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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 2, Number 6 June 2007 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Cookbook Shelf Poetry Shelf
Travel Shelf World History Shelf Music Shelf
American History Shelf Money/Finance Shelf Education Shelf
Theatre/Cinema Shelf Gaming Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Art Shelf Photography Shelf Language Studies Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Fiction Shelf Self-Help Shelf
Environmental Shelf Business Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf
Biography Shelf Social Issues Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Military Shelf Parenting Shelf Political Science Shelf
Psychology Shelf Science Shelf Marriage Shelf
Railroading Shelf Woodworking Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf
Jobs/Careers Shelf Library DVD Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Civil War Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Gardening Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Library CD Shelf  


Reviewer's Choice

The American Rifle
Major Townsend Whelen
Paladin Press
Gunbarrel Tech Center, 7077 Winchester Circle, Boulder, CO 80301
1581605137, $30.00 www.paladin-press.com 1-800-392-2400

"The American Rifle: A Treatise, A Text Book, And A Book Of Practical Instruction In The Use Of The Rifle" by experienced and expert rifleman Major Townsend Whelen is a complete, illustrated, 650-page, 'user friendly', and highly recommended manual of instruction in the proper use, operation, and firing of a rifle. Readers will acquire an expert understanding of how to develop the skills necessary for a solid, consistent rifle marksmanship that includes such elements as trajectory and elevation, finding the rifle's 'zero', reading the wind, and all the other fundamentals of shooting at a target, regardless of the a distance, technological changes in rifle manufacturing and ammunition design. "The American Rifle" should be considered mandatory reading for anyone seeking to become expert in the use of a rifle whether it would be for hunting, target shooting, or combat.

Jewelry Handbook
Renee Newman
International Jewelry Publications
560 West Main Street, Suite C-200, Alhambra, CA 91801
0929975383, $19.95 intljpubl@aol.com

Respected gemologist and the author of eight outstanding guides on the subject of gems and jewelry, Renee Newman combines her years of experience and expertise with a gift for writing to provide both jewelry professionals and interested non-professional general readers with an informed and informative guidebook and manual on selected just the right jewelry to match a lifestyle, a budget, and even a body type. Profusely illustrated throughout with color photography, the "Jewelry Handbook: How To Select, Wear & Care For Jewelry" lays out clear, concise, step-by-step instructions on choosing jewelry that flatters and which will endure in both value and tenure. Readers will learn how to properly decipher stamps on jewelry mounting, how to make jewelry versatile, how to care for, clean, and protect jewelry, and perhaps most importantly, how to get good value for the money invested in the purchase of jewelry. The "Jewelry Handbook" covers both the benefits and the drawbacks for various setting styles, mountings, chains and metals (including gold, silver, platinum, palladium, titanium, tungsten, and stainless steel). Before buying their next piece of jewelry, readers would be very well advised to read and rely on Renee Newman's "Jewelry Handbook".

Our Point Of View
Thomas Mark Szelog & Lee Ann Szelog
Down East Books
PO Box 679, Camden, ME 04843
0892727047, $24.95 www.downeastbooks.com 1-800-685-7962

In 1987, Thomas and Lee Szelog were two lighthouse enthusiasts who visited a series of Main shoreline beacons for their second date. Two years later (and now married) they moved into the lightkeeper's house at the Marshall Point Lighthouse in Port Clyde, Maine. Tom kept a journal, as did Lee. Tom is also an award-winning photographer. Drawing from those journals and Tom's gift for photography, the wrote and illustrated "Our Point Of View: Fourteen Years At A Maine Lighthouse" in which they share their experiences, excitement, and pleasures of living at a lighthouse in every season and through all manner of weather. They even celebrate the gulls, cormorants, whales, seals who turn up at their door, as well as the people meeting and marrying in the shadow of their lighthouse beacon. Simply put, "Our Point Of View" is a joy to read and a 'must' for anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to live in a lighthouse in our day and age.

Strategic Planning And Management In Public Organizations
Meshack M. Sagini
University Press of America
4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
0761832394, $33.00 www.univpress.com 1-800-462-6420

"Strategic Planning And Management In Public Organizations: Behavior In Organizations" by Meshack M. Sagini (Professor of Political Science and Director of the Office of Scholarly & Scientific Research at Langston University) draws upon the case studies of four Michigan colleges to provide students, scholars, non-profit agency managers, and government agency policy makers with an empirical, comparative, in-depth analysis and approach to explaining the impact of planning on the management of any public organization, be it public or private. The research employed and succinctly laid out bear upon the relationship between the means chosen by an organization's management and the ends or results those selected means achieve (or fail to achieve) in terms of organizational goals both stated and implied. A seminal study that is notably articulate, academically impressive, quite meticulous in argument, "Strategic Planning And Management In Public Organizations" is an outstanding study that should be a part of every professional, academic, corporate, and governmental management research reference collection and supplemental studies reading list.

The Avalanche Handbook
David McClung & Peter Schaerer
The Mountaineers Books
1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98134-1161
0898868092, $19.95 www.mountaineersbooks.org 1-800-553-4453

Every winter we hear of people who have become the victim of an avalanche while skiing, snowmobiling, or camping in mountainous country where a landslide of snow roars down off a mountain side faster than anyone can move out of its way. Co-authored by David McClung (a professor in the Department of Geography and leader of the avalanche research group at the University of British Columbia) and Peter Schaerer (a senior research officer and head of the Avalanche Research Center of the National Research Council of Canada), "The Avalanche Handbook" is now published and available in a newly updated and expanded third edition that includes all the latest information, techniques, and research on understanding the nature of avalanches, as well as how to avoid and/or survive encounters with them. Readers will learn about the character and effects of avalanches, snow formations, snowpack analysis; the use of multiple transceivers along with other search and rescue techniques and equipment; the elements of avalanche forecasting, backcountry forecasting, and the decision-making process with respect to assessing avalanche possibilities; snow slap instability, terrain variables, skier triggering of avalanches, and the nature of avalanche motion. The informative and thoroughly 'reader friendly' text is superbly organized and nicely illustrated making "The Avalanche Handbook" essential and very strongly recommended reading for anyone venturing into mountain country in winter.

Our Market
Glenn D. Glasgow
Xlibris Corporation
International Plaza II, Suite 340, Philadelphia, PA 19113
159926921X, $20.99 www.xlibris.com

Glenn Glasgow grew up in the Virgin Islands where his mother grew and tended a garden. She, like many others, would talk to her plants as if they were people. Working as an adult in the produce department of a large chain of grocery stores, Glenn came to see that fruits and vegetables can take on a personality of their own. Writing is also a hobby of Glenn Glasgow and so he came to write about how people when setting their minds to something can accomplish anything -- especially when working together towards a common goal. That focus and unity are essential in the struggle to overcome the challenges everyone faces in the course of their daily lives. Remember his mother's garden and his experiences in the produce department, Glenn wrote "Our Market", an imaginative series of deftly conceived and written parables using pears, apples, bananas, watermelons, peanuts, grapes, and oranges to illustrate different situations that people face in meeting their goals despite their respective limitations. Also available in a hardcover edition (1599269228, $30.99), "Our Market" is original, thoughtful and thought-provoking reading that is especially recommended for dedicated parents trying to persuasively inform their children about drug addiction and other commonly encountered hazards in the world today.


The Cookbook Shelf

Cafe Wisconsin Cookbook
Joanne Raetz Stuttgen & Terese Allen
University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, Third Floor, Madison, WI 53711-2059
0299222748, $24.95 www.wisc.edu/wisconsinpress 1-800-621-2736

The cooperative work of Midwest folklorist Joanne Raetz Stuttgen and food columnist and cookbook author Terese Allen, "Cafe Wisconsin Cookbook" is a compilation of the history, anecdotes and recipes associated with some of Wisconsin's very best small town cafes ranging from Boscobel to Glennwood City, and from Stoughton to Sturgeon Bay. The recipes are organized around the categories of Breakfast, Baked Goods, Soups, Salads, Daily Specials, Sandwiches and Burgers, Sid Dishes and Extras, Pies and Other Desserts. Now any family cook can duplicate Wisconsin's Main Street eateries with respect to menu items ranging from pies, meatloaf and fish fries, to casseroles, burgers, and blue plate specials. "Cafe Wisconsin Cookbook" is an enthusiastically recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library regional cookbook collections!

Savor The Seasons
The Junior League of Tampa
The Cookbook Marketplace
c/o FRP Books
2451 Atrium Way, Nashville, TN 37214
0960955658, $17.95 www.frpbooks.com 1-800-269-6839

The third volume in a truly outstanding series of cookbooks created by the members of The Junior League of Tampa, "Savor The Seasons" offers year-round seasonal menus, festive dishes, and dining traditions with a twist. Very nicely illustrated with occasional full color photography, the menus with their component recipes are organized into five major sections: 'Celebrations'; 'Openers', 'Complements', 'Centerpieces'; and 'Finished Touches'. Of special note are the concluding appendices: 'The Perfect Setting'; 'Community Projects'; 'Recipe Contributors and Testers'. "Savor The Seasons" concludes with an Index and 'Order Information'. From Crab and Brie Dip with Artichokes; Sherried Mushroom Soup; Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Brand Cream Sauce; and Skirt Steak with Chimichurri; to Bacon and Leek Quiche; Snapper on Fava Bean Puree with Fig Marsala Reduction; Stacked Turkey with Cranberry Cream Cheese, and Chocolate Amaretto Cheesecake with Raspberry Amaretto Sauce, "Savor The Seasons" offers 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes and menus appropriate for any dining occasion and that will please any palate while satisfying any appetite.

The Martini Book
Sally Ann Berk & Zeva Oelbaum
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers
151 West 19th Street, New York, NY 10011
1579127169, $14.95 www.amazon.com 1-800-722-7202

Profusely illustrated throughout with Zeva Oelbaums full-color photography, "The Martini Book" is a compilation of recipes and instructions for making and mixing 201 different cocktail beverages. This newly revised and significantly expanded compendium of one of America's favorite recreational drinks for adults includes directions for setting up a martini bar including the necessary ingredients and equipment. The drink recipes are organized into two sections: 'The Classics' and 'Martinis with a Twist'. concluding with a Recipe Index and an Ingredient Index, "The Martini Book" is the ideal reference for novice bartenders and a welcome, recommended addition to personal and professional reference collections. If you want to learn how to make not only the perfect martini -- but an impressive variety of them -- then "The Martini Book" is the 'user friendly' manual for you!


The Poetry Shelf

Music For Landing Planes By
Eireann Lorsung
Milkweed Editions
1011 Washington Avenue South, #300, Minneapolis, MN 55415-1246
1571314288, $14.00 www.milkweed.org 1-800-520-6455

"Music For Landing Planes By" is the debut publication of poetry by Eireann Lorsung who takes as her themes the makers, methods, and materials associates with common, daily objects we are all familiar with. Loursung's free verse poetry deftly combines art and artifact in a truly literate and sometimes whimsical use of language that engages the reader's imagination and appreciation from beginning to end. 'Dressmaker': Nothing touches like tan velvet touches/the palm. Now the cracks come, because what gives/without taking? -- doesn't exist. Say//you forget what is lanolin, what is raw about fleece/uncarded & unwashed. Say the silver feel/of charmeuse lines your sleep. You've lost//what there was before pins & needles, sound/a scissors makes through cloth on a hardwood floor, thick waist of the dressmaker's dummy. don't tell me//any more. Without Burano lace, without cinnabar/strung on a cuff, shantung and satin and netting and swiss:/no rich man, no camel, no needle's threatening eye.

Doing 70
Hettie Jones
Hanging Loose Press
231 Wyckoff Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217
1931236720, $15.00 www.hangingloosepress.com

Hettie Jones lectures widely and teaches at The New School, Eugene Lang College, and the 92nd Street Y Poetry Center in New York. Her third published volume of poetry, "Doing 70" continues to document Hettie's impressive, original, and unabashed talent with free verse artfully displayed on the printed page. Also available in a hardcover edition (978-1-931236-73-7, $25.00), this latest anthology of Hettie's verse is especially recommended for the wit and craft displayed in each individual poem. 'Aunt Cora -- for Cora Coleman 1927-2004': Aunt Cora joined the army,/found a girlfriend, left/the former and kept the latter/for thirty years. Aunt Cora,/as a court reporter, saw a/lot of undercover and over-/heard a lot more. Aunt Cora's/lover was a beauty/and they lived happily/until they didn't. We loved our Cora's/wayward ways, her forward march, the way/she kept us all in step. Altogether, we loved/Aunt Cora. All together: We Loved Aunt Cora!

Dear Blackbird,
Jane Springer
University of Utah Press
1795 East South Campus Drive, #101, Salt Lake City, UT 84112-9402
0874808979, $12.95 www.uofupress.com 1-800-773-6672

A teacher of English in the Creative Writing Program at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Jane Spring's poetry anthologized in the pages of "Dear Blackbird," won The Agha Shahid Ali Prize in Poetry for 2007 and documents her impressive flair for free verse lyrics that are not restricted to the boundaries of ordinary stanza sequences or formats but are as original in their composition as they are in their content. Lovers of language and appreciators of poetry will enjoy the originality and engagement of Springer's deftly crafted verse. 'Quilts in a Pattern of Flower Gardens': Our grandmother cut/her patterns from/brown paper sacks then fit//flowers the size of/camels through/her nimble-swift needle//& Lord, what do you think of that/thimbleful of miracles?....

The Next Settlement
Michael Robins
University of North Texas Press
PO Box 311336, Denton, TX 76203-1336
1574412256, $12.95 www.unt.edu/untpress 1-800-826-8911

Michael Robins has had his poetry published in the 'Boston Review', 'The Cincinnati Review', the 'Denver Quarterly', 'The Iowa Review', and several other lesser known journals. The first published anthology of his work, "The Next Settlement", won Robins the Vassar Miller Prize in Poetry for 2006. This is a compilation of meditative poems in which word images are conjured with fine honed sensitivity and brutal surprise. Original, lyrical, and highly recommended reading, these free verse creations showcase a unique and memorable voice in American literature. 'The Cows Go Mulling Home': I fed in your pasture, the others/were soured company to the sky.//I assumed the error of moths,/your pastoral broad as the moon//while the cats fray a low grass,/birds taking up the form of wings.//Having one long key for the gate,/I might resist the heated fence//where expectation sets on the lip,/catches within the nest of the throat.//I considered proof of my flight,/that you'd be quite pleased to see.

Glad of These Times
Helen Dunmore
Bloodaxe Books
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7, Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
1852247584, $21.95 www.dufoureditions.com 1-800-869-5677

Compiled and anthologized in "Glad Of These Times", the story-telling free verse poetry of novelist and children's writer Helen Dunmore explores such issues as the fleetingness of life, its sweetness and intensity, the brevity of our time on earth, the pleasures of the earth, death as a frame which sharpens everything in life and gives it an ultimate shape. The poetry comprising this enthusiastically recommended volume of her work have been drawn from seven previously published collections and are especially noteworthy for their lyrical language, the emotional impact, and their literary artistry. 'Odysseus': For those who do not write poems/but have the cause of poems in them:/this thief, sly as Odysseus/who puts out from Albanian waters/into the grape-dark Ionian dawn,/his dirty engine coughing out puffs of black,/to maraud, as his ancestors taught him,/the soft villas of the south --

The Edge Of Beulah
David Elliott
Breakwater Books Limited
100 Water Street, St. Johns, NL, Canada, A1C 6E6
0920911609, $14.95 www.breakwaterbooks.com 1-800-563-3333

When he's not writing memorable, well crafted poetry, David Elliott teaches English at the Sir Wilfred Grenfell College of Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. Very highly recommended reading, "The Edge Of Beulah" is his debut published volume showcasing his elegant flair for language and imagery cast into a free verse format. 'Lemmings': Lemmings I learn do not swarm to death/browning the spring sea/as if it had grown a fur coat.//It seems merely that in their folk-wanderings/population pressure/many are pushed in the sea and drowned.//But I want old stories to be true/what price lives of lemmings/great auks, dodos, first-born of Egypt/against the death of a legend.

