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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 11, Number 6 June 2016 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Humor Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Biography Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf Fiction Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Travel Shelf
Business Shelf Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Self-Help Shelf Art Shelf
Parenting Shelf Activity Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Automotive Shelf LGBT Studies Shelf Photography Shelf
Gardening Shelf Poetry Shelf Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Cream City Chronicles: Stories of Milwaukee's Past
John Gurda
Wisconsin Historical Society Press
816 State Street, Madison, WI 53575
9780870203756, $26.95, HC, 320pp,

John Gurda is a Milwaukee-born writer and historian who has been studying his hometown for more than twenty-five years. He is the author of fifteen books, including histories of Milwaukee area neighborhoods, churches, and industries. In "Cream City Chronicles" Gurda has deftly compiled collection of lively stories about the people, the events, the landmarks, and the institutions that have made Milwaukee a unique American community. These stories represent the best of Gurda's popular Sunday columns that have appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel since 1994. Readers will find themselves transported back to another time, when the village of Milwaukee was home to fur trappers and traders. Readers will follow the development of Milwaukee's distinctive neighborhoods, its rise as a port city and industrial center, and its changing political climate. From singing mayors to summer festivals, from blueblood weddings to bloody labor disturbances, "Cream City Chronicles" is an impressive anthology that offers a generous sampling of tales that express the true character of a hometown metropolis. A compelling, informed and informative read from first page to last, "Cream City Chronicles" is very highly recommended for community and academic library Wisconsin History collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Cream City Chronicles" is also available in a paperback edition (9780870207587, $18.95) and in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Painting with Metro
Ron Krajewski & Susy Flory
New Horizon Press
PO Box 669, Far Hills, NJ 07931
9780882825120, $24.95, HC, 320pp,

"Painting with Metro: How a Crippled Racehorse Rescued Himself (and Me) with a Paintbrush" by Ron Krajewski (with the help of Susy Flory) tells a truly inspirational story. Ron is a shy, Gulf War Air Force veteran. Metro Meteor is a feisty, bad-kneed two-year-old thoroughbred racehorse destined for the slaughterhouse. An unlikely pairing, the two bonded through art: creating stunning abstract paintings to be exact. Each painting brought much needed strength and hope, plus a new lease on life to both man and horse. For Metro, painting became an escape from a death sentence; for Ron it meant overcoming his extreme introversion. Today, Metro and Ron have used their fame to highlight the perilous nature of the racing industry. Thousands of Thoroughbreds are bred for racing each year, but only five to ten percent ever see a racecourse. Unless they are lucky enough to find another career, these horses are disposed of. To date, Metro's paintings have raised over $50,000 for New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, and he and Ron are regulars on TV, radio, and print, spreading the message that "every horse deserves a loving home". A truly compelling read from first page to last, "Painting with Metro" is certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections. A remarkable and ultimately inspiring true life story, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Painting with Metro" is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.49).

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

The Script-Selling Game, second edition
Kathie Fong Yoneda
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781932907919, $19.95, PB, 245pp,

Kathie Fong Yoneda has worked in film and television for more than 30 years. She has held executive positions at Disney, Touchstone, Disney TV Animation, Paramount Pictures Television, and Island Pictures, specializing in development and story analysis of both live-action and animation projects. Kathie is an internationally known seminar leader on screenwriting and development and has conducted workshops in France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Ireland, Great Britain, Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, and throughout the U.S. and Canada. In this newly updated and expanded second edition of "The Script Selling Game: A Hollywood Insider's Look at Getting Your Script Sold and Produced Second Edition", Yoneda draws upon her years of experience and expertise to provide practical answers questions about successfully selling scripts, and provides aspiring script writers with not only valuable information, but real-life examples on how to maneuver their way through the Hollywood labyrinth. While the first edition focused mostly on film and television movies, the second edition includes a new chapter on animation and another on utilizing the Internet to market yourself and find new opportunities, plus an expansive section on submitting for television and cable. While very highly recommended for community and academic library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Script-Selling Game" is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.99).

Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts
Stephen Gillen
Textbook & Academic Authors Association (TTA)
PO Box 367, Fountain City, WI 54629
9780997500400, $29.95, 52pp,

The forming of contracts to the benefit of authors is a subject never taught in any creative writing class or workshop but it is a vital and necessary skill -- especially for writers of textbooks. In "Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts", Stephen Gillen (a partner at the 145-year-old legal firm Wood Herron & Evans which specializes in intellectual property law) provides a complete and comprehensive course of instruction that is as 'user friendly' as it is do-it-yourself practical. "Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts" begins with an Introduction, followed by practical orientation advice (You Have More Leverage Than You Think / You Have to Do Your Homework / Determine What's Important to You. Then continues with Key Provisions of a Typical Textbook Contract; Grant of Rights and Royalties; Advances and Grants; Electronic Rights; Copyright; Competing Publications; Obligations of the Publisher; Manuscript Submission; Ancillaries; Editorial Control; Warranties and Indemnities; Permissions to Use Other Material; Author's and Publisher's Changes in Proofs; Marketing and Promotion; Royalty Reporting and Payment; Inspection of Publisher's Accounts by Author; Author's Copies / Revisions of the Book; Assignments and Successors / Reversion; Choice of Legal Venue; and Signature Block. "Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts" is enhanced further with the inclusion of '20 Questions to Ask Your Editor', a list of Resources, a Glossary of Terms, and Contact Information. Although as the title lays out, "Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts" is focused on contracts for textbooks, the core basic information about contract negotiation and content will prove to be of practical value for any author entering into a contractual arrangement with any publisher for any book, fiction or non-fiction. It should be noted that "Guide to Textbook Publishing Contracts" is also available in an ebook format ($24.95).

The Humor Shelf

Never Flirt With Puppy Killers
Dan Wilbur
Andrews McMeel Publishing
1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
9781449478063 $9.99

Never Flirt With Puppy Killers and Other Better Book Titles is a bitterly hilarious re-imagining of well-known books. Each page is an adeptly manipulated, full-color image of a famous book's cover, replacing the book's title with a phrase that more aptly describes its contents, with potentially uproarious results. The titular "Never Flirt With Puppy Killers" refers to Steinbeck's classic "Of Mice and Men"; other examples include "Correct Your Friends Like a Dick" ("The Elements of Style"), and "Cheer Up. This Is How You'll Feel Every Day as an Adult" ("Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day"). It should be noted that Never Flirt With Puppy Killers is not intended for children - some of the satirized books contain mature themes, violence, or sexual content, and a few of the parody titles use the f-word. Each parody-book-cover seems to be more shockingly true than the last, making Never Flirt With Puppy Killers all but impossible to put down!

The Money/Finance Shelf

The Bank On Yourself Revolution
Pamela Yellen
BenBella Books
10300 N. Central Expressway, Suite 400, Dallas, TX 75204
9781939529305, $25.95, HC, 256pp,

In "The Bank On Yourself Revolution: Fire Your Banker, Bypass Wall Street, and Take Control of Your Own Financial Future", financial security expert Pamela Yellen details how hundreds of thousands of people of all ages and incomes have bucked the system to secure their families' financial futures without gambling in the Wall Street Casino or taking any unnecessary investment risks. Readers will discover a proven step-by-step plan for growing personal wealth safely, predictably, and guaranteed every single year -- even when the markets are tumbling. "The Bank On Yourself Revolution" shows how to bypass banks, credit card and financing companies to become our own source of financing for cars, vacations, a college education, business expenses and other major purchases. "The Bank On Yourself Revolution" isn't a "get-rich-quick" scheme; it's about having real wealth and financial security for as long as we live. Now anyone can finally know how much money they will have next year, in 10, 20 or 30 years -- and at every point along the way, thereby taking control of their own financial future! As practical and 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, content and organization, "The Bank On Yourself Revolution" is very highly recommended for both community and academic library Money/Finance instructional reference collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Bank On Yourself Revolution" is also available in a paperback edition (9781942952107, $16.95) and in a Kindle format ($11.49).

The Biography Shelf

The Narrow Door
Paul Lisicky
Graywolf Press
250 Third Avenue North, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN 55401
9781555977283, $16.00, PB, 192pp,

In the page of his memoir "The Narrow Door", Paul Lisicky creates a compelling collage of scenes and images drawn from two long-term relationships, one with a woman novelist and the other with his ex-husband, a poet. The contours of these relationships shift constantly. Denise and Paul, stretched by the demands of their writing lives, drift apart, and Paul's romance begins to falter. And the world around them is frail: environmental catastrophes like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, natural disasters like the earthquake in Haiti, and local disturbances make an unsettling backdrop to the pressing concerns of Denise's cancer diagnosis and Paul's impending breakup. Lisicky's compassionate heart and resilience seem all the stronger in the face of such searing losses. His survival (hard-won, unsentimental, authentic) proves that in turning toward loss, we embrace life. "The Narrow Door" is an inherently compelling and deftly written read from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Narrow Door" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Leaving Shangrila
Isabelle Gecils
Morgan James Publishing
4410 E Claiborne Square, Suite 334, Hampton VA 23666-2071
9781630476847, $21.95, PB, 340pp,

In the pages of her personal memoir, "Leaving Shangrila", Isabelle Gecils paints a colorful world as she tells the tale of how she forged her own path in the midst of turmoil. Her life story is set in Brazil where she grew up. Her autobiography is populated with fascinating characters, both good and bad, including a narcissistic mother, perpetually flawed lovers, and three resilient sisters. Surrounded by lies, manipulation, and abuse, Isabelle is desperate to escape the adversity of her surroundings. Filled with tremendous strength and an unyielding drive to survive, she begins her journey toward freedom and self-realization. Through the trials and obstacles along the way, Isabelle goes back and forth to balance who she is with what she must do to survive. With themes of perseverance, self-reliance, and the resilience of the human spirit, "Leaving Shangrila" highlights the important character traits that she discovers on the path to finding herself. Candid, compelling, extraordinary, "Leaving Shangrila" is an exceptional life story and very highly recommended for community library Contemporary Biography collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Leaving Shangrila" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Long Hello: Memory, My Mother, and Me
Cathie Borrie
Arcade Publishing
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
9781628726640, $19.99, HC, 236pp,

Ever since Cathie Borrie delivered her keynote performance at the World Alzheimer's Day event sponsored by the Community and Access Programs of the Museum of Modern Art, her self-published manuscript has won rapturous praise from noted writers and Alzheimer's experts alike, from Maya Angelou, Lisa Genova, and Molly Peacock to Dr. Bill Thomas, Jed A. Levine of the Alzheimer's Association, NYC, and Meryl Comer of the Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer's Initiative. Now published by Arcade Publishing it is available to the general public for the first time as "The Long Hello: Memory, My Mother, and Me". A compelling read, "The Long Hello" distills the seven years the author spent caring for her mother into a intensely candid memoir that offers insight into the "altering world of the dementia mind". During that time, Cathie recorded brief conversations she had with her mother that revealed the transformations within, and which sometimes yielded an almost Zen-like poetry. Cathie includes selections from them in chapters about her experience that are as evocative as diary entries. Her mother was the emotional pillar and sometime breadwinner in a home touched by a birth father's alcoholism, a brother's early death, a divorce, and a stepfather's remoteness. Told in Cathie's spare prose, her mother's story becomes a family's story as well a deeply loving portrait that embraces life. While very highly recommended for community library Contemporary American Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Long Hello: Memory, My Mother, and Me" is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.99).

Soul Serenade
Rashod Ollison
Beacon Press
24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210
9780807057520, $25.95, HC, 240pp,

Rashod Ollison is an award-winning pop music critic and culture journalist. "Soul Serenade: Rhythm, Blues & Coming of Age Through Vinyl" is his personal coming-of-age memoir as a young boy in rural Arkansas who searches for himself and his distant father through soul music. Growing up in rural Arkansas, young Rashod Ollison turned to music to make sense of his life. The dysfunction, sadness, and steely resilience of his family and neighbors was reflected in the R&B songs that played on 45s in smoky rooms. Steeped in the sounds, the smells, the salty language of rural Arkansas in the 1980s, "Soul Serenade" is the memoir of a pop music critic whose love for soul music was fostered by his father, Raymond. Drafted into the Vietnam War as a teenager, Raymond returned a changed man, "dead on the inside". After his parents' volatile marriage ended in divorce, Rashod was haunted by the memory of his itinerant father and his mama's long forgotten "sunshine smile". For six-year-old Rashod, his father's record collection, which included the music of Aretha Franklin, Bobby Womack, Al Green, and others, provided solace, coherence, and escape. After going through puberty, Rashod become aware of his same-sex attraction and felt further isolated and alone but was encouraged by mentors in the community who fostered his intelligence and talent. He became transformed through discovering the writing of Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Nikki Giovanni, and other literary greats, and these books, along with the soulful sounds of the 1970s and 80s, enabled him to thrive in spite of the instability and harshness of his childhood. In textured and evocative language, and peppered with unexpected humor, "Soul Serenade" is very highly recommended for community library Contemporary American Biography collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Soul Serenade" is available in a Kindle format ($24.99), as well as in paperback (9780807088975, $20.00) in January 2017.

My Sister's Mother
Donna Solecka Urbikas
University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, Third Floor, Madison, WI 53711-2059
9780299308506, $26.95, HC, 312pp,

Donna Solecka Urbikas was born in Coventry, England, and immigrated with her parents and sister to Chicago in 1952. After careers as a high school science teacher and environmental engineer, she is now a writer, realtor, and community volunteer, and lives in Chicago with her husband. While Donna grew up in the Midwest during the golden years of the American century, her Polish-born mother and half sister had endured dehumanizing conditions during World War II, as slave laborers in Siberia. War and exile created a profound bond between mother and older daughter, one that Donna would struggle to find with either of them. In 1940, Janina Slarzynska and her five-year-old daughter Mira were taken by Soviet secret police (NKVD) from their small family farm in eastern Poland and sent to Siberia with hundreds of thousands of others. So began their odyssey of hunger, disease, cunning survival, desperate escape across a continent, and new love amidst terrible circumstances. But in the 1950s, baby boomer Donna yearns for a "normal" American family while Janina and Mira are haunted by the past. "My Sister's Mother: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Stalin's Siberia" is unforgettable memoir, in which Donna candidly recounts her family history and her own survivor's story, finally understanding the damaged mother who had saved her sister. While a truly extraordinary memoir and highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "My Sister's Mother" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Dying for a Taste
Leslie Karst
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781629535975, $25.99, HC, 304pp,

After losing her mother to cancer, Sally Solari quits her job as an attorney to help her dad run his old-style Italian eatery in Santa Cruz, California. But managing the front of the house is far from her dream job. Then in a sudden twist her Aunt Letta is found murdered in her own restaurant, and Sally is the only one who can keep the place running. But when her sous chef is accused of the crime, and she finds herself suddenly short-staffed, Sally must delve into the world of sustainable farming (not to mention a few family secrets) to help him clear his name and catch the true culprit before her timer runs out. A carefully crafted culinary and consistently entertaining mystery, "Dying for a Taste" clearly demonstrates author Leslie Karst's complete mastery of the genre and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Dying for a Taste" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Dark Side of The Road
Simon R. Green
Severn House
110 East 59th Street, 22th Fl., New York, NY 10022
9780727883889, $32.95, HC, 224pp,

Ishmael Jones is someone who can't afford to be noticed, someone who lives under the radar, who drives on the dark side of the road. He's employed to search out secrets, investigate mysteries and shine a light in dark places. Sometimes he kills people. Invited by his employer, the enigmatic Colonel, to join him and his family for Christmas, Ishmael arrives at the grand but isolated Belcourt Manor in the midst of a blizzard to find that the Colonel has mysteriously disappeared. As he questions his fellow guests, Ishmael concludes that at least one of them (not least Ishmael himself) is harboring a dangerous secret, and that beneath the veneer of festive cheer lurk passion, jealousy, resentment and betrayal. As a storm sets in, sealing off the Manor from the rest of the world, Ishmael must unmask a ruthless murderer before they strike again. A riveting novel from the pen of Simon r. Green, a master of the genre, ""The Dark Side of the Road" is very highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. For personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs it should be noted that "The Dark Side of the Road" is also available in a paperback edition (9781847515797, $17.95) and in a Kindle format ($14.49).

