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The Bookwatch

Volume 8, Number 9 September 2013 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Audiobook Shelf Psychology Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Technology Shelf Autism Shelf
Genealogy Shelf American History Shelf World History Shelf
Photography Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Business Shelf
Fashion Shelf Art Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Military Shelf Needlecraft Shelf Woodworking Shelf
Railroading Shelf Cookbook Shelf Botany Shelf
Science Shelf Computer Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Fiction Shelf Self-Help Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Political Science Shelf Education Shelf Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf
Gardening Shelf Humor Shelf Antiques/Collectors Shelf
Writing/Publishing Shelf Sports Shelf Automotive Shelf
Calendar Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Seal Press
1700 - 4th Street
Berkeley, California 94710

REPLACEMENT CHILD: A MEMOIR by Judy L. Mandel (9781580054768, $16.00) provides a riveting story of tragedy, recovery, and a family's decision to bring a new child into the world to replace another killed in a horrifying accident, and is a top recommendation for any interested in family interactions, death, and recovery. Author Judy Mandel was the "replacement child" born into a grieving family who kept secret the tragedy that changed all their lives. It was only as an adult that she discovered the logic behind her existence - and recognized the patterns of struggle that were weaved into her life as she became caretaker for her older sister, whose severe burns from the accident impacted her life. The patterns of tragedy, hope, recovery become evident in this powerful survey, highly recommended for any biography collection. Quite different and also recommended - especially for humor collections - is standup comedian Ophira Eisenberg's SCREW EVERYONE: SLEEPING MY WAY TO MONOGAMY, which gathers the author's many dating experiences and offers a fun reflection of what happens when one 'says yes' to everything and everyone. Promiscuity is examined in a hilarious examination of boundaries and sexual evolution, offering up a rollicking account that is good for both reflection and side-splitting laughter.

The Audiobook Shelf

Rich Dad: Run Your Own Corporation
Garrett Sutton, Esq.
Highbridge Audio Books
201 Sixth Street SE, Suite 220
Minneapolis, MN 55414
9781619697379, $24.98,

Rich Dad: Run Your Own Corporation is the companion audiobook to the best-selling book START YOUR OWN CORPORATION and follows three teams of entrepreneurs through their first five years in business. These stories are used as examples for listeners who receive details on how to begin a successful corporation, from setting up a corporate identity separate from a sole proprietorship's liabilities to handling audits, accounting, and employees. The author is an attorney, author of many other 'Rich Dad' series titles, and conducts seminars and classes on business management and financial planning. This audio will enhance any business listener and is recommended for any library catering to businessmen who enjoy self-help audios!

Brilliance Audio
c/o Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887
Grand Haven, MI 49417

Larry Julian's God is MY CEO: FOLLOWING GOD'S PRINCIPLES IN A BOTTOM-LINE WORLD (9781469257426, $19.99) is performed by Tim Parks, who lends a studied and clear voice to this top-selling business book that offers a business plan based on Biblical principles. Its principles will appeal to all kinds of business ventures, from managers and executives to those self-employed, and it provides an excellent survey of how to meld business with spiritual pursuits. All this comes to life in an appealing audio package perfect for any business audio listener. Rachel Reiland's GET ME OUT OF HERE (9781469280479, $19.99) is performed by Mazhan Marno, who lends a powerful voice to this account of struggles with and recovery from borderline personality disorder. The 29-year-old accountant, wife and mother learned of her diagnosis upon discharge fro ma hospital psychiatric ward. It was the explanation for many puzzling behaviors and self-destructive actions - and it reveals the inner world of the mentally ill and their relationships with the world. Therapy helped her overcome much of her condition, making GET ME OUT OF HERE an inspirational read for any coping with similar mental afflictions.

Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10017-0010

James Patterson and Howard Roughan's SECOND HONEYMOON (9781611130508, $34.98) receives a lively dual narration by Jay Snyder and Ellen Archer and provides a gripping novel of intrigue that comes to life in audio. What would you do if you faced your wife's killer - forgive, or get even? Second Honeymoon is all about this choice when newlyweds face a murderer on their honeymoon and FBI special agent John O'Hara becomes involved - even with a history of his own wife's brutal murder only a few years earlier. His murder investigation will raise specters of his own gruesome experience in this gripping murder mystery thriller. Michael Connelly's ANGELS FLIGHT (9781619699823, $24.98) receives a fine reading by Los Angeles-based actor Peter Giles, whose smooth and dramatic voice enhances the audio drama of an activist attorney killed in a little L.A. trolley called Angels Flight. Normally investigator Harry Bosch wouldn't be involved outside of his Hollywood base; but this case is special. It involves numerous enemies, a complicated scenario, and a plot that threatens the entire city - just as Harry's year-old Vegas marriage is unraveling. High drama and tense action make this a thriller. Elin Hilderbrand's BEAUTIFUL DAY (9781607885252, $34.98) receives a spirited reading by TV and theater actress Therese Plummer, who provides the perfect accompaniment to the story of a summer wedding and the problems it brings to two families. Jenna has planned her wedding according to specific wishes from her late mother and the Nantucket wedding theoretically should untied two families - but unresolved problems in the families could bring problems to the two newlyweds. From scandals to broken hearts, BEAUTIFUL DAY threatens storms that make for spirited, involving listening recommended for any general fiction reader. Marcia Clark's KILLER AMBITION (9781619696341, $29.98) receives a lively reading by January LaVoy, a New York-based voice, stage and television actress who has performed extensively. Her lively voice lends drama and excitement to the story of a teen's murder and Special Trials DA Rachel Knight's investigation of the case. When she probes deeper, she finds various circumstances link to her own life experiences - and expose many underlying influences of deceit, deception, and theft. Her journey to find the killer will take all of her strength and cleverness in this engrossing saga.

The Psychology Shelf

Managing Your Depression
Susan J. Noonan, MD, MPH
Johns Hopkins University Press
2715 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218-4363
9781421409474, $14.95,

Managing Your Depression: What You Can Do to Feel Better comes from a physician who personally suffers from depression, and uses expertise and personal background to provide a guide for any who suffer from it. From discussions of diet, nutrition and exercise to avoiding isolation, this is designed to be an easy read for depressed people having difficulty focusing, and includes cognitive exercises, daily worksheets, and more. From defining a baseline of depression to charting moods and preventing relapses, this workbook is a top pick for any depression sufferer!

The Health/Medicine Shelf

The Sugar Detox
Brooke Alpert, MS, RD, CDN and Patricia Farris, MD, FAAD
Da Capo Press
c/o Perseus Books Group
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
9780738216416, $24.99,

THE SUGAR DETOX: LOSE WEIGHT, FEEL GREAT, AND LOOK YEARS YOUNGER provides readers with a one-month plan designed to wean off sugar cravings, beginning with a three-day Sugar Fix of no sugar at all accompanied by three days of skin treatments. Then a four-week schedule of menu plans, recipes, and information on foods to eat and avoid follows with keys to not just eliminating sugar from a diet, but incorporating the changes that will encourage long-time release from sugar reliance. Any collection strong on diets and health needs this program!

