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Wisconsin Bookwatch

Volume 7, Number 9 September 2012 Home | WBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Education Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Travel Shelf Nautical Shelf Automotive Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf Memoir Shelf
Poetry Shelf American History Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Philosophy Shelf Fiction Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf
Computer Shelf Photography Shelf Parenting Shelf
Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf Business Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Environmental Studies Shelf Money/Finance Shelf
Human Sexuality Shelf Self-Help Shelf Jobs/Career Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Gardening Shelf Martial Arts Shelf
Crafts Shelf Music Shelf Art Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Music CD Shelf DVD Shelf
Gaming Shelf Political Science Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Architecture Shelf Holocaust Studies Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Economic Studies Shelf Biography Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf
Wisconsin Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Download the Weird
Ripley Entertainment Inc.
7576 Kingspointe Pkwy., Suite 188
Orlando, FL 32819
9781609910327 $28.95

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Download the Weird is the latest annual of bizarre and extraordinary wonders from Ripley Publishing. Illustrated with full-color photography throughout, Download the Weird showcases incredible things ranging from the icky to the miraculous, from the Inflatable Crowd Company whose rubber dummies substitute for human extras in a wide variety of popular movies, to a two-headed milk snake, a motorcycle designed to resemble the monsters from the movie "Aliens", a centipede that catches and eats bats, a dress made from human hair, an artist who creates works from her own vomit, a diversity of gut-wrenchingly gross human parasites, and much more! Readers of all ages will enjoy browsing the fantastic-yet-real creatures, people, and creations, a free downloadable app for Apple or Android allows one to check out kooky bonus content. Ripley's Believe It or Not! Download the Weird is sure to be a smash hit for anyone who enjoys learning about oddities that are wildly off the beaten path.

Living Nonviolent Communication
Marshall Rosenberg
Sounds True
413 South Arthur Avenue
Louisville, CO 80027
9781604077872, $17.95,

Violence should never be an option. "Living Nonviolent Communication: Practical Tools to Connect and Communicate Skillfully in Every Situation" is a guide to reaching out and promoting clearer and more spiritual communication in life. Drawing on the practice of 'Nonviolent Communication', Marshall Rosenberg has elaborated on the details of this practice and how it has flourished and helps readers improve their relationships. "Living Nonviolent Communication" is a strong pick for communication and self-help collections, recommended.

The Book for Dangerous Women
Clare Conville, Liz Hoggard, & Sarah-Jane Lovett
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
841 Broadway, 4th floor
New York, NY 10003
9780802120182, $20.00,

One will never get anywhere without taking any risks. "The Book for Dangerous Women: A Guide to Modern Life" follows three British women. Clare Conville, Liz Hoggard, & Sarah-Jane Lovett come together and give women everywhere witty advice on taking charge of their lives, and squeezing something much more out of it all. "The Book for Dangerous Women" is a fine addition for humor and inspirational collections, not to be overlooked.

The Education Shelf

Strategies For Learning Art Styles
Crystal Productions
PO Box 2159, Glenview, IL 60025-6159
9781562906603, $14.95, CP1855, 77pp.

"Strategies For Learning Art Styles" is a 72-page, spiral-bound workbook with lessons specifically developed to instruct and record students' understanding of thirty-two diverse art styles chronologically ranging from Prehistoric Art down the centuries and concluding with contemporary Installation Art. A page of questions regarding a specific art style (e.g. Greek Art) is faced with a page of Q&A answers for the teacher, a section of art activities thematically germane to that particular art style; and an appropriate internet exercise. Informed and informative, "Strategies For Learning Art Styles" will prove to be a welcome Art History curriculum supplement, and is especially recommended for home school teaching.

The Cookbook Shelf

Complete Cake Mix Magic
Jill Snider
Robert Rose Inc.
120 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 800
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4P 1E2
9780778804222 $24.95

Food stylist, recipe developer, and former Test Kitchen Manager of twenty-five years' experience Jill Snider presents Complete Cake Mix Magic: 300 Easy Desserts Good as Homemade, a guide to transforming cake mixes (especially the Duncan Hines brand) into sumptuous delicacies. A handful of full color photographs intersperse the step-by-step preparation instructions accessible to cooks of all skill and experience levels. From Queen Elizabeth Cake to Chocolate Orange Marble Cake, Bumbleberry Cheesecake, Toffee Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies, Apricot Upside-Down Cake, and more, Complete Cake Mix Magic is a dream for sweet tooths who are short on time! Practical-minded tips for knowing one's ingredients and kitchen tools round out this excellent, easy-to-follow cake-lover's cookbook.

America's Best Ribs
Ardie A. Davis & Paul Kirk
Andrews & McMeel
1130 Walnut Street
Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
9781449414139 $19.99

Barbecue champion chef Paul Kirk and "ambassador of barbecue" Ardie A. Davis present America's Best Ribs, a compilation of prizewinning rib recipes that enable one to savor the finest rib-lover's delights at home! In addition to recipes for many different types of meat and poultry, there are also recipes for sauces, side dishes, and something sweet for when it's all done. "America's Best Ribs" is a delicious exploration of barbecue flavor, complete with full color photography throughout.

Cooking for a Healthy Church
The Episcopal Medical Trust
Morehouse Publishing
4775 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg, PA 17112
9780819227607, $14.00,

Good nutrition should be the foundation of any family menu. "Cooking for a Healthy Church" is a spiritual and physical health cookbook as Morehouse Publishing compiles writings from the Episcopal Church Medical Trust as they bring out some 'soul' food of their own. Compiling traditional recipes with a touch of spirituality with every recipe, "Cooking for a Healthy Church" is a must for any church-going cook, much recommended.

The Big Book of Babycakes
Kathy Moore & Roxanne Wyss, authors
Robert Rose
120 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 800
Toronto, ON, Canada, M4P 1E2
9780778804178, $24.95,

"The Big Book of Babycakes: Cupcake Maker Recipes" is a fantastic new collection of cupcake maker recipes designed for Babycakes Cupcake makers, a fabulous new electric cooking appliance that makes much more than cupcakes. Here is a creative collection of recipes that begins with special instructions for how to use the Babycakes Cupcake Maker and how to bake and store your baked goods. Following are recipes for cupcakes, brownie bites, cheesecakes, pies, tarts, frostings and glazes, all in the Sweet Treats chapter. This is only the beginning of the show, however, continuing is a chapter called Mealtime Favorites with recipes for muffins and breads, breakfast and brunch bites, and lunch and dinner main dish pies. Then there is a specialty chapter for gluten-free and vegan treats and small treats for tots. Finally there is a chapter full of ideas for appetizers, finger foods, and hors d'oeuvres and treats for parties and special occasions. An internet support index plus mail order sources provides the final coda to this magnificent collection of stunning Babycakes creations. Recipes are clear, written with step by step instructions following a list of measurements and ingredients. Some unusual recipes that are Cheesecake Brownies, Spicy Texas Cheese Biscuits, Ham, Mushroom and Spinach Quiches, Green Chile Sausage Hand Pies, Chocolate Ale Pies, and Bacon Pecan Tassies. Enjoy learning to make these tiny tasty treats without heating up your entire oven and kitchen with "The Big Book of Babycakes."

Gooseberry Patch
6450 Lasalle Drive, Lockbourne, OH 43137

Three outstanding, pocket-sized cookbook collections from Gooseberry Patch will be welcome additions to family cookbook collections everywhere! "Kid-Friendly Recipes" (9781612810577, $7.95) showcases recipes that will have special appeal to young and finicky eaters with dishes ranging from Incredible Mini Burger Bites; Chinese Fried Rice; and Maple Popcorn Balls; to Sunny Lemonade Salad; Pizza Roll Snacks; and Honey-Pumpkin Pie. "Cake Mix Recipes" (9781612810560, $7.95) is a compendium of baked deserts ranging from Slice of Sunshine Cake; Boston Cream Cake; and Cherry Crisp Cobbler; to Pecan Pie Bars; Slow-Poke Turtle Bars; and Rabbit Scones. "Game-Day Recipes" is a cornucopia of culinary offerings ranging from Creole Craziness Popcorn Sprinkle; Hot-Hot Buffalo Wing Dip; and Mamma Mia Italian Stew; to Toffee Almond Treats; Cranberry Cocktail Sausages; and Sweet & Spicy Pork Ribs. Each of these inexpensive, 127-page, spiral bound, pocket-sized culinary collections are thoroughly 'user friendly', palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, highly recommended additions for personal and family cookbook collections.

The Travel Shelf

A Field Guide to Mineral Point
Nancy Pfotenhauer
Little Creek Press
5341 Sunny Ridge Road
Mineral Point, WI 53565
9780984924523 $18.00

A Field Guide to Mineral Point: The Buildings, Past and Present, of a Historic Wisconsin Town is a spiral-bound travel guide especially for Wisconsin tourists interested in exploring the fascinating history of Mineral Point, once a frontier town that boomed after the discovery of lead in 1828. A wealth of black-and-white photographs, both ancient and modern, illustrate this detailed, street-by-street guide to numerous historic buildings. Excerpts from local newspapers and historical publications supplement this excellent guide that will appeal to not only tourists, but also armchair travelers and anyone fascinated by Wisconsin's rich pioneer lore.

Israel & the Palestinian Territories
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street
Oakland CA 94607
9781741799361 $24.99

Featuring full-color maps and illustrations, including a pull-out map of Jerusalem, Israel & the Palestinian Territories is Lonely Planet's solid reference and resource to navigating Israel, covering restaurants, lodgings, holy sites, recreation, concise historical summaries, and much more. Easy to browse and use, Israel & the Palestinian Territories applies Lonely Planet's helpful, user-friendly format that makes looking up need-to-know information as simple as possible. Subsections of the guide are devoted especially to planning one's trip, understanding the land and its peoples, and a practical-minded "survival guide". Israel & the Palestinian Territories is a highly recommended "must-have" for anyone considering a trip to the region, whether for reasons of business, spirituality, or pleasure.

Meat London
Tom Howells & Thomas Blythe
Black Dog Publishing
10a Acton Street
London, England, WC1X 9NG
9781907317880, $14.95,

A handy, pocket-sized travel guide, "Meat London: An Insider's Guide" will prove to be of unique value for businessmen and tourists visiting London and wanting to sample the finest meat-bast cuisine the upscale restaurants of that venerable city have to offer. Beautifully illustrated, this 176-page compendium provides a two-page display for every showcased eating establishment that includes contact information and a succinct description of the restaurant's history and culinary offerings. As much fun to simply browse through as it is practical in planning itineraries, "Meat London: An Insider's Guide" is thoroughly 'user friendly' and a very highly recommended and specialized travel guide for London visitors.

Emma Thomson
Bradt Guides
9781841623771, $23.99,

Belgium holds much culture that's not quickly apparent to those taking the routine trip through Europe. "Flanders: Northern Belgium" is a travel guide for those who want to get the most out of their trip to this northern region of Belgium and experience its brews, its culture, and its history. Filled with detailed information and maps, "Flanders" is a strong addition to any European traveler reference collection.

