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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 13, Number 6 June 2018 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Gaming Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf Buddhist Studies Shelf
Art Shelf Cookbook Shelf Fiction Shelf
Business Shelf Self-Help Shelf Photography Shelf
Sports Shelf Needlecraft Shelf Biography Shelf
Automotive Shelf Martial Arts Shelf Poetry Shelf
Activity Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf
Aviation Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Fashion Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Woodworking Shelf Education Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Wisconsin Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

The Story of Act 31
J. P. Leary
Wisconsin Historical Society Press
816 State Street, Madison, WI 53575
9780870208324, $28.95, PB, 320pp,

Since its passage in 1989, a state law known as Act 31 requires that all students in Wisconsin learn about the history, culture, and tribal sovereignty of Wisconsin's federally recognized tribes. "The Story of Act 31: How Native History Came to Wisconsin Classrooms" by J. P. Leary (who is an Associate Professor of Humanities, First Nations Studies, and History at the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay) tells the story of the law's inception by tracing its origins to a court decision in 1983 that affirmed American Indian hunting and fishing treaty rights in Wisconsin, and to the violent public outcry that followed the court's decision. Professor Leary paints a picture of controversy stemming from past policy decisions that denied generations of Wisconsin students the opportunity to learn about tribal history. Impressively informative and exceptionally well researched, written, organized and presented, "The Story of Act 31" is a unique, original, and unreservedly recommended addition to all Wisconsin community and academic library Wisconsin History and Wisconsin Native American Studies collections. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Story of Act 31" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Metadata Essentials
Jake Handy, author
Margaret Harrison, author
Jess Johns, editor
Graphic Arts Books
1700 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
9781513260907, $17.99, HC, 132pp,

Based on direct feedback from retailers and librarians, "Metadata Essentials: Proven Techniques for Book Marketing and Discovery" unlocks insights into the value and real-life uses of the metadata publishers (including self-publishing authors) spend so many precious hours editing and curating. Because it is marketing information that seriously matters when trying to bring a book to the attention of librarians and an intended readership. The thoroughly 'real world practical' instructional information comprising "Metadata Essentials will: Enhance the metadata that yields proven results; Boost title discovery; Increase online conversion rates; Save time and money. In four succinct and definitive chapters readers will learn: How Books are Discovered; Take Acton! Metadata Essentials: Your Step by Step Guide; Major Bookseller Profiles; Metadata & Libraries. Enhanced with the inclusion of a three page Glossary, and a seven page Index, "Metadata Essentials" is itself an essential, unique, and thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional reference and guide that should be an integral part of every author and every publisher's professional book marketing plan instructional reference collection. While unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Writing/Publishing collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Metadata Essentials" is also available in a paperback edition (9781513260891, $9.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Prelude to Hospice
Emily K. Abel
Rutgers University Press
106 Somerset St., 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
9780813593913, $24.95, HC, 156pp,

Hospice care is a type of care and philosophy of care that focuses on the palliation of a chronically ill, terminally ill or seriously ill patient's pain and symptoms, and attending to their emotional and spiritual needs. Hospices have played a critical role in transforming ideas about death and dying beginning in Europe in the 11th Century BCE. Viewing death as a natural event, hospices seek to enable people approaching mortality to live as fully and painlessly as possible. In "Prelude to Hospice", Emily K. Abels (who is Professor Emerita at the University of California, Los Angeles's Fielding School of Public Health) provides insight into several important issues surrounding the growth of hospice care by using a unique set of records, "Prelude to Hospice" which expands our understanding of the history of U.S. hospices. These records were originally compiled by Florence Wald (April 19, 1917 - November 8, 2008) who was the founder of the first U.S. hospice. Her records provide a detailed account of her experiences studying and caring for dying people and their families in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Although Wald never published a report of her findings, she often presented her material informally. Like many others seeking to found new institutions, she believed she could garner support only by demonstrating that her facility would be superior in every respect to what currently existed. As a result, she generated inflated expectations about what a hospice could accomplish. Wald's records enable us to glimpse the complexities of the work of tending to dying people. Unreservedly recommended, "Prelude to Hospice" is a unique and extraordinary contribution to college and community library History of Medicine and Nursing, as well as Health Policy and Public Health collections in general, and Hospice supplemental reading lists in particular.

The Mamma Mia! Diet
Paola Lovisetti Scamihorn & Paola Palestini
Hatherleigh Press
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
62545 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY 13788
9781578267323, $15.99, PB, 352pp,

Collaboratively written by Paola Lovisetti Scamihorn (an Italian pharmacist, researcher and food writer with particular attention to healthy eating) and Paola Palestini (a biochemistry professor at the Medical School of the University Milano-Bicocca, Italy), "The Mamma Mia! Diet: The Secret Italian Way to Good Health - Eat Pasta, Enjoy Wine, & Lose Weight" is more than just a meal plan -- it's a complete lifestyle guide. Based on an improved version of the classic Mediterranean diet, "The Mamma Mia! Diet" provides readers with modernized versions of healthy Italian dishes to help them lose weight while still feeling full and satisfied, as well as enjoying: Better health and improved longevity; Higher energy levels and improved fitness; More variety than any other diet; Fundamental nutrition grounded in tradition and science; Incredible dishes packed with nutrition and authentic Italian flavor; A diet that nourishes both the individual and the family -- all in one. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Health & Medicine dieting instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Mamma Mia! Diet" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $1.99).

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Seas of Distant Stars
Francesca G. Varela
Owl House Books
c/o Homebound Publications
Postal Box 1442, Pawcatuck, CT 06379-1968
9781947003927, $17.95, PB, 240pp,

Agapanthus was kidnapped when she was only two years old, but she doesn't remember it. In fact, she doesn't remember her home planet at all. All she knows is Deeyae, the land of two suns; the land of great, red waters. Her foster-family cares for her, and at first that's enough. But, as she grows older, Agapanthus is bothered by the differences between them. As an Exchanger, she's frail and tall, not short and strong. And, even though she was raised Deeyan, she certainly isn't treated like one. One day, an Exchanger boy completes the Deeyan rite-of-passage, and Agapanthus is inspired to try the same. But, when she teams up with him, her quest to become Deeyan transforms into her quest to find the truth -- of who she is, and of which star she belongs to. A deftly written and thoroughly entertaining novel that showcases author Francesca G. Varela's genuine flare for originality and narrative driven storytelling, "The Seas of Distant Stars" will have a very special appear for dedicated science fiction fans and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Science Fiction collections.

The 49th Mystic
Ted Dekker
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780800729783, $24.99, HC, 432pp,

Some say the great mystery of how one can live in two worlds at once died with Thomas Hunter many years ago. Still others that the gateway to that greater reality was and is only the stuff of dreams. They are wrong. In the small town of Eden, Utah, a blind girl named Rachelle Matthews is about to find out just how wrong. When a procedure meant to restore Rachelle's sight goes awry, she begins to dream of another world so real that she wonders if Earth might only be a dream experienced when she falls asleep in that reality. Who is a simple blind girl to have such strange and fantastic dreams? She's the prophesied one who must find and recover five ancient seals (in both worlds) before powerful enemies destroy her. If Rachelle succeeds in her quest, peace will reign. If she fails, both worlds will forever be locked in darkness. So begins a two-volume saga by Ted Deker of high stakes and a mind-bending quest to find an ancient path that will save humanity. The clock is ticking; the end rushes forward! "The 49th Mystic" is an extraordinary and riveting read from first page to last and unreservedly recommended for community library Fantasy Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The 49th Mystic" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.50) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Recorded Books, 9781501994418, $44.99, CD).

The Black Wolves of Boston
Wen Spencer
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781481482462, $25.00, HC, 480pp,

Silas Decker had his world destroyed when he was attacked by vampires outside of New Amsterdam. He has rebuilt his life a dozen times in the last three hundred years -- each time less and less successfully. Now he lives alone, buried under a hoarding habit, struggling to find some reason to wake up with the setting of the sun. Eloise is a Virtue, pledged to hunting evil. What she doesn't know is how to live alone in a city full of strangers who know nothing about monsters. Seth is the sixteen-year old Prince of Boston, ward of the Wolf King. Now he is left in a city that desperately needs his protection with enemies gathering all around. Joshua believes he is a normal, college-bound high school senior. His life is shattered when he wakes up in a field, covered with blood, and the prom committee scattered in pieces about him like broken dolls. These four must now come together to unravel a plot by Wickers, witches who gain power from human sacrifices and have the power to turn any human into their puppet. Four people who lost everything struggle to save Boston by saving each other. Another gem of a fantasy adventure novel by a master of the genre, "The Black Wolves of Boston by Wen Spencer is unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated fantasy fans that "The Black Wolves of Boston" is also available in a paperback edition (9781481483209, $7.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

Peter Levenda
Ibis Press
c/o Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
9780892541805, $27.95, HC, 400pp,

Beginning with the harrowing experience of an alien abductee in a small New England town and continuing through a series of encounters with a renowned mathematician, mercenary geneticists, an international ring of pornographers, the human trafficking cult of the Islamic State, and practitioners of an arcane form of sexual occultism, Dunwich follows the adventures of religion professor Gregory Angell as he attempts to discover a shocking secret encoded within an ancient book of magic that, once deciphered, will cause the eruption of a force so prehistoric that its earthly temples once submerged beneath the seas will rise to the surface again! The sequel to author Peter Levenda's "The Lovecraft Code", this Ibis Press edition of "Dunwich" is based on the themes in H. P. Lovecraft's "The Dunwich Horror" and an unreservedly recommended addition to community library Fantasy Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of Lovecraft-style horror fantasy fiction fans that "Dunwich" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $26.55).

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Beside the Syrian Sea
James Wolff
Bitter Lemon Press
9781912242139, $24.00, HC, 320pp,

Jonas works for the UK secret service as an intelligence analyst. When his father is kidnapped and held for ransom by ISIS gunmen in Syria, he takes matters into his own hands and begins to steal the only currency he has access to: secret government intelligence. He heads to Beirut with a haul of the most sensitive documents imaginable and recruits an unlikely ally - an alcoholic Swiss priest named Father Tobias. Despite barely surviving his previous contact with ISIS, Tobias agrees to travel into the heart of the Islamic State and inform the kidnappers that Jonas is willing to negotiate for his father's life. When the British and American governments realize they may be dealing with betrayal on a scale far greater than that of Edward Snowden, they try everything in their power to stop Jonas, and he finds himself tested to the limit as he fights to keep the negotiations alive and play his enemies off against each other. As he races towards a thrilling confrontation in the Syrian desert, Jonas will have to decide how far he is willing to go to see his father again. James Wolff's deftly crafted and inherently fascinating novel, "Beside the Syrian Sea" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Beside the Syrian Sea" is also available in a paperback edition (9781908524980, $14.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.38).

District VIII
Adam Lebor
Pegasus Books
80 Broad Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10004
9781681777344, $25.99, HC, 400pp,

Life's tough for a Gypsy detective in Budapest. The cops don't trust you because you're a Gypsy. Your fellow Gypsies, even your own family, shun you because you're a cop. The dead, however, don't care. So when Balthazar Kovacs, a detective in the city's murder squad, gets a mysterious text message on his phone, he gulps down his coffee and goes to work. The message has two parts: a photograph and an address. The photograph shows a man, in his early thirties, lying on his back with his eyes open, half-covered by a blue plastic sheet. The address is 26 Republic Square, the former Communist Party headquarters, and once the most feared building in the country. But when Kovacs arrives at Republic Square, the body is gone. Inspired by true events, Adam Lebor's novel, "District VIII" takes the reader to a hidden city within Budapest and an underworld that visitors never get to see: the gritty back alleys of District VIII; the endemic corruption that reaches deep into government as officials plunder state coffers at will; a rule of law bent to serve the interests of the rich and powerful; the rising power of international organized crime gangs who use the Hungarian capital as a springboard for their European operations. A deftly crafted and simply riveting novel by a master of narrative driven storytelling, Adam Lebor's "District VII" is very highly recommended, especially for community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "District VII" is also available in a paperback edition (Head of Zeus, 9781786692719, $9.99), and in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99)

Cut You Down
Sam Wiebe
1290 Sixth Ave., NY, NY 10104,
9781681440231, $26.99, HC, 288pp,

No one knows what happened to Tabitha Sorenson, a brilliant but troubled college student who vanished in the aftermath of a scandal involving millions of dollars in school funds Hired to find the missing girl by her professor (and admirer) Dana Essex, private investigator Dave Wakeland is tossed into a world of suburban gangsters, corrupt authorities, and a contract killer with an unhealthy fondness for blades -- all of them ready to guard their secrets at any cost. Aided by Sonia Drego, a police officer and former lover with dangerous secrets of her own, Wakeland's world is upended when the investigation takes a deadly turn. Suspecting he may have been played for a rube by the woman who hired him, the young PI crosses borders (and lines) in his hunt for a sadistic killer, a journey of discovery that takes him from the back alleys of a rapidly modernizing Vancouver to the wilds of Washington State to a disorienting suburban sprawl, where nothing is as it seems. Another deftly crafted gem by a master of the genre, Sam Wiebe's "Cut You Down" is a riveting read from cover to cover and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Cut You Down" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781538480748, $29.95, MP3 CD).

A Dying Note
Ann Parker
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave., #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781464209796, $26.95, HC, 366pp,

It's autumn of 1881, and Inez Stannert, still the co-owner of Leadville, Colorado's Silver Queen saloon, is settled in San Francisco with her young ward, Antonia Gizzi. Inez has turned her business talents to managing a music store, hoping to eventually become an equal partner in the enterprise with the store's owner, a celebrated local violinist. But when the badly beaten body of a young musician washes up on the filthy banks of San Francisco's Mission Creek canal, Inez and Antonia become entangled in the mystery of his death when the musician turns out to have ties to Leadville, ties that threaten to expose Inez's notorious past. And they aren't the only ones searching for answers. Wolter Roeland de Bruijn, "finder of the lost", has also been tasked with ferreting out the perpetrators and dispensing justice in its most final form. Leadville's leading madam Frisco Flo, an unwilling visitor to the city with a Leadville millionaire, is on the hook as well, having injudiciously financed the young musician's journey to San Francisco in the first place. Time grows short as Inez and the others uncover long-hidden secrets and unsettled scores. With lives and reputations on the line, the tempo rises until the investigation's final, dying note. Ann Parker's "A Dying Note" is another perfectly crafted gem of a mystery from a master of the genre. While an especially recommended addition to the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs, and certain to be an enduringly popular inclusion for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted that "A Dying Note" is also available in a paperback edition (9781464209819, $15.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Death and a Pot of Chowder
Cornelia Kidd
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781683315834, $26.99, HC, 330pp,

Anna Winslow, her husband Burt and their teenage son have deep roots on Quarry Island. Burt and his brother, Carl, are lobstermen, just like their father and grandfather before them. And while some things on the island never seem to change, Anna's life is about to take some drastically unexpected turns. First, Anna discovers that she has a younger sister, Izzie Jordan. Then, on the day she drives to Portland to meet Izzie for the first time, Carl's lobster boat is found abandoned and adrift. Later that evening, his corpse is discovered -- but he didn't drown. Whether it was an accident or murder, Carl's sudden death has plunged Anna's existence into deadly waters. Despite barely knowing one another and coming from very different backgrounds, Anna and Izzie unite to find the killer. With their family in crisis, the sisters strive to uncover the secrets hidden in Quarry Island -- and perhaps the ones buried within their own hearts as well. A simply riveting mystery from beginning to end by a master of the genre, one special feature is the inclusion of recipes! While very highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Death and a Pot of Chowder" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Six Dogs 'til Sunday
Lia Farrell
Camel Press
PO Box 70515, Seattle, WA 98127
9781603812504, $15.95, PB, 256pp,

It's January in Rosedale, Tennessee, and Mae December is preparing for her March wedding to Sheriff Ben Bradley. Mae, who boards dogs for a living, is also busy tending to her pregnant dog and scouting locations for the movie featuring the music of her former fiance Noah West, who died in a car accident four years earlier. Fortunately the picturesque old house at the end of Little Chapel Road is for rent. Just as filming is about to begin, a man is shot on the set, but manages to drive himself to the hospital, where he dies before he can ID his killer. He was a member of the film crew, but also a local, and circumstances point to his being a confidential informant for Ben's predecessor, Sheriff Trey Cantrell, also the owner of the house turned movie set. At the time of the shooting, the victim had been stealing a large sum of money from a safe on the premises. Whose money is it, and where does it come from? The Rosedale Sheriff's Office not only has another murder case on its hands, but one that will dredge up a past long buried. How far will the guilty parties go to protect their secrets? The sixth and final book in the Mae December Mystery series by Lia Farrell (the pen name of the mother and daughter writing team of Lyn Farquhar and Lisa Fitzsimmons), "Six Dogs 'til Sunday" is another deftly crafted mystery that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Six Dogs 'til Sunday" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.95).

