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The Bookwatch

Volume 12, Number 2 February 2017 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Antiques/Collectibles Shelf Beer/Wine Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Audiobook Shelf Gardening Shelf
Autism Shelf Education Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
American History Shelf World History Shelf Parenting Shelf
Coloring Book Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Business Shelf
Technology Shelf Music Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Theatre/Cinema Shelf Political Science Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

An Atheist and a Christian Walk Into a Bar
Randal Rauser and Justin Schieber
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633882430, $18.00,

An Atheist and a Christian Walk Into a Bar ... Talking About God, the Universe, and Everything is both a comedy and a conversation and helps readers understand the basic differences between atheist and Christian perspectives by offering a discussion between the two. Arguments and contrasting perspectives represent the give-and-take of opinion and ideology between the two individuals using a dialogue format that captures these conversations. While audio format would perfectly dramatize these encounters, the print book provides an excellent feel for the basic arguments and contentions of the two participants, and is recommended for any reader looking for a reasoned discussion.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

A Guide Book of the United States Mint
Q. David Bowers
Whitman Publishing
4001 Helton Drive, Florence, Alabama 35630
9780794843977, $24.95,

A Guide Book of the United States Mint: Colonial, State, Private, Territorial, and Federal Coining Facilities is the 23rd volume in the Bowers Series on coin collecting, and provides collectors with an in-depth survey of the history of the Philadelphia Mint and its branches, plus different private and government mints. Over a thousand photos, engravings, diagrams, blueprints and other kinds of images accompany a survey that will appeal to coin collectors and American history readers alike, offering a collection that contrasts old and new minting policies, discusses how gold and other financial news affected minting decisions, and provides a lively history of minting and coin production. No coin collector should be without this in-depth survey.

The Beer/Wine Shelf

Drink Me Now
Hamlyn, Publisher
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9780600633662, $9.99,

Drink Me Now: 150 Cocktails for Any Emergency a wide variety of cocktail recipes for all kinds of occasions, and is directed to relative novices at mixing or drinking cocktails; which makes for a refreshing difference from the myriad of cocktail books on the market which presume prior knowledge of the subject. From how to pick the right glass and assemble ingredients for making cocktails to different techniques and their results, good-quality color photos of finished, embellished cocktails accompany the recipes and make this the reference of choice for anyone new to cocktail drinking and creation.

The Cookbook Shelf

Ancient Heritage Cookies
Luane Kohnke
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781455621316, $21.95,

Ancient Heritage Cookies: Gluten-Free, Whole-Grain, and Nut-Flour Treats features thirteen gluten-free recipes for classic cookies that uses ancient and whole-grain flours as alternatives to gluten, and is highly recommended for cookie fans who thought their favorites were now verboten. No light productions, these include dense and flavor-rich cookies such as Chocolate-Vanilla Malt Cookies, Coconut Oatmeal Lace cookies, Peanut Butter Sandwiches made with oat flour, and more. The result uses a wide range of flour alternatives in cookies designed to be both new productions and appealing replacements to those on gluten-free diets. Color photos abound in a coverage that is wonderfully diverse.

Caribbean Vegan, second edition
Taymer Mason
The Experiment, LLC
220 East 23rd Street, Suite 301, New York, NY 10010
9781615193608, $24.95,

Caribbean Vegan: Meat-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free Authentic Island Cuisine for Every Occasion appears in an expanded second edition that returns to print a classic that first appeared in 2010. In the years between its initial publication date and today, vegan cuisine has taken off and there are numerous cookbooks on the market. It's a pleasure to note that Caribbean Vegan still stands out from the many, many vegan cookbooks currently on the market. The reprint offers full color photos, adds seventy-five recipes, and continues to rely on the expertise of native Barbadian Taymer Mason, who introduces newcomers to either Caribbean cuisine or vegan cooking to a series of methods for making the most of tropical ingredients. From a French Caribbean version of Creole Ratatouille which includes chaoyote, cucumbers, and hot peppers to a pineapple and cherry-topped Classic Barbadian Sweet Potato Pie or a pepper Pigeon Pea Rice dish, the color photos and easy recipes require little in the way of culinary expertise and pack in flavor and interesting variations on Caribbean themes.

