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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 6, Number 10 October 2007 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Fantasy/SciFi Shelf American History Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf Fiction Shelf
Travel Shelf Business Shelf Poetry Shelf
Art Shelf Parenting Shelf Sports Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Money/Finance Shelf Jobs/Careers Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

How to Play During a War
Lynne Merritt Whelden, editor
Lynne Whelden Productions
90 East Union Street, Canton, PA 17724
9780979232206, $16.95

How to Play During a War: A Free Spirit's Life in Letters is the true-life story of Evelyn Merritt, primarily in the words of her own letters as penned during World War II. Merritt served in the Red Cross during the war, and her infectiously ebullient cheer helped lift the spirits all around her. Passionately religious, strictly anti-smoking and anti-drinking, and insistent about her modesty, Evelyn Merritt's personality shines through the pages as a woman who confronts hardships head-on. A wealth of vintage black-and-white photographs illustrates this superb compilation offering a little gender balance to WW II correspondence shelves.

Old Bug
Dan Jackson
End Run Press
PO Box 662116, Los Angeles, CA 90066
9780979446306, $16.95

Old Bug: The Spiritual Quest of an Ex-Believer on a Road Across America with a Long Lost Friend in a Beat-Up Beetle lives up to its title and then some. Recounting a cross-country road trip between the author and a friend who have barely seen each other in thirty years, Old Bug is as much about a lingering question in the soul as it is about the journey, namely, "If I don't believe in traditional religion, then what do I believe in?" Pondering God, morality, mortality, meaning, and the mysteries of life itself, Old Bug recounts confronting inner demons long buried even as it mirthfully recounts the hassle of struggling to keep a '69 VW Beetle running smoothly in the twenty-first century. A gentle, thoughtful read of discovery and larger-than-life quandaries.

No Ordinary Love
Doug & Jackie Christie
Fifteen Minutes
8436 W. Third Street, Suite 650, Los Angeles, CA 90048
9780979482700, $24.95

No Ordinary Love: A True Story of Marriage and Basketball is the true-life memoir of the marriage between 14-year NBA star Doug Christie and former fashion model Jackie Christie. The two of them cherish an increasing rarity in today's world, especially among society's elite - a traditional, faithful marriage. Though No Ordinary Love also offers an inside look at life in the NBA, but its crux is a celebration of the joy of cementing an alliance of love, teamwork, and unshakeable loyalty to one another. Presented in the format of a narrative alternating between Doug and Jackie's direct words, and illustrated with black-and-white photographs, No Ordinary Love is a solid testament to the joys and wonders of life and the rewarding satisfaction of building a healthy relationship.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Zyzzack Breakthrough
C. R. Swainward
ZYZ Alien Publishing
PO Box 1764, Redlands, CA 92374
9780979164101, $19.95

Zyzzack Breakthrough: The Beginning is the first novel of an epic five-book science fiction saga. A small band of research scientists, led by the youthful Dr. Steven Barrett, are sorely tested in a contest against a superior life form. The odds are stacked against them, and when the alien sentient beings known as the Zyzzack arrive, Earth and humanity itself will be dramatically changed forever. The setting of Zyzzack Breakthrough extends to the horizon of outer space, and both physical and spiritual reality, addressing even the mystery behind the meaning of life itself. Enthralling to the point of mind-bending, Zyzzack Breakthrough is a visionary journey and an enthusiastic kickoff to a grand spacefaring quintet.

The MoonQuest
Mark David Gerson
Light Lines Media
223 North Guadalupe Street, Unit 171, Santa Fe, NM 87501
9780979547584, $16.00

The first volume of a planned trilogy, The MoonQuest: A True Fantasy blends classic high fantasy with metaphysical inspiration. Allusions to spirit guides dot this tale of the destined journey of young bard prophesied to end the dominion of a merciless king. Aided by three faithful companions, he must dodge the advances of evil, and elude the king's men. Only through trust and faith in one another can the four of them renew the shining light of the moon. An evocative and emotionally moving tale of adventure.

Cat's Paw
L. A. Taylor
FTL Publications
PO Box 1363, Minnetonka, MN 55345-0363
9780965357562, $15.95

When Miranda Glivven's husband doesn't return from a secret assignment for the government, she goes out to look for him, starting at his last known location. Miranda's only companion on her quest for her missing husband is a cat. She finds that no one, not the authorities, nor the local citizenry, seem to want to help her. Some of them even think that Miranda is using magic (a treasonous offense) because of that cat. Set in a world where magic is officially denied, even while it is consistently rumored to exist, "Cat's Paw" is an entertaining and compellingly written novel that deftly combines mystery with fantasy. Author L. A. Taylor (she passed away from cancer in 1996) is revealed as a master storyteller of immense and imaginative talent. "Cat's Paw" is strongly recommended for school and community library fantasy/mystery collections. Also recommended reading are her earlier novels "Footnote to Murder" and "Blossom of Erda".

