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The Bookwatch

Volume 14, Number 11 November 2019 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Social Issues Shelf Jobs/Careers Shelf
Education Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf Science Shelf
Philosophy Shelf American History Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Automotive Shelf Liquor Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Native American Studies Shelf Audiobook Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Words to Live By
Kenneth J. Kogut, PhD
Outskirts Press
9781977210128, $19.95

Words to Live By (a Not All Inclusive Look at Life in Words) gathers inspirational quotes and arranges them by subject for quick browsing, creating a daily reminder of different insights on life, captured in quick snippets of wisdom by a wide range of thinkers. There are numerous quotation and inspirational books on the market already; but what makes Words to Live By special is its arrangement by thought-provoking (different) subject categories ('On Life', 'On Toasts', 'On Personal Care'), and how the chosen quotes often represent plays on words. If a quick, inspirational read is desired, holding more broad appeal and wisdom than most, then Words to Live By is the item of choice, recommended for being a standout in its field, and quite accessible to literary and everyday audiences alike.

The Social Issues Shelf

Helping People Change
Richard Boyatzis, Melvin Smith, and Ellen Van Oosten
Harvard Business Review Press
9781633696563, $30.00

Helping People Change: Coaching with Compassion for Lifelong Learning and Growth comes from authors who are experts on emotional intelligence and coaching, and here examine different ways to help people change in more meaningful, life-altering ways. Coaches on different levels, from business and education circles to psychology, will find this survey creates a foundation for identifying ideals and real-world experiences, analyzing strengths and weaknesses, encouraging behavioral changes that match personal goals, and creating a network of relationships that encourage accountability and change. It's a powerful discussion whose lessons can apply to many different disciplines on many different levels, and is highly recommended beyond business or educator circles as an important key to coaching's wider-ranging possibilities.

The Jobs/Careers Shelf

The Way We Work: On the Job in Hollywood
Bruce Ferber, Editor
A Vireo Books
c/o Rare Bird Books
9781644280140, $18.00, Paper, $14.99, Kindle

Collections strong in Hollywood history and media studies will find The Way We Work: On the Job in Hollywood a powerful addition that surveys the skills, processes, and interactions that comprise a Hollywood creative endeavor. It consists of essays written by successful Hollywood directors, writers, and producers who lend their personal experiences and insights to this collection. Aspiring film students who have their eyes set on Hollywood receive many 'how to' titles and not a few autobiographies about Hollywood, but few incorporate the nitty-gritty daily experiences and social and political examinations of The Way We Work: On the Job in Hollywood, which considers the pros and cons of actors and acting, Hollywood film-making processes, and the special challenges involved in Hollywood jobs. No media studies collection should be without this revealing guide, which is at once entertaining and educational.

The Education Shelf


Two excellent Corwin educator guides should be standard to any authoritative teacher's reference collection. Jessica Djabrayan Hannigan and John E. Hannigan's Building Behavior: The Educator's Guide to Evidence-Based Initiatives (9781544340081, $34.95) identifies effective behavior support systems and shows educators how to integrate these systems into a school or classroom. They consider six common behavior initiatives and advocate their strength and that educators should understand the purpose and practices of each. From frameworks for best practices that include resource inventories to insights on social and emotional learning, Building Behavior is highly recommended for all educators. Tracey Lawrence's A to Z of Classroom Behavior (9781526464279, $28.24) may appear to be a diminutive guide, but offers busy educators a fine read that may be quickly reviewed while on a coffee break or lunch hour. Alphabetical entries cover everything from ADHD to mood swings, include case studies from both primary and secondary schools, and review common issues and strategies. All this is presented in highly digestible chunks of detail that lend to quick reading and easy understanding.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Rare Watches
Paul Miquel
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781840917833, $50.00,

Rare Watches: Explore the World's Most Exquisite Timepieces is a lovely hardcover, slipcased production that profiles some fifty of the rarest watches in the world. While some might believe that only specific professional collectors would thus be interested in its survey, many an amateur collector and those interested in timepiece history in general will find it a lovely production. The photos are published in collaboration with high-end auction houses and watch manufacturers, so are replete with stunning detail that matches well with the discussions of valuation and each watch's history and attributes. No collection strong in timepieces and antiques should be without this exquisitely produced, lovely keepsake edition.

