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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 12, Number 2 February 2017 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Psychology Shelf Business Shelf
Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Judaic Studies Shelf Buddhist Studies Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Biography Shelf Gardening Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Gaming Shelf Political Science Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf
DVD Shelf Poetry Shelf Civil War Shelf
Travel Shelf Architecture Shelf Sports Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Automotive Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

A Word in Edgewise
Martha Wegner
Beaver's Pond Press
7108 Ohms Lane, Edina, MN 55439
9781592987474 $16.95

A Word in Edgewise: Life in between Raising Kids, Keeping a Home, and Staying Sane is a tongue-in-cheek compilation of vignettes from the daily life of author, wife, mother, and dog owner Martha Wegner. Navigating everyday needs and taking care of her family makes it difficult to get a "word in edgewise", hence the title of this nuanced, insightful, and often mirthful compilation. "I should be writing. I should be ironing. I should be volunteering at the local shelter. Instead I am secretly seeking. Looking for glossy smooth cupboard doors with polished nickel handles... Sleek stainless steel appliances... Every once in a while I sneak a peek at my bank account, which shouts 'No!' and slaps my hand when I inquire of its balance." A Word in Edgewise is a joy to read, one tale at a time or all at once, and highly recommended.

Slivers of Life
Yusef Saee, author
Ali Salami, translator
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
9781443890236, $90.95, HC, 375pp,

Yusef Saee is a prominent Iranian writer who started his writing career in his youth. Born in Tabriz in 1961, Saee largely writes on human values, mysticism and human interests. He is widely read in Iran and some of his books have been translated into English. Salvation, spiritual love, and man as God's greatest creation are among his main themes. "Slivers of Life: Musings on Human Values" ably translated into English by Ali Salami, pieces together the puzzle of felicity, in a simple yet magnetic manner. No matter if you are broken-hearted or happy in life and no matter where you are, the lessons found in the pages of "Slivers of Life" offer a unique taste of contentment, solace and joy in a type of lyrical and poetic format. Thoughtful and thought-provoking, impressively well written, organized and presented, "Slivers of Life" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community, college, and university library collections..

Cancer is Funny
Jason Micheli
Fortress Press
P.O. Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440-1209
9781506408477 $26.99 hc / $14.49 Kindle

Humor may be the key to staying sane in the most dire of situations. Cancer is Funny: Keeping Faith in Stage-Serious Chemo part memoir, part emotional self-help guide, part barrel of laughs! Author, pastor, husband, and father Jason Micheli shows how a sense of mirth was vital to enduring his battle with mantle cell lymphoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer so deadly it isn't classified with the normal four stages, but rather called "stage-serious". Written with wit, wisdom, and understanding, Cancer is Funny is highly recommended.

The Psychology Shelf

Colour Psychology Today
June McLeod
O Books
c/o John Hunt Publishing, Ltd.
9781785353048, $21.95, PB, 296pp,

June McLeod is a color consultant, color-trends forecaster, intuitive, motivational trainer and author. With an esteemed color career spanning more than thirty years, June's dynamic and innovative work with color is legendary. In "Colour Psychology Today" she draws upon her more than thirty years of research, experience and expertise to reveal new color psychology information. "Colour Psychology Today" discloses unique knowledge on how color psychology impacts on the business world and the individual. This is a 'must read' for dedicated color enthusiasts, branding experts, marketeers, advertising executives, graphic designers, and anyone who would like to expand and develop the application of color in their lives and work. While very highly recommended, especially for community and academic library Contemporary Psychology collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Colour Psychology Today" is also available in a Kindle format ($6.15).

The Business Shelf

Deduct It!, 13th edition
Stephen Fishman, J.D.
Nolo Press
950 Parker Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
9781413323238, $34.95, PB, 536pp,

Completely updated for 2016 returns, this 13th edition of "Deduct It!: Lower Your Small Business Taxes" shows how to maximize business deductions quickly, easily and legally. Easy to read and full of real-world examples, "Deduct It!" will pay for itself many times over as it covers legal deductions for: start-up and operating expenses; travel, meals, and entertainment; home offices; medical expenses under Obamacare; equipment and inventory; and so much more. Deduct It! also covers avoiding problems with the IRS -- including not having a business classified as a hobby. Whether an enterprise is just starting or well established, "Deduct It!" will prove to be an indispensable guide to financial success for the small business entrepreneur or owner as it is a thoroughly 'user friendly' compendium of top business deductions along with do-it-yourself information on the most valuable ones and how to claim them. Simply stated, no small business enterprise should be without a copy of "Deduct It!" -- nor any community or academic library Business Management reference collection. It should be noted that "Deduct It!" is also available in a Kindle format ($19.99).

365 Ways to Motivate and Reward Your Employees Every Day, revised edition
Dianna Podmoroff
Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.
1405 S.W. 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471
9781620230695, $19.95, PB, 288pp,

Now in a newly revised, updated and expanded edition, "365 Ways to Motivate and Reward Your Employees Every Day: With Little or No Money" by Dianna Podmoroff offers simple and inexpensive ways to build an organization that people love to work at. From cover to cover, "365 Ways to Motivate and Reward Your Employees Every Day: With Little or No Money" offers quick, effective, humorous, innovative and fun ideas that will improve any business or entrepreneurial enterprise from the smallest of business to the largest of international conglomerates. Featuring a four page Glossary, a two page Bibliography, and a two page Index, "365 Ways to Motivate and Reward Your Employees Every Day: With Little or No Money" is an absolute 'must' for personal, professional, community, corporate, and academic library Business Management collections. It should be noted that "365 Ways to Motivate and Reward Your Employees Every Day: With Little or No Money" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Ten Red Hot Tips To Promote Your Business
Ellen Gunning
Mercier Press
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7, 124 Byers Road, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
978178117410, $18.00, PB, 192pp,

Ellen Gunning is the director of the Irish Academy of Public Relations, which she established in 1992. In "Ten Red Hot Tips To Promote Your Business" she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to reveals the top ten most important types of PR for small to medium-sized businesses. Ellen cuts through the jargon to provide the reader with techniques to create the angles' that will interest the media. "Ten Red Hot Tips To Promote Your Business " outlines the importance of creative thinking, persistence, knowledge of the market, and devoting time to learning and applying the techniques. Informative, thoughtful, insightful, practical, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "Ten Red Hot Tips To Promote Your Business" is very highly recommended, especially for professional, company, community, and academic library Business Management collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Ten Red Hot Tips To Promote Your Business " is also available in a Kindle format ($12.99).

Wicked Strategies
John C. Camillus
University of Toronto Press
10 St. Mary Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4Y 2W8
9781442650558, $32.95, HC, 200pp,

In the business world some problems are so complex, intractable and threatening to organizations (and even entire industries) that they are best described as "wicked". These problems appear to be unsolvable and they render traditional analytical tools of strategy virtually impotent. In "Wicked Strategies: How Companies Conquer Complexity and Confound Competitors" John C. Camillus (Donald R. Beall Professor of Strategic Management at the University of Pittsburgh) offers a comprehensive framework for identifying, responding to and profiting from wicked problems. Professor Camillus, draws on detailed, real-life examples from companies across the globe, and has skillfully woven together the analytical techniques, processes and organizational designs that will enable managers to navigate a disruptive marketplace. Professor Camillus' feed-forward framework for fashioning wicked strategies empowers firms to presciently transform their business models before they are made obsolete by the competition. "Wicked Strategies" is a practical and evocative guide that demonstrates how business leaders can profitably capitalize on unknowable futures. While unreservedly recommended for community, corporate, and academic library Business Management collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Wicked Strategies" is also available in a Kindle format ($18.12).

The Fiction Shelf

The Insurrectionist
Herb Karl
Academy Chicago Publishers
c/o Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9781613736340, $15.99, HC, 336pp,

A compelling historical novel by Herb Karl, "The Insurrectionist" follows the militant abolitionist John Brown from his involvement in violence that came to be referred to as 'Bleeding Kansas', to the invasion of Harpers Ferry and the dramatic conclusion of his subsequent trial and execution. Meticulous historical detail blends with dramatic personal descriptions to reveal critical episodes in Brown's life, illuminating his character and the motives that led up to the Harpers Ferry invasion, giving readers a complete picture of the man who has too often been dismissed as hopelessly fanatical. Brown's friendship with Frederick Douglass and their ongoing debate on how to end slavery, his devoted family who stands by him despite the danger, and his struggles to secure funding and political favor for his cause against deeply entrenched politicians, is brought vividly to life and showcases author Herb Karl's genuine flair for fully engaging his readers from cover to cover with a consistently compelling story. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Insurrectionist" is also available in a paperback edition (9781613736333, $15.99) and in a Kindle format ($12.75).

The Expense of a View
Polly Buckingham
University of North Texas Press
1155 Union Circle #311336, Denton, TX 76203-5017
9781574416473, $14.95, PB, 196pp,

The fourteen short stories by Polly Buckingham that comprise "The Expense of a View" explore the psyches of characters under extreme duress. In the title story, 'The Expense of a View', a woman who has moved across the country in an attempt to leave her past behind dumps an empty suitcase into the Columbia River over and over again. In another story, a woman who wakes up mornings only to discover she's been shooting heroin in a night trance, meets her doppelganger on a rainy Oregon beach. Most of the characters are displaced and disturbed; they suffer from dissociative disorders, denial, and delusions. The settings, ranging from Florida, to eastern Washington, to Seattle, to the Oregon coast, mirror their lunacies. While refusing to look at what's right in front of themselves might destroy them, it's equally likely to be just what they need. A consistently compelling and engaging read from cover to cover, "The Expense of a View" is very highly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Expense of a View" is also available in a Kindle format ($11.96).

Rules For Lying
Anne Corbitt
Southeast Missouri State University Press
One University Plaza, MS 2650, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
9780996259675, $15.00, PB, 308pp,

After school, custodian Oliver Nix investigates a strange sound coming from the boys' locker room. What he finds rocks this suburban Atlanta community. Langley, a sophomore, claims she was forced, but Kevin, the accused, insists on his innocence while plotting his path out of town. His mother, Grace, defends her son despite having made a similar accusation twenty years before. Eleanor, Oliver's daughter, tries to reconcile her loyalty to best friend Langley, who created the rules for lying, with her unrequited love for Kevin. Rules for Lying follows the characters through a police investigation that makes them question their memories, allegiances, and actions, all while hiding secrets of their own. "Rules For Lying" is author Anne Corbitt's debut novel and clearly showcases her genuine and consistently impressive flair for deftly crafting a riveting read from beginning to end. "Rules For Lying" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library General Fiction collections.