Revolt Of The Crash-Test Dummies
Jim Daniels
Eastern Washington University Press
705 West 1st Avenue, Spokane, WA 99201
1597660248, $15.95 www.ewu.edu/ewupress 1-800-508-9095

"Revolt Of The Crash-Test Dummies" is the latest and highly commended collection of poetry by Jim Daniels who is a Professor of English at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A seasoned poet with nine published volumes of verse to his created, Daniels holds the Brittingham Prize for Poetry. With an obvious flair for language and a crafted talent for phrases that evoke the twin elements of irony and humor, "Revolt Of The Crash-Test Dummies" continues to demonstrate and document Daniels as a major contemporary poet deserving of as wide an appreciative audience as possible. 'Poetry': It isn't brain surgery./But then again, what else is?//Two dogs are company./Three's a lot of shit.//Isn't lingerie a great word?/I mean, it's got 'linger' in it.//What came first, the nook/or the cranny?//A dead squirrel was the first/heating pad.//Ice it, or heat it? Even the doctors/get confused. That leads me//to inflamed. See, that's a great/word because it's got 'med' in it.//And lame! And inf, an obscure name/for a Danish elf.//I want to be a Danish elf in lame/who's finally off his meds.//I picked three flowers today./They quietly share the same vase.

The Sweet Fuels
Erin Knight
Goose Lane Editions
500 Beverbrook Court, Suite 330, Fredericton, NB, Canada, E3B 5X4
0864924917, $14.95 www.gooselane.com 1-800-565-9523

"The Sweet Fuels" is a compilation of Canadian poet Erin Knight's free verse poetry and serves admirably to introduce an appreciative readership to an accomplished practitioner of poetry. Some of the more than four dozen poems comprising this remarkable and highly recommended anthology were written in English, while others were composed in Spanish and the translated into English. A few were written in English, converted to Spanish, and then translated back into English. The result is a quite unique framing of prose verse. One such example is a poem titled 'The Rooster on the Balcony - Elva Macias' which appears side-by-side in both Spanish and English: A rooster sleeps on the balcony,/my daughter trends to him each morning./And in the evening,/when the poet sings/of how the flame that floats between them/is nothing but a word, once/and again and again the rooster/announces my betrayal.


The Travel Shelf

Introducing Denmark And The Danes
David E. Nye
Insight Books/University Press of Southern Denmark
c/o International Specialized Book Services (ISBS)
920 Northeast 58th Avenue, Suite 300, Portland, OR 97213
87-7674-128-1, $12.90 www.isbs.com 1-800-944-6190

"Introducing Denmark And The Danes: A Two Hour Briefing" by David E. Nye provides the non-specialist general reader with an informed and informative overview of Denmark including its people, its cities, its culture, and its countryside. A succinct and thoroughly 'reader friendly' text is organized into four major sections: 'Cultural Background'; 'National Character'; 'Economics and Politics'; and 'Practical Advise for Visitors'. In particular, it is these last section with practical advise on such fundamental issues as getting registered, traveling and working within Denmark, what to bring and what to buy, the climate, the holidays, and learning the language, that make this an indispensable instructional reference for tourists, business travelers, exchange students, and immigrants. Of special note are the single page descriptions on 'Danish national Newspapers' and 'Libraries and Books'. Anyone considering traveling to or within Denmark should begin their preparations with a careful reading of David e. Nye's "Introducing Denmark And The Danes".

Cancum Cozumel & The Riviera Maya
Bruce Conord & June Conord
Hunter Publishing
130 Campus Drive, Edison, NJ 08818
1588435989, $16.99 www.hunterpublishing.com 1-800-255-0343

Now in a significantly updated and revised fourth edition, "Cancum Cozumel & The Riviera Maya " by the husband and wife team of Bruce and June Conord is a handy, pocket-sized, 306-page, illustrated travel guide that is part of the superbly produced 'Alive!' series from Hunter Publishing. An impressive and thoroughly 'user friendly' compendium of practical travel tips, "Cancum Cozumel & The Riviera Maya" offers invaluable information on hotels for every budget; local, casual and fine dining cafes and restaurants; town and regional maps; suggested day trips; as well as nature and eco-tours recommendations. Fully indexed and replete with 'insider info' by travel writers who have actually 'been there and done that', "Cancum Cozumel & The Riviera Maya" is an indispensable and very strongly recommended guide to getting the most out of traveling to Cancum Cozumel and the 'Riviera May' country whether for vacation or for business, as a weekend getaway or an extended recreational holiday.

The Philadelphia Inquirer Restaurant Guide
Craig LeBan
Camino Books, Inc.
PO Box 59026, Philadelphia, PA 19102
0940159988, $14.95 www.caminobooks.com

Written by award-winning "Philadelphia Inquirer" restaurant critic Craig LeBan, The Philadelphia Inquirer Restaurant Guide is a compendium of 76 in-depth reviews of the most enticing restaurants in and around Philadelphia, as well as over 600 capsule reviews of additional quality food joints, and special features on coffee shops, food trucks, retail shopping, dining at the Jersey Store, and more. The in-depth reviews include a list of menu highlights, lunch or dinner hours, notes on prices, parking, and whether credit cards are accepted, a brief history, and of course, a succinct summary of the restaurant's ambiance and highlights. The capsule reviews tend to be only one or two sentences plus the restaurant's address, phone number, and website, but a simple four-star rating system (with the stars replaced by liberty bells) immediately highlights the best of the best. A wide variety of ethnic eateries are among the many profiled in this "must-have" for epicureans visiting or living in the Philadelphia area.


The World History Shelf

The New Complete Works Of Josephus
William Whiston & Paul L. Maier
Kregel Publications
PO Box 2607, Grand Rapids, MI 49501
0825429242, $24.99 www.kregelpublications.com 1-800-733-2607

Flavius Josephus (c. A.D. 37-100) was a member of an aristocratic Jewish family who served as a priest, then when the Jews of Palestine revolted against the Roman occupying forces, became a commander of Jewish forces in Galilee. Captured by the romans, Josephus changed sides and allied with the Romans. After the destruction of the Temple, Josephus lived out his later years in Rome under the patronage of the Roman emperors where he composed his history of the Jewish People and his account of the Jewish war that led to the end of the Jewish Temple, the extermination of the priestly class, and the expulsion of the Jews from Palestine and their consequent diaspora or migration throughout the Roman empire. Josephus history is the only non-canonical first century historical source that mentions Jesus of Nazareth. Originally translated into English by mathematician and history William Whiston (1662-1752), students of Jewish history can now benefit from a newly revised and significantly expanded edition and translation by Paul L. Maier (Russell H. Seibert Professor of Ancient History at Western Michigan University) that features a new introduction and commentaries on the text. Enhanced with more than 40 photographs of ancient sites and artifacts referred to by Josephus, as well as a number of charts, tables, and maps throughout, this outstanding edition also features cross reference numbers throughout to the Greek text of Josephus in the Loeb Classical Library. With the inclusion of a revised subject index and an index of Old Testament texts parallel to the writings of Josephus, "The New Complete Works Of Josephus" is a strongly recommended, core addition to personal, academic, and community library Judaic Studies and World History reference collections.

Wind & Water In The Middle Ages
Steven A. Walton, editor
Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies
PO Box 4402, Tempe, AZ 85821-4402
0866983678, $55.00 www.asu.edu/clas/acmrs 1-480-965-5900

Knowledgeably compiled, nicely organized, and expertly edited by academician and historian Steven A. Walton (a member of the Center for Medieval Studies and a faculty member in the Intercollege Science, Technology & Society Program at Penn State University), "Wind & Water In The Middle Ages: Fluid Technologies From Antiquity To The Renaissance" is a series of essays offering descriptive commentary and analysis of windmills, watermills, water control, and irrigation systems employed in Medieval Europe. The continuity of mill technology and its transfer between Arabic and European cultures is discussed in substantial detail, as are the literary and artistic representations of these technologies, as well as their urban, rural and monastic contexts. Of special note are the early modern adaptations of the medieval technologies of wind and water and their impact on agriculture, the rise of the cities, and emergent national identities. Nicely enhanced with 46 key illustrations, a list of contributors, and an index, "Wind & Water In The Middle Ages" is a body of impressively articulate and seminal scholarship worth of inclusion into any academic library's Medieval Studies reference collection.


The Music Shelf

The Z'mirot & Kumzitz Songbook
Velvel Pasternak
Tara Publications
29 Derby Avenue, Cedarhurst, NY 11516
0933676638, $19.95 www.jewishmusic.com 1-800-827-2400

Knowledgeably compiled and expertly arranged by Velvel Pasternak, "The Z'mirot & Kumzitz Songbook" is a compilation of 117 Jewish songs with Hebrew lyrics. The lyrics lined up with the music notation are presented in English lettering. The Hebrew script for those same lyrics is at the bottom of the page, or in a few instances because of length, on the opposing page. "The Z'mirot & Kumzitz Songbook" is an ideal anthology for inclusion in personal, professional, or synagogue music reference collections. Also very highly recommended from Tara Publications, a premier publisher of Jewish music, are two companions to "The Z'mirot & Kumzitz Songbook": "The Z'miort Handbook' featuring all the songs from the "Z'mirot & Kumzitz Songbook" in a bencher format (making it ideal for the Shabbat table) and "The Z'mirot Sing-Along" which is a technically flawless recording of the songs and available in both an audiocassette and a CD format.

The Singer's Companion
Brent Monahan
Amadeus Press, LLC
512 Newark Pompton Plains, New Jersey 07444
1574671502, $14.95 www.amadeuspress.com

Written by expert vocal coach Brent Monahan, The Singer's Companion: A Guide to Improving Your Voice and Performance is a guide for lay people and professional singers alike to improving one's singing talent. The Singer's Companion simplifies the art of performance by emphasizing practical techniques rather than complex lessons on physiology and theories. Chapters cover proper stance, breathing, phonation, resonance, range, health, vocal exercises, pronunciation and diction, and more. Diagrams, exercise sheets, sample songs, and an audio CD complement this solid, "hands-on" self-training guide for singers of all backgrounds, from aspiring actors to church choir singers to folks who love to sing in the shower.

The Symphony
Robert Greenberg
The Teaching Company
4151 Lafayette Center Drive, Suite 100, Chantilly, VA 20151-1232
#7210, $374.95 DVD, www.teach12.com, 1-800-832-2412

"The Symphony" is a series of twenty-four informed and informative lectures brilliantly presented by Professor Robert Greenberg (currently the music historian-in-residence with San Francisco Performances). Professor Greenberg expertly and knowledgeably presents an overview and analysis of the history of the symphony over its almost 300-year existence as a basic form of Western concert music. The symphony is a multi-movement, multi-instrument, coordinated composition for an orchestra that has its origins in the concerti and opera overtures of the Baroque era, becoming an increasingly popular entertainment for the masses as well as the aristocracy and privileged classes during the Classical and early Romantic eras. The inherently fascinating description of the symphony's development and expansion includes succinct biographical portraits of some of the very best and most influential of the symphonic composers including such luminaries as Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Bruckner, Mahler, Ives, Shostakovich, Sibelius, Copland, Barber, and so many others. Examples of symphonic performances are laced throughout t the lectures themselves for illustrative purposes. Enthusiastically recommended for high school music department, university and community library Music History collections, the DVD format for "The Symphony" divides Professor Greenberg's superbly crafted, 45 minute lectures into three parts encompassing. "The Symphony" is also available in an audio CD format ($269.95), and in an cassette tape format ($199.95). Verbatim transcript books ($35.00) for this outstanding course are also readily available and recommended.


The American History Shelf

Our Very Illustrious Brother, Abraham Lincoln
Larissa P. Watkins
Oak Knoll Press
310 Delaware Street, New Castle, DE 19720-5038
#92274, $65.00 www.oakknoll.com 1-800-996-2556

The bicentennial anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth will take place on February 12, 2009. "Our Very Illustrious Brother, Abraham Lincoln" by bibliographer Larissa P. Watkins is co-published by Oak Knoll Press and the Library of the Supreme Council in order to present an up-to-date bibliography for Lincoln scholars and American history enthusiasts in preparation for the anticipated celebration. A work of exhaustive scholarship, "Our Very Illustrious Brother, Abraham Lincoln" features some 1,000 entries, including more than 100 images of covers and title pages, as well as brief excerpts about President Lincoln drawn from many of the listed publications. With the inclusion of an informative foreword, an informed introduction, a 26-page facsimile of "Abraham Lincoln, Freemason" by Lincoln collector and scholar L. D. Carman, "Our Very Illustrious Brother, Abraham Lincoln" is a very strongly recommended and absolutely core addition to personal, academic, and community library Abraham Lincoln and American History reference collections.

Inside The Confederate Nation
Lesly J. Gordon & John C. Inscoe
Louisiana State University Press
P.O. Box 25053, Baton Rouge, LA 70894-5053
0807132314, $19.95 www.lsu.edu/lsupress 1-800-861-3477

The academically impressive and deftly collaborative editorial effort of Lesley J. Gordon (Associate Professor of History, University of Akron) and John C. Inscoe (Professor of History, University of Georgia), "Inside The Confederate Nation" is a compilation of essays in honor of Emory M. Thomas by a series of learned contributors and scholars that focus on the subject of the conservative revolution of 1861 that transformed an essentially conservative American South into a radically different socio-political culture by the conclusion of the Civil War in 1865. The contributions are organized into four major sections: 'Nationalism and Identity'; 'Family and Gender'; 'Race'; 'Memory and Legacies'. Enhanced with an informative introduction by Professors Gordon and Incoe, and the article by Russell Duncan and Jennifer Lund Smith, 'Emory M. Thomas and the Confederate Imagination', and concluding with a Select Bibliography, a list of Editors and Contributors, and a comprehensive Index, "Inside The Confederate Nation is a superbly presented and organized model of anthologized, specialized, analytical historical studies. Also available in a hardcover edition (9780807130995, $65.00), "Inside The Confederate Nation" is a very strongly recommended addition to academic and community library Civil War Studies and 19th Century American History Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

Texas Towns And The Art Of Architecture
Richard Payne
Texas State Historical Association
The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station, D0901, Austin, TX 78712-0332
0876112181, $49.95 www.tsha.utexas.edu 1-800-687-8132

"Texas Towns And The Art Of Architecture: A Photographer's Journey" by architectural photographer Richard Payne is a photographic survey of small Texas towns. Payne embarked on this project as a part-time activity -- something to do in his spare time out of nostalgia, curiosity, and taking pictures of places that reminded him of him own hometown. The 'golden age' of small town Texas architecture ran from 1880 to 1930 and reflected all of the early American architectural styles and influences including Greek, Roman, Italian, Egyptian revival, Spanish Colonial, Victorian, Art Deco, Moorish motifs, and a great many idiosyncratic oddities that defy classification. "Texas Towns And The Art Of Architecture" showcases architectural examples drawn from around two hundred towns throughout every region of Texas. Payne carefully documents his beautifully detailed images, many of which rise to the status of art as reflected through the lens of his camera. A unique addition to personal, professional, and academic library collections, "Texas Towns And The Art Of Architecture" is a very highly recommended reading for students of Photography, Architecture, and Texas History.

Finding Indiana Ancestors
M. Teresa Baer & Geneil Breeze, editors
Indiana Historical Society
450 West Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202
9780871952035, $29.95 www.indianahistory.org

Compiled, organized and edited by M. Teresa Baer and Geneil Breeze, "Finding Indiana Ancestors: A Guide To Historical Research" is specifically designed to help students, scholars, and family historians to effectively utilize all of the historical resources available to them. Common questions posed by novice genealogists and family historians are answered with a special focus on Indiana-specific issues and sources. Divided into six sections, "Finding Indiana Ancestors" addresses getting started, working with family stories and pictures, documenting sources in libraries and archives, understanding different record groups, researching with maps, researching different ethnic groups, manuscript and artifact research, 19th century medicinal and industrial history, and data verification. Of special note are the six model chapters showing how to turn data into full-fledged stories. Enhanced with a sample family group sheet and a sample pedigree chart, as well as selected bibliographic references and an index, "Finding Indiana Ancestors" is especially recommended to the attention of genealogists and family historians researching their Indiana forebears.

