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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 7, Number 10 October 2012 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Photography Shelf Fiction Shelf
Memoir Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf Homeowner Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Business Shelf Biography Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf Buddhist Studies Shelf
Marriage/Divorce Shelf Poetry Shelf Crafts Shelf
Education Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Travel Shelf World History Shelf Money/Finance Shelf
Nautical Shelf Automotive Shelf Environmental Studies Shelf
Theatre/Cinema Shelf Computer Shelf Martial Arts Shelf
Dance Shelf Philosophy Shelf Women's Studies Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Gardening Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf DVD-ROM Shelf
Gaming Shelf Cookbook Shelf Art Shelf
Architecture Shelf Needlecraft Shelf Sports Shelf
Wisconsin Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

The Wicked Good Book
Stephen Gleasner
Down East Books
PO Box 679
Camden, ME 04843
9781608931811 $24.95

The Wicked Good Book is a self-described "guide to Maine living" filled with vignettes about Maine flora, fauna, sports, pastimes, and plenty of good clean outdoors fun. In down-to-earth folksy terms, The Wicked Good Book tells of the joy of keeping chickens, hunting rats with a gun (the most effective way to control their numbers - poison is far more cruel to both the rat and anything that eats it), preparing a lobster for boiling water, how to maximize one's odds of survival upon falling through ice or encountering an aggressive bull moose, racing go-carts or skipping stones, making a long bow like Robin Hood might have once used, and much more. Black-and-white sketches illustrate this wonderful tribute to country life and wilderness recreation. The Wicked Good Book brings a little bit of outdoors splendor into the living room, and heartily encourages the reader to taste a bit of Maine-style fun on their own! "The idea for geocaching is you take an item from a cache and replace it with an item of similar value. Geocaching is really a modern, high-tech game of hide and seek. And there are more than six thousand active geocaches in the Pine Tree State, and Maine's cachers create an average of 2.5 new caches each day."

What Are You Laughing At?
Dan O'Shannon
Continuum International Publishing Group
80 Maiden Lane, Suite 704
New York, NY 10038
9781441162939, $24.95,

Comedy is an art, but there is comedy to be gained in treating it as a science. "What Are You Laughing At?" is a discussion of the genre of many mediums in comedy, trying to define the broad topic which can vary person to person. Attempting to gain a better understanding of the concept of comedy, writer for many hit sitcoms in the past few decades Dan O'Shannon presents an intriguing delve into the psychology and sociology behind it all. "What Are You Laughing At?" is a fine take on the meaning and purpose of comedy, highly recommended.

Charlie's Place
Michael S. Malone
History Publishing Company
PO Box 700, 15 Heyhoe Woods Road
Palisades, New York 10964-0700
9781933909400, $17.95,

On the edge of civilization, people are always drawn to the new. "Charlie's Place: The Saga of an American Frontier Homestead" discusses the history of one such farm and homestead and how the world pushed forward beyond it and evolved forward in spite of it all. Michael S. Malone brings forth a social history that tells of a family's story and the people within it who kept a farm alive over generations. "Charlie's Place" is a fine history of Americana, very much recommended.

Special Agent Man
Steve Moore
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
9780914090700, $16.95,

As you spend time with the cops, you do many jobs and play many roles. "Special Agent Man: My Life in the FBI as a Terrorist Hunter, Helicopter Pilot, and Certified Sniper" is a memoir from Steve Moore as she recollects his long and successful career in law enforcement, particularly the FBI and SWAT teams. An enticing true-life story about the higher end and more militarized aspect of law enforcement, "Special Agent Man" has plenty to consider, and is very highly recommended.

31 Days to Survival
M. D. Creekmore
Paladin Press
7077 Winchester Circle
Boulder, CO 80301
9781610046480, $18.00,

A bit of survivalist knowledge can help one in many aspects of life. "31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness" is a guide with tips on learning the ins and outs of basic survival techniques for use in any disaster situation, and preparing for the many potential problems that could come up in this situation including making the needed connections needed in tough times. "31 Days to Survival" is a strong pick for those who want a little survivalist training for their future.

The Photography Shelf

Jasper Conran
Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue
New York NY 10017
9781840916089, $19.99,

The un-urbanized areas of the United Kingdom hold relics of the past, and are a sight to see in their own right. "Country" is a photographic essay from Jasper Conran, who walks readers through the modern British countryside and the pursuits of dreams that lie all throughout it. The simple pleasures of the people, their culture, aged homes, and others. A full color coffee table book with plenty to ponder, "Country" is not a read to be overlooked.

The Fiction Shelf

Huddleston Road
John Toomey
Dalkey Archive Press
University of Illinois
1805 S. Wright Street, MC-011
Champaign, IL 61820
9781564787811, $15.00,

What we want may be the worst thing in the world for us. "Huddleston Road" is a novel from John Toomey, telling of Vic, a man pursuing Lali, in a relationship that won't end well for them. As forces outside them try to break their relationship, the consequences of such love come to light, and John Toomey crafts a very real read with a scene many of us know too well. An honest, down to earth, and subtly humorous read, "Huddleston Road" is an excellent pick for literary fiction collections.

Joy Takes Flight
Bonnie Leon
c/o Baker Publishing Group
PO Box 6287
Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287
9780800733612, $14.99,

Motherhood is often at odds with the life we seek to live. "Joy Takes Flight" is a historical romance from Bonnie Leon, who writes of the bond between recently married Kate and Paul, and the choices facing Kate and her love of flying as a career and for joy as she becomes pregnant. Her decisions may lose her more than her career, they may cause her husband. Insightful and riveting works of romance and the plight of womanhood, "Joy Takes Flight" is a fine addition to general fiction and romance collections.

Sweet Crude
V. C. Thomas
610 East Delano Street, Suite 104
Tucson, AZ 85705
9781604946192, $15.95,

Profit pushes many to seek their fortunes in oil. "Sweet Crude: Taming the Sands of Libya" is a novel that takes recent history to follows TexOil President Rolan Moran as he tries to gain control of the oil fields in the newly liberated country. Trying to form strong diplomatic ties in the region, author V.C. Thomas tries to capture a very real feeling of the area. "Sweet Crude" is a strong addition to contemporary fiction collections, recommended.

Against My Will
Benjamin Berkley
Frederick Fell Publishers, Inc.
2131 Hollywood Blvd., Suite 305
Hollywood, FL 33020
9780883912799, $16.00,

Pressure from our parents forces our hands into things we may not believe are right. "Against My Will" is a novel following Danielle, pushed into a marriage with Jacob. As he tries to push his will on her, their relationship frays, and starts to fall apart, and Danielle tries to escape, something that proves hard, even as she physically leaves him. "Against My Will" is a strong pick for general fiction collections, highly recommended.

Maya Lord
John Coe Robbins
Whiskey Creek Press
PO Box 51052, Casper, WY 82605-1052
9781611600957, $17.95,

Not every encounter between the new world and the Europeans went their way. "Maya Lord" is a historical novel following Gonzalo, whose crew is shipwrecked in the new world and taken into slavery by the local tribes. Trying to plot his escape, and sees that he may find something he never expected with the chieftain's daughter. With plenty of adventure, intrigue, and romance, "Maya Lord" is a read worth considering, highly recommended.

Black Coffee
R. L. Byrd
Llumina Press
7101 W. Commercial Blvd., Ste. 4E
Tamarac, FL 33319
9780605948614, $15.95,

There are many flavors of life, but they all share a uniting trait. "Black Coffee" is a novel from R. L. Byrd as he tells the story of DK 'Love' Niles, a Dallas Disc Jockey who discusses relationships and love from a black perspective, and draws on the expertise of other people in his brotherhood to give readers a taste of the many types of love we face. "Black Coffee" is a strong pick for those looking for a novel with romance and good wisdom for any relationship.

Goodbye Emily
Michael Murphy
Koehler Books
c/o Morgan James Publishing
4410 E Claiborne Square, Suite 334
Hampton VA 23666-2071
9781938467219, $16.95,

The memories of Woodstock live on with many people in the modern day. "Goodbye Emily" is an intriguing novel following a professor as he copes with the loss of his life's love who he met at Woodstock. With age catching up with him and with others he still knows from the day, they seek one last trip to remember themselves and their lives into the twilight. "Goodbye Emily" is a fine and much recommended addition to any literary fiction collection.

Kathryn Hewitt
WestBow Press
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781449749446, $22.95,

Love is a powerful word. "Snow" is a novel of young love with a strong religious element. Ruth was only fifteen, but she thought she had found the one. But the gauntlet of teenage ignorance faced her with many challenges and the pain of adulthood, facing the dangers of romance along with the joys. "Snow" is a fine coming of age tale, worth considering.

The Memoir Shelf

From Prison To Promise
Booker T. Huffman with Andrew William Wright
Medallion Press, Inc.
100 South River Street
Aurora, IL 60506
9781605424682, $19.99,

May youths are troubled, but few truly get the second chance to forge a new path. "From Prison to Promise" is a memoir from Booker T. Huffman, a famed professional wrestler with decades of work in WWE and WCW. Within, Booker describes his rough childhood growing up, being raised by his older brother and later tag team partner Stevie Ray, and how he was influenced into bad decisions in his life that led to a criminal record before professional wrestling gave him a chance to make an honest living. An uplifting story of setting one's life straight, "From Prison to Promise" is well worth considering for fans of Booker's work and of memoirs about going straight.

Burying the Typewriter
Carmen Bugan
Graywolf Press
250 Third Avenue North, Suite 600
Minneapolis, MN 55401
9781555976170, $15.00,

When we escape oppression, we want to share our experiences with the world. "Burying the Typewriter" is a memoir from Carmen Bugan as she tells her story of growing up during the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu, the last Communist leader of Romanian before its own revolution shifted the country onto its more modern path. With an original sense of humor and sharing a very personal story of how her childhood helped her grow as a writer, "Burying the Typewriter" is a strong addition to memoir and biography collections, especially those centered around events of world history.

Always Put in a Recipe and Other Tips for Living
Evelyn Birkby
University of Iowa Press
100 Kuhl House
119 West Park Road
Iowa City, IA 52242-1000
9781609381158, $19.95,

The experience of others can help our own lives through the tough times. "Always Put in a Recipe and Other Tips for Living" is a compilation of columns and more from Evelyn Birkby as she draws on her fifty years as a housewife to share what she has learned through it all. Still going after over fifty years, she shares her wisdom for more than those reading the Valley News. "Always Put in a Recipe and Other Tips for Living" is a fine and recommended pick those seeking a memoir of general knowledge of everyday life.

