Return to home
page Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
Home / Wisconsin Bookwatch

Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 8, Number 5 May 2013 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Art Shelf Humor Shelf
Psychology Shelf Needlecraft Shelf Business Shelf
Poetry Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Fiction Shelf Computer Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Memoir Shelf Social Issues Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Buddhist Studies Shelf
Crafts Shelf Photography Shelf Education Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Sports Shelf Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf
Gardening Shelf Writing/Publishing Shelf Genealogy Shelf
Interior Design Shelf American History Shelf World History Shelf
Environmental Studies Shelf Biography Shelf Wisconsin Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Where's Meriden?
Hiram M. Drache
Hobar Publications
c/o Finney Company
8075 - 215th Street West
Lakeville, MN 55044
9780913163474 $29.95

Where's Meriden? The Demise of Small Town U.S.A. is a fascinating examination of the history and economy of author Hiram M. Drache's home town of Meriden, Minnesota from 1855 to the modern day. Although there is a fair amount of information about ordinary people, as well as Drache's own family, the primary focus traces an evolving pattern in American agriculture. A century ago, small towns like Meriden existed to serve small farmers and agricultural communities. As agricultural technology improved, farming required less labor, and food prices became cheaper. Over time this drastically reduced the number of agricultural jobs available, and priced inefficient small farmers out of the market as more efficient industrialized agriculture took over. Thus, small towns like Meriden were no longer useful, as nearly all the agricultural farmers and workers they once served moved to (or commuted to) the cities, where the jobs were. Where's Meridan? does not pass judgment on those who lament the loss of the rural way of life, but does point out that America's need for cheap food made these transformations effectively inevitable. An absorbing, accessible chronicle that remembers the human element of rural American history yet doesn't miss the forest for its trees, Where's Meriden? is highly recommended.

Fit for a Frankenstein
Paul McComas & Greg Starrett
Walkabout Publishing
PO Box 151
Kansasville, WI 53139
9781482622331 $8.99

Award-winning author Paul McComas and debut co-author Greg Starrett have prepared a fresh, funny, and highly recommended novella. Suitable for readers of all ages, Fit for a Frankenstein is a rambunctious riff on classic 1940's horror movies. Ygor is an expert body snatcher capable of surviving a hanging, and his friend Frankenstein inspires fear wherever the two of them go. When they come to a small alpine town, they find themselves at odds with local tailor Klaus Hauptschmidt and his ebullient teenage daughter Gretl. A monstrously wild adventure ensues!

The Way North
Ron Riekki, editor
Wayne State University Press
The Leonard N. Simons Building
4809 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48201-1309
9780814338650, $18.95,

The upper peninsula of Michigan has crafted its own culture, independent from the rest of the state. "The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works" is a collection of poetry and fiction from authors who call that northern peninsula of the state home, sharing their own insight and introspection throughout on the unique nature of this sub-state. "The Way North" is a powerful and much recommended addition to literary compilations focusing on the Midwest.

Everyday Las Vegas
Rex J. Rowley
University of Nevada Press
Mail Stop 0166
Reno, NV, 89557-0166
9780874179057, $39.95,

Las Vegas is more than a flashy tourist trap... for some, it's home. "Everyday Las Vegas: Local Life in a Tourist Town" discusses the lives of the people who choose to live in Sin City, growing up there, raising families with the bright lights and casinos not too far away. Touching on the many topics that people might not realize are a major focus for those who live in the town, offering a social and economic insight into the lives of the people who call the town home, "Everyday Las Vegas" is a fascinating and much recommended addition to history and social issues collections, and for those who want another perspective on the city.

The Art Shelf

Carrying on Irregardless
Peter Morin, Martine J. Reid, Mike Robinson, authors
Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art
c/o Harbour Publishing
Po Box 219, Madeira Park, BC, V0N 2H0
9780981234120 $24.95

"Carrying on Irregardless: Humour in Contemporary Northwest Coast Art" is a marvelous book summarizing the first art exhibition to focus on humour in Northwest Coast First Nations art, mounted at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art in Vancouver. Included are over 100 spectacular and wildly funny color photographs of artwork by 28 highly respected Northwest Coast artists. There are some hilarious moments in this unusual art book, including the cover artwork titled "Things Are Looking Native, Natives Are Looking Whiter (a split black and white photograph showing half a young Native American woman with a squash blossom hairstyle and half showing Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia in Star Wars, wearing a squash blossom hairstyle)," by Nicholas Galanin, giclee, 2012. One of the reviewer's favorites is "Breakfast Series," by Sonny Assu, a mixed media artwork digitally printed on a foam core representing cereal boxes with Native American-transformed art and titles, such as Frosted Treaty Flakes, or Salmon Loops, Lucky Beads, or Bannock Pops. Here are some seriously ironic yucks for those who are awake and paying attention. To help the reader appreciate the full impact of this unusual art form and expression, there are three essays by esteemed Northwest Coast art critics: "Another One Bites the Dust" by Peter Morin, "The Irony of Things: Humour in Contemporary Northwest Coast Art" by Marine Reid, and "Northwest Coast Humour: Informing Our Struggle in the World" by Mike Robinson. In addition, there are brief artist biographical profiles of 24 contributing Native American artists at the end of the book. However, this is not a book that needs to be overexplained. If the reader relaxes, the inner meaning of each artwork is unavoidable and brilliant.

The Humor Shelf

Tails Don't Lie
Adrian Raeside
Harbour Publishing
PO Box 219
Madeira Park, BC, Canada, V0N 2H0
9781550175998 $12.95

Tail Don't Lie is an uproarious, full-color collection of canine-themed comic strips by editorial cartoonist and dog lover Adrian Raeside. Mixed-breed Koko, pure breed Sakura, their loving (if sometimes exasperated) owners, and more friends engage in foibles that show how dogs rescue humans just as often as humans rescue dogs. "'Did you do anything for your mom on Mother's Day, Koko?' 'I sure did! Every Mother's Day, I'd bring my mom a dog biscuit in bed.' 'We're so much alike, eh boy?' 'But I bet you didn't scarf down the card when your mom's back was turned.'" Tails Don't Lie also has some choice words denounce those who negligently leave their pets locked in a hot car for "only a few minutes" (it only takes a few minutes in a hot car for a dog or a child to get fatal heatstroke), or are otherwise cruel to animals. Highly recommended, especially as a gift for canine aficionados!

The Psychology Shelf

Wild Mind
Bill Plotkin
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way
Novato, CA 94949
9781608681785, $17.95,

The human mind is a curious and hard to understand thing. "Wild Mind: A Field Guide to The Human Psyche" discusses how to better understand the psyche and find our own potential for our spirituality and happiness. Bill Plotkin looks to our nature and environment in trying to understand why we do the things we do and try to better piece ourselves together through it all. "Wild Mind" is a strong addition to general psychology and spirituality collections, highly recommended.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Scraps Plus One!
Joan Ford
The Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
9781600855191, $24.95,

Quilting is a traditional, practical, and artistic form of needlecraft that continues to enjoy a huge and enduring popularity. Compiled and presented by quilting expert Joan Ford, "ScrapTherapy (R) Scraps Plus One!: New Patterns to Quilt Through Your Stash with Ease" is a superbly illustrated, 208 page compendium showcasing twenty major quilt making projects utilizing all manner of fabric scraps. The first major section is replete with practical advice on getting started, selecting, shaping, and sorting fabric scraps, piecing the quilt, and more. The second major section showcasing individual quilt making projects that even the most novice of beginners can follow thanks to the clarity of the step-by-step directions afforded by the author. Enhanced with two appendices (Quiltmaking Basics & Quiltmaking 101: Machine Quilting), a Glossary, a Metric Equivalents chart, and an Index, "ScrapTherapy (R) Scraps Plus One!: New Patterns to Quilt Through Your Stash with Ease" is enthusiastically recommended for personal and community library Needlecraft reference collections and Quilt making supplemental reading lists.

Crochet Cool
Tanya Bernard, author
Angel Gray, photographer
Sellers Publishing
161 John Roberts Road
South Portland, Maine 04106
9781416208921 $19.95

"Crochet Cool: Fun Designs for Kids Ages 1-6, 20 Cool Patterns for Boys and Girls" is a fun collection of patterns and instructions for clothing and accessories for all seasons. These pattern designs for both sexes come with complete instructions, materials list, difficulty key, and size range. Hence we have a Star Stitch Sundress, for girls, surfer shorts for boys, a chevron poncho, and a Toasty Tot Beanie and Scarf . Charming color photographs accompany all patterns, along with specific materials and color numbers. One stunning project that charms wearers of both sexes is the Houndstooth Fedora, which is sure to result in delighted modeling by the lucky child who is the designated recipient. "Crochet Cool" is full of crochet projects in bright, modern colors with universal appeal.

Crochet One-Skein Wonders
Judith Durant & Edie Eckman, editors
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way
North Adams, MA 01247
9781612120423 $18.95

Featuring step-by-step instructions, easy-to-follow diagrams, and a wealth of full-color photography, Crochet One-Skein Wonders lives up to its title with 100 crochet patterns categorized by fiber weight, designed expressly to transform one's extra skeins into creative delights suitable for everyday use or gift-giving. Coasters, scarves, purses, fingerless gloves, hats, cowls and capes, doll clothes, tea cozies and more fill this elegant, creative, and practical-minded project guide. Highly recommended for intermediate to advanced crocheters (the reader's familiarity with the basics of crochet is presumed).

Fabulous Feathers & Fillers
Sue Nickels, author
American Quitter's Society
P.O. Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002
9781604600605 $24.95

"Fabulous Feathers & Fillers: Design & Machine Quilting Techniques" is a fascinating how-to craft book about designing feathers and other motifs in machine quilting stitching patterns, usually shown on solid color fabrics, to display the quilting design. Chapters are presented on Supplies, Designing Feathers, Machine Quilting Feathers, Machine Quilting Fillers, Quilting the Quilt - Start to Finish, and Feather Patterns and Projects. The last chapter has patterns and instructions for 10 projects plus a border quilting pattern and a pattern for a 1/4 inch crosshatch grid. This surprisingly complex fabric art form is carefully displayed, dissected, and demonstrated in elegant completed projects and lovely color photos.alongside clear black and white pattern diagrams. "Fabulous Feathers and Fillers" is a specific how to book that will find an appreciative, ambitious audience.

Easy Openwork Knit Tops
Kennita Tully, author
Annie's Knitting
306 East Parr Road, Berne, IN 46711
9781596357419 $15.95

"Easy Openwork Knit Tops" is a collection of 5 openwork projects complete with instructions and diagrammed patterns that feature drape and texture flattering to women in all sizes. Here are five lovely stylish shrugs, sheer vests and coverups, titled Star Mesh, Sheer Comfort, Garter Ease, and Captivating Mesh Duo, a sleeveless undersweater and overjacket. All patterns begin with a sidebar listing skill level, sizes, finished measurements, and materials needed, followed by step by step instructions and pattern notes. Several display photos of each sweater project are exquisitely displayed. This is a collection of treats for the intermediate skilled knitter.

