Return to home
page Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
Home / California Bookwatch

California Bookwatch

Volume 2, Number 5 May 2007 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Donovan's Picks Self-Help Shelf Nautical Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Computer Shelf
Music Shelf Biography Shelf Social Issues Shelf
Military Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Business Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Homeowner's Shelf Gardening/Landscaping Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fiction Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf
Art Shelf Audiobook Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Reference Shelf  


Donovan's Picks

Gemstones of the World
Walter Schumann
Sterling Publishing Company
387 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016-8810
1402740166, $24.95 www.sterlingpub.com

The newly expanded, revised third edition of a classic gemstone reference is a top pick for jewelry makers, rockhounds, and any fascinated by gems: it offers up new insights on collectibility, provides new 'double fraction' figures that experts have wanted, and provides over a thousand color photos profiling each precious and semiprecious stone in its rough, natural and polished versions. Chapters cover geology and working with gemstones alike, making it an excellent all-around reference and a top pick for both geology and crafts libraries.

Steller's Island
Dean Littlepage
Mountaineers Books
1001 SW Klickitat Way Suite 201, Seattle WA 98134
1594850577, $17.95 www.mountaineersbooks.org

History, true adventure, travel and science blend in the vivid survey STELLER'S ISLAND: ADVENTURES OF A PIONEER NATURALIST IN ALASKA. Georg Steller predated Lewis and Clark and John Muir and made some amazing discoveries so it's surprising to note this provides some of rare insights on the man and his legacy including the only scientific account of the Steller's sea cow before it became extinct. A wide audience will find this absorbing, from any library specializing in Alaskan history to general-interest holdings where patrons seek true-life adventure or tales of scientific discovery.

What Got You Here Won't Get You There
Marshall Goldsmith with Mark Reiter
Hyperion Books
77 West 66th Street, New York NY 10023-6298
1401301304, $23.95 www.hyperionbooks.com

What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful comes from an expert who has helped global leaders overcome their destructive habits to attain a greater level of success, and is a top pick for both business libraries and general-interest collections seeking how-to formulas for personal achievement. Chapters answer the question about the common problem faced by executives and how to best to overcome it, addressing issues of ingrained subconscious habits. An excellent, inspirational study.

Fab
Neil Gershenfeld
Basic Books
c/o Perseus Books
387 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016
0465027466, $15.95 www.basicbooks.com 1-800-242-7737

FAB: THE COMING REVOLUTION ON YOUR DESKTOP FROM PERSONAL COMPUTERS TO PERSONAL FABRICATION covers a new prospect in desktop applications: the ability to manufacture products at home on the home computer. Personal fabricators hold much potential and promise to be tomorrow's hits, and FAB surveys the new technology of digital fabrication, from inexpensive ways to build large solar energy collectors to specialized radio collars for herding goats in Norway. Fab labs build digital fabrications using logic, and FAB is an easy introduction to the process which general-interest collections will want.

The Angel Letters
Norman J. Fried, Ph.D.
Ivan R. Dee
1332 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL 60622-2694
156663718X, $19.95 www.ivanrdee.com

THE ANGEL LETTERS LESSONS THAT DYING CAN TEACH US ABOUT LIVING comes from a psychotherapist and counselor who works at a pediatric oncology unit in New York: he's had plenty of first-hand observations of the living and dying in the course of his fifteen years of duty and THE ANGEL LETTERS, based on his experiences, uses the form of letters addressed to nine different children whose last days and months he shared. Any interested in belief, acceptance, and working through illness will find THE ANGEL LETTERS an inspiration, making it a top choice for public lending libraries.


The Self-Help Shelf

Healing Invisible Wounds
Richard F. Mollica, MD
Harcourt Books
15 East 26th Street, 15th floor, New York, NY 10010
0151010366, $26.00 www.harcourtbooks.com 1-800-543-1918

HEALING INVISIBLE WOUNDS: PATHS TO HOPE AND RECOVERY IN A VIOLENT WORLD could also have been featured in our Health section but is reviewed here for its wide-ranging interest beyond the usual health library audience. Richard Mollica has spent over thirty years treating victims of all kinds of trauma: hundreds of interviews, years of research, and his counseling expertise blend to produce a series of case histories with lessons on how people heal from devastating events. Any general-interest library will welcome its wisdom.


The Nautical Shelf

Come Hell and High Water
Jean Hood
Burford Books
32 Morris Avenue, Springfield, NJ 07081
1580801439, $30.00 www.burfordbooks.com

Seventeen stories of naval disaster, heroism, and tragedy have been researched and read with the high drama of a novel in COME HELL AND HIGH WATER: EXTRAORDINARY STORIES OF WRECK, TERROR AND TRIUMPH ON THE SEA. From a sunken sub whose rescue involved revolutionary new techniques to a ship which sank because if the captain had turned back, he'd have to refund fares, COME HELL AND HIGH WATER is packed with high drama and offers any with an interest in shipwrecks or sea stories to enjoy a vivid collection. Perfect for the general-interest public lending library.


