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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 8, Number 1 January 2009 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Language Studies Shelf Fiction Shelf
Poetry Shelf Business Shelf Biography Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Sports Shelf Literary Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Travel Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf
Christian Studies Shelf Military Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Education Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Economics Shelf
Gardening Shelf Photography Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Political Science Shelf Psychology Shelf Environmental Studies Shelf
Science Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Opening to Dying and Grieving
Ron Valle & Mary Mohs
Yes International Publishers
1317 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105-2602
9780936663401, $18.95,

Grieving is a process, a journey. "Opening to Dying and Grieving: A Sacred Journey" is a guidebook to that journey of dealing with the unbearable emotions that come along with it. With an emphasis on not turning the grieving process into a long stage and advice for carrying on in spite of a broken heart, "Opening to Dying and Grieving" is a solid and moving advisory book for those who are trying to deal with the unexpected loss of a loved one.

Racing Light
Charlie Linguini Duane
Stella's Dream
PO Box 596, Marion, MA 02738
9780979998812, $22.95

Walking is one of the best exercises one can do. "Racing Light: The Soft Power of a Day's Walk" is a book dedicated to the hobby of hiking, something Charlie Duane did along the entire eastern coast of the United States and Canada around to the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Nearly ten billion foot steps, Duane's journey is awe-inspiring and may encourage readers to follow his example, maybe not for one side of a continent, but to get more walking in their everyday lives. With plenty of advice and tips on hiking and black and white photos of his journey, "Racing Light" is a must for any outdoors enthusiast or true adventure fan.

Nine Dog Winter
Bruce T. Batchelor
Agio Publishing House
151 Howe Street, Victoria, BC V8V 4K5 Canada
9781897435175, $23.99,

Before high-horse power snowmobiles, people in arctic regions relied on dog power. "Nine Dog Winter" is the story of a young man and a young woman who, at the start of the eighties, decide to strike out into the Yukon in the old school way with a sled of dogs. Their adventures are a thrilling tale, sure to please readers and with much information on modern dog sledding. A blend of technical info, human interest story, and canine love, "Nine Dog Winter" is a solid recommendation for any True Adventure collection.

The Language Studies Shelf

Vocabula Bound
Robert Hartwell Fiske, editor
Vocabula Books
5A Holbrook Court, Rockport, MA 01966
9780977436866, $24.95,

"Vocabula Bound: Our Wrestling, Writhing Tongue" is a collection of twenty-eight essays alongside other articles from the Vocabula review. Discussing language and how it is being morphed today, how it's both declining and making comeback in some areas, the topics discussed range in vastly different discussion. From swearing off swearing to discussing the origins of a vulgar term for the female anatomy, "Vocabula Bound" is strangely intriguing, making grammar and English riveting.

The Fiction Shelf

Francine L. Trevens
T'n'T Classic
360 West 36 ST. #2NW, New York, NY 10018-6412
9781886586123, $18.95,

The more things change, the more they stay the same. "Imagics: and Other Family Stories" is a set of tales collected from a family from well over a century of time. Although the stories are based in reality, Trevens readily admits to taking the occasional liberty if she thinks it'll make for a good read. Regardless of factuality, each story is gripping and great, granting "Imagics" a solid recommendation.

Dear Diary, Oh Mother
Donna Kshir
Wheat Mark
610 East Delano Street, Suite 104, Tucson, AZ 85705
9781604940848, $11.95,

What if the person you loved as a mother suddenly wasn't? "Dear Diary, Oh Mother" tells the story of Jade, a woman who finds out that the woman she looked up to has no blood relation to her. What makes it more intriguing is that Jade herself is far from a spring chicken, learning a fact most children learn, at latest, as teenagers. A story of confusion about one's parents and the events that lead up to one's existence, "Dear Diary, Oh Mother" is a riveting read.

Good Christian Bitches
Kim Gatlin
Brown Books Publishing Group
16200 N. Dallas Parkway, Suite 170, Dallas, TX 75248
9781934812198, $24.95,

Jesus said love thy neighbor. These women apparently didn't get the memo. "Good Christian Bitches" tells the story of Amanda Vaughn and her return home to her childhood home. A Christian town, her neighbors, jealous of her, begin to do very un-Christian things to make Amanda's life every increasingly more difficult. Taking a twist on what the general public thinks of the Christian woman, "Good Christian Bitches" is an enticingly good read, recommended.

Our People: Stories
Ian MacMillan
BkMk Press
5101 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110
9781886157675, $16.95,

Everyone is the main character of their own stories, and have their own adventures. "Our People: Stories" is a collection of short fiction focusing on the daily lives of everyday people and the challenges they face and the events that shape them and who they are, and how they interact with the world around them. Drawing much inspiration from the world around him, "Our People: Stories" has plenty of material for people to relate to, making for quite the enjoyable read.

Kenny Kamp
Alta Films Press
627 9th Street, Ramona, CA 92065
9781892442390, $14.95,

Cloning is a hotly debated subject, but what are the spiritual consequences? "Lightland" tells the story of African Tribesman K'tanu. A remarkable physical specimen with an immunity to a terrifying plague, he finds himself brought back to life by modern science, only to be separated from his family in the afterlife. On a quest to return to his homeland to ritually reunite with his centuries dead family, "Lightland" entertains and makes readers ponder the morality of cloning.

...A Rib from Eve
Katherine Christensen
Llumina Press
PO Box 772246, Coral Springs, FL 33077-2246
9781595268501, $18.95,

Before the time of Christianity, the pagan religions of Europe regarded women as equals to men in society. All that soon changed. "...A Rib From Eve: A Powerful Saga of a Strong Celtic Woman in Savage Seventh Century Gaul" is the story of a pagan woman who lived much of her life on the fringes of the rapidly spreading Christian society. Telling the story of one of the last princesses of this era, she details her struggles of survival as she finds herself accused of witchcraft, and barely escaping her sentence. A fast paced fantasy of an intriguing era not often discussed, "...A Rib from Eve" is very highly recommended reading.

Courage of Fear
Barbara Boyer
Ocean Moon Publishing
PO Box 733, Solana Beach, CA 92075
Nielsen (publicity)
770 Broadway, New York, NY 10003
9780615203638, $16.95,

The American Dream can turn into a nightmare really quick. "Courage of Fear" follows Angela Hearly-Peterson as she falls into a downward spiral not of her own doing. Her husband is dealing with crippling gambling debts when she returns home after a long absence. Nantucket takes her back, but not everything is as simple as it seems for Angela. A riveting novel of readjusting to one's home town, "Courage of Fear" is highly recommended reading.

The Dogman Cometh
Jonathan Womack
Charles River Press
PO Box 1122, Mansfield, MA 02048
9780979130465, $14.95,

One needs to be careful of whom they trust. "The Dogman Cometh" is the story of Jessica Carbide, an anthropologist who is investigating the lost group of one hundred Cheyenne who fled into the Montana mountains over a century ago. All is not for the name of science and history though, as she soon learns that she may become history as one of her crew may be out for her head. Unknown roots, legends of murderous white devils, all make the situation more complicated, making "The Dogman Cometh" a riveting read indeed.

