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The Bookwatch

Volume 10, Number 5 May 2015 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice American History Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Music Shelf Education Shelf Art Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Literary Studies Shelf Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Travel Shelf Nautical Shelf
Political Science Shelf Computer Shelf Automotive Shelf
Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf Audiobook Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Social Issues Shelf Terrorism Studies Shelf Business Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Interior Design Shelf Science Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Judicial Studies Shelf Genealogy Shelf
Women's Studies Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

American Ghost
Hannah Nordhaus
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062249210 $25.99

American Ghost: A Family's Haunted Past in the Desert Southwest is difficult to easily categorize: at once a memoir, a journey, a history and with a dash of the supernatural, it weaves the story of the author's attempts to understand her own family history with insights on the American Southwest and the Jewish immigrant population that contributed to its culture. The different focuses keep this from being easily categorized but makes it accessible to a wide audience as the author/journalist searches for her great-great-grandmother's past and documents the ghost that haunts their lives in the present. The result is a lively and compelling read that any general interest library should have.

The American History Shelf

Gateway to Freedom
Eric Foner
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393244076 $26.95

Gateway to Freedom: the Hidden History of the Underground Railroad offers new information that you'd think would already be widely available - but it's not as clear as in this book, which comes from a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian that charts just how strong the resistance to slavery was in the North. The story centers on New York City, strongly pro-slavery at the time, and follows the work of an abolitionist newspaperman whose undercover work made a big difference in the resistance movement. Also included is Gay's Record of Fugitives, a document the author unearthed from the Columbia University archives, which charted how the underground railroad in NYC actually worked in the 1850s. No light overview, this is an in-depth saga that pairs personal stories of escaped slaves with inquiry into their movements and histories in a remarkable work of investigative reporting that should be in any American history collection.

The Great Divide
Thomas Fleming
DaCapo Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
9780306821271 $27.99

The Great Divide: The Conflict Between Washington and Jefferson that Defined a Nation moves beyond the usual historical approach to early American history that centers on the nation's conflicts with Great Britain to investigate the animosity between two key Founding Fathers of the nation, Jefferson - who supported the French Revolution - and Washington, who was opposed to its violence. Their debates centered not just around this issue, but around the presidency itself - and the effects of their intense conflict can still be felt today. The Great Divide analyzes their points of difference and considers why they became enemies. It offers an intriguingly personal viewpoint of events and politics and makes sense of the nation's courses of action. No American history holding should be without this analysis.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Art Quilts of the Midwest
Linzee Kull Mccray
University of Iowa Press
119 West Park Road, Iowa City, IA 52242-1000
9781609383237 $24.95

Art Quilts of the Midwest comes from a writer covering textiles, arts and crafts, and focuses on fiber artists who were influenced by Midwestern themes and settings. The artists featured here have chosen to represent the Midwest in their works, offering quilts that reflect the atmospheres and themes of the area and offering a quilt art collection packed with not just diverse scenery, but diverse approaches to capturing the Midwest. From an artist who photographs old fabrics to one who uses metals and mesh in her quilts reflecting her jewelry-making heritage, this is a unique and lively survey especially recommended for Midwest quilters and artists.

Martingale & Company
19021 Avenue NE, Bothell, WA 98011

Connie Kauffman's Little Gem: 15 Paper-Pieced Miniature Quilts (9781604685114 $24.99) offers designs that lend to 12" square pieces and projects that can be quilted on a home machine using fat quarters, and excels in productions that are quick and easy using paper piecing to its maximum effect. Other quilting books have dealt with larger productions: the advantage of this book lies in its small size, which encourages trying different techniques without a large investment of time or money. Patterns, color photos of projects, step-by-step details on assembly and finishing - all these succeed in using the small project concept to both teach basics and streamline potentially complex topics. The result will particularly delight newcomers to paper piecing and quilting. Natalie Barnes works with Angela Walters on A Modern Twist: Create Quilts with a Colorful Spin (9781604684995, $24.99), a survey that comes from a corporate interior designer working for a global design and architectural firm. Her unique focus comes not from the needlework world but from a different approach and thus her quilting creations offers twists on simple blocks to create different, modern designs. Patterns for quilts, table runners, wall hangings, storage boxes and more take the quilt concept beyond the bed while her designs show how to use color and contrast to create new designs, making this a pick for quilters looking for something refreshingly different. Maaike Bakker's Cups and Saucers (9781604685329, $24.99) teaches how to use block patterns to create paper-pieced quilts with kitchen designs, and uses ten projects to teach these basics. Photos pack in ideas for these quilts while full-page patterns and materials lists, cutting and assembly instructions make for specific guides quilters of all levels can easily follow. The result is a collection especially recommended for any who want to produce lively kitchen-oriented quick gifts.