Metis Beach
Claudine Bourbonnais
The Dundurn Group
3 Church Street, Suite 500, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5E 1M2
9781459733510, $19.99, PB, 448pp,

At fifty years of age, Roman Carr has made it. His television series In Gad We Trust, a scathing satire of the United States and its relationship with God, is a huge hit. He is carving out an enviable place for himself in Hollywood, the end of a long, tortuous journey for the man who fled his Gaspe Peninsula village in murky circumstances back in 1962. The debut novel of Claudine Bourbonnais, "Metis Beach" is both a coming-of-age story and an epic chronicle of America in the counter-culture Sixties. A deftly crafted and reader riveting read from cover to cover, "Metis Beach" is highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Metis Beach" is also available in a Kindle format ($8.69).

A Portrait of Emily Price
Katherine Reay
Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
9780718077914, $15.99, PB, 368pp,

Artist and art restorer Emily Price dreams of having a gallery show of her own. There is no time for distractions, especially not the ultimate distraction of falling in love. But Chef Benito Vassallo's relentless pursuit proves hard to resist. Visiting from Italy, Ben works to breathe new life into his aunt and uncle's faded restaurant, Piccollo. Soon after their first meeting, he works to win Emily as well -- inviting her into his world and into his heart. Emily astonishes everyone when she accepts Ben's proposal and follows him home. But instead of allowing the land, culture, and people of Monterello to transform her, Emily interferes with everyone and everything around her, alienating Ben's tightly knit family. Only Ben's father, Lucio, gives Emily the understanding she needs to lay down her guard. Soon, Emily's life and art begin to blossom, and Italy's beauty and rhythm take hold of her spirit. Yet when she unearths long-buried family secrets, Emily wonders if she really fits into Ben's world. Will the joys of Italy become just a memory, or will Emily share in the freedom and grace that her life with Ben has shown her are possible? Author Katherine Reay has a genuine flair for engaging her reader's rapt and riveted attention from beginning to end. Her latest novel, "A Portrait of Emily Price" is unreservedly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections. For personal reading lists is should be noted that "A Portrait of Emily Price" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Me Against the World
Kazufumi Shiraishi, author
Raj Mahtani, translator
Dalkey Archive Press
University of Illinois
1805 S. Wright Street, MC-011, Champaign, IL 61820
9781943150021, $15.00, PB, 120pp,

Kazufumi Shiraishi is a prolific and award-winning Japanese novelist. His novel, " Me Against the World" is the story of a jaded journalist inherits an abandoned manuscript penned by an old acquaintance who has recently passed away. The inherited writing turns out to be a collection of ruminations on the nature of existence by a fifty-three-year old businessman who, as far as the journalist remembers, was a kind and gentle soul -- is nothing short of shocking. In it, this apparent everyman (whom we know only as Mr. K) writes that he has a son, daughter, and wife, but has no love for them. He claims that humans are like cancer cells, destroying Mother Earth with their unrestrained propagation. He looks at our mortal destiny with an unflinching honesty and turns to psychic mediums for clues to the afterlife, wondering what immortality (if it were possible) would mean for our spiritual well-being. Ably translated into English by Raj Mahtani, provocative, inherently fascinating, and very highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library Contemporary Japanese Literature Studies collections, "Me Against the World" deftly takes the reader into the raging mind of a man who rejects the world in order to save it from itself.

The Lady of the Lakes
Josi S. Kilpack
Shadow Mountain Publishing
P.O. Box 30178, Salt Lake City, Utah 84130-0178
9781629722269, $15.99, PB, 352pp,

Sir Walter Scott has three passions: Scotland, poetry, and Mina Stuart. Though Mina is young and they are from different stations in society, Walter is certain their love is meant to be. For years, he has courted her through love letters. She is the sunshine of his soul. Though Mina shares Walter's love of literature and passionate temperament, it's hard for her to know if she truly loves him or if she has only been dazzled by his flattery. When she meets the handsome and charming William Forbes, her heart is challenged. Who will she choose? But as every poet knows, "The course of true love never did run smooth," and on a windy morning in the lake country, Walter meets Charlotte. At twenty-six, Charlotte Carpenter believes she will never find love. After all, she is a Catholic-born Frenchwoman living in London with a family history shadowed by scandal. Though quiet, practical, and determined to live a life of independence, her heart longs for someone to love her and a place to call home. Passion and promises collide as Walter, Mina, and Charlotte must each decide the course for their futures. What are they each willing to risk to find love and be loved in return? "The Lady of the Lakes" is a thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover and showcases author Josi S. Kilpack's genuine flair for deftly crafted storytelling. While very highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Historical Romance collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated romance fiction fans that "The Lady of the Lakes" is also available in a Kindle format ($10.99). Librarians should especially note that there is a complete and unabridged CD audio book edition of "The Lady of the Lakes" (9781629722337, $32.99).

The Big Book of Sound and Other Stories
Jon Steinhagen
Black Lawrence Press
9781625579461, $16.95, PB, 225pp,

Comprised of twenty-two deftly written short stories by Jon Steinhagen, "The Big Book of Sound and Other Stories" is a thoroughly entertaining and often thought-provoking read from cover to cover. This volume of his work clearly showcases Steinhagen's genuine flair for creating remarkable characters as well as unfailingly and entertaining tales. Very highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as both community and academic library Contemporary American Fiction collections, "The Big Book of Sound and Other Stories" is one of those all-too-rare anthologies that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf.

The Beauty of the Fall
Rich Marcello
Langdon Street Press
322 1st Avenue N, Suite 500, Minneapolis, MN 55401
9781635054026, $16.95, PB, 378pp,

Dan Underlight is a divorced, workaholic technology executive who suffers a lingering grief over the death of his ten-year-old son, Zack. When Dan's longtime friend and boss fires Dan from RadioRadio (the company that Dan helped to create) he crashes and isolates himself. Willow is a poet and domestic violence survivor who helps Dan regain his footing. With her support, Dan ventures on a pilgrimage of sorts, visiting Fortune 500 companies to flesh out a software start-up idea. He then recruits three former RadioRadio colleagues and starts Conversationworks, a company he believes will be at the vanguard of social change. Guided by Dan's leadership, Conversationworks enjoys some early successes, but its existence is soon threatened on multiple fronts. Will Dan survive the ensuing corporate battles and realize the potential of his company? Or will he be defeated by his enemies and consumed? A deftly crafted novel by a master of the storytelling arts, "The Beauty of the Fall" is a consistently compelling read from cover to cover and very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Beautify of the Fall" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Wild Girls
Erica Abeel
Christine Brown
Texas Review Press
c/o Texas A&M University Press
4354 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-4354
9781680031034, $24.95, PB, 344pp,

Three college friends from the 50s blaze their own path in love and work, braving the stifling conventions of the age, and anticipating the social thaw that would arrive ten years later. These "wild girls" pay heavy penalties for living against the grain, but, over the years, they rebound and re-set their course, drawing strength from their friendship. "Wild Girls" by Erica Abeel follows these three from an elite northeastern college, to Paris with Allen Ginsberg, to New York's avant-garde scene in the early sixties, to a mansion in Newport, to the slopes of Zermatt, to Long Island's Gold Coast, as it celebrates the nimbleness and vitality of women who defied an entire culture to forge their own journey. A fully absorbing and unfailingly entertaining read from beginning to end, "Wild Girls" is especially recommended for community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Wild Girls" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

One-String Guitar
Mona de Vestel
Harvard Square Editions
2152 Beachwood Terrace, Hollywood, CA 90068
9781941861295, $22.95, PB, 380pp,

Ten years after surviving the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Francine tries to rebuild her life in Upstate New York where she befriends Elbe, the medical interpreter assigned to her -- an adoptee in search of her roots on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. Against the backdrop of the harrowing 100-day massacres of one million lives in Kigali and the revolution of the Lakota in 1972 on the reservation, "One-String Guitar" by writer, performer and professor Mona de Vestl deftly weaves a narrative of resilience, healing and ultimately, love. It is interesting to note that the novel's title is a reference to August Wilson's Seven Guitars in which Hedley plucks a single string instrument to connect with the memory of his mother -- urging us all to remain connected to the wisdom of our ancestors in order to avoid repeating the worst chapters of our history. While unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "One-String Guitar" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Sleeping Mask
Peter LaSalle
Bellevue Literary Press
c/o NYU School of Medicine
550 First Ave., OBV A612, New York, NY 10016
9781942658184, $16.99, PB, 256pp,

The twelve stories by Peter LaSalle that comprise Sleeping Mask are deftly written in propulsive, fluid prose, and introduce his readers to truly remarkable characters. LaSalle's short stories include a child soldier sent to raid a girls' boarding school, a Virginia Woolf scholar surviving cancer, a desperate writer living under fascism in a futuristic Latin America, the spirits of recently deceased college students on a tour of the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, and a middle-aged man transported back to his childhood, where he is led out to sea by his mother's ghost. Through all of their stylistic pyrotechnics LaSalle's stories never forsake rich characterization and plotting to probe the deepest parts of the contemporary human condition, such as the nature of erotic desire, the legacy of art and artistry, the power of grief and fear, and the horror of war and violence. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Sleeping Mask" is also available in a Kindle format ($10.99).

The Little Wagons
Crozier Green
Top Hat Books
c/o John Hunt Publishing, Ltd.
9781785355288, $24.95, PB, 360pp,

"The Little Wagons: The Traumatic Birth of Sicily's Cosa Nostra" is a fictional novel in which author Crozier Green deftly captures the turmoil of late nineteenth-century Sicily, when the reverse alchemy of greed and violence forever changed the emerging Cosa Nostra from benevolent organization dedicated to protecting the popular from foreign invasion and oppression, into corrupted Mafia that enriched its members through extortion, murder, and all manner of crime. The horrors of slavery and oppression forged revolutions and rebels in equal measure, and within this cornucopia of nepotism and brutality, hostility and passion are pitted against endemic hegemony. With protagonists as fiery as Mount Etna itself, and equally unpredictable, "The Little Wagons" shows how poverty and despair become the omnipotent catalysts of vengeful change. With an impressive attention to historical accuracy in detail and background, "The Little Wagons" is a consistently compelling read from cover to cover. While unreservedly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Little Wagons" is also available in a Kindle format ($7.99).

