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Brandon S. Hultink
Quill Driver Books
2006 South Mary, Fresno, CA 93721
9781610353519, $16.95 PB, $8.99 Kindle, 180pp, www.amazon.com
The Backpack: A Wounded Police Officer's Struggle with the Burden All Cops Share comes
from a former police officer who chronicles his move from depression over physical and
emotional assaults at work to faith in God and recovery. While his first-person story is personal,
it details many levels of depression and pain that are part of the police officer's job, from
participation in enforcement teams and community programs to police work that starts out
exciting, but exposes officers to traumas and difficult situations that most ordinary people never
experience. From shootouts to confrontations both with others and within, The Backpack is a
memoir that provides a riveting personal story that is thoroughly engrossing, educational, and
Birth Settings in America: Outcomes, Quality, Access, and Choice
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine
National Academies Press
500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001
9780309669825, $75.00, PB, 368pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The delivery of high quality and equitable care for both mothers and newborns is
complex and requires efforts across many sectors. The United States spends more on childbirth
than any other country in the world, yet outcomes are worse than other high-resource countries,
and even worse for Black and Native American women.
There are a variety of factors that influence childbirth, including social determinants such as
income, educational levels, access to care, financing, transportation, structural racism and
geographic variability in birth settings. It is important to reevaluate the United States' approach to
maternal and newborn care through the lens of these factors across multiple disciplines.
"Birth Settings in America: Outcomes, Quality, Access, and Choice" reviews and evaluates
maternal and newborn care in the United States, the epidemiology of social and clinical risks in
pregnancy and childbirth, birth settings research, and access to and choice of birth settings.
Critique: A comprehensive and exceptionally well organized and presented study, "Birth Settings
in America: Outcomes, Quality, Access, and Choice" is unreservedly recommended as a core
addition to professional, college, and university Pediatrics Medicine Marriage & Family
Sociology collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for the
personal reading lists of medical students, pediatric and midwife practitioners, and non-specialist
general readers with an interest in the subject that "Birth Settings in America: Outcomes, Quality,
Access, and Choice" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $59.99).
My Life With Helen
Diane S. Nine
9781950544097 $28.00 hc / $8.69 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: There's no denying that Helen Thomas was a larger-than-life personality, but more
importantly, she was a trailblazer for women in journalism. Professionally, she reported on more
presidential administrations than anyone in history, and she rightfully earned her place--front
row, center--as the Dean of the White House Press Corps. However, later in her life, Helen made
some regrettable comments that subsequently ended her illustrious career and tarnished her
From her rise to the top of the political journalism ladder to her unceremonious downfall, there
was one constant and that was Diane Nine. She was by Helen's side through thick and thin as her
literary agent and her close friend for more than 30 years.
In My Life With Helen, readers learn for the first time what was going on behind the scenes after
Helen's fall from grace and how Diane struggled to come to terms with the media frenzy that
followed. Maybe things do happen for a reason. That's for the reader to decide. There's no
denying that Helen was a force to be reckoned with, but more importantly, she was human, flaws
Critique: My Life With Helen: The Dean of the White House Press Corps Through Her Agent's
Eyes is a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of White House journalism. Author Diane
S. Nine worked as the agent of legendary female journalist Helen Thomas from 1988 through
2010; chapters detail the ups and downs of turbulent decades, intense politics, ultra-formal
dinners, books and speeches, travels, devastating illness, controversies, Helen's resignation, and
more. An absolutely captivating insider's tell-all, My Life With Helen is highly recommended for
both personal and public library collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that My
Life With Helen is also available in a Kindle edition ($8.69).
Birder on Berry Lane
c/o Charlesbridge Publishing
85 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472
9781623545413, $19.99, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The house of Robert Tougias on Berry Lane may look like a typical Connecticut
suburban home, but as his fascinating year-long account in the pages of "Birder on Berry Lane"
reveals, its three-acre backyard is teeming with nature's mysteries. Acutely sensitive to the
activities of birds, Tougias notes which species are present, which are breeding, and where their
nests are. He identifies each species by its song, and brings us on a journey of appreciation as we
learn the wonders of bird migration, the sensitive interaction of birds with their habitat, and the
hidden meaning of their call notes and songs.
"Birder on Berry Lane" is comprised of intimate and acutely observed writing that reveals the
miracles of the ordinary in the subtle changes, season to season, of the ecosystem of the woods,
streams, and meadow that make up the sprawling backyard on Berry Lane. We are led to
consider, too, the dangers posed by the climate crisis and unthinking human development. The
quietly powerful writing tunes our senses to the change of the seasons, the return of warblers in
spring, geese flying south in the fall -- all happening on time as they have for eons.
Beautifully illustrated with twenty-five line drawings by Mark Szantyr, "Birder on Berry Lane" is
a book of sublime simplicity that teaches an appreciation for what we commonly overlook.
Critique: Impressively informative, expertly organized, effectively presented, and a joy to read,
"Birder on Berry Lane: Three Acres, Twelve Months, Thousands of Birds" is a unique and
unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library Aviary Wildlife
collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated bird watching
enthusiasts that "Birder on Berry Lane" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Robert Tougias is also the author of Birding Western Massachusetts and The
Quest for the Eastern Cougar. He also writes nature articles for publications throughout the
country. His column "Bird's Eye View" appears regularly in the New London Day Newspaper.
He received his education in natural resources at the University of Massachusetts and has worked
for the Massachusetts Audubon Society and the US Department of Agriculture.
The Health/Medicine Shelf
Covid-19: Resources For Coping With The Pandemic And Beyond
Sam Mayhugh & Brian Mayhugh
c/o Thomas Nelson Publishers
PO Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214
9781973692874, $27.95, PB, 80pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Covid-19: Resources For Coping With The Pandemic And Beyond" by clinical
psychologist Sam Mayhugh and psychologist and healthcare executive Brian Mayhugh provides
persons living under the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic with many resources including; help,
crisis, and information lines, as well as tips and recommendations about dealing with anxiety and
depression, and building resiliency. The medical, social, and financial conditions of this current
pandemic provide a cascade of stresses on everyone -- but genuine opportunities for personal
assessment and support are provided throughout "Covid-19: Resources For Coping With The
Pandemic And Beyond".
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "Covid-19: Resources For Coping
With The Pandemic And Beyond" is a critically important and unreservedly recommended
addition to the personal reading lists of non-specialist general readers concerned about Covid-19,
as well as an immediate and enduringly valued contribution to health clinic, community, college,
and university library Contemporary Health & Medicine collections.
Editorial Note: Dr. Sam Mayhugh maintains an informative website at:
The Writing/Publishing Shelf
You Talkin' to Me?: How to Write Great Dialogue
Linda Seger & John Ralney
Michael Wiese Productions
12400 Ventura Blvd., #1111, Studio City, CA 91604
9781615933136, $19.95, PB, 260pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Unlike the chitchat of everyday life, dialogue in stories must express character,
advance the story, suggest a theme, and include a few memorable lines that audiences will be
quoting for decades to come.
The best stories have dialogue that sparkles, but it's easy for inexperienced writers to fall into
common pitfalls like creating dialogue that's wooden or too on the nose. Other writers end up
with exposition awkwardly inserted into conversations, actors tripping over unnatural phrases, or
characters who all speak exactly the same way.
In "You Talkin' to Me?: How to Write Great Dialogue", professional screen writers Linda Seger
and John Winston Rainey have written a complete course of instruction that deal with all the
dialogue problems that aspiring writers commonly encounter. In each chapter, "You Talkin' to
Me?: How to Write Great Dialogue" explores dialogue from a different angle and discuss
examples of great dialogue from films and novels. To cap it all off, each chapter ends with
examples of poor dialogue, which are annotated by Linda and then rewritten by John, so readers
don't just learn how to recognize when it's done well -- they also learn how to make dialogue
Whether writing fiction or nonfiction, for the screen or for the page, "You Talkin' to Me?: How
to Write Great Dialogue" show aspiring screen writers how to get their characters talking -- and
their audiences fully engaged in listening to what's being said.
Critique: Simply stated, "You Talkin' to Me?: How to Write Great Dialogue" should be
considered mandatory reading for any author involved with screen writing and considered an
essential, core addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university library
Performing Arts, Film & Video, and Screen Writing instructional reference collections. It should
be noted that "You Talkin' to Me?: How to Write Great Dialogue" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $18.71).
Editorial Note: Linda Seger created and defined the career of script consultant in 1981. She is the
most prolific author in the area of screen writing. Two of her nine screen writing books, "Making
a Good Script Great", and "Creating Unforgettable Characters" remain staples for writers and
many universities use them as textbooks in screen writing classes. She has consulted on over
2,000 scripts including over 50 produced feature films and over 35 produced television projects.
She has given seminars in over 30 countries around the world. Linda has earned 3 MA degrees
and a ThD including one in drama and one in Religion and the Arts.
John Rainey has been involved in the dramatic arts since 1975 and has been a script consultant
since 1989. He has a B.A. and an M.F.A. in acting and directing. He acted and directed
professionally for a decade before turning his attention to screenwriting in 1987. He has written
10 scripts for production companies located in Japan, Morocco, India, Russia, Colombia,
Canada, and the United States, three of which have been produced and three more currently in
some phase of production. He has also written 15 spec scripts, many of which have been
optioned several times, and innumerable shorts. He has directed one short that is in
post-production. Currently, he is developing a dramatic webisode series.
Actually, the Comma Goes Here
9781647399221 $12.99 pbk / $8.99 Kindle
Synopsis: No one's ever said that learning punctuation is fun - until now. Actually, The Comma
Goes Here takes a lighthearted yet highly informative approach to ensuring you never misplace a
Whether it's semicolons or exclamation points, this primer has you covered with chapters that
dive deep into the correct use for each and every piece of punctuation. You'll find plenty of fun
(and funny) examples of proper writing while also learning how punctuation has changed
Actually, The Comma Goes Here includes:
A complete crash course - Keep things simple with chapters that progress from the most basic
punctuation (like periods) to more advanced or uncommon punctuation (like brackets).
Memorable advice - Never mix your clauses up again thanks to easy-to-remember breakdowns,
handy mnemonics, and entertaining sample sentences.
Matters of style - Discover a quick reference chart that details the differences between the most
common style guides, including the Chicago Manual of Style and Associated Press.
Perfect your punctuation with the help of this comprehensive guidebook.
Critique: Actually, the Comma Goes Here is a thoroughly accessible punctuation guide for
writers of all skill and experience levels. Periods, semicolons, commas, brackets, clauses, and
much more are all explained in straightforward terms with examples and more than a dash of
witty humor. Actually, the Comma Goes Here is a "must-have" especially for aspiring and
practicing professional writers, from columnists to novelists! Highly recommended. It should be
noted for personal reading lists that Actually, The Comma Goes Here is also available in a
Kindle edition ($8.99).
The English Grammar Workbook for Adults
9781646113194, $19.99, PB, 208pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Mastering English grammar can be a real challenge. But, with a little practice and
patience, anyone can discover how to communicate better through self-study in their spare time
with the DIY instructional course offered by "The English Grammar Workbook for Adults: A
Self-Study Guide to Improve Functional Writing" that is specifically designed to help improve
writing fluency so aspiring writers can gain confidence while crafting emails, cover letters,
conducting daily business, and personal correspondence.
No matter the current skill level may be, this English grammar workbook has everything needed
and necessary to learning essential elements of the written language, including nouns, verbs,
adjectives, adverbs, tenses, and beyond. Then what has been learned can be aptly applied to
everyday situations such as those related to school, to work, to social situations, to creative
writing, to writing online, and more.
Critique: An ideal choice for classroom curriculums or DIY individual studies, "The English
Grammar Workbook for Adults: A Self-Study Guide to Improve Functional Writing" is very
highly recommended for personal, school district, college, and university library collections. It
should be noted for personal studies lists that "The English Grammar Workbook for Adults: A
Self-Study Guide to Improve Functional Writing" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Michael DiGiacomo started teaching English as a foreign language to adults at a
private language school in Sendai, Japan, in 1994. In 2010, he formed Happy English, his own
ESL tutoring company in New York. He teaches private lessons, hosts a podcast, and has a
YouTube channel to help students all over the world learn English.
The Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Marie D. Jones
Visible Ink Press
43311 Joy Rd., #414, Canton, MI 48187-2075
9781578596973, $19.95, PB, 272pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Nature's magic is everywhere. It's in backyards, in the woods, ponds, and even
kitchens. You just need to know how to see it. It's finding the well-being drawn from the energies
of the Earth and the universe. It's the herbs and plants, symbols and talismans, candles, stones,
gems, and crystals, and their special powers and meanings, spells, potions, and animal and spirit
guides. Even as it gives us the food, water, and air we need to survive, the Earth offers gifts far
beyond the obvious.
"Earth Magic: Your Complete Guide to Natural Spells, Potions, Plants, Herbs, Witchcraft, and
More", will guide you through the rites, practices, and traditions people use to connect
themselves to the planet, spirits, and energies. "Earth Magic" shows how the laws of the universe
and the forces of science can allow you to achieve your desires and intentions by aligning unseen
energy. With "Earth Magic" you can find the wisdom in the stars and planets above and the Earth
"Earth Magic" also brings balance and harmony to modern life through the healing and uplifting
powers nature. A fascinating read, "Earth Magic" shares practical advice and timeless insights.
Green living, natural healing, alignment with the Earth and stars and serves as wondrously
instructive guide to a universe filled with marvels!
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "Earth
Magic: Your Complete Guide to Natural Spells, Potions, Plants, Herbs, Witchcraft, and More" is
an ideal introduction for DIY metaphysical studies curriculums and supplemental studies lists. It
should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academicians, practitioners, and non-
specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Earth Magic" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.95).
Editorial Note: Marie D. Jones is the author of nearly two dozen nonfiction books on
cutting-edge science, the paranormal, conspiracies, ancient knowledge, and unknown mysteries,
including (from the Visible Ink Press) Celebrity Ghosts and Notorious Hauntings; Demons, the
Devil, and Fallen Angels; and The Disaster Survival Guide: How to Prepare For and Survive
Floods, Fires, Earthquakes and More; plus PSIence: How New Discoveries in Quantum Physics
and New Science May Explain the Existence of Paranormal Phenomena; The Grid: Exploring the
Hidden Infrastructure of Reality; Supervolcano: The Catastrophic Event That Changed the
Course of Human History; and The Deja Vu Enigma. She is a regular contributor to New Dawn
Magazine, FATE, Paranoia Magazine and other periodicals.
Lawren Leo & Domenic Leo
c/o Red Wheel/Weiser/Conari
65 Parker Street, Suite 7, Newburyport, MA 01950
9781578636983, $15.95, PB, 208pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Along with the bear, horses are a primary creature associated with shamanism and
traditions influenced by it. They appear in 25,000-year-old cave paintings, such as those at
Lascaux. They find a role in the modern African diaspora traditions such as Haitian Vodou,
whose devotees are called "horses" for the spirits who ride them during trances.
The spirit of the horse exists in the subconscious minds of humans and takes shape in various
forms, whether as a symbol of fertility in the land, as in Celtic mythology, or as a psychopomp,
which leads the dead to the next world. The horse has made its way into the current of our
collective unconscious as a universal archetype.
The collaborative work of Lawren and Domenic Leo, "Horse Magick: Spells and Rituals for
Self-Empowerment, Protection, and Prosperity" is comprised of spells, rituals, chants, and
meditations for many purposes, loosely based around equine imagery. Numerous traditions are
represented, as are many deities, including Athena, Epona, and Baba Yaga. Readers show note
that no contact with actual horses is required in order to appreciate and benefit from "Horse
Magick" as part of their metaphysical studies.
Through the use of spells and rituals, readers are able to magickally ride to their chosen destinies
and fulfill their desires. Workings involve crystals, candles, and Tarot cards, items easily
accessible for most readers.
Critique: Enhanced for both academia and non-specialist general readers with the inclusion of an
informative Introduction, a ten page Bibliography, and a seven page Index, "Horse Magick:
Spells and Rituals for Self-Empowerment, Protection, and Prosperity" is a uniquely informative
and exceptionally well presented study. While especially recommended for personal,
professional, community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections, it should be
noted for individual reading lists that "Horse Magick" is also readily available in a digital book
Editorial Note: Lawren Leo is an author and the owner of New Moon Books, Crystals, and
Candles, a metaphysical boutique in Pompano Beach, Florida. He contributes to and co-edits the
e-zine he founded, The Familiar. He is a spiritual counselor, student of esoteric philosophy, and
practitioner of the magickal arts in the tradition of the Golden Dawn.
Domenic Leo holds degrees in French and Spanish literature, linguistics, and ancient Greek, early
Christian, Islamic, and medieval art history from Georgetown University, Christie's Education,
and New York University's Institute of Fine Arts. He taught art history at Duquesne University,
Youngstown State University, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division and has
lectured throughout the United States, Great Britain, and Europe.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
3 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9780358213048, $20.00, HC, 192pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: For anyone new to the benefits of crystal healing and astrology, or for those who have
been practicing for years, "Crystal Zodiac: An Astrological Guide to Enhancing Your Life with
Crystals" by Katie Huang breaks down their practical, easy-to-use applications, showing how
they powerfully work together to prioritize personal growth and mindfulness in the
Readers will learn which crystals to use for their zodiac signs and major planetary placements in
their natal charts, how these placements critically impact different areas of their lives, and
customized rituals to harness and utilize the energy of each sign.
By understanding the best crystals to use for their astrological profile, readers will become more
attuned to their own (and others') communication styles, emotional needs, and love languages,
gaining all the tools they need to form or enrich a wellness routine that feels tailor-made for
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated in full color throughout, is an ideal introduction for
the novice metaphysical studies student to the subject of Crystals. Providing an astrological
overview of the subject, "Crystal Zodiac: An Astrological Guide to Enhancing Your Life with
Crystals" especially recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic library
Contemporary Metaphysical Studies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists
of students and practitioners that "Crystal Zodiac" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete an unabridged audio book (Blackstone Publishing,
9780358310266, $34.87, CD).
Editorial Note: Katie Huang is an entrepreneur and the founder of Love By Luna, a leading
astrological lifestyle brand. She is also co-owner of MoonBox, an international subscription box
service aligned with the lunar cycle. Featured in Allure, TeenVogue, Buzzfeed, & Time Out
London, Katie focuses on developing products that combine style, practicality, and spirituality to
encourage mindful living.
The Book of Altars and Sacred Spaces
Fair Winds Press
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
9781592339440, $19.99, HC, 176pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Book of Altars and Sacred Spaces: How to Create Magical Spaces in Your Home
for Ritual & Intention" by Anjou Kiernan shows the metaphysical student how to create altars
and sacred spaces based on the Wheel of the Year. Simple rituals and DIY projects provide all
the tools needed to mindfully reflect upon the seasonal Sabbats and holidays.
Whether building a sacred fire pit for Beltane or Feast Table for the Autumn Equinox, "The
Book of Altars and Sacred Spaces: How to Create Magical Spaces in Your Home for Ritual &
Intention" shows how to honor the sacred doorways of the year and bring magic into our daily
Critique: Beautifully illustrated with full color photography throughout, "The Book of Altars and
Sacred Spaces: How to Create Magical Spaces in Your Home for Ritual & Intention" is
thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, making it an ideal
and especially recommended instructional guide and manual for personal, professional,
community, and academic library Metaphysical Studies collections.
Editorial Note: Anjou Kiernan is the hedgewitch and herbal alchemist behind Light of Anjou, a
witchery shop and virtual sacred space for magic and mysticism. She has been toiling in potions
and occult writing since the age of 16 and has continued her journey in witchcraft on a
magically-minded homestead in the rolling hills of mid-Maine. Her writing and photography of
unique altars and sacred spaces have attracted a broad audience and customer base on both
Instagram (@lightofanjou) and her online witchery shop (www.lightofanjou.com).She is also the
author of "The Ultimate Guide to Witchcraft".
Divine Gifts of Healing: My Life with Spirit
Ozark Mountain Publishing, Inc.
PO Box 754, Huntsville, AR 72740
9781940265698, $10.00, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: What does it look like to live from your soul and higher true self, and not your ego,
social agreement, and familial and ancestral lineage? Do we all have gifts beyond this realm? Do
you have ascended masters, archangels, spirit guides, and ancestors waiting to assist you?
What would it look like if you did and were in communication/relationship with them -- could
see, hear, or sense them and knew they were providing you with divine guidance in living into
your soul's purpose, happiness, and joy?
When tragedy strikes, would you trust that it's for your highest good? Or would you be angry,
feel abandoned, and lose faith? How would you respond when facing your perpetrator? From ego
or your spirit self?
In the page of "Divine Gifts of Healing: My Life with Spirit" readers will journey with Cat
Baldwin through the lessons, losses, and teaching guidance co-created with Spirit and the
miracles that follow.