The Rise And Fall Of Indian Country, 1825-1855
William E. Unrau
University Press of Kansas
2501 West 15th Street, Lawrence, KS 66049
0700615113, $29.95 www.kansaspress.ku.edu 1-785-864-4154

Featuring five maps, extensive notes, exhaustive source lists, and a comprehensive index, "The Rise And Fall Of Indian Country, 1825-1855 by William E. Unrau (Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at Wichita State University) is a superbly written, thirty year history of the impact of Section 1 of the 1834 Act regarding the establishment of 'Indian Country', a territory set aside as a place for native American survival and improvement, protected against white settlement and encroachment, that originally encompassed more than half of the Louisiana Purchase stretching from the Red River to the headwaters of the Missouri River. What Professor Unrau's research has documented is a three decade governmental complicity in disregard of federal regulation in order to facilitate white settlement and the development of the trans-Missouri West. An important and strongly recommended addition to American Western History and Native American Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists, "The Rise And Fall Of Indian Country, 1825-1855" is the chronicled and documented story of land-hungry whites moving to claim Native American treaty lands and how subsequent legislation by complicit lawmakers and governmental bureaucrats negated the originally promised permanence of 'set aside' Native American lands.

A Day's Work
W. H. Bunting
Tilbury House, Publishers
2 Mechanic Street, Gardiner, ME 04345
0884481891, $35.00 www.tilburyhouse.com 1-800-582-1899

"A Day's Work: A Sampler Of Historic Maine Photographs, 1860-1920: Part 1" is compiled with annotations by Maine historian, author, cattleman, and businessman W. H. Bunting who labored for almost 30 years assembling his collection of historic photographic images of the people, buildings, activities and landscapes that comprise Maine's history, commerce, and communities. Each of the 225 black-and-white photos is accompanied by a narrative caption that are as entertaining as they are informative. From a lumber batteau working on a log jam, to an eccentric cobbler traveling from island to island by sailing scow, to trains wrecks, hootchie-cootchie dancers, coastwise cargo schooners, and so much more, readers are treated to unique perspectives captured by a camera's lens and documented life and work in the state of Maine during a sixty year span that begins in 1860 and ends in 1920. Also available in a hardcover edition (0884481883, $55.00), "A Day's Work" is especially recommended for academic library Regional History reference collections in general, and Maine's community library State History collections in particular.

Texas: A Compact History
Archie P. McDonald
State House Press
McMurry University, PO Box 637, Abilene, TX 79697
193333715X, $16.95 www.mcwhiney.org/press

Texas: A Compact History condenses hundreds of years of Texas history into a no-nonsense chronological narrative. A phrase in bold marks the main topic being discussed every few paragraphs, allowing for quick and easy browsing of highlighted historical events. An index rounds out this easy-to-follow guide, especially ideal for browsing prior to traveling to Texas for business or pleasure. "The elimination of the buffalo produced two significant results in Texas. It forced the Indians to remain on reservations to obtain food and it opened th plains for the spread of cattle raising." Enthusiastically recommended for anyone who wants to quickly familiarize themselves with Texas history.


The Money/Finance Shelf

Stock Market Explorer
Mathew Aaron
Chart & Compass Security Analysis Inc.
2701 University Avenue, Suite 2-457, Madison, WI 53705
0977821226, $18.95 www.chartandcompass.com

"Stock Market Explorer: A Time-Saving Guide For Beating The Market" by security analyst and market researcher Mathew Aaron offers investors a systematic description and discussion of the stock market and the investment process. Providing expert insight on simple yet powerful analytical tools that all to often the novice investor is unaware of, the "Stock Market Explorer" provides an invaluable discussion of fundamental principles that must be understood and adhered to if investors are to establish and maintain their portfolios on a solid, prosperous approach that can deal with the market's volatility. Investors are provided with a methodical, step-by-step, practical and time-proven plan for 'beating the market' which is founded on hard numbers and evaluations taken from actual companies. "Stock Market Explorer" should be considered a basic and fundamental 'must read' for anyone with no pressing interest in stock investing but who want to understand the basics involved in the process, and those who have an interest in becoming actively engaged in stock investing. Articulate, informed and informative, "Stock Market Explorer" will prove to be invaluable and indispensable in helping the non-specialist general reader understand and negotiate their way through the hazards and opportunities of stock marketing investing. As such, "Stock Market Explorer" should also be a part of every community library's Money & Financing reference collection as well.


The Education Shelf

Teaching Kids With Mental Health & Learning Disorders In The Regular Classroom
Myles L. Cooley
Free Spirit Publishing
217 Fifth Avenue North, Suite 200, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1299
1575422425, $34.95 www.freespirit.com

A practicing psychologist for more than 30 years who evaluates and treats children, adolescents and adults for a variety of problems, Myles L. Cooley also draws upon his experience and expertise as a consultant to schools and as a presenter of education al programs to educators, mental health professionals, physicians, and parents in "Teaching Kids With Mental Health & Learning Disorders In The Regular Classroom". This basic and very strongly recommended instruction manual and guidebook is specifically designed to help classroom teachers learn how to recognize, understand and help challenged (and often challenging) students to learn and succeed academically. A compendium of practical and proven strategies educators can use when teaching and supporting students who exhibit mental health problems and learning disorder issues, "Teaching Kids With Mental Health & Learning Disorders In The Regular Classroom" will also alert teachers as to what behavior sand symptoms to look for in troubled students, provide ideas for fostering social development in these children, and how best to motivate all students to learn. Of special note is the discussion of the latest approach to intervention procedures, including Response to Intervention (RTI).

Look, Look! I Wrote a Book!
Linda Ball and Laurel Brucker
Good Year Books
PO Box 91858, Tucson, AZ 85752-1858
0673363570, $14.95 www.goodyearbooks.com 1-888-511-1530

Look, Look! I Wrote a Book! is an educational resource intended for instructors of young children from prior to kindergarten through second grade. The reproducible pages are templates for cutting and putting together brief, little books with simple, repetitive, child-centered texts based on oral language, as well as share-and-sign pages. For example, the reproducible pages allow a child to assemble a book "Fish Facts" that reads "1-2-3-4-5 Once I caught a fish alive. / A fish can ___. / A fish can ___. / A fish can ___. / A fish can't ___. / 6-7-8-9-10 Then I let it go again!", and the child is encouraged to write true statements in the blanks. An excellent resource for reinforcing basic literacy concepts, stimulating creativity, or just plain rainy-day fun.

Reading The Media
Renee Hobbs
Teachers College Press
1234 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027
0807747386, $23.95, www.tcpress.com 1-800-575-6566

"Reading The Media: Media Literacy In High School English" by national media education expert Renee Hobbs (Associate Professor of Communication at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) chronicles the successful practice of highschool English teachers who developed an innovative curriculum for their students that incorporates popular media, television, journalism, film, and 'new media' information sources, as well as the specific, measurable impact that this curriculum supplementation had on the students' academic performance. "Reading The Media" documents how a media literacy course significantly improved reading comprehension, writing, critical analysis, and other academic skills. Teachers are also provided with practical information on how to revise their lessons plans and activities to take advantage of media literacy strategies to increase student motivation and equip basic citizenship skills. Superbly organized and presented, "Reading The Media" is a welcome and very highly recommended addition to high-school and home-school Media Literacy and English Language Studies curriculums.

Puzzle Them First!
A. Vincent Ciardiello
International Reading Association
PO Box 8139, Newark, DE 19714-8139
0872075818, $23.95 www.reading.org 1-800-336-7323

"Puzzle Them First!: Motivating Adolescent Readers With Question-Find" by academician and reading instruction specialist A. Vincent Ciardiello focuses on the use of 'question-finding' as a strategy for teaching content literacy to adolescent students. 'Question-finding' teaches students how to effectively probe the multiple meanings of text, as well as reducing any social constraints, thereby increasing their independence as readers and inquirers. Enhanced with annotated resources, a sample lesson plan, motivational sources for question-finding, and a glossary of key concepts and specialized terms, "Puzzle Them First!" is especially recommended to the attention of classroom teachers and parental homeschoolers working with teenagers ages 12 to 18.

Mentor Texts
Lynn R. Dorfman & Rose Cappelli
Stenhouse Publishers
477 Congress Street, Suite 4B, Portland, ME 04101-3451
157110433X, $22.50 www.stenhouse.com 1-800-988-9812

"Mentor Texts: Teaching Writing Through Children's Literature, K-6" is the collaboration of Lynne R. Dorfman (a writing extension teacher for the Upper Moreland School District in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania with more than thirty years experience) and Rose Cappelli (a primary-grade reading specialist in the West Chester Area School District in West Chester, Pennsylvania with more than twenty years of experience). These two seasoned and expert reading teachers explain just how the authors of children's books create the wonder felt when boys and girls become immersed in them. They address just what students and teachers learn from these authors and their books if utilized as writing mentors. "Mentor Texts" is very nicely organized around the characteristics of good writing: focus, content, organization, style, and conventions. Classroom teachers and novice reading tutors are shown that 'mentor texts' can serve as a practical scaffold for student work; are provided with student writing examples demonstrating how students take risks as writers; teacher writing examples illustrating the power of the teacher as writer; and a comprehensive annotated list of children's literature including specific suggestions for teaching points. Of special note are the 'Your Turn' lessons at the end of each chapters showing how to put the ideas discussed in that chapter into practice. Expertly written in a conversational style, employing numerous illustrative anecdotes, and thoroughly 'user friendly', "Mentor Texts" should be considered mandatory reading for anyone charged with the responsibility of teaching writing at the elementary school level.

Cognitive Connections
Robert Myers
Zephyr Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60611
1569760357, $19.95 www.zephyrpress.com 1-800-232-2187

"Cognitive Connections: Multiple Ways of Thinking About Math" by elementary school curriculum consultant Robert Myers is a compendium of 87 'teacher friendly' cross-curricular activities that will enhance a student's ability to do math problems through cross-curricular activities that go beyond a traditional math curriculum approach to demonstrate math is more than just numbers. Among these math skill enhancing activities are such projects as 'Kitchen Design' where students redesign their families' kitchens, employing geometry in real-world situations; 'Tom's Game' where students look for a mathematical solution to a play ground problem: how can every student be included in a game with a limited amount of equipment?; 'Sprouts', where students explore ratios of germinating seeds and use this information to advise a gardener on planting next year's crops for a maximum yield; 'It Figures' with children interviewing adult professionals about the math skills they use to perform their jobs; 'The Right Change' where students are asked to solve the mistake made by a store clerk, and suggest a solution that will keep the error from happening again. Fun, effective, and especially appropriate for students in grades 4 through 8, "Cognitive Connections" is a superbly organized and presented educational resource. It would also prove invaluable for a homeschooling parent's mathematics curriculum reference shelf as well!


The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

The Most American Thing in America
Charlotte M. Canning
University of Iowa Press
100 Kuhl House, 119 West Park Road, Iowa City, IA 52242-1000
1587295857, $19.95 www.uiowapress.org 1-800-621-2736

Winner of the 2006 Barnard Hewitt Award for Excellence in Theatre History, The Most American Thing in America: Circuit Chautauqua as Performance by Charlotte M. Canning (professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, University of Texas, Austin) is part history, part evaluation of the Circuit Chautauquas, the iterant branch of an adult education movement created to spread culture and entertainment across America, particularly isolated rural areas. The Chautauquas flourished, despite some conflicts - their African-American members were in danger when they toured areas rife with KKK members and sympathizers - filling a much-needed role until the Great Depression, when the rise of radio and movies eclipsed them. Their performances included lectures, music, occasional political debate, and much more. Theatre historians have long neglected the Circuit Chautauquas because they didn't quite fit the mold of established theatre; Canning seeks to remedy this omission through an in-depth history examining not only the Circuit Chautauquas as performers, but also as facilitators of American community and democracy. Highly recommended.

Film Histories
Paul Grainge, Mark Jancovitch, Sharon Montieth, editors
University of Toronto Press
10 St. Mary Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4Y 2W8
0802095089, $39.95 www.utppublishing.com 1-800-565-9523

The collaborative and detailed work of Paul Grainge (Associate Professor in Film Studies, University of Nottingham), Mark Jancovitch (Professor of Film and Television Studies, University of East Anglia), and Sharon Montieth (Professor of American Studies, University of Nottingham), "Film Histories: An Introduction And Reader" is a 612-page compendium of information providing an historical overview and analytical survey of movies from their cinematic origins in 1895 down to the present day. Laid out chronologically, each individual chapter covers the key developments within the period covered, followed by a classic piece of historical research about that particular period. Different types of film historical research are provided for the benefit of film students. The result is a narrative history spine enhanced with introductions to different approaches to the study and research of cinematic history. A truly impressive body of seminal scholarship in both its scope and execution, the text is superbly organized, informed and informative, as well as being thoroughly comprehensive and 'student friendly'. Also available in a hardcover edition (0802093558, $85.00), "Film Histories: An Introduction And Reader" is a very strongly recommended for students of films and their genres, as well as being a core addition to personal, professional, and academic library Cinematic Studies & History reference collections.


The Gaming Shelf

Rifts D-Bees of North America
Alex Marciniszyn, Wayne Smith, & Kevin Siembieda, editors
Palladium Books Inc.
12455 Universal Drive, Taylor, MI 48180
1574571702, $22.95 www.palladiumbooks.com

Rifts D-Bees of North America is a sourcebook of 100 types of nonhuman Dimensional Beings (D-Bees) suitable for introduction as friends, foes, or exotic player characters in any Rifts fantasy role-playing game. The game system used for the creature statistics compatible with the entire Palladium Books Megaverse, though the ideas and concepts touched upon in the elaborate descriptions can offer inspiration for a game master to assemble his or her own creations according to different fantasy game rules. Black-and-white illustrations and extensive and engaging text descriptions fully flesh out each distinctive race of creatures, some appearing almost human, others decidedly not. An excellent supplement to the library of any Palladium Books Megaverse game player or game master.

My 50 Most Memorable Hands
Doyle Brunson
Cardoza Publishing
857 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10003
1580422020, $14.95 www.cardozapub.com 1-800-577-9467

A two-time world series champion poker player and winner of ten bracelets from the World Series of Poker (as well as the winner of a 'Legends of Poker' tournament on the World Poker Tour), Doyle Brunson is a universally acknowledged legend of the game who brings more than half a century of experience to bear in "My 50 Most Memorable Hands". Doyle began playing as a young man in Texas when poker was an illegal pastime involving dodging the cops and avoiding being robbed, all while constantly moving on the road from town to town and city to city in search of a game. In this fascinating little book Doyle offers a collection of terrific stories combined with practical advice connected to some truly remarkable poker hands he's played out against some of the finest poker players to ever play the game. Each poker hand cited begins with a biographical anecdote providing an historical context, then follows Doyle's hand along with a paragraph or two of description as to how it was played out. Very highly recommended reading and a simply superb addition to the growing library of books about poker, each of these individual hands will be read with interest border on fascination by both novice poker players and those with more seasoned experience at the game.


The Christian Studies Shelf

The Jesus Mystery
Lena Einhorn
The Lyons Press
246 Goose Lane, Guilford, CT 06437
1599211483, $24.95 www.lyonspress.com 1-800-836-0510

In "The Jesus Mystery: Astonishing Clues To The Identities Of Jesus And Paul", filmmaker Lena Einhorn writes with historical accuracy the true story of Jesus of Nazareth utilizing a combination of New Testament writings and texts from contemporary Jewish and Roman historians. Of special note is what Einhorn writes with respect to the legends about Jesus' birth and childhood, death and resurrection that survived both within and outside of Christianity during the first centuries after the Nazarene's crucifixion at the hands of the Roman occupation of Jerusalem and Palestine. "The Jesus Mystery" addresses such controversial issues as whether or not there was an historical Jesus, the Paulinian influence and the role of Church politics in the opening decades of the Christian movement on the perceptions concerning Jesus. An engaging, informative, articulate, and sometimes iconoclastic work of admirable historical research and scholarship, "The Jesus Mystery" is very strongly recommended reading for Christians and non-Christians alike.

Christianity 101
Gregory C. Higgins
Paulist Press
997 Macarthur Boulevard, Mahwah, NJ 07430
0809142082, $24.95 www.paulistpress.com

Christian Brothers Academy religious studies chair Gregory C. Higgins presents Christianity 101: A Textbook of Catholic Theology, an introductory text especially for college-level courses in Christian theology, also useful for self-education among lay readers. Chapters cover the nature of theology, the concept of God in medieval vs. Reformation and modern theology, the sacraments of initiation, healing, and commitment, moral theology, eschatology, and much more. A time line and an index round out this succinctly organized, methodological comprehensive text for novice to intermediate students. "Among the more significant developments in the twentieth century thought regarding God were the philosophical discussions about the meaningfulness of religious language, the psychological atheism of Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), and the creative theological syntheses produced by, among others, Paul Tillich (1886-1965) and Karl Rahner (1904-84)."

