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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 17, Number 9 September 2018 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Social Issues Shelf Parenting Shelf
International Studies Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Biography Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Business Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Crafts Shelf Sports Shelf  


Reviewer's Choice

How to Read the Constitution & the Declaration of Independence
Paul B. Skousen
www.paulskousen.com
Izzard Ink Publishing
www.izzardink.com
9781630721077 $19.95 pbk / $1.49 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: Have you ever wanted to read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and really understand what they're saying?

Millions of others have, too. But getting a real understanding of the legal language of 200 years ago can be challenging - and as a result, few Americans know these important documents as well as they should. Recognizing this, Paul Skousen has written exactly the book you've been looking for.

It's an easy step-by-step guide that makes these documents come alive. With his help, you will be able to read them with purpose, with understanding, and with clarity.

Skousen provides several valuable memory aids for you to master the Constitution's seven Articles and the 27 important rights named in the Bill of Rights. You will be able to navigate through the Declaration's five power statements on freedom and unlock their 18th century phrases with a convenient glossary. You will find the answers to 10 popular myths about the Constitution, and discover how its guiding principles protect human rights.

Thousands of books describe the origins of these famous documents, but only one audiobook gives you a place to start reading them made easier in How to Read the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.

Critique: How to Read the Constitution & the Declaration of Independence presents much, much more than the original text of these historic documents that form the foundation of American government. Chapters describe, point by point, the principles and historical context behind the words. Quizzes and questions, with blanks to write in the answers, serve to reinforce the reader's understanding. A glossary and endnotes round out this superb educational resource highly recommended for self-study, classroom study, or public library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that How to Read the Constitution & the Declaration of Independence is also available in a Kindle edition ($1.49).

How to Cuss in Western
Michael P. Branch
Roost Books
www.roostbooks.com
9781611804614, $14.95, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In the pages of "How to Cuss in Western: And Other Missives from the High Desert" author and essayist Michael P. Branch Edward provides his readers with clear-eyed explorations of the natural world, witty cultural observations, and heart-warming family connections.

A cranky and hilarious love letter of sorts to the western Great Basin Desert of Nevada, "How to Cuss in Western", Michael Branch is a master of iconoclastic irony and gifted with a unique and compelling storytelling style that will keep the reader's riveted attention throughout.

Critique: Absorbing, challenging, entertaining, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "How to Cuss in Western: And Other Missives from the High Desert" is a truly memorable read that will linger in the mind long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf. "How to Cuss in Western" is highly and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Humor, Nature, and Contemporary Literary Essay collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "How to Cuss in Western" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Wired
Caytlyn Brooke
BHC Press
9781946848581, $25.95, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When Maggie Stone straps on the Vertix H2, an innovative device that creates a social media and online experience unlike anything she's ever known, she quickly becomes a fan.

Able to control virtual reality with her mind, the rush is intoxicating. But soon the device begins to take over her life. Immersed in a colorful and explosive world of technology, she finds it impossible to disconnect. As her addiction grows, Maggie's world spirals out of control, endangering and pushing away reality.

Can she kick the social addiction, or will the thrill of the connection pull her under?

Critique: With a plot line that could be torn from tomorrow's newspaper headlines, "Wired" by Caytlyn Brooke deftly explores in a fictional format what advances in virtual reality technology could well make real as a social and health problem in another decade or so. An original and riveting read from cover to cover, "Wired" is unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Wired" is also available in a paperback edition (9781947727533, $15.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

Love & Wisdom: 37 Timeless Reflections
Alexandra Villard de Borchgrave
www.lightofhealinghope.org
D Giles Ltd.
www.gilesltd.com
9781911282297 $16.95 amazon.com

Synopsis: The 37 timeless reflections in this book have survived through space and time, offering inspiration. Love & Wisdom is a heartening, emotive and enchanting book, a wonderful gift that will bring comfort and hope. The uplifting, inspirational quotes, that are as relevant today as they were centuries ago, are framed by an extraordinary combination of exquisite sixteenth century art from the Smithsonian Institution's Freer/Sackler Gallery, and stunning contemporary images of the heavens, many from National Geographic Creative.

Critique: Love & Wisdom: 37 Timeless Reflections features profound quotes from history against captivating images of sunsets and starry skies. "All religions must be tolerated... for every man must get to heaven in his own way. -Epictetus". Beautiful, inspirational, and thought-provoking, Love & Wisdom is a joy to browse and makes an excellent giftbook for cherished friends and family. Highly recommended.


The Social Issues Shelf

Interracial Relationships Between Black Women and White Men
Cheryl Y. Judice
Book Baby Publishers
www.bookbaby.com
9781543934168, $21.00, PB, 214pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Cheryl Y. Judice holds a Ph.D. in sociology from Northwestern University where she is an adjunct faculty member in the School of Education and Social Policy. She has taught sociology, social psychology, and African American studies at Lake Forest College, Northeastern Illinois University and Northwestern University. Her research focuses on the intersections of race, class, and gender.

In the pages of "Interracial Relationships Between Black Women and White Men contains" she provides illustrative and insightful vignettes on the lives of black women who are dating, married to, or divorced from white men.

Black women and white men in interracial relationships were interviewed between 2014 and 2017 to learn how they met and how their relationships progressed. These forty interviews offer thought-provoking insights on the lives of those willing to cross the racial divide in pursuit of personal happiness.

Critique: Only a few decades since the last of the laws against racial intermarriage were repealed in the southern states that still had them, interracial dating and interracial marriage is an accepted and non-controversial subject for the overwhelming majority of the country. Nevertheless, racism and racial prejudice are still routine factors in daily lives of African-Americans and carriers over with respect to interracial dating and interracial marriage. That's what makes "Interracial Relationships Between Black Women and White Men" a timely and relevant study that is very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Social Issues collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Interracial Relationships Between Black Women and White Men" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Ten Cultures, Twenty Lives
Daina Jurika-Owen
Amaya Books
http://www.amayabooks.com
9780999398104, $16.89, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: We often don't realize all it takes for refugees to navigate the path to resettlement. They face years of waiting and countless hurdles before arriving in a strange new land with few possessions and little knowledge of their new communities' language and culture.

How did a diverse group of refugees make their way to the US and settle in Abilene, Texas? Who helped them through the resettlement process as they embarked on their new lives?