What do the Egyptians have to offer us? Do you recall past life experiences? How does your
spirit body relate to your organs and your physical well-being? Share in the Forgiveness
Workshop from Higher Self Spirit and learn true forgiveness. Share personal healing sessions
and experiences provided by Spirit for the healing of humanity and the creation of the New Earth
Critique: Inherently fascinating and thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, commentary,
organization and presentation, "Divine Gifts of Healing: My Life with Spirit" is an extraordinary
and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, and university
library Metaphysical Studies collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Divine
Gifts of Healing: My Life with Spirit" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: In practice for 20 years, Cat Baldwin is a vibrational healing practitioner,
life/spiritual advisor, mystery school/spiritual teacher, and certified Chios master teacher. As
owner of The Wellness Sanctuary Spiritual Teaching and Healing Center, she is the facilitator of
programming to heal the four-body system (mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual). As an
intuitive channel, clairsentient, and clairaudient, she is in communication with her spiritual team
of archangel Metatron, Anubis, Mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, Yeshua, Ben Joseph, and
members of the Galactic Council to co-create services for personal sovereignty and soul purpose
The Christian Studies Shelf
Christ the Conqueror of Hell
Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
9780881410617, $21.00, PB, 232pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Christ the Conqueror of Hell: The Descent into Hades from an Orthodox Perspective"
by Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev is in-depth study from an Orthodox Christian perspective on the
realm of death and presents a message of hope held by the first generation of Christians and the
Using Scripture, patristic tradition, early Christian poetry, and liturgical texts, Archbishop
Hilarion explores the mysterious and enigmatic event of Christ's descent into Hades and its
consequences for the human race. Insisting that Christ entered Sheol as Conqueror and not as
victim, the author depicts the Lord's descent as an event of cosmic significance opening the path
to universal salvation.
Archbishop Hilarion also reveals Hades as a place of divine presence, a place where the spiritual
fate of a person may still change. Reminding readers that self-will remains the only hindrance to
life in Christ, he presents the gospel message anew, even in the shadow of death.
Critique: An impressively erudite and eloquently informative study, "Christ the Conqueror of
Hell: The Descent into Hades from an Orthodox Perspective" is an extraordinary and
unreservedly recommended contribution to the growing library of Orthodox Christian
Theological Studies and an important addition to the personal reading lists of clergy, theologians,
and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.
Editorial Note: Archbishop Hilarion (Alfeyev), Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate
Department for External Church Relations, is well known throughout the Orthodox Church as a
leading theologian, writer, and musical composer. He holds a doctorate in Philosophy from
Oxford University and a doctorate in theology from St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780825446214, $16.99, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Do you constantly compare yourself with others? On social media, in your
neighborhood, at church, or in the school drop-off lane, do you push yourself to prove that you
measure up . . . and then feel ashamed when you don't? Measuring yourself against others isn't
healthy. And it isn't God's plan. In fact, the way of Jesus is completely upside down from this
measure-up world. He invites us to follow him and be restored to freedom, confidence, and
In "Comparison Girl: Lessons from Jesus on Me-Free Living in a Measure-Up World", Shannon
Popkin shares what she has discovered about her own measure-up fears and get-ahead pride.
With her trademark humor and straightforward honesty, she's created this six-week Bible study to
explore the conversations Jesus had and the stories he shared with people who (like us) were
The essential core message of "Comparison Girl" is to leave measure-up comparison behind and
connect with those around you by choosing Jesus's me-free way of living: lifting others up and
pouring yourself out!
Critique: Thoroughly 'reader friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation,
"Comparison Girl: Lessons from Jesus on Me-Free Living in a Measure-Up World" is an
impressively life enhancing, life inspiring, and joyful read from cover to cover. While very highly
recommended for personal, community, and church library collections, it should be noted for
personal reading lists that "Comparison Girl" is also readily available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Author and speaker, Shannon Popkin blends her gifts of humor and storytelling
with her passion for God's Word. Shannon has been featured on FamilyLife Today, Proverbs 31
and Revive Our Hearts, and is a contributing blogger at www.ReviveOurHearts.com.
God, Evolution & Science
Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401-2960
9781725257870, $41.00, PB, 396pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In "God, Evolution & Science: How Our World Evolved from God", William
Stolzman presents a new approach for linking God, energy, and our material world in an
Energy is conservative, and it exists in two forms: potential and kinetic. Scientists have well
established that our physical world began as a singular, kinetic "Big Bang." Consequently, before
that event, there had to exist a singular, potential, energetic reality, which I name the "Almighty."
This potential reality is forward-leaning and thus has the unidirectional dimension of time, which
must also be quantized.
Since energy is oriented toward establishing systems, the Almighty must also have a systemic
aspect. Stolzman establishes that evolution is not only biological but logical. He shows how from
the Almighty logically evolved a quantized, bidirectional, four-dimensional field. By
progressively breaking the symmetries of this field, he is able to show how the four forces of
physics logically evolved. He subsequently shows how our world as we observe it today logically
evolved from the Almighty.
Whether this Almighty is impersonal or personal is discussed at length. Finally, Stolzman also
shows that beyond the entropic decay of our world, our physical world will end a "Big Collapse."
Nonetheless, because energy is conservative and eternal, the author shows how there remains the
logistical possibility of a transcendentally evolved afterlife in the Almighty.
Critique: Erudite, eloquent, informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, "God, Evolution &
Science: How Our World Evolved from God" is an extraordinary read that is enhanced for
academia with the inclusion of an eight page Glossary, a six page Bibliography, and a two page
Index. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university
library Science & Religion, Evolution, Theology collections and supplemental curriculum
reading lists, it should be noted for students, scholars, philosophers, theologians, clergy, and non-
specialist general readers with an interest in these subjects that "God, Evolution & Science" is
also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: William Stolzman earned a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of
Wisconsin (Madison) and a master's degree in physics and advanced work in philosophy and
theology at St. Louis University. He entered the Society of Jesus for thirty years, was ordained a
Catholic priest, and worked as Jesuit missionary on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations in
South Dakota for twenty years. In retirement, he discovered the Logical Evolutionary Theorem,
the Interrelational Logistic of Energy, and Interrelational Philosophy (IPhil), which are the
'foundation stones' of "How our World Evolved from God."
Surrendered: Letting Go and Living Like Jesus
2222 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., PO Box 280988, Nashville, TN 37228-0988
9781501896286, $16.99, PB, 208pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A Women's Bible Study Participant Workbook, "Surrendered: Letting Go and Living
Like Jesus" was written by Barb Roose specifically for those women who are facing a problem in
life that they just can't fix, no matter what they do? While Christians are familiar with the phrase
"Let go and let God." -- it's easier said than done. Is it possible that giving up on what you can't
change is God's path to peace for your life?
"Surrendered: Letting Go and Living Like Jesus" is a six-week Bible study of Jesus in the
wilderness in which Barb explores Jesus' time of testing and contrasts it with the Israelites'
failures in the wilderness.
"Surrendered: Letting Go and Living Like Jesus" reveals six principles that will equip a Christian
woman to let God lead them to victory despite their circumstances as they deal with the problems
and pain they are facing including: Recognizing That You Can't Handle It; Stop Following Your
Feelings; Giving Up Control and Reach for God; Embracing God's Better Blessing; Letting Go of
Fear; Experiencing the Blessings of a Surrendered Life
"Surrendered: Letting Go and Living Like Jesus" also features: A six-week study of Jesus in the
wilderness; Helping women find the path of peace through genuine surrender, following the
example of Jesus; A workbook that includes five lessons for every week of study; a DVD
features dynamic, engaging teaching in six 20-minute segments.
Critique: A complete and thoroughly 'user friendly' workbook oriented course of DIY instruction,
"Surrendered: Letting Go and Living Like Jesus" is very highly recommended for both individual
and small group bible study curriculums. It should be noted that "Surrendered: Letting Go and
Living Like Jesus" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Formerly the executive director of Ministry at CedarCreek Church in Perrysburg,
Ohio, Barb Roose is a popular speaker and author who is passionate about helping women apply
the truths of God's Word to the practical realities and challenges they face in today's culture,
equipping them to win at life with strength and dignity. She enjoys teaching and encouraging
women at conferences and retreats across the country, as well as internationally. Barb is also the
author of four Bible studies (Surrendered, I'm Waiting, God, Joshua, Beautiful Already) and two
books (Winning the Worry Battle, and Enough Already). Additionally, Barb writes a regular blog
at www.BarbRoose.com and hosts the "Better Together" podcast.
On Christian Leadership
Paul L. Gavrilyuk, editor
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
9780881416602, $30.00, PB, 416pp, www.svspress.com
Synopsis: Fr Georges Florovsky (1893 - 1979) and Fr Alexander Schmemann (1921 - 1983)
profoundly shaped twentieth-century Orthodox theology. Deftly edited, translated into English,
and with an informative introduction by Paul L. Gavrilyuk, "On Christian Leadership: The
Letters of Alexander Schmemann and Georges Florovsky (1947-1955)" is comprised of their
correspondence and provides a unique window into their theological visions, leadership styles,
and interactions with their contemporaries.
Most of the letters were written when Florovsky had recently moved to the US to lead and
organize the fledgling St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York, while
Schmemann was still teaching at the St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris. The
correspondence also reveals the circumstances of Schmemann's move to the US at the request of
Florovsky, and offers glimpses into their subsequent collaboration at St Vladimir's Seminary
until their tragic rift in 1955.
Reminiscent of the style of Schmemann's journals, the letters lay out the challenges of leadership
with brutal honesty and good humor, bearing an eloquent testimony to their authors' dedication to
launching a new era of seminary education.
Critique: Offering unique and insightful perspectives, "On Christian Leadership: The Letters of
Alexander Schmemann and Georges Florovsky (1947-1955)" is an absorbing read and an
unreservedly recommended addition to church, seminary and academic library Orthodox
Christianity collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy, seminarians,
and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "On Christian Leadership:
The Letters of Alexander Schmemann and Georges Florovsky (1947-1955)" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99, www.amazon.com).
Editorial Note: Paul L. Gavrilyuk is an Orthodox historian and theologian, and the Aquinas Chair
in Theology and Philosophy at the University of St Thomas (St Paul, MN). His publications
include Georges Florovsky and the Russian Religious Renaissance (Oxford, 2013), and the
present correspondence in Russian (Moscow, 2019).
Telling a Better Story
Joshua D. Chatraw
Zondervan Publishing House
5300 Patterson Avenue, S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49530
9780310108634, $18.99, PB, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Apologetics is the religious discipline of defending religious doctrines through
systematic argumentation and discourse. Early Christian writers (c. 120 - 220) who defended
their beliefs against critics and recommended their faith to outsiders were called Christian
apologists. In 21st-century usage, apologetics is often identified with debates over religion and
The practice of offering reasons for the Christian faith, or apologetics, strikes many unbelievers
today as offensive, an attempt to proselytize, while Christians themselves often view apologetics
as unsophisticated or even faith-undermining. After all, shouldn't a believer focus on presenting
the gospel rather than attempting to argue people to belief?
In "Telling a Better Story: How to Talk About God in a Skeptical Age ", pastor and theologian
Joshua Chatraw presents a new and better way to do apologetics, an inside-out approach that is
attuned to our late-modern moment and respectful of unbelievers, all the while remaining
focused on Jesus. With chapters on cultural understanding, dealing with the difficult issues, and
presenting Jesus in a holistic, contextual manner, "Telling a Better Story" offers a roadmap to
effective apologetics both for experienced apologists and those new to sharing their faith with
Critique: Expressly written for the non-specialist general reader and lay members of the Christian
community, and holding great value for seminary students, missionaries, and the clergy, "Telling
a Better Story: How to Talk About God in a Skeptical Age" is especially useful, practical,
insightful, and thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation.
While especially recommended for personal, community, church, seminary, and academic library
Contemporary Christian Studies collections and supplemental curriculum lists, it should be noted
that "Telling a Better Story: How to Talk About God in a Skeptical Age" is also readily available
in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance
Audio, 9781713503736, $19.99, CD).
Editorial Note: Joshua Chatraw (PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) serves as the
director for New City Fellows and the Resident Theologian at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in
Raleigh, North Carolina. His books include Apologetics at the Cross, Cultural Engagement,
Truth in a Culture of Doubt, and Truth Matters. He is a fellow with the Center for Pastor
Theologians and has served in both pastoral and academic posts during his ministry.
Reconnect: Spiritual Restoration from Digital Distraction
P.O. Box 866, Harrisonburg, VA 22803
9781513806358, $29.99, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Technology, especially in the form of social media, teaches us to crave the hum and
buzz of activity and the dopamine hit of notifications. Yet social media and technology have
shortened our attention spans, disrupted our connections with others, and even muddled our
In "Reconnect: Spiritual Restoration from Digital Distraction", contemplative author and
Christian retreat leader Ed Cyzewski investigates the crisis of attention that is leading to mental
health challenges and extending to our souls. Yet the Christian contemplative tradition (deeply
rooted in the spiritual traditions and practices of the church) offers a way forward, grinding the
gears of this frenetic activity and thinking to an unspectacular halt.
The underlying message throughout "Reconnect: Spiritual Restoration from Digital Distraction"
is that for all its benefits and promises, technology and social media trains and conditions its
users to pursue the exact opposite of contemplative prayer practices every day.
Grounded in current research into the impact of technology, "Reconnect: Spiritual Restoration
from Digital Distraction" will help Christians to rewire their technology addictions and train
themselves to be present and aware of God rather than tuned into the constant distractions and
deceptions of this digital age. When phones go dark and social media feeds stop scrolling, then
can we can step into a deeper stillness and presence with an always present God.
Critique: A timely, insightful, thoughtful, quality of life enhancing, and inspiring read from cover
to cover, "Reconnect: Spiritual Restoration from Digital Distraction" is especially and
unreservedly recommended for community, church, seminary, and academic library Christian
Social Issues and Spiritual Self-Help collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Reconnect: Spiritual Restoration from Digital Distraction" is also readily available in a
paperback edition (9781513806365, $16.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.49).
Editorial Note: Ed Cyzewski is also the author of "Flee, Be Silent, Pray" and a number of other
books. He maintains a newsletter at his website: www.edcyzewski.com
Karl Olav Sandnes & Jan-Olav Henriksen
c/o Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401-2960
9781532695872, $37.00, PB, 322pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Christian faith depends upon the resurrection of Jesus, but the claim about Jesus'
resurrection is, nevertheless, disputed.
Collaboratively written by New Testament scholar Karl Olav Sandnes and systematic theologian
Jan-Olav Henriksen, "Resurrection" develops the conditions for the claim. It carefully analyzes
the relevant texts and their possible interpretations and engages with New Testament scholarship
in order to show nuances and different trajectories in the material.
The picture emerging is that the New Testament authors themselves tried to come to terms with
how to understand the claim that Jesus had been resurrected from the dead. But "Resurrection"
does not stop there: by also studying the experiential content that gave rise to the belief in the
resurrection, Sandnes and Henriksen argue that there is no such thing as an experience of the
resurrection reported in the New Testament -- only experiences of an empty tomb and appearance
of Jesus, interpreted as Jesus resurrected.
Hence, the resurrection of Jesus emerges as an interpretative category for post-Easter
experiences, and is only understandable in light of the full content of Jesus' ministry and its
Critique: An erudite and thought-provoking work of meticulous theological scholarship,
"Resurrection" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to church, seminary,
college, and university library Christian Theology collections in general, and New Testament
Criticism & Interpretation supplemental curriculum studies lists in particular. It should be noted
for personal reading lists that "Resurrection" is also readily available in a digital book format
What Does the Bible Say About Life and Death?
New City Press
202 Cardinal Road, Hyde Park, NY 12538
9781565484054, $16.95, PB, 90pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The desire to live an abundant life and to have a good death remains a very
contemporary aspiration for all of us in the twenty-first century. "What Does the Bible Say About
Life and Death?" by John Gillman is a resource that addresses that desire as well as the
complexities around such pressing issues as martyrdom, abortion, suicide, and capital
"What Does the Bible Say About Life and Death?" includes references to official church
statements as well as to current authors. The themes of life and death pulse throughout the Bible
in the lives of individuals and communities. The Creator has empowered humankind to work out
their lives and grapple with their deaths, setting before them precepts to follow and people to
imitate, preeminently Jesus, risen from the dead.
Although the biblical authors do not specifically address such matters as abortion, they do offer
perspectives that are relevant to the discussion. Besides this, the Scriptures offer a rich treasury
of texts and stories that not only inform but also inspire those who are longing for trustworthy
guidance, greater wholeness, and deeper peace in life, as they approach that unknown moment of
death that comes for each of us.
Critique: An inherently engaging, impressively informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking,
eloquent and detailed study, "What Does the Bible Say About Life and Death?" will be of
immense interest to all members of the Christian community, lay members and clergy alike. It
should be noted for the personal reading lists of seminary students, pastors, theologians,
academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "What Does the
Bible Say About Life and Death?" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: John Gillman received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies (New Testament) from the
Catholic University of Louvain (KUL) in Belgium. He has published widely and lectured
nationally and internationally. He is a lecturer at San Diego State University and more recently at
the Franciscan School of Theology. For many years he has served as a Certified Pastoral
Educator (CPE) and a chaplain at major medical centers, a national hospice provider, and an
urban ministry program.
Gospels As Stories
Jeannine K. Brown
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9781540963123, $39.99, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Jeannine Brown is an expert on the Gospels and a popular writer and teacher. In
"Gospels As Stories: A Narrative Approach to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John" she shows how a
narrative approach illuminates each of the Gospels.
"Gospels As Stories: A Narrative Approach to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John" offers a
corrective to tendencies to read the Gospels piecemeal, one story at a time. Brown provides
hands-on tools and perspectives to help students interpret the Gospels as whole stories.
"Gospels As Stories: A Narrative Approach to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John" takes four key
areas of narrative analysis and applies them to the four Gospels. Filled with numerous examples
that show how narrative criticism brings the text to life, "Gospels As Stories: A Narrative
Approach to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John" includes pedagogical helps, such as visual aids,
sidebars, and further reading suggestions, making it an ideal supplementary textbook that will
complement any standard introduction.
Critique: Impressively informative and expertly written, organized and presented, "Gospels As
Stories: A Narrative Approach to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John" is an extraordinary and
welcome addition to church, seminary, community, college, and university library Biblical
Studies collections in general, and New Testament Criticism & Interpretation supplemental
curriculum studies lists in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of clergy,
seminary students, and lay members of the Christian community that "New Testament Criticism
& Interpretation" is also readily available in a paperback editions (9780801049842, $21.99) and
in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
Editorial Note: Jeannine K. Brown (PhD, Luther Seminary) is Professor of New Testament at
Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, and a member of the NIV Committee on Bible
Translation. She is also the author of Scripture as Communication and two commentaries on
Matthew and is a co-editor of the revised Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels.
On Earth as It Is in Heaven
Church Publishing Incorporated
445 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016
9781640652262, $16.95, PB, 168pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The church is positioned to be an ally of the poor and laborers in their search for social
justice and equality, but only if it actively chooses to be. Numerous passages in Scripture convey
God's strong disapproval of inequality point toward a religious imperative to speak out. What are
the most effective ways to frame and facilitate discussions about poverty, and how can pastors
and activists add to their own understandings of the theological and religious history of labor and
By critically examining biblical texts, Church history, and present-day events and experiences,
with the publication of "On Earth as It Is in Heaven: A Faith-Based Toolkit for Economic
Justice", Pastor Eric Atcheson offers ministers, activists, and concerned citizens a faith-based
toolkit for understanding and addressing the economic disparities present in their communities,
as well as ways to initiate hopeful conversations. "On Earth as It Is in Heaven" is a powerful
resource for any of the faithful interested in building a more just and equitable kingdom in the
face of increasingly powerful opposition.
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "On
Earth as It Is in Heaven: A Faith-Based Toolkit for Economic Justice" is an extraordinary,
inspiring, and timely contribution to a Christian faith-based approach to striving for economic
and social justice in this time of pandemic, economic depression, financial inequality, and
systemic racism. While highly recommended for church, seminary, community, and academic
library collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, clergy,
social activists, and non-specialist readers with an interest in the subject that "On Earth as It Is in
Heaven: A Faith-Based Toolkit for Economic Justice" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Eric Atcheson is a pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the
author of Oregon Trail Theology: The Frontier Millennial Christians Face -- And How We're
Ready (Church Publishing 2018). Most recently, he served as the Interim Director of Family
Ministries for First Presbyterian Church in Vancouver, Washington. He holds a Doctorate of
Ministry from Seattle University
This Is God's Table: Finding Church Beyond the Walls
P.O. Box 866, Harrisonburg, VA 22803
9781513804842, $29.99, HC, 272pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "This Is God's Table: Finding Church Beyond the Walls" by writer and pastor Anna
Woofnden is the story of an audacious journey. It's the story of what happens when people
garden, worship, and eat together -- and invite anyone and everyone to join them.
