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The Bookwatch

Volume 17, Number 10 October 2022 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Social Issues Shelf Jobs/Careers Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Conflict Imagery
Kiley Fleming, EdD.
9781947305472, $24.95 HC, $8.95 Kindle, 192pp

Conflict Imagery: Developing a Reflective Framework is recommended for business, psychology, and economics readers interested in advancing their knowledge of communication in the workplace and at home. It presents a different form of conflict management based on a professional approach that embraces concepts that seem to belay the author's own experience ("Surely an author who has weathered a difficult divorce could be no card-carrying expert on successful conflict resolution."). In fact, it embraces them to build a higher-level approach to the subject: "The best gifts from this season of my life were the realizations that people have a deep capacity for growth, that meaningful change and learning can occur in any situation, and that resilience is a huge part of the human condition."

There's a reason why physical manifestations of emotional connections remain such a draw, whether they be in museums, in creative interpretations of life, or in the workplace and at home: "...tangible objects create imagery for the past." With this in mind, Kiley Fleming proceeds down a path that draws important connections between visualization, imagery, and greater understanding, creating the foundations that support an exploration of all these facets. The challenge lies in how to apply these principles to business and personal interactions. In this endeavor, Fleming shines. As her book explores human nature, connecting this to physical images, readers gain a different perspective on purpose, function, values, and needs in life that apply across the board to working with and better understanding different personality types.

Readers won't expect the discussion to embrace architectural concepts, ratios, or the influence of triggers in imagery development and application. But, Fleming's ability to dance between psychological and life issues while applying the framework of her analysis leads fellow dancers in steps that require some effort, but pay off with the rich rewards of deeper understanding. As Fleming revamps the purposes and goals of others, lacing them into her framework for conflict resolution, clear examples of how this process works are presented from her own life: "In both succession planning and conflict management, the parties know their desired direction. This isn't the issue. The issue is charting a path that creates momentum to achieve results." The result is a study that will reach psychology and self-help readers, but moves neatly beyond these audiences to integrate itself into workplace and daily life functions.

Libraries interested in works that promise bigger-picture thinking and which create a clear framework with proven paths to success will find Conflict Imagery a development guide with the power to reach from lay reader to HR leaders and others from all walks of life.

The Social Issues Shelf

The Battle of Lincoln Place
Dennis Hathaway
Crania Press
9781732476233, $32.99 Hardcover/$18.99 Paper/$4.99 Kindle

Ideally, The Battle of Lincoln Place: An Epic Fight by Tenants to Save Their Homes should appear in any library collection strong in urban planning, social issues, and urban politics surrounding transformation processes. It captures the experience of many tenants by profiling what happened to Lincoln Place, a large historic apartment complex whose residents fought corporate landlords to maintain their home.

Lincoln Place was constructed by a Black architect whose vision of creating not just an apartment building, but a structure that fostered community, was embedded in his design and represented by its tenants. While readers might anticipate the subject to focus on corporate greed and tenant rights, The Battle of Lincoln Place incorporates, then moves beyond these narrow visions to examine broader subjects of community makeup and support systems. These include legal issues relating to landlord/tenant relationships, definitions of home and the right to occupy and maintain such as part of a community's makeup, and the moral issues involved in remodeling and remaking working-class communities for increased profit at the expense of those who call their rented abode 'home'.

As Hathaway delves into political and social issues alike, he uses case histories of those involved in the struggle for Lincoln Place to bring to life the myriad issues raised in urban planning and development projects. These individual stories and lives power an inspection that delves into everything from rehabilitation efforts to issues of intimidation and bullying. The result is a powerful story that uses the microcosm of the Lincoln Place experience as a blueprint for better understanding the social and political forces at work in community makeup and development.

Ideally, The Battle of Lincoln Place will be chosen for classroom discussion in a range of subjects, from urban planning and architecture courses to those studying social issues and working-class and minority experience.

The Jobs/Careers Shelf

FIRED! Protect Your Rights & FIGHT BACK If You're Terminated, Laid Off, Downsized, Restructured, Forced to Resign or Quit
Steven Mitchell Sack, Attorney-at-Law
Legal Strategies Publications
9798985790610, $34.99 Hardcover/$24.99 Paper/$19.99 ebook

FIRED! Protect Your Rights & FIGHT BACK If You're Terminated, Laid Off, Downsized, Restructured, Forced to Resign or Quit is the 'bible' of employee rights under fire, and should be part of any business collection, to be consulted in any termination situation.

Steven Mitchell Sack is a nationally renowned workplace attorney who here shares his insights, strategies, legal savvy, and advice to help workers who face the ax, but want to protect and better understand their rights. More than just a review of firing processes, it delves into the underlying politics, legal ramifications, and impact of releasing employees from jobs, supplementing its analysis with forms, examples, letters, and legal documents which reflect the latest in workplace relations.

Sack spent over forty years defending employees who have been fired under all kinds of conditions. This background provides a stellar authority for this book, which is replete not just in theory and legal background, but action and outcomes. Why does a working reader need this book? Because it saves money, time, aggravation, and misunderstandings. In the past, those fired simply acquiesced and left. Today, the legal and business worlds are different. Sack maintains that "...most terminated individuals are questioning those decisions and regularly negotiating better severance packages and post-termination benefits. Statistics from my own law practice bear this out."

All kinds of terminations can be addressed using this book, from age- and gender-influenced firings to the types of negotiations possible to further health insurance and other post-employment benefit packages. Special tips supplement case history examples and reviews of the latest laws, highlighting possible strategies that individuals and groups can take when addressing mass layoffs.

Why consult this book when Sack notes that it doesn't replace legal counsel? Because it outlines many strategies and legal precedents to give readers solid ideas of game plans and approaches before they incur an attorney's fees and time. No working person should be without access to or ownership of FIRED! Quite simply, it's the most important and comprehensive modern legal review of employee rights in the book world today, and should be considered the first step in any proactive legal review, whether the reader has been fired, laid off, or quit.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Trouble Walked In
Mike Kupari
Baen Books
P.O. Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471
9781982192037, $16.00

Trouble Walked In combines a crime story with interplanetary sci-fi elements in a mystery that crosses genres to involve readers from different interests. Cassandra Blake has gone missing. Her sister wants answers. Detective Ezekiel Novak is the one who usually solves crimes and provides them, but in this case he faces unprecedented danger because Cassandra apparently was involved in something over her head involving an alien artifact and dangerous forces. As he struggles to find Cassandra, he is drawn into a deadly conspiracy that threatens the cosmic order and the Terran Confederation. The lively writing and mystery will keep sci-fi and mystery readers thoroughly involved.

Baen Books
P.O. Box 1403, Riverdale, NY 10471

Two new arrivals from Baen are highly recommended picks for sci-fi readers looking for something different.

Travis S. Taylor's Ballistic (9781982192020, $25.00) mingles politics with futuristic dilemmas. A Russian ICBM site is attacked, the nuclear warheads are missing, and the International Space Station is threatened not with destruction, but by a hijacking attempt. A cat-and-mouse game evolves where the would-be terrorists find themselves both trapped and protected by their orbital perch, but it's up to one American astronaut to keep disaster at bay until rescue forces arrive. A gripping story evolves, filled with political, social, and futuristic action.

Kevin Ikenberry's The Crossing (9781982192013, $25.00) brings alternate history to life as it tells of eight cadets from the future who join a revolutionary battle to change the world. Will a troupe of ROTC young people training in 2008 know enough of 1776 history to help George Washington do what he needs to preserve the timeline without changing the past? The dilemmas and choices make for an evocative tale.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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