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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 6, Number 6 June 2011 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Fiction Shelf Memoir Shelf
Business Shelf Christian Studies Shelf Biography Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf Social Issues Shelf
Travel Shelf Sports Shelf Photography Shelf
American History Shelf World History Shelf Computer Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Education Shelf Native American Shelf
Gaming Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Holocaust Studies Shelf
Poetry Shelf Homeowner's Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Crafts Shelf Needlecraft Shelf Gardening Shelf
Humor Shelf Self-Help Shelf Political Science Shelf
Music Shelf Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Hunting/Fishing Shelf Philosophy Shelf
Parenting Shelf Nautical Shelf Buddhist Studies Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Psychology Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Door to the River
Aram Saroyan
David R. Godine Publisher
PO Box 450, Jaffrey, NH 03452
9781567923964, $17.95,

Overcoming the shadow of one's father is the goal of many sons. "Door to the River: Essays & Reviews from the 1960s into the Digital Age" is a collection of writings from a kid of the 60s with an overbearing father. Author Aram Saroyan has since had success as a novelist and playwright, fueled by the drive to become his own writer. Covering his work throughout his life and including discussions of America after the September 11th, 2001 attacks, Saroyan provides an intellectual and scholarly set of thoughts. An excellent addition to literature and literary criticism collections, "Door to the River" is highly valuable.

The Fiction Shelf

Spanish Grant
L. L. Foreman
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230
West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9780753187418, $29.99,

Clearly, L. L. Foreman is a gifted storyteller with a genuine knack for spinning an Old West yarn that has action-adventure at its most spellbinding. In "Spanish Grant" we have a cowboy, Rory Ballinashawn, who has a poker game grudge against Rogue Bishop that can only be settled by gunplay. Just as they are about to settle things between them out in the bush, some outlaws holding up a stagecoach distract them. It doesn't help matters when a second gang show up to pull a young woman from the stage and make off with her. Despite their mutual grudge, Rogue and Rory both hold to the western notion about defending women folk and so begins their rescue which will hold many a twist and turn before it ends with guns blazing! A riveting read, this Sagebrush publication of "Spanish Grant" is a large print edition making it an especially recommended addition to community library collections.

The Crepe Makers' Bond
Julie Crabtree
Milkweed Editions
1011 Washington Avenue South, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55415
9781571316936, $16.95,

At the end of childhood and at the birth of independence, it all lies on the line. "The Crepe Makers' Bond" follows a group of friends as they unite in the last year of middle school, trying to escape the control of their parents and live their own lives. A coming of age novel that encourages readers to remember friendship and what comes with it, "The Crepe Makers' Bond" is a strongly recommended read and gift to any young adult reader facing their own adulthood soon.

The Lightkeeper's Ball
Colleen Coble
Thomas Nelson
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
The B&B Media Group (publicity)
9781595542687, $14.99,

For many of a failing family, marriage is the only path to comfort. "The Lightkeeper's Ball" is the story of a failing American rich family. The Stewart's family's fortune depends on good marriage, as young Olivia must take her deceased sister's place to marry one Harrison Bennett, her dead sisters fiance. Using an old English title, Olivia finds herself going across the country as Lady Devonworth, and must find that hand. But challenged with keeping up a deception and finding the truth about her sister, as well as her faith, "The Lightkeeper's Ball" is a thoughtful blend of nineteenth century romance and high society, with a positive Christian message blended in as well.

This Thing Called the Future
J. L. Powers
Cinco Puntos Press
701 Texas Avenue, El Paso, TX 79901
9781933693958, $16.95,

Education is key, especially when trying to free yourself and your family from superstition. "This Thing Called the Future" is a novel following young Khosi as she faces the town of Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, her hometown. As her grandmother seems to waste away and superstition dominates her mother, Khosi finds it on herself to try to stay on school, as it's her and her grandmother's hope of ever finding a better life for her and her sister. "This Thing Called the Future" is a fine work of international fiction, painting a vivid picture of shantytown life in Southern Africa.

A Bouquet of Barbed Wire
Andrea Newman
Serpent's Tail
c/o Profile Books
9781846687723, $14.95,

One sour event can spiral a family spinning out of control. "A Bouquet of Barbed Wire" is a family drama novel adapted from the Independent Television show in the United Kingdom following Peter Manson and the crumbling nature of his family after his daughter conceives a child by a man he despises. Riveting intrigue of familial crisis, "A Bouquet of Barbed Wire" will grip readers and not let go, and prove as a catalyst to watch the television program.

The I.O.U.
Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781593093457, $12.00,

Even as you pass middle age, there may be some growing up to do yet. "The I.O.U." follows Lena Macy, as she faces her boring reality as her lust isn't sated. When a stranger enters her life and shows her the spark she may need to sate her desires, she realizes a lot about herself and what surrounds her as she tries to compromise her good upbringing with her most primal desires. "The I.O.U." is a fun and riveting erotic novel, highly recommended.

Another Dawn
Kathryn Cushman
Bethany House
c/o Baker
11400 Hampshire Ave S., Bloomington, MN 55438
9780764208256, $14.99,

No one can run forever, and the longer you run, the bigger the problems you face when you stop. "Another Dawn" follows Grace Graham, a woman who has faced every crisis in her life by fleeing from it. But as her sister tries to plea with her to return home to care for her sick father, she is met with an ultimatum, face the problems she left behind or lose them all forever. Choosing to face all she left behind, she finds that the urge to flee will become stronger than ever. "Another Dawn" is an excellent contemporary novel that will resonate with many readers.

The Bed Book of Short Stories
Joanne Hichens
Modjaji Books
c/o Michigan State University Press
1405 South Harrison Rd., Rm 25, East Lansing, MI 48823-5245
9781920397319, $29.95,

A bed is the centerpiece for much of our lives. "The Bed Book of Short Stories" is a collection of stories compiled by Joanne Hichens who presents stories from a wide array of authors who speak on the bed from the innocence of a good night's rest to the spiciness of the love making to the tragedy of death. With a strong topic and many ways to go, "The Bed Book of Short Stories" is an excellent pick and solid addition to any general short fiction collection.

A Port in the Storm
Judy Genandt
Gale Cengage Learning
200 First Stamford Place, Stamford, CT 06902
9781594149511, $25.95,

To cut your own path through life is all one can really hope for. "A Port in the Storm" is the story of Margaret Ward, rebellious woman of 1885, who sets out to make her own way throughout her life in her small Wyoming town, coming from Boston. Pursuing love from a local heir, her boldness makes her friends and costs her but never leaves her bored. "A Port in the Storm" is a fun work of romance and historical fiction, recommended reading.

The Memoir Shelf

Major Dream
Dr. Jin Kyu (Suh) Robertson
Privately Published
9781460989425 $14.95

Major Dream: From Immigrant Housemaid to Harvard PhD, Volume 1 is the debut American memoir (her Korean memoir has already been quite successful at a half-million copies sold) of a Korean-born woman whose career has spanned the gamut from factory girl, waitress, and housemaid to US Army Major and radio talk show host. In her story, she speaks of how to improve one's own life by seeking out opportunity and working to achieve one's dream. A handful of black-and-white photographs illustrate this inspirational life story of dedication and the drive to succeed.

Far Out Isn't Far Enough
Tomi Ungerer
180 Varick Street, Fourteenth Floor, New York, NY 10014
9780714860770, $29.95,

They thought they could escape it all. They weren't successful. "Far Out Isn't Far Enough" is a memoir from graphical illustrator Tomi Ungerer as he recollects his decision to leave New York City for Gull Harbor, Nova Scotia. Telling the story of adapting to rural life, he brings a tale that it isn't all that different. Tales of livestock, agriculture going awry are the meat of his tale. Along with the illustrations done by Ungerer himself, "Far Out Isn't Far Enough" is certainly a humorous read that won't be easy to be put down once picked up.

Finding Balance
Sue Hickey
Demos Health
11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036
9781936303144, $19.95,

When standing on you own volition is a challenge all its own, life can prove quite difficult. "Finding Balance: Healing from a Decade of Vestibular Disorders" is a health memoir from Sue Hickey, who speaks on her own experiences with Vestibular disorders, a broad name that covers many conditions such as vertigo, balance issues, and more. Learning to live life with them is the route many must take until they discover the treatment for them, "Finding Balance" is a fine read, and very much recommended reading for those with the disorder, or have family with it.

Gray Matter
David Levy
10152 S. Knoll Circle, Highlands Rach, CO 80130
9781414339757, $14.99,

When you understand so much science behind the human brain, it can be hard to grasp the concept of a soul behind it all. "Grey Matter" is a memoir with a bit of faith from David Levy, a medical doctor who specializes in Neurosurgery. Through plying his trade, Levy has found as lives lie in his hands, the power of prayer and faith has a profound effect on many lives of his patients in such a way that it has inspired him in a way. "Grey Matter" is a fascinating look at faith and its effects and inspirations on those who have taken the job of saving lives.

Roses For Marie
Ron Clement DeLelles
Jenkins Group
1129 Woodmere Ave., Suite B, Traverse, City, MI 49686
9780615354071, $18.99

Life was much different a hundred years ago, yet much the same. "Roses for Marie: A Remarkable Journey of Discovery in Bulgaria" is a unique recollection from Ron Clement DeLelles as he speaks on the history of his family, telling the story of his grandparents, freshly immigrated to America in a new world and pursuing their own view of the American dream. Drawing on his own visit to his homeland, the story he shares is touching, warm, with a reverence for the Bulgarian culture and the drive of parents to give better lives for their children. "Roses for Marie" is a unique and fascinating work of memoir, very highly recommended.

Keep True
Howard Pawley
University of Manitoba Press
301 St. John's College, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R3T 2M5
9780887557248, $27.95,

It takes much to stay resilient in a rapidly changing time. "Keep True: A Life in Politics" is the memoir of Howard Pawley, who served his province Manitoba for the better part of two decades, serving as Premier, the highest office in the province for a period of that time. Facing a national crisis in Canada, the Quebec separatists, human rights, military, facing scandal, and much more, "Keep True" offers insight into the drive of Canadian politics, very highly recommended reading.

