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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 10, Number 7 July 2015 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Poetry Shelf Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf
DVD Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf American History Shelf
World History Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Photography Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Native American Studies Shelf Civil War Shelf Money/Finance Shelf
Nautical Shelf Martial Arts Shelf Dance Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Biography Shelf Education Shelf
LGBT Studies Shelf Travel Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Desert Diplomat
Robert W. Jordan with Steve Fiffer
Potomac Books, Inc.
c/o University of Nebraska Press
22841 Quicksilver Drive, Dulles, VA 20166-2012
c/o Cindy Birne Public Relations
9781612346700 $32.95 hc / $22.45 Kindle

Desert Diplomat: Inside Saudi Arabia Following 9/11 is the vivid personal testimony of author Robert W. Jordan, a Dallas attorney appointed to serve as ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 2001 to 2003, the time period immediately after the deadly September 11 terrorist attack in America. Jordan had no previous diplomatic experience, but Saudi Arabia required the U.S. ambassador to be a political appointee with the ear of the president. Jordan had to learn on the fly how to run an embassy, interact with a foreign culture, and protect U.S. interests. He worked with Crown Prince Abdullah and Saudi leaders on the issues of terrorism and human rights, as well as doing everything in his power to ensure their cooperation with the war in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq. At the same time he coordinated his efforts with the top officials of Washington, including President Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, George Tenet, and Tommy Franks. An up-close and personal glimpse into a tangled situation, sometimes horrendously dysfunctional politics, and the economic and social changes transforming Saudi Arabia at the time, Desert Diplomat is as fascinating as it is illuminating, and highly recommended.

Hot Wind, Boiling Rain
Lyn Ford
Parkhurst Brothers Publishers
110 West Main Street, Marion, Michigan 49665
9781624910579, $12.00, 144pp,

"Hot Wind, Boiling Rain: Scary Stories For Strong Hearts" by Lyn Ford is a compilation showcasing lifetime collection of quotations, stories, wise words, and assembled musings about overcoming hurdles, elusive enlightenment, personal evolution, persistence in the face of discouragement. in a literary pastiche of short stories designed to encourage the downhearted, lift up the strivers, and add wings to the heels of spiritual seekers, "Hot Winds, Boiling Rain' is as eclectic and iconoclastic as it is unrelentingly entertaining. "Hot Wind, Boiling Rain" is enthusiastically recommended for community library collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Hot Wind, Boiling Rain" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.50). For those readers to whom "Hot Wind, Boiling Rains" is their first introduction to the storytelling skills of Lyn Ford, they are urged to visit her web sites: and

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

A Writer's Guide To Persistence
Jordan Rosenfeld
Writer's Digest Press
F+W Media
1140 Broadway, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10001
9781599638843, $16.99, 234pp,

Persistence is defined as the quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult or opposed by other people, as well as the state of occurring or existing beyond the usual, expected, or normal time. For writers it means know matter how inconvenient or uninclined they may be to sit down and start writing, they compel themselves to do so if that article or poem or novel is to ever see print. But like so much else in the art and craft of writing, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Not when you have access to Jordan Rosenfeld's "A Writer's Guide To Persistence: How to Create a Lasting and Productive Writing Practice". This 234 page instruction guide reveals practical ways to balance writing with the rest of your life: taming your busy schedule, increasing your productivity, and committing to a writing practice; provides sound advice for developing authentic work: finding your voice, writing bravely, and breaking the blocks to creative flow; explains methods for stretching your skills through craft and revision; and offers salient thoughts on pushing through rejection and doubt, submitting strong, nourishing yourself to avoid burnout, and keeping your mind and body fit. Especially for the aspiring writer seeking to establish their themselves as professionals and eventual achieve publication and a readership for their work, "A Writer's Guide To Persistence" will prove an invaluable and essential addition to their personal reference collections and reading lists. It should be noted that "A Writer's Guide To Persistence" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Storytelling Tips
Mark Goldman
Parkhurst Brothers, Inc.
110 West Main Street, Marion, Michigan 49665
9781624910500 $17.00

Professional actor, teacher, and mediator Mark Goldman shares his life experience in skilled storytelling with Storytelling Tips: Creating, Crafting & Telling Stories, a guide filled with tips, tricks, and techniques of the trade. Storytelling Tips has "words of wisdom" applicable to writers, comedians, actors, teachers, and anyone else who needs to hone the knack for spinning a good yarn. "What's your story about? Can you say it in one sentence? I don't mean tell me a one-sentence story. I mean, in one sentence, tell me what the essence of your story is. If you can do that, you are well on your way to being a better story crafter and teller." Highly recommended!

The Cookbook Shelf

The Geeky Chef Cookbook
Cassandra Reeder
Race Point Publishers
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781631060496, $29.99,

"The Geeky Chef Cookbook: Real-Life Recipes for Your Favorite Fantasy Foods - Unofficial Recipes from Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and More" by Cassandra Reed is a 144 page, beautifully illustrated, flex culinary compendium showcasing more than sixty superbly presented recipes that are as much fun to browse through as they are to plan menus with. Featuring thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' directions, the fantasy and science fiction literature based recipes range from Spice Beer (inspired by Dune); Cheese Buns (inspired by The Hunger Games); Plomeek Soup (inspired by Star Trek); and Big Kahuna Burger (inspired by Pulp Fiction); to Cauldron Cakes (inspired by Harry Potter); Turkish Delight (inspired by The Chronicles Of Narnia); Poffins (inspired by Pokemon); and Chocolate Salty Balls (inspired by South Park). A unique addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections, "The Geeky Chef Cookbook: Real-Life Recipes for Your Favorite Fantasy Foods - Unofficial Recipes from Doctor Who, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, and More" is enthusiastically recommended. It should be noted that "The Geeky Chef Cookbook" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

Estonian Tastes and Traditions
Karin Annus Karner
Hippocrene Books, Inc.
171 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9780781813457 $18.95

Estonian Tastes and Traditions is not only a cookbook; it's also a culinary tour of Estonia, one of the northernmost Baltic nations. Estonian cuisine is known for its reliance on the staples of potatoes, pork, preserved fish, and dark bread. Sauces are made from milk, sour cream, or cottage cheese, and the most common flavor enhancements are salt and pepper, onions, or fresh herbs. Tidbits about the history of cherished dishes accompany recipes such as Sauerkraut with Bacon and Apples, Smoked Salmon Sandwiches, Baked Apples in Puff Pastry, Cream Candy, and much more. An English/Estonian and Estonian/English glossary of cooking terms, a bibliography, and an index round out this "must-have" for anyone with a keen interest in Estonian cuisine!

