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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 10, Number 12 December 2015 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Christmas Shelf Writing/Publishing Shelf
Sports Shelf Cookbook Shelf Poetry Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Christian Studies Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf
Activity Shelf Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf Computer Shelf
Gaming Shelf Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Interior Design Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf Military Shelf
World History Shelf Civil War Shelf Psychology Shelf
Fishing Shelf Travel Shelf Philosophy Shelf
Crafts Shelf Woodworking Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Automotive Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

The Retirement Boom
Catherine Allen, Nancy Bearg, Rita Foley, and Jaye Smith
Career Press Inc.
12 Parish Drive, Wayne, NJ 07470
c/o Tess Woods Public Relations
9781632650160 $16.99 pbk / $10.99 Kindle

Written by four professionals of the baby boom generation who interviewed more than 300 people and 30 organizations, The Retirement Boom: An All-Inclusive Guide to Money, Life, and Health in Your Next Chapter is filled with tips, tricks and techniques for making one's money last, sustaining one's health in the golden years, leaving a legacy, and much more. A valuable resource for those planning their retirement as well as those who are already retired, The Retirement Boom is enthusiastically recommended. "...have a physical every year. Medicare offers a free physical as soon as you become eligible for Medicare. Medicare also covers bone density, mammogram, colonoscopy, PSA, and other tests, so get those at minimum. Have your hearing checked, too, because if you don't take care of this early enough, the nerve endings can deteriorate. Then address any health issues."

The Christmas Shelf

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas
Kathi Lipp
Harvest House Publishers
990 Owen Loop North
Eugene, Oregon 97402-9173
9780736959292 $11.99 pbk / $5.39 Kindle

Get Yourself Organized for Christmas: Simple Steps to Enjoying the Season offers tips, tricks, and techniques for reducing stress while making the most of the holidays. Chapters discuss how to determine an affordable Christmas spending budget, collect recipes and prep one's kitchen, assemble a useful holiday binder, create a gift list that will keep one's holiday shopping focused, and much more. "Why do I love those Priority Mail boxes so? You can schedule Priority Mail to be picked up at your house the next day. Boxes with preprinted, prepaid labels from can just be dropped off at the post office. You don't need to wait in line." Get Yourself Organized for Christmas is an excellent reference and resource, especially for busy members of large families with a great deal of holiday preparations to keep track of!

Country Faith Christmas
Deborah Evans Price
Regnery Publishing, Inc.
300 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001
9781621574521, $18.99, 160pp,

Light a fire, pour a steaming cup of hot chocolate, and curl up with "Country Faith Christmas" compiled by Deborah Evans Price. The holiday follow-up to "Country Faith!" from Regenery Publishing, "Country Faith Christmas is comprised of contributions from thirty-seven of America's favorite country music stars as they share their Christmas memories, personal recipes, family traditions and favorite Christmas carols in a beautiful, colorful ode to the season. From Hunter Hayes, Florida Georgia Line, Lee Brice, and Reba to Scotty McCreery, Vince Gill, The Eli Young Band, and Brenda Lee, "Country Faith Christmas" features Christmas reflections from new and veteran artists. What's more, there's a Foreword by Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town, four Advent meditations from Charlie Daniels, and the complete text of the Christmas story from Luke 2. Families and individuals will have everything needed to experience a joyous Christmas in the pages of Country Faith Christmas -- a compilation that is as inspired and inspiring as it is inherently entertaining and absorbing. Very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Christmas themed collections.

Regency Christmas Gifts: Three Stories
Carla Kelly
Camel Press
c/o Coffeetown Press
PO Box 70515, Seattle, WA 98127
9781603819947 $14.95 pbk / $5.95 Kindle

As the title suggests, "Regency Christmas Gifts: Three Stories" is comprised of three deftly crafted and entertaining stories by Carla Kelly with each one being cast in the yesteryear of Regency England. In the first of these stories, The Lasting Gift, an impoverished war widow returns a mis-delivered parcel and attracts the interest of a well-to-do retired sailing master and his sister. In story 2, Faithfully Yours, a self-made man returns to Scotland to marry the woman he has corresponded with ever since he left as a boy, little knowing the letters were written by another. In story 3, Lucy's Bang-Up Christmas, a man visits the estate of his relatives to comfort his lovely second cousin, who is unhappy that Christmas has been usurped by her sister's nuptials. Carla Kelly is a master of the Regency Romance genre and her short story collection, "Regency Christmas Gifts" is highly recommended for community library Romance Fiction collections. For personal reading lists this holiday season it should be noted that "Regency Christmas Gifts" is also available in a Kindle edition ($5.95).

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Guide To Literary Agents 2016
Chuck Sambuchino, editor
Writer's Digest Books
c/o F+W Media
10151 Carver Road, Suite 200, Blue Ash, OH 45242
9781599639406, $29.99,

A literary agent represents writers and their written works to publishers, theatrical producers, film producers and film studios, and assists in the sale and deal negotiation of the same. Literary agents most often represent novelists, screenwriters and non-fiction writers. They are paid a fixed percentage (usually twenty percent on foreign sales and ten to fifteen percent for domestic sales) of the proceeds of sales they negotiate on behalf of their clients. It is exceptionally difficult for new authors to have their books published by the larger publishing houses without the assistance of a literary agent. Now in a fully updated 25th annual edition, "Guide to Literary Agents 2016: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published" is a 332 page compendium covers every aspect of what a literary agent is responsible for, how to contact and select an appropriate literary agent, and a roster of roster of literary agents currently available. Of special note is the Glossary of Industry Terms and Chuck Sambuchine's New Agent Spotlights. Featuring hundreds of listings for literary agents and writing conferences, as well as including a one-year access to the literary agent database at, "Guide to Literary Agents 2016" should be considered an essential reference resource for all aspiring authors and will prove to be an invaluable aide for even the experienced author. No community or academic library Writing/Publishing reference collection should be without a copy of the "Guide to Literary Agents 2016". For individual authors it should be noted that the "Guide to Literary Agents 2016" is also available in a Kindle edition ($16.19).

Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors
Kim Staflund
Polished Publishing Group
9780994043511 $14.99

Calgary Herald bestselling author Kim Staflund presents Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors, a user-friendly guide packed with tips, tricks, and techniques for self-published and trade published authors alike. Chapters offer practical advice and tested strategies for marketing audiobooks, ebooks, paperbacks, and hardcovers. From making the most of blogs, twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, and pay-per-click advertising, to promote one's book, to the dynamics of price-based marketing versus value-based marketing, to redirecting traffic to one's storefront using book reviews (both paid and unpaid), and much more, Successful Selling Tips for Introverted Authors is a "must-have" for every author. Highly recommended.

The Sports Shelf

Who's Better, Who's Best in Coaching?
Steve Silverman
Sports Publishing
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10018
9781613217641 $16.99

Award-winning sports journalist Steve Silverman presents Who's Better, Who's Best in Coaching? Setting the Record Straight on the Top 50 NFL Coaches in History, a collection of fifty biographical essays about the greatest coaches of the National Football League, from modern times to the NFL's earliest beginnings. Which coaches had the most outstanding tactical skills? Who among them was best behind the scenes, and who had the keenest grasp of offense and defense? An index rounds out this fascinating and thoroughly accessible browse of exceptional leaders, highly recommended for football fans!

