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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 8, Number 6 June 2013 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Philosophy Shelf Folktale/Fairytale Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Fiction Shelf Science Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Self-Help Shelf Business Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf Buddhist Studies Shelf
American History Shelf World History Shelf Biography Shelf
Poetry Shelf Civil War Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf
Memoir Shelf Environmental Studies Shelf Parenting Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Travel Shelf Sports Shelf
Psychology Shelf Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Writing/Publishing Shelf Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf Jobs/Career Shelf
Humor Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Language Studies Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Railroading Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf
Photography Shelf Computer Shelf Automotive Shelf
Fashion Shelf Wisconsin Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

We Wanted A Farm
M.G. Kains
Dover Publications, Inc.
31 East 2nd Street
Mineola, NY 11501
9780486497754 $12.95

We Wanted A Farm is the republication of M.G. Kains' memoir (first published in 1941) about engaging in the family dream of establishing and maintaining their own small farm. From working with stubborn clay soil, to tending neglected fruit trees, to installing heating/water/sewage systems, battling pests and weeds, even experimenting with chickens, We Wanted A Farm explores the triumphs and travails of transitioning to daily life on a small working farm. We Wanted A Farm is more of a down-to-earth, tell-it-like-it-is story than a by-the-numbers instructional, yet urban homesteaders, gardeners, and would-be farmers will find a wealth of invaluable tips, tricks, and techniques of the trade. Highly recommended, as is Kains' previous book brimming with insight about living off the land, "Five Acres and Independence".

The Constructed Mennonite
Hans Werner
University of Manitoba Press
301 St. John's College
Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R3T 2M5
9780887557415, $31.95,

For survival, we take on many roles, and fight battles that aren't our own. "The Constructed Mennonite: History, Memory, and the Second World War" tells the story of the author's father, John Werner, who born in Mennonite Siberia, found himself swept up throughout World War II, carrying the flag for many countries to get by and live his life... and in peace, found his way to Canada. Telling the story of a man who saw much of the world and was impacted by all of it, "The Constructed Mennonite" is a strong addition to general history and biography collections focused on immigrants.

Saving the Farm
James T. Powers
Homebound Publications
PO Box 1442
Pawcatuck, CT 06379
9781938846069, $17.95,

The dominance of agriculture in American life is very much fading. "Saving the Farm: A Journey Through Time, Place, and Redemption" discusses the true-life history of the Dudley Farmhouse in New England, and how it has become a museum of the one-time lifestyle of rural Americans. The Dudley Farmhouse is a milestone preserved to remind future generations may remember the past... and its place in the progression of history. "Saving the Farm" is a must for those curious about the relics of the nineteenth century, very much highly recommended.

The Philosophy Shelf

Planet of the Apes and Philosophy
John Huss, editor
Open Court Publishing Company
70 East Lake Street, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60601
9780812698220, $17.95,

There's more to Planet of the Apes then monkeys doing human things. "Planet of the Apes and Philosophy: Great Apes Think Alike" discusses the elements and concepts explored throughout the film series. From what it means to be human, concepts on what the stories explore, taking notes with a fun and pop culture philosophy way, "Planet of the Apes and Philosophy" is a choice and highly recommended addition to contemporary philosophy collections.

The Folktale/Fairytale Shelf

Grandma's Santo on Its Head
Nasario Garcia
University of New Mexico Press
1312 Basehart Road SE
Albuquerque NM 87106-4363
9780826353283, $24.95,

Stories make up much of our culture and tell the whole story of our lives. "Grandma's Santo on Its Head: Stories of Days Gone By in Hispanic Villages of New Mexico" is a bilingual collection of folklore and history from Nasario Garcia, who draws upon the rich cultural legacy of his own homeland, the Rio Puerco Valley. "Grandma's Santo on Its Head" is a must for cultural fiction and studies collections, highly recommended.

Michigan Legends
Sheryl James
University of Michigan Press
839 Greene Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3209
9780472051748, $18.95,

Lakes attract civilization, and the Great Lakes have long, long history. "Michigan Legends: Folktales and Lore from the Great Lakes State" explores the literary history of the region and lakes, touching on the deep native culture of the state leading up to more modern legends like Paul Bunyan, and everything in between. Insightful and fascinating reading, "Michigan Legends" is a must for any collection focusing on folklore and Michigan state history.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Chakras
C. W. Leadbeater
Quest Books
c/o The Theosophical Publishing House
PO Box 270, Wheaton, IL 60189-0270
9780835609128, $16.95,

Chakras, in Hindu metaphysical tradition and other belief systems, are centers of Pra a, life force, or vital energy. Chakras correspond to vital points in the physical body i.e. major plexuses of arteries, veins and nerves. Texts and teachings present different numbers of chakras. Their name derives from the Sanskrit word for "wheel" or "turning". The concept of chakra features in tantric and yogic traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. "The Chakras" by C. W. Leadbeater was first published in 1927 and to this day continues to be the fundamental reference work on chakras for a Western readership. Of special note is the inclusion of a section of color photographs. Now made available to a whole new generation of appreciative readers, this Quest Books edition is enhanced with an informative foreword by Anodea Judith and features annotations by Kurt Leland. Also available in a Kindle edition ($10.59), this 180 page paperback compendium is highly recommended for both personal reading lists and academic library Metaphysical Studies reference collections.

The Qabalah Workbook for Magicians
Anita Kraft
Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
665 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
9781578635351, $19.95,

Hermetic Qabalah (From the Hebrew word meaning "reception" or "accounting") is a Western esoteric, occult and mystical tradition. It is the underlying philosophy and framework for magical societies such as the Golden Dawn, Thelemic orders, mystical-religious societies such as the Builders of the Adytum and the Fellowship of the Rosy Cross, and is a precursor to the Neopagan, Wiccan and New Age movements. The Hermetic Qabalah is the basis for Qliphothic Qabala as studied by left hand path orders, such as the Typhonian Order. In "The Qabalah Workbook for Magicians: A Guide to the Sephiroth", author Anita Kraft draws upon her more than 20 years of practice and research as a Qabalist, Magician, Bishop in the Ecclessia Gnostica Catholica, and Initiate of the ordo Templi Orientis to produce a 176 page compendium of information and instruction on the practice of Qabalah utilizing tools that range from tarot cards plants and stones, to perfumes, the zodiac, and other magical sources. Enhanced with the inclusion of two appendices offering additional exercises and Crowley's 777 Chart, "The Qabalah Workbook for Magicians: A Guide to the Sephiroth" is thoroughly 'user friendly' and highly recommended reading for students of the Qabalah and academic library Metaphysical Studies reference collections.

The Alien Abduction Files
Kathleen Marden & Denise Stoner
New Page Books
c/o Career Press Inc.
220 West Parkway, Unit 12
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
9781601632715, $16.99,

Something has to be out there... and is it contacting us? "The Alien Abduction Files: The Most Startling Cases of Human-Alien Contact Ever Reported" analyzes the potential of alien abductions and other extraterrestrial contact. Authors Kathleen Marden & Denise Stoner strive to understand to the purpose of these events, and what life can be like while facing them. "The Alien Abduction Files" is a worthwhile addition to metaphysical studies collections, highly recommended.

The Fiction Shelf

Risk of Ruin
Arnold Snyder
Vegas Lit
c/o Huntington Press
3665 South Procyon Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89103
1935396609 $11.95 pbk. / $2.99 ebook

The debut novel of gambling expert Arnold Snyder, Risk of Ruin is the suspenseful tale of two societal outcasts on the run. Bart is a professional gambler who drifts from place to place on his chopped Harley, and pushes people away. But Stacy is different - she's a young woman on the run; the very definition of trouble, yet he can't get her out of his head. Together they scam casinos, but when they kill a cop, their odds of survival on the lam go from bad to worse. "If I stay with you, I'm going down. The only reason I'm sticking with you is that I know life itself is a negative expectation bet. Trying to beat death is like trying to use a system to beat craps. If you stay in the game, you'll go broke." Gritty and dark, Risk of Ruin is fascinating to the very last page.

Beyond the Valley
Rita Gerlach
Abingdon Press
PO Box 801
Nashville, TN 37202
9781426714160 $14.99

The third novel in the "Daughters of the Potomac" series, Beyond the Valley follows the hardships of Sarah Carr, a young woman from 1800's Cornwall. When her young husband drowns, leaving her pregnant and alone, she tries to get help from her husband's family - only to be betrayed and sold into indentured servitude across the seas. Life in the Maryland colonies is hard; being sold at a slave auction is degrading, and her situation worsens when she is captured by a cruel Indian tribe. Yet even at her darkest moments, her faith in God sustains her, and she is not the only good person left in the world; and her heart willfully falls for a new love, a kind man who would risk everything to protect her. Beyond the Valley is a sweeping odyssey of trying times, lit by the slightest the guttering flame of hope. Highly recommended.

Alligator Alley
Rick Robinson
Publisher Page
c/o Headline Books
PO Box 52, Terra Alta, WV 26764
9780938467656, $16.95,

Our calling in life may change and be revised often throughout our lifetimes. "Alligator Alley" follows James Conrad as the fifty year old pieces together his life and tries to gain a more complete understanding of his life and lost childhood as he takes up his life in the Everglades. With plenty of insight and takes on the changing nature of life, "Alligator Alley" is a must for literary fiction collections.

Baxter's Friends
Ned Randle
Coffeetown Press
PO Box 70515
Seattle, WA 98127
9781603811620, $13.95,

Middle age is where we wonder if there's more to life than what we've seen. "Baxter's Friends" tells the story of Jerry Baxter and his associates, as they struggle with the burden of entering the second half of their lives, dealing with their families, how they've treated others, and what awaits them in the uncertain decades to come, as well as what they can change. "Baxter's Friends" is a riveting look into the crisis of midlife, so very much recommended reading.

The Execution of Richard Sturgis
Tony Rogers
Southeast Missouri State University Press
1 University Plaza, MS 2650
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
9780988310315, $19.00,

Facing the deep shame of family always proves so hard. "The Execution of Richard Sturgis: As Told By His Son, Colin" is a novel following Colin Sturgis, as he faces the accusation of his father for the murder of a college student all those years ago. Focusing on the pain of coping with a father accused, finding peace within the family, and a little bit of the truth, "The Execution of Richard Sturgis" is a strong addition to literary fiction collections, very much recommended.

