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California Bookwatch

Volume 12, Number 10 October 2017 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice World History Shelf Computer Shelf
Education Shelf Technology Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Cookbook Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fiction Shelf Self-Help Shelf
California Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Becoming a Design Entrepreneur
Steven Heller & Lita Talarico
Allworth Press
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
9781621535089, $19.99,

Becoming a Design Entrepreneur: How to Launch Your Design-Driven Ventures from Apps to Zines teaches the basics of entering the design market as a novice, making effective pitches and presentations, developing new design models and protecting artist rights, and more, and is a key read for any aspiring designer who wants to not just enter the market with a new product, but protect their creations. Advice comes from fellow designers who offer their own experiences and insights, while pages are packed with color photo example of winning designs. The result is a 'must' for any aspiring designer.

The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve
Stephen Greenblatt
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393240801, $27.95,

The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve is an extraordinary survey of how the story of Adam and Eve has affected different peoples around the world over the centuries, and how these peoples have interpreted their experiences, and is highly recommended not just for Christian audiences, but for history readers looking for a sweeping examination. From the creation of the story to modern times, Greenblatt considers the story's interpretations, symbolism, philosophical and religious impact, and more, following the tale into the Renaissance era and its incarnations in today's modern world. Any history collection interested in early Biblical narratives and their lasting impact will find this a powerful, well-researched survey that deserves not just repeated library lending attention, but classroom discussion.

The World History Shelf

Out of the Ice: Ireland Then and Now
John A. Brennan
Escribe Publishing Inc.
9781548558246, $15.00,

Irish author and poet John Anthony Brennan has previously written a book of poetry and a philosophical memoir; but his latest production, Out of the Ice: Ireland Then and Now, represents yet another genre: a history of Ireland that begins in the Ice Age and moves to modern times. One would anticipate that such a survey by an author who has written in other genres might be less authoritative than those produced by a dedicated historian; but the fact is that Out of the Ice offers a different flavor and atmosphere as it details the different cultures that influenced Ireland's development. John A. Brennan's attention to historic detail and his references to the ancient writings supporting this history lend to a seasoned, logical progression of events that does more than document dates and peoples, but charts what each group brought to the country to help build the Irish culture we know today. This approach offers far more insights than the traditional historical focus on events, delving into the influences and ideas behind the modern Irish psyche. With its focus on lesser-known historic events through the centuries, Out of the Ice creates an evolutionary process that is highly recommended for any reader of Irish history who may have pursued other books on the subject, but who here will receive a more thought-provoking blend of facts and cultural insights.

The Computer Shelf

Making Spatial Decisions Using ArcGIS Pro: A Workbook
Kathryn Keranen and Robert Kolvoord
ESRI Press
380 New York Street, Redlands, CA 92378-8100
9781589484849, $69.99,

Making Spatial Decisions Using ArcGIS Pro: A Workbook requires only ArcGIS Pro and an interest in exploring all of its facets in order to prove a useful self-study tool that links real-world problem-solving techniques with the geographic-based computer software. These lessons have been adapted from the authors' series and have been updated to incorporate teaching methods and successful approaches to a complex subject. Chapters cover everything from natural disasters and social trends to working with composite images and supervised and unsupervised classifications, offering workbook exercises, examples, explanations, and color-coded pages packed with color screen shot examples. The result is a 'must' for any who would get up and running with ArcGIS Pro's many features and, most of all, its real-world applications and problem-solving capabilities.

The Education Shelf

The Best 382 Colleges, 2018 Edition
Robert Franek, Kristen O'Toole and David Soto
The Princeton Review
c/o Random House Inc.
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
9781524710224, $24.99,

The 2018 edition of The Best 382 Colleges continues to provide parents and students with a treasure trove of school profiles where the 'best' is identified from surveys of some 137,000 student experiences. The reference includes ranking lists of the top 20 colleges in over sixty different categories, while discussions of academics, student life, and student body makeup, admissions and financial aid, and school administration insights around out the at-a-glance details provided for each. No high school or college-bound reference library should be without the latest edition of this invaluable guide.

