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The Bookwatch

Volume 13, Number 10 October 2018 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Philosophy Shelf Technology Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Audiobook Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Social Issues Shelf Education Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Beer Shelf Cookbook Shelf Business Shelf
Literary Studies Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf American History Shelf
Criminology Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Kenneth Field
ESRI Press
9781589484399 $94.99

Cartography is an in-depth, lavishly illustrated reference that documents the different processes involved in modern mapmaking, covering everything from different approaches to specialized maps to common errors that creep into maps and cartography processes, and how to avoid them. Full-page color maps accompany such discussions as how error and bias affects map interpretations and organization, how map aesthetics can be defined to analyze a map's visual choices and value, and applications as a database and as a cartographic tool. The result is a wide-ranging survey that examines all levels of map creation, choice, interpretation, and incorporation of GIS and datasets in a production that should be in any authoritative cartographic or college-level geography reference collection.

The Philosophy Shelf

Scott Adams and Philosophy
Daniel Yim, Galen Foresman, & Robert Arp, editors
Open Court
9780812699777 $19.95

Philosophy, current events, and political science readers alike will appreciate the contemporary blend of philosophical insight and social reflection in Scott Adams and Philosophy, which closely considers the commentator's ideas in his satirical comic strip Dilbert and how they have affected many circles. From questions of the existentialist absurdity in Dilbert presentations to different meanings of 'facts' and whether and how they matter, Scott Adams and Philosophy offers discussions that presume some prior knowledge of Dilbert and his world, but take this knowledge in satisfying intellectual directions relating Dilbert to modern life, times, and philosophical inspection.

The Technology Shelf

Heat Transfer Modelling Using COMSOL
L.S. Mayboudi
Mercury Learning
9781683921721 $54.95

Heat Transfer Modelling Using COMSOL Slab to Radial Fin will appeal to physics and thermal design engineers alike, offering a set of heat transfer models for fin designs that discuss the basics of implementing models in real-world commercial applications. It uses COMSOL Multiphysics version 5.3 to set up numerical analysis of models and it includes all the math needed to address problems, solutions, and more. A companion disc with the models and apps rounds out the invaluable reference material provided in a text recommended for college-level courses and engineers alike.

GIS for Surface Water
Jeff Simley
ESRI Press
9781589484795 $79.99

GIS for Surface Water: Using the National Hydrography Dataset is a work recommended for science, cartography, and water management collections alike, offering researchers, scientists, policy makers, and students a basic review of the surface waters of the U.S. and the analysis tools that contribute to their usage, regulation, and understanding. Chapters show how various GIS operations can be applied to further scientific understanding and define surface water management issues and systems. Color photos, charts, and analysis sequences assure an invaluable reference that offers lasting value to any college-level collection strong in water management issues.

Artech House

Two new microwave design and methods reference books will appeal to college-level and professional electronics holdings for anyone strong in microwave technology, and provide surveys from recognized experts who examine critical components and engineering. Howard Hausman's Microwave Power Amplifier Design with MMIC Modules (9781630813468, $169.00) provides engineers with ikeys to selecting the best power amplifier modules for different applications, integrating them into systems and troubleshooting common issues involving microwave and PA systems. The basics of SSPA design and evaluation are reviewed in chapters that introduce theories and applications and support them with equations and technical discussions based on real-world issues. Matteo Pastorino and Andrea Randazzo's Microwave Imaging Methods and Applications (9781630813482, $159.00) provides researchers and microwave imagers with a review of the latest techniques for inspecting structures and bodies using microwave applications, and covers everything from medical imaging to security and engineering applications. Examples, equations, reviews of systems, and cross-comparisons of different imaging methods all contribute to a reference that covers not only basic and advanced applications, but the latest research and discoveries in the field. Both are 'must have' references for any professional or college-level collection strong in microwave technology.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

North American Wildlife Policy and Law
Bruce D. Leopold, Winifred B. Kessler, & James L. Cummins, editors
Boone and Crockett Club
9781940860275 $95.00

North American Wildlife Policy and Law is a reference recommended for legal and science holdings alike, reviewing wildlife law and policy as it relates to wildlife and natural resource management challenges. More than a legal primer, however, it also provides a history of wildlife law and enforcement processes, considering local, regional and nationwide efforts to manage natural resources and their users, and providing a foundation for understanding wildlife conservation enforcement, policy-making, politics, and legal processes. This is an extensive in-depth coverage that should be in any college-level or legal collection strong in environmental law and public lands management, providing a thorough background necessary for understanding all facets of wildlife policy in this country.