Energy Medicine Technologies
Finley Eversole, PhD, Editor
Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620551028, $18.95,

Energy Medicine Technologies: Ozone Healing, Microcrystals, Frequency Therapy, and the Future of Health is a recommended pick for alternative health and new age collections alike, and provides a powerful survey of inexpensive alternatives to conventional medicine that have been suppressed by the pharmaceutical companies intent on expensive profits. Some of the most revolutionary (and still widely unknown) discoveries in health and energy medicine are compiled here under one cover, edited by Dr. Eversole, and explore different therapies that combat electromagnetic fields and environmental toxins - including emotional challenges. The result is a fine survey highly recommended for any holding strong in alternative therapies.

The Technology Shelf

Artech House
685 Canton Street
Norwood, MA 02062

Bill Meehan's GIS FOR ENHANCED ELECTRIC UTILITY PERFORMANCE (9781608075591, $143.00) describes how geospatial technology in GIS systems can help improve various facets of the electric utility business, and offers keys to understanding what GIS is today and what it holds for the future. From cloud computing to smart mobile devices, this identifies the technical details of a GIS 'smart' electronic system and provides information on how it works under real-world settings. The result is a top pick for any electronics reference collection. Also recommended is Volume II of Lotfollah Shafai,'s HANDBOOK OF REFLECTOR ANTENNAS AND FEED SYSTEMS: FEED SYSTEMS (9781608075171), which provides a fine addition to the in-depth collection covering modern reflector antennas and feed sources. Chapters come from experts in each aspect of feed systems and are filled with basic math techniques, insights on electricity and antennas, and include many examples to outline basic aspects of feed design. The result is a basic recommendation that joins other volumes in the series for any working with reflector antennas and feeds.

Sewer Processes, second edition
Thorkild Hvitved-Jacobsen,
CRC Press
6000 NW Broken Sound Parkway NW, Suite 300
Boca Raton, FL 33487
9781439881774, $129.95

The second updated edition of SEWER PROCESSES: MICROBIAL AND CHEMICAL PROCESS ENGINEERING OF SEWER NETWORKS provides a fine technical guide suitable for any environmental engineering collection and provides a comprehensive, updated approach to wastewater engineering that incorporates the latest developments. Solved illustrative case studies accompany discussions ranging from assessments of compounds and chemical reactions in sewer settings to anaerobic sewer processes and methods for sewer processing models. Charts, diagrams, and calculations throughout make this a top pick for any student of environmental engineering and many working in the field.

Managing Electronic Records
Robert F. Smallwood
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9781118218297, $175.00,

Professionals and students alike will find Managing Electronic Records: Methods, Best Practices, and Technologies to be a key acquisition packed with details for managing business records of all kinds, and provides tools to mitigate the risks and enjoy the benefits of electronic records. Best practices and new technologies are covered in a title that handles everything from archiving and organizing company records to developing policies to streamline workflow while implementing an ERM system with such capabilities. Diagrams, charts, analysis, and gray sidebars of information throughout make for a highly recommended survey for any collection strong in either business document management in general or electronic records challenges in particular.

The Autism Shelf

Asperger's Syndrome Workplace Survival Guide
Barbara Bissonnette
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
400 Market Street, Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849059435, $22.95,

Asperger's Syndrome Workplace Survival Guide provides a powerful guide to thriving in the workplace for any who have AS. It provides realistic strategies for working with employers and colleagues both individually and as part of a team, teaches how to manage projects and resolve common problems, and considers how AS interacts with typical workforce demands. Any who struggle to maintain employment will find this a powerful pick that takes AS routines and challenges and deftly shows how to turn a potential liability into a workplace asset in a pick for business and health holdings alike.

The Genealogy Shelf

Family Names and Their Story
Sebaine Baring-Gould
Clearfield Company
3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260
Baltimore, MD 21211
9780806300238, $37.50,

Family Names and Their Story is a pick for any genealogical researcher looking at the history and evolution of family names, and deserves ongoing recommendation as a mainstay for such a collection. Chapters discuss everything from totemism and names to changes of Anglo-Saxon names, names influenced by place, and even early French names. Of course, this isn't a definitive reference to all family names - that would encompass far more time and pages than an ordinary book could handle. What it does do is provide a historical coverage of the evolution of basic Anglo-Saxon and French name origins, considering such issues as nobility, battles, and more. Originally printed in 1968, this paperback reprint offers much to general history holdings.

Evidence Explained, second edition
Elizabeth Shown Mills
Genealogical Publishing Company
3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260
Baltimore, MD 21211
9780806318066, $59.95,

Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace appears in its second updated edition to update the 2007 original appearance and add new details on how to locate and cite from history sources. From new models for electronic sources from blogs to websites to traditional citations for genealogical referencing, this handbook is directed to genealogists but offers much wider-reaching instruction and assessments on citing history resources. Students, genealogists, and any involved in historical research will find this a specific, important guide that serves as a style manual for all kinds of historical referencing and publishing purposes.

The American History Shelf

Blackbeard's Last Fight
Angus Konstam
Osprey Publishing
4301 21st St, Suite 220B
Long Island City, NY 11101
9781780961958, $18.95,

Blackbeard's Last Fight: Pirate Hunting in North Carolina 1718 provides a detailed analysis of the greatest raids in pirate history and charts the problems of piracy in the Caribbean and how the notorious image of Blackbeard nearly halted North America's maritime trade. It was rumors of his intent to set up a base off North Carolina which prompted the governor of Virginia to go after both him and pirates as a whole, and this documents the largest anti-piracy raid of its times. Artwork, maps, first-hand accounts from source material, and lively dialogue make this a winner for history, military and general-interest holdings alike!

The World History Shelf

Ancient Treasures
Brian Haughton
New Page Books
c/o Career Press Inc.
220 West Parkway, Unit 12
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
9781601632494, $16.99,

ANCIENT TREASURES; THE DISCOVERY OF LOST HOARDS, SUNKEN SHIPS, BURIED VAULTS, AND OTHER LONG-FORGOTTEN ARTIFACTS provides a lovely collection of archaeological investigations and history perfect for general-interest reading. It comes from a renowned European investigator and archaeologist and documents some of the most famous treasure finds of our times, from Roman and Viking wealth buried for safekeeping and discovered by metal detectors to Spanish treasure wrecks in the sea. Any interested in the history and uncovering of archaeological treasure will find this a lively, involving history.

