Return to home
page Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
Home / The Bookwatch

The Bookwatch

Volume 16, Number 7 July 2021 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf American History Shelf
Technology Shelf Beer/Wine/Spirits Shelf Agriculture Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

A Handbook for Bullying Victims
Bruce Sherman
Independently Published
9798672980706, $9.99, PB, 48pp

Given all the publicity around bullying, these days, it's notable that of all the strategies designed to address it, the majority fall on the shoulders of adults, gatekeepers, and institutions to enact. Few are addressed to those who are potential victims; much less offer a fresh viewpoint on how to empower and protect them, starting from within.

A Handbook for Bullying Victims achieves its goal by outlining a program Bruce Sherman names the 'International Bully Patrol', emphasizing its world-wide applicability. The book opens with a personal story of the author's childhood experiences with a bully. It's a familiar tale of ongoing abuse and victimization. While his solution resorted to violence to quell the attitude of a bully who terrorized not only him but his entire class, Sherman admonishes that violence, though one option, is indeed a last resort.

His book also covers all the choices for handling bullying in various ways, combining advice and insights with a treasure trove of online references vetted by effectiveness and organized by subjects that range from ethnic bullying and cyberbullying to police misconduct, elder abuse, workplace issues, prejudice, and more. The specific chapter headings allow readers to skip through the manual, if they desire, to locate a particular area of interest; while the subjects include overviews and list enough information about each article link to give readers an idea of its appropriateness and content before they clink on the reference.

Take the 'Muslim Bullying' section, for example. Here, readers will find vetted references addressing such diverse subtopics as 'Supporting Muslim Teens in Face of Islamophobia - in Their Own Schools'; a 2019 Bullying Report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations; a CBS news story 'We're called terrorists:' HWDSB anti-bullying session hears from Muslim community'; and the thought-provoking article, 'Singled Out: Islamophobia in the Classroom and the Impact of Discrimination on Muslims'.

Each article brings a different focus, study, approach, and real-world statistics and insights to explore the broader nature of the bullying problem. Each provides solutions. More importantly, each has been vetted by Bruce Sherman, in comparison to the multitude of other writings on the subject, bringing the cream of the crop to the top and saving readers many hours of searching. With its wide-ranging focus through all age groups (from children to elder adults), all ethnicities, and legal and social platforms of discussion, A Handbook for Bullying Victims lives up to its promise to deliver a powerful tool for resolution to all interested in the subject of bullying and how to identify, understand, and resolve it.

There's nothing quite like it on the market. Reference libraries, in particular, will find A Handbook for Bullying Victims a top acquisition.

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Reed's Homophones: A Comprehensive Book of Sound-alike Words, fourth edition
A. D. Reed
Pisgah Press, LLC
PO Box 9663, Asheville, NC 28815
9781942016427, $14.95 Paper/$2.99 ebook/$19.95 Hardcover

Reed's Homophones: A Comprehensive Book of Sound-alike Words should be in any collection strong in English language explorations, literature, and wordsmithing, whether for school-age readers in high school to college, or general-interest collections appealing to writers and authors. It provides a quick reference for those who would quickly locate a homophone in a resource that complements a dictionary or thesaurus while imparting a sense of humor about what is included in the homophone collection: "...(including some borrowed from other tongues, and a few that aren't quite homophonic, but are awfully close) as well as frequent misspellings, mispronunciations, misused word pairs, schizophrenic antonyms, and a few pet peeves."

The wellspring of a reference designed to thwart common word misuse came from a series of 2007 newspaper articles that sparked "...a short list of common homophones that seem to attract newspaper reporters as honey does flies. Houses are "raised" by fires; actors demonstrate real "flare" on stage; people wait with "baited" breath; the view through the picture window is a "site" to behold; witnesses are rarely "fazed" but often "phased." Et cetera."

As the word rebuttal expanded to book length, A. D. Reed crafted a writer's guide to popular word pairs that should ideally be unpaired. An A-Z dictionary identifies such homophones as "access - a way in; axis - line on a grid" and other common follies of language misuse.

While reading a dictionary might not be everyone's cup of tea, Reed's Homophones serves as both an at-a-glance desk reference for writers and as a word nerd's browsing delight, offering definitions and insights that tackle and correct too-common instances of misuse, as in "segue - seamless transition" versus "Segway(R) - one-axled, two-wheeled, gyroscopic self-propelled scooter."

Reed's Homophones is an important guide for writers who adhere to literary correctness, who will want to double-check their reports and literary productions with this book. Reference collections strong in writer's guides should consider Reed's Homophones a key acquisition.

Write a Poem, Save Your Life
Meredith Heller
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato CA 94949
9781608687480, $16.95 PB, $9.99 Kindle, 272pp

"Write a Poem, Save Your Life: A Guide for Teens, Teachers, and Writers of All Ages" by Meredith Heller comes from a singer-songwriter and poet who believes that poetry writing is the path forward to recreating and acknowledging one's self, and uses examples of prose from teens Heller has worked with to explore encouraging pathways to linking poetry writing with emotional growth and exploration. Newfound connections through words can lead to growth opportunities not to be found elsewhere. 'Recipe poems' and invitations to view ordinary and extraordinary resources for inspiration provide all the tools needed for non-poets to explore the medium and connect it to their personal lives. Newcomers to poetry writing will find this approach much more accessible than the usual poetry writing handbook, requiring no prior familiarity with poetry or writing to prove accessible.

