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A Portrait of Walt Disney World
Kevin Kern, et al.
c/o Disney Book Group
9781368052849, $60.00, HC, 320pp
Synopsis: Walt Disney's vision for the "Florida Project" begins with creation of Disneyland in California and the 1964-1965
New York World's Fair. After an imaginative and expansive design, a unique land acquisition process, and an innovative
construction period, Walt Disney World in Florida celebrated its opening in 1971. It featured a theme park dubbed the
Magic Kingdom and three exquisitely themed resorts: Disney's Contemporary Resort, Disney's Polynesian Village, and
Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.
As Walt Disney World consistently grew and evolved through the five decades that followed, certain themes keep
reverberating: there's an appreciation for nostalgia, a joy in fantasy, a hunger for discovery, and an unending hope for a
better tomorrow. Inspirational and memorable theme parks, water parks, sports arenas, recreational water sports options,
world-class golf courses, vast shopping villages, and a transportation network unlike any other in the world resulted in fun
and familiar characters, traditions, spectacles, merchandise, and so much more. The resort has come to represent the pulse of
American leisure and has served as a backdrop for life's milestones both big and small, public and private.
With the anniversary celebrating publication of "A Portrait of Walt Disney World: 50 Years of The Most Magical Place on
Earth" a veritable treasure trove of Disney's dream made real is available for the informed delight of pop culture enthusiasts,
students of hospitality, artists, art collectors, and, most of all, dedicated Disney fans. This coffee table style volume (9.75 x
1.3 x 13.15 inches) is a profusely illustrated, history packed, and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, family,
and community library Theme Park, Travel Guide, and Disney World Memorial collections.
Editorial Note: Kevin M. Kern began his career with the Walt Disney Archives in 2011. As the group's manager of research,
he works predominantly with historical documents and artwork, and helps to facilitate company legacy and outreach
projects, including oral histories and the development and installation of museum exhibitions. He's hosted special event
programming for many business units across The Walt Disney Company and has had his writing featured in numerous
A Dog Lover's Guide to Hiking Wisconsin's State Parks
Danielle St. Louis
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
9780299336646, $19.95, PB, 432pp
Synopsis: Danielle St. Louis and her energetic Labrador-border collie rescue dog, Lucky, have hiked every Wisconsin state
park together. While doing so, they enjoyed the state's rich natural beauty and the challenges that can come from hiking with
a canine companion. St. Louis documents it all in this fun and thorough guide.
With the publication of "A Dog Lover's Guide to Hiking Wisconsin's State Parks", Danielle divides Wisconsin into five
regions and further details specific trails, graded for dog reactivity as well as the fitness level of human and canine alike.
She also helpfully notes the availability of nearby facilities such as bathrooms, water stations, trashcans, designated dog
swimming areas, and veterinarians.
Critique: Simply stated, if you have a canine companion of your own, and live in the state of Wisconsin, then you need to
have your very own copy of "A Dog Lover's Guide to Hiking Wisconsin's State Parks". Thoroughly 'user friendly' in
organization and presentation, and enhanced with a listing of local and 24-Hour Veterinarians, this is a unique kind travel
guide planner for visiting every one of the Badger State's parks and is an unreservedly recommended addition to Wisconsin
community libraries. It should be noted for the personal use of any Wisconsin dog owner seeking to go enjoy nature with
their canine companion that "A Dog Lover's Guide to Hiking Wisconsin's State Parks" is also available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $19.95).
Editorial Note: Danielle St. Louis is a hiker and dog lover from the Midwest. She runs the popular adventure dog blog and
Instagram account WI State Park Dogs, which features tips for hiking and favorite outdoor travels with Lucky the adventure
dog. She is a past winner of the Moth Story Slam and has received professional writing scholarships from Oklahoma State
The Education Shelf
Parklands: A School Built On Love
Crown House Publishing
81 Brook Hills Circle, White Plains, NY 10605
9781785836008, $21.95, PB, 170pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Parklands: A School Built On Love", educator and head teacher Chris Dyson provides a
heartwarming account of Parklands School's transformative journey towards becoming a safe, loving environment in which
all of its learners can thrive. If anything can bind together nearly 400 pupils and 100 school staff in challenging
circumstances, it's love. And love is in plentiful supply at Parklands.
The pupils at Parklands Primary School, located on the Seacroft estate in Leeds, often face significant hardship. Children
start at the school significantly behind their peers nationally, especially in terms of their language and literacy. Yet the
school is famed for outstanding learning -- both in terms of Ofsted judgement and, more importantly, in achieving amazing
outcomes for its learners.
In "Parklands: A School Built On Love", Dyson shares the story of how he has steered the school towards the seemingly
impossible educational dream of high achievement, personalised support and complete inclusion. He explains how the
school setting can be a place where there is love but also hope and relentless ambition for children, and reflects on the steps
that he and his staff have put in place to make this a reality for Parklands' pupils.
Dyson also delves into how this culture and climate of love drives behaviour and decision-making throughout the school --
and, as a result, how this creates a safe, loving environment in which all of its learners can thrive.
Chris also provides insights into how the leadership team goes about raising funds for the school, and how they choose to
spend it on both curricular and extracurricular projects. And, furthermore, how the school broadens its pupils' experiences
and cultural capital by means of residential trips, in-school productions, and sports and arts provision.
Critique: Offering a wealth of practical insights and examples, "Parklands: A School Built On Love" has a great deal of
value for classroom educators and school administrators -- especially in districts with high numbers of underprivileged
students, underfunded resources, and stressed out faculties. Inspired and inspiring, 'real world practical' and informative,
"Parklands: A School Built On Love" is especially and unreservedly recommended for school district, college, and
university library Teacher Education collections and in-service training workshop curriculums. It should noted for personal
reading lists that "Parklands: A School Built On Love" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.49).
Editorial Note: Chris Dyson is the head teacher of Parklands Primary School in Seacroft in Leeds. Chris was brought up in a
single-parent household and received free school clothes and free school meals himself as a child, which has meant that the
connection between his early life and that of Parklands' pupils is built on understanding. Chris believes that education is the
key to making the future brighter, and he is driven by a desire to provide his pupils with the best education and opportunities
possible as attested by a newspaper article at
The Cookbook Shelf
Pig Beach BBQ Cookbook
Matt Abdoo, author
Shane McBride, author
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway, New York, NY, 10007
9780358651888, $30.00, HC, 304pp
Synopsis: Chefs Matt Abdoo and Shane McBride launched their professional careers preparing three-star Italian and French
haute cuisine, but in their spare time, what they really loved cooking (and eating) was barbecue. Eventually, they traded in
their Michelin star kitchens for a smoker and opened their dream restaurant: a laid-back eatery that pays homage to the
culinary traditions of American BBQ but isn't afraid to experiment with worldly influences.
Now, with the publication of their "Pig Beach BBQ Cookbook: Smoked, Grilled, Roasted, and Sauced", anyone can master
Matt and Shane's smoky meats and championship-winning sauces at home. With more than 50 mouth watering recipes, The
"Pig Beach BBQ Cookbook" includes everything from traditional favorites like buffalo wings and smoked beef brisket, to
such ground breaking new dishes as Mojo-Marinated St. Louis Ribs and Secret Spice Pecan Candied Bacon.
Essential reading for every aspiring at-home pitmaster, the "Pig Beach BBQ Cookbook" also offers a definitive barbecue
tour of the United States. By sharing tricks of the trade from experts in every region, the team of Matt Abdoo and Shane
McBridge explains once and for all how North Carolina 'cue differs from Texas 'cue, and teaches how to recreate those
distinct and delicious flavors no matter where the BBQ pitmaster might live.
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated with full color photography throughout, and offering a wealth of tantalizing
recipes, "Pig Beach Bbq Cookbook: Smoked, Grilled, Roasted, and Sauced" is a truly impressive, informative, and inspiring
introduction to the culinary art and craft of barbeque in all of its welcome varieties. Throughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in
organization and presentation, and an inspirational delight for the purpose of menu planning, "Pig Beach Bbq Cookbook:
Smoked, Grilled, Roasted, and Sauced" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99) and must be considered
an essential and core addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections.
Editorial Note #1: Matt Abdoo was the Chef de Cuisine of Del Posto and during his tenure the restaurant received a coveted
four-star review from the New York Times, and the Relais & Chateaux distinction. Prior to opening his own restaurants,
Matt first earned his BBQ chops during his time working on America's highly competitive barbecue circuit with team Salty
Rinse. The team received 2nd place medal for Whole Hog in 2015 and 1st Place for Best Sauce (Mustard) at the annual
Memphis in May World Championship. Today, Matt is a frequent guest chef on The Today Show and has appeared on
many national cooking shows as well as DirecTV's Fantasy Zone.
Editorial Note #2: Shane McBride is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and one of New York's most
accomplished chefs. He began his career in the city with esteemed chef Charlie Palmer at Aureole. He then went on to work
with Chef Christian Delouvier at the world-renowned Lespinasse. He subsequently partnered with Jean-Philippe Leloup to
open his own star-studded restaurant, Oceo. Shane went on to be the executive chef at Tom Colicchio's Craftsteak for many
years, followed by a long tenure as executive chef at the famed Soho brasserie, Balthazar. His passion for barbecue was
practiced as a hobby until he left the world of haute cuisine to focus entirely on operating and expanding the Pig Beach
The Mexican Chile Pepper Cookbook
Dave DeWitt, author
Jose C. Marmolejo, author
University of New Mexico Press
1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM 87131-0001
9780826363510, $24.95, PB, 296pp
Synopsis: "The Mexican Chile Pepper Cookbook: The Soul of Mexican Home Cooking" by the team of Mexican cuisine
experts Dave DeWitt and Jose C. Marmolejo is the first cookbook to explore the glories of Mexican regional cooking by
focusing on this single, but endlessly variable, ingredient. "The Mexican Chile Pepper Cookbook" is comprised of more
than 150 recipes that celebrate the role of chiles across appetizers, soups and stews, tacos, enchiladas, tamales, moles, and
Of special note is that comprehensive glossaries of Mexican chiles, cheeses, and food terminology are also included --
allowing chili enthusiasts to discover and savor the history, culture, and recipes of Mexican regional home cooking as
highlighted in a unique, full-color cookbook that fully explores the various chile peppers showcased in this beautifully
illustrated culinary collections.
Critique: Ideal for menu planning with an authentic Mexican cuisine based on an impressive variety of chilies, the recipes
are thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in organization and presentation. Laid out in two major sections (The Plant; The
Recipes), "The Mexican Chile Pepper Cookbook: The Soul of Mexican Home Cooking" is further enhanced with the
inclusion of two Glossaries (Mexican Chilies; Mexican Cheeses), a Bibliography, and an Index. While also available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $24.95), "The Mexican Chile Pepper Cookbook: The Soul of Mexican Home Cooking" is a
very special and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library Ethnic Cookbook
Editorial Note #1: Dave DeWitt is a food historian and one of the foremost authorities in the world on chile peppers, spices,
and spicy foods. He has published fifty-six books, including Chile Peppers: A Global History (UNM Press).
Editorial Note #2: Jose C. Marmolejo owned and operated Don Alfonso Foods, a specialty outfit of Mexican delicacies in
Austin, Texas. He assisted in a PBS TV series production on fiery foods and appeared with Andrew Zimmern on "Bizarre
Foods." A native of Mexico, he has lived in the United States and in France, where he widened his appreciation of Mexican
Nana's Creole Italian Table
Elizabeth M. Williams
Louisiana State University Press
338 Johnston Hall, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
9780807177136, $29.34 (Amazon), HC, 208pp
Synopsis: From meatball po'boys to Creole red gravy, the influence of Sicilian foodways permeates New Orleans, one of
America's greatest food cities. Comprised of recipes and stories drawn from the culinary culture of Sicilian New Orleans,
"Nana's Creole Italian Table" by Elizabeth M. Williams showcases those immigrants and their communities through the lens
of food, exploring the ways traditional Sicilian dishes such as pasta and olive salad became a part of (and were in turn
changed by) the existing food culture in New Orleans.
Sicilian immigrants (cookbook author Elizabeth Williams's family among them) came to New Orleans in droves in the late
nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, fleeing the instability of their own country and hoping to make a new home in
America. This cookbook compendium shares Williams's traditional family recipes, along with variations that reveal the
evolution and blending of Sicilian and Creole cuisines. Baked into every recipe is the history of Sicilian American culture as
it has changed over the centuries, allowing each new generation to incorporate its own foodways and ever-evolving
Critique: Very highly recommended for personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections as it
Features recipes a wealth of dishes that range from a Creole Italian Seasoning Mix; Creole Sicilian Shakshuka (Eggs
Poached in Tomato sauce); Italian Sausage Maque Choux; to Benne Biscotti (Sesame-Seed Cookies); Lemon Pecan
Cornmeal Cake; and Bradied Kumquats, and are presented with a listing of the ingredients, step-by-step instructions, and
serving size, "Nana's Creole Italian Table" is a distinct pleasure to plan authentic Italian-Creole themed menus with.
Editorial Note: Elizabeth M. Williams grew up eating in two great food traditions, those of New Orleans and Sicily.
Founder of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans, now part of the larger National Food and Beverage
Foundation, she has a weekly podcast, Tip of the Tongue, about food, drink, and culture. She is the author of many books
and articles about foodways in New Orleans and the South.
Dutch Oven Camp Cooking
Gibbs Smith, Publisher
PO Box 667, Layton UT 84041
9781423661252, $17.99, HC, 128pp
Synopsis: Packed with 65 easy to make, palate pleasing, appetite satisfying recipes featuring sweet and savory breads,
breakfast, main dishes, sides, soups, sauces, and desserts, "Dutch Oven Camp Cooking" by Vernon Winterton will quickly
become a family favorite "go-to" when the everyone has worked up a cowboy-size appetite while camping and playing in
Provided with clear instructions for using coals to bake each feature dish, the recipes range from Mountain Man Breakfast;
Bacon-Cheddar Breakfast Rolls; Sloppy Joes; and Dutch Oven Pizza; to Tortilla Soup; Cheesy Potatoes; and
Critique: Featuring a spring coil binding that allows "Dutch Oven Camp Cooking" to be laid out flat, this is a beautifully
illustrated and thoroughly 'camp cook friendly' culinary treasure for outdoor (and indoor!) dining. Deftly organized into
seven sections (Helpful Hints; Breakfast & Sweet Breads; Savory Breads & Rolls; Main Dishes; Side Dishes; Sauces, Soups
& Stews; Deserts), "Dutch Oven Camp Cooking" also has a very handy Index to assist in planning menus with. While also
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99), "Dutch Oven Camp Cooking" is particularly recommended for personal,
professional, family, and community library cookbook collections.
Editorial Note: Vernon Winterton has been cooking in Dutch ovens for over forty years. He is one of the founding members
of the Greater Wasatch Dutch Oven Society and served two years as its assistant director. Vernon has competed in
numerous Dutch oven cook-offs over the years, qualifying three times to go to the world championships.
Gibbs Smith, Publisher
PO Box 667, Layton UT 84041
9781423660392, $15.99, HC, 128pp
Synopsis: Simply put, the quesadilla is melted cheesy goodness sandwiched inside two crispy tortillas. But now these little
gooey snacks we all used to make as kids have evolved into savory meals and scrumptious desserts that are bursting with
Featuring all new photography, "Quesadillas" by Donna Kelly showcase variations of these delicious favorites ranging from
Roasted Veggie and Goat Cheese, Thai Peanut, Parmesan Crusted Italian, and Chicken Caesar, to Philly Cheesesteak,
Peanut Butter Apple, Triple Chocolate Decadence, and Pecan-Crusted Pear.
Critique: Beautifully illustrated throughout, this new and expanded edition of "Quesadillas" byh Donna Kelly is a
thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' compendium of palate pleasing, appetite satisfying recipes that are an ideal source for
menu planning. In addition to the recipes themselves, there are sections devoted to Ingredient Tips, Cooking Techniques,
Salsas & Sauces, and Deserts. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $1.99), "Quesadillas" will enrich any
personal, family, professional, or community library cookbook collection.
Editorial Note: A food fanatic and recipe developer, Donna Kelly is the author of several cookbooks including "French
Toast", "101 Things to Do with a Tortilla", and "101 Things to Do with An Instant Pot".
The Slimming Foodie in One
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781783254996, $24.99, HC, 256pp
Synopsis: "The Slimming Foodie in One" by Pip Payne is a new and impressive collection of 100 slimming recipes. These
dishes are as delicious and simple to prepare needed only one pot, pan or tray to prepare them. With recipes for dishes
ranging from all-in-one feasts to slow-cooked comforts, there is always something for the whole family to enjoy for any
dining occasion -- without fuss and with minimal washing up!