The Science Shelf

Focus on Geodatabases in ArcGIS Pro
David W. Allen
ESRI Press
9781589484450, $59.99

Focus on Geodatabases in ArcGIS Pro introduces readers to the geodatabase which manages geographic information across the ArcGIS platform. It offers a host of best practices, discussions of geodatabase design and usage, tips on editing data and sharing it on the web, step-by-step tutorials based on real-world applications, and includes sample projects and study questions for classroom use. Geography students interested in geodatabase creation, use, and management need this book, as do professionals using Arc GIS Pro.

The Philosophy Shelf

The Good Place and Philosophy
Steven A. Benko and Andrew Pavelich, Editors
Open Court Publishing
9780812694765, $19.95

The Good Place and Philosophy: Get an Afterlife joins others in Open Court's 'Popular Culture and Philosophy' series and provides sociology, philosophy, and performing arts readers with a lively discussion of the TV hit The Good Place and its not-so-subtle metaphysical and ethical issues. Anyone who thinks philosophy is a dated study will find this book (and others in the series) an absorbing collection of discussions that pinpoint just how central philosophical inspection can be to daily living and modern culture. TV and film fans of the show receive plenty of social, spiritual, and philosophical analysis here which offer much food for thought.

The American History Shelf

Good Time Girls of Arizona and New Mexico
Jan MacKell Collins
c/o The Globe Pequot Press
246 Goose Lane, Suite 200, Guilford, CT 06437
9781493038114, $19.95,

Good Time Girls of Arizona and New Mexico: A Red-Light History of the American Southwest follows the history of prostitution in these areas, examining why and how thousands of women chose or were forced to enter into this challenging, dangerous profession. Some dreamed of escaping it while others became successful, but these stories uniformly consider the overall impact and evolution of this illicit profession, narrowing the focus to Arizona and New Mexico's regional involvements and special situations. Any collection strong in Southwest history will find this an engrossing revealing coverage.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Word to the Wise
Jenn McKinlay
Berkley Prime Crime
9780593100035, $26.00

Word to the Wise adds to the Library Lovers mystery series with a focus on library director Lindsey's upcoming marriage, the unwanted attentions of a newcomer to town, Aaron, and a murder that involves Lindsey's fiance in not a marriage, but an effort to clear his name. It's up to Lindsey's research abilities to once again get to the bottom of secrets and uncover a deadly murderer who has more than one death in his sights. The fine tension and small-town atmosphere will delight cozy mystery fans.

The Automotive Shelf

GQ Drives
Paul Henderson
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781784725990, $29.99

GQ Drives: A Stylish Guide to the Greatest Cars Ever Made gathers color photos from car photographers and adds British GQ's in-depth reports to consider driving styles and performances of machines around the world, from the 1950s to modern times. From the costs and design challenges of these tailor-made innovations to the evolution of various designs such as the Chevrolet Corvette Z06-Z07 models, GQ Drives provides a depth and attention to detail that other car profiles can't match. The result is not just visually attractive, but creates an informative car history that deserves a place in any auto history or transportation collection.

The Liquor Shelf

The Whisky Dictionary
Ian Wisniewski
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781784725488, $20.00,

The Whisky Dictionary: An A-Z of Whiskey, From History & Heritage to Distilling & Drinking adds to this publisher's drinks dictionary series with a focus on all kinds of whiskey, from Scotch to Japanese, bourbon, and more. The entries cover the history, distilling methods, flavors, recipes, and uses of whiskey around the world, and come from a whiskey expert who explores all aspects of various whiskies and their production, tastes, and special attributes, making this a 'must' for anyone interested in the subject; but especially newcomers.

The Cookbook Shelf

The Food of Sichuan
Fuchsia Dunlop
W.W. Norton
9781524004837, $40.00

The Food of Sichuan is a new, updated edition of the 2001 classic Land of Plenty and, twenty years later, still remains the reference of choice for English-speaking cooks who would study Sichuanese cuisine. This edition has been fully revised and updated and offers fifty new recipes and insights into Sichuanese cooking, while all the original recipes have been retested and revisited based on eighteen years of Dunlop's studies and travels in China. From old Sichuan favorites and folk dishes to modern interpretations of classics, The Food of Sichuan excels in a wide-ranging discussion for those who would not just cook the food, but experience the history and culture's influences on Sichuan cuisine. There are now many Chinese cookbooks on the market that focus on or include Sichuan food, but The Food of Sichuan remains a classic made even more accessible and important by this key revision. It should be part of any comprehensive Chinese culinary collection.

