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Small Press Bookwatch

Volume 6, Number 7 July 2007 Home | SPBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice American History Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Philosophy Shelf Christian Studies Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Real Estate Shelf Biography Shelf Business Shelf
Art Shelf Poetry Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Fiction Shelf Music Shelf
Money/Finance Shelf Religion/Spirituality Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf
Education Shelf Social Issues Shelf Travel Shelf
Parenting Shelf Hunting/Fishing Shelf Cookbook Shelf
Sports Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

A Little Book Of Monsters
Llyn Hunter
Bobcat Publishing
5105 Cascabel Road, Atascadero, CA 93422
9780977641901, $7.95 1-805-462-9059

Although originally written for young readers in grades 7-10, "A Little Book Of Monsters" is a delightfully original and entertaining little volume of descriptive poetry showcasing twenty-six creatures of myth, legend, and folklore. Each beast is nicely illustrated in full color making this 32-page 5" by 6" book is a very highly recommended read for adults as well and one that will prove to be as enjoyable as it is informative with its rhyming introductions to the strange creatures conjured up by human imagination down through the centuries. 'Zombie': In the hear to Africa/where sorcerers abound/Zombies, waling corpses;/The living dead are found.//Robbing tombs of bodies/The dead are brought to life,/Returned to an existence/Filled with work and strife.//To take it from its master/Is the only way to save/A soulless body from this doom/And restore it to the grave.

The American History Shelf

America's Living History
Suzanne Sheumaker & Craig Sheumaker
Red Corral Publishing
505-1 South Highway 40, #240, Jackson, CA 95642
9780979259807, $29.95 1-888-733-7370

"America's Living History: The Early Years" is the collaborative work of Suzanne and Craig Sheumaker who succeeded in compiling and writing a unique and history oriented travel guide showcasing three hundred historically significant destinations showcasing America's heritage from its beginning European contacts down through the mid-nineteenth century and the opening of the country to the west. "America's Living History" is much more than just a travel guide for the historically inclined, it also lays out a fascinating survey of the history of the founding and settling of an infant nation as illustrated by the histories of these recommended tourist sites and, taken as a whole, tell the remarkable story of our country's most formative years. Profusely illustrated with some five hundred color photographs, regional maps and tourist details, "America's Living History" offers a thoroughly 'reader friendly' text composed of brief and informative histories of the various places setting them into a proper context within the greater drama of nation building and development. "America's Living History" is a very highly recommended addition to school and community library American History reference collections, and a valued guidebook for parents wanting to instill a love of history and a respect for America's past in their children by taking them for on-site inspections of those places where events and personalities of the past have shaped and influenced the present.

The Horseshoe Curve
Dennis P. McIlnay
Seven Oaks Press
826 Walnut Street, Hollidayburg, PA 16648
9780977980512, $29.95 1-866-695-5960

"The Horseshoe Curve: Sabotage And Subversion In The Railroad City" by academician and history Dennis P. McIlnay is the true and detailed story of how on Saturday, June 13, 1942 a German submarine sailed along the eastern coast of Long Island some one hundred and five miles from New York City shrouded by a midnight fog seeking to destroy the a key element of American railroading near Altoona, Pennsylvania known as Horseshoe Curve. It is also the story of the FBI's wartime search of 225 homes in Altoona on July 1, 1942 looking for suspected Nazi sympathizers and resulting in the controversial internments of some 15,000 German and Italian Americans within the United States during World War II. In drawing upon more than 300 original sources including diaries, biographies, published and unpublished histories, military records, engineering studies, company documents, court briefs, and FBI files (these last obtained through the Freedom of Information Act), "The Horseshoe Curve" weaves together three compelling events into a single coherent history. An inherently fascinating and thoroughly informative read, this is a documented history of a complex human and organizational drama that includes the founding of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the building of the Horseshoe Curve, making "The Horseshoe Curve" a remarkably vivid and very highly recommended history for academic and community library 20th Century American History collections , as well.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Miranda Queen of Argyll: Past Sins
Julia Phillips
One Level Higher Publishing
849 Buchanan Ln., Longmont, CO 80501
9780978527969, $19.95

Mythology and literature expert Julia Phillips presents Miranda Queen of Argyll: Past Sins, a fantasy novel about a woman leading a double life. Though she would like nothing more than to live comfortably in Denver, her responsibilities as Queen of Argyll and leader of the Council of Magicks pit her against terrible threats. Tasked with being mother and mentor to an eight-year-old child sorceress Bryn, she is dismayed when the child falls into an unnatural coma caused by hidden enemies. Miranda must unravel the clues and spells to identify the culprits and stop their malevolent sorcery before further harm comes to everyone she loves. A profound, sweeping fantasy narrative featuring a strong heroine.

The Philosophy Shelf

A Failure of Nerve
Edwin H. Friedman
Church Publishing
445 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9781596270428, $28.00 1-800-242-1918

A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix is a new edition of the Rabbi Edwin H. Friedman's seminal treatise, as relevant today as when it was first published posthumously in 1999. A Failure of Nerve examines fallacies of emotional and intellectual thinking that can bedevil leaders of individual, group, and national efforts, including the fallacy of paying too much attention to raw accumulated data; the fallacy of allowing empathy for others' feelings (normally a positive quality) to corrupt logical reasoning or blind one's measured consideration of new ideas; and the importance of the expression of the self in a leader. A highly scholarly and academic perspective on common misperceptions and roadblocks to confronting difficult problems. "As with the treadmill effect, the concern with finding the right answer is both contributory to a fixed orientation and symptomatic of it. And yet the problem is emotional, not cerebral. Perpetually seeking new answers to established questions rather than reframing the basic question itself not only betrays lack of distance on the part of the searcher; it also prevents obtaining the distance necessary for being able to think, much less go, in new directions. Seeking answers can be its own treadmill. Changing the question enables one to step off." A seminal contribution to cognitive philosophy and leadership studies shelves.

