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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 10, Number 8 August 2015 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf
DVD Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Gaming Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Poetry Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Art Shelf World History Shelf
Divorce Shelf Political Science Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Biography Shelf Economic Studies Shelf Business Shelf
Travel Shelf Homeowner's Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Confessions of a Military Wife
Mollie Gross
Savas Beatie
PO Box 4527, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
9781932714760 $25.00 hc / $18.95 pbk / $9.59 Kindle

Confessions of a Military Wife is the candid wisdom and life experience of author and military wife Mollie Gross. Drawing upon her own experience as well as those of her friends who are also spouses to servicepeople, Gross tells about keeping up one's spirit during long deployments; the difficulties of communication in marriage when limited to email and rare phone calls; dealing with stress; the importance of maintaining one's health and hygiene routines; and much more. Often tongue-in-cheek and peppered with eyebrow-raising anecdotes, Confessions of a Military Wife is a "must-read" for anyone dating, married to, or considering a relationship with a serviceman!

Journeys: Healing Through Nature's Wisdom
Karen Roberts & Dana Simpson
Tim Hauf Photography
PO Box 1241, Kingston, WA 98346
9780978821975, $40.00, 144pp,

In "Journeys: Healing Through Nature's Wisdom" the superb full color photography of Tim Hauf combines with the informative commentary of Karen Roberts (diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis some 25 years ago) and Dana Simpson to effective teach that thoughtful engagement with nature nourishes and deepens our identity, even in the face of long term afflictions. Inspiring in both word and image, "Journeys: Healing Through Nature's Wisdom" is a simply beautiful book with an enduring message that will be read with appreciation by generation after generation of readers. Very highly recommended, "Journeys: Healing Through Nature's Wisdom" would make an extraordinary and appropriate Memorial Fund acquisition by community and academic libraries.

Uncle John's Lists That Make You Go Hmmm...
The Bathroom Reader's Institute
c/o Baker & Taylor Publishing Group
10350 Barnes Canyon Road, Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92121
9781626863615 $15.95

Uncle John's Lists That Make You Go Hmmm... is a compendium of weird, wild, wonky, and wondrous facts compiled fascinate casual browsers. The format is quite accessible to being skimmed in short bursts (reading in the bathroom is not required, but works very well). No matter how diverse and knowledgeable the reader is, there will true-life surprises aplenty in store! For example, "Friedrich Nietzsche was a respected German philosopher, social critic, and great quotation generator... But in the years since his death in 1900, Nietzsche's critics have accused him of anti-Semitism. He wasn't, but his sister Elizabeth was. That's why she altered her brother's manuscripts after his death to make his writings appear anti-Semitic." Uncle John's Lists That Make You Go Hmmm... makes an excellent gift - or a thoughtful enhancement to the guest bathroom!

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon
Penny C. Sansevieri
Author Marketing Experts
PO Box 421156, San Diego, CA 92142
9781508563365 $6.99 pbk / $2.99 Kindle

How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon is a book marketing guide specifically tailored to improving one's sales on Amazon, the sales goliath of industry. Author Penny C. Sansevieri discusses skillful timing of pre-order campaigns; how to earn a high rank in Amazon's search engines with the proper use of keywords and descriptions; how to use Kindle Unlimited to one's advantage; identifying the categories that will net greater sales; the advantages of selling book bundles (especially with regard to ebooks), how to attract customer reviews, and much more. How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon is reader-friendly and absolutely invaluable for any author who is not already independently wealthy! "Shorter books rock. I've said before that short is the new long, but that applies even more with your avid reader group. They love the quick read, they read a lot, and shorter books tend to do much better on KU [Kindle Unlimited]. Also, one of the terms of KU is that you don't get paid until the reader reads 10 percent of your book. For this reason alone it makes a ton of sense to do shorter fiction books."

The Needlecraft Shelf

Knitbook: The Basics and Beyond
Landauer Corporation
3100 NW 101st Street, Suite A, Urbandale, Iowa 50322
9781935726715 $16.95

Illustrated in full color throughout, with both photography and helpful diagrams, Knitbook: The Basics and Beyond lives up to its title as a step-by-step guide filled with reader-friendly instructions and projects ideals for practicing one's skills. A wealth of tips, tricks, techniques, and a visual guide to a variety of stitch patterns make Knitbook a useful resource for intermediate to advanced knitters as well. Chapters cover everything from basic stitches to learning how to read a pattern, and techniques for adding embellishments to completed knitting projects. A superb needlecrafting resource!

Stylish Party Dresses
Yoshiko Tsukiori, author
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759
9784805313664, $16.95,

"Stylish Party Dresses: 26 Easy and Inexpensive Sew-It-Yourself Dresses for that Special Occasion" is a fabulous collection of elegant but simply designed dresses, tops and skirts, boleros and other stunning stylish designer wear for young women. The paper back book includes carefully illustrated step by step instructions for sewing 26 different creations, along with dual-side printed patterns for Misses sizes 4-14. In addition to patterns and illustrated instructions, "Stylish Party Dresses" includes over 28 pages of photos of projects, quietly showcasing color portraits of finished dresses beautifully realized, displayed, and modeled. These are carefully photographed against artistic contrasting backgrounds that set off the dress and model to maximum advantage. Hints as to types of fabrics to select and special sewer's tips are also featured in instructions for each design pattern. A pattern envelope attached to the back page explains that the enclosed four pattern sheets are 2-sided, and that pattern pieces for a given project could be scattered over several sheets. The author's designs are characterized by simplicity, fresh style, and elegant detail. A stunning combination of fabric choice, simplicity of design, and enticing details add up to dazzling fashion combinations on page after page. The instructions and illustrations are simple and straightforward and easily accessible to seamstresses of intermediate to experienced sewing skills. The young designer/author has excellent presence of vision evident in each of her creations, made available to creative, inquiring seamstresses with an eye for economy of pattern price. Included are materials for 26 projects in misses sizes 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14.

