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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 9, Number 8 August 2014 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Cookbook Shelf Automotive Shelf
Music Shelf Technology Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Education Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Agriculture Shelf
Biography Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf Writing/Publishing Shelf
Computer Shelf Aviation Shelf Crafts Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf
Sports Shelf Travel Shelf Business Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf Language Studies Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Hunting Shelf International Studies Shelf Philosophy Shelf
Wine Shelf Political Science Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Her Next Chapter
Lori Day, M.Ed. with Charlotte Kugler
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street
Chicago, IL 60610
9781613748565 $16.95

Educational psychologist Lori Day, M.Ed. and her daughter Charlotte Kugler present Her Next Chapter, a guide to how mother-daughter book clubs can promote literacy and positive socialization, as well as provide a safe place where girls can freely discuss issues of girlhood and womanhood. Problems such as negative body image, bullying, gender stereotypes, and more can be addressed and brought out into the open. Her Next Chapter has suggestions for getting discussion going by choosing the right book, movie, or media recommendations, and using group activities to build girls' confidence. Even more important is the role that book clubs can play in teaching young girls how to protect themselves from sexual harassment - from street catcalls to groping to rape. "Not talking about dangerous situations like these leaves girls more vulnerable and more afraid to discuss incidents or ongoing abuses with their mothers. It's true we can never fully protect them, but we can absolutely put ourselves through our paces trying, and hoo boy, we've got to try!" Highly recommended, especially for public library collections, and for parents interested in putting a mother-daughter book club into practice.

Zen of the Plains
Tyra A. Olstad
University of North Texas Press
PO Box 311336
Denton, TX 76203-1336
9781574415520 $24.95

Part memoir, part nature narrative, Zen of the Plains: Experiencing Wild Western Places contemplates the beauty of plains land. Embellished with black-and-white photographs, vignettes, and hand-drawn maps, Zen of the Plains touches on subjects ranging from conservation to tourism, human concepts of wildness, and the meaning of "emptiness" when clear sky and flat land stretch as far as the eye can see. Meditative, philosophical, and evoking breathtaking wonder of nature's mysteries, Zen of the Plains is the next best experience to visiting a thriving prairie in person.

The Cookbook Shelf

Wild Rice Goose
John G. Motoviloff
University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, Third Floor
Madison, WI 53711-2059
9780299299040 $24.95

Wild Rice Goose and Other Dishes of the Upper Midwest is a cookbook emphasizing dishes created from "wildfoods" that one can obtain by hunting, fishing, or foraging. Recipes include Venison Pot Pie to Squirrel Stew, Cherry Pheasant Breasts, Mushroom-Roasted Duck, Iowa Baked Turtle, Wild Rice Quiche, and much more. Tips, tricks, and techniques for preparing freshly hunted or caught meat round out this "must-have" for gourmet outdoorsmen (and women)!

Truly Texas Mexican
Adan Medrano
Texas Tech University Press
PO Box 41037
Lubbock, TX 79409-1037
9780896728509 $29.95

Illustrated with full-color, full-page photography of its sumptuous dishes on virtually every other page, Truly Texas Mexican: A Native Culinary Heritage in Recipes is a wonderful treasury of 100 kitchen-tested recipes showcasing the heritage of Texas Mexican cuisine. From tasty Beef Tamales to Potato and Egg Tacos, Crab and Avocado Cocktail, Hibiscus Drink and much more, Truly Texas Mexican features flavors to remember. A superb addition to cookbook shelves!

Basil Thyme Coriander and Other Herbs
Jean-Paul Grappe
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
195 Allstate Parkway
Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 4T8
9781554552887 $22.95

Basil Thyme Coriander and Other Herbs is a cookbook with a unique focus - the uses of twenty different herbs to add flavor to favorite dishes, as well as their therapeutic value. Color photography illustrates the herb profiles and sumptuous recipes such as Bay Leaf Flavoured Roast Sturgeon, Dill Crusted Lamb Chops, Scallops Poached in Almond Milk with a Savory Emulsion, and much more. Step-by-step instructions - including a reference section with photographs demonstrating how to execute certain cooking techniques like removing bitterness from endives, or preparing flounder roulades - a glossary, and an index round out this excellent cookbook. Basil Thyme Coriander and Other Herbs is an inspirational resource for chefs of all skill and experience levels interested in harnessing herbal power!

Choosing Raw
Gena Hamshaw, author
Hannah Kaminsky, photographer
Da Capo Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500
New York, NY 10107
9780738216874 $19.99

Illustrated with full color photography, Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat is half a primer of what it means to plan meals of raw, vegan cuisine, and half a recipe resource. Sample dishes include Curried Chickpea and Carrot Salad, Quinoa Breakfast Pudding (made with coconut milk), Creamy Basil and Ginger Noodles, Raw Vegan Blueberry Ginger Ice Cream (dairy free), and much more. A hands-on guide to a healthful way of eating, Choosing Raw is a welcome addition to any cookbook collection - one doesn't have to be a vegan to thoroughly enjoy nutritious and delectable vegan recipes!

Berries And Other Small Fruit
Jean-Paul Grappe
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
195 Allstate Parkway, Markham, Ontario, Canada L3R 4T8
9781554552870, $22.95,

Berries, seasonal fruits, and honey were mankind's first sweets. They were also vital sources of vitamins and minerals. They remain medically advocated elements of a nutritious diet. They are also the foundation of palate pleasing desserts. That's where "Berries And Other Small Fruit" comes into play. This 149 page compendium presents sixty recipes that will showcase the culinary use of berries in all ways imaginable ranging from fruit wine, jams, jellies, and grilled swordfish with blueberries, to clafouti, foie gras with figs, soups, crepes and more. Profusely illustrated throughout with full color photography, each individual recipes provides a detailed list of ingredients, preparation instruction and times, along with the number of servings. Thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in organization and presentation, "Berries And Other Small Fruits" will prove to be an attractive and popular addition to any and all personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.

Cream Puffs
Hannah Miles
CICO Books
c/o Ryland Peters & Small
519 Broadway, 5th floor, New York, NY 10012
9781849755160, $16.95,

A profiterole, cream puff (US), choux a la creme or Profitrol (Turkey) is a French dessert choux pastry ball filled with whipped cream, pastry cream, custard, or (particularly in the US) ice cream. The puffs may be decorated or left plain or garnished with chocolate sauce, caramel, or a dusting of powdered sugar. In some areas, the term profiterole is used for small versions filled with whipped ice cream and topped with chocolate although the usage varies and can include other fillings. Now even the most novice of kitchen cooks can create bakery quality cream puffs in all manner of varieties and variations by following the recipes that Hannah Miles has compiled in "Cream Puffs And Other Delicious French Pastries", a 64 page compendium showcasing desserts that range from Triple Chocolate Cream Puffs and Pistachio Religieuse to a Strawberry Cream Puff Ring, Fresh Fruit Eclairs, and Strudel Cream Puffs with Caramel Glaze. Beautifully illustrated throughout, "Cream Puffs And Other Delicious French Pastries" is a truly elegant addition to any personal, professional, or community library cookbook collections.