The Christian Studies Shelf

Mom to Mom, Day to Day
Danielle Bean
Pauline Books and Media
50 Saint Pauls Avenue, Boston, MA 02130-3491
9780819848550, $15.95

Written by homeschooler and mother of eight Danielle Bean, Mom to Mom, Day to Day: Advice & Support for Catholic Living is a repository of wisdom especially for Catholic women and mothers. Danielle Bean is author of the popular daily blog, and when her readers send her questions about motherhood, family, and general living advice, she provides answers grounded in her day-to-day life experience. Mom to Mom, Day to Day is a deeply spiritual book, blending equal parts of practical family members and reverence for the divine. "We humans cling to the false notion that ultimately we are in control of our lives. Finding ourselves unexpectedly pregnant reminds us of the uncomfortable truth: We are not in charge. Sometimes the hardest words in the world to pray and to really mean are 'They will be done.' We fear God's will might not match our own. We forget that when God sends us a new challenge, he also sends us the graces we need to handle it." Especially recommended as a giftbook for recent Catholic brides.

Own Your Faith
Mark Tabb
PO Box 35001, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80935
9781600060977, $12.99

Written by 2004 Gold Medallion finalist Mark Tabb, Own Your Faith: The Adventure of Following Christ in College is a guide for college students to the sticky problems of living out one's religious beliefs in an increasingly secular postmodern world. Chapters discuss learning to embrace faith in God through thinking for oneself, rather than simply accepting beliefs spoon-fed by others; the value of forming connections; preparing for "the inevitable storms that will confront your faith"; and much more. "The difference between being told what to think and learning how to think is the difference between a faith that is your own and one that is nothing more than an extension of those who programmed your mind. How can you tell which you have? You've already experienced the difference in your relationship with every math student's best friend, Bob, aka, Mr. Back of the Book. When brains lock up and an answer is nowhere to be found, Bob comes to the rescue... as long as the problem has an odd number." Highly recommended for Christians of all walks of life, not just those about to begin college.

Give Us This Day
Christopher Levan
Church Publishing
3101 N. 7th Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110
9781596270466, $12.00

Written by ordained minister Christopher Levan, Give Us This Day: Lenten Reflections on Baking Bread and Discipleship is an anthology of meditations for every day of Lent, encouraging the reader to link faith ("our daily bread") with the day-to-day life in the modern world. Each of the forty holy days and Easter Sunday has a few pages devoted to it, with an opening prayer, a scriptural quotation, and insights for readers of all backgrounds into spiritual discipleship and what it means to be Christian. In addition, Give Us This Day features a number of recipes for bread, from French Baguettes to Sticky Buns to Croissants (An Excuse to Eat Butter) and No Fret Pancakes. "Guilt costs. There's a reason why priests say that confession is good for the soul. You will discover, first, that you are not alone... And second, that there is a miracle called absolution... You may think that this absolution is the get-out-of-guilt-free ticket. It's not. Rather, it is the affirmation that you are a dearly loved child of the earth. Nothing you do can alter that state. Even your atheism and scorn are not obstacles to the fact that the One who made this Universe loves you!" Highly recommended for personal Catholic meditation, inspiration, and devotional shelves.

At the Altar of Sexual Idolatry
Steve Gallagher
Pure Life Ministries
14 School Street, Dry Ridge 41035
9780970220202, $13.99

Now in a revised and expanded 20th anniversary edition, At the Altar of Sexual Idolatry is a guide for Christian men about the struggle to overcome sexual addiction through faith and spirituality. Author Steve Gallagher, founder and president of Pure Life Ministries, discusses his strict views on sexuality and means by which faithful individuals can overcome their base desires and live a more godly life. It should be noted that At the Altar of Sexual Idolatry emphatically condemns all forms of sex outside of marriage - including masturbation. "The devil can dangle a carrot in front of your face, but there is something inside you that actually wants that carrot. You aren't lustful because some demon comes on you. You are lustful because you have within you a desire for what isn't right." A powerful guide to finding inner peace despite the dual rampant onslaught of today's sexually charged culture from without, and the utterly selfish sexual cravings from within.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Winning the Battle Against Unwanted Hair Growth
Laura M. Regan, CE, CMLT
Divine Books
2205 West Eagle Road, Phoenix, AZ 85085
9780978834104, $19.95

Written in plain terms for lay readers by certified electrologist and medical laser technician Laura M. Regan, Winning the Battle Against Unwanted Hair Growth is far more than cosmetic guide - in addition to weighing the pros and cons of different hair removal methods, Regan also explores hormonal imbalance and other serious health problems that can cause excessive hair growth in women, and stresses that removing the hair itself is not as important as identifying such conditions (if one is present) and receiving proper treatment. Of course, the natural hormonal changes caused by menopause or other factors can lead to excess unwanted hair as well. Winning the Battle Against Unwanted Hair Growth is not just for women; men can also have extreme unwanted hair growth, and a chapter is devoted especially to men in this unfortunate situation. Packed with no-nonsense information about hair removal methods ranging from shaving to depilatories to electrolysis and more, Winning the Battle Against Unwanted Hair Growth is highly recommended as a first-rate, professional's-eye-view of its subject.

Your Body, Your Responsibility
Debra M. Corbo, PT, CPT & Douglas J. Splittgerber, CPT
Wheatmark, Inc.
610 East Delano Street, Suite 104, Tucson, AZ 85705
9781587366970, $36.95

Written by Debra M. Corbo, PT, CPT and Douglas J. Splittgerber, CPT, Your Body, Your Responsibility is a "user's manual" to keeping the human body healthy emphasizing an alignment resistance training method for stretching and strengthening. Your Body, Your Responsibility addresses why dieting alone fails as a means to procure weight control and optimum health; in order to effectively burn calories, the body needs muscles to nurture. Simple cardio exercise has its own benefits, but cardio exercise does not necessarily work out all muscles, and muscles that aren't used in the cardio may even decrease as the body pillages them for nutrients in favor of fat stores (it's the body's evolved survival technique to stay alive in times of famine, yet deleterious to human health in the modern age of plenty). What's a person to do? Your Body, Your Responsibility offers a basic education in how different muscles and joints work, and recommends a stretching and resistance exercise routine to strengthen all muscles and keep the self healthy. An accompanying 1 hour 15 minute DVD guides the reader through stretches, workout techniques, and no-nonsense advice about posture, self-care, and using one's body properly. Knowledge is power, and knowing how one's body functions mechanically empowers one to keep it in optimum condition. Your Body, Your Responsibility is highly recommended.