"The Slimming Foodie in One" is organized by the type of cooking hardware to be used. In a Pot (Pizza mac 'n' cheese,
Orange, honey & soy pot-roast chicken and Philly cheesesteak casserole); In a Pan (Black bean & mushroom dal, Pil-pil
prawn rice and Rich rigatoni with chorizo & onions); In a Tray (Harissa baked eggs, Salsa verde roasted cod and
Strike-a-balance chocolate cake); In a Slow Cooker (Pomegranate & sumac chicken, Lasagne and Peach cobbler). Of special
note are the sections "All in the Prep" and "Jazz It Up".
Critique: Beautifully illustrated throughout with full color photography, each dish is under 600 calories -- making it an ideal
resource for weight conscious family cooks to plan palate-pleasing, appetite satisfying, health maintaining menus. Enhanced
further with the inclusion of a two page Glossary, a two page Recipe List, and a four page Index, "The Slimming Foodie in
One" is highly recommended for personal, family, professional, and community library cookbook collections.
Editorial Note: Pip Payne is behind the award-winning blog The Slimming Foodie (https://www.theslimmingfoodie.com/).
Keeping a love of food at the fore, Pip's approach is about bringing back convenient home cooking by making healthy
recipes that are accessible to a new wave of home cooks. Creating great tasting meals that are cooked from scratch and cut
down on fat and sugar while following science-led nutrition advice. She can be followed on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/slimmingfoodie/; Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_slimming_foodie/?hl=en; and
The Biography Shelf
Up North in Michigan
University of Michigan Press
839 Greene Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3209
9780472132973, $24.95, HC, 186pp
Synopsis: Northern Michigan is a place, like all places, in change. Over the past half century, its landscape has been
bulldozed, subdivided, and built upon. Climate change warms the water of the Great Lakes at an alarming rate (Lake
Superior is now the fastest-warming large body of freshwater on the planet) creating increasingly frequent and severe storm
events, altering aquatic and shoreline ecosystems, and contributing to further invasions by non-native plants and
And yet the essence of this region, known to many as simply "Up North," has proved remarkably perennial. Millions of
acres of state and national forests and other public lands remain intact. Small towns peppered across the rural countryside
have changed little over the decades, pushing back the machinery of progress with the help of dedicated land conservancies,
conservation organizations, and other advocacy groups.
"Up North in Michigan: A Portrait of Place in Four Seasons" is a new collection of commentaries from celebrated nature
writer Jerry Dennis which captures his lifelong journey to better know this place he calls home by exploring it in every
season, in every kind of weather, on foot, on bicycle, in canoes and cars. The essays comprising "Up North in Michigan" are
more than an homage to a particular region, its people, and its natural wonders. They are a reflection on the Up North that
can only be experienced through your feet and fingertips, through your ears, mouth, and nose -- the Up North that makes its
way into your bones as surely as sand makes its way into wood grain.
Critique: A fascinating, absorbing, thought-provoking, entertaining, and truly memorable read from cover to cover, "Up
North in Michigan: A Portrait of Place in Four Seasons" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to
community, college, and university library Nature Writing and American Biography/Memoir collections. It should be noted
for personal reading lists that "Up North in Michigan: A Portrait of Place in Four Seasons" is also available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $14.99).
Editorial Note: Jerry Dennis is an award-winning nature writer who calls Traverse City, Michigan, home. His essays and
stories have appeared in The New York Times, Smithsonian, Audubon, National Geographic Traveler, and Gray's Sporting
Journal, among other periodicals. He has written over a dozen books, including The Windward Shore: A Winter on the
Great Lakes; The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas; and Canoeing Michigan Rivers: A
Comprehensive Guide to 45 Rivers, which is now in its 3rd edition.
The House with Round Windows: A Memoir
Carnegie Mellon University Press
5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
9780887486807, $29.95, PB, 312pp
Synopsis: The poems of W. D. Snodgrass, which were based on events from his troubled family life (particularly the death
of a beloved sister) had a direct influence on Robert Lowell, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, and changed mid-twentieth century
Now with the publication of "The House with Round Windows: A Memoir", his younger brother, Richard Snodgrass, who
also experienced those same family events as well, masterfully weaves a counterpoint of personal stories, family history, and
his own photographs into his work that reminds the reader that there are many sides to any story, that every unhappy family
is unhappy in its own way, and (perhaps most terrible of all) that everyone has their reasons for.
Critique: An inherently interesting, well written, organized and presented memoir that is deeply personal, candidly
informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "The House with Round Windows: A Memoir" is an arguably personal and
poetic sibling counterpoint whose life story and perception will be of particular interest to anyone also interested in the work
and life of William De Witt Snodgrass (January 5, 1926 - January 13, 2009) who won the 1960 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.
Simply stated, "The House with Round Windows: A Memoir" from the Carnegie Mellon University Press is especially and
unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library American Biography & Memoir collections.
Editorial Note: An American writer and photographer known for his evocations of life in small-town and rural western
Pennsylvania, and whose published work includes fiction, nonfiction, and photography, Richard Snodgrass is also the author
of There's Something in the Back Yard, the Books of Furnass, Kitchen Things, and An Uncommon Field: The Flight 93
Temporary Memorial. He has his own website at https://richardsnodgrass.com
Douglas & McIntyre
c/o Harbour Publishing
PO Box 219, Madeira Park, BC, Canada, V0N 2H0
9781771622981, $18.95, PB, 240pp
Synopsis: At twenty-one, Ceilidh Michelle spent a year homeless and drifting through counter-cultural communities along
California's coast, from Venice Beach to Slab City to Big Sur. This restless and turbulent year began when she was sleeping
on her sister's couch in Vancouver and decided to become a yoga disciple in California. Denied entry at the US border in
Washington state, and stuck overnight in the Greyhound station, her already shaky pilgrimage began to take another
direction, away from the inward sanctuary of an ashram and toward the sea and light and noise of Venice Beach, and
eventually up Highway 1 to the desert.
Having spent much of her youth outrunning family turmoil, the peripatetic lifestyle once key to Michelle's survival is now a
habit she can't or won't break -- unless it breaks her first! Sleeping in parking lots, camping out in abandoned beach cottages
and mansions, she finds community, easy and fraught, with fellow travellers: musicians, veterans, ex-cons, addicts, drug
dealers, artists and con artists. Still, dreams and fleeting notions of home fuel and shadow every encounter, haunting the
places she stays, offering moments of both grace and violence.
Told with deadpan humor and insightful lyricism, Vagabond is an observant and at times shimmering narrative suspended
between a traumatic past and an as yet unimagined future. Coursing through it is the story of an emergent writer just
beginning to find sanctuary in her own creative instincts.
Critique: An inherently interesting memoir of an inherently interesting woman and her inherently interesting adventures,
"Vagabond: Venice Beach, Slab City and Points In Between" is a deftly crafted and intensely personal life story that is as
memorable as it is thought provoking. Reminiscent of Jack Kerouac's "On The Road", this is one of those memoirs that will
prove to be enduringly popular and highly recommended for personal reading lists and community, college, and university
library Contemporary Biography/Memoir collections.
Editorial Note: Ceilidh Michelle is the author of the novel Butterflies, Zebras, Moonbeams (Palimpsest Press, 2019).
Michelle has had work published in Entropy, Longreads, The Void, Broken Pencil, Matrix Magazine, McGill University's
Scrivener Creative Review, Cactus Press and Lantern Magazine. She is currently studying writing at the University of
Edinburgh and calls Montreal, QC, home.
The General Fiction Shelf
The Weed Man
Nicola Jane John
c/o Perseus Books Group
9781800160866, $7.99, PB, 111pp
Synopsis: Following his retirement as a top-ranking Secret Service agent in Her Majesty's government, Professor Gethin
David Weedall becomes bored with the tedium of everyday life in suburbia. He misses both the glamour and the danger
associated with the assignments which took him to virtually every corner of the globe. 007 had a potent rival.
What to do? The prof simply didn't know. Then while strolling through his extensive gardens he had a flash of inspiration.
WEEDS. Yes of course. WEEDS. Though somewhat unusual, this would become his passion. He would conquer all weeds
despoiling his beautifully manicured lawns... to his wife, Sally Anne's dismay and the loss of intimacy she still craved
Unfortunately, things don't go quite to plan as he runs out of his favourite weedkiller, Devitas. And when Internet shopping
goes awry, life becomes complicated. Very complicated.
Critique: Written with considerable wit and laugh-out-loud humor, "The Weed Man" showcases author Nicola J. John's
genuine flair for originality and the kind of narrative storytelling style that keeps the reader's rapt attention from cover to
cover. With its them of obsessive involvement with a garden, "The Weed Man" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly
appreciated addition to personal reading lists and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should
also be noted that "The Weed Man" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).
Almost Like Praying
Black Rose Writing
1685130091, $25.95, HC, 249pp
Synopsis: "Almost Like Praying" by Joel Samberg consists of three separate stories he reconstructs: one about the family's
Massachusetts and Long Island roots, another about the troubled early adulthood of the eldest son, and the last which details
the curious relationship between Dolores and that little girl.
Critique: Of particular interest to readers who enjoy original and entertaining stories about family life, "Almost Like
Praying" deftly blends memorable characters with a narrative driven storytelling style that engages the full attention of the
reader from first page to last. Joel Samberg's narrative driven storytelling style and genuine flair for originality makes for
memorably entertaining read. Especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary General
Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Almost Like Praying" is also available in a paperback
edition (9781684339365, $20.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.99)
Editorial Note: Joel Samberg is the author of the 2019 novel Blowin' in the Wind as well as four nonfiction books including
Some Kind of Lonely Clown: The Music, Memory & Melancholy Lives of Karen Carpenter. His complete biography can be
found at https://www.imdb.com/name/nm6358153/bio
St. Martin's Press
120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271
9781250278197, $29.99, HC, 448pp
Synopsis: Harry Booth started stealing at nine to keep a roof over his ailing mother's head, slipping into luxurious, empty
homes at night to find items he could trade for precious cash. When his mother finally succumbed to cancer, he left Chicago
-- but kept up his nightwork, developing into a master thief with a code of honor and an expertise in not attracting attention
or getting attached.
That is, until he meets Miranda Emerson, and the powerful bond between them upends all his rules. But along the way,
Booth has made some dangerous associations, including the ruthless Carter LaPorte, who sees Booth as a tool he controls
for his own profit. Knowing LaPorte will leverage any personal connection, Booth abandons Miranda for her own safety, as
cruelly and with no explanation he disappears.
But the bond between Miranda and Booth is too strong, pulling them inexorably back together. Now Booth must face
LaPorte, to truly free himself and Miranda once and for all.
Critique: Few writers today can match author Nora Robert's impressive narrative driven skills for blending romance with
suspense. Once again with the publication of "Nightwork" she demonstrates her authentic flair for originality, her crafting of
memorable characters, and her seemingly innate ability for coming up with compelling and unexpected plot twists and turns.
While unreservedly recommended for community library fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists
of the legions of Nora Roberts fans that "Nightwork" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and
as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250852120, $44.99, CD).
Editorial Note: Nora Roberts ROBERTS is the author of more than 230 novels, including Legacy, The Awakening,
Hideaway, Under Currents, The Chronicles of The One trilogy,and many more. She is also the author of the bestselling In
Death series written under the pen name J.D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.
Everything Must Go
Lake Union Publishing
9781542037426, $24.95, HC, 272pp
Synopsis: Laine Francis believes there's a place for everything -- and New York (where her family lives), isn't her place. But
no sooner does the professional organizer's marriage begin to unravel than her sisters drop another bomb on her: their
mother, Sally, may have dementia, and they need Laine to come home.
Laine agrees to briefly return to Brooklyn. After all, bringing order to chaos is what she does best. To Laine's relief, Sally
seems no more absentminded than usual. So Laine vows to help her mother maintain her independence, then hightail it back
Except Laine's plans go awry when she runs into her former best friend, Ben, and realizes she finally has a chance to repair
their fractured relationship. Then she discovers that memory loss isn't the only thing Sally's been hiding, forcing Laine to
decide whether to reveal a devastating truth to her sisters -- and whether to follow her heart when it means breaking her
Critique: Of special appeal to fans of family fiction involving mothers, sisters, and a complicated romance, "Everything
Must Go" by veteran novelist Camille Pagan is an extraordinarily entertaining and memorable read. Exceptionally well
written, with distinctive characters and an engagingly original plot, "Everything Muse Go" is especially recommended for
community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Everything
Mus Go" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781542037433, $14.95), in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99),
and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781713656005, $24.80, MP3-CD).
Editorial Note: Camille Pagan is the author of eight novels, including Don't Make Me Turn This Life Around, This Won't
End Well, I'm Fine and Neither Are You, Woman Last Seen in Her Thirties, and Life and Other Near-Death Experiences.
Her work has also been published in the New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; Real Simple; Time; and many others.
She has her own website at: www.camillepagan.com
The Historical Fiction Shelf
Sins of the Fathers
Herbert J. Stern, author
Alan A. Winter, author
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
9781510769427, $29.99, HC, 432pp
Synopsis: History hinged on a call as the German high command waited for Hitler's order to invade Czechoslovakia. That
was the signal that would launch their revolt to bring down the Reich. Every detail of the coup was in place. Access roads to
Berlin would be blocked. The city sealed. Communication centers taken. A commando squad of sixty hand-picked men
were ready to storm the Chancellery and seize Hitler. The only open question: to try Hitler as a traitor or execute him on the
Although a work of fiction, "Sins of the Fathers" is based on historical facts and is the story of the efforts of German
military leaders, career civil servants, and clergy to solicit England's assistance to bring down Adolph Hitler in 1938.
When Prime Minster Neville Chamberlain refused to meet with them, they turned to Winston Churchill, who secretly
supported their cause. Armed with a strongly worded letter from the future prime minister, they waited for Hitler's telephone
call ordering German troops to invade Czechoslovakia -- the signal for their uprising.
But the call did not come. Instead, Prime Minister Chamberlain went to Hitler's apartment in Munich only to bow to the
dictator's will. The invasion was over before it began -- and with that, so was the coup. Flying home, Chamberlain
announced he had obtained "peace for our times."
"Sins of the Fathers" tells the dramatic true story of a foolish British prime minister that undermined the coup intended to
topple the regime, but ended by delivering Czechoslovakia to Hitler, saved the Fuhrer's life, and paved the road to what
would be justifiably called World War II.
Critique: The sequel to Herbert Stern and Alan Winer's novel about Hitler's rise to power, "Wolf" (9781510769441, $19.99
PB, $18.99 Kindle) this dramatically presented and heretofore obscure series of pre-war events makes for a riveting,
thought-provoking, and thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover, "Sins of the Fathers" is unreservedly
recommended for community library World War II Historical Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading
lists that "Sins of the Fathers" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).
Editorial Note #1: Herbert J. Stern served as judge of the United States Court for Berlin. There he presided over a hijacking
trial in the occupied American Sector of West Berlin. His book about the case, Judgment in Berlin, won the 1974 Freedom
Foundation Award and became a film starring Martin Sheen and Sean Penn. He co-authored Wolf: A Novel, and he also
wrote Diary of a DA: The True Story of the Prosecutor Who Took on the Mob, Fought Corruption, and Won, as well as the
multi-volume legal work Trying Cases to Win.
Editorial Note #2: Alan A. Winter is the co-author of Wolf: A Novel, and the author of four other novels, including Island
Bluffs, Snowflakes in the Sahara, Someone Else's Son, and Savior's Day, which Kirkus selected as a Best Book of 2013. He
edited an award-winning journal and has published more than twenty professional articles. Alan studied creative writing at
Columbia's Graduate School of General Studies. His screenplay, Polly, received honorable mention in the Austin Film
Festival, and became the basis for Island Bluffs.
Brandy, You're a Fine Girl
Addison & Highsmith Publishers
c/o Histria Books
9781592111398, $29.99, HC, 260pp
Synopsis: If you know the song, you know Brandy's sailor loved the sea more than her (The bastard.). Brandy, You're a Fine
Girl is historical fan fiction, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the 1972 hit songs written and composed by Elliot Lurie,
and then recorded by his band Looking Glass.
But Brandy's story doesn't end when the music stops -- her destiny is filled with adventure!
England, mid-1800s, and Barmaid Brandy seizes on a plan to become that good wife and escape her life of drudgery. A
pregnancy would be just the thing to get him to marry her. When that doesn't work, she crosses paths with Elliot, a
nobleman in need of a wife and heir by his fast-approaching 30th birthday, or else his inheritance will go to his scheming
Once married, Elliot's problems appear solved, and Brandy has a kind husband and a warm and comfy new home, even if it
is full of Elliot's odd band of friends. Everyone tries to get along and put up with Brandy's strange cravings and
profanity-laden drama, until they discover she never was really pregnant.
