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The Bookwatch

Volume 2, Number 5 May 2007 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Psychology Shelf Terrorism Studies Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Computer Shelf International Studies Shelf
Military Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Education Shelf
Business Shelf Needlecraft Shelf Homeowner's Shelf
Gardening/Landscaping Shelf Travel Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf
Theatre/Cinema Shelf Sports Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Christian StudiesShelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
World History Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Why Secret Intelligence Fails
Michael A. Turner
Potomac Books Inc.
22841 Quicksilver Drive, Dulles, VA 20166-2012
1574888919, $18.95

The revised edition of WHY SECRET INTELLIGENCE FAILS offers a primer of the U.S. intelligence community, blending a professional's examination of bureaucratic obstacles to collaboration between agencies with a survey of organizational structures and ways in which intelligence fails. It's a pick for any who would understand the intelligence community as a whole, going beyond the usual case study focus to consider underlying dysfunction. Any library strong in terrorist or intelligence studies will want this assessment.

Firefly Books Limited
155 East 34th Street Suite 5B, New York NY 10016

Stephen A. Marshall's INSECTS: THEIR NATURAL HISTORY AND DIVERSITY (1552979008, $95.00) isn't for the general-interest holding so much as the college-level collection catering to entomologists or students of such. Insects of Eastern North America are the focus in a jam-packed colorful reference displaying insects within their order and including notes on their introduction, habitats, coloring and more. It's the professional's solid reference to identification and habits, making it a top basic reference pick for serious science libraries. The general-interest public will find more accessible Rob Kesseler and Wolfgang Stuppy's SEEDS: TIME CAPSULES OF LIFE (1554072212, $60.00). Alexandra Papadakis edits this stunning natural history of seeds, which uses an oversized format/presentation to display close-up photos and electron microscopy images of seed evolution. The Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew are involved in this reference's publication, which obtains some astonishing images and focuses on the diversity, design and function of seeds the world over. Rob Kesseler and Madeline Harley's POLLEN: THE HIDDEN SEXUALITY OF FLOWERS (1554072190, $60.00) represents a collaborative effort between an artist and a scientist who use an electron microscope to reveal the intricate structures and diversity of pollen. The sequence of events from pollination to fertilization and ways in which pollen affects daily lives is revealed in a gorgeous display of full-page close up images and facts: perfect for the general-interest collection.

The Psychology Shelf

The Haunted Self
Onno van der Hart, Ellert R.S. Nijenhuis, Kathy Steele
W.W. Norton
500 – 5th Avenue, New York NY 10110
0393704017, $49.95

Those who have been chronically traumatized have a range of symptoms which make for difficult assessment and treatment by therapists: THE HAUNTED SELF: STRUCTURAL DISSOCIATION AND THE TREATMENT OF CHRONIC TRAUMATIZATION is thus for college-level mental health holdings and practicing therapists who would identify and treat these issues, from daily living challenges to the recurrence of memories about a painful past. Three leading researchers and clinicians share their lessons from treating such individuals – over sixty years of collective experience – and provide a powerful set of insights for clinicians, students of clinical psychology and psychiatry, and any involved in mental health issues.

The Terrorism Studies Shelf

Inside the Red Zone
Mike Ferner
Praeger Publishers
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881
0275992438, $39.95

INSIDE THE RED ZONE: A VETERAN FOR PEACE REPORTS FROM IRAQ provides an account by a peace activist and journalist who visited the country just before the U.S. invasion in March 2003 and again a year later, visiting ordinary Iraqis, peace activists, soldiers and others working in the country. The result is a hard-hitting set of stories of a country often hidden from American view: accounts chronicling the daily life of Iraqis both urban and rural. INSIDE THE RED ZONE is essential for any thorough understanding of the psyche and structure of the nation, and is especially recommended for public lending libraries.

Fighting the War on Terror
James S. Corum
Zenith Press
c/o MBI Publishing Company
380 Jackson Street Suite 200, Saint Paul, MN 55101-3885
0760328684, $29.95

Dr. Corum is one of the Army's top experts on counterinsurgency warfare: it's this background which packs FIGHTING THE WAR ON TERROR with lessons which need to be learned from the experiences of all sides. His book advocates spending more on training and lesson weapons – and using the media to counter extremist propaganda. Chapters analyze lessons learned from experience and consider how they can be applied to future conflicts, making this a key acquisition for both military libraries and college-level holdings specializing in social issues.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Old Dog, New Tricks
David Taylor
Firefly Books
Box 1338, Ellicott Station, Buffalo NY 14205
1554071976, $19.95

OLD DOG, NEW TRICKS: UNDERSTANDING AND RETRAINING OLDER AND RESCUED DOGS is a 'must' for any with such an animal. Thousands of households adopt older dogs which come with previous training – some wanted, some unwanted. Here's the key to behavior modification: it provides insights into understanding dogs, provides lists of considerations before bringing an older dog into the home, and most importantly covers training, from basic techniques to modification. An excellent guide which dog owners and public libraries will find important.

