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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 8, Number 5 May 2009 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Fiction Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Poetry Shelf Business Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Art Shelf Travel Shelf Gardening Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Biography Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Philosophy Shelf Human Sexuality Shelf Psychology Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Music Shelf Photography Shelf American History Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Musings at the End of Modernity
Conor O'Brian Barnes
Counterbalance Books
PO Box 876, Duvall, WA 98019
9780979959288, $10.95,

One doesn't need a lot of words to get their message across. "Musings at the End of Modernity: An Aphoristic Essay" is a collection of aphorisms, or short, to the point paragraphs speaking author Conor O'Brian Barnes' opinion on many things about life. His direct language doesn't consume much space nor does take much time to read, but he attempts to leave his readers better off from having read it. "Musings of the End of Modernity" is a fine and brief piece, well worth the time.

Starting Over in the U.S.
Elzbieta Baumgartner
New American Guides
255 Park Lane, Douglaston, NY 11363
9780977045303, $25.95,

The American Dream is not something so easily obtained. "Starting Over in the U.S. After Getting Your Green Card" is a guide for immigrants who have legally obtained their green card and now want to carve their niche in the country to claim their own slice of the American dream. With advice on the formalities of being a new citizen, keeping one's privilege to work in this country, and earning a good job in a competitive market. "Starting Over in the U.S." is a solid acquisition for those making the transition themselves or who have friends facing it.

Stripping The Gurus
Geoffrey D. Falk
Million Monkeys Press
PO Box 68586, 360A Bloor Street W., Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3C9
9780973620313, $44.95,

Personality and the face one shows to the world is truly an intriguing thing. "Stripping the Gurus: Sex, Violence, Abuse, and Enlightenment" is an exploration of cults, the nice face they put forward, and the despicable acts that occur once public eyes are off of them. Pedophilia, polygamy, and other destructive practices are perpetrated by some cult leaders, who often present themselves as wise, enlightened people who promote peace and happiness, while stripping it from others. A glimpse of the horrible things that can and do happen in cults, "Stripping the Gurus" warns readers to know a cult when they see one. "Stripping the Gurus" is a horrifying yet truthful look into the search for the enlightenment gone wrong.

Strength & Compassion
Eric Greitens
Leading Authorities
1220 L Street, NW, Suite 850, Washington, DC 20005-4070
Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation (publicity)
PO Box 11001, Chicago, IL 60611
9780971007802, $65.00,

People are suffering all over the world, but there are still those who will endure in spite of it all. "Strength & Compassion" is a collection of photos and essays focusing on the various atrocities that go on in the world to this day. Although the subject matter is clearly depressing, there is a certain optimism in author Greitens' work, portraying those in suffering who look forward and retain hope for a better tomorrow. These people are without a shadow of a doubt human, and have an indomitable spirit that will inspire readers to look forward to tomorrow themselves. A moving collection of photography and thought, "Strength & Compassion" is a solid coffee table book to consider.

The Fiction Shelf

Anders Larsen
Tom Poirier
Saint Angar Press
PO Box 22379, Louisville, KY 40252-0379
9780981787008, $23.95

"Anders Larsen" is the story of a young man who immigrates from his native Norway to the American Midwest of Wheatland, Minnesota in the early 1950s. Anders is a bit better off than most new arrivals because he can speak, read and write fluently in English. To better fit into the American culture he encounters, Anders decides to go by the nickname Andy as a way to more effectively integrate himself into the community as he begins work as a busboy in an established local restaurant. But there are problems to overcome -- one of them being Henry Pym, a banker with a strong dislike of emigrants. Andy also becomes hospitalized with pneumonia, finds a new job with a local foundry where he meets a variety of different people from different ethnic and social backgrounds, becomes a scrap metal yard manager, makes friends, falls for a girl, learns a wide variety of skills from beekeeping to seining fish, to trapping rabbits. Ultimately Andy must decide whether to make his permanent home in Wheatfield -- or move elsewhere in pursuit of the American Dream. The debut novel of author Tom Poirier, "Anders Larsen" is a deftly written saga that demonstrates a true talent for complex storytelling, making this 626-page volume a welcome and highly recommended addition to community library contemporary fiction collections.

Bumbling Through Borneo
Tom Schmidt
Kakibubu Media Limited
7A Willy Commercial Building, 28-36 Wing Kut Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
9789881806659, $12.95

Part of "The Bumbling Traveller Adventure Series", Bumbling Through Borneo is a novel based on a true story, about an American architect on a once-in-a-lifetime journey through the depths of Borneo, along with a dedicated troupe of backpackers. Set in the 1990s, Bumbling Through Borneo has a strong environmental message amidst its exciting narrative of exploring a virgin rainforest and encountering diverse cultures. Cartoon-sketch style illustrations on every page add life to this enthralling adventure, told in day-by-day journal format.

A Body at Rest
Susan Petrone
Drinian Press
PO Box 63, Huron, OH 44839-0063
9780982060919, $14.50

The road brings it all out. "A Body at Rest" follows Martha and Nina as the two college-educated young women who hit the road after they grow dissatisfied with their lives. Their trip is not a usual one, as they find the literature they both love so much impacting their journey. A tale of a quarter life crisis and what emerges from it, Martha and Nina's adventure is enthralling, entertaining, and will give readers much to relate to, making "A Body at Rest" a highly recommended read.