New Methods For Crochet Socks
Rohn Strong
P.O. Box 8000, Big Sandy, TX 75755
9781573677714, $9.99,

Annie's is a premier publisher of needlecraft books in general, and project books for crochet enthusiasts in particular. In "New Methods For Crochet Socks", crochet expert Rohyn Strong has assembled 12 patterns all using Premier Yarns Deborah Norville Serenity Sock and Serenity Garden Sock yarns. Even someone who has never crocheted socks before could pick up this 40 page instruction guide and easily be making socks the same day! A variety of techniques such as lace, colorwork, Tunisian and cables are used to present a collection of beautiful and functional designs. Instructions include tips for working socks with different stitch patterns, sizing the socks and getting the correct gauge. There are a variety of heel and toe patterns that can be used interchangeably. All patterns are sized and designed for women. Very highly recommended for personal and community library needlecraft collections, it should be noted that "New Methods For Crochet Socks" is also available in a Kindle edition. ($7.99) Also very highly recommended and thoroughly 'user friendly', are two other outstanding new crochet titles from Annie's: "Caring Crochet" (9781573677707, $8.99 PB, $6.99 Kindle, 48pp) and "A Crochet Christmas" (9781573677530, $9.99 PB, $7.99 Kindle, 64pp).

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Witchcraft Works 5
Ryu Mizunagi
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor
New York, NY 10016
9781941220191 $12.95

Witchcraft Works is a black-and-white manga (Japanese graphic novel) series following the mostly-ordinary student Takamiya and the beautiful, talented, and willful young witch Kagari. Takamiya and Kagari share a strong bond, but the chaotic machinations of a new villain is about to put a strain their relationship with each other, and everyone else! The mysterious "Miss Weekend" releases a devastating trap with the potential to annihilate an entire city; only Kagari's witch-mother Kazane can hold the destruction at bay, rendering her effectively powerless. The rest of the (much less powerful) witches must scramble to face this new threat. Kagari and Takamiya - or more probably, the powerful entity sealed within Takamiya - are most likely the ultimate targets, but Kagari is never content to hide from danger. (Takamiya might be, but there is no safe place to hide from the relentess Miss Weekend!) Beautiful artwork, intrigue, and powerful clashes of will remain the hallmarks of this thoroughly enjoyable fantasy-adventure. Highly recommended!

So Cute It Hurts! 1
Go Ikeyamada
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200
San Francisco CA 94103
9781421579856 $9.99

Presented with its art in its original "unflipped" right-to-left format, So Cute It Hurts! 1 is is the debut volume of a black-and-white shojo manga (Japanese graphic novel intended especially for teenage girls and women) series that blends slapstick comedy, cute hijinks, and what it means to fall in love. The story follows the (fraternal) Kobayashi twins, Megumu and Mitsuru. The sister Megumu loves history and enjoys training her skill with a wooden sword, while the brother Mitsuru is notably more cavalier about his schooling and tends to attract lovestruck fans due to his heartthrob good looks. When Mitsuru's poor grades put him at risk for extra history classes during the weekends, he convinces his sister to swap clothes with him and ace his tests! The two have fairly similar looks, so how hard can it be for Megumu to blend in at Mitsuru's all-male high school (which is rampant with delinquents)? Meanwhile, Mitsuru finds that a day as a high school girl is far more complicated than he ever could have guessed! So Cute It Hurts! is an upbeat, playful story created especially for readers who adore cuteness for its own sake.

Ajin Demi-Human 5
Gamon Sakurai
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor
New York, NY 10016
9781941220450 $12.95

Part sci-fi, part horror, Ajin Demi-Human 5 is the latest installment in a black-and-white manga (Japanese graphic novel) series, set in a near-future Japan where certain members of the population are "demi-humans" - immortal, and possessed of unearthly abilities that they may or may not be able to fully control. A group of demi-humans supporting the will of a ruthless leader wage a guerilla war of terror and assassination in order to seize control of Japan. The cynical, sixteen-year-old Kei and his closest friend are two immortal demi-humans caught in the middle of an expanding civil insurgency. Kei cares little for the oppressive government or the murderous insurrection, but he knows that on his own it's only a matter of time before he's captured and subjected to a fate worse than death. A grim saga of conflicting loyalties, survivor's mentality, and applying one's mind to analyze and make the best of a bleak situation, Ajin Demi-Human 5 is gripping from cover to cover. Recommended for adult and older teen readers, due to scenes of graphic violence.

Fragments of Horror
Junji Ito
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200
San Francisco CA 94103
9781421580791 $17.99

Fragments of Horror is a black-and-white manga (Japanese comics) anthology of surreal and disturbing horror stories. Ranging in tone from wistful to terrifyingly gruesome, these tales creep and skitter beyond the edge of imagination. A beautiful gypsy witch lures a victim away from his girlfriend to turn him into part of her "collection"; a young woman marries into an upper-class family where reflections of the dead linger beyond the date of their passing; an injured young man rescued from the wilderness carries a disturbing secret about how he managed to survive; and much more. Presented in its original "unflipped" right-to-left format, Fragments of Horror is for older teens and adults due to graphic images. Also recommended for connoisseurs of the genre is Sui Ishida's "Tokyo Ghoul 1" (9781421580364, $12.99), the first in a graphic novel series about a young man whose near-murder by a Ghoul turns him into a half-human, half-Ghoul hybrid; his"new normal" now involves navigating Ghoul society, surviving Ghoul turf wars, and attempting to control his own unearthly abilities!