Blackwell Publishing
Box 570, Ames, IA 50010-0570

Timothy B. Hackett and Elisa M. Mazzaferro's VETERINARY EMERGENCY & CRITICAL CARE PROCEDURES (0813823315, $49.99) offers both general practitioners and specialists a solid text on emergency procedures, breaking down key critical care procedures and using hundreds of photos and lists of supplies and complication potentials for each procedure. College-level students of veterinary science in particular will find it a solid text reference, making it a recommended pick for both classroom study and auxiliary reading. Andrew U. Luescher's MANUAL OF PARROT BEHAVIOR (0813827493, $79.99) is an essential addition to any college-level collection specializing in veterinary science, representing the first of its kind for students of parrot behavior and treatment. International experts on avian behavior join to explore both normal and abnormal parrot behavior, producing an authoritative team-researched text which covers all the basics. Andrew Luescher, DVM/Ph.D. is a Director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Purdue: his title is simply a 'must have' basic text on the subject.

The Computer Shelf

The Apache Modules Book
Nick Kew
Prentice Hall
One Lake Street, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458
0132409674, $49.99

Apache is more than a popular Web server; it's a versatile and complex platform covered well in THE APACHE MODULES BOOK, the first guide for developers who already work with Apache and want to make the most of its features. From code security and basic processing to C-based shortcuts and techniques, APACHE MODULES BOOK uses real-world code examples and techniques to provide an excellent manual of basics. Perfect for any serious programmer's Apache reference collection.

Rails Cookbook
Rob Orsini
1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472
0596527314, $39.99

Web programmers and practicing developers working with Rails will want this solution-oriented guide to building web 2.0 applications – a guide packed with recipes for success from the basics of installing and using Rails to the latest applications. Learn how to work with an application's logic, how to test and debit a Rails application, and use Rails plug-ins with RAILS COOKBOOK: APPLICATIONS FOR RAPID WEB DEVELOPMENT WITH RUBY, which covers version 1.2 and will reach both programmers and serious programming libraries.

Building a Monitoring Infrastructure with Nagios
David Josephsen
Addison Wesley
75 Arlington Street, Suite 300, Boston, MA 02116
0132236931, $34.99 1-800-428-5331

If you're a system administrator or college-level library with computer holdings catering to such an audience, then Building a Monitoring Infrastructure with Nagios is the item for you – it tells how to work with Nagios, an open source monitoring tool, and introduces all the basics of Nagios for newcomers. Examples come from real world applications, working code can be easily mixed in, and discussions of data visualization and other advanced topics make for a handy reference.

Excel 2007 for Project Managers
Kim Heldman & William Heldman
c/o Wiley Publishing
10475 Crosspoint Boulevard, Indianapolis, IN 46256
0470047178, $29.99

Combine the forces of Excel 2007, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server and other tools to build a project step by step using Excel 2007 for Project Managers, an outstanding manual which blends key management skills and needs with Excel and other standard office routines. From setting up schedules and budgets to using network diagrams, scatter charts, and assigning teams through Excel, Excel 2007 for Project Managers represents one of the best books we've seen blending project manager objectives with real-world applications in the Excel 2007 environment.

Peachpit Press
1249 – 8th Street, Berkeley CA 94710

HOW TO WOW WITH ILLUSTRATOR by Ron Chan and Barbara Obermeier (0321434544, $39.99) uses real-world projects and a step-by-step approach to teach the basics of producing polished Adobe Illustrator results. From the program's fundamentals and tips on creating and organizing files to using masks, blends and beyond to customize designs, HOW TO WOW WITH ILLUSTRATOR is an excellent and top pick for any collection serious about Illustrator basics. Adobe's PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS 5.0: CLASSROOM IN A BOOK (0321476743, $39.99) is billed as the 'fastest, easiest way to learn Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0', and as such it's a fine classroom or home study pick. The title comes from the notable series of software training workbooks, and ELEMENTS 5.0 delivers what it promises; eleven quick lessons covering all the basics, packed with tips and real-world applications and techniques. Color screen shots are a big hit, here, making it easy to follow lessons based on real screen samples. Douglas Ford Rea's PREVENTATIVE PHOTOSHOP (0321410963, $39.99) pairs tips on taking digital photos with Photoshop tips on manipulating them. Photographers who think they can fix anything 'later' using the program receive an unusual set of guidelines which tells how to minimize computer time by shooting digital images correctly in the first place. From shooting camera raw to turning off sharpening and learning how to read histograms, PREVENTATIVE PHOTOSHOP goes a step beyond most Photoshop guides and tells how to prevent problems before they get to Photoshop's screen. A top pick for any digital photographer.

