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

Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 17, Number 9 September 2022 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Education Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Cookbook Shelf Economic Studies Shelf
General Fiction Shelf Historical Fiction Shelf Literary Fiction Shelf
Romantic Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf Sports Shelf
Woodworking Shelf Music Shelf Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Art Shelf Biography Shelf Agriculture Shelf
Beer/Wine/Spirits Shelf Travel Shelf Gardening Shelf
Automotive Shelf Gaming Shelf Martial Arts Shelf
Business Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf


Reviewer's Choice

The Great Age Reboot
Michael F. Roizen, M.D. with Peter Linneman, Ph.D. & Albert Ratner
National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
www.nationalgeographic.com
9781426221514, $28.00, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Great-Age-Reboot-Cracking-Longevity/dp/1426221517

Synopsis: Over the next decade, people living to 100, 120, or even 130 years old will become increasingly common -- and life past 100 may not look like what you expect. "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow" by Dr. Michael Roizen, with the assistance of economists Peter Linneman and Albert Ratner, reveals how current science and technology will revolutionize our ability to live longer, younger, and better.

Today's breakthroughs in longevity research are unprecedented, and "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow" will help you navigate the coming changes to make the best decisions for your brain, your body, and your bank account. "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow" explores how living a longer life span will change our lives and our culture, providing the most comprehensive and forward-looking book on aging to date, and showing readers how to prepare for the next major societal disruptor.

Critique: "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow" is an ideal road map to prevention, treatment, and technology and how they will reshape the way we think about old age -- and help us plan for a previously unanticipated future. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, senior citizen center, college, and university library Longevity Health/Medicine collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists of personal and professional reading lists that "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note #1: Michael F. Roizen MD is the Chief Wellness Officer at the Cleveland Clinic, Chief Medical Consultant on The Dr. Oz Show, author of four #1 New York Times bestselling books, and originator of the popular RealAge.com website. He is board certified in anesthesiology and internal medicine. He's been recognized with an Ellie, an Emmy, and the Paul G. Rogers Award from the National Library of Medicine for Best Medical Communicator. He also chaired an FDA advisory committee and has published more than 175 peer-reviewed articles. He has a page on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Roizen


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Good Naked, revised and expanded edition
Joni B. Cole
https://www.jonibcole.com
University of New Mexico Press
1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM 87131-0001
www.unmpress.com
9780826364364, $19.95, PB, 248pp

https://www.amazon.com/Good-Naked-Happier-Revised-Expanded/dp/0826364365

Synopsis: From veteran creative writing teacher and acclaimed author Joni B. Cole comes the revised and expanded edition of her popular writing guide "Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier. Revised and Expanded Edition".

Once again, Cole's humor and wisdom shine through as she debunks long-held misconceptions of how we're supposed to write, replacing them with advice that works. Feeling overwhelmed? Having trouble getting started or staying motivated? In this edition, Cole offers more stories, strategies, tips on craft, and exercises to serve new and seasoned writers from the first draft to the final edit. Writers will even find help making peace with rejection.

Admirers as well as newcomers to Cole's work will appreciate her uniquely cheerful approach, time tested to foster creativity and productivity. This generous and essential guide will provide a jump start to inspiration and a daily reminder of the meaning, humor, and happiness that can be discovered in a life devoted to writing life.

Critique: With a great deal of practical value for aspiring writers and seasoned authors alike, "Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier. Revised and Expanded Edition" is a complete course of instruction under one cover and is the next best thing to sitting front row in one of Joni Cole's creative writing workshops. Thoroughly 'writer friendly' in organization and presentation, "Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier. Revised and Expanded Edition" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Writing/Publishing collections. An excellent textbook for Creative Writing classes, it should be note that "Good Naked: How to Write More, Write Better, and Be Happier. Revised and Expanded Edition" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Joni B. Cole teaches creative writing at her own Writer's Center in Vermont and as an independent workshop facilitator at Dartmouth College. She is a frequent teacher and speaker at academic programs, conferences, and social-service organizations across the country. Cole is the author of six books and a contributor to The Writer as well as the host of the podcast Author, Can I Ask You? She has a dedicated website at https://www.jonibcole.com


The Education Shelf

The Ultimate Guide to HBCUs
Dr. Braque Talley
The Princeton Review
c/o Random House Inc.
www.PrincetonReview.com
9780593451236, $14.99, PB, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Guide-HBCUs-Historically-Universities/dp/0593451236

Synopsis: Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community.

For anyone considering attending an HBCU, "The Ultimate Guide to HBCUs: Profiles, Stats, and Insights for All 101 Historically Black Colleges and Universities" is the essential college guide. The Princeton Review has partnered up with Dr. Braque Talley (three-time HBCU graduate and current Vice President for Student Affairs at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University) to create a guide with everything needed to be known about HBCUs.

With "The Ultimate Guide to HBCUs" the reader can find their perfect school with: Complete profiles of all 101 HBCUs in the country (96 undergraduate and 5 graduate HBCUs) including where they are, what they cost, who they enroll, and more; Details of every aspect of academic, campus, and student life, including professors, dorms, cafeteria food, and social life; Highlights of the programs, degrees, and offerings available; Notable accomplishments of these storied institutions; Up to date descriptions of each campus's cultural offerings; Information on career opportunities and renowned alumni.

Critique: With each school presented in alphabetical order, "The Ultimate Guide to HBCUs: Profiles, Stats, and Insights for All 101 Historically Black Colleges and Universities" is unreservedly recommended as an essential and core college planning resource for highschool and community library collections. It should be noted for highschool counselors, parents, and graduating students that "The Ultimate Guide to HBCUs: Profiles, Stats, and Insights for All 101 Historically Black Colleges and Universities" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Dr. Braque Talley currently serves as Vice President for Student Affairs at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University. While serving as Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Success at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, he has received national attention for his student engagement campaigns, which resulted in a significant enrollment turnaround during the 2020 pandemic. He had previously served his alma mater, Rust College, as VP of enrollment management; as well as serving as Director of marketing and recruitment at Alabama A&M.

Teaching Mindfulness
Amoneeta Beckstein, author
Jana York, contributor
Book Publishing Company
PO Box 99, Summertown TN, 38483
www.bookpubco.com
9781939053411, $19.95, PB, 120pp

https://www.amazon.com/Teaching-Mindfulness-Guidebook-Counselors-Caregivers/dp/1939053412

Synopsis: Due to our rapidly evolving society, the impact of social media, and the threat of climate change, today's children are facing challenges unique to their generation. Incorporating mindfulness as part of their curriculum (whether in a classroom or a home school setting) teaches them invaluable and necessary life skills that they can apply to all aspects of learning, and later, through all the stages of their lives.

With the publication of "Teaching Mindfulness: A Guidebook for Teachers, Parents, Counselors, and Caregivers", psychologist Amoneeta Beckstein and mindfulness educator and practitioner Jana York have pooled their knowledge and experience and teamed up to compile an eight-week curriculum with empirically-based exercises for integrating mindfulness in classrooms, as well as discussion questions for enhancing critical thinking skills.

The authors use vowels (including Y for "You") as a mnemonic device, with each vowel representing a lesson that helps students develop present-moment awareness: Attention, Experience, Investigate, Observe, and Understand. Forty engaging activities and games help children put into practice the concepts they learned. "Teaching Mindfulness" provides the essential core principles of mindfulness education and enriches both the teaching and learning experience.

Critique: Timely, well illustrated, and offering a complete course of instruction that will be especially appreciated by home- schooling parents as well as classroom instructors, "Teaching Mindfulness: A Guidebook for Teachers, Parents, Counselors, and Caregivers" is exceptionally well organized and presented. While highly recommended for elementary school, school district, community library, and academic library Contemporary Education instructional reference collections, as well as and teacher education supplemental studies curriculums, it should be noted for personal reading lists that ""Teaching Mindfulness" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note #1: Amoneeta Beckstein, Ph.D., is a positive psychologist who specializes in multicultural counseling. He often integrates mindfulness into his teaching, therapy, and service. He is particularly interested in how mindfulness can contribute to people's happiness and inner peace. He also uses mindfulness in his personal life and has a dedicated website at https://c19psychcare.com/dr-amoneeta-beckstein-profile/.

Editorial Note #2: Jana York, MS, has been a children's mindfulness educator and mindfulness practitioner for more than a decade. She has conducted research and written on mindfulness. York is the author of U Is for Understanding: Claire's Journey toward Mindfulness, a chapter book designed to introduce mindfulness and social-emotional learning to children. The activities are based on her training and teaching to adults and students in various cultures around the globe. Her passion is teaching children how to reduce anxiety and self-regulate while being in the present moment. She is an avid practitioner of mindfulness in her personal life and a website at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/janayorkmindful


The Health/Medicine Shelf

The Alzheimer's Revolution
Joseph Keon, MD
https://josephkeon.com
Hatherleigh Press
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
62545 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY 13788
www.hatherleighpress.com
9781578269433, $21.95, PB, 400pp

https://www.amazon.com/Alzheimers-Revolution-Evidence-Based-Lifestyle-Resilience/dp/1578269431

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Alzheimer's Revolution: An Evidence-Based Lifestyle Program to Build Cognitive Resilience And Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer's Disease", Joseph Keon challenges the misguided and disempowering belief that Alzheimer's disease cannot be prevented or slowed. "The Alzheimer's Revolution" reveals that over half the Alzheimer's cases today could be prevented by addressing just seven lifestyle factors that are within everyone's ability to control.

"The Alzheimer's Revolution" offers readers a research-based program that can dramatically reduce the risk of this devastating condition. Alzheimer's disease is the number-one public health crisis of our time. Approximately 5.3 million Americans have Alzheimer's. In 2021, an estimated 6.2 million Americans age 65 and older are living with Alzheimer's dementia. It's time to turn our attention and resources toward prevention.

Critique: A personal and national medical issue that has become increasingly relevant with the aging of the Baby Boomer generation, "The Alzheimer's Revolution: An Evidence-Based Lifestyle Program to Build Cognitive Resilience And Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer's Disease" is a timely and important contribution to our on-going national dialogue about how to best handle Alzheimer's as a personal, social, cultural, and medical community issue with respect to dianosis and treatment. While unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, senior citizen center, and academic library Alzheimer's & Dementia health and medicine collections, it should be noted that "The Alzheimer's Revolution: An Evidence-Based Lifestyle Program to Build Cognitive Resilience And Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer's Disease" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Joseph Keon is an investigative writer in the field of preventive medicine. He holds fitness expert certifications from both the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research and the American Council on Exercise. In his work as a wellness consultant in the public and private sphere for over 20 years, Keon focused on chronic degenerative diseases and their relationship to modifiable lifestyle choices. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Wild Oats Wellness Foundation and Dr. Helen Caldicott's Nuclear Policy Research Institute as well as the Marin Health Council, an advisory to the Marin County Board of Supervisors. Keon is currently a member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. Keon is the author of three other books including Whitewash: The Disturbing Truth about Cow's Milk and Your Health. He has a dedicated website at https://josephkeon.com


The Cookbook Shelf

The Great American Recipe Cookbook
The Great Amerian Recipe, author
BenBella Books
www.benbellabooks.com
9781637740156, $39.95, HC, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Great-American-Recipe-Cookbook-Regional-Cuisine/dp/1637740158

Synopsis: The Great American Recipe, is a PBS 8-part televison series that is a fun, feel-good program that celebrates amazing home cooks while capturing the rich culinary history of America. "The Great American Recipe Cookbook: Regional Cuisine and Family Favorites from the Hit TV Show" is a compendium of the best of the best recipes to be showcased on this outstanding and popular cooking show with dishes that range from Steak Salad; Chicken Adobo Bowls; Old School Mac 'n' Cheese for a Crowd; to Grandma's Turkey Breast Stuffing; Red Chilaquiles; Potato Crust Herb Quiche; and Button Cup Tarts with Homemade Almond Milk.

Critique: Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout with full color photography, "The Great American Recipe Cookbook: Regional Cuisine and Family Favorites from the Hit TV Show" is unabashedly recommended as an addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections. A pure delight to plan menus with, it should be noted that "The Great American Recipe Cookbook: Regional Cuisine and Family Favorites from the Hit TV Show" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Modern Pressure Cooking
Catherine Phipps
Quadrille Publishing
c/o Hardie Grant Publishing
https://www.hardiegrant.com/uk/quadrille
9781787135321, $40.00, HC, 352pp

https://www.amazon.com/Pressure-Cooker-Bible-Complete-Cooking/dp/1787135322

Synopsis: Comprised of more than 200 recipes, "Modern Pressure Cooking: The Comprehensive Guide to Stovetop and Electric Cookers" is the essential pressure cooker cookbook. Author and pressure cooking culinary expert Catherine Phipps gently guides readers through everything they need to know about cooking in a stovetop or electric pressure cooker, with foolproof, step-by-step instructions.

From Shakshouka with Feta, All in One Macaroni Cheese, Crispy Aromatic Duck, Squid and Chorizo with Black Rice, and more, all the recipes included are delicious and will go down well with hungry friends and family.

Pressure cooking is a wonder cooking method: you can make meals in minutes (on average, a third or less of the time of other cooking methods - for example, risotto takes only 7 minutes!), it is energy-efficient, and food cooked in a pressure cooker retains more nutrients and more flavor.

Pressure cooking makes life in the kitchen easier!

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated in full color throughout, "Modern Pressure Cooking: The Comprehensive Guide to Stovetop and Electric Cookers" is a dedicated and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted for kitchen cooks and professional chefs that "Modern Pressure Cooking: The Comprehensive Guide to Stovetop and Electric Cookers" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Catherine Phipps is a food writer, cookbook author and recipe developer who has frequently featured on TV and radio, including BBC Radio 4's The Food Programme. Her previous books include The Pressure Cooker Cookbook (2012), Citrus (2017) and Leaf (2019). There is a dedicated web page for Catherine on the Otter Farm website at https://www.otterfarm.co.uk/about/catherine-phipps/ and another one on the Nigella website at https://www.nigella.com/cookbook-corner/modern-pressure-cooking-by-catherine-phipps

Small Batch Bakes
Edd Kimber
Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
http://www.kylebooks.com
9781914239281, $22.99, HC, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Small-Batch-Bakes-Sweet-savoury/dp/1914239288

Synopsis: Baking recipes typically serve large groups of people, perfect for a party, a celebration, a crowd. But what about when you just want one cookie and you don't want to spend the money on making a big batch, or don't have the people to share them with? Sometimes you just don't want to be faced with leftovers you need to eat for the rest of the week.

With the publication of "Small Batch Bakes: Baking Cakes, Cookies, Bars and Buns for One to Six People", food writer and baking enthusiast Edd Kimber presents a collection of recipes for singles, small households, students or anyone else who likes to bake a lot. The recipes serve one, two, four or six and are predominately sweet but also include savory varieties that would be perfect for a lunch or impromptu picnic.