The Audiobook Shelf

C.J. Box, author
Read by January LaVoy
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315
New York, NY 10010
9781427260925 $39.99

Badlands is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of a suspenseful novel set in a remote North Dakota town that has been transformed by the oil boom - but not for the better. Detective Cassie Dewell has been assigned as the new deputy sheriff of Grimstad, a place where the sudden influx of oil money has brought a surge of drugs, and murderous drug dealers. In the heart of the growing criminal storm is twelve-year-old Kyle Westergard, a kid with great dreams and not-so-great common sense. When Kyle steals a bundle of cash and drugs from the wake of a car accident, he incites the ire of warring drug gangs. A dark, tense, serious-minded thriller, Badlands is riveting to the very end. 8 CDs, 10 hours.

The Other Daughter: A Novel
Lauren Willig
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315
New York, NY 10010
9781427261670 $39.99

Set in 1920s Europe, The Other Daughter: A Novel is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a dramatic novel about family, betrayal, and soul-searching. Rachel Woodley is a working-class woman devastated by the death of her mother, and further shocked by the revelation that her father is not deceased (as she had believed all her life) but alive and quite wealthy. Rachel is the aristocrat's illegitimate daughter, and she has a half-sister she never knew about before. Furious about the lies and betrayal, Rachel adopts a new identity to expose and ruin the charmed lives of her blood relatives, but two unexpected difficulties arise. She finds that she genuinely likes her half-sister, and she just might be falling in love with her half-sister's fiance! Atmospheric, evocative, and featuring complex characters with conflicting motivations, The Other Daughter is highly recommended. 8 CDs, 10 hours.

Patrick Lee, author
Read by Ari Fliakos
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781427258113 $39.99

Signal: A Sam Dryden Novel is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a suspenseful saga following ex-Special Forces operative Sam Dryden. Dryden's peaceful life is interrupted when he receives a phone call from an old friend in trouble. Dryden must work together with FBI agent Marnie Calvert to unravel a conspiracy that spans generations. Their enemies have technology capable of influencing events before they happen - a weapon that could potentially end the lives of millions. Intense, edge-of-seat action makes Signal a riveting ride to the very end! 7 CDs, 9 hours. Also highly recommended is the first Sam Dryden suspense novel, "Runner".

Rogue Angel: The Pretender's Gambit
Alex Archer
Graphic Audio
4940 Hampden Lane, Suite 300, Bethesda, MD 20814
9781628511468, $19.99,

For archaeologist and TV host Annja Creed, a late-night phone call from the NYPD means one thing: there's been a murder and the police need her expertise. The only link between a dead body and the killer is a small elephant of white jade. An artifact that's gone missing. Once belonging to Catherine the Great of Russia, the elephant was key in a risky political gambit all those years ago. But there is another story attached to the artifact - a rumor of an ancient hidden treasure. And for a cruelly ambitious media mogul with a penchant for tomb-raiding, the elephant is nothing short of priceless. Annja must make her move quickly, traveling across several continents with only the assistance of her extraordinary sword - purportedly the same sword wielded by Joan of Arc - and a mysterious temple monk. It's a deadly battle of wits, and one wrong move could mean game over. "Rogue Angel: The Pretender's Gambit" is a riveting, entertaining, fully immersive 'theater of the mind' experience involving a gifted narrator, a talented cast of dozens, the deft inclusion of digital sound effects and music, and a thoroughly engaging story of unexpected plot twists and turns. Very highly recommended for personal and community library audio book collections. 5 CDs, 6 Hours.

Wildfire In His Arms
Johanna Lindsey, author
Tad Branson, narrator
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
9781490680484, $123.75,

With his work in Montana completed now that the Callahan-Warren feud has ended in marriage rather than bloodshed, Degan Grant sets out for California because it is far away from the home he wants to forget - until the US Marshal who saved his life calls in a favor. All Degan has to do is apprehend three outlaws on the marshal's list and turn them over to the law. Easy enough, he figures, for a man no one wants to tangle with. But then a bold young woman crosses his path. Maxine grew up so pretty and attracted so much unwanted attention in her Texas hometown that events spiraled out of control. She will try anything to escape the handsome, enigmatic gunfighter who intends to turn her over to a corrupt sheriff who will hang her instead of putting her on trial. Saddled with a sassy, spirited young woman who insists she is innocent, Degan must hunt down a vicious killer and keep an old enemy at bay. But forced into intimate proximity with his beguiling prisoner, he finds his desire sparking into a wildfire of passion, and he can no longer deny that it is time for them to risk confronting their pasts so he can have a chance at a future with her in his arms forever. Superbly produced and expertly narrated, "Wildfire In His Arms" is a complete and unabridged audio book recording that will provide the listener a pure 'theater of the mind' entertainment experience and is very highly recommended, especially for community library audio book collections. 9 CDs, 11 hours.

The Music CD Shelf

Light Flashes
Privately Published
$13.98 CD / $8.99 MP3

The third album of Boston reggae band Dubbest, Light Flashes features thrumming, uptempo rhythms, dub instrumentals, and vivacious performances. The lyrics embody love, zest, and pure enthusiasm. Light Flashes is a "must" for fans of the genre! The tracks are "One Thing", "Spend the Day", "Weeping Heart", "Leaving", "Give In", "Iron Paw", "End of the Road", "Escape Route", "Shower You", "Cross Pollination", "By Design", and "Leave in Dub".

Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys
Privately Published

Cajun accordion star Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys present Voyageurs, an album celebrating Creole musical traditions with aplomb. The songs often have Cajun lyrics, which range from where to get the best liquor at low cost to bidding one's cherished homeland farewell. Brimming with contagious enthusiasm, Voyageurs is a "must-have" for connoisseurs of the genre! The tracks are "Au revoir Grand Mamou", "Plus creux", "Allons boire un coup", "Bernadette", "Brasse donc, le couche-couche", "Crapaud/Fruge", "'Tite fille de la campagne", "Boozoo's Blues", "La danse de Mardi Gras", "La betaille", "Malcolm's Reel", "Madame Faillelle", and "Bottle It Up".

