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The Bookwatch

Volume 10, Number 3 March 2015 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Travel Shelf Research Shelf
Computer Shelf Needlecraft Shelf Education Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Business Shelf Crafts Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Art Shelf Psychology Shelf
Agriculture Shelf Genealogy Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Science Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Autism Shelf  

Reviewer's Choice

The Shipwrecked
Fereshteh Nouraie-Simone, editor
The Feminist Press
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9781558618688, $18.95,

"The Shipwrecked: Contemporary Stories by Women from Iran" is a smorgasbord of cultural encounters, with each short story featuring a never-before-published work by an Iranian woman. These stories come from women who write both within Iran and from outside of it as exiles or expats, and offers a wide range of perspectives. From the only remaining cultural hub in a small town, the Mermaid Cafe, which exists where all others have been shut down by the government and story providing a child's eye perspective on its final demise and its effects on his world and the community at large to a tale of being "alone and helpless in a cold and spiritless house" in 'The Maid', these sagas are first-person reflections of what it means to live in modern Iran, and they adroitly explore the cultural boundaries of its traditions and people. Plenty of nonfiction stories (including memoirs) have attempted to capture this feel; but the advantage to "The Shipwrecked" is because it's coming from so many contributors and perspectives, achieving a well-rounded gathering of voices which represents various insights into Iranian culture and society that a singular voice or experience simply couldn't capture. Yes, it's fiction: but rooted in Iranian traditions as these stories are, it's a recommendation for any who want literary fiction thoroughly steeped in cultural observation.

Going Veggie
Trudy Slabosz
Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440, Berkeley CA 94703-3440
9781612433950 $17.95

Going Veggie: The 30-Day Guide to Becoming a Healthy Vegetarian may seem like another vegetarian cookbook, but it's got a unique touch: it's the only color recipe book that offers step-by-step dishes designed to help make the transition to a completely vegetarian lifestyle, and it comes from a blogger and longtime vegetarian who tells how to achieve this goal. It's more than another recipe collection (too many have done this over the years): it's a 30-day program to wean participants off meats and invite them into a flavor-filled world that pairs delicious dishes with tricks for acquiring the essential proteins needed from plants, rather than animals. From listings of fruits and vegetables by season to ideas for lighter meals such as Pita Pockets with Carrot Falafel and Creamy Harissa Sauce, Going Veggie is filled with ideas for new vegetarians, kid-approved dishes, and notes on difficulty levels and protein contents, making for a perfect transitional title in a format most vegetarian cookbooks don't provide.

Passionate Nutrition
Jennifer Adler, MS, CN with Jess Thomson
Sasquatch Books
1904 Third Ave, Suite 710, Seattle, WA 98101
9781570619458 $23.95

Passionate Nutrition: A Guide to Using Food as Medicine from a Nutritionist Who Healed herself from the Inside Out is a prime example of what happens when autobiography blends with health insights, and tells of Jennifer Adler's life as she emerged from a background of poverty to develop an innovative and successful nutrition practice. More than an autobiography, though, Passionate Nutrition invites reader to rethink one's relationship with food and its impact on health, and uses the backdrop of Adler's life to show how healthy editing is more than just providing physical nutrition to the body: it's about adopting better perceptions of food's importance to life, and incorporating better habits that don't involve punishment or guilt. "We also get so caught up in what other people say is healthy that we forget to listen to our own bodies' wisdom. If we know, for example, that we feel okay when we eat white bread but experience agonizing cramps when we eat whole-wheat bread, we shouldn't eat whole-wheat bread." You'd think some of these basic concepts would be self-explanatory; but indeed, there's so much guilt over food (in American society in particular) that sometimes it takes a special voice such as Jennifer Adler's to break through the 'shoulds' of the health food industry to arrive at a program for personal well-being based on a combination of nutrition principles and its particular applications to each person. This is what makes Passionate Nutrition a standout: it pairs information with a focus on individual well-being and encourages not a set approach, but a flexible mind-set that any can use to customize their own protocols.

