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

Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 8, Number 8 August 2009 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice American History Shelf Fiction Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf Money/Finance Shelf
Women's Studies Shelf Poetry Shelf Education Shelf
International Studies Shelf Biography Shelf Economics Shelf
Parenting Shelf Self-Help Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Travel Shelf Criminology Shelf Political Science Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Sports Shelf Environmental Studies Shelf
Nautical Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Your Family Constitution
Scott Gale
Spectrum International Press
105 Symphony, Irvine, CA 92603
9780982296134, $19.95,

We hear a lot about 'Family Values' -- especially from politicians and preachers who, we later discover, don't practice what they preach. But the values that hold a family together, the values that parents want to inculcate into their children, the values so fundamentally necessary to a civilized and just society are critically important -- far too important to leave up to the politicians and the preachers. That's why "Your Family Constitution: A Modern Approach To Family Values And Household Structure" by Scott Gale is so valuable for men and women striving to form, nurture, instill, and live the values they hold dear. "Your Family Constitution" is a thoroughly 'user friendly' step-by-step instruction manual and guide to establishing a value transferring relationship with children, anticipating and resolving commonly encountered family issues, improving and securing communication within the family, and deriving satisfaction and enjoyment from living those values as a parent within the context of one's own family every day.

Life of a Greatest Generation Survivor
John A. Novobilski
Mystic Publishers
850 South Boulder Highway, Suite 436, Henderson, NV 89015
9781934051320, $15.95,

One of the most enduringly valuable things men and women can do who have lived through 'interesting times', and are keen observers of the world around them, is to record their personal histories and insights for the benefit of their contemporaries and their posterity. That's precisely what John A. Novobilski has done in his combination memoir and political treatise "Life of a Greatest Generation Survivor". Born to Polish parents and growing up in America through the years of the Great Depression, serving in the marine corp during World War II, watching the country go through the decades of Hippy counter-cultures and Baby Boomer self-absorption, assessing the deficiencies and betrayals of elected officials to the halls of Congress, the ever present turmoil of the judicial system, the consequences of a national dependence on foreign oil, the advent of global terrorism, disasters in the making as represented by Social Security, ever more complicated tax laws, and a perceived bias in the national media, "Life of a Greatest Generation Survivor" is an articulate and persuasive assessment of how the moral decay in our traditional institutions, including the churches, have essential betrayed the sacrifices of life and treasure by previous generations for the sake of increasingly abandoned principles including the liberties and responsibilities of a free and democratic society. A fascinating read that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Life of a Greatest Generation Survivor" is highly recommended for both personal and community library collections.

The American History Shelf

Waterways Of War
Steve Benson & Ron Toelke
Seaway Trail Inc.
PO Box 660, Sackets Harbor, NY 13685
9780943689098, $9.95,

The French and Indian War fought out between France and England with Native American allies on both sides, began in 1754 over a dispute concerning the construction of a fort at the confluence of three rivers (the Allegheny, the Monogahela, and the Ohio) in western Pennsylvania. The six year war ended in 1763 at Montreal on the St. Lawrence River in victory for the British. Most of the fighting during those six long bloody years took place in and around the colony of New York. It was the aftermath of this conflict that set the stage for the American Revolution little more than a decade later. Superbly co-authored by the team of Steve Benson and Ron Toelke, "Waterways Of War: Struggle For Empire 1754-1763" is a profusely illustrated history and travel guide to the Frenchy and Indian War forts and battlefields in New York and Pennsylvania. Informed and informative, "Waterways Of War" is enhanced for the reader with period maps, artwork, photographic illustrations, a time line, and a resource list, making it an ideal guide for sight-seeing visitors as well as a unique and highly recommended addition to school and community library American History collections.

The Fiction Shelf

The Infernova
S.A. Alenthony
Blackburnian Press
PO Box 385591, Bloomington, MN 55438
9780981967899, $14.95,

Where do the nonreligious go when they die? "The Infernova" is a take on the classic Dante's Inferno with a more secularized spin, in which Mark Twain guides the narrator through the layers of this new sort of hell. "The Infernova" is a fine and entertaining satire discussing the many problems of the world today, and offering a unique critique of modern religion. "The Infernova" will delight many a reader.

Family Secrets
DeAnn Daley Holcomb
The P3 Press
16200 North Dallas Parkway, Suite 170, Dallas, TX 75248
9781933651231, $16.95,

Control can be so fleeting. "Family Secrets" follows one Jennalee as she discovers the secrets of her family, and her Aunt Charlene in particular. Her family's endless desire for control has severely backfired in her life. "Family Secrets" is a strong pick for those looking for a contemplative literary novel with a little romance added.

Liaisons for Laughs
Robert Scott Leyse
Shatter Colors Press
9780982171004, $15.95,

Some friendships are bonds that can't be broken. "Liaisons for Laughs: Angie & Ella's Summer of Delirium" tells the story of two best friends in a frank and entertaining method. A hilarious and endlessly entertaining collection of stories about the little things of life, "Liaisons for Laughs" never stops its assault on the funny bone. A fine and entertaining novel, "Liaisons for Laughs" is a choice pick for fiction readers.

Coyote Heart
Paula Margulies
Kirk House Publishers
PO Box 390759, Minneapolis, MN 55439
193379416X, $15.95,

Disabilities and marriage make things hard for both parties involved. "Coyote Heart: A Graceful Story of Love and Redemption" tells the story of Carolyn Weedman as she copes with a disabled husband and a failing marriage. When love begins to bloom elsewhere, she is faced with with harsh decisions that will change her life forever. Poignant and intriguing reading with strong romance elements, "Coyote Heart" is a solid and top pick for general fiction readers.