The Cookbook Shelf

Ruhlman's How to Braise
Michael Ruhlman
Little, Brown & Company
c/o Hachette Book Group
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9780316254137 $25.00

Ruhlman's How to Braise: Foolproof Techniques and Recipes for the Home Cook pairs clear close-up color photos throughout by Donna Turner Ruhlman with very specific insights on the exacting process of understanding the braise technique, and is a 'must' for would-be chefs who would understand the basics of how to braise different kinds of meats. This is the second book in Ruhlman's 'How To' series and covers everything from tools and pantry staples to the process of braising and even the history of the braise. At the end of the 'course in a book' cooks at all levels will understand how braising works, why it's important, and how to use various methods with various ingredients for superior results. Most 'how to' cook's titles don't include much history, and most are wider-ranging. By narrowing his scope to a particular technique, Ruhlman produces a winning approach that will appeal to all levels of home cooks and invites them with recipes making the most of the braise.

The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Family Cookbook
Susan O'Brien
DaCapo Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
9780738217482 $17.99

The Gluten-Free Vegetarian Family Cookbook: 150 Healthy Recipes for Meals, Snacks, Sides, Desserts, and More offers a more specific focus than most gluten-free cookbooks, narrowing menus to vegetarian cooking and including the desserts and snacks which usually are particularly challenging in a gluten-free diet. It comes from a gourmet cook and healthy-eating coach who has developed over a hundred dishes for every meal, and who focuses on complex-carb, high-protein choices that make for better nutrition. These are surprisingly quick and easy to produce, rely on homemade staples rather than store-bought, expensive substitutes for gluten, and include allergy-friendly, kid-approved options. Add a centerfold of color photos and you have a real winner.

Lake Isle Press
2095 Broadway, Suite 301, New York, NY 10023

Vikas Khanna and Andrew Blackmore-Dobbyn's Return to the Rivers: Recipes and Memories of the Himalayan River Valleys (9781891105531, $35.00) is more than another Himalayan cookbook: it evolved from a chance meeting of author Khanna with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, which sent the author on a series of journeys through the river valleys and on a sojourn of discovery into their culinary traditions. What evolved, here, was more than a recipe collection, but a probe into the people who shared their foods and friendship with the author. Color photos throughout accompany text describing food and culture alike, making for a presentation that will intrigue any interested in Himalayan history and peoples. Coverage also includes the regions the Himalayans touched - Bhutan, Nepal, and northern India - and the dishes come from family traditions, so enhance a book that combines a travelogue, a culinary history, and a cultural exploration all under one cover. An abundance of full-page color photos throughout makes for a real winner. Camilla V. Saulsbury's Power Hungry; The Ultimate Energy Bar Cookbook (9781891105548, $16.95) offers recipes and variations for over 150 protein bars, granola bars, and more, and offers recipes that are soy-free and easily adaptable to gluten-free and vegan diets. The fact that these bars can be so easily customized, can be frozen in batches, and focus on proteins and quick, easy preparation techniques makes this a promising addition to any busy cook's collection.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Point of Origin
Laird Scranton
Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620554449 $16.95

Point of Origin: Gobekli Tepe and the Spiritual Matrix for the World's Cosmologies should be in the collection of any reader of new age ancient mysteries and cultures spirituality, and focuses on the carved images on Gobekli Tepe's stone pillars and how their symbols relate to ancient images from Egyptians, Tibetans, and Chinese. It addresses the question of how many ancient cultures have similar creation myths and ideas, it reveals evidence for a long-forgotten primal culture in Turkey, and identifies this as the source of all great civilizations and their wisdom. Any interested in Dogon mythology and symbolism in general and Gobekli in particular will find Point of Origin a treasure trove of detail that actually resolves many mysteries surrounding ancient cultures.

Paradigm Busters
J. Douglas Kenyon, Editor
Red Wheel Weiser
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
9780990690405 $16.95

Paradigm Busters: Beyond Science, Lost History, Ancient Wisdom gathers articles that consider the origins of beliefs and wisdom, and the sacred paradigms that serve as the foundation of ancient mysteries, future science, and the ongoing unexplained of the world. It selects works form the pages of Atlantis Rising Magazine: some thirty articles by world researchers who consider new visions of legends, new perspectives on ancient mysteries, and close encounters with the types of mysteries that can bring enlightenment under the right circumstances - and with the right perspectives, as illustrated here. The result is a wide-reaching collection that will delight any with a special interest in new age topics and old mysteries that challenge modern thinking patterns and long-held assumptions.

Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125

Diane Brandon's Dream Interpretation for Beginners: Understand the Wisdom of Your Sleeping Mind (9780738741918, $15.99) provides a different kind of mind/body approach in arranging a comprehensive plan for interpreting all dreams to gain wisdom from their inner meaning. Under Brandon's hand, dreams can be used for different purposes: recollection, precognitive applications, health and healing, and even to communicate with a higher being. There are plenty of books offering formula dream interpretation approaches; but few show how to apply dream interpretation to wider problem-solving methods. Deborah Blake's Everyday Witchcraft: Making Time for Spirit in a Too-Busy World (9780738742182, $16.99) is for Pagan readers who want a specific path to incorporate a spiritual practice into everyday life using just a few minutes per week. It's simple, it's packed with ideas for such approaches, and it covers everything from how to make a home into a magickal place and work with higher beings on a daily basis to creating five-minute rituals and daily mini-divinations to make Witchcraft an accessible, easy, flexible practice. The prerequisite here is a prior interest in practicing witchcraft and some basic knowledge: the rest is provided in a specific book for busy new age readers. Alexandra Chauran's 365 Ways to Develop Your Psychic Ability: Simple Tools to Increase Your Intuition and Clairvoyance (9780738739304, $16.99) is for newcomers to the idea of intuitive development, and teaches how to master one's psychic potentials using 365 fast methods. The course begins with easy observation and moves into trance and divination techniques, with each step receiving guided insights that readers can easily customize for their own circumstances and needs. From simple meditation to learning how to perform readings, these exercises build skills and make for a fine collection of basic tools any psychic at any skills level will find useful.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Eldership and the Mission of God
J.R. Briggs & Bob Hyatt
IVP Praxis
c/o InterVarsity Press
PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 605151426
9780830841189 $17.00

