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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 13, Number 2 February 2014 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Photography Shelf Humor Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Islamic Studies Shelf Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Civil War Shelf
Holocaust Studies Shelf Poetry Shelf Money/Finance Shelf
Homeowner's Shelf Economic Studies Shelf Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Environmental Studies Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Spin: Taking Your Creativity to the Nth Degree
Claire Burge, author
Brian Dixon, illustrator
T.S. Poetry Press
21 Belleview Avenue
Ossining, NY 10562
9780989854214 $19.95

Spin: Taking Your Creativity to the Nth Degree gathers tips, tricks, techniques, and anecdotes to inspire readers pursuing any creative field (writers, poets, artists, photographers, crafters, and more) whether as a profession or a hobby. From twelve methods for capturing flashes of insight on the go, to methodologies for breaking down sweeping ideas into bite-sized chunks, to a handy weekly blueprint to aid planning and more, Spin is a wonderful, hands-on resource to fostering productivity as well as creativity. Sketchy, illuminating black-and-white artwork complements the solid advice and chuckle-inducing true stories. Spin is designed to be used as personal notebook, with blank spaces encouraging the reader to jot down his or her own creative thoughts and ideas, and emphasizes nonlinear, open-minded thinking. An excellent supplementary resource especially for anyone trying break out of a well-worn rut!

Faces of Tradition
Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez and Christine Franquemont, authors
Joe Coca, photography
306 North Washington Ave.
Loveland, Colorado 80537
9780983886044 $34.95

Striking, full-color photography enriches Faces of Tradition: Weaving Elders of the Andes, an extraordinary survey of today's Quechua people (descendants of the Incas) and their rich tradition of cloth weaving, renowned worldwide for its beauty and artistry. Today, elders continue the trades and cultural traditions of tending flocks, harvesting cropes, and weaving astonishingly beautiful garments. Faces of Tradition introduces readers to survivors of poverty, a callous hacienda (plantation) system, and the brutal Shining Path rebellion. These women persevered in their way of life and their reverence for Mother Earth and the Apu spirits of the Andes. Faces of Tradition portrays these elders along with their captivating, handwoven creations, and takes the reader on an extraordinary tour. The next best thing to visiting remote Andes villages in person, Faces of Tradition is highly recommended.

A Voyage Remembered: With the Memoirs of Louis Feron
Leslie Snow
Peter E. Randall Publisher
PO Box 4726, Portsmouth, NH 03802-4726
University of New England Press (distributor)
1 Court Street, Suite 250, Lebanon, NH 03766-1358
9781931807784, $34.95, 232 pp,

Synopsis: "A Voyage Remembered: With the Memoirs of Louis Feron" is a story of a man and a woman with vastly different backgrounds who overcame obstacles and created art and living experience. Leslie Snow was a dancer, painter, and poet; Louis Feron was a goldsmith, jeweler, and sculptor. "A Voyage Remembered" chronicles the fascinating lives of these two distinguished artists, their international journeys, their connections with famed artists, individuals, and patrons, and their thirty-six years of marriage. Louis and Leslie believed the mind and feeling must be united to be free, and to be free is the greatest quality that exists.

Critique: Of special note in this accessibly written account of two fascinating and gifted people is the inclusion of poems by Leslie Snow and a section of beautifully reproduced, full color photographs of Louis Feron's creations. Informed and informative, "A Voyage Remembered: With the Memoirs of Louis Feron" is deftly organized into three sections: Memoirs of Leslie Snow; The Memoirs of Louis Feron; and A Voyage Remembered. Personal, candid, entertaining, and a simply great read, "A Voyage Remembered: With the Memoirs of Louis Feron" is very highly recommended reading that is enhanced with the inclusion of a bibliography for further reading, a comprehensive index, and would make an enduringly popular addition to community library collections.

The President's Hat
Antoine Laurain
Gallic Books
c/o Meryl Zegarek Public Relations
255 West 108 Street, Suite 901, NY, NY 10025
9781908313478, $14.95, 208 pp,

Synopsis: "The President's Hat" is a charming fable about the power of a hat that takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride through French life during the Mitterrand years. Dining alone in an elegant Parisian brasserie, accountant Daniel Mercier can hardly believe his eyes when President Fran‡ois Mitterrand sits down to eat at the table next to him. After the presidential party has gone, Daniel discovers that Mitterrand's black felt hat has been left behind. After a few moments' soul-searching, Daniel decides to keep the hat as a souvenir of an extraordinary evening. It's a perfect fit, and as he leaves the restaurant Daniel begins to feel somehow . . . different. Has Daniel unwittingly discovered the secret of supreme power?

Critique: Translated from French into English by Gallic Books, "The President's Hat" is a fascinating, occasionally whimsical, and always entertaining read from first page to last. Of special note is author Antoine Laurain's singular ability to recreate an era when what men and women wore upon their heads was as important as any other aspect of the clothing that they wore. "The President's Hat" is highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections. It should be noted that "The President's Hat" is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.00).

The Photography Shelf

Forbidden Places: Volume 2
Sylvain Margaine & David Margaine
Jonglez Publishing
c/o Editions Jonglez
17 Boulevard du Roi, 78000 Versailles, France
9782361950590, $39.95, 256 pp,

Synopsis: Within the pages of this second volume of "Forbidden Places", the armchair traveler can visit the inside of the legendary Battersea Power Station in London, a sublime abandoned villa in Tuscany, forgotten thermal baths in Spain, a deserted workers' village from the Italian cotton industry, a dilapidated hospital in New York City, an amusement park shut down in Bali, Antwerp's spectacular stock exchange, rusting helicopters in Belgium, and more, all through the captioned photography of Sylvain Margaine.