Compiled and presented by Daina Jurika-Owen (originally from Riga, Latvia, and now a former refugee resettlement professional and an academically trained folklorist residing in Abilene, Texas), "Ten Cultures, Twenty Lives: Refugee Life Stories" is a compendium of contributions by refugee storytellers from a broad swath of cultures (Rwanda, Congo, Liberia, Cuba, Iraq, Bhutan, and more) who reveal their compelling, sometimes humorous, often bittersweet tales of resettlement in West Texas. Through their life stories, refugees share their powerful experiences about the long, hard road they took to get to the US.

Ten Cultures, Twenty Lives guides the reader through their journeys and draws us into the world of refugees and resettlement staff, describing the passion and energy needed to help these courageous storytellers resettle in the US and the challenges they faced.

Critique: An invaluable and timely contribution providing a much needed context to our national dialogue over immigration and refugees, "Ten Cultures, Twenty Lives: Refugee Life Stories" is unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Social Sciences and Contemporary Social issues collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, immigration/refugee policy makers, social activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Ten Cultures, Twenty Lives: Refugee Life Stories" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).


The Parenting Shelf

The Kind of Parent You Are
Brian Vondruska
Aurora Park Publishing
9780998751139, $18.95, PB, 346pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "The Kind of Parent You Are: Becoming Your Best Person So Your Children Can Become Their Best Adults" by Brian Vondruska applies the principles from The Optimal Life Experience to the subject of parenting. It will help parents define and develop the best in themselves and set the stage for children to do the same.

"The Kind of Parent You Are" shows how to: Create your parenting purpose, vision, and goals; Be an example for your children to emulate: Set the environment for your children's enrichment: Help your children develop the inner qualities to get the most out of life; Empower your children to be the best they can be.

While none of these things will be easy, "The Kind of Parent You Are" offers a wealth of effective support to help. Included are practical tools, creative techniques, and introspective activities that can be used for your child's growth, and for your own.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Kind of Parent You Are: Becoming Your Best Person So Your Children Can Become Their Best Adults" should be considered mandatory reading by everyone expecting a child or who is already engaged in raising children in our distractive and stressed world. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Parenting instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Kind of Parent You Are" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).


The International Studies Shelf

A New Hope For Mexico
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
OR Books
http://www.orbooks.com
9781944869854, $16.95, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's stunning victory in the Mexican presidential election signals the end of decades of conservative government and the promise of fairer, more honest politics south of the Rio Grande.

Andres' landslide electoral success was built on a campaign that pledged to tackle corruption, halt privatization of the energy industry, invest in education and infrastructure, open a dialogue with the country's drug cartels, and oppose Trump's border wall.

Mexicans have responded to this platform with a resounding "Si!" Now, Andres will make a reality of the bold vision he sets out in the pages of "A New Hope For Mexico: Saying No to Corruption, Violence, and Trump's Wall".

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "A New Hope For Mexico: Saying No to Corruption, Violence, and Trump's Wall" is an inherently interesting and ultimately inspiring contribution that is recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary Political Science and Contemporary Mexico/American International Studies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "A New Hope For Mexico: Saying No to Corruption, Violence, and Trump's Wall" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Health/Medicine Shelf

240 Beats Per Minute
Bernard Witholt & Roger M. Mills
River Grove Books
c/o Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
www.greenleafbookgroup.com
9781632991867, $15.95, PB, 254pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In February 1999, Professor Bernard Witholt (a 58-year-old) award-winning Dutch scientist) developed an unpredictable and potentially fatal heart rhythm disorder called ventricular tachycardia. Over the next decade he documented every detail of his diagnosis and treatment. After his death in 2015 his wife shared his writings with his friend and cardiologist Roger Mills.

The result is "240 Beats Per Minute: Life with an Unruly Heart" which, using Professor Witholt as a practical example, shows the reader how to live a productive, fulling life with a chronic life-threatening disease; cope with serious illness and live with the 'worst news' possibilities; why the nature of the survival curve and the inevitability of death are an essential message for families of loved ones with terminal illness; become an effective caregiver for a loved one (including end-of-life care); what questions should be asked of the doctor today about your care; common problems of the physician-patient communications related to informed consent and mutual respect.

Critique: A personal memoir that is simply packed from cover to cover with 'real world practical' information that will be of immense value for anyone having to cope with a potentially terminal medical diagnosis for themselves or a loved one, "240 Beats Per Minute: Life with an Unruly Heart" is extraordinarily well written, organized and presented. While very highly recommended for community, college, and university library Health/Medicine collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of medical students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "240 Beats Per Minute" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.15).

Finding The Source
Victor Roman, M.D.
Advantage Media Group
65 Gadsden Street, Charleston, SC 29401
http://advantagefamily.com
9781599329109, $14.99, PB, 170pp, www.amazon.cm

Synopsis: Dr. Victor Romano is a life-long resident of Oak Park and River Forest. He is board certified in orthopaedics and sports medicine, with over twenty-five years of experience in the field.

Whether you're a young athlete playing football, a nine-to-five office worker who boxes in the evenings, or someone who's getting older and wants to stay active, chronic injuries and pain will only hamper your goals and achievements. No matter how intense the sport or activity is, it's important to understand the options available for injuries, and how to recover in the most efficient manner possible.

Drawing upon his many years of experience and expertise, Dr. Romano wrote "Finding the Source: Maximizing Your Results - With and Without Orthopaedic Surgery" to explain to the reader the best possible ways to treat and recover from physical injuries before surgery.

"Finding the Source: covers such fundamental issues as: Ways to improve your balance to avoid injuries; Techniques to recover from injuries; How to find the source of your injuries.

Many people dealing with physical pain and injuries tend to avoid orthopaedic surgeons because they're not ready to deal with surgery itself. In the pages of "Finding the Source", Dr. Romano will teach you all you need to know about finding the root of your issues in order to fix them without orthopaedic surgery.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, ""Finding the Source: Maximizing Your Results - With and Without Orthopaedic Surgery" is very highly recommended for both community and academic library Health & Medicine instructional reference collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Finding the Source" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Sipping Skinny
Cherie Calbom, MS
https://juiceladycherie.com
Siloam
c/o Charisma House
9781629994673, $17.99, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Adding juices and smoothies to your diet can help you lose weight and improve your health.

