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The Bookwatch

Volume 10, Number 12 December 2015 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Business Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Photography Shelf Computer Shelf
Religion/Spirituality Shelf Needlecraft Shelf Crafts Shelf
Homeowner's Shelf Agriculture Shelf Gardening Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Metaphysical Studies Shelf Education Shelf Social Issues Shelf
Art Shelf Music Shelf Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

The Language of Food
Dan Jurafsky
W.W. Norton
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393351620, $15.95,

The hidden language of food is one that involves culinary history, linguistics, and similarities and differences in language and culture, all explored in The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu. Chapters excel in food writing that considers seasonal celebrations and food trends and linguistic history and analysis alike to reveal the many international influences on American cuisine and how they evolved. Any who look for a history of foods and seasonings and how they evolved will find The Language of Food to be revealing, lively, and informational all in one.

Texts from Your Ex
Cassell Illustrated
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781844038787, $9.99,

Texts from Your Ex offers fun illustrations of what breakups and broken relationships look like in the abbreviated formats of texting, and is the perfect, fun item for choice for any who are breaking up, broken up, or fighting the urge to get back together. Caustic, funny, pleading, insulting and at times filled with angst, this collection offers the ultimate in guilt-tripping, innuendo, and simmering anger and is the perfect pick for any who want a bit of laughter about the modern process of text communications.

Star Trek the Next Generation Warped
Mike McMahan
Gallery Books
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
9781476779058, $16.00,

Star Trek the Next Generation Warped blends humor, fun illustrations by Jason Ho, and a parody guide to the unaired eighth season of Star Trek based on a popular Twitter account from creator Mike McMahan, and provides a parody of supposed VHS tape discoveries that contain new episodes and fun encounters from a 'secret season'. Readers should, ideally, be prior Next Generation fans to catch all the spoofs and fun loaded into this Trekkie read: those with such a background will find it filled with fun references and hard to put down!

The Global Jihad Movement
Rohan Gunaratna and Aviv Oreg
Rowman & Littlefield
4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781442245419, $75.00,

The Global Jihad Movement is recommended reading for college-level political science readers strong in global security issues, and provides a reference designed to identify and differentiate the various world groups involved in global jihad. An introductory section covers basic ideology common to such groups, while other sections present 'affiliate groups' and discuss their different perspectives, strategies, and political processes. Any college-level reader with more than a cursory interest in the subject will find this a serious reference that uses the different groups as a starting point for examining their patterns, ideology, lifestyles, and effects on world political and social order.

The Business Shelf

The Big Shift in IT Leadership
Hunter Muller
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9781118867129, $45.00,

The Big Shift in IT Leadership: How Great CIOs Leverage the Power of Technology for Strategic Business Growth in the Customer-Centric Economy is directed to CIO readers who want to develop further leadership skills, and it comes from an expert on CIO leadership who focuses on the basic elements differentiating successful leaders from those less effective. It creates a blueprint for examining, analyzing, and applying specific leadership strategies that have been proven to work in successful businesses, and it blends case-history examples and stories with discussions that are as far-ranging as how innovation is analyzed and how decisions are made to include CIOs in leadership arenas. The result is a powerful and specific survey no business collection should be without.

