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California Bookwatch

Volume 13, Number 1 January 2018 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Needlecraft Shelf Computer Shelf
Art Shelf Cookbook Shelf Education Shelf
Technology Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Biography Shelf Music Shelf Travel Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf World History Shelf Independent Publishers Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food
Marcy Carriker Smothers
Disney Press Editions
9781484782293 $35.00

Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food is not a cookbook; instead, it takes an unusual approach in examining the food choices and evolution of Disneyland, and covers everything from originator Walt Disney's personal culinary tastes to how food became an entertainment attraction in its own right. Walt Disney didn't dream of becoming a restaurateur, but he did hold the vision of entertainment extending from Disney characters and productions into the food realm, and this history follows both Walt Disney's personal and family food traditions to how inns, cafeterias, and events came to be part of Disney's vision. The result, packed with vintage photos, is a lively culinary history with a special focus on Disney that no culinary or entertainment library should be without.

The Needlecraft Shelf

All In A Row Again
Compiled by Lissa Alexander
That Patchwork Place
c/o Martingale & Company
19021 - 120th Avenue NE, Suite 102, Bothell, WA 98011
9781604685979 $26.99

All In A Row Again: 23 Row-by-Row Quilt Designs provides more row patterns by Moda designers who follow up on the best-selling book Moda All-Stars All in a Row. Readers of the prior book as well as newcomers to either Moda or row patterns will find this quilting guide a powerful survey to creating block designs and patterns which stand out from the crowd. Each includes step-by-step instructions, color examples, patterns, and materials and cutting instructions, while surveys of each designer review their experience, needlework and quilting approach, and backgrounds. The result is a delightful pick for any needlework or quilter's collection.

The Computer Shelf

Imagery and GIS
Kass Green,
ESRI Press
380 New York Street, Redlands, CA 92378-8100
9781589484542 $99.99

Imagery and GIS: Best Practices for Extracting Information from Imagery shows how imagery can be integrated into GIS mapping systems and analysis, and provides an essential study that pairs real-world examples and online surveys with tips on how to select, use, Analyze, and handle the right images for the right objectives. From managing imagery datasets to understanding image components and how to convert imagery data into maps, this is essential reading for anyone working with image-based mapping systems and supporting data, and should be a 'must' for not only computer but cartographic systems.

GIS Tutorial 1 for ArcGIS Pro
Wilpen R. Gorr and Kristen S. Kurland
ESRI Press
380 New York Street, Redlands, CA 92378-8100
9781589484665 $99.00

GIS Tutorial 1 for ArcGIS Pro: A Platform Workbook provides a textbook geared to university classrooms and covers the basics of learning ArcGIS Pro and applying it to real-world mapping requirements. It shows how to make maps, analyze spatial data, and manage systems using GIS, providing exercises and tests that help in both classroom applications and homework settings. Color screen shot examples blend with good-sized color map examples as tutorials consider working with data from both private sector and government sources. All that's required is ArcGIS Pro and a commitment to learning its various features.

The Art Shelf

Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney's Animation
Mindy Johnson
Disney Editions
9781484727812 $60.00

Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney's Animation is recommended not only for arts holdings, but for any collection strong in women's history in the arts. It covers a relatively undiscussed topic in animation history: the numerous women artists who worked from the earliest days to bring animation from paper to screen. These women turned pencil drawings into vivid films, and Disney's studios offered many of them unprecedented opportunities to make their names in the entertainment industry as well. Disney's focus on female story developers and artists included establishing the first animation training program for women and fostering their productions into screen and digital realms. Mindy Johnson provides a powerful documentary of this history as an oversized presentation captures the artists, their works, and the impact these pioneering women made in animation and art. Lavish full-page color and vintage black and white illustrations and photos throughout pack a rare coverage that should be in film, arts, and women's history collections alike.

The Cookbook Shelf

Emily Kaiser Thelin
Grand Central Publishing
c/o Hachette Book Group
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
9781538729885 $16.99

Unforgettable: The Bold Flavors of Paula Wolfert's Renegade Life comes from a former restaurant cook and food editor who published this book with the help of a Kickstarter campaign in early 2017 before Grand Central acquired the rights and reissued it this October. It provides a biography of cookbook author Paula Wolfert, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2013, and it shares her stellar recipes as it explores her life and contributions to the culinary world. Wolfert is one of the most influential cookbook authors on the market: having a survey of her culinary explorations and experiences makes for a powerful blend of food lore, recipes, and personal insights. Readers needn't have prior familiarity with Wolfert in order to appreciate this coverage, but those who do will find extra appeal in a blend of cookbook and personal life exploration.

Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017

Claus Meyer's Meyer's Bakery: Bread and Baking in the Nordic Kitchen (9781784722715 $29.99) provides original creations from his multi-location bakery Meyers Bageri, and here shares his passion for bread-baking based on slow fermentation techniques that any home cook can utilize. Four basic types of dough form the foundations for recipes and variations accompanied by best practices insights and tips for guaranteeing success. While novices will find much to relish, those who have some bread-baking experience behind them, or other cookbooks about bread, will discover fine new opportunities in recipes such as Oat Bread with Porridge and Rolled Oats, an heirloom wheat Emmer Bread made with whole-grain emmer flour, and a Nordic heirloom rye Slash-and-Burn Rye Bread. Full-page color photos accompany cakes, breads, buns, and fine baked goods not to be seen in competing bread or baking cookbooks, making this a recommended winner for novices and experienced bakers alike. Dahn Tamang's Coffee Art: Creative Coffee Designs for the Home Barista (9781844039487, $12.99) is for the home coffee maker who would employ amazing designs from coffee artists who finish off their drinks with signature embellishments. It offers basic patterns and shows how to create the froth background and produce beautiful artworks from them. Some 60 designs photographed in full color make for an inviting survey recommended for those serious about their coffee and its finished appearance.

The Education Shelf

Patterns of Power
Jeff Anderson with Whitney La Rocca
480 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781625311856 $50.67

Patterns of Power: Inviting Young Writers into the Conventions of Language Grades 1-5 provides teachers of primary and intermediate classrooms with an intriguing collection of support materials and texts designed to help young readers explore language and usage. The idea is that students will come to recognize the 'patterns of power' in language without rote memorization of rules and conventional usage. By incorporating a vibrant and exciting element into the process, Patterns of Power invites students to play with as well as understand language, and this makes for a powerful survey packed with tested ideas, templates for success, and approaches any classroom teacher can incorporate into curriculum objectives.

The Technology Shelf

Equipment Health Monitoring in Complex Systems
Stephen P. King,
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
9781608079728 $139.00

Equipment Health Monitoring in Complex Systems introduces the procedures and processes of equipment health monitoring (EHM) and how it supports critical system operations, showing how to design applications using systems engineering specific to an optimal EHM architecture. Chapters include charts, tables, graphs, and supporting data analysis as they consider mapping, machine learning, diagnostic processes and more. No engineering collection should be without this important, specific guide.

Attribute-Based Access Control
Vincent G. Hu,
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
9781630811341 $119.00

Attribute-Based Access Control provides a basic introduction to Attribute-Based Access Control, and shows how to develop ABAC to improve organizational information-sharing processes. It begins with a history and model of this process, covering various topics related to analysis, testing, systems generation, and implementation, and it explores commercial and open source resources alike as it covers information security issues. The result assesses standards and techniques, surveys control models, and provides many important details IT professionals will find invaluable resources.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Nine
Tracy Townsend
c/o Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633883413 $18.00

The Nine provides Book One of the Thieves of Fate series and tells of Rowena, who is trying to buy her mother's freedom from debtor's prison when one of her jobs brings her face to face with a horrible creature. When Rowena seeks help and an investigation begins, it becomes evident that the terrible beast that has been awakened also is tangled in an odd book and a conspiracy that threatens everything. Fans of dark fantasy who also enjoy powerful mysteries will find The Nine a riveting read from start to finish.

Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588

Down and Out in Purgatory: The Collected Stories of Tim Powers (9781481482790 $25.00) collects some twenty sci-fi and supernatural tales under one cover, from stories of psychic handymen who tweaks the Bible for his clients to a time travel adventure in which the discovery of an old book leads a book collector back in time to prevent future doom. The mix of engrossing, widely differing stories will prove especially attractive to sci-fi fans willing the stretch the boundaries of the genre to include elements of paranormal and psychological tension. Larry Correia and Bryan Thomas Schmidt edit The Monster Hunter Files (9781481482752, $25.00), a satisfying collection of short stories by various contributors who use the Monster Hunter International scenarios to build new tales. Seventeen new stories based on Larry Correia's series feature works by John Ringo, Jim Butcher, and more; each providing a special focus or tale to enhance the overall series.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Death in the Stacks
Jenn McKinlay
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780399583759 $25.00

Death in the Stacks provides book lovers with another Library Lover's Mystery series addition and tells of an evolving war between a library director and a new library board president. As each tries to thwart the other's agendas, things heat up over a library fundraiser, Dinner in the Stacks, and when murder results, Lindsey and Paula come under suspicion. Lindsey has vowed to retire her investigative skills, but in this case she must revive them for the greatest cause of all: her own redemption. Fast-paced action keeps the mystery lively and engrossing.