Young Misery
Dr. David Palframan
Creative Bound, Inc.
151 Tansley Drive, Box 424, Carp, Ontario K0A 1L0
9781894439299, $19.50

Child and family psychiatrist of over 30 years' experience Dr. David Palframan presents Young Misery: A Guide for Parents and Professionals, a guide to childhood depression, its causes, and what to do about it. Written for readers of all backgrounds, especially parents, teachers, and family doctors, Young Misery covers the symptoms of depression; disorders that accompany it such as anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or bipolar disorder; suicidal behavior and how to respond to it; and much more. Literally a life-saving guide, Young Misery is very highly recommended for public and school library shelves, as well as for the personal libraries of anyone who works with children for a living.

The Real Estate Shelf

The Bubble is Over - and Here's How You Can Cash In!
George Smith, Ph.D.
Arbor Books
19 Spear Road, Suite 301, Ramsey, NJ 07446
9780978610722, $17.95

Real estate investment, management, and development expert George Smith presents The Bubble is Over - and Here's How You Can Cash In!, a guide to real estate investment in the post-bubble world. Smith observes how the laws of supply and demand have finally reared their heads and sent property prices and values tumbling down - leaving behind resonating repercussions and unfortunate victims, some of whom owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth. But the end of the bubble doesn't mean the end of moneymaking opportunities. The Bubble is Over walks novice and seasoned real estate investors alike though the basics of turning a profit in a bear market. Chapters cover why moderately-priced homes are recession free, what to look for in a good contractor, what to watch out for in foreclosures by public auction, the A to Z of buying a property, and much more. An excellent and very timely real estate investment guide packed with tips, tricks, and techniques for adapting to the latest shifts in the market.

Buy and Hold
David Schumacher, Ph.D.
Schumacher Enterprises
The Covington, 3 Pursuit #225, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656-4213
9780970116239, $19.95

Written by successful investor, real estate expert, and magazine columnist David Schumacher, Ph.D., Buy and Hold: 7 Steps to a Real Estate Fortune is a non-nonsense guide to real-estate investment, step-by-step. Buy and Hold is the antithesis to "flipping" guides; instead of buying property with the goal of reselling it, Buy and Hold is about buying property and using it to generate long-term profit. Chapters cover how to use the Internet to help one purchase real estate, how to analyze the growth potential of property, timing one's investment to gain a boost from the economy, the advantages of using a real estate broker, real estate axioms, and much more. "Avoid the loss of income by performing a periodic rental analysis. Keep up with what is happening in the market and adjust the rents accordingly." A solidly practical, user-friendly guide especially for serious-minded real estate investors in it for the long haul.

Prepare to Profit
Sheri Alford & Dr. Ahmet Ucmakli, M.D.
Tam Tam Press
39252 Winchester Rd., Suite 107423, Murrieta, CA 92563
9780978768102, $15.95

Written by realtor Sheri Alford and Dr. Ahmet Ucmakli, M.D., Prepare for Profit: Your Guide to Creating Wealth in Any Real Estate Market is a sourcebook that teaches the reader to see through get-rich-quick scams and plan solid strategies for long-term financial gain in real estate investing. Chapters cover how to avoid common mistakes made by beginners and professionals alike; how to keep one's sense of humor and deflect naysayers; the advantages and disadvantages of using real estate to make money; the purchase, management, and sales dimensions of real estate investing; and much more. "Every investor needs to figure out what method works the best in their own location as well as for their own personality and preferences. Some of the methods taught today include preconstruction opportunities, lease options, preforeclosures, foreclosures, no money down, lots of money down, etc... If at all possible, remember to avoid trusting any single source for all of your information. You have to verify its truth or disprove it yourself... Using a team of trusted advisors is a more efficient way to learn about your locale and exactly what method will best suit you and your investment needs." An enthusiastically recommended primer for anyone involved in or contemplating real estate investment.

The Best in the Game
Kwesi Nichols & Tristan Cooley
Real Estate-Duo Publishing, Inc.
3695 Cascade Road, Ste. F -202, Atlanta, GA 30331
9780977867509, $17.99

Written by Kwesi Nichols and Tristan Cooley, The Best in the Game: Let Us Show You How to Get Rich in Real Estate is a step-by-step guide to making money in real estate. Intended for lay readers (one doesn't have to be a wealthy tycoon or have an advanced degree in economics to put these techniques into practice!), The Best in the Game covers how to find the best distressed properties and foreclosures, how to legally flip properties, insider's tips for drumming up financing, how to purchase properties with no money down, and the nuts and bolts of investing in retail properties for profit. "You have to develop an understanding of how the foreclosure process works in your locality in order to uncover the information you need. Local custom and tradition may be more influential than simplicity in procedures. You have to discover how things have always been done around here. Your real estate lawyer and agent can be a big help. So too can courthouse employees working in the foreclosure section. Any legal move in real estate becomes part of the public record." An excellent primer for anyone considering investing in real estate for profit.

The Biography Shelf

Letters From Madelyn
Elaine K. Sachez
Lainey Publishing
2725 Prominent Court South, Salem, OR 97302
9780898027778, $14.95

Letters From Madelyn: Chronicles of a Caregiver is the true story of a Kansas farm woman who, despite her own failing health, provided care for her husband after his debilitating stroke. Her story is told through letters to her daughter, and included anecdotes about the difficulty of obtaining proper health care, the long-term realities of illness and aging, and the transcendent powers of faith, humor, and family. Details about surviving the day-to-day labors of physical caregiving as well as a big picture about what truly matters in life make Letters From Madelyn an invaluable read, cover to cover, especially for anyone coping with a loved one's slow deterioration.

