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

The Bookwatch

Volume 3, Number 1 January 2008 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Photography Shelf Science Shelf
Computer Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf Psychology Shelf
Social Issues Shelf Business Shelf Interior Design Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Military Shelf International Studies Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Cookbook Shelf Biography Shelf
American History Shelf Language Studies Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf Library DVD Shelf
Literary Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf Martial Arts Shelf
Gaming Shelf Needlecraft Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Golden Legacy
Leonard S. Marcus
Golden Books
c/o Random House
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
9780375829963, $40.00

While this reference was published by the children's arm of Random House, it's reviewed here for its interest to any collector of Golden Books who wants more than a price guide. GOLDEN LEGACY: HOW GOLDEN BOOKS WON CHILDREN'S HEARTS, CHANGED PUBLISHING FOREVER, AND BECAME AN AMERICAN ICON ALONG THE WAY is so much more: it offers a history of the company, its line of books, and those authors and illustrators who created Golden Books, providing the background and depth needed to understand their value. No serious collector's library - especially those catering to Golden Books collectors - should be without it.

The Archimedes Codex
Reviel Netz & William Noel
Da Capo Press
c/o Perseus Publishing Group
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
9780306815805, $27.50

THE ARCHIMEDES CODEX: HOW A MEDIEVAL PRAYER BOOK IS REVEALING THE TRUE GENIUS OF ANTIQUITY'S GREATEST SCIENTIST reveals a medieval prayer book which sold in 1998 for, $2 million at an auction - and nearly a decade later haws been entrusted to experts at Walters Art Museum, who are learning its real value. Its prayers - penned by a Christian monk around 1200 AD - were written over an earlier text - the lost works of Archimedes, the greatest mathematician of antiquity - and here spirituality and science join in a fine survey revealing the manuscript's importance. It's a key study not to be missed by any serious spirituality collection.

Sage-ing While Age-ing
Shirley MacLaine
Atria Books
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
1416550410, $26.00

SAGE-ING WHILE AGE-ING is a survey of the author's life as a thinker and seeker: here she reflects on this journey and the insights it's brought her over the decades, examining the personal and career milestones she's experienced to date. While prior fans of MacLaine's books are the most likely to relish her latest, newcomers also will find it a lively, interesting introspection worthy not only of spiritual libraries but for public library circulation.

Fugitive Denim
Rachel Louise Snyder
W.W. Norton & Company
500 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10110
9780393061802, $26.95

FUGITIVE DENIM: A MOVING STORY OF PEOPLE AND PANTS IN THE BORDERLESS WORLD OF GLOBAL TRADE follows the lives and experiences of the globalized network involved in denim production, manufacture and marketing, considering the power of designer jeans marketing around the world and in different countries from Italy to Azerbaijan. In focusing on a single, popular product which has reached around the world, FUGITIVE DENIM succeeds in providing a wide-ranging survey of special interest not just to college-level holdings strong in global marketing and international trade, but to the general-interest lending library.

The Photography Shelf

Photographer's Exposure Handbook
Jack Neubart
Watson-Guptill Publications
770 Broadway, New York NY 10003
9780817459086, $24.95

There is no such thing as a 'perfect' exposure: it's up to photographers to thoroughly understand the process and take advantage of the techniques which lend to better photos, which goes far beyond the usual focus on f-stops and shutter speeds. Chapters discuss the basics but also show how to use light and exposure to improve compositions. Both digital and film photographers will find this a top pick, and public libraries catering to amateurs will find it an especially popular lend.

The Science Shelf

Not Even Wrong
Peter Woit
Basic Books
c/o Perseus Publishing Group
387 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016-8810
0465092764, $16.95

Both college-level and general-interest science libraries will appreciate NOT EVEN WRONG: THE FAILURE OF STRING THEORY AND THE SEARCH FOR UNITY IN PHYSICAL LAW. It discusses string theory and provides the view that superstring theory has left the realm of hard, testable scientific inquiry and now resembles science fiction. Chapters survey the underlying foundations of what makes a theory, considering how science needs to make predictions to succeed and examining the overall history and concepts of quantum physics in the process. A lively survey evolves, perfect for both lay readers and would-be scientists alike.

Crime Scene Chemistry for the Armchair Sleuth
Cathy Cobb, Monty L. Fetterolf, Jack G. Goldsmith
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781591025054, $26.00

Law enforcement processes depend heavily upon chemistry to analyze crime findings and build cases: that's why CRIME SCENE CHEMISTRY is so important an acquisition for any college-level collection strong in either science or criminology. Chapters follow a chemist and a reserve police officer to examine just how evidence is collected and what happens in the field of forensic chemistry, surveying the testing and analytical processes involved in gathering evidence. It's a 'must' for any serious college-level library strong in either chemistry or criminal science.

The Fabulous Fibonacci Numbers
Alfred S. Posamentier & Ingmar Lehmann
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781591024750, $28.00

The most intriguing number pattern in math is the Fibonacci sequence, a pattern which begins with two ones, each succeeding number of which is the sum of the two numbers immediately preceding it. And it's not just a mathematical incongruity, but occurs throughout nature itself, building the case for the mathematical basis of nature itself. Any college-level collection strong in science and nature - and many a public lending library- will find this a fascinating review of the history of the Fibonacci numbers and their applications to everything from nature to art and the stock market.