Reina de Todas las Fiestas
Chico Trujillo
Barbes Records
$10.99 CD / $8.91 MP3

Chilean music group Chico Trujillo presents Reina de Todas las Fiestas ("The Queen of All Parties"), their latest pan-Latin American album. A celebratory medley of Northern Chile carnival music, cumbia (a type of Columbian dance music), and more, Reina de Todas las Fiestas was recorded with the famous Banda Wiracocha - a thirty-piece brass band known for playing at traditional carnival parties. Brash, flaunting, and wildly vivacious, Reina de Todas las Fiestas is a superb addition to Latin and international music collections. The tracks are "Abajo del Bote", "Malgeniosa", "Playas Marinas", "La Cura del Espanto", "Se Nota en el Ambiente Que Tenemos Que Partir", "Alturas", "Chatito", "Los Nervios Que Te Di", and "Reina de Todas las Fiestas".

Hustling Culture
The Expanders
Easy Star Records
PO Box 1069, Cooper Station, New York, NY 10276
$11.99 CD / $8.99 MP3

Reggae band The Expanders presents Hustling Culture, a music album with a strong social message. The artists acknowledge that everyone has to hustle to make a living in the song "Hustling Culture", but the song "Uptown Set" shines a light on how careless behavior has cruel repercussions. "Uptown Set" stresses that the illegal drugs brought across the border to fuel America's crazed demands for intoxication spread untold suffering, as the money used to buy these drugs funds murderous drug lords at the expense of innocent victims. Other songs offer a tribute to women, and contemplate the encouraging cultural shift toward the decriminalization of marijuana. A "must-have" for reggae fans! The tracks are "Hustling Culture", "Uptown Set", "Piece of Love", "World of Happiness", "People Business", "Top Shelf", "Too Late", "Reggae Pops", "The Horse", "Iron Throne", "Thanks for Life", and "Flesh and Bone".

Morning in a New Machine
Dubl Handi
Privately Published
c/o Hearth PR
$14.97 CD / $9.99 download,

Folk revival duo Dubl Handi present Morning in a New Machine, their latest album showcasing Hilary Hawke's talented banjo playing and Gelter's percussionist skills. A resonating, down-to-earth album true to the enduring roots of Appalachian folk, Morning in the New Machine is a treasure for listeners who enjoy the genre. The tracks are "Cindy" (3:49), "Cumberland Gap" (3:18), "Ida Red" (2:53), "Red Rocking Chair" (4:39), "Flop Eared Mule" (2:59), "No Sleep" (4:25), "Don't It Get Trouble In Your Mind" (3:34), "Half-Shaved" (2:23), "Driving Away the Blues" (3:26), "Jim Along" (2:09), "The Train That Carried My Girl From Town" (5:28), and "Let Me Fall" (2:43).

The DVD Shelf

Bound for Glory
R.C. Sproul Jr.
Reformation Trust
c/o Ligonier Ministries
421 Ligonier Court, Sanford, FL, 32771-8608

Part of the "Christian Living Teaching Series", Bound for Glory is an instructional DVD consisting of nine teaching sessions. In each session, R.C. Sproul Jr. (rector of theology and chair of philosophy and theology of Reformation Bible College, and teaching fellow for Ligonier Ministries) discusses how to apply the timeless wisdom of Scripture to the roles of the family. Grounded in Biblical wisdom and an invaluable resource for Christian group study, Bound for Glory is especially recommended for church library DVD collections. The nine teaching sessions (each of which is 23 minutes long) are "The Importance of the Family", "The Function of the Family", "Husbands, Part 1", "Husbands, Part 2", "Wives, Part 1", "Wives, Part 2", "Children", "The Role of the Church", and "Family Worship". Audio tracks offer the choice of English or dubbed Spanish.

Bottom Line & A Core Defined
Patricia Friberg
Privately Published
c/o 411 Video Information
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953

Bottom Line & A Core Defined is a fitness DVD offering a Pilates-based strength workout especially useful for toning one's core, including gluteal and abdominal muscles. No equipment is required, although an inexpensive ball and loop band are recommended. Host Patricia Friberg draws upon her extensive experience working with professional athletes and in rehab facilities to present a workout designed to improve posture, heighten athletic performance, and help prevent injuries. An excellent addition to fitness DVD libraries, Bottom Line & A Core Defined is accessible, user-friendly, and especially recommended for viewers who engage in or are preparing themselves to enjoy sports as part of their fitness regimen. 73 min.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Complete Book of Aquarian Magic
Marian Green
Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
9781578635832 $18.95

The Complete Book of Aquarian Magic reprints two classic guides for modern witches under a single cover, "Magic for the Aquarian Age" and "Experiments in Aquarian Magic". Offering techniques for practicing magical arts, exercises designed to stimulate one's senses, information about vision journeys or creating a magic temple, and more, The Complete Book of Aquarian Magic lives up to its title. "To use the Sun directly as a healing force requires little in the way of equipment or preparation. If you are unwell yourself, then merely sitting relaxed in a sheltered spot, and imagining the light from the sky shining through you in brilliant white-gold rays, driving out the darkness of disease, bringing relief from pain or stiffness, can be sufficient to get your own inner healing processes going." A "must-have" for metaphysical collections with a focus on the practice of magic.