Eldership and the Mission of God: Equipping Teams for Faithful Church Leadership comes from two church leaders who provide a portrait of elders as community leaders, discussing how churches can benefit from elder teams that attend to church and community alike. Such a team should represent the good in church interactions to each other, the church, and the community. They should be focused on the mission God has given to the church and aware that their leadership styles and choices reflect this mission. Any church elder looking for insights on team leadership strategies will appreciate this survey.

Nonviolent Action
Ronald J. Sider
Brazos Press
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9781587433665 $19.99

Nonviolent Action: What Christian Ethics Demands But Most Christians Have Never Really Tried considers how the basic tenants of nonviolent actions have applied to Christian behaviors and belief systems, and blends scholarly insights with social inspection of how Christians think about poverty and action. This isn't directed to a particular political or social group: conservatives and liberals alike need be united only in Christian perspective to appreciate the ideological examinations and focus on nonviolent approaches that this book emphasizes. Packed with analysis of Christian beliefs and social translations, it will interest any Christian thinker.

Blindsided by God
Peter Chin
Bethany House Publishers
11400 Hampshire Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55438
9780764212925 $14.99

Blindsided by God: Disappointment, Suffering, and the Untamable Goodness of God tells of how the author moved his family into an inner-city neighborhood to begin a church. In just a few months the family experienced a miscarriage, a robbery, a breast cancer diagnosis, and the termination of their health insurance. Why would God allow all this to happen to a person of faith? The answers in Blindsided by God come from a spiritual thinker who applies analysis to the harder questions about faith and God, and offers a blend of humor, insights, and exploration of how suffering links to God's purposes. The result is a powerful account highly recommended for any spirituality collection and for readers asking their own questions about God's purposes in allowing suffering in the world.

The Music Shelf

The Living Years: The First Genesis Memoir
Mike Rutherford
Thomas Dunne Books
c/o St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781250060686 $25.99

The Living Years: The First Genesis Memoir is a recommended pick for any rock music listener and offers an intriguing story of how Genesis grew from being a school band to becoming world stars. Author Mike Rutherford was the group's leader and impetus for success, so he's in the perfect position to tell the story of Genesis and his own band, Mike and the Mechanics. From his own autobiography of his influences and family to how Genesis evolved, this memoir is rich in detail and offers many candid observations that could only have come from a band member; not an outside reporter. With a lively tone and approach that captures all details, this is a memoir that does more than provide autobiography: it captures a successful band's rise and the atmosphere of the rock music industry as a whole. Any popular music collection will find it a compelling, involving saga.

The Education Shelf

Loving Learning
Tom Little and Katherine Ellison
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393246162 $26.95

Loving Learning: How Progressive Education Can Save America's Schools comes from an educator and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who offer keys to understanding how students can become lifelong learners, and surveys over forty progressive schools across the country in an effort to uncover their techniques. These educators and schools allow their curriculum to grow out of children's questions and natural curiosity, and encourage a cross-disciplinary approach to learning that encourages imaginative thinking and problem-solving solutions. The result is a powerful focus that should be a staple reference in any educator's collection: one that doesn't consider education's beginning and end, but its ongoing possibilities for all ages.

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

Janice Bradley's Designing Schools for Meaningful Professional Learning (9781483339221 $27.00) advocates a professional earning program that makes a difference in the quality of teaching, and shows educators how to adopt a collaborative approach to working with faculty to design and implement professional learning routines tailored to a school's unique environment. Chapters are specific in connecting professional learning with practices that have been researched and proven to have the greatest effect on classroom development, and also include lessons from schools that have implemented the author's methodology. The result is a powerful set of insights, guidelines, and approaches that goes far beyond ideals to provide the nuts and bolts of professional learning development, its applications, and its potential for customization. Susan Janssen Creighton,'s Bringing Math Students into the Formative Assessment Equation: Tools and Strategies for the Middle Grades (9781483350103, $36.95) provides teachers with keys to implementing formative assessment in the middle school math environment, and offers teachers a research-based, classroom-tested guide that shows how to implement routines that help students monitor and assess their own progress. This approach takes some of the guidance pressure away from the teacher and places it in the realm of student control. Chapters pair real-world case histories from math teachers with resources and models for success, offering chapters on gathering evidence, using formative feedback, developing different kinds of resources both within and outside the classroom, and more. The result is a powerful survey teachers and students will find specific and useful for moving formative learning to a new level, empowering students in their own educational direction. Sameer Hinduja and Justin W. Patchin's Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard (9781483349930, $29.95) provides the second edition of a 'bible' on cyberbullying and prevention, and provides educators and parents with a powerful collection of practical strategies for addressing cyberbullying. The book's been updated with new research and best practices and includes summaries of the latest legal rulings on teens and technology, discussions of how schools can interact with students to thwart cyberbullying, and more. Leading experts provide the latest information on the topic and delve into psychological, legal and social aspects of cyberbullying in a 'must have' reference. Cary I. Sneider edits The Go-To Guide for Engineering Curricula Grades 6-8: Choosing and Using the Best Instructional Materials for your Students (9781483307374, $32.95) and offers descriptions of instructional materials especially created for and tested in middle school science classrooms. It's unusual to think of engineering applying to such a grade level, but science educator author Sneider has gathered a range of curriculum materials designed to support such concepts at an early age, and offers an accompanying table that leads readers to specific chapters for specific science education purposes. From how this works in a classroom setting to how integrating more emphasis on engineering and technology in the science curriculum will make for better prepared students, this collection of activities is a 'must' for any science teacher working with middle school grades.

