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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 6, Number 11 November 2007 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Music Shelf Art Shelf
Interior Design Shelf Genealogy Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Fiction Shelf Automotive Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Money/Finance Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Political Science Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Finding The Bloom Of The Cactus Generation
Maggie Walters
LifeSuccess Publishing
8900 East Pinnacle Peak Road, Suite D240, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Barrett Company Communications (publicity)
9781599300115, $17.95

In "Finding The Bloom Of The Cactus Generation: Improving The Quality Of Life For Seniors", author Maggie Walters draws upon her many years of training, experience, and expertise working with very elderly patients in nursing homes and assisted living facilities (most of whom suffered from serious mental and/or physical ailments) to offer nursing home staff and concerned family members with an instructive introduction to how to best maximize the quality of a resident's physical and mental well being through gentle massage, patient listening, and a variety of alternative therapies. Now that the baby boom generation is approaching retirement, the need for the kind of insights and understanding that Maggie Walters has to offer makes "Finding The Bloom Of The Cactus Generation" exceptionally important and timely reading -- especially for nursing home and assisted living facility caregivers, as well as the non-specialist general reader with concerns over how best to help an aging parent enjoy life to the best extent possible for them.

The Music Shelf

The Spirit Of Nashville
Joel Anderson & Angela Patterson
Anderson Design Group
116 - 29th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37203
Kaleidoscope Media (publicity)
1227 - 17th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212
9780615158624, $34.95

Featuring the art of Joel Anderson and his design team, Anderson Design Group Inc., "The Spirit Of Nashville: The Art & Soul Of Music City" is a 120-page coffee table art book that showcases fifty-nine classic poster designs featuring themes and images associated with the music community of Nashville, Tennessee. Poster art is a unique subgenre of American art. This collection of memorable poster images represent the landmarks, restaurants, and cultural icons that are enhanced for the reader with an informative and entertaining text placing each of them in context. "The Spirit Of Nashville" is a terrific browse and especially recommended to the attention of Nashville fans and enthusiasts, as well as academic library 20th Century America Art History reference collections.

The Art Shelf

Walter Baumhofer
John Gunnison
Adventure House
914 Laredo Road, Silver Spring, MD 20901
188693794X, $20.00

In "Walter Baumhofer: Pulp Art Masters", John Gunnison showcases the pulp magazine artist who produced the first images for Doc Savage Magazine and a host of other publications in the 1920s and 1930s. His range of cover art included dramatic images for virtually all pulp magazine genres including gangsters, airmen, cowboys, soldiers, villains, and adventures. He is best remembered for his iconic characters such as Doc Save, The Man of Bronze. From his beginning work with the publishing firm of Street & Smith, to his last works done for Popular Publications, he raised the level of this specialized and commercial form of popular art to the level of fine art through his use of unified designs, color, and visual drama. This compendium of cover art images (each of which is noted as to its publication source and date) will prove to be a prized possession for pulp magazine art enthusiasts and a highly recommended addition to both academic and community library 20th Century American Art History reference collections.

The Interior Design Shelf

The Fine Art Of Wall Design
Suzann Gallagher
Alta Press
15532 SW Pacific Highway, C-18, PMB 508, Tigard, OR 97224
0978502906, $24.95

Nicknamed 'the Wall Design Diva', Suzanne Gallagher draws upon her many years of experience and expertise in "The Fine Art Of Wall Design" to show how any room can be esthetically, even dramatically enhanced in its appearance through the deft use of wall decor. This is because the art selected sets the tone and mood of the room, reflects the personal of the owner, evokes emotions in the viewer, adds interest and surprise, adding colors and themes to all other aspects of a rooms interior design. Whether students of design intending a career in the field, or do-it-yourself amateur homeowners or apartment dwellers, "The Fine Art Of Wall Design" is a practical and superbly organized instructional guide addressing the issues of walls, art, color, space, and proportions with respect to wall decor choices and selections. Enhanced with insider design tips, self quizzes, checklists, exercises, brain stretchers, and resource recommendations, "The Fine Art Of Wall Design" is the perfect introduction to translating classic design principles into easy to follow and implement guidelines. Readers will discover how to make art the focal point of any room, find art that fits their budget, five common wall design mistakes and how to avoid them, tips on framing design, as well as placing art in terms of both hanging it and lighting it to best advantage. Profusely illustrated throughout, "The Fine Art Of Wall Design" is very strongly recommended for personal, professional, academic, and community library Interior Design reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Genealogy Shelf

