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California Bookwatch

Volume 1, Number 4 June 2006 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Donovan's Picks Computer Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Business Shelf Islamic Studies Shelf
Social Issues Shelf True Adventure Shelf Environmental Studies Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Military Shelf
Art Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Music Shelf World History Shelf Travel Studies Shelf
Philosophy Shelf Biography Shelf Sports/Gaming Shelf
Antiques/Collectibles Shelf Photography Shelf Crafts Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf Literary Shelf
Library Video/DVD Shelf Regional/Cultural Shelf Architecture Shelf
Women's Studies Shelf Science/Nature Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Fiction Shelf California Shelf Humor Shelf
Transportation Shelf Children's Shelf  

Donovan's Picks

We'll Always Have Paris
John Baxter
10 E. 53rd Street, New York NY 10022-5299
0060832886 $13.95

Paris has lured many a visitor, pilgrim, and seeker to its world with promises of the good life and culture: here to chart it all is WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS: SEX AND LOVE IN THE CITY OF LIGHT. It offers a behind-the-scenes review of Paris, blending the author's own memoir of falling in love in the romantic city with a review of its many lures: literary cafes, music clubs, art gatherings and more. Add a healthy dose of humor and you have a fun, affectionate survey which should not be missed.

What Happens After Mugabe?
Geoff Hill
Zebra Press
PO Box 1144, Cape Town, SA 8000
1770071024 $10.00

President Mugabe has entrenched himself in power, but his time may be coming to an end. South African resident Geoff Hill envisions a future without him in WHAT HAPPENS AFTER MUGABE? CAN ZIMBABWE RISE FROM THE ASHES? From how an incoming leader will handle a nation rife with unemployment and poor social standards to how outgoing tyrants will be punished, WHAT HAPPENS AFTER MUGABE is a pick for any who would understand the politics and changes of Zimbabwe.

Black Farmers in America
John Francis Ficara & Juan Williams
University Press of Kentucky
663 S. Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40508-4008
0813123992 $49.95

In 1920 black Americans made up 14 percent of all farmers in the nation: they owned and worked millions of acres. Today they are less than 1 percent of the nation's farmers and less than 3 million acres are cultivated under their hand. BLACK FARMERS IN AMERICA provides a photo documentary of their lives, providing some 100 duotone photos with chapters hardship and farming life. Juan Williams provides the historical background for the photos as he charts racism and struggles as they affected black farming efforts in this nation. A 'must' for any college-level collection strong in Afro-American history and studies.

Conspiracies and Secret Societies
Brad and Sherry Steiger
Visible Ink/Omnigraphics
615 Griswold Street, Detroit, MI 48226
0780809211 $58.00

Plenty of books have been written individually about select secret societies: now here's a handy A-Z reference which covers them all under one cover, providing over five hundred pages reviewing 300 individuals, organizations, and events which have puzzled modern times. From contemporary issues such as satellite snooping to historical background on societies such as the Freemasons, entries provide plenty of coverage and describe major events and secret societies with relevance to today's world. CONSPIRACIES AND SECRET SOCIETIES: THE COMPLETE DOSSIER is a must for any collection strong in investigative inquiry.

The Human Factor
Kim Vicente
270 Madison, New York NY 10016
0415978912 $24.95

Plenty of books are written about new technology and its impact on civilization: but few actually relate such technology to changes in the way people life – not until THE HUMAN FACTOR, that is. Here's a wide-ranging discussion of how we might better manage workplaces, daily lives and communities in the face of changing technologies, showing how the systems we all live with – from hospitals to planes and power plants – are moving ahead so fast that management efforts often fail at the personal and business level alike. THE HUMAN FACTOR addresses these problems – and offers solutions.

Race Relations in America
Thomas J. Davis
Greenwood Press
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881
0313311153 $75.00

Any college-level collection strong in American history and social studies must have RACE RELATIONS IN AMERICA: A REFERENCE GUIDE WITH PRIMARY DOCUMENTS. It covers all kinds of racial interactions from the early days of the Republic to modern times, pairing historical events with the evolution of ideas, trends, and treaties alike. From Indian Wars which prompted pro/con ideas on the reservation system to the issues revolving around Negro justice. Source material passages – some several pages in length – accompanied by an annotated research guide of books and web sites makes for a winning presentation certain to have long-lasting lending value.

Mavericks of the Sky
Barry Rosenberg & Catherine Macaulay
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
0060529490 $25.95 1-800-242-7737

Any interested in the mail service and its origins must pursue MAVERICKS OF THE SKY: THE FIRST DARING PILOTS OF THE U.S. AIR MAIL: it highlights a nearly-forgotten piece of history in covering the aces who both pioneered flight and linked the airplane to the US Air Mail Service, from the inaugural New York to Washington DC flight in 1918 to the night flight which would make airmail a mainstay. These pilots were World War 1 aces who returned as heroes but wanted to translate their flying skills to civilian life: MAVERICKS OF THE SKY charts their course and their impact on today's mail services.

The Inner Structure of Tai Chi
Mantak Chia and Juan Li
Destiny Books/Inner Traditions
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
1594770581 $18.00

A Taoist master reveals the deep internal practices needed to become one with the Tao through movement exercises practiced by millions. Tai Chi was originally less a martial arts form and more an expression of spirituality: THE INNER STRUCTURE OF TAI CHI: MASTERING THE CLASSIC FORMS OF TAI CHI CHI KUNG covers both movements and their links to the spiritual forces in life, covering both physical and psychological aspects of tai chi in a revealing manual.

Spirit of Islamic Law
Bernard G. Weiss
University of Georgia Press
330 Research Drive, Athens, GA, 30602-4901
0820328278 $22.95 1-800-266-5842

Muslim legal science is a science connected to yet separate from Islamic faith, and THE SPIRIT OF ISLAMIC LAW delves into these connections and differences, examining the main features of Muslim jurisdiction and law, divine texts which are used as legal foundations, interpretations in the attempt to capture the devine as it relates to legal matters, and more. Author Bernard Weiss is a professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at the University of Utah: his treatise is both detailed yet accessible to college-level readers studying Islamic traditions. The history of how such laws were formulated makes for an involving read.

From Enslavement to Environmentalism
David Mcdermott Hughes
University of Washington Press
PO Box 50096, Seattle, WA 98145
0295985909 $50.00

Ecodevelopment on the Zimbabwe-Mozambique border area takes on social, political and cultural challenges – and David Hughes argues here that European colonization in Southern Africa has attempted to reshape the area into another Western entity, changing culture and politics in its efforts, which continue to modern day. Using a natural experiment in the region as an example, Hughes chronicles evolving politics in the region in an area where tourism firms were allowed to claim peasant farmlands: chapters delve into anthropology, development policy and cultural challenges in the course of exploring causes and effects.

Encyclopedia of World Geography
R.W. McColl
Facts on File
132 W. 31st St., 17th Floor, New York NY 10001
0816057869 $250.00

Grades 9 and up – including well into college grades and of course public libraries – will appreciate this fine 3-volume reference which offers a comprehensive guide to the history and practice of geography. Over seven hundred entries describe pioneers in geography and mapmaking, regions, tools, and terminology of cartography, including hundreds of maps and photos. No singular effort, this: some 100 scholars and experts in geography contribute entries to a reference which provides definitions, data, and lengthy entries rather than short pieces. An excellent reference which promises both wide accessibility and lasting, relevant information in a highly readable set.

Honor: A History
James Bowman
Encounter Books
900 Broadway, Suite 400, New York NY 10003-1239
1594031428 $25.95

HONOR could've been featured in our History Shelf area, but is reviewed here for its broader interest to not just history buffs but fans of philosophy and social science. James Bowman, who's written for Wall Street Journal and is currently a resident scholar at the Ethics and Public Policy Institute, describes how the Western honor system is manifested in our society, how it always differed from concepts in other parts of the world, and where its roots lie. From early records of civilization and ideas of honor to hoe the ideal evolved through the centuries up to modern times, Bowman's document covers the evolution of values and its tests in modern times.

Gas Turbine Handbook, 3rd Edition
Tony Giampaolom MSME, PE
Fairmont Press/Taylor & Francis
6000 Broken Sound Parkway, #300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
0849390567 $109.95

The updated third edition of GAS TURBINE HANDBOOK: PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES provides all the fundamental mechanical details any need to understand the operation and application of all kinds of gas turbines. Hardware, typical applications, parameters, controls, troubleshooting – it's all covered in an edition which sports a new chapter on microturbines and new case studies. The author has over thirty years of experience in installing, operating and maintaining equipment and controls for both on- and off-shore environments, is a registered engineers in different states, and has written many articles for technical journals. You just can't get more authoritative – or any clearer – than this.

Robert Frenay
Farrar Straus Giroux
19 Union Square West, New York NY 10003
0374113270 $30.00

Can genes challenge machines? Author Robert Frenay is a former contributing editor of Audubon magazine and in PULSE: THE COMING OF AGE OF SYSTEMS AND MACHINES INSPIRED BY LIVING THINGS, he charts the shift from machines to biology bolstered by computers: a type of 'new biology' in which human systems and machines meld to form new possibilities. From robotics to materials science he considers industrial ecosystems in which waste products from manufacturing become the new materials for another endeavor, considering the changing relationships between mechanism and biology in the process. Supporting these observations and contentions is a history of such relationships and their changes, areas in which biology can be seen at work, interviews with scientists and researchers, and observations of mechanisms actually produced which support his positive visions of future industrial endeavors. His single idea comes from a researcher's perspective and reflects on the cultural philosophy and pressures shaping technological change.

Developing Thinking in Statistics
Alan Graham
Open University/Sage Publications
12455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks CA 91320
1412911672 $35.95

College-level students of statistics will appreciate this guide for both teachers and students alike, which is aimed to both, exploring key themes in statistics using approaches cultivated by the Open University's Centre for Mathematics education. From themes of measurement and uncertainty to reinforcing tasks relating to common usage, DEVELOPING THINKING IN STATISTICS comes packed with examples, tasks, diagrams, charts and more.

The Reagan Imprint
John Arquilla
Ivan R. Dee
1332 N. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60622-2694
1566636787 $26.00

The common view of Reagan is that he did little thinking about major policy issues: not so, maintains professor of defense analysis John Arquilla in THE REAGAN IMPRINT: IDEAS IN AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY FROM THE COLLAPSE OF COMMUNISM TO THE WAR ON TERROR. In fact, President Reagan saw the existing effort to contain the Soviet expansion as too defensive in nature, and replaced it with a program that helped others free themselves from Soviet rule. His ideas and approach contributed to the collapse of Communism: THE REAGAN IMPRINT charts this changing political policy and its wide-ranging impact today.

Does Measurement Measure Up?
John M. Henshaw
Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4363
080188375X $26.95

DOES MEASUREMENT MEASURE UP? HOW NUMBERS REVEAL & CONCEAL THE TRUTH should be required reading for any serious high school to college-level course in math or statistics: it discusses different forms of measurement, how they're translated in society, and where they fail. From intelligence measuring to measurement of environment hazards and sports, chapters discuss yesterday's records, today's measurement systems, and areas for foggy interpretation of results.

The Computer Shelf

1005 Gravenstein Hwy N., Sebastopol, CA 95472

More and more computer users are learning about Flickr, the online storage and sharing site for photos: to make the most of it, though, you need FLICKR HACKS: TIPS & TOOLS FOR SHARING PHOTOS ONLINE by Paul Bausch & Jim Bumgardner (0596102453, $24.99). Don't expect a basic primer on just how to upload and store photo files: learn advanced techniques here, from posting photos from blog from cameraphone to creating custom mosaics with personal and public images, backing up a Flickr library to a desktop, and downloading photo lists. A 'must' reference for any Flickr user. Randal L. Schwartz,'s INTERMEDIATE PERL (0596102062, $39.99) tells how to become a Perl programmer by using it was a programming language, not just for its scripting abilities. Perl is used in a range of environments, but this book provides an introduction to its intermediate programming applications, picking up from where the authors' LEARNING PERL left off to continue the education on writing and using Perl code and modules. To make it easy, each chapter of the book is short enough to be read over in an hour or two, ends with reinforcing exercises, and uses LEARNING PERL as its foundation. A top pick for any serious about Perl's advanced capabilities. Stephanie Faroult's THE ART OF SQL (0596008945, $44.99) provides not your usual theory but an applications-oriented survey which tackles real-life problems database pros are likely to encounter. By looking at database design as a preparation for a military campaign, program design as strategy, and database access as tactile engagement of the enemy, an unusual hands-on scenario is created and nurtured to help users think beyond SQL statements and issues. A wonderful guide designers will most appreciate. Sarah Milstein's second edition of GOOGLE: THE MISSING MANUAL (0596100191, $24.99) covers all the latest search techniques, tricks, new Google tools, little-known areas of Goggle which are often missed, and more. From Gmail's free services to webmastering with Google, installing toolbars and more, GOOGLE: THE MISSING MANUAL is packed with all the basics. Bruce W. Perry's AJAX HACKS: TIPS & TOOLS FOR CREATING RESPONSIVE WEB SITES (0596101694, $29.99) is for those with some Ajax under their belts, who want to enhance a web site with more features. Ajax is built on established technology and advocates a Windows-type design look. You'll learn how to enhance HTML forms with it, customize them, incorporate Google maps and create applications. Or try Brett McLaughlin's HEAD RUSH AJAX (0596102259, $39.99) for a rich set of insights into the Ajax environment. The 'Head Rush' books are designed to use plenty of visuals linked to how the brain perceives: chapters packed with black and white photos, screen shots, and charts emphasize the dynamic possibilities and how to achieve them with Ajax, avoiding clunky web applications in favor of a responsive desktop-like environment. The 4th updated edition of J.D. Biersdorfer's IPOD & ITUNES: THE MISSING MANUAL (059652675X, $24.99) is edited by David Pogue and teaches how to make the most of the multimedia capabilities of iPod and iTunes environments. Use iPod as a video player, as a photo column, and even as a PalmPilot, or play songs across a network with iTunes. If you own either program, you can't be without this latest edition which covers all the basics of tweaking and fine-tuning. E.A. Vandeer Veer's FLASH 8: THE MISSING MANUAL (0596101376, $34.99) covers a program which is complicated and potentially easy to misuse. This title truly should've been in the box: it simplifies explanations on Flash interfaces, tools and panels, it covers the basics of concepts behind its animation options, and it provides tips on using templates and reusable elements to streamline repeated operations. You can't go wrong here.

John Wiley & Sons
111 River St., Hoboken, NJ 07030

Catherine Jamieson's CREATE YOUR OWN PHOTO BLOG (0471767743, $24.99) finally provides a general title to sharing photos, rather than a program-oriented focus. From evaluating web hosting options, pros and cons to designing a blog to incorporate photos, selecting photos which work best on the web, and creating a site to public photos from a group or organization, any interested in photo sharing online will quickly consider CREATE YOUR OWN PHOTO BLOG an essential reference. Michael S. Toot and Derek Torres' THE UNOFFICIAL GUIDE TO WINDOWS XP (0471763209, $18.99) is for any who want a blend of expert advice and tips on how to get the most out of Windows XP Service Pack 2 and XP as a whole. From customizing the desktop and managing files to avoiding common Windows quirks and problems, enjoy a title packed with sidebars of information, tables, illustrations and flagged topics. Alanna Spence's UNOFFICIAL GUIDE TO PHOTOSHOP CS2 (0471763225, $18.99) is also a wonderful recommendation for those who want more than the official guide. Get the best quality from images, use paths, layers and masks to embellish, and understand how to change the viewing percentage and increase productivity. Black and white photo examples, screen shots throughout, and clear instructions on how to resize, adjust, and manipulate images makes for a winning reference. Any owner or would-be owner of Max8 will want 3DS MAX 8 BIBLE by Kelly Murdock (0471786187, $49.99): and a bible it is, holding some 1,200 plus pages packed with coverage, from introductory chapters which include a Quick Start tutorial to instructions detailing how to create complex characters with Max's new biped features, using the expanded Edit Poly option to work with Edge Ring, making textures with the new Pelt method and much more. A bonus DVD packs in a selection of 3D models and textures, plus more Max files and examples. If there's anything to be learned from Max 8, you'll find it here! Kevin D. Mitnick and William L. Simon's THE ART OF INTRUSION (0471782661, $16.95) tells stories of true computer crimes, presenting both information on such times and entertainment. From the great Texas Prison Hack to bank security issues, penetrating testing, hacking a hotel system and more, THE ART OF INTRUSION: THE REAL STORIES BEHIND THE EXPLOITS OF HACKERS, INTRUDERS & DECEIVERS shouldn't be missed. Joe Merlino's LINUX SOLUTIONS (0471777692, $29.99) comes with added value: the PC Magazine tag, which is a respected figure of authority in the computer world. Buy this book and you get details on the differences in various Linux distributions, installation instructions for novices, tips on its unique terminal and desktop options, tips on backing up data and adding and removing software, security concerns and more. Yes, the disc comes with it. Yes, you can't be without this. The third updated edition of CREATING WEB PAGES WITH HTML SIMPLIFIED (0471786470, $24.99) is the novice HTML user's dream: its purpose is to simplify the process of understanding HTML, avoiding weighty references and programmer-oriented lingo in favor of color screen shot examples and even a friendly color 'cartoon' character who explains how to translate easy objectives into HTML. If only one beginner's guide on the topic were to be chosen, it should be this powerful, color visual approach.

2560 – 9th Street, #219, Berkeley, CA 94710

If you're looking at a programming career, consider the second updated edition of Christopher Duncan's THE CAREER PROGRAMMER (1590596242, $29.99): it tells how to manage such a career, from understanding how corporate rules influence programming decisions to the uncertainties of the global marketplace. Quality in software production and job success aren't mutually exclusive goals: THE CAREER PROGRAMMER: GUERILLA TACTICS FOR AN IMPERFECT WORLD shows how to master the non-coding skills which will further the programmer's career objectives. Debra Dalgleish's EXCEL PIVOT TABLES RECIPE BOOK: A PROBLEM-SOLUTION APPROACH (1590596293, $34.99) provides a complete guide to pivot tables in Excel which helps users hone skills. A basic understanding of Pivot Tables is assumed in a recipe book which uses problems and solutions as the format for summarizing and manipulating data. From extracting data from a pivot table to use in a worksheet to printing a copy of the table for each item in the page field or using multiple workbooks, here is the item of choice for any advanced Excel user who seeks recipes for pivot table success. Keir Thomas' BEGINNING UBUNTU LINUX: FROM NOVICE TO PROFESSIONAL (1590596277, $39.99) covers Ubuntu, responsible for producing user-friendly versions of Linux even newcomers can readily absorb. Ubuntu is a fine desktop tool which can be use to configure audios, videos, and images. It can be used to streamline Linux operations and settings, and BEGINNING UBUNTU LINUX assumes no prior knowledge of Linux as it tells how. Elke Phelps and Paul Jackson's ORACLE APPLICATIONS DBA FIELD GUIDE (1590596447, $34.99) provides Oracle professionals with an guide to effectively managing Oracle Applications through a deeper understanding of its structure and purpose. Daily tasks are treated to time-proven tips for best practices, providing info culled from years of work in the field and covering Oracle's latest release. Administrators and managers as well as more advanced users will find plenty of hard facts for administering Oracle Applications in a work environment, but it's also quite portable and not the weighty tome you'd expect from such a survey, making ORACLE APPLICATIONS DBA FIELD GUIDE the perfect desktop reference.

The Future of Memories
Dane M. Howard
Peachpit Press
1249 – 8th Street, Berkeley, VA 94710
0321383990 $34.99

THE FUTURE OF MEMORIES: SHARING MOMENTS WITH PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS AND DIGITAL CAMERAS is for anyone with a passion for digital photography and a willingness to learn Photoshop Elements. Acknowledging that great images don't necessarily equal to great stories. Dane Howard uses his years of professional experience to show how new technology can bring these photos to life. It's the story which should dictate the process, not the image: THE FUTURE OF MEMORIES tells how to pair both, how to organize images to tell the tale, set up shots, and more. Examples and coverage of all modern photo-sharing media, from photoblogs to mobile devices, set FUTURE OF MEMORIES apart from others.

Syngress Publishing
800 Hingham St., Rockland, MA 02370

Advanced network managers and programmers alike will find these excellent guides. James C. Foster & Vincent Liu's WRITING SECURITY TOOLS AND EXPLOITS (1597499978, $49.95) teaches how to write security tools where other books focus on how to use them. Code designers receive a weighty and clear set of instructions which not only includes tips on how exploits were developed and how code becomes vulnerable, but how to write to anticipate and plug the next perceived vulnerability. From understanding and writing shellcode to using format strings, Nessus code and more, WRITING SECURITY TOOLS AND EXPLOITS is a guide no code programmer can live without. Jacob Babbin, et. al.'s SECURITY LOG MANAGEMENT: IDENTIFYING PATTERNS IN THE CHAOS (1597470423, $49.95) tells how to cruise the log of network traffic to gain the information buried under the mound of useless entries. (Log files are cumbersome and difficult, but IDS reporting, firewall reporting, network device reporting and even ESM deployments can be understood and easily manipulated once patterns are understood. SECURITY LOG MANAGEMENT is all about understanding these patterns. PERFECT PASSWORDS: SELECTION, PROTECTION, AUTHENTICATION by Mark Burnett and Dave Kleiman (1597490415, $24.95) tells how to create more secure password policies which baffle bad guys but not users. It's the job of administrators to secure networks – but the reality is that users can lose passwords, or admins face hackers trying to crack them. PERFECT PASSWORDS comes from one who has accumulated and analyzed more than 4 million user passwords, discovering in the process what works, what doesn't, and what's too obvious.

Cisco Systems
800 E. 96th St., Indianapolis, IN 46240

Advanced network students will find plenty of technical reinforcement for studies with Wendell Odom & Tom Knott's NETWORKING BASICS: CCNA 1 COMPANION GUIDE (1587131641) . It's the only authorized companion for the Cisco Networking Academy Program and so will be used as a classroom resource, supplementing the textbook on the course and rewriting the Companion Guide's original with new material to meld with the online course content. All course topics are covered with more examples and alternative approaches on the topics. From updated key terms and glossary references to new questions and activities similar to the CCNA exam questions for extra practice, this is the item of choice for any tackling the overall course. Silvano da Ros' CONTENT NETWORKING FUNDAMENTALS (1587052407, $55.00) covers content networking, the technology used to enhance network and application performance. End users have demanded richer content and lowered response times: this has led to a huge expansion of the field. CONTENT NETWORK FUNDAMENTALS reviews protocols, offers lessons in interconnection layering, uses examples from real-life situations to illustrate advanced concepts, and provides a valuable set of lessons. At the conclusion, readers will have learned how to effectively design and work with content networks.


Use James Edward Gray II's Best of Ruby Quiz (0976694077 $29.95) to hone software development skills with a practice book geared to the author's popular Ruby Talk mailing list. Over twenty of the best challenges from the first year have been expanded in the book form BEST OF RUBY QUIZ, offering problem statements and worked solutions which teach the basics of development as applied to real-world concerns. Each problem receives code analysis for strengths and weaknesses, and insights on how to produce better code using Ruby. From optimization choice pros and cons to troubleshooting, BEST OF RUBY QUIZ provides outstanding insights. Venkat Subramanian and Andy Hunt's PRACTICES OF AN AGILE DEVELOPER (097451408X, $29.95) covers the basics of adapting software to real-world applications. More than your usual developer's guide, it gathers the personal habits, ideas and approaches of successful agile software developers and condenses them into short digests of information, making it easy to quickly browse for ideas or answers. Each practice also receives insights on shortcuts that don't work – showing common failures and why they happen. This alone would make PRACTICES OF AN AGILE DEVELOPER worth any price – the digests are packed with insight.

Logic Pro Tips and Tricks
Stephen Bennett
PC Publishing
11005 Gravenstein Hwy N., Sebastopol, CA 95472
1870775333 $14.95

Logic 7 Pro and Express users will find an excellent companion to the program in LOGIC PRO TIPS AND TRICKS, a guide to the powerful Apple Logic program which can be difficult at best. The tips and tricks address these frustrations, showing how to get the most from recording, editing and mixing using the program – and no prior knowledge is assumed. Chapters begin with the basics of successful software setup and optimization and move to workflow management, typical tasks, and the program's hidden functions.

Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools For Classrooms
Will Richardson
Corwin Press
Sage Publications
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
1412927676 $27.95

Blogs are easily created updateable websites, a wiki is a collaborative web space where all can add and edit content, and podcasts are another publishing tool that offers rich access to further content. Learn how to integrate these and others into classroom work in a rare guide, BLOGS, WIKIS, PODCASTS, AND OTHER POWERFUL WEB TOOLS FOR CLASSROOMS, which demonstrates how these lend to new learning opportunities. From feeding specific content from web to classroom to social bookmarking, archiving web addresses and using online photo galleries, teachers need little specialized knowledge to make classroom technology work when they use this guide.

c/o Wiley
989 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103

Photographers know how important – and frustrating – it can be to manage color property and to get the most accurate or desired colors from shots. The new edition of Tim Grey's Color Confidence (0471786160 $39.99), the first practical guide on color management, shows digital photographers how to get the desired results every time; from understanding how color works across camera settings, monitors and printers to using the latest edition of Photoshop and calibration to adjusting levels and solving common saturation issues. A 'must' for any photographer serious about color management. Michael McKinley's THE GAME ARTIST'S GUIDE TO MAYA (0782143768, $39.99) is for professional game writers who want discussions and tutorials geared to learning all aspects of modeling, texturing, rigging and special effects. Learn how to create models using a concept image, take it through the development process, and practice techniques for animation and special effects with a step-by-step book and cd featuring a fully functioning version of the Maya Personal Learning Edition 6. A top pick for aspiring pros.

Thomson Delmar Learning
25 Thomson Place, Boston, MA 02210

Game programmers will want these fine titles if they're to enjoy successful programming. For the basics, choose Nanu Swamy and Naveena Swamy's BASIC GAME DESIGN AND CREATION FOR FUN & LEARNING (1584504463, $39.95), which amazingly requires no prior programming skills to prove inviting. If you're a game player who wants to try making a game, a teacher who wants to encourage kids to learn, or a novice of any time – BASIC GAME DESIGN AND CREATION FOR FUN AND LEARNING is for you: it pairs routines to real-life examples to explain both beginning and advanced concepts, it uses an easy step-by-step format to get up to speed quickly, and covers 2D games using the popular game development software Game Maker 6.1. Next, go for Michael Dickheiser's GAME PROGRAMMING GEMS 6 (1584504501, $69.95): it's the sixth volume of the game Programming Gems' series and covers the latest generation of game resources and provides a volume packed with new articles – some 50 in all – written by experts in game technology from over twenty countries. From introductory topics for novices to advanced scripting and data-driven systems, articles provide formulas, technical discussions, and specifics on the latest game development programs, techniques, and trends. Steve Rabin edits A1 GAME PROGRAMMING WISDOM 3 (1584504579, $69.95), an advanced gamer's look at the latest AI technology used by industry pros in the most popular games on the market. Over fifty contributors provide articles which are packed with tips, insights on pitfalls, algorithms, and more, offering programmers more ideas for expanding AI functions in the gaming environment. Some of the more advanced discussions by experts are unparalleled in the industry. Adam Watkins' INTRODUCTION TO 3D GRAPHICS & ANIMATION USING MAYA (1584504854, $49.95) is written for designers and modelers and newcomers to 3D graphics alike, offering a set of tutorials on the techniques and theory behind modeling. Information is imparted through a series of hands-on tutorials which demonstrate the ideas of 3D graphics and show how they differ in the Maya environment. The introduction is an easy survey of how Maya's power translates to animation effects. Ashley Shepherd's PLUG-IN POWER! THE COMPREHENSIVE DSP GUIDE (1592009530, $34.99) is for any who would understand how to work with audio plug-ins – and how to expand upon them. In-depth details on the plug-ins used daily in audio software, digital consoles and digital processors will especially appeal to intermediate music technology users who work with basic plug-ins but want to learn more. From tweaking for optimum sounds for hard rock mixes and more to understanding underlying theory and real-world applications, PLUG IN POWER is toted for beginner-advanced users but requires some basic background for optimum ease of use. Marc Schonbrun's DIGITAL GUITAR POWER: THE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE (1592009328, $34.99) covers digital guitar for beginning to advanced audiences, but will prove especially accessible to musicians who already have computer knowledge at hand on digital options and use. Plug-ins for music can now emulate popular amplifiers and effects, and musicians can access synthesizer and other special effects directly from the guitar using MIDI technology – and this book. Learn how to use it effectively with DIGITAL GUITAR POWER's chapters on all the options and pros and cons of picks. Matt Donner's PRO TOOLS 7 OVERDRIVE! EXPECT QUICK TIPS (1598630083, $39.99) is for experienced Pro Tools users who want to go to the next level. Advanced tips and screenshots outline the advanced Pro Tools functions possible, from plug-in tweaking and creating higher-quality mixes to using surround mixes and more. Author Donner has been using Pro Tools since before Digidesign owned it, using it on both records and films. He's one of the only Certified Pro Tools instructors in San Francisco, too: his book packs in tips you won't find anyplace else. Colin MacQueen and Steve Albanese's PRO TOOLS 7 POWER! THE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE (1598630067, $39.99) compares well with and compliments PRO TOOLS 7 OVERDRIVE: intermediate to advanced users will get the most out of the program with its keyboard shortcut discussions, surveys on setting up a system to edit, mix, and use MIDI, and more. A companion CD-ROM includes over 60 minutes of interactive movie tutorials covering key concepts and the new features of Pro Tools 7. Racid Manseur's ROBOT MODELING AND KINEMATICS (1584508515, $49.95) teaches the basics of robotics using visualization software and computer tools to illustrate. College-level courses or serious young robotics students will find here a study of the mathematical descriptions, equations describing motion, and robotic arm modeling essential to robot manipulations. A highly recommended college-level coursebook results. These are all outstanding guides.

Visual Basic 2005 Express: Now Playing
Wallace Wang
No Starch Press
555 DeHaro, #250, San Francisco CA 94107
1593270593 $29.95

VISUAL BASIC 2005 EXPRESS isn't just for advanced programmers: it's designed to make Windows programming easy for both novices and software developers, providing a primer on general principles behind programming and explaining how to use the Visual Basic Express program. All the basics are presented in a fine package which includes code examples to use and modify and movies that demonstrate the tasks, plus a full version of MS Visual Basic 2005 Express. Little else is needed to learn the program!

New Riders
1249 – 8th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

David Conger's CREATING GAMES IN C++: A STEP BY STEP GUIDE (0735714347, $29.99) is for any who love video games and wants to create something special. Contrary to common belief, you don't need to be a math whiz or programming genius; you just need this book and its accompanying cd-rom. From the most basic concepts of creating a game with C++ to understanding game structure and blending in sound, music and special effects, sample programs and source code paves the road to learning. Adam Greenfield's EVERYWARE: THE DAWNING AGE OF UBIQUITOUS COMPUTING (0321384016, $29.99) covers smart buildings, smart furniture, smart clothing and more: items which use RFID tags embedded in everything. All these are parts of the 'ubiquitous computing' new world, which is here explained. 'Everyware' is quietly changing our very lives, so it's important to learn all its facets, its effects on communities and its wide-ranging possibilities. Since few other coverages go into such detail, EVERYWARE stands alone as the first real in-depth coverage of a growing facet of everyday life.

Andy Wibbels
Portfolio/Penguin Publishing Group
375 Hudson, New York NY 10014-3657
1591841178 $19.95

BLOGWILD! A GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESS BLOGGING could easily have been featured in our Business Books section, but is reviewed here for its wonderfully simple directions to blogging for newcomers as well. Andy Wibbels is an award-winning blogger who has helped hundreds of companies use blogging for business advantage: from understanding what differentiates a blog from a discussion group to creating and growing a blog online from roots on up, BLOGWILD reaches out to any who want to learn about the blog world.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Giant Lizards from Another Star
Ken MacLeod
Nesfa Press
PO Box 809, Framingham, MA 01701
1886778620 $25.00

Ken MacLeod's a powerful hard science fiction writer who applied the techniques of Hal Clement to cyperpunk ideas: GIANT LIZARDS FROM ANOTHER STAR gathers his well known novellas 'Cyndonia' and 'The Human Front' under one cover and adds four short stories, poems convention reports, essays and more shorter pieces to round out the presentation. While many of these have been published in smaller magazines, most will be new even to MacLeod fans, and provide a comprehensive representation of his many talented works under one cover. A 'must' for any MacLeod fan or hard science fiction fan.

The Empire of Ice Cream
Jeffrey Ford
Golden Gryphon
3002 Perkins Road, Urbana, IL 61802
1930846398 $24.95

In 2002 Jeffrey Ford's first science fiction collection received much critical acclaim; here's his second, THE EMPIRE OF ICE CREAM, to provide a wonderful set of short stories diverse in subject and nearly surreal in description. Indeed, it's Ford's lovely turns of phrase which keep images solid in mind and lend to his whimsical, detailed story of very different lives, from the boatman of Hell who decides to go on vacation to the story of a young boy's coming of age in a town trying to live with perceived violence.

Baen Books
PO Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471

John Ringo's KILDAR (1416520643, $26.00) tells of Mark Harmon, who always wanted to be a SEAL but having angered every terrorist on Earth, decides to buy a farm in a third world country. His time-traveling adventures aren't over with home ownership however: His attempt to drag some Keldara peasants into the 21st century before the Chechen put them back in the 6th is complicated by romance, danger, and good beer. A fun, fast-paced adventure typical of John Ringo's forte evolves. Eric Flint's BOUNDARY is co-written with Ryk E. Spoor (1416509321, $26.00) and combines dinosaurs, time travel and deep space in a wonderful blend of fun and intrigue. A teen's find of a 'funny fossil' nobody's seen before in the Montana badlands lends to high drama and a paleontologist's journey to Mars for answers in this vivid drama combining past and future. Eric Flint's GRANTVILLE GAZETTE II (1416520511, $25.00) provides sequels to Flint's sensational 1632, edited and created by Flint. From the story of the town's journey from 20th century West Virginia to 18th century Europe during the middle of the Thirty years War to a tale of Indian future rulers who send an ambassador to Grantville, and a new government's medical school despite resistance from all manners of time traveler, short stories and novels contributed by a range of writers receive Flint's leadership and build on his fine alternate history theme.

River of Gods
Ian McDonald
59 John Glenn Dr., Amherst, NY 14228-2197
1591024366 $25.00

It's 2047 – the hundredth birthday of India – and six very different people, from a gangster and copy to a set designer, a scientist and a dropout, will find their lives entwined in a country set to see its greatest change yet. Social issues blend with futuristic concerns in a weighty novel which uses India's culture and past to build an engrossing story of a nation's uncertain future in a techo world facing extreme shock and changes.

Anansi Boys
Neil Gaiman
William Morrow
10 E. 53rd St., New York NY 10022
006051518X $26.95

Charlie Nancy can't shake the name 'Fat Charlie', which his departed father bestowed upon him – nor his other unwelcome gifts: a good-looking stranger who might be his brother, and the discovery his father was really Anansi, a trickster god embodying the spirit of rebellion. Taking up where AMERICAN GODS left off, Gaiman returns a new novel of intrigue, fantasy and a light touch of humor to provide a read both adults and young adults will find compelling and vivid.

The Thirteenth House
Sharon Shinn
Ace/Penguin Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
0441013686 $24.95

The first book of the "Twelve Houses' introduced the land of Gillengaria: readers familiar with that novel and its warm yet troubled country will relish a return to the scene in THE THIRTEENTH HOUSE, a story in which Kirra returns to her home to learn her half sister has been proclaimed heir to the land – and refuses to assume many of the duties associated with her new role. When Kirra attempts to use her shape-shifting talents to take her sister's place to keep up appearances, she unexpectedly connects with old companions and faces new dangers in her new guise – and falls in love.

Lou Anders, Editor
ROC/NAL/Penguin Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
0451460650 $14.95

Lou Anders oversaw the fine anthology LIVE WITHOUT A NET: his latest compilation, FUTURESHOCKS, gathers new science fiction and horror stories which have roots in biological, technological and sociological change and feature works by seasoned authors, from Paul Di Fillipo and Mike Resnick to Harry Turtledove and Louise Marley. Any who enjoy speculating about the future's dangers will relish a collection which gathers engrossing stories of future dangers.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Dana Press
745 – 5th Avenue, #900, New York, NY 10151

Dana's focus is on brain health, and two very important surveys on the topic are recommended picks for any concerned with neuroscience, psychology and brain matters. Nancy C, Andreasen, MD, Ph.D.'s THE CREATING BRAIN: THE NEUROSCIENCE OF GENIUS (1932594078, $23.95) considers the roots of creativity, drawing important links between creativity and the brain. Andreasen is a professor of psychiatry and winner of the National Medal of Science, but her book is most accessible to lay readers, exploring just how the brain achieves creative breakthroughs, whether it be in art, music or science, and adding insights into the role of genetics, environment, and mental health. An intriguing survey. Michael S. Gazzaniga's THE ETHICAL BRAIN (1932594019, $25) discusses normal brain aging, longevity, genetic intervention and other medical processes which challenge ethics on both the individual and social levels. Neuroscience's findings are presenting increasing ethical dilemmas for physicians and consumers alike: Dr. Gazzaniga examines different issues and challenges which complicate matters of science and health: essential reading, especially for college-level medical students.

Engaging Autism
Stanley Greenspan MD & Srena Wieder, Ph.D.
DaCapo Press/Perseus Publishing Group
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
0738210285 $26.95

The Floortime approach is the foundation of understanding how kids relate and communicate -–and the basis for engaging all types of ASD, from Asperger's Syndrome to autistic kids. The approach is Dr. Greenspan's unique creation so there's no better expert on the subject as he offers parents and pros an option for using the Floortime program to realize a child's complete potential regardless of symptoms. The latest brain research supports his program, which shows that kids of all ages can achieve against previously-held odds against them.

My Office is Killing Me!
Jeffrey C. May
Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4363
0801883423 $18.95

Bacteria and mold may lurk in office carpets, the heating system, and other places causing allergy and asthma symptoms, while vapors emitted by furniture and equipment add other symptoms. Other books focus on the home; finally here's a book to focus on the place adults spend most of their daily lives, the office. From ventilation systems or the lack thereof to breeding grounds for germs, MY OFFICE IS KILLING ME! THE SICK BUILDING SURVIVAL GUIDE doesn't just help identify problems; it tells what to do about them.

China Syndrome
Karl Taro Greenfeld
10 E. 53rd Street, New York NY 10022-5299
0060587229 $25.95

It will begin slowly and move quickly, and it holds the potential for changing world powers, politics, and lives in an instant. The subject is the source and warning signs of the next pandemic, and the methodology of its spread is the focus of CHINA SYNDROME: THE TRUE STORY OF THE 21ST CENTURY'S FIRST GREAT EPIDEMIC. Greenfeld was living and working in Hong Kong during the SARS outbreak: his projections uses the SARS experience show how modern societies are likely to react to an infectious disease, offering a blueprint for how an epidemic starts in a frightening survey of future health concerns.

New Genetics
J.S. Kidd & Renee A. Kidd
Chelsea House
132 W. 31st Street, New York NY 10001
0816056048 $35.00

The revised edition of the 1999 classic NEW GENETICS: THE STUDY OF LIFELINES adds to the 'Science and Society' series and could have been featured in our children's issue under young adult books; but is featured here because many a public library or adult collection will want it, too. NEW GENETICS provides a fine review of the impact modern genetic research and molecular biology have on society, blending a history of the evolution of genetics as a part of biological science to its stand-alone importance today. From recent genetic discoveries which offer many promising avenues to how recent discoveries improve society, NEW GENETICS is a pick for any serious health or science library.

Biomedicalization of Alcohol Studies
Lorraine T. Midanik
Transaction Books
390 Campus Drive, Somerset, NJ 08873
0202308359 $39.95

College-level health holdings will welcome BIOMEDICALIZATION OF ALCOHOL STUDIES: IDEOLOGICAL SHIFTS AND INSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGES. It covers the science and assumptions of risk assessment and treatment, covering the controversial issues surrounding the biomedicalization of alcohol studies and describing, critiquing and assessing its influence as a social trend in the health field. Casual holdings will find it too technical but dedicated health and psychology collection will find it just the ticket, covering in detail a most controversial new discipline.

W.W. Norton
500 – 5th Avenue, New York NY 10110

Any involved in the mental health industry will find useful and inspiring Dr. Robert Hill's POSITIVE AGING: A GUIDE FOR MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS AND CONSUMERS (039370453X $27.95). Aging has changed as the Boomers age: what used to be considered inevitable side-effects, from senility to pain and disability, are certain no longer. Psychologist and geriatric care researcher Robert Hill here offers a new set of thoughts with which to understand the nature of aging, focusing on a positive mind-set and new trends in aging management. Even lay readers will find this holds much hope for an aging population. Robert Scaer's THE TRAUMA SPECTRUM: HIDDEN WOUNDS AND HUMAN RESILIENCY (0393704661, $32.00) comes from a neurologist who's written a book fundamental to understanding the nature of posttraumatic stress and its nature. The author has over 30 years experience working with car accident victims: his practice goes beyond just discussing medical treatments, showing how trauma both singular and recurring provides a continuum of negative life events which accumulate to shape and reshape human reaction and values themselves. His connections to brain-mind-body functioning and the scars of trauma shows how even common events can have a traumatic effect in that they are life-altering. A powerful documentation of the wider-reaching nature of trauma than medical science would usually posit.

Yellow Fever
James I. Dickerson
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
1591023998 $25.00

YELLOW FEVER: A DEADLY DISEASE POISED TO KILL AGAIN poses a wake-up call in providing not just a history of a bygone threat, but discussion of how it's a prime candidate for use as a biological weapon – and prime for re-emergence in the face of global warming. These two threats alone make YELLOW FEVER more than just a survey of the past, providing it an immediacy and importance which justifies the author's focus. A vivid narrative traces its emergence and impact from the late 18th to the early 20th century, describing attempts to contain and eliminate the disease and adding important chapters which consider how it can be used by terrorists today – and how it might come back on its own. A 'must' for any serious public or school library health collection.

Johns Hopkins Press
2715 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4319

Over 100,000 copies have been sold of Francis Mark Mondimore, MD's BIPOLAR DISORDER (0801883148 $18.85): so what sets it apart from the many books on the market covering the disorder? For one, it's directed to patients and families alike and offers many coping tips. Much has changed since the book's original publication since 1999 – and the second revised edition of BIPOLAR DISORDER has been thoroughly updated to reflect these changes, from new research results and medical treatments to new options for diagnosis and bipolar's genetic implications. From seasonal fluctuations to problems in diagnosis and stability, BIPOLAR DISORDER: A GUIDE FOR PATIENTS AND FAMILIES always keeps the human element of patient and family interactions at its center – and that's what makes it special. Patrice Bourdelais' EPIDEMICS LAID LOW: A HISTORY OF WHAT HAPPENED IN RICH COUNTRIES (080188294X, $42.00) charts the history and progress of diseases which have devastated mankind from the Middle Ages to modern times. From the economics of plague treatments and differences in class and social experience to reform movements sparked by epidemics, EPIDEMICS LAID LOW traces the battles, concepts, and theories which influenced treatment courses and who survived. Their social consequences have lasting effects into modern times, making this an important acquisition for college-level social science collections as well as health collections.

Ginseng Dreams
Kristin Johannsen
University Press of Kentucky
663 South Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40508-4008
0813123844 $24.95

The use and influence of ginseng in the lives of seven who have invested their lives and money in its promise is documented in a history which blends botany and economics under one cover. Ginseng is consumed by hundreds of millions in Asia daily and commands a hefty price, but despite its high selling price, the future of American ginseng is uncertain – threatened by environmental problems. Seven personal stories are used to illustrate ginseng's problems and potentials.

Your Inner Pharmacy
Dr. Robert Blaich
Beyond Words
20827 N.W. Cornell, Suite 500, Hillsboro, OR 97124
1582701458 $19.95

YOUR INNER PHARMACY: TAKING BACK OUR WELLNESS focuses its attention on the rise of chronic disease, fostered by how we live and how we perceive and treat illness and disorders. YOUR INNER PHARMACY provides a simple message: invest time in learning better habits and simple ways of adjusting routines for maximum health. From learning how food can be a better medicine than prescriptions to creating a healthy plan to stay healthy at sixty-five, seventy-five and beyond, holistic healthcare is applied to daily life and routines for maximum impact.

Crossing Into Medicine Country
David Carson
Arcade Publishing
141 Fifth Avenue, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10010
1559707712 $26.00 1-800-759-0190

David Carson is of Choctaw descent and has studied Native American spirituality since growing up in Oklahoma Indian country, but his latest CROSSING INTO MEDICINE COUNTRY is something more than spiritual reflection. Here he pursues initiation as a ceremonial healer with Choctaw medicine woman Mary Gardener, studying plant and animal forces and human energy manipulation for three years. Health and spirituality blend in a survey of Native teachings and health insights which blends a memoir with a set of special reflections.

A Special Education
Dana Buchman
Da Capo Press/Perseus Publishing Group
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
0738210331 $21.95

Any family who has struggled with learning disability will readily recognize the issues presented in A SPECIAL EDUCATION: ONE FAMILY'S JOURNEY THROUGH THE MAZE OF LEARNING DISABILITIES. Designer Dana Buchman knew nearly nothing about learning differences when her older daughter Charlotte was diagnosed with a range of disabilities as a toddler. Her struggle to understand the diagnosis, her long journey to aid in Charlotte's development, and Buchman's own struggles with guilt and anxiety make A SPECIAL EDUCATION an intensely personal journey of courage and a closely developing relationship between mother and daughter.

Countdown to Love
David & Tatiana Hinds
Bennetts Close, Chippingham, Slaugh, Berkshire SL1 5AP, UK
0572031491 $18.95

Why do some relationships work well while others fail? If you wish to prepare in advance to build a loving relationship, COUNTDOWN TO LOVE is the place to begin. Chapters cover the basics of finding an ideal partner for a permanent relationship, from handling guilt, the drive to succeed, and the baggage brought along by others or the past, to learning how to let go of anger and expectations. A fine guide offers guideposts every step of the way.

Medical Marvels
Eugene W. Straus, MD & Alex Straus
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
1591023734 $28.00

A doctor and a journalist team up to provide a fine survey of the history of medicine, highlighting over a hundred greatest medical advances and emphasizing how committed individuals made advancements happen. There are many names you may not recognize here; from Galen who related the structure of organs to functions to Gertrude Elion's discovery of treatments for leukemia. Were it not for their efforts, we wouldn't have today's medical achievements: MEDICAL MARVELS personalizes the commitment of individuals in an era when medicine is seen as a series of technological breakthroughs alone.

Desk Reference to Nature's Medicine
Steven Foster & Rebecca Johnson
National Geographic Press
1145 – 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036-4688
0792236661 $40.00

There are so many herbal books on the market today that one could wonder about the need for yet another, even with the National Geographic branding attached to it promising quality – but DESK REFERENCE TO NATURE'S MEDICINE offers something different. It's put together not by a single person but by leading experts in the herbal medicine field, it packs in over 200 color photos, 150 botanical drawings and over 150 maps, and its alphabetical arrangement of therapeutical plants covers not just physical appearance and medicinal properties but geographic distribution, how it's harvested in used, and more. Nine essays provide an overview to world healing traditions while handy sidebars of detail pack in the history and cultural insights, making for a practical manual which is also a superb history.

The MS Workbook
Robert Fraser, Ph.D.,
New Harbinger
5674 Shattuck Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609
1572243902 $19.95

If you've got multiple sclerosis, you must have this workbook which offers an important set of practical tips for caring for physical and mental health and more. From accommodations in the workplace and handling health insurance issues to spiritual concerns and government and private resources, THE MS WORKBOOK: LIVING FULLY WITH MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS comes from a team of Ph.Ds and a doctor and offers a range of practical tips for all facets of daily living.

101 Tips on Foot Care for People with Diabetes, 2nd Edition
Jessie H. Ahori, Ph.D,
American Diabetes Association
1701 N. Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311
1580402496 $14.95

Any with type 1 or 2 diabetes are prone to poor circulation, nerve damage, and wounds which won't heal in the foot – and which could lead to ulcers and even amputation. That's why everyone with either type should read 101 TIPS ON FOOT CARE FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES: it tells how to prevent problems, how to recognize the early signs of infection, and how to understand neuropathy and its effects. A question-and-answer format lends to easy understanding of basic problems and issues in this top pick any diabetic's home library should include.