Skin of Sunset
David Johansson
Squire Press
411 Fourth Avenue, Melbourne Beach, FL 32951
9780615189505, $16.95,

The pursuit of happiness is vaguest of things guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. "Skin of Sunset" is a novel telling of three friends who begin to drift apart when tossed into the harsh reality of the real world after college. Although they establish a law firm together, it doesn't seem to prevent tensions from rising as the story boils down to a sordid affair of sex, betrayal, and a quick downward spiral toward violence. "Skin of Sunset" is gripping and will keep readers reading from first page to last.

When Thunder Rolls
Irene Uttendorfsky
Spruce Gulch Press
PO Box 4347, Rome, NY 13442
9780962571473, $11.95

Freedom is all too often taken for granted in the modern day. "When Thunder Rolls: The Underground Railroad and the Civil War" is a tale of the Underground Railroad, a line of people that slaves knew to run to for aid and assistance in trying to flee northward for the most basic of freedoms that so many Americans hold dear. Following a couple of slaves as they make the dangerous trek northward, "When Thunder Rolls" is a vivid picture of the dangers some are willing to face for the most basic of rights.

The Young Man From Savoy
C-F Ramuz
Host Publications
277 Broadway, Suite 210, New York, NY 10007
9780924047572, $25.00,

A simple man can change even the more extraordinary of lives. "The Young Man From Savoy" is masterfully translated from the original French by Blake Robinson, follows the life of Joseph Jacquet and his fascination with an acrobat known to him as Miss Annabella. Riveting and inspiring, the story takes many turns that will give readers much to relate to. "The Young Man From Savoy" is solid world fiction to anyone who enjoys how France does its literary fiction.

The Binkle and the Catawampus Compass
Faith Lynella
Off the Page Press
34 Solola Street, Asheville, NC 28806
9781888739633, $12.95,

When you enter a world where all the rules you're used to don't apply, you're in for an adventure. "The Binkle and the Catawampus Compass" is the story of Jeep, a boy lost from his home world into a world filled with magic. But Jeep finds that not everything he finds is completely nonsense to his own world and may learn something from this new world yet. "The Binkle and the Catawampus Compass" is a charming children's fantasy, and a solid pick for young readers.

The Love Song of Monkey
Michael S. A. Graziano
Leapfrog Press
PO Box 2110, Teaticket, MA 02536
9780981514802, $13.95,

When death is on the horizon, one wants to make sure everything is all right before they go. "The Love Song of Monkey" follows young Graziano as he embarks on a deeply spiritual journey set on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. A strange and surreal tale sure to give the reader much to think about and ponder, "The Love Song of Monkey" is something unlike what readers will find elsewhere, giving it a solid recommendation.

A Pure Double Cross
John Knoerle
Blue Steel Press
1648 W. Bloomingdale Ave., Chicago, IL 60622
9780974319919, $16.00,

Loyalty isn't permanent. It can wither away. "A Pure Double Cross" follows spy Hal Schroeder and his failing loyalty to the US Government serving as a spy. After World War II, he's enlisted to take down the mob, but wants out of the game and chooses betrayal as a way to do it and make a killing while doing it. Hal soon finds that someone might be making a killing, but it won't be him. "A Pure Double Cross" is a riveting thriller and original tale, highly recommended.

The Digger's Rest
K. Patrick Malone
A-Argus Better Book Publishers, LLC
9001 Ridge Hill Street, Kernersville, NC 27284
9780981907505, $22.95

When people search for proof of the legendary King Arthur, few think to hunt down his skeleton. "The Digger's Rest" is a story following a team of archaeologists as they dig through the ruins of an ancient medieval castle for the body of Arthur. While they begin to shine new light on one of history's mysteries, it isn't the one they were looking for. Adventure blended in a bit with horror, "The Digger's Rest" is a solid pick for suspense readers.

Winter Break
Astrid Fitzgerald
ARK Books
PO Box 583, Accord, NY 12404
9781607020578, $22.00

Some people just relax at home for their winter break. Not Caroline Stillhart. "Winter Break: A Luminous Journey into Wisdom and Love" tells Caroline's story when she finds an old wise woman during his trip into the Swiss Alps. As she finds the keys to her soul, she also stumbles upon the keys to her heart, but while this seems like a successful trip, it isn't going to be an easy one. "Winter Break" is a novel that'll keep readers reading all the way through.

Avery's Treasure
Kate Dolan
Zumaya Embraces
3209 S. IH-35 #1086, Austin, TX 78741-6905
9781934135662, $15.99

It's harder to turn a new leaf than one would think. "Avery's Treasure" is the story of Pirate Edward Talbot. Pardoned, he's offered the chance to abandon his ways and live the life of an honest man. He finds it hard to resist, and continues in his ways, but soon finds that perhaps he should have taken it when he had the chance. "Avery's Treasure" is a riveting tale of historical fiction, sure to please.

The Secret Madonna
J. R. Lankford
Great Reads Books
PO Box 2112, Bellaire, TX 77402
9780971869431, $16.97,

The Holy bloodline, a concept explored by the hit book 'The DaVinci Code.' - But what of Christ's modern day descendants? "The Secret Madonna" follows the theoretical search for this distant great grandson of Jesus. A tyrannical millionaire is out for hunting down this boy for his own gain, and is abusing all of his power to do so. This desire leads to a fast paced and riveting tale elaborating on the concept that has come to modern light. "The DaVinci Code" is solid reading, recommended.

Hidden Truths
Brenda Youngerman
Eloquent Books
c/o AEG Publishing Group
845 Third Avenue, 6th Floor, - 6016, New York, NY 10022
9781606931257, $14.95,

How can four people, so similar in origin, grow up so differently? "Hidden Truths" follows four children as they face very different childhoods. Billy Foster faces guilt from his parent's death, while his brother Wayne is left dealing with what's left of their strange family. Gwen Nelson was an accident and knows this plainly, and grows up ignored. Her sister Grace, however, is faced with what most people would assume as normal. Intriguing and thought provoking, "Hidden Truths" is a strong piece of writing, sure to make readers think twice about what is normal.

Crack Head II
Lisa Lennox
Triple Crown Publications
PO Box 6888, Columbus, OH 43205
9780979951794, $15.00,

The drug dealing business is not one for those who want to play nicely. "Crack Head II" follows the story of the original novel and follows the lives of the characters as their lives go on. Dealing with crippling addictions, raging gang wars, and those whoa re trying to go clean, it's a portrayal of the daily life of unfortunately some Americans in urban environments. "Crack Head II" is a riveting story of humanity, recommended.

Spicy Slipstream Stories
Nick Mamatas & Jay Lake
Lethe Press
118 Heritage Ave., Maple Shade, NJ 08052
1590210255, $18.00,

Writing evolves over time when people dare to break pre-conceived genre lines. "Spicy Slipstream Stories" is a collection of short stories that dare to be different and add new twists on the genre of noir-style pulpy stories that innovate as they entertain and pave the way for future readers. The stories don't mind being a little naughty and hold little regard for taboo. "Spicy Slipstream Stories" is riveting and entertaining as it breaks all the rules - both in story content and literary format.

Sonoran Rage
Melody Groves
LaFrontera Publishing
2710 Thomes Ave., Suite 181, Cheyenne, WY 82001
9780978563448, $19.95,

The Old West, often romanticized, was covered with so many ways to die. "Sonoran Rage" is the second book in the Colton Brothers saga, covering the two and their stance against the chaos that surrounds them. Apaches preparing to go to war, the United States army ready to do the same, and James and Trace must somehow make sense of it all or be buried under the whirlwind of violence. "Sonoran Rage" is fast moving and a solid western fiction novel, recommended.

