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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 10, Number 1 January 2015 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Fiction Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Christian Studies Shelf Islamic Studies Shelf
Judaic Studies Shelf Cookbook Shelf Poetry Shelf
Computer Shelf Botany Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Crafts Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf
Humor Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Architecture Shelf
Holiday Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Biography Shelf Social Issues Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Sports Shelf Travel Shelf Wine Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Indians Don't Cry
George Kenny, author
Edited with an afterword by Renate Eigenbrod
Translation by Patricia M. Ningewance
University of Manitoba Press
301 St. John's College, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R3T 2M5
9780887557699 $27.95

The second book of the "First Voices, First Texts" series focusing on little-known literature by Native American authors, Indians Don't Cry is a bilingual edition the first book of stories and poems by indigenous Canadian poet and playwright George Kenny. Each two-page spread has the original Anishinaabemowin text on the right, and an expert English translation on the left. The stories and poetry vividly portray the everyday challenges of indigenous peoples seeking to survive amid urban settler society. Inspirational and thought-provoking, Indians Don't Cry is especially recommended for public library collections. "Sunset on Portage (from the bus depot): the Winnipeg sun dies / lastly // on the blue logo // of the Bank of Montreal // Fluorescent and neon lights, / man's creation // supplants // God's technology."

The Killdeer
Michael Cotter
Parkhurst Brothers Publishing
PO Box 356, Marion, MI 49665
9781624910609, $28.00, 240pp,

Michael Cotter was born near Austin, Minnesota, in 1931 on the farm that had been in his family since 1876. He was the youngest of eight children and was raised in a strict Irish-Catholic household. However, the barn and fields were a different world, populated by hired men who were hoboes, drifting in during the Great Depression. The tales comprising "The Killdeer: And Other Stories From the Farming Life" reflect those two conflicting life styles, blended together with Cotter's own version of Irish humor. This 240 page compendium is comprised of twenty-two deftly told and wonderful stories. Enhanced with the inclusion of 'Reading Group Extras', an Author Biography, and concluding with a section of 'Questions and Answers with Author Michael Cotter', "The Killdeer: And Other Stories From the Farming Life" is an inherently entertaining and highly recommended read. Certain to be a popular addition to community library collections, "The Killdeer: And Other Stories From the Farming Life" is also available in a paperback edition (9781624910425, $18.00) and a Kindle edition ($9.99).

My Boy, Ben
David Wheaton
Tristan Publishing, Inc.
2355 Louisiana Avenue North, Golden Valley, MN 55427
9781939881045 $18.99

International tennis star David Wheaton presents My Boy, Ben: A Story of Love, Loss and Grace, the memoir of time spent with his beloved and faithful Labrador named Ben. Their enduring bond enriched everyday life. My Boy, Ben is a gentle and sometimes wryly humorous saga of ups, down, and hijinks. The message of God's eternal grace is also subtly woven through the wonderful, true-life stories, in this timeless treasury.

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Publishing & Marketing in the Digital Age
Debbie Elicksen
Self-Counsel Press Inc.
4152 Meridian Street, Suite 105-471, Bellingham, WA, 98226
9781770401952, $18.95,

In "Publishing & Marketing in the Digital Age", Debbie Elicksen draws upon her more than 20 years of direct media experience as a content creator and transmedia producer to write a 180 page instructional guide designed specifically for authors and publishers working in an increasingly digital world. "Publishing & Marketing in the Digital Age" covers digitally based content creation, publishing platforms, marketing, funding resource development, website creation, blogging, audio and podcasting, YouTube, webcasts and webinars, social media platforms, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, transmedia, and public relations. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Publishing & Marketing in the Digital Age" is an informed and informative read that should be considered mandatory for aspiring authors and novice publishers, and which has a great deal of practical value for even the more experienced professionals within the publishing industry.

The Heyday of Malcolm Margolin
Kim Bancroft
Heyday Books
PO Box 9145, Berkeley, CA 94709
9781597142878 $20.00

The Heyday of Malcolm Margolin: The Damn Good Times of a Fiercely Independent Publisher is the true-life story of Malcolm Margolin, creator of the cultural institution of Heyday Books, which has served since 1978 as a publisher of books about California - from the tales of Native peoples to hardworking immigrants, from efforts to protect Calliope hummingbirds to knife-edge political tensions along the California-Mexico border. A handful of black-and-white photographs illustrate this adventurous, insightful, and delightful saga of storytelling.

The Fiction Shelf

Now We Can All Go Home
Catherine Browder
BkMk Press
University House, Room 224
5100 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110-2446
9781886157934, $15.95, 238pp,

"Now We Can All Go Home" by Catherine Browder is a 238 page compendium comprised of her novellas which envision a future for the principal characters in three of Anton Chekhov's plays (The Seagull, Uncle Vanya, and The Three Sisters), and are all set in Russia at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. Exhibiting a major literary talent of her own, Catherine Browder does Checkov's novels and the characters that inhabit them a full measure of justice with new and imaginative storytelling that rivals Checkov himself. Erudite, ingenious, original, and vivid, "Now We Can All Go Home Together" is very highly recommended reading and would prove to be an exceptional addition to community and academic library Literary Fiction collections.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Sex and the Spiritual Teacher
Scott Edelstein
Wisdom Publications
199 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02144
9780861715961 $16.95

Sex and the Spiritual Teacher is a serious-minded discussion about the problems stemming from sexual transgressions between spiritual teachers and their students. "Spiritual teacher", in this context, can refer to a person of authority in any faith. Chapters discuss topics such as "Creating Healthy Teacher-Student Relationships", "Sex and Spiritual Experience", "Monogamy and Its Skeptics", "When a Spiritual Teacher Transgresses: Responses of a Healthy Community", and much more. "As Tibetan Buddhist teacher Sangye Drolma points out, 'You have to use the same moral standards for an enlightened person as you do for a normal person. Enlightenment is no justification for sociopathic [or other harmful] behavior.'" Sex and the Spiritual Teacher is highly recommended as a valuable resource, filled cover to cover with practical strategies for both individuals and spiritual communities.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Jesus: A Visual History
Donald L. Brake, Sr. with Todd Bolen
Zondervan Publishing House
5300 Patterson Avenue, S.E.
Grand Rapids, MI 49530
c/o Academic PS (publicity)
9780310515371 $29.99

Jesus: A Visual History lives up to its title with stunning, full-color photography and artwork throughout. The extensive, descriptive text also paints a vivid portrayal of the land, the culture, and the people who surrounded Jesus. Retelling Jesus' dramatic story from archaeological, biographical, anthropological, and deeply spiritual perspectives, Jesus: A Visual History is thoroughly accessible to browsers of all backgrounds. Highly recommended, especially for church libraries, Bible study reading lists, and personal edification.