The Apple Cookbook, third edition
Olwen Woodier
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781612125183 $14.95

Featuring a wealth of full-color photography, The Apple Cookbook: 125 Freshly Picked Recipes is a gourmet guide that would make Johnny Appleseed proud. A brief introduction to the history of apples and the basics of using them in cooking precedes a wealth of apple-based delights, from rousing breakfasts to drinks and snacks, salads and sides, main courses, and desserts. A brief survey of the nuances of assorted apple varieties and an index round out this superb resource apple enthusiasts, as well as everyone who enjoys healthy cooking!

Ally's Kitchen
Alice Phillips
Front Table Books
c/o Cedar Fort, Inc.
2373 West 700 South, Springville, Utah 84663
9781462115464, $28.99,

Ordinary family meals can be utterly transformed into palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, celebratory cuisine with the 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes that comprise "Ally's Kitchen: A Passport for Adventurous Palates". This beautifully illustrated, 240 page international culinary compendium begins with a chapter on Boholicious Sauces & Spice Mixtures; then goes on to showcase Charming European Flavors; The Stunning Mediterranean; Middle Eastern Allure; An African Excursion; Exploring Exotic Asia; Caribbean Island Eats; Side Trip Escapades. The dishes themselves range from European Tuna Salad with Nicoise Black Olives; Warsaw Apple Crisps Date Cake; Greek Eggs with Spinach, Mozzarella, & Cherry Peppers; Spiced Grilled Beef, Shrimp & Veggie Kabobs with Fig Balsamic Glaze; and African Corn Crepes Stuffed with Beef & Mushrooms with Lime Yogurt Sauce; to Vindaloo Oven-Roasted Chicken; Jamaican Jerk Caramelized Onion Burgers; Cardamom Coconut Sugar Friend Plantains; and Slow-Cooked Garlic Onion Pork with Dates & Pineapple. "Ally's Kitchen: A Passport for Adventurous Palates" is simple joy to browse, inspiring to plan menus with, and an enduringly popular addition to personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Ally's Kitchen: A Passport for Adventurous Palates" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Smoking, Curing, & Drying Meat & Fish
Turan T. Turan
Stackpole Books
5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6921
9780811714990, $29.95,

Profusely illustrated throughout, "Smoking, Curing, & Drying Meat & Fish" by Turan T. Turan is a 224 page instruction manual and guide that contains all the information needed to create and enjoy delicious smoked, cured, and dried meats and fish at home. Smoking, curing and drying are all food preservation and preparation processes that will improve the taste of good ingredients naturally-no artificial flavors needed. Featuring more than fifty recipes that range from dried lamb and beef jerky to pastrami and hot-smoked salmon, "Smoking, Curing, & Drying Meat & Fish" offers clear and simple directions for building a smoker, along with expert tips for mastering artisan cooking techniques, including hot and cold smoking, brining, curing, air-drying, and more. Detailed, comprehensive, practical, informed and informative, "Smoking, Curing, & Drying Meat & Fish" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, family, and community library reference collections.

Betty's Pies Favorite Recipes, second edition
Betty Lessard
Lake Superior Port Cities
310 East Superior Street, Duluth, MN 55802
9781938229183, $18.95,

Betty's Pies began as a smoked fish stand in the 1950s and grew into a full-fledged restaurant by the time Betty Lessard sold it in 1984. Now in a newly revised, updated, and expanded second edition, "Betty's Pies Favorite Recipes" continues the culinary traditions that she draws upon to provide today's kitchen cooks with palate pleasing, appetite satisfying recipes for dishes that would be welcome addition to any dining occasion from simple family meals to elegant celebratory occasions. Featuring recipes and culinary instructions organized into eight chapters (Pie Crusts; Baked Pies; Baked Fresh Fruit Pies; Special Pies; Cream Pies; Cheesecake; Cookies & Bars; Breads & Quick Breads; 'Other Favorites', the recipes themselves range from an Oreo Cookie Crust; a Cranberry-Apple Pie with Crunch Topping; and a Macadamia Nut Chiffon Pie; to Drommer Swedish Cookies; Dilly Bread; and Rutabaga Pudding. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections, "Betty's Pies Favorite Recipes" is enthusiastically recommended!

Low & Slow 2
Gary Wiviott & Colleen Rush
Running Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
9780762453955, $22.00, 280pp,

Smoke-roasting meats, barbecuing meats over an open flame, and curing meats against spoilage are culinary skills that are as old as the human race. Compiled with commentary by the culinary team of barbecue expert Gary Wiviott and freelance food writer Colleen Rush, "Low & Slow 2: The Art of Barbecue, Smoke-Roasting, and Basic Curing" is a 280 page compendium comprised of a basic instruction guide and recipes deftly organized into eleven chapters: The Stuff; The Set-Up; Turkey, Duck & More Poultry; Beef; Fish & Seafood; Lamb; Lagniappe; Side Dishes; Brines & Marinades; Rubs; Sauces & Condiments. The palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, kitchen cook friendly recipes themselves range from Smoked Brisket; Standing Rib Roast; Smoked Salmon; and Smoke-Roasted Leg of Lamb; to Smoked Fresh Ham; Grilled Corn; Basic Buttermilk Brine; Szechuan Five-Spice Rub; and Salsa Verde. "Low & Slow 2: The Art of Barbecue, Smoke-Roasting, and Basic Curing" will prove to be an enduringly popular and much referred to addition for personal and family cookbook collections. Indeed, no community library's cookbook collections should be without a copy of "Low & Slow 2: The Art of Barbecue, Smoke-Roasting, and Basic Curing"! It should be noted that "Low & Slow 2: The Art of Barbecue, Smoke-Roasting, and Basic Curing" is also available in a Kindle edition ($12.49).

