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California Bookwatch

Volume 1, Number 3 May 2006 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Donovan's Picks Automotive Shelf Library Science Shelf
Education Shelf Computer Shelf Environmental Shelf
Science Shelf Social Issues Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Art Shelf Photography Shelf
American History Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf Gardening Shelf
Interior Design Shelf Architecture Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf Military Shelf
Business Shelf Money/Finance Shelf Language Studies Shelf
Video/DVD Shelf Audiobook Shelf Literary Shelf
Music Shelf International Studies Shelf Political Science Shelf
Biography Shelf World History Shelf Sociology/Anthropology Shelf
Native American Shelf Wedding/Marriage Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Wine Shelf Travel Shelf
Railroading Shelf Beauty/Grooming Shelf Sports/Outdoors Shelf
Women's Issues Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Real Estate Shelf
Gaming Shelf Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Children's Shelf    

Donovan's Picks

Two Little Girls
Theresa Reid
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
0425208826 $23.95

Numerous books on the market discuss how to adopt; but this isn't another general guide on the topic: it's a memoir of the experience of a couple who decided to move into international adoption, and addresses the special issues which arise from such a decision. Juxtaposed with her emotional story are tips others following the same path can learn from. A vivid, compelling story.

New Society Publishers
PO Box 189, Gabriola Island, British Columbia, V0R 1X0 Canada

Any homeowner interested in the myths and realities of renewable energy will find exciting Barry J. Hanson's ENERGY POWER SHIFT (0975850008 $16.95): a book about the revolution being realized by some exciting new emerging technologies. From making 'oil' from plastics and sewage to new photovoltaic systems which can create free and nearly free energy, ENERGY POWER SHIFT: BENEFITING FROM TODAY'S NEW TECHNOLOGIES is the place to begin to learn what all these ideas mean for you. William H. Kemp's SMART POWER: AN URBAN GUIDE TO RENEWABLE ENERGY AND EFFICIENCY (0973323310, $29.95) tells not just how to save energy, but how to realize possible income from producing energy which gets a return on your investment. This packs in hundreds of ways to save on energy costs, from reducing consumption to healing and cooling a home with renewable energy, and using biofuels. Homeowners will welcome its many ideas.

Starting a New Life In Rural America
Ragnar Benson
Paladin Press
7077 Winchester Circle, Boulder, CO 80301
1581604931 $20.00

Before you make your move to the country, you must read STARTING A NEW LIFE IN RURAL AMERICA: 21 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU MAKE YOUR MOVE. It's aptly titled: city people often have no idea of how to live a country lifestyle, facing challenges from how to get along with long-established local families and handling culture clashes and values differences to understanding property lines, water rights, accessibility issues, and more. It's akin to moving to another country: you wouldn't go without at least learning the language – and you shouldn't make a move without at least reading through STARTING A NEW LIFE IN RURAL AMERICA.

Geisha: Beyond the Painted Smile
Peabody Essex Museum, Eds
George Braziller
171 Madison, New York NY 10016
0807615455 $39.95

The geisha have long represented Japanese elegance and chic and have been popularized by the recent best-selling book and movie MAKING OF A GEISHA: for further insights on their history choose the lovely visual and historical pairing in GEISHA: BEYOND THE PAINTED SMILE. Over two hundred years of these performance artists is revealed in a survey of geisha training, rehearsing, and entertainment. Chapters hold fine essay contributions by prominent specialists on Japanese culture who each consider a different aspect of the geisha tradition. Add woodblocks and paintings in color from the Peabody Museum's holdings and you have a fine survey indeed.

The Pocket Disaster Survival Guide
HarrisJ. Andrews & J. Alexander Bowers
17603 Indian Head Highway, #200, Accokeek, MD 20607
088317328X $7.95

Each year many ordinary citizens find themselves facing a crisis, whether it be a hurricane, an earthquake, a tornado or a blackout: THE POCKET DISASTER SURVIVAL GUIDE offers the info you need to survive any disaster which cuts off power and services. From emergency kits and handling pets to evacuation, food and sanitation, power and light sources and more, chapters cover all the basics of how to prepare for and then handle disasters, natural or man-made. If you haven't consulted this book first, you haven't thought ahead enough.

Sayonara Home Run
John Gall and Gary Engel
Chronicle Books
85 – 2nd Street, San Francisco CA 94105
0811849457 $18.95

This could've been featured in our collector's section or even our sports section, but is presented here for its powerful artistic survey of Japanese sports through its lovely baseball card art. SAYONARA HOME RUN! THE ART OF THE JAPANESE BASEBALL CARD features player history, card art, and loved and hated baseball teams alike. It will attract any with an interest in world baseball or in collectible ballgame cards – and many a browser with an interest in neither!

Life and Times of an Automation Professional
Ted Williams,
PO Box 12277, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
156617957X $20.00

This illustrated guide packs in cartoons both whimsical and pointed which reveal the life of an automation professional from office to pool. More than just a spoof on habits and ironies, each panel tells a story and offers a joke in the process: it'll make a fine gift for any engineer, offering delightful blends of cynicism, observation and real life along with its healthy dose of humor.

Hippo Eats Dwarf
Alex Boese
Harcourt Books
15 East 26th Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10010
0156030837 $14.00 1-800-543-1918,

It's hard to easily categorize HIPPO EATS DWARF: suffice it to say it's quasi-science well blended with humor and comes from a recognized 'hoaxpert' by DNN and others, investigating the odd science typical of a National Inquirer headline. From huge mutant cats to bonsai kittens grown in jars, HIPPO EATS DWARF separates fantasy from reality.

Peeps: A Candy-Coated Tale
Mark Masyga and Martin Ohlin
Image/Harry N. Abrams
115 West 18th Street, New York NY 10011
081095995X $14.95

PEEPS: A CANDY-COATED TALE is by far the most original, zany Easter tale of 2006. As such, it deserves ongoing recommendation and mention for any fan (or not!) of the marshmallow candy, whether child or adult. A prominent Peepsville family has gone missing and the Peeps are up in arms. Photos of the candy peeps are embellished with hats, glasses and more as the denizens of Peepsville are presented with character embellishments, plots and subplots. The perfect Easter gift – and perfect for any engaged by Peeps candies. One of the most creative top picks of the Easter holiday season.

John Hasnas
Cato Institute
1000 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001
1930865880 $12.95

Since Enron's scandal in 2002 the federal government has stepped up its campaign to stop white-collar crime; in the process nurturing the very crimes it seeks to prevent. TRAPPED: WHEN ACTING ETHICALLY IS AGAINST THE LAW considers cases of 'over-criminalization' which places ethics and law in direct opposition. Chapters discuss traditional criminal law and the recent changes made to it to allow federal criminal law to actually create incentives for unethical behavior by businesspeople. Any business concerned about white collar crime, government rules, and legal intervention will find TRAPPED offers much food for thought.

Fair Use, Free Use And Use by Permission
Lee Wilson
Allworth Press
10 East 23rd Street, New York NY 10110
1581154321 $24.95

Whether you're involved in business, the arts, or multimedia productions, you have to consult FAIR USE, FREE USE AND USE BY PERMISSION: HOW TO HANDLE COPYRIGHTS IN ALL MEDIA. Where other books narrow the focus to copyright protection in the Internet era, FAIR USE discusses different types of copyright issues, from how to verify what copyright law 'fair' use falls under to gaining permissions, negotiating licenses, securing releases, and more. Chapters even delve into how to locate copyright holders, how to request permissions, and how to understand copyright status of a work. Far more comprehensive than competitors on the topic, this is a 'must' for any public, art or business library.

Human Error
George A. Peters & Barbara J. Peters
CRC/Taylor & Francis Group
6000 Broken Sound Parkway, #300, Boca Raton, FL 33487-2742
0849382130 $39.95

Human error is a part of daily life – but it can kill or maim, so is cause for concern and control attempts, too. That's where HUMAN ERROR: CAUSES AND CONTROL comes in: it blends useful ergonomic details with ideas on human contributions to error, covering theories and applied methods and using examples to explore the idea and field of human error management. From constructs that help optimize human performance and achievement to chapters discussing data analysis and modeling, college-level courses on human error management will find this very appropriate for classroom discussion and text assignments.

Math You Can't Use
Ben Klemens
Brookings Institution
1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036-2118
0815749422 $28.95

MATH YOU CAN'T USE: PATENTS, COPYRIGHT, AND SOFTWARE uses the author's experience as a programmer and an economist to describe why modern intellectual property rights are in a big mess – and how to fix the problem. MATH YOU CAN'T USE could also have been featured in our computer section, but is highlighted here for its wider-ranging interest to any college-level collection containing not only legal and computer books, but holdings considering intellectual property rights, issues, and development protection.

Ireland: Standing Stones To Stormont
Tom Quinn Kumpf
Devendish Press
PO Box 17007, Boulder, CO 80305
0967023513 $39.95

Any fostering an interest in Irish history, culture and peoples will relish the gorgeous blend of color photos and cultural insights to be had from IRELAND: STANDING STONES TO STORMONT. From names and places to Irish legends, mysticism, and peoples, IRELAND captures all this during the author's personal journey through the country, surveying both links to ancient history – architecture, ruins, heritage sites – and modern landscape alike. The author's first-person insights contribute a lovely blend of travelogue and survey. IRELAND could've just as easily been featured in our arts or travel sections, but is reviewed here for its wide-ranging appeal across boundaries, defying categorization.

The Race for Timbuktu
Frank T. Kryza
10 E. 53rd Street, New York NY 10022
0060560649 $25.95

Early 19th century adventurers and fortune hinters were enthralled by the story of a lost city which no European had seen, which held riches galore. The wide-ranging and popular legend would foster rival attempts to reach this mysterious place: attempts chronicled in fast-paced adventure in THE RACE FOR TIMBUKTU: IN SEARCH OF AFRICA'S CITY OF GOLD. Europeans eager to exploit the resources of Africa's mysterious lands were fascinated by the legend of Timbuktu, and in 1924 the French Geographical Society offered a cash prize for the first expedition from any nation to return from Timbuktu. THE RACE FOR TIMBUKTU narrows the focus to two men whose goals fostered a heated competition to win.

The Automotive Shelf

The Classic Citroens
John Reynolds
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640
0786421711 $55.00

The one auto company which had three finalists in the final list of the Car of the Century competition in 1999 was Automobiles Citoern: all three models were developed during the time the company was owned by Societe Michelin, and all were created by engineer Andre Lefebvre and stylist Bertoni. THE CLASSIC CITROENS: 1935-1975 to be sure is a specialty item – but one no car fan will want to be without. Included are black and white photos of the various cars and plenty of background history of models, production line appearances, technical specs and changes in design and engineering, and more. From changing demand and influences on technology and design to the politics underlying changes and decisions, THE CLASSIC CITROENS tells it all, imparting a great deal of background on auto industry history as a whole, in the process.

The Library Science Shelf

The New OPL Sourcebook
Judith A. Siess
Information Today Inc.
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055-8750
1573872415 $39.50

THE NEW OPL SOURCEBOOK: A GUIDE FOR SOLO AND SMALL LIBRARIES provides a new edition for small libraries and for any studying library science. Here are tips ranging from finances and marketing to downsizing, outsourcing, and making the most of a minimum of resources and support systems. Listings of organizations, vendors and suppliers, discussions and more blend with chapters covering advocacy, public relations, and internet issues to make for a well-rounded introduction essential for any collection strong in college-level library science.

The Education Shelf

From F to Phi Beta Kappa
Lance O. Ong
Chromisphere Press
PO Box 470743, San Francisco CA 94147
0974427403 $16.95

FROM F TO PHI BETA KAPPA: SUPERCHARGE YOUR STUDY SKILLS is especially recommended for high school to college students who would develop a systematic approach to studying: something over half the nation's high school grads are unprepared to do. Lance Ong is a study skills expert and tutor: his UC Berkeley program is liked by both students and librarians and academics, and FROM F TO PHI BETA KAPPA blends illustrations and appealing design with a user-friendly approach which lends to effective learning. It should be required reading for any serious college student.

Computer Shelf

1005 Gravenstein Hwy N., Sebastopol, CA 95472

O'Reilly's books are consistently solid picks for several reasons: each is geared to a range of experiences from beginners to intermediate, they apply computer concepts to real-life dilemmas and choices and make for excellent resources for working business environments, and they come from practicing computer pros – engineers, network operators, consultants, programmers – whose knowledge has been tested not just by accreditation but by job needs. Excel users will welcome David M. Bourg's EXCEL SCIENTIFIC AND ENGINEERING COOKBOOK (0596008791, $44.99) shows how to apply Excel to a range of problems, using 'cookbook' recipes to walk you step-by-step through a solution. From working with time series data, fit curves, equations and resource application calculations to importing data from other sources and using charts and graphs to display results, EXCEL SCIENTIFIC AND ENGINEERING COOKBOOK is a winner. The weightier C# COOKBOOK by Jay Hilyard & Stephen Teilhet (0596100639, $54.99) appears in its second edition to completely revise C# and .NET 2.0, covering all the common and lesser-known tasks working C# programmers face daily. New chapters on generics, iterators and partial types and the Web cover all kinds of topics on everything from strings and expressions to structures, and are geared to solving the problem, not just offering a formula answer. Learn how to use syntax and common use cases with a fine, detailed cookbook. Tim Patrick,'s VISUAL BASIC 2005 IN A NUTSHELL: A DESKTOP QUICK REFERENCE (059610152X, $49.99) covers the latest release, which holds many improvements and enhancements of previous ones. Thus this third updated edition to cover these changes – also vastly updated and enhanced to provide a comprehensive treatment. Each language element receives a reference coverage which focuses on syntax, differences in use, language, and warnings of undocumented behaviors as well as code and diagnostics. Rich Gibson and Schuyler Erle's GOOGLE MAPS HACKS: TIPS & TOOLS FOR GEOGRAPHIC SEARCHING AND REMIXING (0596101619, $29.99) tells how to hone in on Google's mapping capabilities to create applications which integrate these maps with location data. Learn how to use search interfaces for more complex navigation and results, how to explore not just street maps but satellite photos, and how to place personal markers on Google results. Stephen Few's INFORMATION DASHBOARD DESIGN: THE EFFECTIVE VISUAL COMMUNICATION OF DATA (0596200267, $34.99) displays and teaches the visual design skills needed to create clear dashboards. Common mistakes in constructing dashboards are reviewed, general visual concepts applied to the specifics dashboards are designed to display, and discussions of medium, data representation choices, and de-emphasizing non-data pixels advocate clear, simpler dashboard design to communicate the foundations of data. Chris Fox's ESSENTIAL MICROSOFT OPERATIONS MANAGER (0596009534, $39.99) is for Windows administrators who are using MOM – especially those preparing for first usage. Such an audience will appreciate the task-oriented presentation which uses common projects and requirements to impart lessons and cover the basics, using step-by-step diagrams, procedures, and screenshots. From planning a deployment of MOM 2005 to getting the most from it and tweaking results, it's a basic guide keyed to real-life scenarios and not to be missed. Doug Addison's WEB SITE COOKBOOK (0596101090, $39.99) covers all the basics needed to put together visitor-friendly web sites – and it won't require absorbing an entire course, either. From protecting domain names and organizing files to site promotion and tracking hits, every basic of web programming for effective site management is touched upon. Jonathan Hassell's LEARNING WINDOWS SERVER 2003 (0596101236, $44.99) appears in its second updated edition to rewrite over 25 percent of the book, updating details for 2003 Serve Pack 1 and 2003 R2. Two chapters also discuss deploying DNS and Active Directory in a network setting. You can be assured all the latest Windows Server 2003 R2 features receive close attention, from Branch Office DZFS to FSR Manager. Jesse Liberty and Brian MacDonald's LEARNING C# 2005 (0596102097, $39.99) provides a basic primer for novice and student programmers who want to get up to speed fast. This tutorial lends well to classroom or at-home study: quizzes, summaries, and debugged programming exercises come with clear instructions of all the basics, including two new chapters showing how to use C# to create Web and Windows applications. Two new Photoshop coverages promise detail and approaches a range of users will appreciate. John Beardsworth's PHOTOSHOP FINE ART EFFECTS COOKBOOK (0596100620, $29.99) tells how to analyze and recreate compositions, color palettes of famous artists, and even how to produce Daguerrotypes, cyanotypes, Polaroid transfers and more. Hundreds of color images accompany easy step-by-step directions on how to perform each task, along with insights on tips and traps. Any Photoshop owner will find it an essential cookbook for the finer art of photographic manipulation. Mikkel Aaland's PHOTOSHOP CS2 RAW (0596008511, $34.99) demonstrates how pros turn RAW data into fine images. This visual instruction guide provides a walkthrough of the basics for capturing, arranging and optimizing RAW images. In addition, learn when not to shoot RAW, and how to sharpen such images for maximum results. Further photographic insights are presented in the more general WINDOW SEAT: THE ART OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY & CREATIVE THINKING by Julieanne Kost (0596100833, $39.99). All are powerful, highly recommended guides. Kost is an Adobe digital designer and educates designers, photographers and artists alike, lecturing on Photoshop topics: her WINDOW SEAT provides a complete view of a creative project based on her own experience shooting photos from commercial airplane windows. From how to stay creative in a complex world to shooting from commercial windows, both image manipulation and creative foundations are surveyed. Marc Campbell's DREAMWEAVER 8 DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION (0596101635, $39.99) covers the best practices for design, laying out, and constructing both interactive and static web sites. Core concepts are well organized and clearly explained with visual backup reinforcing technical concepts, while chapters are task-oriented in approach and use tasks to reinforce and demonstrating basic concepts. Sidebars of information offer the opportunity for further depth. No glitzy color, but the black and white screen shots and examples are all that's really needed for a strong survey. Ben Hardwidge's BUILDING EXTREME PCS: THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO MODDING AND CUSTOM PCS (0596101368, $24.99) covers many options in the world of PC modification and customization. Profiling unique systems and offering do-it-yourself options, chapters cover everything from building entire systems to optimizing and benchmarking, as well as custom-built systems and multi-processing systems. Pros and cons of different set-ups and systems are all covered, with bright color photos bringing projects to life. Powerpoint users have plenty of basic manuals to choose from: but where do you go when things start to go wrong? First step should be to consult Echo Swinford's FIXING POWERPOINT ANNOYANCES (0596100043, $19.99): it comes from an author who's been using PowerPoint professionally since 1997 and became a Microsoft PowerPoint MVP in 2000. From avoiding setup errors and adding multimedia effects to a presentation to solving issues and navigating easily, all the basics of PowerPoint – and its potentials for failure – are thoroughly and simply surveyed. Phil Mitchell and Evan Callahan achieve the same in FIXING ACCESS ANNOYANCES (059600852X, $19.99), which surveys the database notorious for pitfalls and problems. From novices to database setup to pros used to Access, all levels of user needs are addressed in a guide which includes over 75 utility software downloads and plenty of customization tips. For a handy pocket guide, don't pass over Dan Pilone's UML 2.0 POCKET REFERENCE (0596102089, $9.99): it may look compact and tiny but it's packed with UML syntax and usage in a format easy to consult and tote: software engineers especially will welcome it. All are outstanding guides.

Thomson Delmar Learning
25 Thomson Place, Boston, MA 02210

Three excellent new computer guides are powerful picks for either personal reference or classroom supplemental reading. Les Pardew's GAME ART FOR TEENS (159200959X, $34.99) appears in its second edition to provide instructions on how to create 2D and 3D art for games. Chapters provide step-by-step projects to impart these basics, showing how a game is created, the choices presented each step of the way, and how to use models to create and animate results. Les Pardew is a video game veteran with over twenty years experience in the industry. His background provides the perfect expertise to enhance a survey packed with color screen shots and detailed information. Jerri L. Ledford's CUT THE CORD! THE CONSUMER'S GUIDE TO VOIP (1592009883, $24.99) provides novices with all the basics; from understanding the Internet alternative to traditional telephone link-ups to understanding how it works, its pros and cons, industry standards, and hardware and software to bring it all together. With its checklists, tips and notes, CUT THE CORD is everything the novice needs to understand what all the excitement's about. Mike De la Flor's CARRARA 5 PRO HANDBOOK (1584504633, $49.95) provides a complete guide to the program's many tools and advanced features, covering all aspects of the plug-ins and 3D illustrations and animations and using a progressive learning approach to build upon tutorials. Black and white screen shots and examples pack a handbook which shows how to make the most of Carrara 5's latest enhancements, rounding off the written word with an invaluable cd-rom tutorial companion.

Peachpit Press, Inc.
1249 Eighth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

What often differentiates the Adobe Photoshop pro from the everyday user is their knowledge of channels processing – an advanced tool which enables advanced manipulation of images – but surprisingly, channels are usually only touched upon in a chapter or two of more general Photoshop surveys. A dedicated guide to the subject has long been needed, and computer whiz Scott Kelby provides this focus in THE PHOTOSHOP CHANNELS BOOK (0321269063 $39.99), showing how to enhance images, do repairs of common problems, add sharpening with noise, integrate special effects into photo results, and much more. Chapters packed with clear color photos and screen shots on every page add much to Kelby's survey of how to use channels for the most efficient, quickest results. This is simply a 'must have' reference recommended for all levels of Photoshop user, from beginners to advanced. And because channels are often the most confusing Photoshop course topics, it's also very highly recommended as supplemental reading for any taking a class in Photoshop. Geoff Blake's TEN TON DREAMWEAVER (0321374126, $44.99) tells how to create easily updated, expandable pages and web sites. From using template-driven pages and tables and frames to adding interactivity and multimedia using Dreamweaver's automated tools, chapters cover everything from layout and page design to resizing, hyperlink paths, and content manipulation – all with a focus on easy techniques and quick applications. Gina Fant-Saez's PRO TOOLS FOR MUSICIANS AND SONGWRITERS (0321337034, $44.99) tells how to use the digital-audio ProTools to record cd demos at home. From using the computer to edit tracks and add effects to outputting songs to a cd and working with sound digitally, the downloadable audio files and tips of PRO TOOLS FOR MUSICIANS AND SONGWRITERS can't be beat.

Wiley Publishing
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030

If you're a visual learner who balks at the written word, you can't do better than consult the books in Wiley's expanding series; especially if the lesson at hand involves the highly visual Photoshop program. In Mike & Linda WOOLDRIDGE'S TEACH YOURSELF VISUALLY: ADOBE PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS 4 (0471777978 $24.99) the focus is on step-by-step screen shots in full color which teach by demonstration, not written language: over a hundred Photoshop Elements 4 tasks are outlined in lesson plans which are easy to tackle and which use sidebars of detail to supplement several photo examples to a page. A wonderful, easy yet detailed way to learn Photoshop Elements. The same approach is cultivated in ADOBE PHOTOSHOP CS2 VISUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA (0764598600, $39.99), another 'read less learn more' guide which shows, rather than tells, how to perform tasks. Each tool and technique receives full color embellish, alphabetical listings for quick reference, and links to fine tuning. Taz Tally's PHOTOSHOP CS2 BEFORE & AFTER MAKEOVERS (047174901X, $29.99) is a 'must' for any who want to make the most of what Photoshop's designed for: editing and making over images. Wouldn't it be nice to have a step-by-step recipe for fixing problems and image editing rather than having to memorize the program? PHOTOSHOPP CS2 BEFORE & AFTER MAKEOVERS provides these recipes, covering all the basics from image extraction and masking tools to doing a collage makeover and making over grayscale to color. By packing in color screenshots and pairing them with color step-by-step photos all along the way, this is one of the best Photoshop CS2 example books we've seen. Advanced Excel users who wish to work smarter not harder need EXCEL PIVOTTABLES AND PIVOTCHARTS by Paul McFedries (0471784893, $26.99). It's the only focus on pivot tables to present a visual approach to complex professional-level computer topics, covering all the basics on how to build a report, create custom calculations, format a Pivottable, and even publishing it to the Web. Shots of Excel worksheets and screens every step of the way reinforces learning and information. Dave Huss' PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS 4 GONE WILD (0764599917, $34.99) provides over fifty ways to turn basic pictures into amazing photo fantasies. From handling faded poster prints to photographing and changing ads and street signs, the touch of whimsy in PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS 4 GONE WILD reinforces both techniques and whimsical applications through fun projects.

The Librarian's Internet Survival Guide, 2nd Edition
Irene McDermott
Information Today
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055-8750
1573872350 $29.50

The updated, expanded edition of LIBRARIAN'S INTERNET SURVIVAL GUIDE: STRATEGIES FOR THE HIGH-TECH REFERENCE DESK offers something different: a survey by a librarian probing the Web maze of information and web referencing, helping fellow librarians make the most of online resources. It joins others in the 'searcher' series with its unique focus on librarian routines and needs, but provides chapters by specific types of search needs, from resources for kids and health concerns to money management and reliable cyber-shopping sites and bots. Librarians will find it culls the best, recommended sites into easy subject chapters which lend to quick browsing and easy use.

Macromedia Flash Professional 8: Beyond the Basics
Shane Rebenschied
1249 – 8th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
0321293878 $44.99

So you have the basics of Macromedia Flash Professional 8 down and want to move to the next level of expertise – but how? Begin with Shane Rebenschied's tutorial, which packs learning exercises and training videos under one cover for maximum results. From learning how to create a video players that allows users to control playback features to creating a Flash plug-in detector and working with Photoshop and other programs for best integration of features, plenty of technical examples and screen shots permeate a hands-on training program which is the next best thing to the classroom itself.

CCIE Routing and Switching
Wendell Odom,
Cisco Press
800 E. 96th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46240
1587201410 $79.95

Any advanced programmer studying CCIE routing for the written exam will relish CCIE ROUTING AND SWITCHING: OFFICIAL EXAM CERTIFICATION GUIDE, 2ND EDITION. It covers all topics from the exam from IP routing and QoS to security and wireless mobility, it adds a CD-Rom with a testing engine which presents timed exams, and it includes quizzes and refreshers to help users identify weaknesses and improve upon overall knowledge base. As an all-in-one course guide, it's part of a Cisco-approved educational tool which has been completely revised with new review questions, exercises, and more. A 'must' for any studying for the Cisco exam.

Beginning SQL Server 2005 For Developers
Robin Dewson
2450 - 9th Street, Suite 219, Berkeley, CA 94710
1590595882 $49.99

Professionals with limited knowledge about databases or SQL will still be able to work with both thanks to the expert advice by SQL author Robin Dewson in BEGINNING SQL SERVER 2005 FOR DEVELOPERS FROM NOVICE TO PROFESSIONAL. Terms are defined and fully explained each step of the way, the basics of data manipulation and SQL Server language are revealed, and chapters for developers and database administrator alike cover all the basics; from creating indexes and structuring a database to working with the data. Highly recommended for any who wish to make database management part of their repertoire.

Sybex Inc.
989 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94103

More and more Photoshop titles on the market reflect the fact that this image editing monster program has become the industry standard – but is no easy learn. Al Ward's second updated edition of PHOTOSHOP FOR RIGHT BRAINERS: THE ART OF PHOTO MANIPULATION (0782144306, $39.99) is for those with some Photoshop experience who want to get beyond the basics. Idea-demonstrating new projects, tips on automating tedious tasks, and discussions of key tools which are paired with reinforcing attractive projects and plenty of color screen and photo examples make this appealing even for browsers who don't intend to delve too deeply. Ted LoCascio's THE INDESIGN EFFECTS BOOK (0782144454, $29.99) tells how to use InDesign's layout and design special effects to maximum benefit, from supercharging 3D enhancements to images to adding highlights, transparency, glow effects and much more. Add extra, new coverage to effects new with CS2 and you have a professional graphic designer's best tips packed into one easy book.

Internet Gambling
J. Phillip Vogel
Black Dog & Leventhal
151 W. 19th Street, New York NY 10011
1579125514 $14.95

If you've always wanted to venture into online gambling but were afraid to try, here's the tool for you: a handbook written by an Internet gambling columnist for which delves into the hows, dos and don't thought for online gambling. From how to begin and rules unique to the online game to strategies for winning online games of poker, bingo, lotto and more, INTERNET GAMBLING: HOW TO WIN BIG ONLINE is packed with specifics, and will delight players who already are avid off-line players.

ESRI Press
380 New York Street, Redlands, CA 92373-8100

Two outstanding new GIS titles are top picks for any discriminating college-level library collection strong in either geography or computers. Anita M. Palmer,'s MAPPING OUR WORLD: GIS LESSONS FOR EDUCATORS, ARCGIS DESKTOP EDITION (1589481216, $79.95) provides teachers with a complete one-stop resource in a book for any who wish to bring GIS technology into the middle-school or high school classroom. Teachers receive a comprehensive course designed for novice GIS educators which includes lesson plans and targets, case studies designed for varying levels of student GIS backgrounds, and GIS investigations which include step-by-step instructions for students reinforcing practical problem-solving skills. The inclusion of a one-year license of ArcView 9 software with the package, along with geographic data for all the lessons and links to the companion web site, make this an invaluable offering. Richard LeGates' THINK GLOBALLY, ACT REGIONALLY: GIS AND DATA VISUALIZATION FOR SOCIAL SCIENCE AND PUBLIC POLICY RESEARCH (1589481240, $64.95) shows how GIS technology can be used for beginning social science and public policy research courses. Teachers will find the month-long module lesson plans and structured exercises reinforced by a CD-ROM which can be completed in six hours of computer lab time. From urbanization and GIS and data applications to vector GIS and themes relating to manmade and natural environments, THINK GLOBALLY, ACT REGIONALLY puts GIS to practical work by explaining how urban planning can be handled by applied social science in a GIS environment.

2530 Whitehall Park Drive, #400, Charlotte, NC 28273

Technicians who regularly troubleshoot loops and systems must have the newly revised, updated edition of William L. Mostia, Jr., P.E.'s TROUBLESHOOTING: A TECHNICIAN'S GUIDE, 2ND EDITION (1556179634): it draws on the author's long experience as an instrument and electrical engineer to provide reviews of all the knowledge required for effective troubleshooting. Discussions of the underlying logic of troubleshooting survey methods, basic concepts, and details in mechanical, pneumatic, electrical, and processing systems, including software and programmable electronics. It could have been featured under 'Reviewer's Choice' but is recommended here as an advanced guide many a computer repair tech should have. The updated 3rd edition of Joseph D. Patton Jr.'s PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE (1556178751) provides a newly enlarged, updated edition of a classic on how to make equipment last longer. New chapters handle computerized preventative maintenance systems, while insights on fault tolerance, redundant components, hydraulic, mechanical and electrical interactions and more provide all machine users with both background and tips on enabling detection equipment. Both are outstanding guides.

Tips to Consider Before Building or Purchasing a Computer System
James T. Schneider
701 Smithfield Street, 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
0805968156 $10.00

If you're looking to purchase a new computer or upgrade a current system, this pamphlet/booklet is for you. It offers easy, jargon-free basics to help consumers which system is right for teaches the fundamentals of how computers work, and provides beginners with the tools needed to make informed decisions.

Linux Patch Management
Michael Jang
Prentice Hall
One Lake Street, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
0132366754 $44.99

Every professional programmer knows systems need patches to stay secure: the problem with Linux has been that, until recently, such patches have been difficult to find and manage. LINUX PATCH MANAGEMENT solves all these problems, offering the Linux professional step-by-step solutions, management strategies, and strategies which apply to single computers and Linux networks alike. Michael Jang holds many certifications and has written books on four of them: his background in networks and operating systems lends to a title perfect for consolidating and updating patches and Linux networks. Very highly recommended: a long-needed reference for the Linux world.

The Environmental Studies Shelf

Three Rivers
Margaret Atwood,
Harbour Publishing
PO Box 219, Madeira Park, BC, Canada, V0N 2H0
1550173650 $44.95

THREE RIVERS: THE YUKON'S GREAT BOREAL WILDERNESS explores a region of vast wilderness previously unknown to the outside world, but is a major environmental hotspot of modern times as it represents one of the last, key pieces of the boreal region. With the Mackenzie Valley pipeline proposal looming to threaten it, the Three Rivers region is in the news and deserving of this coffee-table survey, which packs in color photos and art and writing by major authors to remind of the region's importance.

When the Rivers Run Dry
Fred Pearce
Beacon Press
25 Beacon Street, Boston, Ma 02108-2892
0807085723 $26.95

The title says it all: WHEN THE RIVERS RUN DRY: WATER – THE DEFINING CRISIS OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY – and the chapters back it up, providing a history and examination of more than thirty countries around the world which face water issues. From Pakistan to the US and China, Pearce draws upon a disparate set of experiences around the world to consider the scientific, economic and historic dimensions of world water crises and issues. It's easy to believe that with oceans on many of our doorsteps, there will never be a real water crisis, but WHEN THE RIVERS RUN DRY shows otherwise, documenting major water crises and roads leading to future disasters. A 'must' for any serious discussion on water rights, management, and ecology – and appropriate for a range of readers from public libraries to college holdings.