Pope Francis: Life and Revolution
Elisabetta Pique
Loyola Press
3441 North Ashland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657
Goldberg McDuffie Communications
9780829442137, $22.95,

Pope Francis (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 17 December 1936) is the reigning pope of the Catholic Church, in which capacity he is both Bishop of Rome and absolute sovereign of the Vatican City State. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bergoglio worked briefly as a chemical technician and nightclub bouncer before beginning seminary studies. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1969 and from 1973 to 1979 was Argentina's Provincial Superior of the Society of Jesus. He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was created a cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013, a papal conclave elected Bergoglio as his successor on 13 March. He chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere and the first non-European pope since the Syrian Gregory III in 741, 1,272 years earlier. "Pope Francis: Life and Revolution" by journalist Elisabetta Pique is a 313 page biography of one of the most beloved and influential reformist popes in the 2,000 year old history of the Roman Catholic church. An extraordinary and detailed record of the life and times of Pope Francis, this biographical compendium is impressively skilled research that is superbly presented so as to be fully accessible for the non-specialist general reader. Very highly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as seminary, community, and academic library collections, it should be noted that "Pope Francis: Life and Revolution" is also available in a paperback edition (9780829442175, $16.95), and a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Billy Graham: Candid Conversations with a Public Man
David Frost
David C. Cook
c/o Cook Communications
4050 Lee Vance View, Colorado Springs, CO 80918
9780781411356, $17.99,

William Franklin "Billy" Graham, Jr. (born November 7, 1918) is an American evangelical Christian evangelist, ordained as a Southern Baptist minister, who rose to celebrity status in 1949 reaching a core constituency of middle-class, moderately conservative Protestants. He held large indoor and outdoor rallies; sermons were broadcast on radio and television, some still being re-broadcast today. Graham was a spiritual adviser to several Presidents; he was particularly close to Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon Johnson (who was considered to be one of Graham's closest friends) and Richard Nixon. He insisted on integration for his revivals and crusades in 1953 and invited Martin Luther King, Jr. to preach jointly at a revival in New York City in 1957. Graham bailed King out of jail in the 1960s when he was arrested in demonstrations. Graham operates a variety of media and publishing outlets. It is estimated that more than 3.2 million people have responded to the invitation at Billy Graham Crusades to 'accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior'. "Billy Graham: Candid Conversations with a Public Man" is a 224 page compendium comprised of conversations between Billy Graham and David Frost and provides invaluable insights into Graham's perspective on a diversity of issues ranging from personal fame, family, politics, faith, and personal growth. Enhanced with the inclusion of entertaining and illustrative stories drawn from Graham's earliest crusades, his civil rights activities, and his spiritual mentoring of American presidents, "Billy Graham: Candid Conversations with a Public Man" is an inherently fascinating and informative read that is very highly recommended to the legions of his admirers. It should be noted that "Billy Graham: Candid Conversations with a Public Man" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99), an Audio Book CD edition ($13.35), and in an Audio Book Download format ($14.95).

The Islamic Studies Shelf

The Handy Islamic Answer Book
John Renard
Visible Ink Press
43311 Joy road, #414, Canton, MI 48187-2075
KT Public Relations
9781578595105, $21.95,

Islam is a monotheistic and Abrahamic religion articulated by the Qur'an, a book considered by its adherents to be the verbatim word of God (Allah), and for the vast majority of adherents, also by the teachings and normative example (called the Sunnah and composed of hadith) of Muhammad (c. 570-8 June 632 CE), considered by them to be the last prophet of God. An adherent of Islam is called a Muslim. "The Handy Islamic Answer Book" is a 435 page compendium comprised of descriptive and explanatory information on the history, beliefs, cultures, and practices of Muslims. Deftly organized into twelve chapters ranging from 'An Overview of Islam', to 'Themes in Islamic Spirituality', to 'Islam and Other Faiths', to 'Knowledge, Scholarship, and the Islamic Humanities. Enhanced with six appendices, a two page bibliography (Further Readings), a twelve page Glossary, a sixteen page Timeline, and a useful Index, "The Handy Islamic Answer Book" is comprehensive, informative, and will serve to introduce one of the world faiths to an American readership who might have a distorted impression of Islam due to the barbarities and cruelties of terrorist organizations such the Islamic State. "The Handy Islamic Answer Book" is very highly recommended for non-specialist general readers with an interest is understanding Islam, as well as community and academic library Islamic Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Jewish Meaning in a World of Choice
David Ellenson
Jewish Publication Society
2100 Arch Street, 2nd floor
Philadelphia PA 19103-1399
9780827612143 $45.00

Jewish Meaning in a World of Choice: Studies in Tradition and Modernity is an anthology of scholarly essays by David Ellenson, chancellor of Hebrew Union College, Jewish Institute of Religion. Writings discuss Jewish life in an open society, the quest for a balanced theology, and the role of rabbis and the rabbinate. An extensive bibliography supplements this thought-provoking compendium of both practical and spiritual philosophy. Individual essays include "An Ideology for the Liberal Jewish Day School: A Philosophical-Sociological Investigation", "Interreligious Learning and the Formation of Jewish Religious Identity", "Transformations of the Rabbinate: Future Directions and Prospects", and more. A welcome addition to public and college library Judaic Studies shelves.

The Cookbook Shelf

Rock Recipes
Barry C. Parsons
Breakwater Books Limited
100 Water Street, St. Johns, NL, Canada, A1C 6E6
9781550815559, $24.95,

Compiled by Canadian culinary expert Barry C. Parsons, "Rock Recipes: The Best Food From My Newfoundland Kitchen" is a beautifully illustrated, 312 page compendium showcasing the very best Newfoundland has to offer by way of fine dining. Each recipe features a succinct commentary, along with an ingredients list and thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly', step-by-step instructions. The dishes range from Spice Rack Sage Butter Roast Chicken; Maple Chipotle Barbeque Braised Ribs; Pan-Seared Scallops with Fettuccine in Bacon Fennel Cream Sauce; and Spicy Mango Orange Prk and Cashews; to Sweet Mustard and Bacon Potato Salad; Turkey and Black Bean Soup; Strawberry Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes; and Lemon Coconut Crumble Bars. Of special note is the recipe for Chocolate Souffle Cake with Irish Cream Whipped Cream and Caramel Drizzle -- A Gluten Free Recipe. Perfectly showcasing the best of Newfoundland cuisine, "Rock Recipes: The Best Food From My Newfoundland Kitchen" is very highly recommended for personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections.

Sunday Casseroles
Betty Rosbottom
Chronicle Books
680 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94107
9781452121208, $24.95,

A casserole (from the French word casse meaning a case), is a large, deep dish used both in the oven and as a serving vessel. The word is also used for the food cooked and served in such a vessel, with the cookware itself called a casserole dish or casserole pan. Casseroles in the United States or continental Europe usually consist of pieces of meat (such as chicken) or fish (such as tuna), various chopped vegetables, a starchy binder such as flour, rice, potato or pasta, and, often, a crunchy or cheesy topping. Casseroles have long been a culinary staple of the American kitchen. Ably compiled by cooking instructor and syndicated columnist Betty Rosbottom, "Sunday Casseroles: Complete Comfort in One Dish" is 176 page compendium comprised of palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, kitchen cook friendly casserole dishes that would be wonderfully appropriate for any and every dining occasion from daily family fare to holiday celebration. Deftly organized into seven major sections (Chicken and Turkey Favorites; All Manner of Meats; Seafood Specials; Market Vegetables; Casseroles Under Cover; Casseroles with Pasta; Breakfast Casseroles), the recipes range from a Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Bacon Casserole; to Turkey Cutlets Baked with Gruyere and Onions; to Cold Nights Sausage and Potato Gratin; to Baked Fish on a Bed of Spinach, Chickpeas, and Tomatoes; to Baked Risotto with Butternut Squash, Sage, and Parmigiano; to Chipotle Chili Baked Under a Cornbread Crust, to Crab-Stuffede Pasta Shells with Orange-Scented Tomato Sauce. Beautifully illustrated throughout with the photography of Susie Cushner, "Sunday Casseroles: Complete Comfort in One Dish" is the perfect addition to any personal, family, or community library cookbook collection! It should be noted that "Sunday Casseroles: Complete Comfort in One Dish" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Einkorn Cookbook
Shanna Mallon & Tim Mallon
Fair Winds Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
Dalyn Miller Public Relations
9781592336425, $22.99,