Gina Wohlsdorf
Algonquin Books
PO Box 2225, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2225
9781616205621, $25.95, HC, 288pp,

Manderley Resort is a gleaming, new twenty-story hotel on the California coast. It's about to open its doors, and the world (at least those with the means to afford it) will be welcomed into a palace of opulence and unparalleled security. But someone is determined that Manderley will never open. The staff has no idea that their every move is being watched, and over the next twelve hours they will be killed off, one by one. All the more impressive when considering that "Security" is author Gina Wohlsdorf's debut as a novelist, this compelling and deftly crafted novel is very highly recommended for community library collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Security" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99) and in an complete and unabridged Audio CD format (Highbridge Audio, 9781622319909, $29.99).

Dangerous Triangle
Jerry Labriola
Strong Books
PO Box 967, Middlebury, CT 06762
9781928782742, $24.95, HC

As a private investigator, Dr. David Brooks had been instrumental in preventing a Japanese-led sarin attack aimed at destroying the world. Now a new generation of Kamikazes are pursuing him wherever he goes. With the assistance of seemingly omnipresent pirates, these descendants of the suicide bombers of World War II are hell-bent on his death. Another riveting read from the pen of Jerry Labriola, "Dangerous Triangle" is a deftly crafted and compelling novel from beginning to end, making it highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Mystery/Suspense collections. Of special note to Jerry Labriola fans is the inclusion of lectures about O. J. Simpson, Sacco-Vanzetti, Charles Lindbergh, forensic science, and mythology which are cleverly woven into complex plot.

The Fall of Moscow Station
Mark Henshaw
Touchstone Books
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781501100314, $26.00, 352pp,

When a body with Russian military tattoos is found floating in a lake outside Berlin, the CIA immediately takes notice. The body is identified as the director of Russia's Foundation for Advanced Nuclear Research, who is also a CIA asset. And the murder coincides with the defection of one of the CIA's upper-level officers. Alden Maines is jaded after years in the CIA cleaning up the messes of incompetent political appointees in dangerous foreign posts. When he is passed over for promotion, Maines crosses the Rubicon and decides to cash in as a double agent for Russia. But while Maines dreams of off-shore bank accounts and a new secret life, Arkady Lavrov of Russia's intelligence service (GRU) has other plans. He immediately announces Maines's defection to the world and then pumps him for every last ounce of intel, including the names of every agent in the CIA's Moscow Station and their assets working in the Kremlin. But why would Lavrov burn an asset whose intel and access could pay dividends for years to come? What is Lavrov up to? Traveling from Langley to Berlin and finally Moscow (working black without backup) analyst Jonathan Burke and agent Kyra Stryker are up against their most formidable enemy yet, and their lives and the fate of America's most important assets in the New Cold War hang in the balance. "The Fall of Moscow Station" is another riveting read from the pen of Mark Henshaw and very highly recommended for community library collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Fall of Moscow Station" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

Blackjacks Of Nevada
Ethan Flagg
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444827521, $20.99, PB, 264pp,

Five years in prison have given Cheyenne Brady plenty of time to dwell on revenge after being shot from behind by a fellow gang member during an attack by the Nevada Blackjacks on a U.S. Army payroll and left for dead. Upon his release Brady joins up with an fellow ex-con and old prospector, Sourdough Lamar. Together they head for Winnemucca and the prospect of honest work blacksmithing in a business Brady inherited from his father. But when Brady's old gang, led by Big-Nose Rafe Culpepper, plans to rob the town's bank, Cheyenne is accused of masterminding the hold-up. To make matters worse, the gang has kidnapped the girl he's fallen in love with and the townsfolk think that Brady is once again in cahoots with his old outlaw band. Can he extricate himself from once again sinking into a life of crime? Once again author Ethan Flagg demonstrates his complete mastery of the genre, making this large print paperback edition of "Blackjacks Of Nevada" very highly recommended for the personal reading lists of western action/adventure buffs and community library collections.

December Boys
Joe Clifford
Oceanview Publishing
595 Bay Isles Road, 120-G, Longboat Key, FL 34228
9781608091713, $26.95, HC, 300pp,

Jay Porter, the newest employee at NorthEastern Insurance in New Hampshire, is investigating an accident claim when he learns the teenager behind the wheel was arrested for minor drug possession and sentenced to a hardcore behavioral modification center. At the county courthouse, Jay meets Nicki, a young college intern, who tips him off to a possible scandal in the form of first-time juvenile offenders being shipped to private institutions for political kickbacks. He learns that long-time family nemeses, Adam and Michael Lombardi, may have a stake in the scheme. Is Jay's mission to help these kids a legitimate crusade? Or is his thirst for revenge driven by the guilt he feels over his own junkie brother's death? These questions conspire to tear apart tranquility and drive a wedge between Jay and his wife Jenny. With help from new friend Nicki, and a couple of old friends, Jay finds himself thrust back into a past he had hoped to leave behind, putting everything (and everyone he loves) at risk in pursuit of the truth. The second title in author Joe Clifford's outstanding 'Jay Porter' series, "December Boys" is a deftly crafted and compelling read from beginning to end. While very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "December Boys" is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.95).

Blood Legacy
Sheryl Wright
Florida Academic Press
PO Box 357425, Gainesville, FL 32635
9781890357542, $24.95, PB, 260pp,

It's been one year since SOE agent Cleo Deseronto escaped torture at a CIA black site, but life isn't getting any easier. On a simple mission to notify a senator of his daughter's death, Cleo and her stalwart cousin Bo are drawn into the web of spymaster Hank Darien. It's a conspiracy that threatens to alter the future of the civilized world, and trying to stop it might just make Cleo and Bo the most wanted women in America. A proud Mohawk woman, Cleo's abilities as a pilot, engineer and strategist would make her the equal of any challenge, if it weren't for the one thing she doesn't understand: people. Luckily, Bo's got her back, whether that means acting as confidante, bodyguard or sharpshooter. An original and deftly written novel, "Blood Legacy" is author Sheryl Wright's second volume of her "Contrary Warriors" series and a compelling and consistently entertaining read from beginning to end. While highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Blood Legacy" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).

Disturbing the Dark
Wendy Hornsby
Perseverance Press
c/o Daniel & Daniel Publishers
PO Box 2790, McKinleyville, CA 95519
9781564745767, $15.95, PB, 240pp,

Maggie MacGowen, an investigative filmmaker, is in Normandy with a film crew to document the agricultural four seasons on her ancestral family farm. An accidentally excavated skull causes a social media sensation, dredging up psychic scars left by the wartime German Occupation. In their youth, Grand-mere and other villagers had cut the throats of an entire brutal Nazi platoon. Now the grim discovery prompts tourists, the soldiers' descendants, the mass media, and vulture like war-memorabilia dealers to flock to the formerly quiet farm. Then a young woman is murdered. "Disturbing the Dark" is another compelling and deftly crafted mystery from the pen of Wendy Hornsby and continues her outstanding 'Maggie MacGowen' mystery series. While very highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Disturbing the Dark" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

Death by Dumpster
Karen Hanson Stuyck
Five Star Books
10 Water Street, Suite 310, Waterville, ME 04901
9781432831066, $25.95, 290pp,

Laid off from her magazine job, Lauren Prescott reluctantly agrees to ghostwrite a memoir for Caroline Marshall, the self-described Queen of Dumpster Diving. Lauren attends a potluck dinner at Caroline's house, where guests bring food they found dumpster diving. By the end of the evening, one guest is dead, poisoned by toxic nuts. Days later another dinner guest dies after trying homemade goodies sent to Caroline by "A Grateful Former Student." Lauren is determined to bring the murderer to justice. But first she has to save herself from a ruthless killer intent on adding her to the list of victims. "Death by Dumpster" is another terrifically entertaining and deftly crafted mystery from the pen of Karen Hanson Stuyck, and one that will prove to be a compelling read from first page to last. Very highly recommended for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs, and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections.

Hell to Pay
Pamela Fagan Hutchins
Skip Jack Publishing
PO Box 219, Burton, TX 77835
9781939889362, $12.99, PB, 300pp,

Big-haired paralegal and former rodeo queen Emily has her life back on track. Her adoption of Betsy seems like a done deal, her parents have reunited, and she's engaged to her sexy boss Jack. Then client Phil Escalante's childhood buddy Dennis drops dead, face first into a penis cake at the adult novelty store Phil owns with his fiancee Nadine, one of Emily's best friends. The cops charge Phil with murder right on the heels of his acquittal in a trial for burglarizing the Mighty is His Word church offices. Emily's nemesis ADA Melinda Stafford claims a witness overheard Phil fighting with Dennis over a woman. Before he can mount a defense, Phil falls into a diabetic coma, leaving Nadine shaken and terrified. Meanwhile Betsy's ultra-religious foster parents apply to adopt her, and Jack starts acting weird and evasive. Emily feels like a calf out of a chute, pulled between the ropes of the header and the heeler, as she fights to help Phil and Nadine without losing Betsy and Jack. "Hell to Pay" is another terrific read from the pen of Pamela Fagan Hutchin whose 'Emily romantic Mystery' series clearly documents her as a master of the genre. Very highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Hell to Pay" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99).

A Potluck of Murder and Recipes
Jeanne Cooney
North Star Press of St. Cloud
PO Box 451, St. Cloud, MN 56302-0451
9781682010013, $14.95, PB, 280pp,

Reporter Emerald Malloy is back at the Hot Dish Heaven Cafe. This time she's in Kennedy, the small Scandinavian farm community in Minnesota's Red River Valley, for a wedding, although the festivities are quickly muddled by a murder. While vacillating between steering clear of police business and finding the killer before an innocent person is charged with the crime, Emerald and her zany friends end up at a colorful tavern, a high school hockey tournament, and a wedding dance at the local VFW. Along the way, they also learn the homicide may be linked to a fraud scheme quite possibly involving a number of townspeople. Of course, this only complicates matters, leaving Emerald little time for anything beyond the investigation, including her fledgling love life. Love, however, is the last thing on Emerald's mind when she and her dog find themselves in grave peril and at the mercy of a killer. Will they survive? "A Potluck of Murder and Recipes" is another terrific and original mystery from the pen of Jeanne Cooney and once again documents her complete master of the genre. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collection, "A Potluck of Murder and Recipes" is a riveting and consistently compelling title for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs.

Murder, By George
Jeane Quigley
Five Star Books
10 Water Street, Suite 310, Waterville, ME 04901
9781432831431, $25.95, HC, 268pp,

Retired soap opera actress Veronica Walsh leads a fulfilling second act in her Adirondack hometown of Barton. Her boutique, All Things, is thriving and she enjoys a romance with Professor Mark Burke. She has neither the time nor the desire to be an amateur sleuth. Trouble finds her when architect Scott Culverson buys a vintage box at the village's annual flea market and discovers a valuable painting and love letter inside a locked drawer. The awe over the masterpiece, a 1920's portrait of Barton's main street, turns to rage when a fierce argument ensues. The box's seller insists the painting was not included in the sale, while Ella and Madeline Griffin, whose mother received the painting as a wedding present, demand that Scott return the painting to their family. The artist's daughter, the formidable Leona Bradshaw Kendall, later joins the battle over Orchard Street. When Scott is stabbed to death and the painting and letter stolen, the Griffin sisters ask Veronica to help clear suspicion from their hot-tempered great-niece, Regina. Despite a vow to stay out of the investigation, Veronica's loyalty to her friends draws her into the case. Veronica crosses paths with a shady contractor, brassy hairdresser, overwrought lawyer, and adoring Czech housekeeper as she searches for both killer and work of art. Whom can Veronica trust, and who will lead her to the brink of death? Jeane Quigly is an accomplished novelist and a master of the mystery genre as demonstrated by her debut murder mystery "All Things Murder" (9781432828127, $25.95 HC, $3.99 Kindle, 275pp). Her latest "Murder, By George", is a consistently compelling read from beginning to end and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. For the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs it should be noted that "Murder, By George" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).

Silent City
Alex Segura
Polis Books
1201 Hudson Street, #211S, Hoboken, NJ 07030
9781940610719, $14.95, PB, 304pp,

Pete Fernandez is a mess. He's on the brink of being fired from his middle-management newspaper job. His fiancee has up and left him. Now, after the sudden death of his father, he's back in his hometown of Miami, slowly drinking himself into oblivion. But when a co-worker he barely knows asks Pete to locate a missing daughter, Pete finds himself dragged into a tale of murder, drugs, double-crosses and memories bursting from the black heart of the Miami underworld - and, shockingly, his father's past. Making it up as he goes and stumbling as often as he succeeds, Pete's surreptitious quest becomes the wake-up call he's never wanted but has always needed - but one with deadly consequences. "Silent City" is a deftly written and highly recommended novel about redemption, broken friendships, lost loves, and one man's efforts to make peace with a long-buried past to save the lives of the few friends he has left. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Silent City" is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.15) and in an MP3 CD format (Brilliance Audio, 9781522642398, $9.99).

The Christian Studies Shelf

Habits of Grace
David Mathis
Crossway Books
1300 Crescent Street, Wheaton, IL 60187
9781433550478, $14.99, HC, 240pp,

The three seemingly unremarkable principles that shape and strengthen the Christian life are: listening to God's voice, speaking to him in prayer, and joining together with his people as the church. Though seemingly normal and routine, the everyday "habits of grace" we cultivate give us access to these God-designed channels through which his love and power flow --including the greatest joy of all: knowing and enjoying Jesus. Inspired and inspiring, "Habits of Grace: Enjoying Jesus through the Spiritual Disciplines" by David Mathis (who serves as Executive Editor at, and serves as the Pastor at Cities Church, and is an Adjunct Professor at Bethlehem College and Seminary) is a compelling and potentially life-changing read which is very highly recommended for all members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliation. A complementary study guide for individual and group study is also available. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Habits of Grace" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.49) and in an Audio CD format (ChristianAudio, 9781633895331, $19.98).

Beginnings: The First Seven Days of the Rest of Your Life
Steve Wiens
3820 North 30th Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80904
9781631464003, $14.99, PB, 240pp,

Have you ever found yourself at the beginning of a big life change? Maybe you're getting married, or divorced. Maybe you're having a child, or burying a parent. Maybe you've been promoted, or lost a job you loved. Maybe you've moved; maybe you feel stuck. These big changes hit us hard it's easy to lose our way. It's easy to think that God is leaving us alone in them. The good news is that the God who spoke the world into existence, who lovingly brought into being everything seen and unseen, is speaking into your big change. Drawing from the story of creation in Genesis, "Beginnings: The First Seven Days of the Rest of Your Life" by Steve Wiens (The founding pastor of Genesis Covenant Church, Maple Grove, Minnesota, he also blogs at and podcasts at This Good Word) offers an empowering message of how God works through the transition in our lives. As God orchestrated the ultimate transition when he created everything from nothing, he can handle the overwhelming details in your life. "Beginnings" is for everyone who faces significant transition in their career, there relationships, in any stage of life, whether good or bad. By exploring the first chapter in Genesis, day by day, creative act by creative act, Pastor Wiens shows us how beginnings work, and how God works through our beginnings. "Beginnings" is very highly recommended for all members of the Christian community regardless of their denomination affiliation. It should be noted that "Beginnings" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.69) and in an Audio CD format (Oasis Audio, 9781613758076, $17.99).

