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Art and Advertising in Buffalo Bill's Wild West
University of Oklahoma Press
2800 Venture Drive, Norman, OK 73069
9780806164304, $45.00, HC, 248pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody (February 26, 1846 - January 10, 1917), star of the
American West, began his journey to fame at age twenty-three, when he met writer Ned Buntline.
The pulp novels Buntline later penned were loosely based on Cody's scouting and bison-hunting
adventures and sparked a national sensation. Other writers picked up the living legend of
"Buffalo Bill" for their own pulp novels, and in 1872 Buntline produced a theatrical show
starring Cody himself. In 1883, Cody opened his own show, Buffalo Bill's Wild West, which
ultimately became the foundation for the world's image of the American frontier.
After the Civil War, new transcontinental railroads aided rapid westward expansion, fostering
Americans' long-held fascination with their western frontier. The railroads enabled traveling
shows to move farther and faster, and improved printing technologies allowed those shows to
print in large sizes and quantities lively color posters and advertisements. Cody's show team
partnered with printers, lithographers, photographers, and iconic western American artists, such
as Frederic Remington and Charles Schreyvogel, to create posters and advertisements for Buffalo
Bill's Wild West. Circuses and other shows used similar techniques, but Cody's team perfected
them, creating unique posters that branded Buffalo Bill's Wild West as the true Wild West
experience. They helped attract patrons from across the nation and ultimately from around the
world at every stop the traveling show made.
In "Art and Advertising in Buffalo Bill's Wild West", Michelle Delaney showcases these
numerous posters in full color, many of which have never before been reproduced, pairing them
with new research into previously inaccessible manuscript and photograph collections. Her study
also includes Cody's correspondence with his staff, revealing the showman's friendships with
notable American and European artists and his show's complex, modern publicity model.
Beautifully designed, "Art and Advertising in Buffalo Bill's Wild West" presents a new
perspective on the art, innovation, and advertising acumen that created the international frontier
experience of Buffalo Bill's Wild West.
Critique: Impressively informative, profusely illustrated, exceptionally well organized and
presented, "Art and Advertising in Buffalo Bill's Wild West" is an original and meticulously
researched work of seminal scholarship and an enduringly valued contribution to the growing
cannon of William 'Wild Bill' Cody literature and lore. While especially recommended for both
community and academic library collections, it should be noted that "Art and Advertising in
Buffalo Bill's Wild West" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $36.95) for the
personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in
The Artist's Garden
White Lion Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9781781318744, $40.00, HC, 224pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A beautifully produced volume of truly great art, "The Artist's Garden" by gardening
and art expert Jackie Bennett showcases a visual wealth of gardens that have inspired and been
home to some of the greatest painters of history. These gardens not only supplied the inspiration
for creative works but also illuminate the professional motivation and private life of the artists
themselves - from Cezanne's house in the south of France to Childe Hassam at Celia Thaxter's
garden off the coast off Maine.
Flowers and gardens have often been the first choice for artists looking for a subject. A garden
close to the artist's studio is not only convenient for daily material and ideas, but also has the
advantage of changing through the seasons and over time. Claude Monet's Giverny was the
catalyst for hundreds of great paintings (by Monet and other artists), each one different from the
one before. Sometimes a whole village becomes the focus for a colony of artists as at Gerberoy in
Picardy and Skagen on the northernmost tip of Denmark.
"The Artist's Garden" is about the real homes and gardens that inspired these great artists --
gardens that in many cases can still be visited today! The relationship between artist and garden
is a complex one. A few artists, including Pierre Bonnard and his neighbor Monet were keen
gardeners, as much in love with their plants as their work, while for others like Sorolla in
Madrid, his courtyard home was both a sanctuary and a source of ideas.
Critique: An informative and lovely pleasure to simply browse through, "The Artist's Garden:
The Secret Spaces That Inspired Great Art" will have immense and enduring appeal to both fine
art enthusiasts and dedicated gardeners alike. While very highly recommended, especially for
community and academic library World Art History collections, it should be noted for the
personal reading lists of art students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an
interest in the subject that "The Artist's Garden" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle,
The Writing/Publishing Shelf
How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon: 2020 Powerhouse Edition
Penny C. Sansevieri
9781695420793, $12.99, PB, 204pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Named as one of the top influencers of 2019 by New York Metropolitan Magazine,
Penny Sansevieri has also taught Amazon-centric classes and webinars to thousands of authors
leading up to the release of this ultimate guide to mastering the Amazon marketing system.
Amazon.com is the 800 pound gorilla of on-line book marketing.
In the pages of "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon: 2020 Powerhouse Edition" she
draws upon her years of experience and expertise to share her proven strategies for utilizing
Amazon as a core part of a book marketing strategy that will immediately start building a book's
target market exposure and dramatically upgrade overall book marketing efforts by authors,
publishers, and publicists!
"How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" will enable even the most novice self-
published author to: Increase their sales through perfectly timed pre-order campaigns; Get their
book ranked #1 in its category; Find the perfect keywords and categories that will help their book
soar up the Amazon charts; Achieve top visibility for their book with lucrative keywords; The
secrets to running a successful Amazon ads campaign that won't cost a fortune!.
"How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" also shows how to: Leverage a secret tool to
get hundreds of reader reviews; Use Kindle Unlimited to greatest advantage; Boost sales with
strategic eBook strategies; Create book descriptions that convert more browsers to buyers;
Identify and locate secret categories that drive bigger sales; Leverage Amazon-owned Goodreads
so it's working for a specific book.
"How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" is an essential, go-to resource if for authors
and publishers who really want to use all the features Amazon offers that have proven to work to
increase and sustain book sales.
If "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" is purchased on Amazon, then also
included as free bonuses are: Blogger and social media listings, sample templates, and dozens of
additional resources to get started with smarter book marketing right away. A special code to get
this great information in a step-by-step video format!
It should be noted that the Midwest Book Review is favorably cited in "How to Sell Books by the
Truckload on Amazon", including (with permission) some of the marketing advice with respect
to book reviews by Jim Cox, it's editor-in-chief.
Critique: An absolutely essential and invaluable instructional resource and reference by a
seasoned and accomplished expert on the subject, this newly updated and expanded edition of
"How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" by Penny Sansevieri (who founded and
operates Author Marketing Experts and is the author of instructional guides and manuals on
various aspects of marketing books), is an unreservedly recommended addition to the personal
reading lists of authors, publishers, and book publicists. While an especially recommended
addition to community and academic library Writing/Publishing collections, it should be noted
that "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon" is also available in a digital book format
5-Minute Book Marketing For Authors: 2019 Edition
Penny C. Sansevieri
9781074789930, $9.99, PB, 148pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Now in a fully updated and expanded 2019 edition, "5 Minute Book Marketing for
Authors" is a complete and expertly presented instructional reference and guide by a seasoned
and experienced professional and expert in the art, science and craft of marketing books.
Author Marketing Experts' Penny Sansevieri clearly lays out step-by-step DIY instructions on all
aspects of book marketing including the effective use of such marketing tools as Goodreads,
Amazon.com, More Books, eBook Pricing & Promotion, Writing Reviews, Websites,
Newsletters, Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Instagram, Pinterest, and more!
Critique: An absolute 'must read' for every aspiring (and even seasoned) author hoping to
establish themselves commercially and bring to the attention of the widest and highest possible
number of intended readers for their particular book(s), "5-Minute Book Marketing For Authors:
2019 Edition" is especially recommended for personal, professional, community, and academic
library Writing/Publishing collections. An ideal addition to all Creative Writing class curriculum
supplemental studies lists, it should be noted that "5-Minute Book Marketing For Authors: 2019
Edition" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $2.99).
The Book Review Companion
c/o Author Imprints
9781944098148, $12.95, PB, 210pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Author David Wogahn is president and founder of AuthorImprints, an award-winning
professional publishing services company that helps authors and businesses publish books using
their own publishing imprint.
Withe the publication of "The Book Review Companion: An Author's Guide to Getting and
Using Book Reviews" he has drawn upon his years of experience and expertise to create a handy
instructional reference guide to the art and science of reviewing books that is loaded with
feedback from authors on the subject.
"The Book Review Companion" includes step-by-step instructions for getting and using book
reviews including: Proven review strategies applicable to any book, and any author; The ten
major sources for reviews, including sixty resources; Amazon review policies demystified and
clarified; A complete guide to soliciting and using endorsements and blurbs; Detailed
instructions and resources for contacting book bloggers.
Of special note is the inclusion of a special bonus section written specifically for new
Critique: It should be noted that in "The Book Review Companion: An Author's Guide to Getting
and Using Book Reviews" the Midwest Book Review is favorably cited and one of its reviewer's
has contributed an impressively informative interview on the subject of book reviews.
No matter whether an author that is traditionally published or self-published, "The Book Review
Companion" will prove to be an ideal DIY instructional guide and manual that will be an
enduringly valued and often referred to resource when authors and novice publishers are creating
marketing campaigns for their books -- especially for those working with limited budgets!
Impressively informative, expertly organized and presented, "The Book Review Companion" is
unreservedly recommended for author, publisher, and book publicists professional reference
collections. While especially commended for community and academic library
Writing/Publishing collections, aspiring and even seasoned authors should be aware that "The
Book Review Companion" is also available in an inexpensive digital book format (Kindle,
The Christmas Shelf
We Follow the Star
Corinne Seganos and Richard Dillon
$TBA CD / $8.91 MP3 amazon.com
We Follow the Star is an album of piano renditions of beloved Christmas carols, as well as two
original compositions by pianist Richard Dillon, "A Winter's Night" and "We Follow The Star".
Corinne Seganos provides beautiful vocals, and supporting instrumentation includes alto flute,
percussion, violin, fretless bass, and more. A rapturous new way to experience timeless musical
celebrations of the holiday season, We Follow the Star is highly recommended for personal and
public library Christmas music collections. The tracks are "Wexford Carol", " A Winter's Night",
"Huron Carol", "We Follow the Star", "Coventry Carol", "Silent Night", "I Saw Three Ships",
"What Child Is This?" and "In the Bleak Midwinter".
Santa: My Life & Times
Santa Claus, author
Jared Green, contributor
Bill Sienkiewicz, illustrator
9781787732223, $24.99, HC, 128pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Beautifully illustrated by comic book legend, Bill Sienkiewicz. "Santa: My Life &
Times" is official autobiography of Santa Claus and the perfect Christmas present for all adults in
touch with their inner child, as the man himself tells for the first time ever the true story behind
the legend that is Santa Claus.
Just imagine what it would be like to sit beside Santa Claus and hear for the first time the true
story of his miraculous life as only Santa himself could tell it. Old Kris Kringle tells the story of
his life, from his childhood to the workings of his toyshop, and on the mysteries of his Christmas
Eve flight, in an illustrated Christmas keepsake specifically designed for families to read
Critique: Beautifully and energetically illustrated throughout, (and of special note is the inclusion
of an original poem by Santa himself!), "Santa: My Life & Times" is an extraordinarily
informative and inherently fascinating memoir that is unreservedly recommended for family and
community library Christmas holiday season collections. It should be noted for personal reading
lists that "Santa: My Life & Times" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Every Knee Shall Bow: A Christmas Collection
Gaye Frances Willard
9780988252844, $16.95, HC, 44pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In "Every Knee Shall Bow - A Christmas Collection", artist Gaye Frances Willard
shares the 'why' for each of the eight elegant paintings in her Christmas series. Within these
pages readers will learn the inspiring story behind the creation of each truly memorable image.
More than just seasonal images, they are an artistic representation of the timeless truth of
scripture. Through the paintings and the words you will be encouraged to celebrate the Christ of
Christmas "with all of your heart, with all of your soul and with all of your mind".
Critique: Inspired and inspiring, Gaye Frances Willard's "Every Knee Shall Bow: A Christmas
Collection" is a unique and extraordinary volume of art and commentary that is unreservedly
recommended for personal, family, church, seminary, and community library collection.
Christmas in Winter Hill
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780800736101, $16.99, HC, 176pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Krista Galloway is not a fan of Christmas. After her rough childhood in multiple foster
homes, the holiday season just brings too many bad memories to the surface. But when she
accepts a job as a city manager in the mountain town of Winter Hill, Washington, Christmas is
part of the deal. The small town is famous for its Christmasville celebration, something that the
city manager . . . well, manages.
As she tries to make her tiny new apartment feel like home for her and her eight-year-old
daughter, Emily, Krista begins to wonder if this move was a mistake. She doesn't always feel
welcomed in the close-knit town, and Emily continually wonders, "Where's the snow?" Can a
friendly stranger and his family help restore Krista's Christmas spirit before the big day?
Critique: A deftly crafted and wonderfully holiday season appropriate novel from a gifted
storyteller, "Christmas in Winter Hill" by Melody Carlson will prove to be an enduringly
appreciated addition to any and all community library collections. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Christmas in Winter Hill" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle,
$9.44) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Dreamscape Media, 9781974970742,
The Health/Medicine Shelf
9781632868305 $28.00 hc
9781632868312 $18.00 pbk / $10.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: There was a mystery haunting award-winning investigative journalist Johann Hari. He
was thirty-nine years old, and almost every year he had been alive, depression and anxiety had
increased in Britain and across the Western world. Why?
He had a very personal reason to ask this question. When he was a teenager, he had gone to his
doctor and explained that he felt like pain was leaking out of him, and he couldn't control it or
understand it. Some of the solutions his doctor offered had given him some relief-but he
remained in deep pain.
So, as an adult, he went on a forty-thousand-mile journey across the world to interview the
leading experts about what causes depression and anxiety, and what solves them. He learned
there is scientific evidence for nine different causes of depression and anxiety-and that this
knowledge leads to a very different set of solutions: ones that offer real hope.
Critique: Lost Connections: Why You're Depressed and How to Find Hope offers a stark new
way to understand depression and anxiety. Chapters delve into how disconnections from
important things can induce misery: disconnection from meaningful work, other people,
meaningful values, childhood trauma, status/respect, the natural world, or a secure future are all
potential magnifiers of anxiety and depression. Lost Connection does not dismiss or ignore what
modern medicine has to say about neurochemical balance, but rather offers additional perspective
on mental health factors that are not so easily addressed with the right pill. Lost Connections is a
welcome contribution to both personal and public library mental health collections, highly
recommended. It should be noted for personal reading lists that Lost connections is also available
in a Kindle edition ($10.99).
Body by Starfleet: A Fitness Guide
9780762495771 $16.00 hc / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: A fully illustrated guide that bridges the nexus between stasis and health, Star Trek:
Body by Starfleet provides real, practical, and fun exercises for Star Trek fans of all ages and
physical abilities so that they may boldly live long and prosper.
Drawing from the most celebrated and iconic elements of over 50 years of Star Trek, Body by
Starfleet will provide any pop-culture (or junk-food) junkie a fun and healthy way to engage their
warp core and get moving. Whether you view the gym as an impenetrable final frontier or
regularly bench press boulders like a Gorn, these simple, easy-to-follow instructions -- created in
consultation with a certified fitness trainer -- is for readers of all ages and fitness levels to
navigate through a series of enterprising exercises.
Everyone, from an ensign in the Command Training Program to an admiral who's voyaged
through every quadrant, will benefit from the more than 30 exercises featuring Klingon Tribble
Twists, Chekov's Cossack Squats, Jefferies Tube Climbers, and Wesley Crunchers. All of the
exercises in Body by Starfleet are designed for standard gravity so they can be performed with
little to no equipment everywhere from living rooms to gyms to holodecks. Also included is a
section covering nutrition so readers can program their replicators to eat better and cleaner, a
workout log for recording activities and progress, and special exercises aimed toward
non-humanoid species including Horta and Medusans.