Little Blue Whales
Kenneth R. Lewis
Krill Press
PO Box 396, Rogue River, OR 97537
9780982144305, $16.95,

Ignorance is bliss, until it bites you in the behind. "Little Blue Whales" tells the story of Kevin Kearnes, who has just earned a new job as police chief of Cutter Point, Oregon. A chain of murders erupts, making Kevin's first days on the job irritating at best. As he digs deeper, he finds that his ignorance of his past may be at the root of the mayhem. "Little Blue Whales" is recommended and suggested reading to any thriller fan looking for a new mystery to enjoy.

The Weather's Wrath
Ade Paul
Whaka Publishing
445 Park Avenue, 9th FL, New York, NY 10022
9780473131500, $23.95,

Mankind has the ability to destroy the planet. Mankind can also be very cruel. "The Weather's Wrath" tell of a story of a megalomaniacal evil genius who holds the governments of the world for ransom with the power to eradicate earth's ozone layer. But one scientist just might be able to counter this evil scheme... "The Weather's Wrath" is a relevant environmental thriller that many will enjoy reading.

The Blackness
Joseph Hyman
Aventine Press
750 State St., #319, San Diego, CA 92101
1593305478, $18.95

The more things change, the more they stay the same. "The Blackness" tells of a near future where the leader of the Eurasian Republics is faced with the task of taking out the United States without going to war with them. Chairman Cheka's task isn't easy; more problems are facing him than just the United States, such as forces that may prevent humanity's continued harmony on the planet. "The Blackness" is a funny, entertaining read.

Cry for the Moon
William Woodall
Jeremiah Press
PO Box 121, Antoine, AR 71922
9780981964119, $7.97,

The people who want you to join the party might never understand there's a reason you don't want to. "Cry for the Moon" tells the story of one Zach and his family of werewolves. While Zach is not one himself, he has relatives who want nothing more than to change this fact. A story of retaining one's humanity, "Cry for the Moon" is a unique treat for humorous fiction readers.

McGowan's Retreat
Rob Smith
Drinian Press
PO Box 63, Huron, OH 44839
9780982060933, $21.95

To get ahead in business, there are those who tip toe around the law, and there are those who flat out cross it. "McGowan's Retreat" tells the story of Shelly Martin and Davis McGowan, who are slowly dragged into a corporate cesspool where ethics are an afterthought at best. When people start to go missing, including Shelly herself, Davis must get to the bottom of the corruption fast. "McGowan's Retreat" is of high recommendation to thriller fans looking for a bit of corporate intrigue.

Christine Sunderland
PO Box 8, Waterford, VA 20197
9781602901711, $19.95,

Guilt and fear may cause only more guilt and fear. "Offerings" tells the story of Dr. Rachelle DuPres as she tries to come to terms with her failure as a doctor by visiting her ancestral homeland, and learning where she came from. As she searches for herself, she doesn't realize that people may need her help as a doctor still. "Offerings" is an entertaining novel, sure to please.

A Chance to Say Yes
Tina Murray
ArcheBooks Publishing
9101 W. Sahara Ave., Suite 105-112, Las Vegas, NV 89117
Ascot Media Group (publicity)
PO Box 58884, Webster, TX 77598
9781595071835, $27.99,

There's so much fakery in Hollywood, it's hard to go back to being real. "A Chance to Say Yes" tells the story of washed up actor Heston Demming. When his life is no longer so glamorous, he has little left to live for, except his old sweetheart Poppy Talbot. But in his quest for fame, he wronged Poppy, and forgiveness is never something that comes easy. "A Chance to Say Yes" is a novel of facing the mistakes of one's past, highly recommended.

Plank Road Summer
Hila and Emily Demuth
Crickhollow Books
3147 S. Pennslyvania Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207
9781933987064, $13.95,

The events of a single summer can be remembered for a lifetime. "Plank Road Summer" tells the story of young Katie and Florence, two friends in Wisconsin in the year 1852. The two girls live a happy and fulfilling life, but when mysterious travelers start coming to one of the girl's parents' inn, life doesn't seem like it'll ever be the same. "Plank Road Summer" is a historical adventure that young readers will relish.

Let the Shadows Fall Behind You
Kathy-Diane Leveille
13575 58th North, Suite 200, Clearwater, FL 33760-3721
9781601641670, $22.95,

Connections can form in the strangest of ways. "Let the Shadows Fall Behind You" tells the story of two individuals and their relationship, with a heavy focus on the psychological aspect. One must cope with the guilt of being partly responsible for a murder, and the other is coping with the sudden and mysterious disappearance of her lover. "Let the Shadows Fall Behind You" is an intriguing novel of suspense and romance, highly recommended.

Life Knows No Bounds
Andrea Clinton
Around the Way Publishing
1011 Leesville Ave., Unit E, Rahway, NJ 07065-4846
9780981837635, $14.95

To some women, the emotions of a man are simply a plaything. "Life Knows No Bounds: 1 Who Luvs U More" tells the story of Alisa who very much enjoys toying with men. Her latest target of desire is Omar, and her exploitive nature continues until she maybe goes a bit too far. Endlessly entertaining, "Life Knows No Bounds" is a tale that could be all too true to life.

