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The Bookwatch

Volume 11, Number 2 February 2016 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Music Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Education Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Crafts Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Autism Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Sports Shelf Photography Shelf
Nautical Shelf American History Shelf World History Shelf
Economic Studies Shelf Woodworking Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Brooklyn: A Personal Memoir
Truman Capote
The Little Bookroom
435 Hudson Street, Suite 300, New York NY 10014
9781936941117, $29.95,

Brooklyn: A Personal Memoir features the lost photos of David Attie as it provides a new take on the 2001 classic reprint of Truman Capote's tribute to Brooklyn - and some fifty years after the original book's appearance, this tribute is finally complete. These are the original photos commissioned to illustrate the essay discovered by the late photographer's son, along with previously unknown photos of Capote. By including these images and the words, the production is finally complete and is highly recommended for any fan of either Capote or Brooklyn.

The Music Shelf

Kickstart My Heart
Martin Popoff
Backbeat Books
c/o Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group
33 Plymouth Street, Suite 302, Montclair, NJ 07042-2677
9781617136108, $39.99,

Kickstart My Heart: A Motley Crue Day-by-Day provides a daily detail of the career of Vince Neil, Mick Mars, Nikki Sixx, and the other members of the rock group, following the evolution of their career from their early 1970s days to their successes in the 1980s and their changes in the 1990s. The band reunited in the 2000s, and their experiences form the basis for an account which uses interviews from the author's own work with members of the group with wider-ranging considerations of the group's evolution. Fans seeking a definitive guide with something new to offer will relish the format of this saga, which juxtaposes many interview results with a visual exploration packed with color photos, sidebars of information, and advertising pieces. The result is a book that lends to browsing and at-a-glance information as well as cover-to-cover reading: a 'must' for any prior enthusiast who wants a clear coverage of the band's many contributions and evolutionary process.

The Cookbook Shelf

V is for Vegetables
Michael Anthony
Little, Brown & Company
c/o Hachette Book Group
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9780316373357, $40.00,

V is for Vegetables: Inspired Recipes & Techniques for Home Cooks from Artichokes to Zucchini comes from an executive chef who packs in over 150 recipes for cooking simple vegetable-based dishes, and pairs an A-Z encyclopedic format with a survey that pairs color photos throughout with how-to techniques and recipes. From a celery root and chestnut soup and ginger tea or picked ginger to a Leek Quiche and Sugar Snap Salad with Quinoa, recipes are accompanied by clear instructions on how to prepare each vegetable. The result is an appealing array that offers a wide range of uses and possibilities for each vegetable, often presenting new ideas with the flair and appeal of a chef used to translating professional-style dishes to a home cook's skill set.

Maple Syrup Cookbook, third edition
Ken Haedrich
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781612126647, $14.95,

Maple Syrup Cookbook offers some 100 recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner and expands the possibilities of maple flavoring far beyond the usual emphasis on sweets and carbohydrates. The syrup can enhance fish, be used in soups and salad dressings, and can even appear in fondue and on roasts. While an assortment of cookies and sweet fare is part of the presentation, the cookbook's real strength lies in its focus on breakfast, lunch and dinner applications to a syrup commonly associated with pancakes and waffles. Appearing in its third edition, this is a delicious 'must' for any fan who wants to expand maple syrup's possibilities.

Saveur: Soups and Stews
Editors of Saveur
Weldon Owen, Inc.
415 Jackson Street, San Francisco, CA 94111
9781616289652, $35.00,

Saveur: Soups and Stews comes from the editors of Saveur food magazine who gather over a hundred recipes for soups and stews from around the world, pairing these with color photos throughout which display recipes for seasonal fare and regional world cuisines. Recipes such as Veal and Sour Plum Stew, Scottish Crab Bisque, and Lentil Stew with Coconut are only a few examples of the wide-ranging dishes which take the soup and stew format and enhance them with new flavors and tastes. The result is a wonderful cookbook packed with fresh approaches to soups and stews: a special recommendation for those looking for something hearty, foolproof, tested, and different.

