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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 11, Number 3 March 2012 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Social Issues Shelf Business Shelf
Fiction Shelf Poetry Shelf Economic Studies Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf Gaming Shelf
Memoir Shelf Self-Help Shelf Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Jobs/Career Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Sports Shelf Education Shelf Reference Shelf
Military Shelf LGBT Shelf Science Shelf
Biography Shelf Parenting Shelf Philosophy Shelf
Jewelry Shelf Travel Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Christian Studies Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf
Agriculture Shelf Photography Shelf Relationship Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

The Tale of Zen Master Bho Li
Barbara Verkuilen, author
Aaron, illustrator
Firethroat Press
2789 Marledge St., Madison, WI 53711
9780983097204, $17.95,

"The Tale of Zen Master Bho Li" is a trilogy of modern mystery fables that teaches three unique life lessons crucial to learning to lead an awakened life. Each fable unfolds gradually, sinuously, with gently tinted illustrations of characters, scenes, and events. Patience is required to follow each tale through to its central kernel of wisdom. This is also a desirable Zen trait, for mindful living. A key theme appears to be the resolution or acceptance of mental and physical suffering, leading to a transformed awareness that allows greater understanding of the universal. "The Tale of Master Bo Li" is also characterized by streaks of sometimes unexpected humor, This too is characteristic of Zen teaching tales. Finally there is a use of the universe as mirror of human actions. This affects all spiraling consciousness evolution; therefore it is essential to learn to seek compassion and a desire for the healing of the human heart. An old wise woman known as Soyu Sei makes many appearances in "The Tale of Zen Master Bho Li." "According to Master Bho Li, she now wanders the world, assuming any form necessary to bring healing and compassion to the human heart, tirelessly committed to easing the world's sorrow (p. 50)." "The Tale of Zen Master Bho Li" is recommended reading for adults, teens, and young adults. Its messages of the cultivation of patience, peace, and compassion are always fresh and new.

The Little Book of Success Quotes
Kathleen Welton, editor
The Little Quote Books
c/o AKA Associates
6007 N. Sheridan Road, Apt 15A
Chicago, IL 60660
9780615516813, $14.99,

True wisdom is timeless. "The Little Book of Success Quotes" is a collection of thoughts and quotations from many thinkers throughout history, from Plato to Vince Lombardi and everyone in between. With a fascinating array of motivational writings, "The Little Book of Success Quotes" is a choice pick for community and self-help collections, very much worth considering for inspirational collections.

A New South Hunt Club
Richard Rankin
Willow Hill Press
177 Willowside Drive
Mount Holy, NC 28120
978098346604, $20.00,

A step back into nature can help you understand a world that seems artificial. "A New South Hunt Club: An Illustrated History of the Hilton Head Agricultural Society 1917-1967" discusses the roots of the Hilton Head Island resort, which is now known as a modern playground for wealthy golf lovers. In its founding, it was founded by a group of businessmen who wanted to embrace hunting and living a life more simple than they came from. "A New South Hunt Club" is an intriguing tale of abandoning high class and embracing nature, recommended.

Social Issues Shelf

Against Their Will
Kevin Begos, Danielle Deaver, John Railey, and Scott Sexton
Gray Oak Books
PO Box 404
Apalachicola, FL 32329
9780941062169 $18.95

Against Their Will: North Carolina's Sterilization Program, an anthology of brief journalism articles about the North Carolina eugenics movement that included forced sterilization upon adults and children - some blind or mentally retarded, some simply impoverished, many of which were black, and a few that died from the involuntary operations. These articles raised awareness about the modern eugenics program, revealing its workings, the lasting pain of its victims, and even speculating upon how genetic testing could lead to new forms of eugenics. Now as North Carolina is about to pay reparations to those who suffered from forced sterilization, their story is both chilling and an invaluable lesson in state abuse of power that must be remembered, lest it be repeated. A "must-have" for social issues collections, Against Their Will is highly recommended.

Born, Not Raised
Susan Madden Lankford
Humane Exposures
1050 Park Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92101
9780979236631, $18.95,

History's vicious cycle proves hard to break. "Born, Not Raised: Voices from Juvenile Hall" is Susan Madden Lankford's study into the chronic attendants of juvenile hall, teenagers who seem destined for an adult prison as they approach the age of 18. A follow up of sorts to her previous volume discussing women in prison, she turns her attention to a common element in their children, that they too seem to be habitual offenders. With interviews and plenty to look into the minds of these young people, Lankford hopes to bring much needed attention that something should be done to help these children find their path in life. "Born, Not Raised" is a vital read for anyone concerned about crime and curing the disease instead of the symptom.

The Business Shelf

Kiruba Shankar & Mithcell Levy
20660 Stevens Creek Blvd., Suite 210
Cupertino, CA 95014
9781616990060, $19.95,

Having the pulse of a crowd is vital to gauging the potential of an idea. "Crowdsourcing Tweet: 140 Bite-Sized Ideas to Leverage the Wisdom of the Crowd" is a collection of to the point wisdom about the practice of crowdsourcing for businesses, along with practical advice for business in general. For anyone looking for a fast paced collection of wise business wisdom, "Crowdsourcing Tweet" is a strong pick for any business collection.

Timothy F. Bednarz
Majorium Business Press
2025 Main Street, Stevens Point, WI 54481
9781621015208, $29.95,

Good leadership is a quality vital for a business' success. "Great!" discusses the qualities of leadership in business as Timothy F. Bednarz, professional business consultant, describes the success stories of 160 American business leaders and focus on how they made their success happen. "Great!" is a strongly recommended pick for those who want to best understand why some companies can flounder despite having most of the tools of success.

Shifting the Monkey
Todd Whitaker
Triple Nickle Press
555 North Morton Street
Bloomington, IN 47404
9780982702970, $16.95,

Letting others deal with it is a common habit, encouraged by the ability to occasionally profit from it. "Shifting the Monkey: The Art of Protecting Good People from Liars, Criers, and other Slackers" discusses the 'monkey', the problems or responsibilities that are the necessary evil of business. Author Todd Whitaker writes on how to best deal with monkeys, and more importantly, deal with the people who wish to shuffle the monkeys off themselves, and lead to more problems in business, dropping productivity and creating animosity. "Shifting the Monkey" is a fine read for community library business collections.

The Board Member's Easier Than You Think Guide to Nonprofit Finances
Andy Robinson & Nancy Wasserman
Emerson & Church Publishers
15 Brook Street, Medfield, MA 02052
9781889102436, $24.95,

Nonprofit companies are a different cookie for many entrepreneurs. "The Board Member's Easier Than You Think Guide to Nonprofit Finances" is a comprehensive business guide for these companies where reaching the maximum profit isn't the goal. Andy Robinson & Nancy Wasserman approach readers with wisdom on running the books for nonprofit companies and keeping them in the black. "The Board Member's Easier Than You Think Guide to Nonprofit Finances" is a choice pick for anyone who will be in charge of a nonprofit organization's money woes.