The Audiobook Shelf

Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Two new audio additions to James Patterson's 'Bookshots Flames' series of original romances are designed to be listened to in a few hours, offering the opportunity for busy romance enthusiasts to enjoy quick listens. Elizabeth Hayley's Dazzling (9781478967712, $10.00) tells of a starving artist and a rich playboy who meet unexpectedly and find their very different lives dovetailing in unexpected ways. Kristin Kalbli's voice brings to life this encounter and its impact on these two very different individuals. Jessica Linden's Bodyguard (9781478967859, $10.00) receives a fine narration by Erin Cottrell, whose clear and solid voice brings to life the story of Abbie, who is good at her job and always reliable until a congressman enters her life and refutes her suspicion that his life may be in danger. Two powerful personalities clash: one determined to keep her charge safe; the other determined to refute any idea of danger. The romance that evolves from their encounter is satisfyingly intriguing. Both are quick listens and good romances.

The Gardening Shelf

100 Plants to Feed the Bees
The Xerces Society
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781612128863, $26.95, HC, 240pp
9781612127019, $16.95, PB, 240pp
1612127010, $9.99, Kindle,

100 Plants to Feed the Bees: Provide a Healthy Habitat to Help Pollinators Thrive explores the various steps anyone can take to grow plants that encourage bee populations, and discusses native species, balcony gardens, small and large plots, and more. The focus on which plants provide the most to bee populations offers many specifics for homeowners and landscapers, while color photos pack a presentation that includes plant distribution maps and at-a-glance details on which insects are attracted to each flower and plant.

The Autism Shelf

Kids, Music 'n' Autism
Dorita S. Berger
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781785927164, $17.95,

Kids, Music 'n' Autism: Bringing out the Music in Your Child takes the fact that many kids with autism hold a natural affinity for music and pairs it with a series of music activities directed to this group. The book is packed with basic tips, from choosing an appropriate instrument and teacher for an autistic child to solving typical problems that arise from an engagement with music, from practicing routines to discipline. Readers may be surprised to learn that particular instruments are recommended for autistic children, and will learn quite a bit about how to create the kind of musical experience that helps autistic kids grow and learn.

The Education Shelf

Beyond Answers
Mike Flynn
Stenhouse Publishers
480 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781571109026, $36.00,

Beyond Answers: Exploring Mathematical Practices with Young Children provides teachers with applications for the Standards for Mathematical Practice, offering a review of how to implement them in K-2 classrooms. Each chapter combines examples from the author's own teaching and vignettes from other K-2 teachers with information on how to help children understand how math problems apply to life. Stories from these classrooms offer examples of dialogues, discussions, different teacher approaches, and how young students synthesize math and absorb teachings. Early education teachers will find it specific and revealing.

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

Ann Pelo's The Language of Art: Inquiry-Based Studio Practices in Early Childhood Settings (9781605544571, $39.95) appears in its updated second edition to provide a set of Reggio-based principles and practices for teachers in the arts. Pair a powerful theoretical framework with a curriculum approach that uses the studio arts environment to explore texture, color, shapes, and different perspectives and you have an early education title that shows how studios can be created to encourage young artists to absorb some art basics. The third edition of Steffen Saifer, EdD's Practical Solutions to Practically Every Problem: The Survival Guide for Early Childhood Professionals (9781605545127, $34.95) provides a new edition of a classic reference that offers solutions to everyday challenges early childhood professionals encounter, pairing the latest insights in brain development, learning, and cultural insights with discussions of problems ranging from lack of access to resources to solving problems related to coping with death or handling anger and tattling. The result is a wide-ranging handbook addressing many common issues and how to solve them.

