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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 4, Number 6 June 2009 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Travel Shelf Social Issues Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Agricultural Shelf American History Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Biography Shelf Poetry Shelf
Railroading Shelf Cookbook Shelf Art Shelf
Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf Education Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf
Business Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf Photography Shelf
Sports Shelf Fiction Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Economics Shelf Political Science Shelf
Criminology Shelf World History Shelf Martial Arts Shelf
Architecture Shelf Gardening Shelf Environmental Studies Shelf
Literary Shelf Parenting Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Money/Finance Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Frances D. Burton
University of New Mexico Press
1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
9780826346469, $34.95,

Fire is truly the one thing that separates man from beast. "Fire: The Spark That Ignited Human Evolution" traces the history of fire through ancient times to the modern age. If man never gained control of fire, humanity would have never become the technologically advanced species we are today, but may in fact have died out tens of thousands of years ago. Fire is truly a fascinating thing, and author Frances Burton does well in connecting human evolution to fire. "Fire" is the story of fire, and as such, is the story of mankind.

Aging is Living
Irene Borins Ash & Irv Ash
The Dundurn Group
3 Church Street, Suite 500, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5E 1M2
9781550028836, $26.99,

Life isn't over until you're six feet under. "Aging Is Living: Myth-Breaking Stories From Long-Term Care" is a look at nursing home residents who, despite their advanced age, have not withdrawn themselves to simply wasting their lives away reflecting on their lost youth. These seniors will inspire readers to understand that life isn't over until it's over, and that there is always time to pick up new hobbies and just enjoy living. "Aging is Living" is a fine gift to any senior who thinks their life is over prematurely.

Stauffenberg, third edition
Peter Hoffman
McGill-Queen's University Press
3430 McTavish Street, Montreal, QC, Canada, H3A 1X9
9780773535442, $22.95,

The attempts on the life of Adolph Hitler bring much to the imagination, with the hope that even when the most evil of men is in power, his countrymen may put him down for it. Now in a newly expanded third edition, "Stauffenberg: A Family History 1905-1944" brings history to this hope, which was recently transformed into a Hollywood movie. Following the life of the mastermind behind of this assassination plot, "Stauffenberg" chronicles a man who would have been applauded as a hero to many if he'd succeeded. "Stauffenberg" is well worth the read for history buffs, especially those with a focus on World War II.

The Travel Shelf

Hawaii The Big Island Trailblazer, second edition
Jerry Sprout & Janine Sprout
Diamond Valley Company
89 Lower Manzanita Drive, Markleeville, CA 96120
9780967007250 $16.95

Now in a completely revised, updated and expanded second edition, Hawaii The Big Island Trailblazer: Where to Hike, Snorkel, Surf, Bike, Drive is a user-friendly guide to families and outdoor adventurers, offering 153 hikes and strolls on Hawaii's big island from the peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, rain forests, botanical gardens, waterfalls, petroglyph fields, the Kona Coast, and much more. Also included are 73 snorkeling and swimming spots, 41 surfing spots, 24 bike trails, 25 campgrounds, a wealth of resource links with hand-picked accommodations and restaurants, safety tips, planning, advice, and much more. Black-and-white photographs illustrate this easy-to-follow travel guide. An absolute "must-have" for any Hawaii vacationer who wants to explore the wondrous outdoors of the big island. Also highly recommended to anyone exploring Hawaii's other islands are the companion volumes, "Maui Trailblazer" (9780967007243, $16.95) and "Kauai Trailblazer" (9780967007212, $16.95).

Herbert L. Smith
Wheat Mark
610 East Delano Street, Suite 104, Tucson, AZ 85705
9781604940930, $13.95,

The capital of the nation synonymous with the cradle of civilization - Cairo, Egypt. "Cairo: The Mother of the World" is an exploration of this ancient city which has prospered into the modern day. Cairo has much evidence of its own long and storied history, stretching into prehistory. Bringing to light what some tourists will never see during their travels, "Cairo" is a fine read, especially for those who plan to visit this great city in the future.

Long Island, third edition
Raymond Edward Spinzia, Judith Adia Pinzia, & Kathryn Spinzia Rayne
Hippocrene Books
171 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9780781812139, $24.95,

It doesn't take the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas to have a good time. "Long Island: A Guide to New York's Suffolk and Nassau Counties" is the newly updated and expanded third edition of the famed tourist guide to the quaint countryside of the rural regions of New York State. With nearly six hundred entries on things to use and enjoy throughout the region, "Long Island" does well in making the communities a worthwhile consideration for those seeking quiet relaxation. "Long Island" is well worth the read for any with an interest in alternative vacations.

The Social Issues Shelf

Pharmaceutical Price Regulation
John A. Vernon & Joseph H. Golec
American Enterprise Institute
1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20036
9780844742779, $15.00,

Regulation is a double-edged sword. "Pharmaceutical Price Regulation: Public Perceptions, Economic Realities, and Empirical Evidence" is an exploration of the regulation of prescription medicine in a world where these medicines are required to survive, yet prices for these drugs are typically astronomically high, and all too often health insurance refuses to pay. Regulation could change that, but regulation comes with its own baggage that worries many. "Pharmaceutical Price Regulation" breaks down both sides of the debate for voters' easy perusal, and is highly recommended.

Disaster Recovery Planning for Communications and Critical Infrastructure
Leo A. Wrobel and Sharon M. Wrobel
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
9781596934689 $99.00

Disaster Recovery Planning for Communications and Critical Infrastructure is a scholarly examination of how the vulnerabilities in modern-day infrastructure can best be protected from threats such as terrorism and natural disasters. Authors Leo A. Wrobel and Sharon M. Wrobel, both highly skilled professionals in the field, cover the technologies that can help spread word quickly when things go wrong, how to set up procedures for "4Ci" (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence), the basics of a solid emergency response plan, templates for assessing the weaknesses of everything from hospitals to power grids to large business enterprises, "first alert" procedures, and much more. A scholarly, well-researched text featuring cutting-edge, life-saving preparation measures, Disaster Recovery Planning for Communications and Critical Infrastructure is an absolute must-have for disaster recovery planners and experts, and anyone else responsible for planning for worst-case scenarios. Highly recommended.

Future Scenarios
David Holmgren
Chelsea Green Publishing Company
PO Box 428, White River Junction, VT 05001
9781603580892, $12.00,

The oil supply is finite and the world's climate as we know it may change. How do local communities deal with these issues? "Future Scenarios: How Communities Can Adapt to Peak Oil and Climate Change" presents four different possible futures that humanity will have to potentially deal with. Offering different extremes of these dilemmas, author David Holmgren explains how one doesn't need federal action to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best. "Future Scenarios" is something to be strongly considered by any community leader.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Penny Haren's Pieced Applique: More Blocks & Projects
Penny Haren
Landauer Corporation
3100 NW 101st Street, Suite A, Urbandale, Iowa 50322
9780980068849 $27.95 1-800-557-2144

Spiral bound to lay flat for easy reference, Penny Haren's Pieced Applique: More Blocks & Projects is the second in the ongoing series of "Pieced Applique" project books. Each of the distinctive and beautiful finished quilt blocks one can create using this guide is generated by an easy-to-make foundation block. Full-color photographs on almost every page illustrate the step-by-step directions to distinctive blocks and projects, and a "techniques notebook" guides the reader through tips and tricks of the craft. An excellent, easy-to-use resource that walks the reader through the creation of each block of the quilt before embarking upon the beautiful quilt itself.

The Agricultural Shelf

Statistics for Aquaculture
Ram C. Bhujel
350 Main St., Malden, MA 02148
9780813815879 $99.99 1-800-225-5945

Written by Ram C. Bhujel (Senior Research Scientist and Affiliated Faculty in the Aquaculture and Aquatic Resources Field of Study at the Asian Institute of Technology), Statistics for Aquaculture is a scholarly body of work designed to aid students, researchers, professors, and industry professionals in the field of aquaculture in learning how to use and apply statistics in order to design experiments, survey research, analyze data, and effectively present one's findings. The text covers everything from basic concepts such as experimental units and data collection to the principles of solid experimental design and hypothesis formulation, to an examination of the latest hot research topics. Examples from real-life situations around the world enhance this user-friendly textbook, which offers practical exercise to help its students rehearse and apply its concepts. A superior introduction or refresher to aquaculture statistics, surprisingly user-friendly despite the innately difficult mathematical nature of its topic. An absolute "must-have" for agriculture studies shelves, particularly those of college libraries.

