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The Bookwatch

Volume 6, Number 12 December 2011 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Military Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Business Shelf Islamic Studies Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Gardening Shelf Architecture Shelf
Interior Design Shelf Music Shelf Travel Shelf
Railroading Shelf Crafts Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Cookbook Shelf Engineering Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf Education Shelf
Computer Shelf Writing/Publishing Shelf Art Shelf
Aviation Shelf Sports Shelf Literary Studies Shelf
Social Issues Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Photography Shelf
Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Environmental Studies Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Cabinets of Curiosities
Patrick Mauries
Thames and Hudson
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500515945, $45.00,

Cabinets of Curiosities is packed with so many images it will appeal to art libraries as well, but is recommended here for its special interest to collections appealing to collectors of oddities. It documents the history and contents of the 'cabinets of curiosities' of the seventeenth century, gathered by kings and scholars alike and ranging from actual cabinets to entire rooms of curiosities and treasures from around the world. Not many of the actual rooms exist, but the items which occupied them are housed in museums around the world - and Cabinets of Curiosities covers their contents and history, pairing color photos of museum holdings with discussions of how these cabinets evolved.

The Atheist's Guide to Reality
Alex Rosenberg
W.W. Norton
500 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10110
9780393080230, $25.95,

The Atheist's Guide to Reality: Enjoying Life Without Illusions isn't another book arguing against religious beliefs, but a survey that provides a positive perspective for unbelievers who want a blueprint for leading "the reality-driven life". Chapters offer perspectives of science as a worldview, discuss the nature of reality and meaning in an atheist's life, and considers the deepest questions religion addresses that science can also survey. The subtitle 'enjoying life' says it all - and sets this apart from similar-sound - but very different - approaches to atheism and meaning.

The Military Shelf

Fighting Patton
Harry Yeide
Zenith Press
c/o Quayside Publishing Group
400 First Avenue North, Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55401
9780760341285, $30.00,

FIGHTING PATTON: GEORGE S. PATTON JR. THROUGH THE EYES OF HIS ENEMIES is the first book to consider the legendary general through the eyes of opposing German commanders, and thus moves beyond other Patton biographies to analyze the wartime records and military experience of the leader. Extensive research through German wartime records revealed hundreds of unpublished unit reports and officer accounts reflecting the German perception of Patton. This book offers a unique survey that considers German thinking about Patton's military might, and deserves a place in any serious military history holding.

Osprey Publishing
4402 - 23rd Street, Suite 219
Long Island City, NY 11101-5058

Alex Clark's SMALL-SCALE ARMOUR MODELLING (9781849084147, $39.95) offers an in-depth guide for modelers who want to create military miniatures from World War II to modern times, and uses a visual, step-by-step approach to creating pieces. From painting different styles of camouflage to finishing models and detailing, this is a specialty pick for any involved in military model crafts or who are interested in the specifics of military small-scale armor, and will appeal to crafts and military holdings alike. Piers Brand,'s AMBUSH VALLEY: VIETNAM 1965-1975 (9781849085342, $24.95) provides wargames players with a fine military survey of Vietnam tactics and strategy which should reach beyond game shelves into military holdings. It packs in history, discussions of unit activities, special tactics, and battle scenarios, includes theater-specific rules for engagement, and provides wargamers with experience for jungle, field and urban settings in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia alike. A pick for wargame and military libraries too. Brian J. Ford's SECRET WEAPONS; TECHNOLOGY, SCIENCE & THE RACE TO WIN WORLD WAR II (9781849083904, $25.95) spans over six years and four continents and covers the secret scientific research of the war. From rocket developments to the Manhattan Project and beyond, this introduces the people behind the research, the major discoveries that lead to breakthroughs applied to military might, and provides a story packed with vintage black and white and a few color photos throughout. Chris McNab's HITLER'S ARMIES: A HISTORY OF THE GERMAN WAR MACHINE 1939-45 (9781849086479, $40.00) provides a fine, definitive work on the Nazi war machine's progress from its victories to its downfall, following the strategies of Nazi battles and covering the history of the development and deployment of Hitler's armies. Original artwork and photos accompany a powerful survey recommended for any in-depth World War II library. Len Nordeen's AV-8B HARRIER II UNITS OF OPERATIONS DESERT SHIELD AND DESERT STORM (9781849084444, $22.95) provides a narrow focus on the Harrier II, among the first tactical air assets to be deployed in Operation Desert Shield. Any collection strong in the history of this event will find this a powerful focus on the tactical squadrons that participated in air support during the endeavor. A fine pick for any serious military history collection!

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Witches' Book of the Dead
Christian Day
Weiser Books
c/o Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7
Newburyport, MA 01950-4600
9781578635061, $19.95,

The Witches' Book of the Dead comes from a modern warlock who reveals the history of necromancy and its relationship to witchcraft. Readers are provided with rituals, spells and incantations on opening the door to the spirit world, receive tips on how to build an ancestral altar, and will enjoy chapters picked with such topics as necromancer rituals of Greece, graveyard rituals and incantations, spirit mediumship and more. New age collections strong in manuals for wiccans will find this a fine addition.

Enlightenment Ain't What It's Cracked Up to Be
Robert K.C. Forman, PhD
O Books
c/o John Hunt Publishing Ltd.
The Bothy, Deershot Lodge Park Lane
Ropley Hampshire SO24 OBE UK
9781846946745, $16.95,

Enlightenment Ain't What It's Cracked Up to Be pairs a memoir of Robert K.C. Forman's spiritual odyssey with a survey of a new course of action for those still seeking spiritual enlightenment. It explores a nearly-forty-year journey and discusses such issues as following spiritual teachers who don't live up to their goals, living a spiritual life in the midst of everyday life challenges, and understanding different religious perspectives on enlightenment. Any new age or spirituality collection will find this lively and thought-provoking.