The Donut
Michael Krondl
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9781613746707, $16.95,

A doughnut or donut is a type of fried dough confectionery or dessert food. The doughnut is popular in many countries and prepared in various forms as a sweet snack that can be homemade or purchased in bakeries, supermarkets, food stalls, and franchised specialty outlets. They are usually deep-fried from a flour dough, and typically either ring-shaped or without a hole and often filled. Other types of batters can also be used, and various toppings and flavorings are used for different types, such as sugar, chocolate, or maple glazing. In addition to flour, doughnuts may also include such ingredients as water, leavening, eggs, milk, sugar, oil/shortening, natural flavors and/or artificial flavors. The two most common types are the toroidal ring doughnut and the filled doughnut - which is injected with fruit preserves, cream, custard, or other sweet fillings. A small spherical piece of dough may be cooked as a doughnut hole. Other shapes include rings, balls, and flattened spheres, as well as ear shapes, twists and other forms. Doughnut varieties are also divided into cake and risen type doughnuts. "The Donut: History, Recipes, and Lore from Boston to Berlin" by Michael Krondl is a wonderfully illustrated, 168 page compendium comprised of 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes for creating bakery quality donuts at home, as well as an informative and entertaining background on the folklore and history of one of the world's favorite fried treats. Of special note is the section prefacing the recipes themselves and offering an informed commentary on fat, frying tips, and topping for donuts. The variations of donut recipes range from Zalabia: Syrian Hanukkah Fritters; Whole Wheat Apple Cider Donuts, and Chocolate-Glazed Bismarcks with Marshmallow Cream; to Mexican Chocolate Churros; Dulce De Leche Raised Donuts with Salty Caramel Glaze; Key Lime Crullers; and Baked Red Velvet Donuts with Vanilla Bean Icing. Enthusiastically recommended, "The Donut: History, Recipes, and Lore from Boston to Berlin" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to any personal, professional, family, or community library cookbook collections.

The Automotive Shelf

The Tasca Ford Legacy
Bob McClurg
CarTech Inc.
39966 Grand Avenue, North Branch, MN 55056
781613251287, $39.95,

"The Tasca Ford Legacy: Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday!" by veteran automotive journalist Bob McClurg is a profusely illustrated, 192 page compendium showcasing the Tasca Ford which in the 1960s was the Ford Motorcar Company's effort to compete in the high performance muscle car category. This is the detailed story of the early days of Tasca Ford, when Bob Tasca was just getting his start, and continues through the growth of the dealership during its successful performance years, all the way to modern times. An impressively researched and deftly written automotive history "The Tasca Ford Legacy: Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday!" is informed, informative, and a highly entertaining read that is enthusiastically recommended for personal and community library American Automotive History collections.

The Music Shelf

Lyrical Solos
William Bay, composer
William Bay Music
c/o Mel Bay Publications
PO Box 66, Pacific, MO 63069
9780988832732 $14.99

"Lyrical Solos" for classical guitar by William Bay contains 19 exquisitely sensual solos of medium difficulty written in standard notation. These contemporary pieces evoke a broad spectrum of harmonies, moods, and tonal textures and colors, inviting the soloist to indulge in interpretation and expression. Titles such as "Daydreams," "Horizon," "Coming Home," and "Longing" represent the reflective nature of these expressive compositions, while "The Journey," "New Day," and "My Irish Home" explore some bright, moments filled with sunlight and warmth. Each solo is carefully marked for tempo, expression, and dynamics, with specific meters suggested. "Lyrical Solos" is a treat to explore, ready for the guitarist's touch to spring into life.

The Technology Shelf

Understanding How Components Fail
Donald J. Wulpi, author
Brett Miller, editor
ASM International
9639 Kinsman Road, Materials Park, OH 44073-0002
9781627080149, $169.00, 300pp,

Specifically written for new engineers and technicians, and now in a newly updated and expanded third edition "Understanding How Components Fail" focuses on the metallurgical and materials evaluation for failure mode identification. Comprehensive information covering the basic principles and practices are clearly explained, along with recent technical knowledge and analysis tools; fatigue striation counting, modeling, and crack rate prediction; Microbiologically Influenced Corrosion (MIC) technology; and elevated temperature updates. Informed and informative, with each individual chapter featuring a succinct summary, "Understanding How Components Fail" is enhanced with and extensive appendix on 'Fracture Mechanics Concepts', a Glossary, and an Index. An ideal textbook for metallurgical engineering curriculums, "Understanding How Components Fail" is an essential and highly recommended addition to professional and academic library reference collections.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Modern Nature-Inspired Quilts
Bernadette Mayr
Design Originals
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N.
East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781574218602 $24.99

Award-winning German quilt artist Bernadette Mayr presents Modern Nature-Inspired Quilts, a project guide for quilters of all skill and experience levels. Focusing on beautiful, freeform needlecraft art created without ruler or stencil, Modern Nature-Inspired Quilts encourages creativity with inspirational color photographs and detailed instructional guidelines. Tips, tricks, techniques, and an index round out this wonderful compendium of hands-on creative works, perfect for gift-giving or daily use around the house.

Marvelous Crochet Motifs
Ellen Gormley
P.O. Box 8000, Big Sandy, TX 75755
9781573674737, $9.95,

Crocheting is a process of creating fabric from yarn, thread, or other material strands using a crochet hook. The word is derived from the French word "crochet", meaning hook. Hooks can be made of materials such as metals, woods, or plastic and are commercially manufactured as well as produced by artisans. Crocheting, like knitting, consists of pulling loops of material through other loops, but additionally incorporates wrapping the working material around the hook one or more times. Crochet differs from knitting in that only one stitch is active at one time (exceptions being Tunisian crochet and broomstick lace), stitches made with the same diameter of yarn are comparably taller, and a single crochet hook is used instead of two knitting needles. Additionally, crochet has its own system of symbols to represent stitch types. "Marvelous Crochet Motifs" by Ellen Gormley showcases 48 different motifs and with superbly presented and illustrated instructions, will be a highly recommended and valued addition to any personal or community library Needlecraft collections.

The Education Shelf

The Power of Playful Learning
Joyce Hemphill, Laura Scheinholtz, and Heather Von Bank
Capstone Press
PO Box 669, Mankato, MN 56002-0669
9781625219299, $19.95,

The collaborative project of professional educators Joyce Hemphill, Laura Scheinholtz, and Heather Von Bank, "The Power of Playful Learning: The Green Edition" is a 184 page collection of playful activities will support and complement a classroom curriculum with games and activities can be made almost entirely from common household recyclables. Each individual activity includes simple instructions for creating the game or toy and a list of educational and developmental benefits. These classroom based activities are nicely organized into five chapters based on skills being applied, and skills in number sense, objects in motion, and speaking and language are developed along the way. Estimating, measurement, and graphing Planning and development Putting things together Sequencing, making connections, and spatial relationships Developing a greater understanding of objects in motion. Thoroughly 'user friendly', "The Power of Playful Learning: The Green Edition" is very highly recommended as a school curriculum resource for preschool through fifth grade classes.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Oracle of Visions
Ciro Marchetti
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
179 Ludlow Street, Stamford, CT 06902
9781572817562, $21.95,

In Classical Antiquity, an oracle was a person or agency considered to interface wise counsel or prophetic predictions or precognition of the future, inspired by the gods. As such it is a form of divination. The word oracle comes from the Latin verb orare "to speak" and properly refers to the priest or priestess uttering the prediction. Oracles were thought to be portals through which the gods spoke directly to people. The lush Victorian-influenced images of Ciro Marchetti's "Oracle of Visions" deck provide unique perspectives for insightful divination and meditation in the ancient oracle tradition through the use of tarot cards. The imaginative scenes encourage us to set aside pre-conceived ideas and investigate the choices, decisions, and consequences faced each day. With impressively striking card images and very highly recommended, the "Oracle of Visions" set includes 52 cards and 140-page booklet.

