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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 14, Number 4 April 2019 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Science Shelf Education Shelf
Interior Design Shelf Woodworking Shelf Activity Shelf
Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf
DVD Shelf Biography Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Business Shelf Sports Shelf Automotive Shelf
Jobs/Careers Shelf Literary Studies Shelf Gaming Shelf


Reviewer's Choice


Famous Kentucky Flavors
Cameron M. Ludwick & Blair Thomas Hess
Indiana University Press
Office of Scholarly Publishing
Herman B Wells Library 350, 1320 E. 10th St., Bloomington, IN 47405-3907
www.iupress.indiana.edu
9780253039255, $15.00, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com

The state of Kentucky has a rich tradition of good eating with such famous classics as fried chicken and bourbon balls, as well as less well-known Bluegrass mainstays like spoonbread, burgoo, and Derby pie. There's nothing worse than pulling off the road for a tasty bite and being confronted with a less than appetizing meal instead. Veteran road trippers Cameron Ludwick and Blair Thomas Hess are on a mission to help the traveler in Kentucky to ditch the dives and find the best of authentic cafes, restaurants, and food related community events. They have traveled the state and mapped out the best local foods, festivals, and flavors. From their trek to the Beer Cheese Festival in Winchester to the Hot Brown Hop in Louisville, these gals know the best places to eat and want to take you along for the ride in Famous Kentucky Flavors. Along the way, the traveler benefitting from "Famous Kentucky Flavors" can visit all the classics and will also be introduced to some more unusual fare, including lamb fries, Benedictine spread, and barbecued mutton. Plan your own lip-smacking road trip from bourbon balls to burgoo with Famous Kentucky Flavors. A unique, profusely illustrated, and original food based travel guide, it you are visiting or simply live anywhere in the state of Kentucky, then treat yourself to a copy of Famous Kentucky Flavors!

I Am a Stranger Here Myself
Debra Gwartney
University of New Mexico Press
MSC05 3185, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM 87131-0001
www.unmpress.com
9780826360717, $24.95, PB, 296pp, www.amazon.com

Debra Gwartney is the author of Live Through This: A Mother's Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love and the coeditor of Home Ground: A Guide to the American Landscape. She teaches in Pacific University's MFA in Writing program and lives in Western Oregon. Part history, part memoir, in the pages of "I Am a Stranger Here Myself" she deftly taps into dimensions of human yearning: the need to belong, the snarl of family history, and embracing womanhood in the patriarchal American West. Gwartney becomes fascinated with the missionary Narcissa Prentiss Whitman, the first Caucasian woman to cross the Rocky Mountains and one of fourteen people killed at the Whitman Mission in 1847 by Cayuse Indians. Whitman's role as a white woman drawn in to "settle" the West reflects the tough-as-nails women in Gwartney's own family. Arranged in four sections as a series of interlocking explorations and ruminations, Gwartney uses Whitman as a touchstone to spin a tightly woven narrative about identity, the power of womanhood, and coming to peace with one's most cherished place. An absorbing, skillfully crafted, thoughtful and thought-provoking read, "I Am a Stranger Here Myself " is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "I Am a Stranger Here Myself " is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69).


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Seven Steps to Confident Writing
Alan Gelb
www.alangelbwriter.com
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
www.newworldlibrary.com
9781608685448 $16.95 pbk / $10.98 Kindle amazon.com

Author, writing coach, and communications consultant for higher education Alan Gelb presents Seven Steps to Confident Writing, a guide to overcoming anxiety, self-doubt, and emotional hurdles to writing. Whether crafting a business memo, a speech, a blog or magazine article, a research paper, or a novel, Seven Steps to Confident Writing is an invaluable tool for breaking through paralysis and writer's block. Chapters focus on the value of incorporating storytelling anecdotes into one's communication, the importance of paying attention to one's tone, the "lapidary work" of refining, condensing, and editing one's writing into a polished piece, and more. Seven Steps to Confident Writing is a "must-have" not only for aspiring authors, but also for professionals in every field that requires writing! Highly recommended.

Tarot for the Fiction Writer
Paula Chaffee Scardamalia
Red Feather
c/o Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
www.schifferbooks.com
9780764357237, $24.99, HC, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Paula Chaffee Scardamalia uses myth, fairy tale, Tarot, and dreams to write fiction and nonfiction, to guide book coaching clients, and to teach writers around the country. She is the award-winning author of the nonfiction book, Weaving a Woman's Life: Spiritual Lessons from the Loom. Writing a novel is a wild, unpredictable (and oftentimes stormy) adventure. And sometimes aspiring writers and seasoned veteran authors alike need a compass to guide them. Because story is inherent in Tarot's structure, it is an effective map and storytelling tool -- whether writing a novel in progress or starting out on a brand-new endeavor. In "Tarot for the Fiction Writer: How 78 Cards Can Take You from Idea to Publication", Paula draws upon her years of experience and expertise with tarot myths, symbols, characters, settings, and innumerable combinations as a powerful, portable, and imaginative tool for story development, to show their value in editing and revisions, publication, and promotion. Each individual card has a story to tell and can help to map out a book. With "Tarot for the Fiction Writer", anyone working with any literary genre will discover how to hook their readers; figure out what happens next; find a unique twist in a scene; deepen character backgrounds; create meaningful settings; and identify that "Black Moment" in the storyline. One of the most unique instructional guides for the writing of a short story or a full blown novel, "Tarot for the Fiction Writer" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic writing instructional reference collections.

Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books
Sarah Bolme
Crest Publications
PO Box 481022, Charlotte, NC 28269
www.crestpub.com
9780991299515, $24.99, PB, 242pp, www.amazon.com

Sarah Bolme is the Director of Christian Indie Publishing Association, which exists to assist independent authors and small publishers in marketing Christian books. Sarah frequently conducts seminars for writers and publishers on indie publishing and marketing. Sarah has an informative blog at www.marketingchristianbooks.com Now in a fully updated fourth edition, "Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books" Sarah provides the advice and resources needed for an author or a publisher to promote a Christian book successfully! This award-winning resource is packed from cover to cover with valuable information on promoting Christian books. "Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books" features a wealth of specific resources from launching the book, to connecting with consumers and retailers, to obtaining media coverage, to utilizing social networking. This exceptionally well organized and presented guide walks authors and publishers step-by-step through the various aspects of book promotion. It is an ideal and thoroughly 'user friendly' resource for authors and publishers. It should also be noted that the Midwest Book Review is cited on page 35 as a resource for the authors and publishers of Christian books.


The Cookbook Shelf

Asma's Indian Kitchen
Asma Khan
Interlink Publishing Group
46 Crosby Street, Northampton, MA 01060-1804
www.interlinkbooks.com
9781623719128, $30.00, HC, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Asma Khan's award-winning restaurant Darjeeling Express began life as a dinner party with friends; Indian food lovingly cooked from family recipes that go back generations. In "Asma's Indian Kitchen" Asma reveals the secret to her success, telling her immigrant's story and how food brought her home. The recipes pay homage to her royal Mughlai ancestry and follow the route of the Darjeeling Express train from the busy streets of Bengal, through Calcutta, where she grew up, and along the foothills of the Himalayas to Hyderabad. Platters of dishes boasting texture and intense flavor encourage you to gather for a traditional dawaat (feast). Starting with simple midweek Feasts for Two, Asma then reveals the way to quick and easy cooking with less spice for Family Feasts. There are Feasts for Friends, for when you want to show off a little, and Celebratory Feasts. Many of the recipes are vegetarian, there are sweet treats and drinks, too, and all feature alongside lesser-known recipes and stories unique to Asma's family. "Asma's Indian Kitchen" is more than just another collection of delicious and accessible recipes, it is also a celebration of heritage, culture, community and quality. An inherently fascinating personal story combined with palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, and authentic recipes from the Indian subcontinent, "Asma's Indian Kitchen" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Ethnic Cookbook collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Asma's Indian Kitchen" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Super Green Simple and Lean
Sally Obermeder & Maha Koraiem
Allen & Unwin
https://www.allenandunwin.com
c/o Trafalgar Square Books
PO Box 257, North Pomfret, VT 05053
www.trafalgarbooks.com
9781760292027, $19.95, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com

In their new cookbook, "Super Green Simple and Lean", Sally Obermeder (an Australian television host who also co-founded and runs the lifestyle blog SWIISH.com) and her sister Maha. Maha Koraiem (who is the co-founder and director of SWIISH.com and a certified Health and Nutrition Coach) have created a beautifully illustrated compendium of smoothie recipes, monster salads, nourishing bowls and satisfying snacks that will help even the most novice of kitchen cooks to make healthy living faster, easier and more delicious than they ever thought possible. These nutritious, easy to make recipes will help anyone to lose weight, gain energy and simply feel fantastic. Of special note is the inclusion of dual measures. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Super Green Simple and Lean" will quickly become an enduringly favorite addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Super Green Simple and Lean" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.00).

The Seaweed Cookbook
Nicole Pisani & Kate Adams
Firefly Books Ltd.
www.fireflybooks.com
9780228100911, $19.95, HC, 128pp, www.amazon.com

Seaside societies have included seaweed in their diets for millennia. seaweed provides a nutritional punch, a powerful mix of iodine, iron, vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber, vitamin K, vitamin B12; minerals, fiber and protein. It is linked to lower rates of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity and it is believed to help in the prevention and treatment of cancer." The Seaweed Cookbook" covers all aspects of seaweed and us specifically intended for those who would like to incorporate this powerful food into their diet and it is for those who already enjoy it and want to discover new recipes. In addition to showcasing 50 kitchen cook friendly and palate pleasing recipes for appetizers, side dishes, main entres, and baked goods, "The Seaweed Cookbook" also explains the benefits of eating seaweed, where to buy it, how to collect it (if you're lucky enough to live seaside), and how to dry, store, soak and handle it as an ingredient. Beautifully illustrated throughout, "The Seaweed Cookbook" will prove to be a unique and treasured addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Seaweed Cookbook" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).