Only Love Can Break Your Heart
Ed Tarkington
Algonquin Books
PO Box 2225, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2225
9781616203825, $25.95, HC, 320pp,

Eight-year-old Rocky worships his older brother, Paul. Sixteen and full of rebel cool, Paul spends his days cruising in his Chevy Nova blasting Neil Young, cigarette dangling from his lips, arm slung around his beautiful, troubled girlfriend. Paul is happy to have his younger brother as his sidekick. Then one day, in an act of vengeance against their father, Paul picks up Rocky from school and nearly abandons him in the woods. Afterward, Paul disappears. Seven years later, Rocky is a teenager himself. He hasn't forgotten being abandoned by his boyhood hero, but he's getting over it, with the help of the wealthy neighbors' daughter, ten years his senior, who has taken him as her lover. Unbeknownst to both of them, their affair will set in motion a course of events that rains catastrophe on both their families. After a mysterious double murder brings terror and suspicion to their small town, Rocky and his family must reckon with the past and find out how much forgiveness their hearts can hold. Showcasing author Ed Tarkington's genuine flair for creating memorable characters and deftly crafted plot twists and turns, "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" is a consistently engaging and unfailingly entertaining read from cover to cover. While very highly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Only Love Can Break Your Heart" is also available in a paperback edition (9781616205263, $15.95) and in a Kindle format ($9.99).

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Circle of Terror
Larry Powalisz
Morgan James Publishing
11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606-4448
9781630479763, $17.95, PB, 276pp,

Milwaukee Police Detective Declan Tomczyk, a former Marine Corps officer, is dispatched to investigate the damaging and desecration of headstones at a local cemetery. Initially chalked up as the handiwork of Halloween pranksters, it becomes anything but when his good friend and former squad partner is critically injured. Tomczyk is determined to track down the domestic terrorists, leading him further into danger. This marks the beginning of a series of violent crimes, eerily similar to the "reign of terror" that paralyzed Milwaukee decades earlier. As Tomczyk probes into the mysterious leads, he teams up with FBI Agent Anne Dvorak, and a romance blossoms. With the unlikely assistance of a high school athlete and World War II veteran, the investigators scramble to identify and apprehend the perpetrators. As they close in, it becomes a race against the clock to pinpoint the next target before it's too late. "Circle of Terror" is a simply riveting read from cover to cover and documents author Larry Powalisz as a master of the mystery/suspense genre. While very highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Circle of Terror" is also available in a Kindle format ($7.99).

Chain of Custody
Anita Nair
Bitter Lemon Press
9781908524744, $14.95, PB, 365pp,

What does thirteen-year-old Nandita's disappearance have to do with the murder of a well-known lawyer in a gated community? Inspector Gowda is soon embroiled in the investigation of a child-trafficking racket. Negotiating insensitive laws, indifferent officials, and uncooperative witnesses, he is in a race against time to rescue Nandita from one of the most depraved criminal rings he has ever encountered. Bangalore India's Inspector Gowda is back in another nail-biting thriller in Anita Nair's "Chain of Custody". A simply riveting read from cover to cover, clearly author Anita Nair is a master of the mystery/suspense genre. While highly recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of Inspector Gowda fans that "Chain of Custody" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

A Killer in King's Cove
Iona Whishaw
TouchWood Edition
103 - 1075 Pendergast Street, Victoria, BC V8V 0A1
c/o Publishers Group West (distributor)
9781771511988, $14.95, PB, 432pp,

"A Killer in King's Cove" by Iona Whishaw is set in 1946, and is the story of war-weary young ex-intelligence officer Lane Winslow who leaves London looking for a fresh start. When she finds herself happily settled in King's Cove, a sleepy hamlet nestled in the idyllic interior of British Columbia surrounded by a suitably eclectic cast of small-town characters Lane feels like she may finally be able to put her past to rest. But then a body is discovered, the victim of murder, and although Lane works alongside the town's inspectors Darling and Ames to discover who might possibly have motivation to kill, she casts doubt on herself. As the investigation reveals facts that she has desperately tried to keep a secret, it threatens to pull her into a vortex of even greater losses than the ones she has already endured. A simply riveting read by a master of the genre, "A Killer in King's Cove" is especially recommended the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs, as well as an enduringly popular acquisition choice for community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

The Keller Papers
Ellis M. Goodman
Roundfire Books
c/o John Hunt Publishing, Ltd.
9781785354861, $24.95, PB, 432pp,

A simply riveting read from cover to cover, "The Keller Papers" by Ellis M. Goodman is a fast-paced, deftly crafted, consistently compelling espionage story that is based in 1980s Eastern Europe, and includes factual events and personalities of the times -- some of whom having once again become relevant in today's strained East/West political environment. "The Keller Papers" clearly documents novelist Ellis Goodman as a master of the suspense/thriller genre. While certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Keller Papers" is also available in a Kindle format ($6.15).

The Christian Studies Shelf

The Puritans Day by Day
H.J. Horn
Banner of Truth
PO Box 621, Carlisle, PA 17013
9781848717077 $23.00

The Puritans Day by Day: Puritan Quotations for Each Day of the Year is a compilation of quotes from Puritans, a group of English Reformed Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who emphasized simplicity and devotion to God. These quotes were selected by minister H.J. Horn (b. 1868) and ensconce unwavering faith. Half a dozen or more inspirational quotations are presented for each day of the calendar year. The Puritans Day by Day is an excellent daily devotional, highly recommended. "'A humble man will never be a heretic.' -John Trapp".

Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes
Denis O. Lamoureux
Zondervan Publishing House
5300 Patterson Avenue, S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49530
9780310526445, $16.99, PB, 208pp,

Christians throughout history have believed that God reveals himself both through Scripture and nature. The Book of God's Words is the Bible. Scripture reveals inerrant spiritual truths. In "Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes", theologian and scientist Denis O. Lamoureux (Associate Professor of Science and Religion at St. Joseph's College in the University of Alberta) reviews several options for embracing biblical Christianity and findings of science, including biological evolution. Holding to a high view of Scripture alongside an expert appreciation for scientific discovery, Professor Lamoureux further outlines a way to understand passages referring to the natural world in the Bible and also demonstrates how modern science can point toward God. Professor Lamoureux also shares his own story along the way, recounting struggles many readers will relate to on his journey toward PhDs in both theology and biology and a fruitful relationship between the two. "Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes" includes: A biblical model of intelligent design in nature based on Psalm 19 and Romans 1; An examination of the ancient science in Scripture, such as a flat earth and 3-tier universe; Compares different Christian views on origins -- young earth creation, progressive creation (old earth creation), and evolutionary creation; Criticisms of the atheistic interpretation of evolution held by Richard Dawkins and his belief that intelligent design is merely an illusion; Galileo's peaceful relationship between Scripture and nature; Darwin's religious beliefs and evidence of the impact that intelligent design had on him throughout his life. Informative, thoughtful, and ultimately inspiring, "Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes" is very highly recommended for church, seminary, community, and academic library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Evolution: Scripture and Nature Say Yes" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

With God in America
Walter J. Ciszek, S.J.
Loyola Press
3441 North Ashland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657
9780829444544, $19.95, PB, 264pp,

In 1963, following twenty-three years of hard labor and abuse in Russian prison camps, the late Walter J. Ciszek (1904-1984), finally returned to America. Had he come back a bitter man, or a man of diminished faith, it would have been hard to fault him. But he didn't. For the remainder of his years, until his death in 1984, Fr. Ciszek's grace, faith, and wisdom touched in often profound and lasting ways everyone who came into contact with him. "With God in America" is a collection of previously unpublished writings on Ciszek's post-imprisonment life and thoughts. The contents (which include articles he wrote, speeches he delivered at retreats, letters he sent to people he was counseling, and interviews with individuals who knew him personally) present a man unbroken by all that he had endured and eager to share God's love with others. From Ciszek's first days back home in the States to his final words before his death, "With God in America" demonstrates that saintliness isn't primarily about acting heroically in dramatic or devastating circumstances, but about honoring the ordinary, everyday aspects of life as treasured gifts from God. Exceptional, extraordinary, inspired and inspiring, "With God in America" is very highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "With God in America" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Love, Loss, and Abjection
Melanie Baffes
Pickwick Publications
c/o Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401-2960
9781498284103, $21.00, PB, 156pp,

An exceptionally well written study, "Love, Loss, and Abjection: The Journey of New Birth in the Gospel of John" by writer and independent biblical scholar Melanie Baffes (MDiv, Ph.D) deftly explores the premise that the experience of being "born from above" in John's Gospel can be seen as mirroring the development of human subjectivity, particularly as understood through the psychoanalytic work of Julia Kristeva. "Love, Loss, and Abjection" draws specifically on Kristeva's theory of how the human self/subject takes shape in infancy, her contention that subjectivity is a work in progress, and her insistence on abjection as a catalyst for developing selfhood. Examining the story of Mary of Bethany (as narrated in John 11-12) through this lens, "Love, Loss, and Abjection" provides a thoughtful and thought-provoking analysis that seeks to better understand the concept of new birth and how it relates to being fully human within a traditionally Christian context. While very highly recommended for church, seminary, and academic library Christian Studies collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Love, Loss, and Abjection" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Getaway with God
Letitia Suk
Kregel Publications
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780825444159, $14.99, PB, 160pp,

We all seem to life hectic and stressed lives with not enough time to experience the intimacy, grace, and peace that God offers. "Getaway with God: The Everywoman's Guide to Personal Retreat" by author, speaker, and life coach Letitia Suk does more than invite her readers to step away from life's pressures to take a personal retreat. It shows them exactly why they must for their sake and for their family's emotional and spiritual welfare. With grace and warmth, "Getaway with God" provides step-by-step guidance and the necessary tools to enable any woman on any budget to plan time away, whether it's a quick, half-day break or a week long time of restoration. Here detailed are steps for preparation, including descriptions of different kinds of retreats and how to choose the best one, and ways to bring the renewal thus experience back into the home. Practical appendixes identify retreat centers nationwide and provide exercises and prayers to kick-start a getaway with God. Inspired and inspiring, "Getaway with God" is very highly recommended for all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Getaway with God" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.69).

