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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 13, Number 8 August 2018 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Cookbook Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Christian Studies Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf
Islamic Studies Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf Hobby Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Philosophy Shelf Business Shelf
Automotive Shelf Travel Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Education Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Music Shelf
Art Shelf Military Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Zen in the Age of Anxiety
Tim Burkett, author
Wanda Isle, editor
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-4544
9781611804867, $16.95, PB, 184pp,

Wrestling with fear doesn't have to be a negative experience. Written by Tim Burkett and edited by Wanda Isle, "Zen in the Age of Anxiety: Wisdom for Navigating Our Modern Lives" offers an approach to life that unlocks a new way of thinking and being in the world, one that leads directly through the center of the anxieties we seek to avoid. In the style of an owner's manual, a guide to being human, "Zen in the Age of Anxiety" focuses on areas of pain and anxiety as they tend to manifest for modern people: feelings of unworthiness, and issues surrounding sex, money, failure, and even death. Providing wisdom from Zen (channeled through his many experiences as a psychotherapist) and using language and metaphors from popular culture, "Zen in the Age of Anxiety" takes anxiety and teaches us to turn those fears into the building blocks of a fulfilling life. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "Zen in the Age of Anxiety" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Zen in the Age of Anxiety" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editors of Reader's Digest
Reader's Digest Trade Publishing
44 South Broadway, White Plains, NY 10601
9781621453802 $19.99 pbk / $11.99 Kindle

Homemade: 707 Products to Make Yourself to Save Money and the Earth is a compendium of 370 recipes for creating inexpensive, natural, and environmentally-friendly products at home. Readers will learn how to make their own health and beauty supplies, pet food, pantry staples, cleaning products and much more! From a nontoxic toilet bowl cleaner made from borax and white vinegar, to a lightly scented aftershave created from witch hazel and rose water, to a wealth of delicious kitchen recipes, Homemade is a homemaker's and budget-saver's delight! Highly recommended.

Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance, second edition
Martin Gurdon
Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781620082768 $19.99

Featuring vibrant, full-color photography of chickens on virtually every page, Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance: Reflections on a Life of Raising Chickens is a unique memoir about raising chickens. While there are plenty of chicken care tips, guides, and remembrances, Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance is primarily an armchair tour of chicken-care, and not necessarily a how-to guide. Hen and the Art of Chicken Maintenance is a delight to page through, and an unforgettable glimpse into the trials, tribulations, and joys of raising backyard chickens. Highly recommend!

White Hot Grief Parade: A Memoir
Alexandra Silber
Pegasus Books
80 Broad Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10004
9781681777641, $25.95, HC, 288pp,

Alexandra "Al" Silber seems to have everything: brilliance, beauty, and talent in spades. But when her beloved father dies after a decade-long battle with cancer when she is just a teenager, it feels like the end of everything. Lost in grief, Al and her mother hardly know where to begin with the rest of their lives. Into this grieving house burst Al's three friends from theatre camp, determined to help out as only drama students know how and they're moving in for the duration. Over the course of that winter, the now five-strong household will do battle with everything Death can throw at them meddling relatives, merciless bureaucracy, soul-sapping sadness, the endless Tupperware. They will learn (almost) everything about love and will eventually return to the world, altered in different ways by their time in a home by a river. An inherently fascinating and deeply personal memoir written with an impressive candor and a genuine flair for narrative storytelling, "White Hot Grief Parade" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary American Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "White Hot Grief Parade" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

The Forgotten Father
Gary Roen
Taylor and Seale Publishing, LLC
9781943789856 $15.95 hc / $5.99 Kindle

The Forgotten Father (Coping With Grief) is a brief yet profound memoir expressed in free-verse poetry. Author Gary Roen expresses the raw, turbulent grief of losing his infant son to SIDS. Society treated him as a "forgotten father", barely acknowledging that he felt extreme pain over the death of his own child. The Forgotten Father reaches out to parents (especially fathers) who have suffered unspeakable loss. Highly recommended. "so many in their wisdom say / with time the pain and hurt will go away / it will be so much easier // i have news for them / sometimes it doesn't."

The Cookbook Shelf

Instant Pot Miracle 6 Ingredients or Less
Ivy Manning
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
3 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9781328557124, $21.99, PB, 240pp,

With the thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes compiled by Ivy Manning and comprising "Instant Pot Miracle 6 Ingredients or Less: 100 No-Fuss Recipes for Easy Meals Every Day" is a culinary compendium of no-fuss recipes that complement the Instant Pot's many settings. The result is simple, satisfying meals ready when they are wanted with a minimum of fuss and effort. The recipes include meaty braises, soups and stews, healthy breakfasts (for anytime of day!), pastas and grains, and more. For even greater convenience, one-pot recipes are noted with icons throughout, and some versatile recipes can be made using either the Instant Pot's pressure-cook or slow-cook function, so you can cook according to your schedule. "Tasty tips" and serving suggestions offer even more flexibility to make the most of ingredients you already have on hand. Whether you're just getting to know your Instant Pot or you're a long-time fan, "Instant Pot Miracle 6 Ingredients or Less" makes cooking delicious, wholesome meals easier than ever. While very highly recommended as an enduringly popular addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections, it should be noted that "Instant Pot Miracle 6 Ingredients or Less" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Canning Full Circle
Diane Devereaux, author
Photography by Jeff Hage
Privately Published
9780998686905 $29.99

Featuring full-color, full-page photography of each dish, Canning Full Circle is a sumptuous cookbook designed especially for gardeners who preserve their own crops in jars and cans. Chapters walk the reader through the basics of food preservation, step-by-step instructions for to- the-jar "canning", followed by delicious recipes using those canned goods for to-the-table "eating". From Apple Cider Butter Muffins, to Tangy Huevos (eggs with Tangy Pepper Salsa), to Blonde Chutney Stuffed Pork Loin and much more, Canning Full Circle is a "must" for any gardener and canner who seeks to make the most of their preserves, highly recommended. The savory repast of recipes will also appeal to cooks who don't necessarily grow or preserve their own ingredients!

Brian McDermott's Donegal Table
The O'Brien Press
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7, 124 Byers Road, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
9781847179791 $32.00

Brian McDermott's Donegal Table is a cookbook featuring healthy, delicious meals for the whole family, grounded in local produce. Award-winning chef Brian McDermott showcases recipes based on tradition, such as Sunday's Finest Roast Lemon and Thyme Chicken, Wild Atlantic Way Fish Pie, My Garden Rhubarb Crumble, Black Pudding Dipping Fritters and much more. Beautiful, full-color photography and an index for ease of use round out this user-friendly cookbook. Highly recommended!

Pulutan!: Filipino Bar Bites, Appetizers and Street Eats
Marvin Gapultos
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9780804849425, $14.99, HC, 120pp,

In the pages of "Pulutan!: Filipino Bar Bites, Appetizers and Street Eats", food blogger and creator of the first Los Angeles Filipino food truck 'The Manila Machine', Marvin Gapultos showcases Filipino cuisine by exploring the drinking food and bar snacks of the Philippines known as "Pulutan". Marvin shows how to eat and drink like a Filipino with a range of easy Pulutan recipes -- all of which are perfect accompaniments to an icy cold beer! Toward this last feature, Marvin also provides perfect beer pairings for each dish so the Filipino cuisine experience can be elevated to the highest degree. An essential guide to Filipino food and drinking culture the more than 60 thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly recipes range from Grilled Coconut and Lemongrass Shrimp; fried Calamari with Crispy Purple Yam Crust ; Fried Green Mangoes; and Grilled Bacon Skewers with Pineapple Glaze; to Pork Meatballs with Spicy Coconut Sauce; Beef and Tripe Ginger Soup; and Grilled Garlic Lamb Chops. Then there is the culinary wealth of unique cocktails and desserts! While unreservedly recommended for personal, family, professional, and community library ethnic cookbook collections, it should be noted that "Pulutan!: Filipino Bar Bites, Appetizers and Street Eats" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.24).

Beautiful Bundts
Julie Anne Hession
Robert Rose Inc.
9780778805762, $24.95, PB, 288pp,

A Bundt cake is a cake that is baked in a Bundt pan, shaping it into a distinctive ring shape. The shape is inspired by a traditional European cake known as Gugelhupf, but Bundt cakes are not generally associated with any single recipe. The style of mold in North America was popularized in the 1950s and 1960s, after cookware manufacturer Nordic Ware trademarked the name "Bundt" and began producing Bundt pans from cast aluminum. Publicity from Pillsbury saw the cakes gain widespread popularity. (Wikipedia) Today the appeal of bundt-style cakes is stronger than ever. The distinctive ring shape of a Bundt pan is more popular than ever, with many next-generation bakers discovering their unique and iconic shape for the first time. In the beautifully illustrated pages of "Beautiful Bundts: 100 Recipes for Delicious Cakes and More", successful chef, competitive cook, and popular food blogger Julie Hession has created 100 delicious and versatile recipes for every occasion featuring the retro classics enjoyed as a child, to modern pull apart Bundts like Monkey Bread which have exploded in popularity. Each recipes is thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' making this culinary compendium and absolute 'must' for family, personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

You Are Psychic
Sherrie Dillard
Llewellyn Publications
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
9780738751320, $18.99, PB, 312pp,

In "You Are Psychic: Develop Your Natural Intuition Through Your Psychic Type", Sherrie Dillard (who has been a professional intuitive, medium, medical intuitive and teacher for over thirty years) guides the reader in discovering when and how their intuition works. Filled with easy-to-follow exercises, guided meditations, and illuminating stories drawn from Sherrie's years of teaching, "You Are Psychic" deftly shares the secrets of the four psychic types and shows how to identify spiritual strengths while overcoming the doubts or fears that may be standing in the way of personal and metaphysical success. Learning to trust the elusive energy of psychic awareness can be an important step in life's journey. "You Are Psychic" will helps even the most novice metaphysical student to interpret the intuitive information they receive, opening the gateway to support, guidance, and love from the realm of spirit. Whether the desire is to improve relationships, career, health, or finances, "You Are Psychic" will helps the reader to move beyond the five senses and embrace their deep inner wisdom. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "You Are Psychic" is especially informative and recommended reading that is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.49).

Barefoot Wisdom
Sharon Whiteley & Ann Marie Chiasson, MD
Red Feather
c/o Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764355448, $16.99, PB, 112pp,

Co-written by author, serial entrepreneur, and innovator Sharon Whiteley and Ann Marie Chiasson (who is the co-director of the Fellowship in Integrative Medicine and Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Arizona's Center for Integrative Medicine), "Barefoot Wisdom: Better Health Through Grounding" shows the reader how to reconnect with nature's energy to step into better health through getting grounded. Grounding is a freely available way to tap into the Earth's always-accessible and ever-powerful natural energy to re-balance the body and restore health. An indispensable primer on the natural health benefits of grounding, "Barefoot Wisdom" specifically shows how to use the Earth's power to counteract the harmful nature deficiency found in our modern society. Contemporary readers will learn what people knew in the past about grounding and its use in linking to nature and the Earth, as well as finding out how to use grounding to change their lives, regain connections to the Earth, dispel misconceptions and challenge myths, and stay grounded wherever they are. By using the Earth as a treatment table, "Barefoot Wisdom" will teach understanding with respect to keeping our feet on the ground (sole to soil!) by taking a walk on the wild side -- all the way to a healthier future. A unique and valued contribution to the growing library of Alternative Medicine, "Barefoot Wisdom" is an extraordinarily informative, thoroughly 'reader friendly', and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as both community and academic library collections.

