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The Bookwatch

Volume 13, Number 6 June 2018 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Mystery/Suspense Shelf Science Shelf
Genealogy Shelf Audiobook Shelf Biography Shelf
American History Shelf Political Science Shelf Wine/Spirits Shelf
Relationship Shelf Art Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf
Education Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Computer Shelf
Military Shelf Criminology Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

Hazardous Waste Management: An Introduction
Cliff Vanguilder
Mercury Learning
9781683922292 $64.95

Hazardous Waste Management: An Introduction presumes no prior knowledge as it provides an in-depth textbook recommended for a first course in hazardous waste management for civil and environmental engineers and those managing companies in waste management. This latest edition includes all the latest regulations, recovery tools, protocols for compliance, and case studies from the field supporting each of these areas. Everything from basic recordkeeping to manifests and reports are surveyed in a top recommendation that should be basic to any introduction to the topic.

At the Altars of Money
Graydon Dee Hubbard
Fithian Press
c/o Daniel & Daniel Publishers
9781564746016 $25.95

At the Altars of Money is a business novel based on the 2008 financial crisis and is based on real people and experiences, blending history and financial savvy as it provides a drama that reads like a cross between fiction and nonfiction. Perhaps this is because Hubbard was a CPA for over thirty years; so his financial savvy comes from a professional foundation. The tale of a SEC attorney who has a nose for truth against all odds and the interests of her superiors, who uncovers more than she initially bargained for, makes for a riveting and complex tale of insider money deals and high stakes for would-be heroes and exploiters alike. The result is a fast-paced romp through the legal and financial world that introduces a host of characters in a story that's hard to put down and satisfyingly complex throughout.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Shot in the Dark
Cleo Coyle
Berkley Prime Crime
9780451488848 $27.00

Shot in the Dark is a new Coffeehouse Mystery that involves coffee shop manager Clare in a new problem that's brewing at the shop due to a new dating app. Clare's patrons are interested in more than coffee, because romance is in the air and her Village Blend has been named the hot spot to meet a date in New York City. When murder involves a customer, Clare is convinced of her innocence but must view the rest of her patrons as possible suspects in the process of clearing the woman's name. A lively survey follows, well steeped in coffee lore and New York City culture.

The Science Shelf

Polarization in Electromagnetic Systems, second edition
Warren Stutzman
Artech House
9781630811075 $179.00

The second updated edition of Polarization in Electromagnetic Systems has been completely revised and expanded to include the latest coverage of applications in wireless communications, and is recommended as a foundation text for engineers and reference systems catering to them. The basics of polarization processes are explained from scientific to mathematical perspectives, and then systems are analyzed in detail, emphasizing antennas for generating polarization. From wave interaction to different systems, including depolarizing media, this reference provides everything needed to serve as both a refresher course and a review of the latest findings.

The Genealogy Shelf

Scottish Trade with Colonial Charleston 1683-1783
David Dobson
9780806358598 $43.50

Scottish Trade with Colonial Charleston 1683-1783 offers genealogists and collections catering to them a solid reference to Scottish history and encounters in colonial Charleston. It covers merchants, political associations between Scotland and England, trade jurisdictions by different nations, emigrant processes and influences, and more, providing a thorough and in-depth background history. The result is a survey that is recommended reading both for Charleston history buffs and any interested in the movements and peoples of the region in early America.