The skill level is naturally on the easier side, and equipment needed kept to a minimum, something that will be welcomed by many people baking just for themselves.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with full color photographs of finished baked goods, "Small Batch Bakes: Baking Cakes, Cookies, Bars and Buns for One to Six People" is a very special and appreciated addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections. A mouth-watering delight to simple browse through one page at a time, It should be noted that "Small Batch Bakes" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Edd Kimber won the first series of The Great British Bake Off in 2010. He is the author of The Boy who Bakes (2011), Say it with Cake (2012), Patisserie Made Simple (2014) as well as the best-selling One Tin Bakes (2020) and One Tin Bakes Easy (2021). He has appeared on Sunday Brunch, Market Kitchen and Perfect, as well as the BBC Good Food Show and other shows around the country. He is a contributing editor to Bake from Scratch magazine, a go-to baking writer for Olive magazine, a baking teacher at Leith's School of Food and Wine, as well as a QVC presenter and a brand ambassador for KitchenAid and Nordicware. Edd has a popular blog at www.theboywhobakes.com, where he shares his innovative baking recipes, which are always loved by his loyal following. @theboywhobakes

Showstopping Cakes
Rahul Mandal
Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
http://www.kylebooks.com
9781914239236, $34.99, HC, 240pp

https://www.amazon.com/Showstopping-Cakes-secrets-Insta-perfect-bakes/dp/1914239237

Synopsis: "Showstopping Cakes: Mastering the Art and Science of Baking" is a step-by-step culinary guide to creating beautiful cakes. Baking expert Rahul Mandal shares his unique approach to baking, focusing on techniques and scientific explanations, to ensure a perfect bake every time.

Whether it is how to avoid a curdled cake batter or buttercream, stacking a 2, 3 or 8 tier cake or perfectly piping decorations, Rahul brings forensic insight into why things don't work and how to fix them. He also discusses how to achieve the perfect flavor pairing, the different elements of cake fillings and decorating techniques, as well as how to make some of the most popular cakes from his Instagram feed, including drip cakes, fault-line cakes and a geode cake.

Since his victory on the UK's most famous baking show in 2018, Rahul has been honing his skills further, combining his scientific knowhow with his artistic talents to create bakes that are not only delicious but also things of beauty. "Showstopping Cakes: Mastering the Art and Science of Baking" is the instructional guide and 'how to' manual that Rahul wishes he'd had when he started baking.

Critique: Simply stated, "Showstopping Cakes: Mastering the Art and Science of Baking" by Rahul Mandal is what will enable even the most novice of family bakers to create a cake for any and all special occasions. Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "Showstopping Cakes: Mastering the Art and Science of Baking" is particularly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation. A pleasure to simply browse through, and also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99), "Showstopping Cakes: Mastering the Art and Science of Baking" is an unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

Editorial Note: Winner of The Great British Bake Off 2018 and GBBO New Year Special 2020, Rahul Mandal is also research scientist at the University of Sheffield, Rahul spends his spare time practicing his baking, painting and gardening. He has a dedicated following of 374k on Instagram and writes regularly for The Times. He has recently worked on social media campaigns with a number of brands including Castello, Panasonic and Cadbury.


The Economic Studies Shelf

Launchpad Republic
Howard Wolk, author
John Landry, author
Wiley
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
www.wiley.com
9781119900054, $29.99, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Launchpad-Republic-Americas-Entrepreneurial-Matters/dp/1119900050

Synopsis: With the publication of "Launchpad Republic: America's Entrepreneurial Edge and Why it Matters to All of Us", authors Howard Wolk and John Landry provide an insightful and thought-provoking history of entrepreneurship in the United States, with a focus on the political, legal, and cultural forces that have sustained "creative destruction" and propelled the country forward for more than 200 years.

In telling this story, "Launchpad Republic" highlights the critical features that have set America apart from other countries and identifies the key attributes necessary for it to maintain leadership for years to come.

Entrepreneurship is at its heart a rebellious act, and America's democratic system is unique in enabling new companies to challenge established ones. As a result, the country enjoys not just more robust start-up activity, but also a dynamism that forces big companies to improve -- or face the consequences. It also protects both property rights and the right to compete in ways not enjoyed elsewhere, encouraging investment and innovation.

Aside from assessing how American entrepreneurial capitalism unfolded, "Launchpad America" address current challenges such as the rise of the "Big Tech", concerns about inequality, inclusivity and sustainability, and the evolution toward stakeholder capitalism. It also compares the American approach to both Continental Europe's consensus-oriented framework and China's authoritarian model.

Critique: Covering important and timely topics "Launchpad Republic: America's Entrepreneurial Edge and Why It Matters" is impressively informative, exceptionally well organized, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in presentation. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format, "Launchpad Republic: America's Entrepreneurial Edge and Why It Matters" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, corporate, college, and university library Entrepreneurship, Economics, and Venture Capitalism collection and supplemental Business/Economics curriculum studies list.

Editorial Note #1: Howard Wolk is an experienced entrepreneur, company builder and investor. He is also co-president of the Cross Country Group, a privately-held firm consisting of start-ups and mature companies. A former senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School's Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, he developed and led a study group on entrepreneurship and society.

Editorial Note #2: John Landry is a business historian and writer, and a former editor at Harvard Business Review. He earned a PhD in economic history from Brown University.


The General Fiction Shelf

The Healing Circle
Coco Picard
Red Hen Press
P.O. Box 40820 Pasadena, CA 91114
https://redhen.org
9781636280516, $17.95, PB, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Healing-Circle-Coco-Picard/dp/163628051X

Synopsis: "The Healing Circle" by Coco Picard is the story of a mother who abandons her family in California in order to pursue a miracle cure in Munich, Germany. Once she gets there however, she wonders if she might have already died. Bedridden with a terminal diagnosis, memories, nurses, immoral doctors, foreign television broadcasts, and phone calls from children intrude upon her consciousness. All this while an aloe plant called Madame Blavatsky is her primary companion.

Critique: A unique and inherently engaging novel about life, death, and dying, "The Healing Circle" showcases author Coco Picard's natural flair for crafting a novel of serious substance with a flair for humor in service to the human condition. With a very special and particular appeal to readers with an interest in medical fiction, "The Healing Circle" is an especially recommended addition to personal reading lists and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections.

Editorial Note: Coco Picard is a writer, cartoonist, and curator based in New Mexico. She is the author of two graphic novels, Meowsers (2022) and The Chronicles of Fortune (2017), which was nominated for a DiNKy Award. Art criticism and comics have otherwise appeared under the name Caroline Picard in Artforum, Hyperallergic, The Paris Review, and Seven Stories Press, among others. She started the Green Lantern Press in 2005, received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute and was a Bookends Fellow at Stony Brook University. She has a dedicated website at https://cocopicard.com

The Second Husband
Kate White
https://www.katewhite.com
Harper
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
Blackstone Audiobooks
https://www.blackstonewholesale.com
9780063246195, $26.99, HC, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Second-Husband-Novel-Kate-White/dp/0063246198

Synopsis: After losing her husband, Derrick, in what appears to have been a random street crime, thirty something Emma has built a new life with widower Tom, who is kind, handsome, driven, and successful. Emma is finally able to feel safe again, both in her relationship with Tom and in the home they've made together on the Connecticut shore.

Then one day a homicide detective shows up at Emma and Tom's door asking questions. Though Emma had been cleared of her husband's murder, it appears that law enforcement is taking another look at her and the case.

What do they know? Are they on the right track this time? And most importantly, will the renewed investigation ruin Emma's chances of a happy life? With twists and turns all the way to the last page, this fast-paced, expertly plotted novel will have you asking that age-old question: how well do you really know the ones you love?

Critique: Some authors seem to have a natural affinity for the kind of narrative drive storytelling that is as distinctively original and is it inherently gripping. With the publication of "The Second Husband", seasoned novelist Kat White once again demonstrates herself to have just that knack, While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Suspense/Thriller collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Second Husband" is also available in a paperback edition (9780062945457, $16.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9798200973101, $41.99).

Editorial Note: Kate White is the author of eight standalone psychological thrillers, including Have You Seen Me? (2020) and the upcoming The Fiancee (June 2021), as well as eight Bailey Weggins mysteries, including Such a Perfect Wife, which was nominated for an International Thriller Writers Award. Kate, the former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, is also the author of several popular career books for women, including I Shouldn't Be Telling You This: How to Ask for the Money, Snag the Promotion, and Create the Career You Deserve and Why Good Girls Don't Get Ahead, as well the editor of the Anthony and Agatha Award-nominated The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. She has a dedicated website at https://www.katewhite.com

Buck's Pantry
Khristin Wierman
https://khristinwierman.com
SparkPress
c/o Spark Point Studio
https://gosparkpress.com
9781684631650, $17.95 pbk / $9.49 Kindle 280pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bucks-Pantry-Novel-Khristin-Wierman/dp/1684631653

Synopsis: In a small Texas town, three women (Gillian, a former prom queen and furious juggler of her three children's manic schedules; Lianna, a foul-mouthed East Coast banking super star; and Aimee, a woman capable of far more than her current life will allow) find their lives converging.

Gillian, reeling from the revelations her husband shared at a fundraiser she hosted just days ago, is suddenly grappling with what she has always believed about politics, family, and her own comfortable life -- and aghast at some of the choices she's made.

Lianna is en route to close a deal and languishing in the August heat. Desperate to return to her beloved New York and a first-time visitor to rural Texas, she's certain she has landed in one of the outer rings of hell.

Aimee, though withering under the covert dysfunction and mental illness lurking in her family, still manages to shine in her low-level job and allows herself to dream of a life far away.

When Gillian and Lianna stop at the same convenience store, they find themselves in an unthinkable situation. Aimee may be their only hope -- if she can put the pieces together!

Critique: Certain to appeal to readers with an interest in the themes of friendship, psychological humor, and self-help fiction, "Buck's Pantry" by novelist Khristin Wierman is an engaging read from first page to last. Clever dialogue, interesting characters, and a narrative driven storytelling style combine to make "Buck's Pantry" highly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Buck's Pantry" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).


The Historical Fiction Shelf

The Orphans of Mersea House
Marty Wingate
http://martywingate.com
Alcove Press
c/o Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639100880, $26.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Orphans-Mersea-House-Novel/dp/1639100881

Synopsis: England, 1957. Olive Kersey's only love never returned from World War II, and now, she's alone and penniless. Then, the last person she ever expected to see again returns to Southwold. Olive's childhood friend, Margery Paxton, arrives to claim her inheritance: Mersea House, a stately old home she plans to turn into the town's only lodging. Olive's life takes a sunny turn when Margery hires her to run the establishment. But Mersea House holds its own mysteries -- and its own dangers!

First, rumors begin to fly when two enigmatic lodgers move in: Hugh Hodson, manager of the town cinema, and Mrs. Abigail Claypool, a recluse and war widow. And then, the completely unexpected: Margery is informed she has a new ward, eleven-year-old Juniper Wyckes, the orphaned daughter of Margery's first love. Mrs. Lucie Pagett, Children's Officer at the local authority, informs Margery that Juniper was severely stricken with polio as a child, and makes clear that she could be taken away if her welfare is in jeopardy.

But the past is never far behind for the inhabitants of Mersea House, and looming secrets may destroy these friendships they've created.

Critique: An original, deftly crafted and thoroughly absorbing read from cover to cover, "The Orphans of Mersea House" is a truly memorable and engaging novel by author Marty Wingate. With a special appeal for readers with an interest in the theme of women's friendship, "The Orphans of Mersea House" is highly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Orphans of Mersea House" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666614596, $22.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Marty Wingate writes mystery series and historical fiction set in England with the occasional foray into Scotland. The First Edition Library mysteries (Berkley), set in Bath and featuring Hayley Burke, the curator of a collection of books from the Golden Age of Mystery. Marty is also the author of the Potting Shed books (Alibi). She has a dedicated website at http://martywingate.com


The Literary Fiction Shelf

Remember This
Steve Adams
https://www.steveadamswriting.com
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
www.uwpress.wisc.edu
9780299339241, $17.95, PB, 248pp

https://www.amazon.com/Remember-This-Steve-Adams/dp/0299339246

John Martin, a talented graphic designer employed as a word processor for a prestigious New York investment bank, has happily left behind Texas and his alcoholic, emotionally absent mother. It is the height of the personal computer revolution and the AIDS epidemic, and gentrification is sweeping the city.

Alena Marino, John's supervisor, is an Italian immigrant who shares his hustle and grit, aggressively building a new life for herself. As their affair begins, John imagines himself the perfect lover for Alena, fulfilling her desires without expectation that she leave her husband. But when his oldest sister arrives in town unannounced, he is forced to confront his damaged past and serial history of relationships with stunningly gorgeous, emotionally complex women.

John's journey to understand the roots of his compulsion to "save" those around him is both aided and thwarted by his relationship with his colleague Jeremy Crawford. Alena's closest confidant, Jeremy shares an intimacy with her that fuels John's jealousy. Meanwhile, Jeremy finds himself drawn to John and, as his confidant too, participates in the drama of John and Alena's relationship.

As John slowly begins to understand the flawed and wounded experience of love that has followed him through life, he learns how to open himself to true friendship -- and to true loss.

Critique: Some novelists seem to have an inborn knack for originality and the kind of narrative driven storytelling style that engages the readers total attention from beginning to end. Set in the midst of cultural upheaval, "Remember This" is just such a novel by just such an author as Steve Adams. An inherently fascinating, thought-provoking, and memorable read, "Remember This" is a prized addition to personal, community, and academic library Literary Fiction collections. With a special appeal to readers with an interest in LGBTQ themes, it should be noted that "Remember This" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.05).

Editorial Note: Steve Adams is a writer, a writing coach, and developmental editor based in Memphis, Tennessee. His short stories have appeared in Glimmer Train, the Missouri Review, Chicago Review, and elsewhere. His nonfiction has won a Pushcart Prize and his plays have been produced in New York City. He has a dedicated website at https://www.steveadamswriting.com


The Romantic Fiction Shelf

The Heart of the Mountains
Pepper Basham
http: //www.pepperdbasham.com
Barbour Publishing
P.O. Box 719, 1810 Barbour Drive, Uhrichsville, OH 44683
www.barbourbooks.com
9781636093253, $15.99, PB, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Mountains-Pepper-Basham/dp/1636093256

Synopsis: To escape marriage, Cora Taylor runs away from her home in England to join her brother in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, but not even her time as a nurse in the Great War prepares her for the hard landscape and even harder lives of the mountain people. With the help of Jeb McAdams, a quiet woodcarver, who carries his own battle scars, she fashions a place for herself among these unique people. But the past refuses to let go, and with dangers from within and without, can hearts bruised by war find healing within the wilds of the mountains? Can true love weather a world of differences?