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

W. James Popham's The ABCs of Educational Testing: Demystifying the Tools That Shape Our Schools (9781506351513, $23.00) provides educators with a basic primer on understanding the terminology and approaches of educational teaching, and covers the purpose of tests, types of testing, problems associated with giving tests and assessing their results, and understanding what uses the tests have in teacher approaches to classroom and learner management. From using test results for high-stakes decisions to what the formative assessment process looks like in action and application, The ABCs of Educational Testing is a 'must' for any educator. John SanGiovanni's Mine the Gap for Mathematical Understanding: Common Holes and Misconceptions and What to Do About Them (9781506337685, $34.95) addresses mathematical issues for grades K-2 and outlines 160 tasks aligned to standards for this grade level's mathematics. Tasks are downloadable, can be modified by instructors, and include discussions of basic applications and teaching models, all couched in the framework of bigger ideas and applications. Jon Saphier's High Expectations Teaching: How We Persuade Students to Believe and Act on "Smart is Something You Can Get" (9781506356792, $29.95) maintains that ability isn't something inherent or genetic: its something that can be taught and nurtured if teachers help students think for themselves. Intelligence is the same way: it can be grown and enhanced. This tool kit for classroom retraining offers real-world examples, teacher scripts, and routines to help students absorb high expectations strategies. The result is a handbook that reviews basic skills linked to growing intelligence, showing teachers in diverse classrooms how their approaches can help. Diane Sweeney and Leanna S. Harris's Student-Centered Coaching: The Moves (9781506325262, $30.00) offers evidence-based coaching methods and models that advocate helping teachers collaborate in a coaching environment to help design instruction for students. This collection of coaching moves to build daily interactions provides field-tested tools and practices and pairs these with original video clips for maximum impact. All are excellent educator handbooks, based on a synthesis of real-world applications and the latest studies and strategies.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Book of Texas Birds
Gary Clark
Texas A&M University Press
4354 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-4354
9781623494315, $39.95,

Book of Texas Birds comes from a lifetime of studying and watching birds, and chronicles over four hundred species of Texas birds. Where other books provide regional details, few can claim that the author has personally seen almost all of them, and few can combine the scientific and natural history details of them with a wider discussion of each bird's history and habits, all provided in a chatty voice accessible to non-scientists and lay birders. Lovely photos by Kathy Adams Clark compliment entries packed with bird information, making this a winning field guide for newcomers and advanced Texas birders alike.

The American History Shelf

Madam President
William Hazelgrove
Regnery History
c/o Regnery Publishing, Inc.
300 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001
9781621574750, $26.99,

Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson tells of the unofficial role First Lady Edith Wilson assumed after President Woodrow Wilson suffered a paralyzing stroke in 1919. Her handling of daily affairs of her times was important to note because Edith had little formal education, had only been married four years to Wilson, and dedicated herself to managing all of his affairs. This biography documents her duties, achievements, and the understated role she took in helping lead the country, and is especially recommended for political history and women's history collections.

The World History Shelf

The Wisdom of the Middle Ages
Michael K. Kellogg
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633882133, $26.00,

The Wisdom of the Middle Ages surveys important Middle Ages documents and works and gathers medieval philosophy and insights from a range of works, from stories and memoirs to letters and epic tales. While one might expect this collection to appeal to scholarly audiences, what is less expected is a tone and approach that assumes no prior historical background in the Middle Ages and which seeks to provide lay readers with a lively discussion that moves from literary analysis to historical and philosophical insights. The result is a survey that will interest both history audiences and college-level students of Middle Ages culture and experiences.

The Parenting Shelf

The Magic Words
Cheryl B. Klein
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393292244, $18.95,

The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults is a recommendation for any aspiring writer who wants to create a novel for young readers, and comes from a children's book editor who gives these writers what they need to know to publish a book for kids or teens. In order to produce an effective, popular book for this audience, writers need to know how to make their books appealing standouts from the crowd. From how to write to an age-appropriate group to developing strong stories, this overview of developing plot, characters, and action is a 'must' for any writer who intends on reaching a young audience.