The Money/Finance Shelf

Nolo Press
940 Parker Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
www.nolo.com

Three important new Nolo Press tax deduction guides to lowering taxes are highly recommended picks for any general lending library collection and many a personal holding. Small business owners will find essential both DEDUCT IT! LOWERING YOUR SMALL BUSINESS TAXES (1413305288, $34.99) and HOME BUSINESS TAX DEDUCTIONS: KEEP WHAT YOU EARN (1413305318, $34.99): both come from practicing attorney Stephen Fishman and appear in updated 3rd editions to reflect the latest tax laws. From handling vehicles and travel, meals, and inventory to claiming business losses and legitimate home office deductions, these important guides explain all the basics. Landlords will want EVERY LANDLORD'S TAX DEDUCTION GUIDE (141330530X, $34.99), offering the latest legal reference to being a landlord. From deducting losses to keeping tax records and documenting deductions, landlords will find this well addresses the business and tax ramifications of being a landlord. Lending libraries will want to place these in their reference sections for repeat consultation.


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Turtles of the World
Franck Bonin, Bernard Devaux, Alain Dupre
Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4363
0801884969, $50.00 www.press.jhu.edu

College-level holdings, many an aquarium shop, and any serious natural history collection must have TURTLES OF THE WORLD. It's a definitive survey originally written in French and translated by a leading turtle expert, Peter C.H. Pritchard. Nearly 300 species of world turtles are covered including their habitats, lifestyle, and maps and photos. Co-written by a veterinarian expert with turtles, a nonprofit turtle research foundation and an avid conservationist, TURTLES OF THE WORLD's color photos pack every page and its information is well-rounded and key to any serious turtle researcher.

Small Animal Dentistry
Cedrick Tutt
Blackwell Publishing
Box 570, Ames, IA 50010-0570
1405123729, $119.99 www.blackwellprofessional.com

SMALL ANIMAL DENTISTRY: A MANUAL OF TECHNIQUES is a 'must' reference for any college-level holding strong in small animal veterinary science. It's designed as a 'how to' manual which uses color photos to provide a step-by-step walk-through coverage of common techniques, and will serve as an excellent classroom manual as well as a vet's reference. From proper tools and techniques to close-ups of common conditions and discussions of challenges in small animal dentistry, this reference is packed with insights and perfect for both vet classes and practicing vets alike.

Brackish-Water Fishes
Neale Monks, Editor
T.F.H. Publications
1 TFH Plaza, 3rd & Union Avenue, Neptune City, NJ 07753
0793805643, $39.95 www.tfh.com 1-800-631-2188

Brackish water fishes have grown in popularity over the years, yet little has been written exclusively to explore the natural history and habitat needs of this fish. BRACKISH-WATER FISHES thus is an important addition to any library specializing in aquarium care or fish tank maintenance: it offers both an overview of species and habitats and recommendations for specific tank setups and tankmates for species. Color photos throughout accompany tables, charts, and information in BRACKISH-WATER FISHES: AN AQUARIST'S GUIDE TO IDENTIFICATION, CARE & HUSBANDRY. Both rare and common species are covered, making this an extensive, in-depth reference not for the casual aquarium owner.


The Computer Shelf

Practical Software Estimation
M.A. Parthasarathy
Addison Wesley
75 Arlington Street, Suite 300, Boston, MA 02116
0321439104, $39.99 www.awprofessional.com 1-800-428-5331

The author draws on Infosys, a provider of IT-enabled business solutions, to provide this unique book which offers details on how to estimate insourced and outsourced software projects, and how to work with those which blend both approaches. Function Point methods are analyzed using real-world case histories to identify the common pitfalls which can lead to problems, while chapters include details on how to quote and prepare contracts, use project execution lifecycle models, and more. An essential business guide perfect for not just computer libraries at the college level, but for business book collections.

The Microsoft Office Project 2007 Survival Guide
Lisa A. Bucki
Thomson Course Technology
25 Thomson Place, Boston, MA 02210
1598632841 $24.99 www.courseptr.com

This Thomson guide is a powerful resource new users will appreciate. THE MICROSOFT OFFICE PROJECT 2007 SURVIVAL GUIDE surveys Microsoft Project and how it may be used to manage projects more efficiently. Both standard and professional versions receive attention in a guide which considers its project management organization and how to put it into practice on an example project from the real world. From team member assignments to budgeting, start-to-finish examples draw up important links between Project and polished results. Perfect for business and computer libraries alike.

O'Reilly
1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472
www.oreilly.com

System administrators who want a complete guide to Samba administration will want to add Gerald Carter, Jay Ts and Robert Eckstein's USING SAMBA (0596007698, $44.99) third edition to their reference collections. From the rudiments of basic installation and use all the way to delegating administrative tasks to nonroot users and making use of VFS technology, USING SAMBA provides administrators with cross-platform support for both PC and enterprise endeavors. William R. Stanek's WINDOWS VISTA: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE (0596528000, $49.99) offers everything needed to customize the operating system of any Windows Vista computer, from fine-tuning its appearance and performance to enhancing digital media, handling user accounts and system variations, and more. The organization ranges from easiest to more complicated tasks, making it easy to use WINDOWS VISTA: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE as a stepping stone to higher commands.

Build Your Own Ruby on Rails Web Applications
Patrick Lenz
Sitepoint
424 Smith Street Collingwood VIC Australia 3066
0975841955, $39.95 www.sitepoint.com

Here's a fine guide for web builders relatively new to Ruby, which tells how to build next-generation web applications using Ruby on Rails. It teaches how to build a complete Web 2.0 social news application from scratch, in the process teaching the fundamentals of Ruby's object-oriented language, Rails web applications and Ajax features, the foundations of database management and code testing, and more. An outstanding guide any serious web programmer's library needs.