Deadly Choices
Chris Black
Mill City Press
212 3rd Avenue North, Suite 570, Minneapolis, MN 55401
9781934937495, $16.95,

Sometimes, death is not the worst thing that can happen. "Deadly Choices" tells the story of one nurse dedicated to making a difference for the better. In a corrupt hospital, she must care for terminally ill patients as their exit to life is continually denied by a cruel doctor named Dr. Curry. She soon finds that there is more to the cruelty that meets the eye. "Deadly Choices" is a fine and entertaining medical thriller.

Fortune Island
E. M. Schorb
Cherokee McGhee
124 Peyton Road, Williamsburg, VA 23185
9780979969423, $17.95,

Confidence is a fragile thing. "Fortune Island" tells the story of one Jessie Judas as she lives an isolated life on an island in the pacific. Her life develops many twists and turns as she is caught between her mentor, her descending-into-madness stepfather, and her biological father. An intriguing novel of the psyche of one woman, "Fortune Island" is a riveting read that can't be put down.

The Love Ceiling
Jean Davies Okimoto
Endicott & Hugh Books
PO Box 13305, Burton, WA 98013
9780982316733, $15.00,

There is something that holds many women back, and it isn't necessarily a bad thing. "The Love Ceiling" is the novel of one Anne Koroda Duppstadt attempting to chase her own dream late in life. At sixty-four, she embarks on her dreams of artistry, but there are many things restraining her as she tries to balance the needs of her loved ones with her artistic passion. "The Love Ceiling" will ring true with many women.

Beyond the Quiet
Brenda Hill
Vanilla Heart Publishing
10121 Evergreen Way, 25-156, Everett, WA 98204
9781935407089, $14.95,

The loss of one's soulmate can do a lot to a person. "Beyond the Quiet" is a story of overcoming loss. A widow stricken by grim reality must slowly learn to love again. In order to truly live again, she seeks comfort and compassion in a man once more. "Beyond the Quiet" is a read that many women will empathize with.

Epico Bayou
Charlsie Russell
Loblolly Writer's House
PO Box 7438, Gulfport, MS 39506-7438
9780976982425, $14.95,

In 1897 Lionel Augustus died. Much to the resentment of his siblings, he left his considerable wealth and property to his bastard son and his much beloved step-daughter -- but with the stipulation that in order to inherit they had to marry. But there are malevolent forces arrayed against them as a couple-- and against each other. A deftly written romantic mystery that is original, complex, and gothic in its structure, "Epico Bayou" demonstrates Charlsie Russell as a master storyteller and her latest novel a truly riveting read from beginning to end. Also highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections are her two earlier novels: "The Devil's Bastard" (9780976982401, $14.95) and "Wolf Dawson" (9780976982418, $14.95).

No Place To Run
Thomas B. Sawyer
Sterling & Ross Publishers
115 West 29th Street, New York, NY 10001
9780981453545, $14.95,

Author Thomas Sawyer takes the tragic events of 9/11 and uses them for a solid action/adventure suspense thriller in "No Place To Run". This is the story of Mace Merrick, a professional killer who ironically is serving time for a murder he didn't commit. Seeking to negotiate for his release, Mace has documents regarding a hit he carried out on contract the morning 9/11 happened. What follows is a high level cover-up, more deaths, and Claudia, a young lady who, along with her kid brother Adam, find themselves targets of rogue federal agents trying to tie up loose and embarrassing ends. Framed for their parents' murders, they take off on a cross-country race to stay alive long enough to figure out who killed their parents and discover a horrifying truth behind the infamous attacks of 9/11. "No Place To Run" is a tautly written page-turner of a thriller from beginning to end -- and a highly recommended read.

Putting It Back Together
Rhonda M. Lawson
Urban Books
1199 Straight Path, West Babylon, NY, 11704
9781599830827, $6.99,

Hurricane Katrina affected the lives of everyone who lived through it. Dr. Alexis White is a pediatrician living in post-Kartrina New Orleans. She's a professional woman who returned to her beloved city to accomplish whatever she could in its reconstruction and recovery. Things become complicated for her when she is caught up in an emotional love triangle between streetwise attorney Jamar Duplessis, her current boyfriend, and Reggie Morgan, her one great love of the past who has returned. Deftly written by Rhonda M. Lawson, "Putting It Back Together" is a memorable and highly recommended read focused on the lives of three successful yet incomplete people played out against the backdrop of a city determined to emerge from the ruination of Hurricane Katrina into an even better version of itself for the future.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Rosie Red Bottom
Donna Mann
Lucky Press, LLC
PO Box 754, Athens, OH 45701-0754
9780977630080, $10.95,

Parrots make fascinating pets in general, and African Grays are particularly beautiful, intelligent, and engaging parrots in particular. In "Rosie Red Bottom: A Comedian With Feathers", Alaskan author and parrot owner Donna Mann tells the story of how one very special parrot became an active and integral member of the Mann family. But "Rosie Red Bottom" is so much more than just an utterly charming and personal story of a family and their parrot companion, it's also 81-pages packed with solid and usable information relevant to the challenges and concerns of raising parrots. Readers will learn of the environmental stimuli and variables that affect parrots, along with the routines, physical set-up, diet, and training techniques appropriate and essential for healthy parrots. Of special note is an appendices with 150 references and web sites for further research and study on parrots and parrot care, including import/export regulations. Entertaining, informed and informative, "Rosie Red Bottom" is especially recommended to the attention of anyone contemplating having a pet parrot of their own!