The Audiobook Shelf

Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017-0010

Joyce Meyer's LIVING BEYOND YOUR FEELINGS: CONTROLLING EMOTIONS SO THEY DON'T CONTROL YOU (9781611139082, $26.98) is unabridged on CD, read by the author's youngest daughter Sandra McCollom, and provides a fine survey of how to understand brain processes and how to manage reactions to feelings. From four personality types ad their influences on outlook to the impact of stress on physical and emotional health, this offers a tool box to live beyond emotional reactions, and is a pick for any psychology or self-help collection. Roger Ebert's LIFE ITSELF: A MEMOIR (9781609410353, $34.98) receives a fine reading by Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor Edward Herrmann who has many Broadway credits to his name and provides a fine survey of a movie critic who won a Pulitzer Price for criticism and struggled with complications from thyroid cancer. His entire life is recounted in a powerful memoir perfect for any lending library. Florence Henderson with Joel Brokaw's LIFE IS NOT A STAGE (9781611139563, $29.98) is narrated by Henderson herself and traces her journey from Broadway to television and beyond. It tells of her poor childhood foundations, her life in a home without electricity or running water, and a broken home. Despite it all Henderson evolved to make a big name for herself in the entertainment world, and her memoir charts how and comes to life in audio. John Maxwell's THE FIVE LEVELS OF LEADERSHIP (9781607885177, $26.98) receives Maxwell's own smooth voice and provides a powerful survey of his most popular topic: on leadership. Examples, insights and discussions of five levels of leadership and change make for an inspiring audio especially recommended for business collections. Dr. David Jeremiah's I NEVER THOUGHT I'D SEE THE DAY! (9781611139228, $26.98) comes from the senior pastor of a community church in California and examines the decline of Western civilization. From trends in marriage and spiritual failures to the rise of atheism and American rejections of Israel, this charts the fall of morals and ethics in the world and is filled with thought-provoking arguments. Sandra Brown's LETHAL (9781609419172, $34.98) receives a fine reading by Victor Slezak, an American TV and stage actor who has many films to his credit and who lends a spicy voice to LETHAL, the story of a dangerous, armed man and a hostage situation that will change Honor's life. A hidden secret and the involvement of a merciless crime boss and killer may cost Honor and Emily their lives in this tense thriller, which comes to life in audio. Robert Ludlum's THE ARES DECISION (9781600246117, $29.98) provides a story based on Ludlum's series, written by Kyle Mills, and read by Jeffrey Woodman, a seven-time audiobook winning voice. A president's own clandestine group must spring into action when a biological weapon is readied to be released upon the world. A cat-and-mouse game becomes a deadly race with the survival of humanity at stake in this thriller. Christopher Hitchens' ARGUABLY (9781611139068, $34.98) provides a fine collection of essays that come to life in audio under the British voice of Simon Prebble, a veteran audiobook narrator. Here a range of critical insights on basic ethical principles and social and political issues make this a powerful survey with wide-ranging subjects and observations. Any interested in literary and social observation will find these essays bright and inspiring. Nicholas Sparks' THE BEST OF ME (9781611139044, $34.98) receives Sean Pratt's fine audiobook narration skills and tells of two high school students who fall in love. They seem to come from very different worlds and after graduation they part - but now twenty-five years later they are back in the small town for a funeral - and are facing new romance. A fine audio romance novel comes alive for listeners! Michael Moore's HERE COMES TROUBLE (9781600244698, $29.98) is narrated by the author himself and here offers over twenty vignettes from his early life, from being a pre-teen lost in the Senate to ending up on national news when he goes out for a snack. His encounters with top officials and his fun early years pair with his outrageous encounters in later years to make for a winning, fun listen. Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee's FORBIDDEN (9781611139105, $34.98) is another addition to the Books of Mortals, is read unabridged by Henry Leyva who is a classically trained actor, and provides a powerful thriller set years after civilization's brunch with apocalypse, in a world where there's no war or hatred: just peace and fear. Every soul walking the earth is actually dead .but a vile of blood and a puzzle might change that, and bring back a hate-filled world. An exceptional thriller evolves. Ellen Degeneres' SERIOUSLY I'M KIDDING (9781609410414, $26.98) profiles actress and comedian Ellen Degeneres' special brand of humor, appears unabridged on 3 CDs narrated by Degeneres, and tackles a range of fun topics. Any familiar with her unique take on the world will find this a pleasing audio all the better for her own voice narrating her humor.

Penguin Audio
c/o The Penguin Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014

Stuart Woods's SON OF STONE (9781611760173, $29.95) provides a fine new Stone Barrington novel narrated by Tony Roberts, an actor who has appeared on Broadway and in many films. His smooth voice enlivens the story of a bachelor who returns to New York and finds himself investigating the city's underworld once more. Fine intrigue makes this a top recommendation for any audio collection strong in thrillers. John Sandford's SHOCK WAVE (9781611760156, $39.95) is paired with a fine reading by audio award-winner Eric Conger, and provides a fine new Virgil Flowers thriller telling of a risky new case revolving around a chain store's expansion ideas and a protest which turns deadly. Virgil's investigation of a series of bombings leads to a deadly series of encounters in this engrossing thriller. William Shatner works with Chris Regan in SHATNER RULES (9781611760231, $29.95), narrated by Shatner himself and offering a collection of 'rules' based on Shatner's life and career. How he became a larger-than-life television personality and actor makes for an engrossing autobiography that comes to life in audio presentation.

The Business Shelf

The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs
Carmine Gallo
c/o The McGraw Hill Companies
Two Penn Plaza, 11th Floor, NY, NY 10121-2298
007174875X, $25.00,

The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs: Insanely Different Principles for Breakthrough Success teaches how to rethink business and revitalize success using the formulas Steve Jobs followed to change the nature of innovation and its presentation. Seven Principles of Innovation inspired by Jobs teaches such ideas as how to sell dreams over products and how to thank differently about design and positive experiences. Jobs' visionary example provides a fine formula for change and innovation and this identifies his key principles.

1601 Broadway, New York NY 10019-7420

John H. McConnell's AUDITING YOUR HUMAN RESOURCES DEPARTMENT: A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO ASSESSING THE KEY AREAS OF YOUR PROGRAM (9780814416617, $79.95) is for any business leader thinking about auditing a human resource department's activities to assure better practices. It provides a framework for a rigorous self-assessment routine, from gathering key information and scoring answers to analyzing data. Forms, checklists, and more are packed into a weighty, in-depth survey in a new second edition that covers the latest workplace laws and developments in technology as they relate to HR audits and operations. A fine reference for any serious business collection. A MANAGER'S GUIDE TO VIRTUAL TEAMS by Yael Zofi (9780814416594, $27.95) tells how virtual teams are reshaping the nature of business, cutting staffing costs and creating both new opportunities and new challenges for managers. From working through cultural and distance differences to proven best practices reflecting some 20-plus years of experience, Yael Zofi provides team managers with an in-depth survey of virtual teams and their organization and potential. A fine pick for any manager's collection!

Entrepreneur Press
2445 McCabe Way Suite 400, Irvine CA 92614-6244

Dr. Joey Faucette's WORK POSITIVE IN A NEGATIVE WORLD: REDEFINE YOUR REALITY AND ACHIEVE YOUR BUSINESS DREAMS (1599184206, $19.95) provides a fine survey of techniques for achieving employee satisfaction, from avoiding negative co-workers to motivating employees and expressing appreciation for work done. The idea is to engage workers more effectively to encourage better attitude and production, looking for the emotional attractor that succeeds in linking business success to engagement. Employees also receive many tips to gaining better satisfaction at work, making Work Positive in a Negative World an exceptional survey that negates the typical focus on how to get a better job. Jay Conrad Levinson and Jeannie Levinson's THE BEST OF GUERRILLA MARKETING: GUERRILLA MARKETING REMIX (9781599184227, $21.95) outlines the basic five secrets to guerrilla marketing concepts and teams with over 35 'Guerrilla' co-authors to explore secrets of such marketing strategies. From being convenient and involved to motivating others to respond and buy, this gathers the best tactics of the guerrilla marketing movement and is a 'must' for any looking at alternative marketing in general and the guerrilla movement's applications specifically.

Content is Cash
Wendy Montes de Oca, MBA
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
0789741083, $24.99,

Content is Cash: Leveraging Great Content and the Web for Increased Traffic, Sales, Leads and Buzz tells business owners and entrepreneurs how to use the author's SONAR Content Distribution Model to earn results from content they already have - even if there's no prior familiarity with internet marketing. It shows how to use best web marketing practices to generate excitement and sales for a business, and provides an internet marketing strategy based on real-world results. Any involved in web sales needs to look at this.

The Islamic Studies Shelf

Puritan Islam
Barry Aron Vann
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781616145170, $26.00,

PURITAN ISLAM: THE GEOEXPANSION OF THE MUSLIM WORLD provides a fine, complete analysis of Muslim population shifts in the Western world and surveys the theological factors that affect these trends. From 'imagined geographies' of Muslims to how their view of the world is divided into and affected by perceptions of sacred spaces, this blends social with religious analysis and observation and makes for a fine pick for Middle East history and spirituality collections alike.

Cotton, Climate and Camels in Early Islamic Iran
Richard W. Bulliet
Columbia University Press
61 West 62nd St., New York NY 10023
9780231148375, $24.50,

Cotton, Climate and Camels in Early Islamic Iran: A Moment in World History provides a fine history of Iran, which experienced a boom in the production and expert of cotton yet experienced a fall in the eleventh century. Its economic demise and failing powers in the region are charted in a survey that focuses on relationships between Iran's cotton industry and Islam, and how events changed the history of the nation and its relationship with the world. Any college-level Middle East studies collection needs this in-depth survey.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Grumble Hallelujah
Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
9781414338019, $14.99,

Grumble Hallelujah: Learning to Love Your Life Even When It Lets You Down is for any who want to connect with God at their lowest moments in life, and pairs humor with stories and scriptural backing to help readers see how a life is meant to be lived and loved, even through adversity. Chapters come from a 'public' blogger who reflects on her own reactions to adversity and the paths that led her to a deeper connection with God. Any spirituality collection will find this reflection both personal and inspirational.