The American History Shelf

American Heroes
Edmund S. Morgan
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393070101 $27.95

Pulitzer Prize winning author and emeritus professor of Yale University Edmund S. Morgan presents American Heroes: Profiles of Men and Women Who Shaped Early America, a close examination of notable individuals from seventeenth-century America with particular focus on their ideals, motivations, and beliefs. In addition to the unforgettable stock figures of America's history such as Benjamin Franklin and George Washington, Morgan tells the stories of lesser known individuals who embodied America's highest precepts, sometimes at the cost of their own lives - such as Mary Easty, an accused witch sentenced to death in Salem who refused to spare her own life by confessing her guilt and naming confederates among her neighbors. In addition to individuals, American Heroes also offers a wealth of insight into early American societies and cultures, particularly the Puritan culture. "As marriage was the way to prevent fornication, successful marriage was the way to prevent adultery. The Puritans did not wait for adultery to appear; instead, they took every means possible to make husbands and wives live together and respect each other. If a husband deserted his wife and remained within the jurisdiction of a Puritan government, he was promptly sent back to her." Enthusiastically recommended not only for public and college library collections, but also for any reader curious to better understand early American history and society.

Communities Left Behind
Gregory S. Wilson
The University of Tennessee Press
293 Communications Building, Knoxville, TN 37996-0325
9781572336643 $41.00 1-800-621-2736

Gregory S. Wilson (Associate Professor of History, University of Akron) presents Communities Left Behind: The Area Redevelopment Administration 1945-1965, a scholarly examination of the Area Redevelopment Administration. Created in 1961, the ARA operated until 1965, with the purpose of assisting communities with employment and job creation - especially impoverished communities in rural, underdeveloped, or economically troubled areas of America. In theory, the ARA was meant to serve America as a nation; practice, nearly all of the ARA's funds were spent targeting areas in Appalachia and the South. Wilson makes a convincing case that the ARA was hamstrung in its mission and destined to fail because of the requirement that federal officials could not interfere with state and local priorities. Implementing a federal plan in the South without crossing local interests was simply impossible. Furthermore, the ARA's policies meant to give black southerners more employment opportunities were repeatedly and thoroughly sabotaged by racist politics. Communities Left Behind is ultimately a study of not just one failed government institution, but its legacy of insight into what is and is not needed for governmental programs intended to revitalize economically depressed areas to succeed. Highly recommended as a treasure trove of hard-learned lessons from modern history.

The New & Completely Revised Old West Trivia Book
Don Bullis
Rio Grande Books
925 Salamanca NW, Los Ranchos de ABQ, NM 87107-5647
9781890689612 $17.95

Newspaper editor and deputy sheriff Don Bullis presents The New & Completely Revised Old West Trivia Book, a great source for trivia games or simple browsing. Presented in a question-and-answer format, with questions grouped in chapters by subject, the trivia ranges in topic from lawmen and outlaws, to Indians of the West and their chiefs, to wagon trains, boomtowns, women of the Old West, literature and art of the Old West, moves of the West, and much more. Now packed with even more fascinating facts than the first edition, The New & Completely Revised Old West Trivia Book is highly recommended to Western trivia buffs. "Q: What was Geronimo's real name? A: Three different sources give it three different spellings: Gokhlayeh, Goyathlay and Goyalka. One source says it translates as 'the yawner'."

Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death
Ken Reyher
Western Reflections Publishing Company
PO Box 1149, Lake City, CO 81235
9781932738599 $14.95 970-994-0110

A handful of black-and-white photographs illustrate Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death: Death & Dying in Early Western Colorado, a nonfiction account that draws upon research as well as fascinating (and sometimes heartbreaking) anecdotes to present a picture of what coping with the reality of death - and sometimes a precipitously high chance of early death - was like for early Colorado pioneers. Women were at risk from death by childbirth; men from the many dangers of labor on the fringes of civilization; and any number of maladies could claim a child's young life. Early pioneers held wakes in part to ensure that the deceased was truly passed on, and often had to serve as undertakers, coffin-makers, grave-diggers, and ministers to their own. Death and dying in early Colorado as related to the civil war era, or criminal and judicial matters, is also touched upon. Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death is ultimately not a macabre or ghoulish anecdote collection, but rather an absorbing account that treats its subject respectfully and seriously, offering a solid portrayal of human adaptation to the most difficult and trying of times.

Hero Street USA
Marc Wilson
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780806140124 $19.95 1-800-627-7377

Second Street in Silvis, Illinois, was an impoverished neighborhood; during the Great Depression, it became home to Mexican immigrants escaping a revolution in their homeland. During World War II, it suffered the highest per-capita casualty rate, and was renamed "Hero Street" to reflect the ultimate sacrifice made by its citizens. In "Hero Street USA", journalist Marc Wilson examines the true story of these Mexican-Americans who fought and died in World War II, drawing upon soldiers' letters, interviews with relatives, firsthand combat accounts, and more. Examining the struggles of nearly eighty men from three dozen Second Street homes who volunteered to fight for their nation in World War II and Korea, Hero Street USA is an invaluable reminder of the contributions and sacrifices Mexican-Americans have made for this great nation. Highly recommended.

The American Nation
Bruce Frohnen
Liberty Fund, Inc.
8335 Allison Pointe Trail, Suite 300, Indianapolis, IN 46250-1684
9780865977303, $14.50,

America is always changing, and has been since its inception over two hundred years ago. "The American Nation: Primary Sources" covers the march of American history through original documents from the post-colonial era, to military documents during the civil war, to World War II documents, and much more. A reference packed cover to cover with letters between politicians, military leaders, and others, "The American Nation" offers a unique view of American history that is uniquely unbiased as it is the documents and little else. A must for any enthusiast of American history, "The American Nation" is a top pick.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Real Alchemy
Robert Allen Bartlett
Ibis Press
PO Box 540206, Lake Worth, FL 33454-0206
9780892541508 $18.95

Real Alchemy: A Primer of Practical Alchemy presents a solid body of information about the ancient art of Alchemy in straightforward, no-nonsense terms accessible to readers of all backgrounds. Chapters cover astrology and alchemy, herbal alchemy, minerals in alchemy, antimony, the legendary philosopher's stone, and much more. A handful of black-and-white diagrams illustrate this brilliant work that incorporates modern science into its dissection of alchemy's timeless mysteries, enthusiastically recommended for anyone intrigued by the alchemical craft.

The Science of Knowledge
Vara Humphreys
Ozark Mountain Publishing
PO Box 754, Huntsville, AR 72740
9781886940550, $16.00,

There are secrets out there that few know about, but with the right mindset, one can discover them. "The Science of Knowledge" is a metaphysical studies guide to finding the secrets of the universe such as levitation, what sound and color really mean, and the true purpose of the ancient monuments of the world. A spiritual and soul seeking guide for believers of the New Age and metaphysics, "The Science of Knowledge" will give them much to think on and let them consider the world their own way.

Ghosts of the Lake Fork Region
Marril Lee Burke
Western Reflections Publishing Company
PO Box 1149, Lake City, CO 81235
9781932738711 $16.95 970-994-0110

An extensively researched account peppered with vintage black-and-white photographs, Ghosts of the Lake Fork Region draws the reader into the historical stories and legends behind alleged spirits and ghost legends of the Lake Fork Region on the western slope of Colorado. The phases of human history touched upon by these ghost stories range from early man and the local domination of the Ute tribes to ghosts of trappers and traders, ghosts from the heyday of the Gold Rush, railroad ghosts, and more. Thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds, Ghosts of the Lake Fork Region is a wonderfully spooky addition to Colorado history shelves and highly recommended for Metaphysical Studies reading lists.