Murders at Bishop
J. Lea Koretsky
Regent Press
2747 Regent St., Berkeley, CA 94705
9781587904318, $19.95, PB, 316pp,

"Murders at Bishop" is an anthology containing three novellas by J. Lea Koretsky about post office crimes. The first novella Murders at Bishop describes numerous truck rollovers on Interstate 50 and a series of heists of stamp coin on Highway 395. The second novella, The Dead, is about the murders of the Packard vehicle test group who evaluate structural efficacy of early cars. The third novella is Undifferentiated and portrays murders of post office appraisers on a train traveling through Vermillion, Ohio. A retired psychotherapist who divides her time between travel and writing, "Murders at Bishop" is author J. Lea Koretsky's fifteenth published book and continues to demonstrate her total mastery of the Mystery/Suspense genre. "Murders at Bishop" is unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections.

The Consultant
Tj O'Connor
Oceanview Publishing
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
9781608092833, $16.00, PB, 432pp,

When a rogue CIA consultant goes AWOL from his Middle Eastern post in response to his brother's plea for help, Jonathan Hunter arrives just in time to witness his brother's murder. Pursuing his brother's killer, Hunter stumbles into a nest of horrifying terrorist activity by Middle Eastern refugees, which sparks a backlash across America. In the shadows, Hunter's mentor, the omnipotent Oscar LaRue, is playing a dangerous game with Russian Intelligence. Neither Hunter nor LaRue realizes that a new threat Iranian threat has entered the game. Stakes rise as two shadowy players are one step ahead of Hunter and LaRue. One is Khalifah, a terrorist mastermind, and and the other is Caine, a nomadic assassin who dances with the highest bidder. As attacks escalate and the country drifts toward another Middle East conflict, innocent refugees become trapped between the terrorists and the terrorized. Prejudice, hate, and fear vent everywhere. Is this who we've become? Before the country explodes, Hunter must find Khalifah, learn the next terror target, and pray he's in time to stop further annihilation. Tj O'Connor's "The Consultant" is a simply riveting thriller of a novel by an author who is an international anti- terrorism expert. While a very highly and unreservedly recommended addition to community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Consultant" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

No Harp for My Angel / Booty for a Babe / Eve, It's Extortion
Carter Brown
Stark House Press
1315 H Street, Eureka, CA 95501
9781944520441, $19.95, PB, 298pp,

Carter Brown was the literary pseudonym of Alan Geoffrey Yates (1 August 1923 - 5 May 1985), an English-born Australian writer of detective fiction. Now Stark House Press has brought back into print for the edification of a new general of dedicated mystery buffs three of his very best short stories under one cover and features police detective Lt. Al Wheeler. In "It's Extortion. No Harp for My Angel" Lt. Al Wheeler is tangling with a redhead with green eyes who is Nobody's girl but my own! Her club-owning gangster boyfriend, who is involved in some very shady business -- and his gorilla henchman, who is seven feet of muscle and bone, just waiting for the chance to crush him to a pulp when Al becomes the decoy sent in to bring their racket down. In "Booty for a Babe", Lt Al Wheeler tries to solve a murder at a science fiction convention he discovers a professor who wants to stop time by tricking the elusive Delfs (and meets an intellectual gangster who wants to get his hands on the professor's latest invention) is frustrated by the generously proportioned convention organizer, who somehow manages to keep one step ahead of Al's wolfish designs. Then in "Eve, It's Extortion" finds Lt. Al Wheeler trying to solve a hit-and-run murder involving the victim's wife, who is all too glad to have lost her lush of a husband (the beautiful skip-tracer who tracked down the victim right before he met his untimely end) and her dubious boyfriend who may not be as innocent as he professes, but is certainly up to no good. "No Harp for My Angel / Booty for a Babe / Eve, It's Extortion" is unreservedly recommended for the personal reading of dedicated mystery fans, as well as community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Portrait in Smoke/The Longest Second
Bill S. Ballinger
Stark House Press
1315 H Street, Eureka, CA 95501
9781944520489, $19.95, PB, 270pp,

Bill S. Ballinger (13 March 1912 - 23 March 1980) was an American author and screenwriter. He was also an Associate Professor of Writing at the California State University at Northridge, Los Angeles, California. During his lifetime he wrote more than 150 teleplays, 81 radio scripts, and some 30 books. Two of his mysteries have now been brought back into print under one cover as part of the Stark House Press 'Mystery Classics' series. Danny April is obsessed in "Portrait in Smoke". He buys out a little collection agency in Chicago, and that is how he first meets Krassy. He'd never seen anyone so beautiful. She was Krassy Almauniski then, when he first runs across her picture in his files. She's gone through several identities since then. As Danny tries to track her down, each new name presents him with a portrait of a woman on the move. Krassy is climbing up the social ladder, one sucker at a time. There's the photographer who signs off on a charge account for her, later arrested for larceny. And the ad executive who gets off lightly for what she persuaded him to do. He gets to walk away with his pride. But not all the men who Krassy meet are so lucky. But Danny knows he will be different. So he keeps looking -- until at last he finds her. "The Longest Second" is a vividly written and simply riveting story of a man who when he awakens and attempts to turn his head suddenly realizes that his throat had been cut and is afflicted with amnesia. When his fingerprints are checked, he finds out that his name is Victor Pacific. He has no memories of who he is, what he is, or why someone tried to kill him. He remembers the name Horstman. But he has no idea of how to find him. All he can do is to begin a search for the clues to his former life. Then he meets Bianca but will she be able to help him before they strike again? Two terrifically entertaining reads showcases the lat's Bill Ballinger's talents as a writer, "Portrait in Smoke/The Longest Second" are truly 'Time Lost Classics' that will prove to be immediate and enduringly popular additions to both the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs and community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Wayward Girl/The Widow
Orrie Hitt
Stark House Press
1315 H Street, Eureka, CA 95501
9781944520625, $19.95, PB, 242pp,

Orrie Hitt (October 27, 1916 - December 8, 1975) wrote approximately 150 books over a period of about 14 years -- all while sitting at his kitchen table. Long out of print, Stark House Press has brought back two of his stories under one cover as part of the 'Noir Classics' series. "Wayward Girl" is the story of Sandy Greening who loses her virginity at fourteen to a drunken neighbor. Her mother doesn't care. She's drunk herself oblivious all the time on cheap wine. So Sandy starts running with a gang, The Blue Devils, and that is where she first turns on to marijuana, and not long after, heroin. That's also when she starts to sell herself to anyone with the bucks to pay for her highs. But the night Tommy asks her to hold his knife before they rumble with The Black Cats is the night that changes Sandy's life forever. A kid gets killed, and the cops put the finger on Sandy for information. And when she won't give it up the easy way, they set her up and go after it the hard way, all the way to reform school. And that's where Sandy starts to learn the real lessons of life. "The Widow" is about Jerry Rebner, a man who starts working for Mrs. Sprague as her cook at the Dells, and he figures he knows what he wants -- Linda. She's a girl who has everything Jerry likes in a woman, and more. But Linda is married to Frank, Mrs. Sprague's shiftless hot rodding son, who widows her when he plows into a tree one drunken evening. Then Jerry meets sweet, virginal Norma, who used to pose as a nude model! Torn between the two women, and by the memory of his first wife, Jerry begins to drink. Then Linda comes to him with a plan Mrs. Sprague's property is worth $50,000 to a development company, but she won't sell. Linda is all she has left, her sole heir. And those steps leading down to a hazardous path of destruction. Time lost classics that showcase the late Orrie Hitt's undeniable talent as a writer, "Wayward Girl/The Widow" is very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library collections.

Hostage for a Hood/The Merriweather File
Lionel White
Stark House Press
1315 H Street, Eureka, CA 95501
9781944520373, $19.95, PB, 224pp,

The late Lionel White (9 July 1905 - 26 December 1985) was an American journalist and crime novelist, several of whose dark noir mystery stories were made into successful Hollywood movies. Now two of his best are brought back into print by Stark House Press for the benefit of a new generation of mystery buffs. "Hostage for a Hood" is the story of a hood named Cribbins who has a heist planned down to the last detail. He and Santino are driving one of the cars, on their way to hold up an armored car to remove its quarter of a million dollars. The only thing Cribbins doesn't plan on is being run into by Joyce Sherwood's Chevy. All they can do after that is quickly take over Joyce's car, including Joyce and her dog, and finish the job. When her husband Brad comes home and finds no Joyce and no dog, he knows something is wrong. He calls the police, but they only put him off, assuming that a missing wife could have run off with somebody. Brad knows different. But can he find her before the cops put so much effort into solving the armored car hold that they lose sight of the missing wife who is now part of the same crime before Cribbins decides he doesn't need a hostage anymore -- before Santino finally flips out and starts to use his knife? In "The Merriweather File" Ann Merriweather thinks someone is trying to kill her. She shares her fears with an old friend of the family, her lawyer friend Howard Yates, but though he believes her, there is nothing he can do. Then Ann's husband, Charles, is found by the cops with a flat tire by the side of the road and a murdered body in his trunk. The man had been shot. Charles is held for questioning, then arrested, and Howard agrees to take the case. But nothing is as it seems. The police quickly determine that the murder occurred at the Merriweather's house. But Charles has an alibi. He was gone from the house all night. And Ann was asleep under the heavy influence of some sleeping pills. But someone killed the man in the trunk, and the more Howard discovers about the case, the less inclined he is to assume the innocence of his client Two terrifically entertaining crime stories by a master of the genre, Lionel White's "Hostage for a Hood/The Merriweather File" is an especially recommended addition to personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Trusted Like the Fox
Wesley Burrowes
Somerville Press
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7, 124 Byers Road, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
9780995523975, $26.00, PB, 232pp,

"Trusted Like the Fox" by Wesley Burrowes is the suspenseful tale of Bill Burgess, a Dublin television journalist who, in the midst of the political violence raging throughout Northern Ireland, decides to take a trip back to his hometown in County Antrim. The town outwardly remains much as he remembers it, but there are some unsettling surprises in store from his once childhood companions. He is baffled by their attitude towards him, but then the grim truth begins to reveal itself. A deftly crafted novel that, while a work of political fiction, reveals genuine insight into the yesteryear of Ulster Loyalism and the attitudes that drove the extremism of the time. A simply riveting read by a master of narrative driven storytelling, Wesley Burrowes' "Trusted Like the Fox" is an especially recommended addition to personal reading lists and community library general fiction collections.

Baby Blue
Pol Koutsakis, author
Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife, translator
Bitter Lemon Press
9781908524911, $14.95, PB, 284pp,

"Baby Blue" is a novel by Pol Koutsakis is the story the blue-eyed orphan Emma, a beautiful teenage girl with a talent for card tricks of exceptional sophistication - all the more impressive for her tender years and the blindness that has afflicted her since the age of eight. Emma and her adoptive father, a former investigative journalist, roam the streets of Athens together, earning enough to keep body and soul together by performing Chaplinesque sketches. When the ex-journalist is brutally murdered, Angelino, a well-connected Athenian underworld figure, takes the girl under his wing and retains the services of Stratos to find her father's killers. Meanwhile, Costas Dragas, a top homicide cop and Gazis's best friend, has taken on the investigation of a spate of murders of pedophiles, and as usual, has gone to war with the media. It slowly emerges that their cases intersect and that corporate interests, more powerful than they could ever have imagined, lie behind the murders they both need to solve. Through a combination of experience and the ability to read the ailing city, its residents and its streets with consummate skill, the case is solved, but not without some subliminal tutoring from a great classic of the cinema. Deftly translated into English by AnneMarie Stanton-Ife, "Baby Blue" is an exceptionally well written and thoroughly engaging novel from beginning to end. While very highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Baby Blue" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.95).

The Gaming Shelf

Hand of the Week
Joel Martineau
Master Point Press
9781771400428, $19.95, PB, 221pp,

Joel Martineau was a finalist in the 2017 Canadian National Teams Championships. Since retiring from teaching literature at the University of British Columbia, he has spent a lot of his time teaching bridge. "Hand of the Week" is his first book. One of the best ways to improve a player's bridge performance is to watch an expert play, and to try to understand the reasoning behind their bids and plays. In "Hand of the Week", readers follow the bidding and play (or defense) of fifty-two hands one a week for a year and listen to the Martineau's thinking as each hand develops. Understanding why the experts do what they do is the first step towards recreational players being able to do it themselves -- at least some of the time! Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Hand of the Week" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal and community library Bridge instructional reference collections.

The Christian Studies Shelf

The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy
Tim LaHaye & Ed Hindson, editors
Harvest House Publishers
2975 Chad Drive, Eugene, Oregon 97408
9780736913522, $26.99, HC, 432pp,

More than one fourth of the Bible was prophetic in nature at the time it was written. And Christ's second coming is mentioned more than 300 times in Scripture. Clearly, God wants us to understand the last days and what better way to do so than with "The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy", a trustworthy and easy-to-use encyclopedic guide to Bible prophecy, which provides...a comprehensive overview of prophecy related terms helpful illustrations that provide graphic pictures and timetables of the end times informative surveys of all the major prophetic viewpoints concise explanations that answer tough questions about Bible prophecy. No personal, seminary, church, or academic library Christian Studies library collection is complete without this impressively informative and thoroughly 'user friendly' resource with over 400 pages filled with thousands of facts about Christ's return within the context of the end times. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy" by the editorial team of renowned prophecy scholar, minister, and educator Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson (who is Dean of the School of Divinity and Distinguished Professor of Religion at Liberty University in Virginia) is also available in a paperback edition (9780736973854, $19.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.26).

