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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 9, Number 1 January 2014 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Photography Shelf Writing/Publishing Shelf
Architecture Shelf Parenting Shelf Computer Shelf
Biography Shelf Cookbook Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf
DVD Shelf Gaming Shelf American History Shelf
Fiction Shelf Memoir Shelf Education Shelf
Business Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

"Dear Unforgettable Brother"
Compiled and annotated by Jane Torness Rasmussen and John S. Rasmussen
With essays by Edvard Hoem and Betty A. Bergland
South Dakota State Historical Society Press
900 Governors Drive
Pierre, SC 57501-2217
9780986035562 $19.95

"Dear Unforgettable Brother": The Stavig Letters from Norway & America, 1881-1937 gathers the correspondence of Lars Stavig, who left his family in Norway to travel and live upon the prairies of Dakota Territory. Though he never crossed paths with his brother again, they wrote one another for more than fifty years; their letters reveal the stark contrast between those who emigrated and those who did not. An award-winning South Dakota Public Broadcasting Corporation film raised awareness of Stavig's letters as an invaluable primary testimony of South Dakota history; now, for the first time, Stavig's letters can be read in print. Extensive annotations, and index, and brief supplementary essays round out this welcome addition to South Dakota state history shelves.

Compromise Cake
Nancy Spiller
Counterpoint Press
1919 Fifth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710-1916
9781619021129, $22.00,

There was a time when girls learned how to cook by watching and helping their mothers in the kitchen. But as women began entering the workforce and the rising prominence of meals that could be microwaved or brought home as fast food restaurant takeout, a great many young homemakers today lack that culinary background. "Compromise Cake: Lessons Learned From My Mother's Recipe Box" is a singularly impressive culinary memoir in which readers can share in the stories and family recipes from Nancy Spiller's reminiscences and history of her own mother's troubled life while she still taught her daughter the basic kitchen skills she would utilize throughout her life. Candid, engaging, with a sprinkle of wonderful recipes, and an ultimately rewarding literary experience, "Compromise Cake: Lessons Learned From My Mother's Recipe Box" is extraordinary and highly recommended for community library collections and personal reading lists.

The Photography Shelf

Firmament: A Meditation on Place in Three Parts
Andrew Beckham
George F Thompson Publishing
c/o International Publishers Marketing
22841 Quicksilver Drive, Dulles, VA 20166
09781938086137, $50.00,

"Firmament: A Meditation on Place in Three Parts" is a 112 page compendium showcasing the black-and-white photography of Andrew Beckham. This coffee table art book offers an impressive series of images that lead to contemplation and imaginative interpretation as the reader browses each 'picture portrait' photograph of nature's forms from the small and complex to the sweeping and expansive. "Firmament: A Meditation on Place in Three Parts" documents Andrew Beckham as a photographer with an artist's eye for form. Highly recommended, especially for students of the photographic arts, "Firmament: A Meditation on Place in Three Parts" would make an especially welcome and impressive community library Memorial Fund acquisition.

Peace, Love and Pepper Spray
Amber Lyon
Whitman Publishing
4001 Helton Drive, Florence, Alabama, 35630
9780794838034, $29.95,

"Peace, Love and Pepper Spray" is an impressive. 120 page compendium comprised of full color photographs taken by photojournalist Amber Lyon and showcases incidents where American citizens came together to protest the actions of the government, corporations, street violence, and other social ills and evils of our day. Of special note are the chapters dedicated to 'Online Protest' and 'Death of the Free Press. With contributions by journalists Dell Cameron and Nicole Powers, photojournalist James Fassinger, and political cartoonist Carlos Latuff, and with informative captioning and commentary by Amber Lyon of the images displayed, "Peace, Love and Pepper Spray" is a remarkable documentation of American's in protest, making it highly recommended for both community and academic library Photographic Studies and American History collections.

Texas: Portrait Of A State
Laurence Parent
Graphic Arts Books
PO Box 56118, Portland, OR 97238-6118
9780882409153, $19.99,

Texas is the second most populous (after California) and the second-largest of the 50 states (after Alaska) in the United States of America, and the largest state in the 48 contiguous United States. Geographically located in the South Central part of the country, Texas shares an international border with the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Len, and Tamaulipas to the south and borders the U.S. states of New Mexico to the west, Oklahoma to the north, Arkansas to the northeast, and Louisiana to the east. Texas has an area of 268,820 square miles (696,200 km2) and a growing population of 26.1 million residents. "Texas: Portrait Of A State" is a 112 page compendium showcasing Laurence Parent's beautiful, full color photographic images displaying breathtakingly lovely features of the Texas landscapes and people. Of special note are the informative captions that accompany each photograph. An impressive tribute to the Lone Star State, "Texas: Portrait Of A State" is highly recommended for photography enthusiasts and should be considered a 'must' for Texas community library collections. It should be noted that "Texas: Portrait Of A State" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

A Self Made Of Words
Carl H. Klaus
University of Iowa Press
119 West Park Road, Iowa City, IA 52242-1000
9781609381943, $18.00,

In "A Self Made of Words", Carl H. Klaus draws upon his many years of experience and expertise as the founder of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program and author of numerous published non-fiction titles to write a succinct, 98 page compendium comprised of an informed and informative essay and guide on how novice writers (and even more experienced authors) can adapt themselves to the dictums of non-fiction writing through his proffered exercises for creating engaging commentary and text that is hallmarked by a distinctive 'voice' or persona. A masterful, thoroughly 'user friendly', and highly recommended instructional guide for writers, it should be noted that "A Self Made of Words" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Architecture Shelf

The English Country House
James Peill
The Vendome Press
1334 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021
Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (dist.)
115 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011
9780865653061, $55.00,

An English country house is a large house or mansion in the English countryside. Such houses were often owned by individuals who also owned a town house. This allowed them to spend time in the country and in the city - hence, for these people, the term distinguished between town and country. However, the term also encompasses houses that were, and often still are, the full-time residence for the landed gentry. These people were central to the squirearchy that ruled rural Britain until the Reform Act of 1832. Frequently, the formal business of the counties was transacted in these country houses. With large numbers of indoor and outdoor staff, country houses were important as places of employment for many rural communities. In turn, until the agricultural depressions of 1870s, the estates, of which country houses were the hub, provided their owners with incomes. However, the late 19th and early 20th centuries were the swan song of the traditional English country house lifestyle. Increased taxation and the effects of World War I led to the demolition of hundreds of houses; those that remained had to adapt to survive. Compiled by James Peill (curator of Goodwood House in West Sussex, England) "The English Country House" is a 224 page compendium showcasing the elegant range of surviving English country houses. Profusely and beautifully illustrated with informed and informative commentary throughout, "The English Country House" will prove to be a fascinating read for the legions of fans of popular television series ranging from "Upstairs, Downstairs" to "Downton Abby". An elegant, aristocratic, cultivated and cultured era is magnificently presented, making "The English Country House" certain to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library collections.

