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How To Prepare for Old Age
Bernard S. Otis
Incorgnito Publishing Press
c/o Market Management Group, LLC
9780986195365, $19.95, PB, 194pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "How To Prepare for Old Age" is author Bernie Otis' touching, often humorous and very personal account in which he shares his 86 years of life, love, loss and laughter as an inspirational guide to what it means to age without growing old. Included are Bernie's advice on love after 60, how to talk with family members about illness, what you should be prepared for when confronting tragedy and loss, what it means to be a caregiver to a loved one and many other of life's challenges are a must for family members young and old. Bernie's "How To Prepare for Old Age" draws upon a veritable treasure trove of personal and professional life experiences that will help the reader prepare for their own old age and how take control of the nature of aging.
Critique: Written with practical insight, humor, and dedicated to the memory of Bernie's wife Anna Patricia Otis, "How To Prepare for Old Age" is as informed and informative as it is inspired and inspiring. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "How To Prepare for Old Age" is a compelling read from cover to cover and very highly recommended for personal, senior center, and community library collections. It should be noted that "How To Prepare for Old Age" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).
When Your Heart Belongs to an Addict
Cyndee Rae Lutz
Flip the Hippo Publishing
9780997856408, $16.95, PB, 188pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When you love someone who is an addict, it changes how you view the world. What begins as an altruistic endeavor to free your loved one from addiction turns into an obsessive quest to "love" your addicted spouse, child, parent, or friend into wellness. This twisted form of love undermines the very goal you wish to achieve and makes you lose your own way.
Worn Out. Powerless. Heartbroken. Alone. Cyndee Rae Lutz has walked this path and has mentored others who share this difficult journey. Her struggles have taught her about the addictions and afflictions we all confront -- about individual frailties and the various ways we try to manage the unmanageable.
In the pages of "When Your Heart Belongs to an Addict: A Healing Perspective", she weaves her painful account of her son's drug addiction with the healing strategies and spiritual wisdom that transformed her life -- and can transform yours, whether you're facing a crisis or wanting to change direction.
The result is a liberating and empowering process called "The 3 Rs for the Soul." This fusion of powerful ideas, pertinent examples, and concrete steps will help shine a light on your inherent worth, restore your sanity, and reclaim your life. And it just might be the best thing you can do for your addicted loved one. Often, when you get better, they get better too.
Critique: Compelling, direct, practical, informative, thoughtful, thought-provoking, and real-world experienced based, "When Your Heart Belongs to an Addict: A Healing Perspective" is a potentially life changing read that is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "When Your Heart Belongs to an Addict: A Healing Perspective" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.96).
The Evolving Peacemaker
Leona Evans & Matthew J. Evans
c/o Hay House, Inc.
PO Box 5100, Carlsbad, CA 92018-5100
9781504370806, $35.95, HC, 250pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: What does our future hold? Is it possible for humanity to exist indefinitely in a world overrun with wars, intolerance, and terrorism? Will our civilization that is steeped in centuries of violence eventually learn how to interact with one another in respectful and compassionate ways?
Collaboratively written by Leona Evans and Matthew J. Evans, "The Evolving Peacemaker: A Commitment to Nonviolence" seeks to address these issues by taking a compelling look at the timeless teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, one of the most respected and influential figures of the twentieth century.
Beginning with a foreword by Arun Gandhi (a celebrated peace activist and grandson of Mahatma Gandhi), "The Evolving Peacemaker" takes the reader on a compelling journey of self-discovery weaving Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence with author Leona Evans's personal journey toward inner peace.
Critique: Thoughtful and thought-provoking, inspired and inspiring, thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "The Evolving Peacemaker" is an indispensable and highly recommended guide to becoming the change we wish to see in the world. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Evolving Peacemaker" is also available in a paperback edition (9781504370790, $17.99) and in a Kindle format ($2.99).
Why Marry a Man You Don't Need
Carmen Hope Thomas
Future Family Publishing
9780998444727, $28.99, HC, 180pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Why Marry a Man You Don't Need: A Candid Conversation About Marriage, Money, Success, and the Black Woman" by former journalist Carmen Hope Thomas is all about empowering women to be great wives in loving marriages with incredible men! Carmen's primary focus is on women who have been successful in their career but not equally successful in their relationships. Her perspective is refreshing and reflective because she shares her personal journey toward a (so far) ten year happy marriage and motherhood.
"Why Marry a Man You Don't Need" is about empowering women everywhere to be honest about the myths and misinformation that have shaped their ideas about men and marriage. Carmen will take you through the exercise of looking at your success, career and money women celebrate and help reveal her calculated theory of why some women have chosen their successes over a healthy relationship and how that choice affects our entire faith community.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, remarkably informed and informative, impressively thoughtful and thought-provoking, thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Why Marry a Man You Don't Need" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Self-Help and Women's Issues collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Why Marry a Man You Don't Need" is also available in a paperback edition (9780998444703, $17.99) and in a Kindle format ($9.99).
15 Years of War
9780997090802 $16.95 pbk / $8.49 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: Less than 1% of our nation will ever serve in our armed forces, leaving many to wonder what life is really like for military families.
He answers the call of duty in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Pacific; she keeps the home fires burning. Worlds apart, and in the face of indescribable grief, their relationship is pushed to the limits.
15 Years of War: How the Longest War in U.S. History Affected a Military Family in Love, Loss, and the Cost Of Service provides a unique he said/she said perspective on coping with war in modern-day America. It reveals a true account of how a dedicated Marine and his equally committed spouse faced unfathomable challenges and achieved triumph, from the days just before 9/11 through 15 years of training workups, deployments, and other separations.
This story of faith, love, and resilience offers insight into how a decade and a half of war has redefined what it means to be a military family.
Critique: A true story of the pressures that extended military service place on a loving family, 15 Years of War is at once both compelling and heartbreaking. A handful of black-and-white photographs illustrate this heartfelt personal testimony, highly recommended for anyone who wants to learn more about the costs that less than 1% of Americans and their families bear for the sake of the nation. It should be noted for personal reading lists that 15 Years of War is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.49).
The Homeowner's Shelf
Residential Solar Energy
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781539536703, $12.95, PB, 170pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Solar energy is the fastest-growing source of clean energy for the home. Driven by a steady decline in the cost of solar energy over the past 10 years, solar panel sales have skyrocketed in the U.S. Today, almost 1,000,000 American homeowners reduce their carbon footprint and fight climate change with solar energy. Most of them are rewarded with significant savings on their home energy bills.
Does that mean that you will save money by going solar today? The answer is - it depends! The primary determinants of whether you can save money with solar have been your state's solar policy and the solar energy alternative that you pick for your home. Most residential solar sales have taken place in those states that have embraced "solar-friendly" policies. And most solar homeowners have chosen solar systems that they can lease rather than buy, although that may change going forward. Solar energy companies have driven the rapid growth of the residential solar market by installing rooftop solar systems. But since those systems typically generate excess energy during the day (while not producing any energy at night), a means of capturing their excess energy has been needed. And battery storage systems are expensive and can eliminate your potential for solar savings.
The solution to this storage problem is to let your power company use your excess solar energy to supply power to its other customers. In return, it provides you with energy credits, which you can draw on when the sun is not shining. In some states, however, how much you are credited for your solar energy has become a contentious issue. While many people think of those rooftop solar systems as the way to go solar, new solar models have emerged. One model, for example, installs solar panels for you at a site remote from your home and credits you for their energy production (known as community or shared solar).
Power companies are also experimenting with some other solar models that can generate solar energy for you. As a result, the decision to go solar has become more complex today. In "Residential Solar Energy: Your Guide to Whether Solar Will Save You Money", author and environmentalist Vince Hough shares a range of insights that guide you through the residential solar market. You will learn about the intricacies of solar proposals and the various options that are available to go solar.
This guide also provides you with a framework to evaluate those options, so you can see which will save you the most money. This guide's essential information will give you the confidence to make the most informed decision about when to go solar with your home. You'll find "Residential Solar Energy" is your definitive guide on how and when you should go solar.
Critique: Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Residential Solar Energy: Your Guide to Whether Solar Will Save You Money" is as informed and informative as it is comprehensive and practical. Basically a complete course of instruction under one cover, "Residential Solar Energy" should be considered as a fundamental and core addition to every community library in the country. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of professionals and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Residential Solar Energy" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.95).
The Jobs/Careers Shelf
Hot Health Care Careers, second edition
College & Career Press
PO Box 300484, Chicago, IL60630
9780974525181 $19.95 amazon.com
Synopsis: The second edition of Hot Health Care Careers features the hottest of the hot health care careers for people from all educational backgrounds from high school diplomas to medical degrees. Some of the jobs that are featured include Advanced Practice Nurse, Biomedical Engineer, Dental Hygienist, Health Care Manager, Health Information Management Specialist, Licensed Practical Nurse, Mental Health Counselor, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Physician, and Registered Nurse.
