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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 13, Number 5 May 2018 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Cookbook Shelf Fishing Shelf
Business Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf
DVD Shelf Christian Studies Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf
Buddhist Studies Shelf American History Shelf Computer Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Photography Shelf Woodworking Shelf
Fiction Shelf Biography Shelf Poetry Shelf
Coloring Book Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Education Shelf Parenting Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Wisconsin State Parks
Scott Spoolman
Wisconsin Historical Society Press
816 State Street, Madison, WI 53575
9780870208492, $24.95, PB, 228pp,

The impressive bluffs, valleys, waterfalls, and lakes of Wisconsin's state parks provide more than beautiful scenery and recreational opportunities. They are windows into the distant past, offering clues to the dramatic events that have shaped the land over billions of years. In "Wisconsin State Parks: Extraordinary Stories of Geology and Natural History", author and former DNR journalist Scott Spoolman takes readers with him to twenty-eight parks, forests, and natural areas where evidence of the state's striking geologic and natural history are on display. In an accessible storytelling style, Spoolman sheds light on the volcanoes that poured deep layers of lava rock over a vast area in the northwest, the glacial masses that flattened and molded the landscape of northern and eastern Wisconsin, mountain ranges that rose up and wore away over hundreds of millions of years, and many other bedrock-shaping phenomena. These stories connect geologic processes to the current landscape, as well as to the evolution of flora and fauna and development of human settlement and activities, for a deeper understanding of our state's natural history. "Wisconsin State Parks: Extraordinary Stories of Geology and Natural History" also includes a selection of detailed trail guides for each park, which hikers can take with them on the trail to view evidence of Wisconsin's geologic and natural history for themselves. Beautifully illustrated throughout in full color and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "Wisconsin State Parks: Extraordinary Stories of Geology and Natural History" is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and academic library collections. It should be noted that "Wisconsin State Parks: Extraordinary Stories of Geology and Natural History" is also available in a digital book format (eTextbook, $15.99).

Excellences & Perfections
Amalia Ulman
Prestel Publishing
900 Broadway, Suite 603, New York, NY 10003
9783791384184, $29.95, HC, 220pp,

Amalia Ulman is an Argentinean artist currently based in Los Angles, CA. Her work has been exhibited around the world at venues including the New Museum, the International Center of Photography, the 9th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, Tate Modern, and Whitechapel Gallery. Ulman's performance "Excellences & Perfections", which unfolded on Instagram in 2014, follows an aspiring it-girl who undergoes a series of cosmetic surgeries and lifestyle changes to help jumpstart her career. For six months Ulman mesmerized her followers with nearly daily posts that documented a young woman trying on different personas in order to make her way in the world. Finally, the real Amalia Ulman revealed the fiction that she had created--a performance piece about identity, gender, class, sexuality, and lifestyle porn. The illustrations are presented in chronological order to give readers the experience of viewing the work as an uninterrupted stream, in the way her followers first saw them on social media. "Excellences & Perfections" is a forerunner of a new brand of performance art in which Ulman has made a significant statement about the intersection of life and art--one that couldn't be more timely or compelling. An inherently fascinating and visually impressive read from cover to cover, "Excellences & Perfections" is an especially recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library collections.

Prisoner of the Samurai
James Gee and Rosalie H. Smith, authors
Allyson Smith, editor
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
9781612005973 $32.95 hc / $17.99 Kindle

Prisoner of the Samurai: Surviving the Sinking of the U.S.S. Houston and the Death Railway is the true-life story of James Gee, who joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1940, served on the U.S.S. Houston, and survived a grueling, multi-year ordeal as a Japanese P.O.W. after the Houston sank during the battle of Java Sea. He was initially held prisoner in Java and used as forced labor to unload enemy ships; later, he was transferred to Burma and worked on the notorious "death railway", followed by moves to Thailand, Singapore, and Japan. His time as a prisoner was one of starvation and suffering, yet the compassion and camaraderie of his fellow detainees was a ray of hope. Told in Gee's own words, and initially recorded with the aid of Rosalie Hamric Smith, an R.N. of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Hospital where Gee recovered from his ordeal, Prisoner of the Samurai remained hidden in an attic for thirty years before its rediscovery. Prisoner of the Samurai is a riveting and invaluable addition to military biography and world history collections, and highly recommended for both public and college libraries.

The Cookbook Shelf

The Lake Michigan Cottage Cookbook
Amelia Levin
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781612127323, $19.95, PB, 288pp,

Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout, "The Lake Michigan Cottage Cookbook" is culinary collection showcasing 118 recipes that effectively captures the evocative food experiences of the Lake Michigan region, an ultimate vacation destination with hundreds of miles of shoreline and rich food traditions reflecting the bounty of the area's farms and the lake's daily catch. Featured recipes include Helen Suchy's Apple Cake from Door County, Homemade Sheboygan-Style Bratwurst, Chicago's HBFC Original Fried Chicken Sandwich, Beach House Cheesy Potatoes from Northwest Indiana, and The Cook's House Crispy Skinned Lake Trout from Traverse City. Delightful photographs of cottage life and classic destinations, along with profiles of favorite food purveyors, bring the lakeshore's flavors and charm to you year-round, wherever you are. Displaying authentic Wisconsin cuisine from Cherry Pies, to Beer-Battered Cheese Curds, to Homemade Sheboygan -Style Brats, "The Lake Michigan Cottage Cookbook" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections! It should be noted that "The Lake Michigan Cottage Cookbook" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Fermentation Revolution
Sebastien Bureau & David Cote
Robert Rose Inc.
120 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 800, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4P 1E2
9780778805939, $24.95, PB, 208pp,

Fermentation is a metabolic process that consumes sugar in the absence of oxygen. The products are organic acids, gases, or alcohol. It occurs in yeast and bacteria, and also in oxygen-starved muscle cells, as in the case of lactic acid fermentation. The science of fermentation is known as zymology. Basically, fermentation allows the culinary transformation of the ordinary to the extraordinary (think: delicious pickles, olives, and ginger beer). But more than that, fermented foods have enhanced nutritional value, aid in digestion, and regulate our immune systems. Fermentation is fun and it results in foods packed full of flavor and health benefits. The collaborative work of Sebastien Bureau (who is the president of MannaNova Solutions Inc, a food science consulting service that helps small producers in the fermented and non-fermented food and beverage industry) and David Cote (who is a living foods chef, nutrition expert, shiatsu therapist and is currently the President of Crudessence and VP of RISE), "The Fermentation Cookbook" provides 70 beautifully illustrated, easy, step-by-step, and cost-effective recipes for everything from fermented vegetables, fruits, sugars and honey to milks, cereals, grains and legumes. It also covers the science behind fermentation, different types of fermentation processes, and useful fermentation equipment. Featuring recipes that range from Bajan Hot Pepper Sauce; Cashew Lahneh with Za'atar; and Country-Style Miche; to Grape Leaves with Sorghum; Temph Omelet; and Wild Mushroom Salad with Kombycha Vinaigrette, "Fermentation Revolution" is a unique and very highly recommended addition to personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

Sourdough Biscuits and Pioneer Pies
Gail L. Jenner
c/o The Globe Pequot Press
246 Goose Lane, Suite 200, Guilford, CT 06437
9781493029709, $24.00, HC, 240pp,

Living in the Old West required not only stamina, but innovation. Imagine putting a cake together without fresh supplies, measuring spoons, or a dedicated work area; imagine baking that cake without a thermometer, steady heat, or a timer. In "Sourdough Biscuits and Pioneer Pies: The Old West Baking Book" ranch wife Gail L. Jenner shares the baking secrets of Native American ranch house cooks, chuck wagon chefs, and wagon train homemakers, along with more than a hundred authentic Old West recipes, each of which is fully updated and kitchen tested. Classic Dutch-oven and cast-iron techniques are also included. With thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes ranging from Sourdough Biscuits, Apple Brown Betty, and Concord Grape Pie, to Kentucky Bran Muffins, Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake, and Honey Cakes, "Sourdough Biscuits and Pioneer Pies" also features dozens of anecdotes and fun facts on how our ancestors were so successful with so little. Nicely illustrated throughout, "Sourdough Biscuits and Pioneer Pies" will prove to be a unique and enduringly popular addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Sourdough Biscuits and Pioneer Pies" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.50).