The Parenting Shelf

Get Your Kids Hiking
Jeff Alt
Beaufort Books
27 West 20th Street, Suite 1102, NY, NY 10011
9780825306914, $13.95,

If a parent is seeking to instill a love of nature and the outdoors into their children as an antidote for today's sedentary, electronic gaming, overweight youth culture, then there is no better or more effective strategy than taking those children for a hike in the wild. "Get Your Kids Hiking: How to Start Them Young and Keep it Fun!" by hiking expert Jeff Alt is a handy, 240 page instruction manual for parents that provides age-appropriate ways to include a child in all aspects of the hike, provides checklists of what to pack for any type of hike, even offering 'kid friendly' menus of what to eat when out on a hike in the wilderness. Of special note is the practical and experienced-based advice and commentary on hiking with a special needs child. Thoroughly 'user friendly' and exceptionally well written and organized, "Get Your Kids Hiking: How to Start Them Young and Keep it Fun!" is very highly recommended for family and community library collections. It should be noted that "Get Your Kids Hiking: How to Start Them Young and Keep it Fun!" is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.59).

The Computer Shelf

Being Agile
Leslie Ekas & Scott Will
IBM Press
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780133375626, $39.99,

The collaborative work of IBM software experts Leslie Ekas and Scott Will, Being Agile: Eleven Breakthrough Techniques to Keep You from "Waterfalling Backward" is a 244 page instruction manual and compendium in using Agile software, including the provision of a thoroughly 'user friendly' review of its key principles, identify corresponding practices, and offer breakthrough approaches for implementing them. Utilizing their techniques, even the most novice user can break typical waterfall patterns and go beyond merely "doing agile" to actually thinking and being agile. Being Agile: Eleven Breakthrough Techniques to Keep You from "Waterfalling Backward" is effectively organized and presented, making it a highly recommended and enduringly useful reference. Also available in a Kindle edition ($15.39), Being Agile: Eleven Breakthrough Techniques to Keep You from "Waterfalling Backward" is highly recommended for personal, professional, corporate, community, and academic library Computer Science collections.

Murach's ASP.NET 4.5 Web Programming with VB 2012, fifth edition
Mary Delamater & Anne Boehm
Mike Murach & Associates
4340 North Knoll Avenue, Fresno, CA 93722
9781890774769, $57.50,

ASP.NET is a server-side Web application framework designed for Web development to produce dynamic Web pages. It was developed by Microsoft to allow programmers to build dynamic web sites, web applications and web services. It was first released in January 2002 with version 1.0 of the .NET Framework, and is the successor to Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP) technology. ASP.NET is built on the Common Language Runtime (CLR), allowing programmers to write ASP.NET code using any supported .NET language. The ASP.NET SOAP extension framework allows ASP.NET components to process SOAP messages. Now in a completely updated and expanded fifth edition, "Murach's ASP.NET 4.5 Web Programming with VB 2012" is the collaborative work of software computer experts Mary Delamater and Anne Boehm. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Murach's ASP.NET 4.5 Web Programming with VB 2012" is an 824 page instruction manual that is ideal for the novice user to master ASP.NET essentials, competently utilize databases, and more. It should be noted that with "Murach's ASP.NET 4.5 Web Programming with VB 2012", student learners can download the code for the book applications and exercise solutions as they are listed on the last page. Comprehensive, exhaustive, and immanently practical, "Murach's ASP.NET 4.5 Web Programming with VB 2012" is very highly recommended.

Murach's Visual Basic 2012
Anne Boehm
Mike Murach & Associates
4340 North Knoll Avenue, Fresno, CA 93722
9781890774738, $54.50,

Visual Basic is a third-generation event-driven programming language and integrated development environment (IDE) from Microsoft for its COM programming model first released in 1991. Microsoft intends Visual Basic to be relatively easy to learn and use. Visual Basic was derived from BASIC (Beginners All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code). and enables the rapid application development (RAD) of graphical user interface (GUI) applications, access to databases using Data Access Objects, Remote Data Objects, or ActiveX Data Objects, and creation of ActiveX controls and objects. "Murach's Visual Basic 2012" by Visual Basics software expert Anne Boehm is an 842 page compendium offering a complete, comprehensive, deftly written, and superbly well organized instruction manual that will enable even the most novice user to get up and running quickly, handle data with a professional level competency, develop a working skill set with object-oriented programming, and take full advantage of Windows 8 programming. Thoroughly 'user friendly' throughout, "Murach's Visual Basic 2012" is highly recommended for personal, professional, and academic library Computer Science instructional reference collections.

The Biography Shelf

Eilean Giblin: A Feminist Between the Wars
Patricia Clarke
Monash University Publishing
c/o International Specialized Book Services
920 Northeast 58th Avenue, Suite 300
Portland, OR 97213
9781921867842 $34.95

Eilean Giblin: A Feminist Between the Wars is the biography of a twentieth-century woman who championed equal rights for both genders, as well as other humanitarian causes. A war bride who traveled from England to Australia in 1919, she was a prominent figure in Australia's sufferage movement, left-wing politics, the crusade for "equal citizenship", and a Melbourne committe dedicated to creating a non-denominational women's college. During World War II, she was an outspoken member of a minority concerned about the fate of enemy aliens, many of them Jewish, deported form Britain on the ship Dunera; she personally embarked on a solo 500 kilometer voyage to witness their internment camp conditions for herself. An incredible true story of one woman's persistence and determination to leave the world a better place than she found it, Eilean Giblin is highly recommended especially for high school, college, and public library collections.

Brigadier General John Adams, CSA
Leslie R. Tucker
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9780786474844, $35.00,

John Adams (July 1, 1825 - November 30, 1864) was an officer in the United States Army. With the onset of the American Civil War, he resigned his commission and joined the Confederate States Army, rising to the rank of brigadier general before being killed in action. "Brigadier General John Adams, CSA" by Leslie R. Tucker is a 148 page biography that showcases the life and Civil War accomplishments of one of the south's most effective general officers. Detailed, documented, impressively well written, featuring chapter notes and an extensive bibliography, "Brigadier General John Adams, CSA" is informed, informative, and a highly recommended addition to academic library Civil War Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

Remembering Bulldog Turner
Michael Barr
Texas Tech University Press
PO Box 41037, Lubbock, TX 79409-1037
9780896728271, $29.95,

Clyde Douglas "Bulldog" Turner (March 10, 1919 - October 30, 1998) was a professional football player for the Chicago Bears. Turner, coming out of Hardin-Simmons University, was the Bears first round draft pick in the 1940 draft. But, at first at least, Turner didn't want to be on the Bears. It turned out that the Detroit Lions' owner paid him $200 to "get his teeth fixed" and turn down other teams proposals. The Detroit Lions were fined $5000 for tampering, and the Chicago Bears got a great two-way player. Clyde "Bulldog" Turner was big for his day (6-2, 235); however, he was smart and very fast. A six time all-pro center, and a steady linebacker, Turner intercepted 4 passes in 5 NFL title games. In 1942, he led the league in interceptions. He said that he studied all 11 assignments for all plays, which came in handy when some players were ejected for fighting one game in '43. Teammate George Musso once said of Bulldog, "Who knows what kind of player he would have been if he ever got to rest during a game?" Turner served as head coach for the 1962 season of the New York Titans (now the New York Jets) of the American Football League. Under his leadership, the team finished last in the Eastern Conference with a 5-9 record. "Remembering Bulldog Turner: Unsung Monster of the Midway" by Michael Barr is a superbly researched and written 240 page biography of this remarkable athlete. Informed and informative, "Remembering Bulldog Turner: Unsung Monster of the Midway" is highly recommended reading for anyone with an interest in football history and would make a welcome addition to community library collections. It should be noted that "Remembering Bulldog Turner: Unsung Monster of the Midway" is also available in a Kindle edition ($18.59).