Food Guide For Women's Soccer
Gloria Averbuch & Nancy Clark
Meyer & Meyer Sport
c/o Cardinal Publishers Group
2402 North Shadeland Avenue, Suite A, Indianapolis, IN 46219
9781782550518, $18.95,

The collaborative work of women's soccer enthusiast Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark (a registered dietitian who specializes in nutrition for sports performance), "Food Guide For Women's Soccer: Tips & Recipes From The Pros" is a handy "how-to" food guide that directly addresses the nutrition questions and concerns of soccer athletes of all ages and abilities to help them achieve success with energy to spare. The "Food Guide for Soccer" is a 255 page compendium offering practical tips, nutrition myths debunking, and is a simple "how-to" resource for soccer players, their coaches and parents. Informed and informative, exceptionally well organized and presented, and thoroughly 'user friendly', "Food Guide For Women's Soccer" is very highly recommended for school, community, and academic library collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Food Guide For Women's Soccer" is also available in a Kindle edition ($18.00).

The Cookbook Shelf

200 Cocktail Party Recipes
Carol Beckerman
Sellers Publishing
161 John Roberts Road, South Portland, ME 04106
9781416245612, $10.95, 96pp,

Carol Beckerman is a food writer, recipe developer, and enthusiastic cook with more than 40 years of culinary experience which she puts to very good use with the publication of "200 Cocktail Party Recipes". This beautifully illustrated, 96 page compendium deftly showcases recipes for delicious party fare that are thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in tone, organization, presentation, and preparation. The dishes range from Mediterranean Stuffed Mushrooms; Red Onion and Parmesan Tartlets; Tomato-Basil Bruschetta; and Beef Curry Puffs; to Spanish Empanadas; Smoky Chipotle Hummus with Garlic Bagel Chips; Deep-Fried Risotto Balls with Melting Mozzarella; and Grilled Scallops Wrapped in Prosciutto. Of special note is the section on cocktails and the chapter devoted to Sweet Treats & Petit Fours'. A pleasure to browse through and inspiring to plan party menus with, "200 Cocktail Party Recipes" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

Everyday Secret Restaurant Recipes
Leah Schapira & Victoria Dwek
ArtScroll / Shaar Press
c/o Mesorah Publications Ltd.
4401 Second Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11232
9781422616475, $34.99, 336pp,

Drawn from restaurant, cafe, grill, and take-out menus ranging from Bangkok to Brooklyn, and from Miami to Melbourne, "Everyday Secret Restaurant Recipes" is a superbly illustrated, 336 page culinary compendium comprised exclusively with easy-to-prepare kosher recipes and tips, along with inherently fascinating behind-the-scenes excursions of these diverse establishments. "Everyday Secret Restaurant Recipes" provides a kind of window into the kitchens of some of the world s finest kosher restaurants, bringing home entertaining and elegant home dining to a new level. Of special note is Elan Kornblum's informative commentary what makes restaurant food so good; why some restaurants are more successful than others; and why people go out to eat. In addition to over 100 family-friendly recipes, collaborative culinary experts Leah Schapira and Victoria Dwek share fascinating vignettes about today s most popular kosher chefs and eateries. With step-by-step, kitchen cook friendly recipes ranging from Mushroom Noodles; Smoked Hot Wings; Haloumi Salad; and Sino Steak Sandwich; to Chickpea Burger; Crispy Wonton Chicken; Branzino with Pickled Onions; and Passion Fruit Sabyon, "Everyday Secret Restaurant Recipes" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to any and all kosher cookbook collections.

Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step
Todd Wilbur
c/o Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780142196960, $22.00, 304pp,

For more than 25 years Todd Wilbur has been reverse-engineering America's most iconic foods for his series of 11 Top Secret Recipes cookbooks. In "Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step: Secret Formulas with Photos for Duplicating Your Favorite Famous Foods at Home" he showcases 125 new clone recipes: 75 first-time hacks and 50 overhauled all-time favorites. Each recipe comes with easy-to-follow step-by-step photos so that even novice cooks can perfectly recreate their favorite famous foods with everyday ingredients. And your homemade versions cost just a fraction of what the restaurants charge! The recipes range from KFC Original Recipe Fried Chicken and Cole Slaw; Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Roll; IKEA Swedish Meatballs; and Arby's Curly Fries; to Wendy's Chili; Starbucks Cake Pops; P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps; Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich; and Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookies. Profusely illustrated and showcasing And over 100 more delicious dishes, from snacks and appetizers to entrees and desserts, "Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step" will prove to be an enduringly popular and highly prized addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

My First French Bakery
Barbara Beery
1254 Commerce Way, Sanger, CA 93657
9781942934110, $17.95,

"My First French Bakery" is a beautifully illustrated, 64 page, hardcover, spiral bound cookbook specifically designed to lay flat upon a kitchen counter or table. Comprised of twenty-eight recipes for authentic French baked goods that are as delicious as they are kitchen cook friendly to prepare, the showcased cuisine ranges from Perfect petit Fours; Chocolate Cinnamon Rolls; Crusty French Baguette; and Chocolate Mousse; to French Vanilla Cupcakes; French Chocolate Cake; Fancy French Pizza; Creme Brulee; Parisian Hot Chocolate; and Sparkling French Lemonades. A mouth-watering joy to simply browse through and an ideal reference to plan special party deserts with, "My First French Bakery" is ideal for use with children, as well as being very highly recommended for personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

Something Sweet
Miriam Pascal
ArtScroll / Shaar Press
c/o Mesorah Publications Ltd.
4401 Second Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11232
9781422616154, $27.99,

Miriam Pascal is the founder of, one of the world s leading destinations for kosher recipes, with hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors. In "Something Sweet: Desserts, Baked Goods, and Treats for Every Occasion" she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to create a 208 page culinary compendium impressively showcasing an exceptional variety of beautifully illustrated and presented recipes for cookies and bars, cakes and cupcakes, muffins and pastries, pies and tarts, desserts and party treats, candy and chocolate, frostings and toppings, drinks and frozen treats. Thoroughly novice kitchen cook friendly in every respect, the delectable dishes range from Blueberry Muffin Cookies; Pumpkin Crumb Cake; Fruit-Filled Pastry Roses; and Braided Apple Pie; to Lemon Cheesecake Mousse Cups; Chocolate Truffles; Easy Homemake Caramel Popcorn; and Mango Peach Sorbet. Of special note is the inclusion of a Baking Guide, a Holiday Guide, and a Party Guide. "Something Sweet" is enthusiastically and highly recommended for personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

Sausage And Jerky Makers' Bible
Eldon Russell Cutlip
Elk Mountain Products
478 Suttler Creek Road, Kooskia, ID 83539
9780964492226, $38.95, 544pp,

The "Sausage And Jerky Makers' Bible" by Eldon Russell Cutlip is a 544 pages compendium comprised of expert meat curing information. "Sausage And Jerky Makers' Bible" features 229 meat curing recipes, dry-cure sausage recipes, smoked sausage recipes, cooked sausage recipes, fresh sausage recipes, smoked sausage recipes, whole-muscle jerky recipes, sticky jerky recipes, ground jerky recipes, dried deer stick recipe, salami Genoa recipe, salami soppressata recipe, corned beef recipe, beef brisket bacon recipe, honey-cured bacon recipe, capicola recipe, pastrami recipes, picnic ham recipe, smoked turkey recipe, venison chopped and formed bacon recipe, venison Bresaola recipe and so more! Enhanced with hundreds of 4-color images, perfect sewn, lay-flat binding, features both Fahrenheit and Metric measurements, "Sausage And Jerky Makers' Bible" is a complete course of instruction in the do-it-yourself creation of sausages and jerky. It is interesting to note that Eldon Cutlip and wife, Karen, started their own custom sausage kitchen in Harpster, Idaho, which they operated successfully for seven years, producing some of the best custom sausage and jerky in the state. Eldon was able to compile a substantial number of recipe/formulas during that era, many of which have been included in this book. Others are from friends and bygone acquaintances. Simply stated, the "Sausage And Jerky Makers' Bible" should be a part of every personal, professional, community, and academic library food preparation instructional reference collection for the making of sausages and jerky.