Critique: As a novelist, Pepper Basham is proven to have a complete mastery of the Christian romance genre. With memorable characters and engaging plot with several unexpected twists and turns, "The Heart Of The Mountains" is a fun and engaging read from cover to cover. Highly recommended for community library Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Heart Of The Mountain" is also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99). Librarians should note further that there is a large print Library Binding edition of "The Heart Of The Mountain" (Thorndike Press, 9798885781879, $30.99, 510pp).

Editorial Note: Pepper Basham writes romance peppered with grace and humor with southern Appalachian flair. Both her historical and contemporary novels have garnered recognition in the Grace Awards, Inspys, and ACFW Carol Awards. Her historical romance, The Thorn Healer, was a finalist in the 2018 RT Awards. Her historical romance novels, My Heart Belongs in the Blue Ridge and The Red Ribbon, and her contemporary novels, the Mitchell's Crossroads and Pleasant Gap series, showcase her Appalachian heritage, as well as her love for humor and family. Pepper has a website at http: //www.pepperdbasham.com and can be followed on FB, IG, or Twitter.


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Hunt
Fay Kellerman
https://fayekellerman.net
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
www.harpercollins.com
9780062910493, $28.99, HC, 496pp

https://www.amazon.com/Hunt-Novel-Decker-Lazarus-Novels/dp/0062910493

Synopsis: Peter Decker and his partner, Detective Tyler McAdams, are thrown into an unsolved case and propelled into action when a body is found in the very woods where a man previously went missing in upstate New York. But that's not the only crisis that Peter has to deal with.

Teresa McLaughlin, the biological mother of Peter and his wife Rina's foster son, Gabe, has fled to Los Angeles with her two children in tow, hoping to avoid a court injunction amid a messy divorce. But LA is no escape from her problems -- she is found by ruthless men and beaten mercilessly. When she wakes, barely conscious, Teresa discovers that both of her children are gone and frantically calls Gabe for help.

With his mother on the verge of death, Gabe contacts Peter and Rina, as well as his biological father, the notorious Christopher Donatti, a former hit man from a known criminal family who's now a millionaire in Nevada. By bringing Donatti into the fray, Gabe, Peter, and Rina know they have made a deal with the devil -- but they may not be able to recover the kids without him.

As these unlikely allies rally to find the kidnappers before things end tragically, they race headlong toward an explosive confrontation from which no one will emerge unscathed.

Critique: A rapid fire thriller of a read from first page to last, "The Hunt" by novelist Fay Kellerman is one roller coaster of a read and a deftly crafted story that will have a very special and particular appeal to fans of domestic thrillers and police procedurals. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Hunt" will also readily available in a paperback edition (9780062910509, $10.99, March 2023), and currently in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99). Librarians note for their collections that there is also a large print paperback edition of "The Hunt" (HarperLux, 9780063210943, $30.99, 720pp).

Editorial Note: Faye Kellerman is the author of twenty-six novels, including nineteen New York Times bestselling mysteries that feature the husband-and-wife team of Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus. She has also penned two best selling short novels with her husband, New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman, and recently has teamed up with her daughter, Aliza, to co-write a teen novel, entitled PRISM. She also has a dedicated and informative website at https://fayekellerman.net

A Killing in Costumes
Zac Bissonnette
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781639100866, $26.99, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Killing-Costumes-Hollywood-Treasures-Mystery/dp/1639100865

Synopsis: Jay Allan and Cindy Cooper were soap opera stars in the late '90s, a wholesome young husband-and-wife duo who combined musical talent with humor and charisma. When the truth about their sexual orientations came to light, their marriage and TV careers ended, but decades later they have remained friends. Together, they open Palm Springs' chicest movie memorabilia store, Hooray for Hollywood -- but no customers and dwindling finances spell trouble.

A Hail Mary arrives in the form of Yana Tosh, a ninety-year-old diva of the silver screen who has amassed a valuable collection of costumes and props and is looking to sell. But first, Jay and Cindy have to beat their competition, a vice president from a mega-auction house with ten times their resources. And when he winds up dead, they become prime suspects in the murder.

With their freedom and livelihoods on the line, Jay and Cindy desperately need to clear their names. There are plenty of other potential suspects, but they'll have to solve it soon before they're forced to trade in their vintage costume collection for two orange jumpsuits.

Critique: Another award worthy cozy mystery from novelist Zac Bissonnette, "A Killing in Costumes" is a fun read from cover to cover and will have a special appeal to all dedicated LGBTQ and amateur sleuths 'whodunnit' mystery fans. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that this original and entertaining mystery is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666614565, $22.99, MP3-CD).

Welcome to Jimmy's Place
Michael Mayo
https://www.mike-mayo.com
Coffeetown Press
c/o Camel Press
www.camelpress.com
9781684920266, $16.95, PB, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Welcome-Jimmys-Place-Jimmy-Suspense/dp/1684920264

Synopsis: Prohibition has ended and his speakeasy is almost legal, but Jimmy Quinn has to unload a fabulous golden egg, possibly Faberge. At the same time somebody's trying to kill him, and the there is that millionaires plot to overthrow Franklin Roosevelt.

Critique: The stuff of which pulp fiction movies are made, "Welcome to Jimmy's Place" by author Michael Mayo is an impressively crafted, narrative driven novel that is one of those riveting suspense thrillers that will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book has been finished and set back upon the shelf. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Crime Fiction & Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Welcome to Jimmy's Place" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99).

Editorial Note: Michael Mayo has written about film for numerous publications, including The Washington Post. He has worked extensively in radio and was co-host of the nationally syndicated Movie Show on Radio and Max and Mike on the Movies. Among his books are American Murder, Videohound's Horror Show, War Movies and the Jimmy Quinn suspense novels. He has a dedicated website at www.mike-mayo.com

We Lie Here
Rachell Howzell Hall
Thomas & Mercer
Brilliance Audio
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781662500329, $24.95, HC, 416pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lie-Here-Rachel-Howzell-Hall/dp/1662500327

Synopsis: TV writer Yara Gibson's hometown of Palmdale, California, isn't her first choice for a vacation. But she's back to host her parents' twentieth-anniversary party and find the perfect family mementos for the celebration. Everything is going to plan until Yara receives a disturbing text: I have information that will change your life.

The message is from Felicia Campbell, who claims to be a childhood friend of Yara's mother. But they've been estranged for years -- drama best ignored and forgotten. But Yara can't forget Felicia, who keeps texting, insisting that Yara talk to her "before it's too late."

But the next day is already too late for Felicia, whose body is found floating in Lake Palmdale. Before she died, Felicia left Yara a key to a remote lakeside cabin. In the basement are files related to a mysterious tragedy, unsolved since 1998. What secrets was Felicia hiding? How much of what Yara knows about her family has been true?

The deeper Yara digs for answers, the more she fears that Felicia was right. Uncovering the truth about what happened at the cabin all those years ago will change Yara's life -- or end it!

Critique: A clever, eloquent, and inherently fascinating novel that will have a very special appeal to mystery buffs and 'whodunnit' fans, "We Lie Here: A Thriller" by the imaginatively gifted author Rachel Howzell Hall is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the growing legions of Rachel Hall fans that "We Lie Here" is also available in a paperback edition (9781542033695, $15.95), in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (9781713641865, $24.99, MP3-CD).

Editorial Note: Rachel Howzell Hall is the author of These Toxic Things; And Now She's Gone; They All Fall Down; and, with James Patterson, The Good Sister, which was included in Patterson's collection The Family Lawyer. An Anthony, International Thriller Writers, and Lefty Award nominee, Rachel is also the author of Land of Shadows, Skies of Ash, Trail of Echoes, and City of Saviors in the Detective Elouise Norton series. A past member of the board of directors for Mystery Writers of America, Rachel has been a featured writer on NPR's Crime in the City series and the National Endowment for the Arts weekly podcast; she has also served as a mentor in Pitch Wars and the Association of Writers Programs. Rachel has a dedicated website at www.rachelhowzell.com

Wayward Son
Steve Goble
Oceanview Publishing
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
www.oceanviewpub.com
9781608094455, $27.95, HC, 320pp

https://www.amazon.com/Wayward-Son-Ed-Runyon-Mystery/dp/1608094456

Synopsis: Ed Runyon, a former sheriff's deputy haunted by past missing child cases that went horribly wrong, is struggling to launch a PI agency and still live in the Ohio farm country he loves. His love life is in shambles, too, as his partner turns to someone else. Then his best friend got roughed up by a rogue cop, so Ed is in a fighting mood.

Ed finds a new focus when he is hired to find a runaway chess aficionado who is keeping secrets from his homophobic, religious parents. Finding kids is the reason he became a PI, so Ed is determined to succeed and put the demons and other problems behind him. But Jimmy Zachman made a bad move and ran into far more trouble than he was already in, and the hunt for him leads Ed to a deadly and desperate confrontation. Everything comes down to determination -- and one very risky move. Ed must find Jimmy at all costs!

Critique: A compelling combination of mystery, suspense and psychological thriller, "Wayward Son" is another deftly crafted and compulsive page turner of a read that is an unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the growing legions of Steve Goble fans that "Wayward Son" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.95). It should be noted for those unfamiliar with the novels of Steve Goble that the titles in the Ed Runyon Mystery Series stand on their own and can be read in any order. The publication sequence for this outstanding series is: City Problems; Wayward Son; Go Find Daddy (coming 2023).

Editorial Note: Steve Goble is a former journalist who now works for a digital investigations firm as he reinvents himself as a mystery novel writer. "Wayward Son" is the second novel in the Ed Runyon crime fiction series, following "City Problems". He is also the author of the Spider John historical mysteries. He has a page at https://www.facebook.com/Steve.Goble.author

Tears for Jessie Hewitt
Edna Sherry
Black Cat Books
c/o Stark House Press
1315 H Street, Eureka, CA 95501
www.starkhousepress.com
9781951473365, $9.99, PB, 198pp

https://www.amazon.com/Tears-Jessie-Hewitt-Edna-Sherry/dp/1951473361

Synopsis: Victor Clyde has got the perfect scam: he checks out the big winners at the racetrack, figures out where they live, then breaks into their homes and robs them of their winnings. Victor knows he's too clever to be caught, but then he accidentally hits one of his victims too hard, and now it's time to leave L.A. and head East.

On his way out of town, he meets young Jessie Hewitt, and offers her a ride. Jessie is done rebelling against her father, and has decided to return to the family farm. Victor pours on the charm, and by the time they reach New York, she's fallen in love with him. He figures she makes the perfect cover. What he doesn't figure is that when Jessie finds out that he's a thief, she decides to join him!

Critique: A memorable crafted and original novel of mystery and suspense, "Tears for Jessie Hewitt" by the late Edna Sherry is a time lost treasure that has been brought back from obscurity for the benefit and pleasure of a new general of dedicated mystery buffs. With a narrative driven storytelling style that olds up quite well for the modern reader, "Tears for Jessie Hewitt" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Tears for Jessie Hewitt" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

Editorial Note: Edna Solomon Sherry (November 28, 1885 - February 4, 1967) graduated from Hunter College in 1906 and taught English there before becoming a professional writer. She began writing short stories for the pulp magazines, collaborating with Milton Gropper on two early novels. Sherry's first crime novel (and best known work) is Sudden Fear, published in 1948. It was filmed in1952 with Joan Crawford, Jack Palance and Gloria Grahame, and is considered a film noir classic.

A Ticket to Hell / Hell Can Wait Paperback
Harry Whittington
Stark House Press
1315 H Street, Eureka, CA 95501
www.starkhousepress.com
9781951473662, $19.95, PB, 246pp

https://www.amazon.com/Ticket-Hell-Can-Wait/dp/1951473663

Synopsis: A TICKET TO HELL: When Ric pulls into the New Mexico motel, he isn't looking for company. He's supposed to meet someone. He doesn't know who, or when, but he knows that he can't afford to get involved with anyone else's problems. But while he waits, he watches the couple across the court. The husband is too handsome for his own good, and the woman's pretty easy on the eyes as well. When Ric sees the man step outside his room, turn off the gas, turn it on again, then leave, he knows that something is not right. He discovers the wife unconscious, her body staged to look like a suicide. Ric doesn't want to get involved, but now he's got a desperate woman on his hands, and more trouble than he needs.

HELL CAN WAIT: Greg Morris is twisted up with hate. He and his new wife and been driving to Rainbow Lake when they are hit by another car. And not just any car, but one driven by rich and powerful Saul Koons. His wife dead, Morris lies in his hospital bed, expecting justice to prevail. Clearly Koons was in the wrong. A local lawyer wants to prove it. But by the end of the trial, Koons has turned it around so that the accident appears to be entirely Morris' fault, and Koons the injured party. Now Morris is back in town, sick with hate and plotting his revenge. But how to you hurt a man who owns the whole town and everyone in it? You find his one weak spot... his wife.

Critique: Two of the late Harry Whittington's best action/adventure mysteries from the pulp magazine era, "A Ticket To Hell" and "Hell Can Wait" has well withstood the test of time and are now introduced to a whole new general of dedicated mystery buffs. This edition from Stark House also features an informative introduction (Investigating Harry) by Tom Simon and a comprehensive three page Harry Whittington bibliography. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99), this two story paperback edition is unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Editorial Note: Harry Whittington (February 4, 1915 - June 11, 1989) survived his family's rural poverty by reading books and sneaking into the local movie theater. Another escape was his writing. Ultimately the versatile Whittington would become known as "King of the Paperbacks", publishing over 170 original paperback novels, using nearly 20 different pen names. Before his death in 1989, Whittington also carved out a second career writing Southern historical novels as Ashley Carter. Today he is best known for the lurid and brisk noir novels he wrote between 1950 and 1960. He has a page on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Whittington_(author)

Bound By Murder
Laura Gail Black
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639100965, $28.99, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bound-Murder-Antique-Bookshop-Mystery/dp/1639100962

Synopsis: The birds are singing, books are selling, and the Hokes Bluff Inn has begun to host weddings on its property. Antiquarian bookseller Jenna Quinn loves the romance in the air -- until her ex-fiance, Blake Emerson, walks in with his bride-to-be, Missy Plott.

Blake continues to profess his love for Jenna if she'll have him back, no matter the consequences. And the consequences are grave, indeed, when Missy turns up dead.

All evidence points to Blake, who was the last one to see her alive. He begs Jenna to help him clear his name. Blake's mother, Gwendolyn, is also bent on exonerating her son. Jenna doesn't believe Blake could have killed Missy, and she starts digging for suspects. It could have been Missy's ex-boyfriend, who proclaims a love for her he says only death could sever. Or might it have been Missy's bitter little sister, who was secretly besotted with Missy's ex.

Evidence turns up that links Missy's death to embezzlement and another murder -- crimes that had falsely implicated Jenna herself less than a year ago. As Gwendolyn continues to beg Jenna to help prove her son's innocence, Jenna wonders if Blake could truly be innocent.