A recent study at China Medical University showed that drinking a glass of tomato juice each day helped twenty-five women lose weight.

But replacing a meal or two each day can dramatically speed weight loss. You can make a meal-replacement smoothie or choose a glass of fresh juice. Or you can sip bone broth for a meal or two, or a day or two and watch the pounds melt away.

Other drinks that will help you lose weight include apple cider, electrolyte replacers, teas, flavored water, lemon juice, and honey with water. Until now people have focused primarily on one beverage for weight loss.

Among the features and benefits of "Sipping Skinny: Drink Away the Pounds" by nutritionist Cherie Calbom are: No expensive meals to buy. Save money while you make healthy choices; No complicated diet plan. Just sip your way to losing weight; No more boredom with juice, smoothies, or bone broth. Drink them all! Change it up!.

Sipping skinny" is unique because Cherie Calborn brings all the beverage options together under one cover.

Critique: Practical, effective, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "Sipping Skinny: Drink Away the Pounds" is a unique and ideal guide that will help anyone with weight control issues. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Health & Diet instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Sipping Skinny: Drink Away the Pounds" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).


The Fiction Shelf

Matka
Sarah Hanley
http://www.sarahhanleybooks.com
Edward Wayne Publishing
http://www.edwardwaynepublishing.com
9781732444201, $14.99, PB, 362pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Zosia has sacrificed herself to save her dying son from the Gestapo. She takes his place as a prisoner and is sent to work as a slave in Germany, where the only thing keeping her alive is the hope of her children's survival.

Once World War II ends, her goal, like any mother, is to return to Poland and the children she left behind. Instead, she's collected into a DP camp in Wildflecken, Germany, to wait for stability in Poland. She digs for clues about her family but finds the truth impossible to uncover. Zosia is trapped in a never-ending purgatory.

Despite her initial resistance, she falls in love with Czeslaw, who uses his black market network to help her. When Zosia becomes pregnant, Czeslaw offers the promise of a new life but refuses to return to Poland and the tragedy he left behind.

The refugee camps are closing and time is running out. Zosia is faced with a decision: return to the ruins of Poland alone to find her older children, or follow Czeslaw in his chase after a better future for their fragile new family.

Critique: All the more impressive when considering that "Matka" is author Sarah Hanley's debut as a novelist, this deftly crafted and compelling novel is one of those novels that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf. While very highly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Matka" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

Olustee
Greg Ahlgren
Canterbury House Publishing
www.canterburyhousepublishing.com
9781945401053 $15.95 amazon.com

Synopsis: When Tampa area journalist Jason Bauman is tasked to write an article about a Florida legislative hearing about the placement of Civil War memorials, as well as the battle whose proposed monument triggered the bill, he figures it ll be his last easy fluff piece before he heads North to his new job as a political reporter. His one regret is leaving behind the woman he loves, who because of her family obligations can't move with him. But what he discovers in the small North Florida town of Olustee will force him to re-examine not only his perception of America's bloodiest conflict and its enduring cultural rift, but also his own life choices.

Critique: Olustee is an original novel with undertones of history and intrigue. When Tampa area journalist Jason Bauman investigates the Civil War history of the North Florida town of Olustee, what he learns will directly affect his understanding of America's bloodiest conflict as well as his own life decisions. Tense as a tightrope, Olustee captivates the readers attention and does not let go until the last page. Highly recommended.

Hungry for Love
Maya Sacher
Independently Published
9781973428626, $7.99, PB, 234pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Elizabeth, a dentist in her late thirties, doesn't have it all. She is coping with her husband's coma, her unresolved grief over her mother's death, her mixed feelings toward her stepmother, dissatisfaction with her job.

Unexpectedly, she falls in love with a musical zoo curator from Australia. He is divorced, he has a dog and a tween daughter who doesn't want Elizabeth around.

When her husband wakes up, Elizabeth's life is thrown into chaos. The choice before her is unbearable because she doesn't want to hurt anyone, yet she wants to do the right thing, whatever that is.

The expectations of her family and her men don't make it any easier. What should she do? Can she have her cookie and eat it too?

Critique: Showcasing an author with a genuinely original flair for character and narrative driven storytelling, Maya Sacher's novel, "Hungry for Love" is an extraordinary and engaging read from beginning to end. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Hungry for Love" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

Wordwings
Sydelle Pearl
Guernica Editions
www.guernicaeditions.com
9781771831963, $20.00, PB, 170pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In 1941, 12-year-old Rivka Rosenfeld lives in the Warsaw Ghetto with her grandfather and two sisters in a synagogue because housing is scarce. When German soldiers slash her grandfather's beard, Rivka is compelled to write in between the pages of a library book by Hans Christian Andersen.

Dr. Emanuel Ringelblum, founder of the Underground Archive (a compilation of Warsaw Ghetto experiences), asks her to contribute her stories to the archives and Rivka agrees, imagining her words rising up from the ground on wings of their own.

Critique: A fully engaging and compellingly entertaining read from beginning to end, "Wordwings" showcases author Sydelle Pearl's genuine flair for character and narrative driven storytelling. An original and deftly crafted novel, "Wordwings" is very highly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Wordwings" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).

Kaitlin's Mooring
Carey V. Azzara
Glass Spider Publishing
https://www.glassspiderpublishing.com
9780999707081, $24.99, HC, 190pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Pregnant twenty-year-old Kaitlin Deveau leaves Boston University in a hurry when Henry, her grandfather, calls from Maine with devastating news. Bereft of hope, Kaitlin's son, Christopher, becomes a life preserver, keeping the family buoyant. Henry, now Chris's only male role model, teaches him lessons he uses throughout life. In the end, Chris and his adopted sister, Susan, must save their parents from the fate that took his grandparents

But the outcome is uncertain because nothing is more horrific than losing a child, nothing more joyous than the birth of one. When grief intertwines with joy, it throws the Deveau family into a whirlpool of turmoil.

