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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 12, Number 8 August 2013 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf American History Shelf
Civil War Shelf Jobs/Career Shelf Antiques/Collectibles Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Fiction Shelf Architecture Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Travel Shelf Memoir Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf Education Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Energy for Keeps, third edition
Marilyn Nemzer, et al.
Energy Education Group
c/o Pixyjack Press
PO Box 149, Masonville, CO 80541
9780974476551, $24.95,

We will inevitably run out of fossil fuels to furnish the electrical power that our civilization is dependant on. We are currently engaging in environmentally devastating practices such as fracking to generate fossil fuels. That's all the more reason why alternative energy sources must be developed if we are to survive as a country and as a culture. Now in an updated and expanded third edition, "Energy for Keeps: Creating Clean Electricity from Renewable Resources" by the team of renewable energy experts Marilyn Nemzer, Deborah Page, and Anna Carter is a superbly written and presented 192 page compendium providing a succinct history of energy, how electricity is produced and delivered, renewable and non-renewable sources of energy, the impact of energy production and usage upon human health and the environment. Of special note is the chapter devoted to how energy decisions affect our everyday lives. Enhanced with the inclusion of an Energy Timeline, a Glossary, Additional Information Resources, and an Index, "Energy for Keeps: Creating Clean Electricity from Renewable Resources" is especially recommended textbook supplement for Environmental Studies academic curriculums, as well as an invaluable addition to personal, professional, and community library Renewable Energy Studies reference collections.

Homebrew Wind Power
Dan Bartmann & Dan Fink
Buckville Publications LLC
c/o Pixyjack Press
PO Box 149, Masonville, CO 80541
9780981920108, $39.95,

Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electrical power, windmills for mechanical power, wind pumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships. Large wind farms consist of hundreds of individual wind turbines which are connected to the electric power transmission network. Offshore wind is steadier and stronger than on land, and offshore farms have less visual impact, but construction and maintenance costs are considerably higher. Small onshore wind farms provide electricity to isolated locations. Utility companies increasingly buy surplus electricity produced by small domestic wind turbines. Wind power, as an alternative to fossil fuels, is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, clean, produces no greenhouse gas emissions during operation and uses little land. The effects on the environment are generally less problematic than those from other power sources. "Homebrew Wind Power: A Hands-On Guide To Harnessing The Wind" is a 320 page introduction and a thoroughly 'user friendly' how-to instruction guide that is so clearly written and deftly organized as to both educate and enable non-specialist general readers in all of the mechanics of constructing a wind power generator. Enhanced with the inclusion of an extensive sources list, a glossary, six appendices, and a comprehensive index, "Homebrew Wind Power" is very highly recommended for personal, professional, academic, and community library Renewable Energy and Wind Power Technology reference collections and supplemental reading lists.

Go Outside and Come Back Better
Ron Lizzi
River Stream Media
59 Miller Road
Bethany, CT 06524
9781939435781 $27.95

Illustrated with 160 panoramic, full-color landscape photographs, Go Outside and Come Back Better: Benefits from Nature that Everyone Should Know is a vibrant tour of 120 national parks in all 50 of America's states. The text is sparse, but prompts the reader to contemplate the beautiful images and the rejuvenating powers of nature. "If you feel that you don't have time to spend in parks like these, consider the time as being not merely spent but invested." Although Go Outside and Come Back Better enthusiastically encourages the reader to visit America's parks in person, its stunning imagery is certainly the next best thing to an immediate vacation, and highly recommended especially for armchair travelers!