The Audiobook Shelf

Hachette Audio
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

Brad Meltzer's The President's Shadow (9781600247095, $35.00) receives a fine, unabridged reading by Scott Brick, whose experienced audio voice enlivens and embellishes this story of a young staffer responsible for safekeeping the government's most important secrets in the National Archives in Washington. As a member of the Culper Ring, a secret society responsible for protecting the Presidency, he's always had many key duties; but when the Ring is called upon to solve a gruesome puzzle, Beecher also called upon to solve a murder that may hold a threat to the President himself, in his own backyard. But who is the real target, and how can Beecher's investigation proceed when it may reveal an astonishing and long-held secret key to the safety of the President? A fine thriller is brought to life under Brick's voice, highly recommended for any who want a blend of political insights and intrigue. Richard Castle's Driving Heat (9781478962816, $30.00) receives a fine performance by Robert Petkoff, whose background in film, TV and stage lends a firm and evocative voice to the story of a dead NYPD shrink, new police station captain Nikki Heat, and a series of puzzling homicides that rock the department. When Rook refuses to share confidential information about the victim and Heat's case is threatened by their engagement, trouble begins on both a personal and professional level as Heat finds herself on a desperate race for resolution. For a riveting performance that brings the saga alike, Driving Heat lives up to its name and simply shines in audio format. Ted Dekker's A.D. 33 (9781478959991, $30.00) is narrated by Ellen Archer, an award-winning actress and singer who has extensive theater experience and whose voice lends a quick, engrossing feel to this story of Maviah, a slave who becomes a queen in Arabia, where she experiences a growing power and becomes a force to be reckoned with in a brutal world. Politics and romance come together against the backdrop of an early world filled with intrigue, romance, and religion in a story line that not just comes to life, but is steeped in Christian history and culture. John Fogarty's Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music (9781619698710, $30.00) is narrated by Fogarty himself, who brings to life his evolution from his Northern California roots to his rise to fame under the umbrella of Creedence Clearwater Revival and beyond. What is even more tantalizing in his autobiography is the fact that it comes to life under his voice, and that it contains far more details about the music industry and his role in it than popular discussions could offer. Listeners will readily recognize his signature voice, which is not singing but telling his story, and will appreciate the powerful insights that appear nowhere else. Joel Osteen's The Power of I Am: Two Words That Will Change Your Life Today (9781609419042, $30.00) appears in an unabridged production narrated by the bestselling author, who draws some important connections between speech and talking and gaining control over one's life. Ultimately it's about taking responsibility for one's choices and making choices that build self-assurance and capitalize on one's unique traits: 'I Am' are the key words towards this path, and Osteen shows how to use them to best advantage in a self-help audio that should be a listen for any who want to develop more powerful personas. Nicholas Sparks' See Me (9781619691353, $35.00) provides an unabridged story narrated by Christopher Ryan Grant and tells of Colin, who is working towards his teaching degree and trying to put a violent history behind him and move away from the bad decisions he keeps making. When he meets Mexican beauty Maria, who harbors a traumatic past of her own, their lives blend in a story of romance, threats, and increasing confrontation. The result is a romance story with many fine twists and a plot that comes alive in audio and is particularly well presented in the unabridged version.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The End of All Things
John Scalzi
c/o Tor/Forge Books
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9780765376077, $24.99,

The End of All Things tells of a world where humans expand into space to face a hostile universe against them, prompting the creation of a Colonial Union to help protect humans in exchange for using earth and its excess population for soldiers and colonists. It seems a mutually beneficial arrangement until Earthlings rebel and the Colonial Union faces dissolution and possible destruction. Some alien species have long awaited this moment - and it's up to Lieutenant Harry Wilson and others to protect the human race in this military sci-fi adventure story. Faith, trust, and high technology permeate a powerful saga of dangerous dead-ends and possible challenges to survival in a fast-paced, vivid story.

Doubleday Canada
Penguin Random House Canada
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
$9.99 each,

Two books by author Eric Walters provide a riveting survival story and are recommended for young adult to adult readers who enjoy apocalyptic sagas. End of Days (9780385670067) is set in 2012 and tells of a group of astrophysicists, astronomers and mathematicians who have all died in the last year. But none of them are really dead: they've been taken hostage by aliens, and only a talented teen and some special Earthlings hold the ability to rescue them and save their world. Regenesis (9780385683098) provides the second book in the series: an asteroid has hit the earth and the world's end is beginning - but Billy and his friends may survive in their refuge in outer space. Russian plans, thwarted efforts, and ultimate sacrifices meld into the story of teens who seek a new way of surviving in this engrossing saga. The books juxtapose nicely and together pose many intriguing scenarios and a solid, action-packed plot laced with science and interpersonal encounters alike: perfect for teen to adult readers.

The Photography Shelf

Portraiture Unplugged
Carl Caylor
Amherst Media
175 Rano Street, Suite 200, Buffalo, NY 14207-2176
9781608958832, $34.95,

Portraiture Unplugged: Natural Light Photography offers a basic guide to working with natural light and creating marketable results, from locating scenes that suit portraiture to producing exceptional, artistic results from relatively simple tools and approaches. His ideas use clear examples to support discussions of 'sweet light', unusual poses to highlight each subject's unique qualities and the underlying stories surrounding tattoos and other body art, how to blend beautiful and unusual backgrounds with natural lighting at all times of day, and more. A key to understanding these approaches lies in his first-person recollections of how he composed his image examples, and their influences and results. The result is a powerful guide that no aspiring pro should be without, filled with professional insights fueled by a personal approach to making the best of not just natural light, but knowledge of subjects and surroundings.