Critique: Body by Starfleet: A Fitness Guide is a physical fitness workout guide created
especially for Star Trek fans of all ages. Colorful illustrations of famous Starfleet members
demonstrate practical body exercises for improving flexibility, building strength, raising one's
heart rate, and more. The tongue-in-cheek text never lets up on the Star Trek references, while
clearly and succinctly describing the actions. Body by Starfleet: A Fitness Guide is a choice pick
for spicing up one's fitness regimen, highly recommended. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that Body by Starfleet is also available in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
Chasing the Invisible
210 - 60th Street, Virginia Beach, VA 23451
9781633939431, $32.95, HC, 212pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Chasing the Invisible: A Doctor's Quest to Abolish the Last Unseen Cancer Cell" by
Dr. Tom Grogan deftly combines the suspense of a spy novel with the education and scientific
insight of a medical mystery thriller, all wrapped in a dramatic business story. In addition to
revealing the detective work of medicine and its impact on physicians and patients, Dr. Grogan
reveals a colorful cast of Wall Street investment bankers, venture capitalists and the titans of a
giant multinational company out to acquire the missing puzzle piece necessary to ensure the next
phase of life-saving innovation.
Dr. Grogan navigated his way through all those worlds to fulfill his vision. He ultimately
transformed his classic biomedical start-up company (born as a diagram on a piece of paper and a
jerry-rigged prototype built in his garage) into a successful multi-billion-dollar worldwide
enterprise, following its acquisition by a Swiss pharmaceutical giant. Today his invention of an
automated cancer diagnostics device that helps personalize the detection of cancer and enables
doctors to treat it more effectively is transforming medical practice throughout the world.
Whether interested in learning about science and medicine, or about entrepreneurship and how to
create an exciting and dynamic leadership culture, or even if just looking for a good read with wit
and humor, "Chasing the Invisible" will prove to be a rewarding and inherently fascinating read
from cover to cover.
Critique: Showcasing a unique and extraordinary quest that combined ground breaking medical
research with an entrepreneurial ambition, "Chasing the Invisible: A Doctor's Quest to Abolish
the Last Unseen Cancer Cell" is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic
library Contemporary Health & Medicine collection. It should be noted for personal reading lists
that "Chasing the Invisible" is also available in a paperback edition (9781633939417,
The Business Shelf
Reinventing the Organization
Arthur Yeung & Dave Ulrich
Harvard Business Review Press
60 Harvard Way, Boston, MA 02163
9781633697706, $32.00, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The in today's global economy, it could well be argued that the traditional corporate
hierarchy is obsolete, but what replaces it? Numerous new models (the agile organization, the
networked organization, and holacracy, to name a few) have emerged, but leaders need to know
what really works. How do you build an organization that is responsive to fast-changing
markets? What kind of organization delivers both speed and scale, and how do you lead it?
In the pages of "Reinventing the Organization: How Companies Can Deliver Radically Greater
Value in Fast-Changing Markets", Arthur Yeung and Dave Ulrich effectively collaborate to
provide leaders with a much-needed blueprint for reinventing the organization. Based on their
in-depth research at leading Chinese, US, and European firms such as Alibaba, Amazon, DiDi,
Facebook, Google, Huawei, Supercell, and Tencent, and drawing from their synthesis of the
latest organization research and practice, Yeung and Ulrich explain how to build a new kind of
organization (a "market-oriented ecosystem") that responds to changing market opportunities
with speed and scale.
While other books address individual pieces of the puzzle, "Reinventing the Organization" offers
corporate executives a practical, integrated, six-step framework and looks at all the decisions
leaders need to make (choosing the right strategies, capabilities, structure, culture, management
tools, and leadership) to deliver radically greater value in fast-moving markets.
For any leader eager to build a stronger, more responsive organization and for all those in HR,
organizational development, and consulting who will shape and deliver it, "Reinventing The
Organization" provides a much-needed roadmap for re-invention.
Critique: Enhanced for the reader with the inclusion of fourteen pages of Notes, and a twenty-
four page Index, "Reinventing the Organization: How Companies Can Deliver Radically Greater
Value in Fast-Changing Markets" should be considered as an essential, core addition to
community, corporate, and academic library Contemporary Business Management collections. It
should be noted for the personal reading lists of business students, entrepreneurs, corporate
managers, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "Reinventing the
Organization" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.27).
Editorial Note: Arthur Yeung is a Senior Management Adviser at Tencent Group, where he leads
and facilitates organizational innovation and leadership development. Previously, he was the
Philips Chair Professor of Human Resource Management at China Europe International Business
School (CEIBS) and taught regularly in executive programs in association with Harvard,
INSEAD, and the University of Michigan. He also served previously as Chief Human Resources
Officer of Acer Group. His website is www.ceibs.edu
Dave Ulrich is the Rensis Likert Collegiate Professor of Business Administration at the
University of Michigan's Ross School of Business and a partner at RBL Group (rbl.net), a
consulting firm focused on helping organizations and leaders deliver value. He has published
over thirty books and two hundred articles and book chapters. He has worked with over half of
the Fortune 200; has numerous lifetime achievement awards for organization, leadership, and HR
work; and is listed in the Thinkers50 Hall of Fame. His website is www.daveulrich.com
The Global PR Revolution
c/o Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
9781621537151, $29.99, HC, 312pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Public Relations (PR) is everything and everywhere in our capitalist society and
culture. Because of our evolving communication technologies, now more than ever, managing
social media is a nuanced and dynamic field that requires the sophisticated touch of a trained
professional. What was effective ten or even five years ago is no longer relevant.
In "The Global PR Revolution: How Thought Leaders Succeed in the Transformed World of
PR", public relations expert Maxim Behar shows readers how to master current approaches,
create content that meets a client's needs, and evolve with ever-changing trends. Complete with
insights from over seventy PR leaders worldwide, this authoritative guide discusses such topics
as: The New Rules of Social Media; How to Speak the Language of PR; Modern PR Skills and
Tools; How to Measure Impact; The Effect of Total Transparency on Businesses; International
Perspectives on the Media; The Future of the Industry.
Behar's knowledge, experience, and down-to-earth writing will keep readers engrossed while
refining their understanding of public relations. By the time they finish, they'll be well on their
way to becoming their own expert in the field of public relations.
Critique: An ideal curriculum textbook for college and university Business Management courses,
"The Global PR Revolution: How Thought Leaders Succeed in the Transformed World of PR" is
extraordinarily well written, organized and presented. While unreservedly recommended for
community, corporate, and academic library collections, it should be noted for personal reading
lists for aspiring or practicing PR professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and non-
specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that "The Global PR Revolution" is also
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $19.99).
Editorial Note: Maxim Behar is a globally renowned public relations expert, entrepreneur, writer,
and Harvard Kennedy School graduate. He is the founder and CEO of M3 Communications
Group, Inc. He is the past president of the International Communications Consultancy
Organisation (ICCO) and is currently a member of the executive committee. He has been
awarded many titles, among them Global Chairman of the Year by the International Business
Stevie Awards and Communicator of the Decade by the Association of Business Communicators
c/o Perseus Book Group
250 W. 57th St., Suite 1500, New York, NY 10107
9780762494583, $18.00, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Without setting foot in an office, Buddha knew that helping people work right was
essential to helping them find their path to awakening. Too many of us are working long hours,
dealing with difficult bosses, high-maintenance coworkers, and non-stop stress. Now more than
ever, we need Buddha's guidance. We need someone to help remind us that there is a better way.
With Buddha's wisdom at the core of every chapter, "Buddha's Office: The Ancient Art of
Waking Up While Working Well" by Dan Zigmond will help you learn how to stop taking
shortcuts and pay more attention, care for yourself and others, deal with distractions, and
incorporate Buddha's ageless instructions into our modern working life.
Critique: "Buddha's Office: The Ancient Art of Waking Up While Working Well" combines
Buddhist principles with business management advice. The result is an inherently fascinating,
impressively informative, exceptionally practical, and thoroughly 'user friendly' compendium of
insight, advice and inspiration for improving our professional and personal lives with respect to
whatever form of workplace that employs us. While unreservedly recommended for community,
corporate, and academic library Business Management & Self-Help collections, it should be
noted for personal reading lists that "Buddha's Office" is also available in a digital book format
(Kindle, $11.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Hachette Audio,
9781549129407, $35.00, CD).
Editorial Note: Dan Zigmond is a writer, data scientist, and Zen priest. As a former executive at
Instagram, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, he was named one of the "20 Business Geniuses
You Need to Know" by Wired magazine. He is also the co-author of Buddha's Diet: The Ancient
Art of Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind.
The Graphic Novel Shelf
Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor - Old Friends
Jody Houser, et al.
9781785866920, $16.99, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When accused of stealing the precious Gem of Niag, the Doctor and companions go in
search of the true culprit. They soon find themselves entangled with an old friend of the Doctor's
- a rogue female Time Lord called the Corsair! Styled like a daring adventurer, with a pirate
ship-Tardis to boot, the Corsair leads the gang on a rescue mission that seems dubiously like a
heist. The Corsair was a character originally created for the TV series by Neil Gaiman and was
the first example of a Time Lord regeneration that changed their sex as well as the appearance.
"Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor - Old Friends" is her first ever appearance in the Doctor
Who graphic novel series!
Critique: A superbly scripted and expertly illustrated addition to the growing canon of Doctor
Who stories, "Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor - Old Friends" is a whole lot of fun and will
prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library graphic novel
collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of the legions of Doctor Who fans
that "Doctor Who: The Thirteenth Doctor - Old Friends" is also available in a digital book format
The Ultimate Sky Doll
Alessandro Barbucci, author
Barbara Canepa, illustrator
9781785869815, $49.99, HC, 208pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In a parallel universe, the existence of a sweet life like android called Noa, a Sky Doll,
(artificial beings without rights and created to serve the state's desires), has been turned upside
down. After being rescued by two "missionaries", fleeing her tyrannical creator and life of
servitude to the far reaches of the galaxy. Noa comes to realize she may be more than a simple
android as she becomes embroiled in the middle of two opposing ideologies.
Critique: Collecting together all four Sky Doll books into one single coffee-table style volume
and having it translated into English for the very first time, "The Ultimate Sky Doll" is an
inherently fascinating and original science fiction graphic novel by the team author Alessandro
Barbucci and illustrator Barbara Canepa that is unreservedly recommended for the personal
reading lists of all dedicated science fiction fans, and is certain to be an enduringly popular
addition to community library graphic novel collections.
9781785868887, $29.99, HC, 112pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Cromwell Stone is one of thirteen men who lived though a mysterious sea voyage.
Now his fellow survivors are disappearing in unusual and unnerving ways. He sets out to solve
the mystery, and finds himself caught up in a much bigger and stranger story.
Critique: Featuring exquisitely executive black-and-white artwork throughout, "Cromwell Stone'
is a simply riveting read from first page to last. While very highly recommended for community
library Graphic Novel collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Cromwell
Stone" is also available in a unique board book edition ($23.44).
Watch_Dogs: Return To Rocinha
Simon Kansara, author
Simon Champelovier, illustrator
9781785864049, $16.99, PB, 96pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Watch_Dogs: Return To Rocinha" is based on the hit-video game and is the story of a
young hacker in Rio makes her stand against the corruption in her home and which had resulted
in the death of her parents and the loss of her younger brother to a shootout between the cops and
a drug gang. Sauda, a young hacker from the Rochinha favela in Rio, returns years later to the
neighborhood she grew up in to discover her little brother had survived and fallen under the
influence of the local gang -- the same one that has killed his parents. Determined to bring him
out, Sauda discovers that drug trafficking is just the tip of the iceberg for the corruption
consuming her hometown and that it had a corporate overlord pulling all the strings.
Critique: A thoroughly reader engaging story with all manner of unexpected plot twists and turns,
"Watch_Dogs: Return To Rocinha" is a deftly scripted and nicely illustrated graphic novel that
will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to community library collections. It should be
noted for personal reading lists that "Watch_Dogs: Return To Rocinha" is also available in a
digital book format (Kindle/comiXlogy, $8.25).
The Pollen of Monte Urticando
Franquin Batem, author
c/o National Book Network (dist.)
4501 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 200, Lanham, MD 20706
9781849184588, $11.95, PB, 48pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Deep inside the Palombian jungle lays Monte Urticando, and ancient, nigh inaccessible
volcano where millennia old cactuses grow. Every 15 years they flower, and the pollen
temporarily drives away most of the dangerous predators. For the Marsupilamis, though, it's also
the signal for a strange and cruel tradition: it's time for the young Marsus to learn how to fend for
themselves, away from the protection of their parents. Will they learn to work together to
Critique: The fourth volume in the Marsupilami graphic novel series by the team of author
Franquin Batem and artist/illustrator Yann, "The Pollen of Monte Urticando " is their best work
yet and certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library Graphic
Novel collections for readers of all ages. It should be noted for the personal reading lists that
"The Pollen of Monte Urticando" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle/comiXology,
The Audiobook Shelf
JAY-Z: Made in America
Michael Eric Dyson
Read by the author
9781250750228 $29.99 amazon.com
Synopsis: JAY-Z: Made in America is the fruit of Michael Eric Dyson's decade of teaching the
work of one of the greatest poets this nation has produced, as gifted a wordsmith as Walt
Whitman, Robert Frost and Rita Dove. But as a rapper, he's sometimes not given the credit he
deserves for just how great an artist he's been for so long.
This book wrestles with the biggest themes of JAY-Z's career, including hustling, and it
recognizes the way that he's always weaved politics into his music, making important statements
about race, criminal justice, black wealth and social injustice. As he enters his fifties, and to mark
his thirty years as a recording artist, this is the perfect time to take a look at JAY-Z's career and
his role in making this nation what it is today.
In many ways, this is JAY-Z's America as much as it's Pelosi's America, or Trump's America, or
Martin Luther King's America. JAY-Z has given this country a language to think with and words
to live by.
Critique: Michael Eric Dyson (University Professor of Sociology, Georgetown University)
presents JAY-Z: Made in America, a career-focused biography of raper, songwriter, producer,
entrepreneur, and record executive JAY-Z (a.k.a. Shawn Corey Carter, b. 1969). Available as an
unabridged audiobook smoothly read by the author, JAY-Z: Made in America examines not only
JAY-Z's work in music, but also his influence in American society and culture, since many of his
songs were and are politically charged. Thoughtful and thought-provoking, JAY-Z: Made in
America is a welcome contribution to public library audiobook collections. It should be noted for
personal reading lists that JAY-Z: Made in America is also available in print from St. Martin's
Press (9781250230966, $25.99) and in a Kindle edition ($13.99). 5 CDs, 5.5 hours. Disc 5
includes a bonus PDF.
The Music CD Shelf
At the End of the River
$14.98 CD / $8.99 MP3 amazon.com
Grammy-nominated music artists The Revelers present At the End of the River, a Cajun music
album brimming with lively, exciting songs reflecting the spirit of the dance floor. A jubilant
celebration of Cajun cultural heritage, At the End of the River is invigorating, refreshing, and
highly recommended. The tracks are "Au bout de la riviere (At the End of the River)", "Please
Please, Like We Did Last Summer", "Les blues a Blake (Blake's Blues)", "Who Who, Yea You",
"She's A Woman", "I Wouldn't Do That to You", "Pendant je suis loin de toi (While I Am Far
From You)", "You're Not To Blame", "Bonsoir, petit monde (Goodnight, Little World)",
"Southside Stomp", and "La bague diamante (The Diamond Ring)".
$12.69 CD / $6.93 MP3 amazon.com
Ambient/electronic-synth performers Marconi Union present Dead Air, their tenth studio album.