Ariel's Journey
Doug Kane & Christy Wood
Blue Ink Press
MM Book Publicity (publicity)
2817 West End Avenue, Suite 126-274, Nashville, TN 37203
1246 Park Ave., Amherst, OH 44001
9780981723402, $8.95,

An enthusiasm for horses is healthy, but some girls got much more than they bargained for. "Ariel's Journey: The Icehorse Adventures" is the story of a group of friends gong on a camping trip with the famous and hardy horses of Iceland. Their riding and camping trip soon goes awry as they are tossed back in time by nearly a millennium. The girls are faced with an overwhelming challenge and conflict, facing possible death and potentially something more scary - love. "Ariel's Journey" is a charming fantasy for preteen readers who have a love for horses.

The Poetry Shelf

In the Shadow of a Burning Bush
Yakov Azriel
Time Being Books
10411 Clayton Road, Suites 201-203, St. Louis, MO 63131
9781568091228, $15.95,

The story of Exodus is one of the most cherished of the Bible, and "In the Shadow of a Burning Bush" discusses the events and moves readers with poems about the event. Established poet and biblical scholar Yakov Azriel applies his expertise to contents within, offering many insights through his work. "In the Shadow of a Burning Bush" will be treasured by those who value the book of Exodus as well as excellent poetry.

Marc Elihu Hofstader
Scarlet Tanager
PO Box 20906, Oakland, CA 94620
9780976867616, $16.00,

From a family that values the arts highly, Marc Elihu Hofstader knows a lot about them. "Luck" is his fourth volume of poetry, and his experience and rich art education shines through with moving verse and excellent philosophy. A fine and solid volume all around, "Luck" is a strong consideration for poetry lovers. "Lyra": We made out madly in the back row/of the movie theater in summer camp/all those years ago. You sat on my lap/as our tongues danced in one another's mouths/like butterflies in blossoms./But when I went home and stupidly told my parents/about it, they flipped, called the camp/"immoral," kept me in sight for years,/teaching me such things are wrong and tawdry,/an approach my body believes to this day.

Until Crazy Catches Me
Ellen Rachlin
Antrim House
PO Box 111, Tariffville, CT 05081
9780979845154, $14.00,

With several previous volumes under her name, Ellen Rachlin returns with "Until Crazy Catches Me" focuses on the unpredictability of day to day life and the things that are always there, but never really noticed. "Until Crazy Catches Me" is a deftly written work, recommended. "Travels": Pain waits atop its web; its prey can't unravel./Bad luck crosses each path, even an open field./Grief meanders ahead; ill fates become sealed./Pain waits atop its web. Pray you can unravel/a bandage, a row, a knot, a myth, or a battle./The careless and the wise trip pain's sentinel./Pain waits atop its web; its prey can't unravel./Bad luck crosses each path, even an open field.

Letters I Didn't Write
John MacKenzie
Nightwood Editions
PO Box 1779, Gibsons, BC V0N 1VO, Canada
9780889712379, $16.95,

Inspiration can come from any source, be it old style country music or the science of physics. "Letters I Didn't Write" is John MacKenzie's anthology of poetry, a follow up to his critically acclaimed previous volumes. Drawing inspiration from many places but most importantly his own life, "Letters I Didn't Write" is a moving volume of poetry indeed. "The Bloom Is Not The Flower": This bloom is not a flower -- no,/ and this mist is not a rain.//She comes halfway through the night to warm me/but leaves me in the bright, cool dawn.//She comes like a dream of spring, all apple blossoms --/how long can these limbs bear her beauty?//She goes like cloud on a July morning,/and can't be found in all that blue.//Oh, the bloom is not the flower./And this mist not the sweet rain.

This is the Nightmare
Adrienne Gruber
Thistledown Press
633 Main Street, Saskatoon, SK S7H 0J8, Canada
9781897235522, $12.95,

The New Leaf Editions series has always been about bringing new poets to the public eye, and "This is the Nightmare" is another entry. Adrienne Gruber has had some minor success, and her debut book collects her wit and wisdom for the first time, showing people why she is considered one of Canada's best new poets. "This is the Nightmare" is worth the price of admission for any poetry fan. "Your Mother Makes Pizza": Your mother twirls pizza dough in the air./It flies from her fingers while the men, yours and hers,/sit on leather couches talking in the next room. She winces/from oven burns and spreads a thin layer of sauce, drops anchovies/on one, sausage and olives on another. A third suffocates/under thick-sun dried tomatoes, green olives and goat cheese./She grabs handfuls of cheddar./You are laughing/at some joke I missed, mouth red like the sauce./This is another poem about you and me./But there is no you and me./There is only your mother, her lover. Your lover. You.

To Lose & To Pretend
Chris O. Cook
Brooklyn Arts Press
21 Bedford Street, #4, New York, NY 10014
9780978825720, $15.00,

Nothing is what many modern teens & young adults feel, and how does that apathy translate into the world of poetry? "To Lose & To Pretend" is the first anthology of poetry from Chris Cook. Focusing on the negligence and carelessness of the current generation, he attacks as well as embraces the attitudes. "To Lose & To Pretend" is something different in the world of poetry, a good pick. "Decades": '50s black, '60s red, '70s green, '80s white, '90s blue: Decades,/more songs than I can name, more deaths than I can imagine./'60s, a set of tools, cold to the touch, your reflection/drowns in the spaces between the light, your face

Village Limits
Greg Joly
Adastra Press
16 Reservation Road, Easthampton, MA 01027
9780977666782, $20.00

Sixteen years since his last anthology of poetry, Greg Joly now brings out his second. "Village Limits" is a collection of poems focusing on the small town life in quiet New England. The term quiet, however, shouldn't be confused with nothing happening or nothing interesting. "Village Limits" is a solid book of poetry, recommended. "Village Spring": Peter leaves wide/the doors to his shop/& all day/little is done/as people stop to talk winter out/of the their systems/in a cradle/of sun/between/two open doors.

The Smell of Life
Morty Sklar
The Spirit That Moves Us Press
PO Box 720820, Jackson Heights, NY 11372-0820
9780930370565, $18.00

The Smell of Life: Poems 1969 to 2005 is a collection of poetry written over the course of thirty-six years, covering topics ranging from heroin addiction to the quality of honor, love, emptiness, fatalism, hope, and much more. Free verse is used to tell brief yet evocative mini-narratives in this intriguing anthology of growth and change. "Overture to Death": Who, who does not embrace life, / can embrace death? / Did you leave your parents' house not knowing / what you'd find? Did you leave the city of your birth / not knowing what you'd find? / Did you ever leave a job not knowing what you'd find? // What have these deaths been but overtures to life? / When you weren't embraced, did you embrace? // Death could be a great furry ape / the only thing drifting toward you / as you hurtle through space / - whom you forever / then embrace.

Container Gardening
Ellen Steinbaum
PO Box 541106, Cincinnati, OH 45254-1106
9781934999301, $18.00

Container Gardening is an anthology of poetry by poet, playwright, and "The Boston Globe" literary columnist Ellen Steinbaum. The free verse is peppered with exquisite moments of perception and insight, at times recounting simple memories, at times exploring philosophical conundrums. A most enjoyable addition to poetry shelves. "The Question": You do not choose. This is the one you are / given, the one that will be yours always. This / will be the mote at the edge of your vision, / the lost puzzle piece, the rough tooth edge. / This is the question that will be the whisper / in your ear, the rhythm of your breathing. / The answer is in the locked drawer, the one / that has no key.