The Travel Shelf

Convergence: A Voyage Through French Polynesia
Sally-Christine Rodgers
Paradise Cay Publications
PO Box 29, Arcata, CA 95518-0029
9780986217104, $24.95,

"Convergence: A Voyage Through French Polynesia" is a multi-faceted book that has the rare ability to reach well beyond a sailing audience. It's refreshing to note the balance between text and color photos in this large-format armchair narrative. Packed with full-page color photos that capture the life and culture of French Polynesia, Convergence isn't just a beautiful coffee table book, it's a highly readable, personal account of one woman's travels, as she observes and experiences life at sea, the Polynesian peoples, the ecology of the islands and more. Exploring the history of these fabled islands, the author reminisces about her father's travels in 1930s Polynesia, reflecting on what has changed and what remains the same. Ever passionate about the oceans and their conservation, she offers readers a colorfully close encounter with the beauty of and threats to the ocean environment. Convergence will attract and educate cruisers, armchair travelers, and readers of ecological issues alike.

The Research Shelf

Scholarly Metrics Under the Microscope
Blaise Cronin and Cassidy R. Sugimoto
Information Today Inc.
143 Old Marlton Pike, Medford, NJ 08055-8750
9781573874991, $49.50,

Scholarly Metrics Under the Microscope is a weighty reference recommended for any interested in bibliometrics - the quantitative analysis of publications, authors, and book-related concepts. Lest this sound like a specialty item, it should be mentioned that bibliometrics is actually a hot topic in university, research, government and some corporate circles, and this book gathers together a wealth of writings on the topic from papers previously published in journals across disciplines. It covers not only the process of assembling and assessing performance metrics, but provides a critical approach to the use and applications of such metrics as they apply to scholarship and research. Any interested in learning more about exactly how these metrics are applied in real-world scenarios will find this a complex and revealing survey.

The Computer Shelf

Microsoft Powerpoint 2013 Pocket Primer
Theodor Richardson
Mercury Learning
c/o International Publishers Marketing
22841 Quicksilver Drive, Dulles, VA 20166
9781938549908, $29.95,

Microsoft Powerpoint 2013 Pocket Primer joins others in the new Pocket Primer series to review the major concepts of using Microsoft PowerPoint 2014, and uses a blend of written instruction supported by tutorial videos to achieve its goals. A companion disc includes these videos, which reviews all the basics of building a PowerPoint platform and provides keys to using it in both Windows and Mac environments. From developing media-enhanced presentations and adding sound to videos to customizing PowerPoint for greater efficiency, this pocket primer is packed with step-by-step information that assumes no prior knowledge and tells how to create a powerful presentation with a minimum of special tools or ability.

CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300
Boca Raton, FL 33487

Angela Tinwell's THE UNCANNY VALLEY IN GAMES & ANIMATION (9781466586949, $99.95) charts advancements in animation and the common pitfall of a character with human likeness and audience aversion to too much realism in gaming, and it traces the phenomenon, known as the Uncanny Valley, and offers insights into how to overcome this problem and how to diagnose design flaws in human-like characters in digital worlds. It synthesizes the literature about the Uncanny Valley, explains its psychological foundations, and considers how facial expression and other facets can be applied to overcome the issues, and it also provides a new theory to compliment other writings on the subject, making this a 'must' for gaming programmers, covering both prior surveys and new ideas. Cristina Videira Lopes's EXERCISES IN PROGRAMMING STYLE (9781482227376, $39.95) uses term frequency to create a series of exercises reinforcing the mechanics of writing programs and creating systems, and is a recommendation for any programmer interested in how raw code translates to applications. It contains over thirty styles for writing the term frequency task, placing them in categories for easier associations and explaining each style's applications using sample programs from real-world scenarios. The pros and cons of each style and its coding will teach programmers more than the basics, and include both the historical development of the style and its uses. Programmers who want to develop better strategies and techniques will find this an excellent survey. Jesus Rogel-Salazar's ESSENTIAL MATLAB AND OCTAVE (9781482234633, $69.95) covers two programs in one book: a task that might at first appear counter-productive, as single books have already appeared with in-depth instructions for each program. But this is not intended to replace such books - it assumes only the minimum of knowledge about programming and math and it offers a step-by-step discussion of two languages used for solving complex math problems. Attention is given to code that can be used with either program, while examples and exercises reinforce the results; especially for first-time users. It's rare to find a discussion of programming and math that is so accessible to low-level programming readers: having both programs under one cover, in this case, provides a fine foundation for advancement. Nicholas Bernhardt Zeman's ESSENTIAL SKILLS FOR 3D MODELING, RENDERING, AND ANIMATION (9781482224122, $59.95) provides a basic overview of skills applying 3D modeling to animation efforts, and focuses on both concepts and their applications in the 3D modeling world. Chapters offer a historical background coverage of the techniques and methods of 3D processes before delving into the mechanics of skills building and animation development: this allows relative newcomers to understand both the process and its evolution. Examples come from Autodesk Maya, are accompanied by exercises to reinforce the concepts, and provide a basic foundation for modelers, animation programmers, and any involved in 3D applications. P.A. Simionescu's COMPUTER-AIDED GRAPHING AND SIMULATION TOOLS FOR AUTOCAD USERS (9781482252903, $129.95) is a recommendation for college-level readers who already have a basic foundation in Autocad and who seek a textbook of processes and computer programs that addresses common problems in data visualization, simulation applications, function randomization processes, graphical representations of math variables, and more. It's a set of tools with advanced techniques and applications and not only describes plotting programs, but includes them with the book. Engineers and technicians who want a coverage driven by computer code and specific to problem-solving will find this a valuable compendium of details.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Martingale & Company
19021 Avenue NE, Bothell, WA 98011