Losing My Sister
Judy Goldman
John F. Blair, Publisher
1406 Plaza Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
9780895875839, $21.95,

Our sister often plays a major role in our lives as women. "Losing My Sister" is a memoir from Judy Goldman, writing in tribute to her sister, as she writes of the unbreakable bond that had formed between herself and her sister Brenda. Alike in more ways than one, family tragedy leaves them with struggles, and simultaneous breast cancer. Judy persevered, but Brenda was not so lucky. "Losing My Sister" is a powerful read of sisterhood, not to be overlooked.

A Voice to Myself Opened a Door to Life
Ma'yun Taner
Balboa Press
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781452504452, $19.99,

Things happen in our lives and we struggle to understand why too often. "A Voice to Myself Opened a Door to Life" is an inspirational memoir from Ma'yun Taner as she shares her struggles with improving her own life after everything bad that could happen happened. Encouraging one to understand that the quality of their life is under their control and appreciate the best that we have out of life and reach out and help others face their plague, "A Voice to Myself Opened a Door to Life" has much to ponder, and is much recommended.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

The Angel And The Sorcerer
Peter Levenda
Ibis Press
c/o Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7
Newburyport, MA 01950-4600
9780892542000, $18.95,

Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day (commonly referred to as the Mormons and the religious affiliation of Mitt Romney, the current Republican candidate for the presidency of the United States) originated as an occult cult founded by a charismatic leader named Joseph Smith Jr. in the early 1800s. "The Angel and Sorcerer: The Remarkable Story of the Occult Origins of Mormonism and the Rise of Mormons in American Politics" by Peter Levenda is an analytical and historical survey of Mormon and ideas and practices based in ceremonial temple magic, divination, baptism of the dead, polygamy, Native American histories recorded on golden plates, celestial revelations, prophecies, anthropomorphic gods, and a great deal more. Informed and informative, "The Angel And The Sorcerer" is strongly recommended reading for anyone with an interest in the history and belief structures of the Mormon Church -- and Mit Romney.

The Core of Johnny Appleseed
Ray Silverman
Swedenborg Publishers
320 North Church Street
West Chester, PA 19380
9780877853459, $14.95,

The story of Johnny Appleseed is known by many youths. "The Core of Johnny Appleseed: The Unknown Story of a Spiritual Trailblazer" seeks to tell the spiritual story of this early American icon and his focus on conservation. His symbolism with the apple is well known, but Ray Silverman presents a deeper understanding of his travels and contributions to the Swedenborg church. "The Core of Johnny Appleseed" is a much recommended addition to any American history collection with a focus on the Swedenborg Church and its important figures.

Pilgrimage into the Last Third of Life
Jane Marie Thibault & Richard L. Morgan
Upper Room Books
PO Box 340003
Nashville, TN 37203-0003
9780835811170, $16.00,

As we head into the final stage of life, we often want to finally find that peace that eludes us. "Pilgrimage into the Last Third of Life: 7 Gateways to Spiritual Growth" is a spiritual guide for seniors who want to live the last few decades of their life to their absolute fullest, and face whatever lies ahead of them in their future with strength, for the sake of themselves, family, and community. "Pilgrimage into the Last Third of Life" is a strong addition to spirituality collections focusing on aging.

Special Intentions
Claire Coleman
Westbow Press
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781449725952, $19.95,

Prayers are our way of letting our wishes be known to God, and to ourselves. "Special Intentions: Remembering Others in Personal Prayer" is a guide to prayer and its power to ourselves and our spirituality, as Claire Coleman advises readers on how to remember others and pray for them as they enter this most personal of times. "Special Intentions" is a strong pick for spirituality collections, not to be overlooked.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Ancient Aliens on the Moon
Mike Bara
Adventures Unlimited Press
PO Box 74
Kempton, IL 60946
9781935487852, $19.95,

Could the moon hold secrets that we don't fully understand? "Ancient Aliens on the Moon" explores the secrets that may lie beneath the moon, as Mike Bara discuses potential extraterrestrial influence on the Moon and how it may of influenced the development of Earth, looking at old photos that he believes suggests ruins of something very ancient. "Ancient Aliens on the Moon" is worth considering for metaphysical studies readers, recommended.

The World's Weirdest Places
Nick Redfern
New Page Books
c/o Career Press Inc.
220 West Parkway, Unit 12
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
9781601632371, $15.99,

There are certain places that both intrigue and repel us, and we can't fully explain why. "The World's Weirdest Places" is a guide to the many bizarre topics all over the planet and how they intrigue us. From the well known legends of Nessie in Scotland, to lesser known places like the Han River in Vietnam, Nick Redfern provides an international tour of the unusual. "The World's Weirdest Places" is a choice and much recommended addition to paranormal studies collections.

Never Letting Go
Mark Anthony
Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
2143 Wooddale Drive
Woodbury, MN 55125
9780738727219, $15.95,

Grief takes time to overcome, and our feelings for our departed loved ones never truly fades. "Never Letting Go: Heal Grief with Help from the Other Side" is a metaphysical spirituality grieving guide for those who don't believe they can truly let go of their departed loved ones. Mark Anthony explores connecting to the other side and making that bond live, to help the process heal that much more. "Never Letting Go" is worth considering for followers of the metaphysical.

The Open Path
Elias Amidon
Sentient Publications
1113 Spruce Street
Boulder, CO 80302
9781591811794, $16.95,

Awareness is a difficult concept to understand. "The Open Path: recognizing Nondual Awareness" explores this concept of awareness and takes it to another level, explaining the nature of nondual awareness and how to invite this realization into one's being, and better understanding the complex world around us. "The Open Path" is a strong addition to metaphysical spirituality and psychology collections, recommended.

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Halloween Classics
Tom Pomplun, editor
Eureka Productions
8778 Oak Grove Road
Mount Horeb, WI 53572
9780982563052 $17.95

Volume 23 of the "Graphic Classics" series, Halloween Classics is a full-color, graphic novel adaptation of five scary stories by five renowned authors: "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving, "A Curious Dream" by Mark Twain, "Lot No. 249" by Arthur Conan Doyle, "Cool Air" by H.P. Lovecraft, and "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" by Hans Janowitz & Carl Mayer. Each classic short tale is brought vividly to the page by a different adaptor and artist team. Although the stories are as frightening today as they were decades ago, their horror is primarily psychological; Halloween Classics is not excessively gory, and will appeal to readers ages 12 to adult. Highly recommended, especially for public and school library seasonal collections, and as a great choice to help young adults discover the excitement of reading time-tested works by classic authors.

The Reaper of St. George Street
Andre R. Frattino
Pineapple Press, Inc.
PO Box 3889
Sarasota, FL 34230-3889
9781561645176 $10.95

The Reaper of St. George Street: The Adventures of Flagler's Few St. Augustine Ghost Hunters! is a modestly lighthearted, black-and-white graphic novel about a young man attending college in St. Augustine, Florida - a city with a storied supernatural history, and more to the shadows than meets the eye! At first he is reluctant to believe in ghosts, but chance encounters with a self-described pirate, a most unusual history professor, a beautiful woman plagued by nightmares of being cut down by a monstrous Reaper, and the occasional lonely spirit begin to change his mind! Readers of all ages will enjoy this ghostly story of a murderous past tragedy come full circle to haunt the living, brought to life in an iconic cartoon style reminiscent of the "Annie" comic strips. A choice pick for the Halloween season, The Reaper of St. George Street is highly recommended for indie comic lovers as well as for high school and public library graphic novel collections.

Journey to Port
Kileen Prather
Chauncey Park Press
735 N. Grove Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60302
9780615553429 $15.95

Journey to Port is a poignant romance novel spanning generations. More than one hundred and fifty years ago, a sinking ship changed the direction of Anne's life; leaving behind her native Wisconsin, she started an inn in Michigan. Her son and grandson sought to pry into her past, but it would be generations later that Alexi, Anne's descendent, uncovers the truth. Alexi is devastated by the end of her thirty-year marriage, but when she learns more about her ancestor, it points the way toward the possibilities of a wonderful future. Journey to Port is a tremendously beautiful and emotional story about the importance of keeping one's heart open.

The Tower Chronicles: GeistHawk, Volume 1
Matt Wagner, writer
Simon Bisley, penciler
Legendary Comics
4000 Warner Blvd., Bldg. 76
Burbank, CA 91522

The Tower Chronicles: GeistHawk, Volume 1 is the debut graphic novel (72 pages) of a thrilling new series about a shrouded mercenary... who hunts inhuman monsters! The color artwork captures a grim, vicious urban world where fiendish beasts hide, deceive, and slaughter helpless victims. Tower is the code name of a man whose mission is to cull their murderous numbers with ruthless efficiency. Striking and dynamic, The Tower Chronicles is a series to watch for fans of high-octane supernatural action.

Bill the Boy Wonder
Maarc Tyler Nobleman, author
Ty Templeton, illustrator
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
9781580892896, $17.95,

It is not often one man alone creates a legend. "Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman" explores the role of Bill Finger in the creation of the iconic Batman character, while not credited with his creation. Bill Finger was a confidant of credited creator Bob Kane, and Marc Tyler Nobleman & Ty Templeton come to together to give a comic based take on Finger's role in the creation of Batman's universe. "Bill the Boy Wonder" is a fine pick for those curious about this lost chapter in comic history, highly recommended.

Quality Companion
Mike Kooiman & Jim Amash
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive
Raleigh, NC 27614
9781605490373, $31.95,

In the golden age of comics, there were many comics beyond simply DC and Marvel. "Quality Companion" studies the heroes behind the Quality Comics series as they ran throughout the 1950s and forward, before being absorbed by DC in later years. For those who remember the brand in their youth, or just want to know what this period of comic history brought, "Quality Companion" is a complete and comprehensive guide for any comics aficionado, packed with reproductions and photographs all throughout.

Karl Stephan
SLG Publishing
PO Box 26247
San Jose, CA 95159
9781593622206 $14.95

Sparko is a dark, urban-themed fantasy graphic novel. Set in the slums of London, Sparko follows a down-and-out ex-rock star, whose only connection to his former fame and glory is his crippling, miserable drug addiction. When he has the misfortune of being stabbed and cast into the Thames, it's only the beginning of a nightmare odyssey of ghosts and horrors. Questionably dour allies, and the even more questionably cheerful pickpocket Belle guide his convoluted journey. Sparko must ultimately confront the terrible truth about the misfortune that ended his former girlfriend's life all too soon... even as a sacrifice-seeking monstrosity begins to manifest in the physical world! Sometimes grim, sometimes wild, always unique, Sparko is a half-crazed adventure and then some.