The International Studies Shelf

Pop Culture Germany
Catherine C. Fraser & Dierk O. Hoffmann
Box 1911, Santa Barbara CA 93116-1911
1851097333, $85.00

POP CULTURE GERMANY! MEDIA, ARTS, AND LIFESTYLE covers the social, cultural and artistic history of contemporary German culture and is a pick for any college-level collection covering European modern culture. It joins others in the 'Popular Culture in the Contemporary World' series, exploring all aspects of modern German art, entertainment and film and blending history with cross-cultural observation in an easy reference focusing on developments from 1970 to modern times. A specialty item and excellent addition to any comprehensive collection.

Terror in the Holy Land
Judy Kuriansky, Editor
Praeger Publishers
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881
0275990419, $49.95

TERROR IN THE HOLY LAND: INSIDE THE ANGUISH OF THE ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT offers up new analysis and psychological understanding of the ongoing and lasting traumas to the peoples on both sides, and is the first to blend analysis from both a social and psychological viewpoint in the process of describing conflicts and national identity crises. These essays cover everything from terrorism's impact to occupation's lasting conflicts, and provide a unique, multi-faceted survey of complex issues which goes far beyond the usual political focus. A top pick for any college-level collection strong in Middle East politics and psychology.

The Military Shelf

Civil War Fathers
Tim Pletkovich, Editor
Vandamere Press
Box 149, Saint Petersburg, FL 33731
0918339693, $24.95

CIVIL WAR FATHERS: SONS OF THE CIVIL WAR IN WWII tells of eight American families whose fathers fought in the Civil War, and whose sons and daughters fought in World War II. It evolved from an interview project with middle school children and blossomed to embrace two generations of military experience, providing an unusual focus on the Civil War through the eyes of children listening to their father's stories, and World War II through these same children as grown-up participants. A fascinating dual history evolves, offering military readers new insights based on experience: perfect for both specialty and general-interest military holdings.

Cobra II
Michael R. Gordon and General Bernard Trainor
Vintage Books
c/o Random House
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
1400075394, $16.00

COBRA II: THE INSIDE STORY OF THE INVASION AND OCCUPATION OF IRAQ is finally in paperback, offering the national best-selling story to collections looking for affordable lending copies of one of the top books on the Iraq War. Unique access to still-secret documents blend with interviews with top field commanders and reviews of the army's own policies and procedures to make for a vivid, definitive title which still stands heads and shoulders above the many competing books on the topic.

The Utility of Force
General Rupert Smith
Alfred A. Knopf
c/o Random House
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
0307265625, $30.00 1-800-726-0600

"War no longer exists" states author/general Rupert Smith, who spent some forty years in the British Army and retired in 2002. Indeed, confrontations between mass national armies are unlikely to occur, replaced by diplomatic efforts that hold more promise than military force. Modern examples from armed interventions that have failed to deliver resolution show why modern conflicts need a different kind of analytical focus –one that blends political and military events – rather than a traditional model of warfare fought on battlefields. Coming from a seasoned general, THE UTILITY OF FORCE: THE ART OF WAR IN THE MODERN WORLD holds much hope for the modern world and is a pick not just for military libraries but for general-interest lending collections and college-level holdings strong in social issues, as well.

Future Weapons
Kevin Dockery
Berkeley Caliber
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
0425212157, $24.95

FUTURE WEAPONS comes from a former military sniper who offers an eye-opening viewpoint of advanced technology and military might, combining a history of technology and its military applications with an examination of the present and future of modern combat technology. Military libraries as well as general-interest collections will find it an intriguing, top pick examining all facets of weaponry use, ethics, and technological applications, peppered with black and white photos and including discussions of past and modern experimentation.

