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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 11, Number 7 July 2016 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Art Shelf Gaming Shelf
Photography Shelf Self-Help Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Buddhist Studies Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf
DVD Shelf Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Cookbook Shelf Travel Shelf
Biography Shelf Education Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf American History Shelf Writing/Publishing Shelf
Poetry Shelf Money/Finance Shelf Crafts Shelf
Agriculture Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Chain of Title
David Dayen
The New Press
126 Wall Street, floor 31, New York, NY 10005-4007
9781620971581, $27.95, HC, 320pp,

In the depths of the Great Recession, a cancer nurse, a car dealership worker, and an insurance fraud specialist helped uncover the largest consumer crime in American history, and thereby revealing a scandal that implicated dozens of major executives on Wall Street. They called it foreclosure fraud: millions of families were kicked out of their homes based on false evidence by mortgage companies that had no legal right to foreclose. Lisa Epstein, Michael Redman, and Lynn Szymoniak did not work in government or law enforcement. They had no history of anti-corporate activism. Instead they were all foreclosure victims, and while struggling with their shame and isolation they committed a revolutionary act: closely reading their mortgage documents, discovering the deceit behind them, and building a movement to expose it. In "Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street's Great Foreclosure Fraud" David Dayen (a columnist for the Fiscal Times) deftly recounts how these ordinary Floridians challenged the most powerful institutions in America armed only with the truth -- and for a brief moment they brought the corrupt financial industry to its knees. A consistently compelling, informed and informative read from beginning to end, "Chain of Title" is a truly exceptional study that should be a part of very community and academic library collection in the country. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Chain of Title" is also available in a Kindle edition ($15.39).

Genanne Walsh
Black Lawrence Press
9781625579379, $19.95, PB, 400pp,

By turns terrifying and humorous, clear-eyed and deep- hearted, "Twister" by Genanne Walsh brings the reader into the center of a storm as a small Midwestern town mourns the death of a young soldier. The novel opens with Rose, the soldier's fiercely independent mother, whose flame-red hair turns white overnight from grief. Chapter by chapter, her community is revealed and transformed, creating a web of secrets, betrayals, and hopes that ratchet up tension as the tornado approaches. As the storm drives into the heart of town, pasts are revealed and lives are shaken to the core. Exceptionally well written and consistently compelling from beginning to end, "Twister" is an unforgettable and extraordinary debut as a novelist for Genanne Walsh who has established herself as a keen observer of people, nature, and the ineffable. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to personal reading lists as well as community and academic library Literary Fiction collections, "Twister" is confidently and highly recommended.

The Art Shelf

The Art of Disney's Dragons
Foreword by David Lowery
Introduction by Tom Bancroft
Disney Editions
1101 Flower Street, Glendale, CA 91201
9781484747162 $29.99

The Art of Disney's Dragons is a gorgeous, full-color compilation of concept art featuring dragons from three generations of Disney movies, parks, and resorts - even some ultimately unused concepts. From the villainous Maleficent of "Sleeping Beauty", to the wisecracking Mushu of "Mulan", to the animated and 2016 live-action renditions of Pete's Dragon and more, The Art of Disney's Dragons is an extraordinary tour of ideas, memories, designs, and dreams. Outside of the foreword, the introduction, there is virtually no text; the dragon art speaks for itself. Back-of-the-book notes identify the origin of each artwork, without distracting from their splendor. The Art of Disney's Dragons is highly recommended for Disney fans and dragon fans alike!

The Gaming Shelf

The 100 Greatest Console Video Games 1977-1987
Brett Weiss
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764346187 $34.99

Featuring over 400 full-color photographs of vintage video game catridges, packaging, advertisements, and screenshots, The 100 Greatest Console Video Games 1977-1987 lists the most memorable, original, and impactful video games of 1977 to 1987. This decade encompasses the inception of home video game consoles, the great video game crash of 1983 (a time when overproduction of poor quality games all but extinguished the market), and Nintendo's miraculous revival of the medium. Each video game is carefully selected with particular attention to how well it holds up today, as well as its contributions to the entertainment form's evolution. Author Brett Weiss discusses not only conversions of wildly popular arcade games (Joust, Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man) and treasured classics (Adventure, Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Yar's Revenge), but also lesser-known games that had phenomenal gameplay for their time (Antarctic Adventure, Moon Patrol) and games that broke new ground in genres available to console gamers (DragonStomper for the Atari 2600, one of the earliest console role-playing games, first released in 1982). Each spotlighted game has a handful of pages devoted to its history and influence, as well as a vivid description of its interactive gameplay. A bibliography and an index round out this "must-have" for classic video game players and collectors!

The Photography Shelf

Oregon: A Photographic Journey
Greg Vaughn
Farcountry Press
PO Box 5630, Helena, MT 59604
9781560376606, $12.95, PB, 80pp,

In the pages of "Oregon: A Photographic Journey", veteran travel photographer Greg Vaughn takes his readers on an impressively memorable photographic journey of the state of Oregon, sharing the spectacular, diverse landscape this part of the country is known for. Readers will enjoy these beautiful and informatively captioned images showcasing the beauty of Oregon's famous coast with sea stacks, the snowcapped peaks of the Cascades, lush old-growth forests, and fertile valleys. From the cascading waterfalls, serene lakes, and raging rivers of western Oregon to the craggy mountains, deep canyons, and painted hills in eastern Oregon, "Oregon: A Photographic Journey" a breathtaking journey and one that is ideal for the armchair traveler and the on-site visitor alike. A truly exceptional volume of breathtaking photography, "Oregon: A Photographic Journey" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal and community library Outdoor Photography and American Travel collections.

EAA Oshkosh: The Best AirVenture Photography
James P. Busha, Hal Bryan; Dick Knapinski
Voyageur Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9780760351840, $24.99, Flexibound, 224pp,

Every year the skies over Oshkosh, Wisconsin, rumble with the sound of aircraft engines. It's the annual week long aviation air show is sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), an international organization based in Oshkosh, and is the largest of its kind anywhere in the world. EAA Oshkosh showcases the many types of aircraft that have appeared there and even offers a glimpse of the lively crowds and campgrounds including: Warbirds; Vintage aircraft; Home-Built aircraft; Seaplanes; Ultralights; and EAA firsts (i.e., the F-35, all of Burt Rutan, the SR-71, etc.) Drawing on the EAA's photo archive dating back to 1953, Very highly recommended, especially for dedicated aviation enthusiasts and community library aviation collections, "EAA Oshkosh" brims from cover to cover with fascinating stories, history, and photography. Simply stated -- paging through "EAA Oshkosh" is the next best thing to actually attending the show!

The Self-Help Shelf

Goal Mapping
Brian Mayne
Watkins Publishing
Angel Business Club
9780393064551, $19.95, PB, 244pp,

Brian Mayne is an inspirational speaker, author and trainer, presenting on an international stage. His core message of self-improvement through the practice of personal Response-Ability and purpose led motivation have proven as effective and popular with the corporate world as with the many individuals who come to experience his public presentations. In "Goal Mapping: How to Turn Your Dreams into Realities" he presents his system as a tried, tested, proven and popular method for setting and achieving goals in any area of life, and in any endeavor. "Goal Mapping" aims to have an impact on both the left and the right sides of the brain, to create power. "Goal Mapping" uses imagery and the language of the subconscious, it combines words with pictures and symbols. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, content, organization and presentation, "Goal Mapping" is unreservedly recommended for personal self-help/self-improvement reading lists and community library collections. It should be noted that "Goal Mapping" is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.99).

Sacred Stress
George R. Faller & Heather Wright
Skylight Paths Publishing
Sunset Farms Offices, Route 4
PO Box 237, Woodstock, VT 05091
9781594736148, $16.99, PB, 176pp,

Stress can limit our perspective, leaving us feeling trapped and out of control. But stress can also be a force for good: It is our challenges that most compel us to reach out for relationship. And our proudest moments come after overcoming obstacles we thought were insurmountable. Based on personal experience and their work as therapists, and drawing on decades of psychological research, George R. Faller (Founder and President of the New York Center for Emotionally Focused Therapy and who teaches at the Ackerman Institute in Manhattan) and The Rev. Dr. Heather Wright (an ordained Presbyterian minister who is also a licensed professional counselor and executive director for a faith-based counseling center) have come to see that stress can be healthy and positive. In "Sacred Stress: A Radically Different Approach to Using Life's Challenges for Positive Change" they effectively collaborate to equip the reader with the skills and the knowledge needed to re-frame thinking about stress, understand and embrace our darker emotions, and become stronger through difficulty. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "Sacred Stress" is unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Stress Management Studies and Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Sacred Stress" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Dr. Blaylock's Prescriptions for Natural Health
Russell L. Blaylock, MD
Humanix Books
9781630060244, $26.99, HC, 404pp,

Specifically written for the non-specialist general reader who is finding that their medical conditions don't get better and that their prescription drugs don't live up to their expectations. In the page of "Dr. Blaylock's Prescriptions for Natural Health" readers will learn: Specific supplement recommendations for nearly any health issue we could face; How to fight back against the diseases of aging with a simple anti-inflammatory diet; Why we must avoid specific substances in our food that can damage your brain, heart, lungs, and other organs -- especially for anyone over the age of 50; How we can drink our daily veggies without messy juicing; Safe and effective natural remedies for a full range of conditions including cancer, brain and heart disorders, diabetes, digestive illness, skin problems, pain, and prostate concerns. Dr. Blaylock also discusses diagnosis and treatment of dozens of medical conditions plaguing men and women: cancer, skin problems, brain and heart diseases, prostate disorders, diabetes, and many more. In addition, he reveals how to relieve common troubles such as pain, ringing in the ears, constipation and other digestive issues, vision problems, mood disorders, and other ailments. Readers will also see how natural products are superior to many pharmaceutical drugs, and learn more about the exciting new field of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. While unreservedly recommended for community and academic library Health/Medicine collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists for anyone with an interest in what alternative medicine has to offer as a supplement to traditional western medicine, it should be noted that "Dr. Blaylock's Prescriptions for Natural Health" is also available in a Kindle edition ($15.49).

