Return to home
page Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
Home / California Bookwatch

California Bookwatch

Volume 9, Number 9 September 2014 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Cookbook Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf
Crafts Shelf Sports Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Social Issues Shelf Autism Shelf Science Shelf
Mathematics Shelf Technology Shelf Writing/Publishing Shelf
Music Shelf Genealogy Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Needlecraft Shelf Photography Shelf
Computer Shelf Political Science Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Biography Shelf Martial Arts Shelf Business Shelf
Gardening Shelf Interior Design Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Travel Shelf Education Shelf
Military Shelf Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf Women's Studies Shelf American History Shelf
World History Shelf Architecture Shelf Judicial Studies Shelf
Art Shelf Fashion Shelf Automotive Shelf
Gun Shelf California Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

American Artifacts
Phil Bergerson
Black Dog Publishing
10a Acton Street, London, England, WC1X 9NG
9781908966353, $34.95,

American Artifacts pairs texts by Margaret Atwood and Nathan Lyons with images by Canadian photographer Phil Bergerson, who since 1995 has made many extended road-trips across the U.S. in search of remnants of the 'American Dream'. His survey pairs social observation with an artistic eye to consider urban displays as varied as graffiti, murals and store window displays. From commercial endeavors to street art and beyond, American Artifacts provides a sequence of color photos capturing the milieu of faded American dreams and presents an absorbing survey any arts or social history holding will relish.

Map Art Lab
Jill K. Berry & Linden McNeilly
Quarry Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781592539055, $24.99,

Map Art Lab is a pick for cartography, arts and crafts holdings alike and offers some 52 map-related art activities that teach users how to make the most of legends, design maps using various styles, and create personalized maps. It will appeal widely to teachers, students and any interested in cartography or art, and it offers a range of projects from tea-dying treasure maps to making mosaic maps and using transparent layers. A 'must' for any involved in map art!

Boy in the Twilight: Stories of the Hidden China
Yu Hua
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
9780307379368, $24.00,

Boy in the Twilight: Stories of the Hidden China provides a powerful collection by one of China's best-selling authors and is a recommended pick for any who would go beyond facts about the Chinese to consider their lives and culture from a more personal level. Tales of peasants, family interactions, modern Chinese conflicts and social issues, and more take the form of personal observations that provide thirteen stories covering everyday life and ironies in the nation. The result is poignant, involving, and a fine capsule review of Chinese lives in flux, recommended for literary and leisure readers alike.

Best Foot Forward
Eric La Price
Booker Press
9780615742489, $25.95,

Best Foot Forward is recommended for a variety of collections, from those strong in women's topics and fashion to arts holdings featuring photography and decorative arts, and is a lovely compendium of foot-oriented decoration. Each section features a different topic revolving around feet, from the history of high heels to the sandal, the ballet flat, and the history of anklets. Pedicures and foot health are also discussed, as well as tattoo art for the feet. The result is a solid collection for any interested in any aspect of foot decoration or care, packed with gorgeous photos throughout.

Analyzing Intelligence, second edition
Roger Z. George and James B. Bruce, Editors
Georgetown University Press
3240 Prospect Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007
9781626160255, $32.95,

Analyzing Intelligence: National Security Practitioners' Perspectives appears in its second updated edition and is a recommended pick for any collection concerned with political studies in general and security issues in particular. It's been revised and extensively updated to reflect the intelligence analysis profession and represents contributions from many who hold senior positions in the U.S. intelligence community. They review the field, its changes, and coming concerns for 21st century national security. A 'must' for any collection interested in the latest security changes and practices.

The Cookbook Shelf

Best of Bridge Home Preserving
Bridge Publishing Ltd.
Robert Rose Inc.
120 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 800
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4P 1E2
9780778804826, $29.95,

Best of Bridge Home Preserving packs in over a hundred recipes for canning fruits and vegetables, and is presented in a handsome lay-flat spiral bound format that lends to kitchen consultation while a canning job is in process. From jams and jellies to chutneys, pickles and salsas, this pairs full color images for many recipes and includes such unusual fare as Black Bean Tomato Salsa, Pineapple, Mango and Papaya Conserve, and Jalapeno Pepper Jelly. Add large-size print and keys to using nuts in preserves and getting the most from fresh ingredients and you have a winning approach especially recommended to newcomers of the canning process.

James Peterson
Chronicle Books
680 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
9781452119632, $27.50,

Finally: a cookbook for any cook who has ever wondered about when food is perfectly cooked, whether it be meats, rice, or baked goods! DONE: A COOK'S GUIDE TO KNOWING WHEN FOOD IS PERFECTLY COOKED provides a fine survey of little tricks for everything from perfectly cooked tempura to the secret to delicious sauteed chicken, and pairs these tips with recipes and color photos throughout. Beginners who have long wondered how and why to perfectly cook food need wonder no longer: this goes beyond the usual recipe book to delve into the basics of different cooking methods, tricks for testing, and techniques of quality assurance, making it a top recommendation.

Vegan Eats World
Terry Hope Romero
DaCapo Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
9780738217444, $22.50,

VEGAN EATS WORLD: 300 INTERNATIONAL RECIPES FOR SAVORING THE PLANET shows how to create favorite ethnic dishes in vegan style, and is a top pick for any interested in exploring the international possibilities of vegan cooking. All recipes are labeled for time and complexity, range from main dishes to desserts and salads, and incorporate different flavors and cultural influences, and all can be easily produced at home with access to any standard ethnic market or health food store. Add color photos and dishes such as Jamaican Plantain and Pumpkin Curry and Greek Creamy Lemon Rice Soup and you have a vegan winner.

The Meat Hook Meat Book
Tom Mylan
Artisan Books
c/o Workman Publishing Company
225 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014-4381
9781579655273, $37.50,

The Meat Hook Meat Book pairs fine photos with discussions of cuts of meat, flavors typical of each cut, and details on how to substitute between cuts and how to cook them. It's a basic guide from a meat butcher (co-owner of The Meat Hook in New York) and writer whose decade of experience in sustainable meat results in techniques for cooking beef, lamb, rabbit, duck and more. From special company dinners to everyday meat handling and cooking, this is filled with recipes and tips on everything from at-home butchery to how to choose the best meat and how to incorporate ethical eating habits into one's meals. The result is a delicious addition to any home cook's collection.

Stir My Soul
Roxie Kelley
Andrews McMeel Publishing
1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
9781449427375, $29.99,

STIR MY SOUL: RECIPES TO NOURISH AND INSPIRE provides some 100 recipes designed to be body- and soul-nourishing, pairing the author's own life experiences with folk art illustrations by Kathleen Taylor and recipes designed to reflect life experiences and inspiration. From White Cheddar Potato Pancakes to a Vegetable Breakfast Bake, this blends life experiences of clarifying, aging and measurement with the cooking process and creates a warm and inviting gathering perfect for any home cooking collection.

A Change of Appetite
Diana Henry
Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781845338923, $34.99,

A Change of Appetite: Where Healthy Meets Delicious offers the dishes author Diana Henry created when she began to crave a different kind of diet: one with less meat and heavy food and more vegetables, fish and grain-based dishes. Henry lost weight on this diet but also discovered a different way to eating: her cookbook offers recipes arranged by season to use the best of seasonal ingredients, pairs international dishes with these fresh local offerings, and offers plenty of insights on nutritional values and changing one's palate to accept new flavors and possibilities. Any who look for a cookbook introduction to new culinary opportunities will find this an exciting winner documenting the author's year-long culinary odyssey.

My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook
Leticia Moreinos Schwartz
Kyle Books
192 - 198 Vauxhall Bridge Road
London, England, SW1V 1DX
9781909487017, $29.95,

My Rio de Janeiro: A Cookbook comes from a culinary teacher and Rio native living in the U.S., and packs in some 90 recipes intrinsic to Rio culture and cuisine. Chapters cover finger food, traditional urban dishes, and discussions of the peoples, places and foods unique to Rio, while colorful photos of both Rio and dishes featured in the book provide emphasis on the country's variety and culture. The result is especially recommended for readers who look for a dash of cultural insight to accompany their ethnic cookbooks.

Artisan Bread
Keith Cohen
Race Point Publishing
9781937994426, $30.00,

Orwasher's Bakery is located in New York in one of the last Eastern European immigrant neighborhoods that remains intact, and Artisan Bread comes from this bakery, profiling bread-baking techniques used to make their famous breads and their new line of wine and beer breads. Home bakers will find this pairs a history of Orwasher's Bakery and how they survived and evolved with a collection of recipes specific to the business and techniques for making better bread. The step-by-step instructions and colorful breads will intrigue any bread baker seeking something different.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Behind the Brooch
Lorena Angulo
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764345593, $34.99,

BEHIND THE BROOCH: A CLOSER LOOK AT BACKS, CATCHES, AND PIN STEMS is a very specific focus on the side of the brooch that's usually hidden from view: the back. You wouldn't think an entire book could be written on the topic, but this is packed with information on the methods and purposes of brooch makers who often cover the back with items meant to compliment the front, or include a different design on the reverse. These artistic practices are quite common and this guide packs in some 128 artists and their works, making it a pick for collectors and jewelry crafts alike.

A Guide Book of United States Paper Money, fourth edition
Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg
Whitman Publishers
4001 Helton Drive, Florence, Alabama, 35630
9780794842307, $24.95,

A Guide Book of United States Paper Money appears in its fourth updated edition to pair a history and price guide under one cover, and describes in detail every federal note from the very rare Demand Notes of 1861 to current paper money. Chapters offer the evolving history of paper money and the collecting market, blending the hobby-standard Friedberg numbering system with the latest retail values in multiple grades. Hundreds of high-resolution color images in very good size accompany discussions that any paper money collector will value.