The Business Shelf

Brian Tracy
Amacom Books
1601 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
9780814433119 $9.95

Part of the "Brian Tracy Success Library", Motivation is a pocket-sized hardcover guide written especially for managers, and packed with tips, tricks, and techniques for encouraging one's workers to deliver their best performance. Chapters address how to apply the Pareto principle, the value of brainstorming, identifying and countering common demotivators (notably "fear of failure" and "fear of rejection"), management by objectives, and much more. "The self-image of employees is greatly influenced by the way they are treated by their managers and the executives of the company. If they are respected by the organization's leaders, they will view themselves in a more positive way and, as a result, perform at higher levels." Quick to browse yet brimming with a lifetime's worth of wisdom, Motivation is highly recommended.

The Gen Y Handbook
Diane E. Spiegel
Select Books
1 Union Square West, Suite 909
New York, NY 10003
9781590799567, $15.95,

The new generation has whole new ways of communicating. "The Gen Y Handbook: Applying Relationship Leadership to Engage Millennials" discusses how today's business leadership can try to reach out and understand the modern internet generation, know what they seek, what they worry about, and how to gain an understanding of them and realize their potentials and talent. "The Gen Y Handbook" is a must for business leadership collections.

Lean Analytics
Alistair Croll & Benjamin Yoskovitz
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
1005 Gravenstein, Hwy N.
Sebastopol, CA 95472-2811
9781449335670, $29.99,

Quick and to the point business practices are key to an agile business. "Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster" is a guide to making a quicker and more excellent business guide designed at making a more effective startup business plan by quickly analyzing data, build better business ventures, and humor through it all. "Lean Analytics" is a strong addition to business reference collections and improving one's business for the long and short term, highly recommended.

The CIO Paradox
Martha Heller
33 Manchester Road, Brookline, MA 02446
9781937134273, $34.95,

Technology is increasingly important in every single business. "The CIO Paradox: Battling the Contradictions of IT Leadership" explores the concept the Chief Information Officer and his role in the corporate leadership. Martha Heller discusses the growing presence of technology departments for many big businesses and corporations and how their presence screws with common corporate ideas about how things should be ran. Drawing on her over decade of experience in IT fields, Heller offers practical advice and wisdom for better management of IT. "The CIO Paradox" is a must for any business management and reference collection dealing with technology.

David Wethey
Kogan Page USA
1518 Walnut Street, Suite 1100
Philadelphia, PA 19102
9780749466299, $19.95,

Good decisions are what we want, but don't make often enough. "Decide: Better Ways of Making Better Decisions" is a motivational read from David Wethey who provides practical insight on the act of decision making, and how to take the ideas he suggests and make them well for any situation, whether it be everyday life or making good business decisions for an entire company. Insightful and inspirational, "Decide" is a strongly recommended pick for self-help and motivational collections, not to be missed.

Interpretive Planning for Museums
Marcella Wells, Barbara Butler, and Judith Koke
Left Coast Press, Inc.
1630 North Main Street, #400
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
9781611321579, $26.95,

Museums sell no products directly, so keeping them afloat may prove quite a bit more troublesome. "Interpretive Planning for Museums: Integrating Visitor Perspectives in Decision Making" is a museum business management guide discussing how to best have museum flourish and succeed, staying financially secure at the same time while still delivering the educational experience that a museum should seek to provide. "Interpretive Planning for Museums" is a must for any museum curator and administrator's reference collection for better business practices, highly recommended.

Speaking Up
Frederick Gilbert
Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.
235 Montgomery Street, Suite 650
San Francisco, CA 94104-2916
9781609948962, $24.95,

In the bureaucracy of business, it's easy to be lost in the shuffle. "Speaking Up: Surviving Executive Presentations" is a guide for those who want to encourage those in middle management to let their voices be heard in the volatile business world, get noticed, and make a difference in the company's success by embracing a higher level of leadership. "Speaking Up" is a must for inspirational collections focusing on business and career success.

The Poetry Shelf

Fearing Water
Marjorie Saiser
Parallel Press
372 Memorial Library
728 State Street
Madison, WI 53575
9781934795477 $10.00

Fearing Water is a chapbook of free-verse poetry in which poet Marjorie Saiser reflects upon the obstacles to overcome in the evolution a parent-child relationship. From the mother taking care of the child, to the passage of time until the adult child has become the caretaker of the parent, Fearing Water is a journey that appeals to the intimately familiar challenges and troubles of readers of all walks of life. Emotional and poignant, Fearing Water plumbs the depths without reservation. "I Didn't Know I Loved": I didn't know I loved her big hands / slicing iceberg lettuce / with a thick-bladed knife. // Her thumb hooked over the lip of the shallow melmac bowl / she carried to the table. // Embarrassing low-class no-class entrees / like her swiss steak, / her bean soup in a kettle.

Club Icarus
Matt W. Miller
University of North Texas Press
PO Box 311336
Denton, TX 76203-1336
9781574415049, $12.95,

Poetry can sing the world to us if we so let it. "Club Icarus" is a collection of poetry from award winning poet Matt W. Miller who takes life and presents its song and bring new life to the medium of wordplay. "Club Icarus" is well worth adding to any contemporary poetry collection, much recommended. "The Beauty of a Nail": hangs on it being/unseen as when/it suspends a/painting or some/caught on camera/moment on a plain wall/or the way within/the wall it holds up/the house, the pipes,/the unrolled insulation or even/when somewhat seen/as when it holds a man/up to a martyrdom-/always it is the tool,/not the meaning.

Elegy Owed
Bob Hicok
Copper Canyon Press
PO Box 271
Port Townsend, WA 98368
9781556594366, $22.00,

Trying to capture the essence of a world that doesn't make sense can prove hard. "Elegy Owed" is a collection of offbeat poetry from Bob Hicok as he explores the enticing nature of the world touching on his views of the world and his attempts to understand it with mixed results. "Elegy Owed" is an enticing addition to humorous and contemporary poetry collections. "Making Do": Out here, no one would know/If I set the bit of human jaw I found under the house/on the grass above a dress, a flowered dress I stretch to the full length of wind and walk away, giving memory/some privacy./A dress that appeared one morning/after a storm, beside the woman who'd been wearing it,/who asked if this was her life or some other window/being opened, and left before I could answer,/almost as if I'm making her and this poem and my past/up as I go, to help me feel nothing//goes to waste, not even waste.

In Someone Else's House
Christian Barter
BkMk Press
c/o University of Missouri-Kansas City
5101 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110
9781886157859, $13.95,

Where we may be invited by don't belong. "In Someone Else's House" is a collection of poetry from Christian Barter, who presents stories of life and honesty along the way, presenting an honest and insightful spin on it. "In Someone Else's House" is a must for contemporary poetry collections, very much recommended. "Providence": That painting is a map/with people living on it./That symphony is a set of instructions/with geraniums/growing from the clefts./That architecture is a luke-warm ribcage/woven together with tiny songs.//That poem is an argument/fluttering in the midst of a migration.//That belief is a roof/with starlight shining through its perforations.

Four Elemental Bodies
Claude Royet-Journoud
Burning Deck
71 Elmgrove Avenue, Providence, RI 02906
9781936194131, $20.00,

Language is used for communication, but we can always develop new ways of communication. "Four Elemental Bodies" is a collection of poetry from French poet Claude Royet-Journoud, deftly translated by Keith Waldrop, who revolutionizes language and touches on new concepts of communicating his points. "Four Elemental Bodies" is a core addition to any international and unique poetry collection, highly recommended.

South x South
Charles Hood
Ohio University Press
The Ridges, Building 19
Athens, OH 45701
9780821420386, $16.95,

Living in an extreme world leaves us to gain a whole new appreciation for the world. "South x South" is a collection of poetry and memoir from Charles Hood, who touches on his journeys to the south pole and finding a different way of viewing the world. "South x South" is insightful with its own brand of humor, much recommended. "Arrival Forms": Field notes on Satan in Antarctica: When he walks past a turned-off TV,/it glows blue. Like a penguin's, his tongue is stiff, barbed. When/stirred by more than usual lust, Stan shuffles and brays. Crinkled/jazz eyes, red as grief. On the landing card the airport/under profession, he always writes in a small neat hand//as in the astronomical sense, I am a singularity.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Marketing Department
Candlewick Press
99 Dover Street
Somerville, MA 02144
9780763623296 $19.99

Dragon lovers everywhere will adore Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons, a suprisingly inexpensive yet visually stunning giftbook crafted with love and care. The pages are beautifully illustrated in full color and feature numerous lift-the-flap sections, removable papers, or touchable dragon scales(!). As a result Dragonology is a little too delicate for very young children, or the wear and tear of public library shelves. Older children and adult dragon fans are sure to enjoy this fanciful imagining of what it might have been like to scientifically study dragons, perhaps in the Middle Ages or the Renaissance. Some tips for the care of hatchling dragons include, "Keep iron and flint objects away from [dragon] chicks, or live in a fireproof house. Do not release young dragons into the sewerage system of a large city. Mind your lanuage around chicks - they may repeat what you say over and over in front of visitors. It is not recommended to leave children and hungry dragons alone. Hide all shiny or valuable objects." A present to be treasured any day of the year, Dragonology is highly recommended, as are other titles in the "Ology" series of wonderously illustrated, quasi-interactive books, including "Egyptology,", "Wizardology", "Illusionology", "Pirateology", "Mythology", "Monsterology", "Spyology", "Oceanology", "Vampireology", and "Alienology".

Reaper's Legacy
Tim Lebbon
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive
Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781616147679, $17.95,

A vicious attack almost wipes London off the map... and it may as well have to some. "Reaper's Legacy" is book two of Tim Lebbon's Toxic City series, featuring a destroyed London and its survivors who go beyond what is normally expected of humans. With roaming soldiers threatening the survivors, Jack and his few friends struggle to survive as a man called reaper bears down on him and the other refugees. "Reaper's Legacy" is a strong addition to those with a love of modern flavored science fiction and fantasy, recommended.

The Crystal Scepter
C. S. Lakin
Living Ink Books
c/o AMG Publishers
6815 Shallowford Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421
9780899578934, $14.99,

The call of prophecy is a tough one to shake. "The Crystal Scepter" is a fantasy from C. S. Lakin tells of the world of Elysiel. A final curse destines a young man to rescue the scepter from the keeper. Facing his long journey as a hero to fulfill the prophecy, Perthin must find allies and the relics he needs to live up to the destiny thrust upon him and finds prophecies are easier declared that fulfilled. "The Crystal Scepter" is a fun read for fantasy fans, highly recommended.

Without a Summer
Mary Robinette Kowal
c/o Tor/Forge Books
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
9780765334152, $24.99,

Finding love can feel so difficult when the weight of the world bears down on your shoulders. "Without a Summer" is a blend of fantasy and romance from Mary Robinette Kowal who provides tells of a true magic world not too unlike our own. Jane and Vincent return from Belgium and find that their country is struggling. As they face the weight of their romance on their world, "Without a Summer" is an enticing read with plenty of twists and turns, a must for fans of Kowal's work, highly recommended.