Family Matters
Shelby Stephenson
Bellday Books
PO Box 3687, Pittsburgh, PA 15230
9780979337611, $14.00,

With a huge bibliography to his name, Shelby Stephenson brings his expertise to a story told through verse in "Family Matters: Homage to July, the Slave Girl". Telling the story of a young girl slave, born in 1840, and her life, drawing from the public records of her existence that give a rough picture to her story. Stephenson smooths out the picture and gives it life with his verse, making "Family Matters" a unique and innovative book of poetry.

The Business Shelf

In the Spirit of Leadership
Cheryle Esposito
Plumb Road Publishing
680 Mission Street, Suite 21E, San Francisco, CA 94105
9780979925207, $18.95,

Conscious leadership is key to responsible success. "In the Spirit of Leadership: A Vision Into a Different Future" is a different sort of leadership book for today's businessmen. Borrowing elements from both self-help and poetry, Esposito blends the elements to create a more spiritual and enlightening sort of leadership book encouraging consciousness to what one is doing as they lead their company, be it to success, mediocrity, or oblivion. "In the Spirit of Leadership" is well worth considering if one has read other leadership books and found them ineffective.

The Choice
Eliyahu M. Goldratt
The North River Press
PO Box 567, Great Barrington, MA 01230
9780884271895, $22.50,

A man of many talents, including both science and business, Eliyahu Goldratt goes philosophical in "The Choice". Aiming to make his readers think, he questions the decisions we as people make during day to day life. Decisions are decisions even when they are not obviously so, from religious belief to deciding one knows of something when they don't have the whole story. A must for anyone who likes to think and have their minds and world views challenged, "The Choice" is solid and highly recommended reading.

Selling to Zebras
Jeff Koser & Chad Koser
Greenleaf Book Press
4425 S. Mo Pac Expy, Suite 600, Austin, TX 78735
Booth Media Group (publicity)
1386 Nightshade Road, Carlsbad, CA 92011
9781929774579, $19.95,

Any veteran salesperson knows they face more busts than sales. "Selling to Zebras: How to Close 90% of the Business You Pursue Faster, More Easily, and More Profitably" is a guide to optimizing and streamlining one's company by focusing on the successes instead of the likely failures. A Zebra, according to the Kosers, is the icon of their ideal which makes business a simpler and more worthwhile endeavor to increase numbers in the right places and minimize them where they need to be minimized as well as creating strong, reliable bonds with clients. "Selling to Zebras" takes a less is more approach to business, and earns a recommendation for it.

How to Build a Billion Dollar Company from Scratch
Harry E. Figgie
Ruder Finn Press
301 East 57th Street, New York, NY 10022
9781932646467, $24.95,

You need money to make money is the proverb, but what's the difference between a million dollar company and a billion dollar one? "How to Build a Billion Dollar Company from Scratch" is Harry Figgie's personal story of increasing the company he was holding to well over fifty times its worth. Using a sound business strategy, Figgie reveals all one needs to know to take one's country to the next level - with some advice being sound for any level of business. "How to Build a Billion Dollar Company from Scratch" is a must for any successful business person who doesn't think they have enough.

It's Never the Right Time
Ron Cornwell
Ron Cornwell Enterprises, Inc.
13 Deerfield Road, Medway, MA 02053
9780981859200, $22.50,

Waiting for the planets to align to make a move is going to take more time than some people have to live. "It's Never the Right Time: An Entrepreneur's Guide to Behaviors to Avoid at All Costs When Seeking Self-Employment" encourages readers to take that risk instead of sitting around twiddling their thumbs. With advice and tips on overcoming typical fears and anxieties associated with starting one's own business, Cornwell tells readers how and why they should get started in establishing themselves as their own boss. "It's Never the Right Time" is a must for those pondering how to move toward the future of their own business.

Charting the Course
Bruce Howard
1820 Jet Stream Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80921
B&B Media Group (publicity)
109 South Main Street Corsicana, TX 75110
9781934068359, $12.99,

It's incredibly easy to lose touch with one's soul when dealing with the cutthroat world of the stock market. "Charting the Course: Values for Navigating Life in the Marketplace" is a guide to staying in touch with one's soul in the vicious marketplace. Ethics is the focus, and just because one is ethical and everyone else is not, does not mean success is impossible. With much advice and methods on plotting an effective, ethical strategy for trading, "Charting the Course" is a must for any trader who wants to stay true to themselves.

The Stock Market Philosopher
Gennady Favel
W&A Publishing
PO Box 849, Cedar Falls, IA 50613
9781934354063, $19.95,

Born into a world of communism, Gennady Favel took to capitalism like fleas to a dog. "The Stock Market Philosopher: Insights of a Soviet-Born, New York-Bred Hedge Fund Trader" reflects on his life of becoming a successful stock market player. His methods were never orthodox, and he offers his wisdom and advice for more effectively mastering the chaotic stock market. Intriguing and educational, "The Stock Market Philosopher" is a must for anyone open to new stock market strategies.

Sales Encyclopedia
Robert J. Chapin & Collaborators
Eagle View Publishing
27 Curtis Street, Auburn, MA 01501
9780971968417, $55.95,

Ever since the concept of bartering was invented by humanity, there have been new ways devised on how to sell a product. "Sales Encyclopedia: The Most Comprehensive 'How-to' Guide on Selling" is what it says it is, a complete and comprehensive guide to the wide and complex science of selling products. With much advice on dealing with competition, organizing your company well, crafting good relationships with everyone one needs to succeed, among other absolutely essential advice for anyone who wants to master the art of the merchant. "Sales Encyclopedia" is a must for any business collection focusing on all the skills needed to succeed.

The Biography Shelf

The Golden Warrior
Lawrence James
Skyhorse Publishing
555 Eighth Avenue, Suite 903, New York, NY 10018
9781602393547, $14.95,

Every famous story has a true story behind it, and "Lawrence of Arabia" is no different. "The Golden Warrior: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia" looks to tell the true story of this historic figure. T.E. Lawrence slowly rose to international fame for standing up to Europe's imperialism in the middle east. A superstar following World War I for being both an advisor to Winston Churchill and one of the people fighting against him, his story is a riveting tale that is timeless. "The Golden Warrior" is a must for anyone who wants to know the entire Lawrence of Arabia story.

Wise Advice
Joseph Vincent
June's Publishing
70-35 72nd Street, Glendale, NY 11385
9780982081501, $14.95

When one is raised close to the mob, the initial reaction isn't to embrace the law. "Wise Advice: Touched by the Mafia, Recruited by Law Enforcement" is the biography of Joseph Vincent and his slow embracement of a career as a cop even as some of his friends and family played on the other team. Telling a story of growing up in a strange sense of duality and how the most vicious of criminals came from the wrong side, "Wise Advice" is a riveting tale indeed, recommended.