An instrumental work that draws upon electronica, dub, minimalist, avant-jazz, and ambient
music traditions, Dead Air is intensely rhythmic, vibrantly original, passionately performed, and
highly recommended. The tracks are "A.M.I.D.", "Mossfield", "Imbalance", "Permafrost",
"Fractured", "Dead Air", and "Burned".
Within Us All
Heart Dance Records
$13.98 CD / $9.49 MP3 amazon.com
Award-winning music artist Monica Williams presents Within Us All, an album of beautiful,
relaxing world flute music. A variety of guest musicians contribute to this peaceful, empowering
album of original songs bringing a warm message of self-respect, happiness, and compassion.
Supportive, emotional, and uplifting, Within Us All is highly recommended and also makes an
excellent gift. The tracks are "You are Compassionate", "You are Forgiving", "You are
Memorable", "You are Happiness", "You are Adventure", "You are Free as a Child", "You are
Resilience", "You are Integrity", "You are Not Alone", and "You are Enough". 47 min., 45
Sempre: A New Dimension
$TBA CD / $8.91 MP3 amazon.com
Cellist, composer, and multi-lingual vocalist Ian Maksin presents Sempre: A New Dimension,
and original album of cello music drawing inspiration from Renaissance and Baroque classics,
the works of contemporary music artists, historic landmarks, and the depths of human emotion.
Sempre: A New Dimension is an extraordinary work with a profound message of love, healing,
and wholeness, highly recommended. The tracks are "Sempre", "Blues au Jardin du
Luxembourg", "Vancouver Rain", "Summer Garden Waltz", "Respiro", "Lacrimae Novae", "Per
Me, Per Te...", "Sunset on the Cascade", and "Brand New Page".
The DVD Shelf
Tai Chi Fit: Over 50 Balance Exercises
World-class Tai Chi expert David-Dorian Ross presents Tai Chi Fit: Over 50 Balance Exercises,
a DVD that guides the viewer in a simple tai chi lesson, shown in a mirror-view format. No
memorization and no prior knowledge of Tai Chi are required; one can just follow along with the
movements to enjoy a low-impact fitness routine with emphasis on improving balance. Tai Chi
Fit: Over 50 Balance Exercises is ideal for senior citizens, as a useful resource to reduce the risk
of falls, but completely open to Tai Chi novices of all ages and backgrounds. Highly
recommended! 35 min.
The General Fiction Shelf
The Siege of Troy
267 Fifth Avenue, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10016
9781590519714, $14.99, PB, 208pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Bombs fall over a Greek village during World War II, and a teacher takes her students
to a cave for shelter. There she tells them about another war -- when the Greeks besieged
Day after day, she recounts how the Greeks suffer from thirst, heat, and homesickness, and how
the opponents meet -- army against army, man against man. Helmets are cleaved, heads fly,
blood flows. And everything had begun when Prince Paris of Troy fell in love with King
Menelaus of Sparta's wife, the beautiful Helen, and escaped with her to his homeland. Now
Helen stands atop the city walls to witness the horrors set in motion by her flight. When her
current and former loves face each other in battle, she knows that, whatever happens, she will be
In his novel, "The Siege of Troy", author Theodor Kallifatides provides remarkable
psychological insight in his version of The Iliad, downplaying the role of the gods and delving
into the mindsets of its mortal heroes. Homer's epic comes to life with a renewed urgency that
allows us to experience events as though firsthand, and reveals timeless truths about the
senselessness of war and what it means to be human.
Critique: A superbly crafted work of literature from first page to last, "The Siege of Troy" is an
inherently compelling novel by an author with a genuine flair for reader engaging narrative
storytelling. While unreservedly and especially recommended for both community and academic
library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists
that "The Siege of Troy" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99) and as a
complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone Audio, 9781982664237, $69.00, CD).
Time for Bed: Stories
Louisiana State University Press
338 Johnston Hall, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
9780807171516, $24.95, PB, 168pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Bed is where we sleep and dream, where we make love and give ourselves nightmares.
The thirteen stories comprising author Wendy Rawlings's short story anthology "Time for Bed:
Stories" traverses the complicated terrain of bedtime activity, from adulterous couplings to
nightmares that come to life, in terms that can feel lurid, unsettling, or disturbingly funny.
A college student struggles with her mother leaving her father for a "cafeteria lady" at her high
school. A woman loses her only daughter in a mass school shooting and goes on a road trip to
buy a custom coffin, then decides to take a side trip to NRA headquarters. A daughter decides
she should be born again -- literally. Social, cultural, and familial disruptions haunt these
characters in their waking lives as they look to grab something or someone for stability.
A collection of comic stories that confront difficult and tragic events, Time for Bed crafts
dreamscapes and bizarre encounters into bedtime stories for adults.
Critique: An inherently engaging anthology showcases author Wendy Rawlings as a master of
the short story format, "Time for Bed: Stories" is unreservedly recommended for both community
and academic library Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that "Time for Bed: Stories" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Editorial Note: Wendy Rawlings is also the author of Come Back Irish, winner of the 2000
Sandstone Prize for Short Fiction, and The Agnostics, winner of the Michigan Literary Fiction
Award. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, the Kenyon Review,
the Cincinnati Review, Tin House, Creative Nonfiction, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a
Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the MacDowell
Colony, and Yaddo -- and teaches creative writing at the University of Alabama.
Fleming H. Revell Company
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9780800737122, $29.99, HC, 338pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Independent and tenacious journalist Vivian DeMarco is back in Walton, Georgia, for
one reason -- to do her job and get out. When her boss suddenly dies under suspicious
circumstances, Vivian's only hope for finding the truth (and the next big story) is small-town law
enforcement's lanky poster boy, Deputy Ryan Frost. But the deeper they dig, the more twisted the
truth becomes, and Vivian finds herself fighting for not only answers but also her life. False
leads, incriminating emails, and someone called The Watcher force Vivian to confront the secret
of her past and decide: How much is she willing to risk for the sake of a headline?
Critique: Another deftly scripted and cliff hanger of a read by an experience author with a
genuine flair for originality, "Deadly Deceit" is one of author Natalie Walters' best novels yet and
is certain to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library
Suspense/Thriller collections. It should be noted for the growing legions of Natalie Walters fans
that "Deadly Deceit" is also available in a paperback edition (9780800735333, $14.99) and in a
digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Third Daughter
William Morrow & Company
c/o HarperCollins Publishers
195 Broadway New York, New York 10007
9780062896889, $16.99, PB, 432pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The turn of the 20th century finds fourteen-year-old Batya in the Russian countryside,
fleeing with her family from endless pogroms. Desperate, her father leaps at the opportunity to
marry Batya to a worldly, wealthy stranger who can guarantee his daughter an easy life and
passage to America.
Feeling like a princess in a fairytale, Batya leaves her old life behind as she is whisked away to a
new world. But soon she discovers that she's entered a waking nightmare. Her new "husband"
does indeed bring her to America: Buenos Aires, a vibrant, growing city in which prostitution is
not only legal but deeply embedded in the culture. And now Batya is one of thousands of women
tricked and sold into a brothel.
As the years pass, Batya forms deep bonds with her "sisters" in the house as well as some men
who are both kind and cruel. Through it all, she holds onto one dream: to bring her family to
America, where they will be safe from the anti-Semitism that plagues Russia. Just as Batya is
becoming a known tango dancer, she gets an unexpected but dangerous opportunity to help bring
down the criminal network that has enslaved so many young women and has been instrumental
in developing Buenos Aires into a major metropolis.
"The Third Daughter" is a powerful story of finding courage in the face of danger, and hope in
the face of despair during a dark period of Jewish history and gives a voice to victims whose
truth deserves to finally be told.
Critique: Deftly written, "The Third Daughter" is an impressive and inherently riveting read from
first page to last. Showcasing author Talia Carner's particular flair for originality, attention to
historical detail, and distinctive narrative storytelling style, "The Third Daughter" is certain to be
an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community library General Fiction collections.
It should be noted for personal reading lists that "The Third Daughter" is also available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $11.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Blackstone
Audio, 9781982688806, $39.99, MP3 CD).
9781770414976, $15.95, PB, 232pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: When 24-year-old Nicole Hewett's beloved childhood friend, Honey, returns to their
small northern town after an unexplained six-year absence, Nicole realizes how her life had
stalled without her. But the prodigal returns with troubling secrets, and before long Nicole is
drawn into a high-stakes game. Honey is a thrilling, sensuous modern noir novel with a classic
refrain: nothing is more dangerous than love.
Critique: Showcasing author Brenda Brooks as a particularly gifted novelist, "Honey" is
unreservedly endorsed and recommended for both community and academic library
Contemporary Literary Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Honey" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
Death and the Seaside
9781771962759, $14.95, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Nearing thirty, with an abandoned degree and half-hearted dreams of becoming a
writer, Bonnie Falls finally moves out of her parents' home and into a shabby flat. When her
enigmatic landlady takes an interest in her (and one of her unfinished stories) Bonnie's
aspirations to be a writer are rekindled, and she's quickly persuaded by the older woman's
suggestion that they go on holiday to a seaside town like the one in the story.
Critique: An intense and deftly scripted exploration of power and vulnerability, obsession and
manipulation, "Death and the Seaside" showcases author Alison Moore's genuine flair for
original and impressive storytelling skills for producing gripping psychological novel that will
hold the reader's attention from first page to last. While highly recommended for community
library Contemporary General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists
that "Death and the Seaside" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.59) and as a
complete and unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781543623468, $9.99, MP3 CD).
The Chosen One
c/o Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson Street, 4th floor, New York, NY 10014
9781984806338, $17.00, PB, 512pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Two months ago, a new leader arose in the Islamic world, the Mahdi who is known (as
his dedicated followers call him) as the Chosen One. He has rallied fundamentalist Muslim
forces across the Middle East who have driven deep into Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Standing
against them is an allied force made up primarily of the American military who are called upon to
prevent that part of the world from going up in flames.
Critique: A riveting and deftly crafted military action/adventure saga of a fundamentalist Islamic
army that is once again is on the march in the Middle East, "The Chosen One" by Walt Gragg, an
author with a genuine flair for originality and the kind of reader compelling narrative storytelling
style is especially recommended for community library collections. It should be noted for
personal reading lists that "The Chosen One" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle,
The Romantic Fiction Shelf
Once Upon a Cowboy Christmas
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781250224286, $7.99, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Cody Ford is a Wall Street honcho with humble Texas roots. This holiday season, he'd
be content to just stay in New York and not face his family -- and dodge their questions about
when and with whom he plans to settle down. But his father isn't getting any younger, and Cody
doesn't want to miss any last chances to see him and the rest of the folks back on the ranch. The
last person Cody was expecting to see? His one-time girlfriend, Lexi Murphy, who's been
working as his dad's new live-in nurse.
She never forgot him. Can she ever forgive him? Lexi still holds a grudge against Cody. Back
then, the college-bound heartthrob believed he was too good for a small-town girl like Lexi. But
now Cody can't help but see her in a whole new light. Could it be that this beautiful single
mother with an unbeatable can-do spirit is the one he's been waiting for all along? That depends
on whether Cody can prove to Lexi that, this time, he means business -- and if a sudden
snowstorm can lend just the right amount of Christmas magic to help move things along.
Critique: The latest 'River Ranch' novels by author Soraya Lane, "Once Upon a Cowboy
Christmas" is a wonderfully well crafted and entertaining read from first page to last. Certain to
be an enduringly popular addition to community library Contemporary Romance Fiction
collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated romance novel fans
that "Once Upon a Cowboy Christmas" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99)
and as a complete and unabridged audio book (Tantor Audio, 9781515931003, $29.99, CD).
A Cowboy Like You
St. Martin's Press
175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
9781250250049, $7.99, PB, 304pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Danny Oldman, the handsome Lone Star sheriff, is still single. He tells himself, and
anyone who asks, that he is married to his job -- and what matters most is keeping the people of
his beloved Texas hometown safe. The truth? Danny still hasn't gotten over his high school
crush. She moved away after graduation and took Danny's heart with her.
Skylar Long never thought she would have to flee Houston and return home -- where it all began
for her. But that's what happened after the man of her dreams turned out to be an actual
nightmare. Now, Skylar is desperate to escape her obsessive boyfriend. Nothing shocks her more
than seeing Danny again and realizing that their long-ago attraction is more powerful than
But can she and Danny find a way to fight against Skylar's wealthy, powerful ex who is dead set
on tearing them apart?
Critique: A riveting romance by a total master of the genre, "A Cowboy Like You" is the latest
Heart of Texas novel by Donna Grant and one that will prove to be an immediate and enduringly
popular addition to community library Contemporary Romance Fiction collections. It should be
noted for the personal reading lists of the growing legions of Donna Grant fans that "A Cowboy
Like You" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $7.99).
The Mystery/Suspense Shelf
c/o Penguin Group USA
375 Hudson Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10014-3657
9781524742904, $16.00, PB, 384pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Aldrich University is rocked to its core when a hacker dumps 40,000 people's e-mails
(from the entire faculty, staff, students, alums) onto an easily searchable database. Rumors and
affairs immediately leak, but things turn explosive when Kit Manning's handsome husband, Dr.
Greg Strasser, is found murdered.
Kit's sister, Willa, returns for the funeral, setting foot in a hometown she fled fifteen years ago,
after a night she wishes she could forget. As an investigative reporter, Willa knows something
isn't right about the night Greg was killed, and she's determined to find the truth. What she
doesn't expect is that everyone has something to hide.
And with a killer on the loose, Willa and Kit must figure out who killed Greg before someone
else is murdered.
Critique: Showing she has also mastered the mystery/suspense genre with the publication of
"Reputation", the Sara Shepard (the author of the Pretty Little Liars series, The Lying Game, The
Heiresses, The Elizas, and The Perfectionists), has provided her legions of fans with still another
deftly crafted and inherently riveting read. While especially recommended for community library
collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that "Reputation" is also available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $11.99).
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018
9781510742093, $25.99, HC, 336pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In 1948 Hawaii, troubled WWII hero turned deserter Wendell Lett desperately seeks a
cure to his severe combat trauma, and The Preserve seems to be his salvation. Run by Lansdale, a
mysterious intelligence officer, and Lett's ambitious wartime XO Charlie Selfer, the secretive
training camp promises relief from the terrors in his mind. Together with Kanani Alana, a
tough-minded Hawaiian also looking for a new start at The Preserve, Lett begins to feel
All illusions are shattered, though, when Lett discovers The Preserve's true intentions -- to
rebuild him into a cold-blooded assassin. The deadly conspiracy runs deep, all the way to General
Douglas MacArthur, and his refusal to cooperate is met with merciless punishment. His only
hope is Kanani and her dangerous escape plan that would grant freedom from The Preserve -- if
he can hide while surviving the harsh wilderness of the Big Island.
Critique: Although a work of fiction, "The Preserve" by Steve Anderson is based on true events.
A fast-paced historical thriller that will linger in the mind and memory long after the novel is
finished and set back upon the shelf, "The Preserve" is an especially recommended addition to
community library Contemporary General Fiction collections. It should be noted for personal
reading lists that "The Preserve" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.99).
The Devil Close Behind
c/o Daniel & Daniel, Publishers
PO Box 2790, McKinleyville, CA 95519
9781564746061, $15.95, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Private investigator Jeri Howard is on vacation in New Orleans when a friend asks a
favor: her sister Laurette has disappeared with a boyfriend, and Jeri's trip turns into a case. Slade,
a mercurial musician, tends to strike out when thwarted, sometimes leading to deadly
consequences. Jeri's investigation takes her from French Quarter clubs to workaday NOLA, then
back to California, into jeopardy -- and an explosive conclusion!