Plight Of The Toothless Vampire
Steve Stillwell
Batfire Press LLC
PO Box 30, Mena, Arkansas, 71953
9780615146652, $9.95 1-479-394-5058

Chester Watkins was a rather ordinary senior citizen until his encounter with a rogue vampire. Ravaged to death, Chester Watkins found himself coming back to life as a vampire himself. A cagy and determined guy, Chester finds himself dropped into an underground world and an immortal organization where only the strong and the smart survive. Chester's mission is clear. Track down that rogue vampire and deal him a bit of simple justice. Possessing an incredible mind, Chester's primary weapon is other folk's tendency to underestimate a senior citizen vampire. Just one thing -- even as a vampire, Chester isn't able to regenerate any of his teeth! Very highly recommended for personal and community library collections, "Plight Of The Toothless Vampire" is a completely original take on the vampire genre and a terrific read from beginning to end.

The American History Shelf

Water Tanks Of Chicago
Larry W. Green
Wicker Park Press Ltd.
PO Box 5318, River Forest, IL 60305-5318
9780978967604, $19.95

Water tanks, constructed for the purpose of supplying water through a gravity driven system for businesses, buildings, neighborhoods, and communities, were once ubiquitous components of an industrial past, but are now rapidly disappearing as crumbling, obsolete relics as technologies and the city have continued to evolve. For the past twenty years, Larry W. Green is a Chicago artist who has been photographing and sketching water-tanks in and around Chicago, Illinois. Now compiled and presented to the public in "Water Tanks Of Chicago: A Vanishing Urban Legacy", Green showcases and captions 37 of those images he has preserved or recreated. The purpose in publishing his work was to inform and alert the public to the need to preserve those (often crumbling) monuments to a yesteryear Chicago for their esthetic and historical significance. A superb presentation, "Water Tanks Of Chicago" is very highly recommended and could well serve as a template or example for photographically preserving similar landmark constructions in other American communities wanting to treasure and preserve their historic past in a rapidly changing present for the sake of future generations.

The Price of Liberty
Robert D. Hormats
Patron Saint Productions, Inc.
741 Saint Philip St. #241, New Orleans, LA 70116
9780805082531, $27.50

Former member of the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations and international finance expert Robert D. Hormats applies his expertise and extensive historical research to The Price of Liberty: Paying for America's Wars, a thoughtful history of how America has paid for its conflagrations from the Revolutionary War debt (deemed a threat to the nation's creditworthiness and very existence by America's first secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton) to the invention of the greenback during the Civil War, the adoption of a progressive and populist income tax during World War II, the arms race budgeting that allowed the United States to outlast the Soviet Union during the cold war, and the diplomatic cost-sharing of the first Gulf War. A critical look at America's precarious modern-day financial position - including the heavy toll of over-dependence on oil, and a debt that relentlessly climbs especially due to unchecked social security spending and rising interest payments - closes The Price of Liberty, along with a lament that Hamilton's wisdom has been all but forgotten today. A highly recommended addition to American History shelves, and a sharp warning against the obstacles facing America's future.

The Self-Help Shelf

How to Survive a Spiritual Hangover
Faith Lynella
Off the Page Press
PO Box 278, Homer, Alaska 99603
9781888739091, $19.95

Psychologist, attorney, and philosopher Faith Lynella presents How to Survive a Spiritual Hangover: A Practical Guide to Holding Steady in a Wobbly World, a guide to enriching one's own wisdom, creativity, and spiritual growth. Chapters address how to become aware of and disengage from mindless habits; the power of "high-vibration energy"; how to kindle energy within oneself; reexamining one's connections to people and daily obligations; the importance of contributing to community building; and much more. "Enjoyment and a good attitude are opposites. Who could be sincere about a counterfeit reward? The more things you have a good attitude about, the more things you really don't get to enjoy. So, don't be so proud of having a good attitude - it's not the right answer. It is partly right (bad attitude is also not the right answer), but it's simply not enough." Highly recommended for emotional and spiritual self-help shelves.

