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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 7, Number 12 December 2012 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Christmas Shelf Art Shelf
Biography Shelf Political Science Shelf Parenting Shelf
Sports Shelf Photography Shelf Crafts Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Buddhist Studies Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Civil War Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Fiction Shelf Memoir Shelf Hobby Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Gardening Shelf Automotive Shelf
American History Shelf World History Shelf Literary Studies Shelf
Business Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Poetry Shelf
Jobs/Career Shelf Nautical Shelf Gaming Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Science Shelf Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Self-Help Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf
Humor Shelf Criminology Shelf Needlecraft Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Giving with Confidence
Colburn Wilbur & Fred Setterberg
Heyday Books
PO Box 9145
Berkeley, CA 94709
9781597142045, $22.50,

Charity is noble, but even the most noble of acts can be done stupidly. "Giving with Confidence: A Guide to Savvy Philanthropy" is a guide to giving to charity and supporting worthy causes with one's money. Authors Colburn Wilbur & Fred Setterberg advise those with the funds to give about how to get the best results. Because it takes more than good intentions to actually do good, "Giving with Confidence" is a "must-have" for personal finance and economics collections, highly recommended.

Raising the Bar
Pam Williams & Jim Eber
Wilmor Publishing Corporation
100-2023 West 4th Ave., Vancouver, BC Canada
c/o Chelsea Green Publishing Company (distribution)
85 North Main Street, Suite 120
White River Junction, VT 05001
9780969192121 $19.95 hc
9780969192138 $9.95 Kindle

Raising the Bar: The Future of Fine Chocolate is not a cookbook, but rather an extraordinary and informative journey about the history and preparation of gourmet chocolate, up to the present day and beyond. A broad swath of experts in the history and creation of fine dessert pleasure have contributed their wisdom to Pam Williams & Jim Eber's thoroughly accessible confectionary chronicle. Raising the Bar is (almost) as enjoyable to read as the act of savoring the very chocolate it speaks of, and especially recommended for curious chocolate fanciers, or as a complement to holiday chocolate gift-giving.

The Enchanted Truth
Kym Petrie
Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869
Austin, TX 78709
9781608323685, $14.95,

We're told we're princesses as children, and then we become anything but. "The Enchanted Truth: A Modern-Day Fairy Tale for Grown-Up Girls" is the story of a princess who grows tired of waiting for the white steed and wants to take charge of their own destiny. With powerful wisdom for the modern woman who wants greater success out of their life in romance and in general, "The Enchanted Truth" is a humorous yet poignant parable, highly recommended especially for women of all ages

Finding Meaning Facing Fears
Jerrold Lee Shapiro
Impact Publishers
PO Box 6016
Atascadero, CA 93423-6016
9781886230965, $17.95,

As we head through the middle ages of our life, we don't need to prepare for death, but get ready to live longer. "Through the Gateway of the Heart" is a spiritual guide for those who want to live the second stages of their life. Author Jerrold Lee Shapiro touches on facing that fiftieth year and how to make of the best of the second half of one's life. "Through the Gateway of the Heart" is an inspirational and much recommended addition to self-help and motivational collections focusing on dealing with aging.

Paladin Press
7077 Winchester Circle
Boulder, CO 80301

As evidenced by the widespread, multi-state devastation by Hurricane Sandy, anyone can wake up one day to find that the civilized world around them has suddenly vanished and sheer survival is something that must be sought with all the resources we can muster. Paladin Press, a premier publisher of self-defense and martial arts books, has also produced three outstanding instruction manuals on how to survive after catastrophes by they man-made or the consequences of natural disasters. "31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness" (9781610046480, $18.00) by M. D. Creekmore is a 158 page compendium that offers a 31 day, step-by-step approach to outfit a family to survive a disaster through the creation of a rotating canned food shelf and pantry; acquire the right kind of firearms for foraging and defense; assembling a first aid and dental kit; make a water filter; every day and 72-hour supply kits; construct traps for fish and small game; collect seeds and gardening tools; identify allies, and a great deal more. "Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat" (9781581607475, $15.00) by M. D. Creekmore is an 82 page instructional booklet that focuses upon housing, waste disposal, water resources, security, and other matters of survival oriented lodging, including finding suitable land, purchasing and securing a trailer, alternative power sources, and more. "Live Off The Land In The City And Country" (9781581605426, $30.00) by Ragnar Benson is a 263 page guide showcasing classically traditional 'tricks, tips and techniques' with illustrative photos and diagrams covering everything from energy supplies, to equipment, to caching vital materials, to firearms, to hunting game animals. Of special note are the chapters devoted to 'Edible Plants and Gardening'; 'Tanning Skins the Indian Way'; and 'Practical Domestic Animals'. Informed, informative, practical, and thoroughly 'user friendly', all three of these outstanding instruction guides form the nucleus of resource and reference information for surviving any and all catastrophic events.

The Christmas Shelf

The Christmas Star
Ace Collins
Abingdon Press
PO Box 801, Nashville, TN 37202
The B&B Media Group (publicity)
9781426714689 $14.99

The Christmas Star is a heartwarming holiday novel for all ages. In World War II, Robert Reed made the ultimate sacrifice for his country, leaving behind his widow and son. Every Christmas, Marge Reed uses the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously bestowed on her beloved husband to ornament the family Christmas tree. But to young Jimmy Reed, the star-shaped medal only symbolizes the loss of his father. Everything changes when one of Robert's fellow soldiers, and a mysterious letter found in a Bible, help Jimmy better understand the meaning of the price his father paid, putting into perspective not only the star on the Christmas tree but also the events of the very first Christmas. A reflective story of learning to accept, heal, and know joy once more, The Christmas Star is beautiful and highly recommended.

The Christmas Pony
Melody Carlson
c/o Baker Publishing Group
PO Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287
9780800719272 $15.99

Award-winning author Melody Carlson continues her own holiday tradition of crafting quality Christmas stories with The Christmas Pony, a brief novel of faith and joy that will appeal to readers of all ages. Set in the Christmas season of 1937 - when the Great Depression made day-to-day survival a hardship - The Christmas Pony tells of eight-year-old Lucy Turnbull, who dreams of having a pony of her very own. Times are tough, and she knows that the only guests her family can afford to keep at their boarding house are those with money up front. But then a most intriguing pair of individuals approaches; could they make Lucy's Christmas wish come true? A heartwarming story perfect for browsing while curled up with cocoa during the winter season, The Christmas Pony is highly recommended.

The Art Shelf

Canadian Folk Art To 1950
John A. Fleming & Michael J. Rowan
University of Alberta Press
Ring House 2
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2E1
97808886405562, $45.00,

Folk art encompasses art produced from an indigenous culture or by peasants or other laboring tradespeople. In contrast to fine art, folk art is primarily utilitarian and decorative rather than purely aesthetic. Folk Art is characterized by a naive style, in which traditional rules of proportion and perspective are not employed. As a phenomenon that can chronicle a move towards civilization yet rapidly diminish with modernity, industrialization, or outside influence, the nature of folk art is specific to its particular culture. The varied geographical and temporal prevalence and diversity of folk art make it difficult to describe as a whole, though some patterns have been demonstrated. The collaborative work of John A. Fleming (Professor Emeritus, Department of French and the Centre for Comparative Literature, University of Toronto) and Canadian antiques dealer Michael J. Rowan, "Canadian Folk Art To 1950" is a 520 page compendium beautifully showcasing museum quality examples of folk art by Canadian artists and craftsmen. Each example is presented in a full color photograph taken by James A. Chambers and is accompanied by a succinct descriptive comment. A superbly presented overview that is informed and informative, this coffee table paperback edition of "Canadian Folk Art To 1950" is highly recommended for personal Folk Art Book collections. Specifically recommended for community and academic libraries Art History collections, "Canadian Folk Art To 1950" is also available in a hardcover edition (9780888646309, $75.00).

Mid-Century Modern
Judith Miller
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781845336936, $39.99,

Mid-Century modern is an architectural, interior, product and graphic design that generally describes mid-20th century developments in modern design, architecture, and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965. The term, employed as a style descriptor as early as the mid-1950s, was reaffirmed in 1983 by Cara Greenberg in the title of her book, Mid-Century Modern: Furniture of the 1950s (Random House), celebrating the style which is now recognized by scholars and museums worldwide as a significant design movement. "s Mid Century Modern: Living With Mid-Century Modern Design" by antiques and collectibles expert Judith Miller is a superbly illustrated, 256 page compendium showcasing selectively representative items from the 1940s to the 1960s, ranging from furniture, ceramics, and glass, to metalware, textiles, and interior design. Enhanced with a roster of significant designers, an extensive list of resources, and a comprehensive index, "Miller's Mid Century Modern" is informed, informative, and will prove to be a highly prized and enduringly valued addition to personal, professional, and academic library 20th Century Art History collections.