Drawing Down the Moon, revised edition
Margot Adler
Penguin Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780143038191, $21.00, 672pp,

This new Penguin Books edition of "Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America" by Margot Adler is a fully revised and classic study of Neo-Paganism. Almost thirty years since its original publication, "Drawing Down the Moon" continues to be the only detailed history of the burgeoning but still widely misunderstood Neo- Pagan subculture. Margot Adler attended ritual gatherings and interviewed a diverse, colorful gallery of people across the United States, people who find inspiration in ancient deities, nature, myth, even science fiction. This newly revised and expanded edition of "Drawing Down the Moon" features an updated resource guide of newsletters, journals, books, groups, and festivals. Comprehensive, impressively written, organized and presented, Margot Adler's "Drawing Down the Moon" takes a fascinating and honest look at the religious experiences, beliefs, and lifestyles of modern America's Pagan groups. Very highly recommended for community and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections, it should be noted that for personal reading lists, "Drawing Down the Moon" is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.99).

The Gaming Shelf

The Basics Of Winning Roulette
J. Edward Allen
Cardoza Publishing
808 South Main Street, Las Vegas, NV 89108-6404
9781580423328, $4.95, 64pp,

"The Basics Of Winning Roulette" by J. Edward Allen is specifically designed for novice players who want to learn how to play and win at one of the most popular casino games. "The Basics Of Winning Roulette" is a great primer that can be easily read with full comprehension in just one quick setting. "The Basics Of Winning Roulette" shows how to make every one of the 150 possible bets with informative illustrations accompanying every explanations. "The Basics Of Winning Roulette" also explains betting systems, money management, and payoffs. Both American and European rules and strategies are addressed. Enhanced with the inclusion of a Glossary and very highly recommended, "The Basics Of Winning Roulette" will prove to be the wisest investment any roulette player could ever make. It should be noted that "The Basics Of Winning Roulette" is also available in an inexpensive Kindle edition ($0.99).

100 Best Solitaire Games
Sloane Lee & Gabriel Packard
Cardoza Publishing
808 South Main Street, Las Vegas, NV 89108-6404
9781580423267, $9.95,

The collaboration of Sloane Lee and Gabriel Packard (two life long solitaire players), this new 188 page edition of "100 Best Solitaire Games" showcases one of the most popular ways to kill time. Replete with examples, diagrams, illustrations and strategies keep the writing lively, while showing readers all sorts of fun ways to enjoy their favorite game, "100 Best Solitaire Games" presents variations that range from straight-ahead solitaire to two-player games. "100 Best Solitaire Games" offers all manner of fantastic solitaire games including the classic ones, the new ones, those that require a lot of strategy, as well as the just plain fun ones. And because solitaire is perfect for playing when on the road, the chapter on travel solitaire is essential. "100 Best Solitaire Games" is very highly recommended for personal and community library Games & Gaming collections. It should be noted that "100 Best Solitaire Games" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).

The Christian Studies Shelf

John of the Cross: Man and Mystic
Richard P. Hardy
ICS Publications
c/o Discalced Carmelite Friars
2131 Lincoln Road, NE, Washington, DC 20002-1199
9780819839800, $15.95, 178pp,

St. John of the Cross (Born 1542 - Died 14 December 1591), was a great mystic of the Christian tradition who knew suffering first-hand. His personal "dark night" included exile, imprisonment, starvation, abuse. Yet, sustained by tremendous faith and steeped in an enormous love for God and for humanity, he surrendered to the Divine and was drawn through his experiences to a profound compassion for and solidarity with others. "John of the Cross: Man and Mystic" by Richard P. Hardy (a professor of Christian Spirituality who lectures at retreats and conferences, along with conducting workshops on Carmelite Spirituality focusing especially on St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila in the United States, Canada, Philippines, and Hong Kong), is engaging an informative biography. "John of the Cross: Man and Mystic" is the perfect introduction to a Roman Catholic Saint whose life, writings, and spirituality have illuminated the Christian world. Included are a guide to reading the works of John of the Cross, photos and color reproductions of masterpiece artwork, and an extensive annotated bibliography. "John of the Cross: Man and Mystic" is very highly recommended for community, church, seminary, and academic library Christian Studies collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "John of the Cross: Man and Mystic" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Korean Pentecost and the Sufferings Which Followed, revised edition
William N. Blair & Bruce F. Hunt
Banner of Truth
PO Box 621, Carlisle, PA 17013
9780851512440, $13.00, 208pp,

In 1977 the Trust published this remarkable account of the first 60 years or so of the modern church in Korea (mainly North Korea). The late William Blair (1876 -1970), in his first term of missionary service, was at the centre of the great revival of 1907, and his account of this and the events leading up to it forms the first part of the book. Blair includes a thrilling description of how the gospel first came to Korea. The account is then taken up by his son-in-law, the late Bruce Hunt (1903 - 1992) who was born in Pyongyang (now the capital of North Korea) and who shows how the revival was followed by a baptism of suffering under the Japanese and Communists. During his forty-eight years of missionary service in Korea, Hunt personally knew many of the Korean Christian martyrs. This newly revised and expanded edition of "The Korean Pentecost and the Sufferings Which Followed" has been completely re-typeset, and includes twelve additional illustrations. A truly exceptional history of Christian martyrdom (which in North Korean continues to this very day), "The Korean Pentecost and the Sufferings Which Followed" is informative and highly recommended reading for all members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliation.

