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California Bookwatch

Volume 9, Number 4 April 2014 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice American History Shelf Sports Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Computer Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Business Shelf Political Science Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Photography Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Education Shelf Social Issues Shelf Music Shelf
Science Shelf Biography Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Fiction Shelf Military Shelf Crafts Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf California Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Atomic Accidents
James Mahaffey
Pegasus Books
80 Broad Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10004
9781605984926, $29.95,

Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters from the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima comes from a long-time advocate of nuclear research and energy who considers each nuclear incident and analyzes what happened. From American bombs missing during the Cold War to meltdowns and near-catastrophes, Atomic Accidents takes a close look at mistakes made by scientists and engineers and how these have lead to new information on safer nuclear power management. A 'must' for any collection strong in nuclear energy issues and management.

The Trickster's Hat
Nick Bantock
Perigee Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780399165023, $20.00,

The Trickster's Hat: A Mischievous Apprenticeship in Creativity comes from the author of the Griffin and Sabine trilogy and focuses on how to become a better creator. It uses his popular, whimsical workshops to provide nearly fifty perception exercises to encourage readers to tap their creative juices, and it advocates mischief, out-of-the-box thinking, and a sense of play adults rarely get to enjoy. The result is a recommendation for a very wide audience, from arts students and those who would apply more creative perspective to business to readers interested in the kinds of play that lead to better inspiration. Very highly recommended: whimsical, colorful and bright!

The American History Shelf

Negroes and the Gun
Nicholas Johnson
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781616148393, $19.95,

Negroes and the Gun: The Black Tradition of Arms provides a fine chronicle of the black history of bearing arms in America, and covers a startling fact: owning firearms was common in the black community and gave blacks an advantage against the KKK. This story has been submerged because it doesn't jive with the concept of civil rights nonviolence, but this book offers a strong survey of how blacks had a tradition of maintaining and using arms and it also provides a clear differentiation between self-defense and political violence. Many assumptions of civil rights experiences and issues are challenged in the course of a powerful history documenting these experiences, key for any civil rights or American history holding.

The Sports Shelf

Winging It
Diane Swintal,
McGraw Hill Professional
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor
New York, NY 10020
9780071834124, $24.00,

WINGING IT: ORACLE TEAM USA'S INCREDIBLE COMEBACK TO DEFEND THE AMERICA'S CUP is a pick for nautical and general sports collections alike, and offers an in-depth survey of Oracle Team USA's win of the 2013 America's Cup. Naval architects and builders cover their groundbreaking designs, how the Bay Area waters challenged racers, and provide explanations on how the foils and wingsails of the Oracle boat worked. Top sailors talk about their experiences with both victory and defeat in a presentation that considers innovation, experience, and the ultimate tests that brought the Oracle team to victory. A 'must' for any who would fondly recall the event and its highlights, and learn some behind-the-scenes details.

Body Trainer for Men
Ray Klerck
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076
9781450419703, $24.95,

Body Trainer for Men combines the latest scientific research on fitness and nutrition with a focus on men's training, and comes from a fitness editor who has long focused on this topic in Men's Health Magazine. It provides specific, detailed workouts for men who want to improve their fitness and strength and packs in over 127 exercises and training techniques that consider different sports goals, muscle groups, and body regions. All fitness levels can use these exercises to build a program suitable for nearly any objective, making this a top pick for any men's health or sports collection.

The Audiobook Shelf

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches
Alan Bradley
Random House Audio Books
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 5th floor, New York, NY 10019
9780307879851, $35.00,

The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches receives a fine reading by Jayne Entwistle and tells of an eleven-year-old chemist and aspiring detective who waits for her long-lost mother's return. Instead of her mother she gets a mystery delivered by a stranger who is then pushed under the train and murdered. His message is a mystery, too - prompting a chain of events that leads Flavia to unravel long-held family secrets and dangers that could change her life. A fine story filled with unpredictable twists and turns of plot makes for a winner in audio.

The Tell
Matthew Herenstein
Highbridge Audio Books
201 Sixth Street SE, Suite 220, Minneapolis, MN 55414
9781622312634, $29.95,

THE TELL: THE LITTLE CLUES THAT REVEAL BIG TRUTHS ABOUT WHO WE ARE comes from a psychologist who reveals that our intuition is good at taking small clues to make big predictions - and covers the basics of how this process can be refined to focus on the right details for better decisions. With its specifics on the prediction process, its scientific documentation, and its actual applications to real life, THE TELL is a powerful survey highly recommended for any psychology or audiobook collection, and comes to life in audio with David Drummond's vivid voice adding detail and color.

The Invention of Wings
Sue Monk Kidd
Penguin Audio
c/o The Penguin Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9781611762525, $39.95,

The Invention of Wings is Sue Monk Kidd's latest novel - a sweeping epic set in 1803 and telling of Sarah's eleventh birthday, when he's given ownership of ten-year-old Handful, who is going to be her handmaid. The next thirty-five years will result in a relationship that changes each other and is changed by the outside world, all presented in a vivid set of stories about love, mourning, courage and change. Jenna Lamia and Adepero Oduye bring the story to life with a powerfully evocative narration.

The Computer Shelf

Don't Make Me Think, Revisited
Steve Krug
New Riders
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780321965516, $45.00,

The new update of a web usage classic first published in 2000, Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web and Mobile Usability provides web developers with a revamped view of the basic principles of intuitive navigation processes, and is a 'must' for any web designer. It re-examines the basics of the first classic, updating examples and adding a new chapter on mobile usability, and it packs in illustrations that range from flow charts and diagrams to whimsical cartoons and screen shots. Throughout the presentation the points are clear and involving, making this a powerful recommendation for any computer guru and collections appealing to them.