Kathy Brown's TAKE 5 FAT QUARTERS: 15 EASY QUILT PATTERNS (9781604684179, $24.99) offers quilters new designs that use five fat quarters paired with different background fabrics for innovative quilt ideas, and provides some fifteen keys to using fat quarters in a range of styles. Kathy Brown's designs are pieced and quilted by others while step-by-step notes accompany large- and small-sized color photos with discussions of cutting, construction and assembly. Quilters looking for new uses for fat quarter stashes will find this an easy introduction. Jen Lucas' SOCK-YARN SHAWLS II: 16 PATTERNS FOR LACE KNITTING (9781604684766, $24.99) is especially recommended for newcomers to lace knitting, and provides a new selection of patterns for sock yarns based on the previous book. Here are more designers to appeal to beginners to advanced lace knitters, offering patterns that apply to all kinds of shawl sizes and shapes. Many of the shawls can be knitted from one skein, which makes them even easier. The attention to progressive detail allows for an approach that any can access and learn from; especially beginners or newcomers to lace knitting who want to build skills based on projects. Add color photos, patterns, and step-by-step instructions that require only a basic familiarity with knitting itself and you have a project book that will appeal to a wide audience.

The Education Shelf

2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218

The second updated edition of Glenn E. Singleton's COURAGEOUS CONVERSATIONS ABOUT RACE: A FIELD GUIDE FOR ACHIEVING EQUITY IN SCHOOLS (9781483383743, $36.95)offers a revised edition recommending systemwide plans for changing districts, schools and classrooms into institutions that support all students in achieving their best, and explains how candid conversations about race can lead educators to understand how and why students don't achieve across the board. From its new 'radical autobiographies' that come from the experiences of 'Courageous Conversation practitioners to new case studies on a public school district that has used this system to successfully implement a complete framework for change and success, this adds links to videos describing the work, updated implementation exercises, new activities and checklists for success, and much more. The result is a top pick for any follower of the Courageous Conversations system and especially for those who want newly revised techniques and approaches to success. Valerie Brown and Kirsten Olson's THE MINDFUL SCHOOL LEADER: PRACTICES TO TRANSFORM YOUR LEADERSHIP AND SCHOOL (9781483303086, $24.95) takes the concept of mindfulness a step further in applying it to the school system and a school leader's efforts. It pairs profiles of such 'mindful' school leaders who apply this specific process to the educational system with exercises readers can try, guidance to properly applying their results, and resources that include mindfulness apps and more. Mindful school leaders work more efficiently in the school system structure: while most books on the topic of mindfulness are general, this title's specific applications to an educational structure will prove of particular interest to leaders who want to hone the finer role of leadership. Monica Neagoy's PLANTING THE SEEDS OF ALGEBRA: EXPLORATIONS FOR THE UPPER ELEMENTARY GRADES 3-5 (9781412996617, $38.95) is all about showing teachers how to introduce basic algebra skills as a way of seeing the world, and provides both theoretical and practical methods of introducing algebra into those grades. From how to incorporate some basic introductory algebra concepts into common math to moving ahead to link these math ideas with basic relevant experience and observations, this provides a set of new teaching methods designed to help build a predisposition for understanding algebra by incorporating it into both daily life and common math.