The Complete Guide To Sushi & Sashimi
Jeffrey Elliot & Robby Cook
Robert Rose Inc.
120 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 800, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4P 1E2
9780778805205, $25.95, 306pp,

Sushi is a Japanese food consisting of cooked vinegared rice combined with other ingredients such as seafood, vegetables and sometimes tropical fruits. Ingredients and forms of sushi presentation vary widely, but the ingredient which all sushi have in common is rice. Sashimi is a Japanese delicacy consisting of very fresh raw meat or fish sliced into thin pieces. "The Complete Guide to Sushi and Sashimi" is a hardcover, spiral bound, profusely illustrated, 306 page culinary compendium that is a complete course of instruction so carefully presented that it will enable even the most novice of kitchen cooks to turn out sushi and sashimi based Japanese cuisine that is restaurant quality. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "The Complete Guide To Sushi & Sashimi" features three major sections: The Basics (covering ingredients, equipment, and the buying/storing/butchering of fish and seafood); Sashimi (sliced raw fish and seafood); and Sushi. The recipes range from Tokyo-Style Scattered Sushi; Dry Toasted Seaweed (Nori); and Large Rolls (Futomaki); to Cucumber-Wrapped Roll; Hand Rolls (Temaki); and Shiso Ginger Stuffed Sushi (Inarizushi). Simply stated, for all Japanese cuisine enthusiasts, no personal, family, professional, or community library cookbook collection would be complete without a copy of "The Complete Guide To Sushi & Sashimi".

The Poetry Shelf

The Different War
Michael Miller
Truman State University Press
100 East Normal Street, Kirksville, MO 63501-4221
9781612481395, $16.95,

"The Different War" is a 70 page compendium showcasing the poetry of Michael Miller whose poetry has appeared The New Republic, The Kenyon Review, Ontario Review, The Sewanee Review, Raritan, The Yale Review, The Southern Review, and other publications. The theme of this particular anthology the stress and aftermath of war, those who fought and those who loved them. Each compelling and articulate poem is a literary gem and this particular anthology is very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary American Poetry collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Different War" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99). The Pilot: Staggering from the fuselage wrapped in flame, / He imagined a burning cocoon, / Then collapsed in the jungle in Vietnam, / Hist eyes closed upon the charred remains / Of what had been his glory. // today, his photograph rests upon / A Mantelpiece in Knoxville, / And his grandson, / Peering through his night-vision goggles, / Hunts the Taliban / In the mountains of Afghanistan.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Mythologizing Jesus
Dennis R. MacDonald
Rowman & Littlefield
c/o Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9780742558915, $34.00, 178pp,

American popular culture is well-populated with fictional superheroes such as Superman, Bat Man, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man, and so many more. But Superheroes are not a modern invention but something that first appears from prehistoric antiquity and continued down through the ages. The gods and goddesses of the Greeks, for example, walked on water, flew, visited the land of the dead, and lived forever. Ancient Christians told similar stories about Jesus, their primary superhero. In both their scriptural and apocryphal accounts he possessed incredible powers of healing, walked on water, rose from the dead, and more. In "Mythologizing Jesus: From Jewish Teacher to Epic Hero", Dennis R. MacDonald (Professor of New Testament and Christian origins at Claremont School of Theology, Claremont, California) shows how the stories told in the Gospels parallel many in Greek and Roman epics with the aim of compelling their readers into life-changing decisions to follow Jesus. MacDonald doesn't call into question the existence of Jesus but rather asks readers to examine the biblical stories about him through a new, mythological lens. An inherently fascinating, informative, and thought-provoking read from beginning to end, "Mythologizing Jesus" will prove to be of enormous interest to scholars, clergy, and non-specialist general readers within the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliation. An extraordinary work of seminal scholarship, "Mythologizing Jesus" is strongly recommended for both community and academic library collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Mythologizing Jesus" is also available in a Kindle edition ($18.35).

The Christian Studies Shelf

Atlas of the European Reformations
Tim Dowley
Fortress Press
P.O. Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440-1209
9781451499698, $24.00, 160pp,

A new, definitive atlas of the European Reformations, Christian historian Tim Dowley's "The Atlas of the European Reformations" is newly built from the ground up. Featuring more than sixty brand new maps, graphics, and timelines, the atlas is a necessary companion to any study of the reformation era. Consciously written for students at any level, concise, helpful texts guide the experience and interpret the visuals. Perfect for independent students, as well as those in structured courses, and for non-specialist general readers with an interest in Christian History, "Atlas of the European Reformations" is deftly organized and presented in four primary parts. "Before the Reformation" presents the larger political, religious and economic context of Europe on the eve of the reformation. "Reformation" presents the major contours of the reformation, including Lutheran, Reformed, English, and Anabaptist movements. "Catholic Reform and Counter-Reformation" provides extensive information on the reforming movements within Catholicism and the responses to other movements. Finally, "Early Modern Europe" sheds fresh light on the movement and implications of the reformation in the later sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Enhanced with a profusion of beautifully produced maps; a two page bibliography of Further Readings; an eight page Gazetteer; and a two page Index, "Atlas of the European Reformations" is enthusiastically recommended for personal, seminary, church, community, and academic library Christian History reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Walking The Path Of The Jewish Mystic
RabbiYoel Glick
Jewish Lights Publishing
PO Box 237, Woodstock, VT 05091
9781580238434, $18.99,

In the pages of "Walking The Path Of The Jewish Mystic: How to Expand Your Awareness And Transform Your Life", a thoughtful, 240 page handbook to the life of the Jewish mystics, renowned teacher and spiritual mentor Rabbi Yoel Glick (Director of Daat Elyon, an online center for spiritual training) uses the secret traditions of Judaism and other world religions to show seekers how to deepen their self-knowledge and live life with greater meaning and awareness. Organized and presented in four major sections (Made in the Image of God; The Science of the Soul; The Divine Structure of Reality; Revealing the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth), "Walking The Path Of The Jewish Mystic" is enhanced with the inclusion of twenty-two pages of Notes, a forty-five page bibliography of Suggested Resources, and eleven illustrations. Of special note is Rabbi Glick's introduction (Awakening the Higher Knowledge), his 'A Note on Language', and The Garden and the Cosmic Vessels (Two ancient Paradigms That Define Our Existence). As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Walking The Path Of The Jewish Mystic" is very highly recommended for personal, synagogue, community, and academic library Judaic Studies reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted that "Walking The Path Of The Jewish Mystic" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