The Audiobook Shelf

The Witches: Salem, 1692
Stacy Schiff
Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9781611137156, $35.00,

The Witches: Salem, 1692 takes the relatively well-known events of the Salem witchcraft trials and brings them to life in a story about a crisis that changes a town when a minister's niece seems possessed. In the year that followed, a resident's safety lie in joining the furor over witches in the community, and nobody - no family member, no neighbor - was free of suspicion. A year later nearly twenty men and women had been hanged, and adolescent girls gained power as they identified witches and participated in ensuing trials. Stacy Schiff approaches the Salem events from a different angle than most, using archive materials to recreate the trials and tensions of the times, and to offer new insights on religious and social changes. Its audio rendition, read by Eliza Foss, brings events to vivid life and adds a depth and perspective of 1692 society and women's roles in it, making for a recommendation for history buffs and audio listeners alike.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Kabbalistic Mirror of Genesis
David Chaim Smith
Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620554630, $19.95,

The Kabbalistic Mirror of Genesis: Commentary on the First Three Chapters provides an analysis that takes each line of Genesis 1-3 and uses esoteric methods derived from the oral teachings of the kabbalah to find meanings different from traditional interpretations of the work. Smith's approach seeks to explain how the Divine is revealed through these alternative interpretations, and chapters discuss different references, allusions, organic symbols, variations and meaning, and sources of alternate interpretation. The result is especially recommended for readers who have a prior interest in the Bible and kabbalastic symbolism.

The Omniverse
Alfred Lambremont Webre
Bear & Company
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781591432159, $16.00,

The Omniverse: Transdimensional Intelligence, Time Travel, the Afterlife, and the Secret Colony on Mars is for new age collections strong in UFO analysis and thinking, and maintains that everyone belongs to the Omniverse, a matrix blending spirit, energy and intelligence that embraces all living and spiritual dimensions of God. Surprisingly, the discussion adopts a scientific approach in gathering replicable evidence about extraterrestrial life, intelligent civilizations created by souls in the afterlife, alien technology, and more. By drawing together ideas about the key technologies of the wider Omniverse, the author explains much about telepathic communications between dimensions, teleportation, time travel, and government secrets, making this a fitting add to any new age collection,.

The Aztec UFO Incident
Scott Ramsey,
New Page Books
c/o Career Press Inc.
12 Parish Drive, Wayne, NJ 07470
9781632650016, $17.99,

The Aztec UFO Incident: The Case, Evidence, and Elaborate Cover-Up of One of the Most Perplexing Crashes in History provides surprising new evidence and witnesses surrounding the Aztec UFO crash and the secret recovery of the ship, and exposes a conspiracy that will educate and delight UFO enthusiasts already convinced that Roswell wasn't the first - or last - UFO crash site on the planet. The Aztec incident was actually the first ever widely publicized report of a recovered flying saucer, even though it was deemed a hoax for decades - but the authors here offer more research and specifics, not generalities, around the incident. Any UFO enthusiast will find this a compelling read about a notorious covert UFO operation.

The Education Shelf

How to Succeed at Medical School, second edition
Dason Evans and Jo Brown
BMJI Books
c/o Wiley Blackwell
350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148
9781118703410, $35.95,

The second updated edition of How to Succeed at Medical School: An Essential Guide to Learning is written by experienced medical school teachers and offers case studies, quotes from other students, sidebars of tips, exercises, portfolios and more to teach the basics of how to overcome common obstacles in medical school. It's been completely updated to include new chapters on professionalism and teaching and new insights into medical school standards and operations; but the heart of the account lies in a roadmap that discusses the pros and cons of various strategies and methods for obtaining answers, asking questions, and applying life lessons to medical school routines. This should be the gift of choice for any just entering medical school: it will pinpoint and help students overcome many potential barriers to success.

Engage Every Family
Steven M. Constantino
Corwin Press, Inc.
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218
9781506303994, $31.00,

