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The Bookwatch

Volume 12, Number 6 June 2017 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Terrorism Studies Shelf Agriculture Shelf
Technology Shelf Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Education Shelf Autism Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Aviation Shelf Fiction Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

The Tattoo Dictionary
Trent Aitken-Smith
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781784721770, $20.00,

The Tattoo Dictionary: An A-Z Guide to the Secret Language of Tattoos is illustrated by Ashley Tyson, whose full-page black and white tattoo illustrations support the in-depth research that explores the meanings behind some 200 popular tattoos. These include tribal images, Mexican skills, barbed wire, snakes, and other popular tattoo art, with each entry describing the initial origins of the image and its modern meaning. The result will interest any with a prior affection for tattoo art, who want more historical background on commonly-used images.

The Terrorism Studies Shelf

Anatomy of Terror
Ali Soufan
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393241174, $27.95,

Anatomy of Terror: From the Death of Bin Laden to the Rise of the Islamic State isn't just about ISIS, as so many terrorist discussions focus on, but upon the rise of other jihadi armies loyal to Al Qaeda, and appears on the sixth anniversary of bin Laden's death to present a former FBI special agent's review of the rise of the organization's structure and attacks since that time. Chapters survey both bin Laden's vision of an Islamic force in the world and the new realities of various nations seeing a rise in such forces on their own shores. From biographical sketches of individuals who would become leaders in this new arena to Syrian wars, camp inmates, and other influences on jihadi popularity and evolution, this is a wide-ranging, in-depth survey that combines research with the author's own inside experiences, and should be on the reading lists of any interested in the rise of terrorist forces around the world.

The Agriculture Shelf

Growing a Revolution
David R. Montgomery
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
97803935608328, $26.95,

Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life belongs in agriculture, science, and social issues collection alike as it discusses regenerative agriculture that builds soil health while offering financial benefits to farmers. Soil degradation has already ruined much of the world's croplands and threatened both environmental and political circles. This book surveys the use of chemical fertilizers around the world, food shortages which have sparked revolutions and riots, and common myths about modern agricultural practices.

The Technology Shelf

A Practical Guide to EMC Engineering
Levent Sevgi
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
9781630813833, $159.00,

A Practical Guide to EMC Engineering explores the basics of EMC engineering and electromagnetics, considering both design and marketing aspects and various EMC tests, measurements, and basic electrical engineering applications. Different circuit models, antennas, noise analysis, and EMC testing devices are contrasted in chapters filled with graphs, charts, equations, and technical support. Electrical engineering collections will consider this a 'must have' reference for any in-depth review of EMC Engineering basics.

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Michael Eury
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614
9781605490731, $36.95,

Hero-A-Go-Go! Campy Comic Books, Crimefighters & Culture of the Swinging Sixties discusses the 'camp age' of comics, when puns, sexuality, and the political and social atmosphere of the 1960s came to life to be reflected in comics. Former DC Comics editor Michael Eury examines particular characters from a range of comics, includes interviews with artists, actors, and personalities involved in the superhero subculture both in print and on screen, and packs his presentation with a wealth of color and black and white images of comics and insights from those who lived the era. From focuses on Bill Mumy from Lost in Space to Irwin Allen's impact on sci-fi, this will neatly reach beyond the comics crowd to appeal to the interests of anyone interested in how the culture of the 1960s translated to crimefighting and hero figures of the times.

The Audiobook Shelf

Aesop's Fables with Colin Hay
Tom Graves
Devault-Graves Digital Editions
9781942531241, $6.66 audiobook
9781942531234, $9.95 ebook

Almost anyone who has read a book well knows of the classic Aesop's Fables, one of the cornerstones of parables and moral fables - but the audio production of these tales is unexpected and delightful enough to make it a recommendation beyond its intended 6 to 11-year-old age group. The power of Aesop's fables might seem to speak for themselves in print version; but the audio needed this extra boost to attract listeners of all ages, and one of the special delights here is Hay's ability to dramatize his reading while lending an accent that flavors the story without being unintelligibly thick. Many an adult will want to listen, because lessons such as a parent/child encounter with greed in 'The Boy and the Jar of Peanuts' may have been forgotten by many an adult over the years. Their lovely resurrection here, in a powerful audio, makes for a winning production recommended for all ages. (It should also be noted that the ebook format contains lovely illustrations throughout, many in full color, that perfectly capture both the antique feel of Aesop's works and the sentiments of each story.)

A Generation of Sociopaths
Bruce Cannon Gibney
Hachette Audio
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104
9781478945291, $35.00,

A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America enjoys an unabridged reading by Wayne Pyle as it provides a controversial discussion of antisocial leaders in America and shows how Boomers' self-indulgence eroded American values. This discussion comes not from a radical left activist, but from a former partner in a leading venture capital firm who considers the policies and perceptions that have lead Boomers to capitalize on future generations. Anyone interested in the consequences of Boomer activities must listen to this thought-provoking, absorbing indictment of not individuals, but an entire generation.