The Business Shelf

Awaken, Align, Accelerate
Scott E. Nelson & Jason G. Ortmeier
Beaver's Pond Press
7104 Ohms Lane, Suite 101, Edina, MN 55439
9781592983919, $75.00,

With the right man in the driver's seat, something good can become great. "Awaken, Align, Accelerate: A Guide to Great Leadership" is a guide and compilation of thought on how one becomes a truly great leader in the business world. A good business leader must truly believe in the product, and must be driven to push it to succeed. Stating that becoming a good leader is not something simply that happens overnight and must be grown into, Scott Nelson and Jason Ortmeier bring their counseling experience to the table. A good leader must be able to push themselves further as they push others, be quick to make good decisions, realizing what is and isn't working as well as avoiding conflict. Packed cover to cover with plenty of principles elaborately explained, "Awaken, Align, Accelerate" is a must for any business trying to inspire its managers and leaders to greater heights, a core resource for any Business studies community and college library collection with a focus on leadership.

The Retail Doctor's Guide to Growing Your Business
Bob Phibbs
350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148
9780470587171, $19.95,

When your business is stagnate, a quick diagnosis and cure is needed to prevent any long term damage to growth. "The Retail Doctor's Guide to Growing Your Business: A Step-By-Step Approach to Quickly Diagnose, Treat, and Cure" is a guide to making one's business succeed by identifying the problems and fixing them swiftly and effectively. Suggesting renovations of business model to increase profit, using the Internet, how personality plays into it, avoiding panic, and much more, "The Retail Doctor's Guide to Growing Your Business" is a must for anyone who wants to make their retail business flourish, highly recommended.

The Christian Studies Shelf

William Baer
Truman State University
100 E. Normal Ave., Kirksville, MO 63501
9781935503101, $15.95,

Faith has driven people for generations. "Psalter: A Sequence of Catholic Sonnets" is a collection of religious poetry in sonnet form as William Baer dedicates his faith with a certain drive and faith, and comes with love and spirit among it all. "Psalter" is a top pick for any Catholic who also has a taste for poetry, highly recommended. "David": The putrid sea lies right beneath my cave,/and the stinking rising sulfur burns my eyes,/for nothing can survive in this smoldering grave,/where every bird and plant and creature dies,/where even the valleys and the hills are dead;/for this is "desolation," a world apart,/with the Mountain of Sodom looming straight ahead,/where all is dark and barren like my heart./Lord, help me in my lonely, useless life,/hunted by the king, like a treacherous slave,/without my friends, my brothers, or my wife,/just waiting to be slaughtered in my cave./O Lord, I know not what to do,/so in this valley of death I turn to You.

The Emergent Christ
Ilia Delio
Orbis Books
Price Bldg, Box 302, Maryknoll, NY 10545
9781570759086, $22.00,

Evolution is not wholly incompatible with Christian theology. "The Emergent Christ: Exploring the Meaning of Catholic in an Evolutionary Universe" seeks to reconcile evolution and Catholic theology, stating that God's intention and power are the power behind evolutionary theory, and that clinging the to the teachings of Aristotle is archaic and dated. Coming at readers with a sure to be controversial collection of theology, science, and much more, "The Emergent Christ" will enlighten and grant credence to faith in today's world where it seems everything is explained more and more by science.

5 Spiritual Solutions for Everyday Parenting Challenges
Richard and Linda Eyre
Deseret Book Company
PO Box 30178, Salt Lake City, UT 84130
9781606419335, $19.99,

Parenting is a challenging aspect for anyone, regardless of faith. "5 Spiritual Solutions for Everyday Parenting Challenges" is a guide to Mormon parenting from Richard and Linda Eyre as they channel faith to help parents through the most daunting task that they will face in their lives - parenting. Offering takes from typical Mormon wisdom, the Eyres offer many suggestions for the many problems that come from child rearing, from rebellion, boredom, siblings, and much more. "5 Spiritual Solutions for Everyday Parenting Challenges" is a strong pick for Mormon parents, although the wisdom may ring strong regardless of faith.

Particular Examen
James F. McElhone
Roman Catholic Books
PO Box 255, Harrison, NY 10528
9781934888193, $17.95

No one is perfect, and solving that flaw is what brings one closer to Christ. "Particular Examen" is a book of faith written by Father James F. McElhone as he speaks on the weaknesses we each have and how to correct them by embracing faith, and overcoming them. To make a more perfect self is the path of the saint, and McElhone speaks well on helping readers go down that path in their lives. "Particular Examen" is a choice pick for any Catholic who views self-improvement as an excellent virtue.

Behaving in Public
Nigel Biggar
Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
2140 Oak Industrial Drive NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780802864000, $16.00,

To be preachy is to be rejected, but one should not completely hide their faith in everyday life. "Behaving in Public: How to Do Christian Ethics" discusses Christianity and its place in the modern debate and public forum. Nigel Biggar seeks to marry common sense and nature with religious discussion, something that many Christians feel split by, breaking between their faith and their morality often. With much to think about for any theological thinker, "Behaving in Public" is a core addition to any modern Christian studies collection.

Growing Kingdom Character
Tom Yeakley
Nav Press
PO Box 35001, Colorado Springs, CO 80935
9781615216147, $12.99,

The Bible provides many exceptional characters, and many exceptional leaders. "Growing Kingdom Character: Practical, Intentional Tools for Developing Leaders" teaches readers on how to look to the Bible, learn from its lessons and create good leadership in oneself and others, in life, and in business. Drawing strongly on faith with plenty of practical advice, "Growing Kingdom Character" is sage wisdom that shouldn't be overlooked by any everyday leader of men.

Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary
J. D. Douglas & Marrill C. Tenney
5300 Patterson Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49530
9780310229834, $29.99,

The Bible, regardless of one's faith, is one of the most important written works in world history. "Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary: The Most Accurate and Comprehensive One-Volume Bible Dictionary Available" is a comprehensive Biblical study as Zondervan presents and alphabetical glossary of the countless characters, places, items, and other concepts that are present throughout the old and new testaments. With well over seven thousand entries and color photos of the historical locations and relics, "Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary" is an excellent pick for any studious Christian and for community and college library collections with a focus on Christianity.

At Home with God
Gavin Long
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568, Orleans, MA 02653
9781557256850, $26.99,

God is not something to be considered only for Sunday. "At Home with God" is a reference guide to finding faith and God in everyday life, with daily considerations to remember in life to find God and spirituality in faith in every avenue. With plenty of ideas and prayers for mealtimes, gatherings, and more, "At Home with God" is a guide for anyone who wants to bring God into a more prominent role around their home and in their life.

Answers to Common Questions About The End Times
Timothy J. Demy & Thomas Ice
Kregel Publications
733 Wealthy Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
9780825426582, $9.99,

The end will come at some time or another, but when is a question that leaves way too many questions being asked. "Answers to Common Questions About the End Times" is a discussion of the end of the world and what does the Bible truly say about it. Discussed by Bible teachers and scholars Timothy Demy and Thomas Ice, they discuss rapture, the second coming, and the reality of heaven and hell. "The End Times" is worth considering for those who want to understand Revelations through the eyes of scholarship, highly recommended.

The Biography Shelf

Black Sheep
John F. Wukovits
Naval Institute Press
291 Wood Road, Annapolis, MD 21402
9781591149774 $34.95

Military historian John F. Wukovits presents Black Sheep: The Life of Pappy Boyington, an in-depth biography of U.S. Marine Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, who served in the Pacific theater during World War II. From his tumultuous early life, marked by abusive parents and a succession of family moves, to his military career and his membership as one of the Flying Tigers in Burma and China, to his legendary exploits as a Corsair pilot in the South Pacific and his time in Japanese prison camps, Black Sheep paints the picture of an extraordinary fighter in every sense of the word. Wukovits maintains that Boyington's performance record was lacking among the Flying Tigers because they considered him an outsider; but when he was in command of the Black Sheep Squadron, he excelled as a teacher and leader, and his squadron was one of the most successful in the Pacific. Black Sheep is enthusiastically recommended as a vibrant and unforgettable portrait of a gifted World War II ace. Also from Naval Institute Press is the highly recommended "Battle Surface!" (9781591145325, $34.95), an in-depth chronicle of the military service of the USS Parce and its dedicated crew.

John Romano & George Engel
Jules Cohen & Stephanie Brown Clark
University of Rochester Press
668 Mt. Hope Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620-2731
9781580462952, $50.00,

A lifetime of study leads to major progress of a science. "John Romano & George Engel: Their Lives & Work" looks at these two physicians who spent fifty years in the University of Rochester's Medical school faculty and offered much to furthering the training and status of their students and the profession. Tracing both of their life's story, their educational history, and interviews with those who knew them. A fascinating study into the men of medicine and what drove their dedication to the science and teaching, "John Romano & George Engel" is an ideal addition to biography collections with a focus on education and medicine.

Cordelia Harvey
Bob Kann
Wisconsin Historical Society Press
816 State Street, Madison, WI 53706
9780870204586, $12.95,

Patriotism knows no gender, but in the Civil War, women could not bear arms. "Cordelia Harvey: Civil War Angel" is an entry in the Badger Biographies Series, following one particular woman who jumped at the chance to do her part in serving the Union. Through it all, she helped pushed the Union to build a military hospital and soldier's home. Bob Kann shows her story, and makes for a unique tale of forgotten history. "Cordelia Harvey" is a solid addition to any Civil War and biography collection. Also in the Badger Biographies Series is "Lucius Fairchild: Civil War Hero" (9780870204609, $12.95), telling the story of a businessman turned warrior.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Smoke Damage
Michael Schwalbe
Borderland Books
c/o University of Wisconsin Press
9780981562087, $19.95,

A war fought with smoke instead of bullets still has casualties. "Smoke Damage: Voices from the Front Lines of America's Tobacco Wars" chronicles the stories of those who have been affected from tobacco and what damage has been felt. From those who have survived cancer, those who have lost loved ones, lawmakers, farmers, and many others. Each entry brings forth a piece of evidence into the puzzle of the relationships of Americans and tobacco. "Smoke Damage" is a thoughtful study of modern tobacco, enthusiastically recommended.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Sisters in the Faith
Glendyne R. Wergland
University of Massachusetts Press
PO Box 429, Amherst, MA 01004
9781558498631 $24.95

Independent scholar Glendyne R. Wergland presents Sisters in the Faith: Shaker Women and Equality of the Sexes, an extensively researched examination of the celibate Shaker faith, which deliberately attempted to institutionalize equality of the sexes after the passing of its founder Mother Ann Lee in 1788. Sisters scrutinizes the results, and the amount of success the Shakers had in achieving this goal. Chapters discuss why women joined the Shakers, how those outside the community perceived them, the degree to which gender limitations concerning daily work were lifted, and which gender-based conflicts remained intractable. Of particular interest is how strong visions - a hallmark of the Shaker faith - were sometimes used as a means to wield power or expel members from the church. Ultimately, however, Wergland concludes that the Shaker model was a trailblazing example of women's rights, especially during a patriarchal cultural era of America's history. A superb addition to religious history and women's studies shelves, highly recommended.