Critique: A ripping and gripping novel of mystery and suspense from beginning to end, "The
Devil Close Behind" showcases author Janet Dawson's skill set as a writer in general, and master
of the genre in particular. While unreservedly recommended, especially for community library
collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of dedicated mystery suspense thriller
fans that "The Devil Close Behind" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Death is a Private Eye
Gil Brewer, author
David Rachels, editor
Stark House Press
1315 H Street, Eureka, CA 95501
9781944520779, $17.95, PB, 232pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Ably compiled and edited by David Rachels, "Death is a Private Eye" is comprised of
the short story mysteries of the late Gil Brewer (November 20, 1922 - January 9, 1983). As
Rachels writes in his informative introduction -- "The reason these stories are being published
only now, rather than 40 or more years ago when they were first written, is that Gil Brewer's
markets have come back to him. Brewer published his first great noir story in 1955, and he kept
writing great noir stories for more than 20 years, long after there were magazines eager to buy
them. . . . Now, in 2019, with Brewer's reputation as an important figure in 20th-century
American crime writing continuing to grow, the time has come for his later short stories finally to
find their audience."
Critique: While very highly recommended for community library Mystery/Suspense collections,
and as an absolute 'must read' for the legions of dedicated mystery fans in general, and pulp
fiction style private eye devotees in particular, "Death is a Private Eye" is also available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $4.99).
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
9781608092451, $16.95, HC, 368pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A phone call thrusts Rick Cahill's past and all its tragic consequences into his present.
Krista Landingham, his former partner on the Santa Barbara Police Department, is dead. When
Rick goes to the funeral in the city where his wife was murdered and where he is seen as guilty
for her death in the eyes of the police, he discovers that Krista's death may not have been a tragic
accident, but murder.
Hired by Krista's sister, Leah, to investigate, Rick follows clues that lead him to the truth, not
only about Krista's death, but about the tragedy that ruined his life. Along the way, Leah shows
him that his life can be salvaged and he can feel love again if he can just move beyond his past.
But the past is Rick's present and will always be until he rights his one great wrong.
In the end, Rick is left with a decision that forces him to confront the horrific actions he'll need to
take to exact revenge and achieve redemption.
Critique: Another riveting good suspense thriller of a novel by author Matt Coyle, "Lost
Tomorrow" will prove to be an enduringly popular addition to any and all community library
Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all mystery
buffs and the growing legion of Matt Coyle fans that this latest Rick Chaill novel is also available
in a paperback edition (9781608093632, $16.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle,
1620 Main Street, Suite 11, Sarasota, FL 34236
9781608093700, $26.95, HC, 368pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Cherry blossom season is Washington, D.C.'s most beautiful time of the year. But as
tourists flock to the city, this year's festivities are marred by the discovery of the naked body of a
young woman floating in the Tidal Basin. Veteran homicide detective Brian (Brick) Kavanagh is
assigned to the case. He's shocked when he learns the victim is connected to another homicide
which makes the investigation very personal for him. Brick's efforts to solve the case are
thwarted by departmental politics and a rush to judgment. Convinced that justice has not been
served and the wrong person is in jail, Kavanagh risks all to relentlessly pursue the truth.
Overlooked evidence ultimately leads to a devastating conclusion in a heartbreaking case.
Critique: A riveting police procedural style mystery by an author with a particularly deft touch as
a storyteller, "Relentless" by Shawn Wilson will prove to be an impressively popular addition to
community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists
of all dedicated mystery buffs that "Relentless" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle,
Tracking Game: A Timber Creek K-9 Mystery
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781643851358, $26.99, HC, 282pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: An explosion outside a community dance sends Mattie Cobb and Cole Walker reeling
into the night, where they discover a burning van and beside it the body of outfitter Nate Fletcher.
But the explosion didn't kill Nate -- it was two gunshots to the heart.
The investigation leads them to the home of rancher Doyle Redman, whose daughter is Nate's
widow, and the object of one of their suspect's affection. But before they can make an arrest, they
receive an emergency call from a man who's been shot in the mountains. Mattie and Robo rush to
the scene, only to be confronted by the ominous growl of a wild predator.
As new players emerge on the scene, Mattie begins to understand the true danger that's
enveloping Timber Creek. They journey into the cold, misty mountains to track the animal -- but
discover something even more deadly!
Critique: "Tracking Game" is the fifth installment in Margaret Mizushima's deftly crafted Timber
Creek K-9 mystery series. An inherently fascinating 'whodunnit' style mystery novel, "Tracking
Game" is a riveting read from cover to cover and will prove to be an immediate and enduringly
popular addition to community library Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the
personal reading lists of Margaret Mizushima fans and all dedicated mystery buffs that "Tracking
Game" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Body on the Train
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781643851600, $26.99, HC, 329pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: London, 1929. In the darkness before dawn, a railway porter, unloading a special train
from Yorkshire, discovers a man's body, shot and placed in a sack. There are no means of
identification to be found and as Scotland Yard hits a dead end, they call on the inimitable Kate
Shackleton, a local sleuth, confident her local knowledge and investigative skills will produce
results. But it's no easy task.
Suspicion of political intrigue and fears of unrest in the Yorkshire coalfields, impose secrecy on
her already difficult task. The murder of a shopkeeper, around the same time, seems too much of
a coincidence. The convicted felon was found with blood on his hands, but it's too tidy and Kate
becomes convinced the police have the wrong man.
By then it's too late. Kate finds herself in a den of vipers. The real killer is still at large, and
having tinkered with Kate's car, nearly causes her to crash. Not only that, but Scotland Yard has
turned their back on her. As Kate edges toward the shocking truth, she's going to need all the
strength and resourcefulness she can muster to uncover this sinister web of deceit.
Critique: Another deftly written and simply riveting read from the pen of a master of the genre,
Frances Brody's "The Body on the Train" is the latest Kate Shackelton mystery novel and will
prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to any and all community library
Mystery/Suspense collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of all dedicated
mystery buffs and the growing legion of Frances Brody fans that "The Body on the Train" is also
available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Verse and Vengeance
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781643851518, $26.99, HC, 307pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: A bicycle race is not Charming Books proprietor Violet Waverly's idea of a pleasant
pastime. But police chief David Rainwater wants them to enter the Tour de Cascade as a couple,
so she reluctantly consents.
The Tour de Cascade is the brainchild of Violet's Grandma Daisy. The race is a fundraiser to
build the Cascade Springs Underground Railroad Museum. But not everyone in this Niagara
Region village supports the race. As if the bike race weren't tiring enough, pesky private
investigator Joel Redding is snooping around Charming Books. It takes all of Violet's and
Grandma Daisy's ingenuity to keep Redding from discovering the shop's magical essence --
which communicates with Violet through books.
When Redding perishes in an accident during the race, David discovers that the brake line of the
private eye's bike was cut. Worse, Violet tops his list of suspects. As Emerson the tuxedo cat and
resident crow Faulkner look on, Charming Books steers Violet to the works of Walt Whitman to
solve the crime. But no other names ring a bell as culprits, and as David's investigation picks up
speed, Violet will have to get in gear to clear her name.
Critique: A fun, fast paced, and impressively original mystery by one of the very best, "Verse and
Vengeance" is the newest addition to author Amanda Flower's simply outstanding 'A Magical
Bookshop Mystery' series. While certain to be an immediate and popular attraction for any
community library's Mystery/Suspense collection, it should be noted for the growing legion of
Amanda Flower fans that "Verse and Vengeance" is also available for their personal reading lists
in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
Murder at the Opera
D. M. Quincy
Crooked Lane Books
2 Park Avenue, 10th floor, New York, NY 10016
9781643852355, $26.99, HC, 330pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Amateur sleuth Atlas Catesby is about to discover the dark side of the bright lights. His
long-awaited night at the opera with Lady Lilliana ends abruptly when a notorious courtesan is
shot to death in London's Covent Garden.
The infamous victim was the mistress of the powerful Marquess of Vessey. Atlas believes that
the marquess (his former brother in law) is responsible for the long-ago death of Atlas's sister,
Phoebe. Atlas seizes the opportunity to potentially avenge his sister's death. But his inquiry is
complicated when Phoebe's grown son implores Atlas to help prove Vessey's innocence.
Plunging into the cutthroat backstage life of the theatre community, the adventurer and the
noblewoman soon discover that ruthless professional rivalries can escalate into violence, setting
the stage for death in "Murder at the Opera".
Critique: Author D. M. Quincy's third riveting Atlas Catesby mystery set in the Regency England
of 1815, "Murder at the Opera" once again showcases this novelist's complete master of the
mystery genre with another historical where meticulous attention is routinely paid to even the
most smallest of details. While fully endorsed and unreservedly recommended for community
library Historical Mystery collections, it should be noted for the personal reading lists of all
dedicated mystery buffs that "Murder at the Opera" is also available in a digital book format
The Fantasy/SciFi Shelf
Minecraft: The End
Catherynne M. Valente
c/o Penguin Random House
9780399180729 $17.99 hc / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: The brand-new official Minecraft novel is an epic battle for survival! When humans
enter the End, a pair of endermen must decide which side they're really on.
For as long as they can remember, the twin endermen Fin and Mo have lived in the mysterious
land of the End. On the outskirts of the great enderman city of Telos, they explore ancient ruins
under the watchful gaze of the mighty ender dragon. They have everything they need in the end
ship they call home, and know everything there is to know about their world - or so they think
until the strangers from another dimension arrive.
The invaders are called humans, and they've come to steal artifacts and slay the ender dragon. Fin
and Mo are ready to protect their home from the trespassers, but when they come face-to-face
with the humans, they discover that they aren't as prepared for battle as they'd thought. Caught off
guard, the twins are trapped in the middle of a war between the endermen and the humans, with
the future of their home at stake.
Critique: An official fantasy novel set in the world of the fantastically popular building-and-
survival game Minecraft, Minecraft: The End is primarily set in the area of the game that players
only reach when attempting the one of the game's greatest challenges - The End, where the
ferocious Enderdragon challenges any player who wishes to "beat the game". The End is also
populated by Endermen, who are murderously hostile to any human that looks upon them. But
the Endermen see themselves as servants of the Great Chaos, duty-bound to contest Order, by
opposing humans (whose tendency to construct buildings establishes them as servants of order)
and injecting disorder into human structures (by stealing the occasional block). The End is a
beautiful, eerie place where two young Endermen, Fin and Mo, live on their own, apart from and
on barely-passable terms with the other Endermen. Sometimes, on special days, the Enderdragon
communicates with them. The Enderdragon is definitely not nice, yet they feel an attachment to
it... and then one day, a small band of human explorers ventures into The End, with a self-
appointed mission to slay the Enderdragon! A vivid, emotional saga with shocking twists and
turns, Minecraft: The End is a "must-read" for connoisseurs of the game. Also highly
recommended are the previous official Minecraft novels: "Minecraft: The Island" by Max
Brooks; "Minecraft: The Crash" by Tracey Baptiste; and "Minecraft: The Lost Journals" by Mur
Lafferty. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Minecraft: The End" is also available
in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
Cixin Liu, author
Joel Martinsen, translator
9781250306036 $27.99 hc / $14.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: Eight light years away, a star has died, creating a supernova event that showers Earth
in deadly levels of radiation. Within a year, everyone over the age of thirteen will die.
And so the countdown begins. Parents apprentice their children and try to pass on the knowledge
needed to keep the world running.
But when the world is theirs, the last generation may not want to continue the legacy left to them.
And in shaping the future however they want, will the children usher in an era of bright
beginnings or final mistakes?
Critique: Supernova Era is a science fiction novel that postulates: what if a disaster were to kill
everyone over the age of thirteen? What if the adult generations had only one year to teach the
younger generation how to survive before their passing? What type of world would the children
create - a dream of impossible brilliance, or a macabre nightmare similar to "Lord of the Flies"?
Smoothly and superbly translated into English, Supernova Era is the unforgettable chronicle of
the permanent transformation of human culture, riveting to the very last page. Highly
recommended, especially for personal and public library science fiction collections. It should be
noted for personal reading lists that Supernova Era is also available in a Kindle edition
PO Box 1188, Wake Forest NC 27588
Recorded Books, LLC
270 Skip Jack Road, Prince Frederick, MD 20678
9781481484312, $25.00, HC, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: What if our legends are older than we think? All the Stone Age has left behind are
rocks and bones; all other materials have rotted away, leaving no trace. But what if "cave men"
never existed, and the Stone Age was a time of great sophistication still preserved in our oldest
In a brilliant and dangerous brain hacking experiment, Harv Leonel and Tara Mukherjee are
about to discover entire lifetimes of human memory coded in our genes, and reveal ancient
legends (ranging from knights and trolls, to flood myths, to the birth of humanity itself) that are
as real as they are deadly.
Before disaster erased the coastlines and river valleys of the Antediluvian age (i.e. before the
Flood) men and women struggled and yearned and innovated in a world of savage contrasts into
which Harv and Tara are thrust, unprepared. Will their science be enough to save them?
Critique: A deftly crafted, impressively original, and unique time travel novel that showcases
author Wil McCarthy's extraordinary narrative storytelling style, "Antediluvian" is unreservedly
recommended for community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted
for the personal reading lists of all dedicated time travel sciences fiction fans that "Antediluvian"
is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99) and as a complete and unabridged audio
book (Recorded Books, B07ZTQPCD4, $24.49, 10 hours 46 minutes).
Hell Divers VI: Allegiance
Nicholas Sansbury Smith
31 Mistletoe Road, Ashland, OR 97520
9781538557198, $24.99, HC, 400pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: After a long and bloody battle, legendary Hell Diver Xavier Rodriguez reigns as the
dutiful but reluctant new king of the islands. Advised by a council of former sky citizens as well
as Cazadores, he works to assimilate the two societies peacefully. But not all Cazadores have
accepted the new order.
While X tries to ease tensions at home, a rookie team of divers, led by Michael Everhart, returns
to the skies in Discovery, formerly the ITC Deliverance. Their mission: to locate other human
survivors throughout the world and rescue them. But Michael's team aren't the only ones
searching for survivors. A gruesome discovery reveals that android defectors continue to hunt
humans across the globe. And they may not be the only ones.
In a race against time, the Hell Divers may be the only obstacle to enemies bent on wiping out
the final pockets of survivors and extinguishing the human genome forever.
Critique: Another simply riveting read from the imaginative pen of science fiction author
Nicholas Sansbury Smith, "Hell Divers VI: Allegiance" is unreservedly recommended for
community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. It should be noted for the personal
reading lists of all dedicated sci-fi buffs in general, and the growing legions of Nicholas Smith
fans in particular, that "Hell Divers VI: Allegiance" is also available in a paperback edition
(9781982669867, $9.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.29).
The Christian Studies Shelf
Invitation to Church History: American
John D. Hannah
2450 Oak Industrial Drive, NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
9780825443855, $49.99, HC, 464pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Invitation to Church History: American" by John D. Hannah (who is the Department
Chairman and Distinguished Professor of Historical Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary) is
specifically designed for both an educated lay audience and for students in introductory college
and seminary church history courses. A profusely illustrated and visually stunning textbook,
"Invitation to Church History: American" is carefully written for first-time learners as it walks
readers through the story of God's people from Christ to the contemporary church around the
"Invitation to Church History: American" enhances and facilitates learning through photos that
make the material come alive for the reader; diagrams clarify and distill complex concepts and
sets of information; and review materials aid the student in processing and retaining the concepts
in each chapter.
Readers will gain a clear understanding of the meaning of the gospel, the wonder of divine
redemption, and the majesty of God. The story of the church is presented as part of the
redemptive history of God and His people. With a conservative, Christ-centered perspective.