The Cookbook Shelf

Like Mam Used to Bake
Rosanne Hewitt-Cromwell
Mercier Press
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7
Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
9781781171561 $32.95

Illustrated with mouth-watering, full-color photography on every other page, Like Mam Used to Bake is a sumptuous cookbook of cakes and baked desserts, including favorites from author Rosanne Hewitt-Cromwel's blog as well as creations from her childhood memories and kitchen creativity. From beloved favorites like Carrot Cake and Coffee Cake, to Summer-Fruit Pudding, Chocolate-Spiced Cupcakes, Fruit Shortcake Biscuits, Malt Loaf and much more, the step-by- step recipes are extremely detailed and easy to follow. A treasury for anyone looking to create unforgettable desserts, particularly ones worthy of holidays, special occasions, and family gatherings!

Bob Warden's Favorite Recipes Cookbook
Bob Warden
Quail Ridge Press
PO Box 123, Brandon, MS 39043
9781934193877, $19.95,

In "Bob Warden's Favorite Recipes Cookbook For Cook's Essentials Cookware", television cooking show host Bob Warden has compiled 208 pages of palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, kitchen cook friendly recipes for dishes that range from Mini Citrus Crab Cakes with Herbed Vinaigrette Dipping Sauce; Three Bean Bake with Bacon; Burgundy Braised Beef with Onions and Mushrooms; to Raspberry Orange Sunshine Smoothie; Cookies and Cream Silk Cheesecake; and Tex-Mex Cheesy Green Bean Casserole. Nicely illustrated in full color, "Bob Warden's Favorite Recipes Cookbook for cook's essentials Cookware" will prove to be an extraordinarily popular addition to personal and community library cookbook collections.

Get Cooking!
Rachel Harkham & Doni Zasloff Thomas
Behrman House Inc.
11 Edison Place, Springfield, NJ 07081
9780874419481, $19.95,

For an observant family, both secular holidays like Thanksgiving and religious holidays like Roash Hashanah require a kosher cuisine. That's why "Get Cooking: A Jewish American Family Cookbook" compiled by Rachel Harkham and Doni Zasloff Thomas will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to family cookbook collections. A coil-bound, hard-cover, 128 page, profusely illustrated collection of more than 80 wonderfully 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes, the dishes comprising "Get Cooking: A Jewish American Family Cookbook" range from Shabbat Winter Stew; Pomegranate Barbecue Chicken; Pizza Fondue; and Lamb Kufte Kebabs; to Garlic-Chive Matzah Balls; Southwestern Pulled Brisket Sukko-Tacos; Mini Sweet Potato Knishes; and Super 3-Bean Chili Bowl. Of special note is the provision of 'Mitzvah menus'. Simply stated, "Get Cooking: A Jewish American Family Cookbook" is a highly recommended collection of fun, easy, nutritious and delicious dishes for Judaic high holy days, American holidays, and family everyday dining alike!

The Big Beautiful Brown Rice Cookbook
Wendy Esko
Square One Publishers
115 Herricks Road, Garden City Park, NY 11040
9780757003646, $16.95,

Brown rice is whole grain rice. It has a mild, nutty flavor, and is chewier and more nutritious than white rice, but goes rancid more quickly because the bran and germ - which are removed to make white rice - contain fats that can spoil. Any rice, including long-grain, short-grain, or sticky rice, may be eaten as brown rice. Compiled and presented by macrobotic cooking expert Wendy Esko "The Big Beautiful Brown Rice Cookbook" is a 192 page compendium comprised of more than 140 thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes showcasing the culinary versatility of brown rice. Of special note are the culinary wealth of practical cooking tips and guidelines that will enable even the most novice kitchen chef to turn out quality results with recipes that range from Crispy Rice Breakfast Bars; Baked Rice Casserole; and Rice 'n Bread Stuffing; to Quick 'n Easy Brown Rice Risotto; Asparagus-Chickpea-Brown rice Stir-Fry; and Brown Rice Pudding. Of special note is the recipe for Native American Rice. An impressive collection of information, trivia, and recipes, "The Big Beautiful Brown Rice Cookbook" is very highly recommended for personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "The Big Beautiful Brown Rice Cookbook" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.49).

Cook Taste Savor
Editorial Staff
Sunset Publishing
c/o Oxmoor House
3000 University Center Drive, Tampa, Florida 33612-6408
9780376028105, $26.00,

Drawn from the pages of Sunset Magazine by their editorial staff, "Cook Taste Savor: 16 Inspiring Ingredients for Delicious Dishes Every Day" is a beautifully and profusely illustrated, 288 page compendium comprised of the recipes for outstanding dishes. Ideal for both family meals and elegant dining occasions, the recipes range from Garlicky Steak Salad with Chickpeas and Artichokes; Tomato and Melon Salad with Scallops and Pink Peppercorns; Camp Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Sausage, and Fontinia; and Brunch Flatbread with Eggs, Bacon, and Frisee; to Spring Vegetable macaroni 'n' Cheese; Crab Salad Cups; Pot Roast with Wild Mushrooms and Fresh Thyme; Nut-Stuffed Delicata Squash; and Cod with Citrus Chili Glaze. Each recipes includes a succinct introduction, notes the number of servings, provides the list of ingredients, and clear step-by-step preparation instructions. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, family, and community library collections, "Cook Taste Savor: 16 Inspiring Ingredients for Delicious Dishes Every Day" is enthusiastically recommended.

The 30-Minute Vegan: Soup's On!
Mark Reinfeld
Lifelong Books
c/o Da Capo Press
44 Farnsworth Street, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02210
9780738216737, $17.99,

Showcasing more than one hundred succulent soup recipes that are guaranteed to be as kitchen cook friendly as they are nutritious, palate pleasing, and appetite satisfying for vegans, vegetarians, and non-vegetarians alike, "The 30-Minute Vegan: Soup's On!" is a 288 page compendium of recipes that range from Indian Chutney Stew with Tamarind; Cha-Cha Chili with Tempeh; African Peanut Soup; and Mideast Chickpea Soup; to Raw Cream of Tomato Soup; Creamy Parsnip Soup with Smoke Cherry Tomatoes; Polish Vegan Sausage and Sauerkraut Stew; and Grilled Eggplant Soup with Pine Nuts. Of special note is the major section devoted to garnishes and side dishes. A remarkable compilation, "The 30-Minute Vegan: Soup's On!" is very highly recommended for personal, family, and community library Vegan and Vegetarian cookbook collections! It should be noted that "The 30-Minute Vegan: Soup's On!" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Kate Gosselin's Love Is In The Mix
Kate Gosselin
Health Communications, Inc.
3201 S.W. 15th Street
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442-8190
9780757317644, $22.95,

"Kate Gosselin's Love Is in the Mix: Making Meals into Memories with Family-Friendly Recipes, Tips and Traditions" is a 304 page, beautifully illustrated compendium comprised of 'kitchen cook friendly' dishes that would grace any meal from daily family fair to celebratory dining occasions. Organized into eight distinctive chapters of thematically appropriate dishes (Delightful 'Do-Able' Dinners; GR8 Meals for Entertaining and Every Day; Splendid Sides; Simply Savory Salads & Sandwiches; Satisfying Soups & Stews; Sunshine Starters; Perfect Endings - Desserts; and Friday Night Fun Foods), the recipes range from Mom's Swiss Steak; Grandma's Stuffed Peppers; Healthy Baked Sweet Potato Fries; and Kate's Health and Delicious Mediterranean Veggie Wrap; to Savory Chicken Corn Soup; Strawberry Pancake Compote; White Chocolate Flag Cake; and Toasted Pita Chips. Of special note is the inclusion of 'Gosselin Family tips and Traditions'. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to family and community library cookbook collections, it should also be noted that "Kate Gosselin's Love Is in the Mix: Making Meals into Memories with Family-Friendly Recipes, Tips and Traditions" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