The Poetry Shelf

Cecily Parks
Alice James Books
114 Prescott Street, Farmington, ME 04938
9781938584114, $15.95, 100pp,

'The Forest for the Trees': I believe it's all this pollen that dizzies me. / I chance and re-chance upon / the stalks of wild asparagus, the crimson / rhubarb, the fern splayed into / the cow road's mucik. / Is it my eye of sundown pin-tucking the ravine? // I believe my panting / leaves wet blossoms / on the branches of this one tree. / Willing my mouth to press against elm / and ironwood, I have inklings of missing / but not of what I should miss. / Solitude is like this, a distance I walk toward / but never into. / Strings of spit testify to the bark I've kissed. "Cecily Parks" is a showcase anthology of Cecily Parks' beautiful poems. In her free verse imagery, she deftly touches upon intensely personal as well as natural and metaphysical themes. In O'Nights, Cecily Parks constructs stunning manifestations of a modern Thoreauvian wilderness, investigating how the natural world gives shape to the self, body, and emotions. These lyrical, transcendental poems study the duality of nature's feminine and masculine identities, and in its simplicity, offers a space where humankind truly belongs. "O'Nights" is very highly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Contemporary Poetry collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "O'Nights" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Cookbook Shelf

The Lebanese Cookbook
Hussien Dekmak
Kyle Books
c/o National Book Network
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781909487239, $19.95,

From Adas Bil Hamed (Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard and Lemon); Muhamara (Ground Nuts with Chile); Smbousak Lahma (Meat Pasties); and Frikkeh Bil Lahma (Roasted Green Wheat with Lamb); Snieh Batata wa Lahma Bil Ka'ak (Baked Potato with Meat and Bread Crumbs); Samak Makli (Crispy Fried Fish); to Farrouge Meshwi (Barbecued Hens); and Kabis Lift (Pickled Turnip), ""The Lebanese Cookbook: Delicious and Authentic Recipes from a Top Lebanese Chef" is a beautifully and profusely illustrated, 160 page culinary compendium showcasing more than one hundred recipes for ethnically authentic Lebanese dishes. Thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' throughout, "The Lebanese Cookbook: Delicious and Authentic Recipes from a Top Lebanese Chef" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

Teff Love
Kittee Berns
The Book Publishing Company
PO Box 99, Summertown, TN 38483
9781570673115, $19.95,

Authentic Ethiopian cuisine is founded upon tantalizing seasonings and savory ingredients for unique dishes that will satisfy any appetite and please any palate. In "Teff Love: Adventures in Vegan Ethiopian Cooking", Ethiopian culinary expert Kittee Berns introduces the holy trinity of Ethiopian cooking: a berbere spice blend, injera (the fermented sourdough staple), and ye qimem zeyet, a veganized clarified butter. Armed with these basics even the most novice of kitchen cooks can impress family and friends with many of the popular dishes found on veggie combo platters in Ethiopian restaurants all over North America. From saucy wots, spicy stews, and succulent stir-fries to traditional injera-based dishes and fusion foods that blend these unique seasonings into a range of family favorites, fans of this cuisine will be thrilled. Recipes are almost entirely gluten- and soy-free, or can be made so with easy adaptions. "Teff Love" also included tips on tools and equipment to time-saving techniques and menu suggestions. With many of the dishes nicely illustrated with full color photography, the recipes range from Ye'beqolo genfo (Creamy, Cheesy Corn Grits with a Spicy Seasoned-Oil Drizzle; to Ye'misser Alicha (Tender Red Lentils in a Mild Garlic-Ginger Sauce); to Butecha (A Tangy, Creamy Salad of Chickpea Tofu with Jalapeno Chile and Onion); to Shai Be' Qimem (Black Tea Steeped with Fresh Ginger, Spices, and Orange Rind). Also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99), and certain to be an enduring favorite, "Teff Love: Adventures in Vegan Ethiopian Cooking" is very highly recommended for personal, family, professional, and community library Vegan Cookbook collections.

Chefs of the Coast
John E. Batchelor
John F. Blair, Publisher
1406 Plaza Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
9780895876393, $19.95, 338pp,

In "Chefs of the Coast", restaurant reviewer and food critic John Batchelor profiles 50 well-established and up-and-coming chefs from the region. Drawing from personal interviews, Batchelor reveals each chef s cooking philosophy, influences, and personality. Each profile also includes: A description of the restaurant, its ambience, and sample menu items; Color photographs of the chef, restaurant, and food; Recipes from each chef. Sidebars throughout the book offer information about farms (mostly organic) that sell vegetables and meats to the public as well as to restaurants, unique producers from the region, and stories of a number of people who gave up successful careers in order to return to the land. Exceptionally well illustrated, organized and presented, "Chefs of the Coast" is an inherently interesting read for amateur kitchen cooks and accomplished gourmands alike. The palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, do-it-yourself at home dishes range from Scallops Casino (Red Sky Cafe); to Lobster Bisque (Stripers Bar & Grille); to Shrimp and Grits (Clawson's Restaurant); to Bacon Pops (Taste the Olive Cafe & Wine Bar); to Conch Chowder (The Rudy Duck Tavern). As much fun to browse through as it is inspiring to plan menus with, "Chefs of the Coast" is very highly recommended for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Chelation and Other Vital Detox Methods to Save Your Life
Edward C. Kondrot, MD
Advantage Media Group
65 Gadsden Street, Charleston, SC 29401
9781599325712, $24.95,

Chelation therapy is a medical procedure that involves the administration of chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body. Chelation therapy has a long history of use in clinical toxicology and remains in use for some very specific medical treatments, although it is administered under very careful medical supervision due to various inherent risks. "Chelation and Other Vital Detox Methods to Save Your Life" is a 237 page compilation of interviews conducted by Doctor Edward C. Kondrot with sixteen of his medical peers on the subject of chelation therapy. A very nice touch is the inclusion of a black-and-white photograph of the interviewee along with his or her medical credentials and contact information. Unique, informed and informative, "Chelation and Other Vital Detox Methods to Save Your Life" is very highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Health & Medicine reference collections in general, and Chelation Therapy supplemental studies lists in particular.

The Art Shelf

Edward Gorey: His Book Cover Art and Design
Edward Gorey
Pomegranate Communications, Inc.
19018 NE Portal Way, Portland, OR 97230
9780764971471, $40.00, 128pp,

Edward St. John Gorey (February 22, 1925 - April 15, 2000) was an American writer and artist noted for his illustrated books. His characteristic pen-and-ink drawings often depict vaguely unsettling narrative scenes in Victorian and Edwardian settings. "Edward Gorey: His Book Cover Art and Design" is a 128 page compendium showcasing Gorey's distinctive artwork. Enhanced with the inclusion of an informed and informative essay by Steven Heller (Co-Chair of the School of Visual Arts MFA Design / Designer as Author + Entrepreneur Program), "Edward Gorey: His Book Cover Art and Design" is very highly recommended for community and academic library 20th Century American Artist reference collections -- as well as an inherently fascinating browse and a "must" for the legions of Edward Gorey enthusiasts.

