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The Bookwatch

Volume 3, Number 9 September 2008 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Computer Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Pets/Wildlife Shelf Photography Shelf Biography Shelf
Literary Shelf Audiobook Shelf Gardening Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Parenting Shelf Business Shelf
Needlecraft Shelf Art Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Science Shelf Political Science Shelf Social Issues Shelf
Military Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Education Shelf Music Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

The Power of a Positive Attitude
Roger Fritz
1601 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0814410138, $15.00

Attitude affects all facets of our lives, from how we handle stress and communicate at work to how we view difficulties. This book is for any library strong in business and conflict resolution: it translates a positive attitude to a business pursuit and shows how to achieve by becoming a better listeners, handling bosses and subordinates better, and how to conquer factors that work against positive results.

The iPod & iTunes Handbook
Contel Bradford
Atlantic Publishing
1405 SW 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471
9781601381224, $24.95

Apple has revolutionized the digital music industry with its iPod and iTunes systems and now there are many different pods and players available. So how can a consumer tell which to buy and how to run and customize them? THE IPOD & ITUNES HANDBOOK tells how, showing how to create playlists, sync iPods to a computer, convert videos to play on an iPod, and more. It's a 'must' for any general-interest lending library and many an iPod owner.

The Computer Shelf

1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472

JavaScript was developed in a hurry before it could be refined, and thus has more 'bad parts' than most programming languages. Senior JavaScript architect at Yahoo! Douglas Crockford in JavaScript: The Good Parts (9780596517748, $29.99 ) lends expertise to the topic (he's considered a key expert by many in the field) and provides a survey of the language which enables effective code development. Any library strong in Java development and analysis needs JAVASCRIPT: THE GOOD PARTS. Philipp Lenssen's GOOGLE APPS HACKS (059651588X, $29.99) provides a collection of hacks and tricks to offer different ways of customizing Google Apps, from its email and spreadsheets to some of its desktop applications such as Google Earth. Owners of Google Apps learn all about document sharing, embedding web pages into Google Calendar, adding photos to its mapping system, and more. Advanced programming collections will relish Rick Copeland's ESSENTIAL SQLALCHEMY (9780596516147, $34.99), a powerful survey for Python developers who need to access relational databases. From customizing routines and creating objects to building a mapper and providing an active record pattern, this survey of SQLAlchemy will delight patrons of advanced developer guides. Chris Seibold's BIG BOOK OF APPLE HACKS (9780596529826, $34.99) provides a new, big collection of tips and tricks to get the most out of a Mac OS X, iPhone, or new iPod or Apple TV. From shortcuts and customizing processes to adding peripherals and protecting the system with backups, this is a key reference for any Mac user or library catering to them.

Agile Adoption Patterns: a Roadmap to Organizational Success
Amr Elssamadisy
c/o Pearson Education
801 East 96th Street, 3rd floor, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759 1-800-428-5331
0321514521, $44.99

Proven patterns for succeeding with Agile in an organization are presented in a series of case studies and hands-on exercises in Agile Adoption Patterns: a Roadmap to Organizational Success. Here are the most common stumbling points teams face in implementing strategy, along with tips on how to teach, train, and bring customers on board to an agile environment. Any Agile project manager will find this an excellent series of tips, making this perfect for software engineering collections.

IT Governance
Alan Calder & Steve Watkins
Kogan Page
525 South 4th Street #241, Philadelphia, PA 19147
9780749452711, $90.00

IT GOVERNANCE: A MANAGER'S GUIDE TO DATA SECURITY AND ISO 27001/ISO27002 is a top pick for college-level, professional IT and computer collections. It surveys business practices and IT management, appealing to managers and organizations with details on how to handle information security risks. This new edition has been fully updated with the latest regulatory and technological changes and offers the latest revisions to ISO 27001 and ISO 27002, covering all the basics of ISO certification and data security.

Mastering CSS with Dreamweaver CS3
Stephanie Sullivan and Greg Rewis
New Riders
1249 8th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
0321508971, $49.99

Dreamweaver is the leading web authoring tool and CSS is the recommended method for creating accessible web pages, yet it's a common idea that the two cannot operate smoothly together. That's why Mastering CSS with Dreamweaver CS3 is an essential acquisition for any serious programmer's library: it covers the latest tools for building CSS-based sites and covers all the basics of how to use CSS styling under Dreamweaver's tools. Highly recommended, it's packed with color charts, screens and examples throughout.

Designed Maps: A Sourcebook for GIS Users
Cynthia A. Brewer
ESRI Press
380 New York Street, Redlands, CA 92373-8100
9781589481602, $39.95

College-level libraries strong in either cartography or GIS mapping design will appreciated DESIGNED MAPS: SOURCEBOOK FOR GIS USERS, which offers easy basic guidelines for creating the cartographic effects using ESRI ArcGis Desktop software. These designs show how a dataset may be portrayed by a map, offering demonstration maps with details needed to achieve effective designs. The result is a powerful sourcebook any GIS collection needs.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Top Secret: The Truth Behind Today's Pop Mysticisms
Robert M. Price
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NJ 14228-2119
9781591026082, $24.95

Millions have or have read THE SECRET, a spiritual survey that captured American attentions. But what is the secret within The Secret? Robert Price blends his knowledge of theology with spiritual wisdom and biblical criticism to analyze Rhonda Byrne's best seller plus other popular spiritual books that have promised American spiritual revitalization. From old traditions to new doctrines and the differences between them, TOP SECRET is a fine pick for both new age and spirituality collections.

Secrets of Antigravity Propulsion
Paul A. LaViolette, Ph.D.
Bear & Company
c/o Inner Traditions
Box 388, Rochester, VT 05767
9781591430780, $24.00

The secret history of antigravity experimentation from Tesla to the B-2 Advanced Technology Bomber is covered in a survey of advanced gravity-control technologies under secret military development for decades. Numerous field-propulsion devices and technologies that have huge thrust-to-power ratios are surveyed in chapters which offer new science ideas and theories perfect for any new age library.

