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California Bookwatch

Volume 11, Number 9 September 2016 Home | CALBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Needlecraft Shelf Military Shelf
Sports Shelf Education Shelf Biography Shelf
Philosophy Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Art Shelf
Music Shelf Audiobook Shelf Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf California Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Perfectly Imperfect
Baron Baptiste
Hay House Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781401947538 $19.99

Perfectly Imperfect: The Art and Soul of Yoga Practice provides an excellent companion to the author's prior Journey Into Power, which introduced his particular Baptiste Yoga, a method that incorporated different kinds of yoga into a wider-ranging approach to change. The focus here is on what happens after a yoga pose is achieved; not on how to achieve it - and therefore the emphasis on yoga's transformative powers is addressed in chapters that advocate adjusting techniques to foster change and new revelations. The result is a top recommendation for any yoga practitioner.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Quilt Matchup: Stash vs. Cash
Linda J. Hahn
American Quilter's Society
PO Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290
9781683390046 $22.95

Quilt Matchup: Stash vs. Cash provides two different options for each quilt - one with purchased fabric and one using stash contents - and shows how to use each in a range of quilts that can help use up a backlog of stash materials while integrating results with purchased yardage. Since cutting and sorting this combination can be challenging, chapters offer specific strategies for combining and problem-solving using step-by-step methods that leave little to wondering, accompanying all with color photos that supplement text descriptions. Block patterns and yardage and cutting instructions by color show how to subcut sets and apply them to finished projects, making for a clear and easy route to producing a polished matched result.

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

Amy Ellis's Modern Heritage Quilts: New Classics for Every Generation (9781604687781 $24.99) teaches quilters how to pair traditional piecing skills with heirloom quilt designs for an updated blend of modern and traditional appearance, and offers a close view of the author's customization process. Tips for working with and juxtaposing color and negative space in a quilt blend with ideas from top designers that supplement Amy Ellis' approach, while materials, cutting, and assembly instructions are specific and are supplemented by small color quilt block examples throughout. Quilters will find this a fine survey to creating new quilts from a blend of old and new ideas. Karen M. Burns compiles 180 Doodle Quilting Designs: Free-Motion Ideas for Blocks, Borders, and Beyond (9781604687996, $27.99) provides a fine survey of free-motion quilt finishing techniques for those who have pieced their quilts and want a range of ideas for traditional and modern designs. Arrows and directions explain how to use continuous-line motifs on a range of quilt patterns and borders, teaching how to practice approaches and view finished results by trading designs on paper first. The result covers a broad range of ideas and the specifics of how to apply and test them before putting machine to quilt.

The Military Shelf

Flying Wings & Radical Things
Tony Chong
Specialty Press
99 Spring Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10012
9781580072298 $44.95

Flying Wings & Radical Things: Northrop's Secret Aerospace Projects & Concepts 1939-1994 offers a coverage packed with over 70 color and 369 black and white photos as it probes the history of Northrop's formerly-secret plane designs and details the drawings, models, and tests of flyers that represented radical new takes on the concept of a plane. Many of these designs and recently de-classified projects and models have not appeared in other aviation or military histories, making this a powerful survey. The focus on Northrup's secret aircraft and spacecraft and its radical new designs will any who have long heard of these craft, but who want specific details and rich technical information.

The Sports Shelf

New Functional Training for Sports, second edition
Michael Boyle
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076
9781492530619 $24.95

The second edition of New Functional Training for Sports includes access to an inline video library and comes from one of the world's leading sport performance coaches who reviews the exercises, options, and basic concepts that help athletes excel in competitions. It offers a range of programs designed for developing strength in different body parts, it uses sample programs to reinforce physical performance goals, and it shows how to apply the latest sports and exercise research to a custom program any athlete can work with. The result is backed by research and is highly recommended for athletes and coaches developing self-training programs.

The Education Shelf

Craft Moves
Stacey Shubitz
Stenhouse Publishers
480 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781625310224 $32.00

Craft Moves: Lesson Sets for Teaching Writing with Mentor Texts shows teachers how to select mentor texts for students and how to tie these texts into curriculum plans. It takes some twenty recently published picture books and creates nearly two hundred lessons from them that teach students how to become better writers, and it includes step-by-step assessments of how and why these books were chosen and used, and explains the craft moves in each book. Using picture books as mentor texts help students in various grades grow into more effective communicators. Having a book that tells exactly how this process can be used with these and other books gives teachers an important leg up in the process of selecting and using mentor texts.