Deviant Moon Tarot Deck
Patrick Valenza
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
179 Ludlow Street, Stamford, CT 06902
9781572817715, $20.00,

The tarot is a pack of used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play a group of card games such as Italian tarocchini and French tarot. From the late 18th century until the present time the tarot has also found use by mystics and occultists in efforts at divination or as a map of mental and spiritual pathways. The creation of Patrick Valenza, "Deviant Moon Tarot Deck" presents uniquely alternative interpretations of traditional tarot with symbolism inspired by childhood dreams. Stylized moon-faced characters created from manipulated photographs of 18th century tombstones are set against evocative backgrounds. Incorporated into the artwork are surreal scenes of distant smoke stacks, insane asylums and abandoned buildings. The accompanying booklet gives interesting card descriptions and interpretations, both upright and reversed. The symmetric card backs, showing different phases of the moon, allow for reversed readings. Also included in the booklet is a unique ten-card spread called the Lunatic Spread, which mimics the shape of the full moon, and derives energy from its circular pattern. Hauntingly beautiful with metaphysical imagery, "Deviant Moon Tarot Deck" is truly extraordinary and highly recommended for personal and professional tarot deck collections.

Ancient Animal Wisdom
Stacy James & Jada Fire
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.
179 Ludlow Street, Stamford, CT 06902
9781572817722, $21.95,

Co-written by Stacy James and Jada Fire, and superbly illustrated by Jada Fires art work, "Ancient Animal Wisdom" is an oracle set that brings the energy and insight of 38 different African animal spirit guides into your life to help you connect with your own intuition and find clarity. Vibrant artwork is paired with inspirational passages. The 44-page illustrated guidebook offers 10 card spreads as well as numerological approaches for using the "Ancient Animal Wisdom" oracle cards. Unique, beautiful, inspiring, "Ancient Animal Wisdom" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to any and all personal tarot card and oracle card collections.

The Agriculture Shelf

The Rabbit Raising Problem Solver
Karen Patry
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way
North Adams, MA 01247
9781612121420 $19.95

Written in a question-and-answer format readily accessible to readers of all backgrounds, The Rabbit Raising Problem Solver is a solid resource for rabbit owners. Whether one keeps a single rabbit as a pet, or commercially raises them for their meat or fur, The Rabbit Raising Problem Solver is packed cover to cover with must-know information about reading rabbit body language, spotting signs of ill health, how to breed rabbits and prepare for kits, and much more. "Q: When should I separate baby rabbits into individual cages? A: Start by weaning the whole litter at 5 to 8 weeks old, by separating them from their dam but keeping each kit with one or more litter mates for company and comfort. Between the ages of 8 and 10 weeks, put each youngster in its own cage. Week 10 should be the age limit for cage sharing, with the exception of young does that get along well."

Biology, Detection, and Management of Plant Pathogens in Irrigation Water
Chuanxue Hong, et al.
APS Press
3340 Pilot Knob Road, St. Paul, MN 55121
9780890544266, $279.00,

Plant pathology is the scientific study of plant diseases caused by pathogens (infectious organisms) and environmental conditions (physiological factors). Organisms that cause infectious disease include fungi, oomycetes, bacteria, viruses, viroids, virus-like organisms, phytoplasmas, protozoa, nematodes and parasitic plants. Not included are ectoparasites like insects, mites, vertebrate, or other pests that affect plant health by consumption of plant tissues. Plant pathology also involves the study of pathogen identification, disease etiology, disease cycles, economic impact, plant disease epidemiology, plant disease resistance, how plant diseases affect humans and animals, pathosystem genetics, and management of plant diseases. The collaborative work of the editorial team of Chuanxue Hong; Gary W. Moorman, Walter Wohanka, and Carmen Buttner, "Biology, Detection, and Management of Plant Pathogens in Irrigation Water" is a 448 page compendium deftly organized into four major sections: Linkages Between Crop Disease and Irrigation Water; Diversity and Biology of Plant Pathogens in Water; Detection Technology and Economic Threshold for Plan Pathogens in Irrigation Water; Pathogen management Through Water Treatment. Of special note is the Appendix 'Partial List of Plant pathogens Found in Different water Sources and Crop Production Systems'. The impressive roster of contributors cover the links between crop diseases and irrigation water; the diversity and biology of plant pathogens in water; strategies and tactics for risk-avoidance and mitigation, system design, 'best practices', and more. Enhanced with the inclusion of 128 images, 37 line drawings, and a comprehensive Index, "Biology, Detection, and Management of Plant Pathogens in Irrigation Water" is an ideal textbook and highly recommended for Agricultural Department curriculums and Academic Library reference collections.

The Biography Shelf

The Life Of Orson F. Whitney
Dennis B. Horne
Cedar Fort, Inc.
2373 West 700 South, Springville, Utah 84663
9781482114913, $39.99,

Orson Ferguson Whitney (1 July 1855 - 16 May 1931) born in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from April 9, 1906 until his death. Whitney was a politician, journalist, poet, historian and academic. In 1878, as a young man, Whitney began a career in writing with the business office of the LDS newspaper, the Deseret News, later becoming a reporter and the city editor. During a mission in Europe for the LDS Church from 1881 to 1883, he acted as editor of the church publication Millennial Star. In 1896 - 1897, Whitney taught English and Theology at Brigham Young College, in Logan, Utah. In 1899, Whitney accepted the position of Assistant Church Historian and served in that position until he was called as an apostle. Whitney was also involved in the politics of Salt Lake City and Utah. He served on the Salt Lake City Council in 1880, acted as City Treasurer from 1884 to 1890, and served as a State Senator in 1898, and again in 1901. "The Life of Orson F. Whitney: Historian, Poet, Apostle" is a 608 page compendium by Dennis B. Horne presenting the life, times, and accomplishments of a remarkable man that includes his personal as well as his professional life. A seminal and meticulously written account, "The Life of Orson F. Whitney: Historian, Poet, Apostle" is especially recommended for readers with an interest in Mormon history in general, and the life of the Mormon apostle Orson F. Whitney in particular.

