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California Bookwatch

Volume 11, Number 4 April 2016 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Education Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Biography Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf Gardening Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
American History Shelf Sports Shelf Technology Shelf
Philosophy Shelf Music Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Computer Shelf Automotive Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Political Science Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Fiction Shelf Photography Shelf Travel Shelf
California Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Aldous Huxley's Hands
Allene Symons
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633881167 $18.00

Aldous Huxley's Hands: His Quest for Perception and the Origin and Return of Psychedelic Science draws together psychedelics, neuroscience and historical biography along with more than a light dose of serendipity which resulted from journalist Allene Symons's discovery of a lost photo of Aldous Huxley. Until her discovery, she had no idea that Huxley was once a friend of her father's - but her father had meticulously photographed human hands in his efforts to develop a science using them to predict mental states, and among the box contents she discovered the name of Huxley on the back of an image. Her journey to understand her pragmatic father's relationship with Huxley led her on a journey that reconstructed Huxley's experimentation with psychedelics and, ultimately, her own father's involvement in the era. Both new age and general-interest and science readers will relish this vivid story of Huxley's circle, which reached out to include unlikely participants in its strange new world.

Choosing Hope
Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis with Robin Gaby Fisher
c/o Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780399174452 $26.95

Choosing Hope: Moving Forward from Life's Darkest Hours doesn't come from the usual psychiatric professional, but is written by a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut who hid fifteen first-grade students in a tiny bathroom, saving their lives from a shooter. One might expect such an author to produce a book about her choices and experience; but though Choosing Hope stems from that, it's not about Sandy Hook events, but about the process whereby people gain empowerment over unpredictable, uncontrollable influences in their lives. Hope is provided as a choice, here, and an alternative to despair and hopelessness. Any who have felt their basic feeling of security dissolve under life's pressures will find a tool kit on how to regain hope. While the events at Sandy Hook prompted this book, they didn't define it: there's a bigger picture involved; one which Choosing Hope explores in chapters that tell how to choose purpose, change perspective, overcome obstacles and, ultimately, create new worlds. Any who have found their lives shattered will find especially relevant and useful this roadmap to regaining power and applying it against all odds.

The Internet Apocalypse
Peter Andrew Sacco, PhD, Inc.
5726 Cortez Rd W, #349, Bradenton, FL 34210
9781634908443 $16.95

The modern world is so connected in so many ways that for some, it's difficult to recall quite what it was like before the internet made communications a snap. Now think of the favorite devices of apocalyptic novels: zombies, viruses in man or computer, hostile takeovers by fellow man or aliens, or even meteor strikes, to name a few. Any one of these could bring down the net and, with it, connectivity. How would mankind survive? More importantly, how would you survive? Dr. Sacco's title is about that process, and it covers the basics of how to survive if the internet shuts down. In some cases, this means going 'back to basics': newspapers for news, dictionaries and encyclopedias for information. In other cases, this means adapting to alternative ways of playing games, engaging with others, and developing new hobbies. The Internet Apocalypse covers all possibilities in its survey of changing focus and lives in a possible post-internet era. It offers a mix of practical information, such as understanding different kinds of banking systems and how they operate, and details specific to conducting personal lives and business without the internet's infrastructure. Forewarned is forearmed, and this guide's focus on various aspects of life that will be changed by the internet's absence allows survival-minded thinkers to understand their options and alternative resources in advance of any possible disaster.

The Education Shelf

From Seatwork to Feetwork, second edition
Ron Nash
Corwin Press, Inc.
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218
9781506323787, $29.95,

From Seatwork to Feetwork: Engaging Students in Their Own Learning appears in its second updated edition to provide revised strategies that have been proven in the classroom to involve students as active learners. Teachers receive a combination of the latest research on exercise and brain development, with new chapters covering the use of feedback in place of praise, and how classroom time may be maximized by a fair pairing of speakers and listeners. Examples cover both elementary and secondary levels while strategies incorporate the basic Speaking and Listening Skills of the Common Core State Standards. Any teacher interested in student engagement will find this a fine key to collaboration, maximizing competition, and creating an emotionally safe classroom environment for better learning opportunities.

Growing Independent Learners
Debbie Diller
Stenhouse Publishers
480 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781571109125, $39.00,

Growing Independent Learners: From Literacy Standards to Stations, K-3 discusses the foundations of how to build literacy work stations in a classroom, and offers teachers a series of approaches and explanations that include lesson plans for groups and individuals and tools that incorporate whole-group instruction methods. From planning and organizing for such work stations to applying them to a classroom and handling challenges, this guide offers a variety of focuses applicable to the entire classroom and smaller work groups alike, and is packed with color photos from classroom applications and team planning tools, charts, and first-person reflections. The result is no light theory but a comprehensive review of how such stations work for K-3 grade levels.

International Guide to Student Achievement
John Hattie and Eric M. Anderman
711 - 3rd Avenue, Floor 8, New York, NY 10017-9209
9781138955950 $49.95

International Guide to Student Achievement is a weighty college-level examination that draws together various theories and the latest international research on what makes students into achievers, and is a top recommendation for educators who would look at not another strategy-oriented guide, but a compilation of research that considers all the major influences known to shape student academic roles in various countries around the world. This international approach considers a range of options and tested ideas that can be crafted to any school setting, and is explored in over 150 entries that mix new educational insights into an approach easy to add to existing school routines. Authors who have contributed to this collection all follow a common format which allows readers to easily cross-compare information throughout the book. From middle school transitions and handling testing, vocabulary, and other programs to issues revolving around acceleration, this is a powerful collection of insights critical to any who would receive an in-depth analysis of the basic influences on student achievement around the world.