The Complete Book of Chart Rectification
Carol A. Tebbs, M.A., C.A.P.
Llewellyn Worldwide
2143 Wooddale Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125-2989
9780738713083, $34.95

Astrologer Carol Tebbs solves the long-standing astrology chart problem of questionable or unknown birth times, showing how to recognize consistent patterns in which astrological indicators correspond with a client's dramatic life changes. Tables, diagrams, and an easy step-by-step procedure for identifying and filling in the missing details makes for a fine survey of rectification efforts, including case studies of famous individuals. New age libraries will find it invaluable.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Of Parrots and People
Mira Tweti
Viking Press
c/o The Penguin Publishing Group
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780670019694, $25.95

Some 50 million parrots are kept as pets in this country, yet their nature remains oblique to many. Parrots score at the level of three- to five-year-olds on human intelligence tests, they can live to be a hundred, and the species has also become fragile and is vanishing. OF PARROTS AND PEOPLE comes from a journalist and parrot expert and blends science with history and humor, making for a winning, appealing book highly recommended for non-specialist general readers with parrots for pets, any general-interest library, and academic library science collections specializing in natural history.

One TFH Plaza, Third and Union Avenues, Neptune City NJ 07753

If you've ever seen your aquarium fish look hungry for more, then Michael R. Hellweg's Culturing Live Foods: A Step-by-Step Guide for Culturing One's Own Food for the Home Aquarium (9780793806553, $35.95) is for you. It tells how to make happier fish by cultivating live foods they like plants, multi-celled organisms, crustaceans, mollusks and worms over 80 such foods in all. Culture methods, materials needed, color sidebars of reference information and more make for discussions of species, care, and what kinds of aquarium fish they can feed. Libraries specializing in aquarium owner's guides will find this offers something different for the avid aquarium owner. Robert M. Fenner's THE CONSCIENTIOUS MARINE AQUARIST (9781890087999, $69.95) is an outstanding library reference. Revised and updated in a second edition, it provides saltwater hobbyists with a wealth of detail on keeping a successful saltwater aquarium. Chapters cover, in detail, everything from water health and saltwater species biology to discussions of setup options, maintenance, and more. Color photos abound and the information is detailed, not cursory. A top pick any saltwater hobbyist and collections catering to them must have. Equally recommended as Chris R. Brightwell's THE NANO-REEF HANDBOOK: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO REEF SYSTEMS UNDER 15 GALLONS (0793805724, $26.95). Details on all aspects of such an aquarium system cover filtration, lighting, water quality, temperature control, and stocking levels: all key considerations hobbyists need.

The Photography Shelf

Face to Face
Rick Sammon
1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472
9780596515744, $34.99

Rick Sammon is known for his travel and adventure photo guides, but FACE TO FACE offers something different: a focus on the art of making people pictures using a range of methods to capture subjects. These take the form of lessons contrasting different approaches to images and people, using Sammon's own subjects and methods as examples. It's an excellent guide for any photography library, particularly those specializing in portrait photography.

Lighting for Photography: Techniques for Studio and location Shoots
Dr. Glenn Rand
Amherst Media
Box 586, Buffalo, NY 14226
9781584282266, $34.95

Learn how to control light effectively to make for more striking photos in Lighting for Photography: Techniques for Studio and location Shoots, a manual covering lighting skills. From understanding the physics of light as it relates to photography to producing flawless exposures and tackling common lighting challenges, this book is a 'must' for any library strong in photography.

The Biography Shelf

Behind Every Man
Joan Stauffer
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780806139524, $19.95

After Nancy Cooper married Charlie Russell in 1895 she helped turn him from a common ranch hand who sketched in his spare time to a full-time artist who sold and exhibited around the world. BEHIND EVERY MAN: THE STORY OF NANCY COOPER RUSSELL provides a striking story of the woman who made Charles Russell a world-famous artist: it deserves a spot in any art history library, any library strong in women's studies, and many a general-interest collection, painting a vivid portrait of Nancy Cooper in the only full-length coverage of her life and contributions.

Searching for Dad
Byron Ricks
Brown Books
16200 North Dallas Parkway #170, Dallas, TX 75248
9781934812129, $17.95

Author Byron Ricks shares his story about the challenges he faced and who he became growing up without a father, creating a memoir which is more than about his life alone, but mirrors the experiences of children raised without fathers. Fathers who don't realize the impact of their absence, and mothers uncertain of how to fill a father's shoes, will also find plenty of revelation in this hard-hitting account of growing up fatherless.

Flory: A Miraculous Story of Survival
Flory A. Van Beek
c/o HarperCollins
10 East 53rd Street, New York NY 10022
9780061176142, $23.95

In 1939 as Nazi forces became a reality, the Jewish population through Europe faced options to flee and lose all or go into hiding. The author, a Holocaust survivor, faced this choice and her story follows her dark journey as she relates her teen years spent in terror when the Nazis invaded her neutral homeland of Holland. Any library strong in first-person Holocaust memoirs needs this.

Quiet, Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian
Scott Douglas
Da Capo Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
9780786720910, $25.00

Librarians are known for their knowledge of the system and penchant for silence, but QUIET, PLEASE goes beyond the stereotypes in presenting a series of librarian profiles to spice the profession. From a librarian who thinks Thomas Pynchon is Julia Robert's latest love to a patron who believes the government is canceling her print jobs, patron as well as librarian anecdotes and history are blended into a survey of library events and fun circumstances from Carnegie to modern Afghanistan, making for a fun and whirlwind tour perfect for any general-interest lending library.

John W. Schilling
c/o American Management Association
1601 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0814474500, $24.00

UNDERCOVER also deserves mention for any library strong in business, healthcare, or social issues but it's also a fascinating true crime memoir telling of the accountant author's joining of Columbia Healthcare Corporation, a network of public hospitals, where he changed from an ordinary employee and citizen to a covert FBI informant and top witness for the Justice Department in the largest criminal healthcare fraud case in U.S. history. His choice placed him and his family in danger and challenged his career path, ethics and more in this fascinating autobiography of a whistleblower.

