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9781734170917, $35.95, HC, 390pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: At its very core, "Confluence" is a biography of John Gottschalk. It is a life story that
embodies values true Nebraskans cherish -- Character, Compassion, Duty, Ethics, Leadership.
These form the professional, personal, and public tributaries of this newspaperman from
Professional, personal, and public may appear to be separate currents flowing downstream from
the Sandhills to Sidney to Omaha. But they're not. The indefatigable pull of John Gottschalk's life
merged them into a single remarkable river.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Confluence: John Gottschalk's
Life of Duty, Service, and the Business of News" is an outstanding biography of an outstanding
journalist. While especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic
library Contemporary American Biography and Contemporary American Journalism collections,
it should be noted for the personal reading lists of journalism students, academia, and non-
specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Confluence: John Gottschalk's Life
of Duty, Service, and the Business of News" is also readily available in a paperback edition
(9781734170924, $24.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
Editorial Note: George Ayoub filed nearly 4,000 columns while writing for the Grand Island
Independent. His columns occasionally ran in the Omaha World-Herald. His two novellas,
Warm, For Christmas, and Dust in Grissom, were first published as serials in the Independent.
He teaches ethics and political science as an adjunct professor for Doane University, Crete,
Falling for Myself
Dorothy Ellen Palmer
Wolsak and Wynn Publishers Ltd.
9781989496039, $18.00, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Falling for Myself" is searing and seriously funny memoir. It's the personal story of
Dorothy Ellen Palmer who falls down (a lot!) and spends a lifetime learning to appreciate her
Born with two very different, very tiny feet, Dorothy was adopted as a toddler by an already
wounded family in the 1950s. From childhood surgeries to decades as a feminist teacher, mom,
improv coach and unionist, she tried to hide being different. But now, standing proud with her
walker, she's sharing her journey. "Falling for Myself" is that story of navigating abandonment,
abuse and ableism, of finding birth parents and securing a new and chosen family in the disability
Critique: An inherently interesting, exceptionally well written, impressively candid, and
ultimately inspiring memoir, "Falling for Myself" by Dorothy Ellen Palmer is unreservedly
recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography
collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Falling for Myself' is also available
in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Writing/Publishing Shelf
Word Savvy Handbook: Use the Right Word
9781733928731, $19.95, HC, 296pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A quick, easy-to-use reference on word usage, "Word Savvy Handbook: Use the Right
Word" by Nancy Ragno provides immediate answers to the word-usage questions that most
frequently interrupt writers, causing them to stop writing and ask, "Is that the word I want?"
Now there is no need to search the Internet with the Handbook at hand because the deftly
organized sections include: Words Commonly Confused; Words Commonly Misused;
Non-Words and Other No-No's in Your Speech and Writing; Tricky Singulars and Plurals; and
Words Commonly Misspelled.
"The Word Savvy Handbook: is not only a quick and easy reference, but a self-teaching tool. In
addition to dictionary definitions it provides clear explanations, examples, memory aids, and
self-correcting quizzes. As a bonus, the subject matter of examples and quizzes is informative
Critique: Impressively 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Word Savvy Handbook:
Use the Right Word" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to the personal
reference collections for all aspiring writers. While especially appropriate for school and
community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that the "Word Savvy
Handbook" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781733928700, $10.99) and in a
digital book format (Kindle, $4.95).
Editorial Note: Nancy Ragno is an educational writer and co-author of a language arts series for
grades K-8, "World of Language". In addition to language arts texts, she has written children's
books and adult nonfiction. Her recently published books include: "Use the Right Word: Your
Quick & Easy Guide to 158 Commonly Confused and Misused Words" (2016); "21-Day Journal:
Start a New Habit" (2016); The President Did What?: Presidential Trivia Quiz" (2014); and "The
Money Savvy Spending Journal" (2013).
How to Get Published in the Best Management Journals, second edition
Mike Wright, David J. Ketchem Jr., Timothy Clark, editors
Edward Elgar Publishing
9 Dewey Court, Northampton, MA 01060-3815
9781789902815, $165.00, HYC, 392pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Now in an updated, revised and expanded second edition, "How to Get Published in
the Best Management Journals" continues to be an ideal career guide offering fascinating insight
into the publishing environment for the management discipline, drawing on a wealth of
knowledge and experiences from leading scholars and top-level journal editors. Responding to
the continuing emphasis on publishing in the top journals, "How to Get Published in the Best
Management Journals" offers a wealth of invaluable tips and practical advice for anyone looking
to publish their work in management oriented publications.
"How to Get Published in the Best Management Journals" now includes brand new chapters on
managing a research pipeline, positioning papers for publication and maximizing the chance of
success with a novice editor as well as an in-depth look at research impact. Existing chapters
provide additional insights into the value of peer review, the importance of a chosen
methodology, ethics and integrity in the industry, securing repeat publication, tips on publishing
in new disciplines and the nuances of special issues and open access publications.
Offering an insider perspective and candid advice, this second edition once more takes aspiring
writers on a journey through the journal review process, providing behind-the-scenes insight into
the potential pitfalls and advantages.
The contributors include: P. Andries, J. Barney, Y. Baruch, J.E. Baur, D.D. Bergh, S.K.
Bhaumik, B. Boyd, M.R. Buckley, P. Budhwar, T. Clark, J.G. Combs, B. Connelly, K.G. Corley,
D. Cumming, S. Estrin, G.R. Ferris, D. Gioia, B. Harley, A.-W. Harzing, M.A. Hitt, G.P.
Hodgkinson, R.D. Ireland, F.W. Kellermanns, D.J. Ketchen, Jr., B.T. Lamont, A. Leiponen, B.
Martin, W. Mitchell, G. Molina Sieiro, T. Pedersen, P.L. Perrewe, A.L. Ranft, P.L. Roth, B.
Schinoff, C.C. Snow, A. Smith, W.H. Starbuck, W.H. Stewart, Jr., S. Tallman, B. Taylor, S.
Toms, R. van Dick, G. Wood, M. Wright, D. Yiu
Critique: Impressively informative, exceptionally organized, and unreservedly recommended for
personal, professional, community, college and university library Writing/Publishing collections,
"How to Get Published in the Best Management Journals" is an essential and thoroughly 'user
friendly' instructional guide and manual for authors, academics and scholars of all levels seeking
to advance their careers and expand their journal publication success.
Editorial Note: The late Mike Wright was formerly Professor of Entrepreneurship and Director,
Centre for Management Buyout Research, Imperial College Business School, London, UK.
David J. Ketchen, Jr. is the Harbert Eminent Scholar and Professor of Management at the
Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, Auburn University, US.
Timothy Clark is the Provost and a Professor at the Singapore Management University,
The Biography Shelf
Joe Quigley, Alaska Pioneer: Beyond the Gold Rush
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476679273, $39.95, PB, 204pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In May 1891, a man named Joe Quigley embarked on a journey north to try his luck
prospecting for gold in Alaska. Although he had been wandering across America since leaving
home at 15, this would be the biggest adventure, and the biggest risk, Quigley had ever
A project that began as genealogical research into a family's history, "Joe Quigley, Alaska
Pioneer: Beyond the Gold Rush " by freelance photographer, filmmaker, and writer Cheryl Fair is
an inherently fascinating biography that traces the life of an extraordinary character before,
during and after the great Klondike gold rush.
Deeply researched, including quotes from Quigley and numerous photographs, "Joe Quigley,
Alaska Pioneer" is more than just another tale of the Klondike Gold Rush, rather it is an intimate
and informative look at the inspiring life of a pioneer prospector, who witnessed the exploration
and development of one of America's most harsh, beautiful and captivating landscapes.
Critique: Nicely illustrated with black-and-white period photos, "Joe Quigley, Alaska Pioneer:
Beyond the Gold Rush" is a meticulously detailed and deftly crafted study that is unreservedly
recommended for both community and academic library American Biography collections.
A Latino Memoir
Arte Publico Press
University of Houston
4902 Gulf Freeway, Bldg 19, Rm 100, Houston, TX 77204-2004
9781558858794, $19.95, PB, 352pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In a bumpy, anxiety-producing plane ride across the Straits of Florida to Cuba in 1979,
graduate student Gerald Poyo knew his life would either end that day in the World War II-era
prop airplane or be changed forever. He survived the trip, and his ten-day visit solidified his
academic research and confirmed his career as a history professor.
"A Latino Memoir: Exploring Identity, Family and the Common Good" is a wide-ranging
examination of his relatives migrations in the Western Hemisphere the Americas over five
generations, Poyo uses his training as a historian to unearth his family's stories. Beginning with
his great-great grandfather's flight from Cuba to Key West in 1869, this is also about the loss of a
His father was Cuban; his mother was from Flint, Michigan. Poyo himself was six months old
when his parents took him to Bogota, Colombia. He celebrated his eighth birthday in New Jersey
and his tenth in Venezuela. He was 12 when he landed in Buenos Aires, where he spent his
formative years before returning to the United States for college. My heart belonged to the south,
but somehow I knew I could not escape the north, he writes. Transnationalism shaped his life and
Divided into two parts, the first section traces his parents and ancestors as he links their stories to
impersonal movements in the world Spanish colonialism, Cuban nationalism, United States
expansionism that influenced their lives. The second half explores how exile, migration and
growing up a hemispheric American, a borderless American impacted his own development and
stimulated questions about poverty, religion and relations between Latin America and the United
States. Ultimately, this thought-provoking memoir unveils the universal desire for a safe, stable
life for one's family.
Critique: A unique blending of family and personal histories, "A Latino Memoir: Exploring
Identity, Family and the Common Good" is an extraordinary and inherently fascinating read --
and one that is unreservedly recommended for personal, community and academic library
Contemporary Biography collections in general, and American/Hispanic History supplemental
studies reading lists in particular.
Editorial Note: Gerald Poyo is the author of several books, including Exile and Revolution: Jose
D. Poyo, Key West, and Cuban Independence (University Press of Florida, 2019) and Cuban
Catholics in the United States, 1960-1980 (University of Notre Dame Press, 2007). The O
Connor Chair for the Study of Hispanic Texas and the Southwest, he has worked as a professor
of Latin American and US Latino History at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas, since
The Health/Medicine Shelf
The Healthy Deviant
North Atlantic Books
2526 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-2607
9781623174255, $19.95, HC, 360pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In "The Healthy Deviant: A Rule Breaker's Guide to Being Healthy in an Unhealthy
World", health journalist Pilar Gerasimo points out that in an unhealthy society like ours,
becoming and staying a healthy person requires choices, habits, and attitudes so unconventional,
they amount to a form of positive social deviance.
After all, what kind of society makes being healthy so difficult that only a single-digit percentage
of the population can pull it off? The answer: a sick society. And within a sick society (one
where illness, anxiety, and depression are the prevailing norms) what does it mean to be one of
the few people to beat those unhealthy odds? It means bucking a lot of your society's norms and
rejecting a lot of its conventional health prescriptions. It also means acknowledging a disturbing
truth: If you aren't breaking the rules, you're probably breaking yourself.
That's the simple, provocative philosophy behind "The Healthy Deviant", one seasoned health
seeker's quest to re-frame healthy choices as a positive form of social rebellion. Combining
insights from sociology, psychology, evolutionary biology, functional medicine, and the school
of hard knocks, "The Healthy Deviant" is a category-defying book that rejects the idea that diet
and exercise alone can save us -- or are even the best places to start!
Instead, Gerasimo's 14-day Healthy-Deviant Adventure Program presents a series of powerful
perspective shifts and simple daily practices (plus illustrations, infographics, worksheets,
reminders, and progress tracking tools) that put the reader firmly back in charge of their own
Critique: Iconoclastic, thought-provoking, expertly written, organized and presented, "The
Healthy Deviant: A Rule Breaker's Guide to Being Healthy in an Unhealthy World" is a unique
and unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic library Self-Help/Self-
Improvement collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Healthy Deviant"
is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
Editorial Note: Pilar Gerasimo is an award-winning health journalist, the founding editor-in-chief
of Experience Life magazine (national paid circulation 750,000; estimated reach 3.2 million), and
the creative force behind the popular mobile app, "101 Revolutionary Ways to Be Healthy."
Gerasimo previously served as the top editor of Healthy Living for Huffington Post, where she
was also a longtime blogger. She also is the co-host of The Living Experiment podcast
(www.livingexperiment.com) with Whole30 founder Dallas Hartwig, which earned a top-five
spot on iTunes in its first week. A frequent speaker, workshop leader, and expert guest for radio
and TV, Gerasimo is currently serving as Chief Creative Officer for the Institute for Integrative
Nutrition. She has her own website at www.PilarGerasimo.com.
Eat, Move, Sleep, Repeat
c/o Cardinal Publishers Group
2402 North Shadeland Avenue, Suite A, Indianapolis, IN 46219
9781782551874, $29.95, PB, 400pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Exercise and nutrition programs designed to achieve weight loss and improve health
and fitness have received considerable attention in recent decades. Though a large number of
books have been published on the subject, the vast majority of these books focus on the latest fad
diet, usually alone or sometimes in combination with the latest fad exercise regimen, but they
rarely provide scientific, evidence-based reasons for their use.
"Eat, Move, Sleep, Repeat: Diet & Fitness for Living Long and Healthy" by Professor Michael
Gleeson is very different. It provides a scientific evidence-based rationale for selecting certain
diets and forms of physical activity that can help to achieve effective body fat and body weight
loss; explains how to develop a personalized weight loss plan; gives guidelines for a healthy
balanced diet; provides advice on how to improve sleep quality, avoid common illnesses, keep
senses, and organs healthy and how much exercise is needed to get health benefits.
Meant for every fitness goal, fitness level, and occupation, "Eat, Move, Sleep, Repeat: Diet &
Fitness for Living Long and Healthy" aims to provide a set of evidence-based guidelines on how
to establish a healthy lifestyle that will promote better quality of life with reduced risk of chronic
disease and extend longevity.
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "Eat,
Move, Sleep, Repeat: Diet & Fitness for Living Long and Healthy" provides a complete and
comprehensive course of practical instruction, exceptional insight, and directly applicable
information for life-style changes that will result in better health. Enhanced with the inclusion of
a two page Glossary and twenty-one pages of References, "Eat, Move, Sleep, Repeat: Diet &
Fitness for Living Long and Healthy" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional,
community, and academic library Health/Medicine collections and supplemental studies reading
Editorial Note: Michael Gleeson is the Emeritus Professor of Exercise Biochemistry in the
School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University (UK). He is a world
authority on exercise biochemistry, immunology, and nutrition and has published over 250
scientific papers, 30 book chapters, and has co-authored textbooks on exercise metabolism,
exercise immunology, and sport nutrition. He is the former president of the International Society
of Exercise and Immunology and a Fellow of the European College of Sport Science and the
British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences. He has been a member of several IOC expert
groups and contributed to scientific consensus papers on the overtraining syndrome, training load
and illness/injury risk, sport nutrition, immunonutrition, and exercise and immune function. He
has provided advice on minimizing risks of infection and nutritional strategies to improve
performance and maintain health for numerous professional sports clubs and organizations.
Following his retirement in 2016 at the age of 60, he has turned his attention to how ordinary
people can achieve optimal health and live healthier for longer.
Holistic Keto for Gut Health
Kristin Grayce McGary
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620559819, $16.99, PB, 272pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Holistic Keto for Gut Health: A Program for Resetting Your Metabolism" by Kristin
Grayce McGary is a step-by-step guide that directly and effectively addresses autoimmune and
other health challenges through creating and maintaining a healthy digestive system. The
"Holistic Keto for Gut Health" offers professionals and non-specialist general readers with a
therapeutic ketogenic gut repair program that differs from mainstream ketogenic diets because it
excludes inflammatory foods that cause gut damage, immune dysfunction, accelerated aging, and
"Holistic Keto for Gut Health" also provides a science-based explanation for why almost
everyone has some degree of gut damage and how this impacts your immune function and health
issues and details the right kind of lab tests needed for proper diagnosis of food sensitivities and
autoimmune disorders. Additionally "Holistic Keto for Gut Health" features dozens of palate
pleasing, holistically health, and easy-to-prepare recipes.
Critique: A complete and comprehensive DIY program for dealing with gastrointestinal issues,
"Holistic Keto for Gut Health: A Program for Resetting Your Metabolism" is unreservedly
recommended for community, college, and university library Health & Medicine collections and
supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of anyone
having to deal with gastrointestinal problems that "Holistic Keto for Gut Health" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).
Editorial Note: Health and lifestyle expert Kristin Grayce McGary is an internationally
recognized author and speaker. She is an authority on autoimmunity, functional blood chemistry
analysis, thyroid & gut health, alleviating pain, family wellness, extreme exhaustion, resolving
blocks to healing, and food as medicine. Kristin Grayce specializes in integrating mind, body and
spirit in healthcare through a uniquely individualized approach. She maintains a website at
Good Sugar, Bad Sugar
Christopher Vasey, N.D.
Healing Arts Press
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620558089, $14.99, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: One of the most valuable nutritive substances we can consume, sugar supplies the
essential energy the body and brain need to function. But there are good and bad, healthful and
harmful forms of sugar.
Good sugars are those found naturally occurring in foods such as fruits, honey, maple syrup, and
whole grains. These unrefined sugars not only provide energy but also trace elements, minerals,
and vitamins -- nutrients crucial to helping the body process sugar. Bad sugars are those that are
man-made or refined, such as white sugar, white flour, and artificial sweeteners. Pervasive in the
modern diet, bad sugars are difficult for the body to metabolize and lead to a host of health
issues, including tooth decay, type 2 diabetes, brain fog, mood swings, and weight gain.
"Good Sugar, Bad Sugar: How to Power Your Body and Brain with Healthy Energy" is practical
guide in which Christopher Vasey explains how to successfully replace bad sugars with good
sugars as well as how to reduce sugar cravings and break your sugar addiction. He reveals how
refined sugars not only cause well-known, sugar-related health issues such as obesity but also
lead to acid-alkaline imbalances, hyperactivity of glands and organs, chronic fatigue, nutrient
deficiencies, thickened blood, and mental disorders such as fits of rage, phobias, depression, and
confused states akin to dementia -- conditions uncommon before white sugar was introduced into
the world's food supply more than 200 years ago.
Vasey also describes how sugar, in the form of glucose, works in the body and explores the
difference between "fast" sugars and "slow" sugars, emphasizing the importance of slow sugars
for ensuring a constant energy level all day long. He looks at the glycemic index with regard to
good and bad, fast and slow sugars and the regulating role of proteins to slow down the body's
use of sugar. He explains how dehydration and imbalance in the body's pH level can trigger
bad-sugar dependency and provides steps to correct both issues.