5 Steps To A Quantum Life
Natalie Reid
Winged Horse Publications
c/o Yorwerth Associates (publicity)
410 Fieldstone Drive, Bozeman, MT 59715
9780979211003, $14.95

"5 Steps To A Quantum Life: How To use The Astounding Secrets Of Quantum Physics To Create The Life You Want" by Natalie Reid offers the reader a practical and thoroughly 'user friendly' five-step process to improve daily life. Reid shows how we create our own reality and, utilizing our expanding knowledge of quantum physics and how our subconscious mind perceives and interprets our experiences and observations, how we can affect and influence that reality to improve our lives. Drawing from her many years of experience and expertise in psychology, meditation, mind-body work, and the study of quantum physics, Reid has written a seminal study and guide that can be readily accessed and incorporated by any non-specialist general reader with an interest in improving the quality of their life emotionally, physically, financially, socially, and professionally. Enhanced with chapter notes, a glossary, and an extensive bibliography, "5 Steps To A Quantum Life" is strongly recommended for personal and community library Self-Help & Self-Improvement reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Having Nasal Surgery?
Christopher Martin, N.C.S.P.
Cold Tree Press
214 Overlook Court, Suite 253, Brentwood, TN 37027
9781583851975, $12.95

The nose is an organ of the human body that can be afflicted with a number of serious ailments to health. These problems include such conditions as rhinosinusitis, allergic rhinitis, and empty nose syndrome (ENS). It has only been in recent years that physicians have come to understand and treat ENS. But there are still a great many doctors unfamiliar with this syndrome and the treatment options that sufferers have to choose from. An ENS sufferer himself, Christopher Martin has written a comprehensive and thoroughly 'reader friendly' introduction to what ENS is, and what can be done about it, and what to be aware of in various treatment options in "Having Nasal Surgery: Don't You Become An Empty Nose Victim!". Christopher relates his own personal account of coping with ENS, offers an informed and informative evaluation of turbinate surgeries with respect to nasal conditions, provides an 'insider' look at the politics surrounding ENS within the medical community, and identifies the best treatments for ENS, many of which are also efficaciously applicable to sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, postnasal drip, GERD, and asthma. Invaluable reading for medical students, physicians, and non-specialist general readers, "Having Nasal Surgery" is especially recommended for personal, professional, and community library Health & Medicine reference collections and reading lists.

The Fiction Shelf

In Search of The Menopause Ranch
Deborah Vaughn
Pisquale Productions
PO Box 3080, Sedona, AZ 86340
0978723309, $17.95

On a road trip with her sister, author Deborah Vaughn gleaned the inspiration for In Search of the Menopause Ranch, a novel about a woman on the cusp of middle age. She loses consciousness and wakes up at a place called The Menopause Ranch, fearing that she is undergoing premature dementia. "Maybe not having children had something to do with it. I had all the equipment and understood the process, but that 20-or-so years commitment was more than I could contemplate. Besides, I'd heard the Mom Threat ("I hope you have kids one day and I hope they're just like you. WAA!") often enough to scare me, if not sterile, then certainly cautious. Maybe I'd used up all the eggs in my carton not taking pregnancy breaks. Maybe having no maternal instincts really is a bad thing." A fine blend of good humor, warmth, and wisdom, mixed with historical perspective of what women have forgotten about themselves through the ages, recommended as a giftbook or simply for the pleasure of reading and reawakening the lost sides of oneself.

Ascent from Darkness
Steven E. Wilson
Hailey-Grey Books
9780972948012, $24.95

Benjamin Franklin Award finalist Steven E. Wilson presents Ascent from Darkness, a thrilling novel set against a backdrop of war, espionage, and hot and cold international clashes. When reluctant CIA agent Stone Waverly is assigned to seek the weapons-grade plutonium stolen from a Ukrainian nuclear plant, his search takes him from Odessa to Cologne to Amsterdam to Damascus. A race against time to stop terror ensues as Waverly, haunted by the past betrayals of a fellow operative as well as those closest to him, navigates the intrigue and outright ruthlessness rampant in Syria and war-riven Iraq. An intense, action-packed thriller from cover to cover. Also highly recommended is Wilson's previous novel, "Winter in Kandahar."

The Unexpected and Fictional Career Change of Jim Kearns
David Munroe
Simon & Pierre Fiction
c/o The Dundurn Group
2250 Military Road, Tonawanda, NY 14150
9781550025675, $21.99

The debut novel of Canadian author David Munroe, The Unexpected and Fictional Career Change of Jim Kearns is the story of Jim Kearns, a career manual laborer going through a mid-life crisis, of sorts. When he punches out a Hollywood action star in a bizarre confrontation, he loses his job and struggles to hold on to his sanity and his fraying ties with his wife and children. Jim's wife, Maddy, gives him a list of life-affirming tasks to complete while he wrestles with unemployment and unwanted fame. Told through the pages of Jim's journal, The Unexpected and Fictional Career Change of Jim Kearns is ultimately about coming to grips with what life is really all about and why it is so precious. Highly recommended.