Memoirs of a Southern Woman of Letters
Grace King
Pelican Publishing
1000 Burmaster, Gretna, LA 70053
9781589800656, $30.00

Grace King's memoir of life in New Orleans from the Civil War to the Depression traces the crises and changes in Crescent City society, so it's more than just another autobiography by a Southern belle. King became an independent woman and breadwinner, breaking with Southern tradition to pursue an intellectual career and defending the South: hers is an absorbing, winning memoir perfect for collections strong in either autobiography, women's writings or Southern history.

Outlaw Journalist: The Life & Times of Hunter Thompson
William McKeen
W.W. Norton
500 5th Avenue, New York NY 10110
9780393061925, $27.95

Any collection strong in the works or life of Hunter S. Thompson will relish OUTLAW JOURNALIST. It offers up a definitive biography of the inventor of 'Gonzo journalism', going beyond examination of his use of drugs and his drinking to consider the writer and man who was considered an outlaw in his industry and a hero to the world. Both general-interest and journalism libraries will find it an absorbing pick and a popular, lasting lend.

Not My Turn to Die
Savo Heleta
1601 Broadway, New York NY 10019
0814401651, $22.00

NOT MY TURN TO DIE: MEMOIRS OF A BROKEN CHILDHOOD IN BOSNIA tells of the author's struggle for life in 1996, just after the end of the Bosnia-Herzegovina war, when the then-17-year-old faced the man who had tried to kill his grandfather and terrorized his family during the war a man who had been a former family friend. From his childhood pre-war to his internment, freedom, and eventual healing, NOT MY TURN TO DIE will find its place in any general-interest library.

The Literary Shelf

Your Own, Sylvia
Stephanie Hemphill
Alfred Knopf
c/o The Random House Publishing Group
1745 Broadway, 17th floor, New York, NY 10019
9780375837999, $15.99

While this verse interpretation of poet Sylvia Plath was intended for teen audiences, it's reviewed here because it'd be a shame to limit its meaning to teens alone. Stephanie Hemphill uses verse herself to interpret the events and influences that summed the life of tragic poet Sylvia Plath. Her approach is unique and her verse a testimony to the ongoing power of the poem.

How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries
Kathy Lynn Emerson
Perseverance Press
c/o John Daniel & Company
PO Box 2790, McKinleyville, CA 95919
9781880284926, $14.95

Any library catering to either writers or mystery readers needs How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries, a survey telling how to write a historical mystery story. From different historical eras and their research and murder mystery trends to the art of writing a solid historical intrigue piece, chapters cover plots, settings, the experiences of seasoned writers, and more: everything needed to write a professional, polished historical mystery.

The Audiobook Shelf

Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017

Alice Sebold's THE ALMOST MOON (1600240305, $39.98) receives three-time Oscar nominee Joan Allen's fine professional acting voice as it tells of Clair and Helen, a parent and child locked in a dangerous relationship and what happens when a boundary is crossed that will change both their worlds. The 24-hour period which follows, brings revelations to both in this moving novel. Deanna Hurst powers Joshua Ferris' story THEN WE CAME TO THE END (1600242820, $19.98), with her firm songwriting and speaking skills adding drama to the story of coworkers fighting for jobs, perks, and survival in a cutthroat business environment. Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez's HATERS (1600242179, $9.98) receives New York stage actress Flora Diaz's excellent, dramatic style as it tells of a high school girl who finds her classmates in her new Southern California school cruel especially the wicked and beautiful Jessica. Iain Carson and Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran's ZOOM: THE GLOBAL RACE TO FUEL THE CAR OF THE FUTURE (1600240607, $24.95) comes from an engineer and economy magazine editor who together consider the scope of the oil problem and its likely solution, which lies directly in common transportation choices. Nelson Demille's NIGHT FALL (1600240941, $14.95) receives Scott Brick's professional, seasoned voice as it tells of a deserted island, video sex, and a terrible blast when an airline explodes. Paula White's YOU'RE ALL THAT: UNDERSTAND GOD'S DESIGN FOR YOUR LIFE (1600240321, $22.98) tells of the author's own painful experiences and where she found keys to healing and new life. She narrates her own account of finding meaning in life and a positive path for living it and provides an inspirational audio especially recommended for Christian collections. Two new 'Rich Dad' audios are excellent for young adults and newcomers to financial savvy. Kwn McElroy's ADVANCED GUIDE TO REAL ESTATE INVESTING: HOW TO IDENTIFY THE HOTTEST MARKETS AND SECURE THE BEST DEALS (1600242855, $24.98) tells listeners how to watch top markets, identify and close deals, invest in multifamily housing, and more, offering the next steps in achieving financial independence through real estate investing. Robert Kiyosaki's INCREASE YOUR FINANCIAL IQ (160024260X, $24.98) is narrated by film and commercial voice artist dave Mallow who provides a smooth and absorbing voice to solid tips on how to be more financially savvy. Joseph Wambaugh's HOLLYWOOD CROWS (1600241530, $39.98) receives Christian Rummel's fine audiobook voice, seasoned with years of experience, as it tells of seduction, booze, burglary and murder in Hollywood. Add a beautiful woman into the mix and you have a riveting, fast-paced winner that springs to life in audio. David Baldacci's STONE COLD (1600240488, $31.98) receives actor Ron McLarty's moving voice and tells of one Oliver Stone, leader of a mysterious club that is feared and respected by leaders in Washington, D.C. This thriller tells of how men from Stone's past are turning up dead with one Harry Finn the unifying force. James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge's STEP ON A CRACK (1600242790, $14.98) receives a fine narration by John Slattery and Reg Rogers, veteran audiobook narrators who provide a vivid dual style to the story of detective Michael Bennett, father of ten who is called in when a dangerous mastermind succeeds in sparking an unprecedented fray just as Michael's wife succumbs to a terrible disease. Can New York City be saved even in the aftermath of the death of the woman he loves? Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr.'s HER WAY (1600242227, $14.98) comes from award-winning reporters whose biography is paired with the fine acting voice of Erik Singer. It's the first balanced portrait of the most important woman in American politics Hillary Clinton - and will remain a popular listen as long as Clinton is active in politics (for many years). Douglas R., Emron D. and Aaron R. Andrew both author and narrate a classic account of the quickest route to early financial independence in MILLIONAIRE BY THIRTY: THE QUICKEST PATH TO EARLY FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE (1600241492, $29.98), a survey of the path to financial freedom. Father Doug Andrew didn't want to see his kids on the usual financial treadmill for the next forty years so he passed to them his secrets of success and all became winner, starting out of college with entry-level jobs paying about, $30 kay a year and following steps outline here to each achieve a net worth of over, $1 million. Dave Pelzer's MOVING FORWARD: TAKING THE LEAD IN YOUR LIFE (1600242286, $29.98) receives strong narrative skills by L.J. Ganser, who has narrated over 300 audiobooks and won an award from the Audio Publisher's Association. His voice spices a strong assessment of how leaders handle conflicts and how conflict management habits determine success. The directions are even easier to absorb in audio format. James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge's THE DANGEROUS DAYS OF DANIEL X (1600242006, $22.98) receives a fine narration by NBC actor Milo Ventimiglia as it tells of a man born with the power to create a secret which has helped him survive yet is proving his greatest challenge. Add a dilemma which makes his power key to mankind's survival and you have a gripping thriller which springs to life in audio. All are excellent choices.

