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California Bookwatch

Volume 9, Number 11 November 2014 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Language Studies Shelf Geography Shelf
Education Shelf Business Shelf Economic Studies Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Social Issues Shelf Autism Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf Mathematics Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf
Audiobook Shelf DVD Shelf Political Science Shelf
Music Shelf Photography Shelf Travel Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf American History Shelf World History Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fiction Shelf Sports Shelf
Computer Shelf Military Shelf Architecture Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Art Shelf Philosophy Shelf
Technology Shelf Biography Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf
Automotive Shelf California Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

The Big Ratchet
Ruth DeFries
Basic Books
c/o Perseus Books Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
9780465044979, $27.99,

The Big Ratchet: How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis provides a fresh look at human survival from famines and food shortages to natural environment changes, and considers humanity's ability to manipulate nature to survive and thrive. It's a wide-reaching survey that focuses on how environmental control is achieved - and why this long-standing approach brings new problems to modern times. A focus on food production throughout history and its impact and problems makes for a long-term survey that contrasts viewpoints that over-use of land and resources will lead to disaster versus the idea that human adaptation will always persevere.

How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are
Anne Berest,
Doubleday & Company
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
978038538657, $25.00,

How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style and Bad Habits offers a fun survey of Parisian women's views on culture, fashion and more, but adds more of a dose of humor into the mix. The authors are a group of women in their early-to-late thirties, unmarried, and educated: their observations poke fun at Parisian observation and attitudes and offer candid, lively cultural observations that are to the point and fun, making this a pick for general audiences as well as those with a special affinity for social observation and humor.

The Culinary Imagination
Sandra M. Gilbert
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
97803930676501, $29.95,

THE CULINARY IMAGINATION FROM MYTH TO MODERNITY offers literary insights into how we read, write and use food, and comes from a poet and feminist critic who considers the role food and its preparation plays in daily lives. From different kinds of food writing and the cultural history of cuisines to how food features in literary and social circles, this focuses on the ideas and ideals of recipes, dramas surrounding foods, imaginative writings about food, and more. Literary and culinary collections alike will find this a lively investigation on more than one level!

The Language Studies Shelf

Deaf Interpreters at Work: International Insights
Robert Adam,, Editors
Gallaudet University Press
800 Florida Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002-3695
9781563686092, $70.00,

Deaf Interpreters at Work: International Insights is a pick for any college-level collection strong in issues of deaf interpretation, considers how deaf interpreters work in different nations, and provides a history of Deaf translators and interpreters and their professional standing in deaf and hearing communities alike. Articles span the world and include facets of interpreting by deaf people in many nations, considering the process of Deaf interpreting, teams and their preparation, and more. Any collection strong in Deaf issues and culture will find this an involving, scholarly study.

The Geography Shelf

Atlas of the World, 10th Edition
National Geographic Press
145 17th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-4688
9781426213540, $195.00,

Atlas of the World provides a fine oversized collection of world and regional maps that represent the latest political and physical geography of the world. This tenth updated edition provides quality cartographic images and innovative designs, updating information and providing an index of some 150,000 place-names providing readers with plenty of facts in visual representations. Add 20 topical world themes and connected maps and pages and you have a gathering of geographic connections unique to National Geographic's latest rendition of the world. There are atlases and there are superior productions and this tenth updated edition illustrates the difference between the two, offering a blend of superior color geographic representations in an oversized edition that lends to better understanding and comprehension of world events and issues. The result is a top pick for any geography collection or enthusiast.

The Education Shelf

This is Not a Test
Jose Luis Vilson
Haymarket Books
PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618
9781608464701, $16.00,

THIS IS NOT A TEST: A NEW NARRATIVE ON RACE, CLASS, AND EDUCATION offers a fine collection of essays on teaching that comes from an educator who tells his story of how teaching makes a difference in student lives. Narrated in the first person, it takes everyday questions of race, class and the educational process, but don't expect another 'how to teach' treatise: through the eyes of Vilson and his students the major struggles of modern teaching come to life: "What do you say to kids whose only influences tell them to do as they say, not as they do?" An eye-opening, winning survey emerges that should be in any education collection concerned with social issues and effective student interactions.

Making School a Game Worth Playing
Ryan Schaaf and Nicky Mohan
Corwin Press, Inc.
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218
9781483359601, $27.95,

Making School a Game Worth Playing tells how to blend game-based learning with skills of modern times, and offers teachers keys to linking technology and digital connections with the learning process through games. It encourages an atmosphere of collaborative effort and learning through games linked to the Common Core State Standards, including an in-depth outline for implementation, discussions of game content and learning possibilities, notes, and reading lists to encourage learning. The result is a teacher's guide to incorporating the latest digital technology with game objectives to create a curriculum filled with exciting educational applications.

Make Early Learning Standards Come Alive, second edition
Gaye Gronlund
Redleaf Press
10 Yorkton Court, St. Paul, MN 55117-1065
9781605543680, $24.95,

Make Early Learning Standards Come Alive: Connecting Your Practice and Curriculum to State Guidelines appears in its second updated edition to reflect the changing standards of early learning, and pairs hints and ideas with explanations on how teachers can apply these standards to their classrooms. From honing communication skills and planning for cognitive skills development to assessing a child's progress, information provide charts of activities and supportive interactions designed to create stepping stones of educational progress. New to this edition is a chapter discussing these standards, the latest information from across the country, and references to the Common Core's connections to early learning standards development.

GED Test for Dummies
Murray Shukyn,
For Dummies
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9781118678244, $19.99,

Any who would attempt the GED test will find this an important key to understanding the latest exam and test-taking strategies, offering an overview of all the subjects covered, adding tips for perfecting grammar and punctuation skills, and understanding how to solve problem topics on the test. The authors design programs and teaching materials for GED test training, speak and write about issues involved, and developed learning materials: the practices are thus rooted in real-life scenarios and pair a question-and-answer format with insights on what works and why.

The Business Shelf

The AMA Handbook of Project Management, fourth edition
Paul C. Dinsmore and Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin
Amacom Books
1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
9780814433393, $79.95,

The fourth updated edition of The AMA Handbook of Project Management has been revised to reflect the latest changes in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge and Project management Professional Exam, and provides a review of individual projects and programs in the discipline of project management. From managing political and resource issues and measuring value to agile project management, new case studies and examples address specific project management dilemmas and solutions, and provide a compendium of critical concepts and applied, real-world solutions key for any business person involved in project management. It's a solid reference recommended for any collection appealing to business professionals.

Company Law in China
Jiangyu Wang
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
9781849805728, $110.00,

Company Law in China: Regulation of Business Organizations in a Socialist Market Economy provides a comprehensive introduction to the law on business organizations in China, considering the 2005 adaptation of PRC Company Law and the latest legislative developments in the country. College-level collections strong in international business relationships will find this packed with details on corporate liquidation, bankruptcy, corporate finance and governance, and the latest regulations and business practices, and will appreciate the blend of legal and business research combined with author analysis of China's social, political and economic influences. From the mechanics of convening board meetings to securities laws and how directors, supervisors and executives work under Chinese law, this is a specific, technical guide recommended for any collection strong in Chinese business or law.

The Long Hedge
Jason West
Greenleaf Publishing
Aizlewood Business Centre
Aizlewood's Mill, Nursery Street, Sheffield S3 8GG, UK
9781907643958, $64.00,

The Long Hedge: Preserving Organizational Value Through Climate Change Adaptation provides a fine survey of organizational structure and adaptation issues facing them, tackling the wider question of how organizations need to assess costs and benefits of mitigating the impacts of climate change on business. From how firms can evaluate business decisions and investments in light of long-term climate change adaptation measures to how behaviors change in the process, this provides a solid college-level critical examination packed with science, business and social insights. Its clear that one day adaptation may be the key to business survival in the face of these changes: any studying the long-term effects of global climate change would do well to consider these points.