The Photography Shelf

Nikon Speedlight Handbook
Stephanie Zettl
Amherst Media
175 Rano Street, Suite 200
Buffalo, NY 14207-2176
9781608954513, $34.95,

Nikon Speedlight Handbook: Flash Techniques for Digital Photographers teaches the basics of understanding light and exposure, shutter speed, and all the settings and functions of the Nikon Speedlight, and is a fine pick for any who would make the most from Nikon Speedlights. From modifying a Speedlight for refined results to flash shooting modes, this covers all the basics of light management and is a 'must' for any owner of the Nikon Speedlight.

The Conquest of Everest
George Lowe and Huw Lewis-Jones
Thames & Hudson
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500544235, $39.95,

The Conquest of Everest: Original Photographs from the Legendary First Ascent features over a hundred sixty illustrations in color and in black and white, is published to mark the 60th anniversary of the conquest of Mt. Everest in 1953, and uses original photos and rare materials to capture the ascent. Author George Lowe is a New Zealand mountaineer and photographer: his work reveals the dramas and personal struggles of all involved in the process, while accompanying dialogue documents earlier climbing attempts and the experiences of other mountaineers. Having a photographer who is also a mountaineer lends to a collection that goes beyond the usual reporter focus to capture the experience itself, with landscapes and portraits blending with action shots for a powerful documentation. Photography and mountaineering history holdings will find this an amazing documentation of an amazing era.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Ace Books
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor
New York, NY 10014

Charles Stross' NEPTUNE'S BROOD (9780425256770, $25.95) is set in the year 7000 A.D. when the human species is extinct - for the fourth time. The First Church of the Fragile is trying to insure humanity's survival by spreading their remains to the stars - and metahuman Krina is part of this journey when pirates capture her ship to interrupt her search for her sister. Add an assassin and underlying forces ready to change the universe and assure humanity is never revived and you have a powerful plot packed with engrossing twists and turns. Anthony Ryan's BLOOD SONG (9780425267691, $27.95) provides a fine Raven's Shadow story, telling of a child raised to be a warrior and deprived of his birthright to be a battle Lord for the Empire. But as he grows up with different training he comes to understand that his future will be quite different from his father's - and involves a mission that could alter the world. Political encounters, battles, and swift action makes this a winning story.

The Business Shelf

Present Yourself
Kit Seeborg & Andrea Meyer's
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
1005 Gravenstein, Hwy N.
Sebastopol, CA 95472-2811
9781449342364, $24.99,

PRESENT YOURSELF: USING SLIDESHARE TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS is all about sharing content and growing a business using SlideShare. While this is also a top pick for any computer or software reference library, PRESENT YOURSELF is reviewed here for its much wider-ranging applications to overall business objectives from using the latest technologies for visual strength in a business application to promoting a company or brand, collaborating with colleagues online, and using SlideShare to plan and provide more effective event presentations. A 'must' for any who would use this versatile program to maximum advantage!

Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163

Daniel Isenberg's Worthless, Impossible, and Stupid: How Contrarian Entrepreneurs Create and Capture Extraordinary Value (9781422186985, $27.00) comes from a global business expert who provides a new way of approaching business building using the lessons learned from a worldwide group of fellow entrepreneurs. It offers case histories of how individuals from around the world perceived hidden values and used that perception to develop and promote products and services people didn't initially want, and provides an assessment of the creative mindset involved in the process. By including non-Western perspectives, this book goes beyond the usual focus to provide practical insight and progressive ideas any can use in their own business, making this a top pick for any entrepreneur interested in global thinking processes. True Story by Ty Montague (9781422170687, $27.00) provides insights into modern methods of marketing a business: methods that go beyond the traditional approach of telling a brand's story and provide keys to incorporating the brand in actions instead. Storytellers are on the way out: doers, on the other hand, are on the way in, creating products and services which use action over advertising. Chapters here come from the founder of a growth consultancy collective and offer a framework for making this change. Chapters discuss critical elements to 'storydoing' and provide invaluable and real-world tested solutions to common obstacles to success. Any who would create a better brand will find this a key to success.

How Cool Brands Stay Hot, second edition
Joeri Van den Bergh and Mattias Behrer
Kogan Page USA
1518 Walnut Street, Suite 1100
Philadelphia, PA 19102
9780749468040, $29.95,

How Cool Brands Stay Hot: Branding to Generation Y, provides a fine revised, updated second edition revealing what drives members of generation Y and how businesses can market to them. It's based on five years of in-depth new research that provides invaluable keys to Generation Y psychology and behavior patterns, and teaches entrepreneurs how to connect to this new generation to make branding and marketing strategies specific to their needs. New case studies, interviews with global marketing executives, and more make for a powerful collection of 'best practices' and new ideas.

The Empress Has No Clothes
Joyce Roche and Alexander Kopelman
Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.
235 Montgomery Street, Suite 650
San Francisco, CA 94104-2916
9781609946364, $18.95,

The Empress Has No Clothes: Conquering Self-Doubt to Embrace Success comes from the first Afro-American Vice President of Avon Products who began with modest circumstances and evolved to earn an Ivy league MBA and high-level executive positions. Despite her obvious achievements Roche felt like a fraud and was filled with self-doubt. Her review of "the imposter syndrome" and her lifelong struggles to conquer self-doubt provides a fine collection of coping strategies suitable to self-help and business collections alike. Any who would learn about the syndrome and how to overcome it will welcome this refreshing, candid real-world guide by one who has more than "been there and done that."

The Fashion Shelf

Hippie Chic
Lauren D. Whitley
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
9780878467952, $25.00,

Hippie Chic celebrates hippie street fashion and explores the late 1960s fashion trends that came with the hippies of the era, and is a pick for both fashion arts holdings and those concerned with the culture and image of the times. Hippie chic trends are covered in five chapters that document its evolution and provide lovely photos and discussions of designs and how they affected fashion trends and popular culture alike. Gorgeous full-page color photos accompany discussions of designers who built up on the fad to create flowing, colorful clothing. The result is an artistic and cultural expose perfect for any collection strong in either street fashion trends or cultural change.

The Art Shelf

Grayson Perry, second edition
Jacky Klein
Thames & Hudson
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500290804, $39.99,

GRAYSON PERRY appears in its second edition to pack in over three hundred seventy illustrations (most in full color) and a discussion of an artist's themes and approaches to the art. This monograph has been revised and updated to expand discussions of his themes and approaches, offering a new chapter that considers Perry's interests and famous works, and an analysis of his major tapestry cycle. Perry's fame lies in a range of arts, from prints, sculpture and drawings to ceramics: GRAYSON PERRY documents all his abilities and provides lovely color coverage throughout. Any arts library will welcome this detailed survey.

