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California Bookwatch

Volume 11, Number 1 January 2016 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Literary Studies Shelf Art Shelf
Business Shelf Beer/Wine/Spirits Shelf Computer Shelf
American History Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf Travel Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Biography Shelf Crafts Shelf
Sports Shelf Cookbook Shelf Education Shelf
Music CD Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf Social Issues Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fiction Shelf
California Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

For Love and Treasure
Monty Joynes
Seaside Books
c/o Square One Publishers
115 Herricks Road, Garden City Park, NY 11040
9780692399316, $19.95,

For Love and Treasure: The Life and Times of the World's Most Successful Treasure Hunting Family documents the world and achievements of Mel Fisher, known as "The World's Greatest Treasure Hunter' who established the Mel Fisher's Treasure Museum and the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Florida to promote research and archaeology. While Mel passed away in 1998, his son Kim Fisher carries on the family tradition, and this blend of autobiography and scientific exploration offers a lively survey into the family's achievements. Treasure hunting by definition involves risk and adventure: For Love and Treasure documents this process and provides a lively, engrossing read by a family committed to exploration.

Amber Rose, Sadie Frost & Holly Davidson
Kyle Books
1st Floor, 192-198 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 1DX
9781909487321, $27.95,

Nourish Mind, Body & Soul is a review of the elements needed for good living and presents the synthesis of experiences and perspectives of three authors who blend personal experiences and autobiography with recipes, exercises, and beauty tips. These different approaches are designed to boost the immune system with good food, meditation, yoga, and more, with the approach focused on sharing information that will lead to nourishment on many levels: spiritual, physical, and emotional. The result is a powerful blend of new age and health guide that is outstanding in its diverse approaches.

The Literary Studies Shelf

Written in Stone
Christopher Stevens
Pegasus Books
80 Broad Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10004
9781650989075, $27.95,

Written in Stone: A Journey Through the Stone Age and the Origins of Modern Language goes beyond most linguistics history titles to survey how English is actually based on original Stone Age words, and where the Indo-European languages originated. Its approach blends linguistics insights and analysis with ancient history, mythology, archaeology and more to examine how words evolved from their prehistoric roots, and chapters offer surprising humor in the course of examining a lively history of ancient language. Surprisingly vivid, accessible, and of interest to a wide general audience including non-scholars with little prior familiarity in language history and science, Written in Stone is a top recommendation.

The Art Shelf

Arts & Science, second edition
Eliane Strosberg
Abbeville Press
137 Varick Street, New York, NY 10013
9780789212191, $34.95,

The second updated edition of Arts & Science offers a fine history of the connections between these two disciplines and remains the only book to survey, in depth, the history of these associations from primitive to modern times. Chapters consider such subjects as how scientific developments and understanding have shaped architectural design, how math has created new artistic avenues in the decorative arts, and how advancements in psychological understanding have expanded concepts of what is art and how to tailor graphic design and illustration to make the most of these insights. It belongs on the shelves of both art and science holdings and provides an intersection of two disciplines which too commonly appear at odds with one another, making it a top recommendation for college students in either discipline.

Indian Country: The Art of David Bradley
Valerie K. Verzuh
Museum of New Mexico Press
PO Box 2087, Santa Fe, NM 87504-2087
9780890136010, $34.95,

Indian Country: The Art of David Bradley comes from a Native American artist who has long used his art to represent Native concerns and visions. This coffee table-sized overview is a 'must' for any Native collection, offering vivid paintings that incorporate social and political commentary with Native concerns and perspectives. With its vivid colors and thought-provoking twists, Indian Country is a 'must' for both arts and Native American holdings alike.

The Business Shelf

Daniel Lemin
Quill Driver Books
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721
9781610352628, $14.95,

It's about time that someone published a book for business owners whose endeavors have been unfairly rated online, and it's also about time that someone point out the corruption and inconsistencies involved in rating systems and reviews which can be fraudulent. As small businesses stake their lives and reputations via Yelp, Angie's, and other notable websites, it's been apparent that online reviews can too easily make or break a business. What's an owner to do? ManipuRated offers both a review of how online reviews work and, more importantly, a set of strategies on how to take bad reviews and erroneous postings and make them work to a business advantage. Online reputation strategist author Lemin's book should be on every business owner's reading list.