The Homeowner Shelf

Affordable Bathroom Upgrades
Steve Cory & Diane Slavik
Creative Homeowner
24 Park Way
Saddle River, NJ 07450-2311
9781580115575, $19.95,

A good bathroom can make the hygiene routine all the greater. "Affordable Bathroom Upgrades: Transform Your Bathroom on a Small Budget" is a guide for homeowners on more effectively putting together their bathrooms and saving money when one is out to upgrade the bathroom and keep up with the times and style, while still being practical. Packed cover to cover with full color photography all throughout, "Affordable Bathroom Upgrades" is a much recommended pick for any trying to expand their home. Also from Creative Homeowner and Steve Cory & Diane Slavik is "Affordable Kitchen Upgrades" (9781580115346, $19.95) providing their expertise to the realm of kitchens this time.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Lionel Trains
Kalmbach Publishing Company
21027 Crossroads Circle
Waukesha, WI 53186
9780897785440, $19.95,

Model trains bring fascination and joy to those enthused by the hobby. "Lionel Trains: Pocket Price Guide 1901-2013" is the easy to use and carry price guide for collectible enthusiasts covering the many models and prices over the past hundred years. Arranged in a checklist format and by era, with a little practice one could find the topic they are discussing and price it quickly. "Lionel Trains Pocket Price Guide" is a must for hobbyists who often deal in the collecting aspect of model railroads.

The Smokin' Book of Cigar Box Art & Designs
John Grossman
Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N.
East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781565235465, $14.99,

Commercial art is usually considered on another level than art for the sake of art, but the art of the cigar box held true in the minds of antique collectors. "The Smokin' Book of Cigar Box Art & Designs" chronicles the history of what took these cigar boxes into something more than a place to stash cigars. Collecting the 100 best labels from the John & Carolyn Grossman Collection, and reproducing them in full color, and divided by subject. "The Smokin" Book of Cigar Box Art & Designs" is a must for those who enjoy the style of these late nineteenth and early twentieth century treasures.

The Self-Help Shelf

Safe Passage
Molly Fumia
Conari Press
c/o Red Wheel/Weiser
65 Parker Street, Suite 7
Newburyport, MA 01950-4600
9781573245463, $16.95,

The weight of loss can drive us mad sometimes. "Safe Passage: Words to Help the Grieving" is a devotional read from Molly Fumia, as she shares thoughts of the many struggles we have to deal with losing someone very close and dear to us. Filled with wisdom and knowledge for every page and thought, "Safe Passage" is an enticing read with plenty to consider for those who are struggling to cope with life's cruelties.

The Way of Oz
Robert V. Smith
Texas Tech University Press
PO Box 41037
Lubbock, TX 79409-1037
9780896727403, $29.95,

The road to success is long, and even longer if there is no one to show us the way. "The Way of Oz: A Guide to Wisdom, Heart, and Courage" is a read of leadership and success as Robert V. Smith advises readers on finding their own path down the yellow brick road, taking notes from Oz Creator L. Frank Baum. Uplifting and positive thinking with illustrations all throughout, "The Way of Oz" is a choice and much recommended addition to any motivational collection.

The Business Shelf

The Eight Characteristics of the Awesome Employee
Carl Van
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street
Gretna, LA 70053-2246
978145567340, $24.95,

Good businesses are often fueled by good employees. "The Eight Characteristics of the Awesome Employee" is a managers guide on how to encourage the best possible performance in one's staff. Carl Van advises leaders on how to foster better attitudes, unity, and much more. These principles are what increase morale and allow employees to produce at a higher level and keep them in your roster. "The Eight Characteristics of the Awesome Employee" is a fine pick for motivational business collections, highly recommended.

The Biography Shelf

C. C. Slaughter
David J. Murrah
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive
Norman, OK 73069
9780806142937, $19.95,

In Texas's early days, there were many people who established it as a place to watch in the future. "C. C. Slaughter: Rancher, Banker, Baptist" tells the story of Christopher Columbus Slaughter, who throughout the second half of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century helped Texas flourish. He made his fortune off the cattle industry, founded colleges in the state, and always remained a man of faith. "C. C. Slaughter" is an intriguing biography of a powerful figure of nineteenth century Texas, very much recommended reading.

Kicking & Dreaming
Ann & Nancy Wilson
It Books
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062101679, $27.99,

Heart has become embedded in American cultural history, but it wasn't an easy route. "Kicking & Dreaming: A Story of Heart, Soul, and Rock & Roll" is the autobiography of Ann and Nancy Wilson, who climbed to the top of their careers by creating a distinctly original sound and charm, and keeping their work defined by their skills instead of their breasts. Behind the scenes, both sisters faced many of the demons typical to the 70s and 80s music scenes, and many atypical, from drugs and substance abuse to simply seeking a family. "Kicking & Dreaming" is a fine addition to any musical biography collection.

Howard Zinn
Martin Duberman
The New Press
38 Green Street, 4th floor
New York, NY 10013
9781595586780, $26.95,

Sometimes to truly hate war, you have to see it first hand. "Howard Zinn: A Life on the Left" explores the life's work of Howard Zinn, a former veteran who turned harsh anti-war activist and become an icon of the American left for his no holds barred take on politics and his controversial book 'A People's History of the United States'. Martin Duberman presents an in-depth biography of the man and presents him in many new lights. "Howard Zinn" is a strong addition to biography and political history collections.

Early Reagan, new edition
Anne Edwards
Taylor Trade Publishing
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200
Lanham, MD 20706
9781589797437, $19.95,

Ronald Reagan has earned a place in history as an icon, love or hate him. "Early Reagan: The Rise to Power" is a new edition of the 1986 book from Anne Edwards, which tells the story of Reagan's rise to fame from nothing as a child to gaining Hollywood stardom and his early moves in politics. Tracing his life up to his official entry into politics as a candidate for governor of California, "Early Reagan: The Rise to Power" is a strongly recommended pick for those who want to better understand this American icon and how he became history.

The Christian Studies Shelf

A Baptist Manual of Polity and Practice, revised edition
Norman H. Maring & Winthrop S. Hudson
Judson Press
PO Box 851
Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851
9780817017132, $29.99,

The times change, and faith must change with it. "A Baptist Manual of Polity and Practice" is a revised and updated edition of the advancement of American's Baptists over the past fifty years, the original volume of the writing published in 1962. Discussing the shifts in Baptist polity since 1991, new challenges facing Baptist culture from the world around it, and updating the language, "A Baptist Manual of Polity and Practice" is well worth considering for ministers and other church leaders, highly recommended.

Show Me How to Share Christ in The Workplace
R. Larry Moyer
Kregel Publications
PO Box 2607
Grand Rapids, MI 49501
9780825442698, $12.99,

The love of Christ isn't something to be left strictly to the church. "Show Me How to Share Christ in the Workplace" is a guide to bringing faith into your workplace respectfully and inspire those at your workplace to bring faith into the matter. The chances to spread the word of faith in one's life emerge in the workplace, and R. Larry Moyer advises how to do it effectively. "Show Me How to Share Christ in the Workplace" is a must for Christian Life collections, recommended.

Journeys to Mother Love
Compiled by Catherine Lawton
Cladach Publishing
PO Box 336144
Greelet, CO 80633
9780981892955 $12.99

Journeys to Mother Love: Nine Women Tell their Stories of Forgiveness & Healing is an anthology of heartfelt true stories by Christian women about the healing gifts of God, and how He helped mothers bridge rifts between themselves and their children or stepchildren. Individuals speak of recovering from overwhelming guilt and stress following an abortion; caring for a mother who is affected with Alzheimer's; or even the terrible fallout of violence and separation. "Because I did not have the healthiest role model in mothering, my fears invaded my mind for a moment until my eyes locked on the truth - God's truth. I did not know how to be a parent, but I chose to trust the ultimate parent, our heavenly Father, and follow his lead." Profound, powerful, and emotionally moving, Journeys to Mother Love is highly recommended as a resource of faith, inspiration, and hope.

The God Who Sees You
Tammy Maltby
David C. Cook
4050 Lee Vance View
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
9781434767998, $14.99,

Loneliness in this world is only temporary if you remember the support always behind us. "The God Who Sees You: Look to Him When You Feel Discouraged, Forgotten, or Invisible" is a Christian inspirational from Tammy Maltby who advises faithful readers on how to remember the presence of God in our lives, cope with our plights in life, and bask in his glory. "The God Who Sees You" is a strong addition to Christian spirituality collections, highly recommended.

Laughter is Sacred Space
Ted Swartz
Herald Press
1251 Virginia Avenue
Harrisonburg, VA 22802
9780836195590, $24.99,

The joy of laughter is never to be marginalized. "Laughter is Sacred Space: The Not-So-Typical Journey of a Mennonite Actor" discusses humor in the Mennonite community, as longtime Mennonite comedian Ted Swartz speaks of how mirth within Biblical stories and how it can reach out to many individuals for the sake of faith and bring us closer to the principles of the faith, as well as memoirs of his journey across the world. "Laughter is Sacred Space" is a strongly recommended addition to Christian memoir collections, not to be overlooked. Also from Herald Press for Christian readers is "The Power of All: Building a Multivoiced Church" (9780836196436, $15.99), focusing on allowing more voices into one's church and building community.

The Mystery of the Church
Boris Bobrinskoy
St. Vladimir's Seminary Press
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
9780881413885, $26.00,

The scripture leaves many things up for interpretation. "The Mystery of the Church: A Course in Orthodox Dogmatic Theory" is a collection of theological writing from Father Boris Bobrinskoy as he presents an Orthodox church based study of faith. Presenting a scholarly exposition into the Orthodox faith and its resurgence in Western Europe, he educates readers well in defining the faith and the Orthodox take on many Christian elements. "The Mystery of the Church" is a core addition to any religious or Christian studies collection, highly recommended.

Consequential Leadership
Mac Piet
InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400
Downers Grove, IL 605151426
9780830837922, $16.00,

Making a difference can often be a difficult endeavor. "Consequential Leadership: 15 Leaders Fighting for Our Cities, Our Poor, Our Youth, and Our Culture" is a Christian read of how major leadership in religion can make a major difference in our society. Profiling fifteen individuals and how they are making major differences in lives, "Consequential Leadership" is a powerful read for anyone who is seeking inspiration to do what they can to help the world through their own faith-driven leadership.

Honest Wrestling
K. Howard Joslin
Westbow Press
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781449739119, $17.95,

There are many questions we struggle with as disciples of God. "Honest Wrestling: Questions of Faith When Attacked by Life" is a book of spirituality and faith from K. Howard Joslin as the father tackles the many questions many Christians face, drawing on the difficult struggles people often face with their face, and offers his own answers to the questions of what we seek from God. "Honest Wrestling" is an enticing and much recommended addition to Christian faith and spirituality collections.