The Self-Help Shelf

How to Be Alive
Colin Beavan
Dey Street
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062236708 $25.99

How to Be Alive: A Guide to the Kind of Happiness That Helps the World examines many philosophical and psychological foundations of happiness and contentment, including how to decide what career should be pursued, how to feel good about life, and how to develop core values and passions that support life decisions. As many seem chronically miserable despite their apparent wealth or good luck, this book should be required reading for any looking to get the most out of life: it covers everything from money and career to making friendships and gaining the most from interpersonal relationships, and it offers case history stories of individuals who have turned their lives around and discovered new meaning. From better approaches to decision-making to finding simplicity in life's daily chaos, How to Be Alive proves that happiness does not lie everywhere nor in a singular approach, but embraces a range of insights, methods, and alternative ways of living.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Applied Veterinary Clinical Nutrition
Andrea J. Fascetti and Sean J. Delaney, Editors
350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148
9780813806570, $114.95,

Applied Veterinary Clinical Nutrition provides current nutritional advice for use in daily canine and feline practice, and offers solutions on how to blend nutrition into general clinical practices. It comes from a group of veterinary nutritionists and offers insights on animal nutrition and feeding practices in both healthy and diseased dogs and cats, but the meat of the title lies in strategies for blending these principles into a typical vet practice. From pet food choices to managing skin diseases and ill health through nutritional changes, this is easy to understand, offering vet students clear examples and the latest research. Students seeking a basic introduction to the topic will find this fits the bill.

Love, Animals & Miracles
Dr. Bernie S. Siegel
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608603345 $21.95

Love, Animals & Miracles: Inspiring True Stories Celebrating the Healing Bond blends personal growth issues with animal stories: as such, it's recommended for an audience of new age readers and animal enthusiasts alike. Dr. Bernie Siegel offers many of the stories from his own life and considers how animals serve in different roles, from teaching and supporting humans to acting as healers and even rescuers. Each story holds a wider lesson that can apply to life experience, and each uses the animal as an example of how humans may not only learn from animals, but be supported and loved by them both psychologically and spiritually.

The Biography Shelf

Apprehensions & Convictions
Mark Johnson
Quill Driver Books
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721
9781610352642 $18.95

Apprehensions & Convictions: Adventures of a 50-Year-Old Rookie Cop provides a memoir of Mark Johnson's second career as a cop, when he left the United Way at age fifty to become the oldest rookie cop in the Mobile, Alabama police department. It wasn't just an adjustment to a new career: it was a lifestyle change as Johnson absorbed a world of danger and choices that went beyond his prior focus on social issues and into the realm of life-and-death decisions. His blend of harrowing experiences, the processes and choices of being a cop, and how he entered a different world makes for a powerfully compelling account.

Bill & Hillary
Darwin Porter & Danforth Prince
Blood Moon Productions
75 Saint Marks Place, Staten Island, New York 10301-1606
9781936003471 $29.95

Bill & Hillary: So This Is That Thing Called Love is both a biographical coverage of the Clintons and a political expose; so readers interested in more than the Clintons' personal lives now have a detailed, weighty exploration that traces the couple's social and political evolution, from how each entered the political arena to their White House years under Bill Clinton's presidency. One might expect a light survey from a biography, but Bill & Hillary is anything but: as much as it contains gossip, scandal, and biographical sketches, it also delves deeply into the news and politics of its times, presenting enough historical background to fully explore the underlying controversies affecting the Clinton family and their choices. Sidebars of information and black and white photos liberally peppered throughout the account offer visual reinforcement to the exploration, lending it the feel and tone of both a gossip column and political piece - something that probes not just Clinton interactions but the D.C. political milieu as a whole. The result may appear weighty, sporting over five hundred pages, but is an absorbing, top recommendation for readers of both biographical and political pieces who will thoroughly enjoy this spirited, lively, and thought-provoking analysis, which arrives in perfect time for Hillary's presidential run.

Campervan Kama Sutra
John Perrier
JP Publishing Australia
56 Quirinal Crescent, Seven Hills, Brisbane, Australia, 4170
9780987569455, $19.95, PB
9780987569462, $2.99, Kindle

Campervan Kama Sutra offers a delightful blend of autobiography, travelogue, and humor piece and is especially recommended for leisure and armchair readers with a prior interest in family travels in general or Australia in particular. The story opens with a hair-raising scenario: rising waters around the camper, a dead engine, and a family stuck in the outback with little hope of rescue. When the author posed the idea to family and friends of a three-month family outback expedition, only his wife was skeptical. Everyone else enthusiastically endorsed the idea as being educational and a special opportunity for all. There was a narrow window for this to happen to include the three kids with minimum impact on their educations. Now they are stuck - and on her birthday, nonetheless - on a journey she never wanted for her family. From strange encounters with strange individuals along the way to tales of fateful encounters, poor preparations, and chance disasters, Campervan Kama Sutra is a rollicking good armchair read that will delight any fan of travel as well as those who prefer to stay in the safety and comfort of their homes while enjoying a family's incredible journey.

Jack's Life
Patrick McGilligan
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393350968 $16.95

Jack's Life: A Biography of Jack Nicholson has been updated and expanded from its original 1994 appearance, so even those who believe they're familiar with the old version will want to re-look at this new coverage, which comes from a seasoned film biographer who adds new research and interviews to expand upon his definitive biography. The survey does more than gather filming events and career statistics: it probes the psyche of Nicholson on and off cameras, considers his upbringing and his Hollywood encounters, and brings to life the successes and failures throughout one of the most prolific personalities in Hollywood history. Nicholson holds over sixty films to his name and understanding his personality and background is essential for an in-depth approach to his acting career. Jack's Life provides this depth and is highly recommended for any Nicholson fan.

