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

Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 6, Number 5 May 2007 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Metaphysical Studies Shelf Interior Design Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Fiction Shelf Homeowner's Shelf
Poetry Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf
Biography Shelf Business Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Civil War Shelf Christian Studies Shelf Gardening Shelf
Photography Shelf Computer Shelf Parenting Shelf
Women's Studies Shelf Education Shelf Science Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf American History Shelf Automotive Shelf
Art Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Becoming Dad
Leonard Pitts Jr.
Agate Publishing, Inc.
1501 Madison St. Evanston, IL 60202
1932841172, $16.00

Written by Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Leonard Pitts Jr., Becoming Dad is a discussion of the need for black fathers to step up and become positive male role models in African-American society today. Pitts recounts both his personal life (he grew up with an abusive father) and vignettes from dozens of men that he interviewed across the nation. Becoming Dad blends both personal experience and journalistic cross-examination into a powerful whole that embraces the joy of truly being a father and caretaker. A handful of black-and-white photographs illustrate this highly recommended tribute.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Lynn Young
Master Path Publishing
701 Oak Park Lane, #92, Hopkins, MN 55343
1934245003, $17.95

Written by ordained minister Lynn Young, who describes herself as a 'full-body channel' for the divine light of 'G', Being: Transformation Begins With… is a deeply spiritual self-help guide to opening one's soul to God's love. Chapters describe the distinct nuances of intention, how to harness the power of energy channeling, God's Divine Plan, and much more. "The first thing I teach my students is that they ask that only birth light or God light energy come in. That eliminates any negative or unwanted entities or energies that can come forward. The second thing I have them do is I have them get very quiet, like you do in meditation, and you ask your master self to step forward. Once that master self steps forward, that is where you will notice the quieting of the mind." A thoughtful guide to learning how to reach beyond oneself and listen to the guidance of the divine.

The Interior Design Shelf

The Earthwise Home Manual
Kristina Detjen
Green Home Publishing
c/o KSB Promotions
55 Honey Creek NE, Ada, MI 49301-9768
0976836904, $15.95

Written by interior design consultant Kristina Detjen, The Earthwise Home Manual: Eco-Friendly Interior Design and Home Improvement is an easy-to-use guide to making one's living space more environmentally friendly. Emphasizing the importance of using materials that are renewable, recyclable, biodegradable, or low in toxins, chapters discuss how make time-tested 'Grandma's cleaning solutions', select and use non-harmful paints, recycle appliances, save water in the kitchen, furniture arranging tips, use fluorescent light bulbs to save money, make one's lawn river-friendly, and much, much more. All tips are selected with not only environmental concerns in mind, but also with budgetary, health, and aesthetic factors taken into consideration. An excellent, ethical, and money-saving home-improvement guide for readers of all backgrounds.

The Self-Help Shelf

The Power of Acknowledgment
Judith W. Umlas
International Institute for Learning
110 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022-1380
0970827644, $19.95

Author Judith W. Umlas has written for "Working Woman" magazine, "The New York Times", and "The Chicago Tribune." In The Power of Acknowledgment, Umlas reveals the positive benefits of people acknowledging one another's accomplishments, talents, wisdom and humanity. Chapters discuss how to use the power of acknowledgment to build stronger relationships, neutralize jealousy and envy, improve one's emotional health, and much more. An invaluable guide to tapping into the simple strength of mutual affirmation and encouragement.

This is Your Life, Not a Dress Rehearsal
Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan Associates
PO Box 63, Upper Black Eddy, PA 18972
0965053423, $11.95

Motivational speaker Jim Donovan presents This is Your Life, Not a Dress Rehearsal: Proven Principles for Creating the Life of Your Dreams, a self-help guide offering basic principles for focusing on and achieving one's goals. Chapters discuss how to keep up one's energy and enthusiasm through good nutritious, exercise, proper breathing, and taking time to smell the roses; how to break through fear; the importance of making conscious choices rather than reacting on impulse; knowing when it is time to take action; how to successfully use affirmations, mirror work, and visualization; and much more. Written in plain terms for readers of all backgrounds, This is Your Life is a treasury of tips, tricks, techniques, and insights sure to enrich one's life and provide a path to one's deepest aspirations.

Turn Your Life Around
Dr. Tim Clinton
Faith Words
1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
0446579106, $21.99

President of the American Association of Christian Counselors Dr. Tim Clinton presents Turn Your Life Around: Break Free From Your Past to a New and Better You, a Christian self-help guide to surviving the loss of a loved one by turning to the grace of God in the hour of one's deepest need. Chapters tell of the negative emotions such as anger, fear, alienation, and arrogance that can cause a soul to lose its way, and how to strengthen one's heart with love through connection to God, and the transcendental leap of converting good intentions into Godly action. "How do you press on when your legs get knocked out from underneath you and life just isn't the way it's supposed to be? You return to the relationship with the One who created you in the first place." A positively charged, spiritually strong guide to recovery through the power of faith.

The Fiction Shelf

A Dark Music
Robert Froese
Flat Bay Press
PO Box 217, Harrington, Maine 04643
0971538220, $15.00

Film and writing teacher Robert Froese presents A Dark Music, a romantic novel set amid a background of archaeological discovery. When a dig in New Mexico unearths the remains of a girl that dates millennia before the earliest known human inhabitants of North America, the repercussions change the lives of Will Stanton, a withdrawn graduate research assistant, and Emily Franklin, an outgoing undergraduate brand new to archaeology. Steeped in mystery and wonder, A Dark Music is as evocative of the reverberating impressions that changes in scientific understanding have as it is of the tumultuous inner changes unleashed by a developing relationship between two people. A poetic and passionate novel.