I Left My Haunt in San Francisco
Mark Everett Stone
Camel Press
PO Box 70515, Seattle, WA 98227
9781603819275, $15.95,

Humanity has enough demons lurking among it, we don't need those from hell too. "I Left My Haunt in San Francisco" is a supernatural thriller as Kal Hakela as he finds that San Francisco may well be under attack from certain enemies, and its main protector isn't the most appreciative to Kal's efforts. A riveting fantasy with plenty of twists and turns, "I Left My Haunt in San Francisco" is a strong addition to general fiction collections, not to be missed.

The Raven's Warrior
Vincent Pratchett
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480
Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
9781594392580, $14.95,

When fate determines your death, one goes through anything to defy it. "The Raven's Warrior" is a novel of ancient fantasy, set amongst the time of the Celts. A dying warrior is saved, only to be enslaved and be shipped far from hold, to the ownership of wizards and witches. As death looms for him again, his heroism will take him past slavery and lead for him to become legend himself. "The Raven's Warrior" is an excellent pick for fans of the low fantasy genre, enthusiastically recommended.

The Christian Studies Shelf

10 Things Pope Francis Wants You to Know
John L. Allen
1 Liguori Drive, Liguori, MO 53057-9999
9780764824371, $3.99,

A new pope with new ideas about how the papacy should be done. "10 Things Pope Francis Wants You to Know" discusses the new papacy of Pope Francis, who has sought to change many new things about how the Papacy and the Catholic Church is viewed throughout the world. John L. Allen, senior Vatican analyst for CNN, seeks to present this knowledge for those curious about the new pope. "10 Things Pope Francis Wants You To Know" is a strong addition to Catholic and Christian collections, recommended.

Fearless Church Fundraising
Charles LaFond
Morehouse Publishing
4775 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg, PA 17112
9780819228635, $26.00,

Money is essential to get anything done. "Fearless Church Fundraising: The Practical and Spiritual Approach to Stewardship" is an advisory for church leaders on how to more effectively fund raise for their organization, staying true to their principals, and doing good in the process. With well researched and practical advice through it all, "Fearless Church Fundraising" is an absolute must for research collections, highly recommended.

The Story of Scripture
Robert L. Plummer
Kregel Publications
PO Box 2607
Grand Rapids, MI 49501
9780825443152, $8.99,

The origins of the Christian Bible are of much concern to skeptics and Christians alike. "The Story of Scripture: How We Got Our Bible and Why We Can Trust It" is Robert L. Plummer's Christian driven take on the origins of the Christian Bible and its incalculable value to the modern-day faithful. "The Story of Scripture" is a worthy addition to Christian studies collections, recommended. Also from Robert Plummer is "Understanding the Bible: A Guide to Reading and Enjoying Scripture" (9780825443169, $8.99), which discusses how to gain a better and more comprehensive appreciation for the Bible.

Falling in Love with God
Bob Hostetler
Leafwood Publishers
c/o Abilene Christian University Press
1626 Campus Court, Abilene, TX 79601
9780891123743, $14.99,

A unique relationship with God is something that we all seek to relish from life. "Falling in Love with God" is a faith driven memoir from Bob Hosteler who shares his own experiences in building that powerful bond with God, and what that deep and personal affair with the creator can carry out into our life as, "Falling in Love with God" is a strongly recommended addition to Christian living collections and inspirational collections.

The End of Suffering
Joseph F. Girzone
Orbis Books
PO Box 308
Maryknoll, NY 10545-0308
9781626980259, $20.00,

Life has suffering and it is inspired to find a way to halt that suffering. "The End of Suffering" is a Christian spiritual and self-help read from Joseph F. Girzone as he shares stories of being the shepherd of life and tending to the flock of life, meeting their needs, and spreading the message of Christ in the process. Comforting and insightful, "The End of Suffering" is a strong addition to Christian collections, highly recommended.

Partnering with the King
John L. Hiigel
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568
Orleans, MA 02653
9781557259974, $16.99,

Following the words of Christ is easier said than done. "Partnering with the King": Study the Gospel of Matthew & Become a Disciple of Jesus" is an inspirational Christian spirituality guide from John L. Hiigel, presenting thirty-one passages to help readers assert themselves as disciples of Christ and worthy of spreading his message. "Partnering with the King" is a must for any Christian spirituality collection focused on renewing and empowering our faith, highly recommended.

One Bible, Many Versions
Dave Brunn
InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400
Downers Grove, IL 605151426
9780830827152, $16.00,

The Bible has been translated and retranslated into countless languages over the past two millenia. "One Bible, Many Versions: Are All Translations Created Equal?" discusses Bible translations and how to better compare them when looking for the most faithful translation. Comparing, contrasting... and even debating the value of multiple translations of the Holy Bible, "One Bible, Many Versions" is a fascinating study of translation and how it can apply to faith.

The Fiction Shelf

The Great Wild West
Jeff Appelquist
Beaver's Pond Press
7108 Ohms Lane
Edina, MN 55439
9781592989935, $27.99,

We can go to war with the world around us, but the toughest conflict is always our ourself. "The Great Wild West: An American Journey" is a novel from Jeff Appelquist following the highly storied life of Jedediah Magnus West, a veteran of multiple conflicts, who has faced business success and failure all around the world, but when he finally returns home, he has to cope with his own pain and the pain of those so very close to him. "The Great Wild West" is an enticing and exciting read that should prove hard to put down.

The Home Jar
Nancy Zafris
Switchgrass Books
Northern Illinois University Press
2280 Bethany Road
DeKalb, IL 60115
978087580806884, $16.95,

Our world is made up of endless little odd situations. "The Home Jar" is a collection of short fiction from Nancy Zafris who presents an assortment of stories about scattered people in many occupations and purposes, finding their journey faced with even stranger situations and learning things they never thought possible from it all. With plenty of humor and frank irony, "The Home Jar" is a strong addition to contemporary short fiction collections, highly recommended.

Seaside Harmony
Evangeline Kelley
16 East 34th Street, new York, NY 10016
9780824932466, $13.99,

The charm of the past often can come with the mystery of the past. "Seaside Harmony" is a Christian novel following Caroline Marris and her sisters as they find their mother's favorite Inn in aging and forgotten condition, and seek to restore it. But in the process they find the lost history of the inn, and must learn to work together to solve it and find so much more in their lives than they ever thought possible. "Seaside Harmony" is an enticing delve into charming contemporary fiction and the allure of the quiet inn.

Black Flame
Gerelchimeg Blackcrane
Groundwood Books
c/o Douglas & McIntyre Ltd.
110 Spadina Avenue, Suite 801
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5V 2K4
9781554981359, $15.95,

Far from home, we seek to only return to its comfort. "Black Flame" is a novel following a Tibetan Mastiff, Kelsang, who is brought to the streets of Lhasa to struggle to survive only to find refuge with an aging painter. Taken from his home again, Kelsang struggles against those who would take him for his rare nature to find something being home. "Black Flame" is an adventurous read that will charm dog lovers everywhere, highly recommended.

The Blue Note
Eve Winter
Regent Press
2747 Regent Street, Berkeley, CA 94705
9781587902338, $18.00,

The world of technology offers a whole new world for those curious about the world at large. "The Blue Note: Electronic Erotica" is a twist on the work of romance from Eve Winter is a collection of thoughts and ideas from Eve Winter who presents her own twist of searching for love, presenting a dual story of pursuing love offline and online and throughout the world around us. "The Blue Note" is an enticing twist of romance, highly recommended reading.

His to Command
Opal Carew
St. Martin's Griffin
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
9780312674632, $14.99,

To surrender entirely is a secret desire some keep. "His to Command" is a romance of high society from Opal Carew, who follows successful businesswoman Kate, who is determined to empower her world under Matthew Pearce enters her life and brings her deepest darkest secrets. Twisting with themes of domination and submission all throughout, "His to Command" is a riveting read that should prove so very hard to put down, highly recommended.

Dancing With Trouble
Omotunde E. G. Johnson
Langdon Street Press
212 3rd Avenue North, Suite 290
Minneapolis, MN 55401
9781935204763, $16.99,

Africa is a troubled continent with many of its states in turmoil. "Dancing with Trouble" is a novel focused on a fictional African nation that shares so many of the problems with the modern region. As an immigrant who left the country for America returns, he sees his homeland in utter disarray and looks for how he can personally help and try to bring his homeland into the modern century... if it can even be saved. "Dancing With Trouble" is a much recommended and choice pick for general fiction collections, very much recommended reading.

The Andalucian Friend
Alexander Soderberg
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 17th floor
New York, NY 10019
9780770436056, $26.00,

A life quiet can be made loud with the introduction of a single element. "The Andalucian Friend" tells of Sophie, a young mother alone, but living a content life with no thrills. When Hector Guzman enters her world, she's attracted to him, and the minefield of a life of crime and violence that comes with him makes her question it. But Sophie can't force herself to flee... even against all common sense, with her own fate in the balance. "The Andalucian Friend" is riveting blend of thriller and romance that will keep the pages turning all the way through.

Grave Consequences
Lisa T. Bergren
David C. Cook
4050 Lee Vance View
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
9781434764324, $14.99,

There is rarely a choice we can make that doesn't have a heavy weight. "Grave Consequences" follows Cora Kensington, having the time of her life as she sees Europe with her family. But love strikes her where it may hurt her the most, and anywhere she turns she is going to bring pain to someone... and the choices are daunting. "Grave Consequences" is a riveting tale of historical romance, a treasure and highly recommended.

A Place to Belong
Lauraine Snelling
Bethany House Publishers
c/o Baker Publishing Group
11400 Hampshire Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55438
9780764204173, $14.99,

So often, love is not listed as a vital ingredient to marriage. "A Place to Belong" is a historical novel, as Cassie Lockwood struggles with her life on her future husband's ranch. As she drifts away from her fiance, who is dedicated to the idea of love but nothing seems to be sparking... and even his eyes seem to be elsewhere. She realizes a bit of excitement in her life is what she needs, no matter the cost. "A Place to Belong" is a riveting read of romance and fiction, much recommended reading.

Wolves of the North
Harry Sidebottom
The Overlook Press
141 Wooster Street
New York, NY 10012
9781590207833, $26.95,

As Rome struggles to keep the empire together, pressures push it apart. "Wolves of the North: Warrior of Rome" is a historical adventure following Ballista, a legionnaire charged with combating the Heruli, the feared tribes preventing the Roman expansion northwards. With renown for author Harry Sidebottom's dedication to historical accuracy, "Wolves of the North" is a riveting adventure of historical fiction, an absolute must for any one in love with the classical period of Ancient Rome.

Sinners and The Sea
Rebecca Kanner
Howard Books
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl.
New York, NY 10020
9781451695236, $22.99,

To be scorned from the world... and to have a second chance at the world. "Sinners and the Sea" is a story of Biblical fiction about Noah's wife, who in the Bible does not bear much story herself. Author Rebecca Kanner uses the popular Christian legend to tell her story, of a woman spurned from her village, finding comfort under Noah, and her own personal struggles to find peace with her sons and the coming calamity. An intriguing read, "Sinners and the Sea" is riveting Biblical fiction, an absolute must for fans of the genre.