A Biographical Introduction Marx & Engels
Ernesto Che Guevara
Ocean Books
511 Avenue of the Americas, #96, New York, NY 10011-8436
9781920888923, $9.95,

Two men who lived in the nineteenth century have had more impact on the twentieth than any other. "A Biographical Introduction to Marx and Engels" is written by famous revolutionary Che Guevara. He speaks on the two fathers of communism and in the process, opens the eyes to the mind of Che Guevara in himself at the same time. A previously unpublished work finally made public, "A Biographical Introduction to Marx and Engels" is intriguing reading indeed.

My Life, My Dreams, and the Golden Arm
Rona Purks
Abecedarian Books
2817 Forest Glen Drive, Baldwin, MD 21013
9780979140174, $14.99,

When people think of spiritual leaders, they do not think of star Baltimore Colts player Johnny Unitas. "My Life, My Dreams, and the Golden Arm: A Journey into the New Age Awakening" is one woman's story about how her life was turned around as an employee at Johnny Unitas' Golden Arm restaurant. Part new age spirituality story, part memoir about her time with the famed football star, "My Life, My Dreams, and the Golden Arm" is an excellent memoir and highly recommended reading for sports fans with a new age side to them.

Sailing the Pink Sea
Debbie Huntsman
Applestar Publishing
4234 North 35th Pl, Pheonix, AZ 85018
9780978611477, $12.95,

Every woman fears it. Breast Cancer. "Sailing the Pink Sea" is Debbie Huntsman's chronicle starting with her diagnosis of the tragic ailment. Her story is one of strength and courage against the odds and will give much hope to other women who also dread this potential disease and for those who are fighting it themselves. "Sailing the Pink Sea" is moving and inspirational, recommended.

Written on the Knee
Theodore Electris
Scarletta Press
10 S. 5th Street #1105, Minneapolis, MN 55402
9780979824937, $16.95,

World War II was more than America fighting Germany and Japan. "Written on the Knee: A Diary from the Greek-Italian Front in WWII" is a picture of another theater of the war, not often documented. Covering Electris' time in the conflict fully from his drafting to his return to civilian life through selected diary entries, it's a deeply personal way to learn about the conflict between Greece and Italy during the conflict that consumed the world. "Written on the Knee" is a must have for both historians and nonspecialist general readers looking for other perspectives on WWII.

Venus Rising
Harry William Deal
Orsini Press
201 N. Carmelina Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90049
Fathom Event Strategy (publicity)
8967 Wonderland Park Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046
9780979781605, $21.95

Now published over sixty years after its events have transpired, Venus Rising: A Memoir is the true-life story of a World War II veteran who had a life-transforming experience aboard a boat in the Pacific Ocean, off the shores of Japan in 1945. When the planet Venus was rising high in the night sky, he encountered something beyond the borders of the natural world. Yet Venus Rising is far more than the story of a metaphysical; it is also a memoir of growing up in the Great Depression, filled with anecdotes of everyday life in deep South Dallas. As a young man the author delved into his fair share of trouble, from getting handcuffed to the perimeter fence for trying to sneak into the State Fair to dipping Jax beer from a bucket on the floorboard of a 1935 Chevy Rumble Seat Coupe while driving across the state. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Deal joined the U.S. Navy. His belief in a guardian angel helped him remain steady in a turbulent era of war and suffering. "Of course, in telling this story I have come face-to-face with timeless questions about chance, random bad luck, timing, destiny, and the role that belief and faith play in what really happens in life. I'd like to think that we all have guardian angels protecting us and that the things we do not understand are just pieces of a puzzle that fit together into a larger plan that we are only able to get small glimpses of in this lifetime." An absorbing read, grounded in reality, that nonetheless touches upon aspects of the universe far greater than the individual.

Steel Resolve
High W. Williams II
Drake-Willaims Steel Publishing
2301 Hickory Street, Omaha, NE 68108
9780982058909, $19.95,

Most family businesses fail upon a generational change. "Steel Resolve: A Story of Endurance" tells of a family business that has spited that fact, and has remained incredibly strong after well over a century and seems to be having no signs of stopping anytime soon. Turning a fledgling boiler company into a business that is run by an extended family of strong men and women to support them, "Steel Resolve" is a story about a family who didn't flake out on each other and have something very powerful between them because of it. Highly recommended.

Marry Hunt Jentsch
McWitty Press
110 Riverside Drive, 1A, New York, NY 10024
9780975561850, $14.00,

The struggle to survive is the roughest struggle of all. "Trek: An American Woman, Two Small Children, and Survival in World War II Germany" tells the heroic tale of Mary Hunt Jentsch who had to go through hell and high water to escape the Germans, the oncoming Russians, the allied bombings, all so much that made simple survival to the next day impossible. Many people went through such experiences at the time, but Jentsch's tale was made particularly heroic by the fact of dealing her two small children. "Trek" is a highly recommended memoir, telling of one woman's tall endeavor of survival against the odds.

Fighting for a Life
David Hadden
Clearlake Publishing
PO Box 10527, Riviera Beach, FL 33419
9780980177947, $19.95,

The poor man who stands up to the massive corporation. Who really wins? "Fighting for a Life: The Great Awakening" tells the story of David Hadden, a man who lost his job. But unlike most, he felt it was due to his race. With no capital or legal council, he faced his former employers in court. Supporting himself with a boxing career, he tells his story and gives his readers hope that odds can be overcome. "Fighting for a Life" is recommended reading indeed.

In My Mother's House
Stephanie Kaplan Cohen
Woodley Books
510 Cathedral Parkway, New York, NY 10025
9780978647209, $23.00,

Some immigrants who came to America via New York decided that the rough streets of Brooklyn were no place to raise a child, and sought a better place to stay in Long Island. "In My Mother's House" is a childhood recalling memoir of Stephanie Kaplan Cohen telling her story growing up as the first of a generation of Americans, and places the 1930s and all of the chaos of that time into a fresh light. "In My Mother's House" is something that will connect with many a reader, whether they grew up in the 1930s or 1990s.

The Self-Help Shelf

The Journey to Be Your Own Best Friend
Paula Klee Parish
Legwork Team Publishing
80 Davids Drive, Suite 1, Hauppauge, NY 11788
Newman Communications, Inc. (publicity)
20 Guest St., Suite 150, Brighton, MA 02135
9781604812299, $24.99

A friend shoulder to lean on is sometimes just a luxury that isn't available. "The Journey to Be Your Own Best Friend: How to Discover Your Power Within" is a guide for looking within for the simple power to deal with the stress and problems life covers people with. The advice covers how to recognize one's problems, stopping them, and doing what one needs to change their lives for the better, and to ultimately become oneself's own best friend. "The Journey to Be Your Own Best Friend" is a self-help book in the true sense of the term, encouraging readers to be self-reliant when faced with adversity.

The Mask, the Mirror, and the Illusion
Julie Hutslar
New Concept Press
425 57th Street, Suite 2J, New York, NY 10019-1758
Luminous Epinoia Press (publicity)
PO Box 2547, Sandpoint, ID 83864
9780975300008, $15.00

How many people will truly speak the unadulterated truth about themselves when asked? "The Mask, the Mirror, and the Illusion: Awakening to the Knowledge of Who You Truly Are" takes a scholarly look at the facade everyone creates about themselves through their lives and explains that this facade soon begins to affect what a person truly is. With much information and discussion of how society creates a lot of this and how to find one's true self, "The Mask, the Mirror, and the Illusion" is well worth the read.

