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The Bookwatch

Volume 2, Number 12 December 2007 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Humor Shelf Political Science Shelf
Business Shelf World History Shelf American History Shelf
Education Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf Science Shelf
Military Shelf Civil War Shelf Music Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf Art Shelf
Social Issues Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Computer Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Fiction Shelf Environmental Studies Shelf Language Studies Shelf
Hobby Shelf Photography Shelf Travel Shelf
Interior Design Shelf Needlecraft Shelf Literary Studies Shelf
Judaic Studies Shelf Writing/Publishing Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Lighthouses: A Pop-Up Gallery of America's Most Beloved Beacons
Linda Costello & Bruce Foster, text by Al Mitchell
Thunder Bay Press
5880 Oberlin Drive, San Diego, CA 92121-4794

Any fan of lighthouses who wants a keepsake edition to admire which is far more 3-D than your typical lighthouse book needs Lighthouses: A Pop-Up Gallery of America's Most Beloved Beacons. It represents paper art at its finest and is a top pick for both pop-up and lighthouse fans, presenting maritime landmarks in thee-dimensional forms and accompanying these with color photos and discussions of each structure. It's a gorgeous presentation that will make a lovely gift for any lighthouse enthusiast.

The Humor Shelf

Spy Vs. Spy 2: The Joke and Dagger Files
David Shayne
Watson-Guptill Publications
770 Broadway, New York NY 10003
0823050351, $25.95

Watson-Guptill Publications and MAD Magazine presented the first SPY VS. SPY: THE COMPETE CASEBOOK to much acclaim, and fans of the first will want its sequel, SPY VS. SPY 2. It packs in observations from a political cartoonist and includes over 200 color and black and whit cartoons, including the original Sunday newspaper comic strip written by Edwing and Manak – the complete run of which appears here for the first time under one cover. It's a ‘must' for any Spy Vs. Spy fan.

The Political Science Shelf

The Big Con
Jonathan Chait
Houghton Mifflin
215 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10003
0618685405, $25.00

THE BIG CON: THE TRUE STORY OF HOW WASHINGTON GOT HOODWINKED AND HIJACKED BY CRACKPOT ECONOMICS is a ‘must' for any collection strong in American politics or issues: it shows how over the past 3 decades a fringe group of economic extremists obsessed with radical ideas to foster their own business interests have used the political system and the media to gain popular and even expert support for once unthinkable policies. It's a collection of eye-opening insights not to be missed by any collection strong in American social history and politics, whether it be at the college level or a general-interest public lending library.

The Business Shelf

Careers in Technical Theater
Mike Lawler
Allworth Press
10 East 23rd Street, Suite 510, New York NY 10010
1581154852, $19.95

Careers in Technical Theater could have been a feature in our Arts section, but is reviewed here for its overview of the American professional theatre's job market opportunities – a rich listing of opportunities for any who would work in the theatre. It surveys everything from how to be a Broadway theatre technician to becoming a sound designer, makeup artist, company manager or consultant, surveying job duties, how to locate on-the-job training as an intern to break into the industry, and how to narrow a career focus to specialize in a desirable area. As such this is a top pick for any collection strong in career guides, whether it be a public lending library or a performing arts collection.

Atlantic Publishing Group Inc.
1405 SW 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471

Three new real estate handbooks are excellent picks for any library catering to beginning investors, especially general-interest public lending libraries. Steven D. Fisher's COMPLETE GUIDE TO REAL ESTATE OPTIONS: WHAT SMART INVESTORS NEED TO KNOW – EXPLAINED SIMPLY (9781401360357, $24.95) requires little time, money or effort. This discusses the art of managing the real estate option – which does not involve purchasing, or the time-consuming management duties that accompany home ownership. Learn how to assemble a fine real estate portfolio without buying the property in a survey that covers all the basics of real estate option opportunities. Charlie Rose's INSPECT BEFORE YOU BUY: INSIDER SECRETS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT HOME INSPECTION (9781601380319, $29.95) provides details on home necessities and how to inspect all the basics systems – and how to get the most from a home inspection. Here are all the tips homeowners need to have in hand to understand how the home inspection process works: what it covers, what it doesn't, how it fails and how to foolproof an inspection. An invaluable guide for any about to buy. Michelle Blain's YOUR REAL ESTATE CLOSING EXPLAINED SIMPLY (9781601380326, $24.95) covers all the financial and legal concerns surrounding the closing process, the last leg of a home buying effort. Closing costs, legal processes, and options are covered through a series of checklists and charts plus online references, all of which will make the process easier, especially for beginners. General-interest lending libraries need these handbooks.

India Arriving
Rafiq Dossani
1601 Broadway, New York NY 10019-7420
0814474241, $24.00

INDIA ARRIVING: HOW THIS ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE IS REDEFINING GLOBAL BUSINESS is a powerful ‘must' acquisition for any college-level library strong in global business trends. It provides an insider's view, coming form an expert in Indian affairs who helped introduce some of the most liberal reforms to the Indian government, and provides insights into the country's business climate, economic evolution, and impact upon world markets and processes. No serious global business collection should be without this.

Poker Strategies for a Winning Edge in Business
David Apostolico
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781591025528, $18.95

Business students and entrepreneurs should read this fine survey drawing important connections between strategies and objectives of the game and its message for business success. Experienced poker player and tournament champion David Apostolico discusses mergers, flexible playing rules, and skills in managing finances, marketing or developing strategy, presenting all in a winning guide any poker player business person will readily appreciate.

Do It Wrong Quickly
Mike Moran
IBM Press
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
0132255960, $24.99 1-800-428-5331

DO IT WRONG QUICKLY: HOW THE WEB CHANGES THE OLD MARKETING RULES provides a step-by-step program for transitioning from plan to execution in a non-stop cycle of changes, using the author's experience building to show how businesses of all kinds can learn quickly from customers – and make effective changes. From social networking and w2ikis to virtual worlds, podcasting, blogs and other new marketing approaches, DO IT WRONG QUICKLY is an excellent modern alternative to your usual marketing approach, focusing on the ever-changing Internet, its opportunities, and exactly how to take full advantage of them. Business libraries need this specific set of tips.

The World History Shelf

Books on Fire: The Destruction of Libraries Throughout History
Lucien X. Polastron
Inner Traditions
Box 388, Rochester, VT 05767
9781594771675, $24.95

Hebrew, Hindu, Islamic and Nordic traditions all share the belief of a vast library of knowledge existing before the world's creation: so what happened to such a holding? BOOKS ON FIRE reveals the history of the destruction of great libraries around the world, surveying history and considering both causes of library destruction and lost treasures. It's an eye-opening, involving read for any general-interest bibliophile and will make an excellent general lending library pick.