Offering a path out of sugar addiction and easy steps to power your brain and body with healthy
energy, "Good Sugar Bad Sugar" gives the reader all the tools necessary to take ownership of
their own health.
Critique: Impressively and comprehensively informative, exceptionally well written, organized
and presented, "Good Sugar, Bad Sugar: How to Power Your Body and Brain with Healthy
Energy" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and
academic library Health & Medicine collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be
noted for medical students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the
subject that "Good Sugar, Bad Sugar" is also readily available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Christopher Vasey, N.D., is a naturopath specializing in detoxification and
rejuvenation. He is the author of The Acid-Alkaline Diet, The Naturopathic Way, The Water
Prescription, The Whey Prescription, and The Detox Mono Diet. He lives near Montreux,
The Gaming Shelf
Tricky Logic Puzzles for Adults
9781646111459, $12.99, PB, 180pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Stuffed full of clever and cunning challenges, this collection of logic puzzles for adults
is perfect for puzzlers looking to prove (and improve) their skill. Featuring a variety of puzzle
types (including Sudoku, Masyu, Logic Grids, and Nonograms) these easy-to-understand (but
tough-to-solve) puzzles will help keep your mind sharp as you remain engaged and entertained
for days to come.
"Tricky Logic Puzzles for Adults: 130+ Difficult Puzzles to Challenge Your Brain" is exciting
book of logic puzzles for adults that includes: A plethora of logic puzzles for adults all packed
into one portable package; True brain-busters that will stretch your abilities with puzzles that are
designed to be tough even for master puzzlers; A wealth of options to banish boredom with
several types of puzzles, including math-focused Calcudoku and innovative Cryptic Puzzles that
require both code breaking and creative thinking.
Critique: From fending off dementia to entertainingly passing the time, "Tricky Logic Puzzles for
Adults: 130+ Difficult Puzzles to Challenge Your Brain" is an ideal and unreservedly
recommended resource to give mental muscles a real workout and a genuine treat for anyone who
enjoys deftly crafted cerebral challenges!
Editorial Note: Steven Clontz is a mathematician, professor, and puzzle designer. His puzzles
and games have been featured by the National Museum of Mathematics and the international
puzzle events DASH and Puzzled Pint. He also serves as director of Mathematical Puzzle
Programs, which has designed and organized puzzle events at college campuses and math camps
around the world.
The Parenting Shelf
Raising the Challenging Child
Karen Doyle Buckwalter, Debbie Reed, and Wendy Lyons Sunshine
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780800735241, $19.99, HC, 272pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Whether a parent is having to deal with an all-out tantrum at the mall, or a child who
won't take out their earbuds to listen to you, or children who is failing at school and won't do
their homework, or a teenager who constantly breaks curfew, or having a call from the police,
whatever the issue is, "Raising the Challenging Child" will show what can be done to resolve the
Building on their work at Chaddock, a nonprofit organization that has worked with some of the
most challenging kids in the nation for more than 150 years, the three authors of "Raising the
Challenging Child" effectively collaborative to empower frustrated parents with practical tips and
real-life examples on how to: Minimize behavioral meltdowns; Reduce conflict; Increase
cooperation; Promote healthy attachment; Improve family relationships.
The strategies they share work both for the child who is going through a difficult phase brought
on by life disruption or trauma, and for the child who faces chronic struggles. Parents, teachers,
and those who work with children and youth will find positive, practical steps they can start
taking today in order to understand and address the baffling behavior of the child under their
Critique: Expertly and effectively organized and presented, "Raising the Challenging Child: How
to Minimize Meltdowns, Reduce Conflict, and Increase Cooperation" is impressively 'user
friendly' in tone and commentary. An ideal instructional guide that is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), "Raising the Challenging Child" is an especially and
unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library
Parenting collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
Editorial Note: Karen Doyle Buckwalter, MSW, LCSW, is director of program strategy at
Chaddock in Quincy, Illinois. She serves on the board of directors' advisory board of the
Theraplay(R) Institute in Chicago and has trained and consulted at family behavioral health
organizations and youth foster care centers in the US, the UK, Australia, Denmark, and beyond.
In addition to her degrees, Karen completed a two-year marriage and family therapy training
program and 500-plus hours in diverse modalities including Theraplay(R), Trust-Based
Relational Intervention (TBRI), and other attachment, trauma, and developmental
Debbie Reed is president and CEO of Chaddock. Currently engaged in doctoral studies, she has
also played a leadership role in child- and family-serving organizations at the state and national
levels, including the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services' Child Welfare
Advisory Committee, the CEO council of the internationally recognized Alliance for Strong
Families and Communities, and the national board of the United Methodist Association of Health
and Welfare Ministries. In addition, she trains and consults with organizations on topics related
to nonprofit leadership.
Wendy Lyons Sunshine is an award-winning writer and coauthor of The Connected Child, with
over a quarter million copies sold. She is an editorial consultant for leading nonprofits and has
written for media outlets including Health, AARP magazine, Scientific American, American
Way, and the New York Times.
The General Fiction Shelf
Oona Out of Order
c/o Macmillan Books
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781250236609, $26.99, HC, 352pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It's New Year's Eve 1982, and Oona Lockhart has her whole life before her. At the
stroke of midnight she will turn nineteen, and the year ahead promises to be one of consequence.
Should she go to London to study economics, or remain at home in Brooklyn to pursue her
passion for music and be with her boyfriend?
As the countdown to the New Year begins, Oona faints and awakens thirty-two years in the
future in her fifty-one-year-old body. Greeted by a friendly stranger in a beautiful house she's told
is her own, Oona learns that with each passing year she will leap to another age at random. And
so begins Margarita Montimore's novel, "Oona Out of Order".
Hopping through decades, pop culture fads, and much-needed stock tips, Oona is still a young
woman on the inside but ever changing on the outside. Who will she be next year?
Philanthropist? Club Kid? World traveler? Wife to a man she's never met?
Critique: A unique, deftly crafted, and inherently fascinating novel by an author with a genuine
flair for an unusual narrative storytelling style, "Oona Out of Order" by Margarita Montimore
will prove to be an uncommonly popular addition to both community and academic library
Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Oona Out of Order" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99) and as a
complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250260956, $49.99, CD).
Beyond the Sea
Farrar, Straus & Giroux
175 Varick Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10014
9780374112431, $25.00, HC, 192pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Beyond the Sea" by Paul Lynch tells the story of two South American fishermen,
Bolivar and Hector, who go to sea before a catastrophic storm. Needing cash, Bolivar convinces
his boss to let him fish despite the weather. His fishing partner is nowhere to be found, so he
brings Hector, a sullen and inexperienced teenager. The storm arrives, and though the two men
survive, they've been blown hundreds of miles out in the Pacific Ocean with little hope for
Coming to terms with their new reality, they are forced to accept their separation from the
modern world, their sudden and inescapable intimacy, and the possibilities and limits of faith,
hope, and survival. As the days go by, they grapple with the mistakes of their pasts, the severity
of their present, and the uncertainty of their future. And though Bolivar and Hector fight to
maintain their will to live, nothing in the barren seascape or in their minds promises that they will
Critique: A deftly crafted novel that is based partly on true events, "Beyond the Sea" showcases
author Paul Lynch's impressive gift for the kind of narrative prose that fully captures the readers
total attention from first page to last. A compelling and unreservedly recommended addition to
community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted
for personal reading lists that "Beyond the Sea' is also available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Into the Fire
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781250120458, $27.99, HC, 400pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Evan Smoak lives by his own code. Once he was known as Orphan X. Trained as an
off-the-books government assassin and spoken about only in whispers, Evan Smoak was one of
the most talented - and most feared - men in the Program. But he broke free and reinvented
himself as The Nowhere Man, a figure shrouded in mystery, known for helping the truly
If anyone is truly desperate, it's Max Merriweather. Max is at the end of his rope. His cousin has
been brutally murdered, leaving Max an envelope that contains nothing but a mysterious key.
However, someone really wants that key, badly enough that Max - and anyone he turns to - is in
deadly danger. What seems like a simple job for The Nowhere Man turns out to be anything but.
Behind every threat he takes out, a deadlier one emerges and Evan Smoak must put himself in
greater danger than ever before as he heads once more Into The Fire.
Critique: A deftly written and inherently riveting read from cover to cover, "Into The Fire"
showcases author Gregg Hurwitz's especially effective narrative driven storytelling style and is
the stuff from which blockbuster movies are made!. While an especially and unreservedly
recommended addition to community library suspense/thriller collections, it should be noted for
personal reading lists that "Into The Fire" is also available in a mass market paperback edition
(9781250120465, $9.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), and as a complete and
unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781522649779, $29.99, CD).
The Big One
Daniel & Daniel Publishers
PO Box 2790, McKinleyville, CA 95519
9781564746160, $15.95, PB, 264pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Eddie has always lived for fishing trips with his grandfather, idyllic
day-long floats on the sweet waters of their home river. But now Gramps, the charismatic owner
of a local sporting goods store, has himself been impacted by dementia: he's become obsessed
with catching the biggest fish in the river, and he's scaring everyone in Eddie's life half to
This familial earthquake spawns numerous aftershocks, some comic: the unfortunate incident of
the deceased carp; how it comes about that Eddie's dad throws up at his mom's wedding. And
some dark: the climactic 60-mile river journey (one voyager perhaps mad, the other perhaps
kidnapped) launches deep in the night, carrying Eddie and his grandfather inexorably to a final,
fateful encounter with the Big One.
Critique: A unique, deftly crafted, and impressively reader engaging novel by an author with a
distinctive and effective narrative storytelling style, "The Big One" is an extraordinary and
unreservedly recommended addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction
collections. One of those novels that will linger in the mind and memory, it should be noted for
personal reading lists that "The Big One" is also readily available in a digital book format
Daughter of Rome
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
9781496428707, $25.99, HC, 416pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When the daughter of a prominent Roman general meets a disinherited Jewish
immigrant, neither one can dream of God's plan to transform them into the most influential
couple of the early church. Nor can they anticipate the mountains that will threaten to bury
Their courtship unwittingly shadowed by murder and betrayal, Priscilla and Aquila slowly work
to build a community of believers, while their lives grow increasingly complicated thanks to a
shaggy dog, a mysterious runaway, and a ruthless foe desperate for love. But when they're
banished from their home by a capricious emperor, they must join forces with an unusual rabbi
named Paul and fight to turn treachery into redemption.
Critique: With her meticulous research and vividly detail narrative storytelling style, "Daughter
of Rome" by accomplished novelist Tessa Afshar is both an emotive biblical love story and an
inherently fascinating journey through world of first-century Rome and the city of Corinth. While
certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Historical
Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Daughter of Rome" is also
readily available in a paperback edition (9781496428714, $15.99) and in a digital book format
The Warsaw Protocol
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781250140302, $28.99, HC, 384pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: One by one the seven precious relics of the Arma Christi, the weapons of Christ, are
disappearing from sanctuaries across the world. After former Justice Department agent Cotton
Malone witnesses the theft of one of them, he learns from his old boss, Stephanie Nelle, that a
private auction is about to be held where incriminating information on the president of Poland
will be offered to the highest bidder -- blackmail that both the United States and Russia want, but
for vastly different reasons.
The price of admission to that auction is one of the relics, so Malone is first sent to a castle in
Poland to steal the Holy Lance, a thousand-year-old spear sacred to not only Christians but to the
Polish people, and then on to the auction itself. But nothing goes as planned and Malone is thrust
into a bloody battle between three nations over information that, if exposed, could change the
balance of power in Europe.
From the tranquil canals of Bruges, to the elegant rooms of Wawel Castle, to deep beneath the
earth into an ancient Polish salt mine, Malone is caught in the middle of a deadly war -- the
outcome of which turns on a secret known as the Warsaw Protocol.
Critique: Another original, riveting and deftly crafted action/adventure novel by Steve Berry,
"The Warsaw Protocol" is the stuff of which blockbuster movies are made. While certain to be an
immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary General Fiction
collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of the growing legions of Steve Berry
fans that "The Warsaw Protocol" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
$14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Macmillan Audio, 9781250260857,
The Leonardo Gulag
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
9781608093816, $26.95, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Set in Stalin's Russia of 1950, "The Leonardo Gulag" is the story of brilliant young
artist Pasha Kalmenov who is arrested and sent without trial to a forced-labor camp in the Arctic
gulag. But this is a camp like no other. Although conditions are harsh and degrading, the
prisoners are not to be worked to death in a coal mine or on a construction project. Their task is
to forge the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci.
There is a high price to be paid for failing to reach the required standard of perfection;
particularly as the camp commandant has his own secret agenda. When the executions begin,
Pasha realizes that only his artistic talent can protect him. But for how long? Worse horrors are to
come -- if he survives them, will life still be worth living?
"The Leonardo Gulag" journeys to the sinister heart of Stalin's regime of terror, where paranoia
reigns and no one is safe, and in which the whims of one man determine the fate of millions.
Ultimately, author Kevin Doherty presents a moving portrait of the indomitability of the human
Critique: An inherently fascinating read, "The Leonardo Gulag" showcases author Kevin
Doherty's genuine and impressive flair for originality and the kind of narrative storytelling style
that completely engages the reader's total attention from beginning to end. While an especially
recommended addition to community library general fiction collections, it should be noted for
personal reading lists that "The Leonard Gulag" is also readily available in a digital book format
Her Quiet Revolution
Shadow Mountain Publishing
P.O. Box 30178, Salt Lake City, Utah 84130-0178
9781629726090, $24.99, HC, 400pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When her baby sister and her father die on the pioneer trail to Salt Lake City, Mattie is
determined to become a healer. But her chosen road isn't an easy one as she faces roadblocks
common to Victorian women. Fighting gender bias, geographic location, and mountains of
self-doubt, Mattie pushed herself to become more than the world would have her be, only to have
everything she's accomplished called into question when she meets the love of her life: Angus
Cannon, a prominent Mormon leader and polygamist.
From the American Frontier to European coasts, Martha's path takes her on a life journey that is
almost stranger than fiction as she learns to navigate a world run by men. But heartache isn't far
behind, and she learns that knowing who you are and being willing to stand up for what you
believe in is what truly defines a person.
"Her Quiet Revolution" by Marianne Monson is the story of one woman's determination to
change her world, and the path she forged for others to follow.
Critique: Although a deftly written work of fiction, author Marianne Monson's new novel, "Her
Quiet Revolution" is based on the life of Martha Maria 'Mattie' Hughes Cannon (July 1, 1857 -
July 10, 1932) who was a frontier doctor, a polygamist wife, and the first female Utah state
senator. An inherently fascinating read from beginning to end, "Her Quiet Revolution" is an
especially recommended addition to community library general fiction collections. It should be
noted for personal reading lists that "Her Quiet Revolution" is also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $19.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (9781629726175,
Man on Edge
110 East 59th Street, 22th Fl., New York, NY 10022
9780727889140, $27.99, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Trauma surgeon Carrie Walker is taken aback when her estranged uncle makes contact
out of the blue. Senior Russian naval officer Artyom Semenov claims to be in possession of an
explosive piece of information which he is offering to share with the West. But can he be
Traveling to Moscow undercover to meet with Semenov, Carrie finds herself stranded when the
carefully-planned operation goes catastrophically awry. In grave danger, there's only one person
she can turn to for help: her former fiance, Major Rake Ozenna of the Alaska National
Aware how vital it is that he reaches Carrie before others do, Rake knows he's pitted against a
powerful and lethal enemy. But is it a rogue agent or the Russian state? As preparations gather
pace for a high-profile NATO exercise off the Norwegian coast, Rake must act fast if he is to
prevent a global catastrophe.
Critique: A deftly crafted and reader riveting novel of Cold War era espionage and diplomacy by
assassination, "Man On Edge" aptly showcases author Humphrey Hawksley's genuine flair for
narrative storytelling. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library
suspense/thriller collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Man On Edge" is
also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).
The Time of Jacob's Trouble
Harvest House Publishers
PO Box 41210, Eugene, OR 97404-0322
9780736978750, $15.99, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A typical day at work turns into a nightmare for Emma Grady when her favorite patient
and several colleagues vanish in front of her. Fear turns to chaos as Emma begins the frantic race
from Brooklyn to Queens, anxious to discover if her boyfriend is safe. Subways are closed,
graves are open, and countless people have inexplicably disappeared. Mayhem erupts as terror
grips the residents of New York City.
What could make so many vanish in a moment? And not just in New York, but all over the
globe? Emma wonders if this is the predicted end of the world and begins a desperate search for
Critique: One riveting, page-turning, impressively crafted novel, "The Time Of Jacob's Trouble"
by Donna Vanlier propels the reader on a compelling journey from New York City to Israel, and
in the final chapters, the author deftly turns to the pages of the Bible, where is revealed all that
God has made known to us "the end from the beginning" and that things aren't spiraling
downward but are actually looking up during the 'last days'. While very highly recommended,
especially for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that
"The Time Of Jacob's Trouble" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99)
and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781690587163, $22.99,
The Romantic Fiction Shelf
T. I. Lowe
Tyndale House Publishers
351 Executive Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188
9781496440402, $7.99, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Free-spirited Opal Gilbert seems to have everything she needs to keep living a happy
life in Sunset Cove as she refurbishes vintage furniture to sell at her funky ocean-side boutique,
Bless This Mess. Until Lincoln Cole, a new-to-town ex-Marine nursing deep wounds and
harboring hurts he can't seem to shake, wanders into her shop. Opal knows a person in need when
she sees one and offers Lincoln a job in her workshop. But the brooding former soldier has no
interest in Opal's offer. Thanks but no thanks.
But then a hurricane strikes, damaging Bless This Mess. Feeling guilty for how he treated Opal,
Lincoln decides to help her repair the store. And soon it becomes clear Opal wants to restore not
only her business, but also help Lincoln find restoration. As much as Lincoln tries to keep her at
arm's length, Opal's well-meaning meddling begins to heal his wounds -- and capture his heart
almost before he realizes it.
Critique: A nicely crafted and thoroughly enjoyable read from first page to last, "Beach Haven" is
certain to be an enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Romance
Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Beach Haven" is also
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.59) and as a complete and unabridged audio book
(Oasis Audio, 9781640913820, $14.99, CD).
The Last Real Cowboy
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781250295279, $7.99, PB, 384pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Perennial good girl Amanda Kittredge knows that her longtime crush on Brady Everett
was never really supposed to go anywhere. But when Brady comes home during Amanda's first
attempt at independence, well, who better to teach her about rebellion than her older brother's
bad-boy best friend?
Brady's plans did not include being forced to work the family homestead for a year -- and yet,
here he is. And, to make matters worse, his best friend's innocent little sister is making a menace
of herself in the most grown-up, tempting ways. When Amanda begs Brady to teach her about
men, he knows he should refuse. But could Brady's greatest temptation be his salvation?