The Needlecraft Shelf

First Time Sewing with a Serger
Becky Harrison & Beth Ann Baumgartel
Quarry Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
www.quartous.com
9781631597145, $19.99, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com

Becky Hanson began her career with SINGER over three decades ago as an educator, leading sewing machine classes and product training nationally. She later relocated to the company's North America corporate offices in Nashville, Tennessee, to become Director of Education. Today she is Global Product Specialist for SINGER, consulting with the product development team and providing creative support to the sales and marketing departments. Beth Baumgartel has written and edited sewing technique and project books for Vogue Patterns, Butterick, Taunton, Home Sewing Association, Family CircleCrafts, and many other crafts publishers. She is also the author of Successful Serging (CPi). In the illustrated pages of "First Time Sewing with a Serger: The Absolute Beginner's Guide these two women draw upon their many years of experience and expertise to create the ideal 'how to' introduction to how a serger works, the many styles available, and the roles of various parts and accessories. "First Time Sewing with a Serger" provides a detailed overview of the variety of functional and decorative stitches that can be made, plus 'must-have' threads, tools, and notions. Also covered are how to thread a serger, set the stitch size, and use it to start and end seams, sew curves and corners, and more. "First Time Sewing with a Serger" will provide even the most novice of first time users with the essential skills to make the nine fun, easy garment and home decor projects -- employing skills that be immediately applicable to creating any other serger-based sewing projects in the future.

Embroidered Lettering
Debra Valencia
Design Originals
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N. East Petersburg, PA 17520
www.FoxChapelPublishing.com
9781497204157, $19.99, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com

Inside "Embroidered Lettering" needlecraft enthusiasts will find 25 fun and unique embroidery lettering projects that feature heartfelt sentiments and witty statements. Innovative designer and author Debra Valencia combines some of her favorite embroidery designs with creative lettering in this inventive book. She provides step-by-step instructions for 24 useful stitches, useful advice on tools and materials, and 7 alphabet templates to use in customizing your own designs. Needlecrafters will learn how to use the traditional craft of embroidery to add a modern message to coasters, tote bags, throw pillows, tea towels, monograms, luggage tags, an eyeglass case and more! Profusely illustrated and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Embroidered Lettering" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections.

Crocheted Succulents
Emma Varnam
The Guild of Master Craftsman Publications
c/o The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784945046, $19.95, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com

"Crocheted Succulents: Cacti and Succulent Projects to Make" by crocheting expert Emma Varnam for those needlecrafters who love houseplants but have an unerring ability to kill everything off. Instead they can now make cute needlecraft creations that don't require green fingers! Featured are 25 splendid succulents to make in a variety of shapes and sizes for a touch of indoor greenery that will never need watering, repotting or special plant food. Each individual project is beautifully photographed and includes clear patterns and guidance. Very highly recommended for personal and community library instructional reference collections, "Crocheted Succulents" also includes a techniques section that gives clear instructions on all the skills needed and necessary to successfully make the projects creating crocheted succulents for stylish home interiors.

JOMO Knits
Christine Boggis
The GMC Group
www.gmcbooks.com
9781784945053, $22.95, PB, 152pp, www.amazon.com

Christine Boggis is a mom, a journalist, and a knitter. JOMO means 'joy of missing out'. In "JOMO Knits" she presents 21 knitting projects that includes insights into how to use knitting to unwind from the relentless demands of our over-stimulated and digitalized lives and rediscover how to connect with ourselves, and those around us, in a more meaningful way. Included are special sections exploring the link between knitting and JOMO, along with humorous observations and lists. Profusely illustrated throughout, exceptionally well organized and presented, "JOMO Knits" will prove to be an especially valued and appreciated addition to personal, professional, and community library Needlecraft & Knitting instructional reference collections.


The Fiction Shelf

The Making of Mrs. Hale
Carolyn Miller
Kregel Publications
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
www.kregel.com
9780825445354, $15.99, PB, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Julia Hale ran off to be married in Gretna Green, following romance instead of common sense. But her tale isn't turning into a happily ever after. Her new husband is gone and she doesn't know where - or if he's ever coming back. Julia has no option but to head home to the family she betrayed by eloping and to hope they'll forgive her. Especially now that she might be carrying a baby from her brief marriage. "The Making of Mrs. Hale" by Carolyn Miller is another deftly penned Regency Romance novel by a master of the genre and will prove to be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to community library Romance Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of Carolyn Miller fans that "The Making of Mrs. Hale" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

Moral Inventory
Tara Johnson
Austin Macauley Publishers
https://www.austinmacauley.com
9781641820257, $23.95, HC, 154pp, www.amazon.com

Seventeen-year-old Elizabeth thought she had been doing a decent job of navigating through the obstacles life had put in her path. But that it all came to a screeching halt with the simple words from her mother that Elizabeth was going to see a family counselor. Elizabeth felt she had nothing to fear. Her confidence in her manipulation skills had her convinced that she would be back in the arms of her druggie boyfriend by noon. Underestimating her mother's determination, Elizabeth would soon realize that escape would not come so easily. Forced to expose her mother's alcoholism, her own drug abuse, and her sense of feeling abandoned since her father's death, Elizabeth was faced with a reality that she had fought so hard to avoid. A grim, deftly scripted, but inherently fascinating read from beginning to end, "Moral Inventory" is an especially recommended addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Moral Inventory" is also available in a paperback edition (9781641820240, $10.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.95).

Owed to My Mother
N. T. Keahon
Austin Macauley Publishers
https://www.austinmacauley.com
9781641826877, $24.95, HC, 189pp, www.amazon.com

Nadine has always excelled in her career and had just reached the next level of her success, which brought her to the company's illustrious complex outside of San Francisco, CA; but as she begins to get settled into this new chapter of her life, she learns that her mother's cancer is now stage 4 and she's forced to make a choice between staying where she is or going to be with her mother. She chooses her mother and the story that unfolds from there is filled with heartfelt humor, ridiculous sarcasm and examples of their forever love. Although a work historical fiction by N. T. Keahon (and all the more impressive when considering that it is her debut as a novelist), "Owed to My Mother" is based on a true story, and nothing exemplifies that fact better than the sacrifices made between this mother and her child. While "Owed to My Mother" is very highly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that it is also available in a paperback edition (9781641826860, $11.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.95).

A Day in the Life
Rajani Kanth
Austin Macauley Publishers
https://www.austinmacauley.com
9781787109896, $13.95, PB, 220pp, www.amazon.com

"A Day in the Life" chronicles a short, yet tumultuous, day in the life of a wayward protagonist. Lightly, side-stepping the usual pitfalls of everyday life, unmindful of his own peripatetic passage, from irony, to pathos, to temptation, he perseveres through his journey to a climactic end, rather like an earnest pilgrim en route to salvation. "A Day in the Life" is a parable for our impossible times: for what ails him is what would inflect us all if we could only see the world we have built through his disintermediated, distempered eyes. "A Day in the Life" is a post-modernist romance, a love story, of an unlicensed, defiant love that will not accept boundaries. Showcasing author Rajani Kanth's genuine flair for originality, a distinctive narrative storytelling style, and an impressive ability to engagingly entertain and compel his readers full attention 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 Day in the Life" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.66).

A Tender Hope
Amanda Cabot
Revell
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.revellbooks.com
9780800735609, $29.99, HC, 352pp, www.amazon.com

As far as Thea Michener is concerned, it's time for a change. With her husband murdered and her much-anticipated baby stillborn, there is nothing left for her in Ladreville. Having accepted a position as Cimarron Creek's midwife, she has no intention of remarrying and trying for another child. So when a handsome Texas Ranger appears on her doorstep with an abandoned baby, Thea isn't sure her heart can take it. Ranger Jackson Guthrie isn't concerned only with the baby's welfare. He's been looking for Thea, convinced that her late husband was part of the gang that killed his brother. But it soon becomes clear that the situation is far more complicated than he anticipated -- and he'll need Thea's help if he's ever to find the justice he seeks. Another Cimarron Creek romance novel by Amanda Cabot, "A Tender Hope" is an extraordinary and deftly crafted story of loss, betrayal, and love in the majestic Texas Hill Country. While unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Tender Hope" is also available in a paperback edition (9780800727581, $10.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.89).

Bulwark
Britt Lunden
Chelshire Inc.
9781947188914, $8.99, PB, 146pp, www.amazon.com

Clay Finnes is the sheriff of a small town in Georgia called Bulwark. Recently separated from his wife, all he can think about is what went wrong, and will Jenna ever come back to him. He's troubled by a bothersome reporter trying to build a story from what he thinks is a normal day in his life. Clay has to admit that the fantastical stories, told by an accident victim as well as unusual sightings of wolves, things are getting a bit strange. A visit to the ominous Gingerbread House makes him realize that his life as he knows it will never be the same. An inherently riveting and original little novel by an accomplished master of narrative storytelling, "Bulwark" by Britt Lunden is unreservedly recommended for community library collections and available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $0.99). Also very highly recommended is Britt Lunden's "The Knowing" (9781947188990, $8.99 PB, $0.99 Kindle) which is volume one of the 'Bulwark Anthology' series.

Map of the Heart
Susan Wiggs
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
www.harpercollins.com
9780062425508, $15.99, PB, 368pp, www.amazon.com

Widowed by an unspeakable tragedy, Camille Palmer has made her peace with the past and settled into the quiet safety of life with her teenage daughter Julie in a sleepy coastal town. Then the arrival of a mysterious package breaks open the door to her family's secret past. In uncovering a hidden history, Camille has no idea that she's embarking on an adventure that will utterly transform her. Camille, Julie, and Camille's father return to the French town of his youth, sparking unexpected memories -- recollections that will lead them back to the dark days of the Second World War. And it is in the stunning Provencal countryside that they will uncover their family's surprising history. While Provence offers answers about the past, it also holds the key to Camille's future. Along the way, she meets a former naval officer who stirs a passion deep within her -- a feeling that she thought she'd never experience again. Another deftly crafted gem of a romance novel by an accomplished master of the genre, "Map of the Heart" by Susan Wiggs is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Son of Saigon
David Myles Robinson
Terra Nova Books
33 Alondra Road, Santa Fe, NM 87508
www.terranovabooks.com
9781948749008, $19.95, PB, 240pp, www.amazon.com

Hank and Norm were living the good life: two friends with plenty of money, homes in a lovely California retirement town, and no problems -- except for the boredom that felt almost fatal. Then Mai came into the picture, the love of Hank's life during his CIA days in Saigon, desperately needing his help to save the son he'd never known he had. Boredom was over, as Hank and Norm hit the road, following the few clues Mai could give them in search of a man who desperately wants not to be found. What they find is a slew of lies and hidden truths, strange characters, improbable danger that has them fighting to survive, and the happy lesson that their lives are far from over. A deftly written and engagingly entertaining read from beginning to end, "Son of Saigon" showcases author David Myles Robinson genuine flair for a simply riveting style of narrative storytelling. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Son of Saigon" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69).