The Intelligent, Responsive Leader
Steven Katz, Lisa Ain Dack, John Malloy
Corwin Press, Inc.
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218
9781506333151, $22.00,

The Intelligent, Responsive Leader's purpose is to bridge the gap between teacher experience and district expectations of classroom performance, and provides a guide that shows how to employ better practices, measurements for gauging classroom success, and how to lead more effectively. Leaders who want to develop their schools will find this identifies the specifics of what constitutes improvement in the process of obtaining and measuring it, and will find chapters packed with templates for inquiring and assessing collaborative and leadership learning processes.

Developing Readers in the Academic Disciplines, second edition
Doug Buehl
Stenhouse Publishers
480 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781625311214, $46.67,

The second edition of Developing Readers in the Academic Disciplines has been completely revised to support its role as a companion to Buehl's Classroom strategies for Interactive Learning, but stands well on its own as a fine set of tools for supporting student comprehension processes. From tools and new approaches encouraging critical thinking and inquiry to helping teachers identify and build interdisciplinary texts supporting academic pursuits across subject areas, this is a powerful survey that identifies common knowledge gaps and shows how to bridge them. Teachers will find it addresses many common challenges.

The Joy of Mathematics
Alfred S. Posamentier,
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633882973, $18.00,

The Joy of Mathematics: Marvels, Novelties, and Neglected Gems That Are Rarely Taught in Math Class should intrigue and interest anyone who likes math and even non-math readers who enjoy the concept of math but lack technical prowess in the subject. The book pairs a history of mathematics with a review of various discoveries and how they changed the world, and covers elementary math ideas and gems of information perfect for both trivia lovers and math enthusiasts. The result is a revealing, surprisingly fun survey recommended not just for math and science readers, but for general-interest collections.

The Technology Shelf

Space Microelectronics Volume 2: Integrated Circuit Design for Space Applications
Anatoly Belous,
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
9781630812591, $249.00,

Space Microelectronics Volume 2: Integrated Circuit Design for Space Applications is the second in a two-volume reference set exploring integrated circuit design as it pertains to designing spacecraft, and is a recommendation for any college-level electronics reference library where astrophysics and space technology is key. From physical mechanisms and effects of space on microcircuits and design strategies for dealing with space radiation to special research equipment and technological peculiarities of diodes, circuitry, and the effects of different radiation on each, this is packed with charts, graphs, tolerance calculations, and discussions essential to any space electronics design project.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Among the Ruins
Paul L. Williams
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633883031, $24.00,

Among the Ruins: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Catholic Church provides a modern critical survey of the Church since the changes of the 1960s by Vatican II, but goes beyond examining church doctrine to pinpoint a damning trend of corruption and decline. This comes not from an atheist but from a traditionalist Catholic who considers why the modern Church has fallen in recent decades and how statistics support the fact that active Catholic church members are declining. Anyone who would receive an especially critical inspection of the modern church and how it has deviated from its traditional roots will find this a thought-provoking and powerful survey.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Teach Me to Make My First Quilt
Pat Sloan
That Patchwork Place
c/o Martingale & Company
19021 - 120th Avenue NE, Suite 102, Bothell, WA 98011
9781604688276, $24.99,

Teach Me to Make My First Quilt: A How-To Book for All You Need to Know pairs patterns for nine quilts with over a hundred and forty step-by-step photos for creating them, and comes from a quilt designer who provides easy directions for novices new not only to quilting, but to operating machines and stitching. Even the fundamentals of selecting notions and cutting fabric are included in a fine first-quilt guide which assumes not only no prior knowledge of quilting, but little prior knowledge of sewing in general. The directions on materials, cutting and assembling are clear, specific, and offer bright, attractive projects any novice will welcome.