In the pages of "This Is God's Table", pastor Woofenden describes the way that the wealthy and
the poor, the aged and the young, the housed and unhoused become a community in this
once-empty lot. Together they plant and sustain a thriving urban farm, worship God, and share a
weekly meal. Together they craft a shared life and a place of authenticity where all are
As traditional mainstream Christian churches across the Western world wither, what would it
take to find a raw, honest, gritty way of doing church -- one rooted in place, nurtured by grace,
and grounded in God's expansive love? What would it take to carry the liturgy outside the gates?
What if we were to discover that in feeding others, we are fed?
The underlying message of "This Is God's Table: Finding Church Beyond the Walls" is that this
is God's table -- All Christians are invited to come and eat!
Critique: Inspired and inspiring, "This Is God's Table: Finding Church Beyond the Walls" is an
extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to the personal reading lists of all
members of the Christian community -- but most especially the lay leaders, pastors, ministers,
The Judaic Studies Shelf
Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.
c/o Toby Press
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
9781592645459, $29.95, HC, 308pp, www.korenpub.com
Synopsis: The Jewish nation begins with a collection of twelve brothers and half-brothers, linked
through their father, Jacob. From these close familiar beginnings, each develops into a distinct
tribe, with unique characteristics and destinies that have indelible imprints on the rest of
"Tribal Blueprints: Twelve Brothers and the Destiny of Israel" by Professor Nechama Price
examines each of Jacob's sons, revealing their individual stories in Genesis and the impact of
their shifting places within the family. How do these individuals evolve? What is the role of each
of the four mothers? How does each brothers placement in the birth order of the family influence
his behavior? How are the brothers' personalities reflected in future generations?
In "Tribal Blueprints: Twelve Brothers and the Destiny of Israel", Professor Price takes the reader
on a journey through the biblical narrative, looking anew at the ancient stories of Genesis to
uncover a new appreciation for the special role of each of the twelve tribes, who together form
the nation of Israel.
Critique: An exceptionally well written work of meticulous scholarship, "Tribal Blueprints:
Twelve Brothers and the Destiny of Israel" is an extraordinary student and one that is
unreservedly recommended for personal, professional, community, college, and university library
Judaic Studies collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists. It should be noted for
personal reading lists that "Tribal Blueprints: Twelve Brothers and the Destiny of Israel" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99, www.amazon.com).
Editorial Note: Nechama Price is a Senior Lecturer in Bible and Judaic Studies at Stern College
for Women, She is also the Director of Yeshiva University's Graduate Program in Advanced
Judges: The Perils of Possession
Rabbi Michael Hattin
Maggid / The Toby Press
c/o Koren Publishers Jerusalem Ltd.
PO Box 8531, New Milford, CT 06776-8531
9781592645237, $24.95, HC, 236pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In "Judges: The Perils of Possession", Rabbi Michael Hattin offers a highly readable
introduction to the biblical book of Judges that combines imaginative sweep with analytic depth.
Utilizing literary techniques, ancient and modern commentaries, as well as current academic
research, Rabbi Hattin deftly draws his readers into the book's epic accounts of mighty leaders
and their exploits, stories that both shock and inspire. As each successive judge falls farther from
the ideal of good governance, an urgent question takes shape: How can the downward spiral be
Critique: A part of the outstanding Maggid Studies In Tanakh series, "Judges: The Perils of
Possession" is an impressively informative, exceptionally thoughtful and thought-provoking
study and one that is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well
as community, synagogue, college, and university library Biblical Studies and Judaic Studies
collections and supplemental studies curriculums.
Editorial Note: Rabbi Michael Hattin teaches Tanakh and Halakha at the Pardes Institute of
Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and serves as the Director of the Beit Midrash for the Pardes Center
for Jewish Educators.
The Narrow Halakhic Bridge
Rabbi Ronen Neuwirth
c/o KTAV Publishing House
527 Empire Boulevard, Brooklyn, New York 11225
9781602804074, $34.95, HC, 511pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Halakhah is the collective body of Jewish religious laws derived from the written and
The role of halakhah is to serve as a bridge between our eternal Torah and the world's changing
realities. However, the dizzying pace of developments in postmodern society and the obsession
with personal freedom are generating unprecedented gaps between Torah and reality, challenging
our obedience to Halakhah, contributing to the erosion of rabbinic authority and causing a
growing confusion within our community.
"The Narrow Halakhic Bridge: A Vision of Jewish Law in the Postmodern Age" explores the
rigid and flexible elements of the Halakhic system, utilizing close to one thousand texts from
rabbis of all generations, and offering a vision for the future of Halakhah in a world of doubt and
Critique: An extraordinary work of meticulous and impressively informative scholarship, "The
Narrow Halakhic Bridge: A Vision of Jewish Law in the Postmodern Age" is thoroughly 'reader
friendly' in organization and presentation, making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended
addition to personal, synagogue, college, and university library Contemporary Judaic Studies
collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists.
Editorial Note: Rabbi Ronen Neuwirth served as Rabbi of the Ohel Ari Congregation in Ra'anana
and other Modern Orthodox communities in Israel for 15 years, and as the Rabbi of Bnei Akiva
of North America. He was the founder and first executive director of Beit Hillel, director of the
rabbinic training program of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization and director of its overseas
department. He also worked in Israel's hi-tech industry and served as a captain in the Navy
The General Fiction Shelf
Mrs. Lincoln's Sisters
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
9780062975973, $28.99, HC, 352pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In May 1875, Elizabeth Todd Edwards reels from news that her younger sister Mary,
former First Lady and widow of President Abraham Lincoln, has attempted suicide.
Mary's shocking act followed legal proceedings arranged by her eldest and only surviving son
that declared her legally insane. Although they have long been estranged, Elizabeth knows Mary's
tenuous mental health has deteriorated through decades of trauma and loss. Yet is her suicide
attempt truly the impulse of a deranged mind, or the desperate act of a sane woman terrified to be
committed to an asylum? And (if her sisters can put past grievances aside) is their love powerful
enough to save her?
Maternal Elizabeth, peacemaker Frances, envious Ann, and much adored Emilie had always
turned to one another in times of joy and heartache, first as children, and later as young wives
and mothers. But when Civil War erupted, the conflict that divided a nation shattered their
family. The Todd sisters's fates were bound to their husbands' choices as some joined the Lincoln
administration, others the Confederate Army.
Now, though discord and tragedy have strained their bonds, Elizabeth knows they must come
together as sisters to help Mary in her most desperate hour.
Critique: An impressively original and exceptionally entertaining work of historical fiction by an
author with an eloquent narrative storytelling style, "Mrs. Lincoln's Sisters" by Jennifer Chiaverini
is a compelling and unreservedly recommended addition to community library collections. It
should be noted for personal reading lists that "Mrs. Lincoln's Sisters" is also readily available in
a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99). Librarians should note that "Mrs. Lincoln's Sisters" has a
large print paperback edition (HarperLuxe, $30.99), as well as being available in a complete and
unabridged audio book format (Blackstone Publishing, 9781094159805, $39.99, CD).
A Quiet Cadence
Naval Institute Press
291 Wood Road, Annapolis, MD 21402
9781682475065, $29.95, HC, 392pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Family and friends know Marty McClure as a kind, peaceful man. They aren't aware
that when he was young, he plumbed the depths of terror, hatred and despair with no assurance
he'd ever surface again. Now he needs to reveal what happened in Vietnam and how, with the
help of Patti, his wife, Corrie Corrigan, a disabled vet, and Doc Matheson, a corpsman turned
trauma surgeon, he made peace with the ghosts that have visited his dreams all these years.
With the perception and reflection of a man on the cusp of retirement from a career teaching high
school kids, Marty recalls the relentless intensity of prolonged combat as a teenage Marine
machine gunner facing booby traps and battles in a war with few boundaries.
Arriving in Vietnam, he is appalled by the savagery of his fellow Marines as they hunt an enemy
indistinguishable from the villagers he believes they are there to protect. But as friends are
crippled or killed over the ensuing months, Marty has to fight not only the enemy but the vicious
darkness growing in him.
Wounded and sent back to the U.S., he struggles to make sense of all he has lost in a war his
country abandoned. He works to become a good husband, father and teacher while he fights to
bury the war and rails against friends' enthusiasm for the Memorial and the Welcome Home for
Vietnam Veterans planned in D.C. Only if he accepts help from his wife and his friends will he
find real peace.
Critique: Although a work of deftly crafted fiction, "A Quiet Cadence" by Mark Treanor reveals
a larger truth so commonly experienced by ordinary young men suddenly thrust into the caldron
of war and then brought back into a civilian life that still carries with it the mental and emotional
echos of the violence that was once their daily fare. A compelling read from cover to cover, "A
Quiet Cadence" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading
lists, as well as community and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections.
Editorial Note: Mark Treanor, a Naval Academy graduate, was a Marine rifle platoon leader in
Vietnam, an artillery battery commander, and leadership instructor and later served on the boards
of the National Defense University and the Naval Academy. A lawyer, corporate executive, and
leadership coach, he has participated in national security fact-finding missions in Iraq, Yemen,
Africa, and the Caucasus.
Louisiana State University Press
338 Johnston Hall, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
9780807172674, $29.95, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It's summertime, and son Theo is away at camp. Feeling frisky, free, and tired of living
vicariously through nighttime trysts with erotic novels, Penelope can begin phase two of her
postdivorce life. First on the agenda is a date with the mysterious Fitzwilliam Darcy, who lives in
a mansion with his snobbish cat, Algernon, and who spends his spare time painting massive nude
Meanwhile, back at the trailer park office, Penelope's boss, Missy, has become obsessed with
getting rid of Dimwit, the backwoods interloper who may be stealing personal items from female
residents. A sting operation to catch him in the act is planned, something so kooky and ill
advised that only a legendary goofball such as Missy could set it into motion.
Throw in a bully trainer at Penelope's new gym, plus an infestation of skunks that requires the
services of a wildlife expert and homespun mystic known as the Critter Catcher, and it becomes
clear that Penelope's two weeks off from parenting won't be as relaxing and incident free as she
Critique: Building on the comedic characters created by author Inman Major's previous novel,
"Penelope Lemon: Game On!", his newest book, "Operation Dimwit", once again showcases the
challenges of being a single, middle-class working mom after a divorce. A deftly crafted and
memorably fun read from first page to last, "Operation Dimwit" is especially and unreservedly
recommended for community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be
noted for the legions of Penelope Lemon fans that "Operation Dimwit" is also readily available in
a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).
Karen Salyer McElmurray
South Limestone Books
c/o The University Press of Kentucky
663 South Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40508-4008
9781949669145, $24.95, HC, 272pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Miracelle Loving's world comes crashing down when her mother, Ruby, is murdered
during a fortune-telling session gone wrong. Not that she had much of a stable world to lose in
the first place; the free-spirited mother-daughter duo had never remained in one place for very
long. Without the guidance of her mother, Miracelle grows up following the only path she
knows, traveling from town to town, sometimes fortune-telling, picking up odd jobs to fill the
time and escape the ever-present lostness she can't seem to run far enough away from.
Uncertain of what she wants and, indeed, whether she wants anything or anyone at all, the now
thirty-something-year-old finds herself working as a card reader in a Knoxville dive bar, selling
fictions as futures, when she is confronted with her mother's ghost voice promising to reveal the
truth about her shadowy past. Desperate for answers, Miracelle sets out on a magical road trip
unlike any other, in search of her own story and a father she's never known.
Following snowy highways and backroads, Miracelle stumbles across a museum of oddities and
a hole-in-the-road town called Radiant, ultimately wandering into the town of Smyte, where she
begins waitressing at the Black Cat Diner. Here, she befriends card-playing has-been Russell
Wallen, whom she joins for a series of nighttime adventures, long drives, and after-dark visits to
a Holy Roller church. This mythical journey uncovers family secrets and forgotten truths,
transforming a familiar story of love and betrayal to reveal the binding power of magic and
Critique: Original, inherently absorbing, deftly crafted, and memorably entertaining, "Wanting
Radiance" by Karen Salyer McElmurray is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended
addition to community and academic library Contemporary American Literary Fiction
collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Wanting Radiance" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.70).
Editorial Note: Karen Salyer McElmurray won an AWP Award for creative nonfiction for her
book "Surrendered Child: A Birth Mother's Journey" and the Orison Award for creative
nonfiction for her essay "Blue Glass." She has had other essays recognized as "Notable Essays"
in Best American Essays, while her essays "Speaking Freely" and "Attics" were nominated for
Pushcart Awards. She currently teaches at Gettysburg College and in West Virginia Wesleyan's
Low-Residency MFA program.
The Wolf's Trail: An Ojibwe Story, Told by Wolves
Thomas D. Peacock
Holy Cow! Press
9781513645629, $16.95, PB, 180pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In his novel, "The Wolf's Trail: An Ojibwe Story, Told by Wolves", novelist Thomsa
Peacock tells of Zhi-shay', an elder wolf, and a litter of young wolves living somewhere on the
side of a hill overlooking the river that flows through Nagahchiwanong in northern
Zhi-shay', who knows the whole story of the parallel relationship between wolves and the Ojibwe
going all the way back to the Beginning, is sharing it with his nieces and nephews, and us.
Replete with universal lessons, "The Wolf's Trail" is the story of the Ojibwe people, as told by
wolves -- of what they were and have become, and the promise of their becoming.
Critique: An instantly absorbing, inherently fascinating, and thoroughly entertaining read from
first page to last, Thomas Peacock's new Native American themed novel, "The Wolf's Trail: An
Ojibwe Story, Told by Wolves", will prove to be an immensely and enduringly popular addition
to personal reading lists, as community and academic library General Fiction collections.
Editorial Note: Thomas D. Peacock has won the Ojibwe Waasa Inaabida (Minnesota Book
Award), The Good Path (Minnesota Book Award), The Seventh Generation (Children's
Multicultural Book Award - National Assn. Multicultural Education). He has also co-authored
several other books, including: Collected Wisdom (with Linda Miller Cleary), The Seventh
Generation (with Amy Bergstrom and Linda Miller Cleary), and edited another, A Forever Story:
The People and History of the Fond du Lac Reservation; To Be Free (on racism, intended for
middle and high schoolers from Afton Press) was released in 2010. The Tao of Nookomis (North
Star Press) was released in 2016 and won Honorable Mention at the NE Minnesota Book
Awards. Beginnings: The Homeward Journey of Donovan Mannypenny was published in Fall,
2018 by Holy Cow! Press. The Forever Sky, an illustrated children's book, was released in 2019
by Minnesota Historical Society Press. His latest book is The Dancers, published by KDP. He is
co-owner with his wife Elizabeth Albert Peacock, of Black Bears and Blueberries Publishing,
specializing in Native children's books written by Native authors and using Native
Edward A. Farmer
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
9781982673864, $26.99, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The summer of 1966 burned hot across America but nowhere hotter than the cotton
fields of Mississippi. Finding herself in a precarious position as a black woman living alone,
Bernice accepts her brother Floyd's invitation to join him as a servant for a white family and she
enters the web of hostility and deception that is the Kern plantation household.
The secrets of the house are plentiful yet the silence that has encompassed it for so many years
suddenly breaks with the arrival of the harvest and the appearance of Jesse and Fletcher to the
plantation as cotton pickers. These two brothers, the sons of the house servant Silva, awaken a
vengeful seed within the Missus of the house as she plots to punish not only her husband but
Silva's family as well. When the Missus starts flirting with Jesse, she sets into motion a
dangerous game that could get Jesse killed and destroy the lives of the rest of the servants.
Bernice walks the fine line between emissary and accomplice, as she tries her best to draw secrets
from the Missus's heart, while using their closeness to protect the lives of the people around her.
Once the Missus's plans are complete, families will be severed, loyalties will be shattered, and no
one will come out unscathed.
Critique: A compelling and narrative driven story revealing the dark side of human nature and
the never ending battle of our 'Better Angels' to break through, "Pale" by author Edward A.
Farmer is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary
Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Pale" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.69) and as a complete and unabridged audio book
(Blackstone Audio, 9781982673802, $29.95, CD).
Cursed! Blood of the Donnellys
Keith Ross Leckie
Douglas & McIntyre
c/o Harbour Publishing
9781771622394, $22.95, PB, 368pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In the midst of the feuds and famine of Tipperary, Ireland in 1846, Jim Donnelly and
Johannah McGee fall passionately in love. She is the beautiful daughter of an affluent estate
manager, he the rebellious son of dispossessed peasants. With her father's men in pursuit and a
sizable price on Jim's head, they board a ship set for Canada to start a new life and put the
troubles of the old country behind them.
Thousands of miles away in rural Ontario, they find the feuds and vendettas of Ireland are very
much alive. Jim must make a place for his young family not just with his back, but with his
Fifteen years later, the Donnelly family have become one of the most powerful in Lucan
Township, loved by some and hated by others. Jim and Johannah's sons are notorious as both
fighters and lovers and torment the townspeople, swinging shillelaghs, burning barns and
But certain citizens of Lucan have had enough. At midnight on February 3, 1880, a mob of thirty
armed men in women's clothing and carnival masks ride out for the Donnelly farm. Sustained by
whisky and the blessings of the local priest, their goal is to wipe the Donnelly family from the
face of the earth. Yet there is an eye witness and during the trial that follows, it becomes clear
that in small town Ontario of the late 1800s, order is valued above truth.
Critique: Based on a true story, "Cursed! Blood of the Donnellys" is a vividly compelling and
deftly crafted read from beginning to end. Showcasing author Keith Ross Leickie's impressive
flair as a novelist for narrative driven storytelling, "Cursed! Blood of the Donnellys" is
unreservedly recommended for personal reading lists, as well as community library Historical
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway, New York, New York 10007
9780062905659, $27.99, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Catherine House is a school of higher learning like no other. Hidden deep in the woods
of rural Pennsylvania, this crucible of reformist liberal arts study with its experimental
curriculum, wildly selective admissions policy, and formidable endowment, has produced some
of the world's best minds: prize-winning authors, artists, inventors, Supreme Court justices,
presidents. For those lucky few selected, tuition, room, and board are free. But acceptance comes
with a price.
Students are required to give the House three years (summers included) completely removed
from the outside world. Family, friends, television, music, even their clothing must be left
behind. In return, the school promises a future of sublime power and prestige, and that its
graduates can become anything or anyone they desire.
Among this year's incoming class is Ines Murillo, who expects to trade blurry nights of parties,
cruel friends, and dangerous men for rigorous intellectual discipline -- only to discover an
environment of sanctioned revelry. Even the school's enigmatic director, ViktÁia, encourages the
students to explore, to expand their minds, to find themselves within the formidable iron gates of
For Ines, it is the closest thing to a home she's ever had. But the House's strange protocols soon
make this refuge, with its worn velvet and weathered leather, feel increasingly like a gilded
prison. And when tragedy strikes, Ines begins to suspect that the school (in all its shabby
splendor, hallowed history, advanced theories, and controlled decadence) might be hiding a
dangerous agenda within the secretive, tightly knit group of students selected to study its most
promising and mysterious curriculum.
Critique: A masterpiece of narrative driven suspense, "Catherine House" is a riveting read with
many an unexpected plot twist and turn that will completely engage the reader's rapt attention
from beginning to end. While especially and unreservedly recommended for community library
Contemporary General Fiction and Suspense/Thriller collections, it should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Catherine House" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
$14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781094156934,
$39.99, CD). Librarians should note that there is a large print paperback edition of "Catherine
House" (HarperLuxe; Large Print, $29.99, 448pp).
Meg Mitchell Moore
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
9780062840066, $26.99, HC, 432pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Anthony Puckett was a rising literary star. The son of an uber-famous thriller writer,
Anthony's debut novel spent two years on the bestseller list and won the adoration of critics. But
something went very wrong with his second work. Now Anthony's borrowing an old college's
friend's crumbling beach house on Block Island in the hopes that solitude will help him get back
to the person he used to be.
Joy Sousa owns and runs Block Island's beloved whoopie pie cafe. She came to this quiet space
eleven years ago, newly divorced and with a young daughter, and built a life for them here. To
her customers and friends, Joy is a model of independence, hard-working and happy. And mostly
she is. But this summer she's thrown off balance. A food truck from a famous New York City
brand is roving around the island, selling goodies -- and threatening her business.
Lu Trusdale is spending the summer on her in-laws' dime, living on Block Island with her two
young sons while her surgeon husband commutes to the mainland hospital. When Lu's second
son was born, she and her husband made a deal: he'd work and she'd quit her corporate law job to
stay home with the boys. But a few years ago, Lu quietly began working on a private project that
has becoming increasingly demanding on her time. Torn between her work and home, she's
beginning to question that deal she made.