The Fishing Shelf

True Tales from an Expert Fisherman
John Bailey
IMM Lifestyle Books
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781504800877, $19.99, PB, 224pp,

"True Tales from an Expert Fisherman" by author, photographer, and dedicated angler John Bailey is comprised of ten hugely entertaining and well-illustrated fishing tales. Recounting some of the best and worst aspects of his worldwide pursuit of fish, Bailey shares his horrifying brushes with espionage and death in the world's most remote and inhospitable places, and introduces readers along the way to a motley array of characters, as well as an immense variety of fish! An inherently fascinating and reliably entertaining read from cover to cover, "True Tales from an Expert Fisherman" will have a special and particular appeal to all dedicated anglers and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to both personal and community library Contemporary Fishing & Hunting collections.

The Business Shelf

From Last to First
Al Angrisani
Humanix Books
9781630061012, $21.99, HC, 134pp,

For more than twenty-five years Al Angrisani has been helping troubled and under-performing companies experience a "reversal of fortunes" and turn failure into success and new shareholder wealth. Along his journey, he has developed a proven business turnaround model that has created hundreds of millions of dollars of wealth over and over again. In his first book, "Win One for The Shareholders" (ELG Consulting, Inc., 9780615279718, $38.45, HC, 146pp), Al shared his model with the world and the book instantly became a must-read. In his new book, "In From Last to First: Ten Life-Changing Steps to Wealth and Success", Angrisani deftly examines the failure-breeding mistakes he has seen people make over and over again. He then offers his ten key steps proven to turn these failures into success. Exceptionally informative, impressively well written, organized and presented, "From Last to First" is an exceptional and 'real world practical' addition to personal and community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted that "From Last to First" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $21.99).

Sales Talks
Greg Upah
Beaver's Pond Press
7108 Ohms Lane, Edina, MN 55439
9781592988105, $19.95, PB, 184pp,

After his first career as a college professor, Greg Upah joined Y&R Advertising New York. While helping create effective advertising for products like breath mints, mobile phone services and household cleansers, he was offered a position selling sophisticated investment management services for Merrill Lynch. In "Sales Talks: Six Secrets to Winning Presentations, Effective Closes, and Think-On-Your-Feet Tactics That Seal Deals", Greg draws upon his years of experience and expertise to create a compendium of practical and tactical solutions that particularly and especially well suited to the ongoing challenges and opportunities in financial services and similar industries. "Sales Talks" features a story-based format that will effectively impart insights to help any salesperson at any level make the sale for any product or service. Impressively well written and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Sales Talks" is very highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as corporate, community, and academic library Business Management instructional reference collections.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

What You Want to See
Kristen Lepionka
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781250120533, $26.99, HC, 304pp,

Marin Strasser has a secret. Her fiance thinks her secret is that she's having an affair, and he hires P.I. Roxane Weary to prove it. Then, just days into the case, Marin is shot to death on a side street in an apparent mugging. But soon enough the police begin to focus on Roxane's client for Marin's death, so she starts to dig deeper into Marin's life -- discovering that the elegant woman she's been following has a past and a half, including two previous marriages, an adult son fresh out of prison, and a criminal record of her own. The trail leads to a crew of con artists, an ugly real estate scam that defrauds unsuspecting elderly homeowners out of their property, and the suspicious accident of a wealthy older woman who lives just down the street from where Marin was killed. With Roxane's client facing a murder indictment, the scammers hit close to home to force Roxane to drop the case, and it becomes clear that the stakes are as high as the secrets run deep. The thrilling follow up to her novel "The Last Place You Look", and starring troubled and determined private investigator, Roxane Weary, Kristen Lepionka's "What You Want to See" continues to showcase the author's impressive mastery of the genre and is unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "What You Want to See" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781538430491, $29.95, CD).

Death al Fresco
Leslie Karst
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781683315322, $26.99, HC, 320pp,

It's early autumn in Santa Cruz and restaurateur Sally Solari decides an open-air painting class is the perfect way for her to learn more about Paul Gauguin, the inspiration for the restaurant she has recently inherited. But the beauty of the Monterey Bay coastline is shattered when Sally's dog Buster sniffs out a corpse tangled up in kelp. The body is identified as Gino, a local fisherman and a regular at Solaris' until he disappeared after dining there a few nights before. Witnesses claim he left reeling drunk, but his waitress swears the old man only had two beers with is meal. And then the fingers begin to point at Sally's dad for negligently allowing an inebriated customer to walk home alone at night. From a long menu of suspects, including a cast of colorful characters who frequent the historic Santa Cruz fisherman's wharf, Sally must serve up the tall order of clearing her father's name. "Death al Fresco", is Leslie Karst's third delectable Sally Solari mystery and reveals the author's complete mastery of the genre, While "Death al Fresco" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all Leslie Karst fans that "Death al Fresco" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.80).

Damon Runyon's Boys
Michael Scott Cain
Stark House Press
1315 H Street, Eureka, CA 95501
9781944520458, $15.95, PB, 192pp,

Damon Taylor, lead reporter for Crime Weekly, has returned from the war with a new-found cynicism. Writing is just a way to earn a living. When the leader of a swing dance group is murdered in plain sight at the Savoy Ballroom, Taylor is assigned the story. He may have been trained by the great newspaperman, Damon Runyon, but it's just a story to him. But as he covers the shooting, Taylor encounters a young cub reporter named Truman Capote, who offers to help. Then the story becomes complicated when one of Taylor's sources, Walter Winchell, learns that the five organized crime families might be involved. After Taylor is beaten up in the rest room at Ebbetts Field during a Dodgers game, it starts to become personal. Taylor discovers that the murder may be tied to the fashion industry. Mob leader Frank Costello may be involved. The FBI are definitely involved. The dance leader's mistress is stuck in the middle. And Capote keeps digging up new information that Taylor can't ignore. When someone takes a shot at him, Damon Taylor discovers he may have to grow a conscience just to survive. But can he solve the mystery before he becomes its next victim? A simply riveting novel from first page to last, "Damon Runyon's Boys" showcases author Michael Scott Cain's complete mastery of the genre. Replete with unexpected twists and turns, "Damon Runyon's Boys" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs, as well as community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Only Skein Deep
Maggie Sefton
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780425282526, $26.00, HC, 304pp,

Kelly Flynn and her boyfriend, Steve, couldn't be happier as they await the birth of their bouncing baby boy. Kelly's got a built-in group of fiber arts specialists, the Lambspun Knitters, who are working away on blankets and booties. As they sit around the table crafting their keepsakes, the story of Giselle Callahan is a popular topic of conversation. Giselle is the young wife of Henry Callahan, a Fort Connor banking scion, who traded in his previous wife of forty years for a newer model. Giselle's prowess as a skilled country club golfer and social climber puts her on someone's hit list. When she is found dead on the greens at the golf club, Kelly and her Lambspun crew worry that a vicious killer is in their midst. They must work fast to bring an unhinged murderer to justice on the back nine before Kelly's very special delivery! Another deftly crafted and truly riveting read from beginning to end, "Only Skein Deep" is the latest addition to author Maggie Sefton's 'Knitting Mystery' series and even includes a recipe and a knitting pattern! Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated fans of knitting and mysteries that "Only Skein Deep" is also available in a paperback edition (9780425282533, $7.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781520077680, $29.95, CD).