Life Form
Amelie Nothomb
Europa Editions
214 West 29th Street, Suite 1003
New York, N.Y. 10001
9781609450885, $15.00 print / $9.99 Kindle,

Even when there doesn't seem to be an immense amount in common, there can be something to be learned. "Life Form" is a novel that seeks to explore the bonds of life over the years as he writes of a friendship between a famous author and morbidly obese fan, who create a penpal situation... and the lessons learned between them and the changes they both undertake through friendship. "Life Form" is a strong pick for those seeking a novel of change and humanity, recommended.

The Boy Who Said No
Patti Sheehy
Oceanview Publishing
595 Bay Isles Road, 120-G
Longboat Key, FL 34228
9781608090808, $26.95,

To pursue what he seek out of life often requires daunting risks. "The Boy Who Said No: An Escape to Freedom" is a novel from Patti Sheehy, following Cuban soldier Frank Mederos who fed up with Castro's Cuba, seeks to defect to America... but such things are easier said than done, with people who would turn him in for his treasonous intent all around. "The Boy Who Said No" is a riveting thriller of the twentieth century politics and Cuba, recommended.

Journey of Promise
Vickie Hall
Cedar Fort, Inc.
2373 West 700 South
Springville, Utah 84663
9781462111169, $17.99,

A world's journey is a heavy burden, but for some, it is a worthy endeavor. "Journey of Promise" is a Christian historical novel from Vickie Hall. Richard and Leah Kenyon seek to heed the call of Zion, to travel to the American West. But from Ireland, the task is more daunting than usual. With the faith of God beside them, they embark on their journey, and face the heavy tests that lie ahead of them. "Journey of Promise" is a driven and inspired read, not to be missed by fans of Christian inspirational novels.

The Science Shelf

Roadside Geology of New Jersey
David P. Harper
Mountain Press Publishing Company
PO Box 2399
Missoula, MT 59806
9780878426003, $24.00,

The natural side of New Jersey tells an intriguing history that often goes untold. "Roadside Geology of New Jersey" discusses this history and geology, in plain terms accessible to readers of all backgrounds as they travel through the state. Also discussing climate change, the impact of Hurricane Sandy, and much more, "Roadside Geology of New Jersey" is insightful and very much recommended reading for science and environmental collections focusing on the Mid-Atlantic.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

A Man of Indeterminate Value
Ron Felber
Barricade Books, Inc.
185 Bridge Plaza North, Suite 308-A
Fort Lee, NJ 07024
9781569804902, $16.95,

The world can often seem to crush us in a vice as it closes in around us. "A Man of Indeterminate Value" is a thriller following Jack Madson, a man who is struggling to be free of the weights in his life. With a fake of his own death, he plunges into the corrupt world of business and the world of crime and danger with plenty of exciting twists and turns along the way. "A Man of Indeterminate Value" is a fine novel for thriller fans everywhere, much recommended.

The Name of the Game is Death & One Endless Hour
Dan J. Marlowe
Stark House Press
1315 H Street
Eureka, CA 95501
9781933586441, $19.95,

The gritty and unforgiving noir world so often intrigues us. "The Name of the Game is Death & One Endless Hour" is a two in one noir-themed pack of books from author Dan J. Marlowe looking into the seedy underworld of crime and the men who were tasked at battling it it. Riveting writing from an ward winning author of the twentieth century, "The Name of the Game is Death & One Endless Hour" is a must for fans of the genre seeking classics lost to the sands of time.

The Crypt Thief
Mark Pryor
Seventh Street Books
c/o Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive
Amherst, NY 14228
9781616147853, $15.95,

How do you catch a killer who leaves no trail? "The Crypt Thief" is a mystery following Hugo Marston, a security man for the US Embassy in Paris who's out to figure out the motives of murders near celebrities graves, and has a strange tendency to indulge in grave robbing, leaving no trail of ever being there. When the mystery comes together, Hugo may only end up more stumped. "The Crypt Thief" is a strong addition to contemporary mystery collections, highly recommended.

Dead, Without a Stone to Tell It
Jen J. Danna with Ann Vanderlaan
c/o Cengage Learning, Inc.
200 First Stamford Place
Stamford, CT 06902
9781432826956 $26.95

Dead, Without a Stone to Tell It is a gripping mystery novel about the hunt to find a vicious serial killer. Homicide detective Leigh Abbott and forensic anthropologist Matt Lowell must uncover the identity of a murderer, when their only evidence is a single bone. Their discovery of a macabre burial ground of unidentified corpses quickly raises the stakes - and the ire of the killer, who targets them to be the next victims! Horrifyingly intense to the end, Dead, Without a Stone to Tell It is a choice pick for fans of the genre.

Fatal Descent
Beth Groundwater
Midnight Ink
2143 Wooddale Drive
Woodbury, MN 55125-2989
9780738734828, $14.99,

Out in the hostile world of nature, one hopes not have to worry about the fear of mankind too. "Fatal Descent" is a novel from Beth Groundwater, following Mandy Tanner and her fiance as they go on a long rafting and climbing trip deep into Utah, leading an expedition as guides... but when her fiance turns up dead, Mandy quickly figures it may have not been natural causes, but instead the work of the foulest of creatures, mankind. "Fatal Descent" is a riveting mystery and thriller, highly recommended.

Jude Hardin
Oceanview Publishing
595 Bay Isles Road, 120-G
Longboat Key, FL 34228
9781608090853, $15.00,

To save a lost girl, a man must endure even more hardship in an already wounded life. "Pocket-47" is a mystery thriller from Jude Hardin, following private investigator Nicholas Colt, who struggles to put together his life again. Hired to pursue a runaway fifteen year old girl, Colt has to track down sadistic criminals. "Pocket-47" is a fine pick that should prove so very hard to put down, recommended.

The Self-Help Shelf

Give Yourself a Pep Talk
Joan Marie Galat
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street
Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781455617852, $16.95,

If you need to motivate one person, it should be yourself first and foremost. "Give Yourself a Pep Talk" is a self-motivational read from Joan Marie Galat who offers 100 motivational pep talks aimed at trying to empower ourselves to face down our lives, and giving us the little kicker we need to get what we seek out of life. Inspired and driven reading, "Give Yourself a Pep Talk" is a vital addition to any self-help collection, recommended.

30 Days to Taming Your Anger
Deborah Smith Pegues
Harvest House Publishers
990 Owen Loop North
Eugene, Oregon 97402-9173
9780736945745, $6.99,

Anger is not something that should be allowed to dominate our lives. "30 Days to Taming Your Anger: How to Find Peace: When Irritated, Frustrated, or Infuriated" is a guide to better managing the heavy burden of one's anger, realizing what makes one angry, finding your calm point, and spreading that calm... and learning when to shrug and not sweat it. "30 Days to Taming Your Anger" is a powerful read for those whose anger has cost them, highly recommended.

Crossing the Healing Zone
Ashok Bedi, M.D.
Nicholas-Hays, Inc.
PO Box 540206, Lake Worth, FL 33454-0206
9780892542031, $21.95,

The mind plays a bigger role in general health than we know. "Crossing the Healing Zone: From Illness to Wellness" is a guide to psychological health and well being from Ashok Bedi, M.D., who offers his insights onto finding a healthier life and how wellness is the core to life and health that can stick with us for years to come. "Crossing the Healing Zone" is recommended for those seeking a spiritual approach to greater overall health.

Eaten by the Tiger
Emile Allen
Ascot Media Group
P.O. Box 133032
The Woodlands, TX 77393
9780988753303, $21.99,

Many often deal with life living under the thumb of fear. "Eaten by the Tiger: Surrendering to an Empowered Life" is an inspirational memoir from Emile Allen as he tells of his near death experience as a surgeon shows how he realized this fear in his life, accepted it, and used it to power himself forward and realize his goals and what his purpose of life. "Eaten by the Tiger" is a powerful and much recommended addition to self-help and empowerment collections.

Soul Recovery
Ester Nicholson
Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100
Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781401943110, $15.95,

Addiction can wreak havoc with our lives, and combating it can prove so very difficult. "Soul Recovery: 12 Keys to Healing Addiction" is a guide to fighting addictions of many sorts with a spiritual and faith oriented aim from Ester Nicholson who shares this route and how to better make their way through life, and potentially find that salvation we all seek out of the world. "Soul Recovery" is a must for self-help and spirituality collections, highly recommended.

The Business Shelf

James A. Cusumano
SelectBooks, Inc.
1 Union Square West
Suite 909
New York City, NY 10003
9781590799604, $16.95,

One cannot live life with all work and no play. "Balance: The Business - Life Connection" is an inspirational read from James A. Cusumano who offers his own insight on the importance of finding balance in our professional and personal lives and using this balance for greater productivity and success in both halves of our lives. Insightful and spiritual reading, "Balance" is a must for self-help and inspirational career collections, highly recommended.

Leading Out Loud
Terry Pearce
111 River Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9780470907696, $34.95,

A leader should set an example, a clear one to follow. "Leading Out Loud: A Guide for Engaging Others in Creating the Future" a business and management leadership from Terry Pearce who shares his expertise and updates the guide, originally published in 1995 for recent years. Focusing on strong communication and working with others more effectively, building trust, and much more, "Leading Out Loud" comes with plenty of sage advice for business and keeping it growing and moving forward.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Concordia's Complete Bible Handbook
Edward A. Engelbrecht, general edition
Concordia Publishing House
3558 South Jefferson Avenue
Saint Louis, MO 63118-3968
9780758643575, $24.99,

"Concordia's Complete Bible Handbook" is a 688 page compendium that presents an informed and informative commentary on all sixty-six books comprising the Christian bible, as well as providing an historical context for the period of time between the books of the Old Testament and those comprising the New Testament. "Concordia's Complete Bible Handbook" is comprised of erudite articles, a Bible Dictionary, charts, diagrams, genealogies, illustrations, maps, outlines, overviews, timelines, a detailed table of contents, and a comprehensive index. Thoroughly 'reader friendly', "Concordia's Complete Bible Handbook" is a now in an updated and expanded second edition making it an ideal and highly recommended guide for individual studies, group studies, academic and community library Biblical Studies reference collections.

Pope Francis in His Own Words
Julie Schietert Collazo and Lisa Rogak
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way
Novato, CA 94949
9781608682485, $12.95,

Pope Francis called for a new papacy when taking over for his predecessor. "Pope Francis in His Own Words" is a collection of quotes from the recently elected pope, speaking much on the place of those in power, the place of Christ in our lives, and the importance of kindness and forgiveness in making all the difference in the world. "Pope Francis in His Own Words" is a must for those who seek a more complete understanding of the new papacy.