The Fiction Shelf

Night Vision II
Jackie Vivelo
Jupiter Gardens Press
PO Box 191, Grimes, IA 50111
9780983972624, $11.95,

The temptations to delve into the arcane are all too tempting when the world keeps nudging us to do so. "Night Vision II: Eleven More Haunting Tales" is a collection of short stories from Jackie Vivelo as he presents everyday people presented with the supernatural and their curiosities in trying to gain a better understanding of a world they don't understand as much as they thought. "Night Vision II" is an excellent and recommended pick for any short fiction collection.

Hurry Along
Sarah Plimpton
Pleasure Boat Studio
201 West 89th Street
New York, NY 10024
9781929355778, $15.95.

Life happens far too fast to truly break it down and understand everything about it. "Hurry Along" is a novel from Sarah Plimpton that seeks to explore the fast paced nature of our world and our attempts to put it all together. A riveting read that will do well in entertaining and making one think about the world, "Hurry Along" is a strong pick for any literary fiction collection.

In Sherman's Path
J. F. Spieles
Royal Fireworks Press
PO Box 399, First Avenue
Unionville, NY 10988
9780898248593, $9.99,

Some people aren't cut out for war, but times may need them anyway. "In Sherman's Path" is a historical novel of the Civil War, as Henry abandons the battles and retreats to a remote plantation in Georgia. As Sherman's war machine storms through Georgia, Henry realizes that running forever won't save him forever, and it may be down to him to slow down the cruelty of Sherman. "In Sherman's Path" is a compelling tale of the Civil War, very much recommended reading.

Relative Strangers
Margaret Hermes
Carolina Wren Press
120 Marris Street, Durham, NC 27701
9780932112620, $15.95,

The loneliness we feel in life is more common than we'd imagine. "Relative Strangers" is a collection of short stories from Margaret Hermes, exploring our place in the world, our relation to those around us, and how we are often alone together. Poignant, with the right dose of humor about our world, "Relative Strangers" is an excellent pick for those seeking a thoughtful and excellently composed assortment of short stories, enthusiastically recommended.

More Light
Jonathan Strong
Quale Press
PO Box 642, Niantic, CT 06357
9781935835042, $19.00,

In a small town, one's options prove limited. "More Light" follows the small town story of Leo Sturtevant, a struggling individual in the small town of Josephine, Illinois. When his sister Iva returns from Europe to tend to their fading parents, Leo finds the next step in his life. With a heavy influence of music woven throughout the story, "More Light" is a fascinating and much recommended tale for general fiction readers.

Walter's Muse
Jean Davies Okimoto
Endicott and Hugh Books
PO Box 13305, Burton, WA 98013
9780983711513, $15.99,

Retirement is never as peaceful as it should be. "Walter's Muse" is a novel from Jean Davies Okimoto, following Maggie Lewis as she tries to enjoy her retirement only to have old friends ruin that plan. A librarian with a love of reading, her relationship with children's author and man with demons of his own Walter Hathaway. A romance of retirement and humor, "Walter's Muse" is a fine pick for any general fiction collection, not to be overlooked.

The River Within
Baxter Clare Trautman
Baxter Clare Trautman, Publisher
PO Box 613, Santa Margarita, CA 93453
9780984850815, $12.95,

What we endure for family can too often feel not worth it. "The River Within" follows the story of Greer Madison, worldwide journalist who becomes entwined with Darlene and her Richardson family. As the Richardsons struggle with their own plights of sacrifice, Greer grows closer to the family, and particular, the daughter Kate, who is facing an arranged marriage with a man she doesn't love. "The River Within" is a conflicted story of life's struggles, very much recommended reading.

The Absent Traveler
Randall Devallance
Atticus Books
3766 Howard Avenue, Suite 202
Kensington, MD 20895
9780984510528, $12.95,

Running from the world can lead you through many intriguing adventures. "The Absent Traveler: A Novella & Other Stories" is an unusual assortment of stories from Randall Devallance, as he presents a unique spin of a tale, as he writes of Charles Lime, a man with little ambition and who finds himself enraptured in his books, and lets his mind carry himself off. "The Absent Traveler" is an excellent and fascinating pick for general fiction collections.

Water to my Soul
Pamela Bauer Mueller
Pinata Publishing
626 Old Plantation Road
Jekyll Island, GA 31527
9780980916317, $18.00,

A teenagers ingenuity was the key to prosperity. "Water to my Soul" is a historical novel dramatizing the works of the young Eliza Lucas Pinckney who helped indigo become an important crop for the Wappoo Plantation, and helped the new colony America flourish in the early eighteenth century. A remarkable story done justice by Pamela Bauer Mueller, "Water to my Soul" is a fine addition to any historical fiction collection.

Ammon's Horn
G. Amati
Savant Books and Publications
2630 Kapiolani Blvd #1601
Honolulu, HI 96826
9780984117581, $16.95,

In the realm of absurdity, politics can get even more difficult to manage. "Ammon's Horn" is a captivating novel with humor, as G. Amati writes of Greek gods, science, women, and the deficit as he creates the above groups own ways of solving this problem such as selling off dead weight. "Ammon's Horn" is worth considering for those who are seeking a story that will prove very much off beat reading.

Like Water on Stone
Grant Steen
Old Line Publishing
PO Box 624, Hampstead, MD 21074
9781937004538, $15.95,

What is reality when reality doesn't seem entirely clear? "Like Water on Stone" is a novel from Grant Steen who explores the state of consciousness, through discussing free will and putting ideas together with the aborginal dreamtime legends as well as the more widely known ideas of deja vu. An intriguing and thoughtful exploration, "Like Water on Stone" is a choice read with plenty to ponder, recommended.

Roar of the Jaguar
Donald Frederickson
Hiawatha Publishing
39550 Tunstall
Clinton Township, MI 48038
9780984672288, $16.95,

To see history as it happens should be a historians dream. "Roar of the Jaguar" follows a modern archaeologist into ancient America, where he sees the struggles of the Mayan nation in its passing between kings and the struggles to find its next rightful ruler. Alan Johnson, said archeologist, finds that his involvement may lead to him having a longer stay than intended, as a determined princess has taken a fancy to him and doesn't want him to leave this expedition so easily. "Roar of the Jaguar" is a riveting story of alternative history fiction with a bit of fantasy, highly recommended.

Circuits of the Wind
Michael Stutz
Confiteor Media
PO Box 542, Berea, OH 44017-0542
9780983855804, $12.95,

A link to the entire world may blind you to the world. "Circuits of the Wind" is the story of Ray Valentine, who became hooked to the internet in its infancy, and found his adulthood there. A coming of age tale of the early internet and the impact on an unsuspecting world, "Circuits of the Wind" provides a very human story set on a backdrop of technology few truly understand, very much recommended.