What Can I Give Jesus?
Cheryl Kirking & Ann Thomas
Mill House Press
141 Phillips Lane, Lake Mills, WI 53551
0976884712, $15.99 www.millhousepress.com www.WahtCanIGiveJesus.com

"What I Can Give Jesus: A Christmas Message For All Ages" by Cheryl Kirking is based on her song of the same title. A beautifully crafted and inspiring text is superbly illustrated throughout by Ann Thomas. The result is a simply outstanding and highly recommended gift book that offers a timeless message about the joy of giving, the faith of a child, and a love for all that Christmas has come to mean for devout Christians and people around the world of good heart. Accompanied by a CD of Cheryl's performing 'What Can I Give Jesus', this is a beautifully published family keepsake that will be read with appreciation again and again and again.

An Emergent Manifesto Of Hope
Doug Pagitt & Tony Jones
Baker Book House
PO Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287
080106807X, $19.99 www.bakerbooks.com

"An Emergent Manifesto Of Hope" is the collaborative work of Bethal Seminary's Dough Pagit (Pastor of Solomon's Porch in Minneapolis, Minnesota) and Fuller Theological Seminary's Tony Jones 9formely the minister to youth and young adults at the Colonial Church of Edina in Edina, Minnesota). "An Emergent Manifesto Of Hope" is a compilation of the diverse and divergent voices of pastors, students, and thoughtful Christians focused upon the issues involved in the emergence of Christian communities. Addressed in articulate essays, articles, and other writings include spirituality, theology, multi-culturalism, post-colonialism, sex, evangelism, and other issues of contemporary significance to active and participating Christians. The result is an informative, thought-provoking, occasionally inspiring, sometimes challenging, and always very highly recommended reading for Christian men and women of all backgrounds and denominational affiliations.

Psalms
James H. Waltner
Herald Press
616 Walnut Avenue, Scottsdale, PA 15683-1999
0836193377, $34.99 www.heraldpress.com 1-800-759-4447

James H. Waltner served as a pastor for 38 years in Mennonite congregations in Kansas, California, Illinois, and Indiana. With specific interests in biblical studies, pastor Waltner has taught courses in the Psalms at Bethel College, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Sunday school classes, and Bible lectures. So Pastor Waltner brings a very special expertise to "Psalms" which is part of the Herald Press 'Believers Church Bible Commentary' series. Every aspect of the Book of Psalms is addressed in terms of its theological and pastoral implications, its canonical context, and its continuing relevance to the lives and spiritual needs of the members of Christian community both collectively and individually. Confidently recommended for Christians of all denominational backgrounds and denominational affiliations, "Psalms" is informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, educational and inspirational reading.

The Culturally Savvy Christian
Dick Staub
Jossey-Bass, Inc.
989 Market Street, 5th floor, San Francisco, CA 94103-1741
DeChant-Hughes Associates (publicity)
1440 North Kingsbury, Chicago, IL 60622
0787978930, $21.95 www.josseybass.com 1-800-225-5945

In "The Culturally Savvy Christian: A Manifesto For Deepening Faith And Enriching Popular Culture In An Age of Christianity-Lie", noted radio broadcaster, writer, speaker, interpreter of faith and culture Dick Staub calls upon American Christians of all denominational affiliations and backgrounds to become 'ambassadors' of a counterculture to the broader community influences of money, marketing and technology which are so empty of ideas or aesthetics with respect to the national culture of commerce and secular value systems. Staub argues persuasively that much of the popular culture of today is basically toxic in its messages which have come to compete with religion as 'preacher, teacher, storyteller and identity shaper'. Staub further contends that only those who are intellectual, creative, relational and moral can revive the general culture and counter its growing toxicity with respect to the public good and the private well-being of ourselves and our posterity. The culturally savvy Christian mus follow ten rules in order to accomplish this culture transformation: read cartoons; separate fact from fiction; ask the why of things; recognize the shallowness of celebrity; become aware that popular culture is where we can best to theology; understand that the new media technologies can dehumanize us; live an un-frantic life in response to God; become more interested in being changed within ourselves than in changing the world; celebrate thoughtful artists and see God's image in them; and, most important of all, know why Jesus came to Earth -- not to make us Christians, but to make us 'fully human'. "The Culturally Savvy Christian" is life-changing reading and as such is very highly recommended to the attention of Christians seeking to live fully Christian lives in an increasingly un-Christian world.

Helping Kids in Crisis
Jo Hittner, Ph.D.
Saint Mary's Press
702 Terrace Heights, Winona, MN 55987-1318
0884899411 27.95 www.smp.org

Counselor and licensed therapist Jo Hittner presents Helping Kids in Crisis, a guide especially for Christian pastoral caregivers but applicable to adults of all backgrounds and faith who work with young people. Though chapters mention the importance of Gospel values, the emphasis is upon promoting values important to parents, caretakers, pastors, and community members of all faiths - such as protecting children from sexual abuse, gang involvement, eating disorders, addictions ranging from substance abuse to video game addiction (video games are considered harmfully addictive if they disrupt schoolwork or friendships). Also covered are helping young people through terrible tragedies such as divorce, and learning to watch for the warning signs of adolescent suicide, and much more. Bullet-point lists of ill signs to watch out for and steps to take to counter threats succinctly condense the core message of Helping Kids in Crisis into an immediately accessible form. Highly recommended.


The Art Shelf

The Pitti Palace Collections
Alexandra Bonfante-Warren & Gerhard Gruitrooy
Hugh Lauter Levin Associates
9 Burr Road, Westport, CT 06880
0883635135, $75.00 www.HLLA.com 1-203-227-6422

The Pitti Palace is located in the ancient Italian city of Florence on a piazza amid a warren of small buildings, boutiques, cafes, and repair shops divided by the Arno River. 300 years ago the Pitti Palace was the home of the powerful Medici family who ruled Forence and were the greatest art patrons of their day. The result is a superb architectural dwelling whose rooms house some of the finest masterpieces of western art in the world. With an informed and informative text by Alexandra Bonfante-Warren which is nicely supplemented by Gerhard Gruitroy, "The Pitti Palace Collections" is superbly enhanced with the inclusion of 300 color images showcasing the architecture, the artwork, the porcelain and silverwork collections, and the classical Italian garden for which the Pitti Palace is renowned. A very highly recommended addition to personal, academic, and community library Art History reference collections, this wonderful guide to the ponds, vistas, walks, regal retreats, rooms, and collections of the Pitti Palace is the next best thing to actually being there!

Warriors of Art: A Guide To Contemporary Japanese Artists
Yumi Yamaguchi
Kodansha America, Inc.
575 Lexington Avenue, 23rd Floor, New York, NY 10022
4770030312, $34.95 www.kodanshaamercia.com 1-800-451-7556

Written by Tokyo-based art critic Yumi Yamaguchi, Warriors of Art: A Guide to Contemporary Japanese Artists is a jaw-dropping showcase of contemporary Japanese art, from sculptures to drawings to photography to unorthodox media. Though some pieces are clearly influenced by manga or anime, many others are of a unique and refreshingly original style. Full-color photographs on every page immerse the reader in a grand visual spectacle, while the text introduces the reader to the basic concepts and message of individual artistic talents. A small number of pieces show nudity or even graphically sexual images; Warriors of Art is not for young children, though the majority of artworks presented are not erotic. Highly recommended.

Robert Kipniss: Paintings 1950-2005
Robert Kipniss
Hudson Hills Press
PO Box 205, 74-2 Union Street, Manchester, VT 05254
1555952801, $60.00 www.hudsonhills.com

Enhanced with an informative foreword by E. John Bullard (Montine McDaniel Freeman Director of the New Orelans Museum of Art which presented a one-person exhibition of Robert Kipniss' work as the museum's inaugural show when it reopened in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina) introducing the American printmaker and painter Robert Kipniss, and with the insightful essay 'Solitude and Silence: The Paintings of Robert Kipniss' by Richard Boyle (Adjunct Professor of Art History at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) providing context for this artist's unique and intensely independent vision, "Robert Kipniss: Paintings 1950-2005" is a companion volume to the early collection of his work "Robert Kipniss: Intaglios 1982-2004" (published by Hudson Hills Press in 2004). This volume of the artist work offers art students the first comprehensive investigation of Kipniss' paintings as a mature artists, along with detailing his methodology, process, inspirations, and impact. In addition to the 177 full color plates themselves, there is the inclusion of "Notes from the Studio" and a listing of 'Selected Publications, Collections & Exhibitions', making this superbly produced volume by the Hudson Hills Press of the art of Robert Kipniss a very strongly recommendation and core addition to personal, professional, and academic library American Art History reference collections.

Metalsmiths and Mentors
Fred Fenster and Eleanor Moty
Chazen Museum of Art
c/o University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, Third Floor, Madison, WI 53711-2059
093290081X, $29.95 www.wisc.edu/wisconsinpress 1-800-621-2736

Metalsmiths and Mentors is a fabulous exhibition catalogue of modern metalwork pieces shown at the Chazen Museum of Art. The exhibition includes works created by Fred Fenster and Eleanor Moty, metalsmithing instructors at University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as pieces by other students and faculty. Full-color photography reveals the exquisite detail in each piece, from cups to hornbooks, plaster-and-gold sculptures, and much more. Extremely brief notes on the title, size, composition, and date of each piece accompany the illustrations in this one-of-a-kind showcase of creativity and originality in metalworking art.


The Photography Shelf

Closeup Shooting
Cyrill Harnischmacher
Rocky Nook
26 West Mission Street, Suite 3, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. (distributor)
1005 Gravenstein, Hwy N., Sebastopol, CA 95472-2811

Closeup or 'macro' photography is using the camera to capture clearly defined images of very small objects or details and is one of the more difficult and demanding genres of photography. In "Closeup Shooting: A Guide To Closeup, Tabletop, and Macro Photography", studio photographer and designer Cyrill Harnischmacher also draws upon his professional expertise and experience in nature and infrared photography to provide the aspiring photographer with superbly illustrated, step-by-step manual on just how to capture images of the beauty present in the world of 'small, smaller, and smallest' objects. "Closeup Shooting" covers choosing the right equipment, the use of ambient or artificial lighting, as well as conceptualizing and framing the perfect shot. Beautifully illustrated through in full color, students of photography are provided with examples and detailed instructions on setting up a system and workflow for successful close-up photos. Of special note is the advice concerning the creative use of a camera's features which are key to gaining a perfect image. "Closeup Shooting" is thoroughly 'user friendly' and should be considered an indispensable guide for novice photographers -- and even those more experienced with the camera and are considering adding the techniques of macro photography to their photographic skill set.

Images Of A Vanished Era, 1898-1924
Lucian Niemeyer, editor
University of Missouri Press
2910 LeMone Boulevard, Columbia, MO 65201
0826217230, $49.95 www.umsystem.edu/upress 1-800-828-1894

Compiled, organized, edited, and with captioning by photographer Lucian Niemeyer. "Images Of A Vanished Era, 1898-1924: The Photographs of Walter C. Schneider" showcase the photography Walter Schneider who produced some twelve hundred glass-plate negatives which were stored in a basement for decades and only recently discovered by Niemeyer. This compendium is comprised of the best 186 images from this newly find and captures scenes from Schneider's hometown of Kankakee, Illinois, his schooling at the University of Wisconsin, his travels across America and around the world. here are historic images of domestic scenes, festive crowds, rural tranquility, and burgeoning industry during almost historic three decades. The photographic images range from steam-powered paddleboasts on the river in summer, to men and women ice-skating in a midwestern winter, to city scenes of New York and Chicago, to bicycle trip sights while riding through rural Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee before the advent of paved roads. Of special note are the views of Europe prior to the outbreak of World War I. These are impressive photographic images that on occasion rise to the level of gallery quality art. An important addition for professional, academic, and community library Photography and Cultural History reference collections, "Images Of A Vanished Era, 1898-1924" is very highly recommended reading, especially for anyone with an interest in historic photography.

High Plains Farm
Paula Chamlee
Lodima Press
PO Box 367, Revere, PA 18953
0960564683, $70.00 www.lodimapress.com

Paula Chamlee is both a gifted painter and a talented photographer who is as able with brush and canvas as she is with a camera lens. "High Plains Farm" is a compilation of her black-and-white photos taken on her family farm on the High Plains of the Texas panhandle country where she grew up and where her parents (now in their late eighties) still farm their 1100 acres by themselves. These archetypal images present a visual record of the hardscrabble life of High Plains farming and the values it embedded in the men and women who in building their farms achieved yesteryear way of life and value system that is becoming as much a part of Texas history and legend as other elements of the western frontier. Of special interest is the section of 'Notes on the Photographs' in which Paula Chamlee provides succinct and personalized captions paired with small copies of the images that are full paged sized and comprise "High Plains Farm". The museum quality photography by Paula Chamlee is on display in the pages of "High Plains Farm", which is especially recommended for personal, professional, and academic library American Photography reference collections. Also very highly recommended from Lodima Press is Paula Chamlee's previous volume of photography, "Natural Connections".

A Portrait of Jackson Hole & the Tetons
Henry H. Holdsworth, photographer
Farcountry Press
PO Box 5630, Helena, MT 59604
1560374098, $24.95 www.farcountrypress.com 1-800-821-3874

A Portrait of Jackson Hole & the Tetons is a stunning, full-color photographic medley of all aspects of the Jackson Hole valley. Assembling 131 images selected from 25 years of photographer Henry H. Holdsworth's work, A Portrait of Jackson Hole & the Tetons includes snapshots of flora and fauna (such as a lovely close-up of a male mountain bluebird), glimpses of the valley in all four seasons (such as a breathtaking image of trees and mountains outlined with snow), sunsets, human dwellings nestled amid nature, and much more. Brief captions and a small amount of text enhance this splendid natural showcase, highly recommended as a giftbook for nature lovers.


The Language Studies Shelf

A Cicero Workbook
Jane W. Crawford 7 Judith A. Hays
Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers
1000 Brown Street, Unit 101, Wauconda, IL 60084
0865166439, $22.00 www.bolchazy.com 1-847-526-4344

Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers is the premier publisher of books and curriculum materials for Latin language and literature studies. "A Cicero Workbook" is the collaborative effort of Jane W. Crawford (Professor of Classics at the University of Virginia) and Judith A. Hays (who was named Illinois Latin Teacher of the year in 1997), that is specifically and successfully designed to facilitate a student's reading skills and comprehension levels with regard to Latin passages from Cicero's 'Pro Archia' and 'De Amicita'. Among it features is the complete Latin text of all the selections on the Cicero Advanced Placement syllabus; preparatory questions following each Latin passage that help the student unravel Ciceronian grammar and syntax; multiple choice questions on comprehension, grammar, syntax, figures of speech, etc.; short analysis questions that require interpretation of Latin passages and probe a student's understanding of Cicero's logic and persuasive skills; practice essay questions, AP type questions on translation; and a comprehensive Latin to English vocabulary specifically designed for these Cicero texts. Also very highly recommended for highschool and college Latin curriculums from Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers are "Cicero: De Amicitia Selections" (9780865166394, $17.00); "Cicero: Pro Archia Poeta Oratio: 2nd Edition (9780865166424, $20.00); "Vergil For Beginners: A Dual Approach To Early Vergil Studies" (9780865166288, $21.00) and "Vergil's Aeneid 8 & 11: Italy And Rome" (9780865165809, $17.00). Five outstanding new titles from Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers in the area of Latin instruction are superb presented, 'user friendly', and highly recommended additions to any personal studies, academic library, or school curriculum reference collection. Separate Teacher Guides for these five student instructional texts and manuals are also available and recommended for classroom instructors.