The Biography Shelf

Helen Barrett Montgomery
Kendal P. Mobley
Baylor University
One Bear Place, #97363, Baylor University Press, Waco, TX 76798-7363
9781602581876, $39.95,

One person does not lead a revolution alone. "Helen Barrett Montgomery: The Global Mission of Domestic Feminism" is the biography of one of the major late nineteenth/early twentieth century feminists who helped bring women the vote and (gradually) be considered on equal footing to their male counterparts. A woman of faith, she did much to help her church on top of her social progress crusades. "Helen Barrett Montgomery" deserves a spot in any feminist biography collection.

Unique Mankato Stories
Daniel J. Vance
Blue Earth County Historical Society
415 Cherry Street, Mankato, MN 56001
9780979088537, $19.95

A small town can bring so many stories. "Unique Mankato Stories" offers tales of this small Minnesotan town, and gives readers a taste of what Mankatoans hold dear and take pride in. Covering the first hundred years of the city's existence, including the visits of many American presidents, "Unique Mankato Stories" is worth the consideration of those wanting a look at a small Minnesotan town.

Power & Stride
Merrie Sue Holtan
Pogo Press
c/o Finney Company
8075 215th Street West, Lakeville, Minnesota 55044
9781880654415 $23.95

A biography of the first woman nominated to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, Power & Stride: The Nancy Burggraf Story tells of a Minnesota woman who made her mark on a male-dominated sport; her influence would transform hockey forever. Her skating skills were beyond exceptional, and she instructed some of the best and the brightest in the National Hockey League - of particular note was her ability to connect with players on a personal level. An accompanying 56-minute DVD rounds out this absorbing portrait of an amazing woman who embraced and embodied the spirit of hockey.

Prairie Homestead to Wall Street
Hiram M. Drache
c/o Finney Company
8075 - 215th Street West, Lakeville, MN 55044
9780913163443 $19.95 1-800-846-7027

Written by World War II veteran and Concordia College historian-in-residence Hiram M. Drache, Prairie Homestead to Wall Street: A History of the Jones Family and Metropolitan Financial Corporation is the true life biography of four generations of a family that followed the American Dream all the way to Wall Street. The story begins with Henry Jones, who immigrated to America from Norway, enlisted in the military, served in the Civil War, and settled down to become a homesteader in North Dakota. His son eventually founded the Metropolitan Building and Loan Association, which he and his son nurtured through the Great Depression (no small feat!), World War II, and the postwar era. The "customer first" policy of Metropolitan helped grow it to the level of a multimillion dollar firm. In 1967, fourth generation Maurice Jones saw Metropolitan through the savings and loan crisis; Metropolitan became the first North Dakota company to be listed on Wall Street. Illustrated with a handful of black-and-white photographs, Prairie Homestead to Wall Street is an enthralling true-life story of multigenerational success, accessible to readers of all backgrounds.

The Poetry Shelf

To Be Read in 500 Years
Albert Goldbarth
Graywolf Press
2402 University Avenue, Suite 203, Saint Paul, MN 55114
9781555975258 $16.00 1-651-641-0077

Written by experienced poet and two-time winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award Albert Goldsmith, To Be Read in 500 Years is an anthology of free-verse poetry representing the past of a shocking imaginary future. Offering a glimpse into how this hypothetical future without sexual reproduction, oil, fertile farmland, or even the virtue of love came to be, To Be Read in 500 Years is as much cautionary tale as it is evolving poetic narrative. "How Simile Works": The drizzle-slicked cobblestone alleys / of some city; / and the brickwork back / of the lumbering Galapagos tortoise / they'd set me astride, at the "petting zoo".... // The taste of our squabbles still in my mouth / the next day; / and the brackish puddles sectioning / the street one morning after a storm.... // So poetry configures its comparisons.

The Mischievous Boy
Maurice Harmon
Salmon Poetry
c/o DuFour Editions
PO Box 7, Chester Springs, PA 19425
9781903392867, $21.95,

There have been many samples of Irish poets over the years, and each one is more fascinating than the last. "The Mischievous Boy" is a focus on Ireland in the twenty first century from Maurice Harmon, a celebrated professor and man of literature from Dublin. His work displays his knowledge of literature and poetry well, making for a fine and exciting adventure in verse. "The Mischievous Boy" is an excellent addition to any world poetry collection. "A Matter of Time": It is only a matter of time before leaves/loosen, roots drag from the earth/only a matter of time before we start/to query the fragility of air, the pace of blood/thrumming across the bone, once the evidence/shows, empty pews, missing voices/a friend hurried off in the night/only a matter of time before earth/closes about us and leaves turn to mould.

A Sunday in God-Years
Michelle Boisseau
The University of Arkansas Press
105 N. McIlroy Ave., Fayetteville, AR 72701
1557289018, $16.00,

Three books out, Michelle Boisseau continues to please her readers with her fourth collection, "A Sunday in God-Years". Focusing on the bonds of family mixing in her fondness for earth science and geology, Boisseau meshes elements well, making "A Sunday in God-Years" a unique treat that readers will simply relish. "& If & If": Tiny word, front vowel and fricative,/it lifted willowy in my brother's/hospital room wormy with cords/and monitors, feeds and drips,/the doctors on call and the residents,//interns, students, nurses(adept Jennifer,/lovely Rolando), respiratory therapists/(gentle Victor), If, a word sturdily/delicate, feather barb, hook of hope.

The Scattered Papers of Penelope
Katrina Anghelaki-Rooke
Graywolf Press
2042 University Avenue, Suite 203, St. Paul, MN 55114
9781555975197, $15.00,

One of Greece's most noted poets now has a retrospective collection of her best available in English. "The Scattered Papers of Penelope" is a collection of some of Katerina Anghelaki-Rooke's newer work as well as a sampling of her older work as it has not been previously published in English. A fine look at the mind of the modern Greek woman, "The Scattered Papers of Penelope" is an excellent pick for world poetry fans. "Yanousa and a Poem": When I was in love, it flowered.//The sun a distant white flower/perfumed the cold./Yanousa begins a poem./She sees it stretching like the gum/we chewed as children/stretching out the window/and disappearing around the corner of the blue sky./What was the poem about?/She forgot. Some memory that also disappeared/around the corner of the mind./Why do people write poems?/So they have them when nature turns off the light.

This Side of Early
Naomi Ayala
Curbstone Press
321 Jackson Street, Williamantic, CT 06226
9781931896467, $13.95,

A woman simply pondering the nature of the world has never been so entertaining. "This Side of Early" is an anthology of poetry from Naomi Ayala, focusing on her beliefs and how she views the spiritual world as the connection between so much of the world from the forests to the vast urban jungle of cities. "This Side of Early" is a fine and fascinating book of verse, recommended. "For You": Meet me where the barn owl/comes about old people we know/and the sky turns/and the bridge between daylight and night/stretches like a clothesline with our words./Our surefootedness, one breath/through earth and sky-/our arms, braided roots./We can sit down with tobacco,/lay our thoughts against the burning stars.

Starve the Poets!
Yi Sha
Bloodaxe Books
c/o Dufour Editions
PO Box 7, Chester Springs, PA 19425
9781852248154, $23.95,

You can't suppress culture, even in China. "Starve the Poets!" is a collection from Yi Sha. Yi Sha is a controversial poet, born and raised in China under the Maoist era of cultural suppression. Writing in a unique style which has revolutionized modern Chinese poetry, Yi Sha's work is a one-of-a-kind read and will open many people to the literary works of modern China. "Starve the Poets!" is well worth a look. "Comfort for the Future": On the day the Bastille was stormed/a child's shoe was found abandoned/in a boulevard//The following morning/my son came home, sneaking/into his room//his one foot bare.

How Beautiful The Beloved
Gregory Orr
Copper Canyon Press
PO Box 271, Port Townsend, WA 98368
9781556592836, $16.00,

Seasoned and prolific poet Gregory Orr returns to readers with yet another volume, "How Beautiful the Beloved", focusing on happiness and the many paths towards it. Each poem details his own take on many of the possible routes. "How Beautiful the Beloved" is upbeat and uplifting, highly recommended. A sample: What death shatters/(sliver in the dirt, /shard in the heart),//Song will find/No matter/How scattered./Poem will gather/into its pattern.