The Nourished Belly Diet
Tammy Chang
Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440, Berkeley CA 94703-3440
9781612435503, $14.95, PB, 224pp,

Tammy Chang is a certified nutrition consultant who gives nutrition classes, workshops, and food demonstrations. Tammy is also a graduate of the Three Stone Hearth Apprentice Program in Berkeley that prepares food according to the nutritional philosophy of traditional diets. She is a co-founder of Common Seed Nutrition, a group of nutrition consultants dedicated to making nutrition education accessible to everyone. In "The Nourished Belly Diet: 21-Day Plan to Heal Your Gut, Kick-Start Weight Loss, Boost Energy and Have You Feeling Great" Tammy draws upon her years of experience and expertise to present an impressively 'reader friendly' guide and reference that includes an extraordinary number of holistic recipes that include entries for breakfast, salads and sauces, veggie sides, entrees, and 'sweet treats'. Of special note is the inclusion of five appendices (Guide to Healthy Cooking Oil; Guide to Antioxidants; Complete List of Belly Boosters; Protein in Common Foods; Tea It Up!); two pages of Recommended Resources; and a two page Index. A delight to plan menus with, and while "The Nourished Belly Diet" is unreservedly recommended for personal, family, and community library collections, it should also be noted that a Kindle edition is also available ($9.99).

The Buddhist Studies Shelf

Living in Blue Sky Mind
Richard Gentei Diedrichs
MSI Press
1760-F Airline Hwy, #203, Hollister, Ca 95023
9781942891161, $12.95, PB, 180pp,

We live with minds as open and spacious as the deep blue sky. "Living in Blue Sky Mind: Basic Buddhist Teachings for a Happy Life" by Richard Gentei Diedrichs (an ordained a Zen priest in 1984 by Genki Takabayashi Roshi and currently a Dharma teacher in the Children's Program at Daifukuji Zen Temple in Kona, Hawaii) presents basic Buddhist teachings that keep us on the wholesome path of self-realization toward a happy life. "Living in Blue Sky Mind" is a compilation of simple lessons, anecdotes of personal transformation, and reflective questions to guide us along Buddha's enlightened way. As with such examples as: "Buddha advised that we not speak with malice if we want to create connection and happiness around us."; "We learn that to be happy, we need to end our suffering and the suffering of those around us."; and "We are fortunate to have a way to be happy with what we have and with who we are." Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Living in Blue Sky Mind" is thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, commentary and content. While very highly recommended for community, college, and university library Buddhist Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Living in Blue Sky Mind" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).

Eyes Wide Open
Will Johnson
Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781594770005, $12.95, PB, 98pp,

In "Eyes Wide Open: Buddhist Instructions on Merging Body and Vision", Will Johnson (who is the founder and director of the Institute for Embodiment Training, which combines Western somatic psychotherapy with Eastern meditation practices) meditation practices are used to awaken the body and create a mind like a mirror, enabling us to literally see things as they are. "Eyes Wide Open" craws on the story of the seventh-century Chinese monk Shenxiu to create a meditation practice for profound relaxation, inclusion and connection to the world around us, and realization of our essential nature; explains how our attitudes, beliefs, and bodily tensions distort our perceptions and lead to our sense of separation from the world outside our bodies; and details techniques of vision, such as sky gazing, eye gazing, and mirror gazing, that lead to an ecstatic mindfulness. Through this new kind of seeing, divisions between our inner and outer world start to drop away. We can begin to experience an intimate connectivity to the world we look out onto. By cleansing the mirror of the mind, we can come out of the dreams of who we think we are and awaken into our true, essential nature. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, commentary, content, organization and presentation, "Eyes Wide Open" is strongly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Buddhist Studies collections in general, and meditation supplemental studies reading lists in particular. It should be noted for students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the Buddhist approach to meditation that "Eyes Wide Open" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.98).

The Manuals of Dhamma
Ven. Ledi Sayadaw
Pariyatti Publishing
867 Larmon Road, Onalaska, WA 98570
9781681720319, $19.95, PB, 392pp,

Ledi Sayadaw was a leading Buddhist scholar of his day. Revered by his contemporaries and regarded as an authority by Western interpreters of Theravada texts, he made a break with the past and strove to make the entire record of the Buddha's teaching accessible to the general population, not only the Sangha. Now made available to an American readership, "The Manuals of Dhamma" is a collection of writings from an outstanding figure in the resurgence of the Buddha's teachings. "The Manuals of Dhamma" is a mixture of detailed analysis, vivid stories, and examples for meditators. Indeed, this English translation of Venerable Sayadaw's writings provides inspiring guidance and valuable information for the practice of Dhamma. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Manuals of Dhamma" is unreservedly recommended for community and academic library Buddhist Studies collections, as well as the personal reading lists for anyone with an interest in Buddhism.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

In His Image
Rabbi Yuval Cherlow
Maggid / The Toby Press
c/o Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
9781592643714, $24.95, HC, 240pp,

At a time when religion is distorted to crush, belittle, and negate Man, when personal responsibility is replaced by passive faith, and human endeavor is deemed unworthy, "In His Image" by Rabbi Yuval Cherlow seeks to reinstate one of the fundamental truths of Judaism: the creation of Man in the image of God. Rabbi Cherlow explores the significance of Man's divine image, and its far-reaching halakhic, ethical, psychological, and existential implications. Rather than demeaning, argues Rabbi Cherlow, Judaism is based on the profound glorification of Man, his strengths and freedoms, rights and responsibilities. "In His Image" is an exceptionally well organized and impressively presented manifesto of Jewish humanism, making it a very strongly recommended addition to synagogue, community, and academic library Judaic Studies collections and supplemental studies lists. For the personal reading lists it should be noted that "In His Image" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).

When a Lie Is Not a Sin
Rabbi Dennis S. Ross
Jewish Lights Publishing
PO Box 237, Woodstock, VT 05091
9781580238588, $18.99, PB, 176pp,

The difference between truth and falsehood is often clear and simple. But when life gets complicated, the Hebrew Bible can help. The Hebrew Bible is true and wants us to tell the truth, even as biblical characters behave in less than truthful ways. What's more, where some of the lies people tell in the Hebrew Bible stories are punished, others are ignored and still others are rewarded. The Hebrew Bible's mixed-message of "Do as I say, not as they do" shows that lies, little and big, whether told to protect or advance oneself or when intended to preserve the peace, often occur under involved circumstances and demand careful consideration. By viewing an array of situations in light of the Hebrew Bible ranging from the routine but delicate to the once-in-a-lifetime dilemma, "When a Lie Is Not a Sin: The Hebrew Bible's Framework for Deciding" by Rabbi Dennis S. Ross (serves at Congregation Beth Emeth in Albany, New York and directs Concerned Clergy for Choice at Family Planning Advocates of New York State) will make a difference in how observant Jews think and live. Offering a candid and informative look at religion and truthfulness, "When a Lie Is Not a Sin" is ideal for all members of the Jewish community who are interested in exploring the religious basis for personal decision making, conscience and morality. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "When a Lie Is Not a Sin" is recommended reading for Jews of all denominations for personal study or as a textbook in Torah study groups. Indeed, "When a Lie Is Not a Sin" will prove to be a thoughtful and thought-provoking read for Christians and social justice activists as well. While commended as an addition to synagogue, community, and academic library Judaic Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "When a Lie Is Not a Sin" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

The Christian Studies Shelf

Kierkegaard: A Christian Missionary to Christians
Mark A. Tietjen
InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 605151426
9780830840977, $20.00, PB, 173pp,

S ren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) had a mission. The church had become weak, flabby and inconsequential. Being a Christian was more a cultural heritage than a spiritual reality. His chosen mission became to reintroduce the Christian faith to Christians. How could he break through to people who were members of the church and thought they were Christians already? Like an Old Testament prophet, Kierkegaard used a variety of pointed and dramatic ways to shake people from their slumber. He incisively diagnosed the spiritual ailments of his age and offered a fresh take on classic Christian teaching. In "Kierkegaard: A Christian Missionary to Christians", Mark Tietjen (Chaplain and Grace Palmer Johnston Chair of Bible at The Stony Brook School in Stony Brook, New York) thinks that Kierkegaard's critique of his contemporaries strikes close to home today. All members of the Christian community today need to listen to one of the most insightful yet complex Christian thinkers of any era. Through an examination of core Christian doctrines including the person of Jesus Christ, human nature, Christian witness and love, Tietjen's "Kierkegaard: A Christian Missionary to Christians" helps us hear Kierkegaard's missionary message to a church that often fails to follow Christ in our lives. Exceptionally well researched, written, organized and presented, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Kierkegaard: A Christian Missionary to Christians" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Almighty Matters
Nicholas Berry
Resource Publications, Inc.
c/o Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401-2960
9781498234238, $34.00, HC, 154pp,

"Almighty Matters: God's Politics in the Bible" by Nicholas Berry (Professor of Politics Emeritus at Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pennsylvania) explores the underlying politics of the Hebrew and Christian Bibles by uncovering their political-theological connection in a single story line. The politics of the New Testament completes the politics of the Old. Although it has long been recognized that the Hebrew Bible prominently portrays the political development of God's Chosen People, the role of Jesus as a politician, the founder of a movement aimed from its beginning at subverting and capturing the Roman Empire, has not been recognized. Putting the Hebrew and Christian Bibles' political approach foremost shows why so much of it is hidden and why, until recently, Jewish-Christian relations have been contrary to God's design. A model of theological scholarship that is fully accessible for non-specialist general readers, "Almighty Matters" is as informative and thought-provoking as it is impressively well organized and presented. While very highly recommended for church, seminary, community, and academic library Christian Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Almighty Matters" is also available in a paperback edition (9781498234214, $21.00) and in a Kindle format ($9.99).

The God Who Saves
Glenn Pemberton
Leafwood Publishers
c/o Abilene Christian University Press
Box 29138, Abilene, TX 79699
9780891124825, $44.99, PB, 384pp,

"The God Who Saves" by Glenn Pemberton (who teaches Old Testament at Abilene Christian University, including a popular undergraduate course on Israel's wisdom and devotional literature, and who has been a preacher among Christian churches for over twenty years.) is a textbook that dives into the Old Testament from the perspective of ancient Israel. With captivating and rich in content, enhanced by maps, tables, biblical reading assignments, discussion topics, and further research prompts, the conversation within "The God Who Saves" is deepened in is ability to reach both academic and spiritual concepts. Indeed, "The God Who Saves" also provides supporting materials available to instructors, such as multiple quiz and exam questions, course syllabi and schedules, and more. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, content, commentary, organization and presentation, "The God Who Saves" is an ideal text for Biblical Studies, Old Testament, and Hebrew Bible classes and individual studies reading lists for biblical students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.