The Biography Shelf

Ingrid Bergman
David Smit
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9780786472260, $35.00,

Ingrid Bergman (29 August 1915 - 29 August 1982) was a Swedish actress who starred in a variety of European and American films. She won three Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, and the Tony Award for Best Actress. She is ranked as the fourth greatest female star of American cinema of all time by the American Film Institute. "Ingrid Bergman: The Life, Career and Public Image" by David Smith (Professor of English, Kansas State University) is a 252 page descriptive and analytically biographical study of Ingrid Bergman film career, including her personal and professional issues ranging from loving her children but continually leaving them to perform in her films, to loathing the media's intrusions into her life but able to charm them nonetheless. "Ingrid Bergman: The Life, Career and Public Image" offers a fascinating, informed and informative perspective on the life and times of a true Hollywood Legend and a welcome contribution to community and academic library Cinematography Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Patience Of Pearl
Daniel B. Shea
University of Missouri Press
2910 LeMone Boulevard
Columbia, MO 65201
9780826219893, $60.00,

Patience Worth was allegedly a spirit contacted by Pearl Lenore Curran (February 15, 1883 - December 4, 1937). This symbiotic relationship produced several novels, poetry and prose which Pearl Curran claimed was delivered to her through channeling the spirit, Patience Worth. "The Patience Of Pearl: Spiritualism And Authorship In The Writings Of Pearl Curran" by Daniel B. Shea (Professor Emeritus of English, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri) is a 296 page compendium focused upon a now obscure but in her time popular writer whose claims as a kind of literary medium with only a 9th grade education was able to produce a biblical novel and a Victorian novel. Professor Shea's comprehensive history and analysis of her life (during the course of which she had three husbands and a child whom she adopted at the command of her spirit advisor) and her work serve admirably to resurrect her from obscurity and reintroduce her to a new generation of readers. A masterpiece of seminal scholarship, "The Patience Of Pearl" is an especially recommended addition to academic library Women's Studies, American Biographies, and American Women's Literary History Studies" reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

Robert Wise: Shadowlands
Wes. D. Gehring
Indiana Historical Society Press
450 West Ohio Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202-3269
9780871952967, $24.95,

A life lived in dedication to a hobby is a life lived well. "Robert Wise: Shadowlands" tells the story of Indiana filmmaker Robert Wise, who got his start working on Citizen Kane, giving him some unique chops for the rest of his career, making anything and everything appealing to him, doing everything from comedy, horror, and much more. "Robert Wise: Shadowlands" is a dedicated biography from film historian Wes D. Gehring, and is a solid and choice read, not to be missed for film and film history junkies.

The Political Science Shelf

Howard Zinn Speaks
Howard Zinn
Anthony Arnove, editor
Haymarket Books
PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618
9781608462599, $18.95,

Howard Zinn (August 24, 1922 - January 27, 2010) was an American academic historian, author, playwright, and social activist. Before and during his tenure as a political science professor at Boston University from 1964-88 he wrote more than 20 books, which included his best-selling and influential A People's History of the United States. He wrote extensively about the civil rights and anti-war movements, as well as of the labor history of the United States. His memoir, "You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: A Personal History of Our Times" (Beacon Press, 9780807071274, $16.00) was also the title of a 2004 documentary about Zinn's life and work. Deftly compiled by Anthony Arnove, "Howard Zinn Speaks: Collected Speeches 1963 to 2009" is a 320 page compendium comprised of twenty of Zinn's principle speeches on subjects ranging from 'Southern Influence in National Politics', to 'Academic Freedom: Collaboration and Resistance', to 'The Myth of American Exceptionalism', to 'Standing Up for Justice in the Age of Obama'. Enhanced with a bibliographic listing of Zinns published books and a comprehensive index, "Howard Zinn Speaks" is a compelling read and a highly recommended addition for personal, community, and academic library collections.

The Parenting Shelf

21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids
Kathi Lipp
Harvest House Publishers
990 Owen Loop North
Eugene, Oregon 97402-9173
9780736929677, $12.99,

A parent's bond with their children is something that should truly be treasured. "21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids" is a parenting guide from Kathi Lipp as she advises how to keep the bonds of family strong as they grow older. From planning special family events, reminding them of your love in many different ways, and establishing family, "21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids" is a fine read for parents who may be at a loss for ideas on how to make their kids feel truly blessed with their love.

The Sports Shelf

Winning Basketball Fundamentals
Lee Rose
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076
Champaign, IL 61820-5076
978145-431620, $19.95,

Speed, cleverness, and talent can get you far, but you need fundamentals to pull it all together. "Winning Basketball Fundamentals" is a guide to how to better play the game to greater success. Coach Lee Rose presents a solid advisory on understanding the bread and butter of any basketball play, knowing how to put together a winning strategy for one's team. Within, diagrams of many strategies, and Rose's own Performance Rating System, which he states helps players better develop their skills for the long term. "Winning Basketball Fundamentals" is a must for sports reference collections focusing on basketball, highly recommended.

The Photography Shelf

West Coast
David Freese
George F. Thompson Publishing
c/o International Publishers Marketing
PO Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172-0605
9781938086045, $60.00,

There's a natural serene beauty that the Western side of North America carries, unique to it and it alone. "West Coast: Bering to Baja" is a collection of photography focusing on the western coast of the continent, from the frost touched coastlines and forests of Alaska to the sun and sand of California, using sepia tone to set a mood all throughout the coast with high quality photography all throughout. For those who want to experience much of North America's natural beauty, "West Coast: Bering to Baja" is a much recommended pick not to be overlooked.

The Lens
NK Guy
Rocky Nook
802 East Cota Street, 3rd Floor
Santa Barbara, CA 93103
9781933952970, $44.95,

The camera's eye to the world, a quality lens can take a camera far. "The Lens: A Practical Guide for the Creative Photographer" is a photography advisory guide from NK Guy, who advises potential artistic photographers on how to buy the best lens for their DSLR camera, stating that the most basic lens out of the box is not always the best one for their needs. Evaluating many types of lens and how to best pick the one for one's own goals, also informing readers on how to pick lens in the future. "The Lens" is a fine addition to any photographer's reference collection, with full color images used all throughout the book.

The Crafts Shelf

Tape It & Make It
Richela Fabian Morgan
250 Wireless Boulevard
Hauppauge, NY 11788
9781438001357, $14.99,

Tape is utterly versatile, and not just when it's of the duct tape variety. "Tape It & Make It" is a guide to stretching the uses of tape into the realm of fun, arts, and crafts as Richela Fabian Morgan brings readers plenty of ideas on expanding the most out of the duct tape with ideas from the practical bags, to the fun cat masks. "Tape It & Make It" is a strong addition to crafts and activity collections covered with full color photography throughout.

I Can Right Angle Weave
Mabeline Gidez
Lark Books
387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016
9781454703662, $24.95,

Do it yourself jewelry allows you to create something that can't be duplicated. "I Can Right Angle Weave" is a comprehensive tutorial for right angle weaving for beaders who want to better incorporate this technique into their projects for better success and, allowing those still learning to gain the basics and may even show intermediate learners a thing or two on expanding their techniques. "I Can Right Angle Weave" is a strong addition to arts and crafts collection, presenting with full color photographs all throughout.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Why Can't We Talk?
John Backman
Skylight Paths Publishing
Sunset Farms Offices, Route 4
PO Box 237
Woodstock, VT 05091
9781594734434, $16.99,

With no communication, nothing can really get done. "Why Can't We Talk?" is a Christian look at bridging the gaps that start hostilities in modern life, encouraging compassion and understanding to create a dialogue on hot button issues, encouraging communication even when it seems like nothing can be accomplished. Although faith drive, the advice within speaks true to no matter what one believes, and makes "Why Can't We Talk?" an enticing and much recommended addition to self-help and Christian wisdom collections.

As I Have Loved You
John Scally
1 Liguroi Drive, Liguori, MO 63057-9999
9780764821486, $14.99,

In the ghettos of Calcutta, a touch of mercy goes a long way. "As I Have Loved You: A Conversation with Mother Teresa" is a discussion of the beloved figure Mother Theresa as John Scally presents an analysis of the famed woman's work with the poor, bringing faith to millions throughout her life. A thoughtful telling of her story, "As I Have Loved You" is a strong addition to Christian history and biography collection.

Faith and Struggle on Smokey Mountain
Bengno P. Beltran
Orbis Books
PO Box 308
Maryknoll, NY 10545-0308
9781570759758, $25.00,

Even when things seem grim, there are those who will not let anything stop them. "Faith and Struggle on Smokey Mountain: Hope for a Planet in Peril" explores those who call this garbage dump in the Philippines their home, who scavenge what everyone else tossed away for their everyday survival. Friar Benigno P. Beltran discusses the hardships these people face, and what he has learned from them all. "Faith and Struggle on Smokey Mountain" is a strong pick for those seeking a story of Christian life and survival against all odds.

Where to From Here?
Brian Grogan
New City Press
202 Cardinal Rd.
Hyde Park, NY 12538
9781565484528, $17.95,

Eternal paradise, eternal torment... is there more to the Christian afterlife than these concepts? "Where to From Here?: The Christian Vision of Life After Death" discusses the ideas of the afterlife, as Father Brian Grogan discusses questions surrounding the afterlife, exploring many ideas that aren't normally presented surrounding the ideas of fate, our lives, and what ultimately lies ahead of us as human beings. "Where to From Here?" is a fascinating read and addition to Christian and spirituality collections.

Living Celibacy
Gerdenio Sonny Manuel, SJ
Paulist Press
997 MacArthur Boulevard
Mahwah, NJ 07430
9780809147847, $14.95,

To choose celibacy is to give up much of the human experience. "Living Celibacy: Healing Pathways for Priests" discusses the celibacy that many men of the cloth face in the Catholic faith, which may often lead to many issues in psychosexual health. Discussing the meaning of the celibacy of the faith, and how these men who choose this path can cope with it, "Living Celibacy" is a powerful read for Christian readers, especially those who have taken the higher calling of the priesthood.

