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The Bookwatch

Volume 12, Number 10 October 2017 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Jobs/Careers Shelf
Photography Shelf Computer Shelf Education Shelf
Technology Shelf Economic Studies Shelf American History Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Cookbook Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fiction Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

America 51
Corey Taylor
Da Capo Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
9780306825446, $26.00,

There could possibly be no better timing for the appearance of America 51: A Probe Into the Realities That Are Hiding Inside "The Greatest Country in the World", a tongue-in-cheek humor piece blending serious social observation and outrage with Corey Taylor's rant about the state of modern America and world perceptions of its culture. From foreign policy and English speakers to truths the average American likely won't be happy to hear, this is a hard-hitting but engrossing and hard look at the state of modern America and those who live in this country, worthy of inclusion in any general lending library.

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

The Online Writer's Companion
P.J. Aitken
Allworth Press
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
9781621535287, $19.99,

The Online Writer's Companion: A Complete Guide to Earning Your Living as a Freelancer packs in a wealth of information on how to build a career as a freelance writer, and covers everything from pricing, locating, and bidding on writing jobs to blogging for pay, handling clients, employing a rating system that will bring in new work and clients, and more. From what kinds of jobs writers can look for to how to handle work when it comes, this is a writer's guide no aspiring writer should be without.

The Jobs/Careers Shelf

Starting Your Career as an Illustrator
Michael Fleishman
Allworth Press
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
9781621535096, $24.99

Starting Your Career as an Illustrator is for beginners new to the illustration career possibilities and assumes no prior knowledge in either career pursuit or illustration promotion as it surveys all the basics. Newcomers will enjoy the step-by-step considerations that range from how to create a first portfolio and how to show it to making contacts, setting up an office, acquiring supplies, pricing illustrations, and understanding the market. While some of the information is basic small business savvy, most is particular to the illustration market and is a solid discussion that incorporates professional viewpoints into a series of logical steps towards success.

The Photography Shelf

The Photography Exercise Book
Bert Krages
Allworth Press
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
9781621535379, $24.99

The Photography Exercise Book: Training Your Eye to Shoot Like a Pro uses cognitive science to supplement artistic discussions and the mechanics of taking a superior photograph. While photographers may not anticipate this approach (most books focus on artistry and mechanics alone), they will find it just one of the unique aspects particular to a book that teaches visual perception and how it can be captured in different ways, photographically. Artists thus receive an overall perspective on making the most of human perception and psychology as they craft their photos using lessons and exercises designed to better advance their art and its impact, making this a 'must' that stands out above other photography 'how to' guides.

The Computer Shelf

Java 9 for Programmers
Paul Deitel and Harvey Deitel
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780134777566, $59.99,

Java 9 for Programmers joins others in the Deitel Developer Series and provides professional programmers with a solid reference to Java 9, the latest Java edition. Those with prior background in the language will find this book uses a live-code approach to teaching its subject and offers a blend of tested programs with code and discussions of how the code works. Hundreds of complete Java 9 programs are supported by this code discussion and so programmers learn this edition of Java through topics that consider graphics, video applications, database management and interfaces, and more. The content is loaded with examples and applications that make it easy for professionals to transition from earlier versions to understand both the differences in Java 9 and best practices for using it in a guide especially recommended for self-study by practicing Java professionals.

The Education Shelf

Strategies That Work, third edition
Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis
Stenhouse Publishers
480 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101-3451
9781625310637, $49.33,

The third updated edition of Strategies That Work: Teaching Comprehension for Understanding, Engagement, and Building Knowledge Grades K-8 is packed with new ideas and projects the authors have done since the second edition a decade ago, and provides new ideas on how to teach thinking strategies to encourage blossoming readers in grades K-8 to become independent, engaged critical thinkers. The three sections to this new edition cover the latest research and materials surrounding comprehension processes, incorporate strategies for teaching comprehension and include lesson plans and tools supporting this process, and conclude with cross-discipline applications of these basics. No education collection should be without it.

The Technology Shelf

Plug-in Electronic Vehicle Grid Integration
Islam Safak Bayram and Ali Tajer
Artech House
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
9781630810511, $149.00,

Plug-in Electronic Vehicle Grid Integration provides a detailed introduction to plug-in electronic vehicles and their adaptation, focusing on technological advancements and technologies but adding economic and social observations into the picture to help electronics engineers understand the interfaces and processes of charging infrastructures and PEV drivers. From the special challenges involved in adopting PEV into mainstream circles and habits to roadblocks to this integration process, capacity planning for charging stations, cost and demand models, and more, this is a 'must' for any technical discussion of electronic vehicles and their future.