The Sky Above Us
Sarah Sundin
Revell
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.revellbooks.com
9780800735616, $29.99, HC, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Numbed by grief and harboring shameful secrets, Lt. Adler Paxton ships to England with the US 357th Fighter Group in 1943. Determined to become an ace pilot, Adler battles the German Luftwaffe in treacherous dogfights in the skies over France as the Allies struggle for control of the air before the D-day invasion. Violet Lindstrom wanted to be a missionary, but for now she serves in the American Red Cross, where she arranges entertainment for the men of the 357th in the Aeroclub on base and sets up programs for local children. Drawn to the mysterious Adler, she enlists his help with her work and urges him to reconnect with his family after a long estrangement. Despite himself, Adler finds his defenses crumbling when it comes to Violet. But D-day draws near. And secrets can't stay buried forever. Another deftly crafted novel by an author with a distinctive narrative storytelling style and a genuine flair for originality, "The Sky Above Us" is a simply riveting read by Sarah Sundin and certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Sky Above Us" is also available in a paperback edition (9780800727987, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.79).

Angel in the Fog
T. J. Turner
Oceanview Publishing
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
www.oceanviewpub.com
9781608092413, $25.95, HC, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Molly Ferguson's comfortable life unravels when her Louisiana home is burned to the ground, her family murdered, and she is enslaved in a Baltimore brothel. Amidst the threat of the Civil War, Molly learns of secessionist plans to assassinate President-elect Abraham Lincoln as he makes his way to Washington for his inauguration. She's manages to pass this information on to a Pinkerton agent posing as a client. Impressed with her fortitude and intelligence, the Pinkerton Agency arranges for Molly's freedom and brings her under the tutelage of Mrs. Kate Warne, America's first female detective. After they save Mr. Lincoln in Baltimore, Molly is sent by the Pinkerton Agency into the Deep South (where the Civil War now rages) a spy behind enemy lines. Molly threads a thin line between revenge and redemption as she races to unravel a sinister plan that will doom the Union and allow the Confederacy to win the Civil War -- all while coming face to face with the demons from her tragic past. T. J. Turner's "Angel in the Fog" is a page turner of an historical thriller by a true master of narrative storytelling. While an exceptionally entertaining and highly recommended addition to community library Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Angel in the Fog" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Hushed in Death
Stephen Kelly
Pegasus Books
148 West 37th Street, 13th Floor, New York, NY 10018
www.pegasusbooks.com
9781681778686, $25.95, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com

In the spring of 1942, with the war in Europe raging, a gruesome murder shocks the rural community of Marbury, where a once-grand estate called Elton House has been transformed into a hospital for "shell-shocked" officers sent back from the front lines. When Detective Chief Inspector Lamb arrives to solve the case, he quickly learns that the victim, Elton House's gardener Joseph Lee, had plenty of enemies in Marbury -- and so he and his team have plenty of suspects. Along with his team of investigators, which includes his daughter Vera, Lamb begins to untangle the threads of rivalry and deceit that lie beneath the surface of the seemingly-peaceful countryside village. It soon becomes clear that Lee's mysterious past is intertwined with the history of Elton House itself, which fell into disrepair a generation earlier after a shockingly similar murder, and the mystery deepens further when Lamb discovers that one of the prime suspects has seemingly committed suicide. As Lamb pieces together the connections between the crimes of the present and those of the past, he must dive into the darkest, most secret corners of Elton House to discover who is committing murder, and why. An Inspector Lamb mystery set in World War II, "Hushed in Death" is a deftly crafted read from cover to cover and showcases author Stephen Kelly's impressive mastery of the genre. While very highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Hushed in Death" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

RED Hotel
Ed Fuller & Gary Grossman
Beaufort Books
27 West 20th Street, Suite 1102, New York, NY 10011
www.beaufortbooks.com
9780825308901, $26.95, HC, 532pp, www.amazon.com

When a bomb rips the facade off the Kensington Hotel in Tokyo, dozens are killed and injured while one man walks calmly away from the wreckage, a coy smile playing on his lips. Former Army intelligence officer Dan Reilly, now an international hotel executive with high level access to the CIA, makes it his mission to track him down. He begins a jet-setting search for answers as the clock ticks down to a climactic event that threatens NATO and the very security of member nations. Reilly begins mining old contacts and resources in an effort to delve deeper into the motive behind these attacks, and fast. Through his connections he learns that the Tokyo bomber is not acting alone. But the organization behind the perpetrator is not who they expect. Facilitated by the official government from a fearsome global superpower, the implications and reasons for these attacks are well beyond anything Reilly or his sources in the CIA and State Department could have imagined, and point not to random acts of terror, but calculated acts of war. An original and deftly crafted novel from its first inherently riveting page to it's cliff-hanger of an ending, "RED Hotel" is an incredibly timely globe-trotting thriller that's fiction on the edge of reality. While very highly recommended for community library Contemporary Suspense Thriller collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists the "RED Hotel" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.29).

Scones & Bones
Laura Childs
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
www.penguin.com
9780425246641, $7.99, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is attending the Heritage Society's Pirates and Plunder show when a history intern is murdered amidst the gold earrings and doubloons. Even with that on her plate, Theodosia still has to attend Charleston's Food and Wine Festival, where she's hosting a tea and cheese tasting. But as her thoughts keep drifting to the victim, Theodosia knows she'll have to whet her investigative skills to find the killer among a schooner of suspects. The newest addition of author Laura Childs' A Tea Shop Mystery series, "Scones & Bones" is another wonderfully entertaining and deftly crafted mystery that is a 'must read' for her legions of fans and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to any community library's Mystery/Suspense collections.

Mrs. Jeffries Delivers the Goods
Emily Brightwell
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
www.penguin.com
9780451492227, $16.00, PB, 288pp, www.amazon.com

On a cold night in February, the popular Lighterman's ball festivities are cut short when a guest of honor, Stephen Bremmer, goes into spasms and abruptly collapses. Once again Inspector Witherspoon returns to the Wrexley Hotel to investigate a murder. The victim was considered a boorish snob who felt entitled to anything and anyone he wanted. Yet despite his Oxford education, he was barely literate, lazy, and prone to make stupid mistakes -- his last mistake turned out to be crossing a killer. The owners and management of the Wrexley Hotel clearly don't welcome the return of Inspector Witherspoon but he has his job to do, and Mrs. Jeffries, and the rest of the household must do their best to catch a murderer who shows no signs of slowing down! Another cleverly penned mystery by an author who is a master of the genre, "Mrs. Jeffries Delivers the Goods" is a first class Victorian era mystery that will be an immediately popular addition to personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for all dedicated mystery buffs that "Mrs. Jeffries Delivers the Goods" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Murder Likes It Hot
Tracy Weber
Midnight Ink
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125-2989
www.midnightinkbooks.com
9780738750699, $15.99, PB, 288pp, www.amazon.com

Newly married yoga instructor Kate Davidson feels stuck in low-energy limbo, despite her high-energy life. She's trying to conceive a child, keep her studio afloat now that the ultra-cheap Some Like It Hot Yoga studio has opened across the street, and start a yoga program at a local resource center for homeless youth. When a center employee is found dead, Kate sets aside her fertility and financial woes to delve into the world of teenage homelessness. While digging for clues with her German shepherd Bella, Kate discovers that family can be formed by bonds stronger than shared DNA, and she must defend it at all costs. The sixth and latest title in author Tracy Weber's simply outstanding 'Downward Dog' mystery series, "Murder Likes It Hot" is another deftly crafted and solidly entertaining read from beginning to surprise ending. While especially recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Murder Likes It Hot" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.59).

Cat Got Your Crown
Julie Chase
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781683319566, $26.99, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Lacy Marie Crocker can hardly believe it's been a year since her return home to New Orleans. There hasn't been a dull moment since opening her pet boutique last summer, and thanks to the popularity of Lacy's organic pet treats, and the arrival of the National Pet Pageant, Lacy desperately needs some help before she is overrun by the demand for pupcakes and crinolines. The entire Garden District seems to be counting the minutes until opening night of the pet pageant and everything is going spectacularly until Viktor Petrov, the pageant emcee takes a spill from the balcony during dress rehearsal. All signs points to murder and homicide detective Jack Oliver sets his eyes on Eva Little, one of Lacy's committee sisters and the only other person on the balcony at the time of the fall, as the killer. But when it comes out that Viktor was notoriously rude, the doors blow wide open with potential suspects who could've wanted him dead. Lacy's determined to find the killer and exonerate Eva, but when Lacy receives a mysterious warning -- a plush kitty from Lacy's shop with its mouth crudely stitched over -- it's clear that she's been found first. Complete with the inclusion of recipes for pets, "Cat Got Your Crown" is the fourth and latest addition to author Julie Chase's wonderfully entertaining 'Kitty Couture' mystery series and is a guaranteed popular addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the legions of Julie Chase fans that "Cat Got Your Crown" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.80) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781982628505, $34.95, CD).

Something Read, Something Dead
Eva Gates
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781683319504, $26.99, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Winter falls on North Carolina's Outer Banks as Lucy Richardson and her friends joyfully help her favorite cousin, Josie O'Malley, plan her wedding. The owner and head baker of Josie's Cozy Bakery and her fiance, chef Jake Greenblatt, want a small, simple wedding. But to their horror, Josie's imperious grandmother, Gloria, descends with the "Louisiana Mafia": a gaggle of aunts and cousins who intend to take control of the wedding plans. Gloria doesn't do small and simple, and cousin Mirabelle has her own ideas for Josie's wedding, something grand and lavish - and paid for by Josie's parents, of course -- that will kickstart her fledgling event planning business and get her work shown on the covers of wedding magazines. To make matters worse, Mirabelle focuses her full Southern charm on the prospective groom...and Jake doesn't seem entirely adverse to her attentions. To smooth the waters, Lucy hosts a bridal shower at the Bodie Island Lighthouse Library. But it turns deadly when Mirabelle collapses - soon after eating the gluten-free treats Josie prepared specifically for her. Now, to save her favorite cousin from prison, Lucy will have to bring a crook to book. "Something Read, Something Dead" is the fifth festive Lighthouse Library mystery and continues to showcase author Eva Gates total mastery of the genre. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery fans that "Something Read, Something Dead" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.49) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781982628437, $29.95, MP3 CD).

Trouble on the Books
Essie Lang
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
9781683319818, $26.99, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Shelby Cox never intended to become a bookseller, so when the former editor returns to her hometown of Alexandria Bay, nestled in upstate New York's breathtaking Thousand Islands region, to take over her aunt's bookstore, she has no idea what to expect. To her amazement, she discovers that she now owns a fifty-percent share in Bayside Books, and will also run the store's second location in the majestic castle on nearby Blye Island. But just as Shelby is gearing up for the start of the tourist season, the Castle volunteer coordinator is found murdered in the nearby Grotto. Castle caretaker Matthew Kessler is suspect number one, but Shelby thinks the killing may be connected to an earlier era, when violence among Prohibition-era smugglers was rampant in the region. As Shelby launches her own investigation, handsome and unnerving Special Agent Zack Griffin of the Coast Guard Investigative Services tries to quell her smuggling theory and keep her safe. But Shelby is determined to summon all her savvy as a book editor to plot the murder and find the killer before he strikes again! All the more impressive when considering that "Trouble on the Books" is author Essie Lang debut as a mystery novelist, this original and thoroughly entertaining read has more plot twists and turns than a Coney Island roller coaster, making it an a very highly recommended addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. For the personal reading lists of mystery buffs it should also be noted that "Trouble on the Books" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.69).