The Great Arab Conquests
Hugh Kennedy
Da Capo Press
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
0306815850, $27.95

THE GREAT ARAB CONQUESTS: HOW THE SPREAD OF ISLAM CHANGED THE WORLD WE LIVE IN examines how the early Arabs fostered a unique form of Islam rule which changed their world quickly, comparing their achievements and approaches with modern techniques and showing how Islam's different avenues changed the world. It's the first popular English-language account of how the rise of the Islamic empire reshaped the world: as such the tone sounds scholarly but lends well to general public library collections as well as college-level world history holdings.

The American History Shelf

So Help Me God
Forrest Church
15 East 26th Street, New York NY 10010
9780151011858, $28.00

SO HELP ME GOD: THE FOUNDING FATHERS AND THE FIRST GREAT BATTLE OVER CHURCH AND STATE will prove an excellent choice for both religious and history collections from the young adult level through college and public library readerships. It documents an early, fierce battle between church and state – a nearly-forgotten conflict which ranged from Washington's presidency to Monroe's leadership, and which addressed issues of whether God should enter into the political arena. Any who would understand early American history and religious connections to politics needs this history to understand thoroughly the early foundations of modern church and state struggles.

Becoming African in America
James Sidbury
Oxford University Press
198 Madison Avenue, New York NY 10016-4314
9780195320107, $29.95

The first slaves to arrive in America identified themselves by their place of origin: Becoming African in America: Race and Nation in the Early Black Atlantic tells of how their African identity and roots emerged in the late 18th century Atlantic world, using the works of black writers of the times who created a narrative of African-American identity. College-level collections strong in black or ethnic studies will welcome a history that considers who various ethnic backgrounds became ‘African' because of their shared slavery experience. An outstanding, detailed survey emerges which blends these rich source writings with a history of ethnic identity development.

Programmed to Kill
Ion Mihai Pacepa
Ivan R. Dee
1332 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60622-2694
1566637619, $28.95

The assassination of President Kennedy by Lee Harvey Oswald takes a new twist with the presentation of PROGRAMMED TO KILL: LEE HARVEY OSWALD, THE SOVIET KGB, AND KENNEDY ASSASSINATION, which tells of a cold war event prompting both sides to cover up the truth. It comes from a former Lt. General who defected from the Soviet bloc and reveals many facts about the assassination covered up by the Kremlin, also offering insights into questions left unanswered by the Warren Commission and other books analyzing events. Any general-interest collection interested in true crime and American history analysis needs this new survey offering up many different insights.

The Education Shelf

Corwin Press
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320

Schools who would design solid mental health services for all students will find Beth Doll & Jack A. Cummings's Transforming School Mental Health Services (9781412953290, $39.95 ) uses a wealth of studies and research to offer both formal and information methods for identifying and prioritizing a school's mental health program. From developing a better school environment and promoting psychological well-being to suggestions for fostering good mental health and developing intervention policies for common behavioral problems in classroom and schoolyard, this offers a ten-step sequence of approaches to support all students. School administrators will find it a winner to developing a mental health program addressing all the issues. Diane L. Ronis' PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING FOR MATH & SCIENCE: INTEGRATING INQUIRY AND THE INTERNET, 2ND EDITION (9781412955591, $27.95) explores the theory and classroom applications of problem-based learning methods, which encourage students to explore and resolve real problem simulations. Chapters relate to math and science and pack in problems connected to national science and math standards, include student handouts and evaluation forms, and provides educational libraries with an invaluable teacher reference. Judith K. March and Karen H. Peters' DESIGNING INSTRUCTION: MAKING BEST PRACTICES WORK IN STANDARDS-BASED CLASSROOMS (9781412938853, $39.95) reviews three features of the design process: training for building leadership teams, training to assist principals in supporting school reforms, and a collaborative process helping teachers become partners to improve classroom methods. This education model has been field-tested with over 40 school districts in the U.S. and Canada, making DESIGNING INSTRUCTION an invaluable, practical guide for teachers and administrators and education libraries at the college level. Vicki Brooks-McNamara and Danielle Torres' THE REFLECTIVE SCHOOL COUNSELOR'S GUIDE TO PRACTITIONER RESEARCH (9781412951104, $24.95) provides an excellent outline of skills and strategies for under served students and their counselors. Chapters provide a framework for gathering data and authenticating results to foster school-wide change, making for an excellent guide for any education library. College-level education holdings will also appreciate the 2nd updated edition of Grace Sammon's CREATING AND SUSTAINING SMALL LEARNING COMMUNITIES: STRATEGIES AND TOOLS FOR TRANSFORMING HIGH SCHOOLS (9781412937900, $39.95). It's been fully revised to reflect the latest research and practices covering school teams and curriculum, and pairs a cd-rom tool kit with over 30 planning templates with tips on how to create and foster effective school-based teams for better decision-making processes. Cathy Caro-Bruce, edit CREATING EQUITABLE CLASSROOMS THROUGH ACTION RESEARCH (9781412936675, $37.95), a fine guide to action research's applications in a school setting. Chapters use ten action research studies as guidelines for implementing changes, including plenty of examples for discussion and reflection and appealing to both teachers and school administrators. Arthur L. Costa's THE SCHOOL AS A HOME FOR THE MIND: CREATING MINDFUL CURRICULUM, INSTRUCTION, AND DIALOGUE (9781412950749, $35.95) tells how to foster thinking in an educational environment, and uses the author's most recent research and theory to support insider tips in curriculum mapping, teaching behaviors, and performance standards. It's a collection educators will find even more invaluable, appearing in its second updated edition. The second edition of Robert D. Barr and William H. Parrett's SAVING OUR STUDENTS, SAVING OUR SCHOOLS: 50 PROVEN STRATEGIES FOR HELPING UNDERACHIEVING STUDENTS AND IMPROVING SCHOOLS (9781412957939, $39.95) packs in details on improvement programs that work. From establishing learning priorities and creating a classroom atmosphere of respect to support them to developing high expectations for academic performance and working with parents, this is a highly recommended, top pick for any active teaching environment. Libraries catering to educators will find these essential references.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Collector Books
Box 3009, Paducah, KY 42002-3009

Collectors who enjoy antique radios and specialty libraries catering to specialty collectors will have to have the updated 7th edition to Collector's Guide to Antique Radios by John Slusser (9781574325492, $24.95): it packs in color photos of each antique to accompany the very latest values, organizes chapters by makers for quick and easy consultation, and includes plenty of reference material perfect for identifying the radios and their values. Specialty collector's libraries have two to choose from: J.W. Courter's CENTER-DRAFT KEROSENE LAMPS, 1884-1940 (9781574325669, $24.95) packs in black and white photos of lamps, along with values and in-depth discussions of manufacturers and production differences. Its chapters hold many keys to both value and makes and operational differences. Jeffrey Obersole's HANGING VICTORIAN LAMPS OF THE 19TH CENTURY (9781574325645, $34.95) pairs gorgeous full-page color photos with insights on identification strategies and values. The full-page color makes identification a snap. Both are top picks for libraries featuring specialty collector's guides.