Natural Medicine, Optimal Wellness
Jonathan V. Wright, MD & Alan R. Gaby, MD
Vital Health Publishing
PO Box 152, Ridgefield, CT 06877
1890612502 $21.95

If you want a one-stop holistic handbook for diagnosis and treatment, NATURAL MEDICINE, OPTIMAL WELLNESS: THE PATIENT'S GUIDE TO HEALTH AND HEALING is for you: two doctors discuss all the real-world questions and concerns about common conditions, from menopause and illness to hypertension, multiple sclerosis and ear infections. It's these dialogues which make for such a unique presentation, surveying drug interactions, differences between holistic and traditional medical treatments, and adding case histories to liven up the topic and relate it to common patient experiences. An excellent guide: appealing and easy to understand.

There Are No Mistakes
Eleanor Wiley & Caroline Pincus
Red Wheel Wiser
76 Parker, #7, Newburyport, MA 01950
1573242624 $17.95

There are no mistakes; only choices: that's the message of THERE ARE NO MISTAKES: a treatise based on the author's 25 years as a sobriety mediator, artist and teacher. Personal stories of whom the author has encountered and how they have come to accept their paths in life result in eleven fundamental truths which Wiley teaches here…truths which don't rely on perfection, total happiness or enlightenment to be achieved.

The Warrior Mind
Jim Pritchard with Sharon Lindenberger
1601 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0814473032 $14.95

Martial arts are about much more than self-defense, and thus THE WARRIOR MIND: ANCIENT WISDOM FROM THE MARTIAL ARTS FOR LIVING A MORE POWERFUL LIFE is about more than martial arts as a sport or science. These ancient arts help build mental discipline for all kinds of challenges, and THE WARRIOR MIND builds upon this concept whether or not you practice the physical aspects of martial art. Jim Pritchard, a disciple of Ninjitsu and Tajitsu masters, describes how principles of martial arts translate into basic principles of mental strength. Six fundamental principles of such a disciplined mind are illustrated with applied principles and inspiring stories to make for a motivational self-help primer for business and lay readers alike.

The Devil's Doctor
Philip Ball
Farrar Straus Giroux
19 Union Square West, New York NY 10003
0374229791 $27.00

Paracelsus as a 16th century figure famous as a doctor of alchemy medicine, who gained a reputation in his times as both miracle worker and a fake. THE DEVIL'S DOCTOR: PARACELSUS AND THE WORLD OF RENAISSANCE MAGIC AND SCIENCE draws together all known about Paracelsus to provide an in-depth and detailed biography of not only his theories and importance, but the controversies surrounding his life and the Medieval world in general. A fine recommendation for students of Medieval studies and early medical history alike.

Health Reference Series additions
615 Griswold Street, Detroit, MI 48226
$78 Each

The consumer-oriented Health Reference Series is distinctive: bright red edging and quality hardcovers mark an ever-expanding, ever-revised set of books for answering common consumer questions on health, and two new updated editions are special picks. Sandra J. Judd edits GASTROINTESTINAL DISEASES AND DISORDERS SOURCEBOOK (0780807987), which covers all details related to digestion from mouth to organs. The latest health information and findings on the causes, symptoms and treatment of diseases and disorders describes how the gastrointestinal tract works and what happens when things go wrong. Basic anatomy is taught as well as basic medical treatments and options, surgical procedures, and more. Joyce Brennenfleck Shannon edits the third updated edition of DIET AND NUTRITION SOURCEBOOK (0780808002) to include the many new details and statistics on food choice's long-term relationship to health. From different recommended eating habits to reduce disease and common ailments to nutrition advice for those with specific conditions, DIET AND NUTRITION SOURCEBOOK is especially important because so much is changing in this area, and so rapidly.

The Business Shelf

Greed, Inc.
Wade Rowland
Arcade Publishing
141 Fifth Avenue, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10010
1559707941 $26.00 1-800-759-0190

GREED, INC: WHY CORPORATIONS RULE OUR WORLD asks some hard questions about major corporations and ethical direction, considering how information is falsified and how the modern corporation seems to often rest on laurels of greed. But it wasn't always so: Wade Rowland traces the origins of such greed to Rationalism which decreed nature something untamed, to be controlled. His survey of virtue, morality and ethics in the modern workplace examines ideas of money's connections to evil and greed's connections to corporate strategy.

The Professional Caterer's Handbook
Lora Arduser and Douglas Robert Brown
Atlantic Publishing Company
1210 SW 23rd Place, Ocala, FL 34474-7014
0910627606 $79.95

If you want to enter the catering business, there are plenty of lighter guides on the topic on the market – but if you're really serious about professionally entering the business, you can't be without THE PROFESSIONAL CATERER'S HANDBOOK: HOW TO OPEN AND OPERATE A FINANCIALLY SUCCESSFUL CATERING BUSINESS. A cd-rom supplements the weighty exploration which is actually a detailed manual of step-by-step instruction on all the basics. From bookkeeping and handling profits and loss to considering the pros and cons of professional equipment, there's no better guide on the market. College-level culinary schools in particular must have this reference.

High Impact Quotations
Richard W. Pound
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
121 Harvard Avenue, #2, Allston, MA 02134
1550418505 $23.95

If you need to give a presentation and seek superior quotes for the project, HIGH IMPACT QUOTATIONS is the book for you. It culls the words of presidents, politicians, and more to use ordinary language to provide high-impact results. An A-Z subject organization makes it quick and easy to locate the kinds of quotes common to a speech, from references to myths and wages to statesmanship and lessons of life.

Global Business Etiquette
Jeanette S. Martin & Lillian Chaney
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881
0275988155 $34.95 www/

If you're involved in international business, you already know etiquette varies from country to country: the speed of expanding international sales is requiring a new type of executive and manager be able to understand cross-cultural communication to avoid misunderstandings. GLOBAL BUSINESS ETIQUETTE: A GUIDE TO INTERNATIONAL COMMUNICATION AND CUSTOMS is the place to start. It uses years of research and training in the field to cover both verbal and nonverbal gestures, dress, customs and more, adding examples and tips in their guide to interpreting around the world From dress to conversational customs, GLOBAL BUSINESS ETIQUETTE covers all the common pitfalls and customs.

1601 Broadway, New York NY 10019

Learn how to identify a top-selling ebay item, where to find ebay products, and develop wholesaler and drop-shipper relationships to increase business without increasing workload with Joseph T. Sinclair & Jeremy Hanks's EBAY INVENTORY THE SMART WAY (0814473598 $19.95), which covers all the basics of acquiring and handling eBay merchandise. From pros and cons of various inventorying software – including some just coming out as this book went to print – to locating closeouts and buying wholesale, EBAY INVENTORY THE SMART WAY is the item of choice for any who wish to move beyond penny marketing or charity bargain finds. William Pelfrey's BILLY, ALFRED AND GENERAL MOTORS: THE STORY OF TWO UNIQUE MEN, A LEGENDARY COMPANY, AND A REMARKABLE TIME IN AMERICAN HISTORY (0814408699, $27.95) tells of two unique, very different men: one a salesman and wheeler-dealer, the other an educated intellectual and business strategy expert – who would join forces in the early 20th century to build the successful General Motors company. From how their very different approaches to business were able to merge to forge a revolutionary business model to how the model affected the corporate world as a whole, insights on the auto legends blend with the focus on two leaders who made it happen. A 'must' for any who would understand today's auto industry.

Currency Doubleday
c/o Doubleday & Company
1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019

Plenty of books discuss the importance of business innovation and how to create an atmosphere conducive to it: Subir Chowdhury's THE ICE CREAM MAKER: AN INSPIRING TALE ABOUT MAKING QUALITY THE KEY INGREDIENT IN EVERYTHING YOU DO (0385514786 $16.95) offers up a simple story of a struggling regional ice cream manufacturer determined to sell to a flourishing national grocery chain. The story helps clearly illustrate what businesses must do to instill, promote and guarantee quality in its products to turn them into desirable cultural and social commodities. Suzanne Berger's HOW WE COMPETE: WHAT COMPANIES AROUND THE WORLD ARE DOING TO MAKE IT IN TODAY'S GLOBAL ECONOMY (9385513593, $27.50) is based on the MIT Industrial Performance Center's five-year study of 500 international companies, and packs in details on how these companies are succeeding in the modern global market, how some are failing – and why. Instead of fearing the effects of globalization, HOW WE COMPETE attempts to understand the new market forces at work: Berger and a group of MIT researchers visited workplaces and factories around the world to find the answers, which will fascinate workers and managers alike, here.

Organic Inc.
Samuel Fromartz
Harcourt Books
15 East 26th Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10010
0151011303 $25.00 1-800-543-1918

Organic food has grown at a rate of 20 percent yearly in a sluggish food industry, yet many still can't define what makes food organic, why it's better, and how it fits into the food industry. Here to answer these and more questions is ORGANIC INC: NATURAL FOODS AND HOW THEY GREW. Samuel Fromartz is a business journalist: his reporting delves into the heart of the organic food industry and concept, tracing changing consumer choices, educational processes, organic food's anti-industrial roots over a century ago, and those who fostered new approaches on food production. A fine business exploration of the entire industry; not just one company.

235 Montgomery, #650, San Francisco CA 94104-2916

If you're stuck in a dead-end position, whether it be in business, in a relationship, or in life, then Dan Sullivan & Catherine Nomur's THE LAWS OF LIFETIME GROWTH: ALWAYS MAKE YOUR FUTURE BIGGER THAN YOUR PAST (1576753352 $16.95) is the book for you. It comes from two coaches who combine their collective thirty years of working with how-powered leaders with a program which supports entrepreneurs in growing businesses. Chapters show how to use past experiences to project and build towards a better future, bringing new meaning to the phrase 'seeing the bigger picture'. From being sure contributions are bigger than successes to pairing success with real enjoyment of life, THE LAWS OF LIFETIME GROWTH challenges readers to think of, and achieve, larger goals in life. Dennis S. Reina, Ph.D. and Michelle Reina, Ph.D.'s TRUST AND BETRAYAL IN THE WORKPLACE: BUILDING EFFECTIVE RELATIONSHIPS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION (1576753778, $16.95) appears in its second revised, expanded edition to cover the need for trust in the workplace. From how to build and realize workplace trust to what to do when it's lost and how to engage people, chapters provide organization leaders with case histories, practical applications, and application exercises to help teach how trust is built. A fine, practical hands-on manual.

Davies-Black Publishing
1055 Joaquin Road, 2nd Floor, Mountain View, CA 94043

Two fine business guides are top picks for managers and professionals. Catherine Kaputa's U R A BRAND! HOW SMART PEOPLE BRAND THEMSELVES FOR BUSINESS SUCCESS (0891062130, $24.95) advocates the idea of 'self-branding' as a method of helping corporations understand your personal skills and strengths. There are hidden business paths and rules for creating a unique brand and image: U R A BRAND covers these and comes from a 'brand strategy expert' with over twenty years of Madison Avenue to Wall Street branding experience and strategies behind her. From top ten tactics and strategies to understanding markets and where power lies, U R A BRAND charts the course through complicated branding waters. Rod Napier and Rich McDaniel's MEASURING WHAT MATTERS: SIMPLIFIED TOOLS FOR ALIGNING TEAMS AND THEIR STAKEHOLDERS (0891062114, $39.95) addresses the issue of how to keep score in business. There are many strategies for so doing: Six Sigma, scorecards and the like – but still business pros search for easier ways to bring numbers and figures to work teams. Metrics are here demystified, with chapters covering feedback, group management questionnaires, dialogues, stakeholder expectations, and more. From team values and expectations to measuring how teams and stakeholders interact more effectively to meet metrics objectives, MEASURING WHAT MATTERS covers everything from measuring customer satisfaction to evaluating employee performance.

Prentice Hall
One Lake Street, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458

If you're a marketing professional you must take a look at Clyde M. Creveling,'s SIX SIGMA FOR MARKETING PROCESSES: AN OVERVIEW FOR MARKETING EXECUTIVES, LEADERS, AND MANAGERS (013199008X $29.99): part of Prentice's 'Innovation and Growth' series of titles, it presents a methodology which nearly half of the top one hundred Fortune 500 companies use in some part of their business. Six Sigma methodology involves developing more efficient workflow designed for growth, enhancing marketing arenas identifying indicators for growth and incorporating them into the business plan, and integrating cycles of risk management into the process. No beginner's guide, this handbook is meant for the seasoned pro who would streamline and blend in basic Six Sigma concepts to maximum effect. Yiannis Mostrous, Elliott Gue and Ivan Martchev's THE SILK ROAD TO RICHES: HOW YOU CAN PROFIT BY INVESTING IN ASIA'S NEWFOUND PROSPERITY (0131869728, $25.99) covers trading, investing and profiting in Asia. Serious analysis of the Asian markets, how they are emerging, and how investors can adjust strategy to make money. This is no general admonition however: chapters teach how to leverage Asia's fast-paced integration into the world economy, how to profit from its internal changes, and how to anticipate the future needs of Asian consumers in industries the West is well situated to provide. Past myths and future truths about the region are also confronted in up-front chapters investors will appreciate. Harry Domash's FIRE YOUR STOCK ANALYST! ANALYZING STOCKS ON YOUR OWN (0132260387, $16.99) encourages what every small investor has thought at one time – but has, until now, not had the knowledge in hand to carry out. Basic accounting and analytical skills are taught in the course of showing how investors can analyze their own stock performance, offering step-by-step strategies based on industry analysis tools and solid financial skills. Novices and experts will find much here; from financial fitness evaluators and profitability indexes to setting target prices for buy and sell ratios.

Everybody Wants Your Money
David W. Latko
10 E. 53rd Street, New York NY 10022-5299
0060851155 $22.95

Most books talk about how to earn wealth, not how to protect what you've already got: enter EVERYBODY WANTS YOUR MONEY: THE STRAIGHT-TALKING GUIDE TO PROTECTING (AND GROWING) THE WEALTH YOU WORKED SO HARD TO EARN. Now, here's a winning guide which tells how to stay in touch with what you've already got. Chapters come from a self-made multimillionaire who came from a lower-middle-class family and today manages over $100 million in client assets. They speak of how brokers, financial advisors and others get their hands on your money, how to avoid scams and pick pros you can trust, how to manage divorce and wills to keep money options in the best possible places, and more. From common scams and con games to understanding how financial predators work, EVERYBODY WANTS YOUR MONEY doesn't require a million in the bank: even small-scale investors will learn from Latko's wisdom.

More Build It Big
Direct Women's Selling Alliance
Kaplan Publishing
30 South Wacker Drive, Suite 2500, Chicago IL 60606
1419520032 $17.95 1-800-223-2336

If you own a home-based business, MORE BUILD IT BIG: 101 INSIDER SECRETS FROM TOP DIRECT SELLING EXPERTS is for you: it covers all the basics of such a business and advocates a relationship-building strategy to build more business. Some of the directions are common to other small business books, such as how to set up a home office and how to get organized. Other tips – such as integrating home and business life and teaching kids the value of money and integrating personal with business values -–are somewhat unique topics and add to the effectiveness of the programs touted in MORE BUILD IT BIG.

Workforce Crisis
Ken Dychtwald,
Harvard Business School Press
300 N. Beacon Street, Watertown, MA 02472
1591395216 $29.95

WORKFORCE CRISIS: HOW TO BEAT THE COMING SHORTAGE OF SKILLS AND TALENT predicts a crisis in the workplace as the huge boomer generation requires and leaves less experience holding the bag in the workplace. Companies must rethink their workforce management and attract and retain works of all ages, as a result. Decades of research have culled these strategies for reorganization in WORKFORCE CRISIS, which will prove an inspirational vision for any manager looking at the long-term picture.

The Islamic Studies Shelf

While Europe Slept
Bruce Bawer
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0385514727 $23.95

While the French riots may have been a surprise to many, they weren't to author Bruce Bawer, who has long witnessed the collapse of European liberalism when faced with threats fundamentalist Islam. WHILE EUROPE SLEPT: HOW RADICAL ISLAM IS DESTROYING THE WEST FROM WITHIN comes from an American who has lived in Europe since 1998, observing how the European political and media establishments have long sold out the democratic principles it used to foster. Any who dared criticize Muslim extremists and speak up for liberal values were labeled as fascist bigots. Chapters survey the state of Europe before and after 9/11, offering pointed observations of the powder kegs of violence existing in Europe's Muslim communities. A 'must' for understanding the roots and incarnation of present European and world events.

The Just War and Jihad
R. Joseph Hoffmann, Ed
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
1591023718 $29.00

Since 9/11 sociologists, religious historians and scholars from many disciplines have considered the roots of religious violence in new ways – and THE JUST WAR AND JIHAD: VIOLENCE IN JUDAISM, CHRISTIANITY & ISLAM reflects this new thinking and scholarship, offering papers gathered from the November 2004 Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion. This could have been featured in our Religious Shelf section, but is reviewed here for its special connections between violence and religion in general, and for its theories on 'just war' and 'jihad' in particular.

Insurgent Iraq
Loretta Napoleoni
Seven Stories Press
140 Watts Avenue, New York NY 10013
1583227059 $15.95

A 'must' for any seeking to understand the roots of terrorist activities is INSURGENT IRAQ: AL ZARQAWI AND THE NEW GENERATION. It examines Iraqi insurgency and the forces which contribute to it, documenting the regrouping and strengthening of terror networks and the development of an Iraqi resistance since the invasion over two years ago. Most of all, it tells of al Zarqawi and his history and involvement in Iraq, providing a blend of history and social inspection throughout.

The Social Issues Shelf

Whatever it Takes
J.D. Hayworth with Joseph J. Eule
1 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001
089526028X $27.95

Arizona Congressman J.D. Hayworth surveys illegal immigration harshly in WHATEVER IT TAKES: ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, BRODER SECURITY, AND THE WAR ON TERROR, in a hard-hitting assessment which compares the problem to an invasion. It's overwhelmed our borders, devastated communities, and is growing violent, Hayworth maintains: chapters confront the controversies surrounding illegal immigration in this country and charts a course for stemming the invasion.

We Are All Suspects Now
Tram Nguyen
Beacon Press
25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108-2892
0807004618 $14.99

WE ARE ALL SUSPECTS NOW: UNTOLD STORIES FROM IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES AFTER 9/11 is essential reading for any who would understand the changed lives of immigrants in the U.S. after the event. It gathers the personal stories of communities affected by post-9/11 tension and threats to civil liberties, examining immigration, asylum and criminal policies and how these have affected thousands of immigrants past and present. Changes to these policies reflect a shift to the right – and a shift in how immigrant communities are surveyed and managed.

The True Adventure Shelf

The Way Out
Craigt Childs
Back Bay Books
1271 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0316107034 $14.95

A two-weep trip through the American Southwest with a good friends turns into a challenge which will test friendship and survival skills in THE WAY OUT: A TRUE STORY OF RUIN AND SURVIVAL. Any with a special affection for the Southwest will find vivid descriptions of its terrain and desolation as they enjoy this memoir of survival, a hit in hardcover and newly available in paperback to provide a hard-hitting account of discovery.

The Ice Museum
Joanna Kavenna
Viking Press
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
0670034738 $24.95

To the ancients Thule was considered a lost icy Eden of strange beauty, fueling the imagination of poets, explorers and now writer Joanna Kavenna, whose journey in search of the legendary Thule is documented in THE ICE MUSEUM: IN SEARCH OF THE LOST LAND OF THULE. Kavenna's journey brought her in touch with others under the same spell, from past evidence of prior seekers to contemporaries. Her journey also uncovered a host of frozen relics of the cold war – and it reads with all the 'you are there' drama of a diary and an investigative research piece. Any interested in true adventure will find her odyssey hard to put down.

Innocents in the Arctic
Colin Bull
University of Alaska Press
PO Box 756240, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6240
1889963739 $34.95

Bull's is a funny, personal narrative rather than the scholarly or historical review you'd expect from a title like INNOCENTS IN THE ARCTIC: THE 1951 SPITSBERGEN EXPEDITION: the perfect choice for any who want to absorb high drama and history without the dryness of your usual Arctic narrative. Chapters read like a novel with action and insights into expedition personalities – of which the author was a part – and goals. The result's a rare 'you are there' atmosphere adventure readers will relish.

The Environmental Shelf

Losing it All to Sprawl
Bill Belleville
University Press of Florida
15 NW – 15th Street, Gainesville, FL 32611-2079
0813029287 $24.95

Bill Belleville is a documentary filmmaker and author specializing in conservation: how work has appeared extensively in magazines, has been anthologized in collections, and he's written many books, but LOSING IT ALL TO SPRAWL: HOW PROGRESS ATE MY CRACKER LANDSCAPE hits closer to home than many of his other books. Bill Belleville writes of his historic Cracker farmhouse and old neighborhood of central Florida even as it's being wiped out: any who have visited the area in the last few years will readily acknowledge the truths and observations in LOSING IT ALL TO SPRAWL. In addition to documenting the underlying social, political and economic forces at work in promoting sprawl, Belleville offers Floridians and others hope for appreciating nature.

The Swamp
Michael Gunwald
Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0743251059 $27.00

Any interested in Florida politics in general or Florida environmental concerns in particular must read THE SWAMP: THE EVERGLADES, FLORIDA, AND THE POLITICS OF PARADISE. Once seen as a resource to be drained and used, the Everglades is now considered a national treasure, prompting a great environmental project to try to save it. THE SWAMP tells of its destruction and possible resurrection, but begins not with human intervention but with prehistory, from Ice Age to modern times. From interactions between the Army Corps of Engineers and natural disasters to how the Everglades deteriorated, Grunwald traces the visions, perspectives, and changing politics influencing the swamp's development and use.

Lost Mountain
Erik Reece
Riverhead Books/Berkley Publishing Group
375 Hudson, New York NY 10014
1594489084 $24.95

LOST MOUNTAIN: A YEAR IN THE VANISHING WILDERNESS isn't a travelogue or adventure story so much as a search for truth in the mountains of Appalachia, home to one of the last great forests in the world – and also threatened by the mother lode of strip mining which has been the backbone of living for so many Appalachian families. Author Reece spent a year witnessing the decimation of a single mountain - Lost Mountain – and surveys strip mining as not just a local concern but as a icon for a mainstream crisis involving businesses, government and the environment alike. At once literary, reflective, personal and observation, LOST MOUNTAIN reflects on all that is lost.

Field Notes from a Catastrophe
Elizabeth Kolbert
Bloomsbury USA
175 – 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010
1596911255 $22.95

Plenty of books have been written on climate change: so many that an initial glance at FIELD NOTES FROM A CATASTROPHE: MAN, NATURE NAD CLIMATE CHANGE might lead to the question of the need for another. Journalist Elizabeth Kolbert's environmental consideration is more than a rehash of ideas, however: she traveled to the Arctic, interviewed researchers and environmentalists alike, and here explains the science, studies, and links between climate change and vanished civilizations of the past. From politics and personal studies to those watching their worlds vanish due to these changes, FIELD NOTES FROM A CATASTROPHE grew out of a three-part series for the New Yorker and brings home the importance of planetary changes.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

The Great Transformation
Karen Armstrong
Alfred A. Knopf
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
0375413170 $30.00 1-800-726-0600

In the 9th century BCE the peoples of four separate regions of the world created the basic religious and philosophical traditions that have continued to modern times: Confucianism in China, Hinduism and Buddhism in India, monotheism in Israel and philosophical rationalism in Greece. Today these four remain the foundations of all religious thinking, and are surveyed as such in THE GREAT TRANSFORMATION: THE BEGINNING OF OUR RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS. These spiritualities are continuing to challenge how we express religious beliefs today, so it's important to consider their roots. Armstrong's survey provides a history of the development of the Axial Age, the contributions of major religious figures from all four foundations of thought, and areas in which they agree and differ. Connections between concepts of universal love, tolerance, and warfare and peace times are all drawn with the four-point foundation in mind. A powerful study for any religious thinker.

Eat This Book
Eugene H. Peterson
William B. Eerdmans
255 Jefferson Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
0802829481 $20.00,

The way we read the Bible as nearly as important as that it's read: that's professor Eugene Peterson's message in EAT THIS BOOK: A CONVERSATION IN THE ART OF SPIRITUAL READING. His is more than a set of reflections: it's the second in a five-volume work on spiritual theology and maintains the Scriptures should be read – and lived – as God's word. From the nature of language and the practice of scripture translations to an account of his own popular Bible translation THE MESSAGE, EAT THIS BOOK invites a broader perspective on Biblical study than those which advocate using the Bible for self-serving purposes.