After Anna
Lisa Scottoline
St. Martin's Griffin
c/o St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
www.stmartins.com
9781250099655, $27.95, HC, 400pp, www.amazon.com

Dr. Noah Alderman, a widower and single father, has remarried a wonderful woman, Maggie Ippolitti, and for the first time in a long time, he and his young son are happy. Despite her longing for the daughter she hasn't seen since she was a baby, Maggie is happy too, and she's even more overjoyed when she unexpectedly gets another chance to be a mother to the child she thought she'd lost forever, her only daughter Anna. Maggie and Noah know that having Anna around will change their lives, but they would never have guessed that everything would go wrong, and so quickly. Anna turns out to be a gorgeous seventeen-year-old who balks at living under their rules, though Maggie, ecstatic to have her daughter back, ignores the red flags that hint at the trouble brewing in a once-perfect marriage and home. Events take a heartbreaking turn when Anna is murdered and Noah is accused and tried for the heinous crime. Maggie must face not only the devastation of losing her daughter, but the realization that Anna's murder may have been at the hands of a husband she loves. In the wake of this tragedy, new information drives Maggie to search for the truth, leading her to discover something darker than she could have ever imagined. A deftly crafted and riveting read from cover to cover, "After Anna" is a complex and original novel by an author with a total mastery of narrative storytelling. While unreservedly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "After Anna" is also available in a paperback edition (9781250099662, $17.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Every Time the Phone Rings
Rufus J. Brooks Jr.
Commonwealth Publishing
PO Box 770354, Coral Springs, FL 33077
www.commonwealthbooks.com
9781892986085, $17.95, PB, 242pp, www.amazon.com

Seven young women from well-to-do families became friends during their days at their private school. During a freak electrical storm, the school caught fire and burned to the ground. The young women returned to their families. Years later, one after another apparently committed suicide, yet something didn't seem right. Out of the seven, only one still lived. Special Agent Dormie Shackleford, traveling from one state to another, is determined not only to keep her alive but to solve the mysterious "suicides" and stop whoever is behind it all. Can he solve the mystery? Will he be able to keep the last woman alive and protect her from whoever is behind the ringing phones? Deftly written by an author with a genuine flair for originality, an engaging style of narrative storytelling, and offering more plot twists and turns than a Coney Island roller coaster, "Every Time the Phone Rings" by Rufus J. Brooks Jr. is unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs, as well as community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections.

Murder x3
J. R. Canfield
Biographical Publishing Company
95 Sycamore Drive, Prospect, CT 06712-1493
www.biopub.us
9780997602852, $9.95, PB, 118pp, www.amazon.com

The single most important element in solving a premeditated, capital crime is the motive of the perpetrator(s). Motivation for murder frequently comes in the form of expected financial gain, marital problems, revenge, jealousy, etc. In considering the three separate mysteries by J. R. Canfield that comprise "Murder x3" (The Reunion; Fatal Promotion; The Provocateur), the individual motivations vary widely! A quick and easy read, "Murder x3" is very highly recommended for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs -- as well as being an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections.

Double Exposure
Alfred Gough & Miles Millar
Grand Central Publishing
c/o Hachette Book Group
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
www.hachettebookgroup.com
9781538731369, $26.00, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com

David Toland, a decorated Korean War veteran, has done all he can to leave a life of combat behind. Now Director of Preservation for the Library of Congress's National Film Archive, Toland has made it his mission to preserve what he loves most: the Golden Age of American cinema, moving pictures full of romance, adventure and American Dream. That is, until CIA Agent Lana Welles drops in unannounced with a film canister, smuggled over the Berlin Wall at great cost, that may prove WWII never really ended -- it just went underground. David reluctantly agrees to serve his country one last time and help recover the film for Lana and the CIA. But it seems not everyone is as eager as they are to dig up the past. David and Lana's discovery awakens shadowy forces who will do anything to keep their findings a secret. In search of the truth, David and Lana find themselves pursued across the globe in a cat and mouse game with enormous, world-altering consequences. A superbly crafted suspense thriller of a read from cover to cover, "Double Exposure" by the team of Alfred Gough and Miles Millar will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Double Exposure" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781549143205, $29.00, CD).

Catch Me When I'm Falling
Cheryl A. Head
Bywater Books
P.O. Box 3671, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106-3671
www.bywaterbooks.com
9781612941455, $16.95, PB, 260pp, www.amazon.com

Someone is murdering the homeless in Detroit's Cass Corridor by setting them on fire. These horrific crimes wouldn't require an investigation by Charlie Mack and her crack team investigators, except one of the burned bodies is her mother's friend. There's a lot wrong with this case: the police won't admit a serial killer is on the loose, drug trafficking intersects with the deaths, and a rogue cop is involved. Also the timing couldn't be worse -- Charlie and Mandy are finally moving in together. This case becomes the most difficult of Charlie's career when she transforms herself into a street person, and mixes with the corridor's gangs, do-gooders, and the down-and-out to uncover evidence the police can't continue to ignore. A riveting page-turner of a read by a master of the suspense/thriller genre, "Catch Me When I'm Falling" by Cheryl A. Head is unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading list of dedicated mystery buffs that "Catch Me When I'm Falling" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

First, Kill the Lawyers
David Housewright
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
www.minotaurbooks.com
9781250094490, $27.99, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Five prominent attorneys in Minneapolis have had their computer systems hacked and very sensitive case files stolen. Those attorneys are then contacted by an association of local whistleblowers known as NIMN and are quietly alerted that they have received those documents from an anonymous source. If those files are released, then not only will those lawyers be ruined, but it might even destroy the integrity of the entire Minnesota legal system. This group of lawyers turns to Private Investigator Holland Taylor with a simple directive: stop the disclosure any way you can. But while the directive is simple, the case is not. To find the missing files and the person responsible, Holland must first dive into the five cases covered in the files - divorce, bribery, class action, rape, and murder. While Taylor is untangling the associates and connections between the cases and families affected, things take another mysterious turn and the time before the files are released is running out. As the situation becomes more threatening, Holland Taylor is trapped in the middle of what is legal and what is ethical -- between right, wrong, and deadly. A simply riveting read by a master of the mystery genre, "First, Kill the Lawyers" by David Housewright is certain to be a prized addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery fans that "First, Kill the Lawyers" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Tell Her No Lies
Kelly Irvin
Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
www.thomasnelson.com
9780785223115, $15.99, PB, 352pp, www.amazon.com

Nina Fischer carries a camera wherever she goes so that she can safely view life through a filter. After her mother abandoned her to the streets, Nina has kept people at a distance, including her uncle, who adopted Nina and her sister. Wealthy and proud, he is a good man, a fair judge, and someone many in San Antonio admire. But when he is murdered, and the detective assigned to the case accuses Nina of the crime, she knows she must act. She's determined to use her journalism background to find the real killer. The two men in her life want to help, but can she trust them? She's known Rick since they were children, but now he's an attorney whose political aspirations seem more important than Nina's tragic loss. And then there's Aaron, a news videographer; using their friendship could break the biggest story of his career. Following the evidence leads Nina on a journey of discovery into her father's shocking masquerade as a law-abiding, family-loving Christian. Unlocking these secrets could prove fatal, but it's the only way Nina will ever be able to trust love again. A deftly crafted suspense thriller of a mystery novel, Kelly Irvin's "Tell Her No Lies" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. For the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs, "Tell Her No Lies" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99) and in a large print edition (Center Point Publishing, 9781643580555, $36.95, 455pp).


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Expedition
Chris Babu
Permuted Press
https://permutedpress.com
9781682618356, $21.00, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Drayden and his friends thought nothing could be harder than the Initiation. Little did they know it had only been a warmup for the challenge that lay ahead. With New America's situation dire, Drayden and the pledges venture into the unexplored world beyond the walls, escorted by a team of elite Guardians. The group seeks to contact another civilization in what remains of Boston, but Drayden has secret goals of his own. Dangers abound in the outside world, including Aeru, the deadly superbug that wiped out humanity. While they battle the elements of a desolate landscape, a power struggle emerges within their ranks. The Guardians seem to be carrying out a covert mission themselves, and the quest turns everything they thought they knew about New America upside down. A deftly crafted and riveting read from first page to last, "The Expedition" documents author Chris Babu's genuine flair for originality and master of the post-apocalyptic science fiction genre. While unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated SciFi buffs that "The Expedition" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

Marked
S. Andrew Swann
Daw Books, Inc.
c/o Penguin Group
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
www.dawbooks.com
9780756415020, $16.00, PB, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Detective Dana Rohan has an excellent arrest and conviction rate. But even her partner doesn't know the real reason why. All her life Dana has borne a Mark of unknown origin that she's kept secret. A Mark that allows her to walk into alternate pasts and futures. A Mark that allows her to go back and see any crime as it's being committed. But the life she's carefully built around this secret ability begins to crumble when she's assaulted by a ragged old man. He babbles an incoherent warning that "the Shadows are coming", right before he is killed by an armored monstrosity out of another century. The armored attacker vanishes, leaving the old man to die in Dana's arms, and she realizes that he bears the same Mark she does. Soon Dana finds herself hunted by Shadows coming from out of Chaos. She must flee through a host of alternate worlds as she finds out the true meaning of the Mark on her skin, and why someone wants to kill her for it. Another entertainingly riveting read from an author with a genuine flair for originality and narrative driven storytelling, "Marked" by S. Andrew Swann is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Science Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated SciFi fans that "Marked" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

Captain Marvel: Liberation Run
Tess Sharpe
Titan Books
https://titan-comics.com
9781789091656, $24.95, HC, 368pp, www.amazon.com

Captain Marvel: Liberation Run is an original prose novel set in the Marvel comic book universe, featuring the strong-willed superheroine Captain Marvel. In "Liberation Run", Captain Marvel (whose normal identity is Carol Danvers) narrowly stops a spacecraft from crashing. Its pilot Rhi is a young Inhuman woman from a group who left for a life among the stars. Instead they were imprisoned on a planet where an enslaved Inhuman brings her owner great power and influence. Horrified by the account, Carol gathers a superhero team that includes Ant-Man, Mantis, and Amadeus Cho. Together they set out to free Rhi's people. A welcome addition to the Marvel Universe, "Captain Marvel: Liberation Run" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections -- and is a 'must read' for all dedicated Captain Marvel fans. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Captain Marvel: Liberation Run" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.59).

