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

The Bookwatch

Volume 3, Number 3 March 2008 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Business Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Science Shelf Music Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf
Health/Medical Shelf Social Issues Shelf International Studies Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf World History Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf
Sports Shelf Education Shelf Photography Shelf
Art Shelf Literary Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Library DVD Shelf Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Southern Comforts: Rooted in a Florida Place
Sudye Cauthen
University of Georgia Press
330 Research Drive, Athens, GA 30602-4901
9781930066588, $29.95

Sudye Cauthen is a fifth-generation Floridian who blends memoir, oral history and cultural geography to consider the vanishing elements of a place she holds dear. Southern Comforts: Rooted in a Florida Place is a recommended pick for any library strong on Florida history and culture, surveying the roots of changes to tradition and sense of place and considering archaeology as well as history in the process.

Madison Avenue Maxi
DaCapo Press
Eleven Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
9780786720385, $22.00

In Madison Avenue Maxi, the wife of a movie star provides an inherently fascinating and engagingly personal memoir of the life and times of the family dog, a miniature dachshund she and her husband adopted, and offers up whimsical, fun anecdotes on how to dog became a part of their fast-paced, globe-trotting lifestyle. Any general-interest library strong in books about pets and stars will find it a fun leisure choice indeed.

Merriam-Webster references
Federal Street Press
25-13 Old Kings Highway North #277, Darien, CT 06820

Two exceptionally affordable student desk references are top picks for both libraries and home collections, offering new editions of essential print resources students can consult time and again. High school, college students and all adults will benefit from WEBSTER'S THESAURUS FOR STUDENTS, NEW EDITION (9781596950234, $2.99), a resource for students seeking the best words for writing projects. Each entry consists of a brief definition plus synonyms and antonyms, with over 85,000 words listed in an easy alphabetical arrangement. WEBSTER'S DICTIONARY FOR STUDENTS SPECIAL ENCYCLOPEDIC EDITION, NEW EDITION (9781596950221, $3.49) is another vastly revised, updated budget offerings with words specific to students in second through sixth grades - and many a home collection. The updated word list relates to current expert research and provides an added section of additional information, all of which has been updated for 2007 and includes maps, discussions of world geography and politics, and more. Both are top picks to be gained for less than the price of a restaurant drink.

The Business Shelf

The Point of the Deal
Danny Ertel and Mark Gordon
Harvard Business School Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
9781422102336, $26.95

Why do business deals fall apart, and how do strategists and deal-makers fail? THE POINT OF THE DEAL: HOW TO NEGOTIATE WHEN YES IS NOT ENOUGH goes beyond the usual business focus on getting the deal to examine what makes it work or causes it to fail. From a different focus on using the deal as a means and not the end goal to considering behaviors after the deal has been signed, THE POINT OF THE DEAL follows through where other books end, using strategies from different businesses and even different countries to show how a different focus on implementation processes leads to success. Business libraries, especially those catering to managers, need this.

One Year to an Organized Life
Regina Leeds
DaCapo Press
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
9781600940569, $16.95

An organized life lends to more time, less aggravation, better health and more - and professional organizer Regina Leeds here provides a set of guidelines to help even the most disorganized reader gain control over time management. These are organized in a series of weekly and monthly plans to streamline everyday life challenges, from making a home space more efficient to organizing travel, business and finances. Consumer collections will find it invaluable.

The Audiobook Shelf

Hachette Audio

Anthony Heald's fine stage and acting skills include many Broadway credits, so if you're an avid theatre-goer his voice on James Patterson's CAT AND MOUSE (160024128X, $17.98) may sound familiar, spicing a vivid and fast-paced story of a murderer who has come to slay a family only to find competition with another murderer with the same goals. A fast-paced, vivid murder mystery thriller evolves, perfect for libraries catering to fans of either Patterson or audio thrillers. Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins' THE NUCLEAR JIHADIST: THE TRUE STORY OF THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS SECRETS AND HOW WE COULD HAVE STOPPED HIM (1600241298, $39.98) is a key title nonfiction audio collections must have: it tells the story of Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of the 'Islamic bomb', and the methods he used to obtain his information. In adding the knowledge of intelligence authorities and how they could have stopped him, this goes a step further and proves a gripping report fueled by Bob Craig's powerful reading.

Dark of the Moon
John Sandford
Penguin Audio
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
9780143148212, $29.95

Eric Conger's voice has earned him a Golden Earphones Award and much acclaim, and it's easy to see why when pursuing DARK OF THE MOON, a masterpiece of crime investigation. A house's explosion, murders, and a personal vendetta combine to create a gripping thriller with many unexpected twists and turns of plot to keep readers guessing. Another fine Sandford thriller general-interest audio libraries will find a popular lend: this appears abridged but listeners seeking the unabridged version (9780143142508, $39.95) also will appreciate Conger's voice and rendition.