The Crafts Shelf

Kate Smith
Mitchell Beazley
Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781845337049, $19.99,

MAKERY: OVER 30 PROJECTS FOR THE HOME, TO WEAR AND TO GIVE is a pick for any who would make fashionable products whether it be crocheted wrist warmers and jewelry to iPad cases and personalized rubber stamps. The wide range of projects and approaches teach a range of basic skills, while Smith's ideas are easy to make, even for those with relatively little crafty experience. Graphics accompany how-to photos and illustrations and step-by-step instructions that assume no prior knowledge: crocheting and knitting, for example, are introduced with the beginner in mind. This means that newcomer to techniques can easily pick up the basics while in the process of producing something unique and suitable for gifting!

Complete Guide to Watercolour Painting
William Newton
Search Press USA
1338 Ross Street, Petaluma, CA 94954-1117
9781844488308, $29.95,

Complete Guide to Watercolour Painting teaches the basics of how to paint landscapes, seascapes and portraits and offers a step-by-step approach to watercolour. Six detailed projects illustrate these processes for landscapes, still life and others, and provide materials list, reviews of the most basic watercolor techniques, and insights on adding perspective. All of this is illustrated in an outstanding gathering of examples and paintings perfect for any involved in watercolour efforts.

The Art of Lego Design
Jordan Schwartz
No Starch Press
38 Ringold Street, San Francisco, CO 94103-4403
9781593275532, $24.95,

The Art of Lego Design: Creative Ways to Build Amazing Models explores LEGO as an artistic medium and blends an exploration of creative modeling techniques with a survey of artistic products created by LEGO innovators. Chapters show how to design cars, add light bricks, create textures and depth, and more and are supported by interviews from top LEGO builders who reveal their own design ideas. Crafters with an interest in more than the usual LEGO modeling will find this a treasure trove of ideas.

Natural Christmas Crafts
Ilona Butterer
Stackpole Books
5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6921
9780811714310, $12.95,

Natural Christmas Crafts is perfect for the holidays, arrives in plenty of time to recommend and use, and focuses on creating handmade Christmas decor and gifts with a rustic feel. There are nearly thirty such projects where which use natural ingredients, from seeds and pinecones to old jars, twigs and other natural materials, in a range of decorative efforts from wreathes to ornaments and centerpieces. The focus on translating common, easily-found items into decorative holiday fare makes this a standout crafts choice recommended for any Christmas crafter.

Stylish Jewelry Made Simple
Erica Swanson, Editor
Kalmbach Books
21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612
9781627000796, $21.99,

Stylish Jewelry Made Simple provides 45 projects that use a wide variety of jewelry-making techniques from stringing and wirework to stitching, and is a recommendation for any who want the latest and best from Bead Style magazine. Projects are organized by color and provide everything from bohemian and pearl to woven chain and multicolored necklace and earring pairings. With lay-flat binding and color step-by-step photos throughout, this is a fine crafter's guide for any learning jewelry-making techniques.

The Sports Shelf

Fitness Weight Training, third edition
Thomas R. Baechle and Roger W. Earle
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076
9781450445139, $19.95,

Fitness Weight Training: 63 Exercises and 75 Programs for Building, Shaping, and Strengthening Muscles appears in its third updated edition and provides an expanded, improved new edition of a best-selling guide that reviews weight training and equipment selection. Here are 75 programs for muscle toning and body shaping, along with workouts geared to difficulty and intensity. Over sixty of the most effective exercises are provided in a survey that allows trainers to tailor their own fitness training program.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Hurst's the Heart Manual of Cardiology, 13th edition
Richard A. Walsh, MD, FACC, FAHA,
McGraw Hill Professional
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor
New York, NY 10020
9780071773157, $68.00,

Hurst's the Heart Manual of Cardiology provides a fine, weighty pocket reference packed with healthcare details on cardiovascular diagnostic and therapeutic information; all packaged in a streamlined reference that provides the latest summary of the clinical sections of Hurst's The Heart. It's tailored for use in urgent clinical situations and thus is packed in a pocket-sized format intended for quick reference on the job. New material to this 13th updated edition includes myocardial imaging, tables and math key to fast decisions, coverage of diabetes, stroke and cardio disease in the elderly, and more. Physicians and medical personnel will find this a winning reference!

Mika Brzezinski
Weinstein Books
345 Hudson Street, 13th floor, New York, NY 10014
9781602862340, $16.00,

Obsessed: America's Food Addiction - And My Own comes from a TV personality at war with obesity, who has long been adamant about eating habits. But this doesn't chronicle just that war, but her personal battle against unhealthy eating habits. Here discussions with researchers in the field pair with interviews with other personalities and her insights on how to take control of eating habits. In such a milieu diets and food take center stage, blending autobiography with wider health concerns in an engrossing read any general-interest collection will find a popular lend.

Doctors Without Borders
Renee C. Fox
Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4363
9781421413549, $29.95,

Doctors Without Borders: Humanitarian Quests, Impossible Dreams Of Medecins Sans Frontieres provides detailed insights on the Doctors Without Borders medical ideals and culture, and comes from a medical sociologist who spent some twenty years researching the organization and its history. She attended MSF meetings, observed doctors in the field, interviewed MSF member and participants, and interacted with administrators and physicians alike. The result is a blend of organizational history and development and observations of the group's struggles to combat third world nation diseases, making for an outstanding social and health history.

Advanced Acceptance & Commitment Therapy
Darrah Westrup, PhD
New Harbinger Press
5674 Shattuck Avenue, Oakland, CA 94609
9781608826490, $49.95,

Advanced Acceptance & Commitment Therapy: The Experienced Practitioner's Guide to Optimizing Delivery offers strategies, interventions, sample dialogues and more relating to using ACT in psychology, and follows the challenges of putting this theory into practice in client sessions. It's for any already grounded in ACT theory who would hone their skills in therapy, and provides a survey that includes sample client scenarios and applications for moving past common barriers in ACT therapy settings. Any who are ready to embark on the next level of ACT applications will find this a solid winner!

Neil Messer
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
2140 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780802868992, $32.00,

It's rare to see health titles include theological analysis; but such is the case with FLOURISHING: HEALTH, DISEASE, AND BIOETHICS IN THEOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE, which presents a theological account of medical ideas and their consequences for health care choices and ethical behaviors. From the philosophy of medicine and disability studies to various theological insights, this provides keys to understanding the bigger picture and considers a range of bioethical issues and problems inherent in the health industry's many changes.

The Social Issues Shelf

Suspicious Gifts
Malin Akerstrom
Transaction Publishers
10 Corporate Place South, Piscataway, NJ 08854
9781412852913, $49.95,

Suspicious Gifts: Bribery, Morality, and Professional Ethics considers the issue of gift exchanges and their underlying social bonds, and provides social scientists and political science readers with a close inspection of the moral dilemmas posed by bribes and gifts. Chapters survey regulations intended to prevent corruption, why bribes and gifts are actually an important social phenomenon, and how interaction, exchange and rituals enter into the picture. The result is a powerful survey recommended for any college-level social issues collection.

Gaian Economics
Jonathan Dawson,, Editors
Permanent Publications
Droxford Road, East Meon, Hampshire, England, GU32 1HR
9781856230568 L14.95,

Gaian Economics: Living Well Within Planetary Limits is the second volume in the publisher's 'Four Keys to Sustainable Communications' series, and explores how to develop healthy, sustainable societies that operate in harmony with planetary resources. It covers community-building at its most basic level, on par with resource availability and global ecological understanding, and it blends scientific and spiritual perspectives in a fine survey recommended for any social issues reader.

The American Boomerang
Nick Adams
WND Books
9781936488841, $19.95,

The American Boomerang: How the World's Greatest 'Turnaround' Nation Will Do It Again is a pick for conservative political and social issues collections alike, and provides a positive perspective on the greatness of America and its 'boomerang' spirit. This comes not from a fellow American but from a noted Australian speaker who devotes his attention to America's resiliency, its facets, and how and why the nation and its values are so versatile. He argues that America's strength lies in these conservative ideals, and provides chapters that support the country's center-right stance. No matter what political leaning you favor, it's refreshing to see a viewpoint of the country's strengths by an 'outside' who analyzes facets of its resiliency.

Redeeming the Dream
David Boies and Theodore B. Olson
Viking Books
c/o Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780670015962, $28.95,

In 2008 California voters adopted Prop 8, a ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage by mending the state constitution to read that only a union of man and woman was recognizable in the state. And that was only the opening salvo of a legal fight that would reach the Supreme Court and involve every state in the union. The battle was fought by two of the nation's best lawyers - the authors of this book - who actually had argued against each other in some cases. Redeeming the Dream: The Case for Marriage Equality documents this process and provides a powerful saga of its progression. Social issues, legal process and general-interest holdings alike will find this an accessible, lively history of events.

Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples
Randall S. Abate and Elizabeth Ann Kronk, editors
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
9781781001790, $235.00,

Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples: The Search for Legal Remedies is recommended for college-level collections strong in sociology, international law and environmental history, and provides a focus on the special issues of indigenous peoples in climate justice. Domestic law is often different for indigenous peoples than for their peers, and legal remedies are thus often complex. This volume pairs climate change-related issues with legal solutions tailored to indigenous peoples and their concerns, covering world regions from the Pacific Islands to North and South America and Africa and providing a wide range of subjects: everything from reindeer husbandry in a changing Saami world to international litigation arising from climate change disputes. The result is a solid and varied set of articles and analyses key to any international legal collection and for social issues readers alike.

The Autism Shelf

Parenting ASD Teens
Andrew Schlegelmilch
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849059756, $18.95,

PARENTING ASD TEENS: A GUIDE TO MAKING IT UP AS YOU GO is for any parent of a teen on the Autism Spectrum and comes from a psychologist who offers guidance on difficult issues that go beyond adolescent rebellion and include ASD special concerns. From behavior problems and school struggles to helping a child develop social consideration, this is a 'must' for any who have an ASD child and are looking ahead to the turbulent teen years and how to cope with an Autism child entering these years.