The Book of Matthew
Thomas Moore
Skylight Paths Publishing
Sunset Farms Offices, Route 4
PO Box 237, Woodstock, VT 05091
9781594736209, $19.99, HC, 224pp,

In his fresh and life-giving translation of the Gospels with sparkling commentary, spiritual innovator Thomas Moore strips the Gospels of their theological agendas and reclaims them as a fundamentally new way of imagining human life. He blends scholarship and pastoral guidance to highlight the Gospels' teachings on earthly, rather than other worldly, living in which community, compassion, inclusiveness, prayer and healing are key elements. Enhanced with the inclusion of an Introduction to Gospel, an Introduction to the Book of Matthew, two pages of Notes, a one page listing of Suggestions for Further Reading, "The Book of Matthew" is as thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is inspired and inspiring. While very highly recommended for church, community, seminary, and academic library Christian Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Book of Matthew" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Praying Together
Sam Ingrassia & Vicki Ingrassia
New Hope Publishers
PO Box 830711, Birmingham, AL 35283-0711
9781596694736, $14.99, PB, 192pp,

Praying together as a Christian couple is important. Praying together offers an array of benefits including better relationship, more respect, more intimacy, deeper love for your spouse, better communication, an enhanced spirituality, and more. "Praying Together: A Simple Path to Spiritual intimacy for Couples" by Sam and Vicki Ingrassia offers a guilt-free understanding of the hidden reasons we as couples aren't going to the Lord in prayer as a team. Birthed from their own shortcomings and transformed marriage, Sam and Vickie share a model for prayer within the marriage relationship that is compelling, simple, biblical, and powerfully transforming. While each chapter closes with sample Scripture and prayer for husbands and wives to use together, "Praying Together" equips couples to pray with one another. While very highly recommended for church, seminary, and community library Christian Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists of all Christian couples regardless of their denominational affiliation that "Praying Together" is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.49).

Words for Our Lives
Matthew the Poor
Ancient Faith Publishing
PO Box 748, Chesterton, IN 46304-0748
9781936270514, $16.95, PB, 192pp,

Father Matta El Meskeen or Matthew the Poor (20 September 1919 - 8 June 2006) was an Egyptian Coptic Orthodox monk. He was the key figure in the revival of Egyptian monasticism which began in 1969 when he was appointed to the Monastery of St Macarius in the Wadi El Natrun in Egypt. By the time of his death the community had grown from 6 aged monks to 130 monks, and many other monasteries had revived, and new ones opened. He was twice nominated to become Coptic Pope, but was not chosen in either case. Abba Matta was also a theologian, and author of 181 books and hundreds of journal articles on Biblical exegesis, Ecclesiastical rites, spiritual and theological matters, and much more. "Words for Our Lives: The Spiritual Words of Matthew the Poor" constitutes the first appearance in English of a selection of the informal talks Abba Matta gave to his fellow monks and to visitors. In simple, accessible language, he addresses subjects ranging from Scripture to the church year to everyday life in the world. To read these talks is to sit at the feet of one of the greatest spiritual teachers of our age. "Words for Our Lives" is as inspired as it is inspiring, making it very highly recommended reading for all members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliation in general, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in Coptic Christianity in particular. It should be noted that "Words for Our Lives" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Living the Mass
Christopher Lucas, OCSO
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568, Orleans, MA 02653
9781612616841, $15.99, PB, 124pp,

In the pages of "Living the Mass: A Deeper Look at the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist" by Trappist monk Christopher Lucas we encounter the Holy Eucharist as paschal mystery, the "Source and Summit of the Christian Life." We encounter God's love for us through what God has done and is doing for us in the Eucharist. "Living the Mass" presents the paschal mystery defined in a Trinitarian mode as the passion, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus and the sending of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. "Living the Mass" also presents new theology on the paschal mystery based primarily on the abandonment text of Matthew 27:46. God gives God's self to us in love through the Mass as the ongoing work of redemption, and we imitate that love in response by living the Mass in everyday life by professing Christ, growing in virtue, overcoming sinful tendencies, increasing in knowledge of God, and exercising faith, hope, and love. Inspired and inspiring, "Living the Mass" is unreservedly recommended to the attention of clergy and the general church community.

The God Who Heals
Johann Christoph Blumhardt & Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt
Plough Publishing House
PO Box 398, Walden, NY 12586
9780874867473, $18.00, HC, 208pp,

Compiled by Johann and Christoph Blumhardt, "The God Who Heals: Words of Hope for a Time of Sickness" is comprised of sixty short daily reflections, each one being based on a verse from the Bible, that will guide a Christian who is facing serious sickness to a rock-solid faith and trust in the will of God. With confidence in the healing power of God and the possibility of miracles, the Blumhardts, (a father-son team of pastors renowned for their healing ministry), point us away from our troubles and toward a Creator who is supremely wise and good and wants the best for each of us. In a world where medical advances seem to promise a cure for everything, it's tempting to believe that we can live free of pain. But we know that even the best medicine cannot extend life forever or solve the riddles of physical and emotional illness. How, then, to respond to the inevitability of suffering? And how to help those who live in fear of disease to conquer their daily worry about their diagnosis? Turn for comfort and hope drawn from the Word of God in the meditative reflections that are presented in "The God Who Heals". While very highly recommended for church and community library Christian Studies collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all Christians, regardless of their denominational affiliation, that "The God Who Heals" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

A Harvey Cox Reader
Robert Ellsberg, editor
Orbis Books
Box 302, Maryknoll NY 10545-0302
9781626981706, $30.00, PB, 400pp,

Harvey Cox is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Church who retired in 2009 as the Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School. One of the most creative American theologians of the past fifty years, he is best known as the author of "The Secular City", aptly considered to be a true classic in religious studies. Compiled and edited by Robert Ellsberg (Publisher of Orbis Books and General Editor of the Modern Spiritual Masters Series), "A Harvey Cox Reader" is comprised of selections drawn from his entire career, showing surprising lines of continuity, while offering an exciting example of the dialogue between faith and an ever-evolving culture, and ending with a challenging essay, "Why I Am Still a Christian". Thoughtful and thought-provoking, these contributions by Harvey Cox are insightful, inspiring, and consistently compelling. While very highly recommended for church, community, and academic library Christian Studies collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy and non-specialist general readers throughout the Christian community that "A Harvey Cox Reader" is also available in a Kindle edition ($22.87).

Systematic Theology: A Roman Catholic Approach
Thomas P. Rausch
Michael Glazier
c/o The Liturgical Press
2950 Saint John's Road, PO Box 7500, Collegeville, MN 56321-7500
9780814683200, $24.95, PB, 322pp,

Systematic theology is a discipline of Christian theology that formulates an orderly, rational, and coherent account of the Christian faith and beliefs. Subdisciplines of systematic theology are dogmatics, ethics and philosophy of religion. Systematic theology seeks to understand and render more intelligible the central doctrines of faith and to show how they are related to each other. It tries to demonstrate how these doctrines are rooted in Scripture and develop in the history of the church; most important, it strives to more adequately express and sometimes reinterpret the church's doctrinal tradition, always in the interest of better communicating the mystery of salvation and bringing it into a dialogue with culture. "Systematic Theology: A Roman Catholic Approach" by Thomas P. Rausch, SJ, (T. Marie Chilton Professor of Catholic Theology at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and a specialist in ecclesiology) is intended to be concise and accessible, an introduction that explores basic themes in Catholic systematic theology from a biblical, historical, and contemporary perspective, always aware of today's theological pluralism. Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, descriptively explanatory and instructively illuminating, "Systematic Theology: A Roman Catholic Approach" is very highly recommended for clergy, seminary, and academic library Christian Studies collections.

Ancient Faith for the Modern World
Brian Schmisek
ACTA Publications
4848 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640
9780879465711, $14.95, PB, 168pp,

Impressively well-researched, engaging, and accessible, "Ancient Faith for the Modern World: A Brief Introduction to the Apostles' Creed, by Brian Schmisek (Director of the Institute of Pastoral Studies, Loyola University - Chicago) carefully and succinctly explains each of the Roman Catholic church's twelve "articles" of the Apostles' Creed, and in doing so deftly explores their meaning for a twenty-first century Christian faith. Included at the end of each chapter is a "bottom line" summary of that article of the creed and questions for discussion on how the belief can impact our daily life. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in commentary, organization and presentation, "Ancient Faith for the Modern World" is very highly recommended for Catholic school, seminary, church, and academic library Christian Studies collections, as well as the personal reading lists for all members of the Catholic community.

