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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 4, Number 12 December 2009 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Genealogy Shelf Literary Shelf
Sports Shelf Fiction Shelf World History Shelf
Hunting/Fishing Shelf Cookbook Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Language Studies Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf
Psychology Shelf Science Shelf Islamic Studies Shelf
Art Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf Photography Shelf
American History Shelf Environmental Studies Shelf Gardening Shelf
Music Shelf Military Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf
Interior Design Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf Economics Shelf
Archaeology Shelf Nautical Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Poetry Shelf Biography Shelf Education Shelf
Journalism Shelf Political Science Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Jobs/Careers Shelf Social Issues Shelf Judicial Studies Shelf
Women's Studies Shelf Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf Parenting Shelf
Business Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

The Gigantic Reader
West Side Publishing
c/o Publications International Ltd.
7373 North Cicero Avenue, Lincolnwood, IL 60712
9781412716536, $15.95,

Simple facts can prove endlessly entertaining. "The Gigantic Reader: Overstuffed with Irresistible Information" is a massive collection of facts and trivia to entertain for hours on end while enriching the mind. From tales of not-so-wise wise men, to unusual stories of love, to the strangest court cases in history, there is a fascinating treasure trove within "The Gigantic Reader".

The Genealogy Shelf

Genealogical Events from Newspapers for Crawford, Vernon and Grant Counties, Wisconsin 1870-1901
Vernon D. Erickson
Heritage Books
100 Railroad Ave, Suite 104, Westminster, Maryland 21157-4826 1-800-876-6103
9780788419386 $34.50,

Third in a series of genealogical books compiling data from early newspapers published in the Vernon, Crawford, and Grant counties of Wisconsin, Genealogical Events from Newspapers for Crawford, Vernon and Grant Counties, Wisconsin 1870-1901 is a straightforward archive of raw facts. Entries list individuals alphabetized by last name, with a note on the newspaper in which information bout them appeared and a brief text summary of the genealogical data bout them. A wealth of extra information rounds out the listing of names, including a set of newspaper articles of particular genealogical and historical interest, maps, and much more. An easy-to-use index rounds out this excellent resource that takes the guesswork out of extracting useful information from old newspapers.

The Literary Shelf

Shakespeare's Sonnets and the Bible
Ira B. Zinman
World Wisdom
1501 East Hillside Drive, Bloomington, IN 47401
9781933316741 $26.95

What was the relationship between one of the English language's greatest writers and faith? "Shakespeare's Sonnets and the Bible: A Spiritual Interpretation with Christian Sources" analyzes the hidden themes of spirituality in the writings of William Shakespeare. An intriguing read for Christian readers, "Shakespeare's Sonnets" is a top pick for any who want to better understand the work of Shakespeare.

Out of the Northwoods
Michael Edmonds
Wisconsin Historical Society Press
816 State Street, Madison, WI 53706
9780870204371, $24.95,

One of the most cherished American folk tales is the story of Paul Bunyan and his big blue ox. "Out of the Northwoods: The Many Lives of Paul Bunyan" discusses the origins of the story, from its earliest roots as tales shared between Wisconsin lumberjacks in the nineteenth century, to Bunyan's transformation into an American icon of marketing. The story of the Paul Bunyan's origins may be more fascinating than the story of Paul Bunyan, making "Out of the Northwoods" an entertaining and highly recommended read.

The Representation of Business in English Literature
Arthur Pollard, editor
Liberty Fund, Inc.
8335 Allison Pointe Trail, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46250-1684 1-800-955-8335
9780865977587 $12.00,

How has literature impacted the public opinion of big business? "The Representation of Business in English Literature" discusses the effect that literature has in the current affairs of big business. Surveying the past two hundred years, the five essays chronicle changing attitudes, and how partiality influences whole nations. "The Representative of Business in English Literature" is an educational read that's worth one's attention.

Under the Covers and Between the Sheets
C. Alan Joyce & Sarah Janssen
Reader's Digest
Reader's Digest Road, Pleasantville, NY 10570-7000
9781606520345, $14.95,

Sometimes the people behind the writing are more intriguing than what they create. "Under the Covers and Between the Sheets: The Inside Story Behind Classic Characters, Authors, Unforgettable Phrases, and Unexpected Endings" is a book packed cover to cover with trivia of the world of literature. Pen names, inspirations, publishing misadventures, and so much more, anyone fascinated with the unusual people who create the books they love, "Under the Covers and Between the Sheets" is a top pick for anyone who wants to read of Mark Twain's undying hatred for Jane Austen.

Imagining Siam
Caron Eastgate Dann
Monash Univeristy Press
c/o International Specialized Book Services
920 NE 58th Ave. Suite 300, Portland, OR 97213-3786
9781876924621, $36.95,

With so much westernization and modernization, the only way to experience Siam as it was is through literature. "Imagining Siam: A Traveller's Literary Guide to Thailand" is a book describing various literary ventures that one could pursue through its many eras, from its ancient beginnings to the beacon of global tourism it has become today. Drawing a long history of how Thailand has morphed over the years, "Imagining Siam" is a top pick for any who want to understand the country through its literature.

The Sports Shelf

I Love Brett Favre / I Hate Brett Favre
Ross Bernstein
Triumph Books
542 South Dearborn Street, Suite 750, Chicago, Illinois 60605
9781600783760 $14.95,

I Love Brett Favre / I Hate Brett Favre is quite literally two books in one (flip "I Love Brett Favre" over to read "I Hate Brett Favre"), embodying the love-hate dynamic that so many of Favre's fans have had toward this legendary superstar of professional football. A tongue-in-cheek compendium of insights from Favre's teammates, coaches, and associates past and present, as well as media figures and dyed-in-the-wool NFL fans, I Love Brett Favre / I Hate Brett Favre is thoroughly enjoyable from cover to cover, and an especial treat for Wisconsin (or Minnesotan!) football fans. "I hate the fact that Brett Favre can wear Wranglers, drive a tractor, and do Sears commercials - and hot chicks still think he's all that."

Major Taylor
Andrew Ritchie
Cycling Resources
c/o Van der Plas Publications
1282 - 7th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122 1-877-353-1207
9781892495655 $39.95,

"Major Taylor: The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World" tells the story of the first black American man to win a title in a sport besides boxing. Though unknown to many Americans, Major Taylor became a cycling legend, and where cycling is popular, his name is still known. A vivid picture of cycling, "Major Taylor" is a must for any sports history collection or for collections focusing on exceptional African Americans.

Life in the Ring
John E. Oden
Hatherleigh Press
5-22 46th Avenue, Suite 200, Long Island City, NY 11101 1-800-528-2550
9781578263516 $25.00,

There's more to boxing then punching people in the face. "Life in the Ring: Lessons & Inspiration from the Sport of Boxing" looks at the life stories of fifteen fighters and looks at the lessons that can be learned from their actions in the ring and in life. From Ali to De La Hoya, these men teach people something about the human spirit, whether they, or their fans, know it or not. An intriguing vehicle of self-help, "Life in the Ring" is a top pick and recommended read.

The Fiction Shelf

Christine Montalbetti
Dalkey Archive
c/o University of Illinois
1805 S. Wright Street, MC-011, Champaign, IL 61820
9781564785282, $13.95,

The story that is most interesting is perhaps the one not being told. "Western" is a humorous novel from Christine Montalbetti, using the archetypal western as a backdrop to a world where the constant cliches of the matter are discussed and presented in a way to entertain and give the reader something to think about. "Western" is a fine read that is well worth the investment.

Sabotage In The Sky
L. Ron Hubbard
Galaxy Press
7051 Hollywood Boulevard, Suite 200, Hollywood, CA 90028
9781592122974, $9.95,

Before he founded the Scientology movement, L. Ron Hubbard was a skilled and prolific author of the legendary 'golden age' of pulp fiction magazines. Now Galaxy Press is reprinting those long out of print Hubbard action/adventure tales as part of their 'Stories from the Golden Age' series. "Sabotage In The Sky" is one of Hubbard's stories based on then advanced technologies of aircraft and powered flight and was originally published in 1940. It has everything from a love interest, to ruthless competition within the aviation industry that includes the prospect of Nazi sabotage, riveting cliff-hanger action, and the colorful aviation patosis of the period. Also highly recommended for aviation action/adventure pulp fiction fans are such other newly published Galaxy Press titles by L. Ron Hubbard as "On Blazing Wings"; "Red Death Over China"; "Sky Birds Dare!"; and "Trouble On His Wings".

Lady Vernon and Her Daughter
Jane Rubino & Caitlen Rubino-Bradway
1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
9780307461667, $24.99,

Jane Austen's work is often discussed by current students of English literature, but there are those that are left out. "Lady Vernon and Her Daughter" expands on the famous author's novella, Lady Susan, and is given a full life much like Austen previously expanded on her novellas that led to works such as Sense and Sensibility. Fans of Austen's work and her characters and settings will find much to enjoy with "Lady Vernon and Her Daughter" a very entertaining and recommended read.

Bob Krech
Marshall Cavendish Corporation
99 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591
SoCal Public Relations (publicity)
8130 La Mesa Blvd., Ste. 137, La Mesa, CA 91942
9780761455431, $6.99,

Segregation may be illegal, but that doesn't mean it's completely gone. "Rebound" tells the story of a small town, divided by a sports racial line. White kids were expected to wrestle, black kids were expected to play basketball, but when a white kid goes towards basketball, the traditions of the towns are challenged. "Rebound" is a fascinating read of racial tensions and how they take form on many levels of society.

The Silent Gift
Michael Landon Jr. & Cindy Kelley
Bethany House
c/o Baker Publishing Group
11400 Hampshire Avenue South, Bloomington, MN 55438
9780764203633, $13.99,

Speech is something that can be highly overrated. "The Silent Gift" is a story set in the 1930s, a time of rough turmoil for America. When a child unable to speak enters the lives of a small rural town with his single mother, he begins to create a certain bond with those around them. A story of a young man forming relationships even when it should be hard, "The Silent Gift" is a touching and inspiring read.

The Sweetest Kiss
DL King
Cleis Press
PO Box 14697, San Francisco, CA 94114
9781573443715, $15.95,

Vampires are sexy, and there's no mincing words about it. "The Sweetest Kiss: Ravishing Vampire Erotica" is a collection of short fiction focusing on the sexiest undead creature. The combination of horror, fear, taboo, eternal beauty, and other elements have attracted many to vampires, and those people will love this collection and its erotic focus on the sharp teethed seductresses. "The Sweetest Kiss" is a must for anyone who loves vampires maybe a bit too much!

