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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 7, Number 2 February 2008 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Fantasy/SciFi Shelf American History Shelf
Photography Shelf Fiction Shelf Literary Shelf
Poetry Shelf Humor Shelf Business Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Biography Shelf Science Shelf
Sports Shelf Russian Studies Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Social Issues Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Dearly Beloved
Andrew Macbeth
Church Publishing Incorporated
445 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9781596270602, $10.00 800-242-1918

Written by Andrew Macbeth (rector of the Calvary Church in Memphis, Tennessee), Dearly Beloved: Navigating Your Church Wedding is a no-nonsense guide to planning and navigating one's marriage ceremony. Chapters discuss what to expect from a marriage service, things to keep in mind when dealing with everything from wedding photography to common traditions and superstitions to money and legal matters, and much more. Of especial interest is the final chapter discussing unusual and nontraditional weddings, including same-sex marriages, divorced persons who are remarrying, and couples of widely different ages. Regarding same-sex unions, "In my opinion, a public blessing ceremony held in the church needs to have the support of a comfortable majority of the congregation's members if it is to be meaningful. I understand whatever authority I have to pardon or to bless as flowing from the community that ordained and called me. If you are the first to seek such a public service blessing in a particular congregation, expect to take part in a (possibly lengthy) process of seeking support, first from the congregation's vestry and then perhaps from the congregation as a whole." Though the author speaks from an Episcopalian Christian perspective, Dearly Beloved offers frank and honest advice to readers of all religious backgrounds including agnostics and freethinkers. Enthusiastically recommended for anyone planning a wedding.

Beyond The Ask Event
Terry Axelrod
2100 North Pacific Street, Seattle, WA 98103
9780970045577, $49.95

International fundraising expert Terry Axelrod presents Beyond The Ask Event: Fully Integrating the Benevon Model, a straightforward guide to attaining long-term, sustainable funding for nonprofit organizations. Offering a step-by-step process pioneered by the fundraising training organization of Benevon (formerly "Raising More Money"), Beyond the Ask Event walks the reader through implementing the Benevon model, an involved process that requires commitment yet pays off in the long run. Easy-to-follow exercises, scripts, templates, and checklists help accommodate the adjustment period to adopting the new fundraising process. "Your tracking system should be the one solid, reliable repository for the chronology of every contact with each donor, potential donor, and volunteer. That is the only way everyone who has access to your database will come to count on this as the sole source for up-to-the-minute information on each donor." Highly recommended as an indispensable aid to nonprofit organizations, from community theater to universities and international charities.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Michael A. LaFlamme & Michael D. Poe
c/o Buy Books On The Web
1094 New Dehaven Street, #100, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2713
9780741438102, $14.95

Blacksent: Book of the Umbra is a fantasy novel of murder, intrigue, and high adventure. Ncon Barsin tried to repress his connection to the Deamon-ruled island of his origin, but he holds an unforgiven blood-debt to the Assassins. A gregarious swordmage and a mysterious wizard accompany him in his quest to break the chains of his past. Ncon must return to confront the dread GrandWeir, god of the Assassins, and commit one final killing in order to become master of his own destiny, in this action-packed epic of intrigue and tests of character. Highly recommended for heroic fantasy adventure connoisseurs.

The American History Shelf

Following Lincoln As He Followed Douglas
Georgiann Baldino
Pearl Editions LLC
PO Box 4197, Naperville, 60567-4197
Lulu Press
860 Aviation Parkway, Suite 300, Morrisville, NC 27560
9781435703858, $11.95

In only 76-pages (enhanced with 26 black-and-white photographs), Georgiann Baldino lays out the 1858 campaign of Abraham Lincoln for the Illinois Senate seat where he used the strategy of following his opponent Stephen Douglas around the state, taking advantage of the crowds that Douglas, as a well-known political figure and super orator, always drew. The two men wrangled for 21 hours on seven stages to support their differing views on America's future and the problems of the day. A 'must' for Lincoln scholars, "Following Lincoln As He Followed Douglas: Retracing Their Debates" is especially recommended for the non-specialist general reader with an interest in Abram Lincoln, in American political history, and understanding Lincoln's vision of the future and belief in freedom that still permeates American political discourse today.