The Science Shelf

The Hydrogen Age
Geoffrey B. Holland and James J. Provenzano
Gibbs Smith
Box 667, Layton, UT 84041
158685786X, $24.95

Any who would understand civilization's energy history and needs should have THE HYDROGEN AGE in their collection, whether it be for an easy college-level introduction or for the general-interest public. Here is a guide to civilization's passage from a carbon to hydrogen era, considering how such an age will foster new developments and how moving to water-based energy offers new hope and alternatives for the continued progression of civilization. It's an excellent pick for any who would understand the technology and applications of hydrogen, written in a manner any lay reader can understand.

The Bristlecone Book
Ronald M. Lanner
Mountain Press Publishing
P.O. Box 2399, Missoula, MT 59806
0878425381, $12.00

The peaks of the American West hold the Bristlecone Pine, some of the world's oldest trees, and THE BRISTLECONE BOOK celebrates their natural history using a most accessible format and presentation perfect for any natural history collection focusing on botany. Bright color photos liberally pepper an in-depth survey in THE BRISTLECONE BOOK: A NATURAL HISTORY OF TH WORLD'S OLDEST TREES, with chapters including tests of tree longevity and discussions of Bristlecone importance in human history. Any collection whether college-level or public lending library which is strong in botany or American natural history needs this.

Physics in Our World
Kyle Kirkland, Ph.D.
Facts on File Inc.
132 West 31st Street, 17th Floor, New York NY 10001
9780816061167, $35.00 each book

Both high school and college-level collections strong in physics introductions will find this set of books key to an easy understanding, surveying the history, science and progression of the discipline of physics in our world. The set includes PARTICLES AND THE UNIVERSE, ATOMS AND MATERIALS, ELECTRICITY AND MAGNETISM, LIGHT AND OPTICS, FORCE AND MOTION, TIME AND THERMODYNAMICS, with each volume packing in line drawings, black and white illustrations, discussions of physics' impact on other branches of science, and more. If any collection were seeking a basic introduction to physics' branches, THE PHYSICS IN OUR WORLD set should be a top pick and appropriate for community library collections and non-specialist general readers with an interest in science.

Fundamentals of Electromagnetic Fields
S.W. Anwane
Infinity Science Press
11 Leavitt Street, Hingham, MA 02043
9781934015001, $59.95

With its accompanying cd-rom of engineering application software, FUNDAMENTALS OF ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS makes for the perfect introductory text for any college-level course teaching engineering or courses in electromagnetism. It's designed for self-study with a problem-solving approach that packs in many examples. Unlike many engineering guides, it also presumes little mathematical background, concentrating instead upon concepts and applied techniques, making it a ‘must' for any college-level collection strong in applied engineering concepts.

The Military Shelf

On Thermonuclear War
Herman Kahn
Transaction Press
35 Berrue Circle, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8042
9781412806640, $34.95

ON THERMONUCLEAR WAR was controversial when it was first published – and still is, today. No light reading, at well over 600 pages it packs in details from across disciplines and was widely read on both sides of the Iron Curtain: today its many insights on military strategies, issues, and the logic of amassing thermonuclear armaments still apply. It was the first book to examine the underlying logic of making and keeping nuclear weapons, originally created from a series of lectures, and provides both military and college-level collections with strong insights on military might and strategy.

Muhammad: Islam's First Great General
Richard A. Gabriel
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780806138602, $24.95 1-800-627-7377

Plenty of books have been written focusing on Muhammad as a spiritual leader – but few take the approach of military historian Richard Gabriel, who examines Muhammad from the perspective of a military commander. He was a religious founder and a military leader, so it's surprising that this represents the first military biography of the man, offering more in-depth descriptions of battles than those found elsewhere and painting a picture of Muhammad as a revolutionary who introduced groundbreaking military innovations to the world. Any military library needs this.

Ospry Publishing
443 Park Avenue South #806, New York NY 10016

The German Tiger heavy tank dominated battlefields of Europe and was one of the most feared weapons of World War II. Stephen A. Hart's SHERMAN FIREFLY VS. TIGER (9781846031502, $17.95) describes its design and deployment, with chapters offering plenty of technical construction information and analyzing strengths, weaknesses and the use of these tanks in war tactics. It's an excellent survey recommended for any library strong in the mechanics of World War II. Dan Abnett's HITLER'S LAST GAMBLE: BATTLE OF THE BULGE (9781846030574, $9.95) is an excellent graphic novel which covers, in full color, the last major German offensive on the Western Front, where thirty German divisions planned an attack to split the Allied forces in two. The graphic novel format makes for an excellent, vivid story. Robert Forczyk's PANTHER VS. T-34: UKRAINE 1943 (9781846031496, $17.95) is a pick for any military library focusing on equipment and action. A blend of first-person perspectives and digital artwork chart the progress of the two greatest tanks of World War II. Three new to the ‘Warrior' imprint are picks for military libraries specializing in early combat history. Timothy Dawson's BYZANTINE INFANTRYMAN: EASTERN ROMAN EMPIRE C.900-1204 (9781846031052, $17.95) tells of the philosophy and tactics of the early Byzantine Army, surveying daily life of the warrior society. David Murphy's CONDOTTIERE 1300-1500 – INFAMOUS MEDIEVAL MERCENARIES (9781846030772, $17.95) surveys those early fighting men who were conscripted by wealthy Italian city states to protect assets during war, providing a blend of military and political history. Terry Crowdy's FRENCH RESISTANCE FIGHTER: FRANCE'S SECRET ARMY (9781846030765, $17.95) surveys the underground force that was the French Resistance during the war, covering patriot activities, motivation and achievements. Two new to the ‘Fortress' military history focusing on military architectural achievements are perfect both for military libraries and those specializing in early world history. Steven J. Zaloga's THE ATLANTIC WALL (1): FRANCE (9781846031298, $16.95) covers the design, technology and history of a key wall in a strategic positions of defense during World War II. Chapters analyze its construction and unusual facets. Christopher Gravett's THE CASTLES OF EDWARD I IN WALES 1277-1307 (9781846030277, $16.95) tells of a king's march into Wales to subdue the rebel Welsh princes – an unusual march in which the king had a castle erected wherever his army rested. The design, development and defense strategies of these castles is outlined in a fine book military libraries strong in strategic history will appreciate. Bruce Gudmundsson's THE BRITISH ARMY ON THE WESTERN FRONT 1916 (9781846031113, $23.95) is an excellent World War II survey which covers the tactical innovations that accompanied the many new strategies developed on the fly by the British Army. Holdings strong in World War II events need this. Rene Chartrand's THE CANADIAN CORPS IN WORLD WAR I (9781846031861, $15.95) is also an excellent recommendation for a specialty military library, surveying the units, organization and uniforms of the four Canadian divisions which gained fame during the battle. Two new to the ‘Osprey Combat Aircraft' series are top picks for both military and aviation libraries. Louis B. Dorny's US NAVY PBY CATALINA UNITS OF THE PACIFIC WAR (9781841769110, $20.95) is the second of two volumes (the other being Ragnor Ragnarsson's US NAVY PBY CATALINA UNITS OF THE ATLANTIC WAR 184176910X, $20.95): each volume packs in vintage black and white photos, history, and close-up shots of the planes and each comes packed with statistics and history.