Evangelicalism in America
Randall Balmer
Baylor University Press
One Bear Place, #97363, Waco, TX 76798-7363
9781481305976, $24.95, HC, 215pp,

Evangelicalism has left its indelible mark on American history, politics, and culture. It is also true that currents of American populism and politics have shaped the nature and character of evangelicalism. This story of evangelicalism in America is thus riddled with paradox. Despite the fact that evangelicals, perhaps more than any other religious group, have benefitted from the First Amendment and the separation of church and state, several prominent evangelical leaders over the past half century have tried to abrogate the establishment clause of the First Amendment. And despite evangelicalism's legacy of concern for the poor, for women, and for minorities, some contemporary evangelicals have repudiated their own heritage of compassion and sacrifice stemming from Jesus' command to love the least of these. In "Evangelicalism in America", Randall Balmer (the John Phillips Professor in Religion and Chair of the Department of Religion at Dartmouth College) chronicles the history of evangelicalism, including its origins and development as well as its diversity and contradictions. Within this lineage Professor Balmer explores the social varieties and political implications of evangelicalism's inception as well as its present and paradoxical relationship with American culture and politics. Professor Balmer debunks some of the cherished myths surrounding this distinctly American movement while also prophetically speaking about its future contributions to American life. Exceptionally well written, impressively informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Evangelicalism in America" is very highly recommended, especially for church, community, and academic library American History collections in general, and Evangelical Christian History supplemental studies reading lists in particular. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Evangelicalism in America" is also available in a Kindle format ($23.70).

Ignatius of Loyola: Legend and Reality
John W. O'Malley, S.J.
Saint Joseph's University Press
5600 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131
9780916101916, $40.00, HC, 149 pages

The Jesuits are known for having an especially close relationship to the papacy. "Ignatius of Loyola: Legend and Reality" by the preeminent Jesuit church historian John W. O'Malley, S.J. (who is also the University Professor in the Department of Theology at Georgetown University) traces that relationship from the earliest days of the Jesuit order until Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope. As such, it is the first study in any language to trace this full history and to analyze each phase of it as it unfolded. It covers, therefore, a history of some 450 years and does so in relatively few pages. This means that "Ignatius of Loyola: Legend and Reality" moves at a swift pace that pulls the reader along with it. While "Ignatius of Loyola: Legend and Reality" directly deals with the Jesuits and the popes, it at the same time leads readers into the larger issues of church history that determined how the Jesuits and the popes reacted to one another at any given moment. Enhanced with the inclusion of 19 b/w and color images, "Ignatius of Loyola: Legend and Reality" is impressively informative and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, making it very highly recommended for personal, community, seminary, and church library Catholic Church History collections in general, and Jesuit History supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

All God's Angels
Martin Shannon, CJ
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568, Orleans, MA 02653
9781612617749, $19.99, PB, 120pp,

Fr. Martin Shannon is an Episcopal priest, liturgist and writer of daily devotional collections, seasonal studies, and other materials for spiritual formation at his home, the Community of Jesus on Cape Cod. He holds a PhD in Liturgical Studies from the Catholic University of America. In "All God's Angels: Loving and Learning from Angelic Messengers" Fr. Martin Shannon pulls back the veil between heaven and earth with Biblical stories, meditations and sacred art on the role of heavenly messengers and their work in our lives. Angels are servants of love, doing God's bidding with a theology of burning love. God seeks out his servants, and once he has our attention, he draws us closer, long enough for the sparks of his glory to reach us and ignite a flame in our own souls. This is the work of angels. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "All God's Angels" is very highly recommended and informative reading for all members of the Christian community and will prove to be an enduringly popular and appreciated addition to community, church, and academic library Christian Studies collections.

Galatians and the Rhetoric of Crisis
Nina E. Livesey
Marketing Department
Polebridge Press
c/o Westar Institute
P.O. Box 346, Farmington, Minnesota 55024
9781598151749, $26.00, PB, 284pp,

Nina E. Livesey (Ph.D., Southern Methodist University) is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Liberal Studies at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, USA. A specialist in Jewish-Christian relations and Christian origins with an emphasis on Pauline studies, The Apostle Paul employed strategies to win over his audiences. At times his desire to oust his opponents overrode any loyalty he may have felt toward any particular reading of the Jewish scriptures. Indeed, Paul exhibits no angst over adapting scriptures to suit the needs of his situation. In "Galatians and the Rhetoric of Crisis: Paul - Demosthenes - Cicero" Professor Livesy provides a close reading of Paul's letter to the Galatians by drawing upon classicist Cecil Wooten's "rhetoric of crisis" to compare Paul's strategies to those of his predecessors, the Greek orator Demosthenes and Roman consul Cicero. A seminal work of truly impressive scholarship, "Galatians and the Rhetoric of Crisis" is as informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. Enhanced with sixty pages of Notes, an eighteen page Bibliography, an eighteen page Index of Ancient Sources, a four page Index of Modern Authors, and a three page Index of Rhetorical Terms and Devices, "Galatians and the Rhetoric of Crisis" is unreservedly recommended for seminary, college, and university library New Testament Theology collections in general, and Pauline Studies supplemental reading lists in particular.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Tehillim: Book of Psalms
Rabbi Yosef Marcus
Kehot Publication Society
291 Kingston Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11213
9780826602185, $59.95, 696 Gilded Pages,

Anthologized from hundreds of commentators, classic to obscure, "Tehillim: Book of Psalms with English Translation & Commentary " by Rabbi Yosef Marcus is a bilingual (English/Hebrew) body of work will allow Tehillim readers to bring newly-found inspiration and meaning to their daily, weekly and monthly recitations. Enhanced with erudite and insightful commentary form the Talmud, Midrash, kabbalah, classic commentators, and Chasidic Masters, "Tehillim: Book of Psalms with English Translation & Commentary" is an impressively informed and informative volume that is exceptionally well organized and presented, making it unreservedly recommended for personal, temple, and academic library Judaic Studies collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

Rendezvous With God
Rabbi Nathan Laufer
Maggid / Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.
c/o Toby Press
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
9781592644551, $27.95, HC, 310pp,

"Rendezvous With God: Revealing the Meaning of the Jewish Holiday and Their Mysterious Rituals" by Rabbi Nathan Laufer (Director of the Advanced Institute for Judaic Studies at the San Diego Jewish Academy) reveals the holidays as never seen before. Rabbi Laufer deftly explores the seven major Jewish holidays of Passover, Shavuot; Rosh HaShana; Yom Kippur; Sukkot; Shemini Atzeret, and shabbat in terms of the original events and encounters with God upon which they are based. "Rendezvous With God" is impressively well researched, written, organized and presented, making it an ideal, informative, and highly recommended addition to personal reading lists, as well as temple, community, and academic library Judaism collections in general, and Jewish High Holy Days supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

The Buddhist Studies Shelf

The Buddha Journey
Quang Tri
Waldorf Publishing
2140 Hall Johnson Road, #102-345, Grapevine, TX 76051
9781944781705, $16.95, 300pp,

Quang Tri has been practicing meditation since 2002 and Buddhism since 2006. He is a Dharma teacher and a Truth seeker, teaching others about Buddhism, mindfulness and meditation. As the writer of the popular website,, Quang Tri continuously aspires to help everyone with their path toward Awakening. He is one of the senior members of his temple, Chua Phuoc Hue, as he trains to ordain as a monk. In "The Buddha Journey" Quang Tri answers the most commonly asked questions beginning or advancing students of Buddhism would ask. Essentially, "The Buddha Journey" covers your basic "Buddhism 101" introduction, then answers over 100 questions about compassion, anger, forgiveness, meditation, impermanence, sex, karma, death, becoming a Buddhist and more! Quang Tri writes in a simple, easy-to-understand way that allows the reader to understand the content and contemplate the subject matter on their own for their own interpretation. While every highly recommended, especially for community, college, and university library Buddhist Studies collections and supplemental studies lists, it should be noted for students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Buddha Journey" is also available in a Kindle format ($8.99).

Stars at Dawn
Wendy Garling
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-4544
9781611802658, $18.95, PB, 328pp,

"Stars at Dawn: Forgotten Stories of Women in the Buddha's Life" by Buddhist practitioner, independent scholar in Sanskrit language and literature, and authorized dharma teacher Wendy Garling is a retelling of the ancient legends of the women in the Buddha's intimate circle. These are lesser-known stories drawn from Sanskrit and Pali sources and which are here for the first time woven into an illuminating, coherent narrative that follows Buddha's life from his birth to his parinirvana or death. Interspersed with original insights, fresh interpretations, and bold challenges to the status quo, the stories are both entertaining and thought-provoking, and some may even appear controversial. Focusing first on laywomen from the time before the Buddha's enlightenment (his birth mother and stepmother, his co-wives, and members of his harem when he was known as Prince Siddhartha) then moving on to the Buddha's first female disciples, early nuns, and to female patrons, "Stars at Dawn" is consistently compelling, impressively informative, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation. While very highly recommended for community and academic library Buddhist Studies collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Stars at Dawn" is also available in a Kindle format ($14.99).

The Self-Help Shelf

The Overwhelmed Brain
Paul Colaianni
Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440, Berkeley CA 94703-3440
9781612436395, $14.95, PB, 208pp,

Stress, anxiety and negative thoughts are huge obstacles to happiness. We must learn to make healthy decisions and place our needs first. "The Overwhelmed Brain: Personal Growth for Critical Thinkers", provides proven methodologies for smarter, actionable ways to: Be true to yourself; Build positive relationships; Overcome stress and anxiety; Stop self-sabotage; Make smart decisions; Rise above your fears. Filled with a profusion of tips, anecdotes, exercises and expert advice from popular life coach and podcaster Paul Colaianni, "The Overwhelmed Brain" will enable the reader to take control over their emotional well-being and act on their personal dreams, goals and values. As user friendly in tone, content, organization and presentation as it is impressively practical, informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "The Overwhelmed Brain" is especially recommended for community and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Overwhelmed Brain" is also available in a Kindle format ($14.20).

Chris Condon
Balboa Press
c/o Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781504352789, $24.95, HC, 124pp,

The first time we come to an understanding of who we are as human beings is accompanied a genuine sense of awe and gratitude. True insight into our personal potential can bring us a special kind of inner peace, a sort of luminous guidance, and a natural strength to accomplish what we perceive our purposes to be. In the pages of "Awareness: A Pathway into a Quiet Mind and Open Heart", licensed professional counselor, meditation teacher and practitioner Chris Condon provides 52 exceptionally well written, insightful, thoughtful, inspiring little commentaries that will deepen, clarify, and express the core of our personal awareness. A potentially life changing read, "Awareness: A Pathway into a Quiet Mind and Open Heart" is especially recommended for personal Body/Mind/Spirit reading lists and community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, it should be noted that "Awareness: A Pathway into a Quiet Mind and Open Heart" is also available in a paperback edition (9781504352765, $11.99) and in a Kindle format ($5.99).