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

The Battle Against Internet Book Piracy
Gini Graham Scott Ph.D.
Changemakers Publishing & Writing
750 La Playa, #592, San Francisco, CA 94121
Jones & O'Malley Public Relations (publicity)
10123 Camarillo St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602
9781490331928 $14.95

Print book authors, ebook authors, and publishers alike absolutely must read The Battle Against Internet Book Piracy: The Fight By Writers, Publishers, And Law Enforcement, And What You Can Do If A Victim, which lives up to its title with solid advice about the legal responses one can make when digital pirates fraudulently steal and distribute one's intellectual property on the Internet. Although the focus is on digital book piracy, music and movie piracy are also referenced, especially for comparative purposes. Digital book piracy is not a victimless crime; it is directly correlated with (and almost certainly causes) a drop in sales and royalties, which in turn threatens the abilities of authors and publishers to earn a living writing books, fiction or nonfiction. The Battle Against Internet Book Piracy takes pirates to task, summarizes some of the most recent court battles regarding book piracy, and walks the reader through step-by-step instructions for identifying whether one's book has been pirated, sending a takedown notice, and seeking legal action to shut the pirates down. The Battle Against Internet Book Piracy cannot substitute for the counsel of a trained attorney, but is an absolute "must-read" before consulting one about such matters (remember, many of them bill by the hour)! Highly recommended, especially for the smallest self-published book and ebook authors, who can least afford the devastating toll of piracy.

The American History Shelf

Pioneers, Patriots, and Planters
Elizabeth Carrow Woolfolk
Wynnton Publishing
6524 San Felipe, #94
Houston, Texas 77057
9780971635821 $39.95 hc / $29.95 pbk.

Language specialist and Woolfolk by marriage Elizabeth Carrow Woolfolk presents Pioneers, Patriots, and Planters: First Settlers in Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia, an in-depth history of the Woolfolk family's efforts to settle America, particularly the South, from the 1600's to shortly after the Civil War. Packed cover to cover with black-and-white maps and figures, reproductions of primary documents, and extensive references, Pioneers, Patriots, and Planters is an excellent resource for genealogists and historians. Readers of all backgrounds can appreciate the immersive story of this diverse and successful family, whose kindred includes such legendary American founders as George Washington and Andrew Jackson. Highly recommended, especially for public and college library American History shelves.

The Boys of Company K
Lee M. Cullimore
High Plains Press
403 Cassa Road
Glendo, WY 82213
9781937147013 $18.95

The Boys of Company K: Ohio Cavalry Soldiers in the West During the Civil War is the true story of men who volunteered to fight in the Civil War - and were instead sent to serve at Fort Laramie. Focusing on the privates, corporals, and sergeants, The Boys of Company K draws upon a diversity of sources, including the soldiers' own words in letters and diaries, to reconstruct a historically accurate accounting of Company K's actions, from basic training to military justice to lethal campaigns against Native Americans. Above all, The Boys of Company K strives to explain in plain terms "how the boys saw it" - the boots-on-the-ground perspective of ordinary soldiers. The Boys of Company K is engaging, enlightening, and highly recommended.

The Civil War Shelf

Drummer Boy of Company C
Mary Louise Clifford
Cypress Communications
35 East Rosemont Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301
9780963641281, $19.95,

In the American Civil War, commanders in the field depended on drummers to signal troops to establish marching orders, to maneuver in battle, to advance or retreat during the confusion of war. The drummers were boys too young to shoulder weapons. "Drummer Boy of Company C: Coming of Age During the Civil War" by Mary Louise Clifford is the true story one such boy -- her grandfather Albert Walton, who at the age of 14, joined Company C. of the Seventy-Fifth Indiana infantry Volunteer Regiment in 1862, drummed in skirmishes across Kentucky and Tennessee, was in the battle of Chickamauga in Georgia in 1863, was captured by the Confederates and spent fourteen months a prisoner of war, finally to be exchanged in November 1864 for Confederate prisoners at Savannah. After a brief home leave young Albert rejoined his regiment and at the end of the war participated in a victory parade down Constitution Avenue in Washington DC on May 24, 1865. Enhanced with 81 illustrations, 4 maps, endnotes, a bibliography, and an index, "Drummer Boy of Company C: Coming of Age During the Civil War" is a welcome and unique contribution to the growing body of Civil War literature and highly recommended as informed and informative reading for non-specialist general readers ages 14 and up who have an interest in the American Civil War.