The Computer Shelf

Murach's Javascript, second edition
Mary Delamater
4340 North Knoll Avenue, Fresno, CA 93722
9781890774851, $54.50,

The second updated edition of Murach's Javascript is highly recommended for any programmer who would use it as a self-paced workbook designed for newcomers as well as those with prior Javascript background, and provides the basics of objects, methods, applications and development for this audience. It's designed as a self-teaching workbook that covers and builds upon the basics, and also is designed so that a range of audiences can use its various tools to best advantage, downloading book applications and exercise solutions and reading explanations, code, and real-world examples. This real-world focus includes many discussion points JavaScript programmers can expect to encounter in their real-world applications, from how to use Chrome to review and edit items in web storage to adding links to enhance the Task Manager application. The result is guide that works as both a JavaScript reference, a classroom supplement, and an at-home tutorial alike.

Learn C the Hard Way
Zed A. Shaw
Addison Wesley
c/o Pearson Technology Group
801 East 96th Street, #300, Indianapolis, IN 46240-3759
9780321884923, $39.99,

Learn C the Hard Way: Practical Exercises on the Computational Subjects You Keep Avoiding [Like C] comes from an author who offers a course for beginning C programmers who want to learn new skills, synthesizing basics into over fifty exercises that are supported by an accompanying video. Learners receive code to type, and thus learn how to fix mistakes and discover how code runs. From using any language to create software that protects itself from defects to applying the new skills to real-world situations, Learn C the Hard Way assumes no prior programming background as it shows how to set up a C environment, compile files, observe the results of instructions, and handle various data structures and libraries. Any aspiring to learn C will find this invaluable!

The Religion/Spirituality Shelf

Facilitating Spiritual Reminiscence for People with Dementia: A Learning Guide
Elizabeth MacKinlay and Corinne Trevitt
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
400 Market Street, Suite 400, Philadelphia, PA 19106
9781849055734, $34.95,

Facilitating Spiritual Reminiscence for People with Dementia: A Learning Guide offers caregivers and families keys to stimulating spiritual reminiscence in older people, and covers a spiritual and communication approach designed to engage those with dementia in a more meaningful way. It offers exercises and discussions designed for organizing such sessions, and is written by a registered nurse and Anglican priest and a registered nurse who is an academic associate at the Centre for Ageing and Pastoral Studies in Australia who talk about how to put together such discussions and provide concrete examples. From sharing stories in group settings to handling responses, this is a powerful collection designed to get the ball rolling for caregivers who work with people with dementia.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Finger Weaving Scarves & Wraps
Naoko Minowa
Stackpole Books
5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6921
9780811715577, $19.95,

Finger Weaving Scarves & Wraps: 18 Fun, Easy Projects Made Without Loom, Needle or Hook provides easy introductory weaving techniques illustrated with step-by-step color photos, making for a project collection especially accessible to newcomers to weaving. Three basic techniques form the foundation of all the projects featured here, with a range of finishes and instructions on using yarn leftovers accompanying techniques that are a snap to learn. The result is a finger weaving introduction that promises good-quality results for a minimum skills level: highly recommended for newcomers.

Cath Kidston Sewing Book
Cath Kidston
Quadrille Publishing
9781849496674, $24.95,

Cath Kidston Sewing Book: Over 30 Exclusive Projects Made Simple follows up on Cath Kidston's best-selling book Sew! and offers a project book of accessible, bright ideas recommended for novices and those with some sewing skills. Step-by-step illustrations for all 30 projects accompany templates, clear directions, hand-drawn, step-by-step illustrations and photos, and keys to shortcuts. Materials and equipment are outlined for quick assessment while the projects are contemporary, refreshingly different, and fun.

Half-Scrap Quilts: Take and Make Them Yours
Mickey Depre
American Quilter's Society
PO Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290
9781604604153, $24.95,

Half-Scrap Quilts: Take and Make Them Yours pairs traditional quilt designs with tips on how to customize them to vary color and blocks, and includes piecing directions, triangles, and nine quilt designs that vary in difficulty. Each quilt receives a full-page color photo and pattern, along with smaller images for border blocks, finishing, and variable assembly. From sidebar notes on pieced borders and personal introductions to each quilting project to customization insights, this is a quilt guide that is especially recommended for newcomers with some quilting skills who want insights on customizing patterns.