The Audiobook Shelf

Hachette Audio

These four nonfiction audio works are highly recommended picks for libraries seeking revealing topics and solid narrators, and promise lasting library lending value. Andrew Morton's Wallace in Love: The Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor, The Woman Who Changed the Monarchy (9781478964636, $35.00) is read by Molly Parker Myers and offers a new portrait of Wallis Simpson, telling of her change from a Baltimore spoiled girl who always pursued stability and status to her rise in London society. Her attraction to a king led him into disaster and cost her reputation, as an adult, and this probe reveals the psychological influences on events between them and throughout her life. Mark Hyman, MD's Food: What the Heck Should I Eat? (9781478985389, $30.00) is written and read by the author, who addresses the confusion surrounding healthy foods and appropriate eating habits. Given the back-and-forth of health reports on such foods as eggs, milk, and meat, it's easy to be confused over the latest research and its validity. Dr. Hyman examines all food groups and explains which foods are healthy and which are not. Science blends with positive insight and even recipes to focus on the kinds of foods and eating habits that lead to optimal health. Lauren Slater's Blue Dreams: The Science and the Story of the Drugs That Changed Our Minds (9781478900290, $30.00) is read by Betsy Foldes-Meiman and offers a history of psychotropic drugs that points out that despite their popularity, there's actually no clear understanding of how or why they work on the brain. Her history of the discovery and development of these approved narcotics provides a lively scientific and psychological survey that considers the evolution of psychiatric drugs and their applications from early times to modern days, and is recommended for anyone who would gain a better understanding of their fundamental purposes and ongoing issues. The result is a revealing survey especially recommended for listeners with a prior interest in the topic of drug development and applications.

The Biography Shelf

James A. Murray: Butte's Radical Irish Millionaire
Bill Farley
Mountain Press Publishing Company
9780878426829 $14.00

James A. Murray: Butte's Radical Irish Millionaire tells of an Irishman who hit a big strike in a Montana town, hired others to work his claims, and rose to wealth and power in the Rocky Mountains in the 1880s. From lowly roots he became a mogul who ruled much of the state's mining camps, associated with some of the most notorious figures in history, and became a powerful political figure rising to the top of a radical Irish-American organization. Told by his second great-grandnephew with an ongoing interest in his ancestor's notorious background, James A. Murray: Butte's Radical Irish Millionaire presents the lively story of a rogue who deserves his place in American history chronicles.

The American History Shelf

Border Bandits Border Raids
W.C. Jameson
Lone Star Books/Globe Pequot
9781493028344 $16.95

Border Bandits Border Raids is especially recommended reading for U.S. history readers interested in border skirmishes between early Texas and Mexico, and compiles a survey of events of the late 19th and early 20th centuries as conflicts took place before checkpoints and border control was enacted. Chapters collect some seventeen stories of such encounters and tells of the Mexican and American individuals who participated in them, making for a lively survey that lends facts and detail to the story of the U.S. border's ongoing controversies.

The Political Science Shelf

Secret Empires
Peter Schweitzer
9780062569363 $28.99

Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends exposes corruption by top Washington officials, demonstrating that there is a long history of bipartisan corruption that leaves no presidential administration in recent times innocent of such charges. Some of the oldest and dearest friends of this nation's leaders have taken positions that doubled their net worths, placed family on boards of directors and in political positions, and even made children and stepchildren rich through deals that flowed through political office to private sector finances. The result is a hard-hitting and serious examination that leaves no modern administration unexamined as it considers the circumstances and processes of corruption, and is highly recommended for general-interest and political readers alike.

China Rx
Janardan Prasad Singh
Prometheus Books
9781633883819 $25.00

China Rx: Exposing the Risks of America's Dependence on China for Medicine could have been featured in our 'Health' section but is reviewed here because of its dual importance to political and health issues collections alike. Several decades ago, major drugs were manufactured in the U.S.; but as global trade and business developed, antibiotics, antidepressants, and many other key drugs began to be made in China and sold in the U.S. This book argues that not only is this a bad idea for this country; but any scenario in which America becomes dependent on another country for vital medicines is a bad one. From the issues of contaminated medicine to those of who controls drugs, China Rx is a deeply disturbing portrait of what could go wrong when the manufacturing of drugs is done out of the country.