The Cookbook Shelf

Saveur: The New Classics Cookbook
The Editors of Saveur
Weldon Owen
415 Jackson Street, San Francisco, CA 94111
9781616287351, $40.00,

Saveur: The New Classics Cookbook packs in some 1,000 recipes along with advice, tips and stories from the editors of Saveur, whose test kitchen rigorously tests recipes numerous times to be certain the finished product is a superior production, and is a recommended pick for cooks who want dishes that are a cut above the norm. We're talking classic dishes from around the world here, from Mole Negro and Green Beans Almondine to Indian Chapati flatbread, a spicy Portuguese classic Shrimp Mozambique, or an Italian-American Veal Piccata. The result should be considered a 'bible' of classic international fare, filled with tested dishes that work, foods representative of different nations around the world, and an approach that will attract cooks who like to be in the kitchen following foolproof recipes packed with flavor and appeal.

1,001 Delicious Soups & Stews, fourth edition
Sue Spitler with Linda R. Yoakam, MS, RD
Surrey Books
c/o Agate Publishing
1328 Greenleaf Street, Evanston, IL 60202
9781572841611, $20.99,

There are so many cookbooks covering soups, stews, and combinations of both that one might wonder at the need for yet another, but 1,001 Delicious Soups & Stews: From Elegant Classics to Hearty One-Pot Meals offers an expanded version of a favorite, features streamlined recipes that are quick and easy to put together and a classification system designed to make it easy for cooks to pick one over another, and an approach that relies on no special ingredients for success. Here are over a thousand dishes from around the world, from chilis and chowders to fruit and chilled soups, with nutrition information in an at-a-glance sidebar alongside each dish and techniques ranging from slow-cooker use to adding canned ingredients from corn and tomato juice to beans. It should be mentioned that there are no color photos; so beginners relying on color should look elsewhere. That said, this fourth updated edition really packs in the dishes and is a pick for any who want a single volume covering classic soup and stew fare.

The Business Shelf

Improvise: Unconventional Career Advice from an Unlikely CEO
Fred Cook
B2 Books
c/o Agate Publishing
1328 Greenleaf Street, Evanston, IL 60202
9781932841824, $16.00,

Improvise: Unconventional Career Advice from an Unlikely CEO comes from the successful owner of an award-winning global public relations agency, who began his career at nearly forty lacking all of the usual credentials associated with being a CEO - education, business background, and even business attire. It seemed an unlikely pursuit for a motorcycle-riding 'serial entrepreneur' who had moved from job to job all his life, but he picked up the skills in problem-solving and communications that would serve him well in the end, and here argues that it all comes back to successful improvising as a critical survival skill differentiating the extraordinary from the ordinary entrepreneur. Because this book comes from an unconventional route, it's especially recommended for small business readers interested in how success was achieved from non-MBA grads.

The Crafts Shelf

Zen Doodle: Oodles of Doodles
Tonia Jenny, Editor
North Light Books
c/o F+W Media
1140 Broadway, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10001
9781440336591, $19.99,

Zen Doodle: Oodles of Doodles gathers under one cover more doodle art from around the world, pairing some 100 original designs and patterns with the latest techniques that originate from a desire to doodle. It shows how to use these tangles to create new artistic results, from tiles to zendala, and it also presents the stories behind other doodle efforts, including a spotlight on artists who have established their reputations with zen doodles. With its color illustrations and step-by-step coverage of doodle processes, this is a crafter's delight and is a recommended pick for any collection seeing interest in the doodle phenomenon.

