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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 7, Number 6 June 2012 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Education Shelf Crafts Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Computer Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Poetry Shelf Memoir Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Cookbook Shelf Fiction Shelf
Business Shelf Psychology Shelf American History Shelf
World History Shelf Science Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Judaic Studies Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf Political Science Shelf
Gardening Shelf Hunting/Fishing Shelf Railroading Shelf
Theatre/Cinema Shelf Gaming Shelf Civil War Shelf
Interior Design Shelf Parenting Shelf Photography Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Nautical Shelf
Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf
DVD Shelf Art Shelf Music Shelf
Military Shelf Humor Shelf Wisconsin Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

The Caregiving Wife's Handbook
Diana B. Denholm
Hunter House Publishers
PO Box 2914
Alameda, CA 94501-2914
9780897936057, $14.95,

Serious illness may be taxing for both the sufferer and the caretaker. "The Caregiving Wife's Handbook: Caring for Your Seriously Ill Husband, Caring for Yourself" is an advisory guide for readers to help them through the trying years when they may have a terribly ill spouse. Aimed at women struggling through these tough times, she provides practical caretaking advice, as well as advice for keeping the personal self together for much time to come. "The Caregiving Wife's Handbook" is a strong pick for self-help and health collections focusing on caretaking.

Love from Grandma
Becky L. Amble
16 East 34th Street, New York, NY 10016
9780824945206, $12.99,

The Wisdom of a Grandmother is wisdom from another time. "Love from Grandma: Words of Wisdom and Hope from Grandmothers Around the World" is a collection of familial inspiration. Becky L. Amble brings the reader wisdom from many grandmothers, aimed at their granddaughters about the things that never truly change in our lives, no matter the era. "Love from Grandma" is an inspirational pick and reading very much worth considering for motivational collections.

Looking Blackward
Arthur Black
Harbour Publishing
PO Box 219
Madeira Park, BC, Canada, V0N 2H0
9781550175905, $24.95,

Some people just end up attracting bizarre events in their lives. "Looking Blackward" is a collection of short fiction and memoir from Arthur Black as he presents events off the beaten path both true and fictional as he presents slices of life of people just trying to get by in their lives and the obstacles in their way. "Looking Blackward" is a strong pick for general fiction collections, highly recommended.

The Education Shelf

GRE Premier 2013 Edition
Kaplan Publishing
1 Liberty Plaza, 24th floor
New York, NY 10006
9781609781002, $34.99,

To enter the best graduate schools, one has to master the GRE. "GRE Premier" is the 2013 edition of the test advisory guide from Kaplan Publishing, who equip readers with what they need to prepare themselves for this test and how to flourish more effectively in their academic pursuits. With many practice tests, scholarly and comprehensive advice on each section of the test, and additional resources through Facebook, an accompanying DVD, and an iPad version of the book. "GRE Premier" is a strong pick for any student who is looking on the next step in their educational career with dread and wants to emerge with flying colors.

The Crafts Shelf

Humor in Craft
Brigitte Martin
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road
Atglen, PA 19310
9780764340598, $50.00,

Humor lies in everything, even within sculpting. "Humor in Craft" is a collection of artworks throughout the crafting medium that express the humor and ideals that are far from traditional from many artists. Brigitte Martin creates this compilation in hopes of gaining a more complete clarity of the minds of the artist and for those who grow bored with traditional artistic methods. With many fascinating ideals of pottery, furniture, jewelry, footwear, and much more, "Humor in Craft" is presented in full color, and is an excellent choice for coffee table book or for art collections looking for something more offbeat.

Making Wire & Bead Jewelry
Janice Berkebile & Tracy Stanley
Lark Crafts
c/o Sterling Publishing Co.
67 Broadway, Asheville, NC 28801
9781454702870, $24.95,

Working wire and beads is an essential skill for would be jewelry do-it-yourselfers. "Making Wire & Bead Jewelry: Artful Wirework Techniques" is a design and crafting guide from Janice Berkebile & Tracy Stanley as they advise readers on how to get into the details of making these jewelries with many unique patterns. With five hundred full color how to photos, "Making Wire & Bead Jewelry" is an important pick to the jewelry craftsperson wanting to break into the hobby or are simply looking for new ideas. Also from Lark Crafts for jewelry crafting is "Heat, Color, Set, & Fire: Surface Effects for Metal Jewelry" (9781454700166, $27.95), a guide for those who want to style the base metals for their projects in many unique ways, with practical advice for pursuing it safely and efficiently.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

It's OK to Say "God"
Tad Armstrong
Westbow Press
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000
Nashville, TN 37214
9781449729868 $24.95

Lawyer and constitutional law teacher Tad Armstrong presents It's OK to Say "God": Prelude to a Constitutional Renaissance, a close examination of what America's Constitution and history of judicial verdicts truly have to say about separation of church and state. Although written from a decidedly pro-Christian viewpoint, as a direct challenge to modern attempts to strip Christianity out of every venue of public life (to the extent of excising the words "so help us God" from one of President Roosevelt's wartime speeches reproduced on a Washington D.C. WW II memorial), It's OK to Say "God" is extremely thorough and meticulous in its examination of legal analysis and court cases throughout American history in support of its assertions. "In a bit of good news, the Supreme Court recently denied an appeal from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals upholding an Illinois statue that requires public schools to observe a daily period for 'silent prayer or reflection on the anticipated activities of the day.' Kids in Illinois can pray silently together. See, God is not forbidden in public school." It's OK to Say "God" deserves to be commended for its thoughtful and intelligent analysis, and is highly recommended reading for any concerned about America's ongoing culture war about where to draw the line between separation of church and state, and unconstitutional abridgements of religious freedom.

Practical Centering
Larkin Barnett
Quest Books
c/o The Theosophical Publishing House
PO Box 270
Wheaton, IL 60189-0270
9780835609036, $15.95,

Sometimes we need to bring ourselves back down to earth. "Practical Centering: Exercises to Energize Your Chakras for Relaxation, Vitality, and Health" is a new age discussion of discovering greater vitality and spirit in one's life, embracing the spirit and drives within oneself, the chakras, on a daily basis. "Practical Centering" is a straightforward and much recommended pick for followers of new age philosophy, highly recommended.

The Final Journey, revised edition
Susan Pattinson
Torchlight Publishing
PO Box 52
Badger, CA 93603
9780981727394, $12.95,

As lives draw to a lose, staying true to the wishes of the dying proves very important. "The Final Journey: Complete Hospice for Departing Vaishnavas" is an updated and revised edition of the rituals and wishes of those who follow the branch of Hindu known as Vaishnavism, revering Vishnu as one of the primary forms of God. While intended as a faithful guide to those who serve the dying in their hour of need, "The Final Journey" also proves as a fascinating look into the customs and rituals surrounding the faith.

Bridge of the Gods
Dr. Linda De Coff
Balboa Press
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781452541624, $23.99,

Building a more perfect self is the pursuit of self-improvement. "Bridge of the Gods: A Handbook for Ascending Humanity" is an inspirational work from Reverend Dr. Linda De Coff, advises becoming in touch with your inner God and embracing a more complete life on many levels, pushing one to personal Godliness and granting one's own rightful heavenly domain. "Bridge of the Gods" is a powerful read for followers of new age spirituality, much recommended.

The Computer Shelf

iPad for Seniors
Visual Steps
Independent Publishers Group
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
978059051089, $22.95,

Technology can be overwhelming to those out of the loop. "iPad for Seniors" is a reference and how to guide for those who aren't entirely sure how to work newer technology, such as the iPad and other devices like it. Tips within allow readers to navigate the menus, connect to the internet, connect with family, and enjoy the many things that the iPad is capable of. Presented in full color and with instructions that anyone can understand, "iPad for Seniors" is a strong pick for computers and technologies collections.

My Kindle Fire
Jim Cheshire
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780789749222 $19.99

Illustrated with full-color screenshots from cover to cover, My Kindle Fire is a user-friendly guide to getting the most out of one's Amazon Kindle Fire. Chapters cover how to quickly master the basics of using a Kindle Fire (for reading, playing, watching videos, and more), marking any eBook with highlights or bookmarks, using the Ebook management tool Calibre, organizing one's music library, listening to custom-personalized Internet radio stations, setting up any email account, exploring the web with Amazon's Silk browser, using Amazon Cloud to access one's materials anywhere, and much more. My Kindle Fire is a "must-have" manual that every Kindle Fire owner should keep on hand!

The dRuby Book
Masatoshi Seki
Pragmatic Programmers
P.O. Box 293325
Lewisville, TX 75029-3325
9781934356937, $35.00,

Ruby is a versatile language, but one must know how to work it to get the most out of it. "The dRuby Book: Distributed and Parallel Computing with Ruby" is a guide on getting the most out of Ruby from Japanese Ruby programmer Masatoshi Seki, as he elaborates on how to use the Distributed Ruby library in one's programs and processes and other advanced techniques. Translated expertly by Makoto Inoue, "The dRuby Book" is a must for any technology collection that seeks to deal with Ruby.

Murach's MySQL
Joel Murach
4340 N. Knoll Ave., Fresno, CA 93722
9781890774684, $54.50,

Open source applications are a great boon for many companies, but only if you know how to use them to the fullest. "Murach's MySQL" is a training and reference guide from Murach, continuing their specialty in technical training in mastering computer applications. Focusing on MySQL, the open source database system widely used, Joel Murach guides readers through how to manage the database systems using MySQL, writing programs that get the most out of it, and manage databases more effectively. "Murach's MySQL" is a strong addition to any computer and technology collection, especially those focusing on programming and science, complete with downloadable resources to improve one's learning experience.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Mumbai Noir
Altaf Tyrewala, editor
Akashic Books
PO Box 1456, New York, NY 10009
9781617750274, $15.95,

As India's cities grow, so too does the opportunity for ill-gotten gain. "Mumbai Noir" takes the growing love for the Noir genre and sets it in the growing city of Mumbai, facing its own growing criminal underground populated by those who would exploit others for their own financial gain. With a collection of rising stars in the international fiction world, "Mumbai Noir" is a must for fans of the genre and world fiction in general, proving to be an awesome blend and twist in an intriguing new way.