Each career article provides an overview of the job and typical work environments, educational requirements, personal skills, methods of exploring the career while still in high school, tips on landing a job, typical employers, information on the long-term employment outlook and hot specialties, and sources of additional information. The book also features nearly 25 interviews with professionals and educators, photographs, and useful sidebars that list books, websites, fun facts, and other helpful information.
Critique: Hot Health Care Careers: 30 Occupations with Fast Growth and Many New Job Openings lives up to its title as an excellent guide for selecting an in-demand health care career to pursue. The updated second edition presents a wealth of new content, including new career articles on Creative Arts Therapists, Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, Medical Illustrators and Photographers, Medical Interpreters and Translators, and Orthotic and Prosthetic Professionals. Information-packed and easy-to-browse, Hot Health Care Careers is enthusiastically recommended for public and college library collections, as well as the reading lists of students and labor market entrants!
The Humor Shelf
I Was Naked on the Roof... But the Cat Was OK!
9780998651705 $15.00 amazon.com
Synopsis: I Was Naked On The Roof But The Cat Was OK! introduces us to the strange and funny world of Steve Scearcy. This award winning author experiences the world a bit differently than most and the results are laugh out loud fun. These 50 essays are perfect for that long commute or just giggling in your favorite chair. Steve introduces us to a strange cast of real life characters. His wife Missy may read to you from a children's book about farting dogs. His dog Nelly, who eats crayons and eliminates them as colorful stalagmites, may decorate the yard in your honor. Phantom, the black snake that lives in the basement, may honor you with one of his chaos-inducing appearances. Kitty Kitty Meow Meow, the notorious cat, may try and lure you onto the roof. "I Was Naked On The Roof, But The Cat Was OK" is delightfully funny and at times a touching. The book will brighten any moment and affirm that life is pretty darn sweet.
Critique: I Was Naked on the Roof... But the Cat Was OK! celebrates the ups and downs of daily living with tongue-in-cheek panache. Author Steve Scearcy writes with wit and charm about a black snake in the basement, a crayon-eating pet dog, the masterful sport of doing nothing, and much more. A whimsical, playful, occasionally ridiculous, and consistently entertaining read from cover to cover, "I Was Naked On The Roof, But The Cat Was OK" is very highly recommended for personal reading lists, and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections.
The International Studies Shelf
Just World Books
PO Box 5484 Charlottesville, Va 22905
9781682570517, $19.99, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Since 2003, obstetrician, activist and filmmaker Alice Rothchild has traveled annually to Israel/Palestine with other concerned Americans, to learn about health and human rights situation of politically marginalized communities, especially Palestinians. "Condition Critical: Life and Death in Israel/Palestine is comprised of key blog posts and analytical essays that explore everyday life in Israel, East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza up close and with searing honesty. These eyewitness reports and intimate stories depict the critical condition of a region suffering from decades-old wounds of colonization and occupation. "Condition Critical" dares (and inspires) its readers to examine the painful consequences of Zionism and Israeli expansion and to bend the arc of the moral universe towards justice.
Critique: As informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Condition Critical: Life and Death in Israel/Palestine" offers insights into one of the most complex and enduring international political issues and crises of our time. Impressively 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Condition Critical" is very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary International Studies collections in general, and Israeli/Palestinian Conflict supplemental studies lists in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Condition Critical" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).
The Biography Shelf
Sketches of a Black Cat, second edition
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781535055284, $20.00, PB, 248pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Howard Miner was a student at a small Midwestern college when the War broke out. His journey through training and tours of duty as a PBY pilot in the South Pacific is skillfully captured in his art and narratives, framing a wartime drama with a personal coming of age story. "Sketches of a Black Cat" is a memoir that has been painstakingly reconstructed from a small library of unpublished artwork, journal entries, and writing, providing an enjoyable behind the scenes look at the Navy Black Cats. The descriptive verse from the artist's viewpoint gives us a creatively told and intriguing portrayal of WWII's Pacific Theater.
Now in an significantly expanded second edition, "Sketches of a Black Cat" now features additional fresh stories, artwork, photos, and adventures of Howard Miner and his first hand experiences as a World War II night flying pilot and artist. Since the release of the first edition, Howard's son and biographer, Ron Miner has interviewed seven Black Cats and PBY crew members, discovered a host of new writing that include over a hundred letters and documents, and had the pleasure of meeting and corresponding with an array of squadron family members.
Critique: An inherently fascinating and impressively informative read from cover to cover, "Sketches of a Black Cat" is a welcome and appreciated addition to the growing library of World War II military biographies. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Sketches of a Black Cat" is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and academic library 20th Century American Military History and 20th Century American Biography collections.
Unmasking: A Journey
9780995916708, $17.99, PB, www.RayneDowell.com
Synopsis: An inherently fascinating, exceptionally candid, consistently compelling, thoughtful and thought-provoking memoir, "Unmasking: A Journey" is a deeply personal and ultimately inspiring account that is thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation.
Told throughout in a personal and conversational tone, "Unmasking: A Journey" is the story of a woman who found her own life a series of events, including two tubal pregnancies and a one-year marriage, a near death experience, and so much more, that would necessitate a life-long search for understanding herself and the world (seen and unseen) around her.
"Unmasking: A Journey" is told with an inquiring honesty and insight that also showcases Rayne Dowell's genuine flair for storytelling. The result is a kind of companionable journey from first page to last as she takes her reader along with her.
Critique: An extraordinary and phenomenal life story that will linger in the mind and memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf, "Unmasking: A Journey" is a choice pick for personal reading lists and community library Contemporary Biography collections. Highly recommended!
Veronica Lane Books
2554 Lincoln Blvd, Suite 142, Venice, CA 90291
9780991008391, $19.95, PB, 378pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Rail" is Tommy Donovan's coming-of-age memoir depicting his struggles as a son of an Irish immigrant growing up in an all-Jewish neighborhood in the Bronx before and during the 1960s. At home Tommy must wrestle with family dysfunction, while in the streets he must navigate a world where being a goy (gentile) confers a hurtful outsider status on him. Eventually, young Tommy's life hangs in the balance. Tommy struggles not to surrender to the pull of drug addiction while fighting to break free and flee the Bronx. Confronting these formidable obstacles while growing up in the Bronx takes place center stage around "The Rail" where Tommy's cohorts and nemeses meet daily.
Critique: A deftly crafted, exceptionally personal, inherently fascinating, and thoroughly engaging read from beginning to end, "The Rail" is all the more impressive when considering that after decades spent in the nomadic pursuit of the perfect physical and personal inner geography, Tommy now holds a doctorate in psychology and is a teacher at the Montana State University. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Rail" is also available in a Kindle format ($2.99).
Charles Creath McCormack
9780692813430, $14.83 PB, $3.99 Kindle, 424pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: If you've ever wanted to read someone's diary, be a fly on the wall during a private exchange, or wondered what someone, possibly your therapist, really, really thinks then "Hatching Charlie: A Psychotherapist's Tale" by Charles Creath McCormack will roundly satisfy that curiosity.
"Hatching Charlie" presents the life trajectory of a talented psychotherapist, who with candor, humor, spice, and great self-reflection tells how he "hatched" himself to find his professional calling, after many detours that could have meant a permanent derailing.
McCormack also reveals his own personal relationship struggles in the universal attempt to find love. In so doing, he offers hope to us all when we flounder and can't, for the moment, see a clear and promising path forward.
He also generously shares the details of a psychologically lonely youth of disrupted attachments due to constant moving and the callousness of a narcissistic father. We agonize with him through an excruciating banishment, at 11years old, to a boarding school in France where sadism seems to be the guiding principle. He portrays, through the lens of his own hard-won experience, the scars and challenges created in soldiering through childhood alone. In this way, he connects the dots to his adult life and empathizes with all of us humans who, more or less, must pass through from childhood to adult and find our own individual way.
"Hatching Charlie" is an inspiring memoir about how one person grappled with fear and isolation, and through the alchemy of self-understanding, forged a far more gratifying adult pathway.
McCormack's sharing of his experiences as a therapist on an in-patient, long-term psychiatric unit alone is worth the read. For anyone desiring to be touched by one individual's journey in wrangling with the great questions of life, in the hope some of your own might be illuminated, this is a wonderful and wise book.
Written with humor, humility, clinical expertise and a loving respect for life and the human condition, Hatching Charlie heroically breaks new ground in the autobiography genre.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Hatching Charlie: A Psychotherapist's Tale" is an inherently fascinating, thoughtful, and thought-provoking read from beginning to end. While unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections, "Hatching Charlie: A Psychotherapist's Tale" will also prove to be of immense interest to the supplemental studies reading lists of psychology students as well.
The Health/Medicine Shelf
N of 1
Glenn Sabin with Dawn Lemanne, MD
9780997548228, $26.97, HC, 110pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In 1991, Glenn Sabin was a 28-year-old newlywed diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) - a form of cancer that doctors called "uniformly fatal." Treatments could buy him some time and eventually ease his discomfort, but there was no conventional cure. Glenn's prognosis was clear: he was going to die.
Although Glenn and his wife, Linda, continued to consult with doctors, cancer specialists and top oncologists, Glenn made a monumental decision: he would become his own health advocate. While he continued to "watch and wait," Glenn would figure out how to stay alive.
