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The Bookwatch

Volume 11, Number 3 March 2016 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Needlecraft Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf Education Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Autism Shelf Psychology Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Crafts Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

The Illusion of God's Presence
John C. Wathey
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633880740, $28.00,

The Illusion of God's Presence: The Biological Origins of Spiritual Longing blends science and spirituality as it considers the origins of the intuitive feeling of God's presence, and considers the biological roots of this feeling. The author is a neuroscientist who argues here that evolution has been programmed in the human brain, which expects the presence of a loving being from infancy onwards. Chapters consider how interpretations of God evolve from biological origins from infancy and offer new perceptions on the nature of supreme beings and belief systems grounded in human perception. The result is a different interpretation and consideration of how God is felt in human lives.

The Needlecraft Shelf

50 Nifty Thrifty Upcycled Fashions
Cynthia Anderson
Stackpole Books
5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6921
9780811714709, $21.95,

50 Nifty Thrifty Upcycled Fashions : Sew Something From Nothing teaches the basics of how to create a new wardrobe from old pieces and thrift store finds, and offers not just sewing tips, but ideas for finding materials, designing garments, and making embellishments. All ideas are based on items typically found in a thrift store environment, while instructions use basic machine- and hand-sewing skills and teach not just specific projects, but the kinds of techniques that lend to assessing thrift store finds for their potential for recycling and change. Sewers and shoppers will find this filled with exciting ideas and possibilities for repurposing clothing.

Pieced Hexies
Mickey Depre
American Quilter's Society
PO Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290
9781604602784, $24.95,

Pieced Hexies: A New Tradition in English Paper Piecing offers traditional methods of hexie piecing by profiling seven different patterns and adding variations on their themes. With step-by-step instructions and bright color photos at every step, quilters will enjoy a clear visual approach to this old form of quilt making: one which begins laying foundations for understanding the paper piecing process, then builds upon them with bright, easy projects. With a surprising variety that can be achieved with just a few designs, quilters new to the concept will find everything they need to make piecing a snap - and, to make for an inviting project!

Pieced Hexies Deux
Mickey Depre
American Quilter's Society
PO Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290
9781604602791, $24.95,

Pieced Hexies Deux: 10 New Designs to Rock Your Quilts provides the second book in Mickey Depre's focus on hexie design possibilities, offering five symmetrical designs, six asymmetrical designs, and six hexie star designs along with English paper piecing and basting instructions. Quilters with a special affection for the hexie approach will find this collection of stars and patterns employs innovative approaches to achieve refreshingly different results. Fans who appreciated the first coverage will find even more projects and fun approaches in Pieced Hexies Deux.

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

Lissa Alexander's Moda All-Stars All in a Row: 24 Row-by-Row Quilt Designs (9781604687293, $26.99) places its designs in three categories - patchwork, seasonal quilts, and playful designs - and uses blender rows to tie the themes together. Quilting groups and those who would put together rows with different combinations and results will find the step-by-step illustrations and instructions snap, while a quilt gallery offers many new ideas for a number of combinations. The result, with its bright quilt photos, easy directions and options for innovations, is recommended for seasoned quilters and novices alike. Sara Lawson's Windy City Bags: 12 Handbags and Totes Sewn with Structure and Style (9781604685992, $27.99) provides a new collection of designs with designer bags that hold a good amount of things, yet are easy to carry, bright and attractive, and affordable and easy to make. Patterns for twelve such bags display bags that make for perfect gifts, and discuss how to tweak designs and accent them with fabric, zippers, pockets and more. The focus on customization makes for a range of projects that hold infinite possibilities, making this a special pick for needleworkers looking for practical, appealing new approaches to purses and handbags.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Dark Places
Reavis Z. Wortham
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave., #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781464204227, $26.95,

Dark Places provides a fine new Red River mystery that takes place at the end of 1967, when the Parker family finds it impossible to escape crime and chaos. Teen Top still can't fit into the family's new small Texas community or forget the recent crimes that have taken place, while his cousin runs away to California at the same time as two businessmen are kidnapped and murdered in town. Constable Ned Parker suspects the different events are connected, but his search for Pepper leaves the investigation in Sheriff Cody Parker's hands, and when Deputy Anna Sloan is hired, trouble really begins in an explosion of guns and chases. Mystery fans seeking fast-paced action and high drama will find the entwined relationships of family, townspeople and murderers to be just the ticket for adventure.