Gods Behaving Badly
Pete Ward
Baylor University
One Bear Place, #97363, Waco, TX 76798-7363
9781602581500, $24.95,

Who needs God when you have Entertainment Tonight? "Gods Behaving Badly: Media, Religion, and Celebrity Culture" looks at the culture in today's society surrounding celebrity and how some have taken the celebrity world as a new Bible, embracing their lives and following them closely. Not a condemnation for Ungodliness, Pete Ward instead hopes to explore this intriguing version of culture that has been embraced by the western world, and the parallels to traditional religious faith. "Gods Behaving Badly" is an intriguing and very scholarly read, highly recommended for anyone who looks at the celebrity culture with an inquisitive eye.

Michael Ipgrave & David Marshall
Georgetown University Press
3420 Prospect Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007
9781589017160, $24.95,

No matter what god or lack of god we look to, there is no changing the fact that we are all human. "Humanity: Texts and Contexts, Christian and Muslim Perspectives" is a meeting of many Christian and Muslim speakers, as they met in 2007 under the guidance of Georgetown University and the Archbishop of Canterbury. The discussion is aimed not at God, but of humanity, as they use both spirituality, logic, and differing world view to create a truly unique discussion. "Humanity" is a scholarly read for anyone who ponders the nature of man, and an excellent addition to community and college library religion and philosophy collections.

Great American Catholic Eulogies
Carol DeChant
ACTA Publications
4848 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640
9780879464493, $29.95,

A eulogy is one last dedication to the memory of someone dear. "Great American Catholic Eulogies" traces the history of Catholicism in America through its eulogies through the country's few centuries of existence. Carol DeChant presents these speeches to show the progression and brand of Catholicism that America has made its own. Those eulogized are from many walks of life, painting a wide picture of how American Catholics remember. With a foreword by Thomas Lynch, known for his work with HBO Program Six Feet Under, "Great American Catholic Eulogies" is a thoughtful and intriguing look at American Catholicism, a core addition to Religion and Christianity collections.

The New Trinity
Jack Burch
DeVorss Publications
PO Box 25061, Albuquerque, NM 87125
9780875168616, $18.95,

The concepts of spirituality have a trinity all their own. "The New Trinity: Your Secular Pathway to Personal Spirituality" is Jack Burch's own wisdom and advice to creating one's own spirituality separate from, but not excluding religious faith. He presents his own journey through spirituality and how he found his own enlightenment that was separate from what one normally faces with faith. Driven and spiritual writing for anyone looking for enlightenment that is definitely human, "The New Trinity" may be exactly what readers are seeking.

How to Be a Perfect Stranger
Stuart M. Matlins & Arthur J. Magida
Skylight Paths
PO Box 237, Sunset Farms Offices, Rt. 4, Woodstock, VT 05091
9781594732942, $19.99,

Very few in this world understand every faith perfectly. "How to Be a Perfect Stranger: The Essential Religious Etiquette Handbook" is a guide to living a religious diverse society, such as is apparent in the United States. Stuart M. Matlins & Arthur J. Magida compile a collection of wisdom on the many faiths of the world that will often be encountered, granting a crash course in what is appropriate when visiting people of such faiths, taking part in a celebration, and other tenets of faith. "How to Be a Perfect Stranger" is a solid and recommended exploration of faith for those who don't want to appear clueless or offensive.

Peace a Day at a Time
Karen Casey
Conari Press
c/o Red Wheel, Weiser, Conari, Hampton Roads
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
9781573242677, $14.95,

Wisdom is not something that comes all at once. "Peace a Day at a Time: 365 Meditations for Wisdom and Serenity" is a collection of a year's worth of affirmations from Karen Casey, who with each day of the year, comes at readers with a virtue, an elaboration and a quote, each discussing many angles of one's life. "Peace a Day at a Time" is a fine pick for those who want a bit of sage advice every single day of the year.

The Social Issues Shelf

Final Rights
Joshua Slocum & Lisa Carlson
Upper Access Inc.
87 Upper Access Road, Hinesburg, VT 05461
9780942679342, $19.95,

Death has been stripping people of the dignity it once has, thanks to profiteers seeing your corpse as a dollar sign. "Final Rights: Reclaiming the American Way of Death" delves into the death industry and its exploitation of grieving families. Stating that one can control and fight this exploitation before they passed on, or encouraging funeral processions outside of a funeral home. Joshua Slocum & Lisa Carlson provide intellectual approach to the grieving process so one doesn't have to mourn their money as well as their loved one. "Final Rights" is a must to be considered for anyone who wants to be prepared for the unfortunate.

We Were Not Orphans
Sherry Matthews
University of Texas Press
PO Box 7819, Austin, TX 78713-7819
9780292725591, $29.95,

When no one claims you, responsibility falls to the state, and the state is not always the best parental figure. "We Were Not Orphans: Stories from the Waco State Home" is a study from Sherry Matthews, who reflects on her own experiences with the home, and speaks to those who formerly called the place home. Through it all, she found the sad reality of abuse and strict discipline during the formative years, and those who remember their childhood there fondly. An intriguing collection of stories of the impact a state home has on many children, "We Were Not Orphans" is a choice addition to any social issues collection with an added focus on history.

Kids First
David L. Kirp
Public Affairs Books
250 West 57th Street, Suite 1321, New York, NY 10107
9781586489472, $24.99,

If there's no future, there is no point. "Kids First: Five Big Ideas for Transforming Children's Lives and America's Future" discusses what needs to be done to help the future of America, by improving the situation that children grow into to help them live up to the their full potential. David L. Kirp writes that this process starts even before conception, by making the parental experience one that is less punishing. From making the most of those formative years, to a wider availability of college education to those who wish to seek it, "Kids First" is an excellent read on what needs to be done to ensure a more glowing future for America and the rest of the world.

The Travel Shelf

Touring the Carolinas' Civil War Sites, second edition
Clint Johnson
John F. Blair, Publisher
1406 Plaza Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
9780895874030 $19.95

Maps and black-and-white photographs pepper Touring the Carolinas' Civil War Sites, a blend of history and travel guide to historic places in North and South Carolina. Now in an updated second edition, Touring the Carolinas' Civil War Sites features 21 tours. A user-friendly guide, Touring the Carolinas' Civil War Sites is enthusiastically recommended both for visitors to the Carolinas and for armchair travelers interested in vicariously re-living pivotal moments in American military history. Also highly recommended for Civil War tourists is Johnson's "Touring Virginia's and West Virginia's Civil War Sites" (9780895874023, $19.95), also in a newly updated second edition.

Over the Hill
Shirley Elder Lyons
Jetty House
c/o Peter E. Randall Published
PO Box 4726, Portsmouth, NH 03802-4726
9780982823644, $20.00,

Adventure knows no age. "Over the Hill Hikers: And How They Grew...And Grew...and Grew" tells the story of Shirley Elder Lyons and Elizabeth MacGregor as they share their experiences traveling long and far in the paths and wilderness in New Hampshire. The pair of retirees attracted more like them, and Lyons shares her experiences in the group and tells a story of adventure, age, and community. "Over the Hill Hikers" is a fine read with plenty of wisdom to absorb, highly recommended.

The Sports Shelf

The Ultimate Guide to Weight Training for Tennis, fourth edition
Price World Publishing
1300 W. Belmont Ave., Suite 20G, Chicago, IL 60657
9781932549577, $16.95,

Tennis is a game more of speed and technique, but strength should not be neglected. "The Ultimate Guide to Weight Training for Tennis" is the fourth edition from, designed to give advice on strength training for those who take their tennis playing seriously, who want to build strength without sacrificing speed. Good weight training reduces chance for injury and allows quicker motor skills, both fine and gross. With advice for training in every step of the season and off season, "The Ultimate Guide to Weight Training for Tennis" is an absolute must for anyone who wants to step up their tennis game to the next level.

The Athlete's Clock
Thomas W. Rowland
Human Kinetics
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61825-5076
9780736082747, $19.95,

The human body is not a machine meant to run 24/7. "The Athlete's Clock: How Biology and Time Affect Sport Performance" discusses time and biology and their impact on the athlete. Breaking down the science of marathons, sprints, and more, Dr. Thomas W. Rowland offers a deep study in how to build one's body and alter the physiology to better cope with the challenges of their chosen athletic challenge. Natural rhythm, what happens every second in one's body under high stress and more make "The Athlete's Clock" an intriguing study and one that is very much recommended reading for athletes.

The Photography Shelf

Painting with Light
Jan Leonardo Woellert & Joerg Miedza
Rocky Nook
26 West Mission Street Ste 3, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
9781933952741, $39.95,

Light itself has become our artistic tool. "Painting with Light: Light Art Performance Photography" delves into this particular discipline of photography, that blends the more traditional light painting with performance art is a guide to using this practice to create awe inspiring pieces. Long exposure times, careful choreography, and good setting all blend into something that's created without digital editing but is quite fascinating in itself. "Painting with Light" is a choice pick for anyone who wants to use this method to create something truly unique and special by their own hand.

The American History Shelf

From Slave to Untouchable
Paul Kalra
Antenna Publishing Co.
PO Box 23826, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
9780964717374 $18.95 pbk
9780964717367 $23.95 hc

From Slave to Untouchable: Lincoln's Solution chronicles slavery in the United States, and the tensions over it that ultimately led to the Civil War. Author Paul Kalra contends that the suffering of the Civil War could have been avoided had American settlers followed the Catholic slave code, a system that recognized the humanity of slaves, rather than the dehumanizing Protestant code. From Slave to Untouchable also contends that the dark legacy of the Constitution that once used the might of the law to support slaveholders persists in modern times, as African-Americans are still viewed as "untouchable" second-class citizens by whites. Notes and an index enhance this stinging indictment of America's history of the deprivation of human liberty.