Critique: A thoroughly entertaining and deftly crafted romance novel by an expert in the genre,
Caitlin Crews' "The Last Real Cowboy" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular
addition to community library Contemporary Romance Fiction collections. It should be noted for
the personal reading lists of all dedicated romance fans that "The Last Real Cowboy" is also
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
Where the Stars Meet the Sea
9781524410414, $15.99, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Juliet Graham fervently counts the days until her twenty-first birthday, when she can
claim the inheritance that will grant her the freedom she has always craved and the guardianship
of her younger brother. Until then, she is trapped under her aunt Agnes's domineering will. When
forced to accompany the family to a house party at Shaldorn Castle, Juliet's only objective is to
keep to herself. That is, until a chance encounter with a boorish stranger stirs up an unexpected
whirlwind of emotions in her.
Thrown off-balance, Juliet does the unthinkable: loses her temper and insults the man who turns
out to be her unwilling host, the Duke of Halstead. Fully expecting to be sent away, Juliet is
surprised when the brusque and callous duke instead takes an interest in her.
Drawn to the duke in unguarded moments, Juliet finds herself more and more intrigued by the
man who shuns Society's rules as completely as she does, and over the next few weeks, their
unlikely friendship deepens into a connection neither expected.
But even as Juliet comes to recognize her true feelings, her scheming aunt issues an ultimatum
that threatens the future she was just beginning to hope for. Juliet must choose: either break the
promise she made to herself years ago, or lose the man who has captured her heart and soul.
Critique: A deftly written, inherently entertaining, reader engaging historical romance by an
author with a complete mastery of the genre, "Where The Stars Meet The Sea" by Heidi Kimball
will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Romance
Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated romance
enthusiasts that "Where The Stars Meet The Sea" is also available in a digital book format
(Kindle, $5.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (9781524410421, $27.99,
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
The Colours Of Murder
Charnwood Large Print
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444842500, $37.00, HC, Large Print, 366pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Flirtatious American blonde Miss Hailey Dune should never have accepted a summer
weekend invitation to Fontaburn Hall. But when the Honourable Archibald Wellingham's
gentrified house party are woken in the early hours of Sunday morning, it's too late: Miss Dune's
blood is on their hands.
With the aid of well-mannered Detective Chief Inspector Reynolds, intelligent Sergeant Ayari
and loyal friend Dr Toby Cropper, Susie Mahl, on a timely commission drawing six racehorses
nearby, seizes the opportunity to play detective for a second time. Her inquisitive nature, tenacity
for truth and artist's eye for detail make her ideally suited to the task in hand. But is she getting
carried away by her previous triumph - even to the extent of endangering her reputation and her
burgeoning relationship with Toby?
Critique: A simply riveting read from first page to last, this large print edition of author Ali
Carter's "The Colour Of Murder" is a treat for all dedicated mystery buffs and will prove to be an
enduringly popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections.
Death with a Dark Red Rose
Berkley Prime Crime
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
9780451491930, $7.99, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Lena is starting to feel like having it all may actually be possible! She and suspense
novelist Camilla Graham are busily plotting their next novel and she's got a brand-new diamond
ring on her finger thanks to her fiance, Sam West. The only blot on her Blue Lake life is a strange
new corporation that has come to town called Plastisource. They seem to be intent on gobbling
up prime real estate and changing the landscape of Lena's lovely adopted home.
When she and Sam get a call from their good friend (and Blue Lake detective) Doug saying that
his girlfriend (and Lena's pal Belinda) isn't answering her phone and missed a date with him, they
all head out to her home. The trio is shocked to discover that Belinda's purse and phone are at her
house, along with a single red rose on her countertop -- but Belinda herself is missing. Has she
been abducted? Could the strange new corporation play a role in her disappearance? Lena is
determined to find out and rescue her friend because she knows that the truth can be stranger and
much more deadly than fiction!
Critique: Another deftly scripted and reader riveting mystery novel by an accomplished master of
the genre, "Death with a Dark Rose" by Julia Buckley will prove to be an enduringly popular
addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal
reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Death with a Dark Rose" is also available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $7.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Tantor Audio,
9781977353214, $29.99, CD).
The Bramble And The Rose
W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9780393249668, $25.95, HC, 208pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A headless stranger is found in the woods of Wild Thyme, a small town in the Endless
Mountains of Pennsylvania. All signs point to a man-killing bear, and Officer Henry Farrell
would just as soon leave this hunt to the Game Commission. But doubts arise when he discovers
the victim was a retired investigator.
What drew the investigator to sleepy Wild Thyme? Before Henry can find answers, his own
nephew disappears into the hills. Then an old flame dies under suspicious circumstances, leaving
Henry as the prime suspect. Torn between protecting his family and clearing his name, Henry
fights to protect the most he's ever had to lose!
Critique: A deftly crafted noir-style suspense thriller by a master of the genre, "The Bramble And
The Rose" by Tom Bouman is a simply riveting read from cover to cover. Certain to be an
immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary
Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated
mystery buffs that "The Bramble And The Rose" is also available in a digital book format
(Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (9781684577170, HighBridge
Audio, 9781684577170, $29.99, CD).
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas, 14th fl., New York, NY 10020
9781982101985, $27.00, HC, 352pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Audrey Miller has an enviable new job at the Smithsonian, a body by reformer Pilates,
an apartment door with a broken lock, and hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers to bear
witness to it all. Having just moved to Washington, DC, Audrey busies herself impressing her
new boss, interacting with her online fan base, and staving off a creepy upstairs neighbor with the
help of the only two people she knows in town: an ex-boyfriend she can't stay away from and a
sorority sister with a high-powered job and a mysterious past.
But Audrey's faulty door may be the least of her security concerns. Unbeknownst to her, her
move has brought her within striking distance of someone who's obsessively followed her social
media presence for years -- from her first WordPress blog to her most recent Instagram Story. No
longer content to simply follow her carefully curated life from a distance, he consults the dark
web for advice on how to make Audrey his and his alone. In his quest to win her heart, nothing is
off-limits -- and nothing is private.
Critique: An original and simply riveting thriller of a read made all the more believable by
today's unmonitored and increasingly vulnerable social media culture, "Follow Me" by author
Kathleen Barber is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library
Contemporary Suspense/Thriller collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Follow Me" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a complete and
unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781797104010, $39.99, CD).
The Body Outside the Kremlin
James L. May
PO Box 803, Encino, CA 91436
9781883285845, $28.00, HC, 408pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Solovetsky occupies the island site of a former monastery in the White Sea. Here,
hundreds of miles from civilization, and with a skeleton crew of secret-policemen in charge,
some prisoners are consigned to all kinds of forced labor and others sit at comfortable desks in
administrative or cultural positions.
With the brutal winter fast approaching, Tolya Bogomolov, a young mathematician serving a
three-year sentence, hopes an acquaintance he's been cultivating will lead to a less brutal work
assignment, maybe even a little more bread in his ration. Knowing Gennady Antonov holds a
privileged position restoring the monks' seized collection of icons ought to improve Tolya's odds
of reassignment. But when Antonov's body is discovered floating frozen in the bay, their
connection turns dangerous.
At first the authorities question Tolya, but then he's mystified when they assign him to assist the
elderly detective investigating the case -- but better to find the real killer than have the murder
pinned on him. Digging into Antonov's secrets turns up strange expropriations of the museum's
icons, rumors of an escape conspiracy among White Army officers, and an illicit affair with a
female prisoner who won't tell all she knows. To avoid becoming the murderer's next victim,
Tolya must defy Solovetsky's unforgiving regime and make ruthless use of his fellow prisoners.
Putting his story to paper at last means reckoning the true cost of his survival.
Critique: An original, extraordinary, and absorbing mystery, "The Body Outside The Kremlin" by
novelist James L. May is a simply riveting read from first page to last. With its deftly scripted
and unexpected plot twists and turns, "The Body Outside The Kremlin" will prove to be an
immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary
Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated
mystery buffs that "The Body Outside The Kremlin" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $9.99).
Don Noble, editor
232 Third Street, #A115, Brooklyn, NY 11215
9781617758089, $15.95, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: With the publication of "Alabama Noir", Akashic Books continues its award-winning
series of original noir anthologies which was originally launched in 2004 with "Brooklyn Noir".
Expertly compiled and edited by Don Noble, "Alabama Noir" is comprised of all new stories,
with each one being set in a distinct location within the geographic area of the state of
"Alabama Noire" is comprised of brand-new stories by: Ace Atkins, Tom Franklin, Anita Miller
Garner, Suzanne Hudson, Kirk Curnutt, Wendy Reed, Carolyn Haines, Anthony Grooms,
Michelle Richmond, Winston Groom, Ravi Howard, Thom Gossom Jr., Brad Watson, Daniel
Wallace, D. Winston Brown, and Marlin Barton.
Critique: An especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic
library Mystery/Suspense collections, "Alabama Noir" is also readily available for the personal
reading lists of all dedicated suspense/thriller fans in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).
Editorial Note: Don Noble is the editor of twelve volumes, three of which are collections of short
fiction by Alabamians. He has received a regional Emmy Award for achievement in
screenwriting and is the recipient of the state prizes for literary scholarship and service to the
humanities, as well as the Governor's Arts Award. Noble is host of the TV literary interview
show Bookmark with Don Noble and reviews books weekly for public radio.
Cross Her Heart
9781542006941, $24.95, HC, 332pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: For more than twenty-five years, Philadelphia homicide detective Bree Taggert has
tucked away the nightmarish childhood memories of her parents' murder-suicide. Then her
younger sister, Erin, is killed in a crime that echoes that tragic night: innocent witnesses and a
stormy marriage that ended in gunfire. There's just one chilling difference. Erin's husband, Justin,
Bree knows how explosive the line between love and hate can be, yet the evidence against her
troubled brother-in-law isn't adding up. Teaming up with Justin's old friend, former sheriff's
investigator and K-9 handler Matt Flynn, Bree vows to uncover the secrets of her sister's life and
death, as she promised Erin's children. But as her investigation unfolds, the danger hits close to
home. Once again, Bree's family is caught in a death grip. And this time, it could be fatal for
Critique: A deftly crafted suspense thriller of a novel by an author with a very special narrative
storytelling style, "Cross Her Heart" by Melinda Leigh will prove to be a welcome and
enduringly popular addition to community library Suspense/Thriller collections. It should be
noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery buffs that "Cross Her Heart" is also
available in a paperback edition (9781542006927, $12.95), in a digital book format (Kindle,
$5.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781799726944,
A Reasonable Doubt
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781250117540, $27.99, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Robin Lockwood is a young criminal defense attorney and partner in a prominent law
firm in Portland, Oregon. A former MMA fighter and Yale Law graduate, she joined the firm of
legal legend Regina Barrister not long before Regina was forced into retirement by early onset
One of Regina's former clients, Robert Chesterfield, shows up in the law office with an odd
request -- he's seeking help from his old attorney in acquiring patent protection for an illusion.
Chesterfield is a professional magician of some renown and he has a major new trick he's about
to debut. This is out of the scope of the law firm's expertise, but when Robin Lockwood looks
into his previous relationship with the firm, she learns that twenty years ago he was arrested for
two murders, one attempted murder, and was involved in the potentially suspicious death of his
very rich wife. At the time, Regina Barrister defended him with ease, after which he resumed his
career as a magician in Las Vegas.
Now, decades later, he debuts his new trick -- only to disappear at the end. He's a man with more
than one dark past and many enemies -- is his disappearance tied to one of the many people who
have good reason to hate him? Was he killed and his body disposed of, or did he use his
considerable skills to engineer his own disappearance?
Robin Lockwood must unravel the tangled skein of murder and bloody mischief to learn how it
all ties together.
Critique: Another simply riveting read from cover to cover by a master of the genre, "A
Reasonable Doubt" by Phillip Margoline once again showcases the author's impressive knack for
originality and a especially distinctive and fully reader engaging narrative storytelling style.
While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense
collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated mystery buffs that "A
Reasonable Doubt" is also available in a mass market paper back edition (9781250118882,
$9.99), in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book
(Macmillan Audio, 9781250260796, $29.99, CD).
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
A Conjuring of Assassins
120 Broadway, 22nd Floor, New York, NY 10271
9781250311023, $17.99, PB, 480pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Romy and her three partners in crime (a sword master, a silversmith, and her thieving
brother) have embraced their roles as the Shadow Lord's agents, using their forbidden magic to
accomplish tasks his other spies cannot. Now, the Shadow Lord needs them to infiltrate the home
of the Mercediaran Ambassador and prevent him from obtaining information that would lead to
all-out war with Cantagna's most dangerous enemy. To succeed, they will have to resurrect
long-buried secrets, partner with old enemies, and once again rely on the very magics that could
get them sentenced to death.
Critique: The sequel to sword & sorcery fantasy author Cate Glass's novel "An Illusion of
Thieves" (9781250311009, $16.99, PB), "A Conjuring of Assassins" continues to showcase her
originality and complete mastery of the genre. While unreservedly recommended for community
library Fantasy Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all
dedicated fantasy fans that "A Conjuring of Assassins" is also available in a digital book format
Light Of Impossible Stars
Gareth L. Powell
9781785655241, $14.95, PB, 400pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Low on fuel and hunted by the Fleet of Knives, the sentient warship Trouble Dog
follows a series of clues that lead her to the Intrusion -- an area of space where reality itself
becomes unstable. But with human civilization crumbling, what difference can one battered old
ship have against an invincible armada?
Meanwhile, Cordelia Pa and her step-brother eke out their existence salvaging artefacts from an
alien city. But when Cordelia starts hearing the city's song in her head, strange things start
happening around her. What extraordinary affinity does she have for this abandoned technology,
and how can it possibly help the Trouble Dog?
Critique: With "Light Of Impossible Stars", award-winning science fiction author Gareth L.
Powell delivers an explosive conclusion to his epic 'Embers of War' trilogy. With his genuine
flair for originality and his impressively engaging narrative storytelling style, Powell's "Light Of
Impossible Stars" is unreservedly recommended for community library Science Fiction &
Fantasy collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of Powell's growing legion of
fans and all dedicated SciFi action/adventure fans that "Light Of Impossible Stars" is also
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Gareth L. Powell is a bestselling speculative fiction author from the UK. He has
twice won the BSFA Award for Best Novel, and has been a finalist for both the Locus Awards in
the US and the Seiun Awards in Japan. His novels and novellas have been published in the UK
and US by Solaris, Titan Books, and Tor.com Publishing. Gareth has also written for The
Guardian, The Irish Times, 2000 AD, Interzone, Clarkesworld, Shoreline of Infinity and SFX. He
has penned scripts for corporate training videos, and is currently at work on a screenplay.
Gwendy's Magic Feather
Hodder & Stoughton
c/o Cemetery Dance Publications
9781529339642, $25.00, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In Washington D.C., thirty-seven-year-old Gwendy Peterson couldn't be more different
from the self-conscious teenaged girl who once spent a summer running up Castle Rock's Suicide
Stairs. That same summer, she was entrusted (or some might say cursed) with the extraordinary
button box by a mysterious stranger in a black suit. The seductive and powerful box offered
Gwendy small gifts in exchange for its care until the stranger eventually returned, promising
Gwendy she'd never see the box again.
Gwendy has never told a soul about the button box -- not even her husband. But one day the
button box shows up without warning and without the man in the black suit to explain what she
is supposed to do with it. The curious reappearance of the box, along with the troubling
disappearances in Castle Rock, leads Gwendy home again -- where she just might be able to help
rescue the missing girls and stop a dangerous man before he does something too terrible to
Critique: Very highly recommended for personal reading lists and community library Fantasy
Fiction collections, "Gwendy's Magic Feather" by Richard Chizmar is the sequel to "Gwndy's
Button Box" and another deftly crafted occult thriller of a novel by an author with a genuine flair
for originality and the kind of narrative storytelling style that rivets the readers rapt attention
from first page to last. It should be noted that "Wendy's Magic Feather" is also readily available
in a paperback edition (Gallery Books, 9781982139728, $15.99), in a digital book format
(Kindle, $6.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio,
9781797101804, $29.99, CD).
Editorial Note: Richard Chizmar is the author of Gwendy's Button Box (which we co-wrote with
Stephen King) and A Long December, which was nominated for numerous awards. His fiction
has appeared in dozens of publications, including Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and multiple
editions of The Year's 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories. He has won two World Fantasy
awards, four International Horror Guild awards, and the HWA's Board of Trustee's award. His
third short story collection, A Long December, was recently published to starred reviews in both
Kirkus and Booklist, and was featured in Entertainment Weekly. Chizmar's work has been
translated into many languages throughout the world, and he has appeared at numerous
conferences as a writing instructor, guest speaker, panelist, and guest of honor. He maintains
author website at www.RichardChizmar.com
The Christian Studies Shelf
3 Words That Will Change Your Life
Bethany House Publishers
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton Road, Ada, MI 49301
9780764235283, $15.99, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The premise and promise of "3 Words That Will Change Your Life: The Secret to
Experiencing the Joy of God's Presence" is that although it may sound obvious at first, but truly
understanding three little words, 'God is here', is the key to more happiness, less boredom, more
rest, less rush, more love, less drama, more peace, less fear.
A deeply satisfying life doesn't require a sabbatical, a mission trip, or a New Year's resolution.
As long as God is glorious enough and near enough, you can enjoy the life that is truly life -- not
just the cheap substitutes we've settled for.
"3 Words That Will Change Your Life" will help Christians to move from just enjoying the good
moments in life to worshiping the God who is right here, right now. This movement will
exponentially increase happiness, peace, and contentment. It will allow us to shake off the guilt
and shame of sin and see ourselves as God sees us by learning how to recognize God's impact on
our lives and find the joy he's been waiting to give us.
Critique: An inspiring, memorable, and life/spirituality enhancing read from cover to cover, "3
Words That Will Change Your Life: The Secret to Experiencing the Joy of God's Presence" is an
extraordinary and highly recommended read for all members of the Christian community
regardless of denominational affiliations. It should be noted for personal reading lists that ""3
Words That Will Change Your Life: The Secret to Experiencing the Joy of God's Presence" is
also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Mike Novotny is a copastor at The CORE, is the lead speaker for the media
ministry Time of Grace, and serves as the chairman of Conquerors Through Christ.
Courageous: 10 Strategies for Thriving in a Hostile World
Dr. Robert Jeffress
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780801075391, $22.99, HC, 272pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Christians face relentless attacks from an ungodly culture, a formidable adversary, and
our own fallen natures. Yet we cannot afford to surrender to these very real enemies.
