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Volume 30, Number 8 August 2020 Home | IBW Index

Table of Contents

Reviewer's Choice Writing/Publishing Shelf Education Shelf
Science Shelf American History Shelf World History Shelf
Civil War Shelf Travel Shelf Audiobook Shelf
Library CD Shelf Library DVD/Blu-ray Shelf Theatre/Cinema Shelf
Self-Help Shelf Metaphysical Studies Shelf Health/Medicine Shelf
General Fiction Shelf Romantic Fiction Shelf Western Fiction Shelf
Mystery/Suspense Shelf Fantasy/SciFi Shelf Biography Shelf
Poetry Shelf Christian Studies Shelf Judaic Studies Shelf
Political Science Shelf Business Shelf Woodworking Shelf
Antiques/Collectibles Shelf Military Shelf Photography Shelf
Art Shelf Needlecraft Shelf Automotive Shelf
Cookbook Shelf Railroading Shelf Gardening Shelf
Computer Shelf Social Issues Shelf Philosophy Shelf
Technology Shelf    


Reviewer's Choice

Lifeboat
Maggie Craddock
New World Library
14 Pamaron Way, Novato, CA 94949
www.newworldlibrary.com
9781608686841, $17.95 PB, $14.36 Kindle, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Lifeboat: Navigating Unexpected Career Change and Disruption arrives with uncanny timing in a world faced with business and economic challenges, and teaches how to adapt emotional flexibility to overcome changing times and uncertain challenges. It comes from a veteran executive coach who has worked with Fortune 500 CEOs, teaching them how to succeed under pressure using her Lifeboat Process to change their approaches to business and life in general. Her formula for success translates well to all walks of live and ambitions, and is highly recommended reading for anyone facing new changes in this new age.

Blue-Collar Cash
Ken Rusk
Dey Street Books
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway, New York, New York 10007
www.harpercollins.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9780062989604, $24.99, HC, 272pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In a period of skyrocketing student loan debt without the promise of high-paying employment, and in an collapsing economy still in desperate need of skilled tradespeople, many are seeking new paths. In "Blue-Collar Cash: Love Your Work, Secure Your Future, and Find Happiness for Life" by Ken Rusk argues that blue-collar trades are a source of pride and that anyone can (and will) find their version of happiness by pursuing a good old-fashioned craft.

In the pages of "Blue Collar Cash", Ken shares his insights from over 30 years working in blue collar trades as an entrepreneur, mentor, and life coach. Ken knows from his own experience (first as a young kid digging ditches, and then as the owner of a successful concrete construction business) that working with your hands at a job that takes skill and practice can be monumentally rewarding and life-affirming. Since then, he has built a multi-million-dollar business and gone on to mentor hundreds of employees in how to manage their money and set achievable goals.

Using the stories of those who have discovered lives of comfort, peace, and freedom, Ken creates a step-by-step, interactive guide that also includes financial planning and savings advice, and showcases how to create alternative and realistic routes to success and fulfillment.

Critique: Expertly written, impressively informative, exceptionally thoughtful, and down right inspiring, "Blue-Collar Cash: Love Your Work, Secure Your Future, and Find Happiness for Life" is a life changing, life enhancing, life enriching read from cover to cover. While unreservedly recommended for community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Blue-Collar Cash" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781094157580, $29.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Ken Rusk is a blue-collar construction business entrepreneur who has launched multiple successful endeavors over the last thirty years. For the first years of his working life, he dug ditches around foundations to fix leaky basements. Over the years, he dug his way to a good life, one shovel of dirt at a time, and is teaching others to do the same. Rusk has extensive experience in hiring, training, and developing first-time job seekers, particularly those without college degrees. He runs Rusk Industries, Inc., which specializes in multiple construction endeavors.

Patrick J. Lucey: A Lasting Legacy
Dennis L. Dresang
Wisconsin Historical Society Press
816 State Street, Madison, WI 53575
www.wisconsinhistory.org
9780870209369, $28.95, HC, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: As Wisconsin governor from 1971 to 1977, Patrick J. Lucey pursued an ambitious progressive agenda, tempered by the concerns of a fiscal conservative and a pragmatic realist. He was known for bridging partisan divides, building coalitions, and keeping politics civil. His legacy, which included merging Wisconsin's universities into one system and equalizing the funding formula for public schools, continues to impact Wisconsin residents and communities.

Preceding his service as governor, Lucey played a key role in rebuilding the Democratic Party in Wisconsin, returning a state that had been dominated by Republicans to a more moderate two-party system. As party chairman, he built coalitions between World War II veterans, remnants of the defunct Progressive Party, urban socialists, and activists in rural communities throughout the state.

Through exclusive interviews and unprecedented access to archival materials, Professor Dennis L. Dresang shares the story of this pivotal figure in Wisconsin history, from his small-town rural roots to his wide-ranging influence.

Critique: Impressively informed and informative, "Patrick J. Lucey: A Lasting Legacy" is an outstanding work of meticulous and detailed scholarship that showcases the political contributions of Patrick J. Lucey (March 21, 1918 - May 10, 2014) to the Democratic Party in general, and Wisconsin politics in particular. A critically important contribution to community and academic library Wisconsin History and American Political Biography collections in general, and Patrick J. Lucey supplemental studies lists in particular, it should be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Patrick J. Lucey: A Lasting Legacy" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).

Editorial Note: Dennis L. Dresang is Professor Emeritus of Public Affairs and Political Science and the Founding Director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. His research and scholarly publications have focused on state politics, public personnel management, and community issues.

The Becoming of the Driftless Rivers National Park
Bryan J. Stanley
Independently Published
http://driftlessrivers.org
9781424305971, $54.00, HC, 280pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The Driftless Area is a region in southwestern Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa, and the extreme northwestern corner of Illinois, of the American Midwest. The region escaped the flattening effects of glaciation during the last ice age and is consequently characterized by steep, forested ridges, deeply carved river valleys, and karst geology characterized by spring-fed waterfalls and cold-water trout streams.

Ecologically, the Driftless Area's flora and fauna are more closely related to those of the Great Lakes region and New England than those of the broader Midwest and central Plains regions. Colloquially, the term includes the incised Paleozoic Plateau of southeastern Minnesota and northeastern Iowa.

The region includes elevations ranging from 603 to 1,719 feet (184 to 524 m) at Blue Mound State Park and covers 24,000 square miles (62,200 km2). The rugged terrain is due both to the lack of glacial deposits, or drift, and to the incision of the upper Mississippi River and its tributaries into bedrock.

"The Becoming of The Driftless Rivers National Park" by Bryan J. Stanley explicitly describes in vivid detail all of the park's attributes in its 280 pages is enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of fifteen original art plates by landscape and wildlife artist Frank Mittelstadt, as well as more 100 photos. Of special note is the inclusion of exquisite aerials of the area in the major seasons by Robert J. Hurt.

Critique: Impressively informed and informative, exceptionally 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "The Becoming of The Driftless Rivers National Park" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community, college, and university library Wisconsin History and Wisconsin Geography collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists.

Editorial Note: The Driftless Rivers National Park Foundation seeks creation of a new national park in the ruggedly beautiful blufflands of the Upper Mississippi - the heart of America.


The Writing/Publishing Shelf

Launch It!
Rick Benzel & Susan Shankin
New Insights Press
www.newinsightspress.com
9781733841160, $15.99 Paper/$5.99 Kindle

www.amazon.com/Launch-Stages-FINALLY-Writing-Publishing-ebook/dp/B086GKBQTY

Launch It! The 7 Stages to FINALLY Writing and Publishing Your Book is an excellent, informative guide for authors looking to follow through on their dreams of writing and publishing their first book. It explores the entire gamut of 7 fundamental steps of the publishing process in great detail, explained by two highly experienced publishing professionals whose background includes working at major publishing houses and then starting two self-publishing enterprises. Each of these seven stages of publishing that they explain requires a different skill set, which is why new authors often bog down either at the beginning, midway, or even just after their book is published. There are many decisions authors must make as they go through the progression of the 7 steps, from deciding what they want to write about and why, to whether to hire an editor or ghostwriter, to choosing and working with a book designer, to assessing the pros and cons of using a book distributor or KDP's print on demand option.

Launch It! explains everything you need. It helps new authors bolster their confidence to put pen to paper, finish their manuscript, and then understand their publishing options. It also provides post-publication publicity tips such as organizing a launch party. Rick Benzel & Susan Shankin's Launch It! not only provides a clear step-by-step game plan, but addresses common obstacles and provides keys to overcoming them with the goal of getting one's great book idea into print successfully, then promoting it to the public through basic marketing strategies. Many competing titles address the new writer's concern of how to produce a book, but few others incorporate the additional steps needed to understand not just the writing and creative development process, but the work of publishing and promoting one's words. Benzel and Shankin explain that the ultimate goal goes beyond publishing and explores what makes one's book unique and how to transform publishing a book into greater results such as becoming a speaker, workshop leader, or highly sought-after consultant.

Launch It! is about launching more than one's dreams, seeing them come to fruition in a logical, organized manner that acknowledges common barriers and provides the tools to overcome them. Those interested in self-publishing models for success who have something important for readers and, in these days of often working from home, more time to pass on their wisdom to others will find Launch It! an encouraging and comprehensive blueprint that takes the complex world of book publishing and synthesizes its process into seven key segments that would-be authors can easily understand and employ. Highly recommended.

The Women Writers Handbook
Ann Sandham, editor
Aurora Metro Books
www.aurorametro.com
c/o Publishers Group West (dist.)
www.pgw.com
9781912430338, $19.99, PB, 224pp

https://www.amazon.com/Women-Writers-Handbook-2020/dp/1912430339

Synopsis: Now in a newly revised edition of the publisher's inaugural publication of "The Women Writers Handbook" first published in 1990 (and which won the Pandora Award from Women-in-Publishing) features poems, stories, essays and interviews with over 30 women writers.

These women writers include both emerging authors and luminaries of contemporary literature such as: A.S. Byatt, Saskia Calliste, April De Angelis, Kit de Waal, Carol Ann Duffy, Sian Evans, Philippa Gregory, Mary Hamer, Jackie Kay, Shuchi Kothari, Bryony Lavery, Annee Lawrence, Roseanne Liang, Suchen Christine Lim, Jackie McCarrick, Laura Miles, Raman Mundair, Magda Oldziejewska, Kaite O'Reilly, Jacqueline Pepall, Gabi Reigh, Djamila Ribeiro, Fiona Rintoul, Jasvinder Sanghera, Anne Sebba, Kalista Sy, Debbie Taylor, Madeleine Thien, Claire Tomalin, Ida Vitale, Sarah Waters and the great-niece of Virginia Woolf -Emma Woolf.

Critique: Knowledgeably compiled and deftly edited, "The Women Writers Handbook" by Ann Sandham (Commissioning Edtor for Ladybird Children's Books at Penguin Random House) also features an informative Foreword by Cheryl Robson (the Aurora Metro Books publisher). Of special note is the inclusion of a instruction article on how to operate a writing workshop, a five page Resource Directory (compiled by Saskia Calliste), and a fun one-page Quiz.

Informative, thought-provoking, inspiring, "The Women Writers Handbook" is an extraordinary, unique, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in both organization and presentation. Certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Writing/Publishing collections in general, "The Women Writers Handbook" is unreservedly recommended for Women's Fiction, Literature, and Writing supplemental curriculum reading lists in particular.

Editorial Note: Together with the original writing workshops plus black and white illustrations, editor Ann Sandham has compiled this new edition of "The Women Writers Handbook" to celebrate Aurora Metro Publication's 30th anniversary as an independent publisher. 20% of profits from the sale of "The Women Writers Handbook" will to go to the Virginia Woolf statue campaign in the UK.

25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way
Geraldine Woods
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
www.wwnorton.com
9781324004851, $25.95, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: We all know the basic structure of a sentence: a subject/verb pair expressing a complete thought and ending with proper punctuation. But that classroom definition doesn't begin to describe the ways in which these elements can combine to resonate with us as we read, to make us stop and think, laugh or cry.

In "25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way", master teacher Geraldine Woods unpacks powerful examples of what she instead prefers to define as "the smallest element differentiating one writer's style from another's, a literary universe in a grain of sand." And that universe is very large: the hundreds of memorable sentences gathered here come from sources as wide-ranging as Edith Wharton and Yogi Berra, Toni Morrison and Yoda, T. S. Eliot and Groucho Marx.

Culled from fiction, nonfiction, drama, poetry, song lyrics, speeches, and even ads, these exemplary sentences are celebrated for the distinctive features (whether of structure, diction, connection/comparison, sound, or extremes) that underlie their beauty, resonance, and creativity. With dry humor and an infectious enjoyment that makes her own sentences a pleasure to read, Woods shows us the craft that goes into the construction of a memorable sentence.

Each chapter finishes with an enticing array of exercises for those who want to test their skill at a particular one of the featured twenty-five techniques, such as onomatopoeia (in the Sound section) or parallelism (in the Structure section).

"25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way" will be treasured by word nerds and language enthusiasts, writers who want to hone their craft, literature lovers, and readers of everything from song lyrics and speeches to novels and poetry.

Critique: An inherently fascinating read for anyone with an interest in the English language and storytelling, "25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way" is very highly recommended, especially for community, college, and university library Grammar, Rhetoric, and Linguistics Reference collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of writers, linguists, students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "25 Great Sentences and How They Got That Way" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.64).

Editorial Note: Geraldine Woods has taught English at every level from fifth grade through Advanced Placement, most recently at the Horace Mann School. She is the author of numerous nonfiction books for adults and children..

You Should Be Writing
Brenda Knight, author
Nita Sweeney, author
Mango Publishing
https://mango.bz
9781642502558, $15.95, PB, 180pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: From famous all-time-great poets like T.S. Eliot to modern creatives like Roxane Gay, the selected writing quotes comprising "You Should Be Writing: A Journal of Inspiration & Instruction to Keep Your Pen Moving" aim to instruct and inspire novice and experienced writers alike to become a better writer.

Featuring a writing practice on every page. This is a DIY journal that will prove to be invaluable aspiring and practicing writers everywhere. With quotes from a diverse group of historical and modern authors to use as creative prompts on every page, writers will be able to bring their writing inspiration with them wherever they are.

Additionally, "You Should Be Writing" features plenty of great advice, such as Toni Morrison's encouragement, "As a writer, a failure is just information. It's something that I've done wrong in writing, or is inaccurate or unclear. I recognize failure - which is important; some people don't - and fix it."

Critique: A DIY consumable that makes it unadvisable for community and academic library Writing/Publishing collections, "You Should Be Writing: A Journal of Inspiration & Instruction to Keep Your Pen Moving" is ideal as a curriculum text for creative writing classes and is especially recommended for any writer struggling with writer's block. It should be noted that "You Should Be Writing: A Journal of Inspiration & Instruction to Keep Your Pen Moving" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.92).

Editorial Note: Brenda Knight began her career at HarperCollins, working with luminaries Paolo Coelho, Marianne Williamson, and Huston Smith. Knight was awarded IndieFab's Publisher of the Year in 2014 at the American Library Association. Knight is a successful poet, writer, and editor who also serves as President of the Women's National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter, and is an instructor at the annual San Francisco Writers Conference, Central Coast Writers Conference.

Nita Sweeney's articles, essays, and poems have appeared in Buddhist America, Dog World, Dog Fancy, Writer's Journal, Country Living, Pitkin Review, Spring Street, WNBA-SF blog, and in several newspapers and newsletters. She writes the blog, BumGlue and publishes the monthly email, Write Now Newsletter.


The Education Shelf

Teaching Vulnerable Learners
Suzy Pepper Rollins
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
www.wwnorton.com
9780393714623, $24.95, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When our public schools fail to address the problems of struggling students, the consequences can be dire: course failures, absenteeism, suspensions or expulsions, dropouts. Those effects continue to ripple after school with lower rates of college attendance and graduation, underemployment and lower wages, and even incarceration.

Yet many of these students can experience a very different trajectory when their learning difficulties are specifically and effectively addressed. Whether it's a student with ADHD who has trouble sitting still, a student just arrived from the Dominican Republic who speaks no English, or a traumatized student who dissociates in class, there are strategies that have proven effective in overcoming the hurdles they face. "Teaching Vulnerable Learners: Strategies for Students who are Bored, Distracted, Discouraged, or Likely to Drop Out" is guide designed to help classroom teachers to recognize the most common barriers to learning and apply solutions that will work in their classrooms.

Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "Teaching Vulnerable Learners: Strategies for Students who are Bored, Distracted, Discouraged, or Likely to Drop Out" is an ideal curriculum textbook and especially suited for school district in-service training programs. Impressively informative and showcasing practical strategies and techniques for engaging problematic students in the classroom based learning process, "Teaching Vulnerable Learners" is very highly recommended for school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Suzy Pepper Rollins is an author, speaker, and consultant based in Athens, Georgia, and who works with schools across North America to create academic success for all students. She is also the founder of Math in the Fast Lane and MyEdExpert.com.

Educating Gifted Students in Middle School: A Practical Guide, third edition
Susan Rakow
Prufrock Press
PO Box 8813, Waco, TX 76714-8813
www.prufrock.com
9781618219817, $39.95, PB, 350pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Now in a newly updated and expanded third edition, "Educating Gifted Students in Middle School: A Practical Guide" will prepare classroom teachers for grades 6-8 with the challenging task of understanding and meeting the needs of gifted students in middle school.

This revised third edition: Provides a rationale and framework that middle schools can use to fill the service gap for gifted and advanced learners; Addresses the needs of learners from diverse backgrounds; Shows how to implement effective program models; Identifies best practices for the classroom; Shares research-based curriculum models.

The topics addressed in the pages of "Educating Gifted Students in Middle School: A Practical Guide" include school organization, instructional strategies in the basic subject areas, cocurricular and summer programs, the missing link of executive function skills, and counseling at-risk gifted learners. It also focuses on creative, practical, and realistic school solutions that create a vital and responsive community for all students.

Critique: An exceptionally well written, organized and presented textbook, this new third edition of "Educating Gifted Students in Middle School: A Practical Guide" is unreservedly recommended for school district, college, and university library Teacher Education reference collections in general, and Gifted Education supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular.

Editorial Note: Susan Rakow, Ph.D., taught middle school and gifted students for 30 years and directed the gifted graduate program as Clinical Associate Professor at Cleveland State University. In addition to her consulting, she is the author of "Teaching to the Top" as well as numerous articles in professional journals. She works as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor both in private practice and at Menlo Park Academy for Gifted Children.

Creativity and Chaos
Charles Suhor
NewSouth, Inc.
105 South Court Street, Montgomery, AL 36104
www.newsouthbooks.com
9781588383921, $27.95, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In "Creativity and Chaos: Reflections on a Decade of Progressive Change in Public Schools, 1967 - 1977", Charles Suhor (a senior developer, affiliate, and director of the Intellectual Freedom Center of the National Council of Teachers of English) brings to life the bold challenges to the status quo in education during a decade of national turmoil. Vietnam war protests, racial strife, assassinations, hippie communes, the sexual revolution, an emerging drug culture, and daring innovations in pop/rock music, the regimentation and rote learning of traditional schooling could not have escaped the restless temper of the times..

Suhor describes his immersion in post-World War II popular culture of New Orleans as a rich backdrop for his years as an impassioned educational reformer at local and national levels. A risk-taking teacher and district supervisor of English, he plunged headlong into controversies over black literature, censorship, ebonics, the "new grammar," faculty integration, testing, standardization, and computer technology.

He also demonstrates how the sweeping national trends often took quirky, distinctive turns in a city that delights in marching to a different drummer. Suhor's engaging account takes the reader into classrooms as well as the intrigues of central office politics and national leaders' disputes on how to best teach students in a time of change.

In no sense a doctrinal liberal, Suhor lambastes the errors and excesses of the progressive movement and traces its decline and the backlash demand for a return to basic skills. Suhor concludes with an update on innovations that have waned or persisted in today's schools.

Critique: A unique memoir of an educator during a volatile and interesting times as reflected in American educational institutions and social movements over the course of a decade, "Creativity and Chaos: Reflections on a Decade of Progressive Change in Public Schools, 1967 - 1977" is an inherently fascinating, impressively insightful, exceptionally informative, remarkably thoughtful and thought provoking read. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library 20th American Education History & Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists of education students, academia, classroom teachers, education advocates/activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Creativity and Chaos: Reflections on a Decade of Progressive Change in Public Schools, 1967 - 1977" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).


The Science Shelf

How Zoologists Organize Things
David Bainbridge
Francis Lincoln
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
www.quartoknows.com
9780711252264, $26.00, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Humankind's fascination with the animal kingdom began as a matter of survival - differentiating the edible from the toxic, the ferocious from the tractable. Since then, our compulsion to catalogue wildlife has played a key role in growing our understanding of the planet and ourselves, inspiring religious beliefs and evolving scientific theories. "How Zoologists Organize Things: The Art of Classification" unveils wild truths and even wilder myths about animals, as perpetuated by zoologists - revealing how much more there is to learn, and unlearn.

Long before Darwin, our ancestors were obsessed with the visual similarities and differences between the animals. Early scientists could sense there was an order that unified all life and formulated a variety of schemes to help illustrate this. This human quest to classify living beings has left us with a rich artistic legacy, from the folklore and religiosity of the ancient and Medieval world through the naturalistic cataloging of the Enlightenment to the modern, computer-generated classificatory labyrinth.

"How Zoologists Organize Things: The Art of Classification" tells the fascinating, visual story of this process. The wonderful zoological charts reflect prevailing artistic trends and scientific discoveries, as well as telling us as much about ourselves as they do about the creatures depicted.

Critique: An ideal and comprehensive introduction to life science taxonomies in general, and zoology in particular, "How Zoologists Organize Things: The Art of Classification" is impressively and profusely enhanced with illustrations throughout. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "How Zoologists Organize Things: The Art of Classification" will prove to be a unique and welcome addition to personal, professional, highschool, community, college, and university library Contemporary Science collections in general, and zoology supplemental curriculum reading lists in particular.

Editorial Note: The definitive voice on zoology classification., David Bainbridge is a reproductive biologist, popular science writer, and the Clinical Veterinary Anatomist at the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge. As well as many academic and clinical publications, he has written seven popular science books, widely reviewed, discussed and translated. He is also a fellow of St Catharine's College, Cambridge.


The American History Shelf

Commonwealth of Compromise
Amy Laurel Fluker
University of Missouri Press
201 S. 7th Street, Columbia, MO 65211
https://upress.missouri.edu
9780826222084, $35.00, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Commonwealth of Compromise: Civil War Commemoration in Missouri" is an important new contribution to the historical literature in which Amy Fluker (Assistant Professor of U.S. history at Youngstown State University) offers a history of Civil War commemoration in Missouri, shifting focus away from the guerrilla war and devoting equal attention to Union, African American, and Confederate commemoration.

"Commonwealth of Compromise" provides the most complete look yet at the construction of Civil War memory in Missouri, illuminating the particular challenges that shaped Civil War commemoration. As a slaveholding Union state on the Western frontier, Missouri found itself at odds with the popular narratives of Civil War memory developing in the North and the South. At the same time, the state's deeply divided population clashed with one another as they tried to find meaning in their complicated and divisive history.