No one could predict when a large-scale clinical trial would discover a cure for CLL, so Glenn began his own, medically monitored and carefully researched lifestyle changes. He would conduct his own, single patient clinical trial.
He would become an "n of 1."
Today, Glenn is not only alive, but a 2012 biopsy at Harvard confirmed that his bone marrow contains no leukemic cells. His case is now part of the medical literature.
In "N of 1: One Man's Harvard-Documented Remission of Incurable Cancer Using Only Natural Methods", Sabin takes readers along his remarkable journey with 'incurable' cancer, where he discovers: No two cancers are exactly alike. Our bodies, minds and diseases are unique, and need to be treated as such; Knowledge and empowerment are your best allies against a life-limiting diagnosis; Lifestyle changes are a powerful way to help prevent, manage and reduce the recurrence of disease--and to improve your quality of life; A strong support system and a clear mind may significantly improve your health.
Critique: An inherently fascinating and inspiring read from cover to cover, "N of 1: One Man's Harvard-Documented Remission of Incurable Cancer Using Only Natural Methods" is a compelling, informative, thought-provoking, and potentially life-saving read. Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "N of 1: One Man's Harvard-Documented Remission of Incurable Cancer Using Only Natural Methods" is strongly recommended for both community and academic library Health/Medicine collections in general, and Cancer Treatment supplemental studies lists in particular. For the personal reading lists of medical students and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject, it should be noted that "N of 1: One Man's Harvard-Documented Remission of Incurable Cancer Using Only Natural Methods" is also available in a paperback edition (9780997548204, $16.99) and in a Kindle format ($8.49).
Klaire D. Roy and Simhananda, authors
Jill Capri, translator
Fondation Poor-na-Jnana Yoga Inc
9781896523835, $39.95, PB, 286pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Crystal healing is an alternative medicine technique that employs stones and crystals. In one method, the practitioner places crystals on different parts of the body, often corresponding to chakras; or else the practitioner places crystals around the body in an attempt to construct an energy grid, which is purported to surround the client with healing energy.
Aptly translated from French into English for an American readership, "Quartztherapy: The Medicine of the Future" by Klaire D. Roy and her husband Simhananda (who are also the co-founders of the Medicine Buddha Mandala institute of Montreal, Canada) is an informed and informative guide to the use of quartz crystals for obtaining maximum mental and physical health, and to enhance an enjoyment of life.
Critique: Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout, "Quartztherapy: The Medicine of the Future" is thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation making it very highly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Alternative Medicine collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
Healing Herbs of Paradise
Al Sears, M.D.
Wellness Research & Consulting
11905 Southern Blvd., Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411
9780996810210, $59.95, HC, 312pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In "Healing Herbs of Paradise: Discover Useful, Practical Cures and Treatments from a Rich Herbal Tradition Almost Unknown in the Western World", Dr. Al Sears (an anti-aging doctor who has made it his life's work to challenge conventional medical beliefs and bring his patients the latest breakthroughs in natural cures and remedies to diseases once thought to be incurable) explains in detail the healing benefits and properties of the Bali's tropical plants, fruits, and herbs.
Dr. Sears states, "Every chapter will introduce the reader to one of Bali's many herbs. Some will be familiar-with unfamiliar uses. Others will be strange and new. Many have remarkable properties that Western science is only now discovering... centuries after Bali's healers understood their use."
Critique: In a beautiful coffee table format "Healing Herbs of Paradise" showcases a wealth of strikingly beautiful photography and previously unknown knowledge about the curative and anti-aging qualities found in the exotic herbs and plants of Bali. Uniquely informed and informative, impressively 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Healing Herbs of Paradise" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to personal, community, and academic library Alternative Medicine collections in general, and Herbal Medicine supplemental studies reading lists in particular.
The Fiction Shelf
Yasu's Quest: A Tale of Triumph
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 S. Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781478755791, $19.08, PB, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: With a keen sense for detail, author Diane Dettmann skillfully draws readers into an engaging story about an unexpected friendship that develops between Yasu Sakamoto and Martha Annala, a university professor. When they first meet on a train headed to Minneapolis, Yasu is afraid to trust Martha with any information about her past and lies about her identity to protect herself and her family. Alone and with no place to go, Yasu eventually tells Martha about leaving her home in Glenville and the three years she spent imprisoned in the internment camp. Martha feels Yasu's pain and opens her heart and home to her.
As the war intensifies anti-Japanese attitudes escalate in America and the hostility runs rampant. Martha's decision to befriend Yasu ultimately creates hardships and challenges in her own life. Relationships with university colleagues become strained, but Martha remains committed to her friendship with Yasu. Negative looks and anti-Japanese comments surround Yasu everywhere she goes. She deeply misses her parents, her brother, Haro, and Kenta, her loving German shepherd, but knows she must push forward.
Critique: One of those gifted writers with a genuine flair for originality and engaging storytelling, "Yasu's Quest: A Tale of Triumph" by Diane Dettman is a skillfully woven coming-of-age story of Yasu Sakamoto as she continues her journey that began in Diane Dettmann's award-winning "Courageous Footsteps: A WWII Novel" (9781478755586, PB, $24.24; Kindle $4.99). "Yasu's Quest: A Tale of Triumph" carries Dettman's readers into the next phase of Yasu Sakamoto's life so smoothly that this novel can be read independently or as a sequel. While unreservedly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Yasu's Quest: A Tale of Triumph" is also available in a Kindle format ($3.99).
G. D. Dess
Lone Wolf Books
9780998558905, $28.95, HC, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Harold Hardscrabble is a kind of Walter Mitty figure and in this deftly crafted novel by G. D. Dess the reader follows Harold's gradual (and sometimes painful) transformation from a dreamer to a man of action as he struggles to discover how to live a meaningful life in a materialistic world.
Harold copes admirably with the many disasters and injustices that assail him on his life's journey; but when he is finally overcome by circumstances beyond his control, he is forced to take matters into his own hands to attain justice for the all the misfortunes he has been made to suffer. "Harold Hardscrabble" is a story of a quest for self-realization that unfolds slowly as it builds to its ineluctable, explosive climax.
Critique: "Harold Hardscrabble" reveals author, essayist, and critic of contemporary literature, G. D. Dess as a novelist with a natural flair for engaging storytelling and an impressive ability to bring the reader into a fictional world with real world identifications. Unfailingly entertaining from cover to cover, "Harold Hardscrabble" is unreservedly recommended, especially for community and academic library Literary Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Harold Hardscrabble" is also available in a paperback edition (9780998558912, $16.95) and in a Kindle format ($9.99).
My Name Is Tom
1663 Liberty Drive, Suite 200, Bloomington, IN 47403-5161
9781504993340, $30.51, HC, 232pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Some describe Tom's obsession with music as "unhealthy". Growing up in the 1970s and early '80s middle England, developing his love for music and building a record collection to rival that of people twice his age, Tom becomes fascinated by the musical cultures of the day. In 1989 he turns eighteen and becomes part of his own culture, the Rave scene, selling all his beloved record collection along the way to fund his new lifestyle. After a while, he decides it is time to regain his lost collection. He makes a list, and at the top is a small list of rarities he regrets selling the most. As he follows the trails of the records he sold, each one reveals alarming information involving a close friend and a group of people he thought he had left behind. But to what extent is Tom involved?
Critique: A deftly crafted and impressively compelling coming of age story, "My Name Is Tom" reveals author Jon Reeves has having a genuine flair for consistently engaging and memorable characters, as well as creating an inherently interesting, narrative driven, appealing and entertaining novel. While unreservedly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "My Name Is Tom" is also available in a paperback edition (9781504993357, $18.22) and in a Kindle format ($3.82).
Zohra G. Salahuddin
c/o Author House
1663 Liberty Dr. Suite #300, Bloomington, IN 47403
9781491797129, $20.95, PB, 356pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Karachi University students Jamil and Yusra are deeply in love. Determined to achieve independence, the young Pakistanis hastily marry against their parents' wishes and leave their future precariously hanging in the balance.
Their journey together is not easy as the couple forgoes all luxuries, endures humiliation, and faces discrimination. As their challenges take a toll on their lives and threaten to unravel their relationship, Jamil and Yusra must deal with well-meaning but interfering relatives and nosy but benevolent neighbors as they attempt to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles. With unflinching support from Jamil's best friend and Yusra's grandmother, the couple attempts to maneuver out of their marital mess. But as the future waits, even Jamil and Yusra are unsure if they can achieve the happily-ever-after they have always wanted.
From the posh drawing rooms of Clifton to the modest dwellings in Gulshan Iqbal, "Uphill" is a novel of love, friendship, sacrifice, and suffering as a young Pakistani couple fights for their marriage, peace, and acceptance.
Critique: It is interesting to note that Zohra G. Salahuddin, the author of "Uphill", was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, and lived in Abu Dhabi for several years before moving to America. No doubt this is why she is able to inject an impressive note of realism in the background against which her deftly crafted and memorable characters play out this consistently engaging and inherently fascinating story. While very highly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Uphill" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).