The Audiobook Shelf

Hachette Audio

Pete Larkin's Valley of Genius: The Uncensored History of Silicon Valley (9781549169052, $35.00) receives a fine narration by Adam Fisher which brings to life the story of California's tech area's rise as told by the hackers and founders who made it grow virtually overnight. From the origins of Google and Facebook to early influences on the development of the internet, this lively story is especially recommended for its engrossing account of the start-ups, successes, and failures that led to a specific geographic area becoming the hub of high-tech advancements. Gail Carriger's Competence (9781549169083, $30.00) is Book Three in The Custard Protocol and is read by Moira Quirk, who brings alive the tale of an airship, a new breed of vampire, and crew which stumbles upon a mission to Peru, encountering airship pirates and oddities along the way. The story lies somewhere between a fantasy, a steampunk story and a novel, adding intrigue and interest with a spunky heroine who navigates her world and all its surprises. Listeners will find this a strangely compelling, different environment that is absorbing and hard to stop listening to.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Mrs. Jeffries and the Three Wise Women
Emily Brightwell
9780399564244 $16.00

Mrs. Jeffries and the Three Wise Women provides a holiday Victorian mystery featuring Mrs. Jeffries, housemaid to a bumbling British inspector, and provides the thirty-sixth installment in the series. One need have no prior familiarity with the other characters or Victorian situations in Brightwell's prior books: each Mrs. Jeffries mystery stands alone, and this is no exception. The Christmas setting involves Inspector Witerspoon and his household in chaos as a case threatens the holiday spirit in this absorbing, fun tale.

The Social Issues Shelf

Gamer Nation
Eric Geissinger
Prometheus Books
9781633883796 $25.00

Gamer Nation: The Rise of Modern Gaming and the Compulsion to Play Again considers how games are big business in America, accounting for nearly a ninth of America's entire economic output as the entertainment industry attracts all kinds of users. Eric Geissinger provides no single approach to his consideration of the effect of games on culture and society in this country, but contrasts the pros and cons of gaming and juxtaposes his opinion with that of experts in psychology, games, and economics. The result is a powerful survey of compulsive behaviors and different kinds of games and their impact on society and individuals alike.

The Education Shelf

Writers Read Better: Nonfiction
M. Colleen Cruz
9781506311234 $27.95

Writers Read Better: Nonfiction provides fifty paired lessons that lead to better reading skills, and uses research-backed ideas to create these insights and specific writing lessons plans. Each writing lesson leads back to a reading lesson and visa versa, supporting approaches to activities that serve as building blocks for literacy. From reordering information with purpose to adding dimensions to writing, each lesson comes with lesson steps, a 'What I Say to Students' outline, and tips for success. Teachers will be especially pleased by these specific steps.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Dimensional Cloth
Andra F. Stanton
Schiffer Publishing
9780764355363 $50.00

Dimensional Cloth: Sculpture by Contemporary Textile Artists serves two purposes: it serves as an overview of dimensional cloth applications and uses, and it profiles over three hundred photos of the creations of nearly 80 artists who use dimensional cloth to produce eye-popping three-dimensional works. Five basic themes are used to organize these cloth art pieces, while discussions with the artists cover the basics of how modern artistic techniques changes fiber to a new art form. Discussions move beyond theory and into techniques as they survey the different forms dimensional cloth can take under different hands and perspectives, making for a solid recommendation for textile and arts collections alike.

The Beer Shelf

The Craft Beer Dictionary
Richard Croasdale
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Books
9781784723880 $20.00

The Craft Beer Dictionary: An A-Z of craft beer, from hop to glass uses the dictionary format to illustrate craft beer methods, storage, production and tasting from around the world, and will attract craft beer drinkers who may be new to the concept and its possibilities. Color illustrations pepper a fine A-Z coverage of everything from fermentation to harvesting hops and making cask beer in a celebration perfect for newcomers to beer-making terminology.

The Cookbook Shelf

The Sourdough School
Vanessa Kimbell
9781909487932 $24.99

The Sourdough School: The Ground-Breaking Guide to Making Gut-Friendly Bread comes from a breadmaking expert and teacher of the Sourdough School who offers home bakers an easy way of getting started with starters and sourdough baking methods. Lest cooks think that The Sourdough School sounds similar to existing sourdough cookbooks, it should be advised that the tutorial moves from basics to experimenting with flavors such as a Fig & Earl Grey load, Tomato & Herb Bread, or a Scandinavian-inspired Rosinbrød with a butter spice paste made of cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg and raisins.