Over the twelve short weeks of summer, these three strangers will meet and grow close, will
share secrets and bury lies. And as the promise of June turns into the chilly nights of August, the
truth will come out, forcing each of them to decide what they value most, and what they are
willing to give up to keep it.
Critique: A carefully crafted and narrative driven novel of small town romance and suspense,
"The Islanders" deftly showcases author Meg Mitchell Moore's impressively original storytelling
talents. An impressively absorbing and fully entertaining read from cover to cover, "The
Islanders" will be an enduringly popular addition to any and all community library Contemporary
General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Islanders" is
also readily available in a paperback edition (9780062840073, $16.99), in a digital book format
(Kindle, $11.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio,
9781982662097, $39.99, CD).
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
9781982526061, $26.99, HC, 352pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Laura is a teenage girl who is struggling to fit into her small, sleepy town in upstate
New York. Laura is also slowly drifting away from reality and into the secret life she inhabits
Paul is a twenty-something wannabe rock star, back home from New York City, broke, jobless,
and living with his mother.
April is a math teacher with two kids, running her church's vacation Bible school, and discontent
with another summer planning crafts and regurgitating verses.
Ben is a boy stuck at VBS who is still adjusting to the presence of his foster brother, DeShawn, a
quiet, brooding kid from Brooklyn.
Over the course of one summer, the paths of these four troubled and struggling people will
collide in surprising, often hilarious ways. "Another Life" encompasses questions of identity,
religion, race, and family.
Critique: All the more impressive when considering that "Another Life" is author Robert Haller's
debut as a novelist, this deftly crafted and inherently absorbing read will prove to be an
immediate and enduringly popular addition to both community and academic Contemporary
Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Another Life" is
also readily available in a paperback edition (9781094091129, $16.99), in a digital book format
(Kindle, $2.99), and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio,
9781982525903, $29.95, MP3 CD).
New Vessel Press
9781939931825, $15.95, PB, 130pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Drive" by Yair Assulin is a searing novel that lays out the journey of a young
Israeli soldier who finds himself at the breaking point, unable to continue carrying out his
military service, yet terrified of the consequences of leaving the army.
As the soldier and his father embark on a lengthy drive to meet with a military psychiatrist,
novelist Yair Assulin penetrates the torn world of the hero, whose journey is not just that of a
young man facing a crucial dilemma, but a tour of the soul and depths of Israeli society and of
those everywhere who resist regimentation and violence.
Weary of being forced to be part of a larger collective, can one fulfill a yearning for an existence
free of politics, the news cycle and the imperative of perpetual battle-readiness -- without risking
the respect of those we love most? "The Drive" is a compelling story of an urgent personal quest
to reconcile duty, expectations and individual instinct.
Critique: Deftly crafted by an author with an impressive narrative storytelling skill as a novelist,
"The Drive" is an inherently fascinating, thoughtful and thought-provoking read -- and one that
should be a part of ever community, college, and university library Contemporary Literary
Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that, ably translated into English
by Jessica Cohen for an American readership, "The Drive" by Yair Assulin is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.99).
The Romantic Fiction Shelf
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780800726911, $15.99, PB, 368pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In the fine tradition established by her Southern grandmama, Aurora Daughtry has
recently orchestrated the marriage of her eldest sister and facilitated her middle sister's
engagement. She also rejoices in her part in transforming the family's dilapidated plantation
manor into a luxurious and lucrative resort hotel. Just when it seems there is nothing left to
absorb her considerable talent for managing people, in walks federal deputy marshal Zane
But Zane is not at Daughtry House for a vacation. He's tracking a killer and collecting two key
witnesses to a federal judge's murder. Aurora takes it upon herself to disabuse the cynical
lawman of his conviction that the world is out to get him. But just as she's on the verge of
cracking Zane's defenses, the man he is after reminds him that no one he loves is safe. Ever.
Critique: An impressively crafted historical novel from first page to last, and with considerable
attention paid to contextual detail, "Reckless Love" is another wonderfully entertaining romance
from author Beth White. While enthusiastically recommended, especially for community library
Historical Romance Fiction collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all
romance novel fans that "Reckless Love" is also readily available in a digital book format
The Western Fiction Shelf
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444844115, $21.49, PB, Large Print, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Arriving in Temple Rock to visit his brother John, Brent Kelf is greeted with a shower
of bullets. John's ranch is under attack, his animals stolen, and his family in danger - but with his
leg broken, it falls to his brother Kelf to find the culprit. Following the tracks of the rustled stock,
he rides straight onto the land of local ranch owner Abel Stratton, whose tough crew control
almost everyone in the town. Kelf soon realizes that to stop the violence, he must take the law
into his own hands. -- Then there is Stratton's unpredictable, attractive, and lethally dangerous
Critique: "Stranglehold" by Corba Sunman is one of those very special action/adventure western
novels where you can practically smell the gun smoke rising from the pages. A riveting and
original story with more plot twists and turns than the Colorado River, this is the stuff of which
John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies used to be made. This large print edition of
"Stranglehold" is unreservedly recommended for community library Western Fiction collections -
- and a 'must' for any and all dedicated western novel buffs.
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444844092, $21.49, PB, Large Print, 208pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Cheyenne cowboy Gat Hammer has decided to use his savings to buy a ranch in Dodge
City. Arriving with the cattle drive and depositing his wages in the town bank, he rents a room in
the Deluxe hotel, unaware that outlaw Emmett Holt's gang have been hired to rob the bank by no
less than the man who owns the bank itself! It seems that nothing can stop the merciless band of
lethal outlaws until Hammer realizes that his own savings have also been stolen -- and when he
and trail boss pal are gunned down in the dark. But despite his injuries, the Cheyenne cowboy
rides into action with guns blazing and against all odds!
Critique: Simply stated, "Cheyenne Cowboy" is that paradox of being a unique action-adventure
novel with all the traditional elements of a shoot-out western. A solidly entertaining read from
beginning to end, this large print edition of "Cheyenne Cowboy" is very highly recommended for
both the personal reading lists of dedicated western buffs and community library Western Fiction
Linford Western Library
c/o Ulverscroft Large Print (USA), Inc.
PO Box 1230, West Seneca, NY 14224-1230
9781444844405, $21.49, PB, Large Print, 248pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It is almost two years since Custer's defeat at the Little Bighorn and apart from those
few who have followed Sitting Bull into Canada, the Sioux have been chased out of the Black
Hills and are now subjugated by life on a reservation. But rumours of unrest and a renewal of
hostilities are causing concern among the people of the northern settlements.
The arrival of a buckskin-clad stranger with eagle feathers affixed to his hat and the mane of his
pony is greeted with curiosity and caution by the people of Palmersville. The violence that ensues
when he voices sympathy for the plight of the tribes people might have been avoided if his
attackers had first learned his name. For the stranger is wagon train scout Wes Gray, known
throughout the west as Medicine Feather, brother of the Arapaho and friend of the Sioux.
Wes was summoned to the town by long-time friend Crackaway - and is surprised to learn on his
arrival that not only is Crackaway dead, but he has a daughter, Jenny. Jenny reveals that her
father was killed because he'd discovered a dangerous secret. What was it, and why did he want
Wes's help? Searching for the truth could cost Wes his life!
Critique: A compulsive page-turner of an action/adventure western novel with cliff-hanger plot
twists and turns throughout, Will DuRey's "Crackaway's Quest" is everything a dedicated western
fan will want. This large print paperback edition from the Linford Western Library is an
emphatically and unreservedly recommended addition to personal reading lists and community
library Western Fiction collections.
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
9781608093885, $26.95, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In 2011, Will Parker, the young prodigy CEO of a big tech company makes a coding
mistake that costs a college student her life. To assuage his guilt, Will pursues a career in the FBI
Now, Special Agent Will Parker is called to investigate a murder scene at a Comic Con event in
the Midwest, where the victim has ties to a radioactive quantum computer that Will was working
on before he left his gig as CEO.
Working with smart local homicide detective Dana Lopez and FBI stuffed-shirt Thomas Decker,
Will discovers the victim was holding an auction for the computer on the Dark Web - and the
bidding is still live.
With bidders including a legendary Chinese hacker, Russian criminals sent by the Kremlin, and a
corporate executive desperate to escape a scandal, Will once again finds a life in his hands when
the victim's daughter is taken hostage. A trail of blood and high-tech breadcrumbs leads Will
deeper into mystery, danger, and a race against time to keep unlimited power out of the wrong
Critique: A deftly crafted and simply riveting police procedural thriller, "Broken Genius" clearly
demonstrates novelist Drew Murray's complete command of the genre. While especially and
unreservedly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be
noted for personal reading lists that "Broken Genius" is also readily available in an inexpensive
digital book format (Kindle, $1.99).
Jeffrey B. Burton
c/o St. Martin's Publishing Group
9781250244536, $26.99, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Mason "Mace" Reid lives on the outskirts of Chicago and specializes in human
remains detection. He trains dogs to hunt for the dead. Reid's coming off a taxing year --
mourning the death of a beloved springer spaniel as well as the dissolution of his marriage.
Mace adopts a rescue dog with a mysterious past -- a golden retriever named Vira. And when
Reid begins training Vira as a cadaver dog, he comes to realize just how special the newest
addition to his family truly is!
Suddenly, Mace and his prize pupil find themselves hurled into a taxing murder case, which will
push them to their very limits. Paired with determined Chicago Police Officer Kippy Gimm,
Mace must put all his trust in Vira's abilities to thwart a serial killer who has now set his sights
on Mace himself.
Critique: Showcasing his novelist's flare for the creation of interesting characters, lively dialogue,
cliff-hanger quality suspense, "The Finders" by Jeffrey B. Burton is a simply riveting and non-
stop entertaining read from beginning to end. While especially recommended for community
library Mystery/Suspense collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all
dedicated mystery buffs (and dog lovers!) that "The Finders" is also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $13.99).
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
The Shaman of Karres
Eric Flint & Dave Freer
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
9781982124564, $25.00, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Captain Pausert just can't catch a break! First, he became the mortal enemy of his
fiancee, his home planet, the Empire -- and even the Worm World, the darkest threat to mankind
in all of space. All because he helped rescue three slave children from their masters. Of course,
these three young women were the universally feared Witches of Karres. But how was he to
And after he defeated the Worm World (with the help of the witches, of course), the Empress
herself had sent him on a secret mission to stop a nanite plague that was raging across the galaxy.
But an enemy had somehow convinced the Imperial Fleet that he was actually a wanted criminal,
so after a battle leaving his ship in urgent need of repairs, Puasert and the witches of Karres
joined an interstellar traveling circus in order to save the galaxy.
Now in "The Shaman of Karres", Pausert and the witches of Karres roam the spaceways again,
this time dealing with a slaver-culture that somehow makes slaves happy to be in servitude, and a
quest for a long-lost alien pet, during which the youngest witch, The Leewit, begins to come to
her full powers as a healer -- and of course generates chaos in her wake. For Pausert, it's all in a
day's work. But would it be too much to ask for a vacation?!
Critique: The fourth volume of authors Eric Flint and Dave Freer's simply outstanding science
fiction action/adventure 'Witches of Karres' series, "The Shaman of Karres" is another thoroughly
entertaining novel that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to
community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted for the personal
reading lists of the legions of 'Witches of Karres' fans that "The Shaman of Karres" is also
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
David Boop edits Straight Outta Dodge City (9781982124366, $16.00), a 'weird Western'
collection of short stories that pairs supernatural and ghostly elements with fantasy and intrigue
designed to rewrite the nature and feel of the typical Western setting. Monsters, ghosts,
supernatural beings, dinosaurs, and more appear in short stories by such notable names as horror
writer Joe R. Lansdale, fantasy and sci-fi writer Mercedes Lackey, timeslip adventure writer
Harry Turtledove, and many more. The stories are diverse, interesting, and hard to easily define,
but always engrossing and startling in their plots and contentions. Hank Davis and Christopher
Ruocchio edit Overruled (9781982124502, $16.00), gathering short stories by Larry Niven,
Arthur C. Clarke, and more modern names like Larry Correia as it presents sci-fi and fantasy
stories revolving around lawyers and legal themes. From alien worlds to defending a computer
program accused of murder, these diverse scenarios tied by the legal profession make for
intriguing scenarios that are hard to put down.
The Graphic Novel Shelf
Attack of the Stuff
9781545804995 $9.99 pbk / $7.09 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: In what is described as "an 8 year old's fever dream," New York Times bestselling
author introduces us to Bill Waddler. Bill is a duck who dreams of being smothered by farting
snakes. He also has a special gift. He is able to hear appliances complain. Imagine what toilets
would complain about. Bill doesn't need to imagine. While working as a cash-only hay seller
(that doesn't accept credit cards), Bill doesn't know that he, and a very confused orange juice
sales clerk, are about to save the world. If you could hear this book complain, it would be saying
"where have you been all my life?"
Critique: Attack of the Stuff is a colorful, caricature-filled graphic novel for all ages, about the
madcap daily life of a duck with the unique ability to hear appliances complain. Crazy, wacky,
weird, and hilarious, Attack of the Stuff is delightfully irreverent and a choice pick for school
library graphic novel collections, as well as the reading pleasure of anyone needing a splash of
pick-me-up humor. Highly recommended! It should be noted for personal reading lists that
Attack of the Stuff is also available in a Kindle/comiXology edition ($7.09).
The Audiobook Shelf
Will Self, author and narrator
Will is the unabridged audiobook rendition of the autobiographical memoir of English author,
journalist, political commentator, and television personality William Woodard Self. He does not
shy from describing his own addiction to hard drugs, and his subsequent rehabilitation. Will Self
narrates aloud his own his own life journey, from childhood in a North London suburb to an
immersive education in Oxford to his travels, his widely popular writings, and much more. Will
is quirky, captivating, cards-on-table honest, and highly recommended especially for personal
and public library audiobook collections. 10 CDs, 11.5 hours.
Isobel Kuhn: On the Roof of the World
Janet Benge & Geoff Benge, authors
Rebecca Gallagher, narrator
PO Box 55787, Seattle, WA 98155
9781576589762, $21.99, CD, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Isobel Kuhn: On the Roof of the World" is the true story of Isobel Selina Miller Kuhn
(December 17, 1901 - March 20, 1957).
As a fourteen-year-old intent on living a "modern" life, the last thing Isobel (nicknamed Belle)
wanted to grow up to be was a missionary. But as it turned out, this young agnostic's life was
redirected from crisis and doubt to hope and strength.
Convinced that God wanted her to preach the gospel as a China Inland missionary, Isobel and her
husband bravely served as Christian missionaries among the Lisu people in remote mountainous
regions of China and Thailand. After twenty years of ministry Isobel returned to the United
States, writing stirring stories of faith and inspiring generations of readers until her death.
Critique: In a biography that reads with all the narrative flair of a deftly penned novel, this
complete and unabridged audio book edition of "Isobel Kuhn: On the Roof of the World" by the
writing team of Janet and Geoff Benge is ably narrated by Rebecca Gallagher. A part of the
Ywam Publications series 'Christian Heroes: Then & Now', "Isobel Kuhn: On the Roof of the
World" is a wonderfully inspired and inspiring listening event for ages 10 and up. With a running
time of 5 Hours, 56 Minutes "Isobel Kuhn: On the Roof of the World" is unreservedly
recommended for personal, family, community, and church library audio book collections.
Lillian Trasher Audiobook: The Greatest Wonder In Egypt
Janet Benge & Geoff Benge, authors
Rebecca Gallagher, narrator
PO Box 55787, Seattle, WA 98155
9781576587485, $21.99, CD, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Lillian Trasher Audiobook: The Greatest Wonder In Egypt" is the true life story
Lillian Hunt Trasher (27 September 1887 - 17 December 1961) who founded Egypt's first
orphanage. Even those who admired her aspirations as a Christian missionary thought that a lone
American woman with no means of support would surely be killed or starve to death. But Lillian
(certain of God's guidance) stood by her earlier promise to Him, 'If ever I can do anything for
You, just let me know - and I'll do it.'
In the midst of poverty, two world wars, Egyptian insurrections, and deadly epidemics, Lillian
faced each day with a heart of trust, modeling the life she hoped her children would someday live
in their own homes. During fifty tumultuous years, Lillian, popularly known as the Mother of the
Nile, cared for thousands of desperate children, with unwavering faith that God does indeed look
after the orphans."
Critique: Brilliantly narrated by Rebecca Gallagher, this complete and unabridged audio book
edition of Janet and Geoff Benge's "Lillian Trasher: The Greatest Wonder in Egypt" is an
inspiring biography that, although a work of non-fiction, reads with all the dramatic and
entertaining flair of a novel -- and especially recommended for both church and community
library collections for children and adults ages 8 to 88! (Running Time: Approximately 4:43 hrs.,
Elisabeth Elliot: Joyful Surrender
Janet Benge & Geoff Benge
PO Box 55787, Seattle, WA 98155
9781576588772, $21.99, CD, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Since she was young, Elisabeth Elliot had been intrigued by missionaries who gave up
so much to tell others about God's love. With a passion to translate the Bible into new languages,
she followed God's call to work among tribes in Ecuador, including the Waorani (Auca), who
had killed her missionary husband and four other men in his evangelical company.
Elisabeth kept a detailed journal of her life and missionary service. She returned to the United
States after many years in South America, becoming one of the most influential Christian women
of our time. A prolific author, speaker, and radio host, she passes on a message of joyful
surrender to the world.
Critique: Superbly read by Rebecca Gallagher and part of YWAM Publishing's simply
outstanding Christian Heroes: Then & Now inspirational audio book series, "Elisabeth Elliot:
Joyful Surrender" has a total running time of 5:43 hours on 5 CDs. Although primarily intended
for young listeners ages 8-12, "Elisabeth Elliot: Joyful Surrender" is also very highly
recommended to the attention of Christians of all ages and denominational backgrounds.
George Muller: The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans
Janet Benge & Geoff Benge
PO Box 55787, Seattle, WA 98155
9781576587263, $21.99, CD, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: George Muller (born Johann Georg Ferdinand Muller, 27 September 1805 - 10 March
1898) was a Christian evangelist and the director of the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol,
England. He was one of the founders of the Plymouth Brethren movement. Later during the split
his group was labeled as the Open Brethren. He cared for 10,024 orphans during his lifetime, and
provided educational opportunities for the orphans to the point that he was even accused by some
of raising the poor above their natural station in British life. He established 117 schools which
offered Christian education to more than 120,000.
Critique: Although a non-fiction biography, "George Muller: The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans"
by Janet and Geoff Benge is an audio book that is deftly narrated as if it were an fully engaging
and expertly penned novel. This is the true life story of a man of God who begain his life as what
we could call a juvenile delinquent and his college years as a conman who took advantage of his
fellow students to fund his debaucheries, gambling, and drinking. But then encountered the word
of God and became as transformed a Christian as Saul of Tarsus had upon the road to Damascuse
and became the Apostle Paul.
As absolutely fascinating and inspiring story of how a dissolute youth became one of the most
influential and beneficial Christians of his time by preaching and living a simply truth -- that God
answers prayers. His unique legacy was the establishment of orphanages (and never asking
anyone but God for financial help) when and where none had existed for the ordinary orphaned
children of the impoverished and the working class.
A part of the YWAM Publishing 'Christian Heroes: Then & Now' series, this complete and
unabridged audio book edition of "George Muller: The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans" is fully
and unreservedly recommended listening for all members of the Christian community from 8 to
The Library CD Shelf
Elena Moon Park
$TBA CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com
Unhurried Journey is a beautiful music album for all ages, featuring sixteen original songs about
taking joy in each step of one's travels. This includes not only journeys abroad, but also the
everyday pleasures of speaking with friends, or strolling amid nature. Individual songs include
both western-style music and reimagined east and southeast Asian melodies. Unhurried Journey
is a beautiful, expressive soundscape, and highly recommended for personal and public library
collections as well as gift-giving. The tracks are "Brilliant New Idea", "Flower Dance",
"Unhurried Journey", "Sae Taryeong", "Ito Maki", "Dia Mal Ka", "Flying Starfish", "Interlude",
"Springtime in my Hometown", "Let It Come, Let It Go", "Musikaru Ride to the Mountain",
"Pong Dang Pong Dang", "Hanagasa Ondo", "Gong Xi Gong Xi", "Underneath the Marshmallow
Tree", and "Count the Waves".
Blue Palace Records
$16.99 CD / $8.99 MP3 amazon.com
Justify is the eleventh full-length album performed by blues-rock vocalist and songwriter Jan
James. Smooth, passionate, and serious, the music ranges from a love song to a rendition of the
Rolling Stones classic "Honky Tonk Woman" to message of hope created in response to the
social crisis of suicide, which claimed the life of one of Jan James' former bandmates. Justify is
emotional, rapturous, and highly recommended. The tracks are "I'm Always Coming Back",
"Justify", "Good Man Down", "Try", "Believe In Me", "Lucky U R", "Different Life", "Never In
The Game", "Anything You Want", "Honky Tonk Woman", "Where You Gonna Run To", and
"Dangerous Decision". 49 min., 35 sec.