The Kurchatov Penetration
Timothy S. Jacobson
Visjonaer Press
N1997 Hickory Lane
La Crosse, WI 54601
9780984959808, $14.95,

The essence of destruction lies in plutonium. "The Kurchatov Penetration" is a fast paced thriller novel as some plutonium is lost in Iran's rush for a nuclear weapon. As Russia, America, and Iran all rush against time to claim some loose plutonium, much intrigue surrounding a naive hacker and the powers that be clash in a hard to put down read for those who enjoy international thrillers. "The Kurchatov Penetration" is worth considering for fans of the genre, recommended.

At Tildy's Thrift
Eulie Rier Cienfuegos
West Bow Press
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000
Nashville, TN 37214
9781449724771, $11.99,

Ghost stories don't seem to be a deterrent to customers. "At Tildy's Thrift" is a novel following a store and its brushes with the supernatural, as those who enjoy the store try to find the truth behind what is haunting the store in its darkest depths. "At Tildy's Thrift" is a choice novel for fans of mystery with a touch of horror.

Cooking the Books
Bonnie S. Calhoun
Abingdon Press
PO Box 801
Nashville, TN 37202
9781426733888, $14.99,

Losing a mother is one thing, losing a mother and gaining her baggage is something else. "Cooking the Books" follows Sloane Templeton as she inherits her mother's book store and all of its issues. But it isn't all just offbeat individuals, as she soon finds that she may be in someone's sights with malicious intent, calling on her skills as a cyber forensics expert to find out what's going before it's too late. With a touch of a Christian message, "Cooking the Books" is a fun read of suspense.

Daiquiri Dock Murder
Dorothy Francis
Gale Cengage Learning
27500 Drake Road
Farmington Hills, MI 48331
9781432825744, $25.95,

When a friend turns up dead with no real leads, it becomes easy to suspect everyone and anyone. "Daiquiri Dock Murder" is a novel set in the marinas of Key West. Rafa Blue finds her old friend Diego dead when she checks on her boat after a vicious hurricane. As the investigation begins to suspect her and her boyfriend, she has incentive to find the truth before it's too late! "Daiquiri Dock Murder" is a fast-paced, riveting mystery.

The Poetry Shelf

Uncanny Valley
Jon Woodward
Cleveland State University Poetry Center
2121 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
9781880834992, $15.95,

When something is alike, but is strangely not, it offers a strange sort of horror. "Uncanny Valley" is a collection of poems from experienced poet Jon Woodward as he presents a collection of poetry that delves into our culture and its mythology and brings out things we never questioned. "Uncanny Valley" is a choice and much recommended pick for modern poetry collections. "Between Identical Cities (A Reminder): Until the heart dissolves into the bloodstream,/As city walls tunnels lump and dissolve/With the sudden return of the river/To its ancient bed.

Goodbye, Flicker
Carmen Gimenez Smith
University of Massachusetts Press
PO Box 429
Amherst, MA 01004
9781558499492, $15.95,

The mythology of America is one of fantasy touched with reality. "Goodbye, Flicker" is a collection of poetry from Carmen Gimenez Smith, who reflects on these reality and fantasy run together as we search for something worth enjoying in our lives. "Goodbye, Flicker" is a strong pick for modern poetry collections, recommended. "Inside the Parabola": Inside the parabola/canopied by trees, and/reflecting back the light/in each character's eyes,/and the hand-sewn edges/of costume are exposed,/and when the animal chatter/dies away, the calming quality/of the arc vacates the tale,/or when you are teller,/the tale doesn't have a last part.

Inside the Whale
Joseph G. Peterson
Wicker Park Press
PO Box 5318
River Forest, IL 60305-5918
9781936679010, $16.00,

Man against insurmountable odds has been a classic tale for much of history. "Inside the Whale" is a novel in verse. Author Joseph G. Peterson has crafted an epic poem, tapping into the memories of the legends of times gone past, but being true to the modern era. Looking into the self-destructive nature of humanity and how our lives tear us all apart, "Inside the Whale" is a strong pick for lovers of poetry and fiction, seeking a modern story with a strong influence of the epics of the past.

Pity the Beautiful
Dana Gioia
Graywolf Press
250 Third Avenue N, Suite 600
Minneapolis, MN 55401
9781555976132, $15.00,

Poetry can help us piece together a broken view of the world. "Pity the Beautiful" is his fourth collection of award winning poetry, musing on the world and the place we have in our greater story of our lives. With much to ponder with his powerful verse, Dana Gioia's work makes "Pity the Beautiful" a must read for general poetry collections. "Cold San Francisco": I shall meet you again in cold San Francisco/On the hillside street overlooking the bay./We shall go to the house where we buried the years, where the door is locked, and we haven't a key./We'll pause on the steps as the fog burns away,/And the chill waves shimmer in the sun's dim glow,/And we'll gaze down the hill at the bustling piers/Where the gulls shout their hymns to being alive,/And the high-masted boats that we never sailed/Stand poised to explore the innocent blue./I shall speak your name like a foreign word,/Uncertain what it means, and you --/What will you say in that salt-heavy air/On that bright afternoon that will never arrive?

The Memoir Shelf

Ocho Ocho
Anna Bucher Jones
Farcountry Press
PO Box 5630, Helena, MT 59604
9781591520955, $15.95,

As the advance of the Imperial Japanese army closed in on much of Southeast Asia, all one could turn to was family. "Ocho Ocho: My Childhood in War-Torn Asia" is a memoir from Anna Bucher Jones as she recounts living in the region during the turmoil of World War II, describing the events and challenges that she and her family faced and how it impacted her life afterwords. "Ocho Ocho" is a strong addition to any memoir collection focusing on World War II.

Breathing and Walking Around
Kathy A. Bradley
Mercer University Press
1600 Coleman Avenue
Macon, GA 31207
9780881462708, $20.00,

We take much from life and emerge from it with new thought. "Breathing and Walking Around: Mediation on a Life" is a collection of musings from Kathy A. Bradley on her life, as she recounts those events that shaped her and reflects on how and why they shaped her as they did. A thoughtful and driven assortment of spiritual meditation, "Breathing and Walking Around" is worth considering for those seeking a personal bit of spirituality and philosophy.

Book of My Mother
Albert Cohen
Archipelago Books
232 3rd St. #A111
Brooklyn, NY 11215
9781935744337, $15.00,

The loss of a mother can radically change one's life. "Book of My Mother" is an emotional memoir from Albert Cohen who delves into the story of his mother, and the emotions that overcame him as she died in the France he was fleeing due to the oncoming advance of Nazi Germany. A poignant read of human thought and kindness on many levels, "Book of My Mother" is expertly translated from the original French by Bella Cohen, and makes for a choice and solidly recommended addition to international memoir collections with a focus on World War II.

From Animal House to Our House
Ron Tanner
Academy Chicago Publishers
363 West Erie Street
Chicago, IL 60610
9780897336246, $24.95,

Bringing a house back from destruction is no easy task, especially when your distracted by love. "From Animal House to Our House" is a memoir from Ron Tanner as he shares his story of discovering a condemned house in Baltimore, formerly owned by a fraternity. With the love of his then girlfriend by his side, he shares an adventure in home restoration from their perspective and the whirlwind of romance that came with it. "From Animal House to Our House" is a riveting read that should prove hard to put down for those who enjoy memoirs with a twist of romance.

My Story, My Song
Robin Roberts
Upper Room Books
PO Box 340003
Nashville, TN 37203-0003
9780835811071, $18.00,

Our family's story always marches on. "My Story, My Song: Mother-Daughter Reflections on Life and Faith" is a Christian memoir from mother of Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts, Lucimarian Roberts. She has been known for their strong bond and frequent appearances on the show, and she shares her story of growing up through the best and worst of the twentieth century as a strong and faithful black woman. "My Story, My Song" is a strong addition to any Christian memoir collection, highly recommended.

The Self-Help Shelf

The Reality Slap
Russ Harris
New Harbinger Press
5674 Shattuck Avenue
Oakland, CA 94609
9781608822805, $16.95,

Life is occasionally cruel, and it can be hard to deal with that. "The Reality Slap: Finding Peace and Fulfillment When Life Hurts" is an inspirational read from Russ Harris, as he consoles readers who are currently dealing with the weight of life's many problems, be it from loss of a loved one, the sudden loss of friendship or marriage, it can bring one down from their peaceful point in life. With advice on coping with life's cruelty, "The Reality Slap" is a strong pick inspirational and self-help collections.

The Five Great Principles for Life
C. R. Stewart
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street
Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781455615216, $16.79,

Principle is sticking to something even when it's hard. "The Five Great Principles for Life: Focus, Strength, Success, Wisdom, Responsibility" is an inspirational collection from C. R. Stewart as he shares his own successes with his consulting firm and how his principles helped him lead the way in many aspects of his life. With practical wisdom for getting more out of life, "The Five Great Principles for Life" is a strong pick for self-help and inspirational collections, especially those with a focus on the career.

Soul Centered
Sarah McLean
Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100
Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781401935863, $16.95,

The power over one's own life lies in one's own hands. "Soul Centered: Transform Your Life in 8 Weeks with Meditation" is an inspirational and spiritual read from Sarah McLean who encourages readers to embark on a 8 week soul searching spiritual journey, to gain greater clarity in one's life and put it all together in their own lives. "Soul Centered" is a fine read and a strongly recommended read for spirituality and self-help collections.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Secret History of Poltergeists and Haunted Houses
Claude Lecouteux
Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street
Rochester, VT 05767
9781594774652 $18.95

Former professor of medieval literature Claude Lecouteux presents The Secret History of Poltergeists and Haunted Houses: From Pagan Folklore to Modern Manifestations, an extraordinary anthology of poltergeist folklore. Collecting supernatural legends and stories from as far back as ancient Greece and Rome, to medieval Europe, to the modern day, The Secret History of Poltergeists and Haunted Houses reveals how manifestations have evolved over time even as human interpretations of them radically changed. Of particular interest is how modern scientific studies of poltergeist manifestations find a strong link between such phenomena and the presence of troubled young people in the house. Ultimately The Secret History of Poltergeists and Haunted Houses is a cautionary account, warning about the necessity to show respect to strike a balance with the supernatural world. Highly recommended especially for any intrigued by ghost stories and tales of the occult.