American Wars American Peace
Philip D. Beidler
University of Georgia Press
330 Research Drive, Athens, GA 30602-4901
082032969X, $28.95

American Wars American Peace: Notes from a Son of the Empire provides college-level libraries strong in social and political science with an excellent set of essays analyzing the effects and spread of military culture in American society. Essays consider terrorism, patriotism, geopolitics and more, considering the evolution of counter-military movements and their diminishing impact in recent decades. It's food for thought and debate for any college-level collection.

Imagining Future War
Antulio J. Echevarria II
Praeger Security International
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881
0275987256, $39.95

IMAGINING FUTURE WAR: THE WEST'S TECHNOLOGICAL REVOLUTION AND VISIONS OF WARS TO COME, 1880-1914 provides an excellent historical overview of the visions of possible technological change which challenged both military and educated civilians to envisions the potentials of future war. Here is a college-level analysis perfect for military holdings: a comparative study of which predictions became the most accurate – and why. Visions of conflict on land, sea, and in air come from professionals and amateurs alike and make for engrossing historical review.

The Quest for Absolute Security
Athan Theoharis
Ivan R. Dee
1332 N. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60622-2694
1566636973, $27.50

Investigators who studied 9/11 faulted U.S. intelligence for not uncovering the terrorists' plans, but such absolute security, says historian Athan Theoharis, is an illusion certain to lead to disappointment and disaster. THE QUEST FOR ABSOLUTE SECURITY: THE FAILED RELATIONS AMONG U.S. INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES analyzes some of the sources of problems in American intelligence agencies and considers how such problems evolved. Any military or American history collections at the college level needs this astute analysis of disasters in the making.

The Civil War Shelf

The Civil War Paintings of Mort Kunstler, V. 3: The Gettysburg Campaign
Mort Kunstler
Cumberland House Publishing
431 Harding Industrial Drive, Nashville, TN 37211
9781581825589, $18.95

For nearly thirty years Mort Kunstler has used his art to tell stories of the Civil War, capturing daily life of soldiers and leaders alike: this third volume pairs color photo reproductions of his Civil War paintings with discussions of events, making for a hard-hitting survey bringing alive the Gettysburg Campaign experience for both general-interest and military libraries alike. Many an art library, especially those including military and war art, will also consider it a powerful addition.

The Music Shelf

Pimps Up, Ho's Down
T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting
New York University Press
838 Broadway, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10003
9780814740149, $22.95 1-800-996-6987

PIMPS UP, HO'S DOWN: HIP HOP'S HOLD ON YOUNG BLACK WOMEN offers damning evidence about hip hop's underlying racial and social prejudices, examining the politics of gender and providing a feminist's perspective and insights into black music's underlying message. One would expect – and receive – a focus on lyrics – but also analyzed is how black women are displayed in music videos, film, TV and on the internet, making for an important analysis well suited to any college collection with strong music or social analysis sections.

Notes from a Minor Key
Dawn Bailiff
Hampton Roads Publishing
1124 Stoney Ridge Road, Charlottesville, VA 22902-8719
9781571745545, $22.95

Dawn Bailiff's title describes living with multiple sclerosis – but it's much more. It's also the story of a half-Jewish, half-Japanese girl who played with Leonard Bernstein when she was just 10, who was accepted into the Peabody Conservatory of Music at age 15, and whose music helped her struggle through MS diagnosis and symptoms. Bailiff is a composer, former world-class concert pianist, and here integrates her musical passion and experiences with powerful first-person insights on living with ms.

Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits, 4th Edition
Fred Bronson
Billboard Books
c/o Watson-Guptill Publications
770 Broadway, New York NY 10003
9780823015566, $24.95

You'd think a title with the name Billboard's Hottest Hot 100 Hits would comprise a relatively slim list of charts – but actually this is much, much more: it's a reference which includes top hits for artists, writers, producers and labels, including one-hit wonders, and categorizes these by many subheadings: top hits by Australian artists, top hits on Jive, top songs by decade increments. The wealth of information adds details on all these artists and producers alongside chart listings and reviews of influences on the hits. The result is an involving survey perfect for any lending library strong in popular music history.

Is Hip Hop Dead?
Mickey Hess
Praeger Publishers
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881
9780275994617, $39.95

IS HIP HOP DEAD? THE PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE OF AMERICA'S MOST WANTED MUSIC considers hip hop artists, the history of the genre, and the ongoing dialogue between commercialism versus culture which has kept hip hop alive and on the cutting edge of American youth culture. Chapters survey its history, roots, and the major hip hop groups' contributions over the decades with an eye to revealing the genre's underlying influences and possible futures. Any college-level library strong in contemporary music culture needs IS HIP HOP DEAD?, sure to be a popular library lend.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Mad Sheep
Linda Faillace
Chelsea Green
Box 428, White River Junction, VT 05001
1933392096, $25.00

MAD SHEEP deserves repeated and ongoing mention as an excellent story of health issues, government intervention and cover-up, and a couple who dreamed of raising sheep and making cheese in rural Vermont, only to come up against the U.S.D.A., who accused them of harboring sheep with ‘mad cow' disease. Their struggles and the politics and health concerns underlying them should be required reading for any interested in agriculture and food health in America, and is sure to attract patrons at all levels of interest as part of any library's general lending collection.