Sweet Cast Iron Creations
Doug Martin
Hobble Creek
c/o Cedar Fort, Inc.
2373 West 700 South, Springville, Utah 84663
9781462114450, $16.99,

A Dutch oven is a thick-walled (usually cast iron but also ceramic and clay) cooking pot with a tight-fitting lid. Dutch ovens have been used as cooking vessels for hundreds of years. Compiled and presented by culinary expert Doug Martin, "Sweet Cast Iron Creations: Dutch Oven Desserts" is a specialized, 128 page, beautifully illustrated collection of palate pleasing recipes for desserts and treats made with the use of a Dutch Oven. Each recipe begins with a succinct personal commentary, a list of ingredients, and thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' directions. The delectable dishes range from a Green Chili Apple Pie; Grandma's Zucchini Chocolate Cake; English Fruit Cake; and Peach Cobbler; to Buttery Sugar Cookies; Gooey Fudge Brownies; Banana Bread; and Raspberry Brioche Pudding. Of special note is an entire chapter devoted to Frosting, Ganaches, and Compotes! A delight to browse through and inspiring to plan menus with, "Sweet Cast Iron Creations: Dutch Oven Desserts" is a must for anyone and everyone who has a Dutch Oven of their own! It should be noted that "Sweet Cast Iron Creations: Dutch Oven Desserts" is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.99).

Buttercream Dreams
Jeff Martin
Andrews McMeel Publishing
1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
9781449468095, $14.99, 96pp,

Compiled and presented by Jeff Martin (former chef and the founder of the wildly popular franchise Smallcakes), "Buttercream Dreams: Small Cakes, Big Scoops, and Sweet Treats" showcases thirty of the best, fun, and easiest recipes for iced cupcakes, ice creams, and sweet treats from his fast growing company. But more than just a beautifully illustrated collection of recipes, "Buttercream Dreams " is also the story of how Jeff Martin created the wildly popular and fast-growing Smallcakes franchise. He shares his experiences on starting his business and coming up with some of his very first signature cupcake flavors like Cookies-n-Cream. He appeared on the Food Network's reality show called Cupcake Wars and famously became the guy who forgot the pumpkin in a pumpkin cupcake challenge. The recipes themselves range from Chocolate Malted Milk Ball Cupcakes; Cookies 'N' Cream Cupcakes; Jax's Bubble Gum Cupcakes; and Blueberry Muffin Cupcakes; to Red Velvet Whoopsie Pies; Mom's Holiday Fudge; Spiced Apple-Pear Pies in a Jar; and Oatmeal Cream Pie Cookies. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections, it should be noted that "Buttercream Dreams: Small Cakes, Big Scoops, and Sweet Treats" is also available in a Kindle edition ($5.99).

The Poetry Shelf

Goat's Milk: New and Selected Poems
Frank Ormsby
Wake Forest University Press
PO Box 7333, Winston-Salem, NC 27109
9781930630741, $15.95,

In "Goat's Milk: New and Selected Poems", northern Irish poet Frank Ormsby's keen eye is trained on numerous subjects: the unheralded country people in Northern Ireland, American soldiers stationed there during World War II, and the rich natural world of Westchester County north of Manhattan. These sympathetic poems are not untroubled observations, however. The Troubles of Northern Irish history hover in the margins of many poems, but are not central to the stories the poems have to tell how life continues in its daily forms no matter what type of fate descends. There are poems of death and birth, love and heartbreak, but the voice behind the poems unites them in the simplicity of his telling. Ormsby's words are seldom flashy, but glow steadily with both transparency and assuredness. 'The Flamethrower': We were all in the lap of the gods, as Smokey said, / an unpredictable, tumescent place. / You might be dandled there or due a caress / or fucked quick as lightning if your tree camouflage / wasn't just right. / His own lightning never struck less than twice, / the woods in front of him a melting waste / of real and human trees. "Goat's Milk: New and Selected Poems" is an extraordinary anthology that is very highly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary Poetry collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Goat's Milk: New and Selected Poems" is also available in a Kindle edition ($13.99).

The Audiobook Shelf

Crow Hollow
Michael Wallace, author
Performed by Rosemary Benson
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
9781501230530 $14.99

Crow Hollow is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a saga set in 1676, following a most unlikely couple with a shared destiny. Prudence Cotton is a young Puritan widow who has recently lost her husband. Her daughter was captured by the Nipmuk tribe during King Philip's war; she is convinced that her daughter is alive, but needs help to search for her in the hostile wilderness. James Bailey is an agent of the crown, sent to Boston to investigate the murder of Prudence's husband, and fan the flames of ire to create a pretext for the king to install royal governors. After James' partner is murdered, he makes a bargain with Prudence; together, they travel the New England landscape in search of clues. Intricate and featuring complex, conflicted characters, Crow Hollow is a work of unforgettable storytelling, highly recommended for connoisseurs of quality audiobook fiction. 9 CDs, 10 hours 42 min.

Shadow Ops: Breach Zone
Myke Cole
Graphic Audio
4940 Hampden Lane, Suite 300, Bethesda, MD 20814
9781628511390, $19.99,

"Shadow Ops: Breach Zone" continues Myke Cole's gripping saga of The Great Reawakening where random people began developing terrifying powers with some who could summoning storms, others who could raising the dead, and still others able to set everything they touch ablaze, and more. In the wake of a bloody battle at Forward Operating Base Frontier and a scandalous presidential impeachment, Lieutenant Colonel Jan Thorsson, call sign "Harlequin," becomes a national hero and a pariah to the military that is the only family he's ever known. In the fight for Latent equality, Oscar Britton is positioned to lead a rebellion in exile, but a powerful rival beats him to the punch: Scylla, a walking weapon who will stop at nothing to end the human-sanctioned apartheid against her kind. When Scylla's inhuman forces invade New York City, the Supernatural Operations Corps are the only soldiers equipped to prevent a massacre. In order to redeem himself with the military, Harlequin will be forced to face off with this havoc-wreaking woman from his past, warped by her power into something evil. This audio book edition does full justice to Myke Cole's riveting novel -- including providing the back stories for the two main protagonists - Harlequin and Scylla. Indeed, portrayal of Scylla is truly extraordinary and follows that even the most horrific of villains are to themselves but misunderstood heroes. A gripping presentation of flawless technical production values, an impressively talented cast, and the deft incorporation of digital sound effects and music, make "Shadow Ops: Breach Zone" a true 'theater of the mind' experience and highly recommended for personal and community library audio book collections. (7 CDs, 8 Hours).