Critique: A deftly crafted and absorbing novel from beginning to end, "Kaitlin's Mooring" showcases author Cary V. Azzara's genuine flair for originality and character driven storytelling. While unreservedly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Kaitlin's Mooring" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Wish You Were Here Badfinger "A Rock Fantasy"
Joyce S. Isaacson, author
Dennis De Rose, editor
greatbooksgreatprice
c/o CreateSpace
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
www.createspace.com
9780999807903, $20.00, PB, 354pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Badfinger band member Tommy Evans, after years of depression following the death of a beloved band mate, gets into heaven by the skin of his teeth. Guided by the angel Gabriel, Tommy sets out on a Dantean voyage through the strata of the afterlife to reunite with his lost lead singer, Pete Ham. Along the way in his fierce quest for his best friend's soul, Tommy encounters a repertoire of other famous faces who are chafing against, laughing with, and learning from each other.

A novel about after-death adventure, rules, and posthumous love, Wish You Were Here Badfinger "A Rock Fantasy" features the overtly fictionalized spirits of real-world artists, performers, and thinkers to explore questions about legacy -- but not always to answer them.

Will Tommy find Pete and/or peace at last?

Critique: Edited by Dennis De Rose, Wish You Were Here Badfinger: A Rock Fantasy" is a quirky story by Joyce S. Isaacson is a unique, original, and deftly crafted metaphysical novel that showcases the author's genuine flair for character and narrative driven entertainment that is simply riveting from first page to last. While very highly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that Wish You Were Here Badfinger "A Rock Fantasy" is also available in an inexpensive digital book format (Kindle, $0.99).

Love, Loss, and Lagniappe
Richard Robbins
Evolved Publishing
https://evolvedpub.com
9781622530434, $14.95, 208pp, www.robbinsbooks.com

Synopsis: Life is good for Dr. Drew Coleman, a successful young eye surgeon living in Uptown New Orleans, and he knows it. Having met and married his beautiful medical school classmate, Kate, the two settle happily into the routine of raising their two young daughters.

Drew's charmed life is soon shattered by devastating news, causing him to go on a ten-year transcontinental journey of self-discovery, during which he explores the nature of God and Man, the divine inspiration for many of New York's landmarks and artistic treasures, and the relationship between the found and the lost souls passing on the street. He meets a number of memorable characters, including the young blue-haired runaway, Blue, who renounced her given name when forced to leave her Minnesota home with her girlfriend, Anna.

In time, he discovers and explains the scientific basis for the meaning of life, and is finally found, or finds himself, setting the stage for a bittersweet and memorable ending.

Critique: "Love, Loss, and Lagniappe " is all the more impressive when considering that author Richard Robbins' debut as a novelist. Written with a genuine flair for originality, Robbins has created a cast of distinctive characters deftly embedded in a narrative driven, exceptionally engaging story that holds the readers fully engaged attention from beginning to end. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Love, Loss, and Lagniappe" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99, www.amazon.com).

Before She Sleeps
Bina Shah
Delphinium
http://www.delphiniumbooks.com
9781883285760, $25.00, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis; In modern, beautiful Green City, the capital of South West Asia, gender selection, war and disease have brought the ratio of men to women to alarmingly low levels. The government uses terror and technology to control its people, and women must take multiple husbands to have children as quickly as possible.

Yet there are women who resist, women who live in an underground collective and refuse to be part of the system. Secretly protected by the highest echelons of power, they emerge only at night, to provide to the rich and elite of Green City a type of commodity that nobody can buy: intimacy without sex. As it turns out, not even the most influential men can shield them from discovery and the dangers of ruthless punishment.

"Before She Sleeps" is dystopian novel from one of Pakistan's most talented writers is a modern-day parable about women's lives in repressive Muslim countries everywhere. It takes the patriarchal practices of female seclusion and veiling, gender selection, and control over women's bodies, amplifies and distorts them in a truly terrifying way to imagine a world of post-religious authoritarianism.

Critique: Exceptionally well written and a truly riveting read from beginning to end, "Before She Sleeps" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, as well as college or university Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Before She Sleeps" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Express Exec
Gary Brose
CC Productions
9781642372236, $12.95, PB, 278pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Express Exec is a short novel about business in the fast lane. In it, the VP of Manufacturing at Juggernaut Industries must make rapid and radical change to her department in order to help turn the company around in six months. The reader gets to go along for the ride and experience 'first-hand' the ups and downs, the failures and victories, and the fears and joys of both the employees and management.

Critique: The author of "Express Exec", Gary Brose bought his first business in 1981 and enjoyed it so much he started or purchased over twenty more during the next thirty years. Most all of his companies were labor intensive, service oriented, and fast-paced businesses. Finding himself chronically underfunded, Gary soon realized that he needed to find ways to increase employee productivity in order to stay in business - and find them fast! To that end, he began earnestly experimenting with bonus programs and management techniques designed to enhance employee engagement and motivation.

In 1984, Gary bought his first business computer and learned firsthand the lessons of change. Over the years, he built his companies up, ever mindful that the business world was not only changing rapidly, but the pace of that change was increasing as well. Today's small business person has to wear many hats, read constantly, learn new skills, and help his employees do the same in a never-ending battle to stay ahead of the pace of change.

In "Express Exec" Brose effectively draws upon his years of corporate experience and expertise to show, in a fiction format, the 'real world' processes that makes rapid change possible in a corporate culture. While very highly recommended for corporate, community, and academic library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Express Exec" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

A Cottonwood Stand
Chuck Redman
Sunstone Press
PO Box 2321, Santa Fe, NM 87504-2321
www.sunstonepress.com
9781632932204, $18.95, PB, 146pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Several centuries ago, a young Sioux woman called Lark rebels against her people's traditions and crosses the plains to save her adopted sister from a bad marriage proposal and return the girl to the Pawnee village from which she was abducted in childhood. At the end of her journey Lark finds herself the center of a mysterious Pawnee ritual that undermines her plan as well as her confidence.

In this century, Janet Hinderson runs a small town newspaper and crusades against a proposed meat packing plant that will destroy the fabric of the town along with its landmark stand of cottonwoods. But Janet's hard and soft sides must grapple when the meat company's general counsel comes to town and reveals some cryptic interest in her.

"A Cottonwood Stand" is a blending of two stories from two different times and two different cultures that are connected, told and wound into one -- each of them exploring social issues and themes that are vital and timeless and relevant to us all.