Collaboratively compiled and edited by the culinary team of Shanna and Tim Mallon, "The Einkorn Cookbook: Discover the World's Purest and Most Ancient Form of Wheat" is an impressively illustrated, 176 page culinary compendium comprised of recipes for dishes that are as palate pleasing and appetite satisfying as they are nutritious and kitchen cook friendly to prepare. The recipes range from Decadent Chocolate Chip Belgian Waffles; Curried Cauliflower Puff Pies with Parsley Mint Chutney; Kale and Red Pepper Risotto; and Breaded Lemon Chicken with Capers on Pilaf; to Spicy Salmon over Cilantro Lime Einkorn; Ravioli with Sundried Tomatoes, Capers, and Ricotta; Kale and Cremini Vegetable Pot Pie; and Small-Batch Mini Cherry Banana Galettes. As much fun to browse through as it is delightful to plan meals with, "The Einkorn Cookbook: Discover the World's Purest and Most Ancient Form of Wheat" is truly extraordinary and highly recommended for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "The Einkorn Cookbook: Discover the World's Purest and Most Ancient Form of Wheat" is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.99).

United States of Bread
Adrienne Kane
Running Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500
New York, NY 10107
9780762450060 $20.00

United States of Bread is both a home bakery cookbook and a treasury of American heritage recipes for homemade bread (some with a modern twist where appropriate). From Oatmeal Bread to Sourdough Rye Raisin-Walnut Loaf to Chocolate Swirl Bread with Crumb Topping and much more, there's a loaf for every occasion! Detailed recipe instructions, useful kitchen tips, and snippets of culinary history round out this baker's treasury. Highly recommended!

Practically Raw
Amber Shea Crawley
Andrews McMeel Publishing
1130 Walnut Street
Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
9781449460082 $19.99

Illustrated with full-color photography, Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes Anyone Can Make lives up to its title as a user-friendly resource for "raw" cuisine: healthy, vegan, gluten-free and soy-free recipes that do not rely on processed food. Certified raw chef Amber Shea has created recipes that work well with ordinary kitchen equipment and ingredients. Many recipes have options for variations or food substitutions as well. Easy-to-make culinary delights include Tropic Thunder Smoothie, Buckwheat Oat Biscuits, Fiesta Taco Roll-Ups (the "meat" is made from ground sunflower seeds, walnuts, and pistachios), Cinnamon Crumble Coffee Cakes, and much more. Cooking and nutrition tips abound in this practical-minded, hands-on cookbook and raw food lifestyle guide.

Food Truck Road Trip - A Cookbook
Kim Pham and Philip Shen with Terri Phillips
Page Street Publishing Co.
27 Congress Street, Suite 103, Salem, MA 01970
9781624140808 $21.99

One doesn't have to live in the big city to enjoy its walkabout culinary sensations! Featuring full color photography on virtually every other page, Food Truck Road Trip - A Cookbook is filled with more than 100 of the tastiest authentic recipes of street food vendors. Grab-'n'-go delights include Jalapeno Corn Cakes, Spiced Spareribs with Chimichurri Sauce, Traditional Swabian Soft Pretzels, Falafel Mezze Plate, Nectarine Raspberry with Tarragon Pops, and much more. Highly recommended for anyone interested in creating a taste of metropolitan cuisine at home!

The Best Green Smoothies On The Planet
Tracy Russell
BenBella Books
10300 N. Central Expressway, Suite 400, Dallas, TX 75204
9781940363271, $16.95,

In "The Best Green Smoothies On The Planet", Tracy Russell has compiled 150 delicious, nutritious, and kitchen cook friendly vegan recipes for healthy smoothies suitable for any and all occasions. Opening with general instructions on how to make perfect green smoothies and the best green smoothie ingredients, "The Best Green Smoothies On The Planet" organizes and presented the individual smoothie recipes into nine categorical chapters: Detox and Cleansing Green Smoothies; Weight Loss Green Smoothies; Antioxidant Green Smoothies; Fitness and Energy Green Smoothies; Immune-Boosting Green Smoothies; Calcium-Rich Green Smoothies; Heart-Healthy Green Smoothies; Iron-Rich Green Smoothies; and Mood-Enhancing Green Smoothies. Enhanced with the inclusion of Notes, an Index, and a Recipe Index, "The Best Green Smoothies On The Planet" is a unique and highly prized addition to any personal, family, or community library cookbook collection. It should be noted that "The Best Green Smoothies On The Planet" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

South Your Mouth
Mandy Rivers
Quail Ridge Press
PO Box 123, Brandon, MS 39043
9781938879012, $19.95,

Mandy Rivers is an award-winning recipe writer and food blogger. In "South Your Mouth" she has compiled a 224 page compendium showcasing palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, and kitchen cook friendly recipes for southern dishes ranging from a Homemade French Onion Dip; Creamy Cheese Grits; Easy Slow Cooker Chili; Easy Lipton Onion Oven-Roasted Potatoes; and Blackened Chicken Pasta Alfredo; to Butter Baked Shrimp with Lemon; Cheeseburger Pie; Sweet and Tangy Smoked Sausage; Chocolate Mint Cream Cake; Fudge-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars; and Mama's Apple Cider Pie. Each recipe is accompanied by a succinct introduction. A great deal of fund to simply browse through and a simply wonderful resource for menu planning, "South Your Mouth" is very highly recommended for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.

Persian Cooking: A Table of Exotic Delights
Nesta Ramazani
Ibex Publishers
PO Box 30087, Bethesda, MD 20824
9781588140876, $26.00,

Ably compiled and presented by Nesta Ramazani, "Persian Cooking: A Table of Exotic Delights" is a 400 page compendium comprised of examples of authentic Persian cuisine with each individual recipe so carefully laid out that each and every dish is thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' for even the most novice of homemakers. The recipes range from Green Plumb Soup with Meat and Herbs; Homemade Yogurt; Sour Cherry Rice with Chicken; Liver and Kidney Casserole; and Pan-Fried Lamb Kabab; to Lentil Rice with Meatballs; Stuffed Eggplant; Green Pea Salad with Yogurt; and Walnut Cookies. A true culinary cornucopia of palate please, appetite satisfying dishes, "Persian Cooking: A Table of Exotic Delights" is very highly recommended for personal, family, professional, and community library Ethnic Cookbook collections.