Leonard Chang
Black Heron Press
PO Box 13396, Mill Creek, WA 98082
9780930773922, $24.95,

The American Dream is to escape oppression, not to travel thousands of miles back into it. "Crossings" is a novel of Korean immigrants trying to survive the corrupt San Francisco Bay arena where a Sam and Unha try to make ends meet. Unable to comply with what the underworld expects of her, Unha finds herself in a web of prostitution and it's up to Sam to save her. A story of the pursuit of the American dream gone wrong, "Crossings" is a gripping novel that should not be ignored.

Critters of Mossy Creek
Deborah Smith, et. al.
Belle Books
PO Box 300921, Memphis, TN 38130
9780984125821 $14.95

There is nothing like the bond between pet and owner. "Critters of Mossy Creek" is a collaborative novel following the quiet southern town of Mossy Creek. This is a touching story written by pet lovers for pet lovers. For anyone who enjoys small town charm and their animal companions, "Critters of Mossy Creek" will prove an ideal read.

A Summer of Silk Moths
Margaret Willey
c/o Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
9780738715407 $9.95 1-800-843-6666

First impressions are not always the best to remember. "A Summer of Silk Moths" tells the story of Pete and Abe, and their encounters with Nora. Trying to build a memorial to Abe's brother, they soon find that Nora may be Abe's niece, daughter of his deceased brother. A unique story of uncovering the past, "A Summer of Silk Moths" is an intriguing and finely crafted read.

The World History Shelf

The Enemies Of Rome
Philip Matyszak
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, NY, NY 10110-0017
9780500287729, $22.95,

Rome was an empire built upon the conquest of its neighbors. That means its history is replete with enemies from its earliest days to its ultimate destruction. Now Roman history expert and authority Philip Matyszak has compiled "The Enemies of Rome: From Hannibal to Attila the Hun" an informed and informative roster of Rome's major opponents ranging from the legendary Spartacus who headed up a slave rebellion; to Hannibal whose Carthagians went up against Rome in two major conflicts; to Josephus who led ill-fated Jewish forces against the legions of Rome that resulted in the destruction of Jerusalem; to Attila who brought war to the very gates of Rome; to a wide assortment of other generals, warriors and kings who rose to fight against the might of the Roman Empire. A truly fascinating and superbly written 296-page compendium of detailed and documented history, "The Enemies of Rome: From Hannibal to Attila the Hun" is a very highly recommended addition to academic and community library World History reference collections in general, and personal Roman History supplemental reading lists in particular.

The Hunting/Fishing Shelf

Geoff Wilson's Encyclopedia of Fishing Knots and Rigs
Geoff Wilson
Australian Fishing Network
c/o Cardinal Publishers Group
2402 North Shadeland Avenue, Suite A, Indianapolis, IN 46219
9781865131603, $12.95,

To be the best at what you do, you need the best equipment. "Geoff Wilson's Encyclopedia of Fishing Knots and Rigs: Fully Revised" is a guide to mastery of loops, knots, and rigs for one's fishing lines and how they can have a profound impact on one's fishing success. With plenty of thoughts and ideas and how to deal with variables such as freshwater and saltwater fishing, Geoff Wilson provides a singularly useful read. "Encyclopedia of Fishing Knots and Rigs" is a must- read for fishermen who want to master their craft.

Colorado Greenback Cutthroat Trout
Jim Rubingh & Richard Fritz
Frank Amato Publications
PO Box 82112, Portland, OR 97282
9781571884473, $19.95,

The Colorado Greenback Cutthroat Trout is a beautiful fish that was once thought to have gone extinct but which has now made an impressive comeback and found in more than 50 streams and lakes along Colorado's Front Range country. More than just having composed a 'how to' fisherman's manual, collaborative authors Jim Rubingh and Richard Fritz have provided a wealth of introductory and background information on the history and biology of this trout species, including the work done by state and federal agencies, wildlife organizations, and ordinary citizens to ensure its survival. Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with color photography, "Colorado Greenback Cutthroat Trout: A Fisherman's Guide" is superbly organized into a geographical area based presentation. Of special note, especially for the novice angler, is the chapter devoted to safety issues including lightning, fires, and dehydration. Enhanced with the inclusion of an extensive appendices, references, and index, "Colorado Greenback Cutthroat Trout" is a welcome and highly recommended addition to personal, academic, and community library Wildlife Preservation supplemental reading lists and Hunting/Fishing reference collections.

The Cookbook Shelf

500 Casseroles
Rebecca Baugniet
Sellers Publishing
161 John Roberts Road, South Portland, ME 04106
9781416207696, $16.95,

One of the easiest and 'kitchen cook' dishes to prepare and serve for family mealtimes is the casserole, a single dish entree that is almost infinite in its variety. Compiled and organized by Rebecca Baugniet, "500 Casseroles" is a particularly impressive collection of easy-to-prepare recipes for a wide diversity of one-pot dishes ranging from Tamale Casserole; Rigatoni & Italian Sausage Bake; Coq Au Vin; and Turkey Gougere; to Baked Snapper with Mushrooms; Chilaquile Casserole; Cauliflower & Red Pepper Casserole; and Italian Risotto with Scallops. Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with color photography, "500 Casseroles" will prove a popular culinary addition to any personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.

The Amish Cook's Baking Book
Lovina Eicher & Kevin Williams
Andrews & McMeel
4520 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64111
9780740785474, $29.99,

The Amish are a distinctive people known for their simple way of life. A fundamental aspect of their unique life-style is how they treat baking as much as a culinary art. This edible art is showcased in the profusely illustrated pages of "The Amish Cook's Baking Book", a 224-page compendium featuring step-by-step instructions for creating one hundred classic Amish recipes ranging from pies and breads to rolls and all manner of pastries. From Cheesy Bread; Overnight Oatmeal Cookies; Rhubarb Shortcake; and Honey Bars; to Long John Rolls; Monsters Cookies; Salt-Rising Bread; Sugar Cream Pie; and Applesauce Cake, "The Amish Cook's Baking Book" offers a wide range of delectable and nutritious baked goods. Of special note are the sidebars and insights into Amish life both within and beyond the Amish kitchen. "The Amish Cook's Baking Book" is a highly recommended addition to personal and community library ethnic cookbook collections in general, and bakery cookbooks in particular.

Williams-Sonoma Cooking Together
Erin & Tatum Quon
Oxmoor House
PO Box 11095, Des Moines, Iowa 50336-1095
9780848732738, $19.95,

One of the fundamental responsibilities of good parenting is to inculcate into their children the culinary joys of the kitchen -- along with the basic skills that are fundamental to the safe and sanitary preparation of meals. That's just one reason why "Williams-Sonoma Cooking Together: Having Fun in the Kitchen with Your Kids" is so enthusiastically recommended for family and community library collections. That's why San Francisco-based culinary expert Erin Quon (in tandem with her five year old daughter Tatum) has gone to such extraordinary lengths to create a completely 'kid friendly' introduction that parents everywhere can utilize to teach their children basic kitchen skills while creating an impressive range palate please and appetite satisfying dishes. From Pizza Kabobs; Hummus & Veggie Cones; and Yogurt Sundaes; to Little Frittatas; Homemade Fish Sticks with Tartar Sauce; and Snowball Cupcakes, "Williams-Sonoma Cooking Together" is an ideal addition to kitchen cookbook collections for kids.

Entree To Judaism
Tina Wasserman
URJ Books & Music
633 Third Avenue, 7th floor, New York, NY 10017-6778
9780807411100, $39.95,

Jewish communities from around the world during the last two millennia of the diaspora absorbed a great many culinary traditions, transforming them to accord with the dietary and religious requirements that their faith required of them. The result is a rich diversity that is as much a part of the Jewish cultural legacy as the synagogue and the Torah. Documenting this remarkable culinary heritage is "Entree to Judaism: A Culinary Exploration of the Jewish Diaspora", an impressive 472-page compendium of authentic recipes compiled with commentary by Tina Wasserman, an award-winning cooking instructor, food columnist for 'Reform Judaism' magazine, and specialist in contemporary kosher cuisine. Superbly illustrated throughout in full color, "Entree to Judaism: A Culinary Exploration of the Jewish Diaspora" showcases more than 275 recipes featuring thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' instructions. With palate pleasing, appetite satisfying dishes ranging from Syrian Apricot compote in Rose Water Syrup; Moroccan Chicken Kebabs; Greek Psari Saganaki; and Three-Potato Cheese Gratin; to Miniature Chocolate Almond Tortes; Kneidlach (Matzah Balls); Tunisian Briks; New York Style Cheesecake; and English Tomato Chutney, "Entree to Judaism: A Culinary Exploration of the Jewish Diaspora" is especially recommended for family, professional, and community library Ethnic Cookbook collections.

How It All Vegan! 10th Anniversary Edition
Tanya Barnard & Sarah Kramer
Arsenal Pulp Press
341 Water Street, Suite 200, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6B 1B8
9781551522531, $22.95,

First published in 1999 and a true classic for vegetarians in general and vegans in particular, "How It All Vegan! 10th Anniversary Edition: Irresistible Recipes for an Animal-Free Diet" by the team of dedicated Canadian vegans Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer is a 240-page compendium of superb recipes showcasing the culinary diversity and palate pleasing elegance of what vegan cuisine has to offer. With recipes for dishes appropriate for breakfast, family dinners, party time, and special celebratory occasions, this collection of recipes includes soups, beverages, salads, entrees, side dishes, breads, desserts, kiddy treats, and more! From Scrambled Eggless Eggs; Vegetable Rice Pilaf; Tofurky (Tofu Turkey); and Applesauce Bread; to Chocolate Upside Down Pudding Cake; Fresh Fruit Kabobs; Perfect Potato Salad; and Banana Date Shake, "How It All Vegan!" is a welcome and very highly recommended addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.

You Made That Dessert?
Beth Lipton
The Globe Pequot Press
PO Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437
9780762750085, $19.95,

At last! A do-it-yourself collection of truly neophyte kitchen cook recipes that will produce palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, superbly produced treats that will grace any dining occasion from the simplest family meal to the most elegant dining occasion. Profusely illustrated throughout, "You Made That Dessert?: Create Fabulous Treats, Even If You Can Barely Boil Water" truly lives up to the promise of its title with clear, concise, easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for a cornucopia of mouth-watering desserts that range from Cinnamon-Hazelnut Shortbread; Great Big Coconut Cake; S'mores Bars; and Pumpkin Mousse; to Grapefruit Granita; Cool Blueberry Soup; Apple Crumble; and Cherry-Berry Stovetop Cobbler. "You Made That Dessert?: Create Fabulous Treats, Even If You Can Barely Boil Water" is a 'must' for all novice cooks and will prove to be an exceptionally popular addition to community library cookbook collections!