Systems Performance Enterprise and the Cloud
Brendan Gregg
Prentice Hall Professional
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780133390094, $59.99,

Systems Performance Enterprise and the Cloud provides a fine guide to optimizing systems performance on virtualized computing system, and here focuses on Linux and Unix performance issues common to all operating systems. Chapters cover everything form virtual memory and optimization to monitoring applications, while keys to avoiding mistakes and using system tools are geared to programmers working with a range of Cloud applications and systems. Any who operate enterprise or Cloud systems and networks will find this reflects the author's extensive instruction on the topic, includes exercises for testing understanding, and is packed with tables, charts, statistics and measurable analysis, making it a 'must' for any assessing or building enterprise systems on the cloud.

Quality Code
Stephen Vance
Addison Wesley
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780321832986, $44.99,

Quality Code: Software Testing Principles, Practices, and Patterns provides a fine guide for software engineering and testing professionals and teaches the basics of test-driven development, pairing real-world code examples with a guide to over two dozen techniques for testing any software system more fully. Chapters show developers ho to choose the best testing techniques, provide two complete case studies that walk through the entire process of testing a brand-new Java application and an untested jQuery plugin, and shows how to choose among the best testing techniques and scenarios. From code to testing specifics, this is a 'must' for any learning basic software development.

DB2 Essentials
Raul F. Chong and Clara Liu
IBM Press
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780133461909, $64.99,

DB2 Essentials: Understanding DB2 in a Big Data World is for any collection strong in databases and will appeal to programmers interested in the latest applications of IBM's DB2 to business pursuits. Chapters provide a focus on creating and managing Big Data, and use DB2's latest version to discuss upgrades, integration processes, mobility, security and much more. From maintaining and backing up data to handling hacking and database objects, this includes review questions to help users prepare for IBM's latest DB2 certification exams and offers graphs, charts and black and white illustrations of basic concepts throughout its extensive coverage, making it a top pick for programmers interested in DB2's capabilities.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Crochet Red
Laura Zander
Sixth&Spring Books
161 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 1301, NY, NY 10013
9781936096619, $17.95,

Crochet Red: Crocheting for Women's Heart Health is about crochet and heart disease, and offers works from over thirty crochet experts who come to together here to raise awareness of heart disease, the top killer of women in this country. Designers range from Erika Knight and Kristin Omdahl to Vanna White and Nicky Epstein, and provide red projects ranging from jackets and hats to sweaters. The crochet ideas pair full-page color photos of completed works with diagrams and step-by-step instructions, making this a fine 'must' for any crochet collection.

Buffi's Dress Design
Buffi Jashanmal
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781612120300, $19.95,

Buffi's Dress Design teaches the foundations of dressmaking with a survey from a professional fashion designer, and provides easy instructions that show any seamstress how to make the most of basic sewing skills. Readers are instructed on making three classic dresses - the shift, the sheath, and the princess seam - and how to use these foundation dresses to create much more. Chapters cover customizing, more complex sewing techniques, and how to bring innovation and whimsy to any dress-making project, making this a 'must' for any needlework collection.

Strip Savvy
Kate Henderson
Martingale & Company
19021 Avenue NE, Bothell, WA 98011
9781604683752, $24.99,

STRIP SAVVY: 2 1/2" QUILTING DESIGNS teaches the basics of using strips to create striking quilts, and pairs fresh new designs inspired by blocks with patterns that anyone - even the newest quilter - can use. It focuses on precut strips and uses nearly twenty projects to demonstrate strip piecing and design skills, with color photos and patterns making it a snap to reproduce techniques and produce a product that looks polished and professional. Any wanting to learn strip quilting basics should look no further than this fine guide.

When Bad Things Happen to Good Knitters
Marion Edmonds & Ahza Moore
The Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
9781621130079, $21.95,

Any knitter who wants a 'survival guide' for knitting emergencies should look no further than this book, which has been revised, expanded and updated to include new projects and new tips on what to do when disaster strikes. From an alternative to ripping and understanding blocks to joining pieces and handling problems that arise when counts are right but stitches look mismatched, this is packed with both instructions on stitches and how to fix common mishaps, and is a 'must' for any knitting collection.

Bead Embroidery
Shelley Cox
Search Press USA
1338 Ross Street, Petaluma, CA 94954-1117
9781844489237, $21.95,

Bead Embroidery joins others in the 'Essential Stitch Guides' series and comes from the Royal School of Needlework, which teaches hand embroidery techniques old and new. Clear instructions accompany color photos historical and modern pieces while chapters explore how to create lovely bead embroiders using these techniques. From designing a beaded surface to using patterned fabric and specific stitch techniques from counting thread to shaping fringes, this is a fine recommendation for any needleworker who wants a full-color compendium of bead embroidery stitches and their applications.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Mercedes Lackey with Cody Martin,
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781451639322, $25.00,

REVOLUTION is Book Three of the Secret World Chronicle series which is based on characters first created in the popular MMORPG, City of Heroes, and is centered around the phenomenon of modern humans with superpowers who must learn to control their abilities. Shades of Superman! But these heroes are more complicated on many levels: they are under attack by supervillians and conspiracies and here a hacker-witch, a healer and a ghostly ally may be all that stand between world destruction and salvation. Especially recommended for prior readers of the books who will find REVOLUTION a satisfying continuation.