The Moral Disciple
Kent A. Van Til
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
2140 Oak Industrial Drive, NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780802866752, $18.00,

Morality and ethics can come from the self, and our faith. "The Moral Disciple: An Introduction to Christian Ethics" discusses morality front he perspective of Christianity, and how it has changed and evolved over the years. From the concept of sin in the perspective of the Bible, the modern day, consequences, among others, "The Moral Disciple" presents an intriguing debate on the concepts of morality and what is demanded of a Christian's ethics.

Option for the Poor and the Earth
Donal Dorr
Orbis Books
PO Box 308
Maryknoll, NY 10545-0308
9781570759741, $38.00,

The suffering of the poor is exactly what Jesus Christ moved to save. "Option for the Poor and the Earth: Catholic Social Teaching" discusses the Catholic push against economic inequality and social justice. Donal Dorr presents a very faith driven call on theology and international ethics, discussing the politics of the Church hierarchy and what he has seen the struggle come through it all. "Option for the Poor and the Earth" is a scholarly and thoughtful read for those with great concern on social issues and the plight of the poor in the eyes of Catholic ethics.

Reading the New Testament, third edition
Pheme Perkins
Paulist Press
997 MacArthur Boulevard
Mahwah, NJ 07430
9780809147861, $18.95,

The words of Christ guide the new testament, and its study is vital to Christian scholars. "Reading the New Testament" is a third edition update from Pheme Perkins who advises readers on better understanding the words behind the testament and the discoveries of Biblical scholars throughout recent history. Comprehensive and informative all throughout, "Reading the New Testament" is a strongly recommended addition to any Christian studies and theology collection looking for an enhanced study guide for the second half of scripture.

The End
Mark Hitchcock
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive
Carol Stream, IL 60188
9781414353739, $22.99,

The world at some point of another, will end. But how and when is the topic of debate. "The End: A Complete Overview of Bible Prophecy and the End of Days" is discusses the Biblical views of the End times, focusing more on the book of Revelations, granting an intriguing interpretation of Biblical scripture and how we can interpret their prophecy, including the many questions people have about the coming ages. "The End" is a strong addition to Christian studies collections.

Be Beautiful Be You
Lizzie Velasquez
1 Liguori Drive, Liguori, MO 63057-9999
9780764820793, $14.99,

What is ultimately beauty in our lives? "Be Beautiful Be You" is an inspirational Christian memoir from Lizzie Velasquez, a woman who has faced much struggle in her life, faced with a long array of problems that endanger her life and her struggles to find what beauty is in her life and how she finds the strength from God to push on and reclaim a better part of her life. "Be Beautiful Be You" is a powerful and inspirational read, a strong addition to any Christian or inspirational memoir collection.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Freiing Out
Binyamin Tanny
Penina Press/Urim Publications
c/o Lambda Publishers
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, NY 11225
9781936068326, $19.95,

Off the derech (OTD), literally, "off the path", is a term used by Orthodox Jews to describe someone who has intentionally stopped practicing the accepted tenets of his/her branch of orthodoxy frumkeit. The phrase is often applied to rebellious teenagers. Teenagers who are not yet off the derech but who display signs of rebelliousness from Orthodox norms, such as changes in dress or associating with off the derech friends, are often referred to as "teens at risk". ub "Freiing Out: Why People Go Off the Derech & What We Can Do About It", author Binyamin Tanny descriptively examines six types of people at risk, identifies eleven key factors at play, and presents eight techniques to avert people from abandoning their Judaism. Of special note is the commentary on the value of Jewish education, finding a balance between Jewish and secular education, and the relationship of a Jewish education to both home life and school experience. Informed and informative, "Freiing Out" is highly recommended reading, especial for anyone within the Jewish community struggling with adhering to Jewish customs and principles within the larger secular, non-Jewish world.

The Buddhist Studies Shelf

Buddha Speaks
Rashmi Khilnani
Rainbow Ridge Books
c/o Square One Publishers
140 Rainbow Ridge Road, Faber, VA 22938
9781937907037, $17.95,

Buddha is often misunderstood. "Buddha Speaks: To the Buddha Nature Within" is book of Buddhist philosophy and thought, as Rashmi Khilnani advises readers to bring together their energy and how to bring oneself closer to the ideals and thoughts of Buddha, finding enlightenment and strength for the tough times to come. "Buddha Speaks" is well worth considering adding to spirituality and Buddhist studies collections.

The Marriage/Divorce Shelf

Making Marriage Work
Lynn Toler
c/o Agate Publishing
1328 Greenleaf Street
Evanston, IL 60202
9781932841657, $15.95,

Marriage has been a foundation of human society since there was society. "Making Marriage Work: New Rules For an Old Institution" is a discussion of modern marriage from the star of the syndicated Television show Divorce Court as she touches on how to make marriages work in today's different society, having seen much of what makes marriages fall apart. Encouraging a no-nonsense approach, "Making Marriage Work" is a strong advisory for relationship and marriage counseling collections, recommended.

The Poetry Shelf

Road Scatter
Sandra Meek
Persea Books
277 Broadway, Suite 708
New York, NY 10007
9780892554195, $15.95,

Wanderlust allows us to see many things about our life. "Road Scatter" is a collection of poetry from Sandra Meek as she touches on the nature of travel and how loss can change places we've already been. "Road Scatter" is an enticing and much recommended addition to contemporary poetry collections. "Colony of Ice": We struck south to recall winter/as grace, sky no longer constellating//the permanent frost of a country's/baroque sadness, no longer a crystalline breath//purled to whitecaps' lace, froth at the mouth/of the dog wandering the village the morning//that would end her, arrival our single shot/skidding her eyes to that milky glaze//heralding snow, rainforest and thorn desert/gnawed to one echo, a tiny listening//rippling the single sheet we kept unfolding, the white stare of home.

Crimson Crop
Peter Rose
UWA Publishing
c/o International Specialized Book Services
920 NE 58th Ave., Suite 300
Portland OR 97213-3786
9781742583907, $24.95,

Crimson is a shade of red, and the color come most associated with blood. "Crimson Crop" is the fifth collection of poetry from Peter Rose, as the Australian author takes a view on the nature of humanity and its unusual nature and decisions through it all. With plenty of excellent verse and things to think about, "Crimson Crop" is a fine addition to any modern poetry collection. "Memorial": Then years ago you died -/the very hour. Waking,/my fists are clenched/in an angry prayer.

Rhian Gallagher
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7
Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
9781907587184, $23.95,

A long distance relationship presents many curious challenges in our life. "Shift" is a collection of poetry from Rhian Gallagher who touches on her own unique romance, the love within ourselves, and the search for what is truly home. "Shift" is well worth considering for contemporary poetry collections. "Bologna": What we found there.../Osterie and restaurants full/and the rain coming down, I remember,//and the light pressure of her hand/as we ran from the end/of one portico to the shelter of another,/the cobbles streaming.

Celestial Spheres
Debra Lyn Negus
Dorrance Publishing Co.
701 Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
9781434912343, $14.00,

The potential for great positively lies within us all. "Celestial Spheres" is a collection of poetry from Debra Lyn Negus who promotes a brand of poetry that encourages purging negativity from our being and embracing humanity and love in the process. "Celestial Spheres" has plenty to ponder, very much recommended reading for spiritual poetry collections. "Once, Long Ago": A man long ago,/Did walk the Earth;/He was here to teach,/Of a spirit's birth.//He taught us to love,/To look within;/What he also taught,/Was there no sin.//For the spirit always rises,/Until at last it sees;/The truth that all are one,/For all eternity.//For ages come and go,/Yet the lesson remains the same;/Love each other as yourself,/To rise to a higher plane. Also worth considering from Dorrance Publishing Co. is "Unpremeditated Moments" (9781434914811, $15.00) by Joyce G. Bradshaw, presenting a series of haikus inspired by her native Texas.

The Book of Water
John Murphy
Salmon Poetry
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7
Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
9781908836076, $22.95,

Water can represent many things, and John Murphy uses its diverse nature well. "The Book of Water" is a collection of poetry from Murphy as he touches on the many aspects of life, drawing on his experience as an academic and athlete, offering many perspectives on the world. "The Book of Water" is a fine addition to contemporary poetry collections, highly recommended.

Scott F. Parker
North Star Press of St. Cloud, Inc.
PO Box 451, St. Cloud, MN 56302
9780878395910, $9.95,

The songs and lyrics of Bob Dylan are known to everyone, even those who don't know who Bob Dylan is. "Revisited: Notes On Bob Dylan" is a collection of poetry exploring the work and creations of the famed lyricist and his unique poetry turned music, and Scott F. Parker tries to understand his work in his own way. "Revisited" is a unique dedicated, much recommended. "The Cover of Empire Burlesque Is So Distinctly of the '80s": that I can't help but think about what I was doing/instead of protecting myself from failure/by hanging up my hope for the future and/putting on the expensive jacket of materialistic nihilism/and calling it maturity or being realistic/or some other wretched, cowardly thing: learning://right and left, how to appreciate a burrito,/and the patience it takes to draw a good flower.

Our Andromeda
Brenda Shaughnessy
Copper Canyon Press
PO Box 271
Port Townsend, WA 98368
9781556594106, $16.00,

We only get one chance, but imagining if we could have another always makes us wonder. "Our Andromeda" is a collection of poetry from Brenda Shaughnessy, who explores the possibilities of a second chance in life and what could come of it. Enticing and thoughtful, "Our Andromeda" is a fine addition to contemporary poetry shelves, recommended. "Family Trip": We never knew closer/sister, stronger trees,/tighter clans, wilder/ fires. Where can we/go if not to each other,/resenting every step.

The Crafts Shelf

Beautiful Beaded Ropes
Jill Wiseman
Lark Books
387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016
9781454703563, $27.95,

Beads are a great basis for one's own jewelry creation. "Beautiful Beaded Ropes: 24 Wearable Jewelry Projects in Multiple Stitches" is a guide to the creation of beaded jewelry from Jill Wiseman, who presents twenty four of her own projects for readers to follow or take the ideas and techniques within to create their own ideas for success. "Beautiful Beaded Ropes" is presented in full color with tons of photographs, a strong treasure trove of information for any jewelry do it yourself-er.

Side by Side
Tsia Carson
Roost Books
c/o Shambhala Publications, Inc.
300 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, MA 02115-4544
9781590309568, $19.95,

Working with your children can educate and build bonds that last a lifetime. "Side by Side: 20 Collaborative Projects for Crafting with Your Kids" is a guide for many projects that parents and their children can embark on. From painting, gardening, weaving, art projects of curious origin, and more, Tsia Carson walks readers through countless original subjects, complete with full color photography and walkthroughs for each. "Side by Side" is a must for crafts and parenting collections.

