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

The Bookwatch

Volume 14, Number 10 October 2019 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Biography Shelf Philosophy Shelf
Technology Shelf General Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Needlecraft Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Music Shelf Computer Shelf
Martial Arts Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Plant-Based Beauty
Jess Arnaudin
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781783253234, $14.99,

Plant-Based Beauty: The Essential Guide to Detoxing Your Beauty Routine comes for a natural beauty expert and skin care specialist who offers an environmentally conscious perspective on skincare products and maintaining beauty. Her approach focuses on creations that are vegan and plant-friendly, focusing on roots, flowers, fruits, herbs, and oils that can be mixed to enhance and promote healthy skin from the inside out. From seasonal beauty rituals and what to do when the air is especially polluted to mixing purifying cleansers and applying them for natural beauty results, Plant-Based Beauty is especially recommended for natural health collections and those who want more environmentally conscious skincare products.

The Biography Shelf

Barnum: An American Life
Robert Wilson
Simon & Schuster
9781501118623, $28.00

Barnum: An American Life goes where few other biographies or entertainment histories have traversed in following not just Barnum's circus empire, but his life and times. Barnum was heavily involved in the business and political circles of his community, became an advocate for temperance after abstaining from alcohol, and built a name for himself which should be recognized and acknowledged beyond his association with the big top and showmanship. Robert Wilson places Barnum's overall life and times in perspective, considers the controversies he sparked throughout his life, and reviews his convictions and moral and ethical foundations. The result is a powerful survey that should be part of not just biography holdings, but any serious American history collection.

The Philosophy Shelf

Blade Runner 2049 and Philosophy
Robin Bunce and Trip McCrossin, Editors
Open Court
9780812694710, $19.95

Blade Runner 2049 and Philosophy: This Breaks the World adds Volume 127 to the Popular Culture and Philosophy series, designed to involve philosophers and non-philosophers alike in the major questions raised in popular culture. Philosophers from different backgrounds and belief systems here provide insights into the classic movie Blade Runner 2049 and its original, examining the nature of reality, ethics, equality, and knowledge of destination in a world of AI and artificial beings. The lively discussions require knowledge of these movies and a basic interest in philosophical questions, but readers with such a background will find much food for thought in these lively considerations which will prove equally engrossing for college-level discussions by film and philosophy students alike.

The Technology Shelf

Handbook of Radar Scattering Statistics for Terrain
Fawwaz T. Ulaby and M. Craig Dobson
Artech House
9781630817015, $199.00

Handbook of Radar Scattering Statistics for Terrain is a basic recommended reference for radar and remote sensing engineers, and has been reissued with updated new software for the latest data analysis specs. The original appeared in 1989, so quite some time has passed and technological changes march on. This update has been completely revamped and includes new appendices of reference material for new software, a focus on Python- and MATLAB-based software uses, and connections between the statistics of the original book and the update presented in this edition. The software was previously sold separately, but its bundling into this book package creates an invaluable reference.

The General Fiction Shelf

Dead Man Dreaming
Uday Mukerji
Adelaide Books
9781950437634, $19.60

Physician, heal thyself! David is a successful senior resident physician on the cusp of success when everything is threatened by his positive test for Huntington's chorea, which sends him on a downward spiral as he struggles with health issues, losing his love, and redefining his life. How characters handle what circumstance gives them - even life-threatening diseases - is one mark of a good read if the story is done right. Dead Man Dreaming is particularly thorough and poignant in its discussions of life, death, and the choices that lie in-between. It's a solid, absorbing read highly recommended for readers interested in the foundations of choice in navigating the pitfalls of life and medical challenges - one that superbly examines the foundations of good choices that stem from bad situations.

No One's Home
D.M. Pulley
Thomas & Mercer
97815420401546, $15.95

No One's Home is the item of choice for anyone who enjoys a good haunted house story, and tells of a couple new to town who seek a fresh start. Of course, they buy an old mansion rumored to be haunted and find themselves in over their heads, but the most compelling part of this story is its focus on not just the house's notorious history and its haunted side, but how secrets from the past tie into family tensions to move in dangerous directions. Readers who enjoy the rare ghost story that focus on psychological suspense over blood-letting will find No One's Home is more satisfyingly literary and compelling that much of the modern competition.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

A Killer Edition
Lorna Barrett
Berkley Prime Crime
9781984802729, $26.00

A Killer Edition provides a fine Booktown Mystery that tells of a bookstore owner whose time is freed up by her assistant. Tricia's decision to join an animal rescue board and enter a bake-off results in an inadvertent involvement in murder instead, leading Tricia on a chase to identify a town killer. Add a cooking contest and store management concerns to the story for a gripping mystery that is filled with twists and turns that makes it hard to put down.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Star Trek Discovery: The Enterprise War
John Jackson Miller
Gallery Books
9781982113315, $16.00

Fans of the Star Trek Discovery world will relish this original Trek novel, The Enterprise War, which is based on the Star Trek: Discovery series. When hostilities break out between the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets, Captain Christopher Pike struggles to return home, only to find himself in his own personal battle with the Enterprise as the prize for winning the war. An engrossing story of an isolated ship, a divided crew, and an old enemy emerges to delight old fans and new arrivals alike.