Don't Suspend Me!
Jessica Djabrayan Hannigan and John E. Hannigan
Corwin Press, Inc.
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218
9781506350370 $24.00

Don't Suspend Me! An Alternative Discipline Toolkit provides educators with a user-friendly collection of strategies that offer alternatives to suspension, using case studies from educators in the field to accompany worksheets, exercises, and discussions of the kinds of disciplinary problems that typically lead to suspension. Key to these discussions are the new legal requirements surrounding suspension and disciplinary action that require educators to be more aware of alternative options and the impacts of various discipline methods, which makes Don't Suspend Me! an invaluable acquisition for any educational reference collection.

The Biography Shelf

Ed F. Kruse of Blue Bell Creameries
Dorothy M. MacInerney
Texas A&M University Press
4354 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-4354
9781623493639 $24.95

Ed F. Kruse of Blue Bell Creameries provides a biography of the ice cream entrepreneur whose business became one of the most successful in Texas. Krause began at Blue Bell Creameries at the age of thirteen, eventually becoming the company's president and evolving the business from a small local creamery to a national brand. The process of this evolution is closely examined and paired with a biographical sketch of Kruse which considers his various moves and rise to fame. The result is a lively blend of biography, business, and Texas local history especially recommended for readers who enjoy both personal and wider-ranging life stories.

The Philosophy Shelf

Atheism: The Case Against God
George H. Smith
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633881976 $18.00

Atheism: The Case Against God is intended to destroy the myth of a supreme being that has all but dictated the movements and choices of mankind over the eons, and uses a blend of scholarship and criticism to closely examine and refute the "proofs" other scholars and theists have presented to support the idea of God. Unlike similar-sounding coverages, the intention here is not to insist that everyone be atheist so much as it is to show that the belief in God is irrational and independent of evidence, logic, or critical thinking. The result is a highly recommended survey for anyone who would more closely examine atheism's foundations.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Alliance of Equals
Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781476781488 $26.00

Alliance of Equals tells of Clan Korval, who seeks to regain what it's lost as one of the top trading clans in space. Master Trader Shan yos'Galan is tasked with a mission to establish new business associations; but his task comes with political and military challenges as he finds his journey struggling both with external forces and internal and personal factions. Add a dangerous secret harbored by a young officer which could change everything and readers have a tense blend of sci-fi adventure and thriller which is hard to stop reading and filled with exquisite twists and turns of plot.

The Art Shelf

The Art of Disney's Dragons
Disney Enterprises
Disney Editions
c/o Disney Hyperion
125 West End Avenue, New York, NY 10023
9781484747162 $29.99

The Art of Disney's Dragons reflects decades of Disney dragon creations and began as a sketchbook handed down through Disney artists. Its creation here not only resurrects the sketchbook's approach and contents, but provides a historical survey of the storyboards of diverse artists and writers who envisioned very different kinds of dragons over the decades. The illustrations are all in color and come from a range of animators, studio artists and filmmakers and are presented in full-page color for a delightfully fun gathering perfect for any with an affection for fantasy dragons and the Disney artists who create them.

The Music Shelf

Dylan Goes Electric!
Elijah Wald
Dey Street
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062366696 $15.99

Dylan Goes Electric! Newport, Seeger, Dylan, and the Night That Split the Sixties offers a powerful focus on the 1965 Newport Folk Festival and the move that placed Dylan's electric band on stage and at the forefront of musical revolution, and is a 'must' for any who would understand lasting the effects of Dylan's move on the worlds of rock and folk music. It offers its examination against the backdrop of the political and historical influences of Dylan's times, examining the folk movement and its revival, how rock music and social change were transforming the state of civil rights America and the music world, and how Dylan's choices contributed to this process. Any who would understand folk or rock music evolution or Dylan's works in particular will appreciate this engrossing musical and social history.

