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The Bookwatch

Volume 2, Number 4 April 2007 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Music Shelf World History Shelf
International Studies Shelf Political Science Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Social Issues Shelf Art Shelf
Military Shelf Environmental Studies Shelf Computer Shelf
Judicial Studies Shelf Language Studies Shelf American History Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf Metaphysical Shelf
Writing/Publishing Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Gardening Shelf
Interior Design Shelf Audiobook Shelf Library DVD Shelf
Literary Shelf Science Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf


Reviewer's Choice

Instant Creativity
Brian Clegg and Paul Birch
Kogan Page
525 South 4th Street #241, Philadelphia PA 19147
0749448679 $17.95 www.kogan-page.co.uk

INSTANT CREATIVITY: SIMPLE TECHNIQUES TO IGNITE INNOVATION & PROBLEM SOLVING provides an action kit of exercises designed to enhance creativity. From identifying common problems and approaches to generating ideas to learning how to tap into creative energy, some seventy techniques are outlined, with feedback and variations throughout. An excellent tool for uncovering not only personal but business creativity, INSTANT CREATIVITY is a top pick for both general interest and business libraries alike.

The Perfect Wedding Dress
Philip Delamore
Firefly Books
Box 1338, Ellicott Station, Buffalo, NY 14205
1554071305 $24.95 www.fireflybooks.com

If you're seeking a sourcebook of wedding dress design options, look no further than The Perfect Wedding Dress: in addition to providing full-page photos of brides in all modes of wedding attire, it surveys the construction and styles which make some dresses a 'fit' for wearers, from classic to modern, trains and veils to sleeves and necklines. Over 300 photos of modern brides accompany discussions of all the options: public libraries will find this a popular lend

Complete Guide to Successful Event Planning
Shannon Kilkenny
Atlantic Publishing Company
1405 S.W. 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34474-7014
0910627924 $39.95 www.atlantic-pub.com

If a reference to planning events is needed you can't do better than Complete Guide to Successful Event Planning, a pick for planners and public libraries alike. Here's all the basics for planning all kinds of events, from seminars, receptions, weddings, dances, reunions and retreats. From money-saving tips and identifying and reaching target markets to choosing dates and designing events, it covers all aspects from budget to set-up and beyond. A few other guides cover this topic lightly if you want the depth, Complete Guide to Successful Event Planning is the item of choice.

Masonic Temples
William D. Moore
University of Tennessee Press
293 Communications Building, Knoxville, TN 37996-0325
1572334967 $34.95 www.utpress.org 1-800-621-2736

MASONIC TEMPLES provides an excellent introduction to the structures American Freemasons erected over the sixty-year period from 1870 to 1930, analyzing their design, construction, and history and considering the surrounding milieu of Masonic sects and American culture of the times. This is a pivotal title recommended for any collection which already holds some more general Masonic titles: it offer analysis of four sets of Masonic ritual spaces and provides fine details on Masonic beliefs, rituals and architecture.

Images: A Reader
Sunil Manghani, Arthur Piper & Jon Simons
Sage Publications
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
141290045X $45.95 www.sagepublications.com

IMAGES; A READER is a key resource for academics and others studying images and their interpretation: it gathers some 80 key readings from disciplines ranging from literature and science to cultural studies and art, surveying the history of images from the Bible to the present and blending classic treatments with recent new research on the topic. College-level collections, whether art history holdings or cultural studies collections, will find it intriguing.


The Music Shelf

Here, There and Everywhere
Geoff Emerick
Gotham Books
c/o Penguin Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014-3657
1592402690 $15.00 www.penguin.com

HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE: MY LIFE RECORDING THE MUSIC OF THE BEATLES comes from Grammy winner and recording industry legend Geoff Emerick, who provides behind-the-scenes insights related to the years he spent at EMI Studios at Abbey Road working with the band on some of their key albums. He was their main recording engineer for Revolver, and his work with the band lends important insights into their collaborative efforts and personalities perfect for Beatles fans even those who already have many books on the group and its members.

Tchaikovsky: A Listener's Guide
Daniel Felsenfeld
Amadeus Press
c/o Hal Leonard
512 Newark Pompton Turnpike, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
1574671340 $27.95 www.amadeuspress.com

Tchaikovsky was a composer of lovely melodies rooted in his personal angst: TCHAIKOVSKY: A LISTENER'S GUIDE blends prose to music by offering two accompanying cds from classical music cd publisher Naxos to accompany author Daniel Felsenfeld's exploration of his most notable works. The pairing of text from a music writer and composer with the master pieces of an artist makes for a particularly involving production perfect for newcomers to Tchaikovsky's works. Perfect for high school-level music libraries or any general lending collection handling cds and text alike.

Other People's Property
Jason Tanz
Bloomsbury
175 5th Avenue, Suite 300, New York NY 10010
1596912731 $24.95 www.bloomsburyusa.com

OTHER PEOPLE'S PROPERTY; A SHADOW HISTORY OF HIP HOP IN WHITE AMERICA could also have appeared in our 'Social Issues' section but is reviewed here for its focus on the obstacles that stand between producers and consumers of rap music: a very different approach than your usual music book covering the history of rap and the evolution of rapsters. It blends a personal story of growing up in a racially divided America with cultural analysis and music insights: while this approach might defy easy categorization, it does make for a hard-hitting analysis which will reach not only college-level collections strong in social issues and music, but the general-interest public and libraries with holdings strong in ethnic issues debates.

Get Media Airplay
Rick Davis
Hal Leonard
19 West 21st Street Suite 201, New York NY 10010
1423413083 $12.95 www.hallleonard.com

GET MEDIA AIRPLAY addresses one of the most common challenges musicians face in promoting their music: exposure. From learning how to expose demos to the radio and video market to playing at public events and obtaining corporate connections, GET MEDIA AIRPLAY offers a wealth of inspirational tips on how to obtain the exposure that gains contracts. No musician should be without it and no general-interest collection should miss it.