Photoshop Type Effects Gone Wild
Al Ward
Wiley Publishing
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
0470042923, $34.99 www.wiley.com

Learn how to pair splashy images with appropriate text, design logos with modern appearances, and use Photoshop for creative, modern projects such as creating a tattoo that appears to be embedded under the skin, with Photoshop Type Effects Gone Wild, a guide anything but ordinary. Any collection strong in Photoshop references needs this: it offers up a eye-catching, alternative set of projects for using Photoshop's advanced features, and packs in color photos throughout of unique examples and applications. A 'must' for any serious Photoshop collection, this offers plenty of alternative projects.


The Music Shelf

Grateful Dead Gear
Blair Jackson
Backbeat Books
19 West 21st Street Suite 201, New York NY 10010
0879308931, $34.95 www.halleonard.com

The technology, equipment, and musicians who have mad up the long-lived band Grateful Dead is reviewed with a focus on behind-the-scenes recording studio action in GRATEFUL DEAD GEAR: THE BAND'S INSTRUMENTS, SOUND SYSTEMS, AND RECORDING SESSIONS FROM 1965-1995. Surprisingly (given all the books on the market covering nearly every facet of the Dead imaginable), it's the first to consider the band's technical side, including their recording methods, and examines the equipment design, studio techniques, and influences on the group's evolution, adding over a hundred color photos some never before published and interviews with not only the band but its roadies and technical producers. A 'must' for any collection strong in either rock music history or technical gear.

Strange Brew
Christopher Hjort
Jawbone Press
1700 4th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
1906002002, $29.95 www.jawbonepress.com

STRANGE BREW: ERIC CLAPTON & THE BRITISH BLUES BOOM 1965-1970 traces the evolution of a musical career, a genre, and a 'guitar god' whose contributions to blues would forever change it. In the process of describing Clapton's rise to fame within the British blues world it also provides a wealth of details on appearances, recording sessions, media presentations and new stories about his bands and changes, making it an in-depth coverage 'must' for any collection strong in blues history.

Love Is a Mix Tape
Rob Sheffield
Crown
c/o Random House
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
1400083028, $22.95 www.randomhouse.com

In the 1990s alternative music became mainstream with bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana: it was a decade when the author, a shy music geek, met a punk-rock girl who fell in love with him. Despite their many differences, the one thing they held in common was a love of music which kept them together. LOVE IS A MIX TAPE uses songs on fifteen mix tapes to tell of his romance and its brief surge. His passion reflects the sentiments and passions of the 1990s and beyond: LOVE IS A MIX TAPE reads like a history of the era and goes far beyond autobiographical reflection to reveal the heart of the alternative music movement. A striking, gripping account evolves, suitable not just for music history libraries, but for any general lending library hoping to reach out to the avid young music fan.


The Biography Shelf

Chrysalis: Maria Saibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis
Kim Todd
Harcourt
15 East 26th Street, New York NY 10010
0151011087, $27.00 www.HarcourtBooks.com

Today Maria Merian is mostly known for her lovely butterfly prints, but back in 1699 she sailed from Amsterdam to South America on an expedition to study metamorphosis a rare journey for any naturalist of the times, much less a woman over fifty and spent two years in the tropical jungle seeking out caterpillars and studying butterflies. Her accomplishments were largely dismissed and forgotten but come to life here in a gorgeous biography surveying her life and achievements.

Poster Child
Emily Rapp
Bloomsbury USA
175 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010
1596912561, $23.95 www.bloomsburyusa.com

The author was born with a congenital defect which required her left foot be amputated by the age of four: by age eight she'd had dozens of operations and lost nearly her entire leg and become the 'poster child' for the March of Dimes. POSTER CHILD is her own memoir of her first thirty years living with a disability and struggles with self-image. Her search for acceptance and her travels make for a spirited presentation sure to be a hit with any public lending library.

Princess Masako
Ben Hills
Jeremy Tarcher
c/o Penguin Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
1585425680, $25.95 www.penguin.com

Many young women dream of marrying a prince; but very few achieve this goal; especially in modern times. Masako Owada did, though: she was a Harvard-educated woman who in 1993 gave up a career as a diplomat to marrow Crown Prince Naruhito and entered a strange new world of a Japanese royal household. PRINCESS MASAKO goes behind the scenes to reveal the pressures upon her to produce a male heir and keep the world's oldest royal dynasty from dying out: thirteen years after her marriage Masako's depression and woes have made headlines, so PRINCESS MASAKO: PRISONER OF THE CHRYSANTHEMUM THRONE will remain a popular lend for any public lending library collection.


The Social Issues Shelf

Talk to the Snail
Stephen Clarke
Bloomsbury USA
175 5th Avenue, Suite 300, New York NY 10010
1596913096, $14.95 www.bloomsburyusa.com

TALK TO THE SNAIL: TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR UNDERSTANDING THE FRENCH provides an entertaining, even funny examination of the French psyche to help Americans understand French culture, and comes from one who has lived in France for 12 years. His exploration reveals ten 'commandments' for understanding, drawing from both his own experiences and from history and proving particularly pointed when contrasting British and French systems. Any collection where readers hold an affection for the French must have this set of pointed cultural insights.