C.S. Friedman
Daw Books, Inc.
c/o Penguin Group
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780756408886, $19.95,

DREAMWALKER is billed as a young adult title, but is reviewed here for its wider-ranging attraction to many an adult reader as well. It launches a new series and it provides a new universe centered around teen Jessica Drake, who has always had vivid dreams that send her to other worlds. These dreams inspire her artwork but she's never shared them with anyone. Now an outsider is asking about these dreams, and is stalking her - and as Jessica looks for answers she finds her family threatened and her very world in jeopardy. Fast-paced action and adventure make for an engrossing saga science fiction readers of all ages will love.

V-S Day
Allen Steele
Ace Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780425259740, $26.95,

V-S Day: A Novel of Alternate History is set in 1941, when Wernher von Braun is ordered by his Fuhrer to abandon the V-2 rocket in favor of constructing a manned orbital spacecraft to attack the U.S. When Roosevelt discovers the plan, a space race of unprecedented urgency erupts with two secret military programs fueling a struggle that will change the world. As alternate history goes, this is a solid, vivid and believable saga that involves readers from beginning to end. Any interested in either military or alternate history science fiction will find the plot believable, fueled by solid protagonists and gripping scenarios.

The Business Shelf

Peer to Peer Leadership
Mila N. Baker
Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.
235 Montgomery Street, Suite 650
San Francisco, CA 94104-2916
9781609947477, $24.95,

PEER TO PEER LEADERSHIP: WHY THE NETWORK IS THE LEADER discusses the basics of leadership mentality and how it becomes bogged down with too much information from too many different sources to allow any one direction or leader to say on top. This book uses the peer-to-peer model of computing used in social networking to demonstrate different pathways to lasting leadership, and advocates the notion that organizations must develop networks of power in peer leaders who set goals and contribute to the network's overall health. This discussion of shifting leadership roles will delight any interested in a network-based idea of new leadership routines.

Rhetoric and the Politics of Workplace Innovation
Martin Beirne
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
9780857930002, $110.00,

College-level business collections will find much to like about Rhetoric and the Politics of Workplace Innovation: Struggling with Empowerment and Modernization. It provides insight into the ongoing controversies revolving around employee empowerment and workplace innovation, it discusses common tensions between confident rhetoric and daily realities, and it provides an in-depth analysis of employee interpretations and reactions, the culture and structure of struggle and management, and much more. College-level audiences will find this no casual read, but an in-depth survey that covers all the basic conflicts of politics and rhetoric with an analysis of how it operates in the workplace, and will find this offers much food for discussion and thought.

Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Crown Business
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
9780804137508, $23.00,

REMOTE is all about working from home, and is a top survey that offers new insights into the arguments for and against remote work. Here the authors maintain that often the advantages of remote work far outweigh any problems. Chapters discuss the realities of bringing remote work to workers, how companies see advantages in such work, and how workers get to work at the best job regardless of locale thanks to remote work possibilities. The result is a fine survey that considers all the practical applications of working remotely on the job.

Ditch the Pitch
Steve Yastrow
Select Books
1 Union Square West, Suite 909, NY, NY 10003
9781590791264, $22.95,

Ditch the Pitch: The Art of Improvised Persuasion provides a fine survey for salespeople who want to get rid of canned responses and create a more natural, albeit successful, formula for persuading customers to buy. The author's advice here rests firmly on improvisation - and provides recommendations to managers, salespeople, and any who regularly sell product or services. The focus here is on understanding how spontaneous and engaging conversations evolve, with chapters considering the elements of success and failure within these conversations. Quotes form interviews with well-known musicians and improve comedians on what spiels work make this an unusual adaption of their techniques to business interactions.

Start Me Up!
Ebong Eka
Career Press
220 West Parkway, Unit 12, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
9781601633057, $15.99,

Start Me Up! The No-Business Plan Business Plan is for any small business that wants to avoid the usual pitfalls that lead to failure, and teaches the basics of how to choose good business ideas over bad, identify the best markets, and make pricing decisions that support customers and business alike. Chapters cover the 'Four S's: structure, strategy, systems and sales' and demonstrate their importance to success. All this comes from a successful CPA and small business consultant, making for a top recommendation for any small business startup reader.

The Secret to Peak Productivity
Tamara Myles
Amacom Books
1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
9780814433850, $16.00,

The Secret to Peak Productivity: A Simple Guide to Reaching Your Personal Best comes from a Certified Professional Organizer who has developed a system to increase personal productivity at work, and offers a flexible framework for achieving better results from the workday. Myles noticed a logical progression from mastering organizational basics to attaining a sense of accomplishment - and this resulted in a framework that helps business readers make meaningful changes based on better organization and management. From reducing clutter to setting more specific terms for engagement and task management, the result is a mixture of techniques that offer a wide range of strategies: there's something certain to work for every reader.

Quick and Nimble
Adam Bryant
Times Books
c/o Henry Holt & Company
175 - 5th Avenue, Suite 400, New York, NY 10010-7725
9780805097016, $26.00,

Quick and Nimble: Lessons from Leading CEOs on How to Create a Culture of Innovation uses interviews from over two hundred CEOs to explore lessons that focus on making an organizational structure more responsible, and is a recommendation for any business collection oriented to business leaders looking to incorporate flexibility into their business structure. Chapters cover insights and strategies from top industry leaders that encourage innovation over ennui, change over status quo, and agility over entrenched belief systems. They show how to foster an environment where employees feel rewarded for their innovations, and they offer keys to tailoring actions to measurable results. Quick and Nimble is for any who would give their employees to better levels of achievement, and is a book any business collection would be happy to add.