As Missouri's Civil War generation constructed and competed to control Civil War memory, they undertook a series of collaborative efforts that paved the way for reconciliation to a degree unmatched by other states. Acts of Civil War commemoration have long been controversial and were never undertaken for objective purposes, but instead served to transmit particular values to future generations. Understanding this process lends informative context to contemporary debates about Civil War memory.

Critique: An extraordinarily timely contribution to our current national dialogue over Confederacy celebrating statues, Confederate general named military bases, and the removal of the last Confedrate 'Stars & Bars' from the Mississippi state flag, "Commonwealth of Compromise: Civil War Commemoration in Missouri" is a work of original and meticulous scholarship that deserves being a part of every community, college, and university library U.S. Civil War History in general, and 19th century Missouri History supplemental curriculum reading lists in particular. It should be noted that "Commonwealth of Compromise: Civil War Commemoration in Missouri" is also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $33.25).


The World History Shelf

Ancient Rome: An Introductory History
Pal A. Zoch
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
www.oupress.com
9780806164779, $26.95, PB, 312pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In this revised and expanded second edition of "Ancient Rome: An Introductory History", author Paul A. Zoch presents the history and mythology of Rome, from its legendary progenitor Aeneas to the death of the philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius in 180 c.e. Zoch guides readers through the military campaigns and political developments that shaped Rome's rise from a small Italian city to the greatest imperial power the world had ever known, and he includes stories about its protagonists (such as Romulus and Remus, Horatius, and Nero) that are often omitted from more specialized studies.

In Zoch's retelling, the events and personalities of ancient Rome spring to life. We witness the long struggle against the enemy city of Carthage. We follow Caesar as he campaigns in Britain, and we observe the ebb and flow of Rome's fortunes in the Hellenistic East.

Emphasizing both the political and moral lessons to be learned from Roman history (and that remain relevant today) Zoch gives readers a narrative that is both entertaining and informative. An afterword takes the history to the fall of the Roman Empire in the West in 476 c.e.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a number of illustrations, a six page Bibliography, and a twelve page Index, this newly revised second edition of "Ancient Rome: An Introductory History" is particularly recommended for Roman History supplemental curriculum reading lists and will prove to be of value to students and ideal for the non-specialist general reader with an interest in the subject. Impressively well written, organized and presented, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Ancient Rome: An Introductory History" is also readily available in a digital book format (eTextbook, $24.95).

Editorial Note: Paul A. Zoch is a Houston-based educator with thirty-one years of experience teaching Latin and ancient Roman history. He is also the author of "Doomed to Fail: The Built-In Defects of American Education".

Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins
Ariane Thomas & Timothy Potts, editors
Getty Publications
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90049-1682
www.getty.edu/publications
9781606066492, $65.00, HC, 236pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Mesopotamia, in modern-day Iraq, was home to the remarkable ancient civilizations of Sumer, Akkad, Babylonia, and Assyria. From the rise of the first cities around 3500 BCE, through the mighty empires of Nineveh and Babylon, to the demise of its native culture around 100 CE, Mesopotamia produced some of the most powerful and captivating art of antiquity and led the world in astronomy, mathematics, and other sciences -- a legacy that lives on today.

Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by Ariane Thomas (Curator of the Mesopotamian Collections, Department of Near Eastern Antiquities, Musee du Louvre, Paris; and Timothy Potts (Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles), "Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins presents a rich and illustrated panorama of ancient Mesopotamia's history, from its earliest prehistoric cultures to its conquest by Alexander the Great in 331 BCE.

This original and detailed catalogue records the beauty and variety of the objects on display, on loan from the Louvre's unparalleled collection of ancient Near Eastern antiquities: cylinder seals, monumental sculptures, cuneiform tablets, jewelry, glazed bricks, paintings, figurines, and more. Essays by international experts explore a range of topics, from the earliest French excavations to Mesopotamia's economy, religion, cities, cuneiform writing, rulers, and history -- as well as its enduring presence in the contemporary imagination.

Critique: Published to accompany an exhibition on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa March 18 to July 27, 2020, "Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins" is an extraordinary coffee- table style (9 x 0.9 x 11.5 inches) volume that is as comprehensively informative and expertly organized as it is beautifully illustrated and presented throughout, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Iraq Assyria, Babylonia & Sumer History collections in general, and Ancient Mesopotamia History supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular.


The Civil War Shelf

Vicksburg Besieged
Steven E. Woodworth & Charles D. Grear, editors
Southern Illinois University Press
1915 University Press Drive, Carbondale, IL 62901
www.siupress.com
9780809337835, $29.50, HC, 200pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Vicksburg, Mississippi, held strong through a bitter, hard-fought, months-long Civil War campaign, but General Ulysses S. Grant's forty-day siege ended the stalemate and, on July 4, 1863, destroyed Confederate control of the Mississippi River. Deftly edited by Steven E. Woodworth and Charles D. Grear, "Vicksburg Besieged" is the first anthology to examine the Vicksburg Campaign's final phase with contributions by nine prominent historians and emerging scholars (Andrew S. Bledsoe, John J. Gaines, Charles D. Grear, Martin J. Hershock, Richard H. Holloway, Justin S. Solonick, Scott L. Stabler, Jonathan M. Steplyk, and Steven E. Woodworth) providing an in-depth analysis of previously unexamined aspects of this historic Civil War siege.

Ranging in scope from military to social history, the contributors' invitingly written essays examine the role of Grant's staff, the critical contributions of African American troops to the Union Army of the Tennessee, both sides' use of sharpshooters and soldiers' opinions about them, unusual nighttime activities between the Union siege lines and Confederate defensive positions, the use of West Point siege theory and the ingenuity of Midwestern soldiers in mining tunnels under the city's defenses, the horrific experiences of civilians trapped in Vicksburg, the failure of Louisiana soldiers' defense at the subsequent siege of Jackson, and the effect of the campaign on Confederate soldiers from the Trans-Mississippi region.

The contributors explore how the Confederate Army of Mississippi and residents of Vicksburg faced food and supply shortages as well as constant danger from Union cannons and sharpshooters. Rebel troops under the leadership of General John C. Pemberton sought to stave off the Union soldiers, and though their morale plummeted, the besieged soldiers held their ground until starvation set in. Their surrender meant that Grant's forces succeeded in splitting in half the Confederate States of America

Critique: An impressively informative body of original Civil War scholarship that is enhanced with the inclusion of illustrations, a listing of the contributors and their credentials, and a seven page Index, "Vicksburg Besieged" will prove to be an enduringly valued contribution to the growing body of American Civil War histories and is unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Civil War collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, Civil War history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Vicksburg Besieged" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $28.02).

Editorial Note: Steven E. Woodworth, a professor of history at Texas Christian University, has authored, coauthored, or edited more than thirty books on the Civil War era, including Nothing but Victory: The Army of the Tennessee, 1861 - 1865, and Jefferson Davis and His Generals: The Failure of Confederate Command in the West. He is a coeditor of the Civil War Campaigns in the West series.

Charles D. Grear, a professor of history at Central Texas College, has written extensively on Texas and the Civil War, including Why Texans Fought in the Civil War. In addition, he has edited several books, among them The Tennessee Campaign of 1864 and The Vicksburg Assaults, May 19 - 22, 1863. He is a coeditor of the Civil War Campaigns in the West series.

Hellmira
Derek Maxfield
Savas Beatie
PO Box 4527, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762
www.savasbeatie.com
9781611214871, $14.95, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Long called by some the "Andersonville of the North," the prisoner of war camp in Elmira, New York, is remembered as the most notorious of all Union-run POW camps. It existed for only one year (from the summer of 1864 to July 1865) but in that time, and for long after, it became darkly emblematic of man's inhumanity to man. Confederate prisoners called it "Hellmira."

Hastily constructed, poorly planned, and overcrowded, prisoner of war camps North and South were dumping grounds for the refuse of war. An unfortunate necessity, both sides regarded the camps as temporary inconveniences -- and distractions from the important task of winning the war. There was no need, they believed, to construct expensive shelters or provide better rations. They needed only to sustain life long enough for the war to be won. Victory would deliver prisoners from their conditions.

As a result, conditions in the prisoner of war camps amounted to a great humanitarian crisis, the extent of which could hardly be understood even after the blood stopped flowing on the battlefields.

In the years after the war, as Reconstruction became increasingly bitter, the North pointed to Camp Sumter (better known as the Andersonville POW camp in Americus, Georgia) as evidence of the cruelty and barbarity of the Confederacy. The South, in turn, cited the camp in Elmira as a place where Union authorities withheld adequate food and shelter and purposefully caused thousands to suffer in the bitter cold. This finger-pointing by both sides would go on for over a century. And as it did, the legend of Hellmira grew.

Critique: A seminal work of outstanding and meticulous scholarship, "Hellmira: The Union's Most Infamous Civil War Prison Camp - Elmira, NY" brings out of historical obscurity one of the most tragic aspects of the Union's conduct during the American Civil War. A unique and informative contributions to the growing library of Civil War histories, "Hellmira: The Union's Most Infamous Civil War Prison Camp - Elmira, NY" is an important and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library American Civil War collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.97) for students, academia, and Civil War history buffs.

Editorial Note: Derek Maxfield is an Associate Professor of History at Genesee Community College in Batavia, New York. In 2013, Professor Maxfield was awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities and, more recently, was nominated for the 2019 SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.


The Travel Shelf

Lonely Planet's Best of USA
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street, Oakland CA 94607
www.lonelyplanet.com
9781787015500, $29.99, PB, 388pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Lonely Planet's Best of USA" is an ideal compendium offering the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await the traveler who is out to discover America. From exploring the kaleidoscopic streets of New York City, to feasting on lip-smacking jambalaya in New Orleans, to finding solitude and space in Yosemite National Park "Lonely Planet's Best of USA" allows the traveler to get to the heart of the USA.

"Lonely Planet's Best of USA" features: Color maps and images throughout; Highlights and itineraries which help to tailor trips to personal needs and interests; Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots; Essential information such as hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices; Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sightseeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss: Cultural insights to history, people, music, landscapes, wildlife, cuisine, politics, thereby giving a richer, more rewarding travel experience.

"Lonely Planet's Best of USA" covers New York City, New England, Washington DC, Chicago, Miami, Walt Disney World, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and more!

Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Lonely Planet's Best of USA" is impressively informative, highly portable, and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Travel Guide collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Lonely Planet's Best of USA" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.39).

Day Hiking Mount Hood: A Year-Round Guide
Eli Boschetto
Mountaineers Books
1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98134-1161
www.mountaineersbooks.org
9781680511246, $21.95, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Mount Hood is a potentially active stratovolcano in the Cascade Volcanic Arc. It was formed by a subduction zone on the Pacific coast and rests in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located about 50 miles (80 km) east-southeast of Portland, on the border between Clackamas and Hood River counties. In addition to being Oregon's highest mountain, it is one of the loftiest mountains in the nation based on its prominence, and it offers the only year-round lift-served skiing in North America. (Wikipedia)

"Day Hiking: Mount Hood" by Eli Boschetto is comprised of 85 hikes that range from easy to strenuous, along with such additional features that include: General info on safety, weather, wildlife, road and trail conditions, and more; For each hike its rating and difficulty, distance, elevation gain and high point, best season, recommended maps, land management information, trailhead GPS coordinates, how to go farther, and more; Detailed route descriptions and easy-to-follow driving directions for each hike; Quick-reference icons for kid- and dog-friendly, wildflowers, waterfalls, historical significance, and more.

The there are the at-a-glance charts to help readers choose the day's adventure; a wildflower identification appendix; and full color photographic images throughout. Of special note is that 1% of sales will be donated to the Oregon Trails Coalition.

Critique: Compact for easy transportation when hiking, "Day Hiking Mount Hood: A Year-Round Guide" should be considered an essential guide for anyone contemplating a day trip, an extended excursion, or a multiple day vacation centered on Mount Hood. While highly recommended for community library Travel Guide collections, it should be noted for personal reading and reference lists that "Day Hiking Mount Hood: A Year-Round Guide" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.95).

Editorial Note: Eli Boschetto is a professional hiker, writer, and author based in Portland, Oregon, and has put more than 6000 miles under his hiking boots exploring the mountains and wilderness areas throughout the western US and Canada. He is the author of Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Oregon and Urban Trails Portland, both published by Mountaineers Books. Eli is also an accomplished outdoor photographer and has worked as a Northwest correspondent for Backpacker magazine as well as editor of Washington Trails magazine. He can be visited online at PCTOregon.com or on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @pctoregon.


The Audiobook Shelf

The Long Fix
Vivian S. Lee, MD, author
Charles Constant, narrator
Kalorama Audio
c/o HighBridge
https://highbridgeaudio.com
9781684579280 $29.99

Synopsis: Beyond the outrageous expense, the quality of care varies wildly, and millions of Americans can't get care when they need it. This is bad for patients, bad for doctors, and bad for business.

In The Long Fix, physician and health care CEO Vivian S. Lee, MD, cuts to the heart of the health care crisis. The problem with the way medicine is practiced, she explains, is not so much who's paying, it's what we are paying for. Insurers, employers, the government, and individuals pay for every procedure, prescription, and lab test, whether or not it makes us better - and that is both backward and dangerous.

Dr. Lee proposes turning the way we receive care completely inside out. When doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies are paid to keep people healthy, care improves and costs decrease. Lee shares inspiring examples of how this has been done, from physicians' practices that prioritize preventative care, to hospitals that adapt lessons from manufacturing plants to make them safer, to health care organizations that share online how much care costs and how well each physician is caring for patients.

Using clear and compelling language, Dr. Lee paints a picture that is both realistic and optimistic. It may not be a quick fix, but her concrete action plan for reform - for employers and other payers, patients, clinicians, and policy makers - can reinvent health care, and create a less costly, more efficient, and healthier system for all.

Critique: Now in an unabridged audiobook, The Long Fix examines America's health care crises and proposes drastic solutions to improve quality of care and counter the entrenched interests of an industry that reaps more profit by extracting money from sick people than keeping people healthy. From the importance of emphasizing preventative care, to adapting successful practices of businesses in other fields to make hospitals safer, The Long Fix is packed with a wealth of practical-minded and literally lifesaving recommendations. The Long Fix is highly recommended for both personal and public library audiobook collections. 6 CDs, 7 hours.

The Madwoman and the Roomba
Sandra Tsing Loh, author and narrator
HighBridge Audio Books
https://highbridgeaudio.com
9781684579396 $29.99

Synopsis: Ah, 55. Gateway to the golden years! Professional summiting. Emotional maturity. Easy surfing toward the glassy blue waters of retirement... Or maybe not? Middle age, for Sandra Tsing Loh, feels more like living a disorganized 25-year-old's life in an 85-year-old's malfunctioning body. With raucous wit and carefree candor, Loh recounts the struggles of leaning in, staying lean, and keeping her family well-fed and financially afloat - all those burdens of running a household that still, all-too-often, fall to women.

The Madwoman and the Roomba chronicles a roller coaster year for Loh, her partner, and her two teenage daughters in their ramshackle quasi-Craftsman, with a front lawn that's more like a rectangle of compacted dirt and mice that greet her as she makes her morning coffee. Her daughters are spending more time online than off; her partner has become a Hindu, bringing in a household of monks; and she and her girlfriends are wondering over Groupon "well" drinks how they got here.

Whether prematurely freaking out about her daughters' college applications, worrying over her eccentric aging father, or overcoming the pitfalls of long-term partnership and the temptations of paired-with-cheese online goddess webinars, Loh somehow navigates the realities of what it means to be a middle-aged woman in the twenty-first century. By day's end, we just might need a box of Chardonnay and a Roomba to clean up the mess.

Critique: Now available as an unabridged audiobook, The Madwoman and the Roomba is a uniquely wry, hilariously honest testimony of a year in the life of author Sandra Tsing Loh, a middle-aged woman with a house to clean, a family to provide for, and a body that seems to act thirty years older than it is. Insightful, witty, and ruefully observant, The Madwoman and the Roomba is highly recommended for both personal and public library audiobook collections. 8.5 hours on 7 CDs.

Illuminating History
Bernard Bailyn, author
Tom Parks, narrator
HighBridge Audio Books
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
https://highbridgeaudio.com
9781684578290, $29.99, CD, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Bernard Bailyn is Adams University Professor and James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History, emeritus, at Harvard University. His many distinguished works have been awarded two Pulitzer Prizes, the National Book Award, the Bancroft Prize, and the National Humanities Medal.

Over his remarkable career Professor Bailyn has reshaped our understanding of the early American past. Inscribing his superb scholarship with passion and imagination honed by a commitment to rigor, in "Illuminating History: A Retrospective of Seven Decades" Professor Bailyn captures the particularity of the past and its broad significance in precise, elegant prose.

His transformative work has ranged from a new reckoning with the ideology that powered the opposition to British authority in the American Revolution to a sweeping account of the peopling of America and the critical nurturing of a new field, the history of the Atlantic world.

"Illuminating History" is the most personal of Professor Bailyn's works. It is in part an intellectual memoir of the significant turns in an immensely productive and influential scholarly career. It is also alive with people whose actions touched the long arc of history.

Among the dramatic human stories that command our attention: a struggling Boston merchant tormented by the tensions between capitalist avarice and a constrictive Puritan piety; an ordinary shopkeeper who in a unique way feverishly condemned British authority as corrupt and unworthy of public confidence; and a charismatic German Pietist who founded a cloister in the Pennsylvania wilderness.

"Illuminating History: A Retrospective of Seven Decades" is vivid history and an illuminating self-portrait from one of the most eminent historians of our time.

Critique: Impressively informed and informative, "Illuminating History: A Retrospective of Seven Decades" is effectively and expertly narrated by Tom Parks. The result is the next best thing to sitting front row center in one of Professor Bernard Bailyn's classes. The complete and unabridged edition (7 CDs, 8 Hours) from HighBridge Audio will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community, college, and university library audio book collections.

The Lending Library
Aliza Fogelson
Brilliance Audio
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781799746287, $14.99, CD, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When the Chatsworth library closes indefinitely, Dodie Fairisle loses her sanctuary. How is a small-town art teacher supposed to cope without the never-ending life advice and enjoyment that books give her? Well, when she's as resourceful and generous as Dodie, she turns her sunroom into her very own little lending library.

At first just a hobby, this lit lovers' haven opens up her world in incredible ways. She knows books are powerful, and soon enough they help her forge friendships between her zany neighbors -- and attract an exciting new romance!

But when the chance to adopt an orphaned child brings Dodie's secret dream of motherhood within reach, everything else suddenly seems less important. Finding herself at a crossroads, Dodie must figure out what it means to live a full, happy life. If only there were a book that could tell her what to do!

Critique: Expertly and engagingly narrative by Chris Dukehart, "The Lending Library" by novelist Aliza Fogelson is an impressively entertaining experience. With its flawless production values, this complete and unabridged edition of "The Lending Library" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library collections and personal listening lists. (7 CDs, Running Time: 8 Hours, 15 Minutes)

A World of Secrets
James Maxwell, author
Simon Vance, narrator
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781713500667, $14.99, CD, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In a world of secrets, Taimin and Selena are desperate for answers. They need to discover the truth about their origins and the firewall that borders the wasteland. If they don't find the hidden path they seek, the citizens of Zorn will die.

As they make the perilous journey to the distant firewall, Taimin and Selena are joined by three companions: a young healer, a weapons trader, and an old rover. Together the five are in constant danger, unable to rely on Selena's powers as she has lost the ability to farcast -- and she doesn't know how to get it back.

Now Taimin finds himself hunted by a new enemy -- a strange creature on a bloodthirsty quest of his own. Taimin and Selena get ever closer to the answers that are essential to their survival. But will they learn the truth in time to save themselves?

Critique: An impressively unique and simply riveting science fiction novel by James Maxwell that is expertly brought to life by the narrative talents of Simon Vance, this complete and unabridged audio book edition of "A World Of Secrets" (the second volume of Maxwell's 'The Firewall Trilogy) is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, community, and college/university library Science Fiction audio book collections. (7 CDs, Running time: 8 hours, 27 minutes)

Let Them Eat Tweets
Jacob S. Hacker & Paul Pierson
Kalorama
c/o Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
www.recordedbooks.com
9781684579266, $34.99, CD, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Now under the total domination of Donald Trump. does the GOP now represent "forgotten" Americans cited so effusively in his presidential campaign of 2016 -- or does it continue represent the superrich popularly known as the 1% ?

In "Let Them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality", political scientists Jacob S. Hacker (Yale University) and Paul Pierson (University of California - Berkeley) have effectively collaborated to offer a definitive answer: the Republican Party serves its plutocratic masters to a degree without precedent in modern global history.

Historically, conservative political parties, by their very nature, have almost always sided with the rich. But when faced with popular resistance, they usually make concessions, allowing some policies that benefit the working and middle classes. After all, how can a political party maintain power in a democracy if it serves only the interests of a narrow and wealthy slice of society?

Today's Republicans have shown the way to a small minority overruling the vast majority by doubling down on a truly reactionary, elite-benefitting economic agenda while at the same time making increasingly incendiary racial and cultural appeals to their almost entirely white base.

Telling a forty-year story, Hacker and Pierson demonstrate that since the early 1980s, when inequality started spiking, extreme tax cutting, union busting, and deregulation have gone hand in hand with extreme race-baiting, outrage stoking, and disinformation. As Hacker and Pierson argue, Trump isn't a break with the GOP's recent past. On the contrary, he embodies and perpetuates its tightening embrace of plutocracy and right-wing extremism.

Critique: Expertly narrated by Peter Berkrot, "Let Them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality" is an extraordinary and impressively informed and informative presentation, not of the political sins of Donald Trump, but of the systemic conditions created and maintaining by a plutocracy that set the conditions necessary for the rise of someone like Trump. "Let Them Eat Tweets" should be a part of every community, college, and university library Contemporary Political Science collection. This complete and unabridged CD audio book edition of "Let Them Eat Tweets" is a 'must' for anyone and everyone who is struggling for social, economic, political, and racial equality -- especially in this time of pandemic and economic collapse, and with an every rising American death toll due to the incompetence of Trump's presidential conduct and the 70% support it has (and continues to have) commanded from both the elected Republican officer holders and the Republic rank and file.

The Solace of Bay Leaves
Leslie Budewitz, author
Dara Rosenberg, narrator
Tantor
https://tantor.com
9781630155476 $37.99

Synopsis: Pepper Reece never expected to find solace in bay leaves.

But when her life fell apart at forty and she bought the venerable-but-rundown Spice Shop in Seattle's Pike Place Market, her days took a tasty turn. Now she's savoring the prospect of a flavorful fall and a busy holiday cooking season, until danger bubbles to the surface...

Between managing her shop, worrying about her staff, and navigating a delicious new relationship, Pepper's firing on all burners. But when her childhood friend Maddie is shot and gravely wounded, the incident is quickly tied to an unsolved murder that left another close friend a widow.

Convinced that the secret to both crimes lies in the history of a once-beloved building, Pepper uses her local-girl contacts and her talent for asking questions to unearth startling links between the past and present - links that suggest her childhood friend may not have been the Golden Girl she appeared to be. Pepper is forced to face her own regrets and unsavory emotions, if she wants to save Maddie's life - and her own.

