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The Bookwatch

Volume 12, Number 4 April 2017 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Sports Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Economic Studies Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Education Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Writing/Publishing Shelf Automotive Shelf
Psychology Shelf Social Issues Shelf Beer/Wine/Spirits Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Walking to Listen
Andrew Forsthoefel
Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781632867001, $28.00,

Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time is an autobiographical travel guide that tells of how twenty-three-year-old author Andrew Forsthoefel left his Pennsylvania home with a backpack, audio recorder, and a sign that read 'Walking to Listen'. His uncertainty about what he wanted to do with his life led to this pilgrimage and a projected walk across the country collecting everyday peoples' stories. What evolved was a journey that would challenge him physically and psychologically, and which led to thousands of shared stories that led to wider questions about unity and prosperity in America. This book offers no easy answers but it does offer important insights on the value of listening and the lessons to be learned from such efforts. Highly recommended for general-interest readers, armchair travelers, psychologists, social science students, and any would receive a combination of travelogue and enlightenment.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Kill Before Dying
Travis S. Taylor
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781476782072, $25.00,

Kill Before Dying is part of the Tau Ceti Agenda series, and represents military sci-fi at its best. General Alexander Moore has saved the human race, but his work is not done yet. The fight continues, the alien Chiata are far from conquered, and Moore receives a tip from another alien that a strange discovery could help humanity win its ongoing struggle. So he sets out to explore - and comes up against a hostile planet that challenges his own daughter to survive against impossible odds. Action is swift and driven by a combination of military confrontation, strategy, and personal struggles to survive against all odds in this vivid story, recommended for military sci-fi enthusiasts.

The God Wave
Patrick Hemstreet
Harper Voyageur
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062419521, $15.99,

The God Wave blends fiction, spirituality and science in a story of speculative science fiction that considers the results of scientists who uncover the key to harnessing the dormant brain power occupying ninety percent of the human brain. This leads to abilities that are godlike in nature, and which hold not only implications for human evolution, but for discerning the very nature of God. As corporate and political interests become involved in this revolutionary discovery, a host of special challenges emerges that holds many implications for all of society. Sci-fi readers who enjoy a powerful inspection of science and faith will find this a revealing, compelling story.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Cottage-Style Charm
Natalie Bird
That Patchwork Place
c/o Martingale & Company
19021 - 120th Avenue NE, Suite 102, Bothell, WA 98011
9781604688290, $24.99,

Cottage-Style Charm: Simply Sweet Designs to Quilt and Embroider offers home decor designs and plenty of options and instructions for customizing them, and shows how embroidery can enhance the charm of home decor. No prior embroidery or sewing knowledge is presumed, here: tips for beginners include how to prepare the templates, assembly and applique directions, basic cutting, piecing and finishing directions, and more. Between the large-size color photos and easy step-by-step directions, there's not much left to guesswork.

That Patchwork Place
c/o Martingale & Company
19021 - 120th Avenue NE, Suite 102, Bothell, WA 98011

Martingale's The Big Book of Table Toppers (9781604688481, $27.99) offers nearly sixty patterns for various table topper projects that range from scrappy quilt productions to geometric designs that blend with a home theme, and provides both general and holiday table toppers that are various sizes and lengths and different approaches. Each project includes materials lists, cutting instructions, and assembly directions, and includes a full-page color photo and smaller photos and illustrations, and each pairs step-by-step directions with a survey of how to effectively piece together the project. For ideas that include table runners but expand into pillows and other home decor, Terry Atkinson's Simple, Fun & Quickly Done: 18 Easy-to-Sew Table Runners, Bags, Pillows and More (9781604688344, $24.99) gathers projects that are easy to reproduce and comes from a seamstress and designer who offers new ideas for joining creative stitching to embellish projects. Hot pads, napkin holders, and other home pieces accompany projects for handbags and accessories that can all be made as a weekend project. Materials, finished sizes, options and patterns include measurements and step-by-step directions throughout, with color photos adding both detail and embellishment. These are project guides packed with ideas that needleworkers and quilters will appreciate.