Jenna has to choose whether to risk it all -- her reputation, her growing relationship with her boyfriend, and maybe her life -- or let a possibly innocent man go to prison.

Critique: Another inherently fascinating and deftly crafted addition to author Laura Gail Black's 'An Antique Bookshop Mystery' series, "Bound By Murder" is a classic Cosy Mystery and will have a very special appeal to readers with an interest in 'whodunnit' stories featuring amateur female sleuths. Original, extraordinary and fun, "Bound By Murder" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. For the personal reading lists of dedicated cosy mystery fans it should be noted that "Bound By Murder" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666614534, $22.99, CD).

Editorial Note: As a novelist, Laura Gail Black writes cozy mysteries on the beautiful shores of Lake Marion in South Carolina. She began collecting antique books when she worked in a used antique bookstore in college. Today, Laura's bookshelves contain many antique books, some of which are close to 200 years old. She has an author's page on the Book Series In Order website at https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/laura-gail-black

Dewey Decimated
Allison Brook
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639100903, $28.99, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Dewey-Decimated-Haunted-Library-Mystery/dp/1639100903

Synopsis: Carrie Singleton is just off a hot string of murder cases centered around the spooky local library in Clover Ridge, Connecticut. She could really use a break -- but no such luck, as she; Smoky Joe, the resident cat; and Evelyn, the library's ghost, are drawn into another tantalizing whodunit.

First, a dead body is found in the basement of the building attached to the library, and it turns out to be Carrie's fiance's Uncle Alec, who Dylan hasn't seen in years. But Alec has no intention of truly checking out, and his ghost makes itself at home in the library, greatly upsetting the patrons. Carrie and Evelyn work hard to keep Alec out of sight, but what was he doing in Clover Ridge to begin with? And why was he killed?

Meanwhile, the town council, of which Carrie is also a member, is embroiled in a hot-headed debate over the fate of the Seabrook Preserve, a lovely and valuable piece of property that runs along Long Island Sound. Turn it into an upscale park? Sell it to a condo developer? Or keep it as protected land?

As the dispute rages, there's another murder, this time involving a council member. Could the two murders be connected? And could Carrie be next on the hit list?

Critique: The latest and welcome addition to author Allison Brooks superbly crafted 'A Haunted Library Mystery' series, "Dewey Decimated" is another pure entertainment of a read for those with an interest in the elements of magical realism being combined with Cosy Animal Mystery fiction. Original, fun, and highly recommended for personal and community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted that "Dewey Decimated" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audiobook (Dreamscape Media, 9781666614510, $22.99, CD).

Steeped to Death
Gretchen Rue
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com
9781639101641, $28.99, HC, 304pp

https://www.amazon.com/Steeped-Death-Witches-Brew-Mystery/dp/1639101640

Synopsis: Phoebe Winchester's beloved aunt Eudora has a taste for adventure -- and a knack for making magical tea. It's even rumored that she just might be a witch. So when Eudora passes away and leaves everything to her niece in the form of her Victorian mansion, her bookshop/tea store, The Earl's Study, and one very chubby orange cat named Bob. Phoebe gets more than she bargained for and she knows she's in deep when a dead man is found on the shop's back step, apparently killed while trying to break in.

Two suspects immediately emerge among the townspeople of Raven Creek, Washington. There's village busybody Dierdre Miller, who seems desperate to buy Eudora's house, and handsome PI Rich, one of Phoebe's childhood friends -- but how well does she really know him after all these years apart?

Phoebe knows she should leave it to the professionals, but as she starts to dig into the underbelly of Raven Creek, she begins to uncover the truth about Eudora. What's more, her aunt might not have been the only witch in the family, as Phoebe soon discovers she has unique and unexpected gifts of her own.

Now, it's just a matter of putting her newfound power to the test and cast a spell that could catch a killer!

Critique: With a very special appeal to anyone with an interest in Cosy Mysteries and Amateur Sleuth 'whodunnit' novels, "Steeped To Death" by Gretchen Rue is a fun read from cover to cover. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to any and all community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of truly dedicated mystery buffs that "Steeped To Death" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666614527, $22.99, CD).

Balloon Dog
Daniel Paisner
https://www.danielpaisner.com
Koehler Books
3705 Shore Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23455
www.koehlerbooks.com
9781646636990, $28.95, HC, 290pp

https://www.amazon.com/Balloon-Dog-Daniel-Paisner/dp/1646636996

Synopsis: A brazen art heist pushes our protagonists to reflect on the choices they've made -- and the ones that have been made for them. Set in the near- present, "Balloon Dog" by professional ghostwriter Daniel Paisner turns on the ill-conceived theft of a high-end Jeff Koons sculpture, lifted in plain sight from its perch beside a luxurious mountain home in Park City, Utah, and follows the musings, misadventures, and meeting of minds of a Long Island writer in midlife crisis and the art thief behind the ill conception.

What happens when the life you are living is no longer the life you imagined? When you are well and truly stuck? A darkly comic tale of longing and legacy, "Balloon Dog", prompts the reader to consider what it means to leave a mark and what it takes to be swept up in the same currents that move almost everyone else.

Critique: Essentially, "Balloon Dog" poses two central questions: Is the transformative power of art enough to lift us from our days? And what is art, anyway? An original and deftly crafted novel that will have a very special appeal to readers with an interest in Cozy Mysteries laced with humor, "Balloon Dog" is unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Balloon Dog' is also available in a paperback edition (9781646636976, $18.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $0.99).

Editorial Note: Daniel Paisner is the author or co-author of more than seventy books. As a ghostwriter, he has written more than fifty books in collaboration with athletes, actors, politicians, business leaders, and ordinary individuals with extraordinary stories to tell. Seventeen of his collaborations have reached The New York Times best-seller list. The author of three previous novels (A Single Happened Thing, Mourning Wood, and Obit) he is also the host of the popular podcast As Told To: The Ghostwriting Podcast. He has a dedicated website at https://www.danielpaisner.com


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Yonder & Far: The Lost Lock
Matthew C. Lucas
https://www.matthewclucas.com
Ellysian Press
http://www.ellysianpress.com
9781941637784, $14.99, PB, 370pp

https://www.amazon.com/Yonder-Far-Matthew-C-Lucas/dp/1941637787

Synopsis: In a shocking move, the Queen of the Fae has banished John Yonder and Captain John Far to the human world. Rumor has it that they have opened a law practice catering to the Fae. To what purpose, no one really knows.

Especially since John Yonder has accepted a seemingly simple case. He need only recover a lock of hair for a Fae courtier. She had given it to her lover, Wylde, who is also in Boston.

Yonder tricks a fortuneteller, Mary Faulkner, into assisting with the case. With a whisper in her ear, he tethers Mary's mind to Wylde's, creating a terrible, but potent human compass.

Following Mary's guidance, the trio sets out to follow Wylde. They set course into an uncertain and rocky future on land and sea, as pirates, slave owners, and a host of others hinder their path to Wylde, the lock of hair, and a possible return home to the Fae.

Critique: A deftly crafted, original, and fun read from cover to cover, "Yonder & Far: The Lost Lock" showcases the impressive storytelling tales of author Matt Lucas, as well as his complete master of the action/adventure fantasy genre. While also available for the personal reading lists of dedicated fantasy fans in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99), "Yonder & Far: The Lost Lock" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. Also very highly recommended is Matt Lucas' previously published epic fantasy novel "The Mountain" (Montag Press, 9784294298992, $$15.39 PB, $2.99 Kindle, 718pp).

Editorial Note: Matthew C. ("Matt") Lucas is the author of the Yonder & Far series, as well as the dystopian epic fantasy novel, The Mountain. His shorter works have appeared in Bards & Sages Quarterly, The Society of Misfit Stories, and Swords & Sorcery Magazine. He has a dedicated website at https://www.matthewclucas.com


The Christian Studies Shelf

Do You Want to Be Healed?
Bob Schuchts, author
Ave Maria Press
PO Box 428, Notre Dame, IN 46556
www.avemariapress.com
9781646801589, $15.95, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Do-You-Want-Healed-Scriptural/dp/164680158X

Synopsis: Jesus asks the question "Do you want to be healed?" several times in the Bible -- to the woman at the well, Bartimaeus the blind man, the woman caught in adultery, the rich young man -- and, as a Christian, as a follower of the Christ, He asks the same of you as well.

With the publication of "Do You Want to Be Healed?: A 10-Day Scriptural Retreat with Jesus" Bob Schuchts uses a healing process similar to the one found in his bestselling book "Be Healed".

Each day of the do-it-yourself retreat you will be engaged with a question Jesus asked his followers and uses the traditional practice of lectiodivina (divine reading) to dive into a scriptural scene where Jesus heals the spiritually and physically sick.

Through the five movements of reading, meditation, prayer, contemplation, and action, you will encounter the biblical figures who received the healing words of Jesus, you will undergo your own spiritual healing and discover your personal response to Jesus's most probing questions, including: Do you want to be made well?; What are you thinking in your heart?; Has no one condemned you?; Can you drink the cup?; Have you come to believe?; Do you love me more than these?

Through these questions and the healing answering them brings about, you will come to understand the principles of spiritual healing such as facing your brokenness, acknowledging your sin and shame, and discovering the healing power of the sacraments.

Those who have already read "Be Healed" will be drawn deeper into their healing with a refresher on the core principles of Schuchts's work. "Do You Want to Be Healed?: A 10-Day Scriptural Retreat with Jesus" is also perfect for those who want to begin the process of spiritual healing.

Critique: "Do You Want to Be Healed?: A 10-Day Scriptural Retreat with Jesus" is an useful and highly recommended resource for pastors, spiritual directors, therapists, and those who help lead others in an integration of their human and spiritual formation. It should be noted for personal reading lists for all members of the Christian community who have an interest in Catholic Prayer Books and Christian Personal Growth, that "Do You Want to Be Healed?: A 10-Day Scriptural Retreat with Jesus" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Editorial Note: Bob Schuchts is the founder of the John Paul II Healing Center in Tallahassee, Florida, and co-host of the Restore the Glory podcast with Jake Khym. After receiving his doctorate in family relations from Florida State University in 1981, Schuchts became a teacher and counselor. While in private practice, he also taught graduate and undergraduate courses at Florida State and Tallahassee Community College. Schuchts later served on faculty at the Theology of the Body Institute and at the Center for Biblical Studies (where he taught courses on healing, sexuality, and marriage) and was a guest instructor for the Augustine Institute. He volunteered in parish ministry for more than thirty years.


The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Timeless Questions
James R. Davis
Sunstone Press
PO Box 2321, Santa Fe, NM 87504-2321
www.sunstonepress.com
9781632933621, $22.95, PB, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Timeless-Questions-Religions-Explore-Mysteries/dp/1632933624

Synopsis: Timeless questions are the questions asked as we confront the mysteries of life: What is our origin, essential nature, best way to live a good life, and final destiny? The questions are timeless because each generation keeps asking them, and their mysteries are never fully resolved.

The world religions, in their ancient forms, explore these mysteries and provide not so much answers as useful insight for thinking about human existence. Each chapter comprising "Timeless Questions: How World Religions Explore the Mysteries of Life" explores a particular mystery and its related questions, drawing in the ideas of the religions as needed. These include chapters on God, creation, human nature, social order, the good life, suffering and death, and the fate of the world.

Through the persistent inquiry of the "questioner", in dialogue with knowledgeable professor James R. Davis, the mysteries are explored in a practical way, relevant to life today, but leaving room for further discussion. Because there is often little opportunity to study religion in school, many people, through no fault of their own, don't know much about religion, especially world religions.

"Timeless Questions: How World Religions Explore the Mysteries of Life" is not intended to foster belief or doubt. It is designed to provide basic information, enhance cross-cultural understanding, and aid in the development of a philosophy of life. Here you can feel the joy of learning something new while examining the mysteries of your own life through the timeless questions that nag us all.

Critique: Thoughtful and thought-provoking, impressively informative, organized and presented --- as well as having a special and particular appeal to readers with an interest in Christian Education, Comparative Religion, and Christian Saints, "Timeless Questions: How World Religions Explore the Mysteries of Life" is unreservedly recommended for community, seminary, college, and university library World Religion and Interfaith collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminary students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Timeless Questions: How World Religions Explore the Mysteries of Life" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

Editorial Note: James R. Davis is a professor and dean emeritus of the University of Denver. He holds degrees from Oberlin College, Yale University Divinity School, and Michigan State University and is the author of eight academic books on college teaching, training, and leadership. A sequence of graduate courses taken at Miami University (Ohio) inspired a life-long interest in world religions. His novels, "Ranch Without Cowboys" and "The Last Resort" are also published by Sunstone Press.


The Sports Shelf

The Lineup: Ten Books That Changed Baseball
Paul Aron
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476688305, $29.95, PB, 237pp

https://www.amazon.com/Lineup-Books-That-Changed-Baseball/dp/1476688303

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Lineup: Ten Books That Changed Baseball", Paul Aron (editor and writer for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation) presents ten of the most influential baseball books of all time and explores how these landmark works changed the game itself and made waves in American society at large.

Ranging from Satchel Paige's Pitchin' Man informed the dialog surrounding the integration of professional baseball, to Ring Lardner's You Know Me Al which changed the way Americans viewed their baseball heroes and influenced the work of Hemingway and Fitzgerald, to Bill James's Baseball Abstract that transformed the way managers (including those in fields other than baseball) analyzed numbers, to Pete Rose's My Story and My Prison Without Bars that exposed and deepened a cultural divide that was to pave the way for Donald Trump.

Critique: Unique, thought-provoking, historically insightful, and occasionally iconoclastic, "The Lineup: Ten Books That Changed Baseball" must be considered as essential reading for the legions of professional baseball fans. While especially recommended for personal, community, college, and univesity library American Baseball History collections, "The Lineup: Ten Books That Changed Baseball" is also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.49).


The Woodworking Shelf

Super Simple Outdoor Woodworking
Randall A. Maxey
The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784946203, $24.99, PB, 128pp

https://www.amazon.com/Super-Simple-Outdoor-Woodworking-Projects/dp/1784946206

Synopsis: There are projects designed for both those just starting out and those that would be fun for even the most experienced woodworker to create. All fifteen of the projects comprising "Super Simple Outdoor Woodworking" by expert carpenter Randall A. Maxey include clear guidance on how best to approach the construction of each piece and they can be made with standard-sized wood from the DIY store.

A number of these projects include helpful hints and tips to achieving perfect results. The projects also include helpful step-by-step instructions with clear photography and detailed diagrams.

Critique: Informative and instructively illustrated throughout, "Super Simple Outdoor Woodworking" is especially recommended to DIY recreational woodworkers and seasoned professionals alike. With the emphasis on outdoor projects ranging from chairs, tables, swings and more, "Super Simple Outdoor Woodworking" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community library, and school woodworking shop curriculums.

