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California Bookwatch

Volume 11, Number 11 November 2016 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Philosophy Shelf Science Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Criminology Shelf Fiction Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Sports Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Education Shelf Crafts Shelf Writing/Publishing Shelf
Antiques/Collectibles Shelf Technology Shelf Music Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Computer Shelf Social Issues Shelf
Business Shelf Cookbook Shelf Beer Shelf
Art Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Fashion Shelf
Photography Shelf California Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Daily Love: 365 Days of Celebration
National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
9781426217142, $19.95,

Daily Love: 365 Days of Celebration - Photos and Wisdom to Boost Your Spirit is an inspirational addition to this publisher's page-a-day series titles, and combines powerful quotes with equally powerful photography. Positive affirmation titles aren't new to the market; but different in this collection is its attention to gathering writings from a wide range of writers, philosophers and even politicians and religious figures, and an equal attention to pairing them with eye-catching photos that are one of National Geographic's hallmarks. The result is a gorgeous, showy collection combining full-page images with equally powerful words.

The Philosophy Shelf

David Bowie and Philosophy: Rebel, Rebel
Theodore G. Ammon, Editor
Open Court Publishing Company
70 East Lake Street, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60601
9780812699210, $19.95,

David Bowie and Philosophy: Rebel, Rebel adds yet another volume to the "Popular Culture and Philosophy" series edited by George A. Reisch, and has sixteen philosophers, each a Bowie fan, discuss his many musical and social achievements with a rich eye to philosophical examination and perspectives. Chapters are scholarly yet accessible, so readers needn't have a background in philosophical discourse in order to appreciate these varying perspectives (a prior interest in Bowie, however, is almost mandatory). From Bowie's understanding of the art of celebrity status to his Ziggy persona and the meaning of his lyrics such as the wistful Major Tom, this is an outstanding examination that considers many different sides of Bowie.

The Science Shelf

The Tide
Hugh Aldersey-Williams
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393241631, $27.95,

The Tide: The Science and Stories Behind the Greatest Force on Earth is a sweeping production by a science writer who examines the science, history, and literature surrounding the tide from ancient to modern times, and is recommended reading for any who love ocean and sea topics. In mixing the literary, scientific, and historical perspectives of the tide, chapters not only offer greater potential to appeal to a lay audience, but offer many of Hugh Aldersey-Williams' first-person observations and perspectives.

Solid State Physics
David S. Schmool
Mercury Learning
PO Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172-0605
9781942270775, $49.95,

Solid State Physics: From the Material Properties of Solids to Nanotechnologies joins other college-level discussions in the 'Essentials of Physics' series and provides readers with a basic introduction to physical phenomena in solid materials for undergrad students in physics and engineering. Chapters cover principle properties of different materials, explain the specifics of nanomaterials, and survey magnetic fields effects, Fermi spaces, electron scattering processes and more. Backed with equations throughout, this is an excellent text for any college-level physics library.

Newtonian Mechanics: A Modelling Approach
Derek Raine
Mercury Learning
PO Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172-0605
9781942270782, $49.95,

Newtonian Mechanics: A Modelling Approach is another addition to the 'Essentials of Physics' series for college-level undergraduates, and pairs a basic primer on Newtonian mechanics with a survey of its applications and various problem-solving routines. Chapters offer more than a cursory examination, providing in-depth problem-solving exercises, numerous equations and formulas, and a modeling approach that lends to applying Newtonian mechanics to a range of problems. College-level collections strong in engineering and physics will find it filled with calculations and details key to understanding Newtonian mechanics in a different manner.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