Ice Cream in the Cupboard
Pat Moffett
Garrison-Savanna Publishing, LLC
257-06 Pembroke Ave., Great Neck, NY 11020
9780974227818, $19.95

Ice Cream in the Cupboard: A True Story of Early Onset Alzheimer's is very much a true love story. Written by husband Pat Moffett, Ice Cream in the Cupboard tells of his relationship with his wife, Carmen Moffet, together with whom he raised five beautiful children; just as they were planning their retirement, Carmen's behavior started to change in disturbing ways - she started to have both verbal and physical outbursts, and lapses of forgetting. Doctors could not find anything physically wrong with Carmen, until incidents at Carmen's workplace forced her to see one who diagnosed her illness as early-onset Alzheimer's. Ice Cream in the Cupboard describes a strong bond, one that Carmen continued to cherish even as her self and her memories of Pat faded away. A poignant testimony about the harsh realities of a pervasive disease, and the indescribable strength of love.

The Business Shelf

Turn Browsers Into Buyers
Michelle Howe, MBA
Internet Word Magic
14252 Culver Drive, #A534, Irvine, CA 92604
9780975950920, $39.95

Written by Michelle Howe, the president of Internet Word Magic, Turn Browsers Into Buyers: Secrets for Turning an Internet Profit is a guide to improving the effectiveness of one's website as a marketing tool. Chapters discuss how online copywriting is different from print copywriting and how to create online copy that captivates the reader (for example, avoid technical jargon unless one's entire intended market is expected to be fluent in it); which marketing strategies work on the Internet (in addition to being amoral and legally questionable, spam/bulk email is emphatically not effective!), and a wealth of other tips, tricks, and techniques. "Remember the three-click rule; don't make them click more than three times to make the sale." An easy-to-follow "must-have" of tips, tricks and techniques for anyone running a web site for business advertising or profit.

Doing Business With Jordan
Philip Dew, consulting editor
GMB Publishing
525 South 4th Street, #241, Philadelphia, PA 19147
9781846730542, $143.00

Now in an updated, revised, and significantly expanded second edition, "Doing Business With Jordan: A Guide To Investment Opportunities & Business Practices" is an indispensable reference for any business or company seeking to do business in the Middle Eastern country of Jordan. Under the deft editorship of Philip Dew, "Doing Business With Jordan" presents an introduction to Jordan in terms of its geography, geology, history, and economy. Then such specific issues are presented with respect to the five sectors of electricity, agriculture, tourism, water, and 'The Regeneration of Downtown Amman'. Clearly presented 'how to' information is provided with respect to forming a business venture, the law of commercial agents and intermediaries, 'JIB' and 'FDI', and free zones. Aqaba special economic zones and development corporations are discussed in detail. Jordanian tax and regulatory are discussed at length as are the Amman stock exchange, as well as banking regulation and supervision. Of special note is the chapter devoted to media and advertising. "Doing Business With Jordan" concludes with up-to-date information on Jordanian labor laws, living and working conditions, residential and commercial property markets. Enhanced with three appendices providing useful addresses and contact details, general information, and contributor contact details, "Doing Business With Jordan" is an essential reference for any American corporation contemplating doing any kind of business in Jordan. Companies considering (or actively engaged in) doing business anywhere overseas should visit the Global Market Place website for a complete listing of all of the 'Doing Business' titles in their Global Market Briefings series.

The Art Shelf

Art That Dares
Kittredge Cherry
AndroGyne Press
1700 Shattuck Avenue, #81, Berkeley, CA 94709
1933993294, $38.95

Deftly compiled by author and art historian Kittredge Cherry, "Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, And More" is an iconoclastic collection of artwork with themes of Jesus as being gay or female. These are works of imaginative, thoughtful, and thought-provoking art that have been censored -- and in some cases destroyed -- because of political pressures brought about by conventional Christian communities and authorities. In addition to the full color reproductions of the artworks themselves, "Art That Dares" also provides their historical context with the artists fascinating and informative stories about how they came to create their works. This collection of challenging Christian images is an especially recommended acquisition for personal and academic library Art History collections and of particular interest for seminary students of Contemporary Christian Issues.

Painting Life
Robert L. Bonn
Richard Altschuler & Associates Inc.
100 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019
9781884092121, $29.95

Written by City University of New York professor Robert L. Bonn, Painting Life: The Art of Pieter Bruegel, The Elder is an extraordinary tour through the visual and social landscapes in thirty-six major paintings by Flemish Renaissance painter Pieter Bruegel, The Elder (1520/25-1569). Plates of the paintings themselves illustrate Painting Life in glorious full color, while chapters discuss Bruegel's genius in capturing the qualities of human life from work to play, foolishness, and conflict; expressions of Bruegel's anthropology and social philosophy in his creations; and stories of the influential cities where Bruegel's paintings hang today: Madrid, Vienna, Antwerp and Brussels, Rome and Naples, San Diego, Prague, and New York City. A seminal excursion into the timeless testimony of classical art.

The Drawing Breakthrough Book
John Hastings
Draw 3 Lines Publishing
PO Box 1522, Hillsboro, OR 97123-3954
9780974941820, $15.95

It was when John Hastings become frustrated with the drawing lessons he was taking in 1998 that he began simplifying the process of learning how to draw. With a life-long interest in learning new skills and a belief that thee was a missing link in the traditional approach to teaching drawing, John broke down the skills involved in the drawing process into small functional parts. The result was the development of a new way of teaching non-specialist aspiring art students how to draw with a minimum of confusion and a maximum of efficiency. The key is that within every drawn picture there are three types of simple 'building-block' lines. When mastered, these building-block lines can be utilized to draw anything from the simple to the complex, from the primitive to the elegant. Very highly recommended for personal studies and as a supplement for art class introductory drawing curriculums, "The Drawing Breakthrough Book: A Shortcut to Artistic Excellence" offers the results of John's years of experience and research in the form of step-by-step, 'student friendly' instructions and exercises that anyone can employ in order to quickly achieve competence in their own artwork.