The Names of God Bible
Ann Spangler, General Editor
c/o Baker Publishing Group
Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287
9780800719319, $34.99,

THE NAMES OF GOD BIBLE provides a powerful survey intended for readers with no knowledge of Hebrew who want to read through the Bible to locate God's names and titles. Her the Hebrew transliteration of the names and title of God are printed in the biblical text and provides convenient name pages, introductions to each book of the Bible, topical prayer guides, and much more. Any scholarly spirituality collection will find this a fine addition!

The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook
J. Daniel Hays and J. Scott Duvall, Editors
Baker Publishing Group
Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287
9780801012969, $39.99,

The Baker Illustrated Bible Handbook packs in over 500 color illustrations, maps and photos and is a comprehensive book-by-book guide to the Bible. It pairs references to Biblical passages to paragraphs of analysis explaining each passage and its history and meaning, offering the ability to combine a reading of the Bible with interpretations in plain English. A 'must' for any collection looking for a study adjunct that is inviting and easy.

The Gardening Shelf

Aquaponic Gardening
Sylvia Bernstein
New Society Publishers
Box 189, Gabriola Island, BC V0R 1X0, Canada
9780865717015, $29.95,

Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-by-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together is a pick for any gardening or aquaculture collection and provides a unique handbook on a blend of aquaculture and hydroponics that leads to raising fish together with organic veggies and fruits. Aquaponic systems use up to 90 percent less water than conventional gardens: this covers everything from system options and design to adding fish and plants and maintaining a healthy, productive system. Highly recommended for any gardening collection.

How to Grow Winter Vegetables
Charles Dowding
Green Books
9781900322881 L14.95,

How to Grow Winter Vegetables offers an inspiring survey of growing vegetables in winter, covering the vegetables that can grow even in under uncertain British weather conditions. Not much grows in winter, but with planning ahead, plots may be sown and planted at specific times during the year to produce winter fare. From a growing calendar to sections covering harvesting and storing produce, this is packed with keys to year-round vegetable gardening and is a fine pick for any vegetable gardener's collection.

New Decorating Book
Better Homes & Gardens
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9780470887141, $24.99,

New Decorating Book provides a fine survey of home styles and fresh ideas for makeovers and quick projects and is a top pick for general lending collections who would gain new ideas for everything from bedding choices to tile and paint. Color photos liberally pack every page and provide insights while discussions of design basics cover all the 'dos and don'ts' of a home decorating project.

The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds
Robert Gough and Cheryl Moore-Gough
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCa Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781603425742, $24.95,

Keys to collecting and preserving over three hundred kinds of vegetable, herb, flower and fruit and tree seeds are provided in one of the largest resources available on cultivating all kinds of plants from seed, making for an invaluable reference for any gardening collection. The authors have nearly a century of combined gardening experience and here discuss selecting for the most desirable traits of each plant to maintain favored genetics. An alphabetical arrangement makes it easy to pick specific plants and to work with their special seed requirements.

The Architecture Shelf

A Visual Dictionary of Architecture, second edition
Francis D.K. Ching
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9780470648858, $55.00,

The second updated edition of A Visual Dictionary of Architecture provides a fine, completely revised edition of a classic that should be in any serious architectural library, offering line drawings and text describing essential terms in architecture and buildings. An arrangement by theme from history and forms and construction makes for easy and quick access while readers more inclined to browse will find the diagrams, charts, and black and white illustrations throughout to be eye-catching and clear. No architecture library should be without this!

House in the Landscape
Jeremiah Eck
Princeton Architectural Press
37 East 7th St., New York NY 10003
9781568988238, $40.00,

House in the Landscape: Siting Your Home Naturally is for anyone designing or building a home, from architects to involved homeowners and builders, and provides a key book to matching a site to a building. From preserving natural vegetation around the house to making early siting decisions that incorporate better designs and environmental awareness, this features over twenty houses by fine residential architects in the field and discusses the issues each site posed. A fine pick for home builder and architectural collections alike!

Tom Kundig: Houses 2
Tom Kundig
Princeton Architectural Press
37 East 7th St., New York NY 10003
9781616890407, $55.00,

Tom Kundig: Houses 2 provides a fine monograph recommended for home and garden and architectural libraries alike. Over two hundred pages feature 17 homes and follows the original title published in 2006, adding new works and profiling his latest achievements. His recent works offer balances between sophisticated and tactile, offering insights into his architectural innovations and approaches and surveying the mechanics of each house's construction. Highly recommended, especially for college-level architecture holdings.

The Interior Design Shelf

Design Thinking for Interiors
Joy Dohr and Margaret Portillo
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9780470569016, $70.00,

Architecture and home design collections will find Design Thinking for Interiors provides a serious survey of the design profession and its options and offers interior designers a theory book packed with real-life stories that show hat separates a memorable design from something mundane. Photos and drawings illustrate the basic concepts involved in superior design processes and cover everything from market impact and creating architectural identity to learning design basics from vernacular traditions. Any college-level collection strong in interior design will find this a studied yet very accessible analysis.

A Home of Her Own
Nancy R. Hiller & Kendall Reeves
Indiana University Press
601 North Morton Street
Bloomington, IN 47404-3797
9780253223531, $29.95,

A Home of Her Own packs in over 100 color photos and provides details on a wide variety of homes and how they evolved. Chapters offers a room-by-room analysis of setting and items and accompany overall history of how the owners evolved their style and made choices. It profiles women who have restored their own homes and it offers a fine pick for home and garden and women's holdings alike.

The Music Shelf

Guitar Exercises for Dummies
Mark Phillips and Jon Chappell
For Dummies
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9780470387665, $22.99,

Guitar Exercises for Dummies teaches would-be musicians all the basics, from practice warm-ups and scales to playing full-length songs and pieces, and is accompanied by an audio CD packed with playing techniques and examples. From a review of basic guitar fundamentals to notation and warmups, this provides a practice-oriented playbook for any who would further their skills.

The Travel Shelf

Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street, Oakland CA 94607

Sarina Singh,'s INDIA (9781741797800, $31.99) appears in its 30th anniversary edition to update all its extensive listings on the country's travel options, and is a 'must' for any planning a trip. Sidebars of color coded detail accompany updated tips on where to stay, eat and what to do in all parts of the country, including assessments of travel options to move between attractions. From top sights to shopping, this is a 'must' trip planner for any independent traveler. Also a 'must' is TASMANIA by Brett Atkinson and Gabi Mocatta (9781741794618, $24.99), packing I n over forty maps and identifying outdoors activities throughout Tasmania, as well as tips on where to eat and sleep. Color photos pepper a presentation that includes small local maps and plenty of insiders' tips on getting around the less-beaten paths of the country. Since Tasmania is usually tossed in with guides to nearby Australia or New Zealand, it's especially pleasing to see this 'dedicated' survey offering far more depth and detail to independent travelers. Lonely Planet Rajasthan, Delhi & Agra (9781741794601, $24.99) by Lindsay Brown is also a top planning tool for destination-bound travelers, and packs in nearly fifty small maps, a pull-out city map, comprehensive planning tools for travel and tips on how to get by in India without a guide. All the key highlights of the region are covered in a guide packed with practical travel tips throughout! BELIZE by Mara Vorhees and Joshua Samuel Brown (9781741794656, $19.99) provides all the keys to getting to and around the country and is packaged in a fine take-along tote recommended for any interested in travel to the country. Small line maps, sidebars of at-a-glance travel detail, and more make this a fine survey! Brendan Sainsbury and Luke Waterson's CUBA (9781741798029, $22.99) achieves the same for Cuba, representing fifteen weeks of research and plenty of details on Cuba's unique culture, cars, and where to find them. Chapters are filled with detail on travel around the entire country, making for a must-have, take-along tote.