Easy Japanese Cooking: Appetizer Rex
Kentaro Kobayashi
Vertical, Inc.
1185 Avenue of the Americas, 32nd floor, New York, NY 10036
9781934287637, $14.95,

Drawing upon culinary traditions of Japanese cuisine which have been adapted for American kitchens, "Easy Japanese Cooking: Appetizer Rex" is the fifth title in an impressive series of cookbooks specifically designed with the novice family cook in mind. Focused specifically on appetizers that would embellish any and all dining occasions from elegant dining occasions of celebration to simple family meals, this handy 96-page paperback compendium showcases beautifully illustrated and presented recipes ranging from Cube Steak with Garlic; Fried Tofu with Miso; and Chicken Wings with Freshly Ground Pepper; to Fried Cheese Sticks; Wasabi Butter Beef; and Potato Skins. "Easy Japanese Cooking: Appetizer Rex" is wholeheartedly recommended for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.

More Vegetables, Please!
Elson M. Haas & Patty James
New Harbinger Press
5674 Shattuck Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
9781572245907, $21.95,

We all know that mothers and doctors advocate that their families and patients eat more fruits and veggies, and fewer sweets and fats in their diets. With respect to increasing the consumption of vegetables at meal time, Elson M. Haas and Patty James have effectively collaborated to produce a 227-page compendium of tips and techniques showcasing more than one hundred recipes that will please the palate and satisfy the appetite of even the most veggie-reluctant child or adult at the table. Of special note is the inclusion of a great deal of basic information on and about the vegetables involved in these thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes which include seasonings, sauces, spreads, appetizers, dips, salads, dressings, soups, sandwiches, entrees, side dishes, and even desserts. From Chanterelle Crostini; Chinese Chicken Salad with Mandarin Dressing; Golden Tofu Cauliflower Soup; and Vegetarian Chili; to Asparagus Quiche; Broccoli with Lemon and Gomasio; Quinoa Pilaf with Fennel; and Zucchini Brownies, "More Vegetables, Please!" is an enthusiastically recommended addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.

Sarah Levy
Agate Publishing
1501 Madison Street, Evanston, IL 60202
9781572840935, $20.00,

No truly elegant dining occasion can be considered complete without the inclusion of a fabulous dessert. Even an ordinary meal time occasion can be made extra special by the inclusion of a treat from the kitchen. That's why "Sweetness: Delicious Baked Treats for Every Occasion", a 144-page, beautifully illustrated compendium of thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' snacks and desserts will prove to be a popular addition to any kitchen cookbook collection, but most especially that of the novice family chef. Enhanced throughout with engaging anecdotal commentaries, and featuring clear and easy step-by-step instructions, the recipes range from Sinful Chocolate Souffles; Banana-Chocolate Chip Pound Cake; and Raspberry Pepin Jam; to Lemon Baby Rattle Cookies; Holiday Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookies; and Rafael's Righteous Cream Cheese Brownies. Of special note are the opening chapters of Sarah Levy's personal history and detailed basic information that all kitchen bakers will need to know to achieve success in their culinary efforts. "Sweetness" is enthusiastically recommended and guaranteed to be a popular addition to personal and community library cookbook collections.

101 Recipes For Making Wild Wines At Home
John Peragine
Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.
1405 S.W. 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471
9781601383594, $24.95,

Wine making is among the world's most ancient culinary arts and is enjoying a resurgence of popularity today. The latest addition to the Atlantic Publishing Group's outstanding 'Back to Basics Cooking' series, "101 Recipes For Making Wild Wines At Home: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Herbs, Fruits, and Flowers" by wine making enthusiast John Peragine focuses upon the do-it-yourself creation of wines made from plants growing wild. Organized with introductory chapters on the legality and history of making wines at home, winemaking basics, and grape-based wines, "101 Recipes For Making Wild Wines At Home" moves on to include informed and informative chapters on wines from berries, 'stone fruits', 'seeded fruits', citrus and tropical fruits, and apple cider; wines made from vegetable and grains; and herbal wines. Of special note are the chapters devoted to making meads and wild wine drinks. Novice wine makers will especially appreciate the chapter identifying the ten most commonly encountered problems when making wine. Enhanced with a glossary, a bibliography, a resource list, a comprehensive index, and appendices on 'Wine yeast Strains' and 'Tales from the Vineyard', "101 Recipes For Making Wild Wines At Home" is an ideal and thoroughly 'user friendly' introduction and instruction manual appropriate and recommended for personal and community library reference collections.

Gourmet's Guide To Cheese
Brigette Engelmann & Peter Holler
H. F. Ullmann
c/o Langenscheidt Publishing Group
15 Tyger River Drive, Duncan, SC 29334
9780841608900, $29.99,

Cheese is basically fermented milk. The milk can come from any mammal and is cheese is one of the oldest foods that we have record of and found in one form or another in every human culture around the globe. The "Gourmet's Guide To Cheese" is the collaborative and detailed work of Brigette Engelmann and Peter Holler. Following informative introductory chapters on the nature of cheese, cheese production, and the handling of cheese, this 600-page compendium showcases the rich and diverse varieties of cheeses from around the world and is organized by country. Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout with color photography, the featured cheeses includes such information as their origins and history, production, characteristics, and even serving suggestions. A superb browsing experience for dedicated cheese enthusiasts, the "Gourmet's Guide To Cheese" is an informed and informative choice recommended for personal, academic, and community library reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Sharon Ashwood
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
Nancy Berland Public Relations (publicity)
2816 NW 57th Street, Suite101, Oklahoma City, OK 73112
9780451228642, $7.99,

An ex-detective who was turned into a half-demon and was condemned to serve time in a supernatural prison called the Castle; a vampire mother whose son is kidnapped; this is the basis for "Scorched", the second volume in 'The Dark Forgotten' series and one of the most original, entertaining, action/adventure fantasy novels of the year. Author Sharon Ashwood is clearly established as a major talent for innovation and recreating the fantasy horror genre into a new level of entertaining excellence, making "Scorched" an enthusiastic recommendation for fans of the genre. Indeed, those for whom "Scorched" is their first introduction to Sharon Ashwood will want to also read "Ravenous" (Signet, 9780451226174, $6.99), the first in this outstanding series.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Evagrius of Pontus
David Brakke, translator
Cistercian Publications
c/o Liturgical
3642 Monks Road, Trappist, KY 40051
9780879073299, $24.95,

The demons of the world lie everywhere to tempt Christians from the virtuous path. "Evagrius of Pontus: Talking Back" is a historical Christian text on the writings of one Evagrius of Pontus, focusing on his fourth century writings of an Egyptian monk. With much wisdom and thought, "Evagrius of Pontus" is a must read for anyone who wants to best understand ancient Christianity and learn about its roots.

Find It Fast In The Bible
Ron Rhodes
Harvest House Publishers
990 Owen Loop North, Eugene, Oregon 97402-9173
9780736926560, $7.99,

Compiled by Ron Rhodes (President of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries), "Find It Fast In The Bible: A Quick Topical Reference" is an easily portable, pocket-sized, 202-page, alphabetically organized compendium of Biblical scriptures arranged according to specific tops that span hundreds of topics from Ability and Abortion Rights to Youth and Zeal. An ideal and thoroughly 'user friendly' topical scripture reference, "Find It Fast In The Bible" is especially appropriate for pastors writing sermons or parishioners studying the scriptures. Whether as a resource for personal study or study groups, "Find It Fast In The Bible" is very highly recommended and certain to be a time-saver.

Set Apart
Jennifer Kennedy Dean
New Hope Publishers
PO Box 12065, Birmingham, AL 35202-2065
9781596692633, $14.99,

Perhaps the simplest path to happiness is returning to religious roots. "Set Apart: A 6-week Study of the Beatitudes" is Jennifer Kennedy Dean's encouragement for readers to seek out God in their life using the Beatitudes and the Sermon of the Mount. Spiritual and divinely encouraging to readers, "Set Apart" is a solid and very recommended read for religious readers looking for some spiritual enlightenment.

Christ Our Companion
Robert S. Goizueta
Orbis Books
Price Bldg. Box 308, Maryknoll, NY 10545
9781570758539, $30.00,

Christ's teachings and the ways of the world offer much debate for Christians. "Christ Our Companion: Towards Theological Aesthetics of Liberation" is a scholarly and intriguing guide encouraging readers to put better thought into the life of Christ and the aftermath and how that affects the world and Christianity as a whole. Very thoughtful and educational, "Christ Our Companion" is a fine addition to any theology collection.

Deep Preaching
J. Kent Edwards
B&H Publishing Group
127 Ninth Avenue, North, Nashville, TN 37234-0120
9780805446951, $19.99,

A bad sermon can do more harm than good. "Deep Preaching: Creating Sermons That the Go Beyond" is a guide for preachers who are not using he full power of the scripture in their sermons. Encouraging preachers to look deeper into the text to find true meaning and use it to structure a more concise and moving sermon. "Deep Preaching" is a must for anyone who doesn't want to waste a Sunday by spewing what's only hot air.

What Makes Us Whole
Noel Cooper
Liturgical Press
St. John's Abbey, PO Box 7500, Collegeville, MN 56421-7500
9780814632895, $16.95,

God works in strange and mysterious ways, you just need to stay the course. "What Makes Us Whole: Finding God in Contemporary Life" is a Christian book that encourages Christians to find God's hand in their life and follow that path. Discussing views about God with some controversy, Noel Cooper will give readers quite the read and much to inspire them to better lives. "What Makes Us Whole" is a read well worth considering for those who have lost track of God in their lives.

Conversations with Scripture
Marcus J. Borg
Morehouse Publishing
4775 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg, PA 17112
9780819223395, $16.00

The biggest mysteries of the Bible are the ones of the men behind the pens. "Conversations with Scripture: The Gospel of Mark" investigates the gospel of Mark, one of the most crucial books of the Bible and how it came to be. With much historical sources, "Conversations with Scripture: The Gospel of Mark" seeks to understand Mark, and through that, gain a greater understanding of the Bible.