Whispers from the Grave
Kim Murphy
Coachlight Press
1704 Craig's Store Road, Afton, VA 22920-2017
0971679053, $15.95

Award-winning historical fiction author Kim Murphy presents Whispers from the Grave, a novel set on the modern-day Virginia plantation of Poplar Ridge. Intrigued by the plantation's history, Chris Olson becomes mesmerized by dreams of a Confederate soldier who oddly resembles Geoff Cameron, the brother of her best friend. As she becomes more deeply drawn into the mystery of the past, as seen through the eyes of the long-dead Margaret, she must reconcile her growing passion for Geoff with his connection to the tragedy and dark hidden secrets of the past. An emotionally moving historical drama, steeped in lore and vivid impressions from America's war-torn era.

Upland Road
Thomas Moore
130 Church Street, #413, New York, NY 10007
0978602420 $28.95

Upland Road: A Journey Within is a dark novel about the legacy of abuse, suffering, and terrible choices. Lil, the daughter of a drunkard, awakes from a lifetime of drugs and the specter of past sexual abuse. Facing life sober, she is haunted by her abortion of the child of her love, Dylan. Burdened by remorse, she tells Dylan the terrible secret, yet the child she has lost continues to haunt her for years - until the nightmares give way to reality. Her limbo child has been reborn and is demanding her attention. Both Lil and Dylan search for self-awareness, forgiveness, and the path to a "normal" life in this gripping saga of emotional turmoil.

He Didn't Say Good-bye
Raymond F. Flaherty
Terra Sancta Press
304 Royal Palm Drive, Melbourne, FL 32935-6955
0965346773 &24.95

Written by Master Sergeant Raymond F. Flaherty, a Special Forces member and veteran of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, He Didn't Say Good-bye is an action-packed novel following the stark challenges facing Special Forces members and their families. When two Special Forces Master Sergeants volunteer for an assignment in Laos to search for downed USAF pilot Jake Barton, their mission quickly takes one shocking turn after another. A gripping, courageous tale, steeped in realism, He Didn't Say Good-bye is highly recommended for military fiction connoisseurs.

Falling Into Me
Michael Holloway Perronne
Chances Press
4184 Arch Dr., #104, Studio City, CA 91604
0977050661, $10.95

The third novel of Michael Holloway Perronne, Falling Into Me is the story of a gay man seeking direction in his life as he enters his thirties. His relationship with his live-in boyfriend, and his career as a photographer fall apart shortly after his old high school friend and crush drops by for a surprise visit. Returning home to New Orleans to attend his aunt's wedding, he drifts amid old friends and family, and discovers the opportunity to rekindle a forgotten lost love from his teenage years. A story of love, self-discovery, and the search to recapture the bygone days of youth. Also highly recommended is Perronne's previous novel in the series, "A Time Before Me."

The Homeowner's Shelf

5 Steps to a Dry Basement or Crawl Space
Ronald K. Gay
Welkin House
146 W. Lawrence St., Pontiac, MI 48341
0976365200, $25.95

Written by Ronald K. Gay, a licensed residential building contractor of twenty years' experience, 5 Steps to a Dry Basement or Crawl Space is a no-nonsense, user-friendly guide to protecting one's basement from seepage, mildew, mold, and worse. Black-and-white photographs illustrate the practical advice and alternative methods to aftermarket waterproofing in this one-of-a-kind guide. From ensuring that one's home has the proper types of gutters and downspouts (which are not regulated by building codes!) to issues with slab foundations, specific problems with mold and bacteria, and much more, 5 Steps to a Dry Basement or Crawl Space is invaluable as a preventative as well as a restorative manual for readers of all backgrounds. Highly recommended.

The Poetry Shelf

Pets of the Great Dictators & Other Works
Sabrina P. Ramet, author; Christine M. Hassenstab, artist
Scarith Books
PO Box 27420, Washington DC 20038-7420
097877132X, $16.00

Written by Sabrina P. Ramet (Professor of Political Science at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Pets of the Great Dictators & Other Works is a collection darkly humorous poetic ditties about Lenin's cat, Hitler's dog, Qaddafi's sweet-scented camel, Mao's cockroach, Stalin's spider, Ivan the Terrible's goldfish, and many other favored creatures of ruthless tyrants. Also included are a set of "philosopher's songs", poems that apply lyrics about philosophical concepts crafted to match popular musical tunes, and the two-act "Turmoil in Brindisi: A Holy Roman Opera". An inventive, wickedly sardonic compilation brimming with sharp-edged humor cover to cover. "Lenin's Cat": Lenin wasn't born a communist / And nor was his cat. / He wasn't born a leader. / And nor was his cat. // He spent some time in Switzerland / Planning revolution. / He knew that seizing power was / The optimal solution. // He liked to stroke his little pet / And comb its pretty fur / He liked to smoke a cigarette / And hear his kitty purr. // He liked to ride on well-sealed trains / And organized a party. / Everyone's invited but / To join you should be hearty.

Robert Zaller
Somerset Hall Press
416 Commonwealth Avenue, Suite 612, Boston, MA 02215
0977461025, $14.95

Poet, literary critic, historian, and the author of four previous poetry books, Robert Zaller once more ventures into print with "Islands", the most recently published volume of his distinctively memorable and highly recommended verse. A Professor of History at Drexel university, and winner of many academic honors (including a Guggenheim fellowship), Zaller writes with a vivid evocation of cognitive images and deftly rendered emotions that only a seasoned scholar poet can accomplish using the tools of language. ‘The Island That Fell From The Sky': All islands, of course,/are waveborn,/but this one fell/from the sky/and failed to burn/in the upper heavens/like a rare meteor/transfixing itself/or a bone flung/into the famished sea.