The Jobs/Career Shelf

Iserson's Getting Into A Residency, eighth edition
Kenneth V. Iserson, M.D.
Galen Press Ltd.
PO Box 64400 Tucson, AZ 85728-4400
9781883620363 $38.95

Now in an updated eighth edition, Iserson's Getting Into A Residency: A Guide for Medical Students is an information-packed, step-by-step especially for medical students deciding upon a specialty, and pursuing a residency position. The invaluable data within includes guidelines on the difficulty of earning different positions, the number of available slots for each, and a "Must/Want" Analysis designed to help students rank residency program selections. Additional tips, tricks and techniques cover how to complete residency applications, prepare for interviews, and much more. Charts, graphs, and an index round out this absolute "must-have" reference and resource for aspiring professionals, worthy of the highest recommendation, especially for medical school libraries!

The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

American Scissors and Shears
Philip R. Pankiewicz
Universal Publishers
Editorial and Administrative Offices
23331 Water Circle
Boca Raton, FL 33486-8540, USA
9781612332512 $34.95

Featuring black-and-white illustrations of scissors, shears, patents, advertisements, and more on almost every page, American Scissors and Shears: An Antique and Vintage Collectors' Guide lives up to its title as a spare-no-details scrutiny of over 100 companies and individuals who created scissors and shears in America, from the mid-1800's to 1930. Part collector's guide, part manufacturing history, American Scissors and Shears is the definitive reference and resource to hobbyists and history buffs alike. No detail is spared, from company histories to scissors dimensions!

The Cookbook Shelf

Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains, fourth edition
Lisa Rayner
Lifeweaver LLC
PO Box 22324, Flagstaff, AZ 86002
9780980060836 $29.95

Now in an expanded fourth edition with nearly four times as much information as the third edition, Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains: A Guide to High Altitude, Semi-Arid Home Permaculture Gardens is a methodical, user-friendly, in-depth guide written especially for people living in the states of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico. Since the current industrial agriculture system relies heavily on fossil fuel consumption to produce and transport peak food, the need for alternatives - including local, sustainable food supplies - is ever-increasing. Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains discusses the basics of the Southwest Mountain climate, how to create permaculture zones, warnings against invasive species, tips for creating garden-friendly eco-communities, soil maintenance advice, watering strategies, advice for dealing with so-called "pests", a brief history of Southwestern food traditions, and much more. Black-and-white diagrams, and charts listing the defining features of various plant species that can be cultivated round out this "must-have" for Southwest Mountain gardeners, bound with a plastic spiral to lay flat (or fold over) for ease of use.

The Fiction Shelf

Flashes of War
Katey Schultz
Loyola University Maryland
4501 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21210
c/o MindBuck Media Book Publicity
9781934074855 $16.95

Flashes of War is an anthology of fictional short stories set in the context of the modern-day war in Afghanistan. The characters are strongly grounded in reality, and drawn from award-winning author Katey Schultz's research, as well as critiques from friends with firsthand war experience who examined her manuscripts. Some of the stories were previously published in literary journals; many more were not, and all are gathered under one cover for the first time. Flashes of War has features dynamic, believable human characters, from a struggling Afghan mother to a world-weary U.S. soldier to a ghost unable to let go of the past. Empathetic, emotional, and involving from cover to cover, Flashes of War seeks to better understand war through a grasp of the people caught in its crosshairs, and kindle hope for a better tomorrow. Highly recommended.

The Architecture Shelf

Alberto Pozzi
Universal Publishers
Editorial and Administrative Offices
23331 Water Circle
Boca Raton, FL 33486-8540, USA
9781612332550 $55.95

Color photographs on almost every page illustrate Megalithism: Sacred and Pagan Architecture in Prehistory, an exploration of prehistoric man's creation of sacred, pagan displays with gigantic boulders. How did early humans transport, cut, or erect these immensely heavy stones, without the aid of modern technology? Megalithism walks the reader through the methadologies of ancient humans in the 5th to the 2nd millennia B.C., as well as a tour of some of the most legendary and lasting sites of standing stones. Accessible to readers of all backgrounds, Megalithism is an in-depth treatment of a fascinating topic: some of the earliest known works of prehistoric architecture.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Executive Summary of the Bible
Chaplain Farris and Ruth Robertson
Recovery Literature
217 West Bennett Street
Springfield, Missouri 65807
9780911939019 $9.95