Looking For Work
Peter H. Stott
Columbia County Historical Society
c/o Syracuse University Press
1600 Jamesville Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13210
9780962958021, $49.95 1-800-365-8929

In "Looking For Work: Industrial Archeology In Columbia County, New York", industrial historian Peter H. Stott draws upon twenty years of research to trace the economic storyline of Columbia County, a New York State region that is comprised of eighteen towns and the city of Hudson. Now admired principally for its scenic beauty and agricultural character, Stott's focus is with an examination of 134 still-visible industrial buildings and sites. Utilizing historical and geological research in published literature and periodicals, archival deeds, mortgages, business records, insurance documents, and census data, Stott traces the rise and decline of this county's industrialization and mid-twentieth century decline. From early sawmills and knitting mills, to turnpike tollhouses, railroad stations, utility plants, furnaces and kilns, processing plants, and more, "Looking For Work" is comprehensive in its scope and enhanced with filed photographs and 140 other illustrations. An original work of seminal scholarship, "Looking For Work details the emergence and growth of local industry as revealed in surviving sites and structures throughout Columbia County making it highly recommended both as a contribution to Urban Studies, American History, and Industrial Archaeology collections and a template for similar studies of other American communities.

The Uncertain Revolution
John T. Cunningham
Cormorant Publishing
c/o Down the Shore Publishing
Box 100, West Creek, NJ 08092
9781593220280, $26.95

Written by John T. Cunningham, one of the founders of the New Jersey Historical Commission, The Uncertain Revolution: Washington & the Continental Army at Morristown is the oft-untold story of how the brutally harsh winters in New Jersey affected the American Revolution - the legendary winter George Washington experienced in Valley Forge was mild in comparison. Chapters tell how winter hardships in Middlebrook and Morristown contributed to horrific conditions, including a small pox epidemic at Morristown, a season of scarce supplies at Middlebrook, and the war's most severe mutiny on New Year's Day 1781. A fascinating close scrutiny of how climate took its cruel toll upon Washington and his men, and highly recommended addition to American Revolution History shelves.

Silicon Valley: 110 Year Renaissance
John McLaughlin, Leigh Weimers, Ward Winslow
Santa Clara Valley Historical Association
2115 Edgewood Drive, Palo Alto, CA 94303
9780964921740, $34.95

"Silicon Valley: 110 Year Renaissance" is the collaborative work of John McLaughlin, Leigh Weimers, Ward Winslow and a superbly presented, profusely illustrated celebration of the history of the California community that became in icon of the computer age. From Leland Stanford founding a university, to the rise of radio and the federal telegraph, through the years of the Great Depression and World War II, do the electronics industry's post-war beginnings and the emergency of the microcomputer, the internet, the explosive growth of a new 20th century industry, to the bursting of the Computer Industry bubble, "Silicon Valley: 110 Year Renaissance" is a superbly written regional history that draws upon more than a hundred interviews with the scientists and entrepreneurs associated with the Silicon Valley computer industry. A very highly recommended title for people in the industry as well as non-specialist general readers with an interest in the Silicon Valley phenomena, "Silicon Valley: 110 Year Renaissance" is as entertaining and engaging as it is informed and informative. It should also be noted that a PBS documentary of the same name and narrated by Leonard Nimoy will be broadcast and released on DVD sometime in the mid-2008.