Critique: Clearly Sylvain Margaine holds an artist's eye up to his digital reflex camera's view finder and through the resulting images showcases an aspect of the human story that would otherwise be assigned to a forgotten and abandoned oblivion. "Forbidden Places" is highly recommended for personal, community, and academic library collections.

Unusual Hotels of the World
Steve Dobson
c/o Emma O'Bryen, Publicity
9782361950675, 29.99 Brit. pounds,

Unusual Hotels of the World is an award-winning coffee-table book featuring memorable descriptions and full-color, full-page photography of some of the most extraordinary hotels worldwide. From an underwater hotel, to a disused US Air Force radar tower in the equatorial rainforest, to chapels, prisons, and igloos repurposed for temporary lodging, Unusual Hotels of the World is a stunning survey of unforgettable places to stay in sixty different nations. The next best thing to engaging in a personal world tour, Unusual Hotels of the World is especially recommended as a giftbook for armchair travelers!

The Humor Shelf

Hockey Moms Aren't Crazy!
Jody M. Anderson
Big Pond Books
c/o Lake 7 Creative, LLC
3419 Vincent Avenue N, Minneapolis, MN 55412
9780988366213, $7.95, 88 pp,

Synopsis: Enhanced throughout with illustrations by Scott Rolfs, "Hockey Moms Aren't Crazy! Well, Maybe Just a Little Bit" is a compendium of wonderful jokes and stories showcasing the aspirations, hazards, anxieties, frustrations, experiences, and rewards of being a hockey mom.

Critique: A cornucopia of life-based humor and observations that will appeal to hockey fans every where, "Hockey Moms Aren't Crazy! Well, Maybe Just a Little Bit" is a wonderfully entertaining read and very highly recommended. It should be noted that "Hockey Moms Aren't Crazy! Well, Maybe Just a Little Bit" is also available in a Kindle edition ($5.99).

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Georgi Ivanovitch Gurdjieff: The Man, The Teaching, His Mission
William Patrick Patterson
Arete Communications
773 Center Blvd., Box 58, Fairfax, CA 94978-0058
9781879514089, $45.00, 668 pp,

George Ivanovich Gurdjieff (January 13, 1866 - October 29, 1949) was an influential spiritual teacher of the early to mid-20th century who taught that most humans live their lives in a state of hypnotic "waking sleep", but that it is possible to transcend to a higher state of consciousness and achieve full human potential. Gurdjieff developed a method for doing so, calling his discipline "The Work" (connoting "work on oneself") or "the Method". According to his principles and instructions, Gurdjieff's method for awakening one's consciousness is different from that of the fakir, monk or yogi, so his discipline is also called (originally) the "Fourth Way". At one point, he described his teaching as being "esoteric Christianity". "Georgi Ivanovitch Gurdjieff: The Man, The Teaching, His Mission" represents William Patrick Patterson's ninth and final book on the life and teachings of Gurdjieff and is fundamentally a summation of forty-four years of Patterson's researching, studying, and applying Gurdjieff's 'Fourth Way'. An impressive work of definitive scholarship, "Georgi Ivanovitch Gurdjieff: The Man, The Teaching, His Mission" is enhanced with photos and essays, as well as extensive Notes, a Chronology, lengthy roster of References, a list of Gurdjieff Students, and impressive Bibliography, and a comprehensive Index. A critically important resource and reference for students of Gurdjieff's work, "Georgi Ivanovitch Gurdjieff: The Man, The Teaching, His Mission" is an indispensable addition to academic library reference collections.

The Islamic Studies Shelf

The Muslim Heritage Of Bengal
Muhammad Mojlum Khan
Kube Publishing Ltd
c/o Meryl Zegarek PR
9781847740526, $30.95, 384pp,

Synopsis: "The Muslim Heritage of Bengal: The Lives, Thoughts and Achievements of Great Muslim Scholars, Writers and Reformers of Bangladesh and West Bengal" is an exceptional and impressive work that covers eight hundred years of the history of Islam in Bengal through the example of forty-two inspirational men and women up until the twentieth century. Included are the prominent figures Shah Jalal, Nawab Abdul Latif, Rt. Hon. Syed Ameer Ali, Sir Salimullah Khan Bahadur, and Begum Rokeya.

Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of a brief chronology of the Islamic history of Bengal, a list of further readings, an extensive bibliography, and a comprehensive index, "The Muslim Heritage of Bengal: The Lives, Thoughts and Achievements of Great Muslim Scholars, Writers and Reformers of Bangladesh and West Bengal" is informed, informative, and a very strongly recommended addition to personal, community and academic library Islamic History and Islamic Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists. It should be noted that "The Muslim Heritage of Bengal: The Lives, Thoughts and Achievements of Great Muslim Scholars, Writers and Reformers of Bangladesh and West Bengal" is also available in hardcover edition (9781847740595, $45.00) and a Kindle edition ($14.29).