Handbook of Water Use and Conservation
Amy Vickers
441 West St. Suite G, Amherst, MA 01002
1931579075 $99.95

Water management is a big issue here in California, affecting large-scale city planning projects right down to farms and individual homeowners. California is a relatively dry state: its major rainfall occurs only a few months out of the year. That's why the in-depth HANDBOOK OF WATER USE AND CONSERVATION addresses so many relevant issues on so many levels for California audiences in particular. Managers, planners, engineers and policymakers alike receive an outline of key steps to instigating a successful conservation program. Chapters do more than outline these steps: they build upon them an entire water-saving program, from ascribing and measuring customer water usage and patterns to auditing homes, businesses and production sources alike for water use and conservation effectiveness. Over a hundred tested water-efficiency measures – not just ideas – for reducing long-term demand are presented along with cost estimates, benefits, tables and case studies, and more. No college-level California library should be without; especially collections strong in urban studies, urban planning, and conservation issues.

On the Ice
Gretchen Legler
Milkweed Editions
1011 Washington Avenue South, #300, Minneapolis, MN 55415-1246
157131282X $15.95 1-800-520-6455,

McMurdo Station, Antarctica is home to freezing temperatures, months of nearly total darkness and regular near-hurricane force winds. It's also home to a permanent station, McMurdo, and for a season was home to author Gretchen Legler, who tells of this season and those who have journeyed to Antarctica to escape life. Her visit was intended to research the landscape; her book is about the crazy people she found there. ON THE ICE is thus about an exploration few others will make: you'll have to read the book to live her discoveries vicariously.

Green Inheritance
Anthony Huxley
University of California Press
2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94720
0520243595 $29.95

If GREEN INHERITANCE: SAVING THE PLANTS OF THE WORLD sounds like a familiar topic, it's because it's a completely revised, expanded edition of the prior WWF BOOK OF PLANTS. Any with an interest in botany, conservation or plant history must have GREEN INHERITANCE: it explores many topics relating to plant issues and conservation, from the dwindling genetic base of the world's crops and the fading last wild places where new plants may be discovered. GREEN INHERITANCE expands upon its predecessor with new coverage on invasive plants, plant diversity issues, herbal medicine, and more. A wealth of color photos throughout and chapters linking human concerns with issues of plant preservation make GREEN INHERITANCE of interest not only to the college-level collection, but to any general-interest public library strong in conservation titles.

Prophet of Dry Hill
David Gessner
Beacon Press
25 Beacon Street, Boston MA 02108-2892
0807085685 $19.95

Author David Gessner had always known of John Hay, who was his hero; but he only befriended the older naturalist when he returned to his childhood home on Cape Cod. His thought of writing a biography of the naturalist changed when their conversations became a record of Hay's naturalist knowledge, and thus THE PROPHET OF DRY HILL: LESSONS FROM A LIFE IN NATURE isn't just a survey of Hay's life and personality but a treasured collection of his seasoned observations on nature itself, packing in much more detail about nature than any biography would have achieved. Highly recommended.

Traces of Eden
Nishantha Gunawardena
TOE Books
5087 51st Street, NW, Rochester, MN 55901
0976997207 $34.95

Humanity has disrupted the very elements of nature which it seeks to preserve, yet the vastness of the U.S. and its ecosystems abide, as TRACES OF NATURE: THE LAST OF THE AMERICAN WILDERNESS seeks to capture forever under its book cover. Gorgeous color photos of American parks and wild areas accompany Gunawardena's own evocative prose based on his personal travels to these regions. From Alaska impressions to California' Mojave Desert and the vanishing Everglades, each lovely and often quite dramatic full-page color representation is faced with a blend of personal observation, photographic insight and natural history reflection. A gorgeous presentation; especially recommended for gift-giving.

Lee Rozelle
University of Alabama Press
PO Box 870380, Tuscaloosa, AL 35478-0380
081731492X $29.95

College-level collections strong in both literary and ecological holdings will welcome a scholarly exploration of 19th century texts as they relate to the changing ecological face of America in ECOSUBLIME: ENVIRONMENTAL AWE AND TERROR FROM NEW WORLD TO ODDWORLD. In the 19th century Edgar Poe and others represent the western wilderness as a series of idealized landscapes, whether it be manmade gardens or forests – which either upheld or misrepresented ecological space. Modernists, in contrast, portray urban space as either wastelands or garden environments. But contrasting with these two perspectives is a new type of literary 'eco-advocate' which focuses not on ecological paradises or makeovers, but ecological disasters… and which considers both environmental and man-made eco-disasters in the making. Rozelle's analysis finds evidence that the 'ecosublime' – nature experienced as wonder or fear – reflects social and religious responses to both nature and technological advancement.

Field Guide to Trees Of North America
Keith Rushforth
National Geographic
1145 – 17th Street NW, Washington DC 20036-4688
0792253108 $17.95

There are plenty of guides to trees on the market – but few offered in a portable tote format which truly lends to pocket take-along. You can put this in a backpack or even a back pocket: it's slim, compact, yet full of color illustrations of the complete tree plus close-ups of leaves, buds, flower and more. Keith Rushforth is an arboricultural consultant and expert urban forester: his expertise and coverage are extensively represented and provide a surprising amount of detail for what initially looks to be light pocket tote reading.

ImageStream Press
8339 Carriage Hill Alcove, Savage, MN 55378

Any read about wildlife refuges and parks with a visual eye to understanding wildlife wonders will welcome three gorgeous titles from photographer Jim Jamieson, which capture the unique attributes of three wonderful areas. BOSQUE DEL APACHE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE: 48 HOURS OF FLIGHT (0972912606, $22.95) captures the astonishing bird displays and migrations of a refuge which attracts thousands of snow geese, sandhill cranes, raptors and egrets, among others. Each photo is accompanied by a description of the unique wonder being presented. THE FLIGHT DECK: DIGITAL RHYTHMS OF OUR NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES (0972912622, $29.95) blends digital photography with a survey of conservation issues relating to the endangered and migratory creatures of these wetlands, again creating a visual document of conservation. Specifics on type of camera and settings accompany each of these lovely shots to allow readers to perhaps absorb the basics of how to achieve superior wildlife photography, with tips on how to get close to nature and how to adjust for changing light settings blend with outstanding bird displays. OUR NATIONAL PARKS AND WILDLIFE REFUGES: CAPTURING THE RHYTHMS OF LIGHT AND LAND (0972912614, $34.95) accompanies more stunning photos with perhaps the best all-around display of color and nature photography insight yet, including the author's own comments about how he shot each scene and compensated for challenging conditions with equipment specs and first-person insights. These are top picks not just for nature collections, but for any interested in how nature photography is actually done.

The New GAIA Atlas Of Planet Management
Norman Myers & Jennifer Kent, Editors
Gaia Books; Octopus Books, Dist.
1865752097 $39.95

THE NEW GAIA ATLAS OF PLANET MANAGEMENT's previous editions have seen regular feature as being among the top ten books on the environment ever created; so if you're a public library, high school or college-level collection interested in world environmental issues, you must have this. It's a completely revised, enlarged edition which reflects a decade of change in both international environmental issues and political responses: maps, charts, and discussions of everything from global energy to evolutionary potentials and living oceans place the latest research and ecological thinking at the user's fingertips. The result's a big, gorgeous display of detail and updates which are a 'must' for any reference collection serious about the environment.

The Science Shelf

An Introduction to Scientific Research Methods in Geography
Daniel Montello & Paul Sutton
Sage Publications
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
1412902878 $44.95

For a comprehensive college-level study of geographic research methods, choose AN INTRODUCTION TO SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH METHODS IN GEOGRAPHY, which covers the entire research process and describes basic concepts, from generating ideas to using library resources and using ethical judgement in conducting, compiling and presenting research. Plenty of illustration of different geographic research techniques include boxed summaries and spatial examples, which self-tests, assessments, and exercises make for a perfect beginner's coursebook.

Crossing Over
Edna Einsiedel & Frank Timmermans, Eds
University of Calgary Press
2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N 1N4
1552381919 $39.95

Life science technology offers many promises but also many cautions, so it's good to have a book which presents both sides using an interdisciplinary approach in CROSSING OVER: GENOMICS IN THE PUBLIC ARENA. Articles examine social and ethic issues surrounding genomics and biotechnology, considering everything from legal ramifications and changes to communications and ethical issues. From how the media represents genetic research to risk assessment and community involvement, CROSSING OVER poses important questions. College-level science collections will find this an important addition.

Science History Publications
PO Box 1248, Sagamore Beach, MA 02562-1248

College-level holdings strong in marine biology and ecology will welcome Helen M. Rozwadowski & David K. van Keuren, Eds.'s THE MACHINE IN NEPTUNE'S GARDEN; HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ON TECHNOLOGY AND THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT (0881353728 $49.95), a compendium of technical articles providing different surveys of sea economics, management, and use. Historians have traditionally not paid too much attention to oceanography: now THE MACHINE IN NEPTUNE'S GARDEN creates a history-linked survey especially for this group, providing research ranging from the historic development of local fishing industries around the world to surveying research institutions and their effects on ocean management. An outstanding reference work and specialty item! William R. Shea's DESIGNING EXPERIMENTS & GAMES OF CHANCE: THE UNCONVENTIONAL SCIENCE OF BLAISE PASCAL (0881353760, $39.95) tells of a man equally interested in math, physics and religion: while his name is most commonly associated with math, here a more well-rounded survey of his other contributions blend in an examination of his experiments to show a vacuum can be produced. From his unique views of science and religion to his insights into gambling and probability alike, DESIGNING EXPERIMENTS AND GAMES OF CHANCE is a pick college-level holdings will appreciate.

Guide to Energy Management, 5th Edition
Barney L. Capehart,
Fairmont Press/CRC Press
Taylor & Francis, Dist.
6000 Broken Sound Parkway NW, #300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
0849338999 $132.00

The fifth updated edition of GUIDE TO ENERGY MANAGEMENT represents a fully revised edition for energy managers considering strategies to improve lighting, combustion, and more. Articles aren't light overviews but come from some of the leading energy professionals in the industry, discussing energy management topics ranging from HVAC optimization to improving operations and efficiency ratings of equipment, understanding power factors and energy usage and bills, and fuels and mixtures. Very specific, very technical – and very useful for any actively involved in energy management systems.

Conversations with Carl Sagan
Tom Head, Editor
University Press of Mississippi
3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, MS 39211-6492
1578067367 $20.00

Carl Sagan is best known for his hosting of the PBS series Cosmos but actually has a long history of work in the astronomy field, and an interest in science and space which extends from his childhood – so it's fascinating to learn about his efforts to popularize his interests in CONVERSATIONS WITH CARL SAGAN. Here interviews and profiles discuss all the interests he holds for environment, astronomy, physics, and social issues. Subject chapters blend with interviews to make for a fine survey.

Darwinian Fairytales
David Stove
Encounter Books
900 Broadway, Suite 400, New York NY 10003-1239
1594031401 $27.50

Author David Stove is a philosopher who maintains that Darwin's theory of evolution is a 'slander on human beings': despite his beliefs, he's not a creationist nor an advocate of the intelligent design theory, but a theological skeptic – so he operates outside of most scientific and philosophical circles based in either. DARWINIAN FAIRYTALES; SELFISH GENES, ERRORS OF HEREDITY AND OTHER FABLES OF EVOLUTION acknowledges Darwin's genius and his theory of natural selection but also thinks the idea's been overblown: DARWINIAN FAIRYTALES tells how, why, and provides a history of the idea's evolution and marketing.

Adventures from the Technology Underground
William Gurstelle
Clarkson Potter
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
1400050820 $25.00

What drives over 25,000 inventors to Nevada's desert for the annual Burning Man festival – and why do inventors build fantastic machines in their garages from scraps? ADVENTURES FROM THE TECHNOLOGY UNDERGROUND covers the art of making catapults, pulsejets, flamethrowers, Tesla coils and robots, and comes from a professional engineer who interviews his fellow pros in an effort to find out what drives them to create such devices. A light-hearted, fun survey of the scientist's motivation results.

Designer Evolution
Simon Young
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
1591022908 $28.00

Debates about genetic engineering often revolve around what makes human beings 'human' or 'transhuman', and DESIGNER EVOLUTION: A TRANSHUMANIST MANIFESTO is bound to be at the heart of future debates, with its focus on the emerging new philosophy of Transhumanist doctrine, which supports the attempt to change the human body to eliminate disease, death, and even expand the mind beyond current boundaries. Young calls for a rejection of superstition in favor of a renewed faith in human progress through rational scientific progress.

Shoemaker & Hoard
1400 – 6th Street, #250, Emeryville, CA 94608

Two interrelated insights on plants and history are 'musts' for any serious botanical or plant history library; and even though they've been out for a while, deserve ongoing mention as exceptional acquisitions. Henry Hobhouse's SEEDS OF WEALTH: FOUR PLANTS THAT MADE MEN RICH (1593760892, $15.00) includes a new chapter on coffee as it follows the lasting effects of timber, wine, rubber, tobacco and coffee on the fortunes of mankind. Essays don't just provide plant history: they link such history to human revolutions, advancements, and achievements as a whole, and provide important connections between plant usage and development and human advancements. SEEDS OF CHANGE: SIX PLANTS THAT TRANSFORMED MANKIND (1593760496, $16.00) tackles more major plants which influenced human history and fostered development; from quinine and sugar to cotton, tea, and the potato. Each book uses the path of each plant's development to equate to changes in human history; much in the way David Burke used to achieve in his riveting TV shows.

Lynn E. Foster
Prentice Hall/PTR
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
0131927566 $29.99

Any involved in the technology sector must read NANOTECHNOLOGY: SCIENCE, INNOVATION AND OPPORTUNITY: it delves inside the nanotechnology industry and is edited by a key industry advisor to cover the latest in nanotech science and applications. More than just a review of experiments and future promise, however, NANOTECHNOLOGY considers both business and technical hurdles in the industry, its potential for revolutionary societal change, and the business implications of its discoveries. At first glance NANOTECHNOLOGY looks like another scientific survey – but it's actually much more!

Patrick J. Fitzpatrick
PO Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911
1851096477 $50.00

The second edition of HURRICANES joins others in the 'Contemporary World Issues' series to offer a chronology of history, events, legislation and science relating to hurricanes and disaster management. From a worldwide survey of where hurricanes do and do not occur to biographical sketches of notable weather enthusiasts from scientists and researchers to discussions of naming conventions and a world-wide timeline of hurricane events, this is one of the most authoritative references available. Very highly recommended for collections ranging from college holdings to general-interest public libraries.

What We Believe But Cannot Prove
John Brockman, Editor
10 E. 53rd Street, New York NY 10022-5299
0060841818 $13.95

Scientific theory is born of assumption and bits of unconnected evidence cemented by speculations, associations and a good bit of faith. Given all the uncertainties, how is a theory made viable? WHAT WE BELIEVE BUT CANNOT PROVE: TODAY'S LEADING THINKERS ON SCIENCE IN THE AGE OF CERTAINTY represents the author's interviews with a group of leading scientists and thinkers on the question: What do you believe to be true even though you can't prove it. The answers will amaze you – and you don't have to be a scientist to find them lively and engrossing reflections.

The Secret Life of Water
Masaru Emoto
Beyond Words Publishing
20827 NW Cornell Road, #500, Hillsboro, OR 97124-9808
074328982X $22.95

A blend of science and spirituality marks Masaru Emoto's lovely THE SECRET LIFE OF WATER, which links the search for happiness and serenity with the life of water on this planet. From interviews with healers and shamans whose powers have changed the shape of water itself to photos of water crystals and cycles of water and life, it's hard to easily peg THE SECRET LIFE OF WATER – but it will often find its way onto the science shelf and from there into the welcoming hands of spiritual readers as well.

Freaks of the Storm
Randy Cerveny
Thunder's Mouth Press
245 West 17th Street, 11th Floor, New York NY 10011
1560258012 $15.95

Any interested in weather and its changing impact on human lives will find FREAKS OF THE STORM: THE WORLD'S STRANGEST TRUE WEATHER STORIES a compelling presentation. From freak hailstones with horns and colored snowflakes to rainfalls of frogs, climatologist Randy Cerveny uses his database of some 8,000 recorded strange weather events to provide a lively survey of the many forms of strange weather. Even leisure browsers with little usual interest in weather will find it a fun survey.

The Social Issues Shelf

52 Weeks to Change Your World
Allan shepherd and Caroline Oakley
CAT Publications
Machynlleth, Powrys SY20 9AZ, UK
1902175182 L4.99

Take a little pocket- or purse-sized tote and back in a weekly schedule for doing a year of good deeds for family and the environment and you have a fix-it book which personalizes the task of environmental awareness and turns it into action. If you make it your job to make your house safe and your environment friendly, you've done something positive – and this small book shows how to make this a habit.

We the Media
Dan Gillmor
1005 Gravenstein Highway, Sebastopol CA 95472
0596102275 $16.99

Any interested in the future of new media must have WE THE MEDIA: GRASSROOTS JOURNALISM BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE: a survey of how common folk are producing more meaningful news coverage using personal blogs, Internet chat groups, and email as their delivery tools. Journalism in the 21st century is changing – and will be quite different from the media-controlled presentations we know today. To find out just how different, you have to consult WE THE MEDIA: it comes from a journalist and founder of the very grassroots media making big changes.

Understanding Terrorism
Gus Martin
Sage Publications
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
1412927226 $54.95

The second updated edition of UNDERSTANDING TERRORISM: CHALLENGES, PERSPECTIVES, AND ISSUES is an excellent purchase for both college-level reference holdings and for assigned reading for college-level courses on social issues. Added here is a new chapter on religious terrorism, reviews of new material on gender terrorism and criminal businesses, updates on pedagogy, and a format which includes test questions, amps from the book, and more on both a CD-ROM and an accompanying web site. Plenty of examples from events around the world pepper surveys which cover the politics, economics, and social foundations of international terrorist experiences.

The Islam/West Debate
David Blankenhorn,, Editors
Rowman & Littlefield
4501 Forbes, #200, Lanham, MD 20706
0742550079 $27.95

In 2002 sixty American intellectuals published an open letter defending the use of military force against terrorists – a letter which sparked an international debate in which liberal Muslims, journalists, and jihadists alike discussed terrorism, US policy and East/West relations. Documents from these global discussions are gathered in THE ISLAM/WEST DEBATE, a collection which should be considered a 'must' not only for college-level holdings but for public libraries seeking to include a representative sampling of discussions on Islam. Discussions cover what principles groups represent and why, what is being defended, and the reasons behind Muslim antagonism to others. Essential reading for any who would understand opposing viewpoints in these issues.

Global Values 101
Kate Holbrook,, Editors
Beacon Press
25 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108-2892
0807003050 $14.00

GLOBAL VALUES 101 isn't just the title of a book; it's a course which proved one of the most popular ever offered at Harvard University, in which original thinkers sat down with students and explored how knowledge and ideas contribute to better world citizens. From ideas of success and achievement to issues of war, religion and social change, GLOBAL VALUES 101 surveys all kinds of issues and connects social change to global values systems. Perfect for classroom discussion – even at the high school level.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

The World Must Know
Michael Berenbaum
US Holocaust Museum
c/o The Johns Hopkins University Press, dist.
2715 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4363
080188358X $29.95

Why the need for a second edition of a classic Jewish studies survey of images from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC? Because with each decade that passes it becomes more important to preserve the images and realities of World War II events for future generations – and because THE WORLD MUST KNOW is an outstandingly well organized gathering of hard-hitting images from the German Holocaust. The Museum is a living memorial to the events and those who died – and THE WORLD MUST KNOW: THE HISTORY OF THE HOLOCAUST AS TOLD IN THE U.S. HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL MUSEUM is an outstanding memorial propelling its images beyond museum walls.

Love Your Neighbor And Yourself
Elliot N. Dorff
Jewish Publication Society
2100 Arch Street, 2nd Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19103
082760825X $25.00

There are plenty of books covering ethical issues, but rarely one as specific as how to apply ethical concerns to daily live. LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AND YOURSELF: A JEWISH APPROACH TO MODERN PERSONAL ETHICS is such a book: it uses the Torah commandment to 'love your neighbor as yourself' as foundation for examining the meaning of neighborly love outside the home. From handling issues of family violence and Jewish family life and dating to understanding other faiths, LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AND YOURSELF shows how to translate Torah commandment and Jewish tradition into an active path for more ethical, concerned living.

1001 Facts Everyone Should Know About Israel
Mitchell Bard & Mosche Schwartz
Rowman & Littlefield
4501 Forbes #200, Lanham, MD 20706
0742543587 $15.95

The story of Israel from its roots to modern times provide essential facts about the politics, evolution, and contributions of the nation, describing the important influences on the country's growth and offering an easily-accessible, working knowledge of Israel and her peoples in contrast to weightier, less accessible tomes on the market. A top pick for any who would learn about the nation without facing a daunting background packed with too much detail.

The Bomb in the Basement
Michael Karpin
Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0743265947 $26.00

Israel not only became the Middle East's first nuclear power: it kept its atomic program secret – and veteran Israeli journalist Michael Karpin explains how in THE BOMB IN THE BASEMENT: HOW ISRAEL WENT NUCLEAR AND WHAT THAT MEANS FOR THE WORLD. From the Israeli program's heavy reliance on early French aide to its resurgence of energy under the approval of President Nixon, the political interactions, policies and changes between nations makes for fascinating, revealing reading.

Micah Publications
255 Humphrey Street, Marblehead, MA 01945

Two excellent new titles are top picks for any collection strong in Judaic studies. James Parkes' END OF AN EXILE: ISRAEL, THE JEWS AND THE GENTILE WORLD (0916288501, $22.95) is for any interested in modern Zionism and its perceptions. A British churchman here provides essays which provide some new additions to a classic work of 50 years of history, written by an Anglican scholar fascinated with the uniqueness of Jewish history and its modern incarnation in Israel. Discussions provide plenty of Biblical references and reflections throughout a history which adds new material to bring discussion to reflect modern events. Roberta Kalechofsky's JOB ENTERS A PAIN CLINIC & OTHER STORIES (091628851X, $15.00) provides twelve stories which consider modern medical technologies and how they impact how we live. Her stories focus on a range of experiences but especially upon the Jewish experience, from Nazi death camps to rats in the Bastille. Ethical considerations, whether it be for human or animal suffering, are at the forefront of each hard-hitting story.

The Jews Are Coming Back
David Bankier, Ed.
Berghahn Books
150 Broadway, Suite 812, New York, NY 10038
1571815279 $29.95

THE JEWS ARE COMING BACK: THE RETURN OF THE JEWS TO THEIR COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN AFTER WWII provides an outstanding gathering of articles packed with new perspectives on the experiences of Holocaust survivors returning to their home countries after the war. Some were met with welcome, many with distrust: it may surprise casual readers to learn survivors again faced the "Jewish problem" attitude as they were perceived as aliens and intruders in their own countries. A county-by-country focus of Jewish community reconstruction achievements and barriers offers something few other books can touch: a regional and community survey of experiences. A 'must' for any serious study of Jewish issues.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

A Curious Kind of Widow
Ann Davidson
Fithian Press
PO Box 2790, McKinleyville, CA 95519
156474454X $16.95

Plenty of books cover the symptoms and early treatment of Alzheimer's, but here's the rest of the story: coping with its later stages. A CURIOUS KIND OF WIDOW: LOVING A MAN WITH ADVANCED ALZHEIMER'S takes up where her first book left off, telling of the progress of her husband's disease and how it changed her life and their marriage. From the escalating problems from a caretaker's viewpoint to personality charms despite increasing limitations, A CURIOUS KIND OF WIDOW provides personal insights on a depersonalizing disease.

Beyond the Hippocratic Oath
John B. Dossetor
University of Alberta Press
Ring House 2, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2E1
0888644531 $39.95

Modern medical ethics has evolved over decades of change: a process charted by John B. Dossetor in BEYOND THE HIPPOCRATIC OATH: A MEMOIR ON THE RISE OF MODERN MEDICAL ETHICS. Dr. Dossetor's survey links the evolution of modern medicine and bioethics by using his own practice and experiences as a foundation: he was a pioneer in nephrology, involved in early kidney transplantation, and routinely made life and death decisions for his patients. As time went on and medical issues became more complicated, he found the Oath increasingly tested by more complex issues. His sabbatical to study medical ethics resulted in a pioneering new program on the topic, and this reflects his work as well as his reflections on these dilemmas. College-level medical holdings should have this at hand.

Adrenaline and the Inner World
David S. Goldstein, MD, Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4363
0801882893 $25.00

ADRENALINE AND THE INNER WORLD: AN INTRODUCTION TO SCIENTIFIC INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE represents the first attempt in nearly seventy years to discuss the roles of adrenaline in regulating the body, and it comes from an international authority and teacher on the topics who uses his insights to address issues of stress and body regulation. College-level health collections, in particular, will find quite accessible his discussion of how to use scientific integrative medicine to develop new ways to treat and prevent disease. From weight loss and gain to adrenaline's affects on various body systems, this is the only book you'll need to thoroughly understand the topic and its related health issues.

Myth of Depression as Disease
Allan M. Leventhal & Christopher R. Maetell
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881
0275989763 $39.95

Any college-level health collection, especially those strong in mental health concerns, must have THE MYTH OF DEPRESSION AS DISEASE: LIMITATIONS AND ALTERNATIVES TO DRUG TREATMENT: it goes where few books so clearly have gone before, arguing that there's little actual scientific evidence for treating depression as a biological disorder to be treated with drugs. Indeed, the authors say, there is very little known about the role of biology in depression; but marketing by pharmaceutical companies has perpetuated the myth of chemical imbalance and treatments to benefit their bottom lines. Therapy is under-explored in contrast, and should be one of many alternatives to drug therapies: that's the hard-hitting contention of THE MYTH OF DEPRESSION AS DISEASE, which should earn much classroom discussion as well.

Chinese Natural Cures
Henry C. Lu
Black Dog & Leventhal
151 West 19th Street, New York NY 10011
1579125468 $19.95

Other books have come out on the topic of Chinese cures – but this is the most comprehensive yet, created by world-famous practitioner Dr. Henry C. Lu who uses his expertise to explain both Chinese medicine and its underlying philosophy of health and illness. Treatments are organized by complaints and include easy reference for treatment and cure and advice on hundreds of foods and herbs as well. Literally hundreds of Chinese herbs and their uses receive clear, specific mention; right down to the formulas and potions which make them useful. Very highly recommended: a must for any serious herbal treatment collection.

Osteoporosis Prevention
Renee Newman
Inational Jewelry Publications
PO Box 13384, Los Angeles, CA 90013-0384
0929975375 $15.95

Plenty of women's health guides cover osteoporosis as part of their overall view on women's health and aging: OSTEOPOROSIS PREVENTION: A PROACTIVE APPROACH TO STRONG BONES & GOOD HEALTH goes beyond introductions to advocate an actual prevention program beginning with getting enough calcium and exercise to understanding differences between bone density testing centers, getting the most from such a report, and avoiding common problems. A recommended pick for any woman – but especially those with a strong family history.

Death's Door
Sandra M. Gilbert
W.W. Norton
500 – 5th Avenue, New York NY 10110
0393051315 $29.95

Surveys of death and grieving often embrace the psychology so much that there isn't much room for other approaches, so it's surprising to find a treatment which blends a poet and critic's vision and experiences with a focus on the psychology of pain and recovery. Such a survey is DEATH'S DOOR: MODERN DYING AND THE WAYS WE GRIEVE. A survey of social and cultural history documents different processes of death and grief in society, while the author struggles with her own reactions to deaths of loved ones. Her different viewpoints help DEATH'S DOOR stand apart from the myriad of titles on the topic.

Training Guide for Visiting the Sick
William J. Justice, Dmin, Dphil, Dlit
Haworth Press
10 Alice Street, Binghamton, NY 13904-1580
0789027046 $17.95

TRAINING GUIDE FOR VISITING THE SICK: MORE THAN A SOCIAL CALL is difficult to easily categorize: it is designed to appeal across the board to those involved in ministry, spirituality, hospice care, nursing and more with its advice on how to minister to the sick. Based on the author's decades of experience as a bedside hospital chaplain, appropriate and inappropriate behaviors and approaches are reviewed, things to say and not discussed, and tips on how to let patients lead, rather than directing the conversation, are revealed. Any who have wondered what to say and do to support a sick, hospitalized patient must turn to TRAINING GUIDE FOR VISITING THE SICK for insights.

The Case of Terri Schiavo
Arthur L. Caplan, Eds
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-9827
159102398X $21.00

At first glance it would seem that THE CASE OF TERRI SCHIAVO: ETHICS AT THE END OF LIFE is another focus on her case alone – but actually its focus on end-of-life ethical questions holds far more meaning for the living than for the dead of the past. The ethical dilemmas surrounding end of life are many – and are surveyed in depth in a coverage which uses not just Terri's case but similar cases to expose issues, struggles and obstacles to quality of life and survival. Essays cover everything from legal issues and points to ethical concerns.

Depression & Your Thyroid
Gary S. Ross MD & Peter J. Bieling, Ph.D.
New Harbinger Publications
5674 Shattuck Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609
1572244062 $15.95

Thyroid and psychology are often linked, with the condition of one influencing the other and often creating a circular path of deterioration: that's the message of DEPRESSION & YOUR THYROID: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW, which provides a handbook of understanding hypothyroidism and its effects on mental health. From causes of hypothyroidism – which are many and varied – to various treatments, including home remedies, DEPRESSION & YOUR THYROID is an important guide.

Arthritis: A Cleveland Clinic Guide
John D. Clough, MD
Cleveland Clinic Press
9500 Euclid Ave, NA32, Cleveland, OH 44195
1596240083 $14.95

So many books permeate the market on arthritis that one might well wonder at the need for yet another – but it comes backed with the expertise and name of the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic and from a staff rheumatologist who has been involved since 1971, so it holds both an authority and a long-time practicing physician's insights. Chapters consider typical patient experiences and use case histories in explaining the various forms of arthritis, seeking treatment, who is at risk, and how to assess options. It's surprising to note that despite all the literature and medications, arthritis is really a misunderstood condition, which hopefully will be remedied by any with access to ARTHRITIS: A CLEVELAND CLINIC GUIDE.

Mayo Clinic Health Information
Ceterplace 5, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905

The Mayo Clinic's handbooks differ from other consumer references in many ways: they are less weighty treatments than most, yet are backed with all the medical authority and expertise the Mayo Clinic has come to be associated with; they use charts, some color illustration and an easy topical arrangement to help consumers find quick answers, and they focus not just on treatments, but why different approaches work. ON DEPRESSION (1903005178, $14.95) surveys different approaches to treating depression, from drugs and electroconvulsive therapy to counseling, and how depression varies between age groups. ON MANAGING DIABETES (1893005380, $19.95) discusses all aspects of a disease which is seeing rapid changes in treatment options stemming from rapid discoveries: from diagnosing pre-diabetic indicators and taking preventative steps to advances in more effective insulin delivery systems, the influence of exercise on sugar levels, and unique issues for kids with diabetes, this provides all the tools needed for control. ON HEADACHE (1893005356, $16.95) provides all the basics to know about both common and uncommon headaches, from regular headaches and rebound headaches from overuse of aspirin to conditions which cause secondary headaches and migraines. From non-medication treatments to differences between headaches in women, children and the elderly, ON HEADACHE goes beyond most treatment guides to survey the epidemiology of headache and different treatment paths. ON CHRONIC PAIN (1893005275, $16.95) appears in an updated second edition to provide a survey of the causes of chronic pain and the latest treatment. So much progress has been made in this field that the new second edition as called for, with editor Jerry Rome, MD providing an excellent and well-rounded survey of both traditional and alternative pain management systems which offer relief. Backed by Mayo's medical authority, these are all winners consumers can trust.

The Hypochondriac's Pocket Guide To the Horrible Diseases You Probably Already Have
Dennis Diclaudio
175 – 5th Avenue, #300, New York NY 10010
1596910615 $14.95

If you've ever wondered whether a headache indicates a tumor, a cold lead to bird flu, or stomach poisoning indicate mad cow disease, then THE HYPOCHONDRIAC'S POCKET GUIDE is for you – or someone you know. Its tongue-in-cheek approach to diseases comes from one who worked at a major medical publishing company, researching and writing short blurbs about disease outbreaks – and his book on health oddities and ironies documents over forty odd, repulsive and all too real diseases and their possibilities.