The Photography Shelf

Jean Luc Mylayne
Terrie Sultan & Lynne Cooke
Twin Palms Publishers
PO Box 10229, Santa Fe, NM 87504
9781931885676, $60.00 1-800-797-0680

Enhanced with informed and informative essays by Terrie Sultan and Lynn Cooke, "Jean Luc Mylayne" is a large coffee-table book (twelve by thirteen inches, casebound) that showcases 104 full color plates of his photography. Published to accompany a traveling U.S. exhibition of the French photographer's work, each of this memorable and impressive images is fully representational of his painstaking work photographing birds in French landscapes and countryside environments. His particular focus is on bluebirds indigenous to Western Europe but also showcases the environments (including human habitations) where these lively little avians play out their lives. A remarkable body of work and a core addition to personal, professional, and academic library Photography collections, "Jean Luc Mylayne" will prove to be of immense interest to students of photography in general, and of wildlife photographers in particular.

The Fiction Shelf

Destination Berlin
S.G. Cardin
iUniverse, Inc.
2021 Pine Lake Road, #100, Lincoln, NE 68512
9780595164196, $14.95

Honorable mention winner of the 75th annual Writer's Digest Competition S. G. Cardin presents Destination Berlin, a suspenseful novel set in Cold War Germany. When Corporal Sharon Cates finds her train to Berlin derailed in the middle of communist East Germany, she discovers a top-secret document in her briefcase, that both the KGB and Stasi are willing to kill for. A race to Berlin ensues, and Sharon receives help from the unlikeliest of sources, Russian soldier Jr. Sgt. Dimitri Nagory. Inspired by the author's own experiences taking a trip to Berlin, serving the Army's Military Police Corps, and studying history, Destination Berlin is a tautly written saga of mistrust, determination, and survival.

Endless Things
John Crowley
Small Beer Press
150 Pleasane St., #306, Easthampton, MA 01027
9781931520225, $24.00

The fourth novel and dearly-anticipated conclusion to the Aegypt series, Endless Things finishes the saga of historian Pierce Moffitt, whose far-reaching theory that, at infrequent times, the essential nature of the world alters; for example, a world that is (and always has been) regulated by the laws of physics can suddenly and transform into a world that is (and retroactively, always has been) regulated by the laws of magic. Endless Things wraps up the many side effects of one such transformation that unfolded in the previous novels, yet Pierce's theory of cyclical historical change is ultimately a source of hope - since if the universe itself is capable of endless change, so too are the downtrodden individuals living within it. A multifaceted, humanizing, and magnificent sendoff to an epic saga.

The Jihad Germ
T. N. Rivers
Pirate Island Press
3750-A Airport Boulevard, #224, Mobile, AL 36608
9780979932601, $12.95

In the riveting techno-thriller "The Jihad Germ", author T. N. Rivers draws upon his years of his experience as a military flight surgeon and a civilian emergency physician to add realism and plausibility to background details in a fictional story exploring the horrific possibilities of an advanced bioterror weapon developing in the hands of Islamic terrorists and its use against an American city. Bacterial gene replacement in a laboratory hidden by a Middle-Eastern government, combined with the porous nature of American port security result in a devastating attack on American soil. It's up to Dr. Ron Raines and nurse Christie Fellows to save the lives of citizens while FEMA, the CDC, and the U.S. Marine Chemical and Biological Incident Response Force struggle to contain the threat, while national intelligence agencies and the White House try to restore the balance of world power. A chilling, all-too-real account that could well be taken from tomorrow's newspaper headlines, "The Jihad Germ" is a superbly crafted novel and highly recommended reading from beginning to end.