The Fiction Shelf

Tom Claffey
Farcountry Press
PO Box 5630, Helena, MT 59604
9781591522188, $14.95, PB, 150pp,

Forced off the road during a violent nighttime storm, big rig driver Kelsey Brannigan and her feisty mutt Max shelter beside an abandoned church in Taiban, New Mexico. Inside the old church, Max discovers a victim of the storm a raven with a broken wing. Kelsey names the injured bird Midnight and a reaches out to Wildlife Rescue with hopes the can mend the wing and return Midnight to the sky. Along the way, Kelsey introduces us to a gallery of truckers and western towns while romance kindles between her and a stoic rugged cowboy named Rick Delgado. A deftly crafted work of instantly engaged reading from first page to last, "Midnight" clearly showcases the author's genuine flair for originality and character driven storytelling, making Tom Claffey's "Midnight" certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections.

Rancher's Dream
B. J. Daniels
HQN Books
c/o Harlequin Books
225 Duncan Mill Road, Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9781335006998, $7.99, PB, 384pp,

Tragedy sent Deidre "Drey" Hunter running from rancher Hawk Cahill and into the arms of a sleek businessman who promised her a new life. But dreams of Manhattan days and cosmopolitan nights shatter when he brings her back to an ultramodern paradise in her hometown of Gilt Edge, only to vanish on their wedding nigh!. Taunted by seclusion and silence, Drey starts to doubt everything -- including her sanity. Only Hawk, the stubborn cowboy from her school days, believes the threats are real and that someone is ready to kill. But is he willing to forgive the past if it means ending her nightmare? With "Rancher's Dream", author B. J. Daniels has once again demonstrated her genuine flair for narrative driven storytelling with an absolutely absorbing novel that is unreservedly recommended for all Suspense & Romance fans.

The 53rd Card
Virginia Weiss
Beaver's Pond Press
7108 Ohms Lane, Edina, MN 55439
9781592988150, $18.95, PB, 512pp,

Agoraphobic Emma Addison is afraid of any place too far from home, afraid of outside. But when one Christmas Eve she inadvertently summons the devil, she opens a door that will not close. Emma dismisses her unbidden guest, though not before relinquishing a cherished stone carving of Kuan Yin -- an unwitting concession that bestows on her an unusual power. This power isn't much, but it's plenty enough to spark a craving for the devil's tantalizing promise of more. And now Emma has some disquieting choices to make. Because if the devil is real, doesn't that mean God is too? But if God is real, then why is the world such a mess and so desperately wanting the attention of the very power in her hands? Meanwhile, a door hangs open, a portal through which the devil will step, through which a host of divine beings will follow, all with an agenda of their own. And impelled to the remotest regions of faith and doubt, Emma discovers a place beyond both -- a place the reader just might recognize as home. Showing a genuine flair for original and engaging narrative storytelling, with "The 53rd Card", author Virginia Weiss has written an inherently compelling and consistently entertaining novel that will linger in the mind and memory long after it has been finished and set back upon the shelf. While unreservedly recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The 53rd Card" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Queen & The Spymaster
Sandra E. Rapoport
KTAV Publishing House
527 Empire Blvd, Brooklyn, NY 11225
9781602802940, $39.95, HC, 520pp,

Esther, a daughter of Israel, was queen of all Persia, beautiful and mysterious. In a royal court rife with intrigue, she was also the ultimate coup for a spymaster: she was perfectly placed to influence the most powerful king in the ancient Near East. Only when her people faced certain genocide was the Bible's highest-placed sleeper agent activated. "The Queen & The Spymaster" by Sandra E. Rapoport is a Biblically themed novel that is based on the story of Esther. It is interest to note that award-winning author and scholar Sandra E. Rapoport deftly hews to the ancient text while vividly imagining the suspenseful, gripping and ultimately triumphant backstory of the unlikely heroes of Xerxes' ancient Persia. An inherently fascinating and impressively entertaining saga of a novel, "The Queen & The Spymaster" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal reading lists and community library Historical Fiction collections.

The Cottages on Silver Beach
RaeAnne Thayne
c/o Harlequin Books
225 Duncan Mill Road, Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9781335007018, $7.99, PB, 384pp,

Megan Hamilton never really liked Elliot Bailey. He turned his back on her family when they needed him the most and it almost tore them all apart. So she's shocked when Elliot arrives at her family's inn, needing a place to stay and asking questions that dredge up the past. Megan will rent him a cottage, but that's where it ends -- no matter how gorgeous Elliot has become. Coming back home to Haven Point was the last thing bestselling writer Elliot Bailey thought he'd ever do. But the book he's writing now is his most personal one yet and it's drawn him back to the woman he can't get out of his mind. Seeing Megan again is harder than he expected and it brings up feelings he'd thought were long buried. Could this be his chance to win over his first love? Another gem of a romance novel by a true master of the genre, RaeAnne Thayne's "The Cottages on Silver Beach" is an entertainingly compelling read from first page to last and very highly recommended for community library Contemporary Romance collections, as well as the personal reading lists of the legions of RaeAnne Thayne fans.

Engraved on the Heart
Tara Johnson
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
9781496428318, $14.99, PB, 400pp,

Reluctant debutante Keziah Montgomery lives beneath the weighty expectations of her staunch Confederate family, forced to keep her epilepsy secret for fear of a scandal. As the tensions of the Civil War arrive on their doorstep in Savannah, Keziah sees little cause for balls and courting. Despite her discomfort, she cannot imagine an escape from her familial confines -- until her old schoolmate Micah shows her a life-changing truth that sets her feet on a new path as a conductor in the Underground Railroad. Dr. Micah Greyson never hesitates to answer the call of duty, no matter how dangerous, until the enchanting Keziah walks back into his life and turns his well-ordered plans upside down. Torn between the life he has always known in Savannah and the fight for abolition, Micah struggles to discern God's plan amid such turbulent times. Battling an angry fiance, a war-tattered brother, bounty hunters, and their own personal demons, Keziah and Micah must decide if true love is worth the price -- and if they are strong enough to survive the unyielding pain of war. An inherently compelling and deftly crafted novel by a true master of narrative driven storytelling, Tara Johnson's "Engraved on the Heart" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Historical Fiction collections. It should be noted that "Engraved on the Heart" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.88) and in a Large Print/Library Binding edition (Thorndike Press, 9781432856595, $29.99, 488pp).

The Two-Plate Solution
Jeff Oliver
Bancroft Press
PO Box 65360, Baltimore, MD 21209
9781610882231, $25.00, HC, 224pp,

A James Beard Award-winning chef stands atop a 50-foot-high diving platform having just plated a competition-winning culinary masterpiece. He looks down, faints from fear of heights, and careens into the water below. Worst of all? He knocks over his dish on the way down. So begins "The Two-Plate Solution" by novelist Jeff Oliver -- and it only gets better from there! Readers will follow a diverse cast of young talented chefs as they compete in a high-stakes TV cooking competition set in Israel. Their culinary foes: fake "terrorists" brought in by the producers -- that is, until some actual terrorists show up on set, and the producers must scramble to either integrate them into the show, or risk death. Mysteries deepen, romances bloom, and chefs cook for their lives in this laugh-out-loud culinary adventure that has more plot twists and turns than a Coney Island roller coaster. With his genuine flair for originality and narrative driven storytelling, author Jeff Oliver has created an inherently entertaining novel in "The Two Plate Solutions" that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Two Plate Solutions" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Beautiful Exiles
Meg Waite Clayton
Lake Union Publishing
9781503900837, $24.95, HC, 384pp,

Set in Key West, Flordia, in 1936, headstrong and accomplished journalist Martha Gellhorn is confident with words but less so with men when she meets disheveled literary titan Ernest Hemingway in a dive bar. Their friendship (forged over writing, talk, and family dinners) flourishes into something undeniable in Madrid while they're covering the Spanish Civil War. Martha reveres him. The very married Hemingway is taken with Martha -- her beauty, her ambition, and her fearless spirit. And as Hemingway tells her, the most powerful love stories are always set against the fury of war. The risks are so much greater. They're made for each other. With their romance unfolding as they travel the globe, Martha establishes herself as one of the world's foremost war correspondents, and Hemingway begins the novel that will win him the Nobel Prize for Literature. "Beautiful Exiles" is a stirring story of lovers and rivals, of the breathless attraction to power and fame, and of one woman who is ahead of her time in claiming her own identity from the wreckage of love. A beautifully crafted novel and an inherently fascinating story, "Beautiful Exiles" will prove to be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to community library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of Meg Waite Clayton fans that "Beautiful Exiles" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781543674828, $24.99, MP3 CD).

The Life Lucy Knew
Karma Brown
Park Row Books
195 Broadway, 24th Floor, New York, NY 10007
9780778319344, $16.99, PB, 304pp,

After hitting her head, Lucy Sparks awakens in the hospital to a shocking revelation: the man she's known and loved for years, the man she recently married, is not actually her husband. In fact, they haven't even spoken since their breakup four years earlier. The happily-ever-after she remembers in vivid detail (right down to the dress she wore to their wedding) is only one example of what her doctors call a false memory: recollections Lucy's mind made up to fill in the blanks from the coma. Her psychologist explains the condition as honest lying, because while Lucy's memories are false, they still feel incredibly real. Now she has no idea which memories she can trust -- a devastating experience not only for Lucy, but also for her family, friends and especially her devoted boyfriend, Matt, whom Lucy remembers merely as a work colleague. When the life Lucy believes she had slams against the reality she's been living for the past four years, she must make a difficult choice about which life she wants to lead, and who she really is. An extraordinary novel by a impressively gifted writer with a genuine flair for character and narrative driven storytelling, author Karma Brown's "The Life Lucy Knew" is unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Life Lucy Knew" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99). There is also a large print, library binding edition of "The Life Lucy Knew" (Thorndike Press Large Print, 9781432857684, $39.99, HC, 458pp).

Negar Djavadi, author
Tina Kover, translator
Europa Editions
214 West 29th Street, Suite 1003, New York, N.Y. 10001
9781609454517, $18.00, PB, 320pp,

Kimia Sadr fled Iran at the age of ten in the company of her mother and sisters to join her father in France. Now twenty-five and facing the future she has built for herself as well as the prospect of a new generation, Kimia is inundated by her own memories and the stories of her ancestors, which come to her in unstoppable, uncontainable waves. In the waiting room of a Parisian fertility clinic, generations of flamboyant Sadrs return to her, including her formidable great-grandfather Montazemolmolk, with his harem of fifty-two wives, and her parents, Darius and Sara, stalwart opponents of each regime that befalls them. "Disoriental" is a high-spirited, deftly crafted, kaleidoscopic novel reflecting key moments of Iranian history, politics, and culture that punctuate stories of family drama and triumph. Yet it is Kimia herself, a modern woman divided between family traditions and her own "disorientalization" who captures the reader's rapt attention from start to finish. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that, engagingly written by Negar Djavadi and deftly translated into English by Tina Kover, "Disoriental" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69).

Russian Resurgence
Allan Topol
SelectBooks, Inc.
325 West 38 Street, Suite 306, New York City, NY 10018
9781590794494, $16.95, PB, 304pp,

Twelve year old Nick, escaping from the burning of his grandfather's house by Russian thugs, is caught up in a plot by Russian President Kuznov to recreate the Soviet empire in eastern and central Europe. The linchpin of Kuznov's plan is an agreement with a corrupt Hungarian President to permit Russia to move troops into Hungary. Craig Page and Elizabeth Crowder, working with Peter Toth, who bears the scars of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, and Peter's grandson, Nick, try to thwart Kuznov's plot. The action moves from Paris to Grozny, to Washington, and finally to intriguing Budapest. Craig, Elizabeth and Nick face repeated attacks on their lives. "Russian Resurgence" is author Allan Topol's deftly crafted and inherently riveting novel that effectively showcases his genuine flair as a novelist for character and narrative driven storytelling. While "Russian Resurgence" is very highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that it is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69).