The Clear Skin Diet
Alan C. Logan, ND, FRSH and Valori Treloar, MD, CNS, FAAD
Cumberland House Publishing
431 Harding Industrial Drive, Nashville, TN 37211
9781581825749, $22.95

Acne is no longer a problem just for teens: adult acne is on the rise, especially among women – and diet has been linked to its increase. That's why THE CLEAR SKIN DIET is so important for any general-interest collection: it reaches all ages with insights on how to help acne through adjusting eating habits, and considers how dietary stresses influence hormones that cause acne. Dietary requirements for protecting the skin are listed in chapters which cover everything from genetic influences to dietary supplements.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Notes to An Actor
Ron Marasco
Ivan R. Dee
1332 N. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60622-2694
1566637570, $24.95

NOTES TO AN ACTOR: PRACTICAL ADVICE SHAPED TO THE WAY ACTORS WORK should be in the collections of any library catering to drama students, whether at the high school to college levels or be it a general-interest lending library. It comes from the author's own experience in the profession as both an actor and as a director and acting teacher, and provides a more practical, user-friendly book providing insights on exactly how actors work. Tips from a director's viewpoint, rather than the usual acting text, are particularly useful, gleaned from everyday life.

The Art Shelf

Periplus Publishing
c/o Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436

Michael G. LaFosse with Richard Alexander and Greg Mudarri's Japanese Paper Crafting (0804838488, $24.95) provides a fine guide to Japanese paper crafting which tells how to make lovely washi paper at home. Diagrams and color photos supplement step-by-step instructions on creating some 17 washi projects with handmade paper, from a hand-bound blank book to purses, and come from one of the leading authorities on origami and paper art, a co-founder of a teaching studio, and an origami enthusiast. Any general-interest collection strong in crafts will welcome it – as well as Lydia Chen's THE COMPLETE BOOK OF CHINESE KNOTTING (0804836795, $29.95) which covers an ancient art of knots used as decorative motifs and embellishments. The author's decades of research into the history and origins of some fourteen basic Chinese knots translates well to a guide which not only covers past knots, but presents modifications for new projects – some 66 formations.

The Social Issues Shelf

The Immigration Solution: A Better Plan Than Today's
Heather MacDonald, Victor Davis Hanson, Steven Malanga
Ivan R. Dee
1332 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60622-2694
1566637600, $24.95

Three observers of modern immigration issues and border control debates offer their own analysis of how current policies have led to a loss of control of our borders in THE IMMIGRATION SOLUTION, a description of a new form of Hispanic underclass and the Mexican government's involvement in abetting illegal immigration to the U.S. Chapters consider the growing impact of Hispanic immigrants on the American economy, and outline policies for positive change in a book recommended for both high school and college-level classroom debate.

Michele Wucker
Public Affairs
250 West 57th Street, Suite 1321, New York NY 10107
1586485237, $15.95

Lockout: Why America Keeps Getting Immigration Wrong When Our Prosperity Depends on Getting It Right argues that the stakes in getting American immigration policy right are greater than ever, what with the nation's record-high foreign-born population, attitudes towards immigration, and changing economics. Here senior World Policy Institute fellow Michele Wucker analyses the mistakes that have led to modern problems, and offers analysis of some alternative options and their pros and cons. A key debate title for any college-level library strong in immigration issues.

Spirit Heals
Meredith L. Young-Sowers
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
1577315774, $15.95

Spirit does heal when the heart is in it – and SPIRIT HEALS: AWAKENING TO A WOMAN'S INNER KNOWING FOR SELF-HEALING is a special pick for both new age and women's studies collections, introducing the idea of ‘spiritual DNA and considering how ‘Spiritual DNA' defines traits of an emotional and mental kind. From why women have troubles in different areas to building an effective network to combat built-in mindsets, SPIRIT HEALS is a wonderful and healing guide.

Prayer Power: How to Pray When You Think You Can't
Marci Alborghetti
Guideposts Books
16 East 34th Street, New York NY 10016
9780824947163, $16.99

Marci's prayer partner struggled with cancer and was too weak to pray any longer – at that moment PRAYER POWER evolved as a concept, offering practical help for those who feel unable to pray and out of touch with God. Here real-life stories pair with model prayers and biblical examples to cover a range of spiritual practices, from finding prayer partners and prayerfully listening to music to discovering different forms of prayer to bring one closer to God. It's an intriguing discussion that should be a part of any spirituality collection.

Pope John Paul II: A Reader
Gerald O'Collins, SJ,
Paulist Press
997 Macarthur Blvd, Mahwah, NJ 07430
0806144784, $19.95

Pope John Paul II's papacy lasted over twenty-six years, so it's appropriate that a review of his achievements would take the form of a selection of quotes from over 70,000 pages of his teachings. Twelve categories or chapters organize these quotes, each opening with an introduction and addressing themes ranging from the church's mission to sacraments and worship. Perfect for any comprehensive Catholic collection.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Angel Animals
Allen & Linda Anderson
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
157731610X, $14.95

Updated and revised to include a new introduction, ANGEL ANIMALS gathers stories about spiritual lessons they've learned from animals and comes not from new age leaders but from ordinary individuals, making for an even more powerful collection. From a sparrow's influence on volunteering to animals who promoted spiritual growth, ANGEL ANIMALS is an outstanding survey for any who would reveal the underlying importance of animals.

2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125-2989

Michael Osiris Snuffin's THE THOTH COMPANION (9780738711928, $16.95) covers Alister Crowley's Thoth tarot, one of the most puzzling decks of all, and is written by a ceremonial magician and tarot expert who discusses the underlying symbolism of the Thoth deck. Detailed interpretations offer insights and Crowley's encoded secrets and compliment chapters which also tell how to use the Thoth tarot's divination and meditation powers. Ly de Angeles' TAROT: THEORY AND PRACTICE (9780738711386, $16.95) provides an excellent survey of how to use the Tarot to predict the future. New theories on the nature of time and reality go far beyond your usual ‘how to interpret the deck' titles, drawing important connections between the Tarot, Qabbalistic concepts, and even quantum physics. Any new age library strong in tarot concepts needs these two books.

Bear & Company/Destiny Books
c/o Inner Tradition
Box 388, Rochester, VT 05767

Zecharia Sitchin's JOURNEYS TO THE MYTHICAL PAST (1591430801, $24.00) blends archaeology with new age insights and comes from a researcher of antiquity who reveals the existence of a secret chamber in Egypt's Great Pyramid. The author nearly lost his life in the process of exposing a long-kept secret: his firsthand accounts of his exploration range from Egypt to the Vatican and provides a range of excellent insights. Ruggero Marino's CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, THE LAST TEMPLAR (1594771901, $19.95) asks whether Columbus was a Templar – and according to historic documents and maps, he was. Marino examines Columbus' sea voyages and reveals the sources of Columbus' routes and wanderings, consider his studies and the myth that Columbus stumbled on the New World rather than deliberately charting his course. Both books are recommended picks for New Age libraries.

The Study of Witchcraft
Deborah Lipp
Red Wheel Weiser
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
1578634091, $16.95

THE STUDY OF WITCHCRAFT: A GUIDEBOOK TO ADVANCED WICCA provides a compendium of facts for Wiccan practitioners who want to further their knowledge and insights into their traditions. But it's more than your usual Wiccan guide – it examines history, psychology, divination and more, surveying literature and studies alike. Information for all types of Wiccans, from traditional to solitary and radical, makes for an important basic introductory guide to different Wiccan paths and choices.