Overcoming Medical Phobias
Martin Antony, Ph.D. & Mark A. Watling, MD
New Harbinger
5674 Shattuck Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609
1572243872 $14.95

While some folk dutifully see the doc and dentist while needed, others find their phobias of medical professionals so strong that they can't even make a preventative visit nor take common medical tests. This audience would do well to look at the self-help guide OVERCOMING MEDICAL PHOBIAS: HOW TO CONQUER FEAR OF BLOOD, NEEDLES, DOCTORS & DENTISTS. From the roots of fears and how to address underlying issues of such phobias to strategies for preventing fainting, stress and avoidance, this doesn't just admonish – it offers a step-by-step 'can do' program for overcoming phobias. A top pick.

Dying to Be Free
Beverly Cobain & Jean Larch
PO Box 266, Center City, MN 55012-0266
1592853293 $12.95

Beverly Cobain has survived not just one but three family suicides; the most famous being the 1994 death of her cousin Kurt, lead singer of Nirvana. Her registered nurse background and family experiences here blend with those of crisis intervention specialist Jean Larch to provide survivors with a handbook which speaks to the heart. DYING TO BE FREE: A HEALING GUIDE FOR FAMILIES AFTER A SUICIDE gathers the common experiences and feelings of survivors under one cover, providing a unique set of thoughts, feelings and reflections on turmoil, psyche, and family dynamics. A powerful survivor's guide.

How to Stay Healthy & Fit for Life
Steve Michael
American Literary Press
8019 Belair Road, #10, Baltimore, MD 21236
1561679178 $14.95

The diet on author Steve Michael's native Greek islands has been deemed the world's healthiest because these people have the world's lowest incidence of medical problems – dramatically lower, in fact. Plenty of books provide recipes for this 'Mediterranean diet' without explaining its basic concepts: the intention of HOW TO STAY HEALTHY & FIT FOR LIFE is to blend this diet's attributes with the experiences and professional insights of a diet consultant and personal fitness trainer who at age 72 is still lively and healthy. From preventing cancer and heart disease without drugs to understanding common pitfalls of American diets, HOW TO STAY HEALTHY & FIT FOR LIFE is for any who would understand how diets really work – and why they sometimes don't.

The Diet Survivor's Handbook
Judith Matz, LCSW & Ellen Frankel, LCSW
Box 4410, Naperville, IL 60567-4410
1402205449 $12.95

It's a documented fact that thousands try new diets each year – and fail. If you're one who has time and again made the effort and not succeeded, then THE DIET SURVIVOR'S HANDBOOK: 60 LESSONS IN EATING, ACCEPTANCE AND SELF-CARE is for you. Chapters tell how to get away from diets and how to look for a stabilized weight rather than an idea. They advocate letting go of guilt while understand differences between physical hunger and psychological need. And they pack in lessons and activities to support a new way of looking at diets and weight loss. Any would-be dieter or failed dieter will find its premise intriguing – and inspirational.

Hunger: An Unnatural History
Sharman Apt Russell
Basic Books
387 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016
0465071635 $23.95

Every day we wake up hungry and break a potential fast: but few have had the experience of real hunger. HUNGER takes a day-by-day tour of body and mind sans food, from Day 1 to a week or more without food. History, culture, and health concerns blend in a wide-ranging analysis of the different experiences of and influences on hunger, how it works physiologically, and more. A top pick not just for college collections, but for public libraries and general-interest readers.

Big Pharma
Jacky Law
Carroll and Graf
245 W. 17th Street, 11th Floor, New York NY 10011
0786717831 $15.95

Corporate wealth and public health often are at odds with one another: that's the view presented in BIG PHARMA: EXPOSING THE GLBOAL HEALTHCARE AGENDA. Modern healthcare is in shambled, and Jacky Law shows how a relatively small number of companies dominate the research agenda and pursue profits to the detriment of public health and health systems as a whole. From the influences of corporate lobbyists to market considerations which rule over medical needs, BIG PHARMA exposes a big headache which needs fixing.

The Art Shelf

A Passion for Asia: The Rockefeller Legacy
Asia Society
Hudson Hills Press
74-2 Union Street, Manchester, VT 05254
0878481036 $60.00

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Asia Society comes an outstanding survey which reflects John D. Rockefeller 3rd's tour of China and Japan and his commitment to promoting a greater understanding of Asia through the society which he founded in 1956. Words and color photos – lovely artworks throughout Asia – follow the mission of the Asia Society and juxtapose essays by the Rockefeller family members. Here are archival photos of the family's travels, philanthropic activities, and domestic life along with sculptures, paintings, and art works by collected from Asia by family members.

Crowood Press
c/o Trafalgar Square Publishing
PO Box 257, Howe Hill Road, North Pomfret, VT 05053-0257

Two excellent how-to guides are strong picks for working artists. John Ripley's CERAMIC AND STONE TILING: A COMPLETE GUIDE (1861267770, $35.00) will also appeal to homeowners who want a solid do-it-yourself tiling guide: the basics of cutting tile, setting tile, and wall and floor tiling are clearly covered using not just step-by-step instructions but a wealth of color photos to clarify each step. Ed Burke's GLASS BLOWING: A TECHNCIAL MANUAL (1861265212, $45.00) provides a practical survey of how to learn the basic techniques of glass blowing, from choosing the right tools and equipment to gathering molten glass from the furnace and shaping it. Color photos illustrate a techniques guide which goes into details on using the punty iron and blowing plates, vases and more as a learning experience to blowing more complicated pieces.

The DaVinci Notebooks
Leonardo DaVinci
Arcade Publishing
141 Fifth Avenue, 8th Floor , New York, NY 10010
1559707992 $14.95 1-800-759-0190

The new collection of writings, sketches and diagrams from Da Vinci's notebooks embraces all aspects of his creations, from art to science, medicine, music and even urban planning. This new edition includes an essay on his life by Emma Dickens and is published to coincide with the film of THE DA VINCI CODE on May 19th.

Manawa: Pacific Heartbeat
Nigel Reading & Gary Wyatt
University of Washington Press
PO Box 50096, Seattle, WA 98145-5096
0295985704 $35.00

If it's a contemporary selection of works from native peoples of New Zealand and the Northwest coast which is needed, MANAWA: PACIFIC HEARTBEAT fits the bill perfectly: it presents modern Maori and Northwest Coast art, covering the history of major exposure of modern young artists to the world and including an excellent representative sampling of their achievements in striking color photos. 31 Maori and 15 Northwest Coast artists are presented to represent over three decades of works and events around the theme. The gorgeous color photos of over sixty selected pieces created especially for MANAWA make for an exceptional presentation.

Techno Textiles 2
Sarah Braddock Clarke & Marie O'Mahony
Thames & Hudson
500 – 5th Avenue, New York NY 10110
0500512450 $50.00

TECHNO TEXTILES: REVOLUTIONARY FABRICS FOR FASHION AND DESIGN will prove an exciting pick for any designer or artist working in fabrics. Here are features of new textiles developed from carbon, steel and even glass: materials which protect wearers from the environment or offer new versatility traditional fabrics can't match. Accompanying color photos of fabrics in use are discussions of changing trends in fabric construction, design and style – an outstanding display of images in a top-rated title juxtaposing art and functional style. Very highly recommended.

Art That Pays
Adele Slaughter & Jeff Kober
Natl Network for Artist Placement
935 West Avenue, #37, Los Angeles CA 90065
0945941145 $29.00

If you want to make a living from your art, there's no better place to consult than ART THAT PAYS: THE EMERGING ARTIST'S GUIDE TO MAKING A LIVING WITH INTERVIEWS FROM OVER THIRTY-FIVE CELEBRATED ARTISTS. An appendix on cd-rom features hundreds of hot links to artist resources, while interviews offer new artists practical perspectives on how to make a living with art. Visual arts, dance, acting – all forms of art are surveyed along with common sources of income, from grants and funding to Internet marketing.

155 – 6th Avenue, 2nd Floor, New York NY 10013

Elvan Zabunyan's BLACK IS A COLOR (A HISTORY OF AFRICAN AMERICAN ART) (2914563205, $37.50)is a pick college-level art libraries will appreciate: it discusses black consciousness among artists around the world, relating the history of African-American art to different influences and movements both within and outside of the country. Chapters discuss how attitudes shape art production and form, how various artists have used these attitudes to foster artistic changes and new directions, and how issues of identity, militant activities, and symbolism come to be reflected in black art. An excellent survey with a centerfold of color photos for reinforcing examples. Zak Smith's PICTURES OF GIRLS (1933045221, $30.00) opens with an interview of the artist conducted by Shamim M. Momin blending the artist's autobiography with perspectives on art before moving into lovely full-page color reproductions with facing pages providing title, year, and mediums used. Acrylic and ink is Momin's medium of choice and PICTURES OF GIRLS provides a satisfying, absorbing catalog of his works. Leah Dickerman's DADA (1933045205, $65.00) provides a wide-ranging history and art survey of some of the top figures representing Dada art past and present, from Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst to Sophie Taeuber and lesser-knowns. Practices from the primary big city movements around the world are represented in chapters which also feature six city essays by art scholars of the movement, a chronology of events, and a blend of artists' biographies and full-page color examples. While it accompanies one of the most comprehensive museum exhibits of Data art in this country, DADA also stands well alone as a powerful historical and artistic survey: one that no art library should be without.

Art Network
PO Box 1360, Nevada City, CA 95959

These outstanding new art coverages are highly recommended picks not just for art school libraries, but for public library holdings where any patron is interested in marketing their art works. Margaret Danielak's A GALLERY WITHOUT WALLS: SELLING ART IN ALTERNATIVE VENUES (0940899469, $19.95) narrows the topic to selecting the best public exhibit space to produce a strong showing which sells your work. Artists receive chapters covering all the basics of creating promotional materials, teaching how to use invitations, guest books and more to sell art on a limited budget. Robert Egis Dvorak's SELLING ART 101 (0940899868, $22.95) is the item of choice for not just artists but their gallery and rep managers: it covers all the basics of both studio selling and telephone techniques, surveys how to get referrals and new clients, and comes from the experience of a practicing artist who has both sold his own works for 25 years, and conducted seminars on both art production and art selling. Chapters blend business savvy with artistic objectives in a manner which assume no prior business familiarity. The second edition of Constance Smith's ART MARKETING 101: A HANDBOOK FOR THE FINE ARTIST (040899485, $24.95) covers all the basics; from gaining a competitive edge in the art market and building name and brand recognition to using publicity tactics to gain recognition, pricing artwork to sell, and protecting legal rights. All are 'musts' for artists who would not just create, but effectively sell their works.

Stone by Design
Photographs by Alison Shaw
Gibbs Smith
PO Box 667, Layton, UT 84041
1586854437 $29.95

STONE BY DESIGN: THE ARTISTRY OF LEW FRENCH is packed with color photos of an artist who works in all kinds of stone, from slate and granite to fieldstone, incorporating these pieces into a home or art project setting. From locating stone in different places and splitting and working with its shape to working with architects in blending stone into home uses, STONE BY DESIGN is both an idea book and a survey of style and use by one whose expertise lies in blending stone qualities with home interior purposes.

708 Broadway, New York NY 10003

Damien Scott and Kris Ex's HOW TO DRAW HIP HOP (0823014460, $19.95) captures the subtle nuances of a cartoon style which is difficult to define. Hip hop is as much a state of mind and music as it is an art form so it's quite elusive: here to explain it is a artist and author who blend the basics of drawing with the style and spirit of hip-hop culture from clothing to characters and more. Damion Scott is a graduate of the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art and has many strips and productions to his name, so he provides a seasoned insider's perspective. Stephanie Hoppen's CHOOSING BLUE: COLOR YOU CAN LIVE WITH (0823006697, $35.00) is a powerful focus on blue shades and new uses for blue in the home. Andreas Von Einsiedel's gorgeous interior photo displays go far beyond the usual features of color, showing not just variations of blue shadings but contrasts between blue and other colors. The many shades and tones of blue lend to far more diversity of use than some books would explore: CHOOSING BLUE provides not only many fresh alternatives but new color pairing ideas to expand the use of blue in home decoration. A 'must' for any serious interior designer or home painter.

Brushstroke Handbook
Maureen McNaughton
North Light Books
4700 E. Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236
1581807821 $26.99

Painters who want a quick, photo-filled guide to brush strokes and their results will want to keep THE BRUSHSTROKE HANDBOOK: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO DECORATIVE PAINTING WITH BRUSHSTROKES close at hand. It covers different strokes, effects, placement of colors, rounds on brushes, and combinations which provide special results. Step-by-step directions tell how to recreate the clear color examples. An outstanding presentation indeed.

The Drawing Book
Tania Kovats, Editor
Black Dog Publishing
Unit 4.04 Tea Building, 56 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JJ, UK
1904772331 $65.00

The weighty set of examples packed into THE DRAWING BOOK: A SURVEY OF DRAWING: THE PRIMARY MEANS OF EXPRESSION should deter no real artist: it provides an outstanding gathering of works by artists, architects, sculptors, filmmakers and more to demonstrate the versatility of drawing. Add essays by curators Kate Macfarlene and Katharine Stout and art writers Charles Darwent and you have an in-depth survey through five artistic themes – measurement, nature, the city, dreams, and the body. It's the color plates which stand out here, as silent testimony to the range of expression drawing can bring to each theme and thought.

The Prints of John Himmelfarb
Essays by Michael Bonesteel & Linda Konheim Kramer
Hudson Hills Press/NBN, dist.
PO Box 205, Manchester, VT 05254
1555952453 $50.00

This definitive catalog of the prints of John Himmelfarb should be the only comprehensive work an art library would need if only one representation of the artist were to be included in a collection. THE PRINTS OF JOHN HIMMELFARB spans his entire career from 1967-2004, reviewing his development, his trends, and his influences. Himmelfarb has exhibited nationally since 1968 and gained many honors: an introductory essay by Linda Kramer reviews his career, followed by a more detailed in-depth essay by Michael Bonesteel. Add a survey of his many exhibitions and a review of the papers and formats used for his graphic works and you have a notable representation of the extent of his career and direction.

The Photography Shelf

Ken Ohara
Twin Palms Publishers
54 1/2 East San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, NM 97501
1931885389 $60.00

WITH by Ken Ohara features a photographic series of one-hour exposure portraits unlike anything you've seen, challenging the concept of traditional portrait appearances and evaluative processes. Here identify is fuzzed and lost, context boundaries are blurred, and observers are pushed into forming new frames of reference and new points for creating impressions of identity. Any involved in portraiture from either side of the camera will find Ohara's approach unique.

Window Seat
Gregory Dicum
Chronicle Books
85 – 2nd Street, San Francisco, Ca 94105
0811840867 $14.95

Here's one that's hard to categorize: seventy aerial photos give a fine landscape view of the earth and mimic what you'd see from the window seat of a plane – but that's not all. Here's map showing major flight paths, profiles of different North American region landforms and waterways, tips on spotting major sites from the air – everything you need to take on the plane for an even more memorable trip!

The American History Shelf

American Sweethearts
Ilana Nash
Indiana University Press
601 N. Morton Street, Bloomington, IN 47404-3797
0253346592 $21.95

Any collection strong in American popular culture and history will welcome AMERICAN SWEETHEARTS: TEENAGE GIRLS IN 20TH CENTURY POPULAR CULTURE. There are plenty stereotypes of 'stupid teen girls' and AMERICAN SWEETHEARTS gets to the bottom of these images by exploring them in American pop culture through teen narratives and the producers who created them. Chapters begin the study in 1930 and conclude in 1965, with each survey how social and cultural changes contributed to the evolving image of girls, from Nancy Drew to Gidget. American History, Popular Culture, and Women's Studies collections will be enriched by this survey.

Sing Sing
Denis Brian
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
1591023572 $25.00

Any studying criminal issues or crime will find SING SING: THE INSIDE STORY OF A NOTORIOUS PRISON engrossing: in 1825 a hundred mute convict-laborers constructed a new maximum-security prison near a village on the Hudson called Sing Sing, working for five years to create what would become the world's most notorious prison. Denis Brian's history of that prison documents its inhumane treatments and uses extensive research from original sources to document its evolving conditions from the 19th century to modern times. Involving and eye-opening.

At Canaan's Edge
Taylor Branch
Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th floor, New York, NY 10020
068485712X $35.00 1-800-223-2336

AT CANAAN'S EDGE: AMERICA IN THE KING YEARS 1965-68 will stand alone but even better as the concluding volume to his AMERICA IN THE KING YEARS, a three-volume history offering a definitive analysis of the era. This final volume opens with the repression of voting-rights march in Alabama on March 7, 1965. Unlike more casual review, AT CANAAN'S EDGE gets right into the underlying politics of events and considers King's negotiations with government entities – at one time, all three branches of the U.S. government. If it's light reading you wish, this isn't your item: if it's in-depth coverage though, you won't find anything more definitive.

The American South in The 20th Century
Craig Pascoe,, Editors
University of Georgia Press
330 Research Drive, Athens, GA 30602-4941
0820327719 $22.95

Any collection strong in Southern history usually has a heavy focus on the Civil War era; but what of the modern 20th century South and its issues and concerns? For that you have to turn to THE AMERICAN SOUTH IN THE 20TH CENTURY, a gathering of writings in southern history, politics, and other social concerns which documents exactly how the South has and hasn't changed over the decades. Common themes of race, segregation, Civil War lasting effects and Southern identity in the face of modernization emerge from essays which contribute a well-rounded feel for today's evolving Southern identity.

Dark Bargain
Lawrence Goldstone
Walker & Company
104 – 5th Avenue, New York NY 10011
0802714609 $24.00

The issue of slavery was actually a concern for convention delegates, and was the main issue which evoked the most resistance to compromise: that's the contention of DARK BARGAIN: SLAVERY, PROFITS AND THE STRUGGLE FOR THE CONSTITUTION. In fact, the Constitution was molded by the controversies, needs, and presence of slavery: a fact which receives much emphasis and attention in a study which focuses on source material to recreate backroom debates, underlying issues, and philosophical differences between our country's founding fathers. A revealing state-by-state survey enables readers to pinpoint differences and their effects on the Constitution's language and intentions.

Encyclopedia of Immigration and Migration in the American West
Gordon Morris Bakken & Alexandra Kindell, Editors
Sage Publications
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
1412905508 $295.00/2 Volumes

The powerful 2-volume ENCYCLOPEDIA OF IMMIGRATION AND MIGRATION IN THE AMERICAN WEST is a winner: it will appeal both to high school and college library holdings in offering a definitive reference cataloging both key immigrants and key migration patterns of different ethnic groups in the American West. From entries on Chinese early immigrants to Japanese internment, discussions are sometimes several pages in length and conclude with bibliographic material for further reading. Contributors work for historical societies, museums, and universities and provide both authority and clarity.

James L. Swanson
William Morrow/HarperCollins
10 E. 53rd Street, New York NY 10022
0060518499 $26.95

It reads like fiction with all the story-telling action of high drama, but MANHUNT: THE 12-DAY CHASE FOR LINCOLN'S KILLER is actually nonfiction and packs in all the facts about Lincoln's murder and the subsequent hunt for his killer. It's a compelling true account promising to reach beyond the history shelf to grasp the hearts and minds of 'true crime' fans and mystery readers alike, recounting the assassination of Lincoln using medical, investigative and historical details to recreate events. A gripping drama which will reach strongly into the leisure reading audience.

Shooting Star
Tom Wicker
15 East 26th Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10010
015101082X $22.00 1-800-543-1918

Joe McCarthy rose to public acclaim back in 1950 when his hunt for members of the Communist Party within the U.S. government itself resulted in a virtual witch hunt of political figures, then American citizens, who were members. While anticommunist was already a Republican Party cause, McCarthy took it a step further and elevated it to new levels – yet five years later he was condemned by his own party. SHOOTING STAR: THE BRIEF ARC OF JOE MCCARTHY explores his rapid rise and fall, with a journalist's eye to uncovering the underlying motivation to his actions. An impressive survey and biographical sketch emerges.

PO Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911

Two top recommendations are solid picks for both high school and college-level collections. Jerry D. Stubben's NATIVE AMERICANS AND POLITICAL PARTICIPATION: A REFERENCE MANUAL (1576072622, $60.00) adds to the 'Political Participation in America' edited by Raymond Smith and examines the history of Native American political involvement in America. From an introductory overview of the group's unique political process to reviews of people, laws and organizational contributions, chapters not only cover tribal government organization and early philosophers but current voting statistics and trends. Jorge Iber and Arnoldo de Leon's HISPANICS IN THE AMERICAN WEST (1851096795, $65.00) focuses not just on Mexican Americans – though that is the heart of subject treatments – but includes notes on Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Guatemalans and other immigrants from South America. Add a focus on Spanish-speaking communities in states not normally noted for large Hispanic populations and also blend history with a survey of social issues from Americanization processes to Chicano politics and you have a wide-reaching history and reference.

Basic Books
387 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016

Two very different histories and surveys are invaluable for understanding the roots of modern America. Lewis L. Gould's THE MOST EXCLUSIVE CLUB: A HISTORY OF THE MODERN UNITED STATES SENATE (0465027784, $27.50) provides a fine survey of the modern U.S. Senate and the leaders who have had the greatest ongoing influence on its approaches. Competing titles review long-ago history, so it's refreshing to have a coverage which holds a more modern focus, considering the function, actions and daily activities of the U.S. Senate – and considering how it's in decline today. A 'must' for any collection strong in political science and American history. Brian Fagan's FISH ON FRIDAY: FEASTING, FASTING AND THE DISCOVERY OF THE NEW WORLD (0465022847, $26.95) considers the very roots of American culture with a lively coverage considering the influences on Columbus to set out across a wild ocean for unknown territory, the motivation for the king and queen to commission such a venture, and the discovery of America as it relates to the spread of Christianity and European objectives. This is no light coverage but a wide-ranging interdisciplinary study which incorporates ancient myths, medieval religion, commercial and business interests, and even climate science in its survey of why and how the New World came to be.

The Divided Ground
Alan Taylor
Alfred A. Knopf
c/o Random House
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
0679454713 $35.00 1-800-726-0600

THE DIVIDED GROUND: INDIANS, SETTLERS AND THE NORTHERN BORDERLAND OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION tells of an uncommon friendship between a Mohawk Indian boy and the son of a colonial clergyman. For fifty years they were first good friends, then bitter foes; their stormy relationship would change and mirror the face of changing relationships between Native American and white man, and makes the perfect foundation for an analysis of events in THE DIVIDED GROUND. From border issues and movements to settler rights, THE DIVIDED GROUND offers a key to understanding the influences behind Native/white man interactions and conflicts.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

American Movie Critics
Phillip Lapote, Ed.
Library of America
14 E. 60th Street, New York NY 10022
1931082928 $40.00

Any collection strong in entertainment and movie history, especially college-level holdings, will want to have AMERICAN MOVIE CRITICS: AN ANTHOLOGY FROM THE SILENTS UNTIL NOW in their collection. It's the first anthology to categorize, define and explore movie reviewing as a discipline of its own: chapters blend a history of the rose of movies with a concurrent survey of the rise of movie critics and reviewing methods, tracking changes in methods, contributions of notable critics over the decades, and including quotes and samples from some of today's best. Over a hundred fifty pieces by nearly eighty contributors span nearly a hundred years.

Little Musicals for Little Theatres
Denny Martin Flinn
Limelight Editions
Hal Leonard Corp, Dist.
512 Newark Pompton Turnpike, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
0879103213 $17.95

Over a hundred small musicals which any theatre can produce is packed into a guide which uses the background of its experienced Broadway producer author to select among the few musicals that have small casts and can be performed on a budget. Most musicals rely on glitz and expensive production eye-catchers for effects and drama, so it's especially refreshing to see a focus returned to the stage itself. Chapters serve as a reference to these selected productions focusing on synopsis, outlining musical numbers, acts, and pros and cons of production.

Words with Music
Lehman Engel
Applause Books
19 W. 21st Street, New York NY 10010
1557835543 $17.95

If WORDS WITH MUSIC: CREATING THE BROADWAY MUSICAL LIBRETTO sounds familiar, that's because it originally appeared in 1972, only to go out of print for years thereafter. Now it's back – and it sports an expanded version and updated commentary by NY Times theatre critic Howard Kissel to return a classic to new life. Engel's background in the Broadway heyday provides important reference material for his survey of major musical works, documenting major scenes, surveying how good musicals are written to stand out from mediocre productions, and revealing which basic theatre elements are employed to best usage for particular types of productions. An outstanding survey, recommended for any Broadway fan.

Lone Eagle Publishing
5055 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036

Two outstanding 'how to' guides are top picks for aspiring actors. Ellie Kanner and Denny Martin Flinn's HOW NOT TO AUDITION: AVOIDING THE COMMON MISTAKES MOST ACTORS MAKE (158065049X, $19.95) pinpoints typical problems which aspiring actors often make during audition, and comes from a casting director with extensive background in the industry. From proper etiquette for auditions to strategies for landing jobs in film commercials or theatre alike, HOW NOT TO AUDITION comes with the guarantee that if actors absorb these guidelines, they will have a much greater chance at landing the role. Linda J. Cowgill's WRITING SHORT FILMS, 2ND EDITION (1580650635, $19.95) surveys the short film, which continues to be a solid road into entering the film business. From hooking an audience with the first image to developing characters within the structure of the short film, WRITING SHORT FILMS: STRUCTURE AND CONTENT FOR SCREENWRITERS delves into the elements which make the short film a winning platform for industry success.

The Gardening Shelf

Shocking Beauty
Thomas Hobbs
Periplus (Tuttle, Dist.)
364 Innovation Drive, N. Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
079465021X $29.95

Thomas Hobbs is a master maker of gardens, and in SHOCKING BEAUTY he offers his original perspective on garden design through a series of literary, inspiring essays taking examples from exceptional gardens throughout North America and Europe to show how gardens can be inspired rather than arranged. Nature is the best example of how to blend colors and textures to create 'shocking beauty', Hobbs maintains: full-page color photos demonstrate this beauty.

Guide to Pruning
Cass Turnbull
Sasquatch Books
119 S. Main Street, #400, Seattle, WA 98104
1570614687 $19.95

Bad pruning can do more than produce an unsightly tree: it can lead to water sprouts, diseases, and even death. To keep this from happening, consult Cass Turnbull's GUIDE TO PRUNING, which appears in its second updated edition to pack n pruning pros and cons for hundreds of plants, shrubs and trees. All the basics of when and how to prune are revealed in a guide which teaches best practices.

Tropical Plants For Home and Garden
William Warren
Thames and Hudson
500 – 5th Ave., New York NY 10110
0500283419 $34.95

It's quite a simple formula: if you're looking to include tropical plants into your home or garden, you can't be without this book. Gorgeous color photos by Luca Invernizzi Tettoni pack a display of equally gorgeous plants accompanied by details on growing needs, propagation, cultivars, and use in home or garden environments. From ferns and succulents to gingers and bananas, a wide variety of plants of all sizes and types are covered to delight any who live in warm environments or have greenhouses to stock.

California Native Plants For the Garden
Carol Bornstein, David Fross & Bart O'Brien
Cachuma Press
PO Box 560, Los Olivos, CA 93441
0962850586 $27.95

If you're a California gardener you can't be without CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANTS FOR THE GARDEN, which is deserving of ongoing recommendation as one of the most comprehensive guides on the subject we've seen. Color photos pack a comprehensive review of plants best suitable for California gardens, covering cultivation, landscape design usage, water needs, and more. From pruning requirements to common diseases and insect problems, plants in CALIFORNIA NATIVE PLANTS FOR THE GARDEN are all thoroughly detailed.

Sunset Books

Three lovely gardener's guides provide very different references for any seeking to make over and create a beautiful garden environment. BEFORE & AFTER GARDEN MAKEOVERS (038031883, $16.95) tells how to create not just an acceptable garden, but an interested and varied environment juxtaposing stones, waterfalls, pathways and multicolored flora and foliage for dramatic makeovers. From building raised beds to creating curving pathways and adding color and variety, BEFORE AND AFTER GARDEN MAKEOVERS comes packed with inspiration. Same goes for LANDSCAPING WITH STONE (0386034785, $14.95), which tells how to use stone to create pathways, steps, stairs, and walkways. Even rock gardens are included in a guide which focuses not just on design ideas, but on how to incorporate stonework into a living landscape for maximum effect. The completely revised, updated edition of SUNSET WESTERN LANDSCAPING (0376039159, $29.95) packs in over six hundred color photos and examines how landscape and garden decoration may blend with decks, pathways, and more. With its extensive photo galleries, WESTERN LANDSCAPING is packed with lovely ideas.

The Interior Design Shelf

Compact Interiors
Carles Broto
Jonqueres, 10.1-5, 08003, Barcelona, Spain
8496263118 $40.00

Plenty of interior design books focus on large spaces and soaring interior structural designs; but much fewer tackle the bigger challenge of working with a very small or compact interior space – and that's where the lovely COMPACT INTERIORS comes to the rescue. Over twenty case history studies of small homes display innovative, different methods used to make the most of their limited space. Chapters don't stop with large-sized glossy photos either: reviews of materials used, technical specifications, and commentary by the designing architects involved create a diverse set of insights perfect for a sourcebook which may be used as either an architect's inspirational guide or a homeowner's idea resource. Very highly recommended.

Incredible Vegetables from Self-Watering Containers
Edward C. Smith
Storey Publications
210 Mass MoCa Way, N. Adams, MA 01247
1580175562 $19.95

Amateur gardeners often associate vegetable production with labor-intensive work – but it doesn't have to be that way, if you use self-watering containers to grow veggies in pots. Ed Smith has been vegetable gardening for over fifty years, teaching courses on the topic: his INCREDIBLE VEGETABLES FROM SELF-WATERING CONTAINERS USING ED'S AMAZING POTS SYSTEM emphasizes organic yet trouble-free growing techniques.

Home by Design
Sarah Susanka
Taunton Press
PO Box 5507, Newtown, CT 06470-5507
1561587915 $21.95

If author Susan Susanka's name sounds familiar, it's because she's written the notable NOT SO BIG HOUSE and here provides another outstanding examination of the elements shared by all well-designed homes. There are nearly thirty key design concepts which can be applied across the board to any home, big or small, no matter what style – and HOME BY DESIGN surveys these concepts presenting over a hundred examples of both basic and easy to more complex design elements. Color photos accompany floor plans, discussions of design elements which work, and more. A top pick for homeowner and designer alike.

Tropical Style
Gillian Beal
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
0794604153 $29.95

TROPICAL STYLE: CONTEMPORARY DREAM HOUSES IN MALAYSIA draws inspiration from a country which has always been open to ideas and influences from both East and West – and which reflects this openness in architectural heritage and culture. Thirty-five modern houses are presented here, from apartments to homes, with each display covering all the interior design choices, the owner intentions for their retreats, and why different designs were chosen. From Oriental touches to inspirations from Malay traditions, pages packed with full-page oversized color photos display the best Malaysia has to offer.

Style and Grace
Michael Henry Adams
Bulfinch Press
1271 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
082125748X $19.95

If photographer Mick Hales' work in STYLE AND GRACE: AFRICAN AMERICANS AT HOME looks familiar, that's because his work has appeared in some top national magazines, from House and Garden to Vanity Fair. When paired with architectural historian Michael Henry Adams' work, it provides a gorgeous addition to the first survey to capture the spirit of African-Americans in their home design and decoration choices. A wide range of homes receive feature here, from that of hip-hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons to Congressman Charles Rangel: each surveys the style, intentions and outlook of the homeowner as well as the designer or architect involved.

Designed to Sell
Vicki Christian, Editor
Meredith Books
1716 Locust, DesMoines, IA 50309-3023
069622450X $19.95

This inspirational collection of success stories who spent 2K in home improvements to realize 50K in profits from their investments promotes home redos which transform rooms, encouraging high and quick sales prices by introducing contemporary, clean new appearances to drab old homes. These aren't huge makeovers, but are often inexpensive and easy projects to dress up floors, windows, and walls. From cosmetic changes which pay off to inexpensive extras buyers fall for, the dos and don'ts come from both homeowners and real estate pros and reflect the best investments you can make. And if its title sounds familiar, that's because DESIGNED TO SELL: SMART IDEAS THAT PAY OFF! Comes from a hit TV show of the same name and approach.