Charting the Course for Treating Children with Autism
Linda Kelly and Janice Plunkett D'Avignon
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393708714, $25.95,

Charting the Course for Treating Children with Autism: A Beginner's Guide for Therapists offers a beginner's guide to ASD for therapists, and tells newcomers to the disorder how to provide the best support. There's no single treatment for autism, and therapists who need to know the basics receive a fine discussion of various assessment and treatment approaches to the common therapeutic issues that arise. Here ASD is considered as a social communicative disorder, and advice is tailored to handling social issues that stem from ASD habits. Therapists will find this a fine introduction to a complex topic.

The Science Shelf

The Natural Law of Cycles
James H. Bunn
Transaction Publishers
10 Corporate Place South, Piscataway, NJ 08854
9781412851879, $59.95,

The Natural Law of Cycles: Governing the Mobile Symmetries of Animals and Machines isn't for the casual science collection, but for college-level reference holdings strong in energy cycles and climate patterns. Chapters consider the basics physics involved in concepts of symmetry, balance, and angular momentum and discuss how they relate to animal cycles and behavior. From influences on the flight patterns of birds during migration to how animals follow the rotational cycles of the planet, this is filled with technical details college-level readers will find engrossing.

James Nestor
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003
9780547985527, $27.00,

DEEP: FREEDIVING, RENEGADE SCIENCE, AND WHAT THE OCEAN TELLS US ABOUT OURSELVES comes from a journalist who witnessed a man diving some 300 feet below the ocean's surface on a single breath of air, returning to the surface four minutes later with no problems. The man was a 'freediver' and his abilities prompted the author's interested in this phenomenon. DEEP researches extreme athletes and researchers who are probing the limits of the human body's capacities as well as animal potentials in surviving deepwater explorations, with chapters surveying how underwater experiences affect abilities and often bring forth the body's hidden potentials. The result is a powerful, revealing survey highly recommended for any science reader.

The Scientific Nomenclature of Birds in the Upper Midwest
James Sandrock and Jean Prior
University of Iowa Press
119 West Park Road, Iowa City, IA 52242-1000
9781609382254, $25.00,

The Scientific Nomenclature of Birds in the Upper Midwest explores the science and history of the names of some 450 birds of the Upper Midwest states (many of which occur throughout the country), and provide birders and bird researchers alike insights into the linguistic, historical and scientific process of naming and understanding birds. Chapters consider bird behavior and distribution, environments, and the origins of scientific and common names alike in a survey highly recommended for any collection strong in ornithology.

Preparing the Ghost
Matthew Gavin frank
Liveright Publishing
c/o W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780871402837, $22.95,

Preparing the Ghost provides an essay on the giant squid and its first photographer; and while one might not think that the subject would occupy an entire book, it's actually packed with information surrounding amateur naturalist Reverend Moses Harvey, who in 1874 became the first person to photograph a giant squid. The photo was to be the first proof of the existence of a legendary creature, and Preparing the Ghost delves into the legends, history and science of the fist man to record his encounter with a giant squid and the discoveries that came from his encounter. Science, history, memoir and folklore combine in a lively, involving saga of obsession, myth, and scientific reality, highly recommended for any science reader.

The Chemistry of Alchemy
Cathy Cobb,
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781616149154, $24.95,

The Chemistry of Alchemy: From Dragon's Blood to Donkey Dung, How Chemistry Was Forged comes from three chemists who show how the alchemists' quest involved real science and unusual experiments in pursuit of knowledge, and use the writings of these alchemists to consider the progress of discovery of acids, alkalis, salts and more. Chemistry was born from the roots of alchemy and its experiments: this history provides an inviting, lively discussion that's highly recommended for any science reader.

A Treatise on Good Robots
Krzysztof Tchon and Wojciech W. Gasparski, editors
Transaction Publishers
10 Corporate Place South, Piscataway, NJ 08854
9781412852852, $59.95,

A Treatise on Good Robots (Praxiology) is Volume 21 in the series and gathers articles pairing the field of robotics with discussions of their social influence and reception, and is recommended for college-level science, sociology and robotics readers. Discussions consider everything from the changing appearance and roles of robots in science fiction to the injection of morality and biology in robotic pursuits. Can robots do more than household chores or mechanical manipulation - can they eventually provide healthcare and other services? Articles pinpoint the past, present and future of robotics.

The Mathematics Shelf

Mathematical Modeling
Sandip Banerjee
CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
9781439854518, $89.95,

Mathematical Modeling: Models, Analysis and Applications is a reference for any working in engineering, and provides a book that narrows its focus to cover modeling. A range of differential equations teach how to model under all kinds of mathematical formulas, offering partial, delay and stochastic equations and including details on basic modeling and analysis routines. Examples and exercises throughout can be used as problems in a project, while real-life examples link math and method to engineering applications. In short: any interested in engineering math must have this specific, important reference!

The Technology Shelf

Mapping the Nation: Supporting Decisions that Govern a People
ESRI Press
380 New York Street, Redlands, CA 92378-8100
9781589483477, $19.95,

Mapping the Nation: Supporting Decisions that Govern a People is the fourth book in the publisher's 'Mapping the Nation' series and shows how GIS technology is being used by government agencies to evaluate and respond to social, economic and environmental concerns at local, national and global levels. GIS technology provides visualization and analysis of agency data and this print version of the book packs in over a hundred color maps produced by some 30 federal agencies. The digital version, in contrast, allows readers to zoom in for details or use online versions of some of the maps. The end result does a fine job of showing how maps add illustration and information to the world.

Practical Microwave Circuits
Stephen A. Maas
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
9781608078004, $149.00,

Practical Microwave Circuits is a pick for microwave circuit engineers and offers analytical techniques for designing high-frequency circuits. Here are models for circuits that provides details on noise figure, consider the effects of balanced circuits on gain, and provide supporting insights on electromagnetic concepts as they relate to overall circuit theory. Chapters are packed with algorithms and charts and cover everything from matching circuits to analysis and modeling strategies, making this a solid pick for any interested in microwave circuitry electronics.

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Index it Right! Volume 3
Enid L. Zafran, Editor
Information Today Inc.
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055-8750
9781573875004, $40.00,

Index it Right! Advice from the Experts, Volume 3 is a recommended reference adding the third installment to the "Index It Right" series and provides advice for indexing professionals on everything from ebook indexing and meta-tagging to indexing in niche areas from science to literature. Chapters cover the history of index, special indexing challenges such as indexing multicultural texts and ethnic names, and keys to teaching and using indexing. It's a fine pick recommended for any involved in the profession.

The Music Shelf

Modern Guitar Rigs, second edition
Scott Kahn
Hal Leonard
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing
33 Plymouth St, Suite 302, Montclair, NJ 07042
9781480355156, $29.99,

MODERN GUITAR RIGS: THE TONE FANATIC'S GUIDE TO INTEGRATING AMPS AND EFFECTS appears in its second updated edition to provide a fine survey of techniques designed for guitarists who want to build pro-level rigs, and teaches the best ways to combine current and classic gear for virtually any use, from home recording to clubs. From amp setups and guitar options to effects loops, rigs used by leading guitar players, and more, this includes a DVD packed with supportive information and is a top pick for any guitarist.]

The Late Starters Orchestra
Ari L. Goldman
Algonquin Books
PO Box 2225, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2225
9781565129924, $23.95,

The Late Starters Orchestra comes from a former New York Times reporter and author who a few years ago felt nostalgic for his former cello-playing youth, and who decided to pick up the instrument again as a middle-aged writer, after a twenty-five year hiatus. It tells of his newfound rekindled passion for music and how he honed his skills, first participating in his son's youth orchestra and sitting in on his private lessons, then as a member of New York's Late Starters Orchestra. It's a lovely saga of self-discovery, rediscovery, and musical evolution which should appeal to general interest and music collections alike.

A Voice Undefeated
Collin Raye
Ignatius Press
PO Box 1339, Fort Collins, CO 80522
9781586178178, $26.95,

A Voice Undefeated will appeal beyond country music readers to those interested in autobiography and spiritual accounts alike, and comes from one of this country's best-loved country music singers. It surveys his personal and professional life, his rise to stardom in the country music world, and most of all, surveys his Catholic faith and how it helped him overcome professional challenges and personal losses. From insider politics in Nashville's music circles to how his faith kept him steady, this is an inspirational and revealing read that deserves ongoing recommendation for spirituality readers in general and fans of Collin Raye in particular.

Steal Away the Night
Martin Popoff
Backbeat Books
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
33 Plymouth Street, Suite 302, Montclair, NJ 07042-2677
9781480364745, $39.99,

Steal Away the Night: An Ozzy Osbourne Day-by-Day is for fans of heavy metal in general and Ozzy in particular, and provides an account of Osbourne's decades of fame. From the evolution of his career since Black Sabbath to his encounters with other musicians and his reality TV series The Osbournes, this pairs fine photos and images of record covers, live shows, ads and memorabilia with Ozzy's chronology to make for a vivid, engrossing read.

The Genealogy Shelf

Sustainable Genealogy
Richard Hite
Genealogical Publishing Company
3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260
Baltimore, MD 21211
9780806319827, $18.95,

Sustainable Genealogy: Separating Fact from Fiction in Family Legends is a strong contrast to many books that advocate how to build a family tree and takes a different approach to the subject by outlining what NOT to research or accept as fact. Family legends have a lot to do with fiction and myths and little to do with what actually constitutes true family history, and this guide tells how to separate the two. Chapters consider recurring patterns in family histories, how to unearth the truth behind the myths, and how to discern genealogical information that just doesn't fit. The result is loaded with ideas and while the small print and information may prove daunting for some, most (especially beginning) researchers will find it just the ticket for avoiding the common pitfalls of genealogical investigation.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind
Nick Redfern
New Page Books
c/o Career Press Inc.
220 West Parkway, Unit 12, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
9781601633118, $15.99,

Close Encounters of the Fatal Kind is recommended for any new age reader interested in UFO stories and accounts of humans versus aliens, and gathers many unusual such encounters, from the incredible melting man to the disappearance of military personnel connected to UFOs. Further details on national security concerns and the sudden deaths of UFO investigators are revealed in a title which focuses on deaths at the hands of both humans and possible ETs, making for quite a different (and even more intriguing) focus than many UFO exposes which focus on abduction.

