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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 16, Number 4 April 2017 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Health/Medicine Shelf Business Shelf
Psychology Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Fiction Shelf Criminology Shelf Biography Shelf
Sports Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Putting Art to Work
Keith Chirgwin & Helene Chirgwin
Xlibris Corporation
1663 South Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781514448991, $59.89, PB, 200pp,

Synopsis: With the publication of "Putting Art to Work", Keith and Helen Chirgwin show how art, and work with pictures, can be used as a tool facilitating positive change in work life. Organized into two major section, 'Art: The Supporter of Change' and 'Art-Based Workshops', "Putting Art to Work" includes tailor-made workshop curriculum material to support the development of individuals, groups, and even engage in work processes, enabling both people and organizations to move forward.

"Putting Art to Work" invites all professionals working with learning and development ranging from educators at all levels, management and organizational consultants, and psychologists, to coaches, therapists, social workers and health educators, to use these art-based workshops as a more exciting and enjoyable way of promoting health and supporting change and development in our work life and the we think.

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout, "Putting Art to Work" is an ideal reference source that is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation. Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, versatile and adaptable, "Putting Art to Work" is especially recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Art Instruction reference collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

We Answered With Love
Nancy Learned Haines
Pleasant Green Books
9780997984804, $19.95, PB, 426pp,

Synopsis: In America, 1918 was a time of zealous patriotism. But not everyone believed in the rightness of war. Leslie Hotson's conscience led him to go to France with the American Friends Service Committee to repair the wounds of war. Mary Peabody worked to change conditions at home as a radical socialist and anti-war activist. Both hoped that their love of mankind would lead them to living out their highest ideals. "We Answered With Love" is based on the letters of these two thoughtful young people, giving a personal perspective on the role of pacifists during the Great War and, at the same time, revealing a delightful, romantic story of friendship turning to love.

Critique: An inherently fascinating and compelling read from cover to cover, "We Answered With Love: Pacifist Service in World War I" is exceptionally well edited, organized and presented. An extraordinary account that is both intimate, insightful, and thoughtful, "We Answered With Love" is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community and academic library collections.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Why We Overeat and How to Stop
Elizabeth Babcock, LCSW
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781533410290, $19.95, PB, 326pp,

Synopsis: "Why We Overeat and How to Stop" by psychotherapist and community education expert Elizabeth Babcock was specifically written for those who struggle to control their weight and can't escape the endless cycle of yo-yo dieting that always seems to leave them worse off than when they started.

"Why We Overeat and How to Stop" offers a groundbreaking approach that could change everything as Babcock utilizes basic brain science (which she explains in simple, everyday terms) to show why most of us continue to overeat despite desperately wishing we could stop, and why our efforts at change so seldom stick.

Once we understand how this works, we can stop beating ourselves up and start using our new knowledge to manage our urges more effectively. Anyone can begin relating to food in a way that empowers them to eat with dignity and real satisfaction even as it supports your health.

In "Why We Overeat and How to Stop", Babock shares many practical and effective strategies to help get started, all written in a style that is clear, compassionate, and easy to follow. Peace with food is possible, and "Why We Overeat and How to Stop" is an indispensable tool for helping to achieve it.

Critique: Impressively informed and informative, exceptionally 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, and a potentially life changing read for anyone having to deal with weight control health issues, "Why We Overeat and How to Stop" is unreservedly recommended for community library Health/Medicine collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Why We Overeat and How to Stop" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

Dynamic Aging
Katy Bowman
Propriometrics press
c/o Cardinal Publishers Gorup
2402 North Shadeland Avenue, Suite A, Indianapolis, IN 46219
9781943370115, $16.95, PB, 336pp,

Synopsis: Pain and lack of mobility isn't always due to one's age, but quite often one's personal habits? That's why for so many people changing how they move can change how they feel, regardless of what their age may be? "Dynamic Aging: Simple Exercises for Whole-Body Mobility" is an exercise guide to restoring movement, especially for healthy feet, better balance, and the activities of daily life. In these informative pages, biomechanist and movement teacher Katy Bowman shares exercises and habit modifications for varying fitness and mobility levels. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Dynamic Aging" is specifically designed for a 50+ audience; includes exercises and postural adjustments that require no special equipment and include modifications for all fitness levels; will teach how to move for healthy feet, improved balance, and activities of daily life; will help all readers move and feel better.