The Needlecraft Shelf

Thimbleberries Quilting a Patchwork Garden
Lynette Jensen
Landauer Corporation
3100 NW 101st Street, Suite A, Urbandale, IA 50322
1890621625, $27.95 www.landauercorp.com 1-800-557-2144

Written by expert and internationally recognized quilter Lynette Jensen, Thimbleberries Quilting a Patchwork Garden is a step-by-step instructional to crafting sixteen quilts, pillows, and table toppers inspired by the garden (reds and green tend to dominate the fabric color recommendations). Full-color photography illustrates the easy-to-follow instructions, and the full-size patterns and "quilting suggestions" help simply the sewing process. An excellent, methodical "how-to" guide ideal for quilters of all skill and experience levels.

American Hooked Rug Patterns
Frances Bradbury
Stemmer House Publishers, Inc.
4 White Brook Road, Gilsum, NH 03448
0880450843, $5.95 www.stemmer.com 1-800-345-6665

The early American women who made their own rugs did so by frequently drawing upon their own surrounds for inspiration when making their designs. The result is a wealth of charming, domestic, needlecraft patterns that images of flowers, animals, European china, mosaics, wallpapers, boats at waterside, and more. A superb and inexpensive addition to the acclaimed Stemmer House 'International Design Library' series, "American Hooked Rug Patterns" is a wonderfully selected and presented showcase of such designs which have been expertly compiled and organized by Frances Bradbury which is particularly and especially recommended for personal and community library Needlecraft reference collections.


The Fiction Shelf

Unveiling
Suzanne M. Wolfe
Paraclete Press, Inc.
PO Box 1568, Orleans, MA 02653
1557254508, $14.95 www.paracletepress.com

Written by English teacher Suzanne M. Wolfe, Unveiling is a Christian novel about a divorced woman working on an art restoration project. As she removes layers of grime from what may be a lost Flemish masterpiece of the Crucifixion, she gradually uncovers the misery that has been obscuring her soul - repressed emotion concerning not only her divorce, but also past sexual abuse and a forced abortion. The burdens of the past weigh upon her, but the dawning of faith and understanding help her in her search to restore what time, neglect, and harm have defiled, both externally and internally. A passionate and powerful novel especially recommended for readers of faith.

Leading With My Heart
Marin McKenna
PublishAmerica
PO Box 151, Frederick, MD 21705-0151
1424164001, $21.95 www.publishamerica.com

Leading With My Heart is a romance novel about a woman's longing to be cherished. When Emma Barrett encounters Robert Weston, the two feel a compelling mutual attraction even though each is involved in other relationships. Realizing that they have to end old relationship ties before they can begin a new life together, they part for a time, and return to one another despite Emma's chance discovery of Robert's shocking secret. Yet when tragedy strikes, rending Emma's life asunder, she must search within herself for the hidden strength to persevere. A tender and gentle love story.

Chained Generations
Luminitza Sava & Lidia Sava Callvert
Airleaf Publishing
35 Industrial Drive, Suite 104, Martinsville, IN 46151
159453893X, $15.95 www.airleaf.com 1-800-342-6068

Members of the endangered Russian aristocracy when the communist revolution broke out, Count Vladimirovich and his family had to escape the country by crossing the River Dniester to Romania. Although they had to leave their daughter Ludmila behind with her wet nurse, the Count and his wife were able to begin a new life. Ludmila was not so fortunate. She was sentenced to a prison camp and only able to persevere with the help of Dr. Tadeus Vinizikorsky. It was in that prison camp for political undesirables and criminals that she gave birth her daughter Svetlana. Stalin's death eventually resulted in Ludmila's liberation from the prison camp and her reuniting with Tadeus (who had chosen to fight on the front against the invading Germans as a means of getting himself out of the camp). A superbly crafted historical novel that accurately and dramatically portrays the turbulence of war, the trials and hardships the Russian revolution and Stalinism inflicted upon the Russian people, and spanning three generations, "Chained Generations" is a compelling and highly recommended read that ranks along side such classic novels of war-torn communist Russia as "A Day In The Life Of Ivan Ivanovich" and "Dr. Zhivago".

Three Dreams On Mount Meru
Francois Devenne
The Toby Press
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
1592641733, $14.95 www.tobypress.com

Bayu is a young African Muslim who, spurred by the sharp words of his fiancee, means to achieve what his ancestors 9a clan of sculptors and artists) have accomplished, namely, to undertake a journey that all the men of his clan must make -- travel to Mount Meru, in Tanzania, and dream three dreams. After which he can return to his village near Mombassa, in Kenya, and take a wife. The journey is a hard one that means crossing the forests to Mount Meru, traveling across hard and hostile terrain. But the journey includes more than hardships and dangers, there are also the strange beauty of the trees, and the eyes of the leopard -- a figure which Bayu's ancestor held captivated and captive, protecting him. A superbly written novel of discovery and personal adventure, Francoise Devenne's "Three Dreams On Mount Meru" is ably, even lyrically, translated into English by Lauren Yoder and highly recommended, rewarding reading from beginning to end.

Platte River
Rick Bass
Bison Books
c/o University of Nebraska Press
1111 Lincoln Mall, Lincoln, NE 68588-0630
0803259735, $18.95 www.bisonbooks.com

Award-winning author Rick Bass presents Platte River, an anthology of three novellas each of which presents a human heart experiencing the infinite majesty of God's natural creation. "Mahatma Joe" is the tale of an evangelist who makes a home for himself in Grass Valley, Montana, and the woman who falls head over heels for his vision of the world; "Field Events" is the story of a woman who pines for an athlete who is even more muscular than her discus-tossing brothers; and "Platte River" is about a man's meditation on the nature and meaning of loneliness, peace, and the search for love. A warm, introspective read, filled with lush imagery of beautiful natural wonders.


The Self-Help Shelf

Dealing with the Crazy Makers in Your Life
Dr. David Hawkins
Harvest House Publishers
990 Owen Loop North, Eugene, Oregon 97402-9173
0736918418, $11.99 www.harvesthousepublishers.com 1-800-547-8979

Written by Dr. David Hawkins, a counselor of more than 30 years' experience, Dealing With the Crazy Makers in Your Life: Settling Boundaries on Unhealthy Relationships is a no-nonsense guide to dealing with the people who literally drive one crazy - whether they are spouses, other family members, co-workers, or anyone else one has to interact with on a regular basis. Chapters cover different individual types with flaws that can induce mind-crunching headaches, including aggressors, egotists, borderlines (those who appear rational but may explode at any moment), sufferers/martyrs, and rigid control freaks. The true value of Dealing with the Crazy Makers in Your Life lies in its practical, no-nonsense advice for coping with such people: the importance of setting boundaries; how crucial it is to never bluff and always follow through on any rules or promises; the value of letting an irresponsible individual suffer the consequences of his irresponsibility rather than clean up after him; and more. "Crazy-makers lack boundaries. They have a way of manipulating us into saying more than we are comfortable of saying and doing more than we want to do. We catch ourselves too late, after we've already spilled our guts. We must learn the importance of privacy." Though there are Christian elements within Dealing with the Crazy Makers in Your Life, such as recommendations to pray and spend time in the Word, Dealing with the Crazy Makers in Your Life is primarily a problem-solving self-help guide for readers of all backgrounds and faiths. Highly recommended.


The Environmental Studies Shelf

Crow's Range
David Beesley
University of Nevada Press
MS 0166, Reno, Nevada 89557-0166
0874177022, $24.95 1-877-682-6657

Written by history teacher David Beesley, who served as an associate of the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project and presented part of its report to Congress, Crow's Range: A Environmental History of the Sierra Nevada is an amazing chronicle of the Sierra Nevada mountain range that stretches across four hundred miles of California and Nevada. Chapters discuss the impact that native people, the gold rush, conservation efforts, and modern ecosystem politics have had upon these majestic mountains throughout history, especially during the mid-1800's to the modern day. An extensively researched history, sporting a wealth of notes, a thorough bibliography, and an index, Crow's Range is an enthusiastically recommended historical resource for lay readers and environmentalists alike.


The Business Shelf

The Entrepreneurial Itch
David Trahair,CA
Self Counsel Press, Inc.
1704 N. State Street, Bellingham, WA 98225
1551807351, $13.95 www.self-counsel.com

Written by David Trahair, CA, who is the successful sole proprietor of his own financial consulting firm, The Entrepreneurial Itch: Don't Scratch Until You Read This Book is a straightforward guide to self-employment and running one's own business. Chapters address specific issues such as how to effectively pick and choose one's clients, bookkeeping for sole proprietors, the pros and cons of hourly billing versus set fees, warnings against franchise scams, and much more. "Always check with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org) in your area to check out any business opportunity before you sign anything. In the United States, you should also check the FTC website (www.ftc.gov) for further information about avoiding scams and to find out about specific situations under investigation." Enthusiastically recommended as a practical, nuts-and-bolts guide to startup startup business decisions, packed with true stories straight from the trenches.

The Self-Destructive Habits of Good Companies
Jagdish N. Sheth
Wharton School Publishing
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96h Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
0131791133, $24.99 www.mcp.com 1-800-428-5331

In "The Self-Destructive Habits of Good Companies...And How To Break Them", a respected authority on global competition, strategic thinking, and customer relationship management expert Jagdish N. Sheth (who holds the Charles H. Kellstadt Chair of Marketing Strategy in the Goizueta Business School at Emory University) identifies seven dangerous habits even the most well-run company can fall victim to, as well as how to diagnose and counter these corporate habits before they can cause irremediable harm. These basic faults include the 'cocoon' of denial with respect to problems or issues confronting a company; the stigma of perceived (or genuine) arrogance on the part of management; the 'virus' of complacency; the risk factors of incumbency for a company's present and future needs; the threat of corporate myopia with respect to the competition; an obsession toward volume without proper attention to profit margins; and the 'territorial impulse' as reflected in the creation of factions, fiefdoms, and ivory towers within the corporate ranks and structures. Simply put, Professor Sheth's "The Self-Destructive Habits of Good Companies" should be considered mandatory reading for all company executives, and all business school students aspiring to one day become corporate managers.


The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

The Birth of Monotheism
Andre Lemaire
Biblical Archaeology Society
4710 41st St., NW, Washington DC 20016
1880317990, $24.95 www.biblicalarchaeology.org

Written by Andre Lemaire (professor of Hebrew and Aramaic philology and epigraphy), The Birth of Monotheism: The Rise and Disappearance of Yahwism is a scholarly, serious-minded examination of the concept of a single, universal God, as traced from its precursor in the religion of ancient Israel through the evolution of classic monotheism during Babylonian Exile and beyond. The Birth of Monotheism is not a metaphysical text (it does not address discussions concerning the existence or nature of God), but rather a historical text offering meticulous insights into crucial ideas that shaped history and their spread. A handful of maps and black-and-white photographs as well as a few color photographic plates illustrate this illuminating testimony, enthusiastically recommended for college libraries and religious studies shelves.

Noticing the Divine
John R. Mabry
Morehouse Publishing
PO Box 1321, Harrisburg, PA 17105
0819222380, $22.95 www.churchpublishing.org 1-800-242-1918

Written by interfaith theology teacher John R. Mabry, Noticing the Divine: An Introduction to Interfaith Spiritual Guidance is a simple text of wisdom garnered from religions across the world, including Judaism, Christianity, Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Hinduism, native traditions, and humanism ("the sacredness of the mundane"). Each chapter tackles a different belief system's gift to spiritual thought; the appendices include guidelines for ethical conduct among spiritual directors, a spiritual guidance statement of policy. "Doing spiritual guidance is an exercise in humility. First, we must empty ourselves of the notion that we know what we are doing. We do our best work when we do not have an agenda. Once we feel we have our clients all figured out and know exactly what is 'wrong' with them and how to fix it, or how to 'get them' from point A to point B, then we might as well hang it up and go into some other business, because we are not going to be any help to the Divine - or our clients." Highly recommended for anyone seeking spiritual guidance for himself or herself, as well as for prospective
and practicing pastors, chaplains, and spiritual counselors.

The Laughing Swami
Swami Hariharananda, author
Swami Jaidev & Ma Devi, editors
Yes International Publishers
1317 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105-2602
0936663391, $12.00 www.yespublishers.com

Edited by Swami Jaidev & Ma Devi, The Laughing Swami: Teachings of Swami Hariharananda is a compilation of practical, spiritual, and yoga-related wisdom from the celibate monk Swami Hariharananda. A handful of color photographs illustrate this anthology of Hariharananda's reflections on his teacher, on yoga as a science, the importance of love, and confronting the transition that is death. "People think that God is holy and because today is a holy day I must go out to the temple. But when our body and mind are clean and pure, we can pray within us every day. All the time we will be remembering God. God is truly within us and we are within God... If once you understand this very clearly, you will have no need to go to a temple. You are yourself the temple." An abiding, genial, and uplifting spiritual guide, written for readers of all faiths and backgrounds.


The Biography Shelf

Obit
Jim Sheeler
Pruett Publishing Company
PO Box 2140, Boulder, CO 80306-2140
0871089432, $18.95 www.pruettpublishing.com 1-800-247-8224

Pulitzer Prize-winning feature writer Jim Sheeler presents Obit: Inspiring Stories of Ordinary People who Led Extraordinary Lives, an anthology of brief yet heartwarming portrayals of men and women who led energetic, compassionate, sometimes humorous, always shining lives. Each biographical portrayal is only a few pages long - yet that is more than enough space to expand beyond the traditional printed obituary and reveal the wonder, the color, and the personality infused into each individual's unique life. Obit is ultimately an anthology celebrating life, not death, and an emotionally moving read whether explored a few pages at a time or all at once.

Paths of Glory
Stephen Brumwell
McGill-Queen's University Press
3430 McTavish Street, Montreal, QC, Canada, H3A 1X9
0773532617, $39.95 www.mqup.ca 1-800-387-0141

Paths of Glory: The Life and Death of General James Wolfe is the first full-length biography published in half a century of Major General James Wolfe, a British military hero whose decisive 1759 victory against the French, on the Plains of Abraham before Quebec, ensured that English would become the dominant language of North America. Wolfe paid for his victory with his life; since then he has been enshrined in paintings, praised for his military genius and self-effacing modesty, and reviled by revisionist historians who paint him as bloodthirsty and snooty. Paths of Glory seeks to uncover the truth, as best as historical records and testimonies can deliver, of the chronically ill Wolfe's life and death. An inset handful of color and black-and-white illustrations, notes, and an index round out this absorbing in-depth chronicle of a pivotal historical figure.


The Social Issues Shelf

The Dilemma of Federal Mental Health Policy
Gerald N. Grob & Howards H. Goldman
Rutgers University Press
100 Joyce Kilmer Avenue, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8099
0813539587, $44.95 http://rutgerspress.rutgers.edu 1-800-446-9323

Written by professor of the history of medicine emeritus Gerald N. Grob and professor of psychiatry Howards H. Goldman, The Dilemma of Federal Mental Health Policy: Radical Reform or Incremental Change? explores how American governmental policies concerning the treatment of the mentally ill have changed over the decades since the end of World War II - from being exclusively the domain of state government to increasingly becoming the province of federal government; from focusing on institutions to advocating community care and treatment; and from transformation through radical reform to gradual, incremental change. Chapters celebrate positive benefits but also warn that too many mentally ill individuals today do not have access to the effective treatment services because of limitations in mental and social health policies. "The Clinton health care reform effort was a failed effort at fundamental change in the 1990s. The effort included considerations of mental health and substance abuse in its deliberations and its legislative proposals. The changes, however, were considered to be too radical to be implemented and the initiative went down to defeat. Paradoxically, the initiative was a rhetorical victory for mental health policy." An excellent contribution to medical and political history shelves, highly recommended.

Glitter & Greed, revised edition
Janine Roberts
The Disinformation Company Ltd.
220 East 23rd Street, Suite 500, New York, NY 10010
1932857605, $15.95 www.disinfo.com

Written by journalist and human rights activist Janine Roberts, and now in a newly revised edition, Glitter & Greed: The Secret World of the Diamond Cartel is a shocking expose of the inequalities, economic manipulation, inhuman treatment, and outright cruelties facilitated and perpetuated by the global Big Diamond industry - most notably the notorious De Beers and Oppenheimer cartels. Chapters go far beyond the injustice covered in the recent popular movie "The Blood Diamond", revealing how some major diamond companies collaborated with Hitler's Germany and industrial diamond supplies were artificially restricted, damaging the American war effort in World War II; how child labor is used to cut diamonds, with horrifically detrimental effects on children's health; how tuberculosis and other life-threatening conditions flourish among diamond miners; how terrorism has milked money from the diamond trade for decades; why the Kimberly Process meant to protect Americans from supporting murderers with their diamond money has failed; and how the myth that diamonds are "rare" has been perpetrated through the fixing of diamond prices and other nefarious means. A chilling expose that not only roots out evidence of cruelty but also proposes reforms and solutions. In an era of rampant corporate greed, immorality, and malfeasance, "Glitter & Greed" is a "must-read" for anyone considering buying a diamond, and carries the absolute highest recommendation.