The World History Shelf

History Riddles
Leon Conrad
Liberalis Books
c/o John Hunt Publishing, Ltd.
Laurel House, Station Approach, Alresford, Hants, SO24 9JH, UK
9781782792949 $19.95

Also available on Kindle, History Riddles: A Treasure Trove Book in an unusual educational tool offering 30 cultural riddles that feature popular historical stories and legends. The riddles are ordered by increasing word count and complexity, and enriched with detailed recommendations to explore further and learn more. History's Riddles is a wonderful resource for testing one's wits, or enriching education for all ages.

The Divorce Shelf

The Divorce Guide
Gerian Rose
Balboa Press
c/o Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781504331432 $11.99

The Divorce Guide: Overcoming the Eight Fears of the Divorce Process and Preserving Joy is a resource written especially for people who are undergoing this difficult process. The emphasis here is on learning to cope with the eight most common fears that people have during a divorce, with practical advice for daily life, relationships, and one's own psychological well-being. Legal and financial ramifications are included, although The Divorce Guide cannot substitute for the personal counsel of a trained attorney or financial professional. The eight common divorce issues covered are "Financial Loss", "Children's Distress/Loss of Closeness", "Loneliness", "Loss of Physical, Mental, Emotional Health", "Routine or Schedule Change Hardships", "Legal Actions and Accusations", "Loss of Friends", and "Self-doubt - Making Wrong Decisions". The Divorce Guide addresses divorce from a spiritual well as well as practical perspective, but is written to help readers of all faiths and religious backgrounds. Highly recommended.

The Political Science Shelf

Treason: Nixon and the 1968 Election
Don Fulsom
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781455619498 $32.95

Don Fulsom (former White House correspondent and a Washington bureau chief of United Press International) presents Treason: Nixon and the 1968 Election, a stinging indictment of Richard Nixon's allegedly criminal actions leading up to the 1968 presidential election. The Watergate scandal that ultimately forced President Nixon's resignation is well-known, but Treason makes an even more severe claim - that Nixon sabotaged 1968 Paris peace talks and prolonged the Vietnam War, specifically to ensure his own election. (Nixon curried public favor with the promise that he would extricate America from the increasingly unpopular Vietnam War, a political tactic that would have been rendered moot had the war concluded early). If true, these allegations imply that Nixon has the blood of two nations on his hands. Fulsom meticulously constructs his case against Nixon, drawing upon recently declassified documents as well as his own personal experience covering the 1968 election and Nixon's presidency. Shocking, eye-opening, and disturbing, Treason: Nixon and the 1968 Election is a "must-read".

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Sliced Vegetarian
Liesa Malik
Gale Cengage Learning, Inc.
200 First Stamford Place, Stamford, CT 06902
9781432830779 $25.95 hc / $3.99 Kindle

Sliced Vegetarian: A Daisy Arthur Mystery is the second in a series of mystery novels set in Littleton, Colorado and following retired special education teacher Daisy Arthur. Daisy is shocked to see a blood-soaked person standing in her front yard, but his ramblings are only the beginning. Can she identify the murder victim's secret and track down the killer before becoming the next victim herself? Intricate and suspenseful, Sliced Vegetarian will keep readers guessing to the end! Also highly recommended is the first Daisy Arthur Mystery, "Faith on the Rocks".

Sympathy for the Devil
Terrence McCauley
Polis Books
1201 Hudson Street, #211S, Hoboken, NJ 07030
9781940610344 $15.95

Award-winning writer Terrence McCauley presents Sympathy for the Devil, a clandestine thriller about James Hicks, an elite agent in the secretive organization known as The University. The University has covertly battled Nazis, worked to bring the end of the Cold War, and counter global terrorism for decades. Now, Hicks' star protege has shifted allegiance to a terrorist group with operations on U.S. soil. Hicks is in a race against time to learn why his best pupil has turned, and to stop a potentially catastrophic biological weapon from being unleashed. Intense to the very end, Sympathy for the Devil is a "must-read" for connoisseurs of the genre.

The Biography Shelf

Nurse, Come You Here!
Mary J. MacLeod
Arcade Publishing
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
9781628725360 $24.99 hc / $13.99 Kindle

Nurse, Come You Here! More True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle continues the true-life story of author Mary J. MacLeod who, in the late sixties, left London with her husband in search of an idyllic place to raise their children. They settled in the island of Papavray in the Scottish Hebrides, and Mary J. became the district nurse. Nurse, Come You Here! is not only about medical travails and emergencies, but also stories of friendship formed with steadfast people, children lost and found, farm animals that wander a little too far, and rumors of a ghostly apparition whispering a hidden secret. Extraordinary, heartwarming, and at times a little bit tragic, Nurse, Come You Here! captures the essence of a rugged, close-knit rural community. Also highly recommended is MacLeod's previous collection of true-life stories, "Call the Nurse".

Pardon My Hearse
Allan Abbott & Greg Abbott
Craven Street Books
c/o Linden Publishing
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721-9875
9781610352482 $16.95

Pardon My Hearse is the eyebrow-raising memoir of Allan Abbott, who ran the leading Hollywood mortuary for decades and served as the funeral director of Hollywood stars. His unexpectedly humorous life story tells of his rise from a young man with a Hearse to the go-to celebrity undertaker. Glib true stories of mishaps with corpses, meetings with celebrities in mourning, and even clashes with outright criminals - such as crematorium operator David Sconce, who ordered an attack on Abbott's business partner to cover up Sconce's criminal mishandling of human remains. A handful of black-and-white photographs enhance this at times tongue-in-cheek, at times somewhat gruesome (removing corpses from the wake of horrific disasters like the 1971 Sylmar earthquake is never a pretty task), yet constantly fascinating tell-all.