Move Toward the Mess
John Hambrick
David C. Cook
c/o Cook Communications
4050 Lee Vance View, Colorado Springs, CO 80918
9780781413374, $16.99, PB, 208pp,

Some pastors preach boring sermons. Some church music is dull. But here's the thing: If Jesus had been boring, the disciples wouldn't have followed him and the Pharisees wouldn't have killed him. So if as a member of the Christian community, and especially if you are the pastor of a church, and you find yourself bored, don't waste another minute. If your church service feels like a failed pep rally that never leads to the actual game, then it's time for you to follow Jesus onto the field where the opposition is real and the stakes are extraordinary. It will get messy. It won't always be comfortable. But you'll make a difference. And to help you accomplish that transformation is the purpose and reason that John Hambrick (who is part of the leadership team at Buckhead Church, which is the urban campus of North Point Community Church, Alpharetta, Georgia) has written and presents "Move Toward the Mess: The Ultimate Fix for a Boring Christian Life". Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Move Toward the Mess" an invaluable contribution to Christian Studies collections, as a consistently engaging read that is as informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Move Toward the Mess" is also readily available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Called to Community
Charles E. Moore, editor
Plough Publishing House
PO Box 198, Walden, NY 12386
9780874867435, $18.00, PB, 378pp,

Why, in an age of connectivity, are our lives more isolated and fragmented than ever? And what can be done about it? The answer lies in the hands of God's people. Increasingly, today's Christians want to be the church, to follow Christ together in daily life. From every corner of society, they are daring to step away from the status quo and respond to Christ's call to share their lives more fully with one another and with others. As they take the plunge, they are discovering the rich, meaningful life that Jesus has in mind for all people, and pointing the church back to its original calling: to be a gathered, united community that demonstrates the transforming love of God. Of course, such a life together with others isn't easy. The numerous contributions comprising "Called to Community: The Life Jesus Wants for His People" are, by and large, written by practitioners of Christianity, that is, people who have pioneered life in intentional community and have discovered in the nitty-gritty of daily life what it takes to establish, nurture, and sustain a Christian community over the long haul. Whether you have just begun thinking about communal living, are already embarking on sharing life with others, or have been part of a community for many years, the pieces "Called to Community" will encourage, challenge, and strengthen you. Organized into fifty-two chapters, each of which can be read one a week to ignite meaningful group discussion, "Called to Community" is an extraordinary and welcome addition to personal reading lists, as well as church, seminary, community, and academic library Christian Studies collections. It should be noted that "Called to Community" is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.49).

The Graphic Novel Shelf

To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts Vol. 1
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781942993414 $10.95

The first volume of To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts debuts a black-and-white manga (Japanese comics) series set in a post-war world with an uneasy coexistence between humans and Incarnates, super-soldiers that were permanently transformed into fantastic monsters of myth and legend. But not all Incarnates can retain their humanity, and one by one these "Sacred Beasts" are turning upon the humans they once fought for. Nancy Schaal Bancroft is the daughter of an Incarnate soldier, who witnessed her father's execution at the hands of a "Beast Hunter". Her mission of revenge is turned upside-down when she begins to learn more about the Sacred Beasts, and the deadly threat posed by the ones that lose their minds! A fine balance of action, fantasy, and flawed yet courageous characters, To the Abandoned Sacred Beasts is highly recommended.

Tokyo ESP 5
Hajime Segawa
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781942993025 $15.95

Tokyo ESP 5 continues the black-and-white manga (Japanese comics) series set in a world where a sizeable percentage of Tokyo's entire population has suddenly gained psychic abilities. Volume 5 begins with the struggle of two young women, taken hostage by psychic terrorists, who must fight to survive and escape. The "White Girl" Rinka and her comrade Urushiba reappear, but why is the government persecuting the duo once hailed as heroes? The second half of volume 5 reveals events in Rinka's and Urushiba's recent past. A corrupt human trafficking ring has been selling psychic humans from Tokyo as slaves, and Rinka is recruited to stop it - but the enemy employs a telepath specifically to ferret out infiltrators. Rinka must undergo a severe anti-telepathy countermeasure... with psychological repercussions far beyond what anyone could have guessed! Excitement, fierce fighting, and intrigue abound, in this soul-stirring saga of heroes and multiple factions of ruthless villains.

Ninja Slayer 5: One Minute Before the Tanuki
Original work by Bradley Bond and Philip Ninj@ Morzez
Art by Yuki Yogo
Script by Yoshiaki Tabata
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781942993551 $12.95

Ninja Slayer 5: One Minute Before the Tanuki continues the black-and-white manga (Japanese comics) adaptation of the shockingly grisly Ninja Slayer saga. The Ninja Slayer series is set in the wretched cyberpunk hive of Neo Saitama, a place where superhumanly powerful "ninja souls" merged with mortal humans rule and terrorize through Laomoto Khan's Soukai Syndicate. Humanity's only hope may be the ferocious Ninja Slayer! Once an ordinary man, the Ninja Slayer lost his beloved family, transformed into a rogue ninja soul, and exists for little reason other than to kill all other ninja. In One Minute Before the Tanuki, the Ninja Slayer desperately seeks an antidote for the "Takeuchi" virus before it can claim the life of his mentor. The Ninja Slayer cannot find the antidote on his own; he needs the help of genius computer hacker and mysterious journalist Nancy. But neither cyberspace nor real life is safe from rival ninja attacks! Will the obsessed cyber-ninja Daedalus burn out both their minds in mid-hack? Full-throttle, no-holds-barred violence is the sushi of the day! It should be noted that Ninja Slayer is a series explicitly for mature readers (ages 16+) due to graphic carnage, sexual situations, and strong language.

Nichijou My Ordinary Life 3
Keiichi Arawi
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781942993322 $10.95

Suitable for readers of all ages, Nichijou My Ordinary Life 3 is a black-and-white, short-story-anthology manga (Japanese comics) about school students who are mostly ordinary, except when various ludicrous, improbable, or flat-out ridiculous things happen. From a principal so tongue-tied he can't stutter the command end to an outdoor assembly in heat-stroke weather (even as his students collapse one by one!); to a glue mishap that risks utterly swallowing a young scientist, her robot, and their cat; to a slacker student's attempt to copy off a stonewalling classmate's homework and more, Nichijou blends the mundane and the surreal into a fine puree of whimsy. Volume 3 of Nichijou makes as good a jumping-on point as any, due to the episodic nature of its mini-stories!

Breaking the 10, Volume 1
Sean Michael Wilson and Michiru Morikawa
NBM Publishing
160 Broadway, Ste. 700, East Wing, New York, NY 10038
9781681120218 $12.99

Breaking the 10, Volume 1 is the first half of a two-part graphic novel series about one man's rage against the heavens. After David loses his wife and son to car accident, he is so filled with rage that he decides to break the Ten Commandments, one by one, in order to get God's attention. His resolve attracts the notice of two mysterious figures, Mr. White and Mr. Black. Though they have mortal human forms, they also embody philosophical principles. Mr. White is a deeply religious servant of God, while Mr. Black is a humanist who rejects the concepts of both God and Satan. Each of them tries to win David over, and notably, neither of them wants David to break the most ominous of the Ten Commandments... "Thou Shalt Not Kill". Part character-driven story, part moral treatise, Breaking the 10 is compelling, thought-provoking, and highly recommended. Breaking the 10 is suggested for older teen and adult readers due to some mature language and situations.

Last Man: The Order
Balak, Sanlaville, & Vives
First Second
175 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781626720503 $9.99

Last Man: The Order is the fifth graphic novel in a fantastic series spanning conspiracies and worlds. Marianne and young Adrian have successfully tracked down Richard Aldana, and become entangled in a deadly fighting competition. (Also, Richard's true motive for previously abandoning Marianne and Adrian is finally revealed.) But behind the crime boss that makes all three of them battle for public entertainment lurks a far more ruthless enemy - one whose reach and boundless greed threatens not only their lives, but also the entire Valley of Kings. Elements of magic and cyberpunk merge freely in this exciting action-adventure! Highly recommended.

The Marquis of Anaon 3: The Providence
Script by Fabien Vehlmann
Artwork by Matthieu Bonhomme
Cinebook Ltd.
56 Beech Ave., Canterbury, Kent, CT4 7TA, UK
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781849182775 $13.95

The Marquis of Anaon 3: The Providence is a color graphic novel continuing the grim and dangerous adventures of a wandering truth-seeker during the 1700's. The Marquis of Anaon hopes his fortunes may take a turn for the better when he accepts a generous employment offer from the Countess of Alemedia. They embark upon a sea voyage, yet when their ship crosses paths with a rotting derelict, it becomes an evil omen of horrors to come! The Providence is a self-contained adventure, and makes an excellent introduction to The Marquis of Anaon series. Recommended for readers ages twelve and up due to violence and disturbing scenes.

Cinebook Ltd.
56 Beech Ave., Canterbury, Kent, CT4 7TA, UK
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706

Four color graphic novels from Cinebook are installments in series packed with suspense, adventure, and deadly danger. "Alone 5: Eye of the Maelstrom" (9781849182966, $11.95) by Gazzotti & Vehlmann continues a disturbing story about a group of children who have awakened in an empty city, and who must learn to survive alone. Even as a nightmarish truth about where they are comes to light at last, a terrifying presence appears, so menacing that it can seemingly force people to kill one another with bloodied weapons! "Valerian and Laureline 11: The Ghosts of Inverloch" by Mezieres and Christin (9781849182935, $11.95) furthers the chronicles of two agents of Galaxity, capital of the future Terran Empire, in their peacekeeping quest through time and space (although alien friends and associates sometimes drop by at the most inconvenient times). "XIII 21: Return to Green Falls" by I. Jigounov and Y. Sente (9781849183017, $11.95) progresses the intrigue surrounding XIII, an amnesiac man whose hopes for a normal life crumble beneath the relentless pursuit of a mysterious organization. Who expending immense resources to capture him alive, and why? "Leo Episode 3: The Survivors Quantum Anomalies" is the third installment in a parallel science fiction series to "The Worlds of Aldebaran". Marie and a group of eleven other survivors narrowly escaped death when an accident befell their Aldebaran-bound ship. Escaping via a small shuttle, they land on an unknown planet and must work together to survive. Can their ability to jump into the future help them, or will it only make the situation worse? All four graphic novels are exciting from cover to cover, and highly recommended.

The Audiobook Shelf

Midnight Bites
Rachel Caine, author
Angela Dawe, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
9781494516048, $39.99, CD,

The sixteenth volume in Rachel Caine's enormously popular Morganville Vampire series, "Midnight Bites" is a series of short stories, including six of which were never before published, and sixteen that have been part of several diverse anthologies, that continue to fill in and expand on the heros and villains, the living and the undead, that populate this unique Texas town. What is particularly unusual about this audio book anthology is that the listener doesn't need to have read any of Rachel Caine's previous vampire novels in order to be able to easily follow and appreciate the stories which are roughly chronologically presented. Impressively narrated by Angela Dawe who brings these stories fully to life in a true 'theatre of the mind' listening experience, "Midnight Bites" is an extraordinary and recommended addition to community library audio book collections, and is a "must" for the legions of vampire enthusiasts in general, and Rachel Caine fans in particular! (11 CDs, 14 Hours, Unabridged).