Beautiful Designs with SuperDuos and Twin Beads
Carolyn Cave
Kalmbach Books
21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612
9781627000543, $22.99,

Beautiful Designs with SuperDuos and Twin Beads covers two different rice-shaped two-hole beads that are available in a wide range of colors and which can be used for amazing bead work projects; especially when paired with different stitches and approaches to jewelry making in nearly thirty different projects. Rings, bracelets, necklaces and more are featured in step-by-step instructions and designs that appear complex but become simplified and straightforward under Carolyn Cave's hand. A full-page color photo demonstrating each design is followed by smaller step-by-step diagrams showing how the piece is put together, and discussions that include keys to repeating steps and putting together polished results. Beaders who have some prior jewelry-making experience but who want specifics for SuperDuos and Twin Beads will find this an excellent collection of varied project ideas to demonstrate the versatile applications of the two.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Secret of Your Immortal Self
Guy Finley
Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
9780738744070, $16.99,

The Secret of Your Immortal Self: Key Lessons for Realizing the Divinity Within is packed with essays that considers how the divine may be accessed to achieve joy and wisdom, and it's a recommendation for new age and self-help readers who would connect spiritual with psychic inspiration and insight to make the most of a deeper relationship with the Divine. Chapters consider the process of reconciliation within the soul and, most importantly, consider what to do with this process and how to apply it successfully. It's this approach that makes The Secret of Your Immortal Self of particular interest to new age spirituality collections and readers who want to apply concepts of the Divine to ideals of immortality.

The Art Shelf

Art Deco Mailboxes
Karen Greene & Lynette Lavelle
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393733402, $26.95,

Art Deco Mailboxes: An Illustrated Design History documents the heyday of the decorated mailbox as an urban art object that evolved from applied art deco techniques, and is a recommendation for any interested in folk art and art deco history. Many of the early mailboxes that evolved in public spaces and at landmark building have been removed, but this book documents ones still in use and pairs a full-color photo survey of these mailboxes with insights on the Art Deco style and a history of painted mailboxes. Dozens of examples of the art deco design in urban mailboxes from New York to Cincinnati are featured in a lovely book that will especially appeal to architects, designers, and artists alike. The visual approach and history also lends to this title's feature in general-interest holdings, as well.

Gift: The Art of David Flores
David Flores
Cameron & Company
6 Petaluma Blvd. North Suite B6, Petaluma, CA 94952
9781937359720, $29.95,

There are two things you can say about David Flores: one is that he likes the line-enhanced divisions of stained glass. The other is that his devotion to re-creating the look and feel of stained glass in a wide range of non-glass art forms makes for a distinctly original approach that embraces forms from murals to pop art - and Gift: The Art of David Flores gathers these efforts and celebrates them. With most books, the dust jacket as a quasi-protective device: not so with Gift: a delicate stained glass rendition of a butterfly is banded by black felt, and is unique and lovely enough to make purchase of the book with its jacket not an option, but a requirement. The full-page pictures inside hold the same look of the artist's black-banded approach, which proffers a stained glass appearance upon such diverse subjects as Snoopy, various faces, cartoons, and colorized, enhanced classic photos of major people from Einstein to Warhol. If one thing can be said about this collection, it would be that David Flores holds the uncanny ability to render, in stained glass and on canvas, just about any aspect of a portrait to give it an extra dimension of pop, with bold lines and equally bold colors and forms creating something entirely new from the initially familiar. Any modern arts collection will find this a compelling, unique addition that will attract even those with no prior familiarity with Flores or his art.

The Psychology Shelf

Improving Your Memory, fourth edition
Janet Fogler and Lynn Stern
The Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218-4363
9781421415703, $18.95,

Improving Your Memory: How to Remember What You're Starting to Forget appears in its fourth updated edition to reinforce memory techniques using real-life applications combined with the latest research on how memory works and changes. It doesn't just offer analysis, though: it pairs this with exercises and techniques that readers can use to more easily process and retrieve information, and it covers efforts, attitudes, and health issues that can affect memory and how thoughts are organized. The result is a fine guide filled with practical details any can use.