Twisted Tales to Rot Your Brain
Nora Thompson
Hairy Eyeball Press
PO Box 10, Whitney, PA 15693
9780983669906, $24.95,

Life doesn't make a whole lot of sense, so sometimes we need some stories to match the madness. "Twisted Tales to Rot Your Brain Vol. 1" presents unusual stories of flash fiction, meant to bring readers into a dizzying spin of problems and how those losing it may deal with it in all the wrong ways. "Twisted Tales to Rot Your Brain" is a humorous and intriguing delve into flash fiction, very much recommended.

Guns for Hire
James A. Martin
Amethyst Moon Publishing
PO Box 87885
Tucson, AZ 85754
9781935354093, $17.00,

The role of the mercenary is to risk life and limb for something you may not even believe in, all for a paycheck. "Guns for Hire" follows mercenary Jesse, of the SPARO's Spartans, delving into the hostile territories of Iraq. With his life eternally in danger, he soon realizes the worth of his life, and the importance of the family he left behind. "Guns for Hire" is a fine pick for general fiction collections, recommended.

The Last Will and Testament of Lemuel Higgins
Patrick James O'Connor
201 South Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 800
Miami, FL 33131
9780983029915, $12.99,

At any moment, one's existence may be compromised. "The Last Will and Testament of Lemuel Higgins" is a novel form Patrick James O'Connor, as he presents an exploration of man looking at his own end, as he presents a story of two individuals who are struggling to put their lives together as they face their own eventual ends. "The Last Will and Testament of Lemuel Higgins" is a fascinating and recommended pick for general fiction collections.

A Good and Useful Hurt
Aric Davis
47 North
PO Box 400818, Las Vegas, NV 89140
9781612182025, $14.95,

Pain sometimes gives you that boost to go forward. "A Good and Useful Hurt" follows the bond of tattoo artist Mike and piercer Deb, who with a hire, find their own romance. But when death enters their lives, pain comes with them, and Mike and Deb begin to look towards vengeance for what they've lost, going beyond what they've known so well. A thoughtful tale of life's pain, vengeance, romance, and skin art, "A Good and Useful Hurt" is a much recommended pick for literary fiction collections.

Black Tide
John G. Rees
Black Water Books
97809831192060, $14.95,

What drives someone to create death as they pass? "Black Tide" is a prequel to John G. Rees previous volumes surrounding the tale of Jake Strom, a commercial diver employed by Aquanaut who slips deeper and deeper into the darkness. A story of what can allow a sane man to fall into the darkness of life, his morality crushed by the pressures surrounding him, "Black Tide" is a fine pick for any general fiction collection, very much recommended.

Henrietta Elmore-Smith
Inkwater Press
6750 SW Franklin Street, Suite A
Portland, OR 97223-2542
9781592996254, $17.95,

A hair stylist can be an artist all their own. "Soul-Aris" tells of the drive of stylist Aris Silkmann who is driven to rise up through the ranks of Hollywood as a professional. With a certain spirit and flare, her rise is one pegged with its own challenges, and proving her worth as a hair stylists. "Soul-Aris" is a human and driven read with a strong philosophical and spiritual read throughout, a read worth considering.

The Last Rodeo
Ron Johnson
Salvo Press
14334 Cruiser St. #105
Corpus Christi, TX 78418
9781609770358, $14.95,

The family values of the old west can help a man after everything has broken down. "The Last Rodeo" is a novel from Ron Johnson as he tells of a family of Idaho and how for their 60th wedding anniversary, Ray and Betsy try to bring their family back together and find that ever since they broke away from the nest, everything hasn't been going perfectly. "The Last Rodeo" is a choice pick for general fiction collections looking for a touch of western flavor.

The Poetry Shelf

The Singing Inside
Michael Miller
Birch Brook Press
PO Box 81
Delhi, NY 13753
9780984200313 $16.00

The Singing Inside is a moving anthology of brief, free-verse poetry revolving around the a long- married couple's gradual adjustments to the changes that come with age, and time. Poignant and thoughtful, The Singing Inside is worthy of extended quiet contemplation. Highly recommended. "The Ice Woman": There is no sun to melt her arms, / To soothe the glacial coldness of her body. / When he touches her, / When he feels the burn of ice invade his fingers, / His eyes stare past her / As if they saw a world of white / With ponds like cataracts of ice.

One Bird Falling
CB Follett
Time Being Books
10411 Clayton Road
St. Louis, MO 63131
9781568091457, $15.95,

Continuing his love of poetry, "One Bird Falling" is the latest volume of poetry from prolific and award winning poetry from CB Follett, continuing his thoughtful brand of work that encourages readers to pick their own brain for the truth. With much to ponder, "One Bird Falling" is a worthy assortment to consider. "The Turn": At the sun's zenith/horses move toward shade,/bees growl lazily, even the river slows.//As solstice,/at summer's high noon,/turn Earth on her axis,/toward her sister's cold face.

Piotr Gwiazda
Pond Road Press
221 Channing Street NE
Washington, DC 20002-1025
9780971974128, $16.00,

A poet who has studied much of the world and has seen more of it, "Messages" is a collection of poetry from Piotr Gwiazda, noted translator and scholar. Offering an educated view of the world of poetry, "Messages" includes an interview with the author and proves to be a solid addition to any world poetry collection. "Purgatory": Topic du jour: torture. Is it good or bad for America?/It certainly makes it tougher, more competitive./Poetry, on the other hand, makes it softer and more humane...//The rage of the talk show host./The tyranny of the minority./The pleasure police.//The impossibility of being apolitical./The impossibility of taking a perfect picture/of oneself. What's your name, honey? America.//The banality of morning clouds./Vivaldi in the shopping mall./ Jury duty.

The Fire Behind My Eyes
Dawnell Harrison
Rodent Enterprises Publishing
1325 6th Ave S #5
Payette, ID 83661
9780983714200, $20.00,

We all have our own flare and fire in life. "The Fire Behind My Eyes" is a collection of poetry from Dawnell Harrison as she explores the nature of our drive through her poetry, adding on to her two previous volumes. Thoughtful reading with a good deal to consider, "The Fire Behind My Eyes" is a fine choice for poetry fans, very much recommended. "Years After Round 12": Throughout your Father's house,/My mind questions your recollection of Mother//Shoved into Idaho walls and fists,/Stony bruises last for weeks -//Do you push those days/Onto a far off antique moon,/The one you send me to everyday, Silently.