Shalom on the Range
Michael S. Katz
Strider Nolan Media
1990 Heritage Road, Huntingdon Valley, PE 19006
9781932045697, $24.95

Shalom on the Range is a historical western novel about a Jewish detective in 1870 Colorado. Assigned to investigate a train robbery, David Goldstein will have to call upon his wits, his muscles, and the aid of his companions - including an ex-Union soldier, a near-silent Ute Indian, an equal-opportunity bigot, and a woman who claims to be a Pinkerton detective also assigned to the case. In the process of unraveling the mystery, David will face off against anti-Semitism, moral quandaries, and ultimately, have to confront what it means to be a detective, a Jew, and a human being. A balance between action and introspection interweave in this exceptional tale.

Twenty Hillcrest Road
B. W. Balser
Cold Tree Press
40 Rear Highland Avenue, #315, Salem, MA 01970
9781583851562, $13.95

The first novel in a planned trilogy, Twenty Hillcrest Road is a story told from the viewpoint of an intelligent middle son whose father insists that he play sports. Growing up in the shadow of his older brother, a neighborhood star athlete, is difficult at best; the balance between staying true to oneself and living up to parental expectations can be rough for a young man. A tale of adolescence in a small New England town in the fifties, Twenty Hillcrest Road is about forging relationships with parents and grandfather, school days angst, first love, and the excitement of adventure. Highly recommended.

Shadowing Millicent
Elizabeth S. Peters
West Bergen Mental Healthcare
120 Chestnut Street, Ridgewood, New Jersey 07450-2500
9780965954631, $12.95

Therapist Elizabeth S. Peters presents Shadowing Millicent, a novel about two girls growing up in Northern New Jersey. They become best of friends; however, each girl learns different ways to cope with the misfortunes and hardships in their lives. Milllicent's family is cold and lends little to her idea of what a family should be, while Chelsea's home abounds with love, activity, and learning. Millicent thinks of her perfect home, like Chelsea's, as embodied in an ancient Victorian dwelling not too far from her own home. As she ages, she holds on more and more tightly to the mental illusion that her life is different from her taciturn reality. She is too ashamed to share her delusions with Chelsea, and Chelsea is too kindly to let on that she already knows. A moving and thoughtful contrast between one girl's resigned outlook on life and another's ebullience, rich in heartrending detail.

Menopause Man
Mel Mathews
Fisher King Press
PO Box 222321, Carmel, CA 93922
9780977607617, $17.95

The sequel to "LeRoi", Menopause Man is a novel starring a "quasi-rake" male protagonist Malcolm Clay, divorced, middle-aged, disdaining the religious heritage of his childhood, and generally self-absorbed... though sporting some significantly redeeming qualities. Harsh reality has stripped away his previous charmed fairytale life; he has spent fruitless years searching outside of himself amid an ephemeral world for internal reconciliation. Menopause Man is ultimately a novel of growth, and learning to evolve above being ruled by desires and how to let go of the false idols of meaningless money, indulgence, or sex without love. An absorbing and reflective saga about how difficult yet ultimately rewarding it is to improve oneself.

Painting the Invisible Man
Rita Schano
The Reed Edwards Company
PO Box 562, Wilbraham, MA 01095-0592
9780979534706, $14.95

Painting the Invisible Man is a historical fiction novel about an ordinary writer drawn into conducting research on the world of father, a man murdered in a gangland-style hit more than two decades ago. The deeper she immerses herself in the painful and unresolved past, the more obsessed she becomes with uncovering the truth about her father, whom she thinks of as "The Invisible Man." Written with razor-sharp wit, Painting the Invisible Man is an absorbing tale that smoothly blends the quest for truth with the complexities of a self-portrait.

Paul Martin Midden
Millennial Mind Publishing
5442 South 900 East, #146, Salt Lake City, UT 84117
MM Book Publicity (publicity)
2817 West EndAvenue, Suite 126-274, Nashville, TN 37203
9781589824188, $24.95

"Absolution" by Paul Martin Midden is the story of Radko Slopovich, who is a Roman Catholic Priest sworn to a life of celibacy and service -- until he meets and falls in love with Ursula with whom he fathers a pair of twins. Radko marries Ursula and moves to a large Midwestern diocese where he is afforded just enough anonymity to maintain his family life and continue to serve as a priest. He's able to do this for several years, until he is about to be promoted to the position of Bishop in a rural diocese. Now he will have to choose between the Church and his family. All this plays out against a backdrop of Vatican politics, plots, and power. "Absolution" is a superbly crafted novel, replete with memorable characters, psychological insights, ecclesiastical dilemmas, and a riveting story played out within the context of priestly vows and human emotions. Very highly recommended reading, "Absolution" is as entertaining as is thoughtful and thought-provoking.

