Return to home
page Book Reviews, Book Lover Resources, Advice for Writers and Publishers
Home / Small Press Bookwatch

Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 6, Number 12 December 2007 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Civil War Shelf Military Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Photography Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Poetry Shelf Travel Shelf Genealogy Shelf
Fiction Shelf Gaming Shelf Literary Shelf
Children's Shelf Parenting Shelf Psychology Shelf
Social Issues Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf American History Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Gloria Kaiser
Ariadne Press
270 Goins Court, Riverside, CA 92507
9781572411593, $14.95

Prizewinning Austrian author Gloria Kaiser presents Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Perspectives from His Correspondence, an anthology of private letters to and from the famous composer. Edited and adapted to offer an unforgettable personal view of Mozart the human being, as opposed to the tragic perspective from which he is most often viewed, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Perspectives from His Correspondence includes letters to and from Mozart's sister, father, mother, son, friends of the family, and more. Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in the man behind the classical music.

The Civil War Shelf

Human Interest Stories Of The Gettysburg Campaign: Volume II
Scott L. Mingus, Sr.
Colecraft Industries
970 Mt. Carmel Road, Orrtanna, PA 17353
0977712540, $9.95,

Scott L. Mingus has again collected a volume of anecdotal stories of combatants and civilians involved in the Gettysburg campaign. This compilation of recorded incidents is organized into five chapters: The Confederates Invade Pennsylvania; The Battle of Gettysburg - Wednesday, July 1, 1863; The Battle of Gettysburg - Thursday, July 2, 1863; The Battle of Gettysburg - Friday, July 3, 1863; and The Aftermath. Taken from letters, newspaper accounts, and published memoirs, the stories are simply fascinating and put human faces to an inhuman event. Some of the stories are humorous, others tragic, but all of them will prove to be highly regarded reading for scholars, students, and civil war buffs. Civil war historians and academic libraries with Civil War Studies collections would be well advised to acquire both Volume I and Volume II of Scott L. Mingus' "Human Interest Stories Of The Gettysburg Campaign".

The Military Shelf

Kazik's Polish Navy
Kazimierz J. Kasperek
Terra Sancta press
304 Royal Palm Drive, Melbourne, FL 32935-6955
9780965346726, $21.95

A fascinating read from beginning to end, "Kazik's Polish Navy" is the personal memoir of Kazimierz Kasperek and a vivid account of the Polish navy during World War II. Written with the assistance of Pat McDonough, "Kazik's Polish Navy" is a candid account of Kasperek's service in the Polish Navy from February 1936 to May 8, 1945. This is also the story of Kasperek's desperate escape from a German POW camp during a brutal winter, his eye-witness account of major sea battles and Allied special operations, as well as his post-war experiences. "Kazik's Polish Navy" is a valued and unique addition to the growing library of World War II military studies.

The Cookbook Shelf

Everybody Loves Pizza
Penny Pollack & Jeff Ruby
Clerisy Press
1700 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45206
9781578602186, $19.95

It's a bit ironic to think that pizza, originating as an Italian peasant dish, has become as American as apple pie. Americans consume 350 slices of pizza every second -- an amount equality about 100 acres of pizza a day. The collaboration of pizza enthusiasts Penny Pollack and Jeff Ruby, "Everybody Loves Pizza: The Deep Dish On America's Favorite Food" is a combination of fun facts, culinary history, more than five hundred pizzeria locations, and truly great pizza recipes ranging from such familiar fare as Barbecue Chicken Pizza to the more exotic Prosciuto Pear Pizza. Here are recipes from such luminary chefs as Wolfgang Puck and Oprah's personal chef Art Smith, to New York-style think crust pizza, Chicago deep-dish pizza, New haven white clam pizza, and those gourmet quality California pizzas. "Everybody Loves Pizza" is a delightfully informative, intrinsically entertaining, nicely illustrated, and enthusiastically recommended addition to any personal or community library cookbook collection.