Just as survivalists use 10 specific strategies to overcome threatening situations, "Courageous"
explains 10 biblical strategies for surviving (and thriving) in a world that is hostile to the
Christian faith. "Courageous" is a clarion call for Christians to boldly live out their faith.
For those Christians who fell that their faith is under attack, for those Christians who are
struggling with the temptation to follow the crowd despite biblical teaching to the contrary, and
for those Christians who are just feeling weary, the 10 strategies in "Courageous" will provide
fresh courage, a renewed enthusiasm, and an enduring hope.
Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "Courageous: 10 Strategies for Thriving in a Hostile World" is
unreservedly recommended reading for all members of the Christian community regardless of
denominational affiliations. While highly recommended for church and seminary library
collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists that "Courageous: 10 Strategies for
Thriving in a Hostile World" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
Editorial Note: Dr. Robert Jeffress is senior pastor of the 14,000-member First Baptist Church in
Dallas, Texas, and is a Fox News contributor. His daily radio program, Pathway to Victory, is
heard on more than 900 stations nationwide, and his weekly television program is seen on
thousands of cable systems and stations in the United States and in 195 countries around the
world. Known for his bold, biblical stands on cultural issues, Jeffress has been interviewed on
more than 3,000 radio and TV programs. He is also the author of Not All Roads Lead to Heaven,
A Place Called Heaven, and Choosing the Extraordinary Life.
A Profound Ignorance
Baylor University Press
One Bear Place, #97363, Waco, TX 76798-7363
9781481310796, $49.95, HC, 463pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Pneumatology refers to a particular discipline within Christian theology that focuses on
the study of the Holy Spirit. In "A Profound Ignorance: Modern Pneumatology and Its
Anti-modern Redemption", Ephraim Radner (Professor of Historical Theology in Wycliffe
College at the University of Toronto) traces the development of pneumatology as a modern
discipline and its responses to experiences of social confusion and suffering, often associated
with questions linked to the category of theodicy. Along the way, study of the Spirit joined with
natural science to become study of spirit, which was at root study of the human person redefined
without limitation. Radner proposes that the proper parameters of pneumatology are found in
studying Israel and her historical burdens as the Body of Christ, showing how the Spirit is the
reality of God that affirms the redemptive character of Christ, the Son.
The traumas of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have brought to the fore the problematic
distance between earlier and more modern approaches to the Spirit. Drawing on writers from
Paracelsus to John Berryman, and including theologians and philosophers like Anne Conway and
John Wesley, as well as literary figures from d'Aubigne to Duhamel, Radner attempts to locate
modern pneumatology's motives and interests within some of the novel social settings of a
rapidly globalizing consciousness and conflicted pluralism.
It is by following Israel into the Incarnation of Jesus, Radner contends, that humans find their
unresolved sufferings and yearnings redeemed. The Holy Spirit operates in deep hope, the kind
of hope that is inaccessible to simple articulation. Finally, Radner argues for a more limited and
reserved pneumatology, subordinated to the christological realities of divine incarnation: here,
creaturely limitations are not denied, but affirmed, and taken up into the life of God.
Critique: An erudite and in-depth analytical study, "A Profound Ignorance: Modern
Pneumatology and Its Anti-modern Redemption" is enhanced with the inclusion of 116 pages of
Notes, an eighteen page Index of Subjects and Persons, and a three page Index of Scripture.
While unreservedly recommended for church, seminary, community, college and university
library Christian Pneumatology/Theology collections and supplemental studies curriculums, it
should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminary students, academia, and non-
specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "A Profound Ignorance" is also
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $35.67).
A Practical Guide to Culture
John Stonestreet & Brett Kunkle
David C. Cook
c/o Cook Communications
4050 Lee Vance Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918
9781434711014, $22.99, HC, 368pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: As Christian parents we do not have to lose the next generation to an American secular
culture. Fully living up to its title, "A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation
Navigate Today's World" is indeed a practical and instructive guide that answers such questions
as: What unseen undercurrents are shaping twenty-first-century youth culture?; Why do so many
kids struggle with identity?; How do we talk to kids about same-sex marriage and
transgenderism?; How can leaders steer kids away from substance abuse and other addictions?;
How can we ground students in the biblical story and empower them to change the world?
Critique: With biblical clarity, "A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation
Navigate Today's World" is the practical go-to manual for Christian parents to equip their kids to
rise above and resist the cultural lures that could and would be detrimental to their spiritual,
mental, and physical well being. Also available in a paperback edition (9780830781249, $18.99),
in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99) and as a complete an unabridged audio book
(Dreamscape Media, 9781520091808, $34.99, CD).
Editorial Note: John Stonestreet is president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview and
cohost of BreakPoint, the daily cultural commentary founded by the late Chuck Colson. John is
the coauthor of Restoring All Things, Same-Sex Marriage, Making Sense of Your World, and A
Practical Guide to Culture.
Brett Kunkle is the founder and president of MAVEN (www.maventruth.com), a movement to
equip the next generation to know truth, pursue goodness, and create beauty for the cause of
Christ. He is an associate editor for the Apologetics Study Bible for Students and coauthor of A
Practical Guide to Culture.
Meta Herrick Carlson
P.O. Box 1209, Minneapolis, MN 55440-1209
9781506450612, $16.99, HC, 130pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The ordinary moments of life can be sacred, if we simply take a moment to notice.
"Ordinary Blessing" by Pastor Meta Herrick Carlson is a memorable and inspiring collection of
prayers, poems, and meditations that individually and collectively offer a brief respite from the
hectic, harried pace of our days. Whether it is when the spirit moves us or when the spirit feels
distant -- the words presented in "Ordinary Blessings" will inspire, calm, and encourage us either
Critique: Inspired and inspiring, encouraging and heartening, uplifting and motivating, "Ordinary
Blessings: Prayers, Poems, and Meditations for Everyday Life" is especially and unreservedly
recommended for church and community library collections. It should be noted for the personal
reading lists of all members of the Christian community that "Ordinary Blessings" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).
Editorial Note: Meta Herrick Carlson is the Pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in the Twin
Cities and co-host of the Alter Guild podcast. She is passionate about building connections and
courage, and her writing has been influenced by her work with recovery communities and
survivors of sexual violence
The Sermon on the Mount
Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
9780881416534, $35.00, PB, 444pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Sermon on the Mount" is the second volume of the six-volume series Jesus
Christ: His Life and Teaching by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev. It focuses entirely on the
Sermon on the Mount, examining the Beatitudes, the Lord's Prayer, and other teachings of the
Lord in light of both current scholarship and the Church's perennial tradition.
Critique: Providing a detailed theological study of the Sermon on the Mount as recorded in the
New Testament and from an Eastern Orthodox tradition and perspective, "Jesus Christ: His Life
and Teaching: The Sermon on the Mount" is an outstanding work of theological scholarship and
unreservedly recommended for personal, church, seminary, community, and academic library
Contemporary Christian Systematic Theology collections and New Testament supplemental
Editorial Note: Hilarion Alfeyev (born Grigoriy Valerievich Alfeyev on 24 July 1966) is a bishop
of the Russian Orthodox Church. At present he is the Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, the
chairman of the Department of External Church Relations and a permanent member of the Holy
Synod of the Patriarchate of Moscow. He is also a noted theologian, church historian and
composer and has published books on dogmatic theology, patristics and church history as well as
numerous compositions for choir and orchestra.
Zondervan Publishing House
5300 Patterson Avenue, S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49530
9780310329046, $19.99, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Each generation suffers from self-obsession, and we do well to keep one eye on the
past, to consider not only where we wish to go, where we have been. Christianity has a long and
storied past that testifies to God's enduring grace, and even though so much of Christian history
has passed away and many of its people and objects have been lost to time, a few precious relics
and locations remain.
As we consider these objects with careful eyes and look at them in their historical context, we
find the beginnings of a story. Through thirty-three carefully selected objects, author and pastor
Tim Challies introduces readers to the history of Christianity in a unique and creative way in the
pages of "Epic: An Around-the-World Journey through Christian History". It's a story that tells us
what God is accomplishing in this world, whether through princes or peasants, triumph or trial.
Each of these objects offers us a tangible link between the present and the past, between the
Christians of the twenty-first century and the Christians who lived and died in centuries past.
In a few cases these objects are hidden away or in private collections, but more commonly they
are there for all who wish to see them. Beginning with the relics of the earliest Christians, we
journey through history to look at the importance of a peculiar scrawl of graffiti and the creedal
significance of an otherwise unremarkable carving. We take a leap forward in time to consider
the loving labor of monks and the martyrdom of Christians who called for reform long before the
days of Luther. We look at pulpits and paintings and posters and pieces of machinery. And, of
course, we look at books and the remains of books - for nothing has so charted and maintained
the course of Christian history as its books.
Critique: Nicely illustrated, "Epic: An Around-the-World Journey through Christian History"
provides an impressively informative, exceptionally well written, and thoroughly 'reader friendly'
history of the Christian movement. While very highly recommended for church and community
library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Epic: An Around-the-World
Journey through Christian History" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
$9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781799764144, $24.99,
Editorial Note: A pastor, noted speaker, and author of numerous articles, Tim Challies is a
pioneer in the Christian blogosphere. More than thirty thousand people visit his web site at
www.Challies.com each day, making it one of the most widely read and recognized Christian
blogs in the world. Tim is the author of several books, including Visual Theology and The Next
The Absent Christ
Cascadia Publishing House
9781680270143, $22.95, PB, 160pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In "The Absent Christ: An Anabaptist Theology of the Empty Tomb", author and
academician Justin Heinzekehr explores the significance of the empty tomb and Jesus' physical
absence for Anabaptist ecclesiology and theology in conversation with postmodern philosophy
and power analysis. The majority of Anabaptist theology has wrestled with the life and death of
Jesus, but what about the biblical accounts of the liminal space in between? In "The Absent
Christ", Professor Heinzekehr asks how Christ's physical absence defines and challenges the way
we live in our communities.
Drawing on a wide variety of philosophers, including Emmanuel Levinas, Alfred North
Whitehead, Gilles Deleuze, Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza, Karl Marx, and Catherine Keller,
Professor Heinzekehr ably constructs a new Anabaptist theology that takes the gospel stories of
Jesus' absence as seriously as his life and teachings. The result is an Anabaptist theology that
retains key insights such as nonviolence and discipleship, interpreted with the benefit of
contemporary understandings of class, gender, and racial power.
Critique: "The Absent Christ: An Anabaptist Theology of the Empty Tomb" by Justin
Heinzekehr is the twelfth volume of the C. Henry Smith Series and unreservedly recommended
for personal, community, seminary, church, college, and university library Mennonite Christian
Ecclesiology and Theology collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
Editorial Note: Justin Heinzekehr is the Director of Institutional Research and Assessment and
Assistant Professor of Bible and Religion at the Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana. His most
recent work has focused on the intersection of political philosophy, religion, and environmental
ethics, with titles such as Organic Marxism (2014) and Socialism in Process (2017).
The Judaic Studies Shelf
Rabbi Yehuda Lev Ashlag
c/o KTAV Publishing House
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, New York 11225
9781602803664, $28.95, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Rabbi Yehhuda Lev Ashlag's underlying message in "Giving: The Essential Teaching
of the Kabbalah by ''Baal Hasulam" is that the purpose of our lives is to grow step by step toward
a fundamental transformation. Instead of always seeking some form of self-gratification, we can
learn to give to others with no self-interest at all.
This is the essential teaching of the Kabbalah portrayed in these essays by Baal Hasulam - the
greatest modern explicator of Kabbalah. Rabbi Gottlieb provides an illuminating commentary as
a living chassidic rebbe devoted to the practice and teaching of Baal Hasulam's spiritual
Critique: A very special contribution to the growing library of Kabbalah studies, "Giving: The
Essential Teaching of the Kabbalah by ''Baal Hasulam" is an extraordinary and unreservedly
recommended addition to personal, synagogue, community, and academic library Contemporary
Judaic Studies collections in general, and Kabbalah supplemental curriculum studies lists in
Editorial Note: Aryeh Siegel has a Ph.D. in philosophy of logic and metaphysics from M.I.T. and
is a Diplomate in Logotherapy (Viktor Frankl Institute of Logotherapy). Having studied for over
20 years the Kabbalah of Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag (Baal Hasulam) from Rabbi Avraham Mordechai
Gottlieb, he publishes articles and delivers lectures on the philosophy of Kabbalah and
Prepare My Prayer
Rabbi Dov Singer
Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
9781592645374, $19.95, HC, 292pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: An educational innovator and a leader of the modern Israeli revival of Hassidut, Rabbi
Dov Singer is the head of Yeshivat Makor Chaim and the Study Center for Renewal. "Prepare
My Prayer" is his unique attempt from a Judaic perspective to develop a dedicated language for
the worship of the heart, the language of prayer. In a unique style, inspired by recipe books, this
compact little volume offers a variety of concise and practical recipes for prayer by one of Israel's
most popular religious educators.
Critique: Thoughtful, inspiring, "Prepare My Prayer" will prove to be an especially welcome
addition to personal, synagogue, and academic library Judaic Studies and Prayer Book collections
and supplemental reading lists.
Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein
9781592645350, $24.95, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: God's loving providence has always brought to the Jewish community the thinkers they
needed as times changed. Rav Shalom Noach Berezovsky, the Slonimer Rebbe, brought a rare
combination of gifts to his landmark work, the Netivot Shalom.
Blending the warmth of the Hassidic approach with the sharp clarity of the Lithuanian yeshiva,
the Slonimer Rebbe responded to new intellectual challenges and offered words that were a
source of inspiration and solace to the Jewish people. This volume grows out of a conviction that
Netivot Shalom will be appreciated as one of the most influential works of this generation.
The Slonimer Rebbe did not shy away from addressing the faults and failures he found in the
community - even major ones. With absolute honesty, he speaks again and again about doubt,
spiritual estrangement, wrestling with base desires and temptations, and serial failure. For each
challenge of modern life, the Rebbe offers both prescriptions and encouragement.
Through his teachings on the holidays and avodat Hashem, the service of God, the Netivot
Shalom not only offers sparkling insights on the meaning of time and history, but also enables us
to flourish and grow amidst the challenges of a new era.
Critique: The Founding Editor of Cross-Currents.com, a website that explores the interface
between Torah and contemporary social/cultural/political issues, Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein's
"Netivot Shalom: Insights on the Holidays and Avoda Based on the writings of the Slonimer
Rebbe" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, synagogue,
community, college, and university library Kabbalah and Judaic Mysticism collections and
supplemental studies reading lists.
The Travel Shelf
Cape Town: A Place Between
9781946395252, $12.99, PB, 140pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Cape Town is a place between. Between two oceans, between first and third worlds,
between east and west. So too the majority of its citizens, a people between black and white,
native and settler, African and European. The Cape coloureds. This tween-ness complicates and
perplexes. It threatens key conceptions we have about the histories, identities, and cultures of
those who live on the continent. It makes us wonder how we can understand a city that is most
assuredly in Africa -- though not seemingly of it?
By exploring these liminal spaces of tween-ness, between the Cape's breath-taking beauty and its
shattering violence, between its creative cosmopolitanism and its crude racial divisions, between
its glitzy wealth and its grinding poverty, we can begin to understand the soul of this town.
Haunted by its past, unsure of its future. Always emerging, never arriving. A sun-drenched
peninsula best viewed through a prism noir.
Compact and concise, "Cape Town: A Place Between" by Henry Trotter allows readers to
quickly identify the unique pulse of the city, its throbbing historical, social, cultural and political
beat that underlies the transactions between all Capetonians. It is not a guidebook, but a perfect
companion to one, filling in the intimate details that other books leave out.
Critique: Enhanced with the inclusion of a section of black-and-white photographs, "Cape Town:
A Place Between" is an impressively informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking blend of
history and travelog. While highly recommended for both community and academic library South
African History & Travel collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Cape
Town: A Place Between" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).
Mikel B. Classen
Modern History Press
9781615994915, $39.95, HC, 134pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: No matter what part in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (U.P.) there are fascinating sights
are around every corner. There are parks, wilderness areas and museums. There are ghost towns
and places named after legends. There are trails to be walked and waterways to be paddled. In the
U.P., life is meant to be lived to the fullest. "Points North: Discover Hidden Campgrounds,
Natural Wonders, and Waterways of the Upper Peninsula" is comprised of 40 destinations drawn
from every corner of the U.P. that have places of interest. Some reflect rich history, while others
highlight the natural wonders that abound.
Critique: Profusely illustrated, impressively informative, ideal for planning all manner of day
trips, weekend adventures, and vacation itineraries, "Points North: Discover Hidden
Campgrounds, Natural Wonders, and Waterways of the Upper Peninsula" is unreservedly
recommended for personal, family, and community library Travel Guide collections. It should be
noted that "Points North" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9781615994908,
$27.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.95).
Editorial Note: Mikel B. Classen has been writing about northern Michigan in newspapers and
magazines for over 35 years, creating feature articles about the life and culture of Michigan's
north country. He's written about travel, outdoors, the environment, Upper Peninsula history, and
many other subjects. A journalist, historian, photographer, and author with a fascination about
the world around him, he enjoys researching and writing about lost stories from the past.
Currently, he is managing editor of the U.P. Reader and is a member of the board of directors for
the Upper Peninsula Publishers and Authors Association. His book Au Sable Point Lighthouse:
Beacon on Lake Superior's Shipwreck Coast was published in 2014, and his book Teddy
Roosevelt and the Marquette Libel Trial was published in 2015. The History Press published
both. He also has a book of fiction called Lake Superior Tales, published by Modern History
Classen has his own website at www.mikelclassen.com.
The Business Shelf
Leading with Gratitude
Adrian Gostick & Chester Elton
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway, New York, New York 10007
9780062965783, $29.99, HC, 272pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Workers want and need to know their work is appreciated. Showing gratitude to
employees is the easiest, fastest, most inexpensive way to boost performance. New research
shows that gratitude boosts employee engagement, reduces turnover, and leads team members to
express more gratitude to one another -- strengthening team bonds. Studies have also shown that
gratitude is beneficial for those expressing it and is one of the most powerful variables in
predicting a person's overall well-being -- above money, health, and optimism.
The WD-40 Company knows this firsthand. When the leadership gave thousands of managers
training in expressing gratitude to their employees, the company saw record increases in
Despite these benefits, few executives effectively utilize this simple tool. In fact, new research
reveals "people are less likely to express gratitude at work than anyplace else." What accounts for
the staggering chasm between awareness of gratitude's benefits and the failure of so many leaders
to do it -- or do it well? Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton call this the gratitude gap. In this
invaluable guide, they identify the widespread and pernicious myths about managing others that
cause leaders to withhold thanks.