Solotoye Russia
Tony Haas
Arcus Books
1 St. Francis Place, 1509 San Francisco, CA 94107
9780980109108, $17.95,

"Solotoye Russia: Meadowlark Songs and Forgotten Wrongs" is a novel inspired by a series of translated letters by a Russian family in the tiny village of Solotoye. With the letters as research, author Tony Haas tells the story of life during the early twentieth century in Russia. Though Solotoye is geographically removed from the epicenter of revolution, hardships and challenges abound. From the story of a woman striving to make a better life for her family in a world largely controlled by men, to stories of poverty, separation, the threat of famine, and the courage to face difficult times head-on, "Solotoye Russia" is a fictional yet vivid picture of a time long past.

A Naked Singularity
Sergio De La Pava
Amonte Press
110 Wall Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10005
c/o Xlibris Press
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781436341998, $23.99,

What's behind the nature of selfishness? "A Naked Singularity" is a novel about boxer Wilfred Benitez. Using Benitez as the stage, author Sergio De La Pava writes a story that gives readers something to think about. Speaking on the nature of evil, human nature, psychology, Hispanic life, and much more, Pava picks at the readers mind as the story rolls on and hopes to leave them wiser having read it. "A Naked Singularity" is a fine and highly recommended read.

The Jew's Wife
Thomas J. Hubschman
Savvy Press
PO Box 63, Salem, NY 12865
9780966987782, $21.95,

Many different people, many different stories. "The Jew's Wife And Other Stories" is the debut collection of short fiction from Thomas J. Hubschman, an experienced author; this is his first short fiction collection. Tackling the views of the common man, his stories express their lives and give readers a sample of their being, and their daily crises. "The Jew's Wife" is a fine collection from a newly debuted master of storytelling, and is a solid and recommended pick for short fiction fans everywhere.

Cabal of the Westford Knight
David S. Brody
Martin and Lawrence Press
PO Box 682, Groton, MA 01450
9780977389872, $14.95,

The idea of a divine bloodline in our world is fuel for many a story. "Cabal of the Westford Knight: Templars at the Newport Tower" follows Cameron Thorne as he dives into the secrets behind the possible bloodline of Jesus in the modern world. But some things stay secret through the efforts of a few protectors, and Cameron soon finds fierce adversaries. Solving this mystery is what just may kill him! "Cabal of the Westford Knight" is a fine and highly recommended read, sure to please.

Days Like Floating Water
Susan Edwards McKee
Oak Leaf Impressions Place
1241 Johnson Avenue, #207, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
9780979930607, $19.95,

The other side of the planet may as well be another world. "Days Like Floating Water: A Story of Modern China" follows elderly couple Susan and Robert as they embark on the adventure of teaching English in China. What they find is a world so unbelievably strange compared to what they are used to. From the adventures of simply finding a western meal, to dealing with an oppressive government that seems to undermine them at every turn, "Days Like Floating Water" tells the story of a China and its people not often seen.

Teisha Bourne
Belletristic Press
31-64 21st Street, Suite 190, Long Island City, NY 11106
9780979659485, $14.95,

The crazy ones are always the hot ones. "Motif" is a novel following Tiffany Randal and Camisha Simmons as they find two men who seem to be able fulfill their wildest desires. But the desires of Phillip and Rayford may be too much for Tiffany and Camisha to handle as a relationship founded on lust may not be able to sustain an act of murder. But that homicide just might win them millions... "Motif" is a fun novel of desire, murder, and how much those two can mix.

Nine Lives
Lee Quillan
Castlejag Publishing Company
PO Box 3268, Bethlehem, PA 18017-0268
9780615266268, $14.95,

Life can spiral one into a strange and unfamiliar setting. "Nine Lives" follows Fran, a woman who is being flung through her life she knows not where, nor does she understand how she got there. From hell to finding peace in the world, Fran's life rarely proves the same day to day. A story of coming to grips with ever-evolving changes, "Nine Lives" is an entertaining story of life in a constant state of flux.

Providence Times Three
Robert Underhill
Delicti Press
6593 N. Omigisi Beach Rd., Northport, MI 49670
9780979852626, $14.95,

Problems have a habit of arriving in clusters. "Providence Times Three" is the story of David Brahms's laundry list of problems ranging from failing at romance, to being a suspect of a murder; furthermore, someone is trying to sabotage his work. Could these problems all be linked? What do peace and prosperity have against David? "Providence Times Three" is a novel of overcoming the problems laid out before oneself, and is a recommended read.

Just Enuf to Get By
John Fridrich
Old Dirt Publications
1776 D Olympian Lane, Estes Park, CO 80517
9780981540603, $12.00,

Overacheiving isn't the prerogative of many. "Just Enuf to Get By" is the story of a high school in Alaska; two people have traveled long distances to become teachers there. Naturally, they take other teachers under their metaphorical wings. Author John Fridrich paints a realistic picture of high school faculty as they agonize over the joys and torments of teaching children, ranging from those who have their hearts set on education to those who couldn't care less. "Just Enuf to Get By" is a finely entertaining read, highly recommended.

Silly Little Rich Girl
Jimmy Gleacher
Casperian Books
PO Box 161026, Sacramento, CA 95816-1026
Kelley & Hall (publicity)
5 Briar Lane, Marblehead, MA 01945
9781934081174, $12.00,

The rich are America's royalty, but even royalty must sometimes deal with the underclass. "Silly Little Rich Girl" is a novel following spoiled brat Liza Davis as she walks into the real world. When her career on Wallstreet doesn't go as planned, she soon finds herself traveling all over the United States. Author Jimmy Gleacher doesn't pull punches as Liza's tale rips on American culture both high and low. "Silly Little Rich Girl" is a fine novel that will entertain many a reader.

