Return to home
page Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
Home / The Bookwatch

The Bookwatch

Volume 3, Number 10 October 2008 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Science Shelf Crafts Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Cookbook Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Art Shelf Architecture Shelf
Computer Shelf Interior Design Shelf Education Shelf
Military Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf World History Shelf Black Studies Shelf
International Studies Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf
Business Shelf Biography Shelf Music Shelf
Travel Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Let's Talk Turkey
Rosemarie Ostler
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781591026259, $18.95

LET'S TALK TURKEY: THE STORIES BEHIND AMERICA'S FAVORITE EXPRESSIONS adds to the literary trivia shelf and is a fine pick for any library where word history or word quizzes are popular. From 'going on the wagon' to 'bury the hatchet', this bypasses the usual dictionary format to provide a lively survey of how Americans enhanced and changed speech, arranging expressions by cultural categories to emphasize regional developments and differences.

The Science Shelf

c/o John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5773 1-800-225-5945

Moses Fayngold's SPECIAL RELATIVITY AND HOW IT WORKS (9783527406074, $95.00) is an essential college-level textbook for any collection strong in physics. It's based on a successful work and offers an in-depth presentation of relativity using a two-level structure to help students through a blend of problem discussion and analysis. From velocity and space-time to paradoxes and causality, SPECIAL RELATIVITY AND HOW IT WORKS is an outstanding survey. Radoje Belusevic's 2-volume set RELATIVITY, ASTROPHYSICS AND COSMOLOGY (9783527407644, $505.00) offers an analysis of elementary particles, astrophysics and cosmology and also is a pick for college-level courses and collections strong in advanced theory. It packs in analysis of structures of classical theories on cosmology, includes statistics, physics and reviews of basic science. Both are highly recommended pick for advanced collections.

The Crafts Shelf

Mostly Metals: A Beginner's Guide to Jewelry Design
Karin Buckingham
Kalmbach Publishing Company
21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53186
Watson Guptill Publications (distributor)
770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003-9535 1-800-451-1741 1-800-533-6644
9780871162595, $21.95

The basics of great jewelry design are covered in a fine title that covers the basics of jewelry design: plain loops, jump rings, chains and spacers. With each basic joining concept receiving a chapter of coverage and projects to reinforce learning, paired with color photos, MOSTLY METALS is a much more accessible jewelry title than most and should be considered the foundation of any beginner's attempt. Libraries catering to crafters and jewelry makers will find it a popular lend.

Fashioning Technology: A DIY Guide to Smart Crafting
Syuzi Pakhchyan
1005 Gravenstein Hwy North, Sebastopol, CA 95472
0596514379, $29.99

With 'smart materials and techniques you can make accessories, toys and more that light up, make sounds, or even move. Fashioning Technology is for any crafter who wants more than the typical range of stationary objects: a range of projects offer seasoned crafters techniques for blending easy electronics into projects, and provides clear direction and options for customization. Black and white and color photos throughout offer step-by-step and exciting options highly recommended for any library strong in crafts.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook, 6th Edition
Donald C. Plumb
Blackwell Publishing
350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148
0813810973, $79.99

The 6th updated edition of Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook is a 'must' for any college-level veterinary reference holding or for any practicing vet or student vet: it packs in the latest details on veterinary drugs, including details on monitoring, chemistry, storage, and dosages, and it offers sidebars of color-coded prescribing highlights. The result is an invaluable handbook that will prove a key, foundation acquisition for any serious veterinary reference library.

Broadway Tails
Bill Berloni
Lyons Press
Box 480, Guilford, CT 06437
9781599213538, $16.95

The author was a nineteen-year-old theater apprentice when he was offered a professional break IF he could find and train a job to appear in the Broadway hit Annie. His rescue dog from a shelter made history and BROADWAY TAILS offer similar stories of animals who overcame impossible odds to become co-stars in entertainment. Dog owners and animal lovers -and libraries catering to them will find BROADWAY TAILS a winning story of animal heroism and talent, paired with black and white photos of the entertainers themselves.

The Cookbook Shelf

The Ultimate Beer Lover's Cookbook
John Schlimm
Cumberland House
431 Harding Industrial Drive, Nashville, TN 37211-3160
9781581826517, $24.95

Over 400 beer food and drink recipes contain beer as a main ingredient and provide dishes from lunch and breakfast to dinner and even dessert, making it a fun pick for any interested in beer cooking. Libraries will find the exhaustive list of beer-soaked dishes goes far beyond slimmer 'beer cookbook' titles in the collection, from Grilled Herb Chicken to a beer-soaked Bratwurst & Pasta. No photos, but the simple dishes don't need illustration.