To Walk A Pagan Path
Alaric Albertsson
Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
9780738737249, $15.99,

Pagan refers to a group of historical polytheistic religious traditions - primarily those of cultures known to the classical world. In a wider sense, it has also been understood to include any non-Abrahamic, folk, or ethnic religion. The term pagan was historically used as one of several pejorative Christian expressions comparable to "infidel" or "heretic". Modern ethnologists often avoid this broad usage in favor of more specific and less potentially offensive terms such as polytheism, shamanism, pantheism, or animism when referring to traditional or historical faiths. Modern paganism, also known as contemporary paganism, and neopaganism, is a group of contemporary religious movements influenced by or claiming to be derived from the various historical pagan beliefs of pre-modern Europe. Although they do share commonalities, contemporary Pagan religious movements are diverse and no single set of beliefs, practices, or texts are shared by them all. Since the 20th century, "Paganism" (or "Neopaganism") has become the identifier for a collection of new religious movements attempting to continue, revive, or reconstruct historical pre-Abrahamic religion. "To Walk a Pagan Path: Practical Spirituality for Every Day" by Alaric Albertsson (a practicing pagan and member of the Druidic organization ar nDraiocht Fein) is a 288 page instructional guide to living in adherence to basic pagan spiritual principles in daily life including following a sacred calendar, enacting quick and easy rituals, connect with the earth by producing some of the food to be eaten, and engage in such craft projects as candles, scrying mirrors, solar wreaths, and more. Informed, informative, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in text and presentation, "To Walk a Pagan Path: Practical Spirituality for Every Day" is highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Metaphysical Studies collections. It should be noted that "To Walk a Pagan Path: Practical Spirituality for Every Day" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Christian Studies Shelf

Interpreting The Gospel Of John
Gary M. Burge
Baker Academic
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780801048845, $21.99,

The Gospel According to John, commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, is an anonymous account of the public ministry of Jesus. It begins with the witness and affirmation of John the Baptist and concludes with the death, burial, resurrection, and post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. This account is fourth of the canonical gospels, after the synoptics (Matthew, Mark and Luke), and is often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel. "Interpreting the Gospel of John: A Practical Guide" by Gary M. Burge (Professor of new Testament, Wheaton college) is a 240 page compendium providing students and general readers with an informed and informative introduction that begins with a history of interpretations and addresses the questions of who authored the Gospel of John, how the Gospel of John is constructed, and describes the 'Johannine Style'. The remaining chapters are deftly organized into two other main sections that include 'Strategies for Interpretation'; and 'Preaching and Teaching from the Fourth Gospel'. Of special note is that each individual chapter has its own bibliography. Superbly organized and presented, "Interpreting the Gospel of John: A Practical Guide" truly lives up to the promise of its title and is highly recommended as a seminary or Sunday School curriculum textbook and for personal, church, and community library Christian Studies collections. It should be noted that "Interpreting the Gospel of John: A Practical Guide" is also available in a Kindle edition ($12.49).

The Road to Assisi
Paul Sabatier
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568, Orleans, MA 02653
9781612614632, $15.99,

St. Francis of Assisi (1181/1182 - October 3, 1226) was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men's Order of Friars Minor, the women's Order of St. Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis for men and women not able to live the lives of itinerant preachers followed by the early members of the Order of Friars Minor or the monastic lives of the Poor Clares. Though he was never ordained to the Catholic priesthood, Francis is one of the most venerated religious figures in history. A Protestant pastor in Strasbourg, Paul Sabatier (1858-1928) wrote "The Road to Assisi" which was published in French in 1894 and was accounted the first modern biography of St. Francis. Now with an introduction and annotation by Jon M. Sweeney, "The Road to Assisi" is brought back into print in a 120th anniversary edition for the benefit of a new generation of appreciative readers. "The Road to Assisi: The Essential Biography of St. Francis" is ideal for the non-specialist general reader and would make a popular addition to seminary and community library Christian Studies collections and supplemental reading lists.

The First New Testament
Jason D. BeDuhn
Polebridge Press
900 State Street, Salem, Oregon 97301-3922
9781598151312, $29.00,

Marcion of Sinope (c. 85 - c. 160) was a prominent bishop in early Christian movement. His approach to Christian theology completely rejected the existence of deity described in the Jewish Scriptures and in distinction affirmed the Father of Christ to be the true God. He was denounced by the Church Fathers and he chose to separate himself from the Imperial Church. He is often considered to have held a pivotal role in the development of the New Testament canon. "The First New Testament: Marcion's Scriptural Canon" by Jason D. BeDuhn (Professor of the Comparative Study of Religions, Northern Arizona University) is a comprehensive and impressively documented scholarly study of Marcion's original compilation of sacred scriptures which differs significantly from what was eventually canonized by the fourth century Nicene Council at the behest of the Roman Emperor Constantine. Of special note is Professor BeDuhn's commentary on the 'two-source' theory and the Q hypothesis. A work of seminal scholarship and enhanced with the inclusion of extensive Chapter Notes, a Bibliography, and an Index, "The First New Testament: Marcion's Scriptural Canon" is an essential contribution to personal and academic library Christian Studies collections.

The Audiobook Shelf

A Palace of Strangers Is No City
Stephen Frech, poetry
Leos Janacek, piano compositions
Chung-Ha Kim, piano performance
Privately Published
$9.99 CD-RP / $9.99 download

A Palace of Strangers Is No City is a unique audiobook on CD, which alternates between the narrative of a prose poem and piano performances of excerpts from Czech composer Leos Janacek's "On An Overgrown Path". The poetic story follows two lovers separated by the severity of an occupied city; the fiance has barely escaped an oppressive, random arrest, and winds his way amid the jumble of Old Town streets on the way to his true love's home, ever fearful of sudden betrayal or capture. Dreamlike yet suspenseful, and heightened by the powerful musical interludes superbly performed by Chung-Ha Kim, A Palace of Strangers Is No City is an eclectic, unforgettable fusion. Highly recommended.

The Silvered
Tanya Huff, author
Dee Macaluso, narrator
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887
Grand Haven, MI 49417
9781480569126 $19.99

The Silvered is the unabridged audiobook rendition of renowned fantasy author Tanya Huff's epic saga of war, magic, and werewolves. A dire prophecy about an unborn child linked to the fate of empires has induced Emperor Leopold to invade the kingdom of Aydori, a land ruled two packs of werewolves - one skilled at hunting, the other at the six disciplines of magic. The empire has brought its own powerful magic and deadly weapons to capture five high-ranking pregnant women of the Mage-pack, including the wife of the Pack Leader. Their desperate search for a sixth led them to seize Mirian Maylin, who was rejected from the mages' university for being a jack of all magecrafts (and master of none). With the aid of the Pack Leader's younger brother Tomas Hagen, Mirian escapes, but what hope do the werewolf survivors have against an army supported by hot air balloons, long range rockets, and guns that shoot lethal silver bullets? Breathtaking in scope, The Silvered is highly recommended especially for fans of high fantasy. 17 CDs, 20 hours 39 min.