Legends in Time
Vincent Hobbes, Nathan Palmer, & Jordan Benoit
Hobbes End Publishing
PO Box 193, Aubrey, TX 76227
9780976351016, $14.99

Sometimes the leaders must get things done themselves. "Legends in Time: The Contrived Senator" is a fantasy novel from the team of Hobbes, Palmer, and Benoit. Set in a time of high civilization and adventure, "Legends in Time: The Contrived Senator" follows one imperial senator who must embark on a journey to save his country. "Legends in Time: The Contrived Senator" is a fine read for fantasy fans, as is its sequel, "Legends in Time: Exiles" (9780976351023, $14.99).

Roastbeef's Promise
David Jerome
Smack Books
PO Box 10232, Fullerton, CA 92835
Booth Media Group (publicity)
1386 Nightshade Road, Carlsbad, CA 92011
9780981545912, $23.95,

A dying wish is something that's hard to refuse. "Roastbeef's Promise" follows Jim Hume, known to his friends as 'Roastbeef' as he travels the continental United States to fulfill his father's final wish that his ashes be spread throughout the country in each state of the union. A country-wide road trip seems easy, but Roastbeef finds that adventure seems to follow him at every turn. "Roastbeef's Promise" is an exciting romp through the United States, highly recommended.

Where the Lake Becomes the River
Kate Betterton
Novello Festival Press
310 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
9780981519210, $24.95,

Living on the edge is hard to do, but sometimes you have to leap off it for a chance to do better. "Where the Lake Becomes the River" follows the nearly destitute Paris. Unable to go to college, her life is a wreck with a dependent mother, and little chance for hope after a failed romance. When the civil rights movement comes to her town, the opportunity Paris needs to break out of the monotony of life presents itself. "Where the Lake Becomes the River" is an exciting novel of change in one's life, and is sure to please.

Master of the Squirting Flower
Bruce Adam
Ara Pacis Publishers
PO Box 1202, Des Plaines, IL 60017-1202
9780966131857, $19.95,

Man isn't all that great. "Master of the Squirting Flower" is a collection of short stories from Bruce Adam. With four previous volumes available, Adam is well into his stride and provides another fine assortment of hits in this volume. Focusing on the nature of the universe and how man's egotism is not something that is entirely founded, "Master of the Squirting Flower" is poignant, light, and utterly entertaining from first page to last.

The Templars, Two Kings And A Pope
Grigor Fedan
Hafiz Publishers
PO Box 50, Ninole, HI 96773
9780615264318, $16.95,

The ancient order of the Templars is a continuing subject of interest both in academia and the popular imagination. In "The Templars, Two Kings And A Pope", author Grigor Fedan has produced a riveting novel set in a critically important span of 25 years in Templar history that was to ultimately result in the horrific destruction of the order by the combined forces of a French King and an Italian Pope. Fedan draws upon his years of studying Templar history to embed his fictional narrative with historically accurate information and references that include such diverse elements as Gnosticism, medieval military history, royal biographies, and more. A tale of clandestine warfare and personal spirituality, "The Templars, Two Kings And A Pope" is a highly recommended read and would prove a welcome addition to community library historical fiction collections.

You Are Here
Donald Breckenridge
PO Box 303, Buffalo, NY 14201
9780978881184, $16.00,

With so many actors on the stage, something is bound to happen. "You Are Here" is a wide-view novel of a New York City Theatre troop as they prepare for a one-act play. Written in a fine style unique to author Donald Breckenridge but very pleasing to read, "You Are Here" paints a wide picture of theatre and is highly entertaining. "You Are Here" is very much recommended for anyone searching for literary fiction.

Charlie's Gift
Frank Comstock
Quaker Hill Press
PO Box 1385, White Plains, MD 20695
9781601454065, $14.00,

It seems the search for contentment in life is circular for some. "Charlie's Gift" follows one Charlie Whitlock as he embarks on this life's journey. After he leaves home for opportunity's sake, his life takes him through a tumultuous worker's career which only makes him miss home more and more. Hoping to remind readers to embrace their hometowns and the people in them, "Charlie's Gift" is a unique method of telling people to remember what they have and the importance of community.

Painting the Invisible Man
Rita Schiano
Reed Edwards Company
PO Box 0562, Wilbraham, MA 01095-0562
Kelley & Hall (publicity)
5 Briar Lane, Marblehead, MA 01945
9780979534706, $14.95

You can learn much about yourself from where you came from. "Painting the Invisible Man" is a novel tracing the journey of one Anna Matteo to find out the truth about her father, a man who earned the nickname of 'the Invisible Man'. Her father has mob ties and is by no means an easy man to figure out; Anna follows his trail to that faithful day which was his violent death. "Painting the Invisible Man" is an intriguing and entertaining read, highly recommended.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Quincunx That Ate the Universe
Eulalio Paul Cane
Two Trees
705 Palisade Drive, Moab, UT 84532
9780982025208, $19.95,

What does 2012 really mean? "The Quincunx That Ate the Universe: A Real Theory of Everything" is a metaphysical studies book about the concept of quincunxes, an arrangement of five things that everything in the universe is crafted from, such as matter, forces, qi, luminosity, and spirit. Eulalio Paul Cane thinks long and hard about his theories and presents them frankly here to the reader for them to read and draw their own conclusions about the true nature of the universe. "The Quincunx That Ate the Universe" is a fine read for the student of metaphysics.

