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The Bookwatch

Volume 11, Number 1 January 2016 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Needlecraft Shelf Art Shelf
Reference Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf Science Shelf
Islamic Studies Shelf Sports Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Beer/Wine/Spirits Shelf Education Shelf International Studies Shelf
Social Issues Shelf Computer Shelf Autism Shelf
Nautical Shelf Automotive Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

A Numerate Life
John Allen Paulos
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633881181, $17.00,

A Numerate Life: A Mathematician Explores the Vagaries of Life, His Own and Probably Yours comes from a mathematician who blends his personal memories with insights on mathematical approaches to viewing his personal life and his world, and wraps all this in a lively blend of autobiography and fun math insights. These vignettes go where few mathematician efforts can follow in offering a math focus on life itself - blended with philosophy, wit, and wisdom. Readers who hold a prior affection for math - but not necessarily an expertise in the subject - will find his a revealing, education and entertaining story all in one.

The Needlecraft Shelf

A Bit of Applique
Amy Struckmeyer
Martingale & Company
19021 - 120th Avenue NE, Suite 102, Bothell, WA 98011
9781604685534, $26.99,

A Bit of Applique: Easy Projects with Modern Flair offers inspiring designs and techniques for beginners new to applique and uses nearly twenty projects for quilts, bags, pillows and more to teach the basics of both hand- and machine-stitched applique techniques. Chapters provide templates and also encourage creative embellishments as they show how to accent projects and use applique to best advantage, while designs utilize rich hues and different fabrics to best advantage. The result presumes no prior familiarity with needlework or stitchery and is a highly recommended pick for any newcomers who wants to get up and running quickly, with neo-professional results.

The Art Shelf

Young Originals
Rebecca Jumper Matheson
Texas Tech University Press
PO Box 41037, Lubbock, TX 79409-1037
9780896729247, $37.95,

Young Originals: Emily Wilkens and the Teen Sophisticate tells of 1940s American designer Emily Wilkens, who moved beyond her expertise in children's clothing to create costumes for two teen characters in a Broadway play. Based on her experience working with these teens, she launched the Emily Wilkins Young Originals line: the first designer label specializing in upscale clothing for teen girls. Her efforts made her a national name at the time, but today it's all but forgotten. Fashion historian Rebecca Matheson offers a history that takes Wilkens and her teen clients and uses that history to examine female labels, designers, and the evolution of their power over the decades. The focus on a change in perspective that allowed teens to become fashionable contributes to a lively and involving survey highly recommended for any fashion collection.

The Reference Shelf

Find It Fast
Robert I. Berkman
Information Today Inc.
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055-8750
9781937290047, $24.95,

Find It Fast: Extracting Expert Information from Social Networks, Big Data, Tweets, and More appears in its 6th updated edition to provide key guidelines on how to locate information sources, how to reach their authors, and how to do fast research on a wide range of subjects. By 'research' this means techniques that go beyond using such search engines as Google, moving into deeper layers of databases and information systems and also using social media for research. From assessing a site for its accuracy and understanding the differences between different kinds of sources to gaining information faster, this offers many keys to better searches and information assessment practices.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

The Many Lives of Cy Endfield
Brian Neve
University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, Third Floor, Madison, WI 53711-2059
9780299303747, $34.95,

The Many Lives of Cy Endfield: Film Noir, The Blacklist, and Zulu tells of a filmmaker who directed several Hollywood films before he was blacklisted and refused to identify others before the House Un-American Activities Committee, and it follows his social, political and film experiences in the first book to focus on his life. Years of archival research and personal interviews succeed in documenting the changing world of a Hollywood director who was fascinated by science and magic, who produced films in the 1940s to early 1950s, and whose political statements about inequalities in class and race experiences led to a controversial career and accusations. Any collection strong in film history and social change will find the chapters in The Many Lives of Cy Endfield provide a multi-faceted read and close examination of the inner life of a public filmmaker whose choices led to both creative and controversial productions.

The Science Shelf

Alfred Wegener
Mott T. Greene
The Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4363
9781421417127, $44.95,

Alfred Wegener: Science, Exploration, and the Theory of Continental Drift blends biography with scientific discovery as it charts the course of a scientist whose fieldwork embraced a wide range of disciplines and ultimately resulted in his authoring of the theory of continental drift. Unlike many scientists with narrowed focus, he also contributed beyond his geology focus to astronomy, physics, glaciology, and more. While he died of overexertion on a journey to Greenland to study the drift of its ice cap, his work survives him, and this in-depth biography is the only complete account of his life and work and represents some twenty years of in-depth research, making it a 'must' for any college-level science holding.