The Fiction Shelf

All-American Horror of the 21st Century
Mort Castle, editor
Wicker Park Press
PO Box 5318
River Forest, IL 60305-5318
9781936679089 $19.95

Also available as an ebook, All-American Horror of the 21st Century is an anthology of the best short horror fiction published in magazines, anthologies, and websites from 2000 to 2010. Multiple award-winning and award-nominated authors are represented, including Dan Chaon, Jeff Jacobson, John Everson, Andy Duncan, and Tom Monteleone. All of the stories also have an unquestionably American setting, characterization, or theme. Dark, twisted, insightful, and chilling, All-American Horror of the 21st Century is an absolute "must-read" for connoisseurs of the genre!

Trailing Tennessee
Cory Wheeler Mimms
Craigmore Creations
c/o Media Masters Publicity
9781940052007, $14.99, 240 pp,

Synopsis: "Trailing Tennessee" is the story of Eli Sutton, a teenager who embarks upon a journey on the Appalachian Trail as a runaway from home. When his family has hard times, Eli Sutton sets out for the journey of his young life.

Critique: Extraordinarily well written, "Trailing Tennessee" is a deftly written, complex, but always entertaining work that engages the reader's total attention from beginning to end. Of special note is how author Cory Wheeler Mimms weaves Appalachian culture and mythos into his impressive 'coming of age' story. "Trailing Tennessee" is very highly recommended reading and an excellent acquisition selection for community library collections.

The Kingfishers
Alan Thompson
247 Calais Avenue, Georgetown, SC 29440
W & B Publishers
PO Box 193, Colfax, NC 27235
9780615936314, $17.99, 300 pp,

Synopsis: Tommy Sawyer's new job in Washington provides him with a first-hand view of the dangerous corruption among the politicians and businesspeople charged with producing the nation's nuclear energy. When he tries to expose it, the situation escalates - thousands of people are at risk of annihilation, and millions more suffer from the "fallout." Against this backdrop, Tommy encounters the woman who walked out on him twenty years earlier. His struggle to come to terms with the rage that has consumed him ever since, and the possibility that they might reconcile, add an intensely personal note to a cautionary tale about "power" in our nation's capital.

Critique: Alan Thompson's debut novel "The Kingfishers" which takes the theme of corruption among the politicians and corporate executives in a way that could be ripped from tomorrow's national headlines. A deftly written story that weaves elements of romance, mystery, action, and suspense, "The Kingfishers" clearly document Thompson as a gifted novelist and one that will leave his readers looking eagerly toward his next literary adventure.

Bitter Like Orange Peel
Jessica Bell
Vine Leaves Press
9780987593115, $14.99, 268pp,

Synopsis: Six women. One man. Seven secrets. One could ruin them all. Kit is a twenty-five-year-old archaeology undergrad, who doesn't like to get her hands dirty. Life seems purposeless. But if she could track down her father, Roger, maybe her perspective would change. The only problem-Roger is as rotten as the decomposing oranges in her back yard according to the women in her life: Ailish, her mother-an English literature professor who communicates in quotes and cliches, and who still hasn't learned how to express emotion on her face; Ivy, her half-sister-a depressed archaeologist, with a slight case of nymphomania who fled to America after a divorce to become a waitress; and Eleanor, Ivy's mother-a pediatric surgeon who embellishes her feelings with medical jargon, and named her daughter after "Intravenous." Against all three women's wishes, Kit decides to find Roger. Enter a sister Kit never knew about. But everyone else did.

Critique: A riveting reading experience from first page to last, "Bitter Like Orange Peel" clearly documents author Jessica Bell's impressive storytelling talents. Vividly crafted and memorable characters embedded in a a complex and constantly surprising narrative, "Bitter Like Orange Peel" is a solidly entertainment and highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library contemporary fiction collections. It should be noted that "Bitter Like Orange Peel" is also available in a Kindle edition ($1.99).

Sally A. Allen
Xlibris Corporation
1663 South Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
Bohlsen Group (publicity)
9781483656724, $19.99, 238 pp,

Synopsis: Becky is a recent widow who lives with her beloved dog, Tawny. She falls in love with a man thirty years younger than her. Buddy is a handyman who seduces Becky. Their relationship is atypical. Will it inevitably end in disaster or will conventional wisdom concerning such affairs be refuted?

Critique: Very highly recommended "Cougar" is a deftly written novel that involves contemporary social standards, family issues, and the human heart in a novel that is as entertaining as it is imaginatively original. It should be noted that "Cougar" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).

Charlie's Angle
John Paul McKinney
Privately Published
1491091894, $12.95, 284pp,

Synopsis: High-school principal, Charlie Brannigan, is known for his easy going manner until the day he crosses paths with the Newsome family. When Tommy Newsome flunks out of math class, his mother, Catherine - a powerful member of the school board - calls for his teacher's resignation. In defending the young teacher, Charlie learns just how much sway the Newsome family has within the community. When Tommy and four other star athletes are later accused of leading a dangerous hazing ceremony - threatening their chances to compete at state finals - Charlie must decide if seeking justice is worth risking his job. Complicating his decision, Charlie's wife is facing a dangerous illness. Charlie has always told his wrestling students, "We are men of character first." But how far must one man go to defend his integrity? Charlie's Angle is an intimate story of power, compassion, and commitment. The story takes place in the present time in a fictional town in Wisconsin.

Critique: "Charlie's Angle" clearly documents author John Paul McKinney as a skilled novelist with an impressive knack for deftly crafting an original story and populating it with memorable characters. Entertaining and engaging from beginning to end, "Charlie's Angle" is highly recommended reading and would make a decidedly popular addition to community library contemporary fiction collections.