John Mullan
Keith C. Petersen
WSU Press
PO Box 645910, Pullman, WA 99164-5910
9780874223217, $32.95, 336pp,

An accomplished road builder who got his initial training at West Point, completed the Northwest's first engineered highway at the age of thirty-two. What began as a course for horse and wagon traffic, by the time of his death in 1909, had evolved into planned and maintained route for automobiles and trucks. Eventually his 635 mile road system became a link in the Interstate Freeway I-90. A 19th century solider, explorer, and road builder in the American northwest, John Mullan is rescued from an undeserved obscurity with the publication of Idaho State Historian Keith C. Petersen's superbly written biography, "John Mullan: The Tumultuous Life of a Western Road Builder". Nicely illustrated with period photos, "John Mullan: The Tumultuous Life of a Western Road Builder" is a masterpiece of biographical and historical scholarship that is enhanced with the inclusion of Endnotes, a Bibliography, and an Index. Very highly recommended for community and academic library American Biography and 19th Century American History collections, it should be noted that "John Mullan: The Tumultuous Life of a Western Road Builder" will prove to be of immense interest for non-specialist general readers with an interest in the evolution of America's transportation road system in general, and the development of the road systems in the American northwest in particular.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Meister Eckhart
Matthew Fox
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608682652, $17.95, 336pp,

Critique: Eckhart von Hochheim O.P. (c. 1260 - c. 1328), commonly known as Meister Eckhart, was a German theologian, philosopher and mystic, born near Gotha, in the Landgraviate of Thuringia in the Holy Roman Empire., Eckhart came into prominence during the Avignon Papacy, at a time of increased tensions between the Franciscan Order and Eckhart's Dominican Order of Preachers. In later life he was accused of heresy and brought up before the local Franciscan-led Inquisition, and tried as a heretic by Pope John XXII. He probably died before his verdict was received. He was well known for his work with pious lay groups such as the Friends of God and was succeeded by his more circumspect disciples John Tauler and Henry Suso. Since the 19th century, he has received renewed attention. Within popular spirituality he has acquired a status as a great mystic, though contemporary scholarship places him properly within the mediaeval scholastic and philosophical tradition. "Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times" by Matthew Fox is a 336 page compendium showcasing Eckhart's thought and relevancy for contemporary students of Christian Metaphysics and what Fox describes as Creation Spirituality by means of posing metaphorical discussions between the 13th Century theologian and philosopher Meister Eckhart with such luminaries as Teilhard de Chardin, Thich Nhat Hanh, Carl Jung, Black Elk, Rumi, Adrienne Rich, and others. Informative, thought-provoking, and very highly recommended reading, it should be noted that "Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior for Our Times" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Build Your Author Platform
Carole Jelen & Michael McCallister
BenBella Books
10300 N. Central Expressway, STE 400, Dallas, TX 75204
9781939529251, $16.95,

It takes far more to write a successful book, fiction or non-fiction, that being a talented wordsmith. Once a book is written, the task remains of bringing it to the favorable attention of an intended readership. If an author is to be commercially and professional successful, that intended readership must be developed over time in the highly competitive world of publishing. "Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules: A Literary Agent's Guide to Growing Your Audience in 14 Steps" by the team of literary agent Carole Jelen and technical communications expert Michael McCallister is essentially a 384 page instruction manual specifically designed to teach authors how to define their literary and publication goals while developing a unique 'brand name' recognition for their work and themselves. Authors will learn how to utilize and implement website strategies, content, social presence, and media authority to increase their sales. Of special note is the practical guide to securing positive reviews. Replete with pragmatic and illustrative book marketing lessons, examples, success stories, and a wealth of tips and techniques, "Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules: A Literary Agent's Guide to Growing Your Audience in 14 Steps" will prove to ben an enduringly valuable addition to personal, professional, academic, and community library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections. Very highly recommended to writers aspiring to become successful authors, it should be noted that "Build Your Author Platform: The New Rules: A Literary Agent's Guide to Growing Your Audience in 14 Steps" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Writing Wild
Tina Welling
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608682867, $14.95,

Creative writing is any writing that goes outside the bounds of normal professional, journalistic, academic, or technical forms of literature, typically identified by an emphasis on narrative craft, character development, and the use of literary tropes or with various traditions of poetry and poetics. Due to the looseness of the definition, it is possible for writing such as feature stories to be considered creative writing, even though they fall under journalism, because the content of features is specifically focused on narrative and character development. "Writing Wild: Forming a Creative Partnership with Nature" by published author Tina Welling is a 248 page instruction guide on how to tap into the natural world (including ourselves to create memorable and engaging stories while exploring ourselves and our surroundings. Of special note is the chapter on the 'Care and Feeding of a Writer'. As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Writing Wild: Forming a Creative Partnership with Nature" is thoroughly 'reader friendly' and highly recommended to all aspiring authors, as well as community and academic library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections. It should be noted that "Writing Wild: Forming a Creative Partnership with Nature" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Computer Shelf

Creative Web Design with Adobe Muse
David Asch
Focal Press
c/o Elsevier/Butterworth Heinemann
3251 Riverport Lane, Maryland Heights, MO 63043
9780415811798, $39.95,

Adobe Muse is a product by Adobe Systems. The software is focused on allowing designers to create websites without having to write any code. This app is available through Adobe Creative Cloud. "Creative Web Design with Adobe Muse" by David Asch is an illustrated, 208 page, step-by-step formatted instruction guide that will enable even the most novice of web designers to easily incorporate Photoshop into Adobe Muse resulting in effective, efficient, and elegantly designed web pages. Of special note is a companion website with up-to-the-minute coverage of Muse and other tutorials to help design the perfect web page. Thoroughly 'user friendly' from first page to last, "Creative Web Design with Adobe Muse" is highly recommended for personal, professional, academic, and community library Computer Science instruction guide reference collections.

The Aviation Shelf

Early Soviet Jet Fighters
Yefim Gordon & Dmitriy Komissarov
Hikoki Publications
c/o Specialty Press
99 Spring Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10012
9781902109350 $64.95

Early Soviet Jet Fighters is a reference of encyclopedic depth, filled to the brim with information about the development, history, and technical specifications of the first Soviet jet fighter airplanes, up through the mid-1940's. Roughly 750 black-and-white photographs, 50 specially-commissioned color drawings, and countless line drawings illustrate this meticulous, definitive resource. Readers with expertise in engineering and aeronautics will get the most out of Early Soviet Jet Fighters, but aviation enthusiasts of all backgrounds will find a wealth of fascinating facts and striking imagery. "During the very first engine run [of the first prototype Yak-Jumo] the exhaust gases melted the duralumin skin of the lower fuselage beyond the heath shield (which turned out to be too short) and burned up the tailwheel tyre; apparently nobody had realised that the tailwheel undercarriage was incompatible with the chosen engine placement and the rubbery tyre stood no chances in the hot exhaust!"