Introduction to Numerical Analysis Using Matlab
Rizwan Butt
Infinity Science Press
11 Leavitt Street, Hingham, MA 02043
9781934015230, $69.95

College-level courses strong in numerical analysis as well as those catering to engineers and scientists will appreciate this introduction: the first to present the theory of numerical analysis and the practical justifications of methodology using the latest version of MATLAB. This will also make a fine college-level text for primary or supplemental reading: it provides short programs in MATLAB to be used for scientific applications, surveys MATLAB commands and processes, includes a CD-ROM featuring source code and simulations, and reinforces theory with applications. An outstanding reference.

Ray Tracing From the Ground Up
Kevin Suffern
A.K. Peters Ltd.
888 Worcester Street Suite 230, Wellesley, MA 02482
9781568812724, $84.00

College-level collections strong in engineering and electronics will appreciate this step-by-step description of writing a ray tracer from scratch. Chapters survey the ray-tracing concept, describing the images, sample code, and even linking to a website which contains the samples. Exercises support theory and hands-on application by instructing on adding features to a ray tracer. Any college-level collection strong in advanced information technology needs this.

The Computer Shelf

Linux Firewalls
Michael Rash
No Starch Press
555 DeHaro #250, San Francisco, CA 94107
9781593271411, $49.95

Libraries catering to system administrators will find LINUX FIREWALLS an essential acquisition, discussing the technical aspects of the iptables firewall and Netfilter built into the Linux application. Examples of firewall log analysis, policies, network authorization processes and more compliment chapters that include Perl and C code pieces to help keep a network secure. The result is a fine pick for any programmer's library.

Rapid GUI Programming with Python and QT
Mark Summerfield
Prentice Hall/PTR
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
0132354187, $49.99 1-800-428-5331

Advanced programmer libraries and any versed in Python in particular will find RAPID GUI PROGRAMMING WITH PYTHON AND QT an invaluable guide, covering the mechanics of building GUI applications that run on all major operating systems. From custom widgets to advanced model and view programming, this book's depth and technical detail lend to any serious programming collection.

1005 Gravenstein Highway, Sebastopol, CA 95472

PC users who would understand the underlying power behind the Windows system will appreciate the weighty, information-packed Preston Gralla Big Book of Windows Hacks (0596528353, $34.99), a coverage packed with time-saving tips and hints. From how to save regularly-used searches to disabling Windows Mail's splash screen, stopping Firefox memory leaks, and backing up Vista hacks, THE BIG BOOK OF WINDOWS HACKS is a 'must' for any collection catering to patrons behind the novice stages. Lee Holmes' WINDOWS POWERSHELL COOKBOOK (0596528493, $49.99) comes from a Powershell team developer who provides hundreds of tested recipes to get Microsoft's new tool working. Over 150 recipes combine with an introduction to the Windows PowerShell scripting language to make for an excellent 'cookbook' packed with code and discussions of how and why it works. It's an excellent technical survey programmers will relish. Jason Brittain and Ian F. Darwin's TOMCAT: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE, 2ND EDITION (0596101066, $39.99) has been updated for the latest version of Tomcat and offers a complete guide to installing the servlet container, from basics of installation to using web applications, securing Tomcat from online intruders, troubleshooting and customizing the program. Any advanced computer collection strong in Java programming needs this. Bryan Costales, George Jansen, and Claus Afsmann with Gregory Neil Shapiro provide the 4th updated edition of SENDMAIL (0596510292, $59.99), a top pick for any advanced programmer's library, especially those featuring books solid on networking. SENDMAIL first appeared in 1993: this version covers 8.10 and 8.14 of the email routing program and is a 'must' for programmers who would keep up with the latest. Chris McNab's NETWORK SECURITY ASSESSMENT (0596510306, $39.99) appears in its second updated edition to cover the protocols for testing network security - by trying to attack it internally. Tricks and tools professional security consultants use to identify and correct risks in Internet-based networks are revealed in chapters covering everything from Windows networking components and Unix RPC services on various platforms to application-level vulnerabilities. Any collection catering to programmers or network managers needs NETWORK SECURITY ASSESSMENT in its latest updated second edition. Mark Lutz's LEARNING PYTHON, 3RD EDITION (0596513984, $39.99) covers the latest edition of Python and includes tips on the program's built-in object types, statements, functions, modules, exceptions and more. College-level collections strong in programming languages in general and Python in particular will appreciate the coverage, written by the world leader in Python training and author of many previous writings on Python since 1992.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Hormone Revolution
Susan M. Lark, MD with Kimberly Day
Portola Press
101 First Street, Los Altos, CA 94022
9780979540905, $28.95

Here's a new way to balance and restore hormones: a book which is based on over thirty years of research combined with clinical experience that shares new treatments and influences on hormone management, from diets and natural hormone substitutes to identifying hormonal symptoms and overcoming common problems. From handling stress and anxiety to sexual dysfunction, HORMONE REVOLUTION: YES, YOU CAN NATURALLY RESTORE & BALANCE YOUR OWN HORMONES promises much - backed by a doctor's experience - to DYI health readers, making it especially recommended for public library lending.