The Computer Shelf

Getting to Know ArcGIS for Desktop, third edition
Michael Law & Amy Collins
ESRI Press
380 New York Street
Redlands, CA 92378-8100
9781589483088 $84.95

Now in its third updated edition featuring new topics about online resources and raster data, as well as new exercises and learning tools, Getting to Know ArcGIS for Desktop is an excellent text for classroom instruction or personal use. Full-color computer screenshots on almost every page illustrate this hands-on, practical-minded guide to using the ArcGIS for Desktop software show maps and data, as well as make queries and analyses of data. An accompanying trial disc of ArcGIS for Desktop software (requires a Windows operating system and certain minimum computer specifications) rounds out this detailed pedagogical guide, designed to teach readers by having them undertake straightforward activities with numbered step-by-step instructions. "By default, ArcMap does not put labels on top of each other. This means that, depending on the scale and the part of the map you are looking at, some features in a layer may not be labeled. If you want to be sure every feature in a layer is labeled, you can tell ArcMap to place overlapping labels." An absolute "must-have" for anyone who needs to master ArcGIS for Desktop quickly!

The Self-Help Shelf

Activate Your Goodness
Shari Arison
Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100
Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781401937973, $14.95,

Making the world a better place is often its own reward. "Activate Your Goodness: Transforming the World Through Doing Good" is an inspirational read from Shari Arison, who encourages readers to embrace their inner goodness and find their drive to a better life by doing good things for those around us, the community, and the environment. "Activate Your Goodness" is a powerful read for personal inspiration collections, highly recommended.

Let Me Tell You a Story
James O'Keefe with Josh O'Keefe
Andrews & McMeel
1130 Walnut Street
Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
9781449407773, $19.99,

Good health is attainable for those with the drive to reach for it and succeed. "Let Me Tell You a Story: Inspirational Stories for Health, Happiness, and a Sexy Waist" is a collection of inspirational stories of those who have strove for success, telling their story of better understanding their own push for better health and wellness in their own ways. From stories of finding a diet that works for them, exercise that tones the body, and more, "Let Me Tell You a Story" is an inspirational read designed to give readers that extra bit of motivation for life and living.

The Memoir Shelf

My Greek Drama
Gianna Angelpoulos
Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869
Austin, TX 78709
9781608325818, $26.95,

Greece has faced many challenges in recent years, and many seek to restore its worthiness of its heritage. "My Greek Drama" is a memoir from Gianna Angelpoulos, a Greek patriot who is strongly troubled be her country's recent economic and political struggles and has done much in public service and was vital in bringing the Olympic games to the country in 2004. An insightful and personal story of modern Greece, "My Greek Drama" is an enticing and much recommended addition to international biography collections, highly recommended.

Rugged Mercy
Robert Wright
Washington State University Press
PO Box 645910, Pullman, WA 99164-5910
9780874223149, $26.95,

The call of the doctor is a noble one, but to risk one's own life consistently is an act of heroism. "Rugged Mercy" is the story of Robert H. Wright, a doctor of Idaho who throughout the regions many rough winters gained a reputation for daring to cross the frontier west to help those in need. His grandson, who carries on his name, seeks to tell his stories of daring and adventure through this tough time where emergency medical care almost guaranteed death. "Rugged Mercy" is an exciting read of true adventure, highly recommended.

My Great Grandfather Was Stonewall Jackson, volume 1
David Jonathan Sawyer
Biographical Publishing Company
95 Sycamore Drive
Prospect, CT 06712-1493
192988284X, $19.00,

Even as generations past, hatred lives on. "My Great Grandfather Was Stonewall Jackson: The Story of a Negro Boy Growing Up in the Segregated South" is an autobiographical novel from David Jonathan Sawyer who shares his journey of growing up in the deeply racist south, and how he took pride in his ancestral ties to the Confederate general as strength to help him through his toughest times. "My Great Grandfather Was Stonewall Jackson" is a strong pick to historical blends of memoir and novel, recommended. Also consider volume 2, "Stonewalling in the Shadow of a Legend" (1929882858, $19.00), continuing his story.

The Turk who Loved Apples
Matt Gross
Da Capo Press
c/o Perseus Books Group
11 Cambridge Center
Cambridge, MA 02142
9780306821158, $15.99,

The world is a huge place, and coming to understand it all is a curiosity in itself. "The Turk Who Loved Apples: And Other Tales of Losing My Way Around the World" is a memoir of world travel from Matt Gross, who shares his life's journeys and the constant stories he sees, meeting farmers, other travelers, and his strange ways of getting around through the world with humor and a lot of life. "The Turk who Loved Apples" is a poignant and riveting read for travel memoir collections, much recommended.

Polka King
Jimmy Sturr
BenBella Books
10300 N. Central Expressway, STE 400
Dallas, TX 75204
9781937856342, $24.95,

Respect in your field is sometimes all you seek. "Polka King: The Life and Times of Polka Music's Living Legend" is the memoir of Polka star Jimmy Sturr, who recounts his long career where has claimed Grammys and countless television appearances. Sharing his stories of world travel, unusual anecdotes, and plenty of humor, as well as the insight into the genre of Polka, "Polka King" is a strong addition to any musical history or autobiography collection, highly recommended.

Beyond the Bear
Dan Bigley & Debra McKinney
The Lyons Press
246 Goose Lane
Guilford, CT 06437
9780762784554, $22.95,

Bear attacks seem like a crazy nightmare, but they do happen and it can be life changing. "Beyond the Bear: How I Learned to Live and Love Again After Being Blinded by a Bear" is a memoir from Dan Bigley with Debra McKinney, as he shares his story of a vicious attack from a grizzly bear and the attacks that left him seriously injured and without the ability to see. A long road to recovery which will never be full, "Beyond the Bear" is an insightful read of coping with the tragedy of life and living life to the fullest in spite of it all.

Once Upon a Gypsy Moon
Micheal Hurly
Center Street
c/o Hachette Publishing Group
237 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017-0010
9781455529339, $19.99,

When we're on the ropes in life, sometimes all we need out of life is a single desperate gambit. "Once Upon a Gypsy Moon" is a memoir from Michael Hurley, who recounts when life pushed him up against the wall and how an impulsive trip allowing him to sail around the world gave him a whole new perspective on life and living in the process. Sharing his journey and what he has learned and with an inspiring message on the power of adventure, "Once Upon a Gypsy Moon" is an excellent addition to memoir and inspirational collections.

Nine Lives
Brandon Baltzley
Gotham Books
c/o Penguin Publishing USA
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
9781592407910, $26.00,

Sometimes we have many passions, all intertwining with one another for one weird cocktail of a life. "Nine Lives: A Chef's Journey From Chaos to Control" is a memoir from Brandon Baltzley who shares his unique journey through life. A love of cooking starting early on, he found his primary calling very young... and an interest in music made him a very non-standard cook, far from the image of the poofy hats and white shirts. But such wandering passions gave him demons, and those demons almost claimed his life many times. A riveting, hard to put down story of a life, "Nine Lives" is a must for memoir and biography collections, enthusiastically recommended.

The Girl Got Up
Rachel M. Srubas
The Liturgical Press
St. John's Abbey, PO Box 7500
Collegeville, MN 56321-7500
9780814634493, $16.95,

To rise again after apparent death is to have a second chance. "The Girl Got Up: A Cruciform Memoir" is a faith-driven memoir from Rachel M. Srubas who tells her story, drawing her own story of resurrection, finding her place in life as a woman, as a Christian, while being completely honest and realistic about what she has seen. "The Girl Got Up" is a strong addition to Christian studies and memoir collections, highly recommended.

The Social Issues Shelf

Orphan Justice
Johnny Carr
B&H Publishing Group
127 Ninth Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37234-0143
9781433677984, $14.99,

Adoption takes commitment not everyone can easily adopt. "Orphan Justice: How to Care for Orphans Beyond Adopting" looks into the Christian perspectives on orphaned children, and what people can do when adoption isn't possible. Worldwide, countless children suffer without aid, and Johnny Carr presents ideas on what they can do to help these children through political movements all the way up to adoption itself. "Orphan Justice" is a must for social issues and Christian studies collections, highly recommended.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Darkness Before Dawn
Ace Collins
Abingdon Press
PO Box 801
Nashville, TN 37202
9781426714672, $14.99,

Justice has different definitions for everyone. "Darkness Before Dawn" is a Christian-driven novel from Ace Collins, telling the story of Meg Richard's, who is pregnant when she loses her husband to a young drunk driver. Faced with the weight of single motherhood, and denied justice for her loss, she is lured by a different sort of retribution, and the dark path that beckons. "Darkness Before Dawn" is a strong addition to Christian fiction and suspense collections, highly recommended.

The Forbidden Book
Joscelyn Godwin & Guido Mina Di Sospiro
The Disinformation Company
220 East 23rd Street, Suite 500
New York, NY 10010
9781938875014, $24.95,

The flares and conflicts of faith can lead to much in the way of murder. "The Forbidden Book" is a Biblical thriller from Joscelyn Godwin & Guido Mina Di Sospiro, presents a murder mystery that digs into the deep and esoteric nature of Islam and Western civilization, a worldwide adventure that explores the conflicts of faith and how they can easily drive people to kill, and the metaphysical aspects that may seep into our souls. "The Forbidden Book" is an exciting thriller for fans of the genre, highly recommended.

Date Certain
Reuben Eisenstein
Fithian Press
PO Box 2790, McKinleyville, CA 95519
9781564745392, $12.95,

We all live on a clock, but knowing that timer can put us on the ropes. "Date Certain" is a novel following Benjamin Stone, a physician who is struck with the sudden knowledge of when he is to die. Struggling with this knowledge, his other touches of precognition gives him terror... and the opportunity to do something about the mysteries around him. "Date Certain" is a riveting blend of paranormal mystery, very much recommended reading.

Yesterday's Echo
Matt Coyle
Oceanview Publishing
595 Bay Isles Road, 120-G
Longboat Key, FL 34228
9781608090761, $26.95,

Forgiveness is hard to achieve... especially when forgiving oneself. "Yesterday's Echo" is a thriller following troubled Rick Cahill, who can't forgive himself for his wife's death, and no one else seems to forgive him either. When a new woman presents herself in his life, and asks for his help, one part wants him to flee, undeserving; another part seeks redemption. But the biggest obstacle might not be another murderer, but instead his own demons tearing him apart. "Yesterday's Echo" is an excellent thriller, hard to put down all the way through.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Changing Reality
Serge Kahili King
Quest Books
c/o The Theosophical Publishing House
PO Box 270
Wheaton, IL 60189-0270
9780835609111, $16.95,

If your reality seems burdensome, why not alter it? "Changing Reality: Huna Practices to Create Life You Want" is a spiritual read from Serge Kahili King who presents a twisting idea of spirituality and shamanism, taking traditional Hawaiian faith ideas and offering them for wider understanding and ideas. "Changing Reality" is a strong addition to spirituality and reference collections and for those seeking a new take, highly recommended.