The Political Science Shelf

The Revolt Against the Masses
Fred Siegel
Encounter Books
900 Broadway, Suite 601, New York, NY 10003
9781594036989, $23.99,

The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Has Undermined the Middle Class provides a fine pick for political science collections interested in the history of modern American liberalism, and provides an account that shows that liberalism began not with the New Deal but after World War II. Here the first real liberals eschewed the bourgeois life of European intellectuals and worked to create an American version of the aristocracy. Chapters discuss the waning of middle-class capitalism and business pursuits of profit, the rise of liberal ideals, and how modern liberal sentiments were born. Any political studies collection concerned with the roots of political sentiments should have this remarkable analysis.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Yes, And....Daily Meditations
Richard Rohr
Franciscan Media
28 W. Liberty Street, Cincinnati, Ohio, 45202-6498
9781616366445, $24.99,

Yes, And....Daily Meditations is a recommendation for any spirituality collection strong in Roman Catholic thinking, and uses daily inspirations from the most influential spiritual teachers in the world to profile meditations for each day of the year. It collects the author's teaching centered around seven spiritual themes, linking these meditations into his overall goals and perceptions of a more spiritual life and providing a series of insights from diverse resources, reflecting on everything from the Celtic knot and spiritual ecology to the necessity of falling in order to achieve growth. The result is a top recommendation for any spirituality collection.

10 Days Without
Daniel Ryan Day
Multnomah Books
12265 Oracle Blvd., Suite 200
Colorado Springs, CO 80921
9781601424679, $13.99,

10 Days Without: Daring Adventures in Discomfort That Will Change Your World and You is a spiritual survey by one whose life was immersed in Christian principles and training. One day he realized his life was more a bout good intentions than good actions - and decided that going without something could possibly make a difference. His 10 Days Without experiment changed his life, and is presented here as a tool for change. The purpose is to eliminate indifference and achieve new meaning in life: this program is a personal tool any can use to achieve greater spiritual insights.

A Loving Life
Paul E. Miller
Crossway Books
1300 Crescent Street, Wheaton, IL 60187
9781433537325, $12.99,

A LOVING LIFE IN A WORLD OF BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS pairs Christian sentiments and spirituality with a fine coverage on how to embrace relationships and foster understanding and faith, and provides a helpful book about how to love in a threatening world. It explains the story of Ruth but uses Biblical insight to further the idea of relationships in the world, pairing psychology with spiritual reflection. The result is a powerful account that paints a very different portrait of how to hang on to loving relationships in a challenging world.

John Mark Comer
Zondervan Publishing House
5300 Patterson Avenue, S.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49530
9780310337263, $19.99,

Loveology provides a warm survey of God, marriage, sex and the search for love between men and women, and is a spiritual reflection recommended for any Christian reader. Chapters use Biblical quotes to consider issues of marriage and sex and provide conversations especially accessible to teens and readers used to viewing sex discussions as filled with discomfort. Specific questions link God to marriage: "What has God put in front of you? Will marriage help you to do that, or will it make it harder?" Good questions and answers make for a lively discourse.

The Photography Shelf

Mastering the Nikon D610
Darrell Young
Rocky Nook
802 East Cota Street, 3rd Floor, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
9781937538453, $39.95,

Mastering the Nikon D610 offers a wealth of details and insights for owners of the new D610 Nikon camera, and provides in-depth discussions of all its features. Step-by-step explanations of adjustments, options, menus, and more are provided for those with no prior camera knowledge, creating a chatty and easily-flowing survey packed with full color screen shots and examples. Recommendations include first-person discussions of the author's own preferences, discussions of effects created by differing settings, and keys to using the camera for optimum results. Any who have just purchased this camera will find this the handbook of choice, leaving nothing to guesswork and offering the opportunity to get up to speed quickly with all its features.

The Library: A World History
James W.P. Campbell
University of Chicago Press
1427 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637
9780226092812, $75.00,

The Library: A World History pairs lovely color photos by Will Pryce with a fine survey by an architectural historian and photographer who traveled around the world together documenting some eighty notable libraries that offer different approaches to thinking about and designing libraries. It provides an in-depth survey of library architecture around the world throughout history, providing lovely color photos capturing each building's structure and interior. While this is also a top pick for any arts and architecture collection, it's a solid reference for any interested in library construction, collection development, and photos of historic and purposeful buildings.

The Photoshop Elements 12 Book for Digital Photographers
Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski
Peachpit Press
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780321947802, $49.99,

The Photoshop Elements 12 Book for Digital Photographers joins other photography guides in the 'Voices That Matter' series, and provides an updated book covering both Windows and Mac environments. From how professionals retouch digital photos to using Camera Raw to process jpeg and tiff files, pictures accompany step-by-step instructions to help users gain the most of Photoshop Elements 12. Be aware: this book is not for the bare-bones newcomer to Elements: some prior experience with the program is recommended to make this the best instructional guide. Those with such a background will find this a powerful survey.

The Cookbook Shelf

Joanna Hardy and Jonathan Self
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500517208, $125.00,

EMERALD is a celebration of the gem that is packed with hundreds of examples of emerald jewelry and tells how the gem gained popularity and was incorporated into major works of jewelry art. Over 200 pieces featuring emeralds include previously unseen designs from private and public collections as a history covers the evolution of emerald jewelry and the evolution of modern jewelry makers. With its thorough discussions of both the emerald trade and its marketing and art, this is a unique reference that will be a 'must' not just for arts holdings, but for any serious jewelry or gemstone collector.

Great Balls of Cheese
Michelle Buffardi
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003
9781118497203, $16.99,

Great Balls of Cheese offers a whimsical and fun collection of some 50 cheese ball recipes suitable for entertaining, and is a fun and compelling read updating the traditional concept of the party cheese ball. These balls are both sweet and savory, they incorporate fun decorations and themes, and they represent a big upgrade in flavors, presentation and appeal. From seasonal balls representing Christmas Trees for Christmas and Witch Hats for Halloween to everyday party ideas, such as an owl or a hedgehog, these party balls are highly recommended for any interested in creating new, appealing appetizers.