Osprey Publishing
443 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016

Brad E. Kelle's ANCIENT ISRAEL AT WAR: 853-586BC (1846030366, $14.95) is a fine pick for both in-depth college-level Middle East history holdings and specialty military collections with strong sections in early military force. It covers the complex kingdom of Ancient Israel and 200 years of constant warring between kingdoms and neighbors, and considers both the social and political relationships involved and the military conflicts. While a specialty item, it promises vivid reading for any studying early wars and military conditions. Mark Stille's US NAVY AIRCRAFT CARRIERS 1942-45 (1846030374, $15.95) tells of the US Navy's principal weapon against Japan during the Pacific War, following forces, battles, and including artwork detailing ship interior and exterior features. From ship origins to design and construction, NAVY AIRCRAFT CARRIERS provides an excellent survey important for any collection strong in Navy weaponry.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Sacred Number and the Origins of Civilization
Richard Heath
Inner Traditions
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
1594771316, $16.95

Sacred Number and the Origins of Civilization: The Unfolding of History through the Mystery of Number covers sacred numbers and ratios to be found throughout history, revealing the origins of synchronous numerical occurrences and joining discoveries in astronomy and religion alike. From ancient theme parks and earth models to early angels, SACRED NUMBER AND THE ORIGINS OF CIVILIZATION draws many important connections.

The Templar Pirates
Ernesto Frers
Destiny Books
c/o Inner Traditions
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
1594771464, $14.95

When the Vatican condemned the Order of the Temple in 1312, many who escaped took to sea intent on revenge on the Church. The missing Templar fleet later reappeared in the Mediterranean and later the Caribbean and posed a threat to the Church's maritime commerce. THE TEMPLAR PIRATES tells the story of the birth and conduct of piracy on the New World seas, providing an important link between Templar history and Church interactions and piracy as a whole. Any collection strong in Templar or Catholic history will find this absorbing and unusual – and many a general interest library will find it interesting for its insights on early pirates, as well.

Real Energy
Phaedra & Isaac Bonewits
New Page Books
Box 687, Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417
1564149048, $15.99

REAL ENERGY: SYSTEMS, SPIRITS, AND SUBSTANCES TO HEAL, CHANGE, AND GROW offers a wide range of strategies for understanding the science, history and mysticism of energy – also called 'psi', 'prana' and 'divine power'. It teaches the basics of how to work with the energies such as the four Elements, crystals and animals, with chapters offering specific energy practices and applications. REAL ENERGY is a wide-ranging survey which embraces different disciplines on the topic and is a recommended pick for any serious new age library.

Llewellyn Publications
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125-2989

Fiona Horne's WITCH: FIONA HORNE'S GUIDE TO COVEN MAGIC (0738710342 , $14.95) comes from a celebrity witch who moved to Hollywood, there to apply her nature-based spirituality to the fast-paced, material culture of Hollywood. WITCH follows her journey, and discusses the basics of how to form a coven that's the right fit for all – even applying modern party basics such as Witch-inspired tea parties and Goddess gatherings to the mix of options. An inspiring, revealing account evolves, perfect for the young modern witch who wants insights into how to form a modern coven. Rabbi Geoffrey W. Dennis' THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF JEWISH MYTH, MAGIC AND MYSTICISM (0738709050, $24.95) provides a unique encyclopedia devoted entirely to Jewish mysticism and folklore. Jewish esotericism is the oldest continuous occult tradition in the West, but this encyclopedia represents the first comprehensive treasury of such teachings drawing from Jewish scripture, Talmud, Kabbalah and other esoteric Judaic branches. Over a thousand alphabetical entries include extensive cross-referenced notes, plus a complete bibliography and glossary of terms. Both are top picks for any new age collection.

The Celtic Way of Seeing
Frank MacEowen
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
1577315413, $14.95

New age collections strong in Celtic spirituality will welcome THE CELTIC WAY OF SEEING: MEDITATIONS ON THE IRISH SPIRIT WHEEL. It surveys ideas of Celtic visions, opening with a history of the spiritual divisions of Ireland and the four directions, then providing orientations to these four directions and discussions of the focal points that bind them to meditations. An excellent guide for any interested in Celtic visionary practices.

The Education Shelf

Students With Disabilities and Special Education Law, 23rd Edition
Center for Education & Employment Law
PO Box 3008, Malvern, PA 19355
1933043199, $159.00

From school liability and private tuition to issues of student records and privacy and samples of awards and damages, the 23rd updated edition of Students With Disabilities and Special Education Law is a 'must' for any college-level library specializing in either education or law. Chapters survey federal and local court decisions, evolving issues in special education and placement, and due processes related to special education law, making this a 'must' reference for any special education or legal holding.