The Cookbook Shelf

Best Food Writing 2015
Holly Hughes, Editor
Da Capo Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
9780738218649 $15.99

Best Food Writing 2015 takes a wealth of food writings from 2015 and sifts through them to gain the best products from websites, magazines, newspapers and blogs. It will delight any who love to read about food, cooking, culinary trends and history, and it examines a wide range of topics, from upscale chefs and culinary innovators to comfort foods and exotic productions alike. Perhaps one of the finest features of this series as a whole is its evolutionary nature. Because it's published yearly, that year's latest trends and foodie concerns are profiled; and because it's compiled from a wide range of sources rather than a single source, its contributors come from all kinds of perspectives and offer a wide variety of topics. This year's best picks include writings about seven common food myths, the paradox of the most exciting meat cooking innovations happening in Peru, a country with the lowest meat-eating index in Latin America, and the evolution of the lunch counter in American culinary and social history. With many new writers appearing in book form for the first time here, Best Food Writing 2015 is everything a foodie could want: diverse, literary, and lively all at once, and a treasure trove of mouth-watering reflections that represent the best of 2015's discussions.

Chicken in the Mango Tree
Jeffrey Alford
Douglas & McIntyre
c/o Harbour Publishing
PO Box 219, Madeira Park, BC, Canada, V0N 2H0
9781771620604 $26.95

Chicken in the Mango Tree: Food and Life in a Thai-Khmer Village comes from a best-selling food writer and photographer who lived in the tiny Thai village of Kravan with his partner, and so it blends stories of rural village life with recipes to create a lively blend of travelogue, cultural discussion, and culinary insight piece. While this approach may not attract readers who seek cookbooks alone, those who recognize the value in a wider-ranging discussion that follows the seasons of a year in Kravan and presents dishes particular to each season will find this a treasure trove of dishes that easily translate to American kitchens. There are thirty recipes here, to give an idea of the balance between recipes and the rest of the two hundred plus pages of content, and there are also color photos galore of people, places, and dishes. Cooks who enjoy learning about other cultures in general and Thai regional cuisine in particular will find a lively read in Chicken in the Mango Tree: Food and Life in a Thai-Khmer Village, which uses food and traditions to create a fun set of insights connected by culinary traditions.

Making Artisan Cheesecake
Melanie Underwood
Quarry Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781631590542 $24.99

Making Artisan Cheesecake: Expert Techniques for Classic and Creative Recipes includes vegan, gluten-free and nut-free recipes as it tells how to combine ingredients and flavors for some unique fare. Any cookbook that packs in color photos tends to attract cooks and this is no exception, but one thing that makes Making Artisan Cheesecake so unusual is its innovations. You simply won't find Saffron Cheesecake with Pineapple or a savory Roasted Tomato with Parmesan Cheesecake everywhere, nor do dishes such as Brown Sugar Peach Cheesecake or Blueberry Cheesecake Trifle readily come to mind. All these and more make for a cookbook more than a bit out of the ordinary, and highly recommended for novice and experienced cheesecake makers alike!

Mission Chinese Food Cookbook
Danny Bowien and Chris Ting
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062243416 $34.99

Mission Chinese Food Cookbook's recipes stem neither from a home cook nor a traditional restaurant, but from a food truck that operated late at night in San Francisco's predominately Latino Mission District. It began as an after-hours 'pop-up' place that wanted to revolutionize the ideas of Chinese food, and was spearheaded by author Danny Bowien, a young chief interested in innovative definitions of Chinese cuisine. That's why in Mission Chinese Food Cookbook you'll discover such unusual dishes as Chili-Pickled Pineapple, Sizzling Cumin Lamb, Stir-Fried Corn with Chiles and Smoked Bamboo, and even Dill Pickles or Pastrami. But culinary fans interested in innovative variations on themes will be especially delighted to find this isn't just a cookbook, but a dialogue that tells the story of a restaurant innovation movement that has spread across America and challenged definitions of what constitutes Chinese cuisine in this country. Packed with color photos throughout of foods and people, Mission Chinese Food Cookbook is especially recommended for readers drawn to the innovative and to new, original interpretations of ethnic cuisine.

Pretty Fly for a Mai Tai
Mitchell Beazley, author
Ben Tallon, illustrator
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781784721367 $12.99

Pretty Fly for a Mai Tai: Cocktails with Rock 'n' Roll Spirit provides a fun little book that advocates a satisfying blend of drink and music by presenting a "rock-based cocktail, guzzled while listening to classic rock". After covering the basics of glassware, equipment, and various spirits, a second section provides recipes for new-age cocktails paired with a discography of music selections. The fun approach is a fine blend of whimsical reflective recipe collection and music suggestions geared to the rock music fan.

Store This, Not That!
Crystal Godfrey and Debbie Kent
Front Table Books
c/o Cedar Fort, Inc.
2373 West 700 South, Springville, Utah 84663
9781462118045 $21.99

Store This, Not That! The Quick and Easy Food Storage Guide comes from two food experts who discuss that they should and should not be storing - and how to store food successfully. From storing desserts and the best milk alternatives which make the best sense for budgets to buying food storage buckets and containers and understanding the pros and cons of long-term food storage, Store This, Not That is very specific in its advise and analysis of the storage capabilities of different foods, and will provide essential to any cook who wants clear directions on what foods do best under what kinds of storage conditions, and when it makes sense to store food.