Critique: "Invitation to Church History: American" is exceptionally well written, impressively
informative, deftly organized and accessible presented, making it an ideal and unreservedly
recommended curriculum textbook for study groups, seminary students, clergy, and non-
specialist general readers with an interest in the subject.
Matthew A. Wilcoxen
Baylor University Press
One Bear Place, #97363. Waco, TX 76798-7363
9781481309981, $39.95, HC, 237pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Matthew A. Wilcoxen, Ph.D., is an Anglican priest and systematic theologian. He is
the Associate Rector at Church of the Resurrection in Washington, D.C., and the founder of The
Augustine Center in Georgetown.
In "Divine Humility: God's Morally Perfect Being" Wilcoxen first examines how to refer
properly to God's being. Contending with those who say that human concepts cannot
communicate God's being at all, Wilcoxen articulates an account of theological concepts that
holds together simultaneously both God's objectivity (that he is "for us") and God's subjectivity --
that he remains yet totally free.
Wilcoxen also argues that the concept best positioned to achieve this objective is humility,
which, in the Christian tradition, has been considered the paragon of virtues and should thus
fittingly be attributed to God's character.
Wilcoxen next explores divine humility through the work of three different theologians --
Augustine, Karl Barth, and Katherine Sonderegger. Augustine, Wilcoxen argues, ascribes
humility to God in a tantalizing way, but fails to explain further its doctrinal implications. Karl
Barth articulates a more developed doctrine of divine humility by linking God's divine being to
his redemptive work. But Barth's account ultimately suffers because it flatly equates humility
with obedience and divides the divine will into the separate entities of the Father and the Son. It
is the recent work of Katherine Sonderegger that best articulates an account of divine humility
that carries forward Augustine's mantle and overcomes the problems in Barth's account. By
connecting God's humility to divine energy, Sonderegger shows how God can be near to creation
without overwhelming it.
Ultimately, Wilcoxen contends that humility's importance as a divine attribute indicates that it
should be fully considered in any Christian doctrine of God. Divine Humility serves as an
important reminder to Christians that God can be near to creation without overwhelming it.
Critique: Enhanced for seminary students and academia with the inclusion of an eight page
Bibliography, twenty-six pages of Notes, and a four page Index of Names and Subjects, "Divine
Humility: God's Morally Perfect Being" is a meticulous work of theological scholarship that is as
informed and informative as it is thoughtful and thought-provoking. An ideal and core addition
to church, seminary, community, college, and university library Contemporary Christian
Theology collections and supplemental studies reading lists, "Divine Humility" is unreservedly
recommended for students, clergy, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the
Mark E. Thibodeaux, S.J.
9781632532886, $16.99, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Taking a decidedly accessible non-specialist general reader approach, in "Armchair
Mystic: How Contemplative Prayer Can Lead You Closer to God" spiritual director, retreat
director, high school teacher, and a Jesuit priest, Mark E. Thibodeaux (who holds a Master of
Divinity degree from Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts) deftly
blends theory and practice, gently and concretely taking the reader through the first steps of
"Armchair Mystic" begins with the necessary details of time and place to pray, then presents the
maturation of the prayer life in four stages: Talking at God, Talking to God, Listening to God,
and Being with God. Step-by-step exercises throughout "Armchair Mystic" provide concrete
examples of how to use the concepts discussed. "Armchair Mystic" will prove invaluable to
individuals and small groups who are new to contemplative prayer, or who wish to deepen their
experience of it. This newly updated and expanded edition includes a new preface and afterword
from the author.
Critique: Informative, thought-provoking, inspired and inspiring, "Armchair Mystic: How
Contemplative Prayer Can Lead You Closer to God" will prove to be of immense value for
seminary students, clergy, and non-specialist general readers -- and should be considered an
important and unreservedly recommended addition to church, seminary, and academic library
Contemporary Christian Theology collections and supplemental studies curriculum lists.
Gateway of Life
Mary B. Cunningham
575 Scarsdale Road, Yonkers, NY 10707
9780881415247, $20.00, PB, 197pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Bible, taken on its own, gives us little information about Mary, the virgin who
bore and gave birth to Jesus Christ. Yet throughout the history of the Christian Church she has
been the focus of unparalleled love and devotion, the subject of fervent prayer. For countless
people she is the heavenly mother, the first one to turn to with their urgent hopes and desperate
needs. To add to this, she has been the subject of significant debate over the centuries,
concerning theology as well as devotion.
Theologically, there were ancient questions centered on the person of Christ, whom she bore in
her womb. More recently, many Christians as well as non-Christians are puzzled: What in the
Bible gives us the foundation for this degree of attention to Mary? Is not her veneration a
potentially dangerous exaggeration, akin to goddess-worship? Is it not God, and His Christ and
His Spirit, that are our proper focuses?
Such questions arise especially in the churches born of the Reformation, although they can
emanate also from people within churches where she is deeply venerated. It is not always easy to
answer such queries, as the heartfelt love surrounding our experience of Mary makes it
impossible fully to explain and still less feasible to convince someone of it. Yet we can learn a
great deal from an informed and engaged exploration of the ways Mary, the Mother of God, has
been understood in the Church. "Gateway of Life: Orthodox Thinking on the Mother of God ", by
scholar and person of faith Mary B. Cunningham, provides exactly that.
Critique: Mary B. Cunningham is Assistant Professor in the Department of Theology and
Religious Studies at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom. She has published articles
and books on Byzantine homiletics, hagiography, and hymnography. In "Gateway of Life:
Orthodox Thinking on the Mother of God" she provides an impressively thoughtful and thought-
provoking study of the role of Mary and her place within the context of Christian history and
Christian theology. Of immense interest for clergy, seminary students, and non-specialist general
readers with an interest in the subject, "Gateway of Life" is unreservedly recommended for
church, seminary, and academic library Contemporary Christian Theology collections in general,
and the role of Mary within Orthodox Christianity in particular.
First and Second Thessalonians
c/o Baker Publishing Group
6030 East Fulton, Ada, MI 49301
9781540962430, $29.99, HC, 208pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The Pauline epistles, also called Epistles of Paul or Letters of Paul, are the thirteen
books of the New Testament attributed to Paul the Apostle, although authorship of some is in
dispute. Among these letters are some of the earliest extant Christian documents. They provide
an insight into the beliefs and controversies of early Christianity.
First and Second Thessalonians are the two of the Pauline epistles or letters addressed to the
Christian community of Thessalonia and were added to the official canon of the New Testament
by the Council of Nicea under the rule of the Emperor Constantine.
The final volume of the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture New Testament series, "First
and Second Thessalonians" by Nathan Frank (Associate Professor of New Testament, University
of Notre Dame) interprets Scripture from within the living tradition of the Church for pastoral
ministers, lay readers, and students.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "First and Second Thessalonians"
is unreservedly recommended for seminary, church, college, and university library New
Testament Studies collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of seminary
students, clergy, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that
"First and Second Thessalonians" is also available in a paperback edition (9780801049446,
$21.99) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99).
Revelation as Civil Disobedience
Thomas B. Slater
2222 Rosa L. Parks Blvd., PO Box 280988, Nashville, TN 37228-0988
9781501841743, $29.99, PB, 128pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Thomas B. Slater is Professor of New Testament Language & Literature at McAfee
School of Theology. He teaches introductory and advanced courses in New Testament studies
and New Testament Greek. His Ph.D. is from King's College London. He is an ordained elder in
the Georgia North Region of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and holds positions on
In "Revelation as Civil Disobedience: Witnesses Not Warriors in John's Apocalypse", Professor
Slater contends that the New Testament book of Revelation is a form of civil disobedience that
focuses upon sustaining a faithful witness in spite of the consequences. Professor Slater defines
civil disobedience as resisting unjust laws in nonviolent ways even if it means the potential death
of the protestor (e.g., Rev. 12:11).
Along those same lines, "Revelation as Civil Disobedience" also redefines conquering as
sustaining a faithful witness under duress, modeled after the faithfulness of Jesus, even to death
(e.g., 1:5; 2:10, 26-28; 6:9-11; 14:12; 20:4). Even when resistance is expressed in military terms,
Christians never take up arms (e.g., Rev 12:7-12; 14:1-5; 19:11-21) but overcome evil through
their faithful witness. Professor Slater argues, for example, that Rev 19:21 symbolically refers to
a powerful spoken witness that defeats evil.
This study develops a way for Christians to read and appreciate the Book of Revelation. Many
decry the violent nature of the book without noting that Christians are never encouraged to take
up arms. Along those same lines, many lay persons see the Book of Revelation as a justification
for military intervention against Satan and his minions. They too miss the fact that the Book of
Revelation never tells Christians to arm themselves. Rather, Christians defeat evil by witnessing
faithfully. Both sides would be challenged to rethink and reassess their respective positions given
the stress on faithful witness in this final book comprising the New Testament.
Critique: Thoughtful and thought provoking, documented in detail, and an inherently interesting
read recommended for all students of the New Testament, it should be noted that "Revelation as
Civil Disobedience" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $16.19).
What Is the Bible and How Do We Understand It?
Dennis R. Edwards
P.O. Box 866, Harrisonburg, VA 22803
9781513805641, $12.99, PB, 120pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Reading the Bible is one thing. Understanding how the Bible came to be and how it
can guide our faith and life? That's quite another.
In the pages of "What Is the Bible and How Do We Understand It?", urban minister Dennis R.
Edwards (Associate Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary, Lisle, Illinois) offers a
succinct and profound investigation of Scripture. By holding up Jesus as the interpretive key and
inviting us to read the Bible with the marginalized, Professor Edwards challenges us to a
Christ-centered approach to hermeneutics. What does it mean to read the Bible with Jesus at the
center? How does Scripture illuminate the work of God in the world?
Professor Edwards shines light on contemporary debates about the Bible and calls us to faithful,
loving interpretations and applications of the Word of God.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, "What Is the Bible and How Do
We Understand It?" is particularly recommended for both seminary students and non-specialist
general readers. An ideal selection for Bible study groups, it should be noted for personal reading
lists that "What Is the Bible and How Do We Understand It?" is also available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $8.69).
Francis of Assisi: Messenger for Today's World
New City Press
202 Cardinal Road, Hyde Park, NY 12538
9781565486898, $19.95, PB, 108pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Francis of Assisi: Messenger for Today's World" by Robert Waldron will well serve
as an introduction to the life of on of the world's favorite saint. In this informative study Waldron
explores Francis from three perspectives: biographical, psychological and aesthetic.
"Francis of Assisi: Messenger for Today's World" is innovative because Waldron understands
Francis through our new science of psychology and through the beauty of Bellini's masterpiece
St. Francis in the Desert -- the painting shown on the cover of the book.
For a psychological understanding Waldron employs Carl Jung's theory of individuation: the
steps taken by Francis to become his True Self. Waldron also employs Bellini's painting to shed
light on St. Francis the mystic, he who was gifted by God with the Stigmata.
Waldron also addresses Francis's poem The Canticle of the Creatures, offering an exegesis of the
poem that also provides insights into the saint's life as Christian and as a mystic. "Francis of
Assisi: Messenger for Today's World" also includes a Study Guide that encourages the reader to
go more deeply into understanding Francis's life.
Critique: An ideal text for individual and group studies of the life, work and message of Francis
of Assis, this deftly written, thoroughly 'reader friendly', inspired and inspiring presentation is
unreservedly recommended to the attention of all members of the Catholic community. It should
be noted that "Francis of Assisi: Messenger for Today's World" is also available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Political Science Shelf
Bradford R. Kane
15200 NBN Way, Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17214
9781633885820, $25.00, HC, 376pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Deftly identifying the political, social, and cultural forces led to the election of
President Donald Trump, in "Pitchfork Populism: Ten Political Forces That Shaped an Election
and Continue to Change America" veteran political analyst Bradford Kane informatively
examines the forces that led to the rise of the current form of populism and considers their
continuing influence on the future of American politics.
"Pitchfork Populism" also explores ten dynamics of American politics and society that played a
role in the 2016 presidential election and continue to exert an influence on current politics. Kane
examines both the present impact of the Trump presidency and the future trajectories of the
trends that brought Trump to power. Some of these dynamics have deep historical roots, such as
the cultural divide between those who define our national identity in terms of rugged
individualism versus those who emphasize community collectivism. Kane notes that these
opposing viewpoints helped craft our national identity as far back as the 1700s.
"Pitchfork Populism" also considers the effect of changing demographics, such as the trend that
points to the emergence of a new majority composed of combined minority groups, which will
have a profound effect on community relations and politics. Kane foresees a return to established
policy processes and governing principles after the Trump presidency, as opposed to rule based
on the president's personal interests. He anticipates greater empowerment of the electorate as
more demographic groups are increasingly enfranchised.
Kane also forecasts the potential impact of recent developments on the 2020 election and beyond.
Other topics discussed are the role of the media, accountability, globalization, the future of
bipartisanship, and more. This astute analysis by a veteran government insider will help
Americans understand recent events and provides a roadmap for navigating the future political
Critique: A timely and inherently fascinating study, "Pitchfork Populism: Ten Political Forces
That Shaped an Election and Continue to Change America" is an extraordinary and unreservedly
recommended addition to community and academic library Contemporary Political Science
collections and curriculum supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading
lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject that
"Pitchfork Populism" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $13.99).
Editorial Note: Bradford R. Kane has served in the US Congress as Legislative Counsel to
Congresswoman Cardiss Collins; as Counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee
on Commerce, Consumer Protection; and as a member of President Clinton's Task Force on
Health Care Reform. Thereafter, he served the State of California as Deputy Controller,
Legislation, and subsequently, as a Deputy Secretary of Information Technology. He was also a
member of the Nielsen Media Research Task Force on Television Measurement; created the
Bipartisan Bridge (a public policy initiative to advance bipartisanship in American government);
and developed environmental and economic equity initiatives. In the global arena, he was CEO
of the International Commission on Workforce Development; a Strategy Council member of the
United Nations Global Alliance on ICT & Development; and Director of International
Development and Director of Strategic Initiatives for TechSoup Global.
The World History Shelf
The United Kingdom: The Unification & Disintegration of Britain Since AD 43
John D. Grainger
Pen & Sword
9781526748195 $39.95 hc / $6.90 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: John Grainger examines the long and erratic process by which the British Isles was
gradually (and as it turns out, temporarily) unified over the course of eighteen centuries, and the
subsequent beginnings of the process of disintegration, manifested in an independent Ireland and
increasing devolution to, and nationalism in, Scotland and Wales.
Taking the Roman (partial) conquest and forming of the province of Britannia as his starting
point, he outlines the major stages by which unification was brought about, through invasions (or
in reaction to the threat thereof) and the vagaries of dynastic succession. James I was the first
monarch to reign simultaneously over the whole British Isles but full political union was not
completed until the Act of Union that came into effect on 1 January 1801, against the backdrop
of war with France. It was maintained for just 122 years before the Republic of Ireland gained
independence in 1922. John Grainger sees the granting of their own parliaments to Wales and
Scotland as further stages in the process of disintegration, which may be accelerated by
Critique: Former teacher and historian John D. Grainger presents The United Kingdom: The
Unification & Disintegration of Britain Since AD 43, a scholarly, in-depth examination of how
the British Isles have gradually unified over the course of centuries - and how that unification
may be fracturing today, accentuated by internal disagreement and controversy over "Brexit"
(Britain's withdrawal from the European Union). Expensively researched, and featuring an index
for ease of reference, The United Kingdom is a salient, measured, and illuminating study of
history with reflections on what Britain's past means for its present and future, highly
recommended especially for public and college library World History collections. It should be
noted for personal reading lists that The United Kingdom is also available in a Kindle edition
Hitler's Great Gamble
5067 Ritter Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6921
9780811738491, $34.95, HC, 272pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: On June 22, 1941, Hitler invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa, one of the
turning points of World War II. Within six months, the invasion bogged down on the outskirts of
Moscow, and the Eastern Front proved to be the decisive theater in the defeat of the Third Reich.