Peace, Love, and Lemonade
Nancy Stampahar
Business Alternatives, Inc.
630 Plum Industrial Court, Pittsburgh, PA 15239
Blessingway Authors Serivces (publicity)
134 East Lupita Road, Santa Fe, NM 87505
9780980092707, $14.95

Even with insurmountable odds at all sides, it doesn't mean one can't overcome the odds to improve one's life. "Peace, Love, and Lemonade: A Recipe to Make Your Life Sweeter" is a collection of Nancy Stampahar's reflections and anecdotes about her family and how in spite of anything holding them back, they moved forward and greatly improved their lives. Her mother overcame single parenthood for her degree, and Nancy herself overcoming the lack of a diploma, "Peace, Love, and Lemonade" is a great story that will inspire readers to overcome what life lays in front of them.

21 Days to Creating Your Dream Life
Stephen Mark
Dream Board Publications
1353 Riverstone Parkway, Suite 120-252, Canton, GA 30114
9780981627502, $13.99,

It doesn't take years to turn one's life around. It can be done in as little as a month. "21 Days to Creating Your Dream Life" is an inspirational guide seeking to give people the motivation they need to rise up and take the radical action they've always thought unreasonable and undoable by their standards. Teaching that the fear of failure and the idea that change is impossible are both things that are entirely mental, "21 Days to Creating Your Dream Life" is just what some people need to kick themselves into gear.

Let Me Sow Light
Amy Viets and Bernadette Standard
Acta Publications
5559 W. Howard Street, Skokie, IL 60077-2621
9780879463786, $10.95

Depression is contagious, and living with a down and out spouse is no fun. "Let Me Sow Light: Living with a Depressed Spouse" is a guide for spouses who hate seeing their beloved in a constant state of the blues. With a Christian slant, the advice is solid and contains more than enough secular advice for any family who wants to raise the house's collective spirit. Defining depression's impact and how to address the causes rather than the symptoms, "Let Me Sow Light" is a solid choice for any who cares deeply about the spirit of their significant other.

Color Alchemy
Jami Lin
Earth Design Inc.
PO Box 53705, Miami, FL 33138
9780964306028, $29.99,

Humanity often attributes certain concepts to certain colors. "Color Alchemy: Self-Mastery with the Endless Supply of Color" is a guide to using the colors in one's life to maximize the potential in one's life. Telling readers to associate strength with the red they see in every day life, associate the ones they love with the green they encounter, and make purple to give them a sense of serenity in daily life, among other associations, it's a guide to empower one's mind with something we see everyday- color. "Color Alchemy" is a different sort of self-help book, and recommended for that reason.

Lucid Dreaming
Robert Waggoner
Moment Point Press
PO Box 920287, Needham, MA 02492
9781930491144, $18.95,

Dreams for most people are like blurry movies that are quickly forgotten upon awakening. But they could mean more. "Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self" is a guide to getting in control of one's dreams and using them to get in touch with the inner mind and find what one truly desires, unblinded by society's expectations. Lucid dreaming is a state anyone can access with practice, and is an experience that has to be experienced to truly understand the fascination. "Lucid Dreaming" is a solid guide and a hearty recommendation.

The Sports Shelf

The Art of Catching
Brent Mayne
Cleanline Books
2701 Harbor Blvd. E-2, #203, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
9780981538655, $25.00,

The Catcher is a baseball team's last line of defense against the offense. "The Art of Catching: The Secret and Techniques of Baseball's Most Demanding Position" is a guide for both catchers and coaches of them on how to maximize their skill in this vital position to many teams. With everything from stances, fly balls, and making desperate plays, to even stuff one wouldn't think about like glove mechanics, it's complete and comprehensive on the subject. Enhanced with information on just what's expected for a potential major league catcher, "The Art of Catching" is a must for any would be catcher.

Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Exercise and Sport
Martin S. Hagger & Nikos L.D. Chatzisarantis
Human Kinetics
4726 Paysphere Circle, Chicago, IL 60674
9780736062503, $67.00

Willpower is an incredibly powerful thing. "Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Exercise and Sport" is a complex discussion of the power of motivation when training themselves, be it for overall fitness or for competitive purposes. Taking a technical and scientific approach to building one's self-determination as well as outlining the vital and extreme importance of it in just getting started. Enhanced with bibliographies, indexes, and more, "Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination in Exercise and Sport" is a complete and comprehensive reference for training, a must have for those who take physical fitness seriously.

Pirates on the Prairie
Eric Bergeson
Myers House LLC
813 56th Street, West Des Moines, IA 50266
Resources Unlimited (publicity)
2680 Berkshire Parkway, Clive, Iowa 50325
9780972190022, $17.95

Historian, columnist, and native Minnesotan Eric Bergeson presents Pirates on the Prairie: A True Story, the real-life chronicle of the small-town "Pirates" basketball team of Halstad, Minnesota (population 590) in the year 1952. This plucky group of athletes consistently got the better of teams from towns and cities many times larger. Pirates on the Prairie is as much a tour of mid-twentieth century small-town life as it is an exciting sports chronicle, and is sure to appeal to anyone who enjoys true underdog sports stories. Highly recommended.

The Literary Shelf

A Prophet in His Own Land
Malcolm Boyd
White Crane Books
172 Fifth Avenue #69, Brooklyn, NY 11217
9781590210116, $30.00,

Most of Malcolm Boyd's eighty-five year lifetime has been spent writing, and "A Prophet in His Own Land: A Malcolm Boyd Reader" collects some of the best of Boyd's work under one cover for the first time. From the five years of his body of work, consisting of a wide range of media from prose and poetry to prayers and interviews, Boyd is a voice of the times, and one of the few gay writers to not be afraid of putting his name out there openly. "A Prophet in His Own Land" is a collection that is well worth considering.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Zen and the Art of Sleep
Eric Chiles
Pilatus Publishing
PO Box 82724, Austin, TX 78708
9780972395038, $14.95,

Sleep, despite being something that so many do without effort, is something that eludes so many as well. "Zen and the Art of Sleep" is a guide to attaining a better night's sleep through the principles of Zen Buddhism. Stating that sleep is not something that can be controlled and as soon as one stops trying to do so, sleep should come much easier into their lives. A new approach to a cure for insomnia, "Zen and the Art of Sleep" is something to be considered.

Lifestyle Makeover for Diabetics and Pre-Diabetics
George F. Tohme
Lifestyle Makeover Press
2911 Turtle Creek Blvd., Suite 300, Dallas, TX 75219
9780979121517, $29.95,

Diabetes is something that can't be dealt with a simple diet change. It requires a lifestyle change. "Lifestyle Makeover for Diabetics and Pre-Diabetics: 5 Lifesaving Action Steps You Must Take Now to Prevent, Manage, or Reverse Diabetes and Its Deadly Complications" is for those who don't want diabetes to consume and take over their lives. With advice on dealing with the complications before they start, weight loss, wise food choices, exercise – and not calling it that, general health, and even tips on improving one's sex life. "Lifestyle Makeover for Diabetics and Pre-Diabetics" is a solid choice for anyone fearing their diagnosis, be it potential or current.