The Cookbook Shelf

Patisserie Made Simple
Edd Kimber
Kyle Books
9781909487345, $24.95,

Patisserie Made Simple: From Macarons to Millefuille and More offers a focus on French desserts and pastries that are surprisingly easy for beginners to make, and covers a range of cookies, pastries, breads and more. Most French pastry cookbooks are far too complicated for novices, and most assume a good degree of prior pastry-making knowledge, so it's delightful to find a simpler step-by-step guide made for newcomers that pairs easy instructions with coverage of basic techniques. Eclairs, croissants, flan, truffles - all are surprisingly simple to put together. Add full-page color photos and you have a lovely production that places the classics of French pastry in the hands of relative novices in a delightfully easy exploration.

Fermented Vegetables
Kirsten K. Shockey & Christopher Shockey
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781612124254, $24.95,

Fermented Vegetables: Creative Recipes for Fermenting 64 Vegetables & Herbs covers not just the usual pickles and krauts, but chutneys, relishes, pastes, kimchis, and more. Virtually anything that can be fermented is the subject of this book, which promotes eating fermented vegetables because they are delicious, and who share recipes for dozens of vegetables and herbs and methods developed during their years as farmstead food growers. Over a hundred recipes for preserving over sixty different vegetables and herbs teach the basics of making new food from familiar techniques: with this approach, sauerkraut is made using not just cabbage but carrots and fennel, and kimchi can evolve from asparagus and snow peas. No special skills are required: all that's needed is a few jars or a crock, some salt, and fresh produce - and this cookbook, which provides recipes that include what to do with the fermented results.

Cedar Fort
2373 West 700 South, Springville, Utah 84663

Amy Choate and Annie Miller's Naked Nutrition: Whole Foods Revealed (9781462117727, $21.99) offers a cookbook packed with whole foods dishes for every meal, and pairs nutrition information with step-by-step instructions to incorporate healthier foods into the family diet. Lovely color photos throughout by Marilyn Choate accompanies dishes and embellishments that are hard to find outside of a home kitchen, from a Lemon Lavender Dressing for salad to Carrot Hummus for dipping or adding to soup, a hearty breakfast casserole of potatoes, sweet potatoes and peppers, topped with raw cashews, garlic, and spices, or homemade milks such as Sesame Milk (high in calcium) or a coconut Pumpkin Spice drink for winter. All are different, appealing, and easy to put together with a minimum of specialty ingredients. Stephanie Brubaker's Brownies Blondies and Bars (9781462116942, $19.99) comes from the creator of the food blog and offers recipes for different kinds of dessert bars, from Peanut Butter Cinnamon Blondies to Mint Fudge Stuffed Brownies and Hot Fudge Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Brownies. All pair with fine color photos of finished dishes throughout.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

A Guide Book of Barber Silver Coins
Q. David Bowers
Whitman Publishing
4001 Helton Drive, Florence, Alabama, 35630
9780794843151, $29.95,

Any serious coin collector will want to obtain the 20th volume in Whitman Publishing's Bowers series, A Guide Book of Barber Silver Coins: A Complete History and Price Guide. It provides instructions on grading and smart collecting and pairs this information with the latest market prices in up to twelve grades, a history of dates, mintmarks and details for Barber dimes, quarters and half dollars, and packs in good-sized black and white and color illustrations throughout, from coins to ads and reference materials. Everything is here that the Barber silver coin collector needs to keep up with the latest trends.