The Year Of The Horsetales
R. F. Tapsell
CNPosner Books
9780956347541, $2.74 (Kindle edition)

Synopsis: Eastern Europe: Early Middle Ages. The nomad warrior Bardiya must flee from the evil empire of the Mongol-like Tugars and their ruthless Kagan. He receives hospitality from the sedentary Slavic Drevich people; but fears that they also might succumb to the might of the Tugar empire. Will he be able to convince them of their danger and teach them the skills necessary to defeat their new enemy?

Critique: Originally published in 1967, "The Year Of The Horsetales" is one of those 'lost treasures' of popular literature that has been ably recovered and once again made available to a whole new generation of appreciative readers. A thrilling action/adventure tale that is a deftly woven entertainment from first page to last, "The Year Of The Horsetales" is very highly recommended reading.

The Strange Birth, Short Life, and Sudden Death of Justice Girl
Julian David Stone
For The Duration Press
Smith Publicity
9780989831505, $14.95, 408pp,

Synopsis: The golden age of live television comes to vivid life with the memorable and entertaining tale of Jonny Dirby, who unintentionally captivates the imagination of America with his creation of the hit show Justice Girl. This fun, engrossing work of historical fiction transports readers back to a time when television shows were chaotic tightrope acts balancing the agendas of actors, studio executives, advertisers, and politicians, and all of it broadcast live to fifty million viewers without the security of a safety net. Set in 1955 in New York City, Julian David Stone's impressive novel follows Jonny from the writers' room of a steady network gig to a crisis of conscience when he decides to abandon his regular paycheck to claim the moral high ground against the spreading plague of McCarthyism. In a final act of defiance, Jonny alters the script of a Superman-inspired lampoon moments before it is broadcast live. What nobody can anticipate is that Jonny's accidental creation Justice Girl and her infectious catchphrase of "Justice is served!" are about to sweep the nation and win the hearts and minds of America. Add to the mix a highly driven actress trying to get Jonny blacklisted, along with a desperate network president willing to do anything he can to get compete control of the show, and the history of television will never be the same. The Strange Birth, Short Life, and Sudden Death of Justice Girl moves beyond the gags and gaffes of television's golden age to plumb the depths of the media's broader influence. Anyone interested in this time when television was a new phenomenon, with different factions fighting to use it to promote their varied agendas, will enjoy this riveting novel.

Critique: It is standard advice for novice authors to "write what you know". In "The Strange Birth, Short Life, and Sudden Death of Justice Girl", award winning author Julian David Stone has done just that by drawing upon his twenty years in the entertainment business to deftly craft his memorable characters and his deftly woven storyline. A solidly entertaining read from beginning to end, "The Strange Birth, Short Life, and Sudden Death of Justice Girl" is very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library General Fiction collections.

Brie Embraces the Heart of Submission: After Graduation
Red Phoenix
c/o Smith Publicity
9780615911250, $18.95, 542pp,

Synopsis: On the night of graduation, Brie Bennett offered her collar to the man who'd won her devotion during her time at the Submissive Training Center. The intimate encounters Brie enjoys with her new Master are hot and deliciously challenging. On the flipside, despite her newly acquired skills, she discovers that being a sub also requires maturity, intelligence and willing sacrifice. Her Master has a tragic past that he has kept hidden. She is unaware that someone is waiting in the wings, plotting to return and rip his world apart. Brie has troubles of her own, including an obsessive Dom who won't let her go, parents who refuse to accept her new lifestyle, and a film that is struggling to see the light of day. Brie's journey with her Master brings both sweet ecstasy and unbearable pain. Friendships deepen and love grows, even as her life begins to crumble around her. To survive, Brie will need the strength of a love that binds her securely--heart and soul.

Critique: A work of literary erotic fiction only suitable for adult readers, "Brie Embraces the Heart of Submission: After Graduation", the seductive sequel to "Brie Learns the Art of Submission". The sexually explicit content would not make it recommended for community library collections. But it is an exceptionally well written novel that will appeal to an adult readership with an interest is deftly crafted erotica. It should be noted that "Brie Embraces the Heart of Submission: After Graduation" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).

The Great Anti-American Novel
Daniel Donatelli
H. H. B. Publishing, LLC
c/o Smith Publicity
1930 E Marlton Pike, Suite I-46, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
9781937648152, $17.76, 432 pp,

Synopsis: The Great Anti-American Novel is a fictional memoir written by a confessed mass-murderer in an offshore federal detention facility. The narrator's penetratingly satirical story centers on his small family coming together and being ripped apart by a global economic and cultural collapse that triggers a second American civil war, setting up the events that ultimately result in the Dante Thompson and his adopted sister Sylvia orchestrating and carrying out an explosive, blood-gushingly violent retribution for the tragic and untimely deaths of their heroic father and former nation.

Critique: A first rate dystopian saga, "The Great Anti-American Novel" may be a work of fiction, but the philosophical questions embedded in Daniel Donatelli's deftly written text deals with issues that are very much up front in today's news -- diminishing privacy in an increasingly digital world, the consequences of a national economic collapse, the impact of a disintegrating culture, the inevitable destiny of the self-centered Babyboom Generation, and the critical importance of family for individual and collective survival. An extraordinary work of extrapolated fiction from beginning to end, "The Great Anti-American Novel" is an entertaining and thoughtful read that is highly recommended for community library Contemporary Fiction collections. It should be noted that "The Great Anti-American Novel" is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.61).