Fork In The Road With Eric Villegas
Eric Villegas
Huron River Press
308 1/2 South State Street, Suite 30, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
9781932399172, $35.00

A companion to the Emmy award-winning PBS cooking show of the same title, "Fork In The Road With Eric Villegas" is a showcase compendium of recipes celebrating the culinary traditions of Michigan. Parisian trained, Chef Villegas also studied at the New England Culinary Institute and in 1987 opened his first restaurant, 'Dusty's Wine Bar' in Okemos, Michigan, and then in 1995 his namesake dining establishment 'Restaurant Villegas' in the same city. His culinary show debut in 2001. Now his legions of fans have access to a beautifully illustrated compendium of his best recipes ranging from Wild Ramp Quiche with Raw Milk Cheddar and Roasted Garlic; Sugar Baked Pear Pizza with Maytag Blue Cheese, Arugula and Toasted Walnuts; and Great Lakes White Shrimp Ceviche with Smoked Tomatoes and Honeycrisp Apples; to Fried Chicken and Buttermilk Waffles with Thyme Lime Honey; Cheese Fondue with Hard Apple Cider; and Potato and Cheese Ravioli Topped with Mixed Vegetable Vinaigrette. Thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' from first page to last, "Fork In The Road With Eric Villegas" is an inspired and inspiring culinary compendium that is enthusiastically recommended for both personal and community library cookbook collections.

Romantic Dinners For Two
Chef Robert & Barb Catherine
Romp Thru Concepts, Inc.
4253 Masotti, Windsor, Ontario, Canada, N9G 2V4
0973874007, $29.95

As the title implies, "Romantic Dinners For Two" is a compilation of recipes and menus for the creation of three complete dinners for two special people. But not just for courting couples wanting the perfect date! These are dinners that would ably serve to make a special dining occasion for anniversary celebrations, birthdays, Valentine Day, Christmas, special announcements and events (like getting engaged or having a baby), or a simple romantic evening at home. "Romantic Dinners For Two" is more than just another theme cookbook as it also includes an instructional DVD with step-by-step cooking instructions that can turn even the most novice of kitchen cooks into accomplished chefs. There are tear out Invitations; tear out Seven Day Planners and Grocery Lists; advice for creating romantic scenarios and settings; suggestions for Mood Enhancers; questions that will serve to initiate conversation, final preparation and serving schedules for perfect presentation from beginning to end. Superbly illustrated with full color photos of finished dishes, "Romantic Dinners For Two" is a unique and enthusiastically recommended addition to any personal cookbook collection.

Quick & Kosher
Jamie Geller
Feldheim Publishers
208 Airport Executive Park, Nanuet, NY 10954
9781583309605, $34.99

In "Quick & Kosher: Recipes From The Bride Who Knew Nothing", internationally syndicated food and lifestyle columnist Jamie Geller (who is also the host of the OU cooking show 'Simply Kosher'), draws upon her own personal experiences to compile an impressive and illustrated compendium of delicious recipes that are easy to make and conform to Jewish dietary laws. After three introductory chapters (Confessions of a Jewish Bride; Setting Up Your Kitchen; Secrets of the 15-minute Chef), the non-diary recipes themselves are organized into Appetizers, Soups, Salads, Fish, Poultry, Meat, Sides, Desserts, and Challah. Of special value for novice kitchen cooks is the section on 'Shopping Like an Expert" and covers picking produce, meats, fish, and a 'Grocery Goldmine'. There is an invaluable section on Wine, a section of dairy recipes, suggested holiday menus, and even a glossary (especially handy in understanding the occasional Yiddish. From Chilled Salmon with Dijon Dipping Sauce; Avgolemono Soup; Crunchy Tofu Thai Salad; and Chicken Cacciatore; to Lamb Chops on a Bed of Couscous; Savory Eggplant; Tea Biscuit and Sorbet Tower; and Challah Garlic Bread, "Quick & Kosher" offers a culinary wealth of recipes for dishes that would grace any family dining table and satisfy the most gourmet of appetites, while satisfying even the stringent Jewish dietary requirements.