My Life on a Plate
Kyle Books
192 - 198 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1V 1DX
National Book Network (distributor)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781909487307 $24.95

My Life on a Plate: Recipes from Around the World follows Kelis' lifelong affection for food, which began as a child when her mother worked as a chef in her own catering business, run out of their Harlem home. By observing her mother at work, Kelis absorbed not just the process of being a cook, but the process of being a professional cook on a schedule. At age seventeen she signed her first recording contract and began to travel around the world, expanding her culinary knowledge through small restaurants and local treasures during her ten years in the music business. Giving up this career to attend Le Cordon Bleu gave Kelis direction and made her a chef in her own right, and My Life on a Plate follows this process as it provides a collection of her favorite recipes that blend her Puerto Rican heritage with dishes she discovered around the world. Add artistic, full-page color photos of such dishes as Yellow Beans and Fried Salt Pork and Pineapple Beef (served in a hollowed-out pineapple) and you have a gorgeous presentation that accompanies every dish with a personal insight or experience in a delightfully vivid, unique and artistic presentation.

New Southern Table
Whitney Miller
Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
9780718011604 $26.99

New Southern Table: My Favorite Family Recipes with a Modern Twist is suitable for entertaining not just at the holidays, but any time, and translates Southern cuisine with a new modern flair for international influences. Home cooks should thus expect a blend of dishes that include such innovations as a Meatloaf Po'Boy, Shrimp Pesto Naan Pizza for outdoors entertaining, a Coffee Milk Tea influenced by the author's trip to China, which combines coffee with green tea, and Cornmeal Tarts served with a cilantro cream sauce and filled with a spicy beef and black bean blend. While some dishes may sound complicated, most are quick and easy to put together, and require ingredients that can be readily found in an average modern supermarket. Add color photos of most of the fare and you have a winning, appealing collection highly recommended for any home cook looking for a taste of something different.

Race Point Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722

Morgan Morano's The Art Of Making Gelato: 50 Flavors To Make At Home (9781937994440, $25.00) comes from the founder of Morano Gelato, who learned how to make gelato in Italy, and who shares some fifty gelato and sorbetto recipes that incorporate innovative flavors with traditional Italian fare. Full-page color photos of completed ice creams accompany recipes for Jasmine Gelato, made with jasmine essence or extract, a Tiramisu recipe with Marsala wine, light corn syrup, brewed espresso and dark chocolate, and Apple Pie gelato, made with cinnamon and apple pie filling. The result is a different approach to gelato making which invites home cooks to try something different. Sally's Candy Addiction: Tasty Truffles, Fudges & Treats for Your Sweet-Tooth Fix by Sally McKinney (9781631060311, $25.00) joins other candy-making primers, offering some 75 sweets that pair easy recipes with lovely color photos throughout. While many novices might think candy making is complex, Sally's recipes take the guesswork out of the process by simplifying the candy-making process and presenting many recipes beginners can easily duplicate. Add tips and insights on the process to build candy-making skills and you have a winning, appealing candy coverage that proves even bare-bones beginners can produce successful results.

Rice, Noodle, Fish
Matt Goulding
Harper Wave
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062394033 $35.00

Rice, Noodle, Fish: Deep Travels Through Japan's Food Culture blends a travelogue, a cultural exploration of Japan, and a culinary survey all in one and is recommended for food fans with a special interest in Japan's regional cuisines. From sushi temples in Tokyo to Osakan street food and ramen, Goulding embarks on a 5,000-mile journey through Japan's regions in search of the best Japan has to offer, interviewing local chefs, bloggers, family cooks, and more in an exploration that is hard to pin down. At once a travel guide and cultural exploration, it uses the medium of food as an intersection of various topics and interests and adds a healthy dose of Japanese history into its survey. The result is peppered with full-page food photos and personal insights and revelations in a feast for the eye and mind, highly recommended for any interested in Japanese cuisine and life.

The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

You Can Act on Camera
D.W. Brown
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781615932337 $14.95

You Can Act on Camera: Insider Tips for Delivering a Great Performance Every Time should be required reading for every actor moving from stage to camera: it teaches specific techniques to take the novice through the first day on a camera set, from handling directors and crews to recognizing the often-unspoken signs of frustration in the course of a shoot. These aren't generalities but specifics derived from a range of experiences collected by the author, who has personally coached and trained big names in the movie industry, and who is head teacher at the Joanne Baron/D.W. Brown Studio. From using willpower like a muscle and knowing when to flex or control it to confronting thorny psychological issues to achieve one's best acting persona, this advice is supplemented by interviews with actors to provide many different avenues to success. Candid and revealing, You Can Act on Camera is a solid recommendation for any aspiring film actor.

The Gardening Shelf

High-Yield Vegetable Gardening
Colin McCrate and Brad Halm
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781612123967 $18.95

High-Yield Vegetable Gardening isn't another basic gardening guide: it presumes one has a small plot and wishes to maximize its yield, and it shows vegetable gardeners how to choose varieties and methods developed by the authors, who were CSA farmers. The approach thus teaches how to think like a farmer in planning for not just successful crops, but abundant harvests. A routine involving mapping one's plot, making a plant calendar, rotating crops, and more helps gardeners make the most of any size plot by streamlining and applying gardening science to the effort. The result is especially recommended for small-plot gardeners who already have the basics down, but who want a better set of insights into how to manage their garden for the highest possible crop yields.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Great Knit Sweaters for Guys Big & Small
Andrea Sanchez
Stackpole Books
5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6921
9780811715775 $16.95

Great Knit Sweaters for Guys Big & Small offers a variety of patterns sized from a child's 2 to a man's XXL, and provides options for knitted sweaters from cardigans to vests. Users should have a basic familiarity with reading knitted directions and standard abbreviations, but will find the pairing of patterns, directions, and color photos throughout lends well to understanding the process of knitting a variety of sweaters.

