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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 9, Number 2 February 2014 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Computer Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf Buddhist Studies Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Fiction Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Photography Shelf Travel Shelf Writing/Publishing Shelf
Interior Design Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf Money/Finance Shelf
Architecture Shelf Poetry Shelf Education Shelf
Art Shelf Biography Shelf Music Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf
DVD Shelf Relationship Shelf American History Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Botany Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Adventures in Yarn Farming
Barbara Parry
Roost Books
c/o Shambhala Publications, Inc.
300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-4544
9781590308233, $27.95,

Drawing upon her many years of experience and expertise in sheep farming, textile artisan Barbara Parry's "Adventures in Yarn Farming: Four Seasons on a New England Fiber Farm" is a 320 page compendium providing an informed and informative perspective with respect to taking care of sheep from shearing day to lambing season, as well as what goes into preparing fiber for yarn. With a thoroughly 'reader friendly' text beautifully enhanced with more than 100 superbly produced photographs, "Adventures in Yarn Farming: Four Seasons on a New England Fiber Farm" is a wonderful read from beginning to end and is especially recommended for community library collections and the supplemental reading lists for anyone considering a rural lifestyle or a career as a creator of knitted garments.

The Good Funeral
Thomas G. Long and Thomas Lynch
Westminister John Knox Press
100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202-1396
9780664238537 $25.00

Preacher/theologian Thomas G. Long and funeral director Thomas Lynch present The Good Funeral: Death, Grief, and the Community of Care, a thoughtful discussion of what truly makes a good funeral - one that honors the deceased and comforts the living. Economic, social, aethetic, and practical concerns are all addressed, as are changing trends (fifty years ago, U.S. cremation rates were in the single digits; now it's 40% and projected to rise to 50% or more in the future). Sober and well-reasoned without neglecting the spiritual aspect of caring for the deceased and their loved ones, The Good Funeral is particularly invaluable for anyone working in or aspering to the funerary trade. "...The problem is not that we cremate our dead, but how ritually denatured, spiritually vacant, religiously timid, and impoverished we have allowed the practice to become. It is not that we do it, but how we do it that must be reconsidered."

The Computer Shelf

iPad All-in-One For Dummies, sixth edition
Nancy C. Muir
For Dummies
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9781118728116, $34.99,

iPad is a line of tablet computers designed and marketed by Apple Inc., which runs Apple's iOS. The first iPad was released on April 3, 2010. They now number in the millions and have become one of the most popular and ubiquitous handheld technologies of today. "iPad All-in-One For Dummies" by iPad technology expert Nancy C. Muir is a 544 page instruction manual that covers i0S7, iPad Air, and all of the earlier iPad models. Nicely illustrated throughout, "iPad All-in-One For Dummies" not only covers the basics of using an iPad and its various features for fun and recreation, but also will enable serious users to utilize their iPads for business and simply getting organized for whatever online project they need to work on. Thoroughly 'user friendly' from beginning to end, and enhanced with a very useful Index, this sixth edition of "iPad All-in-One For Dummies" is completely up-to-date and highly recommended for both novice iPad users as well as an invaluable reference work for even the more experienced users. Of special note is the chapter on selecting and buying an iPad. Very highly recommended for personal, professional, and community library reference collections, it should be noted that "iPad All-in-One For Dummies" is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.99).

Practical Algorithms for 3D Computer Graphics, second edition
R. Stuart Ferguson
CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300
Boca Raton, FL 33487
9781466582521, $79.95,

In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm is a step-by-step procedure for calculations. Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning. 3D computer graphics (in contrast to 2D computer graphics) are graphics that use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data (often Cartesian) that is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering 2D images. Such images may be stored for viewing later or displayed in real-time. 3D computer graphics rely on many of the same algorithms as 2D computer vector graphics in the wire-frame model and 2D computer raster graphics in the final rendered display. Now in a completed updated and expanded second edition, "Practical Algorithms for 3D Computer Graphics" by computer expert R. Stuart Ferguson is a 520 page instruction manual covering the basic fundamental algorithms that are the foundation of 3D computer graphics allowing users to produce 3D programs for computer animation, modeling, and image synthesis. Of special note in this second edition is are new chapters offering a modern approach to real-time 3D programming using OpenGL; 3D graphics for mobile devices; and a comprehensive open source 3D tools suite for modeling and animation. "Practical Algorithms for 3D Computer Graphics" also covers particle modeling, marching cubes, hair and fur rendering techniques; and so much more. Comprehensive, exceedingly well written, organized and presented, "Practical Algorithms for 3D Computer Graphics" is especially recommended for anyone doing graphics research or developing 3D computer games.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Spinning And Dyeing Yarn
Ashley Martineau
250 Wireless Boulevard, Hauppauge, NY 11788
9780764166075, $29.99,

Yarn is a long continuous length of interlocked fibres, suitable for use in the production of textiles, sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving, embroidery, and ropemaking. Thread is a type of yarn intended for sewing by hand or machine. Modern manufactured sewing threads may be finished with wax or other lubricants to withstand the stresses involved in sewing. Embroidery threads are yarns specifically designed for hand or machine embroidery. The one thing all homemade, handmade yarns have in common is that to be useful they must be spun and then colored through a process of dyeing. "Spinning and Dyeing Yarn: The Home Spinners Guide to Creating Traditional and Art Yarns" by fiber artist Ashley Martineau is a profusely and expertly illustrated, 208 page instruction manual that will enable even the most novice needlecrafter to successfully create yarns for traditional and fabric art usage. Thoroughly 'user friendly' and deftly organized into four major sections (Fiber Identification and Preparation; Dyeing Techniques; Spinning Techniques; and Going Professional), "Spinning and Dyeing Yarn: The Home Spinners Guide to Creating Traditional and Art Yarns" is enhanced with a roster of resources, a registry of useful websites, a bibliography, a listing of contributors, and a comprehensive index, making it an ideal and enthusiastically recommended for personal and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections.

When Bad Things Happen To Good Knitters, revised edition
Marion Edmonds & Ahza Moore
The Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
9781621130079, $21.95,

Everyone who has ever knitted has encountered (or will inevitably encounter!) a dropped stitch or other kind of mistake. That's why "When Bad Things Happen To Good Knitters" by knitting experts Marion Edmonds and Ahza Moore will prove to be an invaluable and popular addition to personal and community library collections of needlecraft instructional guides and manuals. This 160 page compendium is an ideal 'survival guide' for all manner of knitting problems and emergencies. This newly revised, expanded and updated edition of "When Bad Things Happen To Good Knitters" is enhanced with the inclusion of six new knitting projects ranging from mosaic mitts to an updated cable beanie. Thoroughly 'user friendly' from first page to last, "When Bad Things Happen To Good Knitters" is especially recommended for novice knitters and has a great deal to commend it to even the more experienced knitting needlecrafter.

Making Clothes For Your Dog
Jisu Lee and Yi-Hui Hsieh
Original Designs
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781574216103, $19.99,

In "Making Clothes For Your Dog", Jisu Lee draws upon his many years of experience and expertise in making clothing for dogs of all sizes, shapes and breeds to create a superbly illustrated, 144 page instruction manual on how to both sew and knit personalized outfits for keep the family dog warm -- and looking fashionable! "Making Clothes For Your Dog" begins with providing what the novice needlecrafter will need to know when getting started on making clothes for a dog. Of special note are the sections on tools and materials; fabrics; basic sewing terminology; basic sewing techniques; advice on how to best utilize this manual, and 'Meet the Dogs'. The seventeen individual, step-by-step projects range from a soft and comfy Leisure Top; to a Hat and Scarf for winter weather; to a Denim Pet Carrier for taking a puppy out and about. Enhanced with Dog Clothing Tips and a useful Index, "Making Clothes For Your Dog" is an ideal and very highly recommended instructional work for personal and community library Needlecraft reference collections.