Brilliance Audio
c/o Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417 1-800-854-7859

Actor Scott Brick's excellent film performance background lends drama to his reading of Stephen J. Cannell 's story of Truit Hickman in Three Shirt Deal (142332661X, $36.95), where a small-time crook doing life in California's brutal prison for the murder of his mother. Shane helps investigate and review the case and uncovers a dangerous series of new facts that could reveal a real murderer in hiding. Audio libraries will find it a popular drama read. Robert Crais' CHASING DARKNESS (1423344375, $34.95) receives James Daniel's smooth voice and is especially timely considering California's latest fire season. Set in a L.A. summer, it tells of evacuation, murder, and an unsolved case that comes back to light three years later. A riveting murder mystery excels under audio treatment. Terry Brooks' THE TANGLE BOX (1423350391, $29.95) receives veteran narrator Dick Hill's excellent style and decades of experience as it tells of Ben Holiday, a former Chicago lawyer now king of the Magic Kingdom of Landover. Ben finds himself imprisoned within the Tangle Box, lost in its world, when conjurer Horris gets the upper hand and works evil and a mysterious woman who has vanished from the elven kingdom is the only one who can rescue him in this fantasy thriller come alive in audio. John Lescroart's BETRAYAL (1423339681, $38.95) receives David Colacci's warm voice and experienced style as it tells of a San Francisco defense attorney Dismus Hardy and detective Abe Glitsky who agree to clean up a fellow attorney's caseload only to discover a detailed, dangerous case awaits resolution. A host of perils and a question of innocence enhances a gripping narrative. Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant's GOTTA KEEP ON TRYIN (1423349768, $36.95) receives a strong narration by the authors as it tells of two lifelong friends, close as sisters and reunited as adults, now co-owners of a business. Each must face issues from the past in order to come to grips with the future in this moving story. Dr. Sue Johnson's HOLD ME TIGHT: 7 CONVERSATIONS FOR A LIFETIME OF LOVE (1423363655, $29.95) comes from the developer of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy and provides a simple admonition: forget about learning how to argue better or analyzing the past, and recognize the underlying co-dependency that exists between partners. The way to enhance or save a relationship under such conditions is to be more responsible to the other, and to emphasize this emotional connection: her program, narrated by veteran audio reader Sandra Burr, tells how to achieve this underlying connection. Sara Paretsky's BLEEDING KANSAS (1423319818, $40.95) receives Susan Ericksen's highly charged narrative style and is set in the Kaw River valley where the author grew up, telling of two entwined farm families affected by a Wiccan who moves into an empty farmhouse and begins practicing pagan rites. Tensions and confrontations emerge in a gripping audio drama. Anne Perry's BUCKINGHAM PALACE GARDENS (159600276X, $40.95) receives a hard-hitting narration by veteran Michael Page, who has recorded over 50 titles for this publisher alone. His voice spices a survey of Buckingham palace after a fatal house party draws in one Thomas Pitt to investigate the crisis. An avid thriller evolves. Stephen Coonts' DEEP BLACK: CONSPIRACY (1423337131, $36.95) receives a dual narration by Coonts and Jim DeFelice and a powerful reading by Christopher Lane, who adds high drama to the story of an apparent suicide, the interrogation of a Marine sniper, and a Deep Black agent who has uncovered the trail of a killer. High-tech weapons, undercover agents, and a plot to destroy the U.S. make for vivid action in an audio highly recommended for any lending library where patrons favor realistic international dramas.