The (In)Elegant Struggle of Breaking Paradigms
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781537740430, $15.99, PB, 306pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Populated by a cast of zany characters, including an embezzling minister, a vegan bully and a wannabe musician, "The (In)Elegant Struggle of Breaking Paradigms: or Back in OC: Almost Homeless" by journalist, author and yoga teacher D. Helene is novel that follows the experiences of Toni Kelly as she tries to navigate a thicket of crazy living situations in Orange County, CA.
Critique: Set against the backdrop of OC and features several of the diverse and beautiful places, "The (In)Elegant Struggle of Breaking Paradigms" is the sequel to Helen's early novel, "Diary of a 99%-er: The Struggle Between Survival and Creative Self Expression" but is a fully complete, engaging, and entertaining novel in its own right. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The (In)Elegant Struggle of Breaking Paradigms" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).
Cosmic Teapot Publishing
9781988762036, $26.99, HC, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In 1866, Peter Baxter's misfortune ends the day he leaves Badgerys Creek orphanage. Unsure of what to do next, Peter finds himself on a farm run by Mr. Brown. An aging man, Brown needs help and is happy to give Peter a place to live in exchange for his labor. Unbeknownst to Peter, Brown's past is riddled with dark secrets tied to the same orphanage, which he has documented in a red folder.
During a chance encounter, Peter meets Rose. Peter cannot help but fall in love with her beauty, grace, and wit but fears that his affection will go unrequited as a result of his crippling poverty. But fate changes when Peter joins the search for gold in Hill End, New South Wales. Striking it rich, he returns to Rose a wealthy man. Peter is changed by his new found affluence, heading towards the mire of greed. Will Rose regret her relationship with Peter?
Meanwhile, Rose has her own troubled history. One that is deeply entwined with Brown's past and Peter's future.
Critique: A deftly crafted and consistently entertaining novel, "The Pacifist" reveals Australian author Mehreen Ahmed's exceptional flair for narrative storytelling and compellingly memorable characters. Original, compelling, skillfully written from cover to cover, "The Pacifist" is very highly recommended, especially for community library Historical Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Pacifist" is also available in a paperback edition (9781988762067, $14.99) and in an inexpensive Kindle format ($0.99).
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781466332478, $11.95 pbk / $2.99 Kindle 298pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Peter Hoenig is an anthropology graduate student from Boston who is having doubts about his future, both the field he has chosen and the woman to whom he is engaged. He is not even enthused about his research trip to five cultural sanctuaries, or Forbidden Places, to observe traditional wedding ceremonies.
On the island of Ni'ihau, he meets Mele, a pretty strong-willed nineteen-year-old who persuades him to marry her so she can leave her island. Now he feels responsible for this young woman who knows nothing of the world and is so different in every way from him.
But there is no time to get to know each other. They must travel to the other Forbidden Places on his itinerary, a journey that takes them to remote corners of China, India, Afghanistan, and Kenya, where they witness sometimes shocking traditions and customs of the past as they struggle with doubts about the marriage they jumped into so impulsively.
Critique: An original, deftly crafted, and engaging novel by an exceptionally talented author, Deanna Madden's "Forbidden Place" is an especially recommended addition to community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Forbidden Places" is also available in a Kindle format ($2.99).
Nine Facts That Can Change Your Life
Serving House Books
9780997101003, $14.95, PB, 270pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Nine Facts That Can Change Your Life" is a stirring new collection of short stories in which author Ronna Wineberg explores our essential bonds to partners, children, parents, and friends. Intimacy, marriage, parenthood, adultery, divorce, and the legacies left by the past unfold in these beautifully written stories. Men and women search for happiness and love, yet face longing, disappointment, and loss. The characters in "Nine Facts That Can Change Your Life" struggle with unexpected changes in their own lives but discover the power of kindness, the joy of connection, and the ways in which we can be renewed.
Critique: As inherently interesting and thought-provoking as they are original and consistently entertaining, the fifteen stories comprising Ronna Wineberg "Nine Facts That Can Change Your Life" are true literary gems by a writer with a genuine flair for deftly crafting truly memorable characters. While very highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Nine Facts That Can Change Your Life" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).
A Religion Called Love
9781483570013, $14.95, PB, 270pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Faith is what we allow ourselves to believe," said Kathryn James, a kindergarten teacher who asked her students to follow three basic principles: Be nice - show respect for all living things; Be truthful - treat others fairly; Be responsible - if you make a mess, clean it up. It was a simple message of kindness and respect that was genuinely believable. If her five-year-old students understood and accepted it, so should their parents, the adults. But that didn't happen. In "A Religion Called Love," a small town is forced to examine its involvement in the aftermath of tragedy.
Critique: "A Religion Called Love" is a fascinating novel by David Trock that sheds light on the meaning of faith and exposes the secrets in a small town. A deftly crafted and inherently absorbing read from cover to cover, "A Religion Called Love" is very highly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Religion Called Love" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.61).
J. P. Maximus
9780995186705, $14.49, PB, 330pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: As the owner of a genetic hospital, Dr. MacKinnon tempts destiny to cure all diseases and recover his lost son. But when you challenge destiny, the challenge is the destiny.
In his novel, "Rediscovering Charlie", author J. P. Maximus deftly explores three fundamental questions: What is balance between our destiny and predestination?; What are the acceptable limits of love and sacrifice?; And, if you could go back and relive your life, how different would things turn out?
These are the challenges that confront Dr. MacKinnon as he struggles to understand his losses and unravel the mystery of his own destiny, and that of his son Charlie.
There is only one obstacle to Charlie fulfilling his destiny: he is quadriplegic with only partial movement of his arms. Motivated by his condition to find a remedy, Charlie and his father are on the verge of a cure for not only Charlie -- but for all diseases using gene therapy.
Destiny is thwarted when Charlie passes away due to an unfortunate incident, and the spite of those who didn't wish to see him succeed. The company declines without its most brilliant mind having closed the final chapter of their search. Grieved by the loss of a son and best friend, Dr. MacKinnon finds it difficult to cope -- but he has a plan: there are strategies at his disposal to have his son back using his DNA.
Risking imprisonment to reunite with his son, the evil machinations of those who wish to harm them challenge their fate. Dr. MacKinnon's ultimate hope: to have Charlie back with his one obstacle removed. Their destiny can be then fulfilled; unless of course, removing that obstacle reveals a new secret. With the hope of humanity hanging in the balance.
Critique: An original, thought-provoking, and inherently compelling epic novel that showcases author J. P. Maximus genuine flair for engaging his reader's rapt attention and holding it firmly from cover to cover, "Rediscovering Charlie" is an extraordinary read and very highly recommended, especially for community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Rediscovering Charlie" is also available in an inexpensive Kindle format ($0.99).
9780997634808, $16.99, PB, 232pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When tragedy strikes, Sophia finds herself alone in the world, without direction and fearful of loving again. With only her vivid imagination to guide her, she begins a journey that will take her from the vineyards in Sonoma, California to a grad school in Philadelphia and, eventually, to Italy: Florence, Lucca, Rome, Verona, Venice, and Val d'Orcia. Through dreamlike encounters, Sophia meets Italian personalities including princes, poets, duchesses, artists, and film stars, who give her advice to help put her life back together. Following a path that takes her from grief to joy, she discovers the source of her creativity and learns to love again, turning her dreams into reality.
Critique: "Dreaming Sophia" is a fictional but magical look into Italy, language, art, and culture. It is a story about turning dreams into reality and learning to walk the fine line between fact and fantasy. Mellisa Muldoon is an impressively gifted novelist who is able to combine deftly crafted and memorable characters with an inherently absorbing, narrative driven story that will prove to be an enduringly popular addition for community library General Fiction collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Dreaming Sophia" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.49).
M F J Wicks
9780994440310, $8.39, PB, 54pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "DEV-OCEAN" by Lucaz Abrams is comprised of two dramatic short stories (Soulitude & Momentum) that deftly explore the connection between humanity and the amazing creatures that inhabit our oceans. In the past, we have been fascinated by their antics on the surface but mystified by their secret lives in deeper waters. In "DEV-OCEAN" we journey below the waves and see the action firsthand in an emotional jaunt taking us into the deepest abyssal recesses or a super real reef drama and become part of their world for a while in moments of time that would change their lives.
Critique: The undersea world is filled with a rich and complex web of life. A fully absorbing, entertaining, and thought-provoking read from the pen of a genuinely gifted storyteller, "DEV-Ocean" is an original, extraordinary and highly recommended addition to both personal reading lists and community library collections.
Donna J. Grisanti
Phoenix Publishing Corporation
9780970886057, $12.99, PB, 342pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Carolyn Reynolds's health problems force her to sell her wildly successful company to avoid scandal if the truth comes out. Her mother's tragic hit-and-run death plus day-to-day business pressures have overwhelmed her. Her aunts' solution to relieve Carolyn's maladies only make matters worse. The dilapidated fixer-upper mansion, Cass, Muriel, and Bee, gift her only comes with more stress-filled problems.