The Essential Jonathan Edwards
Owen Strachan & Doughtas A. Sweeney
Moody Publishers
820 N. LaSalle Blvd., Chicago, IL 60610
9780802418210, $22.99, PB, 448pp,

Jonathan Edwards (October 5, 1703 - March 22, 1758) was an American revivalist preacher, philosopher, and Congregationalist Protestant theologian. Some 250 years later, Jonathan Edwards, America's consummate pastor-theologian, continues to capture the attention of Christians around the world. Yet Edwards left us over 1,200 sermons and thousands of pages of other publications, not to mention the literal thousands of books that have been written about Edwards since he died. Where does one even begin? That's why Owen Strachan (Associate Professor of Christian Theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary) and Douglas A. Sweeney (Professor of Church History and the History of Christian Thought and Director of the Carl F. H. Henry Center for Theological Understanding at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) have collaborated in "The Essential Jonathan Edwards: An Introduction to the Life and Teaching of America's Greatest Theologian" to provide a perfect introduction to Edwards's life and thought. "The Essential Jonathan Edwards" deftly explores Edwards day-to-day life, and his views on beauty, true Christianity, heaven and hell, and the good life. "The Essential Jonathan Edwards" strikes the perfect balance between necessary background information and giving Edwards's own works room to speak. While very highly recommended for personal, seminary, church, and academic library Christian Studies collections in general, and Jonathan Edwards supplemental studies lists in particular, it should be noted that "The Essential Jonathan Edwards" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Catholic and Christian
Alan Schreck
c/o Franciscan Media
9780867165999, $16.99, PB, 242pp,

"Catholic and Christian: An Explanation of Commonly Misunderstood Catholic Beliefs" was written by Alan Schreck (Professor of Theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio) specifically for members of the Roman Catholic community needing to explain some aspect of Catholic belief. "Catholic and Christian" addresses such issues as: Do you really think the pope is infallible? Why do Catholics pray to Mary? Where do sacraments come from? What do you think of the Bible? Are you saved? "Catholic and Christian" will also prove to be relevant and useful for Catholics who are asking themselves such questions as: Where do Catholic beliefs come from? Why do we pray for the dead? How does the rosary fit into a biblical faith? A thoroughly readable and concise summary of commonly misunderstood Catholic beliefs, "Catholic and Christian" deftly addresses the teachings and practices that don't get much attention in Sunday homilies and in religious education, but which puzzle Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Simply stated, "Catholic and Christian" is unreservedly recommended for all Catholics who want to know more about their faith and be able to explain their faith to non-Catholics.

Human Sexuality in Biblical Perspective
Carrie A. Mast & Gerald J. Mast
Cascadia Publishing House
9781680270068, $12.95, PB, 128pp,

Collaborative compiled and co-edited by members of First Mennonite Church in Bluffton, Carrie A. Mast (who assists with the administration of graduate programs in business at Bluffton University and serves on the board of directors of Central District Conference) and Gerald J. Mast (who teaches communication at Bluffton University and is the author of numerous books and articles including Go to Church, Change the World: Christian Community as Calling) "Human Sexuality in Biblical Perspective" is a study guide that is based on a document prepared by the Human Sexuality Task Group of Central District Conference of Mennonite Church USA. An informative, thoughtful, and thought-provoking read from cover to cover, "Human Sexuality in Biblical Perspective" is extraordinarily well written, organized and presented. While very highly recommended for church and seminary Christian Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Human Sexuality in Biblical Perspective" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).

The Joy Stealers
Rob Renfroe
Abingdon Press
2222 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., PO Box 280988, Nashville, TN 37228-0988
9781501857997, $14.99, PB, 144pp,

Marriage problems, painful relationships, disobedient children, health concerns, financial struggles, or just the daily stresses and strains of life can steal away our joy of living. However, regardless of our circumstances, in Christ we have everything we need for joy including the forgiveness of our sins, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, a purpose worth living for, and the assurance of eternity with God. But whether we actually live with joy or allow something to take it from us is a choice each of us makes every day. Living with joy is a decision we make again and again as we're continually faced with joy stealers such as worry, bitterness, guilt, negativity, and busyness. In "The Joy Stealers: Overcoming Obstacles to Hope and Happiness", Rob Renfroe (Pastor of Discipleship at The Woodlands UMC in Houston, Texas) addresses these common joy stealers and suggests how we can overcome them by making five simple yet transformational decisions that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, will enable us to have overflowing joy and be a continual blessing to others. A final chapter on living with joy provides encouragement and help for living in the fullness of God's joy each and every day. Very highly recommended to the attention of all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliation, "The Joy Stealers" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.00). It should be noted that additional components for a six-week study include a comprehensive Leader Guide which includes a link to downloadable video clips that can be used as lead-ins to group discussion.

The Way Back
Phil Cooke & Jonathan Bock
Worthy Publishing
One Franklin Park, 6100 Tower Circle, Suite 210, Franklin, TN 37067
9781617958618, $16.99, PB, 272pp,

On a dusty Judean hilltop, Jesus once kickstarted his church with a ragtag group of fishermen who called themselves "The Way." Truth be told, the builders of Christianity were a bunch of nobodies. They were powerless and flawed and sometimes petty. But they were committed. They were all-in. Within a remarkably short time, The Way became the world's most influential religious faith -- a force in culture, politics, literature, science, philanthropy, and the arts. Against impossible odds, that group of nobodies astonished the world. Two thousand years later (and by any measure) Christianity is retreating on all fronts. The Way has lost its way. In "The Way Back: How Christians Blew Our Credibility and How We Get It Back", media and marketing experts Phil Cooke and Jonathan Bock take a hard look at Christians today and reveal that we, as a salesforce, have lost our faith in our product. Where's the passion, the excitement, and the commitment that two thousand years ago made such improbable and staggering growth possible? "The Way Back" will inspire and equip you to learn from that wonderful group of nobodies, so that you too can astonish the world once more. In a time where Christian leadership (especially Evangelical Christian leaders) have bankrupted their moral authority with their near universal endorsement of Donald J. Trump (who is a self-proclaimed a sexual predator, a serial adulterer, a corrupt businessman, and compulsive liar) as president of the United States, "The Way Back" should be considered a 'must read' for all members of the Christian community who are alarmed at how so many of today's Christians have compromised traditional Christian values and standards in exchange for political ambitions and goals.

Introducing Jesus
Mark I. Strauss
Zondervan Publishing House
5300 Patterson Avenue, S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49530
9780310528586, $16.99, PB, 192pp,

To Christians worldwide, Jesus of Nazareth is the centerpiece of history, the object of faith, hope, and worship. Even those who do not follow him admit the vast influence of his life. For anyone interested in knowing more about Jesus, study of the four biblical Gospels is essential. An abridged edition of the Christian studies textbook Four Portraits, "One Jesus" by Mark Strauss (Professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary in San Diego) is a simple, easy-to-understand guide introduces the four biblical Gospels and their subject, the life and person of Jesus. Like different artists rendering the same subject using different styles and points of view, the Gospels paint four distinctive portraits of the same remarkable Jesus. With clarity and insight, Professor Strauss addresses questions that surround the study of Jesus and the Gospels. What are the Gospels - are they history, theology, biography? Where did they come from? What do we know about their context? What does each Gospel uniquely teach us about Jesus? Finally, he pulls it all together illuminating what the Gospels together teach about Jesus' ministry, message, death, and resurrection, and how do we know we can trust their witness. Including questions at the end of each chapter for group discussion or personal reflection, "Introducing Jesus" makes the words, history, and context of the Gospels come alive for readers and is ideal for individual and study groups alike. It should be noted that "Introducing Jesus" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Interrupting Silence
Walter Brueggemann
Westminster John Knox Press
100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40202-1396
9780664263591, $14.00, PB, 108pp,

Silence is a complex matter. It can refer to awe before unutterable holiness, but it can also refer to the coercion where some voices are silenced in the interest of control by the dominant voices. It is the latter silence that Walter Brueggemann (who is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and the William Marcellus McPheeters Professor Emeritus of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary) explores in the pages of "Interrupting Silence: God's Command to Speak Out" and urges all Christian to speak up in situations of injustice. "Interrupting Silence" illustrates that the Bible is filled with stories where marginalized people break repressive silence and speak against it. Examining how maintaining silence allows the powerful to keep control, Professor Brueggemann motivates readers to consider situations in their lives where they need to either interrupt silence or be part of the problem, convincing us that God is active and wanting us to act for justice. Inspired and inspiring, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Interrupting Silence" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).

Love Must Have a Body
T. L. Harper
Westbow Press
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
9781512797831, $28.95, HC, 110pp,

Written by T. L. Harper, "Love Must Have a Body" is intended primarily for all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliation. Constructed for repeated reading again and again, each time it is read and meditate on "Love Must Have a Body" reveals its revelations that will pull the reader into new statures of faith. Readers will discover new thresholds of awareness and assurance of God's Love, what Love is, and how that same Love is reflected in daily life. Inspired and inspiring, thoughtful and thought-provoking, meditative and insightful, "Love Must Have a Body" is very highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Love Must Have a Body" is also available in a paperback edition (9781512797824, $11.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

The Prayer List
Jane Knuth
Loyola Press
3441 North Ashland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657
9780829446654, $14.95, PB, 184pp,

Jane Knuth (who is a longtime volunteer in the society of St. Vincent de Paul in Kalamazoo, Michigan) has written "The Prayer List: .and Other True Stories of How Families Pray" was written specifically for those who find themselves struggling to find the right way to integrate prayer into their daily family life. Who are you worried their children won't practice the same faith that has sustained their parents in times of difficulty? When Jane Knuth inherited the family "prayer list" from her aunt, she decided to continue the tradition of praying regularly with the list of needs and thanks for relatives and friends. But prayer fits itself to every person's (and every family's) situation and culture. As Jane learned how to pray in her family and explored the prayer experiences of other families, she discovered a simple truth: the best way to pray with your family is the way that works best for a family. "The Prayer List" also shares the true stories of how families from many faith traditions (be they Christian, non-Christian, or having no defined faith) pray together in meaningful ways. With prompts to inspire a family's prayer after each chapter, these stories prove that family prayer can be a path to the intimacy and closeness we long for. It's like making God a member of the family. While very highly recommended for all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliation, it should be noted that "The Prayer List" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Every Christian's Call
Kevin Almond
Westbow Press
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
9781512798173, $35.95, HC, 274pp,

With the increasing turmoil in the world today it's no wonder so many in the diverse Christian community are talking about unity. In "Every Christian's Call: Discover the Key to Fulfilling Your Destiny", by evangelist Christian Kevin Almond brings together the two hottest topics in Christianity today; Unity and Purpose. Not only is unity a crucial issue for the Church today but it also directly ties into God's unique purpose for each individual Christian. "Every Christian's Call" directly and scripturally addresses questions like: What are the biblical principles that reveal the path to fulfilling my destiny?; What is the primary Key to the Church becoming one as Jesus prayed?; How does this Key determine the success of every relationship I'll ever be involved in?; How does answering Christ's Call to Unity ensure that I will fulfill my God-given purpose and destiny? "Every Christian's Call" reveals from a biblical perspective how the principles of unity are identical to God's plan for our lives. Inspired and inspiring, "Every Christian's Call" is an exceptional and highly recommended read for all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Every Christian's Call" is also available in a paperback edition (978-1512798166, $19.60) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Winning the Worry Battle
Barb Roose
Abingdon Press
2222 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.
PO Box 280988, Nashville, TN 37228-0988
9781501857843, $16.99, PB, 240pp,

Many Christians do not have a full understanding of what it means to fight the good fight of faith. They try to live by faith but in the face of everyday trials and failures, they find themselves disillusioned and discouraged, wondering if they have done something wrong or if living by faith only works for others. The problem for most is simply a lack of understanding regarding what faith is and how it works. "Winning the Worry Battle: Life Lessons from the Book of Joshua" by Barb Roose is inspired by the Book of Joshua, reviews three tools a person can develop to Fight In Faith: 1) embracing God's promises, 2) courage and commitment under pressure and 3) practicing radical obedience while waiting for God to deliver your victory. Just as God gave His people victory over their enemies when they fought in faith, He promises to do the same for us. Following the footprints of bold, courageous faith that God gave His people, we will be equipped with tools to bravely fight in faith and overcome both our daily struggles and the bigger battles we all face. Through examples of how God gave the Israelites victory over their enemies and generously blessed them, too, we'll be victorious in our fight of faith so that we not only radically transform our own lives but unequivocally impact society. Inspired and inspiring, "Winning the Worry Battle" is highly recommended reading for all members of the Christian community. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Winning the Worry Battle" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Just Business
Alec Hill
InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426
9780830851980, $26.00, PB, 300pp,

When the daily business news breaks away from stories of profit and loss, it often shines a spotlight on ethical failures. But Christians aim to be ethical in all the areas of daily life and work-not just when the spotlight is on them. For those facing the many questions and quandaries of doing business with ethical integrity, Alec Hill offers a place to begin with this newly revised third edition of "Just Business: Christian Ethics for the Marketplace". Hill carefully explores the foundational Christian concepts of holiness, justice, and love. These keys to God's character, he argues, are also the keys to Christian business ethics. Hill then shows how some common responses to business ethics fall short of a fully Christian mindset. Using penetrating case studies on such pressing topics as employer-employee relations, discrimination and affirmative action, and environmental damage, he clothes principles in concrete business situations. Updated throughout, and with a new chapter on international business, this new edition of D"Just Business" is deftly written introduction to business ethics for students, and a timely refresher for Christian men and women already in the marketplace. Inspired and inspiring, "Just Business" is especially recommended reading by all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations.

Parents Rising
Arlene Pellicane
Moody Publishers
820 N. LaSalle Blvd., Chicago, IL 60610
9780802416605, $14.99, PB, 176pp,

"Parents Rising: 8 Strategies for Raising Kids Who Love God, Respect Authority, and Value What's Right" was written by Arlene Pellicane specifically for those parents who you feel like they are fighting a losing battle in raising their children against the pernicious influence of the broader secular culture. "Parents Rising" will show parents eight cultural trends that they are up against today and what they can do to help their children resist them. "Parents Rising" is about growth and not about guilt. It's not a pep talk, or a "try harder" speech. "Parents Rising" offers 'real world' help for the 'real world' problems that every parent faces. "Parents Rising" offers a way to successfully focus their efforts so that they'll be more effective and they'll be less exhausted! While very highly recommended, especially for community library Parenting instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Parents Rising" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Christian Audio, 9781545907719, $19.98, CD).

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik on Pesach, Sefirat ha-Omer and Shavu'ot
David Shapiro
Urim Publications
c/o KTAV Publishing House
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, New York 11225
9789657108642, $26.95, HC, 287pp,

Joseph Ber Soloveitchik (February 27, 1903 - April 9, 1993) was a major American Orthodox rabbi, Talmudist, and modern Jewish philosopher. He was a scion of the Lithuanian Jewish Soloveitchik rabbinic dynasty. As a Rosh Yeshiva of Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University in New York City, The Rov (variantly spelled The Rav), as he came to be known, ordained close to 2,000 rabbis over the course of almost half a century. Rabbi Soloveitchik served as an advisor, guide, mentor, and role-model for tens of thousands of Jews, both as a Talmudic scholar and as a religious leader. He is regarded as a seminal figure by Modern Orthodox Judaism. With a number of Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik's in-depth studies dealing with Passover, the Counting of the Omer, and Shavuot, "Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik on Pesach, Sefirat ha-Omer and Shavu'ot" is collection is a valuable introduction to the thought of one of the 20th century's leading Orthodox Judaic philosophers compiled for contemporary readers by Rabbi David Shapiro -- who was the Principal of Maimonides School in Brookline, Massachusetts and a student of Rabbi Soloveitchik for many years. A valued and unreservedly contribution to personal, synagogue, community, and academic library Judaic Studies collections, "Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik on Pesach, Sefirat ha-Omer and Shavu'ot" is especially and unreservedly recommended.