The Crafts Shelf

Pinterest Perfect!
Melissa Edghill and Amanda Wright
Walter Foster
3 Wrigley, Suite A, Irvine, CA 92618
c/o Dalyn Miller Public Relations
9781600583964 $19.95

Lavishly illustrated with full-color photographs of its step-by-step instructions on almost every page, Pinterest Perfect! is packed cover to cover with crafting ideas ranging from doodles to painting, papercrafts, and mixed media, drawn from the popular project-sharing website Pinterest. Pinterest Perfect! is very much a hands-on book, inviting the reader to create pin-worthy pieces of art at home. A superb gift for anyone into simple handicrafts, and a treasure trove of ideas for making unforgettable greeting cards or other little bits of delight, Pinterest Perfect is highly recommended.

The Audiobook Shelf

The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing
Mira Jacob, author and narrator
Books on Tape
c/o Random House Audio Books
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 5th floor
New York, NY 10019
9780804193252 $60.00

The debut novel of Mira Jacob, The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing is a story of dark family secrets reaching past continents and generations. Professional photographer Amina learns from her somewhat unreliable mother that her father, brain surgeon Thomas Eapen, has be talking to deceased relatives. Amina returns home to a tangled family situation. Unraveling the cause of her father's unusual behavior leads her to look into a trip the family, including Amina's defiant brother Akhil, took to India twenty years ago. Confronting tragedy hidden in the past is the only way to help her father in the present, in this thought-provoking, vividly personal saga of memorable, all-too-human characters.

Kalona's Fall
P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast, authors
Caitlin Davies, narrator
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315
New York, NY 10010
9781427241092 $19.99

A novella in the "House of Night" series, Kalona's Fall is the unabridged audiobook performance of a fantasy novel about the dark side of love. Award-winning fantasy and paranormal romance writer P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast weave the suspenseful saga of Kalona's fall from grace in the Otherworld. Both Kalona and his brother Erebus love the goddess Nyx in different ways; Erebus as Nyx's friend and confident, Kalona as Nyx's warrior and lover. But Kalona's jealousy mounts; as desire to have Nyx all to himself curles into anger, and malevolence. Suspenseful and at times shocking, Kalona's Fall is a "must-have" for fans dark fantasy! 3 CDs, 3.5 hours.

One Plus One
Jojo Moyes, author
Read by Elizabeth Bower, Ben Elliot, Nicola Stanton, and Steven France
Penguin Audio
c/o The Penguin Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
9781611762730 $39.95

One Plus One is a wonderfully lighthearted romantic novel, now available as an unabridged audiobook performed by four talented actors and actresses. Jess Thomas is a struggling single mother, trying to keep her family's heads above water. Her ex-husband has vanished, her teenaged stepson is a bullying victim, and her daughter is a mathematical genius - but Jess has neither the money nor the means to send her to the Maths Olympiad. Or does she? Jess' family stumble across Geeky Ed, a tech millionaire whose personal life is in tatters. He agrees to drive them (and even their dog!) cross-country to the Maths Olympiad, in a road trip that will ultimately change all of their lives. A tongue-in-cheek, heartwarming story, One Plus One is highly recommended.

Thorn Jack
Katherine Harbour, author
Kate Rudd, narrator
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887
Grand Haven, MI 49417
9781480596818 $29.99

Thorn Jack: A Night and Nothing Novel is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a dark, gothic fantasy. Serafina "Finn" Sullivan still grieves for her older sister, Lily Rose, who took her own life one year prior. Now the eighteen-year-old Finn and her college professor father have returned to his hometown of Fair Hollow, along the Hudson River. Finn becomes entranced with the handsome, mysterious Jack Fata, heir to the town's most powerful family - and earns the ire of powerful, surreal enemies! The lives of Finn's friends are also in jeopardy, but help comes from the pages of a journal that Lily left behind. Lily's written words contain clues to the menacing, supernatural denizens of a shadowy world, ruled by the beautiful and terrifying Reiko Fata. Thorn Jack is intensely written, superbly performed, and exciting to the very end! 12 CDs, 13 hours 57 min.

The Music CD Shelf

Surya Chants of Light
Nadaka Gopika
c/o The Creative Service Company
4360 Emerald Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
$17.47 CD / $7.92 MP3

Surya Chants of Light is a music album of classic vedic chanting, sung in the original sanskrit and following the pronunciation and intonation traditions passed down in India for thousands of years. Music accompanying the chants balances the traditional Indian-raga with modern guitar-synth. Songs on Surya Chants of Light range from 4000-year-old vedic mantras to (relatively) recent Indian hymns, some of which are part of daily modern life. A solar theme of life-giving light binds these eight beautiful and inspirational selections. The tracks are "Suryaya Swaha", "Arogya Mantra", "Gayatri Mantra", "Navagraha", "Suryashtakam", "Dakshinam", "Surya Namaskar", and "Chidakash". 52 min.

Saguita al Bate
Leticia Rodriguez Garza
Privately Published
c/o Press Junkie PR
9901 Brodie Lane, Suite 160, PMB 221, Austin, TX 78748

Saguita al Bate is an EP music album featuring songs from Hispanic-American performer Leticia Rodriguez Garza, also known for creating the one-woman show "Canciones For Generations". Saguita al Bate has stellar, crystal-clear performances of three songs from "La Americana" plus a lively recording of "Saguita al Bate" (a song about a man pushed to the brink by his wife's love of baseball - or is she just infatuated with the handsome baseball player Alberto 'Saguita' Hernandez?). A celebration of life, love, family, and art, Saguita al Bate is a joy to listen to. The tracks are "Saguita al Bate", "Milonga Sentimental", "La Cumbancha", and "Incertidumbre".

Puerta Del Sur
Bio Ritmo
Privately Published
c/o Press Junkie PR
9901 Brodie Lane, Suite 160, PMB 221
Austin, TX 78748
$19.47 CD / $7.92 MP3

Latin dance band Bio Ritmo presents Puerta Del Sur, an album that reaches into the heart of salsa, rock, and the effort to revive "lost" Latin music. Overflowing with vibrant celebration, Puerta Del Sur showcases broad instrumental variety in complement to its lively lyrics. The result is a treat for Latin music connoisseurs everywhere! The tracks are "Se Les Olvido", "La Via", "Picaresca", "Perdido", "Motocilengua", "Pajaro Pio Pio", "Le Dicen Dolor", and "Codeina".

Knowledge Shine Bright
Privately Published
c/o Press Junkie PR
9901 Brodie Lane, Suite 160, PMB 221
Austin, TX 78748
$14.09 CD / $7.99 MP3

The second album of Washington DC live band See-I, Knowledge Shine Bright is an exciting album drawing inspiration from funk, house, dancehall, hip-hop, R&B, and rock music. Guest contributions from rappers Mr. Lif and Flex Mathews, as well as chanteuses Candice Mills and Edy Blu, enliven this original, heady nonstop ride. The tracks are "Never Give Up", "Real Steel", "King of the Road", "The Boogieman", "The Chase", "Rudeboy Razor", "Knowledge Shine Bright", "A Rebel in Blue", "Musical Murder", "Queen of Sheba", "Wrong Side of the Line", and "Revolution."