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

Three powerful crime winners are highly recommended picks for discriminating collections and readers looking for something well-written, involving, and different. Jessica Fletcher, Donald Bain and Renee Paley-Bain's Murder, She Wrote: Hook, Line, and Murder (9780451477835, $24.00) provides a new addition to the popular series and opens with Jessica's entry into a fly-fishing competition. The sheriff's wife is also involved - but so is an ex-con just finished with jail time for associating with a convicted killer. When said killer breaks out of prison bent on revenge, Jessica and her friends inadvertently stand in the line of fire in this new, gripping story. Laura Childs and Terrie Farley Moran also have a new "scrapbooking mystery" in Crepe Factor (9780425266800, $26.00), set during the holidays when busy scrapbook shop owner Carmela is enjoying the Winter Market with her best friend, only to witness a stabbing death via fork. The victim, appropriately, is a restaurant critic. The suspect is an aspiring restaurateur. And it may take everything in Camela's investigative arsenal to prevent a spate of similar deaths in this riveting mystery. Carolyn Hart's Ghost Times Two (9780425283738, $26.00) provides a Bailey Ruth Raeburn adventure in a new novel that involves a haunting boyfriend and a business challenge alike. As Bailey juggles ghostly jealousy, blackmail, and murder, she finds herself trapped in one of the most dangerous cases in her life. All are powerful reads: satisfyingly different, well-developed, and compelling mysteries.

The Criminology Shelf

Wolf Boys
Dan Slater
Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
9781501126543, $26.95,

Readers of true crime who enjoy international perspectives and accounts in general and focuses on drug cartels in particular will find Wolf Boys: Two American Teenagers and Mexico's Most Dangerous Drug Cartel to be a compelling story of how assassins are made, and considers the wider-ranging impact of America's war on drugs and its effects on youth on both sides of the border. How these Texas teens come to be assassins for a drug cartel and how authorities dealt with them makes for a tale that reads with the high drama and adventure characteristics of fiction, but reflects true experiences and the political and social forces that drove the events. It's riveting reading, and hard to put down.

The Fiction Shelf

Team Yankee
Harold W. Coyle
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
9781612003658, $32.95,

Team Yankee: A Novel of World War II has been revised and updated in a new edition that represents a remake of the classic Cold War original story. The scenario remains the same: if the U.S. and its Allies had engaged the Russians in Europe, quite a different world might exist today. While one might wonder at the need to revise and update fiction, this is done because of new facts revealed about each side's plans and strategies, so it offers a revision based on the latest knowledge of events and behind-the-scenes politics on both sides. While newcomers will thoroughly appreciate Team Yankee, prior fans of the old version will find this new remake adds more depth and information, and will appreciate its revealing perspective.

The Prince
Vito Bruschini
Atria Books
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781451687200, $17.00,

The Prince is based on a true story and provides a thought-provoking tale revolving around Prince Ferdinando Licata, a wealthy Sicilian landowner who uses his financial and social resources to fight the rise of Mussolini in Italy in the early 1930s. Eventually he prince realizes even his wealth and connections won't insulate him from danger, so he flees to America - and finds himself in the middle of a gang war between the Irish and Italians. A powerful story evolves: perfect leisure reading for anyone who likes history and a well-developed saga of a search for peace.

The Heart of Henry Quantum
Pepper Harding
Gallery Books
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
9781501126802, $25.00,

The Heart of Henry Quantum is especially recommended for holiday reading and tells of an odd man's last-minute effort to find his wife a Christmas gift. Henry's always distracted and life seldom is predictable for this scatterbrained individual, but when his search for a simple bottle of perfume takes a strange turn into his past life and a host of secrets, the plot thickens. Three characters present their different viewpoints of events in a fun read that romps through a man's life and the influences that have changed it.

Closed Casket
Sophia Hannah
William Morrow
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780082458827, $26.99,

Just because Agatha Christie is dead doesn't mean that her legacy is gone, too; for here is a new Hercule Poirot mystery based not just on her famous character, but on Agatha's writing style. Fans should be prepared for a very Christie-like touch to this story of Lady Playford's house party and the strange game she plays which goes awry at winner time. News that family has been cut from her will and that her inheritance is now slated for someone with only weeks to live leads to a puzzling case involving Belgian detective Poirot in one of the strangest invitations in his life. Mystery fans with a prior affinity for Christie's works will relish this novel.