The American History Shelf

Republic of Spin
David Greenberg
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393067064 $35.00

Republic of Spin: An Inside History of the American Presidency is about the dizzying spin of politics and political process in America, and provides an intriguing survey that considers not just politicians, but how journalists, advertising, social scientists and business have joined to create image in American issues and candidacies. Chapters take political events and go behind the scenes to examine the processes and approaches of these spinners of truth, considering how presidents were made or destroyed by their images and choices made to craft public opinion. Starting with Theodore Roosevelt's use of the press and continuing to Obama's Twitter and social media Marketing, Republic of Spin examines the changing methods of crafting public image and policy and is a 'must' for any who would examine what the Presidency is really all about.

Wagons to the Willamette
Levi Scott and James Layton Collins
Washington State University Press
PO Box 645910, Pullman, WA 99164-5910
9780874223330 $29.95

Wagons to the Willamette: Captain Levi Scott and the Southern Route to Oregon, 1844-1847 provides the only fist-hand account of the expedition compiled from the original 1889 manuscript and written by someone who accompanied the first wagon train across the route, and is an essential acquisition for any American history collection seeking journals and source materials of early frontier life. The journal was traced to Alaska and rescued from a shed in the 1990s and refutes other accounts by those who didn't travel to Oregon or take the route, making it one of the premier pieces of history available. Editor Stafford J. Hazelett recognized the manuscript's value and searched hundreds of primary sources to blend their information into an extensive set of annotations: the result is a new view of trail history and a key to any serious researcher of the subject.

The Sports Shelf

Tennis Handbook
Nick Bollenttieri
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076
9781450489430 $24.95

Tennis Handbook includes access to videos showing techniques described in the book as it provides a comprehensive discussion of teaching and learning tennis, and comes from a coach who has developed a particular training system that any tennis player should be aware of. Chapters offer over fifty drills for singles and doubles play, including exercises and programs for all kinds of play and discussions of the latest equipment and technology. From correct stances and servers and receivers to mental conditioning, practice strategies, conditioning and more, black and white photos pepper a handbook packed with insights for beginners and advanced players.

The Technology Shelf

Advanced Land-Use Analysis for Regional Geodesign using LUCISPlus
Paul D. Zwick, Iris E. Patten, Abdulnaser Arafat
ESRI Press
380 New York Street, Redlands, CA 92378-8100
9781589483897, $59.99,

Advanced Land-Use Analysis for Regional Geodesign using LUCISPlus is a companion reference to the prior Smart Land-Use Analysis: The LUCIS Model, and covers GIS software technology and how it's used in the process of analyzing land use options to arrive at the best solutions to competing proposals for land management. From identifying mixed-use urban properties and disaster recovery to handling a range of geographic changes requiring new applications and standards, this guide is especially recommended for land use planning and advanced GIS students who want tools for better land use policy development. Chapters packed with charts, diagrams for allocation scenarios and statistics, and tips to resolving LUCIS conflicts offer all the tools needed to apply advanced land use analysis to typical rural and urban changes and challenges.

The Philosophy Shelf

The God Problem
Howard Bloom
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633881624 $21.00

The God Problem: How a Godless Cosmos Creates rafts a new theory of the beginning and end of the universe, and considers how the cosmos can create itself and perform 'miracles' previously thought to be attributed only to God. How can a universe be self-activating without a Creator involved, and what might be the possibilities of a science-driven universe without God at its center? This book appears in a revised paperback edition to provide a cosmetology study that is recommended for science and spirituality students at the college level. It provides a powerful synthesis of the latest science discoveries and spiritual thinking and is a delightfully complex, engrossing survey highly recommended for any who enjoy mixing hard science with religious inspection.

The Music Shelf

Shout It Out Loud
James Campion
Backbeat Books
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
33 Plymouth Street, Suite 302, Montclair, NJ 07042-2677
9781617136184 $24.99

Shout It Out Loud: The Story of KISS's Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon is recommended for heavy metal music fans in general and KISS fans in particular, and considers how the band's hallmark work Destroyer was created and how it led to them becoming an unprecedented success. Songs are analyzed, archived materials and interviews surrounding the band members and their productions are utilized, and new interviews with those involved in the group and its albums round out information that focuses on how the group's best achievement helped recreate the heart and soul of the 70s rock world. At once a memoir, a history, and a survey of Kiss' achievements, this analysis will delight any interested in the band.

Prince: The Man and His Music
Matt Thorne
c/o Agate Publishing
1328 Greenleaf Street, Evanston, IL 60202
9781572841871 $16.99

Prince: The Man and His Music provides a biography that presents one of the most in-depth analyses of Prince in print, and is a 'must' for any who would enjoy a coverage based not upon exposing secrets, but upon an analysis of his work. Years of research combine with interviews with Prince's peers and friends to consider the evolution of his career and his music, offering a song-by-song consideration of his various albums and hit songs. The result is a study that focuses on Prince's many musical achievements and their place in rock music, highly recommended for any popular music or rock history collection.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

All the Birds in the Sky
Charlie Jane Anders
c/o Tor/Forge Books
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9780765379948 $25.99

All the Birds in the Sky takes place in a time like ours, but speaks of a slightly different world and utilizes an alternating chapter approach as it tells of Patricia, a girl who can talk with birds, and Laurence, a science geek who runs away to MIT to watch a homemade spaceship launch. The two share many qualities - both are outcasts in middle school, and each finds solace in one another from a harsh world that has rejected them, and which includes an assassin who wants to destroy them and their newfound connections to one another. It's also a time-travel piece because ten years later these two young geniuses are in San Francisco living glamorous-sounding lives as a rock star and a musician, employing their special talents in much the manner of Superman, in secret, to save the world. There's a war erupting between science and magic, placing them on the battle lines of a possible apocalyptic event. Can their special abilities, their friendship, and their choices change the world? Hearts will soar even as Patricia and Laurence face a terrible choice and possible sacrifice as they evolve. All the Birds in the Sky is quietly gripping and hard to put down: a different kind of surrealistic journey through an apocalyptic threat that calls upon two courageous young geniuses to save the world.