If I Had Known, I'd Been Ready
Oscar B. Nalls, Jr.
American Literary Press
1290 Bay Dale Drive, Suite 297, Arnold, MD 21012-2325
1561678791, $9.95,

The poetry of Oscar B. Nalls Jr. arises out of his own and diverse life experiences and observing the poverty, hopelessness, and 'lost causes' around him as he grew up in Detroit, Michigan, served two tours in Viet Nam, and working as a corrections officer. Nevertheless, his poetry also has an inspirational quality underscoring that despite any handicaps of birth and community, it is quite possible to enjoy what life has to offer, have dreams that are worth working to realize, challenges that can be overcome, and a life very much worth living. Very highly recommended reading, "If I Had Known, I'd Been Ready" is an impressive collection. These are simple poems of homespun elegance, hope, experience, appreciation, and encouragement. 'Laughter': Laughter comes in different ways,/It soothes the heart, and makes our days./It helps us forgive when times are bad,/And makes us happy when we're down and sad./It's part of life that can't be taken,/No matter when it's always scared./So keep in mind it's my little gift,/When you're feeling down and need a lift.

The Railroading Shelf

Shelf Layouts For Model Railroads
Iain Rice
Kalmbach Publishing Company
21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53186
9780890246900, $19.95,

The latest addition to the Kalmbach Publishing's 'Model Railroader's How-To Guide' series, Iain Rice's "Shelf Layouts For Model Railroads" is a profusely illustrated, step-by-step instruction manual for setting up model railroad track-shelf systems. Amateur model railroad enthusiasts will learn how to solve sight-line and lighting problems, plan realistic operations for their customized shelf layouts; build train cassettes that will avoid common storage and staging issues; and work their layouts around doors, windows and corners. Now anyone can build themselves a superb model railroad operation within the confines of any room of their home regardless of size or configuration. "Shelf Layouts For Model Railroads" is an invaluable and highly recommended addition to railroading enthusiast's reference collections.

The Cookbook Shelf

The Louisiana Seafood Bible: Shrimp
Jerald Horst & Glenda Horst
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster St, Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781589806436, $25.00,

One of the most popular and edible products of the sea, there are more than two thousands of species of shrimp. Indeed, fishing for shrimp has served as a significant commercial industry in Louisiana from the 1870s down to the present day. Louisiana chefs and kitchen cooks have been experts in shrimp-based cuisine and now the husband and wife team of Jerald and Glenda Horst have compiled 77 mouth-watering recipes showcasing shrimp in molds, casseroles, gumbos, salads and more. Of special note is that "The Louisiana Seafood Bible: Shrimp" is divided into two major sections. The first are a series of chapters about shrimp including its history, commercial fishing, sizes, buying shrimp, canning shrimp at home, storing fresh shrimp, and more. The second section is devoted to the recipes themselves complete with ingredient lists and preparation instructions. Each recipe is guaranteed to be 'kitchen cook friendly', please any palate, and satisfy any appetite. Beautifully illustrated throughout, the recipes range from Shrimp and Mango Spinach Salad; Shrimp Fontenot; and Shrimp Louisiane Casserole; to Jacked Shrimp; Aloha's Barbecued Shrimp; and Gingered Shrimp with Pea Pods. A superbly presented compendium of shrimp oriented information and recipes, "The Louisiana Seafood Bible: Shrimp" is enthusiastically recommended for family and community library specialty cookbook collections.

The Asian Barbecue Book
Alex Skarla
Tuttle Publishing
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9780804840446, $29.95,

It's barbecue season once again and for those who would like to be numbered among the culinary adventurous is offered "The Asian Barbecue Book", an impressive collection of specialty recipes showcasing 125 gourmet quality barbecue dishes with a distinctively Asian flavor. Of special note are the introductory sections providing novice chefs with barbecuing fundamentals, recipes for Asian rubs, glazes, marinades, basting sauces and condiments. Complete with side dishes, salads and desserts, the entree recipes range from Grilled Chicken Breast with Green Curry Paste; Seared Teriyaki Tuna; and Caramelized Soy and Lemongrass Spareribs; to Indian Frontier Lamb Chops; Grilled Stuffed Chilies; and Chinese Cole Slaw. Profusely illustrated throughout, "The Asian Barbecue Book" is recommended as an ideal culinary reference for every dining occasion where gourmet quality, palate pleasing and appetite satisfying barbecuing is to be engaged.

Vefa's Kitchen
Vefa Alexiadou
Phaidon Press
180 Varick St., 14th fl., NY, NY 10014
9780714849294, $45.00,

The author of thirteen cookbooks in Greece and the host of her own culinary television series in that country, Vefa Alexiadou is an expert and an authority on authentic Greek cuisine who has served on the board of the Centre for the Preservation of Traditional Greek Gastronomy. Simply and straightforwardly, "Vefa's Kitchen" is a 703-page compendium that can justifiably be considered as the 'bible' of Greek cuisine. Featured are more than 650 recipes for authentic Greek dishes ranging from Shellfish in Phyllo Parcels; Curly Endive and Wild Asparagus Salad; Lentils with Lamb and Onions; and Bell Peppers Stuffed with Beans; to Baked Sea Bass with Olives; Chicken with Pickled Lemon from Corfu; Wild Boar in Red Wine from Thrace; and Sesame Seed Honey Bars. Profusely illustrated with color photos of finished dishes, each showcased recipe is thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in presentation with an ingredients list, step-by-step cooking instructions, estimated numbers of servings, preparation time and cooking time. An ideal addition to professional and community library ethnic cookbook collections, "Vefa's Kitchen" is an essential addition to personal and family cookbook collections for those who enjoy Greek cuisine and dishes suitable for every dining occasion from simply family meals to elegant gourmet-quality dining celebrations.

The Everything Family Nutrition Book
Leslie Bilderback
Adams Media Corporation
57 Littlefield St, 2nd fl, Avon, MA 02322
9781598697049, $15.95,

A combination of basic nutrition information and healthy recipes, "The Everything Family Nutrition Book" is a complete compendium of 'user friendly' information collaborative provided by Leslie Bilderback (a chef in the Los Angeles Unified School District's Nutrition Network Program) and Sanda K. Nissenberg (a registered dietician and nutrition consultant specializing in child nutrition). Authoritative, comprehensive, and wonderfully accessible for non-specialist general readers with an interest in providing good nutritious meals and diets for themselves and their families, "The Everything Family Nutrition Book" covers everything from the Food Guide Pyramid; to understanding food labels; to vitamins, minerals and protein; to the role of carbohydrates, fats, oils, sugar, and fiber in a healthy diet; to breaking bad eating habits; to the benefits of home cooking. Particularly informative are the chapters dedicated to nutritional issues of pregnancy, children of various ages; adults; and special diet. There are invaluable chapters dedicated to the value of exercise and sports nutrition. Many of these informational chapters on nutrition are enhanced with the inclusion of recipes that range from Tofu Stir-Fry; Soft Tacos; and Cheesy Popcorn; to Mixed-Grain Pilaf; Banana Walnut Bread; and Wilted Greens with Garlic. "The Everything Family Nutrition Book" is an ideal and highly recommended addition to family and community library Health & Nutrition reference collections and cookbook shelves.

The Art Shelf

Charles Fritz
Charles Fritz
Farcountry Press
PO Box 5630, Helena, MT 59604
9781560374466, $34.95,

The journeys of Lewis and Clark are among America's most treasured historical sagas. "Charles Fritz: 100 Paintings Illustrating the Journals of Lewis and Clark" chronicles the famous journeys and the men who undertook them, through the artwork of one Charles Fritz, a masterful artist from Montana. Each painting is presented in full color, and text by the artist explains each event, its impact on his painting, and what he tried to portray in each piece. "Charles Fritz" is a wonderful work for history buffs and art afficionados who hold the Lewis & Clark expedition close to their hearts.

Pioneers of Spanish Graphic Design
Emilio Gil
Mark Batty Publisher
36 West 37th Street, Suite 409, New York, NY 10018
9780981780566, $58.00,

Certain people blaze a trail in the world of art. "Pioneers of Spanish Graphic Design" takes a look at the leading graphic designers of Spain who have been major influences in modern Spanish art. With well over a thousand images for readers to enjoy, "Pioneers of Spanish Graphic Design" covers a thorough spectrum of artists, explaining the complexities and subtleties of their styles and designs. A must get for any enthusiast of modern world art or just art in general, "Pioneers of Spanish Graphic Design" is a top pick for community library art collections.

