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The Bookwatch

Volume 11, Number 10 October 2016 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Education Shelf Poetry Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Cookbook Shelf Fiction Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Audiobook Shelf Photography Shelf
Science Shelf Christian Studies Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Psychology Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Paris Nights
Cliff Simon with Loren Stephens
Waldorf Publishing
2140 Hall Johnson Road, #102-345, Grapevine, Texas 76051
9781943848928, $24.95,

Paris Nights: My Year at the Moulin Rouge is a memoir by actor Cliff Simon, who details his transformation from a soldier to an entertainer when a one-way ticket to Paris changed his life. Readers receive a vivid account of this process as Simon moves from South Africa to Paris to Hollywood; but the focus is as much upon the sights, sounds, and experience of Paris and the culture of the Moulin Rouge as it is upon Cliff Simon's evolutionary process, adding the feel of a thriller piece into the exploration of one man's amazing life.

The Education Shelf

The Education Revolution
Horacio Sanchez
Corwin Press, Inc.
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218
9781506332062, $30.00,

The Education Revolution: How to Apply Brain Science to Improve Instruction and School Climate blends the latest findings in neuroscience with discussions of psychology and educational connections to provide teachers with tools for new strategies based on the latest brain research, and is a fine guide to improving classroom and school-wide results. From behavior modification and management to new learning discoveries, the collection provides teachers with lessons as well as research, linking strategies for promoting student success with discussions of interventions and different learning levels.

The Poetry Shelf

The Music Is Written
Tatiana Pietrzak
RoseDog Books
9781434995834, $11.00, PB, 57pp,

Tatiana Pietrzak has written a book of poetry all about music. The Music Is Written is a compilation of poetry that explores the intimate world of sound, rhythm, and musical origins. Sound and rhythm can be found in everything. These poems explore the possibilities of where one might be able to find music and are meant to inspire the expression of it, hidden within all things. It was written to encourage musicians young and old, as well as increase appreciation for the listener. Almost all people pick up an instrument at some point in their lives and are affected by music in ways they probably have not yet explored. Tatiana Pietrzak graduated with a Master's in Liberal Arts from St. John's College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After studying in London, Paris, Siena, and Florence, she lived and worked for four years in Beijing in film and television. She has published articles in the Beijing University Newsletter, the Eagle, and the Santa Fe New Mexican. In addition, she has won two Editor's Choice awards from the National Library of Congress and was granted a Distinguished Membership from the Board of Directors and Advisory Committee of The International Society of Poets. Presently Tatiana is working on her first novel and a second compilation of poetry.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

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

Two powerful new books are highly recommended picks for collections strong in physical and mental health, tackling topics not ordinary seen in book form. Juliet Grayson's Landscapes of the Heart: The Working World of a Sex and Relationship Therapist (9781785921865, $21.95) comes from a teacher and psychotherapist who follows her client sessions through the barriers of relationship problems and into better relationships. Her ability to integrate and use different approaches has resulted in a new methodology in the UK, but her book promises therapists in all countries new tools and approaches that show how to heal different types of dysfunctional relationships. All mental health collections would benefit from her unique perspective. Margaret Rooke's Creative Successful Dyslexic: 23 High Achievers Share Their Stories (9781785920608, $15.95) is an inspiration for any who struggle with dyslexia. Unfortunately, that very condition may make these stories difficult to access by the very audience who would benefit most from them. That said, the inspirational collection will prove invaluable to any who have family members or friends diagnosed with dyslexia. Stories cover achievement and success and offer first-person accounts from over twenty well-known people who document their realization of new strengths.

The Cookbook Shelf

Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017

Dan Doherty's Toast Hash Roast Mash (9781784721374, $29.99) comes from a British cook whose prior title was named among the best cookbooks of the year in various food magazines. His latest title presents home cooking comfort food; and if the British have in the past received a reputation for poor fare, it's certainly not reflected here. These informal, easy dishes blend international flavors with approaches that take traditional recipes and revise them: thus, the traditional rarebit receives a fresh take with a Blue Cheese, English Mustard and Onion Jam recipe and the Scotch Egg and Indian Bhaji are melded into a hybrid renegade recipe called The Scotch Bhaji. Color photos abound, measurements are provided in Imperial and metric, and dishes pair the familiarity of comfort food with new innovations for maximum appeal. Amber Locke's Nourish: Vibrant Salads to Relish & Refresh (9781784722326, $16.99) focuses on dressings, salad varieties, and creations which are visually eye-catching and appealing as well as filled with nutrition. There are so many salad cookbooks already on the market that one might wonder what sets this one apart from the rest; but a glance at the color photos throughout proves that these dishes feature not just unusual pairings of ingredients, but especially captivating results. From a 'Massaged Kale Salad with Oranges & Cranberries' to a colorful Carrot, Fig & Blueberry Salad with almonds and spinach, these are color and flavor combinations not seen elsewhere, and offer many unique variations that imbibe new life into the salad idea. Jane Baxter & John Vincent's Leon: Happy Salads (9781840917185, $19.99) doesn't contain quite the vibrancy and eye-popping color of Nourish; but it packs in some 100 recipes for all kinds of salads, from traditional fare to lunchbox creations and hearty fare that can make for an entire meal; and it also comes with full-page color photos with salads displayed in particularly-nice serving dishes as it explores such fare as Polish Herring & Potato Salad, a Belgian Steak Salad, and Black Riced Peas. The result is a wide-ranging definition that takes the salad a step further into becoming a mainstream part of the American dinner table.

Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017

Kay Plunkett-Hogge's A Sherry & A Little Plate of Tapas (9781784721541, $19.99) packs in fun recipes for tapas and small plates that are often paired with Spanish sherry, offering some 80 recipes for both cold and cooked tapas that will make for perfect appetizers or party fare. The accompanying details on sherry, which is often paired with them, discuss sherry's history, production, and offers advice on which recipes in the book pair best with different styles of sherry. Color photos pepper the book and round out the recipes and insights on both tapas and sherry, making this a fine, fun recommendation for any cook interested in small plates and appetizers. Hoxton Street Monster Supplies' The Monster's Cookbook: Everyday Recipes for the Living, Dead, and Undead (9781784722333, $14.99) provides some seventy recipes for "monster treats" that range from 'Spliced Earwax Pie' (a buttery production made with ginger, apples, lemon and corn syrup) to 'Thickest Human Snot Curd' "made by troll housewives" in a form of mincemeat made with apples, ginger wine, and stem ginger in syrup. All are different, intriguing dishes accompanied by fun commentary on the appropriateness of each dish to trolls, giants, ogres, and more. Hugh Johnson's Pocket Wine Book 2017 (9781784721473, $16.99) appears in a 40th anniversary edition to update a very popular pocket guide to wine. This year's edition has some 40 wine series charting industry changes, plus a new change in the US chapter, now arranged alphabetically by state rather than by region. The new look and updates (which include thousands of new entries) keep this pocket reference a winner for any who regularly buy wine.

The Fiction Shelf

How to Party With an Infant
Kaui Hart Hemmings
Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
9782501100796, $26.00,

How to Party With an Infant comes from the author of The Descendants and tells of Mele, who is raising her daughter as a single mother in San Francisco, supported by a parent group. All is difficult but going well until her ex returns with the news that he's getting married, and wants Ellie to participate in his wedding. Disturbed by this news, Mele needs a new, distracting hobby - and a cookbook-writing contest could be just the ticket. A fun story of change and transformation evolves, perfect for leisure readers looking for a mix of humor and pointed observation about love, motherhood, and independence.

The Shattered Tree
Charles Todd
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022-5299
9780062386274, $25.99,

The Shattered Tree adds to the Bess Crawford prize-winning series and brings the World War I nurse into her own hospital when she's shot on the battlefield and sent to Paris to recover. Isolated from her familiar world, surrounded by strangers, and still questioning the real identity of an officer she'd treated on the battlefield, Bess faces a search for the truth that will bring her into further danger in this gripping historical story that blends World War I politics and intrigue with a nurse's struggle to survive.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Born to Heal
Luke Adler
Healer Press
c/o Luke Adler Healing
1633 Willamette Street, Eugene, OR 97401
9780692665077, $19.95,

Born to Heal: Heal Yourself Heal the World is an uplifting saga of spiritual and physical growth and blends autobiography with discussions of Eastern and Western practices that promote both self-healing and the greater good of society. Luke Adler is a board-certified acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist, as well as a healer and a teacher, and he offers blend of autobiography, case studies, and exercises to help readers clarify their own paths to understanding illness and their part in its evolution.