A Slaughtered Lamb
Gregory Stevenson
Abilene Christian University Press
1626 Campus Court, Abilene, TX 79601
9780891124245, $19.99,

Suffering is the leading cause in questioning God. "A Slaughtered Lamb: Revelation and the Apocalyptic Response to Evil and Suffering" discusses the book of Revelation the answers it offers on the concept of suffering and cruelty within the world, and how to face the question of evil as a Christian with faith. With much to ponder and consider for Biblical students, "A Slaughtered Lamb" is a strong addition to Christian studies collections.

Holy War in the Bible
Heath A. Thomas, Jeremy Evans, & Paul Copan, editors
InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400
Downers Grove, IL 605151426
9780830839957, $26.00,

The wrathful God of the old testament doesn't play well with the message of peace and love from Jesus Christ. "Holy War in the Bible: Christian Morality and an Old Testament Problem" analyzes the words and stories of the old testament and its impact on Christian history and the teachings of the new testament. With many writers coming together to offer a scholarly and insightful discussion of the bible and what it means for Christianity now and in the future, "Holy War in the Bible" is a scholarly and fascinating read for both history and Christian studies collections.

Francis of Assisi: The Essential Writings in His Own Words
Jon M. Sweeney
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568
Orleans, MA 02653
9781612610696, $14.99,

St. Francis of Assisi is widely revered throughout Catholicism and the world of religion in general. "Francis of Assisi: The Essential Writings in His Own Words" presents Francis's words translated for the twenty first century and offers readers much thought and insight on how to better find their faith and lift their spirits for the future. "Francis of Assisi" is a powerful and enlightening read, not to be missed for religious text collections.

Wycliffite Spirituality
J. Patrick Hornbeck II, Stephen E. Lahey, & Fiona Somerset, editors
Paulist Press
997 MacArthur Boulevard
Mahwah, NJ 07430
9780809147656, $29.95,

One of the great spiritual thinkers of history, Wyclif gained many followers and detractors. "Wycliffite Spirituality" discusses the works of Wyclif, the fourteenth century spiritual scholar who wrote much on the relationship of man, prayer, and God. Wyclif lived up to the calling of the virtuous, and challenged the traditions of the era. This volume tells his story, shares his writings, and the impact of his heresy trials and the resistance he faced from the church. "Wycliffite Spirituality" is a solid addition to Paulist Press's The Classics of Western Spirituality series, highly recommended. Also from Paulist Press is "Our Father, Who Art on Earth: The Lord's Prayer for Believers and Unbelievers" (9780809147984, $14.95) offering insight on the power of the Lord's prayer for people of all works of life, highly recommended.

Nancy Grisham
Baker Publishing Group
6030 E Fulton
Ada, MI 49301
9780801015434, $13.99,

No one wants a wasted life... especially not Christ. "Thriving: Trusting God for Life to the Fullest" is an inspirational read from Nancy Grisham as she advises how to use one's faith and belief in Christ to empower themselves to go further and carry out their lives even the face of towering adversity. Powerful reading on the importance of faith, "Thriving" is a must for Christian inspirational collections, highly recommended.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

The Crisis of Zionism
Peter Beinart
Picador USA
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1800
New York, NY 10010
9781250026736, $16.00,

Judaism is in crisis, but not the crisis many would have you believe. "The Crisis of Zionism" discusses the current issues of Zionism and how the crisis with Palestine and the West Bank is challenging many young Jews in America, and how the failure for peace and instead fierce nationalism is driving the wedge deeper... and what can be done to mend the wounds all around, before Jewish democracy is truly lost. "The Crisis of Zionism" is a strongly recommended pick for social issues and Judaic studies collections, highly recommended.

The Magic of Hebrew Chant
Rabbi Shefa Gold
Jewish Lights Publishing
PO Box 237
Woodstock, VT 05091
9781580236713, $24.99,

Music and rhythm do things to us. "The Magic of Hebrew Chant: Healing the Spirit, Transforming the Mind, Deepening Love" explores the mystic and spiritual elements of chanting, its roots, and how to use it as a modern transformative spiritual practice. Complete with musical notations to help readers understand and perhaps embark on the practice themselves, "The Magic of Hebrew Chant" is a strong addition to spirituality collections.

The Buddhist Studies Shelf

Close To The Ground
Geri Larkin
Rodmell Press
2147 Blake Street, Berkeley, CA 94704-2715
9781930485341, $14.95,

Enlightenment doesn't have to be something impossible to attain. "Close to the Ground" is a series of insight into the realms of bliss in the Buddhist tradition, as founder of the Still Point Zen Buddhist temple of Detroit offers her own insights into the pursuit of enlightenment, and how we can try to find it everyday events through out life. "Close to the Ground" is a powerful and wise read for anyone looking for knowledge of life, be they Buddhist or otherwise.

Walking the Way
Robert Meikyo Rosenbaum
Wisdom Publications
199 Elm Street
Somerville, MA 02144
9781614290254, $17.95,

A bit of peace brings us so very far. "Walking the Way: 81 Zen Encounters with The Tao Te Ching" is a collection of Buddhist and Taoist knowledge, creating zen spiritual knowledge and insights on anything surrounding. With essays, knowledge, and study from a longtime student of zen over the period of decades, "Walking the Way" is a wise and inspirational addition to Buddhist and spirituality collections, highly recommended.

The American History Shelf

Mountain Voices
Doug Mayer & Rebecca Oreskes
Appalachian Mountain Club Books
Five Joy Street
Boston, MA 02108-1490
9781934028803, $18.95,

Up high in the mountains it takes a certain type of person to get by. "Mountain Voices: Stories of Life and Adventure in the White Mountains and Beyond" delves into the wild and remote North Country, the White Mountains, and the people of New Hampshire who call this rocky terrain home. Interviews with the people of the region as well as looks into the storied history and the major figures to come out of the region, "Mountain Voices" is a must for American history collections.

The World History Shelf

Voices from the Plain of Jars
Fred Branfman, editor
University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, Third Floor
Madison, WI 53711-2059
9780299292249, $19.95,

To live in fear of death from above is a truly terrifying way to live. "Voices from the Plain of Jars: Life Under an Air War" tells the unsung story of the secret air war in Laos that happened concurrently through the conflict in Vietnam. Fred Branfman seeks to tell their story of the survivors of this conflict who lived in constant fear, taking their expressions, and updates the story for a new millennium, the original story published in 1972. "Voices from the Plain of Jars" is a solid addition to history collections about a very important side story to Vietnam.

The Biography Shelf

Silas Deane: Revolutionary War Diplomat and Politician
Milton C. Van Vlack
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611
Jefferson NC 28640
9780786472529 $40.00

Silas Deane: Revolutionary War Diplomat and Politician is a biography of an American Revolutionary War era diplomat who tends to be remembered as a traitor like his boyhood friend Benedict Arnold, when he is remembered at all. But are such harsh characterizations truly justified, or appropriate? Deane was politically active, capable, and charismatic; his success earned him the ire, resentment, and slander of envious enemies. In 1776, Congress appointed him as America's first secret agent to obtain military supplies from France for Washington's army. Though Deane faltered in his mission, which was ultimately undercut by his inability to properly manage and keep track of his expenses, and though Deane himself has been recorded as privately doubting that the United States would succeed as a nation, his positive contributions to the fledgling country do not deserve to be overlooked by history. Silas Deane: Revolutionary War Diplomat and Politician does not try to minimize the contributions of other figures of the American Revolution, notably Benjamin Franklin, but does strive to set the record straight about a man who, after his toil on behalf of America, lived out the rest of his days reviled and impoverished, finally dying under mysterious circumstances (there is speculation to this day that he was poisoned). Highly recommended, especially for public library biography collections.

Cowboy Stuntman
Dean Smith
Texas Tech University Press
PO Box 41037
Lubbock, TX 79409-1037
9780896727892, $29.95,

Stunts are dangerous, and the thousand pound horse doesn't help things. "Cowboy Stuntman: From Olympic Gold to the Silver Screen" is the memoir of Hollywood stuntman Dean Smith as he shares his intriguing life and history, using his unique talent with a horse for many films, working with many actors, and not being above tossing on a wig to get the job done. "Cowboy Stuntman" is a wonderful pick for fans of those old school western movies who want to learn just how those films came together, recommended.

The Poetry Shelf

The Earth is Not Flat
Katharine Coles
Red Hen Press
PO Box 3537
Granada Hills, CA 91394
139781597097109, $17.95,

Even among the frozen landscape, there is much to see. "The Earth is Not Flat" is a collection of poetry from Katharine Coles who shares her experiences with Antarctica and offers a wide painting of poetry on top of it all. With humor and insight, "The Earth is Not Flat" is a worthy addition to contemporary poetry collections, recommended. "No Wonder": even penguins/Are afraid of the dark, little//Adelies escaping fast//As they can into summer/Wherever it is. North,//South. Invent something//Probable. Think how/They feel, swimming//Just ahead of the night,//Which, someday, even they/Will not be able to outrun.

Kevin Coval
Haymarket Books
PO Box 180165
Chicago, IL 60618
9781608462704, $16.00,

Humor explores society... as does poetry, a natural marriage. "Schtick" is a collection of humor driven poetry from Kevin Coval, who with a strong Jewish influence in his style in his assault of anything and everything that concerns him. "Schtick" is an excellent addition to contemporary poetry collections, not to be missed. "See, for Me, the bigger the nose the better": the darker, the sweeter, the stanky-er/the funky-er, the less lite, the less white/the more original, more crooked and less/straight, the fresher, the flamboyant, the protruding/the rude-er, the rude-boy, the ravishing/the nose in everybody's bizness, the hook and jab, the jew nose and smush-faced/and mush-mouthed and slang schtick/something Other than the same shit.

Straights & Narrows
Sidney Wade
Persea Books
277 Broadway, Suite 708
New York, NY 10007
9780892554256, $19.95,

The world around us can be reflected on in many ways. "Straights & Narrows" is a collection of poetry from Sidney Wade who takes a reflection on nature and applies it to the entire world as it stands all around us with insight and wisdom along the way. "Straights & Narrows" is a choice pick for poetry enthusiasts, very much recommended. "O": Mountainous appetite!/how flat/we'd find//the view/without you!