Alex Pheby
9781771961721, $14.95, PB, 248pp,

"Playthings" by Alex Pheby is an hallucinatory, fragmentary, and tragic fictional telling of one of the most famous psychotherapy cases in history, Offering a visceral and darkly comic portrait of paranoid schizophrenia, "Playthings" is based on the true story of nineteenth-century German judge Daniel Paul Schreber and artfully shows the disorienting human tragedy of Schreber's psychosis, in vertiginous prose that blurs the lines between madness and sanity. An impressive and deftly crafted work of original literature based upon historic events, "Playthings" is an especially recommended addition to both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Playthings" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Corpse at the Crystal Palace
Carola Dunn
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781250047052, $26.99, HC, 288pp,

When Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher is visited in London by her young cousins, on the list of must-see sites is the Crystal Palace. Discovering that her children's nanny, Nanny Gilpin, has never seen the Palace, Daisy decides to make a day of it -- bringing her cousins, her 3-year-old twins, her step-daughter Belinda, the nurserymaid, and Nanny Gilpin. Yet this ordinary outing goes wrong when Mrs. Gilpin goes off to the ladies' room and fails to return. When Daisy goes to look for her, she doesn't find her nanny but instead the body of another woman dressed in a nanny's uniform. Meanwhile, Belinda and the cousins spot Mrs. Gilpin chasing after yet another nanny. Intrigued, they trail the two through the vast Crystal Palace and into the park. After briefly losing sight of their quarry, they stumble across Mrs. Gilpin lying unconscious in a small lake inhabited by huge concrete dinosaurs. When she comes to, Mrs. Gilpin can't remember what happened after leaving the twins in the nurserymaid's care. Daisy's husband, Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, finds himself embroiled in the investigation of the murdered nanny. Worried about her children's own injured nanny, Daisy is determined to help. First she has to discover the identity of the third nanny, the presumed murderer, and to do so, Daisy must uncover why the amnesic Mrs. Gilpin deserted her charges to follow the missing third nanny. Another deftly crafted gem of a mystery in author Carola Dunn's extraordinary Daisy Dalrymple Mystery series, "The Corpse at the Crystal Palace" is an especially recommended addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "The Corpse at the Crystal Palace" is also availble in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, $34.99, CD).

Justice Betrayed
Patricia Bradley
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780800735142, $29.99, HC, 345pp,

It's Elvis Week in Memphis, and homicide detective Rachel Sloan isn't sure her day could get any stranger when aging Elvis impersonator Vic Vegas asks to see her. But when he produces a photo of her murdered mother with four Elvis impersonators--one of whom had also been murdered soon after the photo was taken--she's forced to reevaluate. Is there some connection between the two unsolved cases? And could the recent break-in at Vic's home be tied to his obsession with finding his friend's killer? When yet another person in the photo is murdered, Rachel suddenly has her hands full investigating three cases. Lieutenant Boone Callahan offers his help, but their checkered romantic past threatens to get in the way. Can they solve the cases before the murderer makes Rachel victim number four? Another carefully crafted gem of a mystery novel by an author who is a true master of the genre, "Justice Betrayed" by Patricia Bradley is unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Justice Betrayed" is also available in a paperback edition (9780800727161, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Death on the Menu
Lucy Burdette
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781683317463, $26.99, HC, 295pp,

Hayley Snow, fiery food critic for Key Zest magazine, has just landed a ticket to one of the most prestigious events in Key West: a high-brow three-day conference at the Harry Truman Little White House. Even though she'll be working the event helping her mother's fledgling catering business, there's plenty of spicy gossip to go around. But just before her mother's decadent flan is put to the test, Key West's most prized possession, Hemingway's Nobel prize gold medal for The Old Man and the Sea, is discovered stolen from its case. Unsavory suspicions point to Gabriel, a family friend and one of the new busboys working the event, who mysteriously goes missing moments later. Anxious to clear his name, Gabriel's family enlists Hayley to help find him, but right as they begin their search, his body is found stabbed to death in the storeroom. Hayley has no shortage of suspects to interrogate and very little time before the killer adds another victim to the menu. "Death on the Menu" is another beautifully crafted novel by a master of the genre and the latest addition to author Lucy Burdette's 'Key West Food Critic' mystery series. While unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of Lucy Burdett fans that "Death on the Menu" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781982539870, $29.95, MP3 CD).

Three Strikes, You're Dead
Elena Hartwell
Camel Press
PO Box 70515, Seattle, WA 98127
9781603817271, $15.95, PB, 288pp,

In "Three Strikes, You're Dead", private investigator Eddie Shoes heads to a resort outside Leavenworth, Washington, for a mother-daughter getaway weekend. Eddie's mother Chava wants to celebrate her new job at a casino by footing the bill for the two of them, and who is Eddie to say no? On the first morning, Eddie goes on an easy solo hike, and a few hours later, stumbles upon a makeshift campsite and a gravely injured man. A forest fire breaks out and she struggles to save him before the flames overcome them both. Before succumbing to his injuries, the man hands her a valuable rosary. He tells her his daughter is missing and begs for her help. Is Eddie now working for a dead man? Barely escaping the fire, Eddie wakes in the hospital to find both her parents have arrived on the scene. Will Eddie's card-counting mother and mob connected father help or hinder the investigation? The police search in vain for a body. How will Eddie find the missing girl with only Eddie's memory of the man's face and a photo of his daughter to go on? The third title in author Elena Hartwell's 'Eddie Shoes Mystery Series', "Three Strikes, You're Dead" is another riveting read by a master of the genre who offers more plot twists and turns than a Coney Island roller coaster! While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Three Strikes, You're Dead" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.95).

Murder on the SS Rosa
Lee Strauss
Brown Books Publishing Group
16250 Knoll Trail Drive, Suite 205, Dallas, TX 75248-2871
9781612549941, $9.99, PB, 180pp,

Another deftly crafted mystery by a master of the genre, "Muder on the SS Rosa" by Lee Strauss is set in 1923, when young war-widow fashionista Ginger Gold makes a cross-Atlantic journey with her companion Haley Higgins to London, England, to settle her father's estate. When the ship's captain is found dead, Ginger is only too happy to lend her assistance to the handsome Chief Inspector Basil Reed. The SS Rosa delivers a convincing array of suspects the wife, the mistress, a jealous crewmate. To Ginger's dismay, her name has been added to the list! With a little help from Ginger's dog, Boss, Ginger and Haley navigate the clues (those wartime operative skills come in handy). They must solve the case and clear Ginger's name before they dock, and oh, whatever shall she wear! Another inherently entertaining 'whodunnit' in author Lee Strauss' A Ginger Gold Mystery series, "Murder on the SS Rosa" will prove to be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs and Ginger Gold fans that "Murder on the SS Rosa" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

A Tiding of Magpies
Steve Burrows
Oneworld Publications
9781459737617, $15.99, PB, 384pp

When his most celebrated case is suddenly reopened, Detective Chief Inspector Jejeune's long-buried secrets threaten to come to light. Meanwhile, his girlfriend, Lindy, faces an unseen threat of her own, one which Jejeune may not be able to protect her from. Between fending off inquiries from the internal review and an open murder case to solve, more than ever Jejeune will have to rely on the help of the stalwart Sergeant Danny Maik. But Maik is learning things on his own that have caused him to question his DCI's actions, both past and present. In the current case, and in the former one, the facts seem clear enough. But it is in the silent spaces between the facts that the truth is often found. The fifth title in author Steve Burrows simply outstanding 'Birder Murder Mystery' series, "A Tiding of Magpies" is a truly riveting read that will have immense appeal for all dedicated mystery buffs. Offering more plot twists and turns that a Coney Island roller coaster, "A Tiding of Magpies" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Tiding of Magpies" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

Fire in the Thatch
E. C. R. Lorac
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave., #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781464209673, $12.95, PB, 244pp,

The Second World War is drawing to a close. Nicholas Vaughan, released from the army after an accident, takes refuge in Devon where he rents a thatched cottage in the beautiful countryside at Mallory Fitzjohn. Vaughan sets to work farming the land, rearing geese and renovating the cottage. Hard work and rural peace seem to make this a happy bachelor life. On a nearby farm lives the bored, flirtatious June St Cyres, an exile from London while her husband is a Japanese POW. June's presence attracts fashionable visitors of dubious character, and threatens to spoil Vaughan's prized seclusion. When Little Thatch is destroyed in a blaze, all Vaughan's hard work goes up in smoke -- and Inspector Macdonald is drafted in to uncover a motive for murder. Edith Caroline Rivett (1894 - 1958) (who wrote under the pseudonyms E. C. R. Lorac and Carol Carnac) was a British crime writer. Now Poisoned Pen Press has brought back one of her best to represent her complete master of the genre for the edification of a new general of mystery buffs. An inherently gripping read from beginning to end, "Fire in the Thatch" is unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Fire in the Thatch" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.23).

Trial on Mount Koya
Susan Spann
Seventh Street Books
c/o Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228
9781633884151, $15.95, PB, 256pp,

In November 1565, Master ninja Hiro Hattori and Portuguese Jesuit Father Mateo travel to a Buddhist temple at the summit of Mount Koya, carrying a secret message for an Iga spy posing as a priest on the sacred mountain. When a snowstorm strikes the peak, a killer begins murdering the temple's priests and posing them as Buddhist judges of the afterlife -- the Kings of Hell. Hiro and Father Mateo must unravel the mystery before the remaining priests, including Father Mateo, become unwilling members of the killer's grisly council of the dead. Set in medieval Japan with meticulous attention to historical detail, author Susan Spann's "Trial on Mount Koya" is a superbly crafted novel by a master of the genre and will prove to be an especially and enduringly popular addition to both the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs as well as community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted that "Trial on Mount Koya" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Mary Anna Evans
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave., #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781464209307, $26.95, HC, 341pp,

Archaeologist Faye Longchamp has traveled to Memphis, a city steeped in music, poverty, history, and the smoky tang of barbecue. She's there working alone to do an assessment of a site, welcome work for her small archaeological consulting firm. When Faye spies a child too young to be wandering along a creek alone, she follows the girl. A day later she uncovers a dying woman, buried alive near a spot where Kali might well be hiding. Nobody would blame Faye for running hard, but she can't make herself leave Kali, the woman's now orphaned daughter, who might be in danger. She's not welcomed by the people in Kali's struggling community, nor by the police working the crime. Yet she stays, for Kali, and for the bereaved who need her to communicate their fears to a police department that they trust even less than they trust Faye. When they confide rumors of other women beaten to death by a man so obsessed with burial that he places fresh flowers in their cold hands, Faye begs the police to widen the investigation to seek a serial killer. They refuse. Faye's gut is telling her that a monster is stalking Memphis, endangering the child she has come to love. If the police can't catch him, then she will have no choice but to try to find him herself. The eleventh title in author Mary anna Evans' simply outstanding 'Faye Longchamp Mystery' series, "Undercurrents" is yet another riveting gem of a novel that will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Undercurrents" is also available in a paperback edition (978-1464209321, $15.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

Sister of Mine
Laurie Petrou
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781683317173, $26.99, HC, 304pp,

Penny and Hattie, orphaned sisters in a small town, are best friends, bound together to the point of knots. But Penny, at the mercy of her brutal husband, is desperate for a fresh start. Willing to do anything for her older sister, Hattie agrees to help. A match is struck and a fire burns Penny's marriage to the ground. With her husband gone, Penny is free, and the sisters, it seems, get away with murder. But freedom comes at a cost. More than a year after the fire, a charming young man comes to town. Hattie and Penny quickly bring him into the fold and into their hearts but their love for him threatens the delicate balance. Soon long-held resentments, sibling rivalry, and debts unpaid boil over, and the bonds of sisterhood begin to snap. As one little lie grows into the next, the sisters' secrets will unravel, eroding their lives until only a single, horrible truth remains: You owe me. "Sister Mine" by Laurie Petrou showcases that author's genuine flair as a for character and narrative driven storytelling. The result is a compelling and entertaining novel that is unreservedly recommended for community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Sister Mine" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (BlackstoneAudio, 9781982539559, $29.95, MP3 CD).

