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The Bookwatch

Volume 14, Number 7 July 2019 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Cookbook Shelf Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Biography Shelf Technology Shelf
Health/Medicine Shelf Audiobook Shelf Science Shelf

Reviewer's Choice

The Unforgiven
Edith Brady-Lunny and Steve Vogel
9781543962000, $18.99, print
9781543962017, $8.99, ebook

Just because The Unforgiven: The Untold Story of One Woman's Search for Love and Justice is a true crime expose doesn't mean that the drama and tension of fiction aren't present. Under the dual pens of Edith Brady-Lunny and Steve Vogel, more than just the basic facts are covered. The emotional impact and anguish of a mother whose three children drown in the back seat of a car driven by her boyfriend when it plunges into the river makes for a case that wavers been a murder plot and a terrible accident. From the wide-ranging social and legal ramifications of this particular case and its impact on a community to state social worker concerns over Hamm's future family makeup and her children's safety, The Unforgiven goes beyond crime and punishment to consider what constitutes either redemption or a criminal act that can and should never be forgotten or completely forgiven. True crime readers interested in confessions, court proceedings, police procedures, and a political and public relations furor within a child welfare agency will find The Unforgiven goes far beyond the usual 'whodunnit' true crime approach, offering pointed considerations of justice and forgiveness.

The Cookbook Shelf

The Diabetes Weight-Loss Cookbook
Katie & Giancarlo Caldesi with Jenny Phillips
Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9780857834492, $24.99,

The Diabetes Weight-Loss Cookbook's creation began when author Giancarlo Caldesi adopted a low-carb diet after a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes. He works with nutritionist Jenny Phillips in a cookbook which shows how to adapt to a low-carb lifestyle by modifying classic recipes and using simpler recipes that are easy to reproduce and hard to gain weight on. This doesn't advocate avoiding carbs altogether; but making the kinds of modifications that lend to incorporating them into better eating habits. Recipes for Low-Carb Bread, a Rosemary Focaccia that can be combined with antipasti, a curried Butter chicken that omits the sugar usual to such a dish, and a Greek Baked Fish with Tomato Sauce & Onions, inspired by the author's travels in Greece, show that low-carb needn't translate to dryness or lack of flavor. Given that many of the recipes adapt traditionally fat-laden Italian fare, this cookbook provides a winning approach, packing in full-page color photos of completed dishes for an appetizing collection of flavor-packed alternatives.

Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Books
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017

Two new 'Skinny' cookbooks pack in flavor yet advocate healthier adaptations in two areas traditionally laden with carbs and sugar: pasta and desserts. Kathryn Bruton's Skinny Desserts: 80 Flavour-Packed Recipes of Less Than 300 Calories (9780857834805, $19.99) proves that sweets needn't be set aside when dieting. Kathryn Bruton offers a collection of familiar sweets that have been adapted to reduce calories to under 300 per portion, even in traditionally rich dishes such as creme brulee, cheesecake, and ice cream. There are many new dishes that rely on natural sweetening from fruits, such as a White Chocolate, Melon and Mint Fruit Salad, while familiar fare such as ice cream pies are made with frozen yogurt. Dieters who want to sweet taste without the calories will find many recipes that fit into their diet plan and which offer original combinations of flavors to add attraction. Julia Azzarello's Skinny Pasta (9780857834959, $19.99) serves up pasta dishes of less than 500 calories each, and includes some surprises that neatly fit into this category, such as a Creamy Fettuccine with Garlic and Herbs or a Macaroni and Cheese dish made with smoked Gouda and grated Romano. The result are mouth-watering, appetizing dishes which are appealing and which neatly fit into a diet plan.

The Fiction Shelf

The View from Alameda Island
Robyn Carr
9780778369790, $16.99,

The View from Alameda Island tells of Lauren, who has been stuck in a loveless marriage with her surgeon husband Brad. Her frustration reaches a peak at the same time as Beau Magellan decides to end his troubled marriage with Pamela. A chance encounter between the two who are already on the cusp of big changes after decades of poor relationships leads to more meetings and the recognition that each are going through similar experiences at the same time. The last thing either of them needs is a new rebound relationship; but love doesn't always recognize logic, and the two discover that their connections and emotions over their divorces creates a situation and friendship in which love blossoms even when doubts set in. A fine story steeped in California culture evolves to interest romance readers interested in changing senses of place and purpose.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Murder on Trinity Place
Victoria Thompson
Berkley Prime Crime
9780399586637, $26.00,

Murder on Trinity Place is a historical 'gaslight mystery' set at the turn of the century which centers on Frank and Sarah Malloy, who are set to celebrate the 1900s with a new Year's celebration at Trinity Church. When they encounter an acquaintance acting strangely and the man vanishes, only to be found dead the next day, the Malloys are asked to investigate. What they find involves more than one man's demise in this engrossing addition to the Gaslight Mystery series, recommended for prior fans and newcomers alike.