The Dutton Girl
Stan Freeman
Coffeetown Press
PO Box 70515, Seattle, WA 98127
9781603817660, $16.95, PB, 304pp,

In January, 1915, John Nolan's life is in a shambles. A recent immigrant from Ireland, he wants nothing more than to bring his fiancee over too, but he is only a poorly paid private detective living in New York City in a tenement flat without running water or a bathroom. When the daughter of a wealthy real estate developer is kidnapped from her Manhattan apartment, the police are baffled. A $50,000 ransom demand puts the girl's father in fear for her life, so he hires Nolan in hopes that he can find her quickly. Early in his investigation, Nolan realizes the missing girl's family members are the main suspects. Her father gave her a small fortune in jewelry to avoid losing the pieces in court when he divorced her mother. Everyone in the family needs money, and they all knew where she kept the jewels hidden in her apartment. The case will bring Nolan up against police corruption, the Black Hand, and racist stevedores on the waterfront. And before he uncovers the truth, he must survive a biplane pursuit, a gun battle in the Tenderloin, and finally a deadly chase on the tracks beneath Grand Central Terminal. With "The Dutton Girl", author Stan Freeman launches a new detective and deftly entertaining series featuring John Nolan that is certain to be an immediate and popular addition to both the personal reading list of dedicated mystery buffs and community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

The Bishop's Pawn
Steve Berry
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781250140227, $28.99, HC, 352pp,

History notes that the ugly feud between J. Edgar Hoover and Martin Luther King, Jr., marked by years of illegal surveillance and the accumulation of secret files, ended on April 4, 1968 when King was assassinated by James Earl Ray. But that may not have been the case. Now, fifty years later, former Justice Department agent, Cotton Malone, must reckon with the truth of what really happened that fateful day in Memphis. It all turns on an incident from eighteen years ago, when Malone, as a young Navy lawyer, is trying hard not to live up to his burgeoning reputation as a maverick. When Stephanie Nelle, a high-level Justice Department lawyer, enlists him to help with an investigation, he jumps at the opportunity. But he soon discovers that two opposing forces (the Justice Department and the FBI) are at war over a rare coin and a cadre of secret files containing explosive revelations about the King assassination, information that could ruin innocent lives and threaten the legacy of the civil rights movement's greatest martyr. Malone's decision to see it through to the end, from the raucous bars of Mexico, to the clear waters of the Dry Tortugas, and ultimately into the halls of power within Washington D.C. itself, not only changes his own life, but the course of history. A simply riveting novel by a master of narrative storytelling, "The Bishop's Pawn" by Steve Berry is an extraordinarily entertaining and deftly written read from first page to last, making it unreservedly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Bishop's Pawn" is also available in a trade paperback edition (9781250194060, $18.99), a mass market paperback edition (9781250140241, $9.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781427293176, $39.99, CD).

The Self-Help Shelf

Sarah Reynolds
Gill Books
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7, 124 Byers Road, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
9780717175567, $29.95, HC, 320pp,

From an early age, Sarah Reynolds loved organizing. Unlike most kids, she would happily rearrange her bedroom or sort the family bookcase. But it wasn't until watching the Oprah Winfrey Show that Sarah had her own A-HA moment: seeing Professional Organizer Julie Morgenstern made Sarah realize that she could have a career doing what she loved. In "Organised" she draws upon her many years of experience and expertise to share a wealth of simple, practical, effective says to declutter a home and/or a personal schedule. A potentially life-changing instructional guide, "Organised" can dramatically transform our approach to clutter and tidying-up so that getting and staying organized is easy and we can achieve the maximum space, functionality and joy out of our homes. Readers will discover: Why clutter builds up and the psychological blocks stopping them from tackling it; Where and how to start on our journey to an organized home; The art of throwing things away without regret. An organized home will give us the energy and motivation to create the life we want and move on from whatever is holding us back. Step by step, room by room, "Organised" reveals the art and science of creating a home for stress-free living. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "Organised" is a very highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as an immediate and enduringly popular addition to both community and academic library collections.

The Abundance Project
Derek Rydall
Atria Books / Beyond Words
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781582706528, $24.00, HC, 288pp,

A step-by-step guide to design and create abundance in any area of life, including money, time, love, creativity, and more, "The Abundance Project: 40 Days to More Wealth, Health, Love, and Happiness" by international life coach and integrative therapist Derek Rydall is about having more than enough in every area of your life including more than enough money, time, love, creativity, and happiness, regardless of the circumstances you've been through or are currently facing. This may sound like wishful thinking, but once you understand what you're really made of, and what the source of real abundance is, you will increase your capacity and unleash your divine inheritance. Built on universal, proven principles, "The Abundance Project" breaks you out of the unsustainable buying/consuming loop created by the mind set that fulfillment comes from outside ourselves. Instead, "The Abundance Project" shows how the infinite-sum reserve that's already in you will provide all that you need. A truly transformational read that is exceptionally informative and impressively well written, organized and presented, "The Abundance Project" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Abundance Project" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Robotech Archives: The Macross Saga Volume 1
Carl Macek & Jack Herman, writers
Svea Stauch, Neil Vokes, Reggie Byers, Dave Johnson, Mike Leeke, artists
Titan Comics
9781785862946 $24.99

Robotech Archives: The Macross Saga Volume 1 is a full-color graphic novel, first in a series collecting premier comic renditions of Carl Macek's English adaptation of the classic anime sci-fi television series. DC Comics was the first publisher to adapt all 85 episodes of the television series; now, Titan Comics is making these long out-of-print gems available, on quality paper that brings out the best in the artwork. Volume 1 begins with the "Robotech" graphic novel originally published in 1986 (along with Carl Macek's original introduction), which serves as a prologue, followed by the first eleven comics of "The Macross Saga". Connoisseurs of this complex epic about alien invasion, war, death, and culture shock will find "Robotech Archives" an absolute "must-have". Highly recommended!

Sherlock: The Great Game
Mark Gatiss, writer and co-creator
Steven Moffat, co-creator
Jay, artist
Titan Comics
9781785859168 $12.99

Sherlock: The Great Game is a black-and-white graphic novel continuing a series that re- imagines the legendary detective and his loyal assistant Watson in a modern-day setting. In this interpretation, Sherlock Holmes is, in his own words, a "high-functioning sociopath", who solves crimes and murders with little care for the well-being of the victims. But when people's lives are on the line, compassion is not what they need the most; they need the genius mind of Holmes to help them! In Sherlock: The Great Game, a mastermind that may be Holmes' equal - or at least, equally motivated by boredom and high-functioning sociopathy - embarks on a lethal bombing spree. The nemesis challenges Holmes with a series of grisly games; if Holmes solves the mysteries within a time limit, then the victims of the next bombing may be spared... but can the promise of a cold-blooded killer truly be trusted? Tense, complex, and brought to life with superb and expressive artwork, Sherlock: The Great Game is a "must-read" for connoisseurs of both classic and modern mysteries. Also highly recommended are the first two graphic novels in the series, "Sherlock: A Study in Pink" and "Sherlock: The Blind Banker".

Quake Champions
Ram V, author
Alan Quah, illustrator
Titan Comics
9781785863424, $16.99, PB, 112pp,

Ram V is an author and comic book writer from Mumbai, India. Alan Quah is an artist from Malaysia. Together they have impressively collaborated to produce the graphic novel "Quake Champions", featuring a string of linked science fiction stories hallmarked with hellish landscapes, brutal violence and arcane Elder God's colliding. Based on Bethesda's cult first-person shooter videogame franchise, "Quake Champions" takes place in a time/space continuum where the Earth burns in a war without end, grim fighters from the far reaches of the hellverse battle through nightmare dimensions in search subsistence and salvation. Trained to kill, scavenge, survive and locked in a never-ending gauntlet of bullets and bloodshed, only one of these Champions shall prevail. Another timeless classic from Titan Comics, "Quake Champions" is unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy graphic novel collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated science fiction fans that "Quake Champions" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $0.99).

The Red Prince
Jean-Claude Bartoll, author
Renaud Garreta, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781849183871, $13.95, PB, 52pp,

Sam Nachez, boss of bosses of the global mafia, and the man that Najah is both supposed to protect and betray to the authorities, is on the run after a coup by one of his rivals. Hunted by killers from the Russian, Chinese and American intelligence services, the two of them are rapidly running out of allies. Will Najah be able to reconcile her various loyalties? In order to survive, she will have to take the biggest gamble of her life. The seventh and concluding volume of Bartoll and Garreta's riveting graphic novel series 'Insiders', "The Red Prince" is a truly riveting read from first page to last. Laced throughout with unexpected plot twists and an amazingly unanticipated conclusion, "The Red Prince" is a 'must' for all graphic novel action/adventure fans!