The Computer Shelf

Character Emotion in 2D and 3D Animation
Les Pardew
Thomson Course Technology
25 Thomson Place, Boston, MA 02210
1598633813, $34.99

Any working in animation or computer drawing will find plenty of instruction on creating characters embedded with drama in Character Emotion in 2D and 3D Animation, a survey of how to recognize emotion in life and apply it to drawings and computer software such as Poser and Maya. Les Pardew is a working professional artist with over twenty years in the industry: his tips on creating exceptional animation make for an important guide especially recommended for both art libraries and collections specializing in computer gaming or animation techniques.

The Official Damn Small Linux Book
Robert Shingledecker, John Andrews, Christopher Negus
Prentice Hall
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780132338691, $39.99 1-800-428-5331

Damn Small Linux or DSL is a platform which can be used even by those new to Linux: it puts together everything needed to put DSL to work quickly, comes with a live CD-ROM, and packs in customization and application tips. The CD-ROM includes several versions of DSL to allow it to run either from the cd or a Windows desktop or even a pen drive, and offers all the tools perfect for juxtaposing with the book. This excellent package is a top pick for any comprehensive computer library where Linux or DSL is a feature.

Filthy Rich Clients
Chet Haase and Romain Guy
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
501 Boylston #900, Boston MA 02116
0132413930, $49.99 1-800-428-5331

Libraries that cater to Java programmers will find an excellent guide in FILTHY RICH CLIENTS, which refers to rich applications that teach how to build better, more effective desktop applications that enhance user experiences. Graphical and animated effects are the focus here, with a bow to performance: chapters teach how to create, customize and translate special effects with Filthy Rich Clients and come from a client architect of a Java group at Sun Microsystems. Any advanced programming collection needs this.

Fedora 7 Unleashed
Andrew and Paul Hudson
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780672329425, $49.99 1-800-428-5331

Libraries strong in Linux applications who cater to advanced programmers need FEDORA 7 UNLEASHED: it packs in a comprehensive coverage of Fedora 7, providing details on installing, using and administering Fedora and showing how to address a range of productivity and setup issues. This is no light introduction: chapters delve into working with Python, writing shell scripts, managing DNS and much more – all the applications and routines the serious Linux engineer needs.

301 Inkjet Tips and Techniques
Andrew Darlow
Thomson Course Technology
25 Thomson Place, Boston, MA 02210
1598632043, $49.99

301 Inkjet Tips and Techniques: An Essential Printing Resource for Photographers covers all the tools needed to achieve great digital output from any inkjet model. From understanding the differences between inkjet printer models and using Photoshop and other photo-finishing programs to learning how to manage color and reduce ink expenses, any serious about printing needs this handbook – including any public or college-level library catering to computer users and computer artists in particular.

Outside-In Software Development
Carol Kessler and Jon Sweitzer
IBM Press
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
0131575511, $39.99 1-800-428-5331

OUTSIDE-IN SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT: A PRACTICAL APPROACH TO BUILDING SUCCESSFUL STAKEHOLDER-BASED PRODUCTS comes from two respected IBM industry leaders and tells how to build software which identifies project value and addresses key needs. These implementation techniques offer a program and approach any development team can use, making this a top pick for any college-level collection strong in either project management or software engineering development.

1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472

Any who own Microsoft's Project 2007 needs Bonnie Bafore's MICROSOFT OFFICE PROJECT 2007: THE MISSING MANUAL guide (0596528361, $39.99), which should really be in the box alongside the program. It offers easy step-by-step instructions that cover both Project Standard and Project Professional, explaining how and why to use some features – an approach which goes far beyond the usual ‘how to' guide. From using Project in a variety of business applications and incorporating other programs such as Word and Outlook to practically guaranteeing project success, MICROSOFT PROJECT 2007: THE MISSING MANUAL should be on the shelves not only of any serious computer reference library, but any business library and any individual who owns Project 2007 and wants to get the most out of it. Bryan Burns,'s SECURITY POWER TOOLS (0596009631, $59.99) is a top pick for collections catering to network administrators and programmers concerned with security issues. Security engineers have authored this in-depth coverage, which comes from members of the Juniper Networks Security Engineering team and some guests, who tell how to tweak and customize the most popular network security applications. Best practices for control, defense and more are surveyed in detailed, in-depth chapters perfect for those working on security systems. Michele E. Davis and Jon A. Phillips' LEARNING PHP & MYSQL, 2nd Edition (9780596514013, $29.99) provides a newly updated edition which focuses on PHP and MySQL and all the technologies which interact with them. The second edition include updates on datatypes, program flow logic, manipulating databases with SQL and more. It's a pick any serious web programmer needs.

Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs - A Parody by Fake Steve Jobs
DaCapo Press
c/o Perseus Books Group
Eleven Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
0306815842, $22.95 1-800-242-7737

Satire doesn't too often enter into the computer world but any with an affection for Steve Jobs and business or computer world issues will relish the humorous parody Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs. In novel and humor form is a review of both business and Silicon Valley politics, making for a fun and unusual parable

The Cookbook Shelf

American Diabetes Association
1701 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311

Three important new diabetes cookbooks are top picks. The second edition of Kathleen Stanley, CDE, RD, LD, MSED, BC-ADM and Connie Craealey, MS, RD, LD's QUICK AND EASY DIABETIC RECIPES FOR ONE (158040264X, $14.95) packs in over a hundred recipes featuring soups, stews and side dishes all for the single diabetic who finds the typical cookbook packed with meals for families a challenge. Chapters offer individual quiches, casseroles, soups, salads and more, and are packed with dishes quick and easy to prepare at home. Over two hundred dishes from THE COMPLETE QUICK & HEARTY DIABETIC COOKBOOK, 2ND EDITION (1580402852, $15.95) feature easy recipes from appetizers to desserts. All share the values of being simple, low-fat dishes that are quick to throw together, offering tasty versions of traditional standards. The second edition of ONE POT MEALS FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES (1580402631, $14.95) has been revised to offer a range of excellent dishes in ten varieties, from skillet dinners and microwave dishes to crockpot and sauce dishes. With sidebars of nutrition, exchange and prep time, it's an excellent reference. All three are top picks for any library catering to diabetics: while they lack glossy color photos, they do pack in easy dishes diabetics will find a snap to reproduce.