The Alchemist's Illusion
Gigi Pandian
Midnight Ink
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125-2989
www.midnightinkbooks.com
9780738753010, $15.99, PB, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Centuries-old alchemist Zoe Faust is tired of running from her past. She's finally got her life on track in Portland, Oregon, gardening and cooking in her fixer-upper house with her mischievous best friend, Dorian the gargoyle chef. It seems like the perfect life for Zoe, until she discovers that her old mentor Nicolas Flamel, who she thought had abandoned her, has been imprisoned. A local artist holds the secret that could lead Zoe to her mentor, but the artist is murdered and the painting containing the hidden clue is stolen. To rescue Nicolas, Zoe and Dorian must explore art forgery, a transformative process that has much in common with alchemy and cooking -- but one that proves far more dangerous. "The Alchemist's Illusion" by Gigi Pandian is a simply riveting and deftly crafted read that will have immense appeal for readers with affinity for fantasy mystery fiction. Highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists of both fantasy fans and mystery buffs that "The Alchemist's Illusion" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.59) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781978664654, $14.99, CD).


The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram
Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, et al.
InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426
www.ivpress.com
9780830836000, $24.00, PB, 272pp, www.amazon.com

An Enneagram is a model of human personality illustrated by the enneagram figure of a nine-sided star polygon with various configurations. The Enneagram opens a remarkable window into the truth about us, enabling us to see how image, wounds, lies, triggers, and default responses shape us every bit as much as our faith. But simply diagnosing our number doesn't do justice to who we are. Nor does it necessarily change us or our relationships. Transformation happens as we grow in awareness and learn how to engage and reflect God's image. And relational repair then results as we apply Enneagram insights to the rhythms and grooves of our ordinary daily lives. For those who have learned about the Enneagram and wonder "What's next?" -- "Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram: A Handbook for Harmony and Transformation" is the answer. Filled with exercises to engage, challenge, encourage, and sustain, "Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram" will help us grow in greater awareness and lead us to spiritual and relational transformation. Including new insight on the Enneagram and the Harmony Triads, and offering helpful "Soul Resources" in the appendix, "Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram: A Handbook for Harmony and Transformation" can be used by individuals or groups. A unique and effective 'spirituality workbook', it should be noted that "Spiritual Rhythms for the Enneagram: A Handbook for Harmony and Transformation" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.16).


The Christian Studies Shelf

Making a Scene in the Pulpit
Alyce M. McKenzie
Westminster John Knox Press
100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40202-1396
www.wjkbooks.com
9780664261566, $25.00, PB, 226pp, www.amazon.com

How can preachers ensure that their sermons continue to engage listeners in a world defined by visual media and the short, segmented delivery of information? In "Making a Scene in the Pulpit: Vivid Preaching for Visual Listeners", Alyce McKenzie (who is the Le Van Professor of Preaching and Worship and Director of the Center for Preaching Excellence at Perkins School of Theology) harnesses the element of drama and the human fascination with scenes to offer ministers a modern means of sermon development and delivery. Professor McKenzie's core strategy is to invite listeners into scenes (whether from Scripture or contemporary life) and, once they are there, to point them toward the larger story of God's relationship with humankind. Creating such scenes unifies the whole process of preaching, she says, from the preacher's daily life observations to interpretation of scenes from Scripture, to sermon shaping, sequencing, and delivery. The process culminates in a specific understanding of the purpose of the sermon: to send listeners out into the scenes they'll play in their lives for the next week, equipped to act out their parts in ways that are kinder, more just, and more courageous than last week. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Making a Scene in the Pulpit" is an especially recommended addition to seminary and academic library Christian Studies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of seminary students and clergy that "Making a Scene in the Pulpit" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Open Your Heart
Pope Francis, author
Theresa Khoo, editor
Pauline Books & Media
50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, MA 02130-3433
www.paulinemedia.com
9780819855084, $7.95, PB, 136pp, www.amazon.com

Pope Francis, born Jorge Borgoglio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is the 265th successor of St. Peter as Bishop of Rome. He has reigned as Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church since 2013. Lent is a time for all Roman Catholics to open their hearts to the sacrifice of Christ and the love of God. With "Open Your Heart: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis", Pope Francis' world-renowned compassion, mercy, and tenderness help Catholics on their Lenten journey as he invites them out of the darkness of sin and into the light of the Gospel. Including daily reflections from Ash Wednesday through Easter week, "Open Your Heart" draws from the popes homilies, public addresses, and other writings to encourage all Catholics on their Easter journey. "Open Your Heart: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis" is especially and unreservedly recommended to the attention of all members of the Roman Catholic community.

A Philosophy of the Christian Religion
Nancey Murphy
Westminster John Knox Press
100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40202-1396
www.wjkbooks.com
9780664263287, $40.00, PB, 348pp, www.amazon.com

The Christian religion as we find it in the twenty-first century presents a unique set of problems to be solved and questions to be answered. "A Philosophy of the Christian Religion" by Nancey Murphy (Senior Professor of Christian Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary) is an informed and informative introduction to the philosophy of the Christian religion. Professor Murphy applies the tools of philosophical analysis to a set of core yet contemporary religious questions: What does our historical moment mean for the possibility of knowing God?; Is faith still possible?; Does God intervene in human history?; Is there such a thing as universal knowledge of God? Written with the needs of students encountering the philosophy of religion for the first time in mind, "A Philosophy of the Christian Religion" provides a comprehensive introduction to the fundamental questions inherent in Christian faith, along with the intellectual and scholarly tools for how to answer these seminal questions within the context of the Christian religion. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "A Philosophy of the Christian Religion" is especially recommended for seminary, church, community, college, and university library Contemporary Christian Theology collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

From Fire, by Water
Sohrab Ahmari
Ignatius Press
PO Box 1339, Fort Collins, CO 80522
www.ignatius.com
9781621642022, $22.95, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com

Sohrab Ahmari was a teenager living under the Iranian ayatollahs when he decided that there is no God. Nearly two decades later, he would be received into the Roman Catholic Church. In "From Fire, by Water: My Journey to the Catholic Faith", he recounts this unlikely passage, from the strident Marxism and atheism of a youth misspent on both sides of the Atlantic to a moral and spiritual awakening prompted by the Mass. At once a young intellectual's finely crafted self-portrait and a life story at the intersection of the great ideas and events of our time, "From Fire, by Water" marks the debut of a compelling new Catholic voice. Inspired and inspiring, "From Fire, by Water" is a compelling memoir that is especially and unreservedly recommended to the attention of all members of the Catholic community, clergy and laymen alike.

The Grace of Patience
Margaret Whipp
Twenty-Third Publications
1 Montauk Ave #200, New London, CT 06320
www.23rdpublications.com
9781627853651, $12.95, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com

Having to wait is a fact of life. And depending on what we re waiting for, the experience can leave us feeling frustrated, anxious, or even fearful. We cannot escape these times of waiting, but in them we can discover the gift and beauty of patience. "The Grace of Patience: Discovering the Spiritual Abundance of Waiting Discovering the Spiritual Abundance of Waiting"is a spiritually rich and beautifully written book by Margaret Whipp (who is the Lead Chaplain for the Oxford University Hospital) in which she explores several kinds of waiting and shows how each can become a moment of grace in our lives. "The Grace of Patience" offers helpful activities and exercises to turn these moments of disquiet into prayerful encounters with calm and peace. Patience is not only a virtue; it is a gift which is deftly showcased in the pages of "The Grace of Patience". Very highly recommended reading for all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations, "The Grace of Patience" is especially appropriate for church and community library Spirituality and Personal Growth collections and reading lists.

The Unsaved Christian
Dean Inserra
Moody Publishers
820 N. LaSalle Blvd., Chicago, IL 60610
www.moodypublishers.com
9780802418807, $14.99, PB, 208pp, www.amazon.com

Whether it's the Christmas and Easter Christians or the faithful church attenders whose hearts are cold toward the Lord, we've all encountered cultural Christians. They'd check the Christian box on a survey, they're fine with church, but the truth is, they're far from God. So how do we bring Jesus to this overlooked mission field? "The Unsaved Christian: Reaching Cultural Christianity with the Gospel" equips you to confront cultural Christianity with honesty, compassion, and grace, whether you're doing it from the pulpit or the pews. A practical guide, "The Unsaved Christian" will: Show you how to recognize cultural Christianity; Teach you how to overcome the barriers that get in the way; Give you easy-to-understand advice about VBS, holiday services, reaching "good people," and more! If you've ever felt stuck or unsure how to minister to someone who identifies as Christian but still needs Jesus, "The Unsaved Christian: Reaching Cultural Christianity with the Gospel" is the perfect instructional guide and reference. While very highly recommended to all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Unsaved Christian" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Oasis Audio, 9781640911505, $24.99, CD).

Dare to Hope
Melissa Spoelstra
Abingdon Press
2222 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.
PO Box 280988, Nashville, TN 37228-0988
www.abingdonpress.com
9781501879654, $16.99, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

When we look around at today's world, hope usually isn't the first word that comes to mind. In many ways we live in an unstable world where marriages fail, bank accounts run low, friendships end, and the everyday demands of a fast-paced life get us down. In the Book of Jeremiah, we find God calling out to His people with a message of hope -- a message that intentional living is possible even in an unstable world. In "Dare to Hope: Living Intentionally in an Unstable World", Melissa Spoelstra (popular women's conference speaker and Bible Studies teacher) examines this hope-filled message, highlighting six guidelines for intentional living that enable us to overcome fear, worry, and doubt as we surrender to God and put our hope in Him alone. "Dare to Hope" inspires us to dare to hope, remembering that God is rich in mercy and love and has good plans for us. Inspired and inspiring, "Dare to Hope" is unreservedly recommended reading for all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Dare to Hope" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Oasis Audio, 9781640911727, $24.99, CD).


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Elements of Magic
Jane Meredith & Gede Parma, editors
Llewellyn Publications
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
www.llewellyn.com
9780738757148, $19.99, PB, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Deeply poetic and rich with passion, "Elements of Magic: Reclaiming Earth, Air, Fire, Water & Spirit" was collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Australian writer and ritualist Jane Meredith and witch, seer, healer, mystic, activist, and writer Gede Parma to helps metaphysical studies to expand their relationship with earth, air, fire, water, and spirit through personal reflections and hands-on explorations. With brilliant contributions from members of the international Reclaiming community, this empowering volume provides a wealth of spells, exercises, practices, and perspectives that are taught in Reclaiming's foundational class, Elements of Magic. Readers will discover and learn the techniques for grounding, casting a circle, trance, and visualization, as well as guidance for working with breath, raising energy, and charging an intention. The perfect introduction for the novice while having a great deal of insightful value for even the more seasoned practitioner, "Elements of Magic" is very highly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Elements of Magic" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.71).