A Room with a Pew
Richard Starks & Miriram Murcutt
Lyons Press
The Globe Pequot Press
246 Goose Lane, Suite 200
Guilford, CT 06437
9780762781454, $16.95,

Spain has a rich religious history, a clash of cultures from Africa and Europe. "A Room with a Pew: Sleeping Our Way Through Spain's Ancient Monasteries" is a travelogue as Richard Starks and Miriam Murcutt share their journey throughout Spain and its rich religious history, and meeting with the monks and nuns of the region, including the paths much less traveled. "A Room with a Pew" is a must for anyone who enjoys taking their own touristy pilgrimage, highly recommended.

Two Guys On the Road
Steve Chandler & Terrence N. Hill
Robert D. Reed Publishers
PO Box 1992, Bandon, OR 97411
9781934759639, $14.95,

We can all see our worlds so very differently. "Two Guys on the Road: Walking Backwards Across the World" is a unique sort of memoir as Steve Chandler and Terrence Hill come together compose another collection of writings, as they share their adventures through the world and their exclusive experiences and how they contrast with one another. Through postcards and letters, their adventures provide a revealing picture of the world. "Two Guys on the Road" is a fine addition to anyone seeking humor and memoirs of world travel.

The Nautical Shelf

World Voyage Planner
Jimmy Cornell, author
Charts by Ivan Cornell
Paradise Cay Publications
PO Box 29
Arcata, CA 95518-0029
9780957262607 $49.95

World Voyage Planner is a solid, at times technical guide written especially for experienced sailors planning an ocean voyage "from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world". Full-color photographs and a medley of navigation charts intersperse the in-depth chapters focusing on each corner of the globe. World Voyage Planner is written especially for recreational sailors, and is especially valuable for planning an optimal route that takes weather, ocean currents, and even the risk of piracy into account long before the trip begins. "According to Mike Dorsett an important feature [that a boat must have] on a world voyage is 'a larger than standard self-draining gas locker with space for additional tanks when cruising in areas where refilling them can be a problem.'The three most commonly mentioned pieces of essential equipment... were a watermaker, a strong autopilot preferably backed up by a wind-operated self-steering gear, and an automatic identification system (AIS)." An absolute "must-have" for serious ocean sailing and yachting enthusiasts.

Royal C. Moore: The Man Who Built the Streetcar Boats
Lori Cherland-McCune
Beaver's Pond Press
7108 Ohms Lane
Edina, MN 55439
9781592985340 $22.00

Royal C. Moore: The Man Who Built the Streetcar Boats is more than the biography of a driven Minnesota businessman who designed and constructed incredible, wooden streetcar boats during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; it's a celebration of the boats themselves, and the people who depended on them. A handful of vintage black-and-white photographs illustrate this reader-friendly chronicle of the streetcar boats' contribution to Great Lakes area trade. Nautical enthusiasts will love the tour de force of streetcar boat history!

The Uchuck Years
David Esson Young
Harbour Publishing
PO Box 219
Madeira Park, BC, Canada, V0N 2H0
9781550175820, $24.95,

Vancouver and its islands still hold much adventure in its seas. "The Uchuk Years" is a memoir from David Esson Young, who recalls his days with the Nootka Sound Service Limited Company for over sixty five years. Young tells of his journeys through the four incarnations of the Uchuck vessel, in this down to earth tale of modern oceanfaring and how it can shape lives. "The Uchuk Years" is a must for any nautical collection dealing in memoirs.

The Automotive Shelf

Competition Engine Building
John Baechtel
CarTech Inc.
39966 Grand Avenue
North Branch, MN 55056
9781934709627, $29.95,

There's building a functional engine, and then there's pushing oneself to be the best. "Competition Engine Building: Advanced Engine Design and Assembly Techniques" is a guide to competitive engine construction from John Baechtel, who advises readers on the highest end cutting edge techniques needed to make engines that will perform far and above the call of duty. With full color photography all throughout, for any auto junkie who wants to rise to the competitive level, "Competition Engine Building" is a strong pick for any hobbyist auto enthusiast collection.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Zombies at Tiffany's
Sam Stone
9781845830724, $15.78,

There's more to diamonds that just them looking pretty. "Zombies at Tiffany's" is a steampunk novel from Sam Stone, taking a humorous twist on the genres of steampunk and zombies. Kat Lightfoot thought she was set when she scored a job at Tiffanys in 1862. But the streets begin crawling with people prophecizing the time of darkness, and she has to learn the other applications of diamonds in her work place. "Zombies at Tiffany's" is a fun read that shouldn't be overlooked, highly recommended.

To Catch a Vampire
Jennifer Harlow
Midnight Ink
2143 Wooddale Drive
Woodbury, MN 55125-2989
9780738727110, $14.99,

What was at first an act turns into something more. "To Catch a Vampire" is a suspense and mystery novel of the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad, as telekinesis specialist Beatrice Alexander works with Vampire Oliver Montrose to infiltrate a group of vampires in Dallas. Posing as husband and wife, their link grows stronger, and the secrets they keep may have nothing on the secrets among them. For those who love a bit of supernatural fantasy blended with their mystery, "To Catch a Vampire" is a riveting work, hard to put down mystery, highly recommended.

John Skipp, editor
Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers
151 West 19th Street
New York, NY 10011
9781579128289, $18.95,

The shambling, unstoppable dead have become a pop culture fascination. "Zombies: Encounters with the Hungry Dead" is a collection of short stories from some of fiction's most accomplished authors such as Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury and others. They come together to present their own take on the zombie, shambling dead ever consuming wrought from what was once called human. "Zombies" is a strong pick for any fan of horror and short fiction, especially of the zombie variety, highly recommended.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Being Well
Elana Rosenbaum
Shambhala Publications, Inc.
300 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, MA 02115-4544
9781611800005, $14.95,

Piece of mind is not just for the physically healthy. "Being Well: (Even When You're Sick): Mindfulness Practices for People with Cancer and Other Serious Illnesses" is a spirituality and mental well being guide from Elana Rosenbaum who advises readers on trying to find that healthy mindset and keeping it through life, despite the tolls of stress or illness. "Being Well" is a must for any spiritual health collection, highly recommended. Also from Shambhala for wellness is "The Healing Power of the Breath" (9781590309025, $17.95), touching on the value of breath and healing for improving one's general health.

A Still and Quiet Place
Hope Lyda
Harvest House Publishers
990 Owen Loop North
Eugene, Oregon 97402-9173
9780736942348, $17.99,

A silent point in our lives is times to think and enjoy what one has. "A Still and Quiet Place: Gentle Words to Calm Your Soul" is a collection of thoughts on silence and tranquility as Hope Lyda presents an insightful exploration of the soul and the devotion to God that we find in our everyday lives and in finding peace. "A Still and Quiet Place" is a strong pick for spirituality and as an excellent choice for a gift book.

Using the Power of Hope to Cope with Dying
Cathleen Fanslow-Brunjes
Quill Driver Books
2006 South Mary
Fresno, CA 93721
9781610350242, $16.95,

Death is a terrifying thing, and we don't know how terrifying it is until we're looking it in the eyes. "Using the Power of Hope to Cope with Dying: The Four Stages of Hope" is an inspirational read for those who are facing the ends of their lives and those who are caring for these people in their roughest hour of need. Outlining the "Hope System", Cathleen Fanslow-Brunjes gives readers something to live by, and potentially die by. "Using the Power of Hope to Cope with Dying" is strongly recommended to spirituality collections.

The Memoir Shelf

Psychic Blues
Mark Edward
Feral House
PO Box 39910
Los Angeles, CA 90039
9781936239276, $18.95,

Psychics are never as such. "Psychic Blues: Confessions of a Conflicted Medium" is a memoir from Mark Edward, who touches on his career as a mentalist, performing cold readings to act as if he is connecting people to their dead relatives, read minds, among other things that may be thought of as supernatural. Describing the techniques of the mentalist and how he performs the supernatural by simply being mundane, "Psychic Blues" is an enticing and creative spin into the world of mentalists and so called 'psychics'.

Fauna & Family
Gerald Durrell
David R. Godine Publisher
PO Box 450, Jaffrey, NH 03452
9781567924411, $15.95,

The people around us define our lives and very being. "Fauna & Family: More Durell Family Adventures on Corfu" is a collection of memoir from Gerald Durrell as he recollects his childhood, with a focus on family and the local people who made up his youth. Telling a poignant story of nature and coming of age when everyone around you seems slightly insane, "Fauna & Family" is a strong addition to history and memoir collections, and a choice pick for those who want a pre-war look at the Isle of Corfu.

The Shining Levels
John Wyatt
Little Toller Books
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7
Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
9781908213037, $22.95,

Little bits of nature all through the world offer us samples of very different things all over the world. "The Shining Levels" is a memoir from the late John Wyatt, who writes on the unique freedom that he found in the Lakewood region in the United Kingdom, exploring the draw that nature brought him there and musing on the rustic life that many in the world have already left behind. "The Shining Levels" is an enticing piece of writing ont he topics of the forests and naturism, very much recommended reading for anyone with an interest the lost outdoors.

Take a Shot!
Jake Steinfeld
Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100
Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781401940270, $24.95,

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. "Take a Shot!: A Remarkable Story of Perseverance, Friendship, and Really a Crazy Adventure" is a memoir of taking risks and what comes forth when one dares to do so. Jake Steinfeld tells of he and Dave Morrow, and their gambit to create a national sports league for lacrosse, and the obstacle course that sat in front of them and their expertise in making it work. An uplifting memoir of business success, and beating adversity, "Take a Shot!" is a powerful and recommended addition to self-help and memoir collections, with possible interest for those who love lacrosse.

Dead Man Breathing
Billy Jack & A'Leta McDaniel
Winepress Publishing Group
1730 Railroad Street
Enumclaw, WA 98022
9781606152171, $15.99,

As we are pushed towards death, there are events we shouldn't have survived. "Dead Man Breathing" is a memoir of Billy Jack McDaniel as he recounts his own certain death, being caught in a towering inferno in an oil field that by all odds should have claimed his life. Instead, he survived with severe burns and little outlook for survival. With the help of a devoted wife, Billy Jack regains the will to live and attains a life very much worth living. "Dead Man Breathing" is a fine addition to any memoir collection focusing on tragedy and the triumph over it.

Caveat Emptor
Ken Perenyi
Pegasus Books
80 Broad Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10004
9781605983608, $27.95,

Art can be worth millions...which can make a sublime mimic worth millions. "Caveat Emptor: The Secret Life of an American Art Forger" tells the story of Ken Perenyi, a famed art forger and gained the attention of the FBI with his explicit skill in producing forgeries of major art works. Gaining a reputation as America's most talented art forger, he shares his unique career and life of working under deception. "Caveat Emptor" is a riveting delve into the art world and the underworld that lives on beneath it.