The Civil War Shelf

Illinois's War
Mark Hubbard, editor
Ohio University Press
The Ridges, Building 19
Athens, OH 45701
9780821420102, $18.65,

Illinois proved a lightning rod for conflict during America's internal war. "Illinois's War: The Civil War in Documents" chronicles the state's role in the war, showing its many contributions through the battles themselves to the wave of politics that raged through the state and the people sent to Washington, as well its long lasting impact on the years following. "Illinois's War" is an insightful and strongly recommended addition to American history and Civil War collections.

A Confederate Englishman
Henry Wemyss Feilden
University of South Carolina Press
718 Devine Street
Columbia, SC 29208
9781611171358, $29.95,

To take up a rebel cause for another country is certainly a curious position to take. "A Confederate Englishman: The Civil War Letters of Henry Wemyss Feilden" seeks to explore the story of Henry Wemyss Feilden, an Englishman who supported the Confederate cause personally, supporting South Carolina in 1863 and forward to the end of the war. Presenting his correspondence to offer his story in his own words, the volume is compiled expertly by W. Eric Emerson and Karen Stokes. "A Confederate Englishman" is a worthy addition to any history collection focusing on the American Civil War.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Journey of Your Soul
Shepherd Hoodwin
North Atlantic Books
2526 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Berkeley, CA 94704-2607
9781583945490, $19.95,

We re on a constant journey, even when still. "Journey of Your Soul: A Channel Explores the Michael Teachings" is a spiritual read from Shepherd Hoodwin who discusses the Michael teaching, the Tao, and the role of our soul, and how it determines our place in our lives. Hoping to present channeling and clear up misconceptions of the practice, "Journey of Your Soul" is a must for spiritual readers looking for another way to understand themselves.

The Subconscious, The Divine, and Me
Joseph D. Drumheller
Pine Winds Press
c/o Idyll Arbor, Inc.
39129 264th Ave SE, Enumclaw, WA 98022
9780937663240, $16.00,

Just surviving the gauntlet of life is not enough. "The Subconscious, The Divine, and Me: A Spiritual Guide for the Day-to-Day Pilgrim" encourages readers to explore inward as well as outward, in their search for healing and spirituality. "The Subconscious, The Divine, and Me" is a thought-provoking and insightful read, highly recommended.

The Memoir Shelf

Diary of a Country Mother
Cynthia A. Montanaro
Roman Catholic Books
PO Box 2286, Fort Collins, CO 80522
9781934888339, $17.95,

The most terrifying thing for a mother is to lose a loved one. "Diary of a Country Mother: A Year Remembering Tim" is a memoir from Cynthia A. Montanaro, who shares her experiences with losing her son Tim, and the heartbreak of the memories that can come with tragedy, and trying to remember the warmth and life that can come with the story of a young life. "Diary of a Country Mother" is strongly recommended for memoir collections, highly recommended.

Lies About My Family
Amy Hoffman
University of Massachusetts Press
PO Box 429
Amherst, MA 01004
9781625340030, $22.95,

To the outside world, there may be happiness... within, turmoil. "Lies About My Family" is a memoir from Amy Hoffman, as she seeks to tell the story of her family, a Jewish family in a sea of Catholicism in Jersey, and her conflicts with her family about her orientation and her questions about the place of Zionism in her life. Of how she came to terms with her conflicts and found life, "Lies About My Family" is an enticing breakdown on the impact of family on our lives.

Lemons Into Limoncello
Raeleen D'Agostino Mautner
Health Communications, Inc.
3201 S.W. 15th Street
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442-8190
9780757317347, $14.95,

When all seems lost we can often pick it up and make more than we ever thought possible. "Lemons Into Limoncello: From Loss to Personal Renaissance with the Zest of Italy" is a motivational memoir from Raeleen D'Agostino who shares her experiences with facing down loss, and piecing her life back together after it all. With grief, she draws on her Italian heritage and its philosophy to piece together much wisdom, and makes "Lemons into Limoncello" a choice read of uplifting spirituality, very much recommended reading.

Two Small Footprints in Wet Sand
Anne-Daphine Julliand
Arcadia Publishing
420 Wando Park Blvd.
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
9781611458244, $23.95,

Life is precious, and there's no price tag too much to save it. "Two Small Footprints in Wet Sand" is a memoir from French mother Anne-Dauphine Julliand, as she tells the story of her daughter with a crippling genetic disease that would cut her life so very short, and finds that her third child may well be born with the disorder... and when she is, she does everything she can to fight its progression with the head start. A dedicated journey of a mother trying to save her children as long as she can, "Two Small Footprints in Wet Sand" is expertly translated from French by Adriana Hunter, a choice pick for those seeking parenting trauma memoirs.

We Gambled Everything
Arne Nielsen
University of Alberta Press
Ring House 2
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2E1
9780888645982, $29.95,

The oil industry is a tumultuous one, one that often calls for risk. "We Gambled Everything: The Life and Times of an Oilman" is a memoir from Arne Nielsen who offers his insights onto the oil industry from a Canadian perspective, and how politics consumed his life so fully. Offering his life story that tells the story of how one rises to such a prominent position in the oil industry, "We Gambled Everything" is a fascinating tale of what it takes to get through the world of oil.

The Environmental Studies Shelf

Cows Save the Planet
Judith D. Schwartz
Chelsea House Publishers
c/o Infobase Publishing
132 West 31st Street, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10001
9781603584326, $17.95,

Methane factories blamed for the environmental damage... also, saviors of said environment. "Cows Save the Planet: And Other Improbable Ways of Restoring Soil to Heal the Earth" is an offbeat approach to discussing how to combat the environment's many problems created by humans, as Judith D. Schwartz states many creative methods for saving the planet using methods that aren't traditionally discussed in normal environmental circles. "Cows Save the Planet" is a strong addition to environmental studies looking for something different.

The Parenting Shelf

Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child
Anthony Esolen
ISI Books
3901 Centerville Road
Wilmington, DE 19807-1938
1610170792, $18.00,

Imagination is a wonderful thing, it must be eradicated. "Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child" analyzes the war against imagination in the modern world, criticizing modern educational practices and where it has encouraged like-minded thinking instead of the critical and creative in many elements of education along the way. Wise with insight on what can be done to restore the importance of the arts and imagination in our world, "Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child" is a must for educational studies and parenting reference collections, highly recommended.

Mom's The Word
Allen Klein
Viva Editions
2246 Sixth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710-2219
9781936740420, $14.95,

Motherhood revolutionizes our life. "Mom's The Word: The Wit, Wisdom, and Wonder of Motherhood" discusses the power of motherhood in our lives, of being one, of being the foundation of the family. Aimed at those who want to appreciate their motherhood or those who want to do a little tribute to the important woman in their lives. "Mom's the Word: The Wit, Wisdom, and Wonder of Motherhood" is a strong pick for parenting collections everywhere.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Ayurveda For Dummies
Angela Hope-Murray
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9781118306703, $19.99,

Ayurveda or ayurvedic medicine is a system of traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent and a form of alternative medicine. Drawing upon her more than thirty years of experience and expertise, "Ayurveda For Dummies" by ayurvedic practitioner Angela Hope-Murray is a 282 page compendium providing a perfect and detailed introduction to ayurvedic medicine that is especially accessible for the non-specialist general reader. "Ayurveda For Dummies" features a wealth of questionnaires, checklists, and other practical approaches to identify body type and health status. "Ayurveda For Dummies" addresses respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular, and musculoskeletal systems, as well as the treatment of common illnesses and major diseases. Of special note is the ayurvedic approach to diet and nutrition, as well as the importance of inner harmony and stress relief. "Ayurveda For Dummies" is very highly recommended for personal and community library Alternative Medicine reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Tao of Bipolar
C. Alexander Simpkins, PhD & Annellen M. Simpskins, PhD
New Harbinger Press
5674 Shattuck Avenue
Oakland, CA 94609
9781608822928, $16.95,

Bipolar disorder can lead to quite the life chaotic. "The Tao of Bipolar: Using Meditation & Mindfulness to Find Balance & Peace" is a motivational read discussing how the principles of the Tao can resonate with those with bipolar disorder, aiding in the control of mood swings. With much to consider about the value of meditation in everyday life, "The Tao of Bipolar" is a strong addition to mental health and self-help collections, not to be missed.

Voices of Food Revolution
John Robbins & Ocean Robbins
Conari Press
c/o Red Wheel/Weiser
65 Parker Street, Suite 7
Newburyport, MA 01950-4600
9781573246248, $18.95,

Good diet is the foundation of better health. "Voices of Food Revolution" is a guide to crafting a diet for better health, both physical and spiritual. John & Ocean Robbins offer conversations they have carried with any thinkers on the environment and diet on how what we eat can impact ourselves and the world around us. "Voices of the Food Revolution" is for those who want to make a difference starting at the kitchen table, highly recommended.

The Travel Shelf

Top Trails Shenandoah National Park
Johnny Molloy
Wilderness Press
2204 - 1st Avenue South, Suite 102
Birmingham, AL, 35233-2321
9780899976792 $18.95

Part of the award-winning "Top Trails" series known for its trail-feature charts and user-friendly wealth of information, Top Trails Shenandoah National Park: Must-Do Hikes for Everyone offers detailed descriptions of both the most popular venues and lesser known wonderful sites, outlining fifty exceptional hikes for all skill and experience levels. Suggested trails range in length to a family-friendly stroll, to a seven-mile journey to the park's tallest falls, to a 13-mile overnight hike. Key features are emphasized in every route, including "don't get lost" milestones and trail commentaries. Multiple black-and-white maps intersperse this excellent resource, especially valuable for families due to its tips about child-friendly trails. Additional asides about beautiful wildflowers, notable vistas, natural history, flora, fauna and more round out this "must-have" trail guide for anyone and everyone looking to experience Shenandoah National Park for themselves!

20 Day Trips
Larry P. and Donna J. Mahan
Shawnee Books
c/o Southern Illinois University Press
1915 University Press Drive
SIUC Mail Code 6806
Carbondale, IL 62901
9780809332557, $19.95,

Illinois has much to offer the nature and hiking enthusiast. "20 Day Trips: In and Around the Shawnee National Forest" is hiking and outdoors guide from Larry P. and Donna J. Mahan as they offer how to best experience the Shawnee National Forest, a vast space of hundreds of thousands of aches spanning throughout Southern Illinois and embracing what it has for outdoorsmanship and fun along the way. "20 Day Trips" is a must for those with a love of the outdoors and life's adventure, highly recommended.

