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The Bookwatch

Volume 11, Number 8 August 2016 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Parenting Shelf Education Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Gun Shelf American History Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Science Shelf Computer Shelf
Business Shelf Music Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Psychology Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction
Neil Gaiman
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062262264, $26.99,

The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction will both attract and surprise readers who have held a prior affection of Gaiman's fictional productions. This audience receives a collection of essays - over sixty - covering various topics, gathering speeches, articles, and critical writings that explore a wide range of topics; from literary themes and travel to re-reading books in his teens and ways in which superheroes are used in modern fiction. The result is a literary piece that's highly recommended for any prior Gaiman fan and for newcomers interested in science fiction, literature, and cultural analysis.

The Parenting Shelf

Strategies for a Successful Mealtime
Maureen Flanagan, MA, CCC-SLP
AAPC Publishing
11209 Strang Line Road, Lenexa, KS 66215
9781942197133, $27.95,

Strategies for a Successful Mealtime: A Program for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Related Disabilities Who Have Eating Difficulties is a specific guide to structured oral movement and feeding designed for parents with kids who struggle with food textures and utensils. By treating such problems as a feeding disorder and offering solutions that help identify and alleviate such habits, parents learn valuable keys to coping that move beyond dietary adjustment to activities supporting different behaviors and choices. The result is a fine model for success recommended for any parent with a child struggling with food and feeding.

The Education Shelf

Online Teaching in K-12
Sarah Bryans-Bongey & Kevin J. Graziano, Editors
Information Today Inc.
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055-8750
9781573875271, $65.00,

Online Teaching in K-12: Models, Methods, and Best Practices for Teachers and Administrators provides a key handbook directed for educational professionals involved in the design and teaching of K-12 online courses, and brings together some two dozen experts who discuss different educational models and approaches, best practices, and tools involved in the online teaching goal. From organizing student collaboration and interaction in an online environment to flipped learning and special education's online possibilities, essays provide all the tools, backed by research and real-world experience, to enable educators to foster a truly effective online teaching environment.

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

Calvalyn G. Day's Authentically Engaged Families: A Collaborative Care Framework for Student Success (9781506327068, $25.00) shows how to create a plan for all families to work with educators, and provides not just theory but a step-by-step approach to building stronger relationships for K-12 educators and administrators alike. Chapters provide plenty of examples for family engagement including agendas for meetings and plans of action, and clarify the process of defining goals and communicating both in person and through social media and email. The result outlines a different kind of engagement process that will prove central to any serious educator's involvement with the student's entire family. Ronald A. Beghetto's Big Wins, Small Steps: How to Lead For and With Creativity (9781483385464, $21.00) introduces a new framework for school-wide change through the SAL (Small-Steps Approach to Instructional Learning), showing how major progress can stem from small, easy steps of change and how instructional leaders can remove barriers to success through a few creative efforts. From cutting back on possibilities to recognize an achievable, more positive path to tactics to change assumptions and encourage applied principles with measurable outcomes, this is a solid guide recommended for educators and school leaders who want to adopt a different approach to refining the bigger picture both in classroom and school-wide systems. The third updated edition of Rleanor Renee Rodriguez, James Bellanca and Deborah Rosalia Esparza's What Is It About Me You Can't Teach? Culturally Responsive Instruction in Deeper Learning Classrooms (9781506345642, $37.00) is based on a simple concept: every child has the right to an equitable education process that prepares him or her for the world's challenges. While the concept may sound simple, the actual process of translating it to classroom standards and proficiency can be challenging. This book provides teachers with lessons and approaches for elementary through secondary grades, showing how to integrate an individualized learning program with overall classroom needs and educational requirements. Case history examples compliment lessons presented at different school levels which use projects to cement learning processes, and include instruction on how to check for prior knowledge and how to structure tasks for maximum effect. Terrance M. Scott's Teaching Behavior: Managing Classrooms Through Effective Instruction (9781506337494, $39.95) explores connections between learning and classroom behavior management, and provides teachers with discussions, checklists, management approaches, and details on how to set up an effective classroom and how to understand the difference between positive and negative reinforcement practices and their influence on learning. Chapters are particularly strong in their use of example conversations between teachers and students, and which ones do a better job of reinforcing better behaviors. Solid research backs these examples and approaches. Barbara J. Levin and Lynne Schrum's Every Teacher a Leader: Developing the Needed Dispositions, Knowledge, and Skills for Teacher Leadership (9781506326436, $28.95) offers a range of key skills teachers will need to cultivate in the course of their profession. From running meetings and working with colleagues to handling new technology and problem-solving, chapters show how teachers can influence school culture and the learning process through applying these leadership skills. Jenni Donohoo and Moses Velasco's The Transformative Power of Collaborative Inquiry (9781483383897, $28.95) advocates collaboration between teachers and school leaders to produce more effective educational systems, and promotes the concept of collaborative inquiry as a tool for achieving results. More so than most coverages of the topic, this book offers keys to such applications and moves beyond theory and into the process of developing effective inquiry questions and applying their results to better learning processes.