Princes Of New York
Robin Lester
Argo-Navis Author Services
Kelley & Hall (publicity)
9780786755578, $26.99, 346 pp,

Synopsis: Tom West, the rumpled, young, headmaster of Christ Church School, loves his job on Manhattan's Upper East Side, and the students and faculty love him right back. But when board member Robert Cattivo - a high-flying real estate magnate who worships Machiavelli and mentored Trump - threatens the integrity of Christ Church, the principled headmaster is thrown into the biggest challenge of his life. Will Cattivo succeed in corrupting Tom, as well as his treasured institution, selling trustee seats and admission slots to the highest bidder and kicking the headmaster to the curb? Must he abandon his integrity to keep his job and preserve the legendary school's high standards? Aided by a beautiful Met curator and an ailing bishop, Tom goes up against a band of ruthless barbarians to save the soul of a legendary school and in the process, he rediscovers his own humanity.

Critique: A complex and entertaining novel from beginning to end, "Princes Of New York" is written with an impressive wit and realism. Author Robin Lester captures his reader's total attention with deftly created characters and a complexly woven plot. The result is a book that is hard to set down and will linger in the memory long after it is finished and set back upon the shelf. "Princes Of New York" is highly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted that "Princes Of New York" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.69).

Borrowed Horses
Sian B. Griffiths
New Rivers Press
9780898232844, $15.95, 300 pp,

Synopsis: Once an Olympic equestrian hopeful, Joannie returns to her hometown and finds herself entangled in an abusive love quadrangle affair with a tragic turn of events.

Critique: Erudite and articulate, this work by Sian B. Griffiths qualifies as a minor masterpiece of the novelist's art. Complex and memorable characters, minute attention to background details, an imaginative storyline, and a master of dialogue, "Borrowed Horses" is a consistently entertaining read and a very strongly recommended addition to community library Contemporary Fiction collections.

A Man Cleansed By God
John E. Beahn
Saint Benedict Press
PO Box 410487, Charlotte, NC 28241
9780967597881, $14.95, 250pp,

Synopsis: St. Patrick s life was a series of heroic adventures: Captured as a young teen by pirates and taken from his comfortable life in ancient Roman Britain, he was sold as a slave in Ireland. Six years later he escaped and, after a long, arduous journey, he returned to his family - only to receive a call from God to go back to Ireland as a Christian missionary. Trained and ordained as a priest, and ultimately consecrated a bishop, he returned at last to Ireland. There, his bold preaching brought many thousands into the Christian fold and led to the establishment of numerous churches and religious communities. Yet even with such remarkable success, Patrick faced stiff opposition and persecution: He had to defend himself against the intrigues and false charges of both religious and political enemies, who on one occasion even went so far as to rob him of all he possessed, beat him severely, and put him in chains.

Critique: Originally published in 1959, Saint Benedict Press has brought back a 'time lost treasure' with their re-publication of "A Man Cleansed By God", a biographical novel that is as entertaining as it is informative. Author John Edward Beahn based this superbly written novel on St. Patrick's own autobiography work. Simply stated, "A Man Cleansed By God" is very highly recommended reading and would make an enduringly popular addition to community library Historical Fiction collections.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Evil in High Places
Annie Rose Alexander
Tate Publishing
127 East Trade Center Terrace, Mustang, OK 73064
9781625100658, $14.99, 304 pp.,

Synopsis: Shelton Maxwell, one of the FBI's first black agents, is stunned to discover that other black agents in Washington, DC are being killed, one by one. He defies the director's orders to cease and desist investigating the heinous murders, whose deaths are linked to COINTELPRO, a highly explosive secret government counter-intelligence program. No other FBI counterintelligence program is as aggressively carried out as COINTELPRO, in a series of covert and often highly illegal projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. Once the files on COINTELPRO go missing, the serial killer attempts to kill everyone even remotely connected to the files.

Critique: A solid action/adventure thriller, "Evil in High Places" that underscores author Annie Rose Alexander as an exceptional writer able to deftly weave memorable characters into a gripping rollercoaster of a ride from beginning to end. An entertaining and engaging novel from first page to last, "Evil in High Places" is highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections. It should be noted that "Evil in High Places" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Killing Sharks: De Profundis
Eric Wentz
Tate Publishing
127 East Trade Center Terrace, Mustang, OK 73064
News & Experts (publicity)
3748 Turman Loop, #101, Wesley Chapel, FL 33544
9781622957613, $25.99, 374 pp,

Synopsis: From the remote villages of Afghanistan to the depths of the ocean, Lieutenant Commander Grant Chisolm is on a mission to thwart jihadists. His latest assignment as liaison officer to Guantanamo brings him face to face with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda, and their hatred of the United States, once more. "Killing Sharks: De Profundis" is a thriller that takes the reader from the desolate mountains of the FATA on the Afghan-Pakistani border to the warm waters of the Caribbean and the base prison at Guantanamo, Cuba. Navy SEAL, Lieutenant Commander Grant Chisolm, races against the timing of suicide bombers and through the murky world of the modern war on terrorism and the backwaters of the Cold War.

Critique: In "Killing Sharks: De Profundis", author Eric Wentz clearly draws upon his many years of experience and expertise as a U.S. Naval officer exposed to the issues of combating terrorism on a global scale. A deftly written and riveting work, "Killing Sharks: De Profundis" is a great read and the stuff of which block buster movies are made. It would prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Fiction collections. It should be noted that "Killing Sharks: De Profundis" is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.99).