Three Birds Deep
Sheila Carter-Jones
Lotus Press
PO Box 21607, Detroit, MI 48221
9780979750953, $18.00,

It's hard to build up the courage, but baring one's heart to the world is refreshing when you can do it. "Three Birds Deep" is a collection of poetry from Sheila Carter-Jones, offering a bit of her own soul to the world through verse. Winner of the 2012 Naomi Long Madgett Poetry award, "Three Birds Deep" is a thoughtful collection sure to appeal to many. "The Scholar: On Farming": I see pigs/every time somebody says,/I'd like to piggy-back/on that.

Ghost Dancer's Dreams
T. Kilgore Splake
Presa Press
PO Box 792, Rockford, MI 49341
9780983125143, $12.95,

A long career of poetry with little intent to stop, T. Kilgore Splake continues to provoke an unusual and thought provoking brand of poetry. "Ghost Dancer's Dreams" is another entry into his over sixty five books of poetry and prose, continuing his unique brand of quality. "Ghost Dancer's Dream" is a fine addition to any literary poetry collection, much recommended. "60's": rebuilt vw-bus/summers on the road/"rfk" bumpsticker/only bobby left/suddenly cold nothingness/lyndon hubert nixon/cannon fodder 'mia's'/down rabbit hole/black nada mas.

The Economic Studies Shelf

Confessions of a Wall Street Whiz Kid
Peter Grandich
Grandich Publications, LLC
c/o Creative Approach (publicity)
5005 W. Hurley Pond Road, Wall, NJ 07719
9780615550633, $14.99,

The market is predictable, which makes its avoidable failures all the more baffling. "Confessions of a Wall Street Whiz Kid" follows famed Wall Street player Peter Grandich as he tells his tale of playing the markets for twenty five years and his uncanny predication of booms and busts through that period. Offering a personal look into wall street and the people who play the markets, "Confessions of a Wall Street Whiz Kid" is a solid and much recommended pick for community library economics and memoir collections.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

A Murder in West Covina
James L. Jones
Chapparal Publications
c/o Smith Publicity (publicity)
1930 E. Marlton Pike, Suite I-46, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
9780615481005, $14.95,

Applying narrative to an issue is often an excellent way to share its story. "A Murder in West Covina: Chronicle of the Finch-Tregoff Case" is a dramatization from James L. Jones who presents a comprehensive review of this case through reviews and ideas to put it all together as a work of creative non-fiction. "A Murder in West Covina" is worth considering for any student of the law and for true crime collections.

American Fever
Peter Christian Hall
Arterial Witness
280 Riverside Drive, Suite 5J
New York, NY 10025
9780984678006 $14.99

American Fever: A Tale of Romance & Pestilence is a charged novel written in the format of a day-by-day blog. A New York libertarian by the online handle of "Count Blogula" posts online about the horrendous devastation and loss of life from a bird flu pandemic that sweeps through America. He struggles to survive even as he sells masks, gloves, and goggles over the internet. An encounter with a mysterious woman further transforms his life, but a second threat even more insidious than the flu threatens to destroy him - the predations of a government bent on controlling its citizens, even rounding them up and sending them to prisons where they get sick and die. Whole cities become ghost towns or worse as the pandemic takes its terrible toll, and the blogger and his newfound love are forced to flee for their lives. Biting political commentary interlaces the suspenseful, near-apocalyptic main narrative. "I realize now that big bureaucracies of any kind are the problem. Any organizational threshing machine is a menace, whether it's public or private... What would Ayn Rand say today about her failure? Her acolyte Alan Greenspan turned the Federal Reserve into a private investment pump. The business world is run by men she would have despised. Their enterprises feed off a state whose overseers take orders from CEOs..." Suspenseful and terrifying, American Fever will keep the reader glued to the page until the very end.

A Deadly Affection
Cuyler Overholt
Copper Bottom Press
20 Brandywine Crossing
Roxbury, CT 06783
9780984841301, $16.99,

Guilt can often push us to try to attain justice. Set in early twentieth century America, "A Deadly Affection" is a historical novel following Dr. Genevieve Summerford, who tries to cope with the possibility that her work as a psychologist may have unwittingly provoked one of her patients into committing a murder. Trying to regain the respect of her family, she works with people, including some unsavory characters, to find not just the truth but also her peace as well as justice. "A Deadly Affection" is a fascinating read from cover to cover.

Rupert James
Cleis Press
2246 Sixth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710-2219
9781573447614, $16.95,

What attracts us most so often is what is worst for us. "Silk" is a novel following three women who have gotten everything they wanted out of their life, but find that isn't enough. The next steps for them lead them to crossroads that could give them more money than they ever wanted, the men of their dreams, and a clash of freedom and loss. The cost of all of this makes "Silk" a riveting novel of high society and high stakes, very much recommended reading.

Operation Ruby Slipper
John Meyer
Grace Note Productions
301 West 108 Street 10F
New York, NY 10025
9780615535883, $12.99,

For one's country, one can find themselves in the strangest of situations. "Operation Ruby Slipper" is a spin of historical fiction and thriller, as actress and singer Judy Garland is tapped for an operation to end a major operation for Nazi Germany. Garland must appeal to the reclusive physicist who has a thing for her, to lure him out, but her journey will be far from typical. "Operation Ruby Slipper" is an excellent pick for anyone looking for a different spin of World War II espionage.

The Dionysian Alliance
Jack Rinella
Rinella Editiorial Services
4205 North Avers Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618
9780940267237, $9.95,

The strangest of things can bring you closer to the divine. "The Dionysian Alliance" is a suspenseful novel following Detective Benjamin Kramer and his discovery of his ancestry within a religious order that promises to bring him into every dirty thing he can imagine, followers of Dionysos, the ancient god of wine and ecstasy. "The Dionysian Alliance" is a fun and riveting read that should prove difficult to put down.

Dead and Not So Buried
James L. Conway
Camel Press
PO Box 70515
Seattle, WA 98127
9781603818667, $15.95,

A corpse to some, is worth killing for. "Dead and Not So Buried" is a fast paced thriller mystery from James L. Conway, following Detective Gideon Kincaid as he must search down the remains of a dead movie star of decades ago and find the people who want it. An unusual plot that sprawls all throughout Hollywood, "Dead and Not So Buried" is an excellent pick for community library suspense and thriller collections.

Deeds of Deceit
Kathleen Rowland
Eternal Press
PO Box 3931
Santa Rosa, CA 95402-9998
9781615725731, $12.89,

Circled by the bloodthirsty and untrusting, you learn to appreciate the few allies you have. "Deeds of Deceit" is a novel following heiress Baylis Jones, as she finds herself cornered by a cult that had killed her parents fifteen years before. With her own community turning away from her, it's up to her and the Sheriff who doesn't believe the accusations against her to dodge those who want to end her life and find something that resembles justice. "Deeds of Deceit" is an excellent addition to any thriller assortment.