The Christian Studies Shelf

A Sense of Wonder
Brian Doyle, editor
Orbis Books
Price Building, Box 302, Maryknoll NY 10545-0302
9781626982086, $20.00,

A Sense of Wonder: The World's Best Writers on the Sacred, the Profane, & the Ordinary gathers some of the top writings from a spiritual magazine that's been commended by literary giant Annie Dillard as "the best spiritual magazine in the country." Even readers unfamiliar with the magazine or Dillard are in for a treat, because works by Mary Oliver, Barry Lopez, and others are powerful essays and stories from some of the best writers in the country. From individual paths to finding peace and spiritual understanding to miracles that have evolved under the most adversarial of conditions and reflections that struck during a life-or-death fishing trip, these are all seriously engaging, riveting accounts that are involving and thought-provoking at the same time, and highly deserving of a space in any spirituality collection no matter what the religious orientation.

The Sports Shelf

Complete Conditioning for Tennis, second edition
Mark S. Kovacs,
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076
9781492519331, $24.95,

The second updated edition of Complete Conditioning for Tennis represents the only reference endorsed by the U.S. Tennis Association, and offers coaches and players a collection of drills and routines that lend to improving speed, stamina, flexibility and strategies. Chapters present the routines most commonly used by professional players and pack in some 200 drills with accompanying online references. Black and white photos throughout accompany step-by-step procedures, notes on important aspects of exercises, and additional procedural insights in a conditioning title that goes beyond general sports discussion and into the specifics of training for optimum tennis playing.

The Audiobook Shelf

Sandra Brown
Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
97814789227457, $35.00,

Sting is narrated by Stephen Lang and tells of businesswoman Jordie, who encounters a dangerous man in a bar and discovers that he's been sent to kill her. There's more to it than a hit squad, however; because Shaw has his own agenda and decides to kidnap her rather than kill her, hoping to coerce her wealthy brother by holding her hostage. Add a cat-and-mouse game on the run by two clever and committed individuals and you have a thriller that comes to life in audio and under the experienced voice of TV and film actor Stephen Lang, who enhances the tense story and makes it a winning audio presentation.

The Education Shelf

The Future Scholar
Randall McClure and James P. Purdy, editors
Information Today Inc.
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055-8750
9781573875301, $59.50,

The Future Scholar: Researching and Teaching the Frameworks for Writing and Information Literacy is third in an award-winning series and offers the work of leading organizations and professionals involved in digital teaching, showing how established frameworks for literacy can be applied successfully. Chapters consider how information literacy is integrated into the curriculum, how students at different stages of development may be encouraged to share their perceptions in a more literate manner, and how collaborative processes can bridge the gaps through and between frameworks. From encouraging students to engage in discussions using different forms of analytical criticism to evaluation criteria research assignment results, The Future Scholar ties real-world specifics to theoretical frameworks for education and thus offers teachers an in-depth flavor of new approaches.

Teacher Voice: Amplifying Success
Russell J. Quaglia and Lisa L. Lande
Corwin Press, Inc.
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218
9781506317144, $25.00,

Teacher Voice: Amplifying Success tells how teacher efforts can use their innate 'voices' to encourage students to collaborate, inquire, and grow; and it also shows how these combined efforts can result in overall changes to teaching systems and school structures. Chapters discuss the untapped potential of a teacher's 'voice', provide different models for understanding and directing the power and effectiveness of this voice, show how to build self-worth among staff and students alike, and discuss different ways a teacher's voice can prove effective with students, parents, colleagues, and administrators. With sidebars of information complimenting case-history examples from the real world, Teacher Voice: Amplifying Success is packed with strategies teachers will find clear and easily useful.

Starting Strong
Katrin Blamey and Katherine Beauchat
Stenhouse Publishers
480 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781571109309, $33.33,

Starting Strong: Evidence Based Early Literacy Practices shows readers how to apply four different instructional approaches (standards, evidence, assessment and student based) to teachings and early literacy efforts, and offers chapter designed to take each skill and pair it with concrete, tested strategies for teaching. From developing comprehension and practicing word recognition to supporting different types of genre writing formats and applying assessment principles throughout the curriculum, Starting Strong is a powerful survey recommended for teachers of grades Pre-K to 3, and comes from two professors of early childhood and education who impart the basics of the latest research results.