306 East Parr Road, Berne, IN 46711

Annie's is the publisher of a number of excellent pattern books for needlecrafters. Two of their newest titles are exceptional and highly recommended: Annies "Figure Flattering Plus-Size Fashions" (9781596358028, $9.95) showcases eleven excellent crochet projects for ample women of substance that ranges from a Cranberry Cardigan, to a Spicy Mustard Vest, to a Heather Rose Tunic. Also featured is a Stitch Guide and a Metrick Conversion Chart. Tabetha Hedrick's "A Playful Palette of 10 Knitted Accessories" is comprised of eight knitting projects made with Koigu Yarn. These thoroughly 'user friendly' patterns range from a Friday Harbor Headband; to a Melbourne Cape, to a Kodiak Cowl. Also featured are sections providing Abbreviation & Symbols; Skill Levels; a Standard Yard Weight System; Knitting Basics; a Photo Index, and more. Both of these outstanding instructional are enhanced with full color illustrations and photography, making them very highly recommended for personal needlecraft reference collections.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Christian Spirituality for Seekers
Roger Haight
Orbis Books
PO Box 308
Maryknoll, NY 10545-0308
9781570759871 $25.00

Christian Spirituality for Seekers: Reflections on the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola is an in-depth examination of spiritual activities composed in the sixteenth century, and considered to be a cornerstone of Jesuit spirituality and formation. Chapters discuss Ignatius Loyola's life before and after his religious conversion, descriptions and interpretations of the exercises, reflections on Biblical passages suitable for accompanying the spiritual exercises, and much more. An index rounds out this thoughtful, seminal discussion, suitable for scholarly, ministry, or personal self-study.

Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads
Chris Lowney
Loyola Press
3441 North Ashland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657
9780829440089 $22.95

Former Jesuit seminarian Chris Lowney presents Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads - Lessons from the first Jesuit Pope, a thoughtful examination of the Jesuit influences in Pope Francis' efforts to lead through faith, wisdom, and example. "The Jesuit founder Ignatius knew nothing of psychology or decision science, but, as it turns out, he intuitively grasped human nature. He had learned the hard way: he made plenty of bad calls early in life. Eager to spare others the same fate, he conceived what we might call 'spiritual technologies,' wise guidance through the tortuous path to good choices, whether about careers and relationships, business plans, or even the future direction of the Church... Pope Francis's approach to leading the Church has turned out to be a master class in decision tools and attitudes bequeathed to him by his Jesuit formation." A respectful examination that looks to both the past and the future, Pope Francis: Why He Leads the Way He Leads is inspirational from cover to cover.

Your Power Is On!
Sally Ann Roberts, author
Eric Paulsen, photographer
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street
Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781455619023 $19.95

Your Power Is On! A Little Book of Hope is an inspirational pairing of beautiful, full-color nature photography and passages from the Bible. For example one page shows a rushing, tree-lined waterfall outside of Portland, Oregon next to the quote, "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1, KJV). Your Power Is On! is a browser's source of joy and reverence, and makes an excellent giftbook for fellow Christians. Highly recommended.

The Story of the Holy Land
Pete Walker
Lion Hudson
c/o Kregel Publications
PO Box 2607, Grand Rapids, MI 49501
9780745955827, $19.95,

Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout with full color photography, "The Story of the Holy Land: A Visual History" by Pete Walker (Professor of Biblical Studies, Trinity School for Ministry, Ambridge, Pennsylvania) is a 176 page compendium providing an visually enhanced historical overview of the Holy Land from Biblical times down to the present day. An erudite commentary organized and presented in seven informative and chronologically presented chapters is wonderfully illustrated on almost every page. Enhanced with the inclusion of a bibliography of further readings and a map of the Holy Land, "The Story of the Holy Land: A Visual History" is truly extraordinary and highly recommended for personal, family, church, and community library collections.

Witnesses to Mystery
Grzegorz Gorny & Janusz Rosikon
Ignatius Press
PO Box 1339, Fort Collins, CO 80522
9781586178444, $34.95,

In religion, a relic is a part of the body of a saint or a venerated person, or else another type of ancient religious object, carefully preserved for purposes of veneration or as a touchable or tangible memorial. Relics are an important aspect of some forms of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Shamanism, and many other religions. The word relic comes from the Latin reliquiae, meaning "remains" or "something left behind" (the same root as relinquish). A reliquary is a shrine that houses one or more religious relics. "Witnesses to Mystery: Investigations Into Christ's Relics" by Grzegorz Gorny and Janusz Rosikon is a beautifully and profusely illustrated, 336 page compendium deftly organized into chapters on The Turin Shroud; The True Cross; The Holy Nails; The Sudarium of Oviedo; The Tunic of Argenteuil; The Holy Coat of Trier; The Veil of Manoppello; The Pillar of Scourging; The Crown of Thorns. Of special note are the last two chapters: The Investigations Continue (the spear of destiny, the sandals and cloths of Jesus) and Golgotha and the Empty Tomb. Enhanced with the inclusion of a Relics Map, The Way of the Cross, a Timeline, a glossary, and an index, "Witnesses to Mystery: Investigations Into Christ's Relics" is a fascinating and informative read, as well as a very highly recommended addition to personal, church, community, and academic library Christian Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

15 Days of Prayer with Blessed Frederic Ozanam
Christian Verheyde
New City Press
202 Cardinal Rd., Hyde Park, NY 12538
9781565484870, $12.95,

Antoine-Frederic Ozanam (April 23, 1813 - September 8, 1853) was a French scholar. He founded with fellow students the Conference of Charity, later known as the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris in 1997, hence he may be properly called Blessed Frederic by Catholics. "15 Days of Prayer with Blessed Frederic Ozanam" is a 140 page compendium comprised of selected meditations by Frederic Ozanam compiled by Christian Verheyde for the benefit of Roman Catholic congregations. Of special note is the Historical Overview providers readers to whom this might be their first introduction to a most remarkable man. Very highly recommended reading, it should be noted that "15 Days of Prayer with Blessed Frederic Ozanam" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.95).

Living Faith: Embracing God's Callings
Keith Graber Miller
Cascadia Publishing House
126 Klingerman Road, Telford, PA 18969
9781931038942, $12.95,

Anabaptists are Christians whose theological roots are in the Radical Reformation of 16th century Europe. Although some consider the Anabaptist movement to be an offshoot of Protestantism, others see it as a distinct movement in its own right with the Amish, the Hutterites, and the Mennonites as being direct descendants of the Anabaptist movement. "Living Faith: Embracing God's Callings" by Keith Graber Miller (Professor of Bible, Religion, and Philosophy, Goshen College and an ordained minister in the Mennonite Church) is a 128 page compendium comprised of erudite commentary on the Christian vocation within an Anabaptist historical context and in the present day. As inspired and inspiring as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Living Faith: Embracing God's Callings" is a richly rewarding and highly recommended read. It should be noted that "Living Faith: Embracing God's Callings" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The First New Testament: Marcion's Scriptural Canon
Jason D. BeDuhn
Polebridge Press
900 State Street, Salem, Oregon 97301-3922
9781598151312, $29.00,