Values and Ethics: Torah Topics for Today
Fred Claar & Joyce Claar
Behrman House Inc.
241 Millburn Avenue, Millburn, NJ 07041
9780874419764, $18.95, PB, 184pp,

Whether seeking to create meaningful conversations about Jewish values and ethics at home or in a class or group setting, or beginning a new practice of personal growth and deepen your connection to Jewish wisdom and tradition, "Values and Ethics: Torah Topics for Today" will guide you through a full year of weekly Torah portions, exploring timeless values lessons that speak to us today. Each of the 54 sections (one for each Torah portion) includes a compelling overview of the values called out in the portion, thoughtful discussion questions, and a wide variety of activity ideas. Special features include: 153 discussion pages (2-3 for each of the 54 Torah portions; creative, varied activities to appeal to a wide range of readers, from preteens to adults; engaging content and format, suitable for individuals, pairs, and classes, at home and in school, adult education or tutoring settings; subject index to browse by topic, including anger, compassion, courage, gratitude, justice, leadership, and responsibility. Collaborative created and co-edited by the team of Fred Claar (who is a member of a Commission on Jewish Identity and Renewal task force of UJA) and Joyce Claar (a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Westchester Jewish Council), "Values and Ethics: Torah Topics for Today" is an ideal instructional reference and study guide that is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation.

The Buddhist Studies Shelf

Responsible Living
Ron Epstein
Buddhist Text Translation Society
4951 Bodhi Way, Ukiah, CA 95482
9781601030993, $12.00, PB, 196pp,

Dr. Ron Epstein is a retired lecturer in the philosophy department at San Francisco State University and a founding member of Dharma Realm Buddhist University. In "Responsible Living: Explorations in Applied Buddhist Ethics Animals, Environment, GMOs, Digital Media" he examines such questions as: Does genetic engineering have the potential to be as dangerous a nuclear holocaust? Will playing games online lead to brain shrinkage? These and other environmental and moral dilemmas of the modern world are discussed in "Responsible Living" which is comprised of a collection of essays using Buddhist texts and academic resources to analyze problems in today's world. The topics covered include pollution, animal cruelty, genetically modified foods, and our addictions to digital and social media. "Responsible Living" describes how outer environmental and social problems mirror humanity's inner struggle with selfishness, greed, and desire. By connecting Buddhist concepts such as compassion, causation, and moral precepts to these issues, this informative and thought-provoking collection of essays provides guidance to for ethical conduct in today's world. "Responsible Living" is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Buddhist Studies collections and reading lists.

The Art Shelf

Your Art Will Save Your Life
Beth Pickens
The Feminist Press
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9781936932290, $14.95, PB, 136pp,

Beth Pickens is a Los Angeles-based consultant for artists and arts organizations. She provides career consultation, grant writing, fundraising, and financial, project, and strategic planning services for clients across the US. Her career had its origins when, as a teenager visiting the Andy Warhol Museum, she realized the importance of making art. Then as an adult, she has dedicated her life to empowering working artists. Intimate yet practical, "Your Art Will Save Your Life" was specifically written to help and enable artists build a sustainable practice while navigating the world of MFAs, residencies, and institutional funding. A deftly written, expertly organized, accessibly presented, 'real world practical', "Your Art Will Save Your Life" is an impressive instructional reference and guide that should be considered an essential 'must read' for anyone involved in the arts who seeks to make a financially sustained career out of their work. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Your Art Will Save Your Life" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.98).

Georgia O'Keeffe: Visions of Hawai'i
Theresa Papanikolas & Joanna L. Groarke
Prestel Publishing
900 Broadway, Suite 603, New York, NY 10003
9783791357270, $34.95, HC, 144pp,

In 1939, the late Georgia O'Keeffe (November 15, 1887 - March 6, 1986) was among the most famous artists in the United States when she accepted a commission from the Hawaiian Pineapple Company to produce two paintings for advertising campaigns. Her nine-week trip to Hawai'i resulted in more than 20 paintings, which reveal that O'Keeffe (who is most commonly associated with the stark deserts of New Mexico) was profoundly inspired by what she saw and experienced on the lush, tropical Hawaiian Islands. The exhibition Georgia O'Keeffe: Visions of Hawai'i, and this accompanying volume edited by the team of Theresa Papanikolas (Deputy Director of Art and Programs and Curator of European and American Art at the Honolulu Museum of Art) and Joanna L. Groarke (Director of Public Engagement and Library Exhibitions Curator at The New York Botanical Garden), explores this little-known chapter in the artist's career. Glowing with color, these paintings demonstrate O'Keeffe's unique ability to make any place her own. "Georgia O'Keeffe: Visions of Hawai'i" is a truly landmark volume offering a unique perspective by foregrounding the ecological complexity that is hidden behind O'Keeffe's depictions of Hawai'i-one of the most biologically diverse places on Earth. Published in association with The New York Botanical Garden. With informed and informative contributions by Brian M. Boom, DeSoto Brown, Otto Degener and Isa Degener, Samuel M. 'Ohukani'ohi'a Gon III, and Alicia Inez Guzm n, "Georgia O'Keeffe: Visions of Hawai'i" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and academic library American Art History collections in general, and Georgia O'Keeffe supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

The Cookbook Shelf

Our Newlywed Kitchen
Laura Schupp
Focus on the Family
c/o Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
9781589979451, $34.99, HC, 224pp,

With space for insert recipes, prayers, Scripture, and memories, "Our Newlywed Kitchen: The Art of Cooking, Gathering, and Creating Traditions" by Laura Schupp (who has collected inspirations and helped a myriad of brides establish an inviting space of their own) offers Christians a unique wedding, memorable, useful gift for brides. "Our Newlywed Kitchen" also includes practical how-to information for wedding registry, kitchen organization, meal preparations, party planning, grocery shopping, and more. Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "Our Newlywed Kitchen" is gift will be immediately treasured by a new bride to begin a cookbook collection of there own!

Baking with Candy
Jenny Warsen
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
9781510730182, $14.99, HC, 112pp,

There is so much more to baking with candy than using chocolate chips to make your cookies! Add little candy in the batter or dough and who resist such delicacies as chocolate balls with nutella, mousse cheesecake, candy panna cotta, a marshmallow tart, or candy ice cream with tutti frutti taste? For those wanting to treat their family and friends to something extra delicious for afternoon tea that both the adults and children will love, "Baking with Candy" is filled with beautiful full-color photographs throughout showcasing forty-five quick and easy-to-make recipes ranging from Chewy Chocolate Bar Cookies with Candy; Chocolate Macarrons with Caramel and Peanuts; Gooey Cake with Salmiak Licorice and Raspberries; and Brownies with Caramel Sauce and Caramelized Popcorn; to Frozen Nutella Cake with double Chocolate Nougat; Mousse Cheesecake with Milk Chocolate and Cloetta Center Pralines; Panna Cotta with Kinder Egg Chocolate; and Caramel Fudge, "Baking with Candy" is a mouthwatering delight to browse through and ideal for planning very special and memorable treats with. While very highly recommended for personal, family, and community library cook book collections, it should be noted that "Baking with Candy" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.49).

Rosa's Thai Cafe: The Vegetarian Cookbook
Saiphin Moore
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781784724238, $24.99, HC, 224pp,

Rosa's Thai Cafe was founded by Anglo-Thai husband and wife team Alex and Saiphin Moore, Rosa's is a Thai cafe group that has grown from a street-food stall in Brick Lane in 2008 to 10 London restaurants today. Saiphin grew up on a mountain farm in Khao Kho, Northern Thailand, where she learned to cook with ingredients brought straight from field to wok. Finding strictly vegetarian food in Thailand can be tricky, where fish sauce is the king of the kitchen. In "Rosa's Thai Cafe: The Vegetarian Cookbook" Saiphin draws upon her years of experience and expertise to provide modern kitchen cooks with a culinary wealth of exciting new recipes for dedicated vegetarians -- and which will have immense appeal to non-vegetarians as well! Featuring authentic dishes ranging from Yum Tua Fuk Yao (Spicy Long Bean Salad); Pad Cha Pak (Spicy Mixed Vegetables in Tahi Herbs); Kana Pad TaoJiew (Chinese Broccoli with Yellow Soybean Paste); and Panang Had (Mushroom Panang Curry); to Pad Thai Sen Ba Mhee (Pad Thai Egg Noodles); Tachu Ob Woon Sen (Baked Tofu with Glass Noodles); Khao Pad Jay (Mixed Vegetable Fried Rice); and Frik Gaeng Kua Kling (Kua Kling Curry Paste), "Rosa's Thai Cafe: The Vegetarian Cookbook" is a beautifully illustrated and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, family, and community library vegetarian cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Rosa's Thai Cafe: The Vegetarian Cookbook" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

The Korean Table
Taekyung Chung & Debra Samuels
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9780804850575, $27.99, HC, 160pp,

Showcasing the depth and variety of authentic Korean cuisine, "The Korean Table: From Barbecue to Bibimbap 100 Easy-To-Prepare Recipes" shows American cooks how to replicate the exciting and authentic flavors of Korean cuisine at home using fresh ingredients available from their neighborhood grocery store or farmer's market. In this Korean cooking book, the Korean and American author team of Taekynung Chung and Debra Samuels deftly guide home cooks through the process of making Korean meals without fuss and multiple trips to specialty markets, or worse, expensive online shopping. Along with showing cooks how to create a complete Korean meal from start to finish, the thoroughly kitchen cook friendly and beautifully illustrated recipes comprising "The Korean Table range from Scallion Pancakes; Korean Dumplings; Tofu and Clam Hot Pot; and Simmered Beef Short Ribs; to Barbecued Pork Ribs; Fresh Tuna Sashimi and Rice Salad; Seasoned Sliced Beef; and Sesame-Soy Pudding. "The Korean Table" will also show cooks how to add the flavors of Korea to their homestyle cuisine in numerous quick and easy ways, including condiments, side dishes, salad dressings, sauces and more. Ideal for beginning family cooks, "The Korean Table" is unreservedly recommended for personal, family, and community library Ethnic Cookbook collections. It should be noted that "The Korean Table" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Fiction Shelf

Alternative Remedies for Loss
Joanna Cantor
Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781635571714, $26.00, HC, 320pp,

When 22-year-old Olivia learned that her mother had only months to live, she pulled up roots, leaving Vassar and her career plans far behind to be with her mother for her last days. And yet, just four months after her mother's death, everyone in Olivia's family already seems ready to move on. Her brothers are settled comfortably in careers and families of their own; her father has already started to date again, inviting a woman named June on a family trip. Still reeling from the loss, Olivia looks for a new start of her own, throwing herself headlong into Manhattan's fast-moving media world, where she is alternately demeaned by bosses and pursued by men. But as Olivia tries to piece together an adulthood without her mother to guide her, she makes a shocking discovery in the form of a secret romantic correspondence her mother had with a man who only signed each letter "F." As she tries to untangle the mystery of F, Olivia will journey halfway across the world, to an ashram in rural India, on a quest that will reconfigure everything Olivia thought she knew about her family and her own place in an increasingly complex world. A deftly crafted and inherently compelling novel by a master of narrative storytelling, "Alternative Remedies for Loss" by Joanna Cantor is an especially recommended addition for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Alternative Remedies for Loss" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).

Seasons: Once upon My Innocence
Lea Ann Vandygriff
Westbow Press
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
9781973602422, $35.95, HC, 274pp,

"Seasons: Once upon My Innocence" by Lea Ann Vandygriff explores the loss of innocence when a powerful and unprecedented storm devastates the little southern town of Rhinehart. "Seasons" is about what happens when a teenage girl named Aubree has difficult choices to make -- choices that will affect everyone around her. When she (and we) have to ask why does God allows terrible things to happen to good people? How she (and we) feel about God when his answer to a question is no? How teens like Aubree must deal with the problems of addiction, violence and death. An exceptional, thoughtful and thought-provoking read, "Seasons" is an especially recommended addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Seasons" is also available in a paperback edition (9781973602415, $19.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Beneath a Prairie Moon
Kim Vogel Sawyer
WaterBrook Press
c/o Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group
10807 New Allegiance Drive Suite 500, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
9780735290051, $14.99, PB, 352pp,

Abigail Brantley grew up in affluence and knows exactly how to behave in high society. But when she is cast from the social registers due to her father's illegal dealings, she finds herself forced into a role she never imagined: tutoring rough Kansas ranchers in the subjects of manners and morals so they can "marry up" with their mail-order brides. Mack Cleveland, whose father was swindled by a mail-order bride, wants no part of the scheme to bring Eastern women to Spiveyville, Kansas, and he's put off by the snooty airs and fastidious behavior of the "little city gal" in their midst. But as time goes by, his heart goes out to the teacher who tries so diligently to smooth the rough edges from the down-to-earth men. How can he teach her that perfection won't bring happiness? Another carefully crafted and thoroughly entertaining read by a master of the genre, "Beneath a Prairie Moon" by Kim Voegl Sawyer will prove to be an especially popular addition to community library Romance Fiction collections. For the personal reading lists of dedicated romance fiction fans it should be noted that "Beneath a Prairie Moon" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99). Librarians should be aware that there is a large print edition of "Beneath a Prairie Moon" available as well (Thorndike Press Large Print, 9781432848378, $33.99, 583pp).

Cowboy's Redemption
B. J. Daniels
Harlequin Intrigue
c/o Harlequin Books
225 Duncan Mill Road, Don Mills, Ontario, Canada, M3B 3K9
9781335526342, $6.75, PB, 256pp,

Eighteen months ago, Colt McCloud experienced an unforgettable night of passion. Now his onetime lover is at his door, pleading for help to save the daughter they conceived. Lola Dayton knows Colt is her only hope to infiltrate the kidnapper's compound and save their baby. His military (and fatherly) instincts kick in. And Colt secretly vows that if they survive, he'll make this threesome a forever family. Latest addition to author B. J. Daniels' simply outstanding Montana- Cahills mini-series, "Cowboy's Redemption" is another superbly crafted and unfailing entertaining read showcasing a genuine mastery of the genre and making it unreservedly recommended for community library collections. In addition to this mass market paperback edition, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Cowboy's Redemption" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.49).