Wake Me When It's Over
Cheryl A. Head
Bywater Books
P.O. Box 3671, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106-3671
9781612941158, $16.95, PB, 310pp,

Born and raised in the now distressed city of Detroit, Charlene "Charlie" Mack has built a highly-respected private investigations firm through hard work, smart choices, and relentless ambition. When Charlie and her team of investigators are asked to take on a seemingly impossible case (to identify and thwart an attack on the upcoming Detroit Auto Show) it takes a $100K incentive and the help of a dozen freelancers for Charlie and her crew to unravel a twisted plot that runs through several countries and many more bank accounts. But finding out who's behind the intricate plot only solves half the problem. Charlie and her crew are drawn into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse as they try to locate dozens of hidden bombs before they can be detonated in an arena full of hundreds of people. "Wake Me When It's Over" is a simply riveting novel with a roller coaster ride of plot twists and turns. Showcasing author Cheryl Head's impressively mastery of the genre, "Wake Me When It's Over" is unreservedly and especially recommended addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Wake Me When It's Over" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

The Moment Before Drowning
James Brydon
Akashic Books
232 Third Street, #A115, Brooklyn, NY 11215
9781617756252, $25.95, HC, 224pp,

In December 1959 a furious anticolonial war rages in Algeria. Captain Jacques le Garrec, a former detective and French Resistance hero, returns to France in disgrace. Traumatized after two years of working in the army intelligence services, he's now accused of a brutal crime. As le Garrec awaits trial in the tiny Breton town where he grew up, he is asked to look into a disturbing and unsolved murder committed the previous winter. A local teenage girl was killed and her bizarrely mutilated body was left displayed on the heathland in a way that no one could understand. Le Garrec's investigations draw him into the dark past of the town, still haunted by memories of the German occupation. As he tries to reconstruct the events of the murder, the violence of this crime and his recollections of Algeria intertwine, threatening to submerge him. A skillfully constructed and absolutely riveting thriller of a novel by a genuine master of character and narrative driven storytelling, James Brydon's "The Moment Before Drowning" is an especially recommended addition to community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Moment Before Drowning" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.33).

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Garrison Girl: An Attack on Titan Novel
Rachel Aaron
Attack on Titan created by Hajime Isayama
Quirk Books
215 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
9781683690610 $12.99 pbk / $9.99 Kindle

Garrison Girl: An Attack on Titan Novel is an original, full-length prose novel that takes place during the early chapters of the wildly popular Attack on Titan manga and anime series. Attack on Titan is set in a horrific, dystopian, post-apocalyptic world where the last vestiges of humanity huddle within walls. Outside of the walls stalk Titans, nigh-immortal humanoid giants that relentlessly hunt and devour humans - not for food, but only to vomit out the tangled remains of their hapless victims. Amid this bleak nightmare, Rosalie Dumarque defies the wishes of her wealthy family to join the military's failing defense of human survivors at Wall Rose. Yet the monstrous Titans are not Rosalie's only foes; can she survive the machinations of corrupt officers, and win the trust of her fellow soldiers? A story of struggle, sacrifice, and even forbidden romance in a world stalked by death, Garrison Girl is highly recommended especially for connoisseurs of the series. It should be noted that, as a self-contained story, Garrison Girl is also a good introduction to Attack on Titan for those new to this dark, terrifying, yet utterly fascinating saga.

The Darkest Legacy
Alexandra Bracken
Hyperion Books
77 West 66th Street, New York, NY 10023-6298
9781368023245, $18.99, HC, 576pp,

Five years after the destruction of the so-called rehabilitation camps that imprisoned her and countless other Psi kids, seventeen-year-old Suzume "Zu" Kimura has assumed the role of spokesperson for the interim government, fighting for the rights of Psi kids against a growing tide of misinformation and prejudice. But when she is accused of committing a horrifying act, she is forced to go on the run once more in order to stay alive. Determined to clear her name, Zu finds herself in an uncomfortable alliance with Roman and Priyanka, two mysterious Psi who could either help her prove her innocence or betray her before she gets the chance. But as they travel in search of safety and answers, and Zu grows closer to the people she knows she shouldn't trust, they uncover even darker things roiling beneath the veneer of the country's recovery. With her future-and the future of all Psi-on the line, Zu must use her powerful voice to fight back against forces that seek to drive the Psi into the shadows and save the friends who were once her protectors. Another deftly crafted gem of a science fiction novel by a master of the genre, Alexandra Bracken's "The Darkest Legacy" is a part of her simply outstanding 'Darkest Minds' series and unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated science fiction fans that "The Darkest Legacy" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

The Prayer List
Jane Knuth
Loyola Press
3441 North Ashland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657
9780829446654, $14.95, PB, 184pp,

When Jane inherited the family "prayer list" from her aunt, she decided to continue the tradition of praying regularly with the list of needs and thanks for relatives and friends. But prayer fits itself to every person's (and every family's) situation and culture. As Jane learned how to pray in her family and explored the prayer experiences of other families, she discovered a simple truth: the best way to pray with your family is the way that works best for your family. "The Prayer List" shares the true stories of how families from many faith traditions (Christian, non-Christian, or no defined faith) pray together in meaningful ways. With prompts to inspire prayer after each chapter, collectively, these individual stories prove that family prayer can be a path to the intimacy and closeness we long for. It's like making God a member of the family. Jane Knuth wrote "The Prayer List" specifically for those who find themselves struggling to find the right way to integrate prayer into their daily family life and are worried that their children won't practice the same faith that has sustained them in times of difficulty. While very highly recommended for all people of faith, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Prayer List" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

The Christian Studies Shelf

Treating Trauma in Christian Counseling
Heather Davediuk Gingrich & Fred C. Gingrich, editors
InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426
9780830828616, $55.00, HC, 400pp,

As anywhere else, traumatic experiences are distressingly common within the Christian community. And the risks of developing posttraumatic stress disorder are high. But in recent years the field of traumatology has grown strong, giving survivors and their counselors firmer footing than ever before on which to seek healing. Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by counselor, scholar, teacher and former missionary Heather Gingrich and her husband Fred, "Treating Trauma in Christian Counseling" is a combined effort to introduce counseling approaches, trauma information, and Christian reflections to respond to the intense suffering people face. With extensive experience treating complex trauma, Heather and Fred Gingrich have brought together key essays representing the latest psychological research on trauma from a Christian integration perspective. "Treating Trauma in Christian Counseling" provides an overview of the kinds of traumatic experiences; coverage of treatment methods, especially those that incorporate spirituality; material to critically analyze as well as emotionally engage trauma; theoretical bases for trauma treatment and interventions; and references for further consideration and empirical research. While unreservedly recommended for professional, community, college, and university library Christian Studies and Psychology/Counseling instructional reference collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, instructors, clinicians, and researchers that "Treating Trauma in Christian Counseling" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $33.40).

Finding Jesus in Israel
Buck Storm
Worthy Publishing
6100 Tower Circle, Suite 210, Franklin, TN 37067
9781683971405, $19.99, HC, 256pp,

An inherently fascinating blend of travel journal and spiritual guide, "Finding Jesus in Israel: Through the Holy Land on the Road Less Traveled" by touring singer and songwriter Buck Storm takes an unvarnished look at the Holy Land with an off-the-bus peek into the people and places that make Israel such an amazing destination. We are shaped and transformed by the oceans we sail, the deserts, mountains, and valleys we wander, and the people we meet along the way. And as any traveler worth his salt knows, the real trip happens within. Most Israel books are presented with a political, theological, or social agenda. Some are simply tourist guidebooks. But "Finding Jesus in Israel" isn't driven by agenda but rather it is a traveler's journey an unreservedly recommended reading for travel veterans, people with wanderlust, and anyone else who simply enjoys a good story well told. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Finding Jesus in Israel" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

A Theology of the Presence and Absence of God
Anthony J. Godzieba
The Liturgical Press
2950 Saint John's Road, PO Box 7500, Collegeville, MN 56321-7500
9780814663585, $49.95, PB, 340pp,

Contemporary American society is dominated by technology and an economic system based on consumerism. "A Theology of the Presence and Absence of God" by Anthony J. Godzieba (Professor of Theology and Religious Studies, Villanova University) deftly explores the Christian tradition of thinking and speaking about God. By focusing on God's dialectical character-divine availability ("presence") and divine excess ("absence") -- and the belief that "God is love" (1 John 4:16), Professor Godzieba provides an informative and insightful history of just how God became a problem in contemporary Western culture. He then goes on to show how human experience remains accessible to divine transcendence and how that encounters with the revelation of God as Trinity still persist. An impressive volume of theological inquiry within a Christian framework, "A Theology of the Presence and Absence of God" is an especially recommended addition to church, seminary, college, and university library Christian Studies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of theology students, clergy, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "A Theology of the Presence and Absence of God" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.99).

Plantation Jesus
Skot Welch & Rick Wilson
Herald Press
P.O. Box 866, Harrisonburg, VA 22803
9781513803319, $29.99, HC, 192pp,

Not so long ago in the once segregated southern states, most white American Christians believed that Jesus blessed slavery. God wasn't bothered by Jim Crow. Baby Jesus had white skin. Meet Plantation Jesus: a god who is comfortable with bigotry, and an idol that distorts the message of the real Savior. That false image of God is dead, right? Wrong, argue the authors Skot Welch and Rick Wilson. "Plantation Jesus: Race, Faith, and a New Way Forward" is an authoritative new look on one of the most urgent issues of our day. Through their shared passion for Jesus Christ and with an unblinking look at history, church, and pop culture, Welch and Wilson detail the manifold ways that racism damages the church's witness. Together they take on common responses by white Christians to racial injustice, such as "I never owned a slave.", "I don't see color; only people.", and "We just need to get over it and move on." Together they call out the church's denials and dodges and evasions of race, and they invite readers to encounter the Christ of the disenfranchised. With practical resources and Spirit-filled stories, "Plantation Jesus" nudges readers to learn the history, acknowledge the injury, and face the truth. Only then can the church lead the way toward true reconciliation. Only then can the legacy of "Plantation Jesus" be replaced with the true way of Jesus Christ. Especially timely as racism is beginning to once again become 'mainstream' under the encouragement of the Trump administration and the contemporary corruption of bigotry that has contaminated the Republican Party, as well as the present day leadership of the Evangelical Christian movement, "Plantation Jesus: Race, Faith, and a New Way Forward" is deserving of the widest possible readership, especially within the Christian community. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Plantation Jesus" is also available in a paperback edition (9781513803302, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

42 Seconds: The Jesus Model for Everyday Interactions
Carl Medearis
c/o Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
9781631464898, $15.99, PB, 176pp,

The average length of Jesus' conversations as recorded in the Gospels was 42 seconds long. Jesus' conversations were remarkably simple. Contemporary Christian lingo has set up a dichotomy between what we call "discipleship" and "evangelism", but the Bible doesn't do that. Jesus had conversations all the time with those who thought they were close to God, as well as with those who deemed themselves lost and without hope. He invited all of them to come and learn from Him. "42 Seconds: The Jesus Model for Everyday Interactions " by international expert in Arab-American and Muslim-Christian relations Carl Medearis is a simple book that uses the ordinary moments of our lives the way Jesus used the same moments in his own. The premise is straightforward: If we can learn from Jesus how to have great conversations, it will change our lives and the lives of those around us. Its four-part structure, including five short chapters per section, is for churches and small groups to engage with the practical ideas together. "42 Seconds" includes discussion questions to help groups and individuals implement Jesus' natural rhythm of interaction in their own lives. In a time that desperately needs civility in our dialogues, kindness in our personal and professional relationships, and the example of Jesus in our conduct with one another, "42 Seconds: The Jesus Model for Everyday Interactions" is an extraordinary useful and instructive read by all members of the Christian community. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "42 Seconds" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (ChristianAudio, 978-1545901922, $12.98, CD).