The first ecclesiastic of the first century Christian movement to compile an anthology sacred writings and advocate them as a canon of scripture for Christian study and theology, Marcion of Sinope (c. 85 - c. 160) was a bishop in city of Sinope (in what is now Turkey). His theology completely rejected the existence of the deity described in the Jewish Scriptures and in distinction affirmed the Father of Christ to be the true God. He was denounced by the Church Fathers and he chose to separate himself from the Imperial Church. Nonetheless he performed a pivotal role in the development of the New Testament canon that with modifications would be the basis for the accepted body of sacred writings authorized by the Council of Nicea at the behest of the Roman emperor Constantine. In "The First New Testament: Marcion's Scriptural Canon", Jason BeDuhn (Professor of the Comparative Study of Religions, Northern Arizona university) presents the earliest known version of the New Testament, now presented to the general public in English for the first time! Professor BeDuhn introduces Marcion, reconstructing his text, and explores his impact on the study of Luke-Acts, the two-source theory, and the Q hypothesis. A work of impressive scholarship, "The First New Testament: Marcion's Scriptural Canon" is enhanced with copious chapter notes, and extensive bibliography, and a comprehensive index, making it very highly recommended for personal, church, seminary, community, and academic library Christian Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

What Church Leaders Really Need To Know
Robert H. Naylor
The Pilgrim Press
700 Prospect Avenue East, Cleveland, OH 44115-1100
9780829819748, $18.00,

"What Church Leaders Really Need to Know: A Practical How-To Guide" is a 212 page compendium comprising what is essentially an instruction manual for anyone charged with a leadership responsibility within the context of their congregation. Informed and informative, "What Church Leaders Really Need To Know" is comprehensive and at times even inspirational. Of special note are the occasional checklists provided the reader. Thoroughly 'user friendly' and enhanced with appendices, copious notes, and a thematically appropriate bibliography, "What Church Leaders Really Need To Know" is very highly recommended for personal, professional, seminary, church, and community library reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Jewish Customs of Kabbalistic Origin
Morris M. Faierstein
Academic Studies Press
28 Montfern Avenue, Brighton, MA 02135
9781618112521, $59.00,

Kabbalah (a Hebrew word, literally "receiving/tradition") is an esoteric method, discipline, and school of thought that originated in Judaism and the Oriental Hermetic tradition. A traditional Kabbalist in Judaism is called a Mekubal ("sage"). "Jewish Customs of Kabbalistic Origin: Their Origin and Practice" by academician and Kabbalah expert Morris M. Faierstein, is a 190 page compendium providing an historical context and description of how Jewish religious practices were impacted by the Kabbalists of Safed in the 16th century. Of special note are Faierstein's descriptive explanations of the meanings of specific practices and rituals. Very highly recommended for academic library Judaic Studies reference collections, "Jewish Customs of Kabbalistic Origin: Their Origin and Practice" is so exceptionally well written and presented that it would be completely accessible to non-specialist general readers with an interest in the Kabbalah. It should be noted for academic librarians seeking to enhanced their Judaic Studies collections, that the Academic Studies Press has more outstanding and highly recommended titles: "Russian Idea--Jewish Presence: Essays on Russian-Jewish Intellectual Life" (9781936235612, $59.00); "Faith: Jewish Perspectives" (9781618112828, $89.00); "New Perspectives in Theology of Judaism" (9781618112675, $79.00); "Identity and Pedagogy: Shoah Education in Israeli State Schools" (9781936235810, $85.00) to cite just a few.

The Buddhist Studies Shelf

The Buddha: The Social-Revolutionary Potential Of Buddhism
Trevor Ling
867 Larmon Road, Onalaska, WA 98570
9781938754326, $17.95,

Originally published in 1973, "The Buddha: The Social-Revolutionary Potential Of Buddhism" has been brought back into print with this 40th Anniversary Edition featuring an introduction by Paul R. Fleishman. This 264 page compendium is comprised of four major sections (Perspectives; North India in the Sixth Century BC; Buddhist Civilization in Principle; Buddhist Civilization in Practice) of Buddhist history and philosophy, in terms of its impact upon the civilizations that adopted it and the cultures that encountered it. Informed, informative, superbly well written, organized and presented, "The Buddha: The Social-Revolutionary Potential Of Buddhism" is strongly recommended reading for students of Buddhism, as well as an invaluable addition to community and academic library Buddhist Studies reference collections. It should be noted that "The Buddha: The Social-Revolutionary Potential Of Buddhism" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Spirit Of Faith: Life After Death
Baha'i Publishing
415 Linden Avenue, Wilmette, IL 60091-2844
9781618510471, $12.00,

The Baha'i Faith is a monotheistic religion emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. Three core principles establish a basis for Baha'i teachings and doctrine: the unity of God, that there is only one God who is the source of all creation; the unity of religion, that all major religions have the same spiritual source and come from the same God; and the unity of humanity, that all humans have been created equal, and that diversity of race and culture are seen as worthy of appreciation and acceptance. According to the Baha'i teachings the human purpose is to learn to know and love God through such methods as prayer, reflection, and being of service to humanity. The Baha'i Faith was founded by Baha'u'llah in 19th-century Persia. Baha'u'llah was exiled for his teachings, from Persia to the Ottoman Empire, and died while officially being a prisoner. After Baha'u'llah's death, under the leadership of his son, Abdu'l-Baha, the religion spread from its Persian and Ottoman roots, and gained a footing in Europe and America, and was consolidated in Iran, where it suffers intense persecution. After the death of Abdu'l-Baha, the leadership of the Baha'i community entered a new phase, evolving from a single individual to an administrative order with both elected bodies and appointed individuals. There are probably more than 5 million Baha'is around the world in more than 200 countries and territories. Compiled by the editorial staff of Baha'i Publishing, "Spirit Of Faith: Life After Death" is a compact 165 page compendium comprised of selected writings of Baha'u'llah, the Bab, and Abdul-Baha. Enhanced with extensive notes and a bibliography, "Spirit Of Faith: Life After Death" is very highly recommended reading and a valued addition to personal, community, and academic library religion/spirituality collections.

Emanuel Swedenborg: Exploring a "World Memory"
Karl Grandin, editor
Swedenborg Publishers
320 North Church Street, West Chester, PA 19380
9780877853510, $44.95, 376pp,

Emanuel Swedenborg (29 January 1688 - 29 March 1772) was a Swedish scientist, philosopher, theologian, revelator, and, in the eyes of some, Christian mystic. Swedenborg had a prolific career as an inventor and scientist. In 1741, at age 53, he entered into a spiritual phase in which he began to experience dreams and visions, beginning on Easter weekend of April 6, 1744. This culminated in a 'spiritual awakening', in which he received revelation that he was appointed by the Lord to write the The Heavenly Doctrine to reform Christianity. According to The Heavenly Doctrine the Lord had opened Swedenborg's spiritual eyes, so that from then on he could freely visit heaven and hell and talk with angels, demons and other spirits; and the Last Judgment had already occurred, in 1757. For the remaining 28 years of his life, Swedenborg wrote 18 published theological works, and several more which were unpublished. Some followers of The Heavenly Doctrine believe that, of his theological works, only those which Swedenborg published himself are fully divinely inspired. "Emanuel Swedenborg--Exploring a "World Memory": Context, Content, Contribution" is a compilation comprised of twenty major papers given at a symposium on Swedenborg's work within an historical context, as well as his influence on future generations with respect to philosophy and the arts ranging from Ralph Waldo Emerson and Czeslaw Milocz, to Elizabeth Barrett Browning and William James. As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, and especially recommended for academic library collections, "Emanuel Swedenborg--Exploring a "World Memory": Context, Content, Contribution" is essential reading for students of the life and work of Emanuel Swedenborg.

The Fiction Shelf

Being Dead in South Carolina
Jacob White
Leapfrog Press
P.O. Box 505, Fredonia, NY 14063
9781935248446, $15.95,

"Being Dead in South Carolina" is a 200 page compendium comprised of seventeen skillfully crafted short stories set in the modern South. The deftly written characters combine with strongly developed and original storylines resulting in a series of literary experiences that the reader will remember long after "Being Dead in South Carolina" in finished and set back upon the shelf. Very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections, it should also be noted that "Being Dead in South Carolina" is available in a Kindle edition ($10.69) as well.