Critique: A deftly written, superbly crafted, multilayered and unique story by a master of character an narrative driven storytelling, Chuck Redman's "A Cottonwood Stand" is a unique and unfailingly entertaining read that is as thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is consistently entertaining from beginning to end. While very highly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Cottonwood Stand" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

Dream Walker
Larry Prosor
Book Baby Publishers
www.bookbaby.com
9781543929850, $24.98, PB, 322pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Fired from his job at an Indian casino and armed with a dolphin amulet gifted to him by his Noqoto grandfather, student archaeologist Peter Martinez is on a mission to save Rocky Point, California from an oil giant's development plans. But when his exploration of the sacred coastal land leads him to an ancient burial cave in the side of a cliff, a wave knocks him into the water and he wakes up on the beach -- more than 300 years in the past.

His Noqoto ancestors have occupied this shore for thousands of years, but in 1786 their experiences with the Spanish have left them wary of strangers. That this Dream Walker outsider who walks into their village and knows so little of their world hints at their destiny is alarming. But when the village leader's son leads Peter into the wilderness to test his character and resolve, the skills taught to Peter by his grandfather wins over the tribe and they begin to listen to his words of warning.

Is there anything they can do to prevent the future Peter says is coming? Or can they use his knowledge to save themselves?

Critique: "Dream Walker" by novelist, screenwriter and photographer Larr Prosor is an extraordinary and exceptionally well crafted story by an author with a genuine flair for originality and a knack for engaging storytelling. While very highly recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Dream Walker" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Stone Cold Sober
Rebecca Marks
Black Opal Press
PO Box 504, Parkdale, OR 97041
https://blackopalbooks.com
9781626947498, $13.99, PB, 309pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Dana Cohen is a forty-three-year-old, hard-drinking NYPD detective who has spent twenty-two years on the force before retiring to Long Island. Now Dana's best friend, Marilyn, is directing a local musical theater production.

Dana's estranged lover, and the father of the child she's carrying, Alex Frazier, is a dancer in the show, but Dana has no theatrical talent at all. So Marilyn cooks up a way to get the two former lovebirds together, hiring Dana to work security.

When Dana discovers a gruesome murder during one of the show's rehearsals, her "detective gene" overtakes her, and she can't resist the urge to throw herself into this case. But as she investigates, she uncovers some dark secrets and realizes, too late, how far someone will go to keep them hidden!

Critique: A compelling and entertaining read from first page to last, "Stone Cold Sober" showcases author Rebecca Marks genuine flair for originality and total mastery of the mystery genre. "Stone Cold Sober" is unreservedly recommended to the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

The Moment Between
Gareth Frank
Three Women Press
PO Box 208, Allamuchy, NJ 07820
www.threewomenpress.com
9781732294202, $15.99 pbk / $6.99 Kindle 297pp, amazon.com

Synopsis: After four years of mourning, Doctor Hackett Metzger is determined to stop letting his wife's death control his life. He is finally beginning to live again, but his recovery leads to an unexpected fight for his own survival and startling revelations about what happens to all of us in "The Moment Between".

Hackett, a brilliant neurologist, is a skeptic. He doesn't believe he will one day be reunited with Jean, or dwell with God in heaven. What he does believe is that he should have seen the warning signs of her heart attack; he should have saved her. He also cannot accept the possibility that his clinical study of near death experiences could prove the existence of a conscious afterlife. When Hackett falls for the mother of a patient, grief finally begins to fade. But he has no idea his new love is hiding her dangerous past. Will Hackett's damaged spirit endure another heartbreak? And, will he survive the treachery around him?

As life and research collide, the good doctor discovers that the secrets of love and death just may be part of the same fabric.

Critique: All the more impressive when considering that "The Moment Between" is author Gareth Frank's debut as a novelist, his genuine flair for character and narrative driven storytelling in this compelling psychological thriller. A simply riveting and unfailingly entertaining read from first page to last, "The Moment Between" is an especially recommended addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Moment Between" is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.99).

James Street
Sarah Vail
Archway Publishing
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
www.archwaypublishing.com
9781480844681, $42.95, HC, 402pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: After four years of hard work, deputy district attorney Tim McAndrews claims the title of his office's top prosecutor. He's young, handsome, and smart, and his life is ticking along at a satisfying pace until he sees a woman dancing down the last few steps of the James Street parking garage. Tim realizes his perfect life is actually missing something: love.

He's surprised by his sudden and overwhelming attraction to the beautiful Daniela St. Clair -- a wealthy heiress and philanthropist. Love on the brain, he returns to his office to find his best friends from the old neighborhood, Kathy and Scott. They have grim news: two young women have died as a result of a toxic mix of antidepressants and alcohol.

Kathy, with the Medical Examiner's Office, and Scott, a Seattle detective, suspect foul play, and they need Tim's help to prove it. With thoughts of Daniela still whirling around his head, Tim works with his old friends, but the case leads them all down a dark path. They follow the evidence where it leads, methodically putting together a jigsaw puzzle of pure evil, as Tim pursues new love and soon realizes he's not the only one interested in Daniela.

Critique: A deftly crafted and simply riveting roller coaster of a ride from beginning to end, "James Street" showcases author Sarah Vail's genuine mastery of the genre in a novel that is unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "James Street" is also available in a paperback edition (9781480844704, $24.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).

Pretense
John Di Frances
http://www.imbrogliotrilogy.com
Reliance Books Publishing
www.reliancebooks.com
9780970990860, $27.99, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: A dark cloud hangs over Europe after the brutal murders of two heads of state just days apart. Growing civil unrest erupts across major cities as protests grow, threatening the stability of national governments. Tasked with finding the perpetrators, federal police of several countries combine forces with Interpol. A tense game of 'cat and mouse' is soon underway as the violence escalates.

One fact quickly becomes obvious; behind the political assassinations lies a diabolical plot which appears to stretch westward to the United States, implicating the CIA. But do the facts reflect reality or is there yet a more sinister unseen force working behind the scenes to destabilize Europe and NATO.

The team of investigators led by Interpol's Marek Frakas, 'The Wolf' moves quickly to track the perpetrators and uncover the identity of the unseen mastermind behind the conspiracy. This cadre includes the lovely Adrianna, a young forensic weapons expert who can hold her own on the male-dominated international team of investigators. Together they seek to understand reality versus the shattered mirror-like reflections meant to obfuscate the truth and shroud the mastermind's identity and ultimate purpose.