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Eleven: Clouds of Solitude
J.J. Bende and Carisa Holmes
Pensiero Press
PO Box 533, Dublin, OH 43017
9780984730537 $13.99

The second novel in the "Eleven" series, Eleven: Clouds of Solitude continues Mila's saga betwen worlds. Above the harsh desert of Tenpi lies Jonquil, a land of clouds and sky; a fierce resistance force struggles to restore Queen Zehn to her throne, while the Dark One's army threatens to devour all hope. Caught in the crossfire, Mila must brave treachery and danger, but also learns that she is not alone in her quest. Eleven: Clouds of Solitude will entrance both young adult and adult fans of high fantasy. Also highly recommended is the first novel in the series, "Eleven: Shadow and Light" (9780984730506, $13.99).

The Day the Sun Cried
Lizbeth Novelliere
Terra Sancta Press
304 Ryal Palm Drive, Melbourne, FL 32935-6955
9780982964736, $14.15, 210 pp,

Synopsis: Nick Roma's new love Rachel Moreau, his brother Jack and wife Melinda create unlikely bonds to survive a world-wide catastrophic solar event. Would the region descend into chaos and strife or rise above intractable inconveniences to create a new society?

Critique: An original novel that combines elements of science fiction with a riveting action/adventure story that will leave the reader pondering how he or she would respond faced with similar life and death decisions, "The Day the Sun Cried: A Spacecoast Adventure" is a solid entertainment that is highly recommended for personal reading lists and would prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections. It should be noted that "The Day the Sun Cried: A Spacecoast Adventure" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).

The Genetically Conflicted
A. W. Daniels
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781494247294, $11.99, 300pp,

Synopsis: The Genetically Privileged children are forced to grow up quickly in "Genetically Conflicted," the second installment of the Genetic series of novels written by A. W. Daniels. Adolescence is hard enough when one is Homo sapiens, but when a child is gifted well beyond the norm the intensity of life's natural changes become a struggle between life and death. The seemingly idyllic world of the students is shattered as they are confronted by a foe bent on destroying not only their lifestyle but also those responsible for their very existence. The students learn quickly that theirs is not the only reality on this planet as they find themselves in a fight for survival against an enemy that insist upon unconditional compliance in return for their lives. These demands become increasingly complex as the students find their adversaries to be from the same family tree as their own. The students are still as charming as they were in the first edition; they've just learned to become more lethal.

Critique: The sequel to A. W. Daniels' science fiction thriller "Genetically Privileged" (9781475942071, $14.95), "The Genetically Conflicted" continues to demonstrate Daniel's narrative storytelling skills as he expands on his complexly woven world of the future. A solid entertainment from beginning to end, "The Genetically Conflicted" is very highly recommended reading for all science fiction enthusiasts!

World After
Susan Ee
c/o Goldberg McDuffie Communications
9781477817285, $7.99, 320 pp,

Synopsis: In "World After", the survivors of the angel apocalypse begin to scrape back together what's left of the modern world. When a group of people capture Penryn's sister Paige, thinking she's a monster, the situation ends in a massacre. Paige disappears. Humans are terrified. Mom is heartbroken. Penryn drives through the streets of San Francisco looking for Paige. Why are the streets so empty? Where is everybody? Her search leads her into the heart of the angels' secret plans, where she catches a glimpse of their motivations, and learns the horrifying extent to which the angels are willing to go. Meanwhile, Raffe hunts for his wings. Without them, he can't rejoin the angels, can't take his rightful place as one of their leaders. When faced with recapturing his wings or helping Penryn survive, which will he choose?

Critique: "World After" is the sequel to author Susan Ee's thriller debut novel, "Angelfall" (9780761463276, $7.99) and part of her outstanding 'End of Days' series. A truly gifted author, it's no wonder that "Angelfall" will soon be made into a major feature film. "World After" continues this richly woven and highly recommended fantasy saga and will leave its readers looking eagerly toward the next installment in this impressive series. It should be noted that "World After" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99)

The Civil War Shelf

I Had Rather Die
Kim Murphy
Coachlight Press, LLC
1704 Craigs Store Road, Afton, VA 22920
9781936785155, $14.95, 180 pp,

Synopsis: The American Civil War is often regarded as a "low-rape" war, due to gentlemanly "restraint." Approximately thirty Union soldiers were executed for the crime. As a result, rape is often believed to have been dealt with harshly. On the surface, the numbers reflect the view that rape was indeed far from widespread. In reality, few soldiers received harsh punishment for a crime that was considered a capital offense in the nineteenth century. Through newspapers, Official Records, diaries, letters, and court-martial documents, Kim Murphy exposes the misrepresentations about the topic of rape during the war. Not only were women raped during times of battle, but those who bravely stepped forward to name their attackers were interrogated in the justice system, oftentimes by their assailants. Courts-martial revolved around a woman's consent and her resistance against a man's force. Poor and black women frequently had their reputations called into question. For far too long, women's claims have been dismissed as hearsay and propaganda. Behind the brother-against-brother war lurks the hidden war of brother against sister.