Closer Than You Think
Deborah Heneghan
Hampton Roads Publishing Company
65 Parker St., Ste. 7
Newburyport, MA 01950
9781571746610, $16.95,

The loss of a friend can be devastating, but their spirit can live on in ways never thought possible. "Closer Than You Think: The Easy Guide to Connecting with Loved Ones On the Other Side" is a metaphysical spirituality guide from Deborah Heneghan to reach out to our lost loved ones and seek their guidance in life's challenges. Heneghan tells readers her way to reach out, discussing her relationship with her deceased sister and how she believes she is still with her to help her through life. "Closer Than You Think" is worth considering for those who believe that their loved ones are not completely lost.

The Lost Secrets of Maya Technology
James A. O'Kon
New Page Books
c/o Career Press Inc.
PO Box 687
Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417
9781601632074, $21.99,

When a civilization falls, its wisdom can go with it. "The Lost Secrets of Maya Technology" discusses the techniques and science that the Mayan civilization may have had in ancient times, including some technologies that were not surpassed until relatively recently in history, knowledge that could have put society forward hundred of years. "The Lost Secrets of Maya Technology" is a fascinating delve into the mysteries of the Mayan civilization and what may yet lie with them to teach us today.

Intuitive Self-Healing
Marie Manuchehri
Sounds True Audio
413 South Arthur Avenue
Louisville, CO 80027
9781604076271, $16.95,

Our best tool against illness is health. "Intuitive Self-Healing: Achieve Balance and Wellness Through the Body's Energy Centers" discusses with a spiritual slant on how to improve your own self-healing capabilities and empower your body to defend itself against health issues, using the concepts of chakra and energy points. For follows of new age medicine, "Intuitive Self-Healing" is a strong pick for new age health and spirituality collections.

The Cookbook Shelf

Ball Complete Book Of Home Preserving
Judi Kingry & Lauren Devine, editors
Robert Rose Inc.
120 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 800
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4P 1E2
9780778801313, $29.95,

For anyone on a limited budget, buying fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season is the least expensive way to obtain and consuming them when they are at their harvested peak. The next best thing is to take advantage of seasonal savings and can them for future use -- especially in the winter months. That's why the "Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving", a 448-page compendium of instructional information on the processes of home preserving, combined with a culinary wealth of some 400 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes utilizing home preserved ingredients, is such a welcome addition to family cookbook collections. Enhanced with color illustrations, a glossary, a produce purchase guide, a 4-page section devoted to 'Home Canning Problem Solving', useful information on home canning equipment, practical advice on getting started, and so much more, the "Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving" will prove invaluable and an enduringly favorite culinary reference.

East Meets West
Stephanie Yuen
Douglas & McIntyre
2323 Quebec Street, Suite 201
Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5T 4S7
9781553658634, $29.95,

A major Canadian metropolis, Vancouver is home to an impressive diversity of culinary traditions as represented by its world-class ethnic restaurants. "East Meets West: Traditional and Contemporary Asian Dishes from Acclaimed Vancouver Restaurants" is a 224-page compendium of delicious Asian cuisines drawn from Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Korean, Malyasian, Filipino, Thai, Vietnamese, and Indian recipes. Deftly compiled by Asian culinary expert Stephanie Yuen, the dishes showcased in "East Meets West" range from Cantonese Won Tons; Daikon, Scallion and Potato Pancakes; Taiwanese Five-Spice Chicken Nuggets; and Lemon Grass Lamb Chops; to Roasted Crispy-Skin Pork; Braised Kadfu; Noodles with Kimchi; and Custard Dumplings. Enhanced for western kitchen cooks with 'Guide to Asian Ingredients' and 'Tips for Cooking and Serving', "East Meets West" will prove to be a prized and popular addition to personal, family, and community ethnic cookbook collections.

Muffin Tin Chef
Matt Kadey
Ulysses Press
Box 3440, Berkeley CA 94703-3440
9781612430522, $15.95,

Whether for a pleasant culinary browse or as an invaluable resource for menu planning "Muffin Tin Chef: 101 Savory Snacks, Adorable Appetizers, Enticing Entrees and Delicious Desserts" compiled by registered dietician Matt Kadey offers unique, step-by-step, kitchen cook friendly recipes for creating miniature versions of meal-time favorites using a muffin pan. With dishes ranging from French Toasties with Blueberry Compote; Crustless Smoked Salmon Quiches; and Chicken Italiano Pizza; to Bean Loaves with Tomato Jam; Jalapeno Cheese Rolls; and Pistachio Butter-Dark Chocolate Cups, "Muffin Tin Chef" showcases 160 pages of wonderfully illustrated offerings to please both the eye and the palate, making it enthusiastically recommended for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.

The Maine Lobster Book
Virginia M. Wright
Down East Books
PO Box 679, Camden, ME 04843
9781608930418, $14.95,

'Lobster from Maine' signals culinary excellence and top-of-the-line dining. Written and compiled by Virginia M. Wright, "The Maine Lobster Book" is a 96-page little volume that combines a descriptive history of the lobster, the Maine lobster fishing industry, and an impressive series of lobster recipes. The step-by-step recipes range from Lobster Pie, Lobster Chowder, and Grilled Thai Chili Lobster; to Red's Eats World Famous Lobster Roll; Marjorie Mosser's Lobster Bisque; and Roasted Maine Lobster Tail on Braised Cabbage and Cornbread. Profusely illustrated throughout, informed and informative, "The Maine Lobster Book" is a delightful read and will enable even the most novice of kitchen cooks to prepare outstanding lobster dishes for any and all dining occasions!

Pure BBQ
Steffen Eichhorn, et al.
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road
Atglen, PA 19310
9780764340130, $24.99,

We are once again entering outdoor grilling season! The collaborative work of barbecue enthusiasts Steffen Eichhorn, Stefan Marquard, and Stephan Otto, "Pure BBQ" begins with an insightful chapter exploring the criteria for selecting the best meats, followed by an invaluable chapter focusing on good BBQ preparation including the options of direct grilling, indirect grilling, and smoking. Superbly illustrated in full color beef, pork, lamb, poultry, fish, and shell fish recipes follow. Of special note is the chapter dedicated to grilled side dishes and the chapter focusing on rubs, glazes and sauces. The recipes range from Burger de Lux; Pulled Pork Sandwiches; Rack of Lamb Miami Beach-Style; and Hot Smoked Chicken Wings; to Grilled Oysters; Eggs Grilled in Peppers; Porterhouse Steak Kansas Style; and Pork Tenderloin Iberian-Style. If you own an outdoor grill, you will want to add "Pure BBQ" to your cookbook shelf for a total barbeque culinary experience for any and all occasions!

Hot Sauce!
Jennifer Trainer Thompson
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way
North Adams, MA 01247
9781603428163, $14.95,

What is life without a little spice? What is food without a little bit? Over the past few decades, American cuisine has benefited immeasurably from the introduction of salsas, peppers, and hot sauce! Now an entire cookbook of recipes has been dedicated to home kitchen manufacture of outstanding hot sauces and showcasing thirty-two recipes to get even the most novice of kitchen cooks started of with palate pleasing style, elegance, and diversity. Enhanced with colorful photographic illustrations, "Hot Sauce!" begins with a history of the condiment, the types of hot sauces available, and advice for working with chilies and other ingredients. Then come a culinary wealthy of step-by-step recipes for making hot sauces. Next is a 'real world' useful section dedicated to recipes for cooking with hot sauces. Enhanced with advice for starting a hot sauce business, a useful resource list, and a comprehensive index, "Hot Sauce!" will prove to be a welcome and much appreciated addition to personal, professional, and community library specialty cookbook collections!

Hatherleigh Press
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
5-22 46th Ave, Ste 200
Long Island City, NY 11101
9781578264056, $9.50,

Garlic is healthy and can add a lot of flavor to a dish. "Garlic: Over 75 Farm Fresh Recipes" is a cookbook centered around this vegetable and how to use it in many types of dishes to make the most of it all. With straight forward and easy to follow recipes on burgers, butters, stir fries, and even some vegetarian applications, "Garlic" is a must have for any lover of the cloves and wants to use it more effectively for a healthier heart.

The Fiction Shelf

Miss Lizzie's War
Rosemary Agonito
The Globe Pequot Press
246 Goose Lane, Suite 200
Guilford, CT 06437
9780762780129, $16.95,

The sympathy for the South's grievances with the North weren't felt exclusively by the South alone. "Miss Lizzie's War: The Double Life of Southern Belle Spy Elizabeth Van Lew" is a novel based in the reality of many double agent women who rubbed shoulders with the high social life of the North only to send valuable information and tactics to the Confederacy. Following Elizabeth Van Lew, a southern belle who in her own way contributes to the effort while managing her own life and romances with those who she before only thought as the enemy. "Miss Lizzie's War" is a strong pick for historical fiction and romance collections.

Four Days in Michigan
Philip Zazove
Gallaudet University Press
800 Florida Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002-3695
9781563685347, $15.95,

The barriers we often set up in life are nothing in the fact of love. "Four Days in Michigan" is a deaf romance from Philip Zazove, as she tells the story of Sandra Horowitz, a deaf Jewish woman in 1942 who falls for a soldier about to leave for the war and is both hearing and a Jew. Their love come sunder fire from both of their family, as Zazove crafts a down to earth and charming novel of romance above all else. "Four Days in Michigan" is a strong pick for any fiction collection looking to add deafness-oriented stories to their shelves.