The Health/Medicine Shelf

Calm Healing
Robert Bruce Newman & Ruth L. Miller
North Atlantic Books
PO Box 12327, Berkeley, CA 94712
1556436262, $17.95 www.northatlanticbooks.com

Written by professor Robert Bruce Newman and workshop instructor Ruth L. Miller, Calm Healing: Methods of New Era Medicine is a guide to a variety of holistic and alternative medicine treatments, with especial focus upon the mind-body connection and its power to improve cancer care, heart care, Alzheimer's care, childbirth care, and other conditions. Chapters outline new models for the body and the healing process, cardio-awareness healing systems, transformative compassionate breathing, the healing benefits of humor, the benefits of meditation, and more. Part reference, part self-teaching manual, Calm Healing cannot replace a doctor's attention but is brimming with valuable recommendations and methodologies for harnessing one's own unconscious power to promote a higher quality of life.

MS And Your Feelings
Allison Shadday, LCSW
Hunter House Publishers
PO Box 2914, Alameda, CA 94501-2914
089793489X, $14.95 www.hunterhouse.com 1-800-266-5592

In "MS And Your Feelings: Handling The Ups And Downs Of Multiple Sclerosis", medical clinical social worker Allison Shadday draws upon her more than fourteen years of experience counseling chronically ill patients and their families and her personal experience with MS (she was first diagnosed with the condition in 1995) to offer hope, inspiration, validation, and basic information for patients with MS, as well as their families and loved ones. Readers will learn about how to come to terms with an MS diagnosis; strategies for coping with fear, guilt, anger, loss, depression and isolation; tips for increasing self-esteem and developing a greater sense of emotional security and stability; how to recognize and overcome negative emotional responses to MS; steps to enhance intimacy and build support networks; how to minimize MS-related fatigue and deal with cognitive challenges; techniques to identify and manage stress triggers that can exacerbate MS symptoms; and the very latest information about new treatment options and promising research. Allison Shadday not only writes with evident authority, she is an able communicator whose total mastery of her subject is conveyed with admirable articulation to the benefit of the non-specialist general reader. Anyone having do deal with an MS diagnosis, should give "MS And Your Feelings" careful attention -- it will answer all of the basic questions and address the fundamental issues with complete clarity and an invaluable comprehensiveness.


The Military Shelf

Inside The Danger Zone
Harold Lee Wise
Naval Institute Press
291 Wood Road, Annapolis, MD 21402
1591149703, $36.95 www.navalinstitute.org 1-800-233-8764

"Inside The Danger Zone: The U.S. Military In The Persian Gulf, 1987-1988" by Harold Lee Wise (Adjunct History Professor at Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, North Carolina) is a model of scholarship in describing and documenting a history of United States military involvement in the First Gulf War that began in May 1987 when an Iraqi plan fired two missiles into the USS Stark (a lone American navy frigate on patrol in the Gulf) resulting in the death of 37 sailors and major damage to the vessel. It was a time of 'burning ships, air strikes, and secret missions' that served as a prelude to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the American and Allied response code-named Desert Storm That resulted in the defeat of the Iraqi occupational forces, the liberation of Kuwait, and sowed the seeds for the next war that would come as a part of the American 'War on Terrorism' after September 9, 2001. This chronological account is enhanced with a list of acronyms, extensive notes, a lengthy bibliography, and a comprehensive index, making it a seminal contribution and strong recommendation for personal, academic, and community library American Military History collections and critically important reading for non-specialist general readers wanting reliable historical background information to America's continuing military involvement in Iraq under the present Administration..

Wounded
Ronald J. Glasser, MD
George Braziller, Inc. Publishers
171 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
0807615692, $15.95 www.georgebraziller.com

Wounded: Vietnam to Iraq author Ronald J. Glasser, M.D., served as an Army hospital physician during the Vietnam War and offers alarming insights and comparisons in military medical experience between the Vietnam War and the current Iraq war. At once both fascinating in its studious examination in how the changing nature of modern battlefields has transformed the job of the medic, from simply keeping a wounded patient alive until a chopper could quickly evacuate to having to prolong life for up to 72 hours, since air superiority has all but vanished in the modern era of urban warfare and readily available technology to shoot down choppers. "The training period for the Combat Medical Specialty was increased from ten to sixteen weeks... The additional weeks of training were devoted to developing the new core skills necessary to keep the severely wounded alive where they were hit, with little chance for immediate evacuation. No more 'patch 'em up and send them off.' This was to be big-time medicine, the city trauma center brought to the battlefield." A sober, well-reasoned, "must-read" about the evolving state of combat medicine and the long-term repercussions of war wounds.


The Parenting Shelf

Initiations and Interactions
Teresa A. Cardon, MA, CCC-SLP
Autism Asperger Publishing Company
PO Box 23173, Shawnee Mission, KS 66283
1931282323, $22.95 www.asperger.com 1-877-277-8254

Written by Teresa A. Cardon, MA, CCC-SLP, and director of the Speech & Language Department at the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center of Phoenix, Arizona, Initiations and Interactions: Early Intervention Techniques for Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders is a no-nonsense, easy-to-follow handbook emphasizing the development of communication skills in one's child and creating a communication-friendly environment in one's home. Chapters discuss the importance of focusing on interacting with one's child during an activity, not the activity itself; how to turn books and story time into interaction time; how to make visual supports (lamination is recommended for long-term durability), and much more. "I can't talk about cuing without including the ever-popular 'raised-eyebrow wait' as it has come to be known around my clinic... mouth open, eyebrows raised, eyes wide open looking very expectant. Since this expression is so universally used, it is probably the most natural thing we can do to prompt a child to take his turn. Of course, it is not always enough of a prompt and that is why the 'Watch & Wait' strategy and the previous prompts are so important." A superb supplementary resource for parents, educators, and anyone who interacts with young children - though created specifically for interacting with autism spectrum children, many of the tips and techniques are sure to help children of all types develop language skills.

Big Slick Daddy
Mark J. Borowski
The Learning Interface
1208 Silverberry Court, Waukesha, WI 53189
0977715221, $14.95 www.learninginterface.com

'Big Slick' refers to the poker hand in Texas Hold-em of an Ace and a King. Written specifically for fathers of young children, and with immense practical value for fathers of teenagers, "Big Slick Daddy: Poker Strategies For Parenting Success" will be of particular benefit for those wanting to create and maintain strong healthy relationships with their sons and daughters. Utilizing the language and strategies found in the game of poker, "Big Slick Daddy" by Mark Borowski (father of two and a World Series of Poker player) draws upon real-life stories of fathers who have used poker principles to raise their kids. Readers will find answers to introspective questions about how to have a good relationship with their children, the many ways in which a father can successfully influence a child, how to turn common negative situations into positive ones with a simple but effective approach, and the impacts that a father's expectations can (and do!) have on a child for both the short-term and the long-term. "Big Slick Daddy" is unique and very highly recommended reading especially for concerned and dedicated fathers who have had experience playing the game of poker!


The Political Science Shelf

Citizen Hamilton
Donald R. Hickey & Connie D. Clark, editors
The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
15200 NBN Way, Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214
0742549755, $19.95 1-800-462-6420

Edited by professor of history Donald R. Hickey and consultant Connie D. Clark, Citizen Hamilton: The Wit & Wisdom of an American Founder is an anthology of shining quotations and insights from one of the great figures of American history. Alexander Hamilton was a member of George Washington's staff during the American Revolution, the nation's first secretary of the treasury, and played a crucial role in the founding of America. Many of his vignettes of wisdom are timeless; each is classified under an alphabetical subject heading and features an attribution line listing when, where, or to whom it was said. Highly recommended simply for pleasurable browsing, as well as for serious study of Hamilton's wisdom and character. "A large and well organized Republic can scarcely lose its liberty from any other cause than that of anarchy, to which a contempt of the laws is the high road."

The Moral Foundation Of Democracy
John H. Hallowell
Liberty Fund, Inc.
8335 Allison Pointe Trail, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46250-1684
0865976694, $10.00 www.libertyfund.org 1-800-955-8335

"The Moral Foundation Of Democracy" by the late academician John H. Hallowell (1913-1991) who taught with distinction for some 40 years on the faculty at Duke University is an extended treatise in which he defines the concept of freedom and describes the basic and essential framework of democracy. Professor Hallowell goes on to persuasively argue that governments must be designed in ways that acknowledge and deal with the vagaries of human nature and morality. presented a definitive criticism of positivist thought and moral relativism, Professor Hallowell emphasizes the uniqueness and sanctity of the individual human being and the paramount importance of the transcendent truths guiding individuals in their actions which influence how ordinary people participate in a democratic society. Thoughtful and thought-provoking, "The Moral Foundations Of Democracy" is very highly recommended and rewarding reading for students of political science and philosophy.

Realizing The Impossible
Josh MacPhee & Erik Reuland
AK Press
674-A 23rd Street, Oakland, CA 94612-1163
1904859321, $23.95 www.akpress.org

Compiled, organized, and co-edited by artist, writer, curator, and activist Josh MacPhee in cooperation with Erik Reuland (sometime editor of the radical political and art zine 'Trouble in Mind'), "Realizing The Impossible: Art Against Authority" is an anthology of commentaries on the relationship of aesthetics and politics in anti-authoritarian social movements which today are principle focused on opposing corporate globalization and its authoritarian governmental enablers. Profusely illustrated throughout with black-and-white images, "Realizing The Impossible" is arranged into the major sectional themes of 'Print'; 'Moving Images and Interventions'; and 'Theories'. This compendium of articles, essays, and writings is especially recommended reading for anarchists, political activists, political science students, and counter-culture enthusiasts. Indeed, "Realizing The Impossible" is a particularly important and timely addition to academic and community library Political Science reference collections.


The Psychology Shelf

Emotion and Psychopathology
Jonathan Rottenberg & Sheri L. Johnson, editors
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242
1591477867, $69.95 www.apa.org/books 1-800-368-5777

Emotion and Psychopathology: Bridging Affective and Clinical Science is an anthology of essays by expert psychologists and social scientists concerning a critical question asked by clinical researchers and practitioners alike - when are emotions functional, and when are they dysfunctional? Essays cover a wealth of recent research and new theories on the topic, from "Emotion and Schizophrenia" to "Four Principles of Fear and Their Implications for Phobias" to "Affective Science as a Framework for Understanding the Mechanisms and Effects of Antidepressant Medications." Extensively researched and referenced, with a lengthy index for quick reference, Emotion and Psychopathology is a welcome and up-to-date addition to psychology studies shelves.

Healing The Hurting Soul
Louis Wynne
BookSurge Publishing
c/o Karen Villanueva Author Services
PO Box 25061, Albuquerque, NM 87125
1419653466, $15.99 www.amazon.com

It seems like every extended family has its 'black sheep' member, that is, someone who doesn't conform to family expectation regarding behavior, beliefs, or attitudes. Often the aberrational family member is deemed mental ill or a willful miscreant and targeted for a psychiatric diagnoses and pharmaceutically based control to end unwanted, bizarre, or otherwise distressing behavior. In "Healing The Hurting Soul: A Survival Manual For The Black Sheep In Every Family", Louis Wynne argues that there is a rational alternative to using dangerous chemicals to control or influence unwanted behaviors. He maintains that people who have been identified as 'mentally ill' might well be responding to a pattern of traumatic often unrecognized as such by the family, that the rules a family constructs for its members to safeguard its values can exacerbate the problems of individual family members, and the psychiatrists typically attribute a person's reluctance to take psycho tropic medication as evidence of diagnosed psychological disorder. An impressive, timely, and articulate book, "Healing The Hurting Soul" should be considered mandatory reading for anyone who has ever felt themselves discriminated against unfairly by their family to the point of considering themselves a 'black sheep' and told they need psychological assistance to conform to family mores and norms. Of special note are the author's practical suggestions for finding a competent therapist and avoiding mental health business quackery.


The Science Shelf

Advanced Gas Turbine Cycles
J.H. Horlock
Krieger Publishing Company
PO Box 9542, Melbourne, FL 32902-9542
1575242923, $66.00 www.krieger-publishing.com

Written by turbomachinery expert J.H. Horlock, Advanced Gas Turbine Cycles is a scholarly and technical educational text about the thermodynamics of gas turbine cycles. A wide survey of the different gas turbine cycles used for power generation, and their relative advantages and disadvantages, are discussed at length with graphs, black-and-white diagrams, and extensive mathematical notation, including calculus equations. An invaluable study resource for final year and masters students in mechanical engineering, as well as practicing engineers.


The Marriage Shelf

Eco-Chic Weddings
Emily Elizabeth Anderson
Hatherleigh Press
5-22 46th Avenue, Suite 200, Long Island City, NY 11101
1578262402, $12.95 www.hatherleighpress.com

Yoga instructor Emily Elizabeth Anderson presents Eco-Chic Weddings: Simple Tips to Plan an Environmentally Friendly, Socially Responsible, Affordable, and Stylish Celebration, a guide to saving money as well as being environmentally friendly when celebrating that special day. Tips include supporting a non-profit organization through one's choice of wedding venue, such as museums, landmark buildings, or other cultural centers; using materials that can be recycled or composted such as organic flowers that won't introduce toxic elements into the environment; avoiding the purchase of wedding-only items and instead investing in dresses, shoes, and glassware that can be altered and reused; and much more. Additional chapters are filled with advice for ecology-friendly married life, from using compact fluorescent lightbulbs to conserve energy to buying green furniture (not stuff made from pressure-treated wood) to putting air conditioning and heater on timers. Enthusiastically recommended for wedding planners as well as prospective brides and grooms.


The Railroading Shelf

Beneath The Streets Of Boston
Joe McKendry
David R. Godine, Publisher
PO Box 450, Jaffrey, NH 03452
1567922848, $19.95 www.godine.com 1-800-344-4771

In "Beneath The Streets Of Boston: Building America's First Subway", Joe McKendry presents a fascinating, informative, and superbly illustrated history of how the first city subway in America came to be built under the streets of Boston, Massachusetts in 1895. It was a massive construction project that was finally completed and open to the public on July 1, 1918. Subway systems had been built in England and Scotland, but this was the first time in an American metropolis that underground railroads were implemented to ease the transportation gridlocks and traffic jams of ground level transports. Historic photos are combined with drawings to illustrate the tasks and constructions problems that had to be solved and the men who worked to build and then operate this revolutionary system. "Beneath The Streets Of Boston" is unique and very highly recommended for school and community American Transportation History collections, and especially commended to the attention of railroading enthusiasts as well!

Pentrex
2652 East Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA 91107
www.pentrex.com 1-800-950-9333

Seasoned railroading enthusiasts are well familiar with Pentrex, the premier producer of railroading documentaries showcasing and highlight the trains and rail systems, the routes and histories, their engines, equipment, bridges, and more. Five new additions to the impressive library of Pentrex railroading DVDs are very strongly recommended for their superb production values, intrinsically interesting subjects, and informative narrations. "The Alaska Railroad" ($29.95) is a 90 minute travelogue that takes the viewer aboard an F7-A and view the unique rail operation that is the Alaska Railroad! "Union Pacific's Feather River Route" is a one hour delight whose DVD format allows for Chapter Menus and which includes 20 minutes of bonus footage showing the rerailment of cars after a derailment at Pulga in 1984. "Columbia River Gorge: BNSF's Fallbridge Subdivision" ($29.95) is a two hour production showcasing the more than twelve hundred miles long and breathtakingly beautiful railroading route that ranges from the headwaters of the Columbia River in Canada down to the Pacific Ocean. "Into The Allegheny Range: Hancock, West Virginia To Cumberland, Maryland" ($29.95) is a three hour documentary from the early 1990s covering a 55-mile route in fascinating detail and through all four seasons. "Best Of 1989" ($29.95) is a two hour representative anthology of Pentrex railroad recording projects that features the Santa Fe Warbonnets; the Norfolk & Wester 611; The Napap Valley Wine Train; the Norfolk & Wetern 1218; CSX F-Units; the Cayahoga Valley Line; the Trailer Train of Santa Fe; the NKP 765; and the Western Allegheny F-units. All five of these outstanding DVD productions are very strongly recommended for personal, academic, and community library Railroading History collections. Those new to railroading fandom would be well advised to visit the Pentrex website for a complete listing of their railroading DVDs.