Stay Healthy, Live Longer, Spend Wisely
Davis Liu, MD
Stetho Publishing
Box 254450, Sacramento, CA 95865-4450
0979351200, $24.95

Thousands die prematurely every year not due to medical errors, but to lack of preventive interventions - and the wrong healthcare choices. Stay Healthy, Live Longer, Spend Wisely tells how to make the right treatment choices, from assessing alternative therapies to locating the right doctor, maximizing doctor visits, and asking for the right screening procedures. It places health care responsibility in the consumer's hands by providing basic details and is suitable for any general-interest lending library strong in consumer health issues.

Living with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis, 2nd Edition
Patricia K. Coyle & June Halper
Demos Publishing
386 Park Avenue South #301, New York NY 10016
1932603476, $24.95

Every person living with or caretaking those with Multiple Sclerosis and any public or health library catering to patrons with MS needs this handbook, which focuses on the specific, special challenges of MS and how to handle daily life with a progressive disease. Chapters discuss the physical and psychological challenges of managing MS symptoms and progression, offering a range of insights and tips on treatments and options throughout. It's a 'must' reference for any living with MS.

Your Heart: An Owner's Guide
John A. Elefteriades, MD and Lawrence S. Cohen, MD
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197

A professor of surgery and a professor of medicine team up to provide lay readers with a user-friendly guide to heart health, offering the latest on hypertension, high cholesterol, various heart conditions and diseases, and more. Finally here is a guide which takes into account all kinds of influences on heart disease, its progression, and its treatment - and translates the latest research into terms easy for non-medical readers to understand, making this the perfect pick for public lending collections.

The Psychology Shelf

Magical Moments of Change
Lenore Terr
W.W. Norton & Company
500 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10110
9780393705300, $27.95

MAGICAL MOMENTS OF CHANGE: HOW PSYCHOTHERAPY TURNS KIDS AROUND comes from a leading child psychiatrist and one of the world's experts on childhood trauma. Here her story of how she dealt with a feral 'wild child' who had been hideously abused is juxtaposed with her insights on child psychiatry and how psychiatry can help troubled young people - even those extremely abused. Supplementing her experiences and analysis are interviews with over thirty of America's top child and adolescent psychiatrist who share their own key moments of dramatic breakthroughs with young patients, making for an excellent pick not just for college-level mental health holdings, but for public lending libraries.

The Social Issues Shelf

Turning Back the Clock
Umberto Eco
15 East 26th Street, New York NY 10010
9780151013517, $27.00

TURNING BACK THE CLOCK: HOT WARS AND MEDIA POPULISM provides an intellectual's analysis of modern times in a series of essays which originally appeared in the Italian newspapers La Republica and L'Espresso. Slogans and ideas of hot wars and media, progress and racism, changing technology and popular concerns are all analyzed in a lively series of discussions linked to everyday life and media reports, making this a pick not just for the usual college-level collections strong in social issues, but for general interest lending libraries, as well.

The Business Shelf

Reaching the Goal
John Arthur Ricketts
IBM Press
Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780132333122, $29.99 1-800-428-5331

REACHING THE GOAL: HOW MANAGERS IMPROVE A SERVICES BUSINESS USING GOLDRATT'S THEORY OF CONSTRAINTS explains not only the basics of TOC, but how it improves business performance, using experiences from IBM research to document using TOC in services businesses. From its basic principles to applications in different areas of business, TOC is thoroughly covered including guidelines on how to implement in an existing organizational structure, making this a fine pick for both college-level business libraries and libraries catering to managers.

The 4Cs of Truth in Communications
Isabelle Albanese
Paramount Market Publishing Inc.
950 Danby Road #136, Ithaca, NY 14850
9780978660222, $24.95

Any college-level collection strong in business marketing tools needs Isabelle Albanese's The 4Cs of Truth in Communications. It provides an easy guide on how to assess marketing communications efforts - and covers the common pitfalls in such communications. The coverage is barely a hundred pages but the lessons on how to identify and evaluate effective and non-effective communication processes are invaluable.

Working the Skies
Drew Whitelegg
New York University Press
838 Broadway, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10003
9780814794081, $20.00 1-800-996-6987

WORKING THE SKIES: THE FAST-PACED, DISORIENTING WORLD OF THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT is a fine choice not only for any business library focused on careers or aviation choices, but for general-interest collections. It covers the life of the flight attendant, surveying the realities of the modern job, offering experiences of flight attendants past and present, and offering behind-the-scenes stories of their special challenges. It's an excellent, lively survey certain to reach a wide audience.

A Class With Drucker
William A. Cohen, Ph.D.
1601 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0814409199, $24.95

Author William A. Cohen was a struggling young Air Force officer with no academic experience when he entered Drucker's PhD program in management, becoming the first graduate of Drucker's doctoral program. He used his newfound insights to further career and to gain a deeper insight into Drucker's approach and personality: A CLASS WITH DRUCKER reflects his experiences, expanding upon Drucker's lessons, revealing the teacher's personality through personal anecdotes, and providing fine tips on how Drucker's management tools continue to be applied in everyday business circles. Any business library needs A CLASS WITH DRUCKER.