The Activity Shelf

Coloring Book of Creative Quilts
Landauer Corporation
3100 NW 101st Street, Suite A, Urbandale, Iowa 50322
9781935726807, $9.95, 64pp,

Now dedicated quilt makers can relax and unwind with the "Coloring Book of Creative Quilts", which is comprised of 64 pages of quilt patterns that can be filled in with color using gel pens, markers or colored pencils. Each inspiring design is derived from classic quilt blocks to make an exciting new adult coloring book. Though quilting inspired, this adult coloring book will have immense appeal to anyone looking for a creative outlet. The pages spark colorful creativity, all while encouraging you to unwind and take a few moments to relax and revel in the beauty of color. "Coloring Book of Creative Quilts" would make an excellent gift for Christmas or any other gift giving occasion throughout the year. Highly recommended!

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Master Keaton Volume 4
Naoki Urasawa
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200
San Francisco CA 94103
9781421575933 $19.99

Set in the late 80's (the contemporary times of when it was originally published), Master Keaton Volume 4 continues the story of Taichi Hiraga Keaton, a dilettante with military training. When Keaton isn't working as a lecturer, he investigates claims for an insurance company - and if foul play is involved, he often takes on the role of a private detective, or even an impromptu bodyguard! Master Keaton is an episodic saga, which makes Volume 4 as good a starting point as any other. In Volume 4, Keaton works to uncover the identity of a traitor who condemned thousands of his fellow Roma people to extermination in Nazi death camps; comes to the unlikely aid of a South African expatriate; mounts a last-ditch defense against an avalanche in Italy's Carnic Alps; becomes embroiled in a plot of murder and revenge between members of the I.R.A. and the S.A.S.; and much more. Other prominent figures in Keaton's life also get spotlight moments in their own side-stories; Keaton's elderly father endeavors to uncover the truth behind a kind man's suicide, and Keaton's teenage daughter risks her educational future to prevent her fellow students from being expelled. Connoisseurs of detective fiction are especially encouraged to experience this classic! The Master Keaton series is recommended for older teen and adult readers, due to occasional scenes of violence.

Ultraman Volume 2
Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200
San Francisco CA 94103
9781421581835 $12.99

Ultraman Volume 2 continues the modern-day manga (Japanese comics) successor series to the original Ultraman story about a man who assumed incredible powers to battle gigantic alien invaders. In this brand-new series, the young man Shinjiro Hayata has inherited the Ultraman legacy, but his determination will be put to the test. Yet Shinjiro and the Science Special Search Party have an unlikely new ally - an alien who seems to have switched sides from oppressing Earth to aiding Earth's defenders! The stark black-and-white artwork is unflipped (presented right-to-left as originally created) and brings titanic clashes to vivid life. An action-packed saga, Ultraman is recommended for older teen and adult readers due to scenes of violence.

Ranma 1/2: 2-in-1 edition, volume 11
Rumiko Takahashi
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200
San Francisco CA 94103
9781421566320 $14.99

The 2-in-1 reprint editions of Ranma 1/2 make Rumiko Takahashi's wacky martial-arts-comedy manga (Japanese comics) saga available at a bargain price! The black-and-white artwork is presented in "unflipped" (right-to-left) format. Ranma 1/2 is an episodic manga series, which makes volume 11 as good a jumping-on point as any other. In volume 11 of the 2-in-1 collection (which combines the original volumes 21 and 22 under a single cover), Ranma's father must confront the disturbing prospect that his martial arts prodigy son just might outclass him! Akane attempts to use fortune-telling to divine her romantic future, Ranma pits his female form's skills and wiles against a master-of-dirty-tricks martial arts cheerleader, Ranma's sternly principled mother makes her first appearance, a mysterious gem turns Shampoo against Ranma, and more. The crisp, expressive art perfectly complements the wild-and-crazy antics in this cherished classic, recommended for older teen and adult readers due to occasional (and typically accidental) nudity. Takahashi is also well-known for her popular manga series "Inu-Yasha" and "Ursusei Yatsura".

Tales from the Deep
Jim Toomey
Andrews McMeel Publishing
1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
9781449462994, $14.99, 128pp,

"Tales from the Deep: That Are Completely Fabricated" is the twentieth volume of Jim Toomey's newspaper comic strip showcasing the adventures and tribulations of Sherman, the lovable shark, and his aquatic cohorts in the comfy environs of Sherman's Lagoon. Sherman's Lagoon is an imaginary lagoon somewhere in the tropics, inhabited by a cast of sea creatures whose lives are curiously similar to our own. Sherman, the main character, is a great white shark who is completely unaware of how intimidating his species can be. He gets pushed around by the other characters, namely: Hawthorne the hermit crab, Fillmore the sea turtle, and his wife, Megan, who is another great white shark, of course. A 'must read' for Toomey's (and Sherman's!) legion of fans, "Tales from the Deep" is very highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to personal reading lists and community library humor collections.

The Audiobook Shelf

A Christmas Escape
Anne Perry, author
Steven Crossley, narrator
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
9781490637914 $36.75

A Christmas Escape is the unabridged library rendition of a holiday murder mystery. When Charles Latterly vacations in the Mediterranean island of Stromboli, he is dismayed to learn that his fellow guests (including an arrogant novelist, a prim colonel, an antagonistic married couple, and a sickly old man) are as cheerless as he is. The bad situation quickly becomes worse, as interpersonal quarrels escalate and the local volcano begins to rumble. When a dead body is found, Charles realizes the killer must be one of the guests! Cozy and suspenseful to the very end, A Christmas Escape is enthusiastically recommended especially for connoisseurs of Anne Perry's bestselling mysteries. 3 CDs, 3.5 hours.

Archangel's Enigma
Nalini Singh
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
9781452605715, $39.99,

Naasir is the most feral of the powerful group of vampires and angels known as the Seven, his loyalty pledged to the Archangel Raphael. When rumors surface of a plot to murder the former Archangel of Persia, now lost in the Sleep of the Ancients, Naasir is dispatched to find him. For only he possesses the tracking skills required - those more common to predatory animals than to man. Enlisted to accompany Naasir, Andromeda is a young angelic scholar with dangerous secrets and who is fascinated by his nature which is at once playful, brilliant, sensual and brutal. As they race to find the Sleeping archangel before it's too late, Naasir will force her to question all she knows and tempt her to walk into the magnificent, feral darkness of his world. But first they must survive an enemy vicious enough to shatter the greatest taboo of the angelic race and plunge the world into a screaming nightmare. Author Nalini Singh has created a unique fantasy world of humans, vampires, angels, and hybrids that is an inherently fascinating action/adventure novel of the first order. Impressively narrated by Justine Eyre, complete and unabridged, and with flawless production values as an audio book recording from Tantor Media, "Archangel's Enigma" is very highly recommended for personal and community library audio book collections. 10 CDs, 12.5 Hours.