Identity Design
Frank Szymanski
Morgan James Publishing
11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606-4448
9781630475734, $33.95, HC, 222pp,

Many of us are not happy most of the time, not because we don't have what we think we want, but because we don't know who we are. "Identity Design" is the research-driven guide to powerful and generous living for those of us who want more meaning in our lives. The key is to answer this question: Who do you want to be? In the pages of "Identity Design: Design The Identity You Need To Get The Life You Want", Frank Szymanski (who is a juvenile court judge in Detroit who has spent years transforming the lives of young people facing extreme challenges), draws from his professional experience and expertise to give provide the reader with the ultimate do-it-yourself manual and guide for designing their identity according to their own personal aspirations. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Identity Design" is very highly recommended, especially for community library Self-Help / Self-Improvement instructional reference collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Identity Design" is also available in paperback edition (9781630474355, $17.95) and in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Joyful Living
Amy Leigh Mercree
Llewellyn Publications
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
9780738746593, $16.99, PB, 360pp,

Experience joy each day and equip yourself for the ups and downs of life with "Joyful Living: 101 Ways to Transform Your Spirit and Revitalize Your Life" by Amy Leigh Mercree. Offering a practical roadmap to achieving inner and outer happiness, and using a mindful and balanced approach, "Joyful Living" presents a hundred and one ways to enliven our spirits and step into the blissful life desired. Comprised of affirmations, exercises, inspirational stories, and so more, "Joyful Living" is packed from cover to cover with uplifting entries that are easy to use and can be enjoyed in any order. Readers will explore a variety of themes ranging from spiritual ecstasy, to attitudes of gratitude, to creative inspiration. Apply mindfulness techniques and work toward greater awareness of the present moment with "Joyful Living" anyone can calm their busy life and focus on the joyful world around them. A handy and easily portable volume deftly organized and presented for browsing, "Joyful Living" is inspired and inspiring. While recommended for community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Joyful Living" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

The Biography Shelf

That Hidden Road: A Memoir
Rocco Versaci
Apprentice House Press
Loyola University Maryland
4501 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21210
9781627201339, $16.99, PB, 334pp,

On a Wednesday morning in May of 2010, 42-year-old Rocco Versaci dipped the rear tire of his bicycle into the Pacific Ocean and began to pedal, alone, across the country. He had what he thought was a simple idea - to sort out the story of his life, which had taken a couple of unexpected detours in recent years. "That Hidden Road" is Rocco's personal memoir of the two months he spent crossing the country by bike. It's a story of burning saddle sores, heart-popping climbs, and unleashed dogs with a taste for ankle. It's a story of America's less-traveled roads and the people who live there. And it's a story of rebuilding a life from fragments, the spirit of the whole journey captured in a question most of us ask at one point or another: Can I find my way home? Blending travel writing, memoir, and even comics, "That Hidden Road" is engaging, compelling, unforgettable story of being lost and found on the road in America. While very highly recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that Rocco Versaci's "That Hidden Road" is also available in a Kindle format ($6.29).

Painting Life
Carol K. Walsh
She Writes Press
9781631520990, $16.95, PB, 280pp,

When Carol Walsh pulled her fiance, dead from a massive heart attack, from the bottom of a diving well her life was turned upside down. Even though she was a psychotherapist working with clients suffering from trauma, this personal shock felt unbearable. Nonetheless, she had to heal herself while supporting clients -- and, as a single mother, her two children. Using the creative interests she'd developed during childhood in order to emotionally save herself from a difficult mother, she fully recovered from her grief and PTSD symptoms -- and as she recreated her personal, artistic, and professional life, she began to thrive. A compelling, intimately personal, insightful, and ultimately inspirational account, "Painting Life: My Creative Journey Through Trauma" is very highly recommended for both community and academic library collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Painting Life" is also available in a Kindle format ($8.69).

Get Back Up
George A. Santino
Greenleaf Book Group Press
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
9781626342767, $22.95, HC, 344pp,

In "Get Back Up: From the Streets to Microsoft Suites", George A. Santino describes his rise from rags to riches through a series of adventures that begin in Philadelphia's violent Tasker Street projects where he dodges his alcoholic father's fits of temper, fishes for rats, and sells tomatoes from the back of a truck. His escapades continue as he opens a sports bar with no walls in North Tampa, curses out a drill sergeant in Fort Jackson, and battles a hiring manager to get a job in Menlo Park that he fully intends to turn down. Santino's adventures culminate when he enjoys a long, successful career with Microsoft, builds a family, loses (and regains) a small fortune along the way, and triumphs over a freak spinal injury that doctors predicted would prevent him from ever working again before his thirtieth birthday. Throughout, Santino shares his perspectives on business and mentorship and stresses, by example, his central lesson: No matter what life throws at you, get back up. Candid, informative, exceptional, and consistently engaging, with "Get Back Up" Santino (with the help of M. J. Beaufrand) presents an inherently fascinating and compelling autobiography that is unreservedly recommended, especially for community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Get Back Up" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

The Gardening Shelf

The Year-Round Solar Greenhouse
Lindsey Schiller with Marc Plinke
New Society Publishers
PO Box 189, Gabriola Island, BC, Canada, V0R 1X0
9780865718241 $29.95 pbk / $16.19 Kindle

Illustrated with occasional black-and-white diagrams as well as a handful of color photographs, The Year-Round Solar Greenhouse: How to Design and Build a Net-Zero Energy Greenhouse is a guide to crafting greenhouses that use energy from the sun to create a naturally heated growing temperature even in the middle of a cold winter. Chapters cover insulation, ventilation, a variety of eco-friendly heating and cooling methods, aquaponics and hydroponics, and much more. "High humidity is often the biggest surprise for first-time greenhouse growers/builders. They don't plant for it, and often use materials and components not made for humid environments, which in turn quickly degrade or break." The Year-Round Solar Greenhouse is a "must-have" for anyone planning to build their own greenhouse, highly recommended.

Grow for Flavor
James Wong
Firefly Books Ltd.
50 Staples Avenue, Unit 1, Richmond Hill, ON, Canada L4B 0A7
9781770856691 $29.95

Kew-trained botanist and expert gardener James Wong presents Grow for Flavor, a gardening guide to dramatically improving the quality of homegrown food. Full-color photography embellishes this wealth of tips, tricks, and techniques for raising and preparing crops ranging from tomatoes to corn, summer squash, plums, winter radish, even edible weeds such as dandelions. Of particular note is the "variety guide" that describes the variations of each showcased harvest (such as "field corn", "sweet corn", "sugar-enhanced" hybrids, and "supersweet" hybrids for corn). Grow for Flavor is a "must-have" for serious gardeners, highly recommended!

Miniature Moss Gardens
Megumi Oshima & Hideshi Kimura
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9784805314357, $19.95, HC, 128pp,

Friendly enough for total beginners and full of ideas and tips that experienced gardeners will love to read about, "Miniature Moss Gardens: Create Your Own Japanese Container Gardens" is the collaborative work of Bonsai, Kokedama, Terrariums, and Dish Garden experts Megumi Oshima Hideshi Kimura. "Miniature Moss Gardens" covers: Finding and collecting moss; Cultivation and maintenance; Choosing soils and other components; Designing your garden for visual effect; Choosing the best plants for your mini garden; How to make a perfect Kokedama or moss ball; Enhancing your moss garden with rocks and other elements; How to make a gorgeous terrarium; and so much more! Of special note is a section on finding moss on city streets, parks and mountains that opens our eyes to the beauty that's all around use every day! Comprehensive, beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, organization and presentation, "Miniature Moss Gardens" will prove to be an outstanding and permanently popular addition to personal, professional, and community library Gardening instructional reference collections.

The Cookbook Shelf

1,001 Best Slow-Cooker Recipes, second edition
Edited by Sue Spitler with Linda R. Yoakam, MS, RD
Agate Publishing
1328 Greenleaf Street, Evanston, IL 60202
9781572842076 $20.99

A slow-cooker is a countertop electrical appliance used to simmer foods at a lower temperature than other methods such as baking or frying. Because they can be left to cook unattended, they are ideal for cooks who are short on spare time. 1,001 Best Slow-Cooker Recipes, second edition is packed cover to cover with user-friendly recipes designed especially for slow-cookers, such as "Creamy Broccoli-Potato Soup", "Steak and Sweet Potato Stew", "Mexi-Beans 'N Greens Stew", "Pumpkin Ginger Cake Rounds with Warm Rum Sauce", and much more. All recipes include nutritional facts for calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, protein, carbohydrates, and diabetic exchanges. 1,001 Best Slow-Cooker Recipes is a treasury for busy cooks who enjoy hot meals, highly recommended!

The Malaysian Kitchen
Christina Arokiasamy
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003
9780544809994, $35.00, HC, 352pp,

Christina Arokiasamy was raised in Kuala Lumpur and was Malaysia's first official Food Ambassador to the U.S. Formerly a chef at various Four Seasons resorts, she now teaches cooking classes in the Pacific Northwest. In "The Malaysian Kitchen" she draws upon her many years of experience and expertise to present some 150 authentic recipes that showcase Malaysian cuisine but which are thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' for even the most novice of America homemakers. Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, the recipes are organized and presented in sections devoted to: Sambals, Aromatic Pastries, and Dressings; Soups; Salads; Vegetables; Seafood, Rice and Noodles. Of special note is the inclusion of a nine page Spice Chart. A pleasure to browse through and inspiring to plan menus with, "The Malaysian Kitchen" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, family, and community library Ethnic Cookbook collections!

The Needlecraft Shelf

Knitting for the Outdoors
Gillian Whalley-Torckler
Stackpole Books
5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6921
9780811716635, $24.95, PB, 128pp,

Nothing beats knitted wool sweaters, hats, gloves, and scarves for keeping a person warm when going on outdoor adventures. Wool garments are perfect for hiking, biking, climbing, fishing and any other activity in the outdoors. The 30 Merino Handknitted garments comprising "Knitting for the Outdoors" are as hard-working as they are fashionable. The patterns range from soft, warm, light, and breathable hats, to gloves, scarves, and vests for women and men, girls and boys. Profusely illustrated with step-by-step instructions for each project, "Knitting for the Outdoors" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, making it ideal for the novice and a wonderful resource for the experienced. "Knitting for the Outdoors" is Gillian Whalley-Torckler's second knitting book and very highly recommended for both personal and community library instructional reference collections.

Every Which Way Crochet Borders
Edie Eckman
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781612127408 $18.95

Spiral-bound for ease of use, Every Which Way Crochet Borders: 139 Patterns for Customized Edgings lives up to its title and then some. An introductory section is filled with tips, tricks, and techniques for aspiring crocheters, although the majority of Every Which Way Crochet Borders is devoted to the patterns themselves, embellished with both color photography and black-and- white diagrams. A table of attributes, a visual "border directory" displaying all possible creations on a few pages for ease of browsing, a glossary, and an index round out this excellent needlecraft resource, highly recommended especially for intermediate to advanced crocheters.