How to Cook Everything Vegetarian
Mark Bittman
John Wiley
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9780764524837, $35.00

Vegetarian cooking can be accessible to anyone at all levels of cooking experience and dietary belief, and so if only a few vegetarian cooking references were to be included in a cookbook library, Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian should be one of them. It outlines the basics of how to make vegetarian food that is quick, easy, affordable and includes shortcuts and options. The focus on international variations for standard dishes adds plenty of options, while ideas for alternative dishes are incorporated into the basic recipe. Real beginners may find lacking the color photos which can walk a newcomer through the basics – but HOW TO COOK EVERYTHING VEGETARIAN is really more for the intermediate cook who already has the basics down and wishes to build on them, and is a pick for any library serious about vegetarian cookery – especially at the college level.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Cardiovascular Disease in Small Animal Medicine
Wendy A. Ware
c/o Blackwell Publishing
Box 570, Ames, IA 50010-0570
9781840760767, $189.99

College-level collections strong in veterinary science and any practicing vet needs Cardiovascular Disease in Small Animal Medicine as a basic collection reference. It provides a comprehensive, authoritative guide to cardiovascular diseases and disorders in dogs and cats, packing in clinical color photos and diagrams and covering the latest diagnosis, tests, and medical and surgical options. Extensive bibliographic references round out the offerings.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Baen Books
Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471

Set centuries in the future, Cordwainer Smith's WHEN THE PEOPLE FELL (1416521461, $15.00 ) tells of a new dark age on Earth, following global war, and then a civilization of colonists who arise to journey to the stars. These colonists use ships with big sails, cruising on waves of starlight and journeying faster than light – and fight against mind-eating creatures who lurk in space. A sweeping epic saga of this fantastic universe makes for a riveting drama perfect for science fiction fans of futuristic societies. Steve White's BLOOD OF HEROES (1416521437, $7.99) tells of one Jason, who is tired of nursing academics through violent Earth history as they seek to prove their points back in time – until an expedition to observe one of the greatest natural disasters in human history strands them in ancient Greece. Now Jason is fighting for his life in this story of time travel and survival. David Weber's IN FURY BORN (1416521313, $7.99) tells of Alicia, who often puts her life on the line to defend her Empire and its Emperor – until politics causes her to resign her duties and retire to a colony world with her family. When pirates attack and murder her family, her warrior spirit seeks revenge in this fast-paced space war saga. James P. Hogan's THE TWO WORLDS (1416537252, $7.99) furthers the ‘Giants' series with two complete novels, GIANT'S STAR and ENTOVERSE. Aliens bring answers lurks change human history – and humans find themselves in the center of a power struggle between competing alien groups rather than completely understanding their roots. In ENTOVERSE a computer manages a rational society – until it begins to unravel. Alternate universes and fast action makes for gripping adventure in two linked novels under one cover. Larry Niven's Man-Kzin characters are brought to renewed life in Hal Colebatch, Matthew Harrington and Larry Niven's MAN-KZIN WARS XI (1416521488, $7.99), a collection of stories which includes a new story by Niven and others expanding the Man-Kzin Wars series. Here a secret agenda affects a safari even as a woman lands on a plague world only to find something even more dangerous than plague. Familiarity with Niven's Man-Kzin series lends a special appreciation to this book.

The Fiction Shelf

Life of Pi
Yann Maetel
Harcourt Inc.
9780151013838, $29.95

After the sinking of a cargo ship only one lifeboat remains on the Pacific – housing a teen named Pi, a hyena, a zebra and a Royal Bengal tiger. Their survival and journeys makes for a winning book which transcends children's or young adult fiction to provide all ages with a gorgeous, winning contemporary folk story, and this deluxe edition is the perfect gift for capturing it all, using lovely drawings by Croatian artist Tomislav Torjanac to capture key scenes in Martel's drama. A top pick not just for library holdings, but for gift-giving.

Let Me In
John Ajvide Lindquest
Saint Martin's Press
175 – 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010
0312355289, $25.95

Set in Sweden in 1981, LET ME IN provides a riveting, tense thriller revolving around a dead teen and a possible ritual murder spree. Add a pre-teen who hopes revenge has come for the bullying he's suffered and a strange new girl who moves in next door, who only comes out at night, and you have a vampire novel to rival Anne Rice's best: a tense thriller recommended for any general lending library where patrons request powerful characterization and vampire novels.

The Environmental Studies Shelf

The Environmental Imagination
Dean Hawkes
270 Madison Avenue, New York NY 10016
9780415360876, $49.95

College-level readers of architecture or environmental design will find this a fine history which uses themes and a chronological arrangement from the 18th century to modern times to survey the history of environmental design. While The Environmental Imagination: Technics and Poetics of the Architectural Environment could have also been featured in our Arts section, it's reviewed here for its wider applications to any college-level holding strong on poetics and environment: essays consider qualitative dimensions of the environment and both old and new technologies of mechanical services, building design choices, and diversity.

The Language Studies Shelf

Webster's New Explorer College Dictionary
Federal Street Press
25-13 Old Kings Highway North #277, Darien, CT 06820
1892859424, $14.95

It's astonishing to think that a weighty dictionary over a thousand pages in length can be sold for this inexpensive price, but the price tag alone makes Webster's New Explorer College Dictionary a winner – and also the brand name of quality and the focus on updated information in an easily-consulted, clean page design for quick referencing. Libraries on a budget from high school through college and public library holdings will find this a ‘must' reference, offering convenience, value and authoritative listings all in one package.

Um: Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean
Michael Erard
c/o Random House
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
9780375423567, $24.95

Either high school or college-level literary libraries or those strong in psychology and language will find UM an excellent survey which considers the verbal blunder and its underlying psychology. With its strong introduction in the history of language and disfluency from ancient Greece to modern times to its survey of how slips of the tongue gained new meaning from psychology, both popular culture and literature figure in a survey which is a funny yet pointed study of everyday speech and language development. Both leisure readers and students of language alike will find it engrossing.

The Hobby Shelf

Contemporary Bead & Wire Jewelry
Nathalie Mornu & Suzanne J.E. Tourtillott
c/o Sterling Publishing Company
387 Park Avenue, New York NY 10016\
1579907008, $24.95

There are many wonderful new styles of beads and new wire options available to display them, which is why CONTEMPORARY BEAD & WIRE JEWELRY is a top pick beyond the basic old-style jewelry-making guides on the market. Over forty projects take advantage of world influences and new bead and wire options, providing jewelry-making projects packed with color photos and a contemporary flare. Any library strong in jewelry-making guides will find this a unique, welcome addition.

The Photography Shelf

Photos That Inspire: Photo Workshop
Lynne Eodice
John Wiley Publishers
111 River Street, 4th Floor, Hoboken, NJ 07030
9780470119556, $29.99

Over 200 lovely color photos each provide the photographer's unique take on a scene or subject, and is accompanied by the artist's own description of setting, inspiration, and what the photo was supposed to accomplish. Add technical details on exposure, aperture and the like and discussions of choices and you have a specific handbook for any aspiring photographer seeking to improve work: perfect not only for high school to college-level collections strong in photography, but for general-interest public lending libraries.