Basil Thyme Coriander and Other Herbs
Jean-Paul Grappe, author
Marcella Walton, translator
Fitzhenry & Whiteside
311 Washington Street, Brighton, Massachusetts 02135
978155452887 $22.95

"Basil Thyme Coriander and Other Fine Herbs" is a delectable homage to the appreciative use of fine herbs in the francophone style of cooking exemplified by author/chef Jean-Paul Grappe of l'Institut de tourisme et d'hotellerie du Quebec. Studded with stunningly presented color photographs of carefully garnished examples of herb-laced cuisine, "Basil Thyme Coriander and Other Fine Herbs" is the English translation of the original publication in French. Here are many imaginative recipes for entrees and dishes featuring the use of a host of delicate cooking herbs, including dill, basil chervil, chives, cilantro, tarragon, lavender, hyssop, bay, marjoram, lemon balm, mint, mustard, sorrel, nettle, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme, and savory. In addition to featuring appropriate recipes and presentations, the history and preferred uses of each herb is explored, with identifying color photographs of different variations. Some recipes feature unusual spring vegetables found in Quebec, such as stonecrop in Pike Back with Nettles and Stonecrop (p. 85), or cardoons in Sauteed Rabbit with Cardoons Steamed with Bay (p. 21). In addition to fabulous, lovingly presented entrees, this herb breviary contains many handy special tips and cooking techniques, plus basic recipes for different stocks and court -bouillon, with step by step photo-illustrations of specific butchering or deboning techniques. Finally, a glossary of terms on dark background pages with highlighted blue and white text aids in the demystification of special cooking vocabulary words. So explore this collector's informed sampling of delicate Quebecois treatments of uses of herbs, savoring such dishes as Scallops Poached in Almond Milk with a Savory Emulsion, Shad with Sorrel, Dill Crusted Lamb Chops, Grilled Halibut with Parsley Butter and Lime Emulsion, Cucumber Cream with Basil Tomato Flakes, or even Madeleine Island Lobster Scented with lemon Balm. A reverence for the delicate lacings of fresh green herbs permeates all the pages of this exotic treasure of a cookbook.

Dessert Mash-Ups
Dorothy Kern
Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440, Berkeley CA 94703-3440
9781612433653 $21.95

Featuring full-color photography of its sumptuous offerings on every other page, Dessert Mash-Ups: Tasty Two-in-One Treats Including Sconuts, S'morescake and Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie lives up to its title as a creative cookbook of deviantly delicious delicacies. Each dessert is a distinguished fusion of favorites; step-by-step recipes walk the reader through creative cookery such as Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles, Turtle Pudding Pie, Tiramisu Dip, White Chocolate Coconut Pie Fudge, and much more. Suggestions for ingredient substitutions and an index round out this compendium of dessert delights that are sure to be the hit of any gathering or celebration!

Paleo Takes 5 - Or Fewer
Cindy Sexton
Page Street Publishing Company
27 Congress Street, Suite 103, Salem, MA 01970
Trina Kaye Organization
9781624140754, $21.99,

Canadian Cindy Sexton is the founder of 'Paleodish' and in "Paleo Takes 5 - Or Fewer: Healthy Eating was Never Easier with These Delicious 3, 4 and 5 Ingredient Recipes" has created a superbly illustrated, 224 page culinary compendium showcasing simple but elegant dishes that are as easy to prepare as they are nutritious and delicious. The recipes range from Lobster with Tarragon Parsnip Fries; Sage-Infused Mustard and Onion Pork Chiops; Indian Butter Chicken; and Pan-Seared Scallops with Bacon and Spinach; to Crab Meat with Juicy Mango-Avocado Salsa; Twice-Baked Stuffed Sweet Potato; Potato and Hungarian Sausage hash with Fried Duck Eggs; Saffron Steamed Mussels; and Root Vegetable Chips with Coarse Sea Salt. A truly extraordinary culinary collection, "Paleo Takes 5 - Or Fewer: Healthy Eating was Never Easier with These Delicious 3, 4 and 5 Ingredient Recipes" is enthusiastically recommended for personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Paleo Takes 5 - Or Fewer: Healthy Eating was Never Easier with These Delicious 3, 4 and 5 Ingredient Recipes" is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.89).

The Frugal Paleo Cookbook
Ciarra Hannah
Page Street Publishing Company
27 Congress Street, Suite 103, Salem, MA 01970
9781624140884, $19.99,

Compiled by Cirarra Hannah, "The Frugal Paleo Cookbook: Affordable, Easy & Delicious Paleo Cooking" is a beautifully illustrated, 208 page compendium of wonderfully 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes that are as palate pleasing and appetite satisfying as they are healthy and nutritious. The recipes range from a Tex-Mex Casserole; Oven Roasted Jerk Chicken; Aloha Sliders with Pineapple Relish; and Pot Sticker Meatballs; to Maple Walnut Scotch Eggs; Caramelized Onion Frittata; Roasted Carrot Soup; and Sweet Potato Tater Tots! "The Frugal Paleo Cookbook: Affordable, Easy & Delicious Paleo Cooking" is very highly recommended for any and all personal, family, and community library cookbook collections!

The Poetry Shelf

South From Istanbul
Ken Hebson
Green River Press
172 Country Drive, Guilford, VT 05301

The first place winner in the poetry division of the 2014 Writer's Digest self-published books competition, "South From Istanbul" is a 35 page compendium comprised of Ken Hebson's free verse poetry. Each poem is a literary gem. Simply stated, "South From Istanbul" is deserving of as wide a readership as possible. 'Weekend Retreat': A couple times ago when I was here / I wrote a poem which i have since forgotten. / It mentioned a pond and lotuses, silence and meditation. / we sat solid under a tiny circus tent, / as our guru played our chakras on this ancient sitar. / Then he talked a bit about our life / and our being one with mother earth. / he spoke of our bodies as water and empty space / that vibrate, resonate to waves of sound, / sounds that can produce harmony or its opposite. / ragas are specific to times of day as are we. / eight periods of three hours, each with its own music, / and tomorrow. then he played his sitar and we sat, / trying to be still, but bothered by the biting flies. / After that we broke for lunch / and I wrote that poem I mentioned.

The Computer Shelf

Microsoft Excel Functions And Formulas, third edition
Bernd Held & Theodor Richardson
Mercury Learning and Information, LLC
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
9781937585501, $49.95,

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet application developed by Microsoft for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications. It has been a very widely applied spreadsheet for these platforms, especially since version 5 in 1993, and it has replaced Lotus 1-2-3 as the industry standard for spreadsheets. Excel forms part of Microsoft Office. Now in a fully updated and expanded third edition, "Microsoft Excel Functions And Formulas" is a 375 page compendium written by the team of Micro Excel experts Bernd Held and Theodor Richardson. Deftly organized into ten information packed chapters ranging from Formulas in Excel, to Date and Time Functions, to Database Functions, to Working with Array Formulas, "Microsoft Excel Functions And Formulas" is enhanced with the inclusion of a four part appendix (Excel Interface Guide) and a comprehensive Index. Replete with spread sheet illustrations and thoroughly 'user friendly', "Microsoft Excel Functions And Formulas" is an essential addition to personal and professional Microsoft Excel user instructional reference collections.

The Botany Shelf

Field Guide to Wisconsin Grasses
Emmet J. Judziewicz, et al.
University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, Third Floor, Madison, WI 53711-2059
9780299301347, $29.95, 356pp,

The Poaceae (also called Gramineae or true grasses) are a large and nearly ubiquitous family of monocotyledonous flowering plants. With more than 10,000 domesticated and wild species, the Poaceae represent the fifth-largest plant family, following the Asteraceae, Orchidaceae, Fabaceae, and Rubiaceae. Grasslands are estimated to compose 20% of the vegetation cover of the Earth. Poaceae live in many other habitats, including wetlands, forests, and tundra. Domestication of poaceous cereal crops such as maize (corn), wheat, rice, barley, and millet lies at the foundation of sedentary living and civilization around the world, and the Poaceae still constitute the most economically important plant family in modern times, providing forage, building materials (bamboo, thatch) and fuel (ethanol), as well as food. The collaborative work of Emmet J. Judziewicz (Professor of Biology, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point), Robert W. Freckmann (Professor Emeritus of Biology, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point), Lynn G. Clark (Director of the Iowa Ada Hayden herbarius and Professor of Biology, Iowas State University, and Merel R. Black (Research Associate, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Poiknt and manager of the 'Plants of Wisconsin' web site) "Field Guide to Wisconsin Grasses" is a profusely illustrated guide to the grasses of the Badger State and deftly organized into five major sections (Morphology: Grass Structure; Agrostology: The Study of Grasses; Grasses in Wisconsin Plant Community; Keys to the Grass Genera of Wisconsin; and Field Guide to Wisconsin Grasses). Enhanced with a six page Glossary, a four page list of References, four pages of Illustration Credits; and a eleven page Taxonomic Index, "Field Guide to Wisconsin Grasses" is a critically important, informed and definitive work that is a strongly recommended addition academic library collections, as well as every Wisconsin community library system. It should be noted that "Field Guide to Wisconsin Grasses" is also available in a Kindle edition ($16.22).