The Expert's Guide to Life at Home
Samantha Ettus
Clarkson Potter
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0307237567 $19.95

This joins others in the 'Experts' Guide' series, gathering the knowledge of a range of experts to provide insights into the little challenges in life – and it's the first to meld home improvement, interior design and self-help under one cover. Six sections on improving, beautifying, and enjoying the home show how to achieve everything; from the basics of folding a sheet properly to hanging holiday lights and selecting and cleaning countertops. From installing a doggie door to decorating with flowers, enjoy all-inclusive compilation of practical tips which considers no home-related topic too small to address.

The Architecture Shelf

Visions of Heaven
David Stephenson
Princeton Architectural Press
37 East 7th Street, New York NY 10003
1568985495 $60.00

Dome architecture is something special: and its special qualities and art are captured by photographer David Stephenson in his images of dome interiors VISIONS OF HEAVEN: THE DOME IN EUROPEAN ARCHITECTURE. Stephenson traveled across Europe and even into Turkey and Russia photographing churches, palaces, mosques and synagogues created from the second to the 20th century: his visual display captures over a hundred images of some of the finest dome construction in the world, while an essay by Victoria Hammond tracks and dome and its decoration.

Princeton Architectural Press
37 East 7th Street, New York NY 10003

As photo albums and 'scrapbooking' crafts become more an accepted part of family life, it's hard to recall the era before the camera when the most folks had for keepsakes was the family Bible and documents. When Kodak introduced the Brownie it began a revolution in family documentation and visual content – and Barbara Levine & Stephanie Snyder's SNAPSHOT CHRONICLES: INVENTING THE AMERICAN PHOTO ALBUM (1568985576 $40.00) captures this revolution, presenting graphic designer Martin Venezky's gorgeous faux soft cover design to supplement the authors' exploration of photo albums. Four essayists contribute to a lovely presentation which reproduces sepia and vintage photos and albums to accompany discussions of album history and evolution. Photographers will find it a lovely survey. D.I.Y.: DESIGN IT YOURSELF edited by Ellen Lupton (1568985525, $19.95) tells how to design not in the usual print formats alone, but also using blogs, websites, cd packaging, embroidery and more. And it's not just for designers, either: everyday readers are the audience for a book which tells how to use the techniques of pros to achieve superior design results. The basic principles of design are applied to a wide range of everyday eye-catchers to logos. Color examples and photos pack every single page.

Creative Homeowner
24 Park Way, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458

If you're looking to design a house – particularly a small home from 800-2,500 square feet – you must take a look at AFFORDABLE HOME PLANS: BIG IDEAS FOR SMALL SPACES (1580112730, $12.95): it holds tips and examples from top architects and designers across the country, packing in over a hundred color photos, color renderings, and design specs and details. Here are specific plans paired with quick and easy ordering by phone and special sections on decorating to streamline and ease the task of coming up with a floor plan for a smaller space. Or tackle a specific space with ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BASEMENTS, ATTICS & GARAGES (1580112927, $19.95), which covers all the basics of how to turn an unfinished basement or attic into another functioning room of the house. Here are fifty step-by-step walk-throughs for achievement, paired with nearly six hundred photos and illustrations to help the do-it-yourselfer achieve success. Use concrete with confidence with ULTIMATE GUIDE TO MASONRY AND CONCRETE (1580112986, $19.95), a guide for designing and building everything from different styles and types of walls to handling outdoor projects. Nearly a thousand photos and illustrations in color pack a guide which tells how to handle the latest new products and building requirements. Or tackle drywall with ULTIMATE GUIDE TO DRYWALL: PRO TIPS FOR HANGING & FINISHING by John Wagner (1580112706, $14.95), which appears in a revised, expanded edition to display all the tricks pros use in drywall. From special tips such as using deadman braces to handling curved walls and more, the diagrams make it simple to follow each step.

Ten Shades of Green
Peter Buchanan
Architectural League of New York
457 Madison, New York NY 10022
0393731898 $24.95

Modern buildings are major contributors to the environmental crisis, so it's notable that a curator and critic uses ten selected buildings that combine environmental responsibility and design excellence to show sustainability can offer new opportunities for innovation as well as savings. What does this imply for homeowners? Review the achievements of these ten structures in TEN SHADES OF GREEN: ARCHITECTURE AND THE NATURAL WORLD; then apply them to a home project. While most here are large-scale commercial productions, the approach fostered in TEN SHADES OF GREEN holds many lessons for homeowner/builders, as well.

The Sun-Inspired House
Debra Rucker Coleman
Sun Plans Inc.
PO Box 85, Citronelle, AL 36522
Chelsea Green Publishing Company, dist.
PO Box 428, White River Junction, VT 05001-0428
0976731800 $29.95 1-800-639-4099

A 'sun-inspired' room is sunny, open, warm in winter and cool in summer, and integrates sustainable design principles with efficiency and useful design basics. And THE SUN-INSPIRED HOUSE illustrates a range of concepts related to the sun, using fifty house plans to demonstrate integrated concepts. This is a collection of home designs which blends floor plans and modification ideas with sun-inspired homes for all climates. Blends of design and construction information provide an architect's expertise under one cover. What it lacks in glossy color photos is more than made up for in practical application designs and insider information paired with homeowner testimonials that they actually work. A top pick.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Whispers from the Woods
Sandra Kynes
Llewellyn Publications
2143 Wooddale Avenue, Woodbury, MN 55125-2989
0738707813 $17.95

WHISPERS FROM THE WOODS: THE LORE AND MAGIC OF TREES could also have appeared in our New Age section but is featured here for its interest to any studying botany as well. From the basics of the Celtic Ogham and tree calendars to trees' roles in meditation practices, feng shui, spellcraft and ritual, WHISPERS FROM THE WOODS provides a satisfying survey of trees and their spiritual role in human affairs.

Supernatural California
Preston Dennett
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
0764324012 $24.95

California residents and visitors now have a fine guidebook to over 200 sites where the supernatural paranormal and unknown are likely to be encountered, in an unparalleled travel guide to the top California hotspots. From lake monsters and Bigfoot to UFO places, haunted houses and businesses, and unique mystery spots, SUPERNATURAL CALIFORNIA blends eye-catching, large-size color photos with plenty of background history and details. A wonderful guide for any fascinated by the supernatural in general and California history in particular.

Celeste Teal
Llewellyn Publications
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
0738707716 $17.95

Eclipses play an important role in our lives, but usually are given only astronomical treatment: professional astrologer Celeste Teal draws on nearly thirty years of her background to explain how they also act as cosmic telegrams in a ECLIPSES: PREDICTING WORLD EVENTS & PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION. It's the first book to link astrology with eclipses, showing how both personal and global interest can be served through a better understanding of them.

Encyclopedia of the Undead
Dr. Bob Curran
New Page Books
PO Box 687, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417
1564148416 $18.99

From earliest times fascination and fear has revolved around the idea of the 'undead' lurking in the darkness of night, whether it be those walking the urban streets or approaches at campfire. ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE UNDEAD: A FIELD GUIDE TO THE CREATURES THAT CANNOT REST IN PEACE offers a catalog and detailed descriptions of these creatures, from Incubi and Succubi to legends which have influenced other writer's works. The reference catalogs and cross-references all kinds of 'undead' legends across the eras and makes for easy reference and appealing leisure pursuit.

Voices of Flowers
Rhonda PallasDowney
Red Wheel Weiser
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
1578633656 $21.95

This could've been featured in our Health Shelf section but many more readers will come across it under New Age sections of bookstores, so it's reviewed here, even though its focus is homeopathy and alternative health. PallasDowney founded the living Flower Essences company in Arizona, where she prepares tinctures and consults – and she holds a diploma in homeopathic Medicine. Her handbook tells how to make your own meditation and healing work with plant knowledge based on the chakra energy system. Theory and practice are reinforced by daily rituals throughout.

Spiritual Journaling
Julie Tallard Johnson
Bindu Books/Inner Traditions, Dist.
1 Park St., Rochester, VT 05767
1594770565 $14.95

If you wish to find ways to express individuality without being judged, SPIRITUAL JOURNALING is for you: SPIRITUAL JOURNALING: WRITING YOUR WAY TO INDEPENDENCE is written with the young adult in mind – but it's reviewed here because many an adult won't want to miss its message. Its inventive, different journaling techniques use meditations, oracle consultation, visualization rituals and more to aid the writing process, providing a satisfying mix of new age technique and writing advice.

The Self-Help Shelf

Power of Becoming
Paul R. Mork
Beaver's Pond Press
7104 Ohms Lane #216, Edina, MN 55439-2129
1592981275 $18.95

Author Paul Mork is a teacher and coach who here turns his eye to the elements of personal fulfillment in THE POWER OF BECOMING; ACHIEVING PERSONAL FULFILLMENT. Physical, psychological and spiritual elements combine to equate to such a fulfillment, which is often a delicate balance between the three elements; the power of becoming shows how to take control of these influences and how to blend in concern for others to complete the formula. Eight essays show how to 'become real', how to 'become a believer', and more.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Dr. Quantum's Little Book Of Big Ideas
Fred Alan Wolf, Ph.D.
Red Wheel/Weiser
PO Box 612, York Beach, ME 03910-0612
1930491085 $12.95

Physicist Fred Alan wolf (a.k.a. Dr. Quantum) is respected among scientists and spiritual leaders alike for his ability to bridge spiritual with science concerns and insights, and his latest DR. QUANTUM'S LITTLE BOOK OF BIG IDEAS: WHERE SCIENCE MEETS SPIRIT is no exception, drawing important links between physics discoveries and theories and their meaning to and impact upon religious thought. A 'little book' format pairs vignettes and short reflections with longer essays on concepts of sources of inspiration and new ideas, charged particle 'dancers', and more. A fun recommendation for any interested in science.

Harper SanFrancisco
10 East 53rd Street, New York NY 10022

The history and idea of the Eastern orthodox Church is little known to many, yet the author's research uncovered a vital, living faith and Frederica Mathewes-Green's FACING EAST: A PILGRIM'S JOURNEY INTO THE MYSTERIES OF ORTHODOXY (0060850000 $13.95) details a year in the life of her small Orthodox mission church, using her first-person journey as foundation for probing the religious and social aspects of orthodoxy in general. An excellent survey: inspirational and educational. Marianne Williamson's THE GIFT OF CHANGE: SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE FOR LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE (0060816112, $13.95) uses her own experiences to cover a diverse range of spiritual topics, from walking with God and understanding concepts of spiritual mercy and creating miracles to handling atonement and understanding concepts of sin and how it differs from plain error.

Kierkegaard on Faith and the Self
C. Stephen Evans
Baylor University Press
PO Box 97363, Waco, TX 76798
193279235X $49.95 1-800-710-3217

Soren Kierkegaard's essays explore basic issues of faith, ethics and philosophy with a Christian perspective which emphasizes he has a lot to say about not just the philosophy genre he's associated with, but about the Christian church as a whole. From how religious language and concepts are misused to specific points about religious and Christian belief perspectives, KIERKEGAARD ON FAITH AND THE SELF: COLLECTED ESSAYS packs in solid food for thought.

Second Calling
Dale Hanson Bourke
Integrity Publishers
5250 Virginia Way, #110, Brentwood, TN 37027
1591453321 $18.99

If you're a religious-thinking, older woman wondering if the best of life has already happened, SECOND CALLING: FINDING PASSION AND PURPOSE FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE is for you. It tells how to make peace with the past and with annoying people, provides first-person spiritual reflections and insights, and offers plenty of real-life examples and case histories for finding meaning in the world. A soulful, reflective and gentle push for a new perspective is maintained throughout.

The Military Shelf

Praeger Security International
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 96881

Any studying Confederate military history and experience will want to place Paul D. Escott's MILITARY NECESSITY: CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS IN THE CONFEDERACY (0275983137 $49.95) on their reading list as something a bit out of the ordinary. No light coverage, Professor Escott's history analyzes how life was militarized in the Confederacy and considers the evolving relationships between commanders, legislators, and Jefferson Davis' administration as the South entered war times and hardships. The military had a big impact on policy and also on civil society: MILITARY NECESSITY charts these changes and documents crisis points and relationships between military and civil society. Clayton K.S. Chun's THUNDER OVER THE HORIZON: FROM V-2 ROCKETS TO BALLISTIC MISSILES (0275985776, $49.95) joins others in the 'War, Technology and History' series to focus on how the development of ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads has affected national relations for decades. Chapters survey the evolution of the technology which fostered new ideas of war capabilities, drawing important links between science and military development – and they come from a former missile launch officer who uses his insider's military savvy to add to the historical overview of usage and strategy. Daniel P. Barr's UNCONQUERED: THE IROQUOIS LEAGUE AT WAR IN COLONIAL AMERICA (0275984664, $49.95) joins others in the 'Modern Military Tradition' series, exploring the nature of Iroquois warfare and reviewing nearly two hundred years of conflict during colonial times in this country. The Iroquois conducted wars against the French, English, Americans and others: from economic consequences of rivalries to the foundations of war which dictated Iroquois League manners, UNCONQUERED provides a scholarly review of history and cultural influences and is a 'must' for any surveying Native American culture and patterns of war.

War of Nerves
Jonathan B. Tucker
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0375422293 $30.00

Any studying modern warfare won't want to miss WAR OF NERVES: CHEMICAL WARFARE FROM WORLD WAR I TO AL-QAEDA: it provides a long-range history of the world use of chemical weapons in war and comes from an expert on chemical and biological weapons who considers such usage from World War 1 to modern times. It was during this war when the large-scale use of toxic chemicals in battle became cheap and feasible, resulting in over a million casualties on both sides. His survey includes investigation of the inventors of gasses, weaponry, delivery systems and more, blending in world politics with a survey which is clear and powerful. A 'must' for any who would receive solid background for understanding modern events.

A Troubled Peace
Chae-Jin Lee
Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4363
0801883318 $27.95

Any collection which includes details on Korean history will find essential to the fold the addition of A TROUBLED PEACE: U.S. POLICY AND THE TWO KOREAS. Lee reviews the history of U.S. policies towards both North and South Korea since 1948, explaining the changing nature of such relations, changing U.S. goals for the divided Koreas, and analyzing a blend of diplomatic documents, primary materials in English and various Asian languages, and adding interviews with both American and Korean officials. A comprehensive military, social and political analysis emerges with wide-ranging implications for future relationships within and between the nations.

Tracing Your Naval Ancestors
Bruno Pappalardo
Public Record Office
KEW, Richmond, Surrey TW9 4DU, UK
1903365376 $24.95

TRACING YOUR NAVAL ANCESTORS comes from a British publisher and provides a comprehensive guide for family and naval histories which will reach beyond British roots to those in the U.S. who have family roots overseas. From a survey of the history of the Royal Navy, of interest to any military historian, to discussions of how service records are organized, where they are kept, casualty and wound records, and court martial and pension records, chapters cover key naval documents and helps researchers plan research venues, identify key documents, and locate naval-specific sources. A unique, highly recommended reference for both military historians and genealogists alike.

Sutton Publishing
Phoenix Mill
Thrupp, Stroud, Gloucestershire GL5 2BU, UK

Students of World War I history will find compelling Ian Passingham 's ALL THE KAISER'S MEN: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF THE GERMAN ARMY ON THE WESTERN FRONT 1914-1918 (075094241X $39.95): it covers the attitudes of the Imperial German Army as they went to war in 1914, confident they were to achieve a quick victory. Events of the period from 1914-18 re-examines the strategy of the Germany Army and efforts from commanders to foot soldiers, using quotes from source materials and writings of all kinds of German participant to capture the life and death of soldiers on the front lines. A fascinating history links East/West efforts with German objectives and struggles every step of the way. For students of World War II history don't miss Bob Ward's FROM NAZIS TO NASA: THE LIFE OF WERNHER VON BRAUN (0730943033, $29.95) the father of modern rocketry holds a mixed reputation being a villain to many and a hero to others. Veteran aerospace journalist Bob Ward is the perfect person to try for a more balanced portrait of the one-time Nazi member who brought his enemy nation into the space age: chapters cover his science achievements in Germany during the war to his successes in this country after it.

Osprey Publishing
443 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016

New additions to Osprey's expanding military history section are specific, involving coverages which promise wide appeal not just to military library holdings, but to many a public library which will find their approach and presentation appealing even to casual, non-military readers. Michael Jackson's INDIAN TRIBES OF THE NEW ENGLAND FRONTIER (1841769371, $15.95) covers the uniforms, equipment and history of the Indian Tribes of early New England and focuses on the first tribes affected by early contact with French and English colonists. The color drawings are exquisite accompaniments to regional history. Alan Dearn's THE HITLER YOUTH 1933-45 (184176874X, $17.95) is a 'must' for any student of World War II history, providing a fine introduction to the Hitler Youth movement which helped bring Nazi doctrine to German youth. From training methods and ideals to how the youth eventually participated in combat, HITLER YOUTH is an important addendum to any serious collection. Tim Moreman's BRITISH COMMANDOS 1940-46 (184176986X, $23.95) narrows the focus to Commando units which conducted a series of successful hit-and-run raids during the war, surveying their strategy, deployment, and contributions to battle. The focus on the Army and later Royal Marine Commandos raised in the UK offers some important insights and military analysis. Bernard Ireland's LEYTE GULF 1944: THE WORLD'S GREATEST SEA BATTLE (1841769789, $18.95) is an excellent, narrowed focus on a battle which was a key victory for the U.S., displaying large-scale sea military prowess – yet which receives surprisingly little in-depth coverage elsewhere. From the conflict's many battles to the strategies and impact of different simultaneous victories, LEYTE GULF 1944 assures the great sea battle won't be forgotten. Tim Moreman's CROMWELL CRUISER TANK 1942-450 (1841768146, $15.95) provides a survey of tanks that held the power to change not just the outcome but the design philosophy of military equipment during World War II. From its predecessor's laws and the evolution of the Cromwell Cruiser as one of the most successful tanks used during World War II to its many changes, CROMWELL CRUISER TANK is a welcome addition to any specialty military collection. Don't think that Osprey's analyses are devoted to recently military decades alone, either: works on early conflicts are equally well detailed recommendations as well. Ronald Pawly's NAPOLEON'S MAMELUKES (184176955X, $15.95) displays color drawings and fine history surrounding one of the most exotic of Napoleon's Imperial Guard: the Oriental cavalry that followed him home and remained with him during his reign. The focus on the Mamelukes' story from Austerlitz to their Waterloo battle uses original battle returns and source materials to bring the regiment to life. Carl Benn & Daniel Marston's LIBERTY OR DEATH: WARS THAT FORGED A NATION (1846030226, $24.95) provides a military history of U.S. events which follows early American roots, tracing the War for American Independence to its roots and considering how that wartime ideology contributed to further battles and logic which has been evoked for nearly every American battle since. It's a compilation of three Osprey books from its Essential Histories Series and also packs in color maps, drawings of uniforms, and more as visual aids to a fine dialogue. Peter Cottrell's THE ANGLO-IRISH WAR: THE TROUBLES OF 1913-22 (1846030234, $14.95) surveys a contemporary war most UK residents would rather forget, but can't. From the IRA's taking of political control in Ireland in 1919 and its attempt to gain it independent from British 'invaders' to present-day relations, the focus on one of the most volatile periods of Irish-British relations is revealing and informative. Peter Armstrong's OTTERBURN 1388: BLOODY BORDER CONFLICT (1841769800, $18.95) details one of the most severe battles fought at the times. It originated between the ongoing conflicts between Scots and English and uses modern source materials to detail events which led up to major battle. Stuart Reid's CASTLES AND TOWER HOUSES OF THE SCOTTISH CLANS 1450-1650 (1841769622, $16.95) tells how Scottish castles served as the starting points for defenses of house and home – and were themselves fortified dwellings which served to defend against feuding clans and monarchy alike. From the distinctive style of Scottish structures to unique selected castles and fortresses and how they contributed to strategy and success, any interested in Scottish structures will find this absorbing.

Waterloo Relics
Gilles Bernard & Gerard Lachaux
Histoire & Collections/Casemate, dist.
2114 Darby Road, Havertown, PA 19083
291523969X $36.95

Waterloo may be recalled as a military defeat rather than just a battle, but years after the war, relics remain to prove otherwise; so it's surprising that no other survey has seen fit to examine and focus on these remainders more closely – not until WATERLOO RELICS, that is. From uniform buttons to broken metal and cartridge cases, history is re-created using a blend of artistic vivid color paintings, pieces of archaeological evidence, and brilliant quotes from descriptions of Waterloo battle history. Any with even a passing interest in Waterloo must not miss this!

Special Operations Iraq
Mike Ryan
Pen & Sword/Casemate, dist.
2114 Dabry Road, Havertown, PA 19083
1844153274 $19.99

Special Force units of the Coalition from the SAS to Delta are analyzed in SPECIAL OPERATIONS IN IRAQ, a survey of behind-the-lines missions both at the beginning and up to modern times. Here are stories of courage, strategy and daring which captures the daily operations and events, rescues, secret missions and more. How do these become exposed? Author Mike Ryan's contacts within the Special Forces community blend with maps, black and white and color photos, and more to make for an outstanding, vivid account.

Destroyers on the Rocks
Spencer Duckworth
Cypress House
155 Cypress Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437
1879384558 $18.95

In 1923 the U.S. navy's Destroyer Squadron 11 headed off to its home port of San Diego from San Francisco. Clear blue skies, mid-summer, and accompanied by a fleet of some thirteen destroyers packed with experienced officers and commanders. By day's end all seven would be stranded on the coast and lives and millions of dollars lost. DESTROYERS ON THE ROCKS: SEVEN SHIPS LOST is the vivid re-enactment of the disaster which holds mystery to this day: events, politics, and long-term effects are all surveyed in a lively true-life adventure/disaster story which proves hard to put down – even by those who aren't usually readers of military history. Very highly recommended!

American Shogun
Robert Harvey
Overlook Press
141 Wooster Street, New York NY 10012
1585676829 $35.00

During the years leading up to Pearl Harbor, Japan was becoming the most industrialized state in Asia while the US was emerging from its depression years and becoming a global power. Today's partnership between the two was forged by Pearl Harbor events and the reconciliation of the two nations afterward – a relationship cemented by the experiences of two leaders of the times: General MacArthur and Emperor Hirohito. AMERICAN SHOGUN: GENERAL MACARTHUR, EMPEROR HIROHITO AND THE DRAMA OF MODERN JAPAN surveys these two men and how a popular American hero and a Japanese monarch came together to bring two great nations together. It surveys events of war, peace, and eventual friendship and is a 'must' for any who would understand the evolution of modern political relations between the two nations.

Alan M. Dershowitz
W.W. Norton
500 –5th Avenue, New York NY 10110
0393060128 $24.95

As the military world moves increasingly towards making preemptive moves in the name of 'preventing' war, PREEMPTION: A KNIFE THAT CUTS BOTH WAYS becomes an increasingly important study. Author Alan M. Dershowitz is a lawyer and educator who traces society's shift in its approach to controlling dangerous human behaviors, from the local to the world level. A number of current examples charts these moves, from the tendency to profile suspicious behaviors to instigating proactive measures rather than reactive responses. Contrasting this approach to Cold War and other approaches, Dershowitz places in perspective past history, present actions and possible future scenarios.

The E-Bomb
Doug Beason, Ph.D.
Da Capo Press/Perseus Publishing Group
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
0306814021 $26.00

Light-emitting weaponry first was portrayed by Flash Gordon and moved through science fiction warfare scenarios to Star Trek and beyond – now, after over twenty years, the U.S. is about to deploy a new generation of weapons which discharge light-wave energy: a revolution which holds even more potential impact than the a-bomb. Directed energy's science, testing, and military plans are surveyed by a leading expert in directed energy research, who uses simple language to answer basic questions about these weapons, their technology, and their effects. From beam quality to laser distribution and the pros and cons of microwaves, phasing and other scenarios, THE E-BOMB is a thought-provoking portent of the future of military might.

The Business Shelf

Insider's Guide to the World of Pharmaceutical Sales
Jane Williams
Principle Publications
4101 W. Green Oaks Blvd., Suite 305-585, Arlington, TX 76016
0970415397 $37.49

Any industry pro considering a career in pharmaceutical sales must obtain the updated 8th edition of the classic INSIDER'S GUIDE TO THE WORLD OF PHARMACEUTICAL SALES: it blends well over a hundred interview questions and answers with profiles of the 28 top industry companies, provides industry-specific tips on networking and locating unadvertised sales positions, and it provides career comparison information for those with no prior pharmaceutical sales experience. Job seekers receive plenty of insider tips on how the industry operates, from typical career paths and perks along the way to understanding differences in company products. INSIDER'S GUIDE TO THE WORLD OF PHARMACEUTICAL SALES could also have been featured in our business books section but is profiled here for its importance to health care providers both seeking jobs and seeking a better understanding of how pharmaceutical sales work.

Encyclopedia of American Business History
Charles R. Geisst
Facts on File
132 W. 31st Street, 17th Floor, New York NY 10001
0816043507 $125.00/2 Vols.

If you're a high school, college or public reference librarian seeking a 'one stop' instruction to American business history which is accessible to a wide audience, look no further than ENCYCLOPEDIA OF AMERICAN BUSINESS HISTORY. Here are over 400 entries on corporate notables, business tycoons, investors and companies, and major events and leaders of American business covering the length of American history. Each entry blends a bibliography with cross-references to related entries and provides a topic summary, chronology of events, and mention of the primary source documents used to create this authoritative text.

Lead Like Jesus
Ken Blanchard & Phil Hodges
WP Publishing
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
0849900409 $24.99

If author Ken Blanchard's name rings a bell, it's because he authored the famous ONE MINUTE MANAGER, which became a big hit in business circles and taught everyone the basics about leadership principles. He's back with a new focus, LEAD LIKE JESUS: LESSONS FROM THE GREATEST LEADERSHIP ROLE MODEL OF ALL TIME, and here uses spiritual lessons to seek integrity and commitment in a leadership role. From business to personal life, Blanchard and Hodges focus on four key areas and how they can lend to exceptional leadership, presenting another powerhouse of detail for any who would be exceptional whether at work or at home.

The Money/Finance Shelf

The Number
Lee Eisenberg
Free Press
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0743270312 $26.00

Over seventy million baby boomers in this country are only just beginning to realize that old systems of support, from government to private employers, are fading and that new means of discovering retirement needs and funding are needed. THE NUMBER: A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WAY TO THINK ABOUT THE REST OF YOUR LIFE offers a new approach to the traditional retirement strategy – one which doesn't count on income from other than personal efforts. Here 'the Number' is defined as the amount of money and resources needed to live the retirement lifestyle you want: chapters discover new methods of creating, revising, and achieving this magic Number. Even better, it goes beyond simple math to discuss the underlying values and issues inherent in striving for such a number.

The Millionaire Maker
Loral Langemeier
Two Penn Plaza, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10121-2298
0071466150 $24.95 1-877-833-5524

If you want to know the real financial savvy powering millionaire thinking, don't miss THE MILLIONAIRE MAKER: ACT, THINK AND MAKE MONEY THE WAY THE WEALTHY DO. Author Loral Langemeier has shown thousands how to use her wealth-building program to achieve financial success – and she should know; she moved from a single working mother to a self-made millionaire using something she calls 'The Wealth Cycle'. From taxes to trusts, it's all detailed here and deserves ongoing recommendation as a powerful, tested formula for success.

Secrets of the Millionaire Mind
T. Harv Eker
10 E. 53rd Street, New York NY 10022-5299
0060763280 $19.95

Learn how to revise your financial plans to increase income and generate and save wealth using the proven principles author Eker used to move from no savings to becoming a millionaire in only two years. There are distinct differences why some become rich while others struggle all their lives and seem to keep missing the financial boat: differences which are the focus of SECRETS OF THE MILLIONAIRE MIND: MASTERING THE INNER GAME OF WEALTH. Before he developed his winning formula, Eker's business ventures all failed. He learned that rich people thought one way and poor folks another – and he set out to learn what those differences were, studying how wealthy people think and learning about the psychology of money and success. An inspirational strategy encourages success.

The Language Studies Shelf

Do You Speak American?
Robert MacNeil and William Cran
525 'B' St. #1900, San Diego, CA 92101
0156032880 $13.00

Deserving of ongoing mention is a fun companion to the PBS TV special which stands well on its own and promises lasting lending value: a survey of American grammatical standards and how they are being influenced by both other cultures and media. The authors co-wrote THE STORY OF ENGLISH, which was a historical overview; DO YOU SPEAK AMERICAN shares the discoveries they made while interviewing native speakers and observing everyday verbal interactions. A fascinating account evolves.

The Meaning of Tingo
Adam Jacot de Boinod
Penguin Press
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
1594200866 $19.95

THE MEANING OF TINGO AND OTHER EXTRAORDINARY WORDS FROM AROUND THE WORLD is a hilarious introduction to language and its less-than-universal meanings. Where other books provide funny insights based on a single culture, THE MEANING OF TINGO draws upon dictionaries and dialects of more than 254 languages, providing a welcome difference to the myriad of language books which are focused on English phrases and oddities. Common slang and phrases such as 'seeing red' are given their more worldly companions in Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and more.

Berlitz 'Intermediate' packages
Berlitz/Lande Communications
PO Box 979, Spring House, PA 19477-0979

You've taken Berlitz or some other introductory language course and now you're ready to move on: make it an easy transition with a blend of cds and a course book packing in both review tests and useful business and everyday language with Berlitz's weighty, impressive 'Intermediate' kits. INTERMEDIATE ITALIAN (9812467718, $29.95) and INTERMEDIATE SPANISH (9812467726, $29.95) each hold 6 audio cds, an illustrated course book, an online learner's guide and an online audio script. Free downloads of the latter two are available online, while the interactive cds encourage practice dialogues and feature conversations with native speakers. These aren't your light 'learn it overnight' guides, but in-depth, detailed and course-oriented learning tools for serious language learners. As such, they're just the ticket for any seeking a language program which is comprehensive.

The Video/DVD Shelf

Dog The Bounty Hunter: Best of Season 2
AETV (A&E Television Network)
0767088239 $19.95

Whether you're an avid fan of DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER or a complete newcomer, DOG THE BOUNTY HUNTER: BEST OF SEASON 2 is a top recommendation, gathering the best of the reality show's second season episodes – seven favorites selected by the Dog himself – from the series. For newcomers: there are other reality TV shows on bail-jumpers; but DOG comes with many differences. First, the posse is large-sized, heavily tattooed, and located in Hawaii, the island associated with peace and not crime. Second, the posse is deeply religious: a belief which extends to their actions as they capture bail-jumpers then embark on the brief roots of a conversion to a better life. Third, it's a family affair. Add a dose of humor to this unlikely mix of a family of bounty hunters and you have a riveting show which has just enough outside the norm of crime/police shows to keep audiences on their toes – and cognizant of the importance of adding social consciousness to the justice system, which is Dog's forte.

Darksky Films
16101 South 108th Avenue, Orland Park, IL 60467
0788606646 $19.98

Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margaret and Burgess Meredith star in this engrossing fantasy story of a failed magician who becomes an overnight sensation as a ventriloquist with his foul-mouthed dummy Fats. Trouble begins when he visits an old love and contemplates leaving show biz – which Fats violently opposes. If MAGIC sounds familiar, it should be: it's a new high definition transfer from the 35mm original negative and not only appears in full color but adds trailers, radio spots, a photo gallery, an interview with Victor Kemper and more. A top pick, even for those who viewed the old version somehow…

Ocean Fury: Tsunamis in Alaska
Kurt Byers, Elena Suleimani and Roger Hansen
Alaska Sea Grant/University of Alaska Press
104 Eielson Building, Salcha Street, Fairbanks, AK 99775-6240
DVD $20.00 1-888-252-6657

The most powerful earthquake in US history happened in Alaska in 1964 and generated the world's most powerful tsunamis, killing over a hundred Alaskans. To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the disaster, this video offers interviews recorded in 2002 and 2003 with some of those who observed – and escaped – the tsunamis that day. Their details come alive with photos and 3D computer graphics which cover the science of tsunamis and how they form and strike. Running Time: 25 minutes

411 Video Information
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953

Whether you've just tuned into the TV crime series THE LAWLESS YEARS or have been a long-time fan, this 3-DVD set of crime stories of the roaring 20s from its first complete season is a thriller not to be missed. The TV series ran from 1959-1961 and packed history with action: to relive it fully make THE LAWLESS YEARS (0741110709, $34.98, Timeless Media Group) an acquisition for any collection strong in American cultural history. It's a vivid series of scenes and dramas enhanced by filming against the backdrop of New York City, with an original soundtrack and plenty of action. Much more realistic than your usual crime TV series – and worthy of ongoing appreciation by new generations, made possible by the appearance of the entire, complete first season in an appealing DVD set. TEDDYBEAR CRISIS ($17.95, Silver Platter Productions) is a full length ski film by the team of Kris Ostness and Henrick Rostrump, filmed in Europe and packed with adventure skiiers will relish. The UMD format is a Sony Play Station format consisting of a full length movie with Japanese subtitles plus trailers and bonus footage.