I Love to Eat and... Hate to Exercise
Tammy Peterson
1147 W. Courtney Lane, Tempe, AZ 85284
Hudson House
675 Dutchess Turnpike, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603
9781587768729, $19.95,

Good food makes you want to eat more of it, and exercise is all too boring. How do people stay fit with these facts? "I Love to Eat and... Hate to Exercise: Angelic Inspiration to Weight Loss" is the guidebook for those who know how to lose weight, yet simply can't inspire themselves to do things the traditional way. Offering many habits for readers to improve their lifestyle, increase their metabolism and muscle mass while enjoying the food they love, "I Love to Eat and...Hate to Exercise" is a must for anyone who values health but hates the gym.

The Travel Shelf

Discover! America's Great River Road
Pat Middleton
Great River Publishing
W987 Cedar Valley Road, Stoddard, WI 54658
9780971160224, $19.95,

People have always built their settlements near sources of water, but few rivers have as many towns upon it as America's Great River Road. Now in a newly revised and updated edition, "Discover! America's Great River Road: Your Guide to Heritage, Natural History & Recreation" is a guide to the northern portion of the Mississippi River, this particular volume covering everything from St. Paul in Minnesota to Dubuque in Iowa. Covering a massive slew of towns, communities, and cities that run along this river, with their natural and cultural highlights for each of them. "Discover! America's Great River Road" is a series to watch for a different way to explore Americana.

Explore the Virgin Islands
Harry S. Pariser
Manatee Press
PO Box 225001, San Francisco, CA 94122-5001
9781893643598, $19.95,

Virgin implies serene, unspoiled, and the Virgin Islands are just that. "Explore the Virgin Islands" is in its seventh edition, and offers a complete and comprehensive tourist guide for potential travelers to the Virgin islands. With maps, photos, plenty of tourist information such as hotels, car rental, and information on activities abound. An absolute must for anyone considering a trip to somewhere nice this winter, "Explore the Virgin Islands" is solidly recommended.

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

The Jesus Family Tomb Examined
Rene A. Lopez
21st Century Press
2131 W. Republic Rd. PMB 41, Springfield, MO 65807
9780981776903, $17.99,

The resurrection of Christ, many Christians believe it metaphorically, but did it actually happen? "The Jesus Family Tomb Examined: Did Jesus Rise Physically?" asks this controversial question that questions the physical reality of one of the most cherished events in Christianity. With many theories abound, ranging from a cover up two millenniums ago to the DaVinci Code theory of Jesus as a patriarch, "The Jesus Family Tomb Examined" is riveting reading that combines skepticism with respect.

The Church Exposed
Greg Espinosa
Cereb Press
239 Windbrooke Lane, Virginia Beach, VA 23462
9780982267462, $16.99,

Churches are supposed to be nonprofit organizations. Why are some of them looking like that isn't so? "The Church Exposed: Unveiling the Facade of Religious Organizations and their Greed” is an indictment of some churches which have turned dirty and have begun exploiting their congregation for pure profit seeking. Some areas of organized religion have slowly begun resembling more organized crime than a center of spirituality, and Espinosa pulls no punches. "The Church Exposed" is worth reading for any Christian doubting the sanctity of their place of worship.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Relationship Reruns
Tanya White
Awesome Authors in Action Publishing
PO Box 16635, Louisville, KY 40256
9780981684703, $13.99

The journey for Mr. or Mrs. Right is a journey that takes a major part of many people's lives. "Relationships Reruns: How to Break the Cycle of Choosing the Wrong People For The Right Relationships" is a relationship book with a Christian slant dedicated to helping Christian singles stop wading through the purgatory known as the dating pool. With plenty of healthy advice and tips on how to find the right person and making the relationship work with them, "Relationship Reruns" is a solid consideration for any Christian bachelor or bachelorette.

The Military Shelf

Unknown Soldiers
Joseph E. Garland
Protean Press
37-J Whistlestop Mall, Rockport, MA 01966
9780962578038, $29.95

World War II veteran and former 45th Infantry Division member Joseph E. Garland presents Unknown Soldiers: Reliving World War II in Europe, a portrayal of World War II directly through the eyes of the 45th Infantry Division - which served on the front lines of Allied campaigns in Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany. Sixty-five years in the making, Unknown Soldiers collects testimonies that reveal the everyday lives of the men who served, whether driving under fire, seeking love amidst war, or witnessing the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp. A handful of vintage black-and-white photographs illustrate this massive primary source of firsthand testimonies, recounting an unforgettably vivid picture of wartime life. A highly recommended addition to World War II testimonial shelves.

The Cookbook Shelf

Lickin' the Beaters
Siue Moffat
PM Press
PO Box 23912, Oakland, CA 94623
9781604860047, $10.95

Charming, cartoony black-and-white drawings illustrate Lickin' the Beaters, a pint-sized cookbook of delectable low fat vegan desserts. From Gingerbread Cookies to Vegan Yogurt, Poppyseed Pineapple Loaf, Blueberry Cherry Crisp, and much more, these tasty delights have step-by-step preparation instructions suitable for cooks of all skill and experience levels. Enthusiastically recommended not only for vegans, but also for anyone who loves a delicious desserts without an excess of fat.

The Education Shelf

Arguing Conservatism
Mark C. Henrie, editor
Intercollegiate Studies Institute
PO Box 4431, Wilmington, DE 19807-0431
Chicago Distrubution Center (distributor)
11030 S. Langley Ave., Chicago, IL 60628
1933859520, $22.00,

It's no lie that many colleges are left-leaning, but how does one argue their stances when faced with overwhelming odds? "Arguing Conservatism: Four Decades of the Intercollegiate Review" is a large series of essays on arguing the typically conservative viewpoints in today's colleges. With plenty of scholarly ideas that are backed up with thorough research and quotations, it's an ideal political companion for the intellectual conservative in academia. "Arguing Conservatism" is an academic conservative's best friend, highly recommended.

College Exploration on the Internet
Andrew Morkes, editor
College & Career Press
PO Box 300484, Chicago, IL 60630
0974525146, $19.95,

The Internet is more vast than any library one could hope to find . . . only if you use it effectively. Now in a newly revised and updated second edition, "College Exploration on the Internet: A Student and Counselor's Guide to More than 685 Websites" outlines everything a high school student or his or her guidance counselor needs to know to effectively use the internet to research college, financial aid, campus visits and housing, admissions qualifications, and so much more. A complete and comprehensive reference, "College Exploration on the Internet" is a must have for any student planning for the future.

Fast Food Education
P. Mark Taylor & Darris J. Brock
Koinonia Associates
109 Leinart Street, Clinton, TN 37716
9781606580004, $12.95,

The recent success of the TV Game Show "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" has pointed out one thing - Americans aren't retaining what they're taught in schools. "Fast Food Education: Calling for a More Natural Approach to Teaching & Learning in America" discusses the America's educational system and its many, many problems. Discussing this with scholarly intent with from a doctor of mathematics education and man with many years of teaching under his belt, both are well versed in the field of education and present many nice ideas to improve it. "Fast Food Education" is a must read for the future of American education.

No Teacher Left Behind
Bryan Fiese
Motivated Performance
628 Canyon Rim Dr., Dripping Springs, TX 78620
0981852505, $19.99,

Teachers have careers spanning decades, sometimes as long as fifty years. But the kids of the 1960s are much different from the children of the 2000s. "No Teacher Left Behind: Keeping Up With and Captivating 'Generation Next' in the Classroom" is a guide for teachers who have fallen behind in the times and as such, are lost how to keep their current class interested in learning. With advice on what works and what doesn't in the modern era of education, "No Teacher Left Behind" is a must for any teacher.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Twelve Dreams of Laima
Lee Cross
Virginia City Publishing
PO Box 51389, Sparks, NV 89435
9780978759612, $13.95,

Many people subscribe to the notion of having previous lives. But what if you could relive them? "The Twelve Dreams of Laima" tells of Arthur who encounters an unusual woman who resides alone in the ancient forests of Europe. Laima lets Arthur relive his previous lives, but there are strings attached. Psychological and thought provoking, "The Twelve Dreams of Laima" is a strong choice for fiction and fantasy fans alike.