As One Devil to Another
Richard Platt
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive
Carol Stream, IL 60188
9781414371665, $15.99,

Taking souls is by no means no easy task. "As One Devil to Another" is a unique work from Richard Platt, renown scholar on literary legend C. S. Lewis. Spinning a tale of demons trying to lure a lost soul away from Heaven into Hell, taking notes from Lewis's style and presenting a contemporary yet timeless tale. "As One Devil to Another" is a strong pick for literary fiction collections, not to be overlooked for fans of C.S. Lewis.

Bryce Moore
Tu Books
c/o Lee & Low Books
95 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9781600608520, $18.95,

Growing up is already hectic enough, but making deals with Death just might be too much. "Vodnik" is a unique tale that delves into Slovakian folklore, following Tomas, a young man who escaped a twofold attempt on his life when he was six. Ten years later he's facing everything going after him again, wanting to bind him to a tea cup. Having to face the creatures after him and death itself, "Vodnik" is a humorous and fast paced adventure, very much recommended reading.

All For Now
Joseph Di Prisco
Macadam Cage
155 Sansome, Suite 550
San Francisco, CA 94104
9781596923713, $24.00,

Death is no easy way out of life's troubles. "All For Now" is a novel of the afterlife. Author Joseph Di Prisco tells the story of Roman Catholic Brother Stephen, as he is faced with the challenges in the afterlife surrounding the allegations of Catholic priest misconduct and child molestation. With an eternity ahead of him, Brother Stephen sets out to spend it getting to the truth and trying to find some justice wherever it lies. "All for Now" is an original take and analysis of faith and the struggles many of the faithful face among these sins committed by those who should be above that.

My Brother, My Judge
Neal Wooten
Mirror Publishing
6434 W. Dixon St.
Milwaukee, WI 53214
9781612251196, $14.99,

Justice is a very human thing...but would we really want machines taking it over? "My Brother, My Judge" starts as a story surrounding a competition of two brothers who are determined to prove their intellectual superiority to one another. Waging a bet on a trial, one brother writes a deadly accurate computer trial that can call trial verdicts perfectly - and such a program spins out of control and may redefine what justice really is. "My Brother, My Judge" is an intriguing novel exploring the future of technology and what it can mean for the rights of people.

Whiskey Cove
Denise Frisino
Book Publishers Network
PO Box 2256, Bothell, WA 98041
9781937454074, $17.95,

The ghost of prohibition lives on far past its repeal. "Whiskey Cove" is a novel set decades after the Prohibition era, as Denise Frisino crafts a story of Alexandria, a veteran of those runs between Canada and Washington state smuggling whiskey. Years later, Alex hires an unsuspecting college student to do her gardening, but her true motive is the drive to find the one piece of evidence that will clear her husband's name. "Whiskey Cove" is an original read of the impact of the law in our lives and the thrill of the search.

Lost Without You
Yahrah St. John
Kimani Romance
c/o Harlequin Books
225 Duncan Mill Road
Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9780373862573, $6.25,

The second volume in the Adams Affair trilogy by Yahrah St. John, "Lost Without You" is a classic 'make-over' love story. As the creative genius of a fabled Georgian cosmetics dynasty, Shane Adams is a carefree bachelor and no stranger to the art of charming a woman. That is, until he meets Gabrielle Burton! A superbly spun tale of corporate romance, "Lost Without You" is highly recommended as an ideal summer fun read!

The Lola Quarter
Emily St. John Mandel
Unbridled Books
2000 Wadsworth Boulevard, #195
Lakewood, CO 80214
9781609530792, $24.95,

As the world collapses around you, the emergence of something in the past can prove to be both a burden and a salvation. "The Lola Quarter" follows Gavin Sasaki as without employment or apparent future, returns to his hometown in Florida to take up a job from his sister. He learns that he may very well have a daughter he never knew, and the mother may be in danger. Overwhelmed with conflicting feelings, Gavin drives himself to find out what happened with what may be his family. "The Lola Quarter" is a fine modern novel of what family really is.

The Isle of Kheria
Robert Cabot
McPherson & Company
PO Box 1126
Kingston, NY 12401
9780929701981, $25.00,

When those closest to you in life leave it forever, it can be difficult to shoulder the burden. "The Isle of Kheria" is a novel chronicling the burden of Joel Brewster, mourning the loss of his wife and suspecting that his closest friend chose suicide by drowning. Looking for grace and something that matters in his life, Joel goes to Kheria and finds much change in the matter. "The Isle of Kheria" is a strong addition to general fiction collections.

The Way
Kristen Wolf
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 17th floor
New York, NY 10019
9780307717696, $25.00,

The power of healing is something not quite understood. "The Way" follows young Anna, a young woman of ancient Palestine, known for her tomboyish nature. Captured into a secret sisterhood, she learns of the Way, which allows her to heal others. As her mentors seem to fade away, she realizes the only way to preserve the knowledge is to spread it to the common people, a task which won't come easily. An intriguing story that spins the tale of Christ in a new way, "The Way" is a fine a much recommended pick for spiritually-driven fiction collections.

Daughter of Silence
Manuela Fingueret
Texas Tech University Press
PO Box 41037, Lubbock, TX 79409-1037
9780896727311, $19.95,

There are those who suffer silently, and their suffering too often goes unnoticed. "Daughter of Silence" is a novel from Manuela Fingueret as she crafts a story following Rita, who cannot get the truth about her mother's plight in the Holocaust, until she too understands it as she faces the cruelty of 1980s Argentina and its own brushes with the horrendous nature of the Holocaust. "Daughter of Silence" is a fine pick for historical fiction collections.

Home in Time for Dinner
Kathryn Ellis
Red Deer Press
c/o Fitzhenry & Whiteside Limited
311 Washington Street
Brighton, MA 02135
9780889954779, $12.95,

Kidnapping can change lives, especially when you don't know you've been kidnapped. "Home in Time for Dinner" follows young Chris Ramsay as he faces a normal life to him, a boring existence. Until he sees a report that resembles him exactly, leaving him questioning why he never knew his mother, and suspicious of his father. A unique novel of familial circumstances, "Home in Time for Dinner" is a fine read, very much recommended reading.

The Business Shelf

Paper Contracting
William D. Mitchell & Gary W. Moselle
Craftsman Book Company
6058 Corte del Cedro, Carlsbad, CA 92009
9781572182707, $55.50,

There is a reason why successful contractors have clear paper trails associated with every aspect of their jobs. It minimizes the risk of working at a loss, suffering from negative cash flows, avoids unwarranted claims, obviates oppressive regulation, tempers supplier disputes, insures code compliance, and circumvents failed inspections. "Paper Contracting" covers managing pre-construction services, reviewing plans and specks, preparing bid packages, reviewing trade contracts, observing day-to-day construction activities, keeping owners informed, evaluating payment requests, communicating with suppliers and vendors, dealing with order changes, protecting against construction claims, and directing project closeout. Drawing upon their many years of experience and expertise, construction manager William D. Mitchell and construction contract attorney Gary Moselle have successfully and effectively collaborated in creating "Paper Contracting: The How-To of Construction Management Contracting", a 256-page compendium of practical, 'real world' information and instruction that will prove invaluable and to have enduring utility as a professional reference for novice (and even experienced) contractors.

The Business Plan Workbook
Colin Barrow, Paul Barrow, Robert Brown
Kogan Page USA
1518 Walnut Street, Suite 1100
Philadelphia, PA 19102
9780749464615, $39.95,

A plan and sticking to it can be the foundation for future successes. "The Business Plan Workbook" is a discussion of business management from the combined business expertise of three individuals, as they discuss the importance of a thorough and manageable business plan, offering a step by step process to formulate the plan to find a purpose for one's business, taking notes from previous success, managing the money, and knowing when to adapt and change the plan. "The Business Plan Workbook" is a strong pick for business and management collections, especially for those who have their own aspirations for business ownership.

Double Your Business
Lee Duncan
FT Press
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780273759492, $24.99,

Growth is forever essential in keeping a business rolling forward. "Double Your Business: How to Break Through the Barriers to High Growth, Turnover and Profit" is a discussion of growing and expanding one's business potential in many proven ways, as Lee Duncan guides readers through how to expand the possibilities of their business to expand in ways they never thought possible. "Double Your Business" is a strong pick for those who are in charge of their own business and want greater success and returns from it.

The 4 Disciplines of Execution
Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, & Jim Huling
The Free Press
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
9781451627053, $28.00,

How you get things done can sometimes be important as getting things done. "The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals" is a guide to getting things done in business, as McChesney, Covey, and Huling combine their expertise to focus on The 4 Disciplines of Execution, ideas that lead on emphasizing the importance of an initiative, leadership, managing the progress, and making the progress known. Battle tested and proven, "The Disciplines of Execution" is a strong pick for any business manager or administrator looking for a more comprehensive way of getting things done.

The Winning Factor
Peter Jensen
Amacom Books
1601 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
9780814431757, $24.95,

The determination to become a gold medalist is quite something. "The Winning Factor: Inspire Gold-Medal in Your Employees" is a business inspirational guide from Peter Jensen, a coach of both Olympic athletes and corporations as he states that the drive for success isn't all that different from business to business. Building around the idea of greatness in us all and how to make it emerge for greater success in life, "The Winning Factor" is a strong pick for business leaders who want to get something special out of themselves and much more.

The Psychology Shelf

Psychedelic Psychiatry
Erika Dyck
University of Manitoba Press
301 St. John's College
Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R3T 2M5
9780887557330, $27.95,

The search for a cure sometimes leads one to try many things. "Psychedelic Psychiatry: LSD on the Canadian Prairies" discusses the pursuits of LSD as a treatment and tool for psychiatry, as Erika Dyck presents a fascinating history of the pursuit of medical uses for the psychedelic substance and its impact on mental health research that can be felt today, offering an intriguing perspective of how medicinal use of the substance may still remain. "Psychedelic Psychiatry" is a controversial and much recommended read to consider for those intrigued with psychological medicine.