Scissors: A Novel
Stephane Michaka, author
John Cullen, translator
Read by Lloyd James, Kathe Mazur, Scott Brick, and Hillary Huber
Blackstone Audiobooks
PO Box 969
Ashland, OR 97520
9781482914696 $24.95

Superbly translated from the original French, Scissors: A Novel is an unabridged audiobook based on legendary short story author Raymond Carver's final ten years. Raymond's life has been rollicking range of ups and downs; his first marriage was charged, intense, and ultimately a disaster. His second marriage to the poet Joanne seems to fare better. But Raymond is locked in a battle of wills with his editor Douglas; Raymond wants to see his stories published as written, while Douglas demands that they be released only in heavily edited form. Joanne finally takes a stand for her husband, confronting Douglas in a most unforgettable manner! Wry, vivid, and insightful, Scissors is a truly unique portrayal of the ups and downs of creativity. 5 CDs, 5 1/2 hours.

Darkness Everlasting
Alexandra Ivey
Tantor Media, Inc.
2 Business Park Road, Unit 2
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
9781452615059, $39.99,

The third title in Alexandra Ivey's outstanding 'Guardians of Eternity' series and is the story of Darcy Smith's strange genetic legacy, a handsome vampire king called Styx, a handsome werewolf king called Salvatore Giuliani, and a roster of memorable characters ranging from an insubordinate gargoyle, a congenial goddess, a practical vampire second-in-command, and a werewolf mother that not even her daughter could love. Superbly narrated by Arika Rapson, "Darkness Everlasting" is a complete, unabridged, 9 CD audio book that provides 10.5 hours of true 'theatre of the mind' listening pleasure. Highly recommended for community library audio book collections, "Darkness Everlasting" will motivate appreciative listeners to seek out the other audio book editions of the 'Guardians of Eternity' series from Tantor Media including: "Embrace The Darkness"; "Beyond The Darkness"; "Bound By Darkness"; "Darkness Revealed"; "Darkness Unleashed"; "Devoured By Darkness"; "Fear The Darkness"; and the first title in this wonderfully crafted series, "When Darkness Comes".

Even Vampires Get The Blues
Katie Macalister, author
Carrington MacDuffie,narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
2 Business Park Road, Unit 2
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
9781452615943, $39.99,

In "Even Vampires Get The Blues", author Katie Macaliter creates a roster of truly memorable characters that includes vampires, ghosts, poltergeists, seers, demons, Chinese gods, an immortal flower eating fairy that insists the she's not a fairy but a lingerie model, and a heroine that is half human, half elf. With great humor and occasional erotic encounters, "Even Vampires Get The Blues" is superbly narrated by Carrington MacDuffie who transforms Katie Macalister's original novel into a true 'theatre of the mind' experience for the listener. Wonderfully entertaining from beginning to end, "Even Vampires Get The Blues" is a complete, unabridged, 8 CD, 9 hour, flawlessly produced audio book that will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections.

The Lonely Silver Rain
John D. MacDonald, author
Robert Petkoff, narrator
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887
Grand Haven, MI 49417
9781480532717 $14.99

The Lonely Silver Rain is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of a dark and violent thriller about a Florida boat salvager in way over his head. Travis McGee is very much in need of money when he accepts an offer to locate a $700,000 custom cruiser. But the yacht he finds turns out to be a killing zone! Caught in the center of an international cocaine ring, McGee is in desperate straits; can he survive drug runners, boatjackers, and the mysterious machinations of a tycoon's manipulative wife? Exciting to the end, The Lonely Silver Rain will appeal to connoisseurs of mystery, suspense, and white-hot action.

Mark Billingham, author
Simon Prebble, narrator
Highbridge Audio Books
201 Sixth Street SE, Suite 220
Minneapolis, MN 55414
9781622312870 $34.95

Sleepyhead: A Tom Thorne Novel is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of a harrowing thriller by widely popular British crime novelist Mark Billingham. Detective Inspector Tom Thorne is pitted against a killer capable of inducing a stroke in human beings by manipulating pressure points on the neck. His latest victim is a woman who can see, hear, and feel, but cannot move or communicate. How is he to find a ruthless monster, when the one person who knows the fiend can neither speak nor write? Intense to the very end, Sleepyhead will captivate fans of the genre! 9 CDs, 10 1/2 hours.

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

Pulp magazines (often referred to as "the pulps") are inexpensive fiction magazines published from 1896 through the 1950s. The typical pulp magazine was 7 inches (18 cm) wide by 10 inches (25 cm) high, 0.5 inches (1.3 cm) thick, and 128 pages long. Pulps were printed on cheap paper with ragged, untrimmed edges. The term pulp derives from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed. Magazines printed on higher quality paper were called "glossies" or "slicks". In their first decades, pulps were most often priced at ten cents per magazine, while competing slicks were 25 cents apiece. Pulps were the successor to the penny dreadfuls, dime novels, and short fiction magazines of the 19th century. Although many respected writers wrote for pulps, the magazines are best remembered for their lurid and exploitative stories and sensational cover art. Modern superhero comic books are sometimes considered descendants of "hero pulps"; pulp magazines often featured illustrated novel-length stories of heroic characters, such as The Shadow, Doc Savage and The Phantom Detective. Today we can get a vivid sense of what pulp fiction was all about through the superbly performed and produced audio book from Galaxy Press and showcasing the pulp fiction writing of L. Ron Hubbard. Three particularly outstanding examples are "The Sky-Crasher" (9781592123672, $9.95) which also features an additional short story 'Boomerang Bomber'; "Destiny's Drum" (9781592122936, $9.95); and "The Trail Of The Red Diamonds" (9781592123261, $9.95) which also includes the short story 'Hurricane's Roar". The hallmark of all Galaxy Press audio book is the employment of a talented multicast performance deftly augmented with sound effects and music. The result is the creation of a true, pulp fiction, theater of the mind experience of high adventure and non-stop action. Highly recommended for both personal and community library audio book collections, for a complete listing of Galaxy Press audio book titles visit their web site at

The Music CD Shelf

Back to the Woods
Uri Sharlin and the DogCat Ensemble
Folk Dune Records
c/o Naxos of America, Inc. (distribution)
1810 Columbia Avenue, Suite 28, Franklin, TN 37064
c/o Rock Paper Scissors (publicity)
511 West 4th Street, Suite 2, Bloomington, IN 47404
$16.98 CD / $8.91 MP3

The debut music CD of Tel Aviv native Uri Sharlin and the DogCat Ensemble, Back to the Woods features guitar, accordion, percussion, and woodwind in a grand soiree, featuring mostly original works plus DogCat Ensemble's unique performance of Brazilian composer Hermeto Pascoal's "Dia #342". Memories of Brazil permeate this bold, vibrant performance, enthusiastically recommended to connoisseurs of unique and distinctive music. The tracks are "Night Swim", "Monte Verde", "One for Frankie", "Dia #342", "The Real Dogcat", "Mundau by Day", "Mundau by Night", "Don Quixote", and "Baiao".

Dreaming Time
Forrest Smithson
Privately Published
c/o The Creative Service Company
4360 Emerald Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
$12.97 CD / $9.99 download

Dreaming Time is an instrumental, new age album divided into four grand compositions, crafted with synthesizers to emulate the rich interplay of an orchestra. Each track is complex and resonates on multiple levels, yet the effect of the whole aids the listener is reaching a meditative sense of wonder. Evocative in its beautiful explorations, Dreaming Time is a treasure that deserves to be experienced, especially as an uplifting antidote to the pressures of daily life. The tracks are "Dreaming Time I" (24:58), "Dreaming Time II" (18:24), "Dreaming Time III" (15:12) and "Dreaming Time IV" (17:24).