Viral Nanotechnology
Yury Khudyakov and Paul Pumpens, Editors
CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
9781466583528, $159.95,

Viral Nanotechnology provides an updated overview of the developing field of viral nanotechnology and discusses the developing fields of immunology, physics, chemistry and more. This is no light overview but an in-depth scientific survey with articles by leading researchers and practitioners who identify nanotechnology as a science that centers on how to apply molecular models to viral technology. The focus on using viral nanotechnology to improve health documents its use in genetic therapies and drug developments and considers its diagnosis applications and host/vector system factors alike. With its extensive, in-depth reference detail, Viral Nanotechnology is a 'must' for health and science holdings at the advanced college level.

The Islamic Studies Shelf

A Treasury of Sufi Wisdom: The Path of Unity
Peter Samsel, Editor
World Wisdom
1501 East Hillside Drive, Bloomington, IN 47401
9781936597468, $22.95,

A Treasury of Sufi Wisdom: The Path of Unity includes selections form Rumi and major Sufi writers and works as it gathers a treasure trove of well over a hundred sayings from the Qur'an and Hadith, some 400 sayings from Sufi sages, and pairs them with a focus on metaphysical and philosophical organization to contrast and juxtapose some of the major works of Sufi doctrine. The texts, when viewed in this manner, offer a fine opportunity for scholars and students to understand the major Sufi writings and ideals, making for a powerful survey no new age or spiritual holding should be without.

The Sports Shelf

The HIIT Advantage
Irene Lewis-McCormick
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076
9781492503064, $21.95,

The HIIT Advantage discusses high-intensity workouts for women and is a recommendation for trainers and athletes who want specific exercises, combinations, and progressions designed to shape and strengthen the entire body. These HIIT protocols focus on very high-intensity anaerobic intervals paired with shorter, low-effort rest intervals, and provide a comprehensive guide filled with step-by-step instructions, photo sequences, discussions of variations and customization, and workouts that combine 230-, 30- and 45-minute sessions. Black and white photos throughout leave nothing to wonder, while access to an online video library completes the process. A 'must' for any serious athlete's toolbox of exercises!

The Cookbook Shelf

Cooking at Home
Chuck Williams
Weldon Owen
415 Jackson Street, San Francisco, CA 94111
9781616289621, $40.00,

Cooking at Home: More than 1,000 Classic and Modern Recipes for Every Meal of the Day is a Chuck Williams' 100th Birthday Limited Edition celebrating the founding of Williams Sonoma, and packs in a thousand recipes with a hundred from his personal collection. It's meant to be a 'bible' of everyday food from breakfast to sandwiches and dinner: thus home cooks will find over twenty chapters packed with detailed instructions and recipes for Crab Bisque, Pork Medallions with Lemon and Rosemary, Chile-Corn Muffins, and much more. The result is an outstanding cookbook that takes the basics and moves them a step up for any who would entertain and cook at home.

Slow Cooker: 500 Recipes
Sara Lewis
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9780600632450, $19.99,

Slow Cooker: 500 Recipes packs over 400 color photos into a cookbook filled with soups, stews, and casseroles perfect for slow cooker winter preparations, and is especially recommended as a warm and welcoming introductory text to any new to slow cooker preparations. Chapters go beyond providing tested, foolproof recipes: they cover the basics of how to get the most of a slow cooker, how to avoid common problems, and how to prepare food for the cooker to take best advantage of its operations.

Cook the Pantry
Robin Robertson
Vegan Heritage Press
P.O. Box 628, Woodstock, VA 22664-0628
9781941252185, $21.95,

Cook the Pantry provides vegan dishes that can be constructed in 20 minutes or less in a cookbook that shows how to use ordinary ingredients on hand to make a vegan meal. From what kinds of ingredients constitute a well-stocked pantry for quick, last-minute dishes to color photos peppered throughout to international influences in an Asian Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing or a Pantry Bulgur Pilaf with dried cranberries, this is a delicious cookbook that busy vegan cooks will especially appreciate.