The Photography Shelf

Jim Jamieson
ImageStream Press
8339 Carriage Hill Alcove, Savage, MN 55378
9780972912631, $24.95

"Minnesota: Chasing The Seasons From The North Shore To The Mississippi" is a compilation of beautiful images by photographer Jim Jamieson showcasing Minnesota's natural phenomena, landscapes, and wildlife. Using digital photography, this compendium of 201 captioned photos and illustrations follows the changing seasons as reflected in a number of Minnesota's parks and wildlife refuges. Very highly recommended, "Minnesota" is especially appropriate for Minnesota library collections, nature photographers, and wildlife enthusiasts. So well organized and presented is "Minnesota" that it would well serve as a template for similar nature photograph studies of other states and regions of the country.

Spirits In The Garden
Joan Solomon
Grynwild Publishing
3208 West Lake Street, #117, Minneapolis, MN 55416
9780978616601, $65.00

Joan Solomon's "Spirits In The Garden: The Amazing Realm Of Secret Life Around Us With Remedies And Gifts Of Healing Wisdom" is the result of five years of painstaking work capturing memorable images photographing flowers, plants and trees throughout the United States using high intensity macro lenses. These remarkable and full color images reveal the uncanny presence of life-like countenances imbedded in the plant that for all the world resemble legendary gnomes, fantastical elves, illusive sprites, and fabled fairies. "Spirits In The Garden" is a beautiful, whimsical, delightful, entertaining, and simply amazing anthology of images that the reader cannot help but browse through with awe at 'the healing life that exists in nature'. A superb selection choice as a community Memorial Fund acquisition selection, "Spirits In The Garden" is enthusiastically recommended to the attention gardeners and horticulturalists; professional and amateur photographers; students of nature, alternative medicine, and metaphysics; and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in simply browsing through beautiful images of plants that offer so much in the way of beauty, healing, and inspiration.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Understanding Horse Behavior
Lesley Skipper
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
555 Eighth Avenue, Suite 903, New York, NY 10018
9781602390515, $19.95

Offering an innovative, successful, 'user friendly' approach to understanding the behavior of horses and the successful training of them, "Understanding Horse Behavior" provides horse owners with effective training techniques, expert insights into the equine world, and invaluable instructions on helping a horse cope with and adjust to the rigorous demands of training and competition. Of special note is what horse breeding and training expert Lesley Skipper has to saw on helping a horse to deal with the stress of travel and transportation, as well as ethical techniques for correcting bad habits and behavior in horses. Enhanced throughout with full color photography, "Understanding Horse Behavior" is the perfect introduction for new horse owners, and a strongly recommended addition to community library Pets & Wildlife reference collections.

The Poetry Shelf

W.S. Merwin
Copper Canyon Press
PO Box 271, Port Townsend, Washington 98368
9781556592614, $24.00

Winner of the National Book Award in Poetry, Migration: New & Selected Poems collects poems from fifteen different volumes written by W.S. Merwin, one of the most influential modern American poets. Eight of the poems are new, created circa 2004; the rest of this vast compendium offers works that span half a century, to as early as 1952. Experimenting with a wide variety of verbal form and function, the individual compositions of Migration range from momentary mirth to placid insight to storytelling. A solid best-of-the-best addition to poetry shelves. "Glimpse of the Ice": I am sure now / A light under the skin coming nearer / Bringing snow / Then at nightfall a moth has thawed out and is / Dripping against the glass / I wonder if death will be silent after all / Or a cry frozen in another age

Some Nights No Cars At All
Josh Rathkamp
Ausable Press
1026 Hurricane Road, Keene, NY 12942
9781931337359, $14.00 1-800-283-3572

Some Nights No Cars At All is an anthology of free-verse poetry by community college teacher Josh Rathkamp. Touching upon a medley of topics in everyday life, from getting directions, to interacting with a lunch lady who uses bad language, to listening to a duet on the radio. An eclectic medley combining slice-of-life storytelling with wistful emotion, and brimming with the earthy quality of the everyday human experience. "Before Breakfast": A family, I think, of small mule / deer has taken my shoe // beside the door / in haste. Suddenly as if nature // took the time for this- / the wind blew dust // blanketing a man with groceries.