Reality Check
Richard D. Morgenstern and William A. Pizer, Editors
RFF Press
1616 'P' Street NW, Washington DC 20036-1400
1933115378, $38.95 www.rffpress.org

REALITY CHECK: THE NATURE AND PERFORMANCE OF VOLUNTARY ENVIRONMENTAL PROGRAMS IN THE UNITED STATES, EUROPE, AND JAPAN provides analytical evidence to consider exactly how environmental programs work or not and analyze how voluntary programs affect the environment. This strong focus makes REALITY CHECK a top recommendation for college-level collections strong in environmental concerns, providing much concrete statistical evidence for policymakers, analysts and scholars alike and offering results of new, independent empirical analyses on such programs. Its data and approach makes REALITY CHECK a 'must' for any serious collection.

Peace Be Upon You
Zachary Karabell
Alfred Knopf
c/o Random House
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
1400043689, $26.95 www.aaknopf.com 1-800-726-0600

Peace Be Upon You: The Story of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Coexistence charts not another course of conflict and confrontation between Islam and the West, but its cooperative coexistence which has all but been forgotten in light of modern events. Fourteen centuries of history are covered here to assure this history of cooperation isn't forgotten: chapters discuss early Baghdad scholars who engaged in spirited debate with various faiths, medieval Spain where Jewish and Muslim philosophers and sages debated the meaning of God, and even a Crusades where Christians and Muslims lived peacefully side by side. PEACE BE UPON YOU is much needed in a modern world which has come to associate Islam with violence and war, and is a recommended pick for all levels of libraries, from public lending collections to college-level holdings strong in history and social issues.


The Military Shelf

Air Combat: An Oral History of Fighter Pilots
Robert F. Dorr
Berkeley Caliber
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
0425211703, $24.95 www.penguin.com

From dogfights to high-tech missile duels, those who fly warplanes take battles to the sky and often employ cutting-edge technology and flying techniques. AIR COMBAT offers the stories of pilots in their own words, from World War II experiences to flying combat in Vietnam and in the Middle East. True stories of aerial warfare receive important first-hand history and descriptions essential not only for military collections focusing on aviation, but for general-interest public lending libraries.

Lords of Battle
Stephen Allen
Osprey Publishing
443 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016
1841769487, $29.95 www.ospreypublishing.com

LORDS OF BATTLE: WORLD OF THE CELTIC WARRIOR covers the period from the first mention of the Celts by ancient Greek writers to the Roman conquest of Britain, blending lovely color illustration throughout with a survey rich in Celtic history. Chapters focus on the military might and sentiment of these early Celts, covering everything from appearance and dress to arms and rebellions. While its narrowed scope will appeal primarily to specialty holdings and libraries strong in early Celtic history, these collections will find the military focus unique and worthy of acquisition.


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Llewellyn Publications
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125-2989
www.llewellyn.com

Donald Tyson's SOUL FLIGHT: ASTRAL PROJECTION & THE MAGICAL UNIVERSE (0738710873, $18.95) provides a history of astral practice which goes back to medieval times, considering the early roots of astral practices, its ancient and modern facets, and lending insights into lucid dreaming, UFO abductions, and other paranormal events with roots in astral practices. SOUL FLIGHT is a unique guide that covers history, applications, and psychic self-defense all in one: new age readers will find it an engrossing, revealing coverage. Stephanie Jean Clement, Ph.D.'s ASPECT PATTERNS: WHAT THEY REVEAL & HOW THEY ARE TRIGGERED (0738707821, $17.95) covers the larger picture in chart interpretations, providing astrologers with an easy, logical approach to aspect pattern interpretation, which is often one of the most difficult challenges of astrology. Applied information to patterns reveal an individual's real chart and potentials: learn to identify the aspect pattern in any natal chart, understanding the traits associated with each pattern, and plug in individual applications using an important guide which is a 'must' for any definitive new age holding.

Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior
Dan Millman
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
1932073213, $12.95 www.newworldlibrary.com

This companion to WAY OF THE PEACEFUL WARRIOR will best be appreciated by prior fans but even newcomers will find it a powerful piece which stands well alone, with a hundred key passages of ancient wisdom spiced with commentaries to display case histories and insights on the spiritual changes affecting the hearts of mankind. WISDOM OF THE PEACEFUL WARRIOR continues the lessons in WAY OF THE PEACEFUL WARRIOR: together the two books provide powerful insights perfect for both new age and general-interest collections.

Nagarjuna's Precious Garland
Jeffrey Hopkins, Editor/Translator
Snow Lion Publications
Box 6483, Ithaca, NY 14850
1559392746, $26.95 www.snowlionpub.com

Nagarjuna is renowned for his analysis of reality, and in PRECIOUS GARLAND he offers up ideas on how to live a life reflecting Buddhist principles. From improving one's condition over the course of a lifetime to achieving spiritual and social satisfaction, PRECIOUS GARLAND is more than spiritual philosophy: it offers up a formula applying Buddhist thinking and principles to everyday life and personal evolution, making for a top pick spiritual collections will want.