Beethoven's Eroica Symphony for Guitar and Symphony Orchestra
The Great Kat
Beethoven's Eroica Symphony for Guitar and Symphony Orchestra is a music CD by The Great
Kat that performs Beethoven's classic symphony as shredded guitar and violin music at intensely
high speeds, with the tenacity of a metal virtuoso. A wildly intense new way to experience
Beethoven's classic genius, Beethoven's Eroica Symphony for Guitar and Symphony Orchestra is
a shocking and mesmerizing audio experience! Highly recommended.
The Library DVD Shelf
A film by Tim Tsai
First Run Features
630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 1213, New York, NY 10036
Seadrift is a documentary on DVD about a 1979 shooting and the racial tensions it sparked. In
Seadrift, Texas a dispute over fishing territory escalated into violence. A Vietnamese refugee
shot and killed a white crab fisherman at the public town docks. Ethnic tensions between white
and Vietnamese residents exploded into boat burnings, KKK intimidation, and other hostilities.
Seadrift examines the true story of the shooting, its aftermath, and the consequences that linger
today. Highly recommended, especially for public library DVD collections. 69 min., color,
optional English and Vietnamese subtitles.
Still a Revolutionary Albert Einstein
A film by Julia Newman
First Run Features
Still a Revolutionary Albert Einstein is a documentary on DVD about a lesser-known aspect of
one of the most celebrated scientists of all time. Albert Einstein is famous for his genius, but in
his day he was also a political activist. He was an anti-war firebrand, and he spoke openly on
social issues ranging from women's rights to racism, immigration, and nuclear arms control. Still
a Revolutionary Albert Einstein draws upon archival footage, correspondence, new interviews,
and more to offer an extraordinary glimpse into this remarkable man and his multifaceted
contributions to history. Still a Revolutionary Albert Einstein is highly recommended, especially
for public and school library DVD collections. 80 min.
Stuck With You, season one
Starring Tammy Townsend and Timon Kyle Durrett
Urban Movie Channel
Stuck With You is a romantic dramady about an unhappily married celebrity couple. In the
spotlight, they are a famous pair, a former rhythm-and-blues princess and a leading Hollywood
actor whose careers skyrocketed in part because of their popularly beloved marriage, and their
tell-all relationship book. Behind closed doors, they lead completely separate lives. They need to
market their status as the "it" couple even though each of them craves a divorce. Wry, canny, and
at times heart-wrenching, Stuck With You is unforgettably brought to life with the masterful
performances of Tammy Townsend and Timon Kyle Durrett. Highly recommended. 6 episodes,
245 min., SDH subtitles.
PO Box 480, Wolfeboro, NH 03894-0480
Two instructional DVDs by Tai chi master, instructor, and gold medalist Chenhan Yang offer a
user-friendly introduction to learning Chen-style tai chi. "Chen Tai Chi First Form"
(9781594397592, $29.95, 184 min.) showcases the 74 postures of the first form with step-by-step
instructions, explanations for the purpose behind the movements. "Chen Tai Chi Cannon Fist"
(9781594397608, $29.95, 129 min.) details the 43 posture form of cannon fist with multiple
demonstrations. Both DVDs are a superb way to learn tai chi, a practice with a storied history
dating back to the 1400's, ideal for promoting circulation, vitality, and alertness; both DVDs are
highly recommended for both personal and public library mild exercise and martial arts DVD
The Self-Help Shelf
Time Management Magic
Morgan James Publishing
11815 Fountain Way, Suite 300, Newport News, VA 23606-4448
9781642793185, $15.95, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Time Management Magic: How to Get More Done Every Day and Move from
Surviving to Thriving" by Lee Cockerell is all about learning a system and a way of thinking that
enhances the ability to lead a highly productive, balanced, and effective life. Too many people
get discouraged and want to quit because they have setbacks and other obstacles in their life.
Retired Exec VP of Walt Disney World, Lee's advice to everyone is, "Don't underestimate what
you can achieve." Lee believes that having a well-organized system for planning and executing
one's goals and dreams is vital. He credits his success to having a strong time management
system in place to ensure he would do what he said he would do and keep his promises.
The time-management secrets Lee has developed have become one of his most requested
corporate training lectures and are now available in his tell-all guide, "Time Management
Magic". The system he presents is not just about time management, it is about life management.
The executive time management secrets contained in "Time Management Magic" help readers
keep all parts of their lives under control and jump-start their personal and professional
Critique: Impressively informative, expertly written, thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization
and presentation, "Time Management Magic: How to Get More Done Every Day and Move from
Surviving to Thriving" will prove to be an invaluable and effective instructional guide and
manual for maximizing the management of personal and professional time for any schedule or
circumstance. While very highly recommended for community and academic library Time
Management collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Time Management
Magic" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $8.99).
Editorial Note: Lee Cockerell is the retired Exec VP of Walt Disney World. Lee has held
management positions with Hilton for 8 years, Marriott for 17 years, and the Walt Disney
Company for 16 years. He is the author of four books: Creating Magic, The Customer Rules,
Time Management Magic and Career Magic. He is a popular speaker and seminar presenter
around the world on Leadership, Management, and Customer Service.
Emotional Intuition for Peak Performance
Inner Traditions International, Ltd.
One Park Street, Rochester, VT 05767
9781620559239, $16.99, PB, 208pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Integrating the wisdom of the ancient sages with modern science, in the pages of
"Emotional Intuition for Peak Performance: Secrets from the Sages for Being in the Zone" Jason
Gregory explains how world-class artists and athletes reach peak performance -- and how you,
too, can harness this "lifestyle technology" to make your actions effortless, enjoy intelligent
spontaneity, and reach optimal performance at a peak level.
Drawing on modern cognitive science, Gregory explains dual process theory, which divides
mental activity into two spheres: cold cognition, analogous with rational thought, and hot
cognition, based on emotional intuition -- a theory anticipated by ancient Eastern thought,
especially the teachings of the Chinese sages. Gregory also explains that peak performance is
impossible to achieve by relying solely on cold cognition as it cuts you off from the energy
reserves necessary to excel. He shows how the athletic concept of being "in the zone" is based on
practices that have become energized by hot cognition and thus instinctive.
Outlining a structured training system that blends hot and cold cognition, the author identifies
four fundamental habits and routines that lay the foundation for a healthy embodied mind and
mindful body and thus are essential for developing peak performance and success. Gregory
explains how these training methods are practical applications of ancient wisdom from Zen and
Taoist traditions, such as wu-wei, as well as how they are supported by recent medical research.
Building on the four fundamentals, he offers practices for cultivating physical and mental
intelligence, fasting the mind, and harnessing creativity to achieve your desires.
In conclusion, Gregory explains how, with regular practice, we can use the four fundamentals to
create masterpiece days -- and as the masterpiece days compound, you build an unstoppable
momentum where success is inevitable.
Critique: As informative and thought-provoking as it is inspired and inspiring, "Emotional
Intuition for Peak Performance: Secrets from the Sages for Being in the Zone" is an extraordinary
introduction that is impressively 'user friendly' in tone, narrative style, organization and
presentation. While especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic
library Spiritual Self-Help, Cognitive Psychology, and Taoist Philosophy collections and
supplemental curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and non-
specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Emotional Intuition for Peak
Performance: Secrets from the Sages for Being in the Zone" is also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $11.99).
Editorial Note: Dividing his time between Asia and Australia, Jason Gregory is a teacher and
international speaker specializing in the fields of Eastern and Western philosophy, comparative
religion, metaphysics, and ancient cultures. For several years he studied with masters in
Buddhism, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Hinduism, and Taoism, traveling to some of the most
remote places in the world. He is also the filmmaker of the documentary The Sacred Sound of
The Jossman Method: Conquering Life's Transitions
Atlantic Publishing Group, Inc.
1405 S.W. 6th Avenue, Ocala, FL 34471
9781620237403, $19.95, PB, 88pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: While rebuilding his life from scratch after being divorced and losing his career and
home, Travis Neville created a personalized method to ensure happiness. In "The Jossman
Method: Conquering Life's Transitions" he draws upon his own life experiences to outline
specific, easy-to-achieve behaviors that any regular, flawed person can accomplish daily. These
are the lessons he learned the hard way and offers in order to help others find productivity and
fulfillment. The underlying message of "The Jossman Method: Conquering Life's Transitions " is
that 'happiness is there, we just have to decide to notice it'.
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' and encouraging in tone, commentary, organization and
presentation, "The Jossman Method: Conquering Life's Transitions" is an especially and
unreservedly recommended for community and academic library Self-Help/Self-Improvement
collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Jossman Method: Conquering
Life's Transitions" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $11.49).
The Education Shelf
Improving Online Teacher Education
Teachers College Press
1234 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027
9780807763698, $111.00, HC, 144pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Improving Online Teacher Education: Digital Tools and Evidence-Based Practices"
by Rachel Karchmer-Klein (an Associate Professor at the University of Delaware where she
teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in literacy and educational technology) is a practical
guide to developing collaborative and interactive online experiences for teacher candidates.
Professor Karchmer-Klein examines methods for integrating evidence-based practices into online
teaching environments, including think alouds, case-based instruction, peer feedback, and field
experience. The content is applicable to a variety of situations and content areas in education,
such as literacy, math, and educational leadership, so that readers can design their own quality
learning opportunities for students.
Of special note is a final chapter that invites readers to build a digital professional learning
network where they can explore areas of tech integration related to specific interests and
problems of practice.
"Improving Online Teacher Education" is organized in a non-sequential design so the reader can
choose which topics and activities are most relatable and useful to their professional
environment. It is specifically designed to make online teaching and learning more engaging for
instructors and teacher education candidates.
Critique: An exceptionally well written, organized and presented instructional manual and guide,
"Improving Online Teacher Education: Digital Tools and Evidence-Based Practices" is an ideal
and unreservedly recommended addition to school district, college, and university library
Teacher Education collections in general and Distance & Online Learning supplemental
curriculum studies lists in particular. An ideal textbook for classroom teacher in-service training
programs, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Distance & Online Learning" is also
readily available in a paperback edition (9780807763681, $36.95) and in a digital book format
They Aren't Just Students: Making The Connection
David S. Bunn
c/o Wipf and Stock Publishers
199 West 8th Avenue, Suite 3, Eugene, OR 97401-2960
9781725262058, $20.00, PB, 150pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "They Aren't Just Students: Making The Connection" is geared towards college
teachers, encouraging them with specific ways to become better teachers. As such, "The Aren't
Just Students" is very unusual in its information and purpose, making it a very valuable tool for
anyone who wants to teach.
In addition to college level instructors, "They Aren't Just Students: Making The Connection" has
applications appropriate and useful to high school and elementary school teachers who can easily
make the leap between teaching college and their current level students.
"They Aren't Just Students: Making The Connection" will also be of interest to parents as they
evaluate the quality of those who teach their children.
"They Aren't Just Students: Making The Connection" is a work that is based on general research
themes and experience rather than specific studies. It is written in a direct and personal style to
the reader with many examples from the twenty-one years of teaching experience by the
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation, "They
Aren't Just Students: Making The Connection" by David S. Bunn is an invaluable introduction
and orientation for teachers seeking to maximize the learning experience for their students
regardless of the subject matter being taught. While very highly recommended, especially for
school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections, it should be noted
for personal reading lists that "They Aren't Just Students: Making The Connection" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Writing to Make an Impact
Sandra Murphy & Mary Ann Smith
Teachers College Press
1234 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027
9780807763971, $96.00, HC, 160pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Through ideas and practices straight from the classrooms of outstanding teachers,
"Writing to Make an Impact: Expanding the Vision of Writing in the Secondary Classroom" is a
lively resource that effectively illustrates writing that makes an impact on a reader, a writer, or a
cause - writing that everyone wants to read. "Writing to Make an Impact" is rich with student
work that shows how writing can make things happen in the world. The authors, Sandra Murphy
and Mary Ann Smith collaborate to provide ready-to-use lessons that include a full range of
writing, including poetry, narrative, petitions, proposals, emails, self-reflections, long-term
projects, and critical analyses.
"Writing to Make an Impact": Incorporates the voices and practices of many talented writing
teachers; Employs an upbeat style with a clear, easy-to-follow framework; Encourages writing
that changes minds, tells stories, calls for action, creates awareness or empathy, touches
emotions, or promotes new thinking; Provides accessible teaching ideas, short exercises, and
student models; Builds on students' experiences with social media and their interest in social
Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "Writing to Make an Impact: Expanding the
Vision of Writing in the Secondary Classroom" will prove to be an invaluable and effective
curriculum textbook for creative writing classes at the college or university level, as well as
creative writing seminars and workshops. While especially recommended for community and
academic library Writing/Publishing instructional reference collections, it should be noted for the
personal reading lists of students, academia, aspiring authors and novelists that "Writing to Make
an Impact" is also readily available in a paperback edition (9780807763964, $31.95) and in a
digital book format (Kindle, $30.35).
Editorial Note: Sandra Murphy is former secondary teacher and Professor Emerita of Education
at the University of California, Davis.
Mary Ann Smith is a former secondary teacher. She directed the Bay Area and California Writing
Projects and served as director of government relations for the National Writing Project.
Zest For Learning
Bill Lucas & Ellen Spencer
Crown House Publishing
81 Brook Hills Circle, White Plains, NY 10605
9781785834011, $22.95, PB, 200pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The collaborative work of educators Bill Lucas and Ellen Spencer, "Zest For Learning:
Developing Curious Learners Who Relish Real-World Challenges" explores the ways in which
teachers can fuel their pupils curiosity and help them find their passions, develop independence
and challenge themselves to become more expansive learners.
"Zest for Learning" also examines how schools can enrich their pupils learning both within and
beyond school. This could be encouraged through, for example, greater engagement with sports
and the arts, or by collaborating with external bodies such as the Scouts and Guides, or the Duke
of Edinburgh scheme and with libraries, museums, faith groups and environmental
"Zest for Learning" deftly connects the co-curriculum with the formal curriculum, building both
theoretical and practical confidence in the kinds of pedagogies which work well. The authors
have also infused their book with a range of ideas for getting pupils to love learning so much that
they will be able to learn whatever they want to throughout their lives.
Critique: "Zest For Learning: Developing Curious Learners Who Relish Real-World Challenges"
is third book in the outstanding Crown House Publishing series 'Pedagogy for a Changing
World' and will prove to be an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to community,
school district, college, and university library Teacher Education collections. "Zest For Learning:
Developing Curious Learners Who Relish Real-World Challenges" is an ideal choice as a
curriculum textbook for teacher in-service training programs. It should be noted that "Zest For
Learning" is also readily available for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Professor Bill Lucas is Director of the Centre for Real-World Learning. With Guy
Claxton he created the Expansive Education Network: an organization of schools that share a
common view of the goals of education. These goals are outlined in their seminal book,
Dr Ellen Spencer is a senior researcher at the Centre for Real-World Learning. She has a PhD
from the University of Warwick, where her doctoral research focused on the impact of policy on
Independent Thinking On MFL
Crown House Publishing
81 Brook Hills Circle, White Plains, NY 10605
9781781353370, $16.95, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Learning a new language has the power to transform a life, as well as help break down
the barriers that seem to be re-emerging between nations, cultures and people.
In the UK, MFL (Multi Foreign Language) teaching has always had to battle with the everyone
speaks English argument, not to mention that, for so many, all that remains of their years learning
a foreign language is bitte, por favor or sil vous plait.
But with teachers like Independent Thinking Associate Crista Hazell at the front of the class,
things can be very different.
Drawing on her many years of experience as an MFL teacher and head of department, Crista
shares tips, techniques and inspirational ideas geared to help teachers build confidence, increase
enjoyment and improve outcomes as they take their MFL teaching to a whole new level.
Crista provides a range of strategies from how to hook students in the minute they enter the
classroom to ensuring that the vocabulary sticks designed to help learners develop confidence,
take risks and enjoy the challenge that learning a new language brings. She also offers ideas and
advice on how to make learning new vocabulary and grammar a great deal more effective and
empowers teachers to open up the benefits and enjoyment of learning a language to all students,
not just those in the top sets.
Ultimately, however, her book, "Independent Thinking On MFL", sets out to help teachers create
engaging, relevant and memorable learning experiences in the MFL classroom and encourage
their learners to become lifelong and passionate linguists.
Critique: Expertly and effectively written, organized and presented, "Independent Thinking On
MFL" is an ideal textbook and instructional reference for use by MFL teachers and heads of
languages departments in primary schools, secondary schools and colleges. While very highly
recommended as an essential and core addition to school district, college, and university library
Language Instruction collections and supplemental curriculum reading lists, it should be noted
for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that
"Independent Thinking On MFL" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Crista Hazell is an MFL specialist with many years successful experience both in
the classroom and in positions of leadership. She has worked across the UK and internationally
from Belgium and Cyprus to Slovenia and Ghana with students, teachers and school leaders in
developing teaching, learning, relationships and behaviour. Her creativity and energy for bringing
the teaching of MFL alive for students during her time in the classroom was matched by her high
expectations and willingness to take on board that difficult class all without losing sight of the
children and young people in her care.
I Is for Inquiry
Bruce Shore, Mark Aulls, Diana Tabatabai, Juss Kaur Magon
PO Box 8813, Waco, TX 76714-8813
9781618219879, $34.95, PB, 150pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "I Is for Inquiry: An Illustrated ABC of Inquiry-Based Instruction for Elementary
Teachers and Schools" takes a unique approach to helping teachers in the elementary grades
create lessons and sustain inquiry in their classrooms. This colorful, illustrated alphabet book
explores 26 (including X and Z) key ideas and skills in inquiry-based teaching and learning, such
as collaboration, dialogue, evidence, hypothesis, and scaffolding.
Each short individual chapter: Summarizes one inquiry element that can be built into students'
experiences; Uses straightforward language and examples; Includes a classroom vignette and
suggestions for using the concept; Shares selected references and related Internet-based
resources; Helps teachers build self-confidence about teaching through inquiry.
"I Is for Inquiry" will serve as a familiar and fun resource for busy teachers at any point in their
careers. Using the inquiry vocabulary and repertoire of concepts, teachers can build curriculum
and share ideas with colleagues, making inquiry in the classroom as approachable as ABC!
Critique: Expertly written and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "I Is for
Inquiry: An Illustrated ABC of Inquiry-Based Instruction for Elementary Teachers and Schools",
making it an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to professional, school district,
college, and university library Elementary School Teacher Education instructional references and
supplemental curriculum reading lists.
Editorial Note: Bruce M. Shore, Ph.D., Mark W. Aulls, Ed.D., Diana Tabatabai, Ph.D., and Juss
Kaur Magon, D.Phil., have more than a century of combined experience as teachers,
administrators, teacher educators, writers, supervisors, and researchers in inquiry-based teaching
and learning, reading, mathematics, science, technology, and gifted education. They have worked
in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, from primary grades to postdoctoral
supervision, and as international workshop leaders and consultants.
The Jobs/Career Shelf
Public Relations For Musicians
9798642354438, $9.99, PB, 102pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Are you an artist or band looking to get featured online and in print? Do you wonder
how other artists get reviews and interviews in your favorite magazine, newspaper, blog or
websites? Are you in a band? A solo artist? A rapper? A DJ?
In "Public Relations For Musicians: Your DIY Guide To Getting Featured By The Media",
seasoned music publicist Bob Bradley offers his insight into the world of music PR and explains
how artists can handle their own media campaigns.
Drawing inspiration from his hundreds of campaigns for major label, independent and celebrity
musicians, Bob takes the reader through a step-by-step process that helps musicians take the
wheel on their own PR efforts.
Having a publicist or getting signed to a large record deal isn't the only way to earn coverage in
great magazines, blogs, newspapers and even on TV. With the help of "Public Relations For
Musicians" even the most novice of musicians can have practical insights into the mindset of a
media relations pro and get a better understanding of how the process works and apply them into
creating and implementing a successful PR campaign promoting their music.
Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "Public Relations For Musicians: Your DIY
Guide To Getting Featured By The Media" is impressively comprehensive and thoroughly 'user
friendly'. While especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, professional,
community, college, and university library Music Business & Marketing collections, it should be
noted that "Public Relations For Musicians: Your DIY Guide To Getting Featured By The
Media" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
Editorial Note: Bob Bradley has spent the past 13 + years as a public relations and marketing
professional with hundreds of clients within entertainment and other top industries helping his
clients push their key offerings to the media and locking critical press to help their business
thrive. A musician himself, Bob spent many years touring full-time in the band Scars of
Tomorrow signed to Victory Records and currently plays for the Southern California band Fake
Figures. Bob also owns the publishing catalog Gas Can Music, which is a collection of hundreds
of tracks in multiple genres including rock, indie and hip-hop. Since 2011, the music has and will
continue to be licensed across multiple channels in film, TV, video games and web
The Gardening Shelf
Indoor Green: Living with Plants
Bree Claffey, author
Lauren Bamford, photographer
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500501061, $29.95, PB, 208pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: For centuries, plants have transformed interiors, and today plant-filled homes are
filling up our Instagram feeds. With his instructional guide, manual and reference, "Indoor
Green: Living with Plants", author and plant retailer Bree Claffey deftly explores the interior
worlds of fellow plant lovers and the enduring attraction of houseplants. From the ever-reliable
peace lily and beguiling fiddle-leaf fig to the elusive Chinese money plant, "Indoor Green" makes
it obvious that even the humblest greenery can transform a home.
Houseplants add romance to any room. Within the pages of "Indoor Green", gorgeous
photographs of interiors from across the globe by Lauren Bamford are divided into chapters such
as "Plant Music," "How to Grow Fresh Air," and "Plant Portraits," making the magic easy to
replicate in one's own home.
Interviews of indoor green enthusiasts appear in this paperback edition of "Indoor Green"
alongside the imagery, as well as tips on caring for plants and an index of plant varieties. More
than good-looking props, plants are living, growing, joyful things rooted in creativity -- and
"Indoor Green" makes it obvious that even the humblest greenery can transform a home.
Critique: An inspiring and informative pleasure to simply browse through one illustrated page at
a time, "Indoor Green: Living with Plants" will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular
addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Home Gardening
instructional guides. "Indoor Green" is a 'must' for anyone wanting to improve the decor and
ambiance of their home or business office with the presence of living plants.
Editorial Note: Bree Claffey is the owner of Mr. Kitly, an emporium of carefully curated
ceramics, housewares, and indoor plants.
Lauren Bamford is a Melbourne-based lifestyle photographer. She regularly contributes to
national and international publications including Vogue Living Australia, Kinfolk, and the Wall
The Travel Shelf
Journeys North: The Pacific Crest Trail
Barney Scout Mann
1001 SW Klickitat Way, Suite 201, Seattle, WA 98134-1161
9781680513219, $19.95, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In the pages of "Journeys North: The Pacific Crest Trail", legendary trail angel, thru
hiker, and former PCTA board member Barney Scout Mann spins a compelling tale of six hikers
on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2007 as they walk from Mexico to Canada. This ensemble story
unfolds as these half-dozen hikers (including Barney and his wife, Sandy) trod north, slowly
forming relationships and revealing their deepest secrets and aspirations. They face a
once-in-a-generation drought and early severe winter storms that test their will in this
bare-knuckled adventure. In fact, only a third of all the hikers who set out on the trail that year
As the group approaches Canada, a storm rages. How will these very different hikers, ranging in
age, gender, and background, respond to the hardship and suffering ahead of them? Can they all
make the final 60-mile push through freezing temperatures, sleet, and snow, or will some reach
their breaking point?
"Journeys North" is essentially a travelogue story of determination, compassion, human nature,
and the relationships people will inevitably forge when they jointly strive toward a common
Critique: An inherently fascinating, thoroughly engaging, and exceptionally well written blending
of memoir and travelogue, "Journeys North: The Pacific Crest Trail" will prove to be an
immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, community, and academic library
Editorial Note: Barney Scout Mann has hiked the Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Continental
Divide Trails. He has been board chair of the Pacific Crest Trail Association and is president of
the Partnership for the National Trails System. Mann has been recognized with a Lowell Thomas
Journalism Award and is the co-author of The Pacific Crest Trail: Exploring America's
Wilderness Trail and the author of The Continental Divide Trail: Exploring America's Ridgeline
Trail. He also maintains a website at www.BarneyScoutMann.com.
The Railroading Shelf
Amazing Train Journeys
Lonely Planet Publications
150 Linden Street, Oakland CA 94607
9781787014305, $25.00, HC, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Amazing Train Journeys" showcases 60 of the world's greatest and most unforgettable
train journeys, from classic long-distance trips like Western Canada's Rocky Mountaineer and
Darwin to Adelaide's The Ghan, to little-known gems on regular commuting lines.
Railroading enthusiasts have always had a soft spot for trains. Dedicated train travelers know that
the moment a train pulls out of a station bound for somewhere fantastic is when the adventure
truly starts. Profusely illustrated in full color throughout, "Amazing Train Journeys" is the
culmination of asking more than 200 travel writers for their absolute favourites.
Some are epic international adventures, others short suburban routes along stunning coastline.
There are incredible feats of engineering, trains that snake their way through mountain peaks, and
even those which have achieved Unesco World Heritage status.
Each profile contains practical information including ticket options, timetables and stops, plus
inspiring photos and illustrated maps.
Critique: A 'must' for all devoted train buffs and armchair travelers, "Amazing Train Journeys" is
an extraordinary volume and the next best thing from actually riding the rails. While certain to be
an immediate and enduringly popular addition to both community and academic library Travel
Guide and Railroading History collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Amazing Train Journeys" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
The Biography Shelf
Traces: A Memoir
American University in Cairo Press
200 Park Avenue, Suite 1700, New York, NY 10166
9789774169533, $25.00, PB, 246pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Gamal al-Ghitani (9 May 1945 - 18 October 2015) is one of Egypt's greatest writers.
He was educated as a tapestry-maker in rural Cairo. He wrote his first work when he was sixteen
and became a war reporter at the age of twenty-three. He has written thirteen novels and six
collections of short stories, including his best known work, Zayni Barakat (AUC Press, 2004)
and The Zafarani Files (AUC Press, 2009). Ghitani's many honors include the Egyptian State
Prize for the Novel, the French Chevalier de l'Order des Arts et des Lettres, the Egyptian State
Prize for Literature, and Egypt's Nile Award in Literature.
"Traces: A Memoir" is a haunting literary memoir that written ten years before al-Ghitani's death
and weaves together a series of vignettes in a style that mimics the uneven, discontinuous nature
of memory itself.
These fragments are summoned from across the span of a singular lifetime. We read of his
childhood adventures, his erotic awakenings, his time as a political prisoner, and his reports from
the battlefront in Iraq and the corridors of power in Syria. Vivid passages capture fleeting glances
of strangers through car windows, flavors and scents of delicacies savored, dreams and sorrows
of neighbors in the apartment blocks of Cairo before Nasser, as well as chance conversations at
points of transit, in cafes, on elegant streets, and with unnamed paramours.
These memories, and al-Ghitani's musings on memory's own finitude and mutability, make
Traces both a memoir and a meditation on memory itself, in all its inscrutable workings and
Critique: An inherently engaging, deftly written, and fascinatingly informative read throughout,
"Traces: A Memoir" will prove to be a welcome and enduringly valued addition to personal
reading lists for Gamal Al-Ghitanani literary studies lists, as well as community, college, and
university library Essays, Middle Eastern Literature, African Literature, and Contemporary
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
9780299328306, $26.95, HC, 232pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In the throes of a classic midlife crisis, in her memoir "The Change: My Great
American, Postindustrial, Midlife Crisis Tour", Lori Soderlind (an award-winning essayist and
journalist, and author of the memoir "Chasing Montana: A Love Story") took a sabbatical from
her community college job as a journalism professor. She set out to travel across America's
rusting heart with her fourteen-year-old dog, Colby, and a used camping trailer. Making pit stops
in places like Buffalo and Rockford, she explored a deeply conflicted country going through its
own crises and transformations. Even as she struggled with her own impulses, she found life and
resilience among the seemingly forlorn, abandoned artifacts of former industrial glory.
With humanity and humor, Soderlind's journey introduces quirky folks along the way, including
Swannie Jim of Silo City and his fawn pit bull, Champ. She attempts to channel muckraking
journalist Ida M. Tarbell and celebrates complicated characters, including Robert De Niro's
heartbroken veteran in The Deer Hunter. Ultimately a romance (of Soderlind's love for America,
her dog, the long-term partner she left behind, and the childhood crush she remembers with a big,
aching pang) "The Change" offers daring and often hilarious insights into loss and acceptance,
especially when it takes a while to get there.
Critique: An impressive combination of thoughtful insight and delightful entertainment, "The
Change: My Great American, Postindustrial, Midlife Crisis Tour" is a unique memoir that will
prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to both community and academic
library Contemporary American Biography collections in general, and LGBT reading lists in
particular. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Change: My Great American,
Postindustrial, Midlife Crisis Tour" is readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Roland's Story, Inspired By A Stroke
Roland S. Takaoka
Difference Makers Media
9780997592153, $14.95, PB, 260pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In the pages of his intensely personal and inspiring autobiography "Roland's Story,
Inspired By A Stroke: A Memoir of Hope, Healing & Transformation", readers will take an
unforgettable journey with stroke survivor, Roland Takaoka. While facing paralysis on his right
side, Roland recognizes the importance of focusing on the positive in every situation. He shares
his adventures in the hospital, rehab and at home with candor, humor and optimism.
Roland is a keen observer of what happens around him. No one is above his scrutiny: from the
busy doctor and nurses, to the therapists and cantankerous patients. Roland's anecdotal stories
and personal reflections provide a refreshing example of how one's mind set can triumph over
Supported by his loving wife, Roland's path leads him to an enlightened therapist, whose
knowledge about the Law of Attraction creates a new reality for his life.
Of special note is an informative preface from Roland's close friend, Lynn Sanders, as well as an
epilogue by his wife Barbara Peeters. A resource guide is also included to uplift stroke survivors,
their families and others facing physical challenges, "Roland's Story" is an intimate, inspiring
memoir that touches the heart and soul while offering readers an opportunity to recognize their
own unlimited potential.
Critique: A deftly written and inherently engaging read from first page to last, "Roland's Story,
Inspired By A Stroke: A Memoir of Hope, Healing & Transformation" is one of those intensely
personal yet ultimately universal stories that will linger in the mind and memory long after the
book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf. While especially and unreservedly
recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary American Biography
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Roland's Story" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
Editorial Note: The publication of "Roland's Story" was made possible through the personal and
professional efforts of Lynn Sanders who is the Founder/CEO of Difference Makers Media, LLC
-- an organization that helps entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders create, tell and share their stories
to expand their impact. As an award-winning writer/producer, author, marketing consultant, and
media host of "The Difference Makers," Sanders has a mission to inspire people to live life to
their highest potential. To make a bigger difference from your stories and get a free Difference
Makers Story Guide, visit: www.DifferenceMakersMedia.com
Marilea C. Rabasa
She Writes Press
9781631528989, $16.95, PB, 336pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Addiction is a stealth predator. Unrecognized, it will grow and flourish. Unchecked, it
Marilea Rabasa grew up in post-WWII Massachusetts in a family that lived comfortably and
offered her every advantage. But they were also haunted by closely guarded family secrets.
Alcoholism reached back through several generations, and it was not openly discussed. Shame
and stigma perpetuated the silence. And Marilea became part of this ongoing tragedy.
From an unhappy childhood to a life overseas in the diplomatic service to now, living on an
island in Puget Sound, "Stepping Stones: A Memoir of Addiction, Loss, and Transformation"
chronicles Marilea's experiences, weaving a compelling tale of travel, motherhood, addiction,
and heartbreaking loss. The constant thread throughout this story is the many faces and forms of
addiction, phantoms that stalk her like an obsessed lover. What, if anything, will free her of the
masks she has worn all her life?
An inspiring, poignant recovery story, "Stepping Stones" is the intimately personal story of how
Marilea took on the demons that plagued her all her life -- and defeated them.
Critique: An inherently fascinating and ultimately inspiring read from beginning to end,
"Stepping Stones: A Memoir of Addiction, Loss, and Transformation" is an especially and
unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library Contemporary
American Biography collections in general, and the personal reading lists of anyone dealing with
an eating disorder in particular. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Stepping
Stones: A Memoir of Addiction, Loss, and Transformation" is also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $8.99).
Magic Time: A Memoir
Smith & Kraus Publishers
177 Lyme Road, Lyme NH 03755-6610
9781575259475, $19.95, PB, 311pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Ed Wilson began his career in theatre as the Producer's Assistant of a Broadway play
directed by John Gielgud and the film Lord of the Flies directed by Peter Brook. He produced
plays off-Broadway and co-produced the Broadway play Agatha Sue, I Love You and the film
The Nashville Sound.
Educated at Vanderbilt, the University of Edinburgh and Yale, he received the first Doctor of
Fine Arts degree awarded by Yale. From 1972 to 1995, he was the theatre critic for The Wall
Street Journal for 23 years and for 45 years he served on the faculty at Hunter College and the
CUNY Graduate Center for nearly half a century. He served as President of the New York Drama
Critics Circle, Chairman of the Theatre Development Fund and several Pulitzer Prize juries.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he conducted 90 half-hour television interviews with virtually
every important theatre figure of the late 20th century from George Abbott to Jerry Zaks. Called
Spotlight, the series appeared on CUNY-TV in New York and more than 200 PBS stations
nationwide. It can be seen today on YouTube.
Critique: His personal life story, "Magic Time: A Memoir, Notes on Theatre & Other
Entertainment" is the next best thing to a front row ticket to Wilson's engaging, colorful career in
the world of the theater. An informative, absorbing, and entertaining read from first page to last,
"Magic Time: A Memoir, Notes on Theatre & Other Entertainment" is also readily available in a
paperback edition (9781575259420, $19.95).
The Needlecraft Shelf
c/o The GMC Group
9781784945473, $22.95, PB, 144pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Compiled by Susie Johns, "Circus Embroidery: More than 200 Motifs and Projects to
Stitch" is comprised of bright, playful motifs makes a handy resource for any embroidery
enthusiast to engage with.
With spreads made up of template outlines on one side and the finished stitched items opposite,
it couldn't be easier these needlecraft projects cover every imaginable spectacle that might be
seen at a circus of yesteryear. From daring acrobats, tumblers and tightrope walkers to incredible
performing animals, enthusiastic needlecrafters will be transported straight back to this exciting
world from another era. Also included are embroidery projects based on the tents, signs and
caravans that make up the circus infrastructure along with decorative borders, banners and
Other circus based embroidery projects include: strongmen, acrobats, tumblers, clowns,
elephants, train, dancers, musicians, ringmasters, banners, flags, tents, ticket office, signs, big
cats and many more!
Critique: A true embroidery fans delight -- and thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and
presentation, ""Circus Embroidery: More than 200 Motifs and Projects to Stitch" is a unique and
unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, and community library
Needlecraft instructional reference collections. It should be noted that ""Circus Embroidery:
More than 200 Motifs and Projects to Stitch" is also readily available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Based in London, England, Susie Johns is an artist and designer who has written
dozens of craft books, mostly on knitting, crochet and sewing, including (also from GMC
Publications), Knitted Pets, Knitted Woodland Creatures, How to Embroider and Fat Quarter:
Bags & Purses.
100 Essential Crochet Stitches
c/o The GMC Group
9781784945626, $19.95, PB, 136pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Val Pierce developed her skills over the years and her designs now feature in a
selection of national magazines in the UK as well as numerous books. Her inspiration comes
from the environment around her, using different colors and textures within her knitted and
In "100 Essential Crochet Stitches" Val has created an ideal instructional manual for beginners
that is also a great reference guide for more experienced crocheter's. "100 Essential Crochet
Stitches" will prove to be essential for anyone wanting to hone their crochet skills by providing
all the information needed to make a large range of projects. Needlecrafters will enjoy the
concise step-by-step instructions and crystal clear photography that carefully explain and
illustrate how to create each stitch.
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "100 Essential Crochet
Stitches" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to community library
Needlecraft instructional reference collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of
both novice and experienced crochet enthusiasts that "100 Essential Crochet Stitches" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
The Political Science Shelf
The Dictatorship Syndrome
Alaa Al Aswany
9781912208593, $22.95, HC, 170pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The study of dictatorship in the West must not be restricted to those of the 20th
Century and led to two world wars because authoritarian regimes in western nations remains a
painful reality for billions of people worldwide who still live under them, their freedoms violated
and their rights abused. They are, even today, still subject to arbitrary arrest, torture, corruption,
ignorance, and injustice.
In the pages of "The Dictatorship Syndrome", author Alaa Al Aswany address such compelling
and contemporary questions as: What is the nature of dictatorship? How does it take hold? In
what conditions and circumstances is it permitted to thrive? And how do dictators retain power,
even when reviled and mocked by those they govern?
In this deeply considered and at times provocative short work, Aswany reveals that, as with any
disease, to understand the syndrome of dictatorship we must first consider the circumstances of
its emergence, along with the symptoms and complications it causes in both the people and the
Critique: Impressively informative, keenly insightful, exceptionally thoughtful and thought-
provoking, "The Dictatorship Syndrome" is an extraordinary study that is thoroughly 'reader
friendly' in tone, commentary, organization and presentation -- making it an especially and
unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college and university
library Political Science collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note: The acclaimed author of "The Yacoubian Building", Alaa Al Aswany was named
by The Times as one of the fifty best authors to have been translated into English in the last fifty
3600 Labore Road, Suite 1, St. Paul, MN 55110-4144
9781557789426, $19.95, PB, 248pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Trump administration and the current congressional make-up clearly demonstrates
and showcases that American politics are badly broken -- that with such factors as voter
suppression, 'dark money contributions', Russian social media driven electoral sabotage efforts,
and out-of-control special interest lobbying, our democracy is in serious disrepair. Yet to solve
the seemingly intractable problem of hyperpolarization, we need to look beyond the grid-locked
politics of Washington D.C.
In "Developmental Politics: How America Can Grow Into a Better Version of Itself", Steve
McIntosh shows how this growing rift in the fabric of American society is a cultural problem that
requires a cultural solution. He offers a pragmatic yet inspiring approach to our national political
dilemma through a new politics of culture -- one that goes right to the heart of this entrenched,
complex issue. McIntosh presents a variety of innovative methods through which citizens and
political leaders from across the political spectrum can reach agreement and achieve
McIntosh's proposals for overcoming hyperpolarization are founded on an emerging form of
"cultural intelligence" that directly addresses the conflicting values underlying our poisoned
politics. This new way of seeing leads to an inclusive vision of social progress in the form of a
new American Dream can help revive our collective sense of common cause and thereby restore
the functionality of our democracy. "Developmental Politics" provides the fresh thinking we need
to transcend America's contemporary political impasse.
Critique: Expertly and accessibly written, organization and presented, "Developmental Politics:
How America Can Grow Into a Better Version of Itself" is as thoughtful and thought-provoking
as it is inspiringly practical and aspirationally achievable. While especially and unreservedly
recommended for community, college, and university library Contemporary Political Science
collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, political
activists, governmental policy makers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in
political philosophy and reform that "Developmental Politics: How America Can Grow Into a
Better Version of Itself" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).
Editorial Note: Steve McIntosh, J.D. is president of the Institute for Cultural Evolution think
tank. Steve is also coauthor, with John Mackey and Carter Phipps, of the forthcoming book:
Conscious Leadership: Elevating Humanity Through Business (Penguin 2020). He has authored
three previous books on integral philosophy: The Presence of the Infinite (Quest, 2015),
Evolution's Purpose (Select Books, 2012), and Integral Consciousness and the Future of
Evolution (Paragon House, 2007). He maintains a website at www.stevemcintosh.com
The Business Shelf
The Arab Business Code
711 - 3rd Avenue, Floor 8, New York, NY 10017-9209
9780367265021, $38.95, HC, 226pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are some of the richest and most
dynamic emerging markets in the world. But they are tough markets! International companies
must think seriously if they want to do business there - the barriers can be numerous and difficult.
But the opportunities are phenomenal and rewarding. The key to success is to plan and take the
right steps. "The Arab Business Code" by Judith Hornok shows how to do this by decoding,
using case studies, and suggesting relevant solutions.
For Judith Hornok, it's not about dry theories or mind games. Instead "The Arab Business Code"
is based on numerous case studies drawn from the lives of well-known Arab and international
business people. The reader can grasp the opportunities and avoid the pitfalls by knowing and
understanding the Arab Business Code (ABC): "learning the A-B-Cs." "The Arab Business
Code" also offers a study with practical measures, a toolkit of easy-to-learn and simple-to-use
techniques that pave the way for business success in the Gulf.
Over fifteen years of research is boiled down into a clearly structured, compact, DIY instructional
book in which Judith Hornok presents the insights of her studies by decoding the behavior of
Arab business people in the Gulf using innovative techniques and new approaches, which can be
easily implemented by the reader. For the first time Judith also presents her creations -- the
figures of The Seven Emotional Hinderers.
Critique: Impressively informative, expertly written, organized and presented, "The Arab
Business Code" should be considered mandatory reading for any corporate executive wanting to
do business with any or all of the Arabic gulf nations and/or their collective associations
(including OPEC). While especially recommended for corporate, college, and university library
International Business collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of MBA
students, academia, entrepreneurs, governmental policy makers, corporate executives, and non-
specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Arab Business Code" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, Rent $7.33, Buy $31.96).