Penguin Audio
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014

Veteran audio narrator George Guidall provides a tense story of a CIA agent who returns to the fold restless, recovering from wounds from his last job, and facing new Taliban terrorist activity requiring Wells' expertise to investigate in the gripping Alex Berenson story THE GHOST WAR (9780143142850, $39.95). A fine thriller evolves. Kevin Phillips' BAD MONEY (9780143143284, $29.95) receives Scott Brick's excellent acting skills as it provides a solid non-fiction account of oil troubles, debt, and the bursting of the American financial bubble. Any collection strong in nonfiction economics listens needs BAD MONEY: RECKLESS FINANCE, FAILED POLITICS, AND THE GLOBAL CRISIS OF AMERICAN CAPITALISM. Audio collections focusing on the classics must have the 50th Anniversary Edition of Jack Kerouac's ON THE ROAD (9780143142737, $29.95), narrated by award-winning actor Will Patton who lends a charged and vivid voice to Kerouac's adventure story of two friends who make four cross-country road trips. Raymond Khoury's THE SANCTUARY (9780143142331, $39.95) receives veteran narrator Richard Ferrone's smooth voice as it provides a powerful new political thriller set in 1750 Naples and 2003 Baghdad. Three men and a swordfight, a deep-hold secret, and a mission which crosses centuries to modern-day Baghdad politics creates a gripping saga. Timothy Keller's THE REASON FOR GOD: BELIEF IN AN AGE OF SKEPTICISM (9780143142942, $34.95) offers questions and doubts for believers and comes from the pastor of a Presbyterian Church in New York City. His list of the most frequent doubts skeptics bring to his church and his answers results in an inspirational presentation written with atheists, agnostics and skeptics in mind. Religious collections as well as general-interest lending libraries will find it thought-provoking. Jodi Picoult's HARVESTING THE HEART (9780143143321, $39.95) receives actress Cassandra Campbell's warm and vivid reading as it tells of a mother who abandoned character Paige, and how her absence and memories affected her life. In-depth detail is vivid and brings the novel to life, making this a top recommendation for any interested in complex, high-quality novels with powerful characterization and equally powerful narration. Ildefonso Falcones' CATHEDRAL OF THE SEA (9780143142935, $44.95) receives Paul Michael's extensive stage and film background and talents as well as his voice experience of over fifty audios as it tells of espionage and international intrigue centering around the cathedral of Santa Maria de la Mar. Arnau has joined a powerful guild of stoneworkers to help rebuild a church and his friendships and betrayal will affect his life and 14th century Barcelona in this historical thriller. Lauren Willig's SEDUCTION OF THE CRIMSON ROSE (9780143142959, $39.95) is narrated by stage actress kate Reading, who lends an impassioned voice to this modern day 'Pride and Prejudice', continuing a series about Pink Carnation spies during Napoleonic War times. Fans of spy and historical mystery books will relish this story of Mary, who accepts a secret assignment on behalf of the Pink Carnations: to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Tulip, a French spy. Plots, subplots, intrigue and history blends with Eloise Kelly's research into early English espionage to make for a gripping story. Stuart Woods' SANTA FE DEAD (9780143143185, $29.95) receives stage actor Michael Kramer's excellent skills as it provides a new thriller featuring Santa Fe trial lawyer Ed Eagle. Ed finds himself testifying as a witness for the prosecution in the trial of his ex-wife Barbara only to find she's still able to make his life hell. His involvement with hit men, detectives, and big money leads him on a journey to discover just what his wife is up to in this thriller. Steve Coll's THE BIN LADENS (9780143143239, $39.95) receives Erik Singer's smooth voice and Broadway experience as it tells of the rise of the Bin Laden family and the oil fortune which earned them a place in not just the Middle East, but in Western history as well. Concurrent with the family biography is a survey of global integration and interactions key to understanding world politics and an invaluable guide.

The Gardening Shelf

The Gardener's Bedside Reader
Kari Cornell, Editor
Voyageur Press
380 Jackson Street #200, Saint Paul, MN 55101
9780760326572, $27.95

Any gardener seeking a bedside companion will relish this reader which pairs stories and essays with vintage ads, gardening memorabilia, botanical drawings, and color photos to inspire and entertain readers. Celebrated gardeners share their techniques and inspirations, while reflections on spiritual connections with the land and tips on design round out the offerings.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Mix n Match Meals in Minutes For People With Diabetes, second edition
Linda Gassenheimer
American Diabetes Association
1701 N. Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311
1580402895, $16.95

Busy schedules and lack of information are no excuse for diabetics wishing healthier lifestyles and meal plans, and Mix n Match Meals in Minutes For People With Diabetes shows exactly how to achieve the most with a series of meal plans and tools to help diabetics prepare the dishes they enjoy. 'Quick and easy' define breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes and there's even a 'speed meals' section of tips for 15-minutes-and-less meals. Any general-interest or health library catering to diabetics know how in-demand food preparation books are, and this joins a growing number of winners.

The Parenting Shelf

The Second Nine Months: A Memoir
Vicki Glembocki
DaCapo LifeLong Press
c/o Perseus Book Group
2300 Chestnut #200, Philadelphia, PA 19103
9780738211015, $24.00

When the author's daughter Blair was born she experienced maternal bliss with her new baby, until she began to doubt her skills. THE SECOND NINE MONTHS outlines the truth about her first months with her new baby, covering the common fears new mothers have about motherhood. Any new mother needs THE SECOND NINE MONTHS: it covers all the basics and teaches common areas of confusion and concern.

The Business Shelf

The Alpha Factor
Wes Ball
Westlyn Publishing
9780980003109, $27.95

To become more profitable, companies need to become less vulnerable to competitive pressures. The Alpha Factor is based on a 15-year research project into what creates sustainable success and market dominance, and culls over 100,000 interviews and tests with over 70 companies to provide the secret of business longevity. The result is a moving, involving account any size business and libraries catering to them needs.

The Complete Guide to Writing Web-Based Advertising Copy to Get the Sale
Vickie Taylor
Atlantic Publishing
1405 SW 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471-0640
9781601382320, $24.95

Web copywriters are in high demand and web copy is one of the most demanded forms of copywriting. Any who would enter the field will find everything needed to either become a copywriter or use one effectively, making for a top pick business collections will relish. Chapters explain differences between online advertising types, blogging, e-mail marketing and more, and offer business owners overviews of web optimization, strategies and business testing. It's an excellent guide business and computer libraries need.

1601 Broadway, New York NY 10019

Most companies still believe they can save a lot of money by outsourcing jobs overseas but when does the money issue become offset by other issues? The new, revised expanded edition of Ron Hira and Anil Hira's OUTSOURCING AMERICA (081440989X, $14.95 ) exposes how the trend affects us all, linking outsourcing efforts to economic shifts towards globalism and how it affects immigration policies and job security. From the policies counties use to attract US employers to how individuals can avoid becoming an outsourcing victim, OUTSOURCING AMERICA: THE TRUE COST OF SHIPPING JOBS OVERSEAS AND WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT is an excellent pick business collections need. Denis Hauptly's SOMETHING REALLY NEW: THREE SIMPLE STEPS TO CREATING TRULY INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS (0814400329, $21.95) offers a three-step approach to creating and marketing new products in any industry, covering the basics of how product ideas are obtained, placed into production, and marketed. From understanding needs and filling them to strategies for getting colleagues and executives to support a new product venture, SOMETHING REALLY NEW offers inspiration based on real-life marketing experiences.