The Business Shelf

It's Called Work for a Reason
Larry Winget
Gotham Books
c/o Penguin Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014-3658
1592402267, $26.00 www.penguin.com

It's Called Work for a Reason: Your Success is Your Own Damn Fault is packed with insights paired with a bluntness which will either open eyes or offend or both. Either way, IT'S CALLED WORK FOR A REASON cuts through cliches and popular myths about business and success to admonish readers to forget about parables, jargon and anything less than aspiring to a standard of excellence. 'You are not paid for effort you are paid for results.' This and other tips make for a hard-hitting re-examination of the work ethic.

The No Asshole Rule
Robert I. Sutton, Ph.D.
Warner Business
1271 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0446526568, $22.99 www.hachettebookgroupusa.com

From insensitive bosses to corporate bullies, THE NO ASSHOLE RULE: BUILDING A CIVILIZED WORKPLACE AND SURVIVING ONE THAT ISN'T is more than just another book on how to cope with strange co-workers: it analyzes the problem, reveals how disparate corporate personalities can erode company morale and productivity, and provides many strategies for companies interested in eliminating the problem. From research on how police officers handle crime and victims to school issues, humor gone awry and more, THE NO ASSHOLE RULE is an outstanding recommendation business libraries must have.

The Hamster Revolution
Mike Song, Vicki Halsey & Tim Burress
Berrett Koehler Publishers
235 Montgomery Street Suite 650, San Francisco CA 94104-2916
1576754375, $19.95 www.bk-life.com

If email is demanding more and more of your business time, it's time to take in THE HAMSTER REVOLUTION, which tells of an HR director who meets an efficiency coach and learns a simple management system. It's a parable for a practical email management course which really works, includes a case study showing how over 2,000 Capital One associates cut their email time by 23 percent, and tells how to add quality into email management strategy for optimum results. Busy managers in particular will relish its advice, making THE HAMSTER REVOLUTION especially recommended for business libraries.

How to Write a Business Plan
Mike McKeever
Nolo Press
950 Parker, Berkeley CA 94710
1413305628, $34.99 www.nolo.com

There are plenty of basic books on the market on how to write a business plan: but how many come branded with the Nolo Press badge of authoritative presentations; and how many provide an accompanying cd-rom with spreadsheets to help forecast cash flow, sales revenue and profit and loss plus three sample business plans which can be plugged in and modified for personal needs? It's a step-by-step primer no entrepreneur should be without!


The Needlecraft Shelf

Martingale & Company
20205 144th Avenue NE, Woodinville, WA 98072-8478
www.martingale-pub.com

Denise Black and Sandy Scoville's LITTLE BOX OF CROCHET FOR BABY (156477712X, $19.95) provides patterns for over 20 sweaters, booties, hats and more for ages 6-18 months, offering designs for both boys and girls on portable project cards that hold full-color photos and step-by-step directions. While similar projects could easily be located in full book form, the beauty of this little box is that it lends to an active crocheter's travel bag and is portable and easy to use. More suitable to library lending, though, are the book formats Martingale specializes in. Jane Townswick's ARTFUL APPLIQUE THE EASY WAY (1564772942, $29.95) provides step-by-step directions for sixteen 9" blocks packed with flowers, birds and vines. Add new details for appliqueing tricky points, tips for blending color and composition, and both basic and innovative instructionals and you have a different, easy focus on making extraordinary applique. Suzanne Zaruba Cirillo's SUNBONNET SUE AND SCOTTIE TOO (1564777030, $24.95) offers up the storybook scenes of work and play suitable for quilting panels and projects. Here are nearly forty block patterns plus five projects for prior Sunbonnet Sue fans, featuring fun childhood activities in each block and patterns which can be used with either fusible applique or redwork embroidery. It's a 'must' for any prior Sunbonnet Sue fan. Doreen L. Marquart's TOP DOWN SWEATERS: KNIT TO FIT FROM TOP TO BOTTOM (1564776972, $24.95) provides a fine gathering of cozy sweaters which use the top down technique in some fifteen easy designs. These sweaters can be used with either jeans or in a dressy style, and are each presented with several color photos including close-up shots of finished results along with materials and step-by-step instruction. A boxed 'skills level' introduction makes it easy to match a skills level to an appropriate project. Needlework libraries will find these books popular lends.


The Homeowner's Shelf

On the Porch
James M. Crisp and Sandra L. Mahoney
Taunton Press
P.O. Box 5507, Newtown, CT 06470-5507
1561588490, $30.00 www.taunton.com

ON THE PORCH: CREATING YOUR PLACE TO WATCH THE WORLD GO BY discusses the ambiance and design of the home porch with an eye to surveying how a porch added to a home can change its atmosphere. It's the first book on the market devoted to porches alone and covers an extensive range, from assessing different types of porches for different purposes to design, construction, and maintenance. Everything from furnishings to lighting is reviewed in this in-depth, well detailed guide perfect for any library strong in interior design or homeowner hints.

Meredith Books
1716 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309-3203
www.meredithbooks.com

The STANLEY COMPLETE PAINTING book (0696232111, $19.95) is outstanding: packed with pro painter tips tailored to simple steps for easy painting, the blend of checklists, professional advice, and explanations of painting terms, methods and equipment needs no prior familiarity to prove useful. Chapters use plenty of color photos to explain the basics of interior and exterior painting alike, making it a fine pick beginners will appreciate. The home reference GREAT POOLS, SPAS & OUTDOOR LIVING (0696232138, $19.95) is filled with ideas for not only constructing an outdoor spa environment, but for making the most of it with parties, events, and unique transformations. Some 50 outdoor design ideas are profiled, from a range of styles and amenities such as vanishing pools and tiles to hot tubs, the latest ideas in outdoor kitchens, and more. Homeowners planning an outdoor makeover will find this indispensable, and public lending libraries will find both very popular lends.