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Incredible Change-Bots Two Point Something Something
Jeffrey Brown
Top Shelf Productions
PO Box 5885, Astoria, NY 11105-5885
9781603093484 $19.95

Partly in color and partly in black-and-white, Incredible Change-Bots Two Point Something collects a gallery of comics, newsletters, one-off gags, and drawings that were once exclusive to an elite fan club (i.e. anyone who sent creator Jeffrey Brown five dollars). Incredible Change-Bots is a loving, and sometimes uproarious, parody of the "giant transforming robot" cartoons that children of the 80s and onward fondly remember. Incredible Change-Bots takes the surreal to another level when the transforming robots, trapped in an endless war, engage in oddly human relationships. "'Honkey, um, can I talk to you? ...I think I've got some rust. Down there.' 'But... how... I don't have any... where did you get some rust?' 'I don't know?'" A "must-have" for fans of the previous graphic novels, Incredible Change-Bots Two Point Something Something is just plain fun to browse!

Dungeon Twilight: The End of the Dungeon
Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim, story
Art for High Septentrion: Alfred
Art for The End of the Dungeon: Mazan
NBM Publishing
160 Broadway, Ste. 700, East Wing, New York, NY 10038
9781561639199 $14.99

The fourth and concluding volume of the Dungeon saga, Dungeon Twilight: The End of the Dungeon is a full-color fantasy graphic novel, set in a war-torn world populated by anthropomorphic characters and fantastic beasts. Natural disaster and the machinations of a malevolent, dominating entity threaten to eradicate the very air living beings need to breathe. The aged dragon Dust King (Marvin) contemplates that the time for his heroic death may have come, but the brash, strong-willed Marvin the Red has other ideas. Zakutu, daughter of the Great Khan, fights along with Marvin the Red to defend the seven objects of Destiny, while Herbert and the Dust King are captured by the Dark Entity and compelled to swear allegiance. The artwork has a gritty, surreal style that aptly reflects the ruthlessness of interdimensional war. Dungeon Twilight does contain graphic violence and some nudity, and is recommended for adults or very mature teens.

The Audiobook Shelf

The Forest Kingdom Saga: Once in a Blue Moon: Volumes 1 & 2
Simon R. Green
Graphic Audio
4940 Hampden Lane, Suite 300, Bethesda, MD 20814
Volume 1, 9781628510812, $19.99, CD
Volume 2, 9781628510881, $19.99, CD,

The two volume, 16 CD, Graphic Audio edition of Simon R. Green's "The Forest Kingdom Saga: Once in a Blue Moon" continues the story of Hawk and Fisher, who became immortal during the original war against the Demon Prince. Now some three generations later the Demon Prince is once again threatening to unleash a new demon war upon the human kind. But in addition to Hawk and Fisher, there are now their children and their grand children, and others (including an almost immortal war dog, a ghost, and diabolical weapons as dangerous to themselves as to their enemies) to aid them in their opposition to the Demon Prince. This is a grand saga involving superb multicast performances, sound effects, and music. Flawless production values and a compelling, complex, action-adventure fantasy make for a true 'theatre of the mind' experience. Simply stated, "The Forest Kingdom Saga: Once in a Blue Moon" is very highly recommended for both personal and community library audio book collections. Graphic Audio is a premier producer of outstanding audio book which can be found listed on their web site at

Under Drake's Flag
G. A. Henty
Heirloom Audio Productions, LLC
PO Box 362, Thomson, IL 61285
#66979, $29.95, CD,

"Under Drake's Flag" is the story of Ned Hawkshaw who is about to take the greatest adventure a boy could ever imagine with one of the most celebrated heroes in history - Sir Francis Drake! Ned fights off a shark attack, survives a shipwreck, engages in fierce battles on sea and land, and eventually comes face to face with evil itself - the Spanish Inquisition. Experience the swashbuckling tale that pits faith against fear, and helps Ned grow from a boy into a man. Live the Adventure (tm) and board The Golden Hinde for an epic quest of courage on the high seas! This movie-quality audio theatre was recorded in London and features a cast of stellar actors (including acclaimed British actor Brian Blessed), state-of-the art sound design from award-winner Mark Drury (The Chronicles of Narnia audio series), and a stunning music score composed by John Campbell (Lamplighter Theatre, Focus on the Family Radio Theatre, Adventures in Odyssey). An impressive production featuring equally impressive multicast performances, and superbly enhanced with the inclusion of music and sound effects, "Under Drake's Flag" is very highly recommended for personal and community library audio book collections. It should be noted that "Under Drake's Flag" is also available in a Digital Download edition ($20.00).

Anne Manx And The Blood Chase
Claudia Christian, Moira Kelly, Patricia Tallman
The Radio Repertory Company of America
P.O. Box 8546, Saddle Brook, NJ 07663-8546
0977134245, $19.95 (CD),

Synopsis: Anne Manx, the galaxy's finest P.I., is dying! Anne trails a cryptic clue to Balduria seeking to save her life. Hot on her tail, the flame-haired fiend, Jean Richmond is going to steal the secret to multiple lives for herself. Jam-packed with fast-paced dialog and two-fisted double entendres, Anne Manx and the darkly duplicitous Brighid, spiral into danger as they try to outwit Chief Arum and the entire planet who are literally out for their blood. Excellent production values nicely enhance a true 'theatre of the mind' experience that is highly recommended for science fiction fans that appreciate a well crafted tale replete with unexpected twists and surprising turns. This two-disc CD edition of "Anne Manx And The Blood Chase" is very highly recommended for personal and community library audio book collections. It should be noted that "Anne Manx And The Blood Chase" is also available in a Digital Download edition ($7.99).

The Divine Cactus Tea Cantina RV-Mare
Rene Risher-Kelly
Maritime Productions
9780996079600, $44.00 CD or download,

When the road won't stop calling and you're not sure why, sometimes you just need to answer. In "The Divine Cactus Tea Cantina RV-Mare", Bernie packs up her class A motorhome and leaves her career, home and current life in the Midwest after a shocking twist of events. Never looking back, she hits the road on a long journey in an effort to grab a little fun and a whole lot of soul searching. What she finds is a colorful, chilling & unusual, mysteriously intriguing new world as she is introduced to all that is still wild about the west. Winter Texan madness, Supernatural mayhem, Steamy encounters, Psychedelic cross-dressing, Haunted abandoned insane asylum, King Ranch ghost horses, an RV park full of unconventional characters for an unexpected entanglement with all that's odd roaming about in the desert of the dead on her way into the tropics of Brownsville. Flawless productions values underscore deftly crafted and performed original storytelling that is impressively enhanced with music. Solid entertainment from beginning to end, "The Divine Cactus Tea Cantina RV-Mare" is comprised of fourteen original short stories, and five 'infotainment supplements (Musical Intro; Peyote; Huichol Indians (Peyote People); Two Spirt Belief System; and Madhouse Perspective). Solid entertainment from beginning to end, "The Divine Cactus Tea Cantina RV-Mare" is highly recommended for personal and community library audio book collections, as well as anyone taking a long haul road trip!