Alongside Bowman's instructions are the stories, experiences, and advice of four women over seventy-five who ve used these principles and exercises for years. Along the way they found recommended surgeries unnecessary, regained strength and mobility, and ended up moving more than they did when they were a decade younger. From hiking in the mountains to climbing ladders and walking on cobblestones with ease, each of these women embodies the message that no matter where you're starting, if you change how you move, you can change how you feel.

Critique: Especially in view of the aging baby boomer population now entering senior citizen status, "Dynamic Aging: Simple Exercises for Whole-Body Mobility" will prove to be an enduringly necessary, valued, and popular addition to personal, family, and community library Health & Medicine collections in general, and physical mobility supplemental studies lists in particular. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Dynamic Aging" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).

The Business Shelf

Baby Boomer Entrepreneur
Oreste J. D'Aversa
Cutting Edge Technology Publishing
9780982628348, $29.97, PB, 326pp,

Synopsis: A regrettable fact of today's economics in our country is that the percentage of workers who expect to be able to retire before age 65 has dropped significantly -- from 50% in 1991 to 27% in 2014. Furthermore, The U.S. Census Bureau confirms, "nearly 10% of people 65 and older live in poverty". Unfortunately, many Baby Boomers are simply unable financially to retire.

One of the most effective solutions to this problem is to become an entrepreneur providing a service or a product for profit. That's why Oreste J. D'Aversa has written a comprehensive instruction manual and guide with "Baby Boomer Entrepreneur: Implementing the Boomer Business Success System -- The Complete and Proven Guide to Starting a Successful Business, Having Financial Freedom with the Lifestyle that You Want".

Drawing upon his years of experience and expertise, D'Aversa presents: Astonishing Facts and Figures that You Need to Know About Being a Baby Boomer; How your Life Purpose Can Help You Be Financially Prosperous and Personally Fulfilled; Unleash the Power of "Planning Your Work and Working Your Plan", it's as Easy as 1, 2, 3; A Strategic Marketing Tool to Have "People Come to You" as Well as Other Proven Methods and Techniques to Get Your Name in the Marketplace at Little or No Cost; Time Tested "Magic Steps" to Close Sales Deals Just by Asking Questions!; How to Put Together Your Products and Services to Achieve Maximum Financial Profits; Being of Service to Your Customers is the "Secret Sauce" to your Success; and so much more!

Critique: Exceptionally well written, thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Baby Boomer Entrepreneur" is an especially recommended addition to community and academic library Business Management collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of anyone thinking about retirement, re-inventing themselves, starting a new business, and seeking financial security in their lives, that "Baby Boomer Entrepreneur" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.97 -

The Psychology Shelf

Mending the Shattered Mirror
Analie Shepherd
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781539105992, $14.95, PB, 296pp,

Synopsis: "Mending the Shattered Mirror: A Journey of Recovery from Abuse in Therapy" is an intensely personal and true story of despair, hope and eventual triumph.

Analie Shepherd found herself in need of the support of a therapist after a tragedy in her life. Within the confines of this relationship, Analie suffered extreme abuse: verbal, physical and emotional. Finally able to leave the abusive therapist, Analie reached out to TELL, an international organization, whose purpose is to support victims in the struggle to regain their lives after abuse by a health care practitioner.

Through TELL, Analie connected with responder Laurie, a retired Psychiatrist who was herself sexually abused in therapy for ten years. Contained within this autobiographical account, is a four-year email exchange between Analie and Laurie, in which both of their stories are told--the tragedy and the triumph.

Analie's story is complicated by the fact that she is diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, also known as Multiple Personalities. Much of the abuse within her therapy, was perpetrated on her alter personalities, and their voices and stories are included in "Mending the Shattered Mirror", as well as some of their original artwork. The conclusion is amazingly beautiful and deeply satisfying.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Mending the Shattered Mirror: A Journey of Recovery from Abuse in Therapy"" is an extraordinary account that will resonate with tens of thousands of others who have had to undergo psychological and psychiatric treatment that would prove problematic and dysfunctional. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Psychology/Psychiatry collections and supplemental studies lists, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Mending the Shattered Mirror" is also available in a Kindle format ($6.99).