The Gardening/Landscaping Shelf

Lawn Geek
Trey Rogers
New American Library
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
0451220358, $15.00 www.penguin.com

LAWN GEEK: TIPS AND TRICKS FOR THE ULTIMATE TURF FROM THE GURU OF GRASS comes from a lawn maven who loves everything to do with lawns. It was USA-Today who dubbed a professor of crop and soil sciences the 'Lawn Geek' and he lives up to his name, providing his turf expertise on everything from maintaining healthy lawns to helping to determine how many people can stand on grass before it's damaged. From building an appropriate lawn 'base camp' to typical maintenance challenges, LAWN GEEK is packed with tips and perfect for any public library strong in home and garden guides.


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

On the Wrong Track
Steve Hockensmith
St. Martins Minotaur
175 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010
0312347812, $23.95 www.minotaurbooks.com

It's 1893 and the 'modern world', but cowboy Gustav prefers the lure of the road to the railway and holds a very different viewpoint from his brother, who likes the new trains. When they sign on to protect a luxurious train, overcoming a family hatred and fear of them, they find plenty of mystery and drama that ranges from a killer among the passengers to hijackers on the tracks. Another 'Holmes on the Range' blend of Western and mystery, ON THE WRONG TRACK is something different in the mystery world and is a top pick for discriminating mystery libraries looking for an outstanding blend of vivid plot, high drama, and strong characterization.

Dragonwell Dead
Laura Childs
Berkeley Prime Crime
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
0425213862, $23.95 www.penguin.com

Fans of Laura Child's previous 'Charleston Tea Shop' mysteries will find another satisfying culinary mystery in DRAGONWELL DEAD, the latest installment, which continues to tradition of serving up recipes and tea time tips within the context of a riveting mystery story. Here Charleston's annual Spring Plantation Ramble finds Theodesia serving tea on a lovely plantation when the collapse of a nearby b&b owner leads to her investigation of murder. Theodesia narrows the focus and finds herself the next target in this absorbing, fun mystery.


The Fiction Shelf

The Terror
Dan Simmons
Little, Brown
1271 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0316017442, $25.99 www.hachettebookgroupusa.com

The HMS Terror, one of the first steam-powered vessels ever to search for the legendary Northwest Passage, is entering a second summer in the Arctic Circle without a thaw and is stranded. A hundred men on the ship fight to survive with dwindling supplies and crushing ice but as if this weren't enough, they also face a terror in the darkness that stalks their ship and is trying to get in. The captain's terrible death leads to a desperate effort to flee south across the ice just ahead of the murdering terror. Gripping action, powerful characterization and a vivid plot make THE TERROR one of Simmons' best and perfect for general-interest lending collections strong in horror or action fiction.


The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Evil and the Justice of God
N.T. Wright
Intervarsity Press Books
Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426
0830833986, $18.00 www.ivpress.com

Evil used to be a concern regulated to church officials and parish leaders, but today it's evident in all corners of society and an understanding of what constitutes evil is needed for even everyday readers. EVIL AND THE JUSTICE OF GOD provides this discussion, debating terrorism, child abuse, and other modern instances of evil in light of its religious and social applications. Can we envision a world truly delivered of evil? Wright discusses possibilities and modern dilemmas in a book especially recommended for spiritual libraries strong in religious and philosophical discourse alike.

Bible Road
Sam Fentress, Photographer
David & Charles
c/o F&W Publications
4700 East Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45236
0715326856, $29.99 www.fwpublications.com

BIBLE ROAD: SIGNS OF FAITH IN THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE features photos by Sam Fentress in full color and represents the photographer's last few decades of travel, crossing over forty states photographing thousands of religious signs along America's highways and city streets. His photography embraces works from churches, bikes, walls, and even stocks and looks for religious messages in even unlikely places, both urban and rural, making for a striking survey of religious messages in modern culture. Perfect for either spiritual collections or art libraries strong in modern photography.

American Fascists
Chris Hedges
The Free Press
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
0743284437, $25.00 www.simonsays.com

Over twenty years ago Pat Robertson and other radio and TV evangelists first spoke of the U.S. becoming a Christian nation set to build a global Christian empire: today it's more a reality than idle idea, and one journalist Chris Hedges examines closely in AMERICAN FASCISTS: THE CHRISTIAN RIGHT AND THE WAR ON AMERICA. His book challenges the Christian Right's religious legitimacy and intentions and argues it's a movement fueled by hared for openness. Interviews and coverage of Christian right events documents its darker side and argues that it's a dangerous game indeed. A 'must' for any spiritual or public library collection.


The Art Shelf

Women: Motifs and Variations
Rafal Olbinski
Hudson Hills Press
Box 205, Manchester, VT 05254
1555952666, $50.00 www.hudsonhills.com

Rafal Olbinski was born in post-war Poland and is best-known for his depictions of women all of which are gathered under one cover for WOMEN: MOTIFS AND VARIATIONS. These are gorgeous full-page color paintings which blend elements of surrealism, landscape and figure art and which explores both classic and contemporary images alike, offering an often-whimsical play on themes. The result is an inviting, vivid collection essential for any college-level art library and many a college-level holding on women's portraits and issues.