Do You See Me Now?
Ramona E. Armato
Leathers Publishing
4500 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS 66211
1585974218, $15.95 1-888-888-7696

For free verse poetry to be memorable it must be original, passionate, emotional, honest, and deftly expressed. Enter Ramona E. Armato and "Do You See Me Now?", a slender, 80-page book of impressive lyrical prose and deftly executed poetry that takes as its diverse subject matter her difficult childhood, life's heartaches, good times and ill, and a faith that helped her cope with it all. ‘Comfort Zone': You may say my heart is still wandering/Into depths of this and that.//You may say it cries in the middle of a/long, cold night.//My heart has a place today;/Yet even then it bears some scars.//You may say my soul can't test/Without a prayer to pray.//You may say my soul years/For the warmth of a summer's day.//I know this comfort zone – it is my compassionate friend:/my heart, my soul, my friend.

Glass-Bottom Boat
Herman Asarnow
Higganum Hill Books
PO Box 666, Higganum, CT 06441
Independent Publishers Group, distributor
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
0977655644, $12.95 1-800-888-4741

Academican Herman Asarnow is currently Chairman of the University of Portland's Department of English and has several awards and academic honors to his credit, including the John C. Underwood Prize for Poetry. Confidently recommended to poetry enthusiasts who appreciate imagination, wit, skill, and originality, "Glass-Bottom Boat" is a compilation that showcases professor Asarnow's literary talents as expressed through his free verse poetry. ‘Surrendering to the Air': It is true – we often writhe as moths or ants/suffocating in a bottle, imprisoned,/the lid screwed tight: we can see out/but the air we breathe closes in on us.//What we sometimes think we feel/is the pressureless pressure of a vacuum;/what we hear a hissing whoosh,/the air rushing out of our lives.//There's this sad, elemental alienation –/as if powerful birds coursing through/the boundless blue home of all creation/felt they soared against, outside of, and apart//instead of in, on, and with the streaming/currents – though we on land see/the single purity of wing and wind,/the freedom of their surrender//to what is essential, ultimately themselves.

Woodstoves & Ravens
Robert E. Farmer & Alanna Marohnic
Birch Brook Press
PO Box 81, Delhi, NY 13753
0978997409, $16.00 1-607-746-7453

Enhanced with six interior woodcut illustrations by Alana Marohnic (who also did the cover art), "Woodstoves & Ravens" showcases the lyrical free verse poetry of Robert E. Farmer who draws his themes from a wilderness sojourn in the boreal forest on the Canadian north shore of Lake Superior, near Thunder Bay. Deftly written to echo memorable in a true ‘theatre of the mind' experience, "Woodstoves & Ravens" is distinctive, crafted, engaging verse that is especially recommended for poetry enthusiasts who enjoy originality expressed with an enduring and undeniable literary skill. ‘Knowing': Late snows pass./Winter drifts to a May retreat./Ducks wake to last ice,/aim surely north,/and leave before breakfast./The spring creek roars/with the certainty of its mission.//In the terrible isolation/of our knowing/we are forever separated/from such direction;/no seasonal imperative,/no true fit with the world.//Yet my mind still rises with/the morning's arrow of loon,/crying through the sky/to first open water.

Abiding Appalachia
Marilou Awiakta
Pocahontas Press
PO Drawer F, Blacksburg, VA 24063-1020
0936015993, $14.95 1-800-446-0467

With the inclusion of occasional black-and-white photographic illustrations and featuring a newly reformatted text, "Abiding Appalachia: Where Mountain And Atom Meet" continues to showcase Marilou Awiakta's distinctive and highly recommended poetry which deftly meshes her Cherokee-Appalachian heritage with her experiences growing up in Oak ridge, Tennessee in the newly emerging era of nuclear energy and atomic bombs. ‘Where Mountain and Atom Meet': Ancient haze lies on the mountain/smoke–blue, strange and still/a presence that eludes the mind and/moves through a deeper kind of knowing./It is nature's breath and more –/an aura from the great I AM/that gathers to its own/spirits that have gone before.//Deep below the valley waters/eerie and hid from view/the atom splits without a sound/its only trace a fine blue glow/rising from the fissioned whole/and at its core/power that commands the will/quiet that strikes the soul./"Be still and know...I AM."

Tom Thomson In Purgatory
Troy Jollimore
Margie, Inc.
PO Box 250, Chesterfield, MO 63006-0250
0971904057, $13.95

An academician who currently serves on the faculty of California State University, Canadian poet Troy Jollimore is deftly adroit at writing both free verse and prose poetry. "Tom Thomson In Purgatory" is a compilation of his best work and proved to be the 2005 winner of the Robert E. Lee & Ruth I. Wilson Poetry Book Award. Imaginative, lyrical, compelling, thoughtful, thought-provoking, and highly recommended reading, here is a body of work that will well serve to demonstrate and document Troy Jollimore as one of the best of his generation. ‘After': If we must speak of each other, let it be/in the forms that monarchs and generals use/to refer to their rivals; as if each were known/to the other only through field reports/and classified intelligences. Let it be/in tones of wariness, grudging respect, and,/where permitted, mutual admiration./Let our campaign be conducted on these terms.//And if people speak of the ‘break-up,'/let us hear in that the cold overtones/of the word as applied to a glacier: how,/new light found an entry, and the gleaming designs,/a kaleidoscope view–a lens through which/itself to be seen–as the fragments, mindless/and pure, frigid yet free, plunged/to the sea, that vast, that resolute,/that insensate, that insatiable sea.