Remote: Office Not Required
Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
Crown Business
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
9780804137508, $23.00,

Remote: Office Not Required offers employers and employees fresh food for thought on how work can happen in a different manner to optimize productivity and job satisfaction - namely, by working remotely at least some of the time. With recent business trends moving away from remote office work, it's interesting to note the focus - but the authors explain that the tipping point for remote work hasn't been reached, yet - and it covers the basics of how such work can help employers with employee retention and more. Any interested in these aspects of job satisfaction should take a fresh, new look at the topic with Remote: it offers many new insights on how virtual work can benefit everyone.

Hello My Name is Awesome
Alexandra Watkins
Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.
235 Montgomery Street, Suite 650
San Francisco, CA 94104-2916
9781626561861, $16.95,

Hello My Name is Awesome: How to Create Brand Names That Stick isn't a thick reference - in fact, it's under 100 pages long. But it provides an entertaining, engaging book from a professional 'naming consultant' who explains how anyone can create memorable brand names - without any prior background in business, linguistics, or art. Discussions revolve around a simple formula for what makes or breaks a name and cover the basics of how to research the name, obtain a domain, and more. The result is a fine survey recommended for any who would understand the mechanics of creating not just any brand name, but a standout success.

The Economic Studies Shelf

Green Energy Economics
John Byrne and Young-Doo Wang, Editors
Transaction Publishers
10 Corporate Place South, Piscataway, NJ 08854
9781412853750, $49.95,

Green Energy Economics: The Search for Clean and Renewable Energy gathers under one cover researchers who contribute studies examining the transition to green energy, and who cover its economic benefits and impact. Contributors argue that a green energy economy offers promises but much struggle, and they maintain that investments in renewable energy and economic systems are long-term goals promising both a green future and many profits.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Fun-Size Quilts
Karen M. Burns, Compiler
That Patchwork Place
c/o Martingale
19021 Avenue NE, Bothell, WA 98011
9781604684193, $24.99,

Fun-Size Quilts: 17 Popular Designers Play with Fat Quarters presents designs that were created by a range of quilters, and presents a fine blend of patterns and photos of finished projects. These quilts use the pre-cut fat quarters so popular with many, and provide 19 quickly-finished projects that require only a minimal amount of fabric and time. The result is a lovely collection recommended for any interested in easy, approachable projects; especially for beginners.

Flowers to Knit and Crochet
Susie Johns & Jan Ollis
Search Press USA
1338 Ross Street, Petaluma, CA 94954-1117
9781782210511, $17.95,

Flowers to Knit and Crochet offers knitting and crochet patterns that show how to make and apply nearly sixty flowers of all kinds, from daffodils and poppies to roses and cherry blossoms, and makes for a lovely collection of patterns perfect for needleworkers who want to embellish projects. Basic familiarity with crochet and knit processes and reading instructions are needed to make the most of this guide; but those with such a background will relish this collection, especially since the flowers produced can then embellish virtually any needlework project.

The Becolourful Quilt Collection
Jacqueline de Jonge
American Quilters Society Publishing
PO Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290
9781604601633, $28.95,

The Becolourful Quilt Collection brings a quiltmaker's geometric focus to advanced quilter attention by gathering a collection of Netherlands quilts made by the author. These productions are based on traditional designs but add color and unusual approaches for a unique result. An oversized hardcover presentation captures full-page, glossy photos of over fifty quilts with images for close-ups included. From The Rainbow Collection to The Purple Collection and more, these are inspirational features that offer a range of original, creative ideas. The oversized presentation succeeds in enhancing the images and possibilities of this quilter's approach, making for an exceptional addition to any quilting library.

The Social Issues Shelf

Building an Opportunity Society
Lewis D. Solomon
Transaction Publishers
10 Corporate Place South, Piscataway, NJ 08854
9781412854702, $49.95,

Building an Opportunity Society: A Realistic Alternative to an Entitlement State considers how the federal government can build a better society, creating opportunities for the poor and using the government's power to change social structures for the better, and is a pick for college-level political and social science holdings alike. Chapters consider the domestic problems that federal programs and processes seek to address, and posits a move from a state of entitlement to one fostering opportunities. Policymakers need to restructure federal programs to create such options: this book tells how and provides keys for turning 'entitlement' into something much more growth-oriented.

935 Lies
Charles Lewis
Public Affairs Books
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 West 57th Street, #1321, New York, NY 10107
9781610391177, $28.99,

935 LIES: THE FUTURE OF TRUTH AND THE DECLINE OF AMERICA'S MORAL INTEGRITY provides a powerful survey of the quest for truth amid an explosion of mis-information and misinterpretations in everything from news reporting by traditional TV media to paid lobbyists, advocates, the Internet, and more. The truth becomes even more confusing and impossible under such an onslaught, and 935 Lies explores the many ways truth is manipulated by business and political interests alike. Any college-level reader concerned with the evolving world of disinformation will find this a powerful revealing study.

The Autism Shelf

The Autism Spectrum, Sexuality and the Law
Tony Attwood,
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849059190, $29.95,

The Autism Spectrum, Sexuality and the Law: What Every Parent and Professional Needs to Know is based on Nick Dubin's own experiences and uses the combined knowledge of two doctors to consider the issues of autism, sexuality and legal matters. From the development of sexual behavior and how to help autistic folk understand sexuality to law enforcement systems and routines that work (or don't work well) with the autistic, chapters cover facets of health and legal ramifications and consider a range of different avenues for understanding and integrating the autistic condition into general social and health scenarios. The result is a title recommended for health, social issues and legal collections alike.

The Cookbook Shelf

Prep School
James P. DeWan
Agate Publishing
1328 Greenleaf Street, Evanston, IL 60202
9781572841482, $35.00,

PREP SCHOOL: HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR KITCHEN SKILLS AND COOKING TECHNIQUES comes from the author's Chicago Tribune "Prep School" column and covers al the basics of kitchen techniques from how to dice an onion to making crepes. Its intention is to teach readers how to become better cooks, and this involves understanding the basics of prep work and good kitchen skills. From proper knife handling and choosing the right knife for the right job to sauteing and stuffing fish and more, techniques are accompanied by successful recipes for maximum results. Add color photos throughout and you have an exceptional winner for cooks at any level of expertise.

Truly Texas Mexican
Adan Medrano
Texas Tech University Press
PO Box 41037, Lubbock, TX 79409-1037
9780896728509, $29.95,

Truly Texas Mexican: A Native Culinary Heritage in Recipes takes the author's family traditions of Texas Mexican cooking and offers some 100 tested recipes any can duplicate in their own home kitchens, pairing well-known dishes such as enchiladas with Texas adaptations of classic dishes. Color photos accompany each recipe, which often take a good amount of preparation as all recipes, from tomato sauces to chilis, are 'from scratch' and don't rely on canned ingredients to streamline the preparation process. Each recipe opens with a discussion of ingredients, their influences on Texas and Mexican cooking, and a bit of history, making this a fine survey for any interested in Texas Mexican cuisine.

