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The Bookwatch

Volume 14, Number 4 April 2019 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Health/Medicine Shelf Computer Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Cookbook Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Military Shelf Education Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Donald G. MacKay
Prometheus Books
9781633884076, $25.00,

Remembering: What 50 Years of Research with Famous Amnesia Patient H.M. Can Teach Us About Memory and How It Works is a lively survey of a twenty-seven year old man who underwent brain surgery to remedy epilepsy, which destroyed the memory center of his brain. As a result, he experienced catastrophic memory failures for the rest of his life, and became the most studied amnesia patient in the world. The author himself was one of those who worked with him for some fifty years, and his notes and studies form the foundation of a book that examines the science, psychology, and nature of memory. As a side benefit to this intriguing study, discussions also revolve around how to maintain memory at any age and how to offset the effects of its degradation. While this book will find its place in any health library, it also holds an accessibility and subject that will make it attractive to general-interest readers, as well.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Shifting Into High Gear
Kyle Bryant
Health Communications Inc.
9780757321528, $14.95,

Shifting Into High Gear: One Man's Grave Diagnosis and the Epic Bike Ride That Taught Him What Matters tells of a young athlete and college student who struggled with inexplicable health issues for years before he was diagnosed with Friedreich's ataxia, a degenerative neurological condition that is a rare disease. Told to expect increasing health issues and a shorter life span, Kyle embarked on a purposeful journey on a red trike that he could ride, and traveled across the country on it twice. Readers follow him on a life-changing journey as he faces death with renewed, revised ambitions and insights into positive thinking and purposeful living. This approach will keep readers thinking long after his story ends.

The 6 Week Programme
Louise Parker
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781784725372, $24.00,

The 6 Week Programme: Reshape Your Body and Change Your Habits for Life offers a weight loss program for anyone looking to change not just their weight, but their lifestyle. It provides a specific, guided program of weekly adjustments that promote eating and living well, and blends mind-body exercises with adjustments to daily efforts that involve education about food content and diet and exercise regimens. The result is a guide especially recommended for those willing to reconsider their habits and make lasting lifestyle changes.

The Computer Shelf

Game Development Using Python
James R. Parker
Mercury Learning
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
9781683921806, $34.95,

Game Development Using Python comes with a disc of companion files containing source code and teaches basic game development concepts using Python. From graphics and animation to game engines and web-based gaming, this will serve as a basic primer especially recommended for blossoming programmers who already have some basics in Python and game development, and who want to apply these basics to more advanced gaming applications and completed projects. Charts, black and white illustrations, step-by-step discussions, and examples that simplify application directions make it easy to learn both.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Victory Garden
Rhys Bowen
Lake Union Publishing
9781542040129, $24.95,

The Victory Garden is set during World War I and tells of Emily Bryce, who lives in Devonshire with her parents. While peers are entering the war and helping in such professions as nursing, Emily has been kept at home by her parents. Meeting an Australian pilot and falling in love with him leads to her decision to leave home and participate in the war effort - and love - in a more meaningful way in this engrossing story of different generations facing change and world-wide conflict.

The Cookbook Shelf

Well Being
Danielle Copperman
Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9780857834423, $34.99,

Well Being: Recipes and Rituals to Realign the Body and Mind comes from a successful young model and businesswoman who looked for a more holistic approach to wellbeing. Her blend of yoga, nutritious recipes, and exercise helped increase her energy levels and promoted a better relationship and balance with food and fitness, and this book gathers her rituals and recipes that illustrate her footsteps for those who would follow. Little is neglected in this pursuit: formulas for spearmint and almond mouthwash to a breakfast Turmeric Tofu Scramble or Walnut Chocolate Biscuits and Millionaire's Shortbread accompany broader discussions of formulas for better living, making this a recommended pick for food, lifestyle, and self-help holdings alike.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Threads Around the World
Deb Brandon
Schiffer Publishing
9780764356506, $24.99,

Threads Around the World: From Arabian Weaving to Batik in Zimbabwe offers stories about handmade textiles in various cultures and regions around the world, covering embroidery to rugs and clothing and considering how they developed in various cultures. Color photos throughout illustrate both finished products and textile workers in the process of making them, accompanied by a history of the region's textile arts and the influences on its development. Between its historical review and artistic insights, this book will appeal to a range of readers and library collections, from needleworkers to artists.

The Military Shelf

Spy Pilot
Francis Gary Powers Jr. and Keith Dunnavant
Prometheus Books
9781633884687, $25.00,

Spy Pilot: Francis Gary Powers, The U-2 Incident, and a Controversial Cold War Legacy comes from the son of Francis Gary Powers, who commanded an American U-2 spy plane over the Soviet Union in 1960, which was shot down. Powers was captured by the KGB and imprisoned during an international incident, eventually to be released in a spy exchange and exonerated of any wrongdoing. His son has written a new account of events based on personal files new to this book, filling in details and adding insights into the truth, some sixty years after the event. Military history holdings will find it an engrossing series of revelations and new details about a notorious event.

The Education Shelf

Corwin Press
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218

Kimberly L. Mitchell's Experience Inquiry: 5 Powerful Strategies, 50 Practical Experiences (9781544317120, $34.95) provides an interactive guide for educators looking to implement inquiry processes in the classroom, and blends a practical guide filled with advice with an interactive journal format designed to encourage educators to practice the book's five key strategies. Examples of real-world classroom inquiry blend with a handbook of reference information and examples to document experiences that can be used on a one-on-one basis with students, or with small groups of teachers. Strategies for encouraging curiosity to assessing expertise levels make for easy and clear courses of action and examples. Emily Rinkema and Stan Williams' The Standards-Based Classroom: Make Learning the Goal (9781544324203, $34.95) discusses best practices for making learning accessible to each student, and provides a resource filled with strategies for making the kinds of changes that result in better educational processes and classroom instructional strategies. From skills that will be assessed and design tasks that lead students to apply these skills in a guided session to maintaining a different kind of grade book based on learning targets and their achievement, The Standards-Based Classroom is a treasure box of templates and examples designed to easily translate to practical applications. Victoria Lentfer's keep Calm and Teach: Empowering K-12 Learners with Positive Classroom Management Routines (9781506397764, $26.95) provides a framework for teachers addressing behavior strategies to make for a CALM (Communication, Accountability, Leadership, and Motivation) classroom environment. From methods for redirecting negative behavior into positive, more appropriate responses to scripts that can be used to teach and define positive behavior expectations, this is a key acquisition for classroom teachers struggling with behavioral issues. H. Richard Milner IV,'s "These Kids Are Out of Control": Why We Must Reimagine "Classroom Management" for Equity (9781483374802, $31.95) also covers classroom management issues, defining and outlining effective instruction approaches and discussing the basics of creating a caring classroom atmosphere. Chapters integrate lesson planning with opportunities for classroom environment change even with difficult students, and address many problems with an eye to emphasizing equity as the end goal. All are top picks for education collections.

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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