Walking Tooth & Cloud
Albert Flynn DeSilver
French Connection Press
PO Box 126, Woodacre, CA 949073
2914853084, $14.00

"Walking Tooth & Cloud" is a slender compilation showcasing the prose poems of Albert Flynn DeSilver. Memorable, contemporary, cognitive on an almost dreamscape level, here presented is a body of work that should be read and experienced by as wide an appreciative audience as possible. ‘The Chuckling Sky': here comes fear lurching down the trail, cocksure, with a fierce strut, snapping passing branches. He's got metal spikes in his thorny bears and pitchfork-claws tangling up the innocent air. He's shouting biblical epithets at the agnostic clouds, stirring forth an anticipatory story of blooming gloom. His wrath is that of gangly anger, angling toward more future fire. Fear's face bleats blood-red drops, acts like impatient flame, glaring briefly–briefly trailing off into the chuckling sky.

Blue Running Lights
David Eberhardt
Abecedarian Books
2817 Forest Glen Drive, Baldwin, Md 21013
0976310686 $15.00 1-877-782-2221

Author and poetry editor David Eberhardt writes poetry which reflects and comments upon his personal concerns including the phenomena of war, the necessity of love, and the ability of the natural world to provide solace for the wounded soul. Strongly recommended reading, "Blue Running Lights" is a showcase compendium that demonstrates and documents Eberhardt's abilities as a poet ‘Possibly Political Poem': "Little America"/Salt Lake/For the Mormons/Was "the place,"/Now, not far past/Is Barry's Amoco/"Little America"/with/35 pumps, maybe/The world's largest/Gas station?

Walking Tooth & Cloud
Albert Flynn DeSilver
French Connection Press
12 Rue Lamartine, 75009, Paris, France
2914853084, $14.00

Written by photography expert and poetry teacher Albert Flynn DeSilver, Walking Tooth and Cloud is an anthology of brief, free-verse poems with a distinctive twist - each is ordered in the format of a justified paragraph or two of text. Drawing upon the majesty of the wilderness, and contemplative of the transient relationships humans have with one another and the world at large, Walking Tooth & Cloud flows with heartfelt, open-air candor. "One Out the Window": Night through skittering air, tumbles and rolls, chased I as trees / slipping for it, it's reach reached I, as a lighted room does climb / me through it. To want it, to see that I am wind in the paper, / a piece of night, slipping through floating windows, where the / lighted ones go.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Whisper This... Not to Your Horse to Yourself
Smokie Brannaman
Horseman's Services Limited, LLC
1724 Mill Rd., Greenleaf, WI 541126
0979144604, $16.25

Written by horse trainer Smokie Brannaman, Whisper This... Not to Your Horse to Yourself: A "No Bull$#it" Book For You and Your Horse is a straightforward, tell-it-like-it-is guide for anyone considering owning a horse, and especially for prospective first-time horse buyers. Chapters discuss what to look for in a good horse, how to tell if one is really ready to be a horse owner, care and feeding of horses, the good/bad/ugly about clinics, and much more. "An older well-broke horse doesn't need riding every day to stay in shape or remain a well-broke horse. But once a month won't work either. I'd ride at least twice a week if I could and three would be better. But if all you can do is ride on a weekend, why not see if there is someone else who can ride him?" An honest, practical-minded guide offering the benefit of a lifetime of horse experience, enthusiastically recommended.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

There's No Business Like Show Business...Was
Alan Young
BearManor Media
PO Box 71426, Albany, GA 31708
1593930534, $14.95

With a long and active career in radio, movies and television, Alan Young will be best known to most Americans for his highly popular 1950s series ‘Mr. Ed' where he plaid straight-man to a talking horse. In "There's No Business Like Show Business...Was", Alan anecdotally recounts his associations with such diverse fellow actors and performers as Paul Whiteman, Tallulah Bankhead, Zero Mostel, George Burns, Jack Benny, Peter Lorre, Clifton Webb, Jane Russell, Mickey Rooney, Jane Powell, Roddy McDowall, Red Skelton, Sonja Henie, Dinah Shore, Bing Crosby, and others. Enthusiastically recommended reading and a welcome addition to personal, academic, and community library Theatre/Cinema/Television reference collections, "There's No Business Like Show Business...Was" is a truly nostalgic treat for those old enough to remember radio and the movies in the 1930s and 1940s, and the early years of television in the 1950s. Also very strongly recommended from BearManor Media is Ben Ohmart's "Don Ameche: The Kenosha Comeback Kids" (1593930453, $24.95) showcasing actor Don Ameche whose showbusiness career ranged from the 1930s to the 1990s.

Hugh Fox
World Audience Publishing
25 Sickles Street, #6E, New York, NY 10040-1660
1934209260, $15.99

Written by professor emeritus Hugh Fox, OMMMMMMMM: A Collection of Plays and Monologues is an anthology of short one-act plays. Though meant to be performed in sequence with short black-outs between each, they can be mixed, matched, or rearranged in any form the director likes. From contemplation on the nature of God, to an imaginary conversation between Hitler and a Jewish girl, to the different shades of misogyny revealed in the talk of women between three men, OMMMMMMMM offers a surprising, often mature-themed glimpse into both the spiritual and the venal side of human nature. The plays are dialogue-focused; their lack of complex action or expensive props make them ideal for low-budget or community theater performance.