The Agriculture Shelf

Pabst Farms
John C. Eastberg
University of Wisconsin Press
1930 Monroe Street, Third Floor, Madison, WI 53711-2059
9780982381021, $49.95,

PABST FARMS: THE HISTORY OF A MODEL FARM profiles Wisconsin dairy history and packs in hundreds of photos from the Pabst family's private archives. It also offers an in-depth coverage pinpointing the farm's importance as one of the first model farms in the United States to apply advanced techniques in European and American agriculture. Pabst selected diverse livestock, built new from buildings, and bred heavy horses for carriages and wagons. He then moved successfully from horses to high-production Holstein diary cattle, using methods that influenced the growth and evolution of the Wisconsin dairy industry as a whole. This book focuses on the family's operations, the rise and changes of the state's dairy history, and uses lovely vintage photos throughout to explore Pabst's role as an innovator and farm developer. The result is a title that will prove a historical treasure for Wisconsin agricultural collections especially, but which is also recommended beyond Wisconsin's state lines, for any interested in local agricultural innovations and processes.

The Genealogy Shelf

Historical Collections
Jon Warner Barber
Clearfield Company
3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211
9780806345789, $49.95,

Historical Collections [...] Relating to the History and Antiquities of Every Town in Massachusetts with Geographical Descriptions is another technical genealogical reference highly recommended for researchers working with Massachusetts names and origins, and is packed with outlines and history of all small towns in the state. Local history is supplemented by journal extracts, data, even inscriptions copied from graveyards and makes for a lively, important compendium of details essential for any genealogical research program and for any Massachusetts-specific history collection.

The Audiobook Shelf

Vanessa and Her Sister
Priya Parmar
Random House Audio Books
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 5th floor, New York, NY 10019
9780553398441, $40.00,

Vanessa and Her Sister enjoys a narration by Emilia Fox and several others and is set in 1905 London, where the Stephen siblings are on the edge of change. Sister Virginia Woolf is one of four siblings leaving their childhood home and moving to Bloomsbury, where they find themselves in a circle of friends that will gain fame as the Bloomsbury Group. But this is a tale of two talented sisters - one of whom falls in love and leaves her sister increasingly out of the loop of connection. Without her, Virginia must find her own way - and her own encouragement for her separate talents. An exquisite, delicate story of family interactions evolves, perfect for those interested in Virginia Woolf's life and times.

The Science Shelf

Infrared Astronomy - Seeing the Heat
David L. Clements
CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, #300, Boca Raton, FL 33487
9781482237276, $49.95,

Most books covering infrared astronomy assume a prior background in advanced math and astronomy, so it's a surprise to find a physics book that assumes neither, but provides a comprehensive (and comprehendible) overview to infrared and its applications. It considers what this process reveals about heavenly bodies both within and outside the solar system, it develops and provides astronomical techniques and discoveries with the relative lay reader in mind, and Infrared Astronomy - Seeing the Heat from William Herschel to the Herschel Space Observatory pairs history with scientific advancements to provide a fine reference for any who would understand the latest findings on infrared. The fact that it's accessible by a much wider audience than graduate astronomy readers sets this coverage well apart from competitors, making it a recommendation for students, grads, and even the general reading public with an interest in astronomy.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Secrets of a Dog Trainer
Victoria Schade
Howell House Books
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9781118509296, $18.95,

There are plenty of dog-training books on the market that advocate all kinds of strategies for taming the beast; so why the need for yet another - and what are the 'secrets' that lend this title an aura of intrigue? Simply, it's Victoria Schade's approach to new answers to common dog obedience problems: approaches developed in the course of Schade's work as a professional dog trainer. She explains how minor problems can quickly evolve into major training challenges, she pairs case study examples with "choose-your-own-ending" scenarios in an unusual approach that reinforces various options and their logical results, and she shares positive training options that contrast with other training choices so reader get a full sense of everything involved. The result is a collection of innovative, tested methods that clearly differentiates between behavior modification approaches and training choices.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Suspicion at Seven
Ann Purser
Berkeley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780425261761, $25.95,

Suspicion at Seven provides a fine Lois Meade mystery and tells of the aftermath of a woman who is murdered at a hotel, strangled with a silver necklace beside a bag of costume jewelry. It would seem a dealer in such jewelry would make the perfect suspect, but Lois knows Donald's wife and she's certain he's not a killer. So, who is? As Lois uncovers more facts about Donald's issues and possible involvements and Lois's own mother becomes involved, a satisfyingly complex mystery evolves packed with the twists and turns of plot that make for an involving, unpredictable read.