The American History Shelf

The Kingdom of Matthias
Paul E. Johnson & Sean Wilentz
Oxford University Press
198 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4314
9780199892495, $19.95,

Not every person with a message from God is revered through history. "The Kingdom of Matthias: A Story of Sex and Salvation in 19th-Century America" discusses this unusual chapter in the period known as the Second Great Awakening, surrounding Matthias the Prophet, as Robert Matthews, a carpenter who proclaimed himself a prophet and forged his own faith with followers, and whose followers quickly saw that Matthias had many unorthodox ways of doing things. "The Kingdom of Matthias" is an excellent read for history collections with a focus on religion and American history.

The World History Shelf

Peter Levenda
Ibis Press
PO Box 540206
Lake Worth, FL 33454-0206
9780892541706, $26.95,

Many modern legends state that Adolph Hitler didn't commit suicide in 1945. But is there any truth to those legends? "Ratline: Soviet Spies, Nazi Priests, and the Disappearance of Adolph Hitler" discusses the deep involvement of the Catholic Church with Nazi Germany, with a touch of the Soviet KGB. Could Hitler have escaped from Germany and lived a quiet life away from the Nazi War Criminal trials? "Ratline" is fascinating delve into conspiracy and the questions of Adolph Hitler's final fate.

The Science Shelf

Experiment Eleven
Peter Pringle
Walker & Company
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
9780802717740, $26.00,

A new discovery is something that can change the world, and there are many who seek the fame of changing the world. "Experiment Eleven: Dark Secrets Behind The Discovery of a Wonder Drug" discusses the discovery of Streptomycin, the product of the research of Albert Schatz, who in 1943 found an antibiotic that could battle tuberculosis, a disease that was once a death sentence. His work was usurped by Selman Waksman, who claimed a Nobel Prize. Author Peter Pringle hopes to bring Schatz's work to the light it deserves in the modern day. "Experiment Eleven" is a strong pick for medicinal history collections, very much recommended reading.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Jesus and the Demise of Death
Matthew Levering
Baylor University Press
One Bear Place, #97363
Waco, TX 76798-7363
9781602584471, $29.95,

The cornerstone of the Christian faith is that three days after being put to death upon a cross by Roman legionaries, Jesus of Nazareth came back to life. "Jesus and the Demise of Death: Resurrection, Afterlife, and the Fate of the Christian" by Matthew Levering (Professor of Theology, University of Dayton) is a 240-page compendium focusing upon what happens after death, not only to Jesus but to every Christian. Professor Levering draws upon the writings of Thomas Aquinas in reconstructing a Christian eschatological theology, one which is influenced by Platonic thought and community of the faithful with respect to the inevitable passage from life into death, and followed by the ultimate promise of eternal life after mortal death. Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, inspired, and inspiring, "Jesus and the Demise of Death" is highly recommended reading for all Christians regardless of denominational affiliation and should be considered a core contribution to academic and seminarian library Christian Studies collections.

Gospel and Tradition
Bernard Sesboue
Convivium Press
7661 NW 68 St., Suite 108
Miami, FL 33166
9781934996171, $25.95,

Emeritus Professor of the Theological Faculty of the Centre de Sevres in Paris, French theologian Bernard Sesoue has written "Gospel and Tradition", a 208-page compendium focusing upon how Christian tradition affects and is affect by new circumstances in terms of Christian communities understanding concerning the understanding and proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ within the context of the Roman Catholic church. A work of seminal ecclesiastical scholarship, Professor Sesboue writes with a clarity and insight that is as inspired as it is inspiring, making "Gospel And Tradition" strongly recommended for both the clergy and the laity.

Back to the Bible
Cuthbert Lattey, S.J.
Roman Catholic Books
PO Box 2286
Fort Collins, CO 80522-2286
9780912141411, $19.95,

All recorded schisms and heresies within the two thousand year history of the Catholic Christian community stem from misreadings and misunderstandings of Christian scriptures. Originally published in 1944 by Jesuit scholar Cuthbert Lattey, "Back to the Bible" is a clearly written, doctrinally sound, 128-page compendium that specifically focuses upon helping the reader how to read and properly interpret Biblical scripture within the framework of canonical Catholic theology. "Back To The Bible" refutes unfounded yet common place challenges to the authority and reliability of the Gospels; resolves seeming difficulties with such Biblical accounts as Jonah and the whale, Joshua and the sun, recorded genealogies, and other illusory discrepancies. Other issues deftly addressed include the different 'rules' for reading the Old and New Testaments; Church guidelines for resolving conflicts between science and scripture; key terms such as revelation, inspiration, and inerrancy; the role of historical research in understanding scripture; and so much more. A timeless classic, "Back To The Bible" is inspired, inspiring, informed and informative, making it an ideal and highly recommended instructional guide for new generations of dedicated Catholic students of the Bible.

The Apostle
John Pollock
David C. Cook
4050 Lee Vance View
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
9780781405737, $16.99,

The story of Paul is the story that redemption is always possible. "The Apostle: A Life of Paul" is John Pollock's discussion of Paul the apostle. Pollock writes of the life of Paul before and after Paul's vision of the resurrected Jesus Christ, an experience that transformed him from a life of destruction into a missionary who shaped the future of the faith. "The Apostle" is an excellent narrative, and very much recommended reading for those who seek an engaging way to learn more about the early converts to Christianity.

The Rule of Saint Benedict
St. Benedict of Nursia
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568
Orleans, MA 02653
9781557259738, $13.99,

To wholly dedicate yourself to Christ is best exemplified by St. Benedict of Nursia. "The Rule of Saint Benedict" is a study of the man who is considered the founder of Western monasticism, discussing his work 'Rule' and how it inspires and leaves much to be considered by modern thinkers. Insightful and strong additions to Christian history and theology collections, "The Rule of Saint Benedict" is a scholarly and very much recommended pick for Christian Studies collections.

Flying in the Face of Tradition
Louis DeThomasis
ACTA Publications
4848 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60640
9780879464844, $17.95,

The world grows smaller, but the Catholic Church may be slow in embracing it. "Flying in the Face of Tradition: Listening to the Lived Experience of the Faithful" is the call from Louis DeThomasis, as he writes of his own ideas as De LaSalle Brother for a more inviting future of the Catholic Church in a world with members all over the world, that has clung to old ways to the point of being harmful to the Church. Written by a devout Catholic, "Flying in the Face of Tradition" is a fascinating and much recommended analysis of the problems in the modern Catholic doctrine.

Give Them Christ
Stephen Seamands
InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400
Downers Grove, IL 605151426
9780830834679, $15.00,

Reaching out to people as a pastor is a struggle many continually face in today's world. "Give Them Christ: Preaching His Incarnation, Crucifixion. Resurrection. Ascension and Return." is a Christian and faith driven call from Stephen Seamands as he encourages other pastors to preach on the life of Christ and the miracles that drove him to make his impact on the world and in the future. "Give Them Christ" is a strong addition to Christian theology and pastor's reference collections, highly recommended.

Look Up, My Soul, the Divine Promise of Hope
Gerald N. Lund
Deseret Books
PO Box 30178
Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0178
9781609070045, $25.99,

Faith, hope, and charity are the key virtues to the Christian faith. "Look Up, My Soul, the Divine Promise of Hope" is a Christian spiritual discussion from a Mormon perspectives. Elder Gerald N. Lund as he discusses these three tenets of faith and how to apply them in one's everyday life for greater success and drive to live up to the will of the savior. "Look Up, My Soul, the Divine Promise of Hope" is a strong pick for Christian spirituality and inspiration collections.

Small Mercies
Nancy Jo Sullivan
Loyola Press
3441 North Ashland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657
9780829436952, $12.95,

The little pieces of joy we find throughout life may be subtle reminders of God's love. "Small Mercies: Glimpses of God in Everyday Life" is an inspirational work of Christian wisdom from Nancy Jo Sullivan as she shares her charming view of the world and where to find God's mercy in our everyday life and treasure them where they come. "Small Mercies" is a strong addition to Christian inspirational collections.

Same Call, Different Men
Mary L. Gautier, Paul M. Perl, & Stephen J. Fitchter
The Liturgical Press
St. John's Abbey, PO Box 7500
Collegeville, MN 56321-7500
9780814634295, $24.95,

Vatican II was a revolution within Catholicism. "Same Call, Different Men: The Evolution of the Priesthood Since Vatican II" discusses the evolution of the American priesthood since Vatican II brought many new practices and standards to the table and changed what it meant to be a priest, and how the many controversies within the church have been viewed and dealt with. A fascinating exploration of modern Catholicism and what it means to its most fervent believers, "Same Call, Different Men" is a strong pick for general Christian and religious studies collections.

Keep Your Dream Alive
Erwin W. Lutzer
Kregel Publications
PO Box 2607
Grand Rapids, MI 49501
9780825441943, $12.99,

The lessons of faith can be used to push oneself forever forward. "Keep Your Dream Alive: Lessons from the Life of Joseph" is a faithful discussion of hopes and dreams and their relationships in the eyes of God. Erwin W. Lutzer says that many of our life's dreams can be driven by God, and how to embrace this fact and steel yourself from sin and things that would see you off your path. "Keep Your Dream Alive" is a strong pick for Christian and inspirational collections.

Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus
Lois Tverberg
Zondervan Publishing House
5300 Patterson Avenue, S.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49530
9780310284208, $18.99,

Jesus was a Jew, and that basis of faith formed the foundation of his teachings. "Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus: How The Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change Your Life" discusses the Jewish origin of Christ, analyzing the words and action of the Christ as a Jewish man and how his teachings ring true as those of a Rabbi. Insightful and scholarly reading surrounding Christ the man, "Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus" is a strong pick for religious studies collections, highly recommended.