Three Wishes
Liane Moriarty, author
Heather Wilds
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road
Old Saybrook, CT 06475
9781494503994 $42.99

Three Wishes is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a novel about the triplet Kettle sisters, each age thirty-three going on thirty-four. Lyn Kettle strives to balance the responsibilities of work, marriage, and motherhood; Cat Kettle learns a shocking secret about her own marriage; and the free-wheeling Gemma Kettle contemplates whether all her relationships will last no longer than the turn of the season. Sisterly charm and camaraderie fill this delightfully witty story! 10 CDs, 11.5 hours.

The Music CD Shelf

Kasse Mady Diabate
Six Degrees Records
c/o Press Junkie PR
$31.99 CD / $9.49 MP3

Kirike is an original album from Kasse Mady Diabate, one of West Africa's luminaries of music. A Mali native who moved to Paris, Diabate draws upon the Mali music tradition of griot in his resounding, velvet-voiced songs, performed in the Bambara language. A unique treasure, Kirike is a "must-have" for international music collections. The tracks are "Simbo" (5:28), "Sori" (6:04), "Ko Kuma Magni" (6:50), "Sadjo" (4:33), "Toumarou" (4:33), "Kirike" (5:37), "Douba Diabira" (7:21) and "Hera" (8:11).

Midnight Rhumba
Johannes Linstead
Earthscape Media
c/o The Creative Service Company
4360 Emerald Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
$13.99 CD / $8.99 MP3

Midnight Rhumba is a wild and exciting album filled with rhythms inspired from the tropics, and the superlative guitar playing of award-winning instrumentalist Johannes Linstead. Accompanied by Gypsy violin, Afro-Cuban percussion, piano, and even a smattering of accordion, Linstead enthusiastically celebrates cross-cultural musical fusion in an album that virtually embodies the joy of welcoming a new year. A fantastically energetic soundscape from beginning to end! The tracks are "L'Italiana" (3:54), "Radio Argentina" (5:02), "Pineapple Grove" (5:14), "Siempre (Now and Forever)" (5:10), "El Lobo" (4:44), "Balzac's Brew" (3:41), "Angel on my Guitar" (3:47), "The Oracle" (5:44), "Midnight Rhumba" (4:33), "Calypso Island" (3:44), and "Bewitched" (4:49).

Ireesh Lal
Privately Published
c/o Press Junkie PR
$TBA CD / $5.34 MP3

Ethnotronica is the debut solo album of multi-instrumentalist and programmer Ireesh Lal. Fusing original electronic music with aspects of East Indian tradition and elements of the Western jazz trumpet, Ethnotronica transcends cultures, borders, and genres. A surging, heady mix of incredible joy de vivre, Ethnotronica is especially recommended for connoisseurs intrigued the radical revelry of daring to be different! The tracks are "Electrolounge" (3:55), "Liftoff" (3:54), "Haunted" (3:37), "Novacane" (3:52), "Spirits" (3:41), and "Shooting Star" (3:16).

Gymnosphere: Song of the Rose
Jordan de la Sierra
Unity Recrords
c/o The Creative Service Company
4360 Emerald Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
$16.49 CD / $17.49 MP3

Gymnosphere: Song of the Rose is an instrumental music CD, digitally remastered from the original vinyl album that has been out-of-print for over 30 years. A unique creation from a specially tuned piano, Gymnosphere defies classification - cutting-edge for its era, yet possessed of a timeless quality that transcends genres. As much of an exploration as it is a soundscape, Gymnosphere is a "must-have" for connoisseurs. 2 CDs.

The DVD Shelf

Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480, Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
9781594392986 $49.95

Tai chi, qigong, and kung fu expert Dr. Yang presents Neigong: Martial Qigong for Internal Power, a two-DVD set designed to teach the viewer about the traditional Chinese art of neigong (which literally translates to "internal skill"), a practice that involves coordinating movement and breathing and applying Daoist and Buddhist techniques to cultivate and store one's qi (energy) as well as maximize circulation. Neigong can be incorporated into health or martial arts practice; benefits of neigong mastery include increased stamina, the ability to hit with more force, and improved stability. Dr. Yang guides the viewer through a wide variety of exercises that can aid relaxation, assist in meditation, and also supplement personal fitness, culminating in a follow-along neigong workout. Neigong: Martial Qigong for Internal Power is an absolute "must-have" for anyone interested in learning more about the practice of neigong or incorporating its benefits into their fitness or daily routine. 340 min., English narration with English subtitles.

Anchor Bay Entertainment
2401 West Big Beaver Road, Suite 200
Troy, MI 48084-3304
c/o Fit PR

Instructor Lisa Wheeler guides viewers in two fitness DVDs from Weight Watchers, the well-known provider of weight management services, are accessible to viewers of all skill and experience levels, and suitable for incorporating into busy schedules. Neither DVDs require any expensive exercise equipment; incorporating a simple set of 3-10 pound dumbbells is optional. "Weight Watchers: 7 Day Tone & Burn" ($14.98, 65 min.) has two 30-minute workouts designed for alternating days of the week, with one day a week set aside to rest. One routine is the Burn Workout, emphasizing energetic cardio rhythm; the other is Tone Workout, which focuses on body sculpting and circuit training. Both workouts play with fitness professionals demonstrating beginner, intermediate, and advanced versions, allowing the viewer to customize the experience as needed. "Weight Watchers: 10-Minute Belly, Butt & Thigh Tone Ups" ($14.98, 66 min.) is an anthology of six ten-minute workouts ideal for targeting specific areas of the body. They can be mixed or matched to taste, and instructors demonstrate beginner, intermediate, and advanced movements for each program. Both DVDs are excellent, user-friendly additions to any fitness collection.

The Needlecraft Shelf

More Quick & Easy Hexie Quilts
Julia C. Wood
American Quilter's Society
PO Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290
9781604601671, $22.95,

In "More Quick & Easy Hexie Quilts", needlecrafter Julia C. Wood shows how to make hexies from circles utilizing an historical Appalachian method but with a modern flair! Quilters will learn how to create hexies with no papers and no plastic templates! Included are invaluable tips on appliqueing hexies to backgrounds by hand or machine, along with beginner projects that come together quickly. Variety is the key for "More Quick & Easy Hexie Quilts" with quilts that are modern, whimsical, and even a quilt made from men's shirts. Thoroughly 'user friendly' throughout, "More Quick & Easy Hexie Quilts" is a very highly recommended addition to personal and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections.

P.O. Box 8000, Big Sandy, TX 75755

Annie's has become a premier publisher of 'how to' books for needlecrafters. Two of her latest and best are (for those who crochet) Dedri Uys' "Amamani Puzzle Balles (9781573675697, $10.00, 64pp) and (for those who quilt) Carolyn S. Vagts' "Learn to Quilt with Panels" (9781573675802, $14.99, 80pp). Replete with illustrations, patterns, and thoroughly 'user friendly', step-by-step instructions, each and every project is a needlecrafter's gem. Both of these superbly designed and presented instructional guides will prove to be immensely popular additions to personal and community library Needlecraft reference collections.