Along Came Mr. Right
Gerri Russell, author
Read by Dara Rosenberg
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
9781522613459 $9.99

Along Came Mr. Right is an unabridged MP3 audiobook (plays on MP3-CD players or transfers to portable devices) brimming with romance. Olivia Tyler is a foster mother, burned by an ex-boyfriend who humiliated her on Facebook. On the night of a charity auction for her adoption agency, she encounters a mysterious and wondrously romantic man. Max Right seems perfect - handsome, chivalrous, and poised to make a fortune with his algorithm-based matchmaking app. He's also someone else's fiance! Or is the matter more complicated than that? Along Came Mr. Right is a charming love story for modern times, sure to enchant connoisseurs of the genre. 1 disc, 7 hours 43 min.

The Weekenders
Mary Kay Andrews, author
Read by Kathleen McInerney
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781427272270 $39.99

The Weekenders is an eyebrow-raising murder mystery, set on the idyllic Belle Isle of North Carolina. Some vacationers stay for the summer; others only are "weekenders" who come just for a weekend. Riley Griggs was prepared to enjoy time with friends and family, but instead of meeting her husband by ferry, she instead encounters a process server with papers. Each of her friends on the island has his or her own dark troubles. Riley must get to the bottom of the mystery of Belle Island, the secrets hidden among her alleged friends, and the true motivations of the husband she thought she knew. It's a summer to remember in this excellent choice for connoisseurs of the genre! 12 CDs, 15.5 hours.

Boar Island
Nevada Barr, author
Read by Barbara Rosenblat
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781427272539 $39.99

Boar Island: An Anna Pigeon Novel is the unabridged audiobook continuing the suspenseful story of Anna Pigeon, a National Park Service Ranger. When Elizabeth, the adopted teenage daughter of Anna's paraplegic friend Heath Jarrod, is harassed by a cyberstalker, they decide to bring Elizabeth east to Anna's new post as Acting Chief Ranger at Acadia National Park in Maine. But Elizabeth's stalker follows them to Boar Island, near the park... and a sudden murder at Acadia proves that at least one remorseless killer is afoot. A superb performance by multiple Audie and Earphone Award winner Barbara Rosenblat brings this intensely chilling saga to life! Highly recommended for connoisseurs of the genre. 10 CDs, 12.5 hours.

Absolutely, Positively
Heather S. Webber, author
Performed by Dina Pearlman
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
9781522693796 $9.99 MP3 CD,

Absolutely, Positively is an audiobook on MP3 CD; it can play on MP3-CD enabled players or be transferred to portable devices. The story features Lucy Valentine, who has inherited a unique gift for finding things from a long line of psychic ancestors. Lucy makes use of her talent by running a matchmaking agency, and when the secret of her powers is revealed to the public, she suddenly has far more clients than she knows how to handle! But what about her own love life, or the sexy fireman-turned-private eye who has stolen her heart? Things take an oddball turn when a mysterious masked man in a cowboy hat begins throwing handfuls of cash all about town. Can Lucy get to the bottom of the cash-scattering mystery, find true love for her clients, and turn the romantic heat up on her own private life all the same time? Absolutely, Positively is a lighthearted mystery-romance, perfect for cozy listening! 1 MP3 CD, 9 hours.

The Music CD Shelf

It's Time
Alma Afrobeat Ensemble
Slow Walk Music

It's Time is the third music CD from Alma Afrobeat Ensemble. Half of the album consists of remixes by DJs given complete creative freedom (their only guideline was that the remixes "shouldn't sound like the originals") while the other half is live studio Afrobeat with very little overdubbing. All songs stir the desire to dance, a universal Afrobeat quality that spans continents. It's Time is a thoroughly vivacious experience, highly recommended! The tracks are "It's Time" (6:49), "Live and Let's Live" (8:13), "Shakedown" (8:32), "Lost" (8:35), "Siempre Presente" (4:22), "DWB Breakdown" (5:30), "Ain't It Time" (3:48), "Lost in Dub" (6:08), and "Room Enough for Us" (6:52).

Aupres du Poele
Ten Strings and a Goat Skin
$14.06 US / $20.00 CDN (physical CD)
$7.99 download

Aupres du Poele ("around the woodstove") is the latest music CD from Canadian acoustic trio Ten Strings and a Goat Skin. The songs draw on a variety of sources, especially old-school Franco-Canadian, Breton, Irish, and Scottish music. Modern elements such pump organ add a touch of cutting-edge funk to those exuberant, trans-cultural indie songs! The tracks are "The Ukrainian Expedition" (4:44), "Aupres du Poele" (3:18), "Igen" (6:27), "When First I Came to Caledonia" (4:28), "Shoot the Moon" (4:33), "Maluron Lurette "4:29), "The Town" (4:45), "Lament for Buckles" (4:5), "Maudit Anglais" (4:49), "Coal Not Dole" (3:12), and "Duhk Duhk Goat" (7:28). Also highly recommended for connoisseurs of fresh and original music is "The Three Voices" ($15.00 CD/$9.99 download) by Victor Prieto, a transformation of Celtic-Galician dance tunes brought to life with Prieto's memorable accordion play and a grand performance of bass, drums, piano, saxophone, and more.

The DVD Shelf

Janet King Series 1: The Enemy Within
Starring Marta Dusseldorp
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment

Janet King Series 1: The Enemy Within is 2-disc DVD set featuring Australian actress Marta Dusseldorp in the award-winning role of senior crown prosecutor Janet King. Returning from maternity leave, King is immediately assigned a controversial case involving a respected police officer. As King traces connections between criminal cases that appear unrelated at first glance, and jockeys with a colleague whose guiding principle is "victory at any cost", she gradually reveals a conspiracy that could condemn both the police and the judiciary. The quest for justice puts King and her family in mortal danger, in this edge-of-seat suspenseful courtroom drama! Bonus features include 18 minutes of behind-the-scenes featurettes and a photo gallery. Janet King Series 1 is recommended for mature viewers due to strong language, violence, sexual situations, and disturbing images. 2 DVDs, 8 episodes, 474 min., SDH subtitles.

Tendu Toning
Rachel Speck

Tendu Toning: Where Ballet Meets Fitness is a one-hour fitness DVD that combines muscle-toning exercises from ballet with bodybuilding techniques. Retired professional ballerina Rachel Speck demonstrates how basic ballet steps can lead to a stronger, healthier body. The recommended, inexpensive exercise equipment to pair with Tendu Toning is a small glide disc (a paper plate or power towel can be substituted, depending on one's workout surface), a resistance band, and a barre or chair to provide a chest-high handhold and aid in balance. Ankle weights or small hand weights are optional. The program includes a "squat" warm-up series working legs, glutes, and hips; an "attitude" series that focuses on the glutes, hamstrings, and back; a "band kick back" series that targets the legs and back with the resistance band; the "lunge" series with gliding and use of the barre; floor work for the arms and abs; and finally a cool down. One does not need the skill of an expert dancer for Tendu Toning; anyone who can balance on one foot can enjoy the full fitness benefit of this excellent strength-building workout! Highly recommended. 60 min.

Fear of 13
David Singleton
First Run Features
630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213, New York, NY 10036
DVD, $19.95,

Nick, a death row inmate, petitions the court to be executed. As he goes on to tell his story, it gradually becomes clear that nothing is quite what it seems. Nick spins his tale with all the twists and turns of classic crime drama, with a final shocking twist that casts everything in a new light. Part confessional and part performance, "Fear of 13" is a haunting psychological thriller that is a stylistically daring experiment in storytelling. With its flawless production values and riveting storyline, "Fear of 13" is very highly recommended, especially for community library DVD collections.

The Fiction Shelf

City Of Rocks
Michael Zimmer
Sagebrush Large Print Westerns
Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781785412103, $29.99, PB, 240pp,

When the McCandles gang shows up in the town of Coalville, Idaho, the place erupts in violence. Seventeen-year-old Joey Roper feels compelled to avenge the deaths at City of Rocks -- no matter what. "City Of Rocks" is another riveting western from the imaginative pen of Michael Zimmer who once again proves himself to be a master of the western action/adventure genre. "City Of Rocks" is very highly recommended to the attention of all western fans and especially for community library Large Print Fiction collections.

Silence in the Dark
Patricia Bradley
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780800724184, $14.99, PB, 352pp,

Two years ago, Bailey Adams broke off her engagement to Danny Maxwell and fled Logan Point for the mission field in Chihuahua, Mexico. Now she's about to return home to the States, but there's just one problem. After Bailey meets with the uncle of one of the mission children in the city, she barely escapes a sudden danger. Now she's on the run -- she just doesn't know from whom. To make matters worse, people who help her along the way find themselves in danger too -- including Danny. Who is after her? Will they ever let up? And in the midst of the chaos, can Bailey keep herself from falling in love with her rescuer all over again? With lean, fast-paced prose that keeps readers turning the pages, Patricia Bradley has once again written still another superbly crafted story. Also available in a library binding edition (Christian Mystery Series, 9781683240013, $35.95, 500pp), "Silence in the Dark" is very highly recommended for community library collections General Fiction collections. For the legions of Patricia Bradley fans, it should also be noted that "Silence in the Dark" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.39).

Land of Silence
Tessa Afshar
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
9781496414007, $22.99, HC, 400pp,

Elianna is a young girl crushed by guilt. After her only brother is killed while in her care, Elianna tries to earn forgiveness by working for her father's textile trade and caring for her family. When another tragedy places Elianna in sole charge of the business, her talent for design brings enormous success, but never the absolution she longs for. As her world unravels, she breaks off her betrothal to the only man she will ever love. Then illness strikes, isolating Elianna from everyone, stripping everything she has left. No physician can cure her. No end is in sight. Until she hears whispers of a man called Jesus whose mere touch can heal. After so many years of suffering and disappointment, is it possible that one man could redeem the wounds of body -- and soul? An impressively crafted, inherently appealing, consistently engaging, and compelling read from first page to last, "Land of Silence" is enthusiastically recommended for community library Historical Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Land of Silence" is also available in a paperback edition (9781496406460, $14.99) and in a Kindle format ($7.86).