Film, Video, New Media
Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603-6404
9780300146905, $60.00,

New technology simply means new mediums for artists to express themselves. "Film, Video, New Media" is a collection of art focusing on film, video, and new media, and how artists from countless walks of life have used these mediums to express themselves much in the same way a sculptor or a painter would. Art is not necessarily something bound by rules! Each entry consists of a photo of the work in question, a small biography of the artist, and an explanation of the artwork. A must for any who appreciates the role of art in the modern world, "Film, Video, New Media" belongs in any community library art collection.

The Art Of Gaming Through The Ages
Arthur Flowers & Anthony Curtis
Huntington Press Publishing
3665 South Procyon Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89103
0929712900, $65.00,

Gambling and gaming have been passionate and popular pursuits throughout recorded history and in every culture. It is also the subject of artist who sought to portray gaming in all of its social diversity. Collaboratively compiled by the team of Arthur Flowers and Anthony Curtis, "The Art Of Gaming Through The Ages" is a beautifully produced collection of drawings, paintings, and sculptures depicting card games played in a variety of diverse settings and cultures ranging from 16th century Europe, to the American frontier, to the modern day. These are museum quality paintings superbly reproduced along with dates, artists, the gallery or museum collection, and a succinctly informative caption. A unique and seminal work, "The Art Of Gaming Through The Ages" is an enthusiastically recommended addition to academic and community library Art History collections, and a thoroughly enjoyable browse for anyone who has ever played a hand of cards.

The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

Angels & Demons
Columbia Pictures
Newmarket Press
18 E. 48th Street, New York, NY 10017
9781557048332, $19.95,

The creative work put behind some of Hollywood's best is truly awe-inspiring. "Angels & Demons: The Illustrated Movie Companion" is a collection of photographs and concept art focused on the blockbuster new film created from the bestselling novel by 'Da Vinci Code' author Dan Brown. With a foreword from Brown, there is much to enjoy for both fans of the book and movie. "Angels & Demons" is a fine addition to any movie buff's collection.

Channeling the Future
Lincoln Geraghty, editor
Scarecrow Press
4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9780810866751 $45.00 1-800-462-6420

Edited by film studies lecturer Lincoln Geraghty, Channeling the Future: Essays on Science Fiction and Fantasy Television is an anthology of thoughtful essays exploring popular culture sci-fi and fantasy TV from the 1950s to the present day. Individual essays re-examine overlooked and forgotten series, as well as exploring the appearance and feel this genre of television as a whole, from location, landscape, and iconography to special effects, set design, props, and costumes. Individual television series spotlighted include "The Twilight Zone", "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.", "Star Trek: The Next Generation", "Angel", "Firefly", "Futurama", and the new "Battlestar Galactica". The essays range in subject from "Irwin Allen's Recycled Monsters and Escapist Voyages" to "There Can Be Only One: Highlander: The Series' Portrayal of Historical and Contemporary Fantasy", to "Kinky Borgs and Sexy Robots: The Fetish, Fashion, and Discipline of Seven of Nine". A remarkably studious examination of the implications of imaginative popular culture, especially recommended for media studies shelves with a focus on science fiction and fantasy.

The Education Shelf

Learning by Heart, second edition
Corita Kent & Jan Steward
Allworth Press
10 East 23rd Street, New York, NY 10010
9781581156478, $24.95,

Everyone with a mind is creative. Now in a newly updated and expanded second edition, "Learning by Heart: Teachings to Free the Creative Spirit" is a guide to embracing the creative energies within everyone, and unleashing them to create whatever it is they seek to create. With a focus on the visual arts, "Learning by Heart" is a step by step guide to the many aspects of art and will do much in educating and inspiring readers to push forward. "Learning by Heart" is a top pick for those seeking a creative outlet.

How to Help Your School Thrive Without Breaking the Bank
John C. Gabriel & Paul C. Farmer
1703 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311-1714
9781416607588, $26.95,

Everyone wants to help their local schools, but not everyone is rich. "How to Help Your School Thrive Without Breaking the Bank" is a guide for administrators on a tight budget who want to make their school the best they can be while keeping spending down. Taking some business philosophy and applying it to education can go a long way; through authors John Gabriel and Paul Farmer's ideas, one can do much to improve education of students in the greater scheme of things. "How to Help Your School Thrive Without Breaking the Bank" is a top pick for the educational leader who sees a low budget and doesn't want to panic.

Inspiring Middle School Minds
Judy A. Willis
Great Potential Press
PO Box 5057, Scottsdale, AZ 85261
9780910707930, $24.95,

The onset of puberty offers much opportunity for mental growth as well as other types. "Inspiring Middle School Minds: Gifted, Creative, & Challenging" is a guide for middle school educators who want to give their students the boosts they need to spur creativity in this critical developmental stage. There are specific challenges one faces with middle school students, and Judy Willis hopes to prepare educators the best she can. "Inspiring Middle School Minds" is a highly recommended read for middle school teachers and administrators.

Performance Literacy Through Storytelling
Nile Stanley & Brett Dillingham
Maupin House
2416 NW 71st Place, Gainesville, FL 32653
9781934338414, $27.95,

Literacy is more than just reading. "Performance Literacy Through Storytelling" is a guide to embracing storytelling and performing when trying to teach younger students the importance and joy of reading literature. The performance arts can also do much for students outside of literacy, such as learning to express oneself, or engage in cooperation and creative thinking. A complete and comprehensive guide for teachers and educators about using performance arts as a part of the literary learning experience, "Performance Literacy Through Storytelling" is a recommended educational manual.

Literacy Tutoring that Works
Janet C Richards & Cynthia A. Lassonde, editors
International Reading Association
800 Barksdale Road, Newark, DE 19714-8139
9780872076945, $29.95,

Understanding written English is a skill second to none in today's society. "Literacy Tutoring that Works: A Look at Successful In-School, After-School, and Summer Programs" examines tutoring and its power to make a difference in student reading comprehension. Outlining the entire process from the fundamentals of a literacy program for one's school to making a literacy program run smoothly, "Literacy Tutoring that Works" is a step by step guide for school administrators who want to set up a solid tutoring program in their own school. "Literacy Tutoring That Works" is a complete and comprehensive guide to effective tutoring programs, highly recommended.

What Every Elementary Teacher Needs to Know About Reading Tests
Charles Fuhrken
Stenhouse Publishers
477 Congress Street, Suite 4B, Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781571107640 $23.00 1-800-988-9812

Written by Chalres Fuhrken, an expert who has worked in assessment for three major test publishers and on testing programs in multiple states, What Every Elementary Teacher Needs to Know About Reading Tests (From Someone Who Has Written Them) is a from-the-horse's-mouth account that lays out what teachers need to know about reading tests in plain terms. More than a simple explanatory guide, What Every Elementary Teacher Needs to Know About Reading Tests goes on to offer solid preparation materials and practical strategies to help students perform well. The recommended strategies for helping students prepare for reading tests range from vocabulary development to learning about literary elements and literary techniques and much more. In today's era of "No Child Left Behind" and similar mandates that threaten to deny funding if students underperform on a standardized test, What Every Elementary Teacher Needs to Know About Reading Tests (From Someone Who Has Written Them) is an absolute must-have for grade-school teachers everywhere.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Celebrating the Jewish Year
Paul Steinberg
Jewish Publications Society
PO Box 960, Herndon, VA 20172-0960
9780827608504, $22.00,

Every holiday has its own traditions. "Celebrating the Jewish Year: The Spring and Summer Holidays" is an educational manual outlining the meanings, traditions, and purpose of the Jewish year with a focus on the spring and summer. With chapters on Passover, Shavout, and other important annual events, author Paul Steinberg explains customs in simple terms accessible to readers of all backgrounds, including gentiles and Jews alike. "Celebrating the Jewish Year" deserves a place in any Jewish reference collection.