Thames & Hudson
500 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10110-0017

J.L. Locher introduces THE MAGIC OF M.C. ESCHER (9780500290736, $31.95), which packs in nearly four hundred color illustrates - over three hundred in color - and includes 12 gatefold pages as it provides a fine collection of Escher's visual art, from his woodcuts and drawings to his lithographs. Quotes from the artist himself compliment his works and create a cinematic result which captures the evolution of his artistic process. This succeeds in capturing the strengths of his vision and his attention to detail, providing a truly magical collection highly recommended for any Escher fan and any general art holding looking for more Escher representation. Erin B. Coe, Bruce Robertson and Gwendolyn Owens' MODERN NATURE: GEORGIA O'KEEFFE AND LAKE GEORGE (9780500093740, $40.00) is packed with a hundred illustrations - some seventy-five in full color - and is published to accompany a traveling exhibition portraying the works she created during her sojourns summering at Lake George in upstate New York. While the pieces she produced during these times are less known than her New Mexico desert scenery, they represent a range of botanical and panoramic landscapes and abstractions produced during a period of change and achievement, and are accompanied by essays by three O'Keeffe experts who consider the impact of these summers on her work as a whole. Any collection or viewer strong in O'Keeffe works and inspiration will find this a 'must have' addition to any definitive arts holding.

Visual Contrast
Timothy Rundle and Polly Wreford
Ryland Peters & Small
519 Broadway, 5th floor, New York, NY 10012
9781849753609, $40.00,

VISUAL CONTRAST is a recommendation for arts and home and garden collections alike, and documents the finer art of display and arrangement as they are displayed in and contribute to a home. Chapters consider the basics of space, display, and design as they consider different uses of space and alternative display methods that lend to interior representations. They also emphasize the visual contrast between space and display which is key to achieving a balanced look in the home. The result is a powerful presentation highly recommended for any arts or interior design and home idea collection.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Baker Books
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 E Fulton, Ada, MI 49301

Walter A. Elwell and Robert Y. Yarbrough's ENCOUNTERING THE NEW TESTAMENT: A HISTORICAL AND THEOLOGICAL SURVEY (9780801039645, $49.99) appears in its third updated edition to provide a readable survey from two experienced classroom teachers. From maps and charts in full color to boxes featuring key issues and chapter outlines for discussion, this provides students and professors with plenty of opportunities for discussion, all updated in a third edition. Students receive resources that include flash cards, self quizzes and chapter summaries while professors receive guidance on classroom activities and instruction. The result is an outstanding account highly recommended for any teaching or studying the New Testament. Leighann McCoy's A WOMAN'S GUIDE TO HEARING GOD'S VOICE (9780764210945, $13.99) comes from a popular speaker who maintains that God is always speaking, albeit sometimes very softly. The challenge lies in learning this voice and what it means. Personal stories, biblical narratives, and insights show how God is active in every woman's life - and they provide examples of this activity and how to hear his voice. Inspiration blends with revealing spiritual insights women will find enlightening and easy to understand.

Christianity and the Political Order
Kenneth R. Himes
Orbis Books
PO Box 308, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0308
9781626980280, $40.00,

Christianity and the Political Order: Conflict, Cooptation and Cooperation joins others in the 'Theology in Global Perspective' series, and provides a fine scholarly assessment of the political realm and Christianity. Himes considers that political decisions should be ultimately guided by the teachings of Jesus, and considers the evolving relationship between Christianity and politics from the teachings of the Old and New Testaments through the ages to modern times. From issues of church involvement in political processes to issues of human rights around the world, this offers insights for any considering the evolving relationship between Christianity and social justice.

Crossway Books
1300 Crescent Street
Wheaton, IL 60187

John MacArthur's THE GLORY OF HEAVEN: THE TRUTH ABOUT HEAVEN, ANGELS, AND ETERNAL LIFE (9781433538681, $22.99) is for any who want an in-depth, narrowed focus on what the Bible says about heaven, and discusses the biblical truth God has given about heaven versus other sources and ideas. Many people are making up alternative visions of what heaven is: this returns attention to the Biblical passages that support ideas of heaven, its purpose, and its various incarnations and facets. The result is a Bible-oriented analysis that lends well to any Christian reference collection. Alastair Begg and Sinclair B. Ferguson's NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES (9781433537752, $19.99) refers to Jesus Christ, who has been given the 'name above all names' and the right to reign - and yet, most aren't able to properly grasp just what this means to their lives. Two pastor authors use decades of combined experience and thought to consider seven key aspects of Jesus' ministry. From his role as conqueror and prophet to his incarnation as the son of man and God alike, this links scripture to an analysis of the character and focus of Christ in a fine survey any Christian reader will find accessible and thought-provoking.

A Sense of the Sacred
James Monti
Ignatius Press
PO Box 1339, Fort Collins, CO 80522
9781586172831, $34.95,

A Sense of the Sacred: Roman Catholic Worship in the Middle Ages provides an in-depth exploration and explanation of medieval liturgical celebrations, prays and hymns used in the Middle Ages, and is a fine pick for any Christian collection interested in the early history of worship. Chapters come from a historian who has done exhaustive research on medieval liturgical manuscripts and writings: chapters analyze prayers, hymns and rubrics used in the Middle Ages and provide fine discussions of sacred celebrations from across Europe; especially the liturgical texts of medieval Spain. The result is a top pick for any Christian scholarly collection.

Christian Ethics
Victor Lee Austin
Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315
New York, NY 10010
9780567032201, $19.95,

CHRISTIAN ETHICS: A GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED provides a fine approach to Christian ethics and reviews the Christian moral life, using many Biblical references to chart the evolution and meaning of Christian thoughts on justice, how to succeed as a human being, and more. Philosophy and theology blend in a fine story packed with insights and perfect for collections strong in scholarly assessments of Christian belief based on a blend of analysis and Biblical passages.

Evangelical Catholicism
George Weigel
Basic Books
c/o Perseus Books Group
11 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142
9780465027682, $27.99,

Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church provides readers with a powerful assessment of the evangelical label in Christian thinking, and provides a fine account of the re-evangelicalization of the West and the differences between traditional church approaches of the past and the core of Evangelical Catholicism. It discusses reformed-based evangelization, considers the options and impacts of these Catholic reforms, and integrates the overall process into the whole of Christian thinking and belief. The result is a powerful guide, highly recommended for any Catholic or Christian collection.

The Military Shelf

A-10 Thunderbolt II Units of Operation: Enduring Freedom
Gary Wetzel
Osprey Publishing
4301 21st St, Suite 220B
Long Island City, NY 11101
9781780963044, $22.95,

A-10 Thunderbolt II Units of Operation: Enduring Freedom 2002-07 provides a fine survey of the A-10 Thunderbolt II's action during Enduring Freedom, detailing five years of its service from 2002-2007 and featuring first-hand combat accounts and photography from all involved. Artwork and photos in striking color accompany a technical discussion of the units, from their makeup and evolution to the missions and pilots who flew them, making this a fine selection for aviation and military history holdings alike!