The New Testament and Literature
Stephen Cox
Open Court Publishing
PO Box 300, Peru, IL 61354-0300
0812605917 $36.95

The New Testament has had a huge impact on religious beliefs; but surprisingly little has been written about its impact as literature: that's where THE NEW TESTAMENT AND LITERATURE: A GUIDE TO LITERARY PATTERNS comes in. We could have featured this in our Literary Shelf section but prefer to feature here for its wide-ranging importance to both literature and religious studies. Professor Cox identifies the origin and nature of the New Testament, labels key literary genres and patterns, and connects its ideas with literary techniques. Students of the bible and English literature will find it a unique, satisfying blend of literary insights.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

World Wisdom
PO Box 2682, Bloomington, IN 47402-2682

World Wisdom's books on Sufism and ancient worlds provides many classic studies and insights on Oriental religion, providing surveys of world religions which should prove mainstays of any serious religious library holding. These aren't your usual cursory New Age presentations, but in-depth and often scholarly offerings, too. Take Frithjof Schuon's LIGHT ON THE ANCIENT WORLDS: A NEW TRANSLATION WITH SELECTED LETTERS (0941532720, $18.95), for example: it's a new edition of a classic work by the philosopher and Perennialist thinker and returns to the principles that sustained the ancient civilizations of mankind. These guiding lights were basic to both ancient and modern developments and this revised, expanded edition not only revisits the original but adds a new preface, an appendix of previously unpublished writings, and a glossary. Jean-Lous Michon and Roger Gaetani's SUFISM LOVE & WISDOM (0941532755, $24.95) packs in a collection of fifteen essays from American and European Sufism scholars, offering new contributions from new interpreters of the discipline. The diversity of scholarly backgrounds and the fine themes and new translations discuss everything from prophetic models in Islam to spiritual needs of Western man and Sufi connections. Patrick Laude edits PRAY WITHOUT CEASING: THE WAY OF THE INVOCATION IN WORLD RELIGIONS (0933316144, $19.95), an anthology covering invocatory prayer and its fundamentals across religions. Centering prayer has been a long traditional practice of invocatory prayer, but rarely has received the depth and insight it deserves. Scholars provide analysis of key texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, pairing these classic writings with contemporary texts and insights. From the symbolism in Christian communion to historical inconsistencies in analysis and interpretation of the texts, PRAY WITHOUT CEASING holds wisdom from Gandhi, Gao Xingjian, Ramakrishna and more. Seyyed Hossein Nasr and Katherine O'Brien edit THE ESSENTIAL SOPHIA: THE JOURNAL OF TRADITIONAL STUDIES (1933316191, $26.95) – and if you think it will be a standard magazine, you're mistaken. This is actually an anthology of articles representative of Sophia, the journal, and celebrates the journal's 10-year anniversary through chapters that provide articles representative of Sophia's works. Biblical interpretations, religious and anthropological arguments, Christian meanings: all are debated, contrasted and represented in THE ESSENTIAL SOPHIA: THE JOURNAL OF TRADITIONAL STUDIES. Reza Shah-Kazemi's PATHS TO TRANSCENDENCE ACCORDING TO SHANKARA, IBN ARBI AND MEISTER ECKHART (0941532976, $26.95) provides a study of three historical sages, comparing beliefs, spirituality, concepts, and premises. Representing each system is Shankara for Hinduism, Ibnm Arabi for Islam and Meister Eckhart for Christianity, providing a detailed analysis of works, contrasting insights, and providing an approach to comparative mysticism which is hard to find elsewhere: at least, under one cover. Rama P. Coomaraswamy's DESTRUCTION OF THE CHRISTIAN TRADITION (0941532984, $28.95) has been updated and revised, features a foreword by Bishop Robert F. McKenna, O.P., and provides a definitive study of the differences between traditional Catholic Church interpretations and those from the Second Vatican Council. Catholics will find the contrast scholarly, thorough, and well detailed. All are excellent studies and are especially recommended picks for any religious collection seeking strong scholarly representation.

The Everything Freemasons Book
John K. Young & Barb Karg
Adams Media
57 Littlefield Street, Avon, MA 02322
1598690590 $14.95

For thousands of years the Freemasons were rumored to control nations, with their secret society dating back to early times. Most of the great thinkers of the human race have been said to have joined the Society, from Mozart to George Washington and Charles Darwin: THE EVERYTHING FREEMASONS BOOK: UNLOCK THE SECRETS OF THIS ANCIENT AND MYSTERIOUS SOCIETY reveals all that's known about it, from covering myths and realities to considering its symbols and guarded secrets. Readers need know nothing about the freemasons: it's all here.

2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125-2989

Pair a tarot deck of Da Vinci details with a book written by a tarot expert and you have a winning combination which provides a lovely deck of cards for divination in time for release of the film THE DA VINCI CODE this spring. Mark McElroy's deck THE DAVINCI TAROT (0738708941 $21.95) takes Da Vinci's art and its subjects and keys it to tarot specs, providing seventy-eight cards featuring his illustrations and sketches. A top pick for seekers of new inspirational materials. Thea Sabin's WICCA FOR BEGINNERS: FUNDAMENTALS OF PHILOSOPHY & PRACTICE (0738707511, $12.95) provides novices with an easy introduction to Wicca. Since it's one of the fastest-growing religions today, many titles assume prior knowledge: not so WICCA FOR BEGINNERS, which covers history, tradition, and also practices, beliefs, and skills from spell casting to creating rituals.

Beyond Words
20827 NW Cornell Road, Suite 500, Hillsboro, OR 97124

How much control do you have over your future, and what is fate and destiny? Any who would understand their future should consider the messages of Carmen Harra, Ph.D.'s DECODING YOUR DESTINY (1582701431 $16.95), which combines psychology and metaphysics to consider how destiny is predicted. From numerical charts which uniquely identify a person's purpose in life to Harra's own predictions of the future, DECODING YOUR DESTINY is New Age at its best. Kazuo Murakami, Ph.D.'s THE DIVINE CODE OF LIFE: AWAKEN YOUR GENES & DISCOVER HIDDEN TALENTS (158270144X, $18.95) is a fascinating blend of spirituality and science, surveying the connections between genes, environment and consciousness with an eye to showing how humans can activate good dormant genes and switch off negative ones – using mental factors alone. New ideas of control are inherent in Dr. Murakami's idea of 'genetic thinking', or living with a positive outlook. Whatever you wish to call it, he offers evidence that the genetic code not only demonstrates a greater power in the universe, but a greater degree of human control in destiny.

Destiny Books/Park Street Press, Bear & Company/Inner Traditions
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767

Stan Gooch's THE DREAM CULTURE OF THE NEANDERTHALS: GUARDIANS OF THE ANCIENT WISDOM (159477093X, $16.95) blends spirituality, anthropology and ancient history in a book hard to neatly categorize, but most likely to appeal to New Age readers who want to move beyond the box. Many current beliefs and superstitions common in world cultures stem from those which dominated the lives of our ancient ancestors, from the origins of Jewish kosher laws to positive and negative influences. There's even evidence that direct descendants of the moon-worshipping Neanderthal race are still living in Central Asia today – making DREAM CULTURE OF THE NEANDERTHALS even more relevant to modern times. Jean-Yves Lelouop's THE SACRED EMBRACE OF JESUS AND MARY (1594771014, $14.95) provides an unusual addition to Christian studies: one which draws on canonical and apocryphal gospels, Hebrew tradition of more to show that Jesus came not just to save humanity for the flesh, but to save the flesh so it could be a transforming experience. Questions of God's image, Christ's human sexuality and its part in humanity's spirituality, and more draw important connections between gospel and daily living. Dan Carpenter's A PSYCHONAUT'S GUIDE TO THE INVISIBLE LANDSCAPE (1594770905, $12.95) journeys into the realm of psychology as it reveals the author's use of the psychedelic DXM and its ability to transform the meaning and perception of everyday life and landmarks. Carpenter took thirteen high-dose, closed-eye trips using DXM between January 2003 and July 2004, documenting his experiences here. Robert Hieronimus, Ph.D. works with Laura Cortner on FOUNDING FATHERS, SECRET SOCIETIES: FREEMASONS, ILLUMINATI, ROSICRUCIANS, AND THE DECODING OF THE GREAT SEAL (1594770875, $16.95), a wide-ranging survey of the role, perception and actions of secret societies throughout history. Connections between famous historical leaders and secret societies are investigated, as well as how their influence translates into modern society. Symbols, meanings, and myths are all considered. Stephen Harrod Buhner's SACRED PLANT MEDICINE (1591430585, $16.00) offers not just another herbal, but the first in-depth analysis of how the Native Americans communicated with the plant world to heal human ailments. Another plus: rather than coming from an outside perspective, the author himself 'talks' with plants as Native Americans have done; so he's in the perfect position to examine the relationship between indigenous peoples and plants, and how they communicate. THE BALTIC ORIGINS OF HOMER'S EPIC TALES: THE ILIAD, THE ODYSSEY, AND THE MIGRATION OF MYTH by Felice Vinci (1594770522, $22.95) blends history and classical studies with geographical analysis and spiritual insights as it provides evidence linking Homer's tales to northern European, not Mediterranean, origins. From how heroic memories were preserved and locales changed to the origins of civilization itself, THE BALTIC ORIGINS OF HOMER'S EPIC TALES will reach beyond into many disciplines with its well-studied explanations linking text to facts of the times. Bradford Keeney's SHAMANIC CHRISTIANITY: THE DIRECT EXPERIENCE OF MYSTICAL COMMUNION (1594770867, $14.95) links shamanic practices of Christianity to the real world, offering a tradition of contemplative practice which presents different forms of devotions and explains their origins and traditions. The Scholar Bradford Keeney adds parables of his own visionary experiences, blends in a good amount of religious history and background, and uses the four devotional forms of Jesus, Mary, and the saints to link divine mysteries to modern times. Ken Eagle Feather's ON THE TOLETC PATH: A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO THE TEACHINGS OF DON JUAN MATUS, CARLOS CASTANEDA, AND OTHER TOLTEC SEERS (1591430496, $18.00) celebrates the 10th anniversary of the original TOLTEC PATH title, providing an overview of the theory and practice of the Toltec Way philosophy fostered by the popular Indian seer don Juan Matus. While the works of Carlos Castaneda are the first primary resource for the study of the Toltec Way, any who want to learn this path must wade through his narrative, making this celebration a much better route for actual followers. Matus' own thirty-plus years experience and observations guide readers to a practical application of the Toltec road. Edward F. Malkowski's BEFORE THE PHARAOHS: EGYPT'S MYSTERIOUS PREHISTORY (1591430488, $18.00) blends history with a survey of astronomical star maps and other knowledge used as evidence for building insights on ancient Egypt. Mythic narratives are based on actual events and a sophisticated civilization did once exist before those of Egypt and Sumer: BEFORE THE PHARAOHS charts this prehistory and uses science from various fields as well as sacred texts to build an excellent, solid prehistoric image.

Discover Your Destiny
Robin Sharma
Harper SanFrancisco
353 Sacramento Street, #500, San Francisco, CA 94111-3653
0060833017 $12.95

DISCOVER YOUR DESTINY: BIG IDEAS TO LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE comes from an international best-selling author and is a sequel to THE MONK WHO SOLD HIS FERRARI, so it already has a guaranteed audience of prior fans. Here the focus is on one Dar Sanderson, a 40-something HR manager who has it all in the job and home departments -–but is deeply unhappy and wants an even better life. An encounter with a monk sends him on a six-month journey to reclaim life's values and spiritual promises. It's a fable, but it's also a lesson on life's values which will reach into many hearts.

New Page Books
PO Box 687, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417

Over 25,000 copies were sold of the original edition of Lady Sabrina's EXPLORING WICCA: THE BELIEFS, RITES, AND RITUALS OF THE WICCAN RELIGION (156414884X, $12.99): this updated edition will appeal to both beginners and seasoned witches alike, reviewing how Witchcraft is practiced today, how to cast spells, and how to connect with nature. The hands-on focus covers both history and principles and mixes in practical directions such as how to use the cauldron and other common tools of the trade. More advanced is Vernon Zell's COMPANION FOR THE APPRENTICE WIZARD (1564148351, $18.99) goes beyond his first GRIMOIRE FOR THE APPRENTICE WIZARD, which focuses on basic lessons needed to become a Wizard: it's a continuation which goes to the next level by applying these lessons to hands-on magickal training – and so familiarity with GRIMOIRE is recommended. Step-by-step instructions for using a firebow, making a pocket sundial and more provide both applied magic and includes diagrams of magickal objects to copy, cut out and assemble. Kerri Connor's POCKET GUIDE TO RITUALS: MAGICKAL REFERENCES AT YOUR FINGERTIPS (1564148629, $9.99) helps create common daily rituals to celebrate special occasions, from birth and marriage to death and celebrations of the seasons. In its small pocket-sized tote, it will appeal to a wide audience.

The Hawaiian Oracle
Rima A. Morrell, Ph.D.
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
157731526X $22.95

This is the first time an oracle depicting the animal spirit guides of Hawaii have been used in a spiritual guide: any with a special affection for Hawaii will thus find THE HAWAIIAN ORACLE: ANIMAL SPIRIT GUIDES FROM THE LAND OF LIGHT a unique presentation, pairing a 36-card divination deck with a 144-page guidebook. Hawaiian mythology is replete with gods and goddesses and animal life of the islands, so the cards and book are perfect for any who would infuse spirituality with the grace of aloha.

Red Wheel Weiser
65 Parker, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950

These excellent titles provide source materials for major premises on magic. Adam McLean edits A TREATISE ON ANGEL MAGIC: MAGNUM OPUS HERMETIC SOURCEWORKS (1578633753, $18.95) is a scholarly text transcribing a rare 17th century volume on Angel Magic – so you won't see imitations elsewhere. It provides important links between John Dee and the late 19th century schools of occult such as Golden Dawn and Crowley's O.T.O., providing not only translation but embracing the wealth of opinions and ideas on the topic. Its charts, diagrams, and research makes it a unique offering which highlights one of the rarest and most important occult manuscripts residing in the British Library. James Wasserman edits ALEISTER CROWLEY AND THE PRACTICE OF THE MAGICAL DIARY (1578633729, $19.95): if it sounds familiar, that's because it appears in a revised, expanded edition which offers a set of instructions for journaling the magical path. Texts first published by Crowley are used as source material for such instruction, documenting how to keep a Magical Diary and juxtaposing Crowley's works with the diary of magician Charles Stansfeld Jones (aka Frater Achad). Students and adepts alike will find the details on how to keep such writings to be specific and packed with examples from the masters themselves.

The Military Shelf

Another Bloody Century
Colin S. Gray
Weidenfeld & Nicholson
Orion Publishing House, 5 Upper St. Martin's Lane, London WC2H 9EA UK
0297846272 $35.00

ANOTHER BLOODY CENTURY: FUTURE WARFARE explores the idea that while war is ever changing, its basics remain the same: it'll always be with us, it has an unchanging nature and character, it's driven by politics, and it embraces strategic surprises. That said, ANOTHER BLOODY CENTURY narrows the focus to strategic prediction's problems, the fallacies inherent in the idea of a foreseeable future when warfare is involved, and futuristic types of warfare mechanisms which argues that in practice war is a controlled process. Any who would understand warfare's evolution and future must consider the basic tenants observed in ANOTHER BLOODY CENTURY: FUTURE WARFARE, which looks under the hype for the realities.

Armed Forces and Society In Europe
Anthony Forster
Palgrave Macmillan
175 – 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010
1403903654 $32.95

Since the Cold War military armies around the world have been adjusting their organization, strategies, financing and ultimately their place in the world, often challenging long-standing relations between armed forces and society in the process. ARMED FORCES AND SOCIETY IN EUROPE considers these challenges, building a framework to evaluate such interactions and documenting the nature and intensity of the changes. Major issues involving modern civil-military relations are brought to light in a college-level reader from a professor of politics and international relations based in the UK.

Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate
2114 Darby Road, Havertown, PA 19083

The invasion of Sicily was the first step in a campaign by the Allies to win the war – but the many facets and international interactions of the generals involved created problems from the start. While the outcome was ultimately successful, the Sicily campaign illustrated major military conflicts within the ranks and provided lessons which proved invaluable to the struggle ahead. Charles Whiting's SLAUGHTER OVER SICILY (1884153428 $22.68) charts these lessons and blends military with strategic insights and history. Brian Best and Katie Stossel's SISTER JANET: NURSE & HEROINE OF THE ANGLO-ZULU WAR 1879 (1844154254, $ ) tells of an eighteen-year-old decorated for her nursing service to the Russians in the 1878 Balkan War, who then became the only nurse to serve at the Front in the Anglo-Zulu War. Her many achievements – before she was 20 – earned her big awards and earns this book a big recommendation as a gripping blend of nursing and military history.

The Craft of Intelligence
Allen W. Dulles
The Lyons Press
PO Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437
1592282970 $16.95

If you seek a single source reference to the history of modern espionage, it should be THE CRAFT OF INTELLIGENCE: AMERICA'S LEGENDARY SPY MASTER ON THE FUNDAMENTALS OF INTELLIGENCE GATHERING FOR A FREE WORLD. Details on how intelligence is collected and processed, and how it contributes to the formation of national policy, makes for a thorough and fine review of the craft and policies of military intelligence efforts, surveying how information is gathered, processed, and used in the formation of national policy. While others could've presented the facts, it's his insider position peppered with personal anecdotes from his intelligence career – he was a high-ranking officer of the CIA's predecessor and served eight years when the CIA was created – which makes CRAFT OF INTELLIGENCE unique.

Military Transition to Civilian Success
Mary T. Hay,
Impact Publications
9104-N Manassas Drive, Manassas Park, VA 20111-5211
1570232555 $21.95

Each year hundreds of thousands of military personnel and families leave the service to either retire or pursue new civilian careers. While changing jobs would be hard enough, many are unprepared for the realities of civilian world job-seeking or entrepreneurship: enter MILITARY TRANSITION TO CIVILIAN SUCCESS: THE COMPLETE GUIDE FOR VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES which covers all the basics. Some of the information you'll readily find in general job-hunt books, such as writing resumes and letters, dressing well, and conducting a multi-faceted job search – but all info is tailored with the military background in mind. It's the details on skill sets transferable to civilian skills, best jobs for transitioning military, and exercises and tests which make this stand out from the more general job-hunter's manuals on the market.

The Man and His Wings
William Wellman Jr.
P.O. Box 5007, Westport, CT 06881-5007
0275985415 $49.95

The first Academy Awards announced in 1929 went to William Wellman's 1927 anti-war epic WINGS, the film which invented many techniques still used to film aerial battle scenes: Wellman went on to direct other films and stars, but WINGS remained his opus. THE MAN AND HIS WINGS: ROBERT A. WELLMAN AND THE MAKING OF THE FIRST BEST PICTURE could've been reviewed in our film section, but is featured here for its inclusion of family documents, mementos and personal correspondence from his father's World War I background to reveal the military influences of a director who would change Hollywood forever. A fine behind the scenes look at both Wellman and World War I experiences.

Cassell's Battlefields of Britain & Ireland
Richard Brooks
Weidenfeld & Nicholson
c/o Casemate
2114 Darby Road, Havertown, PA 19083
0304363332 $49.95

Any in-depth study of British and Irish military actions wouldn't be complete without inspection of CASSELL'S BATTLEFIELDS OF BRITAIN & IRELAND: A UNIQUELY COMPREHENSIVE SURVEY OF MILITARY ACTIONS FOUGHT ON BRITISH AND IRISH SOIL. Nearly four hundred battles are detailed between Roman times to the mid-20th century, from Caesar's invading forces to the air battles fought by England in 1940. Eight chronological divisions provide chapters which focus on key changes affecting military might; from sword and javelin battle to the coming of the longbow, the pike and drum, and guns. Each section reviews the political, strategic and technological developments of the period followed by a series of battle descriptions which covers forces, tactics, and the consequences of battle.

Witnesses of War
Nicholas Stargardt
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
1400040884 $30.00

WITNESSES OF WAR: CHILDREN'S LIVES UNDER THE NAZIS is a riveting, involving survey which uses original material from children's schoolwork, diaries, letters from evacuation camps and more to recreate the child perception and experience during the war. Many of these children had to take over when parents couldn't: their stories provide a different perspective on the effects of life under the Nazis, and should be added to the chronicles of any serious Holocaust representation.

Shaping U.S. Military Forces
D. Robert Worley
P.O. Box 5007, Westport, CT 06881-5007
0275990311 $49.95

Dr. Robert Worley is a Fellow with John Hopkins and has held many prestigious academic positions, also serving as a defense policy analyst at the National Security and Army research Divisions and Rand and others; so his analysis of U.S. military force strengths and weaknesses provides a past, present and future assessment competing books miss. For over forty years there was consensus about the size and approach of U.S. military forces; since 1985 many changes have been made in the name of reforms. Worley argues the uniformed services as a whole is not a different force ten years after the fall of the Berlin Wall: historical events explain belief systems, underlying influences, and more. A 'must' for any who would comprehend military makeup, history, and influences on change.

Why Air Forces Fail
Robin Higham and Stephen J. Harris, Eds
University of Kentucky Press
663 S. Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40508-4008
0813123747 $39.95

WHY AIR FORCES FAIL: THE ANATOMY OF DEFEAT examines the reasons for catastrophic failures of the air forces not just of this country, but other nations. Air forces are divided into three categories here: forces what never had a chance, forces that began with victory but ultimately were defeated, and those which were defeated early on but rose to win. In making WHY AIR FORCES FAIL a global examination, focusing on major wars, contributors provide a range of analysis on the causes of defeat of all kinds of strategies and differing air force scenarios in a sweeping set of insights essential to understanding air force approaches.

The Dream of Civilized Warfare
Linda R. Robertson
University of Minnesota Press
111 – 3rd Avenue South, #290, Minneapolis, MN 55401-2520
0816642710 $22.95

During World War 1 air combat came to reflect American innovations and teamwork: today Linda R. Robertson, a professor and directory of Media and Society Study at Hobart and William smith Colleges, provides a survey which tells how the first American air force was created and promoted. From symbols of the 'gentleman fighter' which offered a more seasoned, well-mannered view of the bloody business of battle to accounts and debates of civilian encounters with the U.S. air force during world War 1, THE DREAM OF CIVILIZED WARFARE: WORLD WAR I FLYING ACES AND THE AMERICAN IMAGINATION is important for any who would consider how American forces began.

Osprey Publishing
443 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016

Osprey's military history titles are top recommendations for college-level collections, offering details and depth suitable for college study – and these new arrivals are no exception. Carl Benn & Daniel Marston's LIBERTY OR DEATH: WARS THAT FORGED A NATION (1846030226, $24.95) combines three outstanding histories into one title: THE FRENCH-INDIAN WAR, THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION, and THE WAR OF 1812. In having all three in one volume, a smooth transition between events is achieved – yet the sum result in no way makes for too weighty a gathering, as these were relatively short presentations individually. The wars they cover are seldom treated together: here their close connections can be properly examined. Christopher Gravett and David Nicolle's THE NORMANS: WARRIOR KNIGHTS AND THEIR CASTLES (1846030889, $24.95) tells how the Norman knight became the most dangerous warrior in Western Europe. From all the military strongholds and battles they fought to how their reputation spread above others of their times, THE NORMANS provides a beautifully illustrated examination of the Normans and their world, with paintings and drawings in full color bringing the Norman way to life. Ruth Sheppard edits EMPIRES COLLIDE: THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR 1754-63 (1846030897, $24.95) it surveys the man and diverse types of warfare used during the French and Indian War, considering the wider-ranging impact of the conflict around the world, and the individual war campaigns. The color maps and illustrations with pack EMPIRES COLLIDE provide pleasing visual touches to an in-depth survey that discusses the strategies and impacts of these revolutionary campaigns. Aaron Sheehan-Dean edits STRUGGLE FOR A VAST FUTURE: THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR (1846030110, $29.95), offering not one study but the contributions of twelve historians who consider the origins and lasting impact of the war. Each chapter takes a key Civil War theme and builds upon it, discussing everything from leader personality and impact upon battle to politics and influences of the times. John Sadler's FLODDEN 1513: SCOTLANDS GREATEST DEFEAT (1841769592, $18.95) is a very narrow focus which will reach specialty military collections with its survey of Flodden field, the site of one of Scotland's most famous battles, leading to major defeat. Here is where a strong Scottish army trained in new tactics from the Swiss doctrine faced an English Army which preferred traditional techniques – so it was as much a battle of emerging technology as it involved strategic decision-making. Weaponry and strategy alike is reviewed in a survey packed with black and white and color illustration.