Redleaf Press
10 Yorkton Court, St. Paul, MN 55117-1065

Lisa Daly and Miriam Beloglovsky's Loose Parts 2: Inspiring Play with Infants and Toddlers (9781605544649, $32.95) provides a sequel to the original Loose Parts and offers new ideas and fine photos to reinforce the concept of early learning play opportunities and strategies. From clothespins and hollow blocks to understanding locomotion in a process that can carry infants and toddlers into more social worlds, each loose part and play opportunity is paired with a child's learning process to provide both lesson plans and learning reinforcement based on a range of loose everyday materials. Stacey York's third edition of Roots and Wings: Affirming Culture and Preventing Bias in Early Childhood (9781605544557, $44.95) adds to multicultural coverages of early childhood process by teaching educators how to work with children using new activities based on the latest research. From developing culturally appropriate programs and handling cultural conflicts to games, songs, and learning opportunities that hold specific objectives, teachers receive a wide range of approaches designed to prevent bias in early childhood education and play processes.

The Audiobook Shelf

Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Joel Salatin's The Marvelous Pigness of Pigs (9781478909132, $30.00) is narrated by the author and appears in an unabridged audio that captures a unique blend of Biblical faith and autobiography as Joel Salatin uses allegory and example to review different aspects of God's creations and design. From Biblical discussions of ethics that apply to modern scenarios to his discussions of how Christians hold responsibility for the earth and how this should direct actions and decisions, this is a powerful survey that is compelling, direct, and especially lively listening for any who would receive a different vision of faith and its responsibilities. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child's Beyond the Ice Limit (9781478909118, $30.00) receives the experienced voice of narrator David W. Collins, a L.A. actor whose voice can be heard on TV and in commercials as well as on video games, and who brings to life the story of a mission to uncover a giant meteorite off the coast of South America which ends in disaster. The meteorite is not just a rock, but holds an alien life form that is growing - and it's up to Glinn and his team to destroy it in this powerful thriller. James Patterson and Maxine Paetro's 15th Affair (9781478928133, $35.00) is narrated by January LaVoy, a New York-based actress who has performed on other audios as well as screen and stage, and comes to life in an audio story that tells of detective Lindsay Boxer, who chases her latest subject - her husband - when a brutal murder points in his direction. Add a tragedy that immerses San Francisco in danger and a battle that involves the Women's Murder club in the case of their life and you have a thriller that's especially winning in audio. Sebastian Junger's Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging (9781478936879, $25.00) is read by the author, who brings to life his own account that blends history, psychology and anthropology in an exploration of tribal societies and the meaning they hold for modern man. Tribe explores group effectiveness, preservation, loyalty, and belonging and provides many powerful keys for understanding human cultures and communities. Noah Hawley's Before the Fall (9781478987598, $35.00) is narrated by Robert Petkoff, who has appeared on film, TV and Broadway. His deft and evocative voice lends to this thriller surrounding a plane crash, a few survivors, and a series of coincidences that indicate the crash may not have been an accident. A powerful story emerges in this engrossing and tense story, perfect for audio listeners who like fast-paced action and more than a few subplots and character explorations. Elin Hilderbrand's Here's to Us (9781478909392, $35.00) is narrated by Erin Bennett, whose smooth and compelling voice lends quiet power to the unabridged story of three women who love their men as much as they dislike one another. Each is very different, and each faces intense challenges and changes after the one man they all were married to at one time dies tragically. A powerful listen perfect for summer leisure evolves in a story that's hard to put down.

