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The Bookwatch

Volume 12, Number 5 May 2017 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Education Shelf Military Shelf
Biography Shelf Autism Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Computer Shelf Technology Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Sports Shelf Business Shelf
Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Art Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Continental Divide: A History of American Mountaineering
Maurice Isserman
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393353761, $18.95,

Continental Divide: A History of American Mountaineering tells of a history that began in 1642, with a man who became the first American mountaineer to scale Mount Washington - and who was labeled insane for his effort. Modern mountain climbing is a respected endeavor - but it wasn't always that way, as Continental Divide points out. Chapters consider traditional views of mountains and their scaling, providing a focus on American mountaineering and its four hundred year journey to being accepted. Especially fascinating to learn is how a fear of mountains and their unknown environments translated to a respect and then an admiration for them. Any general-interest library seeing interest in mountaineering as a sport or the American history of changing places and perceptions will find this an engrossing, enlightening read.

The Education Shelf

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

Alan Colburn's Learning Science By Doing Science (9781506344614, $32.95) takes classic science experiments and retools them to help teachers show kids how science really works, is directed to grades 3-8, and presents a primer on the process which guides teachers through the basics and development of scientific thinking processes. Chapters show how to take standard activities and adapt them to a given grade, demonstrate how to help kids understand the investigative process, and provide links to Next Generation Science Standards and best practices in science and engineering. Professional Standards for Educational Leaders: The Empirical, Moral, and Experiential Foundations by Joseph F. Murphy (9781506337487, $39.95) provides an introduction to the recently revised professional educational leadership standards and surveys each one. As it comes from the educational expert who devised the PSEL, it could not have better authority. Chapters discuss the leadership of learning, the professional ethics of educational leadership processes, norms of safety and the instructional potentials of school personnel, and more. Administrators, in particular, will find this a powerful survey. Nanci N. Smith's Every Math Learner: A Doable Approach to Teaching with Learning Differences in Mind, Grades K-5 (9781506340730, $36.95) packs in details for classroom videos, includes student work samples and surveys, templates for demonstrations, and more as it shows teachers how to encourage a math-strong classroom filled with order, engagement, and lesson ideas. From strategies to gauge classroom readiness using preassessment templates to applying proactive thinking decisions and crafting an inclusive classroom that encourages math applications, this is a 'must' for K-5 educators interested in building better classrooms. There's also a version of this book for grades 6-12 (9781506340746) which offers keys to success with secondary-level students and provides the basics structures, formative assessment techniques, and lesson plans specific to these grades. Classroom videos and student work examples and templates contribute to an invaluable collection of ideas. Veronica McDermott's We Must Say No to the Status Quo: Educators as Allies in the Battle for Social Justice (9781506345345, $32.00) considers the facets of injustice and privilege and the kinds of attitudes teachers can encourage as they face marginalization, racial and economic strife, and conflict in the school. Teachers can make a difference, as educator McDermott demonstrates - they just need tried-and-tested tools, which are presented here. From understanding the roots of bad policies to handling bullying in the school environment, this is a social action guide teachers need. H. Lynn Erickson, Lois A. Lanning and Rachel French's Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction for the Thinking Classroom (9781506355399) appears in its second updated edition to show teachers how to incorporate discipline and intellectual challenges into a classroom environment using the Structure of Knowledge and Process. Chapters apply this process to efforts to teachers make to engage students in critical thinking, offering lesson overviews and concepts, reviews of skill-based, two-dimensional learning experiences, and lesson plan overviews. Another fine educator's reference! Julie Stern,'s Tools for Teaching Conceptual Understanding Secondary (9781506353702, $25.00) focuses on Concept-Based teaching strategies and shows teachers how to help students discover and work with conceptual relationships in all kinds of settings. Included in the discussion are insights on what makes Concept-Based learning different and how to apply these strategies to deeper learning in a range of disciplines, making for an excellent primer for any educator interested in a concept-based approach.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Three new books are solid acquisitions for education collections looking for specific keys to success in early education and special education. Jacqui Burke's Building Your Early Years Business: Planning and Strategies for Growth and Success (9781785920592, $24.95) combines business concerns with early education in an unusual survey recommended for educators who would make a business from their passion of working with kids. Various ideas for an 'early years' business discuss management, financial, and marketing keys to understanding what parents seek from childcare, and how to best address these concerns while remaining profitable. Gavin Reid's Dyslexia in the Early Years: A Handbook for Practice (9781785920653, $22.95) combines research findings with discussions and guidelines for early years teachers and tells how to make a standard classroom more accessible for children with dyslexia. From adapting common classroom materials to using special resources and handling social and emotional development, this is filled with practical advice. Margaret D. Malpas, MBE's Self-Fulfilment with Dyslexia: A Blueprint for Success (9781785921988, $18.95) uses case studies and interviews with dyslexics who made themselves successful to outline the process of getting both life skills and the best potential from dyslexia's challenges, and is recommended for dyslexics and their supporters who would understand the paths to success.

