage Shelf

The Marriage Whisperer
Patt Hillinger Pickett
MSI Press
1760-F Airline Highway, #203
Hollister, CA 95023
9781933455655, $22.95,

"The Marriage Whisperer" by licensed marriage and family therapist Patt Hillinger Pickett is a jargon-free, self-help 214 page instruction guide inspired by over 10,000 conversations. Illustrated with 70 couple stories which are presented with humor and include a wealth of practical tips and tools for lasting relationship improvement, "The Marriage Whisperer" is an informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. Popular themes like communication, habits, chores, arguments, sex, and intimacy are explored in easy-read tales that are thoroughly 'reader friendly'. Highly recommended for community library Self-Help collections, "The Marriage Whisperer" is particularly appropriate for non-specialist general readers with an interest in dealing with the problems, pressures, and stresses that family life is inevitable subject to in our modern world.

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Vlad Yudin & Tim Bradstreet
Arcana Studio
c/o The Vladar Company
330 W38th Street Suite 202
New York, NY 10018
9781771351621 $19.95

Suggested for mature (or at least older teen) readers due to violence and narcotics references, Headsmash is a dark, gritty, full-color graphic novel, set in a miserable urban dystopia akin to Alan Moore's "V for Vendetta" or Frank Miller's "Sin City" sagas. In Headsmash, the inner city is dominated by the Horde (no relation to the "World of Warcraft" player faction), a vicious cross between a criminal gang and a fascist totalitarian government. It is the Horde who decides which children are shuttled into a lifetime of prostitution, and which children become gang soldiers. Loyalty and solidarity are trumpeted above all; the punishment for disobedience is torture and execution, sometimes for the offender's entire family. But does The Horde truly show loyalty to its own? Smash has been a faithful Horde soldier since his youth; when he is double-crossed and left for dead - his pregnant wife kidnapped by the very organization he blindly served for so long - he must learn the truth about why he was targeted, and brave impossible odds to rescue the woman he fell in love with. His few advantages include a serum that grants him superhuman strength at a terrible price, and an extremely tentative alliance with the Horde's rivals (who were once his own blood enemies)! Headsmash pulls no punches with its grim tale of murder and revenge, suspenseful to the very last page.

The Poetry Shelf

Questions About God
Stephen Perry
Humanist Press
1777 T Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
9780931779350 $9.95 pbk. / $7.99 ebook

Questions About God is an inquisitive, far-reaching poetry collection, ranging in format from free-verse to stream-of-consciousness monologue to rhyming stanzas and more. Some poems are tales by unreliable narrators; others strike out into topics ranging from history and theology to sexuality, music, science, and the workings of the human mind. Challenging and thought-provoking, Questions About God delves into fundamental mysteries with a unique and insightful flair. "Philomel": Love loves you or another one. / Can you tell the difference in his song? / Sometimes it's best to hold your tongue. / Love loves you or another one. // Hermit thrush or nightingale, / It's all the same: wind and hail. / Love loves you or another one. / Can you tell the difference in his song?

The Humor Shelf

The Saturday Evening Post: Special Humor Issue
Patrick Perry, editor
Saturday Evening Post Society
c/o The Rosen Group Public Relations
30 West 26th Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10010
No ISBN, $15.00,

The Saturday Evening Post published current event articles, editorials, human interest pieces, humor, illustrations, a letter column, poetry (with contributions submitted by readers), single-panel gag cartoons (including Hazel by Ted Key) and stories by the leading writers of the time. It was known for commissioning lavish illustrations and original works of fiction. Illustrations were featured on the cover and embedded in stories and advertising. Some Post illustrations became popular and continue to be reproduced as posters or prints, especially those by Norman Rockwell. The Curtis Publishing Company stopped publishing the Post in 1969 after the company lost a landmark defamation suit and was ordered to pay over $3 million in damages. The Post was revived in 1971 as a quarterly publication. As of the late 2000s, The Saturday Evening Post is published six times a year by the Saturday Evening Post Society, which purchased the magazine in 1982. Compiled and edited by Patrick Perry, "The Saturday Evening Post: Special Humor Issue" is a 128 page compendium showcasing more than 300 cartoons drawn from the last ten years of the magazine's publication and nicely organized by subject matter or topic (e.g. marriage, aging, work, etc.) Funny, witty, and a testament to the power of the single panel cartoon, "The Saturday Evening Post: Special Humor Issue" is highly entertaining and enthusiastically recommended reading from first page to last.

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

Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design