The DVD Shelf

Half the Road
A documentary by Kathryn Bertine
Narrated by Bob Roll
Filmed & edited by Kevin Tokstad
First Run Features
630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213
New York, NY 10036

Directed by pro cyclist Kathryn Bertine, Half the Road is a documentary about women's professional cycling, examining both the passion that drives modern female athletes to compete, and the inequality that persists in male-dominated sports to this day. Why don't professional female cyclists get "half the road" in their competitions? Why is the famous Tour de France for men only? Interviewees include four-time Ironman World Champion Chrissie Wellington, and Kathrine Switzer ("K.V. Switzer"), the first woman to officially register and run the all-male Boston Marathon in 1967. Half the Road prompts the viewer to rethink their understanding of sports in general and cycling in particular, and is highly recommended.

Circle the Wagen
Directed by Ryan Steven Green
c/o Green Galactic (publicity)

Circle the Wagen is a full-length hybrid of documentary and comedy, following two adventurous roadtrippers, Dave and Charlie, along Route 66 in a 1972 VW bus. Can their beloved vehicle be saved from the relentless advance of age and wear? Their journey will take them to other automotive connoisseurs with a burning passion for classic cars, and help comes from the unlikeliest sources as they follow their hearts and dreams toward California! Highly recommended. Bonus features include commentary, an interview with directory Ryan Steven Green, deleted scenes, trailer & slideshow. Not rated, 86 min.

John Wesley: The Faith That Sparked the Methodist Movement
Christian History Institute
c/o Vision Video (distribution)
P.O. Box 540, Worcester, PA 19490

John Wesley: The Faith That Sparked the Methodist Movement is an documentary about 18th-century evangelist and social reformer John Wesley (1703-1791), one of the founders of the Methodist branch of the Christian faith. Interviews, on-location footing shot in Wesley's native England, and excerpts from John Jackman's 2010 dramatic film "Wesley" recreate the world in which Wesley lived, his spiritual struggle, and the results of his lifelong legacy. As educational as it is enlightening, John Wesley: The Faith That Sparked the Methodist Movement is highly recommended. English and Spanish languages tracks and subtitles, 55 min.

Secret State
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment
9781621722267 $39.99

Based on the novel "A Very British Coup" by Chris Mullin, Secret State is a four-part political thriller about deadly machinations and repercussions. When a horrific industrial explosion kills 19 people, British Deputy Prime Minister Tom Dawkins (played by Gabriel Byrne) must investigate what caused the accident. Dawkins' search for answers is blocked at every turn by an uncooperative petrochemical company, and a plane crash involving the Prime Minister further complicates the search for justice. A behind-the-scenes featurette (11 min.) and an interview with Mullin (3 min.) enrich this tense story of scandal, the threat of war, and blood-in-the-water blackmail, highly recommended especially for connoisseurs of British drama. 4 episodes on 2 DVDs, 180 min., widescreen, SDH subtitles.

The Saint, Set 1
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment
9781621721727 $49.99

Filmed in a variety of dazzling locations around the world, The Saint, Set 1 gathers three British feature-length movies based on the classy, super-sleuth literary character created by Leslie Charteris. Simon Templar, a.k.a. "The Saint", treads a fine line between both sides of the law, inspiring adoration from women, fear from criminals, and frustration from the police whom he tends to leave two steps behind on his daring heists. Always the model of an unflappable gentleman, The Saint confronts kidnappers, murderers, and the financial scammers in these unforgettable high adventures: "The Brazilian Connection", "The Blue Dulac", and "Fear in Fun Park". 3 movies on 3 DVDs, 296 min., fullscreen, SDH subtitles.

Mustang: The First 50 Years
TM Books & Video
PO Box 9228
Michigan City, IN 46361
9781936890859 $19.99

Mustang: The First 50 Years is a 2-DVD set about the extraordinary 50-year history of the Ford Mustang, from its creation in the early 60s to the 2015 Mustang GT. Designed from the get-go to emphasize both affordability and performance, the Mustang soared in popularity and came to exemplify the Baby Boomers' love of "life in the fast lane". Its success was also a triumph of marketing, redefining the Ford brand and becoming the company's most popular car since the Model T. Collectors, automotive enthusiasts, journalists, and former Ford employees (including Mustang designer Gale Halderman) all contribute to this fascinating documentary, interspersed with both archival and HD widescreen footage. 2 DVDs, 2 hours 30 min.

The Sports Shelf

Racing Maxims & Methods of Pittsburg Phil
Edward W. Cole
Cardoza Publishing
5473 South Eastern Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89119
1580423140 $14.95

Pittsburg Phil personally amassed a fortune of $3,250,000 (worth $80 million in today's dollars) by investing his earnings from the racetrack. Racing Maxims & Methods of Pittsburg Phil contains the condensed horseracing wisdom of this well-known founder of the modern practice of handicapping (calculating the scoring advantage to equalize the overall odds of winning in sports - an indispensable part of the horse race betting industry). Chapters discuss handicapping horses by class and weight, how to identify side effects from drugs used on horses, the pivotal roles of trainers and jockeys, and more. A handful his brief yet cutting maxims round out this absolute "must-have" for anyone interested in placing bets on the sport. "If there are two or three very fast horses in a race, one or two of them will quit before the end of the journey. Hence, look out for your intelligent jockey."

The Travel Shelf

Walk Across Australia
David Mason
Rosenberg Publishing Pty Ltd
c/o International Specialized Book Services (distribution)
920 Northeast 58th Avenue, Suite 300, Portland, OR, 97213
9781922013996 $29.95

Illustrated with a modest amount of full-color photography, Walk Across Australia: The First Solo Crossing is the personal testimony of author David Mason, who challenged himself to cross the widest span of Australia on foot - from Byron Bay, NSW to Steep Point, WA. His only companions for the journey were three wild camels captured and trained for the purpose. His 4000-kilometer journey took eight months, and brought him into context with an extraordinary array of Australians (including indigenous people) and tourists; some kind, some thoughtless, and many happily wishing him well. Ultimately, Mason's journey was not man versus nature, but man learning to love nature, and to appreciate the beauty and strength of the continent under his feet. Walk Across Australia is a special treat for armchair travelers, highly recommended.

Discover Italy, third edition
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street
Oakland CA 94607
9781742207476 $24.99

Now in an updated third edition, Discover Italy is part of Lonely Planet's superb travel guides, designed to prove useful to businesspeople, tourists, or expatriates. A wealth of maps including a full-sized pull-out map, "must-see" highlights throughout the nation with information about their hours and accessibility, and a handy "survival guide" primer enrich this user-friendly resource. "Non-EU citizens planning to stay at the same address for more than one week are supposed to report to the police station to receive a permesso di soggiorno (a permit to remain in the country). Tourists staying in hotels are not required to do this." A "must-have" for anyone interested in visiting this grand and storied nation!

