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California Bookwatch

Volume 14, Number 4 April 2019 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Social Issues Shelf Education Shelf
Computer Shelf Mathematics Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader
Marc Lesser
New World Library
9781608685195, $16.95,

Seven Practices of a Mindful Leader: Lessons from Google and a Zen Monastery Kitchen meld two very different disciplines into one exploration. One doesn't expect a description of leadership to involve running a Zen monastery kitchen or leading mindfulness trainings for Google engineers, but the cofounder of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute has a host of unique tools for incorporating mindful concepts into everyday life and all kinds of situations. This gathering of his practices will thus prove successful to anyone in any walk of life, whether they be new age readers venturing into mindful living or those in the business world who want to blend mindful concepts into business experience in a practical, accessible manner.

The Social Issues Shelf

Practical Equality
Robert L. Tsai
W.W. Norton
9780393652024, $27.95,

Practical Equality: Forging Justice in a Divided Nation considers the slow process and small victories of justice in America, considering the limitations of the court system and how principles surrounding equality can be translated to legal wins. This comes from a legal scholar who considers the history of legal process in equality promotion, but it goes beyond a historical review to offer and assess actual solutions to inequality. These alternative strategies are the heart of a powerful argument that considers inequality in both legal circles and everyday life, making a case for fair play and revised laws and attitudes alike.

Sex, Power, and Partisanship
Hector A. Garcia
Prometheus Books
9781633885141, $18.00,

Sex, Power, and Partisanship: How Evolutionary Science Makes Sense of Our Political Divide comes from an evolutionary psychologist who draws important connections between male-dominated social hierarchies in primates and modern political ideas and conflicts. His examples from the animal kingdom offers surprising insights into the political processes, thinking, inspirations and patterns of both liberals and conservatives in modern society. Pinpointing an ancestral history of competition and reactions to survival challenges, Hector A. Garcia creates an astute examination of how tribal thinking is thwarting the political process and threatening social stability, and he also offers keys to overcoming these ancient influences in a discussion that should be on the shelves of any social issues or political science collection.

The Education Shelf

Corwin Press, Inc.
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218

Daily Routines to Jump-Start Math Class, High School: Engage Students, Improve Number Sense, and Practice Reasoning by Eric Milou and John J. Sangiovanni (9781544316932, $34.95) contributes to the Corwin Mathematics Series and provides high school teachers with keys to instilling 'number sense' in their students. With its emphasis on encouraging and supporting the logic and thinking process behind mathematics rather than route memorization of formulas and routines, this book offers ideas for boosting conceptual understanding and offers specific in algebra, geometry, and data analysis that any high school math teacher will want to consider. Randall B. Lindsey,'s Cultural Proficiency: A Manual for School Leaders, 4th Edition (9781506390543, $43.95) updates a classic, from new content and case studies to new activities and updated study guides and materials. The premise is simple: if academic improvement and equality are to be achieved, the biases in traditional practices need to be examined, identified, and replaced with healthier alternatives. Promoting cultural proficiency is one way of doing it, and this book offers educational professionals a dialogue for creating more equitable, results-driven learning environments by providing a key framework for assessment and action. Robert J. Garmston's The Astonishing Power of Storytelling: Leading, Teaching, and Transforming in a New Way (9781506386393, $23.95) addresses storytelling, communicating, collaborating, and new strategies for more powerful leadership, and is recommended for education leaders who want to use storytelling techniques to build more effective following and relationships. Chapters discuss such varied topics as the difficulty of effective school reforms, drawing listeners into a story rather than just feeding information and entertaining, understanding cultural metaphors and impacts, and much more. Both education and business collections will find this a fine approach. The second edition of Coaching Conversations: Transforming Your School One Conversation at a Time (9781544319711, $32.95) teaches the basics of collaborative coaching. This updated edition includes the latest neuroscientific research on the topic, adding support to new techniques and approaches to learning designed to encourage better communications, feedback, and lesson processing. All are outstanding additions to educator libraries.

The Computer Shelf

Mercury Learning
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012

College-level computer reference libraries will find these two new books from Mercury Learning offer excellent discussions and information suitable for independent study or supplemental reading for a class. O. Campesato's C Programming Pocket Primer (9781683923886, $39.95) joins others in the Pocket Primer series to review the major concepts in C language programming. Companion files containing source code from the book are included on a disc in the back. From the fundamentals of C programming techniques and information on the latest C11 standard to working with pointers and formulas for functions, this reference will appeal to students and programmers alike. L. Shen, H. Wang and J. Wojdylo's Linear Algebra (9781683923763, $89.95) introduces the basics of linear algebra and applies them to various software packages, covering linear transformations, matrix decomposition, linear operators, orthogonal bases, and more. Computations and explanations clarify formulas and their applications and will provide software and mathematics students alike with a solid grounding enhanced by theorem examples. Both are top picks for basic computer reference.

The Mathematics Shelf

Essentials of Modern Algebra, second edition
Cheryl Chute Miller
Mercury Learning
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
9781683922333, $64.95,

The second updated edition of Essentials of Modern Algebra isn't for beginners, but is a top pick for undergrads taking a one- or two-semester course in abstract algebra, serving as a progressive tutorial that explains concepts and then provides self-test exercises. The logic-based style that groups topics in an intuitive learning matter, the numerous examples and tests, and new material covering the history of math creates a reference that may be used either as a supplemental self-study text or a classroom textbook. Very highly recommended for its structure, explanations of abstract algebra fundamentals, and opportunities for testing knowledge.

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Midwest Book Review
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phone: 1-707-795-4629

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