The Art Shelf

Friesentr. 50, d-50670 Cologne
$18.95 Each

Collectors of erotic art or college-level art libraries strong in erotic art must have three powerful new collections by modern photographers. Jochen Arndt's MASAKO (393771829X) features both black and white and color photos of women both half-clothed and nude. The interplay between whimsical, fun shots and serious artistic photos makes for a diverse, eye-catching collection. Pierre Thomas Karkau's COLOROTIC (3937718311) provides a colorful set of erotic shots with more interplays between male and female subjects. While there are mostly individual shots, some group photos add diversity and interest. Christian Crisbasan's DIGITAL SESSIONS (3937718303) provides black and white and yellow-tinted artistic shots of semi-dressed women and individual models. Very different women in all three presentations; very different approaches to capturing the female nude. Get all three for the maximum effect contrasting artist approach to the nude subject.

Seeing Things
Jim Woodring
7563 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115
1560976489 $22.95

Jim Woodring's charcoal drawings are images that come from his interest in hidden worlds and lucid art – and SEEING THINGS gathers some of the most intriguing, arranging them in sections by topic: Visible World, Lazy Robinson, Frogs and Color. 'Color' by far seems the most exciting, dramatizing the drawings and providing eye-catching involvement in the symbolism of the unseen – while the black and white charcoal drawings might appeal most to artists who find color distracting. With its blends of surrealism and irony, SEEING THINGS invites viewers to observe in a different light.

Designing and Printing Textiles
June Fish
Trafalgar Square Publishing
PO Box 257, Howe Hill Road, N. Pomfret, VT 05053
1861267762 $50.00

From ideas to finished, polished products, DESIGNING AND PRINT TEXTILES is for any textile artist who would understand how to hone a range of images and then translate them to textile form. Don't expect just a progressive 'how to' here, though instructions are such when necessary: also included as background history of surface-pattern design, analysis of pattern structures, tips on using experimental methods of working from paper onto fabric, and details on equipment and techniques for different dying and printing processes. June Fish is the senior dye tech at London's St. Martins College for Art and Design, so her insights and resources come from a practicing professional.

Feng Shui: A Practical Guide For Architects & Designers
Vincent M. Smith & Barbara Lyons, AIA
Kaplan Publishing
30 S. Wacker Drive, #2500, Chicago, IL 60606
1419535706 $39.95

Feng Shui expert Vincent M. Smith works with architect Barbara Lyons Stewart to produce the first book written for design pros interested in practical applications of Feng Shui. Here are basic principles tailored not for the new age consumer but for the practicing architect who wants to build them and hard-wire them into structures. From learning which designs reduce stress and increase productivity to using feng shui concepts for selecting initial building sites for homes or businesses, FENG SHUI: A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR ARCHITECTS AND DESIGNERS is not to be missed.

Art by Committee
Charna Halpern
Meriwether Publishing
PO Box 7710, Colorado Springs, CO 80933-3557
1566081122 $22.95

Author Charna Halpern's work with co-creator of long-form improvisation with partner Del Close changed the nature of improvisational comedy, so her ART BY COMMITTEE: A GUIDE TO ADVANCED IMPROVISATION comes from the horse's mouth, with a tone of authority few others could equal. While written with young adults in mind, ART BY COMMITTEE is featured here for tips any aspiring actor would welcome; from staying in character and understanding the visual nature of improv to moving from improv to writing. Halpern's experiences with Del Close and other industry visionaries lends to a blend of advice and insight accompanied by a DVD of performances by improv groups and interviews with leading industry artists.

The Paris Opera Ballet
Ivor Guest
Princeton Book Company
614 Route 130, Hightstown NJ 08520-0831
1852731095 $39.95

The Paris Opera ballet is well known as the cradle of ballet, but few may realize it began as a theatre art form in 1669. THE PARIS OPERA BALLET traces three centuries of dance, presenting the author's some 60 years of research. Chapters could easily have been dry and imposing with such a past to cover, but instead blend avid scholarship with a light tone and numerous black and white photos and vintage drawings on many pages. From its promotion strategies to decades of change, THE PARIS OPERA BALLET details ballet's response as an art form to social and political pressures and changes.

Journey With Art Afar
Master Au-Ho-Nien; Phylis Lan Lin, Editor
University of Indianapolis
1400 E. Hanna Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46227
0880938587 $35.00

The University of Indianapolis and its Asian Programs established the Au Ho-Nien Museum in 2004, and JOURNEY WITH ART FROM AFAR represents both a catalog of holdings and a highlight of the artwork of Master Au Ho-Nien – indeed, it's the theme for the museum and its holdings. The delicate, lovely Chinese paintings by Master Au reflects Chinese scenes and traditions in a series of watercolors which are treated here with full-page, gorgeous representation. Any fan of Chinese nature art must have this catalog.

Mark Batty Publishers
6050 Boulevard East #2H, West New York, NJ 07093]

Where else can you find over 200 examples of Arabic typography than in Mourad Boutros' ARABIC FOR DESIGNERS (0976224550, $24.95), an illustrated primer for any designer who needs to know how to work with the Arabic character set for graphic design results. 'Esoteric' you might think? Not so: as the business world moves into a global position, the Arab world so enters the spotlight, requiring a thorough knowledge of Arabic sets and blends of Western and Arabic designs. ARABIC FOR DESIGNERS will prove the working 'bible' for any involved in business design. Reza Abedini and Hans Wolbers' NEW VISUAL CULTURE OF MODERN IRAN (0977282724, $49.95) profiles some of the best works of those living and working in today's Iran. We've all seen the TV images of Iran – but do we really know its culture and art? Not until you pick up NEW VISUAL CULTURE OF MODERN IRAN, which showcases the graphic design, illustration and photo industry in a way CNN will never present.

30 St. Mary Axe
Kenneth Powell
Merrell Publishers
49 West 24th Street, 8th Floor, New York NY 10010
1858943221 $59.95

Since its completion in 2004, 30 St. Mary Axe, known to Londoners as 'The Gherkin', has become a landmark, sporting a curved form in the heart of London's financial center. But it's so much more: renowned designers built it in just thirty-three months, and incorporated design innovations still being remarked upon today. Author Kenneth Powell is a leading architecture critic and well versed on 30 St. Mary Axe: chapters cover nearly every stage in the design and building process. While this book will most likely reach art school holdings and collections strong in architectural analysis, it also will hold interest for any collection strong on London history and culture.

Iban Art
Michael Heppell,
KIT Publishers
c/o Stylus
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
906832540X $70.00

To say that IBAN ART: SEXUAL SELECTION AND SEVERED HEADS is a specialty item is putting it lightly: it's a 'must have' for any college-level art or cultural collection – and just as likely not a first pick for general interest public libraries. Michael Heppell spent two years in Sarawak studying Iban dispute management between 1971 and 1973, developing insights and a knowledge of Iban history and customs which are essential for any who would understand regional Asian concerns. IBAN ART provides fabulous photos of Iban textile designs, beadwork, carving patterns and more. Iban tattooing is a focus on both human and material forms and receives much inspection and close analysis. There is so very little written on the region that IBAN ART is an outstanding recommendation for any comprehensive Asian collection – and for any art library seeking a wide representation of other cultures.

Art Czar
Alice Goldfarb Marquis
MFA Publications
465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
0878467017 $35.00

Clement Greenberg dominated the American art world with his criticism years ago and is still considered one of the most influential American art critics of modern times, establishing both artists and movements. His biography uses unpublished and previously unavailable documents, interviews, and more to trace his rhetoric, language, involvement in art, and controversies. It's the surveys of his complex relationships with friends, rivals and more which give the greatest insights into the American art world from the 1940s to the 1980s.

Thames & Hudson
500 – 5th Avenue, New York NY 10110

French photographer Amandine Guisez Gallienne's search for color led him to the workshops and cities of the world, where he captured colorful scenes in a series of hundreds of photos, here organized in color-coded chapters. COLORFUL WORLD'S text (0500285861 $22.50) explores color's symbolism around the world, drawing important connections between color and emotional response. An inspirational, lovely presentation results. Steven Heller and Mirko Ilie's HANDWRITTEN: EXPRESSIVE LETTERING IN THE DIGITAL AGE (0500285950, $34.95) is the first title to provide a comprehensive review of handwritten typographics from around the world. Steven Heller is a design historian who packs in color examples of handwritten lettering in modern times: his discussions of what succeeds, what doesn't, and why provide plenty of insights into options, pros and cons of handwritten letters and lettering choices, and appropriate packaging methods.

770 Broadway, New York NY 10003

The revised, expanded of Mark David Gottsegen's PAINTER'S HANDBOOK (0823034968 $24.95) is a treat for any involved in the arts: it gathers the latest information on hazardous materials, conservation, painting techniques and new materials, packing in over a hundred illustrations and substantially revising information in the original 1993 classic. Since there's been a lot of changes in the art materials world since 1993, it's essential to have this revised version: chapters even include the latest thinking about outmoded, possibly harmful supplies and practices. Tom Bancroft's CREATING CHARACTERS WITH PERSONALITY (0823023494, $19.95) is all about character design and illustration, and comes from one who has made his living as a character designer, but who's never seen a book on the topic. More than just a guide on how to draw a comic character, Bancroft tackles the underlying question of drawing to build an entire character personality, using creator profiles and insights to demonstrate how sketches evolved into characters with personality. Any comic artist must consider this essential to creating a character that works.

Language of the Robe
Robert W. Kapoun & Charles J. Lohrmann
Gibbs Smith
PO Box 667, Layton, UT 84041
1423600169 $39.95

Over three hundred photos beautifully spice a history and survey of pre-World War II Indian trade blankets, revealing not only examples from the five major manufacturers, but some surprises confronting the common myth of Native blanket-making. Collectors, textile artists and Native American history enthusiasts alike receive a thorough survey of these blankets, how they became a symbol of Native history, and how they were traded and constructed. From machinery purchases and business transactions within the manufacturing industry to how tribal customers directed the Indian trade blanket designs and manufacturing process, LANGUAGE OF THE ROBE is a fascinating, unusual history.

The Architecture of Warren & Wetmore
Peter Pennoyer & Anne Walker
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
0393731626 $60.00 1-800-233-4830

Warren & Wetmore was one of the most successful, busy architectural practices in the U.S. for the first thirty years of the 20th century, producing over three hundred public projects from the Grand Central Terminal to the Hotel Vanderbilt. The firm's blend of classical and French styles into American practices comes alive in THE ARCHITECTURE OF WARREN & WETMORE, the first study to examine the firm's creations as a whole. New color photos blend with historic black and white shots, drawings, and plans and are enhanced by a foreword by Robert A.M. Stern. Commentary tells us the best designs produced by the firm were private commissions, and chapters reveal these highlights. A 'must' for any college-level architectural studies collection.

Art of the Boot
Tyler Beard
Gibbs Smith
PO Box 667, Layton, UT 84041
1423600266 $24.95

Cowboy boots aren't just your functional black or brown work boot; but can be works of art in themselves: just take a look at Tyler Beard's ART OF THE BOOT for evidence! In 1992 THE COWBOY BOOT BOOK was published to celebrate this fact; since then the number of boot-makers around the country has nearly doubled. ART OF THE BOOT combines Jim Arndt's lovely color photos throughout with in-depth surveys of the companies and bootmakers involved. Highly recommended for any with an interest in cowboy culture or boots.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Robot Stories and More Screenplays
Greg Pak
PO Box 31846, San Francisco, CA 94131
1597020001 $14.95

Filmmaker Pak provides not just the award-winning ROBOT STORIES screenplay, but four other tales which are all infused with considerations about technology. It's not only the futuristic settings which link these plots: it's an exploration of the problems between men and machines, the created and the natural worlds, which creates such a compelling dynamic in these motion pictures. Small black and white shots pepper the account, but it's the screenplays which are the heart of this fine title.

Telling Time
Stan Brakhage
McPherson & Company
PO Box 1126, Kingston, NY 12402
0929701690 $24.00

If you recognize the name of author Stan Brakhage, you must know experimental films: his is one of the biggest names in experimental filmmaking in America and his controversial essays on film and its multimedia blends have been published in small literary and arts journals and, later, into books. TELLING TIME: ESSAYS OF A VISIONARY FILMMAKER gathers essays written as an occasional column for the Toronto quarterly Musicworks: they began as discussions of film's relationships with music, but soon explored more philosophical routes. Enjoy this collection not just for its film insights, but for its reflections on modern culture.

How They Cast It
Rob Kendtr
Lone Eagle
5055 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036
1580650619 $18.95

BREAKDOWN SERVICE PRESENTS HOW THEY CAST IT: AN INSIDER'S LOOK AT FILM AND TELEVISION CASTING is a 'must' for any would-be actor who wants to understand how roles are cast. From how shows matched actors to roles to how what happens between script and 'breakdown' through the casting and recasting process, the inside stories of major productions, from Lord of Rings to Friends and Princess Diaries, provide many insights essential to understanding how films – and actors – become famous.

Newmarket Press
18 E. 48th Street, New York NY 10017

George Clooney & Grant Heslov's Good Night, and Good Luck (1557047146 $19.95) is the only book on the movie to include not just the complete screenplay, but questions and answers with screenwriters and producers, a special section on the history behind the broadcast, and critical articles. Add black and white photos from the film and you have an excellent memoir for fans who wish for a keepsake insider's guide. Kevin Conroy Scott edits SCREENWRITERS' MASTERCLASS: SCREENWRITERS TALK ABOUT THEIR GREATEST MOVIES (1557046921, $19.95), a survey of the process of successful screenwriting and insights on what worked – and what didn't – in major films. Interviews are meant for film students and industry pros alike, and serve as inspirational, insightful and practical applied views of the screenwriting profession. Devyani Saltzman's SHOOTING WATER: A MEMOIR OF SECOND CHANGES, FAMILY AND FILMMAKING (1557047111, $23.95) provides a memoir of a daughter's attempt to rekindle her relationship with her mother, award-winning filmmaker Deepa Methta, during the production of Mehta's most controversial movie WATER. A journey to India inviting the 19-year-old author to work with her mother on a film was to change both their lives, challenging problems brought by divorce and separation and introducing other issues from religious choice to two very different cultures – Indian and Canadian. A wonderful mother-daughter story evolves against the backdrop of a film's production in India. The shooting script of Jeffrey Caine's screenplay THE CONSTANT GARDENER (155704712X, $19.95) is out, and will provide drama clubs and screenplay enthusiasts with a fine and involving presentation. The screenplay includes a foreword by the book's author John le Carre written just for this edition, along with one by film critic Kenneth Turan, a color photo selection from the movie, production notes, and more.

Conversations with The Great Moviemakers of Hollywood's Golden Age At the American Film Institute
George Stevens, Jr.
Alfred A. Knopf
c/o Random House
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
140004054X $35.00 1-800-726-0600

Plenty of books feature interviews with film directors and moviemakers: but what other offers interviews of master moviemakers from the American Film Institute's seminars, which have been in existence since the founding of the renowned Institute itself? Here are directors, producers, writers and early pioneers of the art who are featured along with commentaries by great modern Institute members. Surveys of their works and art provide invaluable insights by some of the biggest industry legends, from Hal Wallis to Ray Bradbury and Ingmar Bergman. These conversations vary widely: some offer industry and professional insights, others feature reflections and movie history; still others focus on details on working with actors and translating text to film.

When News Lies
Danny Schechter
Select Books
One Union Square West, #909, New York NY 10003
1590790731 $27.95

An included DVD and script of the feature-length documentary expands the book horizons of WHEN NEWS LIES: MEDIA COMPLICITY AND THE IRAQ WAR, enhancing the inside story of how the media sided with the Iraq War as the American government attempted to manipulate its war coverage behind the scenes. Included on the DVD are the script and film of Schechter's controversial documentary WMD, along with powerful insights on media cover-ups, complicity, and issues.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Just Gus
Laurie Williams
McWitty Press
110 Riverside Drive, 1A, New York NY 10024
0975561812 $15.95

Gus was a stray in New York City who was hit by a truck and left for dead: he seemed slated to become one of the millions euthanized yearly, but was saved by good Samaritans and entered the life of New York writer Stephanie Williams. JUST GUS: A RESCUED DOG AND THE WOMAN HE LOVED tells the story, with Stephanie's sister writing of their devotion in a blend of photolog and memoir (photos by Roslyn banish). When Stephanie fell ill with cancer, it was Gus who stayed beside her to provide comfort in this touching visual and written journal of faith and devotion.

Cairo Cats: Egypt's Enduring Legacy
Lorraine Chittock
Camel Caravan Press
c/o Abbeville Press
137 Varick Street, Suite 504, New York, NY 10019-1105
9771724312 $18.95

CAIRO CATS are street-smart, hold a fine lineage, and are not to be treated the same way as your typical Western cat: that's the message in the blend of history and pet insights of CAIRO CATS: EGYPT'S ENDURING LEGACY, which uses the backdrop of Cairo to explore the cats through verse and prose alike. Lovely photos display the cats against fine Egyptian scenes while descriptions draw readers in. Perfect for any cat lover who wants something a little different.

The Rider's Problem Solver
Jessica Jahiel
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCa Way, N. Adams, MA 01247
1580178383 $19.95

If you can only ride a horse several times a year, that doesn't leave you out of THE RIDER'S PROBLEM SOLVER: in fact, it makes it more important – and thus deserving of ongoing recommendation. If you only have a few days, you have to master riding quickly – and understand common problems in advance; that's where THE RIDER'S PROBLEM SOLVER comes in, gathering typical questions from author Jahiel's 'Horse Sense Newsletter of Holistic Horsemanship' to provide quick solutions. Use this as a reference before each ride and address riding challenges quickly as a result.

Click Your Way to Rally Obedience
Pamela S. Dannison
Alpine Publications, Inc.
225 South Madison Avenue, Loveland, CO 80537
1577790782 $19.95 1-800-777-7257

Any interested in taking dog training one step beyond the house must have CLICK YOUR WAY TO RALLY OBEDIENCE: it provides clear instructions on preparing a dog for Rally competition and directs readers of all breeds on how to achieve success in all the exercises of the APDT and AKC venues. Positive reinforcement of a dog's training is supported with small black and white photos of different breeds learning the Rally Obedience exercises.

A Healthy Horse the Natural Way
Catherine Bird
The Lyons Press
PO Box 480, Guilford, CT 06432
1592289282 $19.95

Plenty of books cover horse health – but how many focus on natural treatments and options for preventing illness? Any who want to go the herbal route for the horse will welcome a book which covers not just herbs but massage, aromatherapy, vibrational healing and more. Chapters link common horse conditions to effective natural healing choices and expand greatly on the options a horse owner can choose for optimum horse health.

Tread Lightly
Rich & Margie Wagner
Rio Nuevo Publishers
451 N. Bonita Avenue, Tucson, AZX 85475
1887896767 $14.95

Visitors to or residents of desert areas will note many dangerous creatures in wildlife: best defense against a bite or attack is to know their habitats and hiding spots – and TREAD LIGHTLY: VENOMOUS AND POISONOUS ANIMALS OF THE SOUTHWEST is the best, easiest place to turn to gain this information. Color photos of spiders, snakes, scorpions and more pair with discussions of habits, diet, and distribution to provide plenty of cautionary reference material.

The Music Shelf

Harlem of the West
Elizabeth Pepin & Lewis Watts
Chronicle Books
85 – 2nd Street, San Francisco CA 94105
0811845486 $27.50

Fans of jazz music and the San Francisco music scene in particularly can't be without HARLEM OF THE WEST: THE SAN FRANCISCO FILLMORE JAZZ ERA: it charts the growth and evolution of the Fillmore District in its musical heyday in the 1940s and 50s, when it was known for its theatres, pool halls, and active night clubs packed within its one square mile grid. It's curious to note that nearly no details on this era or the Fillmore's musical heritage existed until this book's appearance – despite its commemoration in songs and poems. Archival photos and oral accounts from neighborhood residents and musician experience provide a blend of jazz and San Francisco history flavored with Afro-American cultural insights, making HARLEM OF THE WEST: THE SAN FRANCISCO FILLMORE JAZZ ERA a keepsake for any who favor stories of the City's history and evolution. Very highly recommended as a top pick.

Jerry Garcia: Collected Artwork
April Higashi, Editor
Thunder's Mouth Press
245 W. 17th St., 11th Floor, New York NY 10011
1560257555 $39.95

If you're an avid Jerry Garcia or Grateful Dead fan, you can't be without JERRY GARCIA: THE COLLECTED ARTWORK, published to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the band's formation and the 10th anniversary of Jerry's passing. Mickey Hart provides the introduction to over a hundred reproductions of Jerry's paintings, drawings and prints. While avid fans will recognize some of these works, having them all together under one cover makes them outstanding; especially since they're accompanied by essays commenting on the meaning and importance of each section as it relates to Jerry's life and times, include interviews with key contemporary musicians and critics, and comes packed with anecdotes. Simply outstanding, a 'must have' for any fan.

Six Decades of the Fender Telecaster
Tony Bacon
Backbeat Books
600 Harrison, San Francisco CA 94107
0879308567 $22.95

New interviews with Jeff Beck, Bill Kitchen and other acknowledged masters of the guitar spice a history of the Fender Telecaster which tells of the guitar's long-running popularity and involvement in the music scene. Leo Fender's company and product changed the nature and course of the music world when it introduced the electric Fender Telecaster guitar. SIX DECADES profiles the guitar, its changes, its makers, and its players, packing in ads, photos, and illustrations in full color on nearly every page.

Jrock, Ink.
Josephine Yun
Stone Bridge Press
P.O. Box 8208, Berkeley, CA 04707
1880656957 $10.95

Imagine a geisha playing electric guitar, or a koto performer flipping the bird. Imagine a 3-piece high school band called Mr. Children whose long-term success allowed it to evolve from a school band to number 1 on the Japanese record charts. Imagine Japanese indie rock performer who mix punk elements with Japanese. Add a healthy dose of fun drawings throughout and you have a survey of Japanese pop rock culture not to be missed: a 'must' for any alternative or indie world music fan who would better understand modern Japanese musicians.

Helter Skelter
South Bank House
Black Prince Road, London SE1 7SJ, UK

1977 was the year punk and new wave peaked, with the music scene making waves with such names as The Sex Pistols, The Jam, and more. All 200 UK and Irish punk or new wave artists who released a record or appeared on a compilation that year are profiled in Henrick Bech Poulsen's '77 The Year of Punk and New Wave (1900924927 $29.95), which uses an encyclopedic A-Z format to offer quick access to the detailed accounts of these bands. Images of all the releases that came out that year pair with hundreds of band photos and ads, making '77 THE YEAR OF PUNK AND NEW WAVE an essential reference for any studying either the era as a whole or a particular band or set of recordings. MW Macefield's IN SEARCH OF THE LA'S: A SECRET LIVERPOOL (1900924633, $17.95) tells of a group which overtook The Stone Roses in modern times as the revival for Britpop. 'There She Goes' became a hit – and continues to be one of the most popular guitar pop singes of the last twenty years, yet the band which fostered the hit, The LA's, have been very quiet since 1991. Author Macefield set out to discover why, and offers this result as part detective investigation, part documentary, and a solid band biography of one of rock's last maverick groups of the UK.

Faces of Music
Mr. Bonzai
Thomson Course
25 Thomson Place, Boston, MA 02210
1598630245 $24.99

FACES OF MUSIC: 25 YEARS OF LUNCHING WITH LEGENDS packs in hundreds of original photos and nearly two hundred original interviews with some of the most famous names of music history. In 1967 the author attended his first recording session – at the invite of John Lennon – an experience which would lead to not only his association with the Beatles but to his exploration of recordings by other great musicians. FACES OF MUSIC includes short interviews with Kris Kristofferson, guitarist Les Paul, major studio owner Chris Stone and many more. Any who would understand the music biz needs this book.

Before the Legend
Christopher John Farley
Amistad Books
10 E. 53rd Street, New York NY 10022-5299
0060539917 $21.95

BEFORE THE LEGEND: THE RISE OF BOB MARLEY goes before most Marley biographies in covering his early years, from his birth in a poor Jamaican town to his early days as a struggling artist before his debut album Catch a Fire caught fire. New interviews with band mate Bunny, material from the secret autobiographical recordings made by Peter Tosh, interviews with close family members and more form a very different set of images in the first major coverage of Marley in over 20 years. A 'must' for any Marley fan.

The Woman I Am
Helen Reddy
Tarcher/Penguin Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
1585424897 $26.95

Musician Helen Reddy is best known from her hit song 'I Am Woman', but many only know this about her – here's the life story of a woman whose song became an icon for 1970s feminist thought, offering her own story of her evolving musical career, her spiritual growth, and her show business background. While she seemed destined for fame at a young age, she also learned values in fostering a thoughtful musical career. Her story will inspire women to seek their own courage and worth as she tells of surviving tragedy and a near-fatal illness.