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

A. M. Tuomala
Candlemark & Gleam
9781936460694, $22.95 / $6.99 Kindle 288pp,

Synopsis: A hundred years ago, the dragons abandoned Russia and defected to Turkey. Ever since, the Tarasov family has held the Russian border. Now, as war looms in the south and the century-old mystery of the Defection cracks open, the Tarasovs must face their family's old sins and put aside their differences ... or watch Russia fall.

Critique: A consistently compelling fantasy novel, "Drakon" clearly showcases author A. M. Tuomala's genuine flair for originality and creativity. Unfailingly engaging and entertaining, "Drakon" is unreservedly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Drakon" is also available in a Kindle format ($6.99).

G. Gene Black
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9780692675328, $27.95, HC, 308pp,

Synopsis: "Piper" is an allegorical fairy tale influenced by the author Gene Black's studies of the early 1700's and his fascination with pirates, Grub Street, and the Stamp Tax of 1712. Jonathan Swift excerpts are cited within the book's preface. Set during the golden age of piracy on the high seas, "Piper" features such memorable characters as Old Crow, a witch turned pirate with an all-seeing-eye beneath her black eye patch. The there are the two young orphans, Piper and Kaprina, who seek a magical book.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, "Piper" clearly reveals author Gene Black as having a genuine flair for original and deftly crafted storytelling. "Piper" is a consistently compelling and unfailingly entertaining read from cover to cover. While very highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Piper" is also available in a paperback edition (9781530232536, $18.99) and in a Kindle format ($14.95).

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

The Cairo Arrangement
Bruce Colbert
Anaphora Literary Press
9781681142845 $20.00

Synopsis: This frightening event occurred in present day Egypt. All the case computer files and people have since disappeared. It involved five countries and the world knows nothing about what really happened.

An ambitious Air Force commandant, oil-rich Saudis, fearful Israelis, CIA operatives and an Egyptian government, corrupt and avaricious from top to bottom, together fuel the rage and deceit that eventually became the Arab Spring.

Critique: An action-packed spy thriller, The Cairo Arrangement will keep the reader on the edge of their seat in suspense. Intrigue, mass-manipulation, and the threat of riotous revolution keep The Cairo Arrangement thoroughly captivating to the final page. A choice pick for fans of the genre!

The Right Wrong Number: An Ed Burch Novel
Jim Nesbitt
Spotted Mule Press
9780998329406 $14.46 pbk / $0.99 Kindle

Synopsis: Burch is a cashiered homicide detective with bad knees, a wounded liver and an empty bank account. He's been hired to protect an old flame after the disappearance of her husband, a high-flying Houston financier who ripped off his clients, including some deeply unsavory gentlemen from New Orleans.

It's a simple job that goes wrong fast, plunging Burch into a ruthless contest where nothing and nobody can be trusted. Money and sex tempt him to break his own rules - twin temptations served up by the old flame, a rangy strawberry blonde with a violent temper and a terminal knack for larceny and betrayal.

Critique: Connoisseurs of hard-boiled detective fiction have a two-fisted surprise in store! The Right Wrong Number serves up a triple helping of intrigue, danger, and saucy scandal. Wild and dangerous, The Right Wrong Number will keep the reader hooked to the very end. It should be noted for personal reading lists that The Right Wrong Number is also available in an inexpensive Kindle edition ($0.99).

The Contract Man
A. P. Bateman
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781514169421, $16.63 pbk / $2.99 Kindle, 484pp,

Synopsis: When an MI6 agent is found to be keeping records of his missions to protect himself from betrayal he unwittingly makes himself a priority target. But how do you silence the most dangerous man imaginable? Send him into hell on earth... While Alex King is sent into Northern Iraq to tidy the loose ends of a botched mission, the archipelago of Indonesia is under communist threat from within its own military. A consortium of worried businessmen call for desperate measures and seek the services of an assassin. But what if MI6 could be duped into taking care of their problems for them? With secret links to China the communist contingent threatens Britain's trade initiatives with the largest mineral producing country on the planet. In the dark world of intelligence it seems that everybody has their price.

Critique: Another riveting read from a master of the action/adventure genre, "The Contract Man" continues to reveal author A. P. Bateman's genuine flair for deftly constructed, consistently compelling, unfailingly entertaining storytelling. While very highly recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Contract Man" is also available in a Kindle format ($2.99).

A Curious Host
Nanette L. Avery
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781523766550, $9.99, PB, 210pp,

Synopsis: "A Curious Host" by Nanette L. Avery follows a scavenging yellow dog as he wanders his way in and out of the lives of residents living in a place identified only as "the plain town".

