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California Bookwatch

Volume 11, Number 10 October 2016 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Education Shelf Computer Shelf
Travel Shelf Cookbook Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Music Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Autism Shelf
California Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Deep Text
Tom Reamy
Information Today, Inc.
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055-8750
9781573875295, $59.50,

Deep Text: Using Text Analytics to Conquer Information Overload, Get Real Value from Social Media, and Add Big(ger) Text to Big Data provides a reference on the topic of ext analysis with a special focus on deep text, and reviews best practices and guidelines on how to select software and build text analytics into a business or professional goal. All kinds of approaches, from analyzing social media content to transferring big data into measurable analytics, are covered in this book, which is directed to information professionals from librarians to IT business people. From developing rules to handle different expressions to training individuals for text analysis processes, Deep Text is a 'must' reference for any involved in IT development and analytics methods.

The Education Shelf

Mentoring in Action, second edition
Carol Pelletier Radford
Corwin Press, Inc.
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218
9781506345116, $36.95,

Mentoring in Action: A Month-by-Month Curriculum for Teacher Effectiveness appears in its second updated edition to provide a different approach to mentoring new teachers: one based on the concept of teacher leadership based on sharing social and emotional learning skills and conversations about student engagement processes. Chapters adopt a workbook-type approach as they cover everything from sample templates for lesson plans to using mindfulness to explore common mentoring challenges, honing observations of mentees, and considering student management issues. Charts, exercises, tips and strategies offer a monthly set of invaluable tools and skill sets mentors can use to foster growth.

The Mindful Education Workbook
Daniel Rechtschaffen
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393710465, $24.95,

The Mindful Education Workbook: Lessons for Teaching Mindfulness to Students gathers a step-by-step collection of mindfulness lessons for personal and professional development in a set of activities for educators of K-12 students who would incorporate some of mindfulness's basic concepts into curriculum studies. Chapters come with worksheets, provide guided exercises, and provide mental literacy lessons, mindful teaching tools, and examinations meant to help educators address underlying assumptions in the teaching process. The result is highly recommended for teachers and education collections seeking to incorporate mindful practices into existing curriculum.

The Computer Shelf

Microsoft Excel 2016 Programming By Example with VBA, XML, and ASP
Julitta Korol
Mercury Learning
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
9781942270850, $54.95,

Microsoft Excel 2016 Programming By Example with VBA, XML, and ASP has been updated to cover Excel 2016, but uses the same in-depth format from previous best-selling editions of this book, so those who have found prior editions perfect but need an update will find everything they need, here. The idea is to create an in-depth resource that includes all source code and supplemental files of exercises and projects on an accompanying cd-rom, and to provide a book filled with information and exercises perfect for progressive learning. These are illustrated exercises that easily move relative newcomers from beginning to advanced levels, showing how to understand and apply the built-in functions and statements to automated routines that make Excel an integral part of programming development processes. Programmers looking to get up to speed quickly will have everything they need here, between the code, application discussions, and exercises.

The Travel Shelf

Japan By Rail, fourth edition
Ramsey Zarifeh and Anna Udagawa
9781905864751, $24.95,

The fourth updated edition of Japan By Rail isn't just about how and where to take Japan's many trains, a bargain enhanced by the Japan Rail Pass deal; but it accompanies routes with invaluable details such as where to stay and sightseeing options. Train travelers receive all the details they need to plan a train-oriented tour of the entire country, with Japan Rail service schedules for main routes and bullet trains, discussions of etiquette, tips on the best scenic rides, and small line maps accompanying details on where and how to travel. With its wealth of destination-oriented specifics, all revolving around train travel, there's no better take-along tote than this.

The Cookbook Shelf

Rise & Shine
Katie Sullivan Moreford
Roost Books
4720 Walnut Street, Boulder, CO 80301
9781611802948, $24.95,

Rise & Shine: Better Breakfasts for Busy Mornings provides over seventy breakfast recipes that are both parent- and kid-friendly: and that means attractive to children but easy to produce. Every dish provides nutritional details and is well balanced, accompanied by tips to ensure success and notes on any possible puzzles, such as the definition and properties of Cotija cheese in Weekday Huevos, or substitutes for the freeze-dried blueberries recommended in the Dark Chocolate Raspberry Muesli dish. The diversity of ingredients and dishes makes for an especially recommended production.