The Survivors: Episode 5
Cinebook Ltd.
National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781849183703, $11.95, PB, 48pp,

The final and concluding title in the five volume 'Quantum Anomalies' graphic novel series by writer and artist Leo, "The Survivors: Episode 5" is a simply riveting read from first page to last. Throughout a series of tragic events and temporal distortions that resulted in the marooning of several humans who have been scattered, regrouped, lost to each other, and found each other again, despite the constant violence and death two of them, Marie and Alex, have managed to survive and stay together - and even found themselves accepting a strange blue pill from a mysterious structure in the middle of the ocean. The arrival of an alien, Sven, will present them with a possible escape plan. An unfailingly entertaining conclusion to an unfailingly entertaining series, "The Survivors: Episode 5" is unreservedly recommended for individual science fiction graphic novel fans, and the entire five volume series would prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library graphic novel collections.

The Barbarian
Jean Van Hamme, author
Grzegorz Rosinski, illustrator
Cinebook Ltd.
National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781849183994, $11.95, PB, 48pp,

The 19th volume of the Thorgal the Barbarian graphic novel series by the team of author Jean Van Hamme and illustrating artist Grzegorz Rosinski, "The Barbarian" finds that Thorgal, his family, and his new friends Tiago and Ileniya have been captured by slavers while attempting to cross the desert. The two adult men are sold to the local governor as fodder for a cruel blood game, where young nobles in chariots practice their archery skills on fleeing slaves. Turning the tables on them, Thorgal earns his and Tiago's freedom, but not the women's - and he has made a mortal enemy in the governor's son. Nonstop action, tragedy, and heroism, this outstanding series is unfailingly entertaining and will leave the readership looking eagerly toward the next (and 20th) title in this exceptionally impressive series. While all the previous issues are still in print, "The Barbarian" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library graphic novel collections.

Manfried the Man
Caitlin Major, author
Kelly Bastow, illustrator
Quirk Books
215 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
9781683690153, $14.99, PB, 224pp,

Set in a world where cats own humans as pets, Manfried is a stray taken in by Steve Catson, a slacker with a dead-end job and nonexistent love life. Soon Manfried becomes the Garfield to Steve's Jon Arbuckle: lazy, selfish, and sometimes maddening in his weird human behavior. Yet the pair depends on each other to get through life's troubles. When Manfried runs away, Steve musters his meager resources to find his best man-friend and bring him home safe. Ultimately, both Steve and Manfried realize they're capable of so much more than they thought. An inherently fascinating and thoroughly entertaining graphic novel, "Manfried the Man" will have a very special appeal for anyone who has every had a feline companion of their own! Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to personal and community library graphic novel collections, "Manfried the Man" is very highly recommended.

The Audiobook Shelf

Blind Punch
Andrei Livadny, author
Aaron Shedlock, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
9781541466722, $24.99, CD,

In the year 2197, the Earth is suffering from the consequences of an environmental catastrophe. Cities the size of continents are drowning in a toxic industrial fog. Max Bourne is a typical teenager. Like billions of other people, he is forced to live in the protective shell of the individual life support module. His habitat is the virtual reality called the Layer. But one day, circumstances force the young man to leave the in-mode. He has no idea that fate will lead him through unimaginable hardships, bring him face to face with military AIs, and teach him to survive in the distant solar system Outlands. He will come to understand that the sum of all technologies, possessed by the four leading corporations of Earth, can either open the way to the stars or destroy human civilization. Ably narrated by Aaron Shedlock, "Blind Punch" by Andrei Livadny is an extraordinary work of imaginatively extrapolated science fiction and this superbly produced, complete and unabridged audio book is unreservedly recommended, especially for community library collections. (8 CDs, 3 Hours).

The Music CD Shelf

Brother Jerome
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

Progress is the debut album of newly formed band Brother Jerome, founded by singer-songwriter Ryan Bria as an homage to his late brother Jerome "Drew" Bria. Featuring eleven original songs, Progress speaks openly of injustice and oppression, with a few love songs interspersed throughout. Heavily influenced by the modern civil rights movement in America, Progress is profound and leaves a lasting impression on the listener. Highly recommended. The tracks are "Keep It Burning", "Progress", "Hustle", "Roots", "Soul Shine", "Mind Over Matter", "Macho Man", "What It's Like", "Gold", "Change It All", and "Cookie".

Songs from the Deluge
Western Centuries
Free Dirt Records
$11.99 CD / $9.49 MP3

Songwriters Cahalen Morrison, Ethan Lawton, and Jim Miller combine their talents for the honkey-tonk group Western Centuries in the album Songs from the Deluge, a compilation or original songs performed with all-out gusto. Featuring refreshing new takes on common country music themes, Songs from the Deluge is a "must" for fans of the genre! The tracks are "Far from Home", "Earthly Justice", "Wild Birds", "Wild You Run", "Rocks and Flame", "Own Private Honkey Tonk", "Cloud of Woes", "Borrow Time", "How Many More Miles to Babylon", "Time Does the Rest", "Three Swallows", and "Warm Guns". Lyrics to all songs are printed inside of the case holding the physical CD.

Front and Center
Mountain Home Music Company
$10.99 CD / $9.49 MP3

The fourth album by southern bluegrass band Sideline, Front and Center is brimming with energy, harmony, and celebration. Sideline consists of award-winning banjo player Steve Dilling, bass player Jason Moore, guitarist Skip Cherryholmes, fiddle player Nathan Aldridge, mandolin player Troy Boone and guitarist Bailey Coe. Together they provide a treat for fans of the genre! Highly recommended. The tracks are "Thunder Dan", "Frozen in Time", "Old Time Way", Song for a Winter's Night", "Bluefield WV Mtn. Girl", "I Long To See His Face", "Lysander Hayes", "Memories That We Shared", "Something Out of Nothing", "All Because of Me", "Satan's Chains", and "Cotton Eyed Joe".

Top of the Mountain
Patricia Vonne
Bandolera Records

Top of the Mountain is the seventh album by supremely talented Tex-Mex musician, actress, and award-winning filmmaker Patricia Vonne. Showcasing her mastery of Texas musical styles, the original songs are works of beautiful creativity and passionate drive. Highly recommended! The tracks are "Citadel", "City is Alive", "Illuminaria", "Top of the Mountain", "Lil Lobo", "Madre de Perla", "Tidal Wave", "Graceland Trip", "Western Blood", "Cancion de la Boda", "Lekker Ding", and "God's Hands".

Auriga To Orion
Heart Dance Records
B07C53ZZTK, $14.99, CD,

Majestica is back, bigger and bolder than ever with their scintillating and captivating follow up to "In the Midst of Stars". Their new album, "Auriga to Orion", features Sherry Finzer on a variety of flutes, and Cass Anawaty on guitar, bass, synths, drum and percussion. Together this two impressively gifted musicians have created a memorable soundtrack. Flawlessly produced, "Auriga to Orion" succeeds in delivering a truly memorable electronic chill-out, ambient and new age music that will inspire, energize and invite listeners to get out of their space capsules and set their bodies in motion! Comprised of seven unforgettable tracks 9Alpha Orions; Kesil's Light; Monte Alban; Dark Years Away; Chasing The Leonids; Flaming Star; and the title piece, Aurica To Orion, this outstanding CD has a total running time of 34:49 and is unreservedly recommended for both personal and community library New Age music collections.

The DVD Shelf

Dear Murderer, series 1
Starring Mark Mitchinson
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment

Dear Murderer, series 1 is a drama based on the true-life story of one of New Zealand's most controversial defense lawyers, Mike Bungay (played by Mark Mitchinson). Bungay suffered an unhappy childhood and decided to attend law school on a coin toss; his prolific career spanned decades from the 1960s onward. He represented alleged murderers, spies, gang members, and more with unconventional methods, yet despite his many legal victories, his private life was plagued with bad habits including a personal affection for fast cars, married women, and whiskey. A saga brimming with dark humor and moral quandaries, Dear Murderer is utterly unforgettable and highly recommended. It should be noted that Dear Murderer is intended for mature viewers due to the presence of strong language, sexual situations, nudity and violence. 5 episodes on 2 DVDs, 233 min., widescreen, SDH subtitles.