The World History Shelf

Barbary Pirate
Greg Bak
Sutton Publishing
Phoenix Mill, Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL5 2BU, UK
0750943505 www.suttonpublishing.co.uk www.amazon.com

BARBARY PIRATE: THE LIFE AND CRIMES OF JOHN WARD, THE MOST INFAMOUS PRIVATEER OF HIS TIME tells of a sailor who led a mass desertion in 1603, stole a civilian vessel and defected to the ottoman Empire's Tunis outpost, where he led a piracy campaign that made him the most feared privateer of his times. His many adventures and exploits became legend, and BARBARY PIRATE here separates legend from fact in a lively treatment perfect not just for history holdings but for general-interest public libraries.

Thinking with Objects
Domenico Bertoloni Meli
Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4363
0801884276 $29.95 www.press.jhu.edu

THINKING WITH OBJECTS: THE TRANSFORMATION OF MECHANICS IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY is a pick for college-level collections strong on both science and history: it examines the changes which took place in mechanics during the 18th century, considering major texts from Galileo, Descartes and others as it surveys the shift from the study and theory to the applications of mechanics. Domenico Meli is a history and philosophy professor: his study is a recommended survey for any class strong in science history.


The International Studies Shelf

Pakistan: A Global Studies Handbook
Yasmeen Naz Mohiuddin
ABC-CLIO
Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911
1851098011 $55.00 www.abc-clio.com

Any high school or college-level library serious about world study references should have Pakistan: A Global Studies Handbook in their collection. It surveys the history, culture, politics and social issues of the country offering a basic reference of the people, places and events which are essential to know, and a series of articles which reinforces facts about the nation's peoples. PAKISTAN considers the foundations and institutions of the country: it provides the specifics missing from more general regional titles and thus is an essential pick for any comprehensive reference library.


The Political Science Shelf

Ethical Realism
Anatol Lieven and John Hulsman
Pantheon Books
c/o Random House
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
0375424458 $22.00 www.pantheonbooks.com 1-800-726-0600

America faces a more complicated world than ever, but both political parties have failed to develop a foreign policy to address the increasing crises overseas. ETHICAL REALISM: A VISION FOR AMERICA'S ROLE IN THE WORLD hones in on the fallacies and repair of America's foreign policy, making it a top recommendation for college-level collections and public libraries alike. The authors call for a revamped foreign policy which takes advantage of America's real strengths and weaknesses, explaining how the U.S. can achieve morality overseas through a blend of common sense and ethical realism as set out by Reinhold Niebuhr and others.


The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

It's Time
Luke Durant Jr. & Tina Imperial-Trainor
American Literary Press
8019 Belair Rd Suite 10, Baltimore, MD 21236
1561679577 $14.95 www.americanliterarypress.com

IT'S TIME is a fine drama, written in script form, about abuse, murder and love, weaving the lives of four childhood friends into a play perfect for stage. Use IT'S TIME to see through the eyes of a director, to understand how a full length movie is directed, and to create a working drama which can be reproduced by high school students and actors in the public realm alike.

The Film Director Prepares
Myrl A. Schreibman
Lone Eagle
c/o Watson Guptill Publishing
770 Broadway, New York NY 10003
1580650678 $21.95 www.watsonguptill.com

THE FILM DIRECTOR PREPARES: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO DIRECTING FOR FILM & TV comes with a cd of shot examples and is written by a director and producer who covers the entire filmmaking process from script analysis to post-production. It's an outstanding step-by-step coverage of the film producer's role in making films, from creating storyboards and shot-lists to breaking down different kinds of shots and covering scenes and camera techniques. Perfect for film libraries catering to drama students and would-be producers and directors.

Digital Filmmaking 101, 2nd Edition
Dale Newton & John Gaspard
Michael Wiese Productions
3940 Laurel Canyon Blvd Suite 1111, Studio City CA 91604
1932907238 $26.95 www.mwp.com

From script to screen, all angles of a low-budget digital feature production are surveyed for students of drama in DIGITAL FILMMAKING 101, which offers tips for both feature-length and short digital productions. Chapters examine trends in film festivals, consider basic scene setup and soliciting talent 'for free', and more. It's a wealth of information key to any low-budget production, making it a pick not only for college-level film holdings and general-interest libraries, but for possible classroom assignment.


The Health/Medicine Shelf

Drawing from Within
Lisa D. Hinz
Jessica Kingsley Productions
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
1843108224 $24.95 www.jkp.com

Drawing from Within: Using Art to Treat Eating Disorders is a fine reference for practitioner who wish to explore the therapeutic use of art with clients with eating disorders. Art therapy has been successfully used as intervention with this client group: chapters cover themes which can embrace programs, offering suggestions for creating and implementing exercises and translating results to therapy. It's the hands-on application of theory to results which makes DRAWING FROM WITHIN so essential for any working with clients with eating disorders and for college-level libraries strong in psychology.

Congenital Disorders Sourcebook
Sandra J. Judd, Editor
Omnigraphics
615 Griswold Street, Detroit, MI 48226
0780809459 $78.00 www.omnigraphics.com

The second, updated edition of Congenital Disorders Sourcebook adds to the 'Health Reference Series', offering consumers a wealth of the latest information and research on the prevention and treatment of birth defects. Chapters explain conditions, survey historic treatment options and new alternative paths being explored, and explain terminology and facts, offering bibliographic references at each chapter's conclusion. Health collections at the college and public library levels will find it a welcome reference addition.