Return to the Brain of Eden
Tony Wright and Graham Glynn
Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620552513, $18.95,

Return to the Brain of Eden: Restoring the Connection Between Neurochemistry and Consciousness explores how the human brain increased at a rapid rate over a period of a million years - then, 200,000 years ago, suddenly stopped. Science maintains that humans are therefore at the peak of their evolution - but the halt in brain expansion may also be explored with other insights in mind, shown here. This draws on some two decades of research to explore how modern human brains perform far below their potential and how to unlock keys to better performance though a combination of spiritual, psychology and physiological pursuits. The result is an intriguing connection between science and new age thought that belongs in the collections of either discipline.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Judy Fridono with Kay Pfaltz
Health Communications Inc.
3201 S.W. 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442-8190
9780757317729, $18.95,

RICOCHET: RIDING A WAVE OF HOPE WITH THE DOG WHO INSPIRES MILLIONS tells of the serve-dog program and how the author trained one special dog who changed her life and sent her on a journey that was to include surfing. Judy expected Ricochet to become something he was not; but when she allowed herself to see his special abilities, she produced not the ordinary service dog but an extraordinary animal who changed countless lives. The result is a powerful saga recommended for any who enjoy stories of pets, service dogs, and extraordinary animals.

How to Run a Dog Business, second edition
Veronica Boutelle, MA, CTC
Dogwise Publishing
403 South Mission Street, Wenatchee WA 98801
9781617811364, $19.95,

How to Run a Dog Business - Putting Your Career Where Your Heart Is appears in its second updated edition and comes from an industry consultant who here provides a fine survey of dogs, dog behavior, and business pursuits. It reflects an update to a book produced six years ago and reflects ten years of experience helping dog businesses and their owners make the most of their pursuits. Most dog trainers hold the position as a second career. Some love dogs, some fell into the business. There are relatively few jobs working with dogs, so there's a higher level of entrepreneurs in this area - many of whom have never run a business before. This focus on the business end covers all the basics from analyzing the market and understanding professional requirements to incorporating solid business practices, and should ideally be consulted before any endeavor is formed.

How to Housetrain Your Puppy in 14 Days or Less
Gretchen Pearson
Atlantic Publishing Group
1405 S.W. 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471
9781601385949, $19.95,

How to Housetrain Your Puppy in 14 Days or Less should, ideally, accompany any new puppy into one's home, and tackles one of the most challenging tasks a dog owner can face. It can't teach patience; but what it can teach is a method of positive reinforcement to quickly get any puppy on a training schedule. From understanding a puppy's signals that it needs to go out to basic housetraining equipment pros and cons, this evolves from the input of dozens of dog trainers and vets and provides a practical, essential guide.

Textbook for the Veterinary Assistant
Kara Burns and Lri Renda-Francis
350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148
9780470959268, $49.99,

Textbook for the Veterinary Assistant provides an in-depth guide to the NAVTA-approved curriculum for vet assisting programs, is written by professionals and copublished with NAVTA, and covers the complete list of skills such assistants need to master. Students will appreciate chapters covering medical terminology, clinical skills, office routines and more, while a companion website fills in details with interactive questions, figures from the book in PowerPoint, and more. Step-by-step coverage of the curriculum for vet assistants makes for a key text any vet student must have.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Pin Loom Weaving
Margaret Stump
Stackpole Books
5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6921
9780811712484, $19.95,

Pin Loom Weaving packs in some 40 projects that use tiny hand looms to produce big results, from blankets and toys to home decor, and even includes instructions on how to build your own pin loom! Such looms are palm-sized creations that produce little squares and rectangles of fabric from yarn. This isn't a new art, but a long-forgotten one, and offers step-by-step wrapping and weaving directions, details on where to buy or how to make pin looms, and patterns that can be paired with any of the projects herein. Add color photos throughout for a lovely, winning needlework guide!

English Paper Piecing II
Vicki Bellino
That Patchwork Place
c/o Martingale & Company
19021 Avenue NE, Bothell, WA 98011
9781604683653, $22.99,

English Paper Piecing II provides a book packed with projects for quilters of al skill levels, and focuses on English paper piecing projects with some 11 foundation projects ranging from a wall art piece to lap quilts and accessories. It begins with simple projects and moves to more complicated designs, includes materials lists and cutting instructions, holds full-page patterns and tips for making embellishments, and spices all with full-page and small color photos throughout. The result is a winning creation for any involved in quilting in general or English paper-piecing in particular.

Home Sewn Celebrations
Teri Henderson Tope
American Quilter's Society
PO Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290
9781604601381, $21.95,

Any interested in kitchen-oriented sewing projects will find Home Sewn Celebrations to be just the ticket, packed with ideas for everything from aprons and pot holders to casserole carriers and filled with fin things that celebrate kitchens, cooking, and home. A CD-ROM with full-sized patterns accompanies the color illustrations and step-by-step instructions in the book, providing deals that make for a foolproof collection of sewing projects perfect for any who look for gift-giving home ideas.

Quilting-on-the-Go: Taking It Further
Carolyn Forster
Landauer Corporation
3100 NW 101st Street, Suite A, Urbandale, Iowa 50322
9781935726500, $27.95,

Quilting-on-the-Go: Taking It Further expands upon Forster's first book on the topic, but no prior familiarity with this book is needed to know how to prepare and use manageable pieces of quilting that can easily be toted and worked on wherever you are. From how to break large quilt designs into smaller sections that can be worked by either hand or machine to piecing and quilting from those pieces, this expands a basics section with new block sashing ideas, offers 11 quilting projects in the Project section, and teaches more about the Quilting-on-the-Go technique. The result is especially recommended for any busy would-be quilter.

The Photography Shelf

Elegant Boudoir Photography
Jessica Lark
Amherst Media, Inc.
175 Rano Street, Suite 200, Buffalo, NY 14207-2176
9781608957279, $27.95,

Elegant Boudoir Photography: Lighting, Posing, and Design for Exquisite Images provides a fine survey of how to create romance when photographing models, and considers all the facets involved in boudoir photography efforts. From dressing and shooting for sensual appeal to creating rich poses and sets, this teaches photographers the basics of creating sensual images of all styles, and is a 'must' for any neo-professional who would learn how to hone the finer skills of boudoir sexuality and style.

The Computer Shelf

SketchUp 2014 for Dummies
Aidan Chiopra
For Dummies
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9781118822661, $29.99,

SketchUp 2014 for Dummies provides a basic user's guide to SketchUp, covering everything from the basics of setting it up and customizing the program to using SketchUp in place of other modeling programs. It assumes no prior knowledge with either SketchUp or modeling, and this is one of its strengths: designers receive the basics on how to create a 3D printable model and how to modify model results, including how to begin from a 2D CAD file, and will appreciate the in-depth approach to using the program's many image processing tools. Black and white photo examples peppered throughout plus a centerfold of color images accompany step-by-step, at-a-glance instructions making this reference a pick for those who would read it cover-to-cover and those who would delve into the book for quick reference support.

Institutionalization of UX, second edition
Eric Schaffer and Apala Lahiri
Addison Wesley
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780321884817, $49.99,

The second updated edition of Institutionalization of UX: A Step-by-Step Guide to a User Experience Practice is recommended for any IT collection and reader who wants to understand changes in user experience, and teaches the basics of incorporating best practices and technology into a business organizational structure. Chapters teach how to implement surface design standards (and explain why this should be a priority), discuss standard user profiles and models, and tackle the ironies and inconsistencies of user design experience. The result is a detailed discussion recommended for any IT business reader.

Routing Protocols
Cisco Networking Academy
Cisco Press
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9781587133237, $66.67,

Routing Protocols Companion Guide comes from the Cisco Networking Academy and offers the official supplemental textbook for the Cisco Routing Protocols course. It describes the architecture and operations of routers, explores their protocols and principles, and teaches how to configure a router for basic and advanced functions. From troubleshooting and fixing common issues to dynamic routing, verifying OSPF process ids, applying EIGRP, and verifying interfaces, this is packed with all the technical references and course-supporting information needed for any undertaking Cisco's Routing Protocols study.

Digital Wars, second edition
Charles Arthur
Kogan Page USA
1518 Walnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19102
9780749472030, $22.50,

The second updated edition of Digital Wars: Apple, Google, Microsoft and the Battle for the Internet is recommended for business and computer collections alike, and offers a behind-the-scenes survey of three top Internet companies with radically different structures and purposes who found themselves competing for the same digital action in 1998. Their interactions and battles would change the world. This updated new edition analyzes each of these major 'digital wars' and the different perspectives of the three companies. It's been updated to include the latest developments, adds new chapters on how China became involved to become the world's biggest smartphone business, and makes for a revealing, engrossing coverage no computer reader or user should miss.

iPad and iPhone Kung Fu
Keir Thomas
Pragmatic Programmers
2831 Eldorado Parkway, #103-381, Frisco, TX 75033-7438
9781937785727, $19.00,

iPad and iPhone Kung Fu: Tips, Tricks, Hints, and Hacks for iOS7 packs in some 300 hints to make an Apple device work better. Most take only a few minutes to implement but represent vast changes, streamlining iPad and iPhone and tweaking them where basic directions end. From understanding how Safari and Mail works to time-saving tricks for the operating system itself, this teaches how to change an Apple device's preset functions and is especially recommended for programmers who want a basic instructional on how to change Apple products to customize the basics.