The Scented Fox
Laynie Browne
Wave Books
1938 Fairview Avenue East, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98102
9781933517261, $14.00

Contemporary Poetry Series competition winner Laynie Browne presents The Scented Fox, a compilation ranging from stream-of-consciousness prose to free-verse poetry to sparse "interludes" that express much with little. Mysterious in its evocations of repetitive patterns, stable within a poem yet shifting from work to work, The Scented Fox explores both within and without the self, evoking a timeless mood through rhythmic imagery. "Lullaby": O the windward - it is a sooth / that harbors through the wintering // O the saith it is a dormer / that bids the sooth to enter // and let us sake the seer my fro / and let us sister together // the singer lasts the secant long / somnambulism lasts formally // and let us saint the seam my frieze / and let us sip together // the singer lasts the secret long / but this somewhere lasts foretellingly

The Travel Shelf

No Worries Hawaii
Jerry Sprout & Janine Sprout
Diamond Valley Company
89 Lower Manzanita, Markleeville, CA 96120
9780967007298, $17.95

The collaborative work of Jerry and Janine Sprout, "No Worries Hawaii: A Vacation Planning Guide For Kauai, Oahu, Maui, And The Big Island" is a single volume, superbly organized, beautifully illustrated, informed and informative guide for planning memorable trips throughout the Hawaiian islands whether for business or for pleasure, whether as a day trip, a week end getaway, or an extended vacation. Organized into five major sections (The Armchair Voyage; Da Plan! Da Plan!; The Elements of Island Style; The Best of Hawaii; and Wikiwiki Phonebook), "No Worries Hawaii" is enhanced with a section in which travelers can record their own notes, an index, and a listing of other Trailblazer Travel Books available from the Diamond Valley Company. Anyone planning a trip to Hawaii should begin with browsing through a copy of "No Worries Hawaii" to insure that their itinerary will provide them with the very best that Hawaii has to offer as their time and budgetary limitations will allow.

Finn et fyr: A Guide To The Norwegian Lighthouses
Eli Johanne Ellikngsve
Tapir Academic Press
c/o International Specialized Book Services (ISBS)
920 Northeast 58th Avenue, Suite 300, Portland, OR 97213
9788251922036, $59.00 1-800-944-6190

Written in Norwegian, "Finn et fyr: A Guide To The Norwegian Lighthouses" is an illustrated compendium of Norwegian lighthouses that protect shipping along the coastal waters of Norway. Each lighthouse is showcased with a succinct description and a full-color photograph. Eli Johanne Ellingsve (a placenames researcher and adviser to the Norwegian Language Council provides an historical overview of Norway's lighthouses beginning with the first one established some 350 years ago. Now more than two hundreds lighthouses and fog bells are a part of Norway's navigation and harbor safety network. "Finn et fyr: A Guide To The Norwegian Lighthouses" is especially recommended for Norwegian literate lighthouse enthusiasts, and can be paged through with interest for the picture images by non-Norwegian lighthouse buffs.

The Genealogy Shelf

Adventures In Genealogy
Patrick G. Wardell
Heritage Books, Inc.
65 East Main Street, Westminister, MD 21157-5026
0788418645, $20.50 1-800-876-6103

Genealogy is the tracing of family lines and is a popular pastime for millions of Americans. "Adventures In Genealogy" by Patrick G. Wardell offers an informative and entertaining introduction of what it is like to engage in genealogical research, the methods that are employed in such inquiries, practical advice about the resources available, and common problems encountered, and the rewards that can be earned through the discovery process involved in identifying our ancestors and distant relations. Of special note is what genealogist Patrick Wardell has to offer the novice genealogist about nicknames, orphans, censuses, military pension files, cemetery records, and other issues and sources concerning genealogical research. The accessibly written text is replete with a number of facsimile reprints of original documents by way of examples. Especially recommended for beginning genealogical researchers, "Adventures in Genealogy" has much of value for even the more seasoned and experience genealogical research. A great read, "Adventures In Genealogy" should be a part of every personal and community library's Genealogical Studies reference collection and supplemental reading list.