Editorial Note: Judith Hornok is the decoder and founder of Hornok & Partner, an internationally
recognized innovations company for business success in the Arab Gulf. She has worked as a
journalist in Europe and the Middle East, writing about people and business, as well as producing
TV documentaries such as The Makers Behind the Stars - The Man Behind Michael Schumacher.
She is noted for her lectures in the Library of Congress, IDEO/Stanford University and the
European Forum Alpbach, amongst others.
Doing Agile Right: Transformation Without Chaos
Darrell Rigby, Sarah Elk, Steve Berez
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
9781633698703, $32.00, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: For decades American business leaders have been painfully aware of a huge chasm:
They aspire to create nimble, flexible enterprises. But their day-to-day reality is silos, sluggish
processes, and stalled innovation. Today, agile is hailed as the essential bridge across this chasm,
with the potential to transform a company and catapult it to the head of the pack.
In "Doing Agile Right: Transformation Without Chaos" Bain & Company thought leader Darrell
Rigby and his colleagues Sarah Elk and Steve Berez provide a much-needed reality check. They
dispel the myths and misconceptions that have accompanied agile's rise to prominence -- the idea
that it can reshape an organization all at once, for instance, or that it should be used in every
function and for all types of work. They illustrate that agile teams can indeed be powerful,
making people's jobs more rewarding and turbocharging innovation, but such results are possible
only if the method is fully understood and implemented the right way.
The key, they argue, is balance. Every organization must optimize and tightly control some of its
operations, and at the same time innovate. Agile, done well, enables vigorous innovation without
sacrificing the efficiency and reliability essential to traditional operations. The authors break
down how agile really works, show what not to do, and explain the crucial importance of scaling
agile properly in order to reap its full benefit. They then lay out a road map for leading the
transition to a truly agile enterprise.
Critique: The primary message of "Doing Agile Right: Transformation Without Chaos" is that
being agile isn't an inherent goal within or of itself. Being agile is simply and essentially a means
to becoming a high-performance operation. Thoroughly 'user friendly' in tone, commentary,
organization and presentation, "Doing Agile Right" is fundamentally an instructional guide and
manual suitable and recommended for any company or corporation seeking to be successfully
and profitably competitive in today's volatile and competitive marketplace be it local, national, or
global. While strongly recommended for corporate, community, and academic library
Contemporary Business Management collections and supplemental MBA curriculum studies
lists, it should be noted for business students, academia, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and
non-specialist general readers that "Doing Agile Right" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $18.49).
Editorial Note: Darrell Rigby is a partner in the Boston office of Bain & Company, where he
leads the Global Innovation practice. He is a frequent speaker and writer on innovation, agile,
and retail and has appeared on CNBC, CNN's Moneyline, and Bloomberg. His research has been
published in Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, the
Financial Times, and other publications.
Sarah Elk is a partner in Bain's Chicago office and the global head of the firm's Operating Model
Steve Berez is a partner in Bain's Boston office and a founding member of the firm's Enterprise
Frances Frei & Anne Morriss
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
9781633697041, $30.00, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Leadership isn't easy. It takes grit, courage, and vision, among other things, that can be
hard to come by on your toughest days. When leaders and aspiring leaders seek out advice,
they're often told to try harder. Dig deeper. Look in the mirror and own your natural-born
strengths and fix any real or perceived career-limiting deficiencies.
In the pages of "Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader's Guide to Empowering Everyone Around
You", co-authors Frances Frei and Anne Morriss provide a different worldview. They argue that
this popular leadership advice glosses over the most important thing you do as a leader: build
others up. Leadership isn't about you. It's about how effective you are at empowering other
people - and making sure this impact endures even in your absence. As Frei and Morriss show
through inspiring stories from ancient Rome to present-day Silicon Valley, the origins of great
leadership are found, paradoxically, not in worrying about your own status and advancement, but
in the unrelenting focus on other people's potential.
"Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader's Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You" provides
radical advice for the practice of leadership today. Showing how the boldest, most effective
leaders use a special combination of trust, love, and belonging to create an environment in which
other people can excel, Frei and Morriss offer practical, battle-tested tools (based on their work
with companies such as Uber, Riot Games, WeWork, and others), along with interviews and
stories from their own personal experience, to make these ideas come alive.
"Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader's Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You" is your
indispensable guide for unleashing greatness in other people -- and, ultimately, in yourself. Of
special note is an accompanying website at www.theleadersguide.com.
Critique: As informed and informative as it thoughtful and thought-provoking, "Unleashed: The
Unapologetic Leader's Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You" is enhanced for MBA
students and academia with the inclusion of a six page Index and ten pages of Notes. It should
also be noted for the personal reading lists of business students, corporate executives,
entrepreneurs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Unleashed:
The Unapologetic Leader's Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You" is also readily
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.49).
Editorial Note: Frances Frei is a professor at Harvard Business School. She recently served as
Uber's first Senior Vice President of Leadership and Strategy to help the company navigate its
very public crisis in leadership and culture. Frei regularly works with companies embarking on
large-scale change and organizational transformation, including embracing diversity and
inclusion as a lever for improved performance. Her TED Talk on the topic of building trust has
logged over four million views.
Anne Morriss is a highly sought-after leadership coach and the executive founder of the
Leadership Consortium, a first-of-its-kind leadership accelerator that works to help more and
diverse leaders thrive. Her collaborators have ranged from early-stage tech founders to Fortune
50 executives to public-sector leaders building national competitiveness. She has spent the last
twenty years building and leading mission-driven enterprises, serving most recently as founder
and CEO of GenePeeks, which addressed the urgent need for better personal health
Lead from the Future
Mark W. Johnson & Josh Suskewicz
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
9781633697546, $30.00, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: We all know a visionary leader when we see one. They're bold and prophetic and at the
same time pragmatic. They don't just promote change -- they drive it, while inspiring and
mobilizing others to do the same. Visionaries like Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos possess a host of
innate qualities that make them extraordinary, but what truly sets them apart is their ability to
turn vision into action.
In "Lead from the Future: How to Turn Visionary Thinking Into Breakthrough Growth", Mark
W. Johnson and Josh Suskewicz introduce a new way of thinking and managing, called
"future-back," that enables any manager to become a practical visionary.
Addressing the many barriers to change that exist in established organizations, they present a
systematic approach to overcoming them that includes: The principles and mind-set that allow
leadership teams to look beyond typical short-term planning horizons; A method for turning
emerging challenges into the growth opportunities that can define an organization's future; A
step-by-step approach for translating a vision into a strategic plan that teams can align around
and commit to; Ways to ensure that visionary thinking becomes a repeatable organizational
As practical as it is inspiring, "Lead from the Future" is specifically intended to be an
instructional guide and manual enabling a team to develop a vision and translate that vision into
transformative growth for their business enterprise.
Critique: While an invaluable addition to corporate, community, college, and academic library
systems & Planning, Strategy & Competition, and Strategic Business Planning collections and
supplemental curriculum studies lists, "Lead from the Future: How to Turn Visionary Thinking
Into Breakthrough Growth" is also available for the personal reading list of MBA students,
academia, entrepreneurs, business managers, and corporate executives in a digital book format
Editorial Note: Mark W. Johnson co-founded the strategy and innovation management
consultancy Innosight with Clayton M. Christensen in 2000. His books include Dual
Transformation (2017) and Reinvent Your Business Model (2018), both published by Harvard
Business Review Press. He maintains a website page at:
innosight.com/team_bio/johnson-mark-w -- He can also be contacted through:
linkedin.com/in/markwilliamjohnson, and twitter.com/mark_w_johnson?lang=en
Josh Suskewicz is a partner at Innosight, where he leads consulting engagements in numerous
industries, specializing in life sciences and medtech. He has a website page at
innosight.com/team_bio/suskewicz-josh -- and can be contacted at
The Automotive Shelf
Volkswagen Transporter T4: 1990-2003
Richard Copping & Kenneth Cservenka
Veloce Publishing Ltd.
9781787114388, $22.28, PB, 96pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Volkswagen Transporter T4: 1990-2003" is the next best thing to having an actual
marque expert by your side when studying the VW T4. Readers can easily benefit from Richard
Copping and Kenneth Cservanka's years of Volkswagen Transporter ownership and experience
as they learn how to spot a bad example quickly, and how to assess a promising one like a
professional. Get the right van at the right price!
Packed from cover to cover with good advice ranging from running costs, through paperwork,
vital statistics, valuation, and the VW community, to whether a VW Transporter T4 will suit you
and your lifestyle, "Volkswagen Transporter T4: 1990-2003 is a complete, comprehensive, and
profusely illustrated instructional guide and reference for choosing, assessing and buying the VW
Critique: Thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation, "Volkswagen Transporter
T4: 1990-2003" is the ideal reference and a critically important and unreservedly recommended
addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Automotive History
collections in general, and VW reference lists in particular.
Editorial Note: With some thirty VW titles to his name that range from Beetle books to Buses
and Golfs, Richard Copping is regarded as a leading author and marque expert on matters
Volkswagen in Britain and beyond. He learned to drive using a VW Beetle and he has owned
Volkswagens ever since. A Concours judge, an avid collector of VW literature, and particularly
so the oldest and rarest brochures, Richard has a monthly column in Volkswagen Camper and
Commercial magazine, as well as regularly contributing features about some of the best VWs to
be seen out and about.
Ken Cservenka has owned and repaired various models of Volkswagen since 1969. As well as
being an occasional Concours d' Elegance judge, he is well known for his photography. His
articles, photography and answers to technical queries have appeared in several well known
magazines. He has also provided photography for several books and has co-written books for the
Veloce Buyers Guide series.
The Sports Shelf
Mountains: Epic Cycling Climbs
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500023082, $55.00, HC, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The mountains of Europe represent different things for different people. For the locals
they are a way of life; for visitors they represent breathtaking beauty, active holidays, and
moments of contemplation. For cyclists, however, these dramatic landscapes represent suffering,
agony -- and glory. For over a century, from the Ardennes to the Alps, mountains have provided
a setting for the world's great cycling contests, where determination and willpower triumph over
terrain and altitude.
Cycling makes us more active and takes us down less-traveled roads, and the mountains of
Europe are becoming the primary destination for amateur riders who want to challenge
themselves, experience fabled routes, and escape their everyday lives. Featuring over fifteen new
cycling climbs from across Europe, this revised and expanded edition of Michael Blann's
beautiful coffee table style book, "Mountains: Epic Cycling Climbs", is specifically aimed at all
those who are inspired by the challenge of mountain riding.
With tributes, personal recollections from leading road cyclists, and a range of new climbs in the
Alps and elsewhere, "Mountains: Epic Cycling Climbs" is a richly illustrated and informative
guide to some of the world's finest climbs will inspire awe and wonder in anyone who wishes to
confront the power of the mountains.
Critique: An inherently fascinating read from cover to cover and showcasing numerous and
photographically illustrated essays, this newly revised and expanded edition of "Mountains: Epic
Cycling Climbs" is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal,
professional, community, college, and university library European Travel collections in general,
and Cyclist Adventure supplemental reading lists in particular.
Editorial Note: Michael Blann is a former professional cyclist turned photographer who works
for the world's leading creative agencies.
The Art Shelf
The Art of Symeon Shimin
Symeon Shimin, et al.
Mercury Press International
9780999034224, $39.39, HC, 156pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Recognized as an award winning illustrator of more than 50 children's books, two of
his own authoring, the late Symeon Shimin (1902-1984), was also one of the most highly
regarded artists creating posters for Hollywood films, including the original poster for Gone With
the Wind and the 40 ft. canvas for Solomon and Sheba.
Most notably he was acclaimed for his masterpiece, the mural Contemporary Justice and the
Child, commissioned in 1936-1940, by the PWAP, Public Works Arts Project, for the
Department of Justice Building, Washington, DC, where it stands today. Chaim Gross stated in
1973, "Shimin is a painter who knows the craft of drawing and painting which in his hands
becomes great art."
Profusely and beautifully illustrated throughout, "The Art of Symeon Shimin" presents a striking
collection of the fine art of this exceptional Russian born Jewish artist. Curated by the artist's
daughter, it is the first collection and overview of Shimin's work. Including an autobiography by
the artist, essays by noted arts journalists Josef Woodard and Charles Donelan, over 100 plates
and archival photographs, "The Art of Symeon Shimin" dramatically showcases art of rare beauty
and raw expression.
With paintings held in collections including the Chrysler Museum of Art, this is the first
complete collection of his fine art.
Critique: This coffee-table style volume (9.6 x 0.7 x 11.7 inches) is an impressively informative
presentation that clearly and effectively showcases the life and work of one of the 20th Century's
most gifted artists -- and should be considered an essential and core addition to personal,
professional, community, college, and university fine arts collections.
Mini Chibi Art Class
Race Point Publishing
c/o The Quarto Group
9781631067174 $12.99 amazon.com
Synopsis: Chibi is Japanese slang for "short," and popular Instagram anime artist Yoai
(@yoaihime) shows you how to draw these adorable doll-like characters in Mini Chibi Art Class.
Chibis are mini versions of Japanese anime and manga characters and are defined by their large
heads and tiny bodies, both of which contribute to their kawaii, or cuteness, factor.
Here, you'll learn how to create chibis' signature bodies, facial features, and props, including
dreamy eyes, fun clothes and shoes, vibrant hair, colorful accessories, and lively backgrounds.
You'll also learn how to color and shade your vertically challenged characters for optimal
cuteness. This book also features 19 chibi tutorials with simple step-by-step illustrations and
instructions, inspiration galleries, blank body bases for you to start your own chibi drawings, and
uncolored chibis for practicing coloring and shading.
Mini Chibi Art Class is part of a series of adorable mini versions of Race Point art reference
books that include Mini Kawaii Doodle Class and Mini Kawaii Doodle Cuties.
Thanks to this take-anywhere crash course, soon you will be enhancing your notebooks,
stationery, artwork, and more with your own unique chibi world. Mini Chibi Art Class is now in
Critique: Mini Chibi Art Class lives up to its title as a user-friendly, easy-to-follow guide to
drawing "chibi" caricatures in the style of exaggeratedly cute Japanese cartoons or comics. Using
both black-and-white and color images to illustrate its step-by-step guidelines, Mini Chibi Art
Class is an excellent "how-to" resource for budding artists of all skill and experience levels. Mini
Chibi Art Class is highly recommended, and also makes a superb gift for creative fans of
lighthearted pop culture!
The Pets/Wildlife Shelf
Monsters of the Deep
Visible Ink Press
43311 Joy Rd., #414, Canton, MI 48187-2075
9781578597055, $19.95, PB, 366pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Water takes up 70 percent of Earth's surface, with countless lakes, rivers, ponds,
streams, seas and oceans covering much of the land, but what lurks beneath the water? For
centuries, sightings have been made of huge, marauding monsters swimming the world's oceans
and lakes. They include Scotland's legendary Loch Ness Monster; the United States' equivalent,
Champ, of Lake Champlain; and Canada's long-necked denizen of the deep known as Ogopogo.
These, and many more, famous monsters of the world below us also include giant squid, massive
octopi, and even the fabled Kraken and the fabled mermaids of millennia long-gone. Possibly,
too, there survive populations of marine reptiles that were assumed to have gone extinct millions
of years ago, in the Jurassic period, such as the plesiosaur.
Whether scaly or slithery, massive prehistoric dinosaurs or mutant serpents, in "Monsters of the
Deep", author Nick Redfern catalogs nearly 100 accounts of eels, alligators, reptiles, giant squids,
snakes, worms, deadly fish, and cold-blooded creatures of all manner and ilk. "Monsters of the
Deep" also reveals the astonishing extent to which lake monsters and sea serpents have surfaced
throughout history to terrify, perplex, and amaze those who have crossed paths with these
monsters of the unknown.
Critique: Nicely enhanced throughout with black-and-white illustrations, "Monsters of the Deep"
is an inherently fascinating and inherently informative read from first page to last. Also available
for personal reading lists in a digital book format (Kindle, $18.95), "Monsters of the Deep" will
prove to be an enduringly popular addition to school and community library Aquatic Wildlife
collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
Editorial Note: Nick Redfern works full time as an author, lecturer, and journalist. He writes
about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including UFOs, alien encounters, government
conspiracies, Bigfoot, and the Loch Ness Monster.
The American History Shelf
Fort Union and Fort William
Michael M. Casler, author
W. Raymond Wood, editor
South Dakota Historical Society Press
900 Governors Drive, Pierre, SC 57501-2217
9781941813270, $29.95, PB, 131pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Fort Union and Fort William: Letter Book and Journal, 1833-1835 " offers a window
into the fur and bison robe trade of the early 1830s, building upon the previous work of editors
W. Raymond Wood and Michael M. Casler in their publication "Fort Tecumseh and Fort Pierre
Chouteau: Journal and Letter Books, 1830-1850", which was also published by the South Dakota
Historical Society Press in 2017. The documents Wood and Casler have compiled and annotated
include newly transcribed letters from Robert Campbell and William Sublette, providing two
sides of the extraordinary story of the fur trade on the Northern Great Plains.
Critique: An impressively informative work of original historical scholarship, "Fort Union and
Fort William: Letter Book and Journal, 1833-1835" will prove to be a prized addition to
personal, professional, community, college, and university library 19th Century American
History collections and supplemental curriculum studies reading lists.
Editorial Note: Michael M. Casler, a former park ranger with the National Park Service, currently
works as an independent historical researcher. Casler is the author of Steamboats of the Fort
Union Fur Trade (1999) and editor of The Original Journals of Charles Larpenteur (2007). He
has also written numerous articles on the Upper Missouri fur trade.
W. Raymond Wood has a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Oregon and taught
anthropology at the University of Missouri for nearly four decades. Among his many publications
are Prologue to Lewis and Clark (2002), Twilight of the Upper Missouri River Fur Trade (2008),
and A White-Bearded Plainsman: The Memoirs of Archaeologist W. Raymond Wood (2011). He
is also the co-author of Fort Clark and Its Indian Neighbors (2011).
The Frontiersmen Who Couldn't Shoot Straight
9780870046315, $18.95, PB, 375pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The years between 1815 and 1845 were marked by a comparative dearth of Indian
Wars. It was a time when the Army became professional, and when it learned that the
frontiersmen, not the Indians, were the greater enemy. It was a time when the Government
expanded its role as regulator and welfare provider; when some frontier people became terrorists;
when our gun culture blossomed; when our racism, bigotry, and xenophobia exploded; when our
anti-intellectualism soared; when the populist common man seized the political scene; and when
our conception of American exceptionalism took root, based on the creation of the heroic
"The Frontiersmen Who Couldn't Shoot Straight: The Army vs. the Pioneers 1815-1845" by
historian Gregory Michno is an intriguing interpretation of western history that deftly
deconstructs several American foundation myths while linking the past with the present in many
thought-provoking vignettes. "The Frontiersmen Who Couldn't Shoot Straight" reminds us that
times do not shape people -- rather it is the people shape the times.
Critique: An iconoclastic and inherently fascinating history, "The Frontiersmen Who Couldn't
Shoot Straight: The Army vs. the Pioneers 1815-1845" will prove to be an extraordinary and
important contribution to our understanding the roots in American popular and political culture
that, as a cultural foundation, has eventually given rise to the current polarization of the
American citizenry on such diverse political and social issues as gun control, populism, and
militia movements. Impressively detailed and profusely documented, "Gregory F. Michno is a
Michigan native and the author of three dozen articles and ten books dealing with World War II
and the American West, including Lakota Noon; Battle at Sand Creek; The Encyclopedia of
Indian Wars; The Deadliest Indian War in the West; The Settlers War; A Fate Worse Than
Death; and Circle the Wagons. Greg helped edit and appeared in the DVD history The Great
Indian Wars: 1540-1890" is especially and unreservedly recommended for personal, community,
college, and university library 19th Century American History collections and supplemental
curriculum studies lists.
Editorial Note: Gregory F. Michno is the author of three dozen articles and ten books dealing
with World War II and the American West, including Lakota Noon; Battle at Sand Creek; The
Encyclopedia of Indian Wars; The Deadliest Indian War in the West; The Settlers War; A Fate
Worse Than Death; and Circle the Wagons. Greg also helped edit and appeared in the DVD
history The Great Indian Wars: 1540-1890.
The Civil War Shelf
The Cavalries in the Nashville Campaign
Dennis W. Belcher
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476675992, $45.00, PB, 382pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Nashville Campaign (September 18 to December 27, 1864), culminating with the
last major battle of the Civil War, is one of the most compelling and controversial campaigns of
the conflict. The campaign pitted the young and energetic James Harrison Wilson and his Union
cavalry against the cunning and experienced Nathan Bedford Forrest with his Confederate
"The Cavalries in the Nashville Campaign" by American Civil War historian Dennis W. Belcher
provides an analysis of contributions made by the two opposing cavalry forces and provides new
insights and details into the actions of the cavalry during the battle. This campaign highlighted
important changes in cavalry tactics and never in the Civil War was there closer support by the
cavalry for infantry actions than for the Union forces in the Battle of Nashville.