Preserve Your Family History
LeAnn R. Ralph
Privately Published
E6689 - 970th Avenue, Colfax, WI 54730
9781601452399, $11.95 1-715-962-3368

"Preserve Your Family History: A Step-by-Step Guide For Interviewing Family Members And Writing Oral Histories" by LeAnn R. Ralph is a thoroughly 'user friendly' instruction manual specifically designed and written for non-specialist general readers who would like to capture the anecdotal histories of aging family members whether it would be for supplementing genealogical research, preserving stories and biographies for the benefit of future generations, or to simply learn about the life stories of family members while they are still able to relate them. "Preserve Your Family History" demonstrates that all that is needed is compiling a list of people to be interviewed, a set of questions to ask them, a tape recorder to preserve what is said, a pen and notepad to write on, a typewriter or computer to put it all down in writing, and above all else, a willingness to listen. The benefits of recording family members' oral histories and anecdotal recollections is that their experiences are the backdrop for your own history, the foundations for your own value system, opinions, and attitudes, a framework to explain how you fit into your own family structure. "Preserve Your Family History" is meant to be a 'consumable', that is, to be written in, selected pages photocopied, given to others to utilize in preparing for interviews, and shared with others in cooperative efforts to preserve family histories while those who lived and created that history are still with us. Also very highly recommended for personal reading, as well as Wisconsin community library collections, are LeAnn Ralph's"Christmas in Dairyland: True Stories from a Wisconsin Farm" (2003); "Give Me a Home Where the Diary Cows Roam (2004); "Cream of the Crop: More True Stories from a Wisconsin Farm" (2005); and "Where The Green Grass Grows: True (Spring and Summer) Stories from a Wisconsin Farm" (2006).

The Judaic Studies Shelf

The World Of Prayer
Rabbi Elie Munk
Feldheim Publishers
Stuart Schnee PR, 10 Haportzim Street, Jerusalem, Israel
9781583306369, $49.99

Arguably the finest two-volume commentary on the Jewish prayer book, Rabbi Elie Munk's "The World Of Prayer: Commentary And Translation Of The Siddur" combines Judaic history, cultural context, expert commentary, and illustrative insights that are as informed as they are informative for contemporary readers interested in making their prayers a truly personal and meaningful experience. Now in an newly updated and significantly revised edition featuring a thoroughly 'reader friendly' layout where each word and phrase discussed in the commentary is marked in the incorporated prayer book text, "The World Of Prayer" is ideal for students and non-specialist general readers alike. Volume 1 focuses on the daily prayer service, while Volume 2 discusses the Sabbath and Festival prayers such those associated with Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Very highly recommended for personal study and synagogue-based curriculums, "The World Of Prayer" is a seminal contribution to any Judaic Studies reference collection or supplemental reading list.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Winged Wonder
Peter Watkins & Jonathan Stockland
240 West 35th Street, Suite 500, New York, NY 10001
Meryl Zegarek Public Relations (publicity
225 West 108 Street, Suite 901, New York, NY 10025
1933346078, $22.00

Birds, in fiction, fantasy, fable, and fact, have impacted upon human history and imagination for millennia. In "Winged Wonders: A Celebration Of Birds In ;Human History", two bird-watching enthusiasts in Britain, Peter Watkins and Jonathan Stockland, impressively collaborate in compiling and organizing material on their avian subject matter from the works of poets, artists, and spiritual figures to illustrate and illuminate the relationship between humans and birds. From the serious and divine, to the humourous and whimsical, "Winged Wonder" is a compendium of information and anecdote organized into chapters dedicated to the cock, cuckoo, dove, eagle, falcon, goose, kingfisher, ostrich, owl, peacock, pelican, raven, robin, sparrow, swan, and wren. Of special note are the chapters dedicated to Bird Illustrators; State Birds; and Birdsong. "Winged Wonders" is novel, original, and highly recommended reading for bird enthusiasts and community library Pets/Wildlife collections.