Engage Every Family: Five Simple Principles provides a tutorial on basic family engagement and blends theory and practice to show how to shift a school's traditional approaches to connect with families who don't participate in its structure. The meat of the discussion lies in a focus on how and where family and school interactions break down, and how to create an atmosphere where participation is not just encouraged, but rewarded. Case studies from special education and regular classroom teachers accompany notes from an administrator's background and survey techniques for reaching out to the 'hard to reach'. The result is a workbook on how to welcome every family, packed with revealing inspiration.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave., #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Zoe Burke's No Gun Intended (9781464204845, $26.95) presents an Annabelle Starkey mystery, returning a protagonist introduced in Jump the Gun to a blossoming audience. Annabelle flies to Oregon to visit her newly relocated parents, who are experiencing many changes in their lives, and is looking forward to a visit far from her New York detective agency intrigues. When she discovers her backpack has been switched for one holding a gun linked to a murder, she questions whether she's being framed, whether the switch was an accident, or something more. And when the gun's owner appears, the mystery deepens. A satisfying set of interactions and twists keeps the story fast-paced, ever-changing, and fun; all cemented by a believably feisty young protagonist. Frederick Ramsay's The Vulture (9781464204760, $26.95) begins when a powerful bomb ends the life of ex-CIA small town sheriff Ike Schwartz, prompting both mourning and a manhunt the tiny town's never experienced before. Former CIA colleague Charlie Garland enters the picture and joins other investigators hot on the trail of the perp - and a mercurial picture emerges as radical militias, big businesses, and dubious interests emerge, all with reason to have caused Ike's death. Triss Stein's Brooklyn Secrets (9781464204104, $26.95) tells of Brooklyn grad student Erica Donato, who is researching the 1930s when Brownville was home to a group of organized criminals called Murder, Inc. - but her field research becomes too real when a young college-bound student is beaten and left for dead. As events escalate from her 1930s research to her present-day life, Erica finds her questions reveal a cast of dubious characters and the very real possibility of a long-ago crime re-emerging to threaten her world. A satisfying blend of history and crime makes for an unusual, winning approach mystery genre readers will relish as something compellingly different.

The Crafts Shelf

Beautiful Elements
Heather Powers
Kalmbach Publishing
21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612
9781627002059, $22.98,

Beautiful Elements: Creative Components to Personalize Your Jewelry focuses on wire and metal techniques to blend mixed media for various jewelry projects, from pendants to clasps and links, and shows how to build skills while creating professional-quality pieces. The focus here is on blending metal and wire with polymer and on using different methods that include variations. Sidebars of supplies and tools accompany simple three- and four-step instructions that promise clear direction and quick results. Beginners new to working with wire and links will find this a great starting point.

Chain Mail Elegance
Sue Ripsch
Kalmbach Publishing
21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612
9781627001229, $21.99,

Chain Mail Elegance: Jewelry Projects with Crystals, Pearls, and More comes from the author of other chain mail books who provides a new array of projects incorporating crystals, glass beads, and pearls, and is especially recommended for those who want to blend other mediums into their metal-working chains. Over thirty projects use the classic chain mail weaves to produce necklaces, earrings and more, with many featuring design alternates and customization options. Both the small and larger-sized color photos are clear and bright, leaving nothing to guess in the finer art of incorporating embellishments into chain mail productions. Jewelers will find this a great 'next step' in the process of learning their craft.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Practical Guide to Canine and Feline Neurology, third edition
Curtis W. Dewey and Ronaldo C. da Costa
Wiley Blackwell
350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148
9781119946113, $149.99,

The third updated edition of Practical Guide to Canine and Feline Neurology appears in full color and is a powerful 'must have' veterinary reference, representing a complete update to a reference on managing neurology cases in small animal practice. There are many new chapters on differential diagnosis and movement disorders, new images have been added, and tables, charts and references convert data to graphic representation for easier consultation. In addition, there is access to supporting video clips of specific disorders plus a how-to video online. Add new surgical drawings and in-depth discussions based on the latest scientific research and veterinary applications and you have a top pick highly recommended for any clinical veterinary practice and for reference libraries that cater to vets.

The Autism Shelf

Ketchup is My Favorite Vegetable
Liane Kupferberg Carter
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849057158, $18.95,

Ketchup is My Favorite Vegetable: A Family Grows Up With Autism departs from the usual medical community or educator approach to autism to bring a mother's autobiography about living with autism to life. Mickey's memoir is about the two decades of struggle which occur after he is diagnosed with autism and epilepsy. His rocky road to adulthood and the specifics of growing a child with autism make for informative as well as lively reading, highly recommended for any parent of an autistic child.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Safety in Medication Use
Mary P. Tully and Bryony Dean Franklin, Editors
CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
9781482227000, $79.95,

Safety in Medication Use is recommended for college-level health sciences readers in biomedical science, and is authored by medical professionals around the world who contribute chapters based on their expertise. The coverage addresses common problems in medication use, their resolution, and how to put into place routines and approaches that prevent problems from happening. From common measurement errors in medication to safety testing, patient education, dispensing changes, and the design of health systems, this is a powerful reference that should be on the shelves of any definitive medical collection concerned with drug treatments and medication management processes.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Storm Front
Robert Conroy
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781476780870, $25.00,