The Military Shelf

Sioux Code Talkers of World War II
Andrea M. Page
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781455622436, $14.95,

Sioux Code Talkers of World War II is recommended for military, Native American, and American history holdings alike and adds to the story of Native American involvement during the war in exploring the little-known story of the code talkers of the Sioux tribe who, like the better-known Navajo, used native dialects to make and break code. Told by the great-niece of one of the Sioux code talkers, this survey outlines seven Sioux who set aside prejudice and lives to join the struggle against the Axis forces. It's a story that's long needed telling and this belongs in every American history or World War II collection.

The Chosen Few
Gregg Zoroya
DaCapo Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
9780306824838, $27.00,

The Chosen Few: A Company of Paratroopers and its Heroic Struggle to Survive in the Mountains of Afghanistan tells the story of a company nicknamed "Chosen Few" whose mission was to promote the Afghan government's influence in a remote region of the country. This seemingly-simple assignment would turn into fifteen months of deadly battles and one of the bloodiest encounters any US troops had faced. Official accounts and archive material lends to this coverage, which is enhanced by interviews with hundreds of members of the Chosen Company. The result is a vivid military story needed telling, which receives relatively little to no coverage elsewhere.

America's Needless Wars
David R. Contosta
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633882898, $24.00,

America's Needless Wars: Cautionary Tales of US Involvement in the Philippines, Vietnam, and Iraq is more than just a survey of military strategy in these wars and countries: it examines U.S. foreign policy by comparing events in three unrelated conflicts, considering what went wrong in each instance and how these mistakes can be avoided in the future. This comes from a historian who uses official hearings, media investigations, memoirs of those on all sides of the conflicts, and social, historical, and military accounts to provide a well-reasoned examination of these preventable, regrettable actions. No military or social issues reader should be without this.

The Biography Shelf

True Genius
Joel N. Shurkin
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633882232, $25.00,

True Genius: The Life and Work of Richard Garwin, The Most Influential Scientist You've Never Heard Of tells of a member of the Los Alamos team who created the final design of the hydrogen bomb, and who spent hundreds of hours trying to assure that nuclear weapons would not be used again. Aside from his involvement in nuclear bomb development, Garwin held many ideas for applying science to better living, from preventing flu epidemics to enabling interplanetary flight, and he also made powerful and often controversial scientific claims that landed him in trouble with fellow scientists. This book surveys his achievements, his controversial image, and some of the reasons why his name remains relatively obscure today, and is recommended for any collection where science history and scientists are of interest.

The Autism Shelf

An Adult with an Autism Diagnosis
Gillian Drew
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781785922466, $15.95,

An Adult with an Autism Diagnosis: A Guide for the Newly Diagnosed differs from many child-focused autism books on the market in that it uses the author's own experience with Asperger's Syndrome to provide insights into how autism changes adult relationships, perceptions, and world views. An adult newly diagnosed can achieve greater happiness post-diagnosis by understanding these challenges and coping with them more effectively. From a caution on living in a household of adults with mental difficulties to overcoming struggles with social situations, this is packed with practical advice on how to make the most of life.

A Parents' ABC of the Autism Spectrum
Stephen Heydt
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781785921643, $16.95,

A Parents' ABC of the Autism Spectrum uses a simple dictionary-like format to provide a quick reference in an alphabetical categorization of possible issues a child with autism might experience. Clinical psychologist Stephen Heydt translates a wealth of information into an easy at-a-glance format busy parents will relish with an approach that centers on the special problems of ASD, from handling diagnosis and label implications to understanding comprehensive assessment tools and neurological tests.