The Interior Design Shelf

Art of Decorative Details
Cecil Hayes
770 Broadway, New York NY 100013
0823099741, $29.95

Any collection strong in interior design, whether it be for an art library or for a general-interest library catering to homeowners, will relish the colorful ART OF DECORATIVE DETAILS: CREATIVE WAYS TO DESIGN THE HOME OF YOUR DREAMS. It comes from an Afro-American home designer and provides smaller lessons than her first title, focusing on the finer art of detailing and how it can make a big difference in home design qualities. From floors, windows and walls to furniture and fabric, ART OF DECORATIVE DETAILS provides plenty of insights on materials, examples of their application, and color photos to support the lessons.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Storey's Barn Guide to Horse Handling and Grooming
Charni Lewis
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781580176576, $24.95 1-800-827-8673

The lay-flat binding and emphasis on visual step-by-step photos makes for an excellent guide to horse handling and grooming in Storey's Barn Guide to Horse Handling and Grooming: Essential Techniques in a Hands-Free Format. From approaching and catching a horse to grooming, braiding, tack and more, tips are presented in clear large-sized photos and illustrations perfect for any newcomer to horse care and management - and perfect for libraries catering to the new or young horse owner, in particular.

The Military Shelf

The Greening of the U.S. Military
Robert F. Durant
Georgetown University Press
3240 Prospect Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007
1589011538, $29.95 1-800-246-9606

Defense environmental policy is revealed in an unusual combination of military and environmental history title recommended as a pick for college-level collections strong in either military or environmental history. Here are over 100 interviews and pages of supporting documents, reports, and trade newsletter accounts charting battles both political and military over environmental and resource laws and military interests. Chapters focus on modern efforts to 'green' the military and its processes, and come from a professor of public administration and policy who analyzes security issues and environmental influences on policymaking decisions and processes.

Fubar: Soldier Slang of World War II
Gordon L. Rottman
Osprey Publishing
443 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016
9781846031755, $15.95

Soldier slang of World War II as colorful and could range from insults to witty sayings: any collection strong in World War II history thus needs FUBAR: SOLDIER SLANG OF WORLD WAR II, a dictionary defining World War II slang from all armed forces sides. From conscripted 'koala' Australian soldiers to identifying a 'Chinese attack', this is loaded with phrases and insights.

Images of Civil War Medicine: A Photographic History
Gordon Dammann, DDS and Alfred Jay Bollet, MD
386 Park Avenue South, Suite 301, New York NY 10016
9781932603392, $34.95

Images taken during the Civil War are presented in a visual encyclopedia concentrating on medical facilities, individual surgeons and Civil War medicine, making it a top pick not only for military libraries and Civil War collections, but for any library covering medical history. From Confederate aspects of Civil War medicine to field hospitals, the role of women in medicine at the time, and the availability and nature of medical supplies, Images of Civil War Medicine: A Photographic History is an excellent visual documentary of the times.

Diary of a Witness, 1940-1943
Raymond-Raoul Lambert
Ivan R. Dee, Publisher
1332 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60622-2694
1566637406, $27.50

DIARY OF A WITNESS 1940-43: THE ORDEAL OF THE JEWS OF FRANCE DURING THE HOLOCAUST is one of the most important records of the experience of the Jews of France during the Holocaust, and is a cornerstone 'must' for any collection strong in World War II or Jewish history. It covers three years of the war and presents Lambert's diary, which terminates on the day before his arrest and shipment to Auschwitz, where he and his family died. Entries reveal his efforts protect the Jews of France.

The Warship Mary Rose
David Childs
Chatham Publishing
c/o MBI Publishing
380 Jackson Street Suite 200, Saint Paul MN 55101-3885
9781861762672, $39.95

The rising of the Mary Rose in 1982 made headlines and delighted archaeologists - but the Mary Rose holds interest for more than just news hounds or scientists: it held details essential to military buffs, and here her history is revealed in a survey which tells of her construction, famous career, and how she fit into early Tudor politics and events. Written by a Development Director of the Mary Rose Trust and illustrated from the Trust's archives, this is a specialty item highly recommended for any comprehensive world military history library, in particular. Many color illustrations accompany a lively history of King Henry VIII's flagship.

The International Studies Shelf

The Lost Years
Charles Enderlin
Other Press
2 Park Avenue, 24th Floor, New York NY 10016
9781590511718, $25.95

THE LOST YEARS: RADICAL ISLAM, INTIFADA, AND WARS IN THE MIDDLE EAST 2001-2006 chronicles the Israeli and Palestinian conflicts and the loss of hope for peaceful resolution, and comes from an author who has met all Israeli and Palestinian leaders and secret negotiators on both sides. It follows the political calculations on both sides and exposes both political and military changes which had disastrous consequences for both sides, giving readers a clear picture of the problems involved in negotiating peace. General-interest libraries as well as those specializing in Middle East issues at the college level will find this an astute, probing analysis drawing together many facts and influences.

Useful Strangers: Ecuador and the United States
Ronn Pineo
University of Georgia Press
330 Research Drive, Athens, GA 30602-4901
0820329711, $24.95

Any college-level collection strong in political histories of Latin American nations needs USEFUL STRANGERS, an in-depth and detailed coverage of changing relations between Ecuador and the U.S. From Ecuador's struggle for independence in the 1820s and 30s to modern times, USEFUL STRANGERS charts changing relationships between the countries, and how U.S. actions have resulted in unintended consequences for both nations. The U.S., Pineo maintains, has often disregarded Ecuador's structure and social divisions, which has fostered much misunderstanding. USEFUL STRANGERS analyzes these failures and re-considers them in light of modern times: political collections will find this an invaluable expose.