Ackley Bridge, series 1
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment

Ackley Bridge, series 1 is a drama set in small Yorkshire town, where two high schools integrate white and Pakistani students by combining into Ackley Bridge College. The change is not easy for teachers or students. Troublemaker Jordan (played by Samuel Bottomley) openly disparages the school, and best friends Missy (Poppy Lee Friar) and Nasreen (Amy-Leigh Hickman) argue fiercely because Missy doesn't fit in with Nasreen's conservative Muslim friends. Ackley Bridge confronts serious modern-day issues including racism, homophobia, religious discrimination and more with a balanced, compassionate perspective, and is both thoroughly engrossing and highly recommended. It should be noted that Ackley Bridge is recommended for mature viewers due to the presence of strong language, sexual situations, nudity, and violence. 5 episodes on 2 DVDs, 233 min., SDH subtitles.

Tai Chi Fit: 24 Form
David-Dorian Ross
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480, Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480

Hosted by David-Dorian Ross (who has built the first free online tai chi class/training community at, Tai Chi Fit: 24 Form is a fitness DVD and an excellent introduction to tai chi for beginners. The program involves 24 easy-to-learn movements, and the presentation is designed so that viewers do not need to memorize anything beforehand. Newcomers to tai chi can simply follow the movements without analyzing them, and enjoy the benefits of physical activity that refreshes the body and mind. Tai Chi Fit: 24 Form is an excellent addition to personal fitness DVD libraries, highly recommended! 60 min.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Introducing the Old Testament
Robert L. Hubbard Jr. & J. Andrew Dearman
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
2140 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780802867902, $40.00, HC, 480pp,

In an up-to-date and thoroughly student-friendly text, Robert Hubbard (who is Professor Emeritus of Biblical Literature at North Park Theological Seminary, Chicago, as well as the general editor of the New International Commentary on the Old Testament series, and author of the award-winning NICOT volume on Ruth) and J. Andrew Dearman (who is Professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary, the Associate Dean at Fuller's regional campus in Houston, Texas, and the author of the NICOT volume on Hosea) bring decades of scholarly study and classroom experience to bear as they introduce readers to the context, composition, and message of the books comprising Old Testament in "Introducing the Old Testament". Each individual chapter orients readers to the Old Testament book or books under consideration, outlining historical and cultural background, literary features, main characters, and structure. Throughout these discussions of the Torah, the historical books, the prophets, and the poetry, Professors Hubbard and Dearman also identify and trace key theological themes. Replete with maps, illustrations, sidebars, discussion questions, and suggestions for further reading, Introducing the Old Testament will equip students to read, wrestle with, and personally engage these ancient sacred texts. An ideal introductory textbook, "Introducing the Old Testament" is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, seminary, and academic library Old Testament Studies collections.

Saint James the Greater in History, Art and Culture
William Farina
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476669175, $55.00, PB, 254pp,

Among the 12 disciples of Jesus, perhaps none has inspired more magnificent art (as well as political upheaval) than Saint James the Greater. Portrayed in the New Testament as part of Jesus' inner circle, he was the first apostle to be martyred. Eight centuries later, Saint James, or Santiago, became the de facto patron saint of Spain, and was believed by the faithful to be a supernatural warrior who led the victorious Christian armies during the Iberian Reconquista. After 1492, the Santiago cult found its way to the New World, where it continued to exert influence. Today, he remains the patron saint of pilgrims to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela. His legacy has bequeathed a magnificent tradition of Western art over nearly two millennia. Impressively informative and exceptionally well written, organized and presented by William Farina, "Saint James the Greater in History, Art and Culture" is an extraordinary contribution to Christian History and very highly recommended for personal, community, seminary, church, and academic library collections.

The Fragility of Order
George Weigel
Ignatius Press
PO Box 1339, Fort Collins, CO 80522
9781621642374, $24.95, HC, 223pp,

"The Fragility of Order: Catholic Reflections on Turbulent Times" is a collection of bracing essays in which George Weigel (who is the Distinguished Senior Fellow of Washington's Ethics and Public Policy Center, where he holds the William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies) reads such events as the First World War, the collapse of Communism, and the Obama and Trump presidencies through a distinctive cultural and moral lens, even as he offers new insights into Pope Francis and his challenging pontificate. Throughout, two of Weigel's key convictions (that ideas have consequences for good and ill, and that the deepest currents of history flow through culture) illuminate political and economic life, and the life of the Catholic Church, in ways not often appreciated or understood. Many of the chapters comprising "The Fragility of Order" originated in George Weigel's annual William E. Simon Lecture, which since 2001 has become a major event in Washington, D.C. They are unique in their application of philosophical and theological perspectives to the issues of history and politics, enabling the reader to see current events in a deeper way. While very highly recommended, especially for church, seminary, community, and academic library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, clergy, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Fragility of Order" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.25).

The Strength of Mercy
Sr. M. Veronika Hausler
New City Press
202 Cardinal Road, Hyde Park, NY 12538
9781565486232, $12.95, PB, 115pp,

Louise de Marillac (August 12, 1591 - March 15, 1660), was born out of wedlock into an aristocratic family, she grew up to become a young widow and the mother of a son. She fully committed her life to all those who were suffering, regardless of who they were. In Paris together with St. Vincent de Paul she founded a community of Sisters, who dedicated themselves to care for the sick and for the poor. The Daughters of Charity, one of the largest Catholic women religious communities are active today in more than 100 countries. "The Strength of Mercy : Four weeks with Louise de Marillac" by Sr. M. Veronika Hausler, D.C. (who is a Caritas theologian, a spiritual director, and a Daughter of Charity) is an inherently inspired and inspiring instructional guide and study that is very highly recommended for church and seminary collections, as well as the personal reading lists of all members of the Roman Catholic community.

Mere Science and Christian Faith
Greg Cootsona
InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426
9780830838141, $17.00, PB, 192pp,

Many Christians have been brought up under the assumption that mainstream science is incompatible with genuine Christian faith -- so when they see compelling evidence for biological evolution, for example, they feel forced to choose between science and their faith. The devastating effects of this dilemma are plain to see, as emerging adults either leave the faith or shut themselves off to the findings of the scientific community. But it's a false dilemma. In "Mere Science and Christian Faith: Bridging the Divide with Emerging Adults", by former pastor Greg Cootsona (who currently directs Science and Theology for Emerging Adult Ministries at Fuller Theological Seminary, and who teaches Religious Studies and Humanities at California State University at Chico) argues against the idea that science and faith are inherently antagonistic. We don't have to keep them scrupulously separated -- instead, we can bring them into dialogue with one another. "Mere Science and Christian Faith" brings this integration to a number of current topics in science and faith conversations, including hermeneutics, the historical Adam and Eve, cognitive science, and the future of technology. His insights are enhanced by his work with Fuller Seminary's STEAM research project. Emerging adults want to believe that science and faith can coexist peacefully. "Mere Science and Christian Faith" holds out a vision for how that integration is possible and how it can lead us more deeply into the conversations around science and faith that confront the church today. An extraordinarily informative and exceptionally thoughtful and thought-provoking study, "Mere Science and Christian Faith" is very highly recommended for personal, church, community, and academic library collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

Growing Kids with Character
Hettie Brittz
David C. Cook
c/o Cook Communications
4050 Lee Vance Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918
9781434712530, $18.99, PB, 272pp,

Hettie Brittz is a South African - born author, international speaker, and a foremost voice in parenting advice and personality styles.. In "Growing Kids with Character: Nurturing Your Child's Potential, Purpose, and Passion", she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to help parents identify their child's natural bent and how that affects their own parenting journey. Hettie's famous tree metaphors show ways to let kids excel at being who they naturally are. Learn how to: Cultivate your child's unique way of encountering, following, and worshiping God; Disciple and discipline based on your child's very own blueprint; Recognize your child's strongest characteristics and apply that knowledge to everyday life; Speak your child's unique dialect (or "tree language") to foster effective communication; Help your child recognize and celebrate God's individualized design for others. In the pages of "Growing Kids with Character", Christian parents will discover how to use kids' God-given personalities to guide them on their spiritual journeys and firmly establish their identity and purpose in Christ, and thereby finding the joy of parenting by a child's natural bent and God's supernatural wisdom! While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.21), it should be noted that the paperback edition of Growing Kids with Character also includes a code for a free child profile report.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Walking the Exodus
Margaret Malka Rawicz
Urim Publications
c/o KTAV (distribution)
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, New York 11225
9789655242485, $29.95, HC, 526pp,