The Divine Christ
David B. Capes
Baker Academic
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780801097867, $24.99, PB, 224pp,

For the past century, biblical scholars have debated when and how a divine Christology emerged. Part of the Acadia Studies in Bible and Theology series, "The Divine Christ: Paul, the Lord Jesus, and the Scriptures of Israel by David B. Capes (Associate Dean of Biblical and Theological Studies and Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois) considers the earliest evidence we have -- the letters of Paul the Apostle. Professor Capes is a veteran teacher and highly regarded scholar who deftly examines Paul's letters to show how the apostle constructed his unique portrait of Jesus as divine through a rereading of Israel's Scriptures. Exceptionally well written, impressively informed and informative, expertly organized and presented, "The Divine Christ" is an ideal study for curriculum courses on Paul, Christology, biblical theology, and intertextuality. While unreservedly recommended for church, seminary, community, and academic library Christian Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists of seminary students, clergy, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Divine Christ" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.74).

Sacred Signposts
Benjamin J. Dueholm
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
2140 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780802874177, $16.99, PB, 190pp,

The church isn't a building or an institution. The church is what it does. At the very heart of Christianity are its central, sacred, subversive practices -- the sacred signposts that have always shown the way to practice Christian faith, even when the terrain around it changes. In "Sacred Signposts: Words, Water, and Other Acts of Resistance", Benjamin J. Dueholm (who is the Pastor of Worship and Education at Messiah Lutheran Church in Wauconda, Illinois) unpacks Christianity's seven "holy possessions," which function as signposts -- words, water, bread and wine, confession and forgiveness, ministry, worship, and suffering. Then he offers a visionary account of the critical, radical, life-affirming role that faith can play in a secular, post-Christian world. An impressively informative and inspiring read that is particularly well written, organized and presented, "Sacred Signposts" is unreservedly recommended for community, seminary, and church library collections, as well as the personal reading lists for all members of the Christian community.

Our One Word: Creating Spiritual Joy and Depth
Martha Johnson Bourlakas
Church Publishing Incorporated
445 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9781640650190, $19.95, PB, 304pp,

Women live uniquely demanding lives as providers, managers, caretakers, and, amidst those many roles, both chosen and cast upon them, the individual spirit sometimes loses her voice. To awaken this voice, Martha Bourlakas began a group for women in the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia called "Our One Word" to pray about and observe the secular, holy, and personal significance of one word each week. This simple goal affects participants in profound ways, and now Bourlakas shares their practice with the rest of us in the pages of "Our One Word: Creating Spiritual Joy and Depth". Here she provides a structure and resource for those who want to start a group, as well as meditation for anyone who wants to expand her or his own spiritual horizons. "Our One Word" encompasses words Bourlakas has offered to groups in the weekly format and at weekend retreats. Each individual chapter focuses on a different word, such as Joy, Heart, Change. There are brief quotations from religious texts, literature, music, etc. that explicate the word, combined with her own perspective. "Our One Word" offers a way for individuals or groups to cultivate a hospitable, constant presence, modeling the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives as a way to celebrate, pray, and just be. Inspired and inspiring, "Our One Word" is unreservedly recommended for all members of the Christian community. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Our One Word" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Maimonides: Between Philosophy and Halakhah
Lawrence J. Kaplan, editor
Urim Publications
c/o KTAV Publishing House
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, New York 11225
9789655242034, $28.95, HC, 256pp,

Compiled and edited by Lawrence J. Kaplan (Professor of Rabbinics and Jewish Philosophy in the Department of Jewish Studies of McGill University in Montreal), "Maimonides: Between Philosophy and Halakhah" is the first and only comprehensive study of the philosophy of Maimonides by the noted 20th-century rabbinic scholar and thinker, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Based on a complete set of notes, taken by Rabbi Gerald (Yaakov) Homnick, on R. Soloveitchik's lectures on Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed at the Bernard Revel Graduate School, and edited by Professor Kaplan, this work constitutes a major contribution to our knowledge of both Maimonides and Rabbi Soloveitchik. In these lectures Rabbi Soloveitchik emerges as a major commentator on the Guide. In a wide-ranging analysis he eloquently and incisively explores such diverse topics in Maimonides' philosophy as his views on prophecy, the knowledge of and approach to God: normative, intellectual, and experiential; divine knowledge; human ethics and moral excellence; the divine creative act; imitation of God; and the love and fear of God. He also undertakes an extensive and penetrating comparison and contrast of Maimonides' and Aristotle's philosophical views. Over the course of these lectures develops a very profound and challenging overall approach to and interpretation of the Guide's central and critical issue: the relationship between philosophy and divine law. This work sheds a bright light on the thought of both Maimonides and Soloveitchik -- two great philosophers and rabbinic scholars. Simply stated, "Maimonides: Between Philosophy and Halakhah" is a significant and enduringly valued contribution to personal, rabbinic, community, and academic library Judaic Studies collections in general, and Maimonides supplemental studies lists in particular.

The Islamic Studies Shelf

The Little Book of Sufi Stories
Neil Douglas-Klotz
Hampton Roads Publishing Company
65 Parker St., Ste. 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
9781571748294, $15.95, PB, 240pp,

Sufism is a form of Islamic mysticism characterized by values, ritual practices, doctrines and institutions dating back to very early on in Islamic history. Both the well known and the obscure Sufi tales comprising "The Little Book of Sufi Stories: Ancient Wisdom to Nourish the Heart" are drawn from the dozens that Neil Douglas-Klotz (Director of the Edinburgh Institute for Advanced Learning, Scotland) has enjoyed telling in his seminars over the past 20 years. Most of them appear in works of the classical Sufis, such as Rumi, Attar, or S'adi. To preserve some of the in-person feeling and bring the language up to date, Professor Douglas-Klotz has given them his own improvised turns. Thoughtful and thought-provoking, "The Little Book of Sufi Stories" is an inherently fascinating and entertaining read. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Religion/Spirituality collections in general, and Sufi studies reading lists in particular, it should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Little Book of Sufi Stories" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Graphic Novel Shelf

My Hero Academia Vigilantes 1
Story by Hideyuki Furuhashi
Art by Betten Court
Original Concept by Kohei Horikoshi
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200, San Francisco CA 94103
9781974701599 $9.99

Fast-paced and fun, My Hero Academia Vigilantes 1 kicks off a brand new black-and-white manga (Japanese graphic novel) series set in a world that reinvents the superhero genre! Superpower "quirks" are extremely common, and most citizens are required by law not to use their powers, for the sake of societal order. Some brave individuals are licensed as heroes, and legally permitted to use their powers for justice. Others are villains, who willfully use their powers for selfish ends. But a very few are vigilantes, unlicensed "heroes" who fight for what's right in their own way! Koichi Haimawari is a college student with a minor mobility quirk, who isn't strong enough to earn the official status of a hero; a chance encounter with thugs leads him to meet two other odd-heroes-out: a girl who aspires to be a pop star and a gruff old man who enjoys the thrill of pummeling bad guys just a little too much. The three of them might be the city's only hope against a new menace that has the police stumped - a black market drug that transforms anyone with a quirk into a full-blown supervillain! My Hero Academia Vigilantes is suggested for teen and older readers, due to occasional scenes of violence (but nothing particularly severe). Highly recommended!

Robotech Archives: Macross Saga Volume 2
Created by Jack Herman and Carl Macek
Art by Svea Stauch, Neil Vokes, Reggie Byers, Dave Johnson, and Mike Leeke
Titan Comics
9781785862953 $24.99

Robotech Archives: Macross Saga Volume 2 continues the full-color, omnibus collection of rare Robotech comics, gathering issues 12 to 23 of the "Macross Saga" in a single volume. Robotech is a science fiction saga based on an enduringly popular anime (Japanese animation) series, about the SDF-1 starship carrying untold technological secrets, and a ruthless, gigantic alien race out to capture it - with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance! In volume 2, mortal peril stalks the SDF-1 crew. The enemy aliens Khyron and Miriya return; Miriya in particular seeks to avenge her battlefield honor by becoming a "Micronian" spy! Meanwhile, Rick Hunter must choose which of two love interests to pursue - the charismatic singer Minmei or the dutiful military officer Lisa. Robotech Archives: Macross Saga Volume 2 is a treasure especially for space opera connoisseurs, making long out-of-print comics affordable and accessible at last, and is highly recommended.

The Chronicles Of Corum: The Queen of the Swords
Michael Moorcock, author
Mike Baron, author
Mike Mignola, illustrator
Kelley Jones, illustrator
Titan Comics
9781782763260, $24.99, HC, 112pp,

After his defeat of the Chaos Lord Arioch, Prince Corum has little time to rest. His actions have angered Arioch's sister, Xiombarg, known as the Queen of the Swords. The Prince in the Scarlet Robe must fight on, facing the formidable Mabden armies, and taking on the might of the Queen of the Swords herself. Faced with immense powers of evil on all sides, Corum must reach the City of the Pyramid. But first he will encounter nightmarish creatures, unsettling sorcery, and uncanny new planes of existence. The second volume of the Chronicles Of Corum sword & sorcery series, "The Queen of the Swords" is a vividly designed graphic novel that will hold the reader's riveted attention from first page to last. Part of the Titan Comics 'Michael Moorcock Library' graphic novel series, "The Chronicles Of Corum: The Queen of the Swords" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Fantasy Graphic Novel collections. It should be noted for the legions of Michael Moorcock fans that "The Chronicles Of Corum: The Queen of the Swords" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.74).

Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini
Cynthia Von Buhler, creator
Hard Case Crime
c/o Titan Comics
9781785863974, $24.99, HC, 128pp,

Unappreciated at her father's acclaimed detective agency, the fabulous, rabbit-loving Minky Woodcock straps on her gumshoes in order to uncover a magical mystery involving noted author Arthur Conan Doyle and world-famous escape artist, Harry Houdini in "Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini". A 1920's noir mystery thriller that is written and illustrated by Cynthia Von Buhler, with lettering by Simon Bowland, "Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini" is an inherently riveting read from first page to last and highly recommended. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of graphic novel mystery fans that "Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Quarry's War
Max Allan collins
Hard Case Crime
c/o Titan Comics
9781785851186, $16.99, PB, 112pp,

1970s Chicago and the grim brutality of the Vietnam War collide in the pages of "Quarry's War", a brand new graphic novel title featuring Max Allan Collins' Quarry, an eponymous assassin who is an expert sniper marksman and former Vietnam vet, as he receives details of his latest target from The Broker. It's an assignment that will see his past as a U.S Marine sniper come back to haunt him. In a unique storytelling format, Quarry's Vietnam back story and his current career as a hit man are presented simultaneously on alternating pages -- until the final action-packed chapter with a truly surprising and unanticipated plot twist. Another riveting read from Titan Comics' Hard Case Crime series of graphic novels, "Quarry's War" is very highly recommended and entertaining read. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Quarry's War" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Atlas & Axis
Pau, creator
Titan Comics
9781782763505, $19.99, PB, 160pp,

Atlas and Axis follows the exploits of the two titular canine adventurers. When they return home to find that their village has been destroyed by Viking raiders, Atlas and Axis set off in search of the Viking homeland and their missing friends. A perilous journey across land and sea ensues as the two dogs valiantly battle elements and enemies in the name of love and vengeance. A beautifully illustrated anthropomorphic graphic novel that touches upon such fascinating subjects as evolution and the ethics of invasion, "Atlas & Axis" is the first title in what is proving to be a simply outstanding new graphic novel series -- and one which will leave its fully entertaining readership looking eagerly toward the next volume of adventures by these two daring canine adventurers in the next installment of what will prove to be a four part series.