Conversation: The Sacred Art
Diane M. Millis
Skylight Paths Publishing
Sunset Farms Offices, Route 4
PO Box 237
Woodstock, VT 05091
9781594734748, $16.99,

Speaking does volumes to others and the self. "Conservation: The Sacred Art: Practicing Presence in an Age of Distraction" is an inspirational and spiritual read from Diane M. Millis who advises readers on how to better connect with others with the power of speech and listening in return. Attention, self-awareness, and other ideas can lead to more meaningful interpersonal relationships. "Conservation" is a strong addition to spirituality and reference collections, not to be missed.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Secret Practices of the Sufi Freemasons
Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorff
Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street
Rochester, VT 05767
9781594774683, $14.95,

Free Masonry and the metaphysical nature behind it isn't strictly a western concept. "Secret Practices of the Sufi Freemasons: The Islamic Teachings at the Heart of Alchemy" explores the original writing by Baron Rudolf von Sebottendorff, who wrote of Oriental freemasonry, and its ties to the Islamic Holy book the Qur'an. Touching on the spiritual ideas that lie beneath it, its relation to alchemy, and many other topics, "Secret Practices of the Sufi Freemasons" is a fascinating read for anyone curious about the old ways of the occult in history.

The Buddhist Studies Shelf

Wisdom of the Kadam Masters
Thupten Jinpa
Wisdom Publications
199 Elm Street
Somerville, MA 02144
9781614290544, $16.95,

Wisdom comes in many forms, but ultimately, the goal is to realize it. "Wisdom of the Kadam Masters" is a modern translation of the Buddhist classic as Thupten Jinpa, renown English translator of Buddhist literature, as he presents this renown insights of this Tibetan classic for English readers. For readers of Buddhist literature, "Wisdom of the Kadam Masters" is a strongly recommended addition to Buddhist Studies and spirituality collections.

A Straight Road with 99 Curves
Gregory Shepherd
Stone Bridge Press
PO Box 8208
Berkeley, CA 94707
9781611720112, $14.95,

Buddhism often offers much insight on our spirits and ideals for life. "A Straight Road with 99 Curves: Coming of Age on the Path to Zen" is a spiritual memoir from Gregory Shepherd as he tells his story of traveling the world and piecing together his own ideas of the world, traveling, find his own place, finding his calling, and breaking from the traditional path to enlightenment. "A Straight Road with 99 Curves" is a must for spiritual and Buddhist memoir collections, highly recommended.

The Crafts Shelf

Crystal Play
Anna Elizabeth Draeger
Kalmbach Publishing Company
21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53186
9780871164766, $21.95,

Making jewelry is an enduringly popular hobby for tens of thousands of people from all walks of life. Jewelry designer Anna Elizabeth Draeger draws upon her years of experience and expertise in "Crystal Play: Fun & Fabulous Designs for Stitched Jewelry", a profusely illustrated, 112 page instruction book showcasing 25 imaginative designs for bracelets and accessories. Each design features a complete materials list and 'user friendly' step-by-step directions. Enhanced with practical and insightful tips on color and design, "Crystal Play: Fun & Fabulous Designs for Stitched Jewelry" also features a 'basic review' section addressing fundamental techniques. Fun, practical, imaginative, "Crystal Play: Fun & Fabulous Designs for Stitched Jewelry" is very highly recommended for personal and community library Hobby & Crafts reference collections.

Bewitching Bead & Wire Jewelry
Lark Books
387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016
9781454707561, $26.95,

Charming beads and jewelry can make many a wondrous jewelry and many a fun project. "Bewitching Bead & Wire Jewelry: Easy Techniques for 40 Irresistible Projects" is a do it yourself jewelry guide from Lark Books who provide full color guides and illustrations on getting the most out of one's artistic endeavors and creating wondrous and fun projects with easy techniques even beginners can get a hold of and flourish in their lives. "Bewitching Bead & Wire Jewelry" is a much recommended addition to any crafts collection, not to be missed.

The Photography Shelf

Portrait Of Boulder
Steve Mohlenkamp, photographer
Farcountry Press
PO Box 5630, Helena, MT 59604
9781560375401, $26.95,

"Portrait of Boulder" by photographer Steve Mohlenkamp is a 120 page compilation of full color photography showcasing the people and images of Denver, Colorado. Each full color image is informatively captioned. Enhanced with a succinct Foreword by Silvia Pettem, "Portrait of Boulder" is a delight to simply browse through and is an especially recommended acquisition for Denver's academic and community libraries -- as well as an enduringly popular memento for visitors and native denizens alike!

Images of America Fort Missoula
Tate Jones
Arcadia Publishing
420 Wando Park Blvd.
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
9780738599557, $21.99,

Montana has a bigger role to play in America's military history than most realize. "Images of America Fort Missoula" is a collection of photography and history of Fort Missoula in Montana, offering its many roles throughout the fort's history from its press westward, to its dark role in World War II, to its modern place as the Million Dollar Post. "Images of America Fort Missoula" is filled cover to cover with black and white photography, very much recommended reading, not to be missed.

The Scots
Tiffany Alvarado McKenna
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500290781, $21.95,

A new technology lead to a chance to capture history as it happened. "The Scots: A Photohistory" analyzes the history of the Scottish people during this early time of photography. Capturing the Scottish people and their triumph throughout the middle of the nineteenth century and into the early twentieth, all of this photographs prove endlessly fascinating with a historical explanation and outlook all throughout. "The Scots" is a must for those seeking a photography book with a strong focus on Scottish history.

The Education Shelf

Your Complete Guide to College Success
Donald J. Foss
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
9781433812965 $29.95

Your Complete Guide to College Success: How to Study Smart, Achieve Your Goals, and Enjoy Campus Life is an absolute must-have for any college-bound adult. Chapters teach the basics of time management, strategic reading, preparing for tests, meet the challenge of mathematics courses, common pitfalls to avoid in campus life, and much more. "I recommend that you pick your exercise with the long term in mind. Look around; no one plays football after age 30 unless they are paid enormous sums of money to do so - and then they can't walk a few years later... consider using your university recreation center to learn or improve a lifetime sport - tennis, handball, squash, hiking or jogging, mountain biking, etc. Lessons are usually free or very inexpensive." A practical, no-nonsense resource that backs up its advice with a wealth of references, Your Complete Guide to College Success is enthusiastically recommended especially as a gift to aspiring high school graduates!

Let's Be Scientists!
Nancy N. Heilbronner
Prufrock Press
PO Box 8813
Waco, TX 76714-8813
9781618210241, $24.95,

A little bit of science can help us so much throughout our life. "Let's Be Scientists!: Authentic Learning in the Science Classroom" is a reference for teachers that encourages scientific themed learning in the classroom, talking over the many aspects of the scientific method that may be applicable to many subjects. Encouraging critical thinking, debate, experimentation, labs, and much more, "Let's Be Scientists!" is a must addition to many an education collection focused on science and learning.

Word Nerds
Brenda J. Overturf, Leslie H. Montgomery, & Margot Holmes Smith
Stenhouse Publishers
477 Congress Street, Suite 4B
Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781571109545, $20.00,

A better vocabulary is more useful than many believe. "Word Nerds: Teaching All Students to Learn and Love Vocabulary" discusses the furtherance of vocabulary in many schools, with a focus on high poverty areas where vocabulary teaching games, activities, and encouragement of reading writing is making a difference that teaches a love of language. With plenty of insight on how to better teaching vocabulary and language arts in these tougher to teach areas, "Word Nerds" is a strong addition to any education and educator's reference collection, highly recommended.

Digital Storytelling in the Classroom, second edition
Jason B. Ohler
Corwin Press, Inc.
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218
9781452268255, $36.00,

Stories are an invaluable tool for sharing and teaching. "Digital Storytelling in the Classroom: New Media Pathways to Literacy, Learning, and Creativity" discusses digital storytelling and its effective methods for education from Jason B. Ohler, who suggests many ways to use new media, exploring how it can work and how to better teach readers through these methods through interactivity and other elements exclusive to digital media. "Digital Storytelling in the Classroom" is a strong addition to educational studies collections.

The Kindness Curriculum
Judith Anne Rice
Redleaf Press
10 Yorkton Court
St. Paul, MN 55117-1065
9781605541242, $24.95,

It's never too early to learn good will. "The Kindness Curriculum: Stop Bullying Before It Starts" discusses what early childhood educators can do to inspire better habits and friendship among their students, trying to root out the early symptoms of bullying and inspire them to encourage support, feeling better about themselves and encouraging better feelings in others as well. "The Kindness Curriculum" is a powerful read and addition to education collections focusing on counseling and early childhood.

The Cookbook Shelf

Ice Cream
Eliq Maranik
H. F. Ullmann
c/o 60 Cycle Media Relations LLC
38 High Avenue, Nyack NY 10960
9783848003600, $19.99,

One of the most popular and ubiquitous desserts is ice cream in all its flavors and permutations. Ice cream enthusiast Eliq Maranik has compiled "Ice Cream", a superbly illustrated, 160 page compendium of recipes showcasing the versatility and variety of ice creams. Beginning with an informed and informative history of ice cream, followed by a comprehensive section devoted to Homemade Ice Cream, followed by sections devoted to The Components of Ice Cream; Equipment, and Ice-Cream Guide, and Ice Cream Tasting. "Ice Cream" then concludes with a roster of different kinds of ice cream ranging from Vanilla, to Caramel, to Coconut, to Mango, and more! Then come the sections devoted to Sorbets, Granitas, and Ice Pops. Of special note is the concluding section feature Extras including ice cream toppings and sauces. A joy to simply browse through, "Ice Cream" is a 'must' for dedicated ice cream enthusiasts everywhere!

The Traveling Soup Pot, A Savory Journey Through Many Lands
Mary Chamberlin, author
Foreword by Michel A. Escoffier
Mary Chamberlin Cookbooks
2750 Carmel Knolls Dr., Carmel, CA 93923
9781935530275 $35.00

"The Traveling Soup Pot" is a master's collection of delectable international soup recipes inspired and influenced by Chef Mary Chamberlin, along with her husband, Captain Roy Chamberlin and the legendary Michel Escoffier, descendant of Auguste Escoffier, also known as "the King of Chefs and the Chef of Kings." Here are over 100 imaginative soup recipes from global sources, arranged by area of origin. We have Mock Bird's nest Soup from China, Alan Wong's Red & Yellow Tomato Soup from Hawaii, Chicken Mulligatawny Soup from India, Portuguese Fish Stew, Swedish Soup with Dumplings, Lobster Bisque and Crabmeat & Brie Soup from France, Chilled Vichyssoise from England, Irish Stew, Leek & Potato Soup from Wales, chilled soups, Island soups, Mexicali Tortilla Soup, and finally Clam Chowder New California style, and many more from the American continent and others of hybrid or mixed origins. Recipes are divided into chapters based on origin, or type, such as chilled soups. An interesting 10th chapter offers "From Hobo to Must Go Soups," a combination of upscale versions of Hobo Stew, Mulligan Stew, and leftover miracle worker soup. Standard measurements and clear, step by step instructions make these fabulous soups accessible to all. A bit of culinary history is woven into each recipe, fascinating details that make the experience of offering of "The Traveling Soup Pot" all the more savory. Here indeed are fabulous gourmet and comfort food classic soups for every taste and budget. This edition is also spectacularly presented, with a special illustration of a Ford Tri-Motor airplane from the Roaring 20's on the cover, carrying a wandering, giant covered soup pot! Colored photos also decorate the chapters and further inspire the gourmet soup chef, amateur or not.