Editorial Note: Randall A. Maxey has been woodworking almost since he was old enough to lift a hammer. He owns a custom woodworking business, Cherry Ridge Woodworks. He is also the founder and owner of MiniMaxWorkshop.com which supports the idea that you can build great projects in small spaces. Randall served ten years as senior editor for a woodworking magazine and continues to write and edit articles for other woodworking publications and companies.


The Music Shelf

Insider Secrets to Hit Songwriting in the Digital Age
Molly Leikin
Permuted Press
https://permutedpress.com
c/o Simon & Schuster (dist.)
https://www.simonandschuster.com
9781637582183, $17.99, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Insider-Secrets-Hit-Songwriting-Digital/dp/1637582188

Synopsis: Whether you are an aspiring (or already practicing) lyricist, songwriter, or band, "Insider Secrets to Hit Songwriting in the Digital Age" by Molly Leikin is a powerful and inspiring combination of instructional guide and 'how to' manual covering the essentials of contemporary the craft of song writing -- guiding you from good to great, then taking you through marketing, promotion, finding the right publisher, placing your song with an artist, getting signed, and providing the foundation for a successful writing career.

This is an indispensable guide featureing exclusive and highly informative interviews with insiders across multiple genres, including Tim Wipperman, "the publisher's publisher" in Nashville, Grammy-nominee J.P. Saxe ("If the World Was Ending") and Grammy-winner Debbie Hupp ("You Decorated My Life"), R&B mega-producers/writers for Rihanna, Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers, Grammy-winner and composer of instrumental music Art Munson, jingle writer Jim Andron, and Grammy- and Emmy-winning children's songwriters Michael Silversher and Patty Silversher.

Critique: A complete and 'real world practical' course of instruction under one cover, "Insider Secrets to Hit Songwriting in the Digital Age" should be considered essential reading for anyone one who wants to create the kind of songs that will succeed in an increasingly volatile and fiercely competitive music entertainment business. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Insider Secrets to Hit Songwriting in the Digital Age" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Music Business collections in general, and Song Writing/Lyrics reading lists in particular. It should be noted that "Insider Secrets to Hit Songwriting in the Digital Age" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Molly Leikin started as a staff writer at Almo Music (A&M Records), and over the next ten years, Molly had her songs recorded by almost every pop and country artist on the Billboard charts. Now she has a house full of gold and platinum records and an Emmy nomination. She also wrote themes and songs for over six dozen TV shows and movies, including Violet, which won an Oscar. The author of five books on songwriting, Molly also created Songwriting Consultants, Ltd., the international song consulting firm, where she's mentored two generations of Grammy winners and nominees. Her custom speechwriting company for CEOs, CFOs, and UFOs, is Anything with Words. She has a dedicated website at https://songmd.com

Bob Dylan, third edition
John Nogowski
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
https://mcfarlandbooks.com
9781476685540, $39.95, PB, 332pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bob-Dylan-Descriptive-Discography-Filmography/dp/1476685541

Synopsis: When Columbia Records finally decided to open up the voluminous Bob Dylan vaults, unleashing thousands of hours of long-sought-after, oft-rumored, unreleased material, it was hard to keep up. Included in the release were six CDs of Blood On The Tracks outtakes, six CDs of the complete Basement Tapes, 10 CDs of Rolling Thunder Revue live material, the six extraordinary CDs of The Cutting Edge from Dylan's game-changing 1965-66 sessions, and a stunning 36 CD release of Dylan's stormy 1966 world tour that some say changed the face of popular music. It is all explored here.

Now in a fully updated third edition examining Dylan's five-decade career, "Bob Dylan: A Descriptive, Critical Discography and Filmography, 1961-2022" by John Nogowski provides a comprehensively analyzes his writing and recording history and the historical impact of Dylan's prolific creative output.

It also features critical commentary on every song and album, including many rare bootleg recordings and the recent new discoveries from Columbia Records.

Later chapters also list and discuss Dylan's numerous appearances in film, in literature, on radio, and on television. Including his Nobel Prize speech and lecture, an extensive bibliography of books on Dylan old and new, as well as a brand-new introduction with updated Billboard charts.

Critique: Of very special interest to the legions of Bob Dylan fans, this newly expanded third edition of "Bob Dylan: A Descriptive, Critical Discography and Filmography, 1961-2022" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library American Music collections in general, and Bob Dylan supplemental studies lists in particular. It should be noted that "Bob Dylan: A Descriptive, Critical Discography and Filmography, 1961-2022" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).

Editorial Note: An award-winning sportswriter, John Nogowski teaches AP Language, English and Journalism at Gadsden County High School in Havana, Florida.


The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Oblivion Rouge
Pap Souleye Fall
Rockport Publishers
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartoknows.com
9780760376867, $13.90 pbk / $13.29 Kindle 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Oblivion-Rouge-HAKKINEN-Saturday-Tanks/dp/0760376867

Synopsis: In the near future, a virus called the LEUP has infected half the population. The resulting war between the people of Liam, known as the infected, and the people of Galoum, known as the immune, becomes a bloody and brutal affair.

When a mysterious army called the Hakkinen emerges to quell the war between the two countries, they adopt children of war to aid them. Oumi and her friends are enlisted to help find a cure and end the bloodshed.

Oumi has made a promise to never suffer the losses and humiliation she has already seen in her young life. But with strange forces gathering against her continent, can she overcome her own insecurities to lead her people to paradise?

Critique: With an all-African cast, "Oblivion Rouge" is an inherently thought-provoking story by Pap Souleye Fall that stems from the roots of West African philosophy. It is both a brutal dystopian depiction of the future and a beautiful adventure that explores the depth of the human spirit. Highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library graphic novel collections, "Oblivious Rouge" will leave its fully entertained readers with high expectations for the next graphic novel story by author and artist Pap Souleye Fall. It should be noted that "Oblivious Rouge" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.29).

Editorial Note: Pap Souleye Fall is a Senegalese-American artist who lives and works in Dakar, Senegal. He graduated with honors from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia with a degree in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts and a concentration in sculpture. In 2017, after a residency at WAAW, he participated in the Dak'art biennale twice. He is currently in the Yale University sculpture program finishing his Master's degree. His work deals with themes such as identity, suspended disbelief, and utopian/dystopian ideas of community. Growing up loving anime and manga titles such as Dragonball, Hunter x Hunter, Berserk, and Akira, Pap Souleye's love for storytelling and visual art led him to create his own story. "Oblivion Rouge" was born out of his thoughts on neocolonialism and has developed into a whole universe over two years. He has a dedicated website at https://www.papsouleyefall.com

The Life & Art of Dave Cockrum
Glen Cadigan
http://glencadigan.com
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614
www.twomorrows.com
9781605491134, $27.95, PB, 160pp

https://www.amazon.com/Life-Art-Dave-Cockrum/dp/1605491136

Synopsis: From the letters pages of Silver Age comics to his 2021 induction into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame, the career of Dave Cockrum started at the bottom and then rose to the top of the comic book industry.

Beginning with his childhood obsession with comics and continuing through his years in the Navy, "The Life and Art of Dave Cockrum" by Glen Cadigan follows Dave Cockrum's rising star from fandom (where he was one of the "Big Three" fanzine artists) to pro-dom, where he helped revive two struggling comic book franchises: the Legion of Super-Heroes and the X-Men. A prolific costume designer and character creator, his redesigns of the Legion and his introduction of X-Men characters Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, and Thunderbird (plus his design of Wolverine's alter ego, Logan) laid the foundation for both titles to become best-sellers.

His later work on his own property, The Futurians, as well as childhood favorite Blackhawk and T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents, plus his five years on Soulsearchers and Company, cemented his position as an industry giant. Featuring artwork from fanzines, unused character designs, and other rare material, this is THE comprehensive biography of the legendary comic book artist, whose influence is still felt on the industry today!

Critique: Profusely illustrated in full color throughout, "The Life & Art of Dave Cockrum" is a 'must' for the legions of Dave Cockrum fans and will hold a special interest for all dedicated comic book buffs. Informed and informative, "The Life & Art of Dave Cockrum" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library American Graphic Art & Comics History collections.

Editorial Note: Glen Cadigan is the author of The Legion Companion, The Best of The Legion Outpost, and The Titans Companion Vols. 1 & 2. His stories have also appeared in Cthulhu Tales Omnibus: Madness, Cthulhu Tales Omnibus: Delirium, and 49th Parallels: Alternative Canadian Histories and Futures. His very first professional comic book sale, "One Of Those Days," was adapted into the live action film, Eldritch Code. In addition to the above, he also writes the ongoing series, Bedlam & Belfry, Intergalactic Attorneys at Law. He has a dedicated website at http://glencadigan.com


The Audiobook Shelf

Operation: Jade Helmet
Ashley Fontainne, author
Andrea Emmes, narrator
Blackstone Audiobooks
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
www.BlackstoneAudio.com
9798212230957, $46.95, MP3-CD, 10 Hours 16 Minutes

https://www.amazon.com/Operation-Jade-Helmet-Ashley-Fontainne/dp/B0B3M8JL9Q

Synopsis: Eager fans around the world played Operation Red Helmet for years, making it the highest-grossing virtual reality game ever sold, and the designers, The Talladav Group, is the richest company on earth.

After an oppressive, unrelenting worldwide heat wave hits, daily life grinds to a halt around the globe. People retreat to their homes, afraid to go out as violence and chaos erupt in the streets. The game temporarily shuts down as the world grapples with the fallout of civil unrest and critical infrastructure breakdowns, forever altering society.

When governments take over control and infrastructures are replaced and back online, the top players of the previous version receive a mysterious box marked "Operation Jade Helmet." The new version is the first-ever total immersion VR experience and inside each box is a free headset and personal code to play a week before release to the general public. The lucky winners don their newest obsession and impatiently wait for the game to begin.

Unfortunately, they are about to discover Operation Jade Helmet is unlike any other game, and when the game begins, everything changes.

Critique: A master of suspense, novelist Ashley Fontainne's "Operation: Jade Helmet" is superbly narrated by the storytelling skills of Andrea Emmes in this complete and unabridged audio book recording. Providing the science fiction fan with a true 'theatre of the mind' experience, "Operation: Jade Helmet" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal and community library audio book collections.

Centers Of Gravity
Marko Kloos, author
Eric G. Dove, narrator
Brilliance Audio
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781713646808, $14.99, MP3-CD

https://www.amazon.com/Centers-Gravity-Frontlines-Marko-Kloos/dp/1713646803

Synopsis: Stranded some nine hundred light-years from home, Major Andrew Grayson and the crew of NACS Washington are marooned in a sunless system with limited water, reactor fuel, and food. The last hope for survival is to go where nothing human has gone before.

After embarking on a scouting mission to the only moon with surface signs of life, Andrew and his special tactics team make two startling discoveries. One is a dream: a form of protein and plant life that could save the starving humans in the rogue system. The second is a nightmare: this harvested rock is infested with Lankies. Far from the seemingly mindless aggressors Andrew has battled for years, these show a terrifying awareness, and they have surprising secrets of their own hidden away in the darkness.

When the Lankies sense an uninvited presence in their world, Andrew's operation becomes an expedition to hell. The odds against his small crew are stacked high. Of all the mysteries of space, how to escape with their lives is the greatest unknown of all.

Critique: Some authors seem to have a genuine flair for riveting action/adventure featuring memorable characters and unexpected plot line twists. "Centers of Gravity" by Marko Kloos clearly demonstrates that is just such a novelist. This complete and unabridged audio book is flawlessly performed by the narrative talents of Eric G. Dove who brings this science fiction adventure come to life in a true 'theatre of the mind' experience. Simply stated, this production of "Centers of Gravity" from Brilliance Audio is strongly recommended for personal and community library Science Fiction audio book collections. (1 Disc, 9 Hours, 48 Minutes)

Editorial Note #1: Marko Kloos is the author of two military science fiction series: The Palladium Wars, which includes Aftershocks and Ballistic, and the Frontlines series, which includes Orders of Battle. A member of George R. R. Martin's Wild Cards consortium, Marko writes primarily science fiction and fantasy -- his first genre loves ever since his youth, when he spent his allowance on German SF pulp serials. He has a dedicated website at www.markokloos.com

Editorial Note #2: Eric G. Dove is an award-winning narrator whose career spans over 12 years and 450 titles encompassing numerous genres including thrillers, military fiction, romance, sci-fi, classics, westerns, fantasy, non-fiction, and more. He consistently works with the best publishers in the business, including Brilliance Publishing, Recorded Books, Dreamscape Media, Bee Audio, Penguin Books, Blackstone Audio, and Audible Inc., voicing the works of a vast array of authors; Stephen Hunter to Herman Melville, J.R. Ward to Mark Twain. Eric has a dedicated website at https://www.ericgdove.com

What She Found
Robert Dugoni, author
Emily Sutton-Smith, narrator
Brilliance Audio
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781713620976, $14.99, MP3-CD

https://www.amazon.com/What-She-Found-Tracy-Crosswhite/dp/1713620979

Synopsis: Detective Tracy Crosswhite has agreed to look into the disappearance of investigative reporter Lisa Childress. Solving the cold case is an obsession for Lisa's daughter, Anita. So is clearing the name of her father, a prime suspect who became a pariah. After twenty-five years, all Anita wants is the truth -- no matter where it leads.

For Tracy, that means reopening the potentially explosive investigations Lisa was following on the dark night she vanished: an expose of likely mayoral graft; the shocking rumors of a reserved city councilman's criminal sex life; a drug task force scandal compromising the Seattle PD; and an elusive serial killer who disappeared just as mysteriously as Lisa.

As all the pieces come together, it becomes clear that Tracy is in the midst of a case that will push her loyalties and her resilience to the limit. What she uncovers will come with a greater price than anyone feared.

Critique: Author Robert Dugoni's new mystery novel, "What She Found" is brought vividly to ife with professional performer Emily Sutton-Smith superbly presented narration. Of special inter to Robert Dugon's growing legions of fans, this complete and unabridged audio book edition of "What She Found" is unreservedly recommended for personal and community library Mystery/Suspense audio book collections. (1 Disc, 10 Hours, 1 Minute)

The Last Lie Told
Debra Webb, author
Megan Tusing, narrator
Brilliance Audio
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781713659761, $14.99, MP3-CD

https://www.amazon.com/Last-Lie-Told-Finley-OSullivan/dp/171365976X

Synopsis: Legal investigator Finley O'Sullivan searches for evidence the police overlooked, wading through secrets, lies, and betrayal to find answers. With the unsolved murder of her husband still very much on her mind, Finley must confront her own personal trauma on a daily basis. Lies are part of her livelihood, but they're also the reason she can't get justice for the man she loved.