Alisik: Fall
Hubertus Rufledt, author
Helge Vogt, illustrator
Titan Comics
9781785861321, $16.99 pbk / $9.99 Kindle

One night, a young girl named Alisik wakes up in a cemetery. Frightened, she tries to flee only to discover that nobody can see her, touch her, or help her except for a disparate group of other deceased members of the cemetery community who are waiting for their own final judgements as to whether they will ascent into the Light or descend into the Dark. Alisik is dead. Worse, she is trapped between worlds, between hell and paradise, awaiting the judgment of Mr. Mortis, which is slow to come. Meanwhile, the cemetery faces destruction and Alisik and her new friends in the afterlife are bound to protect it. Luckily, Alisik has the help of Ruben, a young blind man, and the only person able to hear her. With Ruben as a light to guide her, Alisik has a chance to save the cemetery and find her way through the dark night. Very highly recommended and available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), it should be noted that "Alisik: Fall" is the first of an original and outstanding new graphic novel series by the team of author Hubertus Rufledt and illustrator Helge Vogt.

Hasib & The Queen of Serpents
David B., author/illustrator
NBM Publishing
160 Broadway, Ste. 700, East Wing, New York, NY 10038
9781681121628, $24.99, HC, 112pp,

Heir to the wise Daniel, Hasib is a young woodcutter promised to a great future. When his greedy companions abandon him in the middle of the forest, he meets the Queen of Serpents. She then tells her story, a fabulous adventure filled with gods and demons, princes and prophets. From Kabul to Cairo, journeys intertwine with intrigues and spiritual quests while the fabulous nights follow one another. An enchanting and intricately designed interpretation of the story of Hasib Karim ad-Dim, through which David B. opens for us the gates of the Thousand and One Nights. A superbly crafted graphic novel for mature readers, "Hasib & The Queen of Serpents: A Thousand and One Nights Tale" is an extraordinarily entertaining read from beginning to end. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Hasib & The Queen of Serpents" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Audiobook Shelf

Emile Zola, author
Alfred Ernest Vizetelly, translator
Leighton Pugh, narrator
Naxos of America, Inc.
1810 Columbia Avenue, Suite 28, Franklin, TN 37064
9781781881481, $31.95, CD,

Nana Coupeau is a beautiful woman, able to attract men of enormous wealth with the crook of her finger. Part-time prostitute, part-time actress, she makes her debut in a mediocre operetta "The Blonde Venus" at the bustling Paris World's Fair of 1867. She can't sing, act, or dance, yet she is stunning. Nana soon rockets through elite Parisian society, and, blinded by desire, men crawl to her feet, yielding to her every demand. Affections are manipulated, hearts are broken; fortunes are gutted and inheritances squandered. The poverty and violence of Nana's upbringing have led her to a cold and profligate life -- a metaphoric indictment of the excesses of France's Second Empire, and a striking example of author Emile Zola's naturalism. A classic of French literature that is superbly narrated by Leighton Pugh, this flawlessly produced, complete and unabridged audio book edition of "Nana" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library collections. (15 CDs, 17 Hours, 45 minutes).

Hell Divers III: Deliverance
Nicholas Sansbury Smith, author
R. C. Bray, narrator
Blackstone Audiobooks
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
9781584782481, $34.95, CD,

Left for dead on the nightmarish surface of the planet, Commander Michael Everhart and his team of Hell Divers barely escape with their lives aboard a new airship called Deliverance. After learning that Xavier ''X'' Rodriguez may still be alive, they mount a rescue mission for the long-lost hero. In the skies, the Hive is falling apart, but Captain Jordan is more determined than ever to keep humanity in their outdated lifeboat. He will do whatever it takes to keep the ship in the air -- even murder. But when he learns the Hell Divers he exiled have found Deliverance, he changes course for a new mission -- find the divers, kill them, and make their new ship his own. In the third installment of science fiction author Nicholas Sansbury Smith's Hell Divers series, Michael and his fellow divers fight across the mutated landscape in search of X. But what they find will change everything. Ably narrated by R. C. Bray, this complete and unabridged audio book production is a 'must' for all Hell Diver fans as a natural conclusion to an outstanding post- holocaust science fiction trilogy, but can be listened to as an individual 'stand alone' story, making it highly recommended for personal as well as community library Science Fiction Audio Book collections. (9 CDs, 11 hours, 18 minutes).

A Gathering of Secrets
Linda Castillo, author
Kathleen McInerney, narrator
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781427296313, $39.99, CD,

When an historic barn burns to the ground in the middle of the night, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called in to investigate. At first it looks like an accident, but when the body of eighteen-year-old Daniel Gingerich is found inside burned alive Kate suspects murder. But who would want a well-liked and hardworking young Amish man dead? Kate delves into the investigation and discovers Daniel had a dark side. He was a sexual predator. His victims were mainly Amish women, too afraid to come forward, and he's been getting away with it for far too long. Now someone has stopped him, but who? The women he victimized? Their boyfriends? Their parents? As Kate wades through a sea of suspects, she's confronted by her own violent past and an unthinkable possibility. Featuring more plot twists and turns than a Coney Island roller coaster, "A Gathering of Secrets" is another deftly crafted mystery from Linda Castillo (a true master of the genre) and expertly narrated by Kathleen McInerny. The result is an audio book mystery that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library collections -- and a 'must listen' for all dedicated mystery buffs.

The Invaders Plan
L. Ron Hubbard
Galaxy Press
7051 Hollywood Boulevard, Suite 200, Hollywood, CA 90028
9781619865402, $19.99, CD,

Voltar is an intergalactic empire 110 planets strong and headed straight for Earth which has been targeted as a supply base for Voltar's galactic conquest. But the powers that be on Earth are slowly destroying the planet, and it's up to the charismatic Jettero Heller to infiltrate the population and stem the tide of pollution and global warming. It's a dangerous mission that puts him into conflict with the ruthless Voltarian Lombar Hisst, who has plans of his own for the planet. Playing with fire, however, is in Heller's nature; he has fallen in love with the hypnotic Countess Krak -- a woman as voluptuous as she is violent. "Invaders Plan: Volume 1 - Soltan Gris Confesses his Crimes" is the first volume of a ten audio book series based on L. Ron Hubbard's 'Mission Earth' saga. This flawlessly produced audio book production features a cast of more than 85 actors performing 127 characters; features more than 150,000 sound effects; has a cinematic sound track with full orchestral musical compositions creating a captivating reality; and showcases impressive productions of 6 original songs written by L. Ron Hubbard. An extraordinary project that is especially and unreservedly recommended for all dedicated science fiction fans (and leave them looking eagerly toward the next scheduled volume!), "Invaders Plan: Volume 1 - Soltan Gris Confesses his Crimes" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library audio book collections. (17 CDs, 19 Hours).

Give Me Your Hand
Megan Abbott, author
Read by Chloe Cannon
Hachette Audio
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
9781549168994 $30.00

Give Me Your Hand is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a psychological thriller, penned by award-winning author Megan Abbott. Two high girls sharing a chemistry class once developed a close friendship over their mutual love of science - a friendship that cracked under the strain of an ominous secret. Over ten years later, the former friends are competing for the same, coveted research job, directed by a genius who is their mutual idol. But the desperate desire for the career of their dreams leads to dangerous obsession, in this deftly crafted novel of the dark sides of gifted brilliance and all-out competition. Highly recommended, especially for public library audiobook collections. 9 CDs, 11 hours.

The Music CD Shelf

Baby You Win
Cliff Westfall
High Fidelity Recording
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

Country songwriter Cliff Westfall presents Baby You Win, and original country album crafted with a flair for bittersweet humor. The music reflects on serious troubles, but also applies turns of phrase as a subtle way to keep the listener's spirit elevated with a wry spark of hope. A captivating Americana treasury, Baby You Win is highly recommended. The tracks are "It Hurt Her To Hurt Me", "Baby You Win", "Till the Right One Comes Along", "More and More", "Off the Wagon", "Hanging On", "I'll Play the Fool", "The Man I Used to Be", "A Lie If You Must", "The End of the Line", "Sweet Tooth", and "The Odds Were Good".

The DVD Shelf

Keeping Faith
Starring Eve Myles
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment
$49.99 DVD or Blu-ray

Available in both DVD and Blu-ray formats, Keeping Faith is an original drama-thriller set in a quiet Welsh town. Award-winning actress Eve Myles stars as Faith Howells, a happily married lawyer with three children on extended maternity leave from the law firm she founded with her husband, Evan (played by Bradley Freegard). Then one day, Evan disappears. Faith struggles to handle the legal troubles of her firm's clients. Days go by with no sign of Evan. Faith becomes the prime suspect of the police. In an increasingly desperate search for her husband, Faith learns more about the criminal machinations beneath the surface of her seemingly sleepy town. The more she discovers, the more Faith wonders whether she truly knew who her husband was at all. Edge-of-seat engaging to the very end, Keeping Faith is highly recommended. Bonus materials include a behind-the-scenes featurettes and brief character introductions. 8 episodes on 3 DVDs or Blu-ray discs, 480 min. plus bonus, SDH subtitles.

No Offense, Series 1
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment

Winner of the Best Drama Series from the Royal Television Society, No Offense Series 1 is the DVD debut of a British police procedural featuring an unorthodox, female police squad that takes on Manchester's most bizarre and gruesome crimes. Their targets include drug dealers, neo- Nazis, black-market organ sellers, and serial killers. A vicious streak of black humor threads through this shockingly irreverent crime drama laced with plot twists. No Offense, Series 1 is a "must-see" for connoisseurs of the genre, highly recommended. No Offense is expressly intended for mature viewers due to the presence of violence, strong language, sexual situations, nudity, scenes of drug use, and disturbing images. Bonus materials include a brief meet the cast and crew section and deleted scenes. 8 episodes on 3 DVDs, 381 min. plus bonus, SDH subtitles.

The Hobby Shelf

Building Vehicles for Model Railroads
Jeff Wilson
Kalmbach Books
21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612
9781627004633, $21.99, PB, 95pp,

On any model railroad, vehicles are important in establishing the era and location of the layout. In "Building Vehicles for Model Railroads", expert railroad modeler Jeff Wilson covers the many facets of modeling vehicles in HO scale with accuracy and realism. Profusely illustrated throughout, "Building Vehicles for Model Railroads" is a brief and ideal instructional guide to the evolution of prototype autos and trucks. "Building Vehicles for Model Railroads" covers assembling plastic, metal, and resin vehicle kits, as well as adding details to modify kits and assembled models, including painting, decaling, weathering, kitbashing, scratchbuilding, and converting toys to scale models. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Building Vehicles for Model Railroads" is a 'must' for all serious model railroad enthusiasts!

The Complete Photo Guide to Hand Lettering and Calligraphy
Abbey Sy
Quarry Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781589239630, $22.99, PB, 192pp,

"The Complete Photo Guide to Hand Lettering and Calligraphy: The Essential Reference for Novice and Expert Letterers and Calligraphers" by artist and designer Abbey Sy begins with an overview of tools and materials, both traditional (pointed pen and fountain pen) and modern (including brush markers and chalk), then presents a visual glossary of letterforms, highlights the unique characteristics of the featured alphabets, and demonstrates how to draw letterforms to foster an understanding of how they're created. The core chapters explore traditional, modern, and special effects lettering using a variety of mark-making tools, with in-depth how-to on adding flourishes and other special details, plus creative projects. There's also an introduction to modifying and creating letterforms digitally, as well as practice sheets for the featured alphabets. "The Complete Photo Guide to Hand Lettering and Calligraphy" is an ideal instructional guide and manual, especially for those who have never tried lettering before or who would like to develop their skills and consider all their creative options, Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, this profusely illustrated edition of "The Complete Photo Guide to Hand Lettering and Calligraphy" is especially recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Calligraphy instructional reference collections. It should be noted that "The Complete Photo Guide to Hand Lettering and Calligraphy" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.66).