Gold Rush
Avalyn Hunter
Eclipse Press
PO Box 919003, Lexington, KY 40591-9003
9781581501735, $26.95 1-800-582-5604

"Gold Rush: How Mr. Prospector Became Racing's Billion-Dollar Sire" by expert equine pedigree analyst Avalyn Hunter is the fascinating story of how the thoroughbred called 'Mr. Prospector', who had only a modest racing career in terms of wins and losses, when put out to stud in 1975 went on to have an impact on Thoroughbred racing that is almost legendary in scope among horse racing enthusiasts. At the time of his death at the age of 29 in 1999, Mr. Prospector led both the American sire and broodmare sire lists twice. Since his passing, he has come to lead the broodmare sire list seven more times. Among his offspring is the 2000 Kentucky Derby winner 'Fusaichi Pegasus, who sold for four million dollars and was syndicated for stud duty for an estimated seventy million dollars more. "Gold Rush" is the history of a progenitor who, thanks to artificial insemination technology, continued to be a success as a stud horse even eight years after his death. "Gold Rush" is a fascinating read for all professional horse racing fans. Also very highly recommended are Avalyn Hunter's earlier work published by Eclipse Press on Thoroughbred racing, "The Kingmaker and American Classic Pedigrees".

The Fiction Shelf

The Devil's Dance
Patti Ann Bengen
Book Worm Publishing
PO Box 759, Shoreham, NY 11786
0977405915, $16.95

A riveting romantic thriller, "The Devil's Dance" by novelist Patti Ann Bengen is the story of Marissa Harrington who's decision not to marry her deceitful fiancee and subsequent trip down to the Caribbean for a little R&R finds herself abruptly plunged into a world of drug deals, conspiracies, tripple crosses, and even murder. It seems a little unfair that she just may have finally discovered 'Mr. Right' but not live long enough to know for certain. A superbly crafted suspense novel of almost unrelenting action, "The Devil's Dance" is exceptionally well written from beginning to end. Very highly recommended reading, Attention Hollywood -- "The Devil's Dance" is the stuff from which block-buster movies are made!

Mrs. Shumak's Boarding House
Marty Kam
Blanco & Peace Enterprises Ltd.
359 W. Chicago Avenue, Suite 200, Chicago, IL 60610
9780978682309, $14.95

The debut novel of Marty Kam, Mrs. Shumak's Boarding House is the wry story of widow Mary Shumak and the seven boarders in her ragtag Pennsylvania house. An avaricious casino developer seeks her land, forcing her to scramble for money to stave off the wrecking ball. Her questionably transient brother Bert and her motley crew of boarders and friends will have to work together at renovations, riverboat gambling, and even a game show to protect their home. Whimsy and adventure characterize this enjoyable romp starring misfits who fit together.

Gold Fire
Ed Mitchell
California Coast Publishing
9780966844726, $15.95

The third thrilling novel in the action-packed "Gold Lust" series, Gold Fire sets forth a harrowing prospect: Khalid Jafar, son of Osama bin Laden, has stolen nuclear warheads from Russia's Strategic Rocket Forces. Is his peace offer to end global terrorism sincere, or will he wreak mass devastation upon Washington D.C., Moscow, and Tel Aviv? The Russian and American military cannot locate the missing warheads, and Senator Nolen Martin is declared to be a traitor for negotiating with the terrorists. As the attack deadline draws closer, the senator charges FBI agent Cholo Cantera to team up with an Israeli counterterrorism unit to locate the missing weapons. Time is running out in this dramatic saga.

Hidden Intentions
Esther E. Christian
Alwen's Books
3060 Mitchellville Rd., Suite 216, Bowie, MD 20716
9780974934914, $16.99

Adjunct business professor Esther E. Christian presents Hidden Intentions, the sequel to her novel "Chance Meeting" continuing the saga of the lovelorn protagonists, Damon and Sandy, a newly engaged African-American couple now expecting their first child. But there are outsiders determined to split them up and destroy their love: possessive matriarch Lorna, Damon's uncle Gordon, and Sandy's ex-boyfriend. Passion sets the sub-plots aflame in this sizzling hot love story.