The Science Shelf

Virginia Rocks!
Albert B. Dickas
Mountain Press Publishing Company
PO Box 2399, Missoula, MT 59806
www.mountain-press.com
9780878426881, $18.00, PB, 152pp, www.amazon.com

From the Eastern Shore to Cumberland Gap, Virginia stretches across five distinct regions, each home to unique and amazing geology. In the Coastal Plain's wedge of fossil-rich sediments, a meteor impact crater-the sixth largest on Earth-helped determine the location of Chesapeake Bay. The Piedmont begins at the Fall Line, the series of East Coast waterfalls that mark the upstream limit to ship navigation, such as Belle Else in Richland, where the turbulent James River erodes potholes in the Petersburg Granite. Rising up from the rolling hills of the Piedmont, the Blue Ridge forms the spine of the state, its hard basalt and gneisses on display at Shenandoah National Park. Farther west, limestones in the Valley and Ridge are riddled with caves and sinkholes, with dissolution forming one of the wonders of the world at Natural Bridge State Park. Along the very western edge of the state is the Appalachian Plateau, where the No. 3 coal, known as America's Favorite Fuel was extracted from the historic Pocahontas Mine. "Virginia Rocks!" by geologist Albert Dickas showcases 50 of the best sites in Virginia for discussing the enormous variety of rocks, minerals, and landforms created over the course of the states more than 1 billion years of geologic history. Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout, "Virginia Rocks!" is impressively informative and unreservedly recommended for personal, school, and community library geology studies collections and reading lists.


The Education Shelf

Serious Fun
Marie L. Masterson & Holly Bohart, editors
The National Association for the Education of Young Children
https://www.naeyc.org
9781938113390, $28.00, PB, 160pp, www.amazon.com

Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Marie L. Masterson (Director of Quality Assessment at McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership) and Holly Bohart (who is the Senior Editor in Books and Related Resources at NAEYC. and who formerly taught in special education early childhood programs), "Serious Fun: How Guided Play Extends Children's Learning" is a guide for preschool and elementary school teachers about the importance of planning learning experiences that integrate child-centered play with rich content-based instruction. "Serious Fun" emphasizes a classroom teachers' active role in children's play in order to guide learning. Organized into two sections, "Serious Fun" first looks at strategies teachers can use to connect play to learning. The second focuses on playful learning in math, literacy, drama, art, STEM, and outdoors. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Serious Fun" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to school district in-service training curriculums, as well as college and university library Teacher Education collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

Nurturing Habits of Mind in Early Childhood
Arthur L. Costa & Bena Kallick, editors
ASCD
1703 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
www.ascd.org
9781416627081, $29.95, PB, 208pp, www.amazon.com

In the first years of life, as children observe, imitate, and interact with people and their environment, the brain is structuring a foundation for vocabulary, values, cognitive processes, and social skills. Classroom teachers can help influence that development by teaching the skills and dispositions of intelligent, creative, effective decision makers and problem solvers. Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Arthur L. Costa (Emeritus Professor of Education at California State University, Sacramento) and Bena Kallick (a private consultant providing services to school districts, state departments of education, professional organizations, and public agencies throughout the United States and around the world), "Nurturing Habits of Mind in Early Childhood: Success Stories from Classrooms Around the World" shares authentic stories and experiences of teachers who have taught these Habits of Mind (HOM) to young children. The practical examples provided by the contributors shows how anybody who works with young children can introduce the Habits of Mind in entertaining and concrete ways that are developmentally appropriate. By designing learning experiences that reflect the situations and challenges children face in their lives, classroom teachers can help our youngest citizens begin to develop the habits of mind that feed a lifetime of learning. A collaborative work of simply outstanding scholarship, "Nurturing Habits of Mind in Early Childhood: Success Stories from Classrooms Around the World" is an especially recommended addition to school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections and supplemental curriculum lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of classroom teachers, education students, and non- specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Nurturing Habits of Mind in Early Childhood" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $28.45).

The K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Differences, 14th edition
The Princeton Review
c/o Random House Inc.
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
www.PrincetonReview.com
9780525567899, $31.99, PB, 752pp, www.amazon.com

Hundreds of thousands of students with ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, or other learning differences head to college every year. Now in a fully updated 14th edition, "The K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Differences" is a comprehensive guide makes it easy for those students and their families and guidance counselors to tackle the daunting process of finding the school that fits their needs best. This indispensable resource book for students, parents, and professionals includes: 338 school profiles with targeted information on services, admissions, and support at each school; Lists of support services available to learning-disabled students at each college; Policies and procedures regarding course waivers or substitutions; Strategies to help students find the best match for their needs; Advice from learning specialists on making an effective transition to college. Thoroughly comprehensive and 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The K&W Guide to Colleges for Students with Learning Differences " is an absolutely essential addition to highschool counselor and community library Higher Education reference and resource collections.

Encounters With Archetypes
Tamra Stambaugh, Emily Mofield, Eric Fecht, and Kim Knauss
Prufrock Press
PO Box 8813, Waco, TX 76714-8813
www.prufrock.com
9781618218063, $45.00, PB, 200pp, www.amazon.com

"Encounters With Archetypes: Integrated ELA Lessons for Gifted and Advanced Learners in Grades 4-5" integrates the study of archetypes with the concept of encounters. This unit was originally developed by Vanderbilt University's Programs for Talented Youth, and is aligned to the Common Core State Standards and features accelerated content, creative products, differentiated tasks, engaging activities, and the use of in-depth analysis models to develop sophisticated skills in the language arts. Through the lens of encounter, elementary school students will examine the patterns, symbols, and motifs associated with common archetypes by analyzing fictional and informational texts, speeches, and visual media. The students will follow various archetype encounters with conflicts and challenges to explore questions such as "How do archetypes reflect the human experience?" and "How do archetypes reveal human strengths and weaknesses?" Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Encounters With Archetypes" is especially recommended for school district in-service training curriculums, as well as college and university library Teacher Education collections and supplemental studies lists.


The Interior Design Shelf

Natural Style
Janet Sobesky
Creative Homeowner
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N. East Petersburg, PA 17520
www.FoxChapelPublishing.com
9781580118293, $19.99, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Janet Sobesky was the Home Design and Lifestyle Editor at Woman's Day magazine for 22 years, where she wrote the popular "Tip Talk" feature. In "Natural Style: Using Organic and Eco-Conscious Materials for Earth-Friendly Designs" she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to create an eco-elegant guide to home decor that is packed from cover to cover with attractive decorating ideas inspired by the colors, forms, and themes of nature. "Natural Style" shows how to bring a breath of freshness into home decorating by incorporating natural elements into everyday living. Using organic and eco-conscious materials for earth-friendly designs, "Natural Style" deftly presents a host of practical suggestions for achieving a comfortable, informal, easy-care, and sustainable lifestyle, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library Interior Design instructional reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.


The Woodworking Shelf

Woodworking for the Garden
Alan Bridgewater & Gill Bridgewater
Creative Homeowner
www.creativehomeowner.com
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
www.FoxChapelPublishing.com
9781580118309, $19.99, PB, 160pp, www.amazon.com

Whatever the size or style of your garden, "Woodworking for the Garden: 16 Easy-to-Build Step-by-Step Projects" will provide a wealth of inspiring, illustrated ideas for enhancing any outdoor space! "Woodworking for the Garden" offers 16 attractive, functional projects for making the most of your yard or garden ranging from trellises and planters to decking, fences, chairs, benches, tables, sheds, and even a children's playhouse! Each individual project includes easy to follow step-by-step instructions, color photographs, cross-section drawings, and comprehensive materials lists. In "Woodworking for the Garden', DIY experts Alan and Gill Bridgewater also provide helpful advice on cutting and preparing wood, fixing joints, finishing, and maintaining outdoor wooden structures. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Woodworking for the Garden" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library Woodworking do-it-yourself instructional reference collections.


The Activity Shelf

Quote Acrostic Favorites: Volume 4
Charles Preston, editor
aka Associates Inc.
www.akabooks.com
9780578452821, $9.95, PB, 70pp, www.amazon.com

Created by former USA Today crossword puzzle editor Charles Preston, "Quote Acrostic Favorites: Volume 4" is the fourth volume of in his outstanding series and is comprised of 50 favorite acrostics, which reveal wise and witty sayings on topics from human nature and politics to science and society. Crack the clues in the word column; transfer them to the diagram; and discover quotations from people like G.K. Chesterton, Samuel Clemens, Joan Didion, Molly Ivins, Jack London, and more. "Quote Acrostic Favorites: Volume 4" is perfect for passing the time, whether during a quick lunch break or a lazy Sunday afternoon. Offering hours and hours of puzzle-solving fun, the "Quote Acrostic Favorites" series is especially and unreservedly recommended for every puzzle enthusiast's personal collection.


The Graphic Novel Shelf

The Rolling Stones in Comics!
Ceka
NBM Publishing
160 Broadway, Suite 700, East Wing, New York, NY 10038
www.nbmpub.com
9781681121987, $26.99, HC, 192pp, www.amazon.com

When the Rolling Stones hit the scene in the 60's, it was to play rhythm & blues, nothing more. They were far from imagining that they would change music, let alone become the mouthpiece of a changing world. Sticking their tongue out at the establishment with their brilliant music and hard-hitting lyrics, they achieved planet-wide success. With Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in the lead, these rebels have become, over 50 years, not just a band, but a whole attitude! Through 21 stories in comics accompanied by biographical texts and a rich iconography, "The Rolling Stones in Comics!" by Ceka (who was formerly a copywriter in advertising and has scripted more than 30 graphic novels) helps fans relive, in a totally new way, the incredible epic of one of the biggest rock bands ever. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community, college, and university library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated Rolling Stones fans that "The Rolling Stones in Comics!" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle & comiXology, $16.99).