George's Secret Key to the Universe
Lucy & Stephen Hawking
Simon & Schuster Audio
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0743571614, $29.95

This unabridged cd is directed to younger audiences, but it'd be a shame to limit its recommendation to children's audio collections alone, and so is reviewed here as a top pick for all ages. Hugh Dancy provides a vigorous reading spiced with science notes read by Stephen Hawking as it discusses facts about black holes in the context of a science fiction adventure. When George's pet pig breaks into the yard next door, George meets his new neighbors, who are involved in science, and uncovers a secret key to understanding the universe. His journey to the edge of the solar system will lead him into danger in this gripping adventure.

At First Sight
Nicholas Sparks
Time Warner Audio
1271 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
1600242545, $14.98

Jeremy has long been certain he'll never leave New York City, love again, nor become a parent: now he's living in North Carolina, engaged, and anticipating a new family - until a mysterious email challenges their new marriage. Romance and heartbreak come to life under narrator David Aaron Baker's smooth and excellent reading, certain to appeal to any audio library where romance is of interest.

The Science Shelf

Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197

Major astronomical discoveries have their histories in many popular books for lay readers - but what about oddities and spectral 'ghosts' that have led scientists to different conclusions over the decades? Astronomer Richard Baum provides a lively survey of these wonders and ideas in The Haunted Observatory: Curiosities from the Astronomer's Cabinet (9781591025122, $28.00), from the legendary 'mountains of Venus' to strange objects seen near the sun. These legends, speculations and science ideas which proved faulty are as intriguing as the astronomical theories which stood the test of time, and provide both college-level students of astronomy and lay readers alike with a vivid exploration recommended both for general-interest and school collections. Kristine Larsen's STEPHEN HAWKING: A BIOGRAPHY (9781591025740, $16.95) comes from a physicist and astronomer who examines noted physicist Stephen Hawkins' personal and professional life, emphasizing his contributions, his life, and his special physical challenges. From Hawking's early lack of focus as a college student to the evolution of his groundbreaking work, this biographical coverage is key reading for any interested in correlating his science with his life.

The Music Shelf

The Miles Davis Reader
Frank Alkyer, Editor/Compiler
Hal Leonard
19 West 21st Street, Suite 201, New York NY 10010
142343076X, $24.95

Any avid fan of jazz musician Miles Davis and any music library catering to this audience needs THE MILES DAVIS READER. With so many biographies and music coverages on Miles available, why the need for yet another? Because it collects some sixty years worth of articles, interviews, news reports, police reports and record reviews, plumbing almost every type of written record on Davis and providing a selection of the best writings revealing the man and his music. This reader surveys Miles throughout his career and is a key addition, not to be missed.

This Business of Concert Promotion and Touring
Ray D. Waddell, Rich Barnet, Jake Berry
Billboard Books/Watson-Guptill
770 Broadway, New York NY 10003
0823076873, $24.95

THIS BUSINESS OF CONCERT PROMOTION AND TOURING: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO CREATING, SELLING, ORGANIZING AND STAGING CONCERTS provides new cutting-edge career paths in the notoriously difficult music industry, which has been virtually transformed by digitalization and online copying. Promoters of music have kept industry secrets to success tightly to themselves - until now. Here's a book for any looking to become involved in the music industry and for business pros seeking an edge: from ads and promotion to managing performers, gaining publicity and venue staffing, here are all the keys to industry success and the secrets which fuel such successes.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Decorative Plates Identification & Value Guide
Jim & Susan Harran
Collector Books
Box 3009, Paducah, KY 42002-3009
9781574325638, $29.95

Collections strong in specialty identification and values guides need DECORATIVE PLATES IDENTIFICATION & VALUE GUIDE, a survey of English, German, American and other European plates which includes notes on their marks, makers, and changing values. Excellent detailed color photos pack a survey strong in both history and values, appealing to any library catering to collectors.

100 Greatest American Stamps
Janet Klug and Donald J. Sundman
Whitman Publishing
3101 Clairmont Rd Suite C, Atlanta, GA 30329
0794822487, $29.95

Any library strong in stamp collecting, whether it be a specialty collection or a general-interest lending library, will find the oversized presentation of 100 GREATEST AMERICAN STAMPS to be a gorgeous presentation which packs in illustrations and history to survey American stamp history from pre-Revolutionary to modern times. An eye-catching coffee table presentation packs in over a hundred pages of colorful stamps and stories and makes for a reference which will appeal to history buffs and collectors alike, with its market values, information on print quantities, and catalog references.

The Health/Medical Shelf

The Acupressure Atlas
Bernard C. Kolster MD and Astrid Waskowiak, MD
Healing Arts Press
c/o Inner Traditions
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781594772078, $24.95

An oversized format to this title might prove a shelving challenge to some collections but compensates by making for a great display item in THE ACUPRESSURE ATLAS, pairing step-by-step color photos of technique with anatomy pointers and therapy keys. From massage points to healing pressure potentials, THE ACUPRESSURE ATLAS offers far more insights on home how-to basic health care than most titles and an emphasis on visuals which makes for infallible applications.

