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9798987090305, $11.95 Paper/$4.99 ebook
Handwritten Notes: Learn How a Small, Powerful Act Can Enrich Your Life covers not just how
to write notes, but how to communicate more effectively and personally via a
rapidly-diminishing art form: the handwritten (not typed!) note.
Readers expecting a primer on how to write actually receive much more than another creative
writing lesson. Carrie Pierce addresses the wider-ranging impact of the handwritten note,
discussing the broader force of personal interaction rituals that have been largely replaced by
technological distance and a from-the-hip shooting style of impulsive responding. Handwritten
notes require more thought, purpose, and thinking about others. They inject a form of personal
psychological inspection as communiques are put onto paper, taking the modern propensity for
succinct interactions and expanding it into a deeper effort that promises greater rewards via
improved life connections.
The promise of personal enrichment is presented from the start: "If you read the book closely
enough you might convince yourself that this practice of writing notes by hand and sending them
out into the world can do more than simply express thoughts, it can actually fill your life with
greater joy and abundance." While this sounds lofty (and might, indeed, feel impossible) to
generations raised in the age of technology, Pierce explores how heartfelt communications can
change relationships and lives.
Both a lost art and a form of magic, the effort of putting a thought to paper via pen fulfills the
promise of a type of closeness that has largely been dissolved by the distance created by
typewriter, computers, and voice commands. From the neuroscience behind note-writing efforts
to famous notes of others and the psychology that drives them to succeed where other avenues of
communication fail, Pierce makes a thought-provoking argument for the power of the pen and
the influence of written words that take time to be produced.
Handwritten Notes teaches by example, including reflections on Carnegie and others whose
approaches fulfilled the goal of creating and fostering authentic connection. It also considers the
long-term effects of isolation created by reliance on devices and technology over personal
interactions, including case histories of disparate individuals. These include the author's own
father, whose health and psyche was heavily impacted by the distance created by COVID
The book is far more than another 'how to write' guide, but a social survey of the handwritten
note's impact, potential, and inspirational results. Handwritten Notes represents a promise, an
opportunity, and a return to basics. Libraries and readers that pursue its wisdom will find its
promise of abundance to be inspirational reading, promoting a form of connection that can reap
surprising rewards via deeper authentic relationships.
The Social Issues Shelf
US: The Resurrection of American Terror
Rev. Kenneth W. Wheeler
9798985149494, $29.95 Hardcover/$19.95 Paper/$9.99 ebook
US: The Resurrection of American Terror is a memoir of Black anger and struggle, and comes
from an Evangelical Lutheran pastor who identifies white supremacy as the real terrorist threat
on American soil.
Using his experiences growing up in the Jim Crow South, Wheeler embarks on a historical and
personal examination of racism and prejudice which exposes how its roots and spreading
contamination have touched not only seven decades of his own life, but the experiences of every
Black person in modern America. History blends with civil rights struggles and insights about the
roots and impact of white supremacy as readers receive an unusual blend of scripture references
and social examination that embraces scholarly and spiritual works alike.
From community-wide grief in response to senseless shootings to personal, political, and social
examination on the deepest levels, Wheeler shows how his search for answers led him to look to
Biblical references to explain and explore Black experiences: "When I learned of this shooting I
immediately turned to Psalm 88. It is a Psalm that is rarely used in the Church because it conveys
such total bleakness. The Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann calls Psalm 88 a Psalm of
deep lament. The words of Psalm 88 are the words spoken by people who have faced an evil that
has turned their world upside down. The evil has left them disoriented. The enigma of slavery
was the beginning of our nation's disorientation. You stand in a place where everything that once
gave you meaning and mooring and balance has been taken from you at an instant."
The heartfelt nature of this memoir reflects both a call to action, a drive for wisdom, and
Wheeler's own experiences in a major white Lutheran denomination that was glaringly scarce in
its own examples of racial diversity. The hopes expressed by such a congregation seemed more
like "white noise" than sincere efforts to be inclusive or representative. The religious roots of the
writer and US: The Resurrection of American Terror sets this memoir apart from most
Far more than another civil rights history or personal story of struggle, US: The Resurrection of
American Terror offers an unusual blend of scholarship and religious inspection that make it
especially recommendable to religious library holdings. These audiences, as well as libraries
catering to diverse populations interested in issues of Black participation in largely White groups,
will find US: The Resurrection of American Terror holds many groundbreaking insights that
deserve to be included in book clubs and social issues discussion groups.
The Cookbook Shelf
The Complete Small Plates Cookbook
America's Test Kitchen
America's Test Kitchen, Publisher
The Complete Small Plates Cookbook features over three hundred shareable dishes that can be
defined as anything from Spanish tapas to bar snacks and salads. In keeping with the modern
trend to eat less, but more flavorfully and diversely, this notion of sharing several small plates
initially might feel like a challenge for home cooks used to producing a single large meal with a
few side dishes. The trick of easy preparation lies in putting the pieces together that result in
different dishes using similar ingredients, then balancing tastes, textures, and food displays for
maximum diversity and appeal.
The Complete Small Plates Cookbook presents foolproof recipes for dishes such as Apple-Fennel
Remoulade, Crab Croquettes, and Sweet Potato Hummus, with colorful photos of dishes
combining eye-catching attraction with food that home cooks can easily reproduce to support the
concept of small dishes shared among family and friends.
Libraries seeking a fine, diverse representation of small dish recipes should include The
Complete Small Plates Cookbook in their collections.
500 Fifth Avenue New York, New York 10110
Egg: A Dozen Ovatures is a rousing tribute to the egg that will attract cooks and anyone with an
interest in historical and scientific facts about eggs. The egg represents a paradox in many ways.
This is thoroughly explored by an author interested in all of the egg's facets, from myths and
realities about eggs to the possibilities of utilizing them more widely in the kitchen. While this
far-ranging examination brings it far from the typical cookbook recipe format, Egg is featured
here because it should not be missed by any with an interest in food history in general and eggs in
Libraries will find Egg unparalleled in its in-depth focus, lively considerations of history, and
ability to appeal to historical readers as well as cooks who normally don't receive such an
The Slimming Foodie in Minutes
c/o Octopus Publishing
The Slimming Foodie in Minutes: 100+ Quick-Cook Recipes Under 600 Calories combines
speedy dishes with a healthy perspective on cooking, offering recipes that can each be prepared
in under 30 minutes, containing under 600 calories.
Pip Payne proves that "low-fat" needn't translate to "high effort," presenting dishes packed with
flavor. Examples include Light Lemon, Smoked Salmon & Pea Spaghetti, Sweet & Spicy Mango
Prawns, and Creamy Chinese Five Spice Chicken Curry (the cream comes from light coconut
milk). With attractive facing color photos accompanying each recipe, even the busiest cooks can
easily produce healthier main dishes that shine.