With the perpetrators always one step ahead, the series of false trails and frustrating missed opportunities to apprehend the three suspects plants seeds of doubt and distrust within the investigative team.

Imbroglio-an extremely confused and complicated scenario A definite must-read for anyone who enjoys realistic, thought-provoking, and believable political suspense thrillers.

Critique: An imbroglio is an intricate and perplexing state of affairs; a complicated or difficult situation. The first title in author John Di Frances' Imroglio' trilogy,"Pretense" fully captures the current rising wave of anti-EU movements Europe and is a suspense thriller that could easily be ripped from tomorrow's newspaper headlines. A deftly crafted and unfailingly riveting read with more twists and turns than a Coney Island roller coaster, "Pretense" is unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense/Political Thriller collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Pretense" is also available in a paperback edition (9780970990877, $17.99).

Exit Strategy
Joseph H. Baskin
Privately Published
9780692126851, $9.99, PB, 252pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Disgraced psychiatrist Archibald Wendt seeks a new life in Harding, Ohio, but gets drawn into the affairs of the town's wealthiest family. Aging tycoon Virgil Morgenstern, soliciting advice for succession planning, embroils the psychiatrist in a tempest of family politics.

Before the dust settles Archie will have to battle the town's suspicions, avoid harm to life and limb, and face his own demons.

Anonymity turns to notoriety as his world comes crashing down.

Critique: A deftly crafted thriller that is an inherently fascinating read from first page to last, "Exit Strategy" showcases author Joseph H. Baskin's genuine talent for originality and character driven storytelling -- making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction and Suspense/Thriller Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Exit Strategy" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

Damascus Street
Cathy Sultan
Calumet Editions
http://calumeteditions.com
9781939548924, $16.99, PB, 260pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Damascus Street" is set in a Lebanon still struggling to cope with the political repercussions of a bloody fifteen-year civil war, where Andrew Sullivan, an idealistic American physician, becomes the unknowing pawn in a deadly spy game where an intricate cast of characters lures him into a maze of deception and illusion. when he must attempt to find and rescue his fiancee Nadia Khoury, who has been kidnaped by Syria's former Intelligence chief.

Critique: "Damascus Street" is a riveting political thriller that takes surprising twists and turns in a novel of lost innocence, passion and survival. In this sequel to her novel "The Syrian", author and Middle East expert Cathy Sultan uses her unique knowledge of the region to deftly spin a suspenseful web of intrigue and deceit, mirroring the complexities of this ancient place where nothing is as it seems. A simply riveting read from beginning to end, "Damascus Street" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Damascus Street" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.00).


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Nyira and the Invisible Boy: The Graveyard Club
K. M. Harrell
https://kmharrell.com
Gatekeeper Press
www.gatekeeperpress.com
9780692994689, $12.99, PB, 358pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Nyira, a seven-year-old healer, watched slave hunters burn her village and murder her father. Hiding in the jungle, she befriends a young gorilla, named Gord. But when the slave hunters capture Gord, it forces Nyira to give up her freedom to save his life. She is transported by slave ship to Haiti.

Ten-year-old Enriquillo's tribe has lived peacefully (hidden in the Haitian mountains) for over three hundred years. Then French soldiers managed to kill their chief who was Enriquillo's father. Additionally, his best friend is murdered by a local planter. Now Enriquillo plots revenge.

He meets Nyira on a day he sneaks into the town market, and discovers she is the dark princess prophesied as his future queen. But Nyira uses magic to save a friend's life, and then finds herself charged as a witch and condemned to burn.

Will Enriquillo risk his people's secret existence to outwit the dangerous French troops and the determined archdeacon, to save his love?

Critique: Exceptionally well written, "Nyira and the Invisible Boy: The Graveyard Club" is a simply riveting read from beginning to end and showcases author K. M. Harrell's genuine flair for originality and inherently entertaining story telling. While very highly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Nyira and the Invisible Boy: The Graveyard Club" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).

Bestow
J. S. Kirkland
Moonray Press
9780692942505, $16.99, PB, 560pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The Nature Keepers, who govern the natural world, are deeply divided in their intentions towards our world and are embroiled in a bitter conflict that threatens the future of all humankind. "Bestow" is the first volume in author J. S. Kirkland's 'The Nature Keepers' fantasy series.

Six young people, previously unaware of their extraordinary family legacy, discover they have been bestowed with gifts of profound meaning and power -- vital to defending mankind. They accept the call to crossover to the world of the Nature Keepers to join forces in the fight against menacing rivals -- who were once friends and allies.

"Bestow" is a fantasy saga of heart-breaking defeats and exhilarating triumphs as these young people test their courage against all odds and prevail, having acquired strengths they never knew they had, wisdom beyond their years, and an understanding of true love and individual destiny.

Critique: A deftly crafted, multilayered fantasy by a gifted author with a genuine flair for originality, character development, and narrative driven storytelling, and a novel that will leave its enthusiastic readers looking for the next installment in her 'The Nature Keepers" series, "Bestow" by J. S. Kirkland is unreservedly recommended for community library Fantasy Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated fantasy action/adventure fans that "Bestow" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.22).


The Biography Shelf

An Imperfect Pilgrim
Suzanne Ludlum
AuthorHouse
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
www.authorhouse.com
9781504378260, $35.95, HC, 242pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: After suffering multiple traumas and shattering losses, Suzanne Ludlum found herself in the depths of blinding depression and unimaginable despair. She spent nine years bouncing between psychiatric hospitals and psychologists' offices, suffering further at the hands of the very people who were supposed to protect her.

After hitting bottom, Suzanne began her long journey toward healing, during which time she stumbled upon the one modality that would make the most difference in her eventual climb out of darkness.