She fears she'll be kicked out, but not to worry -- there's still time for Elliot to fulfill his husbandly duty and save the day. Or
is he up to the task? When Elliot's handsome (and virile) best friend Beau shows up, Brandy promptly falls head over heels.
She becomes pregnant, but will it be too late? Swearing she can live on love, Brandy dreams of running o with Beau, until
she discovers a shocking secret about her husband and his best friend.
Will the baby arrive before Elliot's 30th birthday? Will it even be a son and therefore true heir? And who is the mysterious
one-armed carpenter from Brandy's past? Fear not -- Brandy always has a back-up plan. From the tarnished silver locket
(that turned her neck green, but may hold a pirate's map), to a secret passageway containing hidden treasure, Brandy is
determined to get by on her wits and her tits.
Critique: A purely fun read from first page to last, "Brandy, You're a Fine Girl" is an enduringly popular song that has now
inspired what will be an equally popular historical romance novel by Dee DeTarsio. With cleverly crafted characters, a roller
coaster of a plot, and a a truly memorable read from cover to cover, "Brandy, You're a Fine Girl" is especially recommended
for the personal reading list of all dedicated romance fans, as well as a welcome addition to community library Historical
Romance Fiction collections.
Editorial Note: An award winning writer, Dee DeTarsio began her career in Tucson, Arizona as a news producer. After
moving to San Diego, she worked at SeaWorld as a producer/writer, then Children's Hospital in the marketing department,
and then became Marketing Director of a dermatology group where she got free Botox. Writing women's fiction along the
way, she has written eight novels. She has her own website at http://www.deedetarsio.com
The Romantic Fiction Shelf
That Cowboy of Mine
St. Martin's Press
120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271
9781250820280, $8.99, PB, 304pp
Synopsis: Dillon Young is proud that she inherited her aunt's ranch. The problem: someone is trying to run her off and is
willing to do whatever it takes. Strange, dangerous things keep happening.
Dillion suspects her no-good neighbor and fellow wealthy rancher Hank Stephens. Never a man to get his hands dirty, he
sends others to get the job done. So, when the irresistible Cal Bennett is found passed out drunk on her property, Dillion is
on high alert. Until someone takes a shot at her and Cal springs to her rescue. When the hard-bodied, no-nonsense-talking
cowboy points out that she may need some help, Dillion is inclined to reluctantly agree.
Waking up on a stranger's property with a shotgun in his face is not Cal Bennett's idea of a good time. Never mind that the
person on the other end of the barrel is one of the most fiercely beautiful women he has ever seen. Things get more
interesting when he finds himself shielding her from flying bullets. It's clear that this smart, savvy woman could use a hand
and Cal is all too happy to lend any part of his body she requires. His proposal: pose as lovers until they find out who is after
her ranch. As the danger rises and secrets are revealed, the passion explodes between them and there is no turning back.
Critique: A deftly crafted and original novel that effectively blends a mystery with romance, "That Cowboy of Mine" by
author Donna Grant is an original, fully engaging, and thoroughly fun read that will have a special appeal to fans of
contemporary western romance. While highly recommended for community library Romance Fiction collections, it should
be noted for personal reading lists that Donna's latest novel, "That Cowboy of Mine", is also available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $8.99).
Editorial Note: As a novelist, Donna Grant has been praised for her "totally addictive" and "unique and sensual" stories. Her
latest series, Dark Kings, features a thrilling combination of dragons, Fae, and immortal Highlanders who are dark,
dangerous, and irresistible. She has two websites: www.DonnaGrant.com and www.MotherOfDragonsBooks.com - and is
also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDonnaGrant
Rules for Engaging the Earl
St. Martin's Press
120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271
9781250761613, $8.99, PB, 384pp
Synopsis: Constance Lysander needs a husband. Or, so society says. She's about to give birth to her late husband's child -- a
man who left her with zero money, and two other wives she didn't know about. Thankfully, she has her Aunt by her side,
and the two other wives have become close friends. But still, with a baby on the way, her shipping business to run, and an
enemy skulking about, she has no time to find the perfect match.
Enter Jonathan, Earl of Sykeston. Returned war hero and Constance's childhood best friend, his reentry into society has been
harsh. Maligned for an injury he received in the line of duty, Jonathan prefers to stay out of sight. It's the only way to keep
his heart from completely crumbling. But when a missive from Constance requesting that he marry her, Jonathan is on
board. His feelings for Constance run deep, and he'll do anything to make her happy, though it means risking his already
With Constance, Jonathan, and the new baby all together, it's clear the wounds (both on the surface and in their relationship)
run deep. But when the nights come, their wounds begin to heal, and both come to realize that their marriage of convenience
is so much more than just a bargain.
Critique: Some authors just seem to be born with a genuine flair for historical romance and the creation of characters their
readers just can't fail to engage with in a kind of 'theatre of the mind" experience. With the publication of "Rules for
Engaging the Earl" (and the second volume in 'The Widow Rules' series), it is clear that Janna MacGregor is one of those
rare and impressive writers. While also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99), "Rules
for Engaging the Earl" will prove to be a welcome and popular addition to community library Historical Romance sections
in general, and Regency Romance collections in particular.
Editorial Note: Janna MacGregor is a dedicated fan of romance novels and writes stories where compelling and powerful
heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She particularly enjoys hearing from readers. She has a
website at: www.JannaMacGregor.com (where fans can sign up for her newsletter) and can be followed on: Twitter:
@JannaMacGregor and Facebook: Janna MacGregor.
A Daring Pursuit
St. Martin's Press
120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271
9781250801609, $8.99, PB, 320pp
Synopsis: Carys Davies is doing everything in her power to avoid marriage. Staying single is the only way to hide the secret
that could ruin her and her family if it was revealed. For the past two seasons she's scandalized the ton with her outrageous
outfits and brazen ways in a futile bid to deter potential suitors. Outwardly confident and carefree, inside she's disillusioned
with both men and love. There's only one person who's never bought her act - the only man who makes her heart race:
Tristan Montgomery, one of her family's greatest rivals.
Wickedly proper architect Tristan needs a respectable woman to wed, but he's never stopped wanting bold, red-headed
Carys. When she mockingly challenges him to show her what she's missing by not getting married, Tristan shocks them
both by accepting her indecent proposal: one week of clandestine meetings, after which they'll go their separate ways.
But kissing each other is almost as much fun as arguing, and their affair burns hotter than either of them expects. When they
find themselves embroiled in a treasonous plot, can they trust each other with their hearts, their secrets and their lives?
Critique: Simply stated, Kate Bateman is a master of the Regency Romance genre and her latest contribution to the personal
reading lists of dedicated historical romance fans is "A Daring Pursuit". A truly entertaining read from cover to cover,
making it an unreservedly recommended as a summer read and as an addition to community library Romance Fiction
collections, it should be noted that "A Daring Pursuit" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).
Editorial Note: Kate Bateman is an accomplished author of historical romances, including her RITA nominated Renaissance
romp, The Devil To Pay, the Bow Street Bachelors series (This Earl of Mine, To Catch an Earl, and The Princess and the
Rogue), along with the novels in the Secrets & Spies series (To Steal a Heart, A Raven's Heart, and A Counterfeit Heart).
When not writing novels that feature feisty, intelligent heroines and sexy, snarky heroes you want to both strangle and kiss,
Kate works as a fine art appraiser and on-screen antiques expert for several popular TV shows in the UK. She has her own
website at https://www.kcbateman.com
Brush with Love
St. Martin's Griffen
c/o St. Martin's Press
120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271
9781250805980, $16.99, PB, 336pp
Synopsis: Harper is anxiously awaiting placement into a top oral surgery residency program when she crashes (literally) into
Dan. Harper would rather endure a Novocaine-free root canal than face any distractions, even one this adorable.
A first-year dental student with a family legacy to contend with, Dan doesn't have the same passion for pulling teeth that
Harper does. Though he finds himself falling for her, he is willing to play by Harper's rules. So with the greatest of
intentions and the poorest of follow-throughs, the two set out to be "just friends."
But as they get to know each other better, Harper fears that trading fillings for feelings may make her lose control and can't
risk her carefully ordered life coming undone, no matter how drool-worthy Dan is.
Blood, gore, and extra-long roots? No problem. The idea of falling in love? Torture.
Critique: All the more impressive when considering that "A Brush With Love" is author Mazey Eddings debut as a novelist,
this romantic comedy (which is also available in a digital book format -- Kindle, $10.99) is an utter delight from first page
to last and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to the personal reading lists of romance fans who
appreciate wit, whimsey, and unrelenting humor, along with memorable characters and entertaining plot lines. Librarians
should note that there is also a large print hardcover edition (Center Point Publishing, 9781638083184, $37.95, 445pp) of
"A Brush With Love" available for their collections.
Element of Love
Bethany House Publishers
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton Road, Ada, MI 49301
9780764239816, $29.99, HC, 293pp
Synopsis: With their sharp engineering minds, Laura Stiles and her two sisters have been able to deal with their mother's
unfortunate choice in a second husband until they discovered his plans to marry each of them off to his lecherous friends.
Now they must run away (far and fast) in order to find better matches and to legally claim their portion of their father's
lumber dynasty and seize control from their stepfather.
During their escape, Laura befriends a mission group heading to serve the poor in California. She quickly volunteers herself
and her sisters to join their efforts. Despite the settlement being in miserable condition, the sisters are excited by the
opportunity to put their skills to good use. Laura also sees potential in Caleb, the mission's parson, to help with gaining her
inheritance. But when secrets buried in Caleb's past and in the land around them come to light, it'll take all the smarts the
sisters have to keep trouble at bay.
Critique: A veteran author of romance fiction, once again with the publication of "The Element of Love" novelist Mary
Connealy exhibits her impressive skills with respect to the kind of narrative driven storytelling style that has created some of
of the best Christian historical and western romance fiction available to appreciative readers today. While unreservedly
recommended for community library Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of the
growing legions of Mary Connealy fans that "The Element of Love" is also readily available in a paperback edition
(9780764239588, $$15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).
Editorial Note: Mary Connealy writes "romantic comedies with cowboys" and is celebrated for her fun, zany, action-packed
style. She is also the author of the popular series Brothers in Arms, Brides of Hope Mountain, High Sierra Sweethearts,
Kincaid Brides, Trouble in Texas, Lassoed in Texas, Sophie's Daughters, and many other books. She has her own website at
The Heart of the Deal
c/o Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781639100101, $16.99, PB, 352pp
Synopsis: Rae is in a romantic recession. As a Wall Street banker and single in New York City she feels overwhelmed by
the pressure to scramble up the corporate and romantic ladders. Feeling her biological clock ticking, she analyzes her love
life like a business deal and vows to lock in a husband before her 30th birthday.
The Manhattan dating app scene has as many ups and downs as the stock market, and outsourcing dates to an algorithm isn't
exactly Rae's idea of romance. She considers cutting her losses, but her friends help her stay invested, boosting her spirits
with ice cream and cheap wine that they share in their sixth-floor walk-up while recapping cringe-worthy dates.
And then Rae meets Dustin, a poetic soul trapped in a business suit, just like her. She starts to hear wedding bells, but
Dustin's struggles with depression will test their relationship, and no amount of financial modeling can project what their
future will look like.
Can Rae free herself from the idea she had of what thirty was supposed to look like and let love breathe on its own timeline?
Or is she too conditioned to stay on the "right track" to follow her unpaved intuition?
Moving and timely, The Heart of the Deal is the story of one woman's reckoning with what success really is in a city, an
industry, and a relationship whose low lows continually challenge the enchantment of the high highs.
Critique: A deftly crafted contemporary romance that is all the more impressive when considering that "The Heart of the
Deal" is author Lindsay Macmillan's debut as a novelist, this fun, emotional, and all too believable struggle to find love,
matrimony, and being able have a family of her own is certain to be an engaging and appreciated addition to personal
reading lists and community library Romance Fiction collections. It should be noted that "The Heart of the Deal" is also
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape,
9781666581348, $22.99, CD).
Editorial Note: Lindsay MacMillan is a writer and businesswoman. She graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth
College and was formerly a vice president at Goldman Sachs. She shares her unfiltered poetry and prose on Instagram
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
A Fatal Booking
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781643859149, $26.99, HC, 304pp
Synopsis: Booklover Charlotte is delighted to welcome an eclectic group of guests to Chapters Bed and Breakfast for a book
club retreat focused on fairy tales and classic children's literature. But when one of the guests is poisoned at a Mad Hatter
tea party, Charlotte realizes she's fallen down a rather unpleasant rabbit hole
The victim was an opinionated busybody whose jewelry store sold original designs, along with some possibly "hot"
merchandise -- and had plenty of enemies, spurring Charlotte and Ellen to offer their well-honed investigative skills to assist
the local police. But as they delve deeper into each of the guest's stories, they realize all of them had a motive, and the
means, to close the book on the unfortunate victim.
Enlisting the aid of a few local residents, as well as their new ally, agent Gavin Howard, Charlotte and Ellen vow to reveal
the truth, even if the path to any sort of happy ending is strewn with deadly danger.
Critique: A cosy mystery lover's delight from first page to last, "A Fatal Booking" by the talented novelist Victoria Gilbert is
part of the 'A Booklover's B&B Mystery' series. One of those perfect 'whodunnit' novels to curl up with in bed or at the
beach, "A Fatal Booking" is highly recommended for both the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs and
community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted that "A Fatal Booking" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media,
9781666581386, $22.99, CD.
Editorial Note: Victoria Gilbert has worked as a reference librarian, research librarian, and library director. She is also a
member of Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers.
Peril at Pennington Manor
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781643859064, $26.99, HC, 304pp
Synopsis: Thanks to Aunt Midge's unlikely friendship with Nicholas Pennington, the Duke of Valle Charme, Avery Ayers
and her associates at Antiques and Artifacts Appraised head off to their most glamorous assignment yet -- cataloguing and
appraising the contents of a castle-like mansion on the Hudson River. But regal splendor becomes a backdrop to mayhem
when the precious Viktor Petrova timepiece disappears and housekeeper Suzanne Vick plummets from a parapet to her
Avery, her dad William, and colleagues Micah Abbott and Sir Robert Lane soon learn that Suzanne's predecessor also met
with an untimely end. Further, the housekeeper's suspicious demise coincides with Avery's discovery that many of the
Duke's most priceless heirlooms have been replaced by fakes.
Detective Art Smith lends his expertise, but the suspect list encompasses the Duke's entire retinue -- including his family.
Could the killer be someone intimately familiar with the Pennington estate, such as caretaker couple Ira and Lynn Hoffman,
the Penningtons' chauffeur Roderick, or even one of the heirs to the Pennington fortune?
Then the duke himself is injured in an inexplicable riding accident, and the clock swiftly ticks toward a reckoning with a
cold-blooded killer. A criminal mastermind is making a desperate bid for ill-gotten riches... can Avery bring the culprit to
justice before her time is up?
Critique: An impressively crafted 'whodunnit' style cosy mystery, "Periol At Pennington Manor" is a simply riveting read.
Novelist Tracy Gardner has created a cast of memorable characters and an inherently fascinating, entertaining, and
surprising storyline that keeps and holds the readers full addition from cover to cover. While also available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape, 9781666581416, $22.99, CD), "Peril
At Pennington Manor" will prove to be a prized addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections.
Editorial Note: Tracy Gardner Tracy Gardner, a Detroit native, is a cozy mystery and women's fiction author. A registered
nurse and the daughter of two teachers, Tracy lives with her husband and best friend of thirty years, their three great kids
who come and go between college schedules, and a menagerie of spoiled rescue dogs and cats.
A Botanist's Guide to Parties and Poisons
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781639100071, $26.99, HC, 304pp
Synopsis: Newly minted research assistant Saffron Everleigh is determined to blaze a new trail at the University College
London, but with her colleagues' beliefs about women's academic inabilities and not so subtle hints that her deceased
father's reputation paved her way into the botany department, she feels stymied at every turn.
When she attends a dinner party for the school, she expects to engage in conversations about the university's large
expedition to the Amazon. What she doesn't expect is for Mrs. Henry, one of the professors' wives, to drop to the floor,
poisoned by an unknown toxin.
Dr. Maxwell, Saffron's mentor, is the main suspect and evidence quickly mounts. Joined by fellow researcher (and potential
romantic interest) Alexander Ashton, Saffron uses her knowledge of botany as she explores steamy greenhouses, dark
gardens, and deadly poisons to clear Maxwell's name.