Green Leaves for Later Years
Emilie Griffin
c/o InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400
Downers Grove, IL 605151426
9780830835652, $15.00,

Clarity of thought is something that should never be underrated. "Green Leaves for Later Years: The Spiritual Path of Wisdom" is a spiritual and Christian read from Emilie Griffin as she advises readers on how to gain that wisdom that supposed to come with age but often just seems to elude us all. With plenty to ponder and activities for Bible Study groups, "Green Leaves for Later Years" is a strong pick for Christian life and spirituality collections, highly recommended.

The Buddhist Studies Shelf

The Lamp That Enlightens Narrow Minds
Chogyal Namkhai Norbu
North Atlantic Books
2526 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Berkeley, CA 94704-2607
9781583944929, $15.95,

Knowledge should never fade, and writing allows us to share wisdom of the past. "The Lamp That Enlightens Narrow Minds: The Life and Times of a Realized Tibetan Master, Khyentse Chokyi Wangchug" is about a Tibetan Buddhist teacher who lived through the first half of the twentieth century. Chogyal Namkhai Norbu tells his story, sharing his teachings and life during this time of crisis throughout Tibet. "The Lamp That Enlightens Narrow Minds" is a must for those who seek to learn about major figures in Tibetan Buddhism, much recommended.

Thich Nhat Hanh
Parallax Press
PO Box 7355
Berkeley, CA 94707
9781935209645, $14.95,

Not everyone has the perfect childhood, but it shouldn't put a damper on the rest of your life. "Reconciliation: Healing the Inner Child" is a spiritual and philosophical guide from Thich Nhat Hanh who provides much to consider when one is facing the pain of their childhood, and how to look pas the negative impacts of our youth to find our lives and live them to the ultimate fullest in the long term. Although "Reconciliation" draws upon Buddhist principles, its wisdom is intended to aid readers of all faiths and backgrounds. "Reconciliation" is an insightful and recommended addition to any inspirational and self-help collection.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Vision and Leadership
Joseph B. Soloveitchik
KTAV Publishing House
930 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306-6316
9781602802193, $27.50,

The stories of the bible are tales to follow about life and leadership, and there is much to take from it. "Vision and Leadership: Reflections on Joseph and Moses" discusses these biblical figures and their leadership from the perspective of Judaic faith, drawing on the work of the late Rabbi Soloveitchik, a revered student of the Talmud throughout the twentieth century. Exploring the biblical perspective on leadership, the search for justice, and avoiding treating others as idols, "Vision of Leadership" is enlightening and relevant reading decades after its original publication, highly recommended.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Imperfect Spirituality
Polly Campbell
Viva Editions
2246 Sixth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710-2219
9781936740185, $15.95,

You don't have to be the Dalai Lama to find spiritual peace. "Imperfect Spirituality: Extraordinary Enlightenment for Ordinary People" is a spiritual guide for the not so spiritual. Polly Campbell presents how to approach the ideas of enlightenment in an everyday context, and find one's purpose and live up to one's goals in the process. "Imperfect Spirituality" is a must for those who want to have that peace they seek but can't even get the brief moment of meditation right, highly recommended.

The Civil War Shelf

Letters Home to Sarah
Kevin Alderson & Patsy Alderson, editors
University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, Third Floor
Madison, WI 53711-2059
9780299291204, $26.95,

At war, we are drawn far from those we hold dear, and we seek to hold any connection with them that we can. "Letters Home to Sarah: The Civil War Letters of Guy C. Taylor, 36th Wisconsin Volunteers" is a chronicle of the writings of a farmer at war who volunteered to do his part to restore the Union. Away from his wife and son, these letters are compiled to give a very personal picture of the Civil War, and the day to day struggles of the soldier and his unit, doing what they needed to do to get by, when they know their next battle may be their last. "Letters Home to Sarah" is a moving and much recommended addition to any American Civil War history collection, highly recommended.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

3 Steps to Hell
Arnold Hano
Stark House Press
1315 H Street
Eureka, CA 95501
9781933586502, $23.95,

The edge of the old pulp novels hasn't been matched with much of the modern style. "3 Steps to Hell: So I'm a Heel/Flint/The Big Out" is an omnibus collection of three of Arnold Hano's writings as he wrote as Mike Heller and Gil Dodge to compile these stories that focused on the darkside of humanity, touching on the corruption in us all, creating thrillers that kept the pages turning. "3 Steps to Hell" is an excellent compilation, not to be overlooked for fans of old school noir.

Twice a False Messiah
Daniel Gabriel
Florida Academic Press
PO Box 357425, Gainesville, FL 32635
9781890357368, $24.95,

With war in the distance, truth may be out of reach. "Twice a False Messiah" is a novel set in Egypt, 1978. Looking for the religious origins of the Abrahamic faiths, it casts the Israel/Egypt conflicts as a backdrop of a religious war. Intriguing and spinning a certain tale, "Twice a False Messiah" is a must for those seeking a thriller and intrigue novel, very much recommended reading.

Boston Noir
Dennis Lehane, Mary Cotton, & Jaime Clarke, editors
Akashic Books
PO Box 1456
New York, NY 10009
9781617751370, $15.95,

The noir genre can capture the gritty image of many cities, that most fiction would gloss over. "Boston Noir 2" is the second collection of short noir fiction, as Dennis Lehane, Mary Cotton, & Jaime Clark compile stories that capture the essence of the old city and its many sights and sounds, using the city's history as a backdrop to these gritty tales. "Boston Noir 2" is a strong addition to any short mystery collection, enthusiastically recommended.

The Fiction Shelf

Jackson Hole Journey
Linda Jacobs
Camel Press
PO Box 70515, Seattle, WA 98127
978160381910, $15.95,

In the chaotic environment of the old west, one would think they wouldn't have time to deal with the petty hatred of race. "Jackson Hole Journey" is a drama and adventure of the west following many individuals surrounding the town of Jackson Hole. A lost and talented woman chef tries to earn her way through life, but is swept up in a world of people facing doubt from the world around them and race may tear the town apart as natural disaster looms as well. "Jackson Hole Journey" is a riveting read that should prove hard to put down.

Death My Own Way
Michael S. A. Graziano
Leapfrog Press
PO Box 505, Fredonia, NY 14063
9781935248330, $13.95,

Life is but a few moments in the grander scheme of things, but every moment needs to be cherished. "Death My Own Way" is a novel from Michael S. Al. Graziano telling the story of a man faced with his own mortality, and with nothing to lose, and how he tries to piece the hours he has left, baring his soul and everything else to the world. In those hours, he lives a life ultimately worth living. "Death My Own Way" is a choice pick for literary fiction collections, much recommended.

Renato the Painter
Eugene Mirabelli
McPherson & Company
PO Box 1126
Kingston, NY 12401
0929701968, $25.00,

We have our passions, and we so desperately want to be recognized for our passion. "Renato the Painter" is a novel following aging Renato Stillamare as he seeks for one last shot at glory as an artist, a painter as his world seems to pass him by as he grows older and older. Rushing to get his worked noticed and dealing with his own family going on, "Renato the Painter" is a novel that resonates well with many a reader, much recommended and not to be missed.

Hot Times in Panama
Frank Babb
1760 East River Road, Suite 145
Tucson, Arizona 85718
9781604947137, $9.95,

The loves of youth never leave us, and the flame never dies. "Hot Times in Panama: What Would You Do to Serve Your Country?" is a novel following Frank Blake, a Korean War veteran entering into a CIC unit in Panama. A chance meeting gives him a glance at a girl who he doesn't see for decades, but never forgets her. As they may meet again, their romance is against a backdrop of corruption and cruelty in every direction. "Hot Times in Panama" is a strong addition to collections focusing on espionage and intrigue fiction.

Mister Malone
Weldon Payne
Florida Academic Press
PO Box 357425, Gainesville, FL 32635
9781890357399, $22.95,

As the country is in the pits, too many of its citizens suffer as well. "Mister Malone" is a story of the Great Depression and the struggles of Americans to get by with their lives without losing their souls and still trying to be better human beings in a time where it's far too easy to go a sour route. "Mister Malone" is a strong pick for those seeking a poignant tale of Depression Era America, recommended.

Karen Osborn
Vandalia Press
c/o West Virginia University Press
PO Box 6295, Morgantown, WV 26506
9781935978640, $16.99,

A quiet town where nothing happens often can't cope when something does happen. "Centerville" is the story of a 1960s Midwestern town dealing with the sudden bombing of a drugstore and the fallout from the era. Exploring the civil rights era through the perspective of a small town and an awakening for one youth as well as everyone else, "Centerville" is an insightful and much recommended addition to historical and literary fiction collections.

Men Beware Women
Gwen Thompson
Miami University Press
356 Bachelor Hal, Oxford, OH 45046
9781881163510, $15.00,

Love can set us off the course of our dreams. "Men Beware Women" is a novel following Malcolm, aspiring student of Shakespeare. Meeting with Emma, he becomes enraptured, and when she goes off for some obscure play in New York, he's tempted to follow, but his tutors warn against him doing something so reckless. In pursuit of a happy ending, Malcolm has to learn that maybe things don't turn out so much like the famed bard wrote them. "Men Beware Women" is a strong pick for contemporary fiction collections, highly recommended.

Galaxy Press
7051 Hollywood Boulevard, Suite 200
Hollywood, CA 90028

Galaxy Press is the premier publisher of the literary works of L. Ron Hubbard from the golden age of pulp magazines. Although Hubbard was a superb story teller in just about every possible fiction genre, he was a particular master of the western. One such example is "Gunman's Tally" (9781592122752, $9.95) featuring Bill Gates, a relaxed and easy going rancher who, through pure luck, manages to kill an experienced gunman who had murdered Bill's brother and ultimately defeat the greedy land baron George Barton. This outstanding short story was originally published in the November 1937 issue of 'All Western Magazine'. This Galaxy Press paperback edition of "Gunman's Tally" is enhanced with the inclusion of another Hubbard western short story 'Ruin at Rio Piedras', a foreward regarding the writing career of L. Ron Hubbard as part of the 'golden age' of the pulp magazine publishing, a glossary of western terms, and a bibliography of Hubbard stories available through Galaxy Press. Also very highly recommended is the multi-cast, unabridged, 2 hour, audio book edition of "Gunman's Tally" (9781592123780, $12.95).