Dark Mind
Jennifer Chase
JEC Press
9780982953648, $15.95,

Cruelty has no shame, and those who hunt those who do evil should have none either. "Dark Mind" follows vigilante Emily Stone, who has set herself to oppose serial killers and those who would do harm to children. Going against the law for her own goals and own sense of justice, Jennifer Chase crafts a story of a woman determined to make a difference at any cost. "Dark Mind" is a strongly recommended pick for those who enjoy fast paced thrillers.

There's Always Tomorrow
D. G. Stern
Neptune Press
3519 Exeter Court, Orlando, FL 32812
9780982809860, $14.95,

Mankind makes mistakes, and sometimes those mistakes are deadly. "There's Always Tomorrow" follows detective Chris Callahan, a man who put his murdering former friend Billy O'Brien behind bars. When O'Brien is let out due to error, Callahan doesn't get to enjoy his retirement as he is tapped to bring his old pal back to justice. "There's Always Tomorrow" is a riveting read of mystery and adventure, very much recommended reading.

The Appeal of Stalking
Stan Talbott
Dog Ear Publishing
4010 W. 86th Street, Ste H
Indianapolis, IN 46268
9781457506369, $14.99,

What fuels such obsession? "The Appeal of Stalking" is a novel from Stan Talbott as he explores the psyche of those who stalk and their thought processes. Focusing on a broken family and the events that surround them, and the people they attract them, "The Appeal of Stalking" is a novel that presents many fascinating questions.

Delirium Books
PO Box 338
North Webster, IN 46555
c/o DarkFuse
$30.00 hc / $4.99 ebook each

Delirium Books presents four original works of spine-chilling horror fiction, available both in ebook and in compact hardbound formats. Allan Leverone's "Heartless" (9781937771102) is a twisted tale of horrific predation; when a serial rapist-murderer selects the wrong two women to be his next victims, he unwittingly finds himself in the role of the prey! Jeffrey Thomas' "Subject 11" (9781937771126) follows the test subjects of an allegedly voluntary experiment that quickly transforms into lapses of mind, memory, and awareness of time and space. Trapped within an isolated complex of abandoned buildings, their struggle to escape becomes increasingly more surreal and deadly, until the shocking revelation of the experiment's final result. Tim Waggoner's "The Men Upstairs" (9781937771119) is a dark story of sudden lust and love between a man and the woman he finds alone and weeping. But their romance is star-crossed, for she used to belong to The Men Upstairs, a ruthless group who will commit any crime to reclaim her! Tim Curran's "The Underdwelling" (9781937771096) is an exciting, tense underground adventure, as a cash- strapped miner and soon-to-be father Boyd accompanies a group of volunteers to the lowest level of Hobart Mine, discovering far more than a gloomy labyrinth. 400 feet below the Earth's surface, they uncover a passage to a prehistoric cavern that is practically another world - and inhabited by an ancient, inhuman, dangerous, and lonely presence! All four horror novels are charged with the grim essence of fear itself, and will keep the reader glued to the very last page.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Diver Medical Technician
CMDR. Ronald L. Ellerman (ret.)
100 Enterprise Way, Suite A200
Scotts Valley, CA 95066
9781467986861 $69.95

Diver Medical Technician: Care of the Injured Diver is a medical textbook designed especially to instruct people responsible for emergency care of sick and injured divers. Diver Medical Technician is expressly meant to be used as part of a medical course taught by a qualified instructor; it is not meant for self-study. Drawing directly on the expertise of the author, a Diver Medical Technician Instructor of over 10 years' experience, and other professionals, Diver Medical Technician covers a brief review of anatomy, how to assess the patient, decompression and recompression, pressure injuries and illnesses, medical and marine injuries, soft tissue injuries, musculoskeletal injuries, cardiac emergencies, saturation diving issues, and much more. Black-and-white photographs and charts illustrate this meticulous, comprehensive, and thorough resource highly recommended especially for medical instructors training students who will be responsible for aiding divers in trouble.

High-Risk Pregnancy, Why Me?
Kelly Whitehead
Evolve Publishing
PO Box 276, McAfee NJ 07428
9780983264743, $26.95,

Motherhood is a complicated endeavor, and sometimes it just becomes even more complex. "High-Risk Pregnancy, Why Me?" is a guide from Kelly Whitehead, a mother who has faced miscarriage and complicated pregnancies following. Bringing practical advice forward that reminds mothers to remember their own health when panicking about the health of their unborn child, "High-Risk Pregnancy, Why Me?" is a must consider for those who feel a rocky pregnancy may be int heir future.

The 7 Principles of Fat Burning
Eric Berg
KB Publishing
PO Box 11716
Alexandria, VA 22312
9780982601600, $26.95,

Losing weight is a struggle that often fails for many, but there are many rules to embrace in one's personal war against obesity. "The 7 Principles of Fat Burning: Get Healthy, Lose Weight, and Keep it Off!" is a diet and exercise advisory guide from dietician Eric Berg, who encourages greater knowledge for one's own journey to fitness, stating that one must understand their body type to create a healthy weight loss plan and unlock the power of fat burning hormones. "The 7 Principles of Fat Burning" is well worth considering for those trying to find a new path to greater physical fitness.

The Gaming Shelf

Gaming from Atari to Xbox
Michael Ray
29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010
9781615307043, $35.25,

In forty years, gaming has come from nothing to being an entertainment juggernaut. "Gaming from Atari to Xbox" traces the history of home video games from primitive pixels to the full on cinematic experiences of modern gaming. Offering a fine introduction to the creations that have become a major part of modern popular culture and don't look to be going anywhere, "Gaming from Atari to Xbox" is an excellent pick those looking to gain a better understanding of why gaming matters.

The Memoir Shelf

Chicken Feathers and Garlic Skin
Chun Yu Wang
The Passion Profit Company
PO Box 503991
Saipan, MP 96950
9780974531342, $14.95,

Opportunity calls no matter where you are in the world. "Chicken Feathers and Garlic Skin" is a memoir from Chun Yu Wang as she tells her tale of a Chinese woman looking for a better life and finding none of it. Wang offers an insightful look into Chinese culture, and the conditions that one often faces, as well as her decision to go to Saipan, where her struggles didn't improve. A tragic yet uplifting tale of spirit against adversity, "Chicken Feathers and Garlic Skin" is a much recommended pick for any international memoir collection.

Flight of Remembrance
Marina Dutzmann Kirsch
Kirchstone Books
5 Hudson Drive, Kensington, NH 03833
9780983565345, $18.95,

Against despair, few have the courage to rise up and reclaim peace. "Flight of Remembrance" is a memoir of World War II throughout Europe and America as Marina Dutzmann Kirsch recounts the journeys of her parents as they tried to break through the war that was consuming their countries and leaving little more than scorched earth. Her story is a romance of uncertain times, a read with plenty to ponder and consider. "Flight of Remembrance" is a strong pick for any memoir or military history collection.