The Beer/Wine/Spirits Shelf

Quality Management
Mary Pellettieri
Brewers Association
P.O. Box 1679, Boulder, CO 80306
9781938459152, $95.00,

Quality Management: Essential Planning for Breweries provides professional brewers and brewing businesses with a specific key to designing and managing a quality control system - one of a brewery's most critical elements - and teaches brewers how to incorporate such a program into a brewery's daily operations. From good manufacturing practices and general operating procedures to audit reports, dealing with government requirements and paperwork, problem-solving and lab testing, and how to grow company policy as an organization grows, this is packed with keys to planning systems that both work, last, and grow with the brewery environment, making it a specialty recommendation for aspiring professional brewers and the companies they work for.

The Computer Shelf

Microsoft Office 2013-365 and Beyond
Theodor Richardson and Charles Thies
Mercury Publishing
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
9781938549847, $79.95,

Microsoft Office 2013-365 and Beyond: Computer Concepts and Applications is divided into five sections with sixteen chapters that build a foundation of basic computer concepts for newcomers to Microsoft Office 2013 and Office for Mac 2011, and offers all the skills needed to navigate the programs and use Office for basic tasks. From using Adobe Reader for reading PDF files and OneNote for Windows for managing them to advanced uses such as creating text boxes in a slide, chapter summaries, practice exercises and 'challenge' exercises offer students the opportunity for not just self-study, but testing and reinforcing concepts. The result is a primer packed with the basics, which no computer user should be without.

Common Information Models for an Open, Analytical, and Agile World
Mandy Chessell,
IBM Press
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780133366150, $39.99,

Common Information Models for an Open, Analytical, and Agile World comes from five senior IBM IT professionals who teach the basics of how to use information-centric views to incorporate data into overall project design and delivery. It teaches how to use Common Information Models to standardize how information is represented and it uses a complete case study to consider the process of identifying, building, and maintaining CIM models. From best practices and agile applications to choosing between structures and using tools to manage CIM, this is a powerful reference that is a top pick for any concerned with information architecture and better, more agile models.

The American History Shelf

Gardens of Eden
Robert B. MacKay, Editor
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393733211, $65.00,

Gardens of Eden: Long Island's Early Twentieth-Century Planned Communities deserves ongoing mention as a top local reference gathering the work of architectural historians and local historians, and blends archival research with period landscape illustrations throughout as it considers the planning and evolution of early Long Island. Chapters consider its unique geography and development and focus on the garden communities fostered in the area, offering specific and close analysis of how these planned communities evolved. From museum developments and how properties were marked and divided to the early evolution of Long Island's real estate community, Gardens of Eden packs in historical and social analysis in a presentation filled with social, political, economic, and architectural insights on choices made and their rationale. The result is a solid survey that's highly recommended for any collection strong in New York state history.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Nutritional Intervention in Metabolic Syndrome
Isaias Dichi and Andrea Name Colado Simao
CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
9781466556829, $139.00,

Nutritional Intervention in Metabolic Syndrome is a college-level text outlining nutritional interventions ranging from diet therapy and dietary patterns in different diets to understanding the physiopathology mechanisms in metabolic disorders and nutritional intervention strategies. The book consists of medical analysis, reports, studies around food groups and diet therapy applications, and risk factors, and focus on dietary components of physiopathology and relationships between diet and cardiovascular changes. Intended for nutritionists and medical students alike, this specific focus and approach gathers a host of relevant articles and insights and pairs them with extensive bibliographic citations perfect for further study, making Nutritional Intervention in Metabolic Syndrome a complex and authoritative synthesis of the latest research in the field. A 'must' for any serious college-level health collection with nutritionist professional readers.

The Travel Shelf

Ultimate Travel
Lonely Planet
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street, Oakland CA 94607
9781760342777, $24.99,

Lonely Planet's Ultimate Travel: Our List of the 500 Best Places to See... Ranked gathers the travel experiences of experts who have gone around the world and ranked the best sights both well-known and less known. The result is truly a collection of ultimate destinations and attractions, packaged in a slightly oversized coffee table book filled with color photos and discussions of why each attraction is 'ultimate'. Lists of 'must see' attractions are common; but what is less usual is seeing the hugely famous sites - such as the Taj Mahal - listed next to lesser-known or nearly obscure places. The history, discussion, and lovely color photos create an enticing package designed to attract armchair readers and destination travelers alike.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Anunnaki Chronicles: A Zecharia Sitchin Reader
Janet Sitchin, Editor
Bear & Company
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781591432296, $24.00,