More Creative Coping Skills for Children
Bonnie Thomas
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781785920219, $29.95,

More Creative Coping Skills for Children: Activities, Games, Stories, and Handouts to Help Children Self-Regulate provides an activities-based guide for ages 3 to 13, and surveys a host of resources specifically directed to helping children cope with stress and challenging situations. The book is packed with over eighty photocopiable handouts that reinforce the esteem-building exercises presented in the book, while scripts for interventions, progressive muscle relaxation exercises, scavenger hunts and games, and journal ideas all offer a host of insights on how to encourage and develop coping skills in kids.

I'm OK!
Jarrod Green
Redleaf Press
10 Yorkton Court, St. Paul, MN 55117-1065
9781605544519, $24.95,

I'm OK! Building Resilience Through Physical Play should be in any collection strong in child development titles, offering a practical guide filled with strategies that incorporate the idea of resilience into physical play. Resilience and flexibility operate on more than one level and play directors can provide kids with physical challenges that build resilience and developmental adaptability and strength. This book provides teachers with specifics on assessing risk and assigning challenging, growth-inducing play and is based on the author's decade-plus experience building resilience concepts into activities.

The Crafts Shelf

The Art of Paper Flowers
Bobby Pearce
Creative Publishing International
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781589239364, $26.99,

The Art of Paper Flowers: Creating Realistic Blossoms from Ordinary Papers is for any crafter who would create a wide range of flowers from paper - over thirty of them, using this book - and provides patterns, materials lists, and step-by-step instructions for a wide variety of paper-folding techniques. While readers might suspect these techniques are common to any origami or paper piecing guide, this offers many original approaches and pairs patterns with color photos and discussions how to fine-tune the flowers or manipulate paper to best effect. The result is a piecing book that is filled with creative new options for flower-making: a guide which will easily supplement any flower-making book already in hand.

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Editing Research
Valerie Matarese
Information Today Inc.
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055-8750
9781573875318, $49.50,

Editing Research: The Author Editing Approach to Providing Effective Support to Writers of Research Papers is a specialty item directed to editors who work with academic researchers, helping them prepare their manuscripts for scholarly publication, and provides specific keys to the "author editing" process that will help them understand the special communication challenges particular to this form of editing. From the history of author editing to interviews with editors and surveys of academic approaches, Editing Research is filled with insights and strategies not to be found in more general consumer-oriented writing and editing references.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

A Guide Book of Modern United States Dollar Coins
Q. David Bowers
Whitman Publishing
4001 Helton Drive, Florence, Alabama, 35630
0794843980, $19.95,

A Guide Book of Modern United States Dollar Coins adds to this publisher's popular Bower Series of numismatic books; this one focusing on dollar coins and providing a well-rounded reference backed not only by the author's own knowledge and research, but assistance from other coin collectors, U.S. Mint officials, and hobbyists. The blend of coin history, grading and valuation standards, and identification is enhanced by some 800 good-sized, clear color images, references to coining and promoting these dollar coins, and a close inspection of their evolution. Any coin collector seeking more than an identification guide will find this a 'must have' reference.

The Technology Shelf

Artech House Publishers
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062

Alberto Sendin,'s Telecommunications Networks for the Smart Grid (9781630810467, $169.00) provides an in-depth coverage of how to build smart grids with telecommunications technologies, and is directed to professionals and engineers working with power line communications and smart device interactions. Chapters cover design and planning, guidelines for blending grids with smart technology, contrast traditional with new approaches, and survey access networks with an eye to showing how a wide range of devices and approaches can interact. Errikos Lourandakis' On-Wafer: Microwave Measurements and De-Embedding (9781630810566, $169.00) provides a new resource on network analyzer measurement equipment and on-wafer microwave processes, and is recommended for engineers working with on-wafer devices. Electronics data and measurement formulas accompany discussions of circuits, vector network analyzers, de-embedding methods, routing changes and more. Both are solid picks highly recommended for any technical electronics or engineering collection, and for professionals working in the field.