Rhiannon Held
Graphic Audio
4940 Hampden Lane, Suite 300, Bethesda, MD 20814
9781628511482, $19.99,

"Silver" launches the superbly crafted werewolf series by Rhiannon Held. Andrew Dare is a werewolf. He's the enforcer for the Roanoke pack, and responsible for capturing or killing any Were intruders in Roanoke's territory. But the lone Were he's tracking doesn't smell or act like anyone he's ever encountered. And when he catches her, it doesn't get any better. She's beautiful, she's crazy, and someone has tortured her by injecting silver into her veins. She says her name is Silver, and that she's lost her wild self and can't shift any more. The packs in North America have a live-and-let-live attitude, and try not to overlap with each other. But Silver represents a terrible threat to every Were on the continent. Andrew and Silver will join forces to track down this menace while discovering their own power and their passion for each other. Flawless production values, a large and talented number of actors, the deft inclusion of digital sound effects and music, all combine to make an enormously entertaining 'theatre of the mind' experience. "Silver" is very highly recommended for personal and community library audio book collections. (5 CDs, 6 Hours).

Shawn O'Brien: Manslaughter
William W. Johnston & J. A. Johnston
Graphic Audio
4940 Hampden Lane, Suite 300, Bethesda, MD 20814
9781628511536, $19.99,

In Broken Bridle, Wyoming, Jeremiah Purdy, the town's tinhorn sheriff is a college kid who wants to become governor some day. But outlaw Darius Pike couldn't care less about anyone else's ambitions. With Pike holding Broken Bridle in a bloody grip of terror, Purdy sends a desperate cry for help out to town tamer Shawn O'Brien. Shawn's mission is to ride to Wyoming and pry Broken Bridle loose from Pike's reign of fear. What Shawn finds is that something even more evil than Pike is haunting Broken Brindle back up in the hills. Now, in a storm of bullets and blood, in a deal with the devil, Shawn O'Brien can only tame this town by entering hell itself. Under the direction of Rose Elizabeth Supan and with a case of over 40 talented actors, the Graphic Audio edition of "Shawn O'Brien: Manslaughter" provides a masterful performance superbly augmented by digital sound effects and music. "Shawn O'Brien: Manslaughter" is a 'must' for all action/adventure western fans and community library audio book collections. (5 CDs, 6 hours).

Daughter of Twin Oaks
Lauraine Snelling, author
Read by Meredith Mitchell
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
9781494512811 $39.99

Daughter of Twin Oaks is the unabridged audiobook rendition of Book 1 in award-winning author Lauraine Snelling's "A Secret Refuge" series. Set during the American Civil War, Daughter of Twin Oaks follows eighteen-year-old Jesselynn Highwood in her desperation to preserve her family and her legacy. She embarks on a life-or-death journey to take her little brother and her family's remaining thoroughbred horses from their Kentucky plantation to her uncle's farm in Missouri. But the situation in Missouri is even more perilous than Jesselynn could have dreamed - what can young woman do to protect all she holds dear against the tides of war? A sweeping tale of courage and resourcefulness, Daughter of Twin Oaks is sure to prove popular among audiophiles. 9 CDs, 10 hours.

Make Something Up
Chuck Palahniuk
Performed by various narrators
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road
Prince Frederick, MD 20678
9781470383916 $72.75

Also available as a downloadable audiobook ($65.00) or an ebook ($80.85), Make Something Up: Stories You Can't Unread lives up to its title as an unabridged audiobook anthology of eyebrow-raising, gut-wrenching short stories. An addiction craze to electroshocks from cardiac defibrillators runs rampant in a high school; a son tries to tell his dying father the ultimate off-color joke to ease his passing; and a precursor story to the smash hit "Fight Club" reveals a side of Tyler Durden never glimpsed before. Walking the tightrope divide between life and death, comedy and tragedy, the profound and the absurd, Make Something Up is unforgettable. 9 CDs, 11 hours.

The Santagelos
Jackie Collins
Read by the author
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781427261632 $39.99

Read by the author, The Santagelos is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of Jackie Collins' novel about a glamorous, power-broker family, ferocious in its zeal to protect its own. "Never cross a Santagelo" is a mantra for a reason - but an unknown, bitter enemy is determined to be their ruin. The resourceful Lucky Santagelo and her supportive husband Lennie Santagelo learn that their son Bobby is being set up for a murder he didn't commit. When Lucky opens an expensive, gilded note card printed with a single word - "VENGEANCE" - she knows that she is in for the fight of her life. Sensuous, violent, and at times Machiavellian, The Santagelos will hold the listener's rapt attention to the very end. 11 CDs, 14.5 hours.

The Music CD Shelf

Sonny Knight and the Lakers Do It Live
Sonny Knight and the Lakers
Secret Stash Records
1621 Hennepin Avenue, Suite 150A, Minneapolis, MN 55403
c/o Press Junkie PR
$16.98 CD / $TBA digital

Sonny Knight and the Lakers Do It Live is a live double-CD release of rhythm, blues, and soul artists Sonny Knight and the Lakers, created especially to capture the improvisational essence of a concert performance. Brimming with energy and passion, Sonny Knight and the Lakers Do It Live is contagious in its enthusiasm. The next best possible thing to witnessing a stage performance in person, Sonny Knight and the Lakers Do It Live makes an excellent gift for connoisseurs of the genre. The tracks are "The Lion of Lyndale/Introduction" (2:50), "Juicy Lucy" (2:53), "Get Up and Dance" (6:00), "Through With You" (3:41), "Sonny's Booglado" (5:40), "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" (5:00), "Day Tripper" (2:52), "Baby, Baby, Baby" (4:05), "It's You for Me" (3:44), "Sock a Poo Poo" (9:42), "When You're Gone" (6:11), "Cave Man" (6:56), "I'm Still Here Part 1" (4:55), "I'm Still Here Part 2" (3:44), "Sugar Man" (3:28) and "Hey Girl" (7:21).