The Language Studies Shelf

The Way Of Chinese Characters
Jianhsin Wu
Cheng & Tsui Company
25 West St., Boston, MA 02111-1213
9780887275272, $32.99,

With its pictograph characters, Chinese is a vastly different written language from those of European derivation such as English. For students of Chinese, this newly expanded edition of "The Way of Chinese Characters: The Origins of 400 Essential Words" compiled by Jianhsin Wu, and profusely illustrated throughout by the team of Chen Zheng and Chen Tian, is correlated with "Integrated Chinese" and ideal for use as a text because it provides the student with a basic understanding of the meaning of the four hundred most commonly encountered characters showcased in eleven lessons. Enhanced with an appendix (Explanations in Simplified Characters), a character index by lessons, a character index by pinyin, and character indices for both traditional and simplified strokes, "The Way Of Chinese Characters" is an ideal and strongly recommended addition to personal and academic Chinese Language reference collections and supplemental instruction curriculums.

Getting Started With Spanish
William E. Linney & Antonio L. Orta
Armfield Academic Press
9780979505133, $20.95,

After English, Spanish is the most widely spoken language in America. Now there is a superbly designed and presented 'do-it-yourself' instruction manual accessible to anyone wanting to learn to speak Spanish as a second language. "Getting Started with Spanish: Beginning Spanish for Homeschoolers and Self-Taught Students of Any Age" is the collaborative work of William E. Linney and Antonio L. Orta and features 177 individual language lessons that will enable the student to engage in a basic conversation in Spanish. Of special note is the 'How to Use This Book' and the 'General Advice' offered. Enhanced with downloadable (and free) MP3 files from, an Answer Key; a Pronunciation Guide; a Glossary; and a comprehensive Subject Index, "Getting Started With Spanish" is an ideal textbook and recommended for self-study, as well as a classroom text for traditional and/or home schooling curriculums.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Artistic Leather Of The Arts And Crafts Era
Daniel Lees
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764333712, $69.99,

The first three decades of the 20th century saw the rise in America of what became known as the 'arts and crafts' era in everything from art, to furniture, to textiles, to home decorations and designs. Now in expertly compiled by Daniel Lees in a 272-page superbly illustrated compendium of examples of leather goods from this era, "Artistic Leather Of The Arts And Crafts Era" showcases and celebrates some 300 elegantly representative examples, along with profiles of their individual artists and manufacturers. Of special note is the provision of basic information with respect to collecting leather goods in general, and from this period in particular. Informed and informative, "Artistic Leather Of The Arts And Crafts Era" is especially recommended for personal, professional, academic, and community library reference collections.

Eldred Wheeler: A Collector's Guide
Emmett W. Eldred
Stemmer House Publishers, Inc.
4 White Brook Road, Gilsum, NH 03448
9780916144906, $49.95,

A definitive expert on colonial furniture forms, Emmett W. Eldred draws upon his many years of experience and specialized knowledge to produce "Eldred Wheeler: A Collector's Guide", a superlatively illustrated and deftly written compendium of the creations he has made since establishing his own handcrafted, high style, country furniture company that would represent the very best of colonial era furniture with meticulous attention to woodworking detail. This 275-page 'coffee table' reference will prove to be of immense interest and value to furniture makers, designers, and customized wood workers, as well as collectors and dealers of Eldred Wheeler furniture. Highly recommended for personal, professional, academic, and community library collections, "Eldred Wheeler: A Collector's Guide" will also prove to be an informed and entertaining read for non-specialist general readers with an interest in antique and high-end customized furniture.

Vintage Fashion Accessories
Stacy LoAlbo
Krause Publications
700 East State Street, Iola, WI 54990-0001
9781440202513, $24.99,

There are cycles in fashion and given enough time, so many aspects of fashion seem to recycle and repeat over time -- and that phenomena most definitely includes fashion accessories from ties to handbags to scarves, hats, and all manner of jewelry. That's just one reason that "Vintage Fashion Accessories" is such a fascinating and profusely illustrated survey that will prove of interest to any fashion conscious reader -- especially those with limited budgets who will be happy to find that the addition of an accessory can obviate the need for an entire wardrobe replacement to maintain 'fashionability' in their attire. Author Stacy LoAlbo draws upon her many years of experience and expertise as the owner and proprietor of Incogneeto, a New Jersey store whose clothing and accessories inventory range from Victorian finery to funky '70s polyester for both men and women, and range from the easily affordable to the stratospheric in pricing. More than just an antique/collectibles picture book, "Vintage Fashion Accessories" provide the reader with a history of fashion accessories and current values, advice on collecting, and even recommendations for places to shop. Of special note is the chapter focusing on accessories for the gentleman, making "Vintage Fashion Accessories" an ideal and enthusiastically recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library Fashion History and Antiques/Collectibles reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Psychology Shelf

Male, Female, second edition
David C. Geary
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242
9781433806827, $69.95,

When it comes to human beings, the differences between males and females is not restricted to just their biological 'plumbing'. All of us have observed gender differences and distinctions with respect to emotional maturation, communication, problem solving predilections, and more. Even when taking into account culturally imposed gender roles and expectations, there is an underlying difference in how males and females perceive and interact with the world and people around them. Now in a significantly updated and expanded second edition, "Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences" by David C. Geary (Curators' Profess and Thomas Jefferson Professor, Department of Psychological Sciences, University of Missouri) provides a comprehensive introduction to the biological basis for gender-based differences between males and females and the biological basis of natural selection and sexual selection upon which this evolution is founded. Of special note are the chapters addressing the germane issues as sex differences in infancy and in social development. Enhanced with extensive reference citations and a comprehensive index, "Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences" is an accessible and thoroughly 'reader friendly' text, making it very highly recommended for both academic and community Human Sexuality and Psychology reference collections.

Healing Suicidal Veterans
Victor Montgomery III
New Horizon Press
PO Box 669, Far Hills, NJ 07931
9780882823102, $14.95,

Combat can inflict lifelong mental trauma. "Healing Suicidal Veterans: Recognizing, Supporting, and Answering Their Pleas for Help" is a psychologist's guide to dealing with the serious mental disorders that are common to those who have experienced combat in the past generation of wars, in particular the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. "Healing Suicidal Veterans" should be on the shelf of any and every psychologist who treats veterans.

Self-Esteem Across the Lifespan
Mary Guindon, editor
270 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10016
9780415996990, $44.95,

"Self-Esteem" is a core psychological concept whose meaning and importance have been sometimes misunderstood or ill-understood by psychology students, counselors, and therapists, as well as the general public. That's why "Self-Esteem Across the Lifespan: Issues and Interventions", knowledgeably compiled and deftly edited by Mary Guindon (formerly an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Counseling and A Human Services at Johns Hopkins University and currently in private practice specializing in coaching, consulting, and counselor supervision) is such a germane and timely body of work. Beginning with Mary Guindon's two-part introduction defining self-esteem and self-esteem interventions, the expert contributors go on to address self-esteem issues associated with childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, mid-life, and late life with respect to the elderly. An informed and informative body of work that is enhanced with the addition of an extensive list of resources and an example of a 'Group Self-Esteem Intervention Program', as well as an author index and a subject index, "Self-Esteem Across the Lifespan: Issues and Interventions" is a seminal contribution to the field and a highly recommended addition for professional and academic library Counseling, Psychology, and Psychiatry reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Science Shelf

Nature's Matrix
Ivette Perfecto, et al.
c/o Stylus Publishing
PO Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172-0605
9781844077823, $34.95,

People go where there is food. "Nature's Matrix: Linking Agriculture, Conservation, and Food Sovereignty", the collaborative work of Ivette Perfecto, John Vandermeer, and Angus Wright, is an intriguing history that discusses humanity, and how agriculture drives development through ecological effects on earth. Calling upon modern research on the subject, Ivette Perfecto and his associates, professors on the subject, enlighten and intrigue readers about nature's invisible mathematical hand and its impact on human society. "Nature's Matrix" is a strong addition to environmental history collections.

The Meteorites of Alberta
Anthony J. Whyte
University of Alberta Press
Ring House 2, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2E1
9780888644756 $34.95

Earth is hit by meteors all the time. "The Meteorites of Alberta" looks at several major meteorites who have crashed into the planet in Alberta. Sixteen have made science history, and each chapter details a rock and how it has changed our fundamental understanding of the universe. Aimed at both professionals in this field and non-specialist general readers, Anthony J. Whyte keeps it scientific and informative, making " The Meteorites of Alberta" a top pick for science collections.

The Magnetic Universe
J. B. Zirker
The Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4363
9780801893025, $35.00,

There is so much more to the science of astronomy than peering at the stars through a telescope. In "The Magnetic Universe: The Elusive Traces of an Invisible Force", J. B. Zirker (astronomer emeritus at the National Solar Observatory) introduces the reader to the phenomena of the magnetic fields permeating the universe. These are magnetic fields involving streams electrically charged particles, solar and stellar flares, pulsars and neutron stars. By studying this universal phenomena through visible light observations, radio waves and x-rays, a great deal of progress in our understanding of astrophysics has been steadily advancing in terms of how magnetic forces are created and how they affect the very shape of the universe itself. Also available in a hardcover edition (9780801893018, $70.00), "The Magnetic Universe" is superbly written so as to be completely accessible not only to academia, but to the non-specialist general reader with an interest in astronomy. Also very highly recommended for personal, professional, academic, and community library Astronomy collections are Professor Zirker's previous works: "Total Eclipses of the Sun" (Princeton University Press, 9780691029528, $3.95) ; "Journey from the Center of the Sun" (Princeton University Press, 9780691118482, $24.95); "Sunquakes: Probing the Interior of the Sun" (Johns Hopkins University Press, 9780801874192, $35.00); and "An Acre of Glass: A History and Forecast of the Telescope" (Johns Hopkins University Press, 9780801882340, $30.00).

The Islamic Studies Shelf

Essential Islam
Diane Morgan
Praeger Publishers
PO Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911
9780313360251, $44.95,

Fully one-quarter of the Earth's population is Muslim, holding allegiance to the Abrahamic faith called Islam. Fundamentalist Muslim terrorists are to Islam what fundamentalist preachers like Jim Jones or priests like Torquemada or groups like the Klu Klux Klan are to Christianity. That's why, especially because of what's presently happening around the world, "Essential Islam: A Comprehensive Guide to Belief and Practice" by Diane Morgan (Adjunct Professor of Religion and Philosophy, Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania) is so timely and needed. Especially recommended for non-specialist general readers wanting a solid overview of one of the world's most prominent religions in general, as well as western students of Islam in particular, "Essential Islam" is a superbly presented history from inception of Islam under the prophet Mohammad, and through its various factions and evolutions down to the present day. Of special note is that Islam is not restricted to the Middle East, but adherents are to be found in every nation around the globe. Enhanced with the inclusion of a glossary, a selected bibliography, and a comprehensive index, "Essential Islam" is especially appropriate and recommended for both academic and community library Islamic Studies reference collections.