Critique: Now available as an unabridged audiobook, The Solace of Bay Leaves: A Spice Shop Mystery is the fifth novel in the Spice Shop mystery series by award-winning author Leslie Budewitz. Pepper Reece is a forty-something single woman who has picked up the pieces of her life and become the owner of a spice shop. When a childhood friend suffers a grievous injury, Pepper becomes entangled in the pursuit of justice over an unsolved murder. The Solace of Bay Leaves is deliciously intriguing, highly recommended for connoisseurs of cozy mysteries, and a choice pick for both personal and public library audiobook collections. 8 hours on 7 CDs.

Death Rattle
Alex Gilly, author
Christopher Lane, narrator
Brilliance Corporation
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781491591574, $37.99 List/$29.99 Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/Death-Rattle-Alex-Gilly/dp/1491591579

Synopsis: A death in a migrant detention center leads officer Nick Finn and his wife, human-rights lawyer Mona Jimenez, to investigate the prison's account of what happened.

Trouble is, the company that runs the prison is on the verge of signing a billion-dollar procurement contract with Homeland Security. And there are people in this world for whom a billion dollars is worth a whole lot more than one human life. Or even three!

Critique: With an all too believable and deftly written plot that could easily be ripped from today's newspaper headlines with respect to the institutionally systemic mistreatment of immigrant detainees, "Death Rattle" by novelist Alex Gilly is expertly narrative by Christopher Lane in this complete and unabridged CD audio book edition -- making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to both personal and community library audio book collections. (7 CDs, Running Time: 8 hours, 28 minutes)

Nothing Special VII: EX Meridian
A. E. Via, author
Aiden Snow, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
https://tantor.com/new-releases.html
9781705212776, $24.99, CD, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Take a man and strip him of his ability to feel compassion, empathy, remorse, or any of the emotions that make him human, but leave the ones that ignite rage and aggression and you have the perfect killing machine-now imagine two of them.

Code names Ex and Meridian are synonymous for 'guaranteed death' to international terrorists. Two broken men from the same crooked streets, recruited into an unsanctioned government program that few know about. Trained to operate most efficiently-lethally-together.

When Ex returns from an op in Bolivia to learn his little brother has been accidentally killed in a feud between drug gangs, he's stateside before he can consider the rules he'll be breaking, and of course Meridian is right beside him. There's mayhem on the streets of Atlanta and the police are losing control. If Godfrey and his elite team of detectives can't get the job done, then they'd be happy to lighten their caseloads for them. And neither Ex nor Meridian cares about doing it quietly.

Critique: As a novelist, A. E. Via has complete mastery of narrative driven storytelling as showcased in the latest addition to his 'Nothing Special' series with "Ex Meridian", an original and compelling story that deftly blends elements of romance with solid action/adventure. Expertly narrated by the vocal talents of Aiden Snow, this complete and unabridged CD audio book edition of "Nothing Special VII: Ex Meridian" will be a welcome and popular addition to both personal and community library audio book collections. (7 CDs, Running Time: 8.5 Hours)

Scarlet Odyssey
C. T. Rwizi
Brilliance Audio
PO Box 887, Grand Haven, MI 49417
www.brillianceaudio.com
9781799755647, $24.99, CD, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Among his people, men do not become mystics -- they become warriors. But eighteen-year-old Salo has never been good at conforming to his tribe's expectations. For as long as he can remember, he has loved books and magic in a culture where such things are considered unmanly. Despite it being sacrilege, Salo has worked on a magical device in secret that will awaken his latent magical powers. And when his village is attacked by a cruel enchantress, Salo knows that it is time to take action.

Salo's queen is surprisingly accepting of his desire to be a mystic, but she will not allow him to stay in the tribe. Instead, she sends Salo on a quest. The quest will take him thousands of miles north to the Jungle City, the political heart of the continent. There he must gather information on a growing threat to his tribe.

On the way to the city, he is joined by three fellow outcasts: a shunned female warrior, a mysterious nomad, and a deadly assassin. But they're being hunted by the same enchantress who attacked Salo's village. She may hold the key to Salo's awakening -- and his redemption.

Critique: A deftly crafted hero saga, "Scarlet Odyssey" by C. T. Rwizi is brought vividly to life by the narrative talents of Janina Edwards, Korey Jackson, Robin Eller, Kimberly Woods, and Susan Dalian. Expertly production values make this complete and unabridged production of "Scarlet Odyssey" a true 'theatre of the mind" experience. A thoroughly entertaining experience from beginning to end, "Scarlet Odyssey" is especially and enthusiastically recommended for all community library audio book collections. (15 CDs, Running Time: 19 Hours, 28 Minutes)

The Driest Season
Meghan Kenny, author
Amy Melissa Bentley, narrator
HighBridge Audio Books
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
https://highbridgeaudio.com
9781696601054, $24.99, CD, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: As her Wisconsin community endures a long season of drought and feels the shockwaves of World War II, fifteen-year-old Cielle endures a more personal calamity: the unexpected death of her father.

On a balmy summer afternoon, she finds him hanging in the barn-the start of a dark secret that threatens her family's livelihood. A war rages elsewhere, while in the deceptive calm of the American heartland, Cielle's family contends with a new reality and fights not to be undone.

"The Driest Season" creates a moving portrait of Cielle's struggle to make sense of her father's time on earth, and of her own and is a deeply affecting story of a young woman discovering loss, heartache, and-finally-hope.

Critique: All the more impressive when considering that "The Driest Season" is author Meghan Kenny's debut as a novelist, this impressively produced, complete and unabridged audio book production is effectively narrated by Amy Melissa Bentley, the listener will especially appreciate the unexpected and deftly plotted twists and turns. "The Driest Season" is very highly recommended for community library audio book collections. (5 CDs, 5 Hours, 45 minutes)


The Library CD Shelf

Brazil: Samba, Bossa and Beyond!
Putumayo Presents
www.putumayo.com
$14.98 CD

Brazil: Samba, Bossa and Beyond! is an anthology of songs by a variety of music artists, steeped in the vibrant musical culture of Brazil. Individual pieces draw upon Amazonian rhythms, African roots, samba and bossa. Brazil: Samba, Bossa and Beyond! is a lively, brilliant addition to multicultural music collections, highly recommended both for individual connoisseurs and public libraries. The full, physical CD from Putumayo Presents also comes with an album download card. The tracks are "Embola Bola", "Fala Brasil", "Beijo", "Sapata de Ouro", "Recado Que Maria Mandou", "Homenagem aos Orixas", "Babulina", "Sete Espadas", "O Samba Me Cantou", and "Batuque e Reza Forte".

The Lost Masters
Sons of the Pioneers
Western Heritage Collection
Country Rewind Records
www.countryrewind.com
c/o Hindsight Records
$8.69 CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

The Lost Masters is an album of traditional country music, brimming with spirit and gumption. Enthusiastic, powerful, and steeped in American heritage, The Lost Masters is a "must-have" for connoisseurs of new contributions to a widely beloved genre. Highly recommended for both personal and public library collections. The tracks are "Cowboy Jubilee", "Blue Prairie", "Open Range Ahead", "When Payday Rolls Around", "Wind", "Yippi Yi Your Troubles Away", "The Everlasting Hills of Oklahoma", "A Cowboy Has To Sing", "Along the Navajo Trail", "Hold That Critter Down", "Cimarron (Roll on)", "Chant of the Plains (I Need You)", "Whoopie Ti Yi Yo", "Song of the Trail", "Ridin' Home", and "Chant of the Wanderer".

The Country Blues
Billy Don Burns
Country Rewind Records
www.countryrewind.com
c/o Hindsight Records
$10.98 CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com

The Country Blues is an album of original country songs for the modern era, crafted with heart and passion. Offering a rousing course of traditional country themes, The Country Blues is a treasure for connoisseurs of the genre, and highly recommended for both personal and public library collections. The tracks are "Runnin' Drugs Out Of Mexico", "Mexican Woman", "No Shortage Of The Blues", "Damn Cryin' Shame", "Stranger", "The Prison Song", "Ramblin' Gypsy", "You Lied Our Love Away", "I Like Trains", "No God In Juarez", "Wild Dogs", and "Honky Tonk Boots".

No Summer
Cinder Well
cinderwellmusic.com
Free Dirt
freedirt.net
$14.98 CD / $8.99 MP3 amazon.com

No Summer is an original album of thoughtful, contemplative music, drawing upon "doom folk" and roots traditions as well as performer Cinder Well's connection to her Irish home. Reflecting the uncertainty of modern times, No Summer stirs the listener to carefully reconsider their perspectives. A haunting, thought-provoking, and unforgettable collection, No Summer is highly recommended. The tracks are "Wandering Boy", "No Summer", "Our Lady's", "Fallen", "The Cuckoo", "Old Enough", "Queen of the Earth, Child of the Skies", "The Doorway", and "From Behind the Curtain".

Electric Lemonade
Space Kamp
RHM
$TBA CD / $8.99 MP3 amazon.com

Electric Lemonade is an original album by Space Kamp, showcasing their talent for hip hop and reggae, and spreading their message of love. Vibrant, soulful, and evocative, Electric Lemonade is a treasure for connoisseurs of the genre. The tracks are "New Strains", "A.D.I.D.A.S.", "Life's a Beach", "Girl Like You", "Home Grown", "Summer of Love", "Chicken and Waffles", "In My Bag", "500 Miles", and "Electric Lemonade".


The Library DVD/Blu-ray Shelf

City Dreamers
A film by Joseph Hillel
First Run Features
$24.95 www.firstrunfeatures.com

City Dreamers is a documentary about the changes of cities over the past 70 years, featuring insights from four female architects. Phyllis Lambert, Blanche Lemco van Ginkel, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, and Denise Scott Brown bring their wealth of experience in architecture and urban planning to this beautifully shot, extraordinarily insightful film. City Dreamers will appeal to architecture connoisseurs, city planners, and lay viewers alike, and is highly recommended especially for public library DVD collections. 81 min., English and French with English subtitles.

Caribbean Coast
Bennett-Watt Entertainment, Inc.
www.Bennett-Watt.com
9781604902990 $24.95

Part of the "Discoveries Costa Rica" DVD series, Caribbean Coast is an astonishingly beautiful DVD documentary, featuring gorgeous scenes of 78 miles of Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. From the vibrant wildlife of Gandoca Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, to the coral reef and white sand beaches of Cahuita National Park, to the saga of how dozens of great green macaws have been successfully reintroduced to the wild, Caribbean Coast is an extraordinary visual tour and the next best thing to visiting this wondrous area in person. Highly recommended, especially for armchair travelers and public library collections! 53 min.

Texas, New Mexico & Arizona
Bennett-Watt Entertainment, Inc.
www.Bennett-Watt.com
9781604902181 $24.95

Part of the Discoveries... America National Parks series of video essays on DVD, Texas, New Mexico & Arizona is a panoramically beautiful showcase of parks in the desert southwest region of the United States. From Palo Alto Battlefield to Alibates Flint Quarries, Guadalupe Mountains, Saguaro National Park, Calrsbad Caverns, and more, Texas, New Mexico & Arizona is the next best thing to visiting this breathtaking, enriching, and culturally significant places in person. Texas, New Mexico & Arizona is highly recommended both for armchair travelers and for public library DVD collections. 56 min.

Caves, Fossils, Nature & Hot Springs
Bennett-Watt Entertainment, Inc.
www.Bennett-Watt.com
9781604902198 $24.95

Part of the Discoveries... America National Parks series of video essays on DVD, Caves, Fossils, Nature & Hot Springs showcases a wide assortment of breathtaking natural wonders in American parks. The gorgeous footage and vivid descriptions make Caves, Fossils, Nature & Hot Springs the next best thing to an in-person tour! Spotlighted locations include California lava beds, Oregon caves (such as the "Marble Halls of Oregon"), the John Day Fossil Beds, the Great Smoky Mountains, ancient thermal springs of Arkansas, and more. Captivating and educational, Caves, Fossils, Nature & Hot Springs is highly recommended both for armchair travelers and public library DVD collections. 57 min.

Deadwater Fell
Starring David Tennant and Cush Jumbo
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment
www.us.RLJEntertainment.com
$34.99 www.acornonline.com

Deadwater Fell is the DVD debut of an original British mystery mini-series, set in a small Scottish community. The idyllic life of a respected physician, his schoolteacher wife, and their two best friends is upended when a housefire strikes, and a disturbing discovery comes to light. Was the fire arson, set by someone with a destructive or even a murderous grudge? A captivating work of modern noir crime drama, Deadwater Fell is highly recommended especially for connoisseurs of the genre and public library DVD collections. 4 episodes, 191 min., SDH subtitles.

Murdoch Mysteries, season 13
Starring Yannick Bisson
Acorn Media
c/o RLJ Entertainment
www.us.RLJEntertainment.com
$59.99 www.acornonline.com

Available in both DVD and Blu-ray formats, Murdoch Mysteries, season 13 is the latest volume of a mystery series set in late 19th century Toronto, and featuring the methodical, dapper, gadget- carrying Detective William Murdoch (played by Yannick Bisson). Season 13 has eighteen episodes, including the 200th episode of this award-nominated series inspired by the Maureen Jennings' novels. Witty, tautly written, beautifully shot, and brought to life with superb performances, Murdoch Mysteries, season 13 is a treat for connoisseurs of the genre, and sure to prove a popular pick for public library DVD and Blu-ray collections. 18 episodes, 492 min., 5 DVDs or 4 Blu-ray discs.


The Theatre/Cinema Shelf

Gloria: A Life
Emily Mann
Theatre Communications Group
520 Eighth Avenue, 24th floor, New York, NY 10018-4156
http://www.tcg.org/publications
9781559369602, $14.95, PB, 96pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Five decades after Gloria Steinem began raising her voice for equality and championing the voices of others, to this day she continues to remain one of the leaders of the American feminist movement.

"Gloria: A Life" is Emily Mann's new play that traces the progress of Steinem's extraordinary life, from her undercover Playboy Bunny expose in the 1960s, through her founding of Ms. Magazine in the 1970s, to her activism in today's women's movement.

Critique: A superbly crafted theatrical production must be based on a play's originality and the playwright's narrative storytelling skills. Both are in abundance with "Gloria: A Life" -- Emily Mann's latest and highly successful effort for the stage. "Gloria: A Life" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community theatre, off-Broadway, and even a Broadway production schedule, as well as college and university theatrical department and campus library Contemporary Theatre collections.

Editorial Note: Emily Mann is a successful playwright and director. Her plays include Execution of Justice, Still Life and Having Our Say, among others. She is currently Artistic Director of Princeton, New Jersey's McCarter Theatre and the recipient of the 1994 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Her numerous awards for artistic excellence include a Guggenheim, a Playwrights Fellowship and Artistic Associate Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a McKnight Fellowship and a Rosamund Gilder Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in the Theatre. In recognition of her achievements illuminating the possibilities for social, cultural and political change, Ms. Mann was awarded the Lee Reynolds Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women/NY.


The Self-Help Shelf

The Power of Positive Aging
David Lereah, PhD
Quill Driver Press
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721
www.quilldriverbooks.com
9781610353601, $15.95 PB, $9.99 Kindle, 280pp, www.amazon.com

The Power of Positive Aging: Successfully Coping with the Inconveniences of Aging advocates embracing the aging process with a different mindset, which is especially important for adjusting to the fact that Americans live some 30 years longer than the did less than a hundred years ago. The revered youth culture attitudes that exist today don't help an aging population also adapt their mental attitude about changes in life, and there's where The Power of Positive Aging comes into play. This is a manual for how to cope with the physical and mental challenges that are aging, and is based on life lessons author David Lereah learned during his fight against cancer. Its compendium of physical and spiritual exercises use mindfulness and acceptance strategies to mitigate the negative effects and perceptions of aging, providing older Americans with a solid game plan for cultivating positive attitudes in the face of often-challenging changes. It's a book just as important as the myriad of volumes covering physical fitness and life changes as aging continues, and is recommended reading for any on the path to better wellness and attitude.

Your Symphony of Selves
James Fadiman & Jordan Gruber
Park Street Press
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
www.innertraditions.com
9781644110263, $19.99, PB, 448pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Explaining that it is normal to have multiple selves, "Your Symphony of Selves: Discover and Understand More of Who We Are" offer insights into why we all are inconsistent at times, allowing us to become more accepting of the different parts of who we and other people are. The authors, James Fadiman and Jordan Gruber, deftly explore, through extensive reviews, how the concept of healthy multiple selves has been supported in science, popular culture, spirituality, philosophy, art, literature, and ancient traditions and cite well-known people, including David Bowie and Beyonce, who describe accessing another self at a pivotal point in their lives to resolve a pressing challenge.

Instead of seeing the existence of many selves as a flaw or pathology, "Your Symphony of Selves" reveals that the healthiest people, mentally and emotionally, are those that have naturally learned to appreciate and work in harmony with their own symphony of selves. The "Single Self Assumption" is the prime reason why the benefits of having multiple selves has been ignored. This assumption holds that we each are or ought to be a single consistent self, yet we all recognize, in reality, that we are different in different situations.

Offering a pragmatic approach, "Your Symphony of Selves" shows how you can prepare for situations by shifting to the appropriate self, rather than being "switched" or "triggered" into a sub-optimal part of who you are. It also show how recognizing your selves provides increased access to skills, talent, and creativity; enhanced energy; and improved healing and pain management. Appreciating your diverse selves will give you more empathy toward yourself and others. By harmonizing your symphony of selves, you can learn to be "in the right mind at the right time" more often.

Critique: A unique and studied approach to achieving total and insightful psychological self- awareness, "Your Symphony of Selves: Discover and Understand More of Who We Are" is a complete course of DIY study in a single volume -- and one that will prove life changing and life enhancing for the reader. Impressively well written, organized and presented so as to be of maximum value for the non-specialist general reader, "Your Symphony of Selves: Discover and Understand More of Who We Are" is very highly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Self-Help/Self-Improvement and Contemporary Psychology collections and reading lists. It should be noted that "Your Symphony of Selves: Discover and Understand More of Who We Are" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Editorial Note: James Fadiman, Ph.D., with degrees from Harvard and Stanford, was the president of two companies, taught at four universities, is an international seminar leader, and has written textbooks, trade books, and novels. Consulting clients have included IBM, Hewlett-Packard, a Federal Reserve bank, and Foster's Freeze. He is one of the foremost researchers in microdosing studies and is a co-founder of Sophia University. He has been researching healthy multiplicity for over 20 years.

In Menlo Park, California. Jordan Gruber, J.D., writer, collaborative writer, ghost writer, and editor, has forged and sculpted authoritative volumes in forensic law, financial services, and self-development. A graduate of Binghamton University and the University of Virginia School of Law, he founded the Enlightenment.com website and is now a leading advocate of rebound exercise through the SuperBound Project.


The Metaphysical Studies Shelf

Gemstone Guardians Cards and Your Soul Purpose
Margaret Ann Lembo
Findhorn Press
www.findhornpress.com
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
www.innertraditions.com
9781644110676, $19.99, Cards, 128pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Created by Margaret Ann Lembo, "Gemstone Guardians Cards and Your Soul Purpose" is a card deck and guidebook set to help metaphysical studies students and practitioners to discover their life's work with the assistance of inspiring gemstone guardians. "Gemstone Guardians Cards and Your Soul Purpose" is comprised of 44 full-color cards, each with a soul purpose archetype and a vibrationally matching crystal as well as a question for contemplative thought, divine guidance, and a positive affirmation

"Gemstone Guardians Cards and Your Soul Purpose" also includes an 80-page booklet with divination spreads and explanations of the archetypes, how their attributes relate to choices in one's life work, and how the matching gemstone amplifies certain attributes further. "Gemstone Guardians Cards and Your Soul Purpose" provides metaphysically based insights and understanding to support the practitioner in their 'soul purpose' and encourages self-empowerment to propel them into fulfilling their sacred agreements with the Divine.

Critique: Eloquent, elegant, informative, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in instruction and application, "Gemstone Guardians Cards and Your Soul Purpose" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal and professional Metaphysical Studies collections and divination activities.

Editorial Note: Margaret Ann Lembo is a noted speaker and author of several metaphysical books and decks, including The Essential Guide to Crystals, Minerals, and Stones and The Archangels and Gemstone Guardians Cards. She is also a noted spiritual practitioner, aromatherapist, and the owner of The Crystal Garden, a bookstore and spiritual center in Boynton Beach, Florida.

The Druidic Art of Divination
Jon G. Hughes
Destiny Books
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
www.innertraditions.com
9781644110249, $18.99, PB, 288pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Divination is the attempt to gain insight into a question or situation by way of an occultic, standardized process or ritual. Used in various forms throughout history, diviners ascertain their interpretations of how a divination practitioner should proceed by reading signs, events, or omens, or through alleged contact with a supernatural agency.

"The Druidic Art of Divination: Understanding the Past and Seeing into the Future" by Jon G. Hughes is a complete and comprehensive instructional guide to the techniques of the pre-Celtic Druids for understanding the past, present, and future. Hughes offers thoroughly 'user friendly' step-by-step instructions for a wealth of practices passed down across five generations of Welsh Druids.

"The Druidic Art of Divination" explains the three forms of divination used by the Druids: interpretive divination, such as reading the Sevens; inductive divination, such as reading the wind or smoke; and intuitive divination, whose tools include cup-stones and scrying mirrors. It also provides comprehensive instructions on how to craft and utilize your own magical instruments and tools, including botanical compounds, scrying wands, and slate speculum vitae

Critique: Deftly organized into three major sections (The Theory of Pre-Celtic Divination; The Praxis; Crafting), "The Druidic Art of Divination: Understanding the Past and Seeing into the Future" is an ideal instructional guide and manual for the metaphysical practitioner and will be of immense interest and value for students of Druidic lore and culture. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Metaphysical Divination Studies collections, it should be noted that "The Druidic Art of Divination: Understanding the Past and Seeing into the Future" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Residing in Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland, Jon G. Hughes is part of a lineage of Druids that has been practicing for five generations in a remote area of Wales. He teaches the tradition at his home in Ireland and gives workshops and seminars throughout Europe under his Welsh Druidic name, Cynon. He is also the Director of the Irish Centre for Druidic Practices and the author of A Druid's Handbook to the Spiritual Power of Plants and Sexual Practices of the Druids.

Chakra Cards for Belief Change
Nikki Gresham-Record
Findhorn Press
www.findhornpress.com
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
www.innertraditions.com
9781644110409, $19.99, Cards, 160pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Chakra are various focal points used in a variety of ancient meditation practices, collectively denominated as Tantra, or the esoteric or inner traditions of Hinduism. The concept is found in the early traditions of Hinduism.

"Chakra Cards for Belief Change: The Healing InSight Method" by Nikki Gresham-Rocrd is a transformative metaphysical studies based card deck and guidebook for creating positive change using high-vibration chakra imagery and belief affirmations.

"Chakra Cards for Belief Change" includes 56 full-color cards, each of which features a main chakra image or chakra-aspect image along with chakra-related beliefs and affirmations for energetic realignment.

The accompanying guidebook describes how to use the cards for therapeutic guidance and inspiration or as part of the Healing InSight Method for belief change and explains how to select cards to identify the beliefs we need to work on or to help us become a vibrational match with the belief or life experience we desire.

Critique: Beautifully crafted, thoroughly 'user friendly', and very highly recommended for personal and professional collections, "Chakra Cards for Belief Change: The Healing InSight Method" will enable metaphysical students and practitioners to acquire a new set of DIY personal growth insights and tools.