The Music Shelf

Pearl Jam FAQ
Thomas Edward Harkins and Bernard M. Corbett
Backbeat Books
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
33 Plymouth Street, Suite 302, Montclair, NJ 07042-2677
9781617136122, $19.99,

Pearl Jam FAQ: All That's Left to Know About Seattle's Most Enduring Band belongs in any collection strong in rock music history in general, metal bands, and Pearl Jam in particular, and covers the group's entire career from start to finish. The idea is to document member experiences, group evolution, and how their albums and sound evolved through time, with chapters covering not only their changes, but how their struggles with concert control evolved into a form of music activism that would influence the industry as a whole. Also included are discussions of their films and videos, road trips and concert series, and their home lives. Anyone interested in Pearl Jam who seeks a definitive and wide-ranging collection of facts and insights will find this book an exceptionally thorough coverage.

Whisperin' Bill Anderson
Bill Anderson with Peter Cooper
University of Georgia Press
Main Library, Third Floor, 320 South Jackson Street, Athens, Georgia 30602
9780820349664, $29.95,

Whisperin' Bill Anderson: An Unprecedented Life in Country Music is a 'must' for any country music collection and any interested in learning more about one of the most successful songwriters and performers in the country music genre. 'Whisperin' Bill' had soft vocals and lyrics that crafted many memorable songs and built him a solid fan backing: her wrote many hits for such greats as Connie Smith, toured with many country music notables, and was both a disc jockey and newspaper reporter at various times in his life. His autobiography paints a vivid portrait not just of his career's evolution, but the changing state of country music.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Project Elfhome
Wen Spencer
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781476781808, $26.00,

Project Elfhome joins others in the Elfhome series which began in the book Tinker and evolved to explore her world and the disjoined world of Pittsburgh, a modern Earth city that finds itself stranded in a forest on Elfhome, a land where magic rules. Project Elfhome continues the saga, filling in the story as it focuses on how Pittsburgh arrived at is world-changing dilemma and how Tinker, Windwolf and her companions struggle to make sense of much-changed realities on all sides. A cast of characters (both elven and human) contribute their stories and struggles to this latest book, which is especially recommended for prior readers of the evolving series, but also for newcomers.

The Computer Shelf

3D Game Textures, fourth edition
Luke Ahearn
CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
9781138920064, $54.95,

3D Game Textures: Create Professional Game Art Using Photoshop belongs not only in computer reference collections, but in arts and photography holdings as well, and appears in its fourth updated edition to provide the latest techniques recommended to incorporate new technological developments into 3D game architecture. Chapters assume a degree of prior digital art knowledge as they take reader to the next level of applying these to game creation, and include video tutorials and updated samples as they provide keys to success for beginning and advanced game designers alike.

The Social Issues Shelf

Blood at the Root
Patrick Phillips
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393293012, $26.95,

Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America documents a story that began in Forsyth County, Georgia in 1912 when mobs of night riders drove blacks from their homes and declared the town a whites-only area. While one might think this event par for its times, author Patrick Phillips's family moved there in the 1970s only to find the sentiment alive and active in a town that still prided itself on keeping blacks out. This focus on the town's history and racial strife should be in every civil rights collection. It's a powerful research piece and offers many startling insights into the history and lingering contemporary impact of racial strife in modern America.

Rampage Nation
Louis Klarevas
Seventh Street Books
c/o Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228
9781633880665, $25.00,

Rampage Nation: Securing America from Mass Shooting offers quite a different perspective on gun possession than popular media would hold, and considers many related questions to gun ownership and use, from why people go on killing sprees and where rampages tend to occur to examples of advanced democracies in other nations such as Australia and how they have tackled mass shootings. More than just a pro or con statement about gun control, Louis Klarevas proposes some policy changes and reforms to the justice system to reduce the threats from shooters, and makes an important case for anyone interested in violence or gun issues.

The Business Shelf

The Quantum Leader
Danah Zohar
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228
9781633882416, $25.00,

The Quantum Leader: A Revolution in Business Thinking and Practice blends the unlikely partners of quantum physics and business management under one cover, offering a different kind of model based upon chaos as much as on organizational change. It identifies "quantum leaders" as those who thrive on change, who perceive different pathways leading to different innovations and future potentials, and who are able to remain flexible in the face of change. All this is synthesized in a discussion that advances ideas originally introduced in Zohar's Rewiring the Corporate Brain and Spiritual Capital, and is especially recommended for business leaders seeking new pathways to success - especially those familiar with her prior books who will appreciate this continuing discussion.