El Farol: Tapas and Spanish Cuisine
Chef James Campbell Caruso
Gibbs Smith
Box 667, Layton, UT 84041
1586851012, $29.95

Santa Fe's oldest cantina is El Farol, which has served residents since 1835. Over a hundred creations from the restaurant's New Mexican roots are presented in this collection, representing the most-requested recipes from the restaurant's innovative holdings. From Fresh Tuna and Potato Stew with Smoked Paprika to Moroccan-Spiced Swordfish Skewers, color photos pair with dishes home cooks can easily duplicate.

The Audiobook Shelf

Black Widow
Randy Wayne White
Penguin Audio
375 Hudson, New York NY 10014
9780143142881, $39.95

Veteran audio narrator George Guidall's voice spices a moving story of revenge gone bad revolving around a wild bachelorette party, a secret videotape, and a godfather hired to make an exchange when blackmail enters the picture. Ford reluctantly agrees to the delivery job and unwittingly becomes involved in death and revenge in this fast-paced saga which springs to life in audio.

Brilliance Audio
Box 887, Grand Haven MI 49417

Christopher Lane's vocal talents include over 150 audiobooks, so he spices well Ridley Pearson's Killer View (1423321359, $34.95), a story of a missing skier and a sheriff whose rescue team begins vanishing. Friendships, biohazard potentials and murder coincide to challenge Walt's community foundations in a fine, involving audio highly recommended for any general-interest listening audience. Robert Crais' LULLABY TOWN (142335639X, $34.95) features Mel Foster's smooth and winning voice, spiced by a long acting career, as it tells of Hollywood genius Peter Nelson, an erratic director used to getting everything he wants even if he makes enemies to do so. His assignment to Cole to locate a missing wife and child should be easy but turns into a nightmare in this fast-paced, breathtaking thriller. Andre Dubus III's THE GARDEN OF LAST DAYS (1423366573, $38.95) receives Dan John Miller's fine acting voice as it tells of a stripper who brings her daughter to work, only to find an unusual client with lots of money will change her life. A gripping, tense story evolves with many unexpected twists and turns. Robert Crais' FREE FALL (1423356519, $34.95) receives Mel Foster's extensive acting expertise and spices the story of Elvis Cole, a detective who wants to help a girl in trouble, only to find he and his partner part of a deadly underworld mystery.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Sew & Stow
Betty Oppenheimer
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCa Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781603420273, $16.95

Sew bags, purses, totes and more with over thirty projects suitable for all skills, from beginners to neo-pro sewers. The whole idea goes beyond purses to bags to tote and store household and travel items: SEW & STOW offers the basic techniques for cutting, sewing and finishing along with pink sidebars of information and plenty of illustration. Needlework libraries will find this a fun addition.

The Art Shelf

Black Velvet Masterpieces
Carl Baldwin & Caren Anderson
Chronicle Books
680 2nd Street, San Francisco CA 94107
9780811862073, $24.95

Black velvet paintings have been given surprisingly little attention so it's an exceptional pleasure to see a title that celebrates the art and offers up images from the authors' joint project the Velveteria Museum in Portland, Oregon. From Elvises and clowns to religious icons and tropical visions, nearly three hundred reproductions of these works accompany a history of the medium and provide a stunning photo catalog of black art achievement.

The Architecture Shelf

New York Deco
Richard Berenholtz
Welcome Books
6 West 18 Street, New York, NY 10011
9781599620534, $125.00

The deluxe edition of NEW YORK DECO coincides with the 75th birthday of the Rockefeller Center and comes in an illustrated slip-cased, limited-edition book with a print signed and numbered by the photographer. Richard Berenholtz's photos profile the architecture of New York during its most stylish decades, from the 1920s to the 1930s. They are gorgeous photos suitable for art and architecture libraries and highly recommended for any collection with an interest in New York City.