A Year of Spiritual Companionship
Anne Kertz Kernion
Skylight Paths Publishing
Sunset Farms Offices, Route 4
PO Box 237, Woodstock, VT 05091
9781594736179, $14.99, PB, 176pp,

"A Year of Spiritual Companionship: 52 Weeks of Wisdom for a Life of Gratitude, Balance and Happiness" is a week-by-week guide to living more thoughtfully. In the pages of "A Year of Spiritual Companionship", Anne Kertz Kernion deftly leads the reader through an exploration of everyday spirituality, combining the wisdom of spiritual luminaries, life lessons, and insights from social science and neuroscience. A businesswoman, wife, mother, grandmother and friend, Anne shows how it is possible to bring more awareness, love and gratitude into your busy life, keeping in touch with your deepest beliefs and most authentic self. An informative, thoughtful, thought-provoking, insightful, and inspiring volume of spiritual guidance, "A Year of Spiritual Companionship" is very highly recommended to all members of the Christian community regardless of their denomination affiliation. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Year of Spiritual Companionship" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

On Care for Our Common Home, Laudato Si'
Pope Francis & Sean McDonagh
Orbis Books
Box 302, Maryknoll NY 10545-0302
9781626981737, $20.00, PB, 304pp,

Laudato Si', the historic encyclical of Pope Francis on the environment, was issued in 2015. As the first encyclical devoted entirely to the environment and related social justice issues, it represented a watershed in the engagement of the church with such urgent challenges as climate change, environmental degradation, and the fate of the poor. "On Care for Our Common Home, Laudato Si'" joins the full text of Laudato Si' with reflections by Irish Columban priest Sean McDonagh, who is well known around the world as an eco-theologian working to raise awareness of the connections between justice and peace issues, environmental sustainability, and faith, as well as being one of the foremost Catholic proponents of ecological awareness. Aside from reviewing the history of Catholic teaching and the environment, McDonagh elaborates on several of the specific themes in the encyclical, including climate change, biodiversity, water scarcity, the threats to the ocean, and the crisis of food. McDonagh then concludes with prescriptions about what must be done to turn the vision of Pope Francis into a program of effective action. Each of us has a role to play. As Pope Francis observes, "All it takes is one good person to restore hope". "On Care for Our Common Home, Laudato Si'" is very highly recommended reading, especially for all members of the Roman Catholic community.

Synced: Living Connected to the Heart of Jesus
Jennifer Kennedy Dean
New Hope Publishers
PO Box 830711, Birmingham, AL 35283-0711
9781596694668, $14.99, PB, 176pp,

Inspiring readers that prayer can become extraordinary when we live connected to the heart of Jesus, "Synced: Living Connected to the Heart of Jesus" by Jennifer Kennedy Dean (Executive Director of the Praying Life Foundation) encourages you to emulate the way Jesus lived His life. With real-life stories of people walking closely with Jesus, finding themselves in the right place at the right time, readers are challenged to examine what staying in step with the Spirit looks like. National best-selling author and known prayer expert, "Synced" uses the familiar passage of the Lord's Prayer as anchor points to present the way Jesus lived His life in step with the Father through prayer. Inspired and inspiring, "Synced" is very highly recommended to the attention of the Christian community and is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.49).

God For Us
Greg Pennoyer & Gregory Wolfe, editors
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568, Orleans, MA 02653
9781612617688, $18.99, PB, 192pp,

The reader's edition of "God For Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent and Easter " is comprised of a series of impressively informed and informative articles examining the meaning of Lent and its significance in spiritual formation and the preparation for Easter, and walking the reader through the holy season of Easter. Leading North American spiritual writers reflect on what one theologian has called the "bright sadness" of Lent: that it is not about feeling of broken and lost, but about cleansing the palate so we can taste life to a greater extent. In the Lent and Easter seasons, we encounter the God who, in all of life, is for us -- for our liberation, for our healing, for our wholeness. Even in death we can find resurrection. "God For Us" is very highly recommended, especially for members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliations.

Witnesses to the Baptist Heritage
Michael E. Williams, Sr.
Mercer University Press
1400 Coleman Avenue, Macon, GA 31207-0001
9780881465488, $28.00, PB, 288pp,

Baptists lack a single central figure in their origins that Lutherans, Reformed, Presbyterians, and Methodists have with Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, and John Wesley. Additionally, Baptists focus so heavily on the Bible for authority and key beliefs or practices like religious liberty, social justice, missions, and preaching that sometimes Baptists and other Christians forget the significant role that people play in forging and promoting those ideas and practices. Compiled and edited by Michael E. Williams, Sr. (Professor of History at Dallas Baptist University), "Witnesses to the Baptist Heritage: Thirty Baptists Every Christian Should Know" addresses this shortcoming by providing an introductory text of Baptist biographies. Certainly shorter than a full-length biography but definitely longer than an encyclopedia article, this sampling of key Baptist leaders through the years view the story of Baptists through a biographical lens while linking these women and men to a key Baptist distinctive. A short suggested reading list is added at the end of each chapter to enhance further study. Highlighted Baptist leaders include: Thomas Helwys, John Clarke, Benjamin Keach, Anne Dutton, Shubal Stearns, Isaac Backus, Dan Taylor, Andrew Fuller, John Leland, William Carey, Lott Carey, Adoniram Judson, J. Gerhard Oncken, I. T. Tichenor, Robert Cooke Buckner, Charles H. Spurgeon, Lottie Moon, E. C. Morris, E. Y. Mullins, Walter Rauschenbusch, Helen Barrett Montgomery, George W. Truett, William Owen Carver, James Henry Rushbrooke, Nannie Helen Burroughs, B. B. McKinney, Thomas Buford Maston, Herschel H. Hobbs, Henlee Barnette, and Gardner C. Taylor. Informative and inspiring, "Witnesses to the Baptist Heritage" is especially commended to all members of the Baptist Christian community.

Extraordinary Women of Christian History
Ruth A. Tucker
Baker Books
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780801016721, $16.99, PB, 288pp,

Christianity has long been criticized as a patriarchal religion. But during its two-thousand-year history, the Christian faith has been influenced and passed down by faithful women. Martyrs and nuns, mystics and scholars, writers and reformers, preachers and missionaries, abolitionists and evangelists, these women are examples to us of faith, perseverance, forgiveness, and fortitude. With gracious irreverence, Ruth Tucker offers engaging and candid profiles of some of the most fascinating women of Christian history in "Extraordinary Women of Christian History: What We Can Learn from Their Struggles and Triumphs". From the famous, to the infamous, to the obscure, women like Perpetua, Joan of Arc, Teresa of Avila, Anne Hutchinson, Susanna Wesley, Ann Judson, Harriet Tubman, Fanny Crosby, Hannah Whitehall Smith, Corrie ten Boom, and Mother Teresa, along with dozens of others, come to vivid life. Very highly recommended for church, community, and academic library Christian Studies and Women's Studies collections, and an ideal text for group study and individual members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliation, these portraits of women who changed the world in their own significant way will spark lively discussion and inspire today's Christians to lives of faithful witness. It should be noted for the personal reading lists that "Extraordinary Women of Christian History" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

Mentor for Life
Natasha Sistrunk Robinson
Zondervan Publishing House
5300 Patterson Avenue, S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49530
9780310522355, $16.99, PB, 272pp,

Though churches are filled with good ministry programming including activities, outreach events, and an endless selection of options, many Christian churches neglect their fundamental mission: to make disciples and equip them for service. In "Mentor for Life: Finding Purpose through Intentional Discipleship", Natasha Sistrunk Robinson lays a solid foundation for mentoring as intentional discipleship, within the context of a small community. It is based on God's kingdom vision, and challenge followers of Christ to consider the cost of discipleship. Leaders in the American church is facing various challenges regarding the changing demographics and cultural climate in the world, and the discipleship crisis within the church. "Mentor for Life" shows how to develop mentoring relationships that function communally in existing small groups that are diverse and inclusive. It also presents a mentoring framework of knowing and loving God, understanding our identity in Christ, and loving our neighbor, which encourages theological reflection and cultivates a basic Christian worldview. Enhanced with real examples from Robinson's own life experiences and observations, "Mentor for Life" is especially commended to the attention of pastors, small group leaders, seminary professors, and non-specialist general readers who desire to take the initiate, make the commitment, and mentor others well. Also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99), "Mentor for Life" is enthusiastically recommended for all members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliation.

The St. Andrews Seven
Stuart Piggin & John Roxborogh
Banner of Truth
PO Box 621, Carlisle, PA 17013
9780851514284, $13.00, PB, 150pp,

The collaborative effort of Stuart Piggin (Director of the Centre for the History of Christian Thought and Experience at Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW, Australia) and John Roxborogh (a Presbyterian Minister and retired Theological Educator and Mission Historian living in Dunedin, New Zealand), "The St Andrews Seven" is the moving and inspiring story of six young men whose remarkable influence on one another as fellow students in the University of St Andrews, Scotland, in the 1820s led them to the profound conviction that 'Only one thing seemed to matter: to discover God's will and do it'. The chief characters in this extraordinary account of a teenage enthusiasm to serve Christ to the end of the earth are the great Thomas Chalmers, and six of his students: Alexander Duff, John Urquhart, John Adam, Robert Nesbit, William Sinclair Mackay, and John Ewart. Their influence in later life, especially in India, was to be far beyond their wildest expectations. "The St. Andrews Seven" trace vividly and popularly the story, including their the aspirations, fears, doubts, struggles, opposition, sorrows, triumphs, of these six most gifted and dedicated young Christians, including one of their number who died before he could fulfill his heart's ambition. First published in 1985, this new edition of "The St Andrews Seven" once again brings the names of these men to the fore, and challenges the church of today to put aside its mediocrity and respond obediently to Christ's great commission. Inspired and inspiring, "The St. Andrews Seven" is very highly recommended and rewarding reading for all members of the Christian community.

The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Steven J. Lawson
Ligonier Ministries
c/o Reformation Trust
421 Ligonier Court, Sanford, FL 32771
9781567696387, $16.00, HC, 190pp,

From the pulpit at Westminster Chapel in London, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones set a new standard for faithful and passionate preaching, a standard that continues to be relevant today. Lloyd-Jones was a physician by training and had begun a promising career in medicine before sensing an irresistible call to preach. Surrounded by theological liberalism, he began a pulpit ministry that would exert profound influence on both sides of the Atlantic. "The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones " by Steven J. Lawson (Senior Pastor of Christ Fellowship Baptist Church in Mobile, Alabama), is an informed and informative study of the work of Lloyd-Jones and is comprised of ten chapters: A Life on Fire; Sovereignly Called; Biblically Based; Distinctly Expository; Carefully Studied; Divinely Focused; Doctrinal Grounded; Theologically Reformed; Spiritually Empowered; We Want Again Lloyd-Joneses! "The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones" enhanced with the inclusion of Resources and Tools, Part of A Long Line of Godly Men Profile series, an Index, and a Bibliography. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones" is very highly recommended for community and church library collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Passionate Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones" is also available in a Kindle edition ($6.99) and in an Audio CD format (9781633897977, $18.98).

The Life of Repentance and Purity
Pope Shenouda III
SVS Press
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
9780881415322, $30.00, PB, 322pp,

His Holiness Pope Shenouda III was the 117th Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St Mark. He shepherded the Coptic Orthodox Church for over 40 years before he departed this life in 2012. A charismatic preacher and prolific writer, "The Life of Repentance and Purity" is one of the earlier books he published in Arabic during his papacy. "The Life of Repentance and Purity" provides readers with a comprehensive overview of the practice of repentance and purity, essential aspects of Christian life. Pope Shenouda III draws on Scripture, the Church Fathers, his own experience of desert monasticism, and his experience as a shepherd to millions of Christians to provide a practical understanding of how to live a life of continually turning to God. Ably translated into English for an American readership by Bishop Suriel (Bishop of Melbourne, Dean of Saint Athanaius Coptic Orthodox Theological College, Melbourne, Australia), "The Life of Repentance and Purity" is highly recommended to the attention of the Orthodox Christian community as being as thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is inspired and inspiring.

Relics from the Crucifixion
J. Charles Wall
Sophia Institute Press
PO Box 5284, Manchester, NH 03108
9781622823277, $14.95, PB, 144pp,

The Jews usually burned the crosses used by the Romans after executions but following Jesus' crucifixion they quickly threw the Cross in a ditch to get it out of sight before the feast of Passover. That preserved the True Cross, and memory of the events preserved its location. Disgusted with continued Christian veneration of the spot, pagan Roman Emperor Hadrian erected on the Cross's burial site a statue to Venus, hoping thereby to obliterate their memory. It didn't work. Indeed, because of the statue, when the Empire became Christian, St. Helena knew the exact spot where she would find the very Cross on which Christ died. All relics from Christ's crucifixion have a similarly fascinating story, all of which are told here in this 1910 work by the enterprising Catholic investigator Charles Wall. "Relics from the Crucifixion" by J. Charles Wall includes: The miracle that revealed to St. Helena which of the three discovered crosses was that of Jesus; The horse's bit made from a nail of the True Cross, and the successes it brought the horse's rider; The nails and why there are so many in existence today; A history of the fortunes the Crown of Thorns gave to those who held them, and a list of towns where thorns are found; Where, in 1492, workman accidentally discovered again the actual board on which King of the Jews was written; The modest Frenchman who saved a holy nail from profanation during the French Revolution; Drawings of the spear of Longinus, and reports of its later use in battles; Relics of Jesus's actual blood from the Crucifixion: and why it makes sense that some still exists; The veil of Veronica, Christ's seamless robe, and much more! An inherently fascinating and informative read from beginning to end, "Relics from the Crucifixion" is enhanced with illustrations, a one page listing of Sources, and seven pages of Biographical Notes. While very highly recommended for church, community, and academic library Christian Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Relics from the Crucifixion" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Critical Conversations
Tom Gilson
Kregel Publications
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780825443961, $15.99, PB, 224pp,

Tom Gilson is the Senior Editor and Ministry Coordinator specializing in Christian apologetics and inspiration for the daily online news and insight website The Stream ( In "Critical Conversations', he has created a Christian parents' guide to beginning open and honest discussions about homosexuality with their children. Christian parents need to be prepared to answer the myriad challenges teens might hear in today's increasingly pro homosexual culture. "Why shouldn't gays get married?" "Who says gay sex is wrong?" "Does the Bible actually say there's anything wrong with homosexuality?" "Don't you care that kids are being bullied just for being themselves?" To start the discussion, Gilson provides a brief history of the issues beginning with the sexual revolution of the 1960s. He explains how and why cultural attitudes have reversed on this subject in such a short timespan, leaving Christians scrambling for answers. This is perhaps the most complicated and contentious issue Christians face in today's culture. Most churches are poorly equipped to handle it; parents are even less prepared. The good news is that parents need not have pat answers ready before they dive into conversations with their teens and preteens on this difficult topic. Learning together (parents struggling through these issues alongside their kids and leading them to biblical answers) has relational benefits. Answers are important, though, so manageable, nontechnical answers to common questions surrounding this issue are provided, as well as a guide to further resources. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Critical Conversations" is very highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Critical Conversations" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Hospitable Planet
Stephen A. Jurovics
Morehouse Publishing
c/o Church Publishing Incorporated
1637 Beechwood Ave #1, Louisville KY 40204
9780819232533, $18.00, PB, 176pp,

"What can I do about the environment? What has God said about the environment?" Most books about climate change only address one of these questions. Those from a religious perspective do not address what individuals can do to help society transition from fossil fuels, other than changing personal behavior. Readers know instinctively that will not suffice, and so are left feeling the situation is hopeless. In contrast, books that primarily address environmental issues fail to reach people motivated more by faith than science, leaving out many who could constitute the tipping point for full American engagement on the issue. Borrowing an approach from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s leadership, which brought together both secular and religious arguments for ending segregation, "Hospitable Planet: Faith, Action, and Climate Change" by Stephen A. Jurovics deftly addresses physical evidence of climate change while demonstrating through biblical teachings the religious imperative for preserving our inherited world. The compelling biblical case for creation care is grounded in environmental teachings Jesus knew, primarily in the Hebrew Scriptures. Topics addressed include air pollution, treatment of the land, preserving biological diversity, and treatment of animals, and each is connected to contemporary issues such as greenhouse gas emissions, care of the needy, the extinction of species, and factory farming. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Hospitable Planet" impressively informed and informative, making it very highly recommended and critically important reading for all members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliation.