Reynolds Price
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781439183496, $25.00,

As we approach the end of our lives, we want to leave something for the world to remember us by. "Midstream: An Unfinished Memoir" is a memoir from Reynolds Price, held as a major voice in Southern fiction throughout the twentieth and early twenty first centuries. He shares his life story, which is cut off due to his sudden death, sharing his experiences and what morphed him into the writer he became, and the man he became. "Midstream" is a strong pick for memoir collections, especially those with a focus on figures of modern literature.

And Live Rejoicing
Huston Smith
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way
Novato, CA 94949
9781608680719, $15.95,

A search for greater enlightenment is a search that never ends. "And Live Rejoicing: Chapters from a Charmed Life" is a spiritual memoir from Huston Smith, a renown world traveler who has dedicated much of his life to seeing the faiths of the world and gaining greater insight to the bonds that we all share. Touching on his encounters with remarkable people and what he has ultimately learned, "And Live Rejoicing" is a fine pick for those who seek greater understanding and education out of their lives.

Snakes in My Dreams
Dr. Mike Deninger
Unrivaled Books
c/o Health Communications, Inc.
3201 S.W. 15th Street
Deerfield Beach, FL 33442-8190
9781613601099, $21.95,

When the world seems so hateful it can be a tough weight to shake off. "Snakes in My Dreams: A Mental Health Therapist's Odyssey from Hardship to Healer" is author Dr. Mike Derringer's own struggles with mental health problems, telling of his own dark time and struggles with sexuality issues as well substance abuse. Drawn to help others like himself, "Snakes in My Dreams" is a fine memoir for anyone seeking one that touches on psychology, PTSD, and LGBT issues, recommended.

The Farm at Holstein Dip
Carroll Engelhardt
University of Iowa Press
100 Kuhl House
119 West Park Road
Iowa City, IA 52242-1000
9781609381172, $22.00,

The farm upbringing grows rarer in today's society. "The Farm at Holstein Dip: An Iowa Boyhood" is a memoir from Carroll Engelhardt who delves into his own history and upbringing in the farms of Iowa, and recounts his German and Norwegian roots and his delve into his deep history. Reflecting on the rapid changes that the past fifty years have brought, "The Farm at Holstein Dip" is a strong addition to any history and memoir collection, much recommended.

You're Married to Her?
Ira Wood
Leapfrog Press
PO Box 2110
Teaticket, MA 02536
9781935248255, $15.95,

The most unusual bonds can often be the strongest. "You're Married to Her?" tells of the unique romance between Ira Wood and a woman much older than himself. The bond of their true love was forged in spite of their age difference, affecting his journey through manhood and his career. "You're Married to Her?" is a work of true life romance, very much recommended reading.

Surviving Cancer After Surviving Cancer
Kevin L. Murphy
Headline Books, Inc.
PO Box 52, Terra Alta, WV 26764
9780938467403, $19.95,

Even as the disease is purged from one's body, its scars still burn. "Surviving Cancer After Surviving Cancer: Coping with the Emotional Side of Cancer" is a memoir from Kevin L. Murphy as he shares his own pain of survival with his cancer-afflicted wife. Their relationship was rocky, but their problems were put aside when her disease struck, and although they survived the cancer, their relationship did not. "Surviving Cancer After Surviving Cancer" is a powerful memoir on the impact of cancer and how it alters our lives.

We Shall Not Be Moved
Tom Wooten
Beacon Press
25 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108-2892
9780807044636, $25.95,

Nature's fury permanently changes lives. "We Shall Not Be Moved: Rebuilding Home in the Wake of Katrina" is a memoir of coping with the force of Hurricane Katrina and the untold damage it did to New Orleans, placing them behind meters of water. Telling of their struggles to rebuild and reclaim their home, this read proves both tragic and inspiring, as Tom Wooten shares his personal experience, and the tells the stories of others in the struggle. "We Shall Not Be Moved" is a must for memoir collections focusing on the many tales of this historical disaster.

Bogus Allegations
Michelle Lombardi Gesse
Johnson Books
c/o Big Earth Publishing
3660 Mitchell Lane, Suite E., Boulder, CO 80301
9781555664503, $17.95,

It's supposed to be innocent until proven guilty, right? "Bogus Allegations: The Injustice of Guilty Until Proven Innocent" is the memoir of criminology and law of Michelle Lombardi Gesse as she tells of her husband's accusation of a crime, as she shares the struggle against the system that she feels assumes guilt and leaves it to the burden of proving one's own innocence. "Bogus Allegations" is an intriguing look at the struggles of the accused in the modern American legal system.

Fat No More
Alberto Hidalgo-Robert
Pinata Books
c/o Arte Publico Press
University of Houston
4902 Gulf Fwy, Bldg 19, Rm 100
Houston, TX 77204-2004
9781558857452, $16.95,

Obesity is a problem that carries countless other problems along with it. "Fat No More: A Teenager's Victory Over Obesity" is a memoir from Alberto Hidalgo-Robert as he shares his story how he faced down the problems of obesity as a young boy, sharing his struggles to get his weight down and the failures it had. Outcast by his peers, he finally found his method that worked, and he shares his journey in hopes that it will inspire others to follow his path. "Fat No More" is a strong addition to any health and memoir collection.

The Poetry Shelf

When Eyes Meet Over the Minestrone
Jonathan Russell
Birch Brook Press
PO Box 81
Delhi, NY 13753
9780984200344 $15.00

When Eyes Meet Over the Minestrone is a compilation of free-verse poetry about attraction, love, and heartbreak, both within and without the realm of marriage. As capricious as the whims of the human heart, When Eyes Meet Over the Minestrone balances the high-flying joys and the crushing disillusionments of emotions out of control. A swift yet thoughtful read, When Eyes Meet Over the Minestrone is highly recommended. "Hearts to Ransom": Lost love is a stood up tryst / where only memories meet, / and walk on air with the wind at our feet. / With her flock of the sky, she walks in her sleep, / and faithfully we follow as a bleat from its sheep. / She glides on air with the wind in her hair, / we are swept like a fly beside her there. / Like the grave of her soul, we await the remains / of the love for which we shall weep in vain.

pH Neutral History
Lidija Dimkovska
Copper Canyon Press
PO Box 271
Port Townsend, WA 98368
9781556593758, $16.00,

Europe as we know it has long since changed. "pH Neutral History" is a collection of poetry from Macedonian poet Lidija Dimkovska, bringing his take on the world, and brought to English by Ljubica Arsovka & Peggy Reid, bringing his work to life in another language. "pH Neutral History" is a read well worth considering, highly recommended. "Care": I wash the soup ladle as though I'm washing a baby's head,/with profound understanding I give it the complete treatment --/and I have been longing for a lice-destroying hair dyer/or a similar device against foreign bodies in the head,/but the world was slow when humanity was in question,/and fast when I stood at crossroads moving neither forward nor backward/and watched people and events of neither this nor that world.

Whatever Sends the Music Into Time
Leah Fritz
Salmon Poetry
Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7
Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
97819088636007, $22.95,

Rhythm and music can cross time without translation. "Whatever Sends the Music Into Time" is a collection of poetry from Leah Fritz, who discusses anything and everything about our world as we try to piece it all together. With critical acclaim, Fritz's work proves to be something to look out for with "Whatever Sends the Music Into Time", highly recommended. "Epitaph for My Father": It was nice of you to say goodbye/and wait until we were all grown up/ to die.

The Winter Sleep of Captain Lemass
Harry Clifton
Wake Forest University Press
PO Box 7333
Winston-Salem, NC 27109
9781930630604, $14.95,

The Irish cultural identity is always looking for its place in today's society. "The Winter Sleep of Captain Lemass" is a collection of poetry from established poet and author Harry Clifton as he expands his experience and continues to muse on the lost place of Ireland. Thoughtful and world weary, "The Winter Sleep of Captain Lemass" is a strong addition to any international poetry collections. "At Toome": There was a pheasant somewhere around,/Croaking; drowned out/By the small birds/Nearer. Would it enter the yard/And dazzle us, or be lost/In the morning, in the wet fields/Leveling out amazement?//A door was opened, a comment made./Somebody flung a bucket of slops/Across the air. In the silence/New and frightened,/Finches, tits, the little birds,/An army helicopter heard,/Moved in, to their feeding-grounds.

The American History Shelf

Swedes in Michigan
Rebecca J. Mead
University of Michigan Press
839 Greene Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3209
9781611860412, $12.95,

Michigan, much like America, was made by many people coming together and making a truly unique blend of culture. "Swedes in Michigan" is another entry in the Discovering the Peoples of Michigan series, this time focusing on the Swedish Americans who came to the state and made their own impact on the state. Analyzing the Swedish culture and how it was infused into Michigan through public policy, business, education, and much more, "Swedes in Michigan" is an intriguing exploration of American anthropology, highly recommended.

Wicked Western Slope
D.A. Brockett
The History Press
635 Rutledge Ave., Suite 107
Charleston, SC 29403
9781609495701 $19.99

Wicked Western Slope: Mayhem, Mischief & Murder in Colorado lives up to its title with a collection of vignettes about the criminal history of Colorado's Western Slope, which during the time of the Wild West used to be a land of drink, gambling, thieving, and worse. From forced prostitution and white slavery, to crimes of passion, to cold-blooded murder, Wicked Western Slope is brimming with true tales of iniquity on the rough-and-tumble frontier. A luridly fascinating slice of the darker side of American History, Wicked Western Slope is thoroughly accessible to readers everywhere who are curious about Colorado's dirty deeds.

The Christian Studies Shelf

50 Days of Hope
Lynn Eib
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive
Carol Stream, IL 60188
9781414364490 $13.99

Colon cancer survivor Lynn Eib presents 50 Days of Hope: Daily Inspiration for Your Journey through Cancer, a compilation of God's wisdom from Biblical passages that is directly applicable to the trials that those diagnosed with cancer must face. "I believe I have a heavenly Father who loves me, watches over me, and has good plans for my life. So why did a nice girl like me get a not-nice thing like cancer? The reality is that God's Word never promises that He will stop all bad things from happening to us. On the contrary, it promises us that He is prepared for each battle and will equip us too. 'The Message' paraphrases 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 this way: 'We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken.'" A profound and powerful resource of spiritual wisdom, 50 Days of Hope is an excellent read for any and all Christians struggling with great troubles, not just those fighting the battle against cancer. Also highly recommended is the author's previous book, "When God & Cancer Meet" (9780842370158, $13.99).