The Economic Studies Shelf

The Great American Economy
Steve Slavin
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633883055, $25.00,

The Great American Economy: How Inefficiency Broke It and What We Can Do to Fix It examines the fact that many Americans feel the economy is no longer working on their behalf, and considers how this is the case and what can be done. Gross inefficiency lies at the heart of this perspective: a condition which has been growing since the end of World War II. The massive institutions designed to support Americans in fact are failing in their jobs, Slavin points out; and he proposes big changes to pinpoint and eradicate inefficiency as a solution to the problem. This accessible discussion is recommended as a key acquisition for any collection strong in American economic concerns.

The American History Shelf

The Ghost Ship Brooklyn
Robert P. Watson
Da Capo Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
9780306825521, $28.00,

The Ghost Ship Brooklyn: An Untold Story of the American Revolution tells of the HMS Jersey, a ship which, during the American Revolutionary War, was renowned for the cruelty of its guards, its notoriously deplorable conditions under which colonial prisoners were kept by the British after it was converted to a prison ship, and for a reputation that was to spark additional rebellion in the colonies. The story of how this ship sparked enough outrage to fuel the Revolution makes for a powerful account which documents individuals who suffered on the ship, escaped from its conditions, and helped keep its memory a part of American history which has not been properly examined until this survey. No American history holding should be without this eye-opening account.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Piece and Quilt With Precuts
Christa Watson
That Patchwork Place
c/o Martingale & Company
19021 - 120th Avenue NE, Suite 102, Bothell, WA 98011
9781604688702, $26.99,

Piece and Quilt With Precuts features 11 quilt projects and 18 machine-cutting designs and focuses on tricks and tips to make working with precuts and scraps a cinch. This comes from an award-winning quilt designer who uses some eleven projects as examples for building skills in walking-foot, free-motion and blends of these techniques. Complete with patterns, step-by-step instructions, and an approach that blends piecing and precut handling with innovative designs, this is a solid reference for any would-be quilter new to these ideas.

The Cookbook Shelf

The Pumpkin Cookbook
Deedee Stovel
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247
9781612128337, $16.95,

The Pumpkin Cookbook: 139 Recipes Celebrating the Versatility of Pumpkin and Other Winter Squash offers a much broader set of recipes than one would expect, given that the usual pumpkin cookbook focuses on sweet fare and this one includes savory dishes as well, in keeping with the 'versatility' angle of the book. Picture a Pork Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce infused with pumpkin, a Pork Stew with Pumpkin and Prunes, or a White Bean, Chicken and Pumpkin Chili, to name just a few innovative ideas. Of course, there are good-sized sections of breads and desserts; but pair color photos with a well-rounded sampling of dishes for a cookbook that is a highly recommended pick for any pumpkin enthusiast looking for variations on the theme.

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

Two new cookbooks offer unusual approaches and recipes not easily found elsewhere, making them recommended picks for discriminating cooks and collections catering to them. ChloŽ Callow's Cold Brew Coffee: Techniques, Recipes & Cocktails (9781784723606, $12.99) provides step-by-step direction for cold brewing coffee and recipes for using it in drinks, as a concentrate. Nothing is left to wonder, whether it be choosing beans for the process or mixing coffee with liqueur for desirable drinks. Chetna Makan's Chai, Chaat & Chutney: A Street Food Journey Through India (9781784722876, $29.99) may, at first glance, seem another Indian cookbook; but it comes from an author who has sampled regional street food throughout the country, and who assembles different dishes not to be found in the majority of general Indian cookbooks. These range from a Mumbai Falooda (a blend of sundae-meets-milkshake that includes pistachios, glass noodles and basil seeds) and a Bhakarwadi sweet and savory pastry snack to a Delhi Kaju Kishmish ice cream made of raisins, vanilla, and cashew nuts.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Monster Hunter Siege
Larry Correia
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781481482254, $25.00,

Monster Hunter Siege adds to an outstanding, well-written series about Monster Hunter International's encounters and tells of Owen Pitt, who finds himself inadvertently involved in a rescue mission when he receives a tip about missing monster hunters. His efforts become one of the major operations in the outfit's history as he discovers they are being held prisoner in another dimension - one that lies beyond a monster-infested war zone that harbors a powerful adversary. A strong story of intrigue and monsters impossible to defeat makes for a story that is action-packed and just as satisfyingly unpredictable as its predecessors. Prior fans, especially, will relish this latest expansion of the purposes and encounters of the Monster Hunter group.