The Biography Shelf

Heroes of the Space Age
Rod Pyle
Prometheus Books
9781633885240, $18.00,

Heroes of the Space Age: Incredible Stories of the Famous and Forgotten Men and Women Who Took Humanity to the Stars comes from an award-winning science writer who features not just the pilots but the engineers and scientists who worked on space missions behind the scenes. While it does include profiles of Neil Armstrong and others, the author's focus on those whose activities help make NASA and other exploration entities successful provides a satisfyingly different approach to bringing these formerly-unheralded heroes to life. Many rare photos and illustrations accompany these stories in a survey that is both lively and informative, and highly recommended for biography and science collections alike.

The Technology Shelf

Practical Microstrip and Printed Antenna Design
Anil Pandey
Artech House
9781630816681, $151.00,

Practical Microstrip and Printed Antenna Design joins others in Artech House's Antennas and Electromagnetics Analysis Library and belongs in any college-level antenna and engineering collection as a practical guide to microstrip and printed antenna designs. Equations, charts, illustrations, and applications are discussed for readers who are taught how to evaluate various antenna designs and how to use full-wave electromagnetic solvers. Chapters cover everything from Bluetooth applications and feed techniques for array antennas to theories behind various applications. Anil Pandey has researched this subject for several years and offers the latest detailed coverage on antenna design and development for RF and microwave applications.

Foundations of Physics
S. Adams
Mercury Learning
c/o Stylus Publishing
9781663921448, $69.95,

Foundations of Physics is intended for self-study who know calculus and who seek a basic introduction to physics concepts, and explains complex topics with plenty of mathematical and visual support. From basic laws of physics to the science of light, electromagnetic induction, gravity and quantum theory, this primer moves from basic foundation explorations to more complex physics discussions, building on the basics to create an accessible primer highly recommended for any college-level student and courses catering to them.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Get Well Soon
Laura Harris Smith, C.N.C., M.S.O.M.
c/o Baker Publishing
9780800799175, $16.99

Get Well Soon: Natural and Supernatural Remedies for Vibrant Health pairs Biblical wisdom with insights on health and wellness, and comes from a nutritional counselor who is also a co-pastor and TV host. This is an unusual combination for a health or self-help guide, but results in a multifaceted set of insights that will reach beyond health collections and into the minds of those interested in faith-based health routines. Spiritual readers will appreciate the references to 'divine health' and other emphasis that links religion to a personal drive to achieve and be the best.

The Audiobook Shelf

Hachette Audio

These new audios provide listeners with engrossing material and food for thought. James Patterson works with Maxine Paetro on The 18th Abduction (9781549117282, $35.00), which receives an evocative reading by January LaVoy as it offers a new Women's Murder Club novel. Detective Lindsay Boxer's investigation into three vanished teachers involves the club, Lindsay, and husband Joe in an investigation that winds through the streets of San Francisco in a compelling saga. Walter R. Borneman's Brothers Down (9781478922810, $35.00) receives a fine reading by David Baker as it provides a Pearl Harbor story reviewing the fate of the many brothers aboard the USS Arizona. Plenty of histories have covered the events of that fateful day, but few incorporate the attention to family impact and experience that is offered by this special, involving focus. Joe Namath's All the Way: My Life in Four Quarters (9781549143250, $35.00) includes a PDF of photos and is narrated by the author as Namath works with Sean Mortimer and Don Yaeger to bring his sports world to life. Anyone interested in the politics, experiences, and philosophy of professional playing in general and Namath in particular will relish this expose of his Super Bowl days. All are fine listens for discriminating audio fans.

The Science Shelf

The Secret Life of Genes
Derek Harvey
Firefly Books
9780228101758, $24.95,

The Secret Life of Genes: Decoding the Blueprint of Life will reach both students and leisure reading adults with a basic survey of genetics and its role in biology, and is recommended as a lively primer for non-scientists who want to learn about the exciting world of genetics. An attention to detail and a lively tone of discovery plus an arrangement that lends to building blocks of understanding makes for a story that is packed with color illustrations throughout. The result may be directed to students, but holds additional appeal for adults looking for an easily accessible primer on the subject.

The Secret Life of the Brain
Alfred David
Firefly Books
9780228101765, $24.95,

The Secret Life of the Brain: Unlocking the Mysteries of the Mind provides insight into human thinking, consciousness, and neuroscience, and provides a basic primer on the topic intended for students and adult readers alike. Color illustrations pack discussions of such varied topics as athletics and brain chemistry, understanding the brain's role in emotions, and understanding how the nervous system syncs with brain operations and affects mental states. The result is an appealing, lively study highly recommended for all readers interested in brain function and chemistry.

Roadside Geology of Tennessee
Marcy B. Davis
Mountain Press Publishing Company
9780878426911, $26.00,

Roadside Geology of Tennessee is recommended reading for two audiences: destination travelers who like science, and geologists who would learn from an armchair read about Tennessee's unique geology. Both groups receive a coverage that may surprise those new to the concept of geology in everyday American surroundings. For example, Tennessee sports unusual meteor impact sites, fossils, and a history of having some of the largest earthquakes in North America. Whether the reader is an 'armchair reader' or bound for Tennessee, this book should be consulted or taken on the trip. It comes packed with color images supporting lively surveys of many roadside attractions that would otherwise be missed or misunderstood.

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
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Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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