Ever since, most military historians have agreed that this was Hitler's gravest mistake.
In "Hitler's Great Gamble: A New Look at German Strategy, Operation Barbarossa, and the Axis
Defeat in World War II", author James Ellman argues that while Barbarossa was a gamble and
perverted by genocidal Nazi ideology, it was not doomed from the start. Rather it represented
Hitler's best chance to achieve his war aims for Germany which were remarkably similar to those
of the Kaiser's government in 1914. Other options, such as an invasion of England, or an
offensive to seize the oil fields of the Middle East were considered and discarded as unlikely to
lead to Axis victory.
In Ellman's recounting, Barbarossa did not fail because of flaws in the Axis invasion strategy, the
size of the USSR, or the brutal cold of the Russian winter. Instead, German defeat was due to
errors of Nazi diplomacy. Hitler chose not to coordinate his plans with his most militarily
powerful allies, Finland and Japan, and ensure the seizure of the ports of Murmansk and
Vladivostok. Had he done so, Germany might well have succeeded in defeating the Soviet Union
and, perhaps, winning World War II.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, expertly organized, impressively documented, and deftly
drawing on a wealth of primary and secondary sources (including many recently released),
"Hitler's Great Gamble" is a provocative, informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking study
that is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library World War II
collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of
students, academia, and military history buffs that "Hitler's Great Gamble" is also available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $17.82).
The Self-Help Shelf
10300 N. Central Expressway, Ste 400, Dallas, TX 75204
9781948836531, $26.95, HC, 300pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: It's called distraction and often results in procrastination. But what would be possible if
you followed through on your best intentions? What could you accomplish if you could stay
focused? What if you had the power to become "indistractable?"
In "Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life", author, former
Stanford lecturer, and behavioral design expert, Nir Eyal reveals distraction's Achilles' heel in his
groundbreaking new DIY instructional.
In the pages of "Indistractable", Eyal explains the hidden psychology driving us to distraction. He
describes why solving the problem is not as simple as swearing off our devices: Abstinence is
impractical and often makes us want more.
With "Indistractable" Eyal lays bare the secret of finally doing what you say you will do with a
four-step, research-backed model. Indistractable reveals the key to getting the best out of
technology, without letting it get the best of us -- including: Why distraction at work is a
symptom of a dysfunctional company culture - and how to fix it; What really drives human
behavior and why "time management is pain management"; Why your relationships (and your
sex life) depend on you becoming indistractable; How to raise indistractable children in an
increasingly distracting world.
Critique: Exceptionally well written, organize and presented, "Indistractable: How to Control
Your Attention and Choose Your Life" is 'real world practical' and will prove to be an immediate
and enduringly popular addition to community and college library Self-Help/Self-Improvement
collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that "Indistractable" is also available in a
paperback edition (9781526610218, $13.95) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $15.38).
Beyond Words Publishing
9781582706986, $17.99, PB, 320pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: What happens when a vision of creative freedom, courageous risk-taking and good
timing come together? What if you focused on what fascinates you, then mastered some skills,
including a level of intuitive decision-making that helps you make the right moves at the right
time? The answer is a life filled with success on your own terms.
"Intuitive Intelligence: Make Life-Changing Decisions with Perfect Timing" by Paul O'Brien is
unique book about self-discovery and manifesting your true destiny. Distilling a lifetime of
business and personal adventures into an eloquently articulated process for making the best
strategic decisions with an ever-improving sense of timing, O'Brien's true stories of lessons
learned will intrigue and delight the reader, while the presentation of skills required to make
great decisions with perfect timing captivate and motivate.
O'Brien's elegant Visionary Decision Making process and philosophy clearly define the essential
skills of accessing intuition when you need it most. "Intuitive Intelligence" clearly and effectively
shows readers how to take charge of their life and fearlessly take the risks that will that help them
realize their goals and dreams to fearlessly take those risks that will grow them as a person.
Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "Intuitive Intelligence: Make Life-Changing
Decisions with Perfect Timing" is especially recommended for both community and academic
library Self-Help/Self-Improvement collections. It should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Intuitive Intelligence" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Editorial Note: Paul O'Brien is the Executive Director of the Divination Foundation
(www.Divination.com) and for 30 years has hosted Pathways radio, a podcast interview program
focused on personal and cultural transformation.
The Cookbook Shelf
The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9784805315286, $18.99, HC, 128pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Izakaya cooking is all about enjoying hearty and flavorful Japanese food with drinks
and friends at your local hole-in-the-wall hangout. Similar to tapas or pub food, izakaya fare
ranges from tasty bar snacks to substantial salads, stews, grilled meats and seafood dishes (all
made fresh with minimal fuss and maximum flavor) and served alongside a chilled glass of beer
"The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook" by Wataru Yokota allows you to recreate over 120 of
these classic izakaya dishes in your own kitchen at home. These include standards like Yakitori
Chicken Skewers, Crispy Gyoza, and Grilled Wagyu Beef with Shiso. Vegans and vegetarians
are also well catered to with dishes like Daikon Salad with Yuzu Dressing, Chargrilled Fava
Beans and Baked Tofu with Ginger Sauce. Chef and author Wataru Yokota adds his own unique
twists to signature Japanese recipes, like Miso-Simmered Pork and Grilled Mackerel with Plum
Yokota's recipes are simple and quick, aimed at working folks who don't have a lot of time to
cook but love trying new and interesting flavors. "The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook"
provides clear step-by-step photos and instructions for each dish. The introduction gives
guidelines for selecting, pouring and mixing drinks to complement the recipes -- and even how to
quickly grill and smoke meat to give it that authentic izakaya taste!
Critique: Beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout, with recipes that range from Chikuwa
Fish Cake and olive Pinchos; Sweet and Sour chicken Meatball Skewers; Stuffed Mackerel
Fritters; and Deep-Fried Tofu in Dashi Sauce; to Sardines Simmered in Sake; Beef Curry
Japanese Style; Eel and Egg Rice Bowl; Soba Noodle and Tomato Salad; and Soy Sauce
Bruschetta, "The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook" is a unique and certain to be highly prized
addition to personal, professional, and community library Japanese cookbook collections.
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9780804852166, $14.99, PB, 96pp, www.amazon.com
Now with "Asian Noodles: 86 Classic Recipes from Vietnam, Thailand, China, Korea and Japan"
compiled and presented by Asian culinary expert Maki Watanabe even the most novice of
kitchen cooks are provided with a compendium of 'user friendly' recipes and invaluable tips for
creating delicious Asian noodle dishes at home with minimal fuss and time.
These 86 noodle recipes comprising "Asian Noodles" cover the Asian cuisines best known for
their noodle dishes: Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. They include all the
classics that are already well-loved in the West -- from Vietnamese Pho to Korean Japchae, and
Pad Thai to Chinese Wonton Noodles (with gluten-free options available in the form of Japanese
Soba and Udon noodles). However, this book also highlights many lesser-known classics that are
popular in Asia but not yet widely found in Western restaurants.
"Asian Noodles" is divided into four major chapters: Tossed Noodles with Sauces and Toppings,
Stir-Fried Noodles, Noodles with Soup and Japanese-Style Noodles. A bonus chapter gives a
selection of 10 delicious Asian desserts such as Cilantro Sorbet and Mango Pudding -- to eat
after your noodles are all gone!
Each chapter outlines basic cooking methods for the different types of noodle preparation,
complete with step-by-step instructions and photos. Additional sections give information on
noodle dish staples and garnishes and a shopping guide to help you identify and source the
Critique: Beautifully illustrated throughout and showcasing palate pleasing, appetite satisfying
recipes that range from Taiwanese Chicken Noodles (Taiwan); Stir-Fried Noodles with Pork and
Vegetables (China); and Beef Pho Noodle Soup (Vietnam); to Lemongrass Noodles with Spare
Ribs (Thailand); Korean Cold Noodles (Korea); and Chicken Soup Soba (Japan), "Asian
Noodles: 86 Classic Recipes from Vietnam, Thailand, China, Korea and Japan" will prove to be
an immediate and enduringly popular addition to family, personal, professional, and community
library cookbook collections. It should be noted that "Asian Noodles" is also available in a digital
book format (Kindle, $10.99).
Andrews McMeel Publishing
1130 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO 64106-2109
9781524853297, $24.99, HC, 180pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Everyone kitchen cook knows that serving a pie for dessert makes family and guests
happy. And serving one with a beautifully designed crust that makes guests swoon is even better.
Pies are easy to make as stunningly attractive as the most decorative cakes using some basic
techniques and the appropriate care when working with pie dough.
The recipes and techniques presented in "Elegant Pie: Transform Your Favorite Pies into Works
of Art" by Karin Pfeiff-Boschek provide any home baker the instructions and tools needed to
create breathtaking works of pie art. From preparation of the dough to the last moments of
baking, all methods are clearly presented using step-by-step photographs. A flat surface, rolling
pin, sharp knife, different size and shaped cookie cutters make embellishing an ordinary pie crust
easy. The 25 designs, arranged by three levels of difficulty, range from graphic art styles to
Beautifully decorated pies are a hit on social media, and until now there has not been a book on
how to create these stunning works of edible art. A master pie designer Karin Pfeiff-Boschek
explains in superbly illustrated detail her textile-based methods used to reproduce her most
popular top crust works of art.
Critique: The pie as an edible art form! "Elegant Pie: Transform Your Favorite Pies into Works
of Art" will prove to be one of the most popular additions to any personal, professional, family,
or community library cookbook collection. It should be noted that "Elegant Pie: Transform Your
Favorite Pies into Works of Art" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).
The Complete Hummus Cookbook
c/o The Hatherleigh Foundation
62545 State Highway 10, Hobart, NY 13788
9781578268207, $20.00, PB, 192pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Hummus is a dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with tahini,
lemon juice, and garlic. It is popular in the Middle East and Mediterranean, as well as in Middle
Eastern cuisine around the globe. It can also now be found in most grocery stores in North
America and Europe.
Protein-rich and vegan-friendly, hummus is one of the healthiest and most nutritious dishes that
many people don't talk more about. But with the introduction of "The Complete Hummus
Cookbook" showcasing more than one hundred palate pleasing, appetite satisfying, health
promoting recipes that is all about to change!
Profusely illustrated throughout, and showcasing 100+ delicious and nutrious recipes, "The
Complete Hummus Cookbook" shows everyone just how hummus is extremely versatile,
low-cholesterol, protein-rich and healthy dietary option.
"The Complete Hummus Cookbook" also provides useful information on the perfect food to pair
hummus with as well as how to make different kinds of hummus with chickpeas, black beans,
lentils, edamame and green peas.
Critique: A thoroughly vegan friendly and unreservedly recommended addition to personal,
family, professional, and community library cookbook collections, it should be noted that "The
Complete Hummus Cookbook" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Theatre/Cinema Shelf
Get Out: The Complete Annotated Screenplay
c/o Distributed Art Publishers
155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10013-1507
9781941753286, $19.95, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Jordan Peele's powerful thriller "Get Out" debuted in 2017 to enormous public and
critical acclaim. Written for the age of Obama and Trump, "Get Out" scared audiences and
skewered white liberal pieties at the same time. Rather than rely on popular archetypes, Peele
wove together the material realities and daily manifestations of horror with sociopolitical fears
and elements of true suspense, and combined them with pitch-perfect satire and a timely cultural
This companion paperback to the film presents Peele's Oscar-winning screenplay alongside
supplementary material, including an essay by author and scholar Tananarive Due and in-depth
annotations by the director. This edition of "Get Out" is richly illustrated with more than 150
stills from the motion picture and presents alternate endings, deleted scenes and an inside look at
the concepts and behind-the-scenes production of the film.
Critique: Expertly written, organized and presented, "Get Out" is unreservedly recommended for
personal, professional, community, and academic library Contemporary Cinematic Studies
collections and reading lists.
Editorial Note: Jordan Peele (born 1979) is an American writer, director and producer. Peele's
directorial debut, Get Out (2017), earned him an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay
as well as nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. In 2012, Peele founded Monkeypaw
Productions, which amplifies traditionally under represented voices and unpacks contemporary
social issues, while cultivating artistic, thought-provoking projects across film, television and
The Biography Shelf
Ed Garvey Unvarnished
University of Wisconsin Press
728 State Street, Suite 443, Madison, WI 53706-1418
9780299323707, $24.95, HC, 208pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Edward R. Garvey (April 18, 1940 - February 22, 2017) was an American lawyer,
politician, activist, and a Wisconsin legend in the state and in the nation's progressive
"Ed Garvey Unvarnished: Lessons from a Visionary Progressive" by professional journalist,
newspaper columnist, and freelance writer Rob Zaleski is an exceptionally informative, well
written, and inherently interesting account of Garvey's life, his accomplishments, and his insights
into Wisconsin politics.
Of particular interest and relevance to the politics of today are the chapters on Civil Rights,
Political Defeats, Environmental Triumphs, The Anti-Environmentalists, and this astute
biography's final chapter, Battling Parkinson's.
Critique: Simply stated, "Ed Garvey Unvarnished: Lessons from a Visionary Progressive" is an
unreservedly recommended and key addition all personal, community, college, and university
library Wisconsin Biography collections in general, and 20th Century Wisconsin Politics
supplemental studies lists in particular.
The Life of Lou Reed
443 Park Avenue South, Suite #1004, New York, NY 10016
9781635766387, $26.99, HC, 416pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: As band leader of the Velvet Underground and later a successful solo artist, Lou Reed
(March 2, 1942 - October 27, 2013) was much more than what the general public came to know
as the grumpy New Yorker in black who sang "Walk on the Wild Side". To his dedicated
admirers, he was one of the most innovative and intelligent songwriters of modern times -- a
natural outsider who lived a tumultuous and tortured life.
In the course of his deep research into Reed's life, from a humble upbringing on Long Island to
his death from liver disease, Howard Sounes interviewed more than 140 people who knew the
artist intimately -- some of whom have not spoken publicly about him before.
With new revelations from former wives and lovers, family members, fellow band members and
celebrities, and music industry figures, "The Life of Lou Reed: Notes from the Velvet
Underground" offers an updated, unfettered look at Reed's creative process, his mental health
problems, his bisexuality, his three marriages, and his addictions to drugs and alcohol.
Featuring previously unpublished photographs of some of Reed's most private moments, "The
Life of Lou Reed" is the definitive account of one of rock 'n' roll's most complicated and brilliant
Critique: An absolute 'must read' for the legions of Lou Reed fans, "The Life of Lou Reed: Notes
from the Velvet Underground" is an extraordinary and deftly presented account of his life and
career. While unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library
American Biography collections in general, and Lou Reed supplemental studies in particular, it
should be noted for the personal reading lists of students, academia, and non-specialist general
readers with an interest in the subject that "The Life of Lou Reed: Notes from the Velvet
Underground" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $10.49) and as a complete and
unabridged audio book (Brilliance Audio, 9781543624137, $9.99, MP3 CD).
Saint Padre Pio: Man of Hope, expanded edition
9781632532862, $18.99, PB, 302pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Canonized on June 16, 2002, Padre Pio of Pietrelcina (25 May 1887 - 23 September
1968) was a Capuchin monk and mystic whose life was marked with miracles and wonders, but
who said that his only desire was "to be a poor friar who prays."
"Saint Padre Pio: Man of Hope" by journalist Renzo Allegri is an intimate biography. Readers
will see the results of this humble Capuchin's prayers and discover for themselves the Source of
his great hope.