A Short History of the American Stomach
Frederick Kaufman
15 East 26th Street, New York NY 10010
9780151011940, $23.00

American eating patterns run to extremes and ordinarily are blamed on modern living, but Frederick Kaufman provides a history of American dining to prove we've been this way from Mayflower to modern times. From secret Puritan purges to diet gurus of the 19th century, food fads and fanaticism - A Short History of the American Stomach offers a lively, close look at dietary habits, patterns, and fallacies alike, using a lively tone to make it accessible not just to high school and college libraries, but especially for general-interest collections interested in culinary history and health.

Relics of Eden
Daniel J. Fairbanks
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781591025641, $24.95

RELICS OF EDEN: THE POWERFUL EVIDENCE OF EVOLUTION IN HUMAN DNA adds to the debates and literature on evolutionary processes and deserves a place in any college-level science collection, offering DNA-based evidence supporting human evolution. From the latest DNA analysis and research linked to archaeological evidence to religious fallacies, RELICS OF EDEN offers much food for thought.

Workouts in a Binder for Swimmers, Triathletes and Coaches
Nick Hansen and Eric Hansen
Velo Press
1931382743, $29.95

Athletes seeking new or modified routines for swimming will find this a treasure trove of tips, packaging waterproof pages for pool deck use and oversized flap pages for holding workouts upright with 100 new workouts that blend strokes, drills and endurance-building routines. It's the perfect gift item for the athlete looking to the pool to improve prowess and routines.

The Social Issues Shelf

Becoming a Woman
Richard F. Docter, Ph.D.
Haworth Press Inc.
10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
9781560236672, $24.95

BECOMING A WOMAN: A BIOGRAPHY OF CHRISTINE JORGENSEN offers a more studied examination of the state of transsexuality than most biographies offer, focusing on the sociology and science issues as much as the biographical factors involved. Thus BECOMING A WOMAN, with its scholarly approach, becomes much more the item of choice for the college-level health or sociology library than for the general-interest collection, with its chapters on psychology, social interactions, and Jorgensen's struggles within larger contexts of social definitions. An excellent guide for college-level holdings specializing in alternative social issues.

Our Gods Wear Spandex
Christopher Knowles
Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari Publishers
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
9781578634064, $19.95

The histories of American comic book heroes and who defined them considers both the social and mythical impact and influences on these heroes, arguing that fantastic characters aren't just entertainment, but deities for modern technological society. From the occult origins of such characters to the attraction magic and the occult has held over all, this analysis earns a place not only on the shelves of New Age libraries, but for any collection strong in social issues, myths, and the needs of modern society.

The International Studies Shelf

Guacamole Dip: From Baja Tales of Love, Faith and Magic
Daniel Reveles
Sunbelt Publications
1256 Fayette Street, El Cajon, CA 92020-1511
9780932653659, $14.95

Any who would understand Mexican culture and social issues will find at once poignant, moving, and revealing Guacamole Dip, an expose of daily life in the border town of Tecate. His vignettes are folksy, fun and often provide both a light-hearted and alternately serious look at Mexican and Mexican-American culture and issues, juxtaposing tales with views of changing border life between Mexico and the U.S. Any collection strong in Mexican or Mexican-American immigrant issues will find this an attractive, popular lend whether at the college or general lending library level.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Quilter's Workbook
Landauer Editors
Landauer Corporation
3100 - 101st Street, Urbandale, IL 50322
0979371104, $26.00

A three-hole compact binder format lends to individual use and easy lay-flat application, while spine lettering makes QUILTER'S WORKBOOK quick and easy to locate on a home bookshelf. This handy quilter's workbook can be rearranged to suit individual needs: it comes with color-coded tab dividers, poly-vinyl pouches to store fabric swatches and patterns, and is designed to fit into a purse or bag for take-along shopping consultation. With its compact format and reference charts of blocks and processes, quilters - especially beginners, will find this an essential pick.

Favorite Applique Quilts
Mimi Dietrich
Martingale & Company
20205 - 144th Avenue NE, Woodinville, WA 98072-8478
9781564776792, $26.95

Mimi Dietrich has built a 20-year career as an applique artist, and here shares some favorite quilts both new and old. 13 of her quilt designs are updated with new fabrics, colors and settings and provide fine patterns perfect for beginners as well as experienced quilters. From classic applique to new methods, Mimi's title will attract any library strong in either quilt or applique needlework references, packing bright color examples with easy step-by-step instruction.