The Poetry Shelf

Reason Enough
Ida Vitale
Host Publications
1000 East 7th Street, Suite 201, Austin, TX 78702
9780924047428, $12.00

Deftly translated into English by Sarah Pollack (Professor of Hispanic Literature, College of Staten Island, City University of New York), "Reason Enough" is a bi-lingual anthology of Spanish verse by the Uruguay poet Ida Vitale. Each of the poems comprising this impressive 77-page compendium of her work was originally published in Montevideo in 1972 and address many of Vitale's concerns including the process of literary creation, poetry in contemporary society, and 'humanity's ethical response to nature and history'. Each individual poem is presented in the original Spanish on the left page and its English translation on the right page. "Reason Enough" will prove to be a welcome introduction for a contemporary South American poet of skill and ability to an appreciative North American audience. 'Dawn Of The Lonely': The northeastern rose withdraws,/the southern rose excuses herself./All beings, all ardors/open their exact folding screens./The air cries out with no response/when loneliness/goads bloodthirsty dogs/and a hand at the screeching limit/brings close the remains.

Common Sense
C. G. Ferrel
Acheulean Publishing
PO Box 6166, Rock Island, IL 61204
0972968423, $14.95

The succinctly written free verse poetry of C. G. Ferrel ranges far and wide for its subject matter. Here is a body of work that ranges from Geronimo to J.F.K, from the Mississippi river to Alcatraz prison, from broken treaties with Native Americans to standing up for what you believe in. Thoughtful, thought-provoking, and occasionally inspired, "Common Sense" is a compilation of poems that will well serve to introduce appreciative readers to a contemporary poet of ability, imagination, sensitivity, and passion. 'Lonely Range': The cowboy rides the lonely range./Singing low the cowboy's song,/To sooth the nervous beast he rides/On his journey, slow and long.//Alone he rides a quiet trail/Alert for hidden dangers./And seldom does he ever see,/The passing of a stranger.

Joshua Kryah, Ph.D.
Nightboat Books
7 Fishkill Avenue, Cold Spring, NY 10516
9780976718543, $14.95

Winner of the 2005 Nightboat Poetry Prize, Glean (the title refers to the gathering of grain after harvest) is an anthology of free verse (sometimes so free-verse that the words are chaotically arranged) poems by Missouri native and journal-published poet Joshua Kryah. The sparse verses explore the question: how can faith persist, when prayer can fail to elicit a response? When an absence is all we may ever glimpse of the divine, what is the true meaning of spirituality, and when does it become more real than that which it pursues? A thoughtfully contemplative examination of the great mysteries of life and faith, Glean is highly recommended for slow and careful deliberation. "Liminal (your voice so terribly human, its distance): Charged, the despotic fire banks. // (It was told to.) // Ash arches even further, its single shadow / listless, pre-determined. // Summoned by the great cloud, its remains scattered / in every direction, I stand neither here nor there. // The interminable space, the unbeliever. // Tell me to breathe.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Tarot for the New Aeon
P. C. Tarantino
Alternative Insights Publishing
PO Box 1519, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
9780976618409, $24.95

Written by Thoth deck tarot teacher P. C. Tarantino, who studied the art of Thoth tarot and Aleister Crowley's writings for twenty-eight years, Tarot for the New Aeon: A Practical Guide to the Power and Wisdom of the Thoth Tarot is an in-depth effort to make Crowley's wisdom of the Qabalah, alchemy, astrology, and numerology accessible to modern readers and tarot practitioners of all backgrounds. Chapters examine the Thoth tarot deck card by card with black-and-white illustrations, explore how to find one's Personal Guidance cards, offer tips for interpreting readings, especially those under unusual conditions, and much more. A superb addition to metaphysical studies shelves, recommended for anyone intrigued by tarot and its divination and character-revealing potential.

Space/Time Magic
Taylor Ellwood
Immanion Press
8 Rowley Grove, Stafford, Staffordshire U.K.
9781904853268, $19.99 / 12.99 Brit. pounds

Space/Time Magic is a metaphysical studies guide to taking control of the complex probabilities of one's life. Chapters describe how to use sigils to manifest multiple probabilities; how to use the DNA spiral to explore space/time; writing as a divination practice; how to use technology to enhance space/time workings; and much more. Space/Time Magic literally lives up to its title in its study of mystical practices that affect the four dimensions, and its down-to-earth terminology makes in accessible to readers of all backgrounds. "In magic, particularly results magic, there is a tendency to expect that the result will occur now. This tendency is dangerous, showing as it does that you've fallen into the brainwashing of linear time. No result can be measured as occurring at a specific moment of time, and to try to limit magic in such a manner is ultimately to emasculate your workings. Everything, and this includes magic, happens in its own time." A fascinating and worthy addition to new age and modern-day magic shelves, featuring step-by-step exercises after each chapter.

The Self-Help Shelf

Building Personal Leadership
Joe Farcht
Genesis Publishing
c/o Morgan James Publishing, LLC
1225 Franklin Ave., Ste. 32, Garden City, NY 11530-1693
9781600371653, $17.95 1-800-485-4943

Written by Master Personal and Executive Coach Joe Farcht, Building Personal Leadership: Inspirational Tools & Techniques for Work & Life is a self-help guide packed cover to cover with tips, tricks, and techniques for cultivating leadership ability in oneself, and greater success in one's work and life. From improving personal productivity through prioritization, organization, and communication, to overcoming barriers to success ranging from inner fear to outside resistance, Building Personal Leadership is applicable to readers amid a diversity of careers and life goals. "If you want to grow more than you are now, set a few goals in one or more of the six areas of your life. Then fill out a goal sheet. Plan how to achieve your goals. Communicate your goals, measure your progress, and lastly, pause to celebrate your growth, success, and life." An excellent, resolve-building guide.