The Education Shelf

101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum
Cathy Duffy
Grove Publishing
16172 Huxley Circle, Westminister, CA 92683
9780929320151, $23.99,

Homeschool curriculum is a whole different beast than standard curriculum. "101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum: Choosing the Right Curriculum and Approach for Each Child's Learning Style" is a guide for homeschool teachers who want to make sure their child picks up fully everything they need to learn and how to tailor it to your child's needs. Outlining choice text books to consider for every topic, and picking choices based on a child's learning style, "101 Top Picks for Homeschool Curriculum for Homeschool Curriculum" is well worth considering for anyone who homeschools their child.

Island Schoolhouse
Eva Murray
Tilbury House, Publishers
103 Brunswick Avenue, Gardiner, ME 04345
9780884483403, $20.00,

Isolated from much of the world, schools can still provide for their students. "Island Schoolhouse: One Room for All" explores the islands of Maine and their single room schoolhouses that have adapted over the years to meet the educational demands of the modern student, and how this interacts with the lifestyle that comes with remote island living. "Island Schoolhouse" provides an intriguing twist on education and what can be learned from these case studies.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Not Fit for a Dog!
Michael W. Fox & Collaborators
Quill Driver Books
2006 South Mary
Fresno, CA 93721
9781610351492, $16.95,

Some things just aren't edible for any living creature. "Not Fit for a Dog!: The Truth About Manufactured Cat and Dog Food" discusses the issues that arise with canned and manufactured pet foods that can come from commercial pet food and often lead to veterinary pet issues. Encouraging a more natural diet for pets, the veterinary insight from within will help those concerned about the future health of their pets. "Not Fit for a Dog!" is a strong addition to pet-centered collections with a focus on their health.

AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy
Mary R. Burch
Dogwise Publishing
403 South Mission Street
Wenatchee WA 98801
9781617810978, $14.95,

A puppy is a blank slate of behavior. "AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy: A Positive Behavioral Approach to Puppy Training" is a pet training advisory from Mary R. Burch advises readers on how to more complete guide their puppies to be good dogs when in a few years. From the basics of training to good housetraining and more to get a cooperative and happy dog, "AKC S.T.A.R. Puppy" is filled with color photos, an excellent resource for who want a well trained puppy that becomes a well trained dog.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Open Meetings
Joyce T. Strand
McCloughan & Schmeltz Publishing LLC
2360 Corporate Circle, Suite 400
Henderson, NV 89074-7722
9780983926221, $7.99,

What's so secret that people are willing to kill to keep it that way? "Open Meetings" is a mystery following PR Professional Jillian Hillcrest as the unusual death of a woman sends her out to find out what's going on in her town. Connecting the dots of many other unusual deaths throughout the city, "Open Meetings" is a riveting mystery and thriller that won't be easy to put down, highly recommended.

The Travel Shelf

Tea & Cake London
Zena Alkayat
Black Dog Publishing
10a Acton Street, London, England, WC1X 9NG
9781907317484, $14.95,

London is a premier tourist destination for anyone visiting Britain. While there are a great many London oriented travel guides, "Tea & Cake London" descriptively compiled by Zena Alkayat is unique. This 192-page, profusely illustrated guidebook showcases seventy of the very best restaurants, bakeries, and cafes the city has to offer for tourists and even long term residents interested in the exercising the genteel custom of having tea and cakes. Each recommended site includes a succinct description, a street address, and their web site, along with full color photography of their specialty baked goods. A wonderful browse, "Tea & Cake London" is an especially valued reference for anyone wanting to plan an itinerary for any length of stay in one of the great capital cities of Europe!

Carole French
c/o The Globe Pequot Press
246 Goose Lane, Suite 200
Guilford, CT 06437
9781841623986, $25.99,

Jordan holds much historical splendor for those who want to gain a cultural view of the Middle East. "Jordan" is a comprehensive travel guide from Carole French and Bradt Guides, bringing their study of local focus for travel to focus on the home of the Dead Sea. With full color photo inserts, French gives readers a full understanding of the sights, sounds, and flavors of Jordan, to make one's visit a more complete and comprehensive one. "Jordan" is not to be missed for potential world travelers. Also from Bradt Guides is "Grenada: Carriacou, Petite Martinique" (9781841624013, $25.99), a complete travel advisory for those visiting the Caribbean island, and "Madagascar Highlights" (9781841624259, $24.99) exploring fully the vast wildlife and tourism spots that rest on the African island.

New York City
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street
Oakland CA 94607
9781742200200, $19.99,

One of the largest cities in the world, New York has no shortage of attractions spread throughout it. "New York City" is a Lonely Planet Travel guide, presenting a highly comprehensive guide to the city, with countless maps of the vast cities, endless restaurants to enjoy, museums, tours, lodgings, anything and everything for readers to plan with. "New York City" is a choice travel advisory guide, not to be overlooked.

The World History Shelf

The Handy History Answer Book, third edition
David L. Hudson, Jr.
Visible Ink Press
43311 Joy Road #414, Canton, MI 48187-2075
9781578593729, $21.95,

The world's history is vast, and often quite difficult to fully comprehend. "The Handy History Answer Book" is a trivia book of world history from David L. Hudson as he explores the deep end of the history from prehistory to the modern era, answering questions from deep history with a decent focus on American history and how its code of laws came into full prominence. "The Handy History Answer Book" is filled with photos throughout, a pick well worth considering.

Hitler's Plans for Global Domination
Jochen Thies
Berghahn Books
150 Broadway, Suite 812
New York, NY 10038
9780857454621, $39.95,

The Nazi War Machine would not be satisfied with Europe alone. "Hitler's Plans for Global Domination: Nazi Architecture & Ultimate War Aims" explores the grand plan for the Third Reich and Hitler's ultimate dreams of a world under his heel. When victory seemed like a very near reality in 1940, he began to lay out his expanded plans, including a pre-emptive strike on New York City. "Hitler's Plans for Global Domination" explores a what-if scenario surrounding the continued wartime success of Nazi Germany.

The Money/Finance Shelf

Moods and Markets
Peter Atwater
FT Press
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780132947213, $39.99,

There's a certain feel to even the most rigid of sciences. "Mood and Markets: A New Way to Invest in Good Times and in Bad" is a guide to understanding themes of the markets and how to understand the feel of the moods of the market and society to better understand when booms will come and when times we grow tough, taking cues from much of modern culture in example. "Mood and Markets" is a strong recommendation for those who want to better understand the human impact on economics as a whole, highly recommended.

What's Your Rate?
Mark Maiocca
Advantage Publishers Group
PO Box 1090
Poway, CA 92074-1090
9781599323411, $16.99,

Buying a home is a huge financial endeavor, one not to be made lightly. "What's Your Rate?: How to Buy a Home and Secure Your Financial Future at the Same Time" is a comprehensive guide for those who want to approach buying their first home wisely, knowing all the hurdles that may be ahead of someone in this complex process, an dhow to do it without finding oneself in inescapable debt, and how to make it last a lifetime. "What's Your Rate?" is filled with plenty of wise financial advice that shouldn't be overlooked, highly recommended.

The Nautical Shelf

Child of the Sea
Doina Cornell
Cornell Sailing Publications
c/o Paradise Cay
PO Box 29, Arcata, CA 95518-0029
9780955639692, $19.95,

Growing up at sea, Doina Cornell didn't exactly get the most normal of upbringings. "Child of the Sea" is a nautical memoir from Cornell as she shares her experience of being raised by sailing icon Jimmy Cornell and spending much of her young life yacht sailing, seeing countless countries and experiencing a very different view of the world. Touching on her unique isolation from other children, "Child of the Sea" is an enticing twist on the memoir, much recommended reading.

The Automotive Shelf

High-Performance GM LS-Series Cylinder Head Guide
David Grasso
39966 Grand Avenue, North Branch, MN 55056
9781934709900, $24.95,

For those who want to get the next level of performance out of their vehicle, you need to optimize every part of it. "High-Performance GM LS-Series Cylinder Head Guide" is a guide to maximizing this aspect of the performance of their vehicle, as David Grasso gives a comprehensive overview of the many auto parts, evaluating their performance with easy to follow graphs and charts. For anyone who wants to get the most out of their vehicle, "High Performance GM LS-Series Cylinder Head Guide" is an excellent reference to consider when approaching the advanced stage of their plans, recommended.

The Environmental Studies Shelf

May the Rivers Never Sleep
Bill & John McMillan
Frank Amato Publications
PO Box 82112
Portland, OR 97282
9781571884800, $49.95,

The rivers of the pacific northwest have a certain wonder to them. "May the Rivers Never Sleep" is a guide to the environment and region as conservation activists Bill & John McMillan, Father and Son, come together in their love of nature's splendor, and grant their perspectives on the wide variety of aquatic and landbound life that relies on the river for survival. "May the Rivers Never Sleep" is a choice pick for environmental studies collections focusing on North America's Pacific Northwest region, highly recommended.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

They Knew Marilyn Monroe
Les Harding
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611
Jefferson NC 28640
9780786466375, $29.95,

Marilyn Monroe took the world by storm in her prime, becoming the icon of Hollywood Hot. "They Knew Marilyn Monroe: Famous Persons in the Life of the Hollywood Icon" explores the key people in the life of the legend, touching on the celebrities around her and the tangled web of Hollywood throughout it all. Touching on major people throughout her short life and their work with Marilyn, "They Knew Marilyn Monroe" is a strong pick for those who want to learn more about Monroe, and her ties with Hollywood.

The Computer Shelf

Murach's SQL Server 2012
Bryan Syverson & Joel Murach
4340 N. Knoll, Fresno, CA 93722
9781890774691, $54.50,

Understanding how the guts of a server work can unleash the full potential of your tools. "Murach's SQL Server 2012 for Developers" is a comprehensive manual for 2012 SQL Servers as Murach brings the comprehensive knowledge that usually comes with his brand of guides to this topic, excelling day to day maintenance, using the .Net Framework to the fullest, creating a database, and creating ease of use for the long term. "Murach's SQL Server 2012 for Developers" is an excellent and recommended manual for anyone whose career calls for references to this complex technological field, not to be overlooked.

The Martial Arts Shelf

Yoga Sequencing
Mark Stephens
North Atlantic Books
2526 Martin Luther King Jr. Way
Berkeley, CA 94704-2607
9781583944974, $24.95,

Yoga can be excellent for your health, but optimizing it can take quite the skill. "Yoga Sequencing: Designing Transformative Yoga Classes" is a guide for yoga teachers and instructors from Mark Stephens who presents a comprehensive guide to fully understanding how to better teach yoga. With over two thousand black and white photos all throughout the read, he presents tips on the many aspects of understanding Yoga. "Yoga Sequencing: Designing Transformative Yoga Classes" is a must for anyone who wants to more comprehensively understand Yoga and its rougher to understand details, enthusiastically recommended.