Leon: Fast Vegetarian
Jane Baxter & Henry Dimbleby
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781840916362, $29.99,

Leon: Fast Vegetarian comes from Henry Dimbleby, the co-founder of the UK restaurant chain Leon, and food writer Jane Baxter, who together explore the healthy fast food that made the Leon chain so popular in the UK. It offers vegetable-based dishes that can serve as either hearty side dishes or the centerpiece of meal, it includes new ideas for breakfasts and meals for the entire family, and it accompanies each dish with a full-page color photo, a sidebar of tips, and attention to step-by-step easy details. When combined with the 'fast' feature, this cookbook becomes required reading for any busy vegetarian cook.

Biting Through the Skin
Nina Mukerjee Furstenau
University of Iowa Press
119 West Park Road, Iowa City, IA 52242-1000
9781609381851, $19.00,

Biting Through the Skin: An Indian Kitchen in America's Heartland provides a fine food memoir telling of how the author embraced two cultures as a first-generation immigrant growing up in America's heartland. She shares not only recipes here, but an exploration of her identity as an Indian American in the rural Midwest. From social issues to fun encounters between cultural beliefs, this is a wonderful read both for 'foodie' leisure browsers and those who are interested in the integration of ethnic cultures and cuisines, and offers a lively and easy dialogue throughout on these topics.

North American Cornucopia
Ernest Small
CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300
Boca Raton, FL 33487
9781466585928, $149.95,

North American Cornucopia: Top 100 Indigenous Food Plants is for any college-level collection strong in agricultural science, and presents a detailed survey of North American plants key to food production. It blends detailed scholarship and reference material with anecdotes to lighten the load, full-color illustrations and a survey of some 100 native food plants of North America north of Mexico that have the greatest commercial success. From the historical development of these plants to their food impact, this pairs scholarly research with a user-friendly format rarely seen in solid references, combining insights on the scientific names of plants and their distributions with economic and social discussions and food uses and culinary applications. Not for the general-interest reader, this is nonetheless a wonderful multi-faceted reference that belongs in agricultural science and culinary collections alike - and should not be missed by either.

The Cracker Book
Lee E. Cart
Burford Books, Inc.
101 East State Street, #301, Ithaca, NY 14850
9781580801706, $12.95,

THE CRACKER BOOK: ARTISANAL CRACKERS FOR EVERY OCCASION offers a wide range of recipes for making a variety of healthy, varied crackers - some fifty in all - and is a pick for any culinary collection looking for a narrowed focus on cracker production. From old-fashioned butter crackers and grahams to those filled with unusual spices and flavors, this covers ingredients that range from wheat to brown rice, and provide recipes for accompanying dips and spreads as well as homemade crackers themselves. It's under 100 pages but it's packed with flavor and interesting approaches to cracker-making.

The Juice Generation
Eric Helms with Amely Greeven
Touchstone Books
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781476745688, $20.00,

The Juice Generation: 100 Recipes for Fresh Juices and Superfood Smoothies provides photos and recipes to consider juices and smoothies and comes from the founder of Juice Generation, and co-owner of Cooler Cleanse, a company that delivers fresh juices overnight to customers around the U.S. It promotes raw juices and blended drinks as important sources of vitamins and enzymes and explains how people can use fresh juices to add these nutrients into their diets. With its survey of fine juice combinations, this is a top recommendation for health and culinary collections alike.

Fabio's Italian Kitchen
Fabio Viviani
Hyperion Books
77 West 66th Street, New York, NY 10023-6298
9781401312770, $24.99,

Fabio's Italian Kitchen provides some 100 recipes from Fabio Viviani, and ranges from basic Italian fare and family favorites to recipes that take the Italian theme a step further, adding wines and using traditional Italian ingredients in a whole new way. The idea is to encourage readers to make home-cooked Italian food that relies on fresh ingredients, and the dishes here come from the author's experience both in media and as the owner of two successful restaurants in Los Angeles. The result is a cookbook that goes beyond your usual Italian fare to start with the basics and move into higher realms of innovation and gourmet flavor combinations: highly recommended for any cookbook library.

Weight Watchers What to Cook Now
Weight Watchers
St. Martin's Griffin
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781250044549, $29.99,

Weight Watchers What to Cook Now: 300 Recipes for Every Kitchen pairs the Weight Watchers program with the perennial question of what to cook that suits that program but appeals to the entire family, and is a fine recommendation for any on the Weight Watchers' program. The idea is to use concentrated flavors readily available in any kitchen paired with new kitchen tools and techniques that bring out the most in these flavors. Chapters display a wide range of international influences and offer mouth-watering, often surprising combinations such as a Grilled Shrimp with Mango-Ginger Dipping Sauce. The result is a cookbook branded with the 'Weight Watches' name, holding appeal to any who would watch their diet but still eat well.

The Education Shelf

Brave New Digital Classroom, second edition
Robert J. Blake
Georgetown University Press
3240 Prospect Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007
9781589019768, $26.95,

BRAVE NEW DIGITAL CLASSROOM: TECHNOLOGY AND FOREIGN LANGUAGE LEARNING appears in its second updated edition and is a pick for college-level readers interested in applications of computer technology in the foreign language classroom. It admonishes teachers to embrace and integrate the new language learning technologies into a classroom or face depriving not only students but themselves of new learning opportunities, and it also advocates using technology as a tool, not as a learning substitute. Thus chapters focus on this integration process, its pros, and its pitfalls, and provide solid tools for teachers to consider when harnessing the power of new technology. No education collection should be without this guide on how to proceed.