Osprey Publishing
4301 21st St, Suite 220B
Long Island City, NY 11101

Angus Konstam's SALERNO 1943: THE ALLIES INVADE SOUTHERN ITALY (9781780962498, $21.95) covers the invasion force that landed in Salerno only a dozen miles from Naples. The ten-day battle there was eventually decided in favor of the Allies, and this uses documentary records plus eyewitness accounts from all sides to recreate the battle hour by hour. Vintage black and white photos accompany color illustrations by Steve Noon and memoirs to make for a thorough documentation of a battle that has long been neglected by both sides, making this a fine pick for any World War II military history collection. Raffaele D'Amato & Andrea Salimbeti's EARLY AEGEAN WARRIOR 5000-1450 BC (9781780968582, $18.95) provides a fine coverage of the daily lives of early Aegean warriors in ancient Greece, and is a pick for both military history collections and those specializing in ancient Greek history and culture. This title focuses on military developments of the mainland and islands of Greece from the beginning of the Bronze Age. Color illustrations by Giuseppe Rava accompany to make for a detailed, in-depth coverage perfect for those looking for specifics on early military campaigns. Peter Simkins, Geoffrey Jukes and Michael Hickey's THE FIRST WORLD WAR: THE WAR TO END ALL WARS (9781782002802, $30.00) provides a detailed, in-depth history covering the basics of the First World War, with a focus on how its techniques and radical strategies changed the face of warfare. From mass slaughters previously thought impossible to global involvements and conflicts, this covers battles across lands and details all the differences that set this first world war apart from any previous human conflict. The result is a powerful assessment that's a 'must' for any military history collection.

The Needlecraft Shelf

C&T Publishing
1651 Challenge Drive
Concord, CA 94520-5206

Sherri McConnell's A QUILTING LIFE: CREATING A HANDMADE HOME 19 PROJECTS (9781607056591, $24.95) teaches the basics of using modern fabrics to make pillows, table runners and larger quilts, and offers ideas for designs that make for gifts and keepsake heirlooms alike. Color photos of finished needlework projects accompany step-by-step diagrams and assembly patterns, while at-a-glance sidebars covering materials and cutting allow needleworkers to gauge the complexity of each project. With its diverse selection of fabrics and designs, A Quilting Life is a fine pick for any quilter looking to produce family-oriented keepsake results. Susan Maw and Sally Bell's SEW A BACKYARD ADVENTURE (9781607056676, $29.95) tells how to create a range of projects from finger puppets to teepees, hats, backpacks and more - all of which lend to camping out in a backyard setting. These are whimsical, fun creations that pair step-by-step instructions with template patterns and plenty of ideas for bright, whimsical backyard stories and adventures. Any sewing for children will find this a fun collection of whimsical ideas.

Skirt-A-Day Sewing
Nicole Smith
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way
North Adams, MA 01247
9781603429740, $19.95,

Skirt-A-Day Sewing: Create 28 Skirts for a Unique Look Every Day takes four classic skirt styles - warp, straight, flared and high-waisted - and shows how to make custom patterns to create seven variations for each skirt. The sum is some 28 unique creations, teaching the basics of sewing, finishing, and even creating one's own patterns. The result goes beyond simple skirt-making and delves into the basics of creating unusual patterns and working with skirts to get the maximum results from a few simple ideas.

19021 Avenue NE
Bothell, WA 98011

Mary H. Bonnette and Jo Lynne Murchland's PAINTBOX KNITS: MORE THAN 30 DESIGNS FOR KIDS (9781564773364, $19.99) provides a fine set of small patterns that blend colors and motifs kills will find attractive and fun to wear. Over 30 projects range from cardigans and tunics to pants, jackets and more. Many are suitable for girls or boys, and each design incorporates generous proportions to accommodate rapidly-growing children. From tips for child sizing to blocking, finishing, knitting and more, this creates fun and innovative twists on standards and provides knitters with many fun options. Eileen Wright's MORE TWIST-AND-TURN BARGELLO QUILTS (9781604682595, $24.99) teaches bargello projects that range in size from a bed runner to full-size quilts and pillowcases, teaching Wright's quilt-by-number technique in the process, and providing projects that appeal to beginners and advanced quilters alike. Full-page patterns accompany color photos and step-by-step instructions on cutting slices, making fabric strips, and more. The result is a powerful collection of quilt patterns that are geometrically and visually unique, and perfect for quilters looking for something different.

The Woodworking Shelf

Woodcarving Magic
Bjarne Jespersen
Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
9781565235236, $19.95,

WOODCARVING MAGIC: HOW TO TRANSFORM A SINGLE BLOCK OF WOOD INTO IMPOSSIBLE SHAPES provides nearly thirty projects for carving various geometric designs and is a 'must' for any woodcarver who wants more than the usual carving project involving furniture or animals. From choosing wood and selecting tools to creating amazing objects with interconnected parts, this is packed with color photos and step-by-step insights on the entire process, and is a 'must' for wood carvers who are looking for something different and 'out of the box' in the way of carving and shaping wood.

The Railroading Shelf

Kalmbach Publishing Company
21027 Crossroads Circle
Waukesha, WI 53186

Two beading titles are top picks for beaders looking for something different, and offer specific projects perfect for building skills. Irina Miech's IRINA'S METAL CLAY COLLECTION FOR BEADERS: A MASTER INSTRUCTOR'S FAVORITE PROJECTS (9780871167842, $19.95) features lay-flat pages for easy use and three exciting new projects in a collection designed to teach basic skills that mimic metalworking results. Beginner through advanced levels are covered, projects present easy step-by-step photos and accompanying directions, and all are supported by clear close-up images that leave nothing to guess at. Bead&Button Magazine's CREATIVE BEADING V. 8 (9780871167682, $29.95) provides lovely projects form many jewelry artists and demonstrates a wide range of beading techniques and stitches. All projects have been tested by the editors and include step-by-step instructions and both full-page and small color photos and illustrations. These two fine titles should be considered mainstays adding to and enhancing any crafter's collection!

The Cookbook Shelf

Eric Lanlard
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781845337889, $24.99,

CHOCOLAT: SEDUCTIVE RECIPES FOR BAKED GOODS, DESSERTS, TRUFFLES, AND OTHER TREATS comes from an award-winning author who hares over 100 of his favorite recipes for chocolate. He was a young patisserie chef who trained as an apprentice chocolatier, and has been fascinated with chocolate's history as well as its use in foods. This provides an overview, discusses basic handling methods, and features a range of chocolate treats. The heart of the book, however, lies in Eric Lanlard's unique recipes what pair more familiar dishes such as brownies with unusual variations such as an Apricot and Chocolate Charlotte, Chocolate and Chestnut Truffle Cakes, and Lapsang Souchong Pralines. The result is an outstanding presentation, highly recommended for any who want a blend of traditional and unusual chocolate dessert fare.