The Art Shelf

Chinese Watercolor Journeys
Lian Quan Zhen
North Light Books
c/o F+W Media
1140 Broadway, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10001
9781440339219 $45.00

Chinese Watercolor Journeys covers all kinds of paintings, from landscapes and people to animals, and offers lovely paintings in both Chinese and Western styles to help readers contrast and differentiate between the two. It pairs the artist author's tips and stories with discussions of techniques and influences, accompanying this with an oversized presentation of full-color, full-page images for maximum impact. While the result is recommended primarily for crafts collections where aspiring artists will find the book packed with a wealth of insights and material on how to duplicate the Chinese style in art, it's also a recommended pick for arts holdings depicting works from China.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Castaway Planet
Eric Flint and Ryk E. Spoor
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781476780276 $25.00

Castaway Planet: A Crash Course in Survival tells of Sakura Kimei and her family and best friend, who are stranded light years from any known world when their lifeboat brings them to a strange planet shrouded in secrets. There are many traps on this planet, and even a secret that could kill them all before they even land. Readers who enjoy sagas of survival will relish this survey, which is a kind of Swiss Family Robinson with an interplanetary twist, and just as packed with the unexpected!

The Literary Studies Shelf

The Uncanny Reader
Marjorie Sandor, Editor
St. Martins Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781250041715 $21.99

The Uncanny Reader: Stories from the Shadows isn't your usual collection of horror short stories, but a literary presentation that gathers the works of such writers as H.P. Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Joan Aiken and others - some of the best of 19th and 20th-century writers - and focuses on tales of the 'uncanny'. By this it is meant quasi-supernatural forces are involved; but if readers expect straightforward modern horror devices, it's refreshing to note that something different is happening, here. Writers come from around the world, many have made their names to the point that their works have sparked genre contributions in a similar vein, and all provide stories that are remarkably diverse in nature and well-crafted literary pieces in and of themselves. The Uncanny Reader is thus a special recommendation for fans of the supernatural who want more plot development, characterization and literary devices than your usual supernatural short story can offer: in short, something exceptionally well-crafted that earns the subtlety of 'uncanny' versus the obvious 'supernatural' name.

A Tale of Monstrous Extravagance
Tomson Highway
University of Alberta Press
Ring House 2, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6G 2E1
9781772120417 $10.95

A Tale of Monstrous Extravagance comes from a playwright, pianist and storyteller who considers the various cultural communities that have influenced his works, from Latin and French to Cree and Spanish, and draws intriguing connections between music and literature. From linguists and Cree tales to making multilingualism cross borders and hearts, A Tale of Monstrous Extravagance provides a very short, literary collection of insights and will be especially powerful as a recommendation for prior Tomson Highway followers.

The Fiction Shelf

Kings and Emperors
Dewey Lambdin
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781250030061 $25.99

Kings and Emperors presents an Alan Lewrie naval adventure in the style of C.S. Forester and O'Hara's sagas, and is a pick for any who enjoy seafaring protagonists and interactions between captions, kings, and patriots on the high seas. Here are encounters between Royal Navy Captain Alan Lewrie and his schemes for raids and a changing world which reduces his command to subsistence and survival encounters. Here are uprisings and Lewrie's involvement in a new job that depends on political associations and war. And here, also, are vivid scenes of battles between dukes, British armies, and various competing forces that place Lewrie's ships squarely in the center of contention. Any who enjoy good military seafaring confrontations will love the action in Kings and Emperors.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Perfect Game
Leslie Dana Kirby
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave., #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781464201752 $24.95

The Perfect Game tells of Lauren Rose, who has moved to Phoenix to begin a new life by starting up an emergency medicine residence, but who could wind up doing life in the Arizona State penitentiary instead when her sister is found murdered in her home. Lauren is all alone in a strange city so her sister's husband Jake's support becomes key to her world as they both share grief and lives. The case is about to get even stickier in this story of baseball involvements and close encounters with death, highly recommended for mystery fans who also love baseball.