The American History Shelf
Speaking While Female
Real Clear Publishing
In the chronicles of history, male speech-makers are typically highlighted while women are
portrayed as clapping on the sidelines of their success. That's why Speaking While Female: 75
Extraordinary Speeches by American Women is especially powerful and important - it captures
women's voices and showcases their strength to illustrate that women are no less capable in this
department than men. They've just been understated and buried in a patriarchal society's
representation of historical characters and strengths.
Dana Rubin's survey of women's voices in America exposes and captures their nuances, passion,
and equally powerful presentations. Rubin herself is curator and founder of the Female Speech
Bank. As a notable speaker, Rubin created this project to highlight women's voices, illustrating
and returning their power to historical and social significance and, through this book, hopefully
This collection, although very accessible to individual pursuit, would really shine when utilized
by drama students, in women's issues classrooms, and by women's history discussion groups. The
speeches themselves raise many important points both in their content and by their choice of
words and passion.
Another important note is that these works assume a chronological strength made uniform by
their historical journey through women's experiences from the 1800s to modern times. Many
won't anticipate that a modern-sounding subject such as Lucy Stone's impromptu speech
"Disappointment is the Lot of Women" would be presented as a moving speech in October 17,
1855 at the Seventh Women's Rights Convention at Smith & Nixon's Hall in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Stone's words ring with strength and protest: "The question of Woman's Rights is a practical one.
The notion has prevailed that it was only an ephemeral idea; that it was but women claiming the
right to smoke cigars in the streets, and to frequent barrooms. Others have supposed it a question
of comparative intellect; others still, of sphere. Too much has already been said and written about
woman's sphere. Trace all the doctrines to their source and they will be found to have no basis
except in the usages and prejudices of the age."
This is just a single example of an eye-opening collection that corrects the absence of women in
the history of America's great orators, bringing to life the topics, repression, and achievements of
not only the speech-maker or writer, but her fellow female audiences at that point in time. A wide
range of library collections will see popularity with this survey, which ideally will not just be
studied by individuals, but utilized in group and classroom settings, as well as book clubs, as a
source for debates and consideration of women's words and the force with which they were
written and delivered.
Their impact on modern audiences interested in women's history and issues cannot be stressed
The Economic Studies Shelf
The Evolution of China's Anti-Poverty Strategies
William N. Brown, PhD
9789811972805, $59.99 Hardcover/$49.99 Paper
The Evolution of China's Anti-Poverty Strategies: Cases of 20 Chinese Changing Lives reveals a
program replete with new examples of how China's population has overcome poverty. It is highly
recommended reading for social issues students interested in alternative anti-poverty strategies
that have proven successful in the real world.
The book is based on Dr. Brown's personal travels through China from 1988 onwards, when he
moved there to study Chinese. It follows family travels around Southeast China, where he
observed rural and urban poor Chinese that were not only optimistic about their future, but active
participants who embraced the Chinese Dream as part of their daily lives.
How did China achieve what many Western nations grapple with? They didn't rely on economic
development to end poverty, but instead educated and provided even the remotest communities
with the infrastructure and education to encourage citizens to participate in and build their own
In 2019, Dr. Brown again embarked on a journey around China to chart what had actually
changed in 25 years of idealistic effort. What he saw proved that even the remotest of areas
benefitted by the wide reach of China's anti-poverty program. The power of this story lies in Dr.
Brown's personal observations, conversations, and interactions with ordinary people affected by
seven decades of conscious anti-poverty efforts. He found that the entire country had progressed
much more rapidly than he would have thought, the people were optimistic about their national
programs and personal lives, and restoration efforts that took place not just economically but in
farming and ecosystem revision via community involvement were far more effective than the
typical government approach of trickling down wealth or bequeathing aid for the poor.
The result is an eye-opening survey, on many levels. For students of Chinese history and culture,
The Evolution of China's Anti-Poverty Strategies provides the personal insights, interviews, and
touches missing from more scholarly debates about China's people and policies. For those
interested in the social issues of various nations and China in particular, The Evolution of China's
Anti-Poverty Strategies provides a blueprint of entrepreneurial efforts that demonstrates how
prosperity may be encouraged at all levels of society. These case histories should ideally be part
of any library interested not just in China, but the social effort of overcoming poverty and
empowering people at all economic levels. The Evolution of China's Anti-Poverty Strategies
should also be part of book clubs and groups discussing anti-poverty issues and strategies beyond
the typical Western experience and focus.
The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf
The Imagineering Story
The Imagineering Story: The Official Biography of Walt Disney Imagineering is not for the
casual Disney fan used to books packed with colorful Disney illustration, but for the avid arts
reader interested in an authorized biography of how Walt Disney Imagineering created a theme
park that captured world attention. Connections between Walt Disney's own life and interests
dovetail nicely with the story of how Disney films, theme parks, and the brand evolved.
Accompanying a TV documentary of the same name, The Imagineering Story is replete with
insider information and history not seen elsewhere, as well as film-specific insights which will
educate and attract film students. From worldwide Disney teams to incarnations of Walt Disney's
dream, this book is a definitive 'must' addition not just for Disney fan collections, but arts
libraries strong in animation and film history, who will receive an in-depth, weighty survey of the
evolution of Disney's dream. Even with all the Disney biographies and discussions on the market,
there is nothing as in-depth, authoritative, or wide-ranging as The Imagineering Story.
The Literary Fiction Shelf
Among the Fallen
Creative James Media
9781956183580, $16.99 Paper/$4.99 ebook
Among the Fallen focuses on a sleepy Appalachian village, but doesn't open with the ordinary
world. Instead, it introduces a milieu in which portents of change between the Two Worlds
charge Wendl with introducing Gobnait (aka Abigail Trammel) back to the Stream from the
world of the Fallen. Readers come to realize that the Fallen's world is our own familiar one.
Abigail is no spring chicken. Well into her elder years, Abigail prides herself in maintaining
abilities her peers have not. Wendl VonTrier is just the new renter in town -- or so she thinks!
Why is a visitor coming off-season and unannounced? It's none of her business, Abigail thinks --
but it turns out to be entirely her concern, because the visitor lies at the heart of an edict to
change worlds and her own future via the challenges Wendl introduces to Abigail's set life.
As crimes, victims, and puzzles mount, readers will find this story a special blend of magical
realism, murder mystery, and a tale of evil, redemption, and other worlds that come to center on
one small town and an aging woman who holds unexpected answers to odd circumstances and
questions. "How perverse are the gods. More inscrutable, even than dragons." Given the keys to a
special kind of kingdom, will Abigail use them?
Author Henry Mitchell mixes mystery, literary reflection, magical realism, and discoveries with
Appalachian community culture in a manner that lends to the book's enjoyment by fantasy and
novel readers alike. Its magic is rooted in two worlds, its characters operate on the edges of both,
and its action and psychological tension develop many surprises in the course of events which
draw all kinds of people into a transformative encounter.