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

An Urgent Call to the Power of Ministry
Gracy LaJoy Henderson
PO Box 181, Raymore, MO 64083
9780981460765, $14.99,

A good ministry can make a world of difference in someone's life. "An Urgent Call to the Power of Ministry: Realizing Your Ministry Through Your Life Experiences" is one woman's writings about the importance of ministry in people's lives. Explaining what a ministry is all about and what it takes to be a truly great minister, "An Urgent Call to the Power of Ministry" is a must- read especially for ministers, and invaluable to lay readers as well.

G. E. Mullan & John Shea
World Library Publications
3708 River Road, Suite 400, Franklin Park, IL 60131-2158
9781584594277, $29.95,

In "Canticle: Biblical Songs Illuminated", the inspired poetry of the Bible as presented by John Shea is enhanced with memorable and original artwork of G. E. Mullan. The result is a blending of word and image in the form of twenty superbly crafted canticles that are as thoughtful and thought-provoking as they are inspired and inspiring. Perfect for browsing and ideal for gift giving, "Canticle" would be a prized addition for any personal, family, church, or community library collection. Also very highly recommended from World Library Publications is Alan J. Hommerding's "Everyday Psalms: 150 Meditations For Living The Lord's Songs" (9781584594338, $12.95).

The Money/Finance Shelf

Poor No More
Curtis Hill
Modern Millennium Press
9781439212561, $14.99,

There are simple paths to financial success and security. Make more money. Spend less money than you make. Get more value for the money you save or spend. These are not mutual exclusive propositions. The best of all personal financial management is to incorporate all of these guiding principles. It also helps a great deal to read common sense and practical personal finance instruction manuals like certified financial planner Curtis hill's "Poor No More: Wealth Is Within Reach". This 223-page, 'user friendly', informed and informative guide to sound money management and financial well-being begins by addressing the psychology of money management and financial behavior, then goes on to address a variety of relevant issues including goal setting (financial freedom, not retirement!), planning and budgeting, the proper uses of credit, home mortgages, investments, and more. Of special note is what "Poor No More" has to offer on the subject of coupons and rebates. If there is one suggestion for the next edition of "Poor No More" it would be the creation of an index. Highly recommended reading for anyone trying to create and carry out financial goals for themselves and their families, "Poor No More" is a complete money management seminar and workshop in a single volume.

How 12 Immigrants Made Billions
Harsimran Singh
Dr. Singh Books, Inc.
9 Wash Hollow Road, Upper Brookville, NY 11771
9781427638731, $24.95,

The people who can make something out of nothing truly embody the American Dream. "How 12 Immigrants Made Billions" tells the story of a dozen immigrants who each traveled their own private road from rags to riches. Each started with absolutely nothing, worked the lowest of the low jobs, and somehow turned their lives around to be counted among the richest in the planet. An anthology sure to inspire readers of all backgrounds, "How 12 Immigrants Made Billions" is a top pick and highly recommended read.

The Women's Studies Shelf

Proud To Be a Colored Girl
Jackie Christie
Infinite Love Publishing
15127 N.E. 24th Street, #341, Redmond, WA 98052
9780979482762, $14.95,

Skin color is not something to be ashamed of. "Proud To Be a Colored Girl" is a collection of memoirs by many women of color, offering their thoughts and lives to give insight into what it really means to be a woman of color in today's society. Charming and enlightening, "Proud To Be a Colored Girl" is a solid and very much recommended read for women's studies collections everywhere.

The Poetry Shelf

Russian Tortoise
Gardner McFall
Time Being Books
10411 Clayton Road, Suites 201-203, Saint Louis, MO 63131
9781568091198, $15.95,

Experienced and acclaimed poet Gardner McFall brings readers another collection of poetry with "Russian Tortoise", a collection of poems expressing her emotions and opinions on the world around her and everything about it. "Russian Tortoise" is a collection that is poignant and wise, recommended. "Lesson": Everyone's enrolled in the school of loss,/the instruments of study, heart, and mind,/applied to life experience. Me? I've been/a student a long time; I'm taking too long/ to graduate. How cross my accomplished principal/has grown, weary of making me write/"Nothing gold can stay" as many times as it takes./Pages accrue on my desk in the waning sun./When she dismisses me, my cramped hand aches./I almost believe repetition has driven/the lesson home, till outside under the stars/and the moon's two profiled faces locked/in a white, new kiss, a reasonable mind is/helpless to tamp the heart's rich howl.

Gregory Scofield
Nightwood Editions
PO Box 1779, Gibsons, BC Canada V0N 1V0
9780889712287, $17.95,

Piecing together one's roots is a challenge in itself. "Kipocihkan" is a Cree term for mute person, and this volume chronicles Gregory Scofield's task of coming to term with his mother's Native American ancestry. Touching and poignant, if not tragic, "Kipocihkan" is a fine and recommended volume of poetry. "Private Thoughts on a Warm Night": Your body is cool, sensual, perfect to the touch/this wilting heat wave makes it impossible to sleep/just lay there thinking back to earlier tonight/your thirsting back to earlier tonight/your thirsting eyes drank me in,/what we could do if I'd invited you/up for tea, some slow-moving music/we're not sure have to play it by ear/maybe just smile a lot, pretend we don't sneak peeks/but we know better it's a matter of timing/silence private thoughts are worth more unspoken/even when the mind races ahead/doesn't know where to begin I start with the top/button work my way down slowly letting it just/happen don't go too quickly save it & have some/special feeling to remember like waves drenching my/body while the moon swells to twice its normal size.