The Biography Shelf

Sleeping With Bad Boys
Alice Denham
Book Republic Press
c/o Cardoza Publishing
857 Broadway 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10003
1580422063, $14.95 1-800-577-9467

Author Alice Denham, whose writings have appeared in "The New York Times", "New York" magazine, "Cosmopolitan", and "Playboy" (her fiction was published in the same issue as her centerfold) presents Sleeping With Bad Boys: A Juicy Tell-All of Literary New York in the Fifties and Sixties. Sleeping With Bad Boys lives up to its title and then some, offering lusty, sexy, between-the-sheets tell-alls about James Dean, Normain Mailer, Hugh Hefner, Philip Roth, and William Gaddis. Though sensual elements are definitely a highlight, Sleeping With Bad Boys isn't all sex, all the time; chapters also tell of the author's road to maturity, and pivotal events in her life, from private family emergencies to the assassination of JFK. Written in an anecdotal style of brief, discrete passages that lend themselves to being read a little bit at a time or all at once, Sleeping With Bad Boys is utterly absorbing from cover to cover and enthusiastically recommended.

Mixed Messages
Maurice Williamson
Hudson Books
PO Box 254, Blue Bell, PA 19422
0978629671, $12.75

Mixed Messages: Memoirs of a Black Special Agent When Upbringing and Life Clash is the memoir of Maurice Williamson, who has been involved in federal law enforcement for 15 years and the Drug Enforcement Administration for over eight years. Passed up time and again for promotion, in favor of white colleagues with less impressive performance records, Maurice filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Monitoring Committee. After consideration, the EEO dismissed his complaint, and the DEA fired him. Desperate for income, he became the very type of criminal he once helped lock up - and was arrested and interrogated by his former colleagues. "When I was guilty I could not be charged. I recalled when I was innocent but found guilty." A deeply personal look into the inner workings of the DEA, its flaws and foibles, as well as the author's own struggle to be a good father and provide for his children despite his deteriorating relationship with his wife. An absolutely compelling read from cover to cover.

The Business Shelf

8 Simple Secrets for Small Business Owners
Steve Hilferty & Tom Leal
Business Coach Pres
48 Matthews Place, Alamo, CA 94507
0978962702, $14.95

Written by consultant Steve Hilferty and business owner coach Tom Leal, 8 Simple Secrets for Small Business Owners is a solid practical, general guide for all small business owners regardless of their individual enterprise. Chapters offer experience tempered wisdom in the areas of people, product and operations, strategic planning, marketing, finance and accounting, product development, sales, and leadership. "You don't have to make plans for all possibilities. If you make plans for the ones you think are likely to happen, both good and bad, you automatically have plans to cover many other things, too. You can even be entirely wrong about which things will affect you and still be ready." Couched in a congenial tone and the format of a plain conversation, 8 Simple Secrets for Small Business Owners is an excellent, realistic supplemental resource recommended for prospective and current small business owners alike.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Map of Murder
Susan Budavari & Suzanne Flaig, editors
Red Coyote Press
PO Box 60582, Phoenix, AZ 85082
0976673339, $14.95

Map of Murder: Original Stories of Mystery and Suspense is an anthology of stories by diverse authors, sure to delight mystery and suspense connoisseurs. From a young college professor drawn into the seductive black arts of Louisiana, to a Texas police offer trying to keep the peace amid a fracas with a beautiful woman at its center, to a Chicago woman who finds a skull on her property and resolves to do something about it, putting her own life at risk, the stories range the gamut from contemplative to tense to puzzling to utterly terrifying. A quality smorgasbord of chilling fine writing.

The Civil War Shelf

Other Noted Guerrillas of the Civil War in Missouri
Larry Wood
Hickory Press
2508 Mylinda Leah Lane, Joplin, MO 64804
0970282923, $19.95

Written by historian Larry Wood, whose articles have appeared in "Blue and Gray Magazine" and "Missouri Historical Review" among other periodicals, Other Noted Guerrillas of the Civil War in Missouri is a close study of the more overlooked guerrilla fighters in Missouri. Most such studies focus especially upon Confederate leader William Quantrill and his close associates; Other Noted Guerrillas of the Civil War in Missouri scrutinizes fifteen guerrilla leaders who were not close to or had no association with Quantrill. From desperados and gangs to "The Notorious Sheriff Clem" and Bloody Bill's brother Jim, Other Noted Guerrillas of the Civil War in Missouri offers biographical information, highlights of major attacks and incidents undertaken by the guerrilla fighters, and a handful of black-and-white photographs. A welcome supplementary resource for Missouri Civil War reference libraries, due to its in-depth focus on fighters who carved their mark on history even though they received less renown for it.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Building Bridges
Lena Allen-Shore
Cathedral Foundation Press
PO Box 777, Baltimore, MD 21203
8859383579, $39.95, 1-888-768-9555

Now presented in an updated and expanded third edition, "Building Bridges: Pope John Paul II And The Horizon Of Life" by philosopher, poet, writer and educator Lena Allen Shore offers informed insights into the life and work of a beloved Holy Father (with whom she enjoys a personal friendship), while comparing and contrasting her own life experiences that include the both of them enduring grievous personal loss, both of them maintaining their abiding faith in God under stressful circumstances, and coming to an unalterable conviction that peace is attainable in the course of everyday living with its triumphs and tragedies, its twists and turns, its successes and failures. "Building Bridges" is welcome and enthusiastically recommended reading, especially for Catholics seeking to persevere in their faith through their own personal trials and tribulations.