The Education Shelf

From Staff Room to Classroom, second edition
Robin J. Fogarty and Brian M. Pete
Corwin Literacy
c/o Corwin Press, Inc.
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218
9781506358277, $27.00,

The second updated edition of From Staff Room to Classroom: A Guide for Planning and Coaching Professional Development covers the basics of staff development and strategies for translating new information to classroom use, and covers some six methods of supporting teachers as they take content learned during professional development and apply it to student needs. From how professional learning processes may be updated using new technologies to how such opportunities can be designed and fostered, this focus on professional development should be in the hands of any educator looking to better encourage teacher growth and its incorporation into better classroom and learning experiences.

The Autism Shelf

How to Start, Carry On and End Conversations
Paul Jordan
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781785922459, $14.95,

Readers in social situations who are on the autism spectrum will find this simple collection of scripts a fine guide to conversational etiquette and approaches which belays the notion that conversation is an inherent skill that can't be taught. Chapters explain how to interpret everyday social situations at school or in other group settings and provide a simple connection between a little over sixty simple words and scripts that help readers understand how conversations evolve and how they are structured. The result should be in any collection strong in autism skills approaches.

Autism in My Family
Sandra Tucker
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781785927072, $19.95,

Although Autism in My Family: A Journal for Siblings of Children with ASD is intended for ages 8-12, it's recommended here because many an adult will wish to review this journal and its strategies. An interactive workbook introduces autism using simple language directed to non-autistic siblings and encouraging them to better understand the feelings and perceptions of those on the autism spectrum. Thoughts, games, writing, and photography and other visual exercises encourage a high degree of emotional connection and better understanding and is especially recommended as a tool the entire family can utilize to open dialogue.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

A Purely Private Matter
Darcie Wilde
Berkley Prime Crime
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780425262380, $15.00,

Fans of history and mystery will welcome this Rosalind Thorne mystery which blends the two in fine tale set in Regency London's wealthy circles, which are rocked by scandal and deception. This is the second book in the series set in 19th-century London, but it is both a nice stand-alone and a solid supportive effort for the first book and any who like the atmosphere of Jane Austin. Poison, pregnancy, and threats permeate the highest of circles in this excellent story.

The Aviation Shelf

Aviation Records in the Jet Age
William A. Flanagan, Lt. Col, USAF (Ret.)
Specialty Press
99 Spring Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10012
9781580072304, $39.95,

Aviators have focused on breaking flight records for as long as new planes have been invented, and Aviation Records in the Jet Age: The Planes and Technologies Behind the Breakthroughs is a fine documentary of jet-age efforts, documenting national and international competitions and famous record-breaking flights from World War II onward. Chapters packed with vintage black and white and contemporary color photos throughout accompany maps, portraits of aviators, close-ups of planes on the ground and in the air, and discussions that survey speed and altitude records set in a range of environmental and political conditions. The result is a beautifully done aviation history chronicle that could almost be a coffee table addition, but holds far more detail and history than a visual production alone.

The Fiction Shelf

A Twisted Vengeance
Candace Robb
Pegasus Books
80 Broad Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10004
9781681774527, $25.95,

A Twisted Vengeance is set in 1399, an era when York is facing civil war, Eleanor's return after the death of her husband is met with suspicion, and her daughter Kate finds her intention of staying away from her mother's issues only brings them in closer proximity to her life. When she's forced to investigate matters, she encounters a brutal murder and a threat that seems tied to the turbulent politics of her world, threatening to immerse Kate and her charges in everything they've worked hard to avoid. A fine blend of murder mystery and history makes for a compelling story that's hard to put down.

The Needlecraft Shelf

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

Two fine books should be in any avid quilter's collection, packing in a wide range of quilting projects and offering keys to producing standout quilts. That Patchwork Place's The Big Book of Strip Quilts: Start with Strips to Make 60 Stunning Quilts (9781604688542, $27.99) tells how to cut strips from a stash or use precuts to make fine strip quilt patterns, and explores projects that range from wall hangings and baby quilts to bed-sized quilts. Various designers contribute their ideas to this collection, which means that styles are satisfyingly diverse and beginners and experienced quilts alike receive a good diversity of choices and results. Full-page color photos of the quilts accompany materials lists, step-by-step instructions, and visually illustrated keys to making blocks from strips. Polly Minick and Laurie Simpson's Blue & White: Living with Textiles You Love (9781604688689, $34.99) isn't a needlework guide per say, but a key to incorporating textiles into interior decorating strategies. Because needleworkers face additional challenges in this department, beyond constructing their works, it's especially recommended for this audience who may have needlework design strategies well in hand, but now need advice on how to incorporate textiles and fibers into the home. Color and style in American folk art are discussed as part of the focus on American hooked rugs, quilts, and other blue and white themes that can easily translate to a warm incorporation into a home's style. The focus on blue and white colors narrows the field and allows for specific references and recommendations that impart the basics of home interior design into the needleworker's world. Both are wonderful additions highly recommended for any needlework collection.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Insane Consequences
D.J. Jaffe
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633882911, $25.00,

Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill provides a critical consideration of America's failing mental health system and comes from a critic who identifies why, despite large budgets, the mentally ill in this country continue to fall through the cracks. Jaffe maintains that the mental health industry and government is to blame for creating situations that focus on and document improvements on those only lightly disturbed while leaving in limbo those who suffer from severe disorders. Industry and government documents, science studies, and insights from the author's thirty-plus years in mental health contribute to a damning survey from the executive director.

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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