Webster's New Explorer Medical Dictionary
Merriam-Webster
Federal Street Press
25-13 Old Kings Highway North #277, Darien, CT 06820
159695020X $10.98 www.federalstreetpress.com

The price tag of this hardcover reference is so low as to represent an unbelievable bargain especially for over 800 pages of the latest medical definitions which includes a section on signs and symbols and provides general-interest consumers with over 37,000 entries and 2,000 new terms. From brand-name medicines and generics to bacteria genus and anatomical definitions, WEBSTER'S NEW EXPLORER MEDICAL DICTIONARY is packed with reference details perfect for either home or public lending libraries.

Shattered Nerves
Victor D. Chase
Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 North Charles Street, Baltimore MD 21218-4363
0801885140 $27.50 www.press.jhu.edu

Shattered Nerves: How Science is Solving Modern Medicine's Most Perplexing Problem explores a new and blossoming medical frontier: that of neural implants which are enabling vision, hearing and movement in patients who have been blind, deaf and even paralyzed. Personal interviews blend with research to draw important links between the science involved and the lives of those affected, with chapters exploring boundaries between restoration and enhancement and considering both physical and psychological consequences of restoring damaged brain functions. This outstanding survey of brain research frontiers is not only a top pick for health collections, but for many a general-interest lending library.


The Social Issues Shelf

Not for Sale
David Batstone
HarperSanFrancisco
153 Sacramento Street Suite 500, San Francisco CA 94111
0061206717 $14.95 www.harpercollins.com

Slavery ended in the Civil War or did it? Actually there's a thriving modern business in slavery: some 200,000 people live enslaved in the U.S. today that's the hard-hitting message of NOT FOR SALE: THE RETURN OF THE GLOBAL SLAVE TRADE AND HOW WE CAN FIGHT IT. These people have been sold into slave labor and prostitution within this country and others: Batstone traveled to five continents to investigate human trafficking and documents here both victims and slave trade rings.

The Dark Side of the Internet
Paul Bocij
Praeger Publishers
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 05881
027598575X $44.95 www.praeger.com

Internet's promises also lead to new threats as terrorists recruit new members and raise money from internet scams and psychological manipulation. THE DARK SIDE OF THE INTERNET: PROTECTING YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY FROM ONLINE CRIMINALS helps readers recognize the danger signs of internet threats, from spyware to auctions and cyberstalking. Each topic receives in-depth history, overviews of 'how' and discussions of recovery, fraud, and protection measures. A 'must' not just for college-level collections strong in social issues or crime prevention, but for any general-interest library.


The Art Shelf

Marylyn Dintenfass: Paintings
Lily Wei
Hudson Hills Press
3556 Main Street, Manchester, VT 05254
1555952798 $50.00 www.hudsonhills.com

Marylyn Dintenfass is a leading artist known internationally for her paintings and prints. She blends minimalist techniques with abstract imagery and her modular grid-based sculptures have appeared around the world and gained her much recognition. Marylyn Dintenfass: Paintings comes with some seventy full-page color plates and is accompanied by New York curator Lily Wei's essay on painting. Its revealing images are a 'must' for any serious art library seeking representation of acclaimed modern artists, especially those working in minimalist and abstract forms.


The Military Shelf

Building Parent Involvement Through the Arts
Michael Sikes
Corwin Press
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
1412936837 $29.95 www.corwinpress.com

Teachers seeking activities and projects to build classrooms and schools will find Building Parent Involvement Through the Arts: Activities and Projects That Enrich Classrooms and Schools an outstanding survey. It shows how to build a rich cultural arts program parents can participate in, from dance and theater to visual arts, music and folk art. From lesson plans and worksheets to project and activity ideas, Building Parent Involvement Through the Arts is an inspirational hands-on program any elementary-level teacher or teacher's library will relish.

West Point to Pearl Harbor
Dick Spangler
Dorrance Publishing Company, Inc.
701 Smithfield Street, 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
0805972048 $36.00 www.dorrancebookstore.com

WEST POINT OF PEARL HARBOR is military autobiography at its best, telling of a child's memories of the Japanese attack, its effect upon the Spangler family and the survivors of Pearl Harbor, and the lasting lessons from that attack. The private journals of the author's father's life, including letters written between his parents, compliment these eyewitness accounts of surviving soldiers and sailors, making for a vivid presentation liberally peppered with black and white photos throughout.

The Red Arrows Story
Peter R. March
Haynes/Sutton Publishing
Phoenix Mill, Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire, GL5 2BU, UK
0750944463 $12.95 www.suttonpublishing.co.uk www.amazon.com

The Red Arrows have received acclaim as the RAF's most famous aerobatic display team and have an international following, so THE RED ARROWS STORY is a top pick for any serious military aviation collection and many a public library holding. Its slim appearance masks a virtual treasure trove of information, from vintage black and white photos and history to contemporary modern color shots of the Red Arrows in aerial action. A 'must' for any serious military aviation collection!

Osprey Publishing
443 Park Avenue South Suite 806, New York, NY 10016
www.ospreypublishing.com

These new additions to Osprey's in-depth military history titles add to the ancient history 'Fortress' and more modern 'New Vanguard' series titles offering specialized, in-depth insights for military history collections. Steven J. Zaloga's US FIELD ARTILLERY OF WORLD WAR II (1846030617, $15.95) tells of a new generation of field artillery weapons and tactics born in the 1930s and used in World War II. With vintage photos and plenty of technical detail, US FIELD ARTILLERY OF WORLD WAR II provides a fine survey essential to any in-depth coverage of the equipment and strategies of the times. Stephen Turnbull's THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA 221 BC-AD 1644 (1846030048, $16.95) examines the history of the most famous fortification in the world, considering the realities, myths, and military history of how the wall was conceived, built, and patrolled. Chapters survey its defensive measures and provide plenty of vintage illustration, maps and more. Randy E.M. Foster's VIETNAM FIREBASES 1965-73: AMERICAN AND AUSTRALIAN FORCES (1846031036, $16.95) considers artillery fire support bases of the Freeworld forces, surveying their use as troop shelters and command centers, their defense, and their key strategic role during the war. Serious military libraries will want all these histories.