How to Succeed in Commercial Photography
Selina Maitreya
Allworth Press
10 East 23rd Street Suite 510, New York NY 10010
1581154917, $19.95

Any who would make a professional out of a flair for photography needs How to Succeed in Commercial Photography, which is packed with tips on how to develop a business plan and career in the commercial photography world. Both college-level holdings strong in business or photography books and general-interest public libraries will find this an excellent key for photographers looking to take their interest to the next level. From building a strong online portfolio to understanding what contributes to a successful business, HOW TO SUCCEED IN COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHY is packed with tips.

The Travel Shelf

Joy of Backpacking
Brian Beffort
Wilderness Press
1200 – 5th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710-1306
9780899974057, $19.95

JOY OF BACKPACKING: YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO ATTAINING PURE HAPPINESS IN THE OUTDOORS covers all the gear, backcountry skills, and fitness training needed to make a backpacking trip an exceptional, fun experience. Color sidebars of special information – such as how to keep warm and how to hike so as to leave no trace – compliments larger articles on the topics, offering both at-a-glance quick information backed by more expansive articles. Black and white photos compliment first-person insights into the systems and approaches that have made Brian Beffort's backpacking experiences noteworthy and fun. Any backpacker – and any general-interest lending collection catering to campers and hikers – needs this.

The Interior Design Shelf

Choosing Colors
Kevin McCloud
Watson Guptill
770 Broadway, New York NY 10003
0823099644, $24.95

Kevin McCloud is an authority on residential architecture and design, and his personal choice of the best colors to use in every type of home makes choosing a snap in CHOOSING COLORS, which includes over 700 color swatches and tips for home decor ranging from historical to modern. From early period colors to modern earth tones and mixes, there are plenty of outstanding examples perfect for selecting the right color shade and combination, making this a top pick for any lending library strong in home and garden guides.

The Needlecraft Shelf

The Little Box of Crocheted Throws
Jean Leinhauser & Rita Weiss
Martingale & Company
20205 – 144th Avenue NE, Woodinville, WA 98072-9478
9781564777485, $19.95

Perfect for gift-giving in the holiday season is The Little Box of Crocheted Throws, a lovely gift box packing in some twenty easy-to-crochet patterns which use affordable yet unusual yarns for eye-catching displays. Various classic motifs are featured on project cards with color photos on front and materials lists, dimensions and step-by-step instruction on the back, making these perfect take-along tote cards for any crocheter's kit.

XDX Inc.
Box 1525, Sioux Falls, ID 57101-1525

The Best of Knitter's JACKETS FOR WORK AND PLAY (1933064056, $19.95) packs in nearly thirty projects for a range of jackets from work jackets to casual and dressy clothes. Jackets, coats, and even a suit are presented in a lovely gathering which pairs full-page color photos with step-by-step knitting directions. Sally Melville's STYLES (1893762106, $28.95) provides a fun new approach to organizing and using a yarn collection: producing blends of styles, colors and textures. STYLES is all about patterns to combine these odds and ends, showing them off to maximum advantage, and makes for a lovely option for any knitter who has a wealth of yarn ‘leftovers' to combine. Jean Moss' SCULPTURED KNITS (096463919X, $29.95) surveys 20th century decorative arts, considering the many designs of fabric artists working in everything from furniture and textiles to jewelry and fashion, and considering the growth of style, color and symmetry through the decades as expressed in different art movements. Full-page color photos of selected projects for all ages accompany step-by-step patterns and instructions. All are excellent picks for any library catering to knitters.

American Quilter's Society
Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290

Judy L. Laquidara's NINE-PATCH EXTRAVAGANZA (9781574329339, $22.95) provides 12 designs which show how to change a classic patchwork block into a fine full-sized quilt project. With unique color placements, eye-catching borders and instructions easy enough for beginners, this handbook is a top pick for any beginner and many a quilter who already has some nine-patch basics down, but seeks more innovation. Kay Nickols' WONDERFUL 1 FABRIC QUILTS (9781574329360, $19.95) tells how to begin with one border-striped fabric and move on to piece an entire quilt. Blocks, borders and binding can ALL be cut from the same fabric using the technique featured here, which teach some elaborate sewing techniques. Janie Donaldson's ADD-A-LINE EXTREME QUILTING PATTERNS (9781574329452, $24.95) appears in an oversized oblong offering to provide color-coded designs grouped by complexity for pros and home quilters alike. Over a hundred such patterns cover all kinds of domestic machines, home frames and longarm machines alike and provide an array of quilting options. Cindy Needham's WHOLE CLOTH LINEN QUILTS: PATTERNS & DESIGNS (9781574329346, $24.95) tells how to transform linens into small quilts, using lace edging and antique-style embroidery to join and embellish linens. 100 quilting patterns are arranged by quilting category and provide full-size stencils for easy use. Quilters will find these more advanced references excellent, important library additions.

The Literary Studies Shelf

Classics for Pleasure
Michael Dirda
Harcourt, Inc.
15 East 26th Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10010
9780151012510, $25.00 1-800-543-1918

To many the idea of reading the classics for pleasure and as leisure choice may seem incongruous, but CLASSICS FOR PLEASURE offers a rebuttal to this notion, arguing that classics are so because people have found they withstand the tests of time. Essays from a Pulitzer prize-winning author introduce nearly ninety selected world classics from horror and adventure to children's literature and poetry, grouping them thematically and reviewing the works that have influenced literary and social traditions for generations. Both high school and college-level holdings will find it revealing.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

An American Jewish Odyssey
Cipora O. Schwartz
930 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306
0881259500, $40.00

Any who are interested in the freedoms of Jewish and immigrant groups to America and especially libraries strong in Jewish studies needs AN AMERICAN JEWISH ODYSSEY, a survey of Jewish American identity and religious freedoms centered around one of the largest/oldest Jewish congregations in New Jersey. Here the Jewish immigrant experience comes alive through a series of historical insights and source material perfect for any adult Jewish history collection seeking to keep Jewish culture alive.

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Why We Read What We Read
Lisa Adams and John Heath
1935 Brookdale Road Suite 139, Naperville, IL 60563
140221054X, $16.95

What are the social trends reflected by bestseller lists? Any interested in books, reading, and popular trends will find WHY WE READ WHAT WE READ: A DELIGHTFULLY OPINIONATED JOURNEY THROUGH CONTEMPORARY BESTSELLERS to be an involving survey, considering how successful best-sellers provide insights into social change. Both public lending libraries and schools specializing in modern social science analysis will find involving this exploration of how public issues are reflected in the best-selling book world.

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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