Executive Summary of the Bible is a large print, easy-to-read summary of the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible. In addition, Executive Summary of the Bible aids Christians with biblical maps, timelines, thumbnail character descriptions, core Christian beliefs, and a listing of God's laws. Written from a perspective of devout Christian faith and trust in the Word of God, Executive Summary of the Bible is an excellent primer and Bible study tool, enthusiastically recommended especially as an aid for church libraries, Sunday School classrooms, and personal use when preparing for Bible study.

The Travel Shelf

Roundtrip from Texas
Sonja Klein
Ambush Publishing
PO Box 192, Barksdale, Texas 78828
c/o Gulotta Communications (publicity)
341 Lexington Street, Newton, MA 02466
9780988986305 $15.95

Roundtrip from Texas: More Travels and Essays from Sonja Klein is a true tales travelogue collection from free-spirited author Sonja Klein, and the follow-up to her previous book "Honk If You Married Sonja Klein". The joys of the journey, discovery, and adventure is reflected in each vignette, which are equally enjoyable when browsed a few at a time or read all at once. Sonja's destinations range from California to New York to Vietnam and China, and her stories offer such vivid, memorable minutiae (plus the occasional history lesson) that reading Roundtrip from Texas is the next best thing to personally experiencing a global jaunt! "At the end of the dirt path, a small bus drove us through the rice fields to Oudong, an elaborate and beautiful Buddhist monastery, funded primarily by Buddhists not currently living in Cambodia. After climbing the many marble steps in the rain, we removed our shoes and entered the monastery for a water blessing by three Buddhist monks. Sitting cross-legged on the carpet, I closed my eyes and went into a meditative state... When I opened my eyes, I was covered with jasmine blossoms. The fragrance was overwhelming."

The Memoir Shelf

Memoirs of a Recovering Teacher
David Peterson with Peter Davidson
Sweet Memories Publishing
PO Box 497
Arnolds Park, IA 51331-0497
9780976271857 $13.95 pbk.
9780976271864 $6.95 ebook

Author David Peterson served as a high school teacher for four years and a community college teacher for thirty-four years, earning multiple national education awards including the Leavey Award. Memoirs of a Recovering Teacher consists of one hundred brief, bittersweetly true tales about students, teachers, and administrators, drawn from Peterson's storied career. Peppered with wit, wisdom, and wry insight (especially when dealing with difficult students or superiors), Memoirs of a Recovering Teacher is enthusiastically recommended. "I taught the state Real Estate Pre-License course thirty-four times over seventeen years and estimate that I trained about 750 Realtors. I know that I will have to answer for this on Judgment Day."

An Angel Is Born
Wynn Johnson
Amber Skye Publishing LLC
1935 Berkshire Drive
Eagan, MN 55122
9780989400305, $15.95

"An Angel Is Born: A Family's Story" is a personal and candid memoir set in the small coal-mining town of Weeksbury in the Appalachia mountains of Kentucky. When Johnson writes of what life was like for him and the families in his community his narrative reads like a candid conversation with a family elder who has lived through interesting times. "An Angel Is Born" offers detailed and descriptive insights into a town's evolving economic conditions and families afflicted by tragedies. Ultimately inspiring, "An Angel Is Born" is an engaging read and highly recommended -- especially for anyone struggling to deal with their own problematic life issues.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

The Complete Guide To Yin Yoga
Bernie Clark
White Cloud Press
PO Box 3400, Ashland, OR 97520
9781935952503, $18.95,