The Biography Shelf

The Extra Woman
Joanna Scutts
Liveright Publishing
c/o W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9781631492730 $27.95

The Extra Woman: How Marjorie Hillis Led a Generation of Women to Live Alone and Like It comes from a literary critic who examines the life and times of the woman who, in 1936, coined the phrase 'Live Alone and Like It', inspiring generations of women to strive for independence rather than codependence. Women who know relatively little about Hillis aside from her quote will find this a lively survey of how she fled her conservative family roots to Manhattan, became an editor at Vogue Magazine, and build her career in self-help, adopting a feminist perspective long before feminism was politically active. The Extra Woman should be in any women's history or biography holding as a powerful testimony of how one woman promoted women's independence before all others.

Natural Disaster
Ginger Lee
c/o Disney Hyperion
125 West End Avenue, New York, NY 10023
97811484780428 $26.99

Natural Disaster comes from ABC News' Chief Meteorologist, who writes a memoir about her life in small-town Michigan and how she become involved in weather reporting. Anyone who chooses her memoir for her reporter's role alone will find it much more than a singular focus: here she discusses her battle with depression, her many romances, and a professional career filled with ups and downs. Her insights about the meteorology field serve as a backdrop to a fine saga about family, friends, and fortunes and is recommended reading for memoir fans in general and those with a special affinity for Lee or weather reporting in particular.

The Music Shelf

My Guitar is a Camera
Watt M. Casey Jr.
Texas A&M University Press
4354 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-4354
9781623495589 $35.00

My Guitar is a Camera began when author Watt M. Casey Jr. stood only a few feet from the legendary guitar player Jimi Hendrix but lacked equipment to document on film what was to be a legendary moment as he played his version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" on stage in Texas. Watt decided he'd never be in that position again, and he produced exceptional images over the years that followed, collected here in My Guitar is a Camera. Music fans with special interest in modern music will find this an unforgettable visual history that should be in any modern music history collection. Very, very highly recommended, this collection holds images that won't be seen elsewhere.

Maximum Volume
Kenneth Womack
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9781613731895 $30.00

Maximum Volume: The Life of Beatles Producer George Martin, The Early Years, 1926-1966 examines the man, his music, and how Martin discovered the Beatles and fostered their special sound to British popular music audiences. Martin worked closely with the band to produce a series of hits that was to change the music market, yet he is seldom given the credit he deserves in discussions of the Beatles' evolution. Maximum Volume corrects this omission and provides close inspection of George Martin's immense contributions to not just the Beatles' popularity, but to pop music evolution in particular, and is a highly recommended title for any definitive Beatles reader.

The Travel Shelf

Drawn to the Dark
Chris Kullstroem
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781455622948 $28.95

Drawn to the Dark: Explorations in Scare Tourism Around the World may wind up in travel book collections and, indeed, is recommended reading for travel audiences; but that doesn't mean it should be limited to armchair adventurers alone. It probes the idea of 'scare tourism' and fear shows and considers how these attractions are cultivated around the world, and so belongs in sociology and cultural exploration collections, as well. Chris Kullstroem's fascination with Halloween, horror, and scare shows lends to an exploration that excels in depicting the hauntings and horrors she's experienced during the course of her personal probe. The result will intrigue and delight readers with many personal "you are there" moments that capture the atmosphere and purpose of scare tourism.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Mindful Gratitude
Christel B. Wendelberger
Forward Communications
9780999255308 $15.00

Mindful Gratitude: Practicing the Art of Appreciation offers much more than a singular self-help or new age approach, using personal stories paired with 'reflection points' to consider individual lives and wider-ranging world collections. The journey begins with author Christel B. Wendelberger's own life and progresses to essays that embrace not only personal experiences of losing and finding people and purposes in life, but larger issues of social conditions and finding meaning in modern life and its systems. The result is a lively 'must have' for any who would cultivate a mindful approach to life.