The Art Shelf

Notable Acquisitions at the Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago
111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603-6110
9780865592360, $15.99,

The Art Institute of Chicago is internationally famous for the quality and diversity and continuing expansion of its collection of all manner of art objects from artists and countries around the globe. Beautifully illustrated with full color plates, "Notable Acquisitions at the Art Institute of Chicago" is a 96-page compendium superbly showcases a representative sampling of the latest additions to a growing and diversified collection. Of special note is that each featured piece is beautifully photographed and accompanied by an extensive description that includes its title, date, and creator. From Mayan sculptures, to Japanese scrolls, to American art, "Notable Acquisitions at the Art Institute of Chicago" is a fascinating and impressively informative browse which highly recommended for all arts and crafts enthusiasts in general, and Art Institute of Chicago patrons in particular.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Swine Flu / H1N1: The Facts
Terence Stephenson
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849058216, $12.95,

From the political right as exemplified by the Fox News channel, to the right as represented by 'Real Time with Bill Maher', the American public is deluged with misinformation, misrepresentation, hysteric demagoguery, and fear mongering when it comes to the Swine Flu phenomena. It's high time the public had a rational, reasoned, non-emotional source of sound information on the subject and that's why "Swine Flu / H1N1: The Facts" by Professor Terence Stephenson (President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child health, United Kingdom) is such a welcome relief to the popular hysteria arising from the wide-spread (and often politically motivated) confusion concerning this particular form of influenza. Professor Stephenson knowledgeably addresses such issues as the nature of HIN1 fly; its degree of hazard for children, its symptoms, treatments, vaccines, and prevention. Of special note is the Professor Stephenson's informed and informative text is couched in thoroughly 'reader friendly' language making it especially recommended for the non-specialized general reader and all community/school Health & Medicine reference collections.

An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods
Elise Marie Collins
Conari Wellness
c/o Red Wheel, Weiser, Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
9781573244190, $12.95,

One's diet can do much for the healing process. "An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods: A Shopper's Companion" is a guide for readers to help them make informed shopping choices when trying to recover from illness or injury. Some foods facilitate healing better than others, and Elise Marie Collins provide an informative reference. "An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods" is a choice pick.

5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile
Catrise Austin
Morgan James
1225 Franklin Ave., STE 325, Garden City, NY, 11530-1693
VIP Smiles (publicity)
119 W. 57th Street, Suite 512, New York, NY 10019
9781600376443, $17.95,

How to get that million dollar smile? "5 Steps to the Hollwyood A-List Smile: How the Stars Get That Perfect Smile and How You Can Too!" gives advice for readers in how to truly get that smile that can't be beat. Written by the woman dubbed dentist to the stars, Dr. Catrise Austin, "5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile" reveals it's simpler than some people might think. "5 Steps to the Hollywood A-List Smile" is well worth the investment for those who want to captivate with a dazzling facial expression.

Wishing On a Star
Lydia Burdick, author
Jane Freeman, illustrator
Health Professions Press
Box 10624, Baltimore, MD 21285-0624 1-888-337-8808
9781932529432 $19.95,

Fighting memory loss can and should be a co-operative process involving the affected individual, family members, friends, and the treatment community. "Wishing on a Star: A Real-Aloud Book for Memory-Challenged Adults" is a book especially recommended to for anyone having to cope with Alzheimer's, dementia, stroke and other memory-damaging disorders. With simple, colorful illustrations enhancing a deftly written, informed and informative text, Lydia Burdick' "Wishing On A Star" is thoroughly 'reader friendly' and a fine addition to any personal or public library collections.

The Photography Shelf

Elvis 1956
Alfred Wertheimer, photography
Welcome Books
6 West 18th Street, New York, New York 10011 1-800-733-3000
9781599620732 $29.95,

A phenomena that took the world by storm. "Elvis 1956" is a book of photography and history about the year where rock and roll became a national pastime as Elvis Presley released his first record and the world was never the same again. With never before released photos, this history of the first year of rock and roll superstardom is quite a treat for anyone who still hails to the king. "Elvis 1956" is an ideal coffee table book for fans, highly recommended.

Reem Al Faisal & Seyyed Hossein Nasr
c/o International Publishers Marketing
22841 Quicksilver Drive, Dulles, VA 20166
9781859642177, $59.95,

An obligation imposed upon all Muslim men to carry out at least once in their lifetime, the Hajj is the term for a pilgrimage to Mecca. Reem Al Faisal is a granddaughter of the Saudi King Feisal. "Hajj" is a compilation of her black-and-white photographs documenting, illustrating, and showcasing this religious custom. With images that are as thoughtful and thought-provoking as they are inspired and inspiring, this 192-page compendium of truly impressive and diverse images is a highly recommended addition to personal, academic, and community library Photographic Studies and Islamic Studies reference collections.

The American History Shelf

Arundel Burning
Joseph B. Ross, Jr.
Chesapeake Book Company
c/o Alan C. Hood & Company
PO Box 775, Chambersburg, PA 17201
9780963515971, $18.00,

A fire is as dramatic and it is unexpected -- and often lethal. Such was the case of a fire in the small Maryland town of Brooklyn when it erupted during a church fund-raising event on the night of Sunday, January 29, 1956, critically endangering some 1200 people in a large hall. "Arundel Burning: The Maryland Oyster Roast Fire of 1956" is the detailed and riveting story of that blaze in which author Joseph B. Robb Jr. painstakingly reconstructs the origin of the fire and the events that were to lead to one of Maryland's worst first disasters in state history. "Arundel Burning: The Maryland Oyster Roast Fire of 1956" is also the story of courage and how ordinary citizens, becoming aware of the blaze, began to deal with it in the absence of the fire department. "Arundel Burning: The Maryland Oyster Roast Fire of 1956" is a unique and focused regional history and a highly recommended addition to community library regional American History collections.

Storied Independent Automakers
Charles K. Hyde
Wayne State University Press
4809 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201-1309
9780814334461, $34.95,

American ingenuity was never a principle of big business. "Storied Independent Automakers: Nash, Hudson, and American Motors" tells the story of the automakers who throughout the twentieth century dared to stand against the tides of the big three corporations of Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler to stay independent and make their own innovations in the field of American cars. A story of rebellion and being big contributors to the development of the modern car, "Storied Independent Automakers" is a must for any automobile historian.

Master Mechanics & Wicked Wizards
Glen Scott Allen
University of Massachusetts Press
PO Box 429, Amherst, MA 01004
9781558497030, $29.95,

Throughout American history from colonial times to the present, scientists have played a major role in not just the technological evolution of the country, but its popular culture as well. In "Master Mechanics & Wicked Wizards: Images of the American Scientist as Hero and Villain from Colonial Times to the Present", Glen Scott Allen (co-developer and director of the Cultural Studies Program at Towson University) presents a historical overview of the scientist in popular media over three centuries of American history. Drawing from such diverse sources and forums as political cartoons, literature, advertising, religious tracts, art, comics, radio, television, music, and film, American stereotypes of the scientist as both hero and villain are explored, illustrated and exemplified in fiction and in fact. From the common image of the 'mad scientist' (e.g. Dr. Strangelove) to the portrayals of the scientist as hero (e.g. Benjamin Franklin), "Master Mechanics & Wicked Wizards" is a fascinating read that is as informed and informative as it is insightful and entertaining, ranging as it does through 19th century utopian fiction, to 20th century achievements in technology, discovery, and advancements. Enhanced with copious notes and a comprehensive index, "Master Mechanics & Wicked Wizards" is a seminal work especially recommended for both academic and community library American History and Popular Culture reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Environmental Studies Shelf

Nature and Renewal
Dean B. Bennett
Tilbury House, Publishers
103 Brunswick Avenue, Gardiner, ME 04345
9780884483250, $16.00,

Within a valley, history happens away from the eyes of the world. "Nature & Renewal : Wild River Valley & Beyond" tells the history of Wild River valley, and how humanity and nature have intertwined in this seemingly innocent place in nature. Drawing connections between man and nature, "Nature and Renewal" is a fascinating read for any intrigued by the nature and its impact on man.

Tropical Forests
Bernard A. Marcus
Jones & Bartlett Publishers
40 Tall Pine Drive, Sudbury, MA 01776
9780763754341, $30.95,

The world's tropical forests are sometimes referred to as the 'lungs of the world', being as they are, a major source of oxygen for the planet. They are also the home of incredibly diversified flora and fauna. That's why their continuing diminishment is of such vital concern. A part of the outstanding 'Ecosystems and Biomes' series from Jones & Bartlett Publishers, "Tropical Forests" by Bernard A. Marcus (Genessee Community College, Batavia, New York) provides an analytical and descriptive survey of world tropical forests in terms of the issues confronting them today. Addressing soil and water concerns, the ecosystem networks of plants and animals, the varying nature of tropical forests, and a great deal more, "Tropical Forests" is a superbly written and presented introduction. Of special note is the chapter focusing on the role tropical forests play in our global climate. Enhanced with the inclusion of an extensive glossary and a comprehensive index, "Tropical Forests" is an ideal classroom textbook and strongly recommended to the attention of non-specialist general readers with an interest in contemporary global environmental issues.

The Gardening Shelf

A Weed By Any Other Name
Nancy Gift
Beacon Press
25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108-2892
9780807085523 $23.95

Weeds are tough to combat, especially when you're unsure what a weed is. "A Weed By Any Other Name: The Virtues of a Messy Lawn, or Learning to Love the Plants We Don't Plant" is an advocacy of the messy lawn, encouraging gardeners to embrace what is typically called a weed instead of fearing it. Including even recipes that make use of these governmental-labeled weeds, "A Weed by Any Other Name" is a read that anybody who wants a new philosophy of lawn care will love.