The Fiction Shelf

La Dean Ryan
Airleaf Publishing
35 Industrial Drive, Martinsville, IN 46151
9781594537400, $23.95 1-800-342-6068

Crime: The Game the Whole Family Can Play is a novel based on the true-life experiences of author and female prison guard La Dean Ryan. Following Officer Ann Nayr, a woman prison guard in a men's maximum security prison, Crime: The Game the Whole Family Can Play tells of Nayr's journey into the political drama as well as sometimes shockingly dangerous physical threat that overshadows her daily job. Revealing life on the "inside", Crime: The Game the Whole Family Can Play is gritty, harsh, engrossing, and will force the reader to re-examine what he thought he knew about today's modern prison system.

The Gaming Shelf

The Encyclopedia of Card Play Techniques at Bridge
Guy Leve
Master Point Press
331 Douglas Avenue, Toronto, ON, Canada, M5M 1H2
9781897106259, $39.95

Originally published in France in 2005, The Encyclopedia of Card Play Techniques at Bridge is an in-depth guide to the card game of bridge featuring over 800 deals and diagrams. The Encyclopedia of Card Play Techniques at Bridge is not intended for beginners, but rather intermediate to advanced bridge players seeking to improve their skills. The step-by-step, play-by-play discussions are sure to offer insights to even the most veteran gamers, in this absolute "must-have" resource for bridge enthusiasts.

The Literary Shelf

Erotic Tales of Medieval Germany
Albrecht Classen, translator
Arizona Center for Medieval & Renaissance Studies
Arizona State University
P.O. Box 874402, Tempe, AZ 85287-4402
9780866983747, $25.00 1-480-965-5900

In counterpart to the late-medieval Italian tale "Decameron" and the late-medieval English work "Canterbury Tales", Erotic Tales of Medieval Germany offers a collection of titillating erotic stories from medieval German literature, many by anonymous authors. Flawlessly translated into English by Albrecht Classen, Erotic Tales of Medieval Germany covers a wide range of sexually charged subjects, including marriage, violence, adultery, and human sexuality. Each story features a brief, scholarly introduction; a final, lengthy poem in its original German "Der Enttauschte Liebhaber" rounds out this close examination of historic expressions of passion.

The Children's Shelf

A Halloween Story
Maroma Books
5615 Kirby Drive, Suite 820, Houston, TX 77005-2448
9780979646515, $14.95

A Halloween Story is a black-and-white consumable children's picturebook. The first part consists of an easy-reader story about a boy's experience trick-or-treating on Halloween; the second part offers big blank lines for a child to make up his or her own short stories about the characters, as well as a couple of mazes. "One day I went trick or treating. / And I came home to count my candies. / I got lots of candies. / And then, I went to sleep." A delightful picturebook, great for gift-giving even after the Halloween season because of it encourages children's creative imaginations.

The Parenting Shelf

Sci-Fi Baby Names
Robert Schnakenberg
Quirk Books
215 Church Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781594741616, $12.95

Sci-Fi Baby Names: 500 Out of This World Baby Names from Anakin to Zardoz lives up to its title and then some. Each of the five hundred names presented is listed along with a source and trivia tidbit referring to characters of that name in science fiction movies, comics, television, and books. The names are categorized into traditional names ("George"), masculine names ("Cameron"), feminine names ("Talleah"), power names ("Quentin"), intellectual names ("Sigmund"), and exotic names ("Vultan"). A treat for sci-fi enthusiasts to page through, and a nice starting point for prospective parents interested in naming their child something a little bit different.

The Psychology Shelf

Letting Go With Love
Nancy O'Connor, Ph.D.
La Mariposa Press
1990 E Campbell Terrace, Tucson, AZ 85718-5952
9780961371487, $16.95

Now in a new revised edition, Letting Go With Love: The Grieving Process is a straightforward guide for readers in need by Nancy O'Connor, Ph.D., a psychologist with 20 years of clinical experience. Chapters walk the reader through the stages of grief, learning to accept one's painful feelings, how to cope with the death of a spouse, parents, children, or the inevitable demise of oneself, issues specific to loss through suicide or catastrophic death, and much more. "A child is vulnerable at any age when a parent dies. If the parent-child relationship has never progressed to an adult-to-adult relationship, then all of the childhood fears of being abandoned will be reactivated, no matter how old the child is. The same feelings may be experienced at the death of a stepparent, grandparent or guardian who was a significant person in the child's upbringing." Highly recommended.