Critique: Kim Murphy's "I Had Rather Die: Rape in the Civil War" is an impressive work of original and meticulous scholarship into a difficult aspect of the bloodiest war in American history to date. While a sensitive subject and one that we are still dealing with today (more than 5,000 reported rapes in the American military for 2013), "I Had Rather Die: Rape in the Civil War" is informed and informative reading with an amazing relevance far beyond the usual Civil War studies of military campaigns and personalities. Simply stated, no academic library Civil War Studies collections can be considered complete or comprehensive without the inclusion of "I Had Rather Die: Rape in the Civil War". It should be noted (especially for libraries) that "I Had Rather Die: Rape in the Civil War" (9781936785162, $21.95) is also available in a hardcover edition.

The Holocaust Studies Shelf

The Stones Weep
Miriam M. Brysk & Margaret G. Lincoln
Gihon River Press
PO Box 88, East Stroudsburg, PA 18201
9780989084109, $27.95, 162 pp,

Synopsis: "The Stones Weep" by Miriam Brysk and Margaret Lincoln is a uniquely engaging and effective Holocaust Education book that combines multiple aspects of a survivor s art emotional, impressionistic digital creations with teacher-created and tested lesson plans that meet State and National Core Curriculum Standards, including an online lesson available in Moodle. In so doing, this book provides new perspectives for teaching and learning about the Holocaust. The rare partnership of Holocaust survivor, artist, author, and professor, Miriam Brysk, PhD, along with Library-of-Congress American Memory Fellow and District Librarian at Lakeview, Michigan schools, Margaret Lincoln, PhD, affords an unprecedented opportunity to explore the Holocaust in both singularly personal and global historic contexts.

Critique: Profusely illustrated with images featuring an informed and informative captioning, "The Stones Weep: Teaching The Holocaust Through A Survivor's Art" is especially recommended reading for educators, artists, students, historians, as well as a unique and seminal contribution to community and academic library Holocaust Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Poetry Shelf

Jamaal May
Alice James Books
114 Prescott Street, Farmington, Maine, 04938
9781938584022, $15.95, 80pp,

A multi-talented individual as adroit at film making as he is at writing, "Hum" is a testament to Jamaal May's narrative skills as a poet with this anthology of his free form verse. Jamaal May is a poet's poet! Very highly recommended reading, the poetry comprising "Hum" is strong stuff indeed. 'The Boy Who Bathes the Dead': The boy decides soldiers can no longer be dead, so he begins to dig. / Graves are shallow enough that, using only his hands, he quickly finds a limb, / buried without a corpse. He brushes dirt away, slides the arm into the pocket of overalls. / Until all soldiers are found and placed in separate ziplock bags, / his fingers rake soil, churn the dark earth. His brother / finds him afterwards filling a sink to rinse the crevices and metal joints, worried / he bathes the plastic infantry too carefully. As if they had families. As if they were men.

The Money/Finance Shelf

How To Eliminate Taxes On Debt Forgiveness
Daniel J. Pilla
Winning Publications, Inc.
215 West Myrtle Street, Stillwater, MN 55082
9781884367069, $67.00, 123 pp,

Debt relief is the partial or total forgiveness of debt, or the slowing or stopping of debt growth, owed by individuals, corporations, or nations. From antiquity through the 19th century, it refers to domestic debts, in particular agricultural debts and freeing of debt slaves. In the early 21st century, it is of increased applicability to individuals in developed countries like the United States, due to credit bubbles and housing bubbles causing economic crashes into financial recessions and depressions. "How To Eliminate Taxes On Debt Forgiveness" by tax law expert Daniel J. Pilla is a thoroughly 'user friendly', step-by-step guide to preventing and recovering being taxed on cancellations or forgiveness of debt, including home foreclosures, bankruptcies, credit card debt reduction, and more. Of special note is Pilla's instructive commentary on how to handle canceled student loans. Informed, informative, and soundly based upon current tax law, and featuring an accompany CD, "How To Eliminate Taxes On Debt Forgiveness" is very highly recommended for personal and community library Money Management & Finance reference collections.

The Homeowner's Shelf

The Home Book
David E. MacLellan, et al.
The Building Standards Institute
P.O. Box 2456, Walnut Creek, CA 94595
KSB Promotions (publicity)
55 Honey Creek NE, Ada, MI 49301
9780989489904, $49.95, 280 pp

The collaborative work of David E. MacLellan, George E. Wolfson, and Douglas Hansen, "The Home Book" is a complete and comprehensive instruction manual designed for helping the non-specialist home buyer and/or home owner on how to assess and evaluate a home with specific chapters on Foundations; Floors and Ceilings; Walls; Roofs; Exterior Components; Interior Components; Utility Systems; and Grounds. Of special note is the Preface covering everything from contractor regulation and oversight agencies, to builder and homeowner responsibilities, to the ten most common mistakes made by homeowners. Another additional value is homeowner oriented information and commentary on ice and snow, noise transmission, mold and mildew, septic tanks, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, wood destroying insects, and radon. Enhanced with a Homeowner Maintenance Summary; Glossary; Bibliography, and Index, "The Home Book" is very strongly recommended and rewarding reading for all perspective homeowners and will prove an enduringly useful manual for even the more experienced homeowner.