Tom Pace with Walter Jenkins
MentorHope Publishing
13915 N. Harvey Ave., Edmond, OK 73013
Integrated Book Marketing (publicity)
PO Box 321, King Park, NY 11754
9780979396274, $19.95

PaceButler Corporation CEO Tom Pace, with assistance from speaker and former attorney Walter Jenkins, present Mentor: The Kid & The CEO, an uncomplicated story about a most unlikely friendship. The kid has had one too many run-ins with the law and is facing sentencing as a felon; but the CEO sees potential. A three-year friendship helps to turn the kid around, despite setbacks for both the student and the teacher. Mentor is a novel of overcoming challenges, and the strength of a bond formed through shared difficulties in the journey toward a successful life. Highly recommended.

The Strange Death Of Napoleon Bonaparte
Jerry Labriola, M.D.
Strong Books
PO Box 715, Avon, CT 06001-0715
Meryl L. Moss Media Relations (publicity)
155 Post Road East, Suite 8, Westport, CT 06880
9781928782704, $24.95

The author of seven mystery novels and co-author of three forensic medicine books, physician Jerry Labriola turns his writing talents to a fictionalized account of the mysterious death of Napoleon Bonaparte that has intrigued researchers and historians for the better part of the last two hundred years. "The Strange Death Of Napoleon Bonaparte" is the story of American historian and international treasure hunter Paul D'Arneau whose iconoclastic views and unconventional research methods lost him his university position. When he receives an unexpected invitation from the executive committee of 'Gens de Verite' (an ancient and secretive organized formed in France after the Fall of Bonaparte in 1815), he seized the chance to solve one of history's most famous 'cold cases'. This carefully crafted novel draws upon its author's years of experience in forensic medicine to give the reader a superbly detailed mystery that leads to an unexpected but quite plausible conclusion regarding the death of the exiled Napoleon, a man who'd once made the nations of Europe tremble -- but ended his days on a remote and isolated island under guard. "The Strange Death Of Napoleon Bonaparte" is an original and highly recommended read!

Water Torture
Fritz Galt & Steve Donaldson
Lulu Press
860 Aviation Parkway, Suite 300, Morrisville, NC 27560
9781430321590, $16.95

A collaboratively written novel by Fritz Galt and Steve Donaldson, "Water Torture" is the story of Brad West, a young man who has just ignominiously been kicked out of graduate school, meets a beautiful Chinese pilot for the People's Liberation Army, and is talked into rescuing her father from water torture (hence the title), save China's Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River from environmental catastrophe, and keep the leadership of China's one-party state from drowning in toxic waste. All this compounded by the fact that Brad is flat broke and having to deal with his megalomanic step-father's 'Reverse Land Bridge' theory. Highly recommended for both personal reading lists and community library fiction collections, "Water Torture" is a unique, iconoclastic, funny, deftly crafted and compelling read from first page to last.

The Automotive Shelf

General Motors Styling 1927-1958
Tracy Powell
Powell House Publishing & Communications
PO Box 384, Charlestown, IN 47111
9780970919519, $29.95

For decades, the General Motors company was one of the most popular and successful of the American automobile manufacturers. A key element to their commercial success was their employing engineering designers and stylists to give their automobiles a physical appearance that attracted the attention and loyalty of the car buying public. Tracy Powers draws upon his considerable expertise (he is managing editor for 'Automobile Quarterly' and winner of awards for writing and editing) to provide the reader with an informed and informative history of automobile stylings of this legendary company in "General Motors Styling 1927-1958: Genesis Of The World's Largest Design Studios". Profusely illustrated with eight photographs and thirty-two full color artist renderings, this detailed history is a seminal work of meticulous scholarship as Powell identifies key personalities and their contributions to milestone accomplishments as reflected in specific car designs for Buicks, Cadillacs, Corvettes, and other distinctive General Motors cars. Enhanced with the inclusion of an extended bibliography and a comprehensive index, "General Motors Styling 1927-1958" is an important and original contribution to American automotive history and should be a part of every academic library reference collection for the benefit of scholarship and non-specialist general readers with an interest in thirty years of specialized car history.