Gostick and Elton also introduce eight simple ways managers can show employees they are
valued. They supplement their insights and advice with stories of how many of today's most
successful leaders (such as Alan Mulally of Ford and Hubert Joly of Best Buy) successfully
incorporated gratitude into their leadership styles. Showing gratitude isn't just about being nice,
it's about being smart (really smart!) and it's a skill that everyone can easily learn.
Critique: Simply stated, "Leading with Gratitude: Eight Leadership Practices for Extraordinary
Business Results" should be required reading for every MBA student, corporate executive,
business manager, and engaged entrepreneur. While an essential, core, and unreservedly
recommended addition to community, corporate, college, and university library business
management collection, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Leading with
Gratitude" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99) and as a complete and
unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781094115337, $34.99, CD).
Editorial Note: Adrian Gostick is a founder of the training company The Culture Works and
author of All In and The Carrot Principle. His books have been translated into 30 languages. His
consulting clients include Danaher, Bank of America, Rolls Royce, JELD-WEN and California
Chester Elton is the co-founder of The Culture Works, a global training company and is a board
member of Camp Corral, a non-profit for the children of wounded and fallen military heroes. He
serves as a leadership consultant to firms such as American Express, AT&T, Avis Budget Group
and Procter & Gamble.
Stefan H. Thomke
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
9781633697102,$32.00, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When it comes to improving customer experiences, trying out new business models, or
developing new products, even the most experienced managers often get it wrong. They discover
that intuition, experience, and big data alone don't work. What does? Running disciplined
business experiments. And what if companies roll out new products or introduce new customer
experiences without running these experiments? They fly blind.
That's what Harvard Business School professor Stefan Thomke shows in "Experimentation
Works: The Surprising Power of Business Experiments", a rigorously researched and
eye-opening study that guides the reader through best practices in business experimentation,
illustrates how these practices work at leading companies, and answers some fundamental
questions such as: What makes a good experiment? How do you test in online and
brick-and-mortar businesses? In B2B and B2C? How do you build an experimentation
Also, best practice means running many experiments. Indeed, some hugely successful companies,
such as Amazon, Booking.com, and Microsoft, run tens of thousands of controlled experiments
annually, engaging millions of users. Professor Thomke shows us how these and many other
organizations prove that experimentation provides significant competitive advantage.
Managers create this capability at their own companies by developing an experimentation
organization that prizes the science of testing and puts the discipline of experimentation at the
center of its innovation process. While it once took companies years to develop the tools for such
large-scale experiments, advances in technology have put these tools at the fingertips of almost
any business professional. By combining the power of software and the rigor of controlled
experiments, today's managers can make better decisions, create magical customer experiences,
and generate big financial returns.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Experimentation Works" is a
kind of DIY guidebook to new ways for corporate executives and entrepreneurs to think and
innovate in today's highly volatile and fiercely competitive business world. While especially
recommended for community, corporate, and academic library Business Management collections
as well as MBA curriculum supplemental studies lists, it should be noted that "Experimentation
Works" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.27).
Editorial Note: Stefan H. Thomke is a leading authority on the management of innovation and
the William Barclay Harding Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business
School. He is also the author of Experimentation Matters: Unlocking the Potential of New
Technologies for Innovation (Harvard Business Review Press, 2003), as well as over one
hundred articles, cases, and notes published in books and journals such as Harvard Business
Review, Management Science, and MIT Sloan Management Review. Professor Thomke has
chaired numerous executive education programs, both at Harvard Business School and in
companies around the world. He is a frequent conference speaker and adviser to global business
Creating Corporate Sustainability
Beate Sjafjell & Irene Lynch Fannon, editors
Cambridge University Press
One Liberty Plaza, Fl. 20, New York, NY 10006
9781108427111, $110.00, HC, 354pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Collaboratively compiled and co-edited by the team of Beate Sjafjell (Professor of
Law, University of Oslo) and Irene Lynch Fannon (Professor of Law, University College Cork),
"Creating Corporate Sustainability: Gender as an Agent for Change" is a compelling volume
comprise of fourteen erudite and insightful articles by contributors that collectively consider
three significant modern developments: the ever-changing role of women in society; a significant
and growing dissatisfaction with current dominant understandings of corporate governance,
corporate law and corporate theory; and the increasing concern to establish sustainable business
A range of female scholars drawn from across the globe and from different disciplines
interconnect these ideas in this unique collection of new and thought-provoking essays. Readers
are led through a carefully planned enquiry focusing initially on female activism and the
corporation, secondly on liberal attempts to include women in business leadership and, finally,
on critiquing the modern focus on women as a 'fix' for ethical and unsustainable business
practises which currently dominates the corporate world.
Critique: Exceptionally well organized and presented, "Creating Corporate Sustainability:
Gender as an Agent for Change" presents fresh perspectives and invaluable insights on what
changes are needed to create the sustainable corporation and the potential role of women as
agents for these changes. While also available for the personal reading lists of students,
academia, and corporate executives in a paperback edition (9781108447676, $35.99) and in a
digital book format (Kindle, Rent $8.22/Buy $29.00), "Creating Corporate Sustainability: Gender
as an Agent for Change" is unreservedly recommended for corporate, community, and academic
library Business & Corporate Management collections and supplemental studies lists.
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway, New York, New York 10007
9780062893659, $29.99, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When conflicts arise, the traditional approach is to sit down, calmly talk through your
differences, and find a solution. But what if nothing seems to work, no matter what you do? The
answer to that question is "Optimal Outcomes: Free Yourself from Conflict at Work, at Home,
and in Life" by Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler.
When situations resist resolution, the Optimal Outcomes Method teaches us conflict freedom.
This innovative method, based on Jennifer's training at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard
Law School, two decades as a consultant to Fortune 500 and high-growth CEOs and senior
teams, grassroots work with Middle East leaders, US government-funded research on terrorism,
and her popular course at Columbia University, Optimal Outcomes reveals eight groundbreaking
practices proven to help people everywhere free themselves from conflict.
With inspiring stories from clients, students, and with Jennifer's own life experiences lighting the
way, you'll learn to observe complex situations with clarity, access your shadow values (things
you really care about but have been unwilling to admit), and take bold, simple, surprising
Optimal Outcomes blends mindfulness, Jungian psychology, and practical, step-by-step advice to
free anyone from seemingly impossible conflict. Applying the practices, you'll reach your
Optimal Outcome -- which may be vastly different from what you originally imagined, but more
satisfying than you ever dreamed possible.
Critique: Real world practical and ultimately inspiring, "Optimal Outcomes: Free Yourself from
Conflict at Work, at Home, and in Life" is an extraordinary and thoroughly 'user friendly'
instructional guide and manual that is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional,
community, corporate, and academic library Business and Personal Conflict Resolution &
Mediation collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted for students,
academia, corporate executives, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject
that "Optimal Outcomes" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.99) and
as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781094114972, $29.99, CD).
Editorial Note: Jennifer Goldman-Wetzler is the founder and CEO of Alignment Strategies
Group, the premier New York-based consulting firm that counsels CEOs and executive teams on
how to optimize organizational health and growth. As a keynote speaker at Fortune 500
companies, public institutions and innovative, fast-growing startups, she inspires audiences of all
kinds, including those at Google, Harvard and TEDx, and in her popular course at Columbia. A
former counterterrorism research fellow with the US Department of Homeland Security, she is a
graduate of Tufts University and holds a Ph.D. in Social-Organizational Psychology from
The End of Marketing
9780749497583, $60.00 HC, 240pp., www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Social networks are the new norm and traditional marketing is failing in today's digital,
always-on culture. Businesses across the world are having to face up to how they remain relevant
in the choppy waters of the digital ocean. In an era where a YouTube star gets more daily
impressions than Nike, Coca-Cola and Walmart combined, traditional marketing as we know it is
"The End of Marketing: Humanizing Your Brand in the Age of Social Media and AI" by Carlos
Gil revolutionizes the way brands, agencies and marketers should approach marketing. From how
Donald Trump won the American presidency using social media and why Kim Kardashian is one
of the world's biggest online brands, through to the impact of bots and automation, "The End of
Marketing" will teach you about new features and emerging platforms that will engage customers
and employees. Discover bold content ideas, hear from some of the world's largest brands and
content creators and find out how to build smarter paid-strategies, guaranteed to help you
dominate your markets.
"The End of Marketing" also explains that no matter how easy it is to reach potential customers,
the key relationship between brand and consumer still needs the human touch. Readers will learn
how to put 'social' back into social media and claim brand relevancy in a world where algorithms
dominate, organic reach is dwindling and consumers don't want to be sold to, they want to be
Critique: Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "The
End of Marketing: Humanizing Your Brand in the Age of Social Media and AI" is an
extraordinary and groundbreaking contribution to our understanding of the impact of the
technological advances in communication and persuasion brought about by computers and the
internet. While unreservedly recommended for community, corporate, and academic library
Business Management & Marketing collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists
of MBA students, academia, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and non-specialist general
readers with an interest in the subject that "The End of Marketing" is also available in a
paperback edition ( 9780749497576, $19.95), and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Carlos Gil is an international keynote speaker and award-winning digital
storyteller with over a decade of experience leading social media strategy for global brands
including LinkedIn, Winn-Dixie, Save-A-Lot, and BMC Software. His work has been featured in
Harvard Business Review, Inc., Entrepreneur, and Social Media Examiner, and his speaking
includes keynotes for clients across the United States, Europe and South America. He is the CEO
and Founder of Gil Media Co., working with Fortune 500 clients including DocuSign, Western
Union, and Keller Williams.
c/o Wiley Professional Trade Group
111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
9781119579526, $28.00, HC, 208pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Fourth Industrial Revolution is driving change at an unprecedented pace, level,
and intensity that is impacting businesses across industries, not to mention our everyday lives.
We are rapidly blurring the physical and the digital, transforming the way we live and, in some
sense, what it even means to be human. Whether we run a startup or multinational, a nonprofit or
academic institution, a city or a whole country, we need to embrace this change to not just
survive but thrive under these new realities.
In "Fearless Innovation: Going Beyond the Buzzword to Continuously Drive Growth, Improve
the Bottom Line, and Enact Change" by Alex Goryachev explores how, no matter their function,
leaders and managers can cut through the noise to understand change and deliver real
Goryachev's actionable, consistent, and timeless innovation principles offer a blueprint to driving
growth, enacting change, increasing the bottom line, and creating clear measurable value.
Featuring diverse case studies of some of today's most innovative organizations, historical
observations, first-hand experience, and a look at where innovation is thriving, and why, this
down-to-earth guide provides advice and clear steps on how to: Get teams to embrace innovation
beyond empty slogans; Focus on execution of innovation through leadership and strategy;
Measure the real effects of innovation to showcase ROI and attract investment; Break down org
silos by empowering effective, diverse, and inclusive teams; Drive co-innovation through
win-win ecosystem-wide partnerships; Organize innovation teams and orchestrate outcomes by
leveraging organizational DNA; Communicate the value of innovation to differentiate ourselves
Written specifically for any organization that wants to stay relevant in the 21st Century, and even
beyond, "Fearless Innovation" offers a step-by-step guide for getting past the confusion,
overcoming fear, and getting down to business to create an environment of true innovation.
Critique: Expertly written, impressively informative, exceptionally effective in organization and
presentation, "Fearless Innovation: Going Beyond the Buzzword to Continuously Drive Growth,
Improve the Bottom Line, and Enact Change" is a seminal work that is as real world practical as
it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. While especially and unreservedly recommended for
community, corporate, and academic library Business Management collections. It should be
noted for the personal reading lists of MBA students, academia, corporate executives, and non-
specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Fearless Innovation" is also
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.17).
Editorial Note: Alex Goryachev is the managing director of Cisco's global Co-Innovation
Centers. He spearheads several award-winning international programs and initiatives to
accelerate innovation - whether that impacts operations, businesses processes, or technology.
Alex is an award-winning Silicon Valley veteran whose resume reads like a brief history of tech
disruption. He is also a sought-after speaker on innovation and a regular contributor to Forbes,
Chief Executive Magazine, Information Week, and other leading media outlets.
The Metaphysical Studies Shelf
The Hoodoo Tarot
Tayannah Lee McQullar
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620558737, $35.00, Card Deck & Guidebook, 160pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Between the 17th and 19th centuries, many Indigenous Americans and people of
African descent intermarried and socialized more often than is acknowledged by mainstream
history books and scholars. These interactions produced not only a multicultural people but also a
body of knowledge that is known today as Hoodoo or Rootwork.
Celebrating the complex American Rootwork tradition, "The Hoodoo Tarot: 78-Card Deck and
Book for Rootworkers" integrates esoteric and botanical knowledge from Hoodoo with the
divination system of the Tarot. Structured like a traditional Tarot deck, each of the 78 cards
features full-color paintings by magical-realist artist Katelan Foisy and elegantly interprets the
classical Tarot imagery through depictions of legendary rootworkers past and present as well as
important Hoodoo symbolism.
In the accompanying guidebook, Tayannah Lee McQuillar provides a history of Hoodoo and its
complex heritage, including its roots in multiple African and Indigenous American ethnic groups
as well as its European influences. She explores the traditional forms of divination used by
rootworkers, including cartomancy, explaining how pairing the Tarot with Hoodoo is a natural
fit. For each card in the Major Arcana and the four suits of the Minor Arcana (sticks, baskets,
needles, and knives), McQuillar provides an in-depth card meaning that draws on both Tarot and
Hoodoo tradition. She shares the history of the rootworker or symbol featured, any associated
magical plants, a related scriptural quote, and guidance and advice based on the card's meaning.
She also offers instructions on card spreads and shares sample card readings.
Offering a divination system rooted in the Indigenous and African experience in North America,
The Hoodoo Tarot provides a hands-on way to honor and explore the magic of Hoodoo for
personal growth and spiritual inspiration.
Critique: A unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional,
community and academic library Tarot/Divination/Metaphysical Studies collections, "The
Hoodoo Tarot: 78-Card Deck and Book for Rootworkers" is a beautiful, distinctive, and
informative contribution to the growing body of Native American and African-American
Editorial Note: Tayannah Lee McQuillar is a researcher of religion, esoterica, and mysticism. She
is also the author of several books, including Rootwork and The Sibyls Oraculum: Oracle of the
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620559345, $29.99, PB, 416pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Crystal Basics: The Energetic, Healing, and Spiritual Power of 200 Gemstones" by
Nicholas Pearson is an in-depth yet easy-to-follow guide that offers a full-color compendium of
200 crystals and gemstones as well as a hands-on practical handbook on crystal healing, perfect
for those just beginning their crystal journey as well as long-time stone lovers seeking an
The handbook of crystal use opens with a thorough explanation of crystal energy, including its
interactions with the human energy field, and teaches readers how to extrapolate what a crystal
does based on its composition, crystal structure, formation process, and other properties. In the
chapters on techniques, Pearson offers guidance on selecting your crystals and gemstones, then
step-by-step instructions on how to cleanse, charge, activate, and program them. He explains how
to make crystal grids and healing layouts, including templates for both, and also discusses the
numerology and geometry of crystal grids. He explores the essentials of crystal elixirs, complete
with elixir recipes, and details how to perform crystal meditations, clear the energy centers and
the aura, and practice more advanced techniques, such as engaging with the crystal devas,
creating sacred space, and practices for spiritual hygiene and protection.
The compendium includes 200 rocks, minerals, gemstones, and crystal formations, organized
alphabetically and featuring full-color photographs. Each entry includes geological information
and the physical, psychological, and spiritual healing qualities for every stone. Some stones, such
as jasper and quartz, have multiple varieties, each given their own entries to provide a thorough
reference guide for crystal healers and collectors.
Critique: Comprehensive, detailed, profusely illustrated, expertly organized and presented,
"Crystal Basics: The Energetic, Healing, and Spiritual Power of 200 Gemstones" is an ideal and
unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community and academic library
Metaphysical Divination & Healing collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Crystal Basics" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $20.99).
Editorial Note: Nicholas Pearson has been immersed in all aspects of the mineral kingdom for
more than 20 years. He began teaching crystal workshops in high school, later studying mineral
science at Stetson University while pursuing a degree in music. He worked for several years at
the Gillespie Museum, home to one of the largest mineral collections in the southeastern United
States. A certified teacher and practitioner of Usui Reiki Ryoho, he teaches crystal and Reiki
classes throughout the United States.
Vedic Astrology for Beginners
9781646113071, $14.99, PB, 166pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Vedic astrology (also known as Jyotish in its home of India) can be a powerful channel
of insights and revelations into daily life. But how to unlock this complex tool? "Vedic Astrology
for Beginners: An Introduction to the Origins and Core Concepts of Jyotish" by Vedic astrologer
Pamela McDonough breaks down the core concepts of Vedic astrology, showing how to analyze
a birth chart to better understand personality, relationships, and life paths.
Aspiring astrologers will discover the ancient origins of Vedic astrology and its differences from
Western astrology. The will also explore detailed profiles of each planet, zodiac sign, and the
other essential elements of a Jyotish natal horoscope. With these foundational steps, they will
gain a better understanding of physical, emotional, and spiritual experiences -- and even begin to
anticipate the future.
Critique: Expertly organized and presented, and also readily available in a digital book format
(Kindle, $9.99), "Vedic Astrology for Beginners: An Introduction to the Origins and Core
Concepts of Jyotish" is an ideal introduction to Vedic astrology and will prove to be a welcome
and enduringly appreciated addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library
Metaphysical Studies collections.
Editorial Note: Pamela McDonough has been a full-time Vedic astrologer since 2012 and was
awarded the title Jyotish Acharya by her guru, Souvik Dutta of the Ancient Indian Astrology
Classes school. Pamela conducts consultations with clients internationally and teaches
workshops and astrological courses at www.moondanceastrology.com. She has a background in
both Western astrology and Indian astrology with studies of over 20 years in the subject.
9781646115648, $14.99, PB, 184pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Green witchcraft is a school of witchcraft for those who want to live in harmony with
the earth and its green things -- and "Green Witchcraft" by Paige Vanderback is a comprehensive
and effectively presented how-to guide that is ideal for the novice and has a great deal to offer
even experienced practitioners.
Covering everything from growing herbs and plants for magic and medicine, to honoring the
spirits of trees and animals, to using crystals for power and healing, "Green Witchcrafte" will
enable the reader to put natural magic into practice, with spells and rituals that harness the
natural, plentiful energy and power of herbs, plants, stones, crystals, wood, and more.
"Green Witchcraft" makes the practice of natural magic easy with its practical tips and
instructions on everything from using honeysuckle to attract wealth, quartz to direct energy, and
moonlight for cleansing tools.
