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The Bookwatch

Volume 11, Number 9 September 2016 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Needlecraft Shelf Military Shelf
Sports Shelf Education Shelf Christian Studies Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Art Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Audiobook Shelf Science Shelf Islamic Studies Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

Big Data: Does Size Matter?
Timandra Harkness
Bloomsbury Press
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 315, New York, NY 10010
9781472920058 $27.00

Big Data: Does Size Matter? considers the definition of "big data" and its applications and takes computer and information analysis a step further into social issues realms as it considers the process of applying big data to everyone life. From how such data helps solve crimes, improve scientific knowledge, or define and identify human habits to why it's as much a part of human society and culture as the cyberworld, this survey is filled with engaging stories, personalities, big data fetes and challenges, and bigger questions about where big data is taking the human race. The result is a powerful analysis highly recommended for any social issues shelf: a lively read, in contrast to similar-sounding examinations oriented to computer analysts and users.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Stitches from the Garden
Kathy Schmitz
Martingale & Company
19021 - 120th Avenue NE, Suite 102, Bothell, WA 98011
9781604687767 $24.99

Stitches from the Garden: Hand Embroidery Inspired by Nature is a fine collection of hand embroidered works that uses easy embroidery basic techniques to create keepsake pieces from tote bags and pincushions to notions keepers and more. The look says 'vintage' but the techniques incorporate embroidery designs and approaches designed to streamline results and produce the best professional-looking results. Any who want to blend nature and garden images with useful gifts and projects that support sewing materials will find this an excellent collection.

Applique for Modern Beginners
Eva Birch, Nancy Gano, Jodi Robinson
American Quilter's Society
PO Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290
9781683390053 $24.95

Applique for Modern Beginners provides a new modern twist on the topic by introducing bold shapes and designs that move beyond the usual one-dimensional traditional applique approaches of other books. Configurations of these applique additions to a quilt create unusual, often geometric, patterns that become more of an integral part of the quilt's design than an overlay addition, and chapters show how to achieve this look with a combination of cutting, piecing, and assembly diagrams. The end result goes beyond most applique how-to guides to show how these techniques may not just embellish a quilt, but become an important part of its overall design.

The Military Shelf

A Complete History of U.S. Combat Aircraft Fly-Off Competitions
Erik Simonsen
Specialty Press
99 Spring Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10012
9781580072274 $44.95

No military or aviation history collection should be without A Complete History of U.S. Combat Aircraft Fly-Off Competitions: Winners, Losers, and What Might Have Been. It offers a fine history of these competitions and how they were conducted over the years, surveys competing aircraft designs and building strategies, discusses operations and competition victories, and packs in over five hundred photos - some created just for this book - in the course of surveying the lasting effects of military fly-off competitions and their contributions toward innovative new strategic aircraft development. Discussions of how developments might have been different had some of the losers of these competitions actually won completes a history that is a well-written, engrossing read.

The Sports Shelf

Soccer Science
Tony Strudwick, Editor
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076
9781450496797 $27.95

Soccer Science: Using Science to Develop Players and Teams gathers a wealth of scientific research on athletics and soccer under one cover, and is a 'must have' reference for any sports collection serious about representing the latest soccer options. It gathers articles and insights from a range of international experts on the sport, it discusses the latest research and findings in physiology, psychology, coaching and game analysis, and it offers coaches and soccer players keys to incorporating this science into game strategies and training regimens. From innovations that can advance the game to using statistical evaluations in soccer, this powerful player's guide shouldn't be missed.

The Education Shelf

NLD From the Inside Out
Michael Brian Murphy
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849057141 $21.95

NLD From the Inside Out: Talking to Parents, Teachers, and Teens About Growing Up with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities is written by and for teens with NLD, and addresses the concerns of young adults, their parents, and their educators with its blend of research into brain and learning processes and its practical applications to stories of now-thriving teens who grew up with and successfully overcame hurdles. Chapters don't just focus on education: they address common problems in relationship and life during school and in the years after graduation, and they blend humor with practical insights that lead to better understanding and coping mechanisms for those with NLD and others who interact with them.

Working With Kids Who Bully
Walter B. Roberts Jr.
Corwin Press, Inc.
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218
9781506333878 $34.95

Working With Kids Who Bully: New Perspectives on Prevention and Intervention advocates a different approach to handling bullies by working more with the kids who are bullies. It provides new thoughts and approaches to handling them based on information from a range of school situations, includes cyberbullying and other kinds of aggressive acts, and includes specific strategies and sample dialogue educators can use when working with these children. From applying restorative justice techniques and handling first-time bullies to analyzing intervention choices and their results, Working With Kids Who Bully is a key informational reference for any educator who wants not just an overview of the problem, but tested solutions and various options to open communication with bullies.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Christianity in the Light of Science
John W. Loftus, Editor
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633881730 $19.00

Christianity in the Light of Science: Critically Examining the World's Largest Religion provides Christian collections with a fine anthology of new critical essays written by experts who consider Christianity's foundations using established scientific criteria. These foundations range from the scenario of a Christian god presiding over the universe to issues of free will, ideas of sin, why intelligent design isn't science, and the power of prayer. Christian collections strong in inquiry and debate and science holdings interested in analyzing Christian foundations will find this a powerful survey.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Best of Bova V. II
Ben Bova
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781476781594 $16.00

The Best of Bova V. II gathers a wide range of Bova classic short stories that are deeply rooted in hard science and diverse, appealing characters. Whether Bova is investigating Mars and interstellar signals from other races or revealing the problems of a machine designed to make people feel good, his tales are ever-winding, more firmly rooted in science than many, and represent a broad and wonderful sampling of Bova's literary prowess when assembled under one cover, side-by-side. The Best of Bova V. II is thus highly recommended for both prior fans of the master and newcomers who appreciate science-rooted short stories.