Skillfully presented, each individual chapter is a vignette where past and present are intertwined and the true nature of time is artfully captured. The characters include a young waitress living out of her car, a cigar-smoking poker-playing widow, a white-haired biologist, and the dog's owner who persistently pursues his lost animal.

As readers journey through each separate, but related scene, a startling truth unfolds: something is killing the not-so-ordinary citizens of the small and outwardly simple community. Unwilling to accept this as coincidence, the town's doctor searches for a pattern - some connection that links the deaths together - before it's too late.

"A Curious Host" deftly weaves humor, nostalgia, clear-eyed observation, and dispassionate reflection to create an exploration of themes as old as time itself, including companionship, salvation, immortality, the tension between choice and chance, and the struggle to find meaning in an existence seemingly defined by fate and the natural cycles of life, death, and renewal.

Critique: One of those all-too-rare novels that will linger in the mind and memory of the reader long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf, "A Curious Host" is unreservedly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Curious Host" is also available in a Kindle format ($2.99).

A Woman Misunderstood
Melinda Clayton
Thomas-Jacob Publishing, LLC
9780996388498 $12.99 pbk / $3.99 Kindle

Synopsis: On a sweltering July morning in rural Tennessee, fifty-year-old Rebecca Reynolds visits the family farm, where she literally stumbles across the mutilated bodies of her parents and younger sister, a sister who had spent life in a wheelchair after a birth fraught with complications. Rebecca's first thought is to call 911. Her second is to find her estranged sister, Lena, who was disowned by the family years before. Her third is to wonder how long it will be before Lena is arrested for the murder of their family.

As the police gather evidence pointing to Lena, the sisters turn to attorney Brian Stone. Convinced of Lena's innocence, he agrees to take on the case. But in a family ripped apart by dysfunction, is anyone truly innocent?

Critique: A Woman Misunderstood is a suspenseful crime novel that will keep the murder mystery connoisseurs second-guessing themselves up to the end. The twin themes of psychological manipulation and emotional drama underlie this tragedy of a truly dysfunctional family. It should be noted for personal reading lists that A Woman Misunderstood is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).

The Fiction Shelf

Gateway to Everywhere
Ernest Frankel
Hither Lane Press
9780692755266, $15.95, PB, 682pp,

Synopsis: Seventeen year old Shannon and her Marine Corp husband Clay are forced to flee from Peking China when the Boxer Rebellion breaks out. Embarking on a dangerous voyage back to America they settle in Palm Spring, California, which in that era was a parched and inhospitable environment that was suffering from an horrific drought. Can their love and relationship cope, adapt, and survive the environmental, social, and personal challenges?

Critique: A riveting read from cover to cover, author Ernest Frankel deftly interweaves history and fiction. "Gateway to Everywhere" reveals this author's impressive flair for originality and exceptional storytelling skills. While "Gateway to Everywhere" is very highly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Gateway to Everywhere" is also available in a Kindle format ($3.99).

In the Light of the Garden
Heather Burch
Lake Union Publishing
9781503941144, $14.95, PB, 320pp,

Synopsis: Inheriting her grandparents' island estate on Florida's Gulf coast is a special kind of homecoming for thirty-one-year-old Charity Baxter. Raised by a narcissistic single mother, Charity's only sense of a loving home comes from childhood summers spent with Gramps and Grandma. But piercing her fondest memories is her sharpest grief -- the death of her beloved grandmother, when Charity stopped believing in the magical healing power of the weeping willow that still casts a shadow on their property.

Now that Charity has returned, she's full of longing and regret, until she befriends her neighbor Dalton Reynolds, who has come to Gaslamp Island carrying his own heartache. As other exiles arrive (including a great uncle harboring secrets, and a teenage runaway) Charity begins to reconsider what makes a family. When her own estranged mother shows up in crisis, Charity is challenged to search her heart for forgiveness. But forgiving herself may require a little magic from the last place she'd expect to find it.

Critique: A deftly crafted novel about unearthed family secrets, the enchantment of past loves, and the indelible power of forgiveness, "In the Light of the Garden" is a consistently compelling read from cover to cover and showcases author Heather Burch's genuine flair for originality and storytelling skills. While very highly recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "In the Light of the Garden" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).