American Cookie
Anne Byrn
Rodale Books
9781623365455 $24.99

If a limited number of cookie cookbooks were to be considered for a collection, then American Cookie: The Snaps, Drops, Jumbles, Tea Cakes, Bars & Brownies That We Have Loved for Generations should be among the top contenders for the honor. New York Times food editor and author blends a historical examination of cookie basics with an inspection of small cakes, cookies, and desserts, providing some 100 recipes for cookies that have grown along with the country. Regional fare, such as a Texas Mexican Wedding Cookie or Sagamore Hill Sand Tarts, an older cousin of the snickerdoodle and originally a German recipe, are profiled along with enlightening insights into how the cookie featured in some part of American history. The result is more than another cookie cookbook alone, placing the American cookie firmly in place with other classic American regional cuisine by affording it a book of its own. Very highly recommended for culinary history and cookbook holdings alike.

The Business Shelf

Boards That Dare
Marc Stigter & Sir Cary Cooper
Bloomsbury Business
9781472938060 $35.00

Boards That Dare: How to Future-Proof Today's Corporate Boards should be read by any board member interested in learning how business, community, consumer and employee value is created and defined. This book addresses board shortcomings, common pitfalls, the process of board self-assessment routines that help them define attitudes and underlying perceptions and misconceptions about their purpose and duties, and the kinds of changes that broaden their dynamics and effectiveness. It's based on the authors' experiences and research with board members and international private, public, and nonprofit sectors alike, and thus provides an unusually broad perspective about board interactions, processes, and the process of making them more effective. No business collection should be without this challenge to conventional wisdom about board management and makeup.

The Literary Studies Shelf

From Medicine to Manuscript
Seymour I. Schwartz
Prometheus Books
9781633884335 $26.00

From Medicine to Manuscript: Doctors with a Literary Legacy profiles modern doctors and historic people who have specialized in medicine, but made their names among literary circles, and is recommended for health and literature collections alike. From Keats and Chekhov to John Michael Crichton and Charles Krauthammer, readers receive a wide-ranging profile of popular and scholarly writers who have made impacts in both the medical and the literary worlds alike. In addition to assessing their literary prowess, the chapters cover their social and political engagements and how their work changed their worlds.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Nebula Awards Showcase 2018
Jane Yolen, editor
9781633885042 $18.00

Nebula Awards Showcase 2018 is always a highly recommended short story collection because it, quite simply, represents the creme de la creme of the genre's Nebula winners. Each story is outstanding and the diversity of the gathering as a whole introduces names readers may not be familiar with, from Alyssa Wong and A. Merc Rustad to Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam. This synthesis of winning and nominated stories enjoys editor Jane Yolen's attention to the best, making this collection an outstanding gathering of the finest new, upcoming sci-fi and fantasy writers.

Worlds 3
Eric Flint
Baen Books
9781481483414 $16.00

Worlds 3 gathers Eric Flint's short fiction pieces, but though it's heavy in sci-fi, his genres aren't limited to sci-fi alone. Here are mysteries, alternate history pieces, short fiction, and even a novelette, each offering a different theme and approach that demonstrates that Flint isn't just a master of alternate history alone. As an added bonus, each story comes with an introduction explaining its origins, which adds immensely to reader enjoyment of the story. Prior Flint fans who might consider him a singular writer from his popular and expansive alternate history series will find this a fitting demonstration of his multifaceted talents.

The American History Shelf

Stories of the Old West
Steven D. Price and Thomas P. McCarthy, editors
Lyons Press
c/o The Globe Pequot Press
9781493031986 $22.95

Stories of the Old West: 44 Great Tales of the American Frontier gathers tales of ranches, rodeos, gunslingers, range warfare, and a host of other Western legends and tales, and adds life and vigor to images of the old West and those who made their lives in a rugged world in America's past. 19th century U.S. history comes to life in a collection that represents the top American Western writings of this country, with a hundred years of tales packed under one cover. It's a lively read for anyone looking for a refresher course in Western history as well as a good collection of Western short tales.

The Criminology Shelf

The Senator's Son
Charles Oldham, author
Foreword by Ray McAllister
Beach Glass Books
9780998788142 $26.00

The Senator's Son: The Shocking Disappearance, The Celebrated Trial, and The Mystery That Remains a Century Later comes from an attorney fascinated by history's mysteries who stumbled upon the true story of the disappearance and presumed murder of a state senator's eight-year-old son in 1905, becoming immersed in a murder mystery over a hundred years old. The conclusion assesses political influence, legal proceedings, and narrows the possibilities of what really happened in an approach that raises questions even as it wraps up avenues the original investigation didn't touch. One could not hope for a better expose than The Senator's Son. Filled with passion, well-researched facts, maps, photos and illustrations, and astute insights into state senators, financial influences, and special interests that led to disaster, the story is not just a historical recounting, but a vibrant, engrossing true tale that proves both educational and nearly impossible to stop reading.

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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