Inside the Insane
Erica Loberg
Chipmunk A Press
9781849914475, $21.00,

Wards often see people on the brink of the pain of their lives. "Inside the Insane" is a memoir from Erica Loberg as she recalls her own time in a psychiatric crisis ward in Los Angeles, California, about how she struggled to cope with the own weight on her soul and tried to heave off the weight that pushed down on her as she looked upon others who were at the end of their rope. A personal look at mental illness, "Inside the Insane" is a telling and thoughtful look at a critical issue for many in America.

Beyond the Great Abyss
Becca Chambers
PO Box 16, Arlington Heights, MA 02475
9780615411552, $18.00,

Strength when you need it most can come from anything. "Beyond the Great Abyss: Enlightenment, Redemption, and My Journey to the Unknown" is a spiritual and inspirational memoir from Becca Chambers as she shares her journey from despair of physical and emotional problems to finding the strength to conquer them all. A thoughtful and driven read of alternative medicine, "Beyond the Great Abyss" is worth considering for followers of spiritual and metaphysical inspirational stories.

Field Notes from Grief
Judith Gold Stitzel
Word Association Publishers
205 Fifth Avenue, Tarentum, PA 15084
9781595717535, $18.00,

The weight of tragedy tests us like no other. "Field Notes from Grief: The First Year" is a memoir from Judith Gold Stitzel, who recalls her harrowing journey of coping with the slow death of her husband and the struggles she had caring for him in the last year. With artwork from Claudia Giannini capturing the tragedy through art, Stitzel does well in presenting a frank struggle of a couple's struggles at their worth times. "Field Notes from Grief" is a choice pick for memoir collections, especially those focusing on end of life care and loss.

The Self-Help Shelf

Doing the Impossible
Patrick Bet-David
Premier Digital Publishing
Smith Publicity (publicity)
1930 E. Marlton Pike, Suite I-46, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
9781937624699, $16.99,

Impossible is just an excuse. "Doing the Impossible: The Laws for Doing the Impossible" is an inspirational delve into how to push oneself to move and make a difference in their lives, driving themselves to find their faith, and take notes from other crusaders against the impossible to drive themselves forward. "Doing the Impossible" is a strongly recommended pick for anyone looking for an inspirational collection of practical wisdom.

The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

The Touch of Roy and Dale
Tricia Spencer
West Quest
9780615498324, $21.95,

As television and radio took the stage, there were many embracing a past to make their stardom. "The Touch of Roy and Dale: The Impact and Influence of Roy Rogers, The King of the Cowboys, and Dale Evans, The Queen of the West, as Only Their Fans Could Tell It" is a fan gathering surrounding these western stars of the mid-twentieth century, creating firm memories of the period. Offering a personal collection of thoughts and nostalgia, there are new photo and other media spread throughout. Fans of the legacy of the western should embrace "The Touch of Roy and Dale", very much recommended.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Diane L. Reed
Bandits Ranch Books
7921 East State Route 73, Waynesville, OH 45068
9780984912902, $13.99,

A legacy of witchcraft can return, even when the magic seems forgotten. "Twixt" is a work of fantasy and Irish folklore set in Idaho, as Rose, descendent of a legend of the region who had fairy powers, begins to tempt the forces of the unknown once more. In search of romance, she finds out more about herself and the spirits that surround her, including the truth about her past lives. "Twixt" is an intriguing modern fantasy, well worth considering.

Blood Divided
Kevin James Breaux
Dark Quest Books
23 Alec Drive
Howell, NJ 07731
9781937051242, $14.95,

The talents we are given can work with others, or work against them. "Blood Divided" is the second book in the Soul Born Saga, following four children of Karn and their fates that could bring the world together, or just as well tear the world once more into chaos. A tale of power, mysticism, and the weight of adulthood,"Blood Divided" is a fine consideration for any fantasy fan, especially those who enjoyed the first book of the series.

The Door
Richard de Montebello
SaberCat Comics
2725 Scarlet Road
Winter Park, FL 32792
9781613643600 $20.00 pbk. / $2.99 ebook

The Door is a grim, fantastic novel about connections between our world and Heaven - or Hell. Angels have long used mysterious "doors", through which only good is supposed to pass, but the Salem Village witch trials revealed that the Devil is also quite capable of traversing them! The Devil's invitation into a holy church nullified safeguards, opening the way for incalculable evil and corruption. Will the Devil's scheme to not only enslave Earth to his worship, but also enact a coup upon Heaven itself, come to fruition? The Door is a riveting read to the very last page.

The Jobs/Careers Shelf

The Introvert's Guide to Professional Success
Joyce Shelleman
Snowy Ridge Studio
PO Box 234, Wiscasset, ME 04578-0234
9780983108405, $32.95,

Some people aren't sunshine and rainbows, but this doesn't mean a successful career is out of the question. "The Introvert's Guide to Professional Success" discusses advancement in a professional career as someone who isn't exactly a people person. Joyce Shelleman advises readers who happen to have all the skills but the people skills to help them develop what they need to be a successful leader in spite of it all. "The Introvert's Guide to Professional Success" is a fine pick for those who want to show that silent competence is just as useful as anything else.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Exquisite Crochet Shawls
Cristina Merson
Annie's Attic
c/o DRG
306 East Parr Road, Berne, IN 46711
9781596364241, $8.95,

A shawl can provide warmth with a little style added on. "Exquisite Crochet Shawls" is a guide to crafting five beautifully crafted shawls, with simple to follow designs to help readers gain a greater understanding on how to make these designs their own. A flat-spine guide for needle-working enthusiast, "Exquisite Crochet Shawls" is a much recommended pick, not to be overlooked.

The Sports Shelf

Bicycle Technology
Rob van der Plas & Stuart Baird
Cycle Publishing
1282 75h Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94122
9781892495662, $39.95,

The bicycle is a relatively modern invention, yet it has taken the cultures of the world by storm. "Bicycle Technology: Understanding the Modern Bicycle & Its Components" discusses the modern state of bicycling with a technical guide to the many types of bikes, the materials of its construction, the details of customizing one's bikes, and much more. A complete and comprehensive outline to every detail that can affect a bikes comfort and performance, "Bicycle Technology" has black and white photos all throughout and proves to be quite the detailed breakdown of info, a must for any biking enthusiast.

The Education Shelf

Melanie L. Bondy
Mind Vine Press
70727 Copper Blvd., Lawton, MI 49065
9780978671525, $49.95,

It's never too early to aspire to greatness. "Envision: Career Aspiration" is a guide aimed at teachers to encourage students to reach out towards a career and work towards that goal with their high school education. With plenty of resources for teachers to push this curriculum, Melanie L. Bondy presents much advice on pushing this wisdom to students. Containing a CD with even more information, "Envision: Career Aspiration" is an excellent pick for educational and teacher's resource collections.