The Political Science Shelf

Optimism in Politics
Walter Laqueur
Transaction Publishers
10 Corporate Place South, Piscataway, NJ 08854
9781412852661, $49.95,

Optimism in Politics: Reflections on Contemporary History offers a new collection by a political science and history commentator: this one surveying some fifty years of political insight. Wide-ranging essays survey events both within and outside of this time frame and provide college-level political science students with a broad question of how optimism operates in political arenas. From how psychology influences political trends and choices to youth movements, the Arab Spring, Holocaust studies and more, this is essential for any student surveying world-wide political trends and their evolution.

The Rise and Fall of Intelligence
Michael Warner
Georgetown University Press
3240 Prospect Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007
9781626160460, $29.95,

The Rise and Fall of Intelligence: An International Security History considers the history and evolution of intelligence structures and pursuits, following the evolution of professional, institutionalized intelligence and considering sociopolitical changes and influences on individual and global security concerns. Any interested in the progress of professional intelligence operations in Europe and America from early to modern times will find this emphasizes how technological advancement and intelligence theory have resulted in new objectives and techniques, and will find this a fine assessment of intelligence processes through the years.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Idol & Grace
Orlando O. Espin
Orbis Books
Box 302, Maryknoll NY 10545-0302
9781626980624, $34.00,

IDOL & GRACE: ON TRADITIONING AND SUBVERSIVE HOPE is recommended for Christian collections and refers to a process by which the Christian faith is transmitted between generations. Espin considers the role of those who are on the margins and provides a survey of the 'traditioning' process and idea which considers a wider context of the Christian community than is usually analyzed. The result is a skilled exploration of God's presence in the world in general and how Christian community members impart traditions and beliefs.

Ralph Reed
Worthy Books
134 Franklin Road, Suite 200, Brentwood, TN 37027
9781617952876, $22.99,

AWAKENING; HOW AMERICA CAN TURN FROM ECONOMIC AND MORAL DESTRUCTION BACK TO GREATNESS at first glance would seem to be a recommendation for political science and social issues readers; but its focus on spiritual awakening and integration of this awakening into personal and political lives makes it an even stronger pick for spirituality holdings. Chapters draw close connections between effective citizenship and developing a better focus on Earth and in Heaven. It explores political and social efforts and their connections to God, and charts how political and religious morals and ideals intersect. Christian collections, in particular, will find this packed with insights and information.

The Biography Shelf

At the Point of a Cutlass
Gregory N. Flemming
c/o University Press of New England
1 Court Street, Suite 250, Lebanon, NH 03766-1358
9781611685152, $29.95,

At the Point of a Cutlass: The Pirate Capture, Bold Escape, and Lonely Exile of Philip Ashton is sea history at its best, and provides the story of Philip Ashton, a nineteen-year-old fisherman captured by pirates who eventually escaped only to live as an island castaway in the Caribbean. His larger-than-life experiences documents the evolution of early pirate activities in the area, maritime history in the Atlantic and the Caribbean, and the overall life of a pirate, and is based on a rare copy of Ashton's 1725 journal. The result is a lively read made all the more compelling for its real-world roots.

The Art of Being Deaf: A Memoir
Donna McDonald
Gallaudet University Press
800 Florida Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002-3695

The Art of Being Deaf: A Memoir is not your usual story of growing up deaf in a hearing world, but begins at the author's age of 45, when a consultation with a psychologist over romance woes brought to light her internal barrier between her deaf-self and her hearing persona. Having grown up in an oral deaf school since the age of three, learning to communicate only in spoken English, McDonald eventually excelled at speech reading and was continually proving herself in the hearing world. Despite (or perhaps because of) her successes, she closed off her feelings about being deaf. This memoir is her attempt to reconcile her deaf identity with her hearing-deaf persona, and offers a compelling narrative readers will find engrossing.

Diary of a Mad Diva
Joan Rivers
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780425269022, $26.95,

Joan Rivers is famous for her outrageous observations and her funny perspective on life and people, and any who appreciate her style won't be disappointed by Diary of a Mad Diva, which follows up her best-selling I Hate Everyone... Starting with Me and provides fun observations about life, written as diary entries. Here are her personal insights, opinions, and social observations, all couched in a diary that follows her daily life over a year. The result is a powerful, compelling read certain to be as entertaining as her previous best-seller.

A Worldwide Heart
Robert Hurteau
Orbis Books
Box 302, Maryknoll NY 10545-0302
9781616980211, $45.00,

A Worldwide Heart: The Life of Maryknoll Father John J. Considine is recommended for any Christian collection strong in Catholic missionary accounts, and documents a modern-day Catholic missionary movement in general and the life of Father Considine, one of the leading figures of this mission. Chapters show how he promoted and organized catholic missions from the U.S., creating support systems, directing the first U.S. bishops' Latin America Bureau, and playing a key role in promoting U.S mission services from the 1960s to the 1980s. Any Catholic collection strong in missionary history and modern endeavors needs this biography that covers not just one man's life, but an entire movement.

The Martial Arts Shelf

Simplified Tai Chi Chuan
Liang, Shou-Tu and Wu, Wen-Ching
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480, Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
9781594392788, $16.95,

Simplified Tai Chi Chuan covers 24 postures with applications and pairs these with 48 standard postures, is designed for self-study, and will help martial arts readers learn both the Simplified Tai Chi Chuan 24-posture form and the 48-posture form. Each is a popular tai chi form, and each can be performed in quick sequences that take range from six to twelve minutes. From basic theory involved in both to warm-up exercises and basics of movements, chapters excel in step-by-step black and white photos that document every movement in a sequence. Any martial arts library will find this a satisfying contrast of both forms.

Shaolin Staff Basic Sequences
Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480, Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
9781594390920, $39.95,

Shaolin Staff Basic Sequences: Qi Mei Gun And Qi Mei Dui Gun is for any working with long weapons training and outlines the sequences and solo drills for Shaolin Staff training. This particular martial arts form explores the basic skills needed for any using long weapons, and uses solo and matching drills along with partner drills and 2-person staff matching to instruct students on the entire process. The result is a DVD specific in its movements and features, recommended especially for those interested in self-instructionals.

The Business Shelf

20 Minute Manager: Running Meetings
Harvard Business School Publishing
c/o Harvard Business School Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
9781625272258, $12.95,

20 Minute Manager: Running Meetings tells how to lead with confidence and manage conflicts that emerge in the context of a business meeting, and provides a fine review of the basics of creating meeting purpose, inviting the right team members, and making sure everyone is heard and on track. From how to avoid or diffuse conflicts to managing decisions and keeping the meeting on track: this is a fine guide for managers who would get the most from a business meeting; especially for those relatively new to the process of directing a meeting.

The Color Bind
Erica Gabrielle Foldy and Tamara R. Buckley
Russell Sage Foundation
112 East 64th Street, New York, NY 10065
9780871544728, $37.50,

The Color Bind: Talking (and Not Talking) About Race at Work belongs in both social issues and business collections and provides a survey charting studies on how business 'color blindness' is negatively affecting business pursuits. It comes from two workplace experts who analyze race relations in office settings and considers how color blindness and cognizance have different effects on how coworkers interrelate and act. The result is a powerful survey highly recommended for any interested in the subject of race relations in the workplace.

How the World Sees You
Sally Hogshead
Harper Business
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062230690, $29.99,

How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination initially would seem to appeal to psychology and self-help collections; but it actually comes from a branding and marketing expert who reveals how to tap into one's personality and its tools to sell a compelling product: you. It covers the basics of grabbing customer attention and provides keys to understanding how to impress and persuade others, it teaches how to transmit this fascination both in person and on paper or online, and it is based on a decade of research with some 250,000 initial participants, including hundreds of small businesses and dozens of Fortune 500 teams. The result is a solid read for any interested in branding and marketing.

Never Eat Alone, expanded and updated
Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz
Crown Business
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
9780385346658, $27.00,

NEVER EAT ALONE AND OTHER SECRETS TO SUCCESS, ONE RELATIONSHIP AT A TIME has been expanded and updated from its original and provides a key collection of insights into developing and using professional business relationships. Much has changed since the first edition appeared nearly ten years ago: social media marketing barely existed and digital communication was in its infancy. That's why this new book is so important: it builds on the successful, proven model of the past but as been completely revised and updated for modern networkers who use iPhones and social media. The result is a top business pick for any who would successfully use the latest tools to develop the strongest business connections.

Factory Man
Beth Macy
Little, Brown & Company
c/o Hachette Book Group
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9780316231435, $28.00,

Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local - And Helped Save An American Town is more than one man's story, but represents generations of struggle and changing business trends. Investigative reporter Beth Macy here provides the history of the Bassett Furniture Company, once the world's biggest wood furniture manufacturer run by the same Virginia family for three generations. Up to the 1980s it was a success: from that point on the company faced competition from cheap imports that eroded both furniture quality and prices as businesses outsourced manufacturing to Asia. John Bassett III fought back - and his legal and business choices eventually preserved not only his company, but a town who depended on it. A powerful saga evolves, recommended for business and general interest collections alike.

Story Based Selling
Jeff Bloomfield
SelectBooks, Inc.
87 Walker Street, Suite B1, New York City, NY 10013
9781590792506, $22.95,

Story Based Selling: Create, Connect, and Close might appear to be geared to sales professionals; but to limit its audience to this group alone would be doing it a grave disservice. General readers who would hone a better approach to making connections, especially in business, will find this explores how we can influence others form a place of mutual cooperative benefit rather than from a place of manipulation, and will appreciate the strategy. This isn't just a pipe dream or theory: field-tested experience and the latest research in neuroscience contributes to a positive blend of fact and applied discoveries to help a wide audience from sales-oriented individuals to those employed in social services or concerned with philanthropic objectives.