Storm Front takes place in Michigan and tells what happens when a storm evolves into a natural disaster, stretching resources to their breaking point as Sheridan police office strives to keep the town safe. More than snow and ice are lucking: there's something deadly that's about to affect the town and something that will involve escaped convicts and a host of characters who face the storm of their lives. A powerful story line takes a common natural phenomena and elevates it into a novel of suspense and unexpected drama making this a recommendation for a wide audience.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Broomstick Lace Crochet
Donna Wolfe
Stackpole Books
5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6921
9780811716154, $21.95,

Broomstick Lace Crochet: A New Look at a Vintage Stitch with 20 Stylish Designs covers a type of lace crochet made using a huge needle ("broomstick") and a crochet hook - and this means that projects can be completed in hours rather than days. The author's step-by-step discussions of these techniques includes the basics of how to increase and decrease so newcomers to crochet can access the projects, wile those seeking a particular focus on the broomstick lace style will find hats, skirts, tops and more that represent an array of patterns and approaches. The result is a fine survey that offers many new options to crochet workers at all stages of craft.

The Sports Shelf

One Goal
Bill Beswick
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076
9781450465788, $19.95,

One Goal: The Mindset of Winning Soccer Teams comes from a performance psychologist and author who provides an inspection of mental facilities that can be cultivated by coaches seeking to supplement physical education with mental support. It provides a sequential arrangement filled with insights on how to assess and develop such a mindset, with theory supported by tested techniques and tools, and discussions including tournaments and team management. The result is a key survey of the mental developments essential to soccer team and sports success: just as important as the many strategy and management books on the market that support physical development.

The Photography Shelf

Picturing Migrants
James R. Swensen
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780806148274, $34.95,

Picturing Migrants: The Grapes of Wrath and New Deal Documentary Photography links a classic novel with photos produced for the New Deal's Farm Security Administration, offering a dual discussion of the novel and the photos which, together, provided a definitive exploration of migrant experience in the 1930s. It's the intersection between the two which has proved pivotal and revealing: this provides new insights into both Steinbeck's novel and the photos and how they both became definitive representations of the Depression. Chapters refute the notion that Steinbeck's portrait of Oklahoma migrants in California stemmed from fantasy: Lee traveled to Oklahoma to prove they were real, and his documentary pictures illustrate the many realities that Steinbeck so grippingly portrayed in Grapes of Wrath. Having Lee's works and these images appear alongside the portraits of other photographers makes for a key discussion and new perspective which should be required reading for any studying 1930s immigrant history, Steinbeck's novel, or documentary photos of the Depression.

Amherst Media
175 Rano Street, Suite 200, Buffalo, NY 14207-2176

Laurie Klein and Kyle Klein's Infrared Photography: Artistic Techniques for Brilliant Images (9781608959259, $37.95) provides a powerful survey of the special techniques and technical aspects of infrared productions, and offers photographers new to these methods a step-by-step guide that shows how to take advantage of infrared's special attributes. From creating digital infrared images and understanding how the capture and representation of tones is changed in that medium to producing landscapes, portraits, and more, the book reviews common problems, shows how to overcome them, and discusses postproduction techniques that can correct or enhance infrared shots. The result is a 'must' for any photographer new to infrared's special approaches. Pierre Stephenson's Foundations of Posing (9781608959457, $34.95) discusses the myriad of techniques needed to create better portraits through posing one's subject, and focuses on the design of portraits through a better approach to the idea of posing. Chapters seek to blend in discussions of background, angles, lighting, and special effects with an overall survey of how posing choices change results, leading to a more in-depth approach than many would offer. No portrait photographer should proceed without consulting this discussion of how to adopt different techniques. Jim Cornfield's The Soft Touch: A Photographer's Guide to Manipulating Focus (9781608959495, $34.95) reveals the possibilities and artistry involved in purposeful application and manipulation of soft visual effects, and shows how soft focus can dramatically change and affect results. From handling depth of field and bokeh and using haze and halos to enhance moods to using flash and filters, a number of photographers contribute their expert approaches to this guide, making it a fine recommendation of not one but a range of opportunities.