The Fiction Shelf

This Desired Place
Julia Older
Appledore Books
PO Box 174, Hancock, NH 03449-0174
9780974148823, $26.00

The second novel a trilogy by award-winning writer Julia Older, This Desired Place: The Isles of Shoals is set amid New England's Isles of Shoals during the colonial era of Puritans, pirates, and warfare with Indian tribes. Following a former indentured servant as he's pressed into militia service, barely escapes an Indian massacre, and later, sets under Captain Phips to salvage sunken gold - only to have the trip take a vicious plunge into mutiny, piracy, and testimony for a ruthless trial ablaze with hanging fever. A rollicking adventure from cover to cover, evocative of a bygone era. Also highly recommended is the previous Shoals novel, "The Island Queen".

Pebble Beach
Mark Schreiber
Canal House
9780975466438, $22.95

Pebble Beach: A Novel in 18 Holes is a thoughtful novel reflecting on the relationship between father and son, lessons learned, and the transformations of growing up and gaining wisdom. Told across the course of an eighteen-hole golf game between physician Dr. Brian Levy and his father, Pebble Beach touches upon the odd inversion of dependency in a parent-child relationship as the parent ages and the child becomes responsible for his welfare, and proves a metaphor for the depressing and stormy side of life and relationships as well as the sunny side. Ultimately Pebble Beach is about father-to-son life lessons - including what is perhaps the most important lesson of all, how to live in the exhilaration of the moment without keeping score. Golf fans of all skill and experience are sure to relate to the introspective portrait of the ups and downs of life.

Black Swan
Christina Moore
Storm Petrel Publications
PO Box 96, West Halifax, Vermont 05358
c/o Bisson & Barcelona (publicity)
PO Box 458, Barrington, NH 03825
9780979156205, $14.95

Written by sailing aficionado Christina Moore, Black Swan is a modern-day nautical novel. When Margaret Noonan deserts her stifling corporate job and her comfortable but humdrum marriage to pursue adventure upon the Maine coast she remembers fondly from her childhood, she gets more than she bargained for. Working as a cook aboard the schooner Black Swan, she prepares meals for a dour crew and sulky, disappointed passengers. But soon she discovers the Black Swan's dark secrets of smuggling and murder, and must find the resolve within herself to look at her new life straight on rather than through the rose-colored glasses of her childhood memories. An engaging and memorable novel, especially recommended for anyone with a love for the open sea.

Of Song and Water
Joseph Coulson
Archipelago Books
25 Jay Street, #203, Brooklyn, NY 11201
9780977857661, $25.00 1-800-283-3572

Book of the Year Award-winning author Joseph Coulson presents Of Song and Water, a novel that draws upon the heady excitement of jazz, the solace of braving open waters in a sailboat, and the myriad complexity of familial obligations and painful memories. Following the life of Coleman Moore, a jazz guitarist facing mid-life doubts and seeking renewed focus through his work on and excursions in a damaged sailboat. Haunted by a memory terrible violence, Coleman Moore must come to terms with both the memories of his father and his present-day estrangement from his daughter. A deeply immersive and moving story.

The Music Shelf

Open Your Heart With Singing
Jules Kennedy
Dream Time
6860 Gulfport Avenue South, Suite 950, South Pasadena, FL 33707
9781601660077, $14.95

Written by metaphysics and spirituality teacher Jules Kennedy, Open Your Heart With Singing: Mastering Life through Love of the Song is a basic guide to the joy of song, whether as an expression of religious faith or just for fun. Chapters discuss meditations and visualizations ideal for singing; the depth of expression and love within the song "Amazing Grace"; simple techniques and exercises to train one's voice; the benefits of meditation; singing for inspiration and creativity; and much more. "We have been coerced into believing that we must work very hard and continuously for our daily bread. This keeps our bodies and our minds active and repeatedly thinking about working to make a living. It is true that we must work to live. But our work doesn't have to take us so far into activity that we have no time for the mind; no time for the thought processes of higher consciousness." Written for readers of all backgrounds, though more applicable to lay readers taking up singing as a window to spiritual growth than would-be professional singers, Open Your Heart is an excellent guide especially recommended for anyone new to the experience of the church choir or the simple joy of music.

The Money/Finance Shelf

If You Can't Beat 'em, Join 'em
Jim Mosteller
Amalia Publishing
6725 Kingery Highway, Willowbrook, IL 60527
9780979113703, $24.95

Written by investment advisor and attorney Jim Mosteller, If You Can't Beat 'em, Join 'em is a no-nonsense guide to retirement planning. Chapters discuss how to minimize investment risk, the importance of avoiding short-sighted or emotional investment decisions, mutual funds, ETFS, IRAs, annuities, and life insurance, the dynamics of estate planning, and much more. "How do you talk to your grandchildren about finances without having them roll their eyes? Don't lecture. This is the advice of Holly Isdale, head of wealth advisory at Lehman Brothers in New York. She suggests telling family stories to make your points." Written in plain terms, with careful definitions of financial nuances to ease lay readers into understanding money matters, If You Can't Beat 'em, Join 'em is a singularly illuminating, self-contained guide. Highly recommended.

Blow Your Bank Wad
Tad and Alicia Carrier-Boxmueller, author
Steve Reed, illustrator
The Finger Tip Press
14 Chestnut Street, Suite 104, St. Thomas, ON, Canada N5R 2A7
9780973927757, $10.95

Happily married (and happily spendthrift) husband-wife team Tad and Alicia Carrier-Boxmueller present Blow Your Bank Wad: More Than 101 Scandalous Ways to Squander Your Kids' Inheritance, a humorous guide that quite literally lives up to its palms-like-sieves title. Yet the basic premise behind Blow Your Bank Wad is surprisingly sound: that the promise of inheriting a vast amount of money, possibly eliminating the need to work for living, risks subjecting one's children to "affluenza", a state of underachieving indolence in which they are unmotivated and unlikely to discover their full potential in life. Furthermore, claim the authors, raising a child to 18 entails an immense expenditure of money; by this time, the parents genuinely deserve the good life for themselves. While Blow Your Bank Wad respects some people's decision to give their life's amassed wealth to charity, discussions of philanthropical giving are largely left to other authors; Blow Your Bank Wad is for anyone who wants to overspend lavishly on themselves right here, right now. From beautifying one's home to buying boats or aircraft to taking fantastic vacations and even exotic indulgences like a gem-encrusted Rubik's cube allow even a savings-conscious consumer to gawk and wonder at everything from modest quality-of-life improvements to extravagant expenditures of cash. Humorous black-and-white illustrations pepper this funny and enticing read, enthusiastically recommended for blowing off steam - but not for anyone with credit card debt!