The Sports Shelf

Fitness Cycling
Shannon Sovndal
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076
Champaign, IL 61820-5076
9781450529306, $18.95,

Biking is a great activity for health and well being. "Fitness Cycling: 56 Workouts Proven to Improve Strength, Speed, and Stamina" is a guide for those who want to attain improved fitness and health with their bicycling. With tips and activities designed to attain this greater health and fitness through their bicycle, with varying levels of intensity and full color photography all throughout, "Fitness Cycling" is a strong addition to sports, health and fitness collections, highly recommended.

The Psychology Shelf

The Self Beyond Itself
Heidi M. Ravven
The New Press
38 Green Street, 4th floor
New York, NY 10013
9781595585370, $31.95,

The brain is a complicated organ, and interpreting it has always been quite the endeavor. "The Self Beyond Itself: An Alternative History of Ethics, the New Brain Sciences, and the Myth of Free Will" discusses new thoughts in psychology and the study of the brain, as Heidi M. Ravven offers her own studies and intellectual insight into these sciences, which she holds that can tie together philosophy psychology, and everything else together under one banner, trying to offer a more comprehensive collection of thoughts on how the mind works. "The Self Beyond Itself" is a remarkable and very much recommended addition to psychology, philosophy, and reference collections, not to be missed.

The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

Alfred Hitchcock's Moviemaking Master Class
Tony Lee Moral
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111
Studio City, CA 91604
9781615931378, $26.95,

When a new medium is introduced, masters of using it appear. "Alfred Hitchcock's Moviemaking Master Class" discusses the filmmaking skills of the legendary Hitchcock and how modern filmmakers can learn much from his practices with his films of suspense. A student of Hitchcock himself, Tony Lee Moral offers much of his own expertise of understanding the art of filmmaking. "Alfred Hitchcock's Moviemaking Master Class" is a must for filmmaking collections and studies, highly recommended.

Monster Loyalty
Jackie Huba
The Penguin Press
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor
New York, NY 10014
9781591846505, $24.95,

Being a fan is one thing, but does one go beyond that? "Monster Loyalty: How Lady Gaga Turns Followers Into Fanatics" explores the cult of personality that Lady Gaga has cultivated, and what can be learned from her messages to her fans. From focusing on the fans who will evangelize others for her, building lifetime fanbases, a good message that resonates with people, and the power of provocation and meat dresses, "Monster Loyalty" is a fascinating study of Lady Gaga and the power of the people in a celebrity's career.

If You like True Blood...
Dave Thompson
Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing
33 Plymouth St, Suite 302
Montclair, NJ 07042
978879108113, $16.99,

A little bit of the paranormal can make it all the more enticing. "If You Like True Blood...: Here Are Over 200 Films, TV Shows, and Other Oddities That You Will Love" is a guide for pop culture junkies with a love for the show True Blood, pointing out the vampires that all ultimately led to the incarnation that viewers have grown to love over the era. "If You Like True Blood..." is a choice pick for pop culture junkies everywhere, highly recommended.

The Cookbook Shelf

The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast
Caleb Warnock & Melissa Richardson
Cedar Fort, Inc.
2373 West 700 South
Springville, Utah 84663
9781462110483, $18.99,

The collaborative work of baking experts Caleb Warnock and Melissa Richardson "The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast: Breads, Pancakes, Waffles, Cinnamon Rolls and Muffins" is a beautifully and profusely illustrated, 176 page instructional compendium methodically organized into ten specific sections: Natural Yeast: Baking for Health; Getting Started: Housing, Feeding and Using Natural Yeast; Getting Your Bread Geek On: Time to Bake!; The Basic Six: Recipes for Everything Baking; Dressing Up Your Loaves: Fruits, Nuts, Seeds, and Sprouts; Quick and Easy Pancakes, Waffles, and Crepes; Sweet Things: Muffins, Cakes, and Cinnamon Rolls; Artisan Breads: tips & Techniques for Savory Sourdough; Shaping tutorials: How to Shape Your Dough; and Bonus Recipes: Scones, Breadsticks, and Pizza Dough. Of special note are the recipes for No-Knead Bread; Banana Buckwheat Pancakes; Blueberry Cream Muffins; and Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Asiaco Sourdough. A delight simply to browse through, "Caleb Warnock & Melissa Richardson" is a thoroughly 'user friendly' instruction manual that will enable even the most novice to become expert bakers utilizing natural yeast recipes!

The Sexy Vegan's Happy Hour At Home
Brian L. Patton
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608682348, $15.95,

Veganism is the practice of abstaining from the use of animal products, particularly in diet, as well as an associated philosophy that rejects the commodity status of sentient animals. A follower of veganism is known as a vegan. Expertly and imaginatively compiled by Brian L. Patton, "The Sexy Vegan's Happy Hour at Home: Small Plates, Big Flavors, and Potent Cocktails" is a 240 page compendium of simply outstanding vegan recipes that are as 'kitchen cook friendly' as they are nutritious and delicious. Featuring twenty vegan menus whose dishes range from a Fresh Corn and Jalapeno Salad; to a Loaded Baked Potato Flatbread; to a Tempeh Satay with Peanut Sauce; to Maple-Chipotle Roasted Veggies, "The Sexy Vegan's Happy Hour at Home: Small Plates, Big Flavors, and Potent Cocktails" offers an amazing variety of dishes guaranteed to please the palate and satisfy the appetite of any diner be they vegan or non-vegan. Of special note are the several vegan drink recipes, making "The Sexy Vegan's Happy Hour at Home: Small Plates, Big Flavors, and Potent Cocktails" a highly prized addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.

Eliq Maranik
H. F. Ullmann
c/o 60 Cycle Media Relations LLC
38 High Avenue, Nyack NY 10960
9783848002849, $19.99,

The cocktail party has been an American cultural institution from the 1920s down to the present day. "Cocktails: Fancy & Delicious Recipes For All Tastes" is a superbly illustrated, 160 page compendium of 124 cocktail recipes compiled and presented by Eliq Maranik. Enhanced with tips on cocktail presentation, suggestions for adapting cocktail recipes, and informative appendix of spirits and cocktails, and even an overview chart of the 58 most important liquors, their ingredients, and flavors, "Cocktails: Fancy & Delicious Recipes For All Tastes" is thoroughly 'user friendly' and will enable even the most novice of cocktail party hosts in offering a successful cocktail party based social occasion for friends, co-workers, and family!

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Forty-One False Starts
Janet Malcolm
Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
18 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011
9780374157692, $27.00,

The ignition to a tale can often not be what we expect. "Forty-One False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers" discusses the figures behind the artist, the creative mind, as Janet Malcolm presents her serious of writings on these abstract thinkers. Discussing a wide array of figures such as Salinger, Stein, and countless others, Malcolm offers some very real wisdom about the world and shouldn't be overlooked. "Forty-One False Starts" is a must for collections studying artists and writers in the past hundred years.

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Big Nate: Game On!
Lincoln Peirce
Andrews & McMeel
1130 Walnut Street
Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
9781449427771 $9.99

Big Nate: Game On! is a full-color anthology of sports-themed comic strips featuring sixth-grader Nate Wright, his teammate friends, his long-suffering coach, and occasional appearances by a guest coach who seems to enjoy making kids suffer! The comics follow Nate's adventures in basketball (where the only thing weaker than Nate's dribble is his smack-talk), baseball (if he can stay awake in right field), and soccer (where his best talent as goalie appears to be blocking goals with his face, concussions optional). A bonus fold-out color poster enhances this highly recommended comic collection that readers of all ages will enjoy. "'Everyone knows you can predict somebody's level of athletic skill by watching the way he gets dressed beforehand!' '...Said the goalie with his shorts on backward.'"

World of Warcraft: Dark Riders
Mike Costa, author
Neil Googe, artist
DC Entertainment
1700 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
9781401230272 $24.99

World of Warcraft: Dark Riders is a full-color graphic novel that enriches the lore of the "World of Warcraft" massively multiplayer online role-playing computer game. The aloof mage Karlain and the irascible (to put it mildly) priest Revil are both on the trail dangerous artifacts coveted by the mysterious and murderous Dark Riders, who operate out of the haunted, time-twisted nightmare castle that is Karazhan. The situation turns even deadlier when Karlain's hotheaded son is falsely accused of murder, and targeted by a dangerous wolf cult! Heroes and villains clash fiercely in this sword-and-sorcery adventure, sure to appeal to fans of the genre as well as the game.

The Audiobook Shelf

The Entertainer And The Dybbuk
Sid Fleischman
Full Cast Audio
PO Box 6110, Syracuse, NY 13217
9781934180389, $29.00,

When World War II finally comes to an end, discharged sergeant Freddie T. Birch once again takes up his civilian job as a ventriloquist and tours a recovering Europe as 'The Great Freddie'. That when he becomes possessed by the spirit of Avrom Amos, a twelve-year-old Jewish boy who was murdered by the Nazis as part of their pogrom of extermination. Birth and Amos join forces to track down the man who murdered the youth. This Full Cast Audio edition "The Entertainer And The Dybbuk" is enhanced with music and superbly performed by Banna Rubinow and full cast of audio actors. The production values are flawless. With a total running time of 1 hour, 45 minutes, "The Entertainer And The Dybbuk" is highly recommended listening and would prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library audio book collections.

Red Moon
Benjamin Percy
Read by the author
Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017
9781478952091 $29.98

Red Moon is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a suspenseful "what-if" novel about vicious war between shape-changing "lycans" and human beings. Humans have oppressed the lycans with laws and drugs, forcing them to live in a state approaching slavery; the unrest of the lycans is about to explode, sparking a nightmarish war with the fate of two species at stake. The coming red moon might just mark the dawn of apocalypse for not only humans and lycans, but also civilization as a whole! Exciting and sometimes brutal, Red Moon is not a story of clear-cut heroes and villains, but rather of survivors and shades of grey. Highly recommended. 18 CDs, 22 hours.