When a man imprisoned for murder recants his confession, claiming he cleaned up the mess for his girlfriend (the victim's own daughter) Finley takes on the case. She discovers the victim had identical twin daughters -- and that the sisters have very different accounts of the crime.

As she dives headlong into the twins' traumatic past, Finley will have to contend with her own demons to get to the truth before it's too late!

Critique: Deftly narrated by the vocal storytelling talents of Megan Tusing, this full and complete audio book edition of Debra Webb's riveting mystery novel "The Last Lie Told" offers a true theater of the mind experience and is highly recommended for personal and community library Mystery/Suspense audio book collections. (1 Disc, 9 Hours, 26 Minutes)


The Music CD Shelf

The Real Revolution
Playing for Change Band
Privately Published
www.playingforchange.com
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/music/player/albums/B0B3P9VPFS

Playing for Change Band (which currently consists of 10 musicians from 10 countries) presents The Real Revolution, a music album with a core theme of love, unity, and social justice. World music and reggae combine in these original, profound songs about striving to make the world a better place. The Real Revolution is a motivational and unforgettable work, highly recommended. The tracks are The Real Revolution, Young People, Lamuka, Me Pierdo, Right Foot Forward, 54-46 That's My Number, and Bibamba.

Don't Give Up
Jason Tamba
Privately Published
www.playingforchange.com
$TBA CD / $7.12 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/music/player/albums/B0B45B3N97

Don't Give Up is the debut solo album of Congolese-born singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jason Tamba. Featuring vocals that Tamba sings in his native language of Kikongo. Blending music traditions of Congo with those of the West, Don't Give Up is an inspirational, cross-boundaries work and a welcome contribution to international music collections. Highly recommended! The tracks are Masele, Maasai, Loti, Gethsemane, Nkomba Mi, Sevana, Faria, and Nda.

Wonderland
Martha Spencer
marthaspencermusic.com
Privately Published
$TBA CD / $14.49 MP3

https://www.amazon.com/music/player/albums/B0B3MNRDDV

Appalachian singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Martha Spencer presents Wonderland, her second solo album. Half original compositions and half beloved classics, Wonderland is a country music treasure, expressing the heart of her small, close mountain community. The songs also celebrate the contributions of strong-willed women, and touch upon darker things such as ghosts and hauntings. Wonderland is a welcome addition to country and roots music collections, highly recommended. The tracks are Wonderland, Rags Over Riches, Banks of New River, Come Home Virginia Rose, Summer Wine, Walking in Jerusalem, Virginia Creeper Line, Enchantress, Hesitation Blues, Wind and Rain, You've Rambled Too Long, Yodelady, Creekfield Woman, Young Rover, Bringing Mary Home, and Midsummer Serenade.


The Needlecraft Shelf

Kaffe Fassett's Quilts In Wales
Kaffe Fassett, author
Debbie Patterson, photographer
https://www.kaffefassett.com
The Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
www.taunton.com
9781641551731, $34.99, PB, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Kaffe-Fassett-Quilts-Wales/dp/1641551739

Synopsis: With the publication of "Kaffe Fassett's Quilts In Wales", quilting expert Kaffe Fassett has once again succeeded in finding the perfect location for his exquisite new collection of quilts, featuring both his scintillating new fabric designs and his classics, all in his unique color palette.

This time he has chosen the iconic 13th-century Powis Castle in north Wales, where the 20 quilts comprising "Kaffe Fassett's Quilts In Wales" are set off against the storybook castle and stunning grounds. Photographed brilliantly by Debbie Patterson, they are displayed in all their glory in a sumptuous eye-catching quilt gallery.

Included in this set of new designs are many very special ones by Kaffe, and others by his long-time friend and co-designer, Liza Prior Lucy. Kaffe's Saturated Red quilt finds its perfect partner in the rich deep hues of the bed hangings on a magnificent four-poster, while his Cold Frames quilt, with its dramatic black-and-white sashing framing fussy-cut flower prints, echoes the studding on the medieval wooden doors into the courtyard. The cool geometry of his Marble Tiles quilt takes its inspiration from the painted paneling in the Long Gallery, and his Vintage Library quilt echoes the warm tones of the hundreds of leather-bound books in the Castle's collection.

As usual, "Kaffe Fassett's Quilts In Wales" (the 24th in the Kaffe Fasset quilting series) includes a range of quilts for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced, and features an eclectic mix of patterns and colors ranging from Philip Jacobs' eye-catching bold floral prints to Brandon Mably's smaller-scale quirky patterns.

Flat shots and a practical know-how section and glossary back up the fully illustrated, step-by-step instructions for each quilt.

Critique: With a very special and particular appeal to the legions of Kaffe Fassett quilting fans, "Kaffe Fassett's Quilts In Wales" is beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout and will be considered an enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, and community library Needlecrafting & Quilting collections.

Editorial Note: Kaffe Fassett is a name every dedicated quilter knows. His work has been commissioned by the British monarchy, American fashion designers, and the Royal Shakespeare Company. He has written numerous best-sellers including "Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in Italy", "Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in Morocco", "Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in an English Village", and "Kaffe Fassett's Quilts in the Cotswolds". He has a dedicated website at https://www.kaffefassett.com

Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies
Vanessa Mooncie
The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784946357, $24.99, PB, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Crocheted-Bees-Butterflies-Vanessa-Mooncie/dp/1784946354

Synopsis: Each project comprising "Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies" by needlecraft expert Vanessa Mooncie includes clear step-by-step instructions and stunning photography. "Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies" features an extensive and beautifully illustrated techniques section explaining everything you need to know to embark on these wonderful projects. Once completed the projects can either be worn as an accessory, such as a brooch or hair decoration, or they can be mounted in a frame or bell jar for display.

Made using various yarns, metallic and nylon threads, these projects incorporate beads and sequins to give astounding results. The legs are wired and the designs use a variety of crochet stitches and embroidered details.

Critique: A unique and fun addition to personal, professional, and community library Needlecraft collections of instructional guides and 'how to' manuals, and an ideal and comprehensive course of instruction that will be of particular interest and value for the novice and expert needlecrafters alike, "Crocheted Bees, Bugs & Butterflies" is impressively organized and thoroughly 'user friendly' in presentation.

Editorial Note: Vanessa Mooncie spent many happy hours as a child sitting with her mother and grandmother learning to knit and crochet. She went on to study fashion and textile design and became a children's wear designer, illustrator and interior designer. Vanessa now specializes in silkscreen work (www.vanessamooncie.com) and designing crochet jewelry through her company Kissy Suzuki (www.kissysuzuki.com). Vanessa has written many successful books for GMC Publications, including Animal Hats, Crocheted Wild Animals, Sew Adorable, And Sew to Bed and Crocheted Sea Creatures.


The Art Shelf

Watercolour the Natural World
Tim Pond
The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784946395, $24.99, PB, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/Watercolour-Natural-World-Tim-Pond/dp/1784946397

Synopsis: With the publication of "Watercolour the Natural World", critically acclaimed British wildlife painter Tim Pond takes his readers on a journey from pole to pole to discover pristine frozen wilderness areas, coniferous forests and dense tropical rainforests. They are introduced to species that have made these habitats their home and discover how they have evolved to survive fierce winters or sweltering rainforest temperatures.

Each section comprising "Watercolour the Natural World" is simply packed with tips, techniques and concepts that can speed up the reader's progress in learning to paint mountains, forests, waterscapes, plants and animals. It applies the lessons of the life class to every subject and includes suggested activities such as painting in aquariums, zoos, Natural History museums and outdoors in the landscape. Working from a photograph is explored, too, so that readers that can't see their subjects in real life can also fully participate.

"Watercolour the Natural World" is guide that is suitable for all abilities, whether entirely new to watercolour painting or an experienced professional. Drawing methods are taught to help the reader conceive the fundamentals of form. It then explores colour theory and the best watercolour combinations to capture the brilliance of nature, from green leaves and the patterns of animal coats to the bright plumes of exotic birds. Key foundation techniques are fully explained, as well as specific techniques, such as using a dry brush to create the impression of fur.

Critique: Beautifully and informatively illustrated throughout, "Watercolour the Natural World" is a coffee-table style (8.75 x 0.5 x 11 inches) paperback volume that can be considered as a complete course of instruction under a single cover. While highly recommended as an addition to community, art school, and academic library Watercolor Painting instructional reference collections, it will be of special and particular interest to novice (and even experienced) artists working in a watercolor medium with respect to landscapes and seascapes.

Editorial Note: Currently residing in South West London, England, Tim Pond's artwork and illustration is widely recognized. His career spans two decades working in a great variety of media and for a range of different clients including books, magazines, newspapers and film. Tim makes his living as an illustrator and graphic designer as well as lecturing at the Richmond upon Thames College, where he is the Curriculum Co-ordinator of AS/A level Graphic Communications and teaches a variety of courses at HE level. Tim is currently the artist at the Royal Veterinary College and regularly runs drawing classes at the Zoological Society of London. He offers independent art classes with live animals as life models, often on farms or with owls as well as in museums. Tim enjoys communicating his passion for the natural world, blurring the lines between art and science, as was common in Renaissance. He has a dedicated website at http://www.timpond.co.uk

The Beginner's Guide to Hand Building
Sunshine Cobb
https://www.sunshinecobb.com
Quarry Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartous.com
9780760374764, $24.99, PB, 176pp

https://www.amazon.com/Beginners-Guide-Hand-Building-Functional/dp/0760374767

Synopsis: Whether you have access to a communal studio or not, hand building projects can travel just about anywhere. Take your clay outside or work at the kitchen table, and with "The Beginner's Guide to Hand Building: Functional and Sculptural Projects for the Home Potter" by ceramics author Sunshine Cobb you will find all the necessary fundamentals laid out, including a thorough discussion of clay as well as helpful tips for keeping your body and mind in top shape.

Then pick the path that's right for you in the chapters that follow by developing new skills and unlocking your own creativity as you explore: Sculptural projects like miniature animals and plants; Functional items like scoops, a citrus reamer, and a coffee pour-over vessel; Mixed media projects including a candlestick holder, mobile, and a soap dish.

All along the way, skill-building is front and center, with conversational instructions and tips to help you make pieces you're proud to show off. Gallery work from some of today's top artists are sure to inspire potters of all levels.

Critique: Profusely and informatively illustrated throughout with full color photography, "The Beginner's Guide to Hand Building: Functional and Sculptural Projects for the Home Potter" provides a complete course of instruction that will enable even the most novice of ceramic sculpture artists to produce functional and decorative works to be proud of for their own use or for gift giving. Exceptionally well written, impressively organized, and throughly 'user friendly' in presentation, "The Beginner's Guide to Hand Building: Functional and Sculptural Projects for the Home Potter" is particularly and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Ceramic Art instructional reference collections.

Editorial Note: Sunshine Cobb is a ceramic artist and instructor based in California, where she is currently a visiting professor at Sacramento State University. She has previously held adjunct or visiting professor roles at Sonoma State University, University of Pacific, and Utah State. She has experience with everything from eight-day anagama wood firings to slip casting ornaments, but she focuses her talent on functional ware, embracing the richness of earthenware and exploring the challenge of electric firing. Sunshine has been the recipient of the Windgate Fellowship Emerging Artist award, a featured emerging artist in Ceramics Monthly (cover artist), and a long-term resident at Archie Bray. The author of Mastering Hand Building, she has taught workshops across the country including Penland School of Crafts, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Arrowmont, Santa Fe Clay, and The Clay Studio. She holds a BA in studio art from CSU Sacramento and an MFA in ceramic art from Utah State University. She has a dedicated website at https://www.sunshinecobb.com


The Biography Shelf

Life is a Game
Dr. G. K. 'Joe' Guennel, author
Flint Whitlock, author
https://www.flintwhitlock.com
Cable Publishing
https://cablepublishing.com
9781934980798, $18.95, PB, 178pp

https://www.amazon.com/Life-Game-Adventures-interrogator-Pioneer/dp/B0B1771PDJ

Synopsis: "Life is a Game: Adventures of a World War II interrogator and U.S. Soccer Pioneer" is the personal story of soldier, scientist, artist, author, and the Johnny Appleseed of American soccer and German-born Joe Guennel who moved to the U.S. as a young teen.

During World War II, he was a famed Ritchie Boy -- a highly trained interrogator of German prisoners of war and war criminals. He was also the author and illustrator of two books and throughout his life, his passion for soccer led him from the German playgrounds to the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame.

Critique: Illustrated with maps and historic photos, "Life is a Game: Adventures of a World War II interrogator and U.S. Soccer Pioneer" is the collaborative work of Joe Guennel and Flint Whitlock. An inherently fascinating life story that will interest military history buffs and soccer fans alike, "Life is a Game" is highly recommended for middle school, highschool, community, and academic library American Biography & World War II history collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Life is a Game" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).

Editorial Note: There is a web page devoted to G. K. 'Joe' Guennel on the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame website at https://www.coloradosports.org/hall-of-fame/athletes/1992-inductees/g-k-joe-guennel

The Shell and the Octopus: A Memoir
Rebecca Stirling
She Writes Press
www.shewritespress.com
9781647423230, $16.95, PB, 296pp

https://www.amazon.com/Shell-Octopus-Memoir-Rebecca-Stirling/dp/1647423236

Synopsis: "The Shell and the Octopus: A Memoir" is the personal life story of Rebecca Stirling's childhood: a young girl raised by the sea, by men, and by literature.

Circumnavigating the world on a thirty-foot sailboat, the Stirlings spend weeks at a time on the open ocean, surviving storms and visiting uncharted islands and villages. Ushered through her young life by a father who loves adventure, women, and extremes, Rebecca befriends "working girls" in the ports they visit (as they are often the only other females present in the bars that they end up in) and, on the boat, falls in love with her crewmate and learns to live like the men around her.

But her driven nature and the role models in the books she reads make her determined to be a lady, continue her education, begin a career, live in a real home, and begin a family of her own. Once she finally gets away from the boat and her dad and sets to work upon making her own dream a reality, however, Rebecca begins to realize life is not what she thought it would be -- and when her father dies in a tragic accident, she must return to her old life to sift through the mess and magic he has left behind.

Critique: A unique and extraordinary life story that engages the readers immediate and complete attention from first page to last, "The Shell and the Octopus: A Memoir" is a deftly crafted personal history that will have a special attraction for readers with an interest in unusual family dynamics, family love and loss, and a nautical lifestyle. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary American Biography & Memoir collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Shell and the Octopus: A Memoir" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Editorial Note: Rebecca Stirling lives between Aspen, Colorado, and Kauai, Hawaii, with her two children. She teaches creative art and writing classes to help spread the knowledge and ingenuity of world cultures. She continues to sail and travel, read and write, and has a love for the stories individuals, cultures, and our earth have to tell. She has started a personal website with a photo of herself and her father at https://www.rebeccastirlingwriter.com/about


The Agriculture Shelf

Malabar Farm
Anneliese Abbott
The Kent State University Press
1118 Library, P.O. Box 5190, Kent OH 44242
http://www.kentstateuniversitypress.com
9781606354315, $29.95, PB, 264pp

https://www.amazon.com/Malabar-Farm-Bromfield-Sustainable-Agriculture/dp/1606354310

Synopsis: Established in 1939 by Pulitzer Prize winning author and farmer Louis Bromfield, Malabar Farm was once considered "the most famous farm in the world." Farmers, conservationists, politicians, businessmen, and even a few Hollywood celebrities (including Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, who married there) flocked to rural Ohio to see how Bromfield restored worn-out land to lush productivity using conservation practices. Permanent, sustainable agriculture, Bromfield preached, was the "New Agriculture" that would transform the postwar world.