Staci Robinson
Cold Tree Press
214 Overlook Court, Suite 253, Brentwood, Tennessee 37027
9781583851494, $14.95

The debut novel by African-American author Staci Robinson, Interceptions is a tale about love, heartbreak, and the shock of being immersed in the sports world and the big money of the fast lane life. Told from the viewpoint of Stefanie Pointer, an intelligent and ambitious young woman who falls in love with college sweetheart and football player Ricky Powers, Interceptions recounts her willingness to sacrifice her professional goals to support her man. Yet she keeps running into problems - the disapproval of friends and family, and even her own nagging conscience, questioning whether it's right to marry a man who begs her for threesomes or comes home at five in the morning with an expensive gift in lieu of an apology. Meanwhile, one of her associates struggles with the revelation that the child he has been raising with his wife is not biologically his, a shock that ultimately destroys their marriage. Despite plainly speaking about harsh realities and heartbreak that can lead its sufferers to the brink of violence, Interceptions is ultimately a positive book about learning (the hard way) to recognize when someone is or isn't the right person to date, to marry, or simply to associate with. Highly recommended.

The Literary Shelf

C.S. Lewis Called Him Master
Charles Seper
Victor, Broadstreet & Johnson Publishing
PO Box 23135, Belleville, IL 62226
9780615149073, $13.95

Article writer and professional audio/video/photograph restoration specialist Charles Seper presents C.S. Lewis Called Him Master: Exploring the Life & Adult Fantasy Works of George MacDonald, a thoughtful exploration of the life and works of the fantasy author that C.S. Lewis hailed as "my master", and that G.K. Chesterton thought of as one of the three or four greatest men of the nineteenth century. Chapters especially focus upon MacDonald's only two fantasies written for adults, "Lilith" and "Phantasies", providing context behind the more obscure passages in both works. Rare black-and-white photographs of the MacDonald family (many taken by fellow author and family friend C.S. Lewis) add a personal touch to this extensive discussions of the many symbolic and metaphorical themes appearing in MacDonald's work. Enthusiastically recommended as a biography and study aid for students and scholars of George MacDonald's literary creations.

The Poetry Shelf

Letter from the Lawn
Bobbi Lurie
Custom Words
PO Box 541106, Cincinnati, OH 45254-1106
9781933456263, $17.00

Visual artist and therapist Bobbi Lurie presents her second poetry collection Letter from the Lawn, an anthology of free-verse contemplations that often return to the themes of plant life amid the reminiscences of childhood, aging, transformation, and the onset of death. A poignant and contemplative collection reflecting upon the endless circle of life. "Dying Blooms": hesitant to reject her they reject her / room is open all is visible // yesterday more vibrant green / a field like emeralds / adhering like a necklace // a field / stalks dying longing to be touched / their once blossoming / more memory than fingers

Last Poems
Thomas Sanfilip
Ara Pacis Publishers
PO Box 1202, Des Plaines, IL 60016-1202
9780962530654, $19.95

Last Poems is free-verse poetic tragedy written by widely published poet and author Thomas Sanfilip. Collectively, the many poems tell the sorrowful tale of the final days of a family in physical and spiritual decay. Individually and collectively brought to the depths of the despair, each family member speaks out and seeks to reconcile the cruel vagaries of life that have carried them to this point. A mystic element transcending the borders of life and death offers faint solace in this emotional portrayal of the connections between human beings and the essence of the soul. "In a rain of sun showering shadows across earth, / my steps proceed in effortless wind along its edge, / the purity of its presence framing this space / around my soul dusting faded stars, / metaphors retrieved, one foot beyond the other, / the enfant-exuberant remembering their eternal presence."

(Parentheses): Poems for the 21st Century
Ricky Rapoport Friesem
Kipod Press
c/o Weizmann Institute of Science
Neve Metz 15, Rehovot, Israel
9659097107, $TBA

First place winner of the Writer's Digest Press 2007 Annual International Self-Published Book Awards for poetry, "(Parentheses): Poems for the 21st Century" is a particularly impressive compilation of the poetry of Israeli documentary filmmaker Ricky Rapoport Friesem. Married to a physicist, the mother of three sons, and the grandmother of 12 grandchildren, Friesem has authored two cook books and her poetry has been published in a number of prestigious journalism, magazines, and chapbooks. "(Parentheses): Poems for the 21st Century" will aptly serve to introduce her poetry to an appreciative American readership. Her free verse poetry is articulate, universal, carefully crafted and effectively presented both in tone and in imagery. 'poor mario stulz': Poor Mario Stulz, he died today./A heart attack, they say, brought/on perhaps by too much sun/or food or beer or Cuba Libras/downed around the pool. He//did it all and brimmed with life then/upped and died, poor man,/and his vacation barely had begun.//They've pinned a notice on the board./There'll be no disco dancing in the bar tonight.