The Six Tasks of Catechesis
Mary Kathleen Glavich, SND
Twenty-Third Publications
1 Montauk Avenue, #200, New London, CT 06320
9781627851466, $9.95, PB, 96pp,

Catechesis is an education in the faith of children, young people and adults which includes especially the teaching of Christian doctrine imparted, generally speaking, in an organic and systematic way, with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life, whether they are born into the church or come to church membership as a convert. If someone asked you to describe what the ministry of the catechist is all about, what would you say? When the Church describes our ministry, it begins by talking about six tasks that are absolutely fundamental to who we are and what we are called to do. These six tasks lie behind all our textbooks and lesson plans, all we do with those we teach. In this clear and practical book, Sr. Kathleen helps us understand each of these tasks, offers more than 200 time-tested methods for accomplishing them. This warm, encouraging, comprehensive, and very useful resource will help you stay true to the heart of our catechetical ministry and rooted in the love of our Savior. Exceptionally well written, organized and presenting the essential basics, "The Six Tasks of Catechesis" is enthusiastically commended to the attention of all Roman Catholics who seek to be able to understand and teach others about the catechesis.

David King & Margot Starbuck
Herald Press
1251 Virginia Avenue, Harrisonburg, VA 22802
9780836199727, $15.99, PB, 210pp,

Should I sign up our seven-year-old son for the travel team? What should we do about our daughter's Sunday morning games? Am I the only one longing for a sane balance between children's sports, family time, and church commitments? In "Overplayed: A Parent's Guide to Sanity in the World of Youth Sports", David King (Director of Athletics, Eastern Mennonite university) and Margot Starbuck (a graduate of Westmont College and Princeton Theological Seminary, who served with Urban Promise ministry in Camden NJ before being ordained in the Presbyterian Church, and has served as a chaplain among folks living with physical and intellectual disabilities) offer good news for Christian parents stressed out by these questions and stretched thin by the demands of competitive youth sports. They believe that youth athletics should be a learning laboratory for wholesome relationships and character development. Did you know your child can become a better athlete by not playing one sport year-round? That investing money into athletic pursuits in the hopes of a scholarship rarely pays off? That you can say no to elite leagues and still say yes to your child's fun and fitness? "Overplayed" offers parents practical ways to set boundaries and help kids gain healthy identities as beloved children of God both on and off the field, and whether they win or lose. While very highly recommended for community and church Parenting Education collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists of pastors and parents that "Overplayed" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

You Are What You Love
James K. A. Smith
Brazos Press
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9781587433801, $19.99, HC, 224pp,

The basic premise of "You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit" by James K. A. Smith is that you might not love what you think you do! Smith shows that who and what we worship fundamentally shape our hearts. And while we desire to shape culture, we are not often aware of how culture shapes us. We might not realize the ways our hearts are being taught to love rival gods instead of the One for whom we were made. Smith helps readers recognize the formative power of culture and the transformative possibilities of Christian practices. He explains that worship is the "imagination station" that incubates our loves and longings so that our cultural endeavors are indexed toward God and his kingdom. This is why the church and worshiping in a local community of believers should be the hub and heart of Christian formation and discipleship. In "You Are What You Love, Smith draws on his years of experience, reflection, and discovery to offer a fresh and definitive re-articulation that creatively uses film, literature, and music illustrations to engage readers and includes new material on marriage, family, youth ministry, and faith and work. Smith also suggests in this impressively well written, organized and presented study the individual and communal practices for shaping the Christian life. While very highly recommended for church, seminary, community, and academic library Christian Studies collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all members of the Christian community (regardless of denominational affiliation) that "You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit" is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.99).

Way of Wonder: Wisdom from G. K. Chesterton
G. K. Chesterton, author
Dale Ahlquist, compiler
Pauline Books & Media
50 St. Paul's Avenue, Boston, MA 02130-3433
9780819883605, $9.95, PB, 144pp,

Compiled by Dale Ahlquist as part of the 'Classic Wisdom Collection' from Pauline books, "Way of Wonder: Wisdom from G. K. Chesterton" is comprised of writer and convert to Roman Catholicism, G. K. Chesterton quotes celebrating life's most ordinary moments, and showing how those moments lead to God -- and, in that process, become truly extraordinary. A defender and proponent to Catholicism, Chesterton wrote in nearly every literary genre; and in every one the simplicity of his defense of the faith, the family, the poor, and the common good shines through. This collection gathers some of Chesterton's most timeless wisdom, sharing thoughts that guide believers down a clear and accessible path to everyday commonsense holiness and is very highly recommended for all members of the Catholic community and the legions of G. K. Chesterton fans, as well as all Christians regardless of their denominational affiliation.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Sage Advice: Pirkei Avot
Irving (Yitz) Greenberg
Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.
c/o Toby Press
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
9781592644445, $24.95, HC, 378pp,

The sages of the Mishna lived through one of the greatest transitions of Jewish history: the destruction of the Temple and withdrawal of divine revelation. Assuming responsibility for the future of the Torah, the sages set about bringing it out of the Temple and into everyday life, determined to keep it alive in a world of change. In his commentary to Pirkei Avot, Rabbi Irving (Yitz) Greenberg mines these ancient records for their religious and ethical wisdom, humility and courage, staunch traditionalism and bold innovation that guided the sages through this tempestuous era. Framed by thumbnail sketches of the lives and times of the sages, "Sage Advice: Pirkei Avot", as ably translated into English for an American readership features a line-by-line commentary that offers an original reading of Pirkei Avot, applying its teachings to the questions and challenges of our rapidly changing world. An impressive and exceptional work of theological scholarship, "Sage Advice: Pirkei Avot" is very highly recommended for personal, synagogue, college, and university library Judaic Studies reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

Moadei HaRav
Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Pick
KTAV Publishing House
527 Empire Blvd, Brooklyn, NY 11225
9789655242195, $29.95, HC, 278pp,

"Moadei HaRav: Public Lectures on the Festivals by Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik" is a collection of essays and lectures in compiled and edited by Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Pick which provides informative insights on Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik's thoughts concerning Jewish festivals. Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik was not only one of the outstanding Talmudists of the 20th century, but was also one of its most creative and seminal Jewish thinkers. Moadei HaRav provides lectures by the Rav on the major Jewish holidays, such as Passover and Sukkot, as well as Hanukah and Purim. An introductory essay analyzes the Rav's works and interests in Judaism as well as his methodology of Talmud analysis. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Moadei HaRav" is very highly recommended for individual, synagogue and academic library Judaic Studies reference collections and supplemental studies lists.

The Jewish Book of Grief and Healing
Stuart M. Matlins, editor
Jewish Lights Publishing
PO Box 237, Woodstock, VT 05091
9781580238526, $16.99, PB, 176pp,

Compiled and edited by Stuart M. Matlines and the editorial staff of Jewish Lights Publishing, beloved and respected spiritual leaders from across the Jewish denominational spectrum share insights from their experience, Jewish tradition and their personal encounters with grief and healing in the pages of "The Jewish Book of Grief and Healing: A Spiritual Companion for Mourning". Offering a wide range of perspectives, all of which are offered with grace and compassion, will be a treasured resource in for members of the Jewish community in a time of grief. Whether mourning a recent loss or experiencing pain from old scars, readers will be encouraged and challenged to be fully, vulnerably present to their emotions; forgive their own shortcomings and those of others; and remain open to love despite pain and uncertainty. Exceptionally well organized and presented, "The Jewish Book of Grief and Healing" is very highly recommended for synagogue, community, and academic library Judaic Studies reference collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Jewish Book of Grief and Healing" is also available in a Kindle edition ($10.99).

The Psychology of Tzimtzum: Self, Other, and God
Mordechai Rotenberg
Maggid Books
c/o Toby Press
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
9781592643844, $24.95, HC, 158pp,

Western psychology often describes relationships between parent and child, individual and society, man's physical and spiritual urges as a complex set of conflicts, an ongoing struggle for dominance. In "The Psychology of Tzimtzum: Self, Other, and God, Mordechai Rotenberg (Professor Emeritus at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and Chair of the Rotenberg Institute for Jewish Psychology) seeks to establish an alternative: a Jewish psychology, based on the kabbalistic concept of Tzimtzum (self-contraction). God's primordial act of Creation in contracting Himself to make room for the world becomes for Rotenberg a model for all human interaction. When the self contracts to make room for the other, the resulting relations are ones of dialogue rather than conflict, self-effacement rather than self-assertion, a desire to give rather than a desire to destroy. "The Psychology of Tzimtzum" is a very highly recommended addition to academic library Judaic Studies and Contemporary Psychology reference collections and supplemental studies curriculums. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Psychology of Tzimtzum" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).

The Fiction Shelf

Even In Paradise
Elizabeth Nunex
Akashic Books
232 Third Street, #A115, Brooklyn, NY 11215
9781617754395, $27.95, HC, 320pp,

Peter Ducksworth is a Trinidadian widower of English ancestry who retires to Barbados believing he will find an earthly paradise there. He decides to divide his land among his three daughters while he is alive, his intention not unlike that of King Lear, who hoped "That future strife/May be prevented now." But Lear made the fatal mistake of confusing flattery with love, and so does Ducksworth. Feeling snubbed by his youngest daughter, Ducksworth decides that only after he dies will she receive her portion of the land. In the meantime, he gives his two older daughters their portions, ironically setting in motion the very strife he hoped to prevent. A compelling novel about greed, resentment, jealousy, betrayal, and romantic love in the post-colonial world of the Caribbean, and featuring a diverse cast of deftly crafted characters of African, Indian, Chinese, Syrian/Lebanese, and English ancestry, "Even In Paradise" is another superbly written work from the pen of Elizabeth Nunex and very highly recommended for both community and academic library Literary Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Even In Paradise" is also available in a paperback edition (9781617754401, $15.95) and in a Kindle format ($10.99).

The Gambler's Apprentice
H. Lee Barnes
University of Nevada Press
Mail Stop 0166, Reno, NV, 89557-0166
9780874179989, $27.95, HC, 304pp,

In "The Gambler's Apprentice", author H. Lee Barnes tells the story of Willy, a teenage boy growing up in Texas during desperate times. Willy, wise and capable beyond his years, learns the gambler's trade and experiences adventures that demand quick wits -- and sometimes violent actions. Starting with a cattle-rustling scheme involving his father, Willy embarks on a life of crime early, eventually landing in a Laredo jail for shooting a man. During his incarceration he meets Sonny Archer, an itinerant gambler, who teaches Willy how to be a cardsharp. Upon his release, Willy roams the country, honing his new talent and getting into more trouble. During his time in New Orleans, Willy even winds up in a confrontation with an Italian crime ring. While all these adventures mold Willy into a clever card player and a masterful fortune-hunter, his grand ambition to be a professional gambler is thwarted when the influenza epidemic strikes. Willy is forced to return home to his family's Texas ranch, where he faces the most challenging test of his young life and begins to prove that he is far more than simply an apprentice. An impressively well written and fully compelling read from beginning to end, "The Gambler's Apprentice" is a sophisticated and deftly crafted western novel that will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of western fiction buffs that "The Gambler's Apprentice" is also available in a Kindle edition ($15.99).

Opening Gates
Nancy King
Plain View Press
1101 W. 34th Street, Suite 404, Austin, TX 87805
9781632100153, $18.95, PB, 250pp,

It's the summer of 1956 and with her parents away and her boyfriend abroad, Rennie is a young woman on her own. To make money for college, Rennie takes a job as a recreational therapist in a large mental hospital in New York City, despite her reluctance to sign a loyalty oath in the charged times of McCarthyism. She has no relevant experience, but she's good at sports. How hard can it be? Very hard, she discovers. As Rennie struggles to relate to the confused, emotionally unpredictable women and challenging hospital administrators and staff, she is befriended by a troubled young man with a passion for jazz, meets a wise Middle Eastern restaurateur, and after an accident on her motor scooter, becomes three construction workers' favorite "damsel in distress". Too stubborn to quit, Rennie finds meaningful ways to connect with her patients and creates previously unimaginable opportunities for them. Rennie also discovers a new, stronger part of herself. By summer's end, no longer dependent on other's opinions, she can listen to her heart and conscience and make crucial changes in her own life. "Opening Gates" is another terrific novel from the pen of Nancy King and is a compelling and ultimately rewarding read from beginning to end. Very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Opening Gates" is also available in a Kindle edition ($2.99).

The Judgment
D. J. Niko
Medallion Press, Inc.
c/o Medallion Media Group
100 South Rivers Street, Aurora, IL 60506
9781942546221, $14.95, PB, 416pp,

The year is 965 BCE. Upon the death of his father, Solomon has been appointed king of the united monarchy of Israel and Judah and charged with building the Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. He travels to Egypt to negotiate with Pharaoh Psusennes II for gold for the temple and to improve relations between the two nations. There he falls in love with the pharaoh's beautiful daughter, Nicaule, and the two kings agree to an arranged marriage. Against her will, for she loves another, Nicaule follows her new husband to Israel. A consistently compelling read from beginning to end, "The Judgment" showcases author D. J. Niko as an impressively talented and skillful author. Certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Judgement" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Bad Mother
Marguerite Andersen, author
Donald Winkler, translator
Second Story Press
20 Maud Street, Suite 401, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5V 2M5
9781927583975, $19.95, PB, 216pp,

Born in Germany, Marguerite was just into her twenties when she moved to Tunisia with her French lover. She thought she was choosing a life of adventure and freedom, but what she got was children and a marriage that quickly became abusive. Constrained by the minutiae of everyday life, Marguerite longs for the agency to make her own choices. Eventually she flees, leaving her children behind for a year and a half. As the world labels her a wife, a mother, and eventually a bad mother, Marguerite wrestles with her own definition of personhood. Can you love your children and want your own life at the same time? A half-century later, this fictionalized account of Andersen's life is written with brutal honesty, in spare, pithy, and often poetic prose, as she expresses her own conflicted feelings concerning a difficult time and the impact it had on her sense of self. Andersen confronts the large and small choices that she made - the times she stayed and the times she didn't - all the while asking, "What kind of mother am I?" A compelling read that clearly reveals author Marguerite Andersen as an impressively talented and skillful novelist, "The Bad Mother" is deftly translated into English for the benefit of an American readership by Donald Winkler. While very highly recommended for community and academic library Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Bad Mother" is also available in a Kindle edition ($13.99).

Jean Giono
New York Review of Books
435 Hudson Street, Suite 300, New York, NY 10014
9781590179185, $14.00, PB, 144pp,

Deep in Provence, a century ago, four stone houses perch on a hillside. Wildness presses in from all sides. Beyond a patchwork of fields, a mass of green threatens to overwhelm the village. The animal world (which includes a miming cat, and a malevolent boar) displays a mind of its own. The four houses have a dozen residents -- and then there is Gagou, a mute drifter. Janet, the eldest of the men, is bedridden; he feels snakes writhing in his fingers and speaks in tongues. Even so, all is well until the village fountain suddenly stops running. From this point on, humans and the natural world are locked in a life-and-death struggle. All the elements (fire, water, earth, and air) come into play. "Hill" by Jean Giono (1895 - 1970) was the author's debut as a novelist and is ably translated from French into English for the benefit of a new generation of appreciative readers. While very strongly recommended for community and academic library Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that Jean Giono's "Hill" is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.99).