With the publication of "Malabar Farm: Louis Bromfield, Friends of the Land, and the Rise of Sustainable Agriculture", author Anneliese Abbott tells the story of Malabar Farm within the context of the wider histories of soil conservation and other environmental movements, especially the Ohio-based organization Friends of the Land. As one of the few surviving landmarks of this movement, which became an Ohio state park in 1976, Malabar Farm provides an intriguing case study of how soil conservation began, how it was marginalized during the 1950s, and how it now continues to influence the modern idea of sustainable agriculture.

To see Malabar strictly as a modern production farm (or a nature preserve, or the home of a famous novelist) oversimplifies the complexity of what Bromfield actually did. Malabar wasn't a conventional farm or an organic farm; it was both. It represents a middle ground that is often lacking in modern discussions about sustainability or environmental issues, yet it remains critically important.

Today, as Malabar Farm State Park remains a working farm with a new interpretive center that opened in 2006, its importance and impact continue for current and future generations.

Critique: Illustrated with black-and-white photos, "Malabar Farm: Louis Bromfield, Friends of the Land, and the Rise of Sustainable Agriculture" is an impressively informative, well written, organized and presented study that will be of immense interest to sustainable agriculture advocates and practitioners. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Agriculture, Farming, and Conservation collections, it should be noted for students, academia, agriculture policy makers, farmers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in sustainable farming that "Malabar Farm: Louis Bromfield, Friends of the Land, and the Rise of Sustainable Agriculture" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.99).

Editorial Note: Anneliese Abbott grew up on a small Michigan farm. Her research on the history of Malabar Farm began while studying plant and soil science at the Ohio State University. She recently received a University Fellowship to begin graduate research on the history of organic/sustainable farming in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


The Beer/Wine/Spirits Shelf

A Sense of Place: A Journey Around Scotland's Whisky
Dave Broom, author
Christina Kernohan, illustrator
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
www.octopusbooksusa.com
9781784726713, $50.00, HC, 256pp

https://www.amazon.com/Sense-Place-journey-Scotlands-whiskies/dp/1784726710

Synopsis; Featuring a beautifully crafted and informative narrative, by Dave Broom, "A Sense of Place: A Journey Around Scotland's Whisky" approaches the history of Scotch whisky from the point of view of its terroir (a French term used to describe the environmental factors that affect a crop's phenotype, including unique environment contexts, farming practices and a crop's specific growth habitat).

"A Sense of Place" includes the land, weather, history, craft and culture that feed and enhance the Scotland's whisky itself. Traveling around his native Scotland and visiting distilleries from Islay and Harris to Orkney and Speyside, Dave Brrom explores the whiskies made there and the elements in their distilling, and locality, which make them what they are. Along the way he tells the story of whisky's history and considers what whisky is now, and where it is going.

With stunning specially commissioned photography by Christina Kernohan, "A Sense of Place" will enhance and deepen every whisky drinker's understanding of just what is in their glass, as well as open their eyes to where whisky can go.

Critique: Of special interest and appeal to anyone who has ever raised up a glass of Scotland's whiskey, "A Sense of Place: A Journey Around Scotland's Whisky" will prove a fun, informative, and inherently interesting read from cover to cover. Very highly recommended for person, community, college, and university library collections, "A Sense of Place: A Journey Around Scotland's Whisky" is informatively enhanced with the inclusion of a Glossary, Notes, a bibliography of Further Reading, and an Index. It should be noted that "A Sense of Place: A Journey Around Scotland's Whisky" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

Editorial Note: Dave Broom has written 13 books, including The World Atlas of Whisky, now in its second edition. He has won many awards, including two Glenfiddich prizes and, in 2013, he won the prestigious IWSC Communicator of the Year Award. In 2015, he won The Spirited Award for Best Cocktail & Spirits writer, and, in 2018, The Way of Whisky won an Andre Simon prize. In 2020 he was awarded Best Drinks Writer at the Fortnum & Mason awards. He has been a contributing editor to Whisky Magazine, www.scotchwhisky.com and Malt Advocate. In 2020 he started his own website thewhiskymanual.uk. He has made two films, Cuba In A Bottle and The Amber Light. The latter, an examination on whisky and Scottish culture, won Best Programme at the 2020 Fortnum & Mason awards.


The Travel Shelf

Colorado Family Outdoor Adventure
Heather Mundt
University of New Mexico Press
1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM 87131-0001
www.unmpress.com
9780826363770, $21.95, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Colorado-Family-Outdoor-Adventure-Southwest/dp/0826363776

Synopsis: "Colorado Family Outdoor Adventure: An All-Ages Guide to Hiking, Camping, and Getting Outside" by Heather Mundt is the definitive guide for families of all ages seeking to experience the natural splendors of Colorado.

Whether you are planning your first family adventure or you are an experienced outdoors family, Heather provides everything parents, grandparents, children, and teenagers need to know to enjoy activities throughout the state. As an experienced outdoors writer, adventurer, and family traveler, she shares more than sixty destinations across Colorado, outlining family adventures in hiking, biking, paddling, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, camping, skiing, sledding, rockhounding, wildlife watching, fishing, climbing, enjoying cultural activities, and more in this go-to guide.

Every one of these outdoor activities is graded in terms of difficulty and age-appropriateness, so every reader will know exactly which activities are right for their young kids, teens, and older relatives. Organized geographically with easy-to-use maps alongside detailed descriptions and beautiful photography, "Colorado Family Outdoor Adventure" explores every corner of the state with memory-making activities for every family.

Critique: Nicely illustrated, informatively comprehensive, thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Colorado Family Outdoor Adventure: An All-Ages Guide to Hiking, Camping, and Getting Outside" is an essential resource for planning a family friendly travel or recreational adventure in Colorado's great outdoors. Highly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Colorado Travel Guide collections, it should be noted that "Colorado Family Outdoor Adventure: An All-Ages Guide to Hiking, Camping, and Getting Outside" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Heather Mundt is a freelance writer and editor. Her work has appeared in the Denver Post, Ladies' Home Journal, 5280.com, TripSavvy, Smarter Travel, Outdoor Families Magazine, Colorado Parent magazine, and Colorado Ski Country USA. She has a dedicated website at https://muckrack.com/momfari

Japan By Rail
Ramsey Zarifeh and Anna Udagawa, authors
Trailblazer Publications
www.trailblazer-guides.com
9781912716142, $24.95, PB, 540pp

https://www.amazon.com/Japan-Rail-Route-Guide-Guides/dp/1912716143

Synopsis: Japan is steeped in legend and myth, perhaps the greatest of which is the popular misconception that the country is simply too expensive to visit. The truth is that flights to Japan are cheaper than they've ever been, accommodation can be great value, while the warm hospitality which awaits every visitor costs nothing at all. The real secret to traveling around the country on a budget, however, is the Japan Rail Pass.

And that's where "Japan by Rail: Includes Rail Route Guide and 30 City Guides" comes into play. This comprehensive guide can be used in conjunction with a rail pass to get the most out of a trip to Japan for the American business traveler and vacationer.

"Japan by Rail" is comprised of practical information for planning your trip; when to go; suggested itineraries; what to take; festivals and events. It also includes city guides and maps, where to stay, where to eat, what to see in 30 towns and cities; historical and cultural background.

There are kilometre-by-kilometre route guides covering train journeys from the coast into the mountains, from temple retreat to sprawling metropolis and from sulphurous volcano to windswept desert. 33 route maps includes new routes -- including the extension of the shinkansen route from Nagano to Kanazawa (the Hokuriku shinkansen).

Railway timetables and frequency charts for bullet trains and all described routes, customs, etiquette, Japanese words and phrases with kanji/hiragana/katakana for all place name text readers can point to the text when asking Japanese speakers for directions.

Of special note are the Extended Highlights -- extra color sections make "Japan by Rail" even more user-friendly and attractive.

Critique: Comprehensive, informative, up-to-date, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Japan by Rail: Includes Rail Route Guide and 30 City Guides" is the ideal guide for planning itineraries and moving about the country. Highly recommended for community library International Travel Guide collections, no visitor to Japan should be without their own copy of "Japan by Rail" in order to insure a successful visit be it for business or pleasure.

Editorial Note: Ramsey Zarifeh, spent two years teaching in Japan. Now a journalist, he works for Reuters, Swiss Radio International and the BBC. Anna Udagawa lives in the UK and was an English teacher in Japan before getting married there. She revisits Japan regularly and now works as a travel guide-book editor.


The Gardening Shelf

Cold-Hardy Fruits and Nuts
Allyson Levy, author
Scott Serrano, author
Chelsea Green Publishing Company
85 North Main Street, Suite 120, White River Junction, VT 05001
www.chelseagreen.com
9781645020455, $34.95, PB, 384pp

https://www.amazon.com/Cold-Hardy-Fruits-Nuts-Easy-Grow/dp/1645020452

Synopsis: "Cold-Hardy Fruits and Nuts: 50 Easy-to-Grow Plants for the Organic Home Garden or Landscape" is a one-stop compendium featuring the most productive, edible fruit-and nut-bearing crops that push the boundaries of what can survive winters in cold-temperate growing regions. While most nurseries and guidebooks feature plants that are riddled with pest problems (such as apples and peaches), veteran growers and founders of the Hortus Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Allyson Levy and Scott Serrano, focus on both common and unfamiliar fruits that have few, if any, pest or disease problems and an overall higher level of resilience.

"Cold-Hardy Fruits and Nuts" includes: Taste profiles for all fifty hardy fruits and nuts, with notes on harvesting and uses; Plant descriptions and natural histories; Recommended cultivars, both new and classic; Propagation methods for increasing plants; Nut profiles including almonds, chestnuts, walnuts, and pecans; Fertilization needs and soil/site requirements, and so much more!

With beautiful and instructive color photographs throughout, "Cold-Hardy Fruits and Nuts features concise, clearly written botanical and cultural information based on the authors' years of growing experience. The fifty fruits and nuts featured provide a nice balance of the familiar and the exotic: from almonds and pecans to more unexpected fruits like maypop and Himalayan chocolate berry. "Cold-Hardy Fruits and Nuts" gives adventurous gardeners all they need to get growing.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated, "Cold-Hardy Fruits and Nuts: 50 Easy-to-Grow Plants for the Organic Home Garden or Landscape" is impressively and comprehensively informative, exceptionally well written, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture collections, in should be noted that "Cold-Hardy Fruits and Nuts: 50 Easy-to-Grow Plants for the Organic Home Garden or Landscape" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $26.49). There is a dedicated website at https://www.hortusgardens.org

Editorial Note: Allyson Levy and Scott Serrano are both exhibiting visual artists and co-directors of Hortus Arboretum and Botanical Gardens in New York's Hudson Valley. Their garden began as a source of inspiration and raw materials for their art. Over time their interest in growing a wider selection of plants expanded until the garden encompassed eleven acres and became their primary passion. Along the way they began planting a vast diversity of plants, both edible and ornamental. This grew into an extensive collection of cold-hardy cactus, magnolia trees, viburnums, and grafted fruit trees, with a focus on rare, underutilized plants. The arboretum is now a nonprofit organization and level II arboretum.

The Home-Scale Forest Garden
Dani Baker
Chelsea Green Publishing Company
85 North Main Street, Suite 120, White River Junction, VT 05001
www.chelseagreen.com
9781645020981, $34.95, HC, 336pp

https://www.amazon.com/Home-Scale-Forest-Garden-Resilient-Landscape/dp/1645020983

Synopsis: When market gardener Dani Baker attended a permaculture workshop at her local Cooperative Extension office in upstate New York, she was inspired by its message of working with nature to create a thriving edible garden ecosystem. She immediately launched a new experiment she dubbed the "Enchanted Edible Forest."

With the publication of "The Home-Scale Forest Garden: How to Plan, Plant, and Tend a Resilient Edible Landscape", Baker shares what she learned as she became a forest gardener, providing a practical, in-depth guide to creating a beautiful, bountiful edible landscape at any scale ranging from a few dozen square feet to an acre or more.

"The Home-Scale Forest Garden" covers: Using permaculture principles; Observing and mapping your space; Building planting beds, including hugelkultur mounds; Coping with saturated soil; Matching perennial edible plants to the right growing conditions; Grouping plants in diverse layers that attract and shelter beneficial insects and birds; Creating microclimates to increase the range of plants you can grow; Pruning, propagating, managing pests, and more; Expending less energy for greater reward.

"The Home-Scale Forest Garden" is complete with descriptions of over 100 food-bearing and multifunctional plants for every layer of a forest garden: overstory and understory trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants, groundcovers, vines, and mushrooms, too.

Critique: With an informative text supported throughout with full color photography, "The Home-Scale Forest Garden: How to Plan, Plant, and Tend a Resilient Edible Landscape" is basically a complete course of DIY activists that will enable even the most novice of gardeners and landscapers to create beautiful and personalized gardens with a forested image and look. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Home-Scale Forest Garden: How to Plan, Plant, and Tend a Resilient Edible Landscape" is a unique and strongly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Gardening, Landscaping, and Horticultural collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Dani Baker and her partner, David Belding, farm at Cross Island Farms on Wellesley Island in the St. Lawrence River between New York and Canada, where they raise certified organic produce and grass-fed beef and goats. Dani is a retired clinical psychologist and a self-taught gardener who learned her craft by immersing herself in reading, poring over nursery catalogs, attending workshops on permaculture and gardening, and enthusiastic trial-and-error experimentation. Dani now conducts workshops and tours at her edible forest garden as well as giving presentations at organic farming conferences and other venues. She takes particular pleasure in inspiring others to try their hand at incorporating permaculture principles in their gardens.


The Automotive Shelf

How to Install Air Ride Suspension Systems
Kevin Whipps
https://www.kevinwhipps.com
CarTech Inc.
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
www.cartechbooks.com
9781613255803, $34.95, PB, 144pp

https://www.amazon.com/How-Install-Ride-Suspension-Systems/dp/1613255802

Synopsis: Air suspension used to be expensive, difficult to install, and complex to figure out. But that was years ago. Today, thanks to kits made for virtually every make and model of car and truck, plus the popularization of automatic leveling kits, it's easier than ever to take a vehicle and put it on the ground. With a properly installed air ride suspension, you can set your height wherever you like, lay your ride on the asphalt when you want, and even tear through the corners like you're driving a slot car. But here's the most important part: it's just cool.