Conran Octopus
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue
New York NY 10017

The little 'Leon' cookbooks presented by Conran Octopus stem from the healthy UK restaurant chain LEON and provide four small editions packed with appealing recipes. They stand out both individually and as a set, collecting easy recipes for good food that is healthy and adding humor and a fun presentation to 64 pages complimented by color photos and illustrations. LEON BREAKFAST & BRUNCH (9781840916348, $9.99) outlines fast and healthy recipes from wheat-free pancakes to a Breakfast Banana Split, SMOOTHIES, JUICES & COCKTAILS (9781840916317, $9.99) outlines healthy breakfast and all-day smoothies made from fruits and vegetables, BROWNIES, BARS & MUFFINS (9781840916331, $9.99) details wheat-, dairy- and sugar-free options for traditional muffins and brownies, and SOUPS SALADS & SNACKS (9781840916324, $9.99) offers recipes for energy-producing sandwiches and soups and salads. All are top picks individually or together, and make lovely gift ideas for any cook interested in healthy fare.

Where Chefs Eat
Joe Warwick
Phaidon Press
180 Varick Street, 14th floor
New York, NY 10014
9780714865416, $19.95,

WHERE CHEFS EAT is the ultimate restaurant guide for fans of good food, and presents a collection of over 400 of the world's best chefs and the places they go to for good food. Addresses, telephone numbers, maps and reviews accompany quotes from the chefs themselves, including information on credit card acceptance, price range, reservation policy and more. The book itself is weighty - over six hundred pages - but the result is a powerful collection highly recommended for any who love to travel and eat. Oh, and all budget levels are included: we're not talking only high-class, expensive establishments here!

The True History of Chocolate, third edition
Sophie D. and Michael D. Coe
Thames & Hudson
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500290682, $22.95,

The True History of Chocolate appears in its third updated edition to provide a fine survey of chocolate and its history, which began some 4,000 years ago in the jungles of Mexico and Central America with the chocolate tree and the evolution of a process to change its bitter seeds into chocolate. New photos and revisions throughout provide keys to chocolate's evolution and introduction around the world, including a new chapter on a Guatemalan chocolate producer, and makes for a fine coverage highly recommended for any interested in a definitive story of chocolate's evolution.

The FastDiet Cookbook
Mimi Spencer with Dr. Sarah Schenker
Atria Books
c/o Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
9781476749860, $19.99,

The FastDiet Cookbook provides a fine companion volume to the best-selling The FastDiet, a plan featured on Good Morning America, Rachael Ray, and more, and provides over a hundred low-calorie recipes to support making The FastDiet a lifestyle change. The FastDiet, for those new to the idea, advocates that it's possible to lose weight while eating normally five days a week: just cut back calories for two non-consecutive days: 500 calories for women, 600 for men. Recipes provided here are designed to fill you up and keep hunger from happening - and none are more than 500 calories. From stocking the pantry to cooking tips, The FastDiet Cookbook provides an outstanding plan for any dieter enthusiastic about the concept.

The Botany Shelf

Australian Rainforest Fruits
Wendy Cooper
Csiro Publishing
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive
Sterling, VA 20166-2012
9780643197847, $59.95,

Australian Rainforest Fruits: A Field Guide offers a lovely guide to fruiting plants found in Australia's eastern rainforests, and is a recommendation for any world botany collection strong in plants in general and Australian flora and fauna in particular. Lovely artwork by natural history artist William T. Cooper accompanies botanical descriptions of some 500 of the most common fruiting plants found in Australia's eastern rainforests. While this is a very specific coverage, it will also prove essential to any comprehensive collection, accompanying each species description with a leaf drawing, distribution map, and identification keys. A 'must' for any involved in Australian flora.

The Science Shelf

David K. Randall
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393345865, $15.95,

DREAMLAND: ADVENTURES IN THE STRANGE SCIENCE OF SLEEP documents journalist David K. Randall's own experiences with sleep disorders, his encounters with sleep therapists who tried to help him, and his investigations into the biology of sleep and cutting edge research on the topic. The result is DREAMLAND, considering the science of sleep, experiments with sleep, and new research into its importance and science. Psychology, research, and cultural observation blend in a fine account recommended for science and health holdings alike!

The Computer Shelf

Mac Hacks
Chris Seibold
O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
1005 Gravenstein, Hwy N.
Sebastopol, CA 95472-2811
9781449325589, $24.99,

MAC HACKS: TIPS & TOOLS FOR UNLOCKING THE POWER OF OS X is a pick for any collection strong in Apple technology and teaches how to take control of a Mac system. Hacks in this book go beyond surface customization processes, showing how to tweak system preferences, mount drives, and how to work with files and underlying root systems. The result is a powerful collection of tips, tools and techniques for any OS X user who would go beyond simple Mac customization processes to change how the system itself operates.

Addison Wesley
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300
Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759

W. Richard Stevens and Stephen A. Rago's third updated edition of ADVANCED PROGRAMMING IN THE UNIX ENVIRONMENT (9780321637734, $69.99) is a highly recommended 'must have' reference for any collection strong in Linux programming and UNIX systems, and packs in over seventy new interfaces, removing most obsolete interfaces and updating examples tested in four modern platforms: Solaris 10, Mac OS X v. 10.6.8, FreeBSD 8.0 and Ubuntu v. 12.04. Examples throughout demonstrate all the concepts and include over ten thousand lines of downloadable source code, while functions are demonstrated using complete programs that illustrate all factors. Exercises, format options, and plenty of code examples makes this a fine reference promising lasting, repeat consultation. Tom DeMarco & Timothy Lister's PEOPLEWARE: PRODUCTIVE PROJECTS AND TEAMS (9780321934116, $39.99) appears in its third edition to provide a fine enhancement of a best-selling title on software management. Six new chapters have been added to this new edition, with the rest seeing extensive updates to help it match the objectives and perspectives of modern development challenges. From discussions of leadership changes and pathologies to discussions of teams made up of different generations and insights into how tools can hinder as well as help, chapters discuss everything from turnover to challenging the corporate norm, and provide the basics of what makes a good software management team more effective. Marc Wandschneider's LEARNING NODE.JS: A HANDS-ON GUIDE TO BUILDING WEB APPLICATIONS IN JAVASCRIPT (9780321910578, $39.99) provides web programmers with a fine guide to getting up and running fast with Node.js apps, and covers the basics of blending JavaScript code with the Node.js platform. This primer begins with the basics of installing and running Node.js, discusses its versions, and shows how to write an app. Later chapters cover advanced technical information from performing common web server tasks to deploying Node.js apps on Unix, OS X or Windows servers. The result is a wide-ranging survey highly recommended for any Node.js user; especially newcomers who want an easy lesson book for building knowledge based on real-world applications. William Van Hecke's LEARNING IOS DESIGN: A HANDS-ON GUIDE FOR PROGRAMMERS AND DESIGNERS (9780321887498, $44.99) is for any Mac programmer involved in iOS applications development and explains what design means and why effective app design matters. Based on this initial assessment, he builds a set of design basics that serve as building blocks and steps for exploring the basics of better app design. From making better user interfaces to handling issues of versatility and flexibility, this is a powerful user's guide highly recommended for any who would develop between Mac app designs.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Flinch Factor
Michael A. Kahn
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave., #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781464201400, $24.95,

THE FLINCH FACTOR provides a new Rachel Gold mystery revolving around attorney Rachel, here fighting a powerful developer intent on bulldozing a blue-collar neighborhood to replace its homes with a gated community. To complicate matters, Rachel's case will appear before a wacky judge who is totally unpredictable, and her other client is the sister of a murdered heartthrob who is convinced her brother's death is foul play. In a series of surprising moves the two cases take some unexpected turns, contributing to a mystery which is filled with fine moments and unusual twists of plot.