Essential Plant Pathology, second edition
Gail L. Schumann & Cleora J. D Arcy
APS Press
3340 Pilot Knob Road, St. Paul, MN 55121
9780890543818, $89.95,

From the simple family garden to the commercial agribusiness farm, and understanding of the basics of plant pathology is a critically important aspect that can spell the difference between success and failure. That's why the newly expanded and thoroughly updated second edition of "Essential Plant Pathology" is highly recommended as both a text book for agricultural curriculums and as an instruction manual for non-specialist general readers wanting a sound introduction to the subject. Superbly and profusely illustrated throughout in color, and enhanced with the inclusion of thematically appropriate web links and a DVD loaded with the kinds of extras that make it an invaluable study aid, "Essential Plant Pathology" is thoroughly 'reader friendly' and offers both an extensive glossary and a comprehensive index. Of special note is the chapter dedicated to how people influence plant disease epidemics. Simply stated, "Essential Plant Pathology" is strongly recommended as a core addition to personal, professional, academic, and community library Agriculture and Gardening reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Music Shelf

Rick Rubin in the Studio
Jake Brown
ECW Press
2120 Queen Street East, Suite 200, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4E 1E2 1-800-888-4741
9781550228755 $17.95,

Production is the unsung hero of music. "Rick Rubin: In the Studio" chronicles the work of who some call the best producer in the music industry. With multiple Grammy awards, he has represented everything from legends such as Johnny Cash to more modern popular rock acts such as Weezer, to even his time working with Def Jam Records. "Rick Rubin: In the Studio" is a snapshot of a production icon, a top pick for those looking for the story behind the music industry.

Mel Bay Publications
PO Box 66, Pacific, MO 63069 1-800-863-5229
DVD, $19.95 each,

The guitar continues to be the most popular musical instrument for aspiring rock musicians. A premier music publisher, Mel Bay Publications also offers 'Lick Library', an outstanding series of instructional DVDs for aspiring guitarists wanting to master their instruments within the context of rock music. Each individual instructional DVD is backed up with web support allowing guitar students to download guitar jam tracks and even watch lessons on broadband television. Each individual DVD is enhanced with 'watch and learn' techniques and tutorials by expert and experienced professionals. Thoroughly 'student friendly', impressively produced, technologically flawless, highly recommended for personal, professional, music school, and community library reference collections, this outstanding series includes Stuart Bull's Rock Jam: Rock Improvisation Techniques (RDR0268); Stuart Bull's Rock Jam: Rock Improvisation Techniques: Volume 2 (RDR0269); Ultimate Guitar Techniques: Speed Soloing (RDR0263); Guitar Quick Licks: Rock Shuffle (RDR0265); and Guitar Quick Licks: Rock and Roll - Chuck Berry Style (RDR0272).

The Military Shelf

Welcome to Afghanistan Send More Ammo
Benjamin Tupper
Epigraph Books
c/o Monkfish Book Publishing Company
27 Lamoree Road, Rhinebeck, NY 12572 1-866-650-5665
9780982525500 $16.95,

Empowering the Afghani military is a key aspect of the rebuilding it without a terrorist regime, but it's easier said than done. "Welcome to Afghanistan: Send More Ammo" is the memoir of Benjamin Tupper, a New Yorker sent to Afghanistan to whip the Afghani army into shape to defend themselves. An intriguing task is an intriguing journey, as Tupper brings readers on a light hearted and not-so light hearted romp through the War in Afghanistan. "Welcome to Afghanistan" is a top-notch military memoir, highly recommended.

River Patrol Insignia of the United States Navy (Vietnam) 1966/1972
Scott Kraska & Stephen Kirby
R. J. Bender Publishing
PO Box 23456, San Jose, CA 95153-3456
1932970134, $59.95,

The men of the U.S. Navy Task Force 116 who fought valiantly in the Vietnam War were distinguished from other American service men and woman by their distinctive black beret as they performed their duties as the River Patrol Forces fighting in the murky, brown waters of the Mekong Delta against an implacable and lethal enemy. Those who served in Task Force 116 comprised such elite U.S. Navy teams as PBRs, SEALs, Seawolves, and Black Ponies going into enemy saturated areas that included the isolated waterways of the Delta. Sharks. The collaborative work of Scott Kraska & Stephen Kirby, "River Patrol Insignia of the United States Navy (Vietnam) 1966/1972" is a 168-page compendium dedicated to identifying and showcasing the colorful insignia, emblems and artifacts associated with these combat units. This visual record is especially important for future generations of military scholarship because often these distinctive patches, the jungle fatigues and tigerstripes failed to survive the demands of physically demanding environments of war as it was experienced in South East Asia, as well as the regulation restrictions imposed upon U.S. sailors that fought there. A seminal work of enduring historical value and interest, "River Patrol Insignia of the United States Navy (Vietnam) 1966/1972" is especially recommended for personal and academic 20th Century American Military History reference collections in general, and Vietnam War supplemental reading lists in particular.

The Civil War Uniforms of the United States Marine Corps: The Regulations of 1859
Charles H. Cureton & David M. Sullivan
R. J. Bender Publishing
PO Box 23456, San Jose, CA 95153-3456
9781932970111, $79.95,

The collaborative work of Marine Corps military historian Lt. Col. Charles H. Cureton, USMCR (Ret.), currently Chief, Museums and Historical Property, Training and Doctrine Command, and David M. Sullivan, (the 2003 recipient of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation s General O. P. Smith Heritage Award; the administrator of the Company of Military Historians, and editor of its journal Military Collector & Historian; and president of the International Naval Research Organization and executive production editor of its journal, Warship International), "The Civil War Uniforms of the United States Marine Corps: The Regulations of 1859" is a 296-page profusely illustrated and superbly detailed compendium focusing on authorized American Marine Corps uniforms. Every aspect of both officer and enlisted full dress uniforms are covered including chevrons, buttons, trousers, headdress and caps, stocks and cravats, shoes and boots, spurs, gloves, sash, belts, epaulettes, and swords. Definitive chapters are devoted to undress and fatigue uniforms; other articles of clothing; accouterments, equipment and firearms; non-regulated clothing and medals. Of special note and value are all the faithfully reproduced period photographs of Marines in uniform. An ideal addition to personal Civil War buff collections, no academic library American Military History or Civil War Studies reference collection can be considered complete or comprehensive without the inclusion of "The Civil War Uniforms of the United States Marine Corps: The Regulations of 1859".

Military Register of Custer's Last Command
Roger L. Williams
The Arthur H. Clark Company
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780870623684 $95.00 1-800-842-9286

The story of General Custer is one of legend. "Military Register of Custer's Last Command" is a complete and comprehensive history of the men involved and the events leading up to the eventual demise of one General Custer in 1876. With complete biographies on all of the American troops involved in the conflicts, where they fought previously. A highly informative and well laid out reference, "Military Register of Custer's Last Command" is a must for any military reference collection, and for any studying America's military in the west.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Understanding Death
John S. Hatcher
Baha'i Publishing
415 Linden Avenue, Wilmette, IL 60091-2844
9781931847728, $18.00,

You can delay it as long as possible, but it will catch up to you. "Understanding Death: The Most Important Event of Your Life" discusses the spiritual side of death from the perspective of followers of the Baha'i faith. With much spiritual reassurance, John S. Hatcher states that death is just a new beginning to embrace. A riveting read for those curious about the Baha'i faith and spirituality in general, "Understanding Death" is very much recommended.

Universal Yoga
Prem Prakash
YES International Publishers
1317 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105-2602
9780936663487, $19.95,

Long out of print and now newly released in a paperback edition, "Universal Yoga: The Bhagavad Gita For Modern Times" by Prem Prakash provides a new generation of readers with insights into India's great religious tradition of Hinduism as exemplified by a dialog between Lord Krishna and the warrior Arjuna. Featuring an expert English translation and insightful commentary, "Universal Yoga" offers exemplary advice on how to contend and deal with our lives and the inevitable obligations and encumbrances we will all encounter in both ordinary and extraordinary times. Thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Universal Yoga" is highly recommended reading and especially relevant to students and practitioners of Yoga, as well as non-specialist general readers with an interest in Hinduism, one of the five major religions of the modern world.

The Interior Design Shelf

Books Do Furnish A Room
Leslie Geddes-Brown
Merrell Publishers
38 High Avenue, 4th floor, Nyack, New York 10960
9781858944913, $39.95,

Simply stated, "Books Do Furnish a Room" by interior design expert and author Leslie Geddes-Brown is a 'must' for all dedicated bibliophiles whose personal book collections have turned their homes and apartments into sprawling haphazard libraries more resembling overcrowded second-hand bookstores than elegant living quarters. Packed into just 160-pages are superbly photographed in full color examples of how books and book shelving can be brilliant, elegant, and down-right beautiful elements of interior design, that living and working with books can be visually transformative and artistic. Of special note are such issues addressed as 'books without bookshelves', 'combining bookshelves with storage and display'; and 'floor-to-ceiling bookshelves'. Enhanced with both a directory and an index, "Books Do Furnish a Room" is an inspired and inspiring browse, and an enthusiastically recommended addition for personal, professional, academic, and community library Interior Design reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Jewish History: The Big Picture
Gila Gevirtz
Behrman House Inc.
11 Edison Place, Springfield, NJ 07081
9780874418385, $22.50,

Based upon Jonathan Sarna and Jonathan Krasner's exhaustive two-volume compendium "The History of the Jewish People", Gila Gevirtz and the Behrman House publishing company have produced "Jewish History: The Big Picture", a 288-page compendium of succinctly presented Jewish history replete with anecdotal facts and stories showcasing the diversity of events and elements of Judaism ranging from the resurrection of Hebrew as a living language, to the celebration of Passover on an American civil war battlefield, to the Jewish roots of Christianity, to Jewish communities around the world and down through the millennia. Of special note are the chapters focusing on the Holocaust, the rise of the modern state of Israel, and contemporary American Jewry. Enhanced with graphics, maps, charts, time-lines, photographs, and a comprehensive index, "Jewish History: The Big Picture" is highly recommended reading and a welcome addition to personal, family, school, and community library Judaic Studies and Jewish History reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, volume five
Daniel C. Matt
Stanford University Press
1450 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, CA 94304-1124
9780804762199, $49.95,

A core work associated with the mystic Kabbalah traditions within Judaism, the 'Sefer ha-Zhor' came out of medieval Spain around the end of the thirteenth century and was originally written in Aramaic. Essentially a body of commentary on the Torah, "The Zohar: Pritzker Edition" is the fifth volume of an outstanding series which is ably translated into English by academician and Kabbalah expert Daniel C. Matt for the benefit of contemporary scholarship. This fifth volume begins with the story of two rabbis and an old donkey-driver they encounter -- who is far more than he seems. From their conversation emerges insights and secrets of the Kabbalah and an informed and informative commentary on the tabernacle the children of Israel constructed and utilized during their sojourn in the desert. Of special note is the chapter focused on a poetic description of God's body and the role of 'divine breath' in animating all of existence. This fifth volume of "The Zohar: Pritzker Edition", enhanced with the inclusion of a list of abbreviations, transliterations of Hebrew and Aramaic, a glossary, a bibliography, and an index of sources, is a 633-page work of painstaking scholarship and an essential addition to academic library Judaic Studies reference collections in general, and Kabbalah Studies supplemental reading lists in particular. Also very highly recommended are the first four volumes in this series, as well as Professor Daniel C. Matt's earlier works: "The Essential Kabbalah: The Heart of Jewish Mysticism" (9780062511638, $14.99); "Zohar: Annotated and Explained" (9781893361515, $15.99); and "God & the Big Bang: Discovering Harmony Between Science & Spirituality" (9781879045897, $16.99).