Thriving in Leadership
Karen A. Longman
Abilene Christian University Press
1626 Campus Court, Abilene, TX 79601
9780891122296, $24.99,

Good leadership is needed in any field, especially when training the leaders of tomorrow. "Thriving in Leadership: Strategies for Making a Difference in Christian Higher Education" is a guide for those involved in Christian Higher Education to help their students in Christian colleges and universities, and inspiring values that will stay with students for years to come. From student government, the classroom, and sharing stories from others in their tales of leadership, "Thriving in Leadership" is to be considered for anyone leading in a Christian academic environment.

10 Life-Charged Words
Derek Maul
Upper Room Books
PO Box 340003
Nashville, TN 37203-0003
9780835811163, $16.00,

Men often lose sight of their faith more quickly than women. "10 Life-Charged Words" is a Christian inspirational guide from Derek Maul, who presents many tales of helping men retain and charge their lives more effectively. Drawing on personal anecdotes, ideas to consider, and things to talk about with other Christian men for their lives. "10 Life-Charged Words" is a strong addition to Christian and inspirational collections, much recommended.

Tullian Tchividjian
Multnomah Books
12265 Oracle Blvd., Suite 200
Colorado Springs, CO 80921
9781601434105, $14.99,

Sometimes the right thing isn't the most popular thing. "Unfashionable: Making a Difference in the World by Being Different" is a Christian empowerment guide that advises readers to go against trends if they feel that is what required of them to make a positive impact in the world, much like Jesus had done two thousand years ago. "Unfashionable" is an empowering read for Christians and those who want to make a difference in general, recommended.

Fearing the Stigmata
Matt Weber
Loyola Press
3441 North Ashland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60657
9780829437362, $13.95,

The Stigmata, spontaneous bleeding holes upon one's hands and feet, are marks of virtuous Catholicism. "Fearing the Stigmata" is a collection of humorous short stories from Matt Weber, as he draws on his experiences of trying to be a good Catholic while evading the Stigmata, something he viewed avoiding as well worth the stigmata. Touching on faith and modern life, Weber comes with plenty of moving stories of life and advises young Catholics how to keep the spirit strong in these trying times. "Fearing the Stigmata" is a strong addition to any Catholicism collection focusing on modern life.

Unlocking the Treasure
Bev Roozeboom
Westbow Press
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781449715991, $16.95,

When faced with a child who isn't like all the others, panic can wrongfully set in. "Unlocking the Treasure: A Bible Study for Moms Entrusted with Special-Needs Children" is a guide for mothers of special needs children who are often conflicted on what to do with their children who have a diagnosis such as bipolar disorder, autism, or other childhood disabilities. Drawing from faith, Bev Roozeboom advises readers to encourage greater dedication to their children and making them feel like they really belong. "Unlocking the Treasure" is to be considered for Christian parents, recommended.

Dreaming of More
Michelle Anthony
David C. Cook
4050 Lee Vance View, Colorado Springs, CO 80918
9781434700162, $14.99,

Faith and family go together often. "Dreaming of More For the Next Generation: Lifetime Faith Ignited by Family Ministry" is a Christian guide that encourages families to inspire life long faith and inspiration in their children's life, encouraging them to become spiritual leaders themselves and much more. "Dreaming of More for the Next Generation" is a strongly recommended addition to Christian family collections for those who want to inspire greater faith from themselves and those they love.

Taking Jesus at His Word
Addison Hodges Hart
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
2140 Oak Industrial Drive, NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780802866912, $18.00,

The words of Christ hold power, and they can all too often be overlooked. "Taking Jesus at His Word: What Jesus Really Said In the Sermon on the Mount" explores the words of Christ in the context of the legendary sermon, seeking to resonate his message genuinely with the modern era, which has been distorted in the modern day, as retired pastor Addison Hodges hart seeks to advise modern Christians to follow Christ's lead. "Taking Jesus at His Word" is a much recommended addition to Christian Studies collections.

The One Year Devotions for Women
Ann Spangler
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive
Carol Stream, IL 60188
9781414336022, $15.99,

Finding peace in a world that expects so much from you has proven so difficult for many women. "The One Year Devotions for Women: Becoming a Woman at Peace" is a collection of inspirational and faith driven passages for everyday of the year as Ann Spangler presents much for women to ponder and help women find peace throughout their lives and how to put it all together. "The One Year Devotion for Women" is a strong addition to any Christian studies or woman's inspirational collection.

The Art of Faith
Judith Couchman
Paraclete Press
PO Box 1568
Orleans, MA 02653
9781557256300, $22.99,

Art is founded heavily and symbolism, which risks flying over the viewer's head. "The Art of Faith: A Guide to Understanding Christian Images" is a Christian spirituality guide as Judith Coachman coaches readers on how to better understand the ins and outs of Christian art work and how to connect them all together and get the most out of many famed Christian works of art. "The Art of Faith" is a must for those who want to gain greater education in Christian artwork.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works Volume II
Fortress Press
P.O. Box 1209
Minneapolis, MN 55440-1209
9780800698386, $60.00,

On the eve of the Third Reich, there was much changing. "Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works Volume II: Ecumenical, Academic, and Pastoral Work 1931-1932" is the second entry into the series covering the man's woks and his writings. At the time, Bonhoeffer was entering the second half of his twenties; he returned to Germany shortly before Hitler's rise to power, and the Third Reich would eventually claim his life. In his short forty years, he gained much influence on the role of Christianity in a secular world. "Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works Volume II" is a must for any world history collection and for Christian studies as well.

Telling the Gospel Through Story
Christine Dillon
InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400
Downers Grove, IL 605151426
9780830837946, $15.00,

Narrative is a powerful tool. "Telling the Gospel Through Story: Evangelism That Keeps Hearers Wanting More" is a guide for those who want to share the gospel through the power of storytelling. Christine Dillon touches on how to tell a better story through scripture, and making sure your story connects with your audience. "Telling the Gospel Through Story" is a must for general Christian collections focusing on ministry.

Adam, God's Beloved
Henri J. M. Nouwen
Orbis Books
PO Box 308
Maryknoll, NY 10545-0308
9781570759949, $20.00,

Through God, new strength can be found. "Adam, God's Beloved" is a Christian inspirational and memoir from Henri J. M. Nouwen as he recounts his friendship with a handicapped young man, Adam. Through their friendship, Henri writes of how Adam's drive sought to inspire him to greater success and higher potential in his life. "Adam, God's Beloved" is a powerful read, the last work of priest Henri J. M. Nouwen, a faithfully inspiring one as well.

Liguori Publications
1 Liguori Drive
Liguori, MO 63057-9999

Two books by Pia Septien, a biblical instructor at the University of Dallas School of Ministry, tells Christians of all backgrounds about notable women of the Bible and the moral lessons they have for us today. "Women of the Old Testament: Their Lives, Our Hope" (9780764822049, $8.99) tells of women who acted on behalf of their community (Miriam and Abigail); who suffered abuse and neglect (Hagar, Leah, and Michal); and who demonstrated immense wisdom (Hannah, the woman of Proverbs 31); and who embodied pro-life values (Ruth, Shiphrah and Puah). "Women of the New Testament: Their Lives, Our Hope" (9780764822162, $8.99) discusses women who saw God in the child Jesus (Mary mother of Jesus, Elizabeth mother of John the Baptist, and Anna the prophetess); women who understood God's paramount greatness (friends of Jesus Martha and Mary, Lydia, and the first witness of Christ's resurrection Mary Magdalene); and women who personally experienced the salvation brought by Jesus. Each of these stories is couched with thought-provoking questions for personal reflection, group questions and activities, suggested resolutions, prayers, and more. Although Women of the Old Testament and Women of the New Testament are written primarily from a Catholic perspective, with special attention paid to the meaning of Catholic catechisms, Christians of all denominations can draw inspiration from these excellent supplemental Bible study guides. Highly recommended.

The Philosophy Shelf

Dungeons & Dragons and Philosophy
Jon Cogburn and Mark Silcox, editors
Open Court Publishing Company
70 East Lake Street, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60601
9780812697964 $19.95

Part of an excellent series of books exploring the intersection of various popular culture phenomena and philosophy, Dungeons & Dragons and Philosophy: Raiding the Temple of Wisdom is an anthology of essays by a diversity of learned authors. Each essay explores a different, thought-provoking angle of the popular pen-and-paper role playing game: how can it be morally acceptable to play characters of evil alignment? Can the role-playing game experience be considered art? What can inventing and exploring the stories of game characters tell us about ourselves? Accessible to readers of all backgrounds, Dungeons & Dragons and Philosophy will prove especially enjoyable to philosophers and cerebral gamers alike.

Breaking Bad and Philosophy
David R. Koepsell & Robert Arp
Open Court Publishing Company
70 East Lake Street, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 60601
9780812697643, $19.95,

The delve into darkness is what makes the hit television series Breaking Bad so enticing. "Breaking Bad and Philosophy: Badder Living Through Chemistry" explores the series and its brushes with philosophy, including how it skews the morality of the modern day and the touches on the nature of humanity, drugs, and everything in between. Compiled by many thinkers, "Breaking Bad and Philosophy" is a much recommended pick for fans of the show or Open Court's Pop Culture and Philosophy series.

The Fiction Shelf

Gary Hart
Fulcrum Publishing
4690 Table Mountain Drive, Suite 100
Golden, Colorado 80403
9781555916701, $15.95,

Water is very important, and is something very much worth fighting for. "Durango" blends the common themes of the American west into a modern western town in Colorado as the town of Durango faces a crisis over who controls its water supply. A close knit-community explodes and may be going at one another's throats. Daniel Sheridan, accused for a shady role in the conflict, returns to his home town and sees much to settle. "Durango" is a fine literary and contemporary read that combines themes well, highly recommended.

The Serpent's Bite
Warren Adler
Stonehouse Press
c/o Greenleaf Book Group
PO Box 91869, Austin, TX 78709
9781590060445, $21.95,

Jounryes allow for great bonding between many. "The Serpent's Bite" is a novel following George Temple, a man who wants to reconnect with his estranged adult children, using a path in the Yellowstone Wilderness that they all had enjoyed twenty years earlier. But nostalgia blinds them, as his family may be more lost to him than he really knows. A story of drama, selfishness, evil, and a tragic story of the lost nature of some families, "The Serpent's Bite" is a fine and much recommended addition to contemporary literary fiction collections.

Sweet Land of Bigamy
Miah Arnold
F&W Publications, Inc.
c/o F+W Media
4700 East Galbraith Road
Cincinnati, OH 45236
9781440541896, $24.95,

Polygamy has been outlawed in Utah for many years...and it doesn't matter if you want multiple wives or multiple husbands. "Sweet Land of Bigamy" is a novel following conflicted Helen Motes, who due to her husband serving out the conflict in Iraq, she finds herself tempted by roping another man into marriage. Helen soon regrets her questionable actions and delve into Utah's old shame, and is stuck between two men and no easy way to choose, or any other easy way out of her situation. "Sweet Land of Bigamy" is a twist on contemporary fiction and romance, highly recommended.