Viva Bandolera
Patricia Vonne
Bandolera Records
c/o Press Junkie PR
$15.00 CD / $8.99 MP3

Viva Bandolera is the sixth album of "Texas border rock" superstar Patricia Vonne, compiling songs from her previous five albums that dwell upon and celebrate her life experience as a proud "Tejana" - a Texan of Latino heritage. Brimming with joy, freedom, and passionate rock-'n'-roll, Viva Bandolera is festivity incarnate! The tracks are "Traeme Paz", "Dulce Refugio", "El Marinero y La Sirena", "Viva Bandolera", "Que maravilla", "Guitarras y Castanuelas", "La Huerta de San Vicente", "Torera", "La Gitana de Triana", "Mujeres Desaparecidas", "Fuente Vaqueros", "Fiesta Sangria", "Tequileros", "La Lomita de Santa Cruz", "Soledad", "Severina", and "Mexicali de Chispa".

The DVD Shelf

Me Without You
A film by Sandra Goldbacher
First Run Features
630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213
New York, NY 10036

Me Without You is an original movie about two young women, who grow up as best friends in the London suburbs during the 1970s, and navigate the rocky chasm of adult life together. The free-spirited and rambunctious Molly has a dramatically different temperament from the serious-minded and bookish Holly. Their friendship sees them through the boredom of suburban life, and the minefield of adulthood. Spanning three decades, Me Without You tells of the toll of hard drugs, random sex, manipulation, betrayal, and the search for purpose. Intense, connected, and emotional, Me Without You is a movie to remember. 100 min., rated R for sexuality and strong language.

A Place to Call Home, Season 2
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment
9781621724049 $59.99

A Place to Call Home, Season 2 continues the popular Australian drama, set in the 1950s. Strong-willed nurse Sarah Adams is in love with the dashing and wealthy George Bligh, but Blighs mother considers her unsuitable and schemes to drive them apart. George's daughter and son have similar problems - his daughter Anna wants to prove her love for the questionable Gino, while his son James and his pregnant wife Olivia face stinging opposition to their marriage. Directly addressing issues of social class and sexuality, A Place to Call Home draws the reader into a vividly recreated world, filmed amid gorgeous natural scenery. Highly recommended! Bonus features include 70 minutes of behind-the-scenes interviews, and 20 minutes of clips about the characters. 10 episodes on 3 DVDs, 430 min. plus bonus, widescreen, SDH subtitles, contains violence and sexual situations.

Just Walk: The Tone Every Zone Walk
Leslie Sansone
Anchor Bay Entertainment
2401 West Big Beaver Road, Suite 200
Troy, MI 48084-3304

Just Walk: The Tone Every Zone Walk is a DVD that makes staying fit as easy as walking. Fitness professional Leslie Sansone leads the viewer through three 20-minute workouts, suitable for use individually or in combination. The first circuit workout alternates walking with upper body toning; light hand weights are recommended. The second workout alternates lower body strength training with walking, and the third is an all-cardio fast walk with standing moves that exercise muscles of the core. Thoroughly accessible to all ages and fitness levels, Just Walk is an excellent and user-friendly way to get and stay in shape! Highly recommended. 65 min., widescreen.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Book of Oberon
Daniel Harms, James R. Clark, Joseph H. Peterson
Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
9780738743349, $65.00, 600pp,

The collaborative work of Daniel Harms, James R. Clark, and Joseph H. Peterson, "The Book of Oberon: A Sourcebook of Elizabethan Magic" is a lavishly illustrated grimoire that will prove to be an indispensable addition to the Metaphysical Studies reference collections of magic practitioners, grimoire collectors, and Elizabethan Era historians. "The Book of Oberon" is the meticulous transcription and translation of a sixteenth-century manuscript acquired by the esteemed Folger Shakespeare Library. Unlike the more theoretical magic books of the era, this collection of spells, secrets, and summonings was compiled gradually by unknown authors for working practical magic. Now published by Llewellyn Worldwide in a premium hardcover edition retaining the original's red lettering of significant words and holy names, "The Book of Oberon" includes rituals for summoning a long list of spirits and faeries (including Oberion, Fairy King and close relation to Shakespeare's Oberon); original drawings; common prescriptions used by cunning folk; instructions for dealing with Goetic demons that were censored in other texts; one of the oldest known copies of the magical manual The Enchiridion; and much more. "The Book of Oberon" is a significant contribution to the annals of magical history, bringing to light the kind of grimoire that was commonplace in its era but is so rarely published today. Enhanced with the inclusion of a twelve page Bibliography and a thirty-one page Index, "The Book of Oberon: A Sourcebook of Elizabethan Magic" is unique and highly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies and Elizabethan History reference collections.

Hidden Histories and Ancient Mysteries of Witches, Plants, and Fungi
Frank Drugan
APS Press
3340 Pilot Knob Road, St. Paul, MN 55337
9780890544655, $69.95, 180pp,

In "Hidden Histories and Ancient Mysteries of Witches, Plants, and Fungi", author Frank Drugan provides an inherently fascinating history of ancient rituals and plant lore that formed the foundations for medicine, botany, and modern agriculture. For millennia, shamans and healers invoked a metaphysical relationship that involved a myriad of plants and human beings. For centuries, peasants leaped over bonfires with accompaniment of song, ale and courtship, in spring, mid-summer and fall, all to combat smut, rust, darnel, and rinderpest. During these times, rituals for protection of crops and livestock were the primary basis of social life and cohesion, and these rituals contributed to a vigorous plant lore that later transmuted into the foundations of medicine, botany, and modern agriculture. Exceptionally well written and impressively informative, "Hidden Histories and Ancient Mysteries of Witches, Plants, and Fungi" is a substantial and unique read, a seminal work of outstanding research scholarship, making it very highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community, and academic library collections.

The American History Shelf

Minnesota's Lost Towns: Central Edition
Rhonda Fochs
North Star Press of St. Cloud
PO Box 451, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0451
9780878398041, $19.95, 240pp,

"Minnesota's Lost Towns: Central Edition" is ideal for the armchair traveler to visit and learn about more than 125 central Minnesota locations. Author Rhonda Fochs covers twenty-seven of Minnesota's central corridor counties, from east to west. Reader will learn how the towns were created, how they developed and lived, and why they died. Discovering the people and places of Minnesota's past, "Minnesota's Lost Towns: Central Edition" is filled from cover to cover with tales and photos and is a fun and educational read for anyone who loves history or a good story. It should be noted that "Minnesota's Lost Towns: Central Edition" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).