The Economics Shelf

The ABCs of the Economic Crisis
Fred Magdoff & Michael D. Yates
Monthly Review Press
146 West 29th Street, Suite 6W, NY, NY 10001
9781583671955, $11.95,

The economic crisis won't hit the rich the hardest, but rather the people who live paycheck to paycheck. "The ABCs of the Economic Crisis: What Working People Need to Know" is a guide to the basics of the current crisis, and how America has gotten where it is today. Presenting underlying economic concepts in layman's terms, "The ABCs of the Economic Crisis" is invaluable. A strong pick for those seeking understanding.

America, Welcome to the Poorhouse
Jane White
FT Press
1 Lake Street, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458
9780137020171, $22.99,

Why is America in a seemingly unstoppable financial downward spiral? "America, Welcome to the Poorhouse: What You Must Do to Protect Your Financial Future and the Reform We Need" discusses the current economic crisis and how Americans can do their part to fight back and prepare for their futures more wisely. Drawing on international examples, wise spending, and more, "America, Welcome to the Poorhouse" will both inform and advise, making for a very vital read.

Climate Change And Agriculture
Robert Mendelsohn & Ariel Dinar
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
9781847206701, $125.00,

While it is now finally accepted by the general populace as well as the scientific community, global warming is continuing to have a dramatic impact on the environment world-wide with potentially devastating results for human civilization. The latest addition to the outstanding 'New Horizons in Environmental Economics' series published by Edward Elgar Publishing, "Climate Change and Agriculture: An Economic Analysis of Global Impacts, Adaptation and Distributional Effects" is the collaborative work of Robert Mendelsohn (Edwin Weyerhaeuser Davis Professor, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University) and Ariel Dinar (Professor of Environmental Economics and Policy and Director, Water Science and Policy Center, University of California, Riverside). It should be noted that "Climate Change And Agriculture" was written while Professor Dinar was also serving as the Lead Economist of the Development Research Group at the World Bank). The specific focus of this seminal work is on the economic impact of climate change on agriculture world wide, and how faced with the resultant environmental alterations, agriculture might adapt under varied and varying conditions. The work surveys twenty-two countries around the globe and includes both first world and third world nations. Of special note is the suggested research agenda for future and continuing studies of climate change impacts upon agriculture throughout the coming decades. Enhanced with a detailed and comprehensive index, "Climate Change And Agriculture" is highly recommended for academic library Environmental Studies and Economic Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Archaeology Shelf

Contemporary Archaeologies
Cornelius Holtorf & Angela Piccini
Peter Lang Publishing USA
29 Broadway, Room 1800, New York, NY 10006-3221
9783631576373, $56.95,

It has just been within the last few decades that archaeologists have turned their attention to excavating and recording archaeological data on more contemporary human activities and artifacts associated with the modern cultures around the globe. In "Contemporary Archaeologies: Excavating Now", archaeologist Cornelius Holtorf (Assistant Professor in the Institute for Archaeology and Ancient History at University of Lund, Sweden) teams up with academician Angela Piccini (Academic Fellow, School of Arts, University of Bristol, United Kingdom) to knowledgeably compile and deftly edited contributions by fellow archaeologists providing a representative and illustrative series of articles showcasing the applications of archaeological methods and inter-disciplinary practices to a varied series of scientific inquiries ranging across such exceptionally diverse subjects as 'car cemeteries', peace camps, theme parks, Antarctic expeditions, the 'space race', and more. Enhanced with occasional black-and-white illustrations and a comprehensive index, "Contemporary Archaeologies: Excavating Now" is a seminal body of work and especially recommended for academic library Archaeology reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Nautical Shelf

The Galley: How Things Work
Donald Launer
Sheridan House Inc.
145 Palisade Street, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
9781574092882 $17.95 1-888-743-7425

When you're out at sea, you have to be prepared. "The Galley: How Things Work" describes the technical aspects of what one needs to know to keep one's galley fully equipped and maintained, the better to avoid troubles or disaster. "The Galley" is a must read for any who want to prepare their ship for a voyage.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

A Taste for Honey
H. F. Heard
Blue Dolphin Publishing
PO Box 8, Nevada City, CA 95959-0008
9781577332152 $16.95 1-800-643-0765

It's obvious there's evil in the world, but why? There is the question. "A Taste for Honey" is the story of killer bees and the man who has trained them, and the unknowing man who has stumbled into it and is left wondering why. Combing zoology, mystery, and psychology for a highly unique story, "A Taste for Honey" is a solid and very recommended read that should not be ignored.

Manuel Vazquez Montalban
Serpent's Tail
255 West 108th Street, Suite 901, New York, NY 10025
9781846686672, $14.95,

An unsavory tattoo can lead to an unsavory underworld. "Tattoo" is a Pepe Carvalho mystery, following the lead character as he's charged with identifying a dead man whose faced was destroyed. Going on only an unusual tattoo, Pepe finds that in order to find the truth and close the case, he'll have to go deep into Amsterdam's criminal underworld. "Tattoo" is an exciting and very highly recommended read.

The Poetry Shelf

The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets
David Yezzi, editor
Swallow Press
c/o Ohio University Press
19 Circle Drive, Athens, OH 45701
9780804011211 $19.95 1-800-621-2736

New generations bring new ideas. "The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets" is a collection of poetry from American poets, offering a wide array of discussions on many subjects and ideas, of what is important to the next generation of American poets. A fine sampler of the future, "The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets" is a fine choice for the literary patriot. "Internal Revenue" by J. Allyn Rosser: I have distracted rodents from their cheese, lured seasoned sirens with my melodies,/And brought some handsome statues to their knees./I could not beguile you.//Having faced your shoulder, back and heel,/Borne the treadmarks of your fortune's wheel,/Felt your indifference to what I feel,/My heart would not revile you.//I've shelved all my abiding passion, stashed/My childish cares and organized my past:/Real property, junk bonds, trusts amassed./--I don't know where to file you.

Grace Must Wander
Stephanie McKenzie
Salmon Poetry
c/o Dufour Editions
PO Box 7, Chester Springs, PA 19425
9781907056123, $21.95,

Art reflects on other art. "Grace Must Wander" is a collection of poetry from Stephanie McKenzie reflecting the works of Vincent Van Gogh, and her own femininity and respect for the past. "Grace Must Wander" is strong pick for poetry collections. "Often it Burns": Days, you search the body for rashes,/ certain that poisons rise to the surface./Nights, your ankles are socks. You adjust/ the skin over and over.

Losing Season
Jack Ridl
CavanKerry Press
6 Horizon Road, No. 2901, Fort Lee, NJ 07024
9781933880150, $16.00,

Sports have become a central component of American culture. "Losing Season" is a volume from experienced and prolific poet Jack Ridl as he discusses sports and their impact on all levels of society. Making several wise observations, "Losing Season" is a fine poetic exploration of what is a boon and bane of society. "Head Cheerleader": At halftime, she finds/an open mirror, checks/her makeup, sweat/glistening on her forehead./She runs her tongue/along her upper lip, pulls/a comb through her long/brown hair,/ pushes it up/on the sides, adds a new/line of lipstick, smooths/down her skirt. On the/way out, she turns and/looks over her shoulder.

My Kill Adore Him
Paul Martinez Pompa
University of Notre Dame Press
310 Flanner Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556
9780268035181 $18.00 1-800-621-2736

What is a man is one of the most asked questions, whether it is verbalized or not. "My Kill Adore Him" is a collection of poetry from Paul Martinez Pompa focusing on the issues of masculinity, race, and who people are. "My Kill Adore Him" is an entertaining and thought provoking work, highly recommended. "A Lesson in Masculinity": She taught me to wipe/the urine dripple/off the tip/until Papi said no--/men don't wipe/they shake.

Orpheus: On the Red Line
Theodore Deppe
Tupelo Press
The Eclipse Mill, Loft 305, PO Box 1767, North Adams, MA 01247
9781932195750 $16.95

A man of two nations, Theodore Deppe gives readers a unique view of the world. " Orpheus on the Red Line" is a collection of poetry reflecting on the nature of humanity and suffering, using his glimpses of the worst of life in two countries to try to come to a better understanding of it all. "Orpheus on the Red Line" is an excellent collection that should not be missed. "Over the Rainbow": She arrives on the island and finds/her parents no longer communicate/except through song. When she//mentions this, her father intones/in the voice of a Mount Athos monk,/We barely know we're doing it,//and her mother, somehow become Judy Garland, sings, It's the harmless/madness of the long married.

The Biography Shelf

No Place Like Home
Linda M. Hasselstrom
University of Nevada Press
Mail Stop 0166, Reno, NV, 89557-0166 1-877-682-6657
9780874177961 $24.95,

The Wild West has been tamed. "No Place like Home: Notes from a Western Life" is one woman's reflections on the ever changing landscape of the west, as a woman who have lived in Wyoming and South Dakota. Over her lifespan the untamed west has become more civilized and urban, much like its coastal cousins, and Linda Hasselstrom offers a poignant reflection of the changing of the times. "No Place Like Home" is a must for any who want to remember the west as it was.

Wildman of Rhythm
John Radanovich
University Press of Florida
15 Northwest 15th Street, Gainesville, FL 32611-2079
9780813033938, $29.95,

Politics can cause the grandfather of salsa to be lost in time. "Wildman of Rhythm: The Life & Music of Benny More" profiles Benny More, hailed as one of the finest musicians to ever come out of Cuba. His music was a big band style that blended influences and would later become known as salsa, yet he has been largely forgotten due to Cuba's later history. "Wildman of Rhythm" is a must for any biography collection focusing on the history of music.