The Rice Queen Spy
John F. Rooney
Senneff House Publishers
2433 NE 26 Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33305
9780975275665, $14.95

A deftly written suspense novel that holds the reader's rapt attention from an engaging beginning to its compelling ending, "The Rice Queen Spy" is a the story of Philip Croft, a master spy for MI6, Her Majesty's premier intelligence agency, until he was outed for being homosexual with a partiality towards Asian men. "The Rice Queen Spy" traces the life and experiences of Philip, his loves, his perils, and his passage from mid-life to old age. Author John Rooney is a skilled storyteller able to create living characters, set them in a fascinating series of circumstances, and keep his reader fascinated and needing to know what comes next -- and can a victim become the victor in a world of deception, intrigue, discrimination, and convolution. "The Rice Queen Spy" is highly recommended reading, a novel that is as entertaining as it is iconoclastic.

The Travel Shelf

Spontaneous Tourism
James C. Samans
CrystalOrb, LLC
2525 North 10th Street, #811, Arlington, VA 22201
MM Book Publicity (publicity)
2817 West End Avenue, Suite 126-274, Nashville, TN 37203
9780979189708, $14.95 1-866-266-5479

James C. Samans is an experienced traveler who averages more than 200,000 miles a year going around the country and around the world by air, rail, road, and sea. In "Spontaneous Tourism: The Busy Person's Guide To Travel", Samans draws upon his impressive expertise and broad range of experiences to address such compelling issues as why travel matters, how it works, common obstacles encountered by travelers, and solutions to a diverse range and spectrum travel problems. From how to get the best deal on short notice, to selecting an airline, to going by car, boat or train, what to pack, how to schedule, figuring out what to do upon arrival, and so much more, "Spontaneous Tourism" is a thoroughly 'user friendly' compendium of sound advice, practical tips, effective stratagems that will ensure a successful trip be it across America or around the globe. If you like to bet the most out of your travel experience, whether its first class or on a budget, start by reading James Samans' "Spontaneous Tourism"!

The Business Shelf

The Quick Guide To Small Business Budgeting
Julie Mucha-Aydlott, CFE
San Diego Business Accounting Solutions
PO Box 1128, Lakeside, CA 92040
9780974609386, $29.95,

Most small business founder because they lack sufficient management skills with respect to their cash flows and problems of keeping track of their finances. Now in a fully updated and expanded second edition that is with Excel Spreadsheets, "The Quick Guide To Small Business Budgeting" by Julie Mucha-Aydlott is a complete, comprehensive, and thoroughly 'user friendly' "how-to manual providing step-by-step, do-it-yourself instructions for creating a personal budget, creating a business budget, creating business cash flow projections, creating personal finance statements, and estimating income taxes. "The Quick Guide To Small Business Budgeting" uses real-world examples that will enable those with no previous financial accounting experience or skills to successful identify, calculate, and track cash flows and expenditures associated with virtually any kind of commercial enterprise. Of special value are the templates in an accompanying CD that provide Microsoft Excel forms that include: Personal Budget; Business Budget; Cash Flow Forecast; Work in Progress; Weekly Cash Flow Forecast; and Personal Financial Statement. Especially recommended for small business owners who don't have the capital to hire professional accounting services, "The Quick Guide To Small Business Budgeting" will prove as invaluable as it is practical.

The Poetry Shelf

A World Without End
Matthew Graham
River City Publishing
1719 Mulberry Street, Montgomery, AL 36106
9781579660505, $20.00 1-334-265-6753

Award-winning poet Matthew Graham presents A World Without End, volume six in the River City Poetry Series. A free-verse compilation steeped in temporal metaphors for the phases of life, A World Without End especially celebrates the redeeming power of love. Even as A World Without End recognizes the inexorability of time and death, the verses cherish the precious things that matter the most while they last. "Rummage": The leaves scatter like golden coins / Over the last of the yard sales. / Fifty years ago guys named Joe / Rushed east in armor. Had time not stopped / For my uncle in a stunned and smoking tank, / He'd be seventy this year. / On one of the card tables I find / An embossed souvenir trivet / From the Century of Progress World's Fair. Such hope in 1933. / I'll buy it for her. / We like things like this.

Rain, Heavy at Times
Dan Matthews
Arago Publishing, LLC
90087 Cape Arago Highway, Coos Bay, OR 97420
9780974269818, $17.95

Author Dan Matthews turned to free-verse poetry to cope with the trauma of seeing his wife sicken and die from breast cancer in Rain, Heavy at Times: Life in the Cancer Months. A poignant anthology that resonates from the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest coastline as well as delving into the hard decisions Matthews had to make, Rain, Heavy at Times shines with the courage and love that all families must dig deep within themselves to find amid difficult times. Highly recommended. "And when she woke, she said / I dreamed I was flying / Flying with a white owl / Flying on the wind above a field / There were people there that I didn't know / The wind stopped / And I could no longer fly / It was a good sign / To be flying with the white owl"