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Double Cross
David Ranan
Theo Press
Suite 229, 19-21 Crawford Street, London W1H 1PJ, United Kingdom
9780955413308, $25.95

Written by political scientist David Ranan, Double Cross: The Code of the Catholic Church is a severe indictment of the many flaws, moral lapses, and outright crimes of the Catholic Church, ranging from parish sexual abuse scandals to complicity in genocide. Covering the Church's perpetration of human misery from pre-medieval times to the Crusades to its tacit cooperation with the Holocaust and its ills of the modern Day, Double Cross examines how the Church has structured its power base, policed thought among its members, engendered corruption, fostered violence particularly against non-Catholics, espoused anti-Semitism, and perhaps worst of all among modern-day offenses, denounced nearly all forms of family planning as well as condom use, thereby causing overpopulation and assisting the spread of AIDS particularly in the poorest nations that can least afford either. Extensively researched with numerous notes to clarify details and an index, Double Cross is a "must-read" for anyone involved in or affected by the Catholic Church, both Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Samuel Kalliman
Aspiratations Media, Inc.
7755 Lakeview Lane, Spring Lake Park, MN 55432
9780977604340, $11.99

Snapshot is a thrilling novel about Tom Connor, an ordinary college student whose chance encounter with a beautiful girl immerses him in a diabolical plot concerning a newly created weapon, hidden in a most innocuous shell, that unleashes its murderous fury with gory results. Tom discovers the plot to use this weapon to attack his country and affect the global balance of power; cut off from allies, he struggles alone against both the good guys and the bad guys as killers hound him and would-be world dominators plot from the shadows. A hair-raising read, pure excitement from first page to last.

The Daemon in Our Dreams
John F. Rooney
Senneff House Publishers
PO Box 11601, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33339
9780975275672, $14.95

The Daemon in Our Dreams is a grim suspense novel about ominous, impending doom. Three strangers in different parts of the world endure terrible nightmares in which a young Indian man glares menacingly at them. Ill omens of funeral pyres, skulls, and feral beasts stalk their nighttime sleep. Then during the course of a land and sea tour from Singapore to the Taj Mahal, each person begins to see the daemon threatening their dreams in real life and real time. His name is understood as Ramesh, but why does he pursue them so implacably? And how does he travel from place to place to materialize before them? Darkness and threats thicken into a shocking climax, in this haunting read.

Cruelty by Design
Brelin DeCicco Rowlett
Aventine Press
1023 4th Ave, #204, San Diego, CA 92101
Epic Book Promotions
594 Serrano Lane, Chula Vista, CA 91910
9781593303075, $26.95

Cruelty by Design a dark murder mystery set amid the backdrop of lives shattered by domestic violence. When a friend of victim's advocate Tate McCormik is murdered, McCormik is certain the killer was an enraged domestic violence group member, while Detective Joe Healey knows that jumping to conclusions is ill-advised at best. A suspenseful, dramatic read that takes the reader behind the scenes of domestic abuse counseling, Cruelty by Design captivates and at times horrifies with its gritty insights into the dark flaws of human nature. Highly recommended.

The Education Shelf

They Teach That in College!?: Midwest Edition
Andrew Morkes
College & Career Press
PO Box 300484, Chicago, IL 60630
9780974525136, $19.95

They Teach That in College!?: Midwest Edition presents a smorgasbord of unique and interesting college majors to be found in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Divided into 66 chapters, each of which gives the lowdown of the major itself, typical courses composing it, potential employers of graduates with the major, and a list of Midwestern universities that offer a degree in the major along with website and telephone information. From biomedical equipment technology to museum studies to renewable energy and sports/commercial turf equipment repair, They Teach That in College!? offers a diverse array of exciting options and is enthusiastically recommended browsing material for any Midwestern student contemplating options for his or her future.

The Social Issues Shelf

Striking a Balance
Robert W. Drago
Dollars & Sense
29 Winter Street, Boston, MA 02108
1878585622, $18.95

Written by Robert W. Drago (Professor of Labor Studies and Women's Studies, Penn State University), Striking a Balance: Work, Family, Life is not a self-help book for the individual, but rather a scholarly examination of the modern societal problems of the care gap (too many children, elderly, and disabled, particularly among the poor, are not getting the care they need), the gender gap (women are forced to choose between success in their careers and providing adequate care to their children, or any other form of care work for low or no pay) and the income gap (the rich get richer and the poor get poorer). At the heart of these problems is not just cold hard economics, but also societal norms - the "motherhood norm" that insists women should provide care for little or no pay; the "ideal worker norm" that conditions employers to expect their workers to put in long hours up to an inhuman level; and the "individualism norm", a society-infused belief that the government should not help those needing care. Striking a Balance prescribes society-wide remedies to these growing problems: paid family leave, early childhood education and child care financing, guaranteed health insurance, and a minimum wage increase indexed to inflation, and the simple importance of allowing men and women from all walks of life to have their voices heard. Extensively researched, Striking a Balance: Work Family Life is a persuasive academic treatise about the need for social change, and highly recommended for reading for not only college library shelves, but also anyone looking for a better understanding of why the government needs to pay more attention to minimum wage, health care, and paid family leave issues.

The Travel Shelf

Great Hostels USA
Colleen Norwine
Sedobe Travel Guides
9780975980705, $18.95

Written by Colleen Norwine, who has personally visited over 250 hostels, Great Hostels USA: An Inside Look at America's Best Adventure Travel Accommodations is an excellent, easy-to-use guide featuring candid reviews and insider tips. Color photographs on almost every page illustrate this Independent Publisher-award winning travel guide spanning states from California to Wisconsin to New York and even the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec. Each hostel description includes at-a-glance "fast facts" such as its dorm rates, office hours, size, style of bathrooms, and other important considerations; address, website, and phone contact information; several detailed paragraphs about what to expect; and particularly noteworthy comments as to whether specific hostels are suitable for solo women, travelers over 30 or 50, couples, families, groups, or party animals. An absolute "must-have" for anyone planning to use hostels in their travels across America.