Digital Kids
Martin L. Kutscher, MD
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781783927126, $15.95,

Digital Kids: How to Balance Screen Time, and Why It Matters comes from a physician who offers approaches the entire family can employ to limit the affects of too much 'screen time' - a term that moves beyond television to include smartphones, computers, and DVDs. The latest research is analyzed in the course of exploring digital addictions and how they impact behavior, education and physical health alike. From what kinds of TV shows produce different results to how attention systems work, this is a key title for any parents and their families.

The Coloring Book Shelf

Industrial Strength Coloring Book
Robert Pizzo
Quill Driver Books
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721
9781610352888, $12.95,

Industrial Strength Coloring Book: gear Up to break the coloring Mold might very well get men involved in the coloring process: it's designed by a commercial illustrator and features images to color that reflect industry, tools, and machinery. While these may look like mandela figures, they are industrial in nature and are designed for intricate coloring detail. The fact that they are printed on high-quality paper on one side only gives colorers a firm surface and an image that doesn't bleed onto the next page, making this the perfect coloring book for anyone who appreciates intricate designs based in the real world.

Visions of the Universe
Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss
The Experiment, LLC
220 East 23rd Street, Suite 301, New York, NY 10010
9781615193677, $14.95,

Visions of the Universe: A Coloring Journey Through Math's Great Mysteries provides a creative and unusual math focus to coloring through almost sixty new patterns that range from mathematician's drawings and renditions of geometric and mathematical concepts to the authors' own original structures. These invite artists to color and to learn math as they fill in patterns and learn designs. The inclusion of notes on basic math such as the Einstein integers or the 1837 Collatz conjecture offers a fine survey that will appeal to any math-minded coloring artist.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Miracle of Mindfulness
Thich Nhat Hanh
Beacon Press
24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210
9780807064900, $20.00,

The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation provides a basic, classic guide to the practice and comes from a Zen Master who pairs anecdotes with exercises designed to encourage an understanding and experience of mindfulness. This is crafted into a gift edition which features his calligraphy, photos from his world travels, and a revised afterword, along with considerations of why people should meditate, problems with meditating, and how to interpret and apply its results. Anyone interested in basic meditation will find this a compelling survey.

Voices in the Stones
Kent Nerburn
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608683901, $16.00,

Voices in the Stones: Life Lessons from the Native Way presents a collection of Kent Nerburn's spiritual experiences and reflections and comes from a writer who has lived and worked among Native American people. While his discussion is also recommended for Native American holdings, it's reviewed here because new age thinkers will find his stories hold many spiritual insights and reflections key to both Native American life and how everyone can lead a more humane, aware existence. The reflections offer cultural and spiritual insights for a wide audience and are highly recommended reflections on the Native way of seeing the world.

Cannabis and Spirituality
Stephen Gray, Editor
Park Street Press
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620555835, $16.95,

Cannabis and Spirituality: An Explorer's Guide to an Ancient Plant Spirit Ally describes how cannabis is used for spirituality, and comes from the editor and seventeen other participants in the modern cannabis movement who consider the spiritual qualities of using cannabis. From dosage and strains to methods of intake and how to experience and process the spiritual revelations that result from cannabis usage, Cannabis and Spirituality provides a powerful survey relating the herb to arrange of spiritual practices and experiences and is a 'must' for any new age spirituality collection.

The Business Shelf

The Etiquette Edge, second edition
Beverly Langford
Amacom Books
1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
9780814437629, $16.00,

The Etiquette Edge: Modern Manners for Business Success appears in its second edition to update information key to business interactions, from social media etiquette and virtual meetings to changing business settings and global encounters. The business world holds its own etiquette standards and approaches and Beverly Langford here creates an overall framework designed to identify specific etiquette ideas and define behaviors and relationships within these general parameters. The result is a set of approaches that reaches beyond the latest rules to set the standards for adopting a flexible, effective approach to understanding changing etiquette in the business environment, and is recommended for any business reader.