The Wine/Spirits Shelf

The Bourbon Bible
Eric Zandona
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
9781784724573 $19.99

The Bourbon Bible: The Complete Low-Down on the Spirit of America tests over a hundred bourbons and comes from the spirits specialist at the American Distilling Institute who provides assessments of what makes a bourbon exceptional. Flavor profiles, recommendations on the best ways to drink bourbon, history, and recipes for bourbon-based cocktails accompany small color photos of each bourbon, which will make them easy to find in a wine shop. Accompany information on each includes distilleries, price ranges, brand owners, strength, and an overview that allows novices to virtually sample each possibility without investing a lot of money in bourbons that aren't a good match for their tastes. The result is highly recommended for any would-be fan of bourbon and many a prior enthusiast who wants a quick synthesis of the latest brands and their differences.

The Relationship Shelf

Love Rules
Joanna Coles
9780062852584 $25.99

Love Rules: How to Find a Real Relationship in a Digital World is recommended reading for any interested in online dating, social media and match sites, and new forces purported to help find real love, and comes from a witness to how the process of identifying and keeping romance has changed for modern women. These changes result in the need for new guidelines on how to navigate the process of locating a mate through other than personal encounters. This book offers a series of guidelines based on her years working for women's magazines and interacting with coworkers and professionals like, synthesizing fifteen "love hacks" designed to help women identify the foundation values in a relationship. The result is a solid key to success that's highly recommended reading for anyone who wants new guidelines for a changing dating environment.

The Art Shelf

3D Character Development Workshop
Erik Van Horn
Mercury Learning
9781683921707 $54.95

3D Character Development Workshop: Rigging Fundamentals for Artists and Animators covers the basics of the tools, methods and ideas of character rigging and provides animators with an in-depth survey of best practices to help speed up the process of creating characters. The book includes a Maya file disc of movies and sources of images from the book, while the book packs in color images, screenshots, downloadable examples, and color images supporting concepts of setups, texturing, and different rigging processes. No animation collection should be without this clear survey of the process, which offers a workbook perfect for classroom study or self-instruction alike.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

James E. Alcock
Prometheus Books
9781633884038 $28.00

Belief: What it Means to Believe and Why Our Convictions Are So Compelling provides a powerful focus on the psychology of beliefs and how they are formed and influenced, and is recommended for psychological and spirituality holdings alike. The author is a social psychologist who specializes in the psychology of beliefs, and provides a survey of the psychology and physiology of belief. From experiments in paranormal and religious beliefs to how these affect behavior, this goes beyond most spiritual-based references to examine connections between belief and healing, illusory experiences, and how meditation influences consciousness or perception. While the result is recommended for psychology and health holdings alike, it's reviewed here because any spirituality collection should consider it accessible and essential reading.

The Education Shelf

Number Sense Routines
Jessica F. Shumway
Stenhouse Publishers
9781625310880 $33.33

Number Sense Routines: Building Mathematical Understanding Every Day in Grades 3-5 offers upper elementary-level teachers a formula for using a child's innate sense of numbers to provide daily experiences that reinforce this knowledge and build a platform of number sense relationships. Five, ten, and fifteen minute warmup routines provide a range of exercises for strengthening this knowledge and are paired with the author's first-person insights on what she did in her classroom, making this a highly recommended pick for any elementary teacher seeking to reinforce number routines and information.