The Economic Studies Shelf

End Unemployment Now
Dr. Ravi Batra
Palgrave Macmillan
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10001
9781137280077 $28.00

New York Times author Dr. Ravi Batra (Professor of Economics, Southern Methodist University) presents End Unemployment Now: How to Eliminate Joblessness, Debt, and Poverty Despite Congress, a call to action filled with remedies for America's unemployment woes. Batra analyzes and explains in plain terms what he views as the key drivers of American unemployment: rampant business mergers and consolidation, staggering trade deficits, artificially inflated oil prices, rock-bottom interest rates that hurt pensioners and retirees (forcing them to cut back and spending), and the simple economic reality that if productivity increases while wages do not, then the supply of goods or services outstrips demand. Proposed bromides include banning mergers between large, profitable firms (which reduces competition and almost always results in layoffs), setting up federal businesses to compete in undercompetitive sectors (such as establishing a federal bank that gives loans at much lower rates than the outrageously high rates of most credit cards), taking steps to lower oil prices (which Batra contends are propped artificially high through oligarchical industry actions), offering government-issue bonds with a set, stable interest rate to pensioners whose incomes have evaporated as interest rates have fallen, and more. Whether or not one agrees with all of Batra's suggested solutions, his thoughtful analysis of the problem and ways to fight it without increasing government debt is well worth extended study. Highly recommended.

The Business Shelf

Customer Service DNA
Curtis Hill and Erik Alberts with Richard L. Godfrey
Plain Sight Publishing
c/o Cedar Fort, Inc.
2373 West 700 South, Springville, Utah 84663
9781462116287 $14.99

A trio of experts draw upon their extensive history of working with Fortune 500 companies to create award-winning customer service in Customer Service DNA: Building Blocks That Drive Customer Loyalty, a no-nonsense guide to improving customer service efficiency and effectiveness. The core theory emphasizes three key aspects: relationships rather than transactions; principles rather than processes; and learning rather than repair. The goal is to create "evolutionary" customer service that can adapt to variable needs. "Recognizing how costly a misfire can be, an entire industry has grown around explaining, teaching, training, and tracking cultural sensitivity and practice. Business travelers learn never to cross their legs, thus exposing the soles of their feet, in Middle Eastern or many Asian cultures. Hand gestures, such as the ubiquitous OK sign (used in the Americas and much of western Europe) can, in southern European and Mediterranean environments become anything but OK. In these and many other examples, the goal is simple but twofold. First, avoid offence. Second (and this is much less focused on or taught), show respect." A superb guide for customer service personnel at all hierarchical levels, Customer Service DNA is highly recommended.

The Travel Shelf

Outdoors with Kids: Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont
Ethan Hipple & Yemaya St. Clair
Appalachian Mountain Club Books
Five Joy Street, Boston, MA 02108-1490
9781628420036 $18.95 pbk / $9.99 Kindle

Outdoors with Kids: Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont is a user-friendly travel guide featuring hiking, paddling, biking, and camping trips the whole family can enjoy together. Included are maps, directions, GPS coordinates, and highlights for 75 outdoor destinations in the titular states, as well as safety tips, activity ideas, educational essays, and an at-a-glance trip planner for selecting the ideal excursion. Highly recommended for any family in the area eager to embark on outdoor adventure!

The Best of Rocky Mountain National Park
Alan Leftridge
Farcountry Press
PO Box 5630, Helena, MT 59604
9781560376354 $19.95 pbk / $9.99 Kindle

Enhanced with 168 color photographs and 8 locator maps, The Best of Rocky Mountain National Park lives up to its title as a guide to beautiful waterfalls, unforgettable hikes, scenic drives, fishing opportunities, and places to view wildlife in its natural habitat. There are even suggestions for the best available activities should the weather turn rainy or snowy! Accessible and user-friendly, The Best of Rocky Mountain National Park will provide to joy to prospective vacationers and armchair travelers alike.

The Homeowner's Shelf

How to Solar Power Your Home, second edition
Martha Maeda
Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.
1405 S.W. 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471
9781620230060 $14.99

Now in an updated second edition, How to Solar Power Your Home: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply is a how-to guide to the process of installing and using a solar power for one's home. Chapters discuss how to determine whether solar power is suitable for one's needs, ways of making one's home more energy efficient, the pros and cons of doing it oneself versus hiring a contractor, selecting components for a solar electricity system, rebates/subsidies/tax credits/loans to help support the project, regular maintenance of a solar-powered system, and much more. A wealth of online resources, a glossary, and an index round out this "must-have" for anyone seriously considering solar powered infrastructure for home use.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

The Making of Major League
Jonathan Knight, author
Charlie Sheen, foreword
Gray & Company, Publishers
1588 E. 40th St., Cleveland, OH 44103
9781938441646 $15.95 pbk / $9.99 Kindle

Sports author Jonathan Knight presents The Making of Major League is an ever-so-slightly inside look into the popular baseball comedy movie. Based on interviews with all the major actors plus crew and producers, The Making of Major League is a story of writer/director David S. Ward's efforts to bring his vision to life. Amusing anecdotes pepper the pages throughout. "'The hardest thing Wesley had to do was slide,' Yeager says. 'We must've run that take of him sliding into home plate about four or five times. He had a big strawberry on the side of his hip. Once you slide and you get a strawberry on your side, you don't want to slide there anymore.'" Enthusiastically recommended especially for fans of the movie, and also for those who enjoy behind-the-scenes sagas.

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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