Critique: A complete, comprehensive, thoroughly 'user friendly' instructional guide and manual
that is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99), "Green Witchcraft" will prove to be
an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community, college, and
university library Metaphysical Studies collections and supplemental curriculum reading
Editorial Note: Paige Vanderbeck has always entertained the mystical and unbelievable. She
hosts The Fat Feminist Witch Podcast, and writes about modern witchcraft, fat acceptance, and
feminism for publications like Medium, Revelist, The Daily Dot, and Flare. Her work can also be
found on her website, www.TheFatFeministWitch.com.
The Moon Fix
Theresa Cheung, author
White Lion Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781781319482, $22.99, HC, 176pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The major premise of "The Moon Fix" by Theresa Cheung is that through a better
understanding and attuning of ourselves to the lunar cycles we can improve our intuition, let go
of past pains and find a deeper spiritual connection. The lunar cycles can assist us in everything
from succeeding in business, to finding love, to achieving ambitious goals, to addressing our
most secret concerns.
"The Moon Fix" applies ancient wisdom to modern living and includes: An introduction to the
moon in astrology, from its relation to the signs to its different phases and their significance;
When and how to harness lunar power to manifest and celebrate your deepest desires, including
how to create a moon altar and work with crystals, incense, herbs and oils; Lunar advice and
spells, rituals, meditations and recipes, organized by themes that include Joy and Success, Health
and Wellness, and Protection and Comfort.
Critique: Impressively enhanced with hauntingly beautiful and full color artwork from mystic
artist and influencer Indigo (@indg0), "The Moon Fix" is a unique and unreservedly
recommended addition to personal, professional, professional, community, and academic library
Metaphysical Studies collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
Editorial Note: Theresa Cheung is an author specializing in the paranormal and the spiritual.
Since leaving King's college, Cambridge University with a degree in English and Theology she
has written numerous books and encyclopedias which have been translated into dozens of
different languages. She runs a popular author page on Facebook, has appeared on ITV Good
morning to discuss spirituality with Piers Morgan, been a guest on episode 71 of Russell Brand's
Under the Skin podcast, written many features for the National press and been a guest on many
podcasts. Her mission is to make spirituality more credible, engaging and mainstream.
She has her own website at www.theresacheung.com
The Tree Angel Oracle Deck
Fred Hageneder, author
Anne Heng, illustrator
c/o Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781644110386, $19.99, PB, Card Deck, 144pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: There are two types of angels: those with wings and those with leaves. For thousands
of years, those seeking guidance or wanting to express gratitude to nature have walked the
ancient paths into the sacred grove to connect with the wisdom of trees. Today, venerable old
trees in peaceful surroundings are difficult to find when we need them. And it can be difficult for
the inexperienced to hear their voices and receive their healing. But the Tree Angels are still
there, whispering to those who listen.
Now in a new second edition, "The Tree Angel Oracle Deck: The Ancient Path into the Sacred
Grove" is an oracle card and book set in which Fred Hageneder shares deep messages and
wisdom from the Tree Angels of 36 different tree species that include those from the old Celtic
"Tree Alphabet" along with other well-known trees from all over the world.
Each full-color and beautifully illustrated card by artist Anne Heng, features a specific tree and
its angel, revealing the trees as unique beings, with their individual energy and radiance. Drawing
on botanical and historical sources, in addition to the author's vast experience with Tree Angels,
the guidebook explains how to interpret the message of each Tree Angel card as well as how to
use the cards.
The trees featured include: Birch, Ash, Walnut, Elder, Holly, Rowan, Hawthorn, Oak, Aspen,
Hazel, Juniper, Linden (Lime), Blackthorn, Yew, Field Maple, Elm, Black Poplar, Larch, White
Willow, Scots Pine, Apple, Spruce, Ivy, Olive, Almond, Hornbeam, Beech, Cedar of Lebanon,
Horse Chestnut, Sycamore, Alder, Pear, Pipal, Ginkgo, Cherry, and Myrrh.
Critique: "The Tree Angel Oracle Deck: The Ancient Path into the Sacred Grove" is a unique,
beautifully rendered, and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional,
community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections in general, and Tarot reading
supplemental studies in particular.
Editorial Note: Fred Hageneder is a leading expert in ethnobotany, specializing in the cultural
and spiritual history of trees. A founding member of the Ancient Yew Group in Britain and a
member of SANASI, a scientific group that helps protect indigenous sacred sites, he is also a
member of the Ecocentric Alliance. He is also the author of 2 books and a musician who
composes music for various tree species.
Anne Heng is a painter and illustrator, who specializes in painting on silk, which enables her to
convey the quiet beauty of nature.
The Needlecraft Shelf
104 West 27th Street, 3rd Fl, New York, NY 10001
9781640210486, $19.95, PB, 176pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Crochet This!: Step-by-Step Techniques, 65 Essential Stitches, More Than 25
Projects" is like three books in one, and crocheters of all levels will appreciate this essential and
lavishly illustrated guide to the craft of crocheting. Step-by-step color photographs lay out all the
basic techniques and stitches, followed by a dictionary of crochet patterns including granny
squares, colorwork, lacy motifs, and edgings -- all with a full-color swatch photograph,
instructions, and a diagram. Even the most novice of needlecrafters can practice their newfound
techniques on more than 25 designs for gorgeous crocheted sweaters, shawls, hats, bags, and
more. Chosen from the pages of Vogue Knitting Crochet magazine, they're all popular, beautiful,
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Crochet This!:
Step-by-Step Techniques, 65 Essential Stitches, More Than 25 Projects" is an ideal and
unreservedly recommended addition to personal and community library Needlecraft instructional
Quilter's Complete Guide
Marianne Fons & Liz Porter
Dover Publications, Inc.
31 East 2nd Street, Mineola, NY 11501
9780486839974, $24.95, PB, 272pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The perfect book for both beginners and those wishing to brush up on their skills, the
"Quilter's Complete Guide" is a definitive instructional guide takes aspiring quilters from the
basics of choosing and cutting fabric to placing the finishing touches on their handmade quilts.
The "Quilter's Complete Guide" is comprised of hundreds of full-color photos, charts, and
diagrams accompany lessons on quilting styles (hand, machine, trapunto, and applique) and
instructions for assembly, plus a wealth of patterns and sewing tips.
The first section, the Quiltmaking Primer, covers not only the basics but also the principles of
simple pattern drafting, quilt planning, settings, and edge finishes, plus quick-cutting and
quick-piecing methods. Clear, precise instructions explain techniques. This section includes a
brief history of the craft, a description of tools and supplies, and a discussion of fabric and
The second section, Beyond Basic Quiltmaking, features special approaches for more challenging
patterns. A chapter on borders, settings, and sashing treatments explains how to transform a
simple pattern into an extraordinary quilt. Final chapters provide advice on the display, care, and
collecting of quilts, along with a glossary of terms.
Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and
presentation, the "Quilter's Complete Guide" fully lives up to the promise of its title and is an
ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to community library needlecraft collections in
general, and personal quilting instructional reference lists in particular.
Editorial Note: Marianne Fons and Liz Porter met in a beginners' quilting class in Winterset,
Iowa, in 1976. After the class, they started a quilters' club, and as they learned skills together,
people asked them to provide workshops on how to quilt. They've always worked together to
teach their classes to boost their confidence, especially early on when they were just learning
themselves. Together, they've written more than two dozen books over the years, and Quilter's
Complete Guide is one of their most successful. They continue to write and teach, traveling the
world to workshops and quilting symposiums.
Exploring Your Artistic Voice in Contemporary Quilt Art
Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764358876, $16.99, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Exploring Your Artistic Voice in Contemporary Quilt Art" by quilting expert Sandra
Sider is a compact guide will make a huge impact on how aspiring quilters choose to express
themselves in their quilt art.
Any quilt maker or artist at any level of needle crafting skill can develop their own unique artistic
voice, see their work mature, and become confident and happy with what they are doing in the
studio as Sandra Sider provides instructional support and insight through the photos of dozens of
her own quilt design successes and failures as examples to learn from. Even blind alleys, detours,
and the road not taken can lead to developing one's voice as a quilt artist -- indeed, as any sort of
The topics covered in "Exploring Your Artistic Voice in Contemporary Quilt Art" include how to
write a powerful artist's statement, when to stop experimenting, and using the quilt maker's
'voice' once they own it.
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, "Exploring Your Artistic Voice in
Contemporary Quilt Art" is an extraordinarily insightful, impressively informative, and
exceptionally inspiring read that is unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well
as both community and academic library Needlecraft collections in general, and Quilting
instructional reference lists in particular.
Editorial Note: Sandra Sider is the editor of Art Quilt Quarterly and is curator of the Texas Quilt
Museum. A past president of Studio Art Quilt Associates, Sider has written or edited more than a
dozen books concerning contemporary quilt art. She can be visited at her website --
Cute Crocheted Wild Animals
The GMC Group
9781784945480, $19.95, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Crocheted animals may be wild but they can be very well-dressed. "Cute Crocheted
Wild Animals" is comprised of ten adorable crocheted chums that have enviable wardrobes to
mix and match. The five pairs of animals - pandas, lions, zebras, elephants and monkeys - all
have distinctive personalities and gorgeous outfits. All the clothes can fit all of the animals, so
there is lots of fun to be had dressing them up. Each project is beautifully photographed and
includes clear patterns and guidance. There is also a techniques section that gives clear
instructions on all the skills you'll need to make the animals and their outfits.
Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout and with each individual pattern presented in throughly
'user friendly' step-by-step instructions, "Cute Crocheted Wild Animals" will enable even the
most novice of needlecrafters to create delightfully popular creations making it an immediate and
enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, and community library collections.
Editorial Note: Residing in Manchester, UK, Emma Varnam is inspired by the imagination of
children and enjoys making items that bring a smile. She has written a number of popular crochet
books including Granny Squares Home, Crocheted Keyrings & Charms, Cute Crocheted Animals
and How to Crochet -- all of which are published by GMC Publications.
The Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Dancing with Bees: A Journey Back to Nature
Brigit Strawbridge Howard
Chelsea Green Publishing Company
85 North Main Street, Suite 120, White River Junction, VT 05001
9781603588485, $24.95, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Brigit Strawbridge Howard was shocked the day she realised she knew more about the
French Revolution than she did about her native trees. And birds. And wildflowers. And bees.
The thought and realization stopped her (quite literally) in her tracks. But that day was also the
start of a journey, one filled with silver birches and hairy-footed flower bees, skylarks, and
rosebay willow herb, and the joy that comes with deepening one's relationship with place.
"Dancing with Bees: A Journey Back to Nature is her charming and eloquent account of a return
to noticing, to rediscovering a perspective on the world that had somehow been lost to her for
decades and to reconnecting with the natural world. With special care and attention to the plight
of pollinators, including honeybees, bumblebees, and solitary bees, and what we can do to help
them, "Dancing with Bees" shares fascinating details of the lives of flora and fauna that have
filled her days with ever-increasing wonder and delight.
Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of an informative introduction (The Honey
Trap), a two page listing of the illustrations, a four page selected bibliography, and a seventeen
page index, "Dancing with Bees: A Journey Back to Nature" is an extraordinary and impressively
informative study that is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal,
professional, community, and academic library Entomology and Sustainable Agriculture
collections and supplemental studies reading lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and
non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Dancing with Bees" is also
available in a paperback edition (9781603589864, $14.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Brigit Strawbridge Howard is a bee advocate, wildlife gardener and naturalist.
She writes, speaks, and campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of native wild bees and
other pollinating insects.
The Music Shelf
The Paul McCartney Catalog
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476676449, $35.00, PB, 216pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Paul McCartney Catalog: A Complete Annotated Discography of Solo Works,
1967-2019" is complete discography of Paul McCartney's solo and other post-Beatles work. A
detailed and documented examination of McCartney's entire catalog, it covers both his studio and
his live albums and compilations, including the trance, electronic, classical and cover albums and
selected bootleg recordings; all of the singles; videos and DVDs; and the 15 radio shows he made
as Oobu Joobu. Each song is reviewed in depth, providing a wealth of information for both
dedicated McCartney fans and those just discovering his music.
Critique: Simply stated, no personal, professional, community, or academic library Musicology
collection can be considered to be either comprehensive or complete without the inclusion of a
copy of "The Paul McCartney Catalog: A Complete Annotated Discography of Solo Works,
The Automotive Shelf
The London Volvo B9TL & B5LH
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
9781526749635, $60.00, HC, 192pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: After the successful six-year production run of its B7TL low-floor double-decker had
been curtailed in London by increasing noise problems, Volvo developed a leaner and quieter
update which it dubbed the B9TL, and orders resumed in strength. As diesel-engine buses
gradually gave way to battery-hybrid technology at the end of the first decade of the 21st century,
Volvo unveiled the B5LH hybrid to immediate acclaim and even healthier London sales. With
most Transport for London contracted bus companies operating Volvo B9TLs and/or B5LHs,
bodied by Wrightbus, Alexander Dennis or MCV, "The London Volvo B9TL & B5LH" by
Matthew Wharmby (an author, photographer and editor who specializes in London bus history)
provides a comprehensive account of the first ten years of one of London's newest double-deck
bus types, whose career will span the rest of the 2010s and well into the next decade.
Critique: Profusely illustrated with full color photography throughout, "The London Volvo B9TL
& B5LH" is an impressively informative and unreservedly recommended addition to personal,
professional, community, and academic library Automotive History collections and supplemental
curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, automotive history
enthusiasts, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The London
Volvo B9TL & B5LH" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.99).
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476676159, $45.00, PB, 269pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Welcomed at end of the 19th century as the solution to the severe problem of horse
manure in city streets, electric trucks soon became the norm for short-haul commercial deliveries.
Though reliable, they were gradually replaced by gasoline-powered trucks for long-haul
deliveries -- although a fleet of electric milk trucks survived in Great Britain into the 1960s.
Industrial electric vehicles never completely disappeared from factories and ports. During the
past decade, with the availability of the lithium-ion battery, the electric truck is now back on the
road for all payloads and all distances. The fourth in a series covering the history and future of
electric transport, "Electric Trucks: A History of Delivery Vehicles, Semis, Forklifts and Others"
by Kevin Desmond informatively chronicles the work of the innovative engineers who perfected
e-trucks large and small.
Critique: Nicely illustrated with black-and-white photography, "Electric Trucks: A History of
Delivery Vehicles, Semis, Forklifts and Others" is a unique and extraordinarily informative study
and one that is especially and unreservedly recommended for the personal reading lists of
automotive history buffs, as well as community, college, and university library History of
Transportation collections and supplemental curriculum studies.
Editorial Note: Kevin Desmond is a technology historian and biographer who lives near
Bordeaux in southern France. Since 1976, he has published 33 books and 300-plus articles on the
men and women innovators, often forgotten, behind the progress of transport and related
Fox Body Mustang Restoration 1979-1993
838 Lake Street South. Forest Lake, MN 55025
9781613254363, $34.95, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Forty years after its introduction, the Fox Body Mustang continues to be one of the
most popular makes, and "Fox Body Mustang Restoration 1979-1993" by Jim Smart deftly
chronicles all the best procedures for restoring these affordable yet appreciating classics!
In this new Restoration series title from CarTech, all the procedures and best practices for
restoring a Fox Body Mustang is covered. Individual chapter subjects include a history of the
cars, tools and equipment required, body repair, interior refurbishment, the climate control
system, wheels, engine and driveline rebuilding, electrical troubleshooting and repair, and finally
a large index of Fox Mustang facts, including paint codes, production numbers, option codes,
data plate decoding, and more.
Critique: Comprehensive, detailed, and throughly 'user friendly in organization and presentation,
"Fox Body Mustang Restoration 1979-1993" is a impressive restoration guide and manual
expertly presented in a full-color instructional format for anyone considering a full-blown
restoration, or would just like some good advice on how to repair certain sections of their car,
making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, and
community library American Automotive collections in general, and Fox Body Mustang owners
Editorial Note: Jim Smart is a veteran automotive journalist, contributing to just about every
Mustang and Ford magazine ever published. Over the decades, Jim has had hundreds of how-to
and feature articles on Fords and Mustang published. Jim is also an dedicated cart enthusiast, and
he has been the owner and restorer of multiple enthusiast vehicles including various
The Gardening Shelf
Cool Springs Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9780760367094, $22.99, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Comprised of 80 Recipes and concoctions for organic fertilizers, plant elixirs, potting
mixes, pest deterrents, and more, "Garden Alchemy" by Stephanie Rose is combination of a
gardening recipe and a gardening project book that is packed from cover to cover with ideas to
naturally beautify a garden using organic methods that regenerate soil and revitalize plants. By
following the processes that are closest to nature, it brings the aspiring family gardeners in sync
with the gardens by allowing plants to thrive with less effort and less cost.
Recipes for mixing your own potting soils and homemade, organic fertilizers give gardeners the
freedom to choose what ingredients make their way into their gardens. "Garden Alchemy"
features step-by-step instructions for building a compost pile, concocting soil tests, and
constructing inexpensive DIY seed-starting equipment are accompanied by gorgeous, full-color,
step-by-step photography. There are also easy to make and effective recipes for natural pest
deterrents and traps, garden teas, and growth-boosting foliar sprays to help your garden grow
strong all season long.
The dozens of recipes and projects include: Homemade seed bombs, disks, and tapes; Granular
and liquid natural fertilizer recipes; DIY rooting hormone; Herbal anti-fungal spray; Plant
propagation instructions; Soil care recipes to adjust the pH and manage fertility; 13 specialty
potting mixes; and 7 clever traps for common garden pests.
Critique: An ideal, impressive comprehensive, deftly organized, and expertly presented
instructional guide and manual, "Garden Alchemy" is unreservedly recommended for personal,
professional, community, and academic library gardening reference collections and supplemental
studies reading lists.
Editorial Note: Stephanie Rose is an award-winning author, freelance writer, instructor, and
international speaker who aims to encourage better living through plants. As a long-time student
and teacher of organic gardening, permaculture design, herbalism, and natural skin care
formulation, she enjoys inspiring others to learn how to grow and use plants, with a focus on
regenerative practices that are green, healthy, and natural. She is a member of Garden
Communicators International, the Permaculture Institute of North America, the International
Herb Association, and volunteers to develop children's gardens as a Vancouver Master Gardener.
She shares stories, recipes, and projects on her inspiring website at www.GardenTherapy.ca.
Native Plants for Florida Gardens
Stacey Matrazzo & Nancy Bissett
Pineapple Press, Inc.
c/o Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
4501 Forbes Blvd., Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781493043781, $21.95, PB, 232pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The state of Florida is home to an entire library of native plants that evolved to thrive
in its range of climate regions. "Native Plants for Florida Gardens" profiles 100 Florida native
wild flowers, shrubs, vines and trees that can transform typical Florida landscapes. Striking color
photography showcases each showcased species and flowering characteristics. With the expertise
of the Florida Wildlife Foundation, anyone can create lovely, low-maintenance gardens that will
tolerate Florida's roughest conditions, resist disease, and support biodiversity with the
information comprising "Native Plants for Florida Gardens
Critique: Impressively 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Native Plants for Florida
Gardens" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional,
community, and academic library Gardening & Horticultural instructional reference collections.