The Crafts Shelf

Felt So Good
Tone Rorseth
Sellers Publishing
161 John Roberts Road
South Portland, ME 04106
9781416242578 $19.95

Felt So Good: 70+ Felted and Plain Wool Designs for You and Your Home lives up to its title as a compendium to creating decorative, functional, and memorable gifts or keepsakes from wool. The wool used can be purchased, or recycled from worn or out-of-style wool sweaters. Full-color photography complements the step-by-step instructions for creating felt envelopes, barstool covers, dog coats, slippers, hot water bottle covers, headbands, and much more. Handy photocopiable or traceable patterns and an index round out this "user-friendly" crafting guide!

Crafting With Paracord
Chad Poole
Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440, Berkeley CA 94703-3440
9781612432885, $14.95,

Parachute cord is a lightweight nylon kernmantle rope originally used in the suspension lines of parachutes. This cord is useful for many other tasks and is now used as a general purpose utility cord by both military personnel and civilians. This versatile cord was even used by astronauts during the 82nd Space Shuttle mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. The braided sheath has a high number of interwoven strands for its size, giving it a relatively smooth texture. The all-nylon construction makes paracord fairly elastic. Compiled and presented by Chad Poole, "Crafting with Paracord: 50 Fun and Creative Projects Using the World's Strongest Cord" is a superbly illustrated, 108 page compendium showcasing craft projects, each with thoroughly 'user friendly' step-by-step instructions. The easy and fun projects range from braids for fun bracelets and watchbands; weaves for one-of-a-kind leashes and luggage straps; wraps for tough knife and flashlight handles; knots for decorative lanyards and clasps; bars for handy ropes and keychains, and much more. Also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99), "Crafting with Paracord: 50 Fun and Creative Projects Using the World's Strongest Cord" is enthusiastically recommended for personal and community library Crafts/Hobbies instructional reference collections.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Collecting Vintage Plastic Model Airplane Kits
Craig Kodera
Specialty Press
99 Spring Street, 3rd floor
New York, NY 10012
9781580072236 $24.95

Packed with full-color photography on virtually every page, Collecting Vintage Plastic Model Airplane Kits showcases these treasures of pop culture, some of which are extremely difficulty to obtain today. Interspersed with anecdotes from lifelong hobbyists, Collecting Vintage Plastic Model Airplane Kits is the next best thing to spending a small fortune on hard-to-find models! "What makes this kit so collectible? Study it closely. Hint: Since when does the Army Air Corps have blue stars on white roundels? The idea that there was questionable thinking at [kit manufacturer] Aurora is considered a reason, as this one shows."

Vintage Dirt Bikes: Enthusiasts Guide
Doug Mitchel
CarTech Inc.
39966 Grand Avenue, North Branch, MN 55056
9781929133314, $27.95,

A Dirt Bike is a motorcycle that is specially designed for off-road events. Compared to road-going motorcycles, off-road machines are simpler and lighter, having long suspension travel, high ground clearance, and rugged construction, with little bodywork and no fairings for less damage in spills. Wheels (usually 21" front, 18" rear) have knobby tires, often clamped to the rim with a rim lock. Compiled with an informative commentary by dirt bike expert Doug Mitchel, "Vintage Dirt Bikes: Enthusiasts Guide" is a profusely illustrated, 144 page compendium showcasing an impressive roster dirt bikes that were manufactured over the past several decades. Very highly recommended reading for motorcycle enthusiasts, "Vintage Dirt Bikes: Enthusiasts Guide" will prove to be especially useful to anyone considering acquiring or restoring a vintage dirt bike for themselves.

The Humor Shelf

Wetter Louder Stickier
Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott
Andrews McMeel Publishing
1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
9781449458256, $18.99,

The collaborative work of cartoonists Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott, "Wetter, Louder, Stickier" is the thirty-first volume in their popular syndicated newspaper strip 'Baby Blues'. This 216 page compendium is comprised of the adventures (and misadventures) of parents Daryl and Wanda in raising/coping with their three children: Zoey, Hammy, and Wren. From simple smiles to laughing out loud, each and every strip is a joy. With the occasional succinct commentary giving back ground information to a particular strip, "Wetter, Louder, Stickier" is a "must read" for the legions of Baby Blues fans -- but if this is your first introduction, be warned -- "Wetter, Louder, Stickier" will lead to an irresistible compulsion to acquire and enjoy all thirty of the previous collections! Highly recommended for personal reading lists and academic library collections, it should be noted that "Wetter, Louder, Stickier" is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.49).

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Immortal Mind
Ervin Laszlo with Anthony Peake
Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620553039 $16.95

Also available as an ebook, The Immortal Mind: Science and the Continuity of Consciousness Beyond the Brain postulates the idea that consciousness exists beyond the confines of the physical human brain, or any living organism, and is continually present in the cosmos. The evidence pointing toward the continuity of consciousness includes stories of near-death experiences, after-death communication, reincarnation, and perceptions received in altered states of mind. Authors Laszlo and Peake make a compelling case for the theory that the purpose of consciousness is to evolve through manifestation in living beings. Thoughtful and thought-provoking, The Immortal Mind is highly recommended for metaphysical studies shelves.

The Architecture Shelf

The Pitot House
James Wade, author
Robert S. Brantley and Jan White Brantley, photographers
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street
Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781455619320 $24.95

Part of the Louisiana Landmark Series, and also available as an ebook, The Pitot House: A Landmark on Bayou St. John is a full-color coffee-table book showcasing a historic work of architecture, first constructed on the bayou in 1708. Both modern color and vintage black-and-white photography reveal the beauty of the architecture and design of this stately home, exemplary of Creole architecture, and the text relates its storied history, including technological improvements added to it as the decades progressed. The Pitot House is a choice pick for architecture shelves or casual browsers, highly recommended.

The Holiday Shelf

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens, author
Zdenko Baisc, illustrator
Running Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500
New York, NY 10107
9780762450909 $18.95

Featuring a wealth of fabulous, full-color artwork with a Victorian steampunk twist, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol presents Dickens' timeless holiday short story, along with the classic Dickens stories "A Christmas Tree" and "The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton". It's the breathtaking illustrations that truly set this deluxe edition apart, vividly capturing the fables' sense of magic, wonder, and mystery. Superb for gift-giving or simply reliving this wonderful yuletide tale, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is highly recommended.

Christmas in Nevada
Patricia D. Cafferata
University of Nevada Press
Mail Stop 0166, Reno, NV, 89557-0166
9780874179491 $26.95

Christmas in Nevada is a compendium of delightful stories about how people in Nevada have celebrated the yuletide holiday from 1858 to modern times. Individuals portrayed in their festivity range from former governors Bob List and Richard Bryan, to Basque-American writer Robert Laxalt, to ordinary Nevadans from a diversity of cultural backgrounds. Extraordinary tales include the story of three miners trapped underground for 45 days during the Christmas season, Tonopah's "Nevergreen" tree, and Reno's Santa Pub Crawl with lively, costumed revelers. A handful of black-and-white photographs illustrate this delightful tribute.