Making Tracks
Jeff Touzeau
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
0764324381 $44.95

MAKING TRACKS: UNIQUE RECORDING STUDIO ENVIRONMENTS is a gorgeous display of unique recording studios which are all special, from million-dollar facilities spread over acres of land to small studios in cities. They are housed in all kinds of structures from modern office and new construction to old churches and sawmills, and the author interviews studio owners and users alike in a survey which considers the physical attributes of the recording environment. Color photos of interiors and exteriors compliment working analysis of how they were developed, architectural insights, and how they were engineered to craft a working studio environment. From insights on musicians who have recorded at these studios: their styles, their recordings, their memorable moments – to strategies for promoting both label and studio, MAKING TRACKS: UNIQUE RECORDING STUDIO ENVIRONMENTS is packed with involving discussions.

Everything Guitar Book
Marc Schonbrun
Adams Media
57 Littlefield Street, Avon, MA 02322
1593375298 $19.95

Any who want to learn to play guitar but have been frustrated trying to master chords will find THE EVERYTHING GUITAR CHORDS BOOK appealing: it comes with a cd and packs in easy diagrams of each chord along with option notes and fingerings. Where other books focus on technique or history alone, the definitive word here is 'simple': chapters pack in thousands of useful chords, apply them to rock, blues, jazz, country, classical and folk music alike, and assume no prior knowledge.

Miles Davis
Brian Morton
Life&Times/Haus Publishing
26 Cadogan Court, London SW3 3BX, UK
1904341799 L10.99

Brian Morton is a jazz documentary academic whose BBC radio program and series has won him acclaim, so it's logical he'd be paired with a fine new study of Miles Davis, one of jazz's greatest musicians. His MILES DAVIS surveys the different styles and innovative evolutions of the musician, providing a musical history of the artist and his influences alike. Discussions of major recordings, themes, and transitional periods allows for a more significant understanding of Davis' progress than most biographical treatments would allow, and will delight jazz fans who can't get enough information on Davis.

Here, There and Everywhere
Geoff Emerick and Howard Massey
Gotham Books/Penguin Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014-3657
1592401791 $26.00

Another Beatles coverage wouldn't seem necessary, but there's often a new angle to explore – as Geoff Emerick provides in HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE: MY LIFE RECORDING THE MUSIC OF THE BEATLES. Emerick came to EMI Studios on Abbey Road at the age of 15 to interview as an assistant engineer and helped out on sessions with producer George Martin. His involvement in a new, popular Liverpool band gave him a front seat to their heyday of achievement, allowing him to observe close-up the collaborations, competitions and interactions within the group. His insider's observations are unparalleled, making this a top pick for any avid Beatles fan who can't get enough.

Classic American Popular Song
David Jenness and Don Velsey
270 Madison, New York NY 10016
0415970563 $34.95

CLASSIC AMERICAN POPULAR SONG: THE SECOND HALF-CENTURY, 1950-2000 covers the changes American song experienced in the last fifty years. From the changes in quality of pop songs after 1950s and the rise of new trends to new musical and verse techniques, the history of popular song evolution and changes receives a compelling survey. Chapters provide autobiographical surveys of songwriters and musicians, detail debates over composers and themes, and provide reflections on ambitious song projects and memorable music. Despite its lively tone, it's the college-level student of popular music history who will likely be most intrigued by the detailed examination in CLASSIC AMERICAN POPULAR SONG.

The World History Shelf

The Golden King
Zahi Hawass
National Geographic Books
1145 – 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036-4688
0792259149 $19.95

There have been plenty of books on Egypt and Tutankhamun; so why the need for yet another? This rich history does more than provide a colorful review; it goes into detail to capture the shifting political climate of the times, contrasting facts with fictions and providing stories, insights, images and review to enhance a foundation of historical understanding of Egypt. Over a hundred fifty pages of lovely color images illustrate relics from the times and highlight the riches of King Tut's chambers, while accompanying history link artifacts to events. A highly recommended pick not just for school collections, but for any general interest library offering any books on Egypt for the general public.

From Exodus to Freedom
Stuart Altshuler
Rowman & Littlefield
4501 Forbes, #200, Lanham, MD 20706
0742549364 $24.95

Over one and a half million Jews left the Soviet Union from 1987-92, when it ended: this account of their movement surveys the strategies of the Israeli and American Jewish establishments in moving these citizens to new places. FROM EXODUS TO FREEDOM: A HISTORY OF THE SOVIET JEWRY MOVEMENT surveys the movement before 1985 and in America as well as the Soviet Union, tracing its evolution, basic concepts, and political splits which caused it to change and face troubles. The political emphasis, along with tactics and insights on choices, makes for an important, revealing guide.

A Nation Among Nations
Thomas Bender
Hill & Wang
19 Union Square West, New York NY 10003
0809095270 $26.00

Since 1500 the world has participated in a single global history – yet American historians tend to treat this country as though its history were isolated from that of the world. Here's a new interpretation of American history, setting it within context of international influences. From colonization patterns and objectives to decision-making processes which reached around the world – in both directions – A NATION AMONG NATIONS: AMERICA'S PLACE IN WORLD HISTORY is a remarkable series of connections between American events and world influence, drawn by a history professor with a dozen books to his name.

The Archaeology of Chaco Canyon
Stephen H. Lekson, Editor
School of American Research Press
PO Box 2188, Santa Fe, NM 87504-2188
1930618484 $29.95

For a scholarly consideration of Chaco Canyon's importance and discoveries, don't miss the college-level guide ARCHAEOLOGY OF CHACO CANYON: AN ELEVENTH-CENTURY PUEBLO REGIONAL CENTER. Two decades following the largest field research program to excavate Chaco, the original researchers and other Chaco scholars convened to evaluate what they knew and to discuss new theories and new data: a meeting which held an advanced seminar at the SAR, where the Chaco Project was born in 1968. ARCHAROLOGY OF CHACO CANYON reflects this meeting's insights and results and embraces over thirty years of research and ideas.

Trickster Travels
Natalie Zemon Davis
Hill & Wang/Farrar Strauss Giroux
19 Union Square West, New York NY 10003
0809094347 $30.00

TRICKSTER TRAVELS: A SIXTEENTH-CENTURY MUSLIM BETWEEN WORLDS could also have been featured in our 'travel' section for its fascinating travelogue entries; but is reviewed here for its value to any studying 1500s history. Al-Wazzan trveled widely as an ambassador and merchant throughout Africa in the early 1500s, was captured by Spanish pirates and presented to Pope Leo X, where he converted to Christianity while explaining Islam to his puzzled audience. The charged politics and turmoil of his life and times brings history to life, with history professor Davis using manuscripts of the times – including some previously unknown – to explore fully al-Wazzan's image and importance. Unfamiliar with his name? Try 'Leo Africanus', author of the first geography of Africa.

Pioneers of the Pacific
Nigel Rigby,
University of Alaska Press
PO Box 756240, Fairbanks, AK 99775
1889963763 $26.95

When Captain Cook died on Hawaii in 1780 Britain was already at war with France and Spain: it wasn't until the U.S. became independent in 1783 that peace brought the countries' attention again on the Pacific region Cook had explored. PIONEERS OF THE PACIFIC: VOYAGES OF EXPLORATION 1787-1810 examines six successors to Cook's legacy, following their Pacific voyages and considering their often-controversial journeys and discoveries. From the charting of Australia to the efforts of different nations in the region, PIONEERS OF THE PACIFIC is an item of choice for any college-level collection strong in regional world history.

The 1990s
Richard A. Schwartz
Facts on File
132 W. 31st Street, New York NY 10001
081605696X $75.00

The 1990s was the first decade to be dominated by one superpower – the U.S. – rather than rivalry between two big nuclear powers: as such, it dictated much of the world's major political goals, alliances and principles and the decade reflected many changes based on American values and practices. THE 1990S examines this era and adds to the Eyewitness History series, using firsthand accounts – diary entries, speeches, newspaper reports – to show how the times were experienced by those who lived during them. Essays and timelines round out the offerings and provide a fine representation of daily lives and critical social and political changes.

Black Barty
Aubrey Burl
Sutton Publishing
Phoenix Mill, Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL5 2BU, UK
0750943122 $14.95

Black Barty was the greatest pirate of them all, capturing over a hundred ships and taking over 51 million pounds of treasure, and BLACK BARTY: THE REAL PIRATE OF THE CARIBBEAN uses his real-life story to cover both early and later pirate eras, from 1718-1723, their heyday of operations. From encounters with courts and commanders alike to fortunes and disasters, BLACK BARTY provides a riveting, dramatic account which makes historical fact engrossing, with all the drama of a novel.

Armageddon Now
Jim and Barbara Willis
Visible Ink
43311 Joy Road, #414, Canton, MI 48187-2075
0780809238 $24.95

ARMAGEDDON NOW: THE END OF THE WORLD A TO Z covers the end of everything in all belief systems; from the Rapture to scientific views of possible end of world scenarios. An A-Z arrangement looks at predictions, prophets and science side-by-side, providing extensive listings, not just paragraph listings, of theology, including many quotes from source materials. An excellent survey for any interested in future and prediction – or the history of such predictions made in the past.

Fossil Treasures of the Anza-Borrego Desert
George T. Jefferson & Lowell Lindsay, Editors
Sunbelt Publications
1256 Fayette Street, El Cajon, CA 92020-1511
0932653502 $49.95

Even though this appeared in January, it was quickly named an Alternate Selection of the Discovery Channel Book Club, and even though it sounds like a specialty item for paleontologists, it's not. The subject is Southern California's Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, today an arid desert, but once rich in riparian forests and savanna – and even an inland ocean. Here over 500 types of fossil plants and animals have earned the attention of scientists and researchers since the mid-1850s: here, too, are new findings representing several decades of study by leading researchers across the country. Here, too, are lovely illustrations and details which have earned endorsements from major museum curators. Packed with color photos, charts, and plenty of lively description, it's more than capable of crossing over the science line to reach into the interests of general-interest readers, and is a highly recommended pick.

Anne Boleyn
Joanna Denny
DaCapo Press/Perseus Publishing Group
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
0306814749 $26.00

Any studying Anne Boleyn must have this new biography, which reveals the truth about not only her background but her interactions with her king and his court. ANNE BOLEYN: A NEW LIFE OF ENGLAND'S TRAGIC QUEEN something very different in the Boleyn world: a biography which portrays her as very literate and accomplished in her own right. Of special interest are insights into the politics of the Tudor court, which proved her eventual downfall as games between the old nobility and the new – and religious struggles – took place.

The Travel Shelf

226 Wheeler Street South, Saint Paul, MN 55105-1927
$24.95 Each

Two outstanding Spanish/English bilingual nature and travel guides are 'musts' for any heading into these regions: colorful descriptions and equally vibrant photos invite either armchair or destination-bound readers to enjoy Argentinian Marcelo D. Beccaceci's NATURAL PATAGONIA (0963018035) describes the natural habitats which make up Patagonia, exploring the unique creatures which inhabit the rugged regions of Argentina and Chile. From birds to mammals, the delightful survey is filled with fine description and nature insights. Alfonso Silva Lee's NATURAL CUBA (0963018000) is the first to offer an in-depth coverage of Cuba's tropical wildlife. There are many endemic species unique to the island, from flora to fauna: all are covered by a biologist who has made his career in Cuba.

Backroads of the California Wine Country
Karen Misuraca
Voyageur Press
380 Jackson Street, #200, St. Paul, MN 55101
0760325413 $19.95

There are other books on touring California's wine country, but BACKROADS OF THE CALIFORNIA WINE COUNTRY: YOUR GUIDE TO THE WINE COUNTRY'S MOST SCENIC BACKROAD ADVENTURES has journeys even residents may not know about. One-day excursions for weekend travelers and wine lovers chart some of the lesser-traveled routes of the wine region from central California through Santa Cruz and north to Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties. Gorgeous black and white and color photos pack a bright treatment which details wines, scenery and other attractions – all beyond the usual tourist routes.

A Field Guide to Gold, Gemstone & Mineral Sites of British Columbia
Rick Hudson
Harbour Publishing
PO Box 219, Madeira Park, BC, Canada, V0N 2H0
1550173537 $26.95

The second volume of this set, SITES WITHIN A DAY'S DRIVE OF VANCOUVER, is a top pick for any Vancouver gemstone enthusiast or visitor: it combines local mining history with a guide which tells how to discover minerals in the province, covering a range from Vancouver island to Whistler. The guide's been completely revised to add more sites and description, covering over 260 such sites and including details on types of minerals, location, and ease of access to each suite. Maps, site drawings, a discussion of geological terms, and background history: you can't ask for anything else.

Footprint (PGW, Dist.)
6 Riverside Court, Lower Bristol Road, Bath BA2 3DZ, England

These wonderful, offbeat travel totes are perfect not just for trip planning, but for taking on the road: they come in small sizes perfect for coat pocket or purse and provide practical tips and advice for each step of the trip. James Alexander, Joshua Eliot & Dinah Gardner's BORNEO (1904777600, $22.95) covers it all; from where to stay in accommodations ranging from primitive/traditional to classier Western-style hotels to attending festivals, staying safe in the jungle, and outdoors adventures. The entire island is covered – not just a segment of the more populated areas, as in the few other guides already on the market – and tips help create a truly unique travel adventure. Laura Dixon's REYKJAVIK (190477766X, $11.95) covers the most northern capital city in the world, surveying a city located on the edge of glaciers and offering Icelandic specialties ranging from restaurants and puffins to unique sights such as the Northern Lights. Its very small size especially lends to easy take-along tote. KENYA by Lizzie Williams (190477752X, $19.95) covers it all; from the best places to eat and unique wildlife to mountain climbing opportunities, tour operators, parks, and more. All cover unique regions and receive and outdoor, adventure focus on little-covered areas.

The Lost Oasis
Ahmed Hassanein Bey
American University in Cairo Press
420 – 5th Avenue, New York NY 10018
0774249801 $29.50

Egyptian diplomat Ahmed Hassanein set out by camel from the west coast heading for the oases of Siwa and Kufra in the Libyan Desert: his eight-month journey in 1923 took him to El Obeid in the Sudan, some 2,200 miles, and led him to discover several lost oases, where he found primitive drawings of strange animals such as lions and giraffes. He had found not only an oasis in the middle of a desert, but an evidence of a flourishing human population in a wasteland over 10,000 years ago. THE LOST OASIS first appeared in 1925 and has been long out of print, so it's a pleasure to see this reissue of a true-life adventure travel story which inspired both explorers and movie-makers for generations. An outstanding tale provides first-person insights into rules of behavior and encounters with other cultures.

Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440, Berkeley, CA 94703-3440

Three new 'Hidden' guides are important trip planners and recommended picks for any who would plan an adventure-oriented vacation. HIDDEN SAN FRANCISCO & NORTHERN CALIFORNIA by Ray Riegert (1569755191, $19.95) appears in an updated 12th edition to survey lodging, dining, hiking, and both obvious and hidden sites for the City and its surrounding area. Opinionated reviews provide candid assessments of San Francisco's offerings, from its small neighborhood establishments to nearby wine country venues. With information updated for maximum benefit, travelers will find plenty to intrigue them. The 7th updated edition of HIDDEN BOSTON & CAPE COD (1569755205, $14.95) does the same for Boston, covering a range of sightseeing options but focusing on the outdoors opportunities which are available, from bicycling cranberry bogs to hiking trails. Kurt Repanshek's HIDDEN UTAH (1569755264, $16.95) presents many options for visiting the state during different seasons, from snow sports in winter to regional sights. All three provide a wide range of offbeat options for destination-bound travelers who seek a combination of traditional and adventure options.

Top 50 Ski & Snowboard Resorts In Europe 2006
Pat Sharples & Vanessa Webb
Foulsham Publishing House
Bennetts Close, Cippenham, Slough, Berkshire SL1 5AP England
0572031521 $25.95

Any avid snow visitor will find this guide to the top European resorts compelling and useful, picking the top 50 of such resorts for close inspection. 'Close' means that details include overviews of instruction, schools and academies, descriptions of resort mountains and ability ranges, tips on events, accommodation, and eating out nearby: in short, everything a planner needs to make the most out of snow season in Europe.

Intrepid Traveler
PO Box 531, Branford, CT 06450

Two excellent, updated editions of travel agent specialties provide professional travel tips and insights. The 5th updated edition of Kelly Monaghan's HOME-BASED TRAVEL AGENT (1887140611, $59.95) tells how to open and succeed with your own home-based travel agency, offering insights ranging from working with agencies and travel suppliers to making savvy choices on discount travel tickets – and reselling them for a profit. From earning free trips and working with tour operators to booking rentals like a pro and enjoying benefits from the travel world, HOME-BASED TRAVEL AGENT: HOW TO SUCCEED IN YOUR OWN TRAVEL MARKETING BUSINESS is the item of choice for any who wish a complete, in-depth business system rather than a light overview of the industry, offered in so many competing guides. Kelly works with Sally Scanlon for THE TRAVEL AGENT'S COMPLETE DESK REFERENCE (188714062X, $39.95), a guide which covers industry contacts and information resources around the world. From understanding how international airport codes work and how to understand hotel, rental car and other country codes and currencies to travel associations and sources of information, chapters come packed with lists of basics, making this the perfect companion to HOME-BASED TRAVEL AGENT. Both are invaluable references and recommended pick for would-be or practicing small agents alike.

The Power Road
Gavin Cummings,
Stellar/Graphic Arts Publishing
PO Box 10306, Portland, OR 97296-0306
0972342257 $29.95

This isn't another 'where to go' book on skiing, but a passionate documentation of a road trip from Colorado to Alaska in search of the best ski experience ever. Four friends undertook the journey in 2005 during winter, driving pickups towing skis and snowmobiles north, stopping in classic ski towns along the way. Their search for the ultimate ski experience is an armchair travel read packed with excitement, characters, and high adventure.

Monkeys Are Made of Chocolate
Jack Ewing
PixyJack Press
Box 149, Masonville, CO 80541
0965809811 $18.95

Most books on Costa Rica focus on travel tips, but MONKEYS ARE MADE OF CHOCOLATE: EXOTIC AND UNSEEN COSTA RICA takes a different turn, examine how animals, plants and people interact in that country and providing over thirty essays which come from a conversion of a cattle ranch into a popular eco-tourism destination. Stories and essays provide literally decades of observation of the Costa Rican natural environment and its management. A 'must' for any who plan on seeing the country and who want to know more of its wildlife and habitats.

Culture Smart Costa Rica
Jane Koutnik
Graphic Arts Books
PO Box 10306, Portland, OR 97296-0306
1558689001 $9.95

CULTURE SMART! COSTA RICA isn't your usual travel guide: its focus is on Costa Rican culture and standards of etiquette, and it tells how to avoid culture shock by providing an easy overview of attitudes, values, and social arts from body language to taboos and habits. Many similar books are geared to businessmen: not so CULTURE SHOCK! COSTA RICA, which covers some business concerns but many tourist concerns too. It's packaged in a pocket tote format, which makes it the perfect take-along reference.

The Philosophy Shelf

Pragmatism, Old & New
Susan Haack, Editor
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
1591023599 $32.00

Pragmatism has been described as a 'philosophy for people who cannot think', but it was one of the biggest philosophical movements of the late 19th century and influenced major philosophers of its times. Susan Haack worked with Robert Lane to create an anthology tracing the evolution of pragmatist thought, from William James to modern times. Haack is Cooper Senior scholar and a professor, Lane an assistant professor of philosophy. Both have published extensively: their collection of selected writings should be considered definitive.

Harley-Davidson and Philosophy
Bernard Rollin,, Editors
Open Court Publishing
PO Box 300, Peru, IL 61354-3000
081269595X $17.95

One doesn't usually associate bikers with philosophy – but here are twelve bikers who also happen to be philosophers to refute the image of the biker as uneducated or unthinking. In associating philosophy with recognizable, everyday concerns, HARLEY-DAVIDSON AND PHILOSOPHY: FULL-THROTTLE ARISTOTLE brings the staid practice of philosophy to life, joining others in the publisher's series to attract new generations to a practice often presented as a dry art of past thinkers.

The Biography Shelf

Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse
Philip Cash
Science History Publications
PO Box 1240, Sagamore Beach, MA 02562-1240
0881352640 $56.00

If the name Benjamin Waterhouse doesn't sound familiar immediately, it's because he's a 1754-born doctor who introduced vaccination to the U.S. and promoted the procedure around the country – yet was scorned by the Boston medical establishment. DR. BENJAMIN WATERHOUSE: A LIFE IN MEDICINE AND PUBLIC SERVICE reviews his many achievements, the controversy surrounding them, and his pioneering popularization of the study of natural history in New England. Despite his many achievements, it's surprising to note this is the first major biography covering his life and work – and provides a wonderfully in-depth, rich survey of his accomplishments and times.

Sweet and Low
Rich Cohen
Farrar Straus Giroux
19 Union Square West, New York, NY 10003
0374272298 $25.00 1-888-330-8477

It's difficult to easily 'peg' this title, so many will be interested: New Yorkers will relish its many insights into a Brooklyn childhood and culture; culinary fans will relish its insights into the creation of the sugar packet and Sweet N Low, business readers will find plenty to learn from in its insights on marketing strategy, and any interested in immigrant history will find rich images of the immigrant experience in New York. Suffice it to say SWEET AND LOW's blends of the above elements paired with a quirky sense of humor make it a fascinating and highly recommended pick for any public library collection.

A Piece of Cake
Cupcake Brown
Crown Books
c/o The Crown Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, #B1, New York, NY 10019-4305
1400052289 $24.95 1-800-726-0600

Thirty years ago Cupcake Brown woke up wondering why her mother hadn't awakened her as usual: her mother's death would lead to her life as an abused foster child, prostitute, and gang member before Cupcake would evolve from the ruins of childhood as a capable adult. A PIECE OF CAKE chronicles how the eleven-year-old survived the child welfare system, ran away from one mishap to another, and how she survived drugs, alcohol and a life on the streets until a shooting changed her life. Her story comes alive in a hard-hitting memoir which brings readers right into those rough streets.

My Confederate Kinfolk
Thulani Davis
Basic Books
387 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016
0465015557 $25.00

When author Thulani Davis' grandmother died in 1971, she was writing a novel about her Mississippi cotton farmer parents. Her grandmother left a photo and writings, prompting Davis to look for the 'white folk' in her family: a genealogical odyssey which was to uncover many riches. MY CONFEDERATE KINFOLK is at once a memoir and a history: it tells of a journey across the South to uncover truths, connections, and a rich set of roots, and reveals many political insights as well.

The Sports/Gaming Shelf

Fair Chase in North America
Craig Boddington
Boone & Crockett Club
250 Station Drive, Missoula, MT 59801
0940864479 $19.95

Outdoor writer Craig Boddington's works have earned him fans for his anecdotes, descriptions, and vital tips on hunting all species of North American big game: here he examines North American big game hunting today, providing readers with the same straight-ahead approach which made his Boone and Crockett Club magazine writings so popular. Chapters cover hunting tricks for different kinds of terrain, use Boddington's background to chart changing times in the hunting world, and pair black and white photos of hunts with biographical background. Hunters will love reading these vivid descriptions and will learn from the many tips within.

Gaming As Culture
J. Patrick Williams,
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640
0786424362 $35.00

Gamers and role-playing, fantasy game fans are quite often serious, studious players interested in the complex and detailed play – so GAMING AS CULTURE: ESSAYS ON REALITY, IDENTITY AND EXPERIENCE IN FANTASY GAMES will make the perfect companion read both for players and those studying the sociology and culture of fantasy gaming. The latest research in fantasy games is presented, investing the social and psychological aspects of game participation and the impact of such games on individuals and society. There's even a section on virtual identities and their connection to and meaning for real-life identity. College-level courses will relish the studious and detailed nature of GAMING AS CULTURE.

Eagle Blue
Michael D'Orso
175 – 5th Avenue, #300, New York NY 10010
1582346232 $23.95

Fans of basketball won't want to miss EAGLE BLUE: A TEAM, A TRIBE, AND A HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL SEASON IN ARCTIC ALASKA: it tells of a small, remote Alaskan village's craze over basketball, its village team, and the events of an entire season as the team went to the State Championship Tournament. The special issues affecting the Alaskan team of Athabascan Indian boys and their families includes their cultural struggles as well, showing how these issues affect their interactions on the basketball court and in the village. An outstanding blend of sports and social issues evolves.