The Cookbook Shelf

Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook
Dan Whalen
Page Street Publishing
27 Congress Street, Suite 103, Salem, MA 01970
Trina Kay Organization (publicity)
9781624140112, $19.99,

"Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook" is a beautifully illustrated, 208 page compendium packed from cover to cover with wonderful recipes that are as delicious as they are kitchen cook friendly! The palate pleasing dishes range from Sweet Potato Tamales; Pork Belly Stuffed Cornbread Rolls; Fish Ravioli in Thai Red Curry; and Crab Rangoon Jalapeno Poppers; to Mac and Cheese Stuffed Burger; Meat Stuffed Twice Baked Potatoes; Ginger-Cinnamon Baked Apples; and Avocado Eclairs. Of special note is Chapter 6 which is dedicated to basic recipes for making spice mixes, seasonings, sauces, and doughs that are utilized in selected recipes elsewhere in this simply outstanding culinary collection. "Stuffed: The Ultimate Comfort Food Cookbook" is enthusiastically recommended for personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

Dessert Of The Day
Kim Laidlaw
Weldon Owen
415 Jackson Street, Suite 200, San Francisco, CA 94111
9781616284343, $34.95,

Dessert is a typically sweet course that concludes a meal. The course usually consists of sweet foods, but may include other items. There is a wide variety of desserts in western cultures including cakes, cookies, biscuits, gelatins, pastries, ice creams, pies, puddings, and candies. Fruit is also commonly found in dessert courses because of its natural sweetness. Many different cultures have their own variations of similar desserts around the world, such as in Russia, where many breakfast foods such as blint, oladi, and syrniki can be served with honey and jam to make them popular as desserts. The loosely defined course called dessert can apply to many foods. In "Dessert Of The Day", culinary expert Kim Laidlaw has compiled 352 outstanding deserts that range from the simple to the complex, old favorites to new classics, from the extraordinary to the phenomenal. Deftly organized so that even the most novice of kitchen cooks can turn out an elegant dessert every day of the year (literarily!), the recipes range from Banana Chocolate Cream Pie; Caramelized Oranges with Mascarpone; Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie; and Fresh Summer Fruit Compote; to Plume and Almond Frangipane Tarts; Brown Sugar Pumpkin Pie; Bread and Butter Pudding with Orange Marmalade; and Old-Fashioned Fudge. Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout, and chronologically organized with suggested deserts from January 1st through December 31st, "Dessert Of The Day" is enthusiastically recommended for personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook
Tracey Medeiros
The Countryman Press
43 Lincoln Corners Way/P.O. Box 748
Woodstock, Vermont 05091
9781581571660, $19.95,

In "The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook: 150 Home Grown Recipes from the Green Mountain State", freelance food writer, food stylist, and recipe developer Tracey Medeiros has compiled delicious, nutritious, and 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes the celebrate the culinary contributions of Vermont to the rest of America. The recipes range from Cumin-Roasted Tri-Colored Carrots with Chevre; Pasta with Veal and Pancetta Bolognese; and Tomato Coconut Soup; to Beer-Battered Fiddleheads; Amber Ale-Braised Highland Beef Chuck Roast; and Maple Pecan Pie. Profusely illustrated throughout and featuring succinct commentaries on the farms, creameries, farmer's markets, and food companies of Vermont, "The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook: 150 Home Grown Recipes from the Green Mountain State" is as much fun to browse through as it is to create menus with for any dining occasion from daily family meals to special celebratory occasions. Highly recommended for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections, it should also be noted that "The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook: 150 Home Grown Recipes from the Green Mountain State" is available in a Kindle edition ($9.99) as well.

The French Baker
Sebastien Boudet
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, NY, NY 10018
9781620879993, $24.95,

"The French Baker: Authentic Recipes for Traditional Breads, Desserts, and Dinners" by award winning French baker Sebastien Boudet is a 256 page culinary compendium of outstanding recipes that will enable even the most novice of kitchen cooks to serve up professional, 5-Star restaurant quality dinners that would grace any meal from humble family meals to elegant celebratory dining occasions. Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout, the recipes range from Beetroot Bread with Chevre; to French Pancakes; to French Apple Pie; and so much more. Of special note are the chapters devoted to Sourdough Bread and to Oils & Mixtures. Refined, luxurious, exquisite, cultivated, and inspiring, "The French Baker: Authentic Recipes for Traditional Breads, Desserts, and Dinners" is a unique and very highly recommended addition to personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "The French Baker: Authentic Recipes for Traditional Breads, Desserts, and Dinners" is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.99).

Peruvian Power Foods
Manuel Villacorta
Health Communications, Inc.
3201 S.W. 15th Street
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442-8190
9780757317224, $18.95,

A 'superfood' is any food that is considered to be especially beneficial to human health and that may even alleviate (and possibly cure) some medical conditions. Written and compiled by Manuel Villacorta (with the assistance of Jamie Shaw), "Peruvian Power Foods: 18 Superfoods, 101 Recipes, and Anti-aging Secrets from the Amazon to the Andes" is a 304 page compendium that draws from the native culinary traditions of the Peruvian Andes and showcasing 'kitchen cook friendly' dishes that in addition to being palate pleasing and appetite satisfying, are also potent with immunity-boosting, anti-aging benefits. The recipes themselves ranges from Dark Chocolate Frozen Yogurt; Purple Corn Lucuma Pancakes; White Bean Hummus; and a Tangy BBQ Sauce; to Quinoa Fried Rice; Sweet Potato with Empananda Beef Stuffing; Caprese Salad with Sacha Inchi Oil; and Papaya Juice. Impressively informative, beautifully illustrated throughout in full color, exceptionally well organized and presented, "Peruvian Power Foods" is an extraordinary cookbook that is highly recommended for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Peruvian Power Foods" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Photography Shelf

Art Of Sunnmore
Fredrik Sigurdh & Alvaro Susens, editors
Akademika Publishing
c/o International Specialized Book Services
920 Northeast 58th Avenue, Suite 300, Portland, OR 97213
9788232103362, $60.00,

Sunnmore is the southernmost traditional district of the western Norwegian county of More og Romsdal. Its main city is Alesund. The region comprises the municipalities (Norwegian: kommunar) of Giske, Hareid, Heroy, Norddal, Sande, Skodje, Haram, Stordal, Stranda, Sula, Sykkylven, Ulstein, Vanylven, Volda, Orskog, Orsta, and Alesund. Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by the team of Fredrik Sigurdh and Alvaro Susens, "Art Of Sunnmore: Ten Photographers - One Magic Place" is a 248 page compendium showcasing stunning and captioned photographic images taken by ten gifted photographers who used their camera's lens as a painters would their pallets and canvas to record images taken from what Sunnmore, Norway has to offer by way of memorable visuals. Of special note is that each individual photographer has written a succinct and informative introduction to the chapter that comprises their work. "The Art of Sunnmore" is a beautiful browse and very highly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Photographic Studies reference collections.

Appalachia USA: Photographs, 1968-2009
Builder Levy
David R. Godine, Publisher
PO Box 450, Jaffrey, NH 03452
9781567925081, $40.00,

The Appalachian mining of coal under ground was as fundamentally important to the development of the United States of America as it was deadly for the miners themselves. Coal mining was a hard scrabble life and the impressive black-and-white images captured by the photography of Builder Levy showcases the miners, their families and their communities. A truly impressive collection of images enhanced with succinctly informative commentaries, "Appalachia USA: Photographs, 1968-2009" is an extraordinary well presented and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library American Photography collections.