Libraries will find Among the Fallen easily recommendable to patrons interested in mystery,
magical realism, fantasy, and small town rising forces alike, creating a bridge between fantasy
and fiction that, like its characters, operates equally powerfully in two genre worlds.
9781639887064, $24.99 Hardcover/$16.99 Paper
Society, Suspicious represents political satire at its best, blending a first-person observational
style with experimental fiction in a manner designed to challenge reader perceptions and
Freeman Smith's saga opens with a bang: "I faked my death in Paris, which proved far easier than
I had imagined. The one time in my life I devoted my mind and soul to planning. Real planning.
France is not like America. A few hundred years older, maybe not wiser, but definitely too tired
to deny or regulate a man's personal freedoms."
A stolen citizenship card from a dying man leads the narrator into a life "...free of fame and chaos
and forced narcissism." The self-professed "Mr. Mojo Rising" has been a busy man in America,
playing the 'victim/hero' in a variety of scenarios that keeps testing his identity and fostering his
participation in the nation's "collective narcissism."
The poet/rebel narrator crafts so many observations and dialogues that readers ride a roller
coaster ride of irony and social inspection that moves from money to madness around the world,
juxtaposing a jaunt through others' lives with a wry sense of embellishment and commentary that
runs over disparate lives like a river of judgment. Whether attacking affirmative action and
prejudice, the love child of a seventeen-year-old's dalliance, or scenes from a play that offer
serious messages, the strobe light roller-skating foray is certain to intrigue, offend, and give rise
to all kinds of thoughts. Whether he's embedding poetry, play scenes, or nonfiction into his saga,
one thing is for certain: this experimental work will challenge some and intrigue others.
Ultimately, its romp and realizations deserve attention and discussion in book groups interested
in satirical experimental fiction firmly embedded in social inspection. Society, Suspicious will do
well in libraries that look for contemporary satire, experimental literary fiction, and stories that
reverberate with contemporary angst.
The Romantic Fiction Shelf
A Third Option
9781734117066, $12.95 Paper/$20.95 Hardcover
Does ambition preclude romance? In Amy Leonard's case, it may prove an unlikely and
unwelcome obstacle to achieving senior partner in her company -- a goal she has strived and
fought hard for.
As the story opens, Amy already has a lover and roommate in Tom. In many ways, her life is
predictable and its course has been set. Relatively quickly into the story, it becomes evident that
Amy's life course is not on the same page as Tom's. In fact, it's set to change in a way that
challenges her greatest ambition.
As readers move through Amy's increasing dilemmas about what she envisions as being valuable
for her future, they face, alongside her, choices which are both different and irrevocable. Each
option holds the possibility of totally transforming her life, but no option seems completely
Her protege in the company, Reggie Boykin, offers her another choice that adds new
possibilities, but his idea also places him at risk in new ways as he takes his own big step into the
unknown and struggles to keep a secret from Amy that he has hidden all his life.
As an author, E. Aly builds a romance from unlikely roots, adds the conflict created by job and
two co-workers who face their own life-changing moments, and follows each through the mire of
ethical and emotional choices. The focus on emotional evolution, changing priorities, and the
juxtaposition of work world and family life creates a satisfying backdrop for an evolving
relationship that rests on rocky foundations.
As Reggie, Tom, and Amy find themselves mired in an increasing love triangle-style dilemma,
each must make choices that seem to go against everything they've believed and fought for. A
Third Option is a study not in traditional romance and relationship-building, but what happens
when life introduces surprising twists to carefully planned life paths. Each of the characters feels
compelled to step up to the challenge in different ways, holding different feelings, and these lend
a fine layer of complexity to the story.
While the result can be billed a 'romance', A Third Option actually is far more detailed than the
usual story of love. As Amy, Tom and Reggie re-examine their lives and options, new paths
emerge which recreate ideals of love as well as testing their characters and life objectives.
Libraries looking for love stories that emerge from turbulent roots and surprising connections
will find A Third Option attractive and recommendable, especially to book clubs seeking more
than the standard romance's progression.
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Catherine Coulter, Editor
B0BLR9KYD2, $9.99 ebook
Infinity: A Suspense Magazine Anthology features a host of notable writers, ranging from Susan
Wingate and Tosca Lee to E.J. Howe, and provides an adventure-oriented thriller collection that
excels in the unexpected. Thriller readers usually don't receive laugh-out-loud moments. Nor
does the genre typically embrace a broad spectrum of age ranges in its protagonists, or
perspectives laced with the bite of irony and unusually poetic inspections. All these facets and
more support a diverse selection that travels time, space, and the suspense genre to pick out those
gems that truly stand out from the crowd.
Take J.T. Ellison's "Louche 49," for one example. 1985 Paris comes to life through the eyes of
assassin Annalise, whose latest "easy" assignment has gone very, very wrong. The outcome of
her failure is outlined from the start: "The woman with the blue suede shoes will sit at table ten.
If she orders the tartare, the job is done. If she orders the sole, something went wrong. Do not
order the sole. Those were the final words before the call had been terminated and she was sure
she'd never, ever have to debase herself by admitting defeat. Do not fail. She has no idea that,
were she to order the sole, it will come with a lethal dose of poison in the tender white flesh. The
patrons of the restaurant will assume she's choked on a sliver of bone, the waiter who deboned
the fish tableside summarily dismissed, and the body taken to a field near the Bois de Boulogne
for a discreet burial." A lie will buy her time while she seeks to fulfill her mission. The
progression from Paris to modern-day Nashville represents a sea change in perspective as readers
seamlessly shift into another reality which holds unexpected consequences and insights.
Another satisfying twist of tale lies in Kelley Armstrong's "The Joy of Wrong Numbers." Here, a
grandma recovering from a heart attack in a hospital stumbles upon the joy of wrong numbers
when a mishap results in the unexpected.
Armstrong's ability to inject fun into a thought-provoking story is only one of the attractors, here:
"How does one go from "Whoops, wrong number" to a recipe exchange? Well, first, one needs to
be my grandmother." One accident can lead to a lifestyle change. In Gran's case, it certainly does,
as daughter Lily finds that the wrong number pursuit may result in the right thing for her.
Each story is unique. In a genre replete with formula writing and often-predictable results, it's
refreshing to find a gem of unpredictability and diversity. Such is Infinity.
Libraries looking for short story thriller collections that stand out from the ordinary with writers
who each craft very different visions of suspense, horror, and the intersection of thriller and life
endeavors will find much to relish in Infinity, which should be held up as an example of truly
creative thriller writing.
Indies United Publishing
9781644565889, Kindle $3.99, PB $16.99, HC $26.99, Audiobook $15.99
Salt Island is the second book in the E&A Investigation Series. It follows former CIA
operative-turned-private-P.I. Mari Ellwyn's investigation into a CEO's blackmailing and the
witness determined to bring his corrupt ways to public and legal attention. Mari's new business
partner, Derek Abernathy, is thrown into her complex world as unexplained deaths take an even
more dangerous turn for them both, placing them in the crosshairs of a conflict that evolves
beyond a singular case to embrace many facets of wrongdoing and threat.