Iron Will
Terry S. Reynolds & Virginia P. Dawson
Wayne State University Press
4809 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201-1309
9780814335116, $44.95,

It takes a certain fortitude to call piles of rock and danger a workplace. "Iron Will: Cleveland-Cliffs and the Mining of Iron Ore, 1847-2006" looks at the mining community and history that emerged from Cleveland, with the only surviving independent mining company in America in the Cleveland-Cliffs company which operated for well over a century. Through depression and war, the story of the company is a unique picture of the shifts of American business and society. A studious and scholarly history that has a message far bigger than one company and one town, "Iron Will" is a fine addition to any American history collection especially those with a focus on business.

The World History Shelf

Abandoned Mansions of Ireland
Tarquin Blake
The Collins Press
DuFour Editions
PO Box 7, Chester Springs, PA 19425
9781848890619, $52.95,

With a history as vast as Ireland's, there are plenty of relics of its vast past. "Abandoned Mansions of Ireland" is a photography book packed with the history behind these buildings and what led to their fates. A combination of ruin exploration and urban exploration, these ruins are from hundreds of years ago to a few years ago. Each page is presented in full color with the story of the subject matter explained. For anyone with an interest in ruins of the past and present, "Abandoned Mansions of Ireland" should prove to be an endlessly fascinating coffee table work.

The Computer Shelf

Step by Step
Elena Kosinska and Chris Leeds
O'Reilly Media
1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472
9780735639010, $44.99,

When learning doesn't feel like a job, it's much easier to embrace. "Step by Step: Microsoft Expression Blend 4" is a guide to learning how to use the Microsoft Silverlight programming tool Expression Blend to create the application with the features they desire. Broke down in an easy to follow and learn style, authors Elena Koskinska & Chris Leeds seek to present a comprehensive instructional manual to use Expression to the fullest, with tips on side programming as well. "Step by Step" is a complete and comprehensive resource for anyone looking to get the most out of Expression Blend and Silverlight, a must have reference.

The Cookbook Shelf

The Art of Breakfast, How to Bring B & B Entertaining Home
Dana Moos
Down East Books
PO Box 679, Camden, ME 04843
9780892729401, $28.95,

Inspired by the menus of Bed and Breakfast establishments known for pampering their clientele, "The Art of Breakfast" contains many frankly fancy or unusual imaginative recipes for scrumptious breakfast entrees. For the most important meal of the day, and a festive beginning to any day, try a recipe from "The Art of Breakfast." The stunning color photographs are wonderful page turners, tempting the reader to try many unusual brunch entrees. Chapters are divided into the fruit course, sweet and savory entrees, baked goods, side dishes and garnishes, sauces, syrups and flavored butters, and guest gifts and menus. How about Pineapple, Cherry and Pecan Cheese Crepes? Or Chive and Cream Cheese Scrambled Eggs in Wonton Cups? In the baked goods section is a recipe for Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies that is a story of persistence in its making. Some of the creative sides are Roasted Fennel Bulbs, Chilled Asparagus with Curry Lime Aioli, and Roasted Tomato and Swiss Tart. Unusual sauces, syrups and butters can transform an ordinary breakfast menu, and the Guest Gift and Menus provide the frosting on the B & B cake. For the hostess who wishes to pamper her guests, "The Art of Breakfast" is the perfect culinary inspiration.

The Wild Blueberry Book
Virginia M. Wright
Down East Books
PO Box 679, Camden, ME 04843
9780892729395, $14.95,

"The Wild Blueberry Book" is a fascinating combination of fun facts and history about Maine's wild blueberry crops and fabulous, imaginative recipes displaying a full range of applications of the wild blueberry's versatility as a healthful, natural, delicious food. Filled with color photos and illustrations and fascinating anecdotes about the harvesting of the wild blueberry, "The Wild Blueberry Book" is sure to entice newcomers to the blue tasty fruits to try them in recipes and to visit the only state where they are commercially harvested. There is nothing like the flavor of the tiny wild blueberry. And there are so many different varieties, each more tasty than the last! Star recipes are found for Duck Breast with Wild Blueberry Sauce, Blueberry Cobbler, and surprisingly, Baked Stuffed Lobster. The serious production of blueberries and the serious competition of the Blueberry Pie Wars must be seen to be believed. "The Wild Blueberry Book" is as great a gift to tourism as it is to culinary creations. From the blue ribbon recipes to the memoirs of a family who plans vacations annually to participate in the blueberry harvest, "The Wild Blueberry Book" is all about experiencing the wild blueberry where it grows best.

Quick & Easy Christmas
Vickie Hutchins and Jo Ann Martin, editors
Gooseberry Patch
2500 Farmers Dr., #110, Columbus, Ohio 43235
9781936283781, $16.95,

"Quick & Easy Christmas" is the latest collection of scrumptious holiday recipes from Gooseberry Patch. Featuring recipes for breakfast and brunch, snacks and appetizers, soups, sides, and salads, mains, desserts, and slow cooker, "Quick & Easy Christmas" has something delicious and easy to prepare for every holiday entertainment need. For such a festive, busy time of year, these are the perfect stress reducers - a winning backlist of fabulous foods that are wonderfully easy to pull together in that very busy 24-day period. Particularly appealing and praised for its flexibility is the section titled Slow Cooker." Here are pages of mouth-watering main courses that can be easily thrown into the crock pot and left to simmer to perfection whil running off to do any of the other myriad delightful tasks and activities that be-gem the season. From the classic Wacky Beef Roast to the Creamy Rice Pudding, these recipes fill out the need for a hot and tasty meal from beginning to end. Of course there are also festive holiday desserts and confections, Holiday Cranberry Trifle, Chocolate Fudge Pie, and Eggnog Cake are just a few that sound exquisitely tempting. All recipes are attractively presented with description, charming homey illustrations in black and whiteand green, and clear instructions, as well as including special extra tips and ideas for Christmas activities and crafts. "Quick & Easy Christmas" is an attractive, sturdy, plastic spiral-bound recipe collection that is sure to please all palates and become a classic Christmas cooking resource.

At My Grandmother's Knee
Faye Porter
Thomas Nelson Publishers
P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
9781401600365, $24.99,

"At My Grandmother's Knee: Recipes and Memories Handed Down by Women of the South" is a nostalgic recipe and memory collection that draws on a variety of Southern home cooking traditions. A celebration of many grandmothers' favorite culinary creations, "At My Grandmother's Knee" is as tempting to the palate as it is to the legions of memories it represents. In keeping with the theme, each recipe is introduced with a paragraph description of the woman responsible for creating it. Here we have Granny's Corn Casserole, Ham A La Mamie, Esther's Apple Cake, and Nanny's Bridal Salad, not to mention Sweet Slaw, Sawdust Salad, B. B.'s Turnip Greens, and many more. Recipes are divided into 12 categories, including breakfast, breads, appetizers, side dishes, main dishes, and five separate chapters for different kinds of desserts. It is impossible to read through "At My Grandmother's Knee" without finding a familiar sounding recipe that begs to be made and eaten again. Recipes are clearly explained and ingredients are listed in order of use. Described by the author/editor as "part cookbook and part history book," At My Grandmother's Knee" captures the warmth and affection of many a home-cooked meal in the South.

Authentic Cuban Cuisine
Martha Abreu Cortina
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LO 70053
9781589809550, $25.00,

As they break away from their mother nations and take something from the new land to create something new entirely. "Authentic Cuban Cuisine" looks at the blend of Hispanic and native culture that has blended into the Cuban style of cooking. Packed cover to cover with recipes and full color photos, and much more, each recipe outlines what is needed to produce and comes with simple instructions. With dishes to suit many tastes and for many meals from breakfast to dessert, "Authentic Cuban Cuisine" is a must for anyone who wants to try a taste of Cuban cooking.

The New Southern Garden Cookbook
Sheri Castle
The University of North Carolina Press
116 S. Boundary St., Chapel Hill, NC 27514-3808
9780807834657, $35.00,

There is a certain joy to dining on your own months worth of hard work. "The New Southern Garden Cookbook: Enjoying the Best From Homegrown Gardens, Farmers' Market, Roadside Stands, & CSA Farm Boxes" is a guide for those who grow their own gardens and want to use the gardens as a base of deciding what to cook, so that they are always eating fresh throughout most of the year. Recipes are not for vegetarians only, as they also include some southern style meat dishes. For many methods and many tastes with easy to follow instructions for Crispy Chicken Thighs, Yellow Tomato Gazpacho, Blueberry and Pecan Snack Cake, and so much more, "The New Southern Garden Cookbook" is a resource that no gardening Southern cook should be without.

Tupelo Honey Cafe
Elizabeth Sims
Andrews McMeel Universal
1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
9781449400644, $29.99,

A bit of sweetness goes far in making something special. "Tupelo Honey Cafe: Spirited Recipes from Asheville's New South Kitchen" draws from the recipes of the Tupelo Honey Cafe, which for the past ten years and change has been making itself a culinary attraction in Asheville, North Carolina. With its own spin on Southern American classics, Elizabeth Sims follows the kitchen's focus on local produce and meat, spinning them into something new and flavorful. "Tupelo Honey Cafe" is a fine cookbook with recipes for every season and every meal of the day, very highly recommended.

The Education Shelf

You Know The Fair Rule, third edition
Bill Rogers
Australian Council for Educational Research
c/o International Specialized Book Services
920 NE 58th Ave. Suite 300, Portland, OR 97213-3786
9780964319746, $39.95,

Being a good teacher is more than being able to teach the material. "You Know the Fair Rule: Strategies for Positive and Effective Behaviour Management and Discipline in Schools" is a guide for teachers who want to create a fair and just syllabus for discipline in their classrooms, as Dr. Bill Rogers shares his experience at the many levels of education and what can be done to deal with student anger, keeping discipline consistent through staff, and what to do when dissent and unruliness seems to be on a much more than individual basis. "You Know the Fair Rule" is full of useful information for any educator who wants to step up their discipline practices.