The Memoir Shelf

Saving Each Other
Victoria Jackson & Ali Guthy
Vanguard Press
c/o Perseus Books Group
Eleven Cambridge Center
Cambridge, MA 02142
9781593157333, $25.99,

To save one's daughter, one may be willing to sacrifice anything and everything. "Saving Each Other: A Mystery Illness, A Search for a Cure, a Mother-Daughter Love Story" tells the story of the struggles of mother Victoria and Daughter Ali as Ali is diagnosed with Neuromyelitis Optica, an often fatal disease that struck the girl at the age of 14. Not willing to give up on the daughter, she shares the struggles of looking for anything that could be done and finding support in others struggling with the disorder. "Saving Each Other" is a powerful read of familial love, highly recommended.

Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter
Melissa Francis
Weinstein Books
345 Hudson Street, 13th floor
New York, NY 10014
9781602861725, $26.00,

The pressure to succeed can often plague us all too far. "Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter" is the memoir of Melissa Francis, who gained renown as a child actor for her role on the Little House on the Prairie Television series. Always pushed to succeed by an overbearing mother, the pressure throughout her young life lead to personal problems as a young adult and a road to wellness that left some wounds never truly healed. "Diary of a Stage Mother's Daughter" is an insightful memoir of a child actor and the pain a mother can inflict on their daughter.

Thirty Days with My Father
Christal Presley, PhD
Health Communications, Inc.
3201 S.W. 15th Street
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442-8190
9780757316463, $14.95,

The Impacts of war leave devastating marks on the mind. "Thirty Days with my Father: Finding Peace from Wartime PTSD" is a memoir from Christal Presley, as she discusses her unique relationship with her father, a Vietnam veteran who was deeply scarred by his time at war. His condition led to rift in his family, and her attempts to reconnect with her father after years driven apart. A poignant look on the struggles in family life for those who experience war and the pressures of life, "Thirty Days with my Father" is an insightful and much recommended addition to memoir collections focusing on the casualties of war.

The Dog Lived
Teresa J. Rhyne
Sourcebooks Inc.
1935 Brookdale Road, #139
Naperville, IL 60563
9781402271724, $14.99,

When invite a dog into our lives, we expect them to stick around for awhile. But dogs, like humans, can face grim news far too early. "The Dog Lived: (and So Will I)" is a memoir from Teresa J. Rhyne as she shares the story of Seamus, her beagle who after his adoption got diagnosed with a tumor that would have doomed him. But fighting for her dog, she shares her story of his survival... and how she then faced a death sentence for herself. "The Dog Lived: (And So Will I)" is a moving read of coping with cancer, strongly recommended for pet lovers who have faced their own struggles in life.

The Hobby Shelf

The Lego's Builder's Guide, second edition
Allan Bedford
No Starch Press
38 Ringold Street
San Francisco, CO 94103-4403
9781593274412, $24.95,

A children's toy has become a phenomena solely on its sheer potential. "The Unofficial Lego's Builder's Guide" is a second edition update from Allan Bedford, containing many techniques for getting the most out of one's Lego construction. Within, he details on how to create durable models that stand up to abuse, picking the right pieces from the job, many intriguing ideas for projects from games to artwork all its own, and much more. For anyone who loves Lego, be they a child or an adult with a kid inside, "The Unofficial Lego's Builder's Guide" is a reference not to be overlooked, highly recommended.

The Cookbook Shelf

Farmstand Favorites Cookbook
Hatherleigh Press
Anna Krusinski, editor
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
5-22 46th Ave, Ste 200
Long Island City, NY 11101
9781578264209, $16.50,

With an informative foreword by Avis Richards and superb photography by Catarina Astrom, "Farmstand Favorites Cookbook" is a compendium of more than 300 recipes deftly compiled and edited by Anna Krusinki for the purpose of encouraging family cooks to take advantage of their local farmer's markets when planning all manner of meals. Nicely organized to include recipes suitable for breakfast, diverse soups, assorted salads, various fish and seafood entrees, an impressive number of meat and poultry entrees, a superb selection of vegetarian dishes, side dishes, breads, and deserts, "Farmstand Favorites Cookbook" is particularly 'kitchen cook friendly' with respect to ingredient lists and preparatory instructions. Of special note are the sections devoted to beverages and to 'Sauces, Dips & Preserves'. Enhanced with an extensive resources lists and a very useful index, "Farmstand Favorites Cookbook" is an extraordinary addition to personal and community library cookbook collections.

Dishing Up Washington
Jess Thomson
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way
North Adams, MA 01247
9781612120287, $19.95,

Jess Thomson draws upon her many years of experience and expertise as a food writer and cookbook author to compile "Dishing Up Washington", a cookbook showcasing the cuisines of Washington State. This 288 page, beautifully illustrated compendium of 150 authentic regional recipes offer dishes ranging from Marinated Goat Cheese with Honey and Hazelnuts; Roasted Squash with Maple-Cumin Caramel; Seared Duck with White Beans, Fresh Figs, and Huckleberry Gastrique; to Pork Chops with Stone Fruit Salsa; Creamy Razor Clam Linguine with parsley and Chives; and Ten Minute Yogurt Cake. Of special note is the chapter devoted to recipes for 'Snacks, Drinks & Put-Ups'. Offering a veritable cornucopia of 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes, "Dishing Up Washington" will prove to be a valued addition to personal and community library cookbook collections.

The I Love Trader Joe's Vegetarian Cookbook
Kris Holechek Peters
Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440
Berkeley CA 94703-3440
9781612431093 $17.95

The I Love Trader Joe's Vegetarian Cookbook is an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans alike, since its many recipes include tips, tricks, and techniques to make the dishes strictly vegan if desired. Created especially to take advantage of ingredients provided by Trader Joe's (a well-known chain of one-stop shops ideal for stocking a healthy kitchen), The I Love Trader Joe's Vegetarian Cookbook includes such delights as "Pineapple Upside Down Pancakes", "Three Bean Salad", "Tuscan Tomato Soup", "BBQ Bowl" (featuring roasted brussel sprouts and BBQ sauced & roasted garbanzo beans), "Cashew Nibble Cookies", and much more. Full color photos intersperse these easy-to-follow recipes with user-friendly instructions and simple grocery shopping lists. Even meat-eaters are sure to find a plethora of culinary delights in this "must-have" for the casual cuisine kitchen!

The Amish Family Cookbook
Jerry & Tina Eicher
Harvest House Publishers
990 Owen Loop North
Eugene, Oregon 97402-9173
9780736943772 $14.99

Spiral-bound to lay flat or wrap around for easy reference in the kitchen, The Amish Family Cookbook is a collection of time-tested kitchen recipes from Amish society, enhanced with choice bits of Amish wisdom and humor, and even featuring a few dishes from author Jerry Eicher's beloved novels. Featuring excellent food ideal for sharing at family gatherings or holiday celebrations as well as everyday favorites, the dishes include "Apple Cream Cheese Bundt Cake", "Maple Glazed Chicken Wings", "Spanish Rice with Venison", "Seven Layer Salad", "Cheesy Potato Soup", "Maple Oat Batter Bread" and much more. Highly recommended especially for anyone who truly loves venerable classic culinary delights!

Field to Feast
Pam Brandon, Katie farmand, & Heather McPherson
University Press of Florida
University of Florida, 15 Northwest 15th Street
Gainesville, FL 32611-2079
9780813042282 $28.00

Field to Feast: Recipes Celebrating Florida Farmers, Chefs, and Artisans lives up to its title as a sumptuous anthology of recipes that take advantage of the freshest farm products Florida has to offer! Full-color photographs (many of which prominently feature the ripe products of dedicated Florida agriculture) and anecdotes from farmers and top-of-the-line chefs pepper these easy-to-follow directions for creations ranging from "Goat's Milk Panna Cotta with Arugula" to "Creamy Wild Mushroom Soup", "Zucchini Carpaccio", "Pecan Pralines with Dark chocolate and Sel Gris", "Mema's Guava Roll", and much more. Field to Feast blends the beauty of a coffee table books and the mouth-watering goodness of a tried-and-tested recipe book into a wonderful whole, and is an excellent pick for gourmets and aspiring chefs of all skill and experience levels.

Salt, Sugar, Smoke
Diana Henry
Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue
New York NY 10017
9781845336752, $29.99,

Preservation is a valuable tool for those who produce their own food, but it can also be part of the cooking process. "Salt, Sugar, Smoke: How to Preserve Fruit, Vegetables, Meat, and Fish" is a guide to advanced home preservation techniques as Diana Henry suggests on to can, cure, smoke, and much more. With hundreds of recipes, Henry provides ideas that anyone can master, pushing preservation from a technique of necessity to a cooking technique all its own. With easy to follow recipes such as melon, lime, and ginger jam, hot oak-smoked salmon, eastern pickled ginger, and color photography throughout, "Salt, Sugar, Smoke" is a strong pick for anyone who wants a great introduction to food preservation. Also from Octopus Books is "Cox, Cookies & Cake" (9781845337155, $19.99) a full color cookbook and sweets decoration guide with a spicy edge, focusing on recipes such as Cheeky Cupcakes, Black Forest Soft Cookies, Bunny Cupcakes, and much more for plenty of original ideas.