On its surface, Salt Island may be labeled a work of suspense and intrigue. Scratch that
appearance to find it's fraught with layers of satisfying complexity that drags moral and ethical
conundrums into the fray. The peace before a storm is captured in a surprising prologue that
opens not with adversity, but the image of a surreal place of safety powered by a gently rocking
boat. This peace is suddenly shaken by a body in the water that changes everything.
The first-person narrator's father was a spy before he went missing, and so the corpse introduces
both a mystery and a flashback to possibilities the protagonist would rather not think about.
Especially since this former officer of the law should not have been in the area in the first
The situation is further complicated by the question of whether her boat and discovery lie in US
waters and jurisdiction. With this, Lisa Towles takes off on a globe-hopping journey of discovery
which probes international waters and past and present events alike.
Old friends, new news, assertions and rebuttals in the legal arena, and deadly purposes evolve in
the course of Ellwyn and Abernathy's venture into unknown waters and unfamiliar territory.
From chemical dumping and toxic relationships to family secrets and discoveries that rock Mari's
personal life as well as her professional acuity, readers are treated to changing subplots and
revelations that lend a dance of danger to the story.
Towles is especially adept at entwining personal and political circumstances in such a way that
readers are kept guessing about outcomes. Who is the perp and who the good guy, and what
entangled relationships keep circling back to a missing father's own agenda? Thriller readers thus
receive a far more complex story that many; yet it's one which is firmly planted in the
personalities and lives of not just perps, but their pursuers.
Another plus is that each partner is charged with reconsidering not just their involvements and
own lives, but each other. Salt Island is a gripping suspense story that reveals many unexpected
connections, yet takes the time to inject a sense of place into the sense of purpose, creating a "you
are here" experience no matter where the partners are in the world: "We sat there for thirty
minutes, sheltered by the wind in the protected chess park of Santa Monica Pier on a grungy table
eating the most delicious Mexican food from my favorite taqueria, while I told him the story - at
least part of the story..."
Salt Island both enhances and expands Ellwyn's world from her prior appearance in Hot House,
standing nicely alone as a riveting work of espionage, wrongdoing, and discovery. It will attract
and grab the attentions of those interested in stories as much about uncovering personal secrets as
in crime-busting efforts.
Libraries seeking exceptional thriller reads powered by the passion and purpose of unexpected
revelations that continue to the story's concluding lines will find Salt Island more than worthy of
Star Tangled Murder
Nancy J. Cohen
Orange Grove Press
9781952886256, $14.99 Paper/$4.99 ebook
Star Tangled Murder is the eighteenth book in the Bad Hair Days cozy mystery series -- but that
doesn't mean that newcomers need pursue the other 17 books in order to start with and
thoroughly enjoy this latest addition.
The 4th of July holiday has led hairdresser Marla Vail and her detective husband Dalton to visit a
historical village in Florida, where they plan on steeping themselves in American history ... until
a simulated battle becomes too real. A body is left on the battlegrounds, raising the investigative
hackles of husband and wife. What ensues is a romp through American and Seminole Indian
history in a probe that takes place on domestic soil, but ventures into foreign territory with
another hair-raising tale. How many modern folk die via tomahawk? Which cast member in this
insidious play took the next step into becoming a murderer, changing the plot of an entire
village's holiday celebration? With a hairdresser's precision for employing effective cuts, Marla
joins her husband in the probe, only to find that they are not confronting one suspect, but the
murky undercurrents and secrets of an entire village.
Forced to assess intention from strangers in a world she barely knows, Marla's investigative eye
for trouble uncovers too many possibilities in even the most casual of encounters: "Was Uriah
passing on a friendly warning, or did this threat come from him directly? She couldn't ascertain
his purpose and tossed out another query to test him."
As astute as the methodology is between husband and wife, which contrast according to their
skill sets, is the character-building and community-revealing force Nancy J. Cohen employs.
History and mystery entangle in unusual manners as the story unfolds, revealing a series of lies
and possibilities that become even more convoluted and puzzling as Marla and Dalton delve
As the history and more murders evolve, the duo finds themselves ever more twisted in a mystery
that leads Marla to consider when to obey her more savvy husband's detective edicts and instincts
and when to embark on her own course of action. The result is delightful in its progressive
unfolding of facts and fancies, cemented by characters that encounter a strange twist on
American history and pursue these links to their surprising conclusions.
Libraries seeking cozy mysteries replete in psychological strength and American history drama
will find Star Tangled Murder a compelling portrait of a historical reenactment gone awry.
Velma Gone Awry
9781645994176, $27.99 Hardcover/$17.99 Paper/$6.99 ebook
Velma Gone Awry is a mystery set in Brooklyn during the Roaring 20s. It follows a middle-aged
Hungarian P.I., 8 Ballo, who enjoys a relatively simple and satisfying life until he's hired to
locate the missing daughter of Fritz Hartmann, a wealthy German businessman. His efforts force
him out of his comfort zone as 8 delves into the life of Velma, a twenty-five-year-old woman
who at first seems more than capable of taking care of herself.
Velma considered herself a flapper. The fact that she's been missing three days and there's no
ransom demand is puzzling, indicating to 8 that there may be more at stake than a simple
abduction for money scenario. As 8 moves in and out of her life and his own fugue states, readers
learn that both characters are not what they initially seem. Each harbors dreams and takes actions
that are not always supportive to their goals. Velma's mystery has awakened in 8 a renewed
passion: "It must be Velma who'd thrown him back into disturbing fantasies of being a hero.
Once again, in real life this time, he'd been tasked with saving the girl. He didn't mean to
Readers won't anticipate the blend of historical and social inspection of the times that permeates
Velma Gone Awry, but this strength is just one of the pleasing surprises of the vivid story. As 8
moves into impossible, challenging scenarios, his feelings about his moves translate to themes
embedded in the overall story: "He didn't realize where he was going until he was almost there."
The fact that readers, too, won't realize the outcome until they are nearly there makes Velma
Gone Awry a powerful tale of intrigue, redemption, and discovery that comes full circle from
Velma's circumstances to her family's history.
Libraries looking for full-bodied mysteries that display equally captivating elements of historical
and social intrigue will find Velma Gone Awry just the ticket for a more literary and complex
inspection than a simple whodunit alone.
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Burn the Ship (Pirates of New Earth series, Book 3)
Sooner Started Press
9781957774060, $18.99 Paper/$1.99 ebook
Burn the Ship is the third book in the Pirates of the New Earth series begun in A Merry Life,
continuing the saga of mother and pirate Kat, who made such a splash in the first book and
continues her foray into uncharted territory here.