Sports Publishing LLC
804 North Neil Street, Champaign, IL 61820

Millions of sports fans remember Milo Hamilton's voice as a sports announcer: now hear more about his career's ups, downs and major events in Milo Hamilton & Dan Schlossberg With Bob Ibach's MAKING AIRWAVES: 60 YEARS AT MILO'S MICROPHONE (1596700270 $24.95). Hamilton was behind the mike during some of the most notable moments of baseball, from the 1960s to modern times: his reporting captured and called some of the main plays of the times. The art of sports announcing is also surveyed in a memoir that brings baseball history to life. Bob Chandler and Bill Swank's TALES FROM THE SAN DIEGO PADRES (1596700246, $19.95) is for any interested in baseball in general and the San Diego Padres in particular. The Padres became a National League expansion team in 1969 and yet through 37 seasons of play have never won a World Series nor had a player hit for the cycle. As a long-time Padres announcer, Bob Chandler knows all the Padres players and history – and here shares his memories, along with San Diego baseball historian Bill Swank. A 'must' for any avid fan.

A Grim World of Perilous Adventure: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay
Chris Pramas
Black Industries/Game Workshop
Willow Road, Nottingham, NG7 2WS, UK
1844162206 $39.99

The setting for this game is the Old World, a dark place filled with war where cities of the Elf empire and Dwarfs alike face a dark, spreading hand of chaos. The Empire seeks to hold it back – but there are terrible enemies, to be faced by readers in WARHAMMER FANTASY ROLEPLAY, where the reader is the hero facing down the forces of evil. It's a game between covers: all you need is this book, some dice, and some friends. The rest of the setting, story line, plot, and action comes with the book.

Wizards of the Coast
PO Box 707, Renton, WA 98057-0707

Dungeons and Dragons fans have two excellent new adventure guides to turn to. Richard Baker and James Jacobs' RED HAND OF DOOM (0786939389, $24.95) presents an adventure designed to take characters for the 6th level to the 12th level of the game. Here characters take on vital missions to influence a war's outcome in a presentation which can be used with other core D&D books, PLAYER'S HANDBOOK, DUNGEON MASTER'S GUIDE and MONSTER MANUAL. Settings, characters, plot and game strategy are all covered. Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel's RACES OF THE DRAGON (0786939133, $29.95) provides a supplement for D&D game fans with details on the psychology, society, religion and folklore of the characters and dragonblooded races. Two new player character races are introduced here, with new prestige classes, feats, spells and guidelines for adventures. Use this in conjunction with the core books above, too.

A Game of Inches
Peter Morris
Ivan R. Dee
1332 N. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60622-2694
1566636779 $29.95

A GAME OF INCHES: THE STORIES BEHIND THE INNOVATIONS THAT SHAPED BASEBALL isn't your usual coverage of major players or major memorable games: it's the first of two projected volumes to provide an encyclopedia reference covering the origins of the sport's major items, from catchers' masks to cork-center baseballs. Included in each listing are discussions of what led each new item to emerge when and how it did – much in the manner of a Burke review of history's causes and influences – and a chronicle of the responses to these changes and innovations. Baseball's legacy is the result of many influences, inventions and innovations: here's the place to read about them all.

Running with Swords
Sherraine Mackay
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
311 Washington Street, Brighton, MA 02135
155041982X $22.95

Any interested in the sport of fencing will find engrossing RUNNING WITH SWORDS: THE ADVENTURES AND MISADVENTURES OF THE IRREPRESSIBLE CANADIAN FENCING CHAMPION. Author Sherraine Mackay's Olympic dreams and efforts to chase them across Europe made her among the top ten women fencers in the world. From her personal upset in Greece to her success in leading her team to fourth place in the Olympics, RUNNING WITH SWORDS is both a personal memoir and a lively insider's account of the Olympic sports world.

Now I Can Die In Peace
Bill Simmons
ESPN Books
19 East 34th Street, New York NY 10016
1933060050 $24.95

NOW I CAN DIE IN PEACE: HOW ESPN'S SPORTS GUY FOUND SALVATION, WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM NOMAR, PEDRO, SHAWSHANK AND THE 2004 RED SOX looks back on Bill Simmons' 'Sports Guy' columns for the last five years to consider the evolution of the Sox and their miracle of finally winning the World Series. It's a fun history of the Sox, The Sports Guy, baseball history, and American sports in general, providing a lively set of insights and blow-by-blow seasonal memories. A wonderful pick for avid fans of the Sox, in particular.

Stepping Up
Alex Belth
Persea Books
853 Broadway, New York NY 10003
0892553219 $22.95

Think 'civil rights in sports' and you automatically think of Jackie Robinson – but there's another black baseball player who also fought on behalf of all players to choose which team they played for, a story revealed in STEPPING UP: THE STORY OF CURT FLOOD AND HIS FIGHT FOR BASEBALL PLAYERS' RIGHTS. It's the first biography of the three-time all-star who sued Major League Baseball and brought his case all the way to the Supreme Court for justice. Surprisingly, this is the first biography of Curt Flood, detailing his life, his sports achievements, and his battle against a vast system of built-in injustice. An outstanding recommendation for civil rights and sports collections alike.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

KP Books/F&W
700 E. State Street, Iola, WI 54990-0001

Two excellent specialty collector's guides will appeal to any collecting in these mediums, and are excellent, recommended picks for such audiences. Tom Michael and George S. Cuhaj's COINS & CURRENCY OF THE MIDDLE EAST (0896892298, $17.99) covers an area of the world typically given little coverage for any kind of collectible, so those gathering monies of the region will welcome it as an essential reference. A country-by-country organization makes it easy to locate listings of the various currency, while history, identification notes and pricing for everything from modern coins and paper to special issues, propaganda leaflets and even comic books and military tokens round out the offerings. Another big, impressive surprise: many of the photos – if not most - are in full color. Alex G. Malloy's COMICS VALUES ANNUAL 2006 (0896892921, $19.99) features the latest prices and expanded descriptions for over 94,00 comics from Golden Age to modern times. Don't anticipate a fancy pictorial guide here: while small black and white photos are peppered throughout, the real 'meat' lies in the values listings, which are essential keys in an always-changing comics market.

Renee Newman titles
International Jewelry Publications
417 N. Stoneman, #C, Alhambra, CA 91801

If you need a basic beginner's guide to evaluating, identifying and selecting rare gems and diamonds, these two are top recommendations and top picks. GEMSTONE BUYING GUIDE: HOW TO EVALUATE, IDENTIFY, SELECT & CARE FOR COLORED GEMS (0929975340, $19.95) appears in its second updated edition to cover all the basics of a most challenging art. Usually only experts can accurately judge a gem's color, laws, and brilliancy: GEMSTONE BUYING GUIDE places this expertise in the consumer's hands by complimenting over 200 color photo examples with practical pointer on how to buy and assess the best gems for the money. Renee Newman, GG (GIA) is a respected gemologist with lots of experience in such pricing and evaluating: her techniques translate to all kinds of stones, from jade to opal and topaz, and covers not just their purchase and value, but their care. Her DIAMOND HANDBOOK: HOW TO LOOK AT DIAMONDS AND AVOID RIPOFFS (0929975367, $18.95) uses close-up photos and close-in details to narrow the focus to diamonds, explaining what makes a good diamond, how to value them and obtain a certificate, how to assess antique cuts and jewelry settings, and more. These are excellent, specific and fine gem resources for both beginning and neo-professional reader.

Fire-King and More, 3rd Edition
Gene & Cathy Florence
Collector Books
PO Box 3009, Paducah, KY 42002-3009
1574324918 $24.95

Any collecting pottery or glass knows the market changes all the time: thus the need for the updated third edition of the popular FIRE-KING & MORE IDENTIFICATION & VALUE GUIDE, which includes early American Prescut and Wexford pieces. Collectors quickly embraced both the first and second edition: this third digs deeper, providing more facts about pieces and history, updating values, and including more pieces in patterns, which required eliminating lesser pages of presentations. An outstanding collector's reference.

The Photography Shelf

Amherst Media
PO Box 586, Buffalo, NY 14226

You can't beat Amherst Media for producing professional-quality titles on the latest, hottest topics, as evidenced by these new arrivals which are certain to win wide acclaim. Veteran Bill Hurter's THE BEST OF ADOBE PHOTOSHOP: TECHNIQUES AND IMAGES FROM PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS (1584281812, $34.95) continues to present his advanced portrait photography wisdom, here gathering images and commenting on techniques by a range of photographers who use Adobe Photoshop to add professional polish to their works. Each photographer's profile includes a full-page color photo, smaller color photos, and specific descriptions of retouching techniques and special effects. Basic explanations of layers, masks and other typical Photoshop functions accompany these real-world artists' examples, reinforcing learning. His BEST OF WEDDING PHOTOJOURNALISM: TECHNIQUES AND IMAGES FROM THE PROS (1584281227, $29.95) narrows the focus to wedding topics: in so doing, he's able to hone in on the specific challenges of wedding photojournalism, discussing techniques which change throughout the wedding, featuring ideas for advanced preparation, and including artistic results from wedding photographer pros. From exposures and lenses to obtaining special effects from natural settings, this is the best key to understanding the basics of professional style on the market. James Williams' HOW TO CREATE A HIGH PROFIT PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS IN ANY MARKET (1584281820, $34.95) helps aspiring pros translate technique to dollars, telling how to set short and long-term goals, determine client base and how to reach them, achieve professional results from posed and natural settings, and how to set prices and reduce overhead. Many photography business guides are barely more than business beginner's manuals with a dose of photo background added in: Williams' HOW TO CREATE A HIGH PROFIT PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS IN ANY MARKET is so much more, firmly melding the art of photography with the goal of making money from technique and style. Cub Kahn's DIGITAL TECHNIQUES FOR SUCCESSFUL NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY (1584281847, $14.95) offers quick lessons for busy nature photographers who want results without weighty details. From selecting the initial equipment for nature photos to composing images, getting the right exposure, and taking dramatic close-ups, DIGITAL TECHNIQUES FOR SUCCESSFUL NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY covers it all.

The Crafts Shelf

The Art of Resin Jewelry
Sherri Haab
770 Broadway, New York NY 10003
0823003442 $19.95

Watch for this soon-to-be-published winner: it holds the basic keys to understanding layering, casting and other techniques for creating a contemporary jewelry style which offers a seasoned, vintage look. From producing a stretch bracelet to working with polymar clay and creating the look of faux carnelian using the appropriate colors combined with old-looking cords, THE ART OF RESIN JEWELRY involves more than just technique: it requires an eye to understanding some of the design elements which separate traditional from modern looks. Resin is the perfect medium for imitating countless materials, but it requires an appreciation for style to use effectively: an appreciation imparted in the fine techniques-oriented guide THE ART OF RESIN JEWELRY.

What About the Words?
Editors of Memory Makers
Memory Makers Books
12365 Huron Street, #500, Denver, CO 80213
1892127776 $22.99

Scrapbooking titles abound and provide inspiration for any who would record memories and experiences in an engaging manner – but most focus on the craft of pictures and image arrangement. WHAT ABOUT THE WORDS? CREATIVE JOURNALING FOR SCRAPBOOKERS goes a step beyond, focusing on word-images and how they are presented in the course of a scrapbooking project. From collages and lists to documenting silly behaviors or patterns, WHAT ABOUT THE WORDS shows how to supplement lively image with equally-lively words, making the most of format options.

David & Charles/F&W
4700 E. Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236

Painters and craftspeople have two wonderful new titles to choose from to embellish their artistic efforts. Charles Evans' QUICK & CLEVER WATERCOLOR PENCILS (0715322974, $22.99) tells how to get the most from watercolor pencils – and how to do so quickly. From using such pencils for indoor and outdoor scenes to learning form Charles' own sketchbooks which point out color strength, textures, shadowing and more, watercolor pencil users learn from a leading painter renowned for his long-running TV series and for his art courses which take place across the UK. Dorothy Wood's QUICK & CLEVER BEADING: OVER 50 FAST AND FABULOUS IDEAS FOR CRAFTING WITH BEADS (0715323091, $22.99) goes beyond the usual jewelry-oriented project guide for beaders, moving into the realms of general crafting as it surveys books, polymer clay, and other craft elements which blend well with the beader's talents. Yes, jewelry projects are included – but there are also lampshades, glass, scarves, booklets, bags and more to embellish with beads. Color photos of projects and steps abound.

The Needlecraft Shelf

KP Books/F&W
700 E. State Street, Iowa, WI 54990-001

Ripple stitch patterns are used for all kinds of special fabric effects, from needlework and lace stitching to traditional afghan crochet – and Jan Eaton's 200 Ripple Stitch Patterns (089689276X $24.99) covers all the options . It'll help to know the basic shortcut language for knitting and crochet instructions in order to use the directions most effectively, but any with some background will be used to these directions and will appreciate the blend of color photos – several for each project – and clear instructions on creating fabric zigzags, ripples, waves and more. Karen Snyder's BUNDLES OF FUN: QUILTS FROM FAT QUARTERS (0896892301, $22.99) features twelve projects for using fat quarter bundles, from baby quilts to bed quilts. Cutting diagrams and quilt layout designs specific to the far quarter make cutting and piecing a snap, with labeling tips and color coordination ideas adding details for optimum results. From choosing fabric to assembly, this is an easy, inspiration method beginners can use to produce appealing results. Carol Meldrum's EASY CROCHETED ACCESSORIES: 30+ FUN AND FASHIONABLE PROJECTS (0896892751, $24.99) pairs easy crochet lessons with finished projects which look professional. Step-by-step instructions accompanied by illustrations explain all the basics and then use them for creating bags, ponchos, hats, scarves, gloves and more, cementing skills with finished results. Even more notable: each project is page-coded at the front with a small photo of the finished result so you can quickly locate a desirable project without going through the entire book!

Dresden Plate
American Quilter's Society
PO Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290
1574329014 $21.95

The traditional Dresden Plate design assumes a whole new set of options when tackled with a 'New Quits from An Old Favorite' approach: here are new techniques which tell how to create a Dresden Plate of your own, offering a set of inspiring block designs which assume unique, often three-dimensional special effects. Quilt artists' unique productions serve as inspirational examples, pairing full color photos with artists' insights on special effects and creation.

C&T Publishing
PO Box 1456, Lafayette, CA 94549

Quilters always have something new and exciting to consider from CT Publishing, and these new arrivals are no exception. Liz Aneloski's DIMENSIONAL DELIGHTS: 20 FOLDING FABRIC SCREENS TO PERSONALIZE, EMBELLISH & DISPLAY (1571203338, $17.95) provides no-sew and stitched versions of 'screen savers' which are exceptionally quick to work up, using the fast2fuse interfacing system to fuse fabrics. These aren't full-size screens but small tabletop creations: picture a page of a scrapbook folded out in a screen-size presentation and you have an idea of what can be done with pictures of pets, mementos, and keepsake homemade creations using DIMENSIONAL DELIGHTS. Dilys A. Fronks' AT PLAY WITH APPLIQUE (1571203354, $28.95) offers seven techniques using both hand and machine stitching to produce accurate and appealing applique results. A workbook format encourages projects which work well and teach well, while color photos throughout blend with full-page template designs for quick step-by-step follow-through. Maxine Rosenthal's ONE-BLOCK WONDERS: ONE FABRIC, ONE SHAPE, ONE-OF-A-KIND QUILTS (1571203222, $23.95) is all about new textures, sparkles and techniques which use random cutting to eliminate the possibility of trouble. Using simple piecing with no y-seams and innovative free-range designs to produce quilts which amazingly use only one pattern and one block for effect, with extraordinarily easy, lovely results.

Around the Quilt Frame
Kari Cornell, Editor
Voyageur Press
Galtier Plaza, #200, 380 Jackson Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-3885
0760325375 $16.95

Quilting is often done as a group and community effort, so what better way to celebrate than through stories and tales as in AROUND THE QUILT FRAME: STORIES AND MUSINGS ON THE QUILTER'S CRAFT, which brings together well-known quilters whose stories of quilting and life make for an inspiring read. Essays and stories revolving around quilts and quilting and range from the philosophical to the practical. Especially recommended as a gift pick for that quilter who 'as everything'.

David & Charles/F&W
4700 E. Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236

Tessellating patterns can bring a quilt alive, offering new changes to experiment with design and color. What's a tessellation? It's made up of identical units that interlock, creating a sequence of shapes which are pleasing juxtapositions of color and texture. Quilt patterns in Christine Porter's Tesselation Quilts (0715319418 $24.99) make the most of tessellation ideas, showing how to create the best results from different sequencing choices. Over 25 fantasy-based designs go far beyond the more mundane flowers, animals, and birds usually chosen for projects in MAGICAL CROSS STITCH (0715324578, $19.99). Ten chapters present fantasy themes and creatures to cross stitch, with full-page patterns in full color complete with design size, stitch counts, and materials lists accompanying step-by-step cross stitch directions. A lovely, colorful book to appeal to cross stitchers seeking something new.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

A Taste of Nostalgia
Rabbi Abraham J. Tweski,. MD & Judi Dick
ArtScroll Shaar Press
4401 – 2nd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11232
1422601056 $24.99

Over 150 traditional recipes pack A TASTE OF NOSTALGIA: TALES AND RECIPES TO NOURISH BODY AND SOUL, a warm set of nostalgic stories written by Rabbit Abrahm J. Tweski, MD. Tales recreate the European shtetl over 100 years ago and embrace a simpler lifestyle, describing Jewish yearly landmarks, celebrations, traditional dishes and comfort to be found in food and history alike. It's Judi Dick's culinary expertise which recreates the heimishe kitchen of the past, adapting them for modern kitchens and including memoirs to spice dishes even as potentially unappealing as Liver Saute. An outstanding blend of cultural history, heritage and spiritual insight blends perfectly in a survey which is much more than just another Jewish cookbook.

The Literary Shelf

You Can't Read This
Val Ross
Tundra Books
P.O. Box 1030, Plattsburgh, NY 12901
088776732X $19.95

Where ever people read there are tales of the magic and power of their reading: Val Ross charts these stories in YOU CAN'T READ THIS: FORBIDDEN BOOKS, LOST WRITING, MISTRANSLATIONS AND CODES. While it's written for kids ages 10 and older, it's reviewed here because its far-reaching survey of different kinds of reading, secret writing, destroyed libraries, and censorship have plenty of insights on the power of the written word: a power many an adult should be well aware of. A fascinating survey of the texts which contain power, and how they translate it, evolves in a book highly recommended not just for kids, but for all ages.

March Hares and Monkeys' Uncles
Harry Oliver
Metro/Trafalgar Square
PO Box 257, Howe Hill Road, N. Pomfret, VT 05053
1843581523 $14.95

MARCH HARES AND MONKEYS' UNCLES: ORIGINS OF THE WORDS AND PHRASES WE USE EVERY DAY is a 'must' for any 'word origins' fan who loves to get at the root of the English language. Some definitions like 'blarney' or 'limey' may already be well known by avid word fans; others such as 'in the doldrums' are less covered elsewhere and certain to enlighten. From place names to common expressions, the definitions are arranged by topic for easy and fun browsing.

Learning from Lying
Julia Abramson
University of Delaware Press
c/o Associated University Presses
2010 Eastpark Boulevard, Cranbury, NJ 08512
0874139007 $42.50

LEARNING FROM LYING: PARADOXES OF THE LITERARY MYSTIFICATION will appeal to college-level students of language and literature, exploring the concept of mystification as a literary form which seeks to enlighten through deception. From mystification's creation during the century of Enlightenment to its changing forms and distinctive style and use, chapters pair readings of works by major mystification authors to explore how it works. College-level students will find this complex, detailed and packed with literary examples.

Mrs. Lirriper
Charles Dickens
Hesperus/Trafalgar Square, Dist.
PO Box 257, Howe Hill Road, N. Pomfret, VT 05053
1843911310 $25.00

MRS. LIRRIPER is Dickens' story of the chance meetings of strangers who move from Victorian London to southern France. New widow Mrs. Lirriper devotes herself to her lodgers – but when she inherits an abandoned baby, her responsibilities involve her lodgers in mystery as much as child-rearing efforts.

Far Away & Long Ago
W.H. Hudson
Dufour Editions
PO Box 7, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
0907871747 $27.95 1-800-869-5677

The Argentine pampas was a land of freedom and excitement: one literary figurehead W.H. Hudson describes in his memoir FAR AWAY & LONG AGO: A CHILDHOOD IN ARGENTINA. Descriptions of natural history and wildlife abound – and also of politics and interpersonal relationships of the times. You'd think FAR AWAY & LONG AGO would give insights into Hudson's childhood and life – and it does – but more importantly it recreates the history, culture and geography of Argentina in a way few travel books accomplish.

Full Swing
Ira Berkow
Ivan R. Dee
1332 N. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60622-2694
1566636892 $26.00

Ira Berkow's FULL SWING could also have been featured in our Sports section – but it'd be a shame to limit its audience to sports enthusiasts alone. Berkow is a sports columnist and feature writer for the New York Times, but his journey to that point was long and hard – and is chronicled here in FULL SWING: HITS, RUNS, AND ERRORS IN A WRITER'S LIFE. From his early years as a poor student who flunked out of college in his first semester to his later passion for writing and determination to become a writer, FULL SWING charts a course through the literary and sports world which will engage and delight fans of Berkow. From his early inspirations to his tales of life at the Times, FULL SWING is a lively survey of a literary life and many achievements.

The Library Video/DVD Shelf

411 Video
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953

The Pilates workout system is fast becoming one of the most popular: it promises relaxation as well as exercise; something high-impact choices can't offer. Lynne Robinson's SHAPE UP THE PILATES WAY (No ISBN $14.95) pairs Pilates instructor Lynne Robinson's talents with new routines which offer exercises to target problem areas such as stomach, outer thighs and upper arms. Two new 30-minute workouts provide 5 minutes of aerobic workout which sequences led by Simon Bateman, plus the basics of centering and breathing. Recommended for those who have some Pilates routines down, and who want more. Two new Christi Taylor DVDs ($19.99 Each) provide excellent workouts for dance-oriented exercisers. FANTASTIC 4 WORKOUTS presents four workout videos in one package: STILL JUMPIN, STILL STEPPIN, HI-LO HEAVEN and STEP HEAVEN. Jumps, twists, and 90 minutes of action on each includes a warm-up series, three stages of active aerobic training, a cooldown, stretch and more. The 'bloopers' points out funny errors and problems. Hand weights are optional, and all steps are choreographed and demonstrated well. FUNKY FITNESS combines functional elements with funk, advocating muscle-strengthening routines that are fun to duplicate and motivating for those who struggle with traditional exercise routines. You'll find her infectious and fun: everything needed to get moving is here. Also fun is CHUBBY HUBBY WORKOUT: BUILDING A BETTER HUSBAND ($19.95): it tells of a wife whose husband hates both the gym and the usual female-oriented workout videos – so she devised routines for older guys who haven't worked out in a while, featuring her own chubby hubby Larry leading a series of exercises for all muscle groups. From stretches to resistance, men will find this filled with appeal, with 45 minutes of varied activities and routines. The 2-DVD set GLORY DAYS OF WRESTLING ($9.98) includes two discs of rare footage of wrestling greats. Gorgeous George's matches between 3 unique contenders will have fans of old matches immersed in zany fun, while other major early wrestlers follow up. Disc 2: WEIRD, BIZARRE & WILD MATCHES presents matches between females, midget women wrestling and more. Zany antics abound. The 2-dvd package will make a wonderful gift for any avid wrestler.

Pro Tools 7 CSI Starter
Colin MacQueen
Thomson Course Technology
25 Thomson Place, Boston, MA 02210
1598631454 $29.99

Potential users of Pro Tools 7 – especially novices – should take a look at this introductory CD-ROM on the subject: it covers everything from initial program setup to recording, editing and mixing, and is the interactive starter CD-ROM tutorial which allows novices to use a basic production as the learning guide. A start-to-finish approach covers everything you need to use ProTools 7 to produce a song. 3 solid hours of detail offers it all in an easy-learn format.

The Audio Partners
1133 High Street, Auburn, CA 95603

There's no better alternative format to the written word than the spoken word, for classics – when it's done right, as does Audio Partners in some fine new presentations. Shakespeare's entire plays are coming to life in a particularly well-done set by Arkangel, for example: two new additions to expand the offerings are THE TWO NOBLE KINSMEN (1932219388, $24.95), and KING JOHN (1932219173, $19.95), each of which features a full-coast dramatized production with all the high drama and action of a radio show. Charles Dickens' A TALE OF TWO CITIES (1572705289, $37.95) is another fine presentation covering the epic story of Paris and London during the height of the French Revolution. Narrator Richard Pasco has performed with many theatre companies in the UK and around the world and has appeared in numerous films and TV shows, so his background lends particularly well to adding enhancements and flair to Dickens' long-ranging classic.