Chasing the Devil
Tim Butcher
Atlas & Company
15 West 26th Street, 2nd floor
New York, NY 10010
9781935633297, $26.95,

CHASING THE DEVIL: A JOURNEY THROUGH SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GRAHAM GREENE tells of an expedition undertaken in 1935 by Greene and his cousin Barbara: a 350-mile journey from Sierra Leone to the Liberian coast. Their journey was recreated in 2009 by author Tim Butcher, who compares his experiences and trek with Graham Greene's. His survey of the changing social and political worlds of the nations of Africa makes this a powerful account of modern life in Western Africa.

The Man Who Would Stop at Nothing
Melissa Holbrook Pierson
W.W. Norton
500 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10110
9780393079043, $24.95,

The Man Who Would Stop at Nothing: Long-Distance Motorcycling's Endless Road provides a quirky travelogue from an author who participated in long-distance motorcycle trips to understand its obsession. Her observations of a community of distance motorcycle riders, their passion, and the experiences that evolved from long road trips makes for an engrossing travelogue packed with insights on a group that regularly crosses forty-eight contiguous states or undertakes challenging motorcycle drives. Any travel collection or sports collection strong in motorcycle memoirs needs this!

The Railroading Shelf

Greenberg's Guides: Marx Trains Pocket Price Guide, ninth edition
Kalmbach Books
21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53186
9780897785426, $12.95,

Greenberg's Guides: Marx Trains Pocket Price Guide is a pick for any train buff who wants details on the latest prices for Marx train sets. This updated ninth edition packs in model numbers, the latest prices in good or excellent condition, and is divided by types of cars for easy reference. Any collection catering to rail buffs, modelers or collectors will find this slim pocket-sized guide a winner.

Train Shunting and Marshalling for the Modeller
Bob Essery
Ian Allan Publishing
9780711036321, $32.95,

Train Shunting and Marshalling for the Modeller is a pick for any involved in model train layouts and provides the author's expertise and insistence on 'realism in miniature'. Chapters narrow the model focus to the practices of shunting and marshaling passenger or freight trains, pairing over 150 historical illustrations with discussion of the evolution of shunting, arrangement of locomotive sheds, and more. Modellers will find this specific and well focused.

Digital Command Control: The Definitive Guide
Ian Morton
Ian Allan Publishing
9780711035027, $32.95,

Digital Command Control: The Definitive Guide offers instructive text to pair a history of DCC with practical keys to converting an existing layout to DCC or installing DCC on a new layout. Modelers and any working with rail layouts will find this offers specific step-by-step instructions well suited to specific locomotives and decoder options, and will find this a fine pick for any railway model collection.

Garden Railway Manual
Richard Blizzard
Haynes Publishing
9781844257157, $32.95,

Garden Railway Manual: The Complete Step-By-Step Guide to Building and Running a Narrow-Gauge Garden Railway is a top recommendation for any modeler who would build a narrow-gauge garden railway and explains all parts of the process, from constructing a railway from kit pieces to putting together outside track, landscaping and logical layouts. Filled with examples and color photos, GARDEN RAILWAY MANUAL covers all the basics and should join any references in the serious outdoor modeler's collection.

The Crafts Shelf

Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry
Barbara Lewis
North Light Books
c/o F+W Media
4700 East Galbraith Road
Cincinnati, OH 45236
1440308861, $24.99,

Any crafts or jewelry-making collection interested in different projects will welcome Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry: A Workshop in Painting With Fire. The technique blends beading and wire-working and uses torch-fired enameled beads for unique creations. Over twenty projects highlight these beads and offer projects ranging form pendants to necklaces and beyond in a workshop that accompanies production tips with overall step-by-step jewelry and metal-working techniques. The color photos and range of creative projects makes this an attractive, appealing jewelry-maker's introduction to enamel work.

Bead Riffs
Rachel Nelson-Smith
Lark Books
387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016
9781600597831, $27.95,

Bead Riffs: Jewelry Projects in Peyote & Right Angle Weave covers over twenty beaded jewelry projects inspired by jazz, with step-by-step projects offering a right angle weave foundation and building variations on a theme. Unexpected combinations are built into each piece and improvisation is encouraged in a title that uses Riff It suggestions to foster creativity. Any jewelry-making collection needs this!

Color, Texture & Casting for Jewelers
Carles Codina
Lark Books
387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016
9781454700173, $29.95,

Color, Texture & Casting for Jewelers: Hands-on Demonstrations & Practice Applications provides a fine manual covering every process in jewelry design and is a 'must' for any jewelry making library. It comes from a professional studio jeweler who has taught in Spain for over 20 years and exhibited his jewelry worldwide, and it provides step-by-step color photos illustrating the basics of jewelry color and casting. Any newcomer to the process will find this coverage specific and useful!

Made to Play!
Joel Henriques
Roost Books
c/o Shambhala Publications
300 Massachusetts Avenue
Boston, MA 02115-4544
9781590309124, $18.95,

MADE TO PLAY! HANDMADE TOYS AND CRAFTS FOR GROWING IMAGINATION is a fine pick for any parent who wants to work on crafts projects with a child. There are some thirty and more simple toy and craft projects designed for parent/child use, complete with overview, templates, and ideas a child can customize. Most just need paper, scissors, glue, pens and things already around the house. It's a quirky, fun guide no collection should be without!

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Zone One
Colson Whitehead
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
9780385528078, $25.95,

ZONE ONE provides a powerful post-apocalyptic horror novel and is set in a near future where a pandemic has devastated the planet and left humanity in two surviving forms: the uninfected and the infected. The worst is over and the military is in charge of helping rebuild America - but pockets of plague remain. The future world is observed from the viewpoint of one Mark, member of a three-person civilian sweeper unit. This is a tense, riveting thriller any general lending library will find appealing.

The Sunday Books
Mervyn Peake and Michael Moorcock
c/o The Overlook Press
141 Wooster Street, New York, NY 10012
9781590207116, $27.95,

Mervyn Peake may be best celebrated for his epic Gormenghast series and his illustrations of Treasure Island and Alice in Wonderland, but his work with Michael Moorcock in THE SUNDAY BOOKS offers stories of pirates, shipwrecks and more and comes with fine drawings. Sixty years after their creation Michael Moorcock invented stories and songs to go with Peake's drawings and thus THE SUNDAY BOOKS evolved to mark the centenary of Peake's birth. Families and all ages will find the color drawings and fun action compelling: fantasy at its best!

Catherine Asaro
Baen Books
1230 Avenue of Americas, New York NY 10020
9781451637489, $25.00,

CARNELIANS provides a new Skolian Empire novel for any interested in political intrigue and military science fiction, and presents a world newly settled by treaty. Assassins are poised on both sides ready to eliminate leaders in favor of peace, when a dangerous strong, 'Carnelians Finale', helps violence escalate on the eve before the peace summit. A fine, tense thriller evolves where peace and war are at the heart of an uncertain future.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Two Patch Scrap Quilts
Pat Yamin
American Quilter's Society
Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290
9781604600025, $26.95,

Two Patch Scrap Quilts offers a host of projects for busy quilters using machines or working by hand, and provides color schemes and ideas for 2-color patch scrap quilts. Over twenty patterns in three quilt sizes cover everything from fat quarters to precut strips and shapes, making this a recommendation for all levels of quilter.

American Quilter's Society
Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290

Patricia L. Brown's EASY BATIK LANDSCAPE QUILTS (9781604600049, $24.95) provides sixteen patterns that can be used as a guide to making landscape quilts, combining piecing and applique‚ for texture and drama. Any who machine or hand quilt will find these patterns very accessible, with pages packed with easy patterns and accompanying instructions and color photos. Lone J. Minkkinen's QUILTING DESIGNS FROM NATURE (9781604600018, $26.95) packs in over 100 continuous line quilting design patterns, arranges them by theme, and provides templates that can be enlarged or reduced to create designs. These have been created for continuous machine quilting but hand quilters will find them adaptable and fun, with 'start and stop' arrows offering fine and easy instructions beginners will appreciate.