The Business Shelf

Communicating Globally
Wallace V. Schmidt,
Sage Publications
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
1412913179, $37.95

College-level libraries strong in business and global communications won't want to miss COMMUNICATING GLOBALLY: INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION AND INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS. It provides an interdisciplinary review using different business and communication sources to analyze and contrast viewpoints on world communication processes, global leadership, and processes that affect international business. From understanding the processes of communication and miscommunication to insights into how to do business abroad given differing cultural perspectives, COMMUNICATING GLOBALLY offers many important, key concepts essential for global business success.

A Game as Old as Empire
Steven Hiatt, Editor
Berrett-Koehler Publishers
235 Montgomery Street Suite 650, San Francisco CA 94104-2916
1576753956, $24.95

A GAME AS OLD AS EMPIRE: THE SECRET WORLD OF ECONOMIC HIT MEN AND THE WEB OF GLOBAL CORRUPTION comes from the author of the best-selling CONFESSIONS OF AN ECONOMIC HIT MAN and expands upon the prior book's theme. Where CONFESSIONS was fueled by the author's revelations of economic secrets, A GAME AS OLD AS EMPIRE is joined by other journalists and investigators who tell their own stories of a world-wide web of deliberate corruption, even narrowing topics down to specific countries and how they've been subverted. The result is a revealing survey which expands well upon the popular theme of CONFESSIONS and which deserves a spot in any academic or community library's business, economics, or social issues collection.

The Specialty Shop
Dorothy Finell
1601 Broadway, New York NY 10019
081447442X, $21.95

Any who have dreamed of owning more than the ordinary retail store will find plenty of practical tips and insights in THE SPECIALTY SHOP: HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN UNIQUE AND PROFITABLE RETAIL BUSINESS. The author spent the last twenty years researching the most successful and interesting shops across the U.S., Europe and Australia: her international approach combines the insights and applied experience of over thirty successful owners and provides plenty of practical advice for would-be owners. Perfect for any specialty business library or general-interest lending library collection.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Martingale & Company
20205 – 144th Avenue NE, Woodinville, WA 98072-8478

Sherrill Kahn's CREATIVE EMBELLISHMENTS FOR PAPER, JEWELRY, FABRIC AND MORE (1564776166, $27.95) addresses the issue of how to add style to craft projects with shrink plastic, rubber stamps and foam. Here are dozens of embellishments to be made from paper, fabric and plastic alike, to create glitzy additions to quilts, journals and other projects. Over a hundred color photos accent step-by-step project ideas perfect for the creative artist looking for a handbook of finishing touches and innovations. Jennifer Rounds and Catherine Comyns' A DOZEN ROSES: BEAUTIFUL QUILTS AND PILLOWS (1564776891, $26.95) offers some eight quilt projects from a sampler and baby quilt to a coverlet, plus four coordinating pillow designs to be used with such quilts. Packed with full-page photos of finished quilts, inspirational roses from real-life, and diagrams and patterns, A DOZEN ROSES comes filled with different ideas and variations perfect for quilters who love flowers. Ionne McCauley and Sharon Pederson's COLOR FOR THE TERRIFIED QUILTER: PLAIN TALK, SIMPLE LESSONS, 11 PROJECTS (1564777227, $26.95) offers a step-by-step formula for choosing color for quilts, blending practical techniques and guidelines with easy exercises and 11 projects to teach the basics of using the color wheel. From making up mock-up blocks before committing fabrics to sewing to mixing dark and light fabrics for maximum effect, COLOR FOR THE TERRIFIED QUILTER is packed with fine project ideas which teach the foundations of color. All are key picks any needlework library needs.

The Homeowner's Shelf

Home Makeovers That Sell
Sid Davis
1601 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0814473733, $15.00

Plenty of books tell how to buy and sell homes and others how to remodel; but for a specific book on getting the most from a remodel project, HOME MAKEOVERS THAT SELL is the item of choice. Here are tips based not on home renovations but on over twenty years of experience as a real estate broker; from creating curb appeal by replacing shrubs and refinishing a driveway to using accent lights to make the most of a home's natural beauty. Any involved in home renovations and home sales needs this, so public libraries will find it a popular lend.

The Gardening/Landscaping Shelf

Step By Step Landscaping
Better Homes & Gardens
Meredith Books
1716 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309-3203
0696230828, $24.95

Over a thousand inspirational photos accompany these step-by-step outdoor landscape ideas, which appear in a new updated edition of a classic coverage. From swimming pool options and decks and patios to handling slopes and tricky problem areas, STEP BY STEP LANDSCAPING comes packed with both building and planting tips and will be an excellent pick for homeowners who want to transform their outdoors environments.