The Brightness of Your Dawn
Geraldine L. Palmer
Zion Publishing & Communications
2211 Greenwood Street, Evanston, IL 60201
0979123208, $10.95

The Brightness of Your Dawn: Moving From Survivor to Soldier is part memoir, part testimony. Author Geraldine L. Palmer grew up amid alcoholism and domestic violence, and suffered sexual assault; though she survived, her life was scarred and haunted by the universal threat of death. Her awakening to God's will transformed herself and her perception of the world, and she resolved to become a soldier in God's army. The Brightness of Your Dawn tells her tale with a hard-edged chastisement to the limited goal of simply surviving from day to day. "[God's] Son laid His life down for us to have life, not survival. Our quest to survive totally ignores this sacrificial act, makes it null and void. This is because the way survival must be lived out under laws and regulations.... 'By any means necessary;' 'My way or the highway!'... As people who turn the very essence of living into surviving, the consequences force us to create more and more laws and regulations just to get up and go out the door. These same laws alienate people and relationships further and further away from us." A powerful, emotionally charged testimony about the futility of surviving for survival's sake like an instinctive animal, and achieving eternal life only through dedication to God and Jesus Christ.

The Gardening Shelf

Pitcher Plants of the Americas
Stewart McPherson
The McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company
431-B East College Street, Granville, OH 43023
0939923742, $34.95

British geographer, researcher, and conservationist Stewart McPherson presents Pitcher Plants of the Americas, a lavish overview of the five genera of carnivorous pitcher plants in North, Central, and South America. Featuring stunning color photography of virtually every species, enhanced by the high-quality paper of the text, Pitcher Plants of the Americas describes species, their ranges, and their unique features in clear language that is not excessively technical. A first-rate field guide and welcome contribution to natural history reference shelves, sure to fascinate both general readers and horticulture specialists.

The Photography Shelf

Crash Burn Love
Bill Lowenburg
Lodima Press
PO Box 367, Revere, PN 18953
0976653508, $49.95

Crash Burn Love: Demolition Derby is a gallery of black-and-white photographs, embellished with a couple of brief essays by photography expert and sports enthusiast Bill Lowenburg. Crash Burn Love strives to capture not only the thrill of demolition derbies, but the lives and feelings of the men and women who participate. Some crash for money; some for the thrill of the sport; some for the feeling of surviving the incredible. The timeless still images range from a shattered car converted into a roadside sign, to people hard at work on their demolition vehicles, to blurred moments of intense action, to portraits of pit crews and competitors. A superb giftbook for any demolition derby enthusiast.

The Computer Shelf

Five Simple Steps To Improve Your Website's Search Engine Ranking
Pat Bensky
Tracker Press
1 Hillend Farm Cottages, Langley End, Hitchin, Herts, England, SG4 7PT
0954610539, $12.95

Websites no longer considered either a luxury or an experiment by business, non-profit organizations, governmental departments, journalism, academia, or any citizen who has something to say or sell. They are, in fact, an indispensable necessity. Hundreds (if not thousands!) of new, remodeled, and updated websites appear on the internet every day. These enormous numbers have made the use of internet search engines indispensable for anyone trying to locate anything on the internet. "Five Simple Steps To Improve Your Website's Search Engine Ranking: Effective Search Engine Optimization For Everyone" was specifically designed and written by Pat Bensky for 'non-computer oriented' individuals, including small business owners and charitable organization workers who find themselves responsible for operating a website in behalf of themselves or a group. These non-specialist general readers will find quick and easy advice on quick and easy ways to make a website more easily found by any search engine user to find a particular website. No prior expertise in computer languages or website design is necessary. Very highly recommended, especially for those new to the internet and website promotion, "Five Simple Steps To Improve Your Website's Search Engine Ranking" is a slender, 41-page, ‘user friendly', do-it-yourself instruction manual will enable anyone to advance their website in any search engine.

The Parenting Shelf

Future Horizons
721 West Abram Street, Arlington, TX 76013 1-800-489-0727

Every child deserves to live their lives free from malignant strangers and obstreperous bullies. Future Horizons has published two titles in their ‘Children's Safety Book' series that directly address these two specific issues on a level that is specifically designed for young children. "Bobby And Mandee's Too Safe For Strangers" (1885477759) by Deputy Sheriff Robert Kahn deals with how children can determine who is a stranger and what to do when one of them tries to engage the child in conversation or entice them to accompany the stranger. "Bobby And Mandee's Too Smart For Bullies" (1885477767) by Deputy Sheriff Robert Kahn and Sharon Chandler focuses on the commonly incurred issue of bullies and what to do when targeted by one. Each book has lively and colorful illustrations reinforcing the simple and engaging text. A question and answer test is also a part of both titles making the books appropriate as a positive learning tool. Both books are strongly recommended for use by anyone charged with the safety and well-being of young children, including parents, daycare staff, social workers, and kindergarten teachers.

A Black Man Thinking, Volume 1 - Raising Children
Maurice Arthur
A Black Man Thinking, LLC
209 South Taylor Avenue, Oak Park, IL 60302
Jenkins Group (publicity)
1129 Woodmere Avenue, Suite B, Traverse City, MI 49686
0978834003, $19.95

In "A Black Man Thinking, Volume 1 - Raising Children", public speaker and parenting expert Maurice Arthur draws upon his more than 26 years of experience working with children as a mentor and tutor, and as the father of two children, to provide a vision of what it takes and how to go about raising happy, successful, accomplished children of good character. Addresses the issues of family structuring, parenting skills, and parental strategies, Arthur succeeds in showing how it is not a matter of socio-economic standing, but the transference of values and character from one generation to another that will determine successful parenting. Articulate, ‘reader friendly', informed and informative, "A Black Man Thinking, Volume 1 - Raising Children" is recommended reading for any parent, regardless of race, religion, ethnic background, or economic status, who seeks to have their children go out into the world equipt with the family values, ethics, character, and moral strength to succeed – especially when the time comes for them to raise families of their own.