The Poetry Shelf

Notes for a Novel
Frieda Fligelman
Drumlummon Institute
402 Dearborn Avenue #3, Helena, MT 59601
097696841X, $15.95,

Sometimes self-consciousness is so strong that some of the best work never makes it to print. "Notes for a Novel: The Selected Poems of Frieda Fligelman" tells the story of widely unpublished poet Frieda Fligelman and her legacy of over one thousand poems she deemed unfit to publish. But the work speaks for itself, as Fligelman's modesty is the only thing that kept these things from print, not their quality. The mind and soul of a progressive woman in the 1920s, "Notes for a Novel" is enthusiastically recommended. "Ghetto Dweller": I have said many things of you/But I am not bitter at you.//My bitterness is for the traditions and customs/That pour their blind habits into you/As into a helpless woman.

Falling Forward
Rebecca Schumejda
PO Box 911, Buffalo, NY 14207
9781934513125, $10.00,

Even in failure, one can still succeed. "Falling Forward" is a collection of poetry from Rebecca Schumejda, whose verse comes at readers in a positive way. Be it a lesson from mistakes, or simply small practice in a skill, her verse is reassuring and charming. "Falling Forward" is as inspirational as it is entertaining. "Five Ripe Tomatoes": Last night/five ripe tomatoes/disappeared/from our backyard.//The night before/two green peppers;/before that/one eggplant.//During dinner/we fork lettuce and onions suspiciously/as we discuss karma/as a consequence.//While washing dishes/I look out the kitchen window to see you/tying string/around the back gate - /a warning to let the intruders know/we are onto them.

Ohayo Haiku
Nancy Brady
Drinian Press
PO Box 63, Huron, OH 44839-0063
0978516532, $6.50,

English and Japanese are two very different language, and it is foolish to expect the 5-7-5 format of Haiku to translate perfectly. "Ohayo Haiku" is a collection of poems and Haikus from Nancy Brady. Abandoning the strict format of 5-7-5, she goes with more of the spirit of the Haiku of short, long, and short verses. With many charming verses throughout this quick little collection, "Ohayo Haiku" is a fine read through and through. A sample: quiet strumming/artist and poets listen/coffeehouse blues.

The Coat is Thin
Leonard Neufeldt
Cascadia Publishing House
126 Klingerman Road, Telford, PA 18969
9781931038508, $12.95,

Leonard Neufeldt has hundreds of poems published and scattered throughout magazines in North America; if one were to say he lacked experience, one would be wrong. "The Coat is Thin" is the experienced and prolific poet's newest collection, which inspires the minds of his readers with rich poems that poke in the right places to make one think. "The Coat is Thin" is a strong choice for any poetry collection, highly recommended.

The Comic Flaw
Alan Berecka
NeoNuma Arts
PO Box 460248, Houston, TX 77056
9780974162362, $13.95,

Who knew the musings of a New Yorker turned Texan could be so entertaining? "The Comic Flaw" is a volume of poetry from Alan Berecka, a man who has been all over the United States. Serious yet utterly entertaining and humorous, "The Comic Flaw" is a fine work of verse. "The Naked Truth": I knew where those women hid. I found/them that time my mother sent me/to stow her mate's just-washed underwear/into his top dresser drawer, and there beneath/his last pair of clean briefs, I caught a glimpse/of a glossy cover. A nearly naked temptress/beckoned to me, Don't be shy. Turn the page.//I had no idea what I'd find there, but I would learn/with every chance I got to return. I memorized/their curves, rolls, shadows, and even their names./I feared the possibility of parental footfalls, so I stood/there dumbly, numb like Adam did that day/he realized that he was naked but so was Eve - /that moment when shame first mated desire.

When I Think About Rain
Paul M. Hedeen
Final Thursday Press
815 State St., Cedar Falls, IA 50613
9780974276458, $9.95

Author, novelist, and poet Paul Hedeen comes to readers with a new collection of poetry with "When I Think About the Rain". Drawing from a wide range of inspiration, Hedeen speaks with his verse on many subjects and gives readers much to appreciate and think about with his work. "When I Think About the Rain" is a fine and highly recommended collection from a master of the craft. "The Permission": It sometimes happens that the girl/you labor to raise ceases, just slips out/of girlishness into her own generous is//She returns not as a result or reward,/not thankfully as good,/but golden and candid and only hers//As when my young daughter, passing me, in the basement's high underground,/pats my shoulder without word or want//Just this gesture, unscripted by the cuddle/play of daughters with dads as she rushes/to the always urgent someone or thing else - //Leaving me in that brief bright/somehow, glad that this life/can seem not as it is.

The Business Shelf

Business Success Through Innovation
David E. Rogers
Kierland Corporate Center, 7047 East Greenway Parkway, Suite 250, Scottsdale, AZ 85254
9780981905204, $28.95,

You can think of something first, but it means nothing if it's not on paper. "Business Success Through Innovation: An Insider's Guide to the World of United States Patents" is a guide to the United States patent system and how using it is absolutely vital to businesses who want to thrive today through ownership, not to mention profit off of their own ideas. In today's rapidly changing environment, innovation is king, and "Business Success Through Innovation" is the key to making that innovation one's own.