The Dance Shelf

The Pointe Book, third edition
Janice Barringer & Sarah Schlesinger
Princeton Book Company
614 Route 130
Highstown, NJ 08520
9780871273550, $27.95,

Dancing can be a very strenuous activity, with more danger for injuries than many truly realize. "The Pointe Book: Shoes, Training, Technique" is the third edition that fully explores the dance, focusing on the pointe, and the shoes designed for assisting dancers in striking the pose with more technique and effect. Drawing from the expertise of many ballet masters, "The Pointe Book" is a strong pick for any dance reference collection where the pointe is central to the technique.

The Philosophy Shelf

Curb Your Enthusiasm
Mark Ralkowski, editor
Open Court Publishing Company
70 East Lake Street, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60601
9780812697667, $19.95,

There's something to be learned from not getting your hopes up. "Curb Your Enthusiasm and Philosophy: Awaken the Social Assassin Within" is a collection of essays surrounding the popular TV comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm, as philosophical thinkers pick apart Larry David's work for a more comprehensive understanding of the subtle nature of the man's comedy, exploring the ideas of vengeance in its many forms. "Curb Your Enthusiasm and Philosophy" is another fine entry into the pop culture and philosophy collection, a choice pick for fans of the show.

The Women's Studies Shelf

Amazons: A Love Story
E. J. Levy
University of Missouri Press
2910 LeMone Boulevard
Columbia, MO 65201
9780826219756, $24.95,

The legend of the Amazon warrior has become a popular myth for the fiercely independent woman to face the world. E. J. Levy would need all of that strength. "Amazons: A Love Story" is a memoir from E. J. Levy who explores her personal expedition into the Brazilian city of Salvador and its surrounding natural environs, the and rude awakening into her adulthood she faced, facing personal tragedy and struggles as a feminist in a very different world. Discussing much surrounding the region from the serious social issues that dwell within to the strong environmental issues that are vital to the region. Enlightening and gripping reading that combines important issues with a personal journey, "Amazons: A Love Story" is a strong addition to any personal memoir collection with a focus on international social and environmental issues.

Being Fruitful Without Multiplying
Patricia Yvette, Renee Ann, Janice Lynne
Coffee Town Press
PO Box 70515, Seattle, WA 98127
9781603811552, $14.95,

To abandon motherhood is a decision not fully accepted by much of society. "Being Fruitful Without Multiplying" is a collection of memoir and thoughts on the idea of going child-free in one's life, as many women come out and discuss their decision to not choose motherhood, and the other ways they have chosen to impact the world, through step-parenthood, adoption, or other ideas. As the women, and a few men as well present their ideas, "Being Fruitful Without Multiplying" is well worth considering for those who want to understand the child-free lifestyle.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

The Natural Diabetes Cure, second edition
Roger Mason
Square One Publishers
115 Herricks Road
Garden City Park, NY 11040
9780757003691, $9.95,

Diabetes is a life threatening medical condition. Today some 20 million Americas (including children) have been diagnosed with diabetes. Every year the number diabetics continues to increase. This condition is so wide spread that the pharmaceutical industry generates millions of dollars of revenue annual for the treatment of diabetes. The expense of traditional medical approaches to the treatment of diabetes is just one reason why research chemist Roger Mason's "The Natural Diabetes Cure: Curing Blood Sugar Disorders Without Drug" should be considered mandatory reading for all diabetics and their loved ones. Now in an updated and expanded second edition, "The Natural Diabetes Cure" provides a thorough and comprehensive explanation of how diabetes works within the human body, the dangerous health risks associated with diabetes, how diabetes can be successfully treated successfully with a combination of diet, exercise, and weight loss. Of special note are the chapters devoted to regulating blood sugar, hormone balance. "The Natural Diabetes Cure" is a throughly 'reader friendly', 144-page, informed and informative compendium of information and advice that is very highly recommended for personal, medical, and community library Health & Medicine reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The 17 Day Plan to Stop Aging
Dr. Mike Moreno
The Free Press
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
9781451666250, $26.00,

Aging doesn't have to be a total inevitability. "The 17 Day Plan to Stop Aging" is a health advisory guide from Dr. Mike Moreno who advises readers on how to feel younger and more youthful for the long haul of their life, by focusing on the major contributors to aging, and how to rebuild one's vitality to stay with them for many years to come. "The 17 Day Plan to Stop Aging" is a health advisory with plenty of practical advice to keep good health well into one's senior years to come, highly recommended.

The Gardening Shelf

The Midwestern Native Garden
Charlotte Adelman & Bernard L. Schwartz
Ohio University Press
The Ridges, Building 19
Athens, OH 45701
9780821419373, $26.95,

The flowers of the Midwest can offer plenty of beauty by drawing on the plants that can only be found there. "The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative flowers and Plants" is a gardening guide from Charlotte Adelman & Bernard L. Schwartz as they advise readers on how to maximize their gardening potential by using only plants native to the Midwestern region of the United States, how to customize your garden, attracting birds and butterflies, and more. Presented in full color with glossy images all throughout, "The Midwestern Native Garden" is a strong addition to gardening floral collections, highly recommended.

The Audiobook Shelf

Murder in the Green
Lesley Cookman, author
Patience Tomlinson, narrator
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230
West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781407920382 $84.95

Murder in the Green is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of a sinister murder mystery. When Libby Serjeant and her good friend Fran become entangled in the unusual activities of the Morris Men, both are shocked to find one of the Morris Men dead on May Day; another Morris Man seems to have disappeared entirely. Dark and ruthless manipulations lurk just beneath the surface in this intricate mystery about the machinations of an intelligent and devious killer! 9 CDs, 9 hours 30 min.

Father Night
Eric Van Lustbader
Macmillan Audio
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315
New York, NY 10010
9781427226365 $39.99

Father Night is the unabridged audiobook adaptation of a sharp-edged thriller from Eric Van Lustbader, about underworld figures who seek to use the Arab Spring for evil ends. One is called Dyadya Gourdjiev; the other is only known as the Syrian. During his investigation Department of Defense special agent Jack McClure has fallen hard for Gourdjiev's siren-like daughter, Annika Dementieva. Then news of Dyadya's ill health threatens to bring a thousand lesser jackals out to fight viciously over his criminal empire. Meanwhile, Jack's surrogate daughter Alli Carson has become the target of a cyberstalker, and has only her friend Vera Bard to turn to in her search for answers. Father Night is a mind-binding tale of mystery, intrigue, and action, highly recommended to fans of suspense. 13 hours.

Tiger's Claw
Dale Brown, author
William Dufris, narrator
Harper Audio
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062120489 $39.99

Former U.S. Air Force captain Dale Brown presents Tiger's Claw, the unabridged audiobook rendition of his heady military novel, in which one man's gumption has the potential to change history. Set in a modern-day world where Chinese aggression is pushing the Pacific to the brink of war, Tiger's Claw is an all-too-frightening "what if"? scenario. America is still struggling with the throes of a tremendous recession, and the funds to ensure naval dominance have evaporated; but retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General Patrick McLanhan has an idea. If America can refurbish long-range B-1B Lancer bombers for an AirSea battle strategy, perhaps Chinese aggression can be contained. But America's revitalized forces must face land-based antimissiles, aircraft carriers, and even a mysterious energy-based weapon in this suspenseful saga that balances on the border between a new cold war, and the outbreak of World War III! Also available in downloadable audio, Tiger's Claw is an excellent choice for fans of military-themed fiction.

The Music CD Shelf

Hurricane Season in Brooklyn
Analog Players Society
Studio Brooklyn
c/o Press Junkie PR
PO Box 156914
San Francisco, CA 94115

Hurricane Season in Brooklyn is a lively music CD that draws upon lead composer Amon and the Analog Players Society's fascinations with a multitude of musical styles. Reggae, Jamaican dance, ska, Afrobeat, hip hop and more styles are evident in this dance-friendly, vivacious anthology. The result is a charged, pulse-pounding experience that reverberates in the mind long after the last notes fade. The tracks are "Free", "Hurricane Season in Brooklyn", "Let the Music Play (Version)", "I Can't Wait", "Dance Hall Days (Version)", "Just a Day", "The Hippie Don Know", "Money Street Rain", and "Moments Combine".

Four Little Sisters
Real Vocal String Quartet
Flower Note Records
c/o Rock Paper Scissors
511 West 4th Street, Suite 2
Bloomington, IN 47404

Four Little Sisters is the second collaborative album of Real Vocal String Quartet, a skilled set of arrangers and composers who enjoy reinventing traditional music by drawing on inspiration from jazz, pop, the great classics, and more. An instrument-heavy medley offering a harmonious fusion of ideas and rhythms, Four Little Sisters is highly recommended as an excellent choice for music lovers looking for something different. The tracks are "Machine", "Homage to Oumou", "Elephant Dreams", "Copo Vazio", "Allons a Lafayette", "Sweet Honey Bee", "Falling Polska", "Durang's Hornpipe", "Knotty Pine", and "Grand Mammon Waltz".

The DVD Shelf

Acupressure and Breathing for Childbirth
Laurie Binder, MS
Privately Published
c/o 411 Video Information
PO Box 1223
Pebble Beach, CA 93953

Licensed acupuncturist, OB/GYN nurse practitioner, and Lamaze certified childbirth educator Laurie Binder, MS presents Acupressure and Breathing for Childbirth, a DVD created especially to teach expecting mothers how they can utilize principles of acupressure and organized breathing to improve the experience of childbirth. It must be emphasized that Acupressure and Breathing for Childbirth is intended to supplement the care of a physician or licensed medical professional, not replace it; the viewer is explicitly instructed to consult her health care provider before applying the techniques of Acupressure and Breathing for Childbirth. With that caveat in mind, Acupressure & Breathing for Childbirth is filled with valuable information on how to locate and stimulate acupoints; how breathing techniques can make labor more comfortable; how to identify pre-labor and early labor; when it's time to go to the hospital; how to stay calm during childbirth; and much more. Acupressure & Breathing for Childbirth is an excellent baby shower gift, and highly recommended especially for soon-to-be first-time moms. 1 DVD, 20 min. 8 sec.

