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California Bookwatch

Volume 12, Number 11 November 2017 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Military Shelf Computer Shelf
Art Shelf Photography Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Education Shelf Fiction Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf California Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Being the Change
Peter Kalmus
New Society Publishers
PO Box 189, Gabriola Island, BC, Canada, V0R 1X0
9780865718531, $21.99,

Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution is a sustainable living manifesto that goes well beyond talking about changes that should happen to improve the planet's health to delve into how individuals can make choices that support sustainable living. Climate scientist author Peter Kalmus was worried about drastic changes he was observing, and decided to make a personal difference by changing his lifestyle. He bicycled, grew food, meditated, and cut his personal climate impact. The unexpected side benefit: increasing personal satisfaction and happiness. Those who would follow in his footsteps receive a blueprint of action and a message on how to become less dependent on fossil fuels - and happier, as a result.

The Military Shelf

Vought F-8 Crusader
William D. Spidle
Specialty Press
99 Spring Street, 3rd floor. New York, NY 10012
9781580072427, $44.95,

Vought F-8 Crusader: Development of the Navy's First Supersonic Jet Fighter adds to the literature about Naval aircraft but fills a gap in knowledge as it provides a comprehensive overview of the design and service history of the Chance Vought F-8 Crusader, the military's first supersonic aircraft. Military and aviation collections alike will appreciate the depth of this survey of the craft's design and development, including its participation in the aerospace industry and its incarnation as a jet fighter that could be launched from aircraft carriers, and will especially appreciate the details of Navy development and history that follow the jet's evolution.

The Computer Shelf

Revit 2018 Architecture
M. Hamad
Mercury Publishing
c/o Mercury Learning
PO Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172-0605
9781683921486, $51.95 PB, $29.95 Kindle, 548pp,

Revit 2018 Architecture is an in-depth study on Autodesk's Revit, which is the next step in Autocad drawing, and which represents quite a departure from and expansion upon the program. It covers the 2D concepts using metric and imperial units to cover the drawing and editing tools, it offers some 50 exercises or "mini-workshops" that complete projects through plotting levels, and it includes files that feature drawings and finished projects that lend to good self-instruction processes. All the basics of how to draw and modify using Revit are provided, from creating walls, floors, roofs, and more to annotating, creating schedules, and project planning. Charts, diagrams, and review questions lend to a workbook especially recommended for any who would absorb Revit's basics on their own.

The Art Shelf

Botanical Sketchbooks
Helen & William Bynum, compilers
Princeton Architectural Press
37 East 7th Street, New York, NY 10003
9781616895884, $40.00, HC, 288pp,

Botanical Sketchbooks differs from many histories on the topic in that it doesn't just present finished botanical art works, but focuses on the artist's sketches, early drawings, and notes that lend to the creation of botanical images. These sketches by some 80 artists from around the world offer a series of images from the 15th to the 20th centuries and come from arrange of archives and public collections, pairing biographies of artists and scientists with lovely full-page color drawings and insights into the careers of botanical artists and the influences upon their creations. Arts and science collections alike will find this an absorbing and revealing study that deserves a place in any collection strong in science or botanical illustration.

The Photography Shelf

Takeoff: The Alpha to Zulu of Aviation Photography
Moose Peterson
New Riders
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780134609478, $44.99 PB, $19.79 Kindle, 240pp,

Takeoff: The Alpha to Zulu of Aviation Photography is for aspiring aviation photographers who want a basic overview of equipment and special insights into the art of aviation art, and covers how to take advantage of light, camera options, and the techniques that lend to capturing the illusion of flight on film. From photographing planes on the ground or in the air to understanding how air shows and other flight events work to set up for optimum shots, Takeoff: The Alpha to Zulu of Aviation Photography pairs color shots of various planes with an in-depth discussion of the process of superior photography. Unlike more general-interest 'how to' books, this flight-specific coverage offers many specific details key to aviation photography success.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Miller's Antiques Handbook & Price Guide, 2018-2019
Judith Miller
Miller's/Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781784723514, $45.00,

The 2018-19 edition of Miller's Antiques Handbook & Price Guide packs in some 8,000 new items, enhancing them with color photos and a price guide that offers more than just the latest values. Also included in the coverage is the latest market trends, the influences on values for both buyer and sellers, and overall histories, such as a coverage of South Wales Pottery and William Chambers Jr.'s involvement in the company. Undocumented, rare pieces are covered as well as more common antiques, making this guide an excellent at-a-glance reference for anyone interested in price guides with more than just the latest values.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Faith and Resistance in the Age of Trump
Miguel A. De La Torre, Editor
Orbis Books
Price Building, Box 302, Maryknoll NY 10545-0302
9781626982475, $22.00,

Faith and Resistance in the Age of Trump connects politics with religious and moral inspection as it considers Christian thinking, social issues, values, and how Trump's activities and decisions are calling into question some of the deepest moral problems of modern times. Various contributors consider issues of race, gender, justice, and more as they draw political connections between faith, values and resistance efforts in a hard-hitting contemporary survey designed to make people think about the extent of their spiritual convictions.