Once More Into the Fire
Peter Brandvold
Five Star Books
10 Water Street, Suite 310, Waterville, ME 04901
9781432842963, $25.95, HC, 353pp,

Sheriff Ben Stillman finds himself in the unenviable position of having to arrest a young man for murder on suspicious evidence. But the cards are stacked against the young firebrand who calls himself Johnny Nevada. One, Johnny has gotten Judge Hoagland's daughter pregnant, shaming and enraging Hoagland himself. Two, Johnny warned Dave Bliss he was going to kill him because Bliss ordered Johnny to stay away from Bliss's daughter, Sarah, whom the young Casanova was also sparking. Johnny made the warning public and two weeks later Bliss was dead. Now Ben finds himself on the trail of two young thieving killers with a hard winter storm bearing down. A riveting read by a master of the genre, Peter Brandvold's "Once More Into the Fire" is a deftly crafted and unfailingly entertaining novel that will prove itself to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Western Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated western novel buffs that "Once More Into the Fire" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

Feast of Sorrow
Crystal King
Touchstone Books
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781501145148, $15.95, PB, 432pp,

In the twenty-sixth year of Augustus Caesar's reign, Marcus Gavius Apicius has a singular ambition: to serve as culinary adviser to Caesar. To cement his legacy as Rome's leading epicure, the wealthy Apicius acquires a young chef, Thrasius, for the exorbitant price of twenty thousand denarii. Apicius believes that the talented Thrasius is the key to his culinary success, and with the slave's help he soon becomes known for his lavish parties and sumptuous meals. For his part, Thrasius finds a family among Apicius's household, which includes his daughter, Apicata; his wife, Aelia; and her handmaiden Passia, with whom Thrasius falls passionately in love. But as Apicius draws closer to his ultimate goal, his dangerous single-mindedness threatens his young family and places his entire household at the mercy of the most powerful forces in Rome. "Feast of Sorrow" is a deftly crafted novel of love and betrayal, politics and intrigue, and sumptuous feasts that showcases author Crystal King's genuine flair for originality and narrative storytelling as he brings ancient Rome to life in the mind's eye of her readers. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Feast of Sorrow" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781504797511, $34.95, CD).

Digging In
Loretta Nyhan
Lake Union Publishing
9781503951709, $24.95, HC, 241pp,

Paige Moresco found her true love in eighth grade only to lose him two years ago. Since his death, she's been sleepwalking through life, barely holding on for the sake of her teenage son. Her house is a wreck, the grass is overrun with weeds, and she's at risk of losing her job. As Paige stares at her neglected lawn, she knows she's hit rock bottom. So she does something entirely unexpected: she begins to dig. As the hole gets bigger, Paige decides to turn her entire yard into a vegetable garden. The neighbors in her tidy gated community are more than a little alarmed. Paige knows nothing about gardening, and she's boldly flouting neighborhood-association bylaws. But with the help of new friends, a charming local cop, and the transformative power of the soil, Paige starts to see potential in the chaos of her life. Something big is beginning to take root -- both in her garden and in herself. A compelling blend of grief, humor and change, "Digging In" by Loretta Nyhan is an impressively original and entertaining read from cover to cover. While unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Digging In" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781543641936, $14.99, MP3 CD).

The Hunger
Alma Katsu
G. P. Putnam's Sons
c/o Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780735212510, $27.00, HC, 384pp,

Depleted rations, bitter quarrels, and the mysterious death of a little boy have driven the isolated members of the doomed Donnery Party to the brink of madness. Though they dream of what awaits them in the West, long-buried secrets begin to emerge, and dissent among them escalates to the point of murder and chaos. They cannot seem to escape tragedy -- or the feelings that someone (or something) is stalking them. Whether it's a curse from the beautiful Tamsen Donner (who some think might be a witch), their ill-advised choice of route through uncharted terrain, or just plain bad luck, the ninety men, women, and children of the Donner Party are heading into one of one of the deadliest and most disastrous Western adventures in American history. As members of the group begin to disappear, the survivors start to wonder if there really is something disturbing, and hungry, waiting for them in the mountains -- and whether the evil that has unfolded around them may have in fact been growing within them all along. As a novelist, Alma Katsu is able to effortlessly combine the supernatural and the historical in "The Hunger", making it an impressively crafted and inherently riveting read from beginning to end. While very highly recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Hunger" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Dreams Of Falling
Karen White
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780451488411, $26.00, HC, 416pp,

Nine years ago, a humiliated Larkin Lanier fled Georgetown, South Carolina, knowing she could never go back. But when she finds out that her mother has disappeared, she realizes she has no choice but to return to the place she both loves and dreads -- and to the family and friends who never stopped wishing for her to come home. Ivy, Larkin's mother, is discovered badly injured and unconscious in the burned-out wreckage of her ancestral plantation home. No one knows why Ivy was there, but as Larkin digs for answers, she uncovers secrets kept for nearly fifty years (whispers of love, sacrifice, and betrayal) that lead back to three girls on the brink of womanhood who found their friendship tested in the most heartbreaking ways. Another perfectly crafted gem of a novel by an author with a genuine flair for originality and narrative storytelling, Karen White's "Dreams Of Falling" is an extraordinarily entertaining and highly recommended addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Dreams Of Falling" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Penguin Audio, (9780735289345, $45.00, CD).

Kiss of the Spindle
Nancy Campbell Allen
Shadow Mountain Publishing
P.O. Box 30178, Salt Lake City, Utah 84130-0178
9781629724140, $15.99, PB, 352pp,

Doctor Isla Cooper is cursed. Literally. Each night, at the stroke of midnight she falls into a death-like sleep from which she cannot be awakened for six hours. To make it worse, the curse has an expiration date -- after a year, it becomes permanent. And the year is almost up. In a desperate attempt to find Malette (the witch who cursed her) Isla blackmails her way onto Daniel Pickett's private airship bound for the Caribbean, only to discover she's traveling with three illegal shapeshifters and the despicable Nigel Crowe, a government official determined to hunt down and exterminate every shapeshifter in England. Isla and Daniel must work together to keep the identities of the shapeshifters hidden while coming to terms with their own hidden secrets, and their blossoming attraction to each other. Filled from cover to cover with suspense, intrigue, and plenty of romance, "Kiss of the Spindle" is steampunk Sleeping Beauty story. It is a race against the clock as Isla and Daniel try to hunt down the elusive Malette before Isla's death-like sleep becomes permanent. Another deftly crafted and simply riveting read from first page to last by a master of the romance fantasy genre, by Nancy Campbell Allen's "Kiss of the Spindle" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library collections. It should be noted for the legions of Nancy Campbell Allen fans that "Kiss of the Spindle" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.32) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781538545157, $29.95, MP3 CD).

The City Where We Once Lived
Eric Barnes
Arcade Publishing
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
9781628728835, $24.99, HC, 244pp,

In a near future where climate change has severely affected weather and agriculture, the North End of an unnamed city has long been abandoned in favor of the neighboring South End. Aside from the scavengers steadily stripping the empty city to its bones, only a few thousand people remain, content to live quietly among the crumbling metropolis. Many, like the narrator, are there to try to escape the demons of their past. He spends his time observing and recording the decay around him, attempting to bury memories of what he has lost. But it eventually becomes clear that things are unraveling elsewhere as well, as strangers, violent and desperate alike, begin to appear in the North End, spreading word of social and political deterioration in the South End and beyond. Faced with a growing disruption to his isolated life, the narrator discovers within himself a surprising need to resist losing the home he has created in this empty place. He and the rest of the citizens of the North End must choose whether to face outsiders as invaders or welcome them as neighbors. An all too realistic novel that could easily be ripped from future newspaper headlines, "The City Where We Once Lived" is a compelling read from first page to last and reveals author Eric Barnes to have a genuine flair for narrative driven storytelling. While very highly recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The City Where We Once Lived" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.74) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781543680218, $24.99, MP3 CD).

Pelican Point
Irene Hannon
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780800734909, $29.99, HC, 368pp,

Dr. Ben Garrison's hopes of just getting rid of an inherited historic lighthouse are complicated when he meets Marci Weber, who would like to save the crumbling landmark. "Pelican Point" is another deftly crafted gem of a novel by Irene Hannon who is a master of the romance genre. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for the legions of Irene Hannon fans that "Pelican Point" is also available in a paperback edition ( 9780800728809, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.53).

Somebody's Daughter
Rochelle B. Weinstein
Lake Union Publishing
9781503949256, $14.95, PB, 320pp,

Emma and Bobby Ross enjoy a charmed life on the shores of Miami Beach. They are a model family with a successful business, an uncomplicated marriage, and two blessedly typical twin daughters, Zoe and Lily. They are established members of a tight-knit community. Then, on the night of the girls' fifteenth birthday party, they learn of Zoe's heartbreaking mistake - a private and humiliating indiscretion that goes viral and thrusts her and her family into the center of a shocking public scandal. As the family's core is shattered by disgrace, judgment, and retribution, the fallout takes its toll. But for Emma, the shame runs deeper. Her daughter's reckless behavior has stirred memories of her own secrets that could break a marriage and family forever. A deftly crafted and thoroughly engaging read from cover to cover, "Somebody's Daughter" showcases author Rochelle B. Weinstein's genuine flair as a novelist for narrative storytelling, making it an ideal and highly recommended addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Somebody's Daughter" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99) as well as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781543674460, $14.99, MP3 CD).

Every Mask I Tried on: Stories
Alina Stefanescu
Brighthorse Books
9781944467081, $16.95, PB, 254pp,

Alina Stefanescu is an award-winning author who has collected her best short stories into a single anthology, "Every Mask I Tried On: Stories". These are deftly crafted stories that showcase her genuine flair for originality and succinct narrative storytelling. An absorbing and memorable read from cover to cover, "Every Mask I Tried on: Stories" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections.

May in America
Annie Wang
China Books & Periodicals, Inc.
360 Swift Avenue, Suite 48, South San Francisco, CA 94080
9780835103091, $18.95, PB, 306pp,

May, one of the new generations of Chinese super-rich kids, has outgrown Beijing and has come to California for an exciting life. There she meets two American men: a Jewish-American Harvard-educated professor named Leaf; and Mentor, who is a Silicon Valley self-made billionaire. As her relationships with Leaf and Mentor progress, May's past traumas in patriarchal China are revealed, while her cultural naivete leads to divergent interpretations of trust, personal boundaries, respect, fetishism, and sexual deviancy. May's life descends into a mad triangle of deception. Desperate, hurting, disconnected and suffering from the feeling of being emotionally dead and alone, May must find the strength to survive. "May in America" reveals the universally evocative themes of love and lust, darkness and light, innocence and cynicism, individuality and co-dependence, and, ultimately, loss and redemption. A deftly crafted and inherently riveting read from cover to cover, "May in America" is the newest novel from acclaimed Chinese-American author, Annie Wang and is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections.

The Mercy Seat
Elizabeth H. Winthrop
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
154 West 14th Street, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10011
9780802128188, $26.00, HC, 240pp,

On the eve of his execution, eighteen year old Willie Jones sits in his cell in New Iberia awaiting his end. Across the state, a truck driven by a convict and his keeper carries the executioner's chair closer. On a nearby highway, Willie's father Frank lugs a gravestone on the back of his fading, old mule. In his office the DA who prosecuted Willie reckons with his sentencing, while at their gas station at the crossroads outside of town, married couple Ora and Dale grapple with their grief and their secrets. As various members of the township consider and reflect on what Willie's execution means, an intricately layered and complex portrait of a Jim Crow era Southern community emerges in the pages of "The Mercy Seat" by novelist Elizabeth H. Wintrhop. Moving from voice to voice, Winthrop elegantly brings to stark light the story of a town, its people, and its injustices. A brutally incisive and tender novel by an author with an impressive flair for originality and narrative storytelling, "The Mercy Seat" is an exceptional and highly recommended addition for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Mercy Seat" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.10).

The Way of Beauty
Camille Di Maio
Lake Union Publishing
9781503950122, $14.95, PB, 384pp,

Vera Keller is the daughter of German immigrants in turn-of-the-century New York City who finds her life upended when the man she loves becomes engaged to another woman. But Angelo Bellavia has also inadvertently opened up Vera's life to unexpected possibilities. Angelo's new wife, Pearl, the wealthy daughter of a clothing manufacturer, has defied her family's expectations by devoting herself to the suffrage movement. In Pearl, Vera finds an unexpected dear friend -- and a stirring new cause of her own. But when Pearl's selfless work pulls her farther from Angelo and their son, the life Vera craved is suddenly within her reach -- if her conscience will allow her to take it. Her choice will define not only her future but also that of her daughter, Alice. Vera and Alice (a generation and a world apart) are bound by the same passionate drive to fulfill their dreams. As first mother and then daughter come of age in a city that is changing as rapidly as its skyline, they'll each discover that love is the only constant. "The Way of Beauty" is a another deftly crafted and reader engaging novel by Camille Di Maio and continues to showcase her genuine flair for originality and narrative storytelling. Fully entertaining from first page to last, "The Way of Beauty" will easily prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Way of Beauty" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brillance Audio, 9781543661729, $14.99, MP3 CD).

Sophia of Silicon Valley
Anna Yen
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
9780062673015, $26.99, HC, 368pp,

During the heady years of the tech boom, incorrigibly frank Sophia Young lucks into a job that puts her directly in the path of Scott Kraft, the eccentric CEO of Treehouse, a studio whose animated films are transforming movies forever. Overnight, Sophia becomes an unlikely nerd whisperer. Whether her success is due to dumb luck, savage assertiveness, insightful finesse (learned by dealing with her irrational Chinese immigrant mother), or a combination of all three, in her rarified position she finds she can truly shine. As Scott Kraft's right-hand woman, whip-smart Sophia is in the eye of the storm, sometimes floundering, sometimes nearly losing relationships and her health, but ultimately learning what it means to take charge of her own future the way the men around her do. But when engineer/inventor Andre Stark hires her to run his company's investor relations, Sophia discovers that the big paycheck and high-status career she's created for herself may not be worth living in the toxic environment of a boys-club gone bad. Anna Yen has worked at a wide range of tech companies which has enabled her to create a 'real world' feel to her novel of a young woman trying to succeed in a male-dominated Silicon Valley environment. A simply riveting read by a skilled storyteller, "Sophia of Silicon Valley" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Sophia of Silicon Valley" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781538500774, $39.99, CD).

The Business Shelf

Fired Up! Selling (TM)
Ray Bard
Bard Press
National Book Network (distributor)
9781885167835, $19.99, HC, 240pp,

Very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Business Management instructional reference collections, "Fired UP! Selling (TM): Great Quotes To Inspire, Energize, Succeed" by Ray Bard is a compendium of great quotes intended to motivate anyone who wants to live a fired-up life -- whether they're in sales, an entrepreneur, or simply someone who desires to live life to it fullest. More than1,000 quote judges around the world participated in a unique crowd-sourcing model to select the best 324 quotes for the book. "Fired Up! Selling TM" is organized into six major sections: Think Big, Get Going, Keep Going, Make the Sale, Succeed, and A Stronger, Better You. Additionally, there is a cross-referenced subject index and an author index making it easy to find a specific quote or search for a favorite author. A classy gift with a faux leather cover, featuring 60 brilliant color images, as well as 3 silk ribbon markers, "Fired Up! Selling (TM)" can be utilized to inspire employees, show gratitude to customers, and encourage friends -- and fire up the reader to achieve any desired goal!

Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For
William Gentry
Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.
1333 Broadway, Suite 1000, Oakland CA, 94612
9781626566255, $19.95, PB, 216pp,

Becoming a boss requires a much different 'script' for how we interact with the workforce comprising a business. We all have mental scripts that tell us how the world works. Your old script was all about "me": standing out as an individual. But as a new leader, you need to flip your script from "me" to "we" and help the group you lead succeed. In this book, In "Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For: A Guide for New Leaders", William Gentry (a senior research scientists and a director of the Center for Creative Leadership) supports and coaches you to flip your script in six key areas. He offers actionable, practical, evidence-based advice and examples drawn from his research, his work with leaders, and his own failures and triumphs of becoming a new leader. Get started flipping your script and become the kind of boss everyone wants to work for by a careful reading of "Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For". Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation is unreservedly recommended for corporate, community, and academic library Business Management collections and MBA supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781520046181, $9.99, CD).