One Of Us Is Sleeping
Josefine Klougart, author
Martin Aitken, translator
Open Letter Books
c/o University of Rochester
Lattimore Hall 411, Box 270082, Rochester, NY 14627
9781940953373, $15.95, PB, 260pp,

Deftly translated into English by Martin Aitken, "One Of Us Is Sleeping" is the debut novel by Josefine Klougart who is one of Denmark's most exciting, celebrated young writers. "One Of Us Is Sleeping" is a hauntingly memorable novel about loss in all its forms. Working in the vein of Anne Carson, Josefine Klougart's "One Of Us Is Sleeping" is both true-to-life and incredibly poetic in its relating of a brief, intense love affair and the grief and disillusionment that follow its end. While she recounts the time with her lover, the narrator is also heading back home, where her mother is dying of cancer. This contrast between recollection and the belief that certain things will always be present in your life (your parents, your childhood home, your love) and the fact that life is a continual series of endings runs throughout this novel, underpinning the striking imagery and magnificent prose. A consistently compelling read from beginning to end, "One Of Us Is Sleeping" is very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "One Of Us Is Sleeping" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Jonathan Levi
The Overlook Press
141 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10012
9781468312485, $27.95, HC, 336pp,

On an spring afternoon in 1978 in the loft of a church outside Cambridge, England, an organ tuner named Malory loses his virginity to a dyslexic math genius named Louiza. When Louiza disappears, Malory follows her trail to Rome. There, the quest to find his love gets sidetracked when he discovers he is the heir to the Kingdom of Septimania, given by Charlemagne to the Jews of eighth-century France. In the midst of a Rome reeling from the kidnappings and bombs of the Red Brigades, Malory is crowned King of the Jews, Holy Roman Emperor and possibly Caliph of All Islam. Over the next fifty years, Malory's search for Louiza leads to encounters with Pope John Paul II, a band of lost Romanians, a magical Bernini statue, Haroun al Rashid of Arabian Nights fame, an elephant that changes color, a shadowy U.S. spy agency and one of the 9/11 bombers, an appleseed from the original Tree of Knowledge, and the secret history of Isaac Newton and his discovery of a Grand Unified Theory that explains everything. It is the quest of a Candide for love and knowledge, and the ultimate discovery that they may be unified after all. Impressive, extraordinary, inherently fascinating, consistently compelling, "Septimania" clearly documents author Jonathan Levi as a masterfully imaginative storyteller and a consummate novelist. While unreservedly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Septimania" is also available in a Kindle format ($14.99), and will be published in a paperback edition (9781468314281, $16.95) in April, 2017.

Making Manna
Eric Lotke
Brandylane Publishers
5 South First Street, Richmond, VA 23219
9781939930224, $16.00, PB, 294pp,

Libby Thompson is just fourteen years old when she flees her abusive home with her newborn son, Angel. Now they must build a life for themselves on hard work and low wages, dealing with police who are sometimes helpful-but not always-and a drug dealer who is full of surprises. As Angel gets older, he begins asking questions about his family, and Libby's tenuous peace threatens to crumble. Can a son without a father and a young woman without a past make something beautiful out of a lifetime of secrets? "Making Manna" deftly explores the depths of betrayal, and the human capacity to love, flourish, and forgive in the face of heartbreaking odds. A thoroughly engaging and especially well crafted read from beginning to end, "Making Manna" clearly establishes author Erick Lotke as an impressively gifted novelist. While unreservedly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Making Manna" is also available in a Kindle edition ($5.99).

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Chessmen
Peter May
1290 Sixth Ave., NY, NY 10104
9781623656041, $26.99, HC, 308pp,

Living again of the Isle of Lewis, the ex-Detective Inspector Fin McLeod is working as a security officer for a local landowner. While investigating illegal activity on the estate Fin encounters the elusive poacher and former childhood friend Whistler Macaskill. But while Fin catches up with Whistler, the two witness a freak natural phenomenon--a 'Bog Burst'--which spontaneously drains a loch of its water, revealing a mud-encased light aircraft with a sickeningly familiar moniker on its side. Both men immediately know that they will find inside: the body of Roddy Mackenzie, a friend whose flight disappeared more than seventeen years before. But when Whistler's face appears to register something other than shock, an icy chill of apprehension overtakes Fin. What secret has Whistler been hiding from him, and everyone else on the island? Fin is unprepared for how the truth about the past will alter the course of the future. The concluding volume to 'The Lewis Trilogy', author Peter May's outstanding trilogy, "The Chess Men" is another riveting read that is a "must" for the legions of Peter May fans. While very highly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Chess Men" is also available in a paperback edition (9781623657154, $14.99) and in a Kindle format ($12.99).

Leave Her to Hell / Let Me Kill You, Sweetheart / Take Me Home
Fletcher Flora
Stark House Press
1315 H Street, Eureka, CA 95501

Once again Stark House Press presents three 'time lost' noir classics. This time Fletcher Flora is the author and the three novels presented under one cover include Leave Her to Hell (an unconventional private eye novel); Let Me Kill You, Sweetheart (a murder mystery set in a small Midwestern town); and Take Me Home (the story of a writer who falls in love with a troubled young lesbian). Fletcher began writing in 1950 with a series of sardonic short stories (his life time published total would reach 150), and wrote his first full length novel in 1954 (Strange Sisters), going on to write a total of 21 distinctly off-beat novels in his literary career. This three story anthology, "Leave Her to Hell / Let Me Kill You, Sweetheart / Take Me Home" is enthusiastically recommended for the personal reading lists of mystery fans, community library Mystery/Suspense shelves, and academic library 20th Century American Literary Fiction collections.

The Stronghold
Lisa Carter
Abingdon Press
2222 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., PO Box 280988, Nashville, TN 37228-0988
9781501816314, $24.99, HC, 306pp,

Drug violence, revenge killings, and kidnapping are nothing new along the U.S.-Mexican border. But now teenage girls are disappearing from the Apache reservations of Arizona and New Mexico. Apache tribal cop Pilar To-Clanny and FBI Special Agent Alex Torres have a long and tumultuous history. When someone close to them disappears, Pilar and Alex must risk everything to rescue the child, including facing the unresolved issues of the past, and venture into the no-man's land of the drug cartels. Can Pilar and Alex work together to stop a sadistic killer before he strikes again? On a quest to rescue those they love, who will rescue them? Another terrifically entertaining thriller combining romance and suspense from the pen of Lisa Carter, "The Stronghold" is an extraordinary and very highly recommended addition to community library collections. For the personal reading lists of Lisa Carter fans and anyone else who appreciates a well crafted novel, it should be noted "The Stronghold" is also available in a paperback edition (9781426795480, $14.99) and in a Kindle format ($9.99).

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Attack on Titan: Lost Girls
Created by Hajime Isayama
Stories by Hiroshi Seko
Art by Ayumu Kotake
Vertical, Inc.
451 Park Avenue South, 7th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781942993353 $12.95

Enriched with a handful of black-and-white illustrations, Attack on Titan: Lost Girls is a trio of short stories offering insight into Mikasa and Annie, two capable female soldiers from the wildly popular "Attack on Titan" manga and anime series. Attack on Titan is set in a horrific, post-apocalyptic world, where gigantic, nigh-invulnerable Titans stalk and devour human beings. The surviving remnants of humanity huddle behind mysterious walls that keep the Titans out... but when these walls are breached one by one, humanity becomes prey for giants! The military's valiant efforts to fight back are sabotaged by corruption, bureaucracy, conspiracy, and worse. Two of the stories in "Attack on Titan: Lost Girls" were originally bonus features of the Japanese Blu-ray releases, while the introduction and title story are brand new. (Newcomers to the "Attack on Titan" saga should note that " Lost Girls" reveals certain major plot twists from the series.) Blending intense military action, conflicted characterization, and a strong sense of genuine horror, Attack on Titan: Lost Girls is a "must-read" for fans of the series.

The Cookbook Shelf

Portland Farmers Market Cookbook
Ellen Jackson
Sasquatch Books
1904 Third Ave, Suite 710, Seattle, WA 98101
9781632170156, $27.95, PB, 272pp,

The Portland Farmers Market is a year-round farmers market consistently named among North America's Top Ten. Ellen Jackson's "Portland Farmers Market Cookbook" is a timely and enduring tribute to the farmers, chefs and shoppers, who embrace their world-class market like no other. Showcasing 100 seasonally organized recipes for every meal of the day, "Portland Farmers Market Cookbook" also includes stories of the market's farmers and producers, shopping and cooking tips, and glorious color photography. The "Portland Farmers Market Cookbook" is a celebration of a place and its people, who are proud to share their bounty with the Portland community and beyond. Featuring thoroughly kitchen cook friendly recipes that range from a Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette; Olive-Oil Poached Albacore with Summer Beans and Pickled Peppers; and Grilled Lobster Mushrooms with Oregon Walnut Puree; to Fresh shell Bean Minestrone with Parmesan Brodo; Honey-Glazed Figs with Lemon ricotta and Almond Cookies; and a Chocolate-Pear Bread Pudding, "Portland Farmers Market Cookbook" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, family, and community library collections. It should be noted that "Portland Farmers Market Cookbook" is also available in a Kindle edition ($13.99).

Secrets of the Pie Place Cafe
Kathy Rice
Lake Superior Port Cities
PO Box 16417, Duluth, MN 55816-0417
9781938229329, $19.95, PB, 182pp,

A seasonal compendium of short stories and recipes compiled and presented by Kathy Rice, "Secrets of the Pie Place Cafe" is an outstanding culinary collection of kitchen cook recipes for dishes ranging from Pie Place Breakfast Potatoes; Japanese Peanut Noodle Salad; Split Rock Chicken Brie Sandwich; and Bumbleberry Pie; to Chorizo Stuffed Peppers and Grilled Peach Salsa; Saffron Butternut Squash Soup; Pork Tenderloin with Bleu Cheese Applejack Gravy; and Gingerbread Waffles. Nicely enhanced with color photography throughout, the combination of stories and the recipes associated with them make for a wonderfully entertaining read from beginning to end. Ideal for browsing and planning menus with, "Secrets of the Pie Place Cafe" is very highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.