The Audiobook Shelf

Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

James Patterson 'Bookshots Flames' offers a series of original romance novels which can be listened to in just a few hours of passionate, compelling action, and four new arrivals to the series are wonderful additions to any romance listener's collection. Jen McLaughlin's The McCullah Inn in Maine (9781478967613, $10.00) documents Chelsea's determination to begin her life and love again, until she bumps into her old flame, who helps her fix up her inn. Erin Bennett's narration brings the passion and drama to life. Erin Knightley's Learning to Ride (9781478967590, $10.00) is narrated by Courtney Patterson, who perfectly captures the drama in a rodeo master who doesn't want love to limit his world. When he sees Madeline at a local honky-tonk, at first he's not impressed; but her worldly ways belay a heart that is surprisingly resistant to his wiles. 'Bookshots' also offers non-romances such as Maxine Paetro's Women's Murder Club: The Trial (9781478967352, $10.00), narrated by veteran reader January LaVoy who adds spice to the story of an accused murderer able to threaten lawyers, jurors and police involved in his case before he goes to trial for murder. A powerful saga is hard to put down. Little Black Dress, with Emily Raymond (9781478967576, $10.00), is narrated by Helen Wick and documents the life of a lonely magazine editor who spends her nights alone until a dress changes her life and loosens her inhibitions. All are engrossing listens, perfect for busy readers who seek high drama packed into a minimum of time.

The Photography Shelf

Michael Gross
Atria Books
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781476763460, $28.00,

Focus: The Secret, Sexy, Sometimes Sordid World of Fashion Photographers provides a strong history of fashion photography and is a recommended for arts history and photography collections alike. Focus considers over a dozen fashion photographers and their works, covering the industry's changes from the late 1940s to modern times and including background information on rivalries between peers, editors, and publishers. Interviews with some of the top participants in the industry blend with author anecdotes of his own experiences in the fashion world to create a powerful survey of the trends, influences, and challenges of the fashion photography industry.

The Science Shelf

Ocean Solutions, Earth Solutions, second edition
Dawn J. Wright, Editor
ESRI Press
380 New York Street, Redlands, CA 92378-8100
9781589484603, $59.99,

Ocean Solutions, Earth Solutions appears in its second updated edition to provide a weighty coverage of the latest oceanography research gained from applying spatial analyses and GIS. Professional oceanographers, marine scientists, and students of these fields will find it packed with geographic and oceanography facts in a guide that includes the original and updated 16 chapters plus seven new ones covering GIS best practices. Color maps and illustrations, overviews of geospatial programs and background details on different coasts and environments, and visual resources for assessment contribute to a powerful guide that is in-depth, well-detailed, and an invaluable reference for any oceanography collection interested in GIS mapping illustrations of marine environments and principles.

The Circle
Alfred S. Posamentier and Robert Geretschlager
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633881679, $25.00,

The Circle: A Mathematical Exploration Beyond the Line is a math title recommended for any level of math enthusiast who enjoys thought-provoking leisure discussions of math's applications to daily life. Unlike most math books, this one narrows the focus to the circle and its basic properties, offering a history of geometry that begins with the circle and leads to deeper discussions of how geometry applies to everyday life and understanding. The presence of circles have changed human society and reach from math discussions to art and technology: The Circle embraces a wide range of these perspectives and is recommended to not just math enthusiasts but general-interest readers as an intriguing and fun coverage.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Word by Word
Marilyn McEntyre
Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
2140 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780802873866, $17.99,

Word By Word: A Daily Spiritual Practice selects fifteen specific words plus a dozen more and then ties the word to a week. Readers can spend that week reflecting on that single word from seven different angles, much in the manner of centering prayer practices. Several paragraphs of detail accompany each phrase to help guide spiritual philosophers' thought processes, with chapters reflecting on the nature of good spiritual practices, challenges and acceptance processes, understanding how the Spirit works in lives, and more. The result is a deeply reflective set of daily insights recommended for spirituality readers from all faiths.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge
Larry Correia and John Ringo
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781476781495, $27.00,

Monster Hunter Memoirs: Grunge is recommended for both prior readers of the Monster Hunter sci-fi detective series and newcomers, who will find it easy to step into the story of an ex-Marine, Chad, who is charged with a mission from Heaven that pucks him from death's grip and sends him back to Earth in search of a sign. When he joins a group called "Monster Hunters International", charged with protecting people against monsters, Chad finds his troubles are just beginning. One pleasure of this story is its blend of military, supernatural, and science fiction themes. Readers interested in all three genres will thus find this crossover story involving and fast-paced, combining weapons and confrontations with powerful scenarios of confrontation and change.

The Psychology Shelf

Helping Children and Adolescents Think About Death, Dying and Bereavement
Marian Carter
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Inc.
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781785920110, $27.95,

Helping Children and Adolescents Think About Death, Dying and Bereavement is directed to any adult who would educate kids about loss, showing how to support and speak with young people as they face death. Kids of all ages, up through adolescents, can better understand the process if adults around them are willing to help. This book shows how, whether the death they face be their own, a family member, a friend, or a pet. Added into the psychological tips is a historical overview of theories revolving around death and children, allowing readers to understand different methods for exploring and explaining the process.

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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