Editorial Note: Meredith Heller is a poet, singer-songwriter, educator, and the author of three poetry collections. A California Poet in the Schools, she leads workshops in schools and juvenile detention centers and online.

The American History Shelf

Buffalo Bill and the Birth of American Celebrity
Kellen Cutsforth
4501 Forbes Blvd. #200, Lanham MD 20706
9781493047420, $29.95 HC, $23.86 Kindle, 184pp

"Buffalo Bill and the Birth of American Celebrity" by Kellen Cutsforth focuses on the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show and the man who created it, becoming not just an entertainment phenomenon but a key reflector of the vision and perception of the American West. Bill Cody's early entertainment efforts, how he depicted frontier life, his stage career, and those who wrote about him and fictionalized his dramatic life are all covered in energetic history reviews that consider the evolution of the Wild West's image and Cody's influence on it. Black and white illustrations throughout depict advertising, capture images of the show, and add visual enhancement to a lively saga of American history designed to intrigue history and entertainment readers alike.

The Technology Shelf

In-Band Full-Duplex Wireless Systems Handbook
Kenneth E. Kolodziej, Editor
Artech House
685 Carlton St., Norwood, MA 02062
9781630817893, $199.00, HC, 440pp

In-Band Full-Duplex Wireless Systems Handbook is a mobile communications guide that reviews in-band full-duplex technology (IBFD), covering its research, approaches, interfaces, and techniques. A variety of experts contribute to the discussion of industry standards, designs, photonic-based methods, and processing approaches, providing the in-depth detail needed for IBFD learners to absorb practical lessons and techniques. Chapters provide introductions and overviews, metrics, model examples supported by mathematical formulas, and a roundup of practical considerations of problems and solutions that use plenty of visuals (tables, charts, diagrams) to reinforce these technical discussions. The result is a survey that should be a basic reference for any mobile communications collection or student.

Artech House
685 Carlton Street, Norwood, MA 02062

Two new references from Artech House are top picks for technical collections looking for in-depth coverages.

Hector Fenech's High-Throughput Satellites (9781630818258, $159.00, HC, 274pp) surveys the latest new High Throughput Satellites (HTS), providing a discussion of their commercial applications, technological makeup, and history of the HTS and its operating systems. Readers involved in space technology applications will find it packed with discussions of GEO and LEO systems and how they evolved, and discussions of HTS and other system interactions. Tables, charts, and supporting math references round out discussions especially recommended for satellite technicians and students.

David L. Adamy's EWE 105: Space Electronic Warfare (9781630818340, $129.00 HC, $122.55 Kindle, 250pp) belongs in technology and military science collections alike, providing the fifth book in Artech House's EW 100 series to explore electronic warfare in space. From signal jamming and satellite vulnerability to typical satellite problems and orbit mechanics, readers receive a basic primer filled with calculations, satellite specifics, signal frequencies, and earth- and space-based systems. Diagrams, figures, charts, and supporting formulas cover all the basics of this technology and its successes and vulnerabilities.

The Beer/Wine/Spirits Shelf

Booze Cruise
Andre Darlington
Running Press
2300 Chestnut St., Philadelphia PA 19103
9780762497850, $24.00 HC, $11.99 Kindle, 240pp

Booze Cruise: A Tour of the World's Essential Mixed Drinks differs from the many other cocktail books on the market in that it comes from a world traveler and drinks writer who adopts a global approach to exploring cocktails popular in different cities around the world. Each drink feature includes not just a recipe, as competing books offer, but a survey of local history, culture, and tasting notes that cover Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and the U.S. Readers interested in expanding their cocktail knowledge to embrace world locales and local drinks, who are unable to make the journey in a time when world travel is restricted, will find this cocktail survey of world destinations and drinks the perfect answer to armchair travel and food and drink discoveries.

The Agriculture Shelf

From Farms to Incubators
Amy Wu
Craven Street Books
9781610355759, $24.95 PB, $14.49 Kindle, 230pp

From Farms to Incubators: Women Innovators Revolutionizing How Our Food is Grown by Amy Wu offers agriculture history and women's issues readers alike a business survey of women who are using technology to change agricultural pursuits. This book packs in case studies of women entrepreneurs from different backgrounds. Each tell how they employed agtech innovations to solve agribusiness issues, and each experience reflects a piece of change affecting the industry as a whole. Any involved in agricultural and technological intersections or women's roles as business and community leaders should consider this survey a winner. That it comes packed with good-sized color photos of women, agricultural settings, and technology in action furthers its appeal not just to business leaders and agricultural collections, but women more casually interested in the lives and careers of female innovators.

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

Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design