This newly updated and expanded edition contains five new chapters covering the years between
beatification and canonization, St. Pio's continued work in people's lives, and the devotion of St.
John Paul II to this extraordinary saint of our day.
Critique: Especially recommended to the attention of all members of the Catholic community,
"Saint Padre Pio: Man of Hope" is as informative as it is inspiring. While unreservedly
recommended for church, seminary, and academic library collections, it should be noted for
personal reading lists that "Saint Padre Pio: Man of Hope" is also available in a digital book
format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Gardening Shelf
Succulents at Home
The Countryman Press
c/o W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9781682683842, $21.95, PB, 160pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Succulents have become some of the most popular houseplants, and with good reason:
they're easy to grow -- most of the time. But what happens when a plant outgrows its pot? How
can you avoid your succulents from getting sunburned? How do you turn one plant into more
In "Succulents at Home: Choosing, Growing, and Decorating with the Easiest Houseplants
Ever", expert gardener and succulent expert John Tullock addresses these questions and many
more. Here, aspiring gardeners will learn to make the most of their plants from the how and why
of soil and container choice to step-by-step instructions for repotting, propagating new
succulents, and creating arrangements like terrariums and wreaths.
"Succulents at Home" is complete with a catalog of 75 species ranging from flower-shaped
echeverias, pointy haworthias, and flowering kalanchoes, to round mammillaria cacti, and more -
- which includes special care instructions for each variety.
Critique: Tullock's friendly voice and years of experience, and enhanced with more than 100
color photographs, make "Succulents at Home: Choosing, Growing, and Decorating with the
Easiest Houseplants Ever" an essential guide for fool-proof succulent gardening. And with a
focus on growing succulents to enjoy indoors, Succulents at Home" is the perfect instructional
guide and reference for plant lovers wanting to raise succulents in all regions and climates.
Exceptionally well organized and presented, making it an ideal addition to both community and
academic library gardening collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that
"Succulents at Home" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
The Automotive Shelf
Hemi Muscle 70 Years
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9780760365199, $40.00, HC, 192pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Hemi Muscle 70 Years: Chrysler, Dodge & Plymouth High Performance" is the
complete illustrated story of the legendary engine and the cars it powered. Author Darwin
Holmstrom explores how Chrysler's Hemi engine became the number one choice for drag racers
and stock car racers across the country, campaigned to great success by drivers like Richard
Petty, Don Garlits, David Pearson, Sox and Martin, and more.
In 1950, Chrysler debuted a potent high-performance overhead-valve V-8 engine. Originally
called the FirePower, it would soon be better known by the name "Hemi." Intended to power
Chrysler's luxury cars, the Hemi found a higher calling: humiliating its competitors on the street
and at the race track.
On top of learning how the Hemi engine came to be, you'll also see how the Hemi remained the
engine to beat on the street, stuffed into some of the most desirable performance cars in
automotive history: the 'Cuda, Road Runner, Charger, GTX, and Challenger, to name a few. The
Hemi made such a lasting impact that Chrysler revived it as the top engine for the twenty-first
century Challenger and Charger.
Today, Hemi is a household name, known to enthusiasts and consumers alike, often imitated,
never duplicated. "Hemi Muscle 70 Years" clearly lays out the reason why.
Critique: An absolutely 'must read' automotive history for all dedicated muscle car fans, "Hemi
Muscle 70 Years: Chrysler, Dodge & Plymouth High Performance" is beautifully and profusely
illustrated throughout. An impressively informed and informative compendium, "Hemi Muscle
70 Years" is unreservedly recommended for personal, community, and academic library
Automotive History collections and supplemental studies reading lists.
Bugatti T and Its Variants
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
9781526756763, $28.95, PB, 64pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Bugatti T and Its Variants: Type 35 Grand Prix Car and its Variants" by Lance Cole
the first in the new CarCraft series from Pen & Sword Books that delivers an innovative
presentation to the car enthusiast by covering the engineering, design, and modeling of one of
motoring's greatest cars across all its epochs.
Ettore Bugatti changed engineering history with his genius and innovations. With its clever
engine design, new suspension thinking, and distinct body style, Bugatti's T35 and its variants
defined a new era of design and driving and must surely rank as true 'supercars'. A motor sport
legend was also cast down by these Bugattis.
Experienced automotive writer, industrial designer and Bugatti Owners Club member Lance
Cole pays tribute to the car in a detailed yet engaging commentary. New photography, the design
story, and full coverage of the modeling options in synthetic materials and die cast metals, create
a narrative of vital interest.
Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout, "Bugatti T and Its Variants: Type 35 Grand Prix Car
and its Variants" is a truly extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to personal,
professional, community and academic library Automotive History collections in general, and
Bugatti automotive studies lists in particular. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of
automotive fans that "Bugatti T and Its Variants: Type 35 Grand Prix Car and its Variants" is
also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $14.99).
Neo Classics: From Factory to Legendary in 0 Seconds
Jurgen Lewandowski, author
Rene Staud, photographer
350 Seventh Avenue, Suite 301, New York, NY, 10011
9783961712007, $125.00, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: In the automotive world, Neo Classics are rare manufactured vehicles, one-of-a-kind
high-end cars, special short-run cars, and "young classics". They are vehicles that become
legends (and coveted collectors' items) the moment they leave the factory. Faster, more powerful,
more exclusive: whether they're called supercars or hypercars, these are turbo-charged fantasies
in chrome. For most of us, however, they will remain dreams on wheels.
In "Neo Classics: From Factory to Legendary in 0 Seconds", professional photographer Rene
Staud brings the dream a little closer. Image after gleaming full color photographic image, the
"Master of Light" brings these shining stars to our coffee table--from the Bugatti Chiron to the
Lamborghini Huracan Spyder to the Mercedes AMG One. Each beautifully rendered image is
accompanied by an expert text from the seasoned automotive writer and aficionado, Jurgen
Critique: A unique, simply elegant, coffee table style volume (11.1 x 1.2 x 13.5), "Neo Classics:
From Factory to Legendary in 0 Seconds" is a simple delight for all dedicated automotive
enthusiasts to browse through one informative page at a time. Certain to be an immediate and
enduringly popular addition for personal, professional, community, and academic library
Automotive History collections, "Neo Classics: From Factory to Legendary in 0 Seconds" is
Editorial Note: Rene Staud is considered one of the most sought-after automotive photographers
and one of the most innovative in the industry. With the Magicflash lighting system, he has given
not only his art, but studio photography in general an important impulse. He has published six
volumes with teNeues. With more than 70,000 copies sold, they are in turn classics of
Jurgen Lewandowski, the automotive section editor of the Suddeutsche Zeitung for over 20
years, and the author of roughly 100 books about cars. Among his books published by teNeues
are the best-selling titles The Porsche 911 Book and The Ferrari Book - Passion for Design.
The Needlecraft Shelf
Japanese Wonder Crochet
Nihon Vogue, author
Gayle Roehm, translator
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon, VT 05759-9436
9784805315279, $15.99, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Japanese Wonder Crochet: A Creative Approach to Classic Stitches" shows a creative
approach to classic crochet stitches such as Aran, herringbone, Bavarian, waffle, crocodile,
reversible crochet, and many more. In Japan, crochet work is often added to knitted garments;
while you may choose to incorporate these techniques into your own knitting projects, Japanese
crochet is a great pleasure in and of itself.
In "Japanese Wonder Crochet", a swatch pattern is provided for each stitch which helps
crocheters practice the mechanics of the stitch before applying them to larger projects. The
personal and home accessory projects included provide something for every level of time
commitment -- from potholders and cup cozies to tote bags and blankets.
The 25 exciting projects showcased in "Japanese Wonder Crochet" include: A patchwork throw;
A reversible cowl; Bags in Bavarian, crocodile, Aran stitches and more; Totes in herringbone and
rib stitches; A vintage bag and floral brooch in bullion stitch; A tea cozy, mittens, a shawl and
An extensive introduction by Japanese knitting and crochet expert Gayle Roehm explains the
stitch charts as well as the differences and similarities between Japanese and Western styles of
crochet. A guide to stitch symbols and extensive lessons provide visual guidance.
With Japanese Wonder Crochet and a little practice, crocheters and Japanese-style knitters can
open up many new horizons using the wonderful patterns that so many Westerners have already
fallen in love with.
Critique: Ably translated into English for an American needlecrafters by Gayle roehm, "Japanese
Wonder Crochet: A Creative Approach to Classic Stitches" by Nihon Vogue introduces crochet
enthusiasts outside Japan to the wonderful crotchet techniques and charts that are so popular
within the country. A unique and profusely illustrated step-by-step instructional guide and
manual, "Japanese Wonder Crochet" is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional,
and community library needlecrafting collections.
Free-Motion Quilting 101
The Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
9781641550024, $24.95, PB, 112pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Quilters want to finish their quilts -- and that often means doing their own machine
quilting. In "Free-Motion Quilting 101: Techniques & Patterns for Beginners", teacher and
quilter Ashley Nickels provides in-depth, step-by-step instruction on learning the technique of
free-motion quilting, combined with simple small projects that reinforce the technique. Quilters
will have fun while learning the necessary steps to complete a quilting project.
"Free-Motion Quilting 101" is deftly divided into three parts -- workbook-style practice; project
session, and in-depth reference for finishing a quilt. It also features 15 foundational designs, as
well as 3 simple projects and 1 larger project that is a culmination of the techniques learned in
Free-Motion Quilting 101 focuses squarely on mastering the technique on a regular home sewing
machine and is the ideal instructional guide and reference that will enable new quilters quickly
pick up first to learn how to free-motion quilt successfully.
Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout, "Free-Motion Quilting 101: Techniques & Patterns for
Beginners" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in commentary, organization and presentation -- making
it unreservedly recommended for personal and community library Needlecrafting collections in
general, and quilting instructional studies lists in particular. It should be noted that "Free-Motion
Quilting 101" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $17.99).
The Sports Shelf
Research Methods and Design in Sport Management, second edition
Damon P. S. Andrew, et al.
Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
PO Box 5076, Champaign, IL 61820-5076
9781492574910, $109.00, PB, 376pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: As the sport management industry continues to grow and evolve, so do the methods for
gathering and applying research findings to drive successful sport organizations. Now in a newly
updated and expanded second edition, "Research Methods and Design in Sport Management"
includes web resources, and imparts modern explanations of research design, implementation,
analysis, and assessment that are specific to the discipline of sport management.
An invaluable resource for both students and practitioners, the text first helps readers understand
the research process and then delves into specific research methods. Special attention is devoted
to the process of reading and understanding research in the field, preparing readers to apply the
concepts long after reading the text and learning the foundational skills including: How to
conduct a thorough literature review; Theoretical and conceptual frameworks to guide the
research process; How to develop appropriate research questions and hypotheses; Techniques for
conducting qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research; Methods for analyzing data
and reporting results.
This newly expanded second edition also introduces a new section on emerging methods and
trends in the field, including social network analysis (SNA) and sport analytics. Readers will be
exposed to methods of SNA data collection and interpretation, as well as how to collect and
analyze data and communicate the results of sport analytics research. Of special note is a chapter
dedicated to legal research in sport management provides a non-intimidating discussion of the
unique elements evident in sport law research, such as legal precedence, case briefing, and
special writing elements.
Critique: Comprehensive, effectively organized and presented, "Research Methods and Design in
Sport Management" is an ideal curriculum textbook and is unreservedly recommended for
personal, professional, college and university library Sport Management collections and
supplemental studies lists. It should be noted that "Research Methods and Design in Sport
Management" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $82.00).
The Travel Shelf
50 Hikes in Eastern Massachusetts
The Countryman Press
c/o W. W. Norton & Company
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110
9781682683521, $22.95, PB, 256pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Showcasing 50 beautiful trails around Boston and the Cape, Madeline Bilis shares her
years of outdoors experience in the Boston area, providing 50 hikes for people of all skill and
experience levels in the profusely illustrated pages of "50 Hikes in Eastern Massachusetts".
While the Berkshires tend to get all recognition when it comes to hiking in Massachusetts, the
eastern part of the state is packed with treasures for lovers of the outdoors. From the rocky ledges
of the Blue Hills Reservation to the sandy stretches of the Cape Cod National Seashore,
incredible trails and vistas abound in this varied region.
In addition to stunning natural views, with "50 Hikes in Eastern Massachusetts" hikers and day
trippers will delight in discovering dozens of small towns, cultural attractions, and historical sites
during your adventures around Boston and the Cape.
Hikes include: Noanet Woodlands; Myles Standish State Forest; Great Island Trail; Middlesex,
Fells Reservation, and more!
Critique: Illustrated with 50 color photographs, and featuring 50 maps, "50 Hikes in Eastern
Massachusetts" is thoroughly 'user friendly' in organization and presentation. Impressively
detailed and informative, making it ideal for planning trips with, "50 Hikes in Eastern
Massachusetts" is especially recommended for personal, community, and academic library
collections. It should be noted that "50 Hikes in Eastern Massachusetts" is also available in a
digital book format (Kindle, $9.99).
Paris: A Curious Traveler's Guide
The Countryman Press
c/o W.W. Norton & Company
9781682683880 $22.95 pbk / $9.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: In the last few years, Paris has undergone a huge transformation. It's fostered one of the
coolest creative scenes in Europe, some of the continent's best nightlife, and a "bistronomy"
movement that has influenced dining around the globe. Yet while millennial travelers pour into
the city, travel guides continue to focus on a staid checklist approach to Paris's big attractions.
There's currently no book on the market aimed at younger (perhaps more budget-conscious)
American visitors that truly captures the city's revived energy-until this one.
A Curious Traveler's Guide to Paris will direct readers to the best paintings in the Centre
Pompidou and tell them how to beat the lines at the Orangerie. It will guide them to quirky,
little-known museums and secret squares. It will tell them how to find the city's coolest
speakeasies, best neo- bistros, and most unusual boutiques. Informative yet opinionated, it is an
insider's guide to Paris without pretension.
Critique: Featuring 100 color photographs, Paris: A Curious Traveler's Guide is packed cover to
cover with neighborhood highlights of Paris, recommending both mainstream and lesser-known
attractions, and enriched with an index for ease of use. From fine art, to architectural treasures,
culinary delights, standing-room-only wine bars, unforgettable hotels and more, Paris: A Curious
Traveler's Guide will delight vacationers and armchair travelers alike. Highly recommended! It
should be noted for personal reading lists that Paris: A Curious Traveler's Guide is also available
in a Kindle edition ($9.99).
The Architecture Shelf
Downsize: Living Large in a Small House
The Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
9781641550338, $34.95, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: The 25 small houses presented and showcased in "Downsize: Living Large in a Small
House" by Sheri Koones are owned by people who have made a conscious decision to downsize
from a larger home to a smaller home -- or who just decided to build small in the first place.
Some of the houses are new (site-built or prefab), others are remodels. All are 2,000 sq. ft. or
less. The featured houses show how to use space efficiently through such strategies as: creative
storage space; multi-purpose rooms; pocket and barn doors; integrating smaller appliances.
These exceptional houses show how small can be comfortable, practical, energy efficient and
Critique: A novel and unique addition to professional, community, and academic library
Contemporary Architecture collections and supplemental studies reading lists, "Downsize:
Living Large in a Small House" is beautifully and profusely illustrated throughout. For the
personal reading lists of architecture students and non-specialist general readers with an interest
in the subject it should be noted that "Downsize: Living Large in a Small House" is also available
in a digital book format (Kindle, $23.74).