Focus Point
Donald G. McMullen
Orange Frazer Press
PO Box 214, Wilmington, OH 45177
9781939710741, $25.00, HC, 228pp,

"Focus Point: Blueprint to Develop a World-Class Company" by Donald G. McMullen is based upon his acquisition and work with the start-up and early growth of MarketVision Research. The company that today is a global top fifty market research organization. "Focus Point" takes the reader through what McMullen learned in retailing, brand management, advertising and market research that helped in the development of a marketing research company. Success would require achieving its objectives involving technology, innovation, development of people, continuous improvement and the ability to ascertain new insights for sophisticated client organizations. In its second generation of management the company moved into new categories, became a leader in pharmaceutical market research and expanded internationally. In 2015, CASRO, the industry trade association, named MarketVision Research Organization of the Year. An instructive, thought- provoking, impressively informative read from beginning to end, "Focus Point" will prove to be an invaluable addition to personal, professional, corporate, community, and academic library Contemporary Business Management collections and supplemental studies lists.

The Self-Help Shelf

Awaken the Power Within
Albert Amao Soria
c/o Penguin Group, USA
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014-3657
9780143132592, $16.00, PB, 288pp,

In "Awaken the Power Within: In Defense of Self-Help", sociologist Albert Amao analyzes the accuracy of self-help and positive-thinking claims in this groundbreaking exploration of what works, what doesn't, and why, substantially based upon his own life experience. Born in a poor Latin-American country into a very impoverished family with both parents practically illiterate, he was the oldest of five children and began working at six years of age, shining shoes and selling newspapers to help his family. Unable to finish high school, he nevertheless was able to acquire a diploma by going to night school, which then allowed him to be admitted at the San Marcos University in Lima to obtain a Ph.D. in sociology. All these things were possible in his view because when he was teenager he had access to New Thought" or positive-thinking philosophy. Contrary to the critics who blithely dismiss self-help methods, or the New Age gurus who sell it them as miracles, in the pages of "Awaken the Power Within, Amao writes with sobriety, scholarship, and draws on his personal experience to deftly explore the conditions under which self-help is authentic -- and successful. Accessibly written and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Awaken the Power Within" is an inspired and inspiring read from beginning to end. While unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Awaken the Power Within" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Tantor Audio, 9781977356659, $24.99, CD).

The Photography Shelf

Jennifer B. Bodine
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764354939, $29.99, HC, 128pp,

The late A. Aubrey Bodine (1906 - 1970) was a newspaper photographer, pictorialist, modernist, and documentarian, as well as the Baltimore Sun feature photographer from 1924-1970. "Trains: Photography of A. Aubrey Bodine" is his archive of train photographs chronicling mid-twentieth-century rail transportation and the people working on the railroad. Bodine's images of steam and diesel locomotives document an era passed. Herein contains award-winning pictures, currently popular pictures, historically interesting pictures, and pictures unseen until this specialized volume of his work. These images demonstrate Bodine's pictorialist and modernist photographic eye for trains and railroads in motion and at rest. "Trains" is the fourth Bodine picture book assembled by his daughter, Jennifer B. Bodine and is unreservedly recommended to train enthusiasts, photography fans, as well as community and academic library 20th Century American Photography collections.

The Sports Shelf

Red Sox vs. Braves in Boston
Charlie Bevis
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9780786496648, $29.95, PB, 250pp,

For 52 years, Boston was a two-team Major League city, home to both the Red Sox and the Braves. "Red Sox vs. Braves in Boston: The Battle for Fans' Hearts, 1901-1952" by Charlie Bevis (who is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research, and an Adjunct Professor of English at Rivier University) focuses on the two teams' period of coexistence and competition for fans. "Red Sox vs. Braves in Boston" analyzes the Boston fan base through trends in transportation, communication, geography, population and employment. Tracing the pendulum of fan preference between the two teams over five distinct time periods, a deeper understanding emerges of why the Red Sox remained in Boston and the Braves moved to Milwaukee. McFarland & Company is the premier publisher of baseball history books and this latest addition to their illustrious catalog is still another exceptionally informative and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library History of Baseball collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of baseball fans that "Red Sox vs. Braves in Boston" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Needlecraft Shelf

Ultimate Quilt Block Collection
Lynne Goldsworth
CompanionHouse Books
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781620082805, $19.99, PB, 224pp,

Lynne Goldsworthy is a modern British quilter who designs quilts for fabric manufacturers in the UK and the US and is a regular contributor to various quilting magazines. In "Ultimate Quilt Block Collection: The Step-by-Step Guide to More Than 70 Unique Blocks for Creating Hundreds of Quilt Projects" she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to create a 'must-have' resource for dedicated quilters. Showcasing more than 70 original blocks drawn from world-renowned designers, and which range from basic units like Flying Geese to more intricate motifs using foundation paper piecing, there's something here for every level of quilter from beginning novice to seasoned expert. Quilting enthusiasts can mix and match classic and modern designs to make hundreds of combinations. "Ultimate Quilt Block Collection" offers clear, step-by-step instructions for every block, with beautiful photos of every project -- and encourages experimenting with color combinations, while also providing instructions for sewing all completed blocks into a finished quilt. Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "Ultimate Quilt Block Collection" is an extraordinary and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections.

The Handmade Quilt
Carolyn Forster
Landauer Publishing
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing
1970 Broad Street, East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781935726968, $24.95, PB, 144pp,

With one quilt of 15 blocks, master teacher Carolyn Forster takes the aspiring needlecrafter on a quilt making journey that begins with the basics and progresses to more intricate techniques with each new block with "The Handmade Quilt". Starting with simple blocks and methods, novice quilters will progress to more intricate units as their confidence and skill increase. "The Handmade Quilt" provides both a complete learning experience for new quilters and a stunning project for experienced stitchers. The finished heirloom-quality quilt is a beautiful sampler of stash-busting blocks. Profusely illustrated throughout, "The Handmade Quilt" is replete with detailed how-to instructions and photographs taking ambitious quilters through the process step-by-step. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Handmade Quilt" is unreservedly recommended for personal and community library quilting instructional reference collections.

Amigurumi: San-X Crochet Patterns
Eriko Teranishi and San-X
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200, San Francisco CA 94103
9781421598734 $14.99

Amigurumi: San-X Crochet Patterns is a guide to creating amigurumi - cute, crochet animals resembling various beloved mascots found everywhere in Japan. Detailed patterns make Amigurumi an excellent choice for crocheters looking to create small yet memorable handcrafted gifts. Photographs of the finished amigurumi are in full color, although the patterns and stitch instructions are in black-and-white. Amigurumi: San-X Crochet Patterns is an excellent supplement to needlework and crochet project shelves, highly recommended.

The Biography Shelf

The 4 Year Olympian
Jeremiah Brown
The Dundurn Group
3 Church Street, Suite 500, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5E 1M2
9781459741317, $22.99, PB, 320pp,

After nearly being incarcerated at age seventeen and becoming a father at nineteen, Jeremiah Brown manages to grow up into a responsible young adult. But while juggling the demands of a long-term relationship, fatherhood, mortgage payments, and a nine-to-five banking career, he feels something is missing. A new goal captures his imagination: What would it take to become an Olympian? Guided by a polarizing coach, Brown and his teammates plumb the depths of physical and mental exertion in pursuit of a singular goal. "The 4 Year Olympian: From First Stroke to Olympic Medallist" is a personal story of courage, perseverance, and overcoming self-doubt, told from the perspective of an unlikely competitor. Inherently fascinating and ultimately inspiring, "The 4 Year Olympian" is an extraordinary memoir which is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The 4 Year Olympian" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.60).

Dinosaurs in the Cornfield
William B. Hardison, Jr.
Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781947860063, $28.95, HC, 246pp,

For young Billy, summer means saying goodbye to city life and traveling seven hundred miles to visit his grandparents on their Tennessee farm. It means long, humid days of snapping beans, milking cows, hunting for fossils in rocky fields, and trips into town for ice-cream sodas and comic books at the five-and-dime. It means muggy nights spent on the front porch with family, the boys gathered around the big Philco radio, listening to The Lone Ranger over the low hum of crickets. But most of all, summer means time spent in the long shadow of Grandpa, a massive Welchman, keenly observant, frugal of words and actions, but rich in experience and country wisdom. On this remote patch of farmland, Grandpa's word is law. Now a retired minister and former Adjunct Professor of Christian Spirituality at Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond, in the pages of "Dinosaurs in the Cornfield: Lessons Unearthed on My Grandfather's Farm", William Hardison looks back on those summer days with nostalgic fondness and his own hard-earned wisdom. In doing so, he rediscovers deeper lessons hidden within the adventures he so often took for granted as an energetic child. Exceptionally well written, "Dinosaurs in the Cornfield" is an absorbingly thoughtful and thought-provoking memoir that is very highly recommended and will prove to be a valued and appreciated addition to community library American Biography collections.

The Automotive Shelf

1970 Plymouth Superbird
Geoff Stunkard
CarTech Inc.
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
9781613253007, $18.95, PB, 96pp,

Geoff Stunkard is a veteran photo journalist and author as well as a lifelong Mopar aficionado. "1970 Plymouth Superbird" is the newest addition to the outstanding CarTech 'Muscle Cars in Detail' series. Today Superbirds are highly collectible and are the star attractions at car shows and auctions, pulling top dollar and generating real excitement. Profusely illustrated throughout, this particular volume is impressively informative as Stunkard draws upon his more than twenty years of experience and expertise with this particular vehicle to go into extraordinary detail on the history and make-up of the 1970 Plymouth Superbird. As a uniquely descriptive history that is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Automotive History collections, "1970 Plymouth Superbird " showcases a truly impressive and now legendary American-made car.

Chrysler A-833 Transmissions
Jamie Passon
CarTech Inc.
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
9781613253243, $26.95, PB, 128pp,

Making horsepower at Chrysler in the early 1960s was nothing new for the Pentastar brand. The 413 RB engine had been producing more than 350 hp since the late 1950s. Joining the lineup in 1963, the 426 Wedge doubled down on the fact that Chrysler was all-in on going fast. The one weakness holding them back from total domination on the streets and strips was with their dated and tired manual shifter, the BorgWarner T-10 transmission. That all changed with the advent of its replacement, the New Process A-833. Jamie Passon of Passon Performance has used his decades of knowledge on the A-833 to create the ultimate book on rebuilding a Chrysler 4-speed. He begins with a historical overview of the long-tenured A-833 and jumps into dissecting what could be malfunctioning in your transmission. The bulk of the book concentrates on disassembling, inspecting, repairing, and reassembling the A-833. With 400 photos, the author shows you exactly how to rebuild your transmission featuring how-to sequences that walk you through each phase. The newest addition to CarTech's simply outstanding 'Workbench How-To' series and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Chrysler A-833 Transmissions: How to Rebuild and Modify" is unreservedly recommended for anyone repairing or upgrading their own Chrysler A-833.

The Martial Arts Shelf

The Kata and Bunkai of Goju-Ryu Karate
Giles Hopkins
Blue Snake Books
c/o North Atlantic Books
2526 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-2607
9781623171995, $24.95, PB, 304pp,

Giles Hopkins has trained in martial arts since 1973, studying a wide range of styles, from Tae Kwon Do and Shotokan karate to White Crane kung fu and T'ai Chi. He is a sixth-degree black belt in Okinawa Goju-ryu and holds a teaching certificate in Matayoshi Kobudo from the Zen Okinawa Kobudo Renmei. He spent seven years living and training with Kimo Wall, president of Kodokan, in the lineage of Higa Seiko and Matayoshi Shinpo. In the 1980s, he accompanied Wall sensei to Okinawa and trained in kobudo under Matayoshi, and Goju-ryu under Higa Seikichi and Gibo Seiki of Shodokan. Challenging timeworn conventions of karate training and revealing the original intent of classical kata (or forms) through detailed descriptions of self-defense applications known as bunkai, Hopkins draws upon his years of research, experience and expertise in "The Kata and Bunkai of Goju-Ryu Karate: The Essence of the Heishu and Kaishu Kata" to create a crucial addition to any dedicated martial-arts library. Containing more than 265 photos, "The Kata and Bunkai of Goju-Ryu Karate " is divided into chapters that illuminate each of the ten classical kata of Goju-ryu. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Kata and Bunkai of Goju-Ryu Karate" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to dojo, community, and academic library Martial Arts instructional reference collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of martial arts students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Kata and Bunkai of Goju-Ryu Karate" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Winning Fights
Phillip Stephens
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480, Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
9781594396007, $18.95, PB, 272pp,

Dr. Phillip M. Stephens is a black belt in Ketsugo Do jujutsu and has won championship titles in self-defense tournament competition. He is a commissioner appointed to the North Carolina Boxing Commission, which regulates combat sports, including mixed martial arts and boxing. He practices emergency medicine as a physician assistant and holds a doctorate in health science. In the pages of "Winning Fights" he provides twelve proven principles for winning on the street, winning in the ring, and winning at life. Drawing from his years of experience and expertise with respect to martial training, Dr. Stephens looked beyond the technical to the conceptual and found that winning fights requires twelve core principles: preparation, awareness, commitment, lethality, efficiency, discipline, power, focus, fierceness, surprise, timing, and fortitude. A unique and impressively informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking read, "Winning Fights" is an especially and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, dojo, community, and academic library Martial Arts collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for martial arts students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Winning Fights" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Poetry Shelf

The Invisible God
John J. Brugaletta
Resource Publications, Inc.
2205 Benton, Searcy, AR 72143
9781498244084, $36.00, HC, 102pp,

In addition to being thoughtfully entertaining, the poems comprising John J. Brugaletta's "The Invisible God" pose questions for Christians, be they new converts or seasoned believers. In many cases they can function as a checklist for the depth of one's faith. These are poems that provide introspection but are far from self-centered as they offer ways of reflecting on God and the Christian experience. Brugaletta (who is Professor Emeritus of English at California State University, Fullerton) taught courses in Shakespeare, Dante, and Homer, while editing and publishing South Coast Poetry Journal. Highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Poetry collections, and available for personal reading lists in a paperback edition (9781532618482, $16.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), "The Invisible God" is Brugaletta's sixth collection of poems. Consummation: The mind constructs a castle / Where only huts endure / And thinks the walking cleanly / That never knew a floor. // A mountain seems a spirit / Until it's underfoot -- / Then any lowland forest / Pontificates on light. // Not so the final banquet -- / More like the married pair / Who know the courting frenzy / More than they did before.