The Cookbook Shelf

Soup Nights
Betty Rosbottom
300 Park Avenue South, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10010
9780847848621, $35.00, HC, 208pp,

There are so many soup cookbooks on the market already that cooks might wonder at the need for yet another, with Soup Nights: Satisfying Soups and Sides for Delicious Meals All Year. But this cookbook holds a soup ideas not to be found in competing books, pairs soup recipes with inviting color photos, adds ideas for soup side dishes to make the entire meal a main course, and includes such recipes as Warm or Cool Carrot Soup with Coconut and Lime, a hearty Fennel E& Carrot Brodo Over Red Quinoa, and Moroccan Lentil, Chickpea and Lamb Soup. The inclusion of recipes which may be presented either hot or cold, take-offs on familiar fare (such as a Creamy Chicken Soup with Autumn Vegetables), and a host of inviting side dishes from salads to desserts places this soup cookbook in a category of its own.

A Sherry & A Little Plate of Tapas
Kay Plunkett-Hogge
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781784721541, $19.99,

A Sherry & A Little Plate of Tapas is an easy introduction to Spanish tapas and sherry which requires only access to fresh seafood and sherry to prove inviting. Here are 80 recipes for both cold and cooked tapas, discussions of how they can pair with sherry, and a wide variety of recipes that will satisfy about any need for a 'small plate' sampler. Color photos liberally pepper the dishes which range from Pork Fillet in Whiskey and Garlic and Chicken Wings with Basque-Style 'Ketchup' to a classic Bacalao (Salt Cod with Tomato Sauce and Confit Garlic Mayonnaise) and Toasted Bread with Garlic and Finely Chopped Tomatoes. Each dish is easy to reproduce and the inclusion of menu notes, recipes for incorporating sherry either a side or in a martini, and other insights on tapas makes this a newcomer's perfect starting point.

Gingerbread in Wonderland
Mima Sinclair
Kyle Books
c/o National Book Network
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781909487475, $14.95,

Gingerbread in Wonderland is a 'must' for anyone who loves gingerbread houses, cookies, and sweets, and provides a wide range of dishes which may look complicated, but are easy and inexpensive to put together. No special equipment is needed and no special skills are required: all that's needed is an appreciation for gingerbread and for making fun projects with it. Included in the presentations are a Chocolate Bird House, a simple Holly Roof House, a Country Cottage with a porch and stained glass windows, and more.

Eat in My Kitchen
Meike Peters
Prestel Publishing
900 Broadway, Suite 603, New York, NY 10003
9783791382005, $35.00,

Eat in My Kitchen: To Cook, to Bake, to Eat, and to Treat emphasizes fresh, seasonal food and culinary flavors and influences from around the world, presenting some 100 recipes that embrace the best of different tastes with new flavor pairings. A Pea Pesto and Honey-Carmelized Bacon Sandwich with Fresh Marjoram, Spiced Braised Lamb Shanks with Kumquat, Tomato, and Mint, Ginger and Lemon Cauliflower Soup, and Cod Al Cartoccio with Ramps and Red Onion are only a few of the dishes that explore new flavor opportunities and easy dishes home cooks can put together with a minimum of fuss and special ingredients.

Land of Fish and Rice
Fuchsia Dunlop
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393254389, $35.00,

Land of Fish and Rice: Recipes from the Culinary Heart of China is not your generic Chinese cookbook, so beginners seeking an overview might want to elsewhere for their first introduction. Cooks who have some background in Cantonese and other, more familiar Chinese fare, however, will find Land of Fish and Rice's exploration of the Lower Yangtze region's dishes to be an outstanding addition to other regional Chinese cookbooks. It should be warned that a number of these dishes require access to ingredients which may not reside in every supermarket. For example, Hibiscus-Blossom Egg White with Fresh Fava Beans calls for potato starch, fresh shelled favas, and Spanish or Chinese cured ham and Lotus Pond Stir-Fry requires lotus root, day lily bulb, and (ideally) fresh water chestnuts. That said, any who can get to a good Chinese market will find most of what they need here and other recipes require only what can be easily located in an American supermarket. The addition of inviting culinary and cultural stories introducing many of the recipes makes for a collection that holds classic regional dishes that will be new to many a cook; even those with prior background in Chinese cuisine.