The Beer/Wine/Spirits Shelf

Spirit of Place: Scotland's Great Whiskey Distilleries
Charles Maclean
Chicago Review Press
814 North Franklin Street, Chicago, IL 60610
0781613731833, $39.95,

Spirit of Place: Scotland's Great Whiskey Distilleries is a specialty book especially recommended for whiskey aficionados who enjoy a blend of travelogue and discussion about visiting distilleries, and provides the author's experiences with some fifty of Scotland's greatest whiskey producers. Presented in an oversized format replete with color photos - over 250 specially commissioned for this book - Spirit of Place is filled with discussions that link the country's history of producing Scotch whiskey with a compelling travelogue and survey of the drink, its producers, and its history. The result is a beautiful presentation suitable for coffee table display and research which is a top recommendation for any fan of either whiskey or Scotland.

The Education Shelf

Making Nonfiction from Scratch
Ralph Fletcher
Stenhouse Publishers
480 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781625310125, $18.50,

Making Nonfiction from Scratch offers a thought-provoking critique of how nonfiction writing is taught in schools, and also provides teachers with new options to teaching differently to elicit passion and insights from your aspiring writers. Directed to teachers who see the lack of passion in their students, this provides a specific set of techniques directed towards nonfiction that takes devices used in other genres, from fiction to poetry and comedy, and draws them together to explore how they can apply to nonfiction efforts. Exercises, two case studies, and a chapter on nonfiction writing pros and cons rounds out the presentation, highly recommended for any teacher who wants to recharge the young nonfiction writer.

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

Three new titles are top recommendations for educators and collections catering to them. Maria C. Grant, Douglas Fisher and Diane Lapp's Reading and Writing in Science: Tools to Develop Disciplinary Literacy (9781483345680, $29.95) appears in its second updated edition to provide a discussion of how to use science to develop modern science and literary skills alike. It offers routines that incorporate using scientific texts in the classroom and provides students with all the tools needed to improve understanding, and it uses reading guidelines to anchor science understanding. Teachers also receive tips on how to develop text-based questions, how to assess inquiries and processes, and how to blend the goals of teaching reading in science. Wendy W. Nurawski and Kathy Lynn Scott edit What Really Works in Secondary Education (9781483386652, $34.95), a collection of research-based strategies for teachers that compiles the advice of experts who move beyond educational theory into how it applies (or doesn't) in a classroom setting. Chapters discuss educational innovations that work, consider new approaches to classroom management and student engagement, include forms for such goals as cooperative learning lessons, and pairs sample lessons with self-assessment questions. The fact that these approaches come from real-world tested solutions makes this a winning collection. Page Keeley's Science Formative Assessment Volume 1: 75 Practical Strategies for Linking Assessment, Instruction, and Learning appears in its second updated edition to show educators how to incorporate formative assessment routines into science curriculums, and comes from an expert in science education. Here are over seventy classroom techniques that describes how formative assessment promotes instruction, creates charts that link K-12 core ideas and science practices to this process, offers expanded suggestions for applications beyond science studies, and more. From paraphrasing and using 'four corners' to solicit student ideas to frameworks for K-12 education, this is a 'must' for any educator interested in learning about and applying formative assessment techniques.

Starting with Character
Cathy Waggoner and Martha Herndon
Redleaf Press
10 Yorkton Court, St. Paul, MN 55117-1065
9781605544472, $24.95,

Starting with Character: Activities for Infants, Toddlers, and Twos is a recommended pick for educators and parents looking at new curriculum development strategies for early learners, and outlines six key character traits in young children that can be supported by easy activities. From developing caring and honesty to cultivating self-discipline, chapters consider the emotional state of infants, toddlers and two-year-olds and provide guidelines for assessment, evaluation, and specific activities tailored to this group and these purposes. Cathy Waggoner worked in the field of education since 1989 and her job has focused on character development in early education, while Martha Herndon has worked as a researcher and ECE educator. Together they provide a solid program for success.

Specific Learning Difficulties
Diana Hudson
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849055901, $19.95,

Specific Learning Difficulties: What Teachers Need to Know is directed to both special educators and general classrooms, but it's the latter who will best employ the basic guidelines on how to recognize symptoms of specific learning disabilities and handle students who struggle with dyslexia, autism, ADHD, and more. Moving beyond identifying issues, these chapters discuss how to modify teaching materials and techniques and how to help students work within their limitations to produce more effective results on exams, tests, and in classroom interactions. From multisensory teaching to locating an adult mentor, this is filled with strategies and observations the general classroom teacher can easily apply.