The Undead
R. Bertematti
Tridium Press
49 Riverbend Drive, North Brunswick, NJ 08902
9780615248523, $22.95,

The most unsuspecting people have the power to save the world. "The Undead: First of the Deposyni Chronicles" follows young Madison Blanchford, just starting her life in high society at the turn of the twentieth century. A powerful vampyre has arrived in New York City, and has chosen Madison as his target. In order to save her life and whoever he'd choose after her, Madison must somehow put a stop to an evil that has plagued the world for centuries. "The Undead" is a riveting adventure tale, highly recommended.

Fierce & Unequal Combat
K. Gordon Green
Scale Books
c/o Barking Lily Books
6260 St. Georges Ave., West Vancouver, BC V7W 1Z7 Canada
9780980992908, $24.95,

One would think hunting moose in Canada would be like hunting rats in New York City- you shouldn't have to look far. "Fierce & Unequal Combat: A Northern Fantasy" follows city dweller Henry Spiggot as he tries to prove his worth as a traditional man as he leaves Toronto to hunt down a moose. What follows is a hilarious and charming tale of misadventure, sure to keep readers reading in between of bouts of laughter. "Fierce & Unequal Combat" is a solid choice for reading for fiction readers looking for something with a Canadian flavor.

Ratha's Courage
Clare Bell
Imaginator Press
#194, 6400 Baltimore Nat'l Pike, Baltimore, MD 21228-3930
9780974560366, $12.95,

Culture Clash is always a problem when two peoples meet for the first time. "Ratha's Courage" is the fifth book in the Named series of Fantasy novels. Ratha is faced with her clan's encounter with a new group of hunters who depending on how diplomacy goes, may soon be an enemy if she doesn't watch her step and her words. Offering a solid moral lesson as well as entertainment, "Ratha's Courage" is a solid fantasy pick for young adult readers.

The Economics Shelf

Banking on Basel
Daniel K. Tarullo
Peterson Institute for International Economics
1750 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036-1903
9780881324235, $26.95,

For every effect, there is a cause. "Banking on Basel: The Future of International Financial Regulation" is a scholarly examination of the recent events in the world market such as the 2007 Subprime Mortgage Crisis. Discussing the role of regulation in these events, some of the international regulations that have been laid down in recent years and how they have been improved, and how they can be improved in the future, it's everything one needs to know to accurately evaluate today's world market. Enhanced with plenty of charts, graphs, and indexes, "Banking on Basel" is a must for any economist who doesn't fully understand Basel and its consequences.

The Gardening Shelf

Organic Gardening Down South
Nellie Neal
B.B. Mackey Books
PO Box 475, Wayne, PA 19087
9781893443105, $15.95,

One doesn't need chemicals to create a great garden. "Organic Gardening Down South" is a gardening book aimed at doing things the old-fashioned way in the south. With tips and advice for dealing with the challenges the south faces agriculturally. From harsh climate to pests and diseases, the book offers solutions for most of the growing problems southern gardeners would face. A strong choice for a gift or for oneself, "Organic Gardening Down South" is a southern gardener's best friend.

The Photography Shelf

Everett Baker
Fifth House Publishers
1511, 1800-4 St. SW, Calgary, AL T2S 2S5
9781897252451, $26.95,

A time passed, and only photographs retain the images of what once was. "Everett Baker's Saskatchewan: Portraits of an Era" is a collection of photographs from several decades ranging from 1937 onwards. The photos paint a picture of everyday life of the time and offers a story through photographs, vividly displaying the life and times of its people. "Everett Baker's Saskatchewan" is a solid book of photography and quite the coffee table book for anyone who appreciates the history of Saskatchewan.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

UFO Secrecy and the Fall of J. Robert Oppenheimer
Donald R. Burleson
Black Mesa Press
PO Box 583, Roswell, NM 88202-0583
9780964958067, $9.95

The concept of extraterrestrial communications with the Earth is a hotly debated subject, even to this day. "UFO Secrecy and the Fall of J. Robert Oppenheimer" discusses this pivotal figure in the debate of intelligent life visiting earth. Oppenheimer was allegedly involved in the retrieval of two fallen UFO saucers, and Burleson looks into Oppenheimer's dismissal from government work and elaborate about what may be the truth. "UFO Secrecy and the Fall of J. Robert Oppenheimer" is an ideal read for those who doubt the truth about America's relations with places not of this Earth.

The Political Science Shelf

The Long Slog
Stump Connolly
Dead Tress Press
2326 W. Medill, Chicago, IL 60647
9781879652460, $17.95,

The year of 2008 seemed longer than it should have thanks to the Presidential Election. "The Long Slog: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Nomination" is a discussion tackling the long lasting and vicious election that rolled out during the past year. Discussing the moves of each of the candidates move by move throughout the election with relevant footnotes to the things that were not discussed... covering the primaries up to the great debate about who the vice-presidential candidates were going to be. "The Long Slog" is very much intriguing reading for political buffs.

The Psychology Shelf

Winds Against the Mind
Lola Bamigboye
Building Towards Success
PO Box 275, Brentwood, TN 37024
9780981753706, $23.99,

A sick mind is worse than most physical ailments. "Winds Against the Mind: Understanding Common Mental Illnesses is a collection of anecdotes and stories about Lola Bamigboye and her time spent as a psychiatric nurse. Stories are about a wide variety of patients with a wide variety of ailments, and the tone ranges from absolutely depressing with spirits-raising hopeful. "Winds Against the Mind" is a must for those who find the human mind endlessly fascinating.

The Environmental Studies Shelf

The New Solar Electric Home
Joel Davidson & Fran Orner
Aatec Publications
PO Box 7119, Ann Arbor, MI 48107
9780937948170, $39.95,

There is free electricity beaming down on one's house; one just needs to know how to use it. Now in a newly updated and expanded third edition, "The New Solar Electric Home: The Complete Guide to Photovoltaics for Your Home" is a guide for embracing solar energy for one's home and cutting one's traditional power bill immensely, while helping the planet as well. It's called Photovoltiacs and "The New Solar Electric Home" is a complete and comprehensive guide to fully utilizing it for one's home.

The Science Shelf

Solar Sails
Giovanni Vulpetti, Les Johnson, & Gregory L. Matloff
Copernicus Books
233 Spring Street, New York, NY 10013
9780387344041, $27.50,

Wind has been an abundant resource which allowed man to travel great distances before electricity. Could wind also be the thing that allows man to travel great distances through space? "Solar Sails: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel" takes the concept of solar travel and applies it to what could possibly be a new revolution in interplanetary travel as time goes forward. Claiming them as an absolute necessity given the limits of current fossil fuels in space travel, it details the technology and presents some very intriguing ideas. Enhanced with indexes, glossaries, and recommendations for further reading, "Solar Sails" is a strong choice for those very intrigued with astronomy.

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

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