The Cookbook Shelf

Kay Plunkett-Hogge
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781784723101, $19.99,

Aperitivo: Drinks and Snacks for the Dolce Vita blends food and drinks from across Italy with a focus on cocktails that comes from the author's reputation as an international cocktail expert, and is recommended as a basic addition to any Italian cook's collection. Simple recipes for snacks accompany discussions of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks while a range of menus and discussions of kitchen staples makes it easy to serve the food and drinks in an overall Italian fare theme. Many of the small dishes require some ingredients common to American supermarkets but which may not be staples in every American pantry, such as anchovies, risotto rice, sun-dried tomatoes, or capers. Add bright, full-page color photos of completed dishes and you have an attraction any cook interested in Italian small dishes and drinks will appreciate.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Janabai Shepherd
Bob Jenkins
Shiva Puri Press
9780997996067 $16.99 pbk
9780997996074 (eBook), $0.99

Janabai Shepherd continues the vivid futuristic dystopian story begin in Azriel Dancer, the story of a rural community founded after a cataclysm destroyed most of the world. It should be noted that Janabai Shepherd is a dystopian survival piece like none other. None of its characters are predictable, its setting is steeped in a blend of mythological influences and real-world struggles, and the apocalyptic event that has changed the world is not only in the past, but is ongoing, affecting all survivors' lives. As karma invades her life and changes everything, Janabai and her sister find themselves at the crux of change, and readers will discover that the story line's winding surprises call into doubt all the foundations that lend to a predictable outcome in a very satisfying, unique manner.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

A Tale of Two Kitties
Sofie Kelly
Berkley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780399584572, $23.00,

A Tale of Two Kitties is a 'magical cats' mystery recommended for mystery and kitty fans alike, and represents the ninth book in the series (although it also stands nicely on its own four paws, for newcomers). Here estranged brothers return to a small Minnesota town for a visit, reigniting a scandal that had long simmered. When one brother is found dead, it's up to librarian Kathleen and her cat detectives to paw through the evidence to prove their friend is innocent - even if it involves exposing a bit of dirt. Fans of cat-centered mysteries will relish this new addition to the stories.

The Blood Card
Elly Griffiths
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003
9780544750302, $25.00,

The Blood Card is Book 3 in the Magic Men Mystery series and centers around a detective and a magician who set out to solve a case that threatens violence at Elizabeth II's coronation in London in 1953. England is about to crown a queen, but it may be introducing murder and a struggle into events when the two find themselves chasing leads that indicate a coronation day like no other. Politics, magic and mystery blend in an unpredictably satisfying story that is filled with twists, turns, and intrigue throughout.

The Fiction Shelf

The Order
Alan Thompson
W & B Publishers
9781635540673, $17.99,

Harry's staid, dull, and isolated existence is about to change as he re-enters The Order (a college secret society comprised of male undergraduates and faculty) after years absence and becomes immersed in a political conundrum that could change not just the evolution of the town, but his own life. Readers of novels which excel in blending historical detail with legal and political insights will relish this saga of a quiet man called from virtual retirement to enter a lion's den of community controversy. In a world where only the past is urgent, how can Harry move into a revised vision of his future? Alan Thompson's ability to spin a yarn that moves beyond an individual's life into the ramifications of social and political process and past injustices will have readers on the edge of their seats as Harry struggles to preserve the one fragile piece of history he can control: his own life.

The Cottingley Secret
Hazel Gaynor
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
9780062499844, $15.99,

The Cottingley Secret refers to the true story of the Cottingley Fairies, where two young girls from Yorkshire convinced the world that they'd photographed fairies in their garden. This story begins in 1917, when nine-year-old Frances claims she's seen fairies. Disregarded by skeptical adults, she and her cousin take photos of themselves with the fairies, bringing them to the attention of novelist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Fast forward A hundred years when Olivia inherits her grandfather's bookshop in Ireland and discovers a manuscript written by one of the girls. The more Olivia reads, the more she sees parallels between their experiences and her own life - and discovers a mystery that could had ramifications for her world and belief systems in general.