The Women's Studies Shelf

The Ostrich Wakes
Jean Davison
Kirinyaga Publishers
9333 Notches Drive, Austin, TX 78748
Phenix & Phenix (publicity)
2100 Kramer Lane, Suite 300, Austin, TX 78758
0978515005, $14.95

Anthropologist, academician and lecturer Jean Davison is the founder of the ‘International Development and Education Association', a non-profit group dedicated to linking small communities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America through developing seed funding for self-help projects with sponsoring groups in the United States and Canada. "The Ostrich Wakes: Struggles For Change In Highland Kenya" is the story of the women of Kenya who some twenty-five years ago lived under cultural, political, religious, and economic circumstances that subjected them to the devastation of female circumcision, lethal communicable diseases, forced marriages, physical and sexual abuse on a daily basis, and a lack of educational opportunities, but today are becoming educated and active in urban small businesses, seeing substantial improvements in health, and governmental laws providing them protections that include being able to reject genital cutting, refusal of marriage proposals, prosecution for rape (a practice so wide spread in Kenya that Kenyan leaders declared it as their nation's most pervasive human rights issue). A compelling, informative, and highly recommended history of social struggle and progress in Kenya, "The Ostrich Wakes" is enhanced with the inclusion of numerous notes and a glossary.

The Education Shelf

Creating the New American School
Richard DuFour & Robert Eaker
National Educational Service
304 West Kirkwood Avenue, Suite 2, Bloomington, IN 47404-5132
1879639173, $21.95

Creating the New American School: A Principal's Guide to School Improvement is a straightforward guide to improving the educational environment for young people, written especially for principals and other school administrators. Chapters discuss how to develop a shared vision of excellence in teaching, the value of developing a focused curriculum, the importance of monitoring critical events, how to sustain improvements, and above all, the concept that a school is only as good as the people running it - that people improvement is the key driving school improvement. Creating the New American School is also packed with invaluable do's and don'ts throughout, such as "The adhocracy strategy can be overused or used badly. In some instances, over-eager administrators have attempted to demonstrate their endorsement of this small-group participatory process by convening task forces to consider the most trivial of issues." Point-by-point strategy summaries round out this enthusiastically recommended resource for public and private school administrators.

More Picture-Perfect Science Lessons
Karen Ansberry & Emily Morgan
NSTA Press
1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000
1933531126, $29.95

A publication of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), "More Picture-Perfect Science Lessons: Using Children's Books To Guide Inquiry, K-4" is the collaborative work of Karen Ansberry (a classroom teacher and science curriculum coordinator for grades 5 and 6, Mason City Schools, Ohio) and Emily Morgan (science consultant for the Hamilton County Educational Service Center, Cincinnati, Ohio). A compilation of fifteen lessons in science incorporate the use of picturebooks to enthuse young students from kindergarten through the fourth grade with an interest in science and reading, "More Picture-Perfect Science Lessons" also features reproducible student pages, assessments, and reading-comprehension strategies. Drawing upon both fiction and non-fiction books, each lesson is in full accordance with national science education and curriculum standards. A model of accurate scientific content and sound teaching strategies, "More Picture-Perfect Science Lessons" is a unique and confidently recommended addition to any private or public school K-12 science curriculum, and so ‘user friendly' that it would be readily applicable by parents engaged in home schooling children ages 5 through 9.

Recess Success!
Guy Bailey
Educators Press
1561 NE 2nd Street, Vancouver, Wa 98684
0966972767, $21.95 1-800-431-1579

A physical education teacher at the elementary and middle school levels for more than 24 years, Guy Bailey has compiled and presented 251 fun and ‘kid friendly' games and activities in "Recess Success!", a ‘how to' guide for teachers wanting to engage their students in movement oriented and recreational activities that will help them develop physically fitness and cognitive abilities while thoroughly enjoying themselves in their recess breaks, lunch time periods, physical education classes, and afterschool leisure hours. Each game is presented with clear descriptive instructions and everything necessary for a good time by the children, including the number of players required, suggested grade level, equipment needed, and illustrations. Of special note is the chapter devoted to classroom appropriate games for rainy days. "Recess Success!" is also very highly recommended to the attention of parents and youth counselors because these are games and activities that can be readily adapted to children in church, camp, and community youth center recreational settings.

The Science Shelf

The Field Guide to Geology
David Lambert & The Diagram Group
Infobase Publishing
132 west 31st Street, New York, NY 10001
0816065098, $39.95

Written by award-winning science author David Lambert and The Diagram Group, The Field Guide to Geology is an overview of the geologic history of the Earth. Accessible to middle and high school students as well as lay readers alike, The Field Guide to Geology is now updated with two new chapters: one on new technologies used to measure behavior of the Earth's complex systems in real time, and one on notable scientists whose research advanced the field of geology. The Field Guide to Geology includes more than 750 two-color maps, charts, and illustrations, and covers everything from plate tectonics to the distinctions between types of rock and stone to how rivers and seas shape the land to means used to date rocks and much more. An excellent science or study text for young adults, especially recommended for high school library collections.

Scientific Creativity
Anna Mancini, Ph.D.
Buenos Books America, LLC
1133 Broadway, Suite 706, NY, NY 10010
1932848258, $19.00

Written by Anna Mancini, founder of Innovative You (a Paris-based organization dedicated to studying the innovative mind), Scientific Creativity: Useful Information for Students and Research Teams is a helpful guide to tapping into the power of the innovative dream process to boost one's creative and "out-of-the-box" thinking when engaged in scientific study, research, and hypothesis. Based on the author's 20 years of study on the connections between dreams and waking potential, Scientific Creativity is both an exploration of what has been discovered and a "how-to" manual of techniques for boosting scientific creativity and innovative dreams. "Work during the day in the field in which you want to have innovative dreams. If you are a taxi driver without any scientific background and you have an innovative dream about chemistry, you will never know you had an innovative dream in chemistry because your conscious mind cannot help." An excellent supplementary self-help resource for accessing the hidden "eureka" revelations and powers stashed deep within one's own mind.