The Sports Shelf

Strength Training, second edition
Lee E. Brown, Editor
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076
9781492522089, $24.95,

The second updated edition of Strength Training is an authoritative (branded by the National Strength and Conditioning Association) instructional guide to the exercises, equipment, nutritional approaches and routines involved in strength training muscle development, and is written by a team of experts chosen by the NSCA. Chapters consider the different approaches to gaining the rest results in strength training, and go beyond exercise descriptions to tell how to prevent injuries, strengthen the entire body, and improve overall performance through techniques developed by these experts. Charts, references and color photos throughout lend to an excellent survey highly recommended for any sports reference collection in general and for strength trainers in particular.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

High Noon
Glenn Frankel
Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781620409480, $28.00,

High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic is as much a social history as it is a film history, and is thus recommended for audiences with an interest in either topic. It uses the making of the Western movie High Noon and the political milieu under which it was created as a foundation for examining the effects of the Hollywood blacklist. As screenwriter Foreman was making the film, he was forced to t4stify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities about his involvement in the Communist Party. When he refused information, he was fired from the production by his friend, Stanley Kramer. Gary Cooper, John Wayne, and other actors became involved on both sides of the question, and this survey uses newly available archival materials and interviews to document the swirl of controversy and angst that surrounded everyone involved. It holds many powerful messages for our times that should find renewed interest among many, from fans of Western film history to readers of social issues.

The Fiction Shelf

Stephen Graham Jones
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062412704, $14.99,

Mongrels tells of a young man who, along with his family, lives in poverty on the 'wrong side of the tracks'. As 'mongrels' or those of mixed blood, they seem to belong nowhere. For ten years he and his family have kept on the move and ahead of legal pursuit; but something is coming closer every day - and the boy who lives with his aunt and uncle faces a decision that could change all of their lives. A powerful story, Mongrels offers much food for thought as it traverses the underbelly of American society.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Pekoe Most Poison
Laura Childs
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780425291680, $26.00,

Pekoe Most Poison includes recipes and tea time serving ideas as it adds to Laura Childs' Tea Shop Mystery series, telling of a tea shop owner who is invited to an unusual "rat tea". Intrigued by this idea - which involves servers dressed in rodent costumes - Theo learns some unexpected tea time history but becomes involved in a dire state of affairs when a fire begins at one of the tables as a man drops dead. Has his tea been poisoned - and is there something else going on at this particular tea event? Theo finds herself pursuing far more than teatime gossip and recipes in this fast-paced mystery, recommended for mystery enthusiasts who like food-oriented stories in general and the prior Tea Shop Mysteries in particular.

The Economic Studies Shelf

Buddhist Economics
Clair Brown, PhD
Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781632863669, $23.00,

Buddhist Economics: An Enlightened Approach to the Dismal Science comes from an economist at UC Berkeley who also is a practicing Buddhist. The synthesis of her interests forms the foundation for quite a different approach to economics than the usual dry financial style - and is, therefore, reviewed here, in the 'Spirituality Shelf' section, and recommended for its unusual combination of philosophy, spirituality, and economic thinking. 'Buddhist economics' advocates a mindful sense of responsibility and connections to daily life and encourages different forms of financial and social interaction. Chapters show how to use economics to make life more meaningful and, conversely, how to inject meaning into economic savvy. The result hold wide-ranging implications for financial and spiritual readers alike.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Innocent Heroes
Sigmund Brouwer
Tundra Books
350 Front Street West, Suite 1400, Toronto, ON, Canada M5V 3B6
9781101918463, $16.99,

Innocent Heroes: Stories of Animals in the First World War celebrates the dogs of the era who supported military efforts and is published on the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge - but readers of all ages shouldn't expect a nonfiction history. This collection combines fiction and nonfiction as it chronicles both real events and retells stories of bonds between soldiers and their animals, with a special focus on the battle of Vimy Ridge and its significance. Though this book was devised with young adults in mind, plenty an adult reader with affection for either World War I history or animals in the military will find it an absorbing, revealing collection.

Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
9781426217739, $14.95,

Loyal: 38 Inspiring Tales of Bravery, Heroism, and the Devotion of Dogs comes from a journalist and dog enthusiast who pairs photos with stories of 'hero dogs' who have worked in the military, as disaster rescuers, and more. Each story is designed to show how a dog changes one's life, and creates a profile of the animal's history, its challenges, and its amazing effects upon people from all walks of life. From a dog able to detect cancer in firemen to a shepherd who was a faithful canine partner on a small-town police force, these are lovely, inspiring stories especially recommended for prior fans of the canine.

The Self-Help Shelf

Fierce Optimism
Leeza Gibbons
Dey Street
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062432537, $15.99,

Fierce Optimism: Seven Secrets for Playing Nice and Winning Big comes from a former TV host of Entertainment Tonight who outlines her basic tenants for a life well lived: ones which have successfully shaped her career and built a strong platform of conviction and high performance. Fierce Optimism is about how to navigate a life filled with obstacles to such success, and tells how to handle business, personal, and political challenges. These assume the form of stories of situations she's personally dealt with, and provide many powerful, personal lessons about resilience in the face of disappointment and confrontation. Any who would develop a positive perspective in life needs this blend of lesson plan and autobiography.