It should be noted for gardening enthusiasts that "Native Plants for Florida Gardens" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.39).
Editorial Note: Nancy Bissett is a Florida Wildlife Foundation board member and horticulturist,
restoration ecologist, and botanist with The Natives Inc., where she experiments with the
propagation and growth of native plants including grasses, wildflowers and rare species.
Florida Master Naturalist Stacey Matrazzo joined the Florida Wildflower Foundation staff in
2015. She is an environmental educator and adjunct professor at Rollins College, Winter Park. A
native Floridian, she spends much of her free time kayaking, hiking, birding and photographing
Florida's amazing natural environments.
The Florida Wildflower Foundation is the national advocate for Florida's native wildflower
species, many of which occur throughout the southeast. Through education, research and
planting/conservation programs, FWF nurtures the awareness, understanding and enjoyment of
native wildflowers and plants through school gardens, field trips, community planting projects,
events, a roadside protection program, active partnerships, and publications.
The Audiobook Shelf
This Won't End Well
Camille Pagan, author
Performed by Amy McFadden
9781799726845 $34.99 amazon.com
Synopsis: No new people: that's Annie Mercer's vow. It's bad enough that her boss sabotaged her
chemistry career and her best friend tried to cure her with crystals. But after her fiance, Jon, asks
for space while he's gallivanting around Paris, Annie decides she needs space too - from
Yet when Harper moves in next door, Annie can't help but train a watchful eye on the glamorous
but fragile young woman. And if keeping Harper safe requires teaming up with Mo, a
maddeningly optimistic amateur detective, who is she to mind her own business?
Soon Annie has let not one but two new people into her life. Then Jon reappears - and he wants
her to join him in France. She's pretty sure letting anyone get close won't end well. So she must
decide: Is another shot at happiness worth the risk?
Critique: Now available as an unabridged audiobook on CD, This Won't End Well is a wry, dryly
delightful novel about a woman who has been emotionally burned just a few too many times.
Annie Mercer is convinced that letting anyone get too close to her, whether as a friend or
something more, won't end well. At the same time, she can't help but feel intrigued by the
perilous dilemma of her glamorous new neighbor Harper, even joining forces with a bizarrely
upbeat amateur detective to help keep Harper safe. Then Annie Mercer's ex-fiance reappears in
her life. Is the pursuit of happiness truly worth the risk of letting one's internal fences down?
Engagingly brought to life by Amy McFadden's masterful performance, This Won't End Well is a
choice pick for personal and public library audiobook collections. 6 discs, 7 hours and 37
Been There, Married That: A Novel
Gigi Levangie, author
Read by Amy McFadden
9781250260345 $39.99 CD / $26.99 digital amazon.com
Synopsis: In a world where therapist look like the Real Housewives of Equinox, where friends
dispense Xanax like Pez, and where a woman's status is directly linked to the how few carbs she
eats...can one Hollywood wife take back her life?
Agnes Murphy Nash is in big trouble. When she returns home one evening only to find the locks
changed on the gates of their mansion, the security guard breaks the news: her famous producer
husband has filed for divorce. And he's not going to play fair. Trevor Nash wants custody of their
tween daughter, Pep, but only for the sake of appearances. And Agnes can't let him win. With the
help of her ex-con sister, a Hollywood psychic, a ballsy female lawyer, and a host of friends and
"frenemies," Agnes realizes that when he changes the locks, she needs to change the rules. But a
crisis can lead to opportunity, and for Agnes, this gigantic betrayal brings her to a crossroads that
will have her asking herself what she really wants out of life, who she really wants to be, and
which man she really loves.
Told with Gigi Levangie's sparkling dialogue and wit, Been There, Married That is a drop-dead
hilarious battle of wills that will make you laugh out loud, cringe, and keep turning the pages to
see what crazy disaster will happen to Agnes next...and how she'll rise from the ashes.
Critique: Now available as an unabridged audiobook on CD, Been There, Married That: A Novel
is a tongue-in-cheek novel about the excesses of Hollywood domestic life among the allegedly
glamorous. Agnes Murphy Nash thought she was the perfect Hollywood wife, until her wealthy
husband abruptly decides to push her out of his life - along with cancelling her credit cards,
locking her out of their lavish home, and assigning a guard to tase her if she tries to enter! Agnes
might lose her husband, but can she retrieve her five-star lifestyle? Vivaciously witty from
beginning to end, Been There, Married That brought to sharp-tongued life by Amy McFadden's
stellar performance. Highly recommended! 8 CDs, 10 hours. It should be noted that Been There,
Married That is also available as a digital audiobook ($26.99).
The Vineyards of Champagne
Juliet Blackwell, author
Xe Sands, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
9781977360724, $29.99, CD, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Beneath the cover of France's most exquisite vineyards, a city of women and children
defy an army during World War I in Juliet Blackwell's "The Vineyards of Champagne". Forced to
take shelter from the unrelenting onslaught of German shellfire above, the bravest and most
defiant women venture out to pluck sweet grapes for the harvest. But wine is not the only secret
preserved in the cool, dark cellars!
In present day, Rosalyn Acosta travels to Champagne to select vintages for her Napa-based
employer. Rosalyn doesn't much care for champagne-or France, for that matter. Since the
untimely death of her young husband, Rosalyn finds it a challenge to enjoy anything at all. But as
she reads through a precious cache of World War I letters and retraces the lives lived in the
limestone tunnels, Rosalyn will unravel a mystery hidden for decades -- and find a way to savor
her own life again.
Critique: A flawless produced, complete and unabridged audio book edition of Juliet Blackwell's
deftly crafted novel, "The Vineyards of Champagne" is an exceptionally riveting and expertly
narrated performance from beginning to end by Xe Sands, making it an especially welcome and
highly recommended addition to personal and community library audio book collections. (9 CDs,
Miranda James, author
Erin Bennett, narrator
Tantor Media, Inc.
6 Business Park Road, Old Saybrook, CT 06475
9781977364203, $29.99, CD, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Charlie Harris has sworn off investigating murder and mayhem after a recent close
call. Instead, he's delighted to cheer on his daughter, Laura, who's starring in a production of
Careless Whispers. The theater department at Athena College is debuting the play written by a
fledgling playwright with local connections and Charlie's son-in-law, Frank Salisbury, will be
calling the directorial shots.
Laura is upset to learn that Luke Lombardi, an overbearing actor she knew from her time in
Hollywood will also be taking part in the production as a guest artist. Lombardi arrives with an
entourage in tow and promptly proceeds to annoy everyone involved with the production. When
he collapses and dies on stage, after drinking from a glass Laura handed him, she becomes the
chief suspect in his murder.
Charlie knows his daughter is innocent, and he's not going to let anyone railroad his little girl. So,
despite his intentions to put his amateur sleuthing days behind him, Charlie has to take center
stage, and with Diesel's help, shine a spotlight on the real killer.
Critique: Deftly and expertly narrated by Erin Bennett, this complete and unabridged audio book
edition of Miranda James thoroughly engaging mystery novel, "Careless Whiskers" from Tantor
Media will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal and community
library audio book collections. (7 CDs, 8 Hours).
The Music CD Shelf
Whaling City Sound
c/o Naxos (distribution)
$16.99 CD / $8.99 MP3 amazon.com
Guitarist John Stein and his band presents Watershed, a jazz guitar music album on CD
performed with intense, fervent emotion. The songs run a creative gamut of styles and tempos,
yet share a passionate core that is the joy of creative performance. Watershed is a treasure for
connoisseurs of the genre, and also makes an excellent gift. The tracks are "Rio Escuro", "Kobe",
"Taste of Honey", "Brazilian Hug", "Mystified", "Wally", "The Kicker", "Waltz New", "Cisco",
"Dreamsville", "Charlotte", and "The Hang".
As We Go Wandering
Possessed by Paul James
$17.98 CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com
As We Go Wandering is a new roots album by Possessed by Paul James (the stage name of
music artists Konrad Wert). A passionate collection of songs created around the theme of forging
a path forward, As We Go Wandering calls to the drive to make the world a better place, to work
for peace and justice. Intensely motivational and performed with passion, As We Go Wandering
is a choice pick for both personal and public library music collections, highly recommended. The
tracks are "Come Back In My Mind", "In the Dark of Morning", "Your White Stained Dress",
"I'm So Good At Absolutely Nothing", "I Come From SW Florida", "Be At Rest", "When It
Breaks", "Dance With Me Tonight", "Don't Tell Me", "I Didn't Know You When", "Asleep With
Both Eyes Open", and "As We Go Wandering".
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com
Impressions is a new age solo piano album of original compositions by music artist Shoshana
Michel, crafted around the themes of reflection and inspiration. The smooth, graceful, flowing
music calls to creativity and a heightened sense of discovery within the listener. Impressions is a
choice pick for connoisseurs of the genre, highly recommended. The tracks are "Imagination",
"Dancing in the Shadows", "Quietly, Gently, Peacefully", "Loneliness", "Joyful Moments",
"Pierrot", "Prelude in E Minor", "In My Dreams", "Nocturne in E Flat", "Summer into Fall",
"Yearning", "Elegy", and "Long Ago and Far Away". 53 min. 44 sec.
The DVD Shelf
In Full Bloom: Transcending Gender
A film by Michael Brewer
First Run Features
In Full Bloom: Transcending Gender is a documentary film following thirteen transgender actors
and two gay actors as they engage in monologue, dialogue, and performance art while preparing
for the world premiere of an original stage play. In addition to behind-the-scenes, rehearsal, and
performance footage, In Full Bloom has a wealth of personal interviews with the cast, who speak
openly about issues of sexual identity and orientation, dealing with family, discrimination,
surgery, hormones, and much more. Riveting, intensely personal, and offering an unforgettable
glimpse into the challenges that transgender people face, In Full Bloom: Transcending Gender is
a "must" for LGBT studies collections, highly recommended. 90 min.
The Education Shelf
The Best Value Colleges: 13th Edition
The Princeton Review
c/o Random House Inc.
1745 Broadway, New York NY 10019
9780525569268, $12.99, PB, 336pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: College is a major financial investment and one that too many students and their
families enter into blindly. The Princeton Review eases that uncertainty with this fully updated
and expanded edition of "The Best Value Colleges", a guide to colleges and universities where
students get the best return on their tuition investment.
"The Best Value Colleges" includes: Profiles of 75 top-value picks of schools that offer fantastic
value, chosen based on 40+ data points, including academics, cost of attendance, financial aid,
and post-grad salary figures; Online access to the full profiles for an additional 125 high value
schools; Lists covering schools with the Best Alumni Network, Best Career Placement, Top
Financial Aid, and more; Starting and mid-career salary information for graduates of each school;
Percentages of alumni who report having "meaningful jobs," and who majored in
science/technology/engineering/math (STEM) fields, and a great deal more!
Critique: An invaluable reference for students and their families seeking to obtain maximum
value for the tuition dollar, this newly revised thirteenth edition of "The Best Values Colleges" is
especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, highschool counselor, and
community library College Guide reference collections.
Editorial Note: The experts at The Princeton Review have been helping students, parents, and
educators achieve the best results at every stage of the education process since 1981. The
Princeton Review has helped millions succeed on standardized tests, and also provides expert
advice and instruction to help parents, teachers, students, and schools navigate the complexities
of school admissions. They offer classroom courses in 41 states and 21 countries, online and
school-based courses, and one-to-one and small group tutoring.
Teaching Drama in the Classroom
Smith & Kraus Publishers
177 Lyme Road, Lyme NH 03755-6610
9781575259390, $19.95, PB, 307pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The purpose of "Teaching Drama in the Classroom, A Handbook of Lessons for
Middle & High School Students" by award-winning actor, director and educator Jeana Whitaker
is to help all of those classroom teachers who are tasked with teaching a beginning drama class
and looking for a solid place to start.
"Teaching Drama in the Classroom" is a complete curriculum for a one year course that includes
step-by-step instructions, activities, lessons assessments and grading rubrics. Also covered are:
Basic Stage Knowledge, Mime vs. Pantomime, Jobs in Theatre, Improvisation, Vocal
Interpretation, Shakespeare Performance, Monologue Performance, and more.
Critique: Impressively comprehensive, expertly organized, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in
presentation, "Teaching Drama in the Classroom, A Handbook of Lessons for Middle & High
School Students" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, college, and
university library Teacher Education collections in general, and Drama Class curriculum
supplemental studies lists in particular.
The Cookbook Shelf
The Pastry School
c/o Octopus Publishing
236 Park Avenue, New York NY 10017
9780857837806, $39.99, HC, 208pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Julie Jones is renowned for her highly decorative bakes packed with bold layers of
flavor and texture. She is leading the pastry revival, believing that with a bit of patience and a
love for food, anyone can create delicious, beautiful bakes.
In her new cookbook, "The Pastry School: Master Sweet and Savoury Pies, Tarts and Pastries at
Home", she includes a comprehensive Pastry Recipes & Methods section guides aspiring home
bakers through 10 different types of pastry with step-by-step instructions. These include loved
classics such as Shortcrust and Hot Water, as well as a versatile Vegan and Gluten-free, that can
be swapped in or out of recipes with a helpful Alternative Pastry Key.
Additional chapters include Fruit, Cream & Cheese, Nuts, Vegetables, Meat & Fish and Crunch
& Crumb, featuring more than 50 sweet and savory recipes ranging from a crowd-pleasing
Vegetable Patch(work) Tart to stunning Vanilla Slices.
Critique; Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout with full color photography, and
thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in organization and presentation, "The Pastry School: Master
Sweet and Savoury Pies, Tarts and Pastries at Home" is an extraordinary and unreservedly
recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library cookbook collections. It
should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Pastry School" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).
Editorial Note: Julie Jones has been recognised as one of the UK's most influential bakers thanks
to her unique, beautiful pastry creations and her highly creative approach to flavor and
decoration. She trained as a chef aged 30 and spent time in a Michelin-starred kitchen honing her
skills. After her mother developed dementia she began baking with her and set up an Instagram
feed as a means of documenting her beautiful bakes. With more than 113k followers and an
Observer Food Monthly Best Instagram Feed award in 2018, Julie's supper clubs always sell
The Homestead Canning Cookbook
Harvest House Publishers
PO Box 41210, Eugene, OR 97404-0322
9780736978941, $24.99, PB, 208pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: With simple, safe, methodical instructions from certified master food preserver
Georgia Varozza and featuring more than 150 delicious, nutritious, homemade recipes, as well as
practical advice for creating a sustainable lifestyle, "The Homestead Canning Cookbook" shows
even the most novice of kitchen cooks and canners can preserved their favorite foods. Showcased
are all the basics, including how to fit the process into a busy life, the equipment needed, and
step-by-step instructions for both water-bath and pressure canning.
With "The Homestead Canning Cookbook" anyone can now enjoy wholesome recipes for
canning fruit, vegetables, meat, soups, sauces, and so much more. They can also save money by
preserving their own food and gain valuable peace of mind by knowing exactly what's going into
the meals they are serving to their families and friends.
Critique: Beautifully illustrated and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation,
"The Homestead Canning Cookbook" is an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to
personal and community library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "The Homestead
Canning Cookbook" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.49).
Editorial Note: Georgia Varozza, is the author of the popular Homestyle Amish Kitchen
Cookbook and enjoys teaching people how to prepare and preserve healthy foods, live simply,
and get the most from what they have. She works in publishing, lives in a small Oregon
community, and can be found at www.georgiaplainandsimple.blogspot.com
Essential Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet Cookbook
Molly Devine, RD
9781641526807, $16.99, PB, 212pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Mediterranean diet has long been revered as one of the healthiest ways to eat, but
what it could be made even better with the compendium of recipes that comprise "The Essential
Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet Cookbook". Registered dietician Molly Devine combines the
heart-healthy and fiber-rich foods and healthy lifestyle habits of the Mediterranean diet with the
low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat ratios of the ketogenic diet. The result is a nutritious,
delicious, and powerhouse combination diet that will help anyone lose weight, improve their
cardiac and gut health, and simply feel more energized.
"The Essential Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet Cookbook" deftly outlines the hows and whys of
the diet in detail and provides two weeks of meal plans to get you started. Featured are 100
delicious recipes like Greek Egg and Tomato Scramble and Braised Short Ribs with Red Wine,
the dishes also use everyday ingredients to set up a sustainable, long-term culinary and dietary
Critique: Comprehensive and expertly organized, "Essential Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet
Cookbook: 100 Low-Carb, Heart-Healthy Recipes for Lasting Weight Loss" will prove to be an
immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, and community library
cookbook collections. It should be noted that Molly Devine's "Essential Ketogenic Mediterranean
Diet Cookbook" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).
Editorial Note: Molly Devine is a registered dietitian who specializes in integrative and
functional nutrition. She serves as the director of nutrition at a medical foods company offering
therapeutic ketogenic products and is the founder of Eat Your Keto, a nutrition counseling and
individualized meal-planning service focusing on customized whole-foods-based diets for
disease prevention and management.
Candy Making for Beginners
9781646110407, $16.99, PB, 146pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Candy Making for Beginners: Easy Recipes for Homemade Caramels, Gummies,
Lollipops and More" is the ideal candy cookbook for novice candy makers because it shows,
step-by-step, just how easy and fun it can be to make sweet treats that everyone will love.
Filled with expert guidance for those just starting out on their confectionary journey, "Candy
Making for Beginners" is a candy cookbook that will have kitchen cooks fixing up dozens of
delightful delicacies in no time and creating everything from fudge and honey caramels to sour
gummy worms and peppermint patties.
Meant especially for brand-new confectioners who don't own specialized equipment, "Candy
Making for Beginners" includes thoroughly 'user friendly' recipes for all kinds of tasty treats to
fill a candy bowl with a variety of sumptuous sweets that are perfect for every taste and
Critique: Also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99), and featuring occasional color
photographs, "Candy Making for Beginners: Easy Recipes for Homemade Caramels, Gummies,
Lollipops and More" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal,
professional, and community library cookbook collections.