The Anunnaki Chronicles: A Zecharia Sitchin Reader includes never-before published works as it gathers under one cover the interpretive skills of ancient biblical writings scholar Zecharia Sitchin. His niece edits his writings and compiles decades of research, organizing his theories under one cover and including chapters from his Earth Chronicles series alongside articles and lectures which haven't been published before. Each piece is introduced by his niece and assistant and offers personal insights into the man's research and works, making for a definitive collection no new age holding should be without.

The Biography Shelf

Henry Clay
Harlow Giles Unger
DaCapo Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
9780306823916, $25.99,

Henry Clay: America's Greatest Statesman provides a fine political history in discussing how young Kentucky lawyer Henry Clay prevented the dissolution of the new American republic during its early years. Clay was the only freshman congressman ever elected Speaker of the House, and his efforts succeeded in uniting feuding members of the House of Representatives during some fifty years of service. His efforts to save the Union and his negotiating skills were unparalleled and this county would not be what it is today were it not for his vision and efforts. It's about time a biography would return him to a central place in American history: no American history or political studies collection would be complete without adding this key title.

The Crafts Shelf

Origami Jewelry
Lafosse and Alexander
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9784805311516, $16.95,

Origami Jewelry: Easy-to-Make Paper Pendants, Bracelets, Necklaces and Earrings pairs step-by-step instructions with an accompanying free DVD video collection explaining how to fold and make paper jewelry, and comes from origami artists who take the paper-folding concept a step further to create medallions, bracelets, and even earrings. Instructions move from basic paper-folding techniques to combining paper with beads and other embellishments. The result is something new to origami: a combination of mediums centered on the paper-folding approach and filled with step-by-step illustrations that make for easy understanding and polished results.

The Sports Shelf

Yogafit, third edition
Beth Shaw
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076
9781492507406, $21.95,

The third updated edition of Yogafit offers a program based on yoga poses for improved flexibility and physique, and has been expanded and updated to include new strength- and flexibility-building workouts based on yoga. It comes from an expert on fitness and yoga who has incorporated both into a program that can be used daily, customized easily, and adjusted for personal goals, and it pairs color sequences with step-by-step written directions to make for an easy program even beginners new to yoga can access. Any who would use yoga to improve body and mind will find this a solid collection of specific routines.

The Cookbook Shelf

Plant Based Cookbook
Trish Sebben-Krupka
DK Publishing, Inc.
c/o Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9781465435361, $25.00,

Plant Based Cookbook: Good for Your Heart, Your Health, and Your Life packs in 200 whole-food recipes promoting a plant-based diet as a healthier pursuit, and pairs tips on how to transition fro ma meat-based diet to one based on whole foods. From cooking whole food dishes to producing such fare as a cauliflower, olive and caper Neopolitan Christmas Salad, crisp potato pancake Latkes, and Green Curry Vegetable Stew, Plant Based Cookbook is packed with flavor, profiles many dishes that can be assembled in under 30 minutes, and is filled with international influences and flavors to delight even the most avid meat-based eater.

Sweetie Pie's Cookbook
Miss Robbie
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062322807, $28.99,

Sweetie Pie's Cookbook: Soulful Southern Recipes, from My Family to Yours comes from a cook who prepared meals with her mother for eight children, learning the recipes that were passed down between generations, and it presents classic soul food and variations on classic themes alike. From beef short ribs with onions and carrots to rutabaga mashed with ham and Oniony Roasted Corn, these dishes are packed with flavor and soul, with color photos accompanying appealing recipes that need no culinary expertise to produce successfully. Any who want to explore Southern cooking will relish the bright images and easy directions in Sweetie Pie's Cookbook.

Vegan Bowls
Zsu Dever
Vegan Heritage Press
P.O. Box 628, Woodstock, VA 22664-0628
9781941252154, $21.95,

Vegan Bowls: Perfect Flavor Harmony in Cozy One-Bowl Meals offers a unique survey that advocates making plant-based one-bowl meals which can be constructed in 30 minutes or less, including soups, salads, international fare, and main dishes, and is a top pick for any vegan cook's collection. It holds a wide range of flavors and fare, such as a 'Green and White Chili Bowl' which layers beans, white hominy and oregano with peppers, onion, garlic, and cilantro and spinach, and it will prove an ideal choice for busy books who want something quick and flavorful. Color photos of finished dishes add further, eye-catching appeal.