MPI Media Group
16101 S. 108th Avenue, Orland Park, IL 60467

Three excellent new releases from MPI are winning picks this month, and top recommendations for a wide audience. he DARK SHADOWS DVD COLLECTION 22 (078860693X, $59.98) packs forty episodes onto four DVDs and takes the soap opera/TV show into the year 1995, when Barbabas and Dr. Julia Hoffman wonder what's happened to the Collinwood estate, abandoned and in ruins. Carolyn and Quentin have gone insane, and Julia's under a spirit's power in a series of stunning twists and turns of the Barbabas vampire plot. These are color episodes which include bonus interviews with actors and cameraman Nick Besink. PURLIE VICTORIOUS (0788607022, $14.98) stars Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee and Alan Alda as it tells of an idealistic black preacher whose return to his rural Georgia roots hatches a plot to gain money and revenge on the ruthless plantation master he once served. When his scheme fails, Purlie still seeks revenge in this fine story, based on Davis' Broadway play. THE FIGHT AGAINST PAIN (0788606468, $14.98) comes from an ABC news special and tackles the common concern of chronic pain sufferers. The series is a compilation of reports from World News Tonight and other shows and here explores methods of pain control, the search for better drugs, and the role of a pain specialist – and why that expert may not be the same as your M.D.

The Audiobook Shelf

Random House Audio Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 8th floor, New York, NY 10019

Random House's audios select from the best of books to provide leisure listeners with the best combination of new releases and solid readers. Mark Kurlansky's THE BIG OYSTER: HISTORY ON THE HALF SHELL (0739324705, $27.95) provides a historical and cultural survey of New York City and will reach any with an affection for New York, with its story of a bygone era when the city was famous for its oysters, until events of the turn of the century affected the city's economic health and very tastes. Oyster fans will find plenty to savor in a fine history of Manhattan dining and oyster cellar holdings, spiced with narrator Tom Stechschulte's warm style. Edward Rutherfurd combines history with fiction in his REBELS OF IRELAND: THE DUBLIN SAGA (0739313231, $37.95), which pairs his penchant for lively family dramas over the decades with reader Tom Keating's background in movie dramas. Together the pair bring Irish history to life through the eyes of the common man. Robert B. Parker's SEA CHANGE (0739324578, $29.95) receives stage and screen actor Scott Sowers' dramatic prowess which translates well to audio as he tells of a police chief forced into identifying a dead woman in a deadly investigation. A shady past and uncertain present have contributed to her murder and promises a case which many unusual twists and turns. Joshua Spanogle's ISOLATION WARD (0739324349, $29.95) receives a fine reading by Christian Rummel, a recent college grad with experience at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, as it tells of a young investigate who specializes in the bizarre facing his most exotic case yet. A fine medical thriller evolves in the manner of Robin Cook, enlivened by audio. All are exceptionally powerful recommendations.

Brilliance Audio
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417

Brilliance's new holdings offer very different listens and surprises. David Liss' THE ETHICAL ASSASSIN (1423309359, $26.95) receives William Dufris' involving rendition as it tells of one Lem, a salesman who is good at door-to-door sales until one call pulls him into a murder mystery. Increasingly in danger, Lem searches for a way back into the safer world of sales. Laurell K. Hamilton's MICAH (1423316851, $24.95) receives Rey Colette's moving and warm voice which pairs easily with the first-person story of a vampire hunter. Yes, Anita Blake is back; this time working with one Micah, head of the St. Louis wereleopard group… T. Jefferson Parker's THE FALLEN (1596008660, $26.95) receives veteran narrator David Colacci's smooth and excellent voice as it tells of a detective who uses his lie-detecting ability (i.e. synesthesia) to probe another strange San Diego murder; this one involving a body under a bridge which could be suicide…but the clues don't add up. Robert Crais' THE TWO MINUTE RULE (142330098X, $26.95) receives Christopher Graybill's excellent ability to bring crime suspense to life as it tells of a ex-con's newfound freedom from jail and obsession with his estranged son, who is a cop. When his son is killed in a hit killing and police corruption seems to be involved, the ex-con becomes involved in a quest to prove his son innocent. J.D. Robb's INTERLUDE IN DEATH (1423309928, $19.95) pairs veteran reader Susan Ericksen's penchant for high drama with another fine murder mystery: this set in the future in 2059 when a Lieutenant is called off planet to give a seminar, only to find a homicide again involves her: especially as the victim was known to her in the past. Stephen White's KILL ME (1593555709, $26.95) enjoys long-time industry reader Dick Hill's very clear, crisp voice as it provides a thriller revolving around a man facing crime and career changes. Heather Graham's THE ISLAND (1423397658, $26.95) benefits from Joyce Bean's also-long industry experience and fine, quietly dramatic style as it tells of a weekend vacation brings forth a skull on the beach and its subsequent disappearance. With no proof of foul play, can Beth go to the authorities even when her insistence results in danger to herself? Laura Rugby's THE WALL AND THE WING (1423305434, $29.95) receives Renee Raudman's reading, which is lively and fun, and which is well paired and well powered to the story of an amazing girl who discovers she can become invisible. Gurl can't hide from a giant rat man and a manipulative matron in this fantasy of a magical city. Kristin Hannah's MAGIC HOUR (1596008504, $26.95) pairs Suzanne Toren's evocative and wonderful voice with the equally wonderful novel of a psychiatrist whose career is destroyed by a scandal. Her sister's call from help brings her to home to her small Washington roots where she befriends an unusual child victim who is isolated and endangered. A fine, tense story evolves. John J. Nance's ORBIT (1596008849, $26.95) receives the author's own moving narrative style and is set in the year 2009, where Kip's win of a passenger seat on the first commercial space flight satisfied his dream – despite his wife's terror of his prize win. When an accident leaves him alone in space, his plight and writings involve a planet in this touching drama. Andrew Britton's THE AMERICANS (1423307356, $26.95) receives Christopher Lane's fine style as it tells of a career military man involved in the CIA and recruited to face a former US soldier – one he trained with. His hunt for his former pupil will test his own skills and abilities in this fast-paced drama. David Grossman's LION'S HONEY: THE MYTH OF SAMSON (1423311569, $19.95) receives Mel Foster's vigorous reading as it explores the Biblical figure of Samson and the blends of myth and legend which make up his story. More meth is revealed in Victor Pelevin's THE HELMET OF HORROR (142331154X, $19.95), which provides an unusual modern retelling of the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, spiced with Duck Hill and a cast of seasoned readers. Gordon Korman's BORN TO ROCK (1423311957, $26.95) receives an outstanding narration by Billy Hammond, who lends a drama to the story of a conservative young Harvard-bound student who has his future planned, until the lead singer in a destructive punk rock band changes his life. When a blemish on his otherwise-perfect record takes away his Harvard scholarship, he opts for a very different life on the road. Sharon Williams lends an evocative, smooth voice to Karen Kingsbury's novel; DIVINE (1423316983, $19.95), telling of a modern-day Mary Magdalene who finds her newfound powers to help battered and abused women are leading her to become a powerful force in Washington DC. Shamed by her past and in fear of discovery, Mary gains wisdom from her grandmother and learns how to walk her unique religious path. Anne Perry's DARK ASSASSIN (1596002832, $26.95) receives veteran David Colacci's studied and fine voice as it tells of a horror under the streets of Victorian London. A powerful novel of intrigue evolves, heightened by the audio experience and format. All are excellent listens.

Highbridge Audio
33 S. Sixth St., CC-2205, Minneapolis, MN 55402

These lovely new listens are top picks: the stories are tested, absorbing reads by themselves, elevated to new heights when paired with equally strong readers – some newcomers, or unexpected. Haven Kimmel's SHE GOT UP OFF THE COUCH (1598870114, $34.95) receives the author's own absorbing reading of his memoir of childhood, continuing from where she left off in A GIRL NAMED ZIPPY to tell of a pre-teen whose mother realizes she can change her life – and buys a beat-up flower power VW bug and goes back to school to do so. A mother's transformation and empowerment as seen through her growing daughter's eyes provides absorbing. Garrison Keillor and Tim Russell's DUSTY AND LEFTY: THE LIVES OF THE COWBOYS (1598870432, $14.95) provides six complete 'Lives of the Cowboys' sketches, plus four cowboy songs, all recorded from live radio broadcasts of A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION and starring Garrison Keillor in a series of bawdy adventures. Keillor's A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION: IT'S ONLY A SHOW (1598870270, $24.95) is also recorded from live broadcasts and provides further Keillor wonders, fun songs, and delightful skits. Car Talk's DON'T ANYONE SCREEN THESE CALLS? CALLS ABOUT ANIMALS AND CARS (159887019X, $14.95) comes from a NPR broadcast show and here gathers calls about animals and cars – discussions which range from the serious to the hilarious, and everything in between! Audrey Niffenegger's THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE (159887022X, $49.95) pairs William Hope and Laurel Lefkow's powerful acting and dramatic vocal skills with the story of Clare and Henry, who are a couple despite the husband's Chrono-Displacement Disorder which misplaces him in time periodically. The dual viewpoints of the novel work especially well in audio given the dual narrators chosen to reflect the approach. Ali Smith's THE ACCIDENTAL (1598870130, $34.95) is read not by a single or dual narrator but by an entire ensemble cast as it captures the story of a middle-aged woman who talks her way into a rental cottage, spinning lies, and becomes a part of a couple's life. Can a stranger unravel a solid marriage? Garrison Keillor's THE GOSPEL OF JESUS (1598870165, $39.95) receives his famous storytelling style and comes from an adaptation by Daniel L. Johnson from the New Living Translation, including verses from the King James Version. Under Keillor's voice the Gospel comes to life, offering four separate and harmonious accounts of Jesus' life on earth. Sheri Reynolds' FIREFLY CLOAK (1598870211, $32.95) receives Jenna Lamia's fine stage and screen background which have earned her TV acclaim and here, now, lend audio narrative power. Two children abandoned in a campground are left only with a phone number and a housecoat painted with tiny fireflies, providing young Tessa with her only connection to her past. Seven years later her search for her missing mother will rely on the cloak for insights and comfort alike in this gripping novel.

Audio Editions
Auburn, CA 95604

Four newly published audios hot off the press present unabridged, wonderful stories with narrators who really capture the drama of the written word. Patrick F. McManus' THE BLIGHT WAY (1572705371, $27.95) comes to life under Seattle actor Charles Leggett's skills, which demonstrate his equal skills for voice work as for stage. Bo Tully, an Idaho sheriff, finds an ex-con's discovery of a dead corpse on his fence too close for comfort in a satisfying listen which pairs humor with intrigue. Agatha Christie's DUMB WITNESS (1572705128, $29.95) presents yet another fine rendition by narrator Hugh Fraser, whose voice has graced nearly all the Hercule Poirot unabridged mysteries from this publisher, lending a satisfyingly uniform feel to the set as a whole. Here Hercules receives a letter from an elderly woman concerned about her recent accident – two months after it's written. She's been dead for some time – so who mailed the letter so late? Family intrigue evolves. P.G. Wodehouse's CARRY ON, JEEVES (1572705173, $27.95) is not one story but a set of eight complete stories brought to life by British vocal talent Martin Jarvis, whose fine style reflects the perfect British manner of character Jeeves as he becomes involved in a series of encounters guiding his befuddled master through life. M.C. Beaton's DEATH OF A DREAMER (1572705142, $27.95) pairs British expat Graeme Malcom's fine British accent with the Hamish Macbeth mystery revolving around a Scottish constable's encounter with a delusional dreamer who has survived a harsh winter and is convinced romance is in her life – rather than murder, which involves the constable in a strange investigation. Rex Stout's CHAMPAGNE FOR ONE (1572705205, $27.95) provides a new Nero Wolfe mystery powered by the key narrator Michael Prichard, who has done most all of the Nero Wolfe audio stories. Here Wolfe's attendance at a gala for unwed mothers results in a death and a new murder mystery for Wolfe to solve – one more puzzling than usual. Two new Agatha Christie mystery audios will attract fans as well. DEATH COMES AS THE END (1572705183, $29.95) enjoys Emilia Fox, a versatile English actress, who demonstrates equally strong reading abilities here. A young widow's return to her father's home results in tensions and murder: is it a ghost, or family issues resulting in murder? THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD (1572705166, $29.95) is read by Robin Bailey and provides a satisfying Hercule Poirot mystery as it tells of a Hercule retired to the countryside when the brutal murder of a wealthy man reveals underlying intrigue Hercule can't resist investigating. Robin's voice lends high drama and presence. All these are powerful listens and top picks for leisure audiences.

Recorded Books
270 Skipjack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678

Three excellent audio cds are top picks for listeners. Lillian Jackson Braun's THE CAT WHO DROPPED A BOMBSHELL (1419369059, $49.75) receives George Guidell's seasoned, experienced and smooth voice in an unabridged story involving another Cat Who mystery. This time Siamese sleuth cats Koko and Yum-Yum are hot on the trail of one who would kill the wealthy Ledfields. Can the cats prevent a murder? Michael Robotham's LOST (1419368974, $119.75) is performed by newcomer Ray Lonnen, who provides a smooth and gripping audio performance to enhance the story of a detective pulled from the Thames with amnesia about events which led to his shooting. His attempts to recovery his memories will lead to some dangerous truths which place him in new danger. Judith Lindbergh's THE THRALL'S TALE (1419369253, $119.75) enjoys narrator Virginia Leishman's extensive experience on stage and as an actor and musician alike: dramatic qualities which translate well to her voice on audio – and to the story by first-time novelist Judith Lindbergh set in 985 AD and telling of a life of a Viking thrall in Greenland. Three women experience a changing world where old beliefs are being replaced by a new religion in this story of social and religious change.

Audio Renaissance
175 – 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10010

Ben Bova's TITAN (1593975023, $49.95) provides a powerful story of cataclysmic discovery powered by a multi-cast narration by Gabrielle De Cuir and others as it tells of the solar system's largest moon of Saturn. Set in 2095, it tells of a first expedition to the moon carrying a population mixed of dissidents, rebels and visionaries with one goal in common: to seek a new life. Many have a stake in seeing the new world settled, from a scientist testing his theories to a ruthless administrator who tries to stem a growing tide of revolt. Science fiction fans might also wish to listen to Orson Scott Card's XENOCIDE (1593974787, $59.95), which receives the same full cast's engrossing live performance, bringing a radio show atmosphere to the story of one Ender – the third in the Ender Wiggin saga – who was responsible for the death of a race and now seeks a world where three very different intelligent species can co-exist. But the Starways Congress fears a virus which is spreading among them, and have determined to destroy the entire planet in a second Xenocide only Ender may prevent. Jeffrey Archer's A QUIVER UFLL OF ARROWS (1593977687, $14.95) includes a bonus interview with the author as it provides Martin Jarvis' smooth and gripping narration of the story of an auction room's curious secrets, a young couple's newfound romance, and more. Archer's short stories come to life under Jarvis' excellent dramatic touches. Archer's FALSE IMPRESSION (1593978499, $44.95) is also a fine presentation, receiving Byron Jenning's excellent style and ability to capture the underlying tensions of an audio thriller. FALSE IMPRESSION is Archer's first thriller since THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT and offers up many satisfying twists and turns which are the Archer hallmark as it tells of Van Gogh's famous portrait and the controversy surrounding his last painting.

Sense and Sensibility
Jane Austen
Naxos Audiobooks
416 Mary Lindsay Polk Drive, #509, Franklin, TN 37067
0626343613 $67.98

Mrs. Dashwood is forced to leave the family home by her daughter-in-law, and takes her three daughters to a modest cottage in Devon where they will find newfound romance and different challenges. Twists of fate and different perspectives on life within the same family provide a satisfying classic juxtaposition of values – especially in a warm audio format, powered by award-winning narrator Juliet Stevenson's extensive background in theatre and film, and by an unabridged presentation. A top pick; specially for students of classics who find the written word dull, and adults seeking to re-capture the magic of classical writings.

Tantor Audio
114 Mill Rock Road East, Old Saybrook, CT 06475

Timothy Egan's THE WORST HARD TIME (1400102200, $34.99) provides a gripping account of Dust Bowl years and struggles; especially in audio format and particularly when powered by the dramatic voice of Patrick Lawlor, who captures the first and last eyewitness stories of Dust Bowl history. Dramatic, darkly compelling, and hard to stop listening to is the story of a bygone era. Charles Fishman's THE WAL-MART EFFECT (1400102235, $34.99) receives Alan Sklar's compelling style as it tells of how the world's most powerful company works – and how it's changing the structure and values of the business world and the American economy alike. Others have been written about Wal-Mart; but if it came down to one choice, the audio version of THE WAL-MART EFFECT should surely make the top two list: its drama and corporate insights can't be beat.

Make Your Idea Happen
LeAnn Bell
Event Management/Outskirts Press
10940 S. Parker Road, Suite 515, Parker, Colorado 80134
1598000837 $11.95

LeAnn's pamphlet/booklet and accompany audio version on CD is for any who would bring their invention idea to life. Where other books have provided weighty coverages, MAKE YOUR IDEA HAPPEN assumes a step-by-step approach which uses plenty of real life examples to illustrate the process of bringing an invention to market. The author holds over 20 years experience in the corporate world and her tips on licensing, patenting, manufacturing and marketing come from real-world knowledge, also helping MAKE YOUR IDEA HAPPEN stand apart from any other – especially with the audio cd reinforcement.

The Literary Shelf

Trafalgar Square, Dist.
PO Box 257, Howe Hill Road, North Pomfret, VT 05053-0257

These wonderful new literary works are fine picks for either general-interest public library collections or college-level collections strong in literature. Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell with Thoby Stephen's HYDE PARK GATE NEWS: THE STEPHEN FAMILY NEWSPAPER (1843917017, $24.95) presents the collaborative efforts of Virginia Woolf and siblings who as kids produced their own family newspaper. This collection is a must for any definitive Woof holding: it includes original drawings by the Stephen kids as well as previously unpublished photos from family albums, and is astonishingly adult in its presentation and format. Students of journalism will also relish the presentation, with its fine editing by Gill Lowe. Charles Osborne edits CLASSIC FAVORITE POEMS (000720437X, $18.00), and if you're looking for an easily-accessible, non-imposing gathering of the cream of the poetry crop, CLASSIC FAVORITE POEMS is surely a candidate. It contains poems from Lord Byron's 'She Walks in Beauty' to Joyce Kilmer's 'Tree', and brings all those half-recalled masterpieces to life.

Edgar Allan Poe
Nonsuch/Trafalgar square, Dist.
PO Box 257, Howe Hill Road, North Pomfret, VT 05053-0257
1845880366 $10.00

For an inexpensive, classic Poe gathering of tales, here's twenty-five stories which include his best, from 'Fall of House of Usher' to 'A Descent into the Maelstrom'. Three of the selected pieces make up the basis of both TALES OF THE GROTESQUE AND ARABASQUE and TALES OF THE FOLIO CLUB, making for a fine representation of his best horror works.

The Music Shelf

Rush Chemistry
Jon Collins
Helter Skelter
South Bank House, Black Prince Road, London SE1 7SJ
1900924854 $29.95

Rush's popularity as a rock band hasn't decreased much at all since its birth in the 1970s to its movement around the world: its key musicians have continued to expand their repertoire and abilities and RUSH CHEMISTRY explores the phenomenon of their ongoing growth, from their early struggles and years of work to their ongoing hits and ability to work through personal changes. Sidebars of detail, black and white photos, and plenty of history contribute to a lively documentary of an evolving, still-popular rock group. It's been featured before, but deserves extra, ongoing mention as a 'must' for any Rush fan.

Portrait of Johnny
Gene Lees
Hal Leonard
PO Box 13819, Milwaukee, WI 53213
0634099299 $18.95

PORTRAIT OF JOHNNY: THE LIFE OF JOHN HERNDON MERCER isn't just for already-dedicated fans of the musician, but for any interested in the lasting effects of his songs. Gene Lees is a music historian and songwriter who handles well the sensitive details of Mercer's life and times. From his complicated relationships with a domineering mother and tormenting wife and to his work on show songs which succeeded and some which failed, PORTRAIT OF JOHNNY is packed with reflections by those who knew him best.

From Beneath the Wizard's Gown
Tony Stringfellow
Castle Court, Castle-upon-Alun, St. Bride's Major, Vale of Glamorgan, CF32 0TN UK
1899750339 L17.99

FROM BENEATH THE WIZARD'S GOWN: MARC BOLAN UNGLITTERED follows the background of glam rock star Marc Bolan, renowned for glitter and makeup whose music ranged from New Age to pop-rock. There have been writings about Bolan's background and history before, but few offer the depth and focus of FROM BENEATH THE WIZARD'S GOWN, which considers the psychology of Bolan's approach to music and the lasting effects of his charisma. Poetry written by Bolen has been reproduced from its original with an edited 'translation' of each interpreting his intentions. These reproductions, combined with a fine attention to descriptive detail, make for a real winner.

The International Studies Shelf

Tehran Rising
Ilan Berman
Rowman & Littlefield
4501 Forbes Blvd., #200, Lanham, MD 20706
0742549046 $24.95

The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the biggest challenges to the US's proclaimed War on Terror: it openly defies conventions and attempts to limit nuclear expansion, and it spends millions to perpetuate insurgency. TEHRAN RISING: IRAN'S CHALLENGE TO THE UNITED STATES documents these and other struggles, showing how the country's ongoing sponsorship of terrorism around the world and its nuclear and chemical weapons program advancements is promising a terrible confrontation in future. Washington is unprepared to deal with Iran, Berman maintains: his critical approach here explores the Iranian menace and how policy changes can contain it. Highly recommended for any concerned about Mid-East politics and terrorism.

Intimate Ties, Bitter Struggles
Alan McPherson
Potomac Books
22841 Quicksilver Drive, Dulles, VA 20166-2012
1574888757 $45.00

Any college-level collection strong in Latin America history will want to include INTIMATE TIES, BITTER STRUGGLES: THE UNITED STATES AND LATIN AMERICA SINCE 1945 on their acquisition list. It's a college-level study of the last sixty years of stormy relationship between the U.S. and Latin America, charting ideological conflicts, economic disparity, invasions, confrontations and problems across both countries. Despite these issues there's still an important – and potentially beneficial – interrelationship which exists between the two, and INTIMATE TIES, BITTER STRUGGLES provides both a history of past barriers to success and a survey of future potentials using primary-source documents to provide students with an introduction to relations between the two.

Through Their Eyes
Stephen Hess
Brookings Institution Press
1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
0815735855 $18.95

Governments spend a lot of time fostering diplomacy, but it's foreign correspondents who really affect world image of U.S. policies: a fact researched and supported in THROUGH THEIR EYES: FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS IN THE UNITED STATES. Here are interviews with and profiles of correspondents from media around the world, from Japan and Korea to the UK and Middle East. This is the sixth volume in the 'Newswork Series' to examine relationships between the government and media, and is a 'must' for any college-level student in either political studies or communications.

Peace Is Possible
S. Daniel Abraham
Newmarket Press
18 E. 48th Street, New York NY 10017
1557047022 $24.95

Plenty of books have been written about Israel's stormy relationships with its neighbors – but few hold the content and impact of PEACE IS POSSIBLE: CONVERSATIONS WITH ARAB AND ISRAELI LEADERS FROM 1988 TO PRESENT. Entrepreneur author Dan Abraham founded Slim-Fast Foods and utilized his resources from this to facilitate Mideast peace, making over sixty trips between 1988 and 2002 and meeting with major Arab leaders as well as Israeli prime ministers. His business background helped difficult negotiations, and his active role helped leaders understand the process of peace. Meeting transcripts, diary entries and his own notes make for a unique documentation of a personal contribution to the peace process.

The Political Science Shelf

CQ Press
1255 – 22nd Street NW, #400, Washington, DC 20037

Any college-level collection strong in politics will welcome these two 'must have' references. POLITICAL HANDBOOK OF THE MIDDLE EAST 2006 (0873894352, $125.00) packs under one cover just about all the introductory information you'll need to understanding past and recent Middle East politics. From key facts needed to understand - economics, cultures, country organization – to in-depth analysis including historical trends, party alliances and conflicts, national decisions, media affiliations and more, all the issues and influences affecting the entire region are clearly presented in one solid reference. To get closer to home you must choose Paul S. Herrnson's GUIDE TO POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS IN AMERICA (1568028768, $112.00): a fine gathering of articles from a diverse selection of recognized experts in their fields. From how political campaigns evolved past to present to influences on votes, key organizers, and tactics such as polling and fundraising, GUIDE TO POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS IN AMERICA is not just for college holdings, but for any high school collection strong in American history and politics. Very highly recommended.

Death of Free Speech
John Ziegler
Cumberland House
431 Harding Industrial Drive, Nashville, TN 37211
1581824416 $24.95

THE DEATH OF FREE SPEECH: HOW OUR BROKEN NATIONAL DIALOGUE HAS KILLED THE TRUTH AND DIVIDED AMERICA comes from a radio talk-show host and TV commentator who considers how the news media has created biased, illogical rules for determining the framework of free speech itself. This is no individual's opinion: Ziegler uses high-profile incidents from modern media reporting to confront conventional wisdom and adds his own experience of being fired numerous times for his on-air comments. It's his background in the industry which allows a particularly insightful seasoned examination an outside researcher couldn't achieve, making DEATH OF FREE SPEECH one of the most important books of our times.

The Biography Shelf

Spy Princess
Shrabani Basu
Sutton Publishing UK
Phoenix Mill, Thrupp, Stoud, Gloucestershire GL5 2BU
0750939656 $TBA

SPY PRINCESS: THE LIFE OF NOOR INAYAT KHAN tells of a Moscow-born princess raised in the Sufi style of Islam, to become the only Asian secret agent in Europe during World War II. Though her Sufi roots preached non-violence, she felt she had to personally oppose fascism, so she trained as a wireless operator and was recruited by the SOE, working as an active field spy and refusing to abandon her post when she was the last radio operator left in Paris. A riveting biographical story of war and conflict comes to life.

Eddie Rickenbacker
W. David Lewis
The Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4363
0801882443 $35.00 1-800-537-5487

EDDIE RICKENBACKER: AN AMERICAN HERO IN THE 20TH CENTURY outlines the life and many achievements of a pilot who flew in both war and peace, defying death many times to drive cars in the heyday of the first autos, then planes during the first world war. He returned from war a hero and was decorated for his achievements, but failed as an auto maker after the war and returned to the aviation world in 1934, working for Eastern Airlines until World War II's start brought him new missions. His journey from war hero to peacetime conflicts within the new competitive airline industry makes for an avid story not just of Rickenbacker and his world, but of an evolving transportation industry.

William Wallace
Chris Brown
Tempus/Trafalgar Square, Dist.
PO Box 257, Howe Hill Road, North Pomfret, VT 05053-0257
0752434322 $22.95

WILLIAM WALLACE: THE TRUE STORY OF BRAVEHEART is a pick for any interested in Scottish history and culture, who should consider it of ongoing interest, offering a new biography based on new research of medieval records. Wallace came to fame through his active opposition to English imperialism: a fight he was willing to die for. He achieved command but was unable to retain it in battle: with little experience in government or war he nonetheless made a name for himself in both areas. Lesser known is the fact that he was a member of the nobility himself: researcher Brown offers new insights on William Wallace's experiences and dispels many myths.

Justin Marozzi
DaCapo Press/Perseus Publishing Group
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
030681465X $26.95

Tamerlane was the lost nomadic warlord and his achievements ranks him with Alexander the Great in power and domination – yet his name is little known today. That's why TAMERLANE: SWORD OF ISLAM, CONQUREROR OF THE WORLD is so important: it tells of a fierce tribal leader who tortured and killed without mercy, whose soldiers erected a pyramid of some 90K enemy heads, and whose iron rule ran from Asia to Syria. Journalist Justin Marozzi has traveled throughout the Muslim world gathering information for this history/travelogue: TAMERLANE comes packed not only with source material information but with the first-person experiences of the author's travels in search of it. A spirited, riveting account blends ancient and modern worlds.

The World History Shelf

Greenwood Press
PO Box 5007, Westport, CT 06881-5007

Marcus Rautman's DAILY LIFE IN THE BYZANTINE EMPIRE (0313324279, $49.95) discusses daily life ranging from social events and sports to games kids played, tourist attractions, war and peace times and more. Supplementing such daily concerns are insights into Byzantine perceptions, society, and family structure and the major towns and rural life which affected all classes. Any high school or college-level holding strong in Byzantine history will want this. George Lane's DAILY LIFE IN THE MONGOL EMPIRE (0313332266, $49.95) delves into everyday life during the Mongol Empire, from its justice system to its cooking. Little is omitted and all is gathered from ancient texts and source materials to lend authority to a bygone era. From its historical overview down to its survey of religion, gender roles, and more, all basic information is gathered along with a listing of sources in English and a bibliography of secondary sources used to fill the gaps. A top pick for any program which includes Mongol Empire studies. More contemporary and joining others in its 'Culture and Customs of Africa' series is James Denbow and Phenyo C. Thebe's CULTURE AND CUSTOMS OF BOTSWANA (0313331782, $49.95). Here's a survey of a country made rich by its diamond mines and holding a long tradition of being a model of democratic rule. Its history, culture, and achievements are contrasted with neighboring African nations for a full exploration of its land, people, and culture.

Building the Titanic
Rod Green
Reader's Digest
Reader's Digest Road, Pleasantville, NY 10570-7000
0762106891 $27.95

Plenty of books have been published on the sinking of the Titanic, but this is the first detailed account of how the ship was designed and constructed and provides a haunting view of how it was made and promoted. Where competitors focus on its demise or its voyage, BUILDING THE TITANIC: AN EPIC TALE OF THE CREATION OF HISTORY'S MOST FAMOUS OCEAN LINER is an outstanding survey of its actual making and includes plenty of vintage black and white photos and illustrations rich in detail.

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

Kwame Anthony Appiah's COSMOPOLITANISM: ETHICS IN A WORLD OF STRANGERS (0393061558, $23.95) is difficult to easily categorize: at once a blend of history, literature, philosophy and social issues, its chapters delve into the experience of life and show how modern philosophy has deviated from the reflections and needs of the modern cosmopolitan idea in today's world. Appiah, the child of an English mother and a Ghana father, represents the modern condition of being a 'child of the world' with relatives around the world: his perspective lends a unique, different approach to surveying the nature of morality in an increasingly diverse, interacting world. Alfred W. Crosby's CHILDREN OF THE SUN: A HISTORY OF HUMANITY'S UNAPPEASABLE APPETITE FOR ENERGY (0393059359, $23.95) surveys man's fundamental relationship with energy from early to modern times. History, science and social issues blend in a survey which follows world history events and changing energy development and needs. In taking a global rather than the usual regional approach, Crosby is able to equate the search for energy with the transformation of human abilities and objectives – and adds intriguing notes for the future.

News of Paris
Ronald Weber
Ivan R. Dee
1332 N. Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60622-2694
1566636760 $27.50

Writers, artists and journalists all went to Paris after World War I with the dreams of becoming writers: Paris offered a big advantage in providing jobs which enabled them to make the most of the city, and after the war American news activity shifted from London to Paris. NEWS OF PARIS: AMERICAN JOURNALISTS IN THE CITY OF LIGHT BETWEEN THE WARS provides a focus on this heyday when the city was lauded as the 'centre of American journalism in Europe'. Chapters survey the colorful world of this expatriate period and uses the lives of major literary figures and newspapers to reveal the drama and hopes of the times.

The Sociology/Anthropology Shelf

Encyclopedia of Hair
Victoria Sherrow
Greenwood Press
PO Box 5007, Westport, CT 06881-5007
0313331456 $79.95

Hair has displayed more than changing styles: it's served as an indicator of class, gender, conformity and power throughout history – and ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HAIR: A CULTURAL HISTORY follows the changing issues surrounding hair and styles. World history and all cultures are taken into account throughout, with chapters opening with an essay on the overall topic, followed by alphabetically arranged entries along with black and white photos and bibliographic references. Any college-level holding strong in not only history and culture but fashion will find this appealing to many different genres.