Katharine Coles
Red Hen Press
PO Box 3537, Granada Hills, CA 91394
9781597093903, $18.95,

Student and teacher of the arts of writing, Katharine Coles brings her knowledge and expertise into art with "Fault". Addressing what's important to her, a blend of history, science, and love, she discusses much through her verse and provides much to make people think about the world around them. "Fault" is a choice pick for poetry readers everywhere. "Poetry & Spirituality": Today, the wind rides the thighs of grasshoppers,/and leaves fly like rescue from burning trees/I could almost turn into something./ All this talk.//I'm guilty too- me, an unbeliever/raising a miracle, these ungainly hoppers/pelting my chest, my hips/fixing a moment//to my shorts, my footfall opening one/so brilliantly into flight you might think/butterfly, before its wings let it down.

Ink for an Odd Cartography
Michele Battiste
Black Lawrence press
8405 Bay Parkway, C8, Brooklyn, NY 11214
9781934703472, $14.00,

The world possesses some strange geography, and not all of it is the environment. "Ink for an Odd Cartography" is Michele Battiste's analysis of the landscape of life through poetry, hoping to map the needs and desires of people to better understand them. A fascinating and enthralling book of poetry, "Ink for Odd Cartography" is a great pick. "Sunday, March 14": I have something to tell you./I went to your place to water your plants and found the toilet running./I fixed it, folded towels, washed a cup, picked away dead leaves./Still, your water bill is going to be phenomenal.

The Curvature of Blue
Lucille Lang Day
Cervana Barva Press
PO Box 440357, W. Somerville, MA 02144-3222
9780692001813, $15.00,

Lucille Lang Day presents her fifth poetry collection, "The Curvature of Blue". Her previous volumes were critically acclaimed and readers will see why with this volume - the free verse is profoundly evocative of the emotional highs and lows of life. "The Curvature of Blue" is a very much recommended selection for poetry lovers. "Boulder and Hand": A boulder hangs/just above/a red wax hand./When will it crash?/Black walls. Sounds/of things breaking./Is this the invisible/burden we bear/to the place of the skull,/called Golgotha?/Sisyphus tricked Death, tied him with chains,/so he rolls a stone to the top of a hill,/again and again./He's already dead,/doesn't need water.

The Touch
Cynthia Kraman
Bowery Books
310 Bowery, New York, NY 10012
9780980050882, $19.95,

A woman who loves her literature, Cynthia Kraman loves poetry the most. "The Touch" is the fourth collection of all new work from this well knowing and accomplished poet, giving fans of her previous verses much to enjoy. Highly recommended. "Madness in Grasmere": The world is mad, even the fells are mad./That's what they call these bare volcanic hills/Slamming against the sky with green and brown/With rocks and bracken, tiny clutching trees/They rise up like an aria then dwell/Heavily and moodily and great/So I am mad, and moody, and not great//The sheep are silly here, even insane/They wander up Helvellyn in a daze/Snorting up the bracken which is bitter/And grows madly, cigarettes for sheep./They are lost, utterly lost. Then dogs/Bring them down. Then they get lost again./So you are mad, and fear you'll wander, lost//The air is mad. One minute it is full/Of poppies and pinks, of roses and hay/And next it's full of dung and roaring jets/And the words of humans which are really mad/and fly right into mad, filthy ideas./Thoughts which desire to be pink roses/But are mad./And that's the way it is here.

The Neighborhoods of My Past Sorrow
Jesse Millner
Kitsune Books
PO Box 1154, Crawfordville, FL 32326-1154
9780979270062, $12.00,

The author of many successful chapbooks, Jesse Millner offers his first full length compendium of poetry in "The Neighborhoods of My Past Sorrow", a collection of poems discussing the many different aspects of life in the city and suburbs. A fresh and original work, "The Neighborhoods of My Past Sorrow" is a fine and recommended read. "Colorblind": in Miami of all places, my poet/friend sees the world in grey,/except for the time, three years ago/when he visited an acupuncturist,/had a needle stuck in his forehead,/then watched a tropical world blossom/into impossible greens, blues, and whites.

Crayola Can't Make These Colors
Elaine Madsen
13 Hand Publications
914 Westwood Blvd., #518, Los Angeles, CA 90024
9780976726067, $14.95,

There are some colors that simply aren't visual. "Crayola Can't Make These Colors: ...From the Palette of a Life in Verse" is a collection of poetry from Elaine Madsen, a multi-talented woman with a strong love for poetry. Her verse is simple and moving, and does well to fit with its title of painting vivid images unique to the English language. "Crayola Can't Make These Colors" is a strong choice all around for poetry fans. "Dandelion Dusted": I climbed to the top of a dandelion,/ and found you hiding there./We lolled all over the golden fluff/and came down/to find people stare!/I don't know why they act that way,/but on the other hand, I've never seen/any other fuzzy, yellow ones like/ me and thee.

The Education Shelf

Montessori Madness!
Trevor Eissler
PO Box 1459, Georgetown, TX 78627
9780982283301, $20.00,

What is the Montessori educational method? It's more than incremental improvements in homework, required standards for teachers, or time spent in the classroom. It's a complete revolution in modern schooling. "Montessori Madness! A Parent to Parent Argument for Montessori Education" hopes to explain this method of teaching to parents and pushes for its more widespread use in today's schools, which could lead to a better educated America of tomorrow. With plenty of intriguing ideas and much information, "Montessori Madness" is a must read for parents who are highly concerned about the modern methods of teaching today's students.