The Travel Shelf

Chasing Arizona
Ken Lamberton
University of Arizona Press
355 South Euclid Avenue, Suite 103, Tucson, AZ 85719-6654
9780816528929 $19.95

Chasing Arizona: One Man's Yearlong Obsession with the Grand Canyon State follows the author's idea of visiting fifty-two places in fifty-two weeks, a plan which covers all the scenic and many of the manmade attractions of the state, and is suitable both as an armchair read and for destination planning. Lamberton drove his Kia Rio over bridges, through tunnels, across deserts and more. He saw the state via car and on foot, encountered many locals and tried to experience as varied a cross-section of Arizona as possible. While Chasing Arizona may feel a little frantic at times, such is the fast pace of a storyteller who succeeds in capturing the sights, sounds, and flavors of what makes the state unique. The result is a rollicking good guide, filled with Arizona facts, history, and cultural encounters and perfect for any who are more than casually interested in the 'Grand Canyon State'.

Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street, Oakland CA 94607

Andrea Schulte-Peevers's Berlin (9781743213926 $24.99) is the guide of choice recommended for any independent traveler who wants to organize a trip to the city, and offers a range of special features, form how to see the Berlin Wall to the other historical sites of the city. Color maps accompany detailed coverage of Berlin's culture and arts, with candid assessments of where to stay and what to eat providing the basic essentials. The meat of the guide is, however, on the many cultural opportunities Berlin offers: it's here that the guide shines. Between the numerous small maps and candid assessments of attractions, Berlin is a 'must' take-along tote for any destination traveler who plans to focus on the city's attractions. Virginia Maxwell's Istanbul (9781743214770, $21.99) is also a solid take-along guide for independent travelers looking to make the most of the city, and pairs a pull-out map with descriptions of both top sights and byways in the area. A centerfold of color photos accompanies a travel guide format that includes small maps and detailed, destination-oriented ideas on where to stay, what to eat, and more. The result is a solid planner's guide especially recommended for those heading to Istanbul.

The Nautical Shelf

The Cruising Guide to the Virgin Islands, 17th edition
Nancy & Simon Scott
Cruising Guide Publications
1130 Pinehurst Road, Suite D, Dunedin, FL 34698
9780944428986 $33.95

Lay-flat binding with opposing spine lettering for both easy tabletop consultation and filing, an attention to marinas, things to do, and places to stay in the Virgin Islands, and details on watersports and diving make this 17th updated edition of the region a sailor's delight. The tips are specific and so destination-bound sailors and cruisers, whether via yacht or sailboat, will be the most likely adventurers attracted to this take-along tote, which is a 'must' for any cruiser planning a stopoff or layover in the Virgin Islands.

The Political Science Shelf

Globalization and Culture
Jan Nederveen Pieterse
Rowman & Littlefield
4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781442222557 $26.95

Globalization and Culture: Global Melange discusses issues of race which are often overlooked in wider-ranging surveys of globalization and its possibilities, offering a more complex analysis that should be considered key to any political studies course. Cultural challenges involved in blending perspectives, worldviews and political structures are too often tagged onto the end of a political survey: here, it's at the forefront, offering an argument that cultural mixing is resulting in a global melange culture and considering common arguments surrounding hybridization. The result is a 'must' for any considering political and social global issues.

The Computer Shelf

The Java Tutorial, sixth edition
Raymond Gallardo,
Addison Wesley
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780134034089 $54.99

The sixth updated edition of The Java Tutorial: A Short Course on the Basics is based on the Java Platform, Standard Edition, and introduces all the new features of this program from lambda expressions and aggregate operations to building basic applets and applications. Further updates on security issues, guidelines for applications, deployment best practices, and more do more than provide suggestions: they represent material that's been thoroughly reviewed by members of Oracle Java engineering to assure accuracy, and provides a powerful survey that can be used as both a classroom text and for independent study by programmers who have some basics under their belt, but look for specific Java improvements and the latest incarnations of the program and its applications. More so than most Java tutorials, it holds the ability to reach a wide audience of programmer at various skills levels.

Learn Ruby the Hard Way, third edition
Zed A. Shaw
Addison Wesley
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780321884992 $39.99

Learn Ruby the Hard Way appears in its third updated edition - and the first thing a programmer will likely wonder is why learning should be 'hard'. In fact, it shouldn't be, as this guide points out with its simple introduction to Ruby coding. This is more than an overview of Ruby basics: it creates and promotes an actual system for learning it, and nearly guarantees success. Over fifty exercises invite readers to type code (not copy and paste it), teaching by example and showing users how to fix mistakes, understand how code runs programs, and how to tell the difference between good coding and software and bad. Everything centers upon Ruby's symbols, keywords, variables, functions, and logic - but it's all related in the form of coding instructions that embed typical professional programming tricks and tips into the mix. The result is a 'must' for any who would take the time to learn Ruby by example.

The Automotive Shelf

Corvette: Seven Generations of American High Performance
Randy Leffingwell
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9780760346631 $50.00

Corvette: Seven Generations of American High Performance provides a weighty, oversized, picture-laden history of the Corvette and its seven generations and is a 'must' for any collection strong in sports car design in general and the Corvette in particular. Its story covers the original concept car and how it came to evolve into the modern top-performing Stingray, and considers not only the car's design but its participation in various racing and marketing circles, its engineers and their efforts, and the facets that made the Corvette's design stand out from any other. Gorgeous color photos on every page mark a history unparalleled and essential for any car enthusiast.