The Caregiver: Poems
Caroline Johnson
Holy Cow! Press
PO Box 3170, Mount Royal Station, Duluth, MN 55803
9780998601038, $16.00, PB, 88pp,

"The Caregiver" is the debut anthology showcasing Caroline Johnson's poetry. It includes 50 poems that were inspired by the 15 years she devoted to taking care of her aging parents. The gathering includes free verse, lyrical poems, prose poetry and some formal verse. Many of the poems won contests and have been previously published in online print journals and anthologies. The poems touch on the topic of grieving but go beyond and focus on the many difficulties a caregiver experiences (both emotional and physical) yet also recognize the spiritual gifts that come with helping a loved one. Very highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library Contemporary American Poetry collections, the verses collected in "The Caregiver: Poems" focus on a significant issue for our times and one that will only become more important, especially as our babyboomer population continues age. 'A Mother's Love': She is sleeping and if you listen / you can almost hear her breathe. / The nurse sits her up in bed. / She winks one ey open and I feed her / a spoonful of stuffing and gravy. / With brown eyes she smiles, and the / smile lasts me the whole day -- / more than seventy-seven years, / more than one week in a hospital bed, / more than a generation, / more than the love a mother can show.

Cairn: New & Selected
Peggy Shumaker
Red Hen Press
PO Box 3537, Granada Hills, CA 91394
9781597096119, $28.95, HC, 400pp,

Chosen with care, "Cairn: New & Selected" is an extraordinary volume of verse that impressively represents some forty years of poems and prose by Peggy Shumaker (who served as Alaska State Writer Laureate). Her distinctive cadences give voice to landscapes and people of Alaska and Arizona. "Cairn: New & Selected" represents a major body of work leads the reader deep into what remains unresolved, savoring mysteries of heart, mind, and soul. Matters of life and death, these poems embody exuberance and struggle and generosity. "Cairn: New & Selected" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library American Poetry collections. 'Oatmeal': Dry slide of Bob's Red mill / Extra Thick Rolled Oats / off the scoop -- // tiny dustcloud / settling like ash / from stirred coals. // Waking together, / happy, not / our first try.

The Activity Shelf

Quote Acrostic Favorites: Volume 2
Charles Preston
AKA Associates
6007 N. Sheridan Road, Apt 15A, Chicago, IL 60660
9780998832265, $9.95, PB, 70pp,

A syndicated puzzle master and his work appears in dozens of leading newspapers and magazines across the country, including the Chicago Tribune, Newsday, and the San Francisco Chronicle, Charles Preston, (who is the Crossword Puzzle Editor of USA Today and Dow Jones's National Observer for over a decade) has compiled more than 100 puzzle books. Now he draws upon his specialized expertise in "Quote Acrostic Favorites: Volume 2" to offer dedicated acrostic puzzle fans with 50 entertaining puzzles that offer hours and hours of quiet and contemplative fun. For those who need it, the answers for each individual puzzle are to be found at the back of the book.

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Niki de Saint Phalle
Sandrine Martin and Dominique Osuch
NBM Publishing
160 Broadway, Ste. 700, East Wing, New York, NY 10038
9781681121581 $29.99 hc / $14.99 Kindle

Niki de Saint Phalle: The Garden of Secrets is a graphic novel biography of French-American sculptor, painter, and filmmaker Niki de Saint Phalle (1930-2002), featuring art in black-and- white highlighted with splashes of color. This text chronicles her complex life - though she was born to a privileged family, her father abused her and her mother rejected her. Niki's colorful sculptures of femininity (known as "Nanas"), wild paintings, astounding sculptures and provocative films and performance art were stand-out to the point of shocking. Her life is a saga of struggle against physical ill health and psychological demons, yet her accomplishments are astounding, and listed in a chronology at the end. Niki de Saint Phalle is a worthy addition to graphic novel biography collections, highly recommended. It should be noted that Niki de Saint Phalle: The Garden of Secrets is intended for adult readers due to the presence of mature themes and some nudity.

Antoine Revoy
First Second
175 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781626721838 $16.99 pbk. / $9.99 Kindle

Animus is a graphic novel with a subtle horror theme, set in modern-day Japan. There is a peculiar playground where bizarre and sometimes deadly things occur. In the playground, two children befriend the spirit of a murdered boy, and resolve to help his spirit find freedom... a potentially dangerous undertaking! Dark and atmospheric, Animus an unforgettable read from cover to cover, highly recommended.

Demon Slayer 1
Koyoharu Gotouge
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200, San Francisco CA 94103
9781974700523 $9.99 pbk / $6.99 Kindle

Demon Slayer 1 is a black-and-white manga (Japanese graphic novel) set in Taisho-era Japan. Young Tanjiro Kamado's peaceful life is forever shattered when a monstrous, man-eating demon slaughters his family. The only survivor is his little sister - who has been transformed into a demon herself! Tanjiro embarks on a journey to cure his sister and slay the demon, but he is inexperienced in combat, and the first knowledgeable demon slayer he meets is determined to destroy his sister! The relentless hardship and violence of Demon Slayer has a unique counterbalance in the compassion of its protagonist. Demon Slayer is highly recommended for fans of dark fantasy and shonen (action packed) manga. The suggested age range for readers of Demon Slayer is teen to adult, due to scenes of violence.

Cossack Circus
Raoul Cauvin, author
Willy Lambil, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781849183833, $11.95, pb, 48pp,

Union Army Captain Stark's constant, reckless charging against the Confederate Army has once again depleted the 22nd Cavalry. Faced with an understandable dearth of volunteers, the Army's brass drafts (without telling them) some freshly arrived immigrants. And Corporal Blutch and Sergeant Chesterfield are tasked with instructing them in the art of riding down the enemy. But there's a problem: the new recruits only speak Russian! And while those Cossacks are already fantastic riders, they have no desire to die for the glory of the Union! The newest addition to Belgian author Raoul Cauvin and French artist Willy Lambil outrageously funny The Bluecoat series, "Cossack Circus" is certain to be a welcome and appreciated addition to personal and community library Graphic Novel collections and reading lists.

Bear's Tooth: Max
Yann, author
Alain Henriet, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781849183321, $13.95, PB, 56pp,

It's 1930 in Silesia. Three children are playing with toy airplanes. The three friends are Max (a Polish Jew), a German brother and sister, Werner and Hanna. All three children dream of becoming pilots, but with the rise of Nazi Germany and German influence over the province of Silesia, Max as a Jewish boy won't have the same opportunities to learn how to fly as his friends Werner and Hanna. The world is heading down a dark road and in 1944 Max is now an ace in the US Navy, while Hanna is one of Germany's top test pilots for the new German secret weapons -- a jet fighter plane. Will anything remain of their old friendship, as the sides they each chose are locked in a struggle to the death? A deftly blend of riveting storytelling and fully engaging artwork, "Max" ends on a true cliff-hanger surprise ending is the first title in the 'Bear's Tooth' trilogy-- leaving its readers looking eagerly toward the next to volumes. While very highly recommended for the personal reading lists of graphic novel enthusiasts, as well as community library graphic novel collections, it should be noted that "Bear's Tooth: Max" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

The Kid
Rodolphe, author
Leo, artist
Cinebook Ltd.
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781849183741, $11.95, PB, 48pp,

Brazilian artist Leo is best known for his science-fiction, multi-series saga The Worlds of Aldebaran. He also created Canadian Mountie Trent as well as Kenya and its second season Namibia -- all three with author Rodolphe, a teacher, journalist and writer who's penned over 150 graphic novels so far. "The Kid" is part of their simply outstanding series 'Trent' featuring the adventures of a Canadian Northwest Mounty. After a botched robbery that claimed the life of his lover, an American outlaw crosses the border into Canada. As he's already left nearly a dozen dead bodies behind, Sergeant Trent is sent to intercept him. But instead of the expected bloodthirsty murderer, it's a sensitive young man that the Mountie finds, a free spirit with a deep love of French poetry. How is Trent going to reconcile doing his duty with his nascent liking for the kid? In this story we are introduced to one of the most existential outlaws in all of western novel action adventure tales in an original, almost fable like and original graphic novel. Unique, unfailingly entertaining, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "The Kid" is one of those graphic novel stories that will linger in the mind and memory long after it has been finished and set back upon the shelf.

Memories from the Futures
Pierre Christin, author
Jean-Claude Mezieres, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781849183383, $13.95, PB, 56pp,

"Memories from the Futures" is the final volume in the simply outstanding science fiction graphic novel series by the team of author Pieree Christin and artist/illustrator Jean-Claude Mezieres. Even though Valerian and Laureline's adventures have come to an end, "Memories from the Futures" features chapters that haven't been told yet, including simple episodes, post-scriptums to their main stories, moments of their lives seen through the eyes of their friends, their allies, or even their enemies. Here's a collection of vignettes (including 'origin stories' for Valerian and Laureline) that will cast a new light - sometimes funny, sometimes touching - on the saga of our heroes. An absolute 'must read' for the legions of Valerian and Laureline, "Memories from the Futures" is very highly recommended for the personal reading lists of dedicated science fiction fans, as well as community library graphic novel collections.

Robotech Vol. 2: Bye-Bye Mars
Written by Brian Wood & Simon Furman
Art by Marco Turini
Titan Comics
9781785859144 $16.99

Robotech Vol. 2: Bye-Bye Mars continues the graphic novel re-interpretation of the classic "Robotech" sci-fi saga, featuring striking, full-color artwork in a more realistic Western style (the original was an anime series). In volume 2, the crew of the SDF-1 spaceship are lost in space, and under attack from aliens. A crewmember is lost, hidden secrets begin to emerge... and could there be traitors on board? A gorgeous cover gallery, including "action figure style covers", rounds out this "must-read" for fans of military sci-fi in general and the Robotech series in particular. Highly recommended!

Warhammer 40,000: Fallen
George Mann, author
Tazio Bettin, illustrator
Enrica Eren Angiolini, illustrator
Titan Comics
9781785858604, $16.99, PB, 128pp,

Inquisitor Sabbathiel thinks she has all the pieces to unveil the heresy of the Dark Angels Space Marines to the universe - she knows their dark secret, and about the existence of The Fallen. However the Dark Angels aren't about to let themselves be wiped out without a fight. As the Forces of Chaos laugh, brother prepares to war against brother. "Fallen" is the stunningly illustrated third arc from the ongoing Warhammer 40,000 series and a 'must' for all dedicated fans of graphic novel science fiction.

Cry Fox
Andrew Cartmel, author
Lee Sullivan, illustrator
Ben Aaronovitch, creator
Titan Comics
9781785861727, $16.99, PB, 112pp,

Vengeful Russian mobsters are looking to hire members of London's own more-then-natural underworld to bring bloody retribution down on the witch Varvara. However, the ex-Soviet sorcerer is under the protective wing of London's own wizarding cop, Peter Grant (now a proper detective and everything), and to get the attention of Grant and his colleagues, the daughter of a prominent Russian oligarch is kidnaped by parties unknown but possibly fox-like. "Cry Fox" is the fifth volume in the simply outstanding 'Rivers of London' graphic novel series created by Ben Aaronovitch, written by Andrew Cartmel, and distinctively illustrated by Lee Sullivan. Combining magic and mystery, "Cry Magic" is unreservedly recommended for community library graphic novel collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated 'Rivers of London' fans that "Cry Fox" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

The Lost Fleet: Corsair
Jack Campbell, author
Andre Siregar & Bambang Irawan, artists
Titan Comics
9781785852992 $16.99

Based on the popular military science fiction novels by Jack Campbell, The Lost Fleet: Corsair is a full-color graphic novel set after the close of a century-long war between two space empires, the Alliance and the Syndics. The story follows Captain Michael Geary, who makes an uneasy agreement with rebel Syndics led by Destina Aragon in order to save both prisoners and jailors in an unprecedented intergalatic jailbreak! A fine blend of action and intrigue, The Lost Fleet: Corsair is a "must-read" for connoisseurs of the genre, highly recommended.

Torchwood: The Culling
John Barrowman, et al.
Titan Comics
9781785858550, $16.99, PB, 112pp,

The third volume in the simply outstanding science fiction series "Torchwood" (which itself is a spin-off from the beloved "Dr. Who" series, "The Culling" by the team of authors John and Carole Barrowman, and featuring the artwork and illustrations of Neil Edwards finds that Captain Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper, along with the crew of the alien tech-filled ship Ice Maiden, must stop the alien Navigators' plan to 'compost' the Earth, but first they must deal with the duplicitious Lady Karina, the roguish Captain John Hart, and a clone like nothing they've seen before! A thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover, "The Culling" is a 'must read' for the legions of Dr. Who and Torchwood fans, and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library graphic novel collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Culling" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

The Audiobook Shelf

Hell Divers III: Deliverance
Nicholas Sansbury Smith
Blackstone Audiobooks
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
9781504782418, $29.95, MP3 CD,

Left for dead on the nightmarish surface of the planet, Commander Michael Everhart and his team of Hell Divers barely escape with their lives aboard a new airship called Deliverance. After learning that Xavier ''X'' Rodriguez may still be alive, they mount a rescue mission for the long-lost hero. In the skies, the Hive is falling apart, but Captain Jordan is more determined than ever to keep humanity in their outdated lifeboat. He will do whatever it takes to keep the ship in the air -- even murder. But when he learns the Hell Divers he exiled have found Deliverance, he changes course for a new mission -- find the divers, kill them, and make their new ship his own. In this third installment of author Nicholas Sansbury Smith's 'Hell Divers' series, Michael and his fellow divers fight across the mutated landscape in search of X. But what they find will change everything. Dramatically narrated by R. C. Bray, "Deliverance" is a flawless produced, complete and unabridged, 'theatre of the mind' experience and an especially recommended addition to personal and community library Science Fiction audio book collections.

The Cruel Prince
Holly Black, author
Caitlin Kelly, narrator
Hachette Audio
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
9781478923732, $25.00, CD,

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. To win a place at the Court, she must defy him -- and face the consequences. In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself. A deftly crafted fantasy tale replete with unexpected twists and turns -- and a thoroughly unanticipated finale -- "The Cruel Prince" by Holly Black is superbly narrated from beginning to end by Caitlin Kelly. Complete and unabridged, "The Cruel Prince" is certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library audio book collections and is a 'must hear' theatre of the mind experience for dedicated fantasy fans.

The Music CD Shelf

Oliver the Crow
Oliver the Crow
Privately Published
$15.00 CD / $10.00 digital

Oliver the Crow is the self-titled debut album of the brilliant, Nashville-based duo Oliver the Crow (cellist Kaitlyn Raitz and fiddler Ben Plotnick). Drawing upon their experience as classically trained performers, their love of folk music, and the inspiration of nature (the album was created in three days in a remote, solar-powered cabin in Vermont), Oliver the Crow is an extraordinary, multifaceted soundscape, highly recommended. The tracks are "Sailing with the Tid", "Bury Me Beneath the Willow", "Ashes of a Day Gone By", "Grace", "As the Crow Flies", "Sam River", "Glass", "Samson", "45", and "Bear in a Den".

Something Higher
Leftover Salmon
Privately Published

Something Higher is a new album by Leftover Salmon, showcasing their unique brand of New Orleans-meets-Appalachian-bluegrass. Fresh, dynamic, and quintessentially American, Something Higher is a joy for connoisseurs. The tracks are "Places", "Show Me Something Higher", "Southern Belle", "Analog", "House of Cards", "Evermore", "Astral Traveler", "Foreign Fields", "Game of Thorns", "Let in a Little Light", "Winter's Gone", and "Burdened Heart".

Mitra Sumara
Privately Published

Mitra Sumara, the one and only Farsi Funk group to be found in New York City, presents their debut full-length album Tahdig. Here is vivacious Persian pop and funk music, the type that was sharply curtailed by the Iranian Revolution. An exuberant, pulse-pounding interpretation of hits by Iran's most beloved singers including Googoosh, Soli, and Leila Forouhar, Tahdig is a "must" for international music collections. The tracks are "Bemoon ta Bemoonam", "Helelyos", "Shahre Paiz", "Miravi", "Mosem-e Gol", "Gol bi Goldoon", "Donya vafa nadare", "Manoto", "Hamparvaz", and "Kofriam".