Monster Hunter Guardian
Larry Correia and Sarah A. Hoyt
Baen Books
9781481484145, $25.00

Monster Hunter Guardian adds another book to the 'Monster Hunter' series and is especially recommended for prior fans of Correia's writings. This time Owen and the Monster Hunter International crew are called on a mission in another dimension, leaving Owen's wife Julie behind to care for their newborn son. When she finds herself faced with confronting the evil specter Brother Death, Julie's new son's life is threatened. Can she confront all the monsters to save both her son and the world? A fine story of a tough, compelling heroine not only enhances the series but proves satisfyingly unpredictable and completely engrossing.

The Needlecraft Shelf

The Little Book of Big Quilts
That Patchwork Place
9781683560111, $27.99

The Little Book of Big Quilts: 51 Patterns, Small in Size, Big on Style provides another book in Martingale's "Big Book" series; this one covering over fifty patterns for quilts made with a 40" square or smaller. The projects are presented in four categories, from holiday themes to retro approaches, and feature the original designs of a wealth of Martingale quilters who have produced their own books over the years and who, here, contribute to a collection of wonderful display pieces. Martingale's same attention to a wealth of color photos, step-by-step instructions, and lists of materials and methods makes for a compelling winner.

The Cookbook Shelf

Leon: Happy Baking
Claire Ptak & Henry Dimbleby
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781840917987, $19.99

Leon: Happy Baking joins others in the Leon restaurant cookbook series, providing hundreds of recipes for baked goods. Three-quarters of them are sugar, diary, wheat or gluten free dishes which makes this particularly attractive to those with food allergies who normally eschew baked goods. A California former pastry chef and the co-founder of LEON fast food restaurants in London team up on baked goods that often hold a decidedly British flare and tradition, from Eccles Cakes to a meringue Pavlova. Lovely color photos of finished dishes add appeal to a cookbook packed with recipes that will delight those who love baked goods.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Esoterism as Principle and as Way
Frithjof Schuon
World Wisdom
9781936597642, $19.95

Esoterism as Principle and as Way: A New Translation with Selected Letters belongs in spirituality and philosophy collections alike, and provides a new edition gathering some of Frithjof Schuon's finest works. This is a fully revised translation from the French original that accompanies its new writings with some 60 pages of brand new material, including previously unpublished selections of other Schuon works. From his consideration of intelligence and domination links to considerations of the virtues of generosity, Esoterism as Principle and as Way provides much food for thought to appeal to religious and philosophical thinkers alike.

The Music Shelf

Richard Crawford
W.W. Norton
9780393052152, $39.95

At first glance, Summertime: George Gershwin's Life in Music seems like another music biography: but wait, there's more! Hidden in the guide of another Gershwin coverage is a music history that places his achievements in light of his times and influence. Well-researched chapters use the source material of his letters and other accounts to follow Gershwin's life and encounters with Fred Astaire, Ebie Blake, and other notable entertainers and musicians of his times. Not only do Gershwin's friends and colleagues add insights about the man and his works, but Summertime profiles the legacy of his music past, present, and future. Packed with quotes from source materials and much musical background, Summertime is a powerful, hard-hitting survey that is highly recommended as a basic acquisition for any serious American music history collection.

The Computer Shelf

Access 2019 Programming By Example
Julitta Korol
Mercury Learning
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
9781683924036, $64.95,

Access 2019 Programming By Example with VBA, XML, and ASP has been updated for the latest Access 2019 and employs the same format and style as previous editions. It's recommended for those already using Access who want to get up to speed with the latest version, and covers all the changes, reviewing basic routines such as accessing and connecting database tables and fields, updating and deleting data via programming code, and writing such code. From its comprehensive reference materials and disc of source code to its real-world instructions on using macros and other work enhancers, Access 2019 Programming By Example is an important desk reference or self-study manual.

The Martial Arts Shelf

Krav Maga Combatives: Maximum Effect
David Kahn
9781594396816, $24.95

Krav Maga Combatives: Maximum Effect is a reference manual for martial arts designed for krav maga trainees, law enforcement personnel, security professionals, and military fighters who want to refine and direct their basic krav maga combative skills. This focus narrows to combatives alone, the basic of krav maga counter-attacks, and offer a review of the discipline's 12 most effective combinations and approaches for throws, leg locks, chokes, and other moves associated with the original Israeli Krav Maga Association. Any collection strong in self-defense should have this reference as a basic, advanced discussion of applications and improvements to method.

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