Eternal Troubadour: The Improbable Life of Tiny Tim
Justin Martell with Alanna Wray McDonald
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401
9781908279873 $19.95

Eternal Troubadour: The Improbable Life of Tiny Tim provides a powerful story of an oddball who became popular with his ukulele-enhanced 'Tiptoe Through the Tulips'. While many may know little else about him, Eternal Troubadour in fact shows that his involvement in American music went far beyond a single best-selling song or an odd appearance. Chapters detail his life using over a hundred interviews with family, friends and associates and provides a lively series of vignettes about his movements in the entertainment world and his many musical achievements. Any music lover interested in popular music history should not miss the opportunity to learn more about Tiny Tim's life and his many contributions.

The Audiobook Shelf

The Seventh Sense
Joshua Cooper Ramo
Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9781478909101 $30.00

The Seventh Sense is written and narrated by the author, who provides a compelling account that weaves together different issues of the modern age and how they are connected. It posits a historic force that affects such diverse issues as a fluctuating global economy, terrorism, and medical miracles, and it discusses terrorists and secrets of the age that could save the modern world. The power lies in understanding network operations, and The Seventh Sense surveys these possibilities in a vivid new examination of the world and its underlying influences.

Why Is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling?
Lama Tsomo
Brilliance Audio
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
9781522649991 $24.99

Why Is the Dalai Lama Always Smiling? is one of the best, most accessible accounts available on how to enter into and understand meditation, and provides a lively performance by the author as it introduces Western listeners into the practices of Tibetan Buddhism. Step-by-step how-do directions pair with history, discussions of techniques, and even wry humor as it tells how any can benefit from meditation and how to use it to achieve greater happiness. The result is a 'must' for any interested in meditative processes and beneficial results.

The Auctioneer
Simon de Pury and William Stadiem
Highbridge Audio Books
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
9781681681344 $34.99

The Auctioneer: Adventures in the Art Trade comes from a London-based dealer who has advised art collectors around the world, was the former Chairman of Sotheby's Europe, and the former owner of its rival company Phillips de Pury, and brings the art auction world to life in an audio presentation narrated by Ralph Lister. From movie stars and billionaires who search for fine art to the handling, selling, and dealing in world art, the industry comes alive in an inviting series of encounters that require no prior familiarity with art or its handling in order to prove entertaining and educational. Any who would learn about the art trade should begin here: the audio version makes for a powerful and involving listen.

The Fiction Shelf

The Trees
Ali Shaw
Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781632862839 $28.00

The Trees presents an invasion story of a different kind when trees suddenly arrive in the night to transform suburban streets into forests. Much like Hitchcock's 'The Birds', Ali Shaw's ability to take the unassuming tree and turn it into a spectacle of horror makes for an engrossing story alone; but when paired with a survivalist angle in which Adrien wakes up to a changed world, separated from his wife and facing vast changes, the combination is deadly to those inclined to pick up books for quick reading dips. The Trees proves hard to put down as Adrien and stranger Hannah embark on a quest through the trees to discover the underlying meaning of their power and impact.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

A Grave Prediction
Victoria Laurie
Berkley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780451473882 $25.00

A Grave Prediction provides an absorbing Psychic Eye mystery perfect for fans of paranormal mysteries as it focuses on Abby, a professional psychic sent to San Diego to help train FBI officers to use their intuition. Her sixth sense may help solve crimes, but it also places her squarely in danger as what seems a bank heist turns into a murder investigation that leads her to dig deeper into a plot that could affect her life. The result is a powerful read with plenty of twists and turns that mystery fans will find satisfyingly absorbing.

The California Shelf

Tales from the San Francisco Giants Dugout
Nick Peters with Stuart Shea
Sports Publishing
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
9781613219102 $19.99

Tales from the San Francisco Giants Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Giants Stories Ever Told comes from a reporter who never missed a Giants' opening game as he reported on them for almost fifty years, and a freelancer writer who specializes in sports and music. The combination of these two writers is powerful as they examine the traditions, games, and cult of the San Francisco Giants, which has become one of the biggest baseball teams of modern times. The result is a fascinating gathering of Giants stories that will enthrall and entertain any fan of the iconic team.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

Diane C. Donovan, Editor & Senior Reviewer
12424 Mill Street, Petaluma, CA 94952
phone: 1-707-795-4629

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