Uniquely Felt
Christine White
Storey Publishing
210 MassMoca Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781580176736, $24.95

Felt holds all kinds of potential for unique creations: add water and soap and you can create all kinds of items, or use cobwebbing techniques to make scarves, shawls and more. UNIQUELY FELT is not your typical applique guide: it offers crafters a fine set of projects based on felt and water use, and explains all techniques options, from traditional applications to needlework, 3-D seamless, cobweb and more. Large-size color photos blend with color sidebars of information and easy step-by-step detail for nearly fifty projects demonstrating a range of options for felt. A 'must' for any serious needlework library, this goes far beyond the typical felt/applique approach.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Secret Societies of America's Elite
Steven Sora
Inner Traditions
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
0892819596, $20.00

SECRET SOCIETIES OF AMERICA'S ELITE: FROM THE KNIGHTS TEMPLAR TO SKULL AND BONES discusses secret associations which have succeeded in freeing the U.S. from foreign domination and which have used their powers to further their own unique purposes. Such secret societies are commonly viewed as being from the past but actually they still play key roles in the ruling families and politics of modern democracy in America, and so this book deserves a place on the shelves of both new age libraries and collections serious about politics and American history.

The Druid Magic Handbook
John Michael Greer
Weiser Books
500 - 3rd Street Suite 230, San Francisco, CA 94107
9781578633975, $19.95

THE DRUID MAGIC HANDBOOK: RITUAL MAGIC ROOTED IN THE LIVING EARTH is the first manual of magical practice in Druidry, a branch of the Pagan movement, and provides strategies for practicing Druids on how to practice ritual magic to reach specific goals. Chapters focus on 'applied magic' plans but don't require readers to adhere to a particular set of symbols. Making this a fine New Age library acquisition.

The World History Shelf

When Asia Was the World
Stewart Gordon
DaCapo Press
2300 Chestnut Street #200, Philadelphia, PA 19103
0306815567, $26.00

Before Marco Polo and other noted world explorers there was cultural and commercial trade around the world: Asia had its own explorers, traders and travelers who crossed the globe to exchange ideas. Research scholar Stewart Gordon has traveled the world to examine original texts in science, history, philosophy and sociology to create WHEN ASIA WAS THE WORLD, and here provides an Asian focus unique in the world of Western focuses on exploration. His stories of travelers and explorers of Asia provides a compelling, lively account perfect not just for high school and college collections, but for general-interest lending libraries strong in history and culture, especially Asian history.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Getting in T-touch With Your Puppy
Linda Tellington-Jones
Trafalgar Square Publishing
c/o Independent Publishers Group
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610 1-800-888-4741
9781570763724, $14.95

Animal expert Linda Tellington-Jones fostered a new pet training method decades ago, which has evolved into an international program teaching positive 'no force' routines for influencing dog behavior and willingness to learn. Her Getting in T-touch With Your Puppy outlines the basic contentions of her Puppy School program and offers step-by-step instruction in her famous T-touch circles, including bodywork which has been scientifically proven, to teach exercises geared to showing puppies specific tasks. Dog owners who need to train will find the instruction specific and useful.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Critic: The Second of the Enzo Files
Peter May
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 East First Avenue Suite 103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781590584583, $24.95

Gil Petty, a world-renowned wine critic, went missing during a tasting tour and his body is discovered three years later on a cross in a French vineyard. It's up to Scottish forensic expert Enzo Macleod to re-open the old case to discover the heart of winemaker envy, competition, and the roots of a unique style of wine murderer in THE CRITIC, a mystery packed with unexpected twists and turns which is perfect for any public lending library strong in mystery writings.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

John Allen Paulos
Hill & Wang
c/o Farrar Straus Giroux
18 West 18th Street, New York NY 10011
0809059193, $20.00

IRRELIGION: A MATHEMATICIAN EXPLAINS WHY THE ARGUMENTS FOR GOD JUST DON'T ADD UP considers God from a logical standpoint, examining the author's own irreligious worldview and providing chapters that refute the twelve arguments most often placed for believing in God. Adding a dose of humor along with insight keeps this from becoming a scholarly analytical piece, this making it a recommended pick not just for spiritual libraries, but for general-interest collections.

Mending a Torn World
Maura O'Neill
Orbis Books
Box 308, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0308
9781570757266 $20.00

MENDING A TORN WORLD: WOMEN IN INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE explores the main obstacles and beliefs of women in five major religions, covering different kinds of behaviors, spiritual concerns, common conflicting viewpoints in different religions, and more. It's a dialogue which explores similarities and differences alike, and is an essential recommendation for not just spirituality holdings, but for women's studies libraries at the college level, and for those strong in philosophy as well. Chapters include many statements from different levels of each belief system, from the common woman to religious leaders.