Improving Achievement with Digital Age Best Practices
Christopher M. Moersch
Corwin Press
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218
9781452255507, $34.95,

Improving Achievement with Digital Age Best Practices comes from the founder of the internationally recognized LoTi (Levels of Teaching Innovation) Framework, and provides teachers with a solid tool for implementing digital age best practices. Discussions cover everything from promoting networked collaboration to using research-based instructional strategies, and provide practical tips for classroom and district-wide implementation alike. The result is a solid program highly recommended for any education reference library.

Cracking the GRE 2014
Doug Pierce
The Princeton Review
c/o Random House Inc.
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
9780307945648, $35.99,

Cracking the GRE 2014 pairs six full-length practice tests with proven study techniques to assure higher scores and an 'insider' guide to grad school, making for a study guide that is a 'must' for any studying for the latest version of the GRE. Sidebars of information accompany quizzes, tests, formulas, math vocabulary study sections, and much more, while the sections covering analytical writing skills provide specific information on how the essay format can be aced. Chapters also include topics that may appear on the GRE that don't fit neatly into chapter subjects, and even though they may appear infrequently on the GRE, they're good to know. The result is a full-fledged study guide that's a 'must' for any GRE student.

The Social Issues Shelf

Privacy in the Age of Big Data
Theresa M. Payton & Theodore Claypoole
Rowman & Littlefield
4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781442225459, $35.00,

Privacy in the Age of Big Data: Recognizing Threats, Defending Your Rights, and Protecting Your Family provides a powerful reference focusing on privacy in the digital world, and is a fine pick for any who would consider the ramifications of how data is collected, stored and used. Current practices have created a level of data collection and surveillance never before used: while some of these methods are justified by protection and new services, others intrude on civil liberties. This book considers the pros and cons of new digital surveillance systems and analyzes the dangers of information tracking, offering readers insights into ways we are tracked, and how to change behaviors and activities to regain more privacy. It's an in-depth discussion that should be a part of any social issues or computer science library, offering much food for thought.

Affluenza, third edition
John De Graaf,
Berrett-Koehler Publishers
235 Montgomery Street, Suite 650
San Francisco, CA 94104-2916
9781609949273, $22.95,

Affluenza: How Overconsumption is Killing Us - and How to Fight Back provides a new edition of a classic survey on the subject and is a recommendation for any business reader, any consumer, and any interested in the social condition of consumption. This book's now in its third edition and provides a powerful history of the role overconsumption placed in various social and political upheavals, new ways to measure social success, and policy recommendations that could affect political and social milieus alike. A fine survey, this is a recommended pick for any social issues reader as well as business and political issues collections.

The Smart Society
Peter D. Salins
Encounter Books
900 Broadway, Suite 601, New York, NY 10003
9781594037009, $25.99,

THE SMART SOCIETY: STRENGTHENING AMERICA'S GREATEST RESOURCE, ITS PEOPLE is for any college-level collection strong in public policy and economics, and offers an analysis containing a blueprint for how the U.S. can change its human-capital policies in education and work to make all Americans more successful. It advocates rebuilding the nation with greater equality and competitive advantage, and it promotes a people-oriented structure that embraces social and political change alike. The result is a powerful survey highly recommended for any social issues collection.

Sex Workers Unite
Melinda Chateauvert
Beacon Press
25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108-2892
9780807061398, $26.95,

Sex Workers Unite: A History of the Movement from Stonewall to SlutWalk provides an unusual history connecting sex workers with social movements in America, and is a fine recommendation for any college-level social issues collection. It chronicles how prostitutes, escorts, strippers and call girls have participated in major civil rights struggles, it considers their political savvy and their social involvements, and it offers stories of a virtually undocumented underground and movement, introducing the perceptions of skilled activists working for sexual freedoms. The result is a powerful account recommended for any social issues holding.

The Music Shelf

The History of Marshall: The First Fifty Years, revised edition
Michael Doyle and Nick Bowcott
Hal Leonard
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing
33 Plymouth St, Suite 302, Montclair, NJ 07042
9781423489016, $40.00,

The History of Marshall: The First Fifty Years was originally published in 1993 to much acclaim: twenty years later here comes the updated, revised edition that offers more insights and added innovations, with co-author Nick Bowcott contributing much to the Marshall story. This is a vastly expanded, all-color illustrated history of the Marshall company and its products and brings everything up to date, offering twice as many chapters as the last edition and many more historical documents. From reprints of vintage catalogs to extensive new histories of equipment, this new release should replace the prior book and offers any music history collection a solid, important survey.

One Way Out
Alan Paul
St. Martins Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781250040497, $29.99,

ONE WAY OUT: THE INSIDE HISTORY OF THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND provides, surprisingly, the first major biography of the group, was written with the band's full participation, and is based on interviews with over 60 people related to the band: all of its surviving members and many others. New photos, letters, and memorabilia contribute to a wide-ranging chronicle that follows every facet of the band's evolution, providing stories of all kinds of encounters and vivid accounts of band member personalities. The result is a 'must' for any rock history collection: one that thoroughly examines the Allman Brothers Band's allure and evolution.

The Story of Music
Howard Goodall
Pegasus Books
80 Broad Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10004
9781605985381, $27.95,

The Story of Music: From Babylon to the Beatles: How Music Has Shaped Civilization covers the evolution of some 40,000 years of human history and popular music, from prehistoric instruments to modern pop songs, and focuses on the ideas and early innovations of music. As such ideas led to notions of harmony, notation, music in dance and orchestra settings, and more, each idea advanced the definition and nature of music itself. Music isn't just about entertaining or even art: it's about invention, innovation, and evolutionary processes outlined here in a lively survey recommended for any popular music listener.