Caramel Fudge Toffee & Brittle
Sarah Aasum Hultberg
Weldon Owen
415 Jackson Street, San Francisco, CA 94111
9781681881171, $22.95,

Caramel Fudge Toffee & Brittle: Confectionary Secrets shares the author's best recipes for candy both traditional and modern, breaking down basic ingredients and pairing them with candy-making tips and new tricks. Full-page color photos add enhancement and delight as they present recipes for French Nougat Montelimar, Honey Toffee cups with Pistachios and Lemon, Orange Truffles Dipped in Chocolate and Cola, and more. There are many traditional candy-making books on the market; but the inclusion of more modern and different fare sets these recipes apart from others.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Haunting of Asylum 49
Richard Estep and Cami Andersen
New Page Books
c/o Career Press Inc.
12 Parish Drive, Wayne, NJ 07470
9781632650627, $15.99,

The Haunting of Asylum 49 provides a chilling collection of stories about ghosts and evil spirits, and is recommended reading for anyone who enjoys paranormal accounts. These spirits invade and haunt the medical facility outside of Salt Lake City which stands next to a graveyard packed with spirits. These particular spirits that plague Asylum 49 are aggressive and dangerous, and paranormal investigator Richard Estep and Asylum 49 owner Cami Andersen offer a unique view of the hospital's haunted residents in a compelling series of stories designed to both delight and terrify.

The Fiction Shelf

My Name is Leon
Kit De Waal
Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
9782501117459, $25.00,

My Name is Leon is set in England in the 1980s, and while it's narrated from a nine-year-old's perspective, this offers a story that many an adult won't want to miss. Leon loves his new baby brother and has determined to be his protector from the moment of his birth; but when he fails and his mother becomes unable to care for them, strangers take brother Jake away for adoption while leaving the half-black Leon behind. Family ties are hard to break, and so is Leon's determination as he faces an ailing foster mother, a social worker, and a world and system that have separated him from the only family he knows and loves. My Name Is Leon may sound like a young adult read, but its message is compelling and highly recommended for any age reader interested in the foundations of family and social relationships.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Hanged Man
Gary Inbinder
Pegasus Books
80 Broad Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10004
9781681771649, $25.95,

The Hanged Man provides a compelling sequel to The Devil in Montmartre, returns readers to Paris, and takes place in 1890, when Inspector Achille Lefebvre and his wife are planning a much-needed vacation until a hung body demands he return to the job and do what he does best. As Achille faces another puzzler that leads to a more complicated question than whether the man died from murder or suicide, he finds himself mired in a host of entangled purposes and interpersonal relationships that test not only his investigative skills, but his ability to stay on top of a scheme that could blossom into a world-changing conflict. Mystery readers who appreciate wider-ranging plots that move beyond singular cases will relish Gary Inbinder's approach in The Hanged Man.

The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Ripper Legacy
David Stuart Davies
Titan Books
9781783296590, $9.95,

The Ripper Legacy adds to the Holmes/Watson stories of intrigue with the tale of a case that begins with a kidnapped child and a ransom note and moves to become something much more. Soon Holmes and Watson are investigating not just a kidnapping, but the child's background and an unusual connection to an unsolved series of murders that happened a decade ago. As with any Sherlock piece, the strength lies in the deductive process; and this receives exceptionally close attention in a manner consistent with the Doyle originals, which will prove satisfying to any Sherlock reader.

The Audiobook Shelf

Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Four new audio picks are top recommendations for any collection where book listeners seek exceptional quality and involving topics. From former Presidential secret service officer Gary J. Byrne comes Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate (9781478943679, $27.00), an expose narrated by Brian Troxell, who brings to life a vivid account of personal and political dysfunction in the Clinton White House. His story is presented now to join others in the anti-Hillary camp with a more personal focus than most. Robert McKee's Dialogue: The Art of Verbal Action for the Page, Stage, and Screen (9781478938422, $35.00) is read by the author and stems from his popular writing workshops. These workshops have produced some top writers, including the writing team for Pixar and others, and helps define how dialogue is created for screen and stage acting, and how it's constructed for maximum effect. Julian Fellowes' Belgravia (9781478941484, $35.00) comes from the author of Downton Abbey, is narrated by Juliet Stevenson, and provides a powerful saga of people who lived two centuries ago in 1815, where British Society members gathered at Brussels on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo. A lovely young woman finds this night changes her life: decades later, its ramifications are still rippling through the world. Gail Carriger's Imprudence: The Custard Protocol: Book Two (9781478960966, $30.00) returns Rue and characters from Prudence, from The Spotted Custard, to new life as vampires, werewolves, and Victorian England interact. Rue's vampire father is angry, her werewolf father is crazy, and her life is replete with conflict and dangerous portents. Familiarity with Prudence will lend an appreciation and quick familiarity with the unusual setting of its sequel.