The Self-Help Shelf

The Fearless Path
Curtis Rivers
Findhorn Press
9781844097326, $14.99,

Plenty of self-help books on the market advocate spiritual awakening, success, or elements of both; but few can claim the perspective and approach of The Fearless Path: What a Movie Stuntman's Spiritual Awakening Can Teach You About Success, a survey that comes, surprisingly, from a movie stuntman whose spiritual awakening led to a revised vision of the world and his place in it after climbing a remote mountain. Part autobiography, part self-help guide, and with more than a dash of spiritual reflection and self-awareness, The Fearless Path charts an unusual path towards success that takes the foundations of the author's early work as a stuntman and translates it into the kind of gritty determination that leads to overall success in life.

Treasure Hunt
Rizwan Virk
Watkins Publishing
Angel Business Club
9781786780508, $14.95 PR, $3.99 Kindle,

Treasure Hunt: Follow Your Inner Clues to Find True Success comes from a businessman and investor who takes an unusual approach to success: recognizing and using "inner clues" to identify overlooked opportunities. This is unusual in an industry which eschews feelings in favor of logical approaches and assessment processes; but as Treasure Hunt shows, there is a method to this madness - and, it works. Chapters deliver on their promise of treasure as Rizwan Virk shows readers how to understand and apply the latest ideas of quantum physics to provide new avenues to understanding work and satisfaction, and how to gain the most from both pursuits. It's a shame that many non-intuitive business folk likely will consider this title 'too new age' to consult, because there are indeed a wealth of treasures, here. The winners of this hunt will be those open to different approaches to tapping into one's hidden powers - this audience will discover the treasure lies not so much in the end result, but in the hunt and process described so methodically and specifically by Rizwan Virk in a book that promises many rich results.

The California Shelf

Highway 99
Stephen H. Provost
Craven Street Books
c/o Linden Publishing
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721-9875
9781610352963, $18.95, PB, 350pp,

Before it was a modern freeway, California's State Highway 99 (a simple two-lane road that passed through the downtowns of every city between the Mexican border and the Oregon state line) was known as "the main street of California". "Highway 99: The History of California's Main Street" by journalist Stephen H. Provost turns back the clock to those days when a narrow ribbon of asphalt tied the state's communities together, with classic roadside attractions and plenty of fun along the way. "Highway 99" historically documents the birth, growth, and transformation of the highway; the gas stations, motels, restaurants, and attractions that flourished and declined by the roadside; and the communities, personalities, and historical events that made their mark on the highway. From the migrations of the Dust Bowl, to the birth of the Bakersfield Sound, to the foundation of America's fast-food culture, the history of California has happened along Highway 99, -- and "Highway 99" informatively depicts that history. Profusely illustrated throughout, "Highway 99" is unreservedly recommended as an essential and core addition to every community and academic library's California History collections and would serve as an excellent template for similar histories of other iconic American roads. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Highway 99" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Pacific Reef & Shore, second edition
Rick M. Harbo
Harbour Publishing
PO Box 219, Madeira Park, BC, Canada, V0N 2H0
9781550177862, $12.95, PB, 96pp,

Rick M. Harbo is one of the Pacific Northwest's leading marine writers and photographers. In this newly updated and revised second edition of "Pacific Reef & Shore: A Photo Guide to Northwest Marine Life from Alaska to Northern California" he continues to bring to bear his years of experience, research and expertise to provide an updated with new species, the latest scientific information, a profusion of full color photographs showcasing the more than 300 common plants and animals found in the intertidal zone off the coast of North America ranging from the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, to Point Conception, California. Each individual entry includes a description summary with information on size and habitat, and a photo for species verification, giving readers an overview of local sea life without weighing them down as they explore the shore. With "Pacific Reef & Shore: A Photo Guide to Northwest Marine Life from Alaska to Northern California" the intertidal coastal zones are at the fingertips of any diver, kayaker or beach stroller curious about the various plants and wildlife that dwell there. Lightweight, compact, portable, inexpensive and 'user friendly' accessible, "Pacific Reef & Shore" is the indispensable reference for any curious visitor to the shore and will prove to be a prized addition to personal, community, and academic library collections.

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Midwest Book Review
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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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