Small and Scrappy
Kathleen Tracy
Martingale & Company
19021 - 120th Avenue NE, Suite 102, Bothell, WA 98011
9781604688252, $24.99, PB, 80pp,

Kathleen Tracy has been playing with fabric since childhood. She designs patterns inspired by antique doll quilts for her quilt-kit company, Country Lane Quilts. In "Small and Scrappy: Pint-Size Patchwork Quilts Using Reproduction Fabrics" she draws upon her experience and expertise to train even the most novice of needlecrafters how to decorate with charming small quilts with historic details. Based on traditional patterns, these delightful little patchwork treasures are perfect additions to scatter throughout the home. With the patterns and instructions found in the pages of anyone can stitch classic blocks using favorite reproduction fabrics and create sentimental, handmade treasures that will appreciate every day. Unique and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization presentation,"Small and Scrappy" is very highly recommended for personal and community library quilting instruction collections.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

The Wrong Dog
David Elliott Cohen
Yellow Pear Press
9780997066418, $22.95, HC, 264pp,

"The Wrong Dog" by David Elliot Cohen is the heartwarming, often hilarious, true story of Simba II, a mischievous white Labrador puppy who was brought home by accident. As Simba grows into an enormous ninety-pound dog with a huge personality, he cements the bond between two families and enriches their lives in countless ways. When the family moves from San Francisco to New York, Cohen is charged with bringing Simba to the family's new home, so he and his best friend, Erick, load the old hound into the back of a station wagon and set out on a 3,300-mile once-in-a-lifetime road trip across America. With stops at Buck Owens' Crystal Palace; the Las Vegas Strip; Meteor Crater; the Painted Desert; Cadillac Ranch; Winslow, Arizona; Gallup, New Mexico; Graceland, and other all-American landmarks, "The Wrong Dog" is an engaging and poignant story that chronicles an epic journey, the unconditional love between one dog and his family, as well as the vast and benevolent role dogs play in American family life. Exceptionally well written, consistently engaging, highly entertaining, "The Wrong Dog" is especially recommended for those with their own canine companion. While certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Pets/Wildlife collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Wrong Dog" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.59).

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Designed to Move
Joan Vernikos
Quill Driver Books
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721
9781610352710, $12.95, PB, 128pp,

Joan Vernikos is a pioneering medical research scientist who has conducted seminal studies in space medicine, inactivity physiology, stress and healthy aging. In "Designed to Move" she reveals her years of experience and expertise as the former director of NASA's Life Sciences Division, drawing upon decades of scientific research on astronauts to show readers how to use gravity-based movement to counteract the effects of prolonged sitting and maintain lifelong good health, thereby providing desk-bound men and women an easy-to-follow movement plan to fight the debilitating and life-shortening effects of what she terms a pandemic 'sitting disease'. Deftly written for everyone who spends most of their lives sitting in chairs, "Designed to Move" provides readers with practical instruction on how they can develop simple new lifestyle habits at the office and reverse the symptoms of sitting disease and even aging itself, and experience a life of bountiful health. While very highly recommended, especially for community and academic library Health/Medicine collections, it should be noted for non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Designed to Move" is also available in a Kindle format ($6.99).

25 Women Who Survived Cancer
Mark Evan Chimsky, editor
Sellers Publishing
161 John Roberts Road, South Portland, ME 04106
9781416245841, $16.95, PB, 256pp,

Compiled and edited by Mark Evan Chimsky, "25 Women Who Survived Cancer: Notable Women Share Inspiring Stories of Hope" is a true and inspiring collection of personal stories about how to cope with, and prevail over, cancer. In 25 essays, notable women such as Robin Roberts, Joan Lunden, Fran Drescher, Liz Lange, Barbara Delinsky, Shonda Schilling, Barbara Padilla, Sylvia McNair, and Marissa Jaret Winokur write with moving candor about how they faced cancer without letting it define their lives or conquer their spirit. They recall how they reacted to receiving their diagnosis, how they moved beyond fear to become engaged in their healing process, and how they dealt with body image and sexuality while undergoing treatment. Their reflections on what their cancer has taught them and how their lives have been changed by it are as poignant as they are powerful. This collection includes the experiences of women who have survived breast cancer, ovarian cancer, Hodgkin Lymphoma, uterine cancer, and malignant melanoma. "25 Women Who Survived Cancer" is an encouraging, uplifting, and inspiring book of hope for anyone who has been diagnosed with, or is being treated for, cancer, as well as cancer survivors and those who are providing support for cancer patients. It is interesting to note that all royalties from the sale of "25 Women Who Survived Cancer" will be donated to cancer research and prevention. Simply stated, every community and academic library in the country should have a copy of "25 Women Who Survived Cancer" on their shelves, and every woman diagnosed with cancer should give a careful reading to the personal stories comprising "25 Women Who Survived Cancer".

The Gaming Shelf

Defending at Bridge
Bill Treble
Master Point Press
331 Douglas Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5M 1H2
9781771400367, $16.95, PB, 160pp,

Bill Treble is a former bronze medallist in the Canadian Team Championships. Bill and his wife are both accredited bridge instructors that have taught the game for well over a dozen years. Over that time they have also hosted play-and-learn sessions and novice games that are an ideal environment for people to gain more experience after taking bridge lessons. Bill is a two-time Canadian Open Pairs champion and author of the acclaimed book Getting into the Bidding (Master Point Press, 9781897106853, $19.95, PB, 224pp). In "Getting Into the Bidding: A Bridge Toolkit" he draws upon his many years of experience and expertise to present the basics of defense at bridge in the form of eight short, clearly explained lessons, enhanced with lots of practical examples. "Defending at Bridge" covers opening leads, signaling, second- and third-hand play, and discards. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Defending at Bridge" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections.

The Political Science Shelf

Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible?
Mary-Alice Waters
Pathfinder Press
PO Box 162767, Atlanta, GA 30321-2767
9781604880908, $10.00, PB, 87pp,

The answer given by Mary-Alice Waters to the question of whether or not a socialist revolution can occur within the United States of America" is Yes, it's possible but not inevitable. That future depends on the American people. The most recent evidence of this possibility is the popularity of the 2016 Bernie Sanders campaign for the presidency. "Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible?: A Necessary Debate Among Working People" is a contribution to the growing discussion among working people everywhere who are looking for a way forward in the face of sharpening capitalist crisis and spreading wars. Fighting for a society only working people can create, it is our own capacities we will discover, not the rulers false image of us an image that reflects their own guilt and fear. Illustrated with photos and featuring a four page index, "Is Socialist Revolution in the US Possible?" is very highly recommended for both academia and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Saga of Hodge
Jerry Labriola
Strong Books
PO Box 1194, Middlebury, CT 06762
9781928782902, $24.95, HC, 312pp,

A strange and possibly supernatural entity that calls himself Hodge is targeting people on Earth for thousands of years, claiming their souls and then, later one, returning them under his complete control to Earth as different people. They constitute his Army of Drones. But when this creature experiences the meaning of love he undergoes a transformation as shocking as those he had ordered for millennia. Who or what is responsible for triggering this change? All this is intertwined with Dr. Mark Kralin, his friends and associates in a novel that is a blending of fantasy and mystery. A simply riveting read from cover to cover, "The Saga of Hodge" reveals author Jerry Labriola to have a genuine flair for deftly crafted interesting characters and then skillfully embedding them into a consistently compelling story replete with unexpected twists and surprising turns. "The Saga of Hodge" is one of those all too rare novels that will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book has been finished and set back upon the shelf. Certain to be an enduringly popular an unique addition to community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections, "The Saga of Hodge" is highly recommended for the personal reading lists of dedicated fantasy fiction fans.

The Catcher's Trap
Ricardo Henriquez
99 Linden Street, Oakland, CA 94607
9781942645047, $13.99, PB, 150pp,

Andres never lived up to his potential. While young, handsome and smart, his life-long struggle with anxiety turned him into a recluse, afraid to step out of his comfort zone. That is, until the night he is kidnaped and finds himself seized and transported into an alternate universe and sold into slavery. "The Catcher's Trap" is all the more impressive when considering it is author Ricardo Henriquez debut as a fantasy/horror writer and clearly reveals his genuine mastery of the genre and impressive flair for deftly crafted characters and remarkable storytelling skills. A consistently compelling and unfailingly entertaining read from cover to cover, "The Catcher's Trap" is very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library collections. It should be noted that "The Catcher's Trap" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts 3
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781942993643 $10.95

To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts 3 continues the black-and-white manga (Japanese graphic novel) saga set in a fantastic, gothic world suffering the aftermath of a vicious civil war. During the war, heroic soldiers volunteered to be transformed into Incarnates, or "Sacred Beasts" - powerful beings resembling mythological monsters, who battled ferociously on the front lines. But these "Sacred Beasts" were destined to gradually lose their minds and their humanity, and some now threaten or slaughter the mortal humans they once battled to defend! Nancy Schaal Bancroft is the daughter of a dragon Incarnate; her quest to take revenge on Hank, the person who executed her father, took a dramatically different turn once she learned more about Incarnates and why Hank was hunting them. She became separated from Hank a year ago; now, the ruthless leader Cain Madhouse and his band of Incarnates have created a rebel nation called New Patria. Meanwhile, Schaal returns to her childhood home to pay her respects to her father's grave, and stumbles into a morass of intrigue and bloodshed. Schaal also meets Hank's de facto successor - the youthful, duty-driven leader of a new military unit tasked with executing all remaining Incarnates, including Hank himself! Striking artwork is a highlight of this tragic yet captivating saga. To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts is a "must-read" for connoisseurs of modern mythological fables and gothic literature, highly recommended.

Ajin Demi-Human 8
Gamon Sakurai
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781942993476 $12.95

Ajin Demi-Human 8 is part of a black-and-white manga (Japanese graphic novel) series set in a science fiction world where "ajin", or "demi-humans", appear like ordinary humans at first glance. Demi-humans are immortal, and have the power to summon and control a powerful, shadowy "other" body. Life is hellish for demi-humans whose identity is discovered; national governments prize them as immortal guinea pigs, torturing them in endless experiments, and ordinary people (especially friends and family members!) will sell them to governments for a rich reward. Kei is a cold-blooded demi-human, who retains just enough empathy to desire a peaceful life, while the terrorist demi-human Sato is stirring a blood-drenched revolution. Volume 8 pits Kei against Sato; Kei seeks to trap Sato at any cost, but will Sato take the bait? A suspenseful saga of criminal masterminds and the brutal ramifications of immortality, Ajin Demi-Human 8 is highly recommended.