A Taste of Hebrew
Rabbi Aaron Starr
URJ Books & Music
633 Third Avenue, 7th floor, New York, NY 10017-6778
0807409596 $10.45 1-888-489-8242

Intended as a prequel to "Aleph Isn't Tough", A Taste of Hebrew is a self-study primer for young people and adults alike who are curious to learn more about the basics of the Hebrew language. Every other page of the book is devoted to a single letter of the Hebrew alphabet, from its pronunciation, to simple words with the letter, to easy-to-follow Hebrew reading exercises, to "T'filah Tidbits" factoids touching upon aspects of Jewish religion, culture, and history. Though not meant to replace a standard course textbook, A Taste of Hebrew is an excellent, inexpensive, easy-to-use foundational book for getting started with Hebrew. Highly recommended.

The Business Shelf

John B. Browning
Dorrance Publishing Company
701 Smithfield Street, 3rd floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15222-3906
0805967966, $9.00,

The near collapse of the financial system that led to the current economic crisis in this country and around the world is largely attributed to managerial incompetence and short-sighted corporate greed. The culprit institutions include banks, financial underwriters, lax governmental agency supervision, and insurance companies. Tens of thousands of financial industry employees woke up one morning to find themselves out of a job -- where a few dozen CEO's bailed out with their proverbial golden parachutes into comfy retirements. That's why John Browning's "R.I.P., USF&G: How Downsizing Ruined A Perfectly Good Insurance Company" is such a timely little publication providing the general public with an insider's perspective and account of how reckless, feckless, corporate mismanagement collapsed an otherwise thriving insurance company with no advanced warning to either their employees or their clients. "R.I.P., USF&G" gives insight into underhanded company politics and unethical conduct, a microcosmic example of what was to happen throughout the financial industry and across the global economic system. Chilling, outrageous, and a clarion example for the need of industry reforms, "R.I.P., USF&G" should be made mandatory reading for all M.B.A. students, governmental regulators, and every member of the Republican Party whose advocacy of unfettered corporate greed has led us to the state that we are currently in as individuals and as a country.

India's Global Powerhouse
Nirmalya Kumar
Harvard Business Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
9781422147627, $27.95,

A billion people and a very facilitative government have turned India into an economic powerhouse, easily rivaling China, Japan, and even the United States. "India's Global Powerhouse: How They Are Taking On the World" is an examination of how India is becoming a massive economic force, and how businesses can tap into this force and make their fortune, regardless of whether or not they hail from India. Outsourcing was once a fear of western jobs going east to India, but in the future, it may be the other way around. "India's Global Powerhouse" is a must for any world economics collection with a focus on southeast Asia.

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Astro Boy: The Movie
IDW Publishing
5080 Santa Fe Street, San Diego, CA 92109
MAR094306, $3.99,

One of the first Japanese animation superheroes, Astro Boy is basically an intelligent, self-aware robot in the form and shape of a young boy who fights to protect people from a wide assortment of villains. Now this anime character is coming to the big screen this summer. Paving the way for this much anticipated film by legions of Astro Boy fans, is a four-part comic book from IDW Publishing that will serve as a prequel to the forthcoming movie. The creation of writer/artist Osamu Tezuka, Astro Boy searches for his lost father (the scientist who made him) in an exotic underground kingdom. This four-part series is deftly written by Scott Tipton and superbly illustrated by Diego Jourdan with the first issue graced by the cover art of Ashely Wood. A 'must' for all dedicated Astro Boy fans, "Astro Boy: The Movie" will admirably serve to introduce a new generation of readers to one of the most popular and enduring of Japanese anime characters -- Astro Boy!

The Photography Shelf

A History of Wayne State University in Photographs
Evelyn Aschenbrenner
Wayne State University Press
4809 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201-1309
9780814332825, $39.95,

For well over a century, Wayne State University has been a major element in Detroit's higher education. "A History of Wayne State University in Photographs" covers the Michigan university's one hundred and forty year history. The photos represent Wayne State University from when it was nothing more than a loosely associated collection of colleges, to its formation into a college, to how it has become the modern educational institutional it is today. Filled with countless beautiful black and white photos, there is much to embrace historically in "A History of Wayne State University in Photographs". A must for those with an appreciation of all things Detroit.

Historic Photos of the Chinese in California
Hannah Clayborn
200 4th Avenue North, Suite 950, Nashville, TN 37219
9781596525191, $39.95,

The land of opportunity brought many to American shores, from both the east and the west. "Historic Photos of the Chinese in California" is a collection of photos capturing the unique struggle of Chinese immigrants arriving in California and trying to make their place in society - a society that looked down upon them with contempt and distrust. Telling a story of the people and their determination to belong, survive, and prosper, "Historic Photos of the Chinese in California" is a solid pick for a coffee table book or simply a photographic history collection.

Portraits of Pregnancy
Jennifer Loomis and Hugo Kugiya
Sentient Publications
1113 Spruce Street, Boulder, CO 80302
9781591810827 $24.95 1-303-443-2188

Portraits of Pregnancy: The Birth of a Mother is an amazing collection of portraits of more than fifty women - each entry shows a black-and-white photograph revealing the beauty of pregnancy, accompanied by text that details her journey to motherhood. The women in the photographs are nude or nearly nude, but the context is not overtly sexual; it is about celebrating pregnancy and motherhood. From celebrity moms to single moms to a lesbian couple who had two children through a sperm donation from a longtime gay friend, the woman portrayed come from an immense diversity of backgrounds. Difficult issues such as the challenge of being a single parent, dealing with repeated miscarriage, and the ominous press of post-partum depression are also covered. A glorious and ultimately positive portrayal of pregnancy, especially recommended as a wonderful baby shower gift for expectant moms.

The Sports Shelf

Finn McCool's Football Club
Stephen Rea
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053
9781589806412, $24.95,

A helping hand can come from the strangest of places. "Finn McCool's Football Club: The Birth, Death, and Resurrection of a Pub Soccer Team in the City of the Dead" tells the story of a New Orleans football club - the European variety, not the American - which embraced the hottest sport in Europe and gathered with others who felt this way, a rarity so far from Europe. Europeans by birth, they came together only to be broke apart by Hurricane Katrina. A memoir of brotherhood, "Finn McCool's Football Club" is a fine read, sure to inspire and push readers to value their friendships.

The Fiction Shelf

The Gnostic Mystery
Randy Davila
8301 Broadway, Suite 219, San Antonio, TX 78209
Hampton Roads Publishing Company (distribution)
1125 Stoney Ridge Rd., Charlottesville, VA 22902-8719 1-800-766-8009
9780981877105, $14.95,

When undesirable knowledge came forth in the ancient world, claims of heresy were the ultimate censorship. "The Gnostic Mystery" follows Jack Stanton and his companion Punjeeh as they visit the holiest city in the world, Jerusalem. In search of fate, Jack finds more than he could have ever hoped with Gnostic scrolls, allegedly by the original followers of Jesus. "The Gnostic Mystery" is an intriguing religious thriller, sure to entice readers of novels such as The Da Vinci Code.

The Sound of Building Coffins
Louis Maistros
Toby Press
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
9781592642557, $24.95,

No city has a more individual culture than New Orleans, Louisiana. "The Sound of Building Coffins" is a magnificent novel from author Louis Maistros, as he crafts a novel that is distinctly New Orleans in origin. The story is of an infant supposedly possessed by the devil, and the community around him doing everything they can to save the child. Written in a fine lyrical style, "The Sound of Building Coffins" is a unique novel.

Forgetting English
Midge Raymond
Eastern Washington University Press
534 E. Spokane Falls Blvd., Suite 203, Spokane, WA 99202
9781597660464, $16.95,

Something happens when one is pulled away from the comfort of home. "Forgetting English" is a collection of short stories from Midge Raymond. These tales focus on the consequences of when people are removed from their element and forced to face their own insecurities in an environment that they don't understand, and that doesn't understand them. Entertaining and thought provoking, "Forgetting English" is a fine volume of short fiction.