The Art Shelf

Faces of Hearst Castle
Jana Seely & Keri Collins
Hearst Castle Press
PO Box 21 San Simeon, CA 93452
9780979215636, $19.95

Featuring beautiful full-color photographs on every page, Faces of Hearst Castle reveals a gallery of artistic treasures from ancient Egypt to twentieth-century Europe, as collected within William Randolph Hearst's hilltop San Simeon estate. Each object of art is given a thumbnail history and description, but it is the brilliant images that make one feel as if one were studying them in person. Art objects featured include the oil on canvas painting "Bonaparte before the Sphinx", a 17th century Spanish heraldic banner, a marble mosaic from 2nd or 3rd century Rome, and much more. A captivating giftbook, highly recommended for connoisseurs of great art throughout world history.

The Parenting Shelf

Parenting Children with Health Issues
Foster W. Cline, M.D. & Lisa C. Greene
Love and Logic Institute Inc.
2207 Jackson Street, Suite 102, Golden, CO 80401-2300
9781930429895, $24.95

Child psychiatrist Foster W. Cline and mother of two children with cystic fibrosis Lisa Greene present Parenting Children with Health Issues: Essential Tools, Tips and Tactics for Raising Kids with Chronic Illness, Medical Conditions & Special Healthcare Needs, a guide to learning and applying the parenting skills needed for raising children who require special medical or dietary care. Chapters discuss how to handle a child's refusal to take medication or undergo medical treatments, promote personal responsibility, deal with sibling, family, and couple relationship issues, and much more. "Because chronically ill children can so easily drift into feeling 'unfair-ed upon' by life, some become entitled and demanding, developing and exploiting placating parents who, as their child becomes more demanding, have increasing difficulty separating 'wants' from 'needs.' Entitled people, children or adults, have a tendency to control others through what they define as their 'needs.'" An invaluable, experience-laden guide accessible to parents and caretakers of all backgrounds, highly recommended.

Parenting and the Internet
Todd Curtis, Ph.D.
Speedbrake Publishing
24 Roy Street, #302, Seattle, WA98109
9781887674126, $19.95

Todd Curtis, Ph.D., himself a parent, teaches fellow parents how to protect their children in Parenting and the Internet: The Guide for Raising Your Child to Be Smarter and Safer Online. Chapters cover internet legal and ethical issues, how to properly manage the online experience of one's child, sample parent-child Internet agreements ideal for setting boundaries, advice on how to use search engines and other online services, tips for filtering unwanted email spam, links to helpful free software, and much more. Above all, Parenting and the Internet is packed with practical wisdom for keeping one's child safe from scam artists and worse predators. "There are some online activities; for example, using chat rooms and webcams, that attract the wrong kind of attention especially if children are allowed. According to the FBI, child predators often use these tools to evaluate their potential victims." A "must-have" for all parents in the increasingly Internet-driven twenty-first century.

The Sports Shelf

Ask Hal
Hal Lebovitz
Gray & Company, Publishers
1588 East 40th Street, Cleveland, OH 44103
9781598510348, $14.95

Ask Hal: Answers to Fans' Most Interesting Questions about Baseball Rules from a Hall-of-Fame Sportswriter is a question-and-answer format guide by dedicated fan Hal Lebovitz, who was inducted into the writers' wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000. The baseball questions that Hal answers come from Little League, church-league softball, major league games, the World Series, and fans' excited imaginations. A fun trivia read and a "must-have" for baseball fans who enjoy being right about their beloved sport. "Q: Say a batter is running to first base with the bat in both hands and the fielder tagged the bat. Would the runner be safe or out? A: He's out. The bat becomes part of him when he holds it, so it's a legal tag. A batter who carries a bat to first base is batty."

Our Game
Bill Reynolds
Hall of Fame Press
3045 Kingstown Road, Kingston, RI 02881-1710
9780977624003, $16.95

Award-winning columnist Bill Reynolds presents Our Game: The Story of New England Basketball, a history of basketball in its birthplace of New England. From the inception of the sport over a hundred years ago to its popularity in the modern day, from small gyms to city playgrounds, rugged field houses, and gigantic arenas, Our Game chronicles how the sport captured people's hearts and minds, shines brief spotlights on legendary players, and evolved so greatly since its humble beginnings. Black-and-white photographs and an index round out this engaging chronicle, accessible to basketball fans of all backgrounds.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Strengthened by Grace
Richard E. Wager
Grace Acres Press
PO Box 22, Larkspur, CO 80118
9781602650060, $19.95