The Nordic Cookbook
Magnus Nilsson
Phaidon Press
65 Bleecker Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10012
9780714868721, $49.95,

There are a relative few Nordic cookbooks on the market; but none hold the depth and presentation of The Nordic Cookbook by Magnus Nilsson - so if it's only one Nordic 'bible' reference that is desired, it should be this one. The contents were inspired by the author's travels throughout Nordic nations from Demark and Finland to Iceland, Norway and the Faroe Islands, and explores similarities and differences in their cuisine. It's arranged into twenty-two weighty recipe chapters and includes both familiar ingredients and less familiar fare unique to Nordic food, and it pairs its recipes with discussions, color photos, and discussions which explore Nordic culture and concerns as wide-ranging as whale populations and commercial fishing. It should be noted that in an expansive volume packing in over 700 recipes, not all will be accessible to everyone. Some involve specialized ingredients or dishes for special tastes, and the dishes have been tested in Sweden. As the author notes, this means that different recipes under different conditions will produce different results.

Baklava to Tarte Tatin
Bernard Laurance
c/o Rizzoli
300 Park Avenue South, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010
9782080202154, $34.95,

Baklava to Tarte Tatin: a World Tour in 110 Dessert Recipes comes from a food blogger and traveler who here combines his two passions in a recipe for success during a quest for the best desserts of each country he visits. He tastes their classic pastry fare, then reconstructs ingredients, methods, and flavors to present a tested recipe here that works on many levels. The result gathers classic cuisines and simplifies their process for any who want an international culinary tour of the best desserts the planet's nations can offer.

Cooking Like a Master Chef
Graham Elliot
Atria Books
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781476796512, $30.00,

Cooking Like a Master Chef: 100 Recipes to Make the Everyday Extraordinary comes from the host of a popular Fox network culinary show whose first cookbook is designed to reach home cooks who want to create impressive food for celebrations. The book is arranged by season which makes it a snap to use fresh ingredients, it includes full-color photos throughout, and it provides variations on traditional favorite dishes with such are as Lobster Corn Dogs and an unusual take-off on the all-American banana split. Add a dash of humor and a lively approach and you have a wonderful collection home cooks can use to bring their existing skills and recipes to the next level.

The Education Shelf

Talk About Teaching! Leading Professional Conversations, second edition
Charlotte Danielson
Corwin Press, Inc.
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218
9781483373799, $34.00,

Talk About Teaching! Leading Professional Conversations provides a fine survey of how to encourage professional conversations and discussions about education, and comes from a team of teachers who discuss the basics of connecting with students on a meaningful level. The second edition of this book offers a new chapter on guiding conversations, sample topics and conversation activities, and discussions of how to engage students through conversational approaches and professional practices. From promoting analytic thinking to taking into account what motivates students and affects their actions, Talk About Teaching is for educators who want to open and foster dialogues that support the learning process.

Restorative Practice and Special Needs
Nick Burnett and Margaret Thorsborne
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849055437, $39.95,

Restorative Practice and Special Needs: A Practical Guide to Working Restoratively with Young People provides an overview of RP, an approach to discipline that changes behaviors by building and restoring relationships, and offers a practical guide on how to implement these approaches with special needs young people in educational and residential settings like. Case studies are blended with discussions on how basic RP concepts can be adapted for those with such needs, with chapters offering specific examples and guidelines for professionals, educators, and parents alike. Any working with special needs young people will find this a fine program to consider.