Cannonball
Kelsey Wroten
Uncivilized Books
PO Box 6534, Minneapolis, MN 55406
https://uncivilizedbooks.com
9781941250334 $24.95 amazon.com

Cannonball is an LGBTQ graphic novel, featuring characters brought to life with simple yet expressive color artwork. The story focuses on the precarious livelihood of Caroline Bertram, a recent art school graduate and aspiring professional writer. She's also a lesbian who enjoys sex (although a past love broke her heart), a binge drinker who might not have crossed the line to alcoholism yet (although she'll drink with just about anyone to avoid drinking alone), a tortured genius (in her own mind), snidely nasty to anyone she takes a dislike to (a woman willing to have sex with her is not immune to her ill graces), and harassed by her parents to get a steady job instead of trying to write full-time (and scraping by with the pittance she makes from freelance editing work). Fortunately, Caroline does have friends, including a staunchly loyal lesbian best friend, and a straight best friend. Caroline might be her own worst enemy - or her own greatest motivator; the "Cannonball" title refers to a female professional wrestler that Caroline idolizes to the point of visionary adoration. A slice-of-life story that keeps the reader fascinated all the way to the final page, Cannonball is highly recommended. It should be noted that Cannonball has some nudity and sexual content, and is therefore suggested for mature readers.

Bloodborne: The Healing Thirst
Ales Kot, author
Piotr Kowalski, illustrator
Brad Simpson, illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781785869532, $16.99, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com

"Bloodborne: The Healing Thirst" is the second volume of a full-color, horror-fantasy graphic novel series based on the critically acclaimed video game. As the first Hunters slice the night in the search of the afflicted, The Healing Church faces a rupture in its ranks as it struggles to halt the spread of the mysterious Ashen Blood disease. Suspecting Old Blood as the cause, Priest Clement strikes a pact with the older healer Alfredius to uncover the true nature of the Healing Church and expose it to the citizens of Yharnam. Based on Hidetaka Miyazaki's critically-acclaimed Bloodborne video game, "Bloodborne: The Healing Thirst" is a dark and compelling page-turner of graphic novel. The artwork illustrations of Piotr Kowalski and Brad Simpson fully enhance author Ales Kot's unique and compelling story of ecclesiastical arrogance and the struggle of the fledgling practitioners of science in a age of superstition when faced with a seemingly unholy and unstoppable horror. It should be noted for dedicated graphic novel fans of the eerie and the mysterious, "Bloodborne: The Healing Thirst" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle & comiXology, $11.01).

The Raid
Alex Paknadel, author
Ollie Masters, author
Budy Setiawan, illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781785858659, $16.99, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com

Alex Paknadel is a British comic book writer who has written several titles, including Doctor Who for Titan Comics and Arcadia and Turncoat for Boom! Studios. Ollie Masters is a British comic book writer who has written several titles, including The Kitchen for Vertigo, and Sons of Anarchy and Snow Blind for Boom. Together they have collaborated to write "The Raid", a riveting graphic novel expertly illustrated by Budy Setiawan. Based on characters from the Raid movie series, "The Raid" is an action/adventure thriller of a read from cover to cover. While very highly recommended for community library graphic novel collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all graphic novel fans that "The Raid" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).

The Steel Prince
V. E. Schwab, author
Andrea Olimpieri, illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781785865879, $16.99, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com

The youthful Maresh is sent to a violent and unmanageable port city on the Blood Coast of Verose, on strict orders from his father, King Nokil Maresh, to cut his military teeth in this lawless landscape. There, he encounters an unruly band of soldiers, a lawless landscape, and the intoxicatingly deadly presence of the newly returned pirate queen, Arisa. The first volume of V. E. Schwab's 'Shades of Magic' series, "The Steel Prince" is superbly illustrated by the artwork illustrations of Andrea Olimpieri. The result is a sword-wielding action/adventure epic that will leave its fully entertained readers looking eagerly toward the next volume of this simply outstanding graphic novel series. While unreservedly recommended for community library graphic novel collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Steel Prince" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).

Newbury & Hobbes: The Undying
George Mann, author
Dan Boultwood, illustrator
Titan Comics
https://titan-comics.com
9781782760399, $16.99, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com

Produced by the team of author George Mann and illustrator Dan Boultwood, "Newbury & Hobbes: The Undying" takes place in the bizarre and dangerous steam punk world of Victorian London, a city teetering on the edge of revolution. Airships soar in the skies over the city, ground trains rumble through the streets and clockwork automatons serve the bustling public. But beneath this shiny veneer of progress lurks a sinister side. Queen Victoria is kept alive by a primitive life-support system while her agents Sir Maurice Newbury and his delectable assistant, Miss Veronica Hobbes, do battle with enemies of the crown, both physical and supernatural. This time it is the re-emergence of an old nemesis who is the creator of monsters. A deftly crafted example of the science fiction sub-genre of 'stem punk', "Newbury & Hobbes: The Undying" is an extraordinarily entertaining read from cover to cover and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library graphic novel collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all steam-punk science fiction fans that "Newbury & Hobbes: The Undying" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle & comiXology, $11.99).


The Audiobook Shelf

Crashing Heat
Richard Castle
Hachette Audio
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
www.HachetteAudio.com
9781549122231 $30.00 amazon.com

Crashing Heat is a dark, intense murder mystery, now available in audiobook format. Nikki Heat is married to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jameson Rook. Her marriage is stormy, but also sexy and sensational. Then a shocking death makes news headlines - a female reporter for a college newspaper is found naked and dead in Rook's bed. Is someone trying to frame Rook for murder? Or does he have an evil side that he's kept hidden from Nikki all this time? Determined not to take any form of betrayal lightly, Nikki resolves to learn the truth about what happened and why, embarking on an investigation that points toward a secret society within a secret society. A riveting thrill ride from beginning to end, Crashing Heat is enthusiastically recommended for connoisseurs of the genre. 8 CDs, 9 hours.


The Music CD Shelf

American Highway
Marty Brown
www.martybrownmusic.com
Plowboy Records
http://plowboyrecords.com
$TBA CD / $TBA download

American Highway is a country album of original music written by Marty Brown and Jon Tiven (Kristopher Martin Brown is the third co-writer of one track) celebrating Marty Brown's return to major recording after a break of twenty years. Vibrant, candid, and reverent, American Highway captures both the highs and lows of daily life with glorious aplomb. Highly recommended! The tracks are "American Highway", "I'm On A Roll ( Better Than It's Ever Been)", "Umbrella Lovers", "Shaking All Over The World", "When The Blues Come Around", "Right Out Of Left Field", "Kentucky Blues", "Casino Winnebago", "Velvet Chains", and "Mona Lisa Smiles".

Wooh Dang
Daniel Norgren
Superpuma Records
www.superpumarecords.com
c/o Redeye (distribution)
www.redeyeworldwide.com
https://danielnorgren.bandcamp.com/album/wooh-dang
$15.00 CD / $7.00 digital

Music artist Daniel Norgren's first worldwide release Wooh Dang is an intense, original music album with a deep connection to history and memory. Created within a 19th century textile farmhouse in the woods near Norgren's home in Sweeden, Wooh Dang was recorded live in its entirety on a 16 track analogue rig, with no guitar tuners. Norgren and his friends Anders Grahn (bass), Erik Berntsson (drums), and Andreas Filipsson (guitar and banjo) have created songs that reflect the exuberance of rural life. Highly recommended, especially for international music connoisseurs. The tracks are "Blue Sky Moon", "The Flow", "Dandelion Time", "Rolling Rolling Rolling", "So Glad", "Let Love Run the Game", "The Day That's Just Begun", "When I Hold You In My Arms", and "Wooh Dang".

Allison de Groot and Tatiana Hargreaves
Allison de Groot and Tatiana Hargreaves
allisondegroot.com
tatianahargreaves.com
Free Dirt Records
freedirt.net
$12.59 CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

Allison de Groot and Tatiana Hargreaves is the self-titled debut album of two bluegrass music artists inspired by traditional music from Mississippi, Missouri, the Arkansas Ozarks, and Appalachian stringband music. Though many of the songs are their renditions of traditional classics, the music speaks to modern issues of race, gender, and class. There are also American fiddle and banjo songs from the African-American duo Nathan Frazier and Frank Patterson, Arkansas fiddler Violet Hensley, and modern music masters Judy Hyman and John Hatcher. Both Allison de Groot and Tatiana Hargreaves are professional music teachers, and their commitment to pass on the joy of music shines through their work. Highly recommended! The tracks are "Eighth of January", "I Don't Want to Get Married", "Farewell Whiskey", "Dry", "Beaufort County Jail", "Cuckoo's Nest", "Lonesome Blues", "Willie Moore", "Buffalo Gals", "Wabash Blues", "Who Wouldn't Be Lonely", "Melinda", and "Green Valley Waltz".

Stories Told
Dave Zinno Unisphere
With Mike Tucker & Eric "Benny" Bloom, Tim Ray, Rafael Barata
Whaling City Sound
www.whalingcitysound.com
c/o Naxos (dist.)
www.naxosusa.com
PR: Ginny Shea - mixedmediapromo.com
$16.99 CD

Stories Told is an original Latin Jazz album by Dave Zinno Unisphere, and the follow-up to "River of January". Dave Zinno performs on the double bass; Mike Tucker on tenor saxophone; Eric "Benny" "Stories Told" includes elements of neo-Latin, and the intense music ranges from gregarious excitement to a somber tribute created in the memory of Tucker's father. Stories Told is a treasure for connoisseurs of the genre, highly recommended. The tracks are "Neurotico", "Larrytown", "The Opener", "Michelle", "Requiem", "Ta", "Seventh Hour", "Backup", and "Triste".

Black & White
The Green
thegreen808.com
Easy Star Records
www.easystar.com
$11.99 CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

Black & White is a reggae album by The Green, primarily revisiting their most popular, original reggae songs with a new acoustic arrangements. These new renditions are frequently retouched by the guideline that "less is more", to quote guitarist/singer JP Kennedy, focusing on the core key elements. The result is keenly forthright in its simplicity, and a "must" for reggae connoisseurs. Highly recommended! The tracks are "Alone", "Good Vibration", "Runaway Train", "Love I", "Alive", "Decisions", "What Will Be Will Be", "Going Up", "Chocolates & Roses", "Trod the Hard Road", "All I Need", "Wake Up", "Foolish Love", "Never", and "Good One".


The DVD Shelf

A Place to Call Home, season 6
Starring Marta Dusseldorp
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment
www.us.RLJEntertainment.com
$59.99 www.acornonline.com

A Place to Call Home, season 6 is the final chapter of this critically acclaimed television drama set in 1950s rural Australia, and directly addressing social issues including homosexuality, single motherhood, racism, and the aftereffects of war. Starring Marta Dusseldorp as the resourceful nurse Sarah Nordmann, season 6 follows Sarah's marriage to wealthy landowner George Bligh. George's mother Elizabeth feels excluded from the household that she used to rule as matriarch; George's son James returns from abroad to start a business in Sydney; and George's daughter Anna resides in distant Hawaii, hiding a secret from the rest of her family. Intrigue, deceit, and betrayal layer this complex, character-driven family saga, highly recommended. 10 episodes on 3 DVDs, 519 min., SDH subtitles.