Gems & Jewelry Appraising, third edition
Anna M. Miller, G.G., RMV
Gemstone Press
Sunset Farm Offices, Route 4, PO Box 237, Woodstock, VT 05091
9780943763538, $39.99,

This third edition of a classic follows techniques professionals use and has been revised, expanded and updated by Gail Brett Levine, G.G. to provide the latest information on industry techniques and standards. It adopts a step-by-step approach and assumes little prior knowledge of the process as it covers everything from building an appraising practice and considering ethical issues to the process of cataloging, photographing, documenting, and valuing gems and jewelry. Everything is illustrated with photos, worksheets, and illustrations and discussions on differing approaches to valuation are precise and clear, offering a resource packed with charts and specifics for all kinds of jewelry, from pearls and Mexican pieces to ivory and unique designs. Appraisers, jewelry collectors, insurance professionals and others will find Gems & Jewelry Appraising an invaluable reference.

The Education Shelf

Corwin Press, Inc.
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218

Transition planning is no easy topic to pose to students; but teachers will find it an easier process with Henry B. Reiff and Nicole S. Ofiesh's Teaching for the Lifespan (9781483373843, $30.00), which helps teachers prepare students with learning challenges enter adulthood. It uses the latest brain research and best practices to tailor approaches teachers can use to help students capitalize on their abilities for the rest of their lives and it helps this group handle educational demands and assessments with successful results. From personal stories from adults with learning differences and suggestions from teachers to tips on incorporating these strategies into an inclusive classroom setting, this is a powerful guide all teachers should own. Sam Gilksman's Creating Media for Learning: Student-Centered Projects Across the Curriculum (9781483385433, $25.00) shows educators how to better communication skills by using media in the classroom. Chapters show how to blend student media projects into curriculum objectives, offering strategies to make students experts at media investigations sing any device. From how and why to encourage students to use media to projects that use different media across devices, this adopts a wide-ranging perspective in helping students blend familiar visuals and media approaches with their own research objectives. From content-focused projects to setups for green screen video shoots, teachers and students can work together to make the most of media opportunities to enhance curriculum objectives.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

1635: A Parcel of Rogues
Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781476781099, $26.00,

1635: A Parcel of Rogues tells of a diplomatic embassy from the United States of Europe who have remained in Britain after freedom and who face a hunt for one of the biggest rebels in English history. While history buffs will be especially delighted by the continuing evolution of Flint's alternate history world, non-buffs will appreciate the attention to adventure and details that incorporate events even they can readily understand without such an expertise. Intrigue, political encounters, and the ongoing struggles of a group of present-day time-travelers who have inadvertently been jettisoned into a very different past will continue to attract prior Flint fans and will likely create a new audience of readers interested in the progression of this alternate world.

The Autism Shelf

Turning Skills and Strengths into Careers for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Michelle Rigler, Amy Rutherford, Emily Quinn
Jessica Kingsley Publishing
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849057981, $39.95,

Turning Skills and Strengths into Careers for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The Basics College Curriculum provides a handbook to learning independence and life skills and helps students prepare for job interviews, write a resume, consider internships, and craft career-building strategies. Chapters can be used for self-study or in a college-level ASD program and they compile exercises and self-assessment tools in a workbook packed with options and approaches. This book serves as a companion to the authors' prior volumes and offers a curriculum that helps support young adults with ASD through the college and career years.

Autism and the Stress Effect
Theresa Hamlin
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849057486, $19.95,

Autism and the Stress Effect: A 4-Step Lifestyle Approach to Transform Your Child's Health, Happiness and Vitality provides an approach the whole family can use to change their lifestyle to better support the autistic child, and offers insights into nutrition, managing environment, and how to help a child cope with life's pressures. From providing a child with directions on how to approach a peer to taking advantage of the autistic child's ability to process visual information, this handbook uses the typical autistic personality traits to best advantage, tailoring them to a family-oriented approach that will better support not just the autistic child, but all who live and encounter them.

Supernourishment for Children with Autism Spectrum
Angelette Muller
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849053839, $21.95

Angelette Muller's Supernourishment for Children with Autism Spectrum provides a nutritional approach to a diet for optimum brain and body health by encouraging parents to transition such a child to a different kind of diet. It explores how diet supports brain function, it considers the latest science that revolves around how children with autism process foods, and it offers recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks which are simple for parents to prepare. In focusing on meal plans parents can produce for the entire family that support better brain activity for autism children in particular, Muller offers a treasure trove of positive information.