The DVD Shelf

East West 101, series 2
Starring Don Hany
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment

East West 101, series 2 brings the second season of the award-winning, gritty police drama set in post-9/11 Australia. When a lethal car bomb detonates in Sydney, rumors fly that Islamic extremists were responsible, but Detective Zane Malik (played by Don Haney) is not so easily convinced. He joins a joint task force, which puts him on an undercover mission targeting an alleged arms dealer. The pressure of working undercover isolates him from his family and puts his life in peril. At the same time, Malik's boss, Inspector Patricia Wright (played by Susie Porter) must confront a devastating personal crisis with ties to the wounds of her past. Superbly written and performed, East West 101 is a "must" for connoisseurs of the genre. A 43-minute behind-the- scenes featurette is included as a bonus. 7 episodes on 2 DVDs, 378 min., widescreen, SDH subtitles, not rated.

Menace & Murder: A Lynda La Plante Collection
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment

Menace & Murder: A Lynda La Plante Collection is a DVD collection three acclaimed mystery- thrillers by Lynda La Plante, artfully adapted into short television series. In "Supply & Demand", actor Eammon Walker plays the role of an undercover officer who joins an elite squad in pursuit of narcotics dealers, human traffickers, and other monstrous criminals. In "Killer Net", starring Tam Williams and Paul Bettany, a psychology student's interest in a computer game about planning a murder spirals into more than a game when his ex-girlfriend is killed in real life. In "Mind Games", actress Fiona Shaw plays a former nun who works as a criminal profiler, in her search to catch a killer who has beaten two women to death in their homes. Menace & Murder is a choice pick for connoisseurs of crime drama, highly recommended. 10 episodes on 5 DVDs plus 2 feature-length episodes, 729 min. SDH subtitles.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Apocalypse Then
Mike Bogue
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476668413, $39.95, PB, 316pp,

The United States is the only country to have dropped a nuclear bomb against two enemy cities in a time of war. Japan is the only nation to have suffered the devastation of having two of its cities hit by an atomic bomb. Understandably American movies and Japanese movies portray the nuclear threat differently on film. American science fiction movies of the 1950s and 1960s generally proclaim that it is possible to put the nuclear genie back in the bottle. Japanese films of the same period assert that once freed the nuclear genie can never again be imprisoned. "Apocalypse Then: American and Japanese Atomic Cinema, 1951-1967" by Mike Bogue (who is a community college educator and regularly writes for G-FAN and Scary Monsters Magazine) deftly examines genre films from the two countries released between 1951 and 1967, including Godzilla (1954), The Mysterians (1957), The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), On the Beach (1959), The Last War (1961) and Dr. Strangelove (1964), showing the differing viewpoints on nuclear war from both sides of the Pacific. Impressively informed and informative, "Apocalypse Then" is exceptionally well researched, written, organized and presented, as well as enhanced for academia and non-specialist general readers with the inclusion of six pages of Chapter Notes; a two page Bibliography; and a ten page Index. While unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Cinematic History collections and supplemental studies lists, it should be noted for the personal reading lists that "Apocalypse Then" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Aviation Shelf

Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
Jim Goodall
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764355042, $45.00, HC, 224pp,

Over the last thirty-five years Jim Goodall has authored more than two dozen books and articles on military aircraft, naval ships, and submarines with a focus on Low Observables, or as it is known today, Stealth. Now with the publication of "Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird: The Illustrated History of America's Legendary Mach 3 Spy Plane" he turns his attention to the legendary SR-71 Blackbird spy plane that was, and still is, the world's only operational Mach 3 aircraft, and was designed, built, and tested by Lockheed's famed "Skunk Works". "Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird" covers all fifty Blackbirds built, ranging from the first flight in 1962, and concluding with the last one in 1999. As a replacement for the venerable U-2 spyplane, Lockheed went from contract signing to first flight in only thirty-two months starting in April 1958 -- from the beginning of design studies to the signing of a contract from the CIA to build the initial batch of A-12s in February 1960, to first flight in 1962. From the A-1 design through the completion of the very first Radar Cross Section models of the A-12, to the testing of every major system and subsystem, "Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird" describes and illustrates the SR-71 as never before, using images from a variety of sources, as well as the Jim Goodall's own superb, new photography. Impressively informed and informative, "Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird" is an essential, core addition to personal, community, and academic library American Aviation History collections in general, and Lockheed Blackbird supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Tarot Art Nouveau
Lo Scarabeo
Llewellyn Publications
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
9780738700083, $22.95, Cards,

The cards comprising Lo Scarabeo's "Tarot Art Nouveau" showcase visual images replete with movement. The delicate curves, the sweeping lines, the bright yet gentle color of these images all serve to draw the mind around and into the pictures. Taken together in a reading, these tarot cards almost effortlessly weave a story for the participants. Taken individually, there is plenty for the eye to feast on. This deck, a work of art in itself, will also serve as a powerful divinatory tool. Like most Lo Scarabeo decks the accompanying companion booklet for "Tarot Art Nouveau" is available in five languages: English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German. Elegant, erudite, contemplatively beautiful, the "Tart Art Nouveau" would wonderfully grace any personal or professional tarot card collection and is unreservedly recommended for all metaphysical studies students and practitioners.

The Twelve Faces of the Goddess
Danielle Blackwood
Llewellyn Publications
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
9780738756035, $19.99, PB, 312pp,

Historically, astrology and magick are woven from the same metaphysical threads. The more you learn about one, the more you'll intuitively understand about the other. "The Twelve Faces of the Goddess: Transform Your Life with Astrology, Magick, and the Sacred Feminine" by Danielle Blackwood (who is the astrology columnist for SageWoman magazine, Banyen Books, and Sound, has studied and practiced astrology for more than thirty years) is an inspiring, hands-on guide showing how to connect with the twelve faces of the Goddess through astrology, story, ritual, and path working. "The Twelve Faces of the Goddess" explores cross-cultural myths associated with each goddess, delve into astrology from a groundbreaking feminine perspective, and discover the personality, archetype, and correspondences of each zodiac sign to unlock a deeper understanding of yourself as the heroine of your story. "The Twelve Faces of the Goddess" shows how to work with a specific guiding goddesses in creating a birth chart, as well as learning how astrology is connected to the seasonal turning points on the Wheel of the Year, and so much more. One of the principle intentions of "The Twelve Faces of the Goddess" is to function as a reminder that connecting with the sacred feminine is an empowering and radical act that can guide us on our journey. While very highly recommended for personal and community library Metaphysical Studies collections and supplemental reading lists, it should be noted that "The Twelve Faces of the Goddess" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Peace Oracle: Guidance for Challenging Times
Toni Carmine Salerno, author
Leela J. Williams, author
Blue Angel Publishing
c/o Llewellyn Publications
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
9780738759395, $23.95, Cards,

Even those who are born into peace can succumb to the hurries and pressures of daily life and find themselves despairing at the loss of harmony, accord, and contentment. However, peace is an art that can be developed and nurtured just like any other quality or skill. Beautiful, thoughtful, and lovingly crafted by the team of Toni Carmine Salerno and Leela Williams, this modern oracle will support you on the journey to compassion and confidence -- and comes with an informative guide book to utilize the 45 cards that compose "Peace Oracle". The sublime images and insightful messages offer practical advice, higher guidance, and affirmations to help you cultivate peace in your heart, your head, and your home so that serenity can blossom into all areas of your life. Begin to live your peace today with the extraordinary and thoroughly user friendly "Peace Oracle: Guidance for Challenging Times"!

The Fashion Shelf

Made for Walking
Andy Peake
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764354991, $24.99, PB, 176pp,

In the illustrated pages of "Made for Walking: A Modest History of the Fashion Boot" by writer and museum curator Andy Peake, social history is blended with fashion history in the tantalizing story of the boot ranging from the Roaring Twenties and Prohibition to online shopping and fashion blogs. Weaving together such unlikely elements as Glam Rock, the martyrdom of Joan of Arc, and the Iran-Contra scandal, "Made for Walking" shows how the modern fashion boot plays with our ideas of gender, straddling the line between practical and stylish, between fashion and fetish. Peake is the author of the popular Made for Walking blog, and in "Made for Walking" includes thought-provoking photos and graphs that look deeply into what boots do, and what we make them do. A 'must read' for all students of fashion history, collectors of vintage clothes, or the non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject, "Made for Walking is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Fashion History collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

The Money/Finance Shelf

Plan Your Estate, 14th edition
Denis Clifford
Nolo Press
950 Parker Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
9781413325119, $44.99, PB, 528pp,

Now in a fully updated 14th edition, attorney Denis Clifford's "Plan Your Estate" is specifically intended for the non-specialist general reader who thinks that estate planning sounds difficult and should be left to professionals. But it turns out that most people just need a few basic documents and by becoming informed on the basic fundamentals of estate planning so accessibly laid out in the pages of "Plan Your Estate" protect loved ones from legal hassles and financial uncertainty after one's own (and inevitable) death. "Plan Your Estate" covers: wills and living trusts; avoiding probate; bypass (AB) trusts; naming guardians for children; leaving property to children; estate, gift, and inheritance taxes; strategies for business owners; leaving property to charity; health care directives; and financial powers of attorney. Completely updated to reflect the latest state and federal laws, including the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, with the information comprising "Plan Your Estate" applicable and valid in all U.S. states except Louisiana. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization, and presentation, as well as comprehensive in scope, "Plan Your Estate" is a critically important and unreservedly recommended addition to personal and community library Money/Finance instructional reference collections. It should be noted that "Plan Your Estate" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.17).

The Woodworking Shelf

Outdoor Woodworking Games
Alan Goodsell & Randall Maxey
GMC Publications
c/o The Taunton Press (distributor)
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
9781784943745, $19.95, PB, 128pp,

With "Outdoor Woodworking Games: 20 Fun Projects to Make" by the team of woodworking experts Alan Goodsell and Randall Maxey, amateur and recreational woodworkers will have as much fun making theses do-it-yourself projects as they will playing the games! All of the 20 projects are specifically designed to be made with the beginner woodworker in mind and using only basic woodworking tools and equipment, so they really are accessible to all. The comprehensive, step-by-step instructions are based on standard sizes of wood so that pieces simply need to be cut to length with some basic shaping. All accessories required will be readily available making each project as straightforward as possible to create. Alongside step-by-step photos each project will also include drawings where necessary. Each project will also include instructions on how to play the game along with the all-important rules! Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "Outdoor Woodworking Games" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal and community, highschool wood shop, and community library Woodworking instructional reference collections. It should be noted that "Outdoor Woodworking Games" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

30-Minute Woodturning
Mark Baker
GMC Publications
c/o The Taunton Press (distributor)
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
9781784943981, $22.95, PB, 200pp,

For any keen woodworker who wants to do more turning but are short of time, "30-Minute Woodturning" is the perfect instructional do-it-yourself reference and guide for amateur and recreational woodworkers and showcases an impressive variety of projects -- each of which can all be completed in 30 minutes. Even for those working at an intermediate level, "30-Minute Woodturning" provides the aspiring woodworker with something to aim for without compromising safety and it will help beginners to build their skills. Each of the 25 projects, ranging from Candlestick Holder; Doorstop; Decorative Bird Box; and Spatula; to Honey Dipper; Bud Vase; Square Edge Plate; and Shallow Bowl, also has plans for four variations included so there are a total of 100 designs anyone can accomplish successfully. Most of the projects require only basic turning tools and workshop accessories that nearly every turner will have. A list of tools and materials required is included for each one, along with drawings with dimensions. Very nicely illustrated from beginning to end, "30-Minute Woodturning: 25 Quick Projects to Make" is strongly recommended and will prove to be an immediately popular addition to personal, highschool wood shop, and community library Woodworking instructional reference collections.

The Education Shelf

College Beyond the States
Jennifer Viemont
Global Ed Press
9781732225909 $TBA

College Beyond the States: European Universities That Will Change Your Life Without Breaking the Bank is a guide to European schools offering English-taught degree programs, with specific profiles of 13 schools in continental Europe selected based on tuition, quality of education, employability after earning one's degree, and factors that aid the international student's experience. It is quite possible to study abroad, save money, avoid the flawed U.S. admissions process, and be competitive when searching for a job. College Beyond the States is highly recommended an excellent resource worthy of careful consideration by prospective college students.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

It's About the Dog
Guilie Castillo Oriard
Everytime Press
9781925536195 $12.00 pbk / $5.99 Kindle

It's About the Dog: The A-to-Z Guide for Wannabe Dog Rescuers is a candid introduction to the harrowing yet rewarding work of rescuing abandoned or stray dogs. It should be noted that "dog rescuer" specifically refers to a person who physically collects abandoned or stray dogs and brings them to a veterinarian for medical treatment, hopefully followed by foster care and adoption. Not all dog rescuers foster or adopt dogs (although many do), and people who foster or adopt dogs do not necessarily take part in rescuing dogs from the streets. It's About the Dog particularly focuses on the perils, pitfalls, and rewards of rescuing dogs (while acknowledging that rescuing dogs would be impossible without the aid of those who foster or adopt dogs). Here are true stories trying to catch, coax, or (in the most dire circumstances) trap or drug animals that are often injured, malnourished, diseased, or worse. Author and dog rescuer Guilie Castillo Oriard also openly condemns the cruelty of dog breeding - any type of breeding - when the overwhelming surplus of unwanted dogs inevitably leads to animal suffering and an extreme shortage of homes. "Avoid pet shops that sell puppies... Even if you're just buying fish food, or a leash for your niece's stuffed poodle, please buy it from a store that doesn't sell puppies (or any animal, in fact). Commercial breeding is the largest single factor responsible for the dog overpopulation problem we have today." It's About the Dog is a must-read especially for dog lovers everywhere, highly recommended.

The Wisconsin Shelf

Rockhounding Wisconsin
Robert Beard
Falcon Press
c/o Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781493028542, $24.95, PB, 296pp,

Amateur geology (known as rockhounding in the United States and Canada.) is the recreational study and hobby of collecting rocks and mineral specimens from their natural environment. "Rockhounding Wisconsin: A Guide to the State's Best Sites " by Robert Beard (who is himself a geologist and has collected rocks for over 30 years), will enable even the most novice of rock hounds to successfully explore the mineral-rich region of Wisconsin and unearth the state of Wisconsin's very best rockhounding sites, ranging from popular and commercial sites to numerous lesser-known areas. Featuring an overview of the state's geologic history as well as a site-by-site guide to the best rockhounding locations, "Rockhounding Wisconsin" is the ideal resource for rockhounds of all ages and experience levels. Beautifully, profusely illustrated throughout and featuring National Geographic maps, "Rockhounding Wisconsin" also includes informative articles on: Rockhounding Basics; Geology of Wisconsin; Natural Resources; Map Legend; and How to Use This Guide. Impressively informative and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Rockhounding Wisconsin" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community library, and academic library Geology collections in general, and Wisconsin geology supplemental studies lists in particular. It should be noted for students and rockhounding enthusiasts that "Rockhounding Wisconsin" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

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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