Critique: "An Imperfect Pilgrim: Trauma and Healing on This Side of the Rainbow" is an inherently riveting, deeply personal, and exceptionally well written, and impressively candid memoir in which Suzanne takes the reader along on her extraordinary journey as she discovers how mind-body practices were the key to helping her reclaim her lost life. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "An Imperfect Pilgrim" is also available in a paperback edition (9781504378246, $17.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

The Soulful Child
Chloe Rachel Gallaway
https://chloerachelgallaway.com
Citrine Publishing
http://www.citrinepublishing.com
9780997547085, $23.95, PB, 330pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Folk singer Jerry Gallaway and ex-ballet dancer Reva Lynn Gallaway leave behind a life of opportunity and fame to raise a family in the woods of northern New Mexico. For six children born in the wild with no birth certificates, no worldly identity, only the song of nature printed on them at birth, the woods became a place of learning and a place of refuge, until tragedy uprooted their foundation, leaving the youngsters split between two worlds. When forced to choose for themselves, would they live in nature with their parents, or seek a new life in society?

In a detailed, candid, and inherently fascinating memoir, Chloe Rachel Gallaway is the soulful child, bringing us the healing power of the wild through her photographic memories, authentic voice, and a tale of modern-day warriors and free thinkers carrying in their hearts an essential message about the priceless gifts of Mother Nature, her cycles of life and loss, and the transformative power of forgiveness.

Critique: Emerging against the background of the 1960s counterculture, "The Soulful Child: Twelve Years in the Wilderness" is an extraordinary read from beginning to end. While very highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections, it should be noted that "The Soulful Child" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty
Richard Schwartz
RSB Books
9780967820453, $29.95, HC, 332pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: As the Statue of Liberty stood unlit and unloved by American politicians in 1886, one of her saviors was creating a theatrical sensation at New York's Fourteenth Street Theatre.

Maurice Curtis (1849 - 1920) was an actor who went by the stage name of M.B. Curtis, had achieved overnight success in Sam'l of Posen, a groundbreaking play that transcended the common stereotypes of Jewish characters current at the time, was basking in public accolades at every curtain call when he decided to come to Lady Liberty's aid.

Curtis's rise to the top of his profession and his resulting fall from grace is a dramatic arc that rivals anything created for the stage. Actor, producer, real estate developer, promoter, hotelier, benefactor, and murder suspect, M. B. Curtis's life encompassed the highs of celebrity and fame as well as the lows of failure, illness, and a faltering career.

In "The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty: The Extraordinary Rise and Fall of Actor M. B. Curtis", historian Richard Schwartz rescues M. B. Curtis's story from the dusty archives of forgotten history and reexamines an actor whose creativity and cultural influence still resonate today.

Critique: An impeccably researched, skillfully written, deftly organized, accessibly presented biography of an inherently interesting man whose accomplishments had faded into obscurity, "The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty: The Extraordinary Rise and Fall of Actor M. B. Curtis" is a simply fascinating read and highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as both community and academic library American Biography collections.

Reflections on the Vietnam War
Warren E. Hunt
CreateSpace
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
www.createspace.com
9781974397808, $12.95 PB, $3.99 Kindle, 142pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Warren E. Hunt was born in Toledo, Ohio, and raised in rural Hillsdale County, Michigan. He was inducted into the United States Army in 1967 and served for twelve months in the Vietnam War as a radio operator with the First Infantry Division. After completing his education with the help of the Vietnam Era G.I. Bill, he returned to the military, serving on federal active duty with the Ohio Army National Guard. Upon finishing his military employment, the author pursued a second career as a high school German teacher until his retirement in 2013.

In his memoir "Reflections on the Vietnam War: A Fifty-Year Journey", Hunt chronicles his long struggle to come to grips with the meaning of the Vietnam War and how it affected him before, during and after his tour in Vietnam with the U.S. First Infantry Division. Using a stylistic mix of personal anecdote, historical reflection and essay, the author weaves his experience of the war into a broad context encompassing the course of his life.

Starting out as a naive and patriotic teenager drafted at age 19, he traces his path through military training, his impressions of Vietnam and its people, the absurdity of daily basecamp life, and the crucible of enemy fire. Returning to a nation torn apart by the war, he soon realizes that, even though he is no longer in the army, he cannot escape the war's insane grasp.

Catastrophic events in Vietnam and on the home front, along with the dawning awareness of suicides among his fellow veterans, prompt him to seek answers to the questions that haunt his daily life: Why did America go to war in Vietnam? How could we lose? Why did so many people have to suffer in vain?

His quest led him to the unveiling of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., where painful memories and powerful emotions merge to initiate a healing process for the author, his fellow veterans and the country at large.

Critique: As the Vietnam generation now ages and new generations enter the world and consider the Vietnam War as so much ancient history, Warren Hunt's memoir will be of immense benefit to continue to be of historical benefit for the future generations yet to come. Written with amazing candor and insight, "Reflections on the Vietnam War: A Fifty-Year Journey" is a compelling and impressively informative account of one man's life during and after an American war that deeply divided the country and whose Washington, D.C. monument continues to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Reflections on the Vietnam War: A Fifty-Year Journey" is unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary American Biography collections in general, and Vietnam War supplemental studies reading lists in particular. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers that "Reflections on the Vietnam War: A Fifty-Year Journey" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).


The Self-Help Shelf

Searching for the White Magician
Stefania Magidson
New Meridian Arts
https://www.newmeridianarts.com
9780997603866, $20.00, PB, 164pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In the pages of "Searching for the White Magician: Spiritual Psychology and the Manifestation of Destiny", Stefania Magidson (Founder of the Blue Heron Foundation, a non-profit charitable organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life of Romanian and Moldovan orphaned and abandoned youth, proving them greater access to life's opportunities by awarding them college scholarships), deftly explores diverse themes ranging from the role of institutions to personal purpose, from religion and spirituality to self-exploration.

The reader can discover inner resources and paths to spiritual growth, which in turn can serve as catalysts for self-advancement, experimenting the challenge stated in "Searching for the White Magician" -- "Let us choose a dream we've always had and transform it into reality."

Critique: Thoughtful and thought-provoking, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Searching for the White Magician: Spiritual Psychology and the Manifestation of Destiny" is a life affirming, life enhancing, life impacting read that is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections.


The Business Shelf

Business Biographies
Stephen K. Troy
http://www.stephenktroy.com
iUniverse, Inc.
c/o Author House
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
www.iuniverse.com
9781462064120, $26.95, HC, 180pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Business Biographies: Shaken, Not Stirred ... with a Twist" is comprised of a series of profiles by author Stephen K. Troy which collectively provides detailed examinations of people who walked down nontraditional paths to achieve success. Many of these leaders are no longer celebrated or remembered, but their achievements changed the course of business and continue to influence society.