The Gardening Shelf

The Shady Lady's Guide to Northeast Shade Gardening
Amy Ziffer
University Press of New England
1 Court Street, Suite 250, Lebanon, NH 03766-1358
9781611685251, $27.95,

The Shady Lady's Guide to Northeast Shade Gardening is a wonderful guide to shade gardening and provides a simple, proven method for New England residents who want ideas for ornamentals in shady areas. Here are plant recommendations, best practices, and discussions of the zones of the Northeast. Everything about shade gardening is geared to these areas and concepts, providing a lovely mix of color photos and discussions of soil basics, fertilization, and good choices for particular zones. Northeast gardeners should consider this a specific 'must'.

The Interior Design Shelf

Plain Simple Useful
Terence Conran
Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781840916553, $34.99,

Plain Simple Useful: The Essence of Conran Style is all about making the most of objects in the home and creating home interior designs that reflect stylish, timeless interiors while allowing room for personal taste and displays. This gathers interiors, many of which are the author's own, for ideas for organizing and displaying a living space, and pairs examples of classic designs with insights into storage spaces and object containers. The result is an outstanding survey for home and garden and interior arts holdings alike, displaying the best of style choices and their results.

The Audiobook Shelf

The Matchmaker: A Novel
Elin Hilderbrand, author
Erin Bennett, narrator
Little, Brown
c/o Hachette Book Group
237 Park Avenue, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10017
9781607885245, $35.00,

The Matchmaker: A Novel enjoys Erin Bennett's evocative and moving reading, which makes for a fine pairing with the story of a middle-aged woman known for her knack of matchmaking. Dabney has never been wrong about romance - except in her own life, where a love from her past offers both a second chance and a final resolution. Expect a warm and slowly-building audiobook romance story, that uses a woman's matchmaking abilities to mend broken hearts and lives, then adds a satisfying twist.

James Patterson & David Ellis
Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9781478900344, $35.00,

Invisible is presented in a striking, unabridged audio by January LaVoy and Kevin T. Collins and tells of Emmy, who is obsessed with finding a link between hundreds of unsolved cases (including the death of her own sister). So obsessed that she's taken a leave from her FBI researching job. The only problem is that nobody will believe her even when she uncovers definite connections between dozens of deaths across the country. A gripping saga evolves, spiced with the lure of seasoned audio readers and the classic tension of a good Patterson thriller.

Think Like a Freak
Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
Harper Audio
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062218407, $29.99,

THINK LIKE A FREAK comes from a professor of economics and an award-winning journalist who here consider problem-solving methods and new approaches. From business to politics and more, the focus is on how to retrain the brain and how people around the world have honed both positive and development approaches with a difference. From methods of scams to the secrets of a Japanese hot-dog-eating champion, this provides a lively discourse perfect for any who want to consider new approaches to thinking and learning.

Ghost Ship
Clive Cussler and Graham Brown
Penguin Audio
c/o The Penguin Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9781611762594, $39.95,

Scott Brisk is a film, TV and stage actor who lends his smooth award-winning voice to yet another audio: this the thriller GHOST SHIP, revolving around a man injured during an attempt at rescuing passengers and crew fro ma sinking yacht. He awakens with strange memories and fragments that could be dreams, hallucinations or reality - and since he doesn't trust his own memories, he embarks on a search for answers that leads him into a dangerous world of cybercrime and suspicious accidents. There's such a host of encounters thrown in that at times it feels like everything but the kitchen sink is present, but disparate threads come together, especially in the audio format which heightens tension and creates a compelling listen.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Rods and the Axe
Tom Kratman
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781476736563, $25.00,

The Rods and the Axe provides a new sequel to Come and Take Them and is another fine story of Patrick Carrera, who has driven the Tauran Union from his country but needs them to come back so he can truly defeat them. A series of political strategies and plays comes into effect as Carrera plays cat and mouse and dangerous games with an enemy who must be lured back into the fold to truly be defeated. Military scifi action at its best, The Rods and the Axe is particularly recommended for prior readers who will appreciate the latest evolution of the Carrera military series.

Tower Lord
Anthony Ryan
Ace Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780425265628, $28.95,

The first novel of the 'Raven's Shadow' series created a strong alternate universe filled with different characters and social and religious settings, introducing one Vaelin Al Sorna, an abandoned child trained to be a Warrior of the Faith. Tower Lord is the sequel to Blood Song (which is recommended, possibly even required, reading) and continues the epic story of Vaelin, who has suffered his greatest defeat in war and who no longer believes in the Order that trained him. Newly elected as Tower Lord, he searches for peace but continues to find it elusive and challenging. Prior readers of the epic will find this as taunt and gripping as the first, continuing the story of a warrior still finding his way in life.

Larry Niven
c/o Tor/Forge Books
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9780765324627, $15.99,

At first glance Ringworld seems to be a reissue of an old classic: but wait, there's a difference here! This is a graphic novel adaptation of the award-winning novel and provides lovely graphics on the Ringworld environment, one of the most celebrated books of Niven's career. The graphic novel format would seem, at first glance, a difficult choice for a story line as complex as Ringworld: that Niven pulls off this choice with a vivid visual impression of events is tribute to his skills at both telling a story and capturing Ringworld's nuances using the graphic novel format. Graphic novel writers and book authors are typically different creatures: that Niven can create a visual of his world is a rare achievement.

The Travel Shelf

City Cycling Europe
Max Leonard and Andrew Edwards
Thames & Hudson
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500291009, $39.95,

City Cycling Europe is a 'must' for any who would plan a journey to Europe via cycle, and packs in the basics through a series of city-specific pocket guides all packaged in a slipcase but lending to take-along totes. Paris, Milan, London, Copenhagen, Berlin, Barcelona, Antwerp and Ghent, and Amsterdam each receive in-depth treatment in individual books that include route maps, city rental services, and more. All this comes with color illustrations throughout in a set that is amazingly compact for bike-friendly toting, recommended for any cycling enthusiast.

Kalahari Summer in Photographs and Oils
Robert Grogan
Random Struik
9781920572921, $28.95,

It's hard to tell where art and travelogue leave off in Kalahari Summer in Photographs and Oils: it belongs in both arts and travel collections as it captures images of South Africa's Kalahari region as experienced by photographer/painter Robert Grogan, who has traveled through the region for three decades. Here are photos of big game, smaller animals, and seasonal landscapes alike, gathered under one cover for the first time. Any building a collection strong in South African imagery will find this a lovely, artistic addition packed with color on every page.

Postcards from Route 66
Joe Sonderman
Voyageur Press
c/o Quayside Publishing Group
400 First Avenue North, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55401
9780760346112, $30.00,

Postcards from Route 66: The Ultimate Collection from America's Main Street gathers illustrated and photographic postcards from Route 66 from the 1930s through the mid-60s, offering through them a visual record of the route's sights and culture from its motels and tourist attractions to its natural wonders. Some 400 of the finest postcard art from the decades when Americans were traveling roads via car make for a lovely representation of Route 66's attractions and come from a historian specialist who gathers the best from his 20,000-card archive to document the journey down the route. The result is a lively visual coverage documenting Route 66's heyday and famous roadside stops.

Roadside Geology of Utah, second edition
Felicie Williams,
Mountain Press Publishing Company
PO Box 2399, Missoula, MT 59806
9780878426188, $26.00,

Science and travel collections alike will relish the second updated edition of Roadside Geology of Utah, which packs in some 65 guides to the state's major highways and slower two-lane roads. 300 color photos, maps and figures supplement a tour of a state exceptionally rich in geologic history and wonders. From monuments and parks to lesser-known evidence of geologic upheaval and change over the eons, Utah is one of the best states for observing geology's history and evidence, making this book a top recommendation for science-oriented destination travelers who would better understand the sights they're observing.

The Education Shelf

Cracking the GMAT Premium Edition
Geoff Martz and Adam Robinson
Princeton Review
c/o Random House Inc.
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
9780804124942, $37.99,

Cracking the GMAT Premium Edition packs in 6 full-length practice test, video tutorial support, tips and techniques for avoiding common pitfalls, and everything needed to help students work smarter and test higher, and is a 'must' for any GMAT student. Chapters create multi-week study plans and offer special insider keys to success, as well as providing successful examples of interviews and essays alike. With all this in hand, leaving little to wonder, it's certain that GMAT students will find the test much easier than anticipated, with this reference presenting a fine supplemental study program.

Preparing to Study Abroad
Steven T. Duke
Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
9781579229948, $22.50,

Preparing to Study Abroad: Learning to Cross Cultures isn't your usual coverage about how to get into study programs in other countries: instead it covers the basics about how to consider the process of crossing into another culture for learning purposes, and is key to any who are about to embark on a study program in another country. Chapters written for these students offer strategies for learning about other cultures, promoting understanding of cultural differences and discussing routines needed to adapt. From the experiences of other students who have successfully studied abroad to the basics of life in other countries, this is the first place to go after one's program has been solidified.

Building Bridges Crossing Borders
Ann Darby Getty
Gallaudet University Press
800 Florida Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002-3695
9781563686078, $29.95,

Building Bridges Crossing Borders tells of Kyler Daniels, born in 1988 with profound hearing loss. Her deafness was undetected for a year since newborn screening for hearing loss wasn't available, but her family supported her and professionals in deaf education included this author, who here writes of Kyler's life and her involvement with Kyler from age 13 months until her college graduation 22 years later. It's rare to have a perspective on deaf education from a teacher with long-term experience working with one individual: BUILDING BRIDGES, CROSSING BORDERS: ONE YOUNG DEAF WOMAN'S EDUCATION will thus help parents of other deaf children and professionals working with them, and is a unique, highly recommended account!

Unleashing Student Superpowers
Kristen Swanson and Hadley J. Ferguson
Corwin Press
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218
9781483350967, $30.00,

Unleashing Student Superpowers: Practical Teaching Strategies for 21st Century Students provides a fine survey that pairs step-by-step lessons aligned with the Common Core with discussions of typical obstacles to learning and how to turn a classroom into a place empowering students in the educational process. It deserves ongoing recommendation as a fine series of research-based discussions showing teachers how to match engaging activities to different goals. The result is a powerful handbook teachers will find proactive and encouraging.