The Winds of Folly
Seth Hunter
McBooks Press, Inc.
520 North Meadow Street, Ithaca, NY 14850
9781590137055, $18.95, PB, 384pp,

"The Winds of Folly" by Seth Hunter is the fourth title in a compelling new historical naval adventure series from a self-evident master of maritime storytelling. The year is 1796, and Nathan Peake, captain of the frigate Unicorn, is sent with a small squadron into the Adriatic to help bring Venice into an Italian alliance with Britain against the French. Captain Peake establishes a British naval presence, harrying the French corsairs that swarm out of Ancona in Italy and confronts the politics of "intrigue, poison and the stiletto" in Venice, but learns that Bonaparte is negotiating a peace deal with the Austrians -- Britain's only remaining ally. Worse, the Spanish are about to ally with the French. Captain Peake returns to the Unicorn and rejoins Nelson for the decisive Battle of St. Vincent against the entire Spanish fleet. Exceptionally well written and consistently compelling from first page to last, "The Winds of Folly" is very highly recommended for community library Historical Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Winds of Folly" is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).

Where We Fall
Rochelle B. Weinstein
Lake Union Publishing
c/o Amazon Publishing
9781612184432, $14.95, PB, 304pp,

By all accounts, Abby Holden has it all. She's the mother of a beautiful teenager and the wife of a beloved high school football coach. And all it took to achieve her charmed life was her greatest act of betrayal. Coach Ryan can coax his team to victory, but he can't seem to make his wife, Abby, happy. Her struggles with depression have marred their marriage and taken a toll on their daughter, Juliana. Although this isn't the life he's dreamed of, he's determined to heal the rifts in his family. Chasing waterfalls and documenting their beauty has led photographer Lauren Sheppard all around the world. Now it has brought her back home to the mountains of North Carolina - back to the scene of her devastating heartbreak. For the first time in seventeen years, a trio of once-inseparable friends find themselves confronting past loves, hurts, and the rapid rush of a current that still pulls them together. An original, engaging, consistently compelling, and superbly crafted novel, "Where We Fall" by Rochelle B. Weinstein is very highly recommended for community library General Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Where We Fall" is also available in a Kindle edition ($4.99) and in an MP3 CD format ($9.99).

Max Brand
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781785412073, $29.99, 328pp, PB,

During the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898, two prospectors and their wolf dog Chinook encounter a mysterious woman traveling with her dog team. One man warms to her - the other distrusts her. She is hiding secrets which endangers them all! Max Brand is the best-known pen name of Frederick Faust, creator of such beloved characters as Destry and Dr. Kildare, among others. This new edition of "Chinook" is a classic Max Brand yarn that is now available in a large print format which is very highly recommended for all community library collections, as well as the personal reading lists for the legions of Max Brand fans.

The Cookbook Shelf

Chef Ronaldo's Sabores de Cuba
Ronaldo Linares
American Diabetes Association
1701 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311
9781580406130, $18.95, PB, 224pp,

Ronaldo Linares is a Cuban/Colombian/American, a classically trained chef, and the Executive Chef of Martino's Cuban in Somerville, New Jersey. In "Chef Ronaldo's Sabores de Cuba", Ronaldo draws upon his many years of experience and expertise to features nearly 100 recipes, all of which meet the strict nutrition guidelines of the American Diabetes Association, are truly palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, kitchen cook friendly, and diabetes dieting appropriate. "Chef Ronaldo's Sabores de Cuba" is bilingual, with English on one side and Spanish on the reverse. "Chef Ronaldo's Sabores de Cuba" also includes eight pages of original color photography, an attractive two-color interior, a glossary, and list of helpful pantry items and kitchen tools. With recipes ranging from Hemingway Sangria; Braised Dutch-Oven Lentils; Rosemary-Roasted Asparagus; All-Seasons Berry Smoothie; and Morning Coconut Pancakes; to Plantain and Sweet Potato Soup; Cilantro-Mint Watermelon Salad; Latin Herb-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Avocado Chimichurri; Cuban Chicken Stir-Fry; and Ronaldo's Cuban Sandwich, "Chef Ronaldo's Sabores de Cuba" is certain to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, family, professional, and community library ethnic cookbook collections.

Haute Dogs
Russell Van Kraayenburg
Quirk Books
215 Church Street, Philadelphia PA 19106
9781594746758, $18.95, PB, 168pp,

In the pages of Russell Van Kraayenburg's "Haute Dogs: Recipes for Delicious Hot Dogs, Buns, and Condiments", the lowly tube of meat in a bun has been elevated to the status of elegant cuisine. Profusely illustrated in full color throughout, "Haute Dogs" is comprised of recipes ranging from the Montreal Steamie; the Maxwell Street Polish; the Colombian Pineapple Dog; and the Baguette Dog; to the French Fry Dog; the Spicy Thai Dog; the Wasabi Dog; and the Waffle Dog. Of special note is the 'From-Scratch Ingredients' offering recipes for buns and batters; hot dogs, wieners, frankfurters, and sausages; condiments, sauces, and toppings. As fun to browse through as it is unique to plan menus with, "Haute Dogs" will prove to be an enduringly popular and much appreciated addition to any personal, family, professional, or community library cookbook collection. It should be noted that "Haute Dogs" is also available in a Kindle edition ($13.99).

Chef in the Wild
Randy King
Caxton Press
312 Main Street, Caldwell, ID 83605-3299
9780870045929, $21.95, PB, 194pp,

A professional chef and avid outdoorsman Randy King as been cooking and hunting for his entire professional career. "Chef in the Wild: Reflections and Recipes from a True Wilderness Chef" is his debut as a cookbook author and combines inherently fascinating commentaries with thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes. Profusely illustrated, this coffee-table sized cookbooks showcases dishes that reflect game animals with recipes that range from Tortilla Chip Crusted Pheasant Breast with Hunters Style Corn Cakes; Peaches and Cream Grouse Bundles; Barbecue Bear Ribs; Pepper Crusted Venison Steaks; and Pan Roasted Caribou Steak with Watermelon, Corn and Zucchini Salad and Brown Butter Sage Vinaigrette; to Almond Crusted Steelhead with Chilean Barbacoa Sauce and Fingerling Potatoes; Smoked Trout Chowder; Arugla Salad with Duck Fat and Mulberry Dressing; Smoked Turkey Gravy; Antelope Solomo. Of special note are the butchering instructions provided, and a chapter dedicated to beverages that includes Elderberry Bourbon; Huckleberry Vodka; Mulberry Infused Wine. There's even a chapter on desserts that includes Chocolate Shortbread; Apricot and Cherry Cobble; and a Tucscan Polenta Apricot Rum Cake. "Chef in the Wild" is a unique and enthusiastically recommended addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections.

Project Smoke
Steven Raichlen
Workman Publishing Company
225 Varick Street, New York, NY 10014-4381
9780761189237, $37.50, HC, 304pp,

From America's "master griller" Steven Raichlen, "Project Smoke" is a step-by-step guide to cold-smoking, hot-smoking, and smoke-roasting, as well as a collection of 100 innovative recipes for smoking every kind of food, from starters to desserts. Smoke is the soul of barbecue, the alchemy that happens when burning wood infuses its magical flavors into food. "Project Smoke" tells you how to make the alchemy happen, with Raichlen's seven steps to smoking nirvana; an in-depth description of the various smokers; the essential brines, rubs, marinades, and barbecue sauces; and a complete guide to fuel, including how each type of wood subtly seasons a dish. Then the recipes for 100 enticing, succulent, boldly-flavored smoked dishes, including Bacon-Crab Poppers, Cherry-Glazed Baby Back Ribs, Slam-Dunk Brisket, Jamaican Jerk Chicken - even Smoked Chocolate Bread Pudding. Illustrated throughout with full-color photographs, "Project Smoke" is one of those culinary collections that inspires hunger at every glance, and satisfies with every recipe tried. Thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly', "Project Smoke" is very highly recommended for personal, family, and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Project Smoke" is also available in a paperback edition (9780761181866, $22.95) and in a Kindle format ($12.25).

The Essential Home-Ground Flour Book
Sue Becker
Robert Rose Inc.
120 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 800, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4P 1E2
9780778805342, $24.95, PB, 288pp,

The many benefits of home flour milling include taste and flavor and the appeal of making a healthy food that tastes good and is seriously nutritious. Home ground flour milling can also save countless dollars just in the cost of bread alone, especially for those with special dietary needs and restrictions, and improved health leads to reduced medical costs. "The Essential Home-Ground Flour Book " by Sue Becker is a comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' instruction guide comprised of how-to details laying out the whole process behind home flour milling with features that include: The history of whole grains and grain anatomy Benefits of commercially milled flour vs home milled flour; Tools and equipment for home flour milling; Baking basics including mixing methods and techniques -- the importance of gluten and moisture; Going with the grains -- a thorough description of grains such as barley, rye, kamut and buckwheat; Nut flours such as almond; Baking with freshly milled grains. There are also 100 recipes for tasty quick breads, rolls and buns, muffins, pancakes, coffee cakes, biscuit and scones, cookies, brownies and pastries, plus others that are gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. Very highly recommended for personal and community library cookbook collections, "The Home Ground Flour Book" is ideal for anyone who wants to create their own flours for a culinary wealth of palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, healthy and nutritious baked goods for the home and hearth.

1,001 Best Grilling Recipes, second edition
Rick Browne
Sterling Books
c/o Agate Publishing
1328 Greenleaf Street, Evanston, IL 60202
9781572841918, $20.99, PB, 720pp,

Grilling meats and vegetables is a part of every national and ethnic cuisine around the world. It is from that global cornucopia that barbecue and grilling expert Rick Brown has selected the 1,001 recipes showcased in this new second edition of "1,001 Best Grilling Recipes: Delicious, Easy-to-Make Recipes from Around the World". A superb culinary resource for planning menus with, the recipes range from Barbecued London Broil; Bourbon Chicken Wings; Fired-Up Blue Cheese Burgers; and Wild Duck with Pecan Stuffing; to Hot Italian Sausage in Sour Cream; Bavarian Roasted Picnic Ham; Tequila Sweet Potatos; and Plum Cinnamon Tart. It should be noted that each featured recipe includes nutritional facts for calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium protein, carbohydrates, and diabetic exchanges. Also available in a Kindle edition ($18.46), "1,001 Best Grilling Recipes: Delicious, Easy-to-Make Recipes from Around the World" is very highly recommended and will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, family, and community library cookbook collections.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Communing with the Ancestors
Raven Grimassi
Weiser Publishers
c/o Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
9781578635931, $17.95, PB, 224pp,

Raven Grimassi is a neo-pagan scholar and award-winning author of more than 12 books on witchcraft, Wicca, and neo-paganism. In "Communing with the Ancestors: Your Spirit Guides, Bloodline Allies, and the Cycle of Reincarnation", Grimassi explores the realm of the ancestors in an inherently fascinating and far-ranging guide that includes practices and rituals both ancient and new for communing with the ancestors. "Communing with the Ancestors" covers: How to build shrines and altars and make offerings; Where to find and work with sacred sites, power places, and special portals to the ancients; Guided imagery that will take you into the "Cavern of the Ancestors," the spiritual corridor where the ancestors can be directly approached; How to access the Spirit-Rider, an ancestor that can travel between the realms of mortals and ancients; How to see and understand the restless dead who remain bound to the Earth realms; The role of reincarnation in the soul's relationship to ancestral lineage; "Communing with the Ancestors" is enhanced with the inclusion of some of the extraordinary folklore, legend, and superstition surrounding the topic of ancestor worship. While very highly recommended for community and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Communing with the Ancestors" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Goddess and the Shaman
J. A. Kent
Llewellyn Publications
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
9780738740423, $19.99, PB, 384pp,

Residing in Sydney, Australia, J. A. Kent, PhD has practiced and taught High Magic and Wicca, including university courses in the fields of educational and developmental psychology. She has degrees in teaching, a post-graduate degree in counseling/psychotherapy, and a doctorate in Social Ecology from the University of Western Sydney. She is a natural psychic and has been trained in herbal medicine, homoeopathic medicine, and hypnotherapy. Kent draws upon her years of experience and expertise in "The Goddess and the Shaman: The Art & Science of Magical Healing" to help her readers explore the resurgence of magical and shamanic healing in the world today. Recovering from disease, pain, and mental illness often means addressing otherworldly causes such as soul loss, soul fragmentation, or invasive spirits. Interviewing modern shamanic practitioners and sharing her own experiences as a psychotherapist and healer, Kent shows how ritual practice and mystical experience can be used as tools to foster profound spiritual and psychological growth. Through exploration of otherworldly phenomena, the Western mystery traditions, and Kent's own psychotherapy case studies, "The Goddess and the Shaman" shows how the Goddess represents the numinous reality of the universe while the Shaman represents the archetypal figure that can access the other side to bring forth knowledge and healing. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented throughout, "The Goddess and the Shaman" is very highly recommended for inclusion into community, college, and university library Metaphysical Studies collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Goddess and the Shaman" is also available in a Kindle edition ($11.99).

The Travel Shelf

The Best of Olympic National Park
Alan Leftridge
Farcountry Press
PO Box 5630, Helena, MT 59604
9781560376439, $19.95, PB, 136pp,

Alan Leftridge has served as a seasonal naturalist in Yellowstone National Park and a wilderness ranger in the Mission Mountains Wilderness. In "The Best of Olympic National Park" he draws upon his experience and expertise to create an informed and informative travel guide for making the most of any trip to the Olympic National Park in the northwest state of Washington! From the coast to the rain forest to the snowcapped mountains, "The Best of Olympic National Park" handy and thoroughly 'user friendly' guide covering all the best hikes, best picnic spots, best places to see wildlife, best wildflowers, best waterfalls, best activities for kids, and so much more. Enhanced throughout with beautiful color photographs, locator maps, and clear, concise directions, "The Best of Olympic National Park" will prove to be an indispensable resource for getting the most out of any Olympic National Park excursion.

Death Valley: Hottest Place on Earth
Roger Naylor
Rio Nuevo Publishers
PO Box 5250, Tucson, AZ 85703
9781933855875, $12.95, PB, 80pp,

Death Valley National Park is a vast expanse of stark beauty and harsh extremes that attracts visitors from all over the world. Death Valley sizzles, but it's not just the climate. This hot spot is also one of the coolest places to visit. It's golden canyons, caramel sand dunes, salty mud flats, and snowcapped mountains. Rocks mysteriously slide over the Racetrack, bright blue pupfish manage to survive in Devil's Hole, and mining ghost towns stand eerily silent. Slather on your sunscreen, lace up your hiking boots, and follow adventurous writer Roger Naylor on a tour through the history, geology, landscape, wildlife, and attractions of the hottest place on earth. Profusely illustrated, informed and informative, "Death Valley: Hottest Place on Earth" is an ideal read for the armchair traveler and a highly recommended addition to community and academic library collections.