The World History Shelf

The Rise of the Nation-State in Europe: Absolutism, Enlightenment and Revolution, 1603-1815
Jack Schwartzwald
9781476665474 $65.00

The Rise of the Nation-State in Europe: Absolutism, Enlightenment and Revolution, 1603-1815 is a close inspection of political change in Europe from 1603-1815, a period when the concept of government evolved from absolutism, wherein monarchs attempted to make their nation-states into veritable personal domains through a combination of political and religious authority, to attempts at benevolent rule by Enlightened despots and finally to citizen revolt in the pursuit of personal freedoms and liberty. Given its attention to scholarly detail and coverage of how the old European dynasty structures gave way to other systems, one might expect The Rise of the Nation-State in Europe: Absolutism, Enlightenment and Revolution, 1603-1815 to be less than lively; but the final crowning glory of this piece lies in its studious yet accessible approach, making it a top recommendation for European history collections and general-interest audiences alike.

The Independent Publishers Shelf

William F. Kelly
Warren Publishing
9781943258512 $15.95

Kathleen Larson has been a school crossing guard for some twenty years now, and is at a crossroads herself, in her life and career. She likes her job, she's never missed a day of work - and there must be something more to life, at almost sixty-eight years of age, than being faithful and protecting children from harm. There is something more, as Kathleen discovers just as she decides to make changes before life intervenes with alternate plans. Kathleen is an involving story of a feisty, independent woman and a relative who may not always have her best interests in mind is juxtaposed with issues of aging and changing purposes in life, creating a story that is vivid, engrossing, and filled with not a few unexpected twists and turns.

My Tired Shadow
Joseph Hirsch
Underground Voices
9780998892320 $13.95

Ritchie "Redrum" Abruzzi is a boxer extraordinaire with a genius in the ring that is seldom matched. So why did he quit, and why won't he respond to invitations to a comeback? It's because he's discovered the more lucrative world of underground boxing, which results in higher stakes at bigger costs. It's also because he's struggling outside of the ring, as well. Part of what makes My Tired Shadow such a standout is its ability to take one man's struggling life and career and depict its evolution away from the dead ends that are the logical consequences of Ritchie's choices. Anyone who enjoys stories of struggle, the lure of riches and specters of the past, the challenges of boxing and living life, and struggles to stay alive against all odds will find much to like about Ritchie and his uncertain world and future. Boxing fans in particular will appreciate the juxtaposition of the sport's politics and processes with the wider world beckoning a tired young man who searches for a different future.

The Redemption of Michael Hollister
Shawn Inmon
Pertime Publishing
9781978028449 $14.99

The Redemption of Michael Hollister represents the second book in the Middle Falls Time Travel series, but it is a stand-alone read that doesn't require knowledge of the prior book, The Unusual Second Life of Thomas Weaver, to prove accessible. As part of a series, it supports the time travel theme without linking the books to the point that plots co-mingle - and this is quite satisfying as new readers are introduced to Michael Hollister, whose suicide in jail doesn't result in his demise, but opens the door to new worlds. It's especially notable to find that a character so fiendish in the first book could find redemption not only in himself but in the eyes of readers in the second book; but that's one of the many surprises of The Redemption of Michael Hollister, which offers a satisfyingly different perspective on a boy's evolution and efforts to survive his world. The result is especially recommended for prior readers of The Unusual Second Life of Thomas Weaver, who will receive the full flavor of Michael Hollister's prior life and why his turnaround here is so special; but newcomers will find it quickly and easily accessible, as well.

She Was Born a Good Girl
Garfield Whyte
Amazon Digital Services
ASIN: B075W45CW1 $1.99

It's the final year at a prestigious Jamaican boarding school, and four seniors should by now be well on the road to being young ladies. The trouble is: hormones and peer pressure have kicked in, and Zoe, Nola, Myra, and Anona are each on the cusp of danger, even though they come from very different backgrounds and perspectives. Expect a saga which is gritty, candid, sexually charged and emotionally tense at times; but which succeeds nicely at depicting 'girl culture' and adolescence at the same time. Scandal, swearing, sex and the ultimate lessons of Rosemount combine in a powerful story that's hard to put down, recommended for adults who want a taste of both Jamaica and boarding school culture wrapped up in a four-fold account of coming-of-age processes.

This Second Chance
D.L. Finn
D.L. Finn, Publisher
9780997751901 $2.99 Kindle/$9.99 Paper

This Second Chance tells of a perfect wedding where Rachael finally has a new family and the mate she's dreamed of. Only one thing has made her special day imperfect: the anonymous gift of a snow globe, which brings to mind her first marriage and its abuses. From daughter Kelly's ability to sense that a force not quite human is influencing the 'accidents' affecting their family to different motivations for confronting pure evil, This Second Chance provides a moving, engrossing story especially recommended for fans of women's fiction who enjoy supernatural elements woven into the story of a woman's new marriage and its special challenges.

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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