The Military Shelf

Soldiers in Fur and Feathers
Susan Bulanda
Alpine Publications
38262 Linman Road, Crawford, CO 81415
9781577791546, $15.95,

Soldiers in Fur and Feathers: The Animals that Served in World War I - Allied Forces should be in any military history holding, and blends stories of the animals of World War I with facts little-known either inside or outside of military circles. The U.S. shipped some 16 million mules and horses to Europe in the war effort, thousands of dogs participated in battles, and even birds become involved in the battles. This history will reach both military and general-interest animal story readers alike with many accounts of heroism and insights into why and how animals participated in the war.

F9F Panther Units of the Korean War
Warren Thompson
Osprey Publishing
4301 21st St, Suite 220B, Long Island City, NY 11101
9781782003502, $22.95,

F9F Panther Units of the Korean War adds to Osprey's 'Combat Aircraft' series and provides a comprehensive history of some 32 Panther squadron deployments during the Korean war, along with special detachments. The Panther was one of the most frequently used aircraft in the conflict: color art, vintage photos, and first-hand accounts of pilots and crew spice a fine survey of its operations!

The Fiction Shelf

One Plus One
Jojo Moyes
Pamela Dorman Books / Viking Press
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780525426585, $27.95,

ONE PLUS ONE tells of a single mother, a quirky family, and a series of event that befalls Jess and her family. Her husband has vanished, her teen stepson is being bullied, and life isn't good for anyone at the moment; so when they are stranded on the side of a road, they don't expect this event to change their lives for the better. Add a series of mishaps and ironies to a dysfunctional family and create a cast of strangely juxtaposed but intriguing protagonists and you have a novel filled with acrobatic insights and solid adventure.

The Red Room
Ridley Pearson
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780399163746, $26.95,

The Red Room provides a satisfying Risk Agent novel, the third installment in the series, and shows American freelance operative John Knox and Chinese forensic accountant Grace Chu teaming up on an assignment neither really understands. As they come to suspect Rutherford Risk is manipulating them, they begin to probe the complex, convoluted world of the gray market sale of a valuable antiquity. It's up to the team to prove a potential buyer's international finances and their journey to Istanbul brings them into contact with a myriad of forces that moves well beyond the sale of a priceless art object and enters into the modern domain of security and political issues. This fine novel of intrigue will immerse any thriller reader.

Wayfaring Stranger
James Lee Burke
Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
9781476710792, $27.99,

WAYFARING STRANGER is a romance of a different kind, opens with a young narrator's chance encounter with Bonnie and Clyde, and tells of how Weldon Holland moves from World War II to a more peaceful world which retains an undercurrent of evil and danger. Weldon has sacrificed much for this uncertain peace and after the war ends he builds an innovative oil pipeline business, but when business competition embarks on a campaign involving his wife and threatening his new life, all bets are off. A fast-paced plot involves readers in an epic, sweeping life story that's hard to put down.

Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands
Chris Bohjalian
Doubleday & Company
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
9780385534833, $25.95,

While Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands centers on a homeless teen protagonist, it's not intended for young adults per say but will reach from mature teens well into adult audiences with its story of Emily, who lives in an igloo made of ice and trash bags. Half a year earlier the cataclysmic meltdown of a Vermont nuclear plant killed her parents, and thousands fled in its aftermath. Because the accident may have been her father's fault, she assumes a new identity and leaves everything familiar to her. Assuming a new identity and life also means assuming new friendships - ones she'll fight to protect. A powerful saga of friendship and disaster survival makes this an unpredictable, involving read.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Mr. Mercedes
Stephen King
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
9781476754451, $30.00,

A job fair would seem an unlikely place to open a typical Stephen King thriller, but then many of his opening scenes are anything but predictable, and King excels at taking a seemingly common, ordinary scenario and building something extraordinary from it. Here a line of job-hungry applicants are mowed down by a killer with a stolen Mercedes who taunts a retired detective with the claim that he will never be found because he will never kill again. But is that true? A typical Stephen King thriller evolves: typical because even the most mundane event holds the potential for impossible conditions in this captivating novel.

Brooklyn Graves
Triss Stein
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave., #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781464202179, $24.95,

BROOKLYN GRAVES provides a fine Erica Donato mystery revolving around the brutal murder of a family man with no enemy to pinpoint. The only clues lie in a box of letters home. So what does this have to do with Erica Donato? Plenty: she's a history grad student, a young single mother of a teen, and she works in a history museum, assigned to catalog these letters for an expert. What she doesn't realize is that they hold the key to a murder. A powerful mystery evolves, with the protagonist of Erica Donato well drawn.

Fatal Fortune
Victoria Laurie
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780451240613, $24.95,

Fatal Fortune provides a fine new 'psychic eye' mystery revolving around psychic Abby Cooper whose best friend is caught on video shooting someone. She's willing to bet her missing friend is innocent, but there's more than even meets the camera's eye and soon Abby is probing the Mob, her friend, and a story that begins (and may end) in Vegas. An engrossing, fast-paced story of fortunes made and lost makes for an involving read.

Book Clubbed
Lorna Barrett
Berkeley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780425252574, $25.95,

Book Clubbed provides a fine new Booktown mystery when revolves around bookstore owner Tricia and her sister Angelica who face down a killer who uses a bookcase as a murder weapon. All this comes to light when a receptionist is crushed by a bookcase and the contents of her will release many surprises and secrets - some of which may have been the real cause of her untimely demise. An exciting mystery evolves, especially recommended for prior Booktown mystery fans.

The Black Hour
Lori Rader-Day
Seventh Street Books
c/o Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781616148850, $15.95,

THE BLACK HOUR revolves around Chicago sociology professor Amelia Emmet, who faces a too-real challenge when a student she'd never met shoots her, kills himself, and leaves her with a number of questions. She wants to get on with her life but these events will change it, and her efforts to uncover the truth involve her in a deep, dark mystery and in investigations she never would have deemed possible before the shooting. A tense mystery evolves, recommended for any mystery enthusiast.

Remains of Innocence
J.A. Jance
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062134721, $26.99,

Remains of Innocence is a Joanna Brady novel of suspense recommended for genre readers and will earn attraction from her previous fans and newcomers alike. It opens in Massachusetts, where one Selma is about to die from emphysema, leaving her daughter Liza happy about escaping her mother's abuse at last. But Selma's final days lead to an unexpected windfall of another nature and when she dies, her house burns down and Liza's landlady is murdered. All this involves Sheriff Brady, in far-away Arizona where a different mystery and murder is challenging all her abilities. A fine mystery winds through a complex, unpredictable plot recommended for novel and mystery fans alike.

The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

The Art of the Films Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Matt Hurwitz, Sharon Gosling, and Adam Newell
Titan Books
144 Southwark Street, London SE1 OUP, UK
9781783291977, $34.95,

With the latest remake of yet another Planet of the Apes film, it's refreshing to see the appearance of The Art of the Films Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, a visual survey covering the new era of the series. It's produced in cooperation with the filmmakers, which means it's a virtual treasure trove of detail including exclusive interviews with all involved, behind-the-scenes photos, and full-page, full-color stills and artwork from the production itself.

The Dance of Reality
Alejandro Jodorowsky
Park Street Press
PO Box 63, South Paris, ME 04281
9781620552810, $24.95,

New age, biography and autobiography and film collections alike will find The Dance of Reality: A Psychomagical Autobiography combines many different elements as it probes the life and film contributions of the author, who has followed a spiritual and mystical path since childhood to blend his interests as a writer, filmmaker and therapist. Don't expect your usual chronology of events: Jodorowsky's is a disparate self-examination that moves from his life to his therapeutic approaches and how all this influences his artistic side. Examinations of the past - even family trees - offer insights into the soul: thus The Dance of Reality offers unusual glimpses into various influences and facets of his world and will appeal beyond your usual reader of either film autobiography or new age genres.

The Best American Short Plays 2012-2013
William W. Demastes, Editor
Applause Books
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
19 West 21st Street, Suite 201, New York, NY 10010
9781480361744, $19.99,

This 'best of' collection for 2012-13 gathers plays that capture emotional scenes, which represent struggles for self-realization and survival, and include writings by Frank Higgins, Crystal Skillman, James Armstrong and many more names. There is no singular theme to these plays aside from their focus on emotional impact and winning methods of depicting the human condition on stage. The result is a powerful literary collection particularly recommended for students of drama and acting.

Behind the Curtain
Dave Berg
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781455619962, $24.95,

Behind the Curtain: An Insider's View of Jay Leno's Tonight Show comes from an insider who reveals the inner workings of the show, from Leno's monologues to his guests and interviews, and considers the show's achievements and memorable moments. It comes from one of Leno's own long-time co-producers, who for eighteen years booked Hollywood stars and news personalities alike. It's this special set of insights into the making of Jay Leno that create such an involving, engrossing read recommended for any general interest collection strong in TV personalities.

The Women's Studies Shelf

Bold Women in Alaska History
Marjorie Chochrane
Mountain Press Publishing Company
PO Box 2399, Missoula, MT 59806
9780878426171, $12.00,

Bold Women in Alaska History reveals how a culturally-diverse group of spirited women have helped to shape Alaska's history form pioneer to modern times; and while it's intended for teen readers, it's reviewed here because it'd be a shame to limit its audience to teen readers alone. It's a selection of short biographies that uses heroines to trace the history of Alaska. From the Reindeer Queen to the first Filipino-American to serve in the Alaska legislature, ages 12 and up will find this a very lively, accessible history perfect for women's history collections.