How to Build Your Own Greenhouse
Roger Marshall
Storey Publishing
210 MassMoca Way, North Adams, MA 01247
158017647X, $24.95

Any who would build a greenhouse will find HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN GREENHOUSE: DESIGNS AND PLANS TO MEET YOUR GROWING NEEDS offers up the hope of year-round gardening as it explores a range of greenhouse designs and options, from simple cold frames to elaborate freestanding tropical constructions. Chapters cover basic freestanding and extension designs for greenhouses, include lean-tos and garden shed blends, and discuss not only construction of independent structures, but how to incorporate them into an existing home. From floor to ceiling options, HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN GREENHOUSE covers it all, includes design tips and basic plans, and is a pick for any library strong in homeowner's or gardener's construction references.

The Travel Shelf

Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan
Dianne L. Durante
New York University Press
838 Broadway, 3rd Floor, New York NY 10003-4812
0814719872, $18.95

Manhattan's streets and parks are packed with historic monuments, and some fifty of them are included in OUTDOOR MONUMENTS OF MANHATTAN: A HISTORICAL GUIDE, which offers up background history, surveys of American sculptors, and analysis of each sculpture, its influences, and its history. A 'must' for any Manhattan resident or library seeking background information on the area's best outdoor monuments to use as either a take-along travel tote or a study.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Lord, I Give You This Day
Kay Arthur
Waterbrook Press
c/o Random House
12265 Oracle Boulevard #200, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
1400071607, $14.99

If you're seeking a 365-day devotional packed with religious inspiration, LORD, I GIVE YOU THIS DAY is the item of choice, blending brief readings of Biblical passages with prayers designed to reinforce spirituality throughout the day. The author is a renowned Bible teacher and has co-founded Precept Ministries International: her devotional offers important analysis perfect for any spirituality library or personal collection.

Something There: The Biology of the Human Spirit
David Hay
Templeton University Press
300 Conshohocken State Rd. Suite 670, West Conshohocken, PA 19428
1599471140, $19.95

The human spiritual side is real and not an illusion: this is often a contention of spirituality titles but here the idea comes from a trained zoologist who uses his research and background to blend modern attitudes drawn from surveys and polls with results from his investigative work with a late zoologist Alister Hardy – and over thirty years of personal research. The idea is that spirituality is a built-in, biologically structured dimension of all humans: any serious spirituality holding will appreciate the reasoned, logical arguments which support his contention, and many a college-level collection in social science and psychology will also find this a unique, inviting and authoritative approach.

Jesus After the Crucifixion
Graham Simmans
Bear & Company
c/o Inner Traditions
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
1591430712, $18.00

Jesus didn't die on the cross: instead he survived and went to southern France to live with wife Mary: this radical and thought-provoking idea proposed by researcher Graham Simmans offers up a new reason for the spread of Christianity – by Jesus himself. Chapters consider Jesus's survival of the crucifixion and use Coptic and Jewish sources to examine Christian philosophy and how it spread through Europe.

The Land, the Bible, and History
Alain Marchadour and David Neuhaus
Fordham University Press
University Box L, 2546 Belmont Avenue, Bronx, NY 10458
082322659X, $40.00

A Catholic view of the Holy Land is presented in this scholarly study The Land, the Bible, and History, which comes from two biblical scholars and priests living in Jerusalem who analyze the Holy Land both as a concept and as a piece of political and social history. In blending a through analytical reading of the Christian Bible and referencing the Land promised by God and the evolution of local attitudes towards it, THE LAND, THE BIBLE, AND HISTORY provides some important points on Catholic thinking both past and present, making for a fine pick for any spirituality holding, especially those strong in Catholic sentiments.

Voices from the Margin
R.S. Sugirtharajah, Editor
Orbis Books
PO Box 308, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0308
1570756864, $35.00

The third revised, expanded edition of VOICES FROM THE MARTIN: INTERPRETING THE BIBLE IN THE THIRD WORLD represents a major revision of a powerful resource, adding some sixteen new essays and a new section on postcolonial readings of scripture to a survey of Third World applications of Biblical passages and teachings. Some essays are specific to given cultures, such as those on Japan: others are more general and combine an analysis of Biblical passages with insights into Third World economics and social condition. Any college-level spirituality collection will find it an excellent guide applying Biblical concepts to Third World concerns – perfect for missionaries.

The Asian Jesus
Michael Amaladoss
Orbis Books
PO Box 308, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0308
1570756619, $22.00

Nine selected images from Asian literature, culture and religion can offer new insights into Jesus, and THE ASIAN JESUS offers a different kind of interpretation perfect for understanding both differing cultural perceptions and ideas of Jesus. Jesus has been depicted, for example, as guru, satyagrahi, avatar and even a danger: Biblical quotes and spiritual reflection blend in a fine guide perfect for any serious Christian library; especially important for those seeking a cross-cultural representation of Jesus.