The Native American Shelf

The People Are Dancing Again
Charles Wilkinson
University of Washington Press
PO Box 500096, Seattle, WA 98145-5096
9780295990668, $35.00,

Heritage struggles to survive under certain pressure, and the Indians of the Oregon Coast found this challenge to their existence quite difficult. "The People Are Dancing Again: The History of the Siletz Tribe of Western Oregon" traces the history of a confederacy of tribes in the Oregon Coast region who facing cruelty by the then territorial United States Government, struggled to survive and hold on to what evidence of their ancestors they could. With the drive of greed and resources, the Siletz had to fight a political battle every step of the way to be a recognized tribe, a fight that continues to this day. "The People Are Dancing Again" traces the history of this tribe culturally and the struggles of a modern Native American tribe.

Sacraments & Shamans
Scott McCarthy
Blue Dolphin Publishing
PO Box 8, Nevada City, CA 95959
9781577332466, $17.95,

By understanding the innate faith in us all, you understand God. "Sacraments and Shamans: A Priest Journeys Among Native Peoples" is the religious memoir of Father Scott McCarthy, who as a catholic priest has sought to visit and learn of the faithful practices of the Native American people on both continents, seeking to learn so much more about everything around faith and what it means to all us, free from the formal institution of faith. "Sacraments and Shamans" is a fascinating read for anyone interested in the many faiths that make up our world.

The Gaming Shelf

Make Your Own MMORPG
Aaron C. Callahan
Fose Media
c/o Ingram, Baker & Taylor (distribution)
9780983171607 $29.99

Make Your Own MMORPG: How to Plan, Build and Run Your Own Online Multiplayer Game does not contain specific computer programming instructions - instead, it's packed cover to cover with tips, tricks, techniques, recommendations, and warnings for would-be MMORPG creators, with the presumption that they already possesses all the requisite technical skills in their software platform of choice. Chapters cover how to create a coherent game design document, how to balance challenge and fun factor in one's game, how to successfully market one's game and attract new players, how to deal with malicious players/hacks/bugs/exploits, and even how to effective outsource the most laborious or difficult programming duties. Of particular interest are the pros and cons given for the many different revenue models available for MMORPGs - from "freemium" (a game that is initially free to play but requires a premium payment for access to the entire game), to "cosmetic" (a game that only charges for minor customizations that don't directly affect gameplay), "buy once" (no ongoing subscription), "donation based", "ad supported", "surveys" (induces players to take an online survey rather than pay for premium content), and "sponsor". Links to a wealth of useful online resources round out the solid basic advice in this highly accessible, user-friendly guide for anyone considering launching their own MMORPG for fun or profit.

Thundercloud Galaxy
Braden Campbell and Kevin Siembieda
Palladium Books
39074 Webb Court, Westland, MI 48185-7606
9781574571837, $20.95,

There is nothing scarier than the unknown. Except when you learn what the unknown is. "Thundercloud Galaxy: Rifts Dimension Book 14" is a source book for the Rifts pen and paper role-playing game system, focusing on the mysterious and enigmatic Thundercloud galaxy, as players and game masters are introduced to countless new races, creatures, and adventures with a focus on the truly bizarre and unknown that even our imaginations can't comprehend. "Thundercloud Galaxy" is not to be missed by the Rifts playing diehards.

Slay the Spanish!
Timothy Taylor
Everyman Chess
c/o The Globe Pequot Press
PO Box 480, 246 Goose Lane, Guilford, CT 06437-0480
9781857446371, $27.95,

Some strategies seem impossible to beat, but with the right preparation, you learn that no strategy is bulletproof. "Slay the Spanish: Weapons Against the Ruy Lopez" is a guide to beating the Spanish Opening, also referred to as the Ruy Lopez. With strategies for both black and white sides, Timothy Taylor, US Open Chess Champion, provides his expertise with good wisdom to help any player win more games and be better prepared against the Spanish Opening. "Slay the Spanish" is a reference that should be considered by any blooming student of the game.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Herbal Alchemist's Handbook
Karen Harrison
Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950-4600
9781578634910 $21.95

The Herbal Alchemist's Handbook: A Grimoire of Philtres, Elixirs, Oils, Incense, and Formulas for Ritual Use lives up to its title as a user-friendly guide to herbalism, ancient alchemy, and practical magick. Author Karen Harrison applies her expertise in the field to this materia magica of more than 150 herbs as well as recipes for incense, oils, bath salts, herbal amulets, and philtres. Astrological influences are fully taken into account in this accessible compendium, highly recommended especially for new age and metaphysical reference shelves.

Gardens of the Elder Gods
M. Don Schorn
Ozark Mountain Publishing
PO Box 754, Huntsville, AR 72740
9781886940123, $17.00,

The universe is an ancient thing, and a few thousands years is nothing in the universe. "Gardens of the Elder Gods" is a metaphysical study of the existence of civilization and contact with other worlds made by M. Don Schorn, whose research on the topic tries to find proof of otherworldly meddling in our ancient history, the role of the great flood, and the ancient advancements of mankind. "Gardens of the Elder Gods" is filled with musings for the metaphysical thinker to ponder, recommended.

The Life Cycle of the Human Soul
Ralph Metzner
Regent Press
2747 Regent Street, Berkeley, CA 94705
9781587902130, $25.00,

In our early life, our fresh minds are tracking anything and everything. "The Life Cycle of the Human Soul" is the argument of Ralph Metzner that those earliest moments of our being are an imprint on our soul, starting our journey through the many stages of our lives. Stating our lives as we live them are only a small part of our existence, he reaches into metaphysical territory as he seeks to explain our role in the greater universe than surrounds us. "The Life Cycle of the Human Soul: Incarnation - Conception, Birth - Death - Hereafter - Reincarnation" is worth considering for those who want a different opinion on their life and what lies after.

Embodying Osiris
Thom F. Cavalli
Quest Books
c/o Theosophical Publishing House
PO Box 270, Wheaton, IL 60187-0270
9780835608800, $15.95,

Alchemy has left behind its state as a pseudo-science only to come back out as a spiritual journey. "Embodying Osiris: The Secrets of Alchemical Transformation" is a meeting of disciplines, as Thom F. Cavalli twists the ideas of Jungian psychology, Alchemy, and mythology together to present one discussion of philosophy and channel the very spirit of reinvention and self-renewal. With plenty of intriguing thoughts and theories, "Embodying the Osiris" is an excellent addition to any psychology and spirituality collection.

The Great Airship of 1897
J. Allan Danelek
Adventures Unlimited Press
303 Main Street, Kempton, IL 60946-0074
9781935487036, $16.95,

The advancement of technology is filled with quiet successes and failures, but taking to the skies shouldn't be a success kept quiet. "The Great Airship of 1897: A Provocative Look at the Most Mysterious Aviation Event in History" discusses the existence of a dirigible that may have existed ten years before the Zeppelins of Germany began to take hold. In the Midwest, reports stated seeing the flying balloon, but are they creations of imagination and sensationalist journalists, or did an American create an airship before the Germans? "The Great Airship of 1897" is an intriguing study of forgotten history, recommended reading.

The Holocaust Studies Shelf

The Beasts of Buchenwald
Flint Whitlock
Cable Publishing
14090 E Keeinenen Rd., Brule, WI 54820
9781934980705, $24.95,

The worst monsters can hide behind the gentlest of demeanor. "The Beasts of Buchenwald: Karl & Ilse Koch, Human-Skin Lampshades, and the War-Crimes Trial of the Century" looks at the story of this couple and their vicious side. At home, it would have seemed like any other family, Ilse Koch faced a sensational war crimes tribunal after the war for her part in the atrocity, as her husband faced death by corruption. Chronicling the couple's story with much thought and detail, "The Beasts of Buchenwald" is an endlessly fascinating read, a core addition to any history or Holocaust studies collection.

The Poetry Shelf

The Spirit of a Poem
Aazam Yaqoob
132 Homeland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21212
9780974168913, $12.95

"The Spirit of a Poem" is a deeply personal bouquet of meditational poems with original illustrations that take the reader on significant inner pathways. Categorized as a type of emotional poetry, "The Spirit of a Poem" evolves effortlessly from inner monologue or stream of consciousness to whimsical haiku and back, making little dips and bows along the way, like a poet's nod of recognition. Observations of nature, reactions after taking a test, inspired imaginings, all these things provide grist for the poet's mill. Some lovely moments await the careful reader, both in the visually entrancing, spare illustrations, and in the quiet flow and spin of images and language. "The Spirit of a Poem" could appeal to either a child or an adult. In either case, each poem invites the reader to cast off and follow wherever the drifting leaf-boat of the poem's heart takes him. An example is the haiku-like poem entitled 'Summer,' accompanied by an illustration of a jaunty, crayoned red bird on a brown branch, against a deep violet background: "Heat beams down on me/ Green grass tall, blowing in little wind/ When summer's gone, fall"

Seth Abramson
Western Michigan University
1903 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 49008
9781930974968 $15.00

Winner of the 2010 Green Rose Prize, Prize, Northerners is an anthology of free-verse poetry by poet, essayist, and staff attorney Seth Abramson. Poems particularly scrutinize precepts and principles which form the building blocks of civilization, and their relevance projected into lives of individuals from historical times to the modern day. An introspective connection of repercussions throughout short and long-term history, Northerners is extraordinary in its insight and highly recommended. "Home Causes Blindness": You have seen big men get bigger // You have seen the knifeblades / the rivers make, / though they take a thousand years / and nine border wars to do it / You have seen soldiers soldier / mothers mother / leaders lead and everyone else be / everyone else / in the story of you // Among the flags of the millennium / were eighteen flags, / and when nine advanced painfully / across a plain / it was to you they came // You have sent boys to the borders / on the strength of their own words / only // You have seen stout men grow / stouter / You have seen women who ache / ache more / You have done it by seeing to it / those loving you never leave you.