Crimson Debt
Evangeline Anderson
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
9781494515263, $39.99,

Addison Godwin is a Non-Glam, that is, one of the one in ten thousand humans who is immune to vampire glamour and mind tricks. Her gift enables her to work as an Auditor, enforcing the law that vampires and humans keep their distance from each other except in a purely non-physical way. The law is necessary because when a vampire tries to have sex with a human their blood-lust combines with their sexual appetite and the result looks like road kill. Alec Corbin is a Four Star Master Vampire with piercing blue eyes and intentions to get Addison into his bed. He promises he can be gentle but Addison has seen way too many vamp/human crime scenes to go for that. She has no interest in the six foot four hunk of sexy vampire man candy, even if he is supernaturally hot. But just because she Audits (and sometimes executes) vampires for a living, doesn't mean she hates them all. Her best friend, Taylor, was turned against her will. Now, living as a slave to one of the crueler Master vamps in town, she leads a miserable existence and Addison is helpless to save her within the confines of the law. Things come to a head when Roderick, the Vampire Inquisitor, comes to town and Taylor is given to him as a sex slave. When Addison sees her best friend tortured, beaten, and burned with silver she knows she has to do something-even if it means teaming up with Corbin and paying the Crimson Debt. Superbly narrated by Mackenzie Cartwright and very highly recommended for fans of the vampire genre, it should be noted that this complete and unabridged audio book edition of "Crimson Debt" is for adults only due to its explicit sexual content. 9 CDs, 10.5 hours.

The Music CD Shelf

Legendary Friends & Country Duets
T.G. Sheppard
Cleopatra Records Inc.
11041 Santa Monica Blvd. #703
West Los Angeles, CA 90025
$9.85 CD / $9.49 MP3

Legendary Friends & Country Duets is a country anthology to stir the soul. American singer-songwriter T.G. Sheppard combines his talent with a multitude of guests to perform ballads that reflect the peaks and valleys of everyday life. An absolute "must" for connoisseurs of the genre! The tracks are "Down On My Knees", "The Killer", "Why Me Lord", "Songman", "Fifteen Rounds With Jose Cuervo", "The Next One", "100% Chance of Pain", "It's A Man Thing", "Wine To Remember Whiskey To Forget", "Dead Girl Walking", "In Texas", "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?", "I'm Not Going Anywhere", and "If You Knew".

Deux Visions
Francesca Blanchard
Cumbancha Music Publishing
c/o Press Junkie PR
$10.99 CD / $8.99 MP3

The first full-length album of singer-songwriter Francesca Blanchard, Deux Visions consists of six songs in French and six in English. Francesca's musical vision conveys the dramatically different worldviews reflected in each language, and range in tone from the distantly beautiful and reflective longing for a lost loved one, to the tongue-in-cheek musical story of a working-class Parisian prostitute. An extraordinary medley of internal and external musical perspectives, Deux Visions is especially recommended to connoisseurs of the exotic. The tracks are "Rame", "Save a Different Way", "Le Blues", "Home is a Cage", "Mon Ange", "Wanderer", "Now That You Are Gone", "Tu N'Existes Pas", "Empty House", "Papa... Pere", "Pas D'sa Faute", and "The Sea (Zach's Song)".

Kimie Miner
Kimie Miner
c/o Press Junkie PR
$15.99 CD / $8.99 MP3

Hawaiian singer-songwriter Kimie Miner presents an independent self-titled album showcasing her unique style, incorporating elements of reggae, soul, R&B, jazz, pop, and Hawaiian musical traditions. Expressive and magical, Miner's songs allude to the long road to the healing, childhood memories, internal conflict, and the joy of companionship. The result is a uniquely genre-defying listening experience, highly recommended. The tracks are "Bottom of a Rainbow" (3:47), "Throwback Love" (3:47), "Love's in the Melody (Feat. Caleb Keolanui)" (3:38), "Trouble" (3:43), "Make it to Morning" (3:27), "Fallin' Again" (3:44), "Shine" (3:52), "Kumulau" (1:19), "Lullabies" (4:38), "New Day" (3:26), and "Sweet Company" (4:46).

Atlantis Trilogy: Brave New World
Robert Slap
Highpooch Music
c/o RS Promotions (publicity)
$11.99 CD / $7.99 MP3

Inspired by creator Robert Slap's journey to Mexico to explore the pyramids of Teotihuacan, Atlantis Trilogy: Brave New World is an instrumental music CD imagining the Atlantis civilization of legend and lore. Atlantis Trilogy includes the content of Slap's 1991 album, previously released as "Atlantis Healing Temple", and a new track, "Brave New World", a final chapter concluding the Atlantean era and heralding the dawn of modern times. An evocative New Age soundscape, Atlantis Trilogy is highly recommended to connoisseurs of the genre. The tracks are "Crystal Chamber" (12:25), "Indigo" (6:21), "Voices from the Past" (4:33), "Equinox" (2:33), "Healing Temple" (6:10), "Migration" (4:51), "Wizard's Journey" (3:57), "Brave New World" (4:46), and "Epilogue" (4:21).

YouYouMeTu Volumes 1 & 2
Zemog el Gallo Bueno
c/o Rock Paper Scissors (publicity)
$9.98 CD / $8.99 MP3 / $7.00 digital

YouYouMeTu Volumes 1 & 2 is a Spanish-language music album by Puerto Rico-born composer Abraham Gomez-Delgado, and avant-garde Latin band Zemog el Gallo Bueno ("Zemog the Good Rooster"). Volume 1 has been revived from the oblivion of a decaying hard drive and revamped with zeal, and volume 2 is a new creation that surges forth with excitement and interconnected rhythms. YouYouMeTu also draws upon Gomez-Delgado's personal efforts to leave the world a better place than he found it, from speaking out against racism and injustice to mentoring young men who just got released from prison, the better to help them stay out. Highly recommended. The tracks are Vol. 1: "Remote Control" (5:46), "Periodico" (4:48), "Braille For The Colorblind" (3:54), "Zemog Dm Plena" (44:19), "Contenido Adentro" (4:08), "Bomba Sin Plena" (5:44), "Teta y Tiro" (5:04), "Plena Sawtooth" (3:50), "Lado Elado" (5:21); Vol. 2: "Calma Tus Colores" (3:43), "Genealogico" (3:31), "Un Poncho Para Los Dos" (4:03), "Hipnotico" (3:18), "Contemplando" (2:48), "AEIOU" (3:45), "Alvaro, Bajo y Maquina" (1:47), "Entero" (3:38), "Pinata" (3:22), "Carnisa" (2:44), and "Hueco" (4:02). YouYouMeTu Volume 3 is forthcoming, and eagerly anticipated!