Vegan Tacos
Jason Wyrick
Vegan Heritage Press
P.O. Box 628, Woodstock, VA 22664-0628
9780985466275, $21.95,

VEGAN TACOS: AUTHENTIC & INSPIRED RECIPES FOR MEXICO'S FAVORITE STREET FOOD presents Mexican fare with a twist; a vegan orientation and a narrowed focus on tacos that includes recipes, shortcuts for busy cooks, and vegan creations that range from Hominy and Sietan tacos in Roasted Garlic Cascabel sauce to rolled tacos, fried until they are crisp. With color photos accompanying dishes that benefit from access to both vegan ingredients and meat and cheese substitutes and Mexican fare, this offers something exciting, fresh, and different to any vegan diner!

Coffee Time Treats
Ryland Peters & Small
519 Broadway, 5th floor, New York, NY 10012
9781849755696, $24.95,

Coffee Time Treats offers a fine gathering of recipes for all kinds of cookies, buns, pastries and tarts and provides recipes designed to be eaten along with coffee. It's not uncommon to find a collection of pastry recipes; but what is satisfying is a collection geared to work with coffee. Some have coffee as one of the ingredients; others are designed to work well with coffee as the beverage of choice. From cruellers and a Paris Brest filled with praline cream to Apple Spice Muffins blending apples, raisins, buttermilk and spices, each recipe comes with an accompanying page of color photos which adds a delicious visual focus to this appealing cookbook.

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

Shay Ola's DEATH BY BURRITO: THE COOKBOOK (9781845339036, $19.99) compiles fresh, new Mexican street food and cocktail recipes which goes beyond your usual Tex-Mex fare to gather authentic ingredients with a twist. Full-page color photos illustrate Squid Tacos, Shrimp & Avocado Tostadas, Confit Duck & Mango Tacos, and many more dishes. Side dishes from Baked Hominy to black beans accompany a host of Mexican fare that relies on fresh ingredients and flavorful combinations any Mexican food fan will relish. Angela Dowden's THE FASTING COOKBOOK: 100 DELICIOUS RECIPES FOR 100, 200 AND 300 CALORIE MEALS (9780600629849, $16.99) presents recipes centered around an easy fasting plan - and if this sounds like a conflict of interest, think again. A fasting plan doesn't just mean going without food: it means reducing overall calorie intake - and this diet proposes two days a week for so doing. Recipes designed for those 'light' days pair lovely photos with dishes that are low in calories - even a soup that's only a little over a hundred calories per serving. The result is appealing and inspirational. Joanna Farrow's PEEK-A-BOO CAKES: 28 FUN CAKES WITH A SURPRISE INSIDE (9781846014772, $12.99) provides a lively selection of cakes that look ordinary from the outside, but which feature surprise fillings. From one filled with jelly beans and a Pink Heart cake for Valentine's Day to cakes enhanced by ganache, cream cheese and meringues, this focuses on creative designs and innovative pairings of fillings and frostings, making for a truly delicious production. SKINNY SIPPERS: LOW-CALORIE COCKTAILS (9781846014833, $9.99) packs in cocktails that retain flavor while reducing calories, and discusses how high alcohol content leads to drinks that are often surprisingly laden with unexpected weight gain potential. These 'skinny' drinks offer substitutions centered around a combination of better flavor and lower calories, and provide drinks any will find refreshing and exciting - even those not worried about counting calories. Allegra McEvedy's LEON: INGREDIENTS & RECIPES (9781840916560, $29.99) comes from a co-owner of a top London restaurant and both explains the focus on creating fast food with bold flavors and fresh, local ingredients and presents a collection of Leon favorites that offers building blocks of basic fresh fare and how they can be converted to 'fast' food. Expect a two-tiered cookbook that presents half the book explaining and exploring ingredients and the other half pairing them with unusual recipes. From Sweet Potato Falafel and Leon Gobi to Egyptian Eggplant and Tamarind Stew, this is a fine gathering of international fare streamlined for busy cooks and packed with unusual flavors and quick preparation ideas. Any looking for something original will find this a fine collection!

The Health/Medicine Shelf

ABC of Domestic and Sexual Violence
Susan Bewley and Jan Welch, Editors
BMJ Books
c/o Wiley Blackwell
350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148,
9781118482186, $34.95,

ABC of Domestic and Sexual Violence provides a practical guide for all health care professionals involved with abused individuals who want to learn more about the basic skills involved in healthcare, and uses a positive, hands-on approach to imparting these skills. From international and cultural perspectives on abuse and common approaches to identifying different kinds of abuse (even when victims don't know or understand their situation) and understanding both short- and long-term medical and psychological intervention options, this covers both medical and legal topics, provides keys to documentation and locating helpful resources, and focuses on primarily women but includes men and children. Case histories blend with medical personnel insights with contributions coming from a multidisciplinary team of experts to make for a basic reference for a wide range of practitioners, from emergency workers to nurses, midwives, social workers and more.

The Autism Spectrum and Depression
Nick Dubin
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849058148, $19.95,

The Autism Spectrum and Depression covers the struggles of ASD people who try to cope with a world that is often strange and seemingly hostile, and offers a reference specific to depression in this group. Psychologists, educators, families, and any adults working with ASD individuals will find this a specific coverage that pinpoints common problems experienced by ASD sufferers and the methods for alleviating their depression. From cognitive distortions to understanding the biology behind ASD and depression, it's an important survey for any interested in how depression works in ASD individuals.

Bulletproof Spirit
Captain Dan Willis
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608682614, $15.95,

Bulletproof Spirit: The First Responder's Essential Resource for Protecting and Healing Mind and Heart is for first responders who struggle with PTSD and emergency experiences that stress heart and mind, and offers a review of the risks of first responders and how to nurture one's spirit in the face of repeated assaults to the senses. It comes from Captain Dan Willis' twenty-five years of training in police work and suicide prevention for such responders, and blends real-life stories with best practices to survey the basics of wellness in emergency first responders. Any who work in this job as well as family members and others who train and manage first responders will find this a key discussion packed with specific insights and tips for overcoming common psychology challenges.

Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Editor
Skyhorse Publishing
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
1632206013, $25.99,

Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak: The Evidence Supporting the Immediate Removal of Mercury - a Known Neurotoxin - from Vaccines gathers evidence for banning Thimerosal outright, and represents a call to action by Kennedy, New York Times best-selling author Mark Hyman MD, who founded the UltraWellness Center, and Martha Herbert, PhD, MD, an assistant professor of neurology. Together these experts make the case by reviewing scientific literature that goes back decades to explore the threat that the mercury in Thimerosal poses. Since exposure to Thimerosal has escalated since the late 1980s, there's been a concurrent epidemic of neurodevelopmental disorders such ADD. Any concerned about vaccine safety will be especially intrigued to note these arguments come from pro-vaccine writers who nonetheless see the public health threat intrinsic in Thimerosal's neurotoxicity. No medical collection should be without this well-reasoned, well-researched argument.

The Mathematics Shelf

Mathematical Curiosities
Alfred S. Posamentier and Ingmar Lehmann
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781616149314, $19.95,

Mathematical Curiosities: A Treasure Trove of Unexpected Entertainments injects wit and humor into an ordinarily-dry process - mathematics - and provides many examples that demonstrate that doing math actually can be enjoyable. Examples illustrating this point are understandable and intriguing, exploring unusual relationships between numbers, intriguing mysteries and properties usually overlooked in standard math curriculums, and how math applies to daily life. Don't expect a static overview, either: problems with clever solutions are presented as exercises for a more interactive approach to math than most coverages allow, making this a pick for students and lay readers who like puzzles and math-based intrigue.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Last Chain on Billie
Carol Bradley
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
1250025699, $25.99,

Last Chain on Billie provides a haunting story of an elephant who was captured in the wild as a baby in Asia, shipped to America in the mid-1950s, and spent her years first in a tiny zoo, then in a circus where she performed six days a week and traveled the country chained in the back of a truck. Chapters outline abusive training methods, Billie's stunts, and her eventual rebellion. How she became part of the largest elephant rescue in American history makes for fascinating reading, filled with scientific and social insights alike and recommended for general readers interested in nature.