Be Still
Lisa Chan
Publicity Department
David C. Cook
4050 Lee Vance View
Colorado Springs, CO 80918
9780781408110 $14.99

Part of the "True Beauty: Finding Your Identity in Jesus" DVD series, Be Still is a DVD in which Lisa Chan (singer, mother of five, and cofounder of Cornerstone Church in Simi Valley) shares her insights and understanding about finding time opening oneself to God's love. In today's modern world with endless demands on people's time, and a prevalence of stress, anxiety, and depression, it is more important for ever for Christians to take control of their lives and find time to spend in stillness, and connect with God. To convey her positive message, Lisa uses the parable of Susan, a woman who learned that being still in God's presence brought her the strength she needed to survive a broken marriage. An important reminder to make time to spend with God and His eternally compassionate son Jesus Christ, Be Still is highly recommended for Christian women (and Christian men as well!) amid these turbulent and chaotic times. 23 minutes, English audio, subtitled in Afrikaans, Arabic, Dutch, English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Script Chinese, Spanish, and Ukrainian.

Stilettos and Self Defense series
Jennifer Cassetta
c/o 411 Video Information (publicity)
PO Box 1223
Pebble Beach, CA 93953
$22.95 each

Stilettos and Self Defense is a series of three DVDs by self-defense expert, HapKiDo practitioner, and personal trainer Jennifer Cassetta, designed to teach women the basics of protecting themselves from assault. Volume 1 Defensive Tactics (65 min.) covers the basic strategies of awareness, maintaining one's boundaries, being aware of one's center of gravity, the three most important rules of a fight, simple strikes and blocks, and three main targets to be aware of, as well as some of the most common attacks women should be aware of and ready to counter. Volume 2 Stilettos and Self Defense (65 min.) goes into more depth on applying self-defense techniques and keeping one's physical and mental balance in a crisis, as well as the fundamentals of preventing assaults. Volume 3 Improvised Weapons (65 min.) is packed with specific details for using common items to protect oneself in an emergency, from applying a magazine to block a grab, keys to release a choke, a pen to prevent a punch, where and when to use objects to attack, and more. A fundamentals of self-defense DVD course created by a woman, for women, Stilettos and Self Defense is highly recommended not only for adult women, but also as an educational resource for parents to share with teenaged girls while preparing them to face a dangerous world on their own.

Must the Sun Set on the West?
Dr. Vishal Mangalwadi
BOM International
c/o Vision Video (distribution)
PO Box 540
Worcester, PA 19490-0540

Dr. Vishal Mangalwadi is one of India's best-known Christian intellectuals; among his accomplishments are founding a community development organization in the 1970's to aid India's rural poor. Must the Sun Set on the West? is a DVD compilation of ten of Mangalwadi's lectures (plus a bonus lecture) given at the University of Minnesota. The common theme binding these lectures is about harmful attitudes that have permeated Western culture, and the value of Christian faith and the Bible in helping to restore Western commitments to freedom, justice, and compassion. The lectures include "From Michelangelo to Freud: The Devolution of Human Dignity", "From Science to Sorcery: Why Witchcraft Appeals More Than Science", "From Paul to Paris Hilton: Can a Defeated Messiah Save Hollywood Heroes?", "From Tolerance to Terrorism: Why Do Taxpayers Pay Advocates to Defend Lawbreakers?" and much more. Must the Sun Set on the West? is a thought-provoking cultural perspective from a thinker who admires the positive aspects of Western culture yet is unafraid the exhaustively question its negative aspects, and highly recommended to anyone concerned about current culture wars. 11 lectures, 47-66 min. per lecture, coded for all DVD regions.

Blessing Europe
Rainer Walde
Privately Published
c/o Vision Video
P.O. Box 540
Worcester, PA 19490

Blessing Europe: The Legacy of Celtic Saints is a DVD documentary that takes the viewer on an enlightening tour through Europe, in the footsteps of early Celtic saints. Central to the journey are the stories of four renowned Celtic Saints, including Columbanus and his companion Gallus, founder of a monastic cell on the banks of Lake Constance. An incredible and moving account of the contributions Irish monks have brought to the Christian faith, Blessing Europe is an inspiration, highly recommended especially for Christian personal and church library DVD collections. 60 min.

Element: Accelerated Pilates with Resistance Band
Lisa Hubbard
Anchor Bay Entertainment
2401 West Big Beaver Road, Suite 200
Troy, MI 48084-3304

Part of the excellent "Element" fitness DVD series, Element: Accelerated Pilates with Resistance Band (45 min.) is a practical workout featuring a 30-minute total body routine, plus a 10-minute abs program. Certified Pilates instructor Lisa Hubbard walks the viewer through Pilates techniques performed with a resistance band included with the DVD. Element: Accelerated Pilates is an ideal choice for toning one's muscles as well as improving posture, flexibility, and overall well-being. Also highly recommended is "Element: Yoga for Energy & Relaxation" (75 min.), in which Hawaiian yoga teacher Tamal Dodge guides the viewer through two yoga sessions and relaxation techniques perfect for increasing stamina, promoting flexibility, and improving one's sleeping habits.

New Tricks Season Eight
Starring Amanda Redman, James Bolam, Alum Armstrong, and Dennis Waterman
Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
9781598288186 $39.99

New Tricks Season Eight is the unedited, UK edition of Britain's highest-rated television drama, about a team of semi-retired (and fairly irascible) detectives whose specialty is solving cold cases. The amazingly attractive superintendent Sandra Pullman has persuaded them to join her Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad; in Season Eight they investigate a museum, a zoo, a biker gang, and witness protection, all in search of murderers who thought they got away with the crime. Witty, biting, and superbly performed, New Tricks Season Eight is a "must" for fans of British mysteries. Bonus material includes a 19-minute behind-the-scenes featurette. 10 episodes on 3 discs, 589 min. plus bonus, widescreen, SDH subtitles.

This is Sodom
A film by Adam Sanderson and Muli Segev
SISU Home Entertainment Inc.
340 W. 39th St., 6th fl.
New York, NY 10018

Winner of two Israeli Academy Awards and two nominations, and the biggest Israeli box office smash of the last 30 years, This is Sodom is an uproarious comedy, set during the last days of the sinful Biblical city that became infamous for its destruction. In a wretched hive of corruption, sex, and gambling, Lot just might be the last good-natured man, struggling to raise a family amidst endless decadence. Then, when God tries to call Abraham to His service, Abraham refuses unless God can save Abraham's nephew Lot from Sodom. But God is not so easily bargained with! A wild and funny take that nevertheless captures the heart and soul of the Biblical parable, This is Sodom is unforgettably funny, and its creators rightfully earn the honor of being dubbed the "Israeli Monty Pythons"! 89 min., Hebrew language with subtitles in English, Hebrew, or French, widescreen.

Scientology: The Science of Truth or the Art of Deception?
A film by Rainer Fromm
c/o Vision Video (distribution)
PO Box 540
Worcester, PA 19490-0540

Scientology: The Science of Truth or the Art of Deception? is a sobering documentary about the controversial religious organization. Why do some individuals and celebrities follow Scientology while other people accuse its leadership of false promises, theft, and abuse? Filmmaker Rainer Fromm reveals the mental tricks and emotional manipulation used by Scientology to lure adherents and keep them in the fold, and dares to openly reveal the stated goals of Scientology - goals that even its most highest-profile advocates refuse to speak openly about. Revealing and disturbing, Scientology: The Science of Truth or the Art of Deception? is a must-see. 60 min., widescreen.

The DVD-ROM Shelf

Canon 5D Mark III
Laura Ross
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780321859174 $34.99

Canon 5D Mark III: From Snapshots to Great Shots is a DVD-ROM designed to help photographers of all skill and experience levels get the most out of their Canon 5D Mark III camera. Freelance photographer Ibarionex Perello walks the viewer through the concepts of exposure modes, focus and sharpness, white balance, and picture styles. Canon 5D Mark III goes beyond explaining the camera's technical specifics, and is packed with tips, tricks, and techniques for portrait composition as well as recording top-quality video. An invaluable resource, requiring only an HTML5 compatible browser to peruse, Canon 5D Mark III is a "must-have" for camera enthusiasts.

The Gaming Shelf

No-Limit Tournament Hold'em
Avery Cardoza
Cardoza Publishing
5473 South Eastern Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89119
9781580422468, $14.95

I've been playing online almost daily with ClubWPT for the past year and a half. I've been playing twice weekly in live tournaments in Madison, Wisconsin which are hosted by Badger Poker for almost six years. I've also had the privilege of reviewing many of the excellent instruction titles on Texas No-Limite Hold'em poker published by Cardoza Publishing over the years. So I speak with confidence when I say that Avery Cardoza's 224-page compendium, "No-Limit Tournament Hold'em" (the official World Series of Poker strategy guide) should be considered as an absolutely mandatory read for anyone wanting to play in a World Series of Poker event. Invaluable chapters range from 'The Mechanics of No-Limit Hold'em'; to 'How Tournaments Work'; to 'Tips on Managing Your Tournament Bankroll'. Of special note for World Series of Poker fans is 'Looking Back at the WSOP: 40+ Years of Exciting Growth and Gold Bracelets'. An informatively instructive and thoroughly 'user friendly' read from beginning to end, "No-Limit Tournament Hold'em" belongs on the personal reference shelf and priority reading lists of amateur leisure time poker players in general, and anyone aspiring to become a professional poker player on the WSOP circuit in particular!

Defend or Declare?
Julian Pottage
Master Point Press
331 Douglas Ave.
Toronto, ON Canada, M5M 1H2
9781897106884, $17.95,

Bridge takes a clear and thoughtful mind to succeed at. "Defend or Declare?: 72 Deals to Test Your Bridge Skill" is a bridge guide for those who want to better succeed at the game, as Julian Pottage presents 72 scenarios to challenge readers and invite them to improve their game and make the most of their hand. "Defend or Declare?" is a must for those who want to sharpen their bridge skills, very much recommended reading.

The Cookbook Shelf

Betty Crocker Halloween Cookbook
Jeff Nowak, editorial director
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030
9781118388945, $16.99,

The "Betty Crocker Halloween Cookbook" is a festively funky adult Halloween cookbook filled with imaginative twists on favorite treats and appetizers, helpful party decorating and favor ideas, and added main dish attractions as well. Color photographs of recipes are dramatically set against dark or black backgrounds. Four main chapters present categories including "Bewitching Bites & Drinks, Mystifying Main Dishes, Spooky Cupcakes & Cakes, and Frightful Cookies & Other Treats." Some standout recipes from these chapters include Witches' Brew (lime sherbert punch with gummy worm candies), Black Cat Canapes ( an appetizer made of cat shaped pieces of white and dark pumpernickel rye bread with a garlicky, kalamata olive spread), Spiderweb Applesauce Cake, Spooky Shepherd's Pie (meat and vegetable shepherd's pie with mashed potato "ghosts" as topping), and Chocolate Bat cookies. All recipes use easily found ingredients and clear have step by step numbered instructions to the right of a list of measured ingredients. In addition, handy "terrifying tips" are listed at the bottom of most recipes, along with standard nutritional information. A metric conversion guide is found at the end of the book. A delightful feature is the introductory Ghoulish Giftable Goodies, which contains recipes for gifts such as candy corn bark and roasted pumpkin seed brittle. In all the "Betty Crocker Halloween Cookbook" is guaranteed to induce a spooky mood and inspire delicious Halloween snacking for Trick or Treat.