The Jewelled Kitchen
Bethany Kehdy
Nourish Books
9781848992894, $19.95,

The Jewelled Kitchen: A Stunning Collection of Lebanese, Moroccan and Persian Recipes at first glance looks (to the seasoned cook of Middle Eastern food) to be a standard collection of classics - until one pursues the innovative dishes that compliment these regional standards. Here are recipes for Chicken Basteeya, made with orange blossom water, cinnamon, almonds, and spices and baked in a filo dough package; or Chicken with Caraway Couscous, with allspice, chickpeas, caraway seeds, lime juice and other spices. Add color photos throughout and the result is a Middle Eastern cookbook with an innovative twist that any cook will want to pursue.

Rio de Janeiro: A Food Biography
Marcia Zoladz
Rowman & Littlefield
c/o Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781442252318, $38.00,

Rio de Janeiro: A Food Biography adds to a cooking history series edited by Ken Albala, and focuses on how Brazilian food has evolved and benefitted from a variety of international influences. From its early culinary creations and changing lifestyles from slavery times to legacies of later immigrations to its changing access to supplies and fresh produce, recipes pepper a culinary and cultural history that will interest any with an affection for Brazil's culture and cuisine.

Healing the Vegan Way
Mark Reinfeld
Da Capo Lifelong
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
9780738217772, $22.99,

Healing the Vegan Way: Plant-Based Eating for Optimal Health and Wellness deserves a place in both health and culinary collections and comes from a chef who also has a master's degree in holistic nutrition. His dual focus - on health foods that help heal - contribute to a collection that offers all kinds of formulas for better health; from Raw Apricot Fennel Granola and a High-Protein Vanilla Almond Shake to Black Bean Grits and a Lentil Walnut Loaf. Advice from doctors and nutritionists blends with research on wellness, basic information about plant-based foods, and easy recipes that require few specialty ingredients to prove successful. A centerfold of color photos completes the attraction.

The Beer Shelf

Brewing Local
Stan Hieronymus
Brewers Association
P.O. Box 1679, Boulder, CO 80306
9781938469275, $19.95,

Brewing Local: American-Grown Beer considers the history of locally-produced brews and movements supporting them, and examines how American beers evolved from early to modern times. His is not just an examination of brewers or even techniques, but a wider-ranging consideration that includes his visits to farm breweries, close inspection of the local yeasts and plants that are being used in small craftsman beers, and discussions of how herbs, flowers, nuts and plants are being incorporated into the concept of distinct local flavors. Yes, there are recipes - but brewers looking for a recipe collection alone will find there's much, more more to this discussion, and will relish the book for its many insights on the history and development of the American 'local brew' concept.

Beer FAQ
Jeff Cioletti
Backbeat Books
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
33 Plymouth Street, Suite 302, Montclair, NJ 07042-2677
9781617136115, $24.99,

Backbeat Books began as and is well known for its music books, so Beer FAQ represents a departure for them, into the realm of cooking and beverages. The focus here is on the history and qualities of beer, with chapters offering insights into its styles, ingredients, brewing, and drinking. History of brews and brewers, the rise and fall of various brewing company structures, and individuals who led the modern brewing revolution from home kitchens adds to a lively examination of everything the beer enthusiast needs to know about drink and celebration.