The Technology Shelf

IoT Technical Challenges and Solutions
Arpan Pal and Balamuralidhar Purushothaman
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
9781630811112, $119.00,

IoT Technical Challenges and Solutions focuses on the Internet of Things and the problems involved in its adaptation, and gathers the work of professionals who are offered solutions to key questions about IoT systems. Chapters survey security and privacy issues, consider the scalability of networks and computing, and review the business goals and objectives of a successful IoT system, reviewing marketplaces that can serve as new business models and considering the popular platforms that can be used in mobile sensing. The result is a handbook filled with key reviews of the latest challenges to developing an IoT system.

Industrial Automation and Robotics
A.K. Gupta, S.K. Arora, and J.R. Westcott
Mercury Learning
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
9781938549304, $59.95,

Industrial Automation and Robotics provides a basic but technical introduction to the field of robotics in industrial applications, and covers the basic mechanical and electrical concepts involved and how they are used in automation. Chapters survey physics laws and basic principles of operation, closely inspect circuitry and fluidics, and add information on the programming and operations of robots. Packed with technical discussions and an attention to an overview that is clear and definitive, Industrial Automation and Robotics is recommended as a basic introduction for any novice entering the field.

The Music Shelf

How to Make it in the New Music Business
Ari Herstand
c/o W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9781631491504, $29.95,

How to Make it in the New Music Business: Practical Tips on Building a Loyal Following and Making a Living as a Musician comes from the founder of a popular blog about the music business and should be the item of choice for any new musician seeking a comprehensive guide about the industry. Chapters cover everything from building a fan base and promoting a tour to playing live, handling YouTube and online recording and video taping sources, and getting one's music onto film and television. There are many, many more music opportunities in the world than just recording studios and record contracts: Herstand's attention to detail in exploring them all makes for a powerful and highly recommended survey no aspiring musician should be without.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Martingale & Company
19021 - 120th Avenue NE, Suite 102, Bothell, WA 98011

Pat Sloan's Teach Me to Machine Quilt (9781604688313, $26.99) comes from a popular quilting teacher whose best-selling titles have taught many how to quilt. This third book in her "Teach Me" series offers a step-by-step survey of walking-foot and free-motion quilting techniques, and relies on no prior knowledge, making it a perfect guide for novices to both quilting techniques and machine operations. Chapters teach new things by featuring small projects, and present full-page patterns, tips for planning the project and handling the quilt, and an overview of what and how to quilt. The result is a perfect pick for novices who want to get up to speed by creating a professional-looking piece. The editors of Martingale's The Big Book of Knit Stitches (9781604688603, $22.99) packs in over three hundred fifty stitches and takes the form of good-sized close-up color photos each stitch to accompany step-by-step instructions on how to create them, row by row. Knitters receive keys to producing cables, lace, ribs, mosaics, different textures, and more and will find this handbook packed with clear instructions. These are highly recommended 'must have' references for any needleworker's collection.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Making it Big in Shorts, third edition
Kim Adelman
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781615932566, $16.95,

Making it Big in Shorts: The Ultimate Filmmaker's Guide to Short Films has been updated with new content to cover Kickstarter, Instagram, and new technological changes affecting the film industry and its funding, and is a 'must' for any performing arts collection looking for an updated third edition that accurately reflects the impact and promise of the digital revolution on film short productions. From organizing a studio to editing and sound, Making it Big in Shorts is packed with detail that makes it a 'must' for any filmmaker's library, discussing dialogue and paperwork, mockumentries, and all the facets that make film shorts the highest potentially creative type of film production on the market.

The Political Science Shelf

The Secret State
Colonel John Hughes-Wilson
Pegasus Books
80 Broad Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10004
9781681773025, $29.95,

The Secret State: A History of Intelligence and Espionage is a study of espionage that comes from a colonel who provides a sweeping history from the classical origins of intelligence work to modern times in the digital age, providing an in-depth survey of traditional intelligence, the evolution of information-gathering processes from the Cold War to the cyber environment, and how political forces around the world fostered new forms of reconnaissance photography, intelligence gathering, interpretation, and information processing. The Secret State is a powerful history that asks many hard questions in a wide-ranging survey packed with political, historical, and social analysis. It's a recommended pick not just for political studies readers; but for any interested in the intelligence community and its background.

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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