Your Guiding Genius
Jay LaBonte
Pinecone Publishing
PO Box 810542, Boca Raton, FL 33481-0542
9780615264257, $24.95,

A team is the sum of its parts, and a leader tries to get the best members for the best sums. "Your Guiding Genius: Building a World Class Team" is a guide for business leaders in gathering the best possible team for one's business and using it to maximize one's success. With chapters on improving one's own leadership skills, what to look for in associates, pushing them to be better workers, and rewarding their efforts, "Your Guiding Genius" is a manual that will do many a business leader a service to read. "Your Guiding Genius" is a fine inspirational volume, highly recommended.

Business Law Battle Plan for Entrepreneurs
Marjorie Jobe
Jobe Publishing Company
210 N. Campbell Street, El Paso, TX 79901
9780615233642, $39.95

It's been jested than the quickest way to become rich is to sue everyone. There are many who hold this as undeniable fact. "Business Law Battle Plan for Entrepreneurs: Protect Your Company From Lawyers, Lawsuits, and Legal Disasters" is a guide for the small business owner to navigating the legal minefields of the business world. The law is a scary thing, and Marjorie Jobe seeks to arm business owners with the fundamentals such as proper employment and termination methods, the internet, when to sue for your own rights, your rights when approached by the authorities, and much more. "Business Law Battle Plan for Entrepreneurs" is a must have guide for those who want to avoid their business's death at the hands of the law.

The Billion Dollar Solution
Robert C. Newbold
12910 Harbor Drive, Lake Ridge, VA 22192
9781934979051, $29.95,

Improving a company's productivity is easier than one would believe. "The Billion Dollar Solution: Secrets of ProChain Project Management" is a business guide looking to inspire leaders to adopt the method of ProChain management, and use it to transform one's business into a more economical company that knows where its money goes and what it does. With advice on implementing the system, and how it may be the best way to deal with a business that plays on a global scale, "The Billion Dollar Solution" is a fine and highly recommended piece for business leaders everywhere.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Robert Perry
Semeion Press
125 Lake Drive, Sedona, AZ 86336
9780982250006, $14.95,

There are signs everywhere to guide people through their lives. "Signs: A New Approach to Coincidence, Synchronicity, Guidance, Life Purpose, and God's Plan" is a guide to finding God's little pointers in life everywhere one may turn, as God's way has never been known to be direct and obvious. Understanding these signs are the keys to following God's plan and finding happiness for oneself. "Signs" is well worth the read for those who are lost and looking for that next sign.

10 Things I Hate About Christianity
Jason T. Berggren
X-Media LLC
c/o B&B Media Group
109 South Main Street, Corsicana, TX 75110
9780981944302, $14.99,

You can hate and believe at the same time. At first sight, "10 Things I Hate About Christianity: Working Through the Frustrations of Faith" may seem like a new book on atheism, but it is actually the opposite. Author Jason Berggren is a man of faith, but just like one can hate something about what they love, Berggren has issues with his faith, and more exactly, how his faith is handled. A well crafted criticism of modern Christianity from one of its followers, "10 Things I Hate About Christianity" is a must read for anyone who has faith but realizes it isn't perfect.

She Found It In the Clouds
Sharon M. Jones
Witty Press
2875-F Northtowne Ln #232, Reno, NV 89512
Abby Kraus PR (publicity)
1036 N Dearborn, #802, Chicago, IL 60610
9781427619051, $11.99,

When Earth is so terrible and cruel to you, heaven may be the only choice for salvation. "She Found It in the Clouds" is a story about a young girl whose world fell apart around her; the only light in her life was God. A Christian story that is sure to inspire faith and piety in its readers, "She Found It in the Clouds" will enlighten the spirits of many a reader. "She Found It in the Clouds" is recommended to any who lost their way from God and want to find it again.

How Can I Run a Tight Ship When I'm Surrounded by Loose Cannons?
Kathi Macias
New Hope Publishers
PO Box 12065, Birmingham, AL 35202-2065
Kathy Carlton Willis Communications (publicity)
1324 S. 10th Street, Raymondville, TX 78580
9781596692046, $13.99,

Keeping life under control is so much harder than it would seem. "How Can I Run a Tight Ship When I'm Surrounded by Loose Cannons?: Proverbs 31 Discoveries for Yielding to the Master of the Seas" is a Christian woman's guide to finding control in one's life. Drawing from the thirty first chapter of proverbs, author Kathi Macias comes to women with much to inspire them to tie down their life and do the best they can as a homemaker and mother in a chaotic world. "How Can I Run a Tight Ship When I'm Surrounded by Loose Cannons?" is a top pick for stay-at-home women.

The Art Shelf

Several Gravities
Keith Waldrop
2432 Medlow Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90041
9780979956218, $39.50,

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but there are some things that can't be conveyed no matter how many words you have. "Several Gravities" is a collection of the work of Keith Waldrop, spanning across several mediums. Including his visual artwork with collages in particular, his poetry, and his prose stylings, his work is presented here with commentaries from the editors. "Several Gravities" is worth the consideration for fans of art and the artists. "Amen Silence": like stars/intimate//days and/dull becauses//atmospheres/ultimate.