The Reference Shelf

Standard Specifications for Public Work Construction
BNI Publications
1612 Clementine Street, Anaheim, CA 92802
9781557017413, $84.00,

With the valuable government contracts, comes the standards that may seem daunting to meet at first. "Standard Specifications for Public Works Construction 2012: The Greenbook" is a complete and comprehensive reference for construction managers on what is expected of them for these very important projects. Covering everything from the materials required, working with existing construction, among others, it also discusses methods when working on roads, buildings, traffic light systems, and other vital things to note. "Standard Specifications for Public Works Construction 2012" is a must have reference for any construction manager who may have a public works contract on their plate.

The Military Shelf

The Sheqel
Oblap Franciscus Mejia
Dog Ear Publishing
4010 W. 86th Street, Ste. H
Indianapolis, IN 46268
9781457503405 $18.95

Accessible to readers of all backgrounds, The Sheqel examines the complex and evolving field of intelligence gathering, especially with regard to military matters in general and the war on terror in particular. Chapters address how the lack of language experts has severely hindered America's war on terror; spying throughout the past century; an examination of intelligence gathering in Bosnia; what it means to accurately gathering intelligence to build a profile of an enemy leader; and much more. "The constructions of society in whole reflect foreign policy gaps between the citizens and the leaders and so laws often change from state to state. Science and technology studies on trial also draw on social concerns for its needs to draw on fresh cases often used for research developments in courtroom settings. On the contrary to social concerns, surprise and change in national and international politics also reflect too on improvements in intelligence communities." The Shequel is a fascinating study, discussion, and evaluation, enthusiastically recommended to any with an interest in the topic.

The First Leathernecks
Don Burzynski
Warriors Publishing Group
16129 Tupper St. - North Hills, CA 91343
9780982167052, $24.95,

Elite units are always needed in war, and the leathernecks lead the way for America. "The First Leathernecks: A Combat History of the U. S. Marines from Inception to the Halls of Montezuma (1775-1848) covers the history of these marine precursors as the played a major part in the revolutionary war as well as the war of 1812. Their battles were won with cunning, strategy, and a bit of everything else. With color artwork throughout, "The First Leathernecks" is a choice pick for military history collections and readers with a fascination of early American armies.

The LGBT Shelf

Heiresses of Russ 2011
Joselle Vanderhooft & Steve Berman, editor
Lethe Press
118 Heritage Avenue, Maple Shade, NJ 08052-3018
9781590213964, $18.00,

Romance doesn't stop because strange things are happening. "Heiresses of Russ" is a collection of short speculative fiction, compiled by Joselle Vanderhooft & Steve Berman, who collect the best stories of 2011 with a focus of romance and the unusual, using the genres to compliment one another and creating highly enticing stories. Dedicated to famed feminist speculative fiction writer Joanna Russ, "Heiresses of Russ" is a fine addition to any short fiction collection, especially those with a focus on lesbian and speculative fiction.

The Science Shelf

Conspectus of World Ethnomycology
Frank M. Dugan
American Phytopathological Society
3340 Pilot Knob Road
St. Paul, MN 55121
9780890543955, $69.95,

Fungus has a unique place in the eyes of the world. "Conspectus of World Ethnomycology: Fungi in Ceremonies, Crafts, Diets, Medicines, and Myths" discusses mushroom and its related species, and their use to humanity all over the world. Fungus has proven to be an edible foodstuff, a key ingredient in medicine, and more, and Frank M. Dugan travels the world to give a more comprehensive view of it all. "Conspectus of World Ethnomycology" is an excellent and recommended pick for collections focusing on the plants and fungi of the world as well as world cultures.

The Biography Shelf

Still Time to Live
Gary G. Yerkey
GK Press
PO Box 11816
Washington, DC 20008
9780615458885, $14.99,

Conflicts from halfway across the globe have profound impact on America. "Still Time to Live" is a biography of international American journalist Jack Belden, who under employment of Time-Life, covers the grueling conflicts of the Chinese Civil War and China's fights against Japan. Sent home by an injury, he finds the witch hunt of McCarthyism hurt him more than any bullet wound. "Still Time to Live" is a remarkable and much recommended pick for community library biography and history collections.

The Parenting Shelf

Mormon Parenting Secrets
Flint Stephens
FAS Media
9780983960003, $18.95,

Parenting knows no faith, it just is. "Mormon Parenting Secrets: Time-Tested Methods for Raising Exceptional Children" is a parenting guide for an family as Flint Stephens applies the Mormon family philosophy and how any family can follow them. By looking to the past, encouraging children to maximize their potential, avoiding spoiling while encouraging modesty, "Mormon Parenting Secrets" is an excellent pick for any parenting collection, very much recommended.

The Philosophy Shelf

Robbie McClintock
Collaboratory for Liberal Learning
603 West 115th Street #251
New York, NY 10025
9781937828035, $24.95,

What is enough for the person, for the world? "Enough: A Pedagogic Speculation" is an intriguing break down of modern education and needs of the world, offering a perspective on the world that is really quite different than most of the standard trains of thought, urging a society of enough, encouraging individualism and a modern world, and how it works from a personal level to international affairs. "Enough" is a fascinating and strongly recommended pick for general philosophy collections, not to be overlooked.

The Jewelry Shelf

Rare Gemstones
Renee Newman
International Jewelry Publications
560 W. Main St., Suite C-200, Alhambra, CA 91801
9780929975467, $19.95,

There's plenty of beauty beyond the most common of gemstones. "Rare Gemstones: How to Identify Evaluate and Care for Unusual Gems" is a guide to identifying more obscure and rare gems for those who are looking for something a bit more off the beaten path of the jewelry collection. The guide, presented in full colors with plenty of full color photos all throughout, is comprehensive in its standards, its collection of prices, and other useful info for keeping these gems. "Rare Gemstones" is a strong pick for any collector of more obscure gems.

The Travel Shelf

The Hidden Europe
Francis Tapon
WanderLearn Press
315 Pepper Ave., Burlingame, CA 94010-6433
0976581221, $25.99,

When an American thinks Europe, images of the United Kingdom, France, and the Netherlands come to mind, but there is much to be learned from the places east of where the Berlin Wall once stood. "The Hidden Europe: What Eastern Europeans Can Teach Us" is a traveling memoir from Francis Tapon as he shares his journey into the Europe less spoken of, and what he learned from his travels, and from the people. Lessons about saving, lessons about national pride, lessons of outliers, and the long standing effects of communism. "The Hidden Europe" is a fascinating read with plenty to consider, very much recommended reading.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Lessons I Learned from Myra
Fred M. Tileston
Tileston & Associates
PO Box 589, Burlingame, CA 94011
9780615549132, $11.99,

Learning is quite the reward, and pets can bring plenty of that. "Lessons I Learned from Myra: (And other Valuable Life Lessons!)" is an inspirational read from Fred M. Tileston as he brings enjoyable anecdotes of pet ownership and what can be learned from one's adventures and misadventures with their dog. "Lessons I Learned from Myra" is a choice pick for any pet lover, much recommended.