Launchers, Lobbers, and Rockets Engineer
Lance Akiyama
Rockport Publishers
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781631594274, $24.99, PB, 144pp,

In "Launchers, Lobbers, and Rockets Engineer ", Lance Akiyama presents step-by-step directions to creating twenty devious weapons of backyard warfare. Each of these launchers are made from PVC, soda bottles, rubber bands, hairspray cans, and anything you might find in the junk drawer, and are capable of firing marshmallows, poker chips, tennis balls, sponges, and plenty more. Although intended primarily for adults, kids and teens (under adult supervision) can get in on the fun, too. The individual projects comprising "Launchers, Lobbers, and Rockets Engineer" range from simple shooters suitable to being built by novice crafters, to the more complicated Slide Action Rubber Band Gun, A Wrist-Mounted Crossbow, and even a Desk Drawer Booby Trap. Offering hours of creative fun and excitement, "Launchers, Lobbers, and Rockets Engineer" is very highly recommended for personal and community library collections. It should be noted that "Launchers, Lobbers, and Rockets Engineer" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $20.99).

The Needlecraft Shelf

The Cat Lover's Craft Book
Neko Shugei
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9784805314920, $12.99, PB, 80pp,

Neko Shugei is a collective of cat-loving crafters comprising Yumi Ooami, Miko Ogura, Miyuki Hayashi, Chizuko Kojima, Minou 14, Naoko Suzuki, Kyoko Maruoka, Yoko Kobayashi, Hitomi Hanaoka, rie, Kanade Isshiki, Marupoleland, and nekogao along with their many feline muses. Collectively they have produced "The Cat Lover's Craft Book: Cute and Easy Accessories for Kitty's Best Friend" especially and particularly for anyone in love with all things cat-related! Embroidery, crocheting, sewing, knitting or felting, there's a 'cat-tastic' project inside this charming instructional guide and manual ranging from: Turning an umbrella handle into a furry cat's tail; Sewing and embroidering a personalized cat book cover; Making a lovely hand embroidered brooch or earrings; Making a cute cat door stop using a bottle and fabric; Making cuddly cat pouches, purses and bags; Knitting, crocheting or sewing a charming cat-shaped pillow; Sewing a chic cat badge or button cover using cross-stitched fabric; Sewing an adorable cat doll and dress her up -- and so much more! Super simple, step-by-step instructions, diagrams, and templates make these adorable cat crafts accessible to knitting, felting and embroidery beginners. These 'purr-fect' needlework crafts will delight cat lovers of all ages, and provide many hours of fun, making it an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal and community library do-it-yourself needlecraft collections!

The Philosophy Shelf

Iron Man vs. Captain America and Philosophy
Nicolas Michaud & Jessica Watkins, editors
Open Court Publishing Company
70 East Lake Street, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60601
9780812699760, $19.95, PB, 276pp,

Iron Man or Captain America? Which one is superior -- as a hero, as a role model, or as a personification of American virtue? Argued out by legions of Marvel comic book fans, it is also in the realm of philosophers who take different sides come together in Iron Man versus Captain America to debate these issues and arrive at a deeper understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of these iconic characters. The discussion ranges over politics, religion, ethics, psychology, and metaphysics. Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Nicolas Michaud (Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Florida State College Jacksonville) and Jessica Watkins (who is the co-editor of Jurassic Park and Philosophy: The Truth Is Terrifying), "Iron Man vs. Captain America and Philosophy" is comprised of twenty-four erudite essays and thought- provoking articles on the subject. An inherently fascinating and occasionally iconoclastic read, "Iron Man vs. Captain America and Philosophy" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Popular Culture and Contemporary Philosophy collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of Marvel fans, students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Iron Man vs. Captain America and Philosophy" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.95).

The Business Shelf

Driving Digital Strategy
Sunil Gupta
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
9781633692688, $32.00, HC, 288pp,

No business today, regardless of what product they are producing or service they are providing can avoid utilizing computers and the internet to conduct their business. For over a decade, Sunil Gupta (who is the Edward W. Carter Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School) has studied digital transformation at Fortune 500 companies. He knows what works and what doesn't. To succeed in our electronic age companies ensure that their digital strategy touches all aspects of their organization including their: business model, value chain, customer relationships, and company culture. In "Driving Digital Strategy: A Guide to Reimagining Your Business", Professor Gupta informatively covers each aspect in vivid detail while providing navigation tips and best practices along the way. Enhanced with rich and illuminating case studies of companies at the forefront of digital transformation, "Driving Digital Strategy" an impressively comprehensive guide that will enable even the most novice of business managers to take full and effective advantage of the limitless opportunities the digital age provides for their business activities. While very highly recommended for company, community, and academic library Business Management instructional reference collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of business executives, entrepreneurs, business students, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Driving Digital Strategy" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.27).

Knockout Presentations
Diane DiResta
Morgan James Publishing
11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606-4448
9781683508793, $19.95, PB, 294pp,

"Knockout Presentations: How to Deliver Your Message with Power, Punch, and Pizzazz" by Diane DiResta (who is the founder and CEO of DiResta Communications, Inc, a New York City-based communications skills consultancy serving business leaders who want to communicate with greater impact - whether one-to-one, in front of a crowd, or from an electronic platform) is a "seminar in a book" on the subject of public speaking that will reduce fear and give speakers the steps to craft of delivering a talk that will make them a knockout on the platform! The next best thing to having Diane DiResta as a personal coach, "Knockout Presentations provides all the fundamentals without the fluff. Aspiring speakers will learn what confidence looks like, sounds like, and how to speak the language of confidence, reduce preparation time, craft a compelling talk, size up an audience, overcome fear, and master questions and answers. The Dos and Don'ts at the end of each chapter help speakers review and remember the principles even after putting them into practice. Speaking is the new competitive advantage and Knockout Presentations gives speakers tools and techniques, templates, and resources to improve their skills. While very highly recommended for community, corporate, and academic library Self- Help/Self-Improvement instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Knockout Presentations" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Andre Babikian
c/o International Specialized Book Services
920 Northeast 58th Avenue, Suite 300, Portland, OR 97213
9788759330012, $24.00, PB, 132pp,

"Delivery" by Andre Babikian is a succinct and thoroughly 'reader friendly' instructional guide and manual featuring 18 'tools' to help anyone produce powerful and effective presentations, whether they will be speaking for an audience of two or two thousand. "Delivery" is a compendium of simple 'tricks of the trade' that can help even the most novice of public speakers connect with an audience, and make a presentations lively, inspiring, engaging and relevant. "Delivery" will help to avoid the typical one-way communication trap, and show how to engage any kind of audience in collaborative workshops, as well as how to deftly adapt a presentation on the fly to ensure that the speaker and the speaker's message will impress and inform any audience. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Delivery" is an especially recommended addition to personal, professional, corporate, community, and academic Business Studies instructional reference collections in general, and Public Speaking supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

The Automotive Shelf

Jaguar from the Shop Floor
Brian James Martin
Veloce Publishing Ltd.
9781787112797, $50.00, HC, 192pp,

In the pages of "Jaguar from the Shop Floor: Foleshill Road and Browns Lane 1949 to 1978", Brian Martin (who is a long time member of both The Jaguar Drivers' Club, The Jaguar Enthusiasts' Club, and The Jaguar Apprentices' Motor Club) tells the story of his life as a long-time employee at Jaguar, giving a first-hand account of the development and production processes, and the ups and downs of factory life through the eyes of someone who was actually there. A part-autobiographical and part-historical account, "Jaguar from the Shop Floor" tells of Brian's childhood in a typical working family of the depression era, and then describes his career from starting at the Jaguar factory in 1949, through a spell doing national service in the RAF and then going back to Jaguar. He left briefly in 1972 to try other jobs, but returned to the factory in the mid-1970s. Providing a fascinating insight into the Jaguar production process, the book also covers the development of the XK120, Mk V, Mk VII, MK X. The Mark 1 and 2 (2.4, 3.4 & 3.8 litre) saloons, the XKSS, E1A, E2A, lightweight E Types, XJ6 XJ12 & XJS, "Jaguar from the Shop Floor" is a 'must' for all Jaguar car enthusiasts and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, community, and academic library Automotive History collections.

Morris Minor: 70 Years On The Road
Ray Newell
Veloce Publishing Ltd.
9781787112070, $60.00, PB, 224pp,

The postwar Morris Minor, designed by Alec Issigonis, was one of the most popular vehicles in British automotive history. 2018 marks 70 years since the first Minors rolled off the production lines at Cowley in Oxfordshire. In this celebratory publication Ray Newell (who is a well known and respected figure within Morris Minor circles, has been Secretary of the UK based Morris Minor Owners Club since 1983, and has contributed significantly to the Club's growth and development in that time) looks in detail at the development of the wide range of models produced during a production run that spanned twenty two years in the UK. Using mainly contemporary materials covering four decades, "Morris Minor: 70 Years On The Road" transports the reader back to an era when the pace of life was much slower and the marketing of the vehicles was considerably different to the slick advertising of today. The worldwide appeal of this trend-setting vehicle is examined in the context of the 'export or die' mentality that dominated postwar Britain, as are the innovative production methods used to ensure that 'Morris Motors Ltd' lived up to its 'quality first' reputation. Variations from standard specifications are considered with reference to mechanical uprating, different body styles and the use of modern accessories to enhance further the comfort and styling of what was dubbed 'The World's Supreme Small Car'. Issigonis sketches of the prototype cars, sales brochures, promotional materials, and rare and unusual photographs make this a fascinating book. The continuing appeal of the car voted Britain's most popular classic in 2016 is examined, as are the factors which continue to attract a new generation of 21st century owners. Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "Morris Minor: 70 Years On The Road" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, community, and academic library British Automotive History collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and automotive history enthusiasts that "Morris Minor: 70 Years On The Road" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $27.99).

Dyno Don
Doug Boyce
CarTech Inc.
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
9781613254059, $34.95, PB, 176pp,

The 1950s through the 1970s are arguably the 'Golden Years of drag racing as an organized sport. That was when individual drivers often became associated with a particular manufacturer, such as Chevy, Ford, or Chrysler through sponsorship, factory team rides, or sometimes simply their own preference. The Ford company's most successful driver of the era was the legendary "Dyno Don" Nicholson. His first wins on a national level were actually in the early 1960s in Chevrolet products. He became extremely successful on the match-race circuit. Then, in 1964, he switched over to Mercury with the new Comet after General Motors enacted a factory ban on racing activities. He won 90 percent of his match races that year. He stuck with Ford and Mercury products and won throughout the 1960s and 1970s, even after Ford also pulled the plug on factory team sponsorship. He made it to the final rounds in nearly 50 national events during that period, in addition to winning championships, awards, and match races along the way. Profusely illustrated throughly, "Dyno Don: The Cars and Career of Dyno Don Nicholson" by drag racing enthusiast Doug Boyce is an impressively informative and inherently fascinating read that is a 'must' for the legions of drag racing enthusiasts in general, and Dyno Don fans in particular!