Unlike typical pirate stories, Burn the Ship assumes a cyberpunk overlay of dystopian angst as
Kat juggles her duties. She faces the added task of serving justice to the world and eliminating
human trafficking on Earth while serving dinner to her family and keeping her personal life intact
and separate from the political and social issues that drive her to be a leader. Kat is, in short, a
force to be reckoned with.
As an officer in the Bosch Pirate Force, she is charged with entering the fray of a blossoming
threat while addressing both her family's needs and the ghosts from her past that continue to
haunt her, affecting her choices and values. As powerful as the social and political turbulence Kat
navigates are matters of the heart which keep redirecting her special interests from home to
broader social and political issues.
Readers looking for rollicking rides through dystopian worlds that are replete in emotional
currents and undercurrents will especially relish the confrontations that lead Kat to re-examine
her closest connections in life. Mystery, high drama, and new opportunities for Kat blend into the
kinds of conundrums that can destroy, shake, or build a family. How she chooses to navigate
these disparate worlds makes for a powerful dystopian adventure story that will attract not only
Kat's prior fans, but newcomers who like exceptionally powerful female protagonists who tackle
the dual and concurrent challenges of family and freedom alike.
The new possibilities which emerge from Kat's actions and reflections promise to attract a wide
audience with components of thriller, mystery, adventure, and women's literary inspections, as
well as those reading the sci-fi genre it will be identified with.
Blow the Man Down (Pirates of New Earth series, Book 4)
Sooner Started Press
9781957774107, $18.99 Paper/$1.99 ebook
Because Blow the Man Down is the fourth book concluding the Pirates of New Earth sci-fi
series, it's recommended that readers have at least an initial familiarity with pirate mother Kat
and her unusual pursuit of justice and family before joining her on her final adventure. Those
with such background will already know of Kat's evolutionary process, conundrums, and special
challenges in remaining true to both her mission to end human trafficking and meeting her
Both pursuits continue in the year 2366, as Kat faces both the culmination of her life's pursuit
and a new threat when her children are abducted. Torn by the blows to her heart's deepest desire,
Kat's initial feeling that "the world is now in balance" shatters with each event that further proves
she is not in as much control as she'd imagined. As events unfold, Kat faces threats even in
places she'd formerly felt safe, and begins to wonder if she and her allies can ever defeat the
storm that has driven both human trafficking on New Earth and the man who once enslaved
Sarah Branson builds a story that centers not just on Kat's strength, but the emotional currents
and forces that buffet those around her. One such character is fellow former slave and survivor
Carisa, who has adopted extraordinary measures and compromises in order to endure. As Kat
begins to realize the real impact of past, present, and future decisions she must make about the
course of her life and its pursuits, readers absorb a powerful crescendo of events that both
challenge her convictions and solidify her life purpose.
Sarah Branson creates just the right special blend of action and discovery that keeps Kat growing,
evolving, and challenged to do and be more. Women who look for characters that can serve as
role models for adaptation and courage will find Kat's dilemmas and scenarios emotionally
compelling, realistic, and educational.
Libraries that choose Blow the Man Down should consider the series as a whole. Each book
builds another piece of Kat's character and world. Together, the series books create a world both
realistic and thoroughly absorbing. Book clubs interested in stories of proactive women who
confront new lessons about their convictions and power in life will find many discussion points
sparked by not just Blow the Man Down, but the series as a whole.
New Dragon Soaring
Dancing Corgi Press
9781943654253, $19.95 Paper/$.99 ebook
New Dragon Soaring is the third book in the Dragon Shadows series featuring dragons, girl
pirates, and curses. In this book, Lisette de Lille and Tristen de Rocco have a young daughter,
Alara. The kidnapping of their child by a Ruhee, a vengeful women obsessed with Rocco,
separates the couple and leads them into different discoveries as each strives to find their
Between the events which led to Alara's birth in the aftermath of battle to the specter of a savior
turned deadly force because of a love that takes a dark turn as author G.S. Carline paints a
compelling story replete with twists and turns that both serves as a standalone tale and enhances
the prior series novels.
Exploring moon and blood dragons and how they differ to the yet-unexplored powers her new
daughter may exhibit, the story provides a satisfying blend of quest and discovery that involves
readers of all ages in a special tale of combat and revelation. Carline is especially adept at
portraying the different kinds of growth each character experiences both individually and as part
of a couple.
Embedded within Rocco's lessons on transformation from dragon to man and back, for example,
are instructions on everything from relationships to parenting choices. The strength of New
Dragon Soaring doesn't just lie in a quest or the uncovering of personal power, but in the
discoveries surrounding transmitting this power and these lessons to new generations. There is
plenty of struggle, battle scenes, and interpersonal interactions between good and not-so-good
forces, but Carline takes the time to examine the psychological influences on all choices, making
the characters believable and compelling.
Libraries and reads looking for action-packed sword-and-sorcery fantasies that take the extra step
in explaining the growth of power and connections will find New Dragon Soaring a sterling
example of a series book that holds equally powerful appeal to prior readers as well as
Scales and Stingers
K. M. Warfield
Creative James Media
9781956183726, $12.99 Paper/$4.99 ebook
Sword and sorcery fantasy readers seeking epic and memorable stories will find Scales and
Stingers, the first in the Heroes of Avoch series, to be a compelling introduction to a world in
which half breed Thia Bransdottir is shunned. Her father's protection vanishes upon his death,
and she is slated for religious work in a cloister, but her story doesn't end here.
Jinaari Althir is sworn to protect Thia throughout her life no matter where she goes. Her
unwillingness to trust anyone after her father is killed leads her to wonder about everyone in her
life - even those seemingly charged with protecting a half-Fallen like herself. Thia has never run
from anything. Does this make her courageous? As she comes to know Adam and a host of
people that swirl around her, some with special interests and some with their own preservation in
mind, Thia discovers innate abilities she'd never considered. These are brought to the forefront
both by new challenges and those who observe her closely. It's not in Thia to quit - or to make
friends. She must learn different ways of reacting to life and adversity if she is to not just rise
above her heritage as half-Fallen, but embrace its strengths.
K. M. Warfield crafts a story that is compelling as different characters deal with banishment,
shame, courage, and unexpected strengths. From warlocks and unusual homecomings to secrets
that bind a disparate group of friends, Warfield's ability to build a story based on changing
political and social environments creates a tale that's hard to put down. Perhaps Thia's greatest
lesson isn't just to learn to trust others and herself. It's to know how to oppose and guide the
forces at work in her kingdom: "Wisdom isn't telling someone what they should do, it's showing
them the support they need to make the decision themselves."
Libraries looking for introductory series titles in sword and sorcery fantasy arenas will find the
character-building moments in Scales and Stingers to be vivid draws that nicely juxtapose social
action and dilemmas with individual struggles.