Readers will learn about the unassuming billionaire who gave away his entire fortune during his lifetime to better the world. Not everyone was so generous; one scoundrel stole billions. Some are more obscure than others, and "Business Biographies" brings their accomplishments to light. The leaders profiled include Aaron Burr, Henry Ford, John Ringling, Robert Morris, Frank Woolworth, Forrest Mars Sr., Daniel Ludwig, Iva Kreuger and many more.

Critique: An inherently fascinating, impressively informative, and ultimately inspiring read, "Business Biographies: Shaken, Not Stirred ... with a Twist" is especially recommended reading for business students, business managers, or any aspiring entrepreneurs considering a career in business. While very highly recommended for community, college, and university library Business Management collections and supplemental studies lists, it should be noted that "Business Biographies" is also available in a paperback edition (9781948172264, $9.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Dogs on the Beach
Lara Jo Regan
http://www.larajoregan.com
Myth and Matter Media
www.mythmattermedia.com
9780991637256, $21.95, HC, 178pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Dogs on the Beach" is a compendium of captioned photographs taken by photographer Lara Jo Regan as she visually combines the two universally popular subjects of dogs and beaches. The result is the breaking of new ground in dog, beach, travel and animal photography. Readers are treated to a vibrant, pleasure-packed journey spanning all seasons, a timeless treasure surely to be widely savored, gifted and shared.

A passionate, world-renowned chronicler of canine life (Dogs in Cars, Mr. Winkle series, Dog Plays), Regan spent three years shooting the photographs comprising "Dogs on the Beach", traveling to some of the most scenic seascapes in America to capture the primal joy of dogs romping and rolling in the sand, splashing in surf, lounging in the sun and even catching a few waves.

"Dogs on the Beach" quite literally provides a re-discovery and showcases such experiences as the sensuous joys, child-like pleasures and expansive beauty of the beach through truly remarkable intimate images of blissed-out dogs in paradise.

Critique: Extraordinary, unique, uncommon, exceptional, singular, and thoroughly entertaining from first page to last, "Dogs on the Beach" will have a very special appeal for anyone who has experienced the joys of having a canine companion of their own -- making it certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal and community library Pets/Wildlife Photography collections.


The Crafts Shelf

The Craft Kingdom
Eli Maor
AAHR Offset Maor Ltd.
www.thecraftkingdom.com
9789657679463, $29.00, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: One of parenting annual questions is: What am I going to do with the kids all summer?! Author and artist Eli Maor knows the best way to keep kids and parents happy is crafting -- and it doesn't have to get too fancy to be fun!

Maor is a "crafting minimalist" who specializes in using what is all around us to create beautiful, fun crafts and DIY projects and showcases them in "The Craft Kingdom: DIY and Craft Projects for Kids and Adults".

With a passion for recycling, upcycling, and just using what you have on hand, Maor creates gorgeous and fun projects from common household objects like toilet paper rolls, fabric scraps, even sticks and twigs from the back yard.

Crafting and making art is very individual. The main purpose is to enjoy each project and create a personalized vision at every moment. There is no need for any special skills for any of the projects. However, those who sell artwork and wish to obtain the maximum results should stick to the projects and supplies as written. With that being said, there is no right or wrong way to craft and to make art, it comes down to having fun and express yourself.

"The Craft Kingdom" is comprised of 92 do-it-yourself crafts and art projects. Under each category is listed the required supply for each project and a tutorial. At the end of "The Craft Kingdom" will be found stencils that will help trace shapes and silhouettes for the projects. "The Craft Kingdom" is the ultimate guide to DIY and Craft projects, organized by subjects, and contains step-by-step photographs and detailed instructions.

Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Craft Kingdom: DIY and Craft Projects for Kids and Adults" will provide endless hours of fun and is very highly recommended for all ages from 8 to 88! While very highly recommended for family, school, senior center, and community recreation center, and community library collections, it should be noted for individuals that "The Craft Kingdom" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.00).


The Sports Shelf

Awaken Your Inner Golfer
Jerry Brown
Keep It Simple Golf Media
www.keepitsimplegolf.com
9780998771908 $15.00 / $8.00 Kindle amazon.com

Synopsis: Jerry Brown has been a student of the game of golf for over fifty years and has studied how we naturally learn physical motor skills effectively. Awaken Your Inner Golfer facilitates self-discovery for the feel of a golf swing that works for each individual golfer's unique physiology through the playful exploration of forty unique instinct-awakening golf exercises.

The exercises facilitate an awakening of the uniquely instinctive kinesthetic intelligence within each golfer, and can help you improve both your short game and your long game. The golf exercises present an opportunity to learn the physical motor skill of an effective golf swing through trial and error and exploration and discovery in a safe environment where so-called mistakes are experienced only in the context of learning. This learning process of self-discovery tends to have a greater permanence in the body/mind than trying to learn through instruction and mechanics, and is the same process a child instinctively uses to learn any physical motor skill.

This instinctive learning approach is not intended to replace conventional mechanical golf instruction but to present tools for learning beyond conventional golf instruction that are not often recognized or utilized. While the mechanics of a golf swing may help you understand the dynamics of a golf swing, reliance on mechanical analysis alone often leads to tyrannical paralysis. The author believes that most swing flaws are not an issue of incorrect mechanics, but a result of the body's compensations for a grip and posture that work in opposition to natural instincts.

Critique: Spiral-bound for ease of use on the golf course, and featuring a section where the reader can write their own comments underneath each of its exercises, Awaken Your Inner Golfer is a superb aid for golfers seeking to refine their skill at the game. The guidelines and exercises have been designed with the goal of awakening and enhancing golfers' instincts. "The body/mind can play a beautiful symphony through a golf swing. The noise produced by constant thinking, however, too often drowns out the music by causing us to lose contact with our unconscious competency." Awaken Your Inner Golfer is a "must-have" for golf enthusiasts, highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Awaken Your Inner Golfer is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.00).


James A. Cox
Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937
e-mail: mbr@execpc.com
e-mail: mwbookrevw@aol.com
http://www.midwestbookreview.com


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