The Politics of Barbecue
Blake Fontenay
John F. Blair Publisher
1406 Plaza Drive, Winston-Salem, NC 27103
9780895875853, $24.95,

Good food should be free from the foul taste of politics, but when competition enters into it, it can become a war worse than any presidential race. "The Politics of Barbecue" is a fun delve into the world of barbecue in Memphis, Tennesee. Pete Pigg has a booming business, and keeps it that way by getting himself elected mayor and creating a Barbecue Hall of Fame in his honor. When some sour deals start to bubble over, it all starts to fall apart. With some allegory to modern politics, "The Politics of Barbecue" is a fun and much recommended pick, highly recommended.

If I Could Tell You
Hannah Brown
Vantage Point
419 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016
9781936467266, $14.95,

To make something better for the next generation is every parent's goal. "If I Could Tell You" is a novel of family, as four women come together bound by their shared bond of having an Autistic child, as each of them pursues what they can do with all the success and failure that comes with this difficult endeavor. A story of parenthood and Autism, "If I Could Tell You" is a much recommended read for those seeking inspirational fiction, or for autistic parents looking for support as well.

Gone to the Forest
Katie Kitamura
The Free Press
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020
9781451656640, $15.00,

The bond between father and son is at times strenuous at best. "Gone to the Forest" is a novel of family as Tom and his father deal with the loss of their mother and wife on their farm. The loss has set the two of them against each other, and in a town as divided as they are. As Carine arrives in their life, things are going to get a lot worst before they get better. "Gone to the Forest" is an enticing addition to any contemporary fiction collection.

Tiger Hills
Sarita Mandanna
Pintail Book
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor
New York, NY 10014
9780670066933, $16.00,

A bond of a lifetime is a powerful thing, but it only can go so far. "Tiger Hills" is a novel of two individuals, a girl called Devi and Devanna, a young boy. The two come of age as the turn of the twentieth century approaches, meeting with a famed tiger hunter, whose relationship with them and his acts will change much in both of their lives, as well as their descendants. "Tiger Hills" is an enticing read of generational fiction, much recommended.

Heading Out to Wonderful
Robert Goolrick
Algonquin Books
PO Box 2225
Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2225
9781565129238, $24.95,

A new face into a small town changes things, although not always for the worst. "Heading Out to Wonderful" is a novel of 1949 Valley of Virginia, as Charlie Beale enters the lives of the people of the region, with nothing more than his few possessions and more than a little cash. Establishing strong ties to the town, his lust and love of a teenaged bride of the richest man in town may rock the foundation of the town. "Heading Out to Wonderful" is an enticing and much recommended addition to literary fiction collections.

The Company
Chuck Graham
Winepress Publishing Group
1730 Railroad Street
Enumclaw, WA 98022
9781414120904, $18.99,

With mankind on the brink of extinction, how many look to God for guidance? "The Company" is a novel set as one of the last villages of humanity struggles as a meteor strikes and wipes many off the face of the planet. Sam Mitchell, an engineer charged with powering the last village of Brigos Glen, hears a call in the distance, and finds that his charge may be Biblical in nature. "The Company" is an enticing bit of Christian fiction, using allegory to explore a post-apocalyptic world.

No Animals We Could Name
Ted Sanders
Graywolf Press
250 Third Avenue North, Suite 600
Minneapolis, MN 55401
9781555976163, $15.00,

There are creatures out there we can't understand, but encounters make for much intriguing story telling. "No Animals We Could Name" is a collection of short fiction from Ted Sanders as he explores animals beyond the normal and usual and presents a twist of fate of what we expect of the world, and the conflicts between man and nature. With much humor and creativity, "No Animals We Could Name" is a fine assortment of stories, enthusiastically recommended.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Lupe Velez
Michelle Vogel
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611
Jefferson NC 28640
9780786461394, $45.00,

As the film camera took center stage, the stars began to come out. "Lupe Velez: The Life and Career of Hollywood's 'Mexican Spitfire'" tells the story of one of the earliest Latina Movie starlets, who embraced the new Hollywood lifestyle fullest, for all of its good and all of its bad. Seeking to explore the myths that have clouded Velez's legacy, including her impact on modern film. "Lupe Velez" is a must for anyone curious in the stories of early Hollywood.

The Computer Shelf

Deploying Rails
Anthony Burns and Tom Copeland
Pragmatic Programmers
P.O. Box 293325
Lewisville, TX 75029-3325
9781934356951, $30.00,

An application needs to be able to run on its own, without constant input from its programmer. "Deploying Rails: Automate, Deploy, Scale, Maintain, and Sleep at Night" is a guide to the Ruby tool Rails, designed for automating servers effectively. Tom Copeland, an experienced Ruby coder, provides his insights and ideas on making the most out of the programs and make it all work together more harmoniously. For anyone coding in Ruby, "Deploying Rails" is an essential reference for taking one's programming skills to the next level.

HTML5 Canvas and CSS3 Graphics Primer
Oswald Campesato
Mercury Books
c/o International Publishers Marketing
22841 Quicksilver Drive
Dulles, VA 20166
9781936420346, $39.95,

A picture is worth a thousand words, and that makes graphics the biggest focus of the next incarnations of web languages. "HTML5 Canvas and CSS3 Graphics Primer" is a guide to the latest updates to the HTML5 and CSS3 languages, focusing on their graphical capabilities. Chapters cover HTML5 Canvas, SVG, Linear Gradients, and all the details for maximizing one's potential with these programs. "HTML5 Canvas and CSS3 Graphics Primer" is a vital and strongly recommended technical reference, reinforced by a companion CD-ROM which presents much example source code and ideas to take the next level.

The Photography Shelf

Beartooth Country
Mervin D. Coleman
Farcountry Press
PO Box 5630
Helena, MT 59604
9781560375241, $12.95,

Nature unspoiled is truly a sight to see. "Beartooth Country: The Absaroka and Beartooth Ranges" is a collection of nature photography set in the wilderness surrounding the town of Cody, Wyoming, one of the largest intact ecosystems one can find in a temperate climate. For lovers of nature who want a vast collection of beautiful full color photography, "Beartooth Country" is a compilation well worth considering.

The Parenting Shelf

Hot Buttons
Nicole O'Dell
Kregel Publications
PO Box 2607
Grand Rapids, MI 49501
9780825442391, $9.99,

The internet is an invaluable tool...but is also frightening for parents. "Hot Buttons: Internet Edition" is an advisory and Christian parenting guide from Nicole O'Dell as she brings readers into the endeavors of parenting in the internet era, as she advises how parents to lay down guidelines and drawing on Biblical scripture for extra guidance. "Hot Buttons" is a parenting guide to be considered for those intimidated by the internet and with kids who aren't so intimidated.

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Eric Powell
Jorge Khoury & Eric Nolen-Weathington
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive
Raleigh, NC 27614
9781605490410, $15.95,

Good art only takes you so far, you also need to bring something unique to the table. "Eric Powell: Modern Masters Volume Twenty-Eight" focuses on the work of famed comic artist Eric Powell who created his own type of hero in 'The Goon'. With his unique taste of art that's not afraid of whisking in the cute with the gritty realism to tell a very different type of tale, "Eric Powell" is a must for any who want to gain a greater appreciation for the art in the modern comic world.

The Business Shelf

The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave
Leigh Branham
Amacom Books
1601 Broadway
New York, NY 10019
9780814417584, $24.95,

A good employee is hard to replace, and that's why a high turnover rate is a terrible thing. "The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave: How to Recognize the Subtle Signs and Act Before It's Too Late" explores the nature of employees quitting, as Leigh Branham explores what sets employees off of the job. Exploring the nature of worker expectations not being met, wrong career for the wrong, lack of guidance, and much more. "The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave" is a must for managers and administrators who want to make sure the people they hire are in for the long haul.

The Pivot Point
Victoria M. Grady & James D. Grady
Morgan James Publishing
4410 E Claiborne Square, Suite 334
Hampton VA 23666-2071
9781614483007, $14.95,

A business needs change to place it all together. "The Pivot Point: Success in Organizational Change" is a business guide from Victoria M. Grady & James D. Grady as they provide an insightful guide to changing one's business management scheme for greater success in their business, including the increasingly common pitfalls that many management change situations often lead to. With plenty of advice for making a fully functioning management strategy that will flourish in years to come, "The Pivot Point" is a strong addition to business and management collections.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Something to Chew On
Mike Gibney
University College Dublin Press
c/o Dufour Editions, Inc.
PO Box 7
Chester Springs, PA 19425-0007
9781906359676, $38.95,

Food is a central topic in our lives, and there are yet many questions surrounding it. "Something to Chew On: Challenging Controversies in Food and Health" explores the countless food related controversies that surround food. In recent years, there has been rallying calls against organic foods, against genetically modified foods, the growing problem of obesity, and countless other problems. Mike Gibney brings an academic discussion of these problems, bringing them into a historical context. "Something to Chew On" is an enticing and much recommended pick for those confused by health standards, very much recommended for health and history collections.

The ACL Solution
Robert G. Marx & Grethe Myklebust
Demos Medical Publishing
11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10036
9781936303335, $16.95,

When the knee goes, the rest of the leg might as well be useless. "The ACL Solution: Prevention and Recovery for Sports Most Devastating Knee Injury" is a thorough read on this debilitating knee injury. Physicians with a focus in Sports Medicine Robert G. Marx and Grethe Myklebust come together on how to best prevent this injury, dealing with the injury when it occurs, and the ins and outs of rehabilitation for the injury. Thorough and helpful reading for athletes, "The ACL Solution" is a much recommended addition to health collections that have a focus on sports injuries.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Rough Riders
Charlie Stella
Stark House Press
4720 Herron Road
Eureka, CA 95503
9781933586397, $15.95,

To catch a bigger fish, the law and authority will make deals with what they view as lesser evils. "Rough Riders" is the follow up to author Charlie Stella's first crime novel, 'Eddie's World'. As the federal government begins to crack deals with the underworld, in hopes that the truth will fail to emerge. With a love for character and dialogue, "Rough Riders" is an enticing crime thriller that should prove difficult to put down, highly recommended.

Benjamin Black
Henry Holt & Company
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 400
New York, NY 10010-7725
97808050494398, $26.00,

Suicide is rarely done with a clear mind. "Vengeance" is a novel of high society in Ireland, as a successful businessman takes his own life in a baffling move, and those closest to him face more than the hardship of a recently departed friend. With corruption and trysts everywhere they turn, Dublin's socialites secrets will become known to all and the lives of them all will never be the same. "Vengeance" is a riveting novel of secrets and crime, as author Benjamin Black presents a read that simply won't go down easily.