Will she be able to uncover the truth or will her investigation land her on the murderer's list, in this entertaining examination
of society's expectations.
Critique: Set in 1923 London, "A Botanist's Guide to Parties and Poisons" by Kate Khavari is an inherently entertaining
'whodunnit' mystery that showcases the author's complete mastery of the mystery and suspense genre. A fascinating and
entertaining read from beginning to end (and with many an unexpected plot twist throughout), "A Botanist's Guide to Parties
and Poisons" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book
(Dreamscape Media, 9781666582123, $22.99, CD).
Editorial Note: Kate Khavari is the author of fiction ranging from historical mysteries to high fantasy epics. A former
teacher, Kate has a deep appreciation for research and creativity, not to mention the multitasking ability she now relies on as
an author and stay at home mother to her toddler son.
Shadow of Memory
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781643859088, $26.99, HC, 352pp
Synopsis: As Kate Hamilton plans her upcoming wedding to Detective Inspector Tom Mallory, she is also assisting her
colleague Ivor Tweedy with a project at the Netherfield Sanatorium, which is being converted into luxury townhouses. Kate
and Ivor must appraise a fifteenth-century paintingand verify that its provenance is the Dutch master Jan Van Eyck. But
when retired criminal inspector Will Parker is found dead, Kate learns that the halls of the sanatorium housed much more
than priceless art.
Kate is surprised to learn that Will had been the first boyfriend of her friend Vivian Bunn, who hasn't seen him in fifty-eight
years. At a seaside holiday camp over sixty years ago, Will, Vivian, and three other teens broke into an abandoned house
where a doctor and his wife had died under bizarre circumstances two years earlier. Now, when a second member of the
childhood gang dies unexpectedly (and then a third!) it becomes clear that the teens had discovered more in the house than
they had realized.
Had Will returned to warn his old love? When Kate makes a shocking connection between a sixty-year-old murder and the
long-buried secrets of the sanatorium, she suddenly understands that time is running out for Vivian -- and anyone connected
Critique: Another skillfully wrought 'whodunnit' from the imagination and storytelling talents of Connie Berry, "The
Shadow of Memory" is the fourth volume in the Kate Hamilton Mystery series. Inherently fascinating, impressively original,
and a mystery lover's delight from cover to cover, "The Shadow of Memory" is strongly recommended, especially for
community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the growing legions of
Connie Berry fans that "The Shadow of Memory" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).
Editorial Note: Connie Berry is the author of the Kate Hamilton Mysteries, a series of mysteries set in the UK and featuring
an American antiques dealer with a gift for solving crimes. Like her protagonist, Connie was raised by antiques dealers who
instilled in her a passion for history, fine art, and travel. In 2019 Connie won the IPPY Gold Medal for Mystery and was a
finalist for the Agatha Award's Best Debut. She's a member of Mystery Writers of America and is on the board of the
Guppies and her local Sisters in Crime chapter. She maintains a website at www.connieberry.com
Murder, She Wrote: Killer on the Court
Jessica Fletcher, author
Terrie Farley Moran, author
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
9780593333655, $27.00, HC, 288pp
Synopsis: Jessica Fletcher is delighted when her nephew Grady invites her to spend a few days with his family in an
oceanside New York bungalow. She packs her bags and heads down to the city, ready to spend some quality time with
Grady, his wife, Donna, and their young son, Frank.
But the morning after Jessica's arrival, Donna finds her boss dead on a tennis court, and Jessica's dreams of a relaxing visit
are quashed. Everyone in the small beachside community is a suspect, and the local authorities (headed by an old colleague
of Cabot Cove sheriff Mort Metzger) have asked that no one leave town.
Will Jessica be able find a killer and salvage the rest of her trip?
Critique: Another fabulously entertaining 'whodunnit' in the Murder She Wrote series, "Killer on the Court" is an absolute
'muse read' for the legions of Murder She Wrote fans. Novelist Terrie Moran fully captures the feel and enjoyment of an
episode featuring that Cabot Cove amateur sleuth and mystery writer Jessica Fletcher. While an unreservedly recommended
addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for all dedicated Jessica Fletch enthusiasts
that "Killer on the Court" is also available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a
complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781666560237, $22.99, CD).
Editorial Note: Terrie Farley Moran is the author of the Read 'Em and Eat cozy mystery series including the Agatha Award
winning "Well Read, Then Dead". Along with Jessica Fletcher, she co-writes the Murder She Wrote mystery series. She
also co-writes the Scrapbooking Mysteries with Laura Childs. Terrie's short mystery fiction has been published in Ellery
Queens Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Mystery Weekly and numerous anthologies. "A Killing at
the Beausoleil" was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Short Story. "Inquiry and Assistance" received the Derringer
Award for Best Novelette. She can be followed on Facebook and has her own website at www.terriefarleymoran.com
c/o Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401-2960
9781666736120, $19.00, PB, 208pp
Synopsis: How does Gregory Thackery, a novice reporter working for a third-rate newsweekly, scoop the New York Press,
the New York Daily Tribune, New York News Journal, and the vaunted New York Dispatch, America's so-called
"newspaper of historical memory"? Luck? Common sense? Hidden connections? Even the clueless Gregory doesn't know
for sure. But someone could be dying to find out!
Critique: Written with wit and an impressively flair for narrative style storytelling, "Reportedly Murdered" is another
Gregory Thackery 'whodunnit' suspenseful mystery laced with memorable characters and unexpected plot twists. Simply
stated, "Reportedly Murdered" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense
collections, and the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs.
Editorial Note: Geoffrey Walters (aka Geoffrey Smagacz) is a former reporter for the Times Newsweekly in Queens, New
York, and the author of Never Say Murder (republished in 2019), and A Waste of Shame and Other Sad Tales of the
Appalachian Foothills, which won the Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) Gold Medal for Best Regional Fiction in
2014. Geoffrey is a Pushcart Prize nominee. He has two websites at www.geoffreywalters.com and
Joachim B. Schmidt
Bitter Lemon Press
9781913394684, $16.95, PB, 352pp
Synopsis: Kalmann Odinsson is the self-appointed Sheriff of his Icelandic town. Day by day, he treks the wide plains which
surround the almost deserted village, hunts Arctic foxes and lays bait in the sea to catch the gigantic Greenland sharks he
turns into the Icelandic fermented delicacy, hakarl. There is nothing anyone needs to worry about. Kalmann has everything
Inside his head, however, the wheels sometimes spin backwards. One winter, after he discovers a pool of blood in the snow,
the swiftly unfolding events threaten to overwhelm him. But he knows that his native wisdom and pure-hearted courage will
see him through. There really is no need to worry. How can anything go wrong with Kalmann in charge? He knows
everything a man needs to know about life -- well, almost.
Critique: A deftly crafted Icelandic mystery populated with memorable characters and an impressively entertaining plot
replete with surprising twists and turns, "Kalmann" by Joachim B. Schmidt (and ably translated into English by Jamie Lee
Searle) is a fun read recommended to the attention of all dedicated mystery fans. While highly recommended for community
library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Kalmann" is also readily available in
a digital book format (Kindle, $9.56).
Editorial Note #1: Joachim B. Schmidt was born in 1981 and emigrated from Switzerland to Iceland in 2007. He is the
author of several novels and short stories and is also a journalist and columnist. Schmidt (who is Swiss and Icelandic) lives
in Reykjavik with his wife and their two children. He has a website (in German) at https://joachimschmidt.ch
Editorial Note 32: Currently residing in Winchester, UK, Jamie Lee Searle is a well-known translator from German and
Portuguese into English. She has translated novels by Urs Faes, Anna Kim, Marc-Uwe Kling, Christoph Ribbat and many
others. There is a website featuring her at https://granta.com/contributor/jamie-lee-searle
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
The Blood Trials
N. E. Davenport
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
9780063058484, $27.99, HC, 464pp
Synopsis: It's all about blood. -- The blood spilled between the Republic of Mareen and the armies of the Blood Emperor
long ago. The blood gifts of Mareen's deadliest enemies. The blood that runs through the elite War Houses of Mareen, the
rulers of the Tribunal dedicated to keeping the republic alive. The blood of the former Legatus, Verne Amari,
For his granddaughter, Ikenna, the only thing steady in her life was the man who had saved Mareen. The man who had
trained her in secret, not just in martial skills, but in harnessing the blood gift that coursed through her. Who trained her to
keep that a secret.
But now there are too many secrets, and with her grandfather assassinated, Ikenna knows two things: that only someone on
the Tribunal could have ordered his death, and that only a Praetorian Guard could have carried out that order.
Bent on revenge as much as discovering the truth, Ikenna pledges herself to the Praetorian Trials -- a brutal initiation that
only a quarter of the aspirants survive. She subjects herself to the racism directed against her half-Khanaian heritage and the
misogyny of a society that cherishes progeny over prodigy, all while hiding a power that (if found out) would subject her to
execution -- or worse. Ikenna is willing to risk it all because she needs to find out who murdered her grandfather -- and then
she needs to kill them.
While Mareen has been at peace for a long time, Ikenna joining the Praetorians is about to change all that.
Critique: The first of a two volume saga, "The Blood Trials" by N. E. Davenport blends magic with technology and
action/adventure with mystery/suspense. The result is a riveting read that will have dedicated fantasy and science fiction
fans looking eagerly toward volume two of this original and deftly crafted series. While highly recommended for
community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Blood
Trials" is also readily available in January 2023 in a paperback edition (9780063058491, $17.99) and currently in a digital
book format (Kindle, $14.99). Librarians should note that there is also a complete and unabridged audio book edition
(Blackstone Audio, 9798200855964, $43.99, CD).
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
9781250779076, $27.99, HC, 304pp
Synopsis: Police Inspector Lu Fei has an unfortunate talent for getting himself into hot water with powerful and
well-connected people. Which is why he's been assigned to a backwater town in a rural area of Northern China and quietly
warned to keep his head down. But while running a sting operation on the sale and consumption of rare and endangered
animals, Lu comes across the curious case of a waitress who has gone missing. Her last known whereabouts: a restaurant
frequented by local elites, owned by smooth-talking gangster, and known for its exotic (and highly illegal) delicacies.
As usual, Lu's investigation ruffles some feathers, resulting in his suspension from the police force. Lu figures he's reached a
dead-end. Then he's contacted by a mysterious government official in Beijing who wants him to go undercover to track
down the mastermind behind an illegal animal trafficking network -- and hopefully, the answer to the fate of the missing
waitress. The mission will require Lu to travel deep into the lawless wilds of Myanmar, where he will risk his life to
infiltrate the hidden compound of a mysterious and ruthless female warlord in a bloody and nearly hopeless quest for
Critique: A brilliantly scripted mystery infused with the author's first hand knowledge and experience of residing in Asia for
a number of years, "Wild Prey" by Brian Klingborg is a mystery lover's treat from first page to last. With more plot twists
and turns than a Coney Island roller coaster, and also available for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery fans in
a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), "Wild Prey" is especially and particularly recommended for community library
Editorial Note: Brian Klingborg has both a B.A. (University of California, Davis) and an M.A. (Harvard) in East Asian
Studies and spent years living and working in Asia. He currently works in early childhood educational publishing.
Klingborg is also the author of "Kill Devil Falls" and has a website at https://www.brianklingborg.com
The Jobs/Careers Shelf
Easier: 60 Ways to Make Your Work Life Work for You
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9781119834571, $25.00, HC, 224pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Easier: 60 Ways to Make Your Work Life Work for You" by Chris Westfall,
entrepreneurs, business managers, and corporate executives are presented with a self-leadership inquiry that becomes a story
of transformation and powerful universal discovery.
A DIY handbook on coaching, leadership, and resilience, "Easier" offers leadership insights on creating the future of work,
finding connection and guidance, and uncovering 60 ways to make everything (yes, everything!) easier.
Of special interest for team players, and team leaders, and everyone in between, "Easter" reveals: How to pivot from "How
do I get through this?" to "What can I get from this?"; How to access innovation and empathy, for yourself and others,
regardless of your circumstances -- and find true personal freedom; How resilience and adaptability are available to anyone,
Who doesn't want to make things easier? Tap into peak performance, by understanding that you don't have to go it alone.
The coaching conversation begins with a common concern and leads to a re-imagined future of work, because everything in
life can be made easier -- if you just know where to look.
Critique: Drawing upon his years of experience and expertise, author and business coach Chris Westfall has created an ideal
DIY instruction guide and how-to manual that will prove invaluable for anyone seeking to maximize the productivity of
themselves or subordinates. Exceptionally well written and thoroughly 'user friendly in organization and presentation,
"Easier: 60 Ways to Make Your Work Life Work for You" is singularly recommended for personal, professional,
community, corporate, college, and university library Business Motivational Management & Leadership collections. It
should be noted for personal reading lists that "Easier: 60 Ways to Make Your Work Life Work for You" is also available in
a digital book format (Kindle, $15.00).
Editorial Note: Chris Westfall is one of the most sought-after coaches and keynote speakers in the world. He has helped
launch over five dozen businesses and has appeared on ABC News, NBC TV, and CNN. A regular contributor to Forbes, he
has worked with thousands of leaders at Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, and high-tech startups. He
regularly consults with top-tier universities and is the author of three other books, including Leadership Language.
The Business Shelf
Customer Relationship Imprinting
167 Walnut Bottom Road, Shippensburg, PA 17257
9781640953659, $17.95, PB, 192pp
Synopsis: While many customer service books discuss customer loyalty, the concept of customer imprinting has never been
introduced into the customer service conversation until the publication of "Customer Relationship Imprinting: The Six
Elements that Ensure Exceptional Service Without Exception" by Michael Barnett.
"Customer Relationship Imprinting" reveals why some businesses have fiercely loyal customers who will pay much more
for the same goods and services instead of doing business with their competitors. Barnett demystifies the success secrets of
these top customer-centric businesses so that you can infuse the main ingredients of customer imprinting into your
organization. The result? You'll not only strengthen customer bonds -- you will create an amazing internal employee
With so much confusion on how to provide great customer service, "Customer Relationship Imprinting" provides a clear
path to delivering extraordinary service consistently and reveals: The three sectors of impact that can elevate or devastate
your business; How to trade transactional flings for loyal customer relationships; What Relational Velcro is and how to use
it to maximize meaningful customer interactions; Who Service Architects are and how to empower them to build a strong
brand framework -- and so much more!
Critique: Comprised of Practical tools, insightful stories, and a team-reading option, is essential reading for customer
service professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs and business managers from all segments of modern American
business enterprises. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Customer Relationship Imprinting: The Six
Elements that Ensure Exceptional Service Without Exception" is especially and unreservedly recommended as an essential
addition to community, corporate, college, and university library Marketing & Customer Relations collections and
supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of MBA students, academia,
entrepreneurs, and customer service personnel that "Customer Relationship Imprinting: The Six Elements that Ensure
Exceptional Service Without Exception" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.49).
Editorial Note: Michael Barnett is a seasoned speaker, trainer and marketing professional who has spent many years helping
businesses develop their brand, and advertising initiatives. As a customer service expert, Michael has brought a unique
perspective that is both refreshing and insightful to the customer service world. He has not only added phrases such as
"Relational Velcro," and "Customer Relationship Imprinting", to the CX lexicon, but he has developed Six-Sided Service --
a cohesive customer-centric approach that helps businesses significantly attract, acquire and retain more customers through
six specific disciplines.
Sales Savvy: The How-to Sales Handbook
c/o John Hunt Publishing
9781789048162, $14.95, PB, 144pp
Synopsis: While selling is not for the weak of heart, "Sales Savvy: The How-to Sales Handbook" by Rebecca Parry reveals
the simple steps to close more deals based on her own international sales experience of over 30 years.
Specifically tailored for people who may not come from a sales background but who still need to be persuasive, "Sales
Savvy: The How-to Sales Handbook" is a step by step practical guide that will give you the hints and tips to be confident
and skilled in sales. From landing that first meeting to captivating your audience when giving a pitch, through to closing the
deal and retaining the client, everything you need to know to sell effectively is in this book.
Written with real-life sales stories from Rebecca Parry's personal experience across multiple industries, including how she
took a fledgling tech start up from New Zealand and broke into Hollywood's competitive entertainment industry, included
are a series of practical exercises including notes on selling in a post Covid world,
Critique: Drawn from her years of experience and expertise, Rebecca Parry's "Sales Savvy: The How-to Sales Handbook" is
a comprehensive sales learning tool that will impact your bottom line. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented,
"Sales Savvy: The How-to Sales Handbook" is a thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional guide that is very highly
recommended as an addition to personal, professional, community, corporate, college, and university library Business
Management & Entrepreneurship collections. It should also be noted that "Sales Savvy: The How-to Sales Handbook" is
also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).
