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The Bookwatch

Volume 14, Number 9 September 2019 Home | BW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Needlecraft Shelf
Biography Shelf Sports Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
Woodworking Shelf Technology Shelf General Fiction Shelf
Western Fiction Shelf Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Audiobook Shelf    

Reviewer's Choice

Save the World: There is No Planet B
Louise Bradford
c/o Octopus Books
9781787830349, $9.99

Save the World: There is No Planet B: Things You Can Do Right Now to Save Our Planet provides a pocket-sized book that can serve as a take-along tote and quick read for busy individuals, and provides a host of actionable tips designed to help incorporate more eco-friendly choices into daily lives. From better choices in food coverings and travel options to considering natural textiles and better recycling options, Save the World provides that the first line of planetary defense and preservation resides in the home, and in the everyday efforts of readers who care enough to make a few simple changes in their habits.

The Writing/Publishing Shelf

The Productive Graduate Student Writer
Jan Allen
9781620368916, $21.00

The Productive Graduate Student Writer: How to Manage Your Time, Process, and Energy to Write Your Research Proposal, Thesis, and Dissertation and Get Published comes from an associate dean for academic and student affairs, and provides students with all-in-one guide to managing grad school's demands. From working on and finishing a project both without and under deadlines to defining essential tasks, conducting research, and translating it to a dissertation, this addresses the basics student writers need to know to get projects completed in a more efficient manner. Unlike more general college how-to guides or creative writer's guides, The Productive Graduate Student Writer's focus on the routines, demands, and processes of grad school makes for a specialized presentation that provides exact details on the process of research and writing for grad students.

The Needlecraft Shelf

Martingale & Company

Jo Morton's Health & Home: 13 Reproduction Quilts, from Wall Hangings to Throws (9781683560050, $27.99) offers a wide selection of Morton's quilt designs which can be used for display or covers alike, and offers new variations on traditional blocks. Close-up photos allow quilters to understand exactly how the quilts are pieced and stitched, while step-by-step instructions on their assembly leave nothing to wonder. Fans of reproduction quilts or Jo Morton's prior collections will find this a winning gathering of ideas. Stacy West's Christmas at Buttermilk Basin: 19 Patterns for Mini-Quilts and More (9781683560036, $25.99) emphasizes seasonal celebrations with 19 projects ranging from gift bags and stockings to small decorative quilts. The holiday theme is incorporated into productions that use West's wool-applique and embroidery techniques to put everything together, crafting a unique approach to home decor and gift-giving possibilities that go beyond the usual lap quilt focus.

The Biography Shelf

Hisako Matsubara
Daniel & Daniel, Publishers
9781564746146, $24.95

Mino: A Young Scientist's Life-Long Journey Through Outer and Inner Space provides an absorbing memoir of a brilliant NASA scientist whose ideas became integrated into space and communication technologies around the world. This survey of a savant's life moves from childhood to adult achievements, artistic pursuits, his Shinto belief, and his health struggles. It comes from Mino's perspective, but in fact was written by novelist Hisako Matsubara, who recreated her son's life through his own voice after she lost him. The result is a powerful and unique survey which views the world through a lost son's eyes.

The Sports Shelf

The Juji Gatame Encyclopedia
Steve Scott
9781594386472, $34.95

The Juji Gatame Encyclopedia: Comprehensive Applications of the Cross-Body Armlock packs in over four hundred variations of a particularly popular, successful hold suitable for tournament sports fighting, known as Juji Gatame. This focus on armlocks and the four main applications allows users already familiar with the basics to understand both the general theory of armlocks and the specific concepts and applications of Juji Gatame. The result is a unique reference very specific in its coverage and focus, and very highly recommended for martial arts collections.

The Health/Medicine Shelf

Osteoporosis & Osteopenia
Bryant Lusk
9781733642507, $15.99, paperback
9781733642514, $1.99, eBook

Osteoporosis & Osteopenia: Vitamin Therapy for Stronger Bones promotes the idea informed vitamin therapy to combat osteoporosis; but it's not a pop panacea that promotes irresponsible self-medicating, and actually includes warnings about the impact of improper vitamin applications. It's important to note is that all of Bryant Lusk's contentions are based on authoritative research from such entities as the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and World Health Organization, among others. Perhaps the reason why this is so well-researched is that the process stems from Bryant Lusk's background as a credentialed Safety Inspector and Quality Control Specialist. His detail-oriented approach to the facts cultivates a methodical approach that holds a few surprises for readers anticipating the usual focus on connecting bone health with concerns of the elderly. Osteoporosis & Osteopenia should be in the collections of any health-oriented library as basic primer encouraging daily supplementation routines.

Hanna Sillitoe
Kyle Books
c/o Octopus Books
9780857833921, $22.99

Radiant: Recipes to Heal Your Skin From Within comes from the creator of the blog My Goodness, and offers a diet and lifestyle change that only requires a prior interest in making adjustments in order to cure the ravages of skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Juice cleanses, meals that contain ingredients that support skin rejuvenation, and formulas for homemade beauty products offer a program for both skin condition sufferers and those who simply want to improve or maintain clear skin. Health benefits aside, these dishes will intrigue cooks looking for different fare, from a Beet and Bramley Apple Borscht to Brazil Nut Pesto, Butternut Squash and Root Cumin Soup, and Sweet Potato Gnocchi. It's the perfect all-around guide for anyone interested in improving or maintaining skin.