The Travel Shelf

The Columbia River
JoAnn Roe
Caxton Press
312 Main Street, Caldwell, ID 83605-3299
9780870045387, $16.95,

The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. It flows northwest and then south into the US state of Washington, then turns west to form most of the border between Washington and the state of Oregon before emptying into the Pacific Ocean. The river is 1,243 miles (2,000 km) long, and its largest tributary is the Snake River. Its drainage basin is roughly the size of France and extends into seven U.S. states and a Canadian province. By volume, the Columbia is the fourth-largest river in the United States; it has the greatest flow of any North American river draining into the Pacific. The river's heavy flow and its relatively steep gradient gives it tremendous potential for the generation of electricity. The 14 hydroelectric dams on the Columbia's main stem and many more on its tributaries produce more hydroelectric power than those of any other North American river. "The Columbia River: An Historical Travel Guide" is a 250 page compendium that is nicely organized into four major sections; The River in Canada; U.S. Border to Priest Rapids; Cities and Down the River; Portland/Vancouver to the Sea. Occasionally illustrated with maps and period photos, the text of "The Columbia River: An Historical Travel Guide" is richly informative and ideal for itinerary trip planning and for armchair travelers with an interest in one of North America's most colorful and important river systems. An ideal acquisition for community and academic libraries, it should also be noted that "The Columbia River: An Historical Travel Guide" is available in a Kindle edition ($9.99) as well.

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

A Quick Guide To Television Writing
Ray Morton
Limelight Editions
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
19 West 21st Street, Suite 201, New York, NY 10010
9780879108052, $12.99,

Although very similar in a lot of respects to writing for the cinema, television scripts have certain unique demands upon the writer. In "A Quick Guide To Television Writing", Ray Morton draws upon his many years as a successful writer, script consultant and screenplay analyst to present a succinct, compact, 112 page instruction manual for crafting a professional quality television script. Exceptionally well written and thoroughly 'user friendly', "A Quick Guide To Television Writing" covers every aspect including the three principle types of teleplays, dramatic storytelling, television oriented storytelling, teleplay style and formatting, the creation of a television series, and more. Of special note is Morton's commentary on the business of television writing, the types of jobs open to television writers, and strategies for attracting television industry attention. Offering a wealth of tips, tricks and techniques, "A Quick Guide To Television Writing" should be considered essential reading for anyone aspiring to write for television. It should be noted that "A Quick Guide To Television Writing" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Writers Rehab
D. B. Gilles
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781615931569, $12.95,

Sooner or later (and more than once!) a writer will suffer from what is called 'writer's block', the condition of having nothing come to mind to put down on paper or type into a computer screen. That's why "Writers Rehab: A 12-Step Program for Writers Who Can't Get Their Acts Together" by professional playwright, script consultant, and novelist D. B. Gilles will prove to be such a useful source of encouragement at such times. This compact, pocket-sized, 156 page compendium is packed from cover to cover with tips, tricks, techniques, and practical observations on how to overcome the forces behind the infamous 'writer's block'. Simply stated, wither a novice or a more experienced author, you need to have a copy of "Writers Rehab: A 12-Step Program for Writers Who Can't Get Their Acts Together" on your personal and professional reference shelf. It should be noted that "Writers Rehab: A 12-Step Program for Writers Who Can't Get Their Acts Together " is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.39).

The Interior Design Shelf

Nell Hill's Rooms We Love
Mary Carol Garrity
Andrews & McMeel
1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
9781449421649, $29.99,

"In Nell Hill's Rooms We Love" is a 128 page, profusely and beautifully illustrated compendium in which decorating maven Mary Carol Garrity deftly coaches her readers on how they can affordably decorate household rooms that will reflect good taste, versatility, livability, a personalized style, and enduring appeal. Deftly organized into five major chapters (Functional and Fabulous; Color Changes Everything; The Comfort Zone; The Big Picture; Romancing the Room), "In Nell Hill's Rooms We Love" is a pleasure to browse and a source of inspiration for non-specialist general readers wanting to try their own hand at interior design.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Improv Ideas 2
Justine Jones & Mary Ann Kelley
Meriwether Publishing
Box 7710, Colorado Springs, CO 80933-7710
9781566081955, $22.95,

Improvisational Theater, often called improv, is a form of theater where most or all of what is performed is created at the moment it is performed. In its purest form, the dialogue, the action, the story and the characters are created collaboratively by the players as the improvisation unfolds in present time, without use of an already prepared, written script. Improvisational Theater exists in performance as a range of styles of improvisational comedy as well as some non-comedic theatrical performances. It is sometimes used in film and television, both to develop characters and scripts and occasionally as part of the final product. Improvisational techniques are often used extensively in drama programs to train actors for stage, film and television and can be an important part of the rehearsal process. The collaborative effort of improve experts Justine Jones and Mary Ann Kelley, "Improv Ideas 2: A New Book of Games and Lists for the Classroom and Beyond" is a 167 page compendium packed from cover to cover with more than seventy improvisation games and lists that will hone student actor and comedians skill sets for doing improve on stage. Thoroughly 'user friendly' throughout, "Improv Ideas 2: A New Book of Games and Lists for the Classroom and Beyond" is very highly recommended for personal, professional, and academic Theatrical Studies instructional reference collections.

The Wonderful World Of Oz
John Fricke
Down East Books
PO Box 679, Camden, ME 04843
9781608932573, $30.00,

A wonderfully nostalgic trip back to the phenomenal 1939 film that astonished a generation of viewers and continues to be a popular movie to a whole new generation of appreciative viewers today, "The Wonderful World of Oz: An Illustrated History of the American Classic" by documentary producer and Oz film expert John Fricke is a 168 page compendium that showcases not only an historically important film in the history of American cinema, but documents its impact on American popular culture. An memorable tribute to an iconic movie, "The Wonderful World of Oz: An Illustrated History of the American Classic" is especially recommended and informative browsing for the films legions of fans and is guaranteed to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Theatre/Cinema/TV collections.

The Money/Finance Shelf

Paying For College Without Going Broke: 2014 Edition
Kalman A. Chany & Geoff Martz
The Princeton Review
c/o Random House Inc.
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
9780804124362, $20.00,

It is quite rare these days for a graduating student from an American college or university is not saddling with a crippling student loan debt. The cost of education has steadily outstripped the cost of living index these past two decades and shows no signs of slowing up in the near term future. That's why this new 2014 edition of "Paying For College Without Going Broke" is certain to be the vest $20 investment any parent or student could make when it comes to financing a college or university education. "Paying For College Without Going Broke" shows how to maximize financial aid eligibility, offers line-by-line strategies on financial aid application forms, and provides both long term and short term money-saving tactics. Of special note is what "Paying For College Without Going Broke" reveals to parents about education tax breaks, 520 plans, Coverdells, and custodial accounts for their children's educational future. Simply stated, "Paying For College Without Going Broke" should be considered mandatory reading for anyone having to pay for a college or university education, and should be considered an essential 'must have' for community library reference collections.

The Architecture Shelf

Architecture in Photographs
Gordon Baldwin
J. Paul Getty Museum
c/o Getty Trust Publications
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 500
Los Angeles, CA 90049-1682
9781606061527, $24.95,

From the invention of the camera down to the present day, architecture is second only to people as the favorite subject for amateur photographers. In "Architecture in Photographs", Gordon Baldwin draws upon his twenty-one years as a curator at the J. Paul Getty Museum to compile an impressive, 112 page collection of period photographs that showcase with memorable visual imagery a variety of architectural construction, objects and features chronologically arranged from antiquity to the modern age. Each image is provided with a succinct caption. A simple pleasure to browse through, "Architecture in Photographs" would also serve as a template for similar photographic projects. Recommended as an enduringly popular addition to community and academic library Photography collections, "Architecture in Photographs" would also prove to be of immense interest to scholars and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the history of architecture as well.