The Jersey Shore Cookbook
Deborah Smith
Quirk Books
215 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
9781594748721, $22.95, HC, 260pp,

The Jersey Shore is the coastal region of the state of New Jersey. Geographically, the term encompasses about 141 miles of oceanfront from Sandy Hook in the north to Cape May Point in the south. That is the region that Deborah Smith draws from in her compilation of recipes comprising "The Jersey Shore Cookbook: Fresh Summer Flavors from the Boardwalk and Beyond". Beautifully embellished with the color photography of Thomas Robert Clarke, this culinary treasure trove showcases dishes that range from Grilled Jersey Peaches with Greek Yogurt and Granola (Lasolas Market); Oysters Gratinee (Fratello's Restaurant); Grilled Tuna Nicoise Salad with Dijon-Thyme Vinaigrette (Black-Eyed Susans); and Pan-Seared New Jersey Black Sea Bass with White Peach, Tomato, and Basil Salsa (Shore Fresh Seafood); to New Jersey Skate with Summer Vegetable Ratatouille (The Blue Pig Tavern); Lobster Thermidor (Knife and Fork Inn); Seared Viking Village Scallops with Grilled Corn, Zucchini, and Roasted Tomatoes (The Gables); and Creme Brulee (The Grenville Hotel and Restaurant). Of special note is the succinct descriptive history provided for each restaurant from which a recipe is provided. Thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Jersey Shore Cookbook" will prove to be a treasured addition to any personal, family, or community library Regional Cookbook collection. It should be noted that "The Jersey Shore Cookbook" is also available in a Kindle edition ($17.99).

One More Slice
Lelia Lindholm
New Holland UK
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781780094588, $19.99, PB, 224pp,

Leila Lindholm, of Swedish-Moroccan background, began her career in the restaurant world. During her career as a chef, Leila has worked at several well known restaurants including Aquavit in New York, Operakallaren and Fredsgatan 12 in Stockholm. Today she works primarily in TV, where she has gained a huge following. Her primetime cooking show is called Leila's Food and airs on Swedish lifestyle channel, TV4 Plus. In "One More Slice: Sourdough Bread, Pizza, Pasta and Sweet Pastries" Linholm has drawn upon her years of experience and expertise to compile an impressively illustrated culinary compendium of thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes for a series of dishes that will please any palate and satisfy any appetite. The recipes range from a Sweet Potato Cheesecake; Strawberry Belgian Waffles; Flourless Brownies; and an Ice Cream Bobe with Raspberry Meringue; to a Chocolate Baguette; Olive Bread; Twin Peaks Cherry Pie; and Sweet-Shaped Ravioli with Butternut Squash. A delight to simply browse through and ideal for planning memorable menus with, "One More Slice: Sourdough Bread, Pizza, Pasta and Sweet Pastries" is very highly recommended for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "One More Slice" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Travel Shelf

Best Backpacking Trips in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico
Mike White & Douglas Lorain
University of Nevada Press
Mail Stop 0166, Reno, NV, 89557-0166
9780874179965, $24.95, PB, 400pp,

The collaborative work of seasoned backpackers Mike White and Douglas, "Best Backpacking Trips in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico" is more than just a simple guide book. It also features occasional black-and-white photo illustrations, covers trail etiquette, wilderness ethics, and safety issues for backpackers, and even includes an introductory section on 'Using this Guide'. In addition to major backpacking trails ranging from Utah's Zion Park Travers, to Arizona's Tono Trail - Grandview to Hermits Rest; to New Mexico's Pecos Skyline Trail, "Best Backpacking Trips in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico" also features a two page listing of Best Rips by Season; and a four page Index. Informed and informative, "Best Backpacking Trips in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico" is thoroughly 'user friendly' and an ideal trip planning resource. While very highly recommended for community library Travel Guide collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Best Backpacking Trips in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico" is also readily available in a Kindle edition ($13.99).

Best Tent Camping: Kentucky
Johnny Molloy
Menasha Ridge Press
2204 - 1st Avenue South, Suite 102, Birmingham, AL 35233
9781634040044, $15.95, PB, 192pp,

An impressively well written, organized and presented car-camping guide to the scenic beauty, nature sounds, and general escape from civilization, "Best Tent Camping: Kentucky" by travel writer Johnny Molloy will leads the Kentucky visitor to the very best tent camping destinations within the Bluegrass State. Accurate describing not only of the campgrounds themselves, but also the fun outdoors activities nearby them, this newly revised and expanded second edition of "Best Tent Camping: Kentucky" uses a rating system which includes campground privacy, security, beauty, quiet, and cleanliness, and offers inside tips on just how to be enjoy each particular campground destination. "Best Tent Camping: Kentucky" also details prices, opening and closing dates, websites, and other information that will help travelers to utilize and enjoy their vacationing and recreational tent camping time and experience to the fullest. While very highly recommended for personal and community library Travel Guide reference collections, it should be noted that "Best Tent Camping: Kentucky" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

The Biography Shelf

With My Eyes Wide Open
Brian 'Head' Welch
Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
9780718030605,$24.95, HC, 240pp,

A life-changing spiritual awakening freed Brian "Head" Welch from a stranglehold of drugs and alcohol and prompted him to leave the highly successful nu-metal band KoRn in 2005. What followed was a decade-long trial by fire, from the perils of fathering a teen lost in depression and self-mutilation to the harsh realities of playing solo and surviving the shattering betrayal of a trusted friend. In this intensely inspiring redemption saga, perhaps most inspiring is Brian's radical decision to rejoin KoRn and reconcile with the tribe of people he once considered family in the metal music scene. Brian returned to his musical roots with a clear head and a devoted heart. Though his story is wild, hilarious, and deeply poignant, the message is simple: God will love you into the freedom of being yourself, as long as you keep the relationship going and never, ever quit. "With My Eyes Wide Open" is a deeply engaging and candid personal story that is a consistently compelling read from beginning to end. While very highly recommended for community library Contemporary American Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "With My Eyes Wide Open" is also available in a Kindle edition ($12.99) and in an MP3 CD format (Brilliance Audio, 9781511369824, $19.99).

Fitting In
Colin Thompson
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781785920462, $25.00, HC, 232pp,

Take one small boy; add manic depression, three wives, three daughters, two divorces, amazing creative talent, and Asperger's syndrome and you have the memoir of Colin Thompson who invites the reader to explore his almost-unbelievable life from past to present -- though not necessarily in that order. Filled with family photographs and mesmerizing illustrations personally drawn by the Colin, readers will step inside the life and mind of a truly extraordinary man who has lived a truly extraordinary life. Impressively well written, organized and presented, "Fitting In" is an exceptional memoir that is very highly recommended for community and academic library American Biography collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Fitting In" is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.99).

Flying Uncle's Junk
Don Bloch
North Star Press of St. Cloud
PO Box 451, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0451
9781682010297, $16.95, PB, 368pp,

Don Bloch spent more than twenty years with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, where he made undercover buys of heroin, cocaine, and other drugs on the streets of Minneapolis. As a DEA pilot, he flew undercover and surveillance missions in many cities across the United States. He also flew in the Mexican mountains of Sinaloa hunting opium poppy fields, and in the jungles of South America hunting cocaine laboratories. "Flying Uncle's Junk" is the detailed and riveting story of his experiences and adventures in America's drug wars. An inherently fascinating read from beginning to end, "Flying Uncle's Junk" is very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Contemporary American Biography collections. Also very highly recommended is Don Bloch's first biographical memoir, "A Shadow at the Gate" (9780878397853, $16.95, PB, 320pp).

The Education Shelf

Service Learning and Literary Studies in English
Laurie Grobman & Roberta Rosenberg, editors
Modern Language Association
26 Broadway, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10004-1789
9781603292016, $40.00, HC, 296pp,

An educational approach that combines learning objectives with community service in order to provide a pragmatic, progressive learning experience while meeting societal needs, 'service learning' can help students develop a sense of civic responsibility and commitment, often while addressing pressing community needs. One goal of literary studies is to understand the ethical dimensions of the world, and thus service learning, by broadening the environments students consider, is well suited to the literature classroom. Whether through a public literacy project that demonstrates the relevance of literary study or community-based research that brings literary theory to life, student collaboration with community partners brings social awareness to the study of literary texts and helps students and teachers engage literature in new ways. "Service Learning and Literary Studies in English" traces the history of service learning in the United States, including the debate about literature's role, and outline the best practices of the pedagogy. The essays comprising "Service Learning and Literary Studies in English" cover American, English, and world literature; creative nonfiction and memoir; literature-based writing; and cross-disciplinary studies. Contributors describe a wide variety of service-learning projects, including a course on the Harlem Renaissance in which students lead a community writing workshop, an English capstone seminar in which seniors design programs for public libraries, and a creative nonfiction course in which first-year students work with elderly community members to craft life narratives. "Service Learning and Literary Studies in English" closes with a list of resources for practitioners and researchers in the field. A model compendium of exceptionally well written, organized and presented scholarship, "Service Learning and Literary Studies in English" is a critically important addition to college and university Educational Studies reference collections. For the personal reading lists of students, academics, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject, it should be noted that "Service Learning and Literary Studies in English" is also available in a paperback edition (9781603292023, $25.00) and in a Kindle format ($16.99).

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Greening Your Pet Care
Darcy Matheson
Self-Counsel Press Inc.
4152 Meridian Street, Suite 105-471, Bellingham, WA 98226
9781770402614, $12.95, PB, 124pp,

Darcy Matheson is a television journalist, dog blogger, and columnist for Modern Dog magazine. The long-time animal advocate is a frequent contributor to TV, radio, and magazines on pet issues. She is the founder of PetFundr, a leading crowdfunding site solely dedicated to helping animal welfare projects. In "Greening Your Pet Care: Reduce Your Animal's Environmental Paw Print" she shows how any pet owner can minimize their pet's environmental impact: how it is fed, how it stays clean, and how it is housed. "Greening Your Pet Care" is devoted to a careful presentation of the best practices to keep any pet environmentally friendly. Matheson also identifies ownership tips and ideas to reduce and deal with waste and to take care of any pet's well-being with the most sustainable approaches. Simply stated, "Greening Your Pet Care" is specifically intended for the modern owner who thinks not only of the joy of having pets but being responsible for providing their care and well-being. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, content, commentary, organization and presentation, "Greening Your Pet Care" is very highly recommended for community library Pets/Wildlife collections and veterinarian clinic pet care reference collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Greening Your Pet Care" is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.99).