The Needlecraft Shelf

American Quilter's Society
Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290

The traditional little sunbonnet figure familiar to so many takes on new life in this set of original designs of appliqued and embroidered sunbonnet figures who appear in blocks, borders, or as part of scenes in Betty Alderman's PRECIOUS SUNBONNET QUILTS (9781574329513, $24.95). From redwork to applique, full-page patterns accompany easy step-by-step project guidelines needlework collections will find invaluable. Kay M. Capps Cross's A BLACK & WHITE GARDEN (9781574329520, $24.95) tells how to use a black and white background and variations on themes to make an outstanding quilt. From quilts that are placemat-size to full-size quilts with foundation piecing, A BLACK & WHITE GARDEN pairs patterns with full-page color photos of quilt examples.

Martingale & Company
20205 144th Avenue NE, Woodinville, WA 98072-8478

Nancy Mahoney's block patterns in Applique Quilt Revival (9781584776222, $26.95) come from the 1930s and update classic patterns from the Depression era. Some fourteen quilt patterns showcase unique design and offer up quick, easy materials and cutting directions, complimented by patterns and color photos throughout. Quilting libraries will find this an excellent embellishment upon traditional block projects of the era. Ilene Bartos' MAPLE LEAF QUILTS: 12 PROJECTS, 9 TRIANGLE TECHNIQUES (9781564777690, $26.95) offers a new twist on the traditional Maple Leaf block quilts, presenting some 12 projects that feature new ways of using Maple Leaf blocks. From making triangle squares to points, this packs in plenty of tips for personalizing a quilt. Jennifer Kooy Zoeterman and Linda Lenich's NEEDLE FELTING WITH COTTON AND WOOL (9781564777966, $19.95) tells how to combine cotton and wool fabrics in nine projects ranging from a pillow and wall quilts to a photo frame and more. An introductory section of basics leads to some diverse project representations. THE LITTLE BOX OF SOCKS (9781564778031, $19.95) by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott provides some 20 creative sock projects for knitters to produce, from different colors and textures to a range of styles. These take the form of 'project cards' with sizes, supply lists, and step-by-step directions perfect for avid knitters. Susan Kisro's INSTANT BARGELLO (9781564778543, $14.95) pairs full-page color photos with easy step-by-step directions for making lovely bargello quilts from animal motifs to mermaids and more. Basic quilting instructions pack a simple 24-page introduction to the method. Sara Louise Harper's CABLE CONFIDENCE: GUIDE TO TEXTURED KNITTING (9781564778185, $24.95) provides a range of cabling projects, teaching how to use stitch charts, cable needles, and more. From pillows to scarfs and sweaters, CABLE CONFIDENCE gives all beginners a boost and a fine introduction to textured knitting basics.

The Art Shelf

Frida Kahlo: Song of Herself
Salomon Grimberg
Merrell Publishers
1858944384, $22.95

The Mexican folk artist Frida Kahlo's life is well known yet she remains an enigma: here psychiatrist and Kahlo expert Salomon Grimberg introduces an interview she gave towards the end of her life to her psychologist friend Olga Campos an interview which was never published, yet lends great insights into Kahlo's life. Campos's reflections on their relationship accompanies this unpublished survey and makes for an outstanding presentation essential for any folk art library or Kahlo collection.

The Cookbook Shelf

Regional Greek Cooking
Dean and Catherine Karayanis
Hippocrene Books Inc.
171 Madison Avenue, New York NY 10016
0781811465, $24.95

Plenty of other cookbooks cover Greek cooking: what makes this extraordinary is it's a family cookbook showcasing dishes from the key regions of mainland Greece as well as the islands, and blends recipes with both historical notes and family anecdotes. There aren't the full-page, color photos of competitors on the market but there are color-coded pages, Greek favorites and even nearly sixty recipes for Greek drinks. The dishes are both appealing and easy to duplicate.

The Science Shelf

Health Physics in the 21st Century
Joseph John Bevelacqua
c/o John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5773 1-800-225-5945
9783527408221, $170.00

College-level science and health libraries alike need the depth of coverage of Health Physics in the 21st Century, a survey of radiation-generating technologies affecting health physics and radiation protection professionals alike. Over 200 problems with solutions are included in material that covers everything from fission and accelerators to space and important problems in physics and health science. The charts, graphs and explanations are abundant and clear in this weighty, recommended pick.

Understanding Lasers, third edition
Jeff Hecht
c/o John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5773
9780470088906, $69.95

College-level libraries strong in science and technology titles will appreciate this easy introductory guide to laser technology, which moves from the foundations of how lasers work and how they are used to discussions of specific advanced laser types, applications, and the science involved. Add drawings, tables, and multiple-choice quizzes and you also have a study guide suitable for college-level classroom assignments.

Applied Electromagnetics Using QuickField and Matlab
James R. Claycomb
Infinity Science Press
11 Leavitt Street, Hingham, MA 02043
9781934015124, $69.95

College-level courses on electromagnetism as well as engineers seeking a reference on the topic will find Applied Electromagnetics Using QuickField and Matlab an outstanding reference helpful for using the two computer software packages for calculating results, charge and distributions. Application-based examples cover everything from brain tumors to fuel cells and provide a range of applications, figures, simulations (on an accompanying cd-rom) and specifics, making for a weighty and detailed discussion advanced engineers will appreciate.

Neuroengineering the Future: Virtual Minds and the Creation of Immortality
Bruce F. Katz
Infinity Science Press
11 Leavitt Street, Hingham, MA 02043
9781934015186, $49.95

Computer and science collections at the college level will find important a controversial book which describes concepts of neuroengineering, which have already produced cochlear implants and promise many new advancements. From discussions of how the brain works to surveys of neural technologies, devices that can interact with the brain, and more, chapters discuss mind, machine, and transition points between the two. The science is specific, yet discussions are easy to absorb.