Immortal Hounds 3
Ryo Yasohachi
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781942993612 $12.95

Immortal Hounds 3 is the third black-and-white manga (Japanese graphic novel) set in a science- fiction world eerily similar to our own... except that almost all humans are capable of immediately resurrecting after death. The exceptions are those infected with RDS, or Resurrection Deficiency Syndrome, and the "Vectors" from another world who knowingly spread RDS - essentially acting as mortal serial killers amid a world of immortals! Volume 3 introduces two new characters: the beautiful, crazed Vector who goes by the name "Snow White", and the ruthless instructor Karigane. Both women loyally serve the mysterious "Mama", who may or may not be the mastermind behind the RDS plague. Can Detective Shin'ichi Kenzaki track down and arrest Snow White before she infects more victims with RDS? Kenzaki's task is further complicated by the fact that one member of his own department, Rin Kazma, is a mole and an "Escape Artist" in Mama's employ! An action-packed saga of intrigue, espionage, and betrayal, Immortal Hounds is recommended for readers age 16+ due to extreme violence (immortals will resurrect from violent deaths, but not quite everyone is immortal!) and some mature situations.

Nichijou My Ordinary Life 6
Keiichi Arawi
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781942993650 $10.95

Nichijou My Ordinary Life 6 continues the black-and-white manga (Japanese graphic novel) series of eclectic story vignettes weaving back and forth between the mundane, the surreal, and grade school life. In volume six, and overly curious teacher seeks to uncover the secrets of a robot student and the child genius who built her; a legion of fey folk soldiers put their lives on the line against a destructive intruder; the Go/Soccer club gets serious; and much more! A view askew comedy suitable for readers of all ages, Nichijou My Ordinary Life is delightful, and volume six is as good a jumping-on point as any due to the free-spirited vignette nature of the series.

Jacob Bladders and the State of the Art
Roman Muradov
Uncivilized Books
PO Box 6534, Minneapolis, MN 55406
9781941250105, $16.99, HC, 64pp,

Jacob Bladders is an illustrator and a braggart. He is also the victim of assault by thugs sent by the mysterious Charlie. "Jacob Bladders and the State of the Art" by Roman Muradove is part satire of commercial art, part noirish detective story, and part puzzle to be solved by the reader or simply left in pieces. Roman Muradov's latest graphic novel is an ink-smeared Blakean vision of 1940s New York where Twitter exists as a network of pneumatic tubes, but artwork is still delivered by hand. A compelling and thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover, "Jacob Bladders and the State of the Art" is recommended for both community and academic library collections -- and a 'must' read for all Roman Muradov fans!

The Audiobook Shelf

4 3 2 1: A Novel
Paul Auster
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781427282781 $29.99

4 3 2 1: A Novel is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a fascinating novel (read by author Paul Auster) on an MP3 CD, a format which can be played on an MP3-CD enabled player or transferred to portable devices for listening on the go. The story follows the life of Archibald Isaac Ferguson, born in 1947 New Jersey... only Archibald's life traces four separate yet simultaneous paths, in four parallel dimensions. Each Ferguson, though genetically the same, has an entirely different life, loves, friendships, and passions. A masterful interweaving of fate and free will, 4 3 2 1: A Novel is unforgettable and highly recommended. 3 MP3 CDs, 37 hours. It should be noted that 4 3 2 1: A Novel is also available in hardcover edition from publisher Henry Holt (9781627794466, $32.50) and in a Kindle edition ($16.99).

Linda Lael Miller, author
Rebecca Mitchell, narrator
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678

Christy is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a historical romance novel in the "The Women of Primrose Creek" series, set in the rugged Nevada frontier. Christy McQuarry has come from English finishing school to settle in Primrose Creek along with her younger sister, Megan; both are destitute after their mother's death. Christy promises her hand in marriage to a local, well-off lumber baron, and tries to distance herself from the handsome town marshal Zachary Shaw, but the yearnings of her heart pull her in another direction, and Zachary is determined to prove himself worthy of her love! Superbly performed by narrator Rebecca Mitchell, Christy is a treat for connoisseurs of the genre, highly recommended. 4 CDs, 4.25 hours.

Glendalough Fair
James L. Nelson
Tantor Audio
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
9781515911401, $39.99, CD,

Spring has come to Ireland, where Thorgrim Night Wolf, new-made Lord of Vik-lo, and the three hundred Viking warriors under his command have suffered through a brutal winter. Despite having accomplished much during the months of cold and rain, the patience of the men has worn thin, and anger and frustration threaten to tear the ships' crews apart. But just as the men are turning on one another, a local Irish lord arrives with a proposal, a plan for Irish and Norse to join together in a raid using Ireland's rivers to float their longships far inland. The plan, however, soon turns into a nightmare of massacre and betrayal, and Thorgrim and his band must fight both the skilled commander of the local forces as well as enemies in their own camp. It's a fight in which victory or defeat will mean the difference between riches or death. Expertly narrated by Shaun Grindell and very highly recommended for personal listening lists and community library audio book collections, "Glendalough Fair" is the forth volume of James L. Nelson's simply outstanding action/adventure 'Norsemen Saga' series. 10 CDs, 12 Hours, Unabridged.

The Music CD Shelf

Waiting for Eldridge
David Messier
Privately Published
$9.99 CD / $8.99 MP3

The debut solo album of multi-instrumental rock-Americana music artist David Messier, Waiting for Eldridge is titled in homage to the person who inspired Messier to perform after a hiatus of several years. Original songs feature Messier's gritty, candid voice as well as mariba and bari saxophone to enrich the acoustic and electric guitar. The result is a striking, standout soundscape, sure to be a choice pick for fans of the genre! The tracks are "Don't Say Nothin'", "Keeping Up With Fashion", "Change", "Shoot to Kill", "Last Letter", "Franklin's Key", "Down", "Whispering", "Everything Breaks My Heart", and "Christmas in Washington".

K'e Hasin - Kinship and Hope
Radmilla Cody
Canyon Records Productions
1761 West University Drive, Suite 145, Tempe, AZ 85281-3220

K'e Hasin (which translates to "Kinship and Hope") is a music album of 12 original songs by Grammy nominee Radmilla Cody. All songs are composed in the style of traditional Navajo music and performed in the Navajo language. Navajo and English lyrics for each song are present in the liner notes. The songs celebrate the foundational concepts of kinship and community, and of the connections between all living things. As the liner notes say, "K'e encompasses love, hope, compassion, strength, and is inclusive all people regardless of race, gender orientation, class, and belief." Bold, beautiful and uplifting, K'e Hasin is highly recommended especially for collections of Native American music. The tracks are "A Woman's Journey", "The New Born, New Arrival", "Kinship Honor", "The Four Essential Elements", "PT Cruiser", "My Child, My Baby", "Leadership Song", "Blue Bird Song", "Don't Be A Litter Bug", "Grandchild", "Red Ochre Cheek Clan", "Walking Through Life", and "Mother's Words". 50 min. 31 sec.

The DVD Shelf

A Beautiful Now
A film by Daniela Amavia
Monterey Media Inc.
125 Auburn Court #220, Westlake Village CA 91362

Available in both digital and DVD formats, A Beautiful Now is a striking, dramatic film about the reunion of five friends, in an effort to save a Romy (played by Abigail Spencer), a woman who was once a close member of their group. Romy has barricaded herself in the bathroom, and struggles to keep her mind from fracturing by reviewing the pieces and shards of her life. The essential question of A Beautiful Now is, "If your life flashed before your eyes - would you like what you see?" Thought-provoking and intense, A Beautiful Now is highly recommended. A Beautiful Now is rated R due to language, sexual material, and a brief, violent image. 99 min.

The Level
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment

The Level is a tense British drama about a woman with loyalties on both sides of the law. Detective Sergeant Nancy Devlin (played by Karla Crome) is a cop with a secret - she cares deeply about drug trafficker Frank Le Saux (played by Philip Glenister), who is like a father to her. But then disaster strikes, leaving Frank dead and Nancy with a bullet wound. Now Nancy must work with her cryptic new partner, DS Gunner Martin (played by Noel Clarke) to track down Frank's killer, while concealing her own involvement and her injury! A suspenseful and fascinating web of intrigue, The Level is a "must-see" for connoisseurs of the genre, highly recommended for mature audiences (due to the presence of violence, strong language, and sexual situations). Bonus materials include a 54 min. behind-the scenes featurette. 6 episodes on 2 DVDs, 288 min. plus bonus, widescreen.

The Code Season 2
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment

The Code Season 2 presents six new episodes of the award-winning Australian political thriller. Hacker Jesse Banks (played by Ashley Zuckerman) and his journalist brother (played by Dan Spielman) still feel aftershocks from their efforts to expose corrupt officials. Both are at risk for extradition to the US on serious criminal charges - but Australian government needs their skills to shut down an online seller of illegal weapons and drugs. Their explorations of the dark world of illicit online commerce could have potentially deadly repercussions, in this edge-of-seat suspenseful drama. Bonus material includes 28 minutes of behind-the-scenes featurettes. The Code Season 2 is highly recommended for older teen and adult viewers due to coarse language, violence, and sexual situations. 6 episodes on 2 DVDs, 350 min., SDH subtitles, widescreen.

A film by Yaelle Kayam
First Run Features
630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213, New York, NY 10036

Mountain is a powerful movie about a married Orthodox Jewish woman with four children, who lives on the edge of a Jerusalem cemetery on the slopes of the Mount of Olives. Her husband has lost interest in her and their children, ignoring her wishes and working long hours. During walks in the cemetery to clear her head, she stumbles across a group of people that regularly engages in sex and drugs on sacred ground. She tries to balance her fascination with this illicit other world and her devout everyday life... for as long as she can. Mountain is thoughtful, provocative, troubling, and highly recommended. 81 min.

The Poetry Shelf

Love Poems
Edited by Max Morris
Summersdale Publishers
c/o Independent Publishers Group (dist.)
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9781849538046 $9.95 hc / $8.99 Kindle

Love Poems is a pocket-sized treasure trove of selected love poems from classic authors throughout history. A delight to browse, or an inspiration for crafting poetry of one's own, Love Poems is highly recommended! It should be noted for personal reading lists that Love Poems is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.99). "Come here, my love, the crown of my home- / Walking so tall, so slender, like a cypress, / With your black hair falling to your feet, / With brows like a tightened bow; / Wish a mouth too small for two almonds / And cheeks red like the apples of autumn- / My woman, my lady, my love. -Turkish Tribal Chieftain."