Proclamation and Celebration
Susan K. Hedahl
Fortress Press
P.O. Box 1209
Minneapolis, MN 55440-1209
9780800698201, $20.00,

Times for faith, and times for celebration, they are times that sometimes join together. "Proclamation and Celebration: Preaching on Christmas, Easter, and Other Festivals" is a faithful guide from Susan K. Hedahl as she advises how preachers can bring new life to these major events that come every year, and can often seem difficult in making fulfilling and driven sermons through them all. "Proclamation and Celebration" is a strong pick for leaders of faith looking to gain a clearer understanding of faith in times of celebration, highly recommended.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

The Biblical Outlook
Rabbi Shlomo Polachek
Urim Publications & Penina Press
c/o Lambda Publishers
527 Empire Blvd., Brooklyn, NY 11225
9781936068272, $29.95,

Jewish philosophy has always been founded in question and searching for answers. "The Biblical Outlook: Topics in Jewish Philosophy" is a collection of musings on modern Judaism and its philosophy and theology from Rabbi Shlomo Polachek, as he discusses his thoughts drawn from the holy books of Judaism, discussing what God seeks out of man, his presence and intervention in life, and where humanity's ultimate fate lies in the future. Expertly translated from the original Hebrew by Rabbi Shmuel Himelstein, "The Biblical Outlook" is a strong addition to any Judaic studies collection focusing on philosophy and theology.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Mary Cappello
The New Press
38 Greene Street, New York, NY 10013
9781595587770, $18.95,

Humanity is not meant to eat many things. Humanity has sought to it to eat them anyway. "Swallow: Foreign Bodies, Their Ingestion, Inspiration, and the Curious Doctor Who Extracted Them" is an offbeat delve into medical history that looks into the legends of the circus and other strange origins of things that went into the human body and were extracted in intriguing ways. With a good message of health to add to the delve into history, "Swallow" is a strong addition to any history collection focusing on medicine or culture, highly recommended.

The Political Science Shelf

Jeffrey St. Clair & Joshua Frank
AK Press
3500 Parkdale Avenue, Building 1, #A28
Baltimore, MD 21211
9781849351102, $16.95,

Barack Obama inspired voters like few presidents before him. "Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion" discusses the failure of the Obama presidency from the perspective of the American Left as many writers such as Ralph Nader, Kevin Alexander Gray, Tariq Ali and many others pass judgment on the failures of Obama to deliver the reforms promised and instead continuing many of the things from the presidency of George W. Bush that were used as a call to arms for him. "Hopeless" is an original look at the presidency of Obama from those whose dissatisfaction with him is not usually heard.

All Politics is Religious
Rabbi Dennis S. Ross
Skylight Paths Publishing
Sunset Farms Offices, Route 4
PO Box 237, Woodstock, VT 05091
9781594733741, $18.99,

The core of faith rings true no matter what one's faith is, or lack there of. "All Politics is Religious: Speak Faith to the Media, Policy Makers and Community" discusses the relationship of faith and politics. Author and Rabbi Dennis S. Ross presents an insightful and comprehensive breakdown of the complex relationship of faith and politics, and calls for a clearer understanding of many hot debate issues and in spite of his faith-driven ideals of God's wisdom, reminds of the place of separation of church and state. "All Politics is Religious" is a strong pick for any politics and religious studies collection, highly recommended.

The Gardening Shelf

Fairy Gardens
Betty Earl
B. B. Mackey Books
PO Box 475, Wayne, PA 19087
9781893443501, $21.95,

A little bit of fantasy in reality. "Fairy Gardens: A Guide to Growing An Enchanted Miniature World" is a guide to crafting one's own fairy garden and how to find inspiration and creations surrounding the ideals and putting an original and creative spin on it all. "Fairy Gardens" is presented in full color with plenty of tips of construction and practicality, making it a very much recommended addition to any hobbyist collection.

The Hunting/Fishing Shelf

Steelhead Fly Angling
Michael Gorman
Frank Amato Publications
PO Box 82112, Portland, OR 97282
9781571884794, $29.95,

Fly fishing is about getting down and dirty with catching your fish. Some take it to the next level. "Steelhead Fly Angling: Guerrilla Fly-Rod Tactics" is an introduction to the tactics on catching steelhead, elaborating on the techniques needed to catch the fish, using tactics not commonly used by traditional fly fishing methods. With plenty of practical advice for the fly fisher hoping to step up their game, Michael Gorman presents a full color guide for greater fishing excellence, making "Steelhead Fly Angling" a must for those who want greater steelhead success in their life. Also from Frank Amato Publications is "Get Started Fly-Fishing!" (9781571884732, $24.95) by Craig Schuhmann, who gives a crash course in how to get started in this particular fishing discipline.

The Railroading Shelf

Realistic Animation, Lighting, & Sound, second edition
Kalmbach Publishing Company
21027 Crossroads Circle
Waukesha, WI 53186
9780890248638, $19.95,

The model railroad has grown past the railroad, into a whole miniature world. "Realistic Animation, Lighting, & Sound" is an updated second edition for model railroad enthusiasts who want to enhance their displays and railroads and gaining the next level of realism to their display with working parts and lights to capture the feel surrounding the train. A full color hobbyist guide, "Realistic Animation, Lighting, & Sound" is a must for any model railroad enthusiast with bigger ideas.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

The Last Person Who Saw Farrokh
A play by Farrokh Nazerian
Osborn Publications
PO Box 91824
Santa Barbara, CA 93190-1824
c/o The Barrett Company (publicity)
12021 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 600
Los Angeles, CA 90025
9780984938902 $16.00

The Last Person Who Saw Farrokh is a four-act play involving nine major characters and at least half a dozen supporting actors. Author Farrokh Nazerian draws upon the literature of 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche in his construction of a play that explores humankind's search for the meaning of existence. In particular, the concept of Abarmard - transforming oneself to the fullest of one's potential to become a Superior Man of Knowledge, as the ancient Persian Prophet Zarathustra once encouraged people to do - is explored at length. Ultimately, The Last Person Who Saw Farrokh is about being able to step back and realize that there is far more to life than the mundane struggles of daily survival, and that it is possible to change for the better and become one's own savior. The Last Person Who Saw Farrokh is a truly captivating and thought-provoking experience. It should be noted that all performance rights to the play are reserved; professional or amateur inquiries about performing the play should be made to the author or publisher.

Theresa Rebeck
Smith & Kraus Publishers
PO Box 127
Lyme NH 03768
9781575258102, $11.95,

Those who create have a common bout of depression. Theresa Rebeck sought to explore why in her new play "Seminar", exploring the nature of it through laughter. A complete play in book form with easy to follow lines and stage productions, for any fan of the theatre who wants to be better acquainted with Rebeck's newest and critically acclaimed work, "Seminar" is a choice pick, not to be overlooked.

The Gaming Shelf

Brain Busting, Mind Twisting, IQ Crushing Puzzles
Frank Coussement & Peter DeSchepper
Imagine Publishing
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
9781936140619, $12.95,

A good puzzle is good mental exercise. "Brain Busting, Mind Twisting, IQ Crushing Puzzles" is a collection of logic and mathematics puzzle that challenge one's critical thinking, logic, attention to detail, and creativity as these puzzles assault the brain and train it to overcome the many challenges it will face. Presented in full color, "Brain Busting, Mind Twisting, IQ Crushing Puzzles" is a strong pick for those looking for fulfilling entertainment.

Playing Sit-&-Go Poker As A Business
Rob Tucker
Cardoza Publishing
5473 South Eastern Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89119
9781580422659, $19.95,

It's possible for amateur poker players to 'turn pro'. But there is more to becoming a successful professional poker player that just sitting down to a cash game in your local casino. For any who aspire to earning their living by playing the poker games that they enjoy, "Playing Sit-&-Go Poker As A Business" by poker professional Rob Tucker will prove to be an enduringly valuable read. This 176-page instructional guide proves a wealth of informed and informative information on how to earn prize money by playing in satellites for the big buy-in tournaments put on by the World Poker Tour, the World Series of Poker, the European Poker Tour, and other gaming opportunities on local and regional levels. Tucker draws upon his years of experience and expertise (which include winning 18 World Poker Tour main events seats) to provide true 'insider' tips, tricks and techniques for 'making the money'. Enhanced with examples, graphics, and decision making advice, "Playing Sit-&-Go Poker As A Business" is thorough, 'user friendly', and should be a part of every dedicated and professional poker player's personal reference shelf and reading list.

The Civil War Shelf

Keystone Thunder
Richard W. McCoy
Heritage Books
229 Danagher Ct., Holly Springs, NC 27540
9780788453731, $27.00,

The big guns of the artillery could change the flow of a battlefield. "Keystone Thunder: Pennsylvania Field Artillery in the Civil War" discusses the impact of the Pennsylvania Artillery units through the many conflicts in the Civil War and made quite the difference. Covering their contributions, telling the story of the service providing a wide ranging scope of the war that does not focus on any particular unit. "Keystone Thunder" is a strong addition to any collection focusing on the American Civil War.

Placenames of the Civil War
John D. Bennett
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611
Jefferson NC 28640
9780786470099, $45.00,

The Civil War was a highly complex conflict, fought over many places all throughout the broken Union. "Placenames of the Civil War: Cities, Towns, Villages, Railroad Stations, Forts, Camps, Islands, Rivers, Creeks, Fords and Ferries" is a comprehensive reference to the sites of the many events of the American Civil War, drawing studies on the origin of the names, noting the important events that occurred there and more. For those seeking a quick reference to the many sites of the divisive conflict, "Placenames of the Civil War" is a must for American Civil War reference collections.

The Interior Design Shelf

Best Signature Baths
Creative Homeowner
24 Park Way
Saddle River, NJ 07450-2311
9781580115322, $19.95,

The Bathroom is not often thought of in fine decor, but it can still carry a certain design and flare of its own. "Best Signature Baths: Over 100 Luxurious Bathrooms from Top Designers" is a full color take on interior design for those who enjoy the art form as itself or are looking for ideas of their own to make their own bathrooms something special to be enjoyed in their moments of comfort. "Best Signature Baths" is a must for those who enjoy home decor, not to be missed for interior design collections.