Editorial Note: Karen Neugebauer is the owner and Master Chocolatier of Forte Chocolates. She
is ranked one of the top 10 chocolatiers in the world by the International Chocalate Awards and
consults for the bean-to-bar craft chocolate industry in the Unites States and Brazil. Those
interested can learn more at www.fortechocolates.com and follow her on Instagram
The Art Shelf
The Complete Guide to Drawing for Beginners
9784805315767 $16.99 pbk / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: In The Complete Guide to Drawing for Beginners, experienced art instructor Yoshiko
Ogura explains the basics of pencil drawing through a series of lessons that provide insights on
artistic composition, simulating highlights and shadows, depicting realistic forms, rendering
texture and creating a sense of depth in your artwork. At the beginning of the book, she provides
you with all the information you need to get started - what materials to buy, how to prepare your
work surface, pencils and erasers - even how to sit correctly when drawing.
Once you know these, Ogura provides a series of easy and clear step-by-step lessons showing you
how to draw simple objects while gaining an understanding of the essential concepts of
perspective, how to convey hard and soft surfaces and textures, composition and balance. From
here, you progress to more complex shapes and objects including landscapes and portraits of
people and animals, as she explains all the additional concepts needed to draw these
This book teaches you how to draw the following interesting subjects:
Simple forms (an apple, a milk carton, an egg, a mug)
Hard & soft surfaces (a cloth, a loaf of bread, a stone, a book)
Transparent objects (water droplets, a glass)
Complex objects (a pumpkin slice with seeds and pulp, a sunflower)
Human figures (hands, portraits)
Landscape (trees, buildings)
Animals (a cat, a parakeet)
Still life (fruit, flowers)
Plus, many other inspirational examples and ideas!
By the end, all your drawings will begin to look impressively polished and realistic! As you work
through the lessons, you'll master all the skills and knowledge that seasoned artists demonstrate
in their work.
Critique: The Complete Guide to Drawing for Beginners: 21 Step-by-Step Lessons lives up to its
title as a user-friendly guide learning the basics of drawing. Over 450 illustrations, some in black
and white and some in color, help demonstrate basic techniques for drawing with pencils and a
kneaded eraser. The Complete Guide to Drawing for Beginners is enthusiastically recommended
for anyone with an interest in drawing, whether as a hobby or as the first step toward an art-
related profession. It should be noted that The Complete Guide to Drawing for Beginners is also
available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
Drawing Dynamic Manga Characters
Tomomi Mizuna and Junka Morozumi
9784805315712 $14.99 pbk / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: This volume builds on the proven three-step technique presented in the companion
volume, Drawing Basic Characters. Here, the reader works not from a traced drawing but from
original outlines, which they create themselves.
Experienced manga artists Junka Morozumi and Tomomi Mizuna are your guides to the dazzling
world of lifelike and expressive manga characters who literally leap off the page. Through expert
tips and richly-illustrated, step-by-step tutorials, they help you to build your skills and confidence
at the same time.
Their focus is on creating a dynamic body pose and face for each character and illustration. First
you are shown how to sketch a well-proportioned outline, then how to fill in supporting details -
powerful dramatic expressions, clothing and actions. Bold examples portray an array of body
types and faces, each capturing a different mood or action sequence.
Whether your character has just won a major victory and is leaping into the air in triumph, or you
want to draw the subtlety of a forlorn expression, this book will allow you to capture it. No
matter what story you're telling, Drawing Dynamic Manga Characters shows you how the pros do
Critique: Drawing Dynamic Manga Characters lives up to its title as a guide to drawing
characters in the style of Japanese manga and anime, with an emphasis on bringing actions and
poses in motion to life. Over 450 sketches and full-color drawings illustrate how to bring a
variety of facial expressions, activities, and emotional moments to life on the page, as well as
how changing the viewpoint angle can affect the final picture. Drawing Dynamic Manga
Characters is a "must-have" for anyone with an interest in creating manga-style art, whether as a
hobby or a profession. Highly recommended! It should be noted for personal reference lists that
Drawing Dynamic Manga Characters is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
Drawing Fantastic Female Fighters
Hisashi Kagawa and Yoshihiko Umakoshi
9784805315842 $19.99 pbk / $18.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: Join Hisashi Kagawa, an animation director for Sailor Moon, and Yoshihiko
Umakoshi, a character developer for My Hero Academia, as they show you how to bring your
battle heroines boldly to life.
Helpful sidebars and tips appear in dialogue bubbles throughout this book, as the artists guide
aspiring illustrators from initial idea to finished artworks, pointing out common missteps and
pitfalls that can easily frustrate beginning artists along the way.
The essential techniques and design elements needed to create engaging female-led battle scenes
are first reviewed in detail. Then each author walks the reader through their entire creative
process of developing an original story from beginning to end.
Along the way the authors give you hundreds of helpful tips on how to create compelling
characters and render realistic expressions and poses, showing you how practiced professionals
work. Starting from a storyboard sequence of simple sketches you'll progress to a polished
By learning from two artists with different styles at the same time, readers get twice the advice
and emerge doubly prepared to create scenes, stories and battle heroines of their own.
Critique: Featuring over 1200 illustrations, Drawing Fantastic Female Fighters: Bringing Fierce
Female Characters to Life lives up to its title as an art guide to bringing female characters in the
style of Japanese anime and manga to life on the page. The text offers in-depth instructions and
advice on everything from expressions and poses to issues specific to women's clothing. Drawing
Fantastic Female Fighters is a treasure for anyone interested in creating manga-style art or
comics. Highly recommended! It should be noted for personal reference collections that Drawing
Fantastic Female Fighters is also available in a Kindle edition ($18.99).
The Complete Book of Textures for Artists
Denise J. Howard, Steven Pearce, Mia Tavonatti
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781633228702, $19.99, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: After an introduction to the basic tools and materials, aspiring artists will discover a
variety of drawing and painting techniques, such as hatching, crosshatching, shading, blending,
layering, burnishing, and more in "The Complete Book of Textures for Artists". Novice artists
will learn just how easy it is to render everything from wood, metals, glass, food, and water to
human and animal textures, such as hair, skin, fur, eyes, and more. Each page features
easy-to-follow steps demonstrating how to create each specific texture. You will discover tips
and techniques for reproducing certain textures in a variety of media, as well as how to create
physical textures in your artwork.
"The Complete Book of Textures for Artists" features a wide variety of both traditional and
contemporary techniques and is deftly organized into sections based on subject matter and media,
with each technique being presented with simple instructions and beautiful examples. Not only
will beginning artists learn a variety of techniques, but they will also discover new ideas and
inspiration for using the techniques in Their own projects.
Critique: Featuring illustrated step-by-step instructions for mastering more than 275 textures in
graphite, charcoal, colored pencil, acrylic, and oil, and Packed from cover to cover with 'user
friendly' instructions and plenty of helpful artist tips, "The Complete Book of Textures for
Artists" unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library
colored pencil, acrylic and oil painting instructional reference collections.
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781631598357, $26.95, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: An expressive sketchbook is a place for aspiring artists to explore, express, and enjoy
their own innate creativity on their own terms. It is a safe playground for the imagination, a place
to mess about, play, and experiment, and a forum in which to gain confidence in their abilities as
they develop their skills.
"Expressive Sketchbooks: Developing Creative Skills, Courage, and Confidence" by professional
artist Helen Wells offers techniques and creative exercises that incorporate mark making,
watercolor, mixed media, collage, words and text, and more. It unpacks some of the obstacles
and barriers that an artist may face along the way and offers wisdom and encouragement to help
artists decide why and how to start their own sketchbook and how to develop and expand their
Packed from cover to cover with ideas and exercises, "Expressive Sketchbook" includes:
Exploratory drawing exercises; How to utilize color in your sketchbook; How to create dynamic
and varied sketchbook pages; How to find inspiration in nature and in your everyday life; Ways
to mix media and art supplies; Ways to kickstart your creativity; How to find and develop a
process that feels personal to you.
Critique: Profusely illustrated in full color throughout, "Expressive Sketchbook" is an especially
useful, thoroughly art student friendly, and unreservedly recommended addition to personal,
professional, art school, community library Art/Mixed Media instructional reference
Editorial Note: Helen Wells is an artist from the South Coast of England. Her artworks are
intricate and organic and depict illusionary surfaces or landscapes. With multiple layers,
fragments, colors, and obsessive decorative details, her ethereal patterned works bring to mind
elements of the natural world or magical other-worlds. Her artworks are in private collections all
over the world and have featured on numerous products, from book covers to wine bottles. In
2014, she co-won Winsor & Newton's Watercolor Revolution competition which resulted in her
painting being displayed in the Saatchi Gallery in London. She has also been featured in
magazines and exhibited her work at one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants in London.
Watercolor the Easy Way
Betty Day Books
c/o Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
4880 Lower Valley Road, Atglen, PA 19310
9780764359828, $24.99, PB, 127pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Sara Berrenson is a painter and illustrator who has professionally collaborated with
such brands as West Elm, Pottery Barn Kids, Trader Joe's, and Mattel. In "Watercolor the Easy
Way: Step-by-Step Tutorials for 50 Beautiful Motifs Including Plants, Flowers, Animals &
More" she draws upon her years of experience and expertise to create an instruction manual and
guide to quickly learn the fundamentals of color mixing, brushstrokes, and more.
Features are a selection of 50 stunning pictures to paint and each individual watercolor art project
can be completed in just 30 minutes. Ranging from beautiful botanicals and fabulous florals to
animals and trendy designs, the projects are approachable, fun, and has something for every
Each of the 50 simple tutorials is broken down into key steps so aspiring artists can clearly see
how to begin their painting, layer color, and add detail. Also included are hand-drawn patterns
that can be traced onto a watercolor pad, along with brush recommendations, helpful tips, and
color palettes to try.
Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout, "Watercolor the Easy Way: Step-by-Step Tutorials for
50 Beautiful Motifs Including Plants, Flowers, Animals & More" is an ideal and thoroughly 'user
friendly' DIY instruction manual and guide that is unreservedly recommended for personal and
community library collections, as well as a school art class curriculum textbook.
The Money/Finance Shelf
Find More Money
B&H Publishing Group
1 LifeWay Plaza, Nashville, TN 37234
9781535971072, $17.99, PB, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: What do you do when cutting your budget no longer cuts it? From pastors in the pulpit
to people in the pews, many people have cut and cut, but still find themselves struggling to pay
the bills. Their full-time job is giving them barely enough to get by; how could they even begin to
think about eliminating debt, saving, and living generously?
Financial expert and author Art Rainer (The Money Challenge; The Marriage Challenge) helps
answer these questions in "Find More Money: Increase Your Income to Tackle Debt, Save
Wisely, and Live Generously" by pointing his readers to the reality of the gig economy. When a
full-time job doesn't provide what you need, finding a "gig" may be the answer to your financial
aspirations and problems.
"Find More Money" is not just about financial stewardship, but about stewarding your talents,
time, and abilities -- not so you can get rich, but so you can live generously on mission for the
kingdom of God.
Critique: As thoughtfully practical as it is inspired and inspiring, "Find More Money: Increase
Your Income to Tackle Debt, Save Wisely, and Live Generously" is especially recommended for
the non-specialist general reader struggling with financial realities and aspirations to contribute
to the financial stability and well-being of their religious communities and their commitments to
make the world a better place for themselves, their families, and their neighbors. While
unreservedly recommended for community and church library collections, it should be noted for
personal reading lists that "Find More Money: Increase Your Income to Tackle Debt, Save
Wisely, and Live Generously" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).
Editorial Note: Art Rainer is the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He holds a Doctor of Business Administration from Nova Southeastern University and an MBA from the University of Kentucky.
The Self-Help Shelf
Robert L. Dilenschneider
c/o Kensington Publishing Corp.
119 West 40th Street, Floor 21, New York, NY 10018-2522
9780806540528, $16.95, PB, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Sorting out our lives amidst chaos, confusion, and innumerable options is a process we
all have in common. The decisions we ultimately make can affect our lives and the lives of
others. It's not always easy.
Compiled and presented by Robert L. Dilenschneider (an expert in business strategies)
"Decisions: Practical Advice from 23 Men and Women Who Shaped the World" is an
empowering guide comprised of the choices of notable, visionary decision-makers ranging from
Harry Truman and Henry Ford to Marie Curie and Malala Yousafzai, and collectively explains
how anyone can apply their principles to their own personal and professional real-life
Resolve, patience, and practical thinking are the hallmarked qualities advocated by successful
politicians, scientists, economists, inventors, entrepreneurs, theologians, activists, and
commanders of war and peace. Their inspiring counsel will provide the tools needed to help
change anyone's life for the better. Both big and small, our choices can shape the minutes, days,
weeks, and years ahead. A close and thoughtful read of "Decisions: Practical Advice from 23
Men and Women Who Shaped the World" is the first motivating step in the right direction.
Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "Decisions: Practical Advice from 23 Men and Women Who
Shaped the World" is a unique and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional,
community, and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted for
individual reading lists that "Decisions: Practical Advice from 23 Men and Women Who Shaped
the World" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Woodworking Shelf
The Lathe Book, third edition
The Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
9781641550116, $29.95, PB, 208pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Now in a completely revised and fully updated third edition, "The Lathe Book: A
Complete Guide to the Machine and its Accessories" continue to be the definitive guide to this
essential turning machine written by legendary woodturning author, teacher, and lathe designer
Ernie Conover. There have been tremendous advances in lathes, accessories, and sharpening
equipment in the past few years and now Conover brings his classic reference book completely
up-to-date, incorporating with the many recent innovations in the lathe and its accessories.
Profusely illustrated, "The Lathe Book" introduces the novice or professional woodturner to the
expanded range of lathes now available, including invaluable information on choosing a lathe. It
also features many new chucks for holding work; offers comprehensive advice on selecting
turning tools, including the popular carbide-insert tools; outlines the groundbreaking
developments in sharpening equipment, emphasizes the importance of full-face shield protection,
hearing protection, and dust collection; and includes information on basic lathe
Critique: Simply stated, this new third edition of "The Lathe Book: A Complete Guide to the
Machine and its Accessories" is an absolutely and unreservedly recommended addition to
personal, professional, school wood shop class, and community library Woodworking
instructional reference guides and manuals.
Editorial Note: Ernie Conover is a veteran woodworking author with nine books, many videos,
and hundreds of articles to his credit. His work has received numerous awards and been the
subject of several one-man shows. Ernie lectures widely for clubs, trade show groups, and
woodworking stores and is frequently called upon as a consultant and expert witness in the
woodworking field. He is also a lathe designer, having developed his own lathe and worked on
the designs of the Nova and the Powermatic 3520b. When not writing, lecturing, or consulting he
is active in providing academic oversight and teaching at Conover Workshops
(www.conoverworkshops.com) -- a craft school founded by the Conover family.
The Sports Shelf
Complete Calisthenics, second edition
North Atlantic Books
2526 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley, CA 94704-2607
9781623174118, $24.95, PB, 336pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Now in a newly updated and expanded second edition, "Complete Calisthenics: The
Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Exercise" continues to be an essential guide for anyone interested
in losing weight, building core strength, and taking their workouts to the next level. Drawing
upon his years of experience and expertise, calisthenics trainer Ashley Kalym has designed a
comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide to calisthenics using only one's own body weight for
resistance. Readers will learn how to execute a wide range of exercises such as push-ups,
pull-ups, core development movements, and lower-body routines.
Also included are easy-to-follow instructions for the planche, the front and back lever,
handstands, handstand push-ups, muscle-ups, leg training, and other key exercises. "Complete
Calisthenics" includes essential information on workout preparation, simple props, nutrition, and
an assortment of diverse training routines.
New to this second edition are enhanced muscle-building exercises, instructions for optimal rest
and recovery, and an assortment of original recipes. Kalym also includes samples from his
personal food diary."Complete Calisthenics" takes readers on a path to creating physical
endurance, agility, and power. The book is suitable for every level of athlete, from beginner to
Critique: Effectively and profusely illustrated throughout with instructive, black-and-white, step-
by-step photos, the newly revised second edition of "Complete Calisthenics: The Ultimate Guide
to Bodyweight Exercise" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, making it
ideal as a Physical Education curriculum textbook and unreservedly recommended for personal,
professional, community, and academic library weight-training collections. It should be noted
that "Complete Calisthenics" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).
Editorial Note: Ashley Kalym played rugby from age eight to eighteen at school and in local and
junior professional clubs. He received a degree in biology with forensics and after university
began training for the Royal Marines. It was during this time that he was introduced to the value
of body weight exercise, eventually training to become a personal trainer and pursuing a career in
calisthenics and body weight training.
The Architecture Shelf
Abdelhalim Ibrahim Abdelhalim
American University in Cairo Press
420 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10018-2729
9789774168901, $69.95, HC, 194pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Since 1945, the globalization of education and the professionalization of architects and
engineers, as well as the conceptualization and production of space, can be seen as a product of
battles of legitimacy that were played out in the context of the Cold War and what followed. In
"Abdelhalim Ibrahim Abdelhalim: An Architecture of Collective Memory" Professor James
Steele provides an informative and compelling analysis of one of Egypt's foremost contemporary
architects, Abdelhalim Ibrahim Abdelhalim, and his work during a period of Egypt's attempts at
constructing an identity and cultural legitimacy within the post-Second World War world
Born in 1941 in the small town of Sornaga just south of Cairo, Abdelhalim received his
architectural training in Egypt and the United States, and is the designer of over one hundred
cultural, institutional, and rehabilitation projects, including the Cultural Park for Children in
Cairo, the American University in Cairo campus in New Cairo, the Egyptian Embassy in
Amman, and the Uthman Ibn Affan Mosque in Qatar.
The first comprehensive study of the work and career of Abdelhalim and his office, the
Community Design Collaborative (CDC), which he established in Cairo in 1978, Abdelhalim
Ibrahim Abdelhalim: An Architecture of Collective Memory is inspired by Abdelhalim's deep
belief in the power of rituals as a guiding force behind various human behaviors and the spaces in
which they are enacted and designed to play out.
Each chapter is consequently dedicated to one of these rituals and the ways in which some of
Abdelhalim's primary commissions have, at all levels of scale, revealed and expressed that ritual.
In the sequence presented these are: the rituals of possession, reverence, order, the transmission
of knowledge, procession, human institutions, geometry, light, the sense of place, materiality,
and finally, the ritual of color.
Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout, "Abdelhalim Ibrahim Abdelhalim: An Architecture of
Collective Memory" is an impressively informative, exceptionally detailed, and expertly
presented combination of biography and architectural study that is an especially recommended
addition to professional and academic library Contemporary Architecture collections and
supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note: James Steele is a professor in the School of Architecture, University of Southern
California, where he has taught courses on the history and theory of architecture and on design.
Prior to that he held a teaching position for ten years at the King Faisal (now Dammam)
University near Dhahran in Saudi Arabia. He is the author of over 50 books, including An
Architecture for People: The Complete Works of Hassan Fathy, Turkey: A Traveller's Historical
and Architectural Guide, and Contemporary Japanese Architecture: Tracing the Next
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
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