Love Bites
Barbara Garro
Cambridge Books
c/o Write Words, Inc.
9781618363909, $19.95, PB, 182pp,

When her mother died at an early age, Barbara Garro (now in her eighth decade) became powerfully propelled into poetry. Poem after poem, flows through her as she shares the spirit of a lifetime in innermost love thoughts, fears and dreams. Her debut collection of some of her best work, "Love Bites" showcases this lifelong author's genuine flair for deftly crafted verse. Barbara thinks of her poetry as her heart exploding with feelings that she dresses in words, dancing them into poems. Since her mom's death opened the floodgates, after "Remembering Mother" was published in The Maple Shade Progress, the poems kept coming, 998 and counting. Each holds her heart inside the lines. Barbara's hope is that her heart connects with yours as she shares her soft and hard feelings of love in "Love Bites". While highly recommended community and academic library Contemporary American Poetry collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of poetry enthusiasts that "Love Bites" is also available in a Kindle format ($6.50). Monkey Bread Love: Again, like monkey bread / I'm feeling torn apart. / Again, my time with a man / has taken me piece by piece. / Again, I am left all eaten up.

Run the Red Lights
Ed Skoog
Copper Canyon Press
PO Box 271, Port Townsend, WA 98368
9781556595035, $16.00, PB, 96pp,

"Run the red lights" were the last words the musician Alex Chilton spoke to his wife on the way to the hospital. In Ed Skoog's new compendium of free verse, the poems are running all the lights, the way that talking casually runs and flows over itself and intertwines with what others are saying. These plainspoken poems rediscover the relationship between talking and thinking, as they weave among enthusiastic jags about sex and love, theater, music, New Orleans, numbness, ghosts, wolves, history, violence, rescue, art, marriage, mothers, fathers, and children. Showcasing Ed Skoog's genuine flair using the English language as the elements of a verbal art form that fully engages the reader's mind and imagination, "Run the Red Lights" is exceptional and highly recommended addition to community and academic library Contemporary American Poetry collections. For the personal reading lists of dedicated poetry enthusiasts it should be noted that "Run the Red Lights" is also available in a Kindle format ($14.99).

The Civil War Shelf

Where Liberty Dwells, There Is My Country
Suzanne Meredith
Heritage Books
5810 Ruatan St., Berwyn Heights, Maryland 20740
9780788457289 $28.00

Where Liberty Dwells, There Is My Country collects letters written by American citizens on both sides of the Civil War, from 1861 through 1865. Here are testimonies of farmers desperate for workers, villages trying to meet draft quotas, and the anguish of people who do not know whether their loved ones are dead or alive on the battlefield. Vintage black-and-white photographs and relevant news articles interspersed with written testimonies round out this vivid primary source, highly recommended for historians, researchers, and both public and college library Civil War shelves. "Decoration Day was originated after the American Civil War when the Grand Army of the Republic set the date aside as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead. The last Monday May is now known as Memorial Day and is a federal holiday. In the early part of the 1900's postcards such as the one above were sent to friends and relatives to honor the day of remembrance."

With A True God Bless: Civil War Letters
Suzanne Meredith
Heritage Books
5810 Ruatan Street, Berwyn Heights, Maryland 20740
9780788444715, $18.50, PB, 130pp,

History is personal, but never more so than in the pages of "With A True God Bless: Civil War Letters" which is comprised of letters written by participants in the American Civil War to and from their loved ones at home. The heartfelt words from forgotten patriots, both men and women speak of love, homesickness, primal fear and incredible pain. Intimate thoughts are expressed by people who lived and died during the American Civil War, an era of national division. In each letter a common factor is evident -- faith. Belief in preserving a united America, and belief in a higher power are conveyed in simple powerful words. These elusive memories offer readers a different view of history-communications from yesterday that evoke a need to create a better tomorrow. Each individual letter is part of a valuable archive of information recounting a difficult period of American history. Compiled by Suzanne Meredith "With A True God Bless: Civil War Letters" is enhanced with the inclusion of excerpts from official reports and relevant news accounts, facsimile reprints of vintage photographs and original documents, a glossary, maps and a time line. "With A True God Bless: Civil War Letters" is unreservedly recommended reading for Civil War history buffs and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community and academic library 19th Century American History collections in general, and American Civil War supplemental studies reading lists in particular.

The Travel Shelf

Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2017
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street, Oakland CA 94607
9781786571151, $14.99, PB, 208pp,

This 12th edition is created by the men and women of Lonely Planet Publications and showcases some of the very best places drawn from around the world in which to vacation and enjoy. This is a profusely and beautifully illustrated compendium of destinations that offer new things for travelers to see or do, including those which are typically overlooked and underrated. "Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2017" showcases 10 countries, 10 regions and 10 cities that travelers should earnestly consider visiting in the year ahead. Each destination is chosen for its topicality, unique experiences and 'wow' factor. "Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2017" includes along with the world's best-value destinations, the most exciting family adventures to enjoy and the most incredible places to stay. Readers will discover just what makes these destinations fantastic places to see right now and what the unique experiences they offer. The suggested itineraries and practical information are specifically designed to help plan a truly dream trip happen whether on your own or with a group. While very highly recommended for community library Travel Guide collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2017" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.03).

365 Things to Do in Ithaca New York
Laurel Guy
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764352577 $24.99

Beautifully illustrated with full-color photography on every page, 365 Things to Do in Ithaca New York: Complete Insider's Guide to All Things Ithaca is a superb traveler's or vacationer's guide. Suggested activities range from recommended museums, to the Seneca Lake wine trail for aficionados of fine wine, to learning from small classes at Finger Lakes Cooking School and much more. A "must-read" for anyone planning a visit to Ithaca, New York!

The Architecture Shelf

Caza: 2011-2015
Carlos Arnaiz, author
Kristin Kearns, editor
Actar D
c/o Actar Publishers
355 Lexington Avenue, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10017
9780692249994, $39.95, HC, 320pp,

Carlos Arnaiz is an architect, educator and writer. He is the founder and principal of CAZA, the co-founder of SURBA and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design at Pratt Institute where he teaches a class on the history of ideas about the city, a studio on multi-family housing and a seminar on beauty in contemporary architecture. His newest publication, "CAZA: 2011-15", is the inaugural monograph of the Brooklyn-based design studio CAZA, and celebrates the first five years of the firm, and includes photographs, drawings, building descriptions, essays, and conversations that relate to CAZA's global architecture and design practice. It is particular notable that "Caza: 2011-2015" opens with a photo essay by world-renowned photographer Iwan Baan, who documented CAZA's first internationally acclaimed project, the 100 Walls Church, in Cebu City, Philippines. An impressively informed and informative read, "Caza: 2011-2015" is an important and very highly recommended addition to professional and academic library Contemporary Architecture collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

The Sports Shelf

Yoga for Athletes
Ryanne Cunningham
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076
9781492522614, $21.95, PB, 256pp,

Today's top athletes from every sport know the benefits of yoga. It's why so many have made it an essential component in their training and conditioning programs. Now with "Yoga for Athletes" by Ryanne Cunningham (who has worked with some of the top names in sports) anyone can as well. She's helped keep some of the toughest NFL players on the field, and top endurance athletes run longer and stronger. Her step-by-step instruction, expert advice, and pose variations focus on active muscles and movements across a range of sports including: football, soccer, running, swimming, cycling, tennis, golf, baseball, softball, basketball, and more. "Yoga for Athletes" is unreservedly recommended for amateurs aspiring to improve their athletic performance, to professionals seeking to win their competitions and games. An unreservedly commended addition to community, sports club, and academic library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Yoga for Athletes" is also available in a Kindle format ($13.17).

The Money/Finance Shelf

Every Landlord's Tax Deduction Guide, 13th edition
Stephen Fishman, J.D.
Nolo Press
950 Parker Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
9781413323313 $39.99 pbk /$23.99 Kindle

Now in a 13th edition updated and revised to cover tax rules for Airbnb-type rentals, Every Landlord's Tax Deduction Guide lives up to its title with practical information and invaluable advice. Chapters walk the reader through how to deduct operating expenses, the basics of depreciation, the home office deduction, hiring help, casualty and theft losses, necessary record- keeping systems, and much more. An index and access to publisher Nolo's website filled with useful legal forms, profiles of landlord-tenant and tax lawyers in one's area, and more round out this absolute "must-have" for all real estate owners.

The Automotive Shelf

The Trucks of the Trans Pennine Run
Roy Dodsworth
Old Pond Publishing
c/o International Specialized Book Services
920 Northeast 58th Avenue, Suite 300, Portland, OR, 97213
9781910456507, $32.95, HC, 176pp,

Every year on the first Sunday in August, hundreds of spectators gather to see one of the greatest displays of historic commercial vehicles. First organized in 1969, the Trans Pennine Run attracts an annual entry of around 200 vehicles from all over the UK. The event starts at Birch Services on the M62 at Manchester and runs for 64 miles via Rochdale, Halifax and Bradford, taking in some of the finest Yorkshire scenery along the way. At the famous Harrogate Stray, vehicles are displayed to the public. Avid photographer, Roy Dodsworth has been following the event since the late 1990s and has a collection of over 3,000 images taken there. "The Trucks of the Trans Pennine Run: A Photographic History" showcases 262 of Roy's favorite truck photos, each one of which includes a bit of history about each of the vehicles -- many of which have been restored to their original livery. "The Trucks of the Trans Pennine Run" is a must-have for any driver who has ever participated in the run. Current and former truckers and anyone else with an interest in automotive and transport history will all enjoy being reminded of these beautiful old vehicles. Exceptional, informative, and a pure pleasure to simply browse through, "The Trucks of the Trans Pennine Run" is very highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as both community and academic library Automotive History collections and supplemental studies lists.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Little Book of Dream Symbols
Jacqueline Towers
Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
9781571747587 $14.95 pbk / $14.20 Kindle

The Little Book of Dream Symbols is an easy-to-use reference guide to things that often appear in dreams. Arranged with entries in alphabetical order like a dictionary, The Little Book of Dream Symbols is an excellent guide for anyone seeking to learn more about dream interpretation, or better understand their own dreams. Highly recommended! "Moth: If you attempt to catch a moth in your dream, you are being warned of hidden jealousy around you. If you catch the moth and destroy it, you will triumph over your enemies. Moth holes in clothing signify disappointment and sadness."

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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