Opium Culture
Peter Lee
Park Street Press/Inner Traditions
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
1594770751 $16.95

The Chinese art and culture of smoking opium is covered in a survey which includes addiction, withdrawal and medical issues as well as cultural insights and a social history. The result is a well-rounded survey in OPIUM CULTURE: THE ART & RITUAL OF THE CHINESE TRADITION. Every aspect of opium is covered, from how it came to be smoked for pleasure in China to its connections to Taoism, Chinese medicine and traditional Asian custom. Add quotes and insights from literary and artistic figures and you have a text which is packed with sociological insights.

South Africa's Diverse Peoples
Sally Frankenthal and Owen B. Sichone
PO Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911
1576076741 $55.00

Any collection strong in African history and ethnicity will want to make SOUTH AFRICA'S DIVERSE PEOPLES: A REFERENCE SOURCEBOOK a primary acquisition. It will appeal to both high school and college-level holdings with its history, which moves from pre-segregation to post-segregation and which considers the evolving, changing roles of many different peoples and cultures under the South African umbrella. From the hardening of ethnic divisions within the country to apartheid's policies and rules, SOUTH AFRICA'S DIVERSE PEOPLES is a 'must' for any with more than a passing interest in the country.

The Native American Shelf

The Tipi
Adolf Hungrywolf
Native Voices (Book Publishing Co, Dist.)
PO Box 99, Summertown, TN 38483
1570671745 $17.95

Plenty of books covering Native American history also add notes on the tipi, but few provide an in-depth survey as does THE TIPI: TRADITIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN SHELTER. Vintage black and white photos blend with historical texts to provide a survey of tipi life among all the tribes, not just one. From Canadian Ojibwa hunting lodges to painted tipis of the Blackfoot in the Southwest, the contrasting survey is a wonderful focus, packed with the photos (some color would've been nice, but many of these original black and white vintage photos are even better representations than modern-day color could've achieved).

The Wedding/Marriage Shelf

Jo Gartin's Weddings
Jo Gartin
Rodale Press
400 S. 10th Street, Emmaus, PA 18098-0099
1594862613 $22.95

If you haven't heard of Jo Gartin, you should know her name: she was listed by Vogue Magazine as 'best wedding coordinator and has contributed her wedding plans and tips to many women's magazines across the country. WEDDINGS is the culmination of her ideas, offering unique new embellishments on traditional choices to create a day each couple will relish. With her background in fashion design lending a professional flair to her ideas, WEDDINGS: AN INSPIRING GUIDE FOR THE STYLISH BRIDE comes packed with customizing tips brides will relish.

The Healthy Bride Guide
Christi Masi & Sheri Mar
Sasquatch Books
119 S. Main Street, #400, Seattle, WA 98104
157061461X $19.95

Plenty of brides plan all the embellishments for a wedding day: but what about fitness and health concerns? These are usually addressed by bridal workouts and extreme weight-loss programs: now there's an alternative path in THE HEALTHY BRIDE GUIDE, which offers a fitness program not just for the main event, but for life. From weight loss and exercise programs which work to stress management routines for handling wedding stress and a travel workout program for use in confined spaces, THE HEALTHY BRIDE GUIDE: BE FIT AND FABULOUS FROM THIS DAY FORWARD is a winner.

The Newlyweds' Cookbook
Sharon Cochrane, Editor
Ryland Peters & Small Inc.
519 Broadway, 5th Floor, New York NY 10012
1841729647 $24.95

Marriage often brings with it additional or new cooking demands, which can be a pleasure or a pain depending on how much cooking experience has been had before the event. The newly joined couple at last has a cookbook which encourages cooking for two in THE NEWLYWEDS' COOKBOOK, which opens from an introductory chapters on kitchen basics – necessary pots and pans to tableware, which can also be part of a bridal registry – to recipes for snacks, quick meals, family gatherings and special occasions alike. Color photos liberally grace a comprehensive, important recipe guide to the major events a newlywed couple can anticipate in their first year together. The focus on elegance and ease of preparation makes NEWLYWEDS' COOKBOOK a winner!

Bride & Groom Cookbook
Gayle Pirie & John Clark
Free Press
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0743278550 $34.95

If you're seeking a shower or wedding gift for a couple who likes to cook or eat, BRIDE & GROOM COOKBOOK: RECIPES FOR COOKING TOGETHER is the item of choice for such a couple. The authors use their own experience as restaurant chefs and as a married couple to show how working families can use dozens of favorite dishes to create hundreds of family meals. Even though the authors are cooks, they don't presume any prior knowledge: the basics accompany over a hundred classic dishes for meals from breakfast to dinner and plenty of supportive tips from preparation and cooking times to a complexity scale between 1-4.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Xenology: Notes from the Alien Bestiary
Simon Spurrier
Games Workshop
Willow Road, Nottingham, NG7 2WS, UK
1844162826 $29.99

XENOLOGY : NOTES AND RESEARCH FROM THE ALIEN BESTIARY OF BIEGEL packs in gorgeous full-page color artwork to accompany a science fiction survey of the vile specimens of Biegel, creating a game and a world in one fell swoop. Here are notes from 'vocal recording files' which are vivid surveys of an alien landscape, backed by 'interview transcripts', notes, and blog-style entries. To keep this from becoming too much text, all accounts are set off in color blocks and some are offset at an angle to juxtapose with the art, lending a diary-like format which is easy to read and quick to absorb. An outstanding, engrossing presentation invites newcomers to the world of Biegel.

Ursula K. LeGuin
Harcourt Books
15 East 26th Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10010
0152051244 $7.95 1-800-543-1918

While GIFTS is slated for readers 12 and older, it's reviewed here because it's lovely account will be enjoyed by all ages – and shouldn't be limited to teen audiences alone. Young Orrec's gift is wild and could kill the ones he loves – so he blindfolds his dangerous eyes and rejects it, as does his good friend. The two are outcasts in a world which values priceless gifts and powers even while it fears them: can they reject their gifts yet still discover purpose in life? A powerful message is revealed through equally powerful plot and protagonists.

10 E. 53rd Street, New York NY 10022

Giles Carwyn and Todd Fahnestock's HEIR OF AUTUMN (0060829753, $25.95) debuts a new fantasy author as it tells of issues of freedom and justice affecting a brutal world. When Brophy, the Heir of Autumn in his land, is unjustly accused of murder, his kingdom falls prey to evil forces. A young woman who finds her magic and powers snared by evil and becomes drawn into struggles beyond her experience finds newfound friends – and enemies – in a dissolving kingdom in this complex story of romance, evil, and political change. Fantasy at its best in epic form makes HEIR OF AUTUMN a winner – and a surprisingly deft, complex work for a debut. Steph Swainston's NO PRESENT LIKE TIME (0060753889, $13.95) provides a unique type of animal fantasy trilogy which focuses on a war against insects and the struggles of immortals to keep their secrets and world intact. The first-person account is epic fantasy at its best, very highly recommended.

Pyr/Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197

George Zebrowski's MACROLIFE: A MOBILE UTOPIA (1591023416, $15.00) provides a novel which is set in the year 2021 and tells of a family whose annual reunion is disrupted by an industrial accident which brings not only their world but humanity onto the brink of disaster. The family flees to a space colony where young Richard realizes the future lies in macrolife – mobile, self-reproducing space habitats – and builds his dreams communities which flourish and offer both new promise and new political confrontations in space. Add a touch of romance and you have an inspirational, revealing and different story line hard to put down. Keith Brooke's GENETOPIA (1591023335, $25.00) tells of the last true humans and brings to mind Mathison's I AM LEGEND – another great epic of last surviving human traits – in so doing. In the usual close-knit village houses can be grown out of dirt, livestock transformed into unique creatures, and Oracles guide humans on how to survive. In the wetlands outside the village a wild world exists with near-animals, near-plants, and near-people who fear human intervention in their lives. Flint's missing sister is somewhere out there, and his search for her involves him in a world of transformations and conflict between nano and biotechnical evolutionary forces in the riveting GENETOPIA.

Alternate Americas
M. Keith Booker
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881
0275983951 $49.95

College-level collections strong in science fiction holdings will welcome the scholarly survey ALTERNATE AMERICAS: SCIENCE FICTION FILM AND AMERICAN CULTURE. Its professor author M. Keith Booker has selected some fifteen of the most successful, innovative sci fi films of all time and here considers their cultural, technical and cinematic effects. Any genre fan will immediately recognize and acknowledge these selections as true 'greats', from Forbidden Planet and 2001 to Alien, E.T., Blade Runner and Matrix. That they not only reflected future fantasy but the concerns and culture of their times makes for a penetrating analysis which surveys plots and underlying meanings.

The Cookbook Shelf

Full Moon Feast
Jessica Prentice
Chelsea Green
PO Box 428, White River Junction, VT 05001
1933392002 $25.00

Chef and food activist Jessica Prentice arrives here with a mission: to promote locally grown, humanely raised foods and traditional cooking methods. She use the thirteen lunar cycles of a year as a foundation for her discussions, including recipes in each chapter but also including history, myths, political and social insights, and more. Plenty of reflections and first-person professional and personal insights provide a satisfying balance between literature, theory, and applied wisdom. To call this a 'cookbook' of any kind is limiting its appeal: FULL MOON FEAST: FOOD AND THE HUNGER FOR CONNECTION is so much more.

Once Upon a Tuscan Table
Camino Books
PO Box 59026, Philadelphia, PA 19102
0940159902 $17.95

It's not often you'll find a cookbook which is candid and revealing as well as being filled with recipes, anecdotes, and fun characters; but here you have it all in one package: ONCE UPON A TUSCAN TABLE: TALES AND RECIPES FROM TRATTORIA GARGA holds it all. Sharon Gargani works with Rena Bulkin as she recounts her life and the importance of food. As her family restaurant changes from a tiny abode to a favored haunt set in a 14th century palazzo, winning mention from Gourmet and other international food magazines, the author/partner reveals the ups, downs and pleasures of being a cook and cooking school partner – and includes many signature dishes from her restaurant and school in the process. No color photos embellish them – but the easy dishes don't need photos to prove appealing.

What to Eat When You're Eating Out
Hope S. Warshaw, MMsc, Rd
Small Steps Press/ADA
1701 N. Beauregard Street, Alexandria, Va 22311
1580402305 $9.95

Any who regularly eat at restaurants should have WHAT TO EAT WHEN YOU'RE EATING OUT: while its thickness makes it a difficult purse tote, it does present a fine, comprehensive reference for advance planning, presenting strategies for selecting healthier restaurant meals, detailing exchanges and serving sizes, and listing over 5,000 common menu items from over 60 restaurants. Subway, Burger King, McDonalds, KFC and healthier establishments' fare all receive detailed charts and insights both diabetics and health-conscious eaters who frequent popular chain restaurants will appreciate.

The Best Irish Drinks
Ray Foley
1935 Brookdale Road, #139, Naperville, IL 60563
140220678X $10.95

There are numerous cocktail cookbooks on the market already, but several things differentiate the pocket-tote-sized THE BEST IRISH DRINKS from others. First, they come directly from Ireland and thus represent authentic flavors based on the use of Irish liquors and ingredients. Second, its focus on recipes over flash assures 300 are packed into here and not watered down by the usual color glitter of the cocktail glass. Third, it rounds out recipes with toasts, wisdom sayings, and Irish drink history. What more could you want?

Putting Meat on the American Table
Roger Horowitz
Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4363
0801882419 $19.00

American wasn't born a meat-eating nation: it evolved from colonial to modern times and was as much influenced by technological developments and processing and production advancements as by consumer tastes or meat availability. PUTTING MEAT ON THE AMERICAN TABLE: TASTE, TECHNOLOGY, TRANSFORMATION is a lively study which will also earn a place on the college bookshelf for its scholarly side in examining how new technologies have advanced American meat. Using consumption surveys, chapters provide lively insights into evolving American eating habits.

Real Women Eat Chilies
Jane Butel
Northland Publishers
2900 N. Fort Valley Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
0873588975 $21.95

There are plenty of women who like to eat spicy foods, as Jane Butel, the 'Queen of Chilies' describes in REAL WOMEN EAT CHILIES: and these women for a penchant for hot spices will love her lively recipes accompanied by chili history and health facts. While biographies of selected women who are avid achievers and chile-eaters pepper the book, it's the recipes which are the heart here, from Speedy Shrimp Primavera to Aztec Pork Chops. Add color photos throughout and you have a real winner.

Kyle Cathie Ltd.
c/o National Book Network
4501 Frobes Blvd #200, Lanham, MD 20706

Jeanne Strang bought a home in France over forty years ago and became fascinated by the history of neighbors and surrounding villages: her GOOSE FAT & GARLIC (190492039X $16.95) is for any fan of French food and culture who want a blend of local color and village recipes. From old customs and cooking traditions to recipes for Truffle Omelet, Dumplings, and Pasta with Garlic and Eggs, there are local dishes here not to be seen in larger more glittery French cookbooks. No color photos – but the memoir and cookbook doesn't lack for them. Cameillia Panjabi's 50 GREAT CURRIES OF INDIA (1904920357, $14.95) became an instant hit on its publication ten years ago – but when it tried to enter the US at the time, Americans weren't ready for curry cookbooks. The publisher persevered and a year later a U.S. publishing house published it to great acclaim. Here it is in a brand new accessible paperback edition which adds ten new curries to the mix as it mixes facing-page color photos of completed dishes with curry standards from Kashmir, Bhopal, Delhi, Kerala and more. Any avid curry cook must have this.

Neo Soul
Lindsey Williams
Avery/Penguin Putnam
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
1583331948 $21.95

Other books have been written on soul food but here's something with a difference: it comes from the godson of Harlem's soul food cook Sylvia Woods and adds a healthy twist to a cuisine often associated with unhealthy fats. Author Lindsay Williams struggled with weight all his life and had to make some drastic changes when at 400 pounds he found food affecting his health. NEO SOUL reflects these changes, which caused him to lose more than half his weight, and provides readers with a new brand of healthy soul cooking which retains the ethnicity without the dangers.

The Food of Italy
Chris L. Jones
351 Lynn Avenue, North Vancouver, BC, Canada, V7J 2C4
1552856771 $34.95

The gorgeous, oversized THE FOOD OF ITALY: A JOURNEY FOR FOOD LOVERS packs in large color photos on every page as it surveys all the traditional specialties of Italy: from homemade pastas and dishes made with them to veal, quail, eels and much more. The juxtaposition of both gourmet and everyday Italian fare provides a cookbook with a different purpose than many Italian cookbooks already on the market: to feature as much of the country's diversity as possible under one cover. In this effort, THE FOOD OF ITALY succeeds – and succeeds nobly.

A Collection of Fine Baking
Young Mo Kim
Dream Character Inc.
2049 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite. 222, Lomita, Ca 90717
0976554305 $35.00

A COLLECTION OF FINE BAKING: THE RECIPES OF YOUNG MO KIM has recently been selected as the recipient for the 'Best Desserts Cookbook' category from Gourmand World Cookbook for 2005 – and it's easy to see why. Here are luscious-looking cookies, cakes, pastries and breads which pair beautiful professional color photos with a touch of professional style cooks at home can easily achieve. And herein lies the difference between A COLLECTION OF FINE BAKING and most competitors: most baking books are either geared for home cooks and lack professional finesse, or for pros – and lack accessibility by home cooks. A COLLECTION OF FINE BAKING easily straddles the line between pro and homemaker to provide both audiences with tips on how to produce professional results from a home kitchen. It's a 'keeper'.

Rocco's 5 Minute Flavor
Rocco DiSpirito
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0743273842 $26.95

ROCCO'S 5 MINUTE FLAVOR: FABULOUS MEALS WITH 5 INGREDIENTS IN 5 MINUTES is something any busy cook will want: it's fast food without the stigma of fats and flavorless presentation – and without the expense. From fondu and hot sandwiches with nuts and cheeses to stews and even vegetarian main dishes, ROCCO'S 5 MINUTE FLAVOR is a real winner.

Flour Power
Marleeta F. Basey
Jermar Press
1790 NW Grandview Drive, Albany, OR 97321-9695
0970540116 $14.95

FLOUR POWER in its revised new edition remains the ONLY comprehensive guide on the market to home flour milling – and therefore remains a top pick for any serious home or public library cookbook collection seeking a strong representation of whole-grain cookbooks. Almost all commercial flours have lost fiber and minerals from processing – but home millers have a unique opportunity to retain these lost food values. FLOUR POWER: A GUIDE TO MODERN HOME GRAIN MILLING covers everything; from equipment needed to stone grinding, obtaining the best grains to mill, stocking the home granary and much more. A top pick – and a 'must' for any serious whole foods cook.

A History of The American Cookbook
Carol Fisher
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640
0786423420 $45.00

College-level collections will welcome A HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN COOKBOOK: it provides a basic introduction to the cookbook's evolution from colonial to modern times, blending geography, culture, and a survey of political and social changes in its goal of producing a definitive guide. From booklets and recipe notes to full books and reference collections, A HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN COOKBOOK's chapters trace cultural as well as social influences. A 'must' for any college-level collection: while it's a lively read it packs in social history and facts throughout.

Comfort Food Makeovers
Elaine Magee
Black Dog & Leventhal
151 W. 19th Street, New York NY 10011
157912464X $12.95

Usually there are two answers to old favorite recipes which have long been packed in calories and fat as well as comfort: abstain or modify until it's entirely. So it's refreshing to find COMFORT FOOD MAKEOVERS: HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES TO YOUR FAVORITE HOMESTYLE DISHES does neither: it modifies dishes to omit the calories – but not the original comforting tastes. From a leaner Beef Shepherd's Pie which uses a lean sirloin roast and fat-free half-and-half to a light version of the classic cream-laden Fettuccine Alfredo – truly an achievement, done with light cream cheese, divided whole milk or fat-free half and half, and butter or substitute – all dishes retain their original appeal while boasting makeovers that work. While plastic comb binding may not make for durable library lending long-term, it will delight cooks who will want this for their home collections.

Carlos' Contemporary French Cuisine
Debbie & Carlos Nieto
Gibbs Smith
PO Box 667, Layton, UT 8404
1586855123 $34.95

When Carlos and Debbie Nieto opened Carlos' Restaurant in Chicago back in the 1980s it became a hit – and has remained so since, providing long-term to be one of the city's most popular restaurants serving nouvelle French cuisine. Chicago too far away for you? Then you must have CARLOS' CONTEMPORARY FRENCH CUISINE, which offers outstanding dishes for appetizers, soups, salads, and more adjusted for home kitchens. Dishes are exotic and spirited, with names such as Wrapped Rabbit Lion with Spinach, Morels and Sun-Dried Tomatoes or Pepper-Crusted Venison with Lettuce-Cabbage Confit and Black Currant Sauce providing a satisfying range of original creations spiced with French influences. It's an outstanding gathering of dishes not to be seen elsewhere.

The Best Light Recipe
Cook's Illustrated Editors
America's Test Kitchen
17 Station Street, Brookline, MA 02445
0936184973 $35.00

Would you go out and make 28 light cheesecakes to test them for the one ideal recipe you want to keep? How about Veggie Burgers, or Corn Chowder? That's why THE BEST LIGHT RECIPE is such a winner: the editors of Cook's Illustrated use their test kitchens to do just this, eliminating sub-standard or just mediocre recipes and keeping only the top winners. The result, THE BEST LIGHT RECIPE, reviewed hundreds of low-fat recipes for the best representative dish which retained flavor while reducing fat. The kitchens also tested for the truth in nutrition labeling, for superior substitutions which emphasized quality ingredients, and for ease of preparation. In short, THE BEST LIGHT RECIPE does all the investigative legwork to cull the best from thousands of competitors. All you have to do is cook it. A top recommendation: four stars!

The Kellogg's Cookbook
Judith Choate, Editor
Bulfinch Press
c/o Little, Brown & Company
1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
0821257374 $24.95 1-800-759-0190

That THE KELLOGG'S COOKBOOK appears this year is no accident but by design; for 2006 marks the 100th anniversary of the Kellogg Company, and to celebrate here are over 200 recipes culled from company archives. Yes, dishes all rely on a Kellogg product for its main ingredient – so here you'll find Rice Krispies Treats, All-Bran Muffins, and other past favorites such as a Summer Squash and Chilies Bake which uses Rice Krispies for its topping, Chicken Italienne using Kellogg's Corn Flakes, and even a Salmon and Lemon Pate using Special K. The equal display of savory and sweet dishes proves Kellogg has more on its mind than dessert, while the inclusion of contemporary and vintage photos makes for an appealing, attractive presentation.

Southern Living Slow-Cooker Cookbook
Jane E. Gentry, Compiler
Oxmoor House
PO Box 2262, Birmingham, AL 35201-2262
0848731069 $24.95

Slow cookers aren't just for main dishes, though over the years that's what they've come to be associated with: they can offer entire meals from soup and appetizers to dessert – and SOUTHERN LIVING SLOW-COOKER COOKBOOK is here to make the most of them, using their Test Kitchen pros' experiments to produce polished, guaranteed results and original dishes not to be found in competing cookbooks. Bright color photos accompany recipes which are also labeled by type i.e. 'Comfort Food', 'Editor's Choice', and 'Company's Coming'. What's for dinner from a slow cooker? Perhaps Chicken Lasagna Florentine, Steak Soup or even Apple Crisp. Over 200 recipes are presented.

The Responsible Serving Of Alcoholic Beverages
Beth Dugan, M.S.
Atlantic Publishing Company
1405 SW 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34474-7014
0910627630 $49.95

College-level collections with schools strong in culinary and food management courses will want to keep THE RESPONSIBLE SERVING OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: A COMPLETE STAFF TRAINING COURSE FOR BARS, RESTAURANTS, AND CATERERS in the collection both as a reference and as a circulating item. Two years have gone into the making of this comprehensive manual which blends the legal issues with the ethical issues involved in serving alcohol professionally: management and liquor service staff receive all the knowledge allowing them to responsibly serve alcohol in licensed premises, from understanding BAC levels and the law to checking ID, handling difficult customers, and more. While the price tag may be hefty for a standard-sized paperback, its specific, well-detailed information is priceless for any serious food industry holding.

Ultimate Bar Book
Mittie Hellmich
Chronicle Books
85 – 2nd St., 6th Floor, San Francisco CA 94105
0811843513 $19.95

If it's only one big book you want covering all the cocktail recipes, leaving the glitz of color photos for the depth of practical coverage, make it ULTIMATE BAR BOOK: THE COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO OVER 1,000 COCKTAILS. Here are all the classics plus new cocktails such as Bali Highball. Here also are recommendations for home bars, coverage of utensils and mixers, sections on non-alcoholic drinks, and tips for entertaining with cocktails. Novices shouldn't be put off by the volume, either: it's written especially for beginners and teaches the basics and techniques of the mixed drink, assuming no prior knowledge.

The Food Journal of Lewis & Clark
Mary Gunderson
History Cooks
215 Walnut Street, #205, Yankton, SD 57078
0972039104 $19.95

You can't ask for any better way to celebrate and 'feel' history come alive than with THE FOOD JOURNAL OF LEWIS & CLARK: RECIPES FOR AN EXPEDITION. Quotes from their journals pepper recipes which are selected and designed to offer a taste of life along the trail during the early 1800s. Dishes such as New Potatoes with Hazelnuts and Fennel or Corn with Sunflower and Black Beans are not only not to be found in every cookbook – they are introduced with tidbits of history. A wonderful, fun way of learning both history and early American food heritage.

Harvard Common Press
535 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118

Plenty of recipe books are on the market advocating making sushi at home; but at last here's a book which provides the terminology and descriptions of sushi which will allow novices to partake with confidence and knowledge. From what to watch for to select the best to how to ask the preparer to add or subtract embellishments to make for the best dining experience, Dave Lowry's THE CONNOISSEUR'S GUIDE TO SUSHI (1558323074 $14.00) reviews varieties, dining etiquette, and more. Different between U.S. servings and overseas, seasonal variations, and more round out all the information you need to know to make your sushi eating experience the best one. Karen Adler and Judith Fertig's WEEKNIGHT GRILLING WITH THE BBQ QUEENS: MAKING MEALS FAST AND FABULOUS (1558323147, $14.95) provides menus for weeknights – some one hundred of them – which can be fixed in 45 minutes or less, in contrast to the popular notion that weekday barbecuing is a difficult endeavor. This isn't your usual steak-and-chicken on the grill book, either: from a smoky spaghetti to a grilled whole squash and vegetable skewers with parmesan, there's enough variety of ingredients and approaches to make WEEKNIGHT GRILLING an outstanding presentation. From Tropicana Chicken with Mango on skewers to Tunisian-Spice Flattened Chicken Breasts, WEEKNIGHT GRILLING packs in many surprises. Brother Victor-Antoine d'Avila-Latourrette's TWELVE MONTHS OF MONASTERY SALADS (1558323325, $14.95) comes from a resident monk who uses the four seasons to create salads – some 200 dishes – which specialize in seasonal freshness and variety. From a spicy Mexican Style Black Bean salad to Sicilian Potato Salad or a Tuscan Stuffed Tomato Salad, dishes are zesty and display a surprising attention to international influences, for those who would think monks sheltered from the world of international touches to tasty dishes.

Sparks in the Kitchen
Katy Sparks with Andrea Strong
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
1400043557 $30.00

Take a talented chef, have her apply professional techniques to home cooking pursuits, and then publish a cookbook of the results and you have a vivid presentation of fresh flavors, new recipes, and explanations of what enhances traditional methods in SPARKS IN THE KITCHEN. Katy Sparks' restaurant is a very popular New York City venue: now her taste for innovation and drama is accessible to home cooks in such dishes as Soft-Shell Crab Tempura with Crushed Blackberry and Horseradish Relish, or Roasted Cauliflower Gratin. A peppering of color photos adds interest but the 'meat' is in the recipes themselves. A top pick for cooks seeking innovations and pizzazz.

Men Only: Kiss My Palate
Gwen Hall
R&R Publications Mktg.
CPG, Dist.
PO Box 190694, Miami Beach, FL 33119
1740225163 $20.00

MEN ONLY: KISS MY PALATE is a guide that focuses on romantic entertaining: it's for the novice male cook who wants to create a good impression, and it packs in dishes which are quick and easy to make yet hold a touch of elegance perfect for entertaining. Shopping lists of easy ingredients pair with color photos throughout to ease the novice into the kitchen. Dishes are fool-proof and pictures also display novel presentation ideas for maximum impact. Other books on the market for novice male chefs hold nowhere near the color and tips of MEN ONLY: KISS MY PALATE, which is a highly recommended pick indeed.

Simple & Simply Delicious
Sylvie Rocher
Eye Contact Media Inc.
PO Box 388, Ashland, OR 44805
0972918744 $16.99

Learn how to prepare French dishes and exotic meals in minutes using a cookbook from a world traveler who presents such from her French homeland and her travels throughout Asia, Africa, and other nations. From Quiche Lorraine and Chicken Liver Pate to Salmon Pasta Gratin and Beef Curry, dishes are easy one-page affairs often paired with color photos, inviting novices to try the easy dishes.

The Big Oyster
Mark Kurlansky
Ballantine Books
1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
0345476387 $23.95 1-800-726-0600

For centuries New York was famous for its oysters which played a hue role in the city's economy and culinary fame. Oysters were the city's most celebrated export, a staple food, and more, and THE BIG OYSTER: HISTORY ON THE HALF SHELL celebrates this era, from food markets to the extinction of natural beds around the city as the decades passed. From cultivation techniques to recipes, THE BIG OYSTER weaves the story of oyster farming and dining into the greater history of New York to provide a lively culinary and cultural expose.

The Wine Shelf

Hidden Wineries of Southern California
MaDonna White, Publisher
0976161605 $49.95

HIDDEN WINERIES OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA appeared some time ago, but deserves ongoing recommendation to wine connoisseurs as it's one of the few covering Southern California wineries rather than the usual Northern California focus. Featured wineries go into Central California somewhat as they feature Temecula, Santa Ynez, Los Angeles and Orange County wineries. From the grape varietals which grow well in these areas to overviews of the process of growing grapes and making wines, HIDDEN WINERIES OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA is at its best when pairing large-size color photos of wineries with discussions of their offerings and contrasts with other California regions. A highly recommended, 'must have' pick for any comprehensive California wine book collection.

Wines of Baja California
Ralph Amey
Wine Appreciation Guild
360 Swift, South San Francisco CA 94080
1891267655 $19.95

Here's another wine region which receives little attention in the typical wine books: an examination of Mexican wines – the first published in English. From a survey of the oldest winery in Baja California to newer ones springing up today, each winery receives a description review of products and size, and plenty of historical background. Tasting notes, reviews of Baja grapes and wine events, and supplemental travel details on accommodations and restaurants for those intending a visit make WINES OF BAJA CALIFORNIA: TOURING AND TASTING MEXICO'S UNDISCOVERED TREASURES a winner.

Owen Bird
Arima Publishing
Ask House, Northgate Avenue, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, YK 1P32 6BB
1845490797 $22.00

Any interested in the German wine industry's history and ups and downs must have RHEINGOLD; THE GERMAN WINE RENAISSANCE. Unlike most wine surveys of Germany, RHEINGOLD provides a strong historical focus with an in-depth analysis of German wine laws, labeling, competition, and changing image. From the wide-ranging influences of Asian cuisine and its influence on German wine production to the VDP's grouping of regional associations, RHEINGOLD is not your usual light review of grapes and wineries, but an in-depth, comprehensive survey of industry trends and influences any serious wine drinker must have.

Wines of New Mexico
Andy Sandersier
University of New Mexico Press
MSC11 6290, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
0826332528 $19.95 1-800-249-7737

Here's another rare examination of an area which normally isn't viewed for its wines: New Mexico. It may surprise many to learn New Mexico has an number of wineries – so many that Andy Sandersier divides the state into zones or districts and provides distances from Albuquerque along with his review of winery offerings, history, and varieties. Rounding out small line maps, winery details and black and white photos are additional details on accommodations and local touring, inviting the non-New Mexico resident to come and visit.

Let's Open a Bottle
Brian Murdock
Murdock Publishing Company
127 Belk Court, Clayton, NC 27520
0974335908 $14.95

LET'S OPEN A BOTTLE: MY JOURNEY THROUGH THE SPANISH WINE REVOLUTION takes readers to Spain along with the English teacher/author, who considers the Spanish wine revolution. Murdock is an expatriate living in Madrid the past fifteen years: his background lends to a blend of memoir and travelogue which brings readers into the heart of Spanish wine country politics and winemaking tradition. Travel tips include listings of regional wineries, specialties, and recommendations for destination-bound wine fans. A wonderful, detail-packed read for any interested in Spanish wines and wine region history.

Kathleen's Vineyard
Kathleen Fetzer & Sarah Suggs
Cypress House
155 Cypress Street, Fort Bragg, CA 95437
1879384582 $29.95

Any California wine buff readily knows the name of Fetzer Wines: but how many know the entire story of the family's rise in the wine industry? To get that you have to turn to KATHLEEN'S VINEYARD: THE FETZER FAMILY MATRIARCH SHARES HER STORY. Written in collaboration with longtime family friend Sarah Suggs and with the aid and input of the entire family, KATHLEEN'S VINEYARD tells of a teen who journeyed from her Minnesota home to the San Francisco Bay Area, looking for work and independence. Her discovery of romance in one Bernard Fetzer led to their involvement in the California wine industry and their creation of a family empire. Add vintage black and white photos and you have a winning story of a family's experience along with new insights on the California wine industry's evolution.

The Travel Shelf

Doug Lansky, Compiler
Lonely Planet
150 Linden, Oakland, CA 94607
1741044898 $7.99

Any who has traveled knows that spotting signs are an oddity of being on the road: sooner or later you'll come across a sign which is absurd and funny. Such a collection is SIGNSPOTTING: ABSURD & AMUSING SIGNS FROM AROUND THE WORLD. From accidental porn to amusing meals and odd directions, color signs are accompanied by even funnier tongue-in-cheek comments on their irony. Highly recommended.

Eat Pray Love
Elizabeth Gilbert
Viking Press
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
0670034711 $24.95

In mid-life author Gilbert had it all: a career, husband, and house in the country - but she felt unfulfilled and confused, went through divorce and depression, and wound up questioning life's meaning. Her solution to her downward spiral was to sell everything she owned, give up friends and family, and embark on a year-long journey around the world, alone. EAT PRAY LOVE is more than just a travelogue: it's a story of personal transformation and change which touches upon cultural interactions and inner wisdom with equal deftness.