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Paolo Rivera
Eric Nolen-Weathington
TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive, Raleigh, NC 27614
9781605490601 $15.95

Paolo Rivera joins others in the 'Modern Masters' series and provides a survey of an award-winning artist who grew up in his parents' art store working with all kinds of mediums. His influence on pulp magazines and comic adventure writing provides the industry with major influences and changes, from his Guardians of the Galaxy illustrations to ongoing monthly sketches for Daredevil. As with others in the series, this survey relies heavily on interviews with Rivera to explore the artist's sentiments, influences, and contributions to the genre and thus provides a far more wide-ranging set of personal insights than a straight biographical format could offer, making this another 'must' for any graphic novel or comics history collection.

The Audiobook Shelf

Jessie Close with Pete Earley
Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9781478924524 $30.00

Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness includes a .pdf file of photos, appears in an unabridged audio narrated by Jessie and Glenn Close, and offers a riveting listen as it tells of addiction, destructive relationships, and family struggles. At a young age Jessie Close struggled with symptoms that would indicate she was bipolar - but she was undiagnosed until the age of fifty. Before that, her life was chaotic: from age fifteen and onward her mental illness lead he down a destructive road that included five failed marriages and suicide attempts. Her struggles to raise children under these conditions makes this a vivid story of how lives are lead and can even emerge triumphant from impossible odds.

The Buried Giant
Lazvo Ishiguro
Random House Audio Books
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 5th floor, New York, NY 10019
9780739371786 $40.00

The Buried Giant appears in an unabridged audio read by David Horovitch and presents a world in which the Romans have left and Britain is in decline. Two elderly Brits decide that now is a good time to find a missing son, and they set off on a cross-country journey in a dark time, joined by a Saxon warrior, a knight, and an orphan who are all lost and driven to the road. Their adventures and what they will uncover in a ravaged country lead to a powerful saga that simply comes alive in audio, under Horovitch's smooth and dramatic voice, in a recommendation for any who enjoy sagas involving journeys, history, and survival.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Raising Self-Esteem in Adults
Susan I. Buchalter
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849059664 $29.95

Raising Self-Esteem in Adults: An Eclectic Approach with Art Therapy, CBT and DBT Based Techniques packs in hundreds of techniques to help clients build self-awareness, and covers both established methods and new ideas for art therapists and those using art therapy techniques in their work. Unlike most approaches to therapy and creative art, this embraces a range of patients suffering from a range of disorders and focuses on how the exercises and techniques can help an adult improve their self esteem. Chapters of these exercises include materials lists, procedures and discussion suggestions and are specific in their approaches, making for a guide especially recommended for any therapist working with adults who wants a wider-ranging art therapy discussion than most can offer.

Denis Hayes & Gail Boyer Hayes
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393239942 $27.95

Cowed: The Hidden Impact of 93 Million Cows on America's Health, Economy, Politics, Culture, and Environment comes from two environmentalists who consider the history and politics behind cows, diaries, and beef, and goes beyond research as they visit farmers and ranchers across the nation who are choosing more profitable sustainable methods over large-scale, inhumane productions. It's a blend of health, social issues and travelogue and reinforces the different methods of raising cows and processing beef and dairy, and it considers environmental, health and ethical impacts alike in a guide packed with history and observation. It's the inclusion of the sections on profitable business management combining more humane approaches with a better bottom line that makes Cowed an exceptional work, recommended for health, environmental and social issues holdings alike, and it promises to reach well beyond these audiences into general-interest readers.

The Food Babe Way
Vani Hari
Little, Brown & Company
c/o Hachette Book Group
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9780316376564 $27.00

The Food Babe Way focuses on hidden toxins in food and how to lose weight by identifying and avoiding them, and is a recommendation for any who would understand the ongoing link between food choices and health. The author's mission in life is to live an organic, healthy lifestyle and to identify over processed, contaminated foods in the process of creating a better diet. In the pursuit of this goal, she reveals many startling facts - such as typical fast food French fries contain a chemical used in Silly putty, or that fruit sprayed with pesticides could be triggering one's body to store fat. So even when you think you're eating healthy by imbibing fruit and vegetables, the message here is that eaters must not only choose better products, but know what goes into those they do pick. From understanding 'super foods' that jump start metabolism and don't add fats to the body to detox programs, The Food Babe Way is packed with keys to understanding food's link to overall health, and ways in which these connections can go awry.

Body of Truth
Harriet Brown
DaCapo Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
9780738217697 $25.99

Body of Truth: How Science, History, and Culture Drive Our Obsession with Weight - and What We Can Do About It considers the myth of the obesity epidemic and explains how the rationale behind it involves locating 'weight scapegoats' in one's diet and then targeting them for elimination. Chapters provide historical insights on definitions of fat and obesity, consider the health and social issues revolving around weight, and examine the realities behind popular myths about weight and health connection. The result is more than a health guide: it's an important consideration for any social issues shelf and blends science, history and health in an examination of changing precedents for body image.