Soundtrack to Life
Cosmo Frequency
Good Moves Music
c/o The Creative Service Company
4360 Emerald Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
$12.99 CD-RP / $9.99 download

Keyboardists and tech-specialists Paul Martinson and Brent Vincent, along with vocalist Lisa Wegener, craft their unique style of new age music as "Cosmo Frequency" in their album Soundtrack to Life. Instruments ranging from the Native American flute to drums, bass, electric guitars, piano, and percussion complement one another in this audio search for quintessential understanding of one's own place in the cosmic scheme of things. Strong, pulsing rhythms underscore Soundtrack to Life, an album that reflects the beautiful, fascinating, and inspirational qualities of life itself. The tracks are "Within the Veil" (2:17), "The Gift" (4:39), "Apollo Skies" (4:34), "Classic Story (Light Years Away)" (6:30), "Chillaxin" ( 6:09), "Canyon Chant" (3:54), "World of Light" (5:53), "Eventide" (3:36), "Winter Solstice" (4:29), "Mt. Emotion (Part 1)" (3:27), "Mt. Emotion (Part 2)" (2:02), and "Horizon" (5:03).

Gypsy Runaway Train
The Roys
Rural Rhythm Records
P.O. Box 750, Mount Juliet, TN 37121
c/o So Much Moore Media
$15.70 CD / $8.99 MP3

Three-time "Bluegrass Artist of the Year" award-winning brother/sister duo Elaine and Lee Roy ("The Roys") present Gypsy Runaway Train, their third music album with a strong slice-of-life theme. Collaborating with veteran songwriters including Steve Dean, Morry Trent, Arlis Albritton and Josh Thompson, The Roys put their heart and soul into each song, adding an emotional touch to the nostalgic bluegrass. Fans of the genre should not pass this one up - it's a treasure from some of the best in the business. The tracks are "You Can Count On My Love" (2:28), "Blue Moon of Kentucky" (2:36), "Another Minute" (3:30), "Born With A Hammer In My Hand" (2:38), "I Wonder Where You Are Tonight" (4:28), "He Took Your Place" (3:10), "Workin' On It" (2:55), "Enough For Me" (3:31), "Ramblin' Fever" (3:54), "What Gives You The Right" (2:52), "Those Memories of You" (4:36), "Half of Me" (3:52) and "Gypsy Runaway Train" (2:52).

We Are Not Alone
David Haas
GIA Publications, Inc.
7404 South Mason Avenue
Chicago, IL 60638

We Are Not Alone: Hymns, Psalms and Songs for Eucharist and the Hours is an album of Christian music especially for Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours. The soulful music calls listeners to praise God, and give thanks for Jesus Christ's gift of salvation to all humanity. Emotionally moving and quietly reverent, We Are Not Alone encourages the listener to immerse oneself in gratitude for all that God provides. The tracks are "Call to Worship" (2:55), "We Are Not Alone" (4:37), "By His Wounds We Were Healed" (3:33), "I Will Wake Up the Dawn" (2:03), "Come, Follow Me" (3:59), "Hail, Holy Mary, Queen of Peace" (3:17), "God's Mountain" (3:17), "Let's Sing for Justice" (1:35), "When I Call" (4:15), "Sing a New World into Being" (2:57), "I Pray to You" (3:49), "Join the Gospel Song" (3:44), "I Have Come to Believe" (3:05), "All Creation, Sing Praise" (3:16), and "God, Who Made the Earth and Heaven" (3:03).

Where Here Meets There
Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica Quartet
Privately Published
c/o Rock Paper Scissors (publicity)
511 West 4th Street, Suite 2
Bloomington, IN 47404
$14.99 CD / $10.99 download

Where Here Meets There is a music CD fusion of the old and the new, combining elements from 1950's and 60's experiments with an appreciation for the modern "world music" movement. American-based Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica travels through time, showcasing their talents on everything from bass flute to a balance between classical and global percussion to extraordinary piano and even scratched vinyl. Where Here Meets There is a unique listening adventure! The tracks are "Chisling Music" (5:41), "Sansaz" (4:46), "Maracatune for Calco" (7:34), "Would You Like Bongos With That Fugue?" (5:05), "Ritual Mallet Dance" (6:53), "Prelude for Piano I" (3:10), "Prelude for Pianto II (Feat. The Siamese Cat Song)" (6:14), "Prelude for Piano III" (2:43), and "Black Orchid" (5:12).

Easy Star Records
PO Box 1069, Cooper Station, NY, NY 10276
Press Junkie PR
9901 Brodie Lane, Suite 160, PMB 221, Austin, TX 78748

Also digitally available on iTunes, Vines is the fifth studio album by reggae/rock hybrid band Passafire, known for their Savannah roots. The title of Vines alludes to how the band members have grown closer over the years, their music melding sometimes in a tangle, but always brimming with heart and soul. An exuberant and moving creation of artistry, Vines is especially recommended for fans of both reggae and rock genres who enjoy bold experiments. The tracks are "Earthquake", "Right Thing", "Souvenir", "Go", "Phony Impostor", "All In Our Minds", "Same Old Story", "Steam Rises", "Invisible", "Stowaway", "Black Dog", "Night Comes Easy", and "Man of Wishes".

Cold Dead Hand
Andy Ross
Privately Published
c/o Entertainment Evolution (publicity)
$9.98 CD / $8.99 MP3

Outdoorsman, hunter, "Maximum Archery" program star (look for it on the "Sportsman Channel") and musician Andy Ross presents Cold Dead Hand, his second album of no-holds- barred country music. Ross doesn't hesitate to speak openly about hot topics, from the Second Amendment to corruption within the music industry to his personal passion for hunting. Celebrating the pioneer spirit of the self-made man, Cold Dead Hand is a choice pick for country fans. The tracks are "Rebel", "Cold Dead Hand", "Country Girls Got Game", "Hunt Me Down", "Blood Trail on a Whitetail", "What We Do For Fun Around Here", "Deadl with the Devil", "Buck of a Lifetime", "You Ain't Seen Crazy Yet", "Outlaw Women and Whiskey", and "Three Legged Dog".

Feathers Too Bright
Privately Published
Press Junkie PR
9901 Brodie Lane, Suite 160, PMB 221
Austin TX 78748
$11.99 download,

Trinidadian-American recording artist and emcee Juakali presents Feathers Too Bright, an electronic hip-hop album about the will to survive and thrive despite all oppressions. Driven lyrics carry the strong, nigh-hypnotic rhythms in this "must-hear" for fans of the genre. The tracks are "Bad Mofo", "Half Man Half Machine", "Life of da Party", "Black Magik", "Bodega/Real Ting", "Light My Way", "Fireworks", "Take Off", "Rootz", "Bring Me Home", and "Fittest of the Fittest".

Canyon Records Productions
3131 West Clarendon Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85017
$14.98 each

Canyon Records continues its proud practice of bringing authentic Native American music to the public at an affordable price with the release of four new albums. "Native Son" (48:15) gathers original and traditional songs for solo Native American flute, performed by award-winning musician and World Championship Hoop Dancer Tony Duncan. "Infinite Passion" (62:04) offers the Round Dance stylings of singer, composer, and Pow-Wow performer Wayne Silas, Jr. as well as many of his friends. "Akameyimoh Baby Boy" (56:35) is championship Pow Wow group Young Spirit's open celebration of Plains Cree culture. "Fight for Survival" (51:41) is a medley of acoustic and electric guitar rock supporting the soulful call of the Native American flute, ingeniously brought to life by the performance group Injunuity. All are excellent additions to Native American and multicultural music collections, highly recommended.