First, two scared teenager vagrants with a baby with nowhere else to go add to meeting the other two lot owners: an ex-con contractor trying to get the job to rebuild Bayshore and a pastor trying to lessen Carolyn's problems. Despite initial reservations, Carolyn comes to care about them all, as her own past comes back to haunt her. Her search for her mother's killer has led someone to renew a dangerous interest in Carolyn's life.
The two other Bayshore tenants have their own problems. Contractor Shealds Jackson hopes to prove he's really a good man after a stint in prison tarred his name. Pastor Peter Allred aims to move on from a violent incident in his past. Both men will grow closer to Carolyn as murder and mayhem threaten to destroy, not rebuild, their lives.
Critique: A simply riveting, multi-layered, narrative driven read from cover to cover, "39 Bayshore" is the first volume debuting author Donna J. Grisanti's 'Bayshore' series. A deftly crafted and original novel that will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections, it should be noted that "39 Bayshore" is also available for personal reading lists in a Kindle format ($6.99).
Barbara L. Paterson
Polished Publishing Group
9780995332706, $12.99, PB, 195pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Malignant Memory" by Barbara L. Paterson is a novel that tells the tale of two friends, one a survivor of a residential school and one who grew up in an orphanage. Both have experienced horrific trauma as children, but they find strength and serenity in the love and forgiveness they receive from each other and from those close to them.
"Malignant Memory" follows Elizabeth, a young girl from a family of ten children who has left her home to live with her grandmother, Andy, who she barely knows. Everyone in the community adores Andy. But Elizabeth soon learns there is far more to her grandmother than most people realize - an abusive dark side brought on by flashes of her traumatic past. Elizabeth is left to wrestle with the impact of her grandmother's troubled childhood and secrets. Andy's friend, a Cree woman who is a survivor of a residential school, provides the pathway to healing for Andy and Elizabeth.
"Malignant Memory" paints a portrait of how to put one foot in front of the other in the face of unimaginable trauma. It shows there is power in bringing dark secrets into the light, particularly in the face of acceptance and forgiveness and how bad times can become an opportunity to gain strength.
Critique: Although fictional, the stories of abuse, trauma and grief in "Malignant Memory" are based on actual accounts drawn from real-life narratives of survivors of residential schools, adults who experienced profound childhood trauma and people facing life-threatening illness. A deftly written and compelling read from cover to cover, "Malignant Memory" is very highly recommended for personal and community library General Fiction collections.
A Woman Walked into the Bar
Linda H. Heuring
All Nations Press
PO Box 10821, Tallahassee, FL 32302
9780991272136, $22.00, PB, 196pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Linda Heuring is a short story writer known for her character-driven narratives and her penchant for the overheard phrase. Comprising fifteen of Linda's short stories "A Woman Walked into the Bar" features a Caribbean resort for the generously-figured, to rivers and bayous that hold secrets, or become escape routes into and out of relationships, the characters in these stories worm their way into your psyche. They don t always do the right (or legal) thing, but they act for the right reasons.
Critique: Showcasing a genuine flair for narrative driven storytelling and the creation of truly memorable characters, author Linda Heuring's stories are original, unfailingly engaging, thoroughly entertaining, and inherently compelling. While highly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "A Woman Walked into the Bar" is also available in a Kindle format ($9.99).
The Scent of Rain
Treehouse Publishing Group
9780996390149, $12.95, PB, 386pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Rose Madsen will do anything to keep from being married off to one of the men in her Fundamentalist Mormon (FLDS) community, even endure the continued beatings and abuse of her mother. But when her mentally handicapped baby sister is forced to strangle the bird she loves at the behest of the Prophet, Rose frees the bird and runs away.
Adan Reyes will do anything to escape the abusive foster care system in Phoenix, even leaving his good friends and successful high school athletic career behind him. Ill-prepared for surviving the desert, Adan hits the road only to suffer heat stroke. Found by a local handyman, he catches a glimpse of a mysterious girl--Rose--running through town, and follows her into the mountains where they are both tracked and discovered by the men of the FLDS community.
With their fates now intertwined, can Rose and Adan escape the systems locking them into lives of abuse? Will Rose be forced to marry the Prophet, a man her father's age, and be one of dozens of wives, perpetually pregnant, with no hope for an education? Will Adan be returned to the foster home where bullying and cruelty are common? Is everyone they meet determined to keep them right where they belong or are some adults worthy of their trust?
Critique: A deftly crafted and compelling read from cover to cover, author Anne Montgomery pays impressive and meticulous to background detail in her simply riveting novel. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Scent of Rain" is also available in a Kindle format ($7.99).
Heaven Breaks In
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9780996912600, $12.99, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Angel Littleton is on his first assignment: Davis Lewis Chandler, a first-year college student who's slowly drifting away from the Lord. Except Davis, like most, is unaware of the war being waged for his soul. With the help of Archangel Michael himself, Littleton must unmask and overcome the spiritual enemies endangering Davis's faith. Can the angels break through the darkness in time? And, can God restore what's already been lost?
Critique: A deftly crafted and inherently fascinating read from cover to cover, "Heaven Breaks In" showcases author Nicholas Cappas' impressively original and thoroughly entertaining debut novel. With its theme of a biblically based spiritual warfare in the life of a college student, "Heaven Breaks In" will have a special resonance with Christian readers especially. While very highly recommended for Christian Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Heaven Breaks In" is also available in a Kindle format.
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781542870962, $12.99, PB, 324pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Wealthy Barak Zonman founds a faith-oriented call-in TV show designed to let viewers question leading members of the clergy. The bias of the Zonman group is Christian and conservative. Surprisingly, the show catches on.
In Davos, Switzerland, world elite powers continue their plans to gradually unite all religion and faiths of the world into one global interfaith. Zonman's growing TV show is a hindrance to their plans. At high political levels a decision is made. Zonman either joins them and the rest of the church world or he has to go.
The Zonman team faces the violence coming their way. Highly trained for spiritual warfare as well as for physical violence the team rallies. Evidence happened upon by Zonman suggests that in spite of their "family" orientation, their closeness, their spirituality, one of their own is an enemy. Dismayed, but yet determined to keep the faith, Zonman, relying heavily on ace team member Reese Maxey, goes about the task of finding the enemy within and of fighting the global spiritual wickedness in high places.
Critique: A deftly crafted novel replete with memorable characters and a consistently riveting series of unexpected plot twists and turns, "The Forum" skillfully incorporates some of today's religious issues with a rising globalism within the international Christian community. A consistently compelling narrative showcasing author Ronald Winters's genuine flair for originality and compelling storytelling talents, "The Forum" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community Contemporary Mystery/Suspense collections. For the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery/suspense fans, it should be noted that "The Forum" is also available in a Kindle format.
Nashville: Music & Murder
Sing Before Dying, LLC
9780692791523, $19.95, PB, 290pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Antagonized by the mass media, victimized by her record label executives, stalked by deranged fans and hunted by local and federal authorities, country music singer Maci is trying to cope with a fast-paced descent into hysteria, chaos and murder. In an attempt to get away from it all, Maci finds herself returning to the childhood she fled. In the end, the woman who faced life on her terms alone soon finds out that loneliness is a walking prison from which she'll never walk away.
Critique: Exposing the glamour of stardom, the loneliness of fame and the seedier side of the Nashville music scene, "Nashville: Music & Murder" is a deftly crafted and consistently absorbing read from cover to cover by an author who is a consummate master of the genre. While highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense genre, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Nashville: Music & Murder" is also available in a Kindle format ($8.69).
P.O. Box 4648, Rollingbay, WA 98061
9780965828659, $18.99, PB, 384pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It's been five years since Paul Connert's fiancee died of a drug overdose and he's never forgiven himself for not trying harder to help. Now he plans to atone. He seeks a woman who reminds him of his lost love and fantasizes about getting her into rehab, even if by force. But then he meets the feisty, alcoholic, Vika Koslava, a beautiful Russian model who was sent on an erotic website assignment to Santa Barbara with her heroin-addicted sister. When her sister goes missing, Vika is left homeless. Paul uses a clever means to meet Vika, but his intervention fantasy is quickly busted when he meets her, face-to-face.
Paul and his crime lab friends join forces to protect Vika by enrolling her in a secret clinical trial but also continue the search for her sister. Paul processes a murder scene, Vika is exposed to experimental nanoparticles as a part of her addiction therapy. When they get together and form a powerful alliance to fight the violent members of a sex trafficking ring, he will need to use all his scientific skills to keep her safe.
Critique: Clearly author John Houde is a master of the CSI style mystery/suspense genre. "The Criminalist" is a consistently absorbing, reader riveting, deftly crafted, exceptionally entertaining read from first page to last. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of forensic science mystery buffs that "The Criminalist" is also available in a Kindle format ($2.99).