Local Eats London
Natasha McGuinness, author
Danielle Kroll, illustrator
Yellow Pear Press
155 Montgomery Street, Suite 507, San Francisco, CA 94104
9780990537083, $14.95, HC, 96pp,

Interweaving Danielle Kroll's whimsical illustrations with the informative, humorous reminiscences of author Natasha McGuinness' culinary journeys in the vibrant city on the Thames, "Local Eats London": Bangers & Mash, Pasties, Jaffa Cake and Other London Favorites is a charming pocket-size guide to the traditional (and often underrated) British fare found in the markets, pubs, tea shops and cafes of the city. This easy-to-carry, mini tome will help travelers who are seeking the most delicious food the city has to offer -- whether on the go, in need of tea and a nibble, or ready to sit down to a leisurely meal. From high tea to late night snacks, and every meal in between, this enchanting guide is all any food-loving traveler will need to enjoy the wide variety of unique and tasty fare available in the capital. Rather than simply another restaurant guide, "Local Eats London" offers descriptions of the sometimes oddly named, traditional foods visitor will find in the markets, shops, pubs and restaurants of London. Author Natasha McGuinness own delectable adventures are coupled with Danielle Kroll's delightful images to create a lyrical and witty chronicle of the delicious discoveries the visitor can experience in this cosmopolitan city. Simply stated, "Local Eats London" is a thoroughly 'user friendly' travel guide that will prove invaluable in planning trip itineraries.

The Business Shelf

Digital Marketing Strategy
Simon Kingsnorth
Kogan Page USA
1518 Walnut Street, Suite 1100, Philadelphia, PA 19102
9780749474706, $39.95, PB, 344pp,

Digital and social media are essential aspects of a marketing department's function; therefore, it is important that they are integrated into the organization's wider goals. Uniting digital marketing techniques with business strategy and established marketing models such as the 7 P's, Porter's Five Forces, and Customer Lifetime Value, "Digital Marketing Strategy: An Integrated Approach to Online Marketing" by Simon Kingsnorth (who is the Global Head of Digital Marketing at Citi Private Bank) demonstrates how to formulate the best strategy for a company. Rather than presenting a "one size fits all" model, Kingsnorth brings various strategies to life through case studies, charts, illustrations, and checklists. "Digital Marketing Strategy" covers what digital marketing is, how to budget and forecast, acquisition, personalization, customer service, user experience, content strategy, how to analyze and perform social measurements, and how to structure and present a digital marketing plan in order to win support and funding. While very highly recommended as a core addition to community and library Business Marketing instructional reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists, it should be noted for individual corporate and small business marketing directors that "Digital Marketing Strategy" is also available in a Kindle edition ($31.96).

The Conversion Code
Chris Smith
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9781119211884, $25.00, HC, 192pp,

In "The Conversion Code", Chris Smith (Co-Founder of Curaytor, a social media, digital marketing and sales coaching company that helps businesses grow faster) provides a step-by-step blueprint for increasing sales in the modern, Internet-driven era. Today's consumers are savvy, and they have more options than ever before. Capturing their attention and turning it into revenue requires a whole new approach to marketing and sales. "The Conversion Code" provides clear guidance toward conquering the new paradigm shift towards online lead generation and inside sales. You'll learn how to capture those invaluable Internet leads, convert them into appointments, and close more deals. Regardless of product or industry, this proven process will increase both the quantity and quality of leads and put your sales figures on the rise. "The Conversion Code" shows how to: Engage with consumers more effectively online; Leverage the strengths of social media, apps, and blogs to capture more leads for less money; Convert more Internet leads into real-world prospects and sales appointments; Make connections on every call and learn the exact words that close more sales. "The Conversion Code" provides an actionable blueprint for capturing Internet leads and turning them into customers. While very highly recommended for community, corporate, and academic library Business Marketing instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Conversion Code" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Graphic Novel Shelf

Magi 17
Shinobu Ohtaka
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200, San Francisco CA 94103
9781421577937 $9.99

Magi 17 continues the manga (Japanese comics) series about the brutal realities of survival in a war-torn fantasy world, where a minority of the population are "magicians", a distinct tribe of people capable of using magic. Whether this power is a blessing or a curse is subject to interpretation, as magicians are often persecuted, enslaved, coveted, or outright killed! Two magician friends, Aladdin and Titus, have sought refuge and training in Magnoshutatt, a small nation ruled entirely by magicians. Thought Magnoshutatt seems like a haven at first, there is a dark side to this land - its ruling class, and especially its wizard headmaster, view ordinary humans with extreme contempt. Worse, Magnoshutatt is on the brink of war with the expansionist empire of Leam. Aladdin and Titus must each chose sides in the brewing conflict. Even worse, Aladdin harbors a grim suspicion about the source of the power fueling Magnoshutatt's headmaster! A dark saga about navigating a complex, violent world where good and evil are not easily defined, Magi is highly recommended for teen and adult readers.

Naruto: 3-in-1 edition, volume 14
Masashi Kishimoto
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200, San Francisco CA 94103
9781421582542 $14.99

Naruto: 3-in-1 edition, volume 14 gathers volumes 40, 41, and 42 of the immensely popular Naruto manga (Japanese comics) into a single omnibus graphic novel. The Naruto series is set in a fantastic world where those skilled in ninjitsu arts, or blessed with the miraculous bloodline gifts such as the all-seeing power of Sharingan, are capable of superhuman feats... which can in turn alter the outcomes of wars, or the destiny of nations. The titular hero Naruto and his teammates are in hot pursuit of Naruto's rival Sasuke, who in turn seeks revenge upon his kinslaying brother Itachi. Yet an even greater crisis is taking shape in a neighboring war-ravaged nation. A new leader, "Lord Pain", has seized power; the nation is so tightly closed-off that no one has the faintest idea who Lord Pain is, let alone his intentions toward neighboring nations. Naruto's teacher Jiraiya undertakes a dangerous reconnaissance mission into hostile territory, where he discovers that Lord Pain's origins are directly connected to his own fateful past. The action comes fast, furious, and laced with a dash of intrigue in this exciting saga! The Naruto series is highly recommended for teen and adult readers.

Assassination Classroom 9
Yusei Matsui
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200, San Francisco CA 94103
9781421582818 $9.99

Assassination Classroom 9 continues this modern-day manga (Japanese comics) series, tinged with a light element of science fiction - mostly in the unbelievably resilient nature of the mysterious "Koro-Sensei", an (apparently) inhuman creature that has threatened to destroy the Earth in a year if no one can kill him first. Paradoxically, Koro-Sensei seeks to fulfill his dream of being a teacher by training the students of the reviled and ostracized class 3-E to assassinate him, and therefore save the Earth. Will class 3-E become skilled enough at assassination to kill Koro-Sensei and earn the multimillion bounty that the government has put on his head? As their first semester draws to a close, the students must put their training to the test against a vengeful enemy who has poisoned several of them with a horrific biological weapon! But who is truly worse - the insane madman who wants to torture and kill class 3-E, or the manipulative school principal who maliciously designated class 3-E to be scorned, shunned, and despised? One student in particular, when given the opportunity to be promoted out of 3-E, must answer this question for himself! Spanning genre elements from intense action to social commentary to fleeting moments of comedy, Assassination Classroom 9 is an unforgettable saga, recommended for older teen and adult readers due to scenes of violence.

Library Wars 15: Love and War
Story and art by Kiiro Yumi
Original concept by Hiro Arikawa
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200, San Francisco CA 94103
9781421585857 $9.99

Library Wars 15: Love and War is the concluding volume of the shojo manga (Japanese comics written especially for a female audience) adaptation of a series of novels about war, censorship, and battlefield love. In the Library Wars series, Japan teeters on the brink of dystopia; the federal government has created a committee to eradicate all books deemed unsuitable. Libraries across the nation resisted the rampant censorship, allying with local governments to form a military group: The Library Forces! Iku Kasahara is a young woman who started as an entry-level Library Forces recruit; now, she has been entrusted with a dangerous escort mission that could potentially alter the course of the entire war. Her critical thinking and subterfuge skills will be put to the test... when neither has been her strong point for most of her life! Like most shojo manga, Library Wars focuses more intensely on personal relationships and inner conflict than on external violence, and Iku's deep-seated love for the severely injured Dojo is a major theme. Library Wars is a choice pick for shojo manga connoisseurs. Although Library Wars 15 is the final graphic novel adapting the main Library Wars story, a manga rendition of the Library Wars side-stories is forthcoming!

Case Closed 58
Gosho Aoyama
Viz Media LLC
1355 Market Street, Suite 200, San Francisco CA 94103
9781421577869 $9.99

Case Closed 58 is part of a long-running, enduringly popular manga (Japanese comics) mystery/suspense series. Although set in modern times, Case Closed is clearly inspired by classic detective stories and spy thrillers. "Conan Edogawa" is the alias of an intrepid teenage genius who ran afoul of an organized crime cartel. By chance, their assassination drug didn't kill him; instead, it trapped him in the body of a six-year-old. Conan's supremely keen intellect remains intact; he uses both his mind and his innocuous new cover identity to help the police and the FBI solve crimes! Volume 58 continues a tangled saga in which the FBI strives to keep a hospitalized crime-syndicate member from being retaken into enemy ranks, or outright assassinated. The crime-syndicate fields the highest level of infiltration operatives, technology, and weaponry; their reach is so great that they can send bombs or trigger an influx of hospital patients with sadistic impunity! Can Conan and the FBI outwit an evil organization with resources that rival those of a shadow government? Volume 58 also introduces a new character, FBI agent Andre Camel, whose brutish looks belie his supreme skill as a driver. Recommended for teen and adult readers due to scenes of violence, Case Closed 58 is a "must-read" for detective fiction connoisseurs.

The Audiobook Shelf

Hide Away: An Eve Duncan Novel
Iris Johansen, author
Narrated by Elisabeth Rodgers
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
9781501906183 $TBA

Hide Away: An Eve Duncan Novel is the unabridged audiobook rendition of the latest thriller following forensic sculptor Eve Duncan. Eve and Joe Quinn have taken responsibility for protecting a young girl, Cara Delaney. They decide that the best place to hide from Cara's enemies is outside of the country; they join Eve's daughter Jane MacGuire in the search for a treasure thought to be hidden in Scotland. Balancing action with suspense, strong characters, and a resonant bond between mothers and daughters, Hide Away is highly recommended. 9 CDs, 11 hours.

The Cavendon Luck
Barbara Taylor Bradford, author
Read by Anna Bentinck
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781427271921 $44.99

The Cavendon Luck is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a historical novel set in 1938 England. Miles and Cecily Ingham have worked hard to rescue the Cavendon estate from the brink of ruin, yet the imminent arrival of World War II will test the resolve of the Inghams, the Swanns, and the villagers as no trial has before. A multilayered drama laced with intrigue, love, grief, and hope, The Cavendon Luck is engrossing to the very end. 13 CDs, 16 hours.

Beyond the Ice Limit
Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, authors
Read by David W. Collins
Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9781478909118 $30.00

Beyond the Ice Limit: A Gideon Crew Novel is the unabridged audiobook rendition of Gideon Crew's most suspenseful adventure yet. Now Gideon must aid Eli Glinn, the paralyzed survivor of a doomed mission to recover a the largest known meteorite from a remote South American island. But the meteorite is not an object - it is a living thing, intelligent and deadly. It has burrowed in the sea bed two miles below the Earth's surface, and now the only hope of saving the planet from it is the strategic use of nuclear weapons, guided by Gideon and Glinn. An exciting blend of science fiction and terrifying thriller, Beyond the Ice Limit is highly recommended. 9 CDs, 10.5 hours.

Sir Apropos Of Nothing
Peter David
Graphic Audio
4940 Hampden Lane, Suite 300, Bethesda, MD 20814
Volume 1: 9781628512212, $19.99, 6 CDs, 7 hours
Volume 2: 9781628512274, $19.99, 6 CDs, 7 hours

Born of a brutal gang rape of his mother by a band of knights, Apropos is a product of a violent childhood. Estranged from his prostitute mother, fatherless since his unfortunate conception, Apropos makes his living as a thief. But when the death of a young girl rattles his conscience, and when he forges an unlikely alliance with a hero of true nobility, Apropos finds himself confronting for the first time in his life the selfish nature of his maverick, every-man-for-himself ethos. At times a loyal friend, at others a ruthless betrayer, Apropos is fast approaching the moment when he must choose between honor and safety, between the core of nobility residing in his heart and the shame that has haunted him through life. What author Peter David has created is a complex and deeply flawed character who can't stand the idea that he has an heroic destiny -- yet events keep forcing him against his will in that direction. Original, compelling, deftly crafted, Peter David's humorous fantasy action/adventure, "Sir Apropos Of Nothing", has been deftly translated into a fascinating and riveting theatrical production with an impressively talented cast, and enhanced with music, sound effects, and flawless production values. The result is an audio book that is highly recommended for personal and community library collections, and which will linger in the mind and imagination long after it is finished and set back upon the shelf.

Darkened Blade
Kelly McCullugh
Graphic Audio
4940 Hampden Lane, Suite 300, Bethesda, MD 20814
9781628512434, $19.99, CD,

It's been nine long years since the death of his patron, Namara, and exalted assassin Aral Kingslayer desperately misses the thrill and glory of being a higher power of justice. Now he is haunted by the ghosts of the past, as well as the ghost of the murdered goddess Namara herself. When Namara calls upon Aral in a dream to seek justice for her death and the ruination of her temple, Aral must obtain the help of his fellow former Blades and his Shade familiar, Triss, to pursue the vengeance he knows Namara deserves. Even if it means attacking Heaven's Son and his legion of the Risen, as well as going against one of their own, in a bloody battle of epic proportions. Continuing the saga of Aral Kingslayer that began with Kelly McCullough's "Broken Blade", this superbly produced, multi-cast production of "Darkened Blade" is a true 'theatre of the mind' experience that is impressively augmented with digital music and sound effects, making it a 'must' for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy audio book collections in general, and the legions of McCullough fans in particular. (6 CDs; 7 Hours).

The Music CD Shelf

Follow the River Home
Jeff Pearce
Privately Published

Follow the River Home is the most recent instrumental album from award-winning composer and electric guitarist Jeff Pearce. Ranging in tone from inviting and melodic, to gently meditative, to dynamic and motivational, Follow the River Home is a soundscape that envelopes the listener and hearkens to memories of journeys past, as well as anticipation of future travels. Highly recommended. The tracks are "Under Summer Stars", "Downstream I" (3:49), "Outpost" (6:13), "Snowfall" (4:46), "Downstream II" (9:07), "Gathering Stars" (20:09), and "Following the River Home" (4:44).

Rough Romanian Soul
Produced by Ian Brennan
Six Degrees Records
PO Box 411347, San Francisco, CA 94141-1347
$9.99 CD / $9.49 MP3

Romanian immigrant band Zmei3 (pronounced "zmay-tray") present Rough Romanian Soul, a profound and powerful music album that evokes the difficulty of trying to earn a living amid post-Communist rule. With roots in traditional Romanian music as well as blues, soul, and jazz, Rough Romanian Soul overflows with heartfelt passion, speaking openly of immigration, oppression, loneliness, and resilience, as well as showcasing the majesty of the Romanian language. Intense and unforgettable, Rough Romanian soul is a welcome addition to world music collections. The tracks are "Stay Near Me", "Hymn", "2nd of of May", "Story From My Country", "Shhh!!!... All The Forbidden Speech", "Mary, Mary", "To Have You", "Since I've Been Loving You", "Ay!", "One Day", "I Want A Man", "Beauty Sleep", "I Will Find", "Dream", and "She's Gone Wild.