The Poetry Shelf

James A. Perkins
Mercer University Press
1400 Coleman Avenue
Macon, GA 31207-0001
9780881464658 $18.00

Decembers: Poems is a free-verse poetry anthology from professor emeritus James A. Perkins, embodying moments of the holiday season. Most of the poems were written one per a year, starting in 1973; many were sent to accompany Christmas cards sent to friends and family. A short story musing on how simple words can travel far and wind up in the unlikeliest places rounds out this heartfelt anthology, expressing the warmth and goodwill that form the spirit of Christmas itself. "Faded Angel": We're cutting back this year, / no tree, / no greenery looping / down the stairs, / no display of favorite cards / from Christmases past // With our boys far away / creating holiday memories / with their own families, / we're content with a few snowmen, / two seasonal place mats, and candles here and there. // But one things stays the same. / Blond and blue-eyed, / our calico angel, / her left arm up flung / and her legs crossed / like a Scots sword dancer's, // her wings faded / from the slant light / of thirty Decembers, / still smiles her welcome / from our front door.

The High Caul Cap
Medbh McGukian
Wake Forest University Press
PO Box 7333, Winston-Salem, NC 27109
9781930630659, $14.95, 64 pp,

Reviewing poetry is a lot like panning for gold. You have to go through a great deal of gravel before you find a nugget of outstanding value. But when you do, it is all very much worth it. Such is the case with the free verse poetry of Medbh McGukian, collected together and presented in the pages of "The High Caul Cap". If you only read poetry upon occasion, then don't miss the work of this truly gifted wordsmith. 'Seated Woman': Her cheek clenched like a leather butterfly, / she remains hard to love, heartless sometimes / as fruit painted sullen red on coffee cups, as mallows / fossilized in silver wire against the gold couch. // All but speechless, she is mildly grazing the dry / re-wilded air, the clouds' salinity, / her face in sliding light skimmed / from the inexhaustible street like rain-fed rice. // Her taupe dress is too flat to be a room, / too brown to be outdoors, but hyperlucid / as the windfield that rubs shoulders with you, / as if you were running your hands through a climate.

The Education Shelf

Building a Culture of Hope
Robert D. Barr & Emily L. Gibson
Solution Tree
555 North Morton Street
Bloomington, IN 47404
9781936764624 $34.95

Building a Culture of Hope: Enriching Schools with Optimism and Opportunity is a guide written especially for educators who serve impoverished children. Drawn from the authors' experience and work with high-poverty, high-performing schools, Building a Culture of Hope breaks down how to instill positive values of optimism, belonging, self-esteem, self-confidence, and purpose into the K-12 classroom environment. "The transition between eighth and ninth grade is a critical period for the proactive prevention of potential dropouts... Schools can provide a sense of optimism through orientation and counselor watch programs, summer and ninth-grade academies, and basic skills catch-up programs to provide an effective transition to high school." A list of references and an index round out this practical-minded, no-nonsense resource that should be required reading for any grade-school instructor serving an impoverished district.

To Look Closely
Laurie Rubin
Stenhouse Publishers
477 Congress Street, Suite 4B, Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781571109927, $22.50,

In "To Look Closely: Science and Literacy in the Natural World", author Laurie Rubin draws upon her many years of experience and expertise in teaching children about nature and the natural world to write a 239 page instructional compendium specifically designed to help classroom teachers develop inquiry-based thinking on the part of their students while exploring and learning about the natural environment. Beginning with ten tips for getting started on nature study, "To Look Closely: Science and Literacy in the Natural World" utilizing 'A Year At The Stream' in autumn, winter, and spring, to illustrate and demonstrate a basic study of the intricacy and interconnectedness of the natural world. Of special note are the two chapters dedicated to Literacy Through Nature Study in terms of reading and writing. Enhanced with appendices of Second-Grade Narratives; Second-Grade Poems; and Recommended Websites. Informed, informative, superbly organized and presented, "To Look Closely: Science and Literacy in the Natural World" is very highly recommended for Natural Studies school curriculums and supplemental reading lists. It should be noted that ""To Look Closely: Science and Literacy in the Natural World" is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.49).

The Art Shelf

The Art Of Li-Lan
Carter Ratcliff
Hudson Hills Press
PO Box 250, East Hampton, MA 01027-0250
9781555953812, $50.00,

Featuring an informative monograph by Carter Ratcliff, "The Art of Li-lan: A World Achieved" is a 192 page compendium showcasing the artwork of the American artist Li-Lan. With her work being shown in a number of prestigious museums and galleries, this superbly illustrated volume of her work ranges from paintings in oil on linen, to pastel and watercolors on handmade paper. Of special note are the black-and-white photos of the artist in her studio. An impressive debut volume celebrating an imaginative, gifted, and versatile artist, "The Art of Li-lan: A World Achieved" is especially recommended for inclusion into both community and academic library American Art History collections.

Colour in the Making
Black Dog Publishing
10a Acton Street
London, England, WC1X 9NG
9781907317958 19.95 Brit. pounds / $29.95

Colour in the Making: From Old Wisdom to New Brilliance is an extraordinary compilation of full-color, full-page photography showcasing color pigments. The text offers a detailed history of humankind's practical use of color, from early discoveries of earth pigments to the evolution of dyes, inks, printing techniques and mass-produced manufacturing. Three extensive essays about the art, science, history, technology, and aesthetics of color enrich this visually stunning collection. A beautiful, softcover coffee-table book, enthusiastically recommended for personal art history, inspiration, and design shelves as well as public library collections.

The Biography Shelf

Pushing the Limits
Carl LaVO
Naval Institute Press
291 Wood Road
Annapolis, MD 21402
9781591144854 $44.95

Naval historian Carl LaVO presents Pushing the Limits: The Remarkable Life and Times of Vice Adm. Allan Rockwell McCann, USN, the biography of an extraordinary liaison officer of the American Navy. His many accomplishments include modifying the antiquated O-12 submarine into the privately released "Nautilus", pioneering the development of the McCann Submarine Rescue Chamber, serving aboard the sub tender Pelias, directing firepower against Japanese aircraft attacking Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and serving in the first ever submarine to navigate under polar ice in 1947. His incredible naval record is the testimony of a dedicated visionary who proudly served his country above and beyond the call of not only duty, but also imagination. Highly recommended, especially for public and college library biography shelves.

Wooden: A Coach's Life
Seth Davis
Times Books
c/o Henry Holt & Company
175 - 5th Avenue, Suite 400, NY, NY 10010-7725
9780805092806, $35.00, 608 pp,

John Robert Wooden (October 14, 1910 - June 4, 2010) was an American basketball player and coach. Nicknamed the "Wizard of Westwood", he won ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period (including seven victories in a row) as head coach at UCLA, an unprecedented feat to this day. Within this period, his teams won a record 88 consecutive games. He was named national coach of the year six times. As a player, Wooden was the first to be named basketball All-American three times, and he won a Helms Athletic Foundation National Championship at Purdue in 1932, seven years before the birth of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. Wooden was named a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player (inducted in 1961) and as a coach (in 1973), the first person ever enshrined in both categories. Only Lenny Wilkens and Bill Sharman have since had the same honor. One of the most revered coaches in the history of sports, Wooden was beloved by his former players, among them Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Bill Walton. Wooden was renowned for his short, simple inspirational messages to his players, including his "Pyramid of Success". These often were directed at how to be a success in life as well as in basketball. "Wooden: A Coach's Life" by Sports Illustrated journalist Seth Davis is the definitive biography of a truly impressive man -- on or off the court! A work of meticulous detail and documentation, but reading with a smooth and articulate presentation, "Wooden: A Coach's Life" is a "must" for his legions of fans and will prove an enduringly popular addition to community library 20th Century American Biography collections. It should be noted that "Wooden: A Coach's Life" is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.44).