David and the Bear Lake Monster
Linda Weaver Clarke
American Book Publishing
PO Box 65624, Salt Lake City, UT 84165
9781589825321, $19.95,

Sometimes when realizing one's roots, one goes through the process in the strangest of ways. "David and the Bear Lake Monster" is another entry in Linda Weaver Clarke's Bear Lake Valley series. David has returned to his family after a long absence, and it seems that he can find love in his small hometown. But love is never easy, and David must overcome many obstacles to finally claim his beloved. "David and the Bear Lake Monster" is another fine entry into Clarke's work, highly recommended.

The Christian Studies Shelf

The Jesus of the Bible
Stephen M. Miller
PO Box 719, Uhrichsville, OH 44683
9781602600089, $19.95,

Icon? Superstar? What does the Bible really say about Jesus? "The Jesus of the Bible: An Illustrated Guide to His Life - World - Teachings" reaches into the Holy Bible and brings readers what the scripture says about its most holy individual. A story presented in a new way accompanied by high detail maps, full color photographs and paintings, and insights on the artifacts of Jesus' time, "The Jesus of the Bible" brings another dimension to the teachings of Jesus. "The Jesus of the Bible" is a top pick for religious readers.

Introducing Paul
Michael F. Bird
IVP Academic
PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426
9780830828975, $20.00,

One of the most influential apostles was Paul; to know him is to know early Christianity. "Introducing Paul: The Man, His Mission, and His Message" is a biography of Paul the apostle and seeks to blend his life's story with his teachings. Author Michael Bird offers much that should educate and inspire readers about this vitally important historical figure. A collection of lessons through life, "Introducing Paul" would be well considered for inquisitive Christians everywhere.

Marriage 101
Jewell R. Powell
c/o Baker Publishing Group
PO Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287
9780800733322, $13.99,

Marriage isn't something that can just be left behind. "Marriage 101: Building a Life Together by Faith" is a Christian guide to building a stronger marriage that will last decades instead of months or a few short years, as many fear with today's sky high divorce rate. Focusing on scripture in hopes of strengthening bonds between man and wife, author and marriage coach Jewell R. Powell taps into her professional experience throughout. "Marriage 101" is a fine gift for any Christian newlywed couple.

Seeking Life
Esther De Waal
Liturgical Press
St. John's Abbey, PO Box 7500, Collegeville, MN 56321-7500
9780814618806, $19.95,

Baptism is part of humanity's submission to God. "Seeking Life: The Baptismal Invitation of the Rule of St. Benedict" examines the place of Baptism in the modern Christian's life. Baptism is part of a vow, but like much of religion, many Christians forget and simply do these vows lip service. Stating to be a road map to the road that leads to life, author Esther De Waal hopes to inspire a return to faith in her readers. "Seeking Life" as such, is a fine choice Christian readers.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Saving Creation
Christopher J. Preston
Trinity University Press
1 Trinity Place, San Antonio, TX 78212-7200
9781595340504, $25.95,

For every concept, there is an originator. "Saving Creation: Nature and Faith in the Life of Holmes Rolston III" is a biography and environmental book focusing on the life of one Holmes Rolston III, called the father of modern environmental ethics. A man who did not entirely shun evolutionary theory despite his deep Christian beliefs, Rolston did much to bridge the gap between science, faith, and the environment. Telling of a life filled with accolades and awards, this biography of Rolston will give readers much to think about. "Saving Creation" would do well in any biography, environmental studies collection, or religion/spirituality reading list.

Medicine, Miracles, & Manifestations
John L. Turner
New Page Books
3 Tice Road, PO Box 687, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417
Warwick Associates (publicity)
18340 Sonoma Highway, Sonoma, CA 95476
9781601630605, $15.99,

Traditional medicine is good, but an understanding of spirituality can enhance its application. "Medicine, Miracles, & Manifestations" is a memoir and spiritual manual of author John L. Turner, reflecting on his time as a successful surgeon and how coming to understand the soul and new age medicine has only enhanced his practice and given him a better understanding of the human spirit. "Medicine, Miracles, & Manifestations" is well worth a look for those who want to blend tradition and spirituality.

The Economics Shelf

Greenspan's Bubbles
William A. Fleckenstein
2 Penn Plaza, 23rd Floor, New York, NY 10121
9780071591584, $21.95,

With the recent economic chaos, some blame undoubtedly falls on Alan Greenspan. "Greenspan's Bubbles: The Age of Ignorance at the Federal Reserve" is an indictment of Greenspan's career as head of the Federal Reserve, revealing how his shoddy decision making may have ruined economics almost to a personal level for decades to come. From stock market crashes, to savings & loan crises, to even the Y2K crisis, author William A. Fleckenstein has a bone to pick with Greenspan and justifies his grudge quite well. "Greenspan's Bubbles" is well worth the read for a look at a larger picture surrounding the current economic crisis.

Thomas E. Woods Jr.
1 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001
9781596985872, $27.95,

Are things only going to get worse before they get better? "Meltdown: A Free-Market Look at Why the Stock Market Collapsed, the Economy Tanked, and the Government Bailouts Will Make Thing Worse" is a conservative look at the current economic situation. Author Thomas E. Woods Jr. believes that the current administration's approach and the bailouts will not solve the problems of the nation's economy. With a foreword by noted conservative and former presidential candidate Ron Paul, "Meltdown" is well worth the read for those seeking all opinions.

The Great Financial Crisis
John Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff
Monthly Review Press
146 West 29th Street, Suite 6W, New York, NY 10001
9781583671849, $12.95,

How did the country get into this mess anyway? "The Great Financial Crisis: Causes and Consequences" hopes to draw a road map and time line of the current financial crisis, explaining how America has reached this point of desperation. Although written over the past few years, John Bellamy Foster & Fred Magdoff's work is timely and will be of much interest for many readers who are trying to make sense of the current debacle. "The Great Financial Crisis" gets high recommendation for succinctly explaining what is so hard to explain.

The Political Science Shelf

The Cure for Our Broken Political Process
Sol Erdman & Lawrence Susskind
Potomac Books
22841 Quicksilver Drive, Dulles, VA 20166
9781597972697, $19.95,

The country may be as divided as it could be without erupting into another civil war. "The Cure for Our Broken Political Process: How We Can Get Our Politicians to Resolve the Issues Tearing Our Country Apart" is a political essay coming to American readers with much advice on how to push the country forward and mend the fierce divide that lies between opposing factions. Calling for practicality and an end to no-compromise politics, authors Sol Erdman and Lawrence Susskind believe the future of the United States does not lie on the road that the country has been headed, and offer a level headed solution. "The Cure for Our Broken Political Process" is well worth the read and highly intriguing.

Politics in Manitoba
Christopher Adams
University of Manitoba Press
6 Adelaide Street East, Suite 901, Toronto, ON M5C 1H6
9780887557040, $24.95,

Every political contest seems to be more about the characters than the issues themselves. "Politics in Manitoba: Parties, Leaders, and Voters" is a look at the long political history of the province of Manitoba in Canada, which is as intriguing and full of interesting events and individuals as any national election. Author Christopher Adams takes readers down a long road that brings out what Manitoba is all about as a people, and how the best man doesn't always win. "Politics in Manitoba" is a strong pick for political history collections.

The Criminology Shelf

Colin Wilson & Damon Wilson
36-36 Street, Long Siland City, NY 11106
9780843708769, $19.99

For some reason, mankind is fascinated with the scum of the earth. "Evil: Spine Tingling True Stories of Murder and Mayhem" chronicles the most notorious murders and murder victims throughout history, tracing man's misdeeds back thousands of years. Sixty cases are looked at, each with details on how the event came into play with photographs, drawings, and records. A fine volume for anyone fascinated by the evil of man.

Murder, Morality and Madness
Diane L. Goeres-Gardner
Caxton Press
312 Main Street, Caldwell, ID 83605-3299
9780870044700 $16.95 1-800-657-6465

Murder, Morality and Madness: Women Criminals in Early Oregon is a true accounting of several fascinating case studies of Victorian women. These women were driven to kill, often under desperate circumstances, and when they were brought to "justice" it was before all-male juries, and often they served time under insufferable conditions in all-male jails. As much an account of real-life tragedy as it is a solid secondary reference source, Murder, Morality and Madness is thoroughly accessible to readers of all backgrounds and especially recommended to anyone interested in writing fact or fiction about Oregon during this turbulent era of women's inequality.