Mac N' Cheese To the Rescue
Kristen Kuchar
Ulysses Press
P.O. Box 3440, Berkeley, CA 94703
9781612431680 $12.95

Classic boxed macaroni and cheese mixes are the standard for Western comfort food, from childhood, through college and young adulthood into old age. "Mac N' Cheese To the Rescue: 101 Recipes to Spice Up Everyone's Favorite Boxed Comfort Food" is a great collection of multiple varieties of nourishing, tasty dishes that can be created starting from one humble boxed mix of pasta and powdered cheese sauce. In the introduction, the author tells of three different kinds of Macaroni and cheese mixes used in these tasty recipes: They include Regular Mac N' Cheese, deluxe Mac N' Cheese, and Microwavable Mac N' Cheese. Basic preparation instructions for each type of mac n" cheese are given, non specific to any one particular brand name. Following are 8 chapters of over 100 recipes that feature a mac n' cheese packaged mix. Chapter categories vary from Breakfast and Snacks and Appetizers to Vegetarian, Poultry and Fish, and Beef, Lamb and Pork. Some of the imaginative entree titles are Carbonara Mac, Carolina Pulled Pork, Vegetarian's Fiesta, Santa Fe Pepper Pasta, Mini Mac Burgers, Good Morning Mac N' Cheese, and Oktoberfest Casserole. Recipes are simple, using ordinary grocery store stocked ingredients, with step by step instructions. An example of the economy of effort is Superbowl Mac which simply combines prepared boxed mac n' cheese, shredded cooked chicken, chopped celery, Gorgonzola cheese, and prepared buffalo sauce. Presto, you have a Superbowl favorite delicacy transformed into a handy, tasty meal in a bowl. Another favorite for vegetable lovers is Spinach Artichoke Mac, which adds canned or frozen artichoke hearts, spinach and roasted red peppers to prepared mac n' cheese, plus jarred Alfredo sauce, Asiago and Parmesan cheeses, and seasonings. Delicious transformations are achieved with only a few added tasty touches. "Mac N' Cheese To the Rescue" is a lovely gift to the college bound graduate, the parent of a young family, or the thrifty single adult who cooks just a little. It is a truly versatile sampler that helps to reinvent and jazz up a basic beloved food.

OMG that's Paleo?
Juli Bauer, author
Scribe Publishing Company
29488 Woodward, Suite 426, Royal Oak, MI 48073
9780985956240 $24.99

"OMG that's Paleo?: 100 Recipes That Will Make You Say "OMG"" is a creative collection of fabulous recipes arranged in categories including Poultry, Beef, Pork, Fish/Seafood, Slow Cooker, Sweet & Savory Breakfasts, Baked Goods, 5-Ingredient Meals, Side Dishes, Snacks, and Desserts. Whether or not you agree with Ms. Bauer's Paleo food theory, there is no doubt these are some delicious and healthy, easy, creative recipes. For example, how about Blackberry Glazed Grilled Pork Chops? Or Grilled Swordfish with Peach and Avocado Salsa? For breakfast, try Caramelized Onion Frittata, or Blueberry Waffels with Blueberry Maple Compote. Using the slow cooker, try Pork Green Chile, Mushroom Gravy Slow Cooked Rump Roast, or Pumpkin Seed Salsa Chicken Stew. A favorite chapter is 5-Ingredient Meals, offering Slow Cooked Salsa Chicken, Bangers and Mash, and Savory Steak and Mushrooms. For Side Dishes we have Bacon Pecan Brussels Sprouts, or Apple and Jicama Salad. For Snacks there are recipes for Pumpkin Granola, smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs, and Herb Carrot Fries with Roasted Garlic Dip. There are even desserts, such as Chocolate Coffee Caramel Bars, Swett Potato Brownies with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Caramel Cheesecake Bars. "OMG That's Paleo?" can open your senses to a whole new palate and healthful eating style. There are also creative answers to such questions as how do you eat a no bun lifestyle? Answer: substitute plantains. For those who have adventurous palates, or those who simply would like to try a healthy change in cooking, Recipes are no-nonsense, step by step, use standard measurements, and recognizable ingredients. "OMG That's Paleo?" offers a great jumping off point.

Cooking for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet
Erica Kerwien
Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440
Berkeley CA 94703-3440
9781612431741, $15.95,

Trying to balance carbs perfectly is often a curious struggle for many. "Cooking for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet" is a health-driven cookbook from Erica Kerwien who shares her recipes designed for making the most of a specific diet designed for perfectly balancing the carbohydrates for their diet that might require more comprehensive measuring. With full color photos and recipes for every preference of taste and diet, "Cooking for the Specific Carbohydrate Diet" is an excellent addition to general cookbook collections, highly recommended.

The Betty Crocker Big Book of Cakes
General Mills editorial staff
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003
9781118364031 $19.99

"The Betty Crocker Big Book of Cakes" is a classic contemporary cake sampler. Providing inspired, easy to prepare cakes in 200 recipes embellished with over 100 full color photographs of finished cakes, "The Betty Crocker Big Book of Cakes" is a dazzling rainbow of selections, complete with a special section with illustrations that shows how to bake, assemble, ice, and decorate cakes. Cakes are divided into basic cakes, one-layer cakes, tube and loaf cakes, fancy layer cakes, rolled, pudding, and upside-down cakes and cheesecakes, party decorated cakes, and tiny cakes. Some stunning recipe examples are Banana-Cinnamon Cake, Caramel Snickerdoodle Cake, Grasshopper Cake, Heavenly Almond-Apricot Layer Cake, Peanut Butter Silk Cake, Chocolate Tiramisu Cake, Key Lime Coconut Cream Cake, Boozy Bourbon Chocolate Cupcakes, and Caramel Cappucino Cheesecake. For extra spice there is Chipotle Devil's Food Mini Cupcakes and Zinfandel Wine Cupcakes. Extra fun is packed into small servings in Mini Royal Fruitcakes and Espresso Petits Fours, not to mention Chocolate-Almond Cheesecake Bites. Standard measurements are used, with a metric conversion guide at the end. With streamlined instructions, nutritional information, plus extra instruction pages on baking, frosting, and decorating cakes, there is nothing left out except the heavenly aroma of your chosen cake baking project. "The Big Book of Cakes" from Betty Crocker is a signature collection that lives up to the established reputation for attainable excellence in home kitchens.

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

The cocktail party is an American social tradition. Now even the most novice of cocktail party hosts or hostesses can provide their guests with an amazing variety of cocktails thanks to "Cocktails: Fancy & Delicious Recipes For All Tastes", a superbly illustrated, 160 page compendium of knowledgeably compiled by cocktail expert Eliq Maranik. Beginning with essential instructions on getting started (including equipment and utensils, terminology, ingredients for the home bar, glassware, and mixing/serving techniques), "Cocktails: Fancy & Delicious Recipes For All Tastes" showcases basic cocktail recipes, then goes on with instructions for frozen cocktails, shots and shooters, long drinks, hot drinks and after-dinner cocktails, and even non-alcoholic cocktails ideal for designated drivers and teetotalers. Of special note is the section providing a Cocktail Recipe Index for spirits and for liqueurs. Thoroughly 'user friendly' from beginning to end, "Cocktails: Fancy & Delicious Recipes For All Tastes" is very highly recommended for personal and community library reference collections.

The Sports Shelf

All the Babe's Men
Eldon L. Ham
Claire Noble
Potomac Books, Inc.
22841 Quicksilver Drive
Dulles, VA 20166-2012
97815979382, $29.95,

The big score, perhaps sealing victory. "All the Babe's Men: Baseball's Greatest Home Run Seasons and How They Changed America" discusses the place of the home run, not just in the game of baseball but how it has taken its place in America's culture and psyche. From the evolution of the game of baseball which put so much focus on the big time home run hitters and the problems it has wrought, author Eldon L. Ham also touches on home run society in American life. "All the Babe's Men" is a strongly recommended addition to sports history collections with a side focus on sociology.

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Plugged In
Keith Veronese
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive
Raleigh, NC 27614
9781605490472 $16.95

Plugged In: Comics Professionals Working in the Video Game Industry is an anthology of brief yet enlightening interviews with comic professionals (especially writers) who have been called upon to apply their storytelling skills in video gaming. From Trent Kaniuga (CreeD) and his years working on Blizzard Entertainment's wildly popular game Diablo III, Elliot Maggin's candid discussion of early Atari, and much more, Plugged In is equally fascinating to comic book fans, video game enthusiasts, and anyone interested in tips, tricks, and insights about working in the field. A wealth of black-and-white photographs of key pop culture comics, games, and game screenshots round out this fascinating anthology! "The money, day-to-day, is much better in video games, though, but I've also found the bar for quality is much lower. That is, I had to clean up a lot of truly lousy writing in video games, where to even break in the door in mainstream comics the quality bar is far, far higher."

Astronaut Academy: Re-Entry
Dave Roman
First Second Books
175 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10010
9781596436213 $9.99

Astronaut Academy: Re-Entry is an off-the-wall wacky black-and-white graphic novel of sci-fi silliness. The charm of the exuberant, loosely anime-inspired art lies in its simplicity. At the futuristic space academy, young recruit Hakata Soy has to deal with an ill-tempered roommate, an attractive yet hot-headed Fireball champion, and the depredations of a horrifying, heart-eating, shape-shifting monster! Fortunately, most people in Astronaut Academy have an extra heart or two to spare, but running completely out of hearts is as good as Game Over! How can the Academy's students protect their hearts from a greedy fiend with a talent for mimicking the person one adores the most? Despite its fiendish villain, Astronaut Academy: Re-Entry is a family-friendly adventure, filled with laugh-out-loud humor for readers of all ages. "'What is going on here? Looks romantic! You guys know the rules. No falling in love on school property. We're gonna have to send you to detention! Your hearts will be safer in there than out here.' 'A space hero sentenced to detention? How can this be?!'"

The Audiobook Shelf

Laughter Therapy
Hosted by Peter Sagal
Highbridge Audio Books
201 Sixth Street SE, Suite 220
Minneapolis, MN 55414
9781622310388 $22.95

Peter Sagal hosts Laughter Therapy: A Comedy Collection for the Chronically Serious is an audio CD anthology of vignettes from some of the funniest comedians ever to appear on National Public Radio. Featuring Mel Brooks, Drew Carey, Stephen Colbert, Mo Rocca, Phyllis Diller, Joan Rivers, and more, Laughter Therapy is the perfect doldrums antidote and a wonderful giftbook! Highly recommended. 2 CDs, 2 hours.

Halo Silentium
Greg Bear
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315
New York, NY 10010
9781427229083, $29.99,

The universe hangs in the balance if knowledge is not found. "Halo Silentium: The Forerunner Saga" is the third book in Greg Bear's series based on the popular science fiction first person shooter series. The librarian and the Ur-Didact, two souls amongst cosmic forces that care not but for the destruction of the Flood. For fans of the lore behind the series, "Halo Silentium" is presented here as an audiobook branching over six CDSs, unabridged with a run time of 7.5 hours, well worth considering for science fiction audiobook fans.