Minnesota's Lost Towns: Northern Edition
Rhonda Fochs
North Star Press of St. Cloud
PO Box 451, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0451
9780878397631, $19.95, 240pp,

In "Minnesota's Lost Towns: Northern Edition", armchair travelers once again journey to the past and visit over 100 northern Minnesota lost towns. Readers will find out what created them, how they grew and prospered, why they died, where they are located, and what there is to see at all these sites today. Readers will learn of the stages of a "boom and bust" cycle and how lost towns are classified according to their physical remnants. Written in a personal narrative style, "Minnesota's Lost Towns: Northern Edition" is filled with then and now historical photos and amusing tales and anecdotes. "Minnesota's Lost Towns: Northern Edition" is a fun read for historians, tourists, genealogists, and anyone who loves a good story. It should be noted that "Minnesota's Lost Towns: Northern Edition" is also available in a Kindle edition.

The World History Shelf

America Invades
Christopher Kelly and Stuart Laycock
Book Publishers Network
PO Box 2256, Bothell, WA 98041
9781940598420 $29.95

America Invades is a different kind of history book, listing virtually every nation in the world - with a brief yet accessible summary of how America has either invaded it, or been militarily involved with it! Only three countries remain overlooked by America's military. (Wondering which three? Read the book!) A handful of color plates and an index round-out this straightforward case-by-case accounting of America's military reach. America Invades does not sermonize or make judgments; readers are left to decide for themselves, based on the facts, which military interventions were justified and which were not. Highly recommended!

The Graphic Novel Shelf

The Divine
Boaz Lavie, author
Asaf Hanuka and Tomer Hanuka, artists
First Second
175 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781596436749 $19.99

The Divine is a full-color graphic novel blending narrative elements of contemporary war, fantasy, and horror. Mark is an ex-military explosives expert trapped in a dead-end job, with a baby soon to come. His old friend Jason sweet-talks him into a potentially lucrative contract in the remote Southeast Asian nation of Quanlom. Yet Mark has no idea of what awaits him; in Quanlom, the ruthless greed of humans clashes violently with the will of ancient, powerful spirits of the land. A pawn buffeted by the brutality of both sides of the war, will Mark survive to see his family again, let alone salvage his own conscience? Gripping to the very end, The Divine is highly recommended for adult and older teen readers, but is definitely not for the faint of heart due to scenes of graphic violence.

Seven Stories: Lucky Luke
R. Goscinny, author
Morris, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
c/o National Book Network
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781849182263, $11.95, 48pp,

The newest addition to the wonderfully entertaining 'Lucky Luke' graphic novel series, "Seven Stories" continues the western adventures of the Lonesome Cowboy known as Lucky Luke. We all know that Lucky Luke has a busy life. When it's not Washington calling upon him for some national project, it's the local penitentiary asking him to recapture the Daltons. But not every moment is spent in such grand adventures. Here is a collection of smaller stories depicting the everyday life of our cowboy, from taking a child to the dentist to helping passing settlers -- and even attending a classical concert in Houston! What a full life he leads! A solid entertainment from first page to last, "Seven Stories" is a must for all Lucky Luke fans -- and will result in those new to these graphic novels by the team of Goscinny and Morris to seek out all the other fabulous tales of the Lonesome Cowboy. It should be noted that "Seven Stories: Lucky Luke " is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).

The Needlecraft Shelf

Beginner's Guide To Quiltmaking
Jeri Simon
Landauer Corporation
3100 NW 101st Street, Suite A, Urbandale, Iowa 50322
9781935726722, $24.95, 128pp,

"Beginner's Guide To Quiltmaking" by quilting expert Jeri Simon is a 128 page, fully and profusely illustrated, step-by-step instruction guide for the novice needlecrafter who is setting out for their first time to master the art and craft of quilting. From Getting Started (equipment and supplies, choosing fabrics, pressing, 1/4" seams); to Quilt Making Basics (rotary cutting, cutting and piecing half-square and quarter-square triangle blocks, fussy cutting, chain piecing, strip piecing, and sewing basic blocks); to Applique Basics (machine applique, hand applique; bias strips); to Assembling the Quilt Top (quilt center, borders); to Finishing the Quilt (layering the backing, batting and quilt top, quilting the quilt, binding the quilt, adding a hanging sleeve, labeling), the instructions are clear, concise, and thoroughly 'user friendly'. Enhanced with Projects, Charts, and Quilting Terms & Definitions, "Beginner's Guide To Quiltmaking" is the ideal introduction to quilting and a very highly recommended addition to personal, family, community, and academic library Needlecraft instructional reference collections.

The Photography Shelf

Desire: New Erotic Photography
Patrick Remy
Prestel USA
900 Broadway, Suite 603, New York, NY 10003
9783791349527, $49.95,

"Desire: New Erotic Photography" showcases and celebrates the female form through the artistic lens of a series of talented photographers. Primarily in full color, although with many images in black-and-white, each of the 32 photographers is cited with a succinct introduction while the photos themselves are presented without caption and range in content from the mundane to the surreal. An inherently fascinating, 280 page volume of images from first page to last, "Desire: New Erotic Photography" is a compelling body of work and very highly recommended for 'Adults Only" personal, professional, and academic library Photography Studies reference collections.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Manhattan Mayhem
Mary Higgens Clark, editor
Quirk Books
215 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
9781594747618, $24.95, 320pp,

Mary Higgins Clark has established herself as one of our leading authors in the mystery/suspense genre. In "Manhattan Mayhem: New Crime Stories from Mystery Writers of America" she invites readers on an inherently fascinating tour of Manhattan's most iconic neighborhoods in an outstanding anthology of all-new stories from members of the Mystery Writers of America. From the Flatiron District (Lee Child) and Greenwich Village (Jeffery Deaver) to Little Italy (T. Jefferson Parker) and Chinatown (S.J. Rozan), "Manhattan Mayehm" features an impressive roster of short stories showcasing crimes, mysteries, and riddles large and small. Illustrated with iconic photography of New York City, "Manhattan Mayhem" is a delightful read for armchair detectives and armchair travelers alike! Indeed, "Manhattan Mayhem" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to any personal reading list or community library Mystery/Suspense collection. It should be noted that "Manhattan Mayhem" is also available in a Kindle edition ($12.99), as an audio book ($19.95), and in an MP3 format ($17.98).