The Computer Shelf

Cisco Press
800 East 96th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46240

Denise Donohue, CCIE, Brent Stewart and Jerold Swan, CCIE's CCNP QUICK REFERENCE: A QUICK REVIEW OF CCNP EXAM TOPICS (1587202360, $29.99) is a final exam prep tool which reviews all objectives in the four CCNP exams, offering a review of key topics in a cram-style format with charts, sidebars of information, and more. As such it's a CCNP student's 'must have' supplement for any study culminating in testing. Michael Watkins and Kevin Wallace, CIE's CCNA SECURITY: OFFICIAL EXAM CERTIFICATION GUIDE (1587202204, $49.99) is a study guide that focuses specifically on the objectives for the exam and comes from senior security instructors who help identify weaknesses and improve on concepts and their applications. Chapters cover all the elements and techniques, offer quizzes with each chapters with self-assessment tools for speed and accuracy, and include a companion cd-rom of tests for individual topics. Invaluable for any studying for the exam.

Sams Publishing
c/o Pearson Education
801 East 96th Street, 3rd floor, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759 1-800-428-5331,

Learn how to use PHP, MySQL and Apache together to create fine interactive web sites using a step-by-step lesson plan perfect for supplementing classroom studies, or for individual learning with Julie C. Meloni's SAMS Teach Yourself PHP, MySQL and Apache All in One (067232976X, $34.99). From installing the PHP scripting language and the MySQL database system to creating dynamic interactions between these programs, a cd for Mac, Linux or Windows offers up a starter kit perfect for learning, testing, and producing results. The fourth updated edition provides essential keys to learning. Fritz Anderson's XCODE3 UNLEASHED (0321552636, $44.99) comes from an acclaimed Mac developer who here writes the definitive guide to making the most of Xcode 3, showing how to manage source code in a variety of environments from solo to team, how to use the build system, and how to enhance Apple performance. An update for Xcode 3.x is also included. Programmer collections will find this specific and important.

Netroots Rising
Lowell Feld and Nate Wilcox
88 Post Road West, Westport, CT 06881

NETROOTS RISING: HOW A CITIZEN ARMY OF BLOGGERS AND ONLINE ACTIVISTS IS CHANGING AMERICAN POLITICS comes from two veteran online campaigners who analyze political campaigns in which netroots activism was decisive or instructive. Their survey offers insider and first-hand accounts of the power of the netroots to determine political outcomes and also offers chapters covering how activists build movements and insiders kill them, and how the passage of time affects political and internet movements. A 'must' for not only computer libraries, but any collection strong in social issues.

Learning Perl, 5th Edition
Randal L. Schwartz, Tom Phoenix, Brian D. Foy
1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472
9780596520106, $39.99

LEARNING PERL is a programming library's foundation title and a highly recommended pick: it covers all the basics of what most programmers use and need to get started with Perl, and offers up a fifth edition of a classic first published in 1993. The latest changes to the software including Perl 5.10 are covered in chapters that discuss file operations, expressions, matching, and more. It also covers all kinds of platforms, from web applications to finance, and goes beyond the usual 'how to program in Perl' book to enhance the methods and approaches of the Perl programmer.

The Interior Design Shelf

Classic Country
Kathryn M. Ireland
Gibbs M. Smith
Box 667, Layton, UT 84041
1423601688, $39.95

Kathy Ireland is among the world's most influential interior and fabric designers, and in CLASSIC COUNTRY she shows how her fabrics blend with those of other designers. Any library strong in interior design needs this: it offers detailed explanations of how to use patterns, textures and color to maximum advantage, and it packs in color examples throughout. Very highly recommended, it goes beyond most interior design topics to consider the broader scope of form, function and choice.

The Education Shelf

Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms
Will Richardson
Corwin Press
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
9781412959728, $28.95

Use the Web to help students study more effectively with this updated research on Web technology, Internet safety and computer literacy which explains how to use the latest technology to enhance learning. Explanations and definitions accompany explanations and examples for blending blogs, wikis and podcasts into projects from K-12. Teachers will find Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms an invaluable pick.

12 Brain/Mind Learning Principles in Action, 2nd Edition
Renate Nummela Caine,
Corwin Press
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
9781412961073, $38.95

The 2nd edition of 12 Brain/Mind Learning Principles in Action is an important consideration for any teacher or school leader, providing a basic framework based on how the brain learns and updating research sections in every chapter. This edition has been substantially revised for new leadership tips and expanded information on 'process learning circles', and includes focused questions, guided research, discussion topics, and more. Whether for interactive or individual study, it's invaluable.