Raw Magic
Kate Magic
Process Media
1240 W Sims Way #124
Port Townsend, WA 98368
9781934170373, $22.95,

Raw food has plenty to offer the adventurous and nutritious eater. "Raw Magic: Superfoods for Superpeople" is a raw foods cookbook from Kate Magic as she offers ways to create dishes and meals that shun cooking, creatively using spices, fruits, vegetables, and grains into delectable dishes. For anyone looking for a new style or see what raw foods is about, "Raw Magic" is a full color delve into getting the most out of raw 'cooking', enthusiastically recommended.

Pop.O.Licious Cake Pops
Joey Dellino with Tony Dellino
Peter Pauper Press, Inc.
202 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10601
9781441310187 $10.95

Pop.O.Licious Cake Pops is a spiral-bound, pocket-sized specialty cookbook packed with easy-to-follow instructions for creating tasty, colorful, and whimsically designed cake pops - an excellent and memorable treat especially for birthday or holiday parties! From mouth-watering chocolate and peanut butter morsels on a stick, to artfully created characters that will dazzle and delight young children, Pop.O.Licious Cake Pops lives up to its title with instructions to craft cherry pie pops, pops in the shape of spiders, dreidels, leprechauns, polar bears, sports balls, or margaritas, cheesecake pops, and much more. Helpful tips, tricks, and techniques, as well as a wealth of color photographs supplement the enumerated instructions of Pop.O.Licious Cake Pops. Highly recommended as a creative and delightful alternative to cupcakes - as well as a fun way to enjoy delicious cake in modestly bite-sized portions!

300 Best Bread Machine Recipes
Donna Washburn & Heather Butt, authors
Robert Rose Inc.
120 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 800
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4P 1E2
9780778802440 $24.95

Here is a stunning collection of 300 excellent, creative bread machine recipes by Canadian food stylists and coauthors Donna Washburn and Heather Butt, also known for their best sellers, "250 Gluten-Free Favorites" and "125 Best Gluten -Free Bread Machine Recipes." A chapter titled The Basics in Four Sizes gives adaptations for a 1.5 lb (70 g) loaf, a 2 lb (1 kg) loaf, or the larger 2 paddle machines that make 2.5 lb (1.25 g) and 3 lb (1.5 kg) loaves. Recipes are given in both standard and metric measurements for complete accessibility. These recipes represent the cream of the bread machine crop, with wonderful combinations like Sweet Potato Pecan Bread, Wild Rice and Cranberry Loaf, Carrot Cornbread, Banana Cracked Wheat Loaf, Maple Banana Flaxseed Bread, or Autumn Pumpkin Seed Bread. There are also recipes for classics and often requested favorites, like Irish Barm Bread, Sourdough Pumpernickel Raisin Bread, or Crusty Italian Bread and Country French Stick. For Thanksgiving, why not try New England Maple Leaf Walnut Loaf or another hearth bread such as Settler's Cracked Wheat Braid? In the chapter titled Rolls by the Basketful, some wonderful recipes for rolls include Double Cheese Dill Rolls with Dijon Mustard Glaze, Multigrain Bow Knots, and Saffron Currant Bath Buns with Lemon Glaze. Handy tips and variations for recipes are located in sidebars next to each recipe. Some recipes are complete main dishes, like Turkey-Filled Cheese Braid, Sausage-Stuffed Stromboli, or New Orleans-Style Muffaletta, a truly delectable specialty Tex-Mex muffaletta stuffed with chicken, Monterey Jack, peppers, tomato, and garlic, and seasoned with balsamic and herb vinaigrette. Clearly there is no stone left unturned to provide tasty new bread machine treats by these talented chefs and home economists. For sheer decadence, try the Black Forest Loaf, with brandy, honey, chocolate chips, and dried cherries added; or the Hazelnut Chocolate Bread, or the Sour Cherry Almond Kuchen, or the Hazelnut Plum Ladder Loaf, not to mention the Springtime Rhubarb Crunch Coffee Cake, all recipes found in the chapter titled Dessert, Anyone? If anyone is dying to try new, fresh approaches to using their wonderful bread machine, this is the cookbook to buy. Additional helps are found in the introductory chapter with information about the recipes, the bread machine pantry, bread machine features, hints of successful bread machine baking, and trouble shooting. There are also three glossaries at the end for equipment, ingredients, and techniques. "300 Best Bread Machine Recipes" will be the home bread maker's new best friend, resulting in contented, healthy families and friends filled with delicious results of these fantastic recipes.

The Gardening Shelf

Earth Perfect?
Vannette Giesecke & Naomi Jacobs
Black Dog Publishing
10a Acton Street
London, England, WC1X 9NG
9781907317750, $39.95,

To some, the idea of the garden of Eden was the best possible state of the planet. "Earth Perfect?: Nature Utopia and the Garden" discusses the place of humanity in concept of a more perfect garden, exploring many gardens throughout the world that have been crafted to bring the garden to the next stage of perfection. With color photography and art throughout, many philosophical, social, and political topics are discussed all throughout. "Earth Perfect?" is a scholarly and insightful take on the garden for those who love nature or simply want a more perfect understanding of why gardens.

The Automotive Shelf

Rare Finds
Jerry Heasley
CarTech Inc.
39966 Grand Avenue
North Branch, MN 55056
9781613250341, $24.95,

A classic car could be hidden anywhere. "Rare Finds: Mustangs & Fords" is a guide for the classic car enthusiast as Jerry Heasley discusses these hidden treasures that lurk all across America, rotting away from those who would take them in and restore them to their former glory. Heasley tells stories of these lost cars and how he undertook these restoration projects, with full color photographs all throughout describing the process. "Rare Finds" is a strong addition to any car enthusiast's collection, highly recommended.

The American History Shelf

The Reckoning
Peter R. Rose
Texas Tech University Press
PO Box 41037
Lubbock, TX 79409-1037
9780896727694, $34.95,

Order is not an easy thing to achieve. "The Reckoning: The Triumph of Order on the Texas Outlaw Frontier" discusses the drive against the lawless Kimble County where bandits and raiders plagued the region in the years following the American Civil War. Peter R. Rose tells the story and the battle against Texas Rangers who eventually brought order to the region. A true life tale of old west law and order, "The Reckoning" is a strong addition to Texas history collections and tales of true crime.

Boon Island
Andrew Vietze & Stephen Erickson
The Globe Pequot Press
246 Goose Lane, Suite 200
Guilford, CT 06437
9780762777525, $16.95,

Desperate times make people... desperate. "Boon Island: A True Story of Mutiny, Shipwreck, and Cannibalism" tells the story of Captain John Deane and his rookie team as they sent sail, only to fall horribly off course and end up on Boon Island, off the coast of Maine. One disaster gave way to another, and their story holds many mysteries that are not certain in the modern day. "Boon Island" is a must for history collections focusing on the age of the seas, much recommended.

The World History Shelf

Echoes Across Seymour
Janet Pavlik, Desmond Smith & Eileen Smith
Harbour Publishing
PO Box 219
Madeira Park, BC, Canada, V0N 2H0
9781550175882 $39.95

Members of the Deep Cove Heritage Society present Echoes Across Seymour, a historical survey of the eastern communities of North Vancouver, Canada, replete with captivating, full-color photography (as well as some black-and-white archival photographs). Accessible to readers of all backgrounds, Echoes Across Seymour is an incredible tour through time, covering everything from environmental and natural history to park and recreation outlets, flourishing neighborhoods, community clubs and institutions, the lives of notable individuals, even sprinkles of poetry. Echoes Across Seymour is the next best thing to personally visiting these vibrant lands and the charming people who call them home, highly recommended especially as a quality giftbook.

Moore Street
Barry Kennerk
Mercier Press
9781856359962, $37.95,

The market is where many people make their living, commerce forming the bedrock of any economy. "Moore Street: The Story of Dublin's Market District" discusses the history of this major avenue in the city of Dublin, its history from a personal standpoint, its marketplace, and the historical events that it hosted, from uprisings giving way to war and much more. With a focus on the twentieth century, Barry Kennerk shares personal stories of many on the market, and the icons that anyone who uses the road knows in their heart. "Moore Street" is a must for any Irish history collection focusing on its people and cultural landmarks.

The Literary Studies Shelf

Mythic Imagination
Joseph Campbell
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608681532, $24.95,

Joseph John Campbell (March 26, 1904 - October 30, 1987) was an American mythologist, writer and lecturer, best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work is vast, covering many aspects of the human experience. His philosophy is often summarized by his phrase: "Follow your bliss". But while he is best known as an academic, an erudite mythologist, and his work seminal achievements in the anthropological field of comparative religion, Campbell was also an author of short stories which have been compiled in "Mythic Imagination: Collected Short Fiction". This 288 page compendium published by New World Library is comprised of three major sections: Moonlight in Vermont; Where Moth and Rust: A Story Cycle; and Last Paradise. These are stories that are consistently entertaining. Of special note is the inclusion of an appendix - 'Strictly Platonic: The Romance of a Bookworm Who Lost His Goat and Found Himself Famous'. Enhanced with the inclusion of an impressive bibliography of Campbell's works, as well as a background biography, there is also a description of the Joseph Campbell Foundation. Simply stated, "Mythic Imagination" is a 'must read' for the legions of Campbell fans and an enduringly popular addition to community and academic library collections.

Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey
Lori Perkins, editor
BenBella Books
10300 N. Central Expressway, STE 400
Dallas, TX 75204
9781937856427, $14.95,

'Fifty Shades of Grey' has proved to be its own little revolution in fiction. "Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey" is a collection of writers discussing the success and place in popular culture E. L. James recently famous work. Writers analyze James work as a discussion of erotica, its emergence in popular culture, the social issues that come with it, as well as its unique writing history. "Fifty Writers on Fifty Shades of Grey" is a fine literary critique of the exceedingly popular work, very much recommended reading.

The Business Shelf

Closing Time!
Larry S. Cockerel
Maven Mark Books
c/o Henschel Haus Publishing
2625 S. Greeley St., Suite 201
Milwaukee, WI 53207
9781595981721, $16.95,

A business needs many things to succeed, and good business people present them all in a nice package. "Closing Time!: 123 Simple Strategies To Achieve Greater Sales Success" is a guide for business owners on improving their business through increasing professionalism, understanding sales, finding good prospects, and much more. "Closing Time!" is filled with plenty of practical wisdom for business, highly recommended.

How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Florist and Floral Business, second edition
Stephanie Beener & Constance H. Marse
Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.
1210 SW 23rd Place, Ocala, FL 34471
9781601389046, $39.95,

Very few people don't like a good bouquet of flowers. "How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Florist and Floral Business " is a guide for those who love gardening and want to build a better business out of their passion, discussing the basics of the flower business with solid business models and sales plans that includes everything from calculating costs, overhead, rent, taxes, and much more. A companion CD-ROM includes all the forms in the book and a sample business plan. A "must" for anyone who wants to make a profitable business out of flowers, "How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Florist and Floral Business " is a packed with solid and much recommended practical advice for the business side of things.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Return Again
Georgina Cannon
Weiser Publishers
65 Parker Avenue, Suite 7
Newburyport, MA 01950
9781578635283, $16.95,

For some, there spirit did not start at birth, but instead, long before. "Return Again: How to Do Your Own Past Life Regression" is a metaphysical psychological guide as Georgina Cannon advises readers on how to attune oneself with one's soul through time, beyond their simple current life, exploring the concepts of the past life, the future life, and what lies between these existences. For believers in past lives or those simply curious about the concepts, "Return Again" is well worth considering and proves very much fascinating.

Heavenly Hugs
Carla Wills-Brandon
New Page Books
c/o Career Press Inc.
220 West Parkway, Unit 12
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
9781601632302, $14.99,

The love of those who have passed does not fade. "Heavenly Hugs: Comfort, Support, and Hope from the Afterlife" explores the concepts of life after death, and the cases of those reporting feeling the love and blessing of their loved ones following their expiration, and the visions they have seen themselves and their loved ones. For those who want to believe in life after death, "Heavenly Hugs" is a warming and thoughtful read of metaphysical spirituality, recommended.

How to Create Sacred Water
Kathryn W. Ravenwood
Bear & Company
Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street
Rochester, VT 05767
9781591431411, $16.00,

Water, undeniably, is an understatedly important part of our existence. "How to Create Sacred Water: A Guide to Rituals and Practices" is a work of metaphysical spirituality. Author Kathryn W. Ravenwood discusses shamanistic ritual and practice on the purification of water, and its use in homeopathic healing. For followers of new age thought, she provides thought on her ideas of healing and research using this purified water and crystals. "How to Create Sacred Water" is worth considering for metaphysical spirituality and healing collections.

The Poetry Shelf

A Diary Of Pique 1983-1984
Carl Djerassi
Haymon Verlag
c/o University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, Third Floor
Madison, WI 53711-2059
9783852187198, $19.95,

Austrian born author, chemist, and poet Carl Djerassi (born October 29, 1923. Djerassi is emeritus professor of chemistry at Stanford University. "A Diary Of Pique 1983-1984" is a 192 page, bilingual (German/English) compendium of Professor Djerassi's poetry that was initiated on May 8th, 1983 when the great love of his life, Diane Middlebrook, left him. This event precipitated an outpouring of emotion through the medium of poetry. Then Diane Middlebrook returned a year later and became his wife. Now some five years after her death, Professor Djerassi revised, partly rewrote, and then published that relatively brief outpouring of poetry. A body of poetry that is intensely personal, universally recognizable, and highly recommended for personal and community library Contemporary Poetry collections. Already? Still?: Snow on the mountain: / Already October? / Still May? // Fog over the bridge: / Already on the rise? / Still Dropping the veil? // Enamored: / Already of the rocks beneath? / Still of the facade above? // You: Already convinced? / Still Testing? // Still or already: / Still May of your life! / Already October of mine! -- Carl Djerassi

Dark Times Filled With Light
Juan Gelman, poet
Hardie St. Martin, translator
Open Letter Books
c/o University of Rochester
Lattimore Hall 411, Box 270082
Rochester, NY 14627
9781934824689, $14.95,

Juan Gelman (born 3 May 1930) is an Argentine poet. He has published more than twenty books of poetry since 1956. He won the Cervantes Prize in 2007, the most important in Spanish literature. His works celebrate life but are also tempered with social and political commentary and reflect his own painful experiences with the politics of his country. Ably translated from the original Spanish into English for an American readership, "Dark Times Filled with Light" is a 100 page compendium showcasing a representative selection of poetry by Juan Gelman and covers his literary works from 1956 through 1992. An outstanding body of work that is strongly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Poetry Studies collections, "Dark Times Filled with Light" will well serve the purpose of introducing an accomplished Spanish poet to an appreciative American readership.

Must a Violence
Oni Buchanan
University of Iowa Press
100 Kuhl House
119 West Park Road
Iowa City, IA 52242-1000
9781609381295, $18.00,

Life is never steady and as peaceful as we want. "Must a Violence" is a collection of poetry from Oni Buchanan as she shares her third book of poetry as she explores the concepts of life and our battles in their many forms throughout life. A fine pick for those who want a contemporary look at poetry, "Must a Violence" is much recommended reading. "Jury Duty": But of course the limits/of our perception are so severe./I just don't understand//how I'm supposed to sit/for jury duty and that somehow/it's my duty as a flawed citizen.

Selected Poems
Moyra Donaldson
Liberties Press
c/o DuFour Editions
PO Box 7, Chester Springs, PA 19425
9781907593529, $24.95,

Renown in Ireland, her work has surpassed beyond talking to her homeland. "Selected Poems" is a collection of work from famed Irish poet Moyra Donaldson, whose inspired work provides a critical look at our world and our nature as the human animal. With much to ponder, "Selected Poems" is an excellent introduction to Donaldson's work and very much recommended reading. "Monumental Sculptor": When he has cut my mother's name/into the granite, McCormick,/the monumental sculptor,/ESTABLISHED SINCE 1938,/along with the invoice/sends photographs -- proof.

The Language of Coats
Deirdre Hines
New Island Poetry
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7
Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
9781848401655, $24.95,

Through life, we see many things and gain an unusual understanding of the world around us. "The Language of Coats" is a collection of poetry from British poetry from Deirdre Hines. She brings her award winning prose and unique voice to light and makes "The Language of Coats" a simple delight to read and not to be missed for anyone who loves poetry. "Bird's Eye View": Cast the gull's cold eye/On the image of him and you./The report of wave and rock spells/A message on the strand./If he is an island marooned in your well/And you are the sea banished from land:/You will not swallow his towered bell/He will not sink his root in your soft sand./Cast the gull's cold eye/Cast the gull's cold eye...

The Jobs/Career Shelf

The Careerist
Rhymer Rigby
Kogan Page USA
1518 Walnut Street, Suite 1100
Philadelphia, PA 19102
9780749465926, $19.95,

A career is different from the job in that it's more than a paycheck - it's a potential future. "The Careerist: Over 100 Ways to Get Ahead at Work" is a career guide from Rhymer Rigby as he advises readers on how to best further their own life's goals in their career, and make oneself invaluable as an employee and highly appealing to advancement. From going the extra mile in the career, realizing when to jump ship, knowing when to pres your boss, and dealing with setbacks, "The Careerist" is a wise and much recommended addition to any jobs or career collection.

The Nautical Shelf

Team Spirit
Brendan Hall
Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315
New York, NY 10010
9781408157237, $19.95,

At sea, teamwork is needed to stay afloat... and when you're racing competitively, you can't spare any time. "Team Spirit: Life and Leadership on One of the World's Toughest Yacht Races" tells some of the stories behind the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - a 35,000 all around the world journey that many undertake in this race that pushes the test of endurance of countless teams looking for the glory of victory in this journey. "Team Spirit" is an enticing introspective to this event, enthusiastically recommended for nautical collections and enthusiasts.

The Gaming Shelf

Never Have I Ever
Kourtney Jason & Worm Miller
Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440
Berkeley CA 94703-3440
9781612430997, $12.95,

We all hold secrets we want to keep from our closest friends. "Never Have I Ever: The World's Most Revealing Game" is a humorous guide and idea book for the party game gaining popularity where those playing take turns making a statement such as 'Never Have I Ever... peed in the shower'... and anyone who has done such a thing takes a drink of their beverage of choice. With plenty of humor and sparks to the get the fire started, "Never Have I Ever" is worth considering for those who want to break the dull moment at the next party.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Dogs on Wheels
Norm Mort
c/o Hubble & Hattie
9781845843793, $19.95,

Animal lovers have to hit the road too sometimes. "Dogs on Wheels: Traveling with Your Canine Companion" is an advice guide for the pet-loving traveler who wants to bring their dog along with them on those long car trips. From choosing the right vehicle to picking the right gadgets to caring for your dog on those long trips, "Dogs on Wheels" is a must for any often traveling dog lover, highly recommended.

