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The Bookwatch

Volume 18, Number 6 June 2023 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Art Shelf Crafts Shelf
Photography Shelf Interior Design Shelf Self-Help Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Avocado Anxiety
Louise Gray
9781472969637, $24.00

Avocado Anxiety and Other Stories About Where Your Food Comes From comes from the author of the best-selling The Ethical Carnivore, and continues the dialogue surrounding food choices and making mindful decisions about eating. This survey presents stories of how fruits and vegetables are grown, marketed, and how they affect both humans and the land, considering wide-ranging questions from how food is foraged and whether it's more nutritious than farmed food to whether plant protein is as good as meat. Expanding many of the concepts presented in The Ethical Carnivore, Avocado Anxiety imbibes its approach and subjects with dialogues supported by facts, encouraging readers to both learn more about food options and consider their planetary impact in making these choices.

The Art Shelf

Abstract Expressionists: The Women
Ellen G. Landau and Joan M. Marter
Merrell Publishers
9781858947037, $65.00

Abstract Expressionists: The Women covers a key art movement of New York and San Francisco in the mid-twentieth century (now described as being the first major art movement in America to gain international status). Because key artists chosen for profile in this movement have typically been men, Ellen G. Landau and Joan M. Marter's survey is particularly notable in focusing its coverage on the many women who were also part of the exhibits and movement that fostered this art form. The heart of this exposure is the holdings in the Levett Collection, a private gathering of art by female Abstract Expressionists. Art history essays by Landau and Marter accompany the color illustrations packed into this celebration, which include paintings, collages, and sculptures and accompany over thirty artist biographies. Any definitive library of American art and women's contributions should make Abstract Expressionists: The Women a mainstay.

The Crafts Shelf

Sam Marshall
Herbert Press
c/o Bloomsbury
9781789940701, $26.00

Linocut: A Creative Guide to Making Beautiful Prints features eighteen projects that can be adapted to a variety of subjects, and shows how to create unique prints suitable for cards and other applications. Everyday life subjects encourage budding artists to draw their inspiration from familiar ideas and experiences, fostering the fine art of observational drawing, while step-by-step instructions use low-cost materials and experimental techniques for superior results. Examples from Marshall's own efforts as well as those of five other printmakers contribute to a crafts guide embedded with easy approaches that encourage both linocut art and creative effort, making for a top recommendation for libraries and artists alike.

The Photography Shelf

Michael Freeman on Color & Tone
Michael Freeman
Ilex Press
c/o Octopus Books
9781781578711, $29.99

Michael Freeman on Color & Tone: The Ultimate Photography Masterclass is the third book in a series of his photography guides, employing an original perspective and instructions to approaching color and tone in a 'masterclass' guide that reviews and promotes the new artistic license granted by technological developments in sensors and processing software. Chapters explore this topic with an eye to developing creative connections between color manipulation and management and the possibilities for photographic enhancements that stem from them. From discussions of vision changes as light moves through the day to processing issues and photographic technique, Freeman's guide is an outstanding survey that places creative power in the hands of those who aspire to construct more than ordinary photos. Michael Freeman on Color & Tone should be in any serious photographer's collection, and in libraries catering to them.

The Interior Design Shelf

The Handbook of Home Design
Laura Jane Clark
Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Books
9781914239267, $26.99

The Handbook of Home Design: An Architect's Blueprint for Shaping Your Home offers budget-minded home designers solutions to common remodeling and building issues. It represents architect Laura Jane Clark's years of working within budgets of all kinds. Clark takes a step-by-step approach to the process, teaching new homeowners and budding designers the basics of reading a plan, sketching a workable design, understanding technical requirements, and using the appropriate language and instructions to get the most from the home renovation effort. Full-page color photo examples accompany considerations of flow, zoning spaces, and tackling ancillary spaces in homes, and are powerful keys to understanding the basics of home remodeling options and the revitalization processes that work. Libraries and homeowners alike will find The Handbook of Home Design an empowering guide.

Create at Home With Old & New
Ali Heath
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
9781784728557, $39.99

Create at Home With Old & New will reach interior design artists and collections catering to them with a focus on juxtaposing antiques with modern pieces to create displays that seamlessly integrate and old new design pieces and concepts. Specially commissioned photography provides a visual key to understanding and absorbing these concepts, which appear in three sections: Establishing Your Style, Developing Your Eye, and Inspiring Your Journey. These neatly separate the basic concepts of employing Ali Heath's unique style, allowing readers to easily identify and tap into their creative impulses to get started on their own projects, define unique approaches to mixing antique and modern pieces, and learn from others who have successfully integrated these ideas. The colorful approach and displays make Create at Home With Old & New a delightful display and a lesson that should be in any arts library.

The Self-Help Shelf

The Inward Outlook
Laura Basha, PhD
She Writes Press
9781647424732, $16.95

The Inward Outlook: Conscious Choice as a Daily Practice promotes a new outlook on life based on intersecting personal messages and perspectives with influences from within. It advocates tapping into internal thinking, data, and information which belays repetitive automatic thinking routines in favor of a more mindful approach to life. The exploration and definition of an "inward outlook" and how it can appear on many different levels (through interactions that become more compassionate and kind to self as well as others) creates an invaluable dialogue that leads to new insights and focusing methods. Self-help libraries interested in transformational encouragement and processes that support it will find The Inward Outlook a fine catalyst for supporting and identifying revised and more effective approaches to life and self.

Finding Clarity
Marc Lesser
New World Library
9781608688333, $18.95

Finding Clarity: How Compassionate Accountability Builds Vibrant Relationships, Thriving Workplaces, and Meaningful Lives considers professional communication and basic concepts key to fostering compassion and accountability, using mindful concepts as a building block for facing and directing emotional conflicts for long-term benefit. From understanding and honing new values and approaches and supporting them to engaging readers on the subject of personal and professional communication breakthroughs, Marc Lesser creates a method for getting unstuck. This opportunity promotes a new vision of interpersonal and business communications, drawing important links between achieving clarity and being more effective in the world. Business and self-improvement libraries alike will find these processes invite discussion and change.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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