Two Little Girls in Blue
Mary Higgins Clark
Simon & Schuster Audio
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0743551923 $29.95

Reader Jan Maxwell has appeared in numerous Broadway productions and is well able to add drama and action to any script, so she's the perfect reader of choice for TWO LITTLE GIRLS IN BLUE, a novel of twin telepathy and a tragic kidnapping. One twin is presumed dead after a botched rescue – but her twin says not, and a memorial service turns into a race against time to save her.

The Regional/Cultural Shelf

Linked Histories
Pamela McCallum & Wendy Faith, Eds
University of Calgary Press
2500 University Drive N.W., Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 1N4
1552380882 $34.95

LINKED HISTORIES: POSTCOLONIAL STUDIES IN A GLOBALIZED WORLD is a pick recommended for college-level students of other cultures: it brings together a range of disciplines and articles covering postcolonial studies, one of the fastest growing fields of critical inquiry. Essays cover many of the major issues of linked history research and investigate challenges of new theories of globalization as they relate to postcolonial studies. A complex, revealing survey results.

Tanana and Chandalar
Craig Mishler & William E. Simeone
University of Alaska Press
PO Box 756240, 104 Eielson Building, Salcha Street, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6240
University of Calgary Press, dist.
2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB Canada, T2N 1N4
155238201X $45.00 1-888-252-6657

One of Alaska's early ethnographers, Robert McKennan, lived in remote Native Alaskan villages between 1929 and 1933, documenting his observations in a series of books and journals. Editors Mishler and Simeone have annotated these writings and arranged them in an outstanding chronicle of daily struggles to both survive a wilderness lifestyle and make appropriate anthropological observations despite difficulties in research. TANANA AND CHANDALAR: THE ALASKA FIELD JOURNALS OF ROBERT A. MCKENNAN is his tribute to the peoples he lived with and the world of Athabaskan culture before the second world war, and are a 'must' for any scholarly, college-level collection strong in Alaskan history and culture.

Fishing for Gold
Karni R. Perez
University of Alabama Press
PO Box 870380, Tuscaloosa, AL 36487-0380
0817353445 $22.95

Catfish farming in Alabama is a relatively new industry: it began in 1960 when three individuals helped create the industry from scratch. FISHING FOR GOLD: THE STORY OF ALABAMA'S CATFISH INDUSTRY traces the roots of this essential modern-day part of Alabama tradition, revealing the challenges to the enterprise, the maintenance of catfish farms over fifty-four of Alabama's sixty-seven counties, and how the industry has blossomed to be a mainstay of the state's economy. FISHING FOR GOLD will interest both business book readers and especially any with ties to Alabama or fishing.

The Architecture Shelf

Ranches, Rowhouses & Railroad Flats
Christine Hunter
W.W. Norton
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
0393731863 $24.95 1-800-233-4830

Any interested in the architectural heritage and culture of American neighborhoods must look at RANCHES, ROWHOUSES & RAILROAD FLATS: AMERICAN HOMES: HOW THEY SHAPE OUR LANDSCAPES AND NEIGHBORHOODS. It lacks glitzy color photos but provides a wonderful blend of black and white line drawings and insights into how American housing forms evolved and influenced their neighborhood's development. Three forms of housing -freestanding homes, attached houses, and apartments - are the focus here, with registered architect Hunter's background in housing design and construction lending to a history of the practical impact of each form on land use, local economics, and local culture.

University of Washington Press
PO Box 50096, Seattle, WA 98145-5096

Any student of architectural history knows about Venice's watery grave and many challenges, but two new books on the topic are 'must' recommendations not just for students of Venice's history and architecture, but for any architect planning in coastal areas. Gianfranco Pertot's VENICE: EXTRAORDINARY MAINTENANCE (1903470129, $50.00) provides a history of ongoing restoration and conservation methods from the Fall of the Republic to modern times. From political initiatives designed as much to foster local elections as to preserve to comprehensive responses and remedies to structural degradation, VENICE: EXTRAORDINARY MAINTENANCE is a fine survey of public and private efforts to keep afloat. THE SCIENCE OF SAVING VENICE by Caroline Fletcher and Jane da Mosto (88-422-1310-1, $15.00) charts the disastrous floods which have affected the city over the last 100 years –and those which could drown it in the next hundred. From the latest knowledge about the nature and causes of Venice's ongoing flood problems to modern storm surge predictions and the options for recovering the city, from restoration to diversion, THE SCIENCE OF SAVING VENICE packs in color photos, illustration, and plenty of detail on past, present and future options.

The Women's Studies Shelf

In Her Place
S.T. Joshi, Editor
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
1591023807 $28.00

IN HER PLACE: A DOCUMENTARY HISTORY OF PREJUDICE AGAINST WOMEN follows the actual examples of such prejudice rather than providing the usual overview of history: as such, it culls records from books, articles and scholarly monographs to provide evidence in dozens of works which document scorn and disrespect for women over the past two centuries. Don't expect to find the familiar here, either: much of the material has never been reprinted since its original publication and offers thinking from major members of the intellectual and social circles of their times for some major eye-openers.

The Science/Nature Shelf

The Audubon Reader
John James Audubon; Richard Rhodes, Editor
Everyman's Library/Random House
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
1400043697 $27.50

Richard Rhodes is the author of more than twenty works of history and fiction, winning many awards: his biography of John James Audubon appeared in 2004 and this companion reader is a wonderful survey of Audubon's own colorful writings about the American wilderness. Rhodes edits and gathers the best of Audubon's own voice, providing an anthology spiced with full-color reproductions of sixteen of his watercolors. The result is a wonderful keepsake reader's edition of a classic collection of wildlife observations.

Einstein's Nobel Prize
Aant Elizinga
Science History Publications/Watson Publishers
P.O. Box 1240, Sagamore Beach, MA 02562-1240
0881352837 $39.95

Why did Einstein have to wait so long to gain a Nobel Prize? From who nominated him to which parts of his work were considered and who made the award decision, EINSTEIN'S NOBEL PRIZE: A GLIMPSE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS is more than just a survey of Einstein's prize – it uncovers the processes of the Nobel as a whole. The author reviewed the sixty nominations Einstein received from 1910 to 1922, analyzing arguments against relativity and the Committee's hesitation. The insights here should not be missed by an with an interest in scientific achievement; particularly college-level students of science and technology.

The Jasons
Ann Finkbeiner
Viking Press
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
0670034894 $27.95

THE JASONS: THE SECRET HISTORY OF SCIENCE'S POSTWAR ELITE examines a group which evolved from the Manhattan Project, working in secrecy to solve classified problems for the government. There have been about a hundred members of the Jasons since the Cold War: award-winning scientists who have even won Nobel Prizes. Their duty: to counsel the government on the military uses of pure science. Their breakthroughs are many, making THE JASONS an intriguing survey of applied science at the highest levels.

Forensic Science
William J. Tilstone,
PO Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911
1576071944 $95.00

FORENSIC SCIENCE: AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HISTORY, METHODS AND TECHNIQUES will reach two audiences: those studying crime at the college level, and those interested in receiving a comprehensive overview of the subject. General readers need have no legal expertise to appreciate the insights on how forensic scientists work: an a-z examination covers all aspects of the science from both a historical and methodological viewpoint, with listings covering science, technology, legalities and important cases and history.

Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent
Lyanda Lynn Haupt
Little, Brown
1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York NY 10020
0316836648 $24.95

Both casual readers and high school to college level students of natural history and science will relish the beautifully written PILGRIM ON THE GREAT BIRD CONTINENT: THE IMPORTANCE OF EVERYTHING AND OTHER LESSONS FROM DARWIN'S LOST NOTEBOOKS. It's a different portrait which covers not just his works but the image of a naturalist who trusted his observations more than the political influences of his times or the research before him. Darwin was a bumbling amateur naturalist when he boarded the Beagle in 1831 to journey through the Galapagos. The young Darwin and his observations come to life in a survey rich with first-person reflections by the author, on her own wildlife observations.

Singing Whales and Flying Squid
Richard Ellis
The Lyons Press
PO Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437
1592288421 $24.95

SINGING WHALES AND FLYING SQUID: THE DISCOVERY OF MARINE LIFE examines the history of the discovery of marine biology from the roots of science to modern times. What makes the study of marine life different is its puzzling interrelationships between species and environments. SINGING WHALES AND FLYING SQUID documents the search for marine knowledge, revealing in the process some of these puzzles past and present. A fine journey through history and natural development results.

The Cookbook Shelf

Collectors Press
PO Box 230986, Portland, OR 97281

Two excellent cookbooks pair appealing recipes with strong visuals and promise a wide audience's interest beyond the usual avid cook. Adeena Sussman's JUST HEAT IT 'N' EAT IT! CONVENIENCE FOODS OF THE '40s-'60s (1933112190, $14.95) pairs bright and fun photos from the ads and boxes of yesterday with a survey of ready-to-eat meal ideas and how they changed. Not so much a recipe book as a history, JUST HEAT IT 'N' EAT IT follows the evolution of the 'convenience kitchen' idea and marketing plans fostered by different companies, from fast baking flours and pre-made crusts to Van Camp's 'Mexican Style Foods' product line. Rick Browne's THE BIG BOOK OF BARBECUE SIDES (1933112174, $16.95) is a top pick for any who love barbecue. The idea here is to pair barbecue with appropriate side dishes: this is the first cookbook of its kind and packs in dishes which can be made either on or off the grill in a wonderful set of inspirations such as Cauliflower Pie or BowTie Pasta. No color photos, but the easy dishes don't need them.

Cooking in Clay
Joanna White
Bristol Publishing
2714 McCone Avenue, Hayward, CA 94545
1558673091 $8.95

The revised edition of a classic guide, Cooking in Clay, comes from an author with a degree in both biology and the Cordon Bleu School of Cooking, and it doesn't disappoint, providing over a hundred dishes for clay pot fare ranging from soups to seafoods and breads. Success is nearly guaranteed through numerous tips and insights on how clay cooking works, paired with appealing dishes such as a Ham and Raisin Stuffing or Garlic Braised Spareribs. Highly recommended for any clay pot owner, whether new or seasoned cook.

400 Rush Hour Recipes
Brook Noel & Wendy Louise
Champion Press Ltd.
765 Main Street, Belgium, WI 53004
1891400673 $22.95

Brook Noel has written fifteen books and has appeared on headline news shows, so if her name sounds familiar, it should…she's a busy CEO with nary a domestic gene to her name, so if she can easily prepare the dishes she features in 400 RUSH HOUR RECIPES, anyone should be able to. All ingredients are common, easily obtained in any supermarket, and come attached to recipes simple to duplicate. They are appealing dishes even finicky kids will eat – and they're main dishes so don't worry about breads and rice filling up half the book.

708 Broadway, New York NY 10003

Diane Forley and Catherine Young's THE ANATOMY OF A DISH (1579651895, $35.00) takes a vegetable-by-vegetable look at fruits and veggies, gathering flavorful recipes from her own restaurant to provide would-be pros with explanations on what works and why. From the root of the vegetable dish, chapters move into combining veggies to make pastas, soups, and other main and side dishes, surveying seasonal availability and providing charts, sidebars of detail, and photos alike. From Peppercress Salad with Yellow Pepper Vinaigrette to Quinoa-Crusted Chicken, these are unique creations not to be seen in competing titles, and worthy of the serious cook's survey. Mandy Aftel and Daniel Patterson's AROMA: THE MAGIC OF ESSENTIAL OILS IN FOOD & FRAGRANCE (1579652646, $30.00) focuses on food aroma and how to enhance it, with chapters pairing a perfumer's talents with a chief's perspective. Other cookbooks include discussions of aromatics as an aside: AROMA makes it the center of attention, discussing adding fragrant essences to make a dish flavorful and appealing. From lemon verbena mists enhancing a slow-cooked Veal Tenderloin to Grilled Steak Scented with Lavender, dishes are infused with fragrance – but not overwhelmed by them. Maggie Glezer's ARTISAN BAKING (1579652913, $22.95) provided in paper the revised version of the hardcover ARTISAN BAKING ACROSS AMERICA. Breads for the home kitchen come from a certified baker but are geared for home cooks, covering all the basics of ingredients and techniques and inviting even the newest baker to try recipes which are easy and virtually foolproof. With bright color photos and easy instructions, how can you fail?

Gibbs Smith
PO Box 667, Layton, UT 84041

Christina Ceccatelli Cook's CHRISTINA'S OF SUN VALLEY (1423600487, $45.00) comes from a chef who's run her own restaurant for over eleven years, and draws on her Tuscan memories and roots to explore seasonal dishes. Over a hundred photos feature snapshots of the parties, picnics and dinner which have made Christina's reputation for memorable dishes while recipes for all her signature basics, from Rack of Lamb to Key Lime Pie and Lemon Chicken Salad, make for a fine presentation. Marguerite Marceau Henderson's SMALL PLATES: APPETIZERS AS MEALS (1586857819, $18.95) offers fine recipes which offer entertainment as well as snacking possibilities. From Fennel, Orange and Pecan Salad to Louisiana Sweet Potato and Sausage Stew, dishes work well as side or small courses alike, and offer busy cooks some wonderfully easy yet elegant courses, spiced with color photos throughout.

The Fiction Shelf

A High And Hidden Place
Michele Claire Lucas
Harper San Francisco
353 Sacramento Street, #500, San Francisco, CA 94111-3653
0060833033 $13.95 1-800-272-7737

Christine's encounter with an angel and a long-held truth involving Nazi massacre and her family's date – a fate which has left her alive – comes to life in a series of gripping images in A HIGH AND HIDDEN PLACE, a novel of faith, love, and loss. A first-person account follows Christine from childhood through Nazi threats, convent life, and more. It's a journey of religion, faith, memory and discovery as Christine discovers the truth and learns how it will affect the rest of her life. A moving story of recovery evolves, along with plenty of insights.

The California Shelf

Arcadia Publishing
420 Wando Park Boulevard, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
$19.99 Each

Arcadia's lovely 'Images of America' series is outstanding; especially for those interested in California history who tire of the books which focus on larger areas rather than smaller neighborhoods. These titles are powerful presentations, gathered from a blend of private photo collections and local archives projects: while the focus is on the local images, plenty of history is included. Peter Linenthal, Abigail Johnston and the Potrero Hill Archives Project's SAN FRANCISCO'S POTRERO HILL (0738529370) charts a neighborhood history beginning with Gold-rush squatters, when Potrero Hill became the first industrial zone in San Francisco complete with butcheries and smelting plants. Its colorful immigrant history appears in photos gathered by Peter Linenthal, who directs the Potrero Hill archives Project blending oral histories, photos, and ephemera. SAN FRANCISCO'S JAPANTOWN (073853059X) comes from the holdings of the Japantown Task Force Inc. and surveys the culture and rise of a community which has long been a part of the city's history, since 1869. A new retrospective pairs vintage photos from the archives of several libraries and historical holdings with private sources and memories of Japantown residents. Jack Tillmany's THEATRES OF SAN FRANCISCO (0738530204) provides a colorful history of the little theatres which once peppered neighborhoods throughout the city. Only a handful remain, making THEATRES OF SAN FRANCISCO an essential tribute, in photos and facts, by the former owner of the Gateway Cinema in San Francisco. Tillmany's personal archive was built during his 30-year career in cinema management, so he's in the perfect position to chart its rise and fall in photo and word. Bill Pickelhaupt's SAN FRANCISCO'S AQUATIC PARK (0738530840) tells of a maritime area once called Black Point Cove, and which now hosts historic ships near its vantage point next to the Golden Gate Bridge. The park has changed over the years, and Bill Pickelhaupt reveals its history using vintage photos to chart its early development, the rise of the pier and museum as a WPA project, and its changing use today. Go outside of San Francisco, head North, and you'll run into the Anderson Valley historical Society's ANDERSON VALLEY (0838530174), a survey of a region which began as a road intersection and evolved into a town and then a valley replete with shops, ranches, museums and even, today, wineries. The Anderson Valley Historical Society runs a museum and has chosen photos from its archives and local private collections alike to recreate the region's heyday and rise. Del Norte County Historical Society's CRESCENT CITY AND DEL NORTE COUNTY (0738530751) charts the history of a rugged, far northern California county which was home to mining camps, ranches, and fishermen alike. County museum archives form the foundation for an exploration of a wild frontier which even today is removed from much of Northern California's more traveled areas. These are outstanding selections, and top picks for any comprehensive collection on California history and culture.

Taking Risks
Joseph Pell & Fred Rosenbaum
RDR Books
2415 Woolsey Street, Berkeley, CA 94705
1571431160 $14.95

TAKING RISKS: A JEWISH YOUTH IN THE SOVIET PARTISANS AND HIS UNLIKELY LIFE IN CALIFORNIA tells of a teen who crawled to a nearby forest to escape the roundup of jews of his Ukrainian ghetto, joining a band of pro-Soviet partisans led by a warlord in the wilderness who created a forest republic behind Nazi lines and disrupted the German war effort for over a year. That wasn't to end with the war: Yosel Epelbaum emigrated to San Francisco in 1947 after the wear's end, opened the only ice cream shop in the city's foggy Sunset District, and became a major real estate developer in the city. TAKING RISKS is a gripping, true biography of a young man who had nothing and made everything of it.

The Humor Shelf

Andrews McMeel Publishing
4520 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64111-7701

Andrews McMeel publishers books of some of your favorite syndicated cartoonists; from the creator of Cathy and For Better or For Worse to Sherman's Lagoon. Thank goodness they do: even the most avid fan will miss strips which appear in the daily papers, or keepsake hard books will be desired – and these latest arrivals fit the bill. Creators of 'For Better or For Worse' will relish I LOVE MY GRANDPA! (0740756796, $9.95), a little hardcover presentation which gathers all grandfather-oriented single panels and pairs them with light jingle rhymes for a fun celebration. Jim Toomey's strange shark world is celebrated in another coveted celebration of the fifteen-year-old popular strip Sherman's Lagoon in IN SHARK YEARS I'M DEAD (0740757024, $16.95), which gathers up the latest creations. Most are in black and white, with some color to spice the results. All display the shark world's zany lifestyle – and newcomers will find this just as easily accessible as old fans. Michael Fry and T. Lewis' OVER THE HEDGE: STUFFED ANIMALS (0740757016, $10.95) comes from the animated film 'Over the Hedge' and provides black and white panels of the strip-turned-movie. From a fly-fishing lesson gone awry to a New Year's Eve planning sessions, fun animal plans are simple for newcomers to access and filled with laughter. Anybody with a teen in house simply must not miss Zits, the strip by Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman which captures perfectly the angst and ironies of teen/parent relationships. CRACK OF NOON (0740756842, $16.95) provides a nearly even mix of black and white and full color strips from the syndicated cartoon as they tell of a teen who tolerates his parents and parents who try to create restrictions which don't elicit hostility. It's a losing battle but both sides win points throughout. PIMP MY LUNCH (0740754432, $10.95) is another Zits collection which provides both home and school interactions. If you have a teen, you can turn to Zits for some insights into the teen way of thinking. Mose Hayward's THE EXPLOSEXUAWESOME CAREER GUIDE (0740757407, $14.95) blends humor with career insights as it examines just how to land a cool career – such as puppeteer, professional car crasher or more. A funny set of guidelines and possible jobs evolves with more than a tongue-in-cheek look at real-life jobs and odd tasks. Prospects and pay included in descriptions accompanying hilarious black and white cartoon panes. All are highly recommended picks.

The Transportation Shelf

Cars of the Fantastic '50s
Dan Lyons
KP Books/F&W
700 E. State Street, Iola, WI 54990-0001
0873499263 $29.99

The 1950s were the heyday of innovative American automobile design, a fact celebrated by CARS OF THE FANTASTIC '50s, a survey of the most memorable vehicles of the times. The colorful tri-tones and chrome, wild design features, and glamorous embellishments come alive in a presentation featuring photographer Dan Lyons' lovely full-page color shots. Add in vintage color ads and plenty of background history and you have a keepsake coffee table display with outstanding depth and detail.

David Bull Publishing
4250 E. Camelback Rd. #K150, Phoenix, AZ 85018

Car racing fans who love auto history must have Michael Argetsinger's WALT HANSGEN: HIS LIFE AND THE HISTORY OF POST-WAR AMERICAN ROAD RACING (1893618544 $49.95) : it uses road racer Walt's experience and background to eye the history of racing from the 1950s through the 60s, charting his rise as a winning driver and his involvement in prototypes in the industry. From his previously unpublished technical insights on prototypes to his driving and team interactions and conflicts between race organizations and drivers, WALT HANSGEN is based on research and interviews with his family, friends and race industry colleagues to provide a well-rounded examination not only of Hansgen and his roles, but of the race car industry of that era, as a whole. Highly recommended indeed – and spiced with vintage black and white photos throughout. Also a top pick is Bill Ursler's PORSCHE PROTOTYPE ERA: 1964-1973 IN PHOTOGRAPHS (1893618536, $49.95), a history of a period in Porsche history when the German manufacturer changed from being a small GT class leader to the major player in the car world of prototype production and sports car competition. From Porsche's early days to its evolution as a rival of Ferrari into its own strength as a leader of motorsports races, PORSCHE PROTOTYPE ERA: 1964-73 follows the Porsche leaders and machines that made history. Fans of Porsche will relish the many vintage photos of old-style Porsches, along with extensive coverage of history-making races, challenges, and technical developments. It's a keepsake edition of action and detail any racecar or Porsche fan will relish.

MBI Publishing
Galtier Plaza, Suite 300, 380 Jackson St., St. Paul, MN 55101-3885
$9.95 Each

For years Motorbooks has produced in-depth transportation and vehicle books for enthusiasts: now their 'Drive. Ride. Fly.' series offers enthusiasts both young and older some color, simple overviews which are visually powerful and striking achievements. These are directed to younger readers but are reviewed here because larger type and bright, color photos blending with facts makes them a special pick for adults who want a review of models and styles without the complexity of weighty tomes on the topic. Mike Mueller works with Bob woods on CORVETTE (0760323313), which pairs lovely photos with a charged review of the car's street and race history and many changes and innovations. Mike Seate and Linda Back McKay's CHOPPERS (0760323283) covers the spicy and eye-catching custom motorcycles called 'choppers', pairing colorful photos with discussions of retrofitting, mechanics, and more. Allan Girdler and Jeff Hackett work with Bob woods on HARLEY-DAVIDSON (0760323321), pairing a Harley expert with a photographer to feature both early and modern models – over forty years of Harley history. Rod Beemer works with Tracy Nelson Maurer on JOHN DEERE (0760323259), a fine feature of over a hundred years of tractor developments. From the early series to today's John Deeres, design innovations and many changes are covered in a set of visual displays and reference insights which even include tractor codes. All are wonderful picks and should reach well beyond the advanced elementary to middle school grades you'd think of at first glance. No adult transportation fan should miss these.

The Children's Shelf

Mason Crest Publishers
370 Reed Road, Broomall, PA 19008
$19.95 Each

Two fine series collections are top picks for elementary-grade libraries seeking lasting references suitable for reports. The 'Great Names' series takes a great name in history and provides about 32 pages of coverage in each well-illustrated, artistic presentation. Anna Carew-Miller and Robert Ingpen join to provide CHIEF SEATTLE: GREAT CHIEF (1590841549), providing a biography of one of the most famous figures of the American West who led tribes near Puget sound. His model for peaceful living encouraged respect between peoples. Susan Keating and Stefano Tartarotti's ARCHIMEDES: ANCIENT GREEK MATHEMATICIAN (1590841522) tells of the genius scholar Archimedes, whose work in math helped create the foundations of the number system. The usual biographical format is dry: not so ARCHIMEDES, which uses a first-person diary-like format by an observer to mark the scholar's discoveries and sense of fun. Anne Marie Sullivan and Giuliano Ferri's ALBERT EINSTEIN: SCIENTIST-THEORY OF RELATIVITY (1590841409) tells of boys who dreamed of being soldiers, a mother who loves music, and a boy who grows up with very different ideas of the world. While each of the books in the 'Ask About Asia' or 'Ask About Oceania' series can stand well alone, the set as a whole is a top pick for libraries: nearly fifty pages to each title covers the land, people and culture of different nations of the region, pairing contemporary color photos with discussions of politics, culture, daily life, and history and adding a personal touch with tips on 'if you visit'. KOREA (1590842065), THAILAND (1590842057), INDIA (1590842049), VIETNAM (1590842030), INDONESIA (1590842022), MALAYSIA (1590842014), JAPAN (1590842006) and CHINA (1590841999) provides many explorations including sidebars of facts and a focus on intriguing facts to spark interest. AUSTRALIA (1590842081) and NEW ZEALAND (1590842073) does the same for Oceania.

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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