Goat Trees
David Rozgonyi
Wolverine Farm Publishing
PO Box 814, Ft. Collins, CO 80522
0974199966 $12.00

Too few Americans are cultivating an interest in overseas travel much less knowing about the rest of the world: to change that attitude try 'em on GOAT TREES: TALES FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD. Why will GOAT TREES spark an interest where no other travel book will make the cut? For one thing, it's a pocket-sized tote – and I do mean 'pocket' – which lends to tucking into a purse or backpack, or taking on the bus. For another, it's got a super-eye-catching color cover showing goats literally perched on the top of a scruffy tree. Readers will want to find out just what that's all about. Third, it provides a very lively survey of the best of Rozgonyi's many years of travel in undeveloped nations. His stories are thus diverse, exciting, and best of all – culturally revealing and fun, making GOAT TALES a unique 'must' to any travel reader, whether he be armchair, destination-oriented or even reluctant.

Romance on the Road
Jeannette Belliveau
Beau Monde Press
PO Box 6149, Baltimore, MD 21231
096523441X $34.95

The price tag for a standard-sized paperwork is hefty but ROMANCE ON THE ROAD offers something competitors can seldom touch: the most complete, candid assessment in print of women who travel to love foreign men. Stories by such women present worldwide journeys and encounters with local men from Italy and the Caribbean to India, Asia, Latin America and beyond. But don't expect light travelogue literature in ROMANCE ON THE ROAD: TRAVELING WOMEN WHO LOVE FOREIGN MEN: it's also got quite a serious side, detailing cultural encounters, oddities, dangers, and history and economic backgrounds. 25 academics and medical doctors from five nations also contribute to a survey which includes the author's own encounters with men around the world. Its tag may seem pricey at first – but its information will prove priceless to any seeking a blend of scholarly insight and lively travelogue in one package.

Langenscheidt Publishers
PO Box 979, Spring House, PA 19477

Two excellent "Insight Guides" destination planners and take-along totes pack in color photos and maps with practical advice. INSIGHT GUIDES: NEW ENGLAND (158573294X, $23.95) brings expert advice on New England history and culture to blend with maps and travel guide advice. Gorgeous color invites interest throughout. Same with COLORADO (9814120782, $23.95), which provides all the background, history and expertise needed to understand not just sights to see and things to do, but the culture, influences and concerns that make Colorado unique. Both are thus much fuller than your usual travel guide, blending the typical recommendations on restaurants, hotels and more with the insights on what factors make each state unique.

The Names of Maine
Brian McCauley
Acadia Press
74 Elmwood Road, Wellesley, MA 02481
0974041289 $12.95

Maine visitors and residents alike will find THE NAMES OF MAINE a fun listing of over 1,000 cities, towns, rivers, lakes and islands which surveys the origins, meaning and history of each. Plenty of regional Make history enhances an exploration which is well-rounded in its scope and presentation, covering not only well-known areas but some of the state's byways. Perfect for planning a local history trip or backroads expedition.

How to Shit Around the World
Dr. Jane Wilson-Howarth
Traveler's Tales Guides (PGW, Dist)
853 Alma Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301
1932361324 $12.95

It's not easy staying healthy while on the road: third world countries and even changing climates lend to unsanitary conditions or illness, and while bathrooms are usually handled as part of the overall travel guide in other titles, in HOW TO SHIT AROUND THE WORLD: THE ART OF STAYING CLEAN AND HEALTHY WHILE TRAVELING it's of central concern. From dealing with foreign toilets to cultural lessons surrounding bathroom use, this fun and pointed guide offers both humor and practical advice to that most basic of human activities.

Tales of a River Rat
Kenny Salwey
Voyageur Press
380 Jackson Street, #200, St. Paul, MN 55101-3885
0896586499 $19.95

This new collection of 'rat tales' by a confirmed Last River Rat offers the insights of a modern hermit who's lived most of his life along the Mississippi. Like Huck Finn, Kenny Salwey has a host of adventures to recount: he's a hunter, trapper and woodsman alike and he is also a fine storyteller and even an expert on environmental issues – so his essay and story collection is packed with experience and insights.

Travels with My Chicken
Martin Gurdon
The Lyons Press
PO Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437
1592287786 $12.95

If Martin Gurdon's name sounds familiar, perhaps it's because his previous HEN AND THE ART OF CHICKEN MAINTENANCE elevated he and his fowl to fame as they wrote of their experiences together. Their decision to embark on a one-man, one-bird tour from southeast England to Edinburgh comes alive in TRAVELS WITH MY CHICKEN, a fun story of encounters along the way. Travel with chicken brings you in touch with a host of people you might not ordinarily meet: kids, chicken-lovers, and the curious. His lively vignette proves compelling and easy to read.

Blue List
Lonely Planet
150 Linden Street, Oakland, CA 94607
174104734X $19.99

BLUELIST is more than just a book: here it's defined as a verb, 'to recommend a travel experience' – and what better publisher to do so than Lonely Planet which for years has been publishing independent traveler's guide to the byways of the world? BLUELIST uses the knowledge and experiences of the entire Lonely Planet community of authors, staff and travelers to provide a highlight of over 400 unique experiences around the world. Use BLUELIST as a guide: it's packed with color photos, maps, reviews of trends and global events, and insights on the 'best places' to go in each country. From things to take and see to 'defining experiences' unique to different regions, BLUELIST is the place to go for something different.

The Railroading Shelf

Tourist Trains
Empire State Railway Museum
Kalmbach Books
PO Box 1612, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612
0871162245 $18.95

Over 600 railroad-related attractions the general public can visit are packed into a listing guide which blends in photos and practical info such as hours, fees and directions – but wait, there's more! Don't forget the coupons for discounts on ticket prices -–for avid train buffs, worth the price of the book itself – plus maps, photos, 'editor's choice' listings of special recommendations, and details on what kinds of trains may be found at each location. Rail and travel buffs will find this a 'must' reference.

The Beauty/Grooming Shelf

More Alive With Color
Leatrice Eiseman
Capital Books
PO Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172
1933102098 $30.00

Leatrice Eiseman is a color consultant who has developed her own original 'color clock', explored in depth here in MORE ALIVE WITH COLOR: PERSONAL COLORS-PERSONAL STYLE. It goes far beyond how to apply makeup and coordinate clothing, surveying how a body's natural colors lend toward inclinations such as using pastels or natural colors reflecting sunrise, sunlight and sunset. Packed with color examples throughout – and not just your usual model displays – a page of lip colors displays lipstick examples at their best – MORE ALIVE WITH COLOR is a winner for any who would understand how color choice ultimately works.

The Sports/Outdoors Shelf

Lightweight Backpacking And Camping
Ryan Jordan
Beartooth Mountain Press
1627 W. Main Street, #310, Bozeman, MT 59715-4011
0974818828 $24.95

If you're an avid backpacker tired of carrying a heavy pack into the wilderness, then LIGHWEIGHT BACKPACKING & CAMPING: A FIELD GUIDE TO WILDERNESS HIKING EQUIPMENT, TECHNIQUE AND STYLE is for you. Undoubtedly the first question will be how all 'the essentials' can be taken while reducing weight: there's new gear and techniques on the market which can achieve both goals, and all are covered in a book which comes from one of the leading authorities on the lightweight backpacking movement. This isn't just a review of the latest equipment: it adds plenty of pro/con tips for assessing each piece and how to work with it more efficiently.

Mountain Bike Maintenance
Guy Andrews
Falcon Guides/Globe Pequot
PO Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437
0762740884 $19.95

Both beginners and experienced mountain bike users will benefit from a survey of how to keep the bike in peak condition – and with its specific focus on the mountain bike apart from others, no better home reference can be had than MOUNTAIN BIKE MAINTENANCE. From tools and workshop equipment to avoiding problems which lead to maintenance needs, chapters cover all part of a bike, including on-trail repair tips, and come from an experienced bicycling magazine editor who has worked for a number of major cycling publications.

Complete Medical Guide For Cyclists
Andry Pruitt, Ed.D with Fred Matheny
1830 N. 55th Street, Boulder, CO 80301-2700
1931382808 $18.95

To prevent bike injuries, first you have to get the right bike to fit your style and personal needs – then you have to get Andy Pruitt's COMPLETE MEDICAL GUIDE FOR CYCLISTS and follow its advice to the letter. Here's what's missing from other more general cycling advisors: chapters which walk readers through the influences on a good bike fit, chapters which discuss different types of injuries and their causes and recovery patterns, and chapters which discuss typical riding techniques and their long-term health effects.

ESPN Sports Almanac 2006
Chris Berman,
ESPN Books
PO Box 542281, Ft. Worth, FL 33454-2281
1933060042 $12.99

ESPN is the acknowledged leader in sports reporting and that's why its reference ESPN SPORTS ALMANAC 2006 is so important: it covers the biggest personalities and events of the year, offering access to statistics, individual award-winners, teams, and critical overviews by ESPN expert reporters. From college sports to football, basketball, baseball and more, ESPN SPORTS ALMANAC is a compendium of invaluable statistics and sports references which libraries will find useful and popular.

Old-Time Baseball
Harvey Frommer
Taylor Trade
4501 Forbes Blvd., #200, Lanham, MD 20706
1589792548 $22.95

Fans of not just modern baseball but baseball history from bygone times will welcome OLD-TIME BASEBALL: AMERICA'S PASTIME IN THE GILDED AGE: it captures the heyday of early baseball, from its invention in 1842 by the descendant of a British sea captain to the first games played on a vacant lot in Madison in New York. The idea is not to be a dry survey so much as a timeline of high moments of the sport, so readers receive both a survey of events and dates and a lively exploration recapturing the excitement of a bygone era.

Surfing's Greatest Misadventures
Paul Diamond, Editor
Casagrande Press Ltd.
c/o Wilderness Press. Dist.
1200 – 5th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710-1306
0976951606 $15.95

Any interested in the art of surfing or any armchair surfer will find vivid recollections in these true stories of surfing snafus in SURFING'S GREATEST MISADVENTURES: DROPPING IN ON THE UNEXPECTED. Here are surfers' vivid recollections of high and low moments of the sport, from haole experiences in Hawaii to favorite clubs, boards, and sinking boats.

The Women's Issues Shelf

Juicy Tomatoes Guide to Ripe Living After 50
Susan Swartz
New Harbinger
5674 Shattuck Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609
1572244321 $16.95

Here's a new image of the 50+ age woman: someone who enjoys her lushness and gets the most out of life. Here experience is an asset and women's power is touted as a strength, not something to be ashamed of. THE JUICY TOMATOES GUIDE TO RIPE LIVING AFTER 50 uses the biographical sketches of women who live this ideal to demonstrate how the best years can be lived after 50.

A Woman's Guide to Saving Her Own Life
Mellanie True Hills
Healthy Ideas Press
13213 N. Ridge Circle, Leander, TX 78614
0976600803 $39.95

The price tag is hefty for a standard-sized 8.5x11 paperback workbook, but any concerned about women's health and heart disease must take a look. It identifies the different risk factors and symptoms involved in women's heart health, packs in tips on how to lose weight (tested tips: the author lost 85 pounds with these secrets), and reveals how to get the tests and treatments unique to the female body. Charts and case histories appear in boxed, easily-noted pages of detail which succeed in breaking up test and enhancing visuals. A 'must' for any woman concerned about heart health.

Women's Work Is Never Done
BJ Gallagher
Red Wheel Weiser
65 Parker Street, #7, Newburport, MA 01950
1573242667 $15.95

Over twenty A-Z chapters survey how women fulfill their lives in the work world, whether it be at home with families or in the community, providing original poems, essays, and stories plus quotes and detailed observations. The result is a fun yet pointed little book of observations, WOMEN'S WORK IS NEVER DONE…CELEBRATING EVERYTHING WOMEN DO, which provides both literary and cultural reflection.

Reading Women
Stefan Bollman
49 W 24th St., 8th Floor, New York NY 10010
1858943329 $24.95

It took centuries before women were able to read, and read freely: a fact READING WOMEN celebrates in a visual and artistic history of women and books. Here are full-page color reproductions of portraits of women reading, accompanied by descriptions of dress, culture, and artist intention in capturing the woman reading's manner. Some of these images have been handed down for centuries and are quite familiar; others are more obscure: all display the talents of artists and are covered in a text surveying both artist intention and achievement.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

All Horse Systems Go
Nancy S. Loving, DVM
Trafalgar Square Publishing
PO Box 257, Howe Hill Road, North Pomfret, VT 05053-0257
1570763267 $65.00

If only one comprehensive horse care 'bible' were to be chosen for a library, it should be the extensive and well-illustrated reference ALL HORSE SYSTEMS GO: THE HORSE OWNER'S FULL-COLOR VETERINARY CARE AND CONDITIONING RESOURCE FOR MODERN PERFORMANCE, SPORT AND PLEASURE HORSES. Written by a horse vet specialist, it packs in not only the anticipated horse care and health solutions chapters, but includes tips on fitness, conditioning, and much more. Small color photos throughout add interest but the meat is in the chapters of medical insights backed by a practicing vet's long-time experience: chapters which can save a horse's life whether consulted quickly in an emergency or used as preventative points. Over 600 pages of facts and a clear organizational structure makes it quick and easy for horse owners to gain immediate access and insights – or for library patrons to use it as an instant reference.

Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCa Way, N. Adams, MA 01247

Cynthia McFarland's THE FOALING PRIMER (1580176089 $19.95) is a specific, month-by-month horse owner's guide to foaling which takes a topic typically packed into a much larger, more general horse owner's reference and gives it the detail it's due. From caring for a pregnant mare and assisting the birth to understanding how the foal grows, how to feed and handle it, and basic vet care, THE FOALING PRIMER is packed with important tips. Jessica Jahiel's THE RIDER'S PROBLEM SOLVER (1580178383, $19.95) goes beyond the 'how to ride' primer to speak of improvements; even for those with limited weekly time to ride. Learn how to enhance riding without all the hours in the saddle which you'd like: real-life riders share their tips, experiences and questions to cover all the basics, from how to overcome horse fear to riding style.

Western Training: Beyond the Basics
Laurie Truskauskas Knott
Alpine Publications
PO Box 7027, Loveland, CO 80537
1577790650 $24.95

If you have a green horse of any age that you want to train for western events, here's the book for you: a title which goes beyond elementary lessons to provide step-by-step instructions on how to finish a Western horse. Black and white photos follow details which tell how to warm up a horse, correct common problems, use ground training to build a foundation, and more. A top pick for trainers who already know the basics and wish more.

The Goat Handbook
Ulrich Jaudas & Seyedmehdi Mobini, DVM
250 Wireless, Hauppauge, NY 11788
0764132687 $11.99

Any who would own a goat must have THE GOAT HANDBOOK as a home reference: written by two DVMs, THE GOAT HANDBOOK covers everything from the initial purchase and housing to health and behavior, including care of pastures and meadows so goats stay healthy. Color photos peppered throughout add interest, but THE GOAT HANDBOOK is primarily an owner's care book and will appeal to any goat owner who needs a basic reference at hand.

Birds of Southern Africa
Kenneth Newman
Sappi/International Publishers Marketing
PO Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172-0605
1868727351 $23.95

The fully revised NEWMAN'S BIRDS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA is out, and is a 'must' for any heading to South Africa. It's the leading field guide to the bird of the region and describes all birds to be found there, including those of not just South Africa but its neighboring countries Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and more. It appears in its 8th edition here, updated to reflect the latest studies and research on birds, and adds a classy new look to appeal to modern readers, while retaining the color coding of major bird groups, headers at each page, and other special features which make referencing quick and easy. A top, highly recommended pick.

Songbird Journeys
Miyoko Chu
Walker & Company
175 – 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10010
0802714684 $23.00

If you don't want to plough through the latest research on birds to gain insights into what's being discovered about their habits, then SONGBIRD JOURNEYS: FOUR SEASONS IN THE LIVES OF MIGRATORY BIRDS is for you. It comes for a Cornell Lab ornithologist and science writer who surveys songbird migratory habits and winter locations, using the four seasons as a foundation for exploration. While much research is reflected in SONGBIRD JOURNEYS, the tone is easy for non-scientists to absorb, and any with a love of birds will find it most accessible.

John Nielsen
10 East 53rd Street, New York NY 10022-5299
0060088621 $25.95

How one large bird journeyed to the very edge of extinction and came back makes for an exciting story: especially when related by a NPR environmental correspondent as in CONDOR; TO THE BRINK AND BACK – THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ONE GIANT BIRD. Here is where passionate reporting blends best with science, producing a moving story of how a small group of committed people refused to allow the condor to become extinct, joining forces to gather the last remaining wild condors to a pair of zoos where they were encouraged to breed with other captives. John Nielsen is a native Californian as well as an environmental writer, so he's in the perfect position to provide a survey of both California environmental politics and processes and natural history in this compelling account.

Voyageur Press
PO Box 338, Stillwater, MN 55082

Two new titles are fine pictorial presentations which should appeal to leisure readers as well as students of natural history. Glenn Feldhake's HIPPOS: NATURAL HISTORY & CONSERVATION (0896587266, 16.95) joins others in the WorldLife Library to provide a colorful introduction to the history of the hippo. From their evolution and social traits to the many issues affecting their future survival, HIPPOS juxtaposes gorgeous color photos – full page, too! – with plenty of facts for all ages. H. Michael Mogil's TORNADOES (0896585220, 16.95) explains how they form, where, and what happens when they hit. From weather conditions which foster different degrees of tornadoes to new developments in weather forecasting, TORNADOES will also appeal to a wide audience.

Portraits of the Bison
Wes Olson
University of Albert Press
Ring House 3, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G1 2E1
0888644329 $39.95

The buffalo is the symbol of the Old West and even though the big herds of millions have long vanished, the remnants of herds draw thousands of tourists yearly. PORTRAITS OF THE BISON: AN ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO BISON SOCIETY features Johane Janelle's lovely photos as it documents bison society, offering a blend of photos and illustrations to survey bison natural history.

Wolves & Honey
Susan Brind Morrow
Mariner Books/Houghton
222 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116
0618619208 $13.00

Two of author Morrow's best friends are a trapper and a beekeeper: together the tree reflect on the nature of the Finger Lakes region of upper New York State in WOLVES AND HONEY: A HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE NATURAL WORLD. The juxtaposition of two very different, eccentric personalities in Morrow's friends reflect the variations of the land and wildlife they're involved with in Morrow's reflection of man and nature. The first-person blend of memoir and observational piece is wonderfully rich in detail and insight.

Allergic to Pets?
Shirlee Kalstone
Bantam Books
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0553383671 $7.99

How can you live with a pet when you or a family member are allergic to it? In the past the two didn't co-exist: one or the other member 'went': now there are options, which ALLERGIC TO PETS? THE BREAKTHROUGH GUIDE TO LIVING WITH THE ANIMALS YOU LOVE covers. It's the first to provide advice for cohabitation with cats, dogs and other common sources of allergies: chapters not only survey the sources of allergic reactions, but how to minimize allergens and allergen-proof a home. Offers much new hope for animal lovers who sneeze.

The Complete Dog Book
American Kennel Club
Ballantine Books
1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036
0345476263 $35.00 1-800-726-0600

More than a million copies of this reference classic's prior editions have been sold, so if this updated 20th edition THE COMPLETE DOG HANDBOOK holds a familiar ring, that's why. But the 20th edition offers even more: not only is it endorsed by the powers and professionalism of the American Kennel Club, but it packs in all 153 breeds recognized by the Club, along with standards, breed histories, and photos – including the twelve most recently recognized breeds. Lest you think this is just for pros, look at the sections advising on how to choose and train a dog, responsible breeding, canine first-aid and more. Add sections on AKC sports and a glossary of terms and you have a real winner.

Irish Water Spaniel
Marion Hopkins
Kennel Club Books
308 Main Street, Allenhurst, NJ 07711
1593783302 $24.95

IRISH WATER SPANIEL: A SPECIAL RARE-BREED EDITION provides an essential owner's guide for any serious about the Irish Water Spaniel breed. With its Kennel Club brand, you can't go wrong nor wonder about the source of documentation about the breed: from tips on buying and handling a puppy to care, training and common health concerns, IRISH WATER SPANIEL provides all kinds of insights about the breed's pros, cons, and attributes. Color photos throughout make it easy to understand all aspects of the dog's care.

The Real Estate Shelf

The Millionaire Real Estate Mindset
Russ Whitney
Doubleday Currency
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0385514824 $21.95

Whether the real estate bubble bursts or not, many investors still believe it can make money during any market. If that's true, why isn't every real estate owner rich? Russ Whitney's THE MILLIONAIRE REAL ESTATE MINDSET: MASTERING THE MENTAL SKILLS TO BUILD YOUR FORTUNE IN REAL ESTATE explores what makes some investments rich choices while others strategies are stumbling blocks. With its focus on real estate, chapters cover all the basics of what builds wealth, from the myth that raw land is worthless to the reality of investing in properties which can be easily sold, developed, or turned into profitable ventures. Whitney comes with credentials: he's developed his own company and education group to become a recognized leader in real estate investing, holding seminars around the world attended by some 22,000 people. His previous MILLIONAIRE REAL ESTATE MENTOR was a best-seller: don't miss this one.

The Automatic Millionaire Homeowner
David Bach
Broadway Books
1745 Broadway, New York, NY, 10036
0767921208 $19.95 1-800-726-0600

You can build your wealth just by buying and living in a home every five years – and then retire rich. This fact will be reality for any who chose to do so for the next few decades – and in order to bring it to life, follow the step-by-step directions of David Bach in his AUTOMATIC MILLIONAIRE HOMEOWNER: A POWERFUL PLAN TO FINISH RICH IN REAL ESTATE. Renters and owners like will find if they adopt this attitude, and follow the guidelines herein, they will at the minimum understand quite a bit of how real estate investments work – and most likely will become millionaires themselves, with relatively little effort.

Better Houses, Better Living
Myron E. Ferguson
Home User Press
1939 Woodhaven Street NW, Salem, OR 97304
0965485617 $24.95

Make your home more user-friendly and use Internet sites to maximum benefit in a guide which presents a different kind of home makeover: one designed to use experience to demonstrate the most user-friendly aspects of home design. Whether you're buying, building, or remodeling, BETTER HOUSES, BETTER LIVING: WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING, BUILDING OR REMODELING tells how to be sure the entire house lends to ease of use. From choices of materials – ceramic, stone, and wood in flooring, for example – to layouts which compliment a home's functionality, BETTER HOUSES, BETTER LIVING should be the first stop for any serious about making their home their easy-living castle.

Succeed in Real Estate Without Cold Calling
Phil Gerisilo & Rob Lebow
SelectBooks, Inc.
1 Union Square West, Suite 909, New York City, NY 10003
1590790707 $19.95

What would it take to make $100K in real estate without ever having to make a cold call – in the first year of selling? It wouldn't even take a charismatic personality: not with the formula devised and presented in SUCCEED IN REAL ESTATE WITHOUT COLD CALLING, which comes from a real estate professional and a business mentor. Six myths of the business are presented in a lively account of how new ground rules for novice and professional agent can ease the process of locating customers and landing sales.

The Gaming Shelf

Chances Are
Michael Kaplan & Ellen Kaplan
Viking Press
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
0670034878 $26.95

We live and die between the poles of probability and chance, with statistics as our tool for quantifying existence – yet probability rarely factors into our decision-making process – unless we're gambling or playing games. Gamers in particular but all audiences will find much insight in CHANCES ARE: ADVENTURES IN PROBABILITY: it draws some important connections between probability and statistics, blending history, philosophy and insights with portraits of those who regularly deal in probability factors. A wonderful pick for any involved in gaming or in estimation of chance.

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

Sudoku fans have three hefty puzzle collections on the latest craze to provide fans with excellent brand new puzzles with varying degrees of difficulty. Mark Huckvale's BIG BOOK OF SUDOKU #1 (1557047030, $8.95) offers 200 puzzles from easy mini to 16x16 super grids, showing how the grid-based puzzle scheme works and inviting newcomers to learn. His BIG BOOK OF SUDOKU #2 (1557047049, $8.95) presents both standard 9x9 and super 16x16 grids with over two hundred new puzzles, while his BIG BOOK OF SUDOKU #3: EXTREME (155704709X, $8.95) provides 200 new 'extreme' puzzles from difficult to nearly impossible, for prior Sudoku fans seeking extra challenge. All are winners.

The Way of Kakuro
Kodansha International
575 Lexington Avenue, New York NY 10022
4770030215 $9.95

Kakuro is Sudoku's bigger brother: THE WAY OF KAKURO: THE KING OF JAPANESE NUMBER PUZZLES VOLUME 1 bills it the top of Japanese number puzzles from the original Japanese creators of the rage Sudoku, and thus it should hold appeal to any who want to move to a new puzzle based on numbers. Easy addition and subtraction helps the Kakuro novice get started, but the puzzles don't stop there: brain teasers and complicated routines provide very satisfying games for puzzle fans and especially for sudoku players.

The Best Hand I Ever Played
Steve Rosenbloom
ESPN Books
19 E. 34th Street, New York, NY 10016
1933060034 $15.95

Over fifty interviews with the best professional poker players in the world, from Doyle Brunson to Annie Duke, captures their memories of the greatest hands of their careers in a poker book players will find absorbing. Step-by-step action is recalled with analysis and advice added along the way for those who would learn by example. THE BEST HAND I EVER PLAYED: 52 WINNING POKER LESSONS FROM THE WORLD'S GREATEST PLAYERS is an exciting tribute and insider's guide for any who would learn where luck ends and talent begins at the poker table.

Master Point Press
311 Douglas Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5M 1H2

Julian Pottage's DEFEND THESE HANDS WITH ME (1897106084, $17.95) is for intermediate and advanced bridge players – and if you recall his name, it's because Pottage has produced the classic PLAY THESE HANDS WITH ME, which pioneered the 'over the shoulder' style of bridge writing to capture moves, defenses, and more. First-person, play-by-play action provides bridge players with keys to strategy and wins, surveying snags, options, tricks and contested moves. An excellent guide for improving your own bridge technique. Harry Helms' HELMS TO HELLO: AN EFFECTIVE DEFENSE TO INT (1897106106, $9.95) is a pamphlet booklet covering the HELLO system for intermediate and advanced players. HELLO defends notrump opening bids and comes from a pro player with numerous bridge successes – as well as a pro teacher of the topic. Both are winning game guides players will find useful for their own success. Roy Hughes' CARD BY CARD: ADVENTURES AT THE BRIDGE TABLE (1897106076, $18.95) is an advanced bridge player's handbook which offers Hughes' 'learn from making decisions' approach. Players are invited to make a decision at critical points in the plays presented, thus learning from each. First-person commentary on bids, assessments, strategies, games of bluff and double bluff, vulnerabilities and more provide insider's information on bridge approaches. Sabine Auken's I LOVE THIS GAME (1897106068, $19.95) provides general interest readers with the story of world champion author Auken's winning bridge strategies, which led to a comeback world title win. This isn't just an overview of her win, though: every bid, every card, and each of the sixteen deals from that final session serve as discussion and lesson points in a bridge survey covering everything from club systems and carding methods to team chemistry and table presence: considerations many competing bridge play-oriented books will miss.

Beat the Odds
Marty Cortinas
Peachpit Press
1249 – 8th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
0321316282 $19.99

Millions play poker online monthly: while it's similar to playing in person, there are some important differences. BEAT THE ODDS: THE SMART PLAYER'S GUIDE TO ONLINE POKER explores these differences – and tells how to overcome obstacles by choosing the best online casinos, playing for virtual or real money, and interacting with other players. From recognizing and avoiding online cheats to understanding the quicker environment of the online play, BEAT THE ODDS is for any poker player seeking entry to a whole new online gaming world.

The Fiction Shelf

Campus Sexpot
David Carkeet
University of Georgia Press
330 Research Drive, Athens, GA 30602-4901
0820327557 $22.95

Inspired by the author's sleepy California Gold Rush town of Sonora, CAMPUS SEXPOT is a blend of memoir and novel, and it's hard to easily place it: just file it under 'hilarious' and 'fun', as it provides a rollicking look at Carkeet's roots by taking a sleazy look at his 'nowhere' home town: an innocent small town by day turned to den of passion by night. Romance, coming of age, and small town middle class sexual secrets blend in a novel which is spicy, fun, and more than a touch controversial.

Perseverance Press
John Daniel & Company
PO Box 2790, McKinleyville, CA 95519

Two fine stories are powerful presentations mystery fans will appreciate. Kathy Lynn Emerson's FACE DOWN BESIDE ST. ANNE'S WELL (1880284820, $13.95) presents a fine historical mystery set in 1575 and telling of a preteen foster daughter who is certain her French tutor has been murdered. Lady Appleton knows something is wrong, as politics are affecting her life – and murder may indeed be part of the equation. Romance, religion and politics blend well in this story of Marty Stewart and murder. Hal Glatzer's THE LAST FULL MEASURE (188024847, $13.95) is set in more modern times, during World War II, and tells of a dance bound en route to Honolulu where hidden treasure could make or break them – and the outbreak of war. History blends well with the flavor and spirit of swing dance and the times. Both are solid reads with powerful narrative style and characterization driving good plots.

Pieces of the Heart
Karen White
NAL Accent
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
0451217675 $12.95

Stress from Caroline's job as an accountant is forcing her to take a leave from work, and seeking solace and recovery, she joins her family in North Carolina. Time off brings her anything but peace, however: memories of her dead younger brother haunt her even as she faces a stormy relationship with her mother. Family secrets and family healing permeate a moving story of an adult seeking peace with her past.

Avon Trade
10 E. 53rd Street, New York NY 10022-5299

These fun and powerful 'chic lit' novels are top picks for contemporary young female readers. Valerie Frankel's HEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL (0060785543, $12.95) is a hilarious account of a 'good witch' whose telepathic abilities allow her to do good deeds – and to be a most successful New York professional matchmaker. Her successes rack up – until one dedicated hedonist defies her powers and becomes a little too interested in Emma herself. An engaging, rollicking affair results with many giggles in between. Mary Castillo's IN BETWEEN MEN (0060766824, $12.95) tells of a nearly-thirty ESL teacher and single mom who's just been voted 'un-sexiest woman alive' by her entire student body. What's a girl to do? She can undertake a total makeover and embark on a new career and become a sex symbol in the process… Eugenie Olson's LOVE IN THE TIME OF TAFFETA (0060815442, $12.95) tells of Iley Gilbert, who's career has reached a standstill. Maybe she just needs new inspiration – or a new point of view. She finds this when she begins shooting prom pictures and when an involvement with a boss leads to more than just business. Twenty-somethings will find these engrossing reads with more depth than the usual romance, and more humor and contemporary insights and flair than your typical novel.

Downtown Press
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020

The Downtown Press imprint also provides a fine set of 'chic lit' reads, with diverse plots and strong characters driving humor and contemporary insights. Eileen Rendahl's UN-BRIDALED (1416507493, $13.00), for example, tells of a runaway bride afraid to commit, even if it means leaving a handsome, successful fiance at the altar and running away one warm California day. But this leaves her with an angry ex, wedding gifts to return, and family troubles only solvable by taking refuge in a family bungalow – there to unearth some revelations which may lead to understanding… Pamela Redmond Satran's SUBURBANISTAS (1416505598, $13.00) provides a funny story of a movie star who's just landed a new winning role and a hot new rock-star husband when her mother dies, which sparks a chain of unfortunate events. From a Hollywood experiencing overhaul and changes to a star seeking meaning beyond fortune and fame in life, SUBURBANISTAS is packed with twists and turns.

The Minerva Virus
Brian Shuster
Night Candy
P.O. Box 862, Zephyr Cove, NV 89448
0970365225 $24.95

A new form of life is unleashed in the depth of the Internet: its only evidence a form of computer virus which humans think simply annoying. It's more than just a virus, however: it can evolve, and it races across the internet starting a plague across network which creates virus offshoots and a digital war during which Goddess Minerva is born… if it's fast-paced technological thrillers which thrill you, MINERVA VIRUS is for you.

The Conoisseur
Evan S. Connell
Shoemaker & Hoard
1400 – 65th Street, #250, Emeryville, CA 94608
1593760620 $15.00

One cold morning on a business trip a Manhattan insurance executive drives to a picturesque artist's community in New Mexico to encounter a small icon in a shop which will change his life. Mulbach is no art fan, but the piece seems irresistible at the time – and holds much power, as does a book which will appeal to both prior fans of MR. BRIDGE and MRS. BRIDGE and new comers.