The Parenting Shelf

Be a Better Dad Today!
Gregory W. Slayton
c/o Gospel Light Worldwide
1957 Eastman Avenue, Ventura, CA 93003
9780830762071, $19.99,

Fatherhood is a changing role in today's world. "Be a Better Dad Today!: 10 Tools Every Father Needs" is a parenting guide from Gregory W. Slayton, who from a Christian perspective advises fathers to rise up and be the model of modern fatherhood that one knows they can be. Drawing on faith and how to be a better father no matter what stage your child's life is in, "Be a Better Dad Today!" is a strong pick for Christian and parenting collections, and for fathers who always want to leave a more positive impact in their child's life.

Life's Too Short to Miss the Big Picture
Melanie Simpson
Leafwood Publishers
c/o Abilene Christian University Press
1626 Campus Court, Abilene, TX 79601
9780891121039, $14.99,

Day to day life as a mother can often be all too overwhelming. "Life's Too Short to Miss the Big Picture" is a Christian driven guide to parenting from Melanie Simpson who advises readers on how to balance their life as mother, woman, and friendship to get the best of it all when dealing with the weight of life that we all face. "Life's Too Short to Miss the Big Picture" is a strong pick for Christian mothers who think they are missing something they shouldn't out of their life.

The Photography Shelf

Photography Applications for Cloud Computing
Matthew Bamberg
Cengage Learning, Inc.
200 First Stamford Place
Stamford, CT 06902
9781133788751, $34.99,

Cloud computing is revolutionizing many things, and photography is among them. "Photography Applications for Cloud Computing" discusses what the rise in cloud computing can bring to the artform of photography, as Matthew Bamberg opens up the world to photographers who want to get the most out of these recent evolutions in technology. From Amazon's cloud service to Pixlr, Flickr, and countless other programs making it possible, "Photography Applications for Cloud Computing" is a full color guide and must have for modern photography collections.

The Money/Finance Shelf

Money on Purpose
Shayna Lear
Judson Press
PO Box 851
Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851
9780817017057, $15.99,

Faith and success are not opposed values. "Money on Purpose: Finding a Faith-Filled Balance" is a Christian guide to better business success from Shayna Lear who presents a faith-driven guide to better success in their business life, discussing the relevant scripture on business success for Christians, with a focus on monetary success for African Americans. "Money on Purpose" is a strong pick for Christian and personal finance collections, highly recommended.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers Of The Future: Volume 28
K. D. Wentworth, editor
Galaxy Press
7051 Hollywood Boulevard, Suite 200
Hollywood, CA 90028
9781619868766, $7.99,

A welcome and much appreciated annual science fiction publishing event, 'Writers of the Future' showcases twelve of the best and the brightest to put pen to paper during the preceding year. Beginning with an informed and informative introduction by the late K. D. Wentworth, this 28th volume presents original contributions by Marie Croake (Of Woven Wood); William Ledbetter (The Rings of Mars); David Carani (The Paradise Aperture); Roy Hubbard (Fast Draw); M. O. Muriel (The Siren); William Mitchell (Contact Authority);Nick T. Chan (The Command for Love); Harry Lang (My Name is Angela); Jacob A. Boyd (Lost Pine); Corry L. Lee (Shutdown); Tom Doyle (While Ireland Holds These Graves); Gerald Warfield (The Poly Islands); Scott T. Barnes (Insect Sculptor). Of special note are the insightful comments by Kristine Kathryn Rusch (The Importance of Short Fiction); Shaun Tan (Advice for a New Illustrator); and that master storyteller himself, L. Ron Hubbard (Story Vitality). A 608-page compendium occasionally illustrated in black-and-white, "L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers Of The Future: Volume 28" is a highly recommended and thoroughly entertaining read, making it an enduringly popular addition to personal, school, and community library Science Fiction collections.

R. J. Larson
Bethany House Publishers
c/o Baker Publishing Group
11400 Hampshire Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55438
9780764209710, $14.99,

The burden of the prophet is not a mantle taken on lightly. "Prophet" is a novel from R. J. Larson following young Ela, as the Infinite, the creator of her people of Parne, has charged her with becoming the first female prophet at the age of seventeen. But the future of a prophet is not one that comes easily, as Prophets face a tough life and must surrender their wills and desires to the Infinite. "Prophet" is an intriguing twist of faith in fantasy, very much recommended.

The Nautical Shelf

Outfitting the Offshore Cruising Sailboat
Peter I. Berman
Paradise Cay Publications
PO Box 29
Arcata, CA 95518-0029
9780939837991, $19.95,

Cruising the sea is a growing pastime for those with the ability to call a boat their own. "Outfitting the Offshore Cruising Sailboat: Refitting Used Sailboats for Blue-Water Voyaging" is an advice guide for those who want to equip their boats for coastal sailing for recreation and managing such a boat wisely, trying to save money where you can while avoiding the pitfalls of boat management. "Outfitting the Offshore Cruising Sailboat" is a strong pick for those who enjoy the seas and want to enjoy them more efficiently.

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Only Skin
Sean Ford
Secret Acres
75-22 37th Ave., #452
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
9780983166287 $21.95

Only Skin: New Tales of the Slow Apocalypse gathers the previously serialized black-and-white comic epic by Sean Ford into a single graphic novel - with the addition of several dozen new pages, and an improved ending! A dark portrayal of rural America, seen from the perspective of orphaned siblings, Only Skin details the problems of people struggling to survive amid poverty and local corruption. Something is causing townspeople to disappear into the woods without a trace. But which is more evil - the lurking horror of ghosts, the hypocrisy of seemingly ordinary people who sell each other out for personal gain, or the murderous impulses of human hearts? Grim and suspenseful, Only Skin is as memorable as it is unsettling, and highly recommended for connoisseurs of quality independent graphic novels.

The Audiobook Shelf

Matthew Klein, author
Chris Patton, narrator
Bolinda Publishing
186 S Long Swamp Rd
Jackson, ME 04921
9781743113455 $29.99

Switchback is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of a suspenseful story of the high-stakes American Dream gone terribly wrong. Timothy Van Bender graduated from Yale, manages a successful hedge fund, and has married a beautiful wife. But when his fund loses $24 million in a foolish bet against the rising yen, everything turns for the worse. Investors start asking questions that could bring about his livelihood's downfall, and just when his business is a hair's breadth away from the end, his wife telephones him one last time - before allegedly jumping off a cliff at Big Sur. Shocked and shaken, Timothy investigates his wife's death; his search grew even more complicated when his secretary appears on his doorstep, claiming to be his deceased wife, with the knowledge and memories to prove it. A dark tale of suspense, fraud, and deception, Switchback will keep listeners riveted to the very end. 9 CDs, 9 hours 59 minutes, tracks every 3 minutes for easy bookmarking.

Spaceman Blues
Brian Francis Slattery, author
Robert Ramirez, narrator
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road
Prince Frederick, MD 20678
9781436119399 $77.75

Spaceman Blues: A Love Song is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of Brian Francis Slattery's debut novel, a sci-fi odyssey about Wendell Apogee's distraught search for Manuel, his mysteriously vanished lover. His quest takes him into the seediest boroughs of New York, where he encounters thieves, assassins, cultists, and worse. But the more Wendell searches, the more evidence mounts that Manual's disappearance was the result of forces beyond the known mortal world! Suspensefully read by professional stage actor Robert Ramirez, Spaceman Blues is an unforgettable saga of intrigue, counterculture dystopia, and true love (between gay men), highly recommended for audiobook connoisseurs interested in a tale that is truly out of this world. 6 CDs, 6 3/4 hours.

The Witness
Nora Roberts, author
Julia Whelan, narrator
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887
Grand Haven, MI 49417
9781455818150 $36.99

The Witness is the unabridged audiobook rendition of Nora Roberts' suspenseful novel about a woman hyperfocused upon personal security and self-control, and the police chief who finds himself increasingly drawn to her. Chief Brooks Gleason is intrigued by local newcomer Abigail Lowery, who works from home as a freelance programmer designing security systems, owns a temperamental dog, not to mention multiple firearms. Gleason's instincts tell him that Abigail is threatened by someone or something; her defenses clearly hide painful, buried secrets. But the deeper Gleason becomes involved, the closer he comes to crossing the path of truly dangerous men! The Witness is a powerful character study and work of suspense, and sure to prove a popular lending library pick. 14 CDs, 16 hours 30 min.

The Music CD Shelf

Safety Fifth
Mucca Pazza
Electric Cowbell Records
c/o Rock Paper Scissors
511 West 4th Street, Suite 2
Bloomington, IN 47404

The Chicago band Mucca Pazza likes to take on the appearance of a marching band, but their music surges with the unstoppable rhythms of rock-'n'-roll. Their latest album, Safety Fifth, lives up to its devil-may-care title by drawing upon a grand medley of eccentric yet enthusiastic influences, from homages to pop culture television, to drum-and-brass exuberance, funky guitar, and even accordion tango. Safety Fifth is a lively listening experience, especially recommended for early morning car commutes, the better to energize one's day!