The Woodworking Shelf

Woodworking
Tom Carpenter & Mark Johanson
Landauer Corporation
3100 NW 101st Street, Suite A, Urbandale, IA 50322
189062179X, $29.95 www.landauercorp.com 1-800-557-2144

"Woodworking: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide To Skills, Techniques, Projects" is a 448-page compendium of practical carpenter techniques and 'how to' instructions that are supplemented with more than a thousand photographs, illustrations and diagrams. Carpentry students, do-it-yourself enthusiasts, and apprentice woodworkers are provided with more than forty woodworking projects for home accessories, home furnishings, outdoor projects, and workshop projects that range from the construction of a mantel clock to the building of a formal bookcase, to a kid-size picnic table. In addition to an informed and informative introduction to various woods, aspiring woodworkers are shown how to set up their carpentry shop; design woodworking projects; squaring, marking and cutting stock; making joints and assembling projects, and applying finishes. A comprehensive manual that can quite justifiably be considered to be a complete workshop in woodworking in a single 'user friendly' volume, "Woodworking" is confidently recommended to personal, professional, school, and community library Woodworking & Carpentry reference collections.


The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Star Spangled Jewelry
Sandra J. Whitson & Nancy N. Schiffer
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
0764326481, $29.95 www.schifferbooks.com

A thirty year veteran at collecting patriotic jewelry, Sandra J. Whitson teams up with Nancy N. Schiffer (who has collected jewelry and written reference books for more than three decades) to compile and present "Star Spangled Jewelry", a 160-page compendium of jewelry with an American patriotic theme or motif. Superbly illustrated with full color photography, each one of the more than 625 impressive presented examples is provided with a succinctly descriptive text that also includes the date of the piece being showcased. Comprehensive, authoritative, nicely organized and absolutely beautiful, "Star Spangled Jewelry" is the definitive reference on its specialized subject and highly recommended for inclusion into personal, professional, academic, and community library Antiques & Collectibles reference collections.

Inside the Jewelry Box, Volume 2
Ann Mitchell Pitman
Collector Books
PO Box 3009, Paducah, KY 42002-3009
1574325426, $24.95 www.collectorbooks.com 1-800-626-5420

Inside the Jewelry Box: A Collector's Guide to Costume Jewelry Identification and Values, Volume 2 is a full-color catalogue of an amazing array of costume jewelry pieces. Each piece is presented with one or more photographs, a recommended price, and the name of the collection from which the sample piece was selected. From charm bracelets to artful plastics to necklaces, earrings, and rings, as well as special sections dedicated to well-known brand designs such as Eisenberg and Bettina von Walhof, Inside the Jewelry Box is a singularly gorgeous compilation and a joy to page through simply to savor the photography. The text offers the occasional sprinkling of historical information, comments, or insights about costume jewelry as well. A highly recommended treasury for collectors.


The Jobs/Careers Shelf

175 Best Jobs Not Behind A Desk
Michael Farr & Laurence Shatkin
JIST Publishing
8902 Otis Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46216-1033
159357441X, $16.95 www.jist.com 1-800-648-5478

The collaborative work of career information specialists Michael Farr and Laurence Shatkin, "175 Best Jobs Not Behind A Desk" is part of JIST's 'Best Jobs' series. More than just a simple catalog of jobs and careers outside the usual business office, "175 Best Jobs Not Behind A Desk" is a thoroughly 'user friendly', do-it-yourself instruction manual on how to determine not only what jobs are available, but how to go about identifying and selecting the one best for you. The two step process involves first browsing the 70 best jobs lists to find possible jobs that fit your educational background and your employment requirements. Then after picking out some possibilities, go on to the second part of the book for details on earnings, growth, jobs tasks, physical activity levels, training needed, etc. "175 Best Jobs Not Behind A Desk" should be considered a mandatory addition to school counselor and job counselor professional reference shelves, as well as a necessary acquisition for trade school library and community library Jobs & Careers collections.


The Library DVD Shelf

Crystal Productions
PO Box 2159, Glenview, IL 60025-6159
www.crystalproductions.com 1-800-255-8629

Crystal Video presents two easy-to-follow, "how-to" art DVDs starring educator and artist Peggy Flores. In "Gargoyles: How to Create Them" ($29.95, 21 minutes), Flores demonstrates how to sculpt small gargoyles from clay and other materials, as well as offering a brief history of gargoyles, chimeras, and other grotesque creatures. Student examples are also displayed in this engaging DVD ideal for hands-on fun at home. "Exploring Color: Creating Color Wheels & Using Color Schemes" ($29.95, 21 minutes) reveals how different color schemes work using everyday classroom materials and simple paints. An inspirational DVD guide designed to encourage budding artists to express themselves. Both DVDs are highly recommended especially for grade school art curriculums.

Soul Searching: The Journey of Thomas Merton
Morgan Atkinson, producer
The Liturgical Press
St. John's Abbey, PO Box 7500, Collegeville, MN 56321-7500
0814679678, $25.00 www.litpress.org 1-800-858-5450

Soul Searching: The Journey of Thomas Merton is a DVD documentary about Thomas Merton, Trappist monk, "believing beatnik", and a 20th century author who devoted his life to the search for meaning. Award-winning producer Morgan Atkinson incorporates years of research into Merton's work, interviews of his friends, and footage revealing daily life at the Abbey of Gethsemani, Merton's home of 27 years, among other places Merton has traveled from New York City to Christ in the Desert Monastery in New Mexico. A sterling tribute to the life and works of a profoundly authentic spiritual seeker. 67 minutes, color.

The Perfect Server
Vat19
11783 Borman Drive, St. Louis, MO 63146
$24.95 www.vat19.com

The Perfect Server: Create a Waitstaff that Dazzles, Delights, and Delivers Results is a DVD-format training package created especially to help train one's restaurant waitstaff in both the everyday needs and the subtle nuances of serving customers with consummate professionalism. Instruction topics include how to look the part, prep the restaurant, present the menu, serve the meal, read body language, what to do if disaster strikes, handle food sanitization and safety, and much more. From short demonstrations of "Jane's" expertise versus "John's" mistakes on the job, to printable extras ranging from lists of wine pairings to kitchen prep terms to common server lingo, to quiz sections that staff members can complete to earn codes that can be authenticated online for a printable certificate of mastery, The Perfect Server is a well-rounded instructional capable of educating one's entire staff. 1 hour 34 minutes, color.

Monsieur N.
Antoine de Caunes, director
First Run Features
The Film Center Building, 630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213, NY, NY 10036
$26.98 www.firstrunfeatures.com

Presented in its original French with English subtitles, Monsieur N. is the DVD movie equivalent of a fascinating historical novel. Portraying the legendary conqueror Napoleon Bonaparte during his years of exile after his defeat at Waterloo, Monsieur N. not only bring to life an eye-opening portrait of the former Emperor's exile, but also presents a daring "what-if" story - what if Napoleon escaped St. Helena in such a crafty manner that his disappearance remained undiscovered to this day? A lush, theatrical work of movie majesty, highly recommended. 127 minutes, color.

The Ark the Shroud and Mary
Philip Gardiner
Reality Films
$24.98 www.reality-entertainment.com info@reality-entertainment.com

The Ark the Shroud and Mary is a unique DVD presentation of hidden secrets concerning sacred artifacts and figures of Christianity. Topics discussed include who truly was imaged on the Shroud of Turin, the relevance the Shroud has to the Ark of the Covenant, why Mary is just as important as the Ark or the Shroud, scientific evidence that reveals just how the Shroud was made, a re-dating of the Shroud, an ancient Brotherhood that protects its secrets, and much more. An amazing delving into mysteries akin to a real-life Da Vinci code, The Ark the Shroud and Mary is especially recommended for anyone curious about radical and controversial yet heavily researched theories about Christianity's roots.

Brothers Lost: Stories of 9/11
Sean McGinly, director
Tango Entertainment, Inc.
1531 14th Street, Santa Monica, CA
1598374400, $14.98 www.tango-entertainment.com

Brothers Lost: Stories of 9/11 is a documentary directed by award-winning filmmaker Sean McGinly, who lost his own brother in the September 11th attacks on the Twin Towers, and in the process of coping with his grief, set out to find other men who had also lost their brothers in the tragedy. Brothers Lost presents interviews with thirty-one men who lost their brothers in the attacks. Firefighters, traders, restaurant workers, and more from a wide cross-section of religions and cultures, including Irish, Arab, Latino, and Jewish, share memories revealing the common bond of brotherhood. An ultimately life-affirming tribute to the memory of lost loved ones. 65 minutes, color.

Shiva Rea: Fluid Power - Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Shiva Rea
Acacia
c/o Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 650, Silver Spring, MD 20910
156938844X, $19.99 www.acacialifestyle.com

Shiva Rea: Fluid Power - Vinyasa Flow Yoga is the latest installment of yoga teacher Shiva Rea's series of instructional DVDs. Filmed in HD, Fluid Power - Vinyasa Flow Yoga allows the viewer to choose from a menu of twenty guided sequences (including sun salutations, standing pose mandala, fluid backbends, handstand, forward bends, pranayama, meditations, deep relaxation, and more), or play one of six different pre-set practices. The audio options allow one to hear both instructions and music or music only, and extras include a 24-page program guide and a "Y Yoga" mini-documentary with Shiva Rea. The flowing, multi-tiered and thoroughly customizable approach makes Fluid Power - Vinyasa Flow Yoga ideal for practitioners of all skill and experience levels. Highly recommended. 2 discs, 243 minutes, color.

The Seasons of Fitness
Sue West
411 Video Information
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
$24.95 www.411videoinfo.com www.synergyvideoseries.com

Exercise guru Sue West presents The Seasons of Fitness, a new DVD workout regimen that blends Pilates, yoga, ballet, and classical dance. The seasons of the year are applied as a pattern in harmony with the workout, which equates the progression of seasons with the natural changes inherent in human life. Perfectly complementing its theme, the Seasons of Fitness is filmed on-location amid the beauty of Canyon Lands, Utah; Yellowstone National Park; Bozeman, Montana; and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Texas. A solid all-around workout applying West's "Melange" method to focus on building strength, muscle flexibility, and balance, The Seasons of Fitness is an excellent and aesthetically pleasing addition to any DVD workout collection. 60 minutes, color.

Eye of the Dolphin
Carly Schroeder, Adrian Dunbar & Katharine Ross
Monterey Media Inc.
566 St. Charles Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360-3901
9781569944219, $24.95 www.montereymedia.com 1-800-424-2593

Written by multiple Emmy award winner Wendell Morris, Eye of the Dolphin is a DVD movie about Alyssa, a fourteen-year-old girl living with her grandmother since the death of her mother a year ago. The decision is made for her to go to the Bahamas and live with the father she never knew she had - a traumatic life change that she seeks shelter from while engaging in her amazing gift for communicating with dolphins at her father's dolphin research facility. But when forces beyond her father's control threaten to close down the research facility, Alyssa and her wild dolphin friend share the key to turning things around. A captivating, family-friendly movie. Rated PG, 96 minutes, color.

Deante Dance
Karen Gayle
The Urban Resounding Group
Brickman Marketing (publicity)
395 Del Monte Center, Suite 250, Monterey, CA 93940
$39.95 www.brickmanmarketing.com

Choreographer Karen Gayle presents Deante Dance, a set of five exercise and fitness programs on one DVD, each featuring energetic dance moves and motivational music. Blending inspiration from a wide variety of dances, the routine movements include contractions, curls, spirals, and strikes. The individual workouts are "10 Core-Centric Moves", a continuous low-impact workout designed to strengthen the core and tone the limbs; "The Fun-Dation" which introduces contractions and spirals designed for a total body workout; "Dance Sculpt" for toning the arms, legs, and back; "Hottie Body" that combines easy-to-follow dance lessons with a solid all-around workout; and "Core Builder - Abs" that especially focuses on both upper and lower abdominals. A fun-filled way to exercise, recommended for personal fitness collections. 190 minutes total, color.

Men's Health 15-Minute Workout
Rodale, Inc.
400 South Tenth Street, Emmaus, PA 18098-0099
411 Video Information (publicity)
PO Box 1223, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
1594865574, $14.98 www.411videoinfo.com www.rodale.com

Based on the 15-minutes workout series in "Men's Health" magazine, Men's Health 15-Minute Workout is a DVD of four 15-minute sessions especially for males. "Build Inner Strength" is an abdominal circuit for the entire midsection; "A Better Burn" is a total-body routine that applies "offset training" to build muscle; "Jump On It" combines weights and jumping rope to burn fat; and "Ground Force" is a lower-body routine for conditioning one's bottom half. Designed for use individually or all at once, Men's Health 15-Minute Workout is an excellent addition to men's workout and fitness collections, ideal for keeping one's body sculpted and toned even when one is pressed by the demands of a busy schedule. 60 minutes, color.

Global Warming
WGBH
c/o SSA Public Relations
148 Madison Avenue, 16th floor PH-1, New York, NY 10016
9781593757298, $19.95 1-877-807-2622

Global Warming: What's Up With The Weather? is a DVD presentation of the television special by NOVA and Frontline dealing with questions raised about modern climate change. In an era when demand for fossil fuels is increasing daily, more man-made carbon dioxide emissions have been added to the atmosphere than ever before. Scientists, climatologists, and futurists debate fiercely about what this means for the Earth - will its average temperature rise by nearly 10 degrees, melt arctic ice caps, or even bring about a new Ice Age in a stroke of irony? Or will the weather stay relatively normal? In addition to the in-depth forecasts for the future, Global Warming also includes printable materials for educators. A superb, well-rounded and balanced coverage of a serious hot-button environmental issue. 112 minutes, color, closed captioned.

Travel with Kids Hawaii: The Island of Kauai
Equator Creative Media LLC
PO Box 80646, Phoenix, AZ 85060
$14.95 www.TravelWithKidsDVDs.com

Travel with Kids Hawaii: The Island of Kauai is a DVD guide ideal for families who want to travel to this lush and wondrous state, or simply learn about the rich culture of the Polynesian islands. From old Polynesian folktales, to the beauty of Kauai's natural flora and fauna, a seaside luau, and much more, Travel with Kids Hawaii: The Island of Kauai is an armchair traveler's delight as well as an exciting preview of what tourists and their children can hope to see. A thoroughly enjoyable, family-friendly experience, featuring a trip planner with expanded information, videos about accommodation, activities and transportation, tips and resources, and much more. 37 minutes, color.

Yoga Booty Ballet Master Series
Gillian Marloth & Teigh McDonough
Anchor Bay Entertainment
1699 Stutz Drive, Troy, MI 48084
$19.98 www.anchorbayentertainment.com

Yoga Booty Ballet Master Series is a two-DVD set hosted by fitness experts Gillian Marloth and Teigh McDonough, offering the signature moves that Hollywood celebrities use to stay in shape and improve flexibility. The first DVD, Goddess Booty, is a 25-minute workout to tone one's backside, featuring the moves Frog, Thread the Needle, and the Cellulite Roll, which is believed to help break up cellulite and increase circulation for smoother skin. Yoga Core is a 30-minute total-body yoga and Pilates workout for developing a strong midsection and muscles from head to toe. A solid workout designed especially to improve fitness and health with a minimum of fuss. 55 minutes, color.

Discoveries... America: Alaska
Bennett-Watt HD Productions, Inc.
13021 244th Avenue SE, Issaquah, WA 98027
193297850X, $24.95 www.Bennett-Watt.com

Part of a series of one-hour shows to profile every state plus the District of Columbia, Discoveries... America: Alaska is a DVD exploration of Alaska's wonders, both natural and man-made. From Native Alaskan culture, to watching whales frolic near Adolphus Point, to the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, the workings of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, bear-watching, sport fishing, and much more, Discoveries... America: Alaska is sure to enthrall viewers with its multifaceted presentation of Alaska's rugged beauty. An ideal selection for both armchair travelers and anyone planning a trip to see Alaska for themselves. 60 minutes, color.