Russia and Postmodern Deterrence
Stephen J. Cimbala and Peter Jacob Rainow
Potomac Books Inc.
22841 Quicksilver Drive, Dulles, VA 20166
1574888145 $24.00 www.potomacbooksinc.com

Adding to the 'Issues in 21st Century Warfare' series is Russia and Postmodern Deterrence, a survey which provides insights on post-communist Russia's social, cultural and political changes and what this means for military options and deterrence. Chapters provide plenty of military and social history on all sides, analyzing interactions between world powers and major events and insecurities affecting their choices. It's a recommended pick for any college-level collection strong in military history or Russian/Soviet social issues.

Greenhill Books
c/o MBI Publishing
380 Jackson Street Suite 200, St. Paul, MN 55101-3885
www.mbipublishing.com

Saul David's THE DEFENSE OF LUCKNOW: T.F. WILSON'S MEMOIR OF THE INDIAN MUTINY, 1857 (185367723X, $29.95) offers insights on a surprising battle which revolved around rifle lubricant. Told by Staff Officer T.F. Wilson, it tells of troops who rose up against their colonial masters and covers the siege of Lucknow, defended by under 2,000 men. Specialty military collections will find it invaluable. Digby Smith's CHARGE! GREAT CAVALRY CHARGES OF THE NAPOLEONIC WARS (1853677221, $24.95) will also appeal to specialty military holdings in focusing on the cavalry charges of the Napoleonic Wars at a time when cavalry ruled the battlefield. Battles could be decided solely on mastering of cavalry: chapters here focus on key battles and consider offensive and defensive strategies within the cavalry routine. Gareth Glover's FROM CORUNNA TO WATERLOO (1853677094, $39.95) provides the letters and journals of two Napoleonic Hussars from 1801-1816 and is also a top pick for any specialty library emphasizing Napoleonic history and battles. Any studying the era in depth will find these writings from participants who wrote home regularly and described both events and their feelings to be most enlightening and essential for capturing the conflicts and sentiments of the times. All will prove top acquisitions for serious, in-depth military reference collections.

Osprey Publishing
443 Park Avenue South Suite 806, New York NY 10016
www.ospreypublishing.com

Larry Hama's FIGHT TO THE DEATH: THE BATTLE OF GUADALCANAL (1846030609, $9.95) isn't your usual military survey of events: it is presented in a graphic novel format, and captures the facts of battle into a presentation filled with fictionalized adventure. More so than most nonfiction standard histories it brings to life the events and drama of Guadalcanal and is especially recommended for students just learning about events who will appreciate the intimacy and events of the graphic novel format. The same is achieved in Steve White's DAY OF INFAMY: ATTACK ON PEARL HARBOR (1846030595, $9.95), which provides a colorful graphic novel focusing on Pearl Harbor events. These histories will also appeal to young adults studying the facts of military history this audience will find a much more accessible format and history, here. Jon Stanaway's 475TH FIGHTER GROUP (1846030439, $22.95) joins others in the 'Aviation Elite Units' series to focus on a superior fighting force, the pet project of an air force chief which made headlines from its entry into combat in August 1943 until the war's end. Vintage black and white photos compliment color plane specs and history in a detailed survey of special interest to military aviation collections. Dr. Stephen Bull's WORLD WAR II JUNGLE WARFARE TACTICS (1846030692, $17.95) describes and illustrates the course of the Allies as they struggled against Japanese strongholds in the pacific. Wartime training documents and front-line memoirs of action spice a survey of these battles and bring history to life. Kenneth W. Estes' US ARMY SOLDIER: BAGHDAD 2003-04 (1846030633, $17.95) charts modern war experience in showing how Baghdad fell under US control and how stabilization attempts were made. It's an important guide for any who would understand the progress of U.S. military efforts in the region. John Sayen's US ARMY INFANTRY DIVISIONS 1944-45 (1846031192, $23.95) reviews the organization, tactics, and military doctrine of the U.S. Infantry from 1944-45, surveying a period when many major changes were made to an army structure which resisted changes. All divisions are outlined and resources and changes surveyed in a specialty title recommended for any in-depth World War II collection. Ken Ford's THE RHINE CROSSINGS: 1945 (1846030269, $18.95) covers the last major battle of World War II in a region which no invading army had crossed since Napoleon's forces. The history of these last battle strongholds comes to life in a survey filled with black and white vintage photos and detailed discussions of crossing tactics and logic. Clayton Donnell's THE FORTS OF THE MEUSE IN WORLD WAR I (1846031141, $16.95) tells of new forts built around the cities of Liege and Namur, known as the 'forts of the Meuse'. It was a huge project which produced over twenty modern forts to defend strategic gaps and transportation arteries: any collection strong in World War 1 strategy needs to understand this project's history and evolution. D. Lindholm and D. Nicolle's THE SCANDINAVIAN BALTIC CRUSADES 1100-1500 (1841769886, $15.95) covers the weaponry, armor and ships of the expeditions of the Scandinavian Catholics against the pagans to the east of the Baltics. This is a specialty coverage indeed and so will be limited to collections strong in early military history but little has been written about this phase of the medieval Crusades and so it's a key pick.