The Travel Shelf

Mapping Your Volunteer Vacation
Jane Stanfield
Where Is She Heading
PO Box 27482, Lakewood, CO 80227
9780982128206, $20.00,

Just because you're helping someone else doesn't mean you can't treat yourself as well. "Mapping Your Volunteer Vacation" is a workbook for those who wish to travel abroad to help others, while experiencing the world for the first time like any other vacation. Covering much of the process and how one can even get tax deductions for volunteering abroad, "Mapping Your Volunteer Vacation" outlines everything one needs to know to get involved in these adventures. "Mapping Your Volunteer Vacation" is a must for the benevolent adventurer.

The Gardening Shelf

Rain Gardening in the South
Helen Kraus & Anne Spafford
Eno Publisher
PO Box 158, Hillsborough, NC 27278
9780982077108, $19.95,

Water is the key to all life on this planet, and without it, everything would shrivel and die. "Rain Gardening in the South: Ecologically Designed Gardens for Drought, Deluge, and Everything in Between" is a guide to optimizing one's garden for the local region's rainfall, and growing even in conditions that get very little rain. Aimed at creating a beautiful vew in one's front or back yards, "Rain Gardening in the South" is every southern gardener's best friend.

The Money/Finance Shelf

Living on a Shoestring
Anna Florin
Featherwood Publishing Company
10331 Springcrest Lane, South Jordan, UT 84095
No ISBN, $6.95

It'd be hypocritical for a money saving manual to cost too much. "Living on a Shoestring" is a budget-priced and quick to read manual on the little things one can do to save money when in dire financial straits, be it from hard economic times or simply being a fresh out of high school or college, or even being a newlywed couple. "Living on a Shoestring" is a good choice for those in a position where money doesn't grow on trees.

The Biography Shelf

Jacob Turner
Authentic Publishing
PO Box 8486, Philadelphia, PA 19101
9780615245423, $19.95,

A week can quickly turn into the greater part of a year. "Snitch" is the reflections of a guidance counselor who accepted a position at an inner city middle school, thinking he would only have to deal with the position for a single week. He ended up doing 210 days. Author Jacob Turner (a pen name) reflects on a series of events during his time which tell the tale of what many of today's inner city schools face. "Snitch" is eye-opening and will make readers reconsider the value of today's schools.

Walking Isn't Everything
Jean Denecke
Crystal Dreams Publishing
c/o Multi-Media
PO Box 58043, Rosslynn, RPO, Oshawa, Ontario, Canada L1J 8L6
9781591461920, $16.95,

Polio is essentially eradicated in the modern world, but what was it like to live with this plague of the first half of the twentieth century? "Walking Isn't Everything: An Account of the Life of Jean Denecke" is the story of one of the sufferers who faced this disease in the 1950s. In a time where there was much less government support, one woman overcame her polio-inflicted disability and led a very successful life where even walking-abled women struggled to succeed. An inspirational tale that gives insights to how much times have changed, "Walking Isn't Everything" is a fine read for biography, women's studies, and health readers.

Beach Chair Diaries
Janet E. Spurr
Falmouth Heights Books
5 Bessom St., #208, Marblehead, MA 01945
Kelley & Hall (publicity)
5 Briar Lane, Marblehead, MA 01945
9780979985041, $14.95

Just being near the ocean can bring its own set of adventure to the table. "Beach Chair Diaries: Summer Tales from Maine to Maui" is a collection of seaside anecdotes reflecting on life at the beachfront. Charming and uniquely composed, these stories are written for humor and for that purpose they deliver on it quite well as well as giving a nice picture of beach side life. "Beach Chair Diaries" is a top pick for those seeking stories revealing the reality of beach life.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

The Stress Mess
Kelsie Kenefick
Naturally Stress Free
1750 30th Street, Ste. 631, Boulder, CO 80301
9780977749317, $19.95,

Stress can do so much to a person's mind. "The Stress Mess: How to Thrive in Turbulent Times" is a guide for overcoming stress and living one's life to the fullest in spite of the chaos that erupts around them. Good stress management and staying cool under fire is how successful people garner their success. With advice and tips on dealing with the physical symptoms some people face, as well as the mental challenges, "The Stress Mess" is a fine manual for those who want to control their stress, not let it control them.

Creating Peace with Your Hands
Karina Braun
Get In Touch Publishing
5546 Camino Al Norte, #2-173, N. Las Vegas, NV 89031
9780981619903, $29.95,

A massage can do far more than simply relieve tension. "Creating Peace With Your Hands: Injury Prevention and Education for a Healthy Career in Bodywork" is a guide for massage therapists and would be therapists who want to use their chosen field in order to maximize the effects that the art of massage can bring to its patient. Good massages can help prevent injury, help muscles heal, and allow for easier breathing, among other benefits. "Creating Peace With Your Hands" is a strong pick for those who believe in the power of massage.

Is There a Doctor in the House?
Richard M. Scheffler
Stanford General Books
1450 Page Mill Road, Palo Alto, CA 94304-1124
9780804700320, $27.95,

Malpractice suits, rising cost of education, many factors may cut down the amount of doctors in the world of tomorrow. "Is There a Doctor in the House? Market Signals and Tomorrow's Supply of Doctors" is a scholarly look at medicine and how its world will change tomorrow. Bringing an economist's eye to the discussion, Scheffler believes that the supply of doctors relates strongly to economics and that rising costs to practice medicine may lead to a tomorrow where America will no longer have the best doctors in the world, and that a good doctor will be a rare commodity. Intriguing and mildly frightening, "Is There a Doctor in the House?" is a strong pick for anyone considering a career in medicine or just worried about the state of it.