Editorial Note: Nikki Gresham-Record is one of the UK's leading spiritual healers as well as a chartered counseling psychologist and teacher of Reiki and Qigong. She developed her Healing InSight Method for belief change by drawing on her professional background and her interest in vibrational-emotional healing and the power of belief. She works with a broad client base as well as facilitates workshops.


The Health/Medicine Shelf

The Clinician's Guide to Consulting
Dennis H. Reid
Charles C. Thomas, Publisher
2600 South First Street, Springfield, IL 62704
http://www.ccthomas.com
9780398093280, $37.95, PB, 254pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Clinicians who work with human service agencies often function in a consulting capacity with agency staff. Some clinicians work independently, and many others are employed within an agency. "The Clinician's Guide to Consulting: Achieving Performance Change, Desired Outcomes, and Staff Acceptance" by Dennis H. Reid describes how clinicians can effectively change staff performance in the human services to promote implementation of consultative recommendations for the betterment of agency clients.

The content of "The Clinician's Guide to Consulting" is based on over five decades of behavior analytic research and application, and the experiences of clinicians who have demonstrated consistent success in consulting with a wide variety of human service agencies.

"The Clinician's Guide to Consulting" is structured into four sections, each of which corresponds to various consulting strategies.

Section I presents an introduction to the clinician's guide to consulting, achieving performance change and staff acceptance, outcome management in approach to consulting, and the underlying considerations for consulting success.

Section II explores the specific strategies for promoting performance change and staff acceptance, consulting outcomes and expectations, training staff to carry out consultative recommendations, monitoring performance and outcome attainment, supporting proficient staff performance, and correcting nonproficient staff performance.

Section III focuses on achieving consulting success during difficult situations, promoting job security, overcoming motivational issues among staff, self-motivation, and financial success.

Section IV provides a list of Selected Readings containing numerous useful resources that cover the business side of consulting. "The Clinician's Guide to Consulting" is specifically designed to help clinicians perform consulting duties effectively and acceptably.

Critique: An ideal curriculum textbook for Medical Clinical Psychology and Social Work students, "The Clinician's Guide to Consulting: Achieving Performance Change, Desired Outcomes, and Staff Acceptance" fills an existing gap for applied 'real world' clinical consultation practices with various community and governmental institutions -- making it a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

Why We Get Sick
Benjamin Bikman
BenBella Books
www.benbellabooks.com
9781948836982, $26.95, HC, 270pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Despite the impressive advances in medicine over the past 100 years, around the world, we continue to struggle with diseases that were once considered rare. Cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes affect millions each year; many people are also struggling with hypertension, weight gain, fatty liver, dementia, low testosterone, menstrual irregularities and infertility, and more. All too often we treat the symptoms, not realizing that all of these diseases and disorders have something in common.

Each of them is caused or made worse by a condition known as insulin resistance. Over half of all adults in the United States are insulin resistant -- and in most other countries its either worse or not far behind.

"Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at the Root of Most Chronic Disease - and How to Fight It" by pathophysiology professor Benjamin Bikman explores why insulin resistance has become so prevalent and why it matters. Unless we recognize it and take steps to reverse the trend, major chronic diseases will be even more widespread. But reversing insulin resistance is possible, and Bikman offers an evidence-based plan to stop and prevent it, with helpful food lists, meal suggestions, easy exercise principles, and more. Full of surprising research and practical advice, "Why We Get Sick" will help its readers to take control of their health.

Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at the Root of Most Chronic Disease - and How to Fight It" is impressively informative and thoroughly 'reader friendly' -- making it ideal for the non-professional general reader seeking to understand and improve their personal health. In this time of a viral pandemic that is particularly lethal for anyone having underlying medical issues, "Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at the Root of Most Chronic Disease - and How to Fight It" is a critically important and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library Contemporary Health & Medicine collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Why We Get Sick: The Hidden Epidemic at the Root of Most Chronic Disease - and How to Fight It" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.49).

Editorial Note: Benjamin Bikman earned his PhD in Bioenergetics and was a postdoctoral fellow with the Duke-National University of Singapore studying metabolic disorders. Currently, his professional focus as a scientist and professor (Brigham Young University) is to better understand the origins and consequences of metabolic disorders, including obesity and diabetes, with a particular emphasis on the role of insulin. He frequently publishes his research in peer-reviewed journals and presents at international science and public meetings.

Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution
Don Fitz
Monthly Review Press
134 W. 29th Street, Suite 706, New York, NY 10001
www.monthlyreview.org
9781583678619, $95.00, HC, 296pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Unknown by most Americans is that the Cuban revolution was able to achieve some phenomenal goals including the reclamation of Cuba's agriculture, advancing its literacy rate to nearly 100 percent, and remaking its medical system.

Cuba has transformed its health care to the extent that this "third-world" country has been able to maintain a first-world medical system, whose health indicators surpass those of the United States at a fraction of the cost. In "Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution", author Don Fitz combines his deep knowledge of Cuban history with his decades of on-the-ground experience in Cuba to bring us the story of how Cuba's health care system evolved and how Cuba is tackling the daunting challenges to its revolution in this century.

Fitz weaves together complex themes in Cuban history, moving the reader from one fascinating story to another. He describes how Cuba was able to create a unified system of clinics, and evolved the family doctor-nurse teams that became a model for poor countries throughout the world. How, in the 1980s and 90s, Cuba survived the encroachment of AIDS and increasing suffering that came with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and then went on to establish the Latin American School of Medicine, which still brings thousands of international students to the island.

Deeply researched, recounted with compassion, "Cuban Health Care" tells a story that an American readership simply won't find anywhere else. This is a critically important history of how, in terms of caring for everyday people, Cuba's revolution continues.

Critique: Underscored by the disastrous American medical and political response to the Covid-19 pandemic, "Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution" should receive as wide a readership as possible. Expertly written, effectively organized, and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in presentation, "Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution" is extraordinarily informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking. While especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Health & Medicine collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781583678602, $26.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Don Fitz is a member of the editorial board of Green Social Thought and newsletter editor for the Green Party of St. Louis. He also contributes frequently to Monthly Review magazine.


The General Fiction Shelf

My Name Is Saul
Lin Wilder
Wilder Books
https://www.linwilder.com
9781948018494, $15.50, PB, 254pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: St. Paul the Apostle is a towering biblical figure, but almost nothing is known about his early life as Saul of Tarsus.

As death loomed over him at Mamertine Prison in Rome, under the watchful eye of his jailer and final follower Aurelius, he wrote: "I will die tomorrow. In the morning, around sunrise. There are two things for which I am eminently grateful: That I have been permitted to have fought the good fight and finished the race marked out for me; and that I will not have to endure another winter in this place."

A novel that deftly blends historical fact with an engaging literary creativity, "My Name Is Saul" by Lin Wilder propels her readers back through time to the life of the man who would become known for the next two thousand years as St. Paul. Her vividly imagined, well-founded tale of loss, transformation, and divine intervention will captivate Christians and non-Christians alike who yearn for the human truth and drama that underlay the New Testament scriptures.

Critique: A simply riveting and truly memorable read from cover to cover, "My Name Is Saul" showcases author Lin Wilder's impressive literary gifts as a natural and accomplished storyteller. While "My Name Is Saul" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community and academic library Historical Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "My Name Is Saul" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.49).

A Wing and a Prayer
Margaret Thornton
Magna Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9780750547963, $TBA, HC, Large Print, 360pp

https://www.ulverscroft.com/title.php?sqlCmd=isbn%3D9780750547963

Synopsis: Set in 1990, Blackpool, England, "A Wing and a Prayer" is the story of thirty-three-year-old Helen Burnside who is shocked when she learns that her beloved Great Aunt Alice has died of a sudden heart attack, and even more surprised when she is bequeathed her Yorkshire cottage.

Although the two of them were close, Alice was always an enigmatic figure, estranged from most of her family. What led to the long-held animosity between Alice, her mother Ada and her sister Lizzie, and why did she leave Blackpool for Yorkshire all those years ago?

Moving into Alice's cottage, Helen uncovers a series of devastating family secrets. But as she pieces together the truth about her aunt's life, it seems her own is about to go in a new direction.

Critique: This thoroughly 'reader friendly' large print edition of Margaret Thornton's "A Wing and a Prayer" is an inherently engaging, impressively entertaining, and genuinely fascinating read from cover to cover and will prove to be an enduringly welcome and popular addition to personal reading lists and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections.

The Poor Relation
Susanna Bavin
Magna Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9780750547628, $37.00, HC, Large Print, 486pp

https://www.amazon.com/Poor-Relation-Susanna-Bavin/dp/0750547626

Synopsis: Set in Manchester, England, circa1908, "The Poor Relation" by Susanna Bavin is the story of attractive, intelligent Mary Maitland who is furious to learn that her pompous boss will never promote her, simply because she is a woman.

Despite financial support from her family, Mary is determined to strike out on her own and earn a living. She finds work at a women's employment agency, where her talent for writing is noticed and she begins publishing articles for newspapers and magazines. But in the face of strong opinions from her well-to-do family on the role of a woman, is it possible to be a dutiful daughter at the same time as spreading her wings?

Critique: A powerful and engaging novel drawn from the Women's Suffrage Era when women were expanding from traditional family oriented home-bound roles to working outside the home, this large print edition of "The Poor Relation" by author Susanna Bavin is an fully entertaining read from beginning to end -- and will prove to be a certain and enduringly popular addition to personal reading lists and community library Historical Fiction collections.

A Perfect Cornish Summer
Phillipa Ashley
Charnwood Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444845464, $37.00, HC, Large Print, 438pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Summer is on the horizon, and the people of Porthmellow are eagerly awaiting the annual food festival. For Sam Lovell, organizing the festival is one of the highlights of her year, providing a much-needed distraction from the drama in her family life (and distinct lack of it in her love life).

When Gabe Mathias, a popular chef and former local, agrees to headline the weekend after the star booking unexpectedly cancels, Sam should be delighted. But Gabe is the last person Sam was expecting to see. They haven't spoken in eleven years, when their relationship imploded after Gabe made a choice with far-reaching consequences. Can they put aside their differences for the summer? Or will Gabe's return change Sam's quiet coastal life in ways she never imagined?

Critique: Author Phillipa Ashley has a genuine flair for originality and the kind of narrative storytelling style that keeps her reader's full attention from first page to last. Now available in a large print edition, Ashley's "A Perfect Cornish Summer" is another compellingly entertaining read that will have special appeal for readers with an interest in Small Town & Rural Fiction, Cultural Heritage Fiction, and Holiday Fiction. An ideal summertime read (or any other time of year for that matter!), "A Perfect Cornish Summer" will prove to be an enduringly welcome and popular addition to personal reading lists and community library Contemporary General Fiction collections.

Shadows of Foxworth
V. C. Andrews
Gallery Books
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com
9781982114459, $26.99, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: As a young girl in France, Marlena Hunter's life was a fairy tale. She had a talented artist for a father, a doting mother, and a brother she couldn't be closer to. She loved her family; she just didn't know what her family actually was.

When a car crash kills their parents, Marlena and Yvon lose not only France, but also their identity. Sent to Richmond, Virginia, they arrive at the home of two aunts they've never met before, who tell them that their true last name is Dawson, that their father had fled the family years back -- and that now the family is calling in the debt.

Trapped in a mansion with as many secrets as rooms, Marlena yearns for escape. But in America, you can either make friends or make profit, and Yvon suddenly seems much more interested in the latter. While he is free to leave the house, Marlena is left to avoid lecherous tutors and the secretary-to-wife track expected of a woman. Caught between mastering the game to escape it and falling prey to its allure, she needs to learn fast -- for Malcolm Foxworth has cast his eye in her direction. And no family name can protect her from the twisted roots of the Dollanganger family tree.

Critique: Another deftly penned masterpiece from novelist V. C. Andrews, "Shadows of Foxworth" is an extraordinary and entertaining read from cover to cover. Certain to be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of the legion of V. C. Andrews fans that "Shadows of Foxworth" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781982114442, $16.00), in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Simon & Schuster Audio, 9781797105093, $39.99, CD).

Musical Chairs
Amy Opeppel
Emily Bestler Books / Atria
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
www.simonandschuster.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9781501176418, $27.00, HC, 416pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Bridget and Will have the kind of relationship that people envy: they're loving, compatible, and completely devoted to each other. The fact that they're strictly friends seems to get lost on nearly everyone; after all, they're as good as married in (almost) every way. For three decades, they've nurtured their baby, the Forsyth Trio -- a chamber group they created as students with their Juilliard classmate Gavin Glantz. In the intervening years, Gavin has gone on to become one of the classical music world's reigning stars, while Bridget and Will have learned to embrace the warm reviews and smaller venues that accompany modest success.

Bridget has been dreaming of spending the summer at her well-worn Connecticut country home with her boyfriend Sterling. But her plans are upended when Sterling, dutifully following his ex-wife's advice, breaks up with her over email and her twin twenty-somethings arrive unannounced, filling her empty nest with their big dogs, dirty laundry, and respective crises.

Bridget has problems of her own: her elderly father announces he's getting married, and the Forsyth Trio is once again missing its violinist. She concocts a plan to host her dad's wedding on her ramshackle property, while putting the Forsyth Trio back into the spotlight. But to catch the attention of the music world, she and Will place their bets on luring back Gavin, whom they've both avoided ever since their stormy parting.

Critique: Another superbly crafted novel by Amy Poeppel that blends humor with insights into the human condition and modern family life, "Musical Chairs" is an extraordinary and fully entertaining story of 'romance, role reversals, reinvention, and sweet synchronicity'. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collection, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of anyone who enjoys a well written and original story of that special literary category called Women's Friendship Fiction that "Musical Chairs" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781508280125, $44.99, CD)

Etiquette for Runaways
Liza Nash Taylor
Blackstone Publishing
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
www.BlackstoneAudio.com
9781982603946, $27.99, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: May Marshall is determined to spend the dog days of the summer of 1924 in self-imposed exile at her father's farm in Keswick, Virginia. Following a naive dalliance that led to heartbreak and her expulsion from Mary Baldwin College, May returns home with a shameful secret only to find her father's orchard is now the site of a lucrative moonshining enterprise. Despite warnings from the one man she trusts (her childhood friend Byrd) she joins her father's illegal business. When authorities close in and her father, Henry, is arrested, May goes on the run.

May arrives in New York City, determined to reinvent herself as May Valentine and succeed on her own terms, following in her mother's footsteps as a costume designer. The Jazz Age city glitters with both opportunity and the darker temptations of cocaine and nightlife. From a start mending sheets at the famed Biltmore Hotel, May falls into a position designing costumes for a newly formed troupe of African American entertainers bound for Paris. Reveling in her good fortune, May will do anything for the chance to go abroad, and the lines between right and wrong begin to blur. When Byrd shows up in New York, intent upon taking May back home, she pushes him, and her past, away.

In Paris, May's run of luck comes to a screeching halt, spiraling her into darkness as she unravels a painful secret about her past. May must make a choice: surrender to failure and addiction, or face the truth and make amends to those she has wronged. But first, she must find self-forgiveness before she can try to reclaim what her heart craves most.

Critique: A veritable saga of an original novel by an author with a genuine flair for the kind of riveting, narrative driven storytelling that holds the reader's rapt attention from first page to last, "Etiquette for Runaways" by Liza Nash Taylor is an especially recommended addition to community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Etiquette for Runaways" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

In West Mills
De'Shawn Charles Winslow
Bloomsbury Press
www.bloomsbury.com
9781635573404, $26.00, HC, 272pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Let the people of West Mills say what they will about Azalea "Knot" Centre; they won't keep her from what she loves best: cheap moonshine, nineteenth-century literature, and the company of men. And yet, when motherhood looms, Knot begins to learn that her freedom has come at a high price. Low on money, ostracized from her parents and cut off from her hometown, Knot turns to her neighbor, Otis Lee Loving, in search of some semblance of family and home.

Otis Lee is eager to help. A lifelong fixer, Otis Lee is determined to steer his friends and family away from decisions that will cause them heartache and ridicule. After his failed attempt to help his older sister, who lives a precarious life in the North, Otis Lee discovers a possible path to redemption in the chaos Knot brings to his doorstep. But while he's busy trying to fix Knot's life, Otis Lee finds himself powerless to repair the many troubles within his own family, as the long-buried secrets of his troubled past begin to come to light.

Spanning decades in a rural North Carolina town where a canal acts as the color line, In West Mills is a magnificent, big-hearted small-town story about family, friendship, storytelling, and the redemptive power of love.

Critique: Novelist De'Shawn Charles Winslow's ability to create truly believable characters that the reader immediately absorbs as the author's narrative driven storytelling style compels them along an throughly engaging, original, detailed and complexly emotional saga makes "In West Mills" an extraordinary read and an unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "In West Mills" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781635575286, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.06).

My Father, My Son
Linda McCain
Page Publishing Inc.
101 Tyrellan Avenue Suite 100 New York, NY 10309
www.pagepublishing.com
9781647019501, $32.95, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In the pages of "My Father, My Son" by novelist Linda McCain, appreciative readers will meet Bray Berman a young, handsome, intelligent young man who is every parents' dream.

One day, the unthinkable pays him a visit. However, the strength, endurance, and steadfast determination of this seventeen-year-old reflects that while teenagers endure a lot while sometimes saying little, the often face life's challenges with remarkable courage.

Steadfast love and devotion, known to heal all wounds, can sometimes make the worst situations seem trivial. Will the love between a father and a son, a husband and a wife be strong enough when tested beyond the extreme? Will the support of family and friends diminish with the passing of time, or will the bond of family and friendship be the saving grace of the Berman family at a time when needed the most?

Sometimes help can come from those we least expect it from. From those who have touched our lives in some way for only a short period of time or from those who have been with us forever. A father loved and adored by his son and a seventeen-year-old son faced with a monumental challenge while enduring the worst, yet trying to hold on to all he has left -- hope.

Critique: Showcasing author Linda McCain's impressive flair for a particularly effective reader engaging and narrative driven storytelling style as a novelist, "My father, My Son" is a fully absorbing and entertaining read from beginning to end. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "My Father, My Son" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781647019488, $19.95).

The Runaways
Fatima Bhutto
Verso
20 Jay Street, 10th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201-8346
www.versobooks.com
9781839760341, $19.95, PB, 432pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Anita lives in Karachi's biggest slum. Her mother is a maalish wali, paid to massage the tired bones of rich women. But Anita's life will change forever when she meets her elderly neighbor, a man whose shelves of books promise an escape to a different world.

On the other side of Karachi lives Monty, whose father owns half the city and expects great things of him. But when a beautiful and rebellious girl joins his school, Monty will find his life going in a very different direction.

Sunny's father left India and went to England to give his son the opportunities he never had. Yet Sunny doesn't fit in anywhere. It's only when his charismatic cousin comes back into his life that he realizes his life could hold more possibilities than he ever imagined.

These three lives will cross in the desert, a place where life and death walk hand in hand, and where their closely guarded secrets will force them to make a terrible choice.

Critique: A deftly crafted work of literary excellent, "The Runaways" by Fatima Bhutto is an extraordinary novel by an author whose attention to detail, combined with his exceptionally effective narrative storytelling style has created the kind of book that will linger in the mind and memory long after it has been finished and set back upon the shelf. While unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Runaways" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, 9.99).

Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook
Celia Rees
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
www.harpercollins.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9780062938015, $16.99, PB, 512pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: World War II has just ended, and Britain has established the Control Commission for Germany, which oversees their zone of occupation. The Control Commission hires British civilians to work in Germany, rebuild the shattered nation and prosecute war crimes. Somewhat aimless, bored with her job as a provincial schoolteacher, and unwilling to live with her overbearing mother any longer, thirtysomething Edith Graham applies for a job with the Commission.

But she is also recruited by her cousin, Leo, who is in the Secret Service. To them, Edith is perfect spy material...single, ordinary-looking, with a college degree in German. Cousin Leo went to Oxford with one of their most hunted war criminals, Count Kurt von Stavenow, who Edith remembers all too well from before the war. He wants her to find him.

Intrigued by the challenge, Edith heads to Germany armed with a convincing cover story: she's an unassuming Education Officer sent to help resurrect German schools. To send information back to her Secret Service handlers in London, Edith has crafted the perfect alter ego, cookbook author Stella Snelling, who writes a popular magazine cookery column. She embeds crucial intelligence within the recipes she collects.

But occupied Germany is awash with other spies, collaborators, and opportunists, and as she's pulled into their world, Edith soon discovers that no one is what they seem to be. The closer she gets to uncovering von Stavenow's whereabouts (and the network of German civilians who still support him) the greater the danger.

Critique: With impressive and meticulous attention to historical detail and with a distinctively reader engaging narrative storytelling style, with "Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook" novelist Celia Rees has demonstrated a remarkable flair for originality. While "Miss Graham's Cold War Cookbook" is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of Cold War Espionage Thriller fans that it is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781094163208, $55.99, CD).


The Romantic Fiction Shelf

Under Scottish Stars
Carla Laureano
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
www.tyndale.com
9781496426291, $14.99, PB, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Recently widowed Serena MacDonald Stewart focuses on her children to the exclusion of her career, her art, and her sanity. When her brothers ask her to oversee the family guest house on the Isle of Skye, it's a chance to dust off her long-ignored business skills and make a new start. But her hopes for a smooth transition are dashed when the hotel manager, Malcolm Blake, turns out to be irritating, condescending -- and incredibly attractive!

Malcolm Blake gave up everything including his home, his girlfriend, and his career, in order to return to Skye and raise his late sister's teenage daughter. With few job opportunities available on the island, he signs on as the manager of the MacDonald family hotel, which he's soon running successfully without interference from the owners. That is, until Serena shows up, challenging his authority and his conviction that there's nothing missing from his new life on Skye.

Before long, Serena and Malcolm have to admit the spark between them is more than mere irritation. But as single parents, there's more on the line than their own hearts. Will their commitment to family be the thing that draws them together or the only thing that could keep them apart?

Critique: A wonderfully entertaining read from first page to last, "Under Scottish Stars" showcases author Carla Laureano's impressive originality, her effective narrative storytelling style, and her complete mastery of the romance genre. While certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Under Scottish Stars" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

You Had Me at Hola
Alexis Daria
Avon Books
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
www.harpercollins.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9780062959928, $15.99, PB, 384pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new "Leading Lady Plan" should be easy enough to follow - until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suarez.

After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents. To make it work, he'll need to generate smoking-hot on-screen chemistry with Jasmine. Easier said than done, especially when a disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had.

With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton's most closely guarded secret.

Critique: An original and wonderfully entertaining novel that reads like a finely crafted telenovela, "You Had Me At Hola" by Alexis Daria will prove to be an especially and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Romance collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "You Had Me At Hola" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781094163437, $39.99, CD).

Appalachian Summer
Ann H. Gabhart
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.revellbooks.com
9780800738600, $29.99, HC, 368pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In 1933 Louisville, Kentucky, even the ongoing economic depression cannot keep Piper Danson's parents from insisting on a debut party. After all, their fortune came through the market crash intact, and they've picked out the perfect suitor for their daughter. Braxton Crandall can give her the kind of life she's used to. The only problem? This is not the man (or the life!) she really wants.