Emmanuel Bible Church founder and former New Tribes Bible Institute instructor Richard E Wager presents Strengthened by Grace: A Systematic Theology Handbook, a straightforward theology reference for Christians of all walks of life. Designed to present rationale for Christian beliefs in accessible, no-nonsense language, Strengthened by Grace is soundly grounded in Scripture as it articulates Christian tenets. "A simple definition of the local church could be: an assembly of professed believers meeting together in one locality. The church started at Pentecost and became an ever-increasing, invisible, divine force upon the earth. The consequence of this ever-increasing bride of Christ is that it should manifest itself visible to the world because of the evident change that was coming into many lives. Thus local, visible churches were born, and as we look into Scripture we see that this was God's plan for manifesting Himself in this present church age - that is, through local churches. Note Hebrews 10:25 as well as 1 Corinthians 16:19; Acts 8:1; Romans 16:1; 1 Thessalonians 1:1, and many other references to local churches (more than forty)." Recommended for both church libraries and personal Christian bookshelves.

Truth Seeker
Warren M. Mueller
Millennial Mind Publishing
c/o American Book Publishing
PO Box 65624, Salt Lake City, UT 84165
124 Fox Hill Court, Edwardsville, IL 62025
9781589824027, $19.95

Deacon and Sunday School teacher Warren M. Mueller presents Truth Seeker: Straight Talk From the Bible, a guide to truths from the Bible that are immediately relevant to human nature, thoughts, and purpose. Truth Seeker points out that a great deal of the controversy surrounding the Bible originates from a lack of systematic study, selecting verses out of context, or seeking to extrapolate meaning beyond what is stated. "Some Christian religions encourage praying to various saints who, in turn, ask God to grant the request. This is a form of belief based on human logic and influence peddling that is not found in the Bible. The Bible teaches that we are to pray to God alone to meet our needs. Praying to idols, angels, or saints is idolatry and is forbidden. Idolatry is any action that puts someone or something in the place of God." Drawing upon Scripture itself as a reference at length, Truth Seeker is a powerful and profound "as-is" look at what the Bible has to say.

6 Rules Every Man Must Break
Bill Perkins
Veritas Communications
PO Box 761, Sandpoint, ID 83864
Tyndale House Publishers (distributor)
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
9781414311401, $16.99 1-800-323-9400

Pastor, public speaker, and spiritual leader Bill Perkins presents 6 Rules Every Man Must Break, a guide written especially for Christian men. In 6 Rules Every Man Must Break, Perkins shines a spotlight on the hypocrisy generated by "add-on" rules and supposed Christian leaders who make demands beyond the pale of modern-day men. The six rules that a spiritual man must know when to defy are "The Rule of Passivity" (sometimes getting in a fight is necessary to defend oneself and loved ones),"The Rule of Playing It Safe" (risking it all may be needed to take a stand for one's beliefs), "The Rule of Perseverance" (expending energy into a lost cause will serve no one, especially not God), "The Rule of Independence" (while independence is a valuable trait to strive for, there are times when seeking help is necessary to avoid great harm), "The Rule of Restraint" (it is natural to feel anger against injustice - the key is not to let anger control one's actions), and "The Rule of Impressing Others" (there are more important things in both physical and spiritual life than a flawless reputation). Though written especially for men - and speaking out with particular strength against efforts in the so-called name of Jesus Christ to "domesticate" men as passive creatures who won't stand up for themselves - 6 Rules Every Man Must Break offers salient points for the consideration of all Christians, men and women alike. Perkins reminds the reader that Jesus Christ spoke out against the "add-on" rules of the Pharisees, and compares the excessive rituals of ancient times to the efforts of modern churches to over-control and over-tithe their members. Discussion questions round out this thought-provoking, passionately charged treatise about the importance of balancing spiritual duty with real-life responsibilities, and how being true to God and Jesus Christ can require one to take a stand.

Rare Peace, Raging World
J. Rande Howell
EmPowered Horizons
4525 Hedgemore Drive, Suite M, Charlotte, NC 28209
9781424341962, $16.95

Rare Peace, Raging World: Discovering Calm Within Life's Storms is a guide for modern Christians to creating and maintaining peace of mind in a constantly and precariously changing world. Chapters teach the reader how to harness his or her own neuro-biology to promote spiritual development; with the body calmed and the mind stilled, one can discover the war within the self, silence the evil, and embrace the voice of Christ inside. "At the core of our being, we belong to God and not to ourselves. We simply are not separate form Abba, as a child is not separate from her parent." A deeply reverential guide to a form of meditation devoted to sanctifying one's own spirit.