The Christian Studies Shelf

Selections from Three Works of Francisco Suarez, S. J.
Francisco Suarez
Liberty Fund, Inc.
8335 Allison Pointe Trail, Indianapolis, IN 46250
9780865975163, $24.00,

Francisco Suarez (5 January 1548 - 25 September 1617) was a Spanish Jesuit priest, philosopher and theologian, one of the leading figures of the School of Salamanca movement, and generally regarded among the greatest scholastics after Thomas Aquinas. His work is considered a turning point in the history of second scholasticism, marking the transition from its Renaissance to its Baroque phases. Such philosophical luminaries as Leibniz, Grotius, Pufendorf, Schopenhauer, and Heidegger, all found cite him Francisco Suarez as a source of inspiration and influence with respect to their own works. :Selections from Three Works of Francisco Suarez, S. J." is compiled and edited with and informative introduction by Thomas Park and is a 1053 page compendium comprised of 'A Treatise on Laws and God the Lawgiver'; 'A Defense of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith'; A Work on the Three Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope, and Charity'. Enhanced with the inclusion of an eighteen page Bibliography; a three page listing of Suggestions for Further Readers; and a forty-two page Index, "Selections from Three Works of Francisco Suarez, S. J." is a critically important and highly recommended addition for seminary and academic library Christian Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Native American Studies Shelf

Osage and Settler
Janet Berry Hess
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9780786495825 $39.95

Also available as an ebook (9781476621173), Osage and Settler: Reconstructing Shared History through an Oklahoma Family Archive is a scholarly examination of the history and relationship between white settlers, African-Americans, and the Osage of Oklahoma. Drawing upon a rare family archive, as well as archival material from the Osage Nation, Osage and Settler uses an anthropological approach, noting the lives of individual. Art, architecture, body ornamentation, sacred objects, ceremonies, and performances of the Osage are all contemplated in this multilayered and thoughtful study, enriched with a handful of black-and-white photographs, chapter notes, and a bibliography. Osage and Settler is a welcome and highly recommended addition to Native American Studies collections.

The Civil War Shelf

Fight Like the Devil
Chris Mackowski, Kristopher D. White, and Daniel T. Davis
Savas Beatie
PO Box 4527, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
9781611212273 $12.95

Fight Like the Devil: The First Day at Gettysburg July 1, 1863 is a historical analysis and re-creation of the first day of the horrifically deadly Battle of Gettysburg, which lasted for three days during the American Civil War. A trio of expert historians reconstruct the chance encounter between Confederate forces and Federal cavalry that quickly became a voracious battle, spiraling out of control. Black-and-white photography adorns virtually every page of this vivid, meticulous, and unforgettable study, peppered with revealing anecdotes. A "must-have" for Civil War history shelves!

The Money/Finance Shelf

Stop Trying To Keep Up With the Joneses
Brad Berger, CFP, CLF
Advantage Media Group
65 Gadsden Street, Charleston, SC 29401
9781599325149 $14.99 pbk / $9.99 Kindle

Certified Financial Planner and managing partner and owner of Cornerstone Financial Strategies Brad Berger presents Stop Trying To Keep Up With the Joneses: They're Broke Anyway, a practical-minded financial planning guide for business owners and laypeople alike. Chapters cover how to tailor one's approach to meet personal needs, preparing for the destination of retirement, the six biggest financial risks and how to mitigate them (including sickness/injury, improper tax planning, legal entanglements and more), and the anatomy of a financial plan. "Even if you have the money to self-insure, why would you? It is always more cost effective to transfer the risk than to reserve it for yourself. The problem with self-insuring is the opportunity cost. If you are reserving $200,000, that means it cannot be used for other things... You cannot invest it and put it at risk in the market - meaning you would be losing the potential to gain $16,000 a year if the market returned 8 percent." Thoroughly accessible and user-friendly from cover to cover, Stop Trying To Keep Up With the Joneses is highly recommended.

Living a Beautiful Life On Less
Danielle Wagasky
Plain Sight Publishing
c/o Cedar Fort, Inc.
2373 West 700 South, Springville, Utah 84663
9781462116072 $12.99 pbk / $5.99 Kindle

Living a Beautiful Life On Less is a user-friendly resource and guide to living well on a tight budget. When author Danielle Wagasky's husband was deployed to Iraq, her own income plunged, and she learned how to keep her family of four happy and healthy on a $14,000 annual income with no debt, not even a mortgage. Chapters cover tips, tricks, and techniques to reduce grocery bills, become a strategic shopper, plan nutritious meals for less, pay down debt, and lay a sustainable financial foundation for the future. As a faithful Christian, Wagasky also touches upon the importance of making time for God no matter how dire one's financial straits may seem, but Living a Beautiful Life On Less is thoroughly accessible to readers of all religious backgrounds. "Forgetting to carry the two an really wreak havoc on a budget, so we like to always double check our math. our online banking is crucial to this step. You can't manage your finances efficiently without having access to an online banking system, and most banks offer this for free." Highly recommended.

The Scholarship & Financial Aid Solution, second edition
Debra Lipphardt
Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.
1405 S.W. 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471
9781601389503 $16.95

Now in a revised second edition, The Scholarship & Financial Aid Solution lives up to its title as a practical guide to identifying and properly applying for different types of scholarships. Chapters cover how to search for scholarship applications, guidelines for filling out applications or writing essays, preparing for interviews, avoiding scholarship scams, and more. "Some [scammers] will offer a 'free' workshop. The workshop is free, but the meeting they setup afterward will not be. Parents and students ask for my advice about whether or not they should go. I tell them what I have just told you, and to attend if they want to but never pay money for anything... These scam companies always seem to rent a room at reputable places, which makes them seem trustworthy." An excellent reference and resource for anyone confronting rising college and tuition costs, highly recommended.

The Nautical Shelf

Silent and Unseen
Alfred Scott McLaren
Naval Institute Press
291 Wood Road, Annapolis, MD 21402
9781612518459 $39.95

Silent and Unseen: On Patrol in Three Cold War Attack Submarines is the memoir of a submariner's life on board three U.S. attack submarines during the early years of the Cold War, a time of great risk and tension. Submarines engaged in reconnaissance and intelligence-collection missions of great strategic value, which often required venturing within weapons range of the enemy. Of particular fascination is the author's personal testimony of serving aboard the USS Skipjack submarine during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Engaging and detailed, Silent and Unseen takes the reader behind the scenes for an up-close and personal glimpse of nautical history. Highly recommended!