The DVD Shelf

The Last: Naruto the Movie
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200
San Francisco CA 94103
$19.98 DVD / $29.99 Blu-ray

Available in both DVD and Blu-ray formats, The Last: Naruto the Movie is a superbly animated movie based on the enormously popular shonen manga (action-packed Japanese comics aimed at boys and men), set in a world where ninjitsu powers resembling magic are the strongest means of self-defense - and the deadliest weapons of war. Despite a lifetime of obstacles and setbacks, the titular hero Naruto has dedicated himself to becoming the greatest protector of his home, the Village Hidden in the Leaves, and of his comrades. The Last is set two years after Naruto's climactic battle with his fierce rival Sasuke; Naruto and his friends have honed their bodies and minds as they matured. A disturbing prophecy has shattered their relative peace: the moon is falling to the earth! Could a global cataclysm be imminent? And what is the connection between this impending disaster and the innate power of Hinata's Hyuga clan? A "cannon" story that is officially aligned with the continuity of the manga, The Last is the final Naruto movie to feature Naruto's generation in a starring role (future movies will focus on the next generation). A milestone in Naruto's life, commemorating his transition from a borderline pariah with dreamlike aspirations into a mature warrior with a purpose, "The Last" is also notable in that it balances exhilarating ninja battles with deep character development and the intensity of a blossoming relationship. A "must-see" for anime fans! Special features include Japanese commercial videos, promotional videos, and trailers. 109 min., Japanese and English audio with optional English subtitles.

Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment
9781621724278 $34.99

Nominated for multiple awards, Restless is a dramatic spy-thriller adaptation of William Boyd's tense novel. Alternating between the 1970s and 1939 time periods, Restless follows a young woman who learns that her mother served as a spy during World War II. An all-star cast including Rufus Sewell, Michelle Dockery, Michael Gambon, and lead Hayley Atwell (who also performed in "Captain America: The First Adventure") bring this fine blend of intrigue and suspense to life. Highly recommended! Restless is not rated, but suggested for adult viewers due to the presence of sexual situations, nudity, coarse language, violence, and some disturbing images. 2 episodes, 185 min., widescreen, SDH subtitles.

Patricia Friberg's Belly Beautiful Workout: Pre and Postnatal Pilates Barre Fusion
Patricia Friberg
Privately Published
c/o 411 Video Information (publicity)

Volume 3 of the "Belly Beautiful Workout" series, Patricia Friberg's Belly Beautiful Workout: Pre and Postnatal Pilates Barre Fusion lives up to its title as an excellent fitness DVD for expectant and new mothers. Elements of both Barre and Pilates are incorporated to promote physical conditioning, and the program follows the guidelines of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for safe exercise. Workout sections include the introduction; pelvic floor activation exercises; pre and postnatal barre for arm and thigh exercises; pre and postnatal barre back and bottom exercises; a stretch and align series; postnatal pilates; and more. Two women in different stages of pregnancy help Patricia Friberg demonstrate exercises, in this excellent, viewer-friendly workout. 89 min.

The Computer Shelf

Murach's jQuery
Zak Ruvalcaba & Anne Boehm
Mike Murach & Associates
4340 North Knoll Avenue, Fresno, CA 93722
9781890774912, $54.50, 596pp,

jQuery is a cross-platform JavaScript library designed to simplify the client-side scripting of HTML. jQuery is the most popular JavaScript library in use today, with installation on 65% of the top 10 million highest-trafficked sites on the Web. jQuery is free, open-source software licensed under the MIT License. Now in a fully updated and comprehensive second edition, "Murach's jQuery" makes it easier than ever to learn how to use jQuery to create the dynamic user interfaces, fast response times, and special effects that today's users expect. Section 1 provides a four-chapter crash course in the JavaScript skills that you need to use jQuery. That means you don't need to know JavaScript before you start using "Murach's jQuery", and that makes this the right instruction manual for programmers who aren't familiar with JavaScript, as well as for programming novices. This section also becomes the ideal reference for the JavaScript that's used for the jQuery applications in this book...or for any jQuery application. In brief, sections 2 and 3 of "Murach's jQuery" presents the essential jQuery and jQuery UI (User Interface) skills for developing professional jQuery applications. With those skills, you ll be able to add all of the popular jQuery features to your web pages: image swaps, image rollovers, slide shows, accordions, tabs, carousels, and much more. Then, section 4 shows you how to use Ajax and JSON to get data from a web server and add it to a web page without reloading the page. It also shows how to use Ajax and JSON with the APIs for websites like Flickr and Google Maps and with HTML5 APIs like Geolocation, Web Storage, and Web Workers. The last section of "Murach's jQuery" shows you how to use jQuery Mobile to develop mobile websites. This requires little or no programming, and it's a great alternative when it's impractical to rebuild an established website with Responsive Web Design. An invaluable addition to community and academic library Computer Science reference collections, no JavaScript user's personal reference shelf should be without a copy of "Murach's jQuery".

Murach's Beginning Java with Eclipse
Joel Murach & Michael Urban
Mike Murach & Associates
4340 North Knoll Avenue, Fresno, CA 93722
9781890774899, $57.50, 660pp,

Exceptionally well organized and offering a complete course of instruction under in a single volume, "Murach's Beginning Java with Eclipse" is deftly organized into four major sections. Section 1 guides you through the core concepts and coding you need to create simple object-oriented applications. By the end of this section, you'll be using Eclipse to code, test, and debug 3-tier Java applications that use classes from the java SE 8 API as well as your own classes; Sections 2, 3, and 4 let you build out your core Java and OOP skills. Here, you'll find chapters that expand on skills that were presented in section 1 or that teach you new skills. That includes working with features that are new in Java 8, like lambda expressions and the new date/time API. At that point, you'll have all the Java prerequisites you need to start learning web or Android programming. Or, you can go on to section 5 to start developing desktop applications for business with a Swing interface and a MySQL database. Along the way, the sample applications will show you how to apply your skills in the real world. And the chapter exercises will give you valuable hands-on experience programming (the solutions to these exercises are posted at our website, so you can check your work). Thoroughly 'student friendly' in organization and presentation, "Murach's Beginning Java with Eclipse" is very highly recommended to the attention of anyone, novice or aspiring professional, wanting to become competent in using Java with Eclipse.

The Gaming Shelf

Tips On Competitive Bidding
Mike Lawrence
Master Point Press
331 Douglas Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5M 1H2
9781771400213, $19.95, 280pp,

Mike Lawrence has Bridge Hall of Fame credentials both as a player and a writer. An original member of the Dallas Aces, he has won three world titles and eighteen national titles. Several of his books are widely regarded as classics of the game. In "Tips On Competitive Bidding" he draws upon his more than twenty years of experience and expertise to once again compile "Tips On Competitive Bidding" drawn from his original series of short instructional pamphlets specifically written for intermediate players with advice on various aspects of bidding and card play. Long unavailable, this material has now been revised, updated, and republished for the benefit of a new generation of dedicated bridge enthusiasts. "Tips On Competitive Bidding" covers Overcalls; overcalling in a Fou-card Suite at the One-level; Responding to an Overcall; Responsive Doubles; The Takeout Double; Responding to a Takeout Double; Bidding Against an Opening 1NT; Bidding over Preempts; Balancing; and Penalty Doubles. Simply stated, "Tips On Competitive Bidding" is essential reading for the novice bridge player and has a great deal of value for even the more experienced player. "Tips On Competitive Bidding" is very highly recommended for personal and community library bridge card gaming instructional reference collections.