The Money/Finance Shelf

The Quiet Millionaire
Brett Wilder
FMG Publishing, Inc.
c/o Jenkins Group Inc.
400 West Front Street, Suite 4A, Traverse City, MI 49684
9780978772000, $24.95

Certified financial planner Brett Wilder presents The Quiet Millionaire: A Guide for Accumulating and Keeping Your Wealth, a savvy guide to achieving a financially independent and secure lifestyle. Chapters cover how to maximize results from employer stock options and other employee compensation programs, becoming informed of one's health care insurance options, how to make college affordable, how to maximize retirement assets and transfer estate wealth, how to be an intelligent borrower, and much more. "You should be aware that retirement plan loans have two potentially devastating pitfalls. The first pitfall is the fact that when you borrow against the plan, the amount borrowed is set aside separately from the investment funds in order to secure the loan... The second pitfall is the biggest disadvantage by far and can occur if you leave your employer for any reason, including termination, with a loan balance against your retirement plan. This is because upon leaving, the loan must be repaid in full or else the loan is considered in default and is then deemed by the IRS to be a 'retirement distribution' for the entire amount of the loan balance." Tackling complex topics in plain terms, The Quiet Millionaire is thoroughly accessible to readers of all financial backgrounds and highly recommended.

The Jobs/Careers Shelf

How to Break Into Pharmaceutical Sales
Tom Ruff
Waverly Press
Rockefeller Center, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, 7th floor, New York, NY 10020
The Agency (publicity)
2101 Sudderth Drive, Ruidoso, NM 88345
9780978607012, $29.95

Author Tom Ruff, President and CEO of Tom Ruff Company, shares his years of experience in grooming and placing talent for pharmaceutical and medical device companies in How to Break Into Pharmaceutical Sales: A Headhunter's Strategy. Chapters cover "How You Get the Job", "The Interview - How to Sell", "Working With Recruiters", and much more. The guidelines for preparing for an interview are especially in-depth, so much so as to be directly applicable to careers outside the field as well. "Top Ten Most Frequently Asked Questions 1. What are your weaknesses? This really isn't necessarily about weaknesses. I'm looking for people who are aggressively working on their self-development and can talk about the areas in which they need work. What is their growth plan? Does their reasoning stand up to scrutiny? I am not looking for the need-to-get-better-at-delegation response. I don't like it when candidates dodge this question. Other show stoppers: 'I need to learn to close better. I need to become more organized.' By the way candidates answer this question; I can tell if they are goal-oriented." Enthusiastically recommended for anyone pursuing a career in the field.

The Cookbook Shelf

Vegetarian Revenge
Karen Q. Peterson Mann & Philip E. Mann
Purslane Press
c/o Atlas Books
30 Amberwood Parkway, Ashland, OH 44805
9780978629526, $19.95 1-800-537-6727

A vegetarian diet can encompass dishes that are truly elegant in the presentation, pleasing to the palate, and satisfying to the appetite. Co-authored by Karen and Philip Mann, "Vegetarian Revenge: Better Living Without Chemistry" is a compendium of step-by-step, 'kitchen cook friendly' instructions of just such recipes. From Orange-Daikon Salad; Broccoli-Tomato Soup; Red-Cabbage with Apple; and Beer-Simmered Beans; to Red Bell Peppers Stuffed with Curried Rice; Tofu with Soy and Tumeric; Penne Baked with Mushrooms and Eggplant; and Pineapple Salsa, "Vegetarian Revenge" offers vegetarian dishes suitable for every dining occasion. Enhanced with the occasional color photograph of a finished dish and a handy index of recipes, "Vegetarian Revenge" is confidently recommended as being an ideal addition to a family cookbook collection.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Marv Wolfman, Mario Ruiz, William J. Rubin
Nachshon Press
9175 Gross Point Road, Suite 186, Skokie, IL 60077
Phenix & Phenix (publicity)
2100 Kramer Lane, Suite 300, Austin, TX 78758
9780977150700, $34.95

A superbly illustrated history, "Homeland" is a historical overview of 3,500 years of Israel's complex and complicated history presented with the accuracy of university level scholarship and the accessibility of a graphic novel. Exceptionally easy to understand, Israel's history is laid out chronologically with almost every page featuring full color photos and painted illustrations enhancing a superimposed explanatory text. The collaborative effort of Marv Wolfman, Mario Ruiz, and William J. Rubin, "Homeland" begins with the story of Abraham, continues through biblical times down to the period of Roman rule, the diaspora, the Holocaust, the founding of the modern State of Israel, notes its accomplishments, as well as the recent wars the Israeli's have had to wage in order to preserve their nation and themselves. Of special note is how the authors, while writing from a Jewish perspective, have also drawn upon non-Jewish narratives as well, giving "Homeland" an historical context with respect to contemporary Middle East issues. A unique and visually impressive publication which is also available in paperback ($19.95), "Homeland: The Illustrated History of the State of Israel" is a welcome and enthusiastically recommended addition to personal, school, and community library collections.

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

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