The Poetry Shelf
Ryan A. Kovacs
B0BRNW1JY7, $7.49 ebook
Create Destruction adopts an unusual format in presenting a novel in verse. It's centered around a
crazy doctor hell-bent on harnessing the psychic abilities of a 12-year-old for his own nefarious
intentions. While the poetic component of the story may thwart the typical novel readers looking
for thrillers in the usual prose format, Ryan A. Kovacs successfully creates a compelling draw
both in plot and form which will appeal to more literary-minded readers interested in epic
The process of explaining destruction as the power of "...the undeniable action/that man chooses
- /the very thing he creates" assumes a vivid set of descriptors that follow the bad doctor into
moral, ethical, and uncharted territory via the perspective of young Thomas, who participates in a
deadly experiment. As the major player representing the doctor's vision, Thomas harbors his own
personality, doubts, and struggles. These carry him into revelations about his own evolving
abilities and their direction.
Readers who at first might find the verse structure a struggle will be surprised at how intensely
Kovacs draws readers into Thomas's perspective, experiences, and evolving sense of purpose
under the doctor's hand and his own evolutionary process. The verse reinforces the specter of an
ambitious, thought-provoking inspection of responsibility, choice, exploitation, and the talents
utilized by a boy who comes to realize he is being employed as a weapon.
Passages prove thought-provoking and impactful than if they had been rendered in prose, neatly
drawing readers into Thomas's dilemmas: "Nothing matters because we have lost the meaning of
life./Until we understand that once again/we are only ever moving backwards in time." The result
is a powerful story that combines the experimental creativeness of literature with the draw of a
thriller and the power of fiction to produce an accessible, revealing story that should attract a
Ideally, Create Destruction will be profiled not just for its unusual form of a novel in verse, but
for the embedded psychological and philosophical discoveries that bring Thomas and his
questionable abilities and guidance to life.
Corpse Beneath the Crocus
Corpse Beneath the Crocus may sound like a murder mystery, but its subject is literary in nature
and emotional in content. In detailing the experience of grief, loss, and re-creation, Nelson brings
to the table the added value of growth and revelation, injecting a sense of new possibility and
beginnings under impossible circumstances. Take 'A Seed' for one example. It compares life to a
seed, then metamorphizes to reflect a personal stage of growth: "Sometimes life is like a
seed/And sometimes I am the seed The waiting change/The burst of freedom/The power buried
beneath turned soil..." 'Lost' is about the "waves of reflection" that follow loss and batter against
life itself as newfound coldness results in "Crying the flood/Crying for the beautiful
soul/Wandering somewhere in the dark..."
All the works are not succinct expressions. 'Bizarre Mind', for example, explores "Cirque du
ridiculous" in considering the meandering pathways of thoughts and hearts challenged by reality
and imagination, and the mercurial boundaries that separate them. The heartache of loss and the
pain of transformation are captured in a work that chronicles the process of going down the
rabbit hole of loss and emerging into a new world, transformed.
Libraries and readers seeking poetry collections that are candid, vivid expressions of this process
will find the free verse of Corpse Beneath the Crocus compellingly rich in its study of the
emotional peaks and valleys of grief.
9781639887064, $24.99 Hardcover/$16.99 Paper
Wave Pulse is a poetry collection dedicated to representing the waves of life change that pulse
through worlds of man and nature alike. Centered in the experiences of humans and environment,
each poem is a powerful observation of the banality, focuses, representations, and the
"spontaneous patterning" of daily conversations, random events, and underlying connections.
Many of these inspections stem from inspirational observations, as in 'FROM A PHOTO OF A
HOPI PRIEST BY ADAM CLARK VROMAN': "seedjar spills into night/snake priest jaws
gripped/eyes glisten..." One doesn't need a photo to reinforce these visual words - their
description and impact are enough.
Others reflect the magnetic attraction of science, as in 'OF COSMOGENESIS', which crafts an
evocative physics-laden discourse connecting waves of science with life: "atoms protons
electrons/neutrons arc, quarks! What/sparks neurons in our veins?" The flow and pulse of waves
of life, light, and insight resonate through free verse designed to contrast the bluster and focus of
human affairs with the wider-ranging limitations of and possibilities in nature. Wave Pulse is an
energizing collection of inquiries into the models and spirits of man and nature.
Libraries that pursue it for its contemporary literary style will find much to recommend to poetry
readers interested in the flux and rhythms of life.
The Biography Shelf
Butterfly of Hope: Finding My Wings
JoAnn Santore Dickson
Butterfly of Hope: Finding My Wings is a memoir about facing illness and spiritual roots, and
listening to life-changing messages in adversity that push author JoAnn Santore Dickson's life
into new directions. It addresses a variety of topics as it moves through Dickson's life, from loss
and self-healing to not only getting life back, but delving into the past to consider better choices
for the future.
Dickson's goal was to accept herself unconditionally and embrace new facets of spiritual
realization that helped form a different personality and perspective on life. This is achieved both
in her actions and reactions to her experiences and upon publication of her book, which points
the way for others on the same path of self-discovery. As Dickson moves from her Christian
Science upbringing that led her to resist going to the doctor after a car accident delivers alarming
symptoms weeks later, to a state in which she pays more attention to her body and soul, readers
will appreciate her progression. Especially strongly described is her relationship with family,
which steeps the story with additional conversations about relationship ideals, spiritual
realizations, and a life complicated by health challenges on all sides.
As Dickson learns how to stay strong for others as well as herself, she moves into training
programs that help her better achieve her emotional, spiritual, and physical goals. By writing her
memoir, Dickson does more than explore the process of emergence. She gives wings to her
readers, who in turn can use her experiences and lessons to tackle their own possibilities of
growth and flight. She offers insights into not just accepting change, but how to run and fly with
Libraries looking for memoirs steeped in spiritual and healing processes will find much to like in
Butterfly of Hope: Finding My Wings, which is spiced with journal entries that reflect the
author's progressive realizations about her life and her approach to it.
Good Morning, Hope
Argita and Detina Zalli
Sandra Jonas Publishing
9781954861060, $14.95 Paperback/$26.95 Hardcover/$6.99 Ebook
Good Morning, Hope: A True Story of Refugee Twin Sisters and Their Triumph over War,
Poverty, and Heartbreak belongs in any library interested in stories of refugee experience in
general and Albanian history in particular. It is also about family, strength, and the bond between
twins, it's likewise for any reader interested in stories of growing up struggling and fighting for a
better life. It chronicles the efforts of an Albanian family to flee the financial meltdown in their
country in 1997, but it doesn't end with their successful escape to England. In some ways the
story is just beginning at that point because the twins and their parents then move into a social
milieu nearly as challenging as the environment they fled.
As the story evolves, from mystery helpers who assist the family's flight to circumstances that
threaten to separate the family at numerous junctures, Argita and Detina Zalli present the
emotional tension both outside and within the family as they confront the pressures of their
Another thought-provoking component to their story is the prejudice against immigrants and
refugees, which the children experience in a land that took so much effort to reach and initially
showed so much promise.