A Dream of Dragons
William Lange, author
Mary Azarian, illustrator
Bunker Hill Publishing
285 River Road, Piermont, NH 03770
9781593730895 $19.95

Based on true events, A Dream of Dragons is the story of a Norwegian family's trials, tribulations, and triumphs. Their adventures and exploits span the course of two hundred years and two continents. What particularly distinguishes A Dream of Dragons is its epic verse format, hearkening to the ancient, traditional storytelling style of Norse culture, and its striking black-and-white woodcut-style illustrations. A uniquely immersive and memorable read from cover to cover, highly recommended. "A lonely, quiet boy, his spirit stirred / by music no one else on the farm could hear. / Evenings found him standing on the cliffs, / still listening, while the sea breeze stirred his hair. / The sky dimmed to its long summer twilight, / and seemed to shimmer, as if a breeze / disturbed translucent curtains at a window. / A moment later the curtains caught fire, / and the lights were dancing in the sky!"

Journey to Wisconsin
Parallel Press
372 Memorial Library, 728 State Street, Madison, WI 53575
9781934795248 $10.00

Written by Fabu, the third Madison Poet Laureate, Journey to Wisconsin: African American Life in Haiku is a thoughtful poetry chapbook encapsulating generations of pioneer family perseverance and history. Most the story is told in haiku verse; a few poems adopt free verse format. An ultimately heartening chronicle of braving life's challenges above and beyond that of survival, Journey to Wisconsin is highly recommended. "Passion rushes by / On the wings of startled youth / Is there earth below? // Wild-hearted daughters / Run barefoot on glass strewn / Asphalt hot with heat. // Rainbow barrettes snap / Every which way, good kinkies / Escape to freedom."

Song of the Taxidermist
Aurian Haller
Goose Lane
330-500 Beaverbrook Court, Fredericton, NB Canada E3B 5X4
9780864926494, $17.95,

What we call our own tends to tell a very unique story. "Song of the Taxidermist" is a collection of poetry from Aurian Haller as he offers his own lyrical and musical nature and distills it into a unique poetry experience as he offers his thoughts on the possessions we value in our life and the values it expresses for us. "Song of the Taxidermist" is intriguing and very highly recommended reading, not to be missed by poetry collections looking for something quite different. "Belongings": 1. Letter Opener//could not cut the firmest tomato,/must feel good/to hold, ceremonial./You're more likely to bleed/from paper or the message it carries./Handwritten mail sits/at the bottom where you'll take/greater care in teasing out its contents./A knife has a crooked grin, while the opener,/a sheep/seeking gentle passage,/follows the fold.

Army Cats
Tom Sleigh
Graywolf Press
250 Third Avenue N, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55401
9781555975838, $15.00,

Our animalistic tendencies seem to come out much more than they honesty should. "Army Cats" is a collection of poetry from Tom Sleigh who uses his verse as a tool to discuss our more primal nature and how it still drives our lives even in our supposedly civilized world. "Army Cats" is a thoughtful collection of poetry with a strong message. "To Death": You won't wipe away my joy/in my seaweed skin, my hunched neck,/my folds and creases you hide in/even as I throw my arm around you and lie//my leg sweaty and cooling next to yours./I know you make my face more/interesting to me on this beautifully//lit stage made to look like an open/field where I wander in your theater/of fantasies touching God knows what//in this delirium of bodies/in this noisy club where everybody's drinking and that's you leaning over//secretly spitting in everybody's drink.

Circles Where the Head Should Be
Caki Wilkinson
University of North Texas Press
1155 Union Circle #311336, Denton, TX 76203-5017
9781574413090, $12.95,

Answers are more elusive than we'd like, but til we get them, we make it up as we go along. "Circles Where the Heads Should Be" is a collection of poetry from young, new poet Caki Wilkenson who offers her collection on trying to make sense of our world, and the fronts we put up when we're losing our mind. "Circles Where the Heads Should Be" is a simple, yet poignant volume, highly recommended. "Storm and Stress": That a spider web supports a bead of rain/is as significant/as rain's resolve, poised where some spinneret/has pitched its threads aslant,/since, held of holding, each endures a strain--/one presses, one reacts./Don't ask me what it's worth. Despite the facts/of matter's favored states,/such concentration's of no consequence/beyond this life, a net/tailored to break, too late for recompense/when weight evaporates.

Vendange Tardive
Peter Reading
Bloodaxe Books
c/o DuFour Editions
PO Box 7, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
9781852248840, $18.95,

Just because you're foretelling doom, doesn't mean you can't put a bit of rhythm to it. "Vendange Tardive" is a collection of poetry from Peter Reading, a prolific poet who has tracked Britian's long history and feels we are in decline and facing extinction. "Vendange Tardive" is a poignant read that must be considered for those looking for poetry with a certain message to it. "Fabulous": Demeter tutored Triptolemus/in agriculture and lent him/her winged chariot,/wherein/he traversed the globe, regaled/the Third World with grain...

The Homeowner's Shelf

Scott Cohen's Poolscapes
Scott Cohen
Schiffer Publishing
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764337406, $39.99,

A pool can be far more than a rectangular area with water in it. "Scott Cohen's Poolscapes: Refreshing Ideas for the Ultimate Backyard Resort" is an idea book for those who want to embrace the pool as more than recreation, but as a place to fully enjoy leisure no matter the situation. Blending photography with architectural advice, Cohen and Elizabeth Lexau give readers plenty of wisdom on how to create something truly special with their pool, beyond a swimming hole. Discussing the area around the pool, such as bars, grills, chairs, and how the atmosphere blends together, "Scott Cohen's Poolscapes" is a must for anyone looking to design their own high end personal paradise.

Pest Control Simplified for Everyone
Danny Ledoux
23331 Water Circle, Boca Raton, FL 33486-8540
9781599428376, $25.95,

Unwelcome guests who make life unpleasant for you are beatable, you just need to know how. "Pest Control Simplified for Everyone: Kill, Repel, or Mitigate Pests With or Without Pesticides" is a guide to winning the fight against the insect kind in one's own home front. Danny Ledoux advises readers on how to deal with a wide array of bugs and pests in their home, in a way that doesn't lead to later problems like damaging your yard or the environment. From termites to lice to ants and more, "Pest Control Simplified for Everyone" is very much recommended for anyone who wants to strike against these pests more effectively.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

A Wildlife Collection
Kurt L. Krueger
Krueger Northwoods Photography
7142 Timbershore Lane, Three Lakes, WI 54562
9781616237417, $39.95,

There is a certain natural beauty to America that simply can't be replicated elsewhere. "A Wildlife Collection: Celebrating Wisconsin's Conservation Ethic" is a combination study of the conservation efforts that Wisconsin has taken throughout its history retain that beauty, with full color glossy photographs of various aspects of Wisconsin's nature, its countless species of animal, flora, and landscape that combine into such a pretty sight. Working both as a study of nature and coffee table nature photography book, "A Wildlife Collection" is an excellent pick for anyone looking for either, expertly compiled by one Kurt L. Krueger.

The Crafts Shelf

Patterns in Polymer
Julie Picarello
PO Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612
9780871164094, $21.95,

The personal touch is all too often missing from jewelry. "Patterns in Polymer: Imprint & Accent Bead Techniques" is a collection of do it yourself fashion advice to those who want to create their own fashions out of polymer, as Julie Picarello walks readers on how to make their own polymer projects and use them effectively, and what to avoid in your construction. Practical and stylish, for anyone who has a do it yourself spirit to their accessories, "Patterns in Polymer" is an excellent pick for crafts and jewelry collections.

Rankin Street Press
c/o Sterling
67 Broadway, Asheville, NC 28801
9781600599934, $9.95,

Beads are excellent tools to add some personality to your belongings. "Beading: 20 Great Weekend Projects" is a collection of plenty of simple and to the point beading projects for jewelry and other items. Presented in full color with plenty of photos, it walks readers step by step through projects with plenty of advice to add their own spin. For anyone who loves beads and wants to embrace them better in their work, "Beading: 20 Great Weekend Projects" is an excellent pick for the novice crafts person.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Knitting Vintage
Claire Montgomeria
250 Wireless Boulevard, Happauge, NY 11788
9780764146626, $16.99,

With the right talent, you can resurrect old fashions quite well. "Knitting Vintage: 30 Knitting Projects Inspired by Period Fashions" is a knitting book aimed at remaking retro styles and turning them into one's own, looking at the past hundred years of fashion as inspiration all its own. 1920s to the 1980s all present ideas, from cardigans to waistcoats, to headbands and legwarmers, projects are abound and knitters will find something fun to make that will have its own place in fashion in the 2010s. "Knitting Vintage" is a top pick for needle-hobbyists who want something old in their something new.

The Gardening Shelf

Modern Homestead
Renee Wilkinson
Fulcrum Publishing
4690 Table Mountain Drive, Suite 100, Golden, CO 80403
9781555917487, $26.95,

Farming your land is back in vogue after a century. "Modern Homestead: Grow, Raise, Create" is a guide to getting started with gardening, as Renee Wilkinson offers a complete and comprehensive guide to the process. Designed to be used with any amount of space from a windowsill to a backyard, Wilkinson's guide will walk readers through managing the plants, and provide information on raising hens and other animals in small space as well. "Modern Homestead" is for those who want to make their own steps towards self-sufficiency even in today's world of city living.

The Humor Shelf

Devil's Ink
Jeffrey C. Pugh
Fortress Press
PO Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440
9780800698140, $11.95,

Evil is very good at keeping up with the times. "Devil's Ink: Blog From the Basement Office" is a presentation of the blog of evil, as Jeffrey C. Pugh presents a more tech savvy and modern Satan who shares his opinions and paints a literal devil's advocacy of some subjects. With a blend of humor and wisdom, "Devil's Ink" is a unique, fun, and very thoughtful read, not to be passed up by religious readers who have a sense of humor.

The Self-Help Shelf

The Promise of Hope
Edward Grinnan
16 East 34th Street, New York, NY 10016
9780824948153, $19.99,

Yourself holds the power to make a better you. "The Promise of Hope: How True Stories of Hope and Inspiration Saved My Life and How They Can Transform Yours" is a guide to inspiration from Edward Grinnan who advises readers on how to use stories of those who overcame the odds of life to rise up and make something more of themselves and apply their success to their own life. Drawing on Grinnan's own experiences on how such tales spurred him to overcome the rough times of his life, "The Promise of Hope" is profound and is an advocacy of hope against all odds in our lives that sometimes feel too daunting to face head on.