The Economic Studies Shelf

The Enlightened Capitalism Manifesto
Henry B. Zimmer
Privately Published
9780615904795, $15.95, 312 pp,

In "The Enlightened Capitalism Manifesto", author Henry B. Zimmer draws upon his many years of experience and expertise as a CPA/CA working with tax laws and financial planning issues to sound a clarion warning concerning the ever present dangers of a national economic collapse unless his outlined economic and political reforms are enacted. The 18th and 19th century were eras of economic book and bust cycles that culminated with the advent of the Great Depression in 1929. Under Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration congressional laws were enacted to curb the corporate greed and political corruption that were the primary causation of these economic collapses. When those laws were repealed in the Clinton administration of the 1990s, the economic collapse of 1998 was inevitable. With a thoroughly 'reader friendly' text, Zimmer lays out specific chapters beginning with the debunking of the equality mythos and an approach to political reforms; the going on to cover what's needed for job creation on a national scale, reforms of the financial markets, corporations and pension plans, banks and the banking system, the American health care system, the tax system, and the education system. Of special note are Zimmer's thoughts concerning contemporary contentious issues that have paralyzed the congress and polarized the nation. As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "The Enlightened Capitalism Manifesto" is very highly recommended for non-specialist general readers who are concerned about the economic and political state of the country and would make an enduringly popular addition to community and academic library Economic Studies and Political Science Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

Fictional Worlds Vols. I-IV
L.A. Alexander
Storytelling on Screen
7304 5th Ave., #332, Brooklyn, NY 11209
c/o CreateSpace
4900 LaCross Rd, North Charleston, SC 29406
9781492719953 $14.27

Fictional Worlds Vols. I-IV: Traditions in Narrative and the Age of Visual Culture is an omnibus critique, reference, resource, and scholarly discussion connecting ancient literary techniques with modern screenwriting and films. Chapters explore the origins of symbolic storytelling particularly as applied to cinema, classic paradigms of death-rebirth and the hero's journey, character dynamics in the art of storytelling, the elements of a finely crafted tragedy, film noir as a breakout new genre, the talent of comedy that can create amazing mirth from the foibles of ordinary people, and much more. Multiple references to modern films and shows, as well as classic references dating back to Greek oral and literary tradition, fill this sober and thoughtful resource that speaks to professional and aspiring screenwriters of all backgrounds. "Drama, tragedy, and recently the dystopian fictional worlds allow us to examine any possible paths that humankind should not take - creating a narrative encyclopedia of missteps, or an extended list of Commandments - the visualization and demonstration of the logical consequences of doing what 'Thou Shalt Not.'"

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Final Acts
Gerry R. Cox and Robert G. Stevenson, editors
Baywood Publishing Company
26 Austin Ave., PO Box 337
Amityville, NY 11701
9780895038654, $59.95 cloth
9780895038661, $50.95 pbk.

Also available as an ebook ($40.75), Final Acts: The End of Life, Hospice and Palliative Care is an anthology of essays by scholars and professionals in the field about medical, psychological, and practical care of patients at the end of their lives. Individual chapters discuss "The Private Worlds of Professionals, Teams, and Organizations in Pallative Care", "When Birth and Death Collide: Best Practices in End-of-Life at the Beginning", "Stepping Through the Looking Glass into 'Cancer World'", "Pallative Care is a Human Right", "Grief and the American Indian", and much more. An index rounds out this somber and thoughtful guide with a strong emphases on practical techniques and applications for professional caregivers in a wide variety of fields. Highly recommended especially for anyone studying or practicing a profession that involves end-of-life care, from nursing home work to aiding families who suffer the loss of a prematurely born child.

The Environmental Studies Shelf

Food Choice and Sustainability
Dr. Richard Oppenlander
Langdon Street Press
9781626524354 $26.99

Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won't Work is an emphatic, scholarly treatise about a rapidly worsening, global ecological crisis: the exhaustion of agricultural farmland and fresh water reserves, compounded by human overpopulation which already contributes to famine worldwide and will likely bring incalculable suffering if humanity does not change its collective behavior. Despite the subtitle, Food Choice and Sustainability does not condemn "buying local" or "eating less meat" per se; the problem is that small, individual measures such as these are not enough to promote sustainability before the planet is so drained that millions or billions of people die from starvation and thirst. Only collective and government action can enforce laws directed toward a sustainable future, where our descendants will have enough nutritious food and potable water. Humans collectively need to move toward eating more plant-based foods and siphoning less food and water to livestock. Suggested courses of action include "Establish appropriate economic value to all resources and ecosystems services and 'excessive use' norms", "Eliminate all subsidies that have the highest degree of promotion for global depletion", "Create taxation for excessive use", "Create market incentives and governmental support for fully plant-based foods, such as certification of 'highest degree of sustainability,' or 'lowest global footprint,' or 'low resource impact,' etc." and much more. Food Choice and Sustainability pulls no punches, setting forth hard choices that have to be made to avert a horrific, dystopian future. Also highly recommended is the author's previously book on this hot-button topic, "Comfortably Unaware".

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Think Like Your Dog
Dianna M. Young with Robert H. Mottram
Island Book Publishing, LLC
PO Box 901, Anacortes, WA 98221
c/o MM Book Publicity
9780989200806 $18.95

Intermittently illustrated with black-and-white photographs, Think Like Your Dog and Enjoy the Rewards is a solid guide for dog owners and dog trainers of all skill and experience levels. Expert dog trainer Dianna M. Young and award-winning journalist Robert H. Mottram teach the reader how dogs think, and how to understand their reactions and behaviors. Chapters cover everything from how to select a dog that's compatible with one's own needs and lifestyle (as well as compatibility between dogs in a multiple-dog household), methods of training, finding a good "currency" to reward one's dog (which may be treats, or simple petting and praise), basic and advanced obedience training, problem-solving suggestions, and much more. An excellent, accessible, and reader-friendly resource, highly recommended for current and prospective dog owners everywhere.

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

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