The Season of the Nativity
Sybil MacBeth
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568, Orleans, MA 02653
9781612614106 $17.99

Part memoir, part light theology, and part resource of spiritual activities, The Season of the Nativity: Confessions and Practices of an Advent, Christmas & Epiphany Extremist invites readers of all walks of life to explore Christmas celebration on a deeper level. Illustrated with full-color photography throughout, The Season of the Nativity is packed with ideas for everything from unique advent calendars to using one's whole body to learn and reenact biblical parables, to planting bulbs and watching them grow in parallel with seasonal anticipation. An inspirational treasury from cover to cover, filled with spiritual musings to reflect upon year-round, The Season of the Nativity is highly recommended.

Candy Canes and Christmastime
Linda Hoffman Kimball, compiler and illustrator
c/o Cedar Fort, Inc.
2373 West 700 South, Springville, Utah 84663
9781462114634 $12.99

Candy Canes and Christmastime: Enhancing the Holidays in the Real World is an anthology of amusing anecdotes and true-life testimonies from a diversity of holiday celebrants. These tales not only entertain, but also help families experience the sacred elements of the Christmas season. From unique traditions that promote family togetherness, to time and money-saving tips, to insightful reflections, Candy Canes and Christmastime is a timeless treasury.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Treasure of Peta Nocona
Lee Pierce
Barking Rain Press
PO Box 822674, Vancouver, WA 98682
9781935460701 $12.95 pbk
9781935460718 $5.95 ebook

The Treasure of Peta Nocona is a historical thriller about an archaeological expedition turned into a desperate fight for survival. Master gunfighter Mace Brown (not his real name) reluctantly agrees to lead a team to survey and study ancient Indian ruins in the Palo Duro Canyon, unaware of the dual threats of a gang of outlaws and a renegade Comanche war chief. Tautly written, The Treasure of Peta Nocona is suspenseful and exciting to the very end, and a treat for fans of the genre.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Natural Remedies for Inflammation
Christopher Vasey, N.D.
Healing Arts Press
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620553237 $14.95

Natural Remedies for Inflammation lives up to its title as a resource of 33 natural remedies for common inflammatory maladies, including asthma, allergies, hay fever, colitis, arthritis, eczema, and more conditions. A medical disclaimer warns that Natural Remedies for Inflammation is expressly intended to supplement the care of a trained doctor, and cannot substitute for the judgment of a medical professional; with that understood, the plain-terms recommendations are simple and thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds. Color illustrations enhance the down-to-earth suggestions ranging from anti-inflammatory plants to dietary recommendations to hydrotherapy. An excellent, user-friendly pick.

The Biography Shelf

The View from the Back of the Band
Chris Smith
University of North Texas Press
PO Box 311336
Denton, TX 76203-1336
9781574415742 $24.95

The View from the Back of the Band: The Life and Music of Mel Lewis is a biography of legendary jazz drummer Mel Lewis (1929-1990), born Melvin Sokoloff to Jewish-Russian immigrants in Buffalo, New York. A full-time professional musician by age 17, Mel Lewis was a master of attuning his drumming to support virtually any turn of music. He was well-known as a fellow band member of Stan Kenton and Thad Jones, yet perhaps his greatest legacy was his time spent mentoring young musicians, as well as his hundreds of sideman recordings. An index and selected discography supplement this superbly engaging portrait of a vibrant musician's life, passions, and achievements.

The Social Issues Shelf

Who Killed the American Family?
Phyllis Schlafly
WND Books
9781938067525 $26.95

Prominent conservative spokeswoman Phyllis Schlafly presents Who Killed the American Family?, a sharp indictment of both individual and institutional attacks on the American nuclear family. Schlafly denounces a society saturated with media that promotes a "hookup" culture, encouraging young people to cohabitate instead of marry; the "it takes a village to raise a child" idea imported from Africa (when the truth is that African children are much more likely to survive if they have a living mother); legal bureaucracy that punishes fathers and husbands; financial incentives that undermine the family bond; and much more. "The federal Bradley Amendment takes us back to the cruel days of debtors' prisons. It forbids a child-support debt from being retroactively reduced or forgiven. The courts must enforce payment regardless of any change in a father's income, whether he is sent to war or locked up in prison, unemployed or hospitalized or even dead, even if DNA proves he is not the father, and even if he is never allowed to see his children." Though not all readers may agree with Schafly's severe criticism of feminists or the LGBT community, her writing does shine harsh light upon America's social ills. Who Killed the American Family? is worth reading regardless of one's political persuasion, as it points out problems that need to be addressed - or else the next generation of American families will pay the price.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Compulsion: Heirs of Watson Island
Martina Boone
Simon Pulse
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 4th floor
New York, NY 10020
9781481411226 $17.99

Suitable for teen or adult readers, Compulsion: Heirs of Watson Island is a dark fantasy about a generations-long curse. When Barrie Watson's mother passes on, Barrie trades the confinement of her childhood home for a different type of imprisonment at her aunt's South Carolina plantation. An ancient spirit's curse lingers, manifesting in magical gifts that double as irresistible compulsions. As the last Watson heir, Barrie must unravel the mystery of her lineage's darkest secrets, and face off against hidden enemies, if she is ever to win her own freedom. Shadowy and introspective, Compulsion is as fascinating as it is thought-provoking.

The Sports Shelf

The Days of Roger Federer
Randy Walker
New Chapter Press
1175 York Ave., Suite #3, New York, NY 10065
c/o Independent Publishers Group (dist.)
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9781937559373 $19.95

The Days of Roger Federer is a celebration of the athletic career and legacy of Swiss professional tennis player Roger Federer, currently ranked #2 in the world by the Association of Tennis Professionals. Written in a unique day-by-day format, The Days of Roger Federer isn't journal-style, or in chronological order; instead, every day from January 1st to December 31st has multiple entries describing momentous events in Federer's storied career on that specific day, during various years. Interspersing the fact-filled sports highlights are author Randy Walker's brief insights and commentary, or occasional quotes from Federer himself. "Many pinpoint Roger Federer's first-round loss to Mario Ancic as one of the worst losses of his career, but years after the loss, Federer said it taught him a valuable lesson. Said Federer, 'What it taught me was not to underestimate any opponent, no matter where they're from, what technique they have, what ranking they have.'" Equally enjoyable to browse in short bursts or all at once, The Days of Roger Federer is enthusiastically recommended for tennis fans.

The Travel Shelf

Under the Radar Michigan: The First 50
Tom Daldin with Jim Edelman and Eric Tremonti
Scribe Publishing Company
c/o KSB Promotions
9780991602100 $24.95

Also available as an ebook, Under the Radar Michigan: The First 50 is a travel guide inspired by the Emmy award winning PBS television series of the same name, known for showcasing the state's amazing places to visit, eat, live, or start a business. Illustrated with full color photography throughout, Under the Radar Michigan is an eye-opening tour of Michigan's proud delights, from the Dinosaur Gardens (a walking tour of incredible dinosaur replicas) to the Domaci Art Gallery to Grovebox Studios (dedicated to helping fledgling music artists gain recognition) and much more. A treasury for armchair travelers and Michigan tourists alike!

The Wine Shelf

The Winemaker's Hand
Natalie Berkowitz
Columbia University Press
61 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023-7015
c/o Gulotta Communications (publicity)
9780231167567 $27.95

The Winemaker's Hand: Conversations on Talent, Technique, and Terroir is a celebration of the art and craft of creating wine. Interviews with more than forty winemakers from the United States and abroad discuss their talents, experience, and passion for growing grapes and producing wine. Perspectives from Chile, England, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, and the United States are included in this contemplative reflection. A joy to browse, The Winemaker's Hand is especially recommended for sophisticated wine connoisseurs.

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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