Sherry Finzer, Darin Mahoney, and Will Clipman
HeartDance Records
$14.99 CD / $9.99 download,

Trialogue is an ambient album of instrumental music featuring Sherry Finzer on concert C, alto and bass flutes; luthier and guitarist Darin Mahoney playing the koa and cedar acoustic guitars; and seven-time Grammy nominee Will Clipman on drums and percussion. Transcending the genres of new age, American roots, and worldbeat, Trialogue promotes clarity and energy with its uplifting original songs. The tracks are "Cote d'Ivoirre" (4:33), "Mending Fences" (4:22), "Midnight in Marrakech" (4:23), "Confused" (6:16), "Dark Horse" (4:00), "Top Down" (3:07), "Alger St." (5:11), "Woodland Lake" (3:48), "Thanks for Asking" (3:29) and "Wolf Havven" (5:15). 44 min 46 sec. Also highly recommended for instrumental album connoisseurs is Michelle Qureshi's "Scattering Stars" ($12.97 download), a breathtakingly beautiful new age CD inspired by Sufi mysticism and the writings of Rumi and Hafiz.

I Remember
Cynthia Hart
Cynthia Hart Songs
$17.99 CD / $TBA download

Available as a CD or digital download, I Remember: The Magic of Atlantis, Lemuria & Mother Earth is a new age album by singer and songwriter Cynthia Hart. The physical CD includes a lyric booklet to these lilting, beautiful compositions. I Remember is an emotionally moving celebration of life, hope, and wonder. The tracks are "Music of the Earth" (5:28), "Lemurian Dreamer" (6:23), "I Forgive" (6:23), "Love Is Forever" (4:07), "Sisters of the Moon" (8:49), "I Am" (5:25), "Listen With Your Heart" (4:36), "Atlantis" (6:17), "I Celebrate Your Life" (7:00), "You Are Loved Come Home" (7:44). 62 min 12 sec. Also highly recommended for new age connoisseurs is is Geoff Hall's orchestral-ambient debut album "Understanding the Signs" ($12.80 CD / $7.92 MP3), an instrumental exploration incorporating synthesized sounds, delicately arranged string music, neo-classical and electronic elements, and much more.

Michael Winograd and Zeb Bangash
Privately Published

Sandaraa is an extraordinary fusion album by Brooklyn clarinetist Michael Winograd and Pakistani singer/composer Zeb Bangash. Drawing upon elements of klezmer, as well as Baluchi, Pashto, and Dari music, khayal classical singing, and more, Sandaraa is a unique and unforgettable meeting of cultures, traditions, and exploration. A "must" for international music connoisseurs in search of reinvention. The tracks are "Jegi Jegi Lailajan" (5:50), "Mana Nele" (7:20), "Bibi Sanem Janem" (5:40), "Dilbarake Nazinin" (7:10), and "Haatera Taiyga" (5:06).

Alligator Spacewalk
Will Magid
Happy Rabbit Music
$TBA CD / $11.31 MP3

Ethnomusicologist Will Magid presents Alligator Spacewalk, an original album crafted over the course of three years. Joyous horns, pulsating percussion, classical strings, and a smattering of electronica meld into this pulsing fusion dance. Alligator Spacewalk reaches far beyond traditional boundaries, reflecting humankind's quest to explore the mysteries of outer space. The tracks are "Prelude to Mars" (1:24), "The Crown" (4:03), "Icarian Heights" (4:44), "Sweet Something" (3:45), "The Walk" (5:01), "Paris Dreams" (3:41), "A Frog's Fantasy" (4:23), "Bilongo" (4:21), and "Set Me Free" (3:49).

Pineapples and Ashtrays
Bryan Beninghove and Hangman
$12.99 CD / $9.99 download

Pineapples and Ashtrays is the music CD creation of Jersey jazz artist Bryan Beninghove and his freewheeling group Hangmen. Reaching beyond avant-garde, Pineapples and Ashtrays defies genre classification with adventurous elements of samba rock, bold horn highlights, and intense guitar interplay. Boundless enthusiasm infuses this no-holds-barred blast of an album. The tracks are "Astronete", "Pineapples & Ashtrays", "Lola Gotta Gun", "La Girafe", "Roebuck", "Elephant Stampede", "Girl You'll Be a Woman Soon", and "Terminator". Also highly recommended is "Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey" ($TBA), an album that lives up to its title with Duffey's nostalgic celebration of funk, soul, and electric blues.

The DVD Shelf

Detectorists Series 2
Starring Mackenzie Crook, Toby Jones, & Rachael Stirling
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment

Detectorists Series 2 continues the BAFTA Award-winning British comedy series on DVD, following two marginalized misfits and their metal-detection search for lost Saxon treasures. Even though Andy has finished his degree in archaeology, can he find away to provide for his wife and infant son, let alone confront the withering ferocity of his hostile mother-in-law? Meanwhile Lance is looking for love in all the wrong places, or perhaps just one right place, when the last person he expected appears in his life. When a young German man hires the Danebury Metal Detecting Club to search for a World War II plane wreck, could it be Andy's and Lance's big break, or an even bigger disaster? Quriky characters and stellar performances bring this witty comedy to life! Bonus features include the Christmas Special episode (31 min.), a behind-the-scenes featurette (333 min.) and a behind-the-scenes photo gallery. 6 episodes on 2 DVDs, 178 min. plus bonus, widescreen, SDH subtitles.

Tone & Tighten: A Total Body Workout
Michelle Abbruzzese
Work It! Dance and Fitness

Michelle Abbruzzese, a dance and fitness professional of four decades' experience, presents "Tone & Tighten: A Total Body Workout" (60 min.), a whole-body workout program on DVD. Recommended equipment is nothing more than two free weights (soup cans work!), a strap or towel for stretching, and an optional resistance band. Featuring exercises that work each of the body's muscle groups, Tone & Tighten lives up to its title with simple strength training that will challenge the viewer ultimately help them look and feel their best! Also highly recommended is Abbruzzese's high-energy exercise DVD "Dance Yourself Fit: A Burlesque Inspired Aerobic Exercise Video" (60 min.), which proves that staying fit can be both sexy and fun.

BarreAmped Fire Extreme Sculpt
Suzanne Bowen
Bowen Productions, LLC

BarreAmped Fire Extreme Sculpt is a fitness DVD of barre workouts (involving a simple, sturdy barre or railing, such as used by ballerinas in training) designed to tone and strengthen one's body. Simple hand weights and a mat are also recommended for these routines. Host Suzanne Bowen applies her 15 years of experience to a methodology that incorporates classic technique and a neutral spine position. BarreAmped Fire Extreme Sculpt is an excellent fitness resource, divided into segments that can be mixed and matched to suit the viewer's needs. Highly recommended! The tracks are "Intro" (2 min.), "Total Body Sculpt" (28 min.), "Thigh & Seat" (17 min.), "Abs Blast" (13 min.), "Sleek & Toned Shoulders" (11 min.), and "Relaxation Stretch" (12 min.). The total runtime of BarreAmped Fire Extreme Sculpt is 1 hour 24 min.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

How I Achieved Freedom From Arthritis
Eugene Sims
Privately Published
9780473262419 $24.95

Physiotherapist, naturopath, and author Eugene Sims was diagnosed with osteoarthritis at the age of 17. A healthy and active teenager, he faced severe pain and daunting lifestyle changes as the disease took its toll upon his knees. Sims trained as a physiotherapist for seven years, enduring the ravages of osteoarthritis in spite of physiotherapy and surgery. Eventually he determined ways to eliminate his pain and joint restriction without knee replacement. How I Achieved Freedom From Arthritis is Sims' guide of tips and strategies to help others suffering from this condition. Sims emphasizes that the standard treatment of osteoarthritis often ignores muscles, presents alternatives that readers of all backgrounds can try for themselves instead of taking potentially dangerous painkillers or undergoing joint replacement surgery. How I Achieved Freedom From Arthritis absolutely cannot substitute for the diagnosis or guidance of a trained doctor, yet will prove invaluable for anyone weighing their treatment options.

Yoga for Healthy Feet
Donald Moyer
Rodmell Press
2147 Blake Street, Berkeley, Ca 94704-2715
c/o Shambhala Publications, Inc.
300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115-4544
9781930485372, $14.95, PB, 128pp,

In "Yoga for Healthy Feet: Practice from the Ground Up", Donald Moyer draws upon his more than forty years of experience and expertise teaching yoga to share his insights with respect to using yoga to work with the feet and ankles. "Yoga for Healthy Feet" includes anatomy and architecture of the feet, as understood from a yogic perspective, principles for aligning and balancing the feet, as well as suggestions for addressing common problems, such as foot cramps, sprained ankles, hammer toes, bunions, and plantar fasciitis. "Yoga for Healthy Feet" also includes descriptions of 25 poses that most concern the feet, with an emphasis on standing poses and sitting poses, the use of props such as blocks, straps, and wedges to support the feet and alleviate discomfort, and practice sequences for developing awareness, straightening toes, strengthening arches, improving balance, and supporting ankles. While very highly recommended for professional, community, and academic library Health/Medicine collections in general, and Yoga instructional references in particular, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of yoga enthusiasts and practitioners that "Yoga for Healthy Feet" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Needlecraft Shelf

The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary
Wendy Bernard
Stewart, Tabori & Chang, Inc.
c/o Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
115 West 18th Street, 6th floor, New York, NY 10011
9781617691959, $29.95, HC, 290pp,

Wendy Bernard's groundbreaking reference title "Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary" (9781617690990, $29.95 HC, $16.17 Kindle) was the first of its kind to provide stitch patterns written for top-down, bottom-up, back-and-forth, and in-the-round constructions. Now she is back with "The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary", which picks up where the first volume left off, adding hundreds of new stitch patterns organized similarly by type (knit and purl, textured stitches, ribs, lace, and cables) plus a complete chapter on mosaic knitting. Each individual chapter comprising "The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary" includes a customizable pattern so that knitters can easily swap out stitch patterns to make their own unique knitted items. A spiral bound hardcover instruction manual and guide that can lay flat upon the table and features 150 new stitch patterns, "The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary" is profusely illustrated and thoroughly 'user friendly' in composition, organization, and presentation, making it ideal and highly recommended for the novice and experienced knitter alike. It should also be noted that "The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary" is also available in a Kindle edition ($13.99).

Needle Felting From Basics to Bears
Liza Adams
Stackpole Books
5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6921
9780811716628, $22.95, PB, 128pp,

Drawing upon her years of experience and expertise, Liza Adams takes a project-based approach to teaching the skills you will need to begin your journey in the art of sculpting with wool in the pages of "Needle Felting From Basics to Bears: With Step-by-Step Photos and Instructions for Creating Cute Little Bears and Bunnies from Natural Wools". Now even the most novice needlecrafter can make the cutest little creatures from wool! Needle felting is all the rage, and Liza Adams takes a step-by-step, full illustrated approach to showing how to create tiny bears, rabbits, dogs, cats, fairies, dolls, cupcakes, and more. Beyond basic instructions and step-by-step photos showing what's needed and how to begin, there are advanced options for once the novice needlecraft has mastered the basics. These advanced instruction include making joints so that the arms and legs can really move, as well as making unique details such as pointed ears, long tails, and different noses and muzzles. "Needle Felting From Basics to Bears" is an ideal and very highly recommended addition to personal and community library Needlecraft instructional collections.

Crochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies
Judith Durant & Edie Eckman, editors
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781612125763, $18.95, PB, 288pp,

Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by knitting experts Judith Durant and Edie Eckman, "Crochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies" is comprised of 101 thoroughly 'user friendly' and illustrated projects that makes it easy and fun to crochet adorable clothes, toys, and accessories for the babies and toddlers you love. Each project uses just one skein of yarn, many take just a few hours to complete, and plenty are suitable for beginners. Hats and caps, bootees and socks, mitts, dresses, tops and bottoms, blankets, bibs, soft toys, bottle cozies, diaper bags, and more -- there's something here for every baby! These original patterns were contributed by 54 designers around the world, and each one comes with complete instructions, charts, schematics, and beautiful photographs. "Crochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists of knitting enthusiasts that "Crochet One-Skein Wonders for Babies" is also available in a Kindle edition (9.99).

String Quilt Style
Mary M. Hogan
Landauer Corporation
3100 NW 101st Street, Suite A, Urbandale, Iowa 50322
9781935726821, $24.95, PB, 128pp,

With the instructional guidance provided by "String Quilt Style", even the most novice of quilters will be able to dig out material scraps, stash and precuts to make more than a dozen string quilt projects designed by quilting expert Mary M. Hogan. "String Quilt Style" shows how to make a variety of string quilt block designs including diagonal squares, diamonds, circles, triangles, columns and fans. "String Quilt Style" is complete guide takes aspiring quilters through every step of the string quilting process with helpful tips and suggestions throughout each chapter. Simply stated, "String Quilt Style" will prove to be an enduringly popular and practical addition to personal and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections.

Customize Your Knitting
Margaret Hubert
Creative Publishing International
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781589238862, $22.99, PB, 112pp,

Designers have to create knitting patterns in standard sizes, but very few people actually match up to those "average" measurements. Body shapes vary, weight fluctuates, and good fit means different things to different people; so what is a knitter to do? In "Customize Your Knitting: Adjust to Fit; Embellish to Taste", knitting expert Margaret Hubert draws upon her years of experience and expertise to teach novice knitters how to adjust standard patterns to fit unique measurements. Through techniques that Margaret has used for years to teach classes on custom fitting, anyone can learn to adjust patterns for a perfect fit for themselves or someone else. Diagrams and illustrations throughout "Customize Your Knitting" will help to understand body shapes and easily compare measurements. Garment construction, specific increases, decreases, and other shaping methods, as well as finishing techniques and embellishments are all explained and photographed clearly. Yarn shop instructors can use "Customize Your Knitting" as a textbook to teach classes for their students and customers. While very highly recommended for community library Needlecraft instructional manual collections, it should be noted for needlecraft instructors and individual knitters that "Customize Your Knitting" is also available in a Kindle edition ($16.16).

The Self-Help Shelf

Chris Alexandria
Earthdancer Books
c/o Findhorn Press
Delft Cottage, Dykle Forres Iv36 2TF, Scotland, UK
9781844096930, $9.95, PB, 96pp,

Have you ever heard that little skeptical voice in your head when you are trying to think positive? It is in everyone's head and is called the mind or the ego. Chris Alexandria has discovered a technique for "tricking" the mind and explains with great humor how she learned to do this, what she discovered, and how it can work for anyone. In the pages of "Askfirmations: Make affirmations more effective by using powerful questions" she shares her many years of experience in attracting positive things with ease and the simple but effective practical exercises that have worked for her. Nicely illustrated with color photographs, and also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99), this pocket-size compendium of commentary is a very highly recommended and life-affirming read from beginning to end.

Create vs. Copy
Ken Wytsma
Moody Publishers
820 N. LaSalle Blvd., Chicago, IL 60610
9780802413499, $14.99, HC, 192pp,

"Create vs. Copy: Embrace Change. Ignite Creativity. Break Through with Imagination" by Ken Wytsma is a short, punchy book that explores various aspects of creativity and imagination and will lead the reader toward a healthy, confident, more innovative life mind set. "Create vs. Copy" celebrates the good news of our God-given capacity to create and helps us to harness it and thereby take charge of our lives, navigate these changing times, and ultimately, flourish and succeed. Because Wytsma has traveled to dozens of countries, founded the leading international conference on justice and theology, and collaborated with scores of non-profit organizations, he is uniquely fit to help us be culture-shapers in a world of global change. In "Create vs. Copy" Wytsma blends theology, history, and cultural observation to show us what being God's creative image-bearers might look like today. Whether the reader is a parent, CEO, pastor, or politician, "Create vs. Copy" provides a fresh look at contemporary leadership will challenge the way he or she will view their position of influence, and it will equip them to adapt and thrive in our perplexing yet exciting cultural climate. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Create vs. Copy" is a compelling and informative read, "Create vs. Copy" is very highly recommended for community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement instructional reference collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Create vs. Copy" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.59).