The Music Shelf

Clapton: The Ultimate Illustrated History, updated edition
Chris Welch
Voyageur Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9780760350195, $24.99,

Clapton: The Ultimate Illustrated History appears in a newly updated edition to cover the career, involvements, and techniques of one of the most influential rock guitar players in the genre. This illustrated history is packed with color photos of guitars, concert posters, advertisements, shots of Clapton's various appearances, and record covers, and includes many quotes from Clapton's own writings and reflections. The appearance of this in an oversized format assures that Clapton fans receive a history which isn't just embellished with images, but which rests upon their contents, making this a 'must' for any serious rock music history collection and for those with a special affection for Clapton's life, times, and achievements.

Led Zeppelin Day by Day
Marc Roberty
Backbeat Books
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
33 Plymouth Street, Suite 302, Montclair, NJ 07042-2677
978161713584, $39.99,

Led Zeppelin Day by Day comes from a music historian and journalist who details the rock group's evolution, covers all the concerts the band has performed, and examines how each of their many albums were made, and is a top recommendation for any Zeppelin fan. Many books already cover the brand's history - but not using a daily approach; and not by pinpointing previous errors in Zeppelin historical accounts and correcting them, adding more details about their rehearsals and recordings. From their journeys to different countries on tour to set lists, venues, and show results, Led Zeppelin Day by Day is a treasure trove of facts for any prior Zeppelin enthusiast.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

On to the Asteroid
Travis S. Taylor and Les Johnson
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781476781525, $24.00,

On to the Asteroid is about an attempt to commercialize space by mining asteroids and putting a hotel on the Moon, but the process of both ventures comes with many challenges - including bringing an asteroid closer to Earth to mine it properly. Perhaps predictably disastrous ensue, and scientists and business interests must team up to prevent disaster. The mechanics of ship operations, the challenges involved in asteroid mining attempts, and a heady race to save the human race make for a powerfully gripping saga that's hard to put down.

The Autism Shelf

Developing Workplace Skills for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Michelle Rigler, Amy Rutherford, and Emily Quinn
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849057998, $39.95,

Developing Workplace Skills for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Basics College Curriculum covers basic skills on independence and life for students and new graduates with Autism Spectrum Disorder, helping young people move from school to workplace and independent living challenges. The purpose is to teach students basic coping skills to handle common life challenges from work to home life, providing a blend of exercises, self-help tools, and diagrams in the process of teaching key life skills.

The California Shelf

The Handy California Answer Book
Kevin S. Hile
Visible Ink Press
43311 Joy Rd., #414, Canton, MI 48187-2075
9781578595914, $21.95, PB, 400pp,

California is the most populous state in America. The home of the entertainment industry and silicon valley, California is famous for its beaches, its redwood forests, and as the "land of fruit and nuts". Its people, industries, politicians, climate, and allure captivates the world and draws millions of visitors each year. Exploring the state's fascinating history, people, myths, culture, and trivia, The Handy California Answer Book provides an in-depth look at this fascinating, quirky, and diverse state, including its history, original indigenous people, the Spanish explorers, the secession from Mexico, the Gold Rush, the building of the Los Angeles Aqueducts, the earthquakes, the water shortages, and much, much more. Readers will tour California's landmarks, learn about its famous sons and daughters, the sports teams, and the unique character of the state through a combination of facts, stats, and history, as well as the unusual and quirky. "The Handy California Answer Book" is comprehensive guide to California answering more than 1,100 intriguing questions, including: How did "Eureka!" become the state motto? Why is a grizzly bear on the state flag when no grizzlies exist in California? Was the coast of California ever attacked by pirates? How did Silicon Valley become a center for the high tech industry? Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "The Handy California Answer Book" is an absolute 'must' for school and community library California State History collections. For personal reading lists it should be note that "The Handy California Answer Book" is also available in a Kindle format ($18.99).

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Midwest Book Review
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phone: 1-707-795-4629

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