The Science Shelf

The Accidental Universe
Alan Lightman
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
9780307908582, $24.00,

The Accidental Universe: The World You Thought You Knew is not a physics, astronomy or singular science coverage, but a unified examination of all kinds of theories and sentiments, from atheism and multiple universes to different theories about time. Ordinary occurrences are linked to extraordinary concepts about the universe in a collection of fine essays, each of which offers a different perspective on the universe. From man's search for symmetry and its definition to art, experiments, and mankind's greatest conceptual challenges, The Accidental Universe is a top pick for any interested in man's evolving concepts of his world.

The Monkey's Voyage
Alan de Queiroz
Basic Books
c/o Perseus Books Group
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
9780465020515, $27.99,

THE MONKEY'S VOYAGE: HOW IMPROBABLE JOURNEYS SHAPED THE HISTORY OF LIFE offers a radical new theory about how plants and animals traveled around the world - and it's now via the landmasses as they broke up, according to biologist Alan de Queiroz. His new theory posits that animals and plants traveled the world on their own; not as passive victims of continental drift. Chapters from an evolutionary biologist consider how this happened and provides a host of strange but true stories surrounding animal migrations and journeys. Any natural history holding will find this an excellent survey, while general-interest readers will find it lively and accessible.

Weird Life
David Toomey
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393348262, $15.95,

WEIRD LIFE: THE SEARCH FOR LIFE THAT IS VERY, VERY DIFFERENT FROM OUR OWN provides a fine survey of the boundaries at which life could exist, and tells of how scientists in the 1980s and 1990s began to find organisms that survived extreme conditions. It uses these findings to consider whether other extremes defined as 'life' exist in the universe, and offers hypothesis about microbes and life based not in carbon but on silicon, nuclear chemistry, and more. Chapters consider the many possibilities for such 'weird life' based on such found on Earth and provide a fine introduction for what could be discovered or posited about life in general. A fascinating, lively reading, this is a pick for general-interest as well as science holdings.

The Biography Shelf

Pee-Shy: A Memoir
Frank Spinelli
c/o Kensington Publishing Corp.
119 West 40th Street, Floor 21, NY, NY 10018-2522
9780768291325, $15.00,

Pee-Shy: A Memoir tells how the author overcame childhood trauma to become a leader in preventing abuse, and recounts his life-long struggles in an inspirational memoir recommended for any who have suffered childhood molestation. At age 11 Spinelli endured two years of molestation by his Scout leader - and the effects of this trauma lasted well into adulthood, when he finally faced his abuser in court and opened up about his past. His vivid first-person recollections will involve any who want to know how trauma is not only survived, but overcome.

Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience
Eileen Cronin
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393089011, $26.95,

Mermaid: A Memoir of Resilience is a novel of resilience and comes from a woman born without legs, who was three before she realized she was different. While her family treated her no differently from her siblings, school was another thing: she had to learn how to handle teasing, bullying and queries from the world outside her home, and how to feel comfortable in the world. There were darker influences also - a mentally ill mother who denied she took thalidomide, known to cause birth defects, and her own descent into alcoholism after her brother died. It's a brutally honest, involving read that's all about adaptation and survival, and is recommended for any general lending library.

James & Dolley Madison
Bruce Chadwick
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781616148355, $24.95,

James & Dolley Madison: America's First Power Couple provides an in-depth new focus on the couple based on recently uncovered letters at the University of Virginia and other sources, and comes from a historian who has used this new material to provide a new reconstruction of the Madison's personal lives and political encounters. Bruce Chadwick argues that Madison was a not an average president, but a successful political and military leader. Chapters offer evidence to support this and also expose family dynamics and conflicts and their glamorous lifestyle. The result is a detailed but lively survey highly recommended for any biography or political studies collection.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

An Air of Treason
P.F. Chisholm
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave., #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781464202209, $24.95,

An Air of Treason provides a fine Sir Robert Carey mystery set in London of bygone years. Here Sir Robert has finally tracked down Queen Elizabeth, who orders him to investigate the 1560 death of Amy Dudley, one of the most dangerous cases of their times. Robert Dudley was Elizabeth's favorite suitor and potential husband - and the Queen thus has been one of the suspects in Amy's murder. So Carey is doubly uneasy with the political ramifications of his latest assignment - especially when a foiled poisoning attempt renders him blind. Solid, gripping action and history keeps this an unpredictable mystery with many satisfying twists and turns.

River Road
Jayne Ann Krentz
c/o Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780399165122, $26.95,

Romance readers well know the name of Jayne Ann Krentz, and will welcome her latest book even though it represents a departure from her recent work, which has centered around paranormal settings. Here readers learn about one Lucy Sheridan, who is settling in Northern California's lush wine country, there to foster her work as a forensic genealogist tracking down heirs. This time her inheritance places her on the other side of the job - and on the track of a close-held mystery that may involve murder. Add an encounter with her teenage crush, Mason, and sparks fly on several fronts in a steamy and emotionally charged romance mystery that is gripping and involving.

The Fiction Shelf

North of Boston
Elisabeth Elo
Pamela Dorman Books
c/o Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
97806700115658, $27.95,

NORTH OF BOSTON provides a thought-provoking novel about Pirio Kasparov, a Boston girl who discovers a unique ability to survive sub-freezing water after a brush with death when a freighter capsizes her fishing boat. Pirio finds her life changed as a result of her friend's death in the same accident - and by the realization that the accident may have been intentional. As she uncovers a lethal plot that goes beyond her own survival, she undertakes a journey into the wilderness and must survive not only extreme temperatures, but deadly forces beyond her ken. NORTH OF BOSTON is thriller writing at its best, and will immerse any interested in a solid and changing story.