The Music Shelf

The Jesus Lizard Book
The Jesus Lizard
Akashic Books
PO Box 1456, New York, NY 10009
9781617750809, $29.95,

The Jesus Lizard is an American alternative rock band formed in 1987 in Austin, Texas. After a brief run as a recording-only project based in Austin, founding vocalist David Yow, bassist David Wm. Sims and guitarist Duane Denison relocated to Chicago, Illinois in 1989, finding kindred spirits in recording engineer Steve Albini and the Touch and Go Records imprint. With the addition of drummer Mac McNeilly, they began operating as a live band, expanding their following beyond Chicago's alternative scene into an international audience. Drummer Jim Kimball replaced McNeilly late in 1996, and was himself replaced by Brendan Murphy two years later. Despite releasing a split single with leading alt-rockers Nirvana and signing to Capitol Records, the band failed to find commercial success amid the alternative rock explosion of the 1990s, and disbanded in 1999. Their reunion tour ten years later enjoyed positive responses from audiences and critics. "The Jesus Lizard Book" is a 176 page, profusely illustrated, impressively candid, informed and informative history of a remarkable group of musicians. A 'must read' for their legions of appreciative fans, "The Jesus Lizard Book" is a highly recommended addition to academic library 20th Century American Music History reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Body Sculpting with Kettlebells for Man
Roger Hall
Hatherleigh Press
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
5-22 46th Ave, Ste 200
Long Island City, NY 11101
9781578264780 $19.95

Multiple images of black-and-white photography on almost every page, demonstrating exercises step-by-step enhances Body Sculpting with Kettlebells for Men, a straightforward guide filled with over 75 exercises suitable for daily workouts and strength conditioning. These kettlebell workouts do not require gym attendance or any expensive equipment other than the kettlebells themselves; exercises to promote cardio fitness as well as strength are included. HKC certified kettlebell trainer Roger Hall, owner and operator of Catskill Kettlebells studio, also includes nutrition recommendations to complement the exercises and fitness programs. "Kettlebell workouts are designed to employ the entire body, working many muscle groups at once. That's part of the appeal for using kettlebells. You're working the entire body with the exercises, instead of targeting one or two muscle groups." An excellent guide to hands-on strength and fitness training in the privacy of one's home!

The Audiobook Shelf

Comeback: America's New Economic Boom
Charles R. Morris, author
Tim Andres Pabon, narrator
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road
Prince Frederick, MD 20678
9781470391690 $26.75

Lawyer, former banker, and self-described "liberal who laments the loss of blue-collar jobs" Charles R. Morris presents Comeback: America's New Economic Boom, now in an unabridged audiobook rendition. The central postulate of Comeback is that America's rich natural resources - specifically, natural gas, which is widespread in shale - has the potential to not only fuel the nation's energy needs, but also to serve as a valuable export to the increasingly voracious world, and kick-start a renewed manufacturing boom. However, there are pitfalls. Morris addresses the environmental harm that the shale boom can cause (fracking is notorious for contaminating local water supplies, but spills or improperly handled wells can be even more catastrophic) and ways to control the damage. Another risk is that short-term profiteering will squander the fruits of the boom, in a time when the nation's infrastructure is desperately in need of repair. Will the shale boom ultimately enrich only the pockets of a very few of the wealthiest corporations, or will it be the keystone of a nationwide economic resurgence? Thought-provoking, insightful, and far-seeing, Comeback is highly recommended. 4 CDs, 4.75 hours.

Confessions of a Wild Child
Jackie Collins, author
Read by Sydney Tamiia Poitier and Teddy Canez
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315
New York, NY 10010
9781427239303 $29.99

Written by the sensationally popular author Jackie Collins, Confessions of a Wild Child is the unabridged audiobook story of Lucky Santangelo's rocky childhood. Before Lucky blazed her own trail in seven books and three miniseries, she was the fifteen-year-old daughter of wealthy and powerful Vegas hotel owner Gino Santangelo. Her father is controlling to the point of suffocation, and her mother was tragically murdered when she was just a toddler. Her gay teenage brother won't come out of the closet because he fears how their father will react to the news; Lucky refuses to let similar fear rule her life, and strikes out on her own instead. An adventure into the heady joys and dangerous drawbacks of true freedom, Confessions of a Wild Child is unforgettable from beginning to end. 5 CDs, 6 hours.

The Last Enchantments
Charles Finch, author
Luke Daniels, narrator
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315
New York, NY 10010
9781427241382 $39.99

The Last Enchantments: A Novel is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of an original novel about two people who are either the best or the worst thing to happen to one another. Set in the contemporary social world of Oxford, The Last Enchantments follows Yale graduate William Baker, his academic friends, and the intelligent young woman who turns his life upside down. A bonus interview with the author enhances this absorbing, lyrical, atmospheric, and at times bittersweet romantic adventure. 9 CDs, 11 hours.

The Music CD Shelf

Paul Higgs
Toucan Tango Music Ltd.
c/o The Creative Service Company
4360 Emerald Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
$12.97 CD / $9.99 download

British trumpet player Paul Higgs presents Pavane, an album showcasing his talent with the trumpet and piano alongside fellow jazz ensemble musicians playing the drums, classical guitar, cello/viola, and more. Named after the 16th century form of classic music ideal for a slow, dignified dance, Pavane is as stirring as it is timeless, atmopsheric, and evocative. The tracks are "Crystalline" (4:39), "The Glow of Evening" (3:37), "A Simple Truth" (4:45), "Parisienne Affair" (3:17), "Catalonia" (4:43), "Pavane" (3:24), "Clocks" (4:22), "Vale and Valley" (4:29), "Salvation" (3:32), "Shadows and Desire" (4:11), and "Song of the Siren" (4:02).

Ay De Mi
Rafi eL
Dutty Artz
c/o Press Junkie PR
9901 Brodie Lane, Suite 160, PMB 221, Austin, TX 78748
$TBA CD / $7.99 download

An eclectic, jubilant outpouring of Latin rhythm, South American folk tradition, and the joy of dance, Ay De Mi is Rafi eL's full-length debut album. Shifting from rap to melody, and from English to Spanish, the tracks reflect Rafi eL's love of experimenting with Latino, reggae, and other unique cultural elements of in a holistic fusion. Enthusiastically recommended, especially for its one-of-a-kind flair! The tracks are "Senda", "Suspiro", "Dolor", "Madrugada", "Colapso", "Know Your Heart", "San Marcos", "Pon La Olla", "Icaro", "Zambacueca", and "Tra Ba (Ft. Buyepongo)".

River Serene
Timothy Wenzel
Privately Published
c/o The Creative Service Company
4360 Emerald Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
$17.03 CD / $8.99 MP3

River Serene is a beautiful CD of electro-acoustic synthesizer and instrumental music, created to appeal to the senses and entrance the soul. The compositions are thematically arranged around the concepts of water ("the source of all things living"), love ("the reason we are here"), light ("cannot exist without darkness", and dreams ("what we hold so dear"). The refreshing, soothing melodies are a wonderful way to unwind, aid in meditation, or inspire gentle dreams. Highly recommended. The tracks are "Rain Coming Down" (4:03), "River Serene" (3:22), "Before the Rain" (3:42), "First Dance" (4:21), "A Midnight Rose" (4:15), "Such a Long Time" (4:53), "Winter's Light" (4:14), "A Twilight Pause" (4:39), "The Night Train" (4:48), "The Bridge To Our Dreams" (3:53), "Passage" (3:59), and "The Child" (2:48).