The Deserter's Tale
Joshua Key as told to Lawrence Hill
Atlantic Monthly Press/Grove
841 Broadway, New York NY 10003
0871139545 $23.00 www.groveatlantic.com

When Joshua Key enlisted in the Army it was with a belief in his country and government. It wasn't until he was sent to Iraq that his convictions were shaken: once he realized the war he was fighting wasn't against the terrorists he had expected and once he saw Iraqi civilians being beaten and killed for no provocation, he determined to leave and never return. His decision to desert recounts human rights abuses, issues of responsibility, and a family man and patriot who decided he could no longer serve his country. A hard-hitting autobiography which offers first-hand observations from the unusual perspective of a deserter.


The Environmental Studies Shelf

Canada and Arctic North America: An Environmental History
Graeme Wynn
ABC-CLIO
Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911
1851094377 $85.00 www.abc-clio.com

With all the attention focused on environmental issues and the decline of Arctic conditions, a book like Canada and Arctic North America: An Environmental History proves an essential 'must' for any college-level or specialty collection focusing on Northern Hemisphere environmental conditions, politics, and science. Part of the 'Nature and Human Societies' collection, it offers an environmental history surveying interactions between people and the land in Canada and North America, from the effects of logging and the drive for new energy sources to the effects of modernization. A 'must' for any serious collection offering in-depth environmental histories.


The Computer Shelf

Ajax on Rails
Scott Raymond
O'Reilly
1005 Gravenstein Hwy North, Sebastopol, CA 95472
0596527446 $39.99 www.oreilly.com

Web programmers who want to use Ajax in conjunction with Ruby on Rails for maximum website impact will love AJAX ON RAILS, which shows how to use both to build high-performance web sites. From using RJS to generate JavaScript in Ruby templates to building easy applications and building versatility into an Ajax application, AJAX ON RAILS is a top design pick for any who have the foundations 'down' and who want to move to the next level, making it a fine pick for any serious programming library holding.

Pogue Press
c/o O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
1005 Gravenstein, Hwy N., Sebastopol, CA 95472-2811
$19.99 each, www.missingmanuals.com www.oreilly.com 1-800-998-9938

O'Reilly's new 'For Starters' missing manuals are even more accessible to newcomers than the general 'missing manuals' titles: each offers a fast-paced, easy tutorial with a focus on the basics for using each program right out of the box. These lessons are often learned the hard way by trial and error so 'For Starters' enables readers to get up and running much more efficiently, covering program features using screen examples, templates, and more. Chris Grover's WORD 2007 (0596528302), Matthew McDonald's ACCESS 2007 (05965288337), EXCEL 2007 (0596528329), E.A. Vander Veer's POWERPOINT 2007 (0596528310), and WINDOWS VISTA (0596528264) are all top picks for any computer library catering to beginners.

Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook, 2nd Edition
Randolph Hock
CyberAge Books
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055
0910965765 $24.95 www.infotoday.com

The second updated edition of Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook, a reference to internet searching, is a top pick for any serious researcher who would use the internet for more than casual surfing. It covers not just search engine strategies but directories, portals, reference sources, newsgroups and more, covering all the basics on how to uncover Internet content and assess it for quality purposes. From students to librarians and researchers, EXTREME SEARCHER'S INTERNET HANDBOOK is a top, recommended pick updating all details on conducting professional, comprehensive research on the net.


The Judicial Studies Shelf

Media Law
Duncan Bloy
Sage Publications
2455 Teller, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
1412911206 $29.95 www.sagepublications.com

MEDIA LAW is a course text or a reference any college-level student of media studies and law will find most accessible. It covers all the modern issues in media, from privacy and restrictions to freedom of expression and recent case decisions, offering up summaries and insights designed to supplement existing texts for the course. Any student will find this insider's guide essential to understanding media law concepts and issues.


The Language Studies Shelf

A Man About A Dog
Nigel Rees
Collins UK/Trafalgar Square, Dist.
North Pomfret, VT 05053
0007214537 $29.95 www.trafalgarsquarebooks.com

A MAN ABOUT A DOG: EUPHEMISMS & OTHER EXAMPLES OF VERBAL SQUEAMISHNESS offers up over two thousand examples of euphemisms which rely on word plays and the art of mincing words. An A-Z dictionary of expressions and sayings provides lively and fun reference perfect for trivia fans and any who enjoy surveys of the oddities and ironies of the English language, making it a pick for both high school and college holdings and general-interest public libraries strong on language studies and trivia facts alike.


The American History Shelf

Yellowstone Denied
Kim Allen Scott
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069-8216
0806138009 $32.95 www.ou.edu

Gustavus Cheyney Doane was a frontier soldier and explorer who fought in the Civil War, led the first scientific expedition into Yellowstone, and helped foster the Yellowstone National Park yet fame always eluded him. YELLOWSTONE DENIED: THE LIFE OF GUSTAVUS CHEYNEY DOANE at last celebrates his many achievements and life in a biography that documents American history and considers Doane's behavior, motivations, and times. An inspirational, revealing survey.

D.M. Bennett: The Truth Seeker
Roderick Bradford
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
1591024307 $32.00 www.prometheusbooks.com

Bennett was 19th century America's most controversial publisher and promoter of free speech, founding the 'blasphemous' NY periodical THE TRUTH SEEKER in 1873, which was widely banned. This biographical considers his influences, life, achievements, and the sentiments of his times, offering a far-reaching and insightful glimpse into the ideas and ideals of his times. More than just a biography, it's piece of history not to be missed by any serious college-level American history holding; particularly those specializing in free speech rights and issues.

American Silk
Jacqueline Field, Marjorie Seneehal and Madelyn Shaw
Texas Tech University Press
2903 4th Street, Box 41037, Lubbock, TX 79409-1037
0896725898 $45.00 www.ttup.ttu.edu

Co-authored by a former costume curator, a professor of math and science history, and a costume curator, three top authors create a high-quality scholarly analysis of an industry in AMERICAN SILK 1830-1930: ENTREPRENEURS AND ARTIFACTS. At one time America's silk industry was the largest in the world, so even though it hasn't nearly the stature today, it's an essential piece of American and business history. Here three case studies of silk company production mills span the heyday of the silk industry era and cover the technological and social issues surrounding silk. A key college-level title for any holding serious about American and American business history.