Editorial Note: Rebecca Parry is a highly accomplished sales professional with a 30 year international sales career. As a
shareholder and Head of Sales of a rapidly growing entertainment technology company with a global customer base, she
possesses real world experience with a depth of sales knowledge gained from a lifetime of selling.
The Christian Studies Shelf
On the Orthodox Faith
St. John of Damascus, author
Norman Russell, translator
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
9780881416947, $30.00, PB, 327pp
Synopsis: Saint John of Damascus was a Syrian monk and priest. Born in the seventh century and raised in Damascus, he
died at his monastery, Mar Saba, near Jerusalem. He wrote works expounding the Christian faith and composed hymns
which are still used. He is one of the most widely read Fathers in the Orthodox Christian tradition and is best known for his
strong defense of icons.
Considered by many to be the final and crowning work of the patristic age, St John of Damascus' "On the Orthodox Faith
addresses all the major areas of Christian belief: Trinitarian theology, Christology, soteriology, the sacraments, the
veneration of icons, saints, and relics, and much more.
This new translation by Norman Russell (Volume 3 of the Fount of Knowledge) includes a helpful introduction discussing
the origin and reception of the text. This diglot edition, reproducing the critical Greek text on the facing page, is sure to
become the standard and classic edition of this central and important patristic work.
Critique: A critically important and core addition to Orthodox Christian theology and history studies lists, "On the Orthodox
Faith" is an essential and unreservedly recommended addition to church, seminary, and academic library collections. It
should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminary studies, and non-specialist general readers with an interest
in the subject that "On the Orthodox Faith" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).
The Judaic Studies Shelf
Liberal and Illiberal Arts
Paul Dry Books
1700 Sansom Street, Suite 700, Philadelphia, PA 19103-5214
9781589881600, $19.95, PB, 232pp
Synopsis: How did Humphrey Bogart end up telling Lauren Bacall a Talmudic story in the film Key Largo, and what does
that have to do with Plato's theory of recollection -- or American Jewish assimilation? Precisely what poem of Robert Frost's
inspired Nabokov's Pale Fire, and how did Walter Benjamin learn about the remarkable stones of Sinai?
With the publication of "Liberal and Illiberal Arts: Essays (Mostly Jewish)", Professor Abraham Socher wears his learning
lightly in a collection of his witty and original essays embodying the spirit of the liberal arts. Of special note is his
devastating account of the illiberal arts at work in Oberlin College, where he taught for eighteen years and is arguably the
highlight of this unique collection of original essays.
Critique: Timely and timeless, quite entertaining, informative and insightful, exhibiting wit, wisdom, humor, and
occasionally iconoclastic, "Liberal and Illiberal Arts: Essays (Mostly Jewish)" is unfailingly erudite, interesting, thoughtful
and thought-provoking. While highly recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary Judaic
Theology and Literary Criticism collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-
specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Liberal and Illiberal Arts: Essays (Mostly Jewish)" is also
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Abraham Socher is the editor of the Jewish Review of Books, which he founded, and a professor emeritus of
Jewish Studies and Religion at Oberlin College. His recent edition of the Autobiography of Solomon Maimon (Princeton
University Press) was a finalist for a National Jewish Book Award.
The Buddhist Studies Shelf
Temples in the Cliffside
Sonya S. Lee
University of Washington Press
PO Box 359570, Seattle, WA 98195-9570
9780295749303, $65.00, HC, 328pp
Synopsis: At sixty-two meters the Leshan Buddha in southwest China is the world's tallest pre-modern statue. Carved out of
a riverside cliff in the eighth century, it has evolved from a religious center to a UNESCO World Heritage Site and popular
But this Buddha does not stand alone: Sichuan is home to many cave temples with such monumental sculptures, part of a
centuries-long tradition of art-making intricately tied to how local inhabitants made use of their natural resources with
purpose and creativity. These examples of art embedded in nature have altered landscapes and have influenced the
behaviors, values, and worldviews of users through multiple cycles of revival, restoration, and recreation. As hybrid spaces
that are at once natural and artificial, they embody the interaction of art and the environment over a long period of time.
"Temples in the Cliffside: Buddhist Art in Sichuan" by Professor Sonya S. Lee is a far-ranging and impressively illustrated
study of cave temples in Sichuan and shows that they are part of the world's sustainable future, as their continued presence is
a reminder of the urgency to preserve culture as part of today's response to climate change.
"Temples in the Cliffside" brings art history into close dialogue with current discourse on environmental issues and
contributes to a new understanding of the ecological impact of artistic monuments.
Critique: Impressively informative, exceptionally well written, thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation,
"Temples in the Cliffside: Buddhist Art in Sichuan" is an extraordinary work of singular scholarship. Enhanced for the
reader with the inclusion of an Appendix (Chinese Texts), a four page Glossary of Chinese Characters, twenty pages of
Notes, a twenty page Bibliography, and an eleven page Index, "Temples in the Cliffside: Buddhist Art in Sichuan" is
especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Buddhist History collections and
supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an
interest in the subject that "Temples in the Cliffside: Buddhist Art in Sichuan" is also available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Sonya S. Lee is an Associate Professor of Chinese Art & Visual Cultures, University of Southern California
and the author of "Surviving Nirvana: Death of the Buddha in Chinese Visual Culture".
The Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Dragons: Your Celestial Guardians
9781401970017 $16.99 pbk / $9.99 Kindle
Synopsis: Dragons are celestial beings from the angel realms who have been sent here by Source to assist and protect us.
They have been serving our planet since its inception and work with the angels in service for the highest good.
In this book, world-renowned ascension and Atlantis expert Diana Cooper shares incredibly detailed and practical
knowledge about the dragons and how they can support us. You'll discover:
The history of dragons on Earth, how they came to be here and their mission for humanity
The air, earth, fire and water dragons, and how they act as personal companions
The higher frequency and galactic dragons and the wisdom they bring
How to meet your personal dragon guide and how it can help you on your ascension path
Through the visualizations and exercises in this book, you'll learn how to attune to dragon frequencies and expand your
consciousness. All you have to do is ask - and watch how the dragons co-operate with the angels to fulfil your soul's deepest
Critique: Dragons: Your Celestial Guardians is a spiritual guide to positive visualization, offering insightful techniques to
empathetically connect with the love, mercy, and wisdom of dragon spirits in one's personal quest for enlightenment.
Chapters are grouped into "Dragons and Their History", "Fourth-Dimensional Dragons", "Fifth- to Seventh-Dimensional
Dragons", "Dragons That Work With Archangels and Masters", and "Galactic Dragons". Dragons: Your Celestial Guardians
is a choice pick for Metaphysical collections with a focus on spirituality, highly recommended. It should be noted for
personal reading lists that Dragons: Your Celestial Guardians is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
In Focus Wicca: Your Personal Guide
Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9781577152620, $19.99, HC, 144pp
Synopsis: Wicca is a modern Pagan religion. It was developed in England during the first half of the 20th century and was
introduced to the public in 1954 by Gerald Gardner, a retired British civil servant. Wicca draws upon a diverse set of ancient
pagan and 20th-century hermetic motifs for its theological structure and ritual practices. (Wikipedia)
Connecting intimately with the cycles of nature, Wicca calls on a rich pantheon of ancient and modern deities, including the
transcendent Triple Goddess, and its powerful rituals and spells allow you to channel their energy into your own. With the
publication of "In Focus Wicca: Your Personal Guide", experienced Wiccan Tracia Long shows how, by working with the
elements and focusing inward, how to create a more magical, powerful way of life, the practioner can increase the chances
of discovering peace, creating abundance, making friends, and even finding love.
"In Focus Wicca: Your Personal Guide" also covers: The history of witchcraft; Different kinds of witches, their symbols,
and tools; How to work with the elements and observe the vital turning points of the year; The power of candles and the
moon; How oils, incense, and herbs harness intentions; The basics of spellcasting.
Included is an 18x24-inch wall poster covering the basics of wiccan magic such as altar arrangement, using candles, and the
Wiccan Rede. Combining elegance and expertise, this is your essential and modern guide to an ancient tradition.
Critique: Impressively comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "In Focus Wicca:
Your Personal Guide" is a complete DIY study guide and 'how to manual' that will have a very special appeal to students
and practitioners with an interest with Metaphysics in general, and Wicca Runic Divination in particular. Offering a
complete course of
basic instruction, "In Focus Wicca: Your Personal Guide" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional,
community, college, and university library Wiccan Studies collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
An Introduction to the Study of Mysticism
Richard H. Jones
State University of New York Press
State University Plaza, Albany, NY 12246-0001
9781438486338, $95.00, HC, 308pp
Synopsis: The primary purpose of "An Introduction to the Study of Mysticism" by Richard H. Joes is to fill a gap in
contemporary mystical studies providing an overview of the basic ways to approach mystical experiences and
"An Introduction to the Study of Mysticism" discusses the problem of definitions of "mystical experiences" and "mysticism"
and advances characterizations of "mystical experiences" in terms of certain altered states of consciousness and "mysticism"
in terms of encompassing ways of life centered on such experiences and states. Types of mystical experiences, enlightened
states, paths, and doctrines are discussed, as is the relation of mystical experiences and mysticism to religions and cultures.
The approaches of constructivism, contextualism, essentialism, and perennialism are presented.
Themes in the history of the world's major mystical traditions are set forth, along with approaches to mystical phenomena in
sociology, psychology, gender studies, and neuroscience are introduced. Basic philosophical issues related to whether
mystical experiences are veridical and mystical claims valid, mystics' problems of language, art, and morality are laid out.
Older and newer comparative approaches in religious studies and in Christian theology are discussed, along with
Critique: A highly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library collections,
and further enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of twenty-six pages of Notes, twenty-eight pages of References &
Further Reading, and a four page Index, "An Introduction to the Study of Mysticism" is of special interest to students,
academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in Metaphysics, Mysticism, Christian Theology and
Parapsychology. An impressive and thought-provoking work of detailed scholarship, it should be noted for personal reading
lists that "An Introduction to the Study of Mysticism" is also available in a paperback edition (9781438486321,
Editorial Note: Richard H. Jones is the author of several books, including "Philosophy of Mysticism: Raids on the Ineffable"
and "Mystery 101: Introduction to the Big Questions and the Limits of Human Knowledge", both of which are published by
SUNY Press. He has a website at: www.richardjonesbooks.com
Discover Your Soul Mission
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781644115237, $16.99, PB, 208pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Discover Your Soul Mission: Calling on Angels to Manifest Your Life Purpose",
Kathryn Hudson shows us a way to remember, to understand why we were born and what we are meant to experience on
As we touch in with the energy of our inner child, we rediscover that sweet spot that made our heart sing when young, that
direct line to our soul. While soul contracts with family and others might impact us on our path in different directions, we
can reopen the clear channel to the GPS of our heart and energetic system through meditations, reflections, and
Once realigned with the mission of our soul, many divine tools of manifestation open to us and, supported by angelic
mentors, we will be guided to establish our personal 12-month Mission Manifestation Plan that helps realize our life
Guiding many in the quest for meaning and purpose, with "Discover Your Soul Mission", Kathryn shares how to move from
feeling out of place or out of sorts with where we are in our lives to moving intentionally into fulfillment and knowing that
we are exactly where we are meant to be. And why do it alone if divine help is at hand? Taking you from simple questions
and requests to direct experience and actual co-creation with the angelic realm, "Discover Your Soul Mission" offers a way
to bring renewed zest to your life.
Critique: As thoughtful and thought-provoking as it is inspired and inspiring, "Discover Your Soul Mission: Calling on
Angels to Manifest Your Life Purpose" is an extraordinary, inherently fascinating, and potentially life-changing, life-
enhancing read that will be of particular appeal to those with an interest in angels, spirit guides, and parapsychology. While
highly recommended for community, college, and university library Metaphysical Studies collections, it should be noted for
the personal reading lists of anyone aspiring to an effective DIY spiritual self-help guide that "Discover Your Soul Mission"
is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).
Editorial Note: Kathryn Hudson is a certified Angel Therapy and Crystal Healing practitioner and teacher. Also a Reiki
Master teacher, Kathryn writes, speaks, and teaches all over the world on opening up to the spiritual side of life and finding
your life purpose. She has a website at http://kathrynhudson.fr/welcome
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608687633, $17.95, PB, 224pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Medium Mentor: 10 Powerful Techniques to Awaken Divine Guidance for Yourself and
Others" by experienced psychic medium and teacher MaryAnn DiMarco, you can now connect more deeply to your soul's
innate abilities and employ them to enhance your everyday life and serve others.
Through true stories and expert tips, "Medium Mentor" reveals the magic, joy, and responsibility of developing psychic gifts
and working with souls on the Other Side, as well as how to interpret the powerful energy you experience and establish
boundaries. MaryAnn's deep wisdom comes through as she teaches you to create your own unique approach to intuition and
understand and implement universal guidance.
Critique: An invaluable and impressively well written combination of instructional guide and 'how to' manual that will be of
immense and particular interest to serious students of New Age channeling and ESP, "Medium Mentor: 10 Powerful
Techniques to Awaken Divine Guidance for Yourself and Others" is an inherently interesting, thought-provoking, and
inspiring read. While highly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university Metaphysical
Studies collections, it should be noted that "Medium Mentor: 10 Powerful Techniques to Awaken Divine Guidance for
Yourself and Others" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.15).
Editorial Note: MaryAnn DiMarco is an internationally recognized psychic medium, healer, and spiritual teacher. The
author of "Believe, Ask, Act", she has been a featured expert on various media platforms, including the New York Times,
Women's Health, and Elle; has appeared on the podcasts Better Together with Maria Menounos, The Balanced Blonde Soul
on Fire, and Dear Gabby; and has been a speaker at Gabrielle Bernstein's Masterclass live events. She has her own website
The Travel Shelf
USA State by State
Moon Travel Guides
c/o Avalon Travel
1700 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
9781640495975, $27.99, PB, 792pp
Synopsis: From the Pacific to the Atlantic, through prairies and bayous to snow-capped mountains, travelers and visitors can
uncover the best of what the US has to offer with "Moon USA State by State"
This comprehensive travel guide is: Broken down by region, each chapter introduces the unique personality of all 50 states,
Washington DC, and Puerto Rico; Lists the top 3 experiences in every state: Whether it's a bucket-list national park, a
famous festival, or an unbeatable beach, find out what makes each state special; Suggests unforgettable outdoor adventures:
Explore the best national parks from Acadia to Zion. Peep the changing leaves in Vermont or set up camp for a night of
stargazing in Texas. Explore underground caves in Kentucky, or hike to waterfalls in Washington and volcanoes in Hawaii.
Admire stunning arches and hoodoos in Utah, or watch for wildlife in Alaska.
It is also replete with road trip ideas and options: Hit the road with lists of each state's best scenic drives and must-see
roadside stops; Showcases local culinary flavors from coast to coast: Sample hatch chilis in New Mexico and dig in to
heaping plates of hot chicken in Tennessee. Spend a weekend wine-tasting in Oregon, or try a flight of craft beers in
Colorado; Is replete with history and fun facts: Get to know more about each state with historical background, lesser-known
local favorites, and more; And includes a foldout poster map with checklists to track your adventures
Critique: Exceptionally 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "USA State by State" from Moon is an ideal
resource for planning everything from a day trip to an extended vacation anywhere in the United States. Illustrated
throughout, packed with 'real world' useful tips for getting the most out of a trip, and also available in a digital book format
(Kindle, $19.99), "USA State by State" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, family, professional,
community, college, and university library American Travel Guide collections.
Editorial Note: Since 1973, Moon travel guides has been guiding travelers to unique, authentic experiences in more than 200
destinations around the world. They believe in the power of travel to connect people and enrich their lives. Their authors are
local experts who share our commitment to independent businesses, local culture, and ethical travel. Moon Travel Guides
are published by Avalon Travel, an imprint of Perseus Books, a Hachette Book Group company, in Berkeley,
The Packraft Handbook
Luc Mehl, author
Sarah Glaser, illustrator
1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98134-1161
9781680516029, $32.95, PB, 432pp
Synopsis: The 2021 National Outdoor Book Award Winner in Outdoor Adventure Guides, "The Packraft Handbook: An
Instructional Guide for the Curious" by Alaska-based author and leading expert on Alaskan wilderness travel Luc Mehi has
an emphasis on skill progression and safety applies to wide range of outdoor water recreation which are enhanced for the
reader with vibrant illustrations and photos inform and inspire by Sarah K. Glasser.