The Sirena Quest
Michael A. Kahn
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave., #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781464203503, $24.95,

The Sirena Quest tells of four college freshmen who have gone different ways for years - until the 1994 commencement prompts a reunion thrown by a hedge-fund billionaire who has promised a, $25 million endowment if Barrett college's legendary Sirena statute, which vanished in 1959 without a trace, can be returned to the school by commencement day. This prompts a host of investigations by classmates who embark on a world-wide probe, inviting danger and deadly mystery when they stumble upon an obscure clue. A satisfying, fast-paced mystery emerges, packed with the twists and turns that mark an involving read.

Rainer Rey
Turner Publishing Company
200 - 4th Avenue North, Suite 950, Nashville, TN 37219
9781620459928, $17.95,

Jace is tracking his father's killer. Madison is carrying on her family's quest for sustainable resources after her last living relative is murdered as part of a cover-up. That these two individuals will find their paths converging is predictable. What is less predictable is the events that will follow as Jace and Maddy find themselves pitted against a mercenary task force that will stop at nothing to get their hands on a new energy source that holds ramifications for the future of the world. Add aliens into the thriller format, include more than a touch of (predictable) romance, and posit an alien alternative energy force that anyone would kill for and you have a page-turner that holds a few elements of surprises within what begins as a standard thriller format.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

When Your Life is Touched By Cancer
Bob Riter
Hunter House Publishing
PO Box 2914, Alameda, CA 94501-2914
9781630266790, $24.95,

When Your Life is Touched By Cancer: Practical Advice and Insights for Patients, Professionals and Those Who Care is a special focus on the first days that follow a cancer diagnosis: a time of heady fear, despair, and confusion. The author is a cancer survivor who considers the issues that accompany a cancer diagnosis, following patient experiences from that initial moment through treatment and beyond and offering specific insights. From how to discuss cancer with friends, family and medical professionals to breaking the news to others and handling what happens when treatment is over, When Your Life is Touched By Cancer, more so than others, discusses the emotions accompanying diagnosis and is designed to be picked up and put down randomly, at will. This in itself is a special feature that contrasts sharply with other cancer books that could prove more overwhelming in detail and require a progressive approach: the beauty here lies in a flexibility that is just the ticket for a world newly changed.

c/o McGraw Hill Professional
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor
New York, NY 10020

Maxine A. Papadakis and Stephen J. McPhee's CURRENT MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT 2015 (9780071824866, $85.00) is intended as a textbook for college-level healthcare students and for clinical reference collections, and packs in a weighty (1886 pages) survey that supplements its book with five online-only chapters. This edition includes the latest 2014 AHA cardiology guidelines, updates details on prescription drug abuse and overdose, adds a new section on opioids, reflects all the latest treatment options for hypertension and discusses new drugs and patient benefits, providing clinical practitioners with an in-depth survey including hundreds of medication treatment tables, new diagnostic insights, and an annual review of new HIV treatments. Charts, tables, color photos and more pepper a reference which may not be entirely 'at a glance', but which provides the depth, detail, and coverage key to any clinical practitioner. Gene R. Quinn,'s CURRENT MEDICAL DIAGNOSIS & TREATMENT STUDY GUIDE (9780071799775, $55.00) provides a case study focus on key internal medicine topics, covering the most common diseases and disorders and providing schematics and diagrams key to understanding treatments, outcomes, and conditions ranging from prostate cancer to arthritis. The two together make for solid study guides and desk references and are highly recommended for any clinical practitioner.

The Autism Shelf

Asperger Syndrome and Long-Term Relationships
Ashley Stanford
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849057738, $21.95,

Asperger Syndrome and Long-Term Relationships doesn't come from a psychological or analytical basis alone, but from an author who has been happily married to her Asperger Syndrome husband for some twenty-five years. She's an expert on how this disorder can affect a relationship, and has written a first edition of this book already. This second update clarifies the new DSM-5 diagnostic criteria, explains how ASD behaviors are commonly misinterpreted, explores common relationship conflicts that evolve because of this misinterpretation, and packs in more strategies for understanding the places where ASD is rigid and where compromises can be made to benefit all. A better understanding of how ASD behaviors operate in a relationship setting is key to improving interactions for all, making this updated approach a continuing recommendation for health and psychology holdings alike.

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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