The Christian Studies Shelf

The New Answers Book
Ken Ham, general editor
Master Books Inc.
PO Box 726, Green Forest, AR 72638
9780890515099, $14.99

Compiled by Answers in Genesis, the world's largest apologetics ministry, The New Answers Book: Over 25 Questions on Creation/Evolution and the Bible presents the fundamentalist Christian perspective upon the debate of creation versus evolution versus intelligent design. Founded upon the core principle that the Bible is God's Word and can be trusted implicitly, as opposed to the changing theories of fallible mankind, The New Answers Book gives a strict Biblical interpretation of the existence of fossils, carbon dating, UFOs, the question of death and suffering, and much more, with a handful of black-and-white illustrations. "If one allows science (which has wrongly become synonymous with evolution and materialism) to determine our understanding of Scripture, then this can lead to a slippery slope of unbelief through the rest of Scripture. For instance, science would proclaim that a person cannot be raised from the dead. Does this mean we should interpret the Resurrection of Christ to reflect this? Sadly, some do just this, saying that the Resurrection simply means that Jesus' teachings live on in His followers." A cogently written account that straightforwardly and unabashedly makes its case.

The Money/Finance Shelf

Who's Sitting on Your Nest Egg?
Robin S. Davis, CFP
Bridgeway Books
PO Box 80107, Austin, TX 78758
Jessica McMahon (publicity)
1805 S Kanner Hwy., Stuart FL 34994
9781933538808, $22.95

Certified financial planner Robin S. Davis presents Who's Sitting on Your Nest Egg? Why You Need a Financial Advisor and Ten Easy Tests for Finding the Best One, a no-nonsense guide that lives up to its title and then some. Written for readers of all backgrounds, Who's Sitting on Your Nest Egg? discusses the important role financial advisors fill in helping ordinary Americans, how to find the right health care source for one's needs, the problems affecting social security, pensions, and probate, how to avoid tax traps, and more. Of especial value is the simple ten-part test to determining a quality financial advisor - an absolute "must" to apply when one's life savings are on the line! Highly recommended.

The Self-Help Shelf

Dale L. Goldstein, LCSW, author
Richard Wehrman, illustrator
Selby Ink
PO Box 791, Staunton, VA
9780978960612, $39.95

Psychotherapist and teacher Dale Goldstein, LCSW presents Heartwork: How to Get What You Really, Really Want, a blend of western psychological methodologies and eastern meditative techniques designed to help readers work through their most difficult psychological issues. Featuring professionally designed exercises and guided meditations in both the book and an accompanying audio CD, Heartwork offers a means to introspection and enlightenment. Singularly beautiful color photography by Richard Wehrman illustrates this gentle and encouraging transformational guide.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Net Loss
Tim Hein
Nightingale Press
10936 N. Port Washington Road, Suite 206, Mequon, WI 53092
9781933449463, $16.95

Net Loss is a thrilling suspense story of an online connection turned desperate and deadly. Chicago native Kyle Schmidt, consumed with anger for the citizens of a tiny Wisconsin town after two of its delinquents attack him and ruin his life, tries to forget himself in a brief online affair with Shelly Ruzinski, a miserable corporate wife. He moves on from the affair; she does not, and her burning desire to prove her love leads her to initiate a string of killings, starting with Kyle's assailants. Tyson Hendrick, an eleven-year-old witness to murder, cannot convince the beleaguered police chief that Shelly was responsible instead of Kyle; as events become ever more frantic, Kyle and Tyson must join forces to stop Shelly before her mad love drives her to the final sacrifice. A nail-biting, twenty-first century chiller.

The Political Science Shelf

The Recall's Broken Promise
Derek Cressman
The Poplar Institute
2320 D Street, #203, Sacramento, CA 95816
9780978640507, $14.95

Consultant and founder of the nonpartisan watchdog organization Derek Cressman offers his unvarnished insights in The Recall's Broken Promise: How Big Money Still Runs California Politics, a no-nonsense denouncement of the increasingly blurry ethics of California's partisan politics. Chapter cover the events of California's historic recall election, Arnold Schwarzenegger's rise to power, and the ultimate disappointment as big money politics continued as usual. A bitingly insightful look at the corruption weakening California's governmental system, and the reforms that are needed immediately.

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

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