"The Packraft Handbook" is a comprehensive guide to packrafting, Alaskan wilderness travelers will learn how to maneuver
through river features and open water, how to mitigate risk with trip planning and boat control, and how to react when
things go wrong. Beginners and even experienced wilderness enthusiasts will find everything they need to know to get
started -- from packraft care to proper paddling position as well as what to wear and how to communicate.
Illustrated for visual learners and featuring stunning photography, The Packraft Handbook has something to offer all
packrafters and other whitewater sports enthusiasts.
Critique: Of special interest to Alaskan wilderness tourists in general, and whitewater sports enthusiasts in particular, "The
Packraft Handbook: An Instructional Guide for the Curious" is an ideal DIY instructional guide and manual that is immense
interest and value to anyone wanting to safely get the most out of boating and other forms of wilderness oriented recreation.
Impressively comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Packraft Handbook: An
Instructional Guide for the Curious" is a 'must' for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Travel
Guide and Outdoor Recreation collections. It should be noted that "The Packraft Handbook: An Instructional Guide for the
Curious" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).
Editorial Note #1: Luc Mehl grew up on the Kuskokwim River in interior Alaska and currently resides in Anchorage. With
graduate degrees from UCSB and MIT, he applies academic and village skillsets to his work as a swiftwater safety
instructor and environmental data scientist. Mehl has traveled over 10,000 miles by packraft, skis, bike, and ice skates.
Editorial Note #2: Sarah K. Glaser was born and raised in Moose Pass, Alaska and currently resides in Anchorage. An
education and adventure illustrator, she loves to combine "type-two" adventures and compulsive doodling. Her illustrations
have appeared on sidewalks, helicopters, ambulances, dump trucks, and on/in a half-dozen books.
Walking Great Britain: England, Scotland, and Wales
1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98134-1161
9781680513172, $14.95, PB, 320pp
Synopsis: Comprised of 63 walks packed with local history, cultural and literary highlights, ecological and geological
tidbits, and more; Brief descriptions of gateway towns and services; 75 full-color photos and detailed walk maps; an an
At-A-Glance chart featuring trail information and amenities, "Walking Great Britain: England, Scotland, and Wales" by
veteran travel writer Heather Hansen guides walkers and hikers of all levels and interests to the region's superlative
From easy riverside strolls to challenging mountain summits, these beautiful, classic routes so nicely showcased in
"Walking Great Britain: England, Scotland, and Wales" lend themselves to a good day's walking with detail about local
history, cultural and literary highlights, plus ecological and geological tidbits sprinkled throughout.
"Walking Great Britain: England, Scotland, and Wales" enhance the traveler's experience while visiting varied and stunning
landscapes -- including hidden waterfalls, wild beaches, long lochs, deep gorges, dramatic cliffs, striking sea stacks, high
peaks, picturesque peninsulas, colorful gardens, Roman ruins, turreted castles, and more.
Most trails are easy day trips close to popular towns and destinations, making "Walking Great Britain: England, Scotland,
and Wales " a perfect guide for a quick outing between museum visits or a week's worth of robust striding.
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated in full color throughout, "Walking Great Britain: England, Scotland, and
Wales" is exceptionally informative and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, making it an ideal
resource for itinerary planning. While a highly recommended acquisition for personal, professional, community, college,
and university library Travel Guide collections, it should be noted for Great Britain bound travelers and on-site visitors that
"Walking Great Britain: England, Scotland, and Wales" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.70).
Editorial Note: Heather Hansen is an award-winning reporter, specializing in environmental and travel writing. She is also
the author of "Wildfire: On the Front Lines with Station 8", and her work has appeared in High Country News, National
Geographic Traveler, Smithsonian, Outside, Mountain Gazette, and others. She has her own website at
Heartbeats: The Insider's Guide to Israel
Ya'acov Fried, author
Gilad Peled, author
Yishay Shavit, author
Gefen Publishing House
255 Central Ave #B-206, Lawrence, NY 11559
9789657023778, $24.95, PB, 293pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Heartbeats: The Insider's Guide to Israel", the team of experienced tour guides Ya'acov
Fried, Gilad Peled, and Yishay Shavit invites the reader to step off of the well-worn tourist paths and enjoy rare access to the
nuances, contradictions, and complexities that make up the State of Israel.
"Heartbeats: The Insider's Guide to Israel" is fascinating anthology by expert Israeli tour educators, each of whom share
their experience of Israel through their own personal lens, background, and vantage point. Reading this unique travel guide
before, during, and after a journey to Israel will give the reader an exciting opportunity to delve deeper, not just into the
country but into themselves. This an informed and informative guide that will ably serve as a map through which the
traveler's curiosity will be able to run free and will enable them to experience and appreciate the diverse fabric of Israeli
Critique: Deftly edited by Amnon Jackont, "Heartbeats: The Insider's Guide to Israel" is a non-conventional by inherently
fascinating and useful resource for getting the most out of a visit to Israel with memorable sights, Israeli histories, and
extraordinary experiences that go beyond the usual tourist itineraries. While also available in a digital book format (Kindle,
$9.85), "Heartbeats: The Insider's Guide to Israel" is firmly recommended for personal, professional, community, college,
and university library Travel Guide collections and a essential for anyone visiting or planning to visit Israel.
The Graphic Novel Shelf
Dungeon: Twilight vols. 1-2: Dragon Cemetery
Joann Sfar, author
Lewis Trondheim, author
160 Broadway, Ste. 700, East Wing, New York, NY 10038
9781681122939, $19.99, PB, 192pp
Synopsis: The planet Terra Amata, on which Dungeon resides, has stopped turning. On one side, total darkness and absolute
coldness; on the other, a searing desert and eternal day. The survivors live on a thin slice of earth where day and night meet.
A territory known as Twilight.
Welcome to the third facet of the Dungeon world, its dark downfall. Marvin, now old and blind, sensing his end, goes on a
long trek to the legendary cemetery of dragons. And then, saved at the last minute from certain death in a duel by his young
warrior admirer Marvin the Red, he simply cannot be let to die like he wishes!
Whatever he loses, he regains in different powers. He's even become invincible. It's to the point where he'd rather exchange
body parts to get back his mortality! But then he is led to a discovery that may make continuing to live actually worth
Critique: With the publication of "Dungeon: Twilight vols. 1-2: Dragon Cemetery", it is clear that the artwork of Kerascoet
creates an impressive visual support and enhancement of collaborative authors Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim's original,
memorably entertaining, and satirical storylines. The result is a graphic novel anthology that is unreservedly recommended
for personal reading lists and community library Science Fiction & Fantasy graphic novel collections.
Yaksha Hime: Princess Half-Demon 1
Story and Art by Takashi Shiina
Main Character Design by Rumiko Takahashi
Script Cooperation by Katsuyuki Sumisawa
9781974732654 $9.99 pbk / $6.49 Kindle
Synopsis: Can the three teenage daughters of demon dog half-brothers Inuyasha and Sesshomaru save their parents,
themselves, and both realms from the menace of the seven mystical Rainbow Pearls?
Living in the present day isn't easy for Sesshomaru's daughter Towa. She can't remember where she came from, must
conceal her mysterious powers, and is either worshipped or feared by girls she just wants to be friends with. But she has no
way of returning to her own time until one day... a demon attacks and she is transported to feudal-era Japan.
There Towa, her twin sister Setsuma, and her cousin Moroha - Inuyasha's daughter - have a mission bestowed upon them by
the mystical Tree of Ages. With only vague memories of their past to guide them, the three young women set out to find
their parents, heal a rift in time, and fulfill their royal destiny...
Critique: Yaksha Hime: Princess Half-Demon 1 is a black-and-white manga (Japanese graphic novel) that begins a next-
generation sequel to Rumiko Takahashi's wildly popular "Inuyasha" manga series. Rumiko Takashi provides main character
designs, and the story and art by Takashi Shiina weave a demon-fantasy-adventure saga around the daughter of Inuyasha,
and her twin cousins, the daughters of Sesshomaru. All three young women must come to terms with their part-demon
lineage, and navigate time-twisting troubles through demon-plagued feudal Japan to seek out their parents, uncover their
own shrouded memories, and close a rift distorting reality itself! Featuring a strong balance of intense action and soul-
searching characterization, Yaksha Hime is highly recommended especially to fans of the original Inuyasha saga. It should
be noted for personal reading lists that Yaksha Hime: Princess Half-Demon 1 is intended for teen and older readers, and
available in a Kindle edition ($6.49).
Ghost Reaper Girl 1
Synopsis: Chloe has dreamed of leading a glamorous life as an actress ever since she was little. But being the ripe old age of
28 might be working against her, and her spontaneous displays of violence aren't helping either! Not all hope is lost,
however - she might be perfect for the role offered by a mysterious and charming new man in her life. Can Chloe become
the Ghost Reaper Girl and take down the evil spirits that have escaped from Hades?
Critique: Showcased in Shonen Jump, Ghost Reaper Girl 1 begins a series of black-and-white manga (Japanese comics)
about a 28-year-old young woman with a supernatural new job - stopping evil spirits that have escaped the underworld!
Mystic powers clash full force in this heady blend of action and attraction, especially recommended for fans of occult-
themed fantasy. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Ghost Reaper Girl 1 is intended for older teen and adult
readers, and available in a Kindle edition ($6.49).
9781647291150 $12.95 pbk / $9.99 Kindle
Synopsis: The world is no longer what it used to be. Shojo - ferocious, ape-like creatures who feed on humans - roam the
land, and anyone who's bitten becomes infected with the same mysterious virus.
Humanity has resisted by building aerial cities and forming special units called Guards to fight back. Among them, a young
man with a blank stare battles without regard for his life - Minami. People call him a messiah, but their only hope has a
constant death wish and defends them day in and day out simply because he still breathes...
A dark post-apocalyptic fantasy from the creator of Devils' Line, Ryo Hanada!
Critique: Blackguard 1 begins a dark, post-apocalyptic manga (Japanese comics) series in a world where a mysterious virus
spread by biting transforms humans into vicious, cannibal, ape-like monsters. Human survivors live in aerial cities and form
units called Guards to fight against the horrifying threat. Among the Guards is Minami, who is revered as a hero but harbors
a death wish, and continues to fight only because he still breathes. Minami's assigned handlers try to help him move past his
unending death wish, but then a stranger also tries to "help"... by suggesting suicide. An intense, psychological, hard-hitting
character drama, Blackguard is thoroughly engrossing from cover to cover. It should be noted for personal reading lists that
Blackguard 1 is intended for readers age 16 and up, and available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
Kubo Won't Let Me Be Invisible 1
9781974729685 $9.99 pbk / $6.29 Kindle
Synopsis: Junta Shiraishi blends into the background so much that even his classmates fail to spot him. His goal is to make
the most of his high school years, but that pesky invisibility gets in the way... until Nagisa Kubo notices him! Kubo's playful
teasing kicks Shiraishi out of his comfort zone and begins a friendship - or maybe something more?
When Kubo sits next to Shiraishi in their first year of high school, Shiraishi's nonexistent social skills get a boost. Speaking
up in class is only the beginning for Shiraishi - soon Kubo forces him to be noticed at school, at the bookstore, and all
around town. Shiraishi's once-lackluster life isn't so dull anymore!
Critique: Kubo Won't Let Me Be Invisible 1 begins a lighthearted black-and-white comedy manga (Japanese comics) series,
about a high school boy who tends to be overlooked and ignored - and the social butterfly girl who takes an interest in him!
Through her, the oft-unnoticed boy gets more attention than he ever expected, and he's forced to work on improving meager
social skills as fast as he can to keep up! Charming, whimsical, and perhaps embellished a hint of potential romance, Kubo
Won't Let Me Be Invisible is a delight to browse. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Kubo Won't Let Me Be
Invisible is intended for older teen and adult readres, and is available in a Kindle edition ($6.29).
Sakamoto Days 1
9781974728947 $9.99 pbk / $6.29
Synopsis: Taro Sakamoto was once a legendary hit man considered the greatest of all time. Bad guys feared him! Assassins
revered him! But then one day he quit, got married, and had a baby. He's now living the quiet life as the owner of a
neighborhood store, but how long can Sakamoto enjoy his days of retirement before his past catches up to him?!
Time has passed peacefully for Sakamoto since he left the underworld. He's running a neighborhood store with his lovely
wife and child and has gotten a bit... out of shape. But one day a figure from his past pays him a visit with an offer he can't
refuse: return to the assassin world or die!
Critique: Sakamoto Days 1 is a black-and-white manga (Japanese graphic novel) kicking off an unpredictable and
sometimes violent series about a retired assassin whose former job won't leave him alone! Taro Sakamoto simply wants to
run a neighborhood store and live in peace with his wife and child, but when an underworld figure gives him an offer he
can't refuse, his past catches up to him with a vengeance. Exciting and sometimes surreal in its portrayal of Sakamoto's
effort to balance violence and family life, Sakamoto Days 1 is a thoroughly captivating page-turner and highly
recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Sakamoto Days 1 is intended for older teen and adult
readers, and available in a Kindle edition ($6.29).
Sakamoto Days 2
9781974732142 $9.99 pbk / $6.49 Kindle
Synopsis: Taro Sakamoto was once a legendary hit man considered the greatest of all time. Bad guys feared him! Assassins
revered him! But then one day he quit, got married, and had a baby. He's now living the quiet life as the owner of a
neighborhood store, but how long can Sakamoto enjoy his days of retirement before his past catches up to him?!
Shin faces off with a strange assassin who's targeting Mr. Sakamoto, but how will he manage against a foe whose thoughts
are unreadable? Then, the Sakamoto gang does their best to enjoy a peaceful family outing at the amusement park, only to
be rudely interrupted by a pair of menacing assassins. Can Mr. Sakamoto and his buddies take care of them without his
Critique: Sakamoto Days 2 continues the manga (Japanese comics) saga of Taro Sakamoto, the ex-assassin turned store
owner and family man. Sakamoto's violent past has caught up to him; he's targeted by assassins! Can he and his underworld
friends eliminate the threat without disrupting Sakamoto's peaceful family life? Even something as simple as a family outing
to an amusement park has the potential to turn deadly! It should be noted for personal reading lists that Sakamoto Days 2 is
intended for older teen readers, and is available in a Kindle edition ($6.49).
The Audiobook Shelf
Betraying the Crown
T. P. Fielden, author
Joel Froomkin, narrator
9781713659204, $25.99, Library CD Edition
Synopsis: Windsor, 1943. Britain is in the grip of World War II and treachery is afoot. The body of controversial former
courtier Lord Blackwater is found in the abandoned Fort Belvedere, once the country bolthole of the King's wayward
brother. And all signs point to murder.
Royal confidant Guy Harford is called in to solve the mystery quickly and quietly, before any hint of scandal reaches the
public. Investigating with the help of Rodie, his roguish burglar girlfriend, his enquiries lead him into the world of the Royal
Ballet, where on-stage glamour hides an undercurrent of off-stage deceit. And when the ballet company's newest recruit
turns up dead, it's clear there's more to this murder than meets the eye.
Meanwhile, news reaches the Palace that the King's brother (already under strict orders to stay out of trouble) is threatening
to undermine both Crown and country by taking US citizenship.
Harford must do his royal duty. It's up to him to catch the killer and save the monarchy from crisis in wartime. Before any
more heads roll!
Critique: Superbly narrated by Joel Froomakin who brings author T. P. Fielden's novel, "Betraying The Crown" vividly to
life in a true 'theatre of the mind' experience, this riveting Library CD edition of a British style detective mystery is highly
recommended for community library audio book collections. (7 CDs, 8 Hours, 50 Minutes). It should be noted that
"Betraying The Crown" is also available in an MP3-CD audio book format (9781713659211, $14.99).
Editorial Note: TP Fielden is the fiction-writing name of the acclaimed royal biographer and commentator Christopher
Wilson, who has penned biographies of Prince Charles, Camilla, Diana and other members of the British royal family. For
twenty years a leading Fleet Street journalist with columns in The Times, Sunday Telegraph, Daily Express and Today, he is
now a bestselling biographer and (as TP Fielden) novelist.
The Ice Ghost
Kathleen O'Neal Gear, author
Shaun Taylor-Corbett, narrator
Sisi Aisha Johnson, narrator
9781713562542, $36.99, Library CD Edition
Synopsis: In the brutal Ice Age caused by the ancient Jemen war, many archaic human species, including Denisovans and
Homo erectus, hover on the verge of extinction. There seems no way out, until the greatest Neandertal holy man, Trogon,
has a vision.