Under the Gun in Iraq
Robert Cole as told to Jan Hogan
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781591025559, $25.95

Author Robert Cole is a retired police officer and international police trainer, who adds his technical insights to this story of training Iraquis in handling security challenges. His survey of the realities of life in Iraq and the challenges facing local police offers an unusual stark, realistic portrait of daily life in the country, plenty of insights into why traditional Western strategies won't work, and makes for excellent, involving reading suitable not just for military libraries but for any strong in Middle East culture.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Lost Lands, Forgotten Realms
Dr. Bob Curran
New Page Books
Box 687, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417
1564149587, $15.99

Any new age collection strong in ancient mythology will appreciate LOST LANDS, FORGOTTEN REALMS, a survey of legendary places that turn up in literature. Historian Dr. Bob Curran surveys world literature and famous mythic places from Shangri-La to Lemuria and the Hollow Hills, surveying the historical facts and legends surrounding them. Ian Daniels provides excellent illustrations throughout.

Ashtanga Yoga: Practice & Philosophy
Gregor Maehle
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
1577316061, $24.95

ASHTANGA YOGA: PRACTICE AND PHILOSOPHY is the first of its kind covering all eight limbs of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, and comes from a yogi who describes its history, the basic movements, and posture using photos, written instruction and even anatomical illustrations. Details on myth and philosophy accompany insights on techniques and are accented with black and white photos throughout, making for an excellent pick for any new age collection.

Iboga: The Visionary Root of African Shamanism
Vincent Ravalec, Mallendi and Agnes Paicheler
Park Street Press
c/o Inner Traditions
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
1594771766, $18.95

New age collections strong in visionary plants and African shaman rituals will be intrigued by the very specific discussions of iboga, which has been suppressed by the FDA since the 1960s and which provides the power to break addictions. The followers of the Bwiti religion know well its many attributes, which are surveyed here in an overview of the traditions, techniques and spirituality of African shamans and iboga's use in their world.

The Psychic Life of Abraham Lincoln
Susan B. Martinez, Ph.D.
New Page Books
Box 687, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417
1564149668, $24.99

Lincoln saw his death in dreams, consulted oracles, and knew at age 22 that he'd become President of the U.S.: despite the evidence historians have dismissed his psychic involvements. But his rose to power coincided with a rise in interest in spiritualism, and this chronicle of his psychic side, which includes precognitive dreams, trance-like states, and even White House seances, is enhanced by the deathbed memoir of his favorite medium and charts his many clairvoyant incidents and psychic interests. New age libraries will consider it a 'must have' acquisition.

Sacred Symbols of the Dogon
Laird Scranton
Inner Traditions
Box 388, Rochester, VT 05767
1594771340, $18.95

In THE SCIENCE OF THE DOGON Scranton demonstrated the cosmological structure described in the myths of the Dogon parallels modern science, with illustrations often representing scientific diagrams of today. SACRED SYMBOLS OF THE DOGON continues the exploration for collections interested in early spirituality or Egyptian hieroglyphic language: here the Dogon symbols are revealed in a discussion of ancient Egyptian languages and scientific parallels sure to interest any New Age collection interested in scientific foundations of early Egyptian history.

Riding Into Your Mythic Life
Patricia Broersma
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
157731574X, $23.95

Horses are here defined as mythic creatures, and RIDING INTO YOUR MYTHIC LIFE comes from a therapeutic riding instructor who has developed her theories in over twenty years of working with horses and children with special needs, developing horse camps for teens and adults alike. RIDING INTO YOUR MYTHIC LIFE is for horse enthusiasts and therapists alike, and will appeal to any collection strong in new age theory or equestrian interests.

The Temple of High Witchcraft
Christopher Penczak
Llewellyn Publications
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125-2989
9780738711652, $19.95

The fourth volume in Christopher Penczak's series on witchcraft, TEMPLE OF HIGH WITCHCRAFT: CEREMONIES, SPHERES AND THE WITCHES' QABALAH introduces a focus on ceremonial magick, offering teachers which correspond to the element of air and guide users in basic concepts, history, and skills in a series of overviews, introductions and informal to formal lessons covering symbols, elementals, pathworking and much more. The conclusion is a ritual initiation using witchcraft traditions, making this a top 'must have' pick for any collection strong in Wiccan concepts and practices.

The Cookbook Shelf

The Great American Eat-Right Cookbook
Jeanne Besser and Colleen Doyle, MS, RD
American Cancer Society
250 Williams Street, Atlanta, GA 30303-1002
094423593X, $29.95

Healthy Eating can prevent cancer deaths, which is why the American Cancer Society is involved with the publication of The Great American Eat-Right Cookbook, a gathering of over a hundred tasty recipes paired with color photos. From Poached Salmon with Mango Salsa to Pepperonhi Tortilla Piza and Mushroom-Barley Soup, the collection surveys the basic elements of healthy eating, then provides jazzy, innovative new dishes to support healthier habits. Any general-interest collection strong in cookbooks and health will want this.

Quick Fix Meals
Robin Miller
Taunton Press
Box 5507, Newtown, CT 06470-5507
9781561589470, $18.95

Home cooking needn't be time-consuming or complicated: not with Robin Miller's QUICK FIX MEALS, echoing her popular Food Network TV show and providing some 200 recipes which cook up in as little time as 15 minutes from start to finish. Full-page color photos liberally pepper recipes such as Grilled Steaks with Peppercorn Melange and Corn-Crusted Flounder with Spicy Pink Beans. Timesaver tips, prep pointers and more keep this an easy, appealing guide any beginning home cook - and many a busy gourmet - will relish. Libraries catering to home cooks will find this a popular lend, backed by the power of the popular TV show.