J. R. McCarthy
Serious Ink Press
9780979698507, $8.00

Married, a highschool teacher, and living in the Bronx, J. R. McCarthy's has a distinctive flair, rhythm, cadence, and voice. A 45-page chapbook, "Ambivalid or 'Staggering Towards Virtue' and Back In The Holy Bronx" is a slender little compendium of his best verse and a thoroughly entertaining, occasionally quite thoughtful and thought-provoking. This is one chapbook that can be wholeheartedly and unreservedly recommended to the attention of all poetry enthusiasts and connoisseurs. 'Haiku Invoked Against Self-Importance': A nun who was once/my teacher cornered me at/Sterling Optical,//She wanted to know/what I had made of my gifts./I told her, Sorry,//Sister, Love to bring/you up to speed, but I must/go to Olympus//and round up my wife/as per my arrangement with/her heartsick mother.//Then, of course, it's back/to Hades, and terrible/judgment of the dead.//A little white lie:/I'm really resuming my throne/Among the blind men.

The Case Against Happiness
Jean-Paul Pecqueur
Alice James Books
238 Main Street, Farmington, Maine 04938
9781882295593, $14.95

The Case Against Happiness is the debut poetry collection of prizewinning poet Jean-Paul Pecqueur, who has previously been published in journals such as "American Letters & Commentary" and "Rain Taxi". Some of the collected poems have been slightly refined since their initial publication in a wide variety of journals; all share a characteristic, keenly whetted insight into the human condition. A dry, sardonic wit distinguishes these unforgettable free-verse contemplations. "The Case Against Happiness": Our local painter discovered Paul Klee. / He's the line that marries profit and loss / to those children of our rocky coast, / hair perfumed with the stuff of grief. / The local dentist thinks a tree is a tree's / a tree. Baker refuses to discourse at all. / He calls this pragmatism. I call Patty / but Patty's never home. Wants to stay. / Wants to call it quits. I do too. I want / to say to Happiness, Happiness, if the mind / of the man on the so-called street of dreams / meets, will the day drop off its clothes again, / its dirty, dirty laundry. Our walls, brief walks, / lie down with stunted and alien trees. / Animals, we eat the very air they breathe.

The Humor Shelf

Kitty Nirvana
Barry Corbett
Corbett Features
2 Courthouse Lane, Suite 14F, Chelmsford, MA 01824
9780976229445, $9.95 1-800-431-1579

Kitty Nirvana: The First Ginger & Shadow Collection is a webcomic anthology following the (only slightly exaggerated) adventures of author's two cats, who were adopted from an animal shelter when they were 6 week old kittens. Ginger is the queen of cool cats, self-assured, manipulative, suave, while Shadow is more nervous, soft-hearted, sentimental, and unusually pacifistic among carnivores. Their adventures with one another and their family are sure to strike a chord among cat lovers of all walks of life. "'I'm really getting fed up with this diet thing.' 'You're just built for comfort, not speed.'" The charming black-and-white art captures the essence of cartoon felinity in this wonderfully entertaining collection. Highly recommended, especially as a giftbook for fellow feline fanciers.