The Nautical Shelf

Voyaging With Kids
Behan Gifford, Sara Dawn Johnson, Michael Robertson
L&L Pardey Publications
9781929214334, $35.95,

Voyaging With Kids: A Guide to Family Life Afloat goes where few other nautical 'how to' books go, providing depth and details on how to choose a boat that lends to family voyaging. From keeping children of all ages sage on a boat to contemplating journeys of thousands of miles with infants to teens, Voyaging with Kids is one of the few discussions to consider both nautical concerns and family psychology, and comes from both the authors' experiences and interviews with dozens of voyaging parents. A bonus chapter written by a dozen former cruiser kids considers the child's perspective, rounding out adult insights and experiences. Packed with color photos and sidebars of information, the result is a survey of cruising that embraces the educational opportunities of voyaging abroad with kids, and considers the cautions and pluses involved in making short- or long-term cruising a positive family experience for all involved.

The American History Shelf

Eighty-Eight Years: The Long Death of Slavery in the United States, 1777-1865
Patrick Rael
University of Georgia Press
Main Library, Third Floor
320 South Jackson Street, Athens, Georgia 30602
9780820348391, $32.95,

Eighty-Eight Years: The Long Death of Slavery in the United States, 1777-1865 poses a simple but striking question not by considering slavery's rise and fall in this country; but asking why it took longer here than anywhere else in the world. It gathers a variety of perspectives and analytical ideas in the process, considering the evolution and efforts of different states in abolishing slavery laws, blending economic, geographic and local social concerns into its examination of politics and processes, and offering a variety of different perspectives. Both Afro-American and white efforts in the process are well detailed, making this a revealing and thought-provoking study that adopts no singular path as it considers the various influences on slavery's abolishment and persistence.

The World History Shelf

The Chinchaga Firestorm
Cordy Tymstra
University of Alberta Press
Ring House 2, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2E1
978177210035, $34.95,

The Chinchaga Firestorm: When the Moon and Sun Turned Blue documents the biggest firestorm in North America, during which some 3,500,000 acres of forest burned in northern Alberta and British Columbia. The result was the world's largest atmospheric smoke layer - and the author not only describes the fire and its impact, but adds technical details and history to survey forest fires at other times and how people handled them. Though the 1950 fire changed how fires are fought in Alberta and elsewhere, they also affected scientific research, forest management, and ecological studies, making this survey of western Canadian history a far-ranging examination holding much more of interest beyond its Canadian boundaries.

The Economic Studies Shelf

How to Thrive in the Next Economy
John Thackara
Thames & Hudson
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500518083, $29.95,

How to Thrive in the Next Economy: Designing Tomorrow's World Today focuses on how communities around the world are creating replacement economies, and stems from the author's travels looking at real-world alternatives that aren't just ideals, but which are already in place as working systems. It's more than just a money system: these are alternative systems of economics, lifestyle, arts, and values that focus on systems that grow versatile communities, better environments, and small systems that support nature and people alike. From discussions on how small actions can lead to big, transformative outcomes to how non-money-based economies thrive, this is a top recommendation for a range of readers; from college-level students of social systems and psychology to economics students and those interested in better human systems for managing and interacting with the world.

The Woodworking Shelf

Basic Marquetry and Beyond
Ken Horner
Linden Publishing
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721-9875
9781610352499, $24.95,

Basic Marquetry and Beyond: Expert Techniques for Crafting Beautiful Images with Veneer and Inlay is a 'must' crafts guide for avid woodworkers who want keys to putting the final touches on projects. Veneers can offer a relatively inexpensive but professional touch to wood projects, and this guide is for the woodworkers already versed in basics who seek specific keys to using veneer and inlays in designs. Over two hundred photos accompany projects that include patterns, step-by-step instructions, and a wide array of projects both simple and complex, from a chess set to frames and furniture.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Cherrypickers' Guide to Rare Die Varieties of United States Coins, sixth edition
Bill Fivaz and J.T. Stanton
Whitman Books
4001 Helton Drive, Florence, Alabama, 35630
0794843182, $39.95,

The sixth updated edition of Cherrypickers' Guide represents a vastly expanded, updated 25th-anniversary volume of a classic coin collector's reference, and shows how to locate and value half, large and small cents, two- and three-cent pieces, and nickels. Die-variety specialist Mike Ellis joins the book's original authors to provide an authoritative collector's reference that includes over a thousand close-up photos of coins, text descriptions, notes on changing market values and influences, and grading specifics for over 680 varieties. Those who have used the prior edition will discover this volume olds 48 more pages than its predecessor and includes well over a hundred new varieties, along with expanded references to Lincoln cents and Buffalo and Jefferson nickels. The result blends the expertise of over 15 die-variety specialists from around the country and represents a major revision that shouldn't be missed by any avid coin collector.

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Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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