Drama and Desire
Anne Nishimura Morse, Editor
MFA Publications
465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
0878467106, $37.50 www.mfa-publications.org

DRAMA AND DESIRE: JAPANESE PAINTINGS FROM THE FLOATING WORLD 1690-1850 blends a history of Japanese paintings and painters with a catalog of full-page color reproductions of paintings representing the best and most classic works of the period from 1690-1850. Thanks to a grant, nearly thirty scholars traveled to Boston to study over four thousand paintings, sculptures, textiles, masks and lacquer pieces, taking photos of each object and producing bilingual catalogs published to make the Museum of Fine Art's holdings available to the world art community. DRAMA AND DESIRE furthers this objective, and is a top pick for both art libraries and college-level holdings specializing in Japanese history and culture.

Fashion Babylon
Imogen Edwards-Jones & Anonymous
Atria Book
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
141654318X, $25.00 www.simonsays.com

FASHION BABYLON: LOOKING UP THE SKIRTS OF THE WORLD'S MOST GLAMOROUS INDUSTRY questions the foundations of what is fashion and what is fashionable, from what makes a fashion trend and changes it to how supermodels evolve, how designers rise to fame, and who makes money. To achieve these insights, six months of a designer's life explore how a fashion concept is put together and tested, from idea into the shops and magazine covers. It's the behind-the-scenes insights of an industry and art libraries as well as general-interest collections where fashion is of interest must have this.

The Dinner Party: From Creation to Reservation
Judy Chicago
Merrell Publishers Limited
49 West 24th Street, 8th floor, New York, NY 10010
1858943701, $49.95 www.merrellpublishers.com

The Dinner Party: From Creation to Reservation offers up an excellent, illustrated guide to the art of Judy Chicago. All other books documenting her DINNER PARTY are all out of print, but even when they were available, none offered such an extensive, full-color treatment as does THE DINNER PARTY: FROM CREATION TO RESERVATION. Documentary photos follow its creation and an essay by Judy Chicago surveys the history of women, the collaborative effort involved, and the history of the work's exhibition. Perfect for college-level art libraries; especially those with some works on Judy Chicago already in their holdings.


The Audiobook Shelf

Random House Audio
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
www.randomhouse.com/audio

Rob Sheffield narrates his own autobiography LOVE IS A MIX TAPE (0739333526, $29.95), making it an even more powerful account than his book. Sheffield is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and has been a rock journalist for some fifteen years: here his short romance with a very different girl is set against the backdrop of alternative band who had made the mainstream. Their very different worlds come together with their shared love of music, merge for a time, and eventually Sheffield would discover in that same music potential for healing. LOVE IS A MIX TAPE is simply not to be missed. Fiction readers who like swift action and adventure will find Jonathan and Faye Kellerman's CAPITAL CRIMES (0739321382, $29.95) an outstanding presentation. John Rubenstein adds a brisk and dramatic touch to the gripping dual crime thrillers 'My Sister's Keeper: Berkeley' and 'Music City Breakdown: Nashville'. High-profile homicide investigations are the heart of a dramatic, gripping set of stories which will keep listeners on edge until the end: both perfect picks for general-interest audio lending libraries.

Brilliance Audio
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
www.brillianceaudio.com 1-800-854-7859

Anne Perry's AT SOME DISPUTED BARRICADE (1593550669, $39.95) receives audio veteran Michael Page's warm recording voice as it tells of 1917 war, an incompetent young major, and a woman who risks her life to help prisoners escape. Add romance into a mix of murder and treason and you have a story that excels in twists and turns, coming to life in audio. John Lescroart's DEAD IRISH (1423322932, $36.95) enjoys veteran David Colacci's fine recording voice and tells of bartender Dismas Hardy, who has left his police job and is seeking to forget his loss when news of Eddie Cochran's death reaches him and returns him to a world he has tried to abandon. His journey uncovers new secrets and raw emotions and makes for a riveting story. Ken Follett's A DANGEROUS FORTUNE (1423328590, $38.95) receives Michael Page's excellent voice which again adds high drama and life to this classic story of an 1966 tragedy at an exclusive Windfield School where a student is killed. Intrigue and danger sweep the exclusive circles of the school. His LIE DOWN WITH LIONS (1423328639, $38.95) receives a full cast of performers which assumes the high drama and presentation of a radio show as it tells of two men on opposite sides of the cold war, with a woman torn between them. Romance and intrigue blend well here. Follett's NIGHT OVER WATER (1423328655, $38.95) receives Tom Casaletto's vigorous and winning voice and tells of passengers on a luxury airliner leaving for the U.S. on the eve of World War II. From a murderer under FBI escort to a beautiful woman and a thief, the host of characters find themselves on an unusual journey of discovery and fear. All these are top picks for discriminating audio collections.