Having an air-bagged vehicle isn't restricted to one vehicle class or another. While it originally became popular with mini trucks, it soon caught on with street rods, cars, and motorcycles, and even traditional lowriders have embraced the scene. That's because where previous adjustable suspensions had their problems, air ride setups are quite often cleaner and easier to maintain. It all depends on how it's installed and managed.

With the publication of "How to Install Air Ride Suspension Systems", air ride veteran Kevin Whipps walks you through everything you need to know about installing an air suspension onto pretty much anything. After going through the basics of each component, he explains how it all works together in easy-to-understand terms that make it simple for even the mechanically challenged. By the end of it all, you'll know more about air suspension than you thought was possible and have a clear understanding of what you need to do to bag your ride.

Critique: Profusely and informatively illustrated in full color throughout, "How to Install Air Ride Suspension Systems" is the ideal instructional guide and 'how to' DIY manual. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $34.95) and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "How to Install Air Ride Suspension Systems" is an especially and unreserved recommended for personal, professional, and community library automotive collections.

Editorial Note: As a freelance writer based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Kevin Whipps has written for a wide range of motorsports magazines and websites including Classic Trucks, Diesel World, Euro Tuner, Game, Lowrider, Muscle Car Power, Sport Truck, Street Trucks, Super Street, Ten Trucks, and Truckin'. He has a dedicated website at https://www.kevinwhipps.com


The Gaming Shelf

25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know
Barbara Seagram, author
Marc Smith, author
David Bird, contributor
Master Point Press
www.masterpointpress.com
9781771400718, $21.95, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Bridge-Conventions-You-Should-Know/dp/1771400714

Synopsis: First published in 1999, this new edition of "25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know" is now completely revised and updated to reflect changes in bidding over the last 20 years, including three new chapters.

Critique: The collective project of bridge specialists and experts Barbara Seagram (one of North America's top bridge teachers, with well over twenty books to her credit), Marc Smith (a Grand Master for more than 40 years and as a player has won most events on the English bridge calendar), and David Lyster Bird (a British bridge writer from Eastleigh, with more than 130 bridge books to his name), "25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know" has long been considered a classic in the bridge playing world -- and with this new and expanded edition will continue to be a 'must read choice' for all aspiring and experienced bridge players seeking to master and/or improve their game! Exceptionally well organized and presented, "25 Bridge Conventions You Should Know" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library bridge gaming instructional collections and reading lists.


The Martial Arts Shelf

The Art and Science of Self Defense
Joe Varady
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480, Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
www.ymaa.com
9781594398995, $51.00, HC, 272pp

https://www.amazon.com/Science-Self-Defense-Comprehensive-Instructional/dp/1594398992

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Art and Science of Self Defense: A Comprehensive Instructional Guide", martial arts expert Joe Varady provides a condensed system of distilled self-defense skills and techniques, each carefully selected for its reliability in a high stress environment. The topics addressed include situational awareness, avoidance, and how to take action should you need to physically defend yourself.

Martial arts, combat sports, and self-defense are different realms; although interconnected they are not entirely the same. "The Art and Science of Self Defense: A Comprehensive Instructional Guide" can help bridge that gap with a DIY curriculum that is streamlined and divided into nine logical stages of training that allows both martial artists and those with no formal fighting experience to quickly and methodically learn and develop reliable skills for self-defense.

"The Art and Science of Self Defense: A Comprehensive Instructional Guide" includes training in: Awareness skills including situational, spatial, and environmental; Avoidance skills to deal with fear, escape, and de-escalation; Anticipation skills for being approached, posturing, and reading body language; Action arsenal including targeting, striking, yelling, evading, and countering; Advanced arsenals for dealing with ground fighting, weapons, and multiple attackers.

Whether you are just starting out, or have been practicing martial arts for years, there are important self-defense skills for everyone in this martial arts training manual.

Critique: Profusely and informatively illustrated throughout, "The Art and Science of Self Defense: A Comprehensive Instructional Guide" is a complete and ideal course of instruction for the martial arts student in self-defense. Exceptionally 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Art and Science of Self Defense: A Comprehensive Instructional Guide" is an ideal instructional guide and a comprehensive how-to manual. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, dojo, college, and university library Martial Arts collections, it should be noted that "The Art and Science of Self Defense: A Comprehensive Instructional Guide" is also available in a paperback edition (9781594398728, $22.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.49).

Editorial Note: Joe Varady is the author of "The Art and Science of Staff Fighting", and "The Art and Science of Stick Fighting". He is a sixth-degree black belt with over thirty years of experience in martial arts. Joe has trained in numerous Eastern and Western disciplines, including karate, judo, eskrima, boxing, fencing, and long sword. He has won numerous awards competing in full-contact weapons tournaments around the world. He is the head instructor at Satori Dojo and Modern Gladiatorial Arts. He has a dedicated website at https://satori-dojo.com/grandmaster-joe-varady


The Business Shelf

Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game
Touraj Parang
McGraw Hill Professional
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor, New York, NY 10020
www.mhprofessional.com
9781264703326, $28.00, HC, 288pp

https://www.amazon.com/Exit-Path-How-Startup-Game/dp/1264703325

Synopsis: In 2008, entrepreneur Touraj Parang's award-winning startup, Jaxtr, had 10 million users, raised nearly $20 million from top-tier Silicon Valley investors, and seemed poised to sail straight through the Great Recession. But, by January of 2009, Jaxtr's only hope for survival was to find a buyer -- sadly, it was too late for that.

With the publication of "Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game", Touraj shares the lessons he learned first hand from that chaotic experience and the extraordinary successes that followed once he (and the entrepreneurs he advises) made creating and executing an exit strategy a top priority.

For too long entrepreneurs have been failing to establish the requisite relationships and properly prepare for the most important milestone in their life cycle: a sale to an acquirer. But in today's hyper competitive and interconnected business world, that is no longer an option.

"Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game" is first-of-its-kind, comprehensive guide, helping the reader to discover the surprising reasons a few startups succeed while many fail -- and they will learn that implementing an exit strategy early will empower an entrepreneur to take charge of their startup's ultimate fate, maximizing its potential for success while mitigating the risks of failure.

Arranged in four sequential parts, "Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game" walks the reader through actionable steps to devise and execute an effective exit strategy, starting with a fresh new perspective on the critical importance of creating a viable sale option for a startup. Also revealed is why creating an exit strategy is necessary well before contemplating an exit, regardless of the stage of the startup.

"Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game" also covers how to create an own exit plan, how to make that plan a reality through personal and business relationships, and how to approach and negotiate with acquirers for an outcome best aligned with personal values and ambitions should the need arise.

Whether an entrepreneur, an investor, or an advisor, the expert advice and insights comprising Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game" will inspire the reader to take charge of their own startup's destiny and unlock its strategic potential and options over time.

Critique: Comprehensively covering one of the often overlooked aspects of being an entrepreneur, "Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game" is exceptionally well written, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation. While a core and recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Business Management & Entrepreneurship collections and supplemental MBA curriculum lists, it should be noted that "Exit Path: How to Win the Startup End Game" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).

Editorial Note: Touraj Parang is a veteran Silicon Valley insider. He is a seasoned entrepreneur, investor, adviser, and M&A expert who has sat in almost every seat around the table in Silicon Valley since late 1990's, including as a corporate attorney at legal powerhouses Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and O'Melveny & Myers. Touraj has been a founder, executive, and trusted adviser to several fast-growing technology startups with exits to LinkedIn, Instacart, Vistaprint, Postmates, and Amplify among others. He has also spent nearly a decade on the acquirer side of M&A deals as a corporate development executive at Webs and GoDaddy.


The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Japanese Cinema: A Personal Journey
Peter Cowie
Stone Bridge Press
1393 Solano Avenue, Suite C, Albany CA 94706
www.stonebridge.com
9781611720754, $18.95, PB, 216pp

https://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Cinema-Personal-Peter-Cowie/dp/1611720753

Synopsis: "Japanese Cinema: A Personal Journey" by Peter Cowie is a passionate and personal journey through one of the world's greatest national cinemas, beginning with the classic directors who came to the fore in the postwar period and became legendary names on the art house circuit: Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, Ozu, Kobayashi, Naruse, and Oshima, among others.

"Japanese Cinema" traces the common themes explored by these directors as well as the impact of important historical and cultural issues, including World War 2, the representation of women, and the revolutionary spirit of the 1960s.

Finally, "Japanese Cinema" surveys the state of contemporary Japanese film and its greatest living practitioners, Hirokazu Kore-eda among them, as well as the international face of Japanese animation, Hayao Miyazaki. Cowie brings a lifetime's commitment to film to bear on the human relationships so well explored by these Japanese auteurs.

Critique: Informatively enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of a one page Select Bibliography, three pages of Endnotes, and a three page Index, "Japanese Cinema: A Personal Journey" is an impressively well written and seminal study of Japanese film making ranging from the iconic to the obscure. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Cinematic History and Japanese Popular Culture collections, it should be noted for students, academia, film historians, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Japanese Cinema: A Personal Journey" is also available in digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).

Editorial Note: Peter Cowie has spent his life in writing about cinema, and in particular about the prodigious talents that emerged during the 1950s and 1960s such as Ingmar Bergman and Akira Kurosawa. His more than thirty books include studies of the work of John Ford, Francis Ford Coppola, and the iconic actress Louise Brooks. He was international publisher of the trade paper, Variety, for more than twelve years, and he is also known for his numerous commentaries and video essays for the Criterion Collection in New York. Cowie has traveled throughout Japan on several occasions, and is an avid fan of its history, its literature, and its cinema. He has an informative webpage on Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Cowie


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Spell Bound
Chaweon Koo
Smith Street Books
c/o Rizzoli
300 Park Avenue South, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010
www.rizzoliusa.com
9781922417640, $24.95, HC, 248pp

https://www.amazon.com/Spell-Bound-witchs-crafting-future/dp/1922417645

Synopsis: With the publication of "Spell Bound: A New Witch's Guide to Crafting the Future", Chaweon Koo (a Korean-American witch who creates videos and articles on the intersection of occultism, futurism, and Korean culture) explores magic's past and how to navigate its future in a world where ancient groves meet silicon valley.

An ideal and informative guide for any beginning witch, "Spell Bound" dips into the occult from the unique perspective of Eastern and Western magics colliding. Chaweon Koo takes the student of magic through its history, magical foundations, deities, astrological influences, as well as magic's future in a digital world, teaching us to harness the powers of our ancestors while embracing the changes around us, to practice our witchcraft at its fullest.

Critique: Memorable illustrated, is a seminal work that will have a special appeal and value to both aspiring and practicing Wiccans. Offering fascinating and thought-provoking insights into the practice of magic in a digital age, "Spell Bound: A New Witch's Guide to Crafting the Future" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Metaphysical Studies collections.

Editorial Note: Chaweon Koo is a writer, YouTuber, and podcaster of occult topics. She has been interviewed on Korean radio on her magic practice and also has a Korean language occult YouTube, and a dedicated web site at https://linktr.ee/hichaweon

The Untamed Witch
Lidia Pradas
Fair Winds Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9780760376638, $24.99, PB, 192pp

https://www.amazon.com/Untamed-Witch-Reclaim-Instincts-Powerful/dp/0760376638

Synopsis: Witchcraft is not one defined and arbitrary path. Rather, it is comprised of a number of diverse practices that you can curate and align with based on your lifestyle and unique gifts. Moreover, those practices are not meant to be done the same way by every witch. Someone else's love spell is how they conjure love. For example -- Why use lavender in a ritual if it isn't native to your surroundings or you simply don't like it?

"The Untamed Witch: Reclaim Your Instincts. Rewild Your Craft. Create Your Most Powerful Magick" by Lidia Paradas is an instructional guide and 'how to' manual that gives you the insight and tools to undomesticate your craft from formulaic to inspired practices.

"The Untamed Witch" also covers: Tools and practices to access the subconscious; How to work with the life, death, rebirth cycle; How to use elemental and land witchcraft; Ancestry work and communicating with spirit guides and entities

With "The Untamed Witch" as your guide, you will learn to use your instincts to rewild your magick.

Critique: Nicely illustrated throughout, "The Untamed Witch: Reclaim Your Instincts. Rewild Your Craft. Create Your Most Powerful Magick" is an ideal resource for both novice and experienced Wiccans and magick users alike. Fascinating, thought-provoking, inspiring, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Untamed Witch: Reclaim Your Instincts. Rewild Your Craft. Create Your Most Powerful Magick" is highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections.

Editorial Note: Lidia Pradas is the Wiccan witch behind the Instagram sensation Wiccan Tips. She was born in Spain and comes from a family of witches who taught her pagan traditions and other aspects of the craft. In 2020 she obtained her bachelor's degree in Environmental Science. Now, Lidia writes and teaches about witchcraft and paganism, and she is dedicated to helping beginner witches find their own path. She has a dedicate website at https://wiccantips.com

The Pulp Girls Tarot Deck
The Pulp Girls
Rock Point
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9781631068867, $24.99, Card Deck

https://www.amazon.com/Pulp-Girls-Tarot-Deck-Affirmations/dp/1631068865

Synopsis: The Pulp Girls are a dynamic duo who are dedicated to creating pulp art memes centering diversity and female empowerment. With this approach, "The Pulp Girls Tarot Deck: A 78-Card Deck of Magic and Affirmations" is a tarot deck whose purpose is to guide men and women to discover their strengths and take charge of their life with insight from the powerful archetypes of the major arcana, including Justice, Strength, The High Priestess, The Magician, The Lovers, and The Fool, and the subtle day-to-day details conveyed by the minor arcana, the suit cards of Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles.

Critique: A 78-card tarot deck that is accompanied by a 76 page information booklet, "The Pulp Girls Tarot Deck: A 78-Card Deck of Magic and Affirmations" is especially and unreservedly recommended for novice and experienced tarot card readers alike. Especially useful for personal and professional tarot readers as a tool for personal transformation and self-improvement, "The Pulp Girls Tarot Deck: A 78-Card Deck of Magic and Affirmations" is an extraordinary addition to personal and professional metaphysical and mystic tarot deck collections.

Editorial Note: The Pulp Girls is a collective run by sisters Cailie and Brianna. Cailie is the resident illustrator, with a strong focus on subversive depictions of all kinds of folks. In addition to beautiful artwork and prints, they produce wearable art in the form of apparel, socks, buttons, enamel pins, patches, stickers, and jewelry. The have a dedicated website at https://www.thepulpgirls.com/products


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
e-mail: mbr@execpc.com
e-mail: mwbookrevw@aol.com
http://www.midwestbookreview.com


Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design