When Piper gets the opportunity to volunteer as a horseback Frontier Nursing courier in the Appalachian Mountains for the summer, she jumps at the chance to be something other than a dutiful daughter or a kept wife in a loveless marriage. The work is taxing, the scenery jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and the people she meets along the way open up a whole new world to her. The longer she stays, the more an advantageous marriage slips from her grasp. But something much more precious in the form of true love is drawing ever closer.

Critique: Another compellingly crafted romance from the pen of Ann H. Gahart, "An Appalachian Summer deftly reveals what can happen a young woman musters the courage to leave behind a restrictive past for a wide-open future of true love. Certain to be an immediate and permanently welcome addition to community library Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "An Appalachian Summer" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780800729288, $15.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Take a Hint, Dani Brown
Talia Hibbert
Avon Books
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022
www.harpercollins.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9780062941237, $15.99, PB, 400pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits in the form of someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom.

When big, brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it's an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and former rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact to him, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Suddenly, half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae -- and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse?

Dani's plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf is secretly a hopeless romantic - and he's determined to corrupt Dani's stone-cold realism. Before long, he's tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his... um, thighs.

The easy lay Dani dreamed of is now more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint?

Critique: A deftly crafted and thoroughly entertaining read that will have a special and particular interest for the LGBT reader but will also be appreciated as an entertaining sports oriented romance novel by those who appreciate originality and attention to the details of the human condition that are universal to us all, "Take A Hint, Dani Brown" by Talia Hibbert is unreservedly recommended for community library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Take A Hint, Dani Brown" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781094162089, $39.99, CD).


The Western Fiction Shelf

Brolin
B. S. Bunn
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444844399, $21.49, PB, Large Print, 224pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When Red Mike Stall hijacks the westbound train with the help of his gang and attempts to murder everyone on board, he's shocked to find Brolin, a gunfighter thought to have been dead for ten years, among the passengers. Effecting an escape, Brolin dogs Stall's bloody trail with the help of Emmett King, a greenhorn store owner who lost his son to a stray bullet from the outlaws. In the final showdown, can a dead man win the day? Or will a killer continue his murderous rampage?

Critique: Another deftly scripted gem of a western action/adventure novel by a true master of the genre, "Brolin" by B. S. Bunn is an inherently entertaining read with more twists and turns than the Colorado River. A simply riveting read from cover to cover, this large print edition of "Brolin" will prove to be an especially popular addition to personal reading lists and community library Western Fiction collections.

Massacre At Red Rock
Jack Martin
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444844429, $21.49, PB, Large Print, 316pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Former Confederate soldier Liberty Jones ended the last six months of the war in a Union prison camp. Now traveling west he just wants to be left in peace, but trouble has a way of finding him. Riding into the town of Red Rock to escape a marauding tribe of Indians, any hopes of safety he had are soon dispelled. The town is under military command, facing a gathering of tribes who are determined to drive people from the town and reclaim their land. Liberty and his band of townspeople must face impossible odds before blood runs deep in the streets of Red Rock.

Critique: An inherently fascinating novel that is told from both white and the Indian perspectives, "Massacre At Red Rock" by Jack Martin is as action packed a western as even the most dedicated western buff could hope for. This large print paperback edition is especially appropriate and recommended for community library Western Fiction collections.

Gun-Proddy Hombre
Barry Cord
Sagebrush Lare Print Westerns
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781785418488, $30.59, PB, Large Print, 163pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Brett Havolin and Tony Mareno were friends. Tony had given up being an oil man and left Brett to set out west and start a ranch or a farm. A letter from Tony invited Brett to visit him on his newly established Flying Club. But by the time Brett arrived, Tony's body had been found with a bullet under his heart -- and Brett has inherited his friend's ranch.

The Flying Club is no great shakes of a spread, so Brett is surprised by the number of people eager to offer him considerable sums for his property. In fact, he's suspicious that it might have value for reasons not readily apparent -- reasons which Tony may or may not have known before his death. Determined to track down Tony's killer, and discover what's so special about the ranch, Brett will be dodging bullets before the secrets come to light!

Critique: A thoroughly action packed western novel the dramatically climaxes in an completely unforseen finale, "Gun-Proddy Hombre" by Barry Cord is a terrific read and this large print edition is certain to be a popular and welcome addition to community library collections and the personal reading lists of all truly dedicated western buffs.

Retribution
Corba Sunman
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
www.ulverscroftusa.com
9781444844955, $21.49, PB, Large Print, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Texas Ranger Chet Hallam stayed behind when his family moved to Kansas. Five years later he rides north to pay them a visit and discovers that his father, the county sheriff, left town a month ago to track down a gang of outlaws and never returned. But before he can set out, he's facing flying lead in a place where hired killers and renegades have the upper hand. It's time for Chet to deal out some justice of his own, while he searches for the truth about his missing father -- a search complicated by a woman from his past and another that might be a part of his future.

Critique: Corba Sunman is a prolific and impressively talented novelist whose command of the western fiction genre is second to none. In "Retribution" he once again reveals his ability to engage his readers rapt attention from the very beginning down to the climatic finale. There's always gun play a plenty in a Sunman novel and "Retribution" and this large print paperback edition from the Linford Western Library series will prove to be an immediately welcome addition to community library Western Fiction collections and the personal reading lists of any and all western novel fans.


The Mystery/Suspense Shelf

As the Crow Dies
Kenneth Butcher
Pace Press
www.pacepress.com
c/o Quill Driver Books
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721
https://quilldriverbooks.com
9781610353618, $14.95 PB, $7.99 Kindle, 366pp, www.amazon.com

As the Crow Dies is a fine police procedural that revolves around a literary police detective and his unlikely partner who investigate a very strange Sherlock Holmes-style case involving intelligent animals, murder, and government involvements alike. All these elements lend to a full-faceted investigative story that holds many twists and turns, moving between a more studied Island of Dr. Moreau piece to an investigation of murders that evolve to pose threats to the country. The evolving relationship between police lieutenant Ira Segal, called back to active duty after recovering from a prior mishap, to his unusual partner Sergeant Dinah Rudisill, a military veteran and roller derby star, adds additional flavor to a story that is an engagingly different, fun police procedural designed to keep mystery readers guessing on many different levels.

Cross Shadow
Andrew Huff
Kregel Publications
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
www.kregel.com
9780825446450, $15.99, PB, 272pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Former CIA agent turned evangelical pastor John Cross is busy caring for the small community of believers he ministers to in Virginia. Journalist Christine Lewis is busy with the demand for her talents from top news agencies in New York City. Neither has any time left for their relationship, which began eight months before when they paired up to prevent the detonation of a chemical bomb in the nation's capital.

But when Christine hears that her stepbrother has been arrested for murder in Texas, they team up again to discover the truth about the crime. Untangling a web of conspiracy, the couple finds themselves in the center of another dangerous situation-and in trouble far deeper than they expected.

With an assassin on the loose, a trusted colleague acting as a double agent, and unreliable artificial intelligence connected to mercenaries who have Cross on their hit list, these two may not get out of the Lone Star State alive!

Critique: Another Shepherd suspense novel by Andrew Huff, "Cross Shadow" is an impressively crafted story of mystery and suspense with a truly memorable cast of characters and more plot twists and turns than the Colorado River. A simply riveting read from beginning to end, "Cross Shadow" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Cross Shadow" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).

The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne
Elsa Hart
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
www.minotaurbooks.com
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250142818, $26.99, HC, 352pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: London in 1703 was a time when the old approaches to science coexist with the new, and one elite community attempts to understand the world by collecting its wonders. Sir Barnaby Mayne, the most formidable of these collectors, has devoted his life to filling his cabinets. While the curious-minded vie for invitations to study the rare stones, bones, books, and artifacts he has amassed, some visitors come with a darker purpose.

For Cecily Kay, it is a passion for plants that brings her to the Mayne house. The only puzzle she expects to encounter is how to locate the specimens she needs within Sir Barnaby's crowded cabinets. But when her host is stabbed to death, Cecily finds the confession of the supposed killer unconvincing. She pays attention to details (years of practice have taught her that the smallest particulars can distinguish a harmless herb from a deadly one) and in the case of Sir Barnaby's murder, there are too many inconsistencies for her to ignore.

To discover the truth, Cecily must enter the world of the collectors, a realm where intellect is distorted by obsession and greed. As her pursuit of answers brings her closer to a killer, she risks being given a final resting place amid the bones that wait, silent and still, in the cabinets of Barnaby Mayne.

Critique: An inherently fascinating historical murder mystery, "The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne" by Elsa Hart is a cleverly written and solidly entertaining novel from first page to last. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "The Cabinets of Barnaby Mayne" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250751904, $44.99, CD).

Death Waits in the Dark
Mark Edward Langley
Blackstone Publishing
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
www.BlackstoneAudio.com
9781538507780, $15.99, PB, 207pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: It took all of thirty seconds for two shots to bring the world of Margaret Tabaaha crashing down around her. After losing her husband in Afghanistan during the first year of Operation Enduring Freedom, her two sons were all she had left. Now they had been taken from her violently, deliberately, plunging her into a whiskey bottle and stripping away her reason for living.

When Arthur Nakai receives a call from his first love, Margaret, her voice pleading for his help, it comes as he is attending a wake for one of the men he considered a brother from his days in the Marines 6th LAR Wolf Pack Battalion. Feeling a deep and responsible obligation to help her, Arthur soon finds himself involved in the multi-billion-dollar world of the oil and gas industry and coming face-to-face with an old adversary, Elias Dayton. Their paths had crossed when Arthur was a member of the Shadow Wolves, an elite tactical unit within US Customs and Border Protection. Now Dayton runs Patriot Security, a Blackwater-type firm that keeps the oil rigs, gas wells, and man camps secure from the Water Protectors, protesters pushing to stop the fracking and poisoning of Native lands.

As Arthur works through the case from his end, Navajo police chief Jake Bilagody tackles it from another angle, looking into the strained relationship between the oil company and the Navajo people, all while searching for a missing Navajo man that may have become an unwilling piece on the reservation checkerboard. But when Arthur learns the identity of the boys' killer, he struggles to make sense of it. Because if the clues are right, he will be forced to make a decision that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

Critique: The second title in author Mark Edward Langley's 'Arthur Nakai Mystery' series, "Death Waits in the Dark" is a carefully crafted police procedural style mystery that provides the reader with an entertainingly original and inherently riveting read from cover to cover. While very highly and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Death Waits in the Dark" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

Find Me When I'm Lost
Cheryl A. Head
Bywater Books
P.O. Box 3671, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106-3671
www.bywaterbooks.com
9781612941752, $16.95, PB, 250pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When Charlie Mack is hired by her ex-husband's new wife Pamela, things get awkward quickly. Her ex, Franklin, has been charged with his brother-in-law's murder. Charlie and Pamela both believe he didn't do it, but he's gone into hiding for some reason neither of them understands.

To the police, it adds up to easy guilt, but to Charlie, it indicates that Franklin has stumbled onto something that likely comes with life-threatening complications. Charlie wants proof the case doesn't involve a double-cross, and when the Mack Investigations team throws all their assets at the case, Charlie's girlfriend, Mandy begins to worry that Charlie's all-out efforts to find Franklin might be driven by lingering romantic feelings.

In the end, everyone involved must figure out which loyalties run deeper than love.

Critique: An original and riveting mystery with all manner of unexpected and entertaining plot twists and turns, "Find Me When I'm Lost" by novelist Cheryl A. Head is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs who appreciate a deftly crafted suspense thriller that "Find Me When I'm Lost" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.49).

The Safe Place
Anna Downes
Minotaur Books
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
www.minotaurbooks.com
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250264800, $26.99, HC, 368pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Emily Proudman just lost her acting agent, her job, and her apartment in one miserable day. Scott Denny, a successful and charismatic CEO, has a problem that neither his business acumen nor vast wealth can fix. Until he meets Emily. Scott offers Emily a summer job as a housekeeper on his remote, beautiful French estate.

Enchanted by his lovely wife Nina, and his eccentric young daughter, Aurelia, Emily falls headlong into this oasis of wine-soaked days by the pool. But soon Emily realizes that Scott and Nina are hiding dangerous secrets, and if she doesn't play along, the consequences could be deadly!

Critique: Deftly blending elements of romance, escapism, and menace, "The Safe Place" by Anna Downes is an inherently riveting and thoroughly entertaining read from first page to last. While especially appropriate and recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Safe Place" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250751638, $34.99, CD).

Of Mutts and Men
Spencer Quinn
Forge
c/o Tor/Forge Books
www.tor-forge.com
9781250297693, $26.99, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When Chet the dog and his partner, PI Bernie Little of the desert-based Little Detective Agency, arrive to a meeting with hydrologist Wendell Nero, they are in for a shocking sight. It seems that Wendell has come to a violent and mysterious end!

What did the hydrologist want to see them about? Is his death a random robbery, or something more? Chet and Bernie, working for nothing more than an eight-pack of Slim Jims, are on the case.

Bernie might be the only one who thinks the police have arrested the wrong man, including the perp's own defense attorney. Chet and Bernie begin to look into Wendell's work, a search that leads to a struggling winemaker who has received an offer he can't refuse. Meanwhile, Chet is smelling water where there is no water, and soon Chet and Bernie are in danger like never before.

Critique: A delightfully original and impressively entertaining mystery with all the unexpected plot twists and turns that even the most dedicated mystery buff could want, "Of Mutts And Men" is sure to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. Certain to leave satisfied mystery fans looking forward to author Spencer Quinn's further adventures of Chet and Bernie, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Of Mutts And Men" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).

Little Falls
Elizabeth Lewes
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
www.dreamscapeab.com/audiobooks
9781643855066, $26.99, HC, 284pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Sergeant Camille Waresch did everything she could to forget Iraq. She went home to Eastern Washington and got a quiet job. She connected with her daughter, Sophie, whom she had left as a baby. She got sober. But the ghosts of her past were never far behind.

While conducting a routine property tax inspection on an isolated ranch, Camille discovers a teenager's tortured corpse hanging in a dilapidated outbuilding. In a flash, her combat-related PTSD resurges -- and in her dreams, the hanging boy merges with a young soldier whose eerily similar death still haunts her. The case hits home when Sophie reveals that the victim was her ex-boyfriend -- and as Camille investigates, she uncovers a tangled trail that leads to his jealous younger brother and her own daughter, wild, defiant, and ensnared.

The closer Camille gets to the truth, the closer she is driven to the edge. Her home is broken into. Her truck is blown up. Evidence and witnesses she remembers clearly are erased. And when Sophie disappears, Camille's hunt for justice becomes a hunt for her child. At a remote compound where the terrifying truth is finally revealed, Camille has one last chance to save her daughter -- and redeem her own shattered soul.

Critique: An original, action-packed, inherently riveting suspense thriller of a mystery novel by an author with an impressive flair for, and mastery of the genre, "Little Falls" by Elizabeth Lewes will prove to be a welcome addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Little Falls" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662026157, $22.99, CD).

Cold to the Bone
Emery Hayes
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
www.crookedlanebooks.com
www.dreamscapeab.com/audiobooks
9781643854984, $26.99, HC, 266pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: As the first female sheriff of Toole County, Montana Nicole Cobain earned the position through mental and physical grit and when a young girl is found murdered on icy Lake Maria, every bit of it is tested. But what begins as a chase for the killer quickly unravels into a high stakes medical transaction with harrowing consequences.

Eight years ago, Nicole fled her fast-track position as a homicide detective with the Denver Police Department in an act of desperation to save both her son and herself. Answering a recruitment ad, she showed up in the foothills of Glacier National Park and was elected sheriff six years later. She has a measure of peace in her new surroundings, her son is thriving, and she has effectively distanced herself from her past. Until Benjamin Kris shows up again.

Benjamin is the father of Nicole's son and a big-time charmer who has quickly scaled the crime ladder. He has a large clientele and is looking forward to a big pay day that lands him in Toole. But when it becomes clear he could be a suspect among several others in town with opportunity and motive, it's up to Nicole to sift through the tangled threads to find the killer before they strike again.

Critique: Deftly combining elements of amateur sleuth mystery fiction, police procedurals, and 'Cozy Mysteries', "Cold To The Bone" by novelist Emery Haye's introduces his Nicole Cobain mystery series. A riveting read from first page to last, "Cold To The Bone" will leave the dedicated mystery buff looking eagerly toward the next superbly entertaining adventure of Toole County Montana's female sheriff -- Nicole Cobain! While unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Cold To The Bone" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781662026096, $22.99, CD).


The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf

The Shaman of Karres
Eric Flint and Dave Freer
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
www.baen.com
9781982124564, $25.00 HC, $9.99 Kindle, 304pp, www.amazon.com

The Shaman of Karres tells of a Starship captain who becomes his fiancee's enemy when he rescues three slave children from their masters, only to find they are part of the lineage related to the witches of Karres. Captain Pausert finds his good deed haunting him in more than one way as the witches face a slave culture that succeeds because its captives are happy to be enslaved, as he becomes involved in a search for a lost strange pet, and as his young charges begin to come into their powers. This fine, quirky and fast-paced fantasy offers many unexpected twists that are easy to follow and hard to put down.

The Computer Shelf Computer Concepts and Management Information Systems
C.P. Gupta & K.K. Goyal
Mercury Learning
www.merclearning.com
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
www.styluspub.com
9781683925866, $59.95, PB, 232pp, www.amazon.com

Computer learners looking for a basic self-teaching primer will find this an excellent survey of the major topics involved in understanding computer hardware and software, and will appreciate the overview which goes beyond systems operations to discuss their applications in various industries ranging from business to security systems. Discussions cover the fundamental concepts involved in system operations and applications and include MIS discussions, an introduction to Microsoft Office's various facets and features, and keys to creating and modifying charts and information management systems. Screen shots and black and white illustrations throughout make the learning process a snap, making this particularly useful for self-study or refresher courses.

Caller of Lightning
Peter J. Wacks & Eytan Kollin
Baen Books
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
www.baen.com
9781982124632, $25.00, HC, 416pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When Halley's Comet blazed across the sky in 1759, onlookers saw a sight far more spectacular (and disastrous) than they ever could have imagined. Destroyed in a magical battle, the comet is rent in two and appears to strike Earth. The event is known as The Sundering, the moment in which the Old World is separated from the New, perhaps permanently isolating the Americas. What's more, The Sundering has brought magic into the world -- creatures from folklore and fairy tales come to life, along with wizardry and magework unlike anything seen outside of legend.

The New World is now far stranger than before, and the Europeans, Africans, and Indigenous peoples on the American continent must forge new bonds if they are to survive.

So, when magic returns to the world of the 1700s, who does the world turn to for help? None other than the father of electricity himself: Benjamin Franklin! But Franklin is in for a shock if he thinks his knowledge of science will prepare him for the world of magic. The master once more becomes the apprentice. But Franklin must learn his spells fast, for he is far from the only one studying magic. In point of fact, he's late to the race and almost out of time!

Critique: The third volume in author Peter J. Wacks and Eytan Kollin's alternate history 'Arcane America' series, "Caller of Lightning" is another original and thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover. Replete with unexpected plot twists and turns that compel the reader's rapt and appreciative attention, "Caller of Lightning" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated 'Arcane America' fans that "Caller of Lightning" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Alien Disruption
Garry J. Peterson
Robert D. Reed Publishers
PO Box 1992, Bandon, OR 97411
www.rdrpublishers.com
9781944297565, $14.95, PB, 336pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Sara didn't start out expecting to change the world. She inherited it from her dad and grandad, but she didn't expect it. For much of her early years, Sara thought her family was pretty weird and there seemed to be plenty of evidence to prove it. Her late grandfather, Pete Stevenson, maybe the weirdest of all, was obsessed with chasing down proof of aliens and time travel all over the world. Incidents through the years seemed to suggest that her family had, indeed, come across evidence that alien presence was real. Informed speculation regarding alien presence had now become irrefutable fact. Now, has an actual temporal alien encounter revealed that she is Earth's chosen one?

Critique: A part of author Garry J. Peterson's 'Stargate Earth' series of science fiction novels, "Alien Disruption" is a deftly scripted and thoroughly engaging read from first page to last. Showcasing Peterson's genuine flair for originality and the kind of imaginative narrative storytelling that provides a kind of 'theatre of the mind' experience that will be particularly appreciated by dedicated science fiction fans. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Alien Disruption" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).

The Empire of Gold
S. A. Chakraborty
Harper Voyager
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway, New York, New York 10007
www.harpercollins.com
www.blackstoneaudio.com
9780062678164, $28.99, HC, 784pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Daevabad has fallen. After a brutal conquest stripped the city of its magic, Nahid leader Banu Manizheh and her resurrected commander, Dara, must try to repair their fraying alliance and stabilize a fractious, warring people.

But the bloodletting and loss of his beloved Nahri have unleashed the worst demons of Dara's dark past. To vanquish them, he must face some ugly truths about his history and put himself at the mercy of those he once considered enemies.

Having narrowly escaped their murderous families and Daevabad's deadly politics, Nahri and Ali, now safe in Cairo, face difficult choices of their own. While Nahri finds peace in the old rhythms and familiar comforts of her human home, she is haunted by the knowledge that the loved ones she left behind and the people who considered her a savior are at the mercy of a new tyrant.

Ali, too, cannot help but look back, and is determined to return to rescue his city and the family that remains. Seeking support in his mother's homeland, he discovers that his connection to the marid goes far deeper than expected and threatens not only his relationship with Nahri, but his very faith.

As peace grows more elusive and old players return, Nahri, Ali, and Dara come to understand that in order to remake the world, they may need to fight those they once loved -- and take a stand for those they once hurt.

Critique: The third and concluding volume of novelist S. A. Chakraborty's 'Daevabad Trilogy', "The Empire of Gold" is an impressive saga of a fantasy novel and continues to showcase the author's impressive flair for descriptive and narrative driven storytelling. While especially and unreservedly recommended for all community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated Sword & Sorcery fantasy fans that "The Empire of Gold" is also readily available in a large print paperback edition (HarperLux, 9780062978851, $30.99, 1104pp), in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Publishing, 9781094162423, $55.99, CD).


The Biography Shelf

Julius Evola
Gianfranco de Turris
Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
www.innertraditions.com
9781620558065, $35.00, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Baron Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola, known to the English-speaking world as Julius Evola (19 May 1898 - 11 June 1974), was an Italian philosopher, magician, painter, occultist, Orientalist, linguist, and champion mountain climber. Often considered a pillar of Neo-Fascist thought, Evola opposed Fascism and called himself a "radical traditionalist."

"Julius Evola: The Philosopher and Magician in War: 1943-1945" by Gianfranco de Turris is a detailed and exhaustive exploration of Evola's inner and outer life from World War II into the early 1950s, Gianfranco knew Evola when he was alive and is the executor of his estate. In this deftly penned biography he offers a new portrait of Julius Evola and debunks many of the pseudo-myths about his activities during the war.

Drawing on personal conversations with those who knew him and new documentation never before made public, including letters from the Hakl and Scaligero archives, Gianfranco traces Evola's activities (including his time on the run and living under assumed names) in Italy, Germany, and Austria from 1943 into the mid-1950s. He shares a thorough account of the Baron's sojourn at Hitler's headquarters in Rastenburg, his work for the German secret military services, and his passionate rejection of the racial theories that were the core of Nazi ideology.

Gianfranco also outlines Evola's critiques of Fascism and Nazism and explores Evola's disapproval of the Italian Social Republic because it was destroying traditional values in favor of modernity.