The Gun Shelf

Blue Book of Tactical Firearms Values, seventh edition
Blue Book Publications
8009 34th Avenue South, Suite 250, Minneapolis, MN 5542
9781936120833, $34.95,

The seventh updated edition of Blue Book of Tactical Firearms Values is a 'must' for any firearms collector interested in tactical weaponry, and holds nearly 700 pages of the latest values, identification, and descriptions of a wide range of tactical firearms. This reference assumes some prior knowledge in identifying such firearms: its focus is on updating tactical terminology, references to models and their features, and the latest market values associated with these guns.

The American History Shelf

The Jefferson Highway
Lyell D. Henry Jr.
University of Iowa Press
100 Kuhl House, 119 West Park Road, Iowa City, IA 52242-1000
9781609384210, $29.95,

The Jefferson Highway: Blazing the Way from Winnipeg to New Orleans provides a history of a highway not as well known as the Lincoln Highway: the Jefferson Highway, which followed several routes through Minnesota, Iowa, Kansas, Texas and other states. It's surprising to note that this is the first book to provide an in-depth history on the Jefferson road, tracing its history, construction, and why it faded in importance compared to the Lincoln. Three chapters trace the route, for those who would embark on a driving trip following it, while the history provides numerous insights into the evolution of car culture as a whole.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Cozy Stash-Busting Knits
Jen Lucas
Martingale & Company
19021 - 120th Avenue NE, Suite 102, Bothell, WA 98011
9781604687407, $24.99,

Cozy Stash-Busting Knits: 22 Patterns for Hats, Scarves, Cowls & More teaches the basics of how to incorporate knit accessories into a wardrobe and comes from a designer well known for lacy knits and light yarns. Knitters may not realize they can apply the same techniques to heavier yarns to create delicate-looking hats, shawls, and more; but this book offers a wide range of patterns and projects that feature textured stitches and different yarn weights. Experienced and intermediate-level knitters will find much to attract in this excellent survey of knit projects that can be produced from yarn stashes and leftovers.

The Encyclopedia of Sewing Techniques
Wendy Gardiner
Search Press USA
c/o Publishers Group West
1700 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
9781903975664, $19.95,

The Encyclopedia of Sewing Techniques uses a visual dictionary approach to cover basic sewing techniques, reviewing the tricks and tips of the sewing world through a focus on finished pieces and how they were cut, assembled, or sewed. Chapters discuss all the options in each project, from putting together collars and using facing and bands for a smooth finish to sewing curtains and other home furnishings. The result is an excellent compendium of techniques recommended not just for reference consultation, for but browsing to learn new methods and ideas.

The Science Shelf

William C. Burger
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633881938, $26.00,

Complexity: The Evolution of Earth's Biodiversity and the Future of Humanity belongs in any college-level collection strong in natural history titles in general and biodiversity in particular, and comes from a biologist who examines symbiosis and complimentary structures that have contributed to increasing complexity of life forms on Earth. How these cooperative relationships established new resources and new building blocks leading to more advanced creatures, and what these studies imply for human evolution and ongoing efforts of human communities to form symbiotic, cooperative relationships lends to a title that takes the macrocosm of scientific analysis and expands it into the social questions of our times on new technologies and their ultimate impact on human evolution. The result is a lively discourse that will involve science students and general-interest readers alike.

The Computer Shelf

CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487

Two excellent college-level computer guides are top picks for any collection appealing to game designers and programmers. Eric Lengyel edits Game Engine Gems 3 (9781498755658, $89.95), the third volume in the Game Engine Gems series which offers over twenty new chapters on techniques, tricks, and game engine specifics. Each chapter synthesizes the approaches of a range of professionals working in the academic and computer worlds, and discussions range from general programming and graphics to artificial intelligence and game construction. A companion website supports this book with updates, more information, and downloadable source code. Wolfgang Engel edits GPU Pro7 (9781498742535, $89.95), covering the latest edition of a game reference that tackles advanced rendering techniques and special effects that can be used by beginners and graphics programmers alike. New developments in real-time rendering and the latest graphics advancements are covered in a book that surveys DirectX or OpenGL runtimes, different approaches to creating games that run on different consumer platforms, and how to integrate mobile devices and video into the creation. The result is a powerful survey that is highly recommended for any game programmer.