The Military Shelf

The Great Crusade
H.P. Willmott
Potomac Books Inc.
22841 Quicksilver Drive, Dulles, VA 20166-2012
9781597971911, $22.00

THE GREAT CRUSADE: A NEW COMPLETE HISTORY OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR, REVISED EDITION was originally published in 1989 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the war's outbreak in Europe. This reprint provides an account of both theatres of conflict in World War II and is a basic 'foundation pick' for any college-level or military library serious about World War II history.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Complete Guide to Medicaid and Nursing Home Costs
Atlantic Publishing
1405 SW 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471
9781601381538, $24.95

With more baby boomers joining an aging population, it's more important than ever for libraries to include Complete Guide to Medicaid and Nursing Home Costs on their health reference shelves: it provides a survey of legal means of protecting assets, teaches about state and federal laws regulating Medicaid and nursing homes, and tells how to plan ahead for proper asset management. Libraries catering to an aging popular will find this an increasingly popular reference to a complex topic.

The Body Toxic
Nena Baker
North Point Press
18 West 18th Street, New York NY 10011
0865477078, $24.00

THE BODY TOXIC: HOW THE HAZARDOUS CHEMISTRY OF EVERYDAY THINGS THREATENS OUR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING is a winning modern health guide from an investigative journalist who explores the factors which have lead to toxic chemicals in the environment and their effects on humans and the planet. From manufacturing breakthroughs to policy decisions and politics, chapters consider the influences on chemical companies worldwide and the habits which result, making for a key survey.

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Collector Books
Box 3009, Paducah, KY 42002-3009
9781574326000, $12.95

Cathy & Gene Florence's ELEGANT GLASSWARE OF THE DEPRESSION ERA, 13TH EDITION (9781574326024, $24.95) covers identification and value of a range of Depression glassware, is arranged by manufacturer, and pairs photo lends and color-coded sidebar values with color photos of all kinds of glassware. The result is a survey perfect for any seeking to clarify common confusion over identification and values. Milbra Long and Emily Seate's FOSTORIA STEMWARE: THE CRYSTAL FOR AMERICA, 2nd Edition (9781574325836, $29.95) packs in pages of color photos, black and white stemware drawings, and the latest values and history for them makes for an invaluable reference for Fostoria specialists and any collection catering to glassware collectors.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197

Written by popular author Mike Resnick, STALKING THE UNICORN (9781591026488, $15.00) tells of private detective John Justin Mallory who is trying to avoid his landlord after a lousy year until he is commissioned to locate a missing unicorn. The elf's plea brings with it a stipulation that has John on a desperate time-limited search on New Year's night in this fast-paced thriller. STALKING THE VAMPIRE (9781591026495, $25.00) is another Mallory mystery set in alternate-universe Manhattan, surveying a desperate hunt for a vampire. Aided by Felina the catgirl, Mallory and his assistant Winnifred embark on a desperate journey. Both are powerful blends of fantasy and mystery sure to appeal to library patrons and fantasy fans.

Golden Gryphon Press
3002 Perkins Road, Urbana, IL 61802

Bruce McAllister's THE GIRL WHO LOVED ANIMALS AND OTHER STORIES (9781930846494, $24.95) is the author's first short fiction collection from Golden Gryphon and provides seventeen stories culled from nearly five decades of writing. From a woman whose love and body will ensure the continuation of an animal species to a girl whose life is linked to the survival of pandas, this warm collection of animal/human connections is a winner of diverse, compelling stories with powerful animal/human character development throughout. George Alec Effinger's BUDAYEEN NIGHTS (1930846568, $14.95) comes from one of the founders of the 'cyberpunk' movement and provides a collection of nine writings seven stories, the first part of an uncompleted novel, and a story fragment, set in the imaginary Muslim city of Budayeen. Effinger's humor supplements some zany settings and situations. Both are fine picks for avid science fiction readers and libraries.

The World History Shelf

Knights of Jerusalem
David Nicolle
Osprey Publishing
443 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016
9781846030802, $25.95

KNIGHTS OF JERUSALEM: THE CRUSADING ORDER OF HOSPITALLERS 1100-1565 provides a review of one of the more famous Crusading orders of medieval times. It considers the lives and military roles of the Knights Hospitaller in detail from their origins to their many conflicts. Black and white illustrations and color photos and drawings throughout spice a lively survey especially recommended for high school to college-level collections strong in medieval history.

The Black Studies Shelf

African American Women Confront the West, 1600-2000
Quintard Taylor and Shirley Ann Wilson Moore, Editors
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780806139791, $24.95

College-level collections strong in either women's history or Afro-American issues will find this invaluable, representing the first major historical anthology to focus on the roles such women played in the West. From their experiences of the region's other cultures to their lasting impact on rural and urban communities alike, African American Women Confront the West, 1600-2000 provides a fine set of first-person narratives, interviews, and essays examining the history and legacy of Afro-American women in the West.