The Business Shelf

Enterprise Readiness 101
PO Box 525, Hampstead, NH 03841

Enterprise Readiness 101 is a seminar on a PC CD-ROM, and was created with the guidance of industry professionals for the specific purpose of teaching aspiring entrepreneurs, as well as sales and marketing professionals, about information technology environments and customers. In the modern world where IT is an increasingly crucial driving force, Enterprise Readiness 101 is invaluable for its hands-on wisdom, presented in a "technology agnostic" approach readily accessible to viewers of all backgrounds. The lectures includes in-depth definitions of modern IT terms, behavioral characteristics that customers are known to demand, dos and don'ts vital to keep in mind, how to create functionality that "greases the wheels" of sales and marketing efforts, and much more. Over ten hours of lectures are packed on a single disc, in this invaluable corporate training and self-teaching aid. (Users are required to have Microsoft Internet explorer 5.0 or later and Windows Media Player 9.0 or later on their PC).

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Your Designer Diet
Todd Hoff
Possibility Outpost, Inc.
15764 Adams Ridge, Los Gatos, CA 95033-8036
9780979707100, $19.95

The problem with the conventional wisdom regarding losing weight is that if you exercise more and eat less you can reduce your weight -- and maintain the weight level that you want. The problem is that for most of us, conventional wisdom isn't all that wise! Todd Hoff lost more than 100 pounds and in the process discovered why losing weight is so difficult, why being overweight isn't a matter of 'fault', the science behind weight loss (and gain), and how to permanently control weight through creating the perfect and personalized diet for ourselves within the context of our lifestyles. Basically what Hoff has done in "Your Designer Diet: How To Stay On Any Diet For The Rest Of Your Life" is to lay out a program that we can customize to our own life circumstances, our own personal strengths, and which is compatible with our own schedules -- be they hectic or leisurely. Hoff's basic message\ is that we can be in control of our weight, we can learn how to stay on any diet, how to avoid threats to our dieting success, diverse and effective strategies for losing weight, and maintaining our weight loss through simple daily monitoring. Of special note is what "Your Designer Diet" has to say about 'Joyful Eating'. Invaluable, informed and informative, and thoroughly 'user-friendly', "Your Designer Diet" is an enthusiastically recommended reading for anyone having to deal with problems of excessive weight.

The Biography Shelf

Firefighterette Gillette
Engineer Kathy Gillette
Alacheri Publishing, LLC
PO Box 26587, Indianapolis, IN 46226
9781603480222, $26.95

Firefighterette Gillette: A Firefighter Who Crashed & Burned, A Success Story is the autobiography of Kathy Gillette, a professional firefighter of 22 years' experience. The inside view of a woman in a traditionally male-dominated profession, Firefighterette Gillette tells of suffering burns, sexual escapades with male firefighters at different firehouses, accidentally crashing an aerial truck into an engine, and more escapades. From risking her life to protect the innocent, to witnessing tragedy or even the handiwork of a murderer, to sorting through the morass of personal issues and political infighting that plague firefighting organizations as much as any corporate boardroom, Firefighterette Gillette is a captivating read cover to cover and highly recommended.

My Music My Life
Ravi Shankar
Mandala Publishing
c/o Palace Press International
17 Paul Drive, San Rafael, CA 94903
9781601090058, $29.95

Now 86 years of age, Ravi Shankar continues to be revered world-wide for his proficiency and performances of the classical music of India. Originally published forty years ago, this new and updated edition of Ravi's autobiography "My Music My Life" is enhanced with an informative Foreword by Philip Glass and an Introduction by Yehundi Menuhin. Of special note is the new final chapter by Ravi that details his hope for the preservation of Indian classical music as embodied in his unique approach to his craft. Enhanced with the inclusion of never before published photographs, "My Music My Life" is a compelling memoir and an enthusiastically recommended for both academic and community library collections -- as well as mandatory reading for his legions of fans throughout the country.