America's Best Lost Recipes
Cook's Magazine Editors
America's Test Kitchen
17 Station Street, Brookline, MA 02445
9781933615189, $29.95

Over a hundred kitchen-tested (and thus failsafe) heirloom recipes come not from a single source but from almost 3,000 home cooks across the country who participated in the Cook's Country Heirloom Recipe Preservaiton Project, which gathered recipes which had been in family archives for generations. Over 100 of the best old-fashioned dishes represent contest winners, so this is the cream of the crop: from Corn Dodgers to Bops, each recipe is prefaced with cultural history and often includes a color photo for further embellishment.

Lotus Asian Flavors
Teage Ezard
c/o Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
0794604927, $39.95

Teage Ezard's experiments in cuisine has won him international acclaim, and LOTUS ASIAN FLAVORS comes from Malaysian and Thai inspirations from roadside vendors - and from Chinese dim sum. What evolves is a wonderful collection of very different recipes perfect for ethnic-based cookbook collections seeking new directions. Lovely color photos accompany dishes such as Mu Shu Chicken in Lettuce Cups and Sour Fishball Soup with Green Papaya, offering up a host of innovative, fun dishes perfect for avid cooks who already know both basics and traditional fare.

The Biography Shelf

The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor
Les Leopold
Chelsea Green Publishing
Box 428, White River Junction, VT 05001
9781933392639, $40.00

Blend insights into a CIA-connected labor union, an assassination attempt, and espionage and you have the story of one Tony Mazzocchi, a labor leader whose struggles to reveal toxic exposure of thousands of workers led to a fight that resulted in passage of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Any college-level holding strong in labor relations history or health issues in the workplace needs this survey of an early safety advocate.

The American History Shelf

The History Buff's Guide to the Presidents
Thomas R. Flagel
Cumberland House Publishing
431 Harding Industrial Drive, Nashville, TN 37211
9781581826135, $16.95

Americans have named all kinds of public places after presidents and these and other facts are compiled in a lively exploration of the controversies and fame surrounding many a U.S. president. Other careers, hobbies, the biggest spenders and pardoners, and relatives alike receive note in a lively format of key people, places and events perfect for any trivia buff or student of presidential history - and many a leisure reader.

Mysterious America
Loren Coleman
c/o Pocket Books
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
1416527362, $14.00

MYSTERIOUS AMERICA: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE NATION'S WEIRDEST WONDERS, STRANGEST SPOTS, AND CREEPIEST CREATURES recommended for both general-interest and American history libraries. It focuses on the unexpected in American history, covering such stuff of legends as the Minnesota Iceman, Lake Champlain monster, phantom panthers in eastern North America, and more. It's a lively, fun read a wide audience will find compelling.

Putting "America" on the Map
Seymour I. Schwartz
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781591025139, $29.95

In 1507 a German cartographer working in Saint Die crated a world map for included the newly-discovered Western Hemisphere land masses for the first time, calling them "America' to honor one Amerigo Vespucci, who had been credited with setting foot on South American soil before Columbus. From this error did 'America' become the accepted name of the land mass - amid centuries of controversy since. The map was lost for four centuries before it was discovered in 1901 in a German castle - and finally purchased by the Library of Congress for some, $10 million - and this history of the map brings to life its colorful background in a fine recommendation for any college-level collection strong in world history.

The Billy the Kid Reader
Frederick Nolan
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780806138497, $29.95 1-800-627-7377

There have been numerous books and films devoted to Billy the kid - but he still remains an elusive figure. Here historian Fredrick Nolan provides a synthesis of information surrounding Billy the Kid, offering up some of the best articles - some no longer in print - to provide a well-rounded version of not only the realities and history behind the figure, but how legends evolved around him from fictionalized accounts. An excellent addition for any in-depth American history shelf.

Defending the West
Ibn Warraq
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781591024842, $29.95

DEFENDING THE WEST: A CRITIQUE OF EDWARD SAID'S ORIENTALISM is the first in-depth critique of a work that for three decades has received nearly unanimous recommendation and discussion. Said's thesis was that the Western image of the East was biased by colonialist attitudes and racism: this reconsideration offers a powerful rebuttal to college-level audiences, surveying misinterpretations in Said's original survey of scholarly literature and providing college-level collections strong in history and culture with a fine reinterpretation. Collections housing Said's work need this rebuttal.

The Language Studies Shelf

Ad Infinitum: A Biography of Latin
Nicholas Ostler
Walker & Company
175 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10110
080271515X, $27.95

From high school through college-level collections into the public library arena, Nicholas Ostler's AD INFINITUM is a lively history of Latin which traces concurrent developments in the fields of linguistics, politics, world history and more, providing an enthusiastic survey which is far easier reading than the subject would seem to promise. Nicholas Ostler is chairman of the Foundation for Endangered Languages, and charts the appearance and progress of Latin from its roots to its demise.

The Self-Help Shelf

The New Science of Getting Rich
Wallace D. Wattles
Atria Books
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
1582701881, $11.95

Becoming rich involves more than talent or chance: it comes as a result of doing things in a specific manner - a natural law, called The Law of Attraction, which has been discussed in other books. THE SCIENCE OF GETTING RICH was written around this idea nearly a hundred years ago: this NEW SCIENCE OF GETTING RICH has been updated for modern times to include both the original text and a revision for the 21st century. It deserves ongoing recommendation for any collection strong in self-help, business or spirituality.