Discovery of Motion
John Granville
Citrus Ptress
PO Box 10062, Titusville, FL 32783
1934242985, $39.95

Discovery of Motion: An Introduction to Natural Philosophy, Part I is an overview of the progress of science and human understanding that debunks the notion that progress happened at a snail's pace. Rather, Discovery of Motion asserts, scientific understanding grew in great leaps - from Aristotle's theories to the radical transformations of Newton's laws, and a similarly overwhelming transition to Einstein's models. Written for readers of all ages and backgrounds, Discovery of Motion offers a fascinating glimpse of "the big picture" of human understanding, with especial attention paid to principles of empiricism versus idealism. Recommended especially for high school and public libraries for its reader-friendly style and presentation. A companion volume, "Discovery of Matter" is forthcoming.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Healthy Living Made Easy
K. Steven Whiting
Knowledge Exchange Press
c/o Morgan James Publishing
1225 Franklin Avenue, Suite 32, Garden City, NY 11530-1693
1600371299, $19.95 1-888-454-8464

In "Healthy Living Made Easy", orthomolecular nutritionist Steven Whiting deftly draws upon his considerable expertise in the field of human nutrition to provide non-specialist general readers with an informed and informative introduction and overview of what they need to know in order to have a comprehensive and applicable basis for establishing a healthy diet for a sound body, engaging in effective exercise for weight management, and create a personalized supplement program that will best maximize their personal health and well-being regardless of their age or circumstance. "Healthy Living Made Easy" truly lives up to the promise of its title as Whiting explains how we can dine out in the restaurants of our choice and still maintain healthy eating standards, how to exercise for personal fitness in just 90 minutes a week, get everything we need by way of vitamins and minerals through selected supplements based on a single formula, and most especially, how to customize a diet and supplement program to an individualized need. "Healthy Living Made Easy" should be a part of every community library's Health & Medicine reference collection, and is confidently recommended reading for anyone seeking to master their own health challenges, preventing illness, and even reversing a wide range of ailments that currently afflict them.

The Comfort of Home for Stroke
Maria M. Meyer and Paula Derr, RN, with Jon Caswell
CareTrust Publications LLC
PO Box 10283, Portland, Oregon 97296-0283
0966476786 $24.95

The Comfort of Home for Stroke: A Guide for Caregivers is a practical guide especially for anyone charged with the responsibility of taking care of a stroke survivor. Chapters instruct the reader in the causes of stroke and how to prevent one from recurring, how to make the home safe and comfortable for a stroke survivor, the key factors for a successful stroke recovery, how to communicate effectively with health care professionals, coping with personality changes in a stroke survivor, handle everyday activities such as wheelchair transfers, bathing, and toiletries, and much more. Written in plain terms, and filled with valuable checklists, bullet points, black-and-white diagrams, lists of resources, glossary, and index, The Comfort of Home for Stroke is an absolute "must-have" for anyone working with or taking care of a stroke survivor. Highly recommended.

The American History Shelf

The Donner Party
Mark McLaughlin
Mic Mac Publishing
PO Box 483, Carnelian Bay, CA 96140
096572025X, $18.95

Weather historian and award-winning author Mark McLaughlin presents The Donner Party: Weathering the Storm, a chronicle of how relentless snow storms during the winter of 1847 trapped 81 California-bound pioneers in the High Sierra. Their soul-stirring battle against the elements has become a parable of the dangers of taking shortcuts or hesitating on the trail, as well as chronicle of heroism among the rescuers and the emigrants caught in a desperate situation. Black-and-white photographs pepper virtually every other page of this riveting account, written for readers of all backgrounds.

The Automotive Shelf

Auto Upkeep
Michael E. Gray & Linda E. Gray
Rolling Hills Publishing
PO Box 724, New Windsor, MD 21776
0974079219, $34.95 1-800-918-READ

"Auto Upkeep: Basic Car Care, Maintenance, And Repair" by car care experts Michael and Linda Gray is a complete ‘how to' guide on every aspect of maintaining and repairing an automobile. Specifically designed for the novice car owner and profusely illustrated with 358 images and drawings (plus 49 tables and 12 user-friendly step-by-step procedures), "Auto Upkeep" is enhanced with the inclusion of numerous tech tips, money saving price guides, thematically appropriate websites, servicing guidelines, ‘trouble guides', practical information presented in the form of a Q & A format, an appendices, a glossary, and an index. Of special note is the use of helpful icons. Covering everything from getting insurance to performing basic repairs, "Auto Upkeep" is the perfect reference for anyone from 16 to 66 wanting to get the most out of one of their most important lifetime investments – their car!

The Art Shelf

An Introduction to Painting Landscapes
Ted Gould
Chartwell Books, Inc.
c/o Book Sales, Inc.
114 Northfield Avenue, Edison, NJ 08837
0785803939 $12.90

Practicing artist and tutor Ted Gould presents An Introduction to Painting Landscapes is an instructional and practical guide for artists of all experience levels, though familiarity with the most basic fundamentals of art is presumed. Chapters cover the materials and equipment needed, basic painting techniques for different media, sketching, handling the complexities of color and light, issues of composition, and more. Full color illustrations on every page walk the reader through the creation process, and give examples of techniques discussed. An excellent, hands-on guide.

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

Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design