The Education Shelf

Barron's AP Biology, sixth edition
Deborah T. Goldberg, M.S.
250 Wireless Boulevard, Hauppauge, NY 11788
9781438008684, $18.99,

The sixth updated edition of Barron's AP Biology provides the latest review and practice tests for this exam and pairs these with online support, discussions designed to increase student understanding of basic AP biology ideas, and more. Hundreds of illustrations accompany a powerful study guide that includes definitions, theories, short and long free-response questions, and exercises designed to test knowledge intrinsic to the AP exam.

Becoming a Literacy Leader, second edition
Jennifer Allen
Stenhouse Publishers
480 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781625310965, $33.33,

The second updated edition of Becoming a Literacy Leader: Supporting Learning and Change provides a revised new edition of her basic work, which detailed the author's move to a new school and job as a literacy specialist which required she put the most basic of teaching environments into place. This revision ten years later reflects new developments in the field of literacy teaching and new ideas she has designed as her profession evolved, and shares with other teachers the basics of both professional development and the process of building a student literacy framework. Chapters include discussion questions of literacy meetings, consider the key components of such processes as literacy intervention rooms, and assess progress and programs with a two-year track record and how data indicates the reading and writing development process. The result goes far beyond the first edition, making this a winner for aspiring literacy teachers who want field-tested assessments of what works and the challenges involved in shaping effective literacy programs.

The Formative 5
Francis (Skip) Fennell, Beth McCord Kobett, Jonathan A. Wray
Corwin Press, Inc.
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218
9781506337500, $30.95,

K-8 teachers of math will find The Formative 5: Everyday Assessment Techniques for Every Math Classroom offers a range of tasks and assessment techniques that teachers can apply to their daily classroom strategies, and provide insights on how math teachers can use the most effective approaches to make the most out of integrated standards and teaching methods. The book includes templates, a companion website supporting materials with downloadable tools, and a discussion that is based on using formative assessment techniques to build and teach math. The result is a solid collection of teaching methods that will appeal to K-8 instructors.

The Cookbook Shelf

Plenish: Fuel Your Ambition
Kara M. Rosen
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781784721411, $16.99,

Plenish: Fuel Your Ambition details plant-based juices and meals and comes from the UK organic, cold-pressed juice brand Plenish, which advocates cleansing programs using these ingredients. Some 40 recipes for juice and vegetable-based dishes promote weight loss and brain-healthy foods and are designed to make the most of high-energy nutrients. Organic ingredients are encouraged, discussions of nutrition include fiber and well-balanced diets, and the recipes include fare for festive occasions and entertainment as well as everyday enjoyment.

Pierre Marcolini
Rizzoli International
300 Park Avenue South, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010
9780847859283, $40.00,

Chocolat From the Cocoa Bean to the Chocolate Bar is edited by Chae Rin Vincent and packed with color photos by Marie Pierre Morel, and comes from Belgium's famous chocolatier. His confections have received world acclaim, but readers who would duplicate some of his recipes will find this techniques and recipes thoroughly covered in a cookbook packed with 170 of his creations that come with trade secrets for choosing, working with, and making exceptional desserts from chocolate. Marcolini's unique philosophy and his recipes for sauces, candies, cakes, and even savory dishes makes the most of different kinds of chocolate, but requires a cook dedicated to the idea of meticulous choosing of ingredients and their handling. From a review of ten cocoa terroirs around the world to winning, unique chocolate dishes, cooks with more than a casual interest in baking and chocolate will find this an exceptional production.

The Audiobook Shelf

Hachette Audio
c/o Hachette Book Group
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104

Carl Weber's Man on the Run (9781478909583, $30.00) is read by Kevin Free, Jo Jackson, Ron Butler and Marcus Brown and tells of Jay, who has spent a long time paying for a crime he didn't commit - some ten years in prison. He's been patiently waiting for his innocence to come to light, but when his family is threatened, it will require the help of three good friends who run up against murder and more. This powerful story turns friendships and motives upside down and makes for a vividly narrated, compelling audio listen. Kamal Ravikant's Rebirth: A Fable of Love, Forgiveness, and Following Your Heart (9781478940616, $30.00) is read by David Pittu and includes a foreword read by the author as it discusses a deathbed promise, a journey, and a pilgrimage that challenges one Amit to move beyond his home and comfort zone. This novel's spiritual and philosophical reflections are based on the author's experience of walking the Camino de Santiago and offers an evocative, reflective story of transformation and spirituality.