True Wellness: The Mind
Catherine Kurosu, MD, LAc & Aihan Kuhn, CMD, OBT
9781594396649, $15.95

True Wellness The Mind: How to Combine the Best of Western and Eastern Medicine for Optimal Health comes from authors who discuss managing sleep disorders, anxiety, and depression using a blend of exercise, better food, stress management, and qigong, and offers worksheets and advice to help readers meet these goals. Ancient wisdom blends with the latest scientific research in a blend of medical approaches designed not just to reveal the basics of true health, but individual choices that lead to it. It's this focus on such choices that helps sets True Wellness The Mind apart from similar-sounding books.

The Woodworking Shelf

Kitchen Projects for the Woodworker
Ken Horner
Linden Publishing
9781610353397, $24.95

Kitchen Projects for the Woodworker: Plans and Instructions for Over 65 Useful Kitchen Items contains over a hundred color photos, fifty diagrams, and step-by-step plans for projects that lead to practical kitchen development and tools, and offers functional and stylish kitchen woodworking ideas for everything from spice racks to kitchen stools and bowls. Color photos of finished projects accompany good-sized diagrams with measurements, highlighted tips for solving common problems, and step-by-step project specifics for materials, measuring, cutting, and assembly. Woodworkers seeking home-enhancing ideas will find this an excellent compendium of ideas.

The Technology Shelf

Practical Project Management for Engineers
Nehal Patel
Artech House
9781630815851, $129.00

Practical Project Management for Engineers is a new resource that provides engineers a clear review on how to delivery products and services and manage team efforts to do so. It's especially recommended reading for engineers moving from individual pursuits to team management, and pairs examples from real world scenarios with discussions of the techniques and best practices that help define activities, project parameters, collaborative efforts, and superior products. The result is a practical guide rooted in real-world experience and filled with management tips many an engineer will find specific and useful.

The General Fiction Shelf

Last Summer
Kerry Lonsdale
Lake Union Publishing
9781542093088, $14.95

Last Summer tells of Ella Skye, who wakes up in a hospital with amnesia after a car accident - an accident which has killed her unborn child. She struggles to reconnect with her husband Damien and to recall events, but has an uneasy and growing feeling that something remains unsaid between them. Should she let matters go, or pursue the truth? An involving story weaves a tale of recovery into a mystery that embraces relationships, danger, and new beginnings.

The Western Fiction Shelf

Come West and See: Stories
Maxim Loskutoff
W.W. Norton
9780393357011, $15.95

Fans of literary stories set in the West will find much to like about this collection of thought-provoking tales which offer diverse scenarios firmly rooted in the West. From a trapper who falls in love with a bear to a father's standoff with the government, independence, isolation, confrontation, and a changing America reaches into small towns and reveals shakeups to individual lives. The scenarios that take place in Redoubt, an isolated region of Idaho, Montana, and Eastern Oregon, offers a fine selection of experiences rooted in rural living and changes, with the stories offering interconnected but separate experiences that are satisfyingly diverse, yet together build a bigger picture.

The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

Love and Death Among the Cheetahs
Rhys Bowen
Berkley Prime Crime
9780451492845, $26.00

Love and Death Among the Cheetahs provides a new Royal Spyness mystery which takes place after amateur sleuth Georgie has married Darcy. An exotic honeymoon to Kenya of course turns into an opportunity for mystery as Georgie finds she can't elude a nose for trouble even on the most special days of her life. An atmospheric story filled with Kenya scenes and details attracts readers with a realistic backdrop to set off the engaging cat-and-mouse game which evolves. Mystery fans will find setting and events compelling.

The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

Marque of Caine
Charles E. Gannon
Baen Books
9781481484091, $16.00

This Caine Riordan novel is set two years since Caine was relieved of command. He is on the cusp of his next adventure: to visit the puzzling Dornaai, who keep his mortally wounded love Elena in their advanced medical facilities. The reason for the contact becomes evident when he learns that Elena is in danger and missing, and that the Doornaai are being threatened, as well. Intrigue, mystery, and solid sci-fi combine in a riveting story of politics and struggle that ultimate links Caine's personal life with the survival of a species and Earth itself.

The Audiobook Shelf

Hachette Audio

Three new audiobooks from Hachette offer libraries and listeners fine works that translate well to the medium. Adrian McKinty's The Chain (9781549122408, $30.00) is narrated by January LaVoy, who adds a passionate and clear voice to bring to life this story of a mother whose daughter is kidnapped. Required to both pay a ransom and kidnap another child by a caller who is herself a mother whose soon has been abducted, Rachel finds herself an unwilling participant in a kidnapping ring where every kidnapped child leads to a repeat of circumstances in The Chain. A powerful story of moral and ethical struggle evolves. Tom O'Neill and Dan Piepenbring's Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties (9781549175770, $35.00) receives a powerful reading by Kevil Stillwell, which is a good match for an equally compelling saga that reaches beyond a Manson Family expose to embrace the culture and milieu of a generation. Journalist author Tom O'Neill was reporting about the Manson murders for a magazine at a time when much had already been written about them, but his discovery of a shocking cover-up behind the official story introduced many new questions, covered here in riveting detail. Charles Hurt's Still Winning: Why America Went All In On Donald Trump-and Why We Must Do It Again (9781549148873, $35.00) is brought to life by narrator Nelson Hawthorne, who offers a clear, solid voice to this political piece about Trump's rise and support system. Whether or not the listener believes in Trump or this system, it's important to absorb the perceptions and rationales behind the story to understand its anti-Establishment perceptions and ideas surrounding Trump's presidency and its true meaning.

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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