Dan Chadburn
Privately Published
c/o The Creative Service Company
4360 Emerald Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
$12.48 CD / $8.99 MP3

The fourth album by Dan Chadburn, Nocturnes features original, instrumental songs crafted with a nighttime theme. Chaburn's superb piano playing complemented by other musicians on the English horn, French horn, violin, and viola drifts seamlessly through this elegant listening experience, evoking strong memories and wonder. Highly recommended, especially for connoisseurs of unique piano compositions. The tracks are "Twilight" (3:59), "Anne's Lullaby" (3:16), "Stars" (4:19), "Abundance" (3:48), "Mystery" (4:17), "Once Upon a Time" (3:47), "Bella's Lullaby" (3:58), "The Road" (3:53), "Quiet Soul" (3:49), "Peter's Theme" (3:35), "Journey Home" (4:02), and "Sunrise" (4:03).

John Stein & The Mingotan Project
Whaling City Sound
1310 Tucker Road, No. Dartmouth, MA 02747
c/o Mixed Media Publicity
20 Lockmere Road, Cranston, RI 02910
$18.39 CD / $8.99 MP3

Guitar player John Stein combines his talent with The Mingotan Project (Matias Mingote German on drums, Rebecca Kleinmann playing flutes, Evan Harlan on the accordion, and John Lockwood playing bass) in Emotion, a vibrant album blending elements of North American jazz and African-American tango, with a dash of klezmer and other musical styles. The result is a liberating, passionate collection of vibrant, complex songs that cut to the heart of rhythmic connection. A "must-have" for connoisseurs of jazz and tango alike! The tracks are "Julieta" (5:03), "Empanadas" (4:33), "I Thought About You" (6:29), "Recoleta" (6:54), "Le Causse Du Quercy" (5:17), "Biei" (5:39), "Have You Met Miss Jones" (4:05), "Ira's Tango" (4:20), "Stepping Stones" (6:27), and "Oblivion" (4:22).

The DVD Shelf

We Heart Yoga: Prenatal Flow
With Jessica James
Privately Published
c/o 411 Video Information
PO Box 1223
Pebble Beach, CA 93953

We Heart Yoga: Prenatal Flow is a DVD of three complete yoga sequences created especially to aid pregnant women with physical fitness, and preparation for a healthy childbirth. A 20 min. cardio set allows for quick warmup; a 40 min. power set is devoted to strength-building especially for a pregnant woman's changing body; and a 60 min. set blends deep stretches with positive-themed, guided meditation. A bonus 10 min. meditation works specifically to prepare expecting mothers for labor and delivery. Mother Jessica James created the DVD while preparing for the birth of her second child; she speaks about the changes and challenges that affect one's body during pregnancy. Voiceover instruction and a calm musical score that can be turned on or off complement the straightforward, beginner-friendly yoga poses and activities. We Heart Yoga is intended as a supplementary resource, not a replacement for childbirth classes, and it is critical to get a doctor's opinion before undertaking a new exercise regimen (even more so in the case of high-risk pregnancies). With those caveats in mind, We Heart Yoga: Prenatal Flow is an excellent gift for moms-to-be, highly recommended. 135 min.

The Relationship Shelf

The Marriage Checkup Practitioner's Guide
James V. Cordova
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
9781433815522 $69.95

The Marriage Checkup Practitioner's Guide: Promoting Lifelong Relationship Health is a guide created especially for professional counselors and clinicians to help intimate partners reconnect. Laying the groundwork for a two-session assessment and feedback marital health check, The Marriage Checkup Practitioner's Guide discusses "Basics of Working With Couples in Brief Interventions", "Goals of Motivational Feedback", "Menu for Addressing Common Areas of Concern", "Menu for Presenting Couples' Strengths" and much more. As a quote from a recommended phone script for interested couples explains, "...the Marriage Checkup is a service designed to benefit all married couples. It is not therapy; it is an informational health service. Its goal is to help couples make the most of their own strengths and skills to successfully maintain the health, quality, and stability of their marriages and families. As part of your Marriage Checkup, you will receive a thorough relationship health assessment and personal feedback about the results. These involves completing a few questionnaires and coming in to the Center for Couples and Family Research for an interview. Two weeks later you'll come back to receive feedback about your assessment results." An excellent, accessible, no-nonsense guide, highly recommended for relationship professionals who are considering broadening the services they offer.

The American History Shelf

Graveyards of Chicago, revised edition
Matt Hucke & Ursula Bielski
Everything Goes Media
c/o Lake Claremont Press
PO Box 1524
Milwaukee, WI 53201
9781893121218 $16.95

Now in a thoroughly revised and updated new edition almost twice as long as the first edition (originally published in 1999), Graveyards of Chicago: The People, History, Art, and Lore of Cook County Cemeteries is an extraordinary tour of the rich cultural history, legacy, art, and folklore of the local burial grounds in the Chicago area. Occasional black-and-white photographs intersperse the descriptive, anecdote-filled text, and as a bonus, there are QR codes for most cemeteries leading to extra photos and material. Thoroughly accessible to history buffs, genealogists, taphophiles (cemetery enthusiasts), and lay readers alike, Graveyards of Chicago is a thoughtful glimpse into beautiful, unforgettable places that embody the life-affirming sentiment, "Memento mori" ("Remember that you will die.")

The Self-Help Shelf

Ten Steps to Relieve Anxiety
H. Michael Zal
New Horizon Press
PO Box 669, Far Hills, NJ 07931
9780882824505 $14.95

H. Michael Zal (clinical professor in the Dept. of Psychiatry, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine) presents Ten Steps to Relieve Anxiety: Refocus, Relax and Enjoy Life, a straightforward guide outlining simple techniques to help anyone control the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (systemic fear so persistent it disrupts work, school, family, or personal life; common symptoms including muscle tension, nausea, shortness of breath, trouble concentrating, or difficulty sleeping). Ten Steps to Relieve Anxiety teaches the reader how to apply ten basic principles: "Stop", "Breathe", "Refocus", "Lower Your Expectations", "Express Negative Feelings", "Take a More Positive View", "Don't Worry", "Take Action", "Take Things as They Are", and "Take Care of Yourself". Zal also discusses treatment options for Generalized Anxiety Disorder, including therapy and medication, as well as common situations (adult Attention Deficit Disorder, chronic illness, holidays, or aging) that can exacerbate symptoms. Accessible to readers of all backgrounds, Ten Steps to Relieve Anxiety will also prove valuable to people who haven't been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, but just feel overwhelmed by life's pressures on occasion. Highly recommended.

The Botany Shelf

Land of Enchantment Wildflowers
Willa F. Finley and Lashara J. Nieland
Texas Tech University Press
PO Box 41037
Lubbock, TX 79409-1037
9780896728226 $29.95

Illustrated with 456 full-color photographs on virtually every page, Land of Enchantment Wildflowers: A Guide to the Plants of New Mexico is a user-friendly identification, reference, and field guide to 200 commonly encountered plants of New Mexico at various stages of their life cycles, as well as information about 100 butterfly and moth species, and descriptions of how each interacts with specific plants. Individual entries include brief yet thorough descriptions of the plant's appearance, ecological role, history of human interaction, and more. "The Ramah Navajo made an infusion of bindweed to treat spider bites; they drank the tea and also rubbed it on the bite. Bindweed is also used as a purgative. It promotes wound healing and acts as an anti-inflammatory. The women of some California tribes drank bindweed tea to control excessive menstruation." Novice and professional widlflower enthusiasts alike will find Land of Enchantment Wildflowers a beautiful, useful and worthy resource.

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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