Less Medicine More Health
Dr. H. Gilbert Welch
Beacon Press
24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210
9780807071649 $24.95

Less Medicine More Health: 7 Assumptions That Drive Too Much Medical Care moves far beyond medical books that caution about treatments, into the arena of what drives medical treatments and how to watch for the early warning signs that medical care may be getting out of hand. While some struggle with too little treatment, too many people are being tested and exposed to harmful testing side-effects for diseases they don't have or treatments they can't benefit from. Dr. H. Gilbert Welch questions the strong connections between maintaining wellness and seeking medical care, and tackles common assumptions that encourage overuse and inappropriate solutions to non-existent problems. The result is a powerful survey that asks important questions of patients and doctors alike, making for solid food for thought on the entire process.

The Social Issues Shelf

Data and Goliath
Bruce Schneier
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393244816 $27.95

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World provides a powerful survey that outlines how personal identity and behavior patterns are monitored via computer and popular programs. From Google's ability to store search parameters and Facebook's hold on all photos and stories 'liked' or clicked on to how data is gathered from cell phones, this pairs data-gathering practices with political and philosophical arguments surrounding public privacy and security issues, making for an exploration which covers all kinds of data gathering implications and techniques. Any concerned about privacy and information need to look at this.

Katie Cappiello and Meg McInerey, Editors
The Feminist Press
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9781558618701 $18.95

Slut: A Play and Guidebook for Combating Sexism and Sexual Violence offers a guidebook for any who would work with teens and young adults as they navigate sex and scapegoating that targets females and evokes abusive power plays, and provides a powerful account of how violence against women evolves. Stories of assault in the queer community, conflicts between men and women of color, how rape culture is prevalent and hammered into consciousness, and how the sexuality of young people is assaulted and defined, this is a candid, wide-ranging and hard-hitting analysis highly recommended for any concerned about how sexual violence propagates in American society.

The Terrorism Studies Shelf

ISIS Exposed
Erick Stakelbeck
Regnery Publishing, Inc.
One Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001
9781621573777 $29.99

ISIS Exposed: Beheadings, Slavery, and the Hellish Reality of Radical Islam provides a powerful history of ISIS, where it came from, and why it's campaigning revolution, using beheadings as a tactic. Governments and media seem surprised by ISIS, and its real motives and operations appear shrouded in mystery. This book goes beyond a history to probe why the Islamic State appeals to Western youth, how it differs from Al-Qaeda, and how ISIS terrorists have been conducting kidnappings and beheadings even on American soil. It comes from the authority and research of an investigative reporter on terrorism and national security issues, as well as a news show host, and it provides a powerful strategy for understanding and defeating the Islamic State. The result is a recommendation for any collection strong in modern terrorist history and culture.

The Business Shelf

Ignite Calm
Debra J. Snyder, PhD
NorLights Press
762 State Road 458, Bedford, IN 47421
9780990686224 $15.95

Ignite Calm: Achieving Bliss in Your Work offers something different to new age readers and self-help or business thinkers; the opportunity to apply some of the basic tenants of mindful thinking to the business world. It's for any who want a set of lessons, exercises and techniques that specifically apply to the work environment, and it promotes identifying and breaking negative habits and uncovering new ways of igniting calm in life. The focus on professional lives, purposes, and common struggles specific to the work environment make for a survey specific and useful to businesspeople who are already on a path of self-improvement and enlightenment.

The Self-Help Shelf

Refine! Don't Retire
Ken Blanchard & Morton Shaevitz
Berrett-Koehler Publishers
1333 Broadway, Suite 1000, Oakland CA, 94612
9781626563339 $22.95

Refine! Don't Retire: Make the Rest of Your Life the Best of Your Life invites readers to make their lives more meaningful than ever before, even while aging, and invites people to see their later years as a time for exiting new opportunities. It's not a time for withdrawing; it's a time for embracing the world - and these chapters tell of Larry and Janice Sparks, who use each day as an opportunity to locate and embrace new experiences. From building relationships to mental stimulation, chapters use these stories to demonstrate how attitude can not only make a difference, but can transform lives.

The Interior Design Shelf

Ai Weiwei Architecture
Caroline Klein, Editor
Scheidweilerstr. 69, Germany
9783942597012 $35.00

Ai Weiwei Architecture offers a monograph of the artist's designs, influenced by the culture and structures of Asia, and is a recommendation for collections strong in Asian architectural traditions. It documents the extent of his works, creates a series of visual displays and insights that place Weiwei in cultural and artistic perspective, and will especially appeal to prior fans of his work who have not had an opportunity to view all his creations under one cover. Like America's Frank Lloyd Wright, his works reflect a sense of place while offering an artistic difference, making them unique and appealing for any with an architectural background and an interest in extraordinary, unusual works.

The Science Shelf

Island on Fire
Alexandra Witze & Jeff Kanipe
Pegasus Books
80 Broad Street, 5th Floor, New York, NY 10004
9781605986746 $26.95

Island on Fire: The Extraordinary Story of a Forgotten Volcano That Changed the World tells of the Iceland volcano Laki, which erupted in 1783 and covered the region in a poisonous fog and caused deaths of people as far away as the Nile. Surprisingly, there's been no other book out about the volcano before: this history covers its eruption, how it changed human history, and discusses the presence and possibilities of other 'super volcanoes' around the world. Were it just a story of one volcano, that would be engrossing enough: by including assessments and natural histories of others, this wide-ranging book holds the potential to appeal to a wide audience.