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Video Game Writing from Macro to Micro, second edition
Maurice Suckerling and Marek Walton
Mercury Learning
PO Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172-0605
9781683920298, $44.95,

The second updated edition of Video Game Writing from Macro to Micro reviews the history of game writing from the 1960s to modern times and consider not only the evolution of specific games and styles, but the changes involved in programming them. Students involved in writing such games will find a solid foundation that covers everything from collaborative processes and the basics of design, plot, and editing to contracts, screenplay terminology, text types and game-oriented approaches, and more. From terminology to macro and micro concerns, this wide-ranging blend of history and how-to applications is especially recommended for beginners new to the gaming environment who want a quick understanding of options and challenges specific to the video game writer's environment.

The Automotive Shelf

CarTech Inc.
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025

Two books by Pat Ganahl about hot rod history are companion volumes that together provide an in-depth survey of hot rodding to delight prior enthusiasts of the subject, but their greatest achievement lies not just in compiling a history, but in packing vintage black and white and contemporary color photos into their productions. Hot Rod Gallery: A Nostalgic Look at Hot Rodding's Golden Years: 1930-1960 (9781613252826, $34.95) selects images from a large collection of vintage photos the author has been gathering for decades, using them to tell the story of hot rodding's early years, its evolution, and how the custom car movement began and evolved from the 1920s through the 1950s. Even avid fans may not have seen many of these photos, making this book a 'must' for seasoned enthusiasts and newcomers alike. The companion Hot Rod Gallery II: More Great Photos and Stories from Hot Rodding's Golden Years (9781613252819, $39.95) continues the format and style of the first book but follows through with more images from the author's extensive personal collection. After the choice images from the first book, it's hard to realize that there would be even more rare images, but only some 350 were chosen for the first book from some 30-40K images in the archive, which the author has collected for over forty years. Given the extent of this collection, it should be no surprise that Hot Rod Gallery II is just as, if not more, compelling than the first book - and that the possibility exists for even more books.

The Psychology Shelf

Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Two excellent new titles provide new insights into autism and dementia and are highly recommended acquisitions for health and psychology reference collections. Luke Beardon, PhD and Dean Worton edit Love, Partnership, or Singleton on the Autism Spectrum (9781785922060, $18.95), a collection of real-world stories about love, marriage, and being single that comes from nearly thirty authors on the autism spectrum. They present their own experiences and discuss ways autism affects relationships and romance, and tackles many different areas of concern and insights in a presentation that is especially recommended for young adults and adults with autism and the parents who are raising them. Dr. Shibley Rahman's Enhancing Health and Wellbeing in Dementia: A Person-Centered Integrated Care Approach (9781785920370, $34.95) comes from a dementia researcher who examines the types of integrated care requirements that lend to living with dementia, and goes beyond family support systems to consider technologies, coordinating services, and even spiritual concerns and dying well. Chapters discuss various kinds of therapy, physical approaches including massage, and issues of independence as options and lifestyles become more limited. The result is a powerful survey recommended not just for health collections and professionals, but for families dealing with dementia in a loved one.

The Social Issues Shelf

How Soon is Now?
Daniel Pinchbeck
Watkins Publishing
Angel Business Club
9781780289724, $24.95,

How Soon is Now? From Personal Initiation to Global Transformation comes from a radical philosopher who considers the state of humanity today, and its future, and blends research in numerous disciplines to consider the spiritual, political, and social changes on the horizon and why change is needed on a global scale. From the technology that has allowed the human race to make leaping transitions to issues of industrial development, climate change, philosophical and ethical revolutions in morals and values, and more, Daniel Pinchbeck analyzes the roots of transformation, advocates a more ecological awareness about the interconnectedness of the planet and its inhabitants, and proposes a number of changes that are sweeping in nature yet logical and necessary in content. Any reader interested in the processes and possibilities of global transformation must consider the arguments and approaches in this book.

The Beer/Wine/Spirits Shelf

Rum: The Manual
Dave Broom
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781845339623, $19.99,

Rum: The Manual joins other books on the topic of rum, offering a third volume in Dave Broom's Manual series and offering an in-depth examination of the history and styles of rum and how to drink it. The idea is not to provide recipes, but insights into how various kinds of rum may be best appreciated. Chapters include tasting notes for over 100 different rums, considers how rum can best be incorporated into different drinks, and lends many insights into its various flavors and applications. Any fan of rum - especially newcomers who would gain a special appreciation for its history and applications - will find this a warm, lively consideration.

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

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