The American History Shelf

A Most Imperfect Union
Ilan Stavans
Basic Books
c/o Perseus Books Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
9780465036691, $26.99,

A Most Imperfect Union: A Contrarian History of the United States turns traditional American history upside down; so if it's alternative thinking you wish on the topic, there's no better place to look. From how a converted Jew discovered the New World to how the 'forgotten people' - immigrants, workers and slaves - virtually built America from the ground up, A Most Imperfect Union takes many facets of American history and uses a blend of humor and illustrations to bring them to life with a new eye to alternative explanations. This will delight any American history buff but is especially recommended as alternative reading for any who have absorbed traditional approaches to the subject and seek a sometimes-radically-different perspective!

City of Ambition
Mason B. Williams
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393348989, $17.95,

City of Ambition: FDR, LaGuardia, and the Making of Modern New York provides an unusual focus on two public figures whose efforts together transformed the Big Apple: New York City mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. These two were opposed in everything from background to approach to politics and life. One was rich, one grew up in Greenwich Village as a first-generation Italian-American. Yet they shared ideological similarities and objectives and together they swept New York City into a new era with a relationship that was personal as well as political. Any interested in New York City history must have this.

The World History Shelf

Collision of Empires
Prit Buttar
Osprey Publishing
4301 21st St, Suite 220B, Long Island City, NY 11101
9781782006480, $29.95,

Collision of Empires: The War on the Eastern Front in 1914 could have been featured in our 'Military Shelf' section, but is reviewed here so that others don't miss its wide-ranging survey of the war's Eastern Front. Why the need for yet another focus on the conflict? Because much of the actual fighting between Russia, Germany and the Austro-Hungarian empires have been largely forgotten in the West. Chapters document the chaos of three powerful empires that collided on the Eastern Front, and use first-hand accounts and new archival research to retell events of the first year of the war. Yes, it's a focus on battles and military processes - but it's a perspective key for any considering World War I history, and shouldn't be regulated to military holdings alone!

The Architecture Shelf

Pocket Guide to Chicago Architecture, third edition
Judith Paine McBrien,
Norton Architecture & Design Books
c/o W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393733938, $19.95,

Pocket Guide to Chicago Architecture appears in its third updated edition and has been expanded to include the city's changing urban landscape. Numerous highlights of the downtown area are covered, maps are provided for those who would visit the area, a glossary of architectural terms explains things for non-architects, and an index of buildings guides travelers along architectural routes across the city. The result is a recommendation for destination-bound travelers and students of urban architecture alike.

The Judicial Studies Shelf

Treasure State Justice
Arnon Gutfeld
Texas Tech University Press
PO Box 41037, Lubbock, TX 79409-1037
9780896728455, $29.95,

Treasure State Justice: Judge George M. Bourquin, Defender of the Rule of Law offers plenty of insights into the history and role of federal judges in the early 20th century American west, analyzing the major issues they faced in the evolution of frontier justice and considering how one judge, in particular, defended individual liberty. It's a social, legal and historical piece that should be in any college collection strong in these genres, offering insights into how local and state laws evolved, how state judges and legislators operated and changed over the decades, and how one judge's decisions in labor and Native American issues influenced a nation's legal course.

The Art Shelf

Art & Ecology Now
Andrew Brown
Thames & Hudson
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500239162, $50.00,

Art & Ecology Now offers a new survey of modern artists working with nature and landscape, and surveys everything from land art to ecology-focused art which has been a genre unto itself in the art world for decades. It surveys recent contemporary artworks that deal with or depict nature and the environment, is arranged in six thematic chapters by type of art, and explores different artistic documents and visions of and through nature. Some 300 color illustrations pack a feature of some 90 artists and collectives, recommended for any collection strong in modern arts representations.

The Fashion Shelf

Irene: A Designer from the Golden Age of Hollywood
Frank Billecci & Lauranne B. Fisher
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764345555, $50.00,

Irene: A Designer from the Golden Age of Hollywood: The MGM Years 1942-1949 covers Hollywood's Golden Age, captured by a designer known as Irene, and provides an in-depth survey based on access to the records of her personal artist, Virginia Fisher, which documents Irene's years at MGM. Over 150 original sketches and photos from the period document her design legacy and the evolution of her successful dress shop to MGM studio works and the establishment of her designer label, Irene, Inc. Any interested in fashion design, Hollywood history, and her achievements will find this packed with full-page visuals and accompanying detailed history on Hollywood in general and Irene's rise to fame in particular.

The Automotive Shelf

The Cars of Trans-Am Racing 1966-1972
David Tom
CarTech Inc.
39966 Grand Avenue, North Branch, MN 55056
9781613250518, $39.95,

The Cars of Trans-Am Racing 1966-1972 focuses on the cars used in this series, from Mustangs and Cameros to Cougars and Firebirds, and offers a rare focus from a mechanical perspective as opposed to the usual survey on race results. Many of the vintage photos where have never been seen in print before, while discussions of the cars and their popularity with collectors offer details on historic car restorations, racing, builders and teams, and more. The result is a 'must' for any interested in the mechanics and sport of the early Trans-Am racers.

Hot Rod Gallery
Pat Ganahl
CarTech Inc.
39966 Grand Avenue, North Branch, MN 55056
9781613251157, $39.95,

Hot Rod Gallery is a fine recommendation for any interested in hot rodding's golden years, and comes from the author's own enthusiasm and library of images as he tells the history of hot rodding from its origins to 1960. Because many of the photos come from Ganahl's own collection, they have rarely been seen. The accompanying history traces the evolution of car shows, hot rod restorations, and the evolution of the custom car movement and its appearances in mainstream culture. Images in black and white and color document everything in a top recommendation for any hot rod buff.

The Art of the Formula 1 Race Car
Stuart Codling
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9780760346075, $45.00,

The Art of the Formula 1 Race Car pairs lovely full-page color photos by photographer James Mann with a history of the artistic development of the Formula 1 car, and provides an updated edition of a classic treatment that brings these notable cars into the studio and captures their artistic designs and winning engineering styles. Revised and revamped to include many more cars and race car history up to modern times, this represents a rare marriage between motorsport history and art, and is a top pick for any interested in Formula 1 racing history and culture, offering a rare glimpse into not just racing history, but the design and styling intrinsic to Formula 1.

The Gun Shelf

5th Edition Blue Book of Tactical Firearms
S.P. Fjestad
Blue Book Publications Inc.
8009 34th Avenue South, Suite 250
Minneapolis, MN 55425
9781936120536, $29.95,

The 5th Edition of Blue Book of Tactical Firearms represents a significant update in values and firearms history and will be a 'must' for any interested in a reference that moves right into the new 2014 makes as well as firearms that have been discontinued. From trademark indexes to discussions of accessories and ammo, this offers a resource unique in its scope. Over 500 pages discuss tactical firearms and provide detailed model descriptions. Any interested in the subject will find this a key reference.

The California Shelf

Milk and Honey
Justin Van Hoy
Ammo Books
PO Box 412402, Los Angeles, California 90041
9781934429099, $39.95,

Milk and Honey: Contemporary Art in California is a fine collection of California art images and holds contributions by a range of artists from a variety of mediums and styles. This showcase of unknown and emerging artists as well as established and better-known names promises a well-rounded collection that also includes mention of regions and art culture, from L.A. to northern California. Biographical profiles accompany full-page color representations of each artist while discussions of cultural and California-specific influences are key to a unique representation that's a 'must' for any arts or California-centric arts collection.

Down to Earth
Janet Fletcher and George Rose
Wine Institute
9780615946610, $40.00,

DOWN TO EARTH; A SEASONAL TOUR OF SUSTAINABLE WINEGROWING IN CALIFORNIA provides a fine, consumer-friendly guide to environmentally and socially conscious grape-growing practices that have influenced California vintners and growers, and focuses on the actions of fifteen selected vintners and growers as a representative of thousands who have participated in certification programs and sustainable efforts throughout the state. Chapters discuss the basics of how wine grapes are grown and harvested, while discussions focus around sustainable practices that differ from traditional methods. The result is a solid pick for any interested in the modern art of grapegrowing in general and California sustainable agriculture in particular.

Quite Contrary
David J. Langum, Sr.
Texas Tech University Press
PO Box 41037, Lubbock, TX 79409-1037
9780896728745, $34.95,

QUITE CONTRARY: THE LITIGIOUS LIFE OF MARY BENNETT LOVE tells of a larger-than-life figure who in the 1840s moved West from Arkansas via the Oregon Trail, was separated from her husband and left with six minor children, and became well versed in law even though illiterate. She squatted on public lands in California and engaged in dozens of lawsuits, had bodyguards who eventually killed her second husband, and lived a life of turmoil and strife in pre-Gold Rush California. Hers is not just a story of personal struggle, but one of the legal, political and social evolution of early California itself: as such, it deserves a place in any California history holding.

San Francisco Lithographer
Robert J. Chandler
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780806144108, $36.95,

San Francisco Lithographer: African American Artist Grafton Tyler Brown belongs in arts, African-American history and California collections alike and discusses the heritage and achievements of a successful commercial artist and businessman whose lithographs achieved fame even in the gold rush era and pre-Civil War. His cityscapes earned him fame, but he also published maps, charts and business documents and illustrated everything from books to ads: this biography takes the form of a combination of pictorial and written exploration of Brown's career and shows how he flourished and how his efforts were intrinsic to fostering California's printing and publishing industry. A 'must' for any collection strong in any of these topics, packed with powerful visual examples of Brown's works.

California Coast from the Air
Gary Griggs and Deepika Shrestha Ross, authors
Kenneth and Gabrielle Adelman, photographers
Mountain Press Publishing Company
PO Box 2399
Missoula, MT 59806
9780878426126 $28.00

California Coast from the Air: Images of a Changing Landscape is a striking compendium of 150 full-color, aerial photographs of California's 1,100-mile coastline, as gathered by the California Coastal Records Project. Oceanographer Gary Griggs and architect Deepika Shrestha Ross enrich this extraordinary collection with brief yet enlightening captions about the natural features of California's coastal landscape. Accessible to readers of all backgrounds, and utterly beautiful to behold, California Coast from the Air is a treasure to remember.

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

Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design