Reboot Your Life
Catherine Allen & Collaborators
Beaufort Books
27 West 20th Street, Suite 1102, New York, NY 10011
Smith Publicity (publicity)
1930 E. Marlton Pike, Suite I-46, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
9780825305641, $15.95,

No one can live their life at a nonstop pace. "Reboot Your Life: Energize Your Career & Life by Taking a Break" is an advisory read for those who want to set their life on a more thoughtful path, by taking a step back away from it all to better assess one's hopes and dreams and where one is going on their current path. From talking one's superiors into allowing a sabbatical, to making the most of the break, to the differing degrees of away time, "Reboot Your Life" is thoughtful and insightful reading for anyone who wants to live at their best productivity.

The Four Purposes of Life
Dan Millman
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781932073492, $17.00,

What makes you get up in the morning? "The Four Purposes of Life: Finding Meaning and Direction in a Changing World" is a guide to finding one's goals and purposes in life, as Dan Millman offers his reflections on why we live our lives, and push ourselves further. As we learn, as we find our purpose and try to live up to goals, and much more, there is much to remember so we don't leave our chosen path. "The Four Purposes of Life" is a thoughtful read with plenty of useful affirmation, highly recommended.

The Political Science Shelf

Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
Regnery Publishing, Inc.
One Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
9781596981416 $27.95

A main selection of the Conservative Book Club, Rollback: Repealing Big Government Before the Coming Fiscal Collapse is a strident call to arms concerning America's immediate and impending fiscal disaster - the national debt has quite simply ballooned too high, and threatens to destroy the nation's economy. Author Thomas E. Woods, Jr. contends that the only way to avert catastrophe is to drastically revamp our collective understanding of government. Chapters severely denounce liberal ideology and policies, sharply criticize the Federal Reserve, call out big business for inducing the government to intervene in the marketplace, explore the government's culpability in ratcheting up the costs of health care, and more. Rollback demands smaller government and less spending as an absolute necessity to political survival - including cuts to "off the table" or "untouchable" parts of government such as the military and entitlements. Rollback is an invaluable contribution to an extremely urgent national debate.

The Music Shelf

A Year Without Rain
Selena Gomez & The Scene
Hal Leonard
7777 W, Bluemound Road, Milwaukee, WI 53213
9781617803185, $16.99,

"A Year Without Rain" is a piano vocal songbook containing music and lyrics for ten songs performed by Selena Gomez and the Scene. In addition to the title song, the book contains "Round & Round," "Rock God," Off the Chain," "Intuition," and "Live Like There's No Tomorrow," plus more. Piano score is of intermediate difficulty (pop style). Cover photos of Selena Gomez and The Scene are in full color. "A Year Without Rain" is an excellent book of songs for the aspiring pop diva with alto to mezzo range.

J. S. Bach Piano Concerto in F minor
(BWV 1056) (music score plus CD)
Hal Leonard Corporation
7777 W. Bluemound Rd., Milwaukee, WI 53213
9781423462491, $12.99,

The "J. S. Bach Piano Concerto in F minor" music plus CD performance by Polina Osetinskaya and the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra of Moscow is a bargain for classical piano soloists of intermediate to advanced ability. Consisting of three movements, I - Allegro Maestoso, II- Largo, and III- Presto, this is a very good value for ambitious piano soloists. The enclosed CD helps the performer realize the intentions of the composer in the score.

Easy Classics Piano Masters (Highlights)
Erika Feuchtner Macris, editor
East Coast Books, Inc.
P.O. Box 13142, Hauppauge, NY 11788
77780, $10.95,

Including selections for the intermediate pianist from works of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann and more, "Easy Classics Piano Masters (Highlights): Easy-To-Play Arrangements from the World's Great Piano Masters" is a handy collection of shorter classic works that are accessible to the developing pianist. Including music for over 30 shorter compositions, "Easy Classics Piano Masters Highlights" has something to appeal to every young maestro in need of a challenging recital piece. Clear, large notation and script is embellished by humorous illustrations of composers and explanations of musical terms. "Easy Classics Piano Masters" belongs on every piano pedagogy shelf. Also recommended in this same series is "Easy Classics Beethoven for the Piano (77765, $10.95)," "Easy Classics Bach for the Piano (77760, $10.95)," and "Easy Classics Mozart for the Piano (77775, $10.95)." The last is from Karamar Publishing Inc., 255 Oser Avenue, Hauppauge, NY 11788.

Debussy Clair de Lune and Reverie Original Piano Edition
transcribed unedited original arranged by Jonathon Robbins
Santorella Publications
P.O. Box 60, Danvers, MA 01923
TS315, $10.95,

"Debussy Clair de Lune and Reverie Original Piano Edition" includes clearly notated manuscripts plus added performance and background notes and a concert CD of both pieces performed by Dean Mora. This French Impressionist pair of classic piano pieces deserves top recognition among music teachers and pianists. The edition is faultless. Also recommended in this series is the Easy Piano Edition of "Debussy Clair de Lune and Reverie (TS314, $10.95)," which is transcribed and arranged for early intermediate pianists, also with performance CD.

The Music CD Shelf

God Bless the Hunger
Gabriel Birnbaum
c/o Flipswitch (publicity)
PO Box 2207, Bloomington, IN 47404-2207

Boston songwriter Gabriel Birnbaum presents a new music CD via his "Boy Without God" pen name, God Bless the Hunger. The traditions of soul music play a prominent role in this collection of songs anchored by Birnbaum's unforgettable baritone voice. Overflowing with emotion, the songs call to sex, love, death, desire, and the elusive human pursuit of happiness, though success in that pursuit is undoubtedly a most chancy affair. God Bless the Hunger superbly encapsulates the quintessential dilemma of the human condition, and is highly recommended.

The DVD Shelf

Creating Castles
Crystal Productions
PO Box 2159
Glenview, IL 60025-6159
9781562906702 $29.95

Creating Castles is a DVD guide to creating eye-catching replicas of medieval castles from inexpensive materials such as cardboard, paper rolls, and clay. Using paint and colored pencil to add decorations and the appearance of texture, host Peggy Flores demonstrates simple, easy-to-follow creative techniques. Creating Castles lives up to its title and is a wonderful, user-friendly addition to arts and crafts DVD libraries. 24 min.

Spirit Bear
Questar, Inc.
307 North Michigan Ave., Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60601
9781594646553 $19.99

Spirit Bear is a family-friendly movie revealing the true story of Simon Jackson, an introspective teenager whose life was saved by a rare white Kermode bear. When he learns that only four hundred of these critically endangered bears still live, he becomes a political activist on their behalf. Encouraged by his friend and trusted mentor Lloyd Blackburn, Simon challenges the money-hungry forest industry and even the government. Earning the protection of 2,500 square miles of Princess Royal Island is Simon's triumph, in this momentous story of how one person truly can make a difference. 91 minutes. Also recently released by Questar is the documentary "Chicago Cubs: The Heart and Soul of Chicago" (9781594646508, $24.95).

Sharyn Pak
On Air Video Inc.
8203 Westminster Rd., Elkins Park, PA 19027

Sharyn Pak is the host of Candymaking, a user-friendly DVD tutorial to the joy of making seven different types of candy: dripped/drizzled candy, clusters/turtles/bark, molded candies, peanut brittle, filled candies, lollipops, and saltwater taffy. No expensive materials are required outside of standard kitchen utensils and possibly some candy molds. An excellent "how-to" demonstrative video for cooks of all skill and experience levels, Candymaking is highly recommended to candy lovers everywhere - and as a resource for making unique, sweet-toothed gifts with the perfect homemade touch! 76 min.

Get Extremely Ripped! Revved to the Max
Jari Love
c/o 411 Video Information
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953

Get Extremely Ripped! Revved to the Max is a DVD exercise program hosted by Jari Love, who specifically designed a workout to promote weight loss and vigorous activity without the skeletal stress of running, or the complicated footwork of dancing. Three- to ten-pound dumbbells are the only exercise equipment needed (although an optional step is helpful) for this workout that appears to be strength training at first glance, but feels like heart-pounding cardio. Get Extremely Ripped! Revved to the Max lives up to its title with two 30-minute workouts, and is a choice pick for fitness buffs of all skill and experience levels. 60 min.

Breathe: The Perfect Harmony of Breathing
Fabio Andrico and Yamila Diaz
Yantra Yoga
c/o 411 Video Information
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953

Certified yoga instructor Fabio Andrico and professional model Yamila Diaz present Breathe: The Perfect Harmony of Breathing, an instructional DVD about the Tibetan tradition of Yantra Yoga with especial focus on training in techniques of abdominal breathing. Simple exercises with roots in venerated traditions help the viewer incorporate ancient breathing techniques into everyday life for better health, awareness, and clarity of mind. Accessible to viewers of all fitness levels and backgrounds, Breathe is an excellent supplement to yoga DVD libraries. 120 min.

Belly Beautiful Workout, volume 2
Patricia Friberg
411 Video Information
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953

Belly Beautiful Workout Volume 2: Postnatal Fitness and Busy Mom Workout continues fitness instructor Patricia Friberg's excellent DVD series designed especially to help mothers stay in shape - including mothers who have given birth through cesarian section. Volume 2 focuses on staying slim after one's baby is born; program segments concentrate on exercises to tone the belly, build strength in postural muscles, rehabilitate the pelvic floor and deep abdominal muscles, reduce stress, promote endurance and much more. No expensive exercise equipment is required, although a small fitness ball and a foot resistance band (not included) are recommended. An excellent, user-friendly exercise program ideal for mothers of all backgrounds and fitness levels, Belly Beautiful Workout is an excellent baby shower gift! 80 min.

Reality Films
PO Box 91, Foresthill, CA 95631

Three new DVDs from Reality Films explore the unknown, the mysterious, and the fantastic. "Witchcraft: The Magick Rituals of the Coven" ($19.95, 75 min.) covers the history of traditional witchcraft as practiced in the United Kingdom, modern-day witchcraft, and shines a spotlight on the infamous behavior of the "Witchfinder General" Matthew Hopkins and his ruthless persecution of women he labeled as "witches". A visit to the Swan Inn, the location of the Witch trials, as well as Hopkins alleged grave rounds out this haunting movie. "The Gods from Planet X" ($24.95, 180 min.) is a two-DVD set in the "Ancient Astronauts" series about how ancient extraterrestrial visitors could be responsible for historical miracles and evidence of gods that walked among men. Particular focus is upon excavations of the ancient Sumerians, which reveal that they co-existed with superhuman beings called the "Anunnaki", as well as an alleged planet of the gods called "Nibiru", sometimes considered the "12th Planet", with an elliptical orbit that brought it near Earth every 360,000 years. Also in the "Ancient Astronauts" series is "Our Extraterrestrial Legacy" ($24.95, 240 min. with special features), an in-depth examination of the cultural imprint that the Anunnaki may have left behind, and much more. All three DVDs are mesmerizing contributions to any metaphysical library.