The Incorporation of America
Alan Trachtenberg
Hill & Wang
19 Union Square West, New York NY 10003
0809058286 $16.00 www.fsgbooks.com

THE INCORPORATION OF AMERICA: CULTURE AND SOCIETY IN THE GILDED AGE was first published in 1982 and is re-issued in an updated 25th anniversary paperback edition here for any collection strong in American history, whether it be a high school or college holding or a public lending library. Trachtenberg's analysis of the expansion of capitalist power in the late 19th century and the cultural changes that accompanied it provides historical essays key to understanding both the era and capitalist efforts.

Lincoln's Smile and Other Enigmas
Alan Trachtenberg
Hill & Wang
c/o Farrar, Straus, Giroux
19 Union Square West, New York NY 10003
0809042975 $30.00 www.fsgbooks.com

LINCOLN'S SMILE AND OTHER ENIGMAS is cultural history at its best: it gathers essays from cultural historian Alan Trachtenberg from the last 40 years, considering all kinds of topics relating history to film and photo. While this could also have been featured in our 'Arts' section, it'd be a shame for any collection of American history and culture to miss this, whether it be at the college or public lending library levels. Essays are lively, insightful surveys of the images and history that captured American attention, covering a wide range of topics from architecture to cultural artifacts. This essay collection will be a hit for a wide audience and is not to be missed.


The Cookbook Shelf

Turn Up the Heat with Garvin
Meredith Books
1716 Locust Street, DesMoines, IA 50309-3023
0696233940 $19.95 www.meredithbooks.com

Any library looking for spicy cookbooks will find TURN UP THE HEART WITH GARVIN a top choice for revamping everyday meals and flavors. From Sauteed Salmon and Shrimp with Brie to wine-enhanced Collard Greens with Smoky Bacon, Garvin takes the simplest dishes and updates them to modern times, making it a snap to add elegance to everyday meals. General-interest lending libraries will find it an especially popular pick because recipes look simple and are familiar, with the creative embellishment added to routines and dishes which don't look dauntingly exotic.


The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Abode of Love
Kate Barlow
Goose Lane
330-500 Beaverbrook Court, Fredericton NB Canada E3B 5X4
0864924577 $19.95 www.gooselane.com

Part autobiography/family memoir and part religious inspection, ABODE OF LOVE: GROWING UP IN A MESSIANIC CULT tells of being raised at Agapemone, a cult whose religion embraced religious and sexual scandal that absorbed her family as her distant relatives down to her grandfather took 'spiritual' brides. The author and her sisters own the Arc of the Covenant, a Victorian church in London: her story of being raised in the cult, her family, and the influences of its teachings makes for a gripping story.

Judas and Jesus: Two Faces of a Single Revelation
Jean-Yves Leloup
Inner Traditions
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
1594771669 $14.95 www.innertraditions.com

The story of Judas is moving and striking partially because the specter of a beloved disciple's betrayal is still a challenge to understand. Jean-Yves Leloup is a theologian and founder of several alternative institutes and here reconstructs the Judas story, offering an alternative explanation for his actions. Illustrative dialogue accompanies an explanation that holds that Jesus himself was at the root of the betrayal idea. Spirituality holdings will find it intriguing, classrooms will find it perfect for discussion.

God: The Failed Hypothesis
Victor J. Stenger
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
1591024811 $28.00 www.prometheusbooks.com

GOD: THE FAILED HYPOTHESIS: HOW SCIENCE SHOWS THAT GOD DOES NOT EXIST is a hard-hitting argument which moves beyond the usual philosophical and religious realms directly into the scientific arena. It comes from a physicist who contends that if God exists, some evidence for existence should be verifiable by scientific means and examines all such claims made for God's existence in light of scientific evidence. From evidence of human behavior to intelligent design arguments, GOD: THE FAILED HYPOTHESIS is an excellent involving survey no college-level collection strong on either spiritual analysis or philosophy should be without.

Religion in Latin America
Lee M. Penyak & Walter J. Petry, Editors
Orbis Books
Box 302, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0302
1570756791 $40.00 www.maryknoll.org

RELIGION IN LATIN AMERICA: A DOCUMENTARY HISTORY is a perfect pick for college-level religious collections seeking a comprehensive survey of the region's religious evolution: it pairs a rich understanding of Catholic influences and origins in Latin America with material on other religions, offering chapters filled with footnoted research and source material from archbishops, researchers, and scholars. From local observances of and reactions to religious holidays to early religious icons' experiences, RELIGION IN LATIN AMERICA is an involving study no spiritual history collection should be without.


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Yoga for Magick
Nancy Wasserman
Red Wheel Weiser
65 Parker Street Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
1578633788 $12.95 www.redwheelweiser.com

Yoga offer many meanings today, from exercise and health applications to spirituality: New Age practitioners and libraries will learn how to integrate these different meanings with YOGA FOR MAGICK: BUILD PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STRENGTH FOR YOUR PRACTICE. It relates Wiccan practices to yoga, drawing important connections and revealing how rituals of yoga and enhance magickal directions.

The Origins of Psychic Phenomena
Stan Gooch
Inner Traditions
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
1594771642 $16.95 www.innertraditions.com

From alien abduction to possessions and spontaneous combustion, THE ORIGINS OF PSYCHIC PHENOMENA explores the unconscious mind's ability to externalize itself, processing real-world experiences and producing in turn often frightening manifestations. Chapters consider the evolution of the brain and concurrent psychic activities and consider the role of consciousness in supernatural phenomena, making this a fine pick for any collection strong in either new age or psychology.