Collector's Guide to the Zeolite Group
Robert J. Lauf
Schiffer Publishing
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764346750 $19.99

Collector's Guide to the Zeolite Group might have been intended to reach mineral collectors, but it's also recommended here so that it reaches any with an interest in geology. The zeolite group is large and important to industry, and features crystals that are complex and important. Diagrams cover their structural features while the chemistry and taxonomy of the entire group is explored, along with discussions of the kinds of environments where zeolites are formed. Color photos pack the presentation, making this an important acquisition for collectors and rock and mineral enthusiasts alike!

The Orbital Perspective
Astronaut Ron Garan
Berrett-Koehler Publishers
1333 Broadway, Suite 1000, Oakland CA, 94612
9781626562462 $27.95

The Orbital Perspective: Lessons in Seeing the big Picture from a Journey of 71 Million Miles comes from an astronaut who lived on the International Space Station, and captures his experiences from space walks and Earth observations to how he worked alongside the Russians. The insights he gained from his experience reach beyond scientific circles and hold implications for business and social groups alike, exploring how he came to work with a diverse group in a small environment and how his development of an 'orbital perspective' can be applied to many scenarios here on Earth. While it's a pick for business and social issues collections alike, The Orbital Perspective is featured here because no science holding will want to miss this 'bigger picture' perspective from a scientist who reveals what it was like to live and work on the International Space Station.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

The Spotted Hyena
Hans Kruuk
Echo Point Books & Media, LLC
Brattleboro Business Park
22 Browne Court, Unit 100, Brattleboro, Vermont 05301
9781626549050 $21.95

The Spotted Hyena: A Study of Predation and Social Behavior provides a solid study recommended for college-level collections strong in African animals, and refutes the common notion of the spotted hyena as a scavenger. The behavior and ecology of these predators are analyzed with the author's personal research revealing, for the first time, that hyenas blend sophisticated hunting patterns with a living environment that can include communities of up to 80 animals. There are plenty of books about spotted hyenas which are largely light overviews; this science book includes charts, black and white photos, and yet cultivates a lively tone to make it accessible to any science buff - not just college-level readers of natural history studies. The result is an in-depth, comprehensive pick recommended for any fan of the spotted hyena.

The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth's Rarest Creatures
William DeBuys
Little, Brown & Company
c/o Hachette Book Group
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9780316232869 $27.00

The Last Unicorn: A Search for One of Earth's Rarest Creatures bears no relationship to the Peter Beagle fantasy of decades ago, but charts the author's quest to understand a new living species discovered in 1992 in a remote mountain range: the saola. A live saola had never been seen by a Westerner in the wild when nature writer deBuys and conservation biologist William Robichaud teamed up to search for it in central Laos. Their trek is a blend of science and adventure odyssey and chronicles a journey into one of the world's last remote places in search of a rare species with long horns. This vivid, engrossing story is a 'must' for any interested in natural history in general and adventure research in particular.

The Judicial Studies Shelf

Special Needs and Legal Entitlement
Melinda Nettleton and John Friel
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849055956 $35.00

Special Needs and Legal Entitlement: The Essential Guide to Getting Out of the Maze offers a guide to the legal rights of children and young people who have special educational needs, and considers all the latest legal processes and issues. It covers the new Education, Health and Care Plans which have replaced the Statements of Special Educational Needs, describes how annual reviews and amendments work, and considers over twenty of the common problems involved in special needs applications and scenarios. The result is a pick for parents or any who are working with special educational needs, who seek to understand the latest legislation.

The Genealogy Shelf

How to Do Everything: Genealogy, fourth edition
George G. Morgan
McGraw-Hill Education
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 45th Floor, New York, NY 10020
9780071845922 $25.00

The fourth updated edition of How to Do Everything: Genealogy teaches the basics of how to use online research to supplement traditional offline research approaches to family trees, and covers work with DNA records, social media, and more as well as global websites and resources. From how to work with all kinds of research databases and options to locating vital records anywhere in the world, tracking down military or property records, and accessing libraries online, this is packed with discussions of all the major genealogical record types and how to access them. Any looking for research family origins will find this a powerful survey packed with ideas for quicker, better research.

The Women's Studies Shelf

Women, Food, and Desire
Alexandra Jamieson
Gallery Books
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
9781476765044 $26.00

It's hard to easily categorize Women, Food, and Desire: Embrace Your Cravings, Make Peace with Food, Reclaim Your Body. It's obvious that health-oriented readers will want to consider its message; but then again, food aficionados will want to learn about the specific connections between women and food. The author is a transformational health expert who overcame her own food addictions and habits and came to understand how to listen to her cravings for underlying messages, so new age readers will appreciate her journeys, while women who want insights into the historic connections between females and food will find many social issues discussed in the course of reviewing health concerns and transformational routines. The result is a recommendation for a wide audience; and is thus suggested reading for general-interest collections, as well.

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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