Saturn Run
John Sandford and Ctein
G. P. Putnam's Sons
c/o Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780399176951 $28.00

When a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and an internationally renowned photographer and author join forces, the result is likely something to be reckoned with; especially if it's a vivid science fiction thriller combo that blends a powerful premise with equally strong protagonists. Saturn Run is such a marriage of talents, set in 2066 in a not-too-distant future where America and China are competing to expand their space programs and colonies in space. National interests come to a halt when a massive object is spotted near Saturn which holds the likelihood of intelligent life and advanced technology, heading straight towards Earth. The best space teams in the world are assembled to meet mankind's first alien race; but the social and political ramifications of their encounter will change their world and their place in space. Fast-paced and complex, Saturn Run is a recommendation for sci-fi fans of 'first encounter' alien stories who appreciate more depth in their reading than a casual adventure could offer. Social and human insights and revelations closely examine what changes an encounter or potential confrontation with an alien life form could bring to human society.

The Slow Regard of Silent Things
Patrick Rothfuss
Daw Books, Inc.
c/o Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780765411329 $10.99

The Slow Regard of Silent Things is a lyrical, lovely read recommended with a caveat: audiences should hold a prior familiarity with Rothfuss' far weightier The Kingkiller Chronicles, and that same audience should not expect the depth and complexity of the other books. The Slow Regard of Silent Things focuses on a minor mysterious character from the prior series, Auri, who is a fleeting waif living in the dark, abandoned places of the world, and brings her perspective and world to life. Because Rothfuss' fans wait avidly for each new book - which is years in the making given their weighty complexity - they might be disappointed momentarily in the focus on Auri and her world; but the intention here is to create and present a slow-simmering story line that takes a prior mystery and unfolds it piece by piece. Fans who have only experienced Auri as a fleeting minor image woven into the greater tapestry of the Chronicles now have an opportunity to better absorb her perspective, viewing her world and choices through her eyes and ultimately gaining insight into a pocket universe that is only casually explored in the other books. Gentle, metaphorical, lyrical and evocative (and an easy read in comparison to its complex predecessors),The Slow Regard of Silent Things offers yet another sampling of the multi-faceted, complex universe Rothfuss is building, and is especially recommended for avid fans who want a tidbit of something new.

The Computer Shelf

c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759

Steven M. Bellovin's Thinking Security: Stopping Next Year's Hackers (9780134277547, $39.99) is a recommended read for network security professionals who work with AV software, firewalls, encryption systems and more. In such an environment hacks and attacks are typical and it pays to remain one step ahead of those who would bring down even an organization well focused on security. Thinking Security: Stopping Next Year's Hackers is the item of choice for any who would think about system security in different terms, and comes from one of the world's most renowned security experts. It addresses the fundamentals of designing security systems for lasting safety and shows how to match countermeasures to actual threats, moving beyond outdated approaches to building security systems. Even more important, it teaches how to design better security systems and handle breeches in a more effective manner, discussing how to assess new security products for their long-term potentials. From encryption systems and their phases and makeup to when custom solutions should be created, Thinking Security: Stopping Next Year's Hackers is all about adopting a mindset that considers both present and far-reaching security threats, and is a 'must' for any designer and IT professional. Joshua Glazer and Sanjay Madhav's Multiplayer Game Programming (9780134034300, $54.99) is recommended for any game programmer who would move to advanced network game architecture, and provides a powerful guide to building reliable networked multiplayer games - one of the biggest businesses in the modern gaming world. Chapters provide a foundation covering basic network programming before moving to general game development and then the specifics of handling game objects in a network environment. Chapters build on this knowledge as they cover formatting, synchronization, handling large-scale gaming environments, and blending gamer services and running games in a cloud atmosphere. With its supporting website packed with C++ code for all book examples and its attention to providing highlighted warnings for areas of typical problems, this is a 'must' for any programmer looking to venture into the multiplayer arena.

CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Guide, ninth edition
Mike Meyers
McGraw-Hill Education
c/o McGraw Hill Professional
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor, New York, NY 10020
9781259589515 $60.00

The ninth updated edition of the CompTIA A+ Certification Exam Guide offers an 'all in one' exam guide that's been fully revised and updated to provide a complete coverage of the latest releases of CompTIA A+ exams 220-901 and 220-902, and is a 'must have 'reference for any who would take the exam. Included in its extensive references are everything the exam taker needs to know to work with CPUs, RAM, motherboards, and hard drives, covering all the foundations of setting up, configuring, and troubleshooting PC operations and their peripherals. Even wired and wireless networks, security protocols, and cloud technologies are covered - everything that might be on the CompTIA A+ exam - making this a definitive guide not just for exam takers, but for IT professionals who can quickly use to it as a basic refresher course. If only one reference were to be chosen for these exams, this should be at the top of the list: its coverage and screen shots make it a top reference.