The Philosophy Shelf

Everyone Agrees
J.S.B. Morse
Amelior Publishing Company
PO Box 928483, San Diego, CA 92192
9781600200441, $9.98,

How many disagreements are truly disagreements instead of just one side being petty? "Everyone Agrees: Words, Ideas, and a Universal Morality" tries to delve into the philosophy and psychology of dissension. Believing in a universal morality and that most people disagree simply for the very sake of disagreeing, and for an 'us-against-them' mind set, author J.S.B. Morse believes that everyone ultimately agrees, but other factors simply step in to prevent agreement. "Everyone Agrees" is an intriguing argument into the standard of human nature, and is well worth the read.

The Human Sexuality Shelf

Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Masochism
David Books
PO Box 19073, St. Louis, MO 63118
9780982230701, $14.50,

Some people find the notion of whips, chains, and torture frightening. It's a fine time for others, however. "Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Masochism: Zack's Odyssey" is a novel following the story of Zack Simm who finds the missing aspect of his life to be in something that's too taboo for most people to discuss. Exploring the world of bondage and looking into the lives of the people who participate in this strange yet exciting for some activity, "Bondage and Discipline, Sadism and Masochism" is worth a read for the curious. Also of interest is Part 2 of the story, (9780982230718, $13.50) from Lusipher and David Books.

The Psychology Shelf

Spike Gillespie & Katherine Tanney
Dalton Publishing
PO Box 242, Austin, TX 78767
9780981744360, $14.95,

There is more to grief than just sadness and depression. "Stricken: The 5,000 Stages of Grief" is a more detailed approach to evaluating the state of grieving. A collection of essays speaking on the many stages of grief, they talk on the many different types of grief, ranging from the most obvious of grieving for a recently deceased love one, to losing a pet, to countless other types of grief. Intriguing and sure to get people pondering about grief as a whole, "Stricken" is well worth the read.

Treating the Untreatable
Ira Steinman
Karnac Books
c/o Davidson & Choy Publicity
4311 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 202, Los Angeles, CA 90010
9781855756090, $35.00,

All too often some cases of health are simply written off as hopeless. "Treating the Untreatable: Healing in the Realms of Madness" is a look into the world of mental health, focusing on schizoprhrenia and delusions. Drawing from Ira Steinman's own vast experience in the field, she seeks to dispel the myth that some people are incurably crazy and must simply be put in a padded room for the rest of their days. With much to inspire psychiatrists dealing with these cases, "Treating the Untreatable" is something to be embraced for those who don't want to give up on their patients.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

When Women Were Warriors
Catherine M. Wilson
Shield Maiden Press
PO Box 963, Boulder Creek, CA 95006-0963
9780981563619, $14.95,

There were cultures that did not force women to be housekeepers and precious flowers to be protected. "When Women Were Warriors: The Warrior's Path" is a historical fantasy set in the Bronze Age among the British isles, home to a culture that held women as potential warriors alongside men. Telling the story of Tamras, a woman who is becoming a warrior. The first part of a series following this woman warrior with a nod to history, "When Women Were Warriors" is a fine read for historical fiction readers with much to appeal to fantasy fans as well.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Not an Ill Wind
Nancy Gettelman
Nightengale Press
10936 N. Port Washington Road, Suite 206, Mequon, WI 53092
9781933449678, $15.95,

Life doesn't stop for one to make up their mind. "Not An Ill Wind" follows conflicted widow Lynn, who has two grown sons, and Peter Hampton, a younger widower with two teen-aged daughters. They meet and begin to truly connect with one another during a summer course in Tibetan Culture at the local university. Lynn knows her feelings are blossoming into love, but can a May-December love affair work out when the woman is December and the man is May? A fine tale that blends adventure with romance, "Not an Ill Wind" is well worth the read.

The Angel of Maryville
P.D. Curasi
Dream Hill Farms
PO Box 21, Austin, KY 42123
9781439212257, $26.99

Even the smallest of towns have their own goings on under a thin layer of dirt. "The Angel of Maryville" is a story of the small town of Maryville. With an unforgettable cast of characters, the story plays out as their lives begin to intertwine and turn a quiet village in the middle of nowhere into something so much more. Spiraling to a point where all of it will explode, "The Angel of Maryville" is a fine mystery novel sure to give mystery fans something to relish.

The Self-Help Shelf

Daily Thoughts for Friendly Fellows
Ellen Burgoyne Hubrig
Ellen Burgoyne Inc.
342 Mapletree Drive, Knoxville, TN 37934-0831
9780981784557, $27.95,

A little affirmation is all some people need to get through their days. "Daily Thoughts for Friendly Fellows: Reflections on Seeing the Good in Ourselves and Others" is a year's worth of inspirational thoughts and affirmations for readers drawn from the Holy Bible to help readers get through their day. Written in a kind, humorous tone with the sole goal of uplifting the reader, "Daily Thoughts for Friendly Fellows" undeniably succeeds. "Daily Thoughts for Friendly Fellows" is worth the price of admission for those who need it.

Chaos to Balance
Raymond Salcido
Raisemeright, Inc.
25283 Cabot Road, Suite 204, Laguna Hills, CA 92653
9780982230206, $14.00,

Moderation is the key to all things. "Chaos to Balance: A Life-Changing Strategy" is a guide to finding balance in one's life. Taking things to extremes gets no one nowhere fast. Author Raymond Salcido comes to grips with nearly two decades of psychological experience to give advice on finding the balance that's needed to find peace in one's life, and therefore happiness and contentment. "Chaos Balance" is sage advice, and something to be considered.