Anthony Kim and Alexis Gonzales-Black's The New School Rules: 6 Vital Practices for Thriving and Responsive Schools (9781506352763, $29.95) adds organizational design and modern management techniques from the business world into revised considerations of school structure and is especially recommended for principals, managers, and administrators who would create more responsive, modern systems from school structures. Chapters impart six simple rules that foster responsiveness among educators, pair those with case studies from schools and classrooms, and include some fifteen experiments that school leaders can use to test responsiveness in their faculty members. No education collection should be without this tested set of insights on crafting a modern school environment. The second updated edition of David A. Sousa and Tom Pilecki's From Stem to Steam: Brain-Compatible Strategies and Lessons That Integrate the Arts (9781506322452, $32.95) discusses the integration of liberal arts into daily STEM instruction processes and points out how this results in better student performance in STEM subjects; but more important, it addresses the actual process of integrating the liberal arts into an often-rigid STEM-based curriculum. More lessons from actual classrooms are presented in this update written by an expert in educational neuroscience and a veteran arts educator. From the latest cognitive studies to how to build a integrated STEM and STEAM lesson plan, this provides the basic frameworks for success that more theoretical approaches lack. Trish Hatch,'s Hatching Results for Elementary School Counseling: Implementing Core Curriculum and Other Tier One Activities (9781506389646, $34.95) is for elementary school counselors who are implementing academic and social development programs for students, and who want to better understand their role in the creation of Tier 1 systems for success. From prevention processes to core classroom applications, chapters review traditional elementary school counselor guides and approaches, examine student engagement procedures, and analyze tests, assessments, and other tools. Beth McCord Kobett,'s The Mathematics Lesson-Planning Handbook: Your Blueprint for Building Cohesive Lessons (9781506387819, $33.95) will reach teachers of grades K-2 with a survey that tackles lesson planning and student needs. Teachers receive a step-by-step guide to the process of planning such lessons based on the experience and advice of two instructional experts who cover everything from content and language to choosing the types of tasks and materials that best support instructional goals. A comb binding makes for easy lay-flat usage. Frederick L. Dillon,'s Your Mathematics Standards Companion: What They Mean and How to Teach Them (9781544317403, $36.95) will reach high school teachers interested in Common Core math applications, and includes indexes and cross-references to state standards as it provides a workbook format with lay-flat comb binding for addressing different standards and their purposes and measurement, including planning pages and workbook exercises and overviews of vocabulary and content.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Though Hell Should Bar the Way
David Duke
Baen Books
9781481483131 $25.00

Though Hell Should Bar the Way provides the new novel in Drake's RCN saga and tells of a rich kid who has lost everything, including his career when his father is revealed to be a criminal. Ron's assignment to accompany Captain Daniel Leary and Lady Adele Mundy when they go off to start a war will change his life and give him a new opportunity to become something if he has the muster to face an interstellar voyage and the monsters which will affect the world in this gripping sci-fi military adventure.

The Computer Shelf

Network Security and Cryptography
Sarhan M. Musa
Mercury Learning
9781942270836 $54.95

Network Security and Cryptography covers the basic concepts of computer networks as they relate to cryptography and network security, and is recommended both for computer and network engineers and those who would survey the latest material relating to soft grids, big data analytics, blockchain, and computer network ciphers. Chapters include mathematical equations and support for this overview of cryptography and its applications in real-world network security scenarios, examining data confidentiality and internet security services alike. The result is strong in mathematical examples, reinforcement, and charts and graphs and provides professionals with a solid foundation of knowledge.

The Military Shelf

Fight Like a Girl
Kate Germano with Kelly Kennedy
Prometheus Books
9781633884137 $18.00

Fight Like a Girl: The Truth Behind How Female Marines Are Trained tells of Kate Germano's struggle to achieve equality as a female Marine and documents entrenched prejudices and gender attacks to support the status quo. It charges gender bias in the Corps and routines that challenged her to continually prove her equality to her fellow male Marines, and it also provides important details on serving in the Marine Corps and its underlying lessons for all females serving in the military. This book should be first on the list for any female thinking of enlisting.

The Criminology Shelf

Shadow Vigilantes
Paul R. Robinson and Sarah M. Robinson
Prometheus Books
9781633884311 $26.00

Shadow Vigilantes: How Distrust in the Justice System Breeds a New Kind of Lawlessness is recommended for social issues and legal collections alike, and identifies a pervasive problem in our current justice system which is eroding community confidence in law enforcement processes. This is a cycle in which citizens and officers alike are tired of system failures and stalemates, and so decide to subvert the system to force it to live up to their standards. Unfortunately, this perception of unreliability results in further erosion of the law enforcement process and legal strengths. This book considers how the community has stepped in when the justice system is seen to fail, considering social programs, civil rights movements, neighborhood organizations, and judicial rules that succeed and fail in the eyes of their creators. From the dangers inherent in the community's failure to perceive established justice systems as effective to moral vigilantes and dangerous trends, this is a powerful survey that should be in both legal and social issues holdings.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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