Detailing the Baron's occult and magical work during the war, Gianfranco shows that the only thing Evola took with him when he escaped Italy was the UR Group papers, material that would later become the three-volume work Introduction to Magic. Sharing details from Evola's long hospital stays during and after the war, Gianfranco proves that the injury that led to Evola's paralysis was caused by an Allied bombing raid in Vienna and not, as rumor has it, by a sex magic act gone horribly wrong.

Of special note is the inclusion of photographs from the time period and the Baron's correspondence with Rene Guenon on the possibility of restoring the spiritual and magical power of an authentic Freemasonry.

Offering conclusive evidence that Evola was not part of the Nazi regime, Gianfranco sheds light on the inner workings of this legendary occult figure and what Evola believed was the best approach for the magus to take in the modern world.

Critique: A simply fascinating read from cover to cover, "Julius Evola: The Philosopher and Magician in War: 1943-1945" is an extraordinarily informative, impressively detailed, meticulously documented biography that is especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library biography collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Julius Evola" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $22.99).

The Sergeant's Daughter: A Memoir
Teressa Shlton
She Writes Press
www.shewritespress.com
9781631527210, $16.95, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: As a little girl, Teressa's father dotes on her and little sister, Karen, while mercilessly mocking her older sister, Debbie. Teressa thinks its Debbie's fault -- until she gets a little older and he begins tormenting her, too.

Soon enough, his verbal abuse turns physical. Her sergeant father brings his military life home, meeting each of his daughters' infractions with extreme punishment for them all. Meanwhile, their mother watches silently, never defending her daughters and never subjected to physical abuse herself.

Terrified to be at home and terrified to tell anyone, Teressa seeks solace in books, music, and the family she can find outside of her home: a best friend, a kind neighbor, and a doting grandfather. At first cowed by her father's abuse and desperate to believe that maybe, one day, things will change, Teressa ultimately grows into a young woman who understands that if she wants a better life, she'll have to build it for herself -- and so she does.

Critique: Candid, emotionally demanding, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "The Sergeant's Daughter: A Memoir" is an extraordinary and deeply personal story that has all too recognizable universally identifiable elements that reflect the damage done to so many women when they were young and under the dominate control of an unsupervised patriarchal style family. Undoubtedly a cathartic exercise for the author, "The Sergeant's Daughter: A Memoir" is a valued and valuable contribution to the growing body of literature that underscores the necessity of the women's rights and child protection movements. While especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library American Biography collections in general, and Child Abuse supplemental curriculum studies lists, it should be noted that "The Sergeant's Daughter: A Memoir" is also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).


The Poetry Shelf

Sincerely Speaking Spiritually
Joseph S. Spence Sr.
Westbow Press
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
www.westbowpress.com
9781973683902, $28.95, HC, 134pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Sincerely Speaking Spiritually" is an inspirational and uplifting body of prose poetry that is ideal for meditating on Christian principles and applying them to solve our 'real world' problems, and living a righteous life.

Additionally, The fundamental message underlying the deftly crafted poetry that comprising "Sincerely Speaking Spiritually" is that God's manifestation of preparing a table before you in the presence of your enemies is a daily reality. That every Christian can improve their standing before God and heighten the quality of their spirituality by allowing Him to anoint them with His grace, His mercy, and His love.

Critique: Occasionally graced with black-and-white images, "Sincerely Speaking Spiritually" by Joseph S. Spence Sr. begins with an informative foreword by Pastor Reverend Bradley E Coleman BA Master of Divinity. The individual poetry is as inspired and inspiring as it is meditatively compelling. Very highly recommended for all members of the Christian community, "Sincerely Speaking Spiritually" is one of those rare collections of Christian verse that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Sincerely Speaking Spiritually" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781973683919, $11.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $3.99).

Editorial Note: His Excellency, Dr. Ambassador, Professor, Joseph S. Spence, Sr., USA (Epulaeryu Master), is an award-winning poet and the author of over one hundred peer-reviewed published poetic articles and ten inspirational poetry books.


The Christian Studies Shelf

No Such Thing as Can't
Lisa Sexton & Tyler Sexton, MD
Focus on the Family
https://www.focusonthefamily.com
Oasis Audio
http://oasisaudio.com/about-oasis
9781589979734, $15.99, PB, 240pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: There are many books about overcoming obstacles, but "No Such Thing as Can't: A Triumphant Story of Faith and Perseverance" by Lisa and Tyler Sexton is quintessential story of victory over limitations that is remarkably unique!

Not many doctors have cerebral palsy. Yet this disability was part of the Great Physician's plan for Tyler Sexton. Because of it, Tyler has become a role model for others facing adversity, including his patients. He has also become a humble healer who uses his heart and faith along with his intellect and training to help kids and give them hope.

Tyler's story has been featured on ABC's 20/20 and was the basis for many episodes of ABC's new show The Good Doctor. "No Such Thing as Can't" is the personal story of a man who says, "I'd rather walk with a limp in Christ than with a strut in the world"; who wears superhero T-shirts and tells his little patients they're "super" too, despite their physical problems; and whose stint at a medical school in the Caribbean completely erased the islanders' negative view of disability.

Through this inspiring true story, people will be encouraged to face adversity with hope, determination, and the strength of Christ.

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "No Such Thing as Can't: A Triumphant Story of Faith and Perseverance" is a life-changing, life-enhancing, spiritually motivating, and emotionally moving story of Christian faith and Christian life. While very highly recommended reading, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all members of the Christian community regardless of their denominational affiliations that "No Such Thing as Can't" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.19) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Oasis Audio, 9781640912083, $14.99, CD).

The Essence: Unpacking Jesus' Sermon on the Mount
Brian N. Winslade
Resource Publications
c/o Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401-2960
http://wipfandstock.com
9781532695346, $25.00, PB, 246pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The teaching of Jesus of Nazareth is unparalleled and universally acclaimed in the history of our world. Born into relative obscurity and poverty, no one has impacted the world to the same extent as Jesus.

Amidst all he said and did, his close friend Matthew (a former social outcast) captured his teaching -- delivered on a hillside just above the town where he lived, overlooking the Sea of Galilee. The fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters of Matthew's Gospel, commonly referred to as the Sermon on the Mount, have been described as the essence of all that Jesus taught about God and how we relate with him. Every Christian (and every pastor, priest and preacher) must wrestle with the words of Jesus given on a Galilean hillside.

If a person grasped nothing else of the words Jesus spoke, apart from that contained in the Sermon on the Mount, he or she catches the essence of his timeless message.

Critique: A welcome and thoroughly 'user friendly' resource for individual Christians, clergy, and small New Testament studies groups, "The Essence: Unpacking Jesus' Sermon on the Mount" is an ideal textbook with its emphasis on applying the teachings and principles of Jesus to contemporary life. While highly recommended to all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations, it should be noted that "The Essence: Unpacking Jesus' Sermon on the Mount" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Brian N. Winslade has been involved in pastoral ministry and denominational leadership within New Zealand, Australia, the USA, and Bangladesh since 1979 -- including as CEO of the Baptist Churches of New Zealand, national director of the Baptist Churches of Australia, and a member of the International Council of the World Evangelical Alliance.

Taught by God
Daniel Fanous
SVS Press
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
www.svspress.com
9780881416633, $25.00, PB, 270pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Taught By God: Making Sense of the Difficult Sayings of Jesus" grapples with the difficult sayings of Christ. In this extended study, the Rev. Dr. Daniel Fanous uses all the resources of the patristic tradition and modern biblical scholarship to put these sayings in a clearer light. The underlying and fundamental message of "Taught by God" is that if we as Christians are able to delve into the deeper meaning of these hard sayings, then we will truly be taught by God.

Critique: Expertly written, deftly organized, and impressively presented for the benefit of both clergy and the lay reader, "Taught By God: Making Sense of the Difficult Sayings of Jesus" is an extraordinary and welcome addition to Church, college, and university library Christian Orthodoxy studies and collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of seminary students, clergy, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Taught By God: Making Sense of the Difficult Sayings of Jesus" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).

Editorial Note: Rev. Dr. Daniel Fanous is dean and lecturer in Theology & Biblical Studies at St Cyril's Coptic Orthodox Theological College in Sydney, Australia. He is also the author of "The Person of the Christ" and "A Silent Patriarch".

Wholeness & Holiness
David Richo
Orbis Books
Price Building, Box 302, Maryknoll NY 10545-0302
www.orbisbooks.com
9781626983533, $18.00, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Wholeness and Holiness: How to Be Sane, Spiritual, and Saintly" by David Richo guides us through a three-step journey to psychological soundness, spiritual wholeness, and saintly holiness.

We have body-minds that can be psychologically healthy, but it is up to us to nurture this process. When we do, we feel wholesome, body and mind.

We have spiritual consciousness, but it is up to us to be aware of it and act in accord with it. When we do, we feel whole, body and mind.

We are imprinted with a calling to sanctity, and yet, it is up to us to be open to its heroic demands. When we do, we feel joyously full of grace, body and mind.

The goal throughout this journey is to attain both wholeness and holiness. For this to be achieved, a person must work at all three.

Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "Wholeness and Holiness: How to Be Sane, Spiritual, and Saintly" is an inherently interesting and expertly presented instructional guide for both clergy and lay members of the Christian community. An informed and informative treatise on the psychology of religion from a Christian perspective, "Wholeness and Holiness: How to Be Sane, Spiritual, and Saintly" is especially recommended for Christian Living/Personal Growth individual and small group studies. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Wholeness and Holiness: How to Be Sane, Spiritual, and Saintly" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: David Richo is a psychotherapist, author, and workshop leader, who combines psychological and spiritual perspectives in his work. He teaches at a variety of places, including Esalen and Spirit Rock Buddhist Center. Among his many books are "How to Be an Adult" and "Everything Ablaze".

Justice and Charity
Michael P. Krom
Baker Academic
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
www.bakerpublishinggroup.com
9781540963161, $44.99, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In "Justice and Charity: An Introduction to Aquinas's Moral, Economic, and Political Thought" Professor Michael Krom introduces Thomas Aquinas's moral, economic, and political thought, differentiating between philosophy (justice) and theology (charity) within each of the three branches of Aquinas's theory of human living.

Professor Krom also shows how Aquinas's thought offers an integrated vision for Christian participation in the world, equipping readers to apply their faith to the complex moral, economic, and political problems of contemporary society.

Written in an accessible style by an experienced educator, "Justice and Charity is especially well-suited for use in a variety of undergraduate Christian theology courses and provides a foundation for understanding the enduring contribution os Thomas Aquinas' contributions to Catholic social teaching.

Critique: Expertly and informatively written, organized and presented, "Justice and Charity: An Introduction to Aquinas's Moral, Economic, and Political Thought" will prove to be a valued and appreciated contribution to the growing library of scholarly studies about the thought, philosophy, and theology of Thomas Aquinas. While an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended for Church, seminary, community, college, and university library Christian Theology collections in general, and Thomas Aquinas supplemental studies in particular, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, clergy, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Justice and Charity" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781540962249, $29.99), and in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.19).

Editorial Note: Michael P. Krom is Professor of Philosophy and Director of Benedictine Leadership Studies and director of the Faith and Reason Summer Program at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.


The Judaic Studies Shelf

Rabba, Maharat, Rabbanit, Rebbetzin
Rabbi Daniel Sperber
Urim Publications
c/o KTAV Publishing House
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, New York 11225
www.UrimPublications.com
9789655242461, $27.95, HC, 251pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In "Rabba, Maharat, Rabbanit, Rebbetzin: Women with Leadership Authority According to Halachah" Rabbi Daniel Sperber examines in detail the legitimacy for feminine leadership in Jewish law.

Exploring the various manifestations of female leadership, whether as women clergy or other forms of female halachic adjudication, "Rabba, Maharat, Rabbanit, Rebbetzin" responds to the standard criticisms leveled at the recent phenomenon of female authority within the Orthodox community.

Rabba, Maharat, Rabbanit, Rebbetzin: Women with Leadership Authority According to Halachah" is groundbreaking study in which Rabbi Sperber deftly argues the halachic, political, and sociological levels of female leadership in Judaism.

Critique: A meticulous and groundbreaking study of original and scrupulous scholarship that is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a Subject Index, Name Index, and Source Index, "Rabba, Maharat, Rabbanit, Rebbetzin: Women with Leadership Authority According to Halachah" is an extraordinarily informed and informative contribution that is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, synagogue, community, college, and university library Contemporary Judaic Studies collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Editorial Note: Rabbi Professor Daniel Sperber is a leading scholar of Jewish law, customs, and ethics. He taught in the Talmud Department of Bar-Ilan University, where he also served as dean of the Faculty of Jewish Studies and president of the Jesselson Institute for Advanced Torah Studies. In 1992, he was awarded the Israel Prize for Jewish Studies. Prof. Sperber currently serves as rabbi of the Menachem Zion Synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem. Rabbi Sperber has published more than thirty books and four hundred articles on the subjects of Talmud and Jewish socio-economic history, law and customs, classical philology, and Jewish art. He is the author of On Changes in Jewish Liturgy: Options and Limitations; On the Relationship of Mitzvot Between Man and His Neighbor and Man and His Maker, and The Importance of the Community Rabbi: Leading with Compassionate Halachah, all of which are published by Urim Publications.

The Book of Jonah: A Social Justice Commentary
Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz
CCAR Press
355 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10017
www.ccarpress.org
9780881233605, $19.95, PB, 186pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The Book of Jonah is a unique text in the Jewish canon. Among the shortest books in the Bible, it is also one of the most mysterious and morally ambiguous. Who is this prophet running from God, hiding at the bottom of the ocean? Why does he struggle with God's mission to save and forgive Israel's enemies?

In "The Book of Jonah: A Social Justice Commentary", Rabbi Dr. Yanklowitz shows that the Book of Jonah delivers a message of human responsibility in a shared world. Illuminating such contemporary ethical issues as animal welfare, incarceration, climate change, weapons of mass destruction, and Jewish-Muslim relations, this social justice commentary urges us to join in repairing a broken world -- a call that we, unlike Jonah, must hasten to answer.

Critique: Comprised of eloquent, insightful, informative, thoughtful and thought provoking commentaries, "The Book of Jonah: A Social Justice Commentary" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, rabbinical, community, synagogue, college, and university library Contemporary Judaic Studies collections and supplemental reading lists.


The Political Science Shelf

Our Time Is Now
Stacey Abrams
Henry Holt & Company
175 Fifth Avenue, Suite 400, New York, NY 10010-7725
www.henryholt.com
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250257703, $27.99, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Stacey Abrams is an author, serial entrepreneur, nonprofit CEO and political leader. After eleven years in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven as Minority Leader, Abrams became the 2018 Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia, where she won more votes than any other Democrat in the state's history. She has founded multiple organizations devoted to voting rights, training and hiring young people of color, and tackling social issues at both the state and national levels; and she is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Abrams is the 2012 recipient of the John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award and the first black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the United States.

Now in the pages of her newly published book, "Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America", Stacey Abrams offers a blueprint to end voter suppression, empower our citizens, and take back our country. A recognized expert on fair voting and civic engagement, Abrams chronicles a chilling account of how the right to vote and the principle of democracy have been and continue to be under attack. Abrams would have been the first African American woman governor, but experienced these effects firsthand, despite running the most innovative race in modern politics as the Democratic nominee in Georgia. Abrams didn't win, but she has not conceded. "Our Time Is Now" compellingly argues for the importance of robust voter protections, an elevation of identity politics, engagement in the census, and a return to moral international leadership.

"Our Time Is Now" also draws on extensive research from national organizations and renowned scholars, as well as anecdotes from her life and others' who have fought throughout our country's history for the power to be heard. The stakes could not be higher. Here are concrete solutions and inspiration to stand up for who we are -- now.

Critique: A badly needed and eloquent contribution to our current and on-going national dialogue over the immoral and undemocratic practice of voter suppression in this Trump era of plutocracy and a thoroughly corrupted Republican Party, "Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America" is deserving of as wide a readership as possible -- especially as we approach the November 2020 presidential and congressional elections. Unreservedly recommended for all community, college, and university library Contemporary Political Science collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250772312, $44.99, CD).

Stealing Our Democracy
Don Siegelman
NewSouth, Inc.
105 South Court Street, Montgomery, AL 36104
www.newsouthbooks.com
9781588384294, $28.95, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Stealing Our Democracy: How the Political Assassination of a Governor Threatens Our Nation" by Don Siegelman is a searing political memoir. This former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman explodes the myth of an impartial U.S. justice system.

He should know. Arguably the most successful and promising politician in modern Alabama history, his three-decade career in public service ran afoul of Republican opponents who used the federal judicial system to take him out of contention in Alabama and nationally. Governor Siegelman ultimately was sentenced to 88 months in federal prison and served five years, with long stretches in solitary confinement during which he was a literal political prisoner, cut off from interviews and outside contact.

"Stealing Our Democracy" reveals how Governor Siegelman's political enemies within the Republican party, and which included politicized prosecutors and a corrupt judge, stripped him of his freedom, his career, and his law license, and deprived him of his family and friends. His is an intensely personal account of how our system can fail and be abused for political greed. And if it could happen to him, he writes, it can happen to any of us, particularly in an era when Donald Trump is abusing his power and using the Department of Justice as a political weapon to defend himself and to destroy those who oppose him.

Governor Siegelman draws on his experience as a public servant and an inmate to show why the nation's prisons must be reformed along with our system of indictment, prosecution, and sentencing. Finally, "Stealing Our Democracy" offers a blueprint for voters in 2020 of what must be done to preserve democracy.

Critique: A simply riveting read from cover to cover, "Stealing Our Democracy: How the Political Assassination of a Governor Threatens Our Nation" is an extraordinary story with profound implications for the American citizen in this era of the Trump administration and the corruption of the federal Justice Department under Trump sycophant William Barr. This candid revelation of political corruption should have as wide a readership as possible and is unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary American Biography collections in general, and Contemporary Political Science supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of political science studies, academia, political activists, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Stealing Our Democracy: How the Political Assassination of a Governor Threatens Our Nation" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.95).

How Trump Stole 2020
Greg Palast, author
Ted Rall, illustrator
Seven Stories Press
140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013
www.sevenstories.com
9781644210567, $16.95, PB, 352pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis; Has Trump already stolen the 2020 election? Vote theft was once considered to be a marginal issue that no one wanted to talk about, but as the stakes have risen and the facts have become known it is now recognized as one of the central issues deciding our presidential elections. Ironically, the last two confirmed cases of large scale voter fraud were perpetrated by Republicans.

Then there is the whole issue of Republican sponsored voter suppression practices.

The scope covered by "How Trump Stole 2020: The Hunt for America's Vanished Voters" is staggering. In the Georgia 2018 midterm election alone (the testing ground) Republican voting officials quietly removed half a million voters from the voter rolls -- including Martin Luther King's ninety-two-year-old cousin Christine Jordan.

"How Trump Stole 2020" is the story of the racially poisonous schemes to steal the 2020 election, the political operatives behind the trickery -- and the hard right billionaires funding it all, written by Greg Palast, an investigative reporter who has been covering this story from the outset.

Critique: The only problem with "How Trump Stole 2020: The Hunt for America's Vanished Voters" is that the folks who need to read it most (the 35% of our nation's electorate who are dedicated Trump supporters) never will. Nevertheless, "How Trump Stole 2020: The Hunt for America's Vanished Voters" should receive as wide as possible readership as we come down to the November 2020 election which will, quite literally determine if our American experiment in freedom and democracy will survive.

Editorial Note: Greg Palast has worked as a government consultant and an investigator for labor unions before turning to journalism full time. For years Palast wrote a column for the Guardian called "Inside Corporate America," and his articles have appeared in magazines and journals including the Nation, Harper's, and In These Times. Palast is also the author of "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy", which covered in detail the fiasco of President Bush's victory in Florida in 2000. His most recent book is "Billionaires and Bandits: How to Steal an Election in 9 Easy Steps", with illustrations by Ted Rall.


The Business Shelf

Think For Yourself
Vikram Mansharamani
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
http://hbr.org/books
9781633699212, $30.00 HC, $17.49 Kindle, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Think For Yourself: Restoring Common Sense in an Age of Experts and Artificial Intelligence makes a case for adopting and learning critical thinking skills when assessing data, whether it be political, social, or business statistics, and is recommended reading for business, technology, and social issues collections alike. It surveys daily decision-making challenges, suggests changing management and analytical focus to embrace more than the facts being presented, and makes a case for independent thinking as different facts, perspectives, and expert opinions are not just accepted, but analyzed. This should be a college course. Its opportunities for debate and education are that diverse and important, key to not just business success, but the overall ability to navigate life and discern truth from false claims.

Intentional Integrity
Robert Chestnut
St. Martin's Press
https://us.macmillan.com/smp
www.macmillanaudio.com
9781250239709, $28.99, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Show of hands - who in this group has integrity?" -- It's with this direct and often uncomfortable question that Robert Chesnut, General Counsel of Airbnb, begins every presentation to new employees.

Defining integrity is difficult. Once understood as "telling the truth and keeping your word," it was about following not just the letter but the spirit of the law. But in a moment when workplaces are becoming more diverse, global, and connected, silence about integrity creates ambiguities about right and wrong that make everyone uncertain, opening the door for the minority of people to rationalize selfish behavior.

Trust in most traditional government, religious organizations, and higher education institutions is down -- and there's a dark cloud hovering over technology. But this is precisely where companies come in; as peoples' faith in establishments deteriorates, they're turning to their employer for stability.

In the pages of "Intentional Integrity: How Smart Companies Can Lead an Ethical Revolution", draws upon his personal experience and expertise Chesnut to offer a six-step process for corporate leaders and business managers to foster and manage a culture of integrity at work. He also explains the rationale and legal context for the ethics and practices, and presents scenarios to illuminate the nuances of thinking deeply and objectively about workplace culture.

We will always need governments to manage defense, infrastructure, and basic societal functions. But, Chesnut argues, the private sector has the responsibility to use sensitivity and flexibility to make broader progress -- if they act with integrity.

Critique: Within the context of a pandemic, social unrest, and economic collapse, "Intentional Integrity: How Smart Companies Can Lead an Ethical Revolution" is an especially timely and critically needed contribution to our on-going national dialogue over corporate responses to community crises, governmental responses with respect to corporate resources and practices, and the pivotal role the individual can play in a company (or in a community's) success. Expertly written, organized and presented, "Intentional Integrity: How Smart Companies Can Lead an Ethical Revolution" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Business Management collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of business students, academia, business executives, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Intentional Integrity: How Smart Companies Can Lead an Ethical Revolution" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781250272478, $17.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250752925, $50.99, CD).

Editorial Note: Rob has spent a 35 year legal career exploring and helping to enforce rules that we all live by. Most recently, Rob spent 4 years as Airbnb's General Counsel and Chief Integrity Officer, helping Airbnb navigate a complex regulatory framework across as it grew into one of the world's leading hospitality companies. Today, Airbnb offers over 7 million accommodations and 40,000 handcrafted activities, all powered by local hosts. With more than half a billion guest arrivals to date, and accessible in 62 languages across 220+ countries and regions, Airbnb promotes people-to-people connection, community and trust around the world. While at Airbnb, Rob developed the company's unique ethics program, "Integrity Belongs Here," that promotes an environment of ethics and compliance within the company. Prior to Airbnb, Rob Chestnut helped transform Chegg, Inc., from an offline textbook rental company into a multi-service digital learning platform. As general counsel, he helped take the company public in 2013.