Murach's C# 2015
Anne Boem and Joel Murach
Mike Murach & Associates
4340 N. Knoll, Fresno, CA 93722
9781890774943 $57.50

Murach's C# 2015 appears in a new Visual Studio 2015 edition to offer professionals basics on how to develop Windows forms applications using Visual Studio skills applicable to Windows, web and mobile applications alike. It takes the various skills sets that C# developers use and explores them within the Visual studio 2015 environment, and it illustrates business solutions using real-world examples to place C# programming basics into common business requirements. Four chapters on database programming approaches and additional coverage of latest features peculiar to the 2015 edition make for a powerful training manual illustrated with black and white screen shots throughout and filled with approaches that can be used for either self study
or in classroom environments.

The Automotive Shelf

Total Control
Lee Parks
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9780760343449 $29.99

Total Control: High Performance Street Riding Techniques appears in its second updated edition to clarify and discuss the techniques used by professionals in motorcycle riding, and considers the psychological and physical requirements and demands of high performance street riding. It takes these skills and assesses them using small 'digestible' parts that considers different components of the techniques and how to develop them, and it is used as the foundation for the Total Control Advanced Riding Clinics that are used by the US armed forces to help improve motorcycle riding. From steps to proper cornering and controlling body positioning (and why that's important) to the suspension, chassis, and bike setup itself, both rider and machine are covered in specific discussions packed with illustrations, photos, charts, and plenty of visuals. The result should be in any motorcycle enthusiast's collection as a powerful and basic reference to better performance riding.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Nothing About Us, Without Us!
Christine Bryden
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849056717 $26.95

Nothing About Us, Without Us! 20 Years of Dementia Advocacy comes from a woman who has advocated for dementia for several decades, and whose efforts have assured that dementia patients are included in discussions of how to manage it. This gathers her presentations and speeches, offering challenges to traditional methods of viewing and handling dementia and offering specific keys to readers on communications, visiting, and better understanding the mind of those diagnosed with any kind of dementia. From life after diagnosis to mental health advocacy measures, this is a hard-hitting book that is at once a health guide, a history, and a set of insights that should be read by both dementia patients and their loved ones.

Reboot Your Body
Rashelle Brown, BS, CPT, CHC
Turner Publishing Company
200 - 4th Avenue North, Suite 950, Nashville, TN 37219
9781630268893 $18.95

Reboot Your Body: Unlocking the Genetic Secrets to Permanent Weight Loss shows how each person can alter his or her genetic blueprint to overcome genetic codes by following a set of healthy lifestyle habits, and it's the perfect read for any who feel they are 'doomed' to follow in a fat relative's footprints. The key to success lies in identifying and applying these habits, and that's where Reboot Your Body really shines: it synthesizes hundreds of hours of research and real-world trials to provide a method that isn't based on a specific diet approach nor even a specific exercise routine. If you look at the success or failure of programs, one of the more successful is Weight Watchers, because of its flexibility. This book adopts a similar approach, pairing the latest research on weight loss and habits with facts and tips from those who have achieved lasting weight loss no matter what their body type or family history. Chapters come from the author's work with dozens of clients and provides all the specific approaches needed for a DIY weight loss program, highly recommended for any who seek a blend of flexibility and applied research results from a weight loss program.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

After the Crash
Michel Bussi
Hachette Books
c/o Hachette Book Group
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017-0010
9780316309677 $26.00

After the Crash embraces both mystery and thriller components as it tells of what happens when one baby survives a plane crash in the Alps in a seeming miracle that brings with it a conundrum: which of two newborns on board the plane is she? Two families claim the child as theirs - and neither has any proof, given that the story is set in 1980 before DNA testing. One family is poor, one is privileged. One lives in the country, one in Paris. And both will do anything to believe this survivor is theirs. As if this weren't enough tension, it soon becomes clear that a greater mystery surrounds the child and challenges everyone who comes in contact with her. The stage is set for a riveting thriller and readers will find it an absorbing story that's hard to put down as events progress in unexpected directions and in ways nobody will predict.

The Political Science Shelf

Eclipse of the Assassins
Russell H. Bartley and Sylvia Erickson Bartley
University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, Third Floor, Madison, WI 53711-2059
9780299306403 $44.95

Eclipse of the Assassins: The CIA, Imperial Politics, and the Slaying of Mexican Journalist Manuel Buendia reflects a thirty-year investigation by the two reporter authors who examine two of the most important political assassinations of the 20th century: a Mexican journalist and a U.S. DEA agent. More than a collection of news stories, it investigates the workings of the CIA and international politics, considering a range of secret connections underlying historical events to provide a trend on U.S. involvements in Latin American politics and overseas. Under their hands, various assassinations, murders, scandals, and collusions become interconnected patterns with discernable trends. No collection strong in international politics or espionage should be without this hard-hitting examination, which takes two seemingly isolated circumstances and connects a range of events.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

A Shaman's Miraculous Tools for Healing
Alberto Villoldo with Anne E. O'Neill
Hampton Roads Publishing
65 Parker St., Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
9781571747372 $18.95

A Shaman's Miraculous Tools for Healing reveals modern shamanic practices and their potential for healing, and comes from a pioneer of shamanism and energy healing who gathers twelve stories that serve as examples of such practices. Each story serves as both an example of the possibilities of shamanic healing applications and as a case history that embraces mind/body connections and new approaches. Alberto Villoldo is a traditional mental health professional who became devoted to indigenous practices, and who has spent several decades studying South American shamanic practices. This lends to a book that juxtaposes his insights with each healing example being presented, resulting in a back-and-forth dialogue that highlights each experience from two viewpoints. The result is a survey that is a highly recommended acquisition for any new age reader interested in various healing practices and shaman insights.