Total Control
David Baldacci
Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017
9781619696235, $29.98,

Power always tempts, grabbing from all sides. "Total Control" is the audiobook version of the breakneck political thriller from David Baldacci as he tells the story of Sidney Archer dealing with the sudden disappearance of her husband in a plane crash and the betrayal that seems to be lurking for her at every single corner. Read by Jonathan Marosz, "Total Control" is acclaimed and very much recommended reading. 17 hours across 14 CDs.

Fly Away
Kristin Hannah, author
Susan Ericksen, narrator
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315
New York, NY 10010
9781427212665 $39.99

Fly Away (13 CDs, 16 hours) is a haunting, unabridged audiobook about the bonds between women - as best friends, and as mother and daughter. When Tully Hart's closest, lifelong friend Kate Ryan dies, she tries to keep her deathbed promise to Kate, by looking after Kate's sixteen-year-old daughter Marah Ryan. But Marah Ryan is severely grief-stricken, and turns to a young man who is entangled with a dangerous crowd. Tully's own mother, Dorothy, harbors a terrible secret from her past, yet only by confessing can she become the mother that Tully needs - and perhaps teach Tully to be the surrogate mother that Marah needs. Deep, complex characters populate this emotional novel, ideal for public library audiobook collections, and enhanced with a reading group guide read by the author. Also highly recommended is the unabridged audiobook "Secrets from the Past" (9 CDs, 11.5 hours) by Barbara Taylor Bradford, about photojournalist famous for covering Middle East wars who discovers that her late father's archives hold stunning secrets of jealousy, betrayal, passion, and glimpses into both the brightest and darkest sides of humanity.

Maya Banks, author
Adam Paul, narrator
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887
Grand Haven, MI 49417
9781469280233 $19.99

Intended strictly for mature audiences, Rush: Book One of the Breathless Trilogy is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of tense and sensual novel. Gabe is one of the wealthiest and most powerful men there is, yet his desires are kindled when he sees Mia, the beautiful woman that his best friend's little sister has grown up to be. His attraction is heavily reciprocated, and what begins as a torrid sexual affair gradually evolves into something stronger. But their new relationship hangs by a thread, vulnerable to rumors and betrayal! Rush is afire with passion, and a choice pick for connoisseurs of steamy love stories. 10 CDs, 11 hours 18 min.

Sleight of Hand
Phillip Margolin, author
Jonathan Davis, narrator
Harper Audio
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062265043 $34.99

Superbly performed by Jonathan Davis, Sleight of Hand is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of a suspenseful mystery by former criminal defense attorney and Distinguished Northwest Writer Award winner Phillip Margolin. The plot involved a labyrinthine setup, to frame a millionaire for the murder of his young wife - a woman who signed a prenuptial agreement that guaranteed her twenty million dollars for ten years of fidelity, and disappeared shortly before the couple's tenth anniversary. Private investigator Dana Cutler is locked in a battle of wills with ruthless defense attorney, professional hit man, and sexual predator Charles Benedict in this electrifying case. Justice hangs in the balance in this riveting novel, also available as a downloadable audiobook, or in print and ebook formats. 7 CDs, 8 hours.

The Old Turk's Load
Gregory Gibson, author
R.C. Bray, narrator
The Mysterious Press
c/o Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
841 Broadway, 4th floor
New York, NY 10003
9781622310104 $29.95

The debut crime novel of author and "Bookman's Log" book trade blogger Gregory Gibson, The Old Turk's Load is quick-paced saga set during the Newark riots of 1967. A stash of high-octane heroine has seemingly disappeared; cops, criminals, and everyone in between is frantically searching for five million dollars' worth of drugs, in an escalating and deadly chase. Richard Mundi, a disaffected Manhattan real estate developer, is at the center of the crisis - he hopes to use the ill-gotten capital to revive his business empire, but his rebellious lesbian daughter, a Hell's Kitchen private eye barfly, an all-but-suicidal postal clerk with throat cancer, two closeted gay hoodlums, and more off-the-wall wild characters have other ideas! A thrilling period piece, The Old Turk's Load is a welcome addition to both private and public library audiobook collections with an emphasis on high action. 5 CDs, 6 hours.

Tantor Media, Inc.
2 Business Park Road, Unit 2
Old Saybrook, CT 06475

Tantor Media continues its grand tradition of offering superbly performed, unabridged audiobook adaptations of popular titles. BBC foreign correspondent Kim Ghattas' "The Secretary: A Journey with Hillary Clinton from Beirut to the Heart of American Power" (9781452612188, $49.99, 12 CDs, 15 hours) is a biographical examination of Hillary Clinton during her years as Secretary of State for the administration of President Barack Obama. Yet "The Secretary" reaches beyond the static events and crises that have beset Clinton, examining broader issues about America's place in the world, and the true extent of its power. A bonus, exclusive interview with Kim Ghattas is included! Beth Kery's "Because You Are Mine" (9781452611594, $39.99, 9 CDs, 11.5 hours) is a sensual romance with mature themes, about a forbidden yet undeniable love. Spicy and surprising, "Because You Are Mine" lulls the reader into a realm of passion that will not be denied. Erika Robuck's "Hemingway's Girl: A Novel" (9781452612065, $39.99, 8 CDs) is a historical novel set in Key West during the Great Depression. While struggling to support her family, the impoverished Mariella Bennet finds herself inextricably drawn to two men - the notoriously excessive, tempestuous, and famous writer Hemingway, and World War I veteran Gavin Murray, who works to build the Overseas Highway. Tense and dramatic, "Hemingway's Girl" thrives with vivid characterization and real-life dilemmas. Carrie Vaughn's "Kitty Rocks the House" (9781452608495, $39.99, 6 CDs, 7.5 hours) is part of the popular Kitty Norville fantasy-thriller series. A rival werewolf in Denver challenges Kitty's authority. Kitty's pack might schism at the worst possible time, as the machinations of the manipulative vampire Roman and his Long Game begin to close in. Wild and exciting, "Kitty Rocks the House" is a choice pick for fans of the modern monster genre! Ruth Downie's "Semper Fidelis: A Novel of the Roman Empire" (9781452611808, $39.99, 8 CDs, 9.5 hours) is a blend of historical novel and intrigue-laden mystery. Ruso and his barbarian wife Tilla are the only one brave enough to investigate the rash of injuries and deaths occurring in Britannia's imperial army. Could the decorated centurion Geminus be the one responsible for the grisly fates of his own soldiers? Ruso and Tilla must uncover the truth quickly, for Hadrian is soon coming to visit! All five audiobooks are superb picks for leisure listening or library collections.

The Music CD Shelf

Roots, Shoots & Leaves
More Like Trees
BBE Records
c/o Press Junkie PR
9901 Brodie Lane, Suite 160, PMB 221
Austin, TX 78748
$15.49 CD / $8.99 MP3

Roots, Shoots & Leaves is the debut album of London-based acoustic band More Like Trees, known for their inventive music style that they dub "Strum & Bass". The tracks of Roots, Shoots & Leaves approximately trace the group's development and evolution together. A lively mix of flamenco, drum and bass, classical, hip hop, folk, and more, Roots, Shoots & Leaves bounds with the energy and emotion of vivacious adventure. The tracks are "Trees", "Chilly Water", "The Night", "Wickless Frickness", "Lady Lay", "For Sure", "Modern Urban Day Hippie", "Pieces", "Rubin", "Cake", "All Red", "Down to the River" and "Once".

Rabbits' Motel
Woody Pines
Privately Published
c/o Hearth Music PR
$TBA CD / $7.00 Digital

Despite the cartoon rabbits on its cover, Rabbits' Motel isn't expressly a children's album, but rather a set of original songs drawn from America's roots and cultural heritage. From the spark uniting a hobo and his beloved bride, to dreams of a better future, to the shattering pain of heartbreak, Rabbits' Motel infuses the flavor of the countryside into its evocative music. The tracks are "Like I Do" (2:09), "Railroad Vine" (2:34), "Train That Carried My Gal From Town" (2:45), "Who Told You" (2:31), "Heart Breaker" (3:37), "Love the Way My Baby" (4:10), "Hobo and his Bride" (4:57), "Keep Your Hands Off Her" (2:46), "Addicted to Blood" (1:56), and "Close Your Eyes and Dream" (2:13).

CSC Funk Band
Electric Cowbell Records
$TBA CD / $7.92 MP3

Funkincense lives up to its title as a brief but lively album of heady funk music. The soulful strains quickly induce the listener to follow the groove of the beat, in this riotous, rapturous jam. A must-have for true-blue funkadelic fans! The tracks are "Catcher's Mitt" (4:14), "Funkincense" (4:05), "Make Your Mind Up" (3:13), "Choom Gang" (5:53), "You Say" (4:44), "Ticket to Cabo" (3:38), "Klip Winger" (6:17), and "Versace Nachos" (4:46). Also highly recommended is the emotionally moving Electric Cowbell album "Prudence" ($18.93 CD / $5.94 MP3, 38 min.) consisting of six toe-tapping Afropop songs by the vivacious Cheick Hamala Diabate.

The DVD Shelf

Holistic Orcharding with Michael Phillips
Chelsea Green Publishing Company
85 North Main Street, Suite 120
White River Junction, VT 05001
9781603583961 $49.95

Orchard expert Michael Phillips presents Holistic Orcharding, a guide on DVD for amateur and professional orchardists alike. The focus is upon using holistic orcharding techniques that promote healthy trees and delicious fruit while avoiding harmful and expensive pesticides. Phillips covers how to enhance natural diversity and defenses, including beneficial insects, appropriate companion plants, birds, wildlife, and even microscopic fungi that work together to form an ecosystem within the orchard. Essentially, Holistic Orcharding is about harnessing the power of nature rather than fight tooth and claw against it. Holistic Orcharding also takes the viewer on a year-long journey through Phillips' orchard, with easy-to-follow demonstrations of horticultural grafting and pruning. A "must-see" for fruit tree or orchard owners all skill and experience levels! 5 hours.

Choral Vocal Technique
Sabine Horstmann
GIA Publications
7404 South Mason Avenue
Chicago, IL 60638
78514709015, $24.95,

Good vocal performance takes much practice to attain a proper level of mastery. "Choral Vocal Technique: Evoking Sound: The Choral Warm Up" discusses the techniques of Frauke Haaseman and her teachings for vocal technique, carried on by Sabine Horstmann as her primary student. Discussing how to develop these techniques for choirs, vocal ranges, and much more. An invaluable reference and resource for vocal teachers or those who are trying to hone their own personal technique, "Choral Vocal Technique" is a must for musical and educational DVD collections.

A Fine Romance
Judi Dench & Michael Williams
Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
9781598289282, $59.99,

Romance rarely makes sense. "A Fine Romance" is a compilation of this British comedy set around true life couple Judi Dench and Michael Williams as they explore this unusual romance that lingers on between them in classic and quirky British comedy, winning many awards. For fans of the genre, the entire series is compiled over 4 discs and with subtitles for the hearing impaired. "A Fine Romance" is strongly recommended for DVD collections with an international flavor.