Tilda's Studio
Tone Finnanger
David & Charles
c/o F+W Media
4700 East Galbraith Road
Cincinnati, OH 45236
9781446301586, $24.99,

Tilda's Studio: Over 50 fresh projects for you, your home and loved ones offers crafters an array of home designs for everything from dolls with clothing to home decorations to gifts, and is the perfect grab bag of projects for any needlework collection. It offers lovely photos and provides an array of projects especially suitable to newcomers to Finnanger's crafts style, explored in other 'Tilda' titles.

Knitting Around the World
Lela Nargi
Voyageur Press
c/o Quayside Publishing Group
400 First Avenue North, Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55401
9780760337943, $35.00,

Knitting Around the World: A Multistranded History of a Time-Honored Tradition provides a fine history of hand-knitting in different countries and is a more extensive review of world knitting traditions than most titles offer. Chapters following knitting's evolution from its origins in the Islamic World through Spain and into Western Europe, considering how different traditions evolved in different parts of the world. Any needlework collection looking for an oversized, colorful and in-depth review of world knitting history will find this a fun winner!

Carolyn Forster
3100 NW 101st St Suite A, Urbandale, IL 50322
9781935726098, $29.95,

Quilting-On-the-Go explains how to break large quilt designs into small portable sections and displays blocks that can be pieced on one cutting, joined easily, and which offers some 15 projects with full-size templates for easy production. Step-by-step diagrams and color photos round out the presentation which is satisfying for busy quilters who want an easy approach to creating and joining quilts.

The Cookbook Shelf

Best Food Writing 2011
Holly Hughes, Editor
c/o Perseus Books Group
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
9780738215181, $16.00,

Best Food Writing 2011 pairs stories and essays from the past year's books, magazines, newspapers and websites to offer a delicious literary culinary feast of history and popular food culture. From how 'soul food' expanded African American culture to how a cook changed from a recipe-follower to a cook operating on instinct and personal knowledge, this is packed with deliciously intriguing discussions of all types of foods, trends, and personal experiences and is a 'must' for literary and culinary collections alike.

Chronicle Books
680 - 2nd St., San Francisco CA 94107

Mark and Michael Klebeck with Jess Thomson's TOP POT HAND-FORGED DOUGHNUTS: SECRETS AND RECIPES FOR THE HOME BAKER (9781452102122, $16.95) comes from a Seattle institution that opened in 2002 and continues successfully to this day, and provides hand-made doughnuts with a unique twist. From the pastel-frosted Pink Feather Boa to a double chocolate creation, recipes are packed with extra flavor and avoid the usual deep fryer approach, offering baked yeast-raised, cake-style doughnuts as well as Apple Fritters and more. Any collection strong in dessert cookery will relish this! General collections will also welcome Robin Asbell's BIG VEGAN (9780811874670, $29.95), which packs in over 350 no meat/dairy vegan dishes and celebrates meals that come from the soil. Nutrition insights accompany easy dishes such as Green Apple and Cashew Spring Rolls, Japanese Asparagus with Walnut Dressing, Spicy Southwestern Fruit Salad, and more. Color photos by Kate Sears rounds out the extensive presentation which will delight vegans and non-vegans alike with its unique - and very easy - dishes.

650 Best Food Processor Recipes
George Geary & Judith Finlayson
Robert Rose
120 Eglinton Avenue East Suite 800
Toronto ON, Canada, M4P 1E2
9780778802501, $24.95,

650 Best Food Processor Recipes provides a fine survey of dishes that can be churned out of a food processor, and offers time-saving tips for classic dishes ranging from appetizers to soups, sweets and more. Recipes here have been specifically created for use with food processors and show how to make the most of its dicing and mixing capabilities. Recipes even include dressings and condiments. Color photos peppered throughout add to the excitement!

Piece of Cake!
Camilla V. Saulsbury
Robert Rose
120 Eglinton Avenue East Suite 800
Toronto ON, Canada, M4P 1E2
9780778802778, $29.95,

Piece of Cake! One Bowl, No-Fuss, From-Scratch Cakes provides an easy formula for making cakes from scratch using only one bowl and easy mixing methods that don't involve sifting, separating eggs, or any other time-consuming methods. Lay-flat, concealed wire hardcover binding offers easy shelving and lay-flat kitchen use and supports an approach that lends to quick and successful from-scratch cakes. Add color photos throughout and you have a winner suitable for any busy cook still interested in making food 'from scratch'.

c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774

Gretchen Holt-Witt and Lucy Schaeffer's COOKIES FOR KIDS' CANCER (9780470947616, $19.99) comes from a 2007 goal of the author's, to bake and sell 96,000 cookies during the holidays to fund research for pediatric cancer. Her success raised over, $400,000 for new pediatric cancer treatments and prompted the creation of her Cookies for Kids' Cancer program when more orders for cookies continued to pour in. This cookbook stems from her efforts and proceeds from it, too, go to pediatric cancer research, making it a hit for any cookie or philanthropist's collection! Ellie Krieger's COMFORT FOOD FIX: FEEL GOOD FAVORITES MADE HEALTHY (9780470603093, $29.99) provides healthy remakes of comfort foods that don't sacrifice familiar flavor. Over a hundred fifty recipes for meatloaf, lasagna, pot pies, mac and cheese and more eliminate much of the calories and fat but retain flavor and easy preparation, making this a top pick for any lending library. Barbara Ann Kipfer's THE CULINARIAN: A KITCHEN DESK REFERENCE (9780470554241, $19.99) provides a fine culinary reference collection and is compiled by an expert researcher and food-lover who defines a wide range of ingredients, pairing definitions with culinary history, usage, and tips on selecting and storing ingredients and kitchen equipment alike. A fine reference for any home cook, this is packaged in a user-friendly format lending to browsing and quick consultation alike!

Off the Menu
Marissa Guggiana
Welcome Books
6 West 18th St., New York NY 10011
9781599621029, $40.00,

OFF THE MENU: STAFF MEALS FROM AMERICA'S TOP RESTAURANTS is an outstanding recommendation for any serious cookbook collection and provides tips from chefs who work in sustainable restaurants across the country. Staff meals sourced locally feature world influences and include such dishes as Shrimp Curry, Slow-Roasted Korean Pork, and Sal's Chicken Cacciatore - all adapted for easy home use. Color photos throughout lend to an outstanding survey!

Notes from a Maine Kitchen
Kathy Gunst
Down East Books
PO Box 679, Camden, ME 04843
978892729173, $27.95,

Notes from a Maine Kitchen: Seasonally Inspired Recipes provides a fine literary cookbook that offers a monthly survey of Maine dishes and seasonal activities, and which pares essays and anecdotes with over seventy dishes based on Maine seasonal specialties. From blueberry pie to Creamed Spinach with Yogurt and Nutmeg, this is packed with family reflections and dishes perfect for any who harbor an affection for Maine's culture and culinary attributes.

Menu Cookbook
America's Test Kitchen Editors
America's Test Kitchen
c/o Deborah Broide --
1933615907, $35.00,

THE AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN MENU COOKBOOK provides over fifty menus and 250 foolproof recipes that make menu planning a snap, with a seasonal arrangement lending to dishes perfect for celebrations and holidays. Each seasonal section holds 10 or more complete menus - and each include color photos and clear, easy directions to assure successful results. THE AMERICA'S TEST KITCHEN MENU COOKBOOK is a winning pick especially recommended for those home cooks who would gain new entertainment ideas with classy recipes and dishes providing fine showcases.

Edible Brooklyn: The Cookbook
Rachel Wharton
Sterling Epicure
c/o Sterling Publishing Company
387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016-8810
9781402785542, $18.95,

Edible Brooklyn: The Cookbook packs in over 100 recipes, tips and techniques for foods that come from Brooklyn kitchens and origins, and makes for pays tribute to those who feed and sustain their community. More than a cookbook, it surveys Brooklyn byways and peoples, packs in color photos, and includes recipes for dishes such as Baked Bluefish and Long Island Clams with Chorizo and Beer. A fine 'must' for any regional American cookbook collection!