Swimming with Dolphins, Tracking Gorillas
Ian Wood
c/o The Globe Pequot Press
246 Goose Lane, Suite 200
Guilford, CT 06437
9781841624044, $24.99,

The animals of our world are curious creatures, although elusive at times. "Swimming with Dolphins, Tracking Gorillas: How to Have the World's Best Wildlife Encounters" is a guide for the animal loving world traveler as Ian Wood advises readers on how to find wildlife experiences throughout the world, be it from safaris, seeing penguins, or the titular activities as well. Presented in full color with countless photographs throughout, "Swimming with Dolphins, Tracking Gorillas" is a guide not to be overlooked for those who want the most out of their nature expeditions.

The Science Shelf

Geology Underfoot
Lon Abbott & Terri Cook
Mountain Press Publishing Company
PO Box 2399
Missoula, MT 59806
9780878425952, $24.00,

Geology is the story of the earth, a story that takes millions of years. "Geology Underfoot: Along Colorado's Front Range" is a geological look into the deep history of Colorado's numerous ranges, analyzing many sites throughout, and using earth science and geology to reveal how these mountains came to be and how to best and more completely understand it. "Geology Underfoot" is a strong recommendation to earth science and reference collections.

The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

Creating the Filmation Generation
Lou Scheimer
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive
Raleigh, NC 27614
9781605490441, $29.95,

A certain style dominated much of the 70s and 80s, and it lied behind the works of Filmation studios. "Creating the Filmation Generation" discusses Lou Scheimer and his famed studio that was responsible for many of nostalgic American's animation memories, telling the story of the Filmation story from the 1960s to the modern day, from their beginning, the personal stories of the creators and much more. A behind-the-scenes glimpse into the studio responsible for animated series about Superman, Archie, Star Trek, He-Man, and much more, "Creating the Filmation Generation" is an intriguing and image-packed history, very much worth considering.

The Money/Finance Shelf

Estate and Financial Planning for People Living with COPD
Martin M. Shenkman
Demos Medical Publishing
11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10036
9781936303342, $21.95,

A disease that worsens over time requires planning to better cope with. "Estate and Financial Planning for People Living with COPD" is a legal advisory guide for those with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, a serious medical condition that increases in intensity over one's lifetime). Martin M. Shenkman offers insight on how to best plan one's finances for living with these disease, as well as being prepared for when the worst may come. "Estate and Financial Planning for People Living with COPD" is a wise read for those who want to best prepare themselves or a loved one for everything that may come.

The Self-Help Shelf

Peak Performance Under Pressure
Bill Driscoll
Triple Nickel Press
555 North Morton Street, Bloomington, IN 47404
9780982702918, $24.95,

How do those whose careers place them in situations where a wrong move means death function? "Peak Performance Under Pressure: How to Achieve Extraordinary Results Under the Most Difficult Circumstances" is an inspirational read on how to achieve a better dose of success in one's career as combat veteran and pilot Bill Driscoll presents his own tips on keeping cool in high pressure situations. "Peak Performance Under Pressure" is a powerful and inspiring read, not to be overlooked.

8 Ways to Say "I Love My Life!"
Arte Publico Press
University of Houston
4902 Gulf Fwy, Bldg 19, Rm 100
Houston, TX 77204-2004
9781558857544, $16.95,

A life is to be loved and enjoyed, and sometimes we need a reminder of that. "8 Ways to Say: 'I Love My Life'" is an inspirational read as eight Latina women come together and share their lives stories and how they came to love and appreciate their life in the long term, sharing stories of career success, family success, among others, all focusing on how to build up one's own self-esteem when everything else seems dedicated to breaking it down. "8 Ways to Say: 'I Love My Life'" is strongly recommended for inspirational collections and collections catering to Latina women in general.

The Graphic Novel Shelf

World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria
Micky Nelson, author
Sean Galloway, illustrator
DC Comics
1700 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
9781401226992 $24.99

World of Warcraft: Pearl of Pandaria is a beautifully illustrated, full-color graphic novel showcasing the adventures of the high-spirited young Pandaren woman Li-Li, whose wanderlust pushes her to search the world of Azeroth for her legendary uncle, Chen Stormsnout. Though Li-Li is trained in basic physical and mystical self-defense, her stay-at-home father knows that Azeroth is a deadly place, which is why he sends the dour Earth master Bo to protect her. Bo and Li-Li follow in Chen's footsteps from continent to content, visiting lands as diverse as the raucous port town Booty Bay, the dwarven city of Ironforge in the throes of the alcohol-fueled Brewfest holiday, desolate high elf ruins dating back to the Sundering, and much more. But Pandaren (a race that strongly resembles anthropomorphic pandas) are a rare curiosity even among the many diverse creatures of Azeroth; Li-Li and Bo quickly attract the most dangerous sort of attention, including the battle hunger of Rahjak, a fel orc ferocious enough to single-handedly slaughter a small army! Pearl of Pandaria is printed and designed in a horizontal format, and its flowing, eye-friendly artwork takes full advantage of the spacious pages to maximum effect. No previous familiarity with the popular World of Warcraft multiplayer role-playing game is required to thoroughly enjoy this grand fantasy adventure! Also highly recommended is "World of Warcraft: Curse of the Worgen" (9781401234454, $16.99), a darker story set in a different corner of Azeroth. Curse of the Worgen follows a razor-minded investigator in the city of Gilneas, which is besieged by the merciless Forsaken undead from without, and the machinations of a murderous werewolf cult from within!

Renaud Dillies & Regis Hautiere
Comics Lit
c/o NBM Publishing
160 Broadway, Ste. 700, East Wing
New York, NY 10038
9781561637010 $22.99

Abelard is a hardcover graphic novel, brought to life with earthy colors, about the journey of a most unlikely pair. Set in a world that resembles ours in the early 1900's (except that instead of people, the nations are populated by anthropomorphic creatures), the story follows a young bird (flightless) bird Abelard, whose dreams stretch the boundaries of reality. To catch the moon and win the heart of a special girl, he sets out for America, where he has heard it is possible to fly. Along the way he befriends the much more serious and down-to-earth bear Gaston. The narrative walks a fine line between outlandish fancy and cold reality, as Abelard learns the hard way that some of his fellow creatures are violent, selfish, and brutal. Yet the pessimistic Gaston also has a valuable lesson to learn - that despite the crushing hardship of the world he lives in, sometimes even the craziest of dreamers can be right. A soul-searching experience from beginning to end, Abelard is highly recommended especially for adults and older teens.

The Audiobook Shelf

Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan
Robin Maxwell
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
9781455884933, $29.99,

Edgar Rice Burroughs created a modern day legend of mythic proportions when he wrote "Tarzan of the Apes" whose central character, a feral child raised by "apes" was to fire the public imagination and result in an entire series of books regaling stories of a white man who lived in the jungles of Africa. The Tarzan novels were the source of a great many films, television shows, and comic books over the last seven decades. Now, under the auspices of the Edgar Rice Burroughs foundation, Robin Maxwell has brought new life into the franchise with "Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan", a superbly crafted novel retelling a familiar story with a whole new twist -- from the perspective of Jane Porter. In this portrayal, Jane is now shrinking violet or helpless damsel in distress, but an intelligent, headstrong, active participant in an action/adventure pageant. Of special note is Robin Maxwell apparently drawing upon some classic fan fiction and commentary interpreting the "apes" among whom Tarzan was to come of age being in fact a hominid link in the Darwinian chain that lead to modern humans. A romping good read and a "must" for the legions of Burroughs fans in general, and Tarzan enthusiasts in particular, this flawless produced and narrated audio book edition of "Jane: The Woman Who Loved Tarzan" will prove to be a welcome addition to the Burroughs legacy and an enduringly popular addition to personal and community library audio book collections!

Political Suicide
Michael Palmer, author
Robert Petkoff, narrator
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315
New York, NY 10010
9781427229038 $39.99

Political Suicide is the audiobook rendition of a tautly suspenseful murder mystery laced with intrigue. Dr. Lou Welcome receives a panicked call from his longtime friend, the "society doc" Gary McHugh, who has recently awoken to suspicious circumstances - rousted from an alcoholic blackout in a wrecked car, after visiting a patient found shot to death. But the patient was the profoundly powerful Chairman of the house Armed Services Committee, and the machinations behind his death are far deeper than meets the eye. The more Welcome investigates, the more convinced he is that McHugh's plight is only the tip of a ruthless conspiracy that could tear apart national security and leave America open to attack! A supreme blend of medical suspense and high intrigue, Political Suicide is highly recommended, especially as a popular lending pick for public library audiobook collections.

The Music CD Shelf

Dub to the Bone
Super Hi-Fi
Electric Cowbell Records
c/o Press Junkie PR
PO Box 156914
San Francisco, CA 94115

Dub to the Bone is the debut album of Super Hi-Fi, a Brookly, New York-based band featuring original "Afro-Dub" rhythms. Dual trombones accentuate the bass playing of songwriter and producer Ezra Gale, producing vivid music balancing modern and retro sensibilities. A thrilling Afrobeat immersion from beginning to end, Dub to the Bone is a smashing start to what will hopefully become Hi-Fi's storied career! The tracks are "Washingtonian", "Tri Tro Tro (Beverly Road All-Stars Remix)", "Neolithic", "We Will Begin Again (DJ Trainwreck Remix)", "Q Street (Subatomic Sound System Remix)", "Tri Tro Tro", "Public Option (Prince Poplo Dub)", and "Single Payer (Victor Rice Remix, Pt. 1)".