Alaska Memories
John McGoldrick
iUniverse, Inc.
2021 Pine Lake Road, #100, Lincoln, NE 68512
9780595416448, $17.95

Author John McGoldrick lived in Alaska from 1977 to 1983; in Alaska Memories: Adventure in the Wilds of Alaska, he recounts his days as a clam digger, carpenter, gold miner, and mountaineering guide. From enduring Alaska winters in the back of a truck, a camper, or a broken-down school bus, to building his own house, to hunting birds and beasts and fishing for salmon, Alaska Memories is a true tale of survival and also learning to appreciate the splendor of the Alaska wilderness. Written with wit, humor, nostalgia and a love of the outdoors, Alaska Memories is a special treat for armchair travelers everywhere.

The Science Shelf

Natural Selections
David P. Barash
Bellevue Literary Press
NYU School of Medicine, 550 First Avenue, OBV 640, New York, NY 10016
9781934137055, $25.00

Professor of psychology and proponent of sociobiology David P. Barash presents Natural Selections, a matter-of-fact look at how human biology and evolution affect human behavior, and what this has to say about both practical and ethical dilemmas in today's world. Written in plain terms accessible to lay readers and an extra dollop of wit, Natural Selections discusses why human violence is an overwhelmingly male phenomenon (humans were almost certainly polygamous earlier in their evolution, which prompted physical strength and violent traits among males striving for domination), why something being "natural" is by no means a synonym for it being "good" (or "bad", for that matter), why racism remains a pervasive social problem (it benefits one's genes to favor one's kin-group, and those of a different race are clearly unlikely to belong to one's kin-group), and much more. A matter-of-fact accounting that does not excuse or justify immoral behavior, but rather seeks to understand its sociobiological origins, on the premise that science and knowledge of the problem's roots, not ignorance, are a necessary first ingredient to making the world a better place. Highly recommended.

The Sports Shelf

Running the Seven Continents
Clint Morrison
Inkwater Press
6750 SW Franklin Street, Suite A, Portland, OR 97223-2542
9781592992379, $19.95

Running the Seven Continents: Tales of Travel and the Marathon is a memoir anthology by marathon runner Clint Morrison, about his experiences running long distance upon each of the world's seven continents. A literate first-person adventure about the joy of travel, pushing oneself to the limit, becoming immersed in foreign cultures, and even confronting one's own fear of failure. An insightful and passionate account, Running the Seven Continents offers the closest thing to a true marathon experience short of actually running twenty-six miles by oneself. "There are those that say that Pheidippides did not make the run at all. They may be right. It may be that he was among the first to get there, or that someone did die on arrival, but in a sense it really doesn't matter. If we need to ascribe an individual achievement to Pheidippides the man, it seems likely that he did make the much longer run to Sparta and back." Especially recommended as inspirational reading for marathon runners in training.

The Russian Studies Shelf

Russia's Capitalist Revolution
Anders Aslund
Peterson Institute for International Economics
1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036-1903
9780881324099, $26.95

Economist Anders Aslund presents Russia's Capitalist Revolution: Why Market Reform Succeeded and Democracy Failed, a recounting of modern Russian political and economic history from the mid-1980s to the present. Examining statistical and historical evidence with a critical eye, Aslund points out that even though market reforms have flourished, and Russia is currently in a relatively productive economic state (compared to much of its modern history), the government under Vladimir Putin has become so strongly centralized and authoritarian as to resemble that of former czar Nicholas. Russia's Capitalist Revolution intricately ferrets out the causes driving this proud nation's dual transformation, with the eye-opening revelation that the changes most likely to take were the radical and sudden rather than slow and gradual. An absolute "must-have" for modern Russian history shelves, very highly recommended.