The International Studies Shelf

East Asian Multilateralism: Prospects for Regional Stability
Kent E. Calder & Francis Fukuyama, Editors
Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218
9780801888496, $25.00

Basic changes are occurring in Asia even as world attention remains focused on events in the Middle East: that's why college-level collections strong in Asian history and politics needs East Asian Multilateralism: Prospects for Regional Stability. It provides an anthology of essays by prominent international foreign affairs scholars who consider changing alignments in the region, from internal dynamics to world influences, and it considers the lasting impact these changes will have on American political choices. A 'must' for any college-level collection strong in Asian politics.

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

What I Really Want to Do on Set in Hollywood
Brian Dzyak
Back Stage
c/o Watson-Guptill Publications
770 Broadway, New York NY 10003
0823099539, $19.95

Any collection strong in film careers and Hollywood insider accounts will find What I Really Want to Do on Set in Hollywood a popular lend. It comes from a Hollywood veteran who reveals the various departments that contain jobs, discussing how they can all interact with one another and consider real-life schedules of each crew member. From getting the Hollywood job to keeping it and climbing up the ladder, candid tips make film and Hollywood job seekers realize the progress of Hollywood interactions. Very highly recommended.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Principles of Philosophy
Rabbi Reuven Agushewitz
KTAV Publishing
930 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306
9781602800243, $25.00

Mark Steiner translates PRINCIPLES OF PHILOSOPHY from the Yiddish and provides Agushewitz's argument to Yiddish speakers that philosophy has not paled in its importance to both religion and science. He identifies religion with philosophy, then argues that the basic principles of philosophy are linked to religion at the key of life and that its study can lead to strengthening altruistic behaviors. Judaic studies collections particularly those strong in scholarly studies will welcome this.

Moritz Nachtstern & Ragnar Arntzen
Osprey Publishing
443 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016
9781846032899, $24.95

COUNTERFEITER: HOW A NORWEGIAN JEW SURVIVED THE HOLOCAUST is an addition for both general-interest lending libraries strong in Holocaust studies and for World War II or Judaic history holdings. It tells of the Nazi secret project, Operation Bernhard, which used prisoners to produce counterfeit British bank notes considered some of the most perfect counterfeits ever produced which were to be dropped over London to destabilize the British economy. Author Moritz Nachtstern was one of those picked for the program: his story of survival and the project offers unusual, gripping insights.

The Business Shelf

Leading With Kindness
William F. Baker & Michael O'Malley
1601 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0814401562, $24.95

In business kindness is viewed as a weakness, and the perception of kind leaders is that they are ineffectual. LEADING WITH KINDNESS shows how this can become a business leadership trait and profiles world business leaders who have developed this trait to high success. Six ingredients of kindness are identified, linked to business pursuits, and assessed for pros and cons. Business leaders will find LEADING WITH KINDNESS a key to incorporating more humane actions into their pursuits.

How to Think Like A Millionaire
Mark Fisher with Marc Allen
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781577316435, $12.95

The author of THE INSTANT MILLIONAIRE and author of VISIONARY BUSINESS collaborate in HOW TO THINK LIKE A MILLIONAIRE, now in its second edition covering using the subconscious mind to create winning business strategies and principles. Personal growth and business blend in a formula for success recommended for both new age and business collections - and for general-interest libraries.

Atlantic Publishing Group
1405 SW 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471

John Peragine Jr.'s HOW TO OPEN & OPERATE A FINANCIALLY SUCCESSFUL PERSONAL TRAINING BUSINESS (9781601381170, $39.95) comes with a companion cd-rom and tells how to operate such a business from home, a private studio, clients' gyms or corporate fitness centers. From planning an approach and locating opportunities to fostering an ongoing business, this is key for any who have been eyeing the potentially lucrative personal training business.

The Biography Shelf

Cleopatra Last Queen of Egypt
Joyce Tyldesley
Basic Books
c/o Perseus Publishing Group
387 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016
9780465009404, $27.50

Egyptologist Joyce Tyldesley offers a new biographical treatment claiming that much of what we know about Cleopatra has been tainted by prejudice. Her studies of centuries of writings about the queen surveys myths, the sources of legends, and how Roman history and women's roles in Roman society have affected the history of Cleopatra. Hers is a lively yet scholarly survey that will appeal not only to general-interest libraries catering to history-loving patrons, but to college-level collections specializing in ancient history in general and Egypt in particular.