Cut and Shuffle Quilts
Jan Ochterbeck
American Quilter's Society
PO Box 3290, Paducah, KY 42002-3290
9781604602098, $24.95,

Cut and Shuffle Quilts provides modern and traditional quilters with a set of projects that range from a 40" to a 90" quilt as well as smaller throws, and offer finished projects designed to create a 60" and a 40" quilt. The focus is on a series of quilts that can be cut and made into different blocks, with chapters offering full-page color photos of finished products, alternate constructions, and step-by-step photos for accomplishing each. The basic premise is simple: a variety of quilt blocks can be created by making a 'parent block', slicing it, and shuffling and assembling the parts Nine-Patch style. When that simple basic is mastered, the rest fall neatly into place in a production especially recommended for newcomers to quilting.

The Crafts Shelf

Handcraft Wire Jewelry
Kimberly Sciaraffa Berlin
Kalmbach Books
21027 Crossroads Circle, Waukesha, WI 53187-1612
9781627001335, $21.99,

Handcraft Wire Jewelry provides jewelry makers with projects that use chains, wire-wrapped cabochons, and more, as well as cold soldering techniques that requires no special tools. The techniques can be mixed and matched and have been classroom tested to assure their simplicity, and they also cover different parts of a necklace and are thus flexibly interchangeable. Small step-by-step color photos accompany good-sized photos of finished products, making this a key acquisition for any who would enter the world of handcrafted wire jewelry making.

The Homeowner's Shelf

The Wood Fire Handbook
Vincent Thurkettle
Mitchell Beazley
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781845336707, $16.99,

The Wood Fire Handbook: The Complete Guide to a Perfect Fire offers many wide-ranging discussions on the subject; and while one might not initially think that wood fire could receive over two hundred pages of discussion, this book doesn't pad its contents but packs in essential information for any outdoors-oriented reader. From learning which trees produce the best firewood and how to handle and store it to alternative firewood sources, handling weather when building and maintaining a fire, splitting wood and building a woodshed, this handbook is the place to begin for an in-depth education on wood fire construction.

The Agriculture Shelf

101 Different Ways to Build Homes and Pens for Your Animals, second edition
Randy LaTour and Sarah Ann Beckman
Atlantic Publishing Group
1405 S.W. 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471
9781620230176, $14.99,

101 Different Ways to Build Homes and Pens for Your Animals: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide is recommended for pet and livestock owners who face the task of building a pen from scratch, and displays over a hundred ways to construct homes for different kinds of animals, from pets to livestock. Whether indoor or outdoor, the tips in this second revised edition can be used for a range of animals from dogs and cats to snakes, turtles and sheep, and it discusses animal needs and carpentry and construction methods with equal attention to detail, making it the perfect book of choice for amateur builders who seek animal-specific advice.

The Gardening Shelf

Chelsea Green
85 North Main Street, Suite 120
White River Junction, VT 05001

Will Bonsall's Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening (9781603584425, $34.95) is recommended for any beginner new to gardening and homesteading processes, and offers unique insights into how to grow one's own food and become self-reliant. Some forty years of experience helps Bonsall cover the basics with an eye to reducing reliance on fertilizers, chemicals, and supplements; but the organic focus takes a bigger step in covering efficient operations that lead to better crops with less cost and management hassles. From using 'green' manure and avoiding diseases without resulting to chemical applications to companion planting and harvesting choices, this book takes organic gardening one step beyond the norm and provides a survey of solid, proven methods that work. Andrew Moore's Pawpaw: In Search of America's Forgotten Fruit (9781603585965, $26.00) offers an impressive study of a fruit that most Americans likely don't know about. It tastes like a cross between a banana and a mango and is the largest edible fruit native to the U.S., growing wild in twenty-six states; yet it is also the country's least known fruit. Pawpaw considers why, offer a history of the fruit and gathering technical details from plant breeders and horticulturalists alike. The result is a cultural, biological, and economic study that excels in a wide range of insights and which is recommended for horticulture, home and garden, and general-interest culinary readers alike.

The Cookbook Shelf

The New Kosher
Kim Kushner
Weldon Owen
415 Jackson Street, San Francisco, CA 94111
9781616289263, $35.00,

The New Kosher: Simple Recipes to Savor & Share uses Kim Kushner's family culinary traditions and her own innovations to provide a cookbook filled with unique creations that go beyond Jewish traditions to feature fresh, seasonal and mouth-watering fare. It's a pick not just for Jewish kitchens but for any who seek cookbooks a cut above the ordinary, and it incorporates international influences in such dishes as Poisson a la Marocaine, which holds Moroccan influences and offers tips on streamlining the recipe to save time; or a Mediterranean-influenced Lentil Soup with Carrot, Lemons and Greens. Add full-page color photos of finished dishes and you have a winning presentation recommended for kosher cooks and general cooks alike!