The Privatization of Space Exploration
Lewis D. Solomon
Transaction Books
300 McGaw Drive-Raritan Center, Edison, NJ 08837
9781412807593, $39.95, 1-888-999-6778

THE PRIVATIZATION OF SPACE EXPLORATION: BUSINESS, TECHNOLOGY, LAW AND POLICY is a pick for any college-level collection strong in space science. It provides an important view: that linking space exploration to entrepreneurial rather than scientific goals could move the space program from the property of NASA and a few aerospace firms to the business environment, fostering a renaissance in space use and space flights. Tips on how to move space purposes from the government to the private sector make for intriguing reading and recommendation for business and science collections alike.

Adam's Ancestors
David N. Livingstone
Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218
0801888131, $35.00

ADAM'S ANCESTORS: RACE, RELIGION & THE POLITICS OF HUMAN ORIGINS provides both college-level and general-interest lending libraries with a fine history of non-Adamic humanity and the debates surrounding it, considering the alternative notion of Adam's descendants: that humans inhabited the Earth before or alongside Adam, and their descendants still occupy the planet. Religion, science and anthropological concerns are all presented in an outstanding survey.

The Political Science Shelf

Won't Get Fooled Again
Joseph H. Boyett
1601 Broadway, New York NY 10019-7420
0814409318, $24.00

WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN: A VOTER'S GUIDE TO SEEING THROUGH THE LIES, GETTING PAST THE PROPAGANDA, AND CHOOSING THE BEST LEADERS should be in every public library and in the hands of every American voter. It shows readers how to become more informed and demanding, surveying politicians and public leaders and using five years of research into the social psychology of political persuasion to discuss tricks politicians use to gain support. Readers receive specific sets of signs and symptoms to help analyze candidate personality traits, and will learn much from chapters packed with insights.

The Social Issues Shelf

The Last Crusade
Michael A. Palmer
Potomac Books
22841 Quicksilver Drive, Dulles VA 20166
9781597971652, $17.95

THE LAST CRUSADE: AMERICANISM AND THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION is a pick for not just Middle East collections but for history, political and social issues holdings at both the college and public library lending levels. The author argues that the U.S. is engaged in a political crusade to modernize the Islamic world forcing Islamic societies to adopt a more materialistic approach that conflicts with Islam itself. Chapters follow the issues involved, Islam's failure to modernize, and its determination to use force to resist.

Maggie Jackson
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, New York NY 14228-2197
9781591026235, $25.95

Attention span builds cultures, connections and social structure yet it's something lacking in the modern world where multitasking is a given. DISTRACTED: THE EROSION OF ATTENTION AND THE COMING DARK AGE examines the nature of attention, its impact, and its erosion in the modern world, offering a history and analysis which will appeal to college-level collections strong in either health or social issues. Chapters consider awareness, focus, and how they affect the hallmarks of achievement.

Renewing America's Food Traditions
Gary Paul Nabhan, Editor
Chelsea Green Publishing
Box 428, White River Junction, VT 05001
9781933392899, $35.00

RENEWING AMERICA' FOOD TRADITIONS: SAVING AND SAVORING THE CONTINENT'S MOST ENDANGERED FOODS is one of the most important social issues books on the market, and is a recommended pick for any college or public lending library strong in American food issues. It is an illustrated, dramatic call to action to celebrate and conserve the diversity of foods that gives North America its cultural diversity, pairing recipes with discussions of folk traditions linked with rare food plants and animals in North America. It also offers the first-ever list of foods at risk in America - some thousand in all and shows how individual efforts can make a difference in recovering such foods. An invaluable guide for any library strong in American culture, culinary history, health or social issues.

The Military Shelf

Military Spouse's Complete Guide to Career Success
Janet I. Farley
Impact Publications
9104 Manassas Drive Suite N, Manassas Park, VA 20111
1570232695, $17.95

Military spouses often sacrifice personal career goals by accepting low paying, limited jobs to fit in with their spouse's career, so it's refreshing to see a guide geared to military spouse career objectives and special concerns. From creating a great, changing network to using military resource programs effectively, Military Spouse's Complete Guide to Career Success is a fine guide any military spouse will find very useful.

Osprey Publishing
443 Park Avenue South, New York NY 10016
9781846033100, $18.95

Leonid Krylov and Yuriy Tepsurkaev's SOVIET MIG-15 ACES OF THE KOREAN WAR (9781846032998, $22.95) joins others in Osprey's 'Aircraft of the Aces' series, providing a comprehensive survey of how the USSR's top planes performed and made a big difference in Korea, surveying the first generation of jet fighters in Korea. Pilot exploits are covered in black and white and color, here. Gregory Fremont-Barnes' VICTORY VS. REDOUTABLE: SHIPS OF THE LINE AT TRAFALGAR 1805 (9781846031342, $17.95) covers the combined British, French and Spanish fleets who clashed off Cape Trafalgar on the Spanish coast in a duel of bravery. The action at Trafalgar comes to life in a series of studies of ships, crews, and naval warfare. Rene Chartrand's THE FORTS OF NEW FRANCE IN NORTHEAST AMERICAN 1600-1763 (9781846032554, $18.95) is for any library strong in early military technology. It covers the area ruled by France in North America from the 16th to the 18th centuries, discussing fort design, technology and defensive strategies and providing full-color illustrations: maps, charts, and photos. Ken Ford's GAZALA 1942: ROMMEL'S GREATEST VICTORY (9781846032646, $19.95) provides an in-depth, technical survey of the Rommel military campaign and battle experiences, studying him at the height of his powers and survey his strategy. Color maps and vintage black and white photos throughout enhance a moving account.