Blood Meridian
Cormac McCarthy
Naxos of America, Inc.
1810 Columbia Avenue, Suite 28
Franklin, TN 37064
NA699412, $34.98,

Cormac McCarthy's western novel "Blood Meridian" is true-to-history epic presented as only a master storyteller can accomplish. A teenage runaway known only as the kid takes up with the brutal Glanton Gang. "Blood Meridian" is the engaging and violent story tracing decent into outlawry that ultimately finds the kids confronted by a hard and heartless Judge Holden. This Naxos completed and unabridged audio book edition is superbly narrated by Robert G. Slade. With a total running time of 7 hours, 2 minutes, on six compact discs, "Blood Merdian" is flawlessly produced and offers an engaging and entertaining 'theatre-of-the-mind' listening experience. Simply stated, "Blood Meridian" is a superb choice for community library audio book collections and highly recommended listening for those who appreciate an extraordinarily well crafted western novel.

Ladies' Night
Mary Kay Andrews, author
Kathleen McInerney, narrator
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315
New York, NY 10010
9781427230812 $39.99

Ladies' Night is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of Mary Kay Andrews' novel about a woman recovering from a disaster of a failed marriage. When lifestyle blogger Grace Stanton catches her husband cheating, she vents her wrath on his expensive (and arguably innocent) sports car, jettisoning it into their swimming pool. Her bitter divorce strips her of the money and leisure she has grown accustomed to - she's even locked out of her blog. She has no option but to move in with her mother, plus she's required by the courts to attend weekly "divorce recovery" therapy sessions. But when she and the three other women notice suspicious behavior in their "divorce coach", they decide to seek closure in a much more unorthodox style! Tongue-in-cheek humor, wit, and sophistication are the hallmarks of this eyebrow-raising life adventure, sure to prove a popular pick for public library audiobook collections. 14 CDs, 17.5 hours.

Behind the Candelabra
Scott Thorson with Alex Thorleifson, authors
Peter Berkrot, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
2 Business Park Road, Unit 2
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
9781452611914 $34.99

Now featuring a new afterword and a bonus interview with author Scott Thorson, Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace is the unabridged, autobiographical audiobook in which Thorson tells all about his lifelong relationship with the famous Liberace. Thorson was Liberace's lover in an era when Liberace was closely closeted. Behind the Candelabra covers the good, the bad, and the ugly of Liberace's life, from the overbearing mother who all but forced him into a concert career, to his entanglements with the Mafia in Las Vegas, to his personal narcissism and lavish taste for excess (Liberace once sent Thorson to a plastic surgeon to have Thorson's face remade in Liberace's image), to his luxury homes, fleet of house dogs, and extensive list of lovers. A glimpse of Liberace's final days when he was dying of AIDS, and his deathbed reconciliation with Thorson, rounds out this fascinating portrait, which forms the basis of a new Steven Soderbergh film starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon. Highly recommended. 8 CDs, 9 1/2 hours, unabridged.

Whiskey Beach
Nora Roberts, author
Peter Berkrot, narrator
Brilliance Audio
PO Box 887
Grand Haven, MI 49417
9781480506855 $39.99

Whiskey Beach is a novel about an unsolved murder, rekindled passion, and the corrosive effects of rumors and gossip. Boston lawyer Eli Landon has retreated to shorehouse vacation residence Bluff House in Whiskey Beach, after being falsely implicated, scrutinized, and nearly arrested for the murder of his soon-to-be ex-wife. Dependent upon the Bluff House caretaker Abra Walsh for cooking and cleaning, he begins to see her in a different light, as her own style of nurturing (thought by some to be just a little on the fiercely overbearing side) helps him recover from trauma and refocus on learning the truth about the murder. But someone is out to destroy Eli's name at any cost - someone who likely won't hesitate to kill again! Whiskey Beach is an involving work of romantic suspense to the very last page, highly recommended especially for fans of the genre. 13 CDs, 15 hours 33 min.

Looking for Me
Beth Hoffman, author
Jenna Lamia, narrator
Penguin Audio
c/o The Penguin Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
9781611761702 $39.95

Looking for Me is the unabridged audiobook rendition of Beth Hoffman's novel about Teddi Overman, a Southern woman who channels her love of furniture into a successful antique and restoration business. The life that she makes for herself is populated by folk as quirky and unpredictable as she is at heart, but she receives surprising news when she discovers that her long-lost brother, missing since he was seventeen, could still be alive. Teddi is gifted at mending objects, but is there any hope to heal the threadbare bonds of her estranged family? Looking for Me is emotional and moving to the very end. Also highly recommended is Hoffman's previous novel, "Saving Ceecee Honeycutt". 10 CDs, 12 hours.

The Music CD Shelf

King of Me
Chris Berry
Kanaga System Krush
c/o Rock Paper Scissors (publicity)
511 West 4th Street, Suite 2
Bloomington, IN 47404

King of Me is an original album steeped in southern African musical culture. Performer Chris Berry spent eight years in Zimbabwe, became fluent in the language, mastered the mbira (thumb piano), befriending the Bayaka (pygmy) people, and immersing himself in the musical scene. His Zimbabwe band was immensely popular; Chris eventually had to flee the country for using the band's music to speak out against the heavy-handed Mugabe Regime. The polyrhythmic quality of the mbira shines through in this rich and beautiful celebration of the greatness of African music. The tracks are "Leave It", "Sister River", "U", "Our Time", "Shadow of a Whip", "Many Have Not", "King of Me", "Aquarius", "Samauhay", "The Other Ones", "Sekai", and "Mudzimu We".

La Si Dah
Cas Haley
Easy Star Records
PO Box 1069, Cooper Station
New York, NY 10276
c/o Press Junkie PR
9901 Brodie Lane, Suite 160, PMB 221
Austin, TX 78748

Singer and songwriter Cas Haley's third album, La Si Dah, an independent album with a reggae soul, fused with elements drawn from styles such rhythm & blues, classic rock, salsa, and Ethiopian jazz. Cas' music draws heavily from the background of his life, from his strained relationship with his father to a love song for his wife to his personal efforts to strive for musical perfection. His clear, strong voice forms the core of an unforgettable performance. The tracks are "Jackson" (2:08), "La Dah" (3:32), "Nana" (4:10), "Wait for Me" (4:47), "Crazy Good Woman" (4:15), "Capricorn" (3:37), "Let Her Go" (5:11), "I've Got My Mojo Working" (3:32), "Trash Day" (3:20), "Slow Down" (4:44), "How Soon Is Now?" (3:40), "Tally Tally" (3:36), and "Start This Over" (3:04).

One True Thing
Tylan Greenstein
Wild Awake Music
c/o Effective Immediately (publicity)
14 E. 4th Street, Suite 406
New York, NY 10012

One True Thing is the solo debut album of Tylan, a.k.a. Tylan Greenstein of the folk-pop quartet Girlyman, which stopped touring in 2011 after founding member Doris Muramatsu was diagnosed with leukemia. Bereft of the steady employment and financial security provided by her band, Tylan opted to follow the calling of music on her own. Elements of Americana and folk shape the winding songs of One True Thing, distinguished by Tylan's strong-hearted lyrics, and backed by a harmonious chorus. One True Thing embodies hope, love, loss, independence, and transformation. Highly recommended. The tracks are "Over the Rhine" (3:15), "Vigil" (3:00), "St. Stephen" (3:09), "Earthquakes" (3:54), "Fool Me Again" (3:41), "Already Fine" (3:46), "Bitter Glass" (2:16), "Love Them" (3:42), "Lying in my Grave" (3:54), "Wild Awake" (3:43), "Kali" (3:20), and "One True Thing" (3:32).

Terra Guitarra
Earthsign Records
c/o The Creative Service Company (publicity)
4360 Emerald Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
$20.08 CD / $8.99 MP3

Dragonfly is the fourth acoustic guitar album from the Terra Guitarra duo, known for their original, nuevo-flamenco compositions. The duo's musical concordance extends to involving a variety of other instruments as well, including bass, keyboards, djembe, congas, and percussion. Dragonfly itself evokes the uplifting and transformational powers of the journey, and the edification of the spirit. A wonderful experience that reaches out to listeners of all cultures, Dragonfly is highly recommended. The tracks are "Janvier", "The Swan", "You Only Live Twice", "Troubadors", "The Story", "Amarantha", "Danu", "Kairos", "Alchemist", "Discovery", "Kokopelli", "Elements", and "Anastasia".

In Between Times
Six Degrees Records
PO Box 411347
San Francisco, CA 94141-1347
$11.99 CD / $8.99 MP3

In Between Times is an eclectic album from touring reggae artist Gaudi, blending heartfelt vocal tracks and soaring instrumentals into a vibrant whole. A diversity of guest artists contribute to the experience, including Black Uhuru frontman Michael Rose, reggae singer Jahmai, and psychedelic trance music maestro Raja Ram. In Between Times surrounds and uplifts in a bubbling, sensational outpouring; highly recommended especially for fans of reggae with a strong theme of spiritual exploration. The tracks are "Put your guns down (feat. Michael Rose)" (4:57), "Tamino and the temple of dub" (5:48), "Life (feat. Jahmai)" (3:43), "Why u wanna run (feat. Danny Lawda)" (4:50), "Hurriya (feat. Tahar Momoproject)" (5:43), "I start to pray (feat. Le Scratch Perry and The Orb)" (4:59), "Spiritual orphans" (6:35), "Planet x" (4:40), "Crucial data" (5:13), "Subtle obscurity" (5:53), "Babylon is fallin (feat. Deadly Hunta)" (5:15), and "Unlimited possibilities (featuring Danny Ladwa)" (4:53).

The DVD Shelf

Maigret Set 7 & Maigret Set 8
Starring Bruno Cremer
MHz Networks
8101A Lee Highway
Falls Church, VA. 22042
$59.95 each

Maigret Box Set 7 (6 DVDs, 541 min.) and Maigret Box Set 8 (6 DVDs, 533 min.) are two box sets showcasing episodes of the French film series featuring Parisian Inspector Maigret, superbly played by actor Bruno Cremer. These dark, complex murder mysteries set in 1950's Paris and the French countryside evoke the intrigue-laden mystique of the detective story, with more than a hint of noir. Any fan of movie or television murder mysteries, from Agatha Christie's classics to Columbo, simply must experience this series, featuring an unhurried yet relentlessly dogged investigator. Highly recommended, especially as gifts for mystery lovers! Box Set 7 features the "Maigret and the Wine Merchant", "Maigret and the Minister", "Maigret and the Madman of Saint Clothilde", "Maigret Goes to School", "Felicie's House", and "Maigret and the Princess". Box Set 8 features "To Any Lengths", "Maigret's Failure", "Maigret's Boyhood Friend", "Maigret Has Scruples", "Little Pigs Without a Tail", and "Maigret and the Tramp". French language with English subtitles, 16:9 Anamorphic.