The Parenting Shelf

Sleeping With Your Baby
James J. McKenna
Platypus Media
627 'A' Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
1930775342, $14.95 1-877-752-8977

Along with informed and informative contributions by William Sears, Meredith Small, and Peter Fleming, "Sleeping With Your Baby: A Parent's Guide to Cosleeping" by James J. McKenna (Director of the Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep laboratory, University of Notre Dame) is an instructional and safety guide for parents who sleep with their baby in their bed whether the practice is a nightly routine or an occasional event. "Sleeping With Your Baby" counters the popular notion that sleeping with an infant is dangerous to that child, and even morally suspect. Readers will find cogent and documented explanations for the potential benefits of cosleeping, how to minimize any hazards or risk factors, and just when, why, and how a parent should sleep with a baby. A very strongly recommended addition to personal and community library Parenting Studies reference collections, "Sleeping With Your Baby" is a seminal publication that should be read by every parent with an infant.

Feeding The Kids
Pamela Gould, Eleanor P. Taylor, Katherine Cason
Mancala Publishing
PO Box 247, Clemson, SC 29633
9780978938543, $16.95

Pamela Gould is an experienced research scientist and educator specializing in health and children's issues. Elanor P. Taylor is a registered nurse, a diabetes educator, and has taught wellness classes on issues ranging from weight loss to chronic disease management. Katherine Cason of a Professor and Lead Researcher at the Clemson University Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. All three of these distinguished women draw upon their many years of experience and expertise in "Feeding The Kids: The Flexible, No-Battles, healthy Eating System For The Whole Family", an instruction manual for parents of children ages 3 to 11 on how to not only prepare healthy meals, but get their kids to eat properly without resorting to arguments over food, avoiding 'food-guilt' mechanisms, and be able to truly enjoy family meal times. This 256-page, medically approved, non-extreme, user-friendly, do-it-yourself field guide with its thoroughly 'parent friendly' text is enhanced for the non-specialist general reader with the specific, action-oriented tools, lists, charts, 50 recipes, and 80 menus. An important and strongly recommended addition to community library collections, any parent who has ever had to deal with a reluctant child resistance to eating properly (including the avoidance of junk food) will want to give a careful reading to "Feeding The Kids".

The Hunting/Fishing Shelf

White Tail Hunter's Almanac, 9th Edition
Dr. Ken Nordberg
Shingle Creek Outdoor Productions
1886422095, $9.95

The ninth edition of White Tail Hunter's Almanac is a solid "trail-hunting" guide by whitetail naturalist, hunting method researcher, and wildlife photographer Dr. Ken Nordberg. Chapters cover everything beginner, intermediate, or seasoned outdoorsmen need to know about hunting adult whitetail bucks, from their common defensive traits (erratic nonstop movement, quick food gathering, herd protection) to the best feeding and bedding area stand sites to the art of trail making and much more. The distillation of seven years of extensive research, White Tail Hunter's Almanac is especially recommended for anyone interested in experiencing "trail hunting" for themselves.

The Cookbook Shelf

Street Food Chicago
Michael J. Baruch
LBCM Publishing Inc.
5036 Ashley Falls Court, San Diego, CA 92130
9780971531314, $25.95

"Street Food Chicago" compiled by Chef Michael J. Baruch (founder of La Baruch Cuisine Moderne) is a 455-page culinary celebration of Chicago's local foods that draw from its ninety different ethnic groups and the more than seven thousand restaurants. Readers are provided with an opening chapter on Chicago's culinary history titled 'Bear Wars, Old Polish Geezers, Politics and Street Booze including Weird Stuff Behind the Bar in Jars', then goes on to celebrate the corner bakery, cafeteria cuisine (including the famous Blue Plate Special and ethnic sandwiches), and on to recipes that range from Kreplach; Chicken Cacciatore; Pizza Sausage; and Gert's Creamy Coleslaw; to Mama D's Meatball Sandwich; Curried Crab Salad Dip; Jerusalem Salad; Juan's Breakfast Taco with Chorizo, Potato and Egg; and Fiery Pepper Beef in Lettuce Cups. There are even sections of color photography illustrated preparation processes, finished dishes, and Chicago street scenes. A very highly recommended addition to personal and community library ethnic cookbook collections, "Street Food Chicago" is an impressive compendium of culinary delights with completely 'kitchen cook friendly' instructions on how to make them.

The Sports Shelf

Cincinnati Reds Hall Of Fame Highlights
Greg Rhodes, compiler
Clerisy Press
1700 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45206
9781578603008, $16.99

Compiled and organized from his pre-game radio broadcasts over the Reds Radio network by sports announcer Greg Rhodes (who is also a Reds baseball team historian and the executive director of the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum), "Cincinnati Reds Hall Of Fame Highlights" is a unique compendium of commentaries arranged in chronological order. Profusely illustrated throughout with photos and illustrations of some of the greatest players and plays in the more than 130 years of Cincinnati Reds history, Rhodes covers the team's highs and lows, including some of the grim moments, the goof escapades, and the truly glorious moments of Reds baseball. Reds fans will learn about Hall of Famer Edd Roush falling asleep in centerfield during a lengthy, heated argument between Reds manager Pat Moran and the presiding umpire (and when play resumed, Roush was ejected). Then there was the time when Reds General Manager Bob Howsam ordered his players to run for the dugout after their final out against the Yankees in the 1976 World Series to avoid a possible riot with irate New York Fans at Yankee Stadium. Simply put, Greg Rhodes' "Cincinnati Reds Hall Of Fame Highlights" is a 'must' for all dedicated Reds fans and a very highly recommended reading for all baseball fans and a core addition to academic library American Sports History reference collections.

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

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