The retreat by Cheatham's corps and the Battle of the Barricade receive a more in-depth
discussion than in previous works on this battle. The importance of this campaign cannot be
overstated as a different outcome of this battle could have altered history.
The Nashville Campaign reflected the stark realities of the war across the country in December
1864 and would mark an important part of the death knell for the Confederacy.
Critique: Nicely illustrated throughout with period photographs, maps and charts, "The Cavalries
in the Nashville Campaign" is enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a twelve page
Bibliography, thirty-eight pages of Notes, and a six page Index. An impressive work of
meticulous, detailed, and original scholarship, "The Cavalries in the Nashville Campaign" will
prove to be an invaluable and informative addition to the growing body of American Civil War
histories. While unreserved recommended for both community and academic library collections,
it should be noted for the personal reading lists of American Civil War buffs that "The Cavalries
in the Nashville Campaign" is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Dennis W. Belcher is the author and/or editor of eight books on the Civil War. He
has also been published in the North & South Magazine, and made many presentations on
aspects of the Civil War. In 2016, he contributed "The Judicial Ouster Ordinance of 1865" in the
book - Missouri Law and the American Conscience. His eighth book, "The Cavalries in the
Nashville Campaign" was published in May 2020.
Mary A. DeCredico
The University Press of Kentucky
663 South Limestone Street, Lexington, KY 40508-4008
9780813179254, $50.00, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Richmond, Virginia was the pride of the founding fathers and the doomed capital of
the Confederate States of America.
Unlike other Southern cities, Richmond boasted a vibrant, urban industrial complex capable of
producing crucial ammunition and military supplies. Despite its northern position, Richmond
became the Confederacy's beating heart -- its capital, second-largest city, and impenetrable
citadel. As long as the city endured, the Confederacy remained a well-supplied and formidable
But when Ulysses S. Grant broke its defenses in 1865, the Confederates fled, burned Richmond
to the ground, and surrendered within the week.
"Confederate Citadel: Richmond and Its People at War" by Professor Mary A. DeCredico offers
a detailed portrait of life's daily hardships in the rebel capital during the Civil War. Here,
barricaded against a siege, staunch Unionists became a dangerous fifth column, refugees flooded
the streets, and women organized a bread riot in the city.
Drawing on personal correspondence, private diaries, and newspapers, Professor DeCredico
spotlights the human elements of Richmond's economic rise and fall, uncovering its significance
as the South's industrial powerhouse throughout the Civil War.
Critique; Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of twenty-six pages of Notes, a sixteen page
Selected Bibliography, and a ten page Index, "Confederate Citadel: Richmond and Its People at
War" is a masterpiece of meticulous and deftly presented scholarship. While especially and
unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library American Civil War
collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of American history students, faculty,
Civil War buffs, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that
"Confederate Citadel: Richmond and Its People at War" is also readily available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $31.49).
Editorial Note: Mary A. DeCredico is the Professor of History at the United States Naval
Academy and the author of numerous publications, including Mary Boykin Chesnut: A
Confederate Woman's Life and Patriotism for Profit: Georgia's Urban Entrepreneurs and the
Confederate War Effort.
The Literary Studies Shelf
Book of Awesome Women Writers
9781642501223, $19.95, PB, 336pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "The Book of Awesome Women Writers: Medieval Mystics, Pioneering Poets, Fierce
Feminists and First Ladies of Literature" is essentially an impressive timeline of the greatest
From the first recorded writer to current bestsellers, in its pages Becca Anderson takes us through
time and highlights women who have left their mark on the literary world. This expansive
compilation of women writers is a chance to delve deeper into the lives and works of renowned
authors and learn about some lesser known greats, as well. Some of the many women writers you
will love learning about are: Maya Angelou, Jane Austen, Judy Blume, Rachel Carson, Nadine
Gordimer, Margaret Mead, Joyce Carol Oates, and many, many more.
The works of these awesome women writers vary greatly -- each is as unique and significant as
the women who penned them. With the help of writers, editors, librarians, booksellers, and more,
Anderson has crafted a must-read book for women of every background.
"The Book of Awesome Women Writers" is a beacon of literary brilliance from a feminist
perspective -- making it perfect for artists, intellectuals, and anyone who seeks to be inspired by
words and profound lives. Most of all, it is a celebration of the journeys and accomplishments of
women who have worked to have their voices heard in black and white letters across the
Critique: An absolute 'must read' for anyone thinking that centuries of literature being almost
exclusively dominated by men, "The Book of Awesome Women Writers: Medieval Mystics,
Pioneering Poets, Fierce Feminists and First Ladies of Literature" should be a part of every
personal, community, college, and university library Literary Studies and Feminist History
collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, feminists, and
non-specialist readers with an interest in the subject that "Book of Awesome Women Writers:
Medieval Mystics, Pioneering Poets, Fierce Feminists and First Ladies of Literature" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $5.49).
Editorial Note: Becca Anderson comes from a long line of teachers and preachers from Ohio and
Kentucky. The teacher side of her family led her to become a woman's studies scholar and the
author of The Book of Awesome Women. An avid collector of affirmations, meditations, prayers
and blessings, she helps run a "Gratitude and Grace Circle" that meets monthly at homes,
churches and bookstores in the San Francisco Bay Area where she currently resides. The author
of Think Happy to Stay Happy and Every Day Thankful, Becca Anderson shares prayers and
affirmations, inspirational writings and suggested acts of kindness at
https://thedailyinspoblog.wordpress.com. She also blogs about Awesome Women at
https://theblogofawesomewomen.wordpress.com @AndersonBecca_ on Twitter
@BeccaAndersonWriter on Facebook @BeccaAndersonWriter on Instagram
The Poetry Shelf
The Collected Poetry and Prose of Lawrence Fixel
Gerald Fleming, editor
Sixteen Rivers Press
9781939639240, $22.00, PB, 576pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The late Lawrence Fixel (1917-2003), was a prose poet, a parablist, a verse poet, and a
widely-respected and innovative writer based in San Francisco. His many books influenced prose
poets across the United States and in Europe.
Deftly edited and with an informative introduction by Gerald Fleming, "The Collected Poetry and
Prose of Lawrence Fixel" is a fitting memorial that showcases this cutting-edge prose poet's
"The Collected Poetry and Prose of Lawrence Fixel" is further enhanced for the reader with the
inclusion of essays by Peter Johnson, David Lazar, Sharon Coleman, Christina Fisher, Donald
Soucy, and Peter Money.
Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of a two page Publication History, a sixteen
page Index of First Lines/Phrases, and a four page General Index, "The Collected Poetry and
Prose of Lawrence Fixel" is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to personal,
community, college, and university library American Poets & Poetry collections and
supplemental curriculum reading lists.
The Native American Studies Shelf
From Wounded Knee to the Gallows
Philip S. Hall & Mary Solon Lewis
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780806164915, $24.95, PB, 294pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: On December 28, 1894, the day before the fourth anniversary of the massacre at
Wounded Knee, Lakota chief Two Sticks was hanged in Deadwood, South Dakota. The headline
in the Black Hills Daily Times the next day read "A GOOD INDIAN" -- a spiteful turn on the
infamous saying "The only good Indian is a dead Indian."
On the gallows, Two Sticks, known among his people as Can Nopa Uhah, declared, "My heart
knows I am not guilty and I am happy." Indeed, years later, convincing evidence emerged
supporting his claim. The story of Two Sticks, as recounted in compelling detail in "From
Wounded Knee to the Gallows: The Life and Trials of Lakota Chief Two Sticks" by the team of
Philip S. Hall and Mary Solon Lewis, is at once the righting of a historical wrong and a record of
the injustices visited upon the Lakota in the wake of Wounded Knee.
The Indian unrest of 1890 did not end with the massacre at Wounded Knee, as the government
willfully neglected, mismanaged, and exploited the Oglala in a relentless, if unofficial, policy of
racial genocide that continues to haunt the Black Hills today.
For this historical study, Hall and Lewis scoured government records, newspaper accounts, and
unpublished manuscripts to give a clear and candid account of the Oglala's struggles, as reflected
and perhaps epitomized in Two Sticks's life and the miscarriage of justice that ended with his
Bracketed by the run-up to, and craven political motivation behind, Wounded Knee and the later
revelations establishing Two Sticks's innocence, this is a vitally important history of a people
threatened with extinction and of one man felled in a battle for survival hopelessly weighted in
the white man's favor. With eyewitness immediacy, this rigorously researched and deeply
informed account at long last makes plain the painful truth behind a dark period in U.S.
Critique: A work of meticulous and collaborative scholarship, "From Wounded Knee to the
Gallows: The Life and Trials of Lakota Chief Two Sticks" should be considered an essential and
core addition to the growing library of Native American History and Biographies. While
unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Native American
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "From Wounded Knee to the
Gallows: The Life and Trials of Lakota Chief Two Sticks" is also readily available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $21.95).
Editorial Note: Philip S. Hall is a psychologist and author of To Have This Land: The Nature of
Indian/White Relations, South Dakota, 1888 - 1891.
Mary Solon Lewis grew up on a badland ranch adjacent to the Pine Ridge Reservation and is an
independent writer with a focus on South Dakota history.
The Military Shelf
40 Thieves on Saipan
Joseph Tachovsky & Cynthia Kraack
Regnery Publishing, Inc.
300 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001
9781684510481, $29.99, HC, 338pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Saipan, the "D-Day" of the Pacific. For the American soldiers. who were known as the
'40 Thieves', finding themselves behind enemy lines on the island of Saipan (where firing a gun
could mean instant discovery and death) many were killed in silence during the grueling battle
With the publication of "40 Thieves on Saipan: The Elite Marine Scout-Snipers in One of
WWII's Bloodiest Battles", Joseph Tachovsky (whose father Frank was the commanding officer
of the 40 Thieves, also called "Tachovsky's Terrors") joins with Cynthia Kraack to transport
readers back to the brutal Battle of Saipan.
Built on hours of personal interviews with WWII veterans, their personal papers, letters and
documentation from the National Archives, "40 Thieves on Saipan" is an astonishing and
informative portrayal of elite World War II combat. It also provides a rare and authentic glimpse
into the lives of World War II Marines. The poorest equipped branch of the services at that time,
Marines were notorious thieves.
To improve their odds for victory against the Japanese, they found it necessary to improve their
supply chains through "Marine Methods," stealing. Being the elite of the Sixth Regiment, the
Scout-Sniper Platoon excelled at the craft -- earning them the nickname of the "40 Thieves" from
their envious peers. Upon returning from a 1943 trip to the Pacific theater, Eleanor Roosevelt
observed, "The Marines I have met around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds,
the highest morale and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God
for the United States Marines."
Critique: A unique and invaluable historical study, "40 Thieves on Saipan: The Elite Marine
Scout-Snipers in One of WWII's Bloodiest Battles" is an essential, core addition to community,
college, and university library 20th Century American Military History collections. It should be
noted for the personal reading lists of World War II military buffs that "40 Thieves on Saipan:
The Elite Marine Scout-Snipers in One of WWII's Bloodiest Battles" is also readily available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $14.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape
Media, 9781662003653, $22.99, CD).
Editorial Note: Joseph Tachovsky is a graduate of the University of Minnesota. His father Frank
Tachovsky was the commanding officer of the 40 Thieves of Saipan, who were also known as
Cynthia Kraack is the author of five novels including The High Cost of Flowers, winner of both
the Midwest Book Award in Contemporary Fiction, and, Literary Fiction. Cynthia completed her
MFA in Literary Fiction at the University of Southern Maine's Stonecoast Program in Creative
Writing. She holds a bachelor's degree in Journalism with a double major in History from
Marquette University and a master's degree in Industrial Relations and Career Counseling from
the University of Minnesota.
Patton: Battling with History
J. Furman Daniel III
University of Missouri Press
201 S. 7th Street, Columbia, MO 65211
9780826222091, $40.00, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: General George S. Patton Jr. (November 11, 1885 - December 21, 1945) is one of the
most successful yet misunderstood figures in 20th Century American military history. Despite the
many books and articles written about him, none of his biographers fully considered in depth
how his love of history shaped the course of his life. "Patton: Battling with History" is a thematic
biography in which Professor Furman Daniel deftly traces Patton's obsession with history and
argues that it informed and contributed to many of his successes, both on and off the
Patton deliberately cultivated the image of himself as a warrior from ages past; the more
interesting truth is that he was an exceptionally dedicated student of history. He was a hard
worker and voracious reader who gave a great deal of thought to how military history might
inform his endeavors. Most scholars have overlooked this element of Patton's character, which
Professor Daniel argues is essential to understanding the man's military genius.
Critique: An impressive work of exhaustive and meticulous and original scholarship, "Patton:
Battling with History" offers an extraordinary perspective on an inherently fascinating personal
life and military career of one of the most charismatic and controversial members of the
American armed forces before and during World War II. An extraordinarily informative and
unreservedly recommended addition to the growing library of World War II histories and
biographies for both community and academic library collections, it should be noted for the
personal reading lists of students, academia, military history buffs, and non-specialist general
readers that "Patton: Battling with History" is also readily available in a digital book format
Editorial Note: J. Furman Daniel III is an Assistant Professor in the College of Security and
Intelligence at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. He is also the editor of 21st Century
Patton: Leadership Lessons for the Modern Era and a co-author of The First Space War: How
Patterns of History and Principles of STEM Will Shape Its Form.
The Theatre/Cinema/TV Shelf
There'll Be Peace When You Are Done
Lynn S. Zubernis, editor
9781950665327, $16.95, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Supernatural is an American dark fantasy television series created by Eric Kripke. It
was first broadcast on September 13, 2005, on The WB, and subsequently became part of
successor The CW's lineup. Starring Jared Padalecki as Sam Winchester and Jensen Ackles as
Dean Winchester, the series follows the two brothers as they hunt demons, ghosts, monsters, and
other supernatural beings. The series is produced by Warner Bros. Television, in association with
Wonderland Sound and Vision. Along with Kripke, executive producers have been McG, Robert
Singer, Phil Sgriccia, Sera Gamble, Jeremy Carver, John Shiban, Ben Edlund and Adam
"There'll Be Peace When You Are Done: Actors and Fans Celebrate the Legacy of Supernatural"
is an emotional look back at the beloved television show Supernatural as it wraps up its final
season after fifteen unprecedented years on air.
With heartfelt chapters written by both the series' actors and its fans (plus full-color photos and
fan illustrations) "There'll Be Peace When You Are Done" deftly traces Supernatural's evolution,
the memorable characters created by its writers and brought to life by its talented actors, and the
many ways in which the show has inspired and changed the lives of both its viewers and
Critique: Simply stated, "There'll Be Peace When You Are Done: Actors and Fans Celebrate the
Legacy of Supernatural" is an absolute 'must' for the personal reading lists of the legions of
dedicated Supernatural fans. Expertly compiled and edited by Lynn S. Zubernis and an
unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library American
Television History collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "There'll Be
Peace When You Are Done: Actors and Fans Celebrate the Legacy of Supernatural" is also
readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Dr. Lynn S. Zubernis is a clinical psychologist, a mom of two, a university
professor - and a passionate fangirl. She fell in love with the television show Supernatural,
discovered the wild and wonderful world of fandom, and has never looked back. Her writing
celebrates all the positive things that come with being a fan -- inspiration, creativity,
self-expression, validation, and a support system that extends across the globe. She has written
for publications including Slate, The Conversation and Supernatural Magazine about fandom,
chairs the stardom and fandom area of the Southwest Popular Culture Association, and has
contributed to many articles, podcasts, and documentaries on fandom -- including NPR's piece on
Supernatural. She co-wrote and was associate producer for the documentary Squee! The Fangirl
Documentary and blogs at fangasmthebook on Wordpress. That's her academic half; the fangirl
half writes fanfiction whenever she can, braves the lines at Comic-Con, collects Supernatural gifs
on Tumblr, and has purchased way too many photo ops at Supernatural conventions!
The Cookbook Shelf
Wanda E. Brunstetter's Amish Friends Farmhouse Favorites Cookbook
Shiloh Run Press
c/o Barbour Publishing
P.O. Box 719, 1810 Barbour Drive, Uhrichsville, OH 44683
9781643524672, $16.99, Plastic Comb Binding, 224pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Wanda E. Brunstetter's Amish Friends Farmhouse Favorites Cookbook: A Collection
of Over 200 Recipes for Simple and Hearty Meals, Including Advice and Stories" compiled and
showcased by Wanda E. Brunstetter is a compendium of delicious, nutritious, and thoroughly
'kitchen cook friendly' dishes from the heart of Amish Country.
Amish cooks, who know how to please their hard-working family members, have contributed
over 200 recipes in traditional categories from main dishes and sides to desserts and snacks. Also
included are kitchen tips and stories from growing up on Amish farms.
Critique: Encased in a lay-flat plastic comb binding and enhanced throughout with full color
photographs of mouth watering cuisine, "Wanda E. Brunstetter's Amish Friends Farmhouse
Favorites Cookbook: A Collection of Over 200 Recipes for Simple and Hearty Meals, Including
Advice and Stories" with its cornucopia of authentic Amish dishes ranging from Loaded Baked
Potato Dip; Old-Fashioned Baked Beans; Onion Cheese Soup; and Good Molasses Cookies; to
Sour Cream Apple Crunch; Summer House Refrigerator Pickles, and Tomato Pie, will prove to
be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, and community
library cookbook collections.
The Philosophy Shelf
Avengers Infinity Saga and Philosophy
Heather L. Rivera and Robert Arp, Editors
Open Court Publishing Company
70 East Lake Street, Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60601
9780812694857, $19.95, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Avengers Infinity Saga and Philosophy: Go for the Head adds volume 131 to the Popular Culture
and Philosophy series edited by George A. Reisch, and gathers nearly forty philosophers under
one cover, fans of the Marvel comic universe, who consider stories from the two Avengers films:
Infinity War and Endgame. These discussions link both modern and traditional philosophical
observations with Avengers themes in a way that will interest modern readers with a prior
affinity for the Avengers universe. Discussions refer to characters, themes, and philosophical
conundrums and will prove especially lively choices for classroom discussions linking popular
cultural icons to philosophical observations of life. Very highly recommended as debate and
discussion material for audiences interested in the Avengers, whose prior familiarity and
fascination will involve them in contemporary philosophy's relevance.
The Computer Shelf
Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems
I. Gupta & G. Nagpal
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
9781683925071, $49.95 PB, $41.95 Kindle, 412pp, www.amazon.com
Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems surveys modern applications of artificial intelligence
in problem-solving, providing an introduction to different AI endeavors, engineering, networks,
and applications that will be perfect for college-level students new to the topic. This introduction
to artificial intelligence covers a range of developments and knowledge applications, discussing
the difference between intelligence and knowledge and covering the advantages and
disadvantages of collecting and using information in an AI application environment. Charts,
graphs, programming processes and errors, and calculations provide beginners with an excellent
foundation for understanding AIs and their potentials.
Angular and Machine Learning Pocket Primer
c/o Stylus Publishing, Inc.
22883 Quicksilver Drive, Sterling, VA 20166-2012
9781683924708, $39.95 PB, $34.08 Kindle, www.amazon.com
The Angular and Machine Learning Pocket Primer joins others in the Pocket Primer series to
introduce newcomers to basics. Here the topic revolves around machine learning concepts and
Angular applications, reviewing popular machine learning classifiers, providing code samples
and figures, and surveying Angular applications and concepts. From forms and services and UI
controls to classifiers and Angular concepts, this pocket primer packs in technical explanations,
equations, discussions of different forms, and basic machine learning concepts that are key to
understanding the foundation theories and applications in machine learning environments.
College-level students who want to get up to speed quickly will find this primer essential
The Technology Shelf
Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Vacuum Electron Devices
A.S. Gilmour, Jr.
685 Canton Street, Norwood, MA 02062
9781630817282, $179.00 HC, $158.19 Kindle, 950pp, www.amazon.copm
Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Vacuum Electron Devices comes from an international expert
on the subject of microwave tubes and their many current applications in military,
communication, medicine, and other industries. Among its technical insights are discussions of
secondary emission processes and their applications, tube design, performance and power specs,
usage history such as with magnetrons, and the science behind different devices and microwave
operations. Color graphs and charts abound and illustrate forces and processes, each chapter
concludes with an extensive list of references, and the book provides the depth and level of
technical insight appropriate both for student review and professional refresher courses. This is a
weighty coverage that builds a foundation of microwave knowledge as it surveys
millimeter-wave devices, and will interest a wide audience, from students to those involved in
the microwave field.
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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