The International Studies Shelf

Dragon Fighter
Rebiya Kadeer
Kales Press
7031 Columbine Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92011
9780979845611, $28.95,

In a world filled with unfortunate incidents of ethnic cleansing, being the leader of a minority is never an easy job. "Dragon Fighter: One Woman's Epic Struggle for Peace With China" tells the story of the Uyghurs, a peaceful small culture along the Silk Road. In the modern era, author Rebiya Kadeer has stood up for her people's rights. Her confrontation with the corrupt Chinese government eventually led to her exile to the United States. "Dragon Fighter" is well worth the read for those seeking contemporary, firsthand, eye-witness accounts with respect to China's human rights violations.

The Biography Shelf

Keep the Legs You Stand On
Mark Hinkes
Nightengale Press
10936 N. Port Washington Road, Suite 206, Mequon, WI 53902
9781933449715, $22.95,

Diabetes is more than just having to watch one's blood sugar - it can leave you crippled. "Keep the Legs You Stand On" is a warning manual about a danger of diabetes not often talked about, the risk of amputation of one's legs. Doctor Mark Hinkes offers advice and tips for preventing diabetes before it starts, as well as recommendations on what to do if one has already been diagnosed and wants to stay healthy, "Keep The Legs You Stand On" a must for those worried about diabetes.

Frank Pais
Jose Alvarez
Brown Walker Press
23331 Water Circle, Boca Raton, FL 33486-8540
1599429179, $29.95

Everyone knows about Castro, but do they know of the strategist behind him? "Frank Pais: Architect of Cuba's Betrayed Revolution" tells the story of Frank Pais, the organizer behind Fidel Castro's revolution who met his mysterious end at the age of 22, allegedly for not being the best of friends with his leader. Revealing a different angle of the Cuban Revolution, "Frank Pais" is a highly intriguing, entertaining, and educational read.

The Land of Silent Morning
Kateleen K. Washington
Aquarius Press
PO Box 23096, Detroit, MI 48223
9780981920894, $14.95,

When there is nothing left, there is much to gain. "The Land of Silent Morning" tells the story of Kyong Mi as she departs from her homeland of Korea to find a new life in the United States. She find much to cherish, and her efforts to survive blossom into a thriving life. "The Land of Silent Morning" is a very much recommended read through and through.

The Economics Shelf

Depression 2.0
Cletus Nelson
1240 W Sims Way, #124, Port Townsend, WA 98368
9781934170069, $16.95,

When times are tough, thinking outside the box can go a long way. "Depression 2.0: Creative Strategies for Tough Economic Times" is a guide for the modern American to better cope with a leaner time, when money and resources are not as readily abundant as before. Worst case scenarios, tips for cutting back, advice for planning ahead, and the value of a positive (albeit practical) outlook are all topics discussed. "Depression 2.0: Creative Strategies for Tough Economic Times" is a fine and recommended read for those who want to be prepared.

Forex Trading
Laura Sether, editor
W&A Publishing
PO Box 849, Cedar Falls, IA 50613
9781934354100, $19.95,

Once an avenue for only the elite, Forex has come to be available to any enterprising trader. "Forex Trading" is a part of the Personal Investor Series, focusing on the currency trading market that thousands around the world take part in to make their fortunes. Trading currency is a matter of foresight and striking before the iron is hot. "Forex Trading" is a fine and recommended read for any looking to get into the investment game.

The Parenting Shelf

7 Skills for Parenting Success
Laurie Berdahl Johnson & Brian D. Johnson
Johnson-Berdahl FLP Press
PO Box 337383, Greeley, CO 80633
9780615265568, $17.95,

Every parent wants to be a success, but this is a daunting task. "7 Skills for Parenting Success" is a guide designed to help parents rise to the challenge of parenting, featuring useful tips and tricks to have a happy relationship with one's children, be they toddlers or rebellious teenagers. "7 Skills for Parenting Success" is an excellent choice for any parent.

The Self-Help Shelf

Make Your Place
Raleigh Briggs
Microsm Publishing
222 S. Rogers St., Bloomington, IN 47404
9780978866563, $16.95,

Some skills are just good to have. "Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable, Nesting Skills" is a collection of simple and effective skills to improve one's life around the house. The skills range from dealing with the simple messes, to the injuries one faces in life, to dealing with menstrual-cycle induced bad moods. "Make Your Place" is a fine and recommended read for anyone who wants to make their life a little smoother and more enjoyable.

How to Master Your Muck
Kathi Burns
Lemongrass Publishing
PO Box 232066, Leucadia, CA 92023-2066
9780981955407, $17.95,

A little organization can go a very long way. "How to Master Your Muck: Get Organized, Add Space to Your Life, Live Your Purpose" is a guide to clearing the unnecessary aspects out of one's life to allow the necessary ones to be more joyful and fulfilling. Covering schedule management, choosing what really matters, and stopping bad habits, "How to Master Your Muck" is ideal for anyone who has too much going on in their life.

Opportunity Unstuck!
Tom Sheives
Golden Keys Publishing
4812 Arabian Ct., Arlington, TX 76017
9780578009940, $19.95,

You can have all the skills and desire in the world, but without opportunity, it's useless. "Opportunity Unstuck! 4 Golden Keys to Unlock Your Right Place, and Right Opportunity!" is a guide to getting the opportunities one needs to succeed in their career and in life. Author Tom Sheives speaks on four golden keys to success, and uses them all to create a solid self-help manual. "Opportunity Unstuck!" is a fine and recommended read.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Serpent Singer & Other Stories
M. H. Bonham
Yard Dog Press
710 W. Redbud Lane, Alma, AR 72921-7247
9781893687943, $8.00,

For some people, life is never dull. "Serpent Singer & Other Stories" is a collection of short stories following Shadowhelm as he embarks on a quest through the high seas. A classic epic fantasy that genre fans will simply relish and love, "Serpent Singer & Other Readers" delivers a satisfying yarn for readers to devour. A choice pick.