Complete Birds of North America, second edition
Jonathan Alderfer, Editor
National Geographic Press
145 17th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-4688
9781426213731, $40.00,

The second updated edition of Complete Birds of North America covers some 1,000 species and offers a fine companion to the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America. It packs in color maps, bird photos and illustrations, and represents a complete revision and update covering every known bird species in North America, pairing natural history with some 800 range and migration maps and full color drawings by some of the best bird artists in North America. From the basics of bird observation and identification to understanding 89 family groups and the American Ornithologists' Union guidelines, here are listings for each species that cover all the basics of common and rare bird sightings. Any interested in birds who want more depth and discussion than the usual survey will find this a winner.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Species Imperative
Julie E, Czerneda
Daw Books, Inc.
c/o Penguin Group
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780756410148, $17.00,

Species Imperative combines three books under one cover and tells of Dr. Connor, whose goal is to be left alone to study salmon migration. She has no interest or involvement in the Interspecies Union, space travel or any of its mysteries - even discoveries of the ruins of ancient alien civilizations - until she stumbles upon another migration taking place on a universal level: one that could destroy everything. The Chasm feeds on living worlds and seems unstoppable, and Mac's work with salmon may be key to halting destruction on a universe-wide scale. Having SURVIVAL, MIGRATION and REGENERATION under one cover makes for an epic read that links all three as they should be, making for a powerful scifi read that is filled with depth and engrossing insights.

The Savior
Tony Daniel & David Drake
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781476736709, $25.00,

THE SAVIOR considers the evolution of Duisberg, one of thousands of planets that becomes chaotic and barbaric when the galactic republic collapses. Unlike most, Duisberg still teeters between civilization and barbarism. But its inhabitants have something different: a god in the form of Zentrum, a supercomputer from the past whose idea of avoiding further chaos is to artificially prevent civilization from rising. It's a successful ploy that keeps the planet down - until the son of a military officer receives a spirit into his mind, and becomes called to destroy the barbarians who keep sending the planet back into primitive times. A fast-paced saga makes for an involving, different story.

Sword of the Bright Lady
M.C. Planck
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781616149888, $18.00,

Sword of the Bright Lady is Book One of the 'World of Prime' and begins with an evening walk, following Christopher's unwitting fall into a world of magic where a freezing winter contrasts with his mild Arizona evenings and where he becomes involved in a brawl with a nobleman. Drafted into an eternal war where he serves as a priest of the Bright Lady, he only wants to find the way back to his world, before he is killed. Themes of destruction, achievement, and the magic facing an engineer who believed in nothing but mechanics makes for an involving sword-and-sorcery read.

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Don Heck: A Work of Art
Joan Coates
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614
9781605490588, $39.95,

Don Heck: A Work of Art provides a fine biography of one of the best-loved legends in comics: the co-creator of Marvel characters from Iron man to Black Widow. He joined the Marvel family in 1954 and became a key figure in the comic industry, and this details his overall career (including his time at DC, Dell and Gold Key) and his creations and influences. It's based on personal recollections from Don's surviving family, friends, industry leaders and more, gathering these anecdotes under one cover and packing in analysis with art in a survey highly recommended for any comics history holding.

Creating Graphic Novels
Sarah Beach
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781615931941, $26.95,

Creating Graphic Novels: Adapting and Marketing Stories for a Multimillion-Dollar Industry offers would-be graphic novel writers a step-by-step guide to creating such a novel from a story idea, and surveys all the artistic and technical requirements for producing a successful graphic production. It comes from a L.A. writer who has edited and been published in independent comic book anthologies, hosts her own website, and here explores the basic methods for scripting for the comics industry. From mastering the major elements of creating an appropriate comic format and theme to getting it into print and understanding companies and submission policies, chapters specific to graphic novels cover such basics as how to get around the 'no unsolicited manuscripts' caveat of some graphic novel publishers, how to handle a bad review once the work is published, and handling art teams, marketing, and legal matters. It's a 'must' for any who aspire to write graphic novels!

The Audiobook Shelf

Along Came a Spider
James Patterson
Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9781619694125, $18.00,

Along Came a Spider provides the first Alex Cross novel, pairs it with a vivid narration by Charles Turner, and tells of the double kidnapping of the daughter of a famous Hollywood actress and the young son of the secretary of the Treasury. Action is ramped high as a murdering serial kidnapper seeks to commit the crime of his times, pitting homicide detective Alex Cross against his clever actions. As events ramp up, so does Charles Turner, whose voice perfectly captures the action of a powerful thriller packed with nonstop action.

A Spy Among Friends
Ben Macintyre
Random House Audio Books
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 5th floor, New York, NY 10019
9780553397688, $40.00,

A SPY AMONG FRIENDS receives a fine reading by John Lee, who has performed in Southern California, written his own plays, and who here lends life and fire to the story of Kim Philby, the greatest spy in history who headed Britain's counterintelligence against the Soviet Union during the Cold War while secretly working for the enemy. Based on personal papers and never-before-seen British intelligence files, this documents the life and subterfuges of a man who hid his life even from his closest friends. The result is a powerful survey recommended for any interested in true-life stories of spies.

The DVD Shelf

Doctor Who: Deep Breath
BBC America
7475 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite #1100
Bethesda, MD 20814
DVD, $19.98,

The premiere of the new Doctor Who show introduced a very different Doctor and cemented this introduction with the same companion who captivated audiences in prior episodes - a very effective method of making the transition when a major character 'transforms' into a new actor. This feature-length season premiere episodes is particularly notable for its special features, which are not to be found on the TV version, including the prequel scene that was formerly only aired in theaters, the behind-the-scenes featurette of the same ilk, and a documentary series that examines the history of science fiction time travel with a focus on the evolving character of The Doctor. With all these specialties in place on one DVD, it's no wonder this is a top recommendation for any prior Doctor fans who want not just a recap of the season premiere, but a keepsake edition of what was only available to theater audiences.

The Political Science Shelf

All the Presidents' Bankers
Nomi Powers
Nation Books
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
9781568587493, $32.99,

All the Presidents' Bankers: The Hidden Alliances That Drive American Power uses original presidential archival documents to explore connections between the White House and Wall Street over the decades, and goes beyond the expected expose of money's influence on political process to consider a world of Ivy league connections, exclusive clubs, and bonds formed by intermarriage and protege relationships that have led to power plays at the highest levels of office. It considers historic financial events affecting the country and draws connections between these events and social connections between American financiers and Presidents through the years. The result is an unusual form of Presidential history packed with insight, drama, and close examination of political process and economic history alike.

America's Fiscal Constitution
Bill White
Public Affairs Books
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 West 57th Street, #1321, New York, NY 10107
9781610393430, $35.00,

America's Fiscal Constitution: Its Triumph and Collapse considers the modern federal debt crisis and what Presidents of the past would have done about it, and is a recommendation for any who want a review of past procedures on how fiscal limits controlled federal debt as part of an unwritten constitution. These leaders borrowed only when they had to and employed budget practices that strictly controlled federal spending. In 2001 that process ended - and the ways federal officials funded programs, cut taxes, and amassed debt changed. With its powerful blend of national history and government analysis, America's Fiscal Constitution is a pick for any political studies collection.