The Needlecraft Shelf

That Patchwork Place
c/o Martingale & Company
19021 - 120th Avenue NE, Suite 102, Bothell, WA 98011

These fine new quilt-making guides are top picks highly recommended for all levels of quilting skills. Brigitte Heitland's Zen Chic Inspired: A Guide to Modern Quilt Design (978160468697, $26.99) shows how to apply Zen principles to quilting by pairing a quilt's design with a living space. Chapters offer not only 12 patterns and a different approach that incorporates interior design into quilting, but are packed with color palettes and tips on selecting fabric appropriate for different rooms. Kim Diehl and Jo Morton's Simple Friendships: 14 Quilts from Exchange-Friendly Blocks (9781604687354, $28.99) comes from two authors who each have different quilting styles and who here provide samples and instructions for making small to medium quilts, including wall hangings and home decor. Quilts who hold an affinity for scrappy patchwork styles combined with applique will find this packed with new ideas for combining the two in a colorful collection of ideas highly recommended for quilters seeking new options. Carol Hopkins and Linda M. Koenig's The 4" x 5" Quilt-Block Anthology: 182 Blocks for Reproduction Fabrics (9781604688177, $29.99) tells how to gather reproduction fabrics and stitch blocks from them, encouraging mix and match quilts by providing 182 blocks that resize traditional squares into 4" x 5" squares. From quick assembly processes to understanding traditional designs and their options, this is a solid anthology recommended for any quilter who would work with reproduction fabrics.

The Computer Shelf

Operating Systems: An Introduction
R. Garg & G. Verma
Mercury Learning
PO Box 605, Herndon, VA 20172-0605
9781942270386, $54.95,

Operating Systems: An Introduction is organized to be a self-help workbook instructional text, and uses a step-by-step approach to clarify all the basics about operating systems and how they work. From PCs to mobile devices, this surveys different platforms and provides undergrad students in computer science with a survey that covers all the basics, contrasting different systems and their strengths. Chapters cover the latest versions of these systems, move from the basics to advanced operations, and include discussions of Linux and more, integrating quizzes and self-tests throughout to reinforce knowledge. Self-learners who excel from such methodical discussions will relish this book's organization and approach.

The Technology Shelf

Reflectionless Filters
Matthew A. Morgan
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
9781630813277, $139.00,

Reflectionless Filters provides engineers with a technical resource introducing various techniques for creating reflectionless filters at all frequencies, and consider their possibilities and applications in supply, amplification, and converter systems, among others. Chapters discuss the process of developing these filters and the science involved, including formulas and diagrams to support technical information throughout. From experimental results to direct application of various theories, this is a 'must' for any engineering reference library.

The Audiobook Shelf

Hachette Audio
1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104

Jean Charzky and Michael F. Roizen, MD with Ted Spiker's Age-Proof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip (9781478941132, $30.00) is narrated by Chatzky and Roizen and offers a series of insights gathered from the latest research on connections between health, wealth, and better aging. The link between better health and financial health is provided and then a series of strategies for catching up on both is surveyed in a discussion highly recommended for anyone interested in better lives. James Patterson and Emily Raymond's Humans, Bow Down (9781478909774, $35.00) is narrated by Tara Sands and is set after the great war, which the robots have won. A series of adventures and intriguing scenarios rival Isaac Asimov's themes and compliment many robot stories in a recommended listen for any robot sci-fi fan.

The Cookbook Shelf

Let's Cook Japanese Food!
Amy Kaneko
Weldon Owen
415 Jackson Street, San Francisco, CA 94111
9781681881775, $24.95,

Let's Cook Japanese Food! emphasizes everyday Japanese fare, not sushi, and so readers familiar with tempura and sushi might be surprised to see such dishes as Eggplant with Gingery Chicken, Miso-Flavored Ramen Noodle Soup with Corn & Butter, and Japanese-Style Sweet-&-Sour Pork. Color photos accompany these dishes and while access to a Japanese market for basics such as ginger juice, yakisoba noodles, or miso paste is recommended, the result is an enticing cookbook that expands the idea of what Japanese food can embrace.

Dinner Deja Vu
Jennifer Hill Booker
Pelican Publishing Company
1000 Burmaster Street, Gretna, LA 70053-2246
9781455622924, $28.95,

Dinner Deja Vu: Southern Tonight, French Tomorrow presents a refreshingly different idea - shop once for ingredients to make two meals: Southern one night and French the next - and provides an innovative approach that will delight cooks who like to produce international fare and who want fresh ideas that rely on the same ingredients. One example is a Blue Crab & Artichoke dish and an Artichoke & Crab Souffle. Another is Pulled Pork with Peppered Vinegar and a dish of Pork Rillettes. The Southern-born cook learned French cooking at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Paris: her dual dishes will delight cooks who want to use the same basic ingredients for more than one meal.