The Travel Shelf

Fun on Foot in New York
Warwick Ford
Wyltan Books
700 S Monarch St. Suite 203, Aspen, CO 81611
9780976524427, $16.95,

A big city doesn't mean you need a car to have fun. "Fun on Foot in New York: The Runners' and Walkers' Guide to New York City..." is the guide for running and walking enthusiasts who want to better enjoy New York City. Outlining routes and urban trails, and accompanying them with nearly one hundred maps, authors Warwick Ford and Nola Ford do well in making a complete and comprehensive runner's guide to the Big Apple. Anyone who enjoys these activities and is going to be in New York should get "Fun on Foot in New York".

Weekend Adventures, ninth edition
Carole Terwilliger Meyers
Carousel Press
PO Box 6038, Berkeley, CA 94706-0038
9780917120213, $15.95,

One can have the time of their life every weekend in California if they know what they're doing. Now in a newly updated and expanded ninth edition, "Weekend Adventures: In San Francisco & Northern California" is a guide to vacationing or just enjoying oneself throughout Northern California. Drawing on the author's immense experience throughout the state, "Weekend Adventures" outlines the countless activities, fine and not-so-fine lodgings, and much more. "Weekend Adventures" is for readers pursuing anything from a cup of coffee to a long-term getaway in Northern California.

The Trinity Alps Companion, second edition
Wayne F. Moss
8075 215th Street West, Lakeville, MN 55044
9781893272125, $21.95,

The mountains of California have much to offer a hiker. Now in a newly updated and expanded second edition, "The Trinity Alps Companion: Hiking Trails and Angling Tales in the California" is a guide to experiencing the trails of California's Trinity Alps, outlining everything a hiker needs to know from difficulty of terrain to important landmarks, good fishing spots, and much more. Any California hiker needs to strongly consider "The Trinity Alps Companion".

Istanbul's Bazaar Quarter
Ann Mari Mershon and Edda Renker Weiseenbacher
44030 123rd St., Eden, SD 57232
9789944424592, $29.95,

Istanbul is a city with far-reaching roots and has an immense culture to inspire the world traveler. "Istanbul's Bazaar Quarter: Backstreet Walking Tours" is a tourist guide to the streets of Istanbul, meant to help the western traveler see all that there is to see and enjoy in this historical area. "Istanbul's Bazaar Quarter" is a very much recommended read for anyone planning a trip to Istanbul.

Turkish Handbook
B. Orhan Dogan
Milet Publishing
333 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 530, Chicago, IL 60601
1840594969, $17.95,

Not being able to speak the local language is a huge wall for many tourists. Part of the excellent Handbook series, "Turkish Handbook: Turkish-English Phrase Book Grammar Dictionary" is a guide for those who are visiting Turkey without a grasp on Turkish. Outlining thousands of common terms and phrases that one would need to use when visiting the country, "Turkish Handbook" is of high interest to any who need quick and ready access to the fundamentals of Turkish.

Jerusalem: Footsteps Through Time
Ahron Horovitz
208 Airport Executive Park, Nanuet, NY 10954
9781598262513, $19.99,

So much history one can get lost in it. "Jerusalem: Footsteps Through Time: Ten Torah Study Tours of the Old City" is a guide for visiting Jews and those with a strong interest in the Torah, for when they come to visit Jerusalem. All the vitally important sites in Jewish history are covered, spanning the timeline from the Book of Genesis to Israel's current endeavors to maintain their sovereignty. An absolute must for any tourist who will be visiting Israel in the future.

The Criminology Shelf

Street Business
Ernie Lijoi & Larry Matthews
Comfort Publishing
9450 Moss Plantation Avenue NW, Concord, NC 28027
9781935361251, $14.99,

In order to catch a crook, some have to sacrifice nearly everything. "Street Business" is the true crime account of Ernest Lijoi as he takes on a secret identity as Eddie Pannoni to break into the criminal underworld of a Massachusetts town. Telling of the personal toll Lijoi's undercover work took on his family life in the name of justice, "Street Business" is an enthralling story of real life action heroes.

The Death of Meriwether Lewis
James E. Starrs & Kira Gale
River Junction Press
3314 North 49th St., Omaha, NE 68104
9780964931541, $16.95,

The voyages of Lewis and Clark are heralded throughout American history, but there's always a darker side that is less spoken of. "The Death of Meriwether Lewis: A Historic Crime Scene Investigation" discusses the death of one of the key figures in America's expansion westward. Drawing on the expertise of many individuals, "The Death of Meriwether Lewis" covers the different theories about Lewis's death, ranging from murder, to suicide, to even a death from syphilis. "The Death of Meriwether Lewis" is of strong consideration to any looking for a better understanding of this history's mystery.