The Engineering Shelf

Automotive Sheet Metal Forming & Fabrication
Matt Joseph
39966 Grand Avenue, North Branch, MN 55056
9781934709368, $24.95,

Automotive Sheet Metal Forming & Fabrication provides instruction and information on how to become a skilled metal craftsman and teaches the basics of designing and fabricating with simple tools. From using a range of specialized metal working tools and equipment to working with different metals and selecting the right ones for fabrication, this covers all the basics and is a 'must' for any working in automotive design.

Frequency Synthesizers: Concept to Product
Alexander Chenakin
Artech House
685 Canton St., Norwood, MA 02062
1596932309, $129.00,

Frequency Synthesizers: Concept to Product is a pick for any serious engineering collection strong in electronic theory and applications. It provides an extensive resource for RF and microwave engineers, reviewing both classic and modern frequency synthesizer design techniques and offering basic explanations that include how to build a synthesizer from a basic diagram to a completed product. It offers introductions starting from a simple single-loop PLL example and moves into more advanced circuitry and design recipes. Newcomers to seasoned engineers will find this a top pick!

Artech House
685 Canton St., Norwood, MA 02062

The third updated edition of Bruce R. Elbert's INTRODUCTION TO SATELLITE COMMUNICATION (1596932104, $99.00) is a key reference for any college-level or professional collection strong in communications engineering. It covers engineering systems as applied to satellite communications, including updates on frequencies, spacecraft, modern satellite networks, and more. All the basics of satellite and ground control and communications systems are covered in a technical survey of the applications and construction of commercial satellite networks, including economic and management issues in running such operations. Rainer Kolle, Garik Markarian and Alex Tarter's AVIATION SECURITY ENGINEERING: A HOLISTIC APPROACH (9781608070725, $99.00) fills a gap in aviation system security and enables pros to understand the industry's requirements for security. Chapters offer in-depth surveys of methods used in designing security controls for various purposes and will appreciate discussions of new areas of aviation security and its applications. College-level and professional collections strong in aviation science need this.

c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774

J. David Irwin & Robert M. Nelms' BASIC ENGINEERING CIRCUIT ANALYSIS (9780470633229, $154.09) remains an outstanding reference for any engineering collection and offers an updated 10th edition now including color-coding for quick and easy reference. Chapters expand application examples in PSPICE, MATLAB, and LabView, offer new quizzes to help engineers absorb new concepts, and offers a basic survey linking theory to real-world engineering applications in circuit analysis. Chapter exercises provide a key to reinforced learning. Erwin Kreyszig's ADVANCED ENGINEERING MATHEMATICS (9780470458365, $139.12) covers basic concepts, from modeling and qualitative methods of analysis to functions, numeric integration, and more. Problems and solutions offer theorems, proofs, summaries, and formulas throughout to provide professional surveys key to any advanced engineering course or practicing engineer.

The Money/Finance Shelf

Investing for Dummies, sixth edition
Eric Tyson
For Dummies
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9780470905456, $21.99,

The sixth updated edition of Investing for Dummies is specifically directed to novice investors and provides a fine new, updated edition to reflect recent economic events and changed advice. From how to develop a portfolio of investments to options, tax laws, real estate and much more, this considers the various pros and cons of different approaches and offers a basic 'crash course' on investing as a whole - so no prior knowledge is needed. Real bare-bones beginners at last have a logical starting point!

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Tai Chi Ball Qigong
Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming and David Grantham
YMAA Publications
PO Box 480, Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
1594391998, $24.95,

Tai Chi Ball Qigong for Health and Martial Arts offers fine insight into Tai Chi Ball Qigong training for martial artists, offering exercises for core body movements of the spine that show how to use the Ball to improve breathing, warm-ups and tai chi functions. While this is a pick for martial arts collections, it's featured here under our 'Health Shelf' because any alternative health library should also consider its unique applications outside the martial arts industry!

The Education Shelf

Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, third edition
Judith R. Birsh
Brookes Publishing
Box 10624, Baltimore, MD 21285-0624
1598570935, $79.95,

The third updated edition of Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills is a 'must' for any teacher's education collection and provides the most in-depth book available on multisensory teaching. It's been revised and vastly expanded to include more topics, from fluency to adolescent literacy, and provides educators with keys to helping students develop better learning skills. Chapters survey specific challenges of teaching reading, instructing older students, and developing routines for increasing skills. Training studies, bibliographies for further reading, charts and more make this a key reference suitable for a classroom course text as well as self-education.

Corwin Press
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320

Nancy W. Sindelar's ASSESSMENT-POWERED TEACHING (9781412992084, $26.95) brings together assessment data and instruction in a how-to handbook packing in step-by-step details for defining learning targets, testing data in the classroom, and using assessment results to enhance instruction. Chapters pair case studies from teachers with data analysis examples and discussions of cultural diversity challenges to provide teachers with powerful tools for enhancing student learning. Very highly recommended! Richard E. Mayer's HOW NOT TO BE A TERRIBLE SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER: LESSONS FOR SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS AND BOARD MEMBERS (9781412997935, $26.95) provides a fine analysis of administrator-board relationships through a serious of humorous yet realistic encounters perfect for any educator's collection. It examines negative encounters common to school boards, analyzes actions, and presents win-win alternative scenarios that can be used to better tailor board member relationships and choices. Any collection on school interrelationships needs this guide to more positive frameworks. Curtis W. Linton's EQUITY 101-BOOK 1: THE EQUITY FRAMEWORK (9781412995177, $19.95) considers the common characteristics of diverse schools and educates leaders on creating an environment that fosters and encourages excellence. Educators receive keys to building an equality framework that works under a variety of classroom conditions and makeups, making this a special pick for urban collections. Marcia Bl. Imbeau's PARALLEL CURRICULUM UNITS FOR GRADES K-5 (9781412963831, $24.95) provides a fine survey of parallel themes in literacy, science and social studies and shows how curriculum can be differentiated so learners gain information and beyond. Teachers receive a guideline to creating engaging programs that help kids apply what they learn to their experiences, with chapters providing specific units and lesson plans created by fellow elementary school teachers. David B. Spangler's STRATEGIES FOR TEACHING FRACTIONS: USING ERROR ANALYSIS FOR INTERVENTION AND ASSESSMENT (9781412993982, $38.95) provides teachers with a fine guide to understanding how students think about fractions, offering meaningful interventions using an RTI framework. Strategies presented here can be tailored to a student's needs and offer keys to diagnosis and practice. Exercises for such practice accompany hands-on activities, game sheets and more to make this a top pick for any math teacher.

The Princeton Review
c/o Random House Inc.
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019

The revised editions of 11 Practice Tests for the SAT and PSAT (9780375428371, $22.99) have been been a recommendation for any high school collection catering to college-bound students. Its eleven practice tests are accompanied by overviews of the strategies and organization of each test, offering keys to succeeding on different portions of the test - including the written exam. But this 2012 edition comes with a caveat: portions of the summary answer sheets have many mistakes on them - so use the answers in the detailed explanation portion, which are correct. The 2012 edition of Cracking the AP Chemistry Exam (9780375427213, $18.99) comes with two full-length practice tests and accompanying explanations, charts and diagrams, reviews of key laws and formulas, and much more. It's also packed with keys to producing a high-scoring chemistry essay and is a recommendation for any undertaking the AP Chemistry Exam. Princeton Review's other AP 'Cracking' books provide a similar format and approach along with detailed keys to success. Cracking the AP Physics B Exam, 2012 Edition (9780375427312, $18.99) covers vectors, optics, nuclear physics and other topics in the Physics B exam, updating strategies for testing success; Cracking the AP U.S. History Exam, 2012 Edition (9780375427237, $18.99) accompanies two full-length tests with a history of key terms and concepts arranged by time period for quick and easy reference, summarizing all topics covered in the exam; the 2012 edition of Cracking the AP World History Exam (9780375427244, $18.99) reviews topics ranging from prehistoric times to modern day, showing how to maximize a multiple-choice score and how to score high in the essay section and offering an easier at-a-glance format than competing study guides; and Cracking the AP Calculus AB & BC Exams, 2012 Edition (9780375427206, $19.99) packs in over five full-length practice tests with detailed explanations to accompany a 'cheat sheet' of key formulas, updated strategies to reflect AP test scoring changes, and detailed reviews of all topics in the exams. All are fine study guide recommendations for student taking these exams.