Mythos Christos
Edwin Herbert
Book Baby
9781483583037, $19.95, PB, 496pp,

Synopsis: Alexandria, Egypt / AD 391 - When the great temple of Serapis and its library annex are destroyed by the Christian mob, the Neoplatonist philosopher Hypatia becomes concerned the Great Library might suffer the same fate. She vows to save as much of the ancient knowledge as she can, especially certain telling documents concerning the origins of Christianity. But rather than merely hiding the heretical scrolls and codices in desert caves and hoping for the best, Hypatia contrives a far more ingenious plan. She sets up an elaborate sequence of burials, each of which is governed by actual ancient linguistic and geometrical riddles which must be solved to gain access. Only one steeped in Platonic mysticism would be capable of finding and unlocking the buried secrets.

Oxford, England / June, 2006 - American Rhodes scholar Lex Thomasson is sent to Alexandria to aid a mysterious Vatican group known only as "The Commission." They require a specialist in ancient languages to solve a sequence of Greek Mystery puzzles in what soon becomes evident is Hypatia's ancient treasure hunt. The Oxford paleographer demonstrates his unique talents by unlocking the secrets along the trail. It does not take long, however, for him to become suspicious of the Commission's true motives, and the trail becomes a trial fraught with danger.

The scene alternates between the two time periods. In both, assassins lurk and fanatics abound. And all along, religious Faith and historical Truth struggle for supremacy.

Critique: A complex, multilayered, deftly crafted, riveting read from cover to cover, "Mythos Christos" is a deeply engaging and unfailingly entertaining saga of a novel that clearly showcases author Edwin Herbert's genuine flair for originality and storytelling skills. While very highly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Mythos Christos" is also available in a Kindle format ($7.99).

Gideon: The Sound and the Glory
Joseph Ganci
Privately Published
9780997803204, $29.99, HC,

Synopsis: Gideon is a lowly woodcutter who is blessed by an angel to be the savior of all Israel. He does not know why or how and shrinks from this dangerous mission. The commandment to conquer the Midian Empire as one man seems all but impossible. But Gideon's confidence grows as God guides his every step until he stands fearless and faithfully fulfills his destiny as a mighty man of valor.

The fierce warriors, burning towers and devastated cities described in Gideon: The Sound and the Glory", are deftly woven into a sweeping tapestry of ancient intrigue by author Joseph Ganci. Running through and stitching together the entire saga is The Lord of the Covenant, or The Baal-Berith, also known as Gideon's mysterious Ephod of Gold.

In the pages of "Gideon: The Sound and the Glory", unsung heroes and murderous villains formerly hidden in the obscurity of ancient shadows now leap to life.

Critique: A truly riveting, consistently entertaining, and deftly crafted read from beginning to end, "Gideon: The Sound and the Glory" reveals Joseph Ganci as a master of the biblically-based historical fiction genre. This is one of those rare novels that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf. While very highly recommended, especially for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Gideon: The Sound and the Glory" is also available in a paperback edition (9780997803211, $17.99) and in a Kindle format ($3.99).

Losing Deseret
Brice Bogle
Mirror Publishing
4062 Plains Ave S.W. Fort Payne, AL 35967
9781612253503, $15.99, PB, 286pp,

Synopsis: Chris is Mormon, from a long line of Mormons -- the church is his life. But as high-school graduation approaches, the secret perversions of his bishop are uncovered and tear at the fabric of his life and faith. Unable to look away, he picks at the carefully constructed layers, and the more strings he pulls, the more things unravel, until the light in his world is replaced with evil and perversion, and he is forced to confront the ambiguous and murky division between good and evil.

Critique: A work of fiction that pays meticulous attention to accurate background details with respect to Mormonism, "Losing Deseret" is an extraordinary novel that will prove to be a simply riveting read from cover to cover. A deftly crafted novel that reveals author Brice Bogle's genuine flair for original storytelling, "Losing Deseret" is highly recommended for community library collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Losing Deseret" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).

Bardwell's Folly: A Love Story
Sandra Hutchison
Sheer Hubris Press
9780991186952, $15.99, PB, 342pp,

Synopsis: Dori Bardwell's father was the white Southern author of 'the' novel about slavery. He was a man who settled his large family up north in a replica of a plantation house and never spoke of his own past.

A tragic accident pulled Dori from college to care for her only remaining brother, but now the money is running out, her ex-boyfriend appears intent on revenge, a media baron has designs on her father's last, unfinished manuscript, and her own thoughtless blackface joke is about to go viral and turn her life upside down.