Not the Killing Type
Lorna Barrett
Berkeley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780425252222, $25.95,

NOT THE KILLING TYPE provides a fine 'Booktown' mystery as it revolves around a charged New Hampshire election process, the murder of a small business owner active in a small town's political arena, and Tricia's unwitting involvement helping her sister clear her name in the process. From small business pursuits to small town politics, the action becomes vivid and unforgettable with many satisfying twists and turns mystery readers will relish.

A Killing at Cotton Hill
Terry Shames
Seventh Street Books
c/o Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781616147990, $15.95,

Chief of police Dora lives in a small Texas down and is also the town drunk - so when she's murdered, it's up to former police chief Samuel Craddock to investigate - and what he finds is way too many suspects who have had confrontations with Dora in the past. As he searches for a cunning killer, he uncovers much of the underlying currents of small town personalities and secrets - and finds he may also be in danger if he probes too deeply into what may evolve to be an interconnected set of dangers. Mystery writing at its best - and recommended for any mystery collection!

The Fiction Shelf

Light of the World
James Lee Burke
Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl.
New York, NY 10020
9781476710761, $27.99,

Light of the World provides a new Dave Robicheaux novel and is set in summertime in Montana, which provides a potential vacation for Louisiana Sheriff's Detective Dave Robicheaux. A potentially-peaceful retreat turns into something sinister when an arrow attack on a train and a rodeo clown with a dark past draw Dave and his best friend, ex-cop Clete, into a search for a dangerous convicted serial killer. Great tension and high drama lends to a gripping novel packed with twists and turns and exquisite characterization recommended for any novel or mystery collection.

The Self-Help Shelf

The Good Life Lab
Wendy Jehanara Tremayne
Storey Publishing
210 Mass MoCA Way
North Adams, MA 01247
9781612121017, $18.95,

THE GOOD LIFE LAB: RADICAL EXPERIMENTS IN HANDS-ON LIVING could have appeared in a variety of columns, from 'Home and Garden' to 'Inspirational', but is reviewed here for its wide-ranging and inspirational story of how one couple left high-pressure careers in New York City to move to rural New Mexico where they embarked on a homemade, self-sufficient lifestyle. They looked for a life less involved with material wealth and simpler in structure - a life where they consumed less and created more. THE GOOD LIFE LAB charts their journey and is a lovely inspirational back-to-the-land read for any who would follow in their footsteps.

The Five Seasons
Dr. Joseph Cardillo
New Page Books
c/o Career Press Inc.
220 West Parkway, Unit 12
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
9781601632586, $14.99,

The Five Seasons: Tap Into Nature's Secrets for Health, Happiness, and Harmony provides a fine mind-body guide form a popular therapist and teacher in the field, and is based on the five universal seasons from traditional Chinese medicine and Western psychology. It teaches how to change the way one processes nature's energies to change life, and shows how to differentiate beneficial from harmful conflict, fight off depression, and increase physical strength. The result is a pick for health and new age collections alike.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

The Nazi Occult
Kenneth Hite
Osprey Publishing
4301 21st St, Suite 220B, Long Island City, NY 11101
9781780965987, $17.95,

The Nazi Occult provides a complete history of Nazi occult programs and occult experts who delved into ancient lore seeking lost secrets of power. From experiments with zero-point energy to quests for the Ark of the Covenant, this documents both occult pursuits and the shadow war fought in the last days of the Reich as Hitler's followers deployed flying saucers to try to save the Nazis' final Antarctic base. For years Allied governments tried to keep this information secret: this survey uses photography and artwork reconstructions to consider the secret beliefs of the war, and provides a fine survey recommended for new age and military holdings alike.

The Political Science Shelf

America's Way Back
Donald J. Devine
ISI Books
3901 Centerville Road
Wilmington, DE 19807-1938
1610170636, $29.95,

AMERICA'S WAY BACK: RECLAIMING FREEDOM, TRADITION, AND CONSTITUTION is all about evolving social and political values in modern America, and posits the idea that progressivism has corrupted modern political thinking in both parties. Many attempts at correction have failed, and yet government systems insist on following the same paths using the same techniques calling for more spending and bigger government. This analyzes the basics of freedom and tradition inherent in modern conservatism, explaining the flexibility of the American political structure and how this flexibility may be used to achieve greater results. Any political studies collection needs this.

The Education Shelf

Evaluating America's Teachers
W. James Popham
Corwin Press
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218
9781452260853, $27.95,

Evaluating America's Teachers: Mission Possible? provides a fine collection examining evaluation policies and strategies, and is a pick for any concerned with policymaking and school leadership. Many teacher evaluation systems fall short of their goals and actually harm the learning environment rather than helping students and teachers succeed. This provides a step-by-step assessment of strategies and their pros and cons, pointing out the fallacies of the inferences tests provide and documenting betters paths of assessment. Judgments, evaluations and resulting decisions are all analyzed in a title highly recommended for any education collection!

Learning from the Bumps in the Road
Holly Elissa Bruno, MA JD,
Redleaf Press
10 Yorkton Court, St. Paul, MN 55117-1065
9781605542065, $29.95,

Learning from the Bumps in the Road: Insights from Early Education Leaders describes various 'bumps' that those working in early care and education encounter every day, and provides cautionary tales and plenty of food for thought for any involved in early education. It packs in personal stories, reflections, ideas, and encouragement for all kinds of leadership and education issues revolving around young children and their families, with contributions from educators ranging from how laws help or harm multicultural efforts to love/hate relationships with technology, assessing child development, and developing personal and professional connections. A 'must' for any early childhood collection!