Driven to Kill
J. Peter Rothe
The University of Alberta Press
Ring House 2, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2E1
0888644876, $34.95,

When humanity develops a new technology, it seems one of the first things they do is figure out how to use it as a weapon. "Driven to Kill: Vehicles as Weapons" chronicles the use of the automobile as a weapon in crime, outlining how automobiles have enabled such crime to occur in the past century. While the car has enabled much societal progress, it was and is not without cost. An utterly fascinating and excellent read, "Driven to Kill" is a top pick for an addition to community library true crime collections.

The World History Shelf

Histories of Kanatha
Georges Sioui
University of Ottawa Press
542 King Edward, Ottaway, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
9782760306820, $29.00,

We hear much about the Native Americans, but what of the Native Canadians? "Histories of Kanatha: Seen and Told" is a collection of stories on the aboriginal Canadian experience, addressing the colonialism and the history of the native North Americans who called the various provinces of Canada their home before the European conquerors showed up so many centuries ago. Presented in both French and English as per Canadian custom, "Histories of Kanatha" is a fine read for any Canadian who wants to embrace their pre-European history, or any reader with an interest in lesser heard history in general.

The Martial Arts Shelf

The Little Black Book of Violence
Lawrence A. Kane & Kris Wilder
YMAA Publication Center
PO Box 480, Wolfeboro, NH 03894
9781594391293, $24.95,

In a perfect world, violence would be unnecessary. The world isn't perfect. "The Little Black Book of Violence: What Every Young Man Needs to Know About Fighting" is a look at physical force and when it ought to be rightfully applied. Aimed at younger men, "The Little Black Book of Violence" hopes to instill discipline. While offering encouragement as to when violence should be used, "The Little Black Book of Violence" more strongly encourages pacifism, as many things simply aren't worth fighting for. "The Little Black Book of Violence" is a top choice and gift not just for young martial arts enthusiasts, but for everyone learning basic self- defense.

The Architecture Shelf

Theology in Built Environments
Sigurd Bergman
Transaction Publishing
35 Berrue Circle, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8042
1412810183, $49.95,

Architecture and religion have a long-standing relationship with one another. "Theology in Built Environments" is a scholarly examination of this relationship and how throughout history it has evolved and changed. Religious buildings have always been perceived as spiritual icons, but potentially, these structures could be holding religion back. Many minds from both roads of thought come to speak and offer much for their readers to ponder. How is modern building design bending to not only recent thoughts, but also the needs of the modern worshiper? "Theology in Built Environments" is utterly fascinating reading and deserves a place in any collection devoted to religion or architecture.

The Gardening Shelf

A Shelter in the Garden
Pierre Nessmann
Stewart, Tabori, & Chang
c/o Harry N. Abrams
115 West 18th Street, New York, NY 10011
9781584797715, $19.95,

What good is a garden if you have nowhere to sit and enjoy it? "A Shelter in the Garden: Playhouses, Treehouses, Gazebos, Sheds, and Other Outdoor Structures" is a guide to introducing structures to one's treasured garden, while maintaining practicality in the process. With nearly two hundred photographs displaying ideas and applications that one can do to their backyard and garden, author Pierre Nessmann provides readers many fresh thoughts to put into their beloved plant life. "A Shelter in the Garden" is a top pick for those considering enhancing their garden.

The Environmental Studies Shelf

James A. Young & Charlie D. Clements
University of Nevada Press
Mail Stop 0166, Reno, NV, 89557-0166
9780874177657, $44.95, 1-877-682-6657

The simplest of things can be the bane of an entire ecosystem. "Cheatgrass: Fire and Forage on the Range" speaks on the species known as Bromus tectorum, a.k.a. Cheatgrass. Formerly rare, it has spread through the western United States and its mountain ranges, and its remarkable flammability feeds the feared brush fires of the region, which consume it and other less resilient species. The first published study on the plant in history, "Cheatgrass" deserves a place in any environmental studies collection.

Our Wilderness: America's Common Ground
Doug Scott
Fulcrum Publishing
4690 Table Mountain Drive, Suite 100, Golden, Colorado 80403
9781555916411 $19.95 1-800-992-2908

John Muir Award winner Doug Scott presents Our Wilderness: America's Common Ground, a soft-cover photographic tribute to the beauty of pristine wilderness, what it means to individual Americans, and why conservation and preservation efforts are absolutely vital. The full-page color images of waterfalls, trees, flowers, canyons and more are utterly breathtaking to behold, and the individual testimonies reflect a deep and abiding love of the natural world among a diversity of individuals. Our Wilderness: America's Common Ground lives up to its title and is the perfect gift book for any nature lover.

The Literary Shelf

Poetry Against Torture
Paul A. Bove
Hong Kong University Press
c/o University of Washington Press
PO Box 50096, Seattle, WA 98145-5096
9789622099272, $27.95,

Torture has been a recent hot debate topic, and many have chosen different vehicles to stand against it. "Poetry Against Torture: Criticism, History, and the Human" is not actually a book on poetry condemning torture, but is rather an exploration of how people around the world have taken up a pen and have used verse to protest against the practice, being former victims or simply concerned citizens. "Poetry Against Torture" is a scholarly examination of how the poetry world has staged its own protest, highly recommended.

The Parenting Shelf

The Parents' Guide to Baby Signs
Leann Sebrey
Gallaudet University Press
800 Florida Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20002-3695
9781563683985, $19.95,

Babies can't talk. But that doesn't mean they can't communicate. "The Parents' Guide to Baby Signs" is a look into the applications of American sign language and how sign language can easily be taught to infants who only have a few months of life to their names, long before speech is possible. An exciting way to talk to one's child and give them a leg up on brain power, "The Parents' Guide to Baby Signs" is an intriguing pick for parents who are willing to try new methods.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Wild Kruger
Adrian Bailey & Robyn Keene- Young
Jonathan Ball
c/o International Publishers Marketing, Inc.
PO Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172-0605
9781919938547, $19.95, 1-800-758-3756

Africa is one of the most diverse natural arrays of wildlife on the planet. "Wild Kruger" is collection of full color photos focused on the wide range of wildlife. Jaguars, giraffes, flamingos, and more are all represented in this fine coffee-table photography book. Descriptions of many photos accompany them and offer interesting knowledge of each. For any African nature lover, "Wild Kruger" is a must.

Dog Driver, revised edition
Miki & Julie Collins
Alpine Publications
38262 Linman Rd, Crawford, CO 81415
9781577790945, $32.95,

To drive a team of dogs through the Alaskan tundra is a unique adventure few will experience. Now in a newly revised and expanded edition, "Dog Driver: A Guide for the Serious Musher" is a complete and comprehensive guide to arctic dog training and racing, covering everything about the sport from breeding all the way to training, dog retirement, and more. Not just for races, a dog sled team can be a viable choice for transportation in harsh, cold environments where there's nowhere to land a plane, let alone drive a car. With indexes, bibliographies, and more, "Dog Driver" is an absolute must as a reference for dog runners or simply those who want to participate in the sport.

The Self-Help Shelf

Four Faces in the Mirror
Vito Hemphill
Llumina Press
7915 W. McNab Rd., Tamarac, FL 33321
9781605940793, $11.95,

Before you can improve anything, you need to take a long hard look at it. "Four Faces in the Mirror" is a guide to improving oneself by realizing all sides to a particular aspect of one's personality. Masculinity and femininity both have positive and negative aspects, and author Vito Hemphill claims that by embracing the positive aspects of both sides while trying to trim down the negative aspects, one can make oneself a better person. "Four Faces in the Mirror" is worth the read for those who want to examine themselves but need advice on how to do it effectively.

The Money/Finance Shelf

Life Money
Brad Turk
6440 N. Central Expressway, Suite 503, Dallas, TX 75206
9781933771533, $14.95,

You don't have to be old and gray to consider retirement. "Life Money: The Proven System for Creating the Money You Need for the Life You Want" is a guide from a young millionaire who made his mark on the world of business and retired before he was even considered middle-aged. Using the concept of Lifemoney, the currency of success, he uses his ideas to inspire readers to make themselves success stories as well. "Life Money" is a fine read for those who want to understand and tap into the secrets of success.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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