Harold and Jack
Christopher Sandford
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781616149352, $25.95,

HAROLD AND JACK: THE REMARKABLE FRIENDSHIP OF PRIME MINSTER MACMILLAN AND PRESIDENT KENNEDY offers a biography examining the close relationship between the two leads, uses previously unquoted papers and private letters between them and their families, and come from a seasoned biographer who lends his talents to presenting new insights into how these two very different men changed the world. From their emotional temperaments that sometimes lead to disagreements to how they handled world affairs, this blends new information from personal papers with reviews of the major events that lead them to agree and, sometimes, disagree to the point of creating a rift between two powerful nations. More than just a light read, this is a top pick for any history collection.

The Music Shelf

The Art of Lutherie
Tom Bills
Mel Bay Publications
PO Box 66, Pacific, MO 63069
9780786685813, $19.99,

The Art of Lutherie pairs a DVD with the author's insights on secrets and methods of custom guitar making, pairing his unique approach with insights reflecting years of experience and hands-on guitar-building. Readers will learn the steps on how to build a guitar, why these steps are important, and how to make decisions that result in superior products. The focus isn't just on building a guitar - it's on building a unique guitar. The attention to detail and clear steps for producing superior products is well-done.

Big Mama Thornton
Michael Sporke
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9780476677593, $35.00,

Big Mama Thornton: The Life and Music follows Big Mama Thornton's influence on the blues and begins with her first musical attempts at age 14, but the meat of the biography takes place after she meets Johnny Otis, who recorded her greatest hit. From her struggle to survive in a harsh music world and her journey to California from Texas to her musical comeback as blues become popular, this examines the culture and musical environment of the sixties and how Thornton found her niche in clubs and festivals in the U.S. and abroad. Filled with vintage black and white photos, this is packed with insights on the musician and her blues roots and is a 'must' for any interested in the blues genre.

Cold Sweat
Yamma Brown with Robin Gaby Fisher
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9781883052850, $24.95,

COLD SWEAT: MY FATHER JAMES BROWN AND ME provides a lovely story from Yamma Brown, who just wanted her father's love and attention. But James Brown's complicated life, which ranged from drugs to rowdy women and beyond, kept permeating Yamma's childhood. Yamma met numerous musical celebrities as the daughter of Brown, she faced domestic violence, and she struggled with patterns that ultimately transformed into her own martial choices and situation. Her struggles make for an involving story that creates a moving first-person saga of Brown's life and psychology, highly recommended for any collection strong in modern soul music history and culture.

Johnny Cash FAQ
C. Eric Banister
Backbeat Books
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
33 Plymouth Street, Suite 302, Montclair, NJ 07042-2677
9781480385405, $24.99,

Johnny Cash FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Man in Black gathers a hose of facts about Cash and his world and uses a FAQ format lending to quick browsing of Cash's life and influence on music. From his early Sun years and the origins of his inspirations to an album-by-album coverage of Cash's greatest achievements, Johnny Cash FAQ offers a rare opportunity to survey the extent of his life and career in logical segments that can either be browsed and consulted for quick reference or read through like an ordinary Cash biography. The combination of these two facets under one cover makes for a winning presentation that will reach any country music fan with a prior interest in Cash's life, times, and recordings.

The Photography Shelf

The Street Photographer's Manual
David Gibson
Thames & Hudson
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500291306, $21.95,

The Street Photographer's Manual celebrates the nature and approaches of street photography through review of how to capture urban scenes, and is a recommended pick for photographers who want to use their skills to provide street scenes. Some 20 simple project tutorials capture these methods, focusing on sequences, objects and more and profiling 20 acclaimed street photographers in a visual tour that links projects to techniques necessary for street photo production. The result is loaded with color examples throughout and offers a fine visual tour of the medium and genre.

Agua Nacida: Water Born
Hugh Arnold
Merrell Publishers
38 High Avenue, 4th floor, Nyack, New York 10960
9781858946368, $65.00,

Agua Nacida: Water Born deserves a prime place in photography, arts, and science and nature collections alike, appears as an oversized, thick, coffee-table presentation, exploring the world of underwater photography. Arnold's twelve-month journey in search of underwater marvels began with dives in Australia, moved to Fiji, and eventually ended in Malta. Nearly four hundred pages offer full-page, breathtaking color photos of water worlds and creatures in a display highly recommended for any interested in science and nature or underwater photography. It's a treasure trove of images that seem impossible, but are simply gorgeous.

Classic Family Portraits
Ed Pedi
Amherst Media, Inc.
175 Rano Street, Suite 200, Buffalo, NY 14207-2176
9781608957019, $27.95,

Group portraits of parents and children and multi-generational portraits are some of the most lovely keepsakes of family albums - and some of the most requested of photographers. That's why Classic Family Portraits, from a professional photography, is so important to any neo-pro who would receive specific tips on how to design and orchestrate exceptional family images. From poses that flatter everyone to backgrounds ranging from the outdoors to client homes, chapters pair full-page color photos with tips on lighting, poses, and challenges the author met in the process of professional portraiture. Any collection strong in photography how-to manuals needs this!

Mastering Composition
Richard Garvey-Williams
Ammonite Press
c/o Lightning Publications LLC
9781781450635, $29.95,

Mastering Composition: The Definitive Guide for Photographers provides a fine survey of exactly what makes a great photo and how to get there, combining elements of lighting, dynamic composition, and the underlying psychological attraction of a photo to show photographers how to understand the process of creating an exceptional image. Its oversized presentation allows for proper display of many of the author's own stunning images as well while sidebars of information and diagrams on how to achieve these superior results accompany clear step-by-step discussions. From framing pictures to different formats, Mastering Composition covers all the basics and adds the further power of illustrating exactly how to 'get there'.

Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography
J. Chris Hansen
Rocky Nook
802 East Cota Street, 3rd Floor, Santa Barbara, CA 93103
9781937538552, $24.95,

Secrets of Backyard Bird Photography tells how to not just photograph birds in one's own yard, but how to attract them and then capture their image using the right kind of camera equipment. From examples on how to compose shots to using backgrounds and photo blinds, feeders, and exhibiting bird photography, pages are illustrated by a range of photos designed to profile the various ways bird images are captured and techniques professionals use to both device settings and get birds used to a photographer's presence. The result is a lovely collection filled with specifics for different birds and their habitats and habits: perfect for birders who want to expand their photography skills.

The Travel Shelf

The Unofficial Guide Disneyland 2015
Bob Sehlinger & Seth Kubersky with Len Testa
The Unofficial Guide
c/o Keen Communications
2204 1st Ave South, Suite 102, Birmingham, AL 35233
9781628090246, $17.99,

The Unofficial Guide Disneyland 2015 covers hotels, attractions, and tour plans that have been tested and that can save up to four hours of standing in line on any given day. That's a big plus for a park where people spend as much time waiting as riding. There's a dining chapter with in-depth reviews of all the Disney restaurants, whether in the park or in hotels, and coverage of hotels both on the park and in Anaheim. With its detailed descriptions and tips on how to save time and money, this is a key acquisition for any Disney fan planning a park visit.