No Wake Zone
Linda Lovely
L&L Dream Spell
376 West Quarry Road, London, TX 76854
9781603184854, $15.95,

The methods of killing may be more sadistic than the killing itself. "No Wake Zone" is a thrilling mystery, in which Marley Clark tries and fails to rescue a dead biotech billionaire; the circumstances of his death are unclear. As accusations fly, Marley uncovers vendetta aplenty, and a link to biological weapons that could truly be terrifying. "No Wake Zone" is a solid addition to modern intrigue collections, recommended.

Vulture Peak
John Burdett
Vintage Books
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 17th floor
New York, NY 10019
9780307474292, $14.95,

In the black market organ trade, there are many unusual characters, each hiding a truth of their own. "Vulture Peak" follows Royal Thai Police Detective Sonchai Jipleecheep, who is charged with breaking down a black market organ trade in the country, with the trail that weaves in and out of his jurisdiction. Encountering many people who may be involved or simply running interference, there's plenty to keep the pages turning, making "Vulture Peak" a choice and recommended addition to any mystery collection.

Prudence Couldn't Swim
James Kilgore
PM Press
PO Box 23912, Oakland, CA 94623
9781604864953, $14.95,

When there's one big flaw in the story, putting everything together around it can prove quite difficult. "Prudence Couldn't Swim" is a mystery following Calvin Winter, who finds his wife dead in the pool, with the titular problem showing forth, which tells him there has to be foul play on the table. Fearing for his own life, he delves into the unusual and corrupt world of the rich and finds many truths behind his wife he never knew. "Prudence Couldn't Swim" is an exciting read with plenty to ponder and always keep those pages turning.

The Nose Knows
Holly L. Lewitas
1760 E. River Road, Suite 145
Tucson, AZ 85718
9781604947373, $14.95,

A dog takes a liking to a person, it becomes its family, worthy of protecting. "The Nose Knows" is a mystery following courageous mutt Spunky, who looks after the widowed Dr. Hannah Richards as she takes another psychological patient. But the nose picks up something funny, and Spunky jumps on the case. With a good dose of humor, "The Nose Knows" is a choice mystery for pet lovers and will prove a highly recommended read.

Serpent of Moses
Don Hoesel
Bethany House Publishers
c/o Baker
11400 Hampshire Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55438
9780764209253, $14.99,

The relics of the Patriarch Moses are much coveted by many of those who believe in their powers. "Serpent of Moses" is a religious thriller as Archeologist Jack Hawthorne finds himself on the trail of the serpent staff Nehushtan, thought to be destroyed...or perhaps simply lost under the sands of northern Africa. Hawthorne finds himself at odds with Israel government officials with no scruples about eliminating the competition, among others who after the serpentine staff. "Serpent of Moses" is a riveting thriller that brings a tale of the Old Testament into modern light, much recommended.

The Shadow Man
Mark Murphy
Langdon Street Press
212 3rd Avenue North, Suite 290
Minneapolis, MN 55401
9781938296031, $14.95,

We can only keep an eye on so much of our lives, and what we don't see can do immense amounts to us. "The Shadow Man" is a novel following surgeon Malcolm King as he tries to put his life together as he soon finds that something may be lurking him and may bring omen into his life, connecting him into a serial killing case, and his sanity will be challenged as he brings himself closer to the killer. "The Shadow Man" is a must for fans of psychological thrillers.

The Environmental Studies Shelf

Loving This Planet
Helen Caldicott
The New Press
38 Green Street, 4th floor
New York, NY 10013
9781595588067, $17.95,

A clean and nuclear free world is a distant dream, but there are those who continue to work towards it. "Loving This Planet: Leading Thinkers Talk About How to Make" is a call from Helen Caldicott for a better future, sharing her journeys through the world and conversations with many individuals in her journeys, discussing politics and issues of the day. A memoir well worth considering for environmentalists, "Loving This Planet" is worthy reading, highly recommended.

America Needs America's Energy
Mark A. Stansberry
Brown Books Publishing Group
16200 N. Dallas Parkway, Suite 170
Dallas, TX 75248
9781612540719, $27.95,

Energy will be the key item of the future. "America Needs America's Energy: Creating Together the People's Energy Plan" is a delve into the energy crisis that America will face in the coming years. Author Mark A. Stansberry writes of his own optimism of America's ingenuity and ways of founding new energy and producing new technologies. Outlining the many options and their pros and cons, "America Needs America's Energy" is a strongly recommended pick for political and environmental collections, not to overlooked.

The Money/Finance Shelf

Investing in Funds
Jerome De Lavenere Lussan
FT Press
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780273732853, $49.99,

The key to greater financial success is investments. "Investing in Funds: How to Select Investments, Assess Managers, and Protect Your Wealth" is a guide from Jerome De Lavenere Lussan and Financial Times Publishing as they present an advisory guide for more successful investing and better understanding the risks within. From finding the business destined for greatness to the money holes, as well as making sure to always keep all options on the table, Lussan provides a well researched and vital addition to history. "Investing in Funds" is strongly recommended pick for anyone studying economics and investment for better prosperity.

The Human Sexuality Shelf

Naked at Our Age
Joan Price
Seal Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016
9781580053389, $16.95,

No one likes to think about their parents having sex, but when you get to that age, you realize they had it right all along. "Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex" is a guide of sex as a setting star and into twilight as Joan Price presents an advisory for newly minted seniors who aren't resigning their libido to wither and die, and embracing the fulfilling sensual life that they deserve. "Naked at Our Age" is an enticing read for anyone who doesn't want to just let that part of their lives fade away.

Sex Made Easy
Debby Herbenick
Running Press
2300 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-4371
9780762444069, $16.00,

Good sex takes a little know-how. "Sex Made Easy: Your Awkward Questions Answered -- for Better, Smarter, Amazing Sex" is a Q & A to answering the questions we all often have awkwardly surrounding our sex lives, as Debby Herbenick, sex educator at the Kinsey Institute advises readers on how to better understand their sex lives and allow them to flourish in ways they never know. "Sex Made Easy" is a strongly recommended pick for anyone with lots of questions and are afraid to find the answers.

Sex So Great
Barbara Keesling
M. Evans
Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200
Lanham, MD 20706
9781590772065, $14.95,

Awesome sex is the glue that keeps a relationship together. "Sex So Great: She Can't Get Enough" is a guide to embracing the finer points of taking one's sexuality to the next level, as a companion guide to her previous book 'The Good Girl's Guide to Bad Girl Sex', this time hoping to help men become lovers that are unmatched in their quality. Blending philosophy with plenty of little things that can make a good tryst into something truly special, "Sex So Great" is a strong pick for those who want to be that legendary lover they know they can be.

The Self-Help Shelf

Tim Harford
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781250007551, $17.00,

It is said failure is not a truly a failure if something is learned. A failure with something learned can be the birth of something greater. "Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure" is an inspirational read that blends the lessons of everyday life and business to turn their constant failures into the foundations of a potential success. "Adapt" is filled with plenty to consider and much to motivate readers in their life's quest for success.

Understand Your Self
Dale Carlson
Bick Publishing House
16 Marion Road, Branford, CT 06405
9781884158360, $14.95,

Knowing oneself more completely is key to a happier life. "Understand Your Self" is an inspirational read from Dale Carlson as he encourages how to better find one's own self, through one's own eyes. Encouraging readers to establish their own rules and go with what they truly want, Carlson encourages readers to cast off society's judgments to find their own happiness. With a strong message, "Understand Your Self" is a fine addition to psychology and motivational collections.

When Your Child Dies
Avril Nagel & Randie Clark
New Horizon Press
PO Box 669
Far Hills, NJ 07931
9780882823911, $14.95,

Losing a child can be a truly devastating experience. "When Your Child Dies: Tools for Mending Parents' Broken Hearts" is a grieving guide from Avril Nagel and Randie Clark, as they share their own pain of losing their own children prematurely, and the agony it faced with them. Drawing on Clark's experience as a therapist, they encourage readers how best to cope and remember their child healthily for the rest of their lives. "When Your Child Dies" is a strong addition to any self-help collection focused on grief and coping.

The Power of More
Marnie McBean
Greystone Books
c/o Douglas & McIntyre Publishing Group
2323 Quebeck Street, Suite 201
Vancouver, BC, Canada, V5T 4S7
9781926812649, $22.95,

A little and a little can build up to a lot. "The Power of More: How Small Steps Can Help You Achieve Big Goals" is a motivational read from Marnie McBean, Olympic gold medalist as she shares her own experiences with setting goals in life and moving towards them, step by step and finding greater success in many ways. "The Power of More" is a strong read with plenty of uplifting advice, much recommended for inspirational collections, highly recommended.

Three Simple Steps
Trevor Blake
BenBella Books
10300 N. Central Expressway, STE 400
Dallas, TX 75204
9781936661718, $12.95,

Success is something that can be tapped into by all of us. "Three Simple Steps: A Map to Success in Business and Life" is a business self-help memoir from Trevor Blake, as he challenges the useless wisdom spouted by other self-help books, creating a system of mentality, insight, and knowing. "Three Simple Steps" is strongly recommended for those who are trying to piece together what's missing in their careers.

The Jobs/Career Shelf

The You Plan
Dr. Michael Woodward
Advantage Publishers Group
PO Box 1090
Poway, CA 92074-1090
9781599321752, $14.99,

Today's economy isn't one you stick with one job the whole time in. "The You Plan: A 5-Step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy" is a guide to succeeding in today's businesses - a prospect that requires more than simply working hard and hoping for a promotion. Dr. Michael Woodward advises readers how to understand what they want out of their career and making their own brand matter to employers. "The You Plan" is a must for careers and motivational collections.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Essential Dowsing Guide
Dennis Wheatley
Ozark Mountain Publishing, Inc.
PO Box 754
Huntsville, AR 72740
9781886940383, $12.00,

Dowsing is an ancient act of finding what you seek. "The Essential Dowsing Guide" is a metaphysical exploration of the act and how to embrace it. Dennis Wheatley states anyone can use dowsing, and explains it through its long history, the techniques, and finding the sites that most fully embrace the act. For followers of mysticism and metaphysical spirituality, "The Essential Dowsing Guide" may be well worth considering, highly recommended.

Nature Spirits, Spirit Guides, and Ghosts
Atala Dorothy Toy
Quest Books
c/o The Theosophical Publishing House
PO Box 270
Wheaton, IL 60189-0270
9780835609029, $18.95,

There are things around us that we don't fully understand. "Nature Spirits, Spirit Guides, and Ghosts: How to Talk with and Photograph Beings of Other Realms" is a metaphysical guide to the other side as Atala Dorothy Toy discusses the bonds we can make with the creatures of the realms that appear next to our own. With tips on making that connection to communicate, capturing glimpses of the other side with photography and much more, "Nature Spirits, Spirit Guides, and Ghosts" is a strong pick for the metaphysical paranormal follower, recommended.