The International Studies Shelf

Crouching Tiger
Peter Navarro
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633881143, $25.00,

Crouching Tiger: What China's Militarism Means for the World questions whether a war with China is inevitable - and assesses the probability of conflict between the U.S. and China, analyzing both routes to war and paths to peace along the way. More than the usual author perspective, Crouching Tiger is based on interviews with over thirty top experts who discuss various facts about the country's recent military buildup and its effects in Asia. Also surveyed are China's evolving weapons systems and delivery systems, discussions of U.S. military strength, and surveys of economic and diplomatic engagements and their pros and cons. Any interested in China's evolving prowess must have this!

The Social Issues Shelf

Weaving a Malawi Sunrise
Roberta Laurie
University of Alberta Press
Ring House 2, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2E1
9781772120868, $39.95,

Weaving a Malawi Sunrise: A Woman, A School, A People surveys the women of a developing country and one woman in particular, Memory Chazeza, who struggled to gain an education and then built a school for young women. Author Laurie was key in helping Memory achieve her goals of seeing young girls become independent and powerful women, and met several other women whose stories are woven into Memory's account. The result is a powerful blend of biography, social and political probe of Malawi and a top recommendation for any women's studies or social issues collection.

The Computer Shelf

Murach's jQuery, second edition
Zak Ruvalcaba and Anne Boehm
Mike Murach & Associates, Inc.
4340 N. Knoll, Fresno, CA 93722
9781890774912, $54.50,

The second updated edition of Murach's jQuery blends a course in a book with a reference topic covering JavaScript skills needed for applying jQuery to real-world problem-solving, and provides insights on how to get the most from scripting and other development topics. Chapters offer an in-depth survey of using and understanding jQuery in a form that requires little prior programming language experience, and which builds the basics and proceeds to teach in-depth applications and customization routines. From using Ajax and others in working with common websites to using jQuery Mobile to develop web pages for mobile devices, this reference packs in code, sidebars of information, and plenty of real-world examples.

The Autism Shelf

Older Adults and Autism Spectrum Conditions
Wenn Lawson
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849059619, $24.95,

Older Adults and Autism Spectrum Conditions: An Introduction and Guide examines the issues facing older adults with autism spectrum conditions and offers guidance and an organized examination of issues based on a blend of research and interviews with older people diagnosed with ASC. From working with care staff to handling mental health issues, retirement, considering a trustee and exploring various personality and learning types, this survey delves into the many and changing issues affecting older adults on the spectrum and is essential for understanding their progress and special challenges.

The Nautical Shelf

Shipwrecked in Paradise
Paul F. Johnston
Texas A&M University Press
4354 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-4354
9781623492830, $39.95,

Shipwrecked in Paradise: Cleopatra's Barge in Hawai'i tells of America's first oceangoing private yacht, built in Massachusetts as a flashy cruiser for a private owner. Sold several times after his death, the ship wound up in Hawai'i and was purchased by a king for a million pounds of sandalwood, renamed, and became the royal flagship until she was lost in 1924 in Kaua'i. This offers a history of the boat from her 1816 construction to her 1995 discovery and excavation by the Smithsonian Institution. Packed with photos, documents and rich archaeological and historical detail, it's a 'must' for archaeologists and nautical history fans alike.

The Automotive Shelf

Evo Supercars
Evo Magazine
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781784720506, $29.99,

Evo Supercars: Behind the Wheel of the Greatest Cars of All Time comes from the experts at Evo Magazine who provide an oversized survey of the 100 greatest supercars ever built, from Ferraris to the latest models. Reviews for each car discuss why each model is a 'supercar' in its class, but the meat of the survey lies in full-page color photos by Evo photographers that accompany the reviews and specs on engines, power, price, and other technical details. This makes for a blend of coffee table book and supercar presentations covering top models from 1968 to modern times, presenting the best of Jaguar, Ford, Aston Martin, Bugatti, and others. Auto history buffs interested in a blend of eye-popping images and precise descriptions will find this a 'must have' acquisition.

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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