BEEing Human
Mark Bruland
Appley Ever After
c/o The Creative Service Company (publicity)
4360 Emerald Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
$12.97 CD / $10.97 MP3

BEEing Human is a music album by dedicated beekeeper Mark Bruland, who pours as much heart and soul into his contemporary instrumental songs as he does into his 46-acre organic farm. The themes of BEEing Human revolve around the joys of farmwork, family life, and friends. Bruland's bees are an invaluable part of his farm, since they pollinate his apple orchid and raspberry crop. BEEing Human is also a tribute to Bruland's closest friends, some of whom battled or even died from life-threatening illnesses. A holistic and unforgettable album, BEEing Human is highly recommended. The tracks are "BEEing Human" (3:33), "Suite Honey Bee" (2:38), "Oms Child" (2:50), "Eclaire" (2:55), "Elk and Little G" (2:15), "No Matter What" (3:31), "An Afternoon with Steve" (3:26), "Richard's Horn" (3:08), "Pictures from Wheels" (3:57), "A Cool Breeze for Louise" (4:34), "My Laughing Heart" (3:33), "Tom Parker's Wind Chimes" (4:55), "The Cheyenne Rose" (2:42), "Alexanders' Grove" (3:28), "Blue Eyed Steel" (3:39), "Natylee's Bench" (3:18), "Vicki's Lessons" (2:50), and "Marking Time" (4:21).

Kottarashky and the Rain Dogs
Asphalt Tango Records
c/o FlipSwitch (publicity)
PO Box 2207
Bloomington, IN 47404-2207

Balkan beat-master Kottarashky and his Sofia musician friends the Rain Dogs present Demoni, a wildly exuberant album blending ethnic tunes and electronic rhythms into an incredible panoply of soundscapes. Demoni is an exceptional addition to international music album collections, and highly recommended to listeners who thrill to the joy of unparalleled new experiences. The tracks are "Aman Aman" (4:41), "Doctore" (3:46), "Pancho Says" (3:52), "Begemot" (6:55), "Slavyanka Blues" (4:13), "Trans 5" (4:16), "Ungroovie" (4:52), "Babo" (3:59), "Put a Blessing on" (6:35), "Blatoto" (5:04), "Vlasti" (3:50), and "Demoni" (3:18).

Canyon Records Productions
3131 West Clarendon Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85017

Three new albums from venerable Native American music publisher Canyon Records continue to celebrate tribal traditions in new and harmonious ways. "Horse Dance: Mistatim Simoowin" ($16.72, 44 min. 33 sec.) by the Cree Confederation is a collection of Pow-Wow songs recorded live at ASU, with joyful singing, rhythmic drumming, and vibrant Plains Cree lyrics. "True Melodies" ($16.72) by Grammy-nominated, Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame singer Cheevers Toppah evolves the musical traditions of southern Plains tribes with extraordinarily beautiful multi-part harmonies and arraged vocals. Fawn Wood's "Iskwewak: Songs of Indigenous Womanhood" ($16.72, 46 min. 57 sec.) is a tribute to the womanly virtues of strength, intuition, and love, celebrating them as core qualities of the cultural legacy of indigenous woman everywhere. Wood draws upon her Cree and Salish lineage to craft stirring, emotionally powerful songs in this beautiful and moving album. All three CDs are excellent additions to any Native American music collections, and highly recommended for both personal and public library music collections.

The DVD Shelf

Take Me Home
Monterey Media Inc.
566 St. Charles Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360-3901
9781569943656 $26.95

Take Me Home: A Comedy About The Road Less Traveled is a multiple award-winning independent film about two people who stumble into one another just as they are at the end of their respective ropes. Thom Colvin (played by Sam Jaeger) is desperately struggling to pursue his dream of being a professional photographer, but cannot scrape together enough money to avoid being evicted, and moonlights as an unlicensed cab driver to barely survive. Claire Barrow (played by Amber Jaeger) is struggling with a troubled marriage, and two terrible events in one day push her over the edge - an unexpected discovery of her husband on too-friendly terms with his attractive secretary, and the news that the emotionally distant father she hasn't seen in years has suffered a heart attack. When Claire randomly happens into Thom's cab and demands that he "just drive", it begins a cross-country odyssey that will ultimately lead each of them to learn from one another, and find the strength to confront their respective personal demons. A thoughtful film, Take Me Home balances light romantic comedy with soulful emotion, and is a journey that will entrance the viewer from beginning to end. Highly recommended. Bonus features include a "behind the scenes" segment and brief cast interviews. 97 min., closed captioned, 16:9 anamorphic, rated PG-13.

Rails to the Twin Ports
2652 East Walnut St.
Pasadena, CA 91107
1563423022 $29.95

Rails to the Twin Ports is a spectacular DVD tour of the railroad facilities of the Twin Ports of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin, as recorded in the late 1990s by Pentrex, the quintessential creators of entertainment for railroad aficionados. Featuring gorgeous camerawork of the major railroads that served the Twin Ports (Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Union Pacific, Canadian Pacific, Canadian national, Wisconsin Central, and ore-haulers Duluth, Missabe, & Iron Range), Rails to the Twin Ports is shows operations of these hardy industrial trains across all four seasons. Informative narration enhances this immersive documentary for railroad aficionados! 1 hour 54 min., standard definition, 4x3 format. Also a choice pick for railroad fans is the Pentrex documentary "UP 844 New Mexico-Arizona Centennial Special" (1563423294, $29.95, 1 hour 42 min.), which follows an extraordinary, history-marking tour of a veteran steam-powered train decades after the retirement of its model.

The Art Shelf

Barbara Rogers: The Imperative Of Beauty
Paul Ivy, et al.
Hudson Hills Press
3556 Main Street, Manchester, VT 05254
9781555953478, $60.00,

The collaborative work of Paul Ivey (Associate Professor of Art History, University of Arizona, Tucson), Carter Ratcliff, (Contributing Editor, 'Art in America'), and Marilyn A. Zeitlin (art historian, writer, and curator), "Barbara Rogers: The Imperative Of Beauty" is a profusely illustrated, 224-page compendium showcasing the life and work of American artist Barbara Rogers whose unique style has singled her out as a major female artist. Informed and informative, "Barbara Rogers: The Imperative Of Beauty" is a strongly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library Contemporary American Art reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Music Shelf

Will You Take Me As I Am
Michelle Mercer
Hal Leonard/ Backbeat Books
7777 W. Bluemound Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53213
9781617130281 $19.99

"Will You Take Me As I Am: Joni Mitchell's Blue Period" is the partial biography of singer/songwriter Joni Mitchell in her Blue period. A sensitive yet probing description of some of the personal history and experiences that the artist poured into her deeply expressive music of many sources, "Will You Take Me As I Am" is perhaps painfully honest in its portrayal of Mitchell's intense inner journey. "Will You Take Me As I Am" contains many clues to the rich spiritual depths which Mitchell plumbs to express and create her music. Fans, music and cultural analysts, and anyone who has been touched by her music will appreciate "Will You Take Me As I Am," with its black and white tender photo history and carefully balanced presentation of an artist in transit during a period of intense creativity in her life. Lovers of the songs of Joni Mitchell's famous Blue Period will be unable to refrain from reading this engaging work.

The Military Shelf

One Marine's War
Gerald A. Meehl
Naval Institute Press
291 Wood Road
Annapolis, MD 21402
9781612510927 $34.95

Widely published scientific and historical writer Gerald A. Meehl presents One Marine's War: A Combat Interpreter's Quest for Humanity in the Pacific, the true story Robert Sheeks, an American Marine language officer who served in the Pacific during World War II. Sheeks was extraordinary in that he earned decorations for saving enemy lives, rather than destroying them. Although he was familiar firsthand with the barbaric atrocities that the Japanese military inflicted upon Chinese civilians, Sheeks learned to overcome his personal anger and dedicate himself to preventing the unnecessary deaths among Japanese soldiers and civilians, though his service as a combat interpreter during the fighting on the islands of Tarawa, Saipan, and Tinian. An extensively researched, extraordinarily vivid account, One Marine's War is accessible to readers of all backgrounds and an invaluable addition to World War II history shelves. Highly recommended.

Ground Pounder
Gregory V. Short
University of North Texas Press
PO Box 311336
Denton, TX 76203-1336
9781574414523 $29.95

Ground Pounder: A Marine's Journey Through South Vietnam 1968-1969 is the true-life story of author Gregory V. Short, and his tour of duty as a U.S. Marine during the Vietnam War. Short was only eighteen in February of 1968 (the beginning of the Tet Offensive) when he began fighting in the war. He served as an 81mm mortarman, a Forward Observer for Hotel Company, an infantryman with Bravo Company, and a member of the 1st Marine Air Wing in Da Nang. His candid tales of horrifying causalities in battle, enduring the elements, and even learning about the Vietnamese culture make for absolutely compelling reading. Ground Pounder is a "must-read" military memoir of the Vietnam War, highly recommended.

The Humor Shelf

No Sailing Waits and Other Ferry Tales
Adrian Raeside
Harbour Publishing
PO Box 219
Madeira Park, BC, Canada, V0N 2H0
9781550175967 $9.95

No Sailing Waits and Other Ferry Tales collects 30 years of Adrian Raeside's editorial cartoons about the British Columbia ferry system of Canada - its horrendous delays, ever-increasing fares, stomach-churning "Sunshine Breakfasts", perpetual teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, clashes with unions, and much more. Each cartoon has a bit of wry commentary added by the author, the better to drive the punchline home to those who have never experienced the trials and tribulations of BC ferries firsthand. For example, a cartoon in which motorists drive by a sign reading "Next Ferry Breakdown 3 PM" has the commentary, "In 2008, electronic highway signs were installed at the approach to terminals to let passengers know at what time they wouldn't be going anywhere." No Sailing Waits and Other Ferry Tales is funny from cover to cover, and highly recommended for light, relaxing reading... or perhaps as a warning of what Vancouver residents have to put up with!

The Wisconsin Shelf

Solid Roots and Strong Wings
Sue Berg
Little Creek Press
5341 Sunny Ridge Road
Mineral Point, WI 53565
9780984924509, $19.95,

Wisconsin has strong rural roots it has flourished from. "Solid Roots and Strong Wings: A Memoir of Family Life in Wisconsin" is a memoir from Sue Berg, as she recounts her own family history and what she has learned as a family woman in the state, presenting a thoughtful and down to earth story that shouldn't be overlooked. "Solid Roots and Strong Wings" is an excellent pick for general memoir collections focusing on Wisconsin life.

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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