As events unfold, these ongoing struggles challenge the family to adopt new methods of handling
their vastly changed world. The Zalli twins powerfully detail the emotional tides and revelations
that force disparate individuals to come together: "I had been a good actress so far, but how could
I pretend that the past didn't exist? How could I pretend that we would work well together with
two girls who hated us and had caused us so much suffering? How could I forgive them without
their asking for forgiveness?"
The result will move beyond readers interested in Albanian experiences and into general
audiences attracted to stories of refugee survival, prejudice, and integration processes. This is a
book for libraries and readers seeking vivid first-person chronicles that embrace family, a sense
of place, and alien territory. Good Morning, Hope is a study in adaptation and courage that
chronicles growth against all odds, documenting how one family blossoms even in the midst of
social, political, and psychological storms.
Where Yellow Flowers Bloom
B0BVC7HY42, $9.99 ebook
Where Yellow Flowers Bloom: A True Story of Hope Through Unimaginable Loss is a mother's
memoir of the gripping tragedy that resulted in the loss of her home and the positive life she had
built. It opens with a vivid experience that occurred when the family was buried in their home by
a landslide. As Kim Cantin documents events from 2017 onward that involved struggles with fire
and the products of California's changing weather, readers gain a sense of what it means to
survive not just one, but a series of life-altering environmental events. These reach from the
crazy weather events of 2017 to the pouring rains of 2018 that produced avalanches that ran
through their home at 35 miles per hour.
Where Yellow Flowers Bloom cultivates a "you are here" experience as it narrates the blows
Cantin's family endured.
Kim Cantin believed her entire family would die that night. Her house totally destroyed and her
loved ones missing, she barely survived, herself. One of the strengths of her story, which lends to
its vivid appeal, lies in daughter Lauren's notes about her experiences, juxtaposing with her
mother Kim's reflections about being survivors against all odds.
David and Jack Canton, as well as dog Chester, were lost. Jack was not found for three years.
The search Kim was to undertake involved the community and brought together strangers who
helped: "I witnessed some of the best of human kindness." This joint effort to save her family
resulted in compelling examples of kindness and concern from strangers that was to set the
course for recovery and the rest of their lives.
Where Yellow Flowers Bloom is more than a portrait of family disaster. It's a riveting account of
surviving personal achievement, love, and perseverance that carries a mother and daughter into a
new life where kindness becomes intrinsically entwined with survival. The lessons Kim receives
are given back in different ways; one of which is the publication of this memoir: "It reminds me
to accept my life's changes, and to work to thrive and move forward. I know for sure that this is
what my husband and son would want for us. And, maybe, just maybe, they helped this
coincidence to happen."
As hope and goodness emerge from inconceivable circumstance and loss, readers gain a sense of
how hope and faith become tied to community response and supportive efforts. They also receive
a diverse portrait of kindness in action from all types of community members.
Libraries looking for memoirs of tragedy, adversity, grief, and, ultimately, hope will find that
Where Yellow Flowers Bloom is an especially powerful portrait - one that should join any other
true stories about surviving the impossible.
The Christian Studies Shelf
C.J.S. Hayward in Under 99 Pages
CJS Hayward Publications
9798485392727, $11.99 Hardcover/$5.99 Paper/$.99 Kindle
Anyone who has followed the spiritual writings of C.J.S. Hayward well knows they are
thought-provoking, lengthy productions designed to engage spiritual thinkers and audiences in
intellectual discourse. This is why C.J.S. Hayward in Under 99 Pages represents a significant
achievement, appealing to modern readers who may not have time or inclination for a tome of
hundreds of pages, however relevant or intriguing they might be; but who will find this a fine
synthesis of his works that touches on the highlights.
The attempt to consolidate so many trains of thought, literary, spiritual, and philosophical
references, and intellectual discourse into such a diminutive work must have been daunting,
given the length and breadth of Hayward's previous writings. Those familiar with them might
expect that the idea that the scope of these works could even begin to fit into 99 pages would be a
task especially daunting (perhaps nearly impossible). And yet, Br. Christos achieves this goal,
offering six chapters, an introduction, and an epilogue that touches upon the basic principles
more heavily outlined in his previous works.
Readers who would gain an introduction to Christian Orthodoxy principles in general and
Hayward's extensive reflections on it would do well to begin with C.J.S. Hayward in Under 99
Pages. Its ability to capture audiences with discussions that are lively and contemporary makes it
a top recommendation for book clubs interested in debates and discussions over spiritual
concepts and analytical approaches: "Where the reader only sees one question, an ancient reader
saw at least two other questions that are invisible to the present reader. As well as the question of
"How?" that evolution addresses, there is the question of "Why?" and "What function does it
serve?" These two questions are very important, and are not even considered when people are
only trying to work out the antagonism between creationism and evolutionism."
The Holiday Shelf
A Happy Christmas Ceilidh
B0BPB1CPZD, $0.99 ebook
Fans of short two-hour sci-fi and fantasy stories will find A Happy Christmas Ceilidh a fine
addition to the Shrouded Isle series. It offers not just a fine Christmas story, but a compelling tale
of fun, family, and community.
Much in the matter of an O. Henry story, Zoe Tasia presents the dilemma of holiday dreams that
one couple cannot afford. Tempering this altruistic approach to the holiday is a series of
challenges, from a moving elf on a shelf to an unwelcome snowman and the changing world of
Becca, her boyfriend Greg, and her children, teenage daughter Jessie and younger daughter
It's a cozy mystery spiced with Christmas seasonal celebrations, Scottish culture, and island life
which both dovetails nicely with the prior books in the series and stands well on its own for
newcomers. As Tasia develops the natures and perspectives of each family member, readers
receive a warm survey of magic and seasonal giving that is steeped with many of the literary
devices of O. Henry in its development of ironies and life inspections.
While teens and young adults will find this story attractive, it would be a shame to limit its
readership to this audience alone. Many a busy adult looking for a shorter seasonal read that
embraces the warmth of caring and clues to solving puzzles will find A Happy Christmas Ceilidh
compelling, uplifting, and satisfying, with its special blends of place and changing purposes.
Tasia's focus on building community characters and added notes of cultural and social interaction
creates a story that is as warm and cozy for winter pursuit as it is embracing in the concern that
each of the characters exhibits towards others. Libraries looking for shorter reads will welcome A
Happy Christmas Ceilidh whether they have prior books in the series or want a stand-alone
The California Shelf
Guide to Local Government Finance in California
Michael Multari, et al.
Solano Press Books
PO Box 773, Point Arena, CA 95468
9781938166174, $90.00, PB, 332pp
Synopsis: Now in a newly updated and revised second edition, "Guide to Local Government
Finance in California" by the team of Michael Multari; Michael Coleman; Kenneth Hampian;
and Bill Statler brings the financial picture for California governments up to date, while making
this comprehensive reference resource even easier to use.