Just One More Day
Geoffrey Bain
Enchanted Forest Press
36 Juneberry, Irvine, CA 92606
9780982864951, $19.95,

Especially to the young, the bond with a pet can prove incredibly strong. "Just One More Day: A Dog Lover's Guide to Saying Good-Bye" is a charming read from Georffrey Bain, as he advises dog lovers on how to best cope with the impending or recent death from a beloved pet. From discussions with one's veterinarian to exploring all possible options before accepting death as the only answer, "Just One More Day" is a strongly recommended pick for those who are struggling to cope with the potential loss of one of their best friends.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Most of All They Taught Me Happiness, new edition
Dr. Robert Muller
Amare Media, LLC
PO Box 35360
Los Angeles, CA 90035-0360
Gaughen Global Literary Agent and Public Relations (publicity)
1932943056 $12.95

First published in 1978, Most of All They Taught Me Happiness is a spirituality guide now available in a new edition, updated by author and World War II veteran Robert Muller. Cherishing the values of prayer, meditation, and encouragement, Most of All They Taught Me Happiness stresses that happiness is not a prize to be chased and seized, but rather the natural result of devoting oneself to the fulfillment of one's purpose. As such, it is possible to experience happiness in the bleakest moments of life - even when surrounding by wartime cruelty or held in prison. "I have never forgotten Slavko Bosnjakovich and Dr. Coue's method. True enough, as with prayers, I have not always repeated the suggested daily words, but I have instinctively followed Dr. Coue's philosophy of optimism and self-reliance all my life. Many times at the United Nations, when bad news tends to drag me down, I revert to an innermost part of myself, switch on optimism and confidence, and immediately I return to a positive, creative mood." Most of All They Taught Me Happiness is highly recommended as both a spirituality guide and a self- help resource.

Bare Naked at the Reality Dance
Suzanne Selby Grenager
Bakula Books
920 Rosstown Road
Lewisberry, PA 17339
9780983644507, $12.95,

Nudity means nothing to hide, and we often hide what we want out of the world from ourselves. "Bare Naked at the Reality Dance" is an inspirational guide from Suzanne Selby Grenager as she spins a spiritual memoir of the world, she shares her journey to learning about the real her and advises others to find that reality for themselves as well. With a strong spiritual message fueled by yoga, "Bare Naked at the Reality Dance" is a choice pick with plenty practical and sage advice, much recommended.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Straight from the Heart
Holli Pearson
Prairie Prayers Ministries
PO Box 171, Stilwell, KS 66085
9780982242902, $19.99,

Prayer is our connection with the divine, and it should be cherished. "Straight from the Heart" is a devotional guide from Holli Pearson as she shares a devout journey into spirituality, encouraging a more personal and driven prayer. A powerful read for those who want to cherish their prayers for their lives, "Straight from the Heart" is a strong and much recommended pick for community library Christian spirituality collections.

Gospel & Traditions
Bernard Sesboue
Convivium Press
7661 NW 68th Street
Suite 108, Miami, FL 33166
9781934996171, $25.95,

Tradition is a method of spreading ideas through the ages. "Gospel & Traditions" is a comprehensive study of Christianity and the gospel from Bernard Sesboue, a French Jesuit scholar who is known for his works that promote deeper study of the faith and interreligious dialogue. In this volume, he provides a scholarly breakdown behind tradition and the gospel, and how the two concepts in Christian dogma have been strongly intertwined throughout the church's history. "Gospel & Traditions" is an excellent pick for Christian studies and history collections.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Torah Tapestries
Shira Smiles
Feldheim Publishers
208 Airport Executive Park
Nanuet, NY 10954
9781598260021, $19.99,

The Jewish faith is one that has endured a wide array of pain. "Torah Tapestries: Words of Wisdom Woven from the Weekly Parashah" is a collection of writings discussing Jewish faith, discussing the biblical flight from Egypt and search for a home and redemption as a people. A fascinating exploration of the Torah and what it asks of Jews who are trying to live faithful and good lives, "Torah Tapestries" is an excellent and core addition to any Judaic Studies community and college library collection.

The Agriculture Shelf

Conversations with the Land
Jim Vanderpol
No Bull Press
PO Box 48, Belleville, WI 53508
9780983950301, $15.95,

The simple joy a hard day's work seems hard to get in the modern world. "Conversations with the Land" is a call to return to the culture of agriculture, as tells his own journey back to that joy, focusing on creating sustainable agriculture and man in harmony with nature around him. "Conversations with the Land" is a strong pick for anyone with a love of the land and wants to get back to living with it, instead of demanding of it.

The Art of Balancing Soil Nutrients
William McKibben
PO Box 91299, Austin, TX 78709
9781601730329, $25.00,

One must care for the soil when growing to affirm its long term health. "The Art of Balancing Soil Nutrients" is an agriculture and growing guide from William McKibben, the Crop Doc. McKibben advises readers on how to better maintain their soil's health and keep it working well throughout one's growing career, with methods of testing the soil, reading them, and how to better care for the soil in response. With plenty of useful and practical information on growing, "The Art of Balancing Soil Nutrients" is a must have for anyone concerned about their fields and their output.

The Photography Shelf

That Picture Stinks!
Judy Holmes & Greg Baer
Snowy Gnome Publishing
PO Box 85, Jackson, NH 03846
9780984653706, $21.95,

Photography can be fun, it can be more fun when the picture is actually good. "That Picture Stinks!: An In-Your-Face, No-Nonsense Guide to End Lousy Picture Taking Forever" is a photography guide from Judy Holmes & Greg Baer as they present many tips and tricks for making sure one can get a more effective slot with any camera, by observing the situation and making tweaks accordingly. With plenty of full color examples, "That Picture Stinks!' is a strong pick for amateur photographer who wants to come off as less amateurish.

The Relationship Shelf

The Laws of Love
Chris Prentiss
Power Press
6428 Meadows Court
Malibu, CA 90265
9780943015736 $12.95

The Laws of Love is a self-help guide to cultivating strong, lasting, and loving relationships. Although there is a spiritual component to the advice, most of it is grounded in practical wisdom. Principles discussed include "Relationships Only Thrive in Safe Space", "If You Would Be Loved, Love Yourself", "The Happiness You Seek Can Only Come from within You", and "An Ideal Relationship Can Only Exist within Complete Trust". "Do not be one of those people who let their arguments flame out of control because you lack the discipline to calmly and lovingly discuss a situation. Both you and your partner are seeking balance, seeking to have each other see it your way." The Laws of Love is an excellent supplemental resource and tool for pursuing a healthy relationship.

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

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