Facing the Lion, Being the Lion
Mark Nepo
Conari Press
65 Parker Street Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
1573243159, $17.95

FACING THE LION, BEING THE LION: FINDING INNER COURAGE WHERE IT LIVES comes from a poet and teacher who offers many examples of courage and surveys some of the crushing effects of life and how to overcome them. From first-person experiences and lessons learned from other philosophers and teachers to historical references and case histories, FACING THE LION, BEING THE LION is packed with insights.

The Christian Studies Shelf

The Battle for Rights in the United States Catholic Church
Kevin E. McKenna
Paulist Press
997 MacArthur Boulevard, Mahwah, NJ 07430
9780809144938, $19.95

Catholic collections strong in ministry resources and canon law provide an excellent survey of 19th century U.S. Catholicism, analyzing priest struggles for being both accepted and heard in the wider Catholic world church structure. Chapters survey canon law, Episcopal discipline, uniquely American facets of Catholicism, and more in a college-level analysis perfect for any collection strong in Catholic religion.

Martyr of the Amazon
Roseanne Murphy
Orbis Books
Walsh Building, Box 308, Maryknoll, NY 10545
9781570757358, $18.00

The murder in 2005 of an American nun focused world attention on poor formers in the Amazon and their struggles with developers: for it was Sister Dorothy who helped these farmers in their struggles both spiritually and socially - and who died for her ideals, which went beyond Christian advocacy. MARTYR OF THE AMAZON: THE LIFE OF SISTER DOROTHY STANG probes her world, influences and impact and is an excellent biographical survey recommended for any spiritual library.

Introduction to the Prophets
Thomas L. Leclerc
Paulist Press
997 Macarthur Boulevard, Mahwah, N 07430
9780809144921, $27.95

INTRODUCTION TO THE PROPHETS: THEIR STORIES, SAYINGS AND SCROLLS introduces college students and adults to biblical stories about the prophets and teachings of the prophetic books of the Bible. The author's own background teaching undergrad and adult Bible study courses lends to an outstanding introduction, highly recommended for any college-level spiritual library seeking a fine introduction to the topic.

The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

Cinema of Obsession
Dominique Mainon and James Ursini
Limelight Editions
c/o Hal Leonard Corporation
19 West 21st Street Suite 201, New York NY 10010
9780879103477, $24.95

CINEMA OF OBSESSION: EROTIC FIXATION AND LOVE GONE WRONG IN THE MOVIES is an excellent recommendation for any library strong in film studies. It considers film images of love in its many darker sides, from violent obsession and star-crossed love to erotic undertones. Movies are described, analyzed, and include plenty of commentary and analysis in a survey perfect for college-level film studies collections. Black and white photos from movies liberally pepper the survey.

The Library DVD Shelf

Little Women
Koch Vision
$29.98 DVD

The mini-series LITTLE WOMEN starring Meredith Baxter-Birney, Susan Dey and William Shatner brings the novel to vivid, contemporary life with the DVD release of a production which originally aired as a two-part NBC min-series in 1978. The TV production earned numerous awards, making this DVD version an essential for any collection strong in DVD classics.

The Literary Shelf

The Best of Ogden Nash
Linell Nash Smith, Editor
Ivan R. Dee
1332 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60622-2694
1566637031, $28.95

Over five hundred verses gathered from a wide collection of Nash's poems results in this, a definitive Nash anthology suitable not just for college-level poetry libraries, but for general-interest lending collections. While published works comprise the bulk of this anthology, some are lesser-known works which came to light in the Nash collection at the University of Texas at Austin, and from family letters and papers, making for an outstanding, rare collection of works essential for any definitive poetry library.

Selected Letters of Aldous Huxley
James Sexton, Editor
Ivan R. Dee
1332 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60622-2694
1566636299, $35.00

Any college-level collection strong in Huxley literature needs SELECTED LETTERS: it's a powerful gathering of his personal and intellectual life in letters - most of them published for the first time - and is especially notable in light of the fact that of some ten thousand letters he wrote, only a fraction have previously been published - and that this volume comes nearly forty years after the first appearance of another volume of letters. These here have never been published, providing a fine new collection for any college-level library already strong in Huxley works, who would round out their offerings with nonfiction.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Disguised as Clark Kent
Danny Fingeroth
80 Maiden Lane, New York NY 10038
9780826417671, $24.95

DISGUISED AS CLARK KENT: JEWS, COMICS, AND THE CREATION OF THE SUPERHERO comes from a comics industry veteran who explores the backgrounds of famous superheroes and their creators - who, as it turns out, were largely young American Jewish men from Eastern European backgrounds. The focus on the hero icon in history, Jewish history and culture, and the comics industry as a whole thus makes for a strong recommendation not just for Judaic studies collections, but for any collection strong in either comics or cultural icons and analysis.

The Martial Arts Shelf

The Martial Arts of Ancient Greece
Kostas Dervenis and Nektarios Lykiardopoulos
Destiny Books
1 Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781594771927, $19.95

Any in-depth collection strong in martial arts history needs The Martial Arts of Ancient Greece: a survey of early hand-to-hand combat and a comparison to how they are practiced today. Artifacts depict these scenes in a step-by-step series of motifs capturing position and method: step-by-step photos of modern practitioners accompany these early depictions allowing for a rare cross-comparison of methods and history.