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

10 Steps to Creating Memorable Characters
Sue Viders, et.al.
Watson-Guptill Publications
770 Broadway, New York NY 10003
1580650686 $17.95 www.watsonguptill.com

Writers serious about learning how to create and develop memorable characters will relish 10 Steps to Creating Memorable Characters: A Writer's Workbook. It packs in forms, checklists, and exercises to help both screen and fiction writers develop personalities, teaching the basics of building multi-layered protagonists and showing the foundation keys to possible success. It's a 'must' for any public library lending collection strong in writer's guides, as well as for many a high school or college-level collection catering to student creative writers.


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Whalewatcher
Trevor Day
Firefly Books Ltd.
Box 1338, Ellicott Station, Buffalo NY 14205
155407200X $19.95 www.fireflybooks.com

Dramatic color action photos blend an expert's advice on whale natural history with a travel observer's tips on where to find and how to identify the species. From maps to identification keys, WHALEWATCHER is packed with the latest on not only whales but dolphins and related species, with plenty of color photos throughout: perfect for travel and science reference collections alike!

Horse Health Care & First Aid
Robin Catalang & Lee Delaney, DVM
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCa Way, North Adams, MA 02147
1580176399 $24.95 www.storey.com

When a horse is sick or injured it's essential to have quick information close at hand, which is why Horse Health Care & First Aid stands above other 'horse care guides'. It's got a nail hole at the top of each two-page spread to hang on a barn wall, offers a hands-free visual reference, and provides horse owners with both routine and critical care facts in an at-a-glance format. A 'must' for any horse owner.


The Gardening Shelf

Gardening on a Shoestring
Rob Proctor
Johnson Books
3005 Center Green Drive #220, Boulder, CO 80301
1555663761 $20.00 www.johnsonbooks.com

Master gardening Rob Proctor offers up a regional gardening guide with a difference: a fun focus on the art of gardening which includes surprising, lively language and observations to fit in any budget: "Some control freaks can't stand the idea of plants deciding for themselves where they want to grow." Add color photos throughout, examples of seasonal management and garden 'artistry', and more and you have a guide which will attract any gardener on a budget.


The Interior Design Shelf

Let's Get Comfortable
Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams With Mindy Drucker
Meredith Books
1716 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309-3023
0696234300 $34.95 www.meredithbooks.com

The creators of 'relaxed style' offer up a guide to home furnishings which focuses on how to create a comfortable home where comfort is valued over image in Let's Get Comfortable: How to Furnish and Decorate a Welcoming Home, a powerful visual survey of how furniture, textures, styles and floor plans blend to create comfort. From adjusting color in the bathroom for optimum morning acceptance and relaxation to de-cluttering a small space, this is an exceptional guide for any who want to create style and comfort.

New Chairs
Mel Byars
Chronicle Books
85 Second Street, San Francisco CA 94105
0811853640 $24.99 www.chroniclebooks.com

NEW CHAIRS: INNOVATIONS IN DESIGN, TECHNOLOGY AND MATERIALS is for any interior design library: it gathers over sixty of the most intriguing recent chairs created by designers around the world, pairing color photos with insights on new concepts, materials, and interpretations of structure, form and function. From inflatable and illuminated to hard, stacking chairs, NEW CHAIRS covers a range of options and provides interior designs with plenty of insights: perfect for contemporary interior design holdings!


The Audiobook Shelf

Clipper Audio
270 Skipjack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
www.recordedbooks.com

Clipper Audio's line of British-based mysteries and novels provides fine entertaining surveys for a wide audience and its durable packaging and unabridged presentations lends particularly well to library lending rigors. Charles Cumming's THE SPANISH GAME (1846325110, $89.75) tells of one Alec Milius, who has been abandoned by M16 after a disastrous operation with the CIA and has rebuilt a life in Madrid. But his eye for espionage draws him back into spy work and he's now working alone and entering a dangerous secret underworld. Gordon Griffin provides a gripping narration. His voice also enhances and adds tension and drama to THE LAST SECRET OF THE TEMPLE (184632503X, $109.75), a gripping story of a murder at an archaeological site by the Nile. Inspector Yusuf Khalifa's investigation reveals some surprising ties between the latest death and an earlier murder, and his re-opening of old wounds will change a world. Elizabeth Noble's ALPHABET WEEKENDS: LOVE LESSONS FROM A-Z (1843624109, $79.95) pairs Phoebe James' warm narrative style with a fine A-Z survey of love between families, boyfriends, and more. Natalie is facing the breakup of her romance just before Christmas as others also face ending and beginning new relationships in this hard-hitting drama of changes and romance. Adele Geras' MADE IN HEAVEN (1846326455, $109.75) tells of wedding plans and a meeting of two very different families before the event. Add in British class struggles and the warm voice of Maggie Mash, who perfectly captures the conflicts and interpersonal relationships, and you have a winning listen steeped in British social traditions. All are good lending picks, particularly for audio collections where listeners favor British narrators and themes.

Tantor Media, Inc.
114 Mill Rock Road East, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
www.tantor.com 1-877-782-6867

If you only listen to one audio or have room for limited audio nonfiction in a given library collection, Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin's THREE CUPS OF TEA (1400102510, $39.99) is perhaps the most important item of choice: it holds the key to real anti-terrorist activity a real-world key tracing the author's decades-long odyssey to build schools in a region which encouraged the Taliban. Patrick Lawlor's award-winning voice lends drama and life to the powerful account. Edwin Black's INTERNAL COMBUSTION: HOW CORPORATIONS AND GOVERNMENTS ADDICTED THE WORLD TO OIL AND DERAILED THE ALTERNATIVES (140010324X, $37.99) receives the award-winning voice of APA Audie winner Stephen Hoye as it tells of corruption and manipulation which led the U.S. to an oil addiction which was never necessary. Corporate and governmental archives are the source for this informational history that traces the present reliance on oil to corporate greed: it's an even more powerful story in audio format! Paul Teutul Sr., Paul Teutul and Michael Teutul work with Keith and Kent Zimmerman in ORANGE COUNTY CHOPPERS (1400103266, $34.99), follows a dysfunctional family's family endeavors of producing artistic and striking 'choppers' in their shop, and receives the familiar and famous voice of Todd McLaren as it examines the Teutul's life story. You needn't have familiarity with the TV show to appreciate this autobiography of family members in conflict; but what does help is an affection and appreciation for 'chopper' bikes and family interactions, which spices the appealing story of a 'wild family' which comes together to produce outstanding bikes. The audio production brings their tale to life.