Media Talk 101
PO Box 540, Worcester, PA 19490
727985014968, $19.95,

There's far more media in today's world than any one person can consume. "Captivated: Finding Freedom in a Media Captive Culture" discusses the overabundance of distractions and medias in today's culture. Television, movies, video games, internet, they all surround us in what may be a virtual prison. The documentary hopes to explore the concept without condemning modern technology and encouraging viewers to come to understand how submerged we are. "Captivated" is a strong addition to social issues DVD collections, not to be missed. Color, 107 minutes. Also from Vision Media in DVDs is "Weaving Life: The Life and Death of Peacemaker" (727985015071, $19.95) discussing the works of ten humanitarian workers who worked towards a better Afghanistan before tragic assassinations took them. Color, 58 minutes. "African Christianity Rising" (72798515095, $29.99) tells of the surge of presence that Christianity is finding on the African continent and what this means for the society as a whole, containing two parts, Ghana and Zimbabwe. Color, 150 minutes. "Briars in the Cottonpatch: The Story of Koinonia Farm" (727985014913, $19.95) tells the tale of an integrated community in Southwest Georgia that flourished despite the threats that surrounded them before the rise of the Civil Rights Era. Color, 57 minutes.

The Gardening Shelf

Garden Railway Basics
Kevin Strong
Kalmbach Publishing Company
21027 Crossroads Circle
Waukesha, WI 53186
9780890248355, $19.95,

A railway in the garden can be a very strong appeal to those who want a new appeal in their gardens beyond gnomes. "Garden Railway Basics: From Concept to Construction to Upkeep" discusses how to better build and maintain a garden railway system. From making a good blueprint and plan for one's ambitions, getting everything working, and letting it endure the elements for years to come, "Garden Railway Basics" contains plenty of full color photography and advice, a vital addition to any gardening or railroading hobbyist collection.

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

1100 Words You Need to Know, sixth edition
Murray Bromberg and Melvin Gordon
250 Wireless Boulevard
Hauppauge, NY 11788
9781438001661 $13.99

Now in its sixth edition with the addition of "The lighter touch 100" (silly one-line jokes using these words that every English speaker should know), 1100 Words You Need to Know remains as invaluable today as it was when first published 45 years ago. Organized in a day-by-day, week-by-week format, 1100 Words You Need to Know is a consumable book offering simple exercises to practice and enhance one's enriched vocabulary. A choice pick for high school students preparing for the SAT or ACT, college students looking to broaden their command of English, writers of all backgrounds, or those who are honing their command of English as a second language, 1100 Words You Need to Know is enthusiastically recommended!

The Genealogy Shelf

Easy Family History, second edition
David Annal
Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315
New York, NY 10010
9781408175705, $15.95,

Our family history doesn't have to be a needle in a haystack search. Now in its second edition, "Easy Family History" is a guide for those who want to get started plotting out their genealogy and family tree. Focusing on doing so through the ample archives of the UK with plenty of public records to dig through and piece together one's history and tips from the professionals, "Easy Family History" is a strong addition to any genealogy reference collection, highly recommended.

Interior Design Shelf

Mike Holmes Kitchens & Bathrooms
Mike Holmes
Time Home Entertainment
c/o Goodman Media International
750 Seventh Avenue, 28th floor, NY, NY 10019
9781603209670, $21.95,

Because of his widely popular television program in which he and his crew would come in a fix other building contractors egregious mistakes, Mike Holmes is perhaps the most trusted building contractor in the United States and Canada. Now he has produced a superbly illustrated, 256 page compendium showcasing extraordinary ideas and concepts for building and/or remodeling kitchens and bathrooms. More than just a collection of wonderfully visualized ideas, "Mike Holmes Kitchens & Bathrooms" has created a genuine instruction manual beginning with a chapter on 'Getting Started', followed invaluable chapters on hiring and working with building contractors, having environmentally friendly results, and a great deal more. Enhanced with the inclusion of a useful glossary and index, "Mike Holmes Kitchens & Bathrooms" is ideal for the novice homeowner and should be considered a high value addition to personal, professional, and community library Interior Design & Construction reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The American History Shelf

1863 Lincoln's Pivotal Year
Harold Holzer & Sara Vaughn Gabbard, editors
Southern Illinois University Press
1915 University Press Drive
SIUC Mail Code 6806
Carbondale, IL 62901
9780809332465, $32.95,

With the conflict of the Civil War in full blast, 1863 was an important turning point. "1863: Lincoln's Pivotal Year" explores this year in the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, the year that he released the Emancipation Proclamation, among other events through the year, with major events in the Civil War, the famous Gettysburg Address among other events. Ten scholars come together and offer an educated breakdown of this year for Lincoln in many avenues. "1863" is an important addition to history collections focusing on the American Civil War.

The World History Shelf

A History of Ireland in 100 Objects
Fintan O'Toole
Royal Irish Academy
c/o International Specialized Book Services
920 Northeast 58th Avenue, Suite 300
Portland, OR 97213
9781908996152 $50.00

Punctuated with a striking full-color, full-page photograph of each entry, A History of Ireland in 100 Objects is not a standard history book, but rather a museum-like portrayal of items carefully selected for their gravitas in representing a crucial snapshot of Irish history. The exhibits range from a bell believed to have once belonged to Saint Patrick, to coins from the 1280s and 1460, to a decommissioned AK-47 rife from 2005 (one of many deadly weapons put "beyond use", paving the way for historic power-sharing between Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party, and a possible pathway out of the seemingly endless bloodshed that has been "The Troubles" of Northern Ireland). Thoughtfully written and thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds, A History of Ireland in 100 Objects is both a fascinating browse and a repository of historical highlights made tangible, highly recommended.

One Day in December
Nancy Stout
Monthly Review Press
146 West 29th Street, Suite 6W
New York, NY 10001
9781583673171, $28.95,

It wasn't all guns and glory that brought Cuba its revolution. "One Day in December: Celia Sanchez and the Cuban Revolution" tells the story of one of the minds behind the period, who is often ignored by history. Telling her life story and taking records from Official Cuban archives, Nancy Stout provides a comprehensive biography of Sanchez and her work during and after the Cuban revolution. "One Day in December" is a strong addition to women's studies and international history collections.

The Environmental Studies Shelf

Conservation Planning
F. Lance Craighead and Charles L. Convis Jr.
ESRI Press
380 New York Street
Redlands, CA 92378-8100
9781589482630 $119.95

Conservation Planning: Shaping the Future is an anthology of writings from a broad variety of ecology scientists about using the latest research and technology to develop effective and sustainable conservation plans for land management. Chapters include "Scale and conservation planning", "Selecting species as targets for conservation planning", "Identification and mapping of habitat cores", "Conservation planning to ensure viability of populations and metapopulations", and much more. A handful of color charts and graphs illustrate this scholarly and modestly technical repository of cutting-edge ideas, enthusiastically recommended especially for college and professional reference shelves with a focus on environmental conservation. "Most biological processes are complex and difficult to fully understand... Eath biological process is unique, and so is each spatial modeling tool... Generally, it is a good practice to apply a series of different models when exploring a biological process. With each model application, a deeper understanding of the biological process is gained, and more informed decisions can be made.

To Conserve Unimpaired
Robert B. Keiter
Island Press
2000 M St NW Suite 650
Washington, DC 20036
9781597266604, $35.00,

National parks are all too often taken for granted. "To Conserve Unimpaired: The Evolution of the National Park Idea" discusses the history and future of the national park and how parks have turned from nature preserves to tourist attractions, and the struggle to balance these ideas and where their future lies. Touching on heritage, new strategies for conservation being developed and much more, "To Conserve Unimpaired" is a strong addition any environmental studies and law collection, enthusiastically recommended.

The Biography Shelf

Judy Garland
Anne Edwards
Taylor Trade Publishing
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200
Lanham, MD 20706
9781589797871, $17.95,

People are complex creatures, and often so very difficult to understand. "Judy Garland" is a biography of the famed Hollywood starlet, as Anne Edwards seeks to show a more complete picture of a woman who struggled to serve her family, sought other artistic endeavors such as poetry, in spite of her own demons which Edwards holds get all too much attention when discussing Garland. "Judy Garland" is an enticing addition to biography collections focusing on the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Between Torture and Resistance
Oscar Lopez Rivera
PM Press
PO Box 23912
Oakland, CA 94623
9781604866858, $15.95,

Political prisoners are still taken by the United States, and for what? "Between Torture and Resistance" is the story of Oscar Lopez Rivera, a Puerto Rican leader and activist who has been held behind bars since 1981 and is scheduled for release in 2027. Telling how he got into activism and the difference he made, and how this led to his incarceration, "Between Torture and Resistance" is a strong addition to biography and American issues collections, highly recommended.

The Wisconsin Shelf

Travel Wild Wisconsin
Candice Gaukel Andrews
University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, 3rd Floor, Madison, WI 53711
9780299291648 $24.95

"Travel Wild Wisconsin: A Seasonal Guide to Wildlife Encounters in Natural Places" has been aptly described as "a year-long scavenger hunt through the seasons in search of Wisconsin's most interesting creatures!" Beginning with a wildlife treasure map of Wisconsin showing where to seek and sight loons, sandhill cranes, gray wolves, monarch butterflies, tundra swans, sturgeon, greater prairie chickens, saw-whet owls, whooping cranes, American bison, Canada geese, and bald eagles, "Travel Wild Wisconsin" offers multiple desirable observation destinations organized by season and by months of the year into fifteen chapters. Black and white photo illustrations and maps and diagrams add to the guidebook narrative. This creative travel nature guide could be subtitled "Where the Wild Things Are (in Wisconsin)," or maybe "True Life Encounters," hearkening back to the 50's Disney true lie adventures. Here are some great nature sightings and observation projects and proposals for interested Wisconsin wildlife explorers and nature lovers. An added feature is the Appendix: How to Help Wildlife in Wisconsin. This very important, respectful treatise on linking with our natural habitat and fellow creatures is sure to appeal to green Wisconsin lovers everywhere.

Ox Herding in Wisconsin
Richard Quinney
Borderland Books
University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, Third Floor
Madison, WI 53711-2059
9780983517429, $20.00,

Who knew you could learn so much by moving cattle? "Ox Herding in Wisconsin" is a blend of daybook, parable, and memoir from Richard Quinney who touches on the Buddhist nature of his life and finding his way to a more spiritual divination of life through the act. Connecting the seemingly unrelated ideas with a good deal of humor about life and living, "Ox Herding in Wisconsin" is a choice read of wit and wisdom, highly recommended.

The Best Specimen of a Tyrant
Thomas Doherty
University of Iowa Press
100 Kuhl House
119 West Park Road
Iowa City, IA 52242-1000
9781609381462, $20.00,

Mental health has come so far in the past hundred years. "The Best Specimen of a Tyrant: The Ambitious Dr. Abraham Van Norstrand and the Wisconsin Insane Hospital" discusses the foundation of Wisconsin's first mental hospital, headed by Norstrand after he returned home to the state after earning a sour reputation during the Civil War. Telling the story of the man as well as the first few mental hospitals, "The Best Specimen of a Tyrant" is a strong addition to general and mental health history collections, highly recommended.

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

Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design