Commissario Brunetti Episodes 15 & 16
MHz Networks
8101A Lee Highway
Falls Church, VA. 22042

Based on the internationally popular crime novels penned by Donna Leon, Commissario Brunetti Episodes 15 & 16 (2 DVDs, 177 min.) continues the detective adventures of the Commissario Brunetti, who uses his razor-edged mind to cut through endless webs of lies. Set in beautiful Venice, a land of high cuisine and travel via canal rather than car, these mysteries delve into the seedy problems of corruption and even police incompetence as well as ruthless crime. Fortunately Brunetti has friends and loved ones to buoy his sometimes melancholic spirits - his adoring wife Paola, a university literature professor, and his teenaged children Raffi and Chiara. Episode 15 "Through a Glass Darkly" follows the investigation of a murdered glass factory, and the deadly arsenic polluting his factory; episode 16 "Suffer the Little Children" is about he vile world of child trafficking, which especially preys upon the most vulnerable in the population, including an illegal Albanian immigrant who is falsely told that her child has died shortly after she gives birth. Previous Commissario Brunetti episodes are also available on DVD, as are "Episodes 17 & 18" (2 DVDs, 177 min.), which features the episodes "The Girl of His Dreams" and "Looks Are Deceiving". Highly recommended, especially for fans of multilayered mysteries. German language with English subtitles, 16:9 Anamorphic.

For the Glory
Vision Video
P.O. Box 540
Worcester, PA 19490

Based on the true story of Olympic soccer player Kurt Kuykendall, For the Glory is a movie about a young man adrift at a crossroads in his life. Kurt's older brother has just died; his mother suffers from severe alcoholism; his father is a demanding perfectionist; and he is unable to do well as a college basketball player. Yet when one of Kurt's friends urges him to try out for the fraternity soccer team, Kurt discovers his hidden talent - even though he's never played soccer before in his life! Kurt's girlfriends and other friends help him improve his goalkeeping skills, in a journey that will bring him to represent the US at the Olympics. A story of how the divine grace of God can transform one's life and reveal one's destined path, For the Glory is as spiritually uplifting as it is entertaining, and highly recommended. 106 min., English subtitles, coded for all regions.

The Lesser Blessed
Monterey Media Inc.
566 St. Charles Drive
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360-3901
9781569943694 $26.95

Based on Richard Van Camp's critically praised novel, The Lesser Blessed is a movie about Larry Sole, a Native-American teenager coming of age in a small rural town. He makes the most unlikely friends, but his world is shrouded by tension between people of different races, and the fallout from an unknown but tragic event in his past. A profound and emotionally moving drama about summoning the courage to confront both the past and the future, The Lesser Blessed is highly recommended. 86 min., rated R, available on DVD, digital download and VOD.

The Jobs/Career Shelf

Family Child Care Guide to Visits, Inspections, and Interviews
Donna C. Hurley and Sharon Woodward
Redleaf Press
10 Yorkton Court
St. Paul, MN 55117-1065
9781605541266 $17.95

Professional child care instructors Donna C. Hurley and Sharon Woodward present Family Child Care Guide to Visits, Inspections, and Interviews, a detailed, no-nonsense, and highly accessible guide written expressly to aid family child care providers. Though the emphasis is on what to expect and how to prepare for visits from families, licensors, food program representatives, coaches, and others involved in regulation of child care businesses, there are an abundance of general tips, tricks, and techniques of the trade as well. "You need to be aware that, for the most part, information obtained during a visit [from any inspector] is public. Even if you live in a state that does not currently post licensing registration online, you can reasonably assume that a parent calling your regulatory authority receives all of your pertinent licensing history, including citations." Family Child Care Guide to Visits, Inspections, and Interviews is an absolute "must-have" for anyone interested in starting a child care business, and will prove useful as a reference handbook even for veteran child care professionals with years of experience. Highly recommended.

The Humor Shelf

My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places
Mary Roach
Reader's Digest Trade Publishing
44 South Broadway
White Plains, NY 10601
9781621450719 $14.99

Now available as a complete collection of the Reader's Digest column "My Planet" for the first time, My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places is an anthology of lighthearted, gently humorous essays by Mary Roach, well known for her accessible science writing in "Stiff, Spook, Bonk" and "Packing for Mars". "My Planet" is more focused on the mirth to be found in mundane life, from her marriage to "the man I call Ed" to customer service wrangles (automated or not), and much more. "'You don't have the Windows Setup CD, ma'am, because you don't need it,' he explained cheerfully. 'Windows came preinstalled on your computer!' 'But I do need it.' 'Yes, but you don't have it.' We went on like this for a while. Finally, he offered to walk me through the use of a different CD, one that would erase my entire system... It was like offering to drop a safe on my head to cure my headache... 'And it's not covered by the warranty!' The safe began to seem like a good idea, provided it was full." Fresh, funny, and insightful, My Planet is highly recommended.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers Of The Future: Vol. 29
Dave Wolverton, editor
Galaxy Press
7051 Hollywood Boulevard, Suite 200
Hollywood, CA 90028
9781619862005, $7.99,

One of the annual highlights of the science fiction community is the issuance of a prestigious SciFi anthology dedicated to the late L. Ron Hubbard who was one of the icons of the Golden Age of pulp magazine science fiction. Galaxy Press has now published the 29th volume in this illustrious series. Ably compiled and edited by Dave Wolverton, "L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers Of The Future: Volume XXIX" is a 586 page, paperback compendium comprised of sixteen outstanding SciFi tales ranging from Brian Trent's 'War Hero', to Marilyn Guttridge's 'The Ghost Wife of Arlington', to Andrea Stewart's 'Dreameater'. Of special note is that each of these sixteen masterpieces of storytelling is enhanced with the inclusion of an original illustration by sixteen talented artists. "L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers Of The Future: Vol. 29" is highly recommended for personal and community library Science Fiction collections.

Shape Shifter
Tony Simpson
Dorrance Publishing Company
701 Smithfield Street, 3rd floor
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-3906
9781434930095 $19.00

Shape Shifter is a hardcover sci-fi novella set upon a post-apocalyptic Earth where aliens have begun to infiltrate humanity. Some aliens are good, and some are ruthless fiends bent on conquering the Earth, but the deadliest ones of all are the shape-shifters. Jon is a shape-shifter alien working for humans, whose duty is to ferret out and fight against alien attacks. A truth serum devised by the brilliant scientist Dylan Rogers will reveal all the military plans and weapons from a captured shape-shifter. Dylan's and Jon's lives are regularly in peril, yet they fight bravely to protect humankind from extinction, in this brief yet thoroughly engrossing story.

The Language Studies Shelf

The Insult Dictionary
Julie Tibbott
Reader's Digest Trade Publishing
44 South Broadway, White Plains, NY 10601
Goodman Media International, Inc. (publicity)
750 Seventh Ave., 28th Floor, New York, NY 10019
9781621450665 $14.99

The Insult Dictionary: History's Best Slights, Street Talk, and Slang lives up to its title as a repository of some of the most outrageous insults throughout history, including dialect and slang. The definitions are in plain terms, accessible to readers of all backgrounds, and anyone who loves a good laugh is sure to thrill to learning such verbal assaults as "bran-faced" (freckled), "moll tooler" (female pickpocket), or "scalp doily" (toupee). Head-turning words and phrases once used in the Middle Ages, the Victorian Age, the Wild West, the Cold War and more also intersperse this one-of-a-kind language primer, as do occasional anecdotes behind particularly standout sayings or brief biographies of legendary insulters like Oscar Wilde. Whether as a resource for writers looking to add color and flavor to their period piece dialogue, casual bathroom literature, or simple browsing fun, The Insult Dictionary is highly recommended. Just don't try these insults at home!

The Needlecraft Shelf

The Joy of Sox
Linda Kopp, author
Lynne Harty, photographer
Orrin Lundgren, illustrator
Lark Crafts
c/o Sterling Publishing
387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016
9781600592850, $14.95,

"The Joy of Sox: 30+ Must-Knit Designs" is a fantastic collection of fun sox knitting project patterns with complete instructions, numbered "soxpert" secrets, patterns, lists of materials needed, grid patterns, measurements, and additional useful information for completing a great pair of home-knitted sox. Color photos add to the appeal and the inspiration. A difficulty estimate is given at the beginning. There are many additional tips and techniques for successful sox knitters, and fun comments in sidebars labeled "Socktalk." Here are patterns and instructions for 32 specially designed sock projects, one (or more) of which is sure to have lasting appeal. Grid patterns are clear and easy to read, while the witty narrative invites the novice would-be sock knitter to join a fab fun crafts group that contains many of its own rewards and perks. Sock patterns are presented by 28 talented designers, so the creative variety of patterns and projects is very high. "The Joy of Sox" is a pick-me-up for the confirmed craft knitter and an added impulse for the tempted beginner. All this plus it is a very fun, relaxing book to read.

Seasonal Silhouettes
Edyta Sitar, author
3100 101st St., Ste. A, Urbandale, IA 50322
9781935726364, $27.95,

"Seasonal Silhouettes: 12 Inspirational Quilt Blocks Featuring Raw-Edge Applique" is a beautiful bouquet of 12 stunning quilt blocks with raw edge applique, designed to reflect the beauty, color and drama of the changing seasons. Each block can be made as a separate project (there are five setting ideas), or they can be combined into a 12-block full size quilt. Beautiful color photographs of finished blocks, projects and quilts enhance this lovely book. The craft of silhouette applique designing is perfectly illustrated in these artistic block patterns. Along with step by step instructions for raw-edge applique technique, full size templates for each block are included, no enlarging needed. Background quilting and binding techniques are also explained, and complete supply lists and fabric requirements for each block are stated clearly. The color photos of the completed blocks are stunning. As a measure of the author's artistry, for example, the pattern for June includes the following: "Pink painted daisies, mouth-watering watermelon and unexpected guests are the perfect trio for a summertime picnic." When the reader looks closely a tiny black ant, created with fabric marker, crawls along the luscious slice of watermelon. Thus nature is the inspiration for each seasonal silhouette's pattern and design and color palate. These shimmering quilted blocks are subtly magnificent, inspiring quitters everywhere to new heights of creativity.