The Comix/Graphic Novel Shelf

TwoMorrows Publishing
10407 Bedfordtown Drive
Raleigh, NC 27614

Roy Thomas and Bill Schelly's THE BEST OF ALTER EGO: VOLUME 2 (9781605490489, $19.95) provides a fine sequel to Alter Ego: The Best of the Legendary Comics Fanzine and gathers more illustrations from original issues plus undiscovered works from all 11 original issues published between 1961 and 1978. Here are new industry revelations about the fanzine, vintage articles about a range of characters from Blackhawk to the Justice League of America, and rarely-seen comics stories by Joe Kubert and others, some collected here for the first time. Add a rare interview with Jean Giraud and many special illustrated sections and you have a top pick for any definitive comics history collection. Richard Arndt's STAR REACH COMPANION (9781605490519, $27.95) provides a complete history and bibliography of the 1970s independent comic Star reach, and is a pick for any who know of this comic and its wide-ranging influence across the genres of graphic novels and comic art. A range of creators and artists are featured with works in black and white with some partial color, including detailed historical coverage and interviews conducted by author Richard Arndt. Full stories from Star Reach and its sister magazine Imagine provides a lovely survey while a Cody Starbuck story by Howard Chaykin is presented for the first time in its original, intended version. All of this makes for a definitive guide and a 'must' for any collection strong in independent comics history.

The Gardening Shelf

Heavenly Hydrangeas
Joan Harrison
Schiffer Publishing
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764344190, $29.99,

Heavenly Hydrangeas: A Practical Guide for the Home Gardener is for any home gardener who wants an in-depth focus on the hydrangea, and comes packed with color photo examples throughout as it discusses basic selection, planting, care and cultivation, and propagation. Over 250 color photos display flowers and varieties while discussions on gardening challenges particular to the hydrangea will delight gardeners who want specifics, not generalities. With its many insights on the plant, Heavenly Hydrangeas will greatly enhance any botany or home gardening library.

Container Gardening
Royal Horticultural Society
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781845337186, $19.99,

Container Gardening deserves ongoing mention as a fine guide offering keys to creating attractive pots and plants for all types of gardens from patios to porches, and covers over five hundred species and varieties of container plants best for edible, ornamental and long-term planning. From avoiding common pitfalls in container gardening to step by step instructions, this covers all the basics of container design and money-saving ideas, and is a top recommendation for any gardener's collection.

The Humor Shelf

That's Not Funny, That's Sick
Ellin Stein
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
978039307409, $27.95,

That's Not Funny, That's Sick: The National Lampoon and the Comedy Insurgents Who Captured the Mainstream comes from a journalist who uses firsthand interviews with key people involved in comedy to document the National Lampoon's rise from a university humor magazine to a national publication with wide-reaching influence on the nature and presentation of comedy as a whole. From the personalities involved in the Lampoon's original creation to its evolution into a revolutionary cultural icon of criticism and observation, this provides a powerful account highly recommended for any interested in comedy.

The Antiques/Collectors Shelf

American Silver Eagles, second edition
John M. Mercanti
Whitman Publishing
4001 Helton Drive, Florence, Alabama 35630
9780794840303, $29.95,

The second updated edition of AMERICAN SILVER EAGLES: A GUIDE TO THE U.S. BULLION COIN PROGRAM provides a fine survey of a popular coin collected by many from investors to numismatist, and offers a fine survey by the designer or the coin's reverse who has nearly forty years of experience working in the U.S. mint. Joined by Michael Standish a professional coin grader, he provides a wealth of technical information covering the artistic, historical and current facets of the silver eagle coin in a fine gathering covering the U.S. mint's coins and sets of 2012 and 2013. Updated pricing information and details on other issues add to a new appendix to make this a winning and exceptional survey for any coin collector.

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Shakespeare for Screenwriters
J.M. Evenson
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111
Studio City, CA 91604
9781615931415, $19.95,

Shakespeare for Screenwriters uses wisdom and writings from The Bard to provide a powerful template of success considering how Shakespeare created compelling character that have intrigued audiences for centuries. It's the first book to use Shakespeare's works to consider the basics of screenwriting success, examining stories, characters and scenes and providing commentary on everything from untried heroes struggling to succeed against all odds to creating exceptional settings. Any film or drama writing looking to learn from a 'master' could do no better than this guide.

The Sports Shelf

Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076
Champaign, IL 61820-5076

Ian Jeffreys, DEVELOPING SPEED (9780736083288, $19.95) joins others in the 'Sport Performance' series and comes from eight of the top National Strength and Conditioning Association experts who turn their attention to developing superior speed in any sport. It helps readers assess their current abilities and needs, offering techniques and tips key to increasing athletic speed and providing a resource any can use to reach a speed-oriented goal. From sport- specific drills to sequencing, preparation and coaching points, this offers a fine array of techniques and applications any sports participant will find compelling! Kimberly Mueller and Josh Hingst's THE ATHLETE'S GUIDE TO SPORTS SUPPLEMENTS (9780736093699, $18.95) provides quick answers to common questions about sports supplements and comes from sports nutrition and supplement experts who consider over a hundred of the most popular supplements on the market today. Each entry covers performance benefits, research studies, dosage recommendations, and adverse reactions. The research section provides in-depth information on dosages, human data and double-blind studies, and more. The result is a powerful survey highly recommended for any athletic or health collection.

The Automotive Shelf

Ford Differentials
Joseph Palazzolo
CarTech Inc.
39966 Grand Avenue, North Branch, MN 55056
9781613250389, $24.95,

Ford Differentials: How to Rebuild the 8.8 and 9-inch deserves ongoing mention and recommendation as a practical addition to any collection focusing on rebuilding cars in general and the Ford in particular. One might initially think these differentials to be highly specialized: in fact, they were some of the most popular differentials on the market, and were widely used in vehicles ranging from rods and muscle cars to race cars. This Workbench book provides step-by-step directions for rebuilding, with illustrations and photos throughout accompanying details on the best gear and choices during the rebuild process. No automotive collection should be without this invaluable reference.

Camaro & Firebird Performance Projects
Jeff Tann
39966 Grand Avenue, North Branch, MN 55056
9781613250143, $29.95,

Camaro & Firebird Performance Projects 1970-1981 offers a compilation of projects that range from performing engine swaps and installing upgraded systems to handling chassis, suspension and electrical components, and teaches how to take a basic stock, second-generation Camaro or Firebird and transform it into a fast muscle car. Chapters are packed with step-by-step color photos throughout and explain all the basics of installations and upgrades. From assessments of OEM options to discussions of performance enhancements, this is a top pick for any gearhead owner of the Camaro or Firebird.

The Calendar Shelf

American Quilter's Society 2014 Wall Calendar
American Quilter's Society
PO Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290
9781604601022, $12.95,

American Quilter's Society 2014 Wall Calendar provides a lively wall calendar perfect for any who love quilting and want to see full-color inspirations on their walls. Thirteen lovely quilts were selected from the winners of the 2013 AQS quilt week in Kentucky and are here provided in a large-format, 12 x 24" wall calendar perfect for displaying them. A lovely gift for any quilter, this includes good-sized boxes for easy notes.

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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