Mongolia, seventh edition
Michael Kohn,
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street, Oakland CA 94607
9781742202990, $29.99,

The seventh updated edition of Mongolia covers a region rarely given its own travel guide: a remote and often inaccessible area that can be accessed in many ways, including the Trans-Mongolian Railway, and which holds many attractions for independent travelers. From planning ahead and understanding the culture of the region to its festivals and rugged mountain setting, this covers all the basics of taking a road trip in Mongolia, from lodging and food to people, and is recommended both as an advance travel planner and as a take-along tote.

Mark Schimmoeller
Chelsea Green Publishing Company
85 North Main Street, Suite 120
White River Junction, VT 05001
9781603585903, $17.95,

Slowpoke: A Unicyclist's Guide to America is a road trip of a different ilk, foregoing the usual car, motorcycle and bicycle in favor of yet another beast; the unicycle. Now, a cross-country trip via unicycle is not an everyday achievement, to say the least. Especially if the book resulting from such journeying assumes a literary reflective format. Such is Slowpoke, which is filled with humor and cultural observations as he traverses America via one wheel. This all too easily could have become a singular travelogue; but under Schimmoeller's hand it assumes epic proportions and includes reflections contrasting different alternative lifestyle choices with American culture and his own personal history. The result is an involving, wonderful read perfect for any travel or cycle enthusiast.

The Christian Studies Shelf

God's Design for Man and Woman
Andreas J. and Margaret E. Kostenberger
Crossway Books
1300 Crescent Street, Wheaton, IL 60187
9781433536991, $22.99,

God's Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey provides a study of the Bible's teaching on men and women and goes beyond the usual approach of selecting passages to reveal the overall history of the Scripture's wider discussions of male-female relationships in Old and New Testaments alike. It reveals an underlying design for relationships between the sexes that is supportive, not adversarial, and it uses Bible foundations to consider applied theology of feminine and masculine concerns. While the approach is scholarly, it is written in such a way that lay readers interested in Bible study will find it accessible. Its supportive tone and nature makes it a standout.

Handing on the Faith
Matthew Lewis Sutton and William L. Portier, Editors
Orbis Books
Box 302, Maryknoll NY 10545-0302
9781626980792, $35.00,

HANDING ON THE FAITH provides a selection of original essays that discuss the themes, methods and ways of teaching theology in a modern classroom, and comes from university professors, scholars and theologians who outline different, novels approaches to teaching faith. From understanding how analogy works in the consideration of creation to teaching theology in North American higher educational centers, this is a solid reference recommended for any interested in how faith is discussed, analyzes, and ultimately handed down.

Walls Fall Down
Dudley Rutherford
Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
9781400206032, $15.99,

Walls Fall Down: 7 Steps from the Battle of Jericho to Overcome Any Challenge combines inspirational writing with Christian insight as it follows the story of how Joshua and the Israelites followed God's plan to walk around the walls of Jericho for seven days. God's promise that the walls would fall and allow his people into the promised land highlights seven spiritual principles modern Christians can follow, and pastor Dudley Rutherford explores these using a seven-day journey and a focus on the Joshua story to reveal how these approaches can overcome hurdles in modern times and assure victory. The result is a powerful recommendation for any Christian reader.

The American History Shelf

Kit Carson and the First Battle of Adobe Walls
Alvin R. Lynn
Texas Tech University Press
PO Box 41037, Lubbock, TX 79409-1037
9780896728615, $34.95,

Kit Carson and the First Battle of Adobe Walls: A Tale of Two Journeys follows Carson's attack of Kiowa Chief Dohasan's winter village in the Texas Panhandle, where warriors met them and protected the village as the battle went down the Canadian River to an abandoned trading post, Adobe Walls, where other tribes joined in. Carson's background as an explorer is well known, but his involvement in this historic battle has received minimal coverage until now. This book comes from a writer who not only did the research, but walked the 200-mile-long wagon road and gathered nearly two thousand metal artifacts from 15 camps. Add photos of the artifacts and site taken by Wyman Meinzer, this provides a powerful visual and written history of events and should be in any American history or Native American history collection.

Liar Temptress Soldier Spy
Karen Abbott
HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062092892, $27.99,

Liar Temptress Soldier Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War offers a biographical history of four women who played key roles in the Civil War: two working for the Union and two for the Confederacy. Were it not for this coverage their contributions would be all but forgotten - yet each risked their lives and family to further their side in the war. Primary source material blends with interviews with their descendants to return these lives and efforts to American history shelves, creating a lively and involving survey in the process. The result will interest a wide range of readers beyond the usual history buff, from women's studies collections to biography enthusiasts and general-interest readers alike.

The World History Shelf

The Crossing of Antarctica
George Lowe and Huw Lewis-Jones
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500252024, $40.00,

The Crossing of Antarctica: Original Photographs from the Epic Journey comes almost a hundred years after Ernest Shackleton tried to cross the continent, uses unpublished images and rare materials and rare materials from the Lowe archives and images from the Fuchs family collection which join together here for the first time, and provides a fine survey of expedition experiences as they faced snow and hazards via dog sled and vehicles. Joining in the historical overview and rare images are discussions by polar experts and explorers who also discuss Antarctica's history and exploration. The result is a powerful visual testimony to the history and events of Shackleton's epic voyage, highly recommended for any collection with an interest in exploration in general or Antarctic history in particular.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Berkeley Prime Crime/Obsidian
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor
New York, NY 10014

Margaret Coel's NIGHT OF THE WHITE BUFFALO (9780425264652, $26.95) provides a new Wind River novel and tells of Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden and Father John O'Malley, who confront a killer after an amazing event. When the most sacred creature in Native American mythology, a white buffalo calf, is born on the ranch, murder blends with an even more perplexing story line to lead Vicky on the chase of her life. The result is a wild ride indeed, steeped in Native culture and tradition with a satisfying murder mystery permeating everything. Tony Hillerman, move over! Nancy Martin's A LITTLE NIGHT MURDER (9780451415721, $24.95) provides a fine Blackbird Sisters mystery about an accidental murder involving the daughter of an aging Broadway diva who is found dead instead of the original target, her mother. Norma Blackbird and her sisters are tasked with handling this high-profile murder case, which winds through high drama and dangerous, close-held secrets within the theater community.

This Private Plot
Alan Beechey
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave., #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781464202407, $24.95,

This Private Plot offers a satisfying murder mystery centering around how a blackmail letter drives a man to suicide, and tells of author Olivier, who stumbles upon a corpse in the middle of the night and finds himself embroiled in a dead man's secret. British settings and tone permeate a satisfying mystery that seems to head in one direction, then takes a 360-degree turn in another. The resulting action and drama make for a powerful drama even the most seasoned mystery reader will find involving and intriguing.

The Fiction Shelf

Horrorstor: A Novel
Grady Hendrix
Quirk Books
215 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
9781584745263, $14.95,

Something odd is happening at the Cuyahoga location of Orsk, an American furniture store where each morning employees arrive to find items broken and tossed around. Tired of the cleanup, five enterprising employees decide to spend the night at the store and catch the perps - only to unlock a little shop of horrors. The night brings with it some unwelcome historical revelations and a dangerous link between the site's dark history and events happening in modern times. What's really going on in the workplace evolves to a satisfying horror thriller that is hard-hitting and involving: a satisfying read for any who enjoy mystery and danger.