Somewhere in Heaven
Christopher Andersen
77 West 66th Street, New York NY 10023
9781401323028, $23.95

The love between actor Christopher Reeve and his wife Dana finally reaches book form with SOMEWHERE IN HEAVEN, a striking story of the actor who produced four blockbuster Superman films and the romantic movie Somewhere In Time, who was paralyzed in a freak horseback-riding accident. For many life would end there; but Christopher Reeves became a 'poster man' for paralytics world-wide, and his heroic wife stayed by his side until his sudden death at age fifty-two. Seventeen months later she would be dead from lung cancer. Any library strong in film or biography will find this a compelling, moving lend.

The Music Shelf

Lonely Avenue: The Unlikely Life & Times of Doc Pomus
Alex Halberstadt
Da Capo Press
c/o Perseus Publishing Group
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
0306813009, $26.00

During rock 'n' roll's early years Doc Pomus wrote some of the biggest hits from his Lonely Avenue to Save the Last Dance for Me and Hushabye. His works were picked up by Elvis Presley, B.B. King, Bob Dylan and more and LONELY AVENUE documents his life, inspiration, achievement, and times in an outstanding blend of quotes from his journals and biographical examination. Music libraries will find it an excellent addition.

The Travel Shelf

The Darien Gap
Martin Mitchinson
Harbour Publishing
Box 219, Madeira Park, BC V0N 2H0 Canada
1550174215, $26.95

THE DARIEN GAP: TRAVELS IN THE RAINFOREST OF PANAMA is a fine pick for any who would read adventure travel at its most gripping, and for general-interest libraries catering to armchair travel and adventure audiences. It tells of the author's twenty years of travel in Central and South America, fascinated by tales of the Colombian outpost Darien, a sanctuary for guerrillas and a long-time haven for spies, pirates and treasure hunters.

Off the Beaten (Subway) Track
Suzanne Reisman
Cumberland House
431 Harding Industrial Drive, Nashville, TN 37211
9781581826418, $16.95

There are so many books on New York's attractions that one might wonder at the need for yet another, but this book is a key and the first to focus on a hundred off-the-beaten-path destinations, from small museums and nearly forgotten historic places to odd shops and small oddities. A geographic arrangement aids in the journey, with chapters offering addresses, hours, directions, web sites, and long paragraphs of enticing description. Recommended for any travel library strong in New York City attractions.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Fisher Boy
Stephen Anable
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. 1st Avenue Suite 103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781590584804, $24.95

Boston comic Mark has arrived to Provincetown with a group of fellow actors ready to break into the town's club circuit but when he gets into a public fight with a famous local and becomes the prime suspect when the lawyer is murdered, Mark finds himself reluctantly drawn into the role of an investigator to clear his name. A tense thriller evolves, perfect for mystery collections.

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

Marvel Graphic Novels and Related Publications
Robert G. Weiner
McFarland & Company
Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9780786425006, $49.95

The annotated guide Marvel Graphic Novels and Related Publications surveying comics, prose novels, children's books, articles and references covers just about everything relating to graphic novels, from cross-overs into DC to special volumes and series presentations, and is a pick for any serious graphic novel library at the specialty or college level. Chapters offer plot synopsis, compare chapters and formats of related materials, and includes comments on artwork and style.

Andrews McMeel Publishing
4520 Main Street, Kansas City, MO 64111-7701

Stephan Pastis' THE CRASS MENAGERIE (0740771000, $16.99) is a 'Pearls Before Swine' collection including all cartoons from Da Brudderhood of Zeeba Zeeba Eata and The Sopratos. It liberally peppers color full-page strips with black and white features and it requires absolutely NO prior familiarity with the 'Pearls Before Swine' strip to prove appealing and fun. Very highly recommended for any library strong in comic strip representations. Paul Osborne's THE MYSTERY OF SAUSAGE AND OTHER RIDICULOUS BLUEPRINTS (0740771094, $12.99) provides hilarious blueprint-based forms with zany considerations, from Martha Stewart's Guide to Nuclear Reactor Cleaning to How to Open Packaging given only a few tools like chainsaws and jackhammers. And Revilo's UNKNOWN WORLDS! A COLLECTION OF PARANORMAL CARTOONS (0740776215, $12.99) provides an outstanding, fun collection of single-panel comics with one full color and one black and white facing page. From ancient history observations to the color potentials of genetically engineered cats, UNKNOWN WORLDS is hilarious.

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

Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design