Standard Baking Co. Pastries
Alison Pray & Tara Smith
Down East Books
PO Box 679, Camden, ME 04843
9781608931842, $29.95,

Nothing is so aromatic in the home kitchen as a pastry being baked in the oven. Drawing upon their many years of experience and expertise Alison Pray (who co-founded Standard Baking Co. in Portland, Maine, with her husband where they bake artisan breads and pastries) and Tara Smith (head pastry chef at Standard Baking Co.) have co-authored "Standard Baking Co. Pastries", a nicely illustrated, thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly', 200-page compendium of simply wonderful recipes for breakfast pastries, tarts, cakes, cookies, as well as sweet and savory snacks. Of special note is the concluding section of 'Basic Recipes' fro special doughs, a caramel saucy, cream cheese filling, frangipane, brown butter streusel, toasted nuts, and poached pears. "Standard Baking Co. Pastries" will prove a welcome and enduringly popular addition to personal, family, and community library cookbook collections!

200 Best Canned Fish & Seafood Recipes
Susan Sampson
Robert Rose Inc.
120 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 800
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4P 1E2
9780778804154, $24.95,

When you are too far inland to be able to avail yourself of fish freshly caught, then you must rely on what has been canned or frozen and available in your local neighborhood grocery store. But fish and other seafood from a can is the basis for many a nutritious and delicious dish easily prepared in any home kitchen. Indeed, Susan Sampson has compiled just such classic and nuevo-cuisine recipes in her 288-page culinary compendium "200 Best Canned Fish and Seafood Recipes: For Tuna, Salmon, Shrimp, Crab, Clams, Oysters, Lobster and More". There are thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' recipes for appetizers and snacks, soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps, fish burgers, fish cakes, fishballs, curries, casseroles, pies, pizzas, pastas, and more! Of special note is Susan's comprehensive guide for selecting and utilizing canned seafood, historical information on the subject, and a very handy substitutions chart. Indeed, with "200 Best Canned Fish and Seafood Recipes: For Tuna, Salmon, Shrimp, Crab, Clams, Oysters, Lobster and More", the family chef can turn any brown bag lunch into a true gourmet experience -- and all from a can!

Country Comfort: Cooking Across America
Mary Elizabeth Roarke & Chef Nicole Roarke
Hatherleigh Press
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
5-22 46th Ave, Ste 200
Long Island City, NY 11101
9781578264148 $15.95

Country Comfort: Cooking Across America is a time-tested compendium filled with over 175 traditional and regional American recipes. Written in plain, accessible terms that cooks of all skill and experience levels will find easy to follow, the dishes include both universal favorites and regional dishes with hometown charm. Recipes range from "Asparagus Soup with Seasoned Dill Yogurt", "Shrimp Creole", "Springfield-Style Cashew Chicken", "Panko-Battered Hon Shimeji Mushrooms", "Berry-Good Crisps" and much more. Country Comfort: Cooking Across America lives up to its title as a repository of uniquely American flavors, and is a superb resource for preparing memorable family meals!

Afternoon Tea
Muriel Moffat
Douglas & McIntyre
2323 Quebec Street, Suite 201
Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5T 4S7
9781771000529, $14.95,

One of the hallmarks of Victorian era culture was the custom of an afternoon tea. In "Afternoon Tea: A Timeless Tradition", author Muriel Moffat showcases the elegance of the ritual as performed for more than sixty years in the Empress Hotel. The reader is treated to a colorful historical overview of the custom and its attendant rituals, along with an impressive selection of recipes. Of special note is the chapter on 'The Art of Making and Taking Tea'. An impressive little 72-page hardcover book, "Afternoon Tea: A Timeless Tradition" is a delight to read and a welcome addition to personal and community library collections. It is also available in a Kindle ebook edition (9781771000536, $9.39).

Tart It Up!
Eric Lanlard
Publicity Department
Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue
New York NY 10017
9781845337193 $19.99

Tart It Up! Sweet & Savory Tarts & Pies is a hardcover cookbook packed with delicious pie and tart recipes, from time-honored favorites such as "Pork and Cider Pie" or "Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pie", to adventurous and delectable creations such as "Spring Garden Green Tart", "Waldorf-Inspired Tart", "Pear and Hazelnut Tart", "Mango and Green Peppercorn Pie", and many more. Full-color photography of the majority of dishes, plus easy-to-follow instructions, an introduction to pastry and dough basics, and an index make Tart It Up! an excellent choice for novice cooks, but kitchen artists of all skill and experience levels will thoroughly appreciate the diversity of mouth-watering recipes. Highly recommended, especially for those enjoy homemade comfort food to the fullest!

Artisan Vegan Cheese
Miyoko Schinner
The Book Publishing Company
PO Box 99
Summertown, TN 38483
9781570672835 $19.95

Artisan Vegan Cheese: From Everyday to Gourmet lives up to its title with instructions for preparing top-quality vegan cheeses - that is, foods that can be used as in recipes like dairy cheeses, but that are made entirely of plant-based ingredients, such as cashews, macadamia nuts, or non-dairy yogurt. Vegan cheese creations that look and taste like brie, sharp cheddar, mozzarella, ricotta, cream cheese and more, as well as recipes incorporating them like Italian Stuffed Mushrooms, Fettuccine Alfredo, Classic Baked Macaroni and Cheese, Pumpkin Cheesecake and much more fill this vegan cheese-lover's delight. Methodical, step-by-step instructions make creating and using vegan cheeses easy for chefs of all skill and experience levels. A handful of full-color photographs round out this absolute "must-have" for any vegan who has ever loved or longed for cheese - as well as for those who are lactose intolerant yet who desire to sample gourmet cheese delicacies!

The Art Shelf

The Art Of The Illusion
Brad Honeycutt & Terry Stickels
Imagine Publishing
c/o Charlesbridge Publishing
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
9781936140718, $24.95,

From childhood onward, we have all been treated to the phenomena of optical illusions -- the visual shifts in a two-dimensional picture. Ably compiled by visual graphics expert Brad Honeycutt and puzzle master Terry Stickels, and enhanced with an informed and informative introductory commentary by puzzle creator, computer game designer, and artist Scott Kim, "The Art of the Illusion: Deceptions to Challenge the Eye and the Mind" is a superbly illustrated, 224-page compendium showcasing more than two hundred of the finest images from around the world drawn from such illustrious artists as Rafal Olbinski, Rob Gonsalves, Octavio Ocampo, David Macdonald, Gene Levine, M. C. Escher, and a host of others. A true delight for a simple browsing or a focused study, "The Art of the Illusion: Deceptions to Challenge the Eye and the Mind" is a unique and strongly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Art Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Architecture Shelf

Carlos Teixeira
10a Acton Street
London, England, WC1X 9NG
9781907317781, $29.95,

Carlos M Teixeira is an architect and founder of the studio Vazio S/A. In Portuguese, the word "entre", means "in-between" and conjures up notations that far exceed its English equivalent. Now translated into English, Compiled with commentary by Carlos Teixeira, "Entre" is a superbly illustrated, 384-page compendium showcasing the multi-disciplinary approach to Brazilian architecture as a platform for the performing arts as illustrated and represented through diverse architectural projects, including their distinctive elements including the physical, the spatial, and the temporal. Unique and a seminal work in its own right, "Entre" is a very highly recommended contribution for professional and academic library Architectural Studies reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

The Needlecraft Shelf

60 More Quick Baby Quilts
Editorial Staff
Sixth&Spring Books
161 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 1301
New York, NY 10013
9781936096435, $17.95,

Compiled by the staff of Sixth & Spring Books, "60 More Quick Baby Knits: Adorable Projects for Newborns to Tots in 220 Superwash Sport from Cascade Yarns" is the latest in an impressive series of needlecraft books. A profusely illustrated, 184-page compendium showcasing sixty inexpensive but utterly charming knitted garments for babies. From nap-time blankets, to a skirt dress, Mary Jane booties, ruffle-bottom pants, and more, "60 More Quick Baby Knits: Adorable Projects for Newborns to Tots in 220 Superwash Sport from Cascade Yarns" will prove to be a highly prized addition to personal and community library Needlecraft instructional reference collections.

Long-Legged Friends
Hisako and Shizue Okawa
Andrews & McMeel
1130 Walnut Street
Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
9781449417512, $16.99,

With crochet, the possibilities are vast. "Long-Legged Friends: Crochet Creatures to Create and Cuddle" is a guide for hobbyist needleworkers who want to create cute takes on stuffed animals and critters, as Hisako and Shizue Okawa advise readers n how to create these pleasant creatures themselves. With full color photography all throughout, "Long-Legged Friends" is a strongly recommended pick for anyone who enjoys crochet.

The Sports Shelf

Kicking The Odds
Brett Sheldon & Shaun C. Kilgore
Founders House Publishing
9780984376445, $20.00,

Brett Sheldon graduated from Indiana State University with a degree in physical education. An aspiring motivational speaker, his goal is to share his insights about life with a physical disability (born with a birth defect that left him with short arms) and the role of sports in shaping his experiences with others. Co-written by freelance writer Shaun C. Kilgore, "Kicking The Odds" is the riveting story of how he was able to excelled in athletics, first as a high school football kicker going so far as to break his school's kicking record, then in college football. . He also received other honors and awards for his roles in other sports as well. "Kicking The Odds" is inspired and inspiring, making it a highly recommended read for anyone who shares Brett Sheldon's love of sports -- despite all the odds that may confront them!

The Wisconsin Shelf

The Light Keeper's Legacy
Kathleen Ernst
Midnight Ink
2143 Wooddale Drive
Woodbury, MN 55125-2989
9780738733074, $14.99,

The Light houses were beacons of hope to many sailors, but in the modern day, they fill us with wonder of the past. "The Light Keeper's Legacy" is a mystery novel following Chloe Ellefson as she leaps at the opportunity to restore an old light house in Wisconsin. But when her project is derailed by a corpse washes up, she'll have to figure out the history of the light house before fulfilling her desire to bring the light house back into prominence. "The Light Keeper's Legacy" combines modern thrillers and Nautical history well, highly recommended.

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

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