The Life and Times of Jamie Lee Coleman
Michael E. Glasscock III
Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
9781626340442, $21.95,

The Life and Times of Jamie Lee Coleman represents Book Three of the Round Rock Series: as such, it ideally should be pursued by readers with a prior familiarity with the other titles, though it does stand alone as well. When an elderly widow rescues a ten-year-old from child abuse, people think she's too old to raise a willful child. But Miss Washington raises a boy who proves to have a talent for performing music: one whose abilities could lead him to become a star. Through his eyes and experiences the people and culture of Round Rock, Tennessee come to life and provide a powerful story of not only success, but what it takes to overcome an family inheritance of alcoholism.

The Sports Shelf

Youth Soccer Drills, third edition
Jim Garland
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076
9781450468237, $17.95,

Youth Soccer Drills packs in some hundred drills and games for spacing, dribbling, shooting and more, and appears in its third updated edition for any coach just beginning to work with intermediate soccer players ages 5-12. The games herein are designed to make the practices more fun and productive, while a 'drill finder' arrangement allows coaches to quickly locate the perfect drill depending on what skills are needed. The result is a powerful collection perfect for any coach newly working with youth teams.

The Computer Shelf

Seven Concurrency Models in Seven Weeks
Paul Butcher
Pragmatic Programmers
2831 Eldorado Parkway, #103-381
Frisco, TX 75033-7438
9781937785659, $38.00,

Seven Concurrency Models in Seven Weeks: When Threads Unravel is for expert programmers who want to understand the issues with traditional threads and locks development, and want to exploit a computer's GPU parallelism to produce better-quality code. Functional programming can work with Software Transactional Memory and automatic parallelism for greater results, and this book specifically shows how to use GPU processes to harness clusters and work with big data stream processing. From using multiple channels to creating stops and processing for messaging, chapters packed with code identify changes, better routines and routes for more effective programming, and common misconceptions about parallelism's processes.

CompTIA Security+ Exam SYO-401, fourth edition
Dawn Dunkerley and T.J. Samuelle
McGraw Hill Professional
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor
New York, NY 10020
9780071832144, $30.00,

CompTIA Security+ Exam SYO-401 appears in its fourth updated edition to provide a fine blend of approaches to the exam that includes a list of official exam objectives, ETAs for completing the book's lessons, definitions of key terms, exam tips and more. In short, everything that's needed to pass the CompTIA Security+ exam is provided along with sidebars of information, discussions of authentication models and secure network administration, host system security, disaster recovery and more. The result is a key to not only acing the exam, but understanding the entire subject of security: a key reference for at IT professional.

The Military Shelf

RAF Canberra Units of the Cold War
Andrew Brookes
Osprey Publishing
4301 21st St, Suite 220B, Long Island City, NY 11101
9781782004110, $22.95,

RAF Canberra Units of the Cold War considers the RAF's first jet bomber and Britain's longest-lasting jet plane, with nearly sixty years since its prototype's first flight. Over five hundred examples were built, and the Canberra was designed for speed and efficiency. Before air-to-air missiles, the Canberra was immune to manned interception. This history blends color art and photos with first-hand combat stories to capture the experiences and actions of crews that flew the plane in combat as recently as in Afghanistan and Iraq. Military history and aviation collections will find this a 'must'.

Steel Will
Staff Sgt. (Ret) Shilo Harris with Robin Overby Cox
Baker Books
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780601016554, $21.99,

STEEL WILL: MY JOURNEY THROUGH HELL TO BECOME THE MAN I WAS MEANT TO BE could have been featured several places: in autobiography, health, or spirituality - but is reviewed here because members of the military shouldn't miss its poignant message. In 2007 the author was patrolling an Iraqi roadway when his Humvee was hit by an IED. With three team members dead, his survival in itself was a miracle. He was in a medically-induced coma for forty-eight days and sixty surgeries later, he emerged a changed man in more ways than one. His discovery that he was being physically and mentally reshaped for a new life with God. Supported by the ongoing faith of his wife, Harris discovered a new life amidst the shambles of the old, growing in unexpected ways that he could not have achieved before his life-changing experience. It's a memoir of faith and survival that no reader should miss.

The Architecture Shelf

Beyond the Supersquare
Antonio Sergio Bessa
Fordham University Press
2546 Belmont Avenue
University Box L, Bronx, NY 10458-5172
9780823260799, $35.00,

Beyond the Supersquare: Art and Architecture in Latin America after Modernism pairs original essays by Latin American architects and historians with images that represent the major architectural projects from the 1940s to the 1960s, and provides a fine survey of legacies for Latin America. It goes beyond artistic process to closely examine the political environment affecting art and architecture throughout Latin America, and it surveys the concurrent rise and ruin of modernity in the process. The result is a powerful recommendation for any arts collection and many a social issues holding concerned with Latin American affairs.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Haunted Stuff
Stacey Graham
Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
9780738739083, $15.99,

HAUNTED STUFF: DEMONIC DOLLS, SCREAMING SKULLS AND OTHER CREEPY COLLECTIBLES offers horror stories of possessed possessions and haunted everyday objects that come with spirits attached to their inheritance, and is a delightfully spooky collection of stories new age and horror readers will find involving. From a haunted ocean liner to a cursed chair, this gathers true accounts that are involving and gripping, and that lend to entertaining, thought-provoking reading.

Alejandro Jodorowsky and Marianne Costa
Bear & Company
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620551035, $29.95,

Metagenealogy: Self-Discovery Through Psychomagic and the Family Tree provides an intriguing discussion of ancestry and self, and draws important comparisons between lineage's heritage and how family dynamics of the past become part of modern creative forces. Examples from the author's own life and work with the tarot and psychoanalysis enhance exercises and visualizations designed to help uncover a family's psychological heritage. The result is a powerful survey of patterns of emotional programming and family lineage that will appeal to new age and psychology readers alike!

The Akashic Records
Ernesto Ortiz
New Page Books
c/o Career Press Inc.
220 West Parkway, Unit 12, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
9781601633453, $16.99,

The Akashic Records: Sacred Exploration of Your Soul's Journey Within the Wisdom of the Collective Consciousness completes nearly two decades of study by Ortiz into the Akashic Records, and surveys their potential for healing and personal growth. His book summarizes their contents, arranges information as a map of energetic paths that can be used to explore the Akashic Records, and discusses the Lords of Akasha and their connections to healing and inspiration. The result is a lively, detailed survey new age readers will find enlightening.

Soul Healing Miracles
Dr. & Master Zhi Gang SHA
BenBella Books
10300 N. Central Expressway, STE 400, Dallas, TX 75204
9781940363073, $24.95,

Soul Healing Miracles provides an in-depth spiritual analysis of ancient and new wisdom and methods for healing that are perfect for readers seeking spiritual insights, wisdom, and practical applications of these insights to physical bodies and daily life. The key here lies in achieving 'soul enlightenment', and chapters draw important connections between sacred wisdom and personal 'soul healing miracles'. From identify what makes a mantra powerful to using the Jing Qi Shen field for healing spiritual and emotional bodies, this outlines a powerful set of applications that follows no single discipline, but applies lessons from across the board.

The Art Shelf

Coloring Animal Mandalas
Wendy Piersall
Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440, Berkeley CA 94703-3440
9781612433509, $10.00,

Coloring Animal Mandalas would, at first glance, seem a pick for children - but this isn't a coloring book to be limited to youth. The black and white drawings of mandalas are exquisitely detailed and lend to the coloring hand of a steady adult - and that's what makes this such a lovely recommendation for any interested in arts and crafts. It uses the animal kingdom for its foundation, adds a dose of animal fantasy (such as unicorns), and presents mandalas that can be colored into lovely works of art. The result is a gorgeous presentation, highly recommended for any interested in adult coloring opportunities in general or new age or artistic pursuits in particular.