Athiest Universe
David Mills
Ulysses Press
PO Box 3440, Berkeley, CA 94703
1569755671, $14.95

A religious explanation is unnecessary to explain the universe's beauty and diversity; that's the foundation premise of ATHEIST UNIVERSE, which uses logic to rebut arguments which claim to 'prove God'. It's unusual to see such a precise scientific argument which includes discussions of the definition of atheism, myths of creation, and the meaning of life without God: a fascinating discussion is fostered which invites reflective reading and makes this an item of choice not just for spirituality holdings, but any public library lending collection.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Commercial Theater Institute Guide to Producing Plays and Musicals
Frederic B. Vogel and Ben Hodges, Editors
Applause Theatre
c/o Hal Leonard
19 W. 21st Street, Suite 201, New York NY 10010
1557836523, $19.95

Any who want to put on a play will find the decades of experience of the Commercial Theatre Institute lends to working knowledge and real-world applications, collecting for the first time the cream of the crop of advice from the professionals who participate in an annual intensive program in New York. Chapters include interviews and contributions from over thirty such professionals as they explore everything from fundraising and Broadway and off-Broadway productions to community theatre and sponsorship and co-production opportunities. This excellent survey will appeal to any interested in commercial play production's nuts and bolts as well as to those libraries specializing in community drama and theatre efforts.

The Sports Shelf

Twenty Affordable Sailboats to Take You Anywhere
Gregg Nestor
Paradise Cay Publications
Box 29, Arcata, CA 95518-0029
0939837722, $19.95

The design, construction, and specifications of different affordable sailboats are surveyed here in Twenty Affordable Sailboats to Take You Anywhere: a perfect pick for any general-interest public library where boating is a patron's hobby. These are in-depth reviews of each of twenty comfortable, seaworthy sailboats which range in size from 30-38 feet – and focus on boats still readily available in the used boat market, making this of special interest and very useful to any would-be boater.

The Audiobook Shelf

Random House Audio
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019

Lincoln Child's DEEP STORM (0739332759, $29.95) receives Scott Brick's vivid reading and tells of a naval doctor summoned to a remote oil platform in the ocean to help diagnose a strange medical condition spreading through the rig. His arrival reveals a deeper danger affecting a research facility built two miles under the surface and leads Dr. Crane to Deep Storm and its dangerous discovery in this gripping thriller which is a heart-stopper from start to finish. Lisa Unger's SLIVER OF TRUTH (0739341839, $29.95) receives Broadway actress Jenna Lamia's acting strengths as it tells of Ridley Jones, who finds herself at the center of a global network of crime simply by picking up a few envelopes of prints at a photo lab. The photos will change and challenge her life and may even destroy it unless she can find out their truth. Both are exceptional listens public libraries will find popular lends.

Brilliance Audio
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417 1-800-854-7859

Christopher Pike's FALLING (1423332776, $38.95) enjoys William Dufris's strong background as an audio narrator and producer as it tells of a thwarted love's diabolical scheme which causes him to disappear, in charge of his ex-girlfriend's infant son. FBI agent Kelly, recovering from an attack by a serial killer, faces her own abandonment at the same time: the two broken personalities will find each other linked in this unusual story. Stephen White's DRY ICE (1423328795, $38.95) receives Dick Hill's veteran 'golden voice' as it tells of a killer who is created from scratch. One man holds the secrets from Alan's past – those not even his wife know – and a dangerous psychological game evolves. Heather Graham's THE DEAD ROOM (1423331648, $36.95) enjoys veteran narrator Joyce Bean's smooth voice and background as a voice talent as it tells of one archaeologist Leslie, who has come to terms with her fiancι's death in a blast and who finds herself left with an ability to communicate with ghosts. Her return to the site of the explosion for her own answers will offer clues to the truth and new dangers alike. Mary Alice Monroe's SWIMMING LESSONS (1423331052, $36.95) receives Mary Alice Monroe's own reading which spices the lively story of a mentor's influence on the next generation. Three women who have experienced loss find friendship and support together one summer as turtle season begins. Lisa Jackson's ABSOLUTE FEAR (1423315154, $38.95) receives veteran Joyce Bean's narrative prowess and tells of Eve, who was nearly killed one night and suffers from amnesia. Her incomplete memory of events has caused her lover Cole to escape a murder charge – and now a new series of murders is beginning which only Eve can stop – if she can remember essential details. All are excellent audio listens.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Intervarsity Press
Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515-1426