Twisted Sisters
Jen Lancaster
c/o Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780451239655, $25.95,

Any reader of Jen Lancaster knows she's filled with wry observation and humor: expect no less from her latest, third novel TWISTED SISTERS, who tells of one Reagan, who should be thrilled with her life as a celebrity psychologist on TV. Unfortunately no matter what her accomplishments, her younger sister remains the apple of the family's eye. When Reagan finds a way to switch bodies, a whole new world opens up in this fun story of different perspectives and two sisters who might even come to understand one another, even as adults.

The Face Transplant
R. Arundel
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9780991979905, $13.45,

The Face Transplant is medical thriller writing at its best, is set in the near future, and revolves around facial transplant surgeon Dr. Matthew MacAulay, who is forced at gunpoint to perform a transplant on a patient who then dies. When MacAulay's mentor dies the same day, he discovers there's a murderer at large, and that there's an underlying plot reaching far beyond personal motive and gain and into national security realms. The resulting investigation will lead to the highest levels of political office and to a revelation that sends Matthew on the run as he investigates the growing murders of his friends and colleagues. Written by a practicing facial plastic surgeon, this is intrigue, action, and medical thriller writing at its very best, and is a highly recommended saga, especially for fans of Robin Cook.

The Military Shelf

Roman Guardsman 62 BC-AD 324
Ross Cowan
Osprey Publishing
4301 21st St, Suite 220B, Long Island City, NY 11101
9781782009252, $18.95,

Roman Guardsman 62 BC-AD 324 is illustrated by Sean O'Brogain and joins others in Osprey's early military history 'warrior' series. Here the focus is on four centuries of the elite corps of guardsmen who were the heart of every Roman army. Chapters cover their strategies and skills, the changing nature of their organization and approaches to battle, successes and failures, and much more, with color illustrations accompanying black and white photos of artifacts. Any early history collection strong in either military accounts in general or Roman events in particular will find this a fine addition.

The Crafts Shelf

The Prayer Shawl Journal & Handbook
Janet Severi Bristow & Victoria A. Cole-Galo
The Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
9781621136736, $19.95,

The Prayer Shawl Journal & Handbook: Inspiration, Plus Knit and Crochet Basics provides a blend of journal and step-by-step guide for knitters and crocheters, and is recommended for crafts, needlework and inspirational collections alike. Some ten shawl patterns are accompanied by a month-by-month Prayer Shawl Year section of blank journal pages suitable for making personal entries. Inspirational quotes round out the sections. Spirituality crafters and needleworkers will find this a satisfying blend of purposes and will appreciate the focus on the prayer shawl overall.

Beautiful Leather Jewelry
Melissa Cable
Kalmbach Books
21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53186
9781627000659, $21.99,

Beautiful Leather Jewelry is not your usual basic primer on working with leather, but promotes a different kind of technique based on the authors innovations. As such, you won't find its instructions elsewhere, making this a 'must' for any crafts collection strong in either leatherwork or jewelry making. Chapters offer new methods for altering leather to create unique, different pieces. They cover the basics of a jewelry design process that incorporates other mediums, such as crystals or wood or felt, into the process, and they provide a host of projects reinforcing these approaches. The result is something quite different from your usual jewelry-making or leatherwork guide - and something highly recommended for any crafts collection.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Sacred Science of Ancient Japan
Avery Morrow
Bear & Company
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781591431701, $16.00,

The Sacred Science of Ancient Japan tells of some two dozen secret manuscripts originally dating back to the Paleolithic era in Japan that have been handed down by ruling families for centuries and rejected by orthodox Japanese scholars. Until now they have not seen English translation - which makes this book unique in its discussion not only of the documents, but their meaning to world knowledge. Translating directly from their original Japanese, Avery Morrow considers four of these manuscripts and their stories, connects them to Japanese history and spirituality, and provides an in-depth survey of their underlying spiritual meaning. New age readers interested in ancient history will find this an excellent examination of a little-known document.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Pain Management in Veterinary Practice
Christine M. Egger,
350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148
9780813812243, $79.99,

Pain Management in Veterinary Practice is a reference for veterinary offices and practitioners and considers the physiology and pathophysiology of all kinds of animal pain, from large to exotic species. Expect more from this than an overview of pain medications and their administration and management: chapters cover techniques for complimentary treatments from acupuncture to massage and physical therapy, consider nutrition's role in pain management, and provide specific advice for specific kinds of pain. The result is a veterinary handbook recommended for any practitioner.

The California Shelf

My Year in California
Ingrid Hart
Divine Daytripper Publishing
PO Box 11327
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
9780989749909 $19.95

Half text memoir, half devoted to vivid, full-color photography, My Year in California: A Journey Toward Midlife Renewal is the personal story of a middle-aged mother who traveled California for a year after both her children left for college. She explored the state's history, stunning sights, and spiritual legacy, in a quest for midlife renewal. "At midlife, we are called to examine our lives in a new way... As we grow older and enter the second half of life, we set ourselves apart from who we once used to be and consider who we will become. In this new phase of life, we offer more of our experience to others and understand that our time on this Earth is finite - that there is an end point. How will we spend the precious time we have left? It was my goal to answer that question." An insightful and enlightening browse, recommended for anyone considering their own voyage of self-discovery, especially in the Golden State.

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

Diane C. Donovan, Editor & Senior Reviewer
12424 Mill Street, Petaluma, CA 94952
phone: 1-707-795-4629

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