The Sports Shelf

Wilderness Press
1200 Fifth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710-1306 1-800-443-7227

Two excellent boulder-climbing books for the San Francisco Bay area in the Wilderness Press 'SuperTopo' series are top picks offering unique, specific boulder-climbing opportunities. Chris Summit's BAY AREA BOULDERING (0976523531) includes over 700 boulder problems with in a 1.5 hour drive of San Francisco, from coastal to inland challenges. Over 50 color photos of the Bay Area's best includes not only topos and detailed descriptions for each problem, but tips on where to eat and stay around the destinations. Matt Wilder's YOSEMITE VALLEY BOULDERING (0976523523) covers one of the best granite bouldering areas in the world, and is written for any who would boulder in the Valley. Beginner and advanced boulder climbers receive assessments of common and new problems, along with photo diagrams, descriptions to get you right to it, and how to travel to Yosemite in general. Any collection strong in California sports travel needs these two very specific bouldering travel guides.

The Education Shelf

Corwin Press
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320

Teachers and college-level education courses will find refreshing an excellent a survey of coaching techniques in Bonnie M. Davis' How to Coach Teachers Who Don't Think Like You (9781412949101), which encourages teachers to write about and discuss their practices. Coaches can use literacy strategies to train across content areas and improve learning styles: her samples of teaching writing and student work come from such coaching and provides specifics from coaches across the country to show how coaching interacts with and works in the education world. An essential teacher's guide to growth and understanding - and flexibility - builds applied techniques for the real world classroom. Walter B. Roberts Jr.'s WORKING WITH PARENTS OF BULLIES AND VICTIMS (9781412951043) is also perfect for college-level libraries appealing to educators, and for working professionals in the field: it explores common concerns of parents of both victims and bullies, and reveals an eight-point plan for talking to such parents. From setting realistic expectations for behavioral changes to helping parents talk to their children, lessons are for administrators and teachers alike and use case study examples to reinforce real-world solutions. Gilberto Conchas and Louie Rodriguez's SMALL SCHOOLS AND URBAN YOUTH: USING THE POWER OF SCHOOL CULTURE TO ENGAGE STUDENTS (9781412939348, $24.95) is an excellent survey of the cultural and structural features of small schools in two major urban cities. This narrowed focus allows for an analysis of school culture and student involvement on a macroscopic level, creating a fine sociological investigation suitable for both education and sociology libraries. Frank Sennett's FUNDRAISING: 50 PROVEN STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESSFUL SCHOOL FUNDRAISERS (9781412949828, $22.95) is an excellent, basic handbook offering new approaches to traditional fundraising efforts. From ethical issues and common fundraising mistakes to lists of potential partners and sponsors and tips on grantwriting, here's a series of action-packed options schools and educators will appreciate. Randi Stone's BEST PRACTICES FOR TEACHING SCIENCE: WHAT AWARD-WINNING CLASSROOM TEACHERS DO (9781412924573) packs in tested 'best practices' for teaching science to elementary, middle and high school classrooms. College-level educator's libraries will appreciate the gathering of tips specific for science, which includes discussions of technology, independent study options, model lessons in science, and inquiry-based ideas along with reinforcing activities.

The Photography Shelf

The Polaroids
Andre Kertesz
W.W. Norton
500 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10110
9780393065640, $35.00

Published in conjunction with gallery shows across the U.S. is ANDRE KERTESZ: THE POLAROIDS, which considers the photographer's final works - some 80 colored Polaroid's capturing his unique use of light. Kertesz pioneered photojournalistic techniques: his inspirations produced a revolutionary body of work and their representation here makes this a fine pick for any library strong in photographer history.

The Art Shelf

The Elephant and the Lotus
Philippe Truong
MFA Publications
465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
9780878467174, $85.00

Independent scholar and curator Philippe Truong provides a key text for any college-level art library strong in Asian ceramics in THE ELEPHANT AND THE LOTUS: VIETNAMESE CERAMICS IN THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON. Over two hundred objects from the collection are profiled in a gathering of wares from throughout Vietnam, analyzed by the expert author and representing the first complete published catalog of this collection.

An Artist's Handbook: Materials and Techniques
Margaret Krug
Harry Abrams Inc.
115 West 18th Street, New York NY 10011
0810994011, $29.95

Every art studio needs a guide to essential drawing and painting materials and how to use them, making AN ARTIST'S HANDBOOK a key acquisition not just for college-level art libraries and individual artists, but for general-interest holdings where patrons would understand the historical and modern techniques the artist needs to master in all media, from sketches to oil and acrylic paints. It's the only in-depth 'materials and techniques' guide oriented to modern art students and should be considered a staple acquisition.