Clearing Emotional Clutter
Donald Altman
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608683642, $15.95, PB, 256pp,

Donald Altman is a licensed psychotherapist and a former Buddhist monk. In "Clearing Emotional Clutter: Mindfulness Practices for Letting Go of What's Blocking Your Fulfillment and Transformation" Alman reveals to his readers how they can create a fresh start to a healthy emotional life and remove all the emotional clutter blocking success in their personal and professional lives. "Clearing Emotional Clutter" teaches how to modify entrenched habits and patterns with only a few minutes of attention daily. This deftly written instructional guide also shows how to avoid the daily danger of accumulating new emotional clutter. No matter how fraught life or relationships may be, readers can cleanse, heal, or accept the old wounds, mistakes, and disappointments with Altman's lifestyle tools. "Clearing Emotional Clutter" explains how to address our past, how to better deal with the present, and how to cultivate the best possible future. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, content, organization and presentation, "Clearing Emotional Clutter" is very highly recommended for community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Clearing Emotional Clutter" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

Killing the Perfectionist Within
Honor Jane Newman
Balboa Press
c/o Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781452529523, $11.99, PB, 130pp,

In the pages of "Killing the Perfectionist Within: A Self-Help Guide for Women Suffering from Perfectionism, Anxiety, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" by Honor Jane Newman (a qualified psychologist who has a special interest in working with women, especially those with perfectionism and chronic fatigue syndrome) women of all ages will learn how they can release unrealistically high expectations for themselves, reduce their anxiety levels, and come to completely accept themselves as they are. "Killing the Perfectionist Within" teaches the beauty of being average through the author's fun and accessible writing style. While enhanced with practical workbook exercises, "Killing the Perfectionist Within" is very highly recommended. It should be noted that "Killing the Perfectionist Within" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).

Your Second to Last Chapter
Paul Wilkes
In Extenso Pres
c/o ACTA Publications
4848 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60640
9780879465667, $19.95, HC, 122pp,

With millions of Americans entering their so-called "retirement years", and with so many of them having few material needs but a hunger in their souls to make this "second to last chapter" count, American writer, speaker, and filmmaker Paul Wilkes offers the practical counsel of one who has already been there in "Your Second to Last Chapter: Creating a Meaningful Life on Your Own Terms". As Wilkes writes: "The last thing we want to do in our remaining productive years is count the daisies and days. We want to matter, to accomplish something that matters. Something is stirring within us and demands a response." "Your Second to Last Chapter" is a time when seniors are at the peak of their powers, wise in years, brimming with experience, and ready to take on fresh new challenges. "Your Second to Last Chapter" shows just how to match passion and abilities with human needs in new ways that will use draw upon personal talents to fullest and provide the deepest personal satisfaction possible. While very highly recommended for Senior Citizen Center, community, and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement instructional reference collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Your Second to Last Chapter" is also available in a paperback edition (9780879465650, $14.95).

The Art Shelf

How To Draw Manga Characters: A Beginner's Guide
J. C. Amberlyn
Monacelli Studio
c/o The Monacelli Press
236 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001
9781580934534, $22.99, PB, 176pp,

In "How To Draw Manga Characters: A Beginner's Guide", artist, book author, photographer, and animator J.C. Amberlyn draws upon her years of experience and expertise to provide a complete, fun and lively how-to-draw book aimed at beginners wanting to create their own manga characters. Every genre of manga has its typical characters ranging from the plucky hero and heroine; to school boys and girls; funny friend/sidekick; serious warrior; young innocent; bishounen; genki girls; chibis; chibi animals; cat girls/cat boys; magical girls; adorable animals; strong/scary animals; gothic characters; fantasy characters. Each of those classic manga characters are presented in "How To Draw Manga Characters: A Beginner's Guide", along with the step-by-step drawing instructions needed to give even the most novice of aspiring manga artists the direction they need to create the favorite characters. Of special note is the final chapter on backgrounds, scenery, and the environment will further give manga artists the information they need to pull everything together and create their own manga characters and the worlds they live in. Very highly recommended for personal, community, and art school library instructional reference collections, "How To Draw Manga Characters: A Beginner's Guide" includes 23 step-by-step demonstrations and exercises and provides everything necessaryto create manga characters taken from Japanese comics or designed independently.

The Parenting Shelf

When Your Child Is Gay
Wesley C. Davidson & Jonathan L. Tobkes MD
Sterling Publishing Company
387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016-8810
9781454919360, $14.95, PB, 240pp,

Coming out can be fraught with difficulty for both parents and child, but Wesley C. Davidson, a popular blogger on gay rights issues, and Dr. Jonathan Tobkes, a New York City-based psychiatrist, have collaborated provide a road map so families can better navigate this rocky emotional terrain with the publication of "When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need to Know". Emphasizing communication and unconditional love, "When Your Child Is Gay" will help parents untangle their own feelings, identify and overcome barriers to acceptance, encourage strong self-esteem in their child, handle negative or hostile reactions to their child's sexual identity, and more. Filled with case studies and interviews, along with useful action plans and conversation starters, "When Your Child Is Gay" is a positive, progressive guide to raising healthy, well-adjusted adults. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "When Your Child Is Gay" is very highly recommended for personal reading lists, community library Parenting Education collections, and academic library LGBT supplemental studies curriculums.

The Activity Shelf

Zen Drawing Workbook
Suzanne McNeill, CZT
Design Originals
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781497201255, $19.99, PB, 104pp,

Anyone can now experience the Zen of creativity with today's most popular therapeutic art techniques with Suzanne McNeill's "Zen Drawing Workbook" for adults. Inside are thoroughly 'user friendly', step-by-step instructions for Zentangle, Mandalas, Doodly Grids, Coloring, FloraBunda, and much more. Whether you have only a few minutes to spare or want to relax for hours, the "Zen Drawing Workbook" is a big book will have you coloring and drawing your way to peace, calm, and mindfulness through art. Clear how-to explanations and gorgeous color illustrations make it easy to find your Zen with colored pencils, markers, pens, crayons, or watercolor pencils. Sample projects will guide and inspire you, with plenty of space right inside the book to experiment with color, pattern, and form. These simple art techniques will help you to relax, feel more positive, and enjoy the moment. "Zen Drawing Workbook" is enthusiastically recommended for hours and hours of contemplative fun!

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Trisomy XXI
G. A. Minton
World Castle Publishing
PO Box 10652, Pensacola, FL 32524
9781629894447, $13.99, PB, 318pp,

Sixteen-year-old Joshua Allen was born with an extra chromosome-a genetic aberration known as Trisomy XXI, or Down Syndrome. A serious accident leaves the mentally-challenged adolescent in a coma at the hospital, where he receives a mysterious injection that endows him with supernatural powers. The transformed teen is linked to a string of bizarre, unexplained deaths in town that have both the sheriff and the coroner baffled. A ghastly creature from another planet lands on Earth and begins its hunt for the teenager -- viciously slaughtering anyone in its path in order to complete its deadly mission. The salvation of an entire race of aliens is in the balance, as Joshua and his friends are thrown into a horrific life-and-death struggle with the seemingly indestructible extraterrestrial being. Original, deftly crafted, consistently compelling, "Trisomy XXI" is a skillful blend of humor, horror, science fiction, and mystery. With its intertwining of unforeseen plot twists and turns, "Trisomy XXI" is a riveting read from beginning to end and very highly recommended for community library Science Fiction collections. For the personal reading lists of science fiction enthusiasts, it should be noted that "Trisomy XXI" is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).

The Automotive Shelf

BMW 3-Series (E36) 1992-1999
Jeffrey Zurschmeide & Eddie Nakato
CarTech Inc.
39966 Grand Avenue, North Branch, MN 55056
9781613252178, $26.95, PB, 144pp,

Jeffrey Zurschmeide is a freelance automotive journalist and the author of four other titles from CarTech Books. Eddie Nakato, a mechanic and car builder specializing in German and import cars, owns and runs AR Auto Service in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Together they have collaborated to produce BMW 3-Series (E36) : How to Build and Modify 1992-1999". The BMW 3 Series set the benchmark for performance and luxury. Yet even at this high standard, these cars can be dramatically improved. Each major component group of the car can be modified or upgraded for more performance, so you can build a better car that's balanced and refined. This compendium of profusely illustrated, step-by-step instructions will enable even the most novice mechanic to be successful in building and modify this elegant luxury cars. "BMW 3-Series (E36) : How to Build and Modify 1992-1999" is very highly recommended and an inherently fascinating browse for all dedicated car buffs in general, and fans of the BMW 3-Series in particular.

The Cars Of Harley Earl
David W. Temple
CarTech Inc.
39966 Grand Avenue, North Branch, MN 55056
9781613252345, $39.95, HC, 192pp,

Harley J. Earl (November 22, 1893 - April 10, 1969) was the initial designated head of Design at General Motors, later becoming Vice President, the first top executive ever appointed in Design of a major corporation in American history. He was an industrial designer and a pioneer of modern transportation design. A coachbuilder by trade, Earl pioneered the use of freeform sketching and hand sculpted clay models as automotive design techniques. He subsequently introduced the "concept car" as both a tool for the design process and a clever marketing device. Earl's Buick Y-Job was the first concept car. He started "Project Opel", which eventually became the Chevrolet Corvette, and he authorized the introduction of the tailfin to automotive styling. During World War II, he was an active contributor to the Allies' research and development program in advancing the effectiveness of camouflage. Veteran automotive historian David W. Temple has researched and unearthed the complete story of Harley Earl's cars, his notable design achievements, and many accolades. The result is "The Cars Of Harley Earl", a profusely illustrated compendium that is an outstanding historical survey of the man and his automotive contributions in general, and his enduring legacy to General Motors in particular. An extraordinary contribution, "The Cars Of Harley Earl" is very highly recommended for personal, community, and academic library American Automotive History reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

The LGBT Studies Shelf

A Two-Spirit Journey
Ma-Nee Chacaby
University of Manitoba Press
301 St. John's College, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, R3T 2M5
9780887558122, $27.95, PB, 264pp,

Ma-Nee Chacaby is a Two-Spirit, Ojibwa/Cree Elder. She was raised by her Cree grandmother in a remote Ojibwa community near Lake Nipigon, Ontario. "A Two-Spirit Journey" is Ma-Nee Chacaby's extraordinary account of her life as an Ojibwa-Cree lesbian. From her early, often harrowing memories of life and abuse in a remote Ojibwa community riven by poverty and alcoholism, Chacaby's story is one of enduring and ultimately overcoming the social, economic, and health legacies of colonialism. As a child, Chacaby learned spiritual and cultural traditions from her Cree grandmother and trapping, hunting, and bush survival skills from her Ojibwa stepfather. She also suffered physical and sexual abuse by different adults, and by her teen years she was alcoholic herself. At twenty, Chacaby moved to Thunder Bay with her children to escape an abusive marriage. Abuse, compounded by racism, continued, but Chacaby found supports to help herself and others. Over the following decades, she achieved sobriety; trained and worked as an alcoholism counselor; raised her children and fostered many others; learned to live with visual impairment; and came out as a lesbian. In 2013, Chacaby led the first gay pride parade in her adopted city, Thunder Bay, Ontario. Ma-Nee Chacaby has emerged from hardship grounded in faith, compassion, humor, and resilience. Her memoir provides unprecedented insights into the challenges still faced by many Indigenous people. Written with the assistance of Mary Louisa Plummer (a social scientist and a long-time friend of Ma-Nee) "A Two-Spirit Journey: The Autobiography of a Lesbian Ojibwa-Cree Elder" is an extraordinary account of an extraordinary life and very highly recommended for community and academic library Contemporary Biography, LGBT, and Native American Studies collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "A Two-Spirit Journey" is also available in a Kindle edition ($25.00).

The Photography Shelf

Lipstick Flavor
Jerome Sans & Marla Hamburg Kennedy, editors
c/o Distributed Art Publishers
155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10013-1507
9788862084260, $50.00, HC, 208pp,

Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Jerome Sans and Marla Hamburg Kennedy, "Lipstick Flavor: A Contemporary Art Story with Photography" creates a panorama of lipstick from the world of contemporary art photography. Fully illustrated, "Lipstick Flaor", conceived as a kind of magazine, reveals a story that shows how this feminine symbol has pervaded our culture and its imagery. Bringing together more than 40 international artists and their works, from Andy Warhol's self-portrait to works by Araki and Nan Goldin, to the compositions of Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari, "Lipstick Flavor" visually narrates a vibrantly imaged tale. "Lipstick Flavor" is a compelling browse from first page to last, making it very highly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library Photographic Studies collections.

The Gardening Shelf

The Herb Gardener's Essential Guide
Sandra Kynes, author
Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, illustrator
Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
9780738745640, $22.99, PB, 264pp,

Featuring a section of beautifully executed illustrations, "The Herb Gardener's Essential Guide: Creating Herbal Remedies and Oils for Health & Healing" is thoroughly 'user friendly compendium of information and instruction on how to use twenty-eight popular, easy-to-grow herbs to treat everyday ailments and maintain good health. From selecting plants to harvesting and storing them to making remedies and savories of all sorts, "The Herb Gardener's Essential Guide" presents an abundance of practical and satisfying ways to incorporate herbs into a healthier lifestyle and diet. Utilizing both herbs and essential oils, "The Herb Gardener's Essential Guide" fully explains how to choose and make the ideal herbal mixture for a wide variety of medicinal and culinary uses. Need help getting to sleep? Try a cup of Thyme to Settle Tea. Add a sweet, spicy flavor to roast meat or vegetables with Coriander Spiced Butter. Ease muscle pain and stiffness with soothing Rosemary Warming Massage Oil. Featuring an ailments-and-issues guide, instructions for creating a personalized apothecary garden, and detailed profiles for each of the herbs, this accessible book belongs on every gardener's shelf, as well as every community and academic library Gardening and Alternative Medicine collection. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "The Herb Gardener's Essential Guide" is also available in a Kindle edition ($12.99).

The Poetry Shelf

No Acute Distress
Jennifer Richter
Southern Illinois University Press
1915 University Press Drive
SIUC Mail Code 6806, Carbondale, IL 62901
9780809334827, $15.95, PB, 80pp,

"No Acute Distress" is a compilation of the poetry of Jennifer Richter and introduces her readers to the unspoken struggles and unanticipated epiphanies of illness and motherhood, subjects rarely explored together in contemporary poetry. The first poem of each section borrows from a classic joke form (e.g. "An intractable migraine walks into a bar") to consider the thin line this mother walks between the tragic and comic: debilitating pain met with increasingly absurd and desperate medical treatments. Richter seasons her work with irony from the start, titling the book's opening poem, "Pleasant, healthy-appearing adult white female in no acute distress". As the collection progresses, the speaker's growing children bring new, wider perspective to the poems; the heart of the book opens up to embrace the adolescents' increasing self-sufficiency and the body's vibrant re-emergence into health. "No Acute Distress" offers readers fresh language grounded in a masterful use of form, speaking with an urgency that acknowledges chronic pain's cumulative damage to the body and spirit, and with an openness that allows for hope and the inexplicable on the path to victorious recovery. Very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary American Poetry collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "No Acute Distress" is also available in a Kindle edition ($14.24).

The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf

Dale Sherman
Applause Books
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
19 West 21st Street, Suite 201, New York, NY 10010
9781480355897 $19.99

MASH FAQ is an in-depth history of the multimedia phenomenon of MASH. Originally a novel written by a surgeon who served in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Korean War, MASH became a bestseller with fourteen sequels, an Oscar-winning movie, and a multiple Emmy-winning television series. Packed cover to cover with little-known trivia, stories of the cast and creators, an example of differences that evolved from script to screen, and much more, MASH FAQ is a "must-have" for fans of this American pop culture classic!

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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