Brookes Publishing
Box 10624, Baltimore, MD 21285-0624

The second updated edition of Susan R. Sandal and Ilene S. Schwartz's BUILDING BLOCKS FOR TEACHING PRESCHOOLERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS (1557669678, $34.95) offers preschool teachers a fine revision of a best-seller and gives educators research-based inclusion strategies that cover everything from behavior to literacy issues. BUILDING BLOCKS offers a program to help teachers meet the federal requirements for special education, includes a disc of instructive vignettes with all the printable forms in the book from class assignments to worksheets and evaluation forms, and expands information presented in the first edition. Early learning libraries must have this! Also important is the second edition of Jack A. Naglieri and Eric B. Pickering's HELPING CHILDREN LEARN: INTERVENTION HANDOUTS FOR USE IN SCHOOL AND AT HOME (9781557669988, $39.95), with its accompanying CD of handouts in English and Spanish. Collections strong in learning disabilities and psychology for educators will find this opens with a short questionnaire helping school psychologists assess student strengths and weaknesses, then moves to handouts, reproducibles and keys to help teachers work within RTI to build foundation skills. Chapters present intervention handouts and offer strategies to use them effectively, making this a powerful workbook.

The Computer Shelf

Continuous Testing
Ben Rady and Rod Coffin
Pragmatic Programmers
P.O. Box 293325, Lewisville, TX 75029-3325
9781934356708, $33.00,

Continuous Testing: with Ruby, Rails, and JavaScript is for computer collections strong in developer references, and covers the basics of how to get instant feedback on code and design quality. It's based on techniques used in the Agile development environment and tells how companies and developers can get the most out of existing test structures. Chapters are particularly strong in tweaking and customizing code testing and make for a solid developer's guide to better testing processes.

c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774

Dwight Spivey's MAX OS-X LION PORTABLE GENIUS (9781118022399, $30.00) offers insights on Mac OS-X, a desktop operating system installed on every new Apple computer, in a 'portable genius' title for any newcomer to OS-X Lion who wants to quickly get the most from the system. From customizing and maintaining a Mac to tweaking OS-X Lion for maximum results, this uses a simple writing style, at-a-glance instructions, and provides important keys to any Lion user. Mac collections will find this an easy, invaluable introduction. Brad Miser's MACBOOK PRO PORTABLE GENIUS (9780470642047, $25.00) appears in its third updated edition to provide the latest insights on Apple's popular new notebook computers. From running Windows applications and desktop sharing to customizing the computer and using the 'genius' tabs to streamline common operations, this tells how to get the most from the new MacBook Pro. DESIGN FOR HACKERS: REVERSE ENGINEERING BEAUTY (9781119998952, $39.99) by David Kadavy deconstructs designs to differentiate what makes a 'beautiful' design different from a mediocre one. Chapters study and analyze classic and modern techniques and examples in design, discuss design constraints, innovations and applications, and feature a range of design examples (both computer and non-computer) to reinforce overall concepts of superior design. A top pick for any computer design collection! Dayfdd Stuttard and Marcus Pinto's THE WEB APPLICATION HACKER'S HANDBOOK, second edition (9781118026472, $50.00) provides a fine survey of the latest attack techniques and countermeasures, and shows how to break into modern applications to deliver powerful cross-site scripting attacks. Programmers working on security protocol will find this packed with keys to identifying and diverting cyber attacks, showing how attackers compromise systems and how they can be thwarted. From how HTML5 can be exploited to attack applications to new techniques for automating attacks and forgery, this is a 'must' for any programmer who would understand web application vulnerabilities.

Agile Analytics
Ken Collier
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
032150481X, $49.99,

Agile Analytics: A Value-Driven Approach to Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing is a pick for business and computer holdings alike and teaches the basics of using Agile methods for innovation. Solutions for blending infrastructures offer a mix of business insight and custom code examples, showing how to manage analytics development teams and how to support business objectives while handling data and business intelligence concerns. Many proven solutions packed herein can be applied by IT managers, database administrators, and developers alike, making this a top reference.

Microsoft Press
c/o O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
1005 Gravenstein, Hwy N.
Sebastopol, CA 95472-2811

Andrew Couch's ACCESS 2010 VBA PROGRAMMING INSIDE OUT (9780735659872, $49.99) is for intermediate and advanced programmers working with VBA, and goes beyond the usual basic guides to explore timesaving solutions and workarounds to using VBA. From enhancing applications and working with data in different forms to connecting Access to different kinds of data, this is packed with tips perfect for those seeking to further their Access programming skills. Dan Holme and Alistair Matthews' MCTS EXAM 70-667: CONFIGURING MICROSOFT SHAREPOINT 2010: SELF-PACED TRAINING KIT (9780735638853, $69.99) deserves ongoing recommendation as the item of choice for any studying for the exam or involved in a job requiring SharePoint skills. It tells how to deploy SharePoint Server 2010 and configure its servers, offering step-by-step lessons and reviews that cover the exam objectives. Practice tests on the accompanying CD round out the details and make this a top pick.

Wordpress in Depth, second edition
Bud E. Smith & Michael McCallister
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
0789741075, $34.99,

The second updated edition of Wordpress in Depth offers a fine guide to the latest WordPress 3.1 and its services, showing how to manage a blog, add features to attract visitors, and more. From using themes and HTML tools to using polls, comments and more to engage readers, WORDPRESS IN DEPTH packs in keys to working with WordPress, integrating social networking features, building themes, using third-party plug-ins, and much more. Any who would use WordPress and its many advanced features must have this primer!

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Writing the TV Drama Series, third edition
Pam Douglas
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781615930586, $26.95,

The third updated edition of Writing the TV Drama Series: How to Succeed as a Professional Writer in TV will appeal to screenwriters, film students and any writer seeking to break into the TV drama realm. It provides the latest information and insights from successful major writers and television producers alike, and is for any writer who wants to produce an original series or television drama. Chapters offer industry information, tips on trends, new media opportunities, and more. Add new interviews and you have a major reference 'must' for any film or screen-writing collection.

The Art Shelf

Sports and American Art
Allan Guttmann
University of Massachusetts Press
PO Box 429, Amherst, MA 01004
9781558498747, $39.95,

Sports and American Art From Benjamin West to Andy Warhol comes from an award-winning sports historian who examines the history of sports-themed American art from the 18th to the early 20th century. His is an in-depth coverage of art and sport and covers a range of artistic representations of American sports, from Sheeler's yachts to artists who portrayed tennis, baseball and more. Black and white and color plates accompany scholarly analysis of the artists and their pieces in this powerful survey.

Menus for Chez Panisse
Patricia Curtan
Princeton Architectural Press
37 East 7th St., New York NY 10003
9781616890292, $40.00,

Menus for Chez Panisse presents the hand-painted menus of Berkeley artist Patricia Curtan, who began producing her art years ago when she worked as a cook for the kitchen. Her menus are gathered together in one volume and provide a fine survey of letterpress and linoleum block prints on paper, representing four decades of menus and dinner. While the lovely display is recommended for arts collections, culinary holdings should also consider this a top pick, tracing the menus and evolution of the famous Chez Panisse Restaurant!