The Business Shelf

Hyper Sales Growth
Jack Daly
Advantage Publishers Group
PO Box 1090
Poway, CA 92074-1090
9781599324388 $24.95

Entrepreneur Jack Daly presents Hyper Sales Growth, a guide built on his 20 years of experience in sales and management. Chapters discuss the importance of company culture, how to "think like a coach" (including how to recruit top performers, and the importance of training), expert salesman tips, tricks, and techniques, and much more. "Let's say that you were a salesperson calling on 50 people and I told you that you weren't getting enough business out of your territory and you'd better get busy. If you are like most people, you would go back in your territory and call on a lot more people. And that would be the wrong move on your part. Instead, you should identify the high-opportunity accounts and call on them more frequently." An excellent primer, reference, and resource for any and every professional in the field, Hyper Sales Growth is highly recommended.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Purified and Enlightened
Mary Birmingham
World Library Publications
3708 River Road, Suite 400
Franklin Park, IL 60131-2158
9781584597087 $39.95

Purified and Enlightened: RCIA Sessions for Lent is a resource especially for initiation ministers who serve their flock during the season of Lent - traditionally a time of purification and enlightenment. Drawn from author Mary Birmingham's twenty-five years of experience with the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA), Purified and Enlightened has session layouts for all five weeks of Lent, along with a brief theological and historical overview of Lent's role. An accompanying CD-ROM has reproducible handouts for the sessions and Powerpoint(R) presentations. Purified and Enlightened is highly recommended for ministers, especially for its ease of use. "While Lent's primary purpose is baptismal preparation and preparation for its renewal, part of that preparation is the acceptance of our baptismal responsibility to go out and be agents of change in the world. How will we ever know what needs changing if we do not take the time to explore that reality, and honestly and truthfully explore our own culpability in the pervasiveness of the evil that surrounds us?"

Dynamic Women of the Bible
Ruth A. Tucker
Baker Book House
PO Box 6287
Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287
9780801016103 $17.99

Dynamic Women of the Bible: What We Can Learn from Their Surprising Stories is a serious-minded analysis of women in scripture. More than fifty biblical women are discussed, and their lives were often quite divergent from today's societal norms. The Bible has many references to polygamy, prostitution, fierce competition over men (especially polygamous wives such as Rachel and Leah competing for their husband's favor), as well as rape and sexual abuse. What lessons can we learn from women in Scripture, including notable unnamed women? What was everyday life once like for Mary, mother of Jesus? Sample "questions to think about" for each chapter help make Dynamic Women of the Bible especially valuable for women's Bible study groups, or for individual study.

The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

The Zombie Book
Nick Redfern with Brad Steiger
Visible Ink Press
43311 Joy Road #414, Canton, MI 48187-2075
KT Public Relations
9781578595044 $19.95

The Zombie Book: The Encyclopedia of the Living Dead is an information-packed catalog of movies and television shows (and even some literature, folklore, and history) about zombies. From "Night of the Living Dead" to "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" to "The Walking Dead" and "World War Z", The Zombie Book is filled with entries of popular culture - as well as passages about real-life threats, history, and myth, such as anti-zombie preparations by the CDC and FEMA, Nazi experiments to resurrect the dead, the horror that is Mad Cow Disease, and more. A must-have for anyone fascinated by shambling, undead killing machines!

The Language Studies Shelf

Startup Business Chinese Level 3
Jane C. M. Kuo
Cheng & Tsui Company
25 West Street
Boston, MA 02111-1213
9781622910304 $69.99

Enhanced with free audio downloads for speaking and listening comprehension practice, Startup Business Chinese Level 3: An Intermediate-High Course for Professionals lives up to its title as a teaching resource and reference. Building on the skills taught in Level 1 and Level 2, the Level 3 text broadens students' vocabulary and understanding of grammar structures, as well as incorporating lessons about Chinese culture and social courtesies. Although lessons include the traditional Chinese writing system, pinyin is included for dialogues and vocabulary, to benefit learners who choose to focus on the spoken language. An excellent teaching tool, whether for classroom use or self-study.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

The Dash Diet to End Obesity
William M. Manger, MD, PhD, Jennifer K. Nelson, MS, RD
Marion J. Franz, MS, RD, CDE, and Edward J. Roccella, PhD, MPH, authors
Hunter House Publishers
PO Box 2914
Alameda, CA 94501-2914
9780897936439 $15.95

The Dash Diet to End Obesity is practical guide to improving one's eating and health habits, the better to prevent hypertension and type 2 diabetes, as well as reduce excess weight. This is not a fad or crash diet book; there is no magic pill or quick fix to combat obesity - but a wealth of tips, tricks, and techniques (such as reducing the size of one's meal plate, and assigning half of it to fruits or vegetables) help make the gradual transition to wellness easier to achieve. "The problem with most diet books is that they oversimplify a complex subject. In real life, there are thousands of food items to choose from, portion sizes are not standardized, and calories aren't the entire story - you also must contend with sugar, salt, and saturated fat." The authors of The Dash Diet to End Obesity are all medical professionals, who apply their expertise to a list of recommended foods, and lifestyle improvements. The pros and cons of weight-loss surgery for the morbidly obese are also candidly discussed. An excellent guide of distilled wisdom, The Dash Diet to End Obesity is candid, forthright, and a "must-read" for anyone seeking to lose weight.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Volume 30
Dave Wolverton, editor
Galaxy Press
7051 Hollywood Boulevard, Suite 200
Hollywood, CA 90028
9781619862654 $15.95

L. Ron Hubbard Presents Writers of the Future, Volume 30 is the thirtieth anniversary anthology of winning science fiction and fantasy entries to the Writers of the Future Contest. The never-before-published stories are from a broad diversity of authors, including big names like Robert Silverberg and Orson Scott Card, but also some from rising literary stars. Each story is illustrated with a black-and-white artwork from the Illustrators of the Future Contest (now in its 25th year). Volume 30 of this superb series is highly recommended, especially for enthusiasts of the genre!

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Dukkha Unloaded
Loren W. Christensen
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480
Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
9781594392832 $14.95

Dukkha Unloaded: A Sam Reeves Martial Arts Thriller is a high-stakes, action-packed novel featuring the gritty yet determined Detective Sam Reeves. While Reeves took a two-week trip in Southeast Asia, hate crimes erupted in his city of Portland, including a horrific lynching. The hideous crimes spark waves of protests, massing in the thousands to demand an end to the violence, and clashing with police. Sam has his own problems; he's been reassigned to the Intelligence Unit after his "bad shoot" several months ago. Sam can't rest until he uncovers the root of the monstrous violence tormenting his city, but while his enemies are carrying weapons ranging from bats and knives to rifles, Sam suffers from paralyzing fear at the thought of carrying a loaded gun! Caught amidst a war on two fronts - one with his own inner demons, and one with humans so vile they may as well be demons - Sam must find the perpetrators of hate before the entire city goes up in flames! Dukkha Unloaded is exciting to the end, and an excellent pick for public library mystery-thriller shelves. Also highly recommended are the other martial arts mysteries featuring Sam Reeves, "Dukkha Reverb" and "Dukkha: The Suffering".