Emma Spitzer
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781784722982, $34.99,

Fress: Bold Flavors from a Jewish Kitchen comes from a MasterChef UK finalist who blends international influences gained from extensive travels throughout the Middle East with traditional Jewish recipes learned from her mother, creating a powerful blend of comfort food and ethnic variations on the theme. Oxtail Stew and Spaetzle is one example, combining the author's mother's traditional Oxtail Stew with soft spaetzle egg noodles, or a variation on stuffed cabbage leaves, Bubba Rose's Beef and Pistachio Stuffed Cabbage Leaves in Chraimeh Sauce "Holishkes". Add full-page color photos throughout and you have a cookbook that redefines Jewish flavors and fare.

The Sports Shelf

Running Flow
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi,
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076
9781492535720, $21.95,

Running Flow: Mental Immersion Techniques for Better Running pairs psychology with coaching insights and a training details in a survey designed to help runner identify and improve 'flow' in their competitive efforts, and discusses the fundamentals of flow and its application. Where many running books focus on processes and strategies, this one's psychological examination uncovers many barriers that hinder effective competition and show how runners can become better performers through improved awareness techniques. The result is a training guide that stands out from the usual focus on physical endurance and deserves a place in any runner's reference collection.

The Business Shelf

Tony Robbins with Peter Mallouk
Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
9781501164583, $26.00,

Unshakable: Your Financial Freedom Playbook comes from one of the better-known financial investment advisors of modern times who interviewed some fifty of the world's top financial people to create his best-selling Money: Master the Game - but this is far more than a follow-up to that approach. It offers a step-by-step framework for changing one's finances and gaining wealth, and tells how to create the kind of financial plan that will lead to long-term financial freedom and retirement income, whether it be from a 401(k) to strategies to insulate income from crashes, corrections, and catastrophes. It sounds complicated, but add four easy principles to a reasoned discussion of the factors that translate to wealth or loss and you have a guideline that is easy to understand, follow, and filled with customization opportunities.

The Fiction Shelf

Melanie J. Fishbane
Penguin Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780143191254, $17.99,

Although directed to teen audiences and published under Penguin's teen imprint, many an adult already familiar with the works of L.M. Montgomery will appreciate this story, inspired by Montgomery's life, and so it will appeal beyond the young audiences who are the usual reader of the 'Anne of Green Gables' series. Melanie Fishbane reconstructs Montgomery's teen years based on her diaries, letters, and research to create a compelling story that brings the Green Gables people to life. The result is a story that, though intended for teens, will reach well into adult audiences, attracting any who loved the Anne of Green Gables series and its creator.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014

With respect to Susan Wittig Albert titles, mystery enthusiasts who missed China Bayles before should read Blood Orange (97804250280010, $7.99); it continues a best-selling series and is one of the strongest books in the ongoing story as it tells of China's involvement in a deadly mystery when a guest cottage rental turns into a terrible car accident. Too many people want her tenant out of the picture permanently - but who is the real threat? China's investigation reveals far more than she expected, and endangers her own life. The Last Chance Ranch (97804252080034, $27.00) is the latest mystery and involves China's efforts to save her husband when an escaped convict targets him. China wants to protect him from harm, but he insists she go to the Last Chance Olive Ranch to get away from the heat and teach her herbal workshop. One doesn't suspect that she's moving from the frying pan into the fire until the action shifts to the ranch's troubles and a series of events that place more than her husband in danger. These engrossing mysteries are hard to put down partially due to the fact that the character of China is engrossing and realistic, and the action features many twists and turns which are satisfyingly unpredictable, yet logical.

The Art Shelf

Figures in Stone
Robert Arthur King
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393712438, $19.95,

Figures in Stone: Architectural Sculpture in New York City deserves a spot in two types of collections: arts holdings strong in architecture or sculpture, and any strong in the history of New York City. The former audience will appreciate some two hundred sculptural details that focus on the faces, figures and creatures that embellish NYC's buildings and the close-up black and white images throughout that capture these details, while fans of New York City history will welcome the historic background about how these were developed and placed throughout the city.

Defined by Design
Kathryn H. Anthony
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633882836, $18.00,

Defined by Design: The Surprising Power of Hidden Gender, Age, and Body Bias in Everyday Products and Places considers design in everyday life and how design influences psychology and social issues. While this title could have appeared in either of the other sections, it's reviewed here because artists, especially, need to read this important survey of how design alters life itself. From fashions and high-tech design elements to packaging, architectural construction, and everyday objects, Kathryn H. Anthony points out flaws and problems across the board. Coming from a teacher of architecture and design who has served on design juries for decades as well as teaching students, this is a powerful survey that should be in every college-level arts collection, read by anyone interested in the social and political connections between artistic choice and designs and social impact.

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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