The Art Shelf

Outside the Lines
Matteo Torcinovich & Sebastiano Girardi
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781784721497 $19.99

Outside the Lines: Lost Photographs of Punk and New Wave's Most Iconic Albums packs in hundreds of lost photos that represent rare pictures of some of the biggest names of new wave music, and accompanies these images with anecdotes, interviews, and insights from the photographers who made them. Details of album covers, artists who rendered them, and photographer perspectives provide clear insights into the evolution of not just new wave music, but the eclectic influences that led to artistic experimentation in the 80s. The result is an important survey recommended not just for music collections, but for arts libraries interested in documenting social perspectives, as well.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Berkley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014

Two excellent mysteries are powerful new arrivals recommended for any who enjoy different themes running through their series selections. Monica Ferris adds a new "Needlecraft Mystery" with Knit Your Own Murder (9780425270127, $26.00), a story that revolves around a local knitting group. Here the group is working on a fundraising auction by knitting toys and stuffed animals as they are being auctioned. One wouldn't think this would be a scenario for murder; but when a feisty businesswoman expires in the middle of proceedings and investigation shows that she's been poisoned, it's up to Betsy to go to bad on behalf of a suspect who claims innocence. Rhys Bowen's Crowned and Dangerous (9780425283466, $26.00) adds to the 'Royal Spyness' series in telling of a woman who is thirty-fifth in line for the British crown, with plans to elope rather than face stringent royal rules. Lady Georgiana finds out about the plans when beau Darcy is taking her out of town - and she's not sure about the future for two broke lovers. When her future father-in-law is arrested, tension mounts in an engrossing blend of mystery and insights about the British, the Irish, and family ties. Both are excellent mystery reads for newcomers and prior series fans alike.

The Audiobook Shelf

Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

James Patterson and Mark Sullivan's The Games (9781478928195, $35.00) is narrated by Jay Snyder, who does a fine job of bringing to life this gripping thriller which revolves around an Olympics event in Rio de Janeiro. Jack is in Rio for the Olympics, assigned to protect some prominent clients; but when they vanish and murders begin, he's drawn into Brazil's most dangerous games. A cat-and-mouse game evolves that holds deadly implications for the world and leads listeners into an involving race against time. Two 'Stories at the Speed of Life' collection from James Patterson, called 'Bookshots', are recommended for listeners who want fast-paced action in succinct listens. Cross Kill (9781478967453, $10.00) is narrated by Ruben Santiago-Hudson and provides a new Alex Cross adventure as Alex faces a killer who has been dead for a decade - or, has he? The possibility of ghosts, revenge, and more charge a powerful story line especially recommended for prior Alex Cross fans. James Patterson works with Max DiLallo on Zoo 2 (9781478967538, $10.00), which offers a compelling sequel to Zoo as it tells of the human species' ongoing onslaught by animals. This earns its own evolutionary response and humans become a part of what they are fighting. Jay Snyder's invigorating narrative style brings it all to life. Joyce Meyer's Worry-Free Living: Trading Anxiety for Peace (9781478909439, $18.00) is read by Jodi Carlisle and recommended for spiritual listeners as it pairs advice on how to invoke God's Word and how to apply it to life's challenges for the ultimate goal of living in peace. These aren't generalities, but offer specific strategies to connecting to God with an ultimate goal in mind: worry-free living. Brad Meltzer and Tod Goldberg's The House of Secrets (9781478929864, $35.00) receives a dual narration by veteran readers Scott Brick and January LaVoy, who bring to life a riveting saga story of Hazel, who awakens in the hospital with amnesia. She's told she's been in a car accident that killed her father, host of a popular TV conspiracy show, and that her father has held some dubious associations - but she recalls nothing. As clues build up to the truth, Hazel finds herself on a desperate hunt to understand a past that's no longer part of her present world. Melanie Raabe's The Trap (9781478935032, $30.00) is narrated by Julie Teal and tells of a famous author who never leaves her home, producing masterpieces in seclusion. She's haunted by the unsolved murder of her younger sister twelve years earlier, and by the man she saw fleeing from the crime - but her isolation doesn't solve her nightmares. In fact, they are just beginning. A tense thriller based on Linda's memories and struggles makes for a powerful murder mystery that's hard to put down, with Julie Teal's voice accenting and helping drive the drama. These are powerful audio recommendations that should be in every audio library.

The Science Shelf

The Vital Question
Nick Lane
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393352979 $16.95

The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life comes from a biochemist and professor of evolutionary biology who offers a different hypothesis about how life began on Earth, and is recommended for lay readers and science collections interested in a different perspective. Here Lane argues that the cellular structure of life itself posed a physical limitation to life. Studying these cells offer clues on how and why they evolved, making for a lively discourse that requires no biology or natural history background in order to prove accessible, understandable, and interesting.

The Islamic Studies Shelf

Islam Evolving
Taner Edis
Prometheus Books
59 John Glenn Drive, Amherst, NY 14228-2197
9781633881891 $28.00

Islam Evolving: Radicalism, Reformation, and the Uneasy Relationship With the Secular West provides college-level readers of social, religious and Middle East issues with a hard-hitting examination of how Islam is adapting to modern world changes. Professor Taner Edis, an American physicist who was raised in Turkey, argues here that many Muslim societies are refining Islam to their own perceptions of its applications in modern life. His examples come from a blend of personal observation and analysis and consider how Muslim societies embrace science and technology, how they handle consumer pressures and market forces, and how they are often misunderstood as Western social and political analytic strategies are applied to very different structures that defy such approaches. The result is key to anyone who would better understand the forces at work in contemporary Muslim societies around the world.

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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