The Audiobook Shelf

Khan: Empire Of Silver
Conn Iggulden
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road
Prince Frederick, MD 20678
C5756, $123.75,

"Khan: Empire Of Silver" is a superbly written historical novel by Conn Iggulden which tells the story of Genghis Khan's brothers, sons, and grandsons after the founder of the Mongol empire has died. It's a deftly intertwined and completely riveting tale of intrigue, rivalry, conquest, and blood politics. This Recorded Books audio edition if flawlessly recorded and features an especially effective narration by Richard Ferrone -- who does complete justice to Conn Iggulden's grand saga of generational conflict and the astonishing accomplishments of the generation that succeeded Genghis. Of special note is how the Mongols, on the brink of conquering all of Europe, were stopped not by opposing armies but by the politics of succession back home. A complete and unabridged, 12 disc edition, "Khan: Empire Of Silver" is especially recommended for community library audio book collections. For those new to Conn Iggulden, also highly recommended is his earlier novels "Genghis: Lord Of The Bow" and "Genghis: Bones Of The Hill" which are also available as complete and unabridged audio books from Recorded Books.

Summer Rental
Mary Kay Andrews, author
Isabel Keating, narrator
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781427212740 $39.99

Summer Rental is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of a novel following multiple women (and one man) in their mid-thirties, as each contemplates the direction in which she should take her professional, home, and love life. Ellis has been fired from the job she devoted herself to, leaving her to wonder whether her years of dedication were wasted; Julia's romantic life is and future are crippled by her blinding insecurities; Dorie has been betrayed by the man she trusted most; all three of them, best friends since childhood, now retreat together to a common location to figure out their lives. Their landlord, Ty Bazmore, has his own share of financial and other problems; complicating his life is the growing mutual attraction he shares with Ellis. Maryn Shackleford, a fugitive woman in need of a place to hide and a new identity, joins the unlikely mix, in this eye-opening novel about working through the tangles in one's life. A one-of-a-kind vacation story brought to vibrant life through Isabel Keating's audio performance, Summer Rental is highly recommended. 12 CDs, 15 hours.

Vaclav & Lena
Haley Tanner, author
Kirby Heyborne and Rebecca Lowman, narrators
Random House Audio Books
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 8th floor, New York, NY 10019
9780307932716 $35.00

Vaclav & Lena is the unabridged audiobook production of two people who meet as children in an ESL class in Brooklyn, then are separated by the vagaries of fate. Vaclav is an outgoing young boy; Lena is struggling to learn English but takes comfort in the affections of Vaclav and his family. When Lena disappears from school, Vaclav wonders where she has gone; he says goodnight to her each night for years, until on the eve of her seventeenth birthday he learns the truth. Acclaimed actor Kirby Heyborne and award-winning actress Rebecca Lowman bring the these two star-crossed confederates to life in this emotionally moving story about the steadfast bond between two people. 8 CDs, 10 hours.

Morning Song
Susan Todd and Carol Purington, editors
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315
New York, NY 10010
9781427212764 $14.99

Morning Song: Poems for New Parents is an audiobook anthology of poetry about how the responsibility of caring for and raising a human life completely transforms a family. Verse from sources ranging from the Bible and traditional songs to Dickinson, Yeats, Frost, and contemporary poets make Morning Song an exceptional listening experience, and a superb gift for new parents everywhere. Highly recommended. 1 CD, 1 hour.

Steam Dreamers Of Inverness: Part 3
ZBS Foundation
174 North River Road
Fort Edward, NJ 12828
1931654522, $22.50,

The third installment of the thrilling adventures of Jack Flanders and his two companions, Claudine and Mojo, continue in this 2 disk audio book. Once again Flanders, Claudine, and Mojo embark upon a kind of Victorian era holographic projector room to board a zeppelin, 'The Illuminato'. This time they come across a floating island with strange vegetation guarded by a creature that is part woman and part plant. The creation of a mad botanist, our intrepid trio discover a forbidden tomb and risk being turned into sentient trees! Flawlessly recorded, imbued with impressive sound effects, and providing the listener with a true 'theatre of the mind' experience, "Steam Dreamers Of Inverness: Part 3" will leave Jack Flanders' legions of fans looking eagerly toward 'Steam Dreamers Of Inverness: Part 4'!

The Hunting/Fishing Shelf

Upper Columbia Flyfisher
Steven Bird
Frank Amato Publications
PO Box 82112, Portland, OR 97282
9781571884480, $35.00,

If you want trout, you shouldn't look anywhere but the Columbia River. "Upper Columbia Flyfisher: Notes, Stories, & Secrets from the Shining Reach" gives readers a blend of fishing guide and memoir, speaking of this mighty river that feeds some of the best trout streams in the world. Steven Bird presents a volume that will educate and entertain fishers who want to get the most out of these rivers, organized by season so that readers can find information and stories relevant to current conditions. "Upper Columbia Flyfisher" is filled with knowledge that will please trout-lovers everywhere.

The Philosophy Shelf

The Etiquette of Freedom
Gary Snyder & Jim Harrison
1919 Fifth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
9781582436296, $28.00, www.counterpointpress.comu

Free from captivity, free from the structure of humanity, what does it really mean to be wild? "The Etiquette of Freedom: Gary Snyder, Jim Harrison, and the Practice of the Wild" is a collections of discussions between the authors Gary Snyder and Jim Harrison discuss their lives and opinions of the wild, deep ecology, and more. In a humorous and conversational style, "The Etiquette of Freedom" will prove an enlightening and fun read, and comes with the movie 'The Practice of the Wild', for a more complete experience.

The Parenting Shelf

Fetus to Fifth Grade
David V. Schapira
Strategic Book Group
PO Box 333, Durham, CT 06422
9781609762193, $14.00,

Parenting is a monumental task, that even the most confident of parents shouldn't wave off advice. "Fetus to Fifth Grade: The Most Up to Date Scientific Evidence on Pregnancy, Child Care, and Parenting" is a guide for mothers who want to consider everything as they raise their child from conception through those first ten years of life which form so much about a child's personality and the life that lies ahead of them. "Fetus to Fifth Grade" is packed cover to cover with information from international physician David V. Schapira, worth considering for parents who want to avoid screwing up as much as possible in their child's life.

The Nautical Shelf

Lubber's Log
William L. Gills
Llumina Press
7915 W. McNab Rd., Tamarac, FL 33321
9781605944845, $12.95,

There are adventures to be had at sea in the modern day. They just happen to not involve pirates and discovering new worlds. "Lubber's Log" is a memoir and nautical guide from William L. Gills who offers his experience to newbies who are taking their love for the adventure of the seas into a bigger and tougher to manage boat. Sailing with his wife, he brings down to earth wisdom as well as stories of his own adventures and misadventures. "Lubber's Log" is a strongly recommended read for any boating enthusiast with aspirations for bigger challenges.

The Buddhist Studies Shelf

The Ninth Karmapa's Ocean of Definitive Meaning
Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche
Snow Lion Publications
PO Box 6483, Ithaca, NY 14851
9781559393706 $16.95

The Ninth Karmapa's Ocean of Definitive Meaning presents one of the most famous text on Mahamudra, originally written by the Ninth Karmapa (1556-1603). Traditionally, this text has only been available to advanced students; Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche made the decision to share publically publish and share the core teachings during a retreat he led in 2001. Thrangu Rinpoche's presentation makes accessible a classic text about the artificial separation between phenomena and emptiness; chapters include "Looking Carefully at the Experience of Not Finding Anything", "Looking at the Mind within the Occurrence of Thought", "Pointing Out That Emptiness Is Spontaneous Presence", "Pointing Out That Spontaneous Practice Is Self-Liberation", and much more. An invaluable addition to Kagyu lineage Buddhist studies shelves, The Ninth Karmapa's Ocean of Definitive Meaning to advanced students and practitioners of the faith.

Bardo Teachings
Lama Lodu
Snow Lion
605 West State Street, PO Box 6483, Ithaca, NY 14850
9781559393669, $14.95,

Death is only the end if you view it as such. "Bardo Teachings: The Way of Death & Rebirth" is a book of Buddhist spirituality as Lama Lodu examines the philosophy and spirituality behind death through the microscope of Buddhism, describing the process of death, rebirth, and what of the afterlife. In a simple to read and understand format, "Bardo Teachings" is an excellent pick for anyone looking for a greater understanding of the Buddhist cycle of death.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Caledor: A Tale of the Sundering
Gav Thorpe
The Black Library
c/o BL Publishing
1525 Hulse Road, Unit 1, Pt. Pleasant, NJ 08742
9781849700511 $8.99

The grand conclusion to the Sundering fantasy trilogy, Caledor: A Tale of the Sundering chronicles the darkest hour of the land of Ulthuan. The cruel Witch King has sent his dark elves to lay waste to the land, and deliver genocide to the high elves. Prince Caledor has claimed the Phoenix Crown and champions Ulthuan's last hope, in this action-packed, earth-shattering epic about making a final stand against all-encompassing darkness. Highly recommended.

The Psychology Shelf

The Aging Intellect
Douglas H. Powell
270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9780415996853, $34.95,

"The Aging Intellect" by Douglas H. Powell (Clinical Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School and a Consultant in Psychology at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts) addresses the issue of how and why a minority of adults in diverse cultures around the globe remain cognitively fit as they age. Why their minds and intellects continue to be sharp throughout the aging process while others experience loss of mental alertness and acuity. The issues and factors examined include lifestyle habits and attitudes, strategies minimizing mental decline, normal cognitive changes, and intellectual qualities that actually strengthen with age. Informed and informative, "The Aging Intellect" is fascinating read that is enhanced with a glossary, extensive footnotes, and a comprehensive index, making it an ideal and recommended addition to academic and community library collections.

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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