The Education Shelf

The Curriculum Mapping Planner
Heidi Hayes Jacobs and Ann Johnson
1703 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
9781416608745 $29.95 1-800-933-2723

A good curriculum is the foundation of a good education. "The Curriculum Mapping Planner: Templates, Tools, and Resources for Effective Professional Development" is a guide to maximizing the benefits of one's curriculum. Using a thoughtful and step-by-step process, Jacobs and Johnson give educators everything they need to make sure their students, no matter their age, get the best education that they can handle. "The Curriculum Mapping Planner" is a must for any educator who wants to be more involved in the planning process.

Teaching Graphic Novels
Katie Monnin
Maupin House
2416 N. W. 71st Place, Gainesville, FL 32653
9781934338407, $24.95,

Not just long comic books, graphic novels can prove to be powerful teaching tools. "Teaching Graphic Novels: Practical Strategies for the Secondary ELA Classroom" is a guide for English and language arts teachers who want to entice their students more into reading using graphic novels. With plenty of assistance on how to use them teach concepts such as story structure, "Teaching Graphic Novels" is a worthwhile investment for the forward thinking educator who wants to incorporate the newest trends.

High-Tech Teaching Success!
Kevin D. Besnoy & Lane W. Clark, editors
PO Box 8813, Waco, TX 76714-8813
9781593633844, $19.95,

Technology is one of the best teacher's aides one can have. "High-Tech Teaching Success: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Innovative Technology in Your Classroom" is filled with plenty of thoughts and ideas for teachers to use with their students to use the internet to teach their students what's on the curriculum while giving them valuable computer and internet skills. With everything from using Google Earth to the educational value of facebook, "High-Tech Teaching Success" is a top pick for any twenty-first century teacher.

Creative Expression in Transformative Learning
Chad Hoggan, Soni Simpson, & Hearth Stuckey
Krieger Publishing Company
1725 Krieger Drive, Malabar, FL 32950
9781575242972, $42.50,

Transformation can change much about a person. "Creative Expression in Transformative Learning: Tools and Techniques for Educators of Adults" discusses the power of creative and artistic expression in adult education, its uses and how it indicates progress in students. With essays and wisdom from many educational experts, they put forth their experience and offer it to other educators for good use in this avenue of transformational learning. Enhanced with indexes and other useful appendixes, "Creative Expression in Transformative Learning" is a top pick for any collection focusing on adult education.

Pulling Together
Leyton Schnellert, et al.
c/o Stenhouse Publishers
477 Congress Street, Suite 4B, Portland, ME 04101-3451 1-800-988-9812
9781551382371 $21.00,

Good language skills are a cornerstone to a good education. "Pulling Together: Integrating Inquiry, Assessment, and Instruction in Today's English Classroom", the collaborative work of Leyton Schnellert, Mehjabeen Datoo, Krista Ediger, and Joanne Panas, is a guide for educators who want to put together an optimized Language Art program that gives students the best grasp they can get from their education. With tips on subjects ranging from speaking, critical thinking, and reading, there is much for a language arts teacher to weave into their curriculum. "Pulling Together" is a recommended read for any English educator.

The Journalism Shelf

Marked for Death
Terry Gould
2117 Fourth Street, Suite D, Berkeley, CA 94710
9781582435497, $25.00,

The deadliest thing some can do is search for the truth. "Marked for Death: Dying for the Story in the World's Most Dangerous Places" tells the story of several journalists who dared to hunt for their story in spite of the threat of death looming over their heads. These stories are moving and tragic, as each of them knew what they were doing and chose to do it anyway out of love of their professions. "Marked for Death" is a fascinating read and overlook of these remarkable individuals, highly recommended.

The Political Science Shelf

Breaking the Sound Barrier
Amy Goodman
Haymarket Books
PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618
9781931859998, $16.00,

Journalism is not something meant to be left unchecked. "Breaking the Sound Barrier" is a book from Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman, discussing the importance of independent journalism and what it can do for the country, while declaring that the American people have to watch out for the lies and mis-truths of the corporate media. "Breaking the Sound Barrier" is intriguing and informative reading for any who are distrustful of the modern media in its many forms.

Waiting for Lightning to Strike
Kevin Alexander Gray
AK Press
674-A 23rd Street, Oakland, CA 94612-1163
9781904859918, $15.95,

Could the election of Barack Obama actually have hurt black Americans as a whole? "Waiting for Lightning to Strike: The Fundamentals of Black Politics" discusses the very recent history of how, while the media and world was focused on Obama during his run for office, other Black American issues were ignored. Author Kevin Alexander Gray gives readers a thought-provoking picture of modern political history as a whole. "Waiting for Lightning to Strike" is a solid addition to contemporary politics collections.

Stoking the Fire of Democracy
Stephen Noble Smith
ACTA Publications
5559 West Howard Street, Skokie, IL 60077
9780879464141, $19.95,

Being angry is a waste of time if one is not going to do anything with it. "Stoking the Fire of Democracy: Our Generations' Introduction to Grassroots Organizing" discusses how to get organized for something one fervently believes in. Organization is key to turn wild anger into the power to change the country for the better. "Stroking the Fire of Democracy" is well worth considering for anyone who wants to do more in our political system.

War, Peace, and International Political Realism
Keir A. Lieber, editor
University of Notre Dame Press
310 Flanner Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556
9780268033842, $28.00,

World peace is nice and all, but is it really realistic? "War, Peace, and International Political Realism: Perspectives from the Review of Politics" is a collection of thoughts and ideas from some of the best thinkers of the twentieth century as they offer essays about realist philosophy and post-World War II international politics. Scholarly and informative, the writings within will give many readers much insight into the state of how politics became what they are today. "War, Peace, and International Political Realism" is a solid and very recommended read for students of politics.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Essenes
Stuart Wilson & Joanna Prentis
Ozark Mountain Publishers
PO Box 754, Huntsville, AR 72740
1886940878, $15.50,

Understanding the life of Jesus is what every Christian truly seeks to do. "The Essenes, Children of the Light" discusses the life of Jesus and seeks enlightenment through the use of past life regression and knowledge of the Essenes. Of strong interest for Christian metaphysical enthusiasts, "The Essenes" should be heavily considered.

The Jobs/Careers Shelf

How to Really Get Postal Jobs
T.W. Parnell
1215 Gail Drive, Pinehurst, TX 77362-3476
9780940182295, $19.95

The postal service has countless benefits and jobs available to those willing to rise up to the challenge. "How to Really Get Postal Jobs" is a guide for would be postal workers who want to break into the business and claim a lucrative and stable job. The postal system is always expanding to meet the demands of the economy, and "How to Really Get Postal Jobs" outlines everything one needs to know to beat the entrance exams and land the job. "How to Really Get Postal Jobs" is a top pick for anyone looking towards the postal service for their future.

The Social Issues Shelf

Hollowing Out the Middle
Patrick J. Carr & Maria J. Kefalas
Beacon Press
25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108-2892
9780807042380, $26.95,

What can attract an intellectual to rural society? "Hollowing Out the Middle: The Rural Brain Drain and What It Means for America" is a discussion of the exodus of thinkers from middle America and the heartland. The authors, Patrick Carr and Maria Kefalas, moved to a small town to study the social aspects of working class people who stay in their home towns and try to make ends meet for the good of themselves and their town. These towns, they argue, are hurt most when their brightest young people leave upon reaching adulthood. An interesting discussion of the fate of small town America and what could truly be the cause, "Hollowing Out the Middle" is a fascinating and highly recommended read.

The Judicial Studies Shelf

The Will and Living Will Toolkit
Daniel Sitarz
Nova Publishing Company
1103 West College St., Carbondale, IL 62901
9781892949479, $29.95,

What's done with you and your possessions after you pass on can be your call. "The Will and Living Will Toolkit: The Ultimate Guide to Preparing Your Will and Living Will" is a guide for those who want to make sure their wishes are carried out when they are unable to do otherwise. Covering almost every aspect of the process, "The Will and Living Will Toolkit" is an ideal choice for those who want everything to be taken care of and those who are generally cautious.

The Women's Studies Shelf

Women Who Kill
Ann Jones
The Feminist Press
365 Fifth Avenue, Suite 5406, NY, NY 10016
9781558616073, $15.96,

What drives women to a violent extreme? "Women Who Kill" is a discussion of women who have taken on the role of murderer. Drawing a discussion where some women feel driven to kill out of fear of their lovers, Ann Jones believes that it should not be surprising when women lash out, but it should instead be surprising that it doesn't happen more often. Discussing battered woman's syndrome and its place in court cases, "Women Who Kill" is an intriguing look in what can drive women to extremes.

The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

Lynn Nottage
Theatre Communications Group
520 Eighth Avenue, 24th Floor, New York, NY 10018-4156
9781559363556, $13.95,

A brothel can be a battlefield as much as anywhere else. Lynn Nottage's "Ruined" is a script for a play that has won several best plays of 2009 awards. Set in a Congo brothel during a civil war, "Ruined" tells of the plight of the women, when the men seem to care only about power and little else. "Ruined" proves why it's acclaimed, offering much food for thought in its text form.

The Parenting Shelf

Racing to Keep Up
Doug Fodeman & Marje Monroe
Dog Ear Publishing
4010 W. 86th Street, Ste H, Indianapolis, IN 46268
Gulotta Communications, Inc. (publicity)
341 Lexington Street, Newton, MA 02466
9781598589863, $14.95,

It's hard for an old dog to learn new tricks, but it's a necessity. "Racing to Keep Up: Strategies for Parents to Talk with Their Kids about Technology Use and Ways to Keep the Home Computer Safe" is a guide for parents who are trying to keep on top of technology to protect their investments, as well as their kids from the jungle of problems, as well as the benefits, that computer use has brought to the American household. "Racing to Keep Up" is a wise investment for any parent who is trying to keep on top of it all in the rapidly changing world of technology.

The Business Shelf

Leadership Under Pressure
Bob Stewart
Kogan Page
525 South 4th Street, #241, Philadelphia, PA 19147
9780749456559, $24.95,

Nothing makes you realize the value of leadership than being shot at. "Leadership Under Pressure: Tactics from the Front Line" is a guide to leadership under pressure from a man who knows it in Colonel Bob Stewart. Having served in many high stakes situations, he brings his battlefield wisdom and tells readers how to apply it to the world of business. Motivating and invaluable information, "Leadership Under Pressure" is a top pick for anyone who wants to pass the test of leadership with flying colors.

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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