The Self-Help Shelf

It's About Time
Vicki Lansky & Schar Ward
Book Peddlers
2828 Hedberg Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55305
9781931863285, $9.95

It's About Time: Time Saving Tips for Every Day - Home or Away is a no-nonsense guide to time management, especially recommended for homemakers, college students, parents, and anyone else desperately pressed for time. Chapters also have tips for freeing up space, though learning to stretch the hours in one's day is the primary focus. From furnishing one's home in such a manner as to make it easier to clean, to arranging one's closet by category so as to pick out what to wear more quickly, to miscellaneous tips, tricks, and techniques for dealing with slow people, It's About Time is a top-notch, easy-to-follow guide that literally pays for itself (since time is money, after all)! "Need to call a 'talker'? Place your call when the 'talker' isn't likely to keep you on the phone or just before lunch or quitting time. Or leave a voice message when you suspect that person will not be there." Highly recommended.

Living Smart
Joshua C. Klapow, Ph.D. & Sheri D. Pruitt, Ph.D.
DiaMedica Publications
150 East 61st Street, New York, NY 10021
9780979356407, $14.95

Written by Joshua C. Klapow, Ph.D. (Associate Professor, Department of Health Care Organization and Policy, University of Alabama at Birmingham) and Sheri D. Pruitt, Ph.D. (Director of Behavioral Science Integration for The Permanente Medical Group), Living Smart: Five Essential Skills to Change Your Health Habits Forever is a how-to guide to changing one's unhealthy behavior. The five keystones of the SMART behavioral program are: Set a goal, Monitor your progress, Arrange your world for success, Recruit a support team, and Treat yourself. Step-by-step instructions for building "game plans" to structure one's life with healthier diet, exercise, and sleep patterns (and also remember to take any needed medications punctually) help set the reader on a path to lifelong wellness. Living Smart is a consumable book, offering blank lines for the reader to write out answers to questions and blank charts to get started keeping a schedule; the end result is a life plan that is highly customized to suit one's individual needs. Highly recommended.

52 Ways... to Become Famous! (and Sometimes Infamous)
Casey Lee
Penworth Publishing
6942 FM 1960 East, #152, Humble, TX 77346
9780975313909, $24.95

Written by author and publicist Casey Lee, 52 Ways... to Become Famous! (and Sometimes Infamous) is a lighthearted anthology of suggestions living up to its title. Offering tongue-in-cheek insight into the wherewithal needed to achieve fame, 52 Ways... to Become Famous! offers suggestions ranging from "Be the most obnoxious person on every reality tv show possible!" to "Develop a line of chocolates that won't make you fat or break out your face!" to "Write the next best seller." Yet after the wacky first 45 suggestions are said and done, the rest of 52 Ways... to Become Famous! is devoted to how publicity, self-marketing, and fame are really achieved: writing and sending out press releases, writing articles for syndication, becoming a guest on TV programs, doing radio interviews, speaking engagements, mail and email newsletters, and networking. Each of the seven "how it's really done" steps are fleshed out with practical tips and advice for anyone looking to build a reputation for their book, artwork, or expertise in their chosen field. Simple, cartoony illustrations pepper this delightful blend of laughter and insight.

The Social Issues Shelf

Re-Energizing America
Jay Marhoefer
WingSpan Press
P.O. Box 2085, Livermore, CA 94551
9781595941589, $18.95

Energy consultant Jay Marhoefer presents Re-Energizing America: A Common-Sense Approach To Achieving U.S. Energy Independence in Our Generation, a forward-thinking discussion of ways in which America needs to respond to the current energy crisis and prevent matters from becoming worse. In an era when America's oil money increasingly funds some of the nations most hostile to it, Re-Energizing America explains why simply conserving gasoline and engaging in more domestic oil production will not avert the problem (domestic oil producers won't sell their product for less than foreign oil producers, who can almost set their price at will due to high demand), why a tariff to prevent oil prices from going too low is vital (OPEC has engaged in "dumping" oil and sub-market prices to choke off efforts to find alternatives to oil before), how fuel-cell will improve the automotive industry, the roles of solar energy, wind energy, and hydrogen car technology, why a grassroots approach to energy independence is needed, and much more. A visionary, gung-ho approach to a modern American quandary, enthusiastically recommended.

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

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