Here I Stand: Martin Luther
Vision Video
PO Box 540, Worcester, PA 19490-0540
#500778D, $24.99 www.visionvideo.com 1-800-523-0226

"Here I Stand: Martin Luther" is a superbly produced, enthusiastically recommended, 129-minute, full color documentary on the life, work, and historical impact of Protestant Reformation leader Martin Luther. This informed and informative DVD production is divided into two part: Luther's Life (70 minutes) and Luther's Legacy (60 minutes). Martin Luther, who began his ecclesiastical career as a German cleric of the Roman Catholic Church, never wanted to be a famous religious leader and challenger to the dominance of the Catholic Church. Indeed, he had entered a monastery to get away from the world and seek his own private salvation. But in seeking that salvation he began to study the Bible and felt compelled to call what he perceived as the corruptions of the Church of Rome to account. He challenged the prevailing Medieval assumptions concerning religious authority, the nature of God, how Christians (including the clergy) should comport themselves, and how God brings salvation to men, women, and children. Although also available in a VHS format, the DVD format features a bonus: 'In the Footsteps of Martin Luther'.


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Tethys
Till Noever
Lulu Press
860 Aviation Parkway, Suite 300, Morrisville, NC 27560
EDGE Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing
PO Box 1714, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2P 2L7
55 Ravenswood Road, St. Clair, Dunedin, 9012, New Zealand
www.edgewebsite.com www.lulu.com publisher@owlglass till@owlglass.com

Till Noever is the talented author of the five volume fantasy/science fiction series' 'Tethys' which is comprised of "Keaen" (9780615143552, $19.95); "Finister" (9780615137926, $16.95); "Tergan" (9780615139265), 15.95; "Fontaine" (9780615139258, $17.95); and "Tethys" (9780615142630, $19.95). The five volume saga story arc begins more than 300 years after humanity's original drive into interstellar space. Now humans are to be found on a number of far-flung but life-sustainable planets, as well as hundreds of lifeless moons and stellar rocks. When a professional space explorer finds, by chance, the star Caravella which features a dozen planetoids, ore bearing space rocks, and an Earth-sized world of oceans and continents making it especially attractive to human settlement, he intends to return home to sell his discovery, but dies in a mishap. It's years later when his derelict ship is found by a passing space craft manned by 'Turillians', a socio-philosophical sext. Ten years latter a space ship containing some 30,000 colonists in suspended animation and their equipment come into orbit around that discovered plant of the Caravella system and is renamed 'Tethys'. A thousand years later in an area of the planet known as 'The Valley', is the kingdom of Keaen and its capital city of the same name. Enter two young people who are in love and, like all the rest of the inhabitants of Tethys, are ignorant of the original plan behind the settlement of the planet by those long dead Turillians. These two young lovers are about to discover a deeply buried secret that could well alter humanity's future forever. This complex, engaging, and superbly crafted story is played out by a host of memorable characters in five consecutive volumes. Also very highly recommended for fantasy and science-fiction enthusiasts is Till Noever's imaginative and original novel "Seladienna" (9780615142852, $19.95), featuring the descendants of a roman legion who in Emperor Hadrian's reign disappeared into the forests now occupied by the city of London, a man and woman stranded for a brief time in a world not our own, and a world that needs saving -- even if to do so means much of it must be destroyed.


The Civil War Shelf

Secret Lives Of The Civil War
Cormac O'Brien
Quirk Books
215 Church Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
1594741387, $16.95 www.quirkbooks.com

Nicely enhanced with occasional illustrations by Monika Suteski, "Secret Lives Of The Civil War": What Your Teachers Never Told You About The War Between The States" by Cormac O'Brien is an informed and informative compendium of odd facts, unsung heroes, obscure vignettes, and bizarre anecdotes that are a part of the American Civil War that are not presented in traditional classroom lectures, textbooks, or histories. For example, Mary Todd Lincoln's claim to receive valuable military strategies from ghosts in the spirit world; Jefferson Davis importing camels for Confederate soldiers stationed in the American southwest; Ulysses S. Grant mounted on a horse named 'Kangaroo' during the Vicksburg campaign; James Longstreet fighting in the Battle of Antietam wearing carpet slippers; William Tecumseh Sherman surviving two shipwrecks on the same day; and so many more surprising and unexpected but quite true stories of people and events. Not the least of which is the story of the infamous and feared Confederate guerrilla leader William Quantrill whose skull was to end up in the basement of a fraternity house from 1905 to 1942. "Secret Lives Of The Civil War" is the result of meticulous and painstaking research, making it an absolute 'must' for personal, academic, and community library Civil War Studies reference shelves and supplemental reading lists.


The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Working Like Dogs
Marcie Davis & Melissa Bunnell
Alpine Publications, Inc.
PO Box 120, Crawford, CO 81415
1577790833, $24.95 www.alpinepub.com 1-800-777-7257

Written by Marcie Davis, a paraplegic and service dog partner, and Melissa Bunnell, counseling and service dog expert, Working Like Dogs: The Service Dog Guidebook is a thorough, easy-to-follow resource for anyone who wants or needs to learn more about service dogs and their partnership with humans, including caretakers of service dogs and potential partners of service dogs. Full-color photography illustrated this candid guide to important questions one should ask a potential service dog agency ("Once a dog is placed with me, will I own the dog or will the agency maintain ownership?"), how a service dog can improve one's access to the world, how to keep one's service dog healthy and happy from nutrition to grooming to proper exercise, coping with the loss of a service dog, and much more. An extensive appendix of service dog resources as well as an appendix of performance standards for assistance dogs rounds out this "must-have" for anyone seriously contemplating partnering with a service dog.


The Gardening Shelf

Organic Farming
Peter V. Fossel
Voyageur Press
MBI Publishing, dist.
380 Jackson Street, Suite 200, St. Paul, MN 55101
0760324697, $24.95 www.mbipublishing.com 1-800-458-0454

Organic Farming: Everything You Need to Know is a primer to getting one's own organic farm up and running. From obtaining organic certification and acting in accordance with laws and rules, to caring for vegetables, crops, livestock, and poultry, to alternatives to pesticides and drugs, to marketing strategies for one's products and much more, Organic Farming offers plain-terms instructions illustrated with full-color photography. An easy-to-follow, hands-on primer, enthusiastically recommended for current and prospective organic farmers.


The Audiobook Shelf

Roma
Steven Saylor
Books On Tape, Inc.
400 Hahn, Westminister, MD 21157
9781415938348, $129.00 www.booksontape.com 1-800-541-5525

Roma is an unabridged audiobook historical novel that gives life to the fantastic store of how Rome ascended to become the capital of the most powerful empire in history. From Rome's founding by the star-crossed twins Romulus and Remus, to the tragedy of the hero-traitor Coriolanus, the capture of the city by the Gauls, the invasion of Hannibal, ruthless political struggles between the patricians and the plebians, and the end of Rome's republic with the triumph and subsequent assassination of Julius Caesar, Roma is epic in scope. The sweeping events of history are seen through the eyes of descendants of Rome's first families, the Potitius and Pinarius clans - sometimes seducers, sometimes heirs, sometimes killers, sometimes confidantes, alternately either witnessing history or taking part of it. A magnificent recounting of ancient history from all too human perspectives.

Come Hell or High Water
Michael Eric Dyson, author
Andrew L. Barnes, narrator
Legacy Audio Books
PO Box 11183, Cincinnati, Ohio 45211
097798835X, $49.95 www.legacyaudiobooks.com

Come Hell or High Water is a scathing audiobook indictment of the Bush administration's and FEMA's failures to sufficiently aid New Orleans' mostly poor, mostly black population in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Heavily researched, Come Hell or High Water explores Katrina as the latest link in a legacy of black suffering perpetuated by the apathy of middle and upper class Americans of all races. Above all, Come Hell or High Water charges that American society's destructive path toward its African-American poor can only be altered if the public acknowledges that the Katrina debacle was far more than simply an engineering or emergency response failure. The means by which America and its people relate to its poor must undergo a transformation; nothing less than the future of democracy is at stake - a message sure to resonate with readers of all races.

Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries
Neil DeGrasse Tyson, author
Dion Graham, narrator
Blackstone Audiobooks
PO Box 969, Ashland, OR 97520
1433202115, $90.00 www.BlackstoneAudio.com 1-800-729-2665

Written by astrophysicist and award-winning author Neal DeGrasse Tyson, Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries is an audiobook collection of essays originally run in "Natural History Magazine" about the amazing mysteries of the night skies. Discussing the basic physics of black holes (including what would happen to a human body unlucky enough to fall inside one!), the pointless friction between science and religion, the movie industries noteworthy failings to get its science right, and much more. Accessible to readers of all backgrounds, and featuring tracks every three minutes for easy bookmarking, Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries is a first-rate simplified introduction to the mind-blowing discoveries of modern astrophysics. 10 CDs, 12 hours.

The Poe Shadow
Matthew Pearl, author
Erik Singer, narrator
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
1419380400, $113.75 www.recordedbooks.com 1-800-638-1304

The Poe Shadow is an unabridged audiobook presentation of Matthew Pearl's historical fiction novel set in 1849, shortly after the famous poet and inventor of the detective story Edgar Allan Poe allegedly drank himself to death. An idealistic young attorney, Quentin Clark, entertains grave suspicions that Poe was instead murdered. When Clark learns that Poe's fictional detective, Auguste Dupin, was based on a real person, Clark risks both his career and his engagement to track the individual down and discover the true cause of Poe's death. Eloquently narrated by Erik Singer, The Poe Shadow is sure to enthrall fans Poe's classic yet macabre writing. 10 cassettes, 14 hours 45 minutes.

The Gentle Axe
R.N. Morris, author
Simon Vance, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
114 Mill Rock Road East, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
1400103339, $34.99 www.tantor.com 1-877-782-6867

Set in 1867 St. Petersburg, Russia, The Gentle Axe is an audiobook mystery novel starring police investigator Porfiry Petrovich - the same character from Dostoevsky's classic novel, "Crime and Punishment". When an elderly woman discovers the horrific scene of a hanged peasant with a bloody axe, and the corpse of a dwarf tucked into a suitcase, Petrovich suspects that the full truth behind the crime is more complex than an initial glance would suggest. Following his investigation into brothels, drinking dens, and squalid hovels infested with poverty to the upper strata populated by the well-to-do, Petrovich uncovers human darkness to shock and terrify, culminating in a thrilling climax. Award-winning audio performer Simon Vance flawlessly narrates this captivating and highly recommended saga of suspense. 8 CDs, 10 hours, unabridged.


The Library CD Shelf

The Giveaway
Daniel Moore
DJM Records, Inc.
849 E. Harvard Blvd., PMB #404, Santa Paula, CA 93060
$12.98 djmrec.com 1-888-356-2583

The Giveaway is a music CD album of songs written, sung, produced, and with one or more instruments played by musician Daniel Moore. A cross-section of Moore's lifelong work, The Giveaway touches upon a diversity of pop music styles, from jazz to R&B to country and rock. The songs are The Giveaway (3:38), On Solid Ground (4:19), Lost and Found (4:03), Somebody I Trusted (3:16), Forever True (4:23), Lean Back Hold Steady (3:47), If I Love You (2:50), How Long (3:48), Sweet Forgiveness (4:27), Roll The Holy Bones (3:04), Who Do You Think You're Foolin' (3:06), Bandito From Toledo (2:58), Who's Gonna Play the Harp (3:35), Dreamland (2:53), My Maria (3:09) and Shambala (2:57). Some compositions, such as "On Solid Ground", are presented for the first time, and the title tune, "The Giveaway", is inspired by concept of the Potlatch festival started by Northwest Native Americans. A toe-tapping guitar experience, highly recommended.

John Pisano's Guitar Night
Mel Bay Publications
PO Box 66, Pacific, MO 63069
$21.98 www.melbay.com 1-800-863-5229

John Pisano's Guitar Night is a two-CD collection of guitar music stylings by thirteen different musicians, teachers, and protoges, produced by John Pisano himself. Drawing from a tradition of collaborative and cooperative, rather than competitive, guitar music nights in the long-gone Donte's jazz club of North Hollywood, California, John Pisano's Guitar Night evokes a strong sense of enthusiasm and camaraderie in its immersive musical stylings. The Disc One tracks are I'll Never Be the Same (1:32), The Blues (9:07), I Want to Be Happy (5:54), Good Bait (10:04), When Sunny Gets Blue (6:57), Rosetta (10:07), Whisper Not (11:13), and My One and Only Love (10:15). The Disc Two tracks are 'Round Midnight (6:14), Falling in Love with Love (6:48), Autumn Leaves (12:05), All of You (11:21), I Thought About You (11:13), Minor 6th Sense (9:09), Footprints (8:29), and Wee (6:50). Highly recommended especially for enthusiasts of all the various flavorful stylings of guitar music.

Voyagers
R. Carlos Nakai & Udi Bar-David
Canyon Records Productions
3131 West Clarendon Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85017
$15.98 www.canyonrecords.com 1-800-268-1141

Native American flautist (of Navajo-Ute heritage) and Grammy nominee R. Carlos Nakai combines his talents with cellist Udi Bar-David in Voyagers, a music CD that blends Native American, Jewish, Arabic, and Turkish musical idioms into a seamlessly rapturous whole. Grammy nominee Will Clipman adds his own percussive touch into this one-of-a-kind multicultural mix that resonates with spiritual as well as musical harmony. The tracks are Omaha Song (4:29), Whirlwinds Dancing (5:52), Voyagers - Improvisation 12 (2:53), Go to the Desert (2:05), Dream Time (4:17), Bashraf Farahfaza (2:28), Amazing Grace (3:53), Prayer from Jewish Life (5:15), Crow Wing (3:07), Longa Farahfaza (3:07), Companion of My Soul (4:19), Lake That Speaks (4:19), Those Were Nights (4:23), and Indigena Indigenous (4:32). Highly recommended.

Queens and Kings
Fanfare Ciocarlia
Asphalt Tango Records
c/o Rock Paper Scissors (publicity)
216 West Allen Street, Suite 137, Bloomington, IN 47403
$21.98 www.rockpaperscissors.biz

Romany brass orchestra Fanfare Ciocarlia presents their latest music CD album, Queens and Kings, a celebration of Gypsy culture and song that transcends national borders. Drawing upon inspiration and Romany contributors from Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and France, Queens and Kings embodies the vivacious splendor of live traditional music. The tracks are Kan Marau La (4:31), Que Dolor (3:55), Sandala (2:49), Pana Cand Nu Te Iubeam (4:06), Cuando Tu Volveras (4:30), Duj Duj (3:56), Ibrahim (3:05), Ma Maren Ma (3:50), Mukav Tu (2:09), Nakelavishe (2:58), Ma Rov (4:38), Mig Mig (3:19), Farewell March (1:36), and Born to be Wild (3:11). A stellar and festive tribute, highly recommended.

Bagpipe Tamer Music
2525 Hermosita Drive, Glendale, CA 91208
www.Bagpipetamer.com 1-818-243-7011

The Celtic Rock band Stand Easy, led by multi-instrumentalist John McLean Allan, presents three driving albums fusing of songwriting, Celtic music, and rock 'n' roll. "Stand Easy" ($15.00, 47 minutes) has been played on over 100 radio stations in the USA, Scotland, Canada, and Mexico, offering new flourishes on traditional Celtic music that listeners of all backgrounds can get into. Tracks include "Slow Air/Hornpipe", "Amazing Grace", "Back Home in Derry", and more. "Family Favorites" ($15.00, 49 minutes) collects thirty-four classic tunes performed solo on the Great Highland Bagpipe, including "Mist Covered Mountains", "Flowers of the Forest", and "Auld Land Syne". An absolute treat for bagpipe lovers and bagpipe players alike. "Tainted" ($15.00, 53 minutes) is Stand Easy's latest release, and takes the rocking a step higher with its passionate lyrics to such songs as "I Don't Have to Come Down", "Riding Out the Storm", and more. All three albums are enthusiastically recommended for anyone excited by a modern take on Celtic instrumental heritage, bagpipe music, and the siren beat of rock 'n' roll.


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
e-mail: mbr@execpc.com
e-mail: mwbookrevw@aol.com
http://www.midwestbookreview.com


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