The Castle in Cassiopeia
Mike Resnick
c/o Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633882317, $17.00,

The Castle in Cassiopeia is Book Three in the 'Dead Enders' series; and as such, is particularly recommended for prior fans who have already absorbed the setting of Pretorius and his Dead Enders, who kidnapped a general and substituted a clone who had been trained in their Democracy. In this title they find that the clone has gone rogue and wants to take over - and having been raised on Earth, he knows too much about how to do this. Can Pretorius and the remnants of humanity reach him before disaster strikes? A powerful story evolves, adding depth and new intrigue to the tale.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Whispers of Warning
Jessica Estevao
Berkley Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
9780425261611, $15.00,

Whispers of Warning provides a fine 'Change of Fortune' mystery blending a quick-witted heroine and psychic, Ruby, with a second tale in a series; this one discussing crime at a small beachside town in Maine. History, mystery, and supernatural influences blend nicely in the story of a woman who finally finds her place in a small town after years on the run with her scam artist father, only to discover that her newfound friendships and home with family is threatened by a suffragist's stay at the hotel and the town politics that emerge in response. The result is a powerful and involving tale that operates deftly and efficiently on many levels, recommended for history and mystery buffs alike.

The Fiction Shelf

Betrayal at Iga
Susan Spann
Seventh Street Books
c/o Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228
9781633882775, $15.95,

Betrayal at Iga is set in 1565 and tells of ninja Hiro Hattori and Jesuit Father Mateo, who flee Kyoto for refuge with Hiro's ninja clan in the Iga province mountains. Trouble follows when an ambassador from the rival Koga clan is murdered, charging Hiro and Father Mateo with locating the murderer before the death of an individual erupts into a war between ninja clans. History, mystery, and tension permeate a novel packed with intrigue and a story line that is fast-paced and absorbing, making it a top recommendation for historical novel readers looking for more depth to their mysteries than most books offer.

The Savior's Game
Sean Chercover
Thomas & Mercer
9781477848791, $24.95,

The Savior's Game concludes the Daniel Byrne trilogy with a finale that is drop-dead stunning, and is recommended reading for prior fans who have been awaiting the conclusion with baited breath. Around the world, a condition known as Anomalous Information Transfer brings visions that drive many to madness. For Daniel Byrne, this condition leads to visions of the future - a future of massacres and catastrophe. Charged with both deciphering the future and preventing it, Daniel is chased by assassins who want his possible influence eradicated, and embarks on a journey that translates to a race against time - which is running out. The thriller is well-written and fast-paced: perfect reading for fans of apocalyptic adventures.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Mastering the Addicted Brain
Walter Ling, MD
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
9781608685004, $15.95,

Mastering the Addicted Brain: Building a Sane and Meaningful Life to Stay Clean comes from the founding director of the UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs and an expert in the field of addiction, and offers insights on how to understand addiction and its management. The latest scientific evidence supports these tips, which are directed to addicts and their loved ones and which chronicles the path to recovery and the pressures that can lead to failure. Chapters explain the mechanics of addiction, the triggers that can make addiction a challenge to overcome, and the processes of lasting behavioral change in a survey highly recommended for any struggling with addiction.

Seeing What Others Cannot See
Thomas G. West
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633883017, $18.00,

Seeing What Others Cannot See: The Hidden Advantages of Visual Thinkers and Differently Wired Brains combines insights from cognitive psychology with discussions of how to recognize, educate and use nonverbal strengths, and offers a blend of science and health as it argues that dyslexics and others who typically fail in traditional educational processes often wind up excelling because of their special abilities as visual thinkers. Both educators and health collections will find this an intriguing discussion that blends examinations and examples of visual thinkers with an overall approach that encourages this process, making it an accessible 'must' for any interested in brain functions, perception, cognitive learning and health.

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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