The Literary Shelf

Tales from Shakespeare
Charles and Mary Lamb and Joelle Jolivet
Abrams Image
115 West 18th Street, New York NY 10011
9780810994539, $17.95

Joelle Jolivet is an internationally-acclaimed illustrator while Charles and Mary Lamb are known for the 1700s prose adaptations of Shakespeare's plays. They join forces in the finely illustrated TALES FROM SHAKESPEARE, a collectible for all ages pairing lovely prose retellings of plays with Jolivet's beautiful drawings. Stories pack in the best of modern and traditional worlds in a selection of highly recommended works.

Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman
William Stephenson
80 Maiden Lane Suite 704, New York NY 10038
9780826490094, $14.95

Joining others in the 'Reader's Guide' series for supplemental literary study is this focus on THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN, a novel often assigned as a complex modern classic for college-level audiences. College-level collections will find this an excellent starting point for classroom debates and discussions of the novel, offering analysis of key themes, social issues, and critical points of interest.

The Cookbook Shelf

Techniques of Healthy Cooking
Culinary Institute of America
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9780470052327, $65.00

Americans are seeking ways to avoid weight gain but want tasty food in the process, so successful chefs and foodservice pros need to adjust their techniques and methods to reflect this revised approach, and the newly updated guide to healthy cooking TECHNIQUES OF HEALTHY COOKING is one place to start. The latest information on ingredients, menu planning and more reviews all the basics, current dietary guidelines, recommendations, and more, teaching both the basics of healthy cooking and reflecting the latest research findings. It's not a guide for casual cooks, but for the college-level foodservice pro who will find over 150 food photos and step-by-step techniques discussions to be invaluable keys to healthy cooking from scratch.

The Art of Scottish-American Cooking
Kay Shaw Nelson
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053-2246
1589803868, $21.00

Any interested in Scottish cuisine and home cooking ne4eds THE ART OF SCOTTISH-AMERICAN COOKING in their collection. It packs in details on unique Scottish creations and American adaptations of traditional dishes alike, comes from a Scottish-American author and lecturer, and reflects more than four hundred years of Scottish food and drink in the U.S. and Canada. Recipes offer a diverse blend of traditional and contemporary take-offs and are outstanding creations, easy to reproduce and perfect for libraries specializing in ethnic cuisine.

Weight Watchers All-Time Favorites
Weight Watchers
Wiley Publishers
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030
9780470169995, $29.95

Any following the Weight Watchers system knows how important and key are the meal plans - which is why the ALL-TIME FAVORITES collection of some 200 'best' recipes from their test kitchens is so important. From Lamb and Vegetable Skewers to Double-Cheese Polenta with Mushroom sauce and Cauliflower Parmesan, a peppering of color photos enhances very easy and appealing dishes packed with nutrition details.

The Library DVD Shelf

ADV Films
5750 Bintiff Drive, Suite 210, Houston, TX 77036
$29.98 Each

Collections strong in anime and manga will want these fine new publications from ADV which reflect a powerful Fall collection of hits. The first volume in 'Live to Kill', RED GARDEN (702727122729) is set in modern New York and offers up a vivid supernatural thriller with a fine story of a series of strange suicides, amnesia, and mysterious red butterflies. Volume 1 of XENOSAGA, the anime series inspired by the video game for PlayStation2, is XENOSAGA: ENTER THE GNOSIS (702727178429) and tells of an abandoned Earth, the embattled crew of a spaceship fighting to defend a mysterious monolith, and an evil Gnosis which will stop at nothing. Intrigue and fine science fiction action will delight both prior fans of the Xenosaga series and complete newcomers. VENUS VERSUS VIRUS (702727173721) first aired on Japanese TV in January 2007, is based on the hit manga series, and offers a new series packed with supernatural action. Demons, ghosts, and a power-girl from Venus Vanguard interact in a vivid story of hell, heaven and the dark forces among mankind called Virus. PUMPKIN SCISSORS (702727151224) is a collaborative effort between Gonzo and AIC, and is based on the six-volume manga series of the same name. Here in the aftermath of the Great War one Alice Malvin is charged to take command of an elite team where tanks are attacked with handguns. Her mission is to expose corrupt power lords - but her discovery of an alien military technology challenges her mission. All are top picks for any DVD library strong in manga or anime.

'Spiral Fitness' DVD
Rob Moses and David Carradine
David Nakahara Enterprises

Three new DVDs introduce the concept of martial arts, healing and fitness combined, offering instructional keys to using the Spiral Fitness concept and the Sphere Knot Energy Stick or spiral wand. Start with SPIRAL FITNESS: BEGINNINGS ($14.98), a 60-minute introductory program which teaches basic concepts and movements; progress further with SPIRAL FITNESS: THE BASICS ($14.98), which builds on the basics presented in BEGINNINGS and blends in moves from dance and kung fu, then move to SPIRAL FITNESS: NINE PALMS ($19.98), an 80-minute extended program covering flexible movement's connections to thinking and spirituality. All are outstanding, especially when viewed progressively as a unit guide to the spiral fitness concept, and are fine picks for new age fitness libraries.