All About Acrylics
Oliver Lohr, Kristina Schaper and Ute Zander
Search Press
1338 Ross Street, Petaluma, CA94954-1117
9781844486052, $24.95,

ALL ABOUT ACRYLICS: A COMPLETE GUIDE TO PAINTING USING THIS VERSATILE MEDIUM offers a fine reference to painting with acrylics and is packed with information and expert advice. From materials and color techniques to using acrylics in all kinds of painting subjects, this celebrates the versatility of the medium and provides budding artists with plenty of projects for producing professional, polished results.

The Aviation Shelf

The Space Shuttle
Piers Bizony
Zenith Press
c/o Quayside Publishing Group
400 First Avenue North, Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55401
9780760339411, $40.00,

THE SPACE SHUTTLE: CELEBRATING THIRTY YEARS OF NASA'S FIRST SPACE PLANE chronicles the entire career of the space shuttle, from early theories and prototypes to finished accomplishments. An oversized visual presentation accompanies the history and provides a chronicle of NASA's ingenuity, errors, and legacy. Over five hundred photos pack this pictorial legacy in a top recommendation for any interested in space in general and NASA in particular.

The Sports Shelf

Management Strategies in Athletic Training, fourth edition
Richard Ray and Jeff Konin
Human Kinetics
Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61825-5076
9780736077385, $74.00,

The fourth updated edition of Management Strategies in Athletic Training is a recommendation for professional athletic trainers and sports collections catering to them. It covers typical management challenges they'll face on the job and uses real-world case studies to trace these events and their outcomes. Chapters cover everything from health care financial management to patient charting and cultural awareness, include chapter questions to help students think about the kinds of problems and their solutions, and offer new material on finding a job in the field.

The Literary Studies Shelf

Better Off Dead
Deborah Christie and Sarah Juliet Lauro, Editors
Fordham University Press
University Box L, 2546 Belmont Avenue
Bronx NY 10458
9780823234479, $26.00,

BETTER OFF DEAD: THE EVOLUTION OF THE ZOMBIE AS POST-HUMAN provides a fine survey discussing the zombie metaphor and its relationship to literary and popular culture. It surveys the monster's folklore and film history, arguing that the image and purpose of the zombie has evolved from its initial narratives to new presences in gothic and performance art circles. Though reviewed here for its foundations in literature, BETTER OFF DEAD is also recommended for any film or cinema collection.

The Social Issues Shelf

Censored 2012
Mickey Huff and Project Censored
Seven Stories Press
140 Watts St., New York NY 10013
9781609803478, $19.95,

Censored 2012: The Top 25 Censored Stories of 2010-2011 is a fine collection for any media library and features the top censored stories listed in order of importance according to students, faculty, and a national panel of judges. Each story is presented in detail and includes updates from the reporters who broke them, with additional chapters offering keys to censored news and media analysis and alternative media processes. A 'must' for any college-level collection strong in media, freedom and social issues!

100 Plus
Sonia Arrison
Basic Books
c/o Perseus Book Group
387 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016
9780465019663, $25.99,

100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, from Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith is a 'must' for any collection strong in social issues of the future. It comes from a technology analyst and Silicon Valley insider who discusses the future of health and well-being, where fresh organs for transplants will be grown in labs, many terminal diseases will be cured, and living past 100 will be common. A decade of experience observing and writing about technological changes and their impacts makes this an important, lively discussion geared to general-interest readers and general lending collections.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Chocolate Castle Clue
JoAnna Carl
Obsidian Mystery
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780451234742, $22.95,

The Chocolate Castle Clue: A Chocoholic Mystery provides the 11th book in the Chocoholic Mystery series and tells of Lee Woodyard, who discovers a dusty trophy that belongs to her aunt and her old high school singing group. The trophy brings up an unsolved years-old crime - and also brings the murderer back into action in this fine mystery which comes packed with chocolate trivia for fans of chocolate and mysteries alike.

Grim Reaper: End of Days
Steve Alten
175 - 5th Avenue, New York NY 10010
9780765367075, $9.99,

Grim Reaper: End of Days provides a gripping thriller and tells of a future where an enlisted soldier loses his family after 9/11, and a biohazard scientist begins a plague, believing God has chosen her to usher in Revelations. As infection spreads around Manhattan the island is sealed off - trapping the President of the United States and Shep, who is determined to find and rescue his wife and child in what is becoming a dangerous wasteland of disease. Fine, gripping action makes for a thrilling reader perfect for general fiction collections.

The Photography Shelf

People Pictures
Chris Orwig
Peachpit Press
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780321774972, $29.99,

PEOPLE PICTURES: 30 EXERCISES FOR CREATING AUTHENTIC PHOTOGRAPHS provides a measured approach to portraiture and provides a four-color guide of 30 photographic exercises to help capture the best of people. The goal is connection and depth: chapters discuss how to produce exceptional portraits and provide a step-by-step approach to such an achievement, with each photo designed to help users explore personal style. Exercises include using blur, capturing joyful moments, and more.

Advanced Underwater Photography
Larry Gates
Amherst Media
Box 586, Buffalo NY 14226
9781608952533, $34.95,

Techniques for Digital Photographers: Advanced Underwater Photography offers a fine survey of how to set up lighting and conditions to create better underwater shots. From using wide-angle lenses and seeking unique underwater subjects to planning a shoot, this shows how to create sharp, flawless underwater scenes and is a pick for any outdoor or underwater photographer's collection.

Light It Shoot it Retouch It
Scott Kelby
New Riders Press
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780321786616, $46.99,

Light It Shoot it Retouch It teaches the basic lighting setups pros use to achieve the most from photos, showing how to control and shape light and discussing camera settings and gear for all the color shots packed within. Chapters teach how to achieve professional results without big expenses, providing professional tricks and shortcuts on making the most of special effects and settings. The step-by-step format lends to fine-tuning and polish images, making this a 'must' for any who have basic camera knowledge but would move to the next level of experience.

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Marvel Comics in the 1970s
Pierre Comtois
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614
1605490342, $27.95,

Any comics history holding must acquire Marvel Comics in the 1970s, a foundation title providing an issue by issue field guide to Marvel's various comic productions in the 1970s. Here is a sequel to Comtois' history covering the 1960s, offering an ongoing consideration of the company's evolution, artists, and major achievements during which Stan Lee moved from writing to publishing, Jack Kirby moved over to DC, and Roy Thomas fostered in a new era of Marvel artists and writers. Interviews and black and white comic page reproductions make this a winner for any serious comic history holding!

Art Spiegelman
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
9780375423949, $35.00,

METAMAUS: A LOOK INSIDE A MODERN CLASSIC, MAUS provides a rich masterpiece reviewing the classic that altered and emphasized the connections between literature, comics and the Holocaust. Any familiar with Maus must have Metamaus: it considers the origins and meaning behind Maus, offers new analysis and color comics, and includes a bonus DVD providing a digitalized reference copy of The Complete Maus linked to audio interviews with his survivor father, historical documents and Spiegelman's private sketches and notebooks. A 'must' examination of the modern phenomenon that is Maus!

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Invasive Pythons in the United States
Michael E. Dorcas and John D. Willson
University of Georgia Press
330 Research Drive, Athens GA 30602-4901
9780820338354, $24.95,

Invasive Pythons in the United States: An Ecology of an Introduced Predator is a 'must' for any collection strong in herpetology. It researches the introduction of pythons into this country in South Florida, providing a survey of the ecology of Burmese pythons in the U.S. and in their native habitats, and covering their environmental and human impacts. Color photos throughout make this an exceptional natural history.

The Environmental Studies Shelf

Drought and Aquatic Ecosystems
P. Sam Lake
350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148
9781405185608, $89.95

DROUGHT AND AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS: EFFECTS AND RESPONSES provides a fine survey of the climatic conditions that contribute to droughts and provides college-level audiences with a technical survey of the impact of droughts on human societies. It reviews available literature on the lasting impact of such drought patterns on the ecology of aquatic ecosystems from small ponds to streams, examining the ways in which human activities contribute to droughts. Any college-level holding strong in water resource management and ecology needs this outstanding survey!

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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