The DVD Shelf

Bomb It 2
Jon Reiss
MVD Entertainment Group
203 Windsor Road
Pottstown, PA 19464

John Reiss follows up his extraordinary documentary street art documentary "Bomb It" with Bomb It 2, a search to understand graffiti scenes worldwide. Reiss ventures to Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and more places to investigate graffiti scenes and converse with local artists. An incredible number of high-profile graffiti artists speak their minds, including Ash Keating, Ayed, Darbotz, Killer Gerbil, Stormie Mills, Victor Ash, and many more. An extraordinary glimpse into multinational countercultures, Bomb It 2 is eye-opening, vibrant, and highly recommended. 73 min., Region 0.

Tae Kwon Do Black Belt: Koryo and Original Koryo
Richard Chun and Doug Cook
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480
Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
9781594392733 $29.95

Companion to the book "Tae Kwon Do Black Belt Poomsae Original Koryo and Koryo", the DVD Tae Kwon Do Black Belt: Koryo and Original Koryo is an demonstration-intensive instructional video created especially for level 1 and level 2 black belt students of the kick- intensive Tae Kwon Do martial art, specifically its most worldwide popular form of Original Koryo and Koryo. Though all level 1 black belts are required to learn Poomsae Koryo, the more ancient forms of Original Koryo are not as widely taught. Grandmaster Richard Chun (9th dan) and Master Doug Cook (6th dan) guide the viewers to the technical and historic aspects of the Original Koryo and Koryo movements, as well as how they can be applied to and integrated with martial arts. The result is a "must-have" for any dedicated Tae Kown Do black belt seeking to improve and refine their understanding their discipline! 87 min.

Doc Martin Series 6
Starring Martin Clunes
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment
9781621721451 $39.99

Doc Martin Series 6 continues the British comedy-drama adventures of a cantankerous doctor, his struggling family, and his ornery patients. Dr. Martin Ellingham (superbly played by Martin Clunes) and his wife Louisa (Caroline Catz) are gradually recovering from a disastrous honeymoon. Together they must work out how to live together and raise a child - a trying task for Martin, who is unaccustomed to the clutter and bedlam of family life. Martin's patients range from a hypochondriac, to a constable who keeps accidentally injuring himself, to elderly body art experts. When the doctor's paralyzing blood phobia resurges, and his fearsome mother (Claire Bloom) arrives for a sudden visit, Martin desperately turns to his aunt Ruth (Emmy winner Eileen Atkins) for advice - but could any words of wisdom possibly salvage the day? Alternately uproarious and thoughtful, Doc Martin Series 6 is a treat for fans of quality British television! Bonus material includes behind-the-scenes segments and a photo gallery. 8 episodes on 2 DVDs, 384 min., widescreen, SDH subtitles. Contains graphic medical scenes.

Tinplate Legends in Action 5
A McComas/Stachler Production
TM Books & Video
PO Box 9228
Michigan City, IN 46361

Shot entirely in widescreen and high definition, Tinplate Legends in Action 5 is a DVD showcase of two extraordinary model railroads. Presented are Russ McFall's collections, including the oldest operating toy train layout in America (Carlisle & Finch, from the late 1800's) and over 200 pressed-steel toys; as well as Jim Hall's assembly of rare, exotic, and treasured trains, from ones made by Lionel or McCoy to little-known, independent brands. A treat for hobbyists, Tinplate Legends in Action 5 is the next best thing to spending thousands of dollars (or more) on one's own grandiose collection! 60 min.

2652 East Walnut St.
Pasadena, CA 91107
$29.95 each

Three of Pentrex's DVDs are sure to delight trainspotters, model railroad hobbyists, or anyone who enjoys learning more about locomotives past and present. Each DVD is in full color, with quality Hi-Fi sound and informative narration. "LTV Mining Railroad" (60 min.) reveals early 1990s footage of the last intact EMD-delivered F-Units that serve what was once known as the Erie Mining Railroad in the state of Minnesota. Footage shows these specialized, hardworking trains in action amid a gigantic mining complex, topped off with a view of Minnesota's beautiful, remote woods from the cab of an F-9. Filmed in 1995, "Double Stacks Over Tehachapi" (40 min.) teaches viewers about the work performed to prepare the famous Tehachapi loop to accommodate doublestack trains. Locomotives travel amid beautiful California scenery, including hillsides covered in green from a record rainfall. "Sierra Pacific Lines: Pasadena Model Railroad" (60 min.) records a 1990 visit to one of the finest HO scale model railroads, the "Sierra Pacific Lines" created by the Pasadena (California) Model Railroad Club. A gigantic project spanning a 5000-square-foot room, and requiring twenty-seven people to properly operate, the Sierra Pacific Lines is a so detailed and complex that it's easy to mistake for the real thing! All three DVDs are excellent gifts for train lovers everywhere, highly recommended.

U.F.I.T. series
Cindy Whitmarsh
c/o 411 Video Information
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
$14.95 each / $39.95 3-DVD set

Fitness and sports nutrition expert (certified by the American Council on Exercise and national Association of Sports Nutrition) Cindy Whitmarsh has created Ultra Focused Interval Training (U.F.I.T.), a user-friendly, six-week weight loss program focusing on both diet and exercises. The complete, downloadable U.F.I.T. package ($39.95) includes a meal plan and a workout calendar. Three U.F.I.T. fitness videos on DVD ($14.95 each / $39.95 set) work great either with the overall plan, or incorporated into any other personal health regimen; each DVD has two 20- minute workouts. "Ultra Burn" has the "Calorie Crusher" workout that alternates one minute of high intensity cardio with one minute of lower-intensity cardio, and "Stretch & Sculpt" which promotes whole-body flexibility and toning. "Ultra Lean" has "Upper Body Bliss", focused on the shoulders, biceps, and triceps, as well as "Lower Body Blast" for giving one's posterior and legs a thorough workout. "Ultra Tight" has "Hard Body", that alternates between one minutes of intense cardio followed by two-minutes of strength training for "trouble spots", and "6-Pack Abs", a cardio ab workout that alternates a minute of cardio with a minute of emphasis on the abdominal muscles. Workouts on all three DVDs can be mixed and matched to personal preference. Whether used by themselves or in conjunction with the larger U.F.I.T. fitness-and- nutrition program, the U.F.I.T. DVDs are an excellent way to improve one's body and just plain feel great! 40 min. each.

Weight Watchers series
Jennifer Cohen, instructor
Anchor Bay Entertainment
2401 West Big Beaver Road, Suite 200
Troy, MI 48084-3304
$14.98 each

Two Weight Watchers fitness DVDs feature solid, body-toning workouts, each featuring three people simultaneously demonstrating beginner, intermediate, and advanced level techniques. "Ultimate Belly Series" (62 min. widescreen) offers three separate abdominal workouts - 10- minute, 20-minute, and 30-minute regimens that can be mixed or matched to suit personal needs. "15-Minute Boot Camp Series" (65 min., widescreen) has four different 15-minute workouts that emphasize the upper body, lower body, core, and cardio, which can be followed in any order to work out at one's own pace. Energetic instruction and snappy music enliven these excellent, user- friendly fitness DVDs, highly recommended especially for squeezing a solid workout into a busy day.