The Gaming Shelf

Master Point Press
331 Douglas Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5M 1H2, Canada

Jim Priebe's DOUBLE ELIMINATION: A BRIDGE MYSTERY (9781897106303, $18.95) is suitable for both general-interest libraries with strong mystery fiction holdings and for collections strong in bridge game books. It builds a mystery blending bridge moves with bodies, revolving around player Art, whose team is sent to help local police solve a bridge-related series of murders. Can Art balance family life and personal needs with a murder investigation? Danny Roth's HOW GOOD IS YOUR BRIDGE? (9781897106327, $18.95) provides a quiz book which allows for an assessment of one's own bridge game, with each chapter including a series of card play problems, allowing readers to assess their own skills while playing. Intermediate bridge players will relish this opportunity to learn new strategies and improve plays. Mark Horton's MISPLAY THESE HANDS WITH ME (9781897106280, $18.95) is for intermediate to advanced bridge players and comes from the lessons of one Terence Reese, one of the greatest bridge writers of all. The focus on logical lines of play that end in failure analyses faulty moves and illustrates common problems. All are top picks for any serious gamer's library or bridge player's collection.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Just for the Frill of It
Sonya Nimri
Watson-Guptill Publications
770 Broadway, New York NY 10003
0823099970, $12.95

Most clothes become outdated, too small, or too worn to keep - but don't send the lot to Goodwill just yet; not with Sonya Nimri's book in hand. JUST FOR THE FRILL OF IT offers up a host of renovation ideas for transforming clothing and is especially recommended for any handy with a needle and thread. Simple sewing, gluing and embellishing can turn an outdated old garment into a fine and eye-catching new work, and JUST FOR THE FRILL OF IT covers all the options. Step-by-step projects guide on how to achieve professional-quality renovations in a pick recommended for any library strong in needlework titles.

Super Stitches Knitting
Karen Remingway
Watson-Guptill Publications
770 Broadway, New York NY 10003
0823099571, $19.95

Beginning knitters and public library lending collections catering to them will welcome Super Stitches Knitting, a how-to guide and stitch directory which features handy lay-flat binding for easy use, tips on how to choose needles and yarn, diagrams and instructions for all the basics, and plenty of color photos. Diagrams fully explain each knitting application, making this a top pick for any newcomer.

Cool Crocheted Hats
Linda Kopp
Lark Books
c/o Sterling Publishing Company
387 Park Avenue, New York NY 10016
157990839X, $24.95

Crocheters who are looking for new projects and variations on old themes will welcome the colorful, contemporary project ideabook that is COOL CROCHETED HATS. It offers a range of stylish hats in a fine new collection with a seasonal focus, taking adventure of new types of yarn and modern styles to promote a series of projects quite different from yesteryear's crochet ideas. Any needlework collection strong in crochet projects will find this a popular pick.

Martingale & Company
20205 - 144th Avenue NE, Woodinville, WA 98072-9478

Jeanne Figueroa and Lisa Quan's FIG TREE QUILTS: HOUSES (9781564777409, $27.95) comes from the design team behind Fig Tree Quilts and packs in a gathering of house-themed designs: some 14 projects which display both pieced and appliqued houses. Full-page patterns accompany color photos and easy designs beginners will find accessible and fun. Laurie Bevan's LICKETY-SPLIT QUILTS FOR LITTLE ONES (9781564777218, $24.95) offers fifteen large, beginner-friendly quilts for kids which use butterfly, duck, star and other quilt-block motifs. These are very easy projects and lend to both baby's bed and improving basic quilter skills. Joe Hesch and Frankie Seme's POSTERIZE IT! (9781564777454, $19.95) tells how to make a small photo into a large, poster-size reproduction, how to print it in sections, and sew the sections back together. Five projects require little more than the 'posterizing' features already present on an inkjet printer, and printable fabric. Julie Popa's YOUNG AT HEART QUILTS (9781564776815, $24.95) offers up fifteen designs to add zip to modern decor with new twists on easily-stitched quilts. Bold colors make for a fine blend of simple patchwork and raw-edge applique in an excellent creative presentation. Mary Hickey's COMFORT AND JOY: 14 QUILTS FOR CHRISTMAS (9781564777638, $27.95) offers up pieced and appliqued projects featuring angels, snowmen, and stars. There are lap quilt, table runners and more in this holiday collection, which features traditional designs and lovely seasonal presentations. Debby Ware's BERETS, BEANIES, AND BOOTIES (9781564778307, $12.95) is a slim, easy beginner's guide to knitting fun designs for a baby. The simplest, easiest knitting stitches are presented in four easy patterns featuring cute little hats, booties and clothes for baby gifts. All these will make wonderful library additions promising ready lending to collections specializing in needlework books. And for the walls comes several fine wall calendars: QUILT CALENDAR 2008 (9781564778093, $16.95) provides a dozen fun quilts and step-by-step patterns in a fine wall calendar profiling bed quilts, lap quilts and table quilts from recent That patchwork Place books - plus full-color pullout instruction booklets for reproducing them. AWARD-WINNING QUILTS 2008 CALENDAR (9781564778116, $12.95) features 12 months of full-color quilts from the International Quilt Association. Excellent gift-giving choices for avid quilters.

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

Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design