The Martial Arts Shelf

The Mind Inside Tai Chi
Henry Zhuang
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480, Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
9781594393334 $16.95

Tai Chi Chuan is an excellent physical activity for promoting health, longevity, and mental clarity. But engaging in the exercises regularly throughout the course of one's busy life can be difficult. The Mind Inside Tai Chi offers strategies and recommendations for staying focused and adhering to a consistent Tai Chi regimen. Author Henry Zhuang, a Tai Chi expert of thirty years' experience, shares how to cultivate an optimal mindset conductive to the benefits of this time-honored practice. "Practice at least twice a day, that is, one half hour after getting up in the morning and an hour before going to bed in the evening. Perform at least three sets of the complete forms. The first time is just for stretching, and gongfu can be enhanced only after the second time. For health preservation, one should practice for at least one half hour or more." The philosophy and elements of Tai Chi are discussed as thoroughly as the physical movements (which are also demonstrated with occasional black-and-white photographs). The Mind Inside Tai Chi is a "must-read" for anyone who is serious about incorporating Tai Chi into their daily life! Also highly recommended is the YMAA Publications title "Conflict Communication" (9781594393310, $18.95), a solid guidebook to learning principles and practical methods of conflict de-escalation.

The Dance Shelf

So You Want To Be A Dancer
Matthew Shaffer
Taylor Trade Publishing
c/o Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781630760267 $19.95

Stage and screen performer Matthew Shaffer presents So You Want To Be A Dancer: Practical Advice and True Stories from a Working Professional, a practical-minded guide for anyone looking to break into the creative enterprise of professional dancing. From promoting one's career aspirations through social media, to the pros and cons of getting a degree in dance, to tips and tricks for audition success and much more, So You Want To Be A Dancer is a "must-read"! Even readers who have no interest in dancing for a living will be fascinated by Shaffer's true-life, behind-the-scenes stories

The Health/Medicine Shelf

The Paleo Vegetarian Diet
Dena Harris
Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440, Berkeley CA 94703-3440
9781612434438 $15.95

Part vegetarian cookbook, part Paleo lifestyle resource, and part weight loss and fitness guide, The Paleo Vegetarian Diet teaches the reader how to embrace the Paleo diet for improved health, while staying true to vegetarian principles. The Paleo diet is a nutrition program based on the principle that it is better for one's body to eat foods in a similar manner to the diets that humans ate in prehistory, prior to large-scale agriculture and animal domestication. Thus, the Paleo diet excludes (or at least minimizes) grains, legumes, dairy, and high-calorie processed foods. The Paleo diet is expected to be protein rich, which appears to present a conundrum for vegetarians. What to do? "...aim to include as many and as much of these foods in your diet as possible: fish and seafood (if a part of your diet); whole eggs (pasture-raised preferred); flax and chia seeds; hemp seed; olive oil, nuts, especially walnuts (pecans and pine nuts as well); leafy greens - kale, spinach, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, etc.; cabbage; broccoli; avocados (limit to one per day if trying to lose weight); brussels sprouts; seaweed - kelp and spirulina; berries; potatoes (for athletes after hard workouts)." An excellent, health-conscious guide.

The Biography Shelf

It Is Written
Philip Lee Williams
Mercer University Press
1400 Coleman Avenue, Macon, GA 31207-0001
9780881464931 $29.00

It Is Written: My Life in Letters is the autobiography of prize-winning author Philip Lee Williams, from his youth in Madison, to his days at the University of Georgia, his years as a journalist, and this successful thirty-year career as a published author of fiction, poetry, and essays. A handful of black-and-white photographs from Williams' life enriches this biographical testimony of the publishing industry, Hollywood, and checkered successes and failures. Witty and always engaging, It Is Written is an excellent addition to public library biography shelves.

The Education Shelf

Acing the Public University
Jeff Gimpel
2525 Arapahoe Avenue, Suite E4, Boulder, CO 80302
9780991535705 $14.95

Acing the Public University is a guide written especially for high school students/graduates and anyone else with plans to attend a public university. Chapters discuss the real rules of getting into a public university, how to maximize one's grades and GPA, cost-effective degree completion, how to make the most of academic credit by examination, how to select the best professors, need-to-know information about university grading, and much more. Thoroughly accessible and user-friendly, Acing the Public University lives up to its title and is highly recommended.

The LGBT Studies Shelf

Equal Before the Law
Tom Witosky and Marc Hansen
University of Iowa Press
100 Kuhl House, 119 West Park Road
Iowa City, IA 52242-1000
9781609383497 $19.95 pbk / $15.89 Kindle

Award-winning reporters Tom Witosky and Marc Hansen present Equal Before the Law: How Iowa Led Americans to Marriage Equality is a fascinating, scholarly study of Iowa's contribution to America's movement toward equality for same-sex marriages. The story begins with Iowa's Defense of Marriage Act, an anti-gay marriage law passed in 1998. In 2005, six ordinary Iowa couples joined Lambda Legal's suit against the law. The suit's triumph in 2009 initiated a conservative backlash against the state's elected supreme court judges. This court decision, Varnum v. Brien, made moderate, Midwestern Iowa the third state of the U.S.A. to permit same-sex couples to wed, years before more left-leaning states such as California and New York. Equal Before the Law reveals that this change should not have come as a shock - Iowa has a long history of leadership on civil rights, a legacy that remains influential to this day. Extensive notes and an index round out this worthy addition to American History and LGBT Studies shelves.

The Travel Shelf

Lonely Planet: Sardinia
Kerry Christiani and Duncan Greenwood
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street, Oakland CA 94607
9781742207353 $21.99 pbk / $12.49 Kindle

Part of the top-quality Lonely Planet series of international travel guides, Lonely Planet: Sardinia is a user-friendly resource for visitors to this beautiful Mediterranean island, which is also one of Italy's five autonomous regions. Crammed cover to cover with need-to-know information, Lonely Planet: Sardinia includes highlight destinations (with their hours, phone numbers, and websites) sorted by region, a wealth of maps and color photographs, an A-Z directory, and much more. An excellent choice for business travelers and vacationers alike!

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

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