The Psychology Shelf

The CBT Art Activity Book
Jennifer Guest
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849056656, $29.95

Jennifer Guest's The CBT Art Activity Book packs in some 100 creative activities designed for both group and individual therapy settings to help adults and young people apply cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to art to explore self-esteem, anger management, problem solving and more. These take the form of coloring pages in the zentangle style which can be used for stress management and positive approaches reinforcing CBT therapy. The photocopiable coloring designs will appeal to therapist seeking to integrate art into the CBT process.

The Audiobook Shelf

If Someone Says "You Complete Me," RUN!
Whoopi Goldberg
Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9781478960072, $30.00,

If Someone Says "You Complete Me," RUN!: Whoopi's Big Book of Relationships isn't about the author's own relationships, so don't expect a biographical sketch. It's about solutions to relationship issues and how to avoid big mistakes by identifying early warning signs, and it is best digested in bits and pieces by any listener who would better understand the ironies, inconsistencies, and outrageous moments that lie in wait in relationships. Replete with comedian Goldberg's unique brand of humor, this is an engrossing listen for any who would enjoy a blend of fun insights and thought-provoking moments.

Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Oscar Hijuelos' Twain & Stanley Enter Paradise (9781478960331, $40.00) offers a powerful unabridged audio story narrated by James Langton, Polly Lee, Henry Leyva and Robert Petkoff, who provide a powerful production that brings to life a 37-year friendship between two late 19th century figures: Mark Twain and explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley. Literary award-winner Hijuelos was fascinated by their connection and researched and wrote his novel after scouring the little history that remained of their friendship. He worked on the project for some ten years even as he wrote and published other novels: the result is a rich discussion of historical fiction that is especially gripping in audio format. David Baldacci's The Guilty (9781478929994, $40.00) centers around assassin Will, who works for the government as a professional hit man, infiltrating hostile countries and defeating America's enemies. But when he fails a mission, he becomes a loner with no purpose to life, and he must confront his past to move beyond his stalled present. Kyf Brewer and Orlagh Cassidy lend a fine reading and tension to the thriller, making this a 'must listen' for any who like stories of psychological self-inspection and intrigue.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Oil Pulling Miracle
Birgit Frohn
Inner Traditions
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620553275, $12.95,

The Oil Pulling Miracle: Detoxify Simply and Effectively shows how to use coconut, sesame and other oils to heal chronic conditions and strengthen the immune system, and provides insights into one of the ancient healing systems involved in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine. Oil pulling focuses on the mouth and tongue and how to clean them, removing toxins from the bloodstream and triggering enzyme production and other healthy reactions which spread through the entire body. This guide offers specifics on how to use different oils, other oral care techniques to compliment it, and draws connections between oil pulling and other detox techniques. A step-by-step program is offered to complete the information.

The Crafts Shelf

Walter Foster Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722

Two new Walter Foster titles are lovely project guides loaded with fresh new ideas suitable for families or art camps alike. Pop-Up Cards by Emily Gregory (9781633220591, $19.95) covers all the folds, slots, tabs, and paper engineering directions kids will need to make pop-up cards from scratch. Step-by-step instructions cover thirty handmade cards arranged by technique to reinforce basic pop-up mechanical skills, while inspirations include designs for birthdays and all kinds of celebrations. Lorie King Kaehler's Chalk on the Wild Side (9781633220218, $19.95) encourages families to move beyond sidewalk applications to make chalk and use chalk in a range of designs, from making ice chalk volcanoes and foaming chalk to working with frozen fizzy chalk. The color illustrations and step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and produce satisfyingly varied results.

Bead Play Every Day
Beth Stone
Kalmbach Books
21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612
9781627000819, $21.99,

Bead Play Every Day: 20+ Projects with Peyote, Herringbone & More offers a different approach to bed stitching and teaches basic techniques that can build different necklaces and jewelry pieces, from open weaves to diamond stitches. Close-up step-by-step images of the bead approaches blend with lovely finished projects to make for a winning collection especially accessible to newcomers to jewelry-making in general or these stitches in particular.

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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