Power Boxing Workout
Marlen Esparza
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 650
Silver Spring, MD 20910
9781621720683 $16.99

Marlen Esparza demonstrates her skill and talent as an American Boxing Champion in Power Boxing Workout, a fitness DVD that draws upon boxing moves to provide a full-body fitness experience, from throwing punches to using one's legs for fighting power and strengthening one's core. Inexpensive light weights and a mat are the only recommended equipment to follow this energetic conditioning regimen, enhanced with bonus Boxing 101 Tutorial and "Box with Marlen" segments. Stressing the value of proper form and technique, Power Boxing Workout is an excellent, high-energy way to go all-in on fitness! 56 min. plus bonus, widescreen.

R.I.P.P.E.D. Total Body Challenge
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 650
Silver Spring, MD 20910
9781621720027 $16.99

R.I.P.P.E.D. Total Body Challenge is a fitness DVD that lives up to its title with a high-intensity workout that can potentially burn 700 or more calories in an hour! Divided into segments focusing on different R.I.P.P.E.D. principles (Resistance, intervals, power, plyometrics, endurance, diet, and nutrition), the Total Body Challenge is fueled with fast-paced original music, and offers a thorough cardiovascular workout balanced with plenty of toning and strength training. A five-minute bonus abs workout rounds out this excellent exercise program. 48 min. plus bonus, widescreen.

The Gaming Shelf

How To Win At Gambling
Avery Cardoza
Cardoza Publishing
5473 South Eastern Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89119
9781580422628, $18.95,

Avery Cardoza is a successful professional gambler and leading publisher of books on all manner of casino games. Cardoza is also the owner of the Las Vegas-based Gambler's Book Club. In "How to Win at Gambling", Cardoza draws upon his many years of experience and expertise to provide the novice gamer with a 400 page compendium comprised of practical, insightful, and comprehensive instruction manual on playing (and winning) at more that fifty major games offered by casinos. Beginning with an informative introduction and concluding with a brief 'Winning Word', "How to Win at Gambling" is deftly organized into chapters specific to the games themselves and range from Blackjack, Baccarat, and Routlette, to Horseracing, Slots, and Poker. Of special note is the chapter on Money Management (which should be carefully read by anyone contemplating a professional career in gambling). enhanced with an extensive glossary, "How to Win at Gambling" is especially recommended to the attention of novice players and will prove to be an enduringly valuable reference resource for experienced players and professionals alike.

The American History Shelf

The Greatest Speech, Ever
James L. Cotton Jr.
History Publishing Company, LLC
PO Box 700, 15 Heyhoe Woods Road
Palisades, New York 10964-0700
9781933909929 $18.95

The Greatest Speech, Ever: The Remarkable Story of Abraham Lincoln and His Gettysburg Address is an in-depth history of President Lincoln's immortal speech, famously made after one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War. Author James L. Cotton Jr. (adjunct faculty of Roane State Community College) is open in his admiration for Lincoln's gift notable and crucial words, which embodied the collective effort to save the fractured Union. "Lincoln composed and delivered the Gettysburg Address in a style radically different from the great orators of his day. Lincoln's oratorical skills had been forged along the way in his climb from the bottom rung of his social and economic world, up to the highest office in the land, a process of beating down, bending and hammering out the steel in a man which would produce a speaking style that was real and authentic. It was a style that would pull the public to him like a lodestone." A handful of black-and-white photographs and an index round out this glowing chronicle, which carefully places events and perspectives of the speech on context, as well as weighing in on debates that continue to this day about Lincoln's psychology and motives. Highly recommended.

The Fiction Shelf

In Pursuit
Sharman Burson Ramsey
Mercer University Press
1400 Coleman Avenue
Macon, GA 31207-0001
9780881464542 $20.00

The sequel to "Swimming with Serpents", In Pursuit is a historical novel of romance and danger. Creek half-breed and survivor of the Creek Indian War Joie Kincaid is kidnapped from a tea room in London - as is the enemy she personally saved from death. Joie awakens afflicted with amnesia, in the hold of a ship headed for pirate waters. Nearby is scholar and fellow abduction victim Godfrey Lewis Winkel. Godfrey and Joie must work together to resist pirates, disease, fallout from the Seminole War, and more threats in this exciting page-turner... even as love begins to stir and bloom between them. In Pursuit makes human history come alive as the backdrop to its exciting tale, and is highly recommended.

The Memoir Shelf

Morning Comes to Elk Mountain
Gary Lantz
University of North Texas Press
PO Box 311336
Denton, TX 76203-1336
9781574415391 $18.95

Illustrated with an inset section of 20 memorable color photographs, Morning Comes to Elk Mountain: Dispatches from the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is a fine balance of memoir, natural history, Native American history, and geology, reflecting upon one of the first wildlife refuges established by legendary President Theodore Roosevelt. An inspirational virtual tour of the bountiful natural land that the Kiowa and Comanche Indians call home, Morning Comes to Elk Mountain is the next best thing to visiting the rolling natural landscape in person. Highly recommended.

The Education Shelf

Celebrating Writers
Ruth Ayres with Christi Overman
Stenhouse Publishers
477 Congress Street, Suite 4B
Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781571109507 $15.00

Writing teacher Ruth Ayres and second-grade teacher Christi Overman present Celebrating Writers: From Possibilities Through Publication, which reflects on teaching students in grades K- 8 to improve their writing through fostering creative joy. Discussed activities range the gamut of silent study to sharing stories in search of feedback. Emphasis is placed on truly celebrating all aspects of written expression, from dashing down thoughts on the go to concentrated efforts to forge a literary masterpiece. Celebrating Writers is very much in touch with the digital era, and discusses at length the benefits of and precautions that need to be taken before giving student writers Internet access. "Communication with parents about our classroom use of digital tools is critical. It is our responsibility to communicate not only the kinds of digital tools we are using in the classroom but also the purpose of each... it is important to teach Internet safety. Tweens and teens are prime targets for online predators. By beginning conversations in the early grades and continuing these conversations throughout elementary school, we can help students be proactive in protecting themselves." Highly recommended as a supplementary resource for grade school writing teachers everywhere.

The Business Shelf

The Business of Dog Walking
Veronica Boutelle
Dogwise Publishing
403 South Mission Street
Wenatchee WA 98801
9781617811289 $19.95

The Business of Dog Walking: How to Make a Living Doing What You Love is a straightforward guide to earning a living by exercising people's pets. Veronica Boutelle, co- creator of the Dog Walking Academy (a 4-day workshop that gives professional dog walking certification) discusses how to read dog body language, teaching basic obedience to dogs, how to maintain personal and canine safety when dealing with multiple dogs at once, effective business practices, marketing for dog walkers, planning for emergencies, and much more. "Setting your rates is relatively easy. Take a look around at what other dog walkers in your area are charging. You'll likely find a range. Set your rate at the top of the range. You may be tempted to start lower, but this is a mistake... you're looking for good clients - dog lovers who see their dogs as part of the family and want to do right by them. You want people who can easily afford your service and who chose you because they fell you're the best walker for their dog. Do your job well and these people will remain loyal to you for the life of their dog. You don't want the bargain hunters; they'll jump ship as soon as they see another walker charging less." An absolute "must-read" for anyone seeking to walk dogs for money, whether as a hobby with a profit or a full-time job.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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