The Fiction Shelf

The Hot Spurs
Boyd Cassidy
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444825343, $20.99, 192pp,

When the riders of the Bar 10 run up against an escaped prisoner and his ruthless gang, they find themselves in deep trouble. Bret Jarvis and his henchmen are heading to Mexico, where men of the Circle J ranch have returned from a profitable cattle drive - making them sitting targets for a raid. But Gene Adams and his Bar 10 cowboys are soon in hot pursuit -- all they need to do is stop the outlaws before they reach the border. "The Hot Spurs" is gun-blazing shoot-out western action/adventure at its very best and clearly documents author Boyd Cassidy as a expert storyteller and a true master of the genre. This large print edition of "The Hot Spurs" is particularly recommended and will prove to be a popular addition to any community library Western Fiction collection.

Smoky Range
E. E. Halleran
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781785410109, $29.99, 264pp,

A riveting read from beginning to end, "Smoky Range" by E. E. Halleran is the story of Frank Burdick who came home to the Big Hole Basin as a freshly graduated doctor intending to set up in the practice of medicine only to be held up at gunpoint on his very first day, involved in a three-way fistfight, and to discover that his uncle had been murdered. It seems Frank's expertise with a gun would prove to be every bit as necessary as his skill with a scalpel. "Smoky Range" will prove to be an enduringly popular read with western action/adventure fans and this large print edition is especially recommended for community library Western Fiction collections.

Coffin Ranch
Walt Coburn
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781785410123, $29.99,

Walt Coburn was a master of the action/adventure western genre. His stories appeared in virtually every important Western magazine and became the standard by which other Western fiction was judged. Now in a large print, 319 page, paperback edition, three of his most important short stories are anthologized in "Coffin Ranch" for a new generation of appreciative readers. Included are 'He Rides Alone'; 'The Badlands Buckaroo', and the title piece, 'Coffine Ranch' This last story is based on the notorious bandit gang called the Wild Bunch -- some of whom Walt Coburn knew personally. A riveting read from beginning to end, "Coffine Ranch" is very highly recommended for all western novel enthusiasts and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Mystery of the Missing Quilts
Jan Cerney
American Quilter's Society
PO Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290
9781604602104, $14.95, 300pp,

"Mystery of the Missing Quilts" by author Jan Cerney involves the struggle of women called upon to leave the mission to finish the call on each of their lives in their marriages, careers, and families. Their ties to one another are like Mrs. Wilkes puff quilt, intricate, yet simple. Although they will leave, it is those ties that will bring them home-to the mission. An absolutely fascinating and entertaining read from beginning to end, "Mystery of the Missing Quilts" showcases author Jan Cerney's truly impressive storytelling skills and her originality as a novelist. Highly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Mystery of the Missing Quilts" is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.95).

The Interior Design Shelf

HomeMade Modern
Ben Uyeda
Running Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
9780762455072, $24.00, 216pp,

Boston resident Ben Uyeda is a designer, lecturer, and co-founder of,, and ZeroEnergy Design. In 2010, he won the U.S. Green Building Council's Natural Talent Design Competition by creating affordable green home designs for the New Orleans' Broadmoor neighborhood as part of the rebuilding effort following Hurricane Katrina. In "HomeMade Modern: Smart DIY Designs for a Stylish Home" he brings to bear his years of experience and expertise to showcase 30 impressive do-it-yourself furniture building projects that are solidly built and environmentally sustainable pieces using real materials like metal, wood, concrete, and other recycled ready-mades. The projects comprising "HomeMade Modern" don't require special skills, prior experience, or even a garage full of tools. "HomeMade Modern" will walk you step-by-step through the process of making furniture, from where to buy the materials (or where to scavenge!) to how to make the most of the tools you own. All you need is a sense of adventure to make furniture that looks amazing and that you can actually afford. As much fun to browse through as it is 'user friendly' to apply, "HomeMade Modern" is very highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Interior Design instructional reference collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "HomeMade Modern" is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.99).

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Barry Gifford
Seven Stories Press
140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013
9781609806491 $18.00

Writers is a compendium of short plays about famous, real-life writers. Each play is loosely based upon events in a writers' life, although in author Barry Gifford's own words "I've taken liberties, certainly, with what in several cases has passed for biographical information. The facts are to be found in what they wrote". In the plays, a drunk-off-his-hiney Ernest Hemingway sets explosive trip wires about his Cuban home; Marcel Proust makes an impassioned plea to the angel of death as Arthur Rimbaud lies delirious and dying; Albert Camus speaks to a young prostitute while gazing at his own reflection in a mirror; and more. Eyebrow-raising, tongue-in-cheek, insightful, and memorable, Writers is highly recommended. (It should be noted that all plays are protected under copyright law and subject to royalty governing any performances, including but not limited to amateur performance and public reading. Performance inquiries may be addressed to the author's agent Matthew Snyder at the Creative Artists Agency, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067).

The Military Shelf

United States Navy & Marine Corps Aviation Squadron Lineage, Insignia, and History Vol. 2
Michael J. Crowder
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764347559 $59.99

United States Navy & Marine Corps Aviation Squadron Lineage, Insignia, and History Vol. 2 specifically focuses upon marine scout-bomber, torpedo-bomber, bombing and attack squadrons. Exhaustively researched, and illustrated with a wealth of both vintage black-and-white and modern color photographs (many of which have never previously been published), this volume offers an extensive analysis of these marine attack squadrons through the decades, yet is written to be thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds. Highly recommended for military history scholars and casual browsers alike.

The World History Shelf

A History of Civilization in 50 Disasters
Gale Eaton, author
Phillip Hoose, series editor
Tilbury House, Publishers
12 Starr Street, Thomaston, ME 04861
9780884483830 $24.95 hc
9780884484899 $16.95 pbk

Illustrated with sobering images and photographs on almost every page, many of them in full color, A History of Civilization in 50 Disasters (part of the "History in 50" series) is an extraordinary tour of catastrophes that have changed the course of human history over the past millennia. Entries summarize the Vesuvius eruption that buried Pompeii; to the depopulation of Europe due to the Black Death, to the 1923 Kanto Earthquake that prompted the Japanese people to massacre Koreans, Chinese, and even northern Japanese in search of a scapegoat; and much more. Thoroughly accessible to young adult and adult readers alike, A History of Civilization in 50 Disasters is at once fascinating, edifying, and horrifying. Highly recommended, especially for public library collections.

The Civil War Shelf

The Aftermath of Battle
Meg Groeling
Savas Beatie
PO Box 4527, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
9781611211894 $14.95

Part of the "Emerging Civil War Series" designed to make the history of the American Civil War accessible to readers of all backgrounds, The Aftermath of Battle: The Burial of the Civil War Dead examines how the remains of those who fell in the battles of the Civil War were treated. In the short term, bodies were often hastily interred in an attempt to preempt stench and disease; eventually, families labored to have the bodies of their loved ones reclaimed and buried in established cemeteries. Writer, teacher, and curriculum developer Meg Groeling walks readers through the somber process and the aftermath of battle. Black-and-white photography on virtually ever page illustrates this sober, serious-minded, and thorough accounting of a lesser-discussed aspect of the Civil War. The Aftermath of Battle is especially recommended for both public and college library Civil War history shelves.