The Secret History of Poltergeists and Haunted Houses
Claude Lecouteux
Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street
Rochester, VT 05767
9781594774652, $18.95,

How does a house gain a legend and history of its own? "The Secret History of Poltergeists and Haunted Houses: From Pagan Folklore to Modern Manifestations" explores the history of ghosts and these paranormal things of the night, rarely understood by those who encounter them. From ancient Greece and Rome, Claude Lecouteux uses his academic credentials in medieval literature to prove an intriguing history even for those who don't believe. "The Secret History of Poltergeists and Haunted Houses" is an enticing and much recommended pick for metaphysical studies collections.

City Magick
Christopher Penczak
Weiser Publishers
c/o Red Wheel, Conari, Weiser
65 Parker Avenue, Suite 7
Newburyport, MA 01950
9781578635214, $19.95,

Voodoo has left the bayou. "City Magick: Spells, Rituals, and Symbols for the Urban Witch" is an exploration of the metaphysical and the spells and runes of the modern urban world. Author Christopher Penczak explores the nature of the metaphysical, looking to the many marks of the modern world and what it holds sacred. "City Magick" is well worth considering for those with an interest in what lies beyond the material in the urban world.

The Gardening Shelf

Birdscaping in the Midwest
Mariette Nowak
University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, Third Floor
Madison, WI 53711-2059
9780299291549 $34.95

Illustrated with striking full color photography throughout, Birdscaping in the Midwest: A Guide to Gardening with Native Plants to Attract Birds is a user-friendly, in-depth gardening guide written especially for bird lovers in the eight midwestern states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan. Chapters discuss how to clear out invasive species of plants and cultivate native midwestern plants, in order to better attract birds whose survival depends on those plants. "...exotic plants degrade habitat for birds and wildlife in other ways. Exotics, especially invasive ones, can reduce the availability of water, decrease the diversity of soil organisms, deplete soil nutrients, cause soil erosion, compete with native vegetation - including endangered species - and affect the frequency of wildfires. Monocultures of exotics also destroy the diversity of vegetation and structure in plant communities that many birds require." Chapters include tips for creating gardens that attract specific bird types (hummingbirds, bluebirds, migratory birds, etc.), and solid advice for maintaining one's bird-friendly garden habitat. Bird lovers and gardeners all over the Midwest will find Birdscaping in the Midwest an absolute "must-have"!

Working with Worms
Wendy Vincent
Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.
1405 S.W. 6th Avenue
Ocala, FL 34471
9781601385994, $24.95,

Once written off as a disgusting pest, the worm has proven a useful helper for gardening. "Working with Worms: Using the Gardener's Best Friend for Organic Gardening and Composting" is a guide for those who want to use this creepy crawler for use in their gardens and in the pursuit of composting. With plenty of advice on acquiring worms, caring for them and helping them set out to help your goals, "Working with Worms" is a strongly recommended addition to agriculture and gardening collections.

The Martial Arts Shelf

Krav Maga
David Kahn
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480
Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
9781594392405, $24.95,

Brutal efficiency is all that matters when a life is on the line. "Krav Maga Weapon Defenses" explores the ins and outs of the Krav Maga defensive martial art, using black and white photography throughout describing many situations that one might face in close combat situations that focus on disabling and disarming an opponent. Providing an additional set of study and training for those intrigued by the art, "Krav Maga" is worth considering for those who want to better understand Krav Maga and its techniques.

The Crafts Shelf

The Natural Soap Chef
Heidi Corley Barto
Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440
Berkeley CA 94703-3440
9781612430621, $14.95,

Soap is more than the generic stuff bought in a store. "The Natural Soap Chef: Making Luxurious Delights from Cucumber Melon and Almond Cookie to Chai Tea and Espresso Forte" is a guide for those who want to try their own hand at creating their own soaps that have their own unique fragrances that one could never expect out of soaps. With plenty of full color photos, Heidi Corley Barto walks readers through how to craft these soaps step by step. For anyone who wants to try their hand at homemade artisan soap, "The Natural Soap Chef" is an ideal and much recommended addition to any crafts collection.

The Music Shelf

Dale Sherman
Backbeat Books
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing
33 Plymouth St, Suite 302
Montclair, NJ 07042
9781617130915, $22.99,

With face paint and an attitude, they have gained a reputation that is both famous and infamous. "KISS FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the Hottest Band in the Land" explores the history surrounding the glam rockers whose flair was far more than some make up, with wild theatrics in pyrotechnics, light shows, and yes, hard rock backing it all up. Dale Sherman explains the fandom behind the band and why KISS has its own place in Rock 'n Roll history. "KISS FAQ" is a must for any music history collection, highly recommended.

The Art Shelf

It Draws Me
Mary M. McDonald
1 Liguori Drive, Liguori, MO 63057-9999
9780764821790, $14.99,

A time of thinking can often be quite empowering. "It Draws Me: The Art of Contemplation" discusses contemplation and art, as author Mary M. McDonald invites readers to take their faithful thought and bring it to understanding art, using the works of Thomas Merton as well as many Song Dynasty works, reproduced in full color, to help readers better understand the expression of thought and devotion to spirituality. "It Draws Me" provides much to think about for spirituality and art assortments, recommended.

The Audiobook Shelf

Emma: A Widow Among the Amish
Ervin R. Stutzman
Herald Press
616 Walnut Avenue
Scottsdale, PA 15683-1999
9780836196511 $28.99

Read aloud by the author, Emma: A Widow Among the Amish is the unabridged audiobook rendition of Ervin R. Stutzman's true-life story of the tragedy that befell his mother, and her perseverance. Emma Stutzman lost her husband far too soon, and had to face the challenge of raising her children as a single parent. Especially perplexing was the conundrum of how to guide their faith in the Amish Mennonite church, when modern mainstream culture had its own seductive appeal. A powerful accounting of one woman's daily efforts to provide for her children both physically and spiritually, Emma: A Widow Among the Amish is a profound and uplifting listening experience. 8 CDs, 10 hours 7 min. Also highly recommended is the the author's previous true-life book about his father, "Tobias of the Amish".

One Last Thing Before I Go
Jonathan Tropper, author
John Shea, narrator
Penguin Audio
c/o The Penguin Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
9781611761191 $39.95

When is a man's life not worth the financial cost to save it? One Last Thing Before I Go is the unabridged audiobook rendition of a poignant novel about mistakes and regret. Drew Silver was once the drummer of a one-hit-wonder rock band; now he ekes out a living playing in wedding bands. He's divorced; his ex-wife is getting remarried; and his estranged teenage daughter may have to end her aspirations to attend Princeton because she's just confided in Silver that she's pregnant. When Silver learns that his heart requires surgery to save his life, he decides to refuse the expensive operation, instead choosing to focus what time he has left on improving his relationship with his daughter. One Last Thing Before I Go is bittersweet, with a jaunty thread of humor to counterbalance its serious take on the issues of life, death, and the struggle to meaningfully mend relationships. Highly recommended. 7 CDs, 8.5 hours.

The Music CD Shelf

Canyon Records Productions
3131 West Clarendon Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85017

In their long tradition of offering authentic Native American music, Canyon Records presents two excellent new CDs that are live recordings of pow-wow songs. "Right Now: Pow-Wow Songs Recorded Live in Mt. Pleasant" ($15.60, 55 min.) by the Grammy-nominated group Bear Creek involves a medley of song styles including Intertribals, Side-Steps, Crow Hops and more. The result is a high-energy album brimming with the strong spirit of lifelong cameraderie. "Elders' Vision: Pow-Wow Songs Recorded Live at Kyi-Yo" ($15.60, 70 min.) is a compelling album by the Blackfoot Confederacy, a pow-wow group dedicated to the Blackfoot vocal style and drawing upon their musical traditions to honor their elders and share their culture with the next generation. Both albums are highly recommended for listeners with an interest in the vibrant and evolving world of Native American music.

The DVD Shelf

Letters to an Unknown Daughter
Anita Keagy
JoyShop Ministries
c/o Vision Video (distribution)
PO Box 540
Worcester, PA 19490-0540

Based on Anita Keagy's book "The File", Letters to an Unknown Daughter: A Mother's Story of Hope, Redemption, and Healing is a compelling true-life tale on DVD. In 1974, Anita Keagy became accidentally pregnant. Resisting the temptation to terminate the pregnancy, she held true to her family's strict Christian beliefs, and gave her infant daughter up for adoption. Years later, as a married mother to four children, she felt compelled to reach out to the daughter she had never known. Through the adoption agency, she began a file of letters to her daughter; years would pass before the two them would ever have the chance to meet. Letters to an Unknown Daughter is a compelling Christian story about reaching beyond the painful immediate, seeking God's purpose, and struggling to connect with loved ones. Profound and powerful, Letters to an Unknown Daughter is especially recommended for church DVD libraries; bonus content includes information on crisis pregnancy and adoption services. 40 min.

Swish 3: The Swish Free Throw
Tom Nordland
Youth Sports Club
9 Florence Court
Valley Cottage, NY 10989

Veteran coach Tom Nordland presents Swish 3: The Swish Free Throw, an instructional DVD packed with tips, tricks, techniques, and drills for making successful free throws in the sport of basketball. Nordland debunks common "myths of shooting", including the wrongheaded ideas about "squaring up" or "flipping the wrist". Step-by-step instructions for teaching oneself and others the basics, user-friendly exercises to cultivate awareness, simplifying one's "pre-shot routine", and more fill this excellent and practical DVD guide. Highly recommended, especially for coaches and high school library DVD collections. 1 hour 28 min.

Kung Fu Body Conditioning 2
Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480
Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
9781594392290 $39.95

Author, scholar, and master of the Taijiquan and Qigong martial arts Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming presents Kung Fu Body Conditioning 2: Traditional Training for Endurance and Power, a step-by-step DVD guide to strengthen and condition one's body through the use of traditional Chinese martial arts techniques. Kung Fu Body Conditioning 2 demonstrates arm conditioning methods such as candle punching, pull-ups, and cinderblock flipping; leg conditioning methods such as stance training, log running, jumping and kicking; a total body workout; one-on-one martial arts instruction; partner bills to improve personal reaction speed and sense of distance; and much more. An excellent supplement to both fitness and martial arts DVD libraries, Kung Fu Body Conditioning 2 is a "must-have" especially for practitioners of all martial arts, and highly recommended. 240 min.

Ageless Pilates with Ethel LaBranche
Ethel LaBranche
c/o 411 Video Information (publicity)
PO Box 1223
Pebble Beach, CA 93953

Ageless Pilates with Ethel LaBranche is a multimedia package of one thirty-minute DVD and three sixty-minute CDs designed to introduce viewers to basic Pilates to promote longevity, balance, flexibility, and improved health. Ideal for all ages but especially valuable for senior citizens seeking to stay young at heart, Ageless Pilates features an easy-to-follow Pilates warmup and practice routine on the DVD, and live recordings of classes taught by LaBranche on the CDs. LaBranche herself is a veteran Pilates instructor of over twenty years' experience, eighty years young and going strong, and her guidance makes learning practicing basic Pilates a simple task. Also highly recommended is Ethel LaBranche's book, "Ageless Pilates" ($14.95).