With a new, media-savvy African American friend, Dori embarks on a voyage into her family's secret history that might just lead her right back to where she started.

Critique: A deftly crafted and consistently compelling read from cover to cover, "Bardwell's Folly: A Love Story" is an extraordinary novel that underscores author Sandra Hutchison's genuine flair for originality and storytelling. While highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Bardwell's Folly: A Love Story" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).

The Criminology Shelf

Security Matters: Essays on Industrial Security
Francis Hamit
Brass Cannon Books
9781595950741, $44.00, PB, 302pp,

Synopsis: Francis Hamit spent more than twenty years in the security industry as a guard captain, manager, sales executive, and consultant. For seven years (1994-2000) he wrote a monthly column on industry issues, "Security Counterpoint" for Security Technology & Design magazine. Much of that material, written in a style accessible to the general reader, remains relevant today "Security Matters: Essays on Industrial Security" is comprised of 32 essays by Hamit that address such issues as domestic terrorism, the role of security professionals in our society, the interactions between business and law enforcement and little-known threats to persons and property.

Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Security Matters" is suitable as a supplemental readings text for academic courses, a resource for security professionals, and an interesting and enjoyable volume of considerable value for others interested in security, law enforcement, corporate culture and loss prevention. While very highly recommended for community, corporate, governmental, and academic library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Security Matters" is also available in a Kindle format ($35.00). Also very highly recommended is Francis Hamit's "A Perfect Spy: A Memoir" (9781595959004, $12.00 PB, $2.99 Kindle).

The Biography Shelf

Lord Chief Justice Mansfield
Ernest B. Lowrie
Archway Publishing
1663 Liberty Drive, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781480828513 $28.99 pbk / $3.99 Kindle

Synopsis: The American Revolution continues to resonate as one of history's most important events, but most people fail to appreciate the role Lord Chief Justice Mansfield played in the conflict.

Ernest B. Lowrie engages in a serious rethinking of the causes of the American Revolution, explaining how Lord Mansfield's decisions from his elevation to the Court of King's Bench in 1756 until his retirement in 1788 gave Great Britain the firepower it needed to attempt to tax its colonies.

Lord Mansfield's formal education turned on the Scottish legal system, and as a Scottish Law Lord, it was axiomatic in his opinion that the colonials ought to pay taxes to the imperial government.

After the Boston Tea Party, he decisively shaped the Intolerable Acts. When the British Army defeated the Americans in 1776, he was elevated to the rank of Earl of Mansfield. With the utter defeat of the British at Saratoga in 1777, however, events began to change. Soon France entered the contest, but Lord Mansfield never gave up until King George III was forced to sue for peace.

Critique: Lord Chief Justice Mansfield: Dark Horse of the American Revolution is an in-depth biography of the British barrister whose dogged insistence upon colonial taxes may well have incited the American Revolution. Expertly researched, with extensive notes and a bibliography, Lord Chief Justice Mansfield is a welcome addition to public and college library biography shelves, highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Lord Chief Justice Mansfield is also available in a Kindle edition ($3.99).

The Sports Shelf

Dream Season
Victor W. Pearn
Pearn and Associates Inc., Book Publishing
9781520728810 $19.95

Synopsis: Dream Season is the true story of Gary Pearn's senior year of high school playing basketball in the small farm community of Ashland, Illinois, and of his teammates and 18 classmates who were all seniors in 1957. Gary, the author's brother, played guard; the other guard was his teammate Jerry Conner. Jerry went on to become first a sportswriter for the Chicago Tribune, and later a professor of Law at the University of Minnesota. The author began this book ten years ago as a tribute to his brother, who passed away in 2003.

Critique: Dream Season: My Brother Gary and the 1957 Ashland Panthers is a sports memoir of senior year high school basketball. The storytelling makes 1950's small town America come alive, and author Victor Pearn's vivid memory recreates the excitement of live high school basketball games play-by-play. "In the overtime the Panthers took the lead right after Jack sat down. Gary had the ball in his left-hand again, he dribbled up the court exactly the same way he had when Jack was there, and he was headed toward passing the ball to Don the same way he would to Jack. That time, though, he faked it to Don." Dream Season is an unforgettable browse, especially recommended to connoisseurs of descriptive sports memoirs.

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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