Yin Yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with postures or asanas that are held for comparatively long periods of time; five minutes or longer per pose is typical. Yin Yoga poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues - the tendons, fascia, and ligaments - with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. Yin Yoga poses are also designed to improve the flow of qi, the subtle energy said in Chinese medicine to run through the meridian pathways of the body. Improved flow of qi is hypothesized to improve organ health, immunity, and emotional well-being. "The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga: The Philosophy and Practice of Yin Yoga" by yoga and meditation instructor Bernie Clark is a 296 page compendium providing aspiring yoga practitioners with a comprehensive and illustrated analytical description of this particular yoga style and practice that was originally developed in the United States by Paulie Zink. Exceptionally well written, informed and informative, "The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga: The Philosophy and Practice of Yin Yoga" is confidently recommended for personal, academic, and community library Yoga instructional reference collections and supplemental reading lists. It should also be noted that "The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga: The Philosophy and Practice of Yin Yoga" is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).

The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

The Worldwide Film Noir Tradition
Spencer Selby
Sink Press
720 Kellogg Avenue, Ames, IA 50010
9780962380662, $80.00,

Film noir (French for "black film") is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize cynical attitudes and sexual motivations. Hollywood's classical film noir period is generally regarded as extending from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. Film noir of this era is associated with a low-key black-and-white visual style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography. Many of the prototypical stories and much of the attitude of classic noir derive from the hardboiled school of crime fiction that emerged in the United States during the Great Depression. The term film noir, French for "black film," first applied to Hollywood films by French critic Nino Frank in 1946, was unrecognized by most American film industry professionals of that era. Cinema historians and critics defined the category retrospectively. Before the notion was widely adopted in the 1970s, many of the classic films noirs were referred to as melodramas. "The Worldwide Film Noir Tradition" by Spencer Selby is a 320 page compendium providing the first comprehensive coverage of classic noir films from studios around the world. There are 796 American films, 338 British films, 177 French Films, an a total of 257 additional films organized by countries ranging from Argentina to Turkey. Enhanced with 65 pages of photos, a listing of 26 classical film noirs in color, and an selected bibliography, "The Worldwide Film Noir Tradition" is a work of seminal research and an important acquisition for academic library Cinematic Studies reference collections and the personal reference shelves of film noir enthusiasts.

The Education Shelf

Ace The TEAS Test
Exam Review Press
11240 Plantation Oaks
Lamberton, TX 77657
9781627336055, $24.99,

Featuring more than 500 practice questions with detailed answer explanations, "Ace The TEAS Test" is a 302 page instructive study guide for students taking the TEAS Version 5 exam. Covering all four sections (Math, English, Science, Langauge), "Ace the TEAS Test" is thoroughly 'user friendly' and will enable students to find out how prepared they are come test day. Of special note are the test taking strategies, tips, and advice provided by the exam preparers for this practice manual. This is an essential and highly recommended study guide for anyone preparing to take the TEAS Version 5 exam.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Once Upon a Curse
Peter S. Beagle, et al.
Dragonwell Publishing
336 Malin Road, Pa 19073
9780983832058, $16.95,

A fairy tale is a type of short story that typically features folkloric fantasy characters, such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants, mermaids, or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments. Fairy tales may be distinguished from other folk narratives such as legends (which generally involve belief in the veracity of the events described) and explicitly moral tales, including beast fables. The fairy tale is a literary staple for children -- and adults. For an example of the latter we have "Once Upon a Curse", a 272 page compendium feature eleven wonderfully wrought fantasy tales by some of the best writers in this specialized genre. Readers will be treated to the story telling talents of Cindy Lynn Speer ('A Necklace of Rubies', 'But Can You Let Him Go', and 'Every Word I Say'); Peter S. Beagle ('Come Lady Death'); Nancy Kress ('Summer Wind' and 'Words Like Pale Stones'); Patricia C. Wrede ('Stronger than Time'); Siobhan Carroll ('Remains'); Lucy A Snyder ('The Cold Blackness Between'); and Anna Kashina ('Solstice Maiden'). A truly impressive and entertaining anthology, "Once Upon a Curse" is highly recommended for fans of superbly crafted adult fantasies and for inclusion in community library Science Fiction/Fantasy collections.

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

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