The Social Issues Shelf

Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?
Jason Berry, et. al.
Chin Music Press, Inc.
2621 24th Ave W., Seattle, WA 98199
9780974199511, $18.50

Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans? is a collection of heartfelt true stories told by survivors, evacuees, and natives of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the lethal city flooding. A handful of black-and-white illustrations grace this collection of brief reminiscences of New Orleans as it once was, the hardship of survival, attempts to return to the city, the hope of rebuilding despite the overwhelming challenges, and much more. A dollop of humor here and there intersperse the at times harsh true stories, in this highly recommended tribute. "The crime and poverty were always there. My garage was invaded three times so I quit locking it. You could not live in the city and avoid the dreary performance of democracy; yet the town was held together by a spiritual essence few cities in this country possess. We were like many families in having those we loved most within a short drive. That infrastructure of the heart is severely fractured now."

What Are Old People For?
William H. Thomas, M.D.
VanderWyk & Burnham
PO Box 2789, Acton, MA 01720-6789
9781889242323, $16.95

The "American Journal of Nursing" Book of the Year in Consumer Health, What Are Old People For?: How Elders Will Save the World is an optimistic view of how the senior generation will change the world for the better by geriatrician William H. Thomas, M.D. Chapters extol the positive virtues of aging, explain why nursing homes should be abolished so that no elder need fear being institutionalized, reveal the expanded capacity for peacemaking and wisdom that grows within older people, offers a visionary plan for "Green Houses" (communities where older people live together intentionally), and much more. "Today there are about thirty thousand chimps and over six billion humans. How could two species so similar in so many ways diverge this dramatically? The answer lies with the first grandmother. She changed everything. By sharing food with her grandchildren, she shattered seemingly unbreakable limits that had confined species similar to her own." Highly recommended.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Robert K. Brown
Brown Books Publishing Group
16200 N. Dallas Parkway, Suite 170, Dallas, TX 75248
9781933285795, $24.95

Sonnets: A Novel is the suspenseful tale of a serial killer and the literary professor desperate to stop him before he kills again. What makes this murderer unique is his obsession with sonnets - a form of poetry rarely used in modern writing. Poems that outline the gruesome, impending deaths of future victims are the most prominent clues. Grisly and macabre, Sonnets engages the intellect while chilling the spine, and is sure to prove utterly enthralling to aficionados of serial killer mysteries.

The American History Shelf

My Dear Father and Mother: The Personal Letters of Livingston N. Clinard
Karen L. Clinard & Richard Russell, editors
Reminscing Books
1070-1 Tunnel Road, Suite 10, #326, Asheville, NC 28805
9780979396168, $24.95

My Dear Father and Mother: The Personal Letters of Livingston N. Clinard Correspondence From Family and Friends 1871-1880 is an up-close and personal view of late 1800's life in Piedmont, North Carolina through the eyewitness personal letters of a close family. From dreams that people strived for, to the backbreaking hard work of daily life, the cycle of birth and death, insights into local history, and much more, My Dear Father and Mother is utterly absorbing in its vivid portrayal of the past. Especially recommended for connoisseurs of day-to-day historical anecdotes.

The Christian Studies Shelf

The One Common World Morality
Pamela A. Johnson
One World Image
78 St. Croix Trail South, Suite 110, Lakeland, MN 55043
9780976587507, $18.95

Mother, grandmother, legal expert, and missionary worker Pamela A. Johnson presents The One Common World Morality: Seeds of Thought for All Humankind, a reflective, spiritual text contemplating the need for humans to embrace God and be watchful of their own morality. "No matter who you are, you need to seek to advance the purpose of God's kingdom. Whether you are the president of a large corporation or cooking food for people in a fast food restaurant you should be asking yourself: 'How can I personally promote good, first within my family and then within my society?'" The One Common World Morality promotes a message that deserves to be heard, and is especially recommended as an inspirational source for Christian spiritual study and self-improvement.

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

Copyright ©2001

Site design by Williams Writing, Editing & Design