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Never Look Down
Warren C. Easley
Poisoned Pen Press
6962 E. First Ave., #103, Scottsdale, AZ 85251
9781464204647, $26.95,

Oregon lawyer Cal Claxton is called upon to defend a Portland tagger in a case that doesn't seem overly complicated at first, but which soon puts his first venture into private practice to the test. The ex-LA prosecutor finds more than meets the eye when he becomes involved in the tagging community in Oregon, follows a trail that leads out of the city and into rural areas, and straight into a brutal murder whose only eyewitness is tagger Kelly. Add many social issues and insights into abusive homes and struggles to survive and you have a powerful saga that's hard to put down and packed with intrigue.

Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue
Victoria Thompson
Berkeley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
9780428278970, $25.95,

Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue provides a fine gaslight mystery set in 19th century New York City at Christmas time, and revolving around newlyweds who face problems when a wealthy employer is found dead with a poor Irish girl, his wife, cradling his body, mute with horror. Una can't explain what happened so she's being charged with murder - and Mrs. O'Neill would like Frank Malloy to investigate her daughter's predicament. A complex saga replete with Victorian-era politics, social mores, murder mystery and intrigue makes for a wonderful period piece especially recommended for readers of historical mysteries.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Chris Mackey
9781780288086, $24.95,

Synchronicity: Empower Your Life with the Gift of Coincidence comes from a clinical psychologist who has himself struggled with depression and emerged with new understanding of the patterns of coincidences and how they hold messages for positive change. He provides keys to recognizing the signs that let people know they're on the right life path, and he suggests how to draw on the power of intuition and dreams to invite in and enhance mystical experiences. His is not a psychology self-help guide in the true sense in that it advocates a new 'positive psychiatry' approach that invites readers to turn adversity and mental health challenges into opportunities for positive growth. The result is life-affirming and a new kind of perceptive on growth, patterns, and synchronicity.

The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Shamanic Transformations
Itzhak Beery
Destiny Books
c/o Inner Traditions
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620554753, $18.95,

Shamanic Transformations: True Stories of the Moment of Awakening compiles works from a range of contributors who focus on shamanic awakening from a variety of sources, from ceremonies and dreams to near-death encounters, and gathers these epiphanies under one cover. The narrators come from all walks of life and evolved from different encounters to join the same shamanic path as teachers, healers, and more. Their inspirational stories seek to capture and define the moment of realization and inspiration that led to their revised lives.

The Education Shelf

Beyond Measure
Vicki Abeles with Grace Rubenstein
Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
9781451699234, $26.00,

Beyond Measure: Rescuing An Overscheduled, Overtested, Underestimated Generation comes from a 2009 documentary the author created of the same name; a film that centered around education in America and began a national grassroots movement of change. The film was the first to show that intense school environments were hurting students: the book Beyond Measure takes the discussion a step further in providing students, parents and educators with keys on how to enact changes that move beyond classrooms into life itself, discussing the measuring devices that create pressure without actually supporting standards and examining how constant competition leads not to better, smarter students, but ones who are actually harmed by the process.

Corwin Literacy
2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218

Releah Cossett Lent's This is Disciplinary Literacy: Reading, Writing, Thinking, and Doing... Content Area by Content Area (9781506306698, $25.95) offers an in-depth analysis on deep content expertise and creating and fostering a discipline-specific model, and is a reader for teachers who would apply key literacy to their specialties, whether it be science, math, history, or English. Chapters move from different content areas as they discuss how to blend such literacies into lesson plans and how to use projects and specific teaching strategies to create activities useful in different classrooms. The result is a discussion teachers will want to use as a framework for understanding disciplinary literacy and how it applies in classroom teachings. Yong Zhao's Never Send a Human to do a Machine's Job: Correcting the Top 5 EdTech Mistakes (9781452282572, $24.00) considers technology's potential for changing the educational process and considers why it's not transformed education more than it has. Five ways are outlined which educators can use to optimize classroom technology applications, with chapters offering specifics as well as generalities, such as how to use Pininterest as a PLN tool, connections between technology and better test scores, keys to understanding the iLearn model, and more. The result is a survey no teacher should be without, offering important insights into how education and technology can better interact, and what happens when they don't. Gravity Goldberg's Mindsets & Moves: Strategies That Help Readers take Charge (9781506314938, $33.95) is directed to educators and parents for grades 1-8 and outlines a series of reading goals and approaches designed to encourage a 'growth' mindset. It outlines a basic framework for success, offering a 4 Ms model packed with examples, lessons, strategies, and a photo tour of reading classrooms that work. Educators and homeschooler parents will find the specific discussions invaluable keys to success.