Ojibwe Shoulder Bag Kit
Mille Lacs Indian Museum
Minnesota Historical Society Press
345 Kellogg Boulevard, West
St. Paul, MN 55102-1906
9780873518253, $18.95,

The joint project of the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and the Minnesota Historical Society Press, the "Ojibwe Shoulder Bag Kit" includes all the materials required for making two elaborately beaded shoulder or 'bandolier' bags that members of the Ojibwe tribe used to carry their tobaddo or personal items. The "Ojibwe Shoulder Bag Kit" features two preprinted bags, crayons, glitter glue, a 24 page instructional guidebook describing Ojibwe traditions and art. Of special note is the accompanying four-video DVD presenting step-by-step instructions, an interview with contemporary bead artist Cheryl Minnema, and more. Thoroughly 'user friendly', the "Ojibwe Shoulder Bag Kit" is very highly recommended for needlecrafters, especially those with an interest in Native American cultures.

Simply Sensational Square-agonals Quilts
Sandi Blackwell
Landauer Corporation
3100 NW 101st Street, Suite A
Urbandale, Iowa 50322
9781935726357, $24.95,

A superbly and profusely illustrated instruction manual, "Simply Sensational Square-agonals Quilts: No Math! No Cutting or Setting Triangles! Turn Easy-Stitched Blocks into Stunning Diagonal Designs" by quilting expert Sandi Blackwell is a 96 page do-it-yourself guide offering twelve creative and original projects including table toppers, wall hangings, and table runners. Of special note are the numerous sewing tips provided. Thoroughly 'user friendly', "Simply Sensational Square-agonals Quilts" will readily enable even the most novice of quilting enthusiasts to turn out quality quilts that will be true family treasures!

The Railroading Shelf

Railroads For Michigan
Graydon M. Meints
Michigan State University Press
1405 South Harrison Road, Suite 25
East Lansing, MI 48823-5245
9781611860856, $49.95,

The railroad was an integral part of Michigan's history and development. "Railroads For Michigan" by state historian Graydon M. Meints is an impressive 640 page detailed history of Michigan's railroads. Nicely illustrated with black/white photographs, "Railroads For Michigan" is enhanced with the inclusion of extensive notations, references, and an index. Informed and informative, Of special note are the succinct biographies of key people involved with the development of the railroad in Michigan, as well as the information about the post-WWI collapse of major Michigan railroad lines and the creation of Amtrack and Conrail in Michigan. "Railroads For Michigan" is superbly organized and presented, making it an extraordinary accomplishment and a very highly recommended addition to community and academic library Michigan State History reference collections, as well as the personal reading lists of railroad enthusiasts.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

2013 US/BNA Postage Stamp Catalog
H. E. Harris & Company
c/o Whitman Publishing
4001 Helton Drive
Florence, Alabama, 35630
9780794841324, $26.95,

Collecting postage stamps continues to be a popular and widespread hobby. A hard cover, spiral-bound, 364 page compendium, "2013 US/BNA Postage Stamp Catalog" is an indispensable price guide for to postage stamps of the United States, the United Nations, and British North America. Profusely illustrated on every page, the spiral binding allows the book to be laid down flat on a desk or table. Reliable contemporary market prices are given for stamps in all formats ranging from singles, plat blocks, line pairs, and booklet panes, to first day covers, postal stationery, and more. Each stamp is a beautifully reproduced image accompanied with descriptions of identifying features. Of special note is the explanation of design varieties, production methods, collecting formats, postal markings, quality and condition criteria. Authoritative, "2013 US/BNA Postage Stamp Catalog" is a quality reference guide and strongly recommended for personal and community library collections.

The Photography Shelf

The iPad For Photographers
Jeff Carlson
Peachpit Press
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780321907479, $24.99,

Now in a completely updated and significantly expanded second edition, "The iPad for Photographers: Master the Newest Tool in your Camera Bag" is an illustrated 240 page instruction manual that is ideal for the novice iPad user and recommended for even experienced iPad users wanting to get the most our of this versatile photographic capable device from Apple. Superbly organized and presented, "The iPad For Photographers" will enable iPad users to easily import photos from a camera or memory card using; transfer photos wirelessly while shooting; organize and rate images with assigned keyword tags in the field; edit photos; and use portfolio software to create effective presentations. Of special note are the step-by-step instructions on backing up photos in the field and tracking outdoor light conditions. If you are a photographer (or would like to become one) and own an iPad or an iPad mini table, then "The iPad For Photographers" will prove to be an invaluable reference and resource!

The Computer Shelf

Microsoft Office 2010
Jean Kotsiovos, et al.
Jones & Bartlett Publishers
40 Tall Pine Drive, Sudbury, MA 01776
9781449698218, $156.95,

The collaborative work of Microsoft Office experts Jean Kotsiovos, Varoylne Faddis, and Loralyn Duley, "Microsoft Office 2010: Productivity Strategies For Today And Tomorrow" is a 612 page compendium. This thoroughly comprehensive instruction manual will enable the non-specialist general readers to become rapidly proficient in the use and application of Microsoft Office 2010 software. "Microsoft Office 2010: Productivity Strategies For Today And Tomorrow" offers thoroughly 'user friendly' instructions for each featured project and task; offers practical learning exercises after each instruction; features screenshots to accompany hands-on exercises; has its text laid out in an accessible magazine-style format, and a great deal more. Ideal for use as a classroom textbook or for independent on-the-job training, "Microsoft Office 2010: Productivity Strategies For Today And Tomorrow" should be considered mandatory reading for anyone seeking to take full advantage of what Microsoft Office 2010 has to offer in the workplace.

Multimedia Web Design And Development
Theodore Richardson & Charles Thies
Mercury Learning & Information, LLC
c/o International Publishers Marketing
22841 Quicksilver Drive, Dulles, VA 20166
9781936420384, $54.95,

The internet has matured to the point that anyone involved with a business, social concern, or political cause, or cultural issue has a web site. The technology has grown to where effective web sites must be multimedia in their design and accessibility. "Multimedia Web Design: Using Languages to Build Dynamic Web Pages" by web design experts Theodore Richardson and Charles Thies is a 350 page compendium providing comprehensive and methodical instruction on designing and developing a multimedia web site. Enhanced with the inclusion of an accompanying DVD, "Multimedia Web Design: Using Languages to Build Dynamic Web Pages" is a complete guide using a variety of computer languages to insure efficient and effective web site pages. Of special note is that the text of this thoroughly 'user friendly' manual includes language examples for self-study and challenging activities for expanding design and development, making it highly recommended for independent personal use, as well as an ideal classroom textbook.

The Automotive Shelf

Picture Perfect
Peter S. Linney
Whitman Publishing
4001 Helton Drive
Florence, Alabama, 35630
9780794837969, $21.95,

"Picture Perfect: The Best of America's Custom Cars" is a 128 page compendium showcases the photography of automotive journalist Peter S. Linney. Beautifully reproduced images illustrate twenty of Linney's favorite custom cars ranging from a 1932 Ford Roadster highboy; to a 19o37 Packard; to a 1970 Dodge Charger. More than just a collection of outstanding full color photographs, "Picture Perfect: The Best of America's Custom Cars" provides the historical context behind each selected vehicle and insights into a car collector's hobby that only a few can afford. Informed, informative, and a wonder to simply browse through, 'Picture Perfect: The Best of America's Custom Cars" is very highly recommended for academic and community library Automotive History reference collections in general, and the personal reading lists of extraordinary car enthusiasts in particular.

The Fashion Shelf

Dressing Modern Maternity
Kay Goldman, author
Texas Tech University Press
Box 41037, Lubbock, Texas 74909
9780896727991 $39.95

"Dressing Modern Maternity" is a fascinating history and showcase of a postwar company selling innovative, practical maternity fashions in Dallas, Texas. Begun in 1938 by Elsie Frankfurt and Edna Frankfurt Ravkind, Page Boy Maternity Clothing broke new ground in maternity fashion by combining "engineering, business, and PR genius" to create comfortable stylish and practical maternity wear for the modern woman. The life of page Boy Maternity Clothing spanned decades, from 1939 to 1994. Here is the intricate understory of two courageous, astute Jewish businesswomen who had what it takes to succeed in a new fashion field. Flawless research, careful editing, and anecdotal detail help make "Dressing Modern Maternity" a page-turning fashion hit, along with over 47 pages of black and white illustrations and 16 pages of full color plate illustrations. Winner of the inaugural Lou Halsell Rodenberger Prize in History and Literature, "Dressing Modern Maternity" is a signature publication, amply fulfilling the requirements of "best manuscript on or by a woman whose writing illuminates Texas history, culture and letters...".

The Wisconsin Shelf

Sweet and Sour Bits As I Traveled Through Life
Sy Kaster
Biographical Publishing Company
95 Sycamore Drive
Prospect, CT 06712-1493
9781929882830 $13.95

Sweet and Sour Bits As I Traveled Through Life is a brief yet event-filled memoir by Sy Kaster (1917-2006), a Wisconsin native who worked for the Civil Conservation Corps during the Great Depression, got married, joined the Army Air Force during World War II, and served the dangerous position of ball turret gunner on the B-17 Flying Fortress. After the war's end, he worked as a managing partner of real estate brokerage, and raised eight children with his beloved wife. An enthusiast of hunting, fishing, golfing, and bowling, Sy was a beloved pillar of the community, as these tales of the eyebrow-raising highlights of his life reveal. Black-and-white vintage photographs illustrate this warm, down-to-earth memoir about the fruits and foibles of life itself.

Best Tent Camping Wisconsin, third edition
Kevin Revolinski
Menasha Ridge Press
2204 - 1st Avenue South, Suite 102
Birmingham, AL 35233
9780897329989 $15.95

Now in an updated third edition, Best Tent Camping Wisconsin is an excellent resource for vacationers looking to experience Wisconsin's breathtaking natural beauty and splendor close-up. Packed with maps of 50 campgroups in four different Wisconsin regions; information about camp site fees, restrictions (including those concerning pets), dates of operation, and facilities; driving directions to campgrounds; coordinates for GPS users; a multifaceted ratings guide evaluating everything from spaciousness to quiet to security and cleanliness, and much more, Best Tent Camping Wisconsin is a "must-have" for trip planning! An introductory section with tips, tricks, and techniques for campers of all skill and experience levels rounds out this superb guide. "Standing dead trees and storm-damaged living trees can pose a real hazard to tent campers. These trees may have loose or broken limbs that could fall at any time. When choosing a backcountry campsite or a spot to rest, look up." Highly recommended.

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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