The Judaic Studies Shelf

Meditations at Sixty: One Person, Under God, Indivisible
Eliyahu Safran
KTAV Publishing
930 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, NJ 07306
9781602800380, $25.00

Judaism offers many insights into the relationships between body and soul, and the meditations here explore that relationship for people of all religions. From the transformative nature of death and its puzzling aspects to Jewish concepts which relate to dress, action and impact, MEDITATIONS AT SIXTY blends religion, philosophy, Judaic studies and spirituality in a satisfying volume recommended for any spirituality collection.

The Fiction Shelf

Master of the Delta
Thomas H. Cook
Harcourt Inc.
15 East 26th Street, New York NY 10010
9780151012541, $24.00

Jack Branch has returned to his father's Delta estate to teach at the local high school. During his class on historical evil he's shocked to discover student Eddie is the son of local murderer the Coed Killer and tries to mentor the boy to help him set a good example. When a friendship with the boy's father ensues, danger evolves in this masterful mystery recommended for any general-interest collection strong in novels and mysteries.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Uneasy Relations
Aaron Elkins
Berkeley Prime Crime
375 Hudson Street, New York NY 10014
9780425221761, $23.95

Before the last Neanderthal left the planet, he co-existed with his cousin Homo sapiens: did they get along, or fight? When a spectacular archaeological find excites a professor, all seems enlightening and amazing until a series of accidental deaths casts a shadow over the discovery and involves one Gideon, who begins to piece together clues of a bigger picture than even the murders themselves. Any interested in exciting, complex murder mysteries and libraries catering to them will love UNEASY RELATIONS.

The Unraveling of Violeta Bell
C.R. Corwin
Poisoned Pen Pres
6962 E. First Avenue #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781590585016, $24.95

Newspaper librarian Maddy never gives story ideas to her newspaper: her job is research until four old ladies at a garage sale lead her to an unusual feature story that results in murder. Now she's part of an investigation whether she likes it or not and involved in a dangerous case. Libraries with strong mystery collections will find this a fine novel of mystery and intrigue.

The Education Shelf

Corwin Press
2465 Teller Rd, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320

The second edition of Alfred Posamentier and Sephen Krulik's PROBLEM-SOLVING STRATEGIES FOR EFFICIENT AND ELEGANT SOLUTIONS GRADES 6-12: A RESOURCE FOR THE MATHEMATICS TEACHER (9781412959704, $34.95) tells math teachers how to help students become skilled problem solvers, offering methods for helping students find patterns, absorb visual representations, and understand new problems and updated strategies. From sample problems to demonstrations of how such techniques can be incorporated into existing routines, PROBLEM-SOLVING STRATEGIES is an excellent guide. Douglas B. Reeves' ASSESSING EDUCATIONAL LEADERS, 2ND EDITION (9781412955180, $35.95) covers performance evaluation processes for both individual and organizational improvement. It blends the 10 Dimensions of Leadership with a new tool for providing feedback to senior leaders, surveying three critical aspects of leadership and each process. Terrence E. Deal and Peggy Deal Redman's REVIVING THE SOUL OF TEACHING; BALANCING METRICS AND MAGIC (9781412940528, $25.95) offers educators a wonderful wake-up call to regaining a joy in teaching, and is a fine pick for practicing teachers and student teachers alike. It covers how teachers can influence and inspire learners, but blends in the basics of testing and accountability. Teachers receive a practical and inspirational account perfect for revitalizing interest. Elaine K. McEwan's 10 TRAITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE SCHOOLS: RAISING THE ACHIEVEMENT BAR FOR ALL STUDENTS (9781412905282, $33.95) covers unique characteristics of schools that help students make gains in performance. Each chapters focuses on a research-based trait and examines its impact on student achievement, offering observations from theorists and scholars paired with examples of documents and forms used in effective schools. Administrators, in particular, will find it invaluable. Eric Jensen's FIERCE TEACHING: PURPOSE, PASSION AND WHAT MATTERS MOST (9781412963305, $28.95) comes from a brain expert who shows educators how they can achieve consistent learning outcomes using brain-compatible teaching methods. From physical and social to environmental factors that influence learning, FIERCE TEACHING packs in plans for all grade levels which have been teacher-tested in actual school settings, making it an invaluable guide for practicing educators and libraries catering to them. The second edition of Michael Hickman and Erin O'Donnell Wigginton's COOPERATIVE PROBLEM-SOLVING ACTIVITIES FOR SOCIAL STUDIES GRADES 6-12 (9781412965798, $33.95) provides an updated edition of lessons in five areas of social studies: geography, politics, economics, culture and history. Each includes clue cards, objectives, tasks and worksheets to promote teamwork, cooperative learning, and student analytical skills. The resulting teacher resource will interest any educator and any library with references for them.

The Music Shelf

The Musicians Handbook: A Practical Guide to Understanding the Music Business
Bobby Borg
Billboard Books
c/o Watson-Guptill
770 Broadway, New York NY 10003
9780823099702, $19.95

This revised edition of a musician's classic handbook offers even more exclusive interviews and information on what really happens behind closed doors, revising thirteen chapters covering all aspects of the music industry, from royalties and attorney fees to the costs of bookkeepers and managers. Musicians and any library catering to them will find Borg uses his experience as a touring artist and music educator to provide key insider's observations about common and hidden pitfalls throughout the industry, making for an invaluable set of lessons.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Tom Kratman
Baen Books
Box 1043, Riverdale, NY 10471
1416555455, $24.00

It's the 22nd century, and Europe has bee turned over to Moslems, atheism has been exterminated, homosexuals are killed, and Christians are a second class citizen denied many rights. Petra, a German girl, is sold into slavery in this world; but unlike most girls she can read and learns from her grandmother's diary of a magic place across the sea: America. Her struggle to find freedom makes for a fast-paced, involving story perfect for science fiction collections.

Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials: A Multiple Allegory
Leonard F. Wheat
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781591025894, $19.95

Philip Pullman's HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy is a modern fantasy hit, so any college-level collection strong in science fiction analysis will find Leonard Wheat's title the perfect analytical companion piece to the series. Readers will find discussions of symbolism and allegory as well as religion and British literature as a whole to be insightful and revealing, lending to classroom discussion at either the high school or college levels.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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