The Needlecraft Shelf

Patchwork Quilted Bags
Reiko Washizawa
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9780804846660, $16.95, PB, 96pp,

Prolific quilter Reiko Washizawa has written on all forms of quilting, from full-sized star quilts to small quilted goods for babies. She specializes in welcoming the beginner to the world of quilting, and in bringing a contemporary twist to traditional designs. In "Patchwork Quilted Bags: Totes, Purses and Accessories", she shows even the most novice of quilters how to create unique bags that put a little charm into carrying stuff around or storing the things that are not needed every day. "Patchwork Quilted Bags" is comprised of full-sized quilting patterns and step-by-step instructions for 19 different projects, along with techniques for assembling the perfect patch, make it ideal for novice and practiced crafters alike. The Projects range in size from large totes to small pouches in a zakka vein, as well as: A bird-themed travel bag; An elegant lace-rimmed bucket bag; A colorful clasp purse; A round bag/basket; A fold-away eco bag; A baby bag with bottle "cozy"; Adorable animal-themed totes; A Union-Jack themed pouch; and more! "Patchwork Quilted Bags" is a colorful and user-friendly quilting book shows lots of creative ways to use every type of patch from squares to yo-yos, and every type of print from florals to newsprint. Of special note are the pages showcasing different patchwork quilts add inspiration for mixing traditional and contemporary patterns. Simply stated, "Patchwork Quilted Bags" is certain to be an enduringly popular addition to personal and community library Needlecraft and Quilting instructional guide collections.

The American History Shelf

Being Japanese American
Gil Asakawa
Stone Bridge Press
1393 Solano Avenue, Suite C, Albany CA 94706
9781611720228, $18.95, PB, 176pp,

Gil Asakawa is a journalist, editor, author, speaker and blogger who covers Asian American, Japanese American and Japanese culture in blogs and social media. He writes regular columns for and is a member of the Editorial Board for the Pacific Citizen, the national newspaper of the Japanese American Citizens League, and his columns are also published in the Nikkei Voice, the national newspaper of Japanese Canadians. "Being Japanese American: A JA Sourcebook for Nikkei, Hapa . . . & Their Friends" is entertaining compendium is a celebration of Japanese American history and heritage. While detailing favorite foods, customs, words, games, and holidays, it also explores the painful history of Japanese immigration and the WWII internment of Japanese Americans, with suggestions for connecting to your own Japanese American community and passing on traditions across generations and into intermarried families. This revised second edition Of "Being Japanese American" has fresh interviews with Japanese Americans about their life experiences and explores contemporary Japanese pop culture like anime and J-pop, with information on traveling to visit your Japanese roots and lists of resources on the Web and social media. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Being Japanese Americans" is especially recommended to the attention of Japanese American readers, and is a critically important addition to both community and academic library American History collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Being Japanese American" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Writing the Blockbuster Novel
Albert Zuckerman
c/o Tor/Forge Books
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9780765382467. $28.99, HC, 256pp,

Albert Zuckerman, legendary literary agent, has worked with many bestselling authors, including Ken Follett, Olivia Goldsmith, Antoinette Van Heugten, Michael Lewis, and F. Paul Wilson. Zuckerman is a master at teaching writers the skills necessary to crack the bestseller list. In a newly revised edition of "Writing the Blockbuster Novel" Zuckerman has added an analysis of Nora Roberts's "The Witness", which he uses along with classic books like "Gone With the Wind" and "The Godfather", to illustrate his points. Zuckerman's commentary on Ken Follett's working outlines for "The Man From St. Petersburg" provide a blueprint for building links between plot and character. A new introduction discusses social media and self-publishing. "Writing the Blockbuster Novel" is an essential instruction for any aspiring author seeking to become a successful novelist. Of special note is the first chapter on "Getting Started", and the concluding chapter devoted to "Getting It Published and onto the Bestseller Lists". Simply stated, "Writing the Blockbuster Novel" should be considered a 'must read' for all beginning writers -- and offers a wealth of thoughtful and thought-provoking information for even the more experienced novelist. While very highly recommended for both community, college, and university library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Writing the Blockbuster Novel" is also available in a paperback edition (9780765382474, $15.99) and in a Kindle format ($8.99).

Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot
Jane K. Cleland
Writer's Digest Books
c/o F+W Media
10151 Carver Road, Suite 200, Blue Ash, OH 45242
9781599639673, $16.99, PB, 230pp,

Suspense is one of the most powerful tools a writer has for captivating readers but it isn't just for mystery or action/adventure thrillers. From mainstream fiction to memoir, suspense creates the emotional tension that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. "Mastering Suspense, Structure, & Plot" by award-winning author Jane Cleland is a hands-on guide to weaving suspense into any narrative. "Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot" shows aspiring authors how to navigate genre conventions, write for their audience, and build gripping tension to craft an irresistible page-turner. "Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot" explains how to: Implement thirteen no-fail techniques to construct an effective plot and structure for your story; Use Cleland's 'Plotting Road Map' to add elements of suspense like twists, reversals, and moments of danger; Write subplots with purpose; Improve descriptions, character development, sentence structure, and more. Packed with case studies, exercises, and dozens of examples from best-selling authors, "Mastering Suspense, Structure, & Plot" is the perfect key to writing suspenseful, engaging stories that leave readers wanting more. Simply stated, every aspiring writer, regardless of the genre they are working in, should give a careful reading to what Jane Cleland has to offer in "Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot". For the personal reading lists of aspiring novelists, it should be noted that "Mastering Suspense, Structure, and Plot" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Poetry Shelf

Barrier Island Suite
Kendall Dunkelberg
Texas Review Press
c/o Texas A&M University Press
4354 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-4354
9781680030655, $8.95, PB, 80pp,

The poems by Kendall Dunkelberg that comprise "Barrier Island Suite" are inspired by the life, art, and writings of Walter Inglis Anderson, who spent much of his adult life exploring the barrier islands of Mississippi, sketching and painting their flora and fauna, and chronicling his adventures in numerous logs. The islands form a liminal space between the land and sea, between nature and culture, between madness and conformity. Elements of the Anderson's life, including his travels, his struggles with mental illness, and his murals at Oldfields, the Ocean Springs Public School and Community Center, and the cottage at Shearwater Pottery are also incorporated. A deftly crafted and consistently compelling body of work, the kind of verse that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf, "Barrier Island Suite" is very highly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary American Poetry collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Barrier Island Suite" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.95).

The Money/Finance Shelf

Plan Your Estate, 13th edition
Denis Clifford
Nolo Press
950 Parker Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
9781413322859, $44.99, PB, 544pp,

Now in a newly updated and expanded thirteenth edition, "Plan Your Estate" continues to be a definitive and reliably informative reference for anyone wanting to create a will, a trust, avoid probate, create a living well or a power of attorney, and minimize estate and gift taxes on a state and/or federal level. "Plan Your Estate" also covers the naming of guardians for children, leaving property to children, strategies for business owners, leaving property to charity, and a great deal more. "Plan Your Estate" also comes with a website at that features hundreds of articles and FAQs on estate planning, useful legal forms, and in-depth profiles of estate planning lawyers for any given area of the country. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Plan Your Estate" is an absolutely vital reference and resource that should be a part of every personal, professional, community, and academic library Money/Finance instructional reference collection. It should be noted that "Plan Your Estate: 13th Edition" is also available in a Kindle format ($25.74).

The Crafts Shelf

Weave Leno
Martha Reeves
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764351013, $24.99, HC, 64pp,

Martha Reeves is a master weaver specializing in bead leno who has conducted extensive research and testing to develop ways of expanding leno weaving techniques. A recipient of the Handweaver's Guild of America Certificate of ExcellenceLevel II: Master, Reeves lectures widely and offers leno workshops. In "Weave Leno: In-Depth Instructions for All Levels, with 7 Projects", Martha presented step-by-step and illustrated instructions on how to master and enjoy the lace-like, intricate, often mysterious-seeming leno weave. A comprehensive guide specifically designed for both new weavers and advanced-level weavers alike, "Weave Leno" combines historical information about leno with the best practical instructions and "secret" tips resulting from Martha's years of research and sampling. Leno weaves, also called gauze weaves, are very sheer, yet at the same time very durable because they are made with four warp threads that are twisted around each other. Colorful photos of leno fabrics and the 'user friendly' instructions, along with seven beautiful projects, will help weavers learn bead leno and many other techniques and structures like leno pick-up and Tarascan lace. Very highly recommended for personal and community library Needlecraft Studies collections, "Weave Leno" is a one-of-a-kind resource for anyone who wants to learn to create this versatile weaving structure or further refine their leno skills.

The Agriculture Shelf

Compendium of Sunflower Diseases and Pests
Robert M. Harveson, et al.
APS Press
3340 Pilot Knob Road, St. Paul, MN 55121
9780890545072, $139.00, PB, 140pp,

Profusely illustrated with just under 300 color images throughout, this APS Press edition of "Compendium of Sunflower Diseases and Pests" is practical, comprehensive, exceptionally well written, organized and presented guide to the diagnosis and management of sunflower diseases and pests covering: Usage, breeding, and production; Diagnose and treat diseases, insect pests, and common disorders; plus expert management recommendations. Enhanced with the inclusion of a two page Appendix; a ten page Glossary; and a seven page Index, "Compendium of Sunflower Diseases and Pests" is a core and invaluable addition to professional, community, college, university, and governmental library Agricultural instructional reference collections in general, and the supplemental studies reading lists for the commercial and non-commercial growing of sunflowers in particular.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Totem Animals Plain & Simple
Celia M. Gunn
Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
9781571747488 $14.95 pbk / $9.49 Kindle

Totem Animals Plain & Simple is a reader-friendly guide to understanding more than 60 totem or "spirit guide" animals. After a general introduction to the concept of totem animals, there is an alphabetical listing of more than 60 totem animals, and what each one symbolizes. A handful of stylized black-and-white illustrations enriches this insightful reference and resource. Totem Animals, Plain & Simple is highly recommended, especially for metaphysical studies collections and personal reading lists.

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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