The Travel Shelf

Moon: New England
Jen Rose Smith
Moon Handbooks
c/o Avalon Travel
1700 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
9781640491748, $23.99, PB, 550pp,

Compiled, organized and presented by Vermont local Jen Rose Smith, "Moon: New England" is a compact yet comprehensive travel guide that is ideal for exploring the best of New England's historic cities, its famed fall foliage, as well as it's the stunning coastline. "Moon: New England" includes: Flexible itineraries for every season, including quick weekend getaways from Boston and New York and two weeks exploring all of New England; Strategic advice for foliage-seekers, beach bums, winter sports enthusiasts, foodies, and more; Can't-miss highlights and unique experiences: Catch America's first sunrise at Acadia, or hike the rocky landscape of the White Mountain Peaks. With "Moon: New England" travelers can sample their way through craft breweries, or sip chowder in America's oldest restaurant; Explore rolling dunes and sandy beaches at Cape Cod, and find the best local seafood shack for lobster rolls, fresh-shucked oysters, and piles of fried clams; Follow in the footsteps of the founders on Boston's Freedom Trail, or gaze at glamorous 19th-century mansions in Newport; Hit the top slopes in the region for skiing and snowboarding, or watch the changing leaves paint the landscape in red and gold. Of special note is the expert advice from Jen Rose Smith on when to go, where to stay, and how to get around. Enhanced with the inclusion of full-color photos and detailed regional and city maps throughout; thorough background information on the wildlife, landscape, climate, and local culture; recommendations for families with children, international visitors, seniors, travelers with disabilities, and more, "Moon: New England" will prove an invaluable reference for planning anything from day trips to extended vacations throughout New England. It should be noted that "Moon: New England" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Hiking the Gulf Islands of British Columbia
Charles Kahn
Harbour Publishing
PO Box 219, Madeira Park, BC, Canada, V0N 2H0
9781550178258, $24.95, PB, 344pp,

Nestled in the Strait of Georgia between British Columbia's mainland and Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands are a hiker's paradise, each boasting an eclectic character and an array of flora and fauna unique to the temperate climate of the southern West Coast of Canada. Hikers can discover the panoramic views, inviting beaches and friendly hospitality of the Gulf Islands -- all within a short distance of Vancouver and Victoria. Now in a fully updated and expanded fourth edition, "Hiking the Gulf Islands of British Columbia" includes something for everyone eager to explore the diverse and stunning archipelago often referred to as BC's Enchanted Isles. A chapter, which includes historical and practical information, is dedicated to each island ranging from the much-visited Bowen Island at the entrance to Howe Sound to the often-overlooked islands of Texada and Lasqueti. Along with helpful illustrations and maps, at-a-glance information is provided for each hike, including a starred rating for the trail, a short description of the hike, its length, the time required to hike it, the degree of difficulty, access points, as well as any cautions for exploring the area responsibly to ensure the protection of these ecological oases. This thoroughly 'user friendly' guide also contains up-to-date information on the islands' marine parks, including the spectacular Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (36 square kilometres of land and marine area scattered over fifteen islands) as well as paddling suggestions and launch sites for kayakers. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Hiking the Gulf Islands of British Columbia " continues to be an ideal and very highly recommended travel guide for anyone with an interest in visiting this scenic part of British Columbia.

Brian Solomon's Railway Guide to Europe
Brian Solomon
Kalmbach Media
21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612
9781627004770 $24.99

Featuring tips and tricks for navigating 21 countries and a wealth of full-color photography, Brian Solomon's Railway Guide to Europe is a "must-read" for any traveler who plans to see Europe by train. There is a brief history with context and travel basics for each of the 21 countries, as well as suggestions for the best tickets to buy, and the most fascinating destinations to visit. Railway connoisseurs of all walks of life will also find Brian Solomon's Railway Guide to Europe a joy to page through.

Trekking in the Everest Region, sixth edition
Jamie McGuinness
9781905864812 $21.95

Now in an updated sixth edition, Trekking in the Everest Region is packed cover to cover with tips, tricks, routes, health and safety guides, lodging recommendations, suggestions for employing a guide or a porter, and much more especially for anyone seeking to trek through the Everest region of Nepal's Himalaya. Author Jamie McGuinness puts his years of experience living in Kathmandu, running a trekking agency, and climbing Everest (seven times!) to paper. There are recommendations for travelers on a wide range of possible budgets, from staying simple lodges with Sherpa families on a shoestring budget, to guided treks with luxuries for those who can afford it. "In Thamel the nightlife has blossomed and so has the late-night trouble. After 11pm or so single women walking home have been hassled (albeit rarely), usually by Nepali guys who have followed them out of a club." Trekking in the Everest Region is a "must-have" for any tourist or business traveler destined for this remote, extraordinarily beautiful land, highly recommended.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

The Headache Healer's Handbook
Jan Mundo
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608685134, $18.95, PB, 384pp,

Jan Mundo, CMSC, CMT, has held headache programs at medical centers, universities, and corporations including Kaiser Permanente, Stanford University, and Apple. She is a certified Master Somatic Coach and massage therapist with advanced training in multiple healing modalities. Mundo's mind-body program teaches headache and migraine sufferers how to relieve and prevent their symptoms naturally -- without drugs and their side effects. In "The Headache Healer's Handbook: A Holistic, Hands-On Somatic Self-Care Program for Headache and Migraine Relief and Prevention" she shares her powerful personalized, comprehensive program for the first time. In step-by-step instructions, she helps readers discover and prevent the triggers that perpetuate their headaches -- and stop their pain on the spot with her unique hands-on therapy. In a caring and compassionate presentation, she makes her techniques accessible to both occasional headache sufferers and those who have long felt misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Brimming with inspirational narratives, questionnaires, guidelines, tracking tools, and author-illustrated instructions, "The Headache Healer's Handbook" effectively offers hope for a headache-free future. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "The Headache Healer's Handbook" is unreservedly recommended reading for anyone suffering from migraines or any other form of headache. While certain to be an immediately useful and enduringly popular addition to community and academic library Health & Medicine instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Headache Healer's Handbook" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.15).

Light Therapies
Anadi Martel
Healing Arts Press
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620557297, $24.99, PB, 384pp,

Anadi Martel is a physicist and electronics designer, who has acted as a consultant for IMAX, Cirque du Soleil, and the Metropolitan Opera of New York. For more than 30 years he has researched the therapeutic properties of light and the interaction between technology and consciousness, leading to the creation of the Sensora multisensorial system. In "Light Therapies: A Complete Guide to the Healing Power of Light" he draws upon his years of experience and expertise to create a comprehensive guide to the therapeutic benefits of light and color and how they affect our physical and psychological well-being; to share scientific research on how different wavelengths of light influence our cells, brain function, sleep patterns, and emotional stability; to examine several forms of light therapy, including chromotherapy, heliotherapy, actinotherapy, and thermotherapy; and to explain how to use light and color therapy, maximize the benefits of sunlight, and avoid the health risks of new light sources such as compact fluorescents and LEDs. Investigating the many laser, monochrome, audiovisual, and infrared machines designed to heal disease and treat emotional disorders, Martel also reveals promising medical applications for light that are currently in development, inviting the reader not only to appreciate the complexities of light but to maximize its therapeutic dimensions. A unique, impressively informative, and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library Alternative Medicine collections and supplemental studies lists, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of non-specialist general readers that "Light Therapies" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

The Hard Road to Staying Thin, Healthy and Youthful, While Enjoying Life and Food to the Fullest
Dafna Lazar
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781451235043, $24.95 PB, $3.49 Kindle, 104 pp,

It's hard to live life and still remain healthy. "The Hard Road to Staying Thin, Healthy, and Youthful, While Enjoying Life and Food to the Fullest" is a memoir and health guide from Dafna Lazar as she shares her story of managing to attain balance for health and life with a degree of spirituality thrown in. Thoughtful with many good ideas, "The Hard Road to Staying Thin, Healthy, and Youthful, While Enjoying Life and Food to the Fullest" is an enticing pick.

The Education Shelf

Teacher - You Are Enough and More
Claire Rachel Maghtas & Karen Jean Epps
Morgan James Publishing
11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606-4448
9781683508991, $16.99, PB, 222pp,

The collaborative project of teachers and academicians Claire Rachel Maghtas and Karen Jean Epps "Teacher - You Are Enough and More" supports and uplifts educators in the demanding world of education and features strategies, exercises, and tools that align teachers' spirits with God to stay at peace while teaching. The authors' specific intention is to energize other educators and give them tools for handling stress and persevering through the difficult times. "Teacher - You Are Enough and More" is inspirational guide includes invigorating verses from the Bible along with personal testimonies to help teachers cope. Teachers will learn strategies to stay in balance while enhancing students' achievements and well-being. Finally, "Teacher - You Are Enough and More" provide phrases of confirmations, gratitude statements, and a space for journaling to help each teacher personalize their journey and achieve peace. While very highly and unreservedly recommended for school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Teacher - You Are Enough and More" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Dogs Just Wanna Have Fun!
Cheryl Murphy
Hubble & Hattie
9781787112018, $16.99, HC, 112pp,

Showcasing the photography of Cheryl Murphy, "Dogs Just Wanna Have Fun!: Picture This: Dogs at Play" colorfully and evocatively demonstrates the sheer enjoyment our canine companions experience simply from being a dog. The photographs in "Dogs Just Wanna Have Fun!" are not about the bond between us and our canine companions, the results of dog training, or the ever-expanding canine wardrobe. Rather, the focus is on how dogs behave when they are freed from everyday constraints, and can indulge their natural instincts. The unsung heroes here are the owners, who, after ensuring that their beloved best friend would be safe, let him or her run free to interact with others for the photoshoot. The resultant images showcase pure doggie delight - as the expressions on the dogs' faces demonstrate! Whether chasing balls or other dogs, mud-bathing, swimming, or rolling, this is a joyous celebration of dogs simply enjoying themselves! "Dogs Just Wanna Have Fun!" is a simple delight to browse through and very highly recommended for anyone having or having had or aspiring to have a canine companion of their own.

The Music Shelf

Accidentally Like a Martyr
James Campion
Backbeat Books
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
33 Plymouth Street, Suite 302, Montclair, NJ 07042-2677
9781617136726, $24.99, PB, 290pp,

The late Warren William Zevon (January 24, 1947 - September 7, 2003) was an American rock singer-songwriter and musician. Warren Zevon songs are like chapters in a great American novel. Its story lies in the heart of his and our psyche. The lines are blurred. We never seem to know if we are looking in a mirror or peering through a window; we only know that when we listen we see something . The music sets the scene his voice a striking baritone, its narrator our guide through a labyrinth of harrowing narratives. The plot unfolds without subtlety; each musical and lyrical arc awakens imagination. In "Accidentally Like a Martyr: The Tortured Art of Warren Zevon", music journalist James Campion presents 13 erudite and informative essays on seminal Zevon songs and albums that provide context to the themes, inspirations, and influence of one of America's most literate songwriters. In-depth interviews with Zevon's friends and colleagues provide first-person accounts of how the music was lived, composed, recorded, and performed. Longtime fans of this most uniquely tortured artist, as well as those who want to discover his work for the first time, will get inside the mind, talent, and legacy of the wildly passionate Excitable Boy. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Accidentally Like a Martyr" offers an extraordinary and analytical study of a man and his music that is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography and Contemporary American Music collections in general, and Warren Zevon supplemental studies lists in particular.

The Art Shelf

One Piece Color Walk Compendium: East Blue to Skypiea
Eiichiro Oda
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200, San Francisco CA 94103
9781421598505 $39.99

One Piece Color Walk Compendium: East Blue to Skypiea is a showcase of full-color images and special illustrations from the worldwide popular manga (Japanese graphic novel) series One Piece. A joy to page through and savor, One Piece Color Walk Compendium collects the contents of the first three Color Walk art books into a single volume, spanning the early manga storyline from the East Blue arc (where the main characters of One Piece's somewhat-maybe- possibly-heroic "Straw Hat" pirate crew first meet) to the Skypiea arc. Occasional comments from One Piece creator Eiichiro Oda, as well as several pages of interviews between Oda and other famous artists including Final Fantasy visual designer Yoshitaka Amano and Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama, round out this "must-have" treasure for One Piece connoisseurs. Highly recommended!

The Military Shelf

The 31st Infantry Regiment
By the members of the 31st Infantry Regiment Association
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476669090 $45.00

Featuring a wealth of black-and-white photographs, The 31st Infantry Regiment: A History of "America's Foreign Legion" in Peace and War is a detailed chronicle of the U.S. Army 31st Infantry Regiment, also known as the Polar Bears, who have fought in virtually every war in modern American history. Here are chronicles of battlefields in Manila, Siberia, Iraq, the nightmarish horrors of the Bataan Death March, and much more. A list of regiment soldiers who were killed in action, extensive chapter notes, a bibliography, and an index round out this excellent reference and resource. Highly recommended, especially for public and college library Military History collections.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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