How To Build Your Own Tiny House
The Taunton Press
63 South Main Street, Newtown, CT 06470
9781631869075, $26.95, PB, 224pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Roger Marshall is a woodworker with decades of experience designing living spaces in
the tight quarters of yachts. He has built his own house, studios, greenhouses, and numerous
stone and wooden garden projects.
In "How to Build Your Own Tiny House" Marshall draws upon his extensive expertise to create
a comprehensive guide to the actual construction process, building codes, and regulations, not
another pretty picture book about tiny houses.
"How To Build Your Own Tiny House" offers anyone with basic carpentry skills step-by-step
instructions to successfully build a tiny house (250 to 1,000 square feet.) A profusely illustrated
instruction manual, "How To Build Your Own Tiny House" covers everything from forming a
bill of materials to the basics of frame construction; to detailing wiring and plumbing a tiny
home, to construction codes for small buildings. "How To Build Your Own Tiny House" also
gives pointers as to where local regulations may apply, and also includes a section on building
appropriately sized furniture for a tiny home.
Of special note is the inclusion of a selection of tiny home designs -- each of which can be
expanded as needs change!
Critique: Of special value for the non-specialist general reader considering constructing their own
tiny house project, "How To Build Your Own Tiny House" will prove to be an enduringly valued
and appreciated addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library
Contemporary American Architecture collections and supplemental studies lists. It should be
noted that "How To Build Your Own Tiny House" is also available in a digital book format
Thames & Hudson, Inc.
500 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10110-0017
9780500519837, $50.00, HC, 288pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Devoted to all-white houses, "White Houses" by architecture expert Philip Jodidio
celebrates the ever popular "non-color" of white as a perfect backdrop for contemporary
Sometimes seen as an absence of color, white in fact reflects the purity of the entire spectrum. In
the history of design, white houses often embody the bright, clean clarity associated with
twentieth-century giants Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Richard Meier.
"White Houses" presents and informatively showcases the most striking, innovative, and unusual
white houses by contemporary architects, spanning the globe from Asia to the Americas. The
featured houses represent every scale and a wide range of locations and terrains, from seaside
retreats to space-saving urban homes and grand country residences.
From radical new takes on traditional building forms in Latin America to state-of-the-art urban
projects in Europe and Japan, each featured house employs the apparent simplicity of white to
reflect light and accent materiality, pressing the frontiers of form to the point of abstraction. No
longer an anonymous box, the contemporary white house is the embodiment of the architectural
archetype, reinterpreted and refreshed.
Critique: Profusely and beautifully illustrated with 260 full color photographs, "White Houses" is
a unique, special, and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, corporate,
community, and academic library Contemporary Architecture collections and supplemental
studies reading lists.
After the Final Curtain
9782361953485 $39.95 amazon.com
Synopsis: In the early 20th century the streets of small towns and cities across America were
filled with the lights and sounds of movie theaters. The most opulent - known as "movie palaces"
- were designed to make their patrons feel like royalty; people would dress up to visit. But as
time went on it became harder and harder to fill the 2,000+ seat theaters and many were forced to
Today, these palaces are illuminated only by the flicker of dying lights. The sound of water
dripping from holes in the ceiling echoes through the auditoriums. In After the Final Curtain:
America's Abandoned Theaters internationally-renowned photographer Matt Lambros continues
his travels across the United States, documenting these once elegant buildings. From the
supposedly haunted Pacific Warner Theatre in Los Angeles to the Orpheum Theatre in New
Bedford, MA - which opened the same day the Titanic sank - Lambros pulls back the curtain to
reveal what is left, giving these palaces a chance to shine again.
Critique: After the Final Curtain: America's Abandoned Theaters is an extraordinary tour of these
lingering remnants of shuttered theatrical entertainment centers, capturing their architectural
legacy on film. The grand opulence of what they once were shines through the still images - these
were places where men and women used to dress up for an evening of fine entertainment (or
perhaps, a vaudeville performance). The text offers history and background of each showcased
location, in this striking coffee-table book that is simply captivating to page through from cover
to cover. Highly recommended.
The Railroading Shelf
Steam on the Eastern and Midland
Pen & Sword Books
c/o Casemate (distribution)
9781473891784, $49.95, HC, 136pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: "Steam on the Eastern and Midland: A New Glimpse of the 1950s and 1960s" is the
second volume from David Knapman's personal record of railway views that were captured on
black and white film in the late 1950's and 1960's, until the demise of steam on British
The style of the book, in keeping with Knapmann's first volume, "Steam on the Southern and
Western", is the well tried and tested pictures and captions format and the majority of pictures are
black and white photography. Not every picture portrays a train as there are interesting branch
line and infrastructure scenes to view as well, whilst trains will be on main line and secondary
"Steam on the Eastern and Midland: A New Glimpse of the 1950s and 1960s" carries its share of
photographs of British Railways standard locomotives in the locations appropriate to the regions.
Where preservation starts to overlap with the still active steam scene, some historic photographs
are included. Photographs will be grouped by a particular location, for example, York on the
Eastern and Hatch End on the Midland. Each of these topic areas will provide a flavour of the
railway activity at the time. "Steam on the Eastern and Midland: A New Glimpse of the 1950s
and 1960s" provides the reader with another gentle meander through the 1950's and 1960's
railway scene and stir the memories of those who lived through those times.
Critique: Profusely illustrated throughout with black-and-white historic photography, "Steam on
the Eastern and Midland: A New Glimpse of the 1950s and 1960s" is exceptionally informative
and will prove to be a prized and appreciated addition to any and all personal, professional,
community and academic library British Railway History collections and supplemental studies
reading lists. It should be noted that "Steam on the Eastern and Midland: A New Glimpse of the
1950s and 1960s" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $24.99).
The Art Shelf
How to Draw Without Talent
North Light Books
c/o Penguin Publishing Group
9781440300592 $24.99 pbk / $18.99 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: Want to draw but don't think you have the talent? This book is for you--no experience
or formal training required! Danny Gregory, co-founder of the popular online Sketchbook Skool,
shows you how to get started making art for pleasure with fun, easy lessons. Get started fast with
just a pen and paper, learn to see your subject with new eyes, and enjoy the creative process.
Critique: How to Draw Without Talent is a nontraditional, self-study guide that breaks down
learning how to draw into bite-sized basics that can be readily absorbed by anyone with a
sketchbook, a pen or pencil, and perseverance. Each page or two-page spread offers a different
practice suggestion, lesson, or insight into the process of drawing. Full-color illustrations help
clarify the recommendations and suggested exercises. How to Draw Without Talent is an
invaluable guide for budding artists of all ages and backgrounds. Highly recommended! It should
be noted for personal reading lists that How to Draw Without Talent is also available in a Kindle
The Art of Looking Up
White Lion Publishing
c/o Quarto Publishing Group USA
400 First Avenue North, Suite 400, Minneapolis, MN 55401-1722
9780711242173, $45.00, HC, 240pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: From the floating women and lotus flowers of the Senso-ji Temple in Japan, to the
religious iconography that adorns places of worship from Vienna to Istanbul, all the way to bold
displays like the Chihuly glass flora suspended from the lobby of the Bellagio Hotel in Las
Vegas: "The Art of Looking Up" by Catherine McCormack takes her readers on a fabulous and
beautifully illustrated tour of the extraordinary artworks that demand an alternative
A history of art expert, Catherine deftly guides her readers through the stories behind the
artworks -- their conception, execution, and the artists that visualised them. In many cases, these
artworks also make bold but controlled political, religious or cultural statements, revealing much
about the society and times in which they were created.
Divided by these social themes into four sections (Religion, Culture, Power and Politics) and
pictured from various viewpoints in glorious colour photography, tour the astounding ceilings of
these and more remarkable locations: Vatican Palace, Rome, Italy; Blenheim Palace,
Oxfordshire, UK; Louvre Museum, Paris, France; Dali Theatre-Museum, Figueres, Catalonia;
Museum of the Revolution, Havana, Cuba; and the Capitol Building, Washington, DC,
Four eight-page foldout sections showcase some of the world's most spectacular ceilings in
Critique: Inspirationally beautiful to simply browse through, this coffee table style (9.7 x 1.1 x
12.6 inches) volume is impressively informative and exceptionally well written, organized and
presented -- making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, community
and academic library World Art History collections and supplemental studies curriculum lists.
While an especially appropriate 'Memoral Fund' acquisition selection for libraries, it should also
be noted for students, academia, and non-specialist general readers with an interest in the subject
that "The Art of Looking Up" is also available in a digital book format (Kindle, $35.99).
Editorial Note: Catherine McCormack is a writer and art history lecturer based in London. She
regularly teaches at Sotheby's Institute of Art, Dulwich Picture Gallery and UCL, where she
completed her PhD and was a Teaching Fellow. Her writing has been published in The
Independent, Architectural Review, Stylist, Glass magazine, LABEL magazine, and in
international academic journals and museum exhibition catalogues. She is also resident art expert
at Blacks Club Soho and has appeared on Sky News and BBC Breakfast talking about art.
Catherine is also the author of Women in the Picture (Icon Books, 2020).
Gordon Onslow Ford
Sepp Hiekisch-Picard, et al.
Lucid Art Foundation
c/o Distributed Art Publishers
155 Sixth Avenue, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10013-1507
9781732667303, $65.00, HC, 348pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: This substantial volume is the first major resource on the life and work of Gordon
Onslow Ford (26 December 1912 - 9 November 2003), the British-born painter who was the
youngest member of Andre Breton's surrealist group in Paris, and who spent more than 50 years
in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Marked by an initial interest in automatist techniques, Onslow Ford's painting gradually
developed through studies of Eastern philosophy, mysticism and ecology resulting in complex
and varied works that incorporated cosmic charts and biomorphic abstraction.
"Gordon Onslow Ford: A Man on a Green Island" is a superbly produced volume that is
comprised of a series of thoroughly researched essays, as well as previously unpublished archival
material, and more than 200 color illustrations, deftly traces Onslow Ford's time spent in Paris,
stints in New York and Mexico, culminating in his move in 1947 to the Bay Area.
Organized and published by the Lucid Art Foundation (cofounded by Onslow Ford in 1998), this
is a long-overdue and impressively executed survey that will effectively bring a critically
interesting artist up out of an undeserved obscurity.
Critique: Enhanced for academia with the inclusion of an informative Introduction by Fariba
Bogzaran, an eight page Chronology, a five page Biography, and an eight page Index, "Gordon
Onslow Ford: A Man on a Green Island" is a meticulous and collaborative work of informed and
informative scholarship that is unreservedly recommended for personal, professional,
community, college, and university library Contemporary Art History collections in general, and
Gordon Onslow Ford supplemental studies reading lists in particular.
The Woodworking Shelf
Carving Small Characters in Wood
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
9781497100183 $12.99 pbk amazon.com
Synopsis: Great for beginners, Carving Small Characters offers simple carving techniques in a
smaller format to create compact caricatures.
This book starts you off with fun, easy lessons on carving a basic character, then slowly
progresses into more complex challenges like creating features and expressions. Detailed
directions and high-quality photography walk you through each lesson, from carving the body,
face, and clothes to ears, hairstyles, and grimaces. A final chapter provides insight on displaying
your caricatures, a bonus challenge, and an inspirational small character gallery.
Author and renowned caricature woodcarver Jack Price is the leading voice to learn from on how
to create small statuettes! A well-respected carver, Price is also the author of the popular books
Carving Compact Characters and 50 Character Patterns for Woodcarvers. Beginning his career in
1975, he has been specializing in compact figures since 1978, with most of his work ranging
from 2-3 inches in height. Inside Carving Small Characters in Wood, you'll learn everything you
need to know to carve mini wooden statuettes from the leading expert of carving 2-inch tall
For beginner caricaturists, or carvers who want to learn how to create smaller figures, Carving
Small Characters is packed with approachable carving techniques and progressive lessons that
will help you create tiny figures with big personalities!
Critique: Featuring full-color photography illustrating step-by-step processes, Carving Small
Characters in Wood: Instructions & Patterns for Compact Projects with Personality is a hands-on
guide to crafting small caricatures out of wood - creating simple, cartoon-like figures that may be
as small as two inches high. Expert caricature woodcarver Jack Price walks the reader through
basic methods followed by more advanced techniques for adding detail. Carving Small
Characters in Wood is a treasure for hobbyist workers, highly recommended.
The GMC Group
9781784945206, $14.95, PB, 96pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Pyrography or pyrogravure is the free handed art of decorating wood or other materials
with burn marks resulting from the controlled application of a heated object such as a poker. It is
also known as pokerwork or wood burning. (Wikipedia)
Living with her family in West Yorkshire, England, Lisa Shackleton started pyrography as a
hobby and very quickly fell in love with it. She is now one of the leading exponents of
solid-point pyrography in the UK, and demonstrates at many of the major woodturning shows in
the UK and abroad.
In the illustrated pages of "Solid-Point Pyrography" Lisa has created a thoroughly 'user friendly'
beginner's guide to the art and practice of solid-point pyrography. The solid-point woodburning
tool is reasonably prices and easy to use, with a variety of tips for drawing, shading and mark
making, providing a quick and cost-effective introduction to this wonderfully creative and
enjoyable ancient craft.
Critique: "Solid-Point Pyrography" is comprised of 15 simple and deftly presented step-by-step
solid-point projects suitable for the absolute beginner. Also provided is a wealth of useful and
practical information on equipment and techniques, to guide the aspiring wood burning hobbiest
though every step of the way. Whether decorating a wooden bangle or producing a pleasing work
of art, "Solid-Point Pyrography" is all that is needed to become an accomplished wood burning
artist -- making it an ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to personal and community
library Hobby/Crafts instructional reference collections.
The Metaphysical Studies Shelf
Kryon Oracle Card Deck
The Kryon Writings Inc.
9781888053210, $19.95, 44- Card Deck, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Since 1989, Kryon has given messages for humanity which are filled with profound
wisdom and heartfelt spiritual instructions for living a positive, uplifting life. "Kryon Oracle
Card Deck" is forty-four card deck has been carefully created to offer daily wisdom and spiritual
guidance. Within the accompanying guidebook is a system where every card has a corresponding
quote from Kryon. In addition, Lee Carroll, the original channel for Kryon, gives personal
insights for each card's quote, revealing a deeper meaning of Kryon's messages.
Critique: Inspired and inspiring, the Kryon Oracle Card Deck from channeller Lee Carroll is an
extraordinary and beautifully crafted addition to personal and professional metaphysical studies
in general, and tarot/oracle card collections in general.
The Pets/Wildlife Shelf
For the Love of Rescue Dogs
Tom Colvin, Paula Sunday, and Mick McAuliffe
c/o Fox Chapel Publishing Company
9781621871897 $19.99 pbk / $17.09 Kindle amazon.com
Synopsis: The perfect read before you bring your rescue pet home, For the Love of Rescue Dogs
is a witty and informative book on all things canine-related. Featuring over 250 stunning pictures
of cute dogs, this resource illustrates the many facets of their personality, provides tips on
training, and explains the best ways to care for a rescue dog. Know how to give them the life
they've always wanted as you flip through the pages of this books that's as adorable as it is
Critique: Illustrated with full-color photography throughout, For the Love of Rescue Dogs: The
Guide to Selecting, Training, and Caring for Your Dog lives up to its title as a practical reference
and resource for anyone interesting in adopting a puppy or dog from an animal shelter. Chapters
discuss how to choose a dog that best fits one's lifestyle, do's and don'ts of having both children
and dogs, house-training, basic obedience training, keeping one's dog healthy, dealing with
problem behaviors, and much more. An index rounds out this thoroughly accessible, easy-to-use,
"must-have" for prospective dog owners. Highly recommended! It should be noted for personal
reading lists that For the Love of Rescue Dogs is also available in a Kindle edition ($17.09).
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane C. Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
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