644 Shrewsbury Commons Ave, Suite 249, Shrewsbury, PA 17361
9781614178859, $27.99, HC, 323pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The year is 1924 and spiritualist-medium Daisy Gumm bands with friends Flossie and Harold to help Lily Bannister, whose abusive husband nearly killed her. Meanwhile, Mrs. Pinkerton-Daisy's best client-is in a tizzy, insisting Daisy use her spiritualist talent to end the engagement between her daughter and a most unsuitable man. To Daisy's surprise, the two cases collide, catching her in the middle. Can she prove Lily's husband and Mrs. P's soon-to-be-son-in-law are in cahoots with nefarious human traffickers... before it's too late?
Critique: "Bruised Spirits" is the tenth volume in author Alice Duncan's 'Daisey Gumm Majesty Mystery' series. A truly gifted writer who has proven herself a master of the mystery/suspense genre, Alice Duncan's "Bruised Spirits" is another uncompromisingly entertaining read from cover to cover and will prove to be an enduringly popular and highly prized addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Bruised Spirits" is also available in a paperback edition (9781614178606, $17.99) and in a Kindle format ($3.99).
Tijuana Donkey Showdown
9781936964031, $14.95, PB, 230pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Reggie Levine, is an ex-boxer turned bouncer, and a hapless hero who has barely recovered from his ordeal in "Damn Dirty Apes", when he is called back to action. Recruited to retrieve a Chinese crested terrier from a fleapit roadside zoo, where the ugly effing show dog has been mistaken for the chupacabra, Reggie soon finds himself embroiled in a deadly criminal conspiracy involving neo-Nazi drug smugglers, a seedy used-car salesman, a wannabe serial killer, an ornery Vietnam veteran, a badass veterinarian, a freakishly endowed adult entertainment donkey named Enrique, and in an explosive cameo, an Academy Award winning Hollywood icon.
Critique: "Tijuana Donkey Showdown" reads like a cult movie classic -- original, twisted, action-packed, and reader riveting from first page to last. A deftly crafted and truly memorable novel, "Tijuana Donkey Showdown" is highly recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Tijuana Donkey Showdown" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).
9780988506183, $17.95, PB, 392pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In "Disruption" by Chuck Barrett, former Naval Intelligence Officer turned secret operative Jake Pendleton finds himself in a pulse-pounding race to stop a cyber-terrorist from releasing a string of the most heinous cyber-crimes the world has ever seen. Crimes that could render the world's advanced technology useless.
Jake teams with his partner, Francesca Catanzaro, to track down their only lead, a white-hat hacker in Italy known only as The Jew. A man who might hold the key to stop a group of black-hat hackers from causing worldwide chaos-tag named Disruption.
After a search of the hacker's flat in Rome turns up empty, Jake and Francesca follow the clues-a trail of dead bodies that leads them across Europe. Along the way, Jake discovers a possible link between recent hacks and a Malaysian airliner that mysteriously disappeared.
In the final adrenaline-charged moments before Disruption, Jake and Francesca find themselves in a high-voltage race to stop these cyber terrorists from unleashing destruction
Critique: In an inherently compelling novel by an accomplished author that draws its inspiration from this current age of international cyber warfare to which even presidential campaigns are not immune, "Disruption" will prove to be a welcome and enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections. A riveting read from cover to cover, it should be noted that "Disruption" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99), as well as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781536663495, $9.99, MP3 CD).
The Custer Conspiracy
9780998080802, $14.99, PB, 350pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A week after uncovering the secret of what really happened at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, history professor Matt Conroy was lying in a morgue with the back of his head blown off.
SFPD homicide inspector Tom McGuire, a long-time friend of Conroy's, volunteers to assist the FBI in bringing the killer to justice. The FBI, however, is ordered to stand down for "national security" reasons.
They thought that would be the end of it. They were wrong. Tom McGuire was not about to stand down. Not for anyone, not for any reason.
That decision put him in the crosshairs of one of the world's most secretive and dangerous organizations - an organization whose rich and powerful members will stop at nothing to make sure their 140-year-old secret remains hidden. Drawn into a labyrinth of conspiracies over a century old, Tom McGuire has just walked into his worst nightmare.
Critique: Revealing a total mastery of the genre, author Dennis Koller has deftly crafted an inherently fascinating and original mystery that is a simply riveting read from cover to cover. While very highly recommended, especially for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "The Custer Conspiracy" is also available in a Kindle format ($6.99).
Justice Is for the Deserving
9780990370031, $25.99, HC, 396pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Kristen Kerry starts her own law firm after meeting her first client the tragic Dunn family who have lost their baby due to a hospital error. Kristen becomes involved with a crook the case leads to murder and Kristen is charged. She must use the discovery process in the case to find the person framing her, but solving the puzzle will require Kristen to fight for her life.
Critique: A deftly crafted and consistently compelling read from cover to cover, it is clear that author Steve Clark has effectively drawn upon his years of experience and expertise as a lawyer in Oklahoma City specializing in medical malpractice. Showcasing Clark's genuine flair for storytelling and mastery of the genre, "Justice Is for the Deserving" is a very highly recommended addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. For the personal reading lists of dedicated legal thriller enthusiasts, it should be noted that "Justice Is for the Deserving" is also available in a Kindle ($7.99).
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Pandamonk Publishing, LLC
9780990517603, $29.99, HC, 417pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Avengarde is Taveol's last refuge; a city of ice and blood, perched on the frozen edge of the known world, where he believes he is safe from the ghosts of his mercenary past. But when Taveol harbors a wounded Fae woman in the face of racial cleansing, the two outcasts are caught up in a decades-spanning conflict that threatens to tear the city and their lives apart, piece by piece. And when Taveol's relentless nemesis appears in Avengarde, the paths to survival and revenge become that much harder to differentiate. Encircled by enemies old and new, Taveol must choose to either save himself or risk everything for the culture and people he has grown to love.
Critique: Original, archetypal, featuring deftly crafted characters, with unexpected plot twists and turns, "Avengarde" reveals author Zachary Barnes's genuine flair for compelling and entertaining storyteller and master of the science fiction genre. An impressive and engaging novel from beginning to end, "Avengarde" is very highly recommended for the personal reading lists of science fiction enthusiasts, and is certain, with it's underlying message of resisting racism and genocide, to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections.
The Bigfoot Rebellion
9780996666152, $8.99, PB, 172pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: People vanishing from the forest without a trace. Reports of large, hairy beasts stalking hikers and campers. Sensationalist news shows blame it all on bigfoots, but J.T. Meeks doesn't believe it. After all, these are the same gentle creatures that befriended him and immersed him in an esoteric world of long-held secrets. He's on a mission to find out the truth, and only hopes he makes it to "Ground Zero" before famed bigfoot hunter, Billy Matrix, arrives. Join J.T. as he traverses time and space, joins up with other colorful characters along the way, and discovers his "gift" as he tries to save the bigfoots -- and the world.
Critique: Impressively original, deftly crafted, and thoroughly entertaining from cover to cover, "The Bigfoot Rebellion" is the second volume in author Rebecca Coyte's simply outstanding series 'The Bigfoot Paradox', and certain to be a highly prized and enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists that "The Bigfoot Rebellion" is also available in a Kindle format ($2.99).
Charles R. Hinckley
9781520202808, $12.95, PB, 307pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: August Chase is an ordinary man plagued by extraordinary precognitive dreams. When he foresees the brutal murder of a young woman, he tracks her down to warn her. His warnings go unheeded, and the dreamed murder becomes a reality. The victim's sister, frustrated by slow police work, enlists August's help, and he is launched into his first case as a private investigator. Delving deep into the victim's life, he soon discovers a common thread in the shadowy world that may have claimed her.
Critique: The debut volume of author Charles R. Hinckley's new August Chase Mystery Series, "Dream State" is an impressively well crafted and original novel that combines a riveting mystery with a science fiction premise. The result is a consistently compelling and thoroughly entertaining read from cover to cover. While very highly recommended, especially for community library collections where it is certain to be an enduringly popular acquisition, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of science fiction fans and detective mystery enthusiasts that "Dream State" is also available in a Kindle format ($4.99).
T. K. Boomer
9780995166714, $14.99, PB, 322pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Fahr are the oldest and most powerful sapient species in the galaxy and the only one to have mastered interstellar travel. Song Corp, the most powerful corporate entity on their planet, is on a routine pet collecting expedition when they arrive on the Earth in the middle 14th century.
They find a stagnant Humanity decimated by the black plague. They also find humpback whales, singers of the most powerful and addictive songs they have ever encountered. Song Corp decides they must collect these whales but their ship is too small.
They return to their home planet to get larger one, a round trip that will take over 650 years. When they return, the stagnant humanity they first encountered has evolved into something much more formidable.
Song Corp has too much invested to turn back now so plans are drawn up to collect the whales, by force if necessary. On board the Song Corp ship is Teracia, a rare Fahr female. She's a sapient species rights activist who has managed to deceive the Song Corp management into letting her join the crew. She soon finds herself resisting an entire corporation in an attempt to save the human race.
Critique: The first volume of author T. K. Boomer's 'The Fahr Trilogy', "Planet Song" is an original and deftly crafted novel that reveals Boomer's genuine flair for creating deftly crafted and memorable characters embedded in a consistently engaging and thoroughly entertaining story. A truly riveting read from cover to cover, "Planet Song" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. For the personal reading lists of dedicated science fiction fans it should be noted that "Planet Song" is also available in a Kindle format ($2.99).