Audio Editions
Auburn, CA 95604
www.audiopartners.com

Rex Stout's OVER MY DEAD BODY (1572707305, $29.95) receives a fine narration by Michael Prichard, an audio reader who has read all Rex Stout titles, providing a continuity and uniformity which will prove very pleasing to audio listeners. The latest Nero Wolfe mystery involves a fencing student's murder, a Balkan beauty suspected of the time, and a web of intrigue and danger. Agatha Christie's A POCKET FULL OF RYE (1572705574, $29.95) receives English actress Rosalind Ayres' smooth and evocative voice as wit tells of the death of a wealthy financier and Inspector Neele's investigation of its strange circumstances. What do children's rhymes have to do with the murder? A lot, as the inspector discovers in this gripping story. Both audios are top picks mystery audio collections will want. P.G. Wodehouse's HOW RIGHT YOU ARE, JEEVES (1572708336, $25.95) receives Ian Carmichael's smooth British voice and background portraying Bertie Wooster in the film WORLD OF WOOSTER as it provides another zany story of an upper-class twit Bernie who discovers a newspaper misprint of his pending engagement leads to subterfuge and problems. Butler Jeeves must sort out the problems which result in this funny drama. John Hersey's HIROSHIMA (1572708409, $25.95) receives Edward Asner's dramatic and smooth voice as it tells of the first atom bomb in history dropped on a city. Six survivors recount their experiences: their dramatic stories lead to Hershey's fame and the book translates just as well to audio drama. Thomas Hardy's RETURN OF THE NATIVE (1572705708, $39.95) receives Alan Rickman's narration and fine background in film and Shakespeare acting in London as it brings to life the classic story of life on Egdon Heath, love, loss, and a beauty's search for adoration. A recommended pick both for students who will find more vivid description in audio and for those who who've read the novel and will doubly appreciate its high drama in audio.


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Fate of Mice
Susan Palwick
Tachyon Publications
1459 18th Street #139, San Francisco CA 94107
1892391422, $14.95 www.tachyonpublications.com

Susan Palwick has over twenty years of outstanding short stories to her name and THE FATE OF MICE gathers the best under one cover, including three original new pieces. These are stories of angst and adversity: from a businessman who is resurrected to play at politics to a dreaming mouse. Any collection strong in short stories will find THE FATE OF MICE uses many twists and turns of plot to provide vivid reading.

Baen Books
PO Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471
www.baen.com

Mercedes Lackey and Roberta Gellis' BY SLANDEROUS TONGUES (1416521070, $25.00) tells of an England ruled by a dour Protector for a ten-year-old king. King Edward's reign becomes increasingly uncertain in prophecy as he ages, and Vidal Dhu's intent is to prevent the return of a queen who will change their worlds. Scandal, a young princess's blossoming romance, and a prince's uncertain future make for a gripping fantasy. James P. Hogan's ECHOES OF AN ALIEN SKY (1416521089, $24.00) tells of Kyal Reen, who arrives eighteen years after the first manned mission from Earth arrives on Venus, joining a scientific and archaeological teams working to reconstruct the fate of an extinct Terran race which once lived there. Kyal's travels introduces him to biologist Lorili and a puzzle which will change the ideas and worlds of both Venus and Earth. Both are gripping stories which any public lending library will find popular patron leisure reads.


The Health/Medicine Shelf

The Checklist
Manny Alvarez, MD
Rayo
c/o HarperCollins
10 East 53rd Street, New York NY 10022
0061188786, $24.95 www.harpercollins.com

THE CHECKLIST: WHAT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY NEED TO KNOW TO PREVENT DISEASE AND LIVE A LONG AND HEALTHY LIFE comes from a popular TV show health expert, Dr. Manny Alvarez, who here provides an all-in-one preventative health maintenance book arranged to identify the most common diseases and health risks at all stages of life. Each decade introduces new risks or increases risk factors: the decade-by-decade approach allows families and consumers to understand how to active preventatively to thwart the most common ills and how to recognize their symptoms early. The organization makes it one of the easier health guides on the market: perfect for general-interest libraries.


The Reference Shelf

The Twenty Greatest Philosophy Books
James Garvey
Continuum Publishing Group
Box 1321, Harrisburg, PA 17105-1321
0826490549, $16.95 www.continuum.com

Any collection strong in philosophy, especially at the introductory and high school level, should have a copy of The Twenty Greatest Philosophy Books on the shelf: it covers the works of Descartes, Hobbes, Plato, Sartre and others and reviews the major points of these philosophers, surveying their works, thinking, and influence on fellow philosophers and the course of the genre as a whole. A top pick for any beginner who would build a definitive foundation of philosophy titles.

Firefly Atlas of North America
Firefly Books
155 East 34th Street #5B, New York NY 10016
1554072077, $55.00 www.fireflybooks.com

There are plenty of atlases on the market, but what makes FIREFLY ATLAS OF NORTH AMERICA: UNITED STATES, CANADA & MEXICO stand out from the crowd is the focus on large-scale maps with excellent cartography by Philip's which displays all major physical features, over forty larger-scale maps for each country's most developed urban areas, and an index of some 40,000 place names which includes latitude and cross-referenced grids for quick location. Add excellent gazette facts-at-a-glance perfect for high school and public library reference holdings and you have a reference sure to be a popular and lasting acquisition.


James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937
e-mail: mbr@execpc.com
e-mail: mwbookrevw@aol.com
http://www.midwestbookreview.com

Diane C. Donovan, Editor & Senior Reviewer
12424 Mill Street, Petaluma, CA 94952
phone: 1-707-795-4629
e-mail: donovan@sonic.net


Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design