The Education Shelf

Powerful Book Introductions
Kathleen Fay, Chrisie Moritz, and Suzanne Whaley
Stenhouse Publishers
480 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781625310507, $30.67,

Powerful Book Introductions: Leading with Meaning for Deeper Thinking covers guided reading lesson plans and approaches to help young readers become independent readers as they pursue new materials and ideas, and offers a specific focus on book introductions and how planning for guided reading lessons and led to a more successful learning experience. Classroom examples and tips on how to select texts for small groups, tailor reading for participant special needs, and how to tailor discussions to reinforce reading and critical thinking concepts make for a guide no English teacher should be without.

The Fiction Shelf

The Kitchen Mistress
Kathleen Shoop
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781519301413, $24.99 Paper $4.99 Kindle,

The Kitchen Mistress is the third book in the Letter Series and continues the story of Katherine Arthur, who becomes a 'kitchen mistress' in charge of a hearth in the late 1800s. But there's more to Katherine than kitchen prowess; for she can see ghosts, and the inheritance that should make her family comfortable takes a different turn in a series of events that culminates in her job as a kitchen mistress for the wealthy lady next door. But if one expects a supernatural story, be advised that The Kitchen Mistress is so much more. Katherine's abilities are only one thread to a story that includes romance, female friendships, family interactions, the mystery surrounding a recipe book found in a wall, among other things. Readers of women's historical fiction will find that The Kitchen Mistress stands nicely as both part of a series and on its own, revealing further details about the Arthurs and their world in a tale that's psychologically complex and hard to put down.

Spells and Oregano
Patricia V. Davis
HD Media Press
9780989905688, $15.95 paperback, $7.99 Kindle,

Spells and Oregano is Book Two in 'The Secret Spice Cafe' trilogy, so the setting dovetails with and expands upon a story begun in Cooking for Ghosts - but that doesn't mean its audience should be limited to prior readers, because there are several main differences between Spells and Oregano and its predecessor. For one thing, the story is as much about finding happiness as it is about spells, ghosts, or The Secret Spice Cafe, an establishment opened on the luxury liner Queen Mary. Its metaphysical and visionary elements fall more in the line of a quest for meaning than a mystery that involves its characters in a search to determine who means them harm. Can Luca be saved by the ghost of his mother, who gets him into hot water? This rocky, edgy search for happiness is highly recommended not just for prior fans or those who like supernatural elements in their story lines, but for readers who appreciate tales that include cooking references, exotic ocean liners, and accounts of evolving love against a backdrop of adversity. Note: Spells and Oregano includes a free, interactive Readers Guide.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Martingale & Company
19021 - 120th Avenue NE, Suite 102, Bothell, WA 98011

American Quilt Treasures by the International Quilt Study Center & Museum (9781604688917, $34.99) gathers historic productions with an eye to revealing not only the quilt holdings in a permanent collection at the Museum, which is the largest public collection of quilts in the world, but represents a wide range of styles and patterns. The quilts are each chosen for their ability to represent a diverse selection of American quilting traditions, and provide a rich collection pairing color photos with discussions of quilting history. The book is a top pick for any collection looking for a representative sampling of traditional to modern pieces reflecting individual works of art and history. Kathy Schmitz's Stitches from the Harvest: Hand Embroidery Inspired by Autumn (9781604688634, $24.99) features fifteen embroidery projects inspired by autumn, and shows how to add plants, animals, and birds into a range of embroidery projects for the autumn season. Embroidery keys offer insights on the stitches for newcomers while materials, colors, cutting, and assembly instructions for purses, wall hangings, and more.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Orbs of Trenihgea
Aaron-Michael Hall
Newland Moon
Xtabyren Publishing
9780998409078, $2.99,

Orbs of Trenihgea is Book 2 in the Rites of Heirdron duology, continuing the science fantasy as it follows the efforts of leader Zrahnz, whose awakening portends a shift in the galaxy and in military alliances. Even though Orbs of Trenihgea holds romantic elements, it should be cautioned that an affinity for galaxy-wide clashes and leadership challenges is a prerequisite for enjoying this multi-faceted story which laces a military sci-fi playing field with elements of love and hate. Action is swift, interpersonal relationships are nicely detailed, and the end result offers up more than romance in a universe-building collision of forces, ideals, and individuals especially recommended for prior fans of Rites of Heirdron in a duology that defies easy categorization but reaches beyond genre definitions to entice readers from military sci-fi, and political sci-fi circles alike.

The California Shelf

Westlands: A Water Story
Randi Lynn Beach, photographer
Yiyun Li, contributor
University of New Mexico Press
MSC05 3185, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM 87131-0001
9780826358363, $39.95, HC, 128pp,

Showcasing California's Central Valley, "Westlands: A Water Story" uses documentary photography by Randi Lynn Beach to examine the danger drought and water policies represent to farming. The valley has been a productive food-growing region for decades, but water shortages and complicated laws have placed the region's farms (and subsequently its communities and culture) in precarious conditions. Moving beyond simplified narratives of environmentalist versus farmer or government versus worker, "Westlands" deftly reveals the complex story of fragile ecosystems, a growing population, and the need for social responsibility and sustainable solutions. The lessons suggested in these breathtaking photographs apply not just to California but to worldwide conversations about water usage and rights. Featuring an informative introduction by Thomas Holyoke, "Westlands" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Environmental Studies collections in general, and Water Usage supplemental studies lists in particular.

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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