The DVD Shelf

Starring Francesca Annis
Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
9781598288766 $49.99

As seen on "Masterpiece Theatre", Lillie is an excellent dramatization on DVD about the extraordinary life of actress, royal courtesan, and boundary-breaking woman Lillie Langtry (1853-1929), a soul so independent that she paid her first husband to keep his distance. Though she lived in an era that frowned upon assertiveness in women, she dared to pose for celebrity endorsements, handled her own business affairs, and openly took lovers among the upper crust of Europe, including the married (and well-known philanderer) Prince of Wales. The complex and extraordinary life of a person whose talents in stage and in high society earned her lasting popular adoration, Lillie is an unforgettable viewing experience, graced by the BAFTA-winning, critically acclaimed performance of Francesca Annis. Bonus features include an essay about Lillie Langtry's lasting effects on popular culture, and cast filmographies. 13 episodes on 4 DVDs, 672 min., full screen, closed-captioned.

Midsomer Murders, set 21
Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
9781598288957 $49.99 DVD / $59.99 Blu-ray

Available as either a DVD or as a Blu-ray collection, Set 21 of the Midsomer Murders DVD series continues this contemporary British murder mystery series, set in the quiet villages of Midsomer County and inspired by the novels of Caroline Graham. Detective Chief Inspector John Barnaby (played by Neil Dudgeon) and his capable partner Detective Sergeant Ben Jones (played by Jason Hughes) have four dark new cases to solve in this intrepid collection. "Death in the Slow Lane" is about a show for classic cars that turns into a venue for violence; "Dark Secrets" reveals the corruption behind the sudden death of a social services worker; "Echoes of the Dead" is about the team's effort to end a string of copycat murders; and "The Oblong Murders" has the Jones go undercover to shed light on the manipulations of a new age cult. All four are devious, character-driven, and enthusiastically recommended for fans of British mysteries! (It should be noted that Midsomer Murders set 21 is not suitable for children, as some episodes do contain nudity and disturbing images). 372 min., widescreen, SDH subtitles, 4 DVDs (or 2 Blu-ray discs).

Trade of Innocents
Monterey Media Inc.
566 St. Charles Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360-3901
9781569946695 $26.95

Winner of "Best of the Fest" at the Breckenridge Festival of Film, Trade of Innocents is a dark movie about the sordid world of human trafficking, and the sexual exploitation of young girls and children. In modern-day South East Asia, Alex Becker fights to bring justice to predators who enslave children, while his wife volunteers her aid to an aftercare shelter designed to help rescued victims. But one trafficker eludes Alex's elite team, and takes his wife hostage along with a seven-year-old girl! Taut and edge-of-seat suspenseful, Trade of Innocents unforgettably illuminates the everyday horror of human evil. 91 min. plus bonus features (including "behind the scenes", "one family's story", and actor John Billingsley's thoughts about his role), closed-captioned, widescreen, rated PG-13.

Dr. Lisa: Yoga Blast
Dr. Lisa Masterson and Elise Joan
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 650
Silver Spring, MD 20910
9781598289480 $16.99

Dr. Lisa Masterson, practicing physician and cohost of the Emmy-award winning TV show "The Doctors", demonstrates invaluable yoga exercises with the aid of her certified trainer Elise Joan, in Dr. Lisa: Yoga Blast. Three twenty-minute, low-impact workouts encourage flexibility and fitness. Accessible to viewers of all ages, backgrounds and lifestyles, Dr. Lisa: Yoga Blast includes strength exercises, body stretches, and even elements of cardio conditioning for a total-body workout. No equipment is needed other than a simple mat and chair to fully benefit from this excellent, user-friendly fitness DVD. 63 min., widescreen.

The Humor Shelf

The Midwest: God's Gift to Planet Earth!
400 East Locust
Des Moines, IA 50309
No ISBN $17.50

The proud team of RAYGUN presents The Midwest: God's Gift to Planet Earth! An Illustrated Guide to the History and Culture of the Galaxy's Most Important Region, a tongue-in-cheek view askew of Midwestern history and culture. Cartoony black-and-white sketches pepper the humorous insights into the Midwest vs. the rest of the USA. Would the Civil War have ended differently if the Midwest had seceded? Why was our beloved Midwestern President McKinley cruelly assassinated in his prime? Is the Midwest taking passive-aggressive revenge for the rest of the nation's disrespect by flooding it with agricultural byproducts and foods that promote type 2 diabetes? "The 'hollowing' of the Midwest is not as simple as it sounds. Populations are shifting, but this is not leading to a dead rural community and an active urban community across the board. Instead, hotbeds are forming. They can be in cities like Chicago, Indianapolis, or Columbus, but sometimes these hotbeds are in the rural Midwest. While the region is known as the forefront of America's industrial agriculture - biological crop experiments, massive hog confinements, cattle feedlots - it is also at the center of America's organic food movement." Oscillating between fascinating facts and witty repartee, The Midwest: God's Gift to Planet Earth! is a blast to browse, and an excellent giftbook for friends with a snarky sense of humor!

The Joke Book for People Who Think Donald Trump is a Joke
The Unknown Comic
Bear Manor Media
PO Box 1129
Duncan, OK 73534-1129
9781593932589 $14.95

The Joke Book for People Who Think Donald Trump is a Joke lives up to its title with a plethora of (justifiably?) nasty one-liners about one of America's wealthy elites who is infamous for his colossal ego and relentless narcissism. Some jokes are original; some are deliberate plays on Trump's own words; some are barbed quotes from celebrities; all prompt a chuckle and a smile at the toupee-man's expense! The Joke Book for People Who Think Donald Trump is a Joke makes a great gag gift for temporarily embarrassed millionaires, not to mention the rest of the 99%. "Donald Trump says to his wife, 'I'm thinking of going into Politics.' His wife says, 'Honestly?' Trump replies, 'Well, I don't know about that...'"

The Criminology Shelf

Bedside Book of Bad Girls
Michael Rutter
Farcountry Press
PO Box 5630
Helena, MT 59604
9781560374626 $14.95

Author and historian Michael Rutter presents Bedside Book of Bad Girls, an anthology of brief profiles of outlaw women of the Old West. From Kate Bender, part of a serial killing "family" that robbed and murdered approximately thirty people in Kansas (including children), to Laura Bullion, who took part in a Wild Bunch train robbery, to Madam Vestal, a former Confederate spy who was the mastermind behind the Deadwood stagecoach robberies, Bedside Book of Bad Girls is packed with often shocking true tales of female criminals. Forty-two black-and-white photographs and historical images illustrate this fascinating and readily accessible compendium of utterly ruthless women.

The Needlecraft Shelf

The Twelve Knits of Christmas
Fiona Goble, author
Andrews McMeel Publishing
1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO 64106
9781449411312 $19.99

"The Twelve Knits of Christmas" presents a knitter's craft in creating characters from the 12 Days of Christmas traditional holiday song. Here are twelve complete, easy to follow patterns for knitting some of the most charming lords a leaping, ladies dancing, maids a milking, and various festive birds and other characters ever seen. Complete instructions include lists of supplies needed, definitions and abbreviations, and clear instructions with diagrams and illustrations for the basic skills of the knack of knitting. Beautiful color photos of finished projects accompany each piece. So pack up your yarn, pick out your colors, and prepare to indulge in a knitting fantasy for holiday lovers. Each cast of knitted characters is also displayed with the appropriate verse in a holiday setting that is sure to inspire and delight! Plus the book includes a folded cardboard pear tree that can be shaped without any glue, forming a perfect setting for the knitted partridge. "The Twelve Knits of Christmas" is a perfect holiday gift for either an experienced knitter or an ambitious beginner.

Colorful Quilts for Playful Kids
Janet Pittman
Landauer Publishing
3100 101st St., Ste. A, Urbandale, IA 50322
9781935726258 $24.95

"Colorful Quilts for Playful Kids, 14 colorful Projects with Dozens of Playful Designs to Mix & Match" is a stunning collection of appealing quilt craft projects that can be shared opportunities to pursue intergenerational bonding. Here are instructions and patterns plus extra helps for creating six uniquely bright quilts and also several other related project, including a messenger bag, drawstring toy bag, and a pillow and a pillow sham. A section on Other Things You Need to Know includes equipment and supplies, instructions for preparing, arranging, and stitching applique, and embellishing and finishing. Color photographs of zany, bright quilt creations keep attention focused and interest high, while simple step by step instructions accompanied by a sidebar listing of materials needed presents the project details from start to finish. Some of the quilts shown are titled Zany Zoo, Paisley Princess, Construction Zone, and Alphabet Puzzle, to name a few. For a fun quilting experience to be shared between generations, "Colorful Quilts for Playful Kids" meets the demand for loads of fun-filled, contented hours spent together.

Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs
Edie Eckman
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way
North Adams, MA 01247
9781603429732 $19.95

Spiral-bound to lay flat for easy reference, Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs is a how-to guide illustrated with full-color photographs demonstrating the step-by-step instructions on virtually every page. Meticulous black-and-white pattern diagrams created with the precision of an architect further demystify 101 original motifs (including square-shaped, triangular, and circular motifs) ideal for intermediate to veteran crocheters to incorporate into their own creations, as well as techniques for joining them together. A handful of projects that take advantage of these beautiful motifs (including a Summer Baby Blanket, a Wedge Pillow, a Flower Garland, a Cottage Lamp Shade, and a Poet Vest) round out this excellent supplementary resource for crochet enthusiasts.

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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