Karen Armstrong

INCONTROL offers nearly 30 minutes of pelvic exercises designed to exercise and improve the pelvic floor muscle group, offering two routines in nine- and twelve-minute sets of exercises which are done with a minimum of equipment (the advanced routine does require an exercise ball and resistance band). Charts, diagrams and clear directions explain the physiology of the muscle exercises and how each muscle exercised affects the key organs it supports. An excellent addition, INCONTROL is especially recommended for women's health libraries from public to college levels.

Dance Lessons 101
Shawn Trautman
Xpress Innovations
Shawn Trautman's dance routines are extensive and comprise some 25 titles of dance lesson DVDs, so the release of his latest ballroom dancing video DANCE LESSONS 101 is a fine opening to any who would learn to dance at home, but who shy away from ballroom dances. It's a fine beginner's guide to ballroom, swing, Latin and country dance lessons and provides a clear set of instructions with step-by-step moves and practice music. 2 hours of details packed on a ballroom dancing DVD make this a top pick for any at-home ballroom dancer wannabe.

Baywatch Beach Body Workout
Lauren Jones

Lauren Jones has been the star of Baywatch, a cheerleader, and more: her BAYWATCH BEACH BODY WORKOUT provides nearly an hour of fat-burning exercises specially designed to get a gal into a swimsuit, and is shot on a Malibu beach emphasizing swimsuit-oriented workouts. From lunges and squats to pushups, Lauren provides a full cardio workout in segments which are designed to tone muscles and be worked in short bursts, covering head to toe. Any seeking a beachwear body will find this a fine at-home exercise program.

Drop It With Dance
Tabitha D'Umo
$14.98 www.prevention/com

Prevention Magazine is the nation's leader in health, and DROP IT WITH DANCE comes with the magazine's acclaim and features a dance expert's tree fun, ten-minute, high-energy dance routines designed to drop weight and exercise the whole body through dance and music. From hip-hop and 90s Jams to warm-up and cool down and beyond, a progressive instructional DVD packs in movements and tips on how to get the most from her fat-busting workout program. Perfect for at-home exercisers.

William Shakespeare
Union Station Media

Under the lively acting of Sam Worthington and the Union Station group comes a retelling of a classic in contemporary style packed with high drama. Here Macbeth is henchman to a crime boss, and the story is told by teenage witches whose prophecies drive his life. It's presented in letterbox, comes with a featurette which includes interviews with the actors and closed captioning, and is a fine pick for any library interested in bringing the classics to life with a contemporary twist.

Anchor Bay Entertainment
235 East 22nd Street, Suite 1S, New York NY 10010
$14.98 Each

The first two DVDs in the Element, The Mind and Body Experience collection are out and ELEMENT: BALLET CONDITIONING (013131635198) and ELEMENT: YOGA FOR BEGINNERS (013131636099) are top picks for consumers interested in tailoring ballet and yoga to exercise and conditioning workout routines. Instructor Elsie Gulan has over 18 years experience in dance education and provides unique, challenging workouts with lovely background settings. The new DANCE WORKOUT FOR DUMMIES (03131634993) provides some 44 minutes of two 20-minute workouts packed with tips and definitions of workout jargon, this appealing specifically to newcomers to the workout world with an easy tutorial. Jennifer Galardi's new DVD DANCE OFF THE INCHES: HIP HOP DANCE PARTY (013131534795) offers up a high-energy dance-based workout of 44 minutes based about ten moves used in three quick dance routines. An initial warm-up leads to three hiphop dance party dances, and comes from a professional dancer and fitness expert based in Los Angeles. Crunch gets down and dirty with two new workouts: CRUNCH: BELLY, BUTT AND THIGHS BOOT CAMP and CRUNCH: CARDIO GO-GO DANCE, which offers high-impact cardio workouts taking users through four levels of increasing difficulty. Crunch L.A. instructor Teri Ann Krefting is drill sergeant in this 41-minute muscle toning set of drills perfect for exercise libraries. Two excellent 'Ten Minute Solution' DVDs are fine workouts for specific purposes. 10 MINUTE SOLUTION: PRENATAL PILATES (013131534191) and 10 MINUTE SOLUTION: TONE TROUBLE ZONES (013131534290, $16.98) each provide quick, easy solutions to help time-crunched women to get in exercise workouts. Views can mix and match the ten-minute workouts on each DVD each time they use them for added variety. All are top picks for any DVD library strong on workout options.