The Library DVD Shelf

Anchor Bay Entertainment
1669 Shulz Drive, Troy, MI 46064
www.anchorbayentertainment.com

CRUNCH: BIKINI BODY is for any who want flat abs, lean thighs and a firm bikini butt. Here are three 10-minute workouts perfect for quick effort: they are fun and include some dance routines but blend cardio and strength training to pack in the most in the least amount of time. CRUNCH: BIKINI BODY is a top pick for beginners especially. Stella Sandoval's DANCE OFF THE INCHES: SIZZLING SALSA is anything but routine: it comes from a dance leader and her friends who blend different Latin dance sequences with routines designed to burn calories. The idea is to use ten easy steps to learn movements quickly, and spiced with lively beats and easy routines, exercise becomes a snap. Both these videos are perfect for dance-oriented exercisers with little experience in either.

Core Rhythms Dance Exercise Program: Meringue Mania
Jaana Kunitz & Julia Powers
DanceSport Videos
7850 Ruffner Ave Dept 4000, Van Nuys, CA 91406
$19.95 www.amazon.com

The 'core rhythms' program blends Latin Dance exercise with routines which are based on three simple movements designed to reap the benefits of years of training without all the hard work. Learn how to Latin Dance and how to exercise more effectively in a dvd which requires little more than an affection for the music to prove successful. Any dance or exercise-oriented library will find it an excellent pick which moves beyond the more typical generic 'Latin' and 'salsa' dance routines to teach meringue.

Tai Chi Chih on the Rocks
Victoria Mogliner, C.A.
Alpha Omega Media
c/o East West Productions
P.O. Box 3747, Sedona, AZ 86340
0967158125 $29.95 www.spirit-eagle.com/eastwest.html

This tai chi chih program was filmed in Sedona and blends creative visualization with movements in a form of chi gong which are easy to learn and can be practiced in as little as 10-15 minutes per day. In focusing on the use of tai chi as a mental relaxation and health improvement routine, TAI CHI CHIH ON THE ROCKS advocates optimal results in a small period of time and is thus a perfect pick for the busy, overworked DVD viewer who wants quick results without a complex program.


The Literary Shelf

Man and Camel
Mark Strand
Alfred A. Knopf
c/o Random House
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
0307262960 $24.00 www.aaknopf.com

This is the eleventh poetry collection by Mark Strand and provides light masterpieces of spiritual meditations and social conditions. Poems are all free verse and vary immensely in theme and approach but all are hard-hitting comments: "Something was wrong/screams could be heard/in the morning dark/it was cold." Mark Strand's reflections always make you think: MAN AND CAMEL is no exception.


The Science Shelf

Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries
Neil DeGrasse Tyson
W.W. Norton
500 5th Avenue, New York NY 10110
0393062244 $24.95 www.wwnorton.com

These essays on astronomy by a leading astrophysicist will find a way into not only science collections but general-interest readers who have enjoyed the writings in Natural History Magazine which created the author's 'Universe' monthly column. From astral life and biology to the movie industry's struggles to get the night skies right, Tyson blends hard physics with a lively writing style and provides a fun, readable approach for a potentially confusing topic. Public libraries should find it a popular pick.

Luminous Fish: Tales of Science and Love
Lynn Margulis
Chelsea Green Publishing Co
P.O. Box 428, White River Junction, CT 05001
1933392339 $21.95 www.chelseagreen.com

Evolutionist and author Lynn Margulis examines the scientific personalities she's known in the course of her profession, considers the love lives of three generations of scientists, and provide stories which would be considered scientific biographies were it not for their added ability to shed insights on interactions between scientific colleagues. The blend of biography and science from an insider holds elements of both and thus provides both real and fictionalized observations while LUMINOUS FISH may prove a challenge to categorize, it will prove a lively and different pick many a public library holding will wish to acquire.


The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2007
Kyle Husfloen, Editor
Krause Publications
700 E. State Street, Iola WI 54990-0001
0896893324 $19.99 www.fwpubs.com

The weighty yet portable Antique Trader guide Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2007 may not fit in a jacket pocket but it will easily be a take-along to any garage sale or flea market for avid collectors. Public libraries strong in collectibles price guides and private collectors alike will find this annual reference follows the market, offering up the latest prices and some 5,000 new color photos and upgrades to this latest edition.

Complete Price Guide to Watches
Tinderbox Press
1150 Hungryneck Blvd, Suite C-310, Mt. Pleasant SC 29464
1574325531 $29.95 www.tinderboxpress.com

There have been thousands of price changes in the world of watches, which makes it essential for any serious collector or collector's library to keep updated versions of COMPLETE PRICE GUIDE TO WATCHES on hand. Not for the casual collector, this 'bible' packs in some 1,000 pages of values and detail, offering up identification keys, tips on comparing movements and styles, and much more. The black and white photos of watches are just large enough to make identification easier.


James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937
e-mail: mbr@execpc.com
e-mail: mwbookrevw@aol.com
http://www.midwestbookreview.com


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