The Business Shelf

Create Your Own Website the Easy Way
Alannah Moore
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781781572900, $19.99

Create Your Own Website the Easy Way: The Complete Guide to Getting You or Your Business Online differs from most website guides in that it's directed not to the computer book reader, but to a small business owner or operator who needs a simple guide to the basics of web design, provided here by an expert web design teacher who assumes no prior knowledge in the subject. Chapters directed to novices cover everything from how to choose a domain name and how to work with images and build a site both functional and attractive to how to begin with WordPress and how to avoid the usual pitfalls novices face. Any who would do their own websites but who seek polished results will find Create Your Own Website the Easy Way an essential introduction, filled with color screen shots and step-by-step specifics that leave little room for confusion.

The Music Shelf

Composing Music for Games
Chance Thomas
CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
9781138021419, $59.95,

While computer collections will likely find the most of value in this discussion of video game composing, Composing Music for Games is featured here because any in the music business who want to know more about video game composition will find it an intriguing approach to the subject, pairing projects and simulations with basic discussions of common practices in producing music scoring for video games. Case studies, tutorials, and real-world applications blend in a survey that uses applied learning to illustrate how game music composition works.

The Cookbook Shelf

Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017

Eleanora Galasso's As the Romans Do: Authentic and Reinvented Recipes from the Eternal City (9781784721602, $29.99) narrows the usual Italian recipe focus to Rome, comes from a Roman native, and offers a satisfying blend of travelogue and recipe book as it considers some 100 recipes new and old, for all meals. The focus is on a typical Roman diet, with holiday traditions supplementing daily foods form breakfasts to dinners. From a Spaghetti Omelet and Pasta with Amatriciana Sauce to an unusual Imperial Style Sweet Golden Bread with Clementine Gelatin, this provides an exceptional coverage of a wide range of Roman fare and stands out from your usual general Italian cookbook by featuring many regional specialties. Cyrus Todiwala's Mr. Todiwala's Spice Box: 120 recipes with Just 10 Spices (9781784721619, $29.99) comes from a UK chef renowned for blending flavors and spices in unique new ways. Todiwala likes blending Indian and Western flavors and this book is filled with new ideas for blending spices and applying them to world dishes. From Philippine Belly of Pork with Shrimp Paste and Coconut Cream to Goan Coconut Rice with Ginger and Fillet of Salmon in Fresh Green Chutney, access to the ten basic spices and some specialty ingredients will assure success for cooks seeking original recipes and a spice-based focus. Eric Lanlard's Afternoon Tea (9781784721466, $24.99) comes from a master patissier who focuses on small sweets and savory bites suitable for afternoon tea, and outlines various recipes that lend to serving with tea. Color photos lavishly illustrate such recipes as Tequila King Prawn Sliders, Mini Upside-Down Pineapple Cakes, and Lemon Posset, adding not only visual embellishment but insights into serving using eye-catching dishes and presentations. The result is a 'must' for any who would produce small dishes to pair with tea.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Knit to Be Tied
Maggie Sefton
Berkeley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780425282502, $26.00,

Knit to Be Tied joins others in the Knitting Mystery series and tells of the Lambspun Knitters, friends at a knitting shop who welcome a new member: pregnancy Nancy, who wants to knit baby clothes. As they learn more about their new addition, the women's knitting group comes to believe Nancy's baby's father is not a good man; but when he comes to an untimely end, it's up to the knitting group to uncover the truth about his actions in this engrossing mystery, especially recommended for fans of knitting and intrigue.

The Psychology Shelf

Adult ADHD
Thom Hartmann
Inner Traditions
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620555750, $14.95,

Adult ADHD: How to Succeed as a Hunter in a Farmer's World offers an intriguing discussion any diagnosed with or working with ADHD adults should have: a survey that shows how hunter-gatherer humans found ADHD traits key to their survival. The more methodical traits accepted and touted today actually come from a different approach to life - that of the farmer - and while modern life is based on this personality skill set, Hunter behaviors should not be forgotten or neglected, but celebrated. After making a case for the importance of these skills, Adult ADHD: How to Succeed as a Hunter in a Farmer's World provides a clear discussion using a blend of science and psychology to show adults how to make the most of their ADHD traits in the workplace. The result is a powerful exploration that sees opportunities in traits often deemed undesirable or challenging.

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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