Docurama Films
$26.95 each

Actress Daphne Zuniga directs and narrates the vivid TED: THE FUTURE WE WILL CREATE, a survey of a range of legendary minds who join resources to build new innovative ideas such as Google or new technologies. Every year since 1984, for our days, a group of brilliant world minds share new ideas to influence the future: TED: THE FUTURE WE WILL CREATE captures the best of TED 2006 and offers many eye-opening views of this group's participants and influence. The 2007 world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, THE DEVIL CAME ON HORSEBACK offers up an analysis and expose of the genocide in Darfur as seen through the eyes of a former U.S. Marine Captain who served as an unarmed military observer with the African Union. His photos and first-hand observations provides a wild ride into the heart of Darfur society, politics, and social issues and will prove a striking addition to any film library strong in African history and society. Director Michael Apted's MARRIED IN AMERICA 2 is a DVD providing a fine second installment about marriage in the 21st century, providing new analysis of marriage vows and why people stay together. These are excellent DVDs any general-interest library will wish for.

HBO Video
$24.98 Each
Two excellent new social issues DVDs are top picks for lending libraries at the public and college levels alike. ALICE DAY MEMORIES: HOME FROM IRAQ offers the first full-length documentary from Attaboy Films surveying the survivors of debilitating memories and injuries in Iraq. Interviews with ten soldiers and marines reveals their feelings and concerns, juxtaposing with an analysis of the physical and emotional costs of war. LITTLE ROCK CENTRAL: 50 YEARS LATER shares the stories and experiences of both black and white students surveying the special challenges of classrooms and racial issues. Both are excellent choices libraries will find popular lends.

Razor Fitness
4401 Wilshire Boulevard Suite 210, Los Angeles, CA 90010
$14.99 Each

Exercise libraries will relish Eva Vondar's MAUI PILATES - ABS MADE EASY provides viewers with a very basic Pilates program which is easily followed and requires no special fitness equipment. This 55-minute DVD can be done either in a progressive series or as bits and pieces, with chapters offering options for either approach. Traditional Pilates mat exercises offer detailed instructions which even account for lower back sufferers, and comes from a dance and fitness instructor. Eva Barash's intermediate yoga workout LIVINGROOM YOGA offers up 48 minutes of strengthening fitness routines which use systematic bodily exercises and include special movement and breathing techniques. It's easy to turn a living room into a private exercise room with this yoga instructional, perfect for home users.

Poof: You're a Magician!
Curtis Eugene Lovell II

Any who would learn basic magic and any DVD library catering to the general public will find this an excellent set of tricks ranging from challenging demos of 'miracles' which should not be tried at home to everyday parlor tricks anyone can do. Lovell dreamed of becoming a magician since the age of seven, and his step-by-step instructional brings that magic alive for all ages.

'Dance Sampler' DVDs
$19.99 Each

Dance instructor Shawn Trautman's Dance Collection offers three fine 'Dance Sampler' DVDs to help viewers learn new routines: SLOW AND ROMANTIC, BALLROOM & LATIN and COUNTRY WESTERN - all devised for beginners with very little or no dance experience. Each 90-minute set focuses on four popular, most-requested dances and offer easy step-by-step instruction, making it easy to absorb and apply lessons. The 'Dance Sampler' set can be used individually or as a group: either way, libraries strong in dance instructional DVDs will find these 'must' acquisitions.

Prevention Fitness DVDs
$14.98 Each

Two excellent sets of short ten-minute 'express' workouts power two new Prevention fitness DVD instructionals, which are highly recommended picks for libraries strong in DVD lending and exercise. SHORTCUTS TO BIG WEIGHT LOSS (9780766232563) and BETTER BELLY YOGA (9780766231207) each come with an unusual option beyond different exercise routines: the option to choose instruction with or without music, which can aid vastly in learning new routines. Prevention contributing fitness editor Chris Freytag demonstrates three basic workouts on his DVD plus a warm-up and cool-down session, offering options for working with or without weights. BETTER BELLY YOGA comes from personal trainer Desiree Barlett, who holds a degree in kinesiology and a minor in dance, and offers a warmup and three yoga segments which focus on belly and back. Both are excellent step-by-step demonstrations.

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Image Comics: The Road to Independence
George Khoury
10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh NC 27614
9781893905719, $34.95

In 1992 seven artists left their top-selling Marvel Comics titles to form a new company named Image Comics: a company which allowed them fewer editorial restraints and censorship. IMAGE COMICS: THE ROAD TO INDEPENDENCE celebrates this company, uses interviews and art from the company's founders, and includes discussions with and examples from many comic creators over the last fifteen years who have helped make the imprint a lasting, notable company. Any library strong in graphic novel or comics history needs this.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Starship: Mercenary
Mike Resnick
c/o Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn, Amherst, NY 14228-2119
9781591025993, $25.00

It's 1968 of the Galactic Era, some 3,000 years from Earth's future, and a human-created Republic is in the midst of war. A rescued rogue captain finds himself a key player in the conflict, becoming a mercenary ship forming some unusual partnerships which may ultimately be at odds with his goals and self-interest. Military science fiction at its best, STARSHIP: MERCENARY represents Book 3 in a fast-paced series.

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