Enigma of China
Qiu Xiaolong
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
9781250048578 $15.99

The latest of an ongoing series of mysteries featuring the resolute and dogged Inspector Chen Cao, Enigma of China: An Inspector Chen Novel tells of how Chen's rise amid the ranks of the Party, indirectly lands him in trouble. Chen is called to sign off on the death of Zhou Keng, the disgraced son of a major Party member. Zhou Keng's corruption had been exposed via the internet; he apparently hanged himself while in extralegal detention. The Party wants to have Zhou's death declared a suicide - but is that really what happened? Chen has grave doubts, yet a thorough investigation might anger powerful and ruthless people. Is justice for a greedy and selfish victim truly worth the deadly risk? Thought-provoking moral quandaries distinguish Enigma of China, a mystery that will keep the reader guessing until the very end.

Cat on a Cold Tin Roof
Mike Resnick
Seventh Street Books
c/o Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive
Amherst, NY 14228
9781616148898 $15.95

Five-time Hugo Award winner Mike Resnick presents Cat on a Cold Tin Roof, a mystery novel starring one-bill-away-from-bankruptcy gumshoe Eli Paxton. This time, Eli is hired to find a missing cat... which happens to have a fortune in diamonds studding its collar! Expecting a simple search of animal shelters, Eli is dismayed to learn that his case is mixed up with mob, a Bolivian drug cartel, a Swiss bank account, and multiple unwitting jewelers! Eli finds the cat (with no collar), but can he evade criminal hit men? Or afford a new transmission for his car?

The Hunting Shelf

The Compassionate Hunter's Guidebook
Miles Olson
New Society Publishers
PO Box 189
Gabriola Island, BC, Canada, V0R 1X0
9780865717701 $17.95

The Compassionate Hunter's Guidebook: Hunting from the Heart is a hunting guide that emphasizes sustainability, conservation, and the noble art of transforming one's prey into nourishing food. Irresponsible hunting can be cruel and destructive, but responsible, compassionate hunting is part of the greater cycle of life. The key is to do no harm to the larger ecosystem, and to show respect for the animal life one harvests by making the fullest use of it. Chapters cover everything from compassionate hunting techniques to field dressing, skinning, butchering, and meat preservation. The Compassionate Hunter's Guidebook is worthy of the highest recommendation for every aspiring and practicing hunter.

The International Studies Shelf

China: The Big Lie?
Mario Cavolo
Long River Press
c/o China Books & Periodicals, Inc. (distribution)
360 Swift Avenue, Suite 48
South San Francisco, CA 94080
9781592651641 $19.95

China: The Big Lie? The Truth of Trillions in a Culture of Cash is neither a pro-China book, nor a China-bashing book. Author Mario Cavolo draws upon his years of experience living and working in China (as the husband of a Chinese woman - and son-in-law to a Chinese family!) to present tell the untold story of modern China's economy and society. Particular focus is placed on China's burgeoning "grey market" - the under-the-table cash economy not so easily tracked by common economic indicators. Chinese salaries may be low, but they're supplemented by grey market business, and masked by an strong, innate cultural tendency to stay quiet about one's family finances. So even though the middle class is shrinking and stagnating in America, the same is not true in China. What ramifications does this have for the global economy, or for the American businessperson trying to gain an foothold in China's market? China: The Big Lie? also serves as a crash-course introduction to the Chinese way of life and thinking for clueless Westerners, and is absolutely fascinating from cover to cover. "The foreign business people I know here in China who will most discourage a foreigner to attempt to negotiate serious business in Chinese are the ones who are most fluent in the language! ... They will warn you to use a formal, trained interpreter, to use a lawyer. Don't bother with your Chinese when it gets down to the brass tacks of the deal. They more fluent they became, the more they understood the culture, the thinking, and the more they knew they were guppies in a shark tank."

The Philosophy Shelf

Jurassic Park and Philosophy
Nicolas Michaud and Jessica Watkins
Open Court Publishing Company
70 East Lake Street, Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60601
9780812698473 $19.95

The 82nd installment of the "Popular Culture and Philosophy" series, Jurassic Park and Philosophy: The Truth is Terrifying is an anthology of essays by learned authors scurtinizing the philosophical and ethical dilemmas raised by the "Jurassic Park" novels and movies. Are we really on the verge of bringing species back from extinction? If so, which animals deserve to be brought back first? Would it be truly right to defy natural evolution and bring back a dinosaur? What would our ongoing responsibility be to creatures resurrected from extinction? And what does this say about our brief human lifespans? "Your change from your one-year-old self to now has been significant, but seems slow to us, so slow we don't notice from day to day. So we think of you as the same person, even though you're different in every way that matters: memories, personality, and body. Death, though, changes all of that very radically, especially our ability to interact with others. Perhaps we could cline you, but it still wouldn't be you, for the same reason you aren't the same person as one-year-old you... because the clone is made of different matter, has different thoughts, feelings, and has some different memories, and it exists in a different place in time." Jurassic Park and Philosophy has not been prepared, authorized, or endorsed by the creators or producers of the "Jurassic Park" novels and movies; it examines quandaries with unfettered abandon. Accessible to readers of all backgrounds, yet methodical enough to appeal to philosophers, Jurassic Park and Philosophy is fascinating from cover to cover.

The Wine Shelf

Illinois Wines & Wineries
Clara Orban
Southern Illinois University Press
1915 University Press Drive
SIUC Mail Code 6806
Carbondale, IL 62901
9780809333448 $22.95

Illustrated with gorgeous, full-color photography and maps throughout, Illinois Wines & Wineries: The Essential Guide is an extraordinary resource for tourists, travelers, and wine connoisseurs visiting or residing in the great state of Illinois. Certified sommelier Clara Orban offers a fact-filled summary of various Illinois wineries, including a brief history of each, varieties of grapes used, hours of operation, location, contact information, and much more. An index and a glossary of wine terms round out this handy and accessible guide, sure to prove appealing to wine enthusiasts of all experience levels!

The Political Science Shelf

Democracy's Dangers & Discontents
Bruce S. Thornton
Hoover Institution
c/o Leland Stanford Junior University
9780817917944 $19.95

Democracy's Dangers & Discontents: The Tyranny of the Majority from the Greeks to Obama is a political science essay on the perils of democratic government. Though hailed as the essence of freedom, democracy has its own shortcomings - notably the "tyranny of the majority", when a plurality of the governed choose to willfully subvert the rights of the minority. Author Bruce S. Thornton inspects examples of such misrule, from ancient Athens to the Obama administration. Democracy's Dangers & Discontents is unabashedly conservative, as some of its greatest criticisms are directed at America's entitlement system (which is a major driver of America's debt), the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. "Obamacare"), and the legacy of the Progressive movement. Democracy's Dangers & Discontents also questions alleged democracy movements such as the Arab Spring, and the deadly effects of the "tyranny of the majority" in nation-states where majority and minority populations have a history of blood feuds, or even genocide. Though one may not necessarily agree with all of Thornton's arguments, any and every defender of democracy should read Democracy's Dangers & Discontents cover to cover, the better to understand the weaknesses and failings of this multifaceted system of governance.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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