The Self-Help Shelf
Making Me Happen Workbook
Taayoo A. Murray
Taayoo Murray LLC
9780692866719, $19.99, PB, 134pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Is your child unsatisfied with the way they and others see themselves? Do they know how they want to be seen but have no clue how to achieve it? Does your child feel frustrated and not in control of their life? Do they tell you that they feel that their current reality is the best they can expect?
In the "Making Me Happen Workbook", youth coach Taayoo Murray, takes tweens/teens through systematic methods of understanding themselves, creating a winning image, and charting a path to lasting success, using conscious goal setting.
A lifelong educator and mother of two boys, Taayoo creates an interactive workbook that shares with readers a road map to personal self- discovery, while learning how to use conscious goal setting to take control of their lives and achieve success.
In these pages children will discover: How to maximize their strengths while managing around your weaknesses; How to set action goals versus result goals; How to manage their time and take control; How to master the art of failing; How to implement the 8 steps to success.
Critique: A thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, this consumable workbook is ideal for parents and counselors working with children ages 10 to 18 to help them develop a winning attitude, being on time, being prepared, working a full eight hours, and taking control of their own lives, their own decisions, their own responsibilities. Of special note is the provision of four worksheet templates (Weekly Goals Sheet; Personal SWOT Analysis; Time Quadrant; Fixing My Failures), the provision of numerous 'Notes!' pages for recording thoughts, and a short one page listing of a suggested bibliography of helpful readings. It should be noted that the "Making Me Happen Workbook" is also available in a Kindle format ($19.99).
9780692811801, $11.99, PB, 220pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Life is complicated. Change is tough. But achieving balance and personal goals needn't be the ever-elusive Holy Grail. Created for real people with real lives and responsibilities, "Balance Me: A Realist's Guide to a Successful Life" by Matt DeCoursey is shows, in no-nonsense terms, how to: Better understand the WHY of your current situation.; Make small but highly effective changes in your habits, decision-making process, and daily planning; Not be afraid to ask for what you want. And then do the work to get it; Beat the "Right Time" myth and get yourself out of the way; Work with the gifts (and flaws) of your--and others'--personality style; Safeguard your related financial, physical, and emotional health; Recognize that balance is always a work in progress.
Critique: Whether a busy professional, a stay-at-home mom, or anyone simply wishing to achieve goals without sacrificing well-being, life balance, "Balance Me: A Realist's Guide to a Successful Life" will prove to be one of those rare life changing reads that will linger in the mind and memorable long after this outstanding 'how to' book has been finished and set back upon the shelf. Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Balance Me" is very highly recommended for both community and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. For personal reading lists it should be noted that "Balance Me" is also available in a Kindle format ($6.99).
Forgive to Live
Dick Tibbits & Steve Halliday
Florida Hospital Publishing
605 Montgomery Road, Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
9780988740686, $25.99 hc / $9.99 Kindle, 243pp amazon.com
Synopsis: Everyone has a "grievance story" - we've all been hurt or rejected by someone who mattered to us. Unfortunately, while most of us have been told to forgive, and forgiveness is a key principle of the Judeo/Christian tradition, we've never been told how or why to forgive.
In the pages of "Forgive to Live: How Forgiveness Can Save Your Life", Dr. Dick Tibbits explains that understanding and practicing forgiveness can literally save your life! That it is a scientific fact that anger kills -- spiritually, emotionally, relationally and physically.
Dr. Tibbits reveals the clinically proven steps and tools every person needs to uncover their grievance story, eliminate the unresolved anger that they can and can't see -- and forgive for good. He also delivers self-tests, activities and other interactive resources and reading to help people measure their progress and ultimately enjoy a long and anger-free life.
Critique: Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, "Forgive to Live" is an extraordinary, life changing read and unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted that "Forgive to Live" is also available from Amazon.com in a Kindle format ($9.99).
Be the Architect of Your Life
Boutique of Quality Books
9781608081769, $10.95, PB, 100pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In our modern world, so many people are battling unhappiness and dissatisfaction in their lives. In "Be the Architect of Your Life: Design, Build, & Start Living a Life Inspired", author and architect Karen Otis delivers a groundbreaking new approach to designing and re-building your life with the creative ingenuity she has used in architecture for decades.
By extending her "Architectural Method" to life-building, Karen reveals a completely new way of thinking where the results are profound, unexpected, life-changing, and transformational. Karen shows how to take the architectural method of creativity and decision making and project it onto your own life to find direction and fluidity to spiritually "awaken your soul" to a life rich in inspiration and joy.
Whether you are unhappy or unfulfilled with your personal life, your relationships, or your career, this Method holds the answers to change all that. Her eight steps and thoughtful exercises unleash your power to take the mundane and make it meaningful; the expected, and make it memorable. Rather than reacting to life, you can begin creating your life.
Critique: Offering an original, unique, practical, effective, inspired and inspiring approach, "Be the Architect of Your Life: Design, Build, & Start Living a Life Inspired" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, content, organization and presentation, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Be the Architect of Your Life" is also available in a Kindle format ($6.99).
Finding Success in Balance
Apryl Zarate Schlueter
The Cheerful Mind, Incorporated
9780998320304, $12.47, PB, 164pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: As a working parent, Apryl Zarate Schlueter used to experience her life by just going through the motions. Wanting more fun and less stress in her life. Finding that there was simply too much to do and never enough time in which to get it all done. Finding her work depleting, her relationships strained, and her health neglected. All of those things and more until a routine doctor's visit uncovered the negative impact of a rushed lifestyle. That was when she began her quest for a healthy "work-life balance". In "Finding Success in Balance: My Journey to The Cheerful Mind", Apryl shares how she regained control of her life and the lessons she's learned along the way, including how to: Find time for the things you love without sacrifice; Accomplish goals that are aligned with your priorities; Love your career and grow strong, healthy relationships ; Manage stress and avoid burnout. Her basic message is that it's time to stop letting society dictate what "success" means and start living the awesome life you have always wanted.
Critique: As informative and thoughtful as it is practical and insightful, "Finding Success in Balance: My Journey to The Cheerful Mind" will prove to be an enduringly useful and popular addition to personal reading lists and community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted that "Finding Success in Balance" is also available in a Kindle format ($7.99).
Ho'oponopono and Family Constellations
Ulrich E. Dupree
c/o Findhorn Press
9781844097173 $16.99 amazon.com
Synopsis: One of the underlying messages of author, seminar leader and visionary Ulrich Dupree is the critically importance of taking a moment to think hard about your relationships. The first one to come to mind may be with your partner or parents but there are many others in your life: relationships with your colleagues at work, your body, your past and future, your finances, even with the clutter still left in your closets.
Many problems are relationship-related, and the good news is that you can heal all your relationship issues! In the pages of "Ho'oponopono and Family Constellations: A Traditional Hawaiian Healing Method for Relationships, Forgiveness and Love", Dupree reveals a healing method for solving problems and conflicts by using the Hawaiian reconciliation ritual to forgive both ourselves and others. This is given even greater power when combined with the family constellations method.
A constellation allows underlying conflicts to be aired and resolved. It helps us to experience love and inner peace through the feeling, deep in our hearts, that we are all interconnected.
Critique: Impressively informative, thoughtful, and thought-provoking, "Ho'oponopono and Family Constellations" is exceptionally 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation. An inherently compelling read from beginning to end, "Ho'oponopono and Family Constellations" is a life-changing guide that is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections.
The Political Science Shelf
Intervention for America
Debra Closner Franklin
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 S. Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781478740827, $13.95, PB, 132pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Most Americans have the feeling that something is wrong with the country, but are unclear of exactly what it is. A look back into the decade of the 1950s may hold the answer. During this time period, most people felt safe, secure, and were engaged in deep caring relationships. When we exited this time period, we were no longer focused on relationships, but on things promoted by the business world which had promised to make life better for us.
Sixty years later, we continue to strive for more and more of these things, still hoping to achieve the happiness promised so many years ago. Americans need to recognize that our lives are not getting better, and by continuing to live in this way, we are actually destroying our own lives, other relationships, and our country.
Addiction is at the root of all of this. Learn how we were tricked years ago into becoming a country of addicts and how we can get those good feelings and caring relationships back again. The consequences of not addressing this vast national problem will be revealed, as well as how to begin resolving it.
People from all socioeconomic levels will find this exploration of American life from the past to the present, enlightening and helpful. Everyone will be able to make positive changes for themselves and be able to start creating it on a national level as well.
Critique: Impressively informed and informative, exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Intervention for America: A Country in Need" is a consistently thoughtful and thought-provoking read from beginning to end. Singularly insightful, "Intervention for America" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Social Issues and Political Science collections, as well as the personal lists of non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.