Leading biblical scholars and archaeologists have long argued about the actual route of the biblical Exodus from Egypt for decades. Margaret Malka Rawicz has developed and refined lectures on the Exodus for many years after extensively traveling through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Egypt, Israel, and Jordan. In "Walking the Exodus: My Journey in the Footsteps of Moses" she draws upon her experience, research, and expertise to reveal the route Moses and the Israelites took as they fled Egypt three and a half millennia ago. Along with her Bedouin guide, Rabia, Margaret treks through treacherous deserts and areas in order to recover and identify the sites of the first fifteen known Israelite encampments. She then explores another eighteen encampments in the Sinai Desert and the final nine in Jordan. Including photographs and personal stories, "Walking the Exodus" is not only a discovery, but also a transformation of one's life. Impressively informative, exceptionally well written, thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Walking the Exodus" is an inherently fascinating and educative read from cover to cover, making it unreservedly recommended for personal, synagogue, community, and academic library collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

Ken Shipiro
Gefen Publishing House
11 Edison Place, Springfield, NJ 07081
9789652299093, $21.95, PB, 239pp,

"Destiny" by Rabbi Ken Spiro (who is an historian and a dynamic speaker who lectures throughout the world on Jewish history and values) walks the reader through the central themes in Jewish history: the impact of Jewish values on civilization, Jewish drive and the disproportionate impact of the Jewish people, antisemitism and its message, the Jewish view of history and conception of time and the End of Days. These themes allow the reader to see the striking parallel between the reality of Jewish history and the universal plot of these epic movies that everyone loves. The metaphor is enhanced with striking fold-out movie storyboards depicting Jewish history in movie form. The reader will come away with an understanding of the unique role and mission of the Jewish people in history and its very special destiny. An inherently fascinating, impressively informative, exceptionally well written, organized and presented read from beginning to end, "Destiny" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as synagogue, community, and academic library Judaic Studies collections.

The Spiritual Revolution of Rav Kook
Rabbi Ari Zeev Schwartz, translator
Gefen Publishing House
11 Edison Place, Springfield, NJ 07081
9789652299130, $21.95, PB, 287pp,

Rabbi Ari Ze'ev Schwartz is the cofounder and dean of the Society of Independent Spirituality, a learning center in Jerusalem that combines Jewish spirituality and Zionism. In addition, he teaches at several yeshivot and midrashot in Jerusalem. Rav Kook (1865-1935) was one of the most influential thinkers in Jewish history, but his revolutionary writings are mostly unknown to the general public. Ably translated into English by Rabbi Schwartz for an American readership, "The Spiritual Revolution of Rav Kook" contains many new and accessible translations, as well as an in-depth spiritual biography. Each individual chapter is introduced and broken up into a variety of topics, including the individual, Torah, God, teshuvah, prayer, creativity, Zionism, science, and vegetarianism. While a very highly recommended addition to personal, synagogue, community, and academic library Judaic Studies collections, it should be note for personal reading lists that "The Spiritual Revolution of Rav Kook" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.89).

The Buddhist Studies Shelf

The Second Buddha: Master of Time
Elena Pakhoutova, editor
Prestel Publishing
900 Broadway, Suite 603, New York, NY 10003
9783791357539, $49.95, HC, 200pp,

Padmasambhava, a legendary Buddhist master believed to be instrumental in bringing Buddhism to Tibet, is often known as "The Second Buddha". According to popular legend, Padmasambhava miraculously appeared as a boy in a lotus blossom floating on a lake. Knowledgeably compiled and deftly edited by Elena Pakhoutova (Curator of Himalayan Art at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York), "The Second Buddha: Master of Time" informatively explores visual expressions of Padmasambhava's legends in sculptures, textiles, paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and a portable shrine that date from the 13th to the 19th century. Beautifully illustrated with 90, the erudite essays comprising "The Second Buddha: Master of Time" present new scholarship on Padmasambhava and reveals a central and multidimensional character with an enduring place in Tibetan and Himalayan Buddhist cultures. Published in association with the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art, this Prestel Publishing edition of "The Second Buddha: Master of Time" is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, college, and university library Buddhism collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

The American History Shelf

Montana's Hot Springs
Jeff Birkby
Arcadia Publishing
420 Wando Park Blvd., Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
9781540228031, $28.99, HC, 130pp,

Montana's hot springs and hot water resorts bubble with fascinating histories of medical cures, Native American legends, glittering spas, and isolated wilderness soaks. These Montana hot springs provided soothing cures for the aches and pains of Native Americans and early Montana pioneers. A few of the crude bathhouses built by miners and settlers gave way to ornate bathing resorts, replete with some of the most elegant furnishings and facilities available between Minneapolis and San Francisco, from the 1890s through the 1920s. Grand hot springs resorts (including Corwin Hot Springs, Boulder Hot Springs, Hunter's Hot Springs, and Broadwater Hot Springs) flourished and then faded from Montana's landscape. Through photographs, "Images of America: Montana's Hot Springs" by Jeff Birkby (who has spent over 30 years researching the fascinating history of hot springs in the Western United States) visually explores the stories and legends of hot-water bathing resorts in Montana with captioned period photography. An inherently fascinating and informative browse from first page to last, "Montana's Hot Springs" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library American History & Photography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Montana's Hot Springs" is also available in a paperback edition (9781467127691, $21.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

The Computer Shelf

Data-Driven Storytelling
Nathalie Henry Riche, et al.
CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
9781138482258, $129.95, HC, 314pp,

Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by the team of Dr. Nathalie Henry Riche (a researcher at Microsoft Research since December 2008); Dr. Christophe Hurter (Professor at the Interactive Data Visualization group (part of the DEVI team) of the French Civil Aviation University in Toulouse, France); Dr. Nicholas Diakopoulos (Assistant Professor at the Northwestern University School of Communication where he directs the Computational Journalism Lab); and Dr. Sheelagh Carpendale (Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Calgary where she holds a Canada Research Chair in Information Visualization, the NSERC/AITF/SMART Technologies Industrial Research Chair in Interactive Technologies and leads the Innovations in Visualization (InnoVis) research group), "Data-Driven Storytelling" presents an accessible and informative introduction to data-driven storytelling. Resulting from unique discussions between data visualization researchers and data journalists, "Data-Driven Storytelling" offers an integrated definition of the topic, presents vivid examples and patterns for data storytelling, and calls out key challenges and new opportunities for researchers and practitioners. The newest addition to the simply outstanding CRC Press 'A K Peters Visualization Series', "Data-Driven Storytelling" is unreservedly recommended for professional, corporate, college, and university library Computer Science & Engineering collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Data-Driven Storytelling" is also available in a paperback edition (9781138197107, $49.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $39.46).