Legends say the truce that ended the old war left one hostage in the hands of the victorious rebels: the godlike Jemen leader
known as the Old Woman of the Mountain. According to Trogon's vision, only one person knows the location of that burial
Trogon must capture young Quiller and force her to lead him there -- for the Old Woman may not be dead. She may only
have been in stasis for a thousand summers, and when reawakened she will save them from oblivion.
But according to the Denisovans (Quiller's people) Trogon is the most powerful witch alive. He's up to something evil that
will surely spell their destruction. He must be stopped before it's too late. So Quiller's best friend Lynx must brave towering
glaciers, dire wolves, and prides of giant lions to save her and stop Trogon.
Critique: Heroic fantasy at it's very best, "The Ice Ghost" by Kathleen O'Neal Gear is flawlessly performed by the narrative
team talents of Shaun Taylor-Corbett and Sisi Aisha Johnson. This complete and unabridged Library CD edition (8 CDs, 9
Hours, 25 Minutes) from Brilliance Media is an especially recommended addition for both personal and community library
Science Fiction & Fantasy audio book collections. It should also be noted that there is an MP3-CD edition available
Editorial Note: Kathleen O'Neal Gear has authored or co-authored 50 novels and around 200 non-fiction articles. In 2015,
the United States Congress honored her with a "Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition" for her work as an
American archaeologist and writer. In 2019, her book "Maze Master" won the International Book Award for Best Science
Fiction novel. She has a website at www.gear-gear.com and can be followed on Twitter: @Gearbooks
9781713646709, $24.99, Library CD Edition
Synopsis: Eilean was born a "wretched" -- a lowly foundling raised by the Aldermaston of Tintern Abbey. Then she's chosen
to assist in establishing the new abbey of Muirwood, now the site of a castle in the swampy Bearden Muir. Eilean's role is as
night servant to the druid Mordaunt, the king's exiled advisor -- and prisoner. He's clever, dangerous, and invaluable to the
Mordaunt's priceless secret: the hiding place of an ancient tome that reveals the existence of other worlds and the magic
between them. Mordaunt knows how potent its words are and how dangerous they could be in the wrong hands. But can
Eilean win him over? All she must do is gain Mordaunt's confidence and trust and persuade the apostate to divulge his
secret to her. But as she learns more from Mordaunt, Eilean's loyalties begin to fray. And the risks are greater than she
Despite betrayals, deceptions, and the deadly motivations of others, a girl from the flax fields is about to rise above her
station. By exploring the potential of the power of an ancient spoken magic, Eilean is coming into her own.
Critique: A superbly crafted novel of magic, fantasy and mythology, author Jeff Wheeler's "The Druid" is expertly narrated
by the storytelling talents of vocal performer Kate Rudd in this highly recommended, complete and unabridged Library CD
edition (8 CDs, 9 Hours, 7 Minutes). It should also be noted that "The Druid" is readily available for personal and library
collections in an MP3-CD format (9781713646716, $14.99).
The Music CD Shelf
Adema Manoukas Octet
7.00 Euro digital
New Roots is the debut album of contemporary jazz by eight Canadian music artists, Adema Manoukas Octet. The Octet
consists of Evan Dalling on trumpet, Brenon Parmar on alto saxophone, David Hodgson on tenor & soprano saxophones,
Nick Adema on trombone, Alex Manoukas on baritone saxophone, Leighton Harrell on bass, and Keith Barstow on drums.
Their music includes both original compositions and arranged interpretations of classic songs by Dizzy Gillespie and
Thelonious Monk. New Roots is a treasure for modern jazz collections, highly recommended. The tracks are Tour de Force,
Eastern Avenue, 'Round Midnight, New Roots, In the Weeds, Reflections, Three Step Deal, and Runnin'.
Up the Hill and Through the Fog
The Slocan Ramblers
$14.98 CD / $8.99 MP3
Up the Hill and Through the Fog is a bluegrass album by award-winning Canadian roots ensemble The Slocan Ramblers.
The album features the three core Slocan Ramblers members Darryl Poulsen on guitar and vocals, Adrian Gross on
mandolin, mandola, and vocals, and Frank Evans on banjo and vocals, with additional contributions from Charles James on
bass and vocals. Up the Hill and Through the Fog is passionate, emotional, memorable, and highly recommended especially
for connoisseurs of the genre. The tracks are I Don't Know, You Said Goodbye, Won't You Come Back Home, A Mind
With A Heart Of Its Own, Snow Owl, Bill Fernie, Platform Four, Streetcar Lullaby, Bury My Troubles, Harefoot's Retreat,
The River Roaming Song, and Bring Me Down Low.
Qui Quen Grogne
$TBA CD / $10.32 MP3
Montreal-based jazz saxophonist Yannick Rieu presents Qui Quen Grogne, an album titled after a French expression that
means "I don't care what people think about what I'm doing." Rieu's sublime mastery of tenor and soprano saxophone shines
through these eight original compositions. Qui Quen Grogne is enthusiastically recommended especially for jazz saxophone
connoisseurs. The tracks are Qui Quen Grogne, Song Sisters, Riff Droite, Time is Life Was, Le Philosophe, Pharaon, and
Porta di Cinese.
Havana Meets Kingston Part 2
Mista Savona and Havana Meets Kingston
$13.98 CD / $9.49 MP3
Havana Meets Kingston Part 2 is the follow up to Mista Savona's 2017 debut album. An all-star lineup of musicians from
Cuba and Jamaica showcase 15 songs ranging from reggae, dancehall, and rocksteady to Cuban son, timba, and salsa. The
pulse-pounding performances are an electrifying experience! Havana Meets Kingston Part 2 is a choice pick for
international music collections, highly recommended. The tracks are The Fire From Africa, Siempre Si, Guarachara, The
Human Chain, Solutions (We Can Do It), Havana Meets Kingston, Lo Que Quieres, Lagrimas Negras, Beat Con Flow,
Destiny, Kingston Nights, Reggae Y Son, Slave Trade, Juramento, and We Are One.
The Art Shelf
Watercolor Painting at Home
Walter Foster Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9781600589423, $21.99, PB, 128pp
Synopsis: As we all spend time at home due to the pandemic, many of us find ourselves looking for a creative outlet that
doesn't require us to get out and about. That's where Watercolor Painting at Home comes in, with ideas and inspiration for
painting from our couch, front porch, backyard, and more. Painting our favorite things will make our homes look more
beautiful and will help us to appreciate where we live and what we have. It's easy to find inspiration at home; just look to
our holiday decor, favorite recipes, plants, office, and more.
Expertly written and illustrated by a professional artist, and comprised of easy-to-follow water color based painting projects
inspired by the comforts of home and the colors of the garden, "Watercolor Painting at Home" is beautiful instructional 'how
to' guide filled with inviting and colorful large-scale art accompanied by step-by-step instructions that are clear and easy to
follow for any skill level. Watercolor is one of the most popular art mediums out there, and the items needed for the projects
are affordable and accessible.
"Watercolor Painting at Home" will enable even the most novice of artists to gain a new appreciation for their home as they
paint their everyday surroundings.
Critique: Exceptionally 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, this latest addition to the Inspired Artist series from
Walter Foster Publishing, has the very highest recommendation for both personal and community library DIY art instruction
collections, "Watercolor Painting at Home" invites art hobbyists and casual art enthusiasts to have fun learning basic art
concepts, relaxing into the creative process to make art in a playful, contemporary style. Also from this same art instruction
series are even more artistic inspiration guides including: "Draw Every Little Thing", "Paint Every Little Thing", and "Block
Print for Beginners".
Editorial Note: Bley Hack is an artist based in the Midwest. Working primarily with watercolor, as well as pen and ink and
digital media, Bley creates patterns and artwork inspired by vintage designs. Some of her clients include Papyrus; Design
Design, Inc.; Art in Motion; Calypso Cards; Lifetime Brands; and Minted. She maintains a website at
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9780760373095, $35.00, HC, 192pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Mastering Sculpture: The Figure in Clay: A Guide to Capturing the Human Form for
Ceramic Artists", renowned sculptor and instructor Cristina Cordova teaches everything the aspiring sculptor needs to know
to replicate the full human figure using clay.
The reader will start by developing meaningful sketches and reference points and then learn how to make and use an
armature to create hollow forms that are safe to fire in a kiln. Fully explained is how with using patterns and slabs, you can
then move on to develop a full human form, head to toe. Of special note is that with "Mastering Sculpture" the aspiring
sculptor can work along with the Cristine Cordova to create a form about two-feet tall -- or choose their own size because
the patterns and instructions can work in a variety of scales.
Photographic demonstrations and diagrams cover the construction and articulation of feet and legs, the hip area and upper
torso, arms, hands, neck, and head. Cristina also includes supplementary tips and insights throughout to support the
sculpting process and enhance naturalism. You'll also find a brief section on general anatomical concepts and modeling
strategies to facilitate accuracy and expression as all the components come together.
Whether you are a clay artist with limited experience in figurative sculpture or a figurative sculptor outside the world of
ceramics looking for a straightforward fabrication strategy to create permanent compositions from clay, "Mastering
Sculpture: The Figure in Clay" will expertly guide your way from beginning to completion of a project involving the human
Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout, "Mastering Sculpture: The Figure in Clay: A Guide to Capturing the Human
Form for Ceramic Artists" is enhanced with the additional inclusion of four Appendices, a list of Resources, and an Index.
Exceptionally well organized and presented making it an ideal DIY instruction guide and manual, "Mastering Sculpture:
The Figure in Clay: A Guide to Capturing the Human Form for Ceramic Artists" is an especially and unreservedly
recommended as a textbook for art class curriculums on sculpture, and an essential, core addition to personal, professional,
community, college, university, and art school Sculpting Art & Techniques collections.
Editorial Note: Cristina Cordova is a contemporary artist and sculpting instructor whose work is collected around the world.
She is featured in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum; The Coleccion Acosta de San Juan,
Puerto Rico; the Mint Museum of Craft + Design; the Museum of Contemporary Art; and the Alfred Ceramic Art Museum,
among others. She is the recipient of numerous grants and award, including NC Arts Council Fellowship Grant, a Virginia
Groot Foundation Recognition Grant, several International Association of Art Critics of Puerto Rico awards, and in 2015
the prestigious United States Artist Fellowship award. Her work is widely featured in all major ceramics and arts media,
including the covers of Ceramics Monthly, and was featured by Craft in America, on PBS, in their episode on Identity.
Drawing and Painting Beautiful Flowers
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9780760373309, $24.99, PB, 128pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Drawing and Painting Beautiful Flowers" by Kyehyn Park, aspiring artists and
illustrators will discover how to draw flowers such as cosmos, hibiscus, canola, lily of the valley, hydrangea, foxglove, and
more from various angles, and learn about perspective and shading. Once they have the skills to draw a single flower, they
will go on to learn how to draw groupings and wreaths, as well as mixing in leaves and smaller flowers to create a variety of
Finally, they will learn simple techniques to add luscious watercolor, using shading, blending, and gradient techniques for
"Drawing and Painting Beautiful Flowers" also includes: Ideas and techniques for drawing and painting charming potted
plants; Instructions for drawing and painting smaller flowers, buds, and branches; Watercolor techniques showing how to
expertly blend colors, use brush strokes and brush pressure to create various shapes, and how to use color to shade and
highlight; Warm-up exercises that help develop skills; Simple methods for understanding perspective and composition,
making it effortless to draw flowers from different angles
As popular Instagram artist Kyehyun Park shares her secrets for capturing realistic flower, leaf, and plant shapes, artists of
all levels will enjoy drawing and painting nature, and with these techniques they will confidently render lifelike botanicals in
an array of lovely palettes.
Critique: Exceptionally well written with easy to follow, step by step instructions, "Drawing and Painting Beautiful
Flowers" is the ideal DIY instruction guide, especially for the novice artist/illustrator. Whether working with pencil or
watercolor, "Drawing and Painting Beautiful Flowers" will prove to be a well appreciated and core addition to personal,
professional, community, and art school instructional reference collections.
Editorial Note: Kyehyun Park was born and raised in South Korea. After receiving her bachelor's degree in graphic art, she
worked as a graphic designer in South Korea and New York City. She completed her master's degree in animation at
Academy of Art University, majoring in 3D environment modeling. She has created illustrations for Hyundai Motor
America's Santa Fe and Tucson social media campaigns, and in 2019 she became a licensed designer with the French decor
company Lilipinso. Since 2017, Kyehyun has been posting her drawing and watercolor flower painting tutorials on
Instagram to her large platform of followers, and teaching watercolor classes in Los Angeles, where she lives. She can be
followed on Instagram: @urbankate_in_ca
The Humor Shelf
What's What and What to Do About It
Seven Stories Press
140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013
9781644210383, $21.95, HC, 128pp
Synopsis: In a parody of such legendary advice columnists as Dear Abby or her sister, Dear Ann Landers, "What's What and
What to Do About It" is comprised of wit and wisdom offering a balm for the anxieties of life by imaginary advice
columnist and author Waldo Mellon.
Critique: Written with a genuine flair of originality, humor, and a very special, if somewhat iconoclastic insights into the
human condition, "What's What and What to Do About It" is a fun read from cover to cover. While highly recommended for
community library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of those with a particular affinity for wry
humor, psychological parody, self-help caricature, and philosophical mockery, "What's What and What to Do About It" is
also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).
Editorial Note: Waldo Mellon has written for television and film for the last forty years from his home base outside
Amherst, MA. Three of his screenplays were made into the movies Envy, Waiting for Forever, and No Stranger than
Love--". "What's What and What to Do about It" is his first book. He is currently working on a sequel: "What's Death and
What to Do about It".
Don't Worry, Be Ha-PEA
9781641704649, $14.99, HC, 128pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Don't Worry, Be Ha-PEA: 101 Deliciously Clever Food Puns" by Marie Saba, you can
now test your knowledge of pop culture, tourist attractions, social media slang, and more with this delicious collection of
101 visual food puns. Fresh food and beautiful photography make the perfect pear in this clever and original book of humor.
Some puns are trickier than others, but donut give up! Just keep calm and curry on.
Critique: Original, clever, and each individual page an illustrated masterpiece of a food related pun, "Don't Worry, Be
Ha-PEA: 101 Deliciously Clever Food Puns" is an ideal gift for pun fans and will be a welcome and enduringly popular
addition to personal and community library Contemporary Humor collections. It should be noted that "Don't Worry, Be
Ha-PEA: 101 Deliciously Clever Food Puns" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Marie Saba is a cookbook author and freelance content creator. Her playful creations have been featured in
numerous media outlets, including Bon Appetit and Food & Wine magazine, as well as on The Rachael Ray Show and The
Martha Stewart Show.
The Gardening Shelf
Harvest House Publishers
PO Box 41210, Eugene, OR 97404-0322
9780736982146, $26.99, HC, 208pp
Synopsis: The Bible tells us that from the beginning God made a garden called Eden. So it is no surprise if we feel closer to
Him with our hands in the dirt and the sun on our back. There is something profoundly soul-satisfying and spiritually
healing about creating and cultivating beauty in the form of a garden.
Critique: With the publication of "Garden Maker: Growing a Life of Beauty and Wonder with Flowers", author and
gardener Christie Purifoy will help the aspiring gardener to enjoy the simple delights of growing garden flowers. From
preparing and planning to creating beautiful bouquets and other arrangements, there are a profusion of lavishly
photographed images supporting a thoroughly 'gardener friendly' all-seasons DIY guide that will enable even the most
novice of aspiring gardeners to discover the innumerable joys and wonders to be found in the flower garden. It should be
noted that "Garden Maker" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.47).
Editorial Note: A writer and avid gardener, Christie Purifoy earned a PhD in English Literature from the University of
Chicago and has taught literature and composition at the undergraduate level. Her books include "Roots and Sky: A Journey
Home in Four Seasons" and "Placemaker: Cultivating Places of Comfort, Beauty, and Peace". She explores her love of
gardening and all things beautiful at her Victorian farmhouse in southeastern Pennsylvania.
A Guide to Medieval Gardens
c/o Pen & Sword Books
9781526794543, $41.95, HC, 176pp
Synopsis: Medieval gardens usually rate very few pages in the garden history books. The general perception is still of small
gardens in the corner of a castle. But recent research has shown that the gardens were larger than we previously believed. "A
Guide to Medieval Gardens: Gardens in the Age of Chivalry" academician and historian Michael Brown contains
information and pictures that have not been generally available before, including the theory and practice of medieval
Many features of later gardens were already a part of medieval gardens. The number of plants was limited, but was still no
less than many modern gardeners use in their own gardens today. Yet medieval gardens were imbued with meaning.
