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

The Bookwatch

Volume 15, Number 6 June 2020 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Cookbook Shelf Technology Shelf
Self-Help Shelf American History Shelf Computer Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Camping Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

The History of the Future
Blake J. Harris
Dey Street
c/o HarperCollins
9780062455970, $19.99

The History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality begins in 2012, when a teen inventor and gamer living alone in Long Beach building virtual reality headsets sparks a revolution in the industry when he meets video game developer John Carmack, who is crafting the perfect adjunct for Palmer Luckey's hardware. The two join forces with a Russian entrepreneur and others to found Oculus and challenge the world. The story may read like fiction, but it embraces nonfiction elements of high drama as it explores how a small group of innovators created a virtual reality revolution that changed the gaming world forever. No social history or computer collection should be without this lively, engrossing study in risk-taking, technology development, and adventure.

The Cookbook Shelf

Chetna's Healthy Indian Vegetarian
Chetna Makan
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
9781784726621, $29.99

Chetna's Healthy Indian Vegetarian features 80 recipes for Indian-spiced vegetarian fare that invites anyone with an affection for Indian food to translate these spices to vegetarian dishes. Both vegetarian and vegan dishes are included in a cookbook that requires only access to Indian spices (commonly available in ordinary supermarkets, but occasionally specialty affairs, such as ghee, mangetout, or tamarind paste) and an interest in putting together healthy vegetarian dishes. From a Roast Tomato and Papad Curry to Asparagus Paneer or Spinach Masala Chickpeas, these are appealing dishes that invite a different perspective on the potentials of Indian spices and their connection to vegetarian lifestyles.

The Technology Shelf

High-Power Electromagnetic Effects on Electronic Systems
D.V. Giri, Tichard Hoad, and Frank Sabath
Artech House
9781630815882, $168.00

High-Power Electromagnetic Effects on Electronic Systems is a solid reference for any professional or student of electromagnetics, and discusses the effects of high-power electromagnetic environments on electronics. It considers various testing systems and approaches, discusses protection and resilience, reviews experimental and new techniques, and considers uncertainties in methodology and approach to testing. Graphs, equations, and supporting science explains components, shifts in operating points, field variations, and more, making for a solid, in-depth technical reference highly recommended for college-level students and professionals seeking a refresher course.

The Self-Help Shelf

The Power of Letting Go
John Purkiss
Octopus Publishing
9781783253630, $16.99

The Power of Letting Go: How to Drop Everything That's Holding You Back is about a different form of survival and achievement than most books cover, and considers the four stages involved in truly 'letting go' to live life more deeply and richly. This involves identifying and being in the present, letting go of thoughts and pain that are limiting and which contribute to being stuck in ruts, and understanding how that process lends to a better life. By discussing the mechanisms involved in letting go and moving upward, businessman and spiritualist John Purkiss provides all the tools necessary for taking the next step towards a better life in a book highly recommended for self-help and spiritual collections alike.

The American History Shelf

Stagecoach Women
Cheryl Mullenbach
c/o Globe Pequot
9781493042593, $18.95

Stagecoach Women: Brave and Daring Women of the Wild West presents a history which should be in any women's history collection: the story of women stagecoach drivers in the early years of America who did much of the work of men...including defending their coaches with gun in hand. Their story provides a fine contribution to stagecoach history in his country, using the personal stories of women who both defended and robbed stagecoaches as well as being mothers and housewives. It presents a lively, little-known aspect of frontier history that is highly recommended for both American history and women's history holdings.

The Computer Shelf

Artificial Intelligence Basics
N. Gupta & R. Mangla
Mercury Learning
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
9781683925163, $41.95,

Artificial Intelligence Basics: A Self-Teaching Introduction covers the basics of artificial intelligence and includes a review of its history and early applications before it moves into the foundations of its construction and application. Newcomers to the topic will find this a fine overview of machine learning and different programming approaches, and will especially note and appreciate the book's attention to typical learning system models, AI programming language foundations, and examples of common code used for various AI functions. Any student of AI looking for a basic introduction that moves into more complicated operations will find Artificial Intelligence Basics an outstanding tutorial.

Mercury Learning
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012

O. Campesato's Python 3 for Machine Learning (9781683924951, $51.95) covers basic Python 3 programming concepts, introducing the program's basics as they apply to machine learning, then covering more advanced machine learning classifiers, code, and theory. The book includes discussions of expressions, basic programming concepts, and general overviews such as how classifiers work in machine learning environments. This dual exploration of machine learning and Python 3 provides programmers with discussions useful for exploring the basics of both and makes for a solid reference highly recommended for anyone studying either machine learning concepts and basics or Python 3's intersection with the subject. C.P. Gupta and K.K. Goyal's Cybersecurity; A Self-Teaching Introduction (9781683924982, $41.95) reviews the basics of cybersecurity measures and cybercrime topics, covering everything from desktops to grid systems in a series of discussions of networks, information systems, malicious software, and the obstacles to their success. Students of cyber security and those seeking a refresher course in the latest issues receive clear discussions of security policies, standards, cyberlaw, and developing secure systems that reviews common vulnerabilities, applications, basic concepts and objectives in development, and more. The result is a primer suitable for introductory study or professional review which covers the latest concepts, best practices, and the foundations of cybersecurity measures.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Hidden Salem
Kay Hooper
9781984802897, $27.00

Hidden Salem is a Bishop/Special Crimes Unit novel that revolves around a team of mind-reading FBI agents and a new series of murders that challenges even their supernatural abilities, set in the town of Salem. People are vanishing and satanic activity permeates the village, holding all roots to five founding families who seem to control everything. Nellie is being drawn to Salem by mysterious forces, and when she discovers she's heir to powerful abilities coveted by others, she and the unit are charged with combining forces in new ways to stop an entire town's destruction. Marked by fast-paced action and high drama, Hidden Salem should come with a warning - it's almost impossible to put down.

The Camping Shelf

The Lyons Press
c/o The Globe Pequot Press
246 Goose Lane, Suite 200, Guilford, CT 06437

Mark Warren's 'Secrets of the Forest' series ($24.95 each) opens with Wild Plants and Survival Lore (9781493045556, $24.95) and comes from an outdoorsman who explains how to identify and use some hundred wild plants as food, medicine, and for survival. It's a survey that will interest Scouts and survivalists alike, including over two hundred activities suitable for teachers, scout leaders, and wilderness program participants alike, and profiles many forgotten skills that otherwise could only be found in the weighty Foxfire series. With its clear insights for educators and survivalists alike, this should be considered essential reading for any outdoors-oriented reader. Fire-Making, Storytelling, and Ceremony (9781493045570) adds the second volume to the Secrets of the Forest series and covers everything an outdoors person needs to know about creating fire, from what kinds of trees and dried weeds can make a good fire kit to different combustion attributes of tinder, how to mix fuel with wood, and how to store a smoldering fire which can last for days. The broader 'forest' theme takes place in a second section of storytelling and ceremonies that reinforce survival lessons covering everything from archery and tracking to outdoor crafts. Collections strong in survival topics or native American outdoors traditions will find Fire-Making, Storytelling, and Ceremony a powerful addition to Secrets of the Forest.

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