The Native American Studies Shelf

Neither Wolf Nor Dog
Kent Nerburn
New World Library
9781608686384, $18.95

Neither Wolf Nor Dog: On Forgotten Roads with an Indian Elder bridges the gap between Native American and white belief systems and examines 1990s reservation life in the Dakotas as it tells of two very different men struggling to understand one another. Kent Nerburn examines the culture and perceptions of Native American elder Dan, who brings him to a greater understanding of historical precedent, modern concerns, and typical myths about Native American lives. The result is a vivid discussion that offers readers many thought-provoking reflections.

The Audiobook Shelf

Hachette Audio

Sandra Brown's Outfox (9781478916864, $35.00) receives an excellent pairing with the voice of Victor Slezak, who brings to life Brown's dramatic, complex story of a man with multiple identities linked to eight women who vanish. FBI agent Drex is convinced they have been murdered by sociopath Weston, but Weston's ability to remain elusive by trading identities is part of what makes him impossible to pin down. An engrossing story evolves as yet another woman enters the picture unaware of the threat to her life. Iris Johansen's Smoke Screen (9781549141409, $35.00) is read by Elisabeth Rodgers, who captures the underlying tension and riveting thriller action perfectly. Journalist Jill has just returned from a small African village with a heart-wrenching story of mass murder. The families of the dead need Eve Duncan's skills as a forensic sculptor to identify their loved ones. But when Eve journeys to the jungles of Africa on a mercy mission, she discovers that Jill's efforts may be hiding a more sinister plot, leaving her alone in an unstable country filled with threats. An absorbing, tense thriller evolves. Both audios are highly recommended for thriller listeners who look for nonstop action paired with highly talented, evocative narrators. Malcolm Gladwell's Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know (9781549150333, $40.00) is narrated by the author, who closely examines how interactions with strangers often go awry. This may seem like a personal self-help title at first, but Gladwell delves into the psychological of political communications and international relationships, blending psychology, history, and news scandals into an analysis of the tools and approaches people use to communicate with and understand one another. It's a key discussion for modern times and divided nations and cultures that is especially evocative in audio. Judge Jeanine Pirro's Radicals, Resistance, and Revenge: The Left's Plot to Remake America (9781549123900, $35.00) is also read by the author and provides a contention that the left holds plans to remake America. Her first book Liars, Leakers, and Liberals exposed the plot to destroy Trump: this follow-up broadens its contentions with analysis of new information that points to a conspiracy with an underlying plot to attack American liberty. Binyamin Appelbaum's The Economists' Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society (9781549153310, $40.00) is read by Dan Bittner, who adds a strong voice to bring to life this original history of power and plays during four decades of economic changes. It traces the rise of modern economics and the power of economists around the world, considering their beliefs, principles, and promises in a well-researched discussion that lends particular well to audiobook format.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Bowl Me Over
Debbie Busby
Martingale & Company
9781683560197, $22.99

Bowl Me Over: A Bounty of Tiny Pillows to Enjoy Every Day shows how to stitch tiny pillows that can be used as bowl fillers and artistic embellishments, and brings folk art to a down home level as it simplifies the time, effort, and materials needed to craft these gems. Color photos of finished products include one-page patterns, materials lists, and easy stitching and assembly directions, making for a fun guide crafters will find accessible and appealing.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Healthy Eating series
Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017

Two excellent books combine recipes with disease-specific management issues and are top picks for those who want to use dietary choices to maintain health. Margaret Rayman, Vanessa Ridland, Katie Sharpe and Patsy Westcott's Healthy Eating to Reduce the Risk of Dementia: 100 Fantastic Recipes Based on Extensive, In-Depth Research (9780857837530, $16.99) provides a range of recipes encouraging brain-rich foods that reduce the risk of dementia. These are based not on philosophy but on in-depth research and include dishes easy to put together, such as a creamy Cauliflower and Cashew Soup from blogger Monica Shaw of, or cookbook author Gino D'Acampo's quick and easy Linguine with Garlic, Shrimp and Spinach. The range of foods and discussions about food-related influences on dementia sets this cookbook apart from any other. Jose van Mil works with Christine Archer-Mackenzie in Healthy Eating During Chemotherapy (9780857837523, $16.99) pairs a chef with a medical specialist, who provide some 100 recipes for chemo patients who may struggle with eating during their treatment. These recipes are rich in vitamins, easy to digest, comfort food-style affairs that are easy to eat, from a creamy baked Mushroom Mousse with its souffle-like consistency to a nutritious Eggplant and Chicken Spread Sandwich. Color photos abound in both productions, while the ease and appeal of the dishes makes them attractive.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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