The Music CD Shelf

Te Vaka
Warm Earth Records
c/o Spirit of Play Productions
B0161BEJSK, $8.99 MP3, $29.52 Audio CD,

Te Vaka has now passed the 8th album mark, and though this colorful Polynesian group tours outside of the South Pacific, fans not on the tour route will have to settle for recordings - and fortunately, all have been excellent. Lead by Opetaia Foai, the group combines traditional Polynesian instruments such as long drums with acoustic guitars and subtle electric keyboards - and, of course, excellent choral changing. Te Vaka is mostly a family band with Opetaia's grown children singing and playing: three of the current eight touring members are family; with a few more featured on the recordings. The females have particularly compelling, high voices and though many lyrics have a tropical slant, very few are in English. Cut #5, Amataga, is a particular favorite as it features Olivia Foai (Opetaia's daughter) on lead vocal with a rhythm somewhat reminiscent of Buddy Holly: totally delightful. This reviewer is wearing out the CD; it's that good.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Antiques Handbook & Price Guide 2016-2017
Judith Miller
Miller Guides
Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781784720896, $45.00,

Antiques Handbook & Price Guide 2016-2017 provides a new edition of a general antiques price guide which has been long identified as one of the essential, basics guides in the industry, and packs in over 8,000 items and color photos to supplement a tool for identifying antiques, buying and selling them, and understanding changing market trends. Sections arranged by the type of antique cover everything from furniture and ceramics to jewelry and Orientals, while this updated edition includes more details on the decorative arts. Good-quality color photos throughout make it a snap to identify and price antiques and contribute to the overall value of a general antiques 'bible' no collector should be without.

The Social Issues Shelf

Village of Immigrants
Diana R. Gordon
Rutgers University Press
106 Somerset St., 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
9780813575902, $27.95,

Village of Immigrants: Latinos in an Emerging America documents a U.S. trend of immigrants spreading beyond coastal cities into the rest of the country, and narrows the example to Greenport, New York, a village on Long Island which has seen many changes from an influx of Latinos. The author lives in this small town and so is in the perfect position to observe its evolution: chapters discuss taxes, schools, jobs, and local business evolution, showing how the influx has revitalized the town's entire structure and led to growth and positive results. Highly recommended for any collection strong in general social issues and Latino history in particular!

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Son of the Black Sword
Larry Correia
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781476780863, $25.00,

Son of the Black Sword: Saga of the Forgotten Warrior tells of what happens after the war with the gods, when demons were cast out and fell to the world to nearly destroy these unstoppable beasts until the gods sent a hero to save them. Centuries have passed since this event and the people have regulated these events to legend. One Ashok has been chosen to be a protector with a powerful weapon in hand, uncovering those who still practice old ways and are potential dangers to the order - but when he discovers all his efforts have been based on a lie, everything's about to change. A powerful epic fantasy evolves into a solid, compelling read.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Eileen Brady
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave., #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781464203947, $26.95,

Unleashed provides a Kate Turner, DVM mystery and will delight mystery fans who look for investigators who are not professional sleuths. Dr. Turner leads a quiet life in upstate New York working as a relief vet, until a client is found dead and is billed as a suicide. The problem is: Kate knows this is very unlikely, and can't imagine Claire abandoned her beloved pet in favor of death. Kate's investigation leads to animal encounters, questionable perps, and an intricate web of involvements with too many possibilities. Vet medicine and murder mix in a satisfyingly complex, realistic way in this vivid page-turner.

The Fiction Shelf

Up Against the Night
Justin Cartwright
Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781632860187, $27.00,

Up Against the Night tells of Frank, a wealthy English man who has adopted England as his home for some thirty years, but who increasingly feels alienated and compelled to return to his South African origins, where he still keeps a house in Cape Town. He'll be showing this country to his new lover for the first time and they'll be joined by their family - but there's something wrong with the family myths and stories that they all are about to become caught up in, and Up Against the Night documents the slow unraveling of myth and reality in a compelling saga of families, origins, and connections which is difficult to put down.

The California Shelf

California Missions
Bennet Watt HD Productions, Inc.
13021 - 244 Avenue SE, Issaquah, WA 98027
9781604901818 $24.95 DVD
9781604902044 $24.95 Blu-ray

Part of the "Discoveries... America National Parks" of strikingly beautiful, high-definition videos about the extraordinary treasures that the National Park Service exists to protect, California Missions is a virtual tour of twenty-one missions established in Alta California over a route of nearly 600 miles. They were originally created to spread European religion and serve the Spanish Crown; these missions also fostered new agricultural practices and eventually forms of government. Many of them are still active parish churches, which welcome visitors to view and appreciate their cultural treasures. California Missions is the next best thing to visiting these historic sites in person, and highly recommended especially for public library DVD collections. 76 min, available in both DVD and Blu-ray formats.

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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