Pocket Books
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020

Denise Hamilton's SAVAGE GARDEN (0743492714, $7.99) is crime fiction at its strongest, presenting a new play by a rising Mexican playwright which leads to a missing diva and possible murder. Eva and her lover are there to support his friend from barrio days; but support soon turns into a reporter's probe of ethics and conduct in a search which could kill them. Max Allan Collins' BONES BURIED DEEP (1416524614, $7.99) features characters created by suspense mystery writer Kathy Reichs and a setting based on the Fox TV series 'Bones' as it tells of a stalled effort at the Jeffersonian Institute when a plastic bag of skeletal remains and a note are left on a federal building's steps. A serial killer's possibly involved, and Tempe is convinced the right killer hasn't been caught in this fine story of suspense. Jay MacLarty's LIVE WIRE (1416503471, $7.99) is political writing at its fictional best: here an American president secretly supports a North Korean faction intent on overthrowing the government, requiring the services of professional courier Simon Leonidovich who is charged with delivering some dangerous, sensitive documents across conflicting lines. A tense story of intrigue and espionage evolves quickly and with breathtaking twists and turns. James Lee Burke's THE LOST GET-BACK BOOGIE (1416517065, $9.99) originally appeared in 1986 and returns in a mass market reissue of one of Burke's best. Nominated for the Pulitzer Price, THE LOST GET-BACK BOOGIE features a powerful cast of characters from Korean War vet and blues singer Iry Paret, who is trying to escape his past and is just out of prison for accidentally killing a man, to the politics revolving around a local pulp mill's closing. Erin Hart's LAKE OF SORROWS (0743471016, $7.99) provides an exceptionally strong murder mystery as it tells of an American pathologist, Nora Gavin, whose journey to the Irish midlands to examine a body unearthed in a remote peat marsh leads to not a murder mystery of the past but a present mystery which pulls her deeper to the land. V.C. Andrews' GIRL IN THE SHADOWS (0743493877, $7.99) is second in a series and continues the story of one April Taylor, who has found shelter from a mixed-up life with a kindly elderly woman and her deaf teen daughter. A dangerous couple's arrival could change all their lives in this Andrews saga of vulnerable people finding their own strength to survive. Add sexual overtones to the threat and you have a real thriller.

Black Flame
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020

Two gripping thrillers are strong picks for the fine new Black Flame imprint. Mitchel Scanlon's ANDERSON PI DIVISION: FEAR THE DARKNESS (1844163261, $7.99) is set in a dark future where crime rules all and PSI-Judge Cassandra Anderson and her division use unique abilities to protect the city from psychic criminals. Six felons have mysteriously died in Sector House 12, and Judge Anderson's clues lead to a malignant psychic presence which may defy even her powers. Perhaps it's horror you wish: if so, Natasha Rhodes' original novel based on characters from A Nightmare On Elm Street, PERCHANCE TO DREAM (1844163229, $7.99) is your item of choice. One night all the residents of Elm Street stop dreaming. When a psychiatrist is called in to investigate their problem, she discovers an escaped young mental patient's ability to influence the dreams of others – but can he stop Freddy's ability to attack through dreams? Prior fans of Nightmare on Elm Street will relish this new thriller.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Poisoned Pen Press
6962 East 1st Avenue, #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Six wonderful new titles are top picks for mystery fans. Mark de Castrique's FOOLISH UNDERTAKING (1590582276, $24.95) tells of a body stolen from a morgue, the funeral director knocked unconscious, and relatives who seek revenge. Everyone seems to have a personal interest in the missing body, from friends to detectives, and soon a code leading to a long-buried secret involves a cast of characters in a desperate hunt for the truth. Jane Tesh's A CASE OF IMAGINATION (1590582195, $24.95) tells of a PI's involvement in a fortune and a haunted house. From a potential Psychic Shop inside a haunted house to a lawyer girlfriend and a local beauty pageant in trouble many twists and turns make for a satisfying mystery. Charles Benoit's OUT OF ORDER (1590582627, $24.95) tells of loan processor Jason, who leads a calm orderly life with a few good friends until they decide to visit India, leave Jason with a gorgeous red silk sari, and then are murdered. Jason decides to fulfill his friend's journey himself, only to discover the reasons behind his friend's death. Priscilla Royal's SORROW WITHOUT END (1590582144, $24.95) provides a medieval mystery set in 1271 and revolving around the corpse of a brutally murdered soldier in the woods. Strange circumstances lead Ralf to investigate the murder in a probe of a killer cult which may endanger his prioress and the future of a hospital. Twist Phelan's SPURRED AMIBITION (1590581474, $24.95) provides another satisfying Pinnacle Peak mystery, but no prior familiarity with the other is needed to enjoy this story of business attorney Hannah, who heads to Pinnacle Peak to climb rocks and winds up in the middle of an anti-Indian protest. Add in a shocking family revelation, a search for a long-missing person, and a Native American/Latino who dreams of better times for his tribe and you have a satisfying blend of fast action, romance, and political intrigue. Wendy Howell Mills' ISLAND INTRIGUE (1590582179, $24.95) is also a wonderful mystery: this starting out with the twin personal elements of a cancer scare and a mother's death, which Sabrina seeks to escape with a visit to a tiny, isolated island. Her discovery of a local story, a local ghost, and a local political campaign develops into intrigue and mystery. All are wonderful tales of intrigue and mystery.

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

The Dark Age
Mark Voger
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614
1893905535 $19.95

THE DARK AGE: GRIM, GREAT & GIMMICKY POST-MODERN COMICS is for any who want to learn about the notorious 'Dark Age' of comics. Here are interviews with some of the best creators and industry pros of the time, from Todd McFarlane of Spawn to Mike Mignola (Hellboy) and David Lapham (Stay Bullets). Each reveals the heyday and crazy times of their creations, with plenty of black and white comic representations of their art accompanying their insights. From comic stories which took on a life of their own to reproductions of cover art – plus a centerfold in color – THE DARK AGE is not to be missed by any comics fan.

7563 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115

These excellent pin-up collections aren't your usual color glitz depicting paintings with photo-like reality, but gatherings of graphic cartoon pinups with special, different appeal. Alex Chun edits THE CLASSIC PIN-UP ART OF JACK COLE (1560975598, $19.95), for example, lacks any color at all, preferring the impact of black and white and reflecting Cole's comic book art. Cole was best known for his Plastic Man creation, but left the comic book world for a career as a freelance artist, suffering numerous rejections until he regained his focus as a single-panel pin-up cartoonist. Many of his creations will prove instantly recognizable here, though he created fewer than 100 images for Humorama. While many have been out of print for over fifty years, the signature Cole style stands out. Alex Chun and Jacob Covey's BILL WENZEL (1560976586, $18.95) covers a 1940s-70s pinup cartoon artist who produced hundreds of memorable contributions. His women were much more voluptuous than the usual wasp-wasted women popular during his times: Wenzel's art stood apart from the norm and here is depicted in black, white and green shades for maximum impact. Alex Chun and Jacob Covey also present GLAMOR GIRLS OF DON FLOWERS (1560977132, $19.95), following the career of a newspaper cartoonist which spanned over four decades and created images which were compelling and powerful highlights of women from housewives to showgirls. All three side-by-side are even more extraordinary, allowing viewers and fans of individual artists to contrast and compare styles and presentations of the cartoon pinup creators. Highly recommended.

Neil Kleid & Jake Allen
NBM Publishing
555 – 8th Avenue, #1202, New York NY 10018
1561634581 $18.95

Set in the 1930s in Brooklyn is a graphic novel featuring something different: the story of Jewish gangsters, run by an organized mob. Author Neil Kleid has always been interested in organized crime, but he wished his graphic novel to be set in the history of the Mafia. His research led to the insights on the Jewish Mob – and here result in a realistic story of life in a bygone era.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Handbag Chic
Desire Smith
Schiffer Books
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
0764323148 $49.95

Eye-catching from the start, HANDBAG CHIC: 200 YEARS OF DESIGNER FASHION features a good chain on the side to provide the illusion of a handbag book: open it up and you'll find the eye-catching strategy continues with full-page color photos of handbags which are unique creations indeed. Descriptions beside each photo include maker, year, materials used, and the latest price. From needlepoint bags to decoupage lunchbox handbags, beaded bags, metal clutches and more, nearly every kind of designer bag holds a place. Very highly recommended for any collection strong in both fashion history and books on collectibles.

4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310

These lovely new titles provide collectors with important in-depth background history and pricing information and are top picks. Dale Reeves Nicholls and Robin Allison's ANTIQUE ENAMELED JEWELRY (0764319914, $49.95) is the first such book to focus just on enameled jewelry from American and European designers at the turn of the 20th century. From descriptions of techniques involved in the enameling process to the symbolism of such pieces during the 19th century, evolving differences between styles, and collectible enamels from the past, chapters pack in over four hundred color photos with descriptions and values. More than just a collector's guide, ANTIQUE ENAMELED JEWELRY is a comprehensive history. Donna S. Baker edits ATOMIC DINETTES: MID-CENTURY KITCHEN ELEGANCE (076432280X, $29.95), a survey of prices and makers of sets from the 1950s to the 1970s. Original catalog descriptions and models accompany measurements and current prices in a fine survey for vintage furniture collectors and interior designers who wish to enjoy full-color photos of dinettes of the past. Douglas Congdon-Martin and Robert Bernstein's POPULAR ROYAL BAYREUTH FOR COLLECTORS (0764311522, $29.95) covers the fun, whimsical porcelain shapes which were produced in Bavaria for over 200 years. While the topic may initially sound like a limited-appeal one, in fact Royal Bayreuth reached the global market early, so fostered collectors for its products from the world market. Over five hundred color photos display all the lines and pottery motifs and include current values for collectors.

Stoeger Publishing
17603 Indian Head Highway, #200, Acokeek, MD 20607

Two excellent collectible gun guides are fine, recommended picks; especially as they come from an outdoors publishers specializing in guns and shooting. ANTIQUE GUNS: A COLLECTOR'S GUIDE (088317300X, $24.95) by Shooter's Bible packs in all the specifications and photos needed to accurately identify hundreds of collectible firearms, from Lancaster rifles to double shotguns, carbines and revolvers. This isn't just a price guide, either: plenty of history on the manufacturers and models accent descriptions and some black and white and color photos – descriptions which get down to weight and barrel size. The 28th updated edition of GUN TRADER'S GUIDE (0883173174, $24.95) is the gun buyer's essential desk reference on values: it's been such for almost fifty years, serving collectors, dealers, shooters and others with all the details on gun specs, finishes, and prices. Handguns, rifles and shotguns all receive excellent black and white photos and description in this highly recommended standard desk reference.

2006 Standard Catalog of Firearms
Neg Schwing
Gun Digest Books/F&W
700 E. State Street, Iola, WI 54990-0001
089689228X $34.99

What does the newly updated 16th edition of the classic STANDARD CATALOG OF FIREARMS get you that differs from past editions? There are more model entries, more pricing data, and more photos: over 1,500 pages packed with detail. All prices have been updated for collectible firearms made between 1838 and 2005, over 600 new entries added, and photos over 7,000 firearms packed in – there's even a 16-page color section on museum-quality antique firearms from around the world. With its serial number lists to help avoid fakes, this 16th edition is a 'must' reference for any avid firearms collector.

Complete Price Guide To Watches 2006
Richard E. Gilbert,
Tinder Box Press
1150 Hungryneck Blvd., Suite C-310, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
1574325078 $29.95

Learn how to buy high-quality watches at the best prices with the updated No. 26 COMPLETE PRICE GUIDE TO WATCHES. Why obtain the newest 1,100+ page guide if you already have an earlier edition? Because there've been thousands of price changes – reflected here – and because it represents a mini-encyclopedia of detail on not only the latest prices, but the newest research. Good-sized black and white photos throughout accompany details on manufacturers, popularity of styles, size comparisons and more.

Collector Books
PO Box 3009, Paducah, KY 43002-3009

For a solid yet portable take-along tote on the overall collectible market, make sure the latest 15th updated edition of FLEA MARKET TRADER (1574324934, $12.95) is close at hand. It includes thousands of items often seen at flea markets and garage sales, including the latest values and even short histories of makers. From glassware to children's books and more esoteric items such as ramp walkers, FLEA MARKET TRADER is a fine, quick reference. Perhaps it's a weightier, larger survey which is required for home usage: if so, the 14th updated edition of GARAGE SALE & FLEA MARKET ANNUAL (1574324942, $19.95) is your items of choice. Black and white photos pack a collection surveying prices and some background history of manufacturers for glassware, toys, comic books and more. These aren't meant to be in-depth; but good general surveys of what's commonly found on the garage sale circuit. Speaking of glass collecting, check out the portable STANDARD COMPANION TO NON-AMERICAN CARNIVAL GLASS by Bill Edwards and Mike Carwile (1574324888, $16.95): it pairs good-sized, clear color photos on each page to aid in identification with an updated value guide providing collectors with the latest prices. The larger STANDARD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CARNIVAL GLASS by the two appears in its 10th updated edition (1574324861, $29.95) to cover the entire world of carnival glass production, from Depression glass and scarce designs to those commonly used in Carnival glass production. Color photos on every page lends to quite a resource. And if you long for a more portable price guide on the topic, the accompanying 15th edition of STANDARD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CARNIVAL GLASS PRICE GUIDE (157432487X, $9.95) provides a slim yet detail-packed 8.5x11 reference of just values. Collector Books has plenty of related glassware guides for those who specialize. Dick Sigafoose's AMERICAN ART POTTERY, 2ND EDITION (1574324837, $24.95) lists pottery by manufacturer, which allows for clear descriptions of company history, specialty or commemorative productions, special manufacturing processes, and more. And if you just want lovely color photos and the latest prices – it holds this, too. Jane Flanagan's WONDERFUL WORLD OF COLLECTING PERFUME BOTTLES (1574325027, $29.95) is divided by era and features all kinds of perfume bottles, from custom bottles for holding specialty fragrances to gift packages from Japan and other countries. Move from glassware and you'll often run into decorative tins – and what better to use as a reference to the market than the second updated edition of Linda McPherson's MODERN COLLECTIBLE TINS (1574325000, $24.95). Color photos are good-sized and clear on each page and accompany listings which include edition notes, sizes, and value ranges. Arranged by item within the tin, it's easy to locate containers with such headings as 'candy' or 'crackers'. Two new doll guides offer plenty of detailed reference notes. Linda Crowsey's MADAME ALEXANDER: 2006 COLLECTOR'S DOLLS PRICE GUIDE #31 (1574324985, $14.95) packs in color photos at the bottom of each page, but it's the price listings which will most attract avid collectors who already know how to identify the dolls. Subgroupings where different models appear accompany an easily, quick values access guide. The sixth edition of Patrick C. Olds & Joyce L. Olds' THE BARBIE DOLL YEARS (1574324624, $19.95) packs in a comprehensive listing and value guide of Barbie dolls and accessories. Don't expect the usual color photo display: this is for serious collectors who will delight in at last finding a value guide which doesn't dilute the essential information with lots of photos. Book collectors aren't left out, either: Arthur Boutiette's LEATHER BOUND BOOKS (1574324977, $24.95) packs in plenty of color photos of books from the 1800s and up, listing books by author/title for quick access and including written descriptions noting gilt edging, volume size, leather makeup and more. Even fishermen aren't left out of the collector's book market: Dudley Murphy and Deannie Murphy's FISHING LURE COLLECTIBLES: AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE MODERN ERA, 1940 TO PRESENT (1574324926, $29.95) comes form one of the three founders of the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club, which formalized the fishing lure collecting hobby market. Murphy and his wife together hold over 60 years of advanced collecting experience and provides a new approach to explaining the hobby, combining history, realistic values and color photos in a treasure trove of detail. Fishermen/collectors will also appreciate John A. Kolbeck's CAPTAIN JOHN'S FISHING TACKLE PRICE GUIDE (1574324853, $24.95), which appears in its second updated edition to pack in prices on tackle of all kinds. There are some color photos, but the meat lies in these price listings: page after page of lures organized by brand and covering models, providing brief description, and including grades, prices and value dates.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Stash Envy
Lisa Boyer
Good Books
PO Box 419, Intercourse, PA 17534-0419
1561485039 $9.95 1-800-762-7171

Author Lisa Boyer is an expert quilter and here teaches the quirky, funny side of quilting in a book packed with quilting humor. From sharing bum fat quarters at a fabric exchange to crocheting doilies as a motivator for returning to quilting, STASH ENVY AND OTHER QUILTING CONFESSIONS AND ADVENTURES will be the perfect gift for any avid quilter who 'already has everything'.

American Quilter's Society
PO Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290

Diane Gaudynski's QUILT SAVVY: GAUDYNSKI'S MACHINE QUILTING GUIDEBOOK (1574329006, $21.95) provides an excellent blend of handy pocket-sized take-along tote and an excellent basic handbook to machine quilting which provides close-up photos of techniques and a fine lay-flat binding. From forming initial shapes and bouncing in new directions for the next to setting up an actual quilt, which differs widely from practice pieces, MACHINE QUILTING GUIDEBOOK is an essential pick for any interested in honing or developing machine techniques. You can also use Cheryl Barnes' patterns in QUILTING DOT TO DOT: PATTERNS FOR TODAY'S MACHINE QUILTER (1574329022, $24.95) to further the craft, with well over a hundred full-sized patterns displaying a range of styles suitable for modern quilters, whether they work on domestic machines, home frames or by hand. The inclusion of a range of techniques and styles makes for easy learning. Sue Nickels and Pat Holly's STITCHED RAW EDGE APPLIQUE (1574328999, $22.95) offers up the expertise of two fine quiltmakers who use the new fusing method to increase precision and provide polished results even to small projects. From using narrow bias stems and tiny circles to block appliques and borders, STITCHED RAW EDGE APPLIQUE holds plenty of options. Susan McKelvey's BALTIMORE'S COUNTRY COUSINS ALBUM QUILT PATTERNS (1574329057, $19.95) offers 12 applique blocks inspired by quilt designs from the mid-1800s on the American east coast. From adding traditional inking and stamping touches to varying how the blocks can be used in home decor, it's an album filled with easy examples. Gwen Marston's NEEDLEWORK DESIGNS (1574328980, $22.95) presents over seven designs which come from 16th and 17th-century motifs from museums around the world. These sound complicated, but they're not: they're quite versatile and can be enlarged, appliqued, embroidered, or even used in borders. Gwen Marsten explains how. New for American quilter is a lovely series of tutorials on DVD hosted by Jeanna Juleson. Each contains three episodes interviewing a famous American quilter, who demonstrates technique, plus featuring one great Quilt of the Week and a visit to a national quilting event. The first volume (AQS 39001, $24.95) presents Sue Nickels, Joan Shay, and Bethany Reynolds; Episodes 4-6 (AQS 39002, $24.95) in the second profiles advice from Fran Morgan, Karen Combs and Bonnie Browning; the third gathering of 7-9 (AQS 39003, $24.95) features Linda Poole, Sally Terry and Bobbie Aug, and the final covering episodes 10-13 (AQS 39004, $24.95) gathers advice from Suzanne Marshall, Debbie Bowles, Pat Yamin and Bettina Havig. All are excellent visual reinforcements of quilting techniques and methods.

Tie Dye 101
c/o 411 Video Information
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
097633450X $24.95

Most will equate the tie dye craft fad with the hippie movement of the 1960s; but in fact it's alive and well today and is involving new generations. TYE DYE 101 is for any who would learn the art: 87 minutes of step-by-step technique from two tie dye experts provide instructions based on their years of experience. From blouses and skirts to wall hangings and art, TYE DYE 101 covers basics and tells how to avoid common problems.

Knit & Crochet Ponchos, Wraps, Capes & Shrugs!
Edie Eckman, Editor
Storey Publishing
210 MassMoca Way, N. Adams, MA 01247
1580176216 $14.95

There are so many books covering crochet and knitting and that could be hard to see the need for yet another: a new book would have to incorporate a lot of appeal, from a zany cover to original patterns – and KNIT & CROCHET PONCHOS, WRAPS, CAPES & SHRUGS does just this. Projects vary greatly in difficulty level so as to appeal to all types of users, use the latest novelty yarns as well as classics, and provide a wide range of styles. A hardcover with odd-cut edges and bright cover grabs the eye, while lovely photos of completed projects accompanies clear step-by-step designs for added attraction. It not only 'shows' well: it holds curb appeal and an 'easy use' format which is most inviting.

Martingale & Company
20205 – 144th Avenue NE, Woodinville, WA 98072-8478

Nancie M. Wiseman's THE ESSENTIAL BOOK OF CROCHET TECHNIQUES (1564776298, $24.95) is a fine starting point recommended for any beginner new to crochet. Each crochet technique receives close-up color photos to accompany step-by-step descriptions, making it easy for users to begin with the most basic crochet stitch and build on knowledge. Lay-flat binding lends to use while crocheting, while chapters move from crochet basics to advanced topics such as decreasing, working with seams and joining motifs, handling buttonholes, and more. Kristin Spurkland's BLANKETS, HATS, AND BOOTIES TO KNIT AND CROCHET (1564776522, $24.95) tells how to create 45 designs using soft colors and both knitted and crocheted techniques. From stripes and loops to pinwheels, projects for babies are accompanied by full-page color photos of finished projects as well as easy instructions.

Quilts Sold!
Dave & Kathy Prochnow
Pelican Publishing
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053-2246
1589803752 $24.95

Kathy Prochnow is a regular contributor to Traditional Quilter and has long provided insight into the quilt auction marketplace and how it works; so it's a logical transition from column to book, gathering her knowledge in QUILTS SOLD! A GUIDE TO HEIRLOOM AND ANTIQUE QUILTS. Historical background blends with pricing information and details on how auction house quilts work to provide quilters with the most thorough coverage in print. Her researcher husband contributes his expertise to gather a comprehensive price list of auctioned quilts, making this a real winner.

Gift Wrapping with Textiles
Chizuko Morita
Kodansha America
575 Lexington Avenue, New York NY 10022
4770027362 $19.95

Learn new ideas for wrapping gifts of all sizes using the creative approach of GIFT WRAPPING WITH TEXTILES: STYLISH IDEAS FROM JAPAN. Traditional American wrap seems to begin with store-bought designs: GIFT WRAPPING WITH TEXTILES expands the options so much more – and allows for wrapping gifts at times where theme wraps lack, such as St. Patrick's Day. A top pick for any who regularly give gifts and chafe at traditional wrap limitations.

Clarkson Potter
1745 Broadway, New York Ny 10019

Potter Craft is a lovely new imprint designed to make the most of knitting projects for any involved in the craft, and two new additions to the imprint are top picks. Julie Carles and Jordana Jacobs' THE YARN GIRLS' GUIDE TO BEYOND THE BASICS (1400097983, $30.00) provides over thirty fun, quick patterns for sweaters, hats, scarves and other clothing items, providing their third group to offer projects to knitters ready to move beyond the basics. From cabling and handling colors to working with challenging shapes, lively color photos introduce modern styles and bright patterns. Fiona Ellis' INSPIRED CABLE KNITS: 20 CREATIVE DESIGNS FOR MAKING SWEATERS AND ACCESSORIES (1400082714, $35.00) comes from an internationally acclaimed knitwear designer who offers a narrowed focus on 20 cable designs. Intermediate or returning knitters receive inspired and original patterns which contrast well with traditional techniques, and which make the most of designs from nature.

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

Martin Storey and Sharon Brant's CLASSIC KNITS FOR REAL WOMEN: VERSATILE KNITWEAR DESIGNS FOR PLUS SIZES (1571203699, $24.95) offers up over thirty designs for all seasons in Rowan and Jaeger yarns, from sizes 14 to 24: plus sizes often left out from the usual knitting or crochet handbook. Peter Williams adds some gorgeous color photos to display finished products on models who look more like real people than posed productions: knitters will delight in the reality factor, and will be inspired to produce items they can actually readily picture on someone they know. Linda Johansen's FAST FUN & EASY FABRIC VASES (1571203176, $14.95) comes from an author who has used her technique on bowls and boxes in prior productions, and who now turns to vases. Six vase projects using fabrics blend step-by-step instruction with how-to photos for creating lovely variations and designs. Pam Archer's FAST FUN & EASY FABRIC BAGS (1571203028, $16.95) offers ten easy projects for a wide range of fabric bags; from evening purses to totes. Each project receives a simple, clear materials list, easy how-tos for cutting and fusing to sewing, and step-by-step construction instruction. Margaret Vant Erve's WINDOW GARDENS IN BLOOM (1571203060, $19.95) provides a focus on hand-embroidered flowers: while it sounds difficult, it's not. Embroidery kits are enlarged and enhanced by a survey of different flower plants – some twenty-five – which can be produced with easy stitches. Quilters will relish Paula Nadelstern's PUZZLE QUILTS: SIMPLE BLOCKS, COMPLEX FABRICS (1571203362, $26.95), a focus on the identically pieced yet different looks of a puzzle block any quilter can easily make. From special fabrics which produce quite different results to using templates and piecing a puzzle quilt, brought color photos provide ease to step-by-step directions which seem complex at first, until you realize the only real complexity lies in the polished appearance of the finished product.

North Light Books
4700 E. Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236

Heidi Boyd's SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL BEADED JEWELRY: 50 QUICK AND EASY PROJECTS (1581807740, $19.99) is a gorgeous gathering of some fifty projects by a designer who provides her original creations for duplication. Beginners will appreciate the attention to easy details; from materials lists and tips on special techniques to suggestions for beading, stringing, customization and more – all accompanied by easy step-by-step color photos. The editors of The Artist's Magazine & North Light Books's THE PENCIL BOX: A TREASURY OF TIME-TESTED DRAWING TECHNIQUES AND ADVICE (1581807295, $22.99) covers the basics of drawing and helps newcomers learn from a blend of daily exercises and tested advice from professionals. Twenty professional artists working in a range of drawing mediums provide details on how to bring landscapes, figures and more to life, offering some 20 step-by-step directions to reinforce learning.

Knitting With Ribbon Yarn
Tracy Chapman
Trafalgar Square Books
PO Box 257, Howe Hill Road, North Pomfret, VT 05053-0257
1570763275 $29.95

Knitters will welcome the detail and innovations in KNITTING WITH RIBBON YARN: 28 BEAUTIFUL PROJECTS USING VIBRANT LUXURY YARNS. For newcomers to the yarn, ribbon yarn knits up quickly and smoothly and offers an exceptional drape and stitch definition that lends to new styles and options for traditional sweaters, vests and wraps. Nearly thirty original designs make the most of ribbon yarn: and the glory is, no special skills are needed to make the most of them.

Quilling for Scrapbooks & Cards
Susan Lowman
Chappele/Sterling Publishing
387 Park Avenue South, New York N 10016-8810
1402719221 $19.95

Quilling dates from Renaissance times and involves the art of rolling and shaping small strips of paper into delicate shapes. These then were used to make decorations for everything from furniture to sconces and boxes. Today they can also be embellishments for scrapbooks – and beginners receive instruction on how to put together winning results with a minimum of materials and experience. Bright color photos throughout encourage the would-be artist.

Backyard Bird Quilts
Jodie Davis
Krause Publications
700 E. State Street, Iola, WI 54990-0001
089689178X $24.99

Different bird blocks can be paper-pieced for quilting projects which blend them into a range of projects using BACKYARD BIRD QUILTS as your guide. Projects featured here come from a quilting author who shows how small pieces of fabric can be made into realistic cardinals, hummingbirds and more. Over 200 how-to illustrations and over a hundred photos provide a visual emphasis to creating these marvels, with over forty pages of full-size paper-piecing templates negating the need for pattern enlargement complications. An outstanding guide.

3100 NW 101st Street, Suite A, Urbandale IA 50322

Any quilting for kids should have a copy of Janet Wecker-Frisch's inspirational PANELS & PATCHWORK: QUICK QUILTS FOR KIDS (1890621935 $21.95) at hand: over twenty projects include different kinds of panels to be used with quilts, pillows, and others projects. All use easy blocks and layering techniques to provide quick quilts with kids in mind. The step-by-step color photos and displays provide a fine accompaniment to text. Fons and Porter's QUILTS FROM THE HENRY FORD (1890621919, $27.95) provides over two hundred pages of history, stories and surveys of original quilts which reflected early American quiltmaker efforts, accompanying over twenty featured projects inspired by these antiques from the archives of The Henry Ford. Full-size patterns make it easy to follow the step-by-step instructions, while inspiration is to be found in the quilt collection of Susan McCord. Over two hundred pages are in full color. A delightful blend of history and projects. Barbara Carroll's AMERICAN FOLK ART RUG HOOKING (1890621927, $24.95) provides 18 original designs by rug hooking teacher Barbara Carroll, inspired by leading folk artists Carol Endres and Warren Kimble. Here are all the basics of rug hooking, rolled into 18 rug projects which offer plenty of tips, techniques and insights for fail-safe finished products. The color step-by-step photos illustrating these techniques are particularly well done.

Moon Over Mountain
2 Public Avenue, Montrose, PA 18801-1220

If you are new to quilting and wish to start small, begin with TRADITIONAL MINI QUILTS (1885588682, $16.95), a collection by Moon Over Mountain quilters who pair traditional quilt patterns with diminutive sizes. Eleven such patterns come with a color photo of each completed quilts, diagrams which offer step-by-step direction, and materials list and sizing details. Christine Meunir and the Moon Over Mountain quilters also provide REPRO QUILTS (1885588704, $16.95), a guide to creating quilts from reproduction fabrics, which are offering a wider variety of prints and possibilities than ever before. Ten step-by-step patterns guide the beginner through the basics. Both are powerful picks newcomers will welcome.

The Children's Shelf

The Terrible Hodag And The Animal Catchers
Caroline Arnold
Boyds Mills Press
815 Church St., Honesdale PA 18431
159078166X $15.95

John Sandford's black and white woodcuts lend drama and action to the story of a scary Hodag – but appearances aren't everything, as lumberjack Olee will tell you: the Hodag is friend to all lumberjacks and a good beast really – and having done many good turns, it's now time for his lumberjack friends to help him! Caroline Arnold bases her story on those she heard as a child and captures the feel of her past in an adventure story perfect for reading aloud day or night.

Farrar Straus Giroux
19 Union Square West, New York NY 10003

Katherine Sturtevant's A TRUE AND FAITHFUL NARRATIVE (0374378096, $17.00) tells of a father's warning to his daughter about the power of words – and Meg's delight in both her father's bookstore and its visitors and her own writings. When her best friend's brother sets sail for Italy Meg scoffs at his romance with words of jest – and finds that his ship has been captured and he's been sold as a slave. Has her thoughtless words caused it? Meg must now use her writing powers to bring him home. Kids 12 and up will find it a pointed story of a girl's strength and talents. Brenda A. Ferber's JULIA'S KITCHEN (0374399328, $16.00) tells of a catering business run by a mother who lets her daughter help out. Mom's challah and cookies were famous – but now Mom is gone, killed in a house fire while Cara was away – and Cara struggles with her grief, with being a survivors with her father, and with finding a way to heal them both in this gentle story of love and recovery.

1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019

Mary Pope Osborne's NIGHT OF THE NEW MAGICIANS (0375830359, $11.95) joins others in the popular, ongoing 'Magic Tree House' series to present #35. Here a mysterious note from Merlin sends two kids on a mission to France for the 1889 World's Fair, on a search for four 'new magicians' who need protection from an evil sorcerer's plans. Jack and Annie discover thousands attending the fair when they arrive: how can they find the magicians to protect them – and can they thwart a powerful sorcerer's superior magic? E. Lockhart's FLY ON THE WALL (0385732813, $15.95) tells of a girl who feels ordinary at a high school for the arts where everyone is considered special. She has only one friend and wants to learn about guys – she dreams of becoming a 'fly on the wall' in the boys' locker room to learn more – and one day finds her wish comes true in this zany tale for ages 12 and up. Lensey Namioka's MIS MATCH (0385731833, $15.95) tells of a fifteen-year-old who has just moved from Seattle to a suburb where she may be the only Asian American student; so when she meets Asian boy Andy, romance blossoms. The only problem is – he's Japanese, and her Grandma still recalls the terrible Japanese invasion of China – and Andy discovers his liberal family also holds terrible ideas about the Chinese. Can the past affect their romance and their loyalty to family ties? A fine story of prejudice within a minority group evolves.

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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