This new edition of "Guide to Local Government Finance in California" provides a solid
foundation for those who are interested in better understanding and navigating the complexity of
California local public finance. The first edition, published in 2012, introduced a unique look at
local government finance covering not only the vital fundamentals - like budgeting, accounting,
and investing - but also lesser known yet equally powerful forces that affect the ability of cities,
counties and special districts to deliver essential services. In a constantly changing environment,
economic conditions evolve, new laws are enacted, different issues become especially topical to
the public and the academy.
This new second edition of Guide to Local Government in California addresses those changes
with discussions of: Court decisions related to rate structures and pensions; Fiscal reforms that
were emerging in 2012 that have been advanced (or dropped); Increased interest in the early
diagnosis of possible fiscal difficulties; How some of the benefits of redevelopment that were
lost might be recaptured, including Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts; Other
incremental changes to the system.
In addition, much of the statistical information contained in the numerous charts and graphs has
been updated with more current data, and the graphics have been improved. The glossary has
been significantly expanded to help clarify some of the technical terms used in the book. The
primary purpose of this book is to provide a solid foundation for those who are interested in
better understanding and navigating the complexity of California local public finance.
Critique: An essential resource for public agency managers and other staff, including planners
and policy analysts, as well as appointed and elected public officials, teachers, students, and
citizens at large who want to understand and improve California's complex system of local
government finance, "Guide to Local Government Finance in California" is impressively
comprehensive, and throughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation. Featuring four
Appendices (An Overview of Public Finance Theory; Detailed City Budget Process; Presenting
Financial Information; Useful Information Sources), a two page Bibliography, a sixteen page
Glossary, and a seven page Index, "Guide to Local Government Finance in California" will prove
an invaluable addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library California
Governmental Policy & Finance collections. It should be noted that "Guide to Local Government
Finance in California" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $45.00).
Editorial Note #1: Government Finance Almanac, an online resource of data, analyses and
articles on California municipal finance and budgeting. He is the principal fiscal policy advisor
both to the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers and, for over twenty years, to the
League of California Cities. Coleman is a popular presenter at graduate schools and conferences,
and is the author of numerous articles and references on the topic. Coleman received an MPA
from the University of Southern California.
Editorial Note #2: During Ken Hampian's thirty-five year public sector career he served at the
county, federal and city levels of government, including twenty years in San Luis Obispo where
he retired as city manager in 2010. Honors have included the League of California Cities John S.
Nail Award and selection to the prestigious Presidential Management Internship Program. In the
summer of 2011, Hampian served without compensation as the interim city manager of
beleaguered Bell, California, during a time of dire need. His service there has been recognized by
a variety of professional associations. Today Hampian teaches, trains, writes, and consults.
Editorial Note #3: Michael Multari was the community development director in Morro Bay and
San Luis Obispo before co-founding Crawford, Multari & Clark, Associates, a consulting
practice that provided planning and fiscal assistance to public agencies throughout California.
Since leaving CMCA in 2000, he has served as the executive director of the non-profit Morro
Bay National Estuary Program and has worked on various campus planning projects at Cal Poly
San Luis Obispo. He received an MPA from Princeton University and has been a member of the
adjunct faculty in the City and Regional Planning Department at Cal Poly for over twenty
Editorial Note #4: Bill Statler served as the director of Finance & Information Technology for the
City of San Luis Obispo for twenty-two years and for ten years as finance officer for the City of
Simi Valley before that. Under his guidance, San Luis Obispo received national recognition for
excellence in its financial planning, budgeting, reporting and management systems. He has
played a large leadership role in the municipal finance profession, including serving on the Board
of Directors of the League of California Cities as well as president of the California Society of
Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO) and the League's Fiscal Officers Department, In 2011,
Statler was awarded the CSMFO's Distinguished Service Award for his outstanding contributions
to the municipal finance profession; and in 2012, he received the Cal-ICMA's Ethical Hero
Award for his services to the City of Bell in the aftermath of well-publicized scandals. Statler
continues to be deeply involved in the field as a consultant, trainer and author.
Navagating The California Coastal Act
Solano Press Books
PO Box 773, Point Arena, CA 95468
9781938166211, $80.00, PB, 255pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Navigating The California Coastal Act", Jana Zimmer
presents the only book that provides a comprehensive but concise overview and guide to practice
under the California Coastal Act.
Offering a clear understanding of current substantive standards and procedures including how
development along the coast is defined, where it may be permitted and under what substantive
and procedural standards, and how jurisdiction over planning for development and conservation
in coastal areas is determined, "Navigating The California Coastal Act" features practice tips
throughout the book suggest ways to work effectively with Coastal Commission staff and present
cases to the Commission. Navigating the California Coastal Act is intended for planners and
officials at local, state, and federal agencies, as well as property owners, real estate developers,
attorneys and judges, interested citizen activists, and students.
The topics covered in "Navigating The California Coastal Act" include: The Coastal Commission
its qualifications, organization, and role in implementation of the Coastal Act; The Local Coastal
Program its purposes, processes, and common issues; Coastal development permit requirements
types of permits, and emerging or recurring issues; The Coastal Commission hearing and appeal
process; Interpreting and applying Coastal Act standards; Other relevant agencies and laws;
Enforcement of the Coastal Act; Judicial review.
Appendices contain a glossary of terms and summaries of key legal cases. "Navigating The
California Coastal Act" reflects both a love of the coast, and a love of the law, and is enhanced
by extraordinary photography, courtesy of Reeve Woolpert, and the artwork of the author.
Critique: "Navigating The California Coastal Act" is enhanced for the reader with the inclusion
of illustrations, a two page listing of Acknowledgments, two Appendices (Glossary of Terms &
Table of Authorities), and a three page Index. Comprehensive and exceptionally well organized
and presented, "Navigating The California Coastal Act" is unreservedly recommended for
personal, professional, community, and academic library instructional reference collections. It
should be noted that "Navigating The California Coastal Act" is also available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $40.00).
Editorial Note: Jana Zimmer is a Santa Barbara-based attorney, arbitrator, and former Coastal
Commissioner with over 35 years of experience in work under the California Coastal Act. During
her legal career, she represented public agencies, environmental organizations, and private parties
with issues before local government and the Coastal Commission. From 2011 to 2015, she
served as an at large appointee of the Speaker of the Assembly, John Perez. She served as
Vice-Chair of the Coastal Commission from December 2013 to July 2015. Ms. Zimmer currently
works as an expert witness, facilitator, and governmental relations consultant specializing in
Coastal Act matters. She remains licensed to practice in California, the 9th Circuit, and before
the U.S. Supreme Court.
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575-1129
Diane C. Donovan, Editor & Senior Reviewer
12424 Mill Street, Petaluma, CA 94952
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