The Political Science Shelf

Libertarian Nation
James Walsh
Silver Lake Publishing
101 West Tenth Street, Aberdeen, WA 98520
9781563438868, $19.95,

Could the partisan awards on the political stage make Americans ignore the real debate? "Libertarian Nation: The Call for a New Agenda" is a discussion of the rise of statism in recent politics from both major political parties, and how it is slowly sapping liberty from America. Criticizing the Bush, Clinton, and Obama administrations, author James Walsh argues his points and calls for America to stand against the advancement of statism. Stating the current libertarian agenda simply and clearly, "Libertarian Nation" is a fine and recommended read for those who wish to better understand modern America.

The Christian Studies Shelf

The Emergence of Love Leadership
Jeff & Kim Booher
Settings of Silver Publishing
PO Box 136721, Fort Worth, TX 76136
9780981770901, $9.95

A little kindness can go a long way. "The Emergence of Love Leadership: A Working Model" is a guide to bringing faith into one's business. The principles of Jesus Christ - those of love and forgiveness to one's fellow man - can do much to improve morale and contentment, and help make people feel truly involved with the business. "The Emergence of Love Leadership" is a pick for business leaders who want to combine faith with their leadership.

God's Relentless Generosities
Zeal Okogeri
Light Books Publishing
750 Kalakaua Avenue, Suite 103-450, Honolulu, HI 96826
0974627879, $20.00,

They say life is a gift from God, and when you keep that gift through many unexpected situations, it's another gift. "God's Relentless Generosities: An Inspiring Journey of Soul's Awakening" is the inspirational Christian memoir of author Zeal Okogeri, who has survived seemingly endless civil wars in his African homeland. Calling his enduring life a blessing of God, he hopes to inspire other readers to take what they have as a gift, and to use it well. "God's Relentless Generosities" may be the inspiration some Christian readers need to greatly value their life once more.

The Sports Shelf

Sports in the Carolinas
Ed Southern, editor
Novello Festival Press
310 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202
9780981519227 $22.95

Edited by Carolina native and Executive Director of the North Carolina Writers' Network Ed Southern, Sports in the Carolinas: From Death Valley to Tobacco Road collects vignettes from the amazing history of Carolina sports and athletes - from Olympic medal winners to championship boxers to NASCAR racers, pro wrestlers and much more. Some of the stories are told in first person, giving the reader a vividly up close and personal view of the exciting world of high-stakes athletic competition. A great gift book for any sports enthusiast, doubly so if that enthusiast is also from the Carolinas!

It Was Never About the Babe
Jerry M. Gutlon
Skyhorse Publishing
555 Eighth Avenue, Suite 903, New York, NY 10018
ChampagnePR (publicity)
333 E. Ontario St., Chicago, IL 60611
9781602393493 $24.95,

Award-winning print and broadcast journalist and lifelong Red Sox fan Jerry M. Gutlon presents It Was Never About the Babe: The Red Sox, Racism, Mismanagement, and the Curse of the Bambino, a surprising and in-depth sports history chronicle about why the Red Sox really tumbled into a downward spiral after selling Babe Ruth to their rivals, the Yankees. The team's problems went much deeper than the so-called "Curse of the Bambino": owners chose managers and players based on social contacts rather than skill or talent; racism affected the team's decision-making both before and after the team was integrated; and overall the team was simply lacking in the leadership, chemistry, and raw talent to pull it out of its slump. Unearthing many a shocking historical trivia tidbit - such as the popular Tom Yawkey owned not only the Red Sox, but also a brothel for decades - It Was Never About the Babe is a thoroughly enjoyable look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of Red Sox history (and there is plenty of bad and ugly to see)!

Joe Henry
Princoirs King Publishing
PO Box 140164, St. Louis, MO 63114
0615227376, $19.95,

Some view the Negro League with contempt as a relic of a racist past, while there are others who fondly look back at it as glory days. "Princoirs: Official Memoirs of Prince Joe Henry, Ex Negro Leaguer" tells the story of the Negro Leagues from one of its more well known players, and the fondness he remembers being a star of the 'second class'. An entertaining and unique look on one of the lesser talked about parts of sports history, "Princoirs" is a top pick for any sports history collection.

The Environmental Studies Shelf

Some Like It Hot!
Susan M. Neider
Riverbend Publishing
PO Box 5833, Helena, MT 59604
9781606390061, $19.95,

Yellowstone is filled with intriguing natural mysteries and has fascinated geologists for centuries. "Some Like it Hot! Yellowstone's Favorite Geysers, Hot Springs, and Fumaroles, with Personal Accounts by Early Explorers" focuses on the extreme natural features of Yellowstone National Park and is packed cover to cover with nature photos that will awe-inspire. A strong pick for any nature collection, "Some Like It Hot!" will surely bring joy to any extreme nature enthusiast.

The Nautical Shelf

7 Steps to Successful Boat Docking
Ronald & Katherine Giampietro Redmond
Sea Search School of Seamanship
712 North Liberty Drive, Tomkins Cove, NY 10986
9780971191136 $44.50 1-845-942-7245

7 Steps to Successful Boat Docking For Power & Sail (book) and 7 Steps to Successful Boat Docking Twin Engines (DVD) is a book and DVD combination that spells out the how-to's of boat docking in step-by-step, readily accessible terms. The book covers boats ranging from Single-Engine Inboard to Outboard I/O Stern-Drive, Twin Engines, and Bow Thruster, while the DVD specifically focuses on the nuances of docking Twin Engines boats. Of particular note are the simple, easy-to-follow black-and-white book diagrams that succinctly illustrate each phase of docking one's boat. 7 Steps to Successful Boat Docking is an absolute "must-have" practical guide for novice to intermediate nautical enthusiasts.

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

Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design