The Art of Being Indispensable at Work
Bruce Tulgan
www.rainmakerthinking.com
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
9781633698499, $28.00, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Business is not static. With new technology, constant change and uncertainty, and far-flung virtual teams, getting things done at work is tougher and more complex than ever. Exacerbated by the current pandemic, we are in the midst of a collaboration revolution, working with everyone, all the time, across silos and platforms. But sometimes it feels like we are stuck in a no-win cycle -- dealing with an overwhelming influx of asks, with unclear lines of communication and authority.

But even amid the seeming chaos, there's always that indispensable go-to person who thrives on their many working relationships with people all over the organization chart. How do they do it? Go-to people consistently make themselves valuable to others, maintain a positive attitude of service, are creative and tenacious, and take personal responsibility for getting the right things done.

"The Art of Being Indispensable at Work: Win Influence, Beat Overcommitment, and Get the Right Things Done" is game-changing yet practical book in which Bruce Tulgan reveals the secrets of the go-to person in our new world of work. Based on an intensive study of people at all levels, in all kinds of organizations, Tulgan shows how go-to people think and behave differently, building up their influence with others -- and not by trying to do everything for everybody but by doing the right things at the right times for the right reasons, regardless of whether they have the formal authority.

"The Art of Being Indispensable at Work" will teach the reader how to: Understand the peculiar mathematics of real influence; Lead from wherever you are up, down, sideways, and diagonal; Know when to say "no" or "not yet," and how to say "yes"; Keep getting better and better at working together -- and so much more!

Critique: Expertly written, deftly organized, and impressively 'user friendly' in presentation, "The Art of Being Indispensable at Work: Win Influence, Beat Overcommitment, and Get the Right Things Done" must be considered essential reading for anyone seeking to survive and even prosper in the current economic collapse necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic. While an essential and core addition to community, corporate, college, and university library Business Management collections in general, and Job Hunting & Career Guides supplemental studies reading lists in particular, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Art of Being Indispensable at Work: Win Influence, Beat Overcommitment, and Get the Right Things Done" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99).

Editorial Note: Bruce Tulgan is an author, an adviser to business leaders all over the world, and a sought-after keynote speaker and seminar leader. He has worked with thousands of leaders and managers in hundreds of organizations, from Aetna to Walmart, the US Army to the YMCA. He lectures at the Yale School of Management and is the author of several books, including It's Okay to Be the Boss and Not Everyone Gets a Trophy. He is also the founder and Chairman of RainmakerThinking Inc. He maintains a website at: www.rainmakerthinking.com


The Woodworking Shelf

The Art of Kumiko
Matt Kenney
Blue Hills Press
https://www.bluehillspress.com/shop
9781951217242, $24.95, PB, 168pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Kumiko is a delicate and sophisticated art created by assembling small wooden pieces into beautiful patterns.

"The Art of Kumiko: Learn to Make Beautiful Panels by Hand" by Matt Kenney is a DIY compendium of step-by-step instructions for 10 Kumiko patterns that offer an impressive level of step-by-step details.

Also included are cutting diagrams for several original decorative wall panels that make use of the patterns comprising "The Art of Kumiko".

An experienced woodworker, Kenney's methods for making Kumiko combine the accuracy and efficiency of modern woodworking equipment with the precision of hand tools to create beautiful pieces. "The Art of Kumiko also incorporates Kumiko in both furniture designs and as stand-alone framed panels that pay homage to this centuries-old woodworking craft.

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout, "The Art of Kumiko: Learn to Make Beautiful Panels by Hand" is exceptionally well organized and presented, making it an ideal, thoroughly 'user friendly', and unreservedly recommended DIY instructional guide and reference for anyone wanting to learn how to create Kumiko designed as part of their woodworking skill set.

Editorial Note: Matt Kenney grew up making things like tree forts and skate ramps from wood. Now he's a furniture maker whose passion for the craft drives him to share his knowledge and experience with other woodworkers. He's written dozens of magazine articles, been featured in instructional videos, and is the author of 52 Boxes in 52 Weeks, which chronicles his effort to design and make 52 boxes during the course of a year. Kenney also teaches woodworking at schools around the United States and overseas. He's co-host of a bi-weekly podcast, The Matt and Joe Woodworking Fun Hour, that documents co-host Joe Faraoni's journey as Matt teaches him woodworking. A former editor at Fine Woodworking, Kenney is at the forefront of a revival in interest in Kumiko. Interested woodworkers can follow his Instagram account @mekwoodworks

Carving & Painting Adorable Animals in Wood
Desiree Hajny
Fox Chapel Publishing Company
1970 Broad Street N., East Petersburg, PA 17520
www.FoxChapelPublishing.com
9781497100831, $16.99, PB, 152pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: This pattern book contains comprehensive, step-by-step, illustrated instructions for 12 carving projects featuring a variety of animals -- each of which is a beautiful figure specifically designed to sit up on its own!

Not appropriate for absolute novice beginners, "Carving & Painting Adorable Animals in Wood" isn't about the basics of carving, but instead provides those of intermediate skill with new and interesting challenges to practice and improve woodcarving, pyrography, texturing, and painting skills.

From pandas and foxes to otters and elephants, each animal design includes a full-size pattern template, hair tract guide, color chart for painting guidance, and helpful reference photos of the finished piece from various angles, so you'll have all the information you need to create the entire collection of cute tchotchkes.

Critique: An absolute 'must' for all dedicated recreational woodworkers and crafters, "Carving & Painting Adorable Animals in Wood" is an impressive and thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional guide and manual that is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, school woodshop, and community library Woodworking collections.

Editorial Note: Desiree Hajny's accomplishments in the woodcarving arts span thirty years as an author, teacher, commissioned artist, and competition judge. Desiree has won a number of national and international awards for her carvings, including 25 best-of-show honors, over 150 first place awards, 18 people's choice awards, and the Woodcarving Illustrated Woodcarver of the Year award. She is the author of six woodcarving books, a contributor to seven others, and a contributing editor to woodworking periodicals across the United States and Europe.


The Antiques/Collectibles Shelf

Baseball & Bubble Gum: The 1952 Topps Collection
Tom Zappala & Ellen Zappala
www.TomZappalaMedia.com
Peter E. Randall Publisher
5 Greenleaf Woods Drive, Suite 102, Portsmouth New Hampshire 03801
www.perpublisher.com
9781942155317, $35.00, HC, 248pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The Topps Company, Inc. is an American company that manufactures chewing gum, candy, and collectibles. Based in New York City, Topps is best known as a leading producer of American football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, soccer, and other sports and non-sports themed trading cards. It is currently the only baseball card manufacturer with a contract with Major League Baseball.

"Baseball & Bubble Gum: The 1952 Topps Collection" showcases the most iconic postwar baseball set in hobby history. With the end of World War II, the advent of television, and an explosion of love for our National Pastime, the players making up this historic collection became bigger than life by featuring players like Mantle, Berra, Robinson, Spahn, Snider and Mays. All of the 407 cards in the set are presented in full color along with a narrative about the player and their stats.

The last chapter of "Baseball & Bubble Gum" discusses the great appeal of the 1952 Topps set; how the collection was developed; the nuances of particular cards, along with their scarcity, popularity, and in some cases, the card value.

Critique: A beautifully reproduced coffee-table style volume compiled by the team of Tom and Ellen Zappala, and with the assistance of John Molori, and an ideal gift for any and all dedicated baseball fans, "Baseball & Bubble Gum: The 1952 Topps Collection" is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and academic library 20th Century American Popular Culture collections in general, American Baseball History collections in particular.

Editorial Note: "The popularity of Topps baseball cards kept the careers of players like me alive' for decades after our retirement. As a player featured in the 1952 Topps set, I enjoyed reading Baseball & Bubble Gum. The stories about the players brought back memories of a great time in my life and a great time in the game of baseball. Excellent read!" - Carl Erskine, All-Star pitcher and member of the 1955 Dodgers World Series Champions


The Military Shelf

An American Uprising in Second World War England
Kate Werran
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781526759542, $34.95, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "An American Uprising in Second World War England: Mutiny in the Duchy is the little known yet incredible story of a Second World War shoot-out between black and white American soldiers in a quiet Cornish town that ended up putting the 'special relationship' itself on trial. Now largely forgotten, at the time the subsequent court martial into what tabloids labeled a 'wild west' mutiny became front page news in Great Britain and the USA. Three thousand miles across the Atlantic, it mirrored and bolstered a fast-accelerating civil rights movement.

At home it caused Churchill himself 'grave anxiety' while refracting an extraordinary truth about the real state of Anglo-American relations. For three long days the story raged before the turbulent war-torn world moved on and forgot forever amid ever-escalating D-Day preparations. This account of a shocking drama the authorities tried to hush up has been painstakingly pieced back together for the first time thanks to new archival research.

When slotted into its unique context, extracted from wartime cabinet documents, secret government surveys, opinion polls, diaries, letters and newspapers as well as testimony from those who remember it, the story offers a rare and stunning window into a little-known dark side of the 'American Invasion'. By breathing new life into a vanished trial, it reveals a rare and surprising insight into the wider story of how Britain reacted to soldiers of the Jim Crow army when they came to stay.

Critique: An astonishing, inherently fascinating, meticulously researched bit of World War II history, "An American Uprising in Second World War England: Mutiny in the Duchy" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college, and university library WWII Military History collections and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists. Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of illustrations, maps, a Dramatis Personae, twelve pages of Notes, and a two page Secondary Reading list, it should be noted for students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "An American Uprising in Second World War England: Mutiny in the Duchy" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).

Editorial Note: After reading History at Oxford University, Kate Werran wrote for local and national newspapers before switching to television where she worked for one of Britain's leading independent documentary makers, producing 20th Century history programmes for Channel 4, Channel 5 and the BBC. Kate is especially passionate about writing this story she lays out in the pages of "An American Uprising in Second World War England: Mutiny in the Duchy" because it has been a life-long interest. One summer as a child, holidaying in her father's home town, Kate put her fingers in decades-old bullet-holes left in a war monument one night and asked the question: Why? Finally, she answered it with "An American Uprising in Second World War England: Mutiny in the Duchy".

Children Against Hitler
Monica Porter
www.monicaporter.co.uk
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
9781526764287, $22.95, PB, 184pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Today very few know the real life stories of the children and teenagers who actively stood up to the Nazis. In the pages of "Children Against Hitler: The Young Resistance Heroes of the Second World War", Monica Porter gathers together their stories from many corners of occupied Europe, showing how in a variety of audacious and inventive ways children as young as six resisted the Nazi menace, risking and sometimes even sacrificing their brief lives in the process: a heroism that until now has largely gone unsung and unacknowledged.

These courageous youngsters came from all classes and backgrounds. There were high school dropouts and social misfits, brainy bookworms, the children of farmers and factory workers. Some lost their entire families to the war, yet fought on alone. Often more adept and fearless at resistance than adults, they exuded an air of guilelessness and could slip more easily under the Nazi radar. But as nets tightened, many were captured, tortured or imprisoned, some paying the highest price -- a life brutally cut short by execution before they had even turned eighteen.

These children were motivated by different ideals; patriotism, political conviction, their Christian beliefs, or revulsion at the brutality of the Third Reich. But what united them was their determination to strike back at an enemy which had deprived them of their freedom, their dignity -- and their childhood.

Critique: A fitting memorial to the children who risked (and so often lost) their lives in resisting the Nazi war machine, "Children Against Hitler: The Young Resistance Heroes of the Second World War" is an extraordinary, unique, informative, and welcome addition to personal, professional, community, college, and academic library World War II history collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Children Against Hitler: The Young Resistance Heroes of the Second World War" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Monica Porter is a London-based journalist who has written for dozens of British newspapers and magazines. She is well-placed to write about wartime resistance, as one of her five previously published books is "Deadly Carousel: A Singer's Story of the Second World War", about her own mother Vali Racz's rescue of Jewish friends in Nazi-occupied Budapest in 1944, for which she was honored by Yad Vashem as a Righteous Among the Nations. She maintains a website at: www.monicaporter.co.uk

Korean War - Chinese Invasion
Gerry Van Tonder
Pen & Sword Books
https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk
c/o Casemate (distribution)
www.casematepublishers.com
9781526778093, $22.95, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In his first four volumes on the Korean War (all of which were published by Pen & Sword), military historian Gerry Van Tonder traces the war's progress from the North Korean invasion of June 1950, to the desperate American defense of the Pusan Perimeter, to General Douglas MacArthur's daring and highly successful amphibious offensive at Inch on, and his subsequent advance across the 38th Parallel to the Yalu River on the Chinese Manchurian border where Communist Chinese forces had been secretly infiltrating North Korean territory by slipping across the Yalu from mid-October 1950, to the ambush a South Korean regiment in the mountains of central North Korea. This is the first of several Chinese victories over unsuspecting and overstretched South Korean and American units in the winter of 1950/1.

"Korean War - Chinese Invasion: People's Liberation Army Crosses the Yalu, October 1950 March 1951" continues the history of the Korean War when on 27 November 1950, Chinese leader Mao Zedong, ostensibly fearful of the consequences of hostile American forces on his country's border along the Yalu River, ordered 250,000 troops into Korea, with express orders to annihilate the UN forces. In the western half of the theater, US General Walton H. Walker's Eighth Army front along the Chongch on axis is breached, while to the east, the US X Corps suffers a series of crushing defeats, including at the Chosin Reservoir, precipitating a massive evacuation from the North Korean port of Hungnam.

Critique: Enhanced for the reader with the inclusion black-and-white historical photographs, a one page Glossary, a three page Timeline, a two page Bibliography, and a three page Index, "Korean War - Chinese Invasion: People's Liberation Army Crosses the Yalu, October 1950 March 1951" is an extraordinarily informative and exceptionally well written, deftly organized and presented, detailed history that is very highly recommended for community and academic library Korean War military history collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and military history buffs that "Korean War - Chinese Invasion: People's Liberation Army Crosses the Yalu, October 1950 March 1951" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: Born in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, military historian and author Gerry van Tonder came to Britain in 1999. Specializing in military history, Gerry has authored multiple books on Rhodesia and the co-authored definitive Rhodesia Regiment 1899-1981. Gerry presented a copy to the regiment's former colonel-in-chief, Her Majesty the Queen.

Desert Redleg
L. Scott Lingamfelter
https://copybookwarrior.com
The University Press of Kentucky
663 South Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40508-4008
www.kentuckypress.com
9780813179209, $32.95, HC, 360pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: When Saddam Hussein's Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, triggering the First Gulf War, a coalition of thirty-five countries led by the United States responded with Operation Desert Storm, which culminated in a one-hundred-hour coordinated air strike and ground assault that repelled Iraqi forces from Kuwait. Though largely forgotten in descriptions of the war, an eight-day barrage of artillery fire made this seemingly rapid offensive possible. At the forefront of this offensive were the brave field artillerymen known as "redlegs."

In "Desert Redleg: Artillery Warfare in the First Gulf War", a veteran and former redleg of the 1st Infantry Division Artillery (otherwise known as the "Big Red One"), Col. L. Scott Lingamfelter, recounts the logistical and strategic decisions that led to a coalition victory.

Drawing on original battle maps, official reports, and personal journals, Lingamfelter describes the experience of the First Gulf War through a soldier's eyes and attempts to answer the question of whether the United States "got the job done" in its first sustained Middle Eastern conflict. Part military history, part personal memoir, "Desert Redleg: Artillery Warfare in the First Gulf War" provides a boots-on-the-ground perspective on the largest US artillery bombardment since World War II.

Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of an eight page Glossary, ten pages of Notes, a two page Bibliography, and a twenty-three page Index, "Desert Redleg: Artillery Warfare in the First Gulf War" is a comprehensive, inherently fascinating, and impressively informative military history that is especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library American Military History collections in general, and First Gulf War supplemental studies reading in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject tht "Desert Redleg: Artillery Warfare in the First Gulf War" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.12).

Editorial Note: Col. L. Scott Lingamfelter, USA (Ret.), began his twenty-eight-year military career as a field artilleryman, quickly moving up the ranks to colonel. He served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 2002 to 2018. His work has been published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Washington Times. He maintains a website at: https://copybookwarrior.com

Lectures of the Air Corps Tactical School and American Strategic Bombing in World War II
Phil Haun, editor
The University Press of Kentucky
663 South Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40508-4008
www.kentuckypress.com
9780813176789, $50.00, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Following the cataclysmic losses suffered in World War I, air power theorists in Europe advocated for long-range bombers to overfly the trenches and strike deep into the enemy's heartland. The bombing of cities was seen as a means to collapse the enemy's will to resist and bring the war to a quick end. In the United States, airmen called for an independent air force, but with the nation's return to isolationism, there was little appetite for an offensive air power doctrine.

By the 1930s, however, a cadre of officers at the US Army Air Corps Tactical School (ACTS) had articulated an operational concept of high-altitude daylight precision bombing (HADPB) that would be the foundation for a uniquely American vision of strategic air attack.

In "Lectures of the Air Corps Tactical School and American Strategic Bombing in World War II" editor Phil Haun brings together nine ACTS lecture transcripts, which have been preserved in Air Force archives, exactly as delivered to the airmen destined to lead the US Army Air Forces in World War II.

Presented is a distinctive American strategy of high-altitude daylight precision bombing as told through lectures given at the ACTS during the interwar period and how these airmen put the theory to the test. This anthology of lectures examines the Air Corps theory of HADPB as compared to the reality of combat in World War II by relying on recent, revisionist histories that have given scholars a deeper understanding of the impact of strategic bombing on Germany.

Critique: A unique, expertly assembled, and deftly edited collection of primary and documented lectures, "Lectures of the Air Corps Tactical School and American Strategic Bombing in World War II" is unreservedly recommended as a core and valued contribution to the growing library of World War II Military Aviation documents. While an important acquisition for college and university library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, military aviation history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Lectures of the Air Corps Tactical School and American Strategic Bombing in World War II" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780813179247, $30.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $28.50).

Editorial Note: A professor and dean of Academics at the US Naval War College, Phil Haun is also the author of "Coercion, Survival, and War: Why Weak States Resist the United States" and co-editor of "A-10s over Kosovo".

The Greenhill Dictionary of Military Quotations
Peter G. Tsouras, editor
Chris Riddell, illustrator
Greenhill Books
c/o Casemate Publishers
1940 Lawrence Road, Havertown, PA 19083
www.casematepublishers.com
9781784384777, $39.95, HC, 576pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: With the publication of "The Greenhill Dictionary of Military Quotations", military historian, compiler and editor Peter Tsouras showcases 4,000 years of military history to life through the words of more than 800 soldiers, commanders, military theorists and commentators on war. Quotes by diverse personalities ranging from Napoleon, Machiavelli, Ataturk, 'Che' Guevara, Rommel, Julius Caesar, Wellington, and Xenophon, to Crazy Horse, Wallenstein, T.E. Lawrence, Saladin, Zhukov, Eisenhower and so many more sit side by side to build a comprehensive picture of war across the ages.

Broken down into more then 480 categories, covering courage, danger, failure, leadership, luck, military intelligence, tactics, training, guerrilla warfare and victory, "The Greenhill Dictionary of Military Quotations" is a definitive guide that draws upon the collected wisdom of those who have experienced war at every level. From the brutality and suffering of war, to the courage and camaraderie of soldiers, to the glory and exhilaration of battle, these quotes offer an insight into the turbulent history of warfare and the lives and deeds of great warriors.

Critique: An impressively comprehensive and inherently fascinating book to simple browse through, "The Greenhill Dictionary of Military Quotations" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community, college, and university library Military History collections. It should be note for the personal reading lists of students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Greenhill Dictionary of Military Quotations" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.87).


The Photography Shelf

Barcelona
Serge Ramelli
teNeues Publishing
350 Seventh Avenue, Suite 301, New York, NY, 10011
https://books-teneues.com
9783961712502, $55.00, HC, 176pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Enjoying a worldwide reputation for his work, Serge Ramelli has been a self-taught and now professional photographer and cinema producer since 2005.

Now in his eighth volume of photography published by teNeues Publishing, Ramelli turns his lens on Barcelona, which is Spain's second largest city and one of the most popular destinations in Europe. This joyful collection of the city's neighborhoods, street life, and iconic monuments is sure to delight any fan of the vibrant Catalan capital.

With his distinctive eye for the atmosphere as much as the architecture of a place, Ramelli visually captures Barcelona's most beloved districts and landmarks in all of their seductive magic. From the energy of Las Ramblas to the soaring wonder of the Sagrada Fam lia, "Barcelona" is a beautiful, evocative tribute to one of Europe's most popular cities.

Critique: This beautifully produced coffee-table style volume (10.2 x 0.9 x 13.1 inches) is the next best thing to actually being there and ideal for the armchair traveler and an inspiring template model for photographers seeking to create similar photographic memorials to other beloved cities of Europe or the Americas. Simply stated, Serge Ramelli's "Barcelona" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Photography collections.

Iconic New York, expanded edition
Christopher Bliss
teNeues Publishing
350 Seventh Avenue, Suite 301, New York, NY 10011
https://books-teneues.com
9783961712663, $45.00, HC, 192pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Few cities spark the imagination like New York. Its very name stands for excitement and dreams of possibility. Famed for both its hectic pace and for being a melting pot of cultures and ideas, this is perhaps the world's ultimate metropolis.

Christopher Bliss finds inspiration in the urban skylines and in the challenging and invigorating lifestyles of cities. His work is represented by several galleries and is part of many private and corporate collections throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Several of his pieces are included in the permanent collection of the Museum of the City of New York.

As a native, photographer Chris Bliss understands the city on many levels. In a new and multilingual edition of his photographic tour-de-force, "Iconic New York" he offers a dramatically visual overview of the city, capturing its essence with dynamic and engaging images of its architecture, world-renowned landmarks, and energetic lifestyle.

In this expanded edition of "Iconic New York", such distinctive new sights as the Freedom Tower, the Vessel at Hudson Yards, and recent images of the ever-popular and even-changing borough of Brooklyn, are seen alongside revered buildings as the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and the majesty of Central Park in all seasons.

Each of the city's distinct and characteristic neighborhoods exudes their many moods and auras on the pages of this classic photography book showcasing New York City. Everything that makes New York so distinctly New York is here for the reader to savor.

Critique: "Iconic New York" is an impressive coffee-table style compendium (9 x 1 x 11.5 inches) showcasing a wealth memorably eloquent, full color images. A thoughtful and engaging browse throughout, "Iconic New York" is an armchair traveler's delight and the next best thing to an on-site tour of the city itself. Simply stated, "Iconic New York" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Photography collections.


The Art Shelf

The Irascibles: Painters Against the Museum
Daniel Belasco, et al.
Fundacion Juan March
c/o Distributed Art Publishers (DAP)
155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10013-1507
www.artbook.com
9788470756658, $55.00, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis; In 1950, eighteen American abstract painters signed an open letter addressed to the president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art to express their intense disapproval of the museum's contemporaneous exhibit American Painting Today: 1950. The artists were William Baziotes, James Brooks, Fritz Bultman, Jimmy Ernst, Adolph Gottlieb, Hans Hofmann, Weldon Kees, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Barnett Newman, Jackson Pollock, Richard Pousette-Dart, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, Theodoros Stamos, Hedda Sterne, Clyfford Still and Bradley Walker Tomlin.