Dating, Finding, & Keeping The One
Josh Mandrell
Looking Beyond Publishing
PO Box 2193, La Grange, IL 60525
9780615255316, $12.95,

Relationships have been called the greatest challenge of human life. They don't have to be. "Dating, Finding, & Keeping 'The One': Stuff Other Relationship Guides Won't Tell You" is a relationship guide aimed at teenagers who, due to their recent rise of hormones, are looking at the opposite sex as more than a rabid carrier of the cooties. The advice promoted here (and not often found in other dating manuals) touches on dealing with breakups, the benefits of being single, dealing with sex, and more. "Dating, Finding, & Keeping 'The One'" would be a fine gift to any love struck teen.

Find Your True Self Through Your Fantasies and Dreams
Olavi Moilanen
Atophill Publishing
PO Box 630435, Simi Valley, CA 93065-0435
9781929956159, $19.95,

Dreams and fantasy are not held back by concern of being mocked. "Find Your True Self Through Your Fantasies and Dreams" is a spiritual exploration manual to finding one's true desires by understanding fantasies and dreams that people experience daily as their mind goes on autopilot. Consciously being aware of these are rare, and author Olavi Moilanen gives method to understanding the unconscious desire. "Find Your True Self Through Your Fantasies and Dreams" is intriguing and highly recommended reading.

The Music Shelf

Dancing on the Brink of the World
Sven Eberlein & Evelyn Terranova
Tuber Creations
1241B Guerrero St., San Francisco, CA 94110
9780979459801, $25.00

The stars have inspired humanity for millennia. "Dancing on the Brink of the World: A Star Waltz in the Keys of Canvas, Music, and Myth" is a collection of literature on the subject of the stars. Drawing heavy inspiration from astrology, alchemy, the cosmos and more, presented is a collection of fiction, verse, song, and other mediums that is sure to inspire wonder in many a reader. "Dancing on the Brink of the World" is an intriguing dive into the metaphysical, highly recommended.

The Photography Shelf

Chakra Gardens
Carol Cumes
Mitra Publishing
225 North Lima Street, Sierra Madre, CA 91024
9780965400398, $65.00

Gardens are for more than just growing flowers and vegetables. "Chakra Gardens: Opening the Senses of the Soul" is a look through photography at Chakra Gardens and the lore behind them, treasured to the native cultures of the Andes Mountains and Peru. Hoping that the reader will take this history and philosophy lesson, as well as the soothing, full color photographs of the chakra gardens throughout the mountains, into consideration and use it all to meditate for themselves to sort their troubles out. "Chakra Gardens" is a must for anyone who believes in the power of flowers as meditation, or simply the amateur botanist who can't get enough.

The American History Shelf

Feisty First Ladies
Autumn Stephens
Viva Editions
PO Box 14697, San Francisco, CA 94114
9781573443562, $16.95,

Every president the United States has had has been quite the character, and the women they marry are no different. "Feisty First Ladies: and Other Unforgettable White House Women" tells the untold story of the women of the White House, including how they compared and contrasted to the men. Irrelevant yet interesting, author Autumn Stephens shows how it's not just recent White House women that have garnered massive media attention, and how even the likes of Mary Todd Lincoln was making headlines in the 1860s. "Feisty First Ladies" is well worth the read for fans of the other side of history not often recorded.

Mr. Lincoln's Chair
Anita Sanchez
McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company
431-B E. College Street, Granville, Ohio 43023
9780939923946, $17.95

Mr. Lincoln's Chair: The Shakers and Their Quest for Peace is the fascinating true story of America's Shaker religious community, popularly known for their skill in crafting fine chairs, during and after the American Civil War. The Shakers strove to persuade President Abraham Lincoln to grant them conscientious objector status during an era drenched in American blood; and they grieved with the nation when an assassin's bullet ended Lincoln's life far too soon. A captivating, well-researched historical chronicle written to appeal to readers of all backgrounds, highly recommended.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Interfaith Dialogue at the Grass Roots
Rebecca Kratz Mays
Ecumenical Press
Temple Univeristy
1114 W. Berks Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122-6090
9780931214110, $15.00,

Understanding comes from communication and opening a dialogue. "Interfaith Dialogue at the Grass Roots" is a collection of stories and articles about how to do meetings of religious minds the right way. With much for readers of any group that studies faith as a whole, the ideas presented are sure to help those who want to bridge the gaps do so and make all involved better and more faithful people because of it. "Interfaith Dialogue at the Grass Roots" is a top pick for religious readers who seek understanding of other faiths.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Yellowstone Wolves
Cat Urbigkit
McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company
431-B East College Street, Granville, OH 43023
9780939923700, $29.95,

Wolves are a creature that has divided people, one person's precious creature is another's violent, carnivorous nuisance. "Yellowstone Wolves: A Chronicle of the Animal, the People, and the Politics" is a look at the Yellowstone Wolf in particular and its long running story of going into near extinction and back again. Once numerous hundreds of years ago, it was hunted to near extinction, and was kept alive only in captivity. Now they are being reintroduced with much success - but there are those who don't think this is an entirely good thing. "Yellowstone Wolves" is an intriguing look at how conservation battles with politics.

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

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