You Don't Have to Die to Go to Heaven
Susan Allison, PhD
Weiser Publishers
c/o Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
9781578635887 $18.95

You Don't Have to Die to Go to Heaven: How to Find Guidance and Healing in the Spirit Realms asks a different question: what if direct experience could be used to prove that spirit worlds exist, and that there is no death, and what we are actually immortal? If it sounds like science fiction, be advised that the premise here is quite serious: Dr. Susan Allison uses shamanic trances and spirit travel to other realms to foster such encounters. Her perspective draws in connections from gurus, divine teachers, and more, and shows how to make spiritual connections with heaven without a near-death experience. New age readers with a special interest in the afterlife will find this approach embraces the wisdom of ancient cultures, connecting them to modern approaches to journeying to different realms. Mindful awareness is just one of the techniques promoted to connect with these realms: combine exercises with the insights provided here and you have a powerful survey packed with opportunities for spiritual and psychic growth.

The Fiction Shelf

Bats of the Republic
Zachary Thomas Dodson
Doubleday & Company
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
9780385539838 $27.95

Bats of the Republic: An Illuminated Novel makes for an especially striking debut adventure story that features several generations of a family's restless world, but begins in 1843, when a courier must leave his Chicago home to deliver a secret sealed envelope into the wild Republic of Texas. It's three hundred years later, in 2143, and the United States has divided into seven city-states. At this time Zeke inherits an old sealed envelope from his grandfather's estate, and finds his life changed as he becomes involved in a conspiracy of secrets that could destroy everything he loves. Add hand-sketched maps, drawings, and nature etchings to the blend of mystery and science fiction and you have a book that's hard to easily categorize, straddling the line between novel, sci-fi and thriller. The gorgeous illustrations throughout make for a winning story that's complex, weaving past, present and future worlds in a satisfying saga that's unpredictable and hard to put down.

The Photography Shelf

Art with an iPhone
Kat Sloma
Amherst Media
175 Rano Street, Suite 200, Buffalo, NY 14207-2176
9781608959778 $37.95

Art with an iPhone: A Photographer's Guide to Creating Altered Realities pairs haunting images and new approaches to handling the iPhone camera with advice on how to employ a few apps to enhance the iPhone camera's inherent strengths. This book covers the entire process, from discussing which apps to invest in and how to use them to considering the overall artistry possible in iPhone applications. Casual users might be surprised to discover that focus, exposure, and more can be controlled using the iPhone. All the professional tools available to non-phone cameras are available here, and this step-by-step instruction book shows how to maximize options and apply them properly. Packed with color photo examples at every step, this is a top recommendation for any iPhone photographer seeking professional results.

The Travel Shelf

How to Talk About Places You've Never Been
Pierre Bayard
Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781620401378 $25.00

How to Talk About Places You've Never Been: On the Importance of Armchair Travel provides a fun book for armchair travelers and those who hit the road, and maintains that physical travel alone is not the only route to discovery: a concept that will delight those who have neither the will nor ability to undertake long journeys. Chapters discuss these alternatives to physical treks that have been used by explorers, writers, and philosophers over the decades to experience foreign cultures and new ideas. The purpose is to show that a reader can improve their knowledge of other peoples and places and engage others in discussions about these new ideas without even leaving home. It's the 'how' that is the question here, and this book packs in details about approaches to learning new things and discussing them in new ways, making for a top recommendation for any who cultivate a thirst for new and different concepts.

The California Shelf

Roadside Geology of Southern California
Arthur Gibbs Sylvester and Elizabeth O'Black Gans
Mountain Press Publishing Company
PO Box 2399, Missoula, MT 59806
9780878426539 $26.00

Roadside Geology of Southern California pairs diagrams, color maps, and photos with stories about the rocks and landscapes visible from Southern California roads, and combines science with travel insights to create a lively set of geologic insight for any who would better understand Southern California geology. Usually geology discussions are limited to science audiences while travel audiences receive discussions of destinations that have little to do with scientific inquiry in general, let alone in-depth examination of rock formations and geologic history. The two meet in a lively survey that will interest not just those with previous background in geology, but any who are planning a trip to Southern California and who like take-along books that provide detailed information about the terrain.

Sierra Starlight
Tony Rowell
Heyday Books
PO Box 9145, Berkeley, CA 94709
9781597143134 $22.00

Sierra Starlight is a gorgeous nature photography book that uses California's Sierra Nevada mountains as backdrops for capturing night skies, and pairs full-page lovely images with some of Rowell's stories of how he took the photo. If the name Rowell sounds familiar, it should: Galen Rowell was also a mountaineer and photographer and it looks like the heritage has passed well from father to son. Beautiful full-page celestial and mountain scenes are accompanied by facing pages of detail on how the locations were scouted, while each photo contains notes on the camera, settings and exposures, and other special equipment used to capture the image. The result will attract two audiences: those with a special affection for California mountain and celestial scenes, and those interested in the finer art of nature photography in general. Highly recommended as a beautiful collection of celestial sights.

Rose Marie Beebe and Robert M. Senkewicz, Editors
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780806148724 $26.95

Testimonios: Early California Through the Eyes of Women, 1815-1848 began in the 1870s when historian Hubert Howe Bancroft sent out interviewers to gather oral histories from pre-statehood Californians. These interviewers came back with a surprise: when the men weren't available, they gathered accounts from the women of the household instead. These interviews were archived at the University of California, there to be forgotten until Testimonios, which gathers thirteen women's firsthand accounts of California's early history. From gold rush events to struggles with insurgents and how each woman's past and unique experiences led to different perspectives on California's evolution, this is a powerful collection of diverse experiences and impressions that is recommended as a powerful 'must' for not just California history holdings, but for women's issues collections.

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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