The Psychology Shelf

Star Wars Psychology
Travis Langley, editor
Sterling Publishing Company
387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016-8810
9781454917366 $14.95

Travis Langley (professor of psychology, Henderson State University) presents Star Wars Psychology: Dark Side of the Mind, an anthology of scholarly essays by expert contributors discussing the psychological ramifications within one of the most popular science fiction franchises worldwide. Not only can Star Wars help illustrate examples of psychological theory and practice; psychology can also help Star Wars fans better understand the motivations of its celebrated characters. How does limb amputation and neuroprosthesis (i.e. Luke Skywalker's artificial hand) affect the brain? Can robots truly feel pain or mental anguish? What is the intersection between anxiety disorder and a person's transition between common precepts of "evil" and "good"? An index rounds out this fascinating collection, ideal for psychology students and Star Wars fans alike. Also highly recommended is Langley's "The Walking Dead Psychology: Psych of the Living Dead" (9781454917052, $14.95), which applies the same intellectual treatment to the zombie horror television show and media franchise "The Walking Dead".

The Fishing Shelf

Trout Streams of Central New York
J. Michael Kelly
Burford Books, Inc.
101 East State Street, #301, Ithaca, NY 14850
9781580801782 $18.95

Interspersed with helpful maps and occasional black-and-white photography, Trout Streams of Central New York: Locations, Strategies, and Techniques for All Anglers is a detailed guide featuring descriptions of over 100 trout streams and rivers in 18 counties in central New York. Written by award-winning outdoors columnist J. Michael Kelly, Trout Streams of Central New York is a "must-have" for avid fisherman who reside in or plan to visit the area. Trout Streams of Central New York is as extensive as it is user-friendly, and highly recommended.

The Travel Shelf

Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2016
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street
Oakland CA 94607
9781743607459 $14.99

Illustrated with eye-catching photography throughout, Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2016 strives to answer a hotly debated topic - what are the best destinations for travel worldwide? Compiled in one volume are the staff picks for the top 10 countries, regions, cities, and travel lists (including "most accessible destinations", "best burger experiences", "best places to elope" and much more). A "must-browse" for those undecided on their ultimate vacation destination, and also a treasury for armchair travelers, Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2016 lives up its title and is highly recommended.

The Bible on Location
Julie Baretz
Jewish Publication Society
2100 Arch Street, 2nd floor
Philadelphia PA 19103-1399
9780827612228 $19.95

The Bible on Location: Off the Beaten Path in Ancient & Modern Israel lives up to its title as a guide to twenty-one off-the-beaten-path sites in Israel that were where stories in the Bible are believed to have taken place. Each site is presented with color photographs, a recounting of the connected biblical tale, and extensive commentary. Author Julie Baretz is an experienced tour guide who brings biblical stories from centuries past to life, as well as offering thoughtful reflections on the tales grounded in history, archaeology, academic scholarship, and rabbinic literature. A different type of tour guide, The Bible on Location is an excellent supplement for tourists and pilgrims, and also makes an unforgettable gift for armchair travelers. (It should be noted that general information about lodging, restaurants, etc. in Israel is mostly left to other guides; The Bible on Location is exclusively focused on these historic sites and their biblical stories).

The Philosophy Shelf

The Princess Bride and Philosophy
Edited by Richard Greene and Rachel Robison-Greene
Open Court Publishing Company
70 East Lake Street, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60601
9780812699142 $19.95

Part of the "Popular Culture and Philosophy" series, The Princess Bride and Philosophy is an anthology of essays by scholarly authors contemplating a beloved fantasy-romance novel, which was in turn adapted into a classic movie. Highlights from the movie, such as the deadly Battle of Wits, the relentless avenger's fury of Inigo Montoya, and more have become embedded in the popular consciousness. But how could Westley be considered a "good guy" when he killed so many innocent people? Why is it expected that "Men of Action" don't lie? Is it truly appropriate revenge for the punishment to fit the crime? These brief yet thoughtful writings explore hidden dimensions of "The Princess Bride" with philosophical rigor; connoisseurs of the source material will be especially delighted. Also highly recommended is "Downton Abbey and Philosophy" (9780812699036, $19.95), an anthology of essays about the popular television series showcasing upper and lower classes of English society during the era of the First World War.

The Crafts Shelf

Silk Ribbon Flowers
Ann Cox
Search Press USA
1338 Ross Street, Petaluma, CA 94954-1117
9781782211075 $9.95

Illustrated with useful diagrams and striking color photography throughout, Silk Ribbon Flowers is a craft book to making beautiful flowers from silk ribbons. Step-by-step instructions walk the reader through the process to create silk ribbon flowers, which can be used to embellish clothing, quilts, scarves, hats, handbags, and more. Silk Ribbon Flowers is a superb guide for adding the perfect touch to handmade gifts!

The Woodworking Shelf

Classic Whittling: Basic Techniques and Old-Time Projects
Rick Wiebe
Linden Publishing
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721-9875
9781610352543 $14.95

Illustrated with step-by-step, full-color photography on virtually every page, Classic Whittling: Basic Techniques and Old-Time Projects is a solid guide to this art of crafting beautiful and functional items from wood, whether for purposes of hobby, stress relief, or just plain fun. In addition to whittling fundamentals, Classic Whittling includes a wealth of sample projects, from interlinking hearts and ball-in-a-cage to "fan birds" (with delicate wingfeathers spread wide), spoons, whistles, walking sticks and much more. Classic Whittling is a "must-have" for anyone interested in practicing or refining their command of this creative and skillful endeavor.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

North American Hummingbirds: An Identification Guide
George C. West
University of New Mexico Press
MSC05 3185, 1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131-0001
9780826337672 $24.95

Illustrated with full color artwork or photographs on virtually every page, North American Hummingbirds: An Identification Guide is a gorgeous, user-friendly reference and resource. Featuring detailed descriptions of humming birds by species, gender, and age, as well as information about migration habits, courtship/nesting, and more North American Hummingbirds: An Identification Guide is especially recommended for birdwatchers and anyone curious to better know these amazingly beautiful and energetic avians. Even casual birders will enjoy browsing the strikingly beautiful photos of hummingbirds a-wing! A list of references and an index round out this excellent guide.

The Automotive Shelf

1001 Drag Racing Facts
Doug Boyce
CarTech Inc.
39966 Grand Avenue, North Branch, MN 55056
9781613251911 $24.95

Drag racing is a sport where automobiles or motorcycles, usually custom prepared and often two at a time, compete to reach the finish line first in a burst of all-out speed. Illustrated with occasional black-and-white photography, 1001 Drag Racing Facts: The Golden Age of Top Fuel, Funny Cars, Door Slammers & More lives up to its title as an amazing composite of drag racing trivia, from the 1950's to the 1980's. Whether one is nostalgic for the drag races of memory, a fan of the immensely powerful drag cars of the 50's-80's, or a diehard trivia buff, 1001 Drag Racing Facts is as fun to browse as it is edifying. "Pennsylvania's York U.S. 30 became the first track to make use of reaction-time clocks when Chrondek wired up a set on July 9, 1966. The clocks quickly became a standard feature across the nation and the decision maker when arguments arose as to one's driving abilities." Also enthusiastically recommended for automobile afficionados everywhere is Matt Stone's "Exotic Barn Finds" (9781613252024, $24.95), an amazing compilation of more than 25 automotive "barn finds" that historian Matt Stone discovered, all of which are cherished, imported sports cars from the days of yore.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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