This artistic coalition, which included many members of the New York School and is now considered a watershed movement in mid-20th-century American art history, challenged the museum's policies for their narrow understanding of what made certain art worth exhibiting. Though they resisted being labeled as a collective, media coverage of the museum boycott, which included a now-famous group portrait in Life magazine taken by photographer Nina Leen, ultimately contributed to the success of the 18 "irascibles" in what became known as the abstract expressionist movement.

"The Irascibles: Painters Against the Museum" includes 18 paintings by the artists, images from Leen's photoshoot and extensive documentation of the letter-writing process with relevant catalogs and magazines. Featuring more than 230 illustrations alongside original essays by several art historians and curators that examine the complex history of the New York School, "The Irascibles: Painters Against the Museum" serves as a time capsule of the exciting period of early abstract expressionism in the United States.

Critique: An elegant coffee-table style volume (9 x 1.2 x 11.2 inches), "The Irascibles: Painters Against the Museum" is an impressively informative, exceptionally well organized, and inherently fascinating work of meticulous and collaborative scholarship that is especially recommended as a unique and invaluable contribution to personal, professional, community, college, and university library the 20th Century American Art History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

William Blake: Visionary
Edina Adam, author
Julian Brooks, author
Matthew Hargraves, contributor
Getty Publications
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90049-1682
www.getty.edu/publications
9781606066423, $35.00, HC, 160pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: William Blake (28 November 1757 - 12 August 1827) was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. While he lived in London his entire life, except for three years spent in Felpham.

Celebrated for his boundless imagination and unique vision, William Blake created some of the most striking and distinctive imagery in art, often combining his poetry and visual images on the page through innovative graphic techniques. He has proven an enduring inspiration to artists, musicians, poets, and performers worldwide and a fascinating enigma to generations of admirers.

Featuring over 130 color images, "William Blake: Visionary" is new catalogue that brings together many of Blake's most iconic works. Organized by theme, "William Blake: Visionary" explores Blake's work as a professional printmaker, his roles as both painter-illustrator and poet-painter, his relationship to the medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque artists that preceded him, and his legacy in the United States. "William Blake: Visionary" also examines his visionary prophetic books, including all eighteen plates of America a Prophecy.

Critique: The collaborative work of Edina Adams (A specialist in works on paper and an assistant curator of drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum), Julian Brooks (who is senior curator and head of the Department of Drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum and the author of The Lure of Italy: Artists' Views from Getty Publications, 2017 and Andrea del Sarto: The Renaissance Workshop in Action (Getty Publications, 2015), and featuring contributions by Matthew Hargraves (who is the chief curator of art collections and head of collection information and access at the Yale Center for British Art), William Blake: Visionary is an incredibly impressive and beautifully illustrated volume that is published to accompany an exhibition on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center July 21 to October 11, 2020. Browsing through the pages of "William Blake: Visionary" is the next best thing to an on-site tour of the exhibition and an armchair traveler's delight from cover to cover. "William Blake: Visionary" is an especially recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Art History collections in general, and William Blake supplemental curriculum studies reading lists in particular.

American Art: Collecting and Connoisseurship
Stephen M. Sessler, general editor
Merrell Publishers
8755 Lookout Mountain Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90046
www.merrellpublishers.com
9781858946825, $70.00, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: In the beautifully illustrated pages of "American Art: Collecting and Connoisseurship" twenty-eight writers, each of them highly experienced and an acknowledged expert in their field, examine every aspect of the subject and contribute illuminating and often thought-provoking examinations of a wide variety of topics.

"American Art: Collecting and Connoisseurship" is divided into three sections.

Part I, The Historical Overview, contains fourteen essays. Their subjects range from the Hudson River School to the art of the American West, American artists in Europe, American Impressionism, Modernism, examinations of the major artists Marguerite Zorach, John Sloan, Everett Shinn, Marsden Hartley, Stuart Davis, Arshile Gorky, John Graham, Willem de Kooning, Guy P ne du Bois and his relationship with the collector Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, African American Art, figurative sculpture, and period frame connoisseurship.

Part II deals with Connoisseurship and the Collector, and covers such topics as developing an instinct for quality; dealing in fine art; conservation; choosing wisely in making a collection; the pleasures and perils of collecting art works on paper; researching paintings you may be considering acquiring; the role of qualified art advisors; the anatomy of an auction; knowing the law when buying art; and legal issues for the collector selling art. There are glimpses of the prominent collectors who have contributed so greatly to the American art scene over many years.

Part III covers Current Themes in the Art Market, and what to look out for, examining how to make historical American art relevant to the modern age and avoiding misinterpretation of what could be seen as sensitive subjects such as race; pointers to ways of connecting historical American art and the modern world; a look at why galleries matter; and discussing shifting tastes in American art.

Critique: An exceptionally informative and impressively illustrated coffee-table style volume (8.6 x 1.3 x 10.3 inches), "American Art: Collecting and Connoisseurship" would be a particularly appropriate and welcome Memorial Fund acquisition choice for both community and academic libraries. An inherently fascinating and thought-provoking series of commentaries, "American Art: Collecting and Connoisseurship" is especially commended for art students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the history of American Art and thinking of building up their own collections.

Editorial Note: Stephen M. Sessler (along with his wife Linda) has been an active collector of historical American art for many years. Joining the Fine Art Collectors group in Atlanta, Georgia, in the 1990s, Stephen and Linda Sessler increased their knowledge hugely over time. Eventually, as that group's activities were scaled back, Stephen saw an opportunity and founded the Atlanta Art Forum in 2006, becoming its visionary "dean," with the aim of meeting other enthusiasts and experts and discussing his chosen subject with them. He felt that so much information and knowledge acquired over twelve years should be available to a much wider audience, and "American Art: Collecting and Connoisseurship" is book was the result.

Meditative Stone Art
Maria Mercedes Trujillo Arango
Rock Point
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9781631066696, $23.99, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Meditative Stone Art: Create over 40 Mandala and Nature-Inspired Designs" by artist Maria Mercedes Trujillo Arango is a DIY guide on a meditative art journey appropriate for beginner and expert crafters alike as she shares her unique and elegant designs for decorating stones.

"Meditative Stone Art" is comprised of 44 illustrated step-by-step projects (21 calming mandala designs and 23 nature-inspired designs), including: Single-color mandalas; Multicolor mandalas; Flowers; Leaves; Butterflies; Moths; Beetles; and Fish.

Critique: Featuring beautiful photography and easy-to-follow instructions to get designs just right, along with drawing tutorials and information about gathering the perfect stones, tools and supplies, and art techniques, "Meditative Stone Art" is a thoroughly 'user friendly', unique, and effective instruction guide and manual that will be an especially welcome and inspiring addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Mandala Art Instruction collections. It should be noted for the personal lists of aspiring artists and mandala enthusiasts that "Meditative Stone Art" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).

Editorial Note: Maria Mercedes Trujillo Arango is the author of Rock Point's Meditative Mandala Stones kit and is a self-taught illustrator-crafter from Bogota, Colombia, who now calls New Zealand home. She likes to draw, paint, and embroider. In 2001, she became interested in mandalas and started drawing them and learning more about their history, psychology, and symbolism. Since 2011, she has combined her love of mandalas with painting beautiful stones she has collected.

Illustration Studio
Isa Down
www.poppyandgrayco.com
Walter Foster Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9781633228368, $21.99, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: A step-by-step guide to creating dynamic modern florals in ink and watercolor, "Illustration Studio: Inking Florals" by Isa Down is comprised of profusely illustrated inking and watercolor tips and techniques, drawing basics, an overview of plant and flower structures, and step-by-step inking projects for a well-rounded, engaging introduction to multimedia botanical art geared toward artists of all skill levels.

"Illustration Studio: Inking Florals" begins with an introduction to plant structure. Essential tools and materials are covered as well, along with drawing basics, ink shading tips, and watercolor techniques providing a basic knowledge before getting started on the more than 15 step-by-step drawing projects that round out this DIY instructional guide and manual.

The final project is a bouquet that incorporates all of the instructions and tips that will have learned throughout "Illustration Studio: Inking Florals".

Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "Illustration Studio: Inking Florals" is an ideal DIY introduction and 'how to' instructional for aspiring artists wanting to create beautiful ink and watercolor images. Comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly', "Illustration Studio: Inking Florals" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to school and community library Botanical Art Instruction collections. It should be noted for art student personal lists that "Illustration Studio: Inking Florals" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).

Editorial Note: Colorado-based Isa Down is a self-taught artist, an art teacher, and the owner of Poppy & Gray Co., where she sells her own botanical art and prints as home decor. Isa works with ink and watercolor to create modern, whimsical botanicals. She also writes for HuffPost, Today's Parent, Parents.com, and others. Isa also maintains a web site at www.poppyandgrayco.com


The Needlecraft Shelf

Plant Lady Embroidery
Applemints
Quarry Books
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
100 Cummings Center, Suite 265D, Beverly, MA 01915
9781631598456, $21.99, PB, 120pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Brimming with over 300 botanical motifs, "Plant Lady Embroidery" is an impressive DIY resource that will provide immediate inspiration and detailed step-by-step instructions for embroidery artists and flower ladies from novice to professionals.

"Plant Lady Embroidery" includes designs including flowers, ferns, succulents, leaves, bees and garden scenes, along with basic embroidery instruction for stitches and transferring designs onto fabric.

Critique: Original designs and clear instructions make "Plant Lady Embroidery" a 'must have' for any embroidery enthusiast's library -- and an ideal DIY instructional guide for the novice embroidery needlecrafter.

Editorial Note: Applemints is a publisher that is based in Tokyo, Japan, and well known for their craft titles.


The Automotive Shelf

Chevy/GMC Trucks 1973-1987: How to Build & Modify
Jim Pickering
CarTech Inc.
838 Lake Street South, Forest Lake, MN 55025
www.cartechbooks.com
9781613255162, $36.95, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Now aspiring DIY mechanics and owners can build and modify their 1973-1987 GMC or Chevrolet truck in their own garage with step-by-step processes to boost power, add curb appeal, and improve stopping ability, handling, safety, and more with Jim Pickering's "Chevy/GMC Trucks 1973-1987: How to Build & Modify".

GM's squarebody trucks are a solid, simple, and easy-to-find rig -- and that makes them perfect for modification. They're American classics, and they've become the hot rods of a new generation.

Pickering brings these trucks into focus, taking the reader through the aspects that make them so popular and modifications they can perform to put a modern spin on their classic looks. He then takes an in-depth look at all the major systems in a Chevy truck and covers what can be done to them to turn a classic hauler into a modern hot rod in the form of a truck that's fast, safe, full of curb appeal, and reliable enough to drive whenever and wherever wanted.

Built in massive numbers during an 18-year production run, these trucks aren't hard to source, but finding a good starting point and mapping out your plan are important. "Chevy/GMC Trucks 1973-1987: How to Build & Modify" covers a lot of territory: how to find a good starter truck, LS-power builds and installs, slammed air suspension and coilover systems, automatic and manual transmission choices (including a 6-speed manual conversion), cooling system upgrades, safely adding a modern alternator to factory GM wiring, modifying a mechanical clutch pedal to use a hydraulic master and slave cylinder, making new fuel lines and brake lines to support fuel injection and big brakes, installing a 4-link rear suspension system, fabricating an under-bed mount to hide air suspension components, building exhaust, adding LED lighting, interior restoration, and more.

Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout, "Chevy/GMC Trucks 1973-1987: How to Build & Modify" is impressively comprehensive and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation -- making it an ideal DIY instructional guide and manual that is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, and community library Automotive Maintenance, Modification & Repair collections.


The Cookbook Shelf

The Easy 5-Ingredient Bariatric Cookbook
Megan Wolf, MS, RD, CDN
Rockridge Press
www.rockridgepress.com
c/o Callisto Media
https://www.callistomedia.com
9781646115723, $15.99, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Bariatrics is that branch of medicine which specifically deals with the causes, prevention, and treatment of obesity.

Deciding to use bariatric surgery as a weight-management tool is only the first step on the path to living a happier, healthier life. "The Easy 5-Ingredient Bariatric Cookbook: 100 Postsurgery Recipes for Lifelong Health" by Megan Wolf is an all-in-one guide to successful post-surgery rehabilitation through a complete diet of 100 nutritious recipes that require only 5 ingredients. The step-by-step guidelines for post-surgical eating habits will help bariatric surgery patients to progress through the four stages of the recovery process with confidence.

From the Spinach and Feta Egg Bake to Buffalo Chicken Meatballs, this essential bariatric cookbook teaches with step-by-step instructions how to embrace the many changes associated with your approach to food, ranging from the importance of implementing a modified diet to the practice of separating beverages and solid food during meals. With this comprehensive bariatric cookbook to post-op success, the bariatric surgery patient be able to get to know their new "body normal" and enjoy a healthy life without unwanted pounds.

"The Easy 5-Ingredient Bariatric Cookbook" includes: An impressive variety of delicious choices covering entrees, smoothies, sides, and sauces; recipes that focus on the Phase 4 recovery period of the different types of bariatric surgery (gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band); All of the choices following a plan for a high-protein and low-sugar diet.

Critique: Beginning with an expertly presented introduction to 'Building Lifelong Health', and continuing with a culinary wealth of delicious, nutritious, and thematically appropriate bariatric surgery recovery recipes, "The Easy 5-Ingredient Bariatric Cookbook: 100 Postsurgery Recipes for Lifelong Health" is enhanced with a one page Measur3ement Conversions list, a one page listing of References, a one page listing of Resources, and a ten page Index. While especially recommended as a unique and invaluable addition to personal, family, and community library collections, it should be noted that "The Easy 5-Ingredient Bariatric Cookbook: 100 Postsurgery Recipes for Lifelong Health" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).

Editorial Note: A veteran recipe developer, public speaker, wellness expert and avid traveler, Megan Wolf is a New York City based Registered Dietitian. She runs a nutrition counseling practice focusing on comprehensive weight management. Megan holds a Masters degree in Clinical Nutrition from the New York University.


The Railroading Shelf

Pere Marquette: A Michigan Railroad System Before 1900
Graydon M. Meints
Michigan State University Press
1405 South Harrison Road, Suite 25, East Lansing, MI 48823-5245
http://msupress.org
9781611863659, $44.95, HC, 204pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The Pere Marquette Railroad has not one but two histories -- one for the twentieth century and one for the nineteenth. While the twentieth-century record of the Pere Marquette Railroad has been well studied and preserved, the nineteenth century has not been so well served. "Pere Marquette: A Michigan Railroad System Before 1900" by American railroad historian Graydon M. Meints aims to correct that oversight by focusing on the nineteenth-century part of the company's past, including the men who formed and directed these early roads, and the development of the system.

The Pere Marquette Railroad was formed in 1900 by a merger of three Michigan railroad companies and lasted forty-seven years before disappearing in June 1947 by a merger into the maw of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad. Prior to the 1900 merger, the Pere Marquette Railroad's predecessors made up a motley collection of disconnected and unaffiliated short, local rail lines. After the financial panic of 1893, and with some commonality of ownership, the companies worked together more closely.

Before the end of the decade, the three main railroads (the Flint & Pere Marquette; the Detroit, Lansing & Northern; and the Chicago & West Michigan) had decided that the only way to maintain solvency was to merge. Using a plethora of primary sources including railway timetables and maps, "Pere Marquette" lends insight into the little-known corporate business history of the Pere Marquette Railroad.

Critique: Enhanced for academia and dedicated railroading history buffs with the inclusion of numerous charts, b/w historical photos, twenty-two pages of Notes, an eight page Bibliography, and a seven page Index, "Pere Marquette: A Michigan Railroad System Before 1900" an expertly written, exceptionally well organized, deftly presented history and a welcome addition to personal, community, college, and university library American Railroading History collections and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists.


The Gardening Shelf

Robert Irwin Getty Garden, updated edition
Lawrence Weschler
Getty Publications
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 500, Los Angeles, CA 90049-1682
www.getty.edu/publications
9781606066560, $22.00, HC, 144pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: Among the most beloved sites at the Getty Center, the Central Garden has aroused intense interest from the moment artist Robert Irwin was awarded the commission. First published in 2002, the "Robert Irwin Getty Garden" is comprised of a series of discussions between noted author Lawrence Weschler and Irwin, providing a lively account of what Irwin has playfully termed "a sculpture in the form of a garden aspiring to be art."

The text revolves around four garden walks: extended conversations in which the artist explains the critical choices he made ranging from plant materials to the steel utilized in the creation of a living work of art that has helped to redefine what a modern garden can and should be.

This newly updated edition features new photography of the Central Garden in a smaller, more accessible format.

Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated in full color throughout, the "Robert Irwin Getty Garden" is an fully accessible and thoroughly 'reader friendly' volume about one of the Getty Center's best-loved sites. A gardener's delight to browse through and impressively informative for anyone who has visited this exquisite garden, "Robert Irwin Getty Garden" is certain to be an immediate and enduringly welcome addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Contemporary Gardening collections and supplemental studies lists.

Editorial Note: A widely honored journalist, Lawrence Weschler is the Director of the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University. He is also the author of twelve other books, including Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder, Vermeer in Bosnia, and, most recently, Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences.


The Computer Shelf

From Artificial Intelligence to Brain Intelligence
Rajiv Joshi, et al.
River Publishers
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
www.styluspub.com
9788770221238, $115.00, HC, 300pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: The field of artificial intelligence (AI) is not new to researchers, as its foundations were established in the 1950s. After many decades of inattention, there has been a dramatic resurgence of interest in AI, fueled by a confluence of several factors. The benefits of decades of Dennard scaling and Moore's law miniaturization, coupled with the rise of highly distributed processing, have led to massively parallel systems well suited for handling big data. The widespread availability of big data, necessary for training AI algorithms, is another important factor. Finally, the greatly increased compute power and memory bandwidths have enabled deeper networks and new algorithms capable of accuracy rivaling that of human perception.

Already AI has shown success in many diverse areas, including finance (portfolio management, investment strategies), marketing, health care, transportation, gaming, defense, robotics, computer vision, education, search engines, online assistants, image/facial recognition, anomaly detection, spam filtering, online customer service, biometric sensors, and predictive maintenance, to name a few.

Despite these remarkable advances, the human brain is still superior in many ways - including, notably, energy efficiency and one-shot learning -- giving researchers new areas to explore. In summary, AI research and applications will continue with vigor in software, algorithms, and hardware accelerators. These exciting developments have also brought new questions of ethics and privacy, areas which must be studied in tandem with technological advances.

To continue the success story of AI, the AI Compute Symposium was launched with the sponsorship of IBM, IEEE CAS and EDS for the first time. The aim of "From Artificial Intelligence to Brain Intelligence: AI Compute Symposium 2018" is to compile all the materials presented by the renowned speakers in the symposium into a single volume, serving as a learning tool for the reader.

"From Artificial Intelligence to Brain Intelligence: AI Compute Symposium 2018" is comprised of two broad topics: general AI advances (chapters 1-5) and neuromorphic computing directions (chapters 6-9).

Critique: Part of the River Publishers 'Tutorials in Circuits and Systems' series, "From Artificial Intelligence to Brain Intelligence: AI Compute Symposium 2018" must be considered as an essential and core addition to professional, college, and university library Computer Science collections in general, and Artificial Intelligence supplemental curriculum reading lists in particular.


The Social Issues Shelf

Immigration Reform: The Corpse That Will Not Die
Charles Kamasaki
Mandel Vilar Press
https://www.mvpublishers.org
9781942134558, $29.95, PB, 560pp, www.amazon.com

Synopsis: "Immigration Reform: The Corpse That Will Not Die" by Charles Kamasaki is an insider's history and memoir of the battle for The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986: its evolution, passage, impact, and its legacies for the future of immigration reform.

Charles Kamasaki has spent most of his life working for UnidosUS, formerly the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation's largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. He was a direct participant in the many meetings, hearings, mark-ups, debates, and other developments that led to the passage of the last major immigration reform legislation, The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (IRCA).

In "Immigration Reform: The Corpse That Will Not Die" Kamasaki reveals the roles of key lawmakers and a coalition of public interest lobbyists that played a role in opposing, shaping, and then implementing IRCA. His account underscores the centrality of racial issues in the immigration reform debate and why it has become a near-perpetual topic of political debate.

Critique: A massive and invaluable contribution to our on-going national dialogue concerning immigration, "Immigration Reform: The Corpse That Will Not Die" provides extraordinary backgrounded insights that will be of immense interest to immigration reform activists. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Immigration Reform: The Corpse That Will Not Die" is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a listing of policy primers, a cast of characters, an informative author's note, ninety-six pages of chapter notes, and a fifteen page index, making it unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library Contemporary Social Issues and Political Science collections in general, and Immigration Reform supplemental curriculum studies reading lists in particular.


The Philosophy Shelf

His Dark Materials and Philosophy
Richard Greene & Rachel Robison-Greene, editors
Open Court Publishing Company
70 East Lake Street, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60601
www.opencourtbooks.com
9780812694864, $19.95, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com

His Dark Materials and Philosophy adds another volume to the extensive Popular Culture and Philosophy series which covers television, film, and literature, blending modern analysis with popular writers and artists to draw new generations into the lure of philosophical examination. Philip Pullman's young adult His Dark Materials series especially lends to such coverage because it is filled with philosophical ideas and dilemmas. This coverage offers essays packed with specific considerations of the recurring themes in the series, from how good and evil are represented and tackled to the presence of lies, compassion, death, choices, and consequences throughout the series. Young adult to adult readers of His Dark Materials should have this as an accompanying analytical volume not just for its philosophical reflections and connections, but for its added literary insights into Pullman's unique devices and approaches to his fantasy world.


The Technology Shelf

Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words
David Lindsay
CSIRO Publishing
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
www.styluspub.com
9781486311477, $24.50 PB, $14.46 Kindle, 180pp, www.amazon.com

Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words appears in its second updated edition to expand the basic principles about writing and scientific research that will help scientists impart the basics of their work. Examples of good and bad writing, a expanded chapter for non-scientists interested in science writing, and a new chapter on tackling grant applications add to the powerful focus of a book that will appeal to a research community traditionally leery of putting their findings and results in writing for maximum impact and attention. Whether the reader is preparing a journal article, advertisement, or for a presentation, or even if they are just science students producing papers, Scientific Writing = Thinking in Words is a powerful key to success and offers many examples and strategies for more effective communications.

Optics: An Introduction
Sarhan M. Musa
Mercury Learning
www.merclearning.com
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
www.styluspub.com
9781938549700, $89.95 HC, $49.95 Kindle, $49.95, 516pp, www.amazon.com

Optics: An Introduction covers the basics of geometrical and physical optics and serves as an excellent course textbook or self-study accompaniment for college-level students of science and optical technology. Its question-and-answer format, exercises, practical, real-world applications and examples, and supporting mathematical examples and diagrams accompany discussions of different lens systems, pros and cons of their applications, common problems and solutions, and experiments relating to studying these systems. The comprehensive, in-depth approach to topics leaves no gaps in knowledge, including newer technologies such as fiber optics alongside discussions of the latest best practices and applications in the optics industry as a whole. Engineering and science students looking for an excellent introduction to the subject will find this a relevant, comprehensive overview that delves into many key areas in a manner that promotes better understanding.


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