The Art Shelf

My Life in Design
Terence Conran
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781840917208, $40.00,

My Life in Design covers the life and artistic achievements of Sir Terence Conran, whose works have played an influential role in changing home decoration and the everyday experience of diners and consumers. Conran's product designs ranged from housing and furniture to retail and fashion circles, and all these are chronicled in a lively blend of full-page color photos, illustrations, and an exploration of the stories behind these designs, their evolution, and their applications. The result is a well-detailed coverage that does more than explore Conran's works: it places them in historical and social context and demonstrates how they successfully changed the world.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Alligators of Texas
Louise Hayes and Philippe Henry
Texas A&M University Press
4354 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-4354
9781623493875, $29.95,

Alligators of Texas comes from a biologist who features the American alligator's Texas habitats, from rural swamp and marsh areas to urban bayous, and provides in-depth natural history insights suitable for anyone seeking more than a casual survey of the alligator. The regional focus on Texas allows for alligator stories, discussions of issues ranging from alligator farming to hunting, and Texas-specific hints on where readers can locate alligators in the wild and in zoos. Add bright color photos by Philippe Henry throughout and you have an engrossing production that's a solid reference recommended for any Texas-specific natural history holding.

The Fashion Shelf

The Fashion of Film
Amber Butchart
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781784721763, $39.99,

The Fashion of Film: How Cinema Has Inspired Fashion draws unexpected and close connections between the film world and the trends and choices of fashion designers, and is a recommended pick for both film and fashion libraries alike. It blends a history of film that featured revolutionary or visionary styles with a filmography which includes dates, directors, and costume designer (where known) and it offers good-sized color reproductions of film stills, posters, and other illustrations that depict these styles in close-up detail. The result is a fashion coverage with an unusual link to the film industry which should be in any serious collection, but lends to leisure browsing outside of these special interests, as well.

The Photography Shelf

Greatest Landscapes
Susan Tyler Hitchcock
National Geographic Press
101 West 104th Street, Suite 8, New York, NY 10025
9781426217128, $40.00,

Greatest Landscapes: Stunning Photographs That Inspire and Astonish is presented in an oversized format that holds over two hundred images of stunning landscapes in nature. These come from a wide range of photographers whose works showcase some of the world's most extraordinary environments, while a seasonal organization allows for a stunning juxtaposition of animal and landscape images from around the world. These vivid images are powerful and diverse and are highly recommended for anyone who enjoys landscape photography and nature.

The California Shelf

Bohemian Bridges
Ted Wells, et al.
Guardian Stewart Editions
9780991134922, $24.95, PB, 522pp,

California, and the nation of which it is a part, faces tremendous challenges. Aspiring political leaders are promoting racial intolerance and promising to deport millions of undocumented residents in a duplicitous effort to win elections. Gentrification is making it increasingly difficult for community activists, low-income workers, and bohemian artists to live and work in our cities. The economic divide between the haves and have-nots is growing, and the middle class is disappearing. And much of what we think of as part of normal life in America -- sprawling suburbs and exurbs, a constantly expanding consumer-based economy, overlooking the damage we are doing to the environment, other species, and other people--must be reworked. "Bohemian Bridges: California as a Superstructure for Social and Cultural Change" is the collaborative project of Leslie Berlin (Project Historian for the Silicon Valley Archives at Stanford University); Joshua Bloom (Dean's Fellow in Social Research at UCLA); Adriana Camarena (a Mexican expatriate writer, researcher, and activist); Leo R. Chavez (Professor of Anthropology at the UC Irvine); Wendell Cox (an urban planner and the principal of Demographia at Wendell Cox Consultancy, a St. Louis-based public policy firm); and Joel Kotkin (R.C. Hobbs Fellow in Urban Studies at Chapman University and). Comprised of numerous articles providing informed insights into both social and cultural issues with respect to the future of California, the country as a whole, and even global implications, "Bohemian Bridges" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library collections.

California's Deadliest Women
David Kulczyk
Craven Street Books
c/o Linden Publishing
2006 S. Mary St., Fresno, CA 93721
9781610352802 $14.95

California's Deadliest Women is an anthology of 28 true crime stories in which California women were driven to kill. Some committed premeditated murder out of jealousy or greed; others were driven by desperation or inner demons to lash out, with fatal results. Black-and-white sketches of these femme fatales intersperse this accessible and shocking true crime collection. California's Deadliest Women is almost impossible to put down, and stark, unforgettable proof that women can be as deadly as any man!

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
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phone: 1-608-835-7937

Diane C. Donovan, Editor & Senior Reviewer
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phone: 1-707-795-4629

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