Two excellent titles take spirituality into the modern age with hard-hitting topics certain to reach younger Christians. Efrem Smith and Phil Jackson's THE HIP-HOP CHURCH: CONNECTING WITH THE MOVEMENT SHAPING OUR CULTURE (0830833293) provides an important survey which advocates reaching spiritual souls through their own language – the music of hiphop. From understanding hiphop culture to bringing it into the church, any involved in a church and seeking to involve urban youth must have THE HIP-HOP CHURCH: it's an inspirational survey of how to reach out in an alternative manner. Craig A. Evans' FABRICATING JESUS: HOW MODERN SCHOLARS DISTORT THE GOSPELS (0830833188) examines New Testament writings and why the majority of scholars do not and should not accept a range of claims, from Jesus' involvement with Mary Magdalene to his possible connections with Gnostics. Chapters probe 'alien contexts', 'diminished deeds', and more in a study essential for any modern scholar of New Testament teachings.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Baen Books
PO Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471

Take suspense and blend it with science fiction using the short story format and you have a set of truly gripping adventures, as represented in Keith Laumer (Eric Flint, Editor)'s The Long Twilight and Other Stories (1416521097, $14.00). From a final combat between two forces in an uncontrolled experimental power plant that threatens Earth to a detective who is given devices to aid his investigation which seem far beyond any Earthly technology, this collection holds an outstanding selection of vivid plots and action, and is a top pick for any serious science fiction collection. Eric Flint's GRANTVILLE GAZAETTE III (1416509410, $25.00) continues the story of a small town from 20th century West Virginia which is hurled back in time to 17th century Europe. Here's a collection of new stories – including a new one by creator Eric Flint himself – which provides a series of encounters based on this premise, from American teens who change history through financial efforts to a woman who seeks sanctuary within Grantville's world. As a strong novel of alternate history/fantasy, it's a winner. Steve White & Shirley Meier's EXODUS (1416520988, $26.00) offers up a fine sequel to THE SHIVA OPTION, and fans of this prior book will be the most likely enthusiasts for its ongoing saga. Here decades have passed and the original warriors of the 'battle against the bugs' have grown complacent. How can they win against aliens who know they will be reincarnated when they die? Fast action and gripping drama makes EXODUS a pick for any who enjoyed THE SHIVA OPTION. David Weber's OATH OF SWORDS (1416520864, $15.00) tells of one Bahzell Bahnakson, part of a race renowned for uncontrolled rages and inability to be civilized. Add in a vengeful prince, a hostage bond, and interference with a war God's agenda and you have a fast-paced fantasy packed with plenty of 'sword and sorcery' action perfect for fantasy lending libraries.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

To Die Well
Sidney Wanzer, MD & Joseph Glenmullen, MD
Da Capo Press
c/o Perseus Books Group
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
0738210838, $24.00 1-800-242-7737

TO DIE WELL: YOUR RIGHT TO COMFORT, CALM, AND CHOICE IN THE LAST DAYS OF LIFE comes from a leader in the right-to-die movement, and a Harvard Medical School psychiatrist who offer insights on turning points in a dying patient's life: one when no reasonable expectation of a cure is possible, the second involving hastening death – the subject of this book. TO DIE WELL focuses on patient rights, physician involvement, and how to stay in control of advance directives. It promises to be an essential addition not just for medical libraries, but for general-interest collections.

The World History Shelf

Cities of the Middle East and North Africa
Michael R.T. Dumper & Bruce Stanley, Editors
Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911]
1576079198, $95.00

CITIES OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA: A HISTORICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA is a top pick for the high school to college-level collection where courses in Middle Eastern or North Africa are given. A full overview of each city's historical path offers a depth of coverage not seen in more general titles, examining everything from local politics to local culture and blending in debates and controversies on every issue affecting each city. Over fifteen academic contributors from around the world lend insights to an outstanding reference.

Scourge of the Seas
Angus Konstam
Osprey Publishing
443 park Avenue South, New York NY 10016
1846032113, $24.95

Scourge of the Seas: Buccaneers, Pirates and Privateers examines the myths and realities of pirate life, examining the stories of adventure on the seas, the biographies of practicing pirates throughout history, and considering pirate ships and vivid battles alike. Other books on pirate history may offer the same viewpoint with a less detailed perspective: SCOURGE OF THE SEAS covers not just events and personalities, but is packed with details about ships, weaponry, codes of behavior, and holds plenty of color photos throughout. A top pick for collections seeking more than a casual coverage.

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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