The Women's Studies Shelf
Girlhood in America
9780990452706 Ingram Spark (bookstore/library orders)
9780990452720 $15.95 / $7.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: Girlhood in America is a fun and fascinating look at the life and times before age 13 in every decade across a century, in the words of 56 women and girls. A short cultural history of each decade and surprising highlights from pop culture open the chapters, about inventions and advancements across the 20th century. It's a time capsule, an educational and entertaining living history that shows what's unique and what's universal across a century of change.
Critique: The vignettes of Girlhood in America: Personal Stories 1910-2010 offer vivid snapshots of young girlhood across the decades. These diverse stories of personal lives offer a ground-level glimpse into American life amid the milestones of history, from advances in women's rights to pop culture fads. A brief list of questions for discussion rounds out this captivating, enlightening, true-life anthology, highly recommended for public library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Girlhood in America is also available in a Kindle edition ($7.99).
De Facto Feminism
9780971635210, $15.95, PB, 230pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "DeFacto Feminism: Essays Straight Outta Oakland" views activism and feminism as they play out in one writer's political, artistic and spiritual life.
In Juanita's semi-autobiographical novel, Virgin Soul, the central character calls herself a female foot soldier; the voice in DeFacto...is a feminist foot soldier, processing major shifts in American society through the portal of her own artistic development.
The essays comprising "De Facto Feminism" are set chronologically, beginning with a picture of her Tuskegee Airman father, and an account of a near-idyllic childhood in Oakland, California. A patchwork narrative emerges: Growing up in Oakland in the fifties and sixties.
Comparing her burgeoning sexuality to young white females in 1964 having orgiastic responses to the Beatles. Formulating an erstwhile womanhood based on Black Nationalism. Deconstructing the infamous N-word controversy. Looking back acerbically at her romance with The Gun and the black power movement. Paying homage to Black Arts Movement poet Carolyn M. Rodgers. Celebrating 21st century feminism in unexpected places. Examining race and micro-aggression in liberal Berkeley. Living with a ghost/mentor for a year.
The format of "De Facto Feminism" moves from essay to poem to epistle, utilizing the genre of letter writing in the final essay, "Acknowledge Me," a true ghost story in which a dead playwright, once her teacher, pushes her to succeed.
Critique: A compelling read from cover to cover, "DeFacto Feminism: Essays Straight Outta Oakland" is an absorbing, informative, deeply personal, thought-provoking anthology that is unreservedly recommended, especially for community and academic library African-American Studies collections in general, and Contemporary Feminism supplemental studies reading lists in particular.
The Christian Studies Shelf
Justice Is Served
4900 LaCross Rd., North Charleston, SC 29406
9781540303998, $11.99, PB, 234pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Are animal rights in sync with Christian values? How about veganism? Have you ever considered that your diet, as well as nature and ecology, should be an important tenet of your Christian faith? Do you want to enjoy great health and vibrant relationships for many more years to come? Are you concerned your children and grandchildren won't be able to enjoy the same abundant, green Earth you were blessed with while growing up? Do you identify with and come alive through acts of generosity, stewardship, compassion and justice? Are you looking for a way to tie all of these desires together through one convenient action?
In "Justice Is Served: How And Why Christian Culture Inherently Supports Veganism", you will encounter powerful arguments as to why Christians can and should adopt a vegan diet, for all of the above reasons and more.
"Justice Is Served" is dedicated to creating worldwide justice and equity through the twin aims of Christianity and veganism. Readers will be able to see how existing Christian values of stewardship, grace, humility, generosity, compassion and gratitude can be maximized for all of God's creatures to permanently benefit.
Critique: Animal rights, vegan living, and Christian ethics are all critical to author Brad Johnson, a Certified Life Coach and Health and Nutrition Expert, who has received his accreditations from the American Union of NLP and Primal Blueprint. With his genuine flair for narrative storytelling he has laid out a clear and compelling case for veganism being ethically and morally compatible with biblically based Christian principles. Informative, thoughtful, inspiring, "Justice Is Served: How And Why Christian Culture Inherently Supports Veganism" is thoroughly 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, making it very highly recommended for all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Justice Is Served" is also available in an inexpensive Kindle format ($0.99).
The Psychology Shelf
Emotionally Intelligent Batterer Intervention
Wendy W. Coates
Outskirts Press, Inc.
10940 S. Parker Road, #515, Parker, CO 80134
9781478784623, $27.95, PB, 202pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Emotionally Intelligent Batterer Intervention: Acceptance-Based, Cognitive Behavioral Domestic Violence Group Treatment Manual" by licensed marriage and family therapist Wendy W. Coates is a unique and effective cognitive behavioral domestic violence group treatment manual.
Participants who have completed this program express feeling free from the heavy burden of their unhealthy coping strategies. As participants develop a healthy relationship with themselves, they learn to foster healthy relationships with others.
While many domestic violence workbooks provide a narrow treatment outline which means that the success of the program will rely heavily upon the skill of the facilitator, "Emotionally Intelligent Batterer Intervention" is a comprehensive treatment manual which promotes a deeper level of change for participants as well as a continuity of care among providers.
The efficacy of "Emotionally Intelligent Batterer Intervention" is grounded in a clinical treatment program rather than relying solely upon the expertise of a facilitator. While this treatment manual is written for male domestic violence programs, the techniques for emotional regulation benefit all individuals. In addition to group treatment, this manual is recommended for use by private practitioners who are treating individuals struggling with abusive or unhealthy relationship patterns.
Batterer intervention treatment is often the first counseling experience for many participants. As participants learn to turn toward themselves with acceptance and compassion, they find that they no longer need their protective anger shield. Participants learn to become vulnerable, transparent, and authentic as they develop an internal locus of control through powerful cognitive restructuring techniques.
This treatment program has a strong emphasis on trauma recovery and self-esteem which helps participants override harmful thinking patterns while healing old wounds. Accountability is used as a tool to strengthen self-esteem and regulate emotion. Participants learn healthy boundaries, assertiveness skills, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, mindfulness, and responsible parenting throughout the program.
"Emotionally Intelligent Batterer Intervention" exceeds the standard level of care for domestic violence treatment programs ranging from 16 to 52 weeks in length.
Critique: Practical, effective, field-tested, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Emotionally Intelligent Batterer Intervention" is especially recommended to the attention of counselors and therapists working with perpetrators of domestic violence. "Emotionally Intelligent Batterer Intervention" is commended as a critically important addition to professional, counseling center, and academic library Domestic Abuse Treatment collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
The Music Shelf
Music Theory for the Bass Player
CapCat Music Publishing
9780996727600, $34.95, PB, 184pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Music Theory for the Bass Player" by Ariane Cap (bassist, pianist, educator, author, blogger, writer and composer) is a comprehensive and immediately applicable guide to making even the most novice of musicians into a well-grounded groover, informed bandmate and all-around more creative musician. Included with "Music Theory for the Bass Player" are 89 videos available via scanning the QR code on the cover or by visiting the author's blog.
"Music Theory for the Bass Player" is specifically designed for anyone who has always wanted to learn music theory but felt it was too overwhelming a task. Starting with intervals as music's basic building blocks, bass playing students will explore scales and their modes, chords and the basics of harmony.
Packed with fretboard diagrams, musical examples and exercises, "Music Theory for the Bass Player" features vital information enhanced with mind-bending quizzes, effective mnemonics, and compelling learning approaches.
Extensive and detailed photo demonstrations show why relaxed posture and optimized fingering are vital for good tone, timing and chops. Aspiring bass players can even work their way through "Music Theory for the Bass Player" without being able to read music. Reading then becomes much easier once theory is mastered and learning theory on the fretboard using diagrams and patterns as illustrations, music theory is very accessible, immediately usable and fun.
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, 'Music Theory for the Bass Player" is very highly recommended as the definitive resource for the aspiring bassist and a core addition for personal, school music department, community, and academic library music instructional curriculum Music Theory resources collections in general, and bass player supplemental studies lists in particular!
The Cookbook Shelf
Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation
111 Presidential Blvd., Suite 203, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
9780985776817, $27.00, HC, 221pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "Alex's Table: showcases more than 55 recipes drawn from world-renown chefs, influential mixologists, celebrities and supporters. Each recipes is thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' and accompanied by a brief biography of the recipe's contributor. The recipes range from Chorizo and Clams; Grilled Fish Tacos with Radish Cucumber Slaw; Roasted Cauliflower with Curry and Red Wine Vinegar; and Charcoal Potatoes; to Burrata with Heirloom Tomatoes; Crispy Polenta Fries with Spicy Ketchup; Lemon Mojito; and Creamy Vanilla Bread Pudding. Featuring an informative Foreword by Marc Summers, "Alex's Table" is collection of recipes is meant to be shared at the table with family and friends as Alex has invited us all to her table to fight childhood cancer. 100% of the proceeds goes towards our fighting childhood cancer "one recipe at a time"!
Critique: Simply stated, "Alex's Table" is an extraordinary and truly impressive culinary compendium in support of an outstanding cause. Exceptionally well organized and presented, a delight to browse and useful to plan palate pleasing, appetite satisfying menus with, "Alex's Table" is unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended for personal and community library cookbook collections.
James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
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