Gelli Plate Printing
Joan Bess
North Light Books
c/o F+W Media
700 East State Street, Iola WI 54945
9781440333488, $24.99,

Gelli Plate Printing: Mixed-Media Monoprinting Without a Press provides a fine guide for artists who want to explore monoprinting on gelatin but don't want to handle the mess associated with the method. The Gelli Arts Gel Printing Plate is reusable, requires no special storage methods or temperatures, and can simply be wiped down for re-use. This primer covers the concept of the plate, its applications, and tools for using it to create patterns and textures. The result is a fine collection that packs in all the basics for newcomers who have heard about the method and its typical problems, but are unfamiliar with the Gelli Arts plate approach to solving them.

Complete Guide to Painting Water in Watercolour
Joe Dowden
Search Press USA
1338 Ross Street, Petaluma, CA 94954-1117
9781844487684, $35.00,

Complete Guide to Painting Water in Watercolour covers the basics of how to paint water so that it looks realistically wet, and tells how to capture the image of water in all its forms, from dappled or reflective to light-enhanced. Paintings of water often incorporate layering techniques, combinations of brush strokes, and understanding how tone and color work together. Dowden leaves nothing to guess as his step-by-step images survey watercolor basics and how to attain the best details. The result is an outstanding survey, highly recommended for any who want a specific insight into how to capture water images using watercolor techniques.

Burning Man: Art on Fire
Jennifer Raiser
Race Point
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781937994372, $35.00,

Burning Man: Art on Fire provides a fine authorized collection of some of the amazing art work of the Burning Man annual gathering, collecting the sculptures, art installations, and stories from attendee artists and presenting a gallery of some 200 images representing the best of Burning Man creations. From photos to an aerial-view poster, this pairs full-page color photos with discussions of how each piece was created within the Burning Man festival. From silicon rays that use technology and art to the outer limits of self-expression to the creation of Burning Man temples, this is a fantastic art book packed with full-page color images all paired with discussions and packed into an oversized coffee-table creation accessible to art collections and individual fans of Burning Man culture alike.

Art Gallery of Ontario
Goose Lane Editions
500 Beverbrook Court, Suite 330
Fredericton, NB, Canada, E3B 5X4
9780864920171, $45.00,

Colville is a celebration of Canadian artist Alex Colville and considers the links between his art and perspective and that of fellow filmmakers and artists. He's known for painting personal subjects, and this gathering of his work features some 100 reproductions and works from museums and private collections across Canada. Colville was a painter and artist whose inspiration came from everyday events and personalities: this gathering of his works is a celebration of both Colville's approach and the ordinary, everyday world and is a pick for any interested in the artist or Canadian art in particular.

The Philosophy Shelf

The Devil and Philosophy
Robert Arp, Editor
Open Court Publishing Company
70 East Lake Street, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60601
9780812698541, $19.95,

The Devil and Philosophy: The Nature of His Game adds to Open Court's 'Popular Culture and Philosophy' series, and will appeal to philosophy and media collections alike. Nearly forty philosophers provide essays and analysis on Satan and his appearance in popular culture, politics and religion, considering the specter of good and evil in society and considering issues of how satanic ideas operate in social settings. With its literary, spiritual and cultural insights side by side, readers receive both a lively and a scholarly consideration of various aspects of the devil in a collection sure to gain wide attention from a range of readers.

The Technology Shelf

Signal Processing for RF Circuit Impairment Mitigation
Xinping Huang, Zhiwen Zhu and Henry Leung
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
9781608075713, $149.00,

Signal Processing for RF Circuit Impairment Mitigation joins others in Artech House's 'Mobile Communication' series, and offers a new technical resource presenting signal processing techniques for reducing impairments of analog and RF circuits in wireless systems. Engineers working with wireless devices will find this packed with discussions, models, calculations, and surveys of various networks and systems. Various approaches to LUT models, impairments and more are accompanied by extensive calculations and formulas for success. College-level collections strong in technical references for electronic engineers will find this a solid coverage of a variety of signal processing concerns, problems and remedies.

The Biography Shelf

Elvis & Ginger
Ginger Alden
Berkeley Publishing
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780425266335, $26.95,

ELVIS & GINGER: ELVIS PRESLEY'S FIANCEE AND LAST LOVE FINALLY TELLS HER STORY offers never-before-seen photos of Elvis, discussions of the last year of his life by the woman who was there for most of it, and provides an autobiography of Ginger Alden and a survey of Elvis and how she became part of his life. She was engaged to him when she found him dead in 1977. Three decades later, Alden is finally ready to tell their story, and provides a memoir filled with revelations about their romance and short engagement. Any with an interest in Elvis will find this key to understanding his last year.

Judy Garland on Judy Garland
Randy L. Schmidt, Editor
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9781613749456, $28.95,

Judy Garland on Judy Garland: Interviews and Encounters takes the actress' abandoned autobiography and fills in the blanks, collecting the Garland interviews that occurred between 1935 and 1969 and using Judy's own voice to narrate her story. Garland write a number of essays for various publications and participated in numerous interviews: these added to her attempts at producing her autobiography round out the mix of personal insights and reflections and make for a powerful survey highly recommended for any interested in Garland's achievements and insights.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Falling Into Theatre... And Finding Myself
Robert Cohen
Fithian Press
c/o Daniel & Daniel Publishers
PO Box 2790, McKinleyville, CA 95519
9781564745613, $15.95,

Falling Into Theatre... And Finding Myself provides a memoir of how the author achieved amazing success in the theatre arts, and follows how he abandoned plans to become a lawyer to pursue an acting career that ultimately proved amazingly successful. From his roles as an actor and director to his work writing and producing plays and designing sets, this covers his involvement in all stages of play production, his many writings, and how each step of his career lead to another. The result is an entertaining first-person account of the entertainment history and its development over a period of five decades.

The Automotive Shelf

The A-Z of Three-Wheelers
Elvis Payne
Nostalgia Road
c/o Crecy Publishing Ltd
1a Ringway Trading Estate
Shadowmoss Road, Manchester, M22 5LH, UK
9781908347169, $39.95,

The A-Z of Three-Wheelers: A Creative Reference Guide provides a rare and fine history of the three-wheeled vehicle; first developed in 1769 and appearing in some form or another up to modern times. Many three-wheelers over time developed a reputation for lack of stability and speed; but in actuality most are capable of high speeds and actually are more fuel-efficient than four-wheelers. Some were produced in vast numbers while others were limited models or prototypes. Pair vintage black and white photos and drawings with modern color images and then provide a history of both the manufacturers and designers involved in three-wheel production and you have not only a rare history surveying the three-wheeler, but a lively story a wide audience will find attractive - even those not normally interested in transportation history titles.

The California Shelf

Stairway Walks in San Francisco, eighth edition
Mary Burk with Adah Bakalinsky
Wilderness Press
2204 - 1st Avenue South, Suite 102
Birmingham, AL, 35233-2321
9780899977492, $18.95,

Stairway Walks in San Francisco should be in any California history or travel collection; particularly those concerned with Bay Area sights and sounds, and outlines the origins, history, and directions of some hundreds of stairways that tackle San Francisco's 42 hills. If this guide sounds familiar, that's because it was first published in 1984: its reappearance in a new 8th edition represents a complete revision and expansion to include two new walks, new color photos, and an appendix covering some 600 public stairways. Its detailed coverage makes it a 'must' for any who plan on visiting the City and walking its byways for maximum scenic enjoyment.

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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