The Health/Medicine Shelf

The PMA Method
Faisal Abdalla
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781912023370, $19.99, PB, 224pp,

Faisal Abdalla, is a Nike master trainer, a master trainer at Barry's Bootcamp and Ellie Goulding's personal trainer. Faisal believes that there are three golden rules to looking and feeling great: diet, fitness and, most importantly, a Positive Mental Attitude. Faisal's Body Transformation Program is not a magic wand but offers an effective do-it-yourself approach to working hard so you can achieve the body you want and a positive mindset in life to go with it. "The PMA Method" is about understanding how the smallest of steps can have huge results and add up to a better you. Featuring structured exercise routines for the body and mind, delicious and healthy versions of your favorite food to fuel your fitness (wake up to a hearty breakfast of Kicking scrambled eggs, followed by a post-workout lunch of Itsa pizza pitta and finish your day with nutritious Fish & chips) "The PMA Method" will help you unlock your own positive mental attitude and motivate you to smash those goals. Profusely illustrated and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The PMA Method" is a complete self-health improvement course and curriculum under one cover. While very highly recommended for personal and community library collections, it should be noted that "The PMA Method" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

The Photography Shelf

Another Kind of Life
Alona Pardo, editor
Prestel Publishing
900 Broadway, Suite 603, New York, NY 10003
9783791384276, $50.00, HC, 288pp,

At a political age when individual rights are being contested and when those on the fringes of society feel deeply threatened, "Another Kind of Life" is powerful photographic compilation by Alona Pardo (Curator at the Barbican Art Gallery in London) that delivers a visual message of humanity and inclusiveness that transcends geopolitical and cultural boundaries. Works by critically acclaimed photographers including Bruce Davidson, Paz Errazuriz, Jim Goldberg, Danny Lyon, Mary Ellen Mark, Boris Mikhailov, Daido Moriyama, and Dayanita Singh cast a compassionate, unflinching eye on the worlds inhabited by transsexuals, hookers, hustlers, bikers, junkies, circus performers, gang members, survivalists, petty criminals, and others who live in the shadows, on the streets, and out of the public eye. Grouped by photographer and ranging in genre from portraiture to photojournalism, these images were selected for their authentic and humane perspective, as well as for their artistic brilliance. An important testament to photography's power to both expose injustice and provide affirmation for those outside the norm, this collection bears witness to the ways social attitudes change across time and space, and how visual representation can promote understanding and dialogue. An extraordinary volume showcasing memorable and thought provoking images, "Another Kind of Life" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Contemporary American Photography collections.

The Woodworking Shelf

Wood Pallet DIY Project
Stephen Fitzberger & Diane Fitzberger
Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781565239302, $19.99, PB, 160pp,

Steve Fitzberger is the founder of Abba Woodworks, an inner city Baltimore organization dedicated to reclaiming wood and reclaiming lives. Abba Woodworks' mission is to create great local jobs and create opportunity for those who may struggle to find one. Steve and his associates make one-of-a-kind beautiful, useful products for the home and garden out of reclaimed wood from shipping pallets, all from local businesses. In collaboration with Diane Fitzberger, he draws upon his years of experience and expertise in ""Wood Pallet DIY Project" to showcases 20 do-it-yourself woodworking projects to enrich your home and garden by making one-of-a-kind useful items from reclaimed wood. Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with full color photography, "Wood Pallet DIY Project" also provides practical advice on where to find pallets, how to process them into usable lumber, fasteners, sanding, and the best finishes (if any) to use. Of special note are the safety tips relevant to working with pallets. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Wood Pallet DIY Project" is unreservedly recommended for personal and community library Woodworking instructional guides and manuals.

The Fiction Shelf

Mike Sparrow
Five Star Books
10 Water Street, Suite 310, Waterville, ME 04901
9781432835903, $25.95, HC, 494pp,

The first volume in a dramatic fictional 'Manifest Destiny' trilogy set in the old west by Mike Sparrow. "Native" is the story of Takoda, a young Lakota warrior who is compelled to fight for his life after his father is killed in a hunting accident, who must deal with murderous beaver trappers and brutal treatment at the hands of a ruthless band of buffalo hunters. However, his future is to become defined by the dark influence of Theodore Winthrop, a Minnesotan senator who wants to rid the plains of the native tribes. Takoda's survival depends on a chance encounter with a wagon train, where he meets Carla Kopp, with whom he is destined to unveil the scope of Winthrop's political and military subterfuge, a plan to steal four hundred million dollars in gold, and strategies designed to challenge the Lakota's very existence. With meticulous attention to historical detail, "Native" is a compelling and impressively entertaining read from cover to cover by an author with an original and natural flair for storytelling. While unreservedly recommended for community library Western Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Native" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

Philipp Winkler
Arcade Publishing
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
9781628728675, $25.99, HC, 203pp,

We've all got two families: the one we're born with, and the one we choose ourselves. Heiko hasn't finished high school. His father is an alcoholic. His mother left. His housemate organizes illegal dogfights. He works in his uncle's gym, one frequented by bikers and skinheads. He definitely isn't one of society's winners, but he has his chosen family, the pack of soccer hooligans he's grown up with. His uncle is the leader, and gradually Heiko has risen in the ranks, until he's recognized in the stands of his home team and beyond the stadium walls, where, after the game, he and his gang represent their city in brutal organized brawls with hooligans from other localities. All the more impressive when considering that "Hooligan" is author Philipp Winkler's debut as a novelist, this compelling story offers an intimate, devastating portrait of working-class, post-industrial urban life on the fringes and a universal story about masculinity in the twenty-first century, with a protagonist whose fear of being left behind has driven him to extremes. Narrated with lyrical authenticity by Heiko himself, it captures the desperation and violence that permeate his world, along with the yearning for brotherhood. While unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Hooligan" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.33) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781543680157, $24.99, MP3 CD).

Across the Blue
Carrie Turansky
Multnomah Books
c/o Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group
12265 Oracle Blvd., Suite 200, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
c/o Center Point Publishing
600 Brooks Road, Thorndike, ME 04986
9781601429421, $14.99, PB, 352pp,

Isabella Grayson, the eldest daughter of a wealthy, English newspaper magnate, longs to become a journalist, but her parents don't approve. They want her to marry well and help them gain a higher standing in society. After she writes an anonymous letter to the editor that impresses her father, her parents reluctantly agree she can write a series of articles about aviation and the race to fly across the English Channel, but only if she promises to accept a marriage proposal within the year. When James Drake, an aspiring aviator, crashes his flying machine at the Grayson's new estate, Bella is intrigued. James is determined to be the first to fly across the Channel and win the prize Mr. Grayson's newspaper is offering. He hopes it will help him secure a government contract to build airplanes and redeem a terrible family secret. James wants to win Bella's heart, but his background and lack of social standing make it unlikely her parents would approve. If he fails to achieve his dream, how will he win the love and respect he is seeking? Will Bella's faith and support help him find the strength and courage he needs when unexpected events turn their world upside down? Another deftly crafted and consistently entertaining read by a master of the genre, Carrie Turansky's "Across the Blue" is unhesitatingly and unreservedly recommended for community library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the legions of Carrie Turansky fans that "Across the Blue" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99). Librarians should note that "Across the Blue" is also available in a large print hardcover edition from Center Point Publishing (9781683247838, $36.95, 500pp).

Beautiful Music
Michael Zadoorian
Akashic Books
232 Third Street, #A115, Brooklyn, NY 11215
9781617756177, $28.95, HC, 340pp,

Danny Yzemski is a husky, pop radio - loving loner balancing a dysfunctional homelife with the sudden harsh realities of freshman year at a high school marked by racial turbulence. But after tragedy strikes the family, Danny's mother becomes increasingly erratic and angry about the seismic cultural shifts unfolding in her city and the world. As she tries to hold it together with the help of Librium, highballs, and breakfast cereal, Danny finds his own reason to carry on: rock and roll. In particular, the drum and guitar - heavy songs of local legends like the MC5 and Iggy Pop. A touching story about the power of music and its ability to save one's soul, "Beautiful Music" by novelist Michael Zadoorian is set in early 1970s Detroit, a divided city still reeling from its violent race riot of 1967, and is the compelling story of one young man's transformation through music. An exceptional, engaging, and compelling read from first page to last, "Beautiful Music" is certain to be a well received addition to both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Beautiful Music" is also available in a paperback edition (9781617756276, $16.95), in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.10); as well as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media; 9781974904211, $29.99, CD).