The Crimson Petal and the White
Based on the novel by Michel Faber
Acorn Media Group
8515 Georgia Avenue, Suite 620
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3403
9781598287721 $39.99

Based on the shocking novel by Michel Faber, The Crimson Petal and the White is a dark, four-part British miniseries. A psychological thriller marked by sex, violence, madness, intrigue, and suspense, The Crimson Petal and the White is set in the most ruthless corners of Victorian England. The canny prostitute Sugar (played by Romola Garai) is determined to seize a better life for herself before her youth and beauty runs out; to that end, she seduces William Rackham (Chris O'Dowd), the gadabout heir to a perfume business. Meanwhile, Rackham's wife gradually descends further into madness, and the interaction between the three is steeped in greed, lust, and deadly threat. Captivating to the brink of horror, The Crimson Petal and the White is luridly compelling to the very end. Bonus features include deleted scenes (11 min.); interviews with Garai, O'Dowd, director Marc Munden, and key crew members (20 min.); and character biographies. 4 episodes on 2 DVDs, 244 min. plus bonus, widescreen, SDH subtitles, not rated (contains nudity, sexual situations, violence, coarse language, and disturbing images).

The Gaming Shelf

DisgaeaArt!!! Disgaea Official Illustration Collection
Nippon Ichi Software and Takehito Harada
UDON Entertainment Corp.
118 Tower Hill Road, C1, PO Box 20008
Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada L4K 0K0
9781926778501 $39.99

DisgaeaArt!!! Disgaea Official Illustration Collection is an oversized, full-color artbook showcase of illustrations from the popular Disgaea series of tactical role-playing games, set in a chaotic netherworld filled with demons, evil overlords, penguin sinners (called "Prinnies"), and the occasional angel or hapless mortal unfortunate enough to lose their way. The uproarious, tongue-in-cheek humor of Disgaea shines through the wacky and wild art! Fans of the series can enjoy numerous anime-style pieces ranging from concept art to character illustrations to works that originally appeared on Japanese telephone cards. There is very little text; instead, the brief captions explaining the origins of each piece are relegated to the back of the book, the better to devote as much of the page as possible to the art itself. Hijinks aplenty abound is this "must-have" treasury for Disgaea fans everywhere!

The Political Science Shelf

Voting and Holiness
Nicholas P. Cafardi, editor
Paulist Press
997 MacArthur Boulevard
Mahwah, NJ 07430
9780809147670, $24.95,

When voting with one's conscience, there are many things to consider and rarely is it clear. "Voting and Holiness: Catholic Perspectives on Political Participation" explores Catholic perspectives in a divided political world as many political writers come together to discuss the electoral prospects and the weights of evils when deciding on a candidate, the immediacy of those evils, and which candidate has the potential to do the most good. "Voting and Holiness" is worth considering for devout Catholic voters who are unsure in the coming year.

Obama's America
Ian Reifowitz
Potomac Books, Inc.
22841 Quicksilver Drive
Dulles, VA 20166-2012
9781612344720, $29.95,

The election of Barack Obama was a major victory for race relations in America, pushing forth one of America's best values: cultural unity. "Obama's America: A Transformative Vision of Our National Identity" is a discussion of culture, social issues, and politics as Ian Reifowitz presents an optimistic view of what Barack Obama can do for America culturally, the fierce response to his rise, and what it ultimately means for America's future. An intriguing alternative perspective on the influence that Barack Obama holds on American culture, "Obama's America" is a solid addition to any cultural studies collection, highly recommended.

Obama's Globe
Bruce Herschensohn
Beaufort Books
27 West 20th Street, Suite 1102
New York, NY 10011
9780825306853, $24.95,

Foreign policy in America has changed in the Obama years. "Obama's Globe: A President's Abandonment of U.S. Allies Around the World" is a discussion of the Obama Administration foreign policy by Bruce Herschensohn, who is very critical of the President's global policies and the shifting allegiances of America due to his decisions. "Obama's Globe" is a strident and thought-provoking addition to international issues collections, recommended.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Reiki Fur Babies
Candy Boroditsky & Ming Chee-Brown
Balboa Press
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781452546827, $8.99,

Pets are more than just animals we keep around. "Reiki Fur Babies" is a spiritual pet guide from Candy Boroditsky & Ming Chee-Brown explore the spiritual power that one can have connecting to their pets, forming a bond like no other. Sharing their stories of healing and love, "Reiki Fur Babies" is a strong pick for any spiritual pet owner, highly recommended.

The Architecture Shelf

Suffolk Windmills, 2012 edition
Brian Flint
Boydell & Brewer Inc
668 Mount Hope Avenue
Rochester, NY 14620-2731
9781843837237 $24.95

Now in a newly updated 2012 edition, Suffolk Windmills is an in-depth examination of the history, construction, and usage of windmills in Suffolk, from the Middle Ages to the modern day. Black-and-white photographs, a wealth of technical details, and even a gazetteer of Suffolk windmills enhance this thoughtful account of not only these incredible structures, but also the people who used them. "...windmills often were given names, usually to distinguish one from another in the same village or locality. The most common distinction was to use the miller's name, a mill often staying in the same family for many years." Suffolk Windmills is highly recommended as a professional-quality resource for any reader curious to learn more about these ingenious and diligent structures, whether for reasons of personal interest or scholarly research.

The Holocaust Studies Shelf

Survivor of Buchenwald
Louis Gros with Flint Whitlock
Cable Publishing
14090 E Keinenen Rd
Brule, WI 54820
9781934980743 $24.95 hc
9781934980750 $17.95 pbk

The second volume of The Buchenwald Trilogy, Survivor of Buchenwald: My Personal Odyssey Through Hell is the firsthand testimony of Nazi concentration camp survivor Louis Gros, who was sentenced to the lethal prisons for "minor offenses" against the Third Reich. He experienced stomach-churning nightmares of human hatred and torture, barely survived, and suffered from tuberculosis for years afterward. A harrowing account, Survivor of Buchenwald speaks out strongly against human evil, and is a highly recommended addition to Holocaust Studies shelves, as are "The Beasts of Buchenwald" and "Hell on a Hilltop".

The Needlecraft Shelf

Fleece Hat Friends
Mary Rasch
Lark Crafts
c/o Sterling Publishing Company
387 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016-8810
9781454703549 $17.95

Fleece Hat Friends: 25+ Easy-to-Sew Projects is a delightful how-to needlecrafting book to making animal-face themed children's hats. Cartoon-eyed owls, cuddly spiders, even a monkey hat with an accompanying monkey-tail design sweatshirt and more designs fill this delightful craft guide that makes working with fleece and felt fun. Templates, step-by-step instructions, and full-color photographs make Fleece Hat Friends a great resource for creating warm and unforgettable gifts for young ones. Fleece Hat Friends is highly recommended as an excellent (if somewhat offbeat!) supplement to any needlecrafter's pattern library.

The Economic Studies Shelf

Defending the Free Market
Reverend Robert Sirico
Regnery Publishing, Inc.
One Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
9781596983250 $27.95

Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy offers a Christian-centric defense of right-wing economic ideology, calling for greater reliance upon free markets, private enterprise, and Christian charities rather than government-sponsored antipoverty programs, health care, or environmental protection. Chapters decry government collective ownership of resources as leading to misuse and irresponsibility, champion starting a business as the best way to help the poor, denounce greed but claim that socialism fuels greed more than capitalism, and attack welfare for creating a culture of dependency. "When people realize that they can rely on the state to meet human needs, a society's moral core is eroded as even Christians' incentive to personally help others diminishes and they cease to see themselves as personal, moral actors on behalf of those in need." Although Sirico doesn't have answers for social or health care problems that are too large for charities to handle alone (for example, churches or private charities just don't have the financial resources to pay for the treatment of people who suffer from devastating illnesses like cancer), he does make some strong points (such as his harsh criticism of "foreign aid" money that recklessly flows into the coffers of corrupt third world governments) that need to be considered at length.

The Biography Shelf

Alan Ameche
Dan Manoyan
Terrace Books
c/o University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, Third Floor
Madison, WI 53711-2059
9780299290108 $26.95

Alan Ameche: The Story of "The Horse" is the first biography of Alan "The Horse" Ameche, an NFL player who reached his height of fame during the 1950's; indeed, the 1958 championship NFL game between Ameche's Colts and the New York Giants has been popularly dubbed the NFL's "Greatest Game Ever Played". Born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Alan's talent for football showed through early in high school teams, and shone even brighter during his University of Wisconsin college football days (during which he led them to the 1953 Rose Bowl and a victory of the 1954 Heisman Trophy). Ameche was called "The Horse" for his steadfast training regimen, physical power, and endurance. His professional football career playing for the Baltimore Colts ended abruptly after six seasons due to an injury, but during that time he was an 1955 NFL Rooke of the Year and went to the Pro Bowl five times. Striking a balance between Ameche's dedicated athletic career and the influences of his day-to-day life, Alan Ameche: The Story of "The Horse" is highly recommended especially for sports biography collections and American football history enthusiasts.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Hartland Horses
Gail Fitch
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road
Atglen, PA 19310
9780764340284, $29.99,

Model horses carry much charm to their collectors, and many enticing creations have emerged since a decade ago. "Hartland Horses: New Model Horses Since 2000" is a guide to the newest model horses created in recent times, demonstrating the figures, their accessories, their values and the extent of their collections. With full color photographs of nearly every item discussed, "Hartland Horses" is a must for the enthusiastic collector, highly recommended.

The Wisconsin Shelf

Lawyers Who Shaped Dane County
Tom Ragatz, Paul Humphrey, Sally Garbo Wedde
University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, Third Floor
Madison, WI 53711-2059
9780985364601, $39.95,

Important legal cases shape the legal code, and the men who debate the law are the hammers that form it. "Lawyers Who Shaped Dane County: A History of the Practice of Law in the Madison Area" analyzes the history of the county's laws and the men who were behind these changes, as they were also men who altered the route of the history and success of the era. Masters of their crafts, the collaborators of this book present a tribute history to 261 attorneys and the firms they worked with. "Lawyers Who Shaped Dane County" is a must for those who want to better understand the impact of the law in Wisconsin's capital county.

A Real Emotional Girl
Tanya Chernov
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10018
9781616088699, $24.95,

Tragedy can devastate our lives. "A Real Emotional Girl: A Memoir of Love and Loss" focuses on the strong familial bond between Tanya Chernov and her father, Richard, who was known as a major figure throughout his hometown. As he is hit with cancer, Tanya's picturesque childhood gets a rude awakening as he recounts the last years of her fathers life and the growing up she was forced to do. "A Real Emotional Girl" is a strong addition to memoir collections focusing on personal stories and Northern Wisconsin.

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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