The Heart Guy, series 3
Starring Rodger Corser
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment
www.us.RLJEntertainment.com
$59.99 www.acornonline.com

Starring Hugh Knight (played by Rodger Corser) as a brilliant yet prideful heart surgeon, The Heart Guy, series 3 (also known as "Doctor Doctor" in Australia) continues the Australian medical dramady on DVD about a doctor who returns to his rural home of Whyhope and becomes entangled in increasingly out-of-control personal matters! In series 3, although Hugh's probation from his prestigious job in Sydney is coming to an end, he has mixed feelings about abandoning a possible relationship with local hospital boss Penny (played by Hayley McElhinney). A family tragedy causes Hugh to inherit his family's farm - and $11 million in debt! Hugh's mother and brother are bereft with grief, and his brother's wife received an unexpected guest that makes matters even more complex. Hugh must choose between returning to his high-powered career or helping family, hospital workers, and people of Whyhope. The Heart Guy, series 3 is wry, witty, thought-provoking, and highly recommended! 10 episodes on 3 DVDs, 473 min.

Bagua for Beginners
Chenhan Yang
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480, Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
9781594396700 $29.95 www.ymaa.com

Bagua for Beginners (75 min.) is an instructional DVD to the internal martial art of bagua, which can be compared to tai chi. Bagua is notable for its emphasis on circular movement, including distinctively evasive circular footwork, applied to both defensive and offensive strategies. The exercises shown in Bagua for Beginners include basic leg stances for circle walking, Eight Palms hand forms, and Eight Palms sequence. Bagua for Beginners is excellent for increasing one's energy, improving physical fitness and longevity, and can supplement self-defense training (although Bagua for Beginners is not primarily a self-defense video). Also highly recommended are the book "Baguazhang" by Master Liang, Shou-Yu; Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming; and Mr. Wu, Wen-Ching, which complements the instruction in Bagua for Beginners. For those who master the fundamentals in Bagua for Beginners, a sequel instructional DVD "Bagua for Beginners DVD 2" (sold separately) offers further instruction in the Swimming Body movements and sequence.


The Biography Shelf

The Kindness of Strangers
Salka Viertel
New York Review of Books
435 Hudson Street, Suite 300, New York, NY 10014
www.nybooks.com
9781681372747, $17.95, PB, 368pp, www.amazon.com

Now brought back into print for a new generation of appreciative readers, the autobiography of actress and screenwriter Salka Viertel (15 June 1889 - 20 October 1978), "The Kindness of Strangers" tells the life story of a brilliant, creative, and well-connected woman's pilgrimage through the darkest years of the twentieth century, a journey that would take her from a remote province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to Hollywood. "The Kindness of Strangers". A 'must read' for anyone with an interest in Hollywood and the history of the film industry, "The Kindness of Strangers" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic library collections. Enhanced with an informative Introduction by Lawrence Weschler (a staff writer at The New Yorker for over twenty years) it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Kindness of Strangers" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).


The Self-Help Shelf

Increase Your Personal Productivity
John Martin
Sound Wisdom
167 Walnut Bottom Road, Shippensburg, PA 17257
www.soundwisdom.com
9781640950634, $15.99, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com

"Increase Your Personal Productivity: Your Guide to Intentional Living & Doing More of What You Enjoy" was written by John Martin for those men and women who want to learn the skill and willpower needed to easily ''get more done'' in their personal and professional life. "Increase Your Personal Productivity" shines the spotlight on six useful initiatives, including a three-step process to creating a personalized sustainable and repeatable goal system, and is certain to unlock interesting possibilities about increasing levels of productivity. Combining practical advice with less mainstream tips, Martin reveals how ''not having time'' becomes a distraction you can quickly bypass with a simple yet remarkable formula. Additionally, "Increase Your Personal Productivity" offers the valuable truth about how to: Create a productive state of mind; Produce around strengths; Stop second-guessing; Use patience to become more productive; Overcome perfectionism; Finish what is started; and so much more. Expertly organized and presented, "Increase Your Personal Productivity" is especially recommended for community and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement instructional reference collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Increase Your Personal Productivity" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle,$12.99).


The Business Shelf

Tax Savvy for Small Business, 20th edition
Frederick W. Dailey
Nolo Press
950 Parker Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
www.nolo.com
9781413325782, $29.99, PB, 368pp, www.amazon.com

The collection and payment of local, state, and federal taxes are a business part of every commercial enterprise or business. Creating a practical and comprehensive business tax strategy that will save business owners and entrepreneurs time, energy, and money. Now in its fully updated and revised 20th edition reflecting all the changes to the 2018 business tax code, "Tax Savvy for Small Business: A Complete Tax Strategy Guide" shows how to: Deduct operating expenses; Deduct travel, vehicle, and meal expenses; Take advantage of tax credits; Write off long-term assets; Compare business structures; Keep solid business records; Handle an IRS audit, and more! Simply stated, "Tax Savvy for Small Business" should be considered mandatory reading for anyone who is new to the subject and desire to take maximum legal advantage of the many tax benefits that available to small business owners. While very highly recommended for community library Business Management collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of entrepreneurs, business managers, tax accountants, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that the 2018 edition of "Tax Savvy for Small Business" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Sports Shelf

The Mountains are Calling
Jonny Muir
Sandstone Press
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7, 124 Byers Road, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
www.dufoureditions.com
9781912240104, $38.00, HC, 408pp, www.amazon.com

Jonny Muir was a nine-year-old when the silhouette of a runner in the glow of sunset on the Malvern Hills caught his eye. It later became the mountainside silhouette that first inspired him. His exploits inevitably led to Scotland's supreme test of hill running: Ramsay's Round, a daunting 60-mile circuit of twenty-four mountains, climbing the equivalent height of Everest, to be completed within twenty-four hours. While Ramsay's Round demands extraordinary endurance, the challenge is underpinned by simplicity and tradition, in a sport largely untainted by commercialism. "The Mountains are Calling" is the story of that sport in Scotland, charting its evolution over half a century, heralding its characters and the culture that has grown around them, ultimately capturing the irresistible appeal of running in high places. An inherently fascinating and impressively informative read, "The Mountains are Calling" is enhanced with the inclusion of illustrations (including two sections of delightful color plates), maps, a bibliography and an index. While unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Mountains are Calling" is also available in a paperback edition (9781912240630, $13.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).


The Automotive Shelf

Chrysler Slant Six Engines
Doug Dutra
CarTech Inc.
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
www.cartechbooks.com
9781613254325, $25.95, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com

1960 was the year all of the Big Three automakers unveiled entrants in a new class of car called the compact. Chrysler's offering, the Plymouth Valiant, was paired with its redesigned 6-cylinder engine entrant, the Slant Six, known by its nickname the "leaning tower of power". This engine powered the Valiants when they swept the top seven positions in the newly christened compact race that precluded the Daytona 500. With its legacy intact, Chrysler's Slant Six powered Mopar automobiles for decades to come in three displacement offerings (170, 198, 225). Now 60 years old, surviving Slant Six engines could probably use some freshening up. Slant Six engine expert Doug Dutra has produced "Chrysler Slant Six Engines: How to Rebuild and Modify" a profusely illustrated and thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional guide, manual, and reference to walk the do-it-yourself Slant Six owner through every aspect of disassembly, evaluation, rebuild, and reassembly in an easy-to-read, step-by-step format. "Chrysler Slant Six Engines" also covers modifications, showing how to squeeze the most out of a Slant Six engine.


The Jobs/Careers Shelf

The Actor's Guide to Self-Marketing
Carla Renata
Allworth Press
www.allworth.com
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
www.skyhorsepublishing.com
9781621535515 $16.99 pbk / $12.99 Kindle amazon.com

Actress, online radio personality, blogger, branding expert, and former publicist Carla Renata presents The Actor's Guide to Self-Marketing: How to Brand and Promote Your Unique Image, a no-nonsense guide for aspiring actors and actresses to promote their careers. Chapters discuss how to prepare professional resumes, one sheets, and press releases; how to maximize the marketing potential of social media; how to distinguish oneself from the pack and highlight one's unique talents and skills; how to improve the odds of landing one's dream role; and much more. Thoroughly accessible and practical-minded, The Actor's Guide to Self-Marketing is an absolute "must-read" for actors and actresses everywhere, highly recommended.


The Literary Studies Shelf

Kurt Vonnegut Remembered
Jim O'Loughlin, editor
The University of Alabama Press
PO Box 870380, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0380
www.uapress.ua.edu
9780817320119 $49.95 hc
9780817392246 $9.95 ebook

Kurt Vonnegut Remembered an anthology of remiscences about American author Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007), who is best known for his best-selling, dark satire novel "Slaughterhouse Five". These writings and insights are from a wide range of individuals people, from those who knew Vonnegut intimately to those who met him only once, and different essays shine a light on the many different phases of Vonnegut's life, including his service during World War II (he survived being captures by German troops during the Battle of the Bulge and the Allied bombing of the city of Dresden), his marriage, his years as a struggling writer with a family to support (including his sister's three sons, after his sister died from cancer and their father perished in a train accident), his philosophical views (he was an atheist and a humanist, and served as honorary president of the American Humanist Association), his rise to literary celebrity, and much more. Notes and an index round out this "must-read" for connoisseurs of Vonnegut's classic works, highly recommended especially for public and college library Literary Studies collections.


The Gaming Shelf

The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Vol. 2 N-Z
Brett Weiss
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
www.schifferbooks.com
9780764357251 $49.99 amazon.com

The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Vol. 2 N-Z is the second volume in a two-volume, encyclopedic coffee-table showcase of every Super Nintendo game ever made - including at least one that was not an official Nintendo release! Each game has at least one full page devoted to it, illustrated with full-cover pictures of the game's packaging, multiple gameplay screenshots, and sometimes pictures of associated promotional posters. The text describes the setting, story, gameplay genre and style of each game, along with "notable quotable" passages from various reviews (sourced from assorted video game magazines or websites) that shine critical insight upon the game's essence. A handful of brief bonus articles about the Super Game Boy and Super Scope peripherals (as well as "A Deeper Meaning for Super Metroid", a bibliography, and an index round out this treasure for retro video game connoisseurs. Whether used as a reference or just for casual browsing, The SNES Omnibus is a joy to page through! Also highly recommended is the previous volume in this two-volume set, The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Vol. 1 A-M (9780764355325, $49.99).


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