The Biography Shelf

Coco Chanel
Susan Goldman Rubin
Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
115 West 18th Street, 6th floor, New York, NY 10011
9781419725449, $18.99, HC, 144pp,

In "Coco Chanel: Pearls, Perfume, and the Little Black Dress", author and biographer Susan Goldman Rubin introduces readers to the most well-known fashion designer in the world -- Coco Chanel. Beginning with the difficult years Chanel spent in an orphanage, Rubin traces Coco's development as a designer and demonstrates how her determination to be independent helped her gain worldwide recognition. "Coco Chanel" focuses on the obstacles Chanel faced as a financially independent woman in an era when women were expected to marry; as well as her fierce competition with the Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli; and some of her most memorable firsts for the fashion industry, including the little black dress, the quilted purse with gold chain, and the perfume Chanel No. 5. Enhanced with the inclusion of a bibliography, a list of where to see her work, and an index, "Coco Chanel" is an extraordinary, informative, and inherently fascinating read that is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Coco Chanel" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Poetry Shelf

Terrible Blooms
Melissa Stein
Copper Canyon Press
PO Box 271, Port Townsend, WA 98368
9781556595295, $16.00, PB, 96pp,

A freelance editor in San Francisco, Melissa Stein's debut collection Rough Honey won the APR/Honickman First Book Prize, selected by Mark Doty. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, Tin House, American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, New England Review, Best New Poets, and others. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Bread Loaf, Yaddo, and the MacDowell Colony. Now in a new collection of her distinctive verse, "Terrible Blooms" she once again showcases her genuine flair for deftly crafted poetry that will linger in the mind and memory of her readers long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, and academic library Contemporary American Poetry collections. Quarry: As you slept / I was thinking about the quarry. / about light going deeper / into earth, into rock, the hurt / of light hitting layers / that should be hidden. / that should be buried. / and how when it rained / for a long time that absence filled / with suffering, and we swam.

The Coloring Book Shelf

Pomegranate Communications, Inc.
19018 NE Portal Way, Portland, OR 97230

"The Fairy Tale Art of Walter Crane Colouring Book" (9780764981449, $7.95) by illustrator Walter Crane features 22 black and white full page illustrations from the Walter Crane (English, 1845-1915) originals at the collection at the British Library. The cover and inside from and back covers contain miniature portraits in full color for reference. The intricate detail, graceful ornamentation, and courtly style of all the portrait characters is enchanting and unforgettable. Adult coloring fans will love spending hours with this book and some pencils or pens. Beloved scenes from childhood fairy tales are beautifully embellished with these classic turn of the century illustrations. Additionally highly recommended and from the same publisher is an adult coloring book titled "Shakespeare: A Colouring Book" (9780764981241, $16.95) filled with 50 black and white prints from "A Collection of prints, from pictures painted for the purpose of illustrating the Dramatic Works of Shakespeare, by the Artists of Great Britain (London: J & J Boydell, 1803)". Each individual print fills a full page and is paired with the play and scene it illustrates in the title index page. The result is a cavalcade of stunning black and white prints of dramatic Shakespeare scenes invites the amateur colorist to display all their artistic skills.

Pomegranate Communications, Inc.
19018 NE Portal Way, Portland, OR 97230

"Japanese Decorative Designs" (9780764981432, $7.95, PB, 48pp) is an adult coloring book from the Pomegranate collection and features 22 Japanese floral images to color. "Intricate Ink: Animals in Detail" (9780764981210, $14.95, 56pp, HC) is the third volume of artist Tim Jeffs series of adult coloring books and is comprised of 25 original and intricately detailed animal drawings to color. Offering hours of quite, contemplative, creative, and entertaining activity, "Japanese Decorative Designs" and "Intricate Ink: Animals in Detail" are very highly recommended for personal coloring book collections.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Spirit Clans
David Carson
Hampton Roads Publishing Company
65 Parker St., Ste. 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
9781571748409, $16.95, PB, 208pp,

For millennia, Native American tradition has taught that we all carry within us an ancient blessing, a spirit clan that connects us to the earth. Our spirit clan may be an animal, or a plant, a stone, or some special object that has taken on spiritual power. Your clan is a reservoir of powerful energy. It helps carry you through troubled times and protects you from danger. The wisdom of their teachings shows the way to true peace and prosperity and to live in harmony with all that is. In "Spirit Clans: Native Wisdom for Personal Power and Guidance" by David Carson (who is an official member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. and the coauthor of Medicine Cards, which draws on the healing power of animals), you will learn how to discover your own spirit clan using dreams and visions as a guide and by contemplating the stories, traditions, and descriptions of the 75 clans gathered here. In-depth descriptions of the physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of spirit clans and their modern-day manifestations lift these ancient teachings off the page and bring them to life. An inherently fascinating, impressively informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking read from first page to last, "Spirit Clans" is unreservedly recommended for personal and community library Native American Metaphysical Studies collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Spirit Clans" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.10).

The Needlecraft Shelf

Kenneth D. King's Smart Fitting Solutions
Kenneth D. King
The Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
9781631868566, $34.95, HC, 240pp,

No matter your size or shape, "Kenneth D. King's Smart Fitting Solutions: Foolproof Techniques to Fit Any Figure" will teach even the most novice needlecrafter how to make perfect-fitting garments every time. A comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional reference and resource, "Kenneth D. King's Smart Fitting Solutions" shows the home sewer how to understand her shape and fitting options, as well as how to identify bad fit by reading the wrinkles in the garment. From there, it explains 'Smart Fitting' methods including net gain (add fabric), net loss (remove fabric), or no net gain or loss (move fabric around) in order to make the necessary corrections to the pattern. Needlecraft expert Kenneth King draws on his 30+ years of patternmaking and couturier experience to: Help the sewer understand proportion, wearing ease, and design ease; Learn how to measure correctly; Learn about fitting and alteration methods; Learn how to make a muslin the gold standard of test garments; and learn how to alter patterns for 35 upper body part issues. The home sewer will also be privy to garment construction tips picked up during Kenneth's years of couture sewing -- exactly the things that make complex details a breeze. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library needlecraft instructional collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Kenneth D. King's Smart Fitting Solutions" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.99).

The Education Shelf

Key to the SAT
Kallis Edu
9780998482576, $29.95, PB, 512pp,

With "Key to the SAT: With 6 New Practice Tests: Quick Prep for the Exam and Strategies for Solving Each Question Type" from Kallis Edu, highschool students can learn how to master each SAT-tested concept using the Kallis Key Points system to review crucial concepts. These comprehensive Key Strategies provide step-by-step question-solving methods, and the six full-length practice tests in "Key to the SAT" give students plenty of opportunities to refine their skills. Finally, detailed answers and explanations provide thorough procedures for solving each question. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in composition, organization, and presentation, "Key to the SAT" is unreservedly recommended for any student wanting to successfully pass an SAT examination with their highest scores possible.

The Parenting Shelf

1-2-3 Workbook for Parenting with Heart
Thomas W. Phelan, author
Chris Webb, author
Sourcebooks Inc.
1935 Brookdale Road, #139, Naperville, IL 60563
9781492653059, $17.99, PB, 192pp,

Through the 1-2-3 Magic program, Dr. Thomas W. Phelan and pastor Chris Webb teach parents to take charge while refraining from any harsh discipline or yelling, leading to better behaved children, happier parents, and a more peaceful home environment. In the "1-2-3 Workbook for Parenting with Heart", the program's simple steps are explained in greater detail, and each workbook chapter contains a summary, questions about the content, case studies, troubleshooting exercises, and wrap-up bullets. This workbook provides extra content and resources for parents looking to engage more deeply with the Christian-focused 1-2-3 Magic program. Updated packaging and content along with a refreshed internal design make this parenting classic even more relatable to today's parenting community. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "1-2-3 Workbook for Parenting with Heart" is particularly recommended to the attention of those parents wanting an especially Christian oriented approach to their parenting.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Steven Spielberg FAQ
Barry Monush
Applause Books
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
9781495064739 $19.99

Steven Spielberg FAQ is an in-depth guide to the films of one of Hollywood's most popular directors and producers, whose moviemaking career spans five decades. Chapters include a timeline of Spielberg's career, the literary and real-life origins of some of Spielberg's movies, information about Spielberg's work for television shows, Spielberg's occasions in front of the camera as an "actor" or guest starring himself, how Spielberg's films have performed at the box office, and much more. Interspersed by black-and-white photographs throughout, and enhanced with an index, Steven Spielberg FAQ is the "go-to" resource for anyone interested in learning more about this talented professional and his memorable movies. Highly recommended.

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

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