Whether secular or religious, the additional dimension of symbolism, gave a greater depth to medieval gardens, which is
lacking in most modern ones.
Critique: Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout, Professor Michael Brown's "A Guide to Medieval Gardens:
Gardens in the Age of Chivalry" will be of particular interest to academia and non-specialist readers with an interest in the
subject of medieval gardens. This very special history contains some of the vast amount of research that Professor Brown
carried out to create the medieval gardens at the Prebendal Manor, Nassington, Northamptonshire. He had tried to use
previously unused sources and included his own practical experience of medieval gardening methods that he carried out to
maintain the gardens. Some worked, others certainly didn't.
A simply fascinating read and a singularly important. informative, unique and welcome addition to personal, professional,
community, college, and university library Medieval Studies and History of Gardening collections, it should be noted that
"A Guide to Medieval Gardens: Gardens in the Age of Chivalry" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Michael Brown is Professor of Scottish history at the University of St Andrews. His main research interests
center on the political society of Scotland c.1250 - c.1500 and on the relationships between the various communities of the
British Isles during the same period. He has published studies of the practice and ideology of royal and aristocratic lordship
The Parenting Shelf
Quill Driver Books
c/o Linden Publishing
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721
9780941936507, $19.95, PB, 292pp
Synopsis: Are your kids stressed? Are they feeling a bit down? Do your children (and you) need a break from screens?
Nature can help. What we all suspected intuitively for generations, science has now confirmed: spending time connecting to
nature is a safe, effective tool to help improve our health and happiness.
In "Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer", author and parent Sandi
Schwartz guides families in building regular habits of experiencing nature to reduce stress and boost mood. She explores
key positive psychology tools from a nature-loving perspective. You will learn simple, practical tips for incorporating these
tools including awe and gratitude, mindfulness, creative arts, outdoor play and adventure, volunteering, food, and animals,
into your daily routine to help your children thrive and live a happy, balanced life.
"Finding Ecohappiness" will also introduce you to all kinds of engaging nature activities you can do with your kids, from
hiking and bike rides to visiting nature centers and science museums to volunteering outdoors to embarking on ecotourism
adventures. In addition, you will discover unique nature relaxation activities like cow cuddling, animal yoga, forest bathing,
float therapy, and earthing. Nature isn't just for kids, either -- doing these activities with your children will tremendously
improve your own well-being, too.
Critique: With the publication of "Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and
Calmer", parents wanting to raise calmer, healthier, happier children of all ages are now provided with a throughly 'parent
friendly' combination of parenting guide and manual for protecting children from feeling stressed and overwhelmed;
managing their children's current issues regarding stress, anxiety, and mood; and utilizing nature driven activities, exercises
and projects to improve family togetherness and harmony. Impressively written, organized and presented, "Finding
Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer" is especially and unreservedly
recommended for personal, family, and community library Parenting, Family Activity, and Child Psychology collections. It
should be noted for personal reading lists that "Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel
Happier and Calmer" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).
Editorial Note: Sandi Schwartz is a journalist specializing in parenting, wellness, and the environment. She has written for
Chicken Soup for the Soul, Scary Mommy, and Very Well Family, among other publications She founded the Ecohappiness
Project to help families build a nature habit to feel happier and calmer by exploring positive psychology tools through a
nature lens. Previously, she held communications positions at the United States Environmental Protection Agency and
National Academy of Sciences. She is an active member in environmental and writing organizations including Children &
Nature Network, American Society of Journalists and Authors, Sierra Club, and more. She has a website at
The Beer/Wine/Spirits Shelf
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9780857837813, $24.99, HC, 192pp
Synopsis: Produced using a mixture of naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria, wild fermented beers offer the 'fine dining' of
the beer world. These beers are how beer tasted 200 years ago, before brewing was industrialized, and are enjoying a
Jaega Wise, head brewer at East London's Wild Card Brewery, is one of the UK's experts in wild fermentation. With the
publication of "Wild Brews" she explains the science behind the brewing process and shares her recipes so that you can
experiment at home. Learn how to brew, bottle, and age your beer in wooden barrels, and produce a range of different sour
beer styles, farmhouse ales and fruit beers.
Recipes and styles featured in "Wild Brews" include: German Berliner Weisse (tart and refreshing) and Gose (salty and
dry); Belgian Lambics, gueze, Flanders red ale and fruit beers; French Farmhouse ales such as saison and biere de garde;
Norwegian Farmhouse Ales including the Kveik IPA; and English Old Ale.
Also included is a trouble-shooter section to guide you through what happens when wild yeast and bacteria get out of
control and how to remedy it. Whether you are a beer geek or a home brewing novice, "Wild Brews" contains everything
you need to replicate today's sour and wild beer styles at home.
Critique: When it comes to the DIY craft of home brewing, from sour and fruit beers to farmhouse ales, "Wild Brews" is the
perfect step-by-step 'how to' instruction manual and guide for the amateur and aspiring home-based brew master. While also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99), "Wild Brews" by Jaega Wise is a thoroughly 'user friendly' and
highly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Home Brewing and Beer
Editorial Note: Jaega Wise is an English beer brewer, campaigner, broadcaster and author. Born in Nottingham, she is the
head brewer and co-founder of London-based Wild Card Brewery and in 2018 was named "Brewer of the Year" by the
British Guild of Beer Writers. Alongside brewing, Wise campaigns on various issues within the beer and wider drinks
industries, including sexism, race and disability. She has also presented several radio and television shows, including BBC
Radio 4's The Food Programme and Amazon Prime's Beer Masters.
The Computer Shelf
Murach's C++ Programming, second edition
Mary Delamater, author
Joel Murach, author
Mike Murach & Associates
9781943872961, $59.50, PB, 800pp
Synopsis: Now in a fully updated and expanded second edition, "Murach's C++ Programming" is the ideal instructional
resource for learning C++ in manageable chunks with Murach's distinctive "paired-pages" format that has proved
extraordinarily popular with C++ programmer students and practitioners. Each topic is presented in a 2-page spread: You
get clear syntax and coding examples along with easy-to-understand bullets on the righthand page and in-depth explanations
and perspective on the left. Not only does this format ease the learning curve, it's a time-saver for on-the-job reference
Critique: Mike Murach & Associates is a premier publisher of computer software instruction manuals and textbooks. This
comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' second edition of "Murach's C++ Programming" by the team of Mary
Delamater and Joel Murach continues to support their international reputation and is unreservedly recommended for
personal DIY studies, as well as professional, community, highschool, college, and university library C++ Programming
Language instructional collections and curriculums.
A Field Guide to Digital Transformation
Thomas Erl, author
Roger Stoffers, author
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780137571840, $34.99, PB, 288pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "A Field Guide to Digital Transformation" IT experts Thomas Erl and Roger Stoffers
combine to provide comprehensive, yet easy-to-understand coverage of essential digital transformation concepts, practices,
and technologies in the format of a plain-English tutorial written for any IT professionals, students, or decision-makers.
With more than 160 diagrams, this illustrated guide provides a highly visual exploration of what digital transformation is,
how it works, and the techniques and technologies required to successfully build modern-day digital transformation
IT students and practitioners will: Discover what digital transformation is, why it emerged and when to apply it; Identify the
significant business benefits that successful digital transformations can deliver and how to turn your organization into a
"disruptive" force; Prepare for and overcome the common challenges associated with digital transformation initiatives;
Understand the data-driven nature of digital transformation solutions and how they use and continually accumulate data
intelligence; Understand how digital transformation solutions can utilize AI technology for intelligent automated
decision-making; Gain insight into customer-centricity and how its practices are applied as part of digital transformations:
Explore key digital transformation automation technologies, such as Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Internet of Things
(IoT), Blockchain. and Cloud Computing; Explore key digital transformation data science technologies, such as Artificial
Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, and Big Data Analysis and Analytics.
"A Field Guide to Digital Transformation" concludes with a uniquely detailed and highly visual real-world business
scenario that provides step-by-step insights into how a digital transformation solution works, how it utilizes data intelligence
to improve customer relationship building, and how it collects new data intelligence in support of enhancing future business
Critique: An ideal DIY textbook for understanding and utilizing the digital transformation of information, "A Field Guide to
Digital Transformation" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, college, and community library
Information Management instructional reference collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted
that "A Field Guide to Digital Transformation" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $27.99).
Editorial Note #1: Thomas Erl is a Canadian author, and public speaker known for major contributions to the field of
service-oriented architecture. The author of eight books on Service Orientation, Erl defined eight widely accepted principles
of service orientation.
Editorial Note #2: Roger Stoffers is a TOGAF-certified Enterprise Architect passionate about Digital Transformation and
Integration. Roger has worked for (and with) organizations in Telecommunication, Government and Finance industries,
building 25 years of experience in multinational organizations. He has served as principal and lead Enterprise Domain
Architect for digital business transformation initiatives, with strong focus for customer relationships and sustainable
organizational agility in distributed environments.
The Health/Medicine Shelf
Long Lever Techniques
Babby Nourani, DO, FAAO
Richard Huff, DO
North Atlantic Books
2526 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-2607
9781623176785, $25.95, PB, 144pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "Long Lever Techniques: An Illustrated Guide for Practitioners to Treat
Neuro-Musculoskeletal Pain", Bobby Nourani and Richard Huff introduce an illustrated instructional manual for the
medical treatment of somatic dysfunction, reducing pain, and manipulating the body for effective and efficient healing.
Written specifically for medical and health care professionals (osteopaths, physicians, bodyworkers, physical therapists,
occupational therapists, craniosacral therapists, and other practitioners who want to integrate osteopathic techniques into an
existing practice) Long Lever Techniques focuses on how we can mobilize interconnected structures to positively restore the
body to better health and function.
The long lever approach (using the arm or leg as lever and fulcrum to mobilize an area of somatic dysfunction) is a manual
application of corrective force that can be applied once or multiple times. It has wide-ranging applications, from pain
reduction to autonomic rebalancing to improved respiration rate, and is presented with full-color photos and illustrations so
that medical professionals can put it into practice quickly.
Readers will learn about: The history and development of long lever techniques; Its clinical applications to cervical,
thoracic, rib, lumbar, sacral, and pelvic dysfunction; Coccyx and craniococcygeal anatomy, evaluation, indications, and
informed consent and documentation; How to integrate long lever techniques in practice.
Critique: A fully illustrated instructional manual and guide, "Long Lever Techniques: An Illustrated Guide for Practitioners
to Treat Neuro-Musculoskeletal Pain" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation -- making it an ideal
addition to personal, professional, college, and university library Pain Management, Rheumatology, and Physical
Medicine/Rehabilitation collections and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists. It should be noted that "Long Lever
Techniques: An Illustrated Guide for Practitioners to Treat Neuro-Musculoskeletal Pain" is also available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $18.99).
Editorial Note: Bobby Nourani is an expert in integrative musculoskeletal pain. He has achieved board certifications in
Family Medicine and Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine, Certificate of Added
Qualification in Pain Medicine, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Osteopathy (FAAO). Dr. Nourani's
professional contributions include multiple journal publications, book chapters, grants, and lectures. He has also served as
an expert medical reviewer for the Department of Justice based on his expertise in osteopathic manipulative treatment,
pelvic procedures, research, and lectures. His past positions include the Director of Osteopathic Education and Curriculum
at the University of Wisconsin, and Medical Director of Inpatient Integrative Health at the University of California Irvine.
He advanced and expanded the Long Lever Technique as taught by his mentor, Dr. Richard Huff, and utilizes them in his
teaching and practice.
The Crafts Shelf
The Art of Papercraft
210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781635862652, $24.95, PB, 320pp
Synopsis: With the publication of "The Art of Papercraft: Unique One-Sheet Projects Using Origami, Weaving, Quilling,
Pop-Up, and Other Inventive Techniques", paper artist and teacher Helen Hiebert has compiled a one-of-kind collection of
40 unique projects, each using just one sheet of paper.
Combining decorative paper techniques like marbling, stamping, and stenciling with dimensional techniques like origami,
cutting, folding, quilling, stretching, weaving, and pop-ups, "The Art of Papercraft" offers a rich variety of projects that will
delight crafters, artists, and designers alike, including paper votive lights, pop-up cards, folded paper gift boxes and
envelopes, woven paper wall hangings, miniature one-sheet books, and much more.
Every project is beautifully photographed and accompanied by step-by-step visual instructions. Guidance on selecting tools,
materials, and paper selection; in-depth technique instructions; and profiles of contributing paper artists make this a rich and
practical celebration of papercraft.
Critique: Offering endless hours of paper crafting fun and instruction, "The Art of Papercraft: Unique One-Sheet Projects
Using Origami, Weaving, Quilling, Pop-Up, and Other Inventive Techniques" is a unique and very specially recommended
addition to personal, professional, and community library Arts & Crafts collections. It should be noted that "The Art of
Papercraft" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.18).
Editorial Note: Helen Hiebert is a Colorado artist who constructs installations, sculptures, films, artists' books, and works in
paper using handmade paper as her primary medium. She teaches, lectures and exhibits her work internationally and is the
author of the books Playing With Pop-Ups, Playing With Paper, Papermaking with Plants, The Papermaker's Companion,
and Paper Illuminated. Helen has served on the boards of the International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper
Artists and Hand Papermaking Magazine.
The Needlecraft Shelf
Knit 2 Socks in 1
210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781635864076, $16.95, HC, 152pp
Synopsis: Socks continue to be a favorite project of knitters, but "single sock syndrome" (losing interest in knitting that
second sock after the first one is done) is the perpetual dilemma of even the most dedicated of needlecrafters. "Knit 2 Socks
in 1" introduces a distinctive new method that will appeal to sock knitters of all levels as the simplest, most accessible way
yet developed to knit two socks at a time.
This innovative technique begins with making the first sock's cuff. The knitter can then relax and knit a long tube, which
makes up the main body of both socks. With the help of a lifeline (scrap yarn that is threaded through stitches to hold them
in place), the knitter can easily separate the long tube into two socks. The heels and toes are worked with a simple two-row
repeat and are finished with a "hat closure," a novice knitting technique often used to close the tops of hats.
Much like choosing an alternate ending in a classic "Choose Your Own Adventure" book, the knitter can choose from 21
different sock styles, featuring a wide range of stitch patterns, design elements, levels of difficulty, and sizes ranging from
child to adult. Knit 2 Socks in 1 is a tried-and-true sock-knitting technique that allows knitters from all backgrounds to join
in on the fun.
Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout and hallmarked with clear step-by-step easy to follow instructions, "Knit 2 Socks
in 1: Discover the Easy Magic of Turning One Long Sock into a Pair! Choose from 21 Original Designs, in All Sizes" will
have a very special appeal for both the novice and the experienced knitter. While also available in a digital book format
(Kindle, $9.99), "Knit 2 Socks in 1: Discover the Easy Magic of Turning One Long Sock into a Pair! Choose from 21
Original Designs, in All Sizes" will prove to be a welcome and useful addition to personal, professional, and community
library needlecraft instructional reference collections.
Editorial Note: Safiyyah Talley is the creator of the popular blog at www.thedrunkknitter.com, hosts an independent Ravelry
store, a podcast, and her design work has been featured in online publications such as The Bobble Club, The Fiber
Company, LoveKnitting, and Darn Good Yarn, and in Warm Hands, a book of knitting patterns. She teaches knitting classes
virtually and at knitting shows including Vogue Knitting Live.
The Automotive Shelf
Lola GT: The DNA of the Ford GT40
Veloce Publishing Ltd.
9781787117839, $60.00, HC, 144pp
Synopsis: The 1963 Lola Mk VI GT was the car that inspired the Ford GT40 and then the Lola T70, both of which today are
seen as true classic racecars.
With the publication of "Lola GT: The DNA of the Ford GT40", car expert and racing enthuist John Starkey describes how
all that happened, concentrating particularly on Allen Grant's Lola Mk VI, one of just three built, which he bought in 1965
and still possesses today.
Of special note is that "Lola GT: The DNA of the Ford GT40" also contains never seen before photos from the Ford
Critique: Beautifully illustrated throughout, "Lola GT: The DNA of the Ford GT40" is a notably informative and inherently
fascinating contribution to the growing library of automotive histories and is highly recommended for the personal reading
lists of Classic Care and Motor Sports fans and academic library Automotive History collections.
Editorial Note: John Starkey is a self-confessed racing fanatic who has owned many different sports cars, and has competed
in hill-climbs, rallies and vintage sports car races since the 1960s. Originally from Birmingham in the UK, John's early
career included managing the comedian Jasper Carrott and curating the famous Donington racing car collection. He now
lives in Florida, where he runs a racing car business, and works as a consultant, researcher and author. He has written more
than 20 motor racing history books published by Veloce.
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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