The Social Issues Shelf

We Are Market Basket
Daniel Korschun & Grant Welker
1601 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
9780814436653, $24.95,

We Are Market Basket: The Story of the Unlikely Grassroots Movement That Saved a Beloved Business is labeled as a business book; but to limit its audience to business people alone would be limiting its potential: it's also about the power of grassroots movements to effect positive change. The example of this power lies in the popular New England supermarket chain Market Basket, which faced threat after a long-time CEO was ousted by his cousin. The company's workers and managers risked their jobs to reinstate their boss, holding protest rallies that were joined by customers who boycotted the stores. The events that saved Market Basket's structure and personnel are documented here in a book that takes a business change to community participation levels and documents an unprecedented event the entire country needs to learn about.

The Making of Asian America
Erika Lee
Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
9781476739403, $29.95,

The Making of Asian America: A History provides a powerful survey of the past fifty years of Asian Americans and their role in American life, choosing these years to profile the arrival of the first Asians in America and following them as an ethnic group to today's images. It provides a powerful focus on Asian immigrants and their American-born descendants who came here from other lands but narrows its scope to events of the past fifty years when a new force of activism and immigration has affected and changed the Asian American community. Published to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, The Making of Asian America is required reading for anyone who would understand the scope, influences and face of modern Asian America.

The Art Shelf

New York in Fifty Design Icons
The Design Museum & Julie Lovine
Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9781840916911, $20.00,

New York in Fifty Design Icons adds to a new series that examines fifty facets of art trends and designs from murals to architecture and fashion, with this book narrowing the focus to New York but widening the umbrella to include everything from buildings to logos and even parade balloons and New York subways. Images in black and white and color appear on facing pages to compliment discussions of a range of New York icons and their artistic meaning. While it might have been hoped that all the pages could have been in color, this production nonetheless is well-detailed and absorbing and highly recommended not just for general-interest arts holdings, but especially for those with a specific interest in New York.

The Music Shelf

Sounds Like Me
Sara Bareilles
Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
9781476727776, $28.00,

Sounds Like Me: My Life (so far) in Song provides essays by five-time Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles and centers around her life as a musician and how she honed her talents and sense of self. It's a memoir so it includes far more than her musical achievements, offering up insights into how songs and lyrics are developed, her childhood and adolescence, career and personal struggles, and more. Readers with a prior familiarity with and appreciation of Sara Bareilles will find it a powerful set of impressions and candid insights about her life and times, key to understanding her world and choices.

Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'N Roll
Peter Guralnick
Little, Brown
c/o Hachette Book Group
237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017
9780316042741, $32.00,

Casual music fans may not recognize the name of Sam Phillips, but most know his record label, Sun Records, in Memphis. This tells how one man with a small record label and big dreams churned out star after star in the likes of Johnny Cash, Ike Turner, Elvis Presley, and more, and it surveys proceedings using deep insights into the nature and psyche of Sam Phillips himself. This biography concurrently examines the similarities between the poor, country-boy singers whose records would change American popular culture, and it offers a fine examination of how much of rock 'n roll music came to be. No definitive rock music history collection should be without this.

The Pets/Wildlife Shelf

Please Don't Bite the Baby (And Please Don't Chase the Dogs)
Lisa J. Edwards
Seal Press
1700 - 4th Street, Berkeley, California 94710
9781580055772, $16.00,

Please Don't Bite the Baby (And Please Don't Chase the Dogs): Keeping Our Kids and Our Dogs Safe and Happy Together is a highly recommended pick for any family where small children and dogs co-exist, and comes from a dog trainer who tells how to keep animals and kids safe. Over four million dog bites occur in the U.S. annually, and over half are to children under the age of eight. Most come from a family pet. These statistics alone should indicate that dog/child relationships are something to cultivate carefully and shouldn't be tossed